Chapter 2: Poor Disguise
"For how long has he been like this?", Karen asked in a worried tone while looking at Matt on her left, who was still wearing his Daredevil suit, sitting on the couch in his living room, with his head resting on the back of the couch, and his eyes wide open.
"About an hour, I think...well...an hour since I picked him up from the warehouse", Foggy said, standing in front of Karen, him too looking at Matt, frowning his eyebrows.
Karen started biting the fingernails of her right hand anxiously, with her left hand underneath it's elbow. "He looks like he's...", she said after a few moments, and gulped right after that.
"He's not Karen, I've been checking his pulse every...Oh hey buddy!", Foggy said, realizing Matt had just become conscious when he started lifting his head from the couch.
"Hey Matt!", Karen said, while her and Foggy moved towards the couch. She sat beside Matt on his right and held his hand with both her hands, and Foggy stood in front.
"I...where am I?", Matt said confusingly, blinking a couple of times.
"In your apartment...you can't tell?", Foggy said. He was worried Matt might have a concussion or something, although he had checked for signs of any injury and hadn't found any, which was weird.
"No...yeah...I just...I think I was dreaming."
"I'm sorry, did you just say you were dreaming?", Foggy asked surprisingly.
"Yeah...well...not exactly dreaming", Matt said, and continued after a short pause, "It looked like I was reliving a memory that I didn't even know existed", and exhaled deeply out of exhaustion.
"What was the dream?", Karen asked.
Matt didn't really want and also had the energy to explain what the weird dream was, "Nothing important really...just...a childhood memory", he said.
"Ok er...Do you...do you remember what happened before you ended up...dreaming?", Karen asked after a short pause.
"I was following this woman in the warehouse Mahoney said the robbers might be in, and then all of a sudden everything went black, and then there was the dream."
"A woman huh? Well...sounds to me like she was a witch or something. Didn't you hear her say any mumbo jumbo before you fainted?", Foggy said jokingly, and Matt and Karen frowned. "What?! He can do this, but I can't?", he said while looking at Karen, implying Matt's habit of joking in not-very-pleasant and serious situations.
Matt sighed, having a strange feeling, a mixture of panic and exhaustion from what he had just experienced, which was clear from his half open eyes, sweaty palms and fast breathing.
"Alright listen...how about...you take a rest now and we discuss this tomorrow?", Foggy said.
Matt nodded, took a deep breath, placed his head on the back of the couch, closed his eyes, and it wasn't long until he fell asleep.
The next morning, Matt woke up from the sound of his clock's alarm from his bedroom, while lying on his couch, realizing his friends had probably changed his posture while he was asleep.
"Hey Foggy", he said softly, after sensing Foggy in his kitchen making what smelled like omelet.
"Good morning sunshine!", Foggy said cheerfully. "Did you know you have literally nothing in your fridge? Had to go out to buy some stuff for breakfast".
Matt tried to sit down, and halfway he heard the sound of the friction between the couch and what he was wearing, realizing it was his red suit. "Did I sleep in this?", Matt asked, continuing to sit down.
"Yup. Sorry...you fell asleep before I even thought of that, and plus, Karen was there too. So..."
Matt sighed, with his eyebrows going up. Then stood up and started taking off his suit.
"Thanks Foggy, for staying here with me last night, although you really didn't have to. It's not like I was hurt or anything", Matt said after a few seconds.
"If I knew how comfortable your bed is, I would've done this much more often."
Matt chuckled, then heard the sound of Foggy's message notification. Karen had sent him a video which looked like a recorded video from a news TV channel. He then played the video.
The police now have a new suspect for yesterday's bank robbery in Hell's kitchen. Wanda Maximoff, former Avenger, was witnessed at a warehouse near the Hudson which the police believe used to be the robbers' hiding place. She has fled the place before the police could arrest her. Marcus, what do you think? What makes a person go from saving the world from aliens and armies of robots to robbing small banks?...
Foggy paused the video, his mouth still dropped since he heard her name. "Matt?! Did you hear that?", he asked. Of course he knew Matt heard it, he just wanted to make sure he himself had heard it correctly.
"Yeah, I did", Matt said, exhaling heavily afterwards. It made sense now, the energy he felt he was near her the night before, unlike anything he had ever felt.
"Remember last night when I said I thought she was a witch? I think god looked at me then and said "Yeah you wish!", Foggy said.
"Well it's not as bad as you think", walking towards the kitchen.
"Matt she's powerful...like...really powerful...I don't think I know any other Avenger with that kind of power. She could break you with a snap of her finger"
"Exactly!", Matt said softly, while standing up from the couch and heading to the kitchen, where Foggy was stranding in front of the stove.
"Exactly what?", Foggy said, confused about Matt's strange calmness.
"She could break me with a snap of her finger, and yet she didn't. She didn't even hurt me a bit."
"Well...she is powerful, yes...but...she's not a horrible person at least...and I have a feeling I could communicate with her, without fighting and all", Matt said, taking a sip of the glass of water he poured from tap water a few seconds ago.
"Are you crazy?! Are you actually thinking about going after her again?"
"Why you?", Foggy asked angrily.
"Do you know anyone else who could stop her?", Matt asked while his eyebrows went up. This wasn't the first time they have had this kind of conversation, where Foggy would try to tell him not everything happening in the city was his responsibility. Having to convince him about it every single time was a very tedious process.
Foggy didn't have any answer, because well, he knew no one else would do anything about her. But he also suspected if Matt was able to stop her and not get hurt or even die in the process. He sighed, with both his hands on his waist. He was just starting to say something when Matt's burner phone rang which was in the Daredevil's suit's pocket.
"Guessing that's your detective pal", Foggy said.
"Yeah it's him", Matt said while walking out of the kitchen and towards the chair in his living room, where he'd put his suit.
Foggy frowned in surprise of Matt knowing who the caller was. "Is he the only one who has your burner's number?", Foggy asked.
"Yep", Matt said, getting the burner phone out of the pocket.
"Why don't I have it?", Foggy grumbled.
Matt let out a sigh, tilting his head and facing towards Foggy, while opening his burner. "Yes detective", he said.
"How strict are you on not going out in the daylight?", Mahoney asked.
Matt took a breath, "I'm not", he said.
"Good. I don't know if you remember but Wanda Maximoff was in the warehouse last night, and one of the stupid officers have spilled to a reporter that she's the main suspect", Mahoney paused and lowered his voice, "We have to move quick before she vanishes."
"We found where she lives. I'll text you the address...and hey", Mahoney paused a second, "She's dangerous, be prepared", he said, almost sounding concerned.
Matt took a breath, "I will", he said calmly, then hung up, put his burner phone back in his pocket, and quickly started putting his suit back on.
"What did he say?", Foggy asked, sounding both confused and worried because of Matt's sudden rush.
"They found her", Matt said, zipping up the back of his suit.
Matt could hear Foggy's heartbeat slowly going up and heard his breathing change for a beat, like he wanted to say something but didn't. Matt opened the door to the closet in the living room where he kept all his Daredevil-related stuff. Then he knelt, lifted the big box out and put it on the ground. Foggy was still silent and only watching Matt for a few seconds.
"Don't worry Foggy", Matt said, after feeling Foggy's nervousness. He felt like his friend was overreacting to the whole situation. Fighting someone with superpowers wasn't a new deal for him, and a be careful was always enough for him...but why not this time? What if he should've been scared? People called him the man without fear, but in reality, he was no such thing. He did feel the fear, he just ignored it...put himself on the line and did whatever it was necessary to stop innocent people from getting hurt; and the thing was, not feeling afraid once in a while made him sloppy...and that never ended good.
"What are you going to do when you get there?", Foggy asked, bringing Matt out of his thoughts to reality.
"I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt first...talk to her...find out if she was really the one who did it", Matt said, grabbing a thing that looked like a gas grenade from under his dad's red fighting outfit.
"Then what do you need that for?", Foggy asked.
"Just...a backup plan", Matt said calmly. He then put it in his pocket, put everything else at their place, stood up and closed the closet.
"See you", Matt said, going up the stairs towards the roof.
"Good luck", Foggy said. "You'll need it", he said a few seconds later after Matt had closed the door and left, but undoubtedly, he had heard Foggy's last words.
Wanda was grocery shopping near the flat she had lived in since about a month ago. She was pushing the shopping cart with the chicken in it in front of her and looking for paprika in the shelves when she noticed an old woman about ten feet away staring at her. The old woman quickly turned her head towards the shelves in front of her as she realized their eyes have met. She knew that most people knew who she was by name but not her face and she didn't usually get many stares when she wondered around in the city. Then she looked down and checked out her clothes, a red sweatshirt with its zip half open and dark blue sweatpants, thinking maybe she was dressed strangely or maybe there was something on them.
"Very normal", she thought, as she kept pushing his cart and passed by the old lady. She could again feel her gaze on her as she was turning left to go to the reception, but then she heard someone call her name. It took her a few seconds to realize that the news on the TV up on the wall was about her, with her picture on the right upper corner of the screen and the title of the news being Wanda Maximoff, the main suspect of yesterday's bank robbery in Hell's kitchen.
"What?", she muttered, just realizing why she was being stared at a lot. hopefully the receptionist was watching the TV carefully, and not paying much attention to his surroundings. So, she pulled her sweatshirt's hood on, in order for people not to recognize her face that easily, left her shopping cart right where she was standing and went out of the door into the street.
A couple of minutes later, she was at her apartment's door, a small one on the second floor of an old building in Hell's kitchen. She was trying to find her key in her crossbody bag when again she felt somebody's stare from behind, one of her neighbors looking at her from the peephole on their door. After about twenty seconds or so, she found the keys and exhaled loudly out of frustration. She opened the door, looked around in the hallway and stairs to see if anyone, except for the woman in the apartment across hers, had noticed her, and closed the door. She waited by the door to catch her breath, leaning towards it, trying to figure out what her next move should be. Pack her things and run away? Stay and explain everything to the police, hoping they would believe her? Of course they wouldn't. The slightest bit of evidence was enough for them to accuse her of rubbing that bank.
She felt the need to organize her thoughts and focus to decide her next move. She closed her eyes for a couple of seconds, let out a heavy sigh.
I'm not gonna let them throw me into a hole...not again...I can totally get away, right?...go somewhere no one can find me.
So she walked away from the door and towards the bedroom on her right, a few feet away from the door.
After a few minutes of gathering all her belongings on her bed, she sat on the bed and started to quickly put everything in a baggage. She was folding her clothes when she caught a glimpse of a framed picture in between some of her clothes and almost hidden by them, so she could only see the corner of it. She stopped folding the T-shirt in her hand as she kept looking at the framed picture. She put the T-shirt on her laps, drew the picture out from the pile of clothes beside her, and held it with both hands on her laps. She smiled instantly when she recognized Vision and herself and the Edinburgh castle behind them. The memories of that day made her smile wider, with the cameraman confused about what button to press on the camera to take a picture and his funny Scottish accent, which they hadn't gotten used to yet, and Vision explaining everything happened in that place throughout the history like he had seen and lived it all.
Her smile faded away as she felt a deep sorrow in her heart. She touched the frame's glass where Vision was in the photo with the fingertips of her right hand, thinking about how much she missed him, and how her life had no meaning or purpose without him in it.
The lump in her throat started being replaced by anger, about losing everything for nothing, and not even a little bit of appreciation for her sacrifice...or his.
She was lost in her thoughts when she suddenly felt the presence of someone else in her apartment. She stood up and walked towards the bedroom's door in small and slow steps. Her attention instantly fell on the open balcony door in front of the bedroom, which she was pretty sure was closed when she got home. She stopped at the door as she realized the other person was standing on her left with their back to the wall adjacent to the bedroom, but she couldn't see the person.
She tilted her head and brought her glowing hands a little upper, getting ready to face the intruder, but as she was doing so, she felt the other person move quickly towards her for a fraction of a second, so she did the same out of instinct. She quickly jumped into the living room and repelled the other person with her powers to the other side of the apartment next to the door. It was after he landed on the floor with his back that she recognized the man from the night before...it was Daredevil.
"You again", she said.
Matt was sure now that Wanda was the one whom he had met last night and put him into those dreams. He tried to stand up but before he could do so, once again she used her powers and threw him towards the wall. He felt a sharp pain in the middle parts of his back as he was stabbed with a sharp small object on the wall, which seemed like an impaired nail, but tried not to let her realize it.
"Why are you here?", she asked.
"To talk", he said. "Would you let me down so we could do that?"
She hesitated at first, but from what she had heard about him, he was one of the good guys. So, she let Matt go and he landed on his feet without much balance and straightened up quickly.
"Alright", she said. "Let's talk."
"Was it you?", he asked after a bit, going straight to the point. "The bank robbery."
"No", she said firmly.
Matt tilted his head a little as he was trying to listen to her heartbeat to see if she was lying, and there was no change in her heart rate...but what if she was faking it? From what he knew she had the power to do literally anything; Although she couldn't have known about his lie-detecting abilities and that was some assurance for him.
"I'm not lying!", she said angrily after it seemed to her like he was doubting her words.
"I don't think you are", he said. "Why were you there last night? At the warehouse?", he said after a short pause.
She was caught off guard by the question and didn't want to give him an accurate answer. "Looking for the robbers", she said.
Matt was confused by her answer...it didn't make sense. If she was looking for the robbers, then why would she try to stop him from doing the exact thing? Why was she even there in the first place? Catching thieves wasn't exactly something the Avengers would consider important...they've never interfered in such things.
She's definitely hiding something.
But even with ignoring the fact that she had helped saving the world even more than once, he had a feeling she was innocent of the accusations.
He suddenly realized he'd been awkwardly silence for a while. She tilted her head while frowning, trying to read his mind with her power to figure out what he was thinking...then while doing so, something caught her attention. She couldn't believe what she just found out.
She didn't continue her sentence, like she was trying to make sure she wasn't wrong about what she was going to say afterwards.
"What?", he asked while frowning.
Just when she opened her mouth to answer, her eyes became red, feeling the presence of about a dozen people in the building, quickly coming up the stairs...and armed. He heard them too, turning his head to the right at the same time she did hers to the same direction. He then heard her heart rate rise a bit, but with the way she was breathing, he couldn't decide if she was scared or angry.
"Looks like you're here for distracting me rather than to talk", she said angrily.
"No, I...I didn't know they were coming."
He felt energy starting to radiate from her hands again as she was getting ready for a fight.
"Don't...you...you don't have to do this", he said.
"And what? Let them take me and throw me in a jail for something I haven't done?", she said.
"If you haven't done anything wrong then you shouldn't worry about it...they don't have much evidence on you...and...I know this lawyer..."
"Lawyer?!", she laughed mockingly and while looking away. "The moment these people catch me, they're going to take me somewhere no one can find me...as far away from civilians as possible...somewhere I can't ever use my powers to get out of."
The armed men, probably a SWAT team, were coming up the stairs from the first floor as Matt felt a brief change in Wanda's breathing as she turned around to face the door, realizing she was going to attack the armed men, but wasn't sure what exactly her plan was.
The building started to shake like there was an earthquake, as Wanda was trying to demolish the stairway leading to the second floor. Matt lost her balance a bit and widened his hands trying to gain it. He tilted his head as he heard some of the armed men fall down in the stairs, and the neighbor's baby starting to cry in a deafening sound.
"What are you doing?", he said nearly shouting.
"Not surrendering", she said, breathing heavily and angrily.
It took Matt a couple of seconds to concentrate again, to decide what he was going to do. He felt like his abilities were useless against hers, but he couldn't just stand there and not do anything. So, he threw his baton at her, aiming it at her head, and it hit her head before she could dodge. She fell on the ground, with some dizziness as a result of the hit and the building stopped shaking. Matt began to run towards her as she quickly started to stand up, and as he came to about a meter distance from her, she brought her both hands in front and used her powers to again throw him towards the wall. His head was bashed to the wall, making him unconscious for seconds after he hit the ground.
"Nice try", she said.
It didn't look like the armed men could reach her door any time soon, but she couldn't risk to collect her belongings in the bedroom. So, she decided to leave them all behind, and escaped from her balcony. Meanwhile, Matt gained his consciousness and only saw a glimpse of her going out from her balcony door. He started to stand up in order to follow her as he heard the armed men behind the door, seconds away from breaking into the apartment. He couldn't avoid them seeing him unless he could distract them a bit until he could get out of the apartment, so he pulled the gas grenade and activated it. Still feeling dizzy, he passed through the gas filling in the air and stumbled across the apartment till he was out in the balcony. He tried very hard to concentrate and listen to see if he could find out where Wanda has gone but there was nothing...no sign of her.
He cursed under his lips and frowned, but then he heard the sound of the armed men striking something to the door. He looked around to find an escape root where he felt something metal, similar to a stairway, probably a fire escape...and exactly at the time they broke into the apartment, he went up the stairway and could reach the roof in seconds. The rest of the path to his apartment wasn't very challenging.
Just outside of New York in a small road under a bridge, two black SUVs were parked in the middle of the road. A tall man, wearing a black suit and a red tie, was standing a few feet in front of the cars, and five other men standing behind him wearing the exact same thing. He was impatiently checking out his watch when a white van appeared, taking a turn from the road perpendicular to this one.
The van stopped a few meters from the man standing in the front, and after a couple of seconds, Billy got out of the car from the driver's side, closed the door and stepped closer to the front man.
"You're late", the front man said. "Isn't she with you?"
"Your point being?", Billy asked.
Billy turned his head and looked back for a second. "She is", he said, and turned back, facing the front man again.
Eleanor was sitting in the front seat in the car, observing the situation. When Billy turned around and looked her way, she figured they were probably talking about her, which made her anxious a bit. She started rubbing the swollen parts of her left hand's wrist with her right hand's thumb, as her gaze was fixed on the man standing in front of Billy.
"We had to make a stop at the police station...see if they have any evidence that could lead to us", Billy said.
"Well couldn't she do her thing to...speed things up?...or slow down? I don't know, you get what I mean"
Billy paused for a second or so and sighed, put his hands in his pocket while looking aside for a bit.
"Do you want the money or not?"
The front man looked at the man standing behind him a little to his right, gesturing towards the van's trunk.
"Is the amount according to your agreement with The Doctor?", the front man asked, while the other man was gesturing towards another man in the suit, to get help for transporting the bags of money to their own vehicles.
"Yes Mr. Hall", Billy said mockingly, "eighty percent".
Billy and Hall remained silent for a minute, waiting for Hall's men to transport all the money from the van's trunk.
"Well...", Hall said after his men were done and getting in the cars, "say hello to her from me will you?", and looked at the direction were Eleanor was sitting in the car, which gave her chills when she saw him directly look at her although there was no way he could see her.
He then turned around and got in the front seat of one of the cars, and the cars drove away. Billy stood there until they were gone, and got in the driver's seat in the van, and started driving the car before a word was spoken between the two.
Four days later, Matt and Foggy were sitting behind their desks in their office, and Karen was making coffee for the three of them in the kitchen. Matt has been trying to find Wanda after their encounter four days before, but there was no trace of her...there was no lead on the robbers either...so he decided to focus on the case they were working on for now...but every once in a while, the memories of the day they've met would disrupt his focus. He couldn't get it out of his head...the horror that she had created when she was collapsing the stairway...the sound of the baby's cry...the smell of blood from some of the SWAT team's men who had fallen on the floor beneath.
"Matt?", Foggy said, standing in his office's door frame, having called Matt for a couple of times.
"Yeah?", Matt said.
"Could you pass me the files I put on your desk yesterday...which by the way you haven't read yet?"
Matt stood up and grabbed the files, stepped out of his office towards Foggy, and handed them to him.
"You alright?", Foggy asked.
"Yeah yeah...it's just..."
The sound of someone coming up the stairs of the building distracted him before he would finish his sentence. It was a couple of seconds before Foggy and Karen could also hear the sound of the person's steps.
"A little early to go see a lawyer, isn't it?", Foggy said, while looking at his watch.
It wasn't long until he recognized the person...he could recognize that kind of energy from much further distance than she was now.
Matt took a couple of steps and stood in front of the door, breathing heavily and looking anxious and scared which was so obvious that even Foggy and Karen could tell.
"What's wrong?", Foggy asked, looking at Karen who looked as clueless as he did.
"It's...It's her", Matt said in a low voice.
"Who?", Karen asked.
His level of anxiety was going higher the closer she was getting to their office's door...and when she finally used the door nob and opened the door, Matt was confused by Foggy's next sentence.
"Page, Nelson and Murdock…how can we help you?"