Characters: Matt Murdock, Scott Summers, Ororo Munroe, Foggy Nelson, Jean Grey, Charles Xavier
Word Count: 1684
Author's Notes: marvel_crossing pinch hit. For lilacsigil! Really hope you like! Prompt: There's a new superhero in New York, and Charles Xavier sends the most appropriate X-Man to check him out. Takes place post-DD and pre-X1. There’s a little bit of comic canon thrown in, too.
His muscles ached and he was sure he had another tooth loose. Still, he would have continued if only the night was longer. But since it wasn’t, he had to made his way home.
Before heading inside, he stopped on the rooftop to listen around one last time. It was quiet, peaceful and he was glad yet again to have succeeded in ridding his neighborhood of its biggest problem.
Strange. A sudden change in the air… stabilizing it. That shouldn’t happen on typical summer night in Hell’s Kitchen — usually hot and dry — yet he was sure rain would fall soon. He turned up to the sky. There shouldn’t be any chance of… Then, he realized what it could be.
The sound of two steady heartbeats got closer. Two heartbeats he’d never heard before. He took a deep breath and moved towards the edge of his rooftop ready to move.
The last visitor he received who was not sent by the revenge-seeking Kingpin had the ability to control metal using magnetic fields, or so he claimed. And after all the recent mutant coverage in the media, he wouldn’t doubt if these two approaching had some kind of power over the weather.
“Daredevil,” a man called.
“What do you want?” he asked.
“Simply to talk to you,” a woman replied, her voice soft, her tone gentle.
Same steady heartbeats. No increase in rate meant no immediate threat. Still, he wasn’t interested in anything they were selling.
“Now’s not a good time. As you can see, I’m busy.”
The man stepped towards him, “Would you prefer we make an appointment with Nelson and Murdock instead?”
That got his attention. Maybe the Kingpin had sent them after all. Daredevil didn’t make a move though. He thought quickly, coming up with one solution. It would compromise his home, but that was a far better alternative than putting anyone else he cared for in danger. Besides, if they knew to ambush him there, his home was already compromised.
“We can talk inside,” Daredevil said through clenched teeth. He turned and walked to the door, spun the locks, stopping them at the perfect combination, then opened up.
A subtle change in both heartbeats made him open the door further. When both the man and woman were inside, he stepped in after them and secured the locks.
The woman’s heartbeat quickened.
“Is this your home?” she asked.
Daredevil paused at her side. “It’s one of the many places I use,” he lied.
“I am Cyclops. This is Storm,” the man Cyclops began, “You’re exploits have been in the papers recently and we have a proposition for you.”
“I’m listening,” Daredevil said, but walked further inside. He pulled a lever, causing a wall to disappear and his secrets revealed before the strangers.
“Did you do all this?” the woman Storm marveled. She sounded genuinely impressed. But that was at odds with the obvious discomfort she felt at being in there.
“No,” he lied again, “I had help.”
“We were under the impression you worked alone,” Cyclops stated, the slight inflection in his tone made Daredevil have second thoughts about what he had planned. But then he remembered what Cyclops had said earlier. And if these people knew who he was and where he worked, they would know about who he worked with. He wasn’t about to put his friends’ lives at risk. Foggy and Karen would stay safe.
Cyclops and Storm kept their distance from him, but he knew they would stay close enough. He lured them further into his home, stopping when they were right alongside his sleeping chamber.
Her heartbeat had not returned to its earlier rate. Something was making her nervous. He had an idea of what.
“We’re from Xavier’s School for Gifted—” was all Cyclops had a chance to say because in one quick move Daredevil grabbed his billy club and charged at them before either had a chance to react.
He kicked Cyclops off to the side as hard as he could.
Cyclops hit the wall and collapsed to the floor.
“Wait, we are not here to fight you!” Storm yelled.
“Threats indicate otherwise,” Daredevil replied, opening up the sensory-deprivation chamber and pushing her inside. She screamed as it slid shut and he had a chance to hear her heartbeat increase to a dangerous rate before it closed.
“Let her out now!” Cyclops ordered as he stood.
Daredevil didn’t move, “What do you want with me?”
“I was getting to that before you turned insane! Now, let her out!” Cyclops yelled, though he could tell the other man wasn’t about to do it. His hand was on his visor, but he gave Daredevil one last chance, “Do it now!”
The only reason Daredevil knew to move was he heard the faintest click from somewhere on Cyclops’ person and he wasn’t about to wait around to find out what it was or what it did. He back-flipped over the chamber, but something still managed to hit him with enough power to send him flying into a wall. Along the way, he crashed into a table and a lighting fixture. The vibrations caused by the falling debris gave him a heightened radar-sense for a moment and what he saw surprised him.
Cyclops did not come after him in order to finish him off like Daredevil expected. Instead, he ran towards the sensory-deprivation chamber and searched for a way to unlock it.
Of all the assassins and hitmen the Kingpin had sent after him, none ever cared if they left with the partner they arrived with.
This was an unexpected turn.
“There’s a button near the corner underneath the lid,” Daredevil said, standing though there was a sharp pain radiating through his body, “Push it and pull on the lever that pops out.”
He heard the chamber open and Storm gasp for air.
“No…” Storm mumbled, her heart in a weakened state, “Let me out…”
Cyclops turned to him, “Help me get her outside.”
“Perhaps you did act in haste, but it was your loved ones you had in mind when you did so,” Storm smiled up at Daredevil, “And there is nothing to forgive. I am well once again.”
Daredevil nodded his appreciation.
“Have other mutants attacked you?” Cyclops asked.
“Only those hired by the Kingpin. That other recruiter you send left after I convinced him I wasn’t interested.”
Cyclops and Storm looked at each other.
Daredevil frowned, “He didn’t give a name after I turned him down, but he sounded very irritated and insisted a war was coming.”
Cyclops and Storm turned to each other again.
“He’s not with us,” Cyclops assured, “But if he’s trying to recruit you to his side, maybe it’s time you knew more about what’s at stake.”
Each passing house was bigger than the next, until the lawns were larger than most parks Foggy had seen and the houses were no longer visible from the road.
“Wow. You’ve been holding out on me, Matt.”
“How do you know people living here?” Foggy asked. “I bet most of these homes were bought with dirty money. Not that that’s a problem!” he quickly amended.
Foggy’s voice suddenly turned jovial and Matt could hear his friend’s heartbeat speed up in excitement, “Are these potential clients we’re meeting?”
“Not exactly,” Matt replied as the driver pulled into a long driveway.
“New friends who need a favor.”
Foggy groaned. He was tired of getting paid in everything other than money or trying to sell the things their clients paid with.
When the door opened, Foggy stepped out first and held out his arm for Matt.
“And how are they going to pay us?” Foggy asked slightly irritated, “With— Hi!” he smiled, almost tripping over himself when he saw the beautiful red-head approaching to greet them.
“Welcome, Mr. Murdock, Mr. Nelson. Thank you for coming. We’re glad you could make it.”
“Thanks for inviting us.”
“Jean Grey,” she said extending her hand, “It’s a pleasure to meet both of you.”
“Matt,” he reached out and she took his hand, “This is Foggy, he’ll be helping you with the private school sector information Scott inquired about.”
“Of course. Foggy, please, come with me.”
Foggy had only taken a few steps when he turned back, “Matt. Aren’t you coming?”
“You go ahead. I’ll catch up.”
“Oh, okay. Sure.”
Nearing the entrance to the building, Foggy tore his eyes from Jean long enough to see a bald man in a wheel chair approaching Matt. The last thing he saw before being led away into the school was Matt talking to two men: the bald one and one wearing red shades who he could have sworn had visited their office sometime ago.
He wondered what they might be discussing. It looked serious. But when another teacher — one with the loveliest mocha colored skin and snow-white hair — joined him and Jean, he damn near forgot everything.
“Mr. Murdock, I am Charles Xavier. I am pleased you could be here with us today. I am aware that Scott has informed you about my school and some of what we do here. What I want to share with you involves us all. The man who approached you before we did is a very powerful mutant called Magneto. He thinks a war is brewing. Our hope is that he is wrong. Nonetheless, we are preparing ourselves to defend anyone — mutant and human alike — who might need our help if the time comes.”
Scott moved towards Matt, “Join us.”
Matt could feel the sincerity of their words. He knew they truly believed in what they said. It wasn’t simply the inflection of their tone or the steady beat of their hearts, it was something else, something he couldn’t put into words. But that didn’t change the fact Hell’s Kitchen still needed him. The question was would he continue to fight alone or choose to be alongside others like him?
"Think it over," Xavier said, "We do not need an immediate answer."
But his mind was already made up and he knew what he had to do. He only hoped he wouldn’t regret his decision. He cleared his throat and gave them his reply.