marvel: black mask

fic:chameleon girl | btvs, daredevil | gen

Title: chameleon girl
Rating: FR13
Word Count: 1220
Disclaimer: Daredevil and all related themes are copyright of Marvel Entertainment and Stan Lee. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related themes are copyright of Joss Whedon and ME. No infringement intended.
Note: Why yes this short takes place in the series I keep yammering on about. One day the first story shall be finished. Until then please enjoy this offering!

Summary: Honest clients were hard to come by, but Matt had a good feeling about Anne Steele.

+

Nelson and Murdock’s first appointment of the day, which was unfortunately at three o’clock in the afternoon, arrived with minutes to spare, but still offering apologies for being late. She smelled of clean linens and dish detergent, the same knockoff brand Matt used, and he found it refreshing that she didn’t make his head ache. While he’d grown accustomed to the overwhelming presence one person could have with their scent, sound and heat he always enjoyed the company of those with simpler tastes—Foggy being a prime example.

Karen’s perfume that morning however had held floral notes, but underneath that had been a metallic so strong he could’ve tasted it. His mouth turned down with the memory even as Foggy eased Ms. Steele’s fears and welcomed her to take a seat. Matt unbuttoned his jacket and led them in the motion with Karen settling on his left at the head of the table in the conference room.

Foggy joined him in sitting across from Ms. Steele and Matt knew from experience that she was returning Foggy’s easy smile. His partner had a way with clients, especially attractive women, and while his charms didn’t work on all he fared better than one might think. “How can we help you, Ms. Steele?”

“I’d like to place your firm on retainer.” She opened a folder, the manila scratching across the table top before papers shuffled and she handed pieces to Karen and Foggy. There was a hesitation, her pulse picking up a bit—likely in embarrassment—before she offered one to him. “They’re flyers,” Matt accepted the paper when it brushed his fingertips, “I’m opening a shelter in Hell’s Kitchen.”

“Why did you choose us, Ms. Steele?” Matt felt Foggy shift beside him. He was uncomfortable with these types of questions, but Matt felt it pertinent to ask.

Ms. Steele’s pulse slowed and he assumed she was smiling again as her face warmed, “Father Lantom recommended you when I mentioned that the kids might need legal help from time to time.” Her voice took on a curious note, “Should I have had him call?”

“No,” Matt assured her, “That’s not necessary, but do you mind my asking how you know Father Lantom?”

Foggy’s pulse was thudding beside him, broadcasting his unease with Matt’s focus, but after all they’d been through he’d allow him some leeway. Ms. Steele on the other hand seemed completely unfazed, perhaps not entirely used to this line of questioning, but not against it.

There was definite amusement in her tone when she offered, “The church helped me orchestrate a donation drive for the shelter and volunteer work. With Father Lantom’s help we’re going to be able to open weeks ahead of schedule.”

Appeased by her answers and amused by Foggy’s irritation Matt sat back. This signaled Foggy to take point and he easily brought Ms. Steele’s focus back to himself by questioning, “What sort of legal counsel do you think you’ll need?”

The sound of fabric shifting told Matt she’d shrugged before answering, “The shelter is for teenagers and hormones can get the best of anyone. With the shelter in Los Angeles the lawyer on retainer mostly helped us with weapons and narcotics possession charges.” Her voice wavered, “There are some I won’t allow the shelter to foot the bill on. I learned a long time ago that you can’t save everyone.”

“Some don’t want to be saved,” Karen interjected before she resumed her version of shorthand on the notepad. Foggy had suggested more than once that she was merely doodling, but her minutes of meetings were sound so Matt didn’t see reason to complain.

“Unfortunately,” Ms. Steele shifted more papers around.

“Los Angeles?” Foggy interceded, “Do you still have a lawyer on retainer there?”

“I do,” more papers shuffled before a smaller piece, likely a business card, was handed to Foggy, “Lindsey McDonald. He used to work for Wolfram and Hart, but they parted ways awhile back.”

“Wolfram and Hart is well known.” Matt inclined his head, “Though it’s not often you hear of someone leaving them.”

“I understand their employment contracts are difficult to break,” Ms. Steele agreed, “I know a local PI was involved. He’d helped the shelter out and recommended Lindsey to me when one of my kids was brought up on trumped up charges.”

“How do you know they were trumped up?”

Matt’s question stirred up her heartrate and her scent. Irritation laced her words as she explained, “Eli was a liar and a thief, but he wasn’t a murderer. The charges against him hadn’t made sense so I asked Lindsey for help.”

“Murder charges?” Foggy questioned, tone contrite as he probed, “Do those types of charges come up often?”

“Not usually,” her chin scrapped against the collar of her jacket as she shook her head, “The kids are pretty thoroughly vetted before they’re allowed into the shelter.”

Matt couldn’t help but add to her explanation, “Which is why you felt inclined to help this Eli.”

“Precisely,” Ms. Steele agreed.

“Why Hell’s Kitchen?” Karen broke in with the most pertinent question and Matt smiled.

The sudden lull in conversation was uneasy and the scent of her deodorant, something soft and powder based, permeated the room before Ms. Steele timidly offered, “I grew up here.” Matt shifted, unsure why such an admission would cause her apprehension as she continued, “I ran away from home a long time ago. It was hard coming back.”

“What brought you back?”

Matt felt her gaze turn to him, study him a long moment before Ms. Steele answered, “An old friend. She saved me from myself more than once. It’s my turn to return the favor.”

“By opening a shelter?”

Foggy’s confusion was shared, but Ms. Steele countered, “By reclaiming my past and it doesn’t hurt that I’ll be close by if needed,” another hesitation before she questioned, “Does this mean you’re interested?”

“I see no reason why we can’t work something out,” Matt offered.

“What he said,” Foggy agreed.

“About payment—”

“Case by case,” Interrupted Foggy, his tone firm.

“That’s not fair,” Ms. Steele’s hair crackled as she shook her head and countered, “I pay Lindsey about two thousand annually. We break it down into monthly installments of $160.”

“That sounds feasible,” Matt added before Foggy could protest, “but I’d prefer it remain an even hundred until we’ve worked a case for you.”

“It was the mentioning of Father Lantom?” The amusement in her tone was back, “He said you were good boys.”

“Boys?” Foggy protested, “We’re good men.”

She laughed, “My apologies.”

“None taken,” Foggy paused for dramatic effect before adding, “this time, Ms. Steele.”

“Please call me Anne.” Matt heard the smile in her voice as she added, “I have a feeling we’ll be talking to each other quite a bit.”

Matt couldn’t help, but question, “Expecting trouble?”

“It’s Hell’s Kitchen,” she countered, “Trouble tends to find everyone now and again.”

“Here-here!”

Matt smiled at Foggy’s antics and listened to the steady pulse of their newest client while Karen went to get them celebratory coffees. Something about Ms. Steele—Anne—felt honest and Matt tended to like that in a person. Perhaps that was hypocritical, but he had far greater things to judge in himself than to worry over a bit of hypocrisy now and again.

+

The end.
I greatly enjoyed Daredevil and pretty much devoured it over the course of a weekend. I think they did some things oddly, but fore the most part it's a solid show. Anne (aka Lily, Sister Sunshine, Chantarelle) is definitely our chameleon girl. One of the best character evolutions through both series. Thank you for reading!
I wrote this short so it'd be spoiler free as long as you understood Matt Murdock is a badass. ;)

I'm glad you liked and thank you for the compliment!