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What makes a man - Last Resort
The various homes, flats, and other dwellings of London are located throughout the city. You can visit a friend at his home or even have one over or enjoy an evening in with yourself. Your choice!
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by: Matthew Cox
#7771
(Apologies and thanks to Marvel's Daredevil, which features a tale not that different from this story.)

April 13th, 11:49 pm

Three nights ago, Matt's world was turned inside out. There were no more lights or colors for him. Instead, life was edges, vibrations, sounds, and smells. The combination produced a world of sensory input beyond normal, but it had a few obvious drawbacks. After all, what good was super sensitive hearing if it meant you heard every argument in the apartment complex, or every slammed door, or every moment of physical abuse?

Some things could keep any man up at night; worrying about the future, worrying about money or status, worrying about a career. Matt was now kept up worrying about Mrs. Dawson. Her husband had a new habit of coming home drunk and beating her before bed. It was exhausting and soul searing to listen to a woman sob herself to sleep every night. It was time to put an end to her suffering.

Matt's perch in the roof of the apartment complex gave him a good aerial view with his radar sense. Likewise, it enables him to stalk his target without being seen. The SBS advocated for unexpected lines of attack and for decisive endings to all skirmishes. If his plan went well, there wouldn't be any more decisive ending than tonight.



Larry Dawson pulled himself out of his old rattle trap rust bucket. He grunted in anger. His job was hell, his car was shite, and his wife was an incompetent shrew. He'd crawled into the bottle to escape, only to find out that the bottle just magnified his problems. If he could just have one thing go right, it would be enough.

Larry hauled himself up the stairs to apartment number sixteen. Before he even got to the door, he was barking orders at the idiot he married.

"Margie! Dinner better be on the table and it had better be hot or you know what's for dessert!"

He reached into his pants for the house key, then gasped in surprise as a masked man in black dropped from the roof and planted a kick in his sternum. Larry overbalanced and fell backwards down the stairs, yelling as he tumbled. A sick crack made his vision go grey.

Aww shit my arm's broke!

He was a big man, but the guy who hit him made Larry feel like a small, weak kid again. Before he could push himself up, the man in black was on him, slamming a fist into his face.

"You listen and you listen well. I don't allow men to beat their wives. If you hit her again, I'll know, and you'll have a worse day than just falling down the stairs, do you understand?"

Larry could only nod. Once he confirmed that he understood, the man was gone as if he'd never been there. Who the hell was that?



Matt couldn't repress his smile as he slipped back into his bedroom. The open window was the perfect way in and out to do some clandestine vigilante work. He changed and hid his black tactical outfit, oblivious to his bruised knuckles with the skin split. Instead, he drifted off into one of the best night's sleep he'd ever had.
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by: Matthew Cox
#7783
The early morning sunlight felt good. Matt chewed thoughtfully on what he thought had been cheerios. Instead, they were fruit loops. Well, couldn't win them all, right? At least the sugary o's were still breakfast food and not lentils or anything weird.

The apartment was peaceful. Klaus was snoozing on the couch, Matt was in his sweats, and the Dawsons were behaving perfectly nice to each other over breakfast. He had a physical therapy appointment in several hours and life was good.

Klaus stirred on the couch, but Matt waited for his friend to speak before replying. After all, he was supposed to be blind, right?

"Good morning to you too. Who kicked you out of bed and onto the couch?"

Matt grinned over his cereal bowl, trying and failing to orient his gaze at Klaus.
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by: Matthew Cox
#7787
Revisiting his childhood, indeed.

"Wouldn't you know it, Cheerios and Fruit Loops come in the same shape box and are the same circular shape. Truly a dastardly ploy to ruin the life of any poor blind man out there who wants a heart healthy breakfast."

At least he didn't put orange juice in his cereal rather than milk. The thought alone was enough to amuse him. The small smile stayed on his face as he took another bite, chewing thoughtfully.

"Supposed to have life therapy or something like that today. Braille lessons and dark glasses, woo hoo! Oh and my mom wants to come over and cook for us since we're apparently too disabled or too inept to figure out how to make meals. So, go mom, right?"

And after that, Matt had every intention of getting drunk. He hadn't been able to go out the first night and Klaus was too much of a nanny to go out the second night. With his first vigilante victory under his belt, though, Matt wanted to celebrate.

"Oh, and we're getting beers tonight. I'll stumble my way to a bar without you if you pantywaist out of it again."
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by: Matthew Cox
#7797
How the hell had he put up with these sugar bombs before? Matt chewed quickly and swallowed, then patted around the table until he found his water glass. He took several swallows of THAT to ease the sucrose costing his tongue.

Was even his sense of taste that refined now? It was probably something in conjunction with his sense of smell becoming inhuman. Pheromones, he discovered, had different smells based off of a person's emotion. Gun powder cling to off duty cops, chefs reeked of garlic even when they were just walking down the street to work. It was insane how many different identifying odors there were.

Klaus quipped how his mother cooked wonderfully and earned a chuckle from Matt.

"You know her, nothing but the best for her favorite boy. How did you become her favorite, anyway?"

It was probably because they'd lasted so long as friend's. The boys nights in school with Klaus playing Nintendo with him until four in the morning, the help with homework, the brotherhood they had had endeared Klaus to the Cox family. In fact, his mom still referred to Klaus as her third son. Even Matt felt more like a brother than a friend to Schmidt.
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by: Matthew Cox
#7805
Horrible? Hands? What had he done to...Oh, right. Matt blinked and rocked back slightly,then gingerly ran his fingers over his knuckles. Dried blood, scabbing, likely bruising. How did he explain this away? Oh, yes, Klaus, last night I beat the shit out of our asshole neighbor. You may have heard him falling down the fifteen concrete steps or yelling when his arm broke. No? Maybe you heard me threaten him to stop beating his wife...

"I tripped and fell, didn't open my hands soon enough and hit the ground. They don't hurt as bad as they feel like they look...did that sentence make sense to you?"

Lame. Stupid and lame. Klaus was probably too smart to fall for that, so he'd have to be careful in the future. Maybe some gloves or hand wraps...definitely have to wash his hands. He'd better do that now.

Matt stood and groped his way to the sink, batted around for the soap and then washed his hands. The lather stung the cuts on his knuckles, echoing how stupid his excuse was. Thankfully, they seemed to be minor splits. How long had it been since he worked his fists with a punching bag? Too long if the skin was splitting like this. He needed to get back in the gym. Okay, seriously? A blind man in a gym? Might as well ask him to drive over there as well. There had to be a way to get a good workout going...
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by: Matthew Cox
#7811
"Yeah I-I'll do that. I was carrying something at the time and didn't want to drop it...teach me to not watch out for myself, right?"

A little levity never hurt. Besides, he was pretty sure that Klaus suspected something but was too polite to give him hell for it. God, he wish things would smooth out soon and his friend would go back to the crass, needle-him-about-everything quasi-antagonist that he was before the incident.

Hmph. Incident. He needed to stop treating it like a car accident and move on. Sure, his counselor would probably tell him that he needed to embrace the emotions of now and accept his loss, cry it out, affirm his emotions, and all that. Standard stuff for crisis counseling, but after last night, Matt felt good. He felt good about his new abilities, felt a growing confidence in his own self, and had aspirations for regaining the sense of normalcy that he once had. Sure, things would never really be normal again, but there was a new normal that needed embraced.

He started, realizing he'd zoned out at the sink in the middle of drying his hands. Klaus had spoken.

"Hunh? Sorry, I was thinking...dreading, more like, the crisis counselor later today...'embrace your emotions, cry it out.' No thanks. I'd rather hit a gym and sweat it out...God, can you imagine how ridiculous I'll be at the gym?"

He gave a small laugh, imagining. He'd need an assistant and a spotter...hopefully someone who can do both.
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by: Matthew Cox
#7813
Matt edged his way back to his seat and took a drink, then nearly choked on it with the mental image that Klaus was putting up. Yeah, he'd be pretty damn hopeless at the gym without help. He coughed and cleared his throat, then retorted.

"That's a hell of a thing to say to a disabled man, Smitty, making fun of the way he works out. Your mother didn't teach you to speak like that."

He took another sip, keeping his sincere and overly stiff facade for a moment before grinning slyly at Klaus. Life would be pretty dull if he didn't have someone to help him through the hell of rediscovering his abilities.

Disabled. What did that even mean in his context? If anything he had more abilities now than he did at the eak of his military career. His radar sense didn't fade with the setting sun, so he had night vision as well as the ability to be a human emotion detector and heart beat detector. He could smell different chemical compounds like a damn bloodhound. Speaking of which, he HAD to get Klaus to stop buying cheap juice. The additives in it were bad enough to make him not want to drink anything but water ever again.

Great, was he going to become a food snob too? At least he could afford organic stuff so that he didn't have to deal with the smell and taste of trace pesticides.
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by: Matthew Cox
#7818
Matt smiled softly. He could hear Klaus' negative reaction to the 'disabled' word. Well, he was, wasn't he? Sight was an ability, and right now he was 'dis' with his sight. Sure, he had the shiny new radar sense, but he still needed to learn what was what with it. You didn't get to be an expert over night, even if you did beat the tar out of a drunk low life. Practice would bring his new sense up to standard with his reflexes...then he wouldn't be 'dis' anything.

"Klaus, that has so much corn syrup in it that i'm not sure it's legal to call it 'orange juice.' Besides, how else could I rub it in your face that I'm healthier than you if I don't drink water?"

He asked that, fully aware that the Fruit Loops were sitting there mocking him, getting soggy in their milky pool of sadness and sugar. Healthy...right. He needed to go get some real food, preferably fruits and vegetables. In the time he lived here, he couldn't remember seeing a vegetable that didn't come out of a can or a frozen tv dinner. If anyone could change that, it would be Matt.

"Should probably go grocery shopping later today too...I'll pay if you act like Vanna White and tell me everything about anything I'm interested in getting. May even buy a vowel off of you if you do well enough."

Bad joke, but it was still banter. He needed the banter to keep from focusing on everything.
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