There was a certain luxury in living in the shadows, it gave him the ability to observe others without allowing that searing light of introspection to be shined back on him for too long. Matt Murdock was keenly aware of his fatal flaws, the moral ambiguity in what he did, but somehow it was just easier to push those things about himself he didn't enjoy to the back of his mind when his focus was zeroed in on Hell's Kitchen's extensive criminal network. It didn't seem very Catholic of him, but sooner or later that need to acknowledge his own dark side always found a way to win out. He rarely demonstrated it on the outside, carrying himself around like a man on mission, unburdened by doubt, but it was always there. Always eating at some part of him. He just turned a blind eye to that critical voice in his head, perhaps convincing himself that doling out a violent brand of justice to more terrible men was trumped anything he did. For a guy who hadn't gone to mass in years and seemed to wear his faith more as a novelty than anything, he certainly exhibited the self-delusion that was a trademark of any guilty man hiding from his own sins.

So maybe this was some kind of divine or wicked punishment, at least that's what he'd first thought. It didn't make any sense, but somehow here he was, trapped in the body of a shadowy doppleganger whose life just barely resembled his own. As memories of Michael Everett flooded in and intertwined with his own, he saw a multitude of similarities and differences. More than anything, he saw paths, the darker ones that had been taken, and the more heroic ones that had been abandoned. Matt had no illusions about himself. He wasn't perfect. If anything he was well aware of how deeply he'd screwed up his own life, and even worse, damaged the lives of those close to him beyond repair with his decisions. But this man, Mike, really took the cake. It'd been a turbulent night of reconciling what was happening to him. To say he hadn't taken it well was an understatement, he'd trashed his own apartment in search of clues, cast suspicion on the friend that had arrived to guide him through things, and now after a storm of conflicting emotions, Matt had a better grasp at what he was dealing with. Now that it made sense, he found himself evaluating Michael's life. All the things he'd had that had been taken from Matt. A father, his eyesight, a childhood, and then to realize he'd squandered it all the way he had.. it left a bitter taste in his mouth. The selfish pursuit of glory in the ring, his lack of martial and spiritual discipline, and worse yet, how he'd become the very thing Matt had fought most of his life.

A whole hour after the armor clad blonde that had imparted crucial wisdom and guidance had left his apartment, Matt found himself staring bleakly at his— no, Mike's— reflection in the bathroom mirror. His entire apartment was cast in darkness, due in large part that the sheer concept of light and seeing again overwhelmed Matt, but he could still peer at the barely familiar face looking back at him in the mirror. Mike Everett, disgraced boxer, hired muscle, convicted felon, a fucking waste of potential. "Hng!" The bitter, angry grunt he let out was punctuated with the sound of glass and bone colliding when he ran his fist into the mirror, splintering shards of the mirror that went flying across his bathroom and fractured the reflection he so hated in that very moment. It was difficult for him to identify what left him with a deeper sense of anger, that this other him had all the things Matt was deprived off only to ruin himself, or that Mike's entire existence confirmed what Murdock had always privately suspected but never acknowledged out loud about himself. He never was a good man.