title: Rattlesnakes
fandom: Gundam Wing
characters/pairings: Duo/Trowa, Duo/Heero, past/one-sided Quatre/Trowa, Quatre/OFC, past/one-sided Relena/Heero
rating: Mature
warnings: violence, drugs, abusive relationship, depression, suicidal tendencies, cutting, non-con sexual situation, sex, bad language
summary: Duo and Trowa are forced to try group therapy.
notes: see notes

Trowa spread his fingers out as he ran his hands over Duo's back, the slick oil squishing between the skin on his fingers and the skin of Duo's back. He was hypnotically focused on the movement of his hands over Duo, the slow repetition of strokes seemingly timed with the beating of his heart. He felt like his arms were moving in time with the air coming in and out of his lungs, and the process of rubbing Duo's back was inexorably linked to the process of taking in oxygen.

Duo moaned as Trowa's hands moved up his back, his face down, and his body shuddering from the force of the sound in his chest. Trowa spread the oil over Duo's back and shoulders, and then methodically rubbed down each muscle group precisely. The bold strokes of ink that formed the wings of Duo's tattoo captivated Trowa as he moved, his eyes fixed on the swirls and lines as he moved from Duo's shoulders to his back.

Trowa was shirtless as well, and they were both also barefooted. Trowa wore a pair of thin sweatpants, and Duo wore only his boxers. Duo's braid trailed like a well-fed snake over Duo's arm and aside him on the bed.

Only Trowa's breathing and Duo's moans punctuated the silence.

The moon was full, and brilliantly bright, casting a whitish blue light over Trowa's bed. The room was slightly cold, as Trowa usually preferred to keep his apartment just on the side of chilly, but there was a film of heated sweat forming on Trowa's bare skin, the heat stealing up through his hands, over his arms, and over his chest.

Trowa had never before engaged in such protracted foreplay.

Once he had passed over every inch of flesh three times, and his hands were beginning to tire, Trowa stopped, leaning down over Duo so he could talk into Duo's ear. "Feel better?"

Duo turned his head so he could grin up at Trowa. "Thanks."

Trowa's fingers moved to the tattoo, tracing the lines and swirls absently. "I'm surprised they had you work on a Filger-Gleesan by yourself."

Duo shrugged. "It's a fairly complicated engine. There are integrated mechanical and electronic parts, so it requires more finesse and intelligence to diagnose and repair."

A small wrinkle wedged itself between Trowa's brows. "That's why I would have thought they would assign at least two people to the job."

Duo laughed as he turned over, still lying between Trowa's legs. "I don't play well with others."

Trowa let his fingers trail down Duo's chest, down his abdomen, to where the elastic of the top of Duo's boxers were. He didn't look at Duo's face as he spoke, more interested in the indented crease of Duo's bellybutton. "I don't agree with that."

Duo grinned. Reaching up, he put his hand behind Trowa's head, and led Trowa's mouth down to a kiss. Trowa opened his mouth, just letting Duo control things. He passively rested over Duo, concentrating on the feeling of Duo's body against his.

Duo turned them so they were both on their sides, facing each other. He insinuated his leg between Trowa's, and put his arms around Trowa as best he could in the position they were in. "I don't want to play with the guys at work. They can't fly like you can."

Again Trowa let Duo control the moment, just feeling Duo's leg moving between his and Duo's mouth moving over his skin, Duo's hand in his hair and Duo's skin brushing against his.

There didn't seem to be any reason to rush what was to happen. There was a quality to the way that Duo moved next to him that felt like it might last forever, if Trowa could let it happen.

Eventually, all this teasing would reach the inevitable breaking point, and Trowa would press Duo's back against the mattress and take Duo's body for his own, but Trowa was appreciating the anticipation.

"Do you like your job?"

That question seemed as perfectly in context as the hand that was slipping beneath Trowa's waistband to tease Trowa's genitals. The only reason he paused in answering was because he needed to catch his breath.

"Of course not. Should I?"

Duo chuckled, his lips against Trowa's throat. Trowa brought his arm up slowly to cradle Duo's head.

"No, I suppose not. Do you ever feel..."

Trowa wasn't aware in any break in the train of thought as Duo slipped down to lick and bite Trowa's nipple.

"You know. That you are doing any good."

Trowa blinked, unconsciously pushing his hips against the hand that was handling his cock.

"I doubt it."

Duo jerked Trowa's sweatpants down to Trowa's knees, taking the time to run his hand up and down Trowa's exposed thigh, from the hip to the mid thigh.

"Yeah. I sometimes think... you know, that the vehicles I fix are out there, saving the day."

Trowa sighed as Duo leaned down and kissed and sucked on that space of abdomen just above Trowa's groin.

"Does that... Does that matter?"

Duo chuckled, and he came back up to suck on Trowa's lips. He pulled his braid forward, and used the end to tease Trowa's chest.

"No. I actually couldn't give a rat's ass."

Trowa put his arms around Duo and pulled him so that Trowa was on his back and Duo was on top of him. Duo put one knee down on the bed so that he could get the proper leverage to drive his hips down into Trowa's. The sound of breathing in the room was thicker, and Trowa was aware that he was sweating. He felt hot, so he pushed his sweatpants off with his feet.

The 'phone rang. It rang several times, and then stopped. Then it started ringing again.

This cycle continued for several minutes, showing no signs of stopping.

Duo sighed, slipping off of Trowa, to rest on his side. "What the fuck. Get the damn message already, we aren't answering the phone."

"It's Quatre." Trowa spoke mechanically. He continued on unprompted. "If it was Catherine, she would have given up after the first time."

Duo raised his eyebrow, grinning with one side of his mouth. "And no one else ever calls?"

Trowa shrugged with one shoulder. "You."

The 'phone ringing seemingly got louder and more annoyingly insistent.

Duo was scowling. "Want me to answer it?"

The very idea amused Trowa enough that his expression egged Duo on. Duo didn't bother to get dressed, he just hopped out of bed and walked uncomfortably to the living room, where the 'phone was set up. Trowa leaned up on one elbow, so he could see the glow from the 'phone's monitor.

"Hey Quatre! Wow, it's been years, I think. How are you?"

Trowa smirked, the tone of Duo's voice amusing him.

He could hear Quatre sputter, and not everything he said was perfectly audible. "...Duo... expect to, well... you."

"Oh, yeah, I spend as much time in Trowa's as he spends in mine."

Trowa actually wanted to laugh.

"...good. I guess you two are... Who would have guessed it?"

Duo laughed. "Well, no one ever got rich betting on anything. It's the unexpected things that you can count on. So, I hear you are married. That's a surprise. What's that like?"

Trowa could almost hear Quatre blush.

"...settling down, thinking about the future. It's wonderful, really."

"Man, you know, I don't feel like I'm old enough to get hitched. But then, I guess you do have quite a different set of obligations... Well, I'm happy for you, you know."

"Thanks, Duo. ...Trowa?"

"Oh, Trowa can't come to the 'phone; he's not dressed."

Trowa smiled as he pictured Duo's completely straight face.

"That's why I'm doing the answering. Wouldn't want you to worry yourself that our boy is busy offing himself or something."

Trowa put his hand up over his mouth, hiding and suppressing his mirth.

"That's not funny, Duo." Quatre was using his stern, grown-up voice. "And you aren't dressed, either."

Trowa could actually hear Duo wink. "I'm more dressed than he is, Q. Well, I suppose you really called to talk to Tro, so I'll pass along your regards and let you get back to your work. It was really good to talk to you again, Quatre."

Duo actually sounded like he meant it, too, which Trowa had no doubt that he did.

"...too. Tell Trowa to call me as soon as he can. Bye."

Duo clicked off the 'phone, and chuckled as he walked back to the bedroom. He slipped his boxers off as he was getting into the bed. "I don't think Quatre was happy to talk to me."

Trowa covered Duo with his body, his mouth devouring everything that it could contact.

Duo was laughing as Trowa sucked on his nipple. If he had been trying to speak, Trowa didn't notice or care. Duo's body was shuddering under him, and it made Trowa a little crazy.

He needed to be inside of Duo, he needed to be over him, he needed to hear Duo scream. Trowa's eyes narrowed, and he bit his lip. He put his hands on the bed on either side of Duo's neck, his fingers digging into the sheets with enough force to tear them. Duo grunted, and Trowa used his knee to push Duo's legs apart.

Duo threw one leg over Trowa's hip, and pulled the lube and condoms off the nightstand. Trowa sucked on Duo's neck while Duo prepared himself, his back arched so that his shoulders and his foot were the only part of his body in contact with the bed, his fingers busy.

Trowa actually growled, a sound he had never made before, but he wasn't paying attention to the noise he was making, he was too busy shaking as Duo rolled the condom over his dick.

Trowa closed his eyes. He thought he might be burning up.

He wasn't aware of anything. The world seemed to compress. Trowa felt like he might be dying.

It was exquisite.

The air was suddenly cold. Trowa was laying flat on top of Duo, and Duo's legs were wrapped around him. He was still inside of Duo.

He felt cold, but just on his skin, which made him feel awake. He blinked several times, his vision clearing with each blink. Duo's eyes were half opened, half closed, and there was this coy smile teasing his lips.

Trowa smirked.

Duo's hands moved over Trowa's back carelessly, his fingertips pressed down into Trowa's skin. Trowa pressed his lips against the skin of Duo's neck, just breathing.

Duo sighed. "Trowa?"

Trowa nodded slowly, his lips still in contact with Duo's skin.

"I'm starting to get a cramp."

Trowa pushed up a little, gently easing Duo's legs down as he slipped out. Duo pulled the condom off of Trowa, tossing it in the general direction of the garbage dismissively.

"You're staying." Trowa spoke quietly, resting on his side, his hands joined in front of his face as if he were a little boy getting ready to go to sleep when he wasn't the least bit tired.

Duo ran his hands through Trowa's hair. "How do you get it to do this? Stick out, I mean."

Shrugging, Trowa watched Duo's hand moving through his hair and over his face. "It just sort of does."

"Your hair is very coarse."

Trowa thought about nodding, but his head didn't actually move.

Duo pulled his braid forward, and teased Trowa's nose with the end of it. "You like my hair."

It wasn't a question, so Trowa felt no need to respond to it.

Duo leaned over impulsively, and kissed Trowa hard enough to make him feel like his lips would swell. "Do you want me to stay, Tro?"

Trowa put his hand on Duo's waist, and rolled over to his back, guiding Duo to lie on top of him.

Duo chuckled soundlessly, his chest shaking on top of Trowa's chest. "I'm still sticky."

Shrugging, Trowa moved his hand over Duo's abdomen and legs, collecting up the offensive material. He licked his hand from the heel of his palm to the tip of his finger in one long stroke.

Duo looked very serious right before he leaned in to suck on Trowa's lips, his tongue slipping inside to taste Trowa's mouth.

Trowa put his arms around Duo, and enjoyed the kiss. When they pulled away, he lightly kissed Duo's face, along his cheekbone, and then just under his ear. Whispering, Trowa asked blankly, "You want to stay with me, right?"

Inserting his leg between Trowa's, Duo sighed, and put his head down on Trowa's chest. "I'm cold. Pull the blanket over us."

Trowa complied wordlessly, trying not to move his body as he arranged the thick blanket over them. Duo's breathing was regular and warm against Trowa's collarbone, and Trowa felt a drowsy contentment settle over his thoughts, hazing anything rational, until Trowa's thoughts were blank, dark, warm dreams.

He imagined that Duo shared the same dream. When the alarm clock rang in the morning, he was so thickly enwrapped inside his careless unconsciousness, he did not move until Duo sat up, rubbing his face with the back of his hands, his hair loose and mused up and his body languidly loose.

He spent the day at work feeling out of place every second, almost mourning the loss of sleep.





The coffee was too bland. Trowa only had the instant kind. He didn't like coffee that much; it tended to fill his mouth with flavor uncomfortably.

Duo was fiddling with his bagel, pulling into bits and then pulling the bits into smaller bits. Trowa watched Duo's fingers as they made progressively smaller and smaller bagel-bits. Duo's braid was over his shoulder, and the end of it was pooled in his lap. Trowa held the coffee cup in both hands, his fingers wrapped around the ceramic mug as if he were cold. His own bagel was undefiled and undestroyed, though Trowa was quite certain that Duo would soon run out of bagel-bits to tear up and would then turn to Trowa's bagel.

Clearing his throat discreetly, Trowa looked down into his coffee. "I was planning on eating it."

Duo's whole body jerked, his eyes shooting up. "I'm sorry?"

"My bagel."

Duo looked confused, looking from Trowa's bagel, to Trowa's lowered head, back to Trowa's bagel, and then to his own hands. "Oh! Heh, good one, Tro." Duo smiled at him, and his bare foot bumping Trowa's leg playfully under the table.

Trowa looked up at Duo, and picked up his bagel with defiance.

Duo's foot moved slowly up and down Trowa's leg. "Can I have a bite of your bagel?"

"You had your own bagel." Trowa tore off a piece and ate it slowly.

Duo titled his head to the side, his face affecting the look of innocence and need. "But I want to eat yours."

Trowa's body froze, his hand halfway to his mouth with another piece of bagel. He left his hand where it was, meeting Duo's mischievous look evenly. Duo pushed himself up in his chair with his elbows, leaning over the table, his mouth opened just a little. He moved with patient slowness, giving Trowa ample time to pull away, or move, but Trowa was immobile.

Duo's mouth slowly encompassed the piece of bagel, and continued to move down until his lips sealed over Trowa's fingers. He lifted his head, his lips making a smacking noise as they cleared the tips of Trowa's fingers. Duo sat back, grinning.

"Tasty."

Trowa raised an eyebrow, his lips quirking. "Good thing we have plenty of time before work. If you make me feed you lunch, though, I'll definitely get written up."

Duo changed. His shoulders drooped, and he seemed to collapse into himself. His chin dipped until it almost touched his chest. Duo's bangs were long, and thick, and with his head bent down like this, Trowa couldn't see his face.

"I've got plans for lunch."

Trowa bit into his bagel decisively. He knew what plans Duo must have. He couldn't say it didn't hurt, but then, he didn't want to think about it. He didn't like the path those thought would take. "Ok."

"I'm sorry."

"It's ok."

"I can cancel... Well..."

"Duo, it's fine."

"I'm sorry." Duo sounded completely dejected.

Trowa ignored the blank feeling in his stomach, and reached out to touch the back of Duo's hand with his fingertips. "Duo. It's ok."

Duo's chin stayed down until they were done with breakfast. Trowa got dressed while Duo was in the bathroom, and then they switched, Duo getting dressed while Trowa quickly cleaned up. They walked together to the bus stop, neither one speaking. On the bus, Duo sat by the window, and kept his face to the glass the whole time.

At the corner where they separated, Duo squeezed Trowa's hand before walking quickly away.

It wasn't until Trowa was halfway through his inbox that he remembered that he had intended to have some oral sex after breakfast.





Trowa wandered aimlessly around his apartment. He had the feeling that there was something that he ought to be doing, but he couldn't remember what it was. He narrowed his eyes, examining the carpet by the couch. He could have sworn that just a minute ago he was thinking of doing something.

He was sort of hungry, but that would require either cooking something, or heating something up, or fixing something. He just couldn't be bothered.

He could do the laundry. He didn't really want to do that.

The sheets on his bed did need to be changed. He and Duo had made a bit of a mess. But, for some reason, Trowa felt loath to take away the evidence.

He blinked, thinking about what, exactly, he was romantically clinging to. He turned on his heel and went straight to the bedroom.

After he had set up the washer with the first load, Trowa was feeling like the inertia of his body was working more on the side of movement, and so he went to the kitchen and warmed up a cup of ramen. He ate it with a plastic spoon straight from the bowl, leaning against the counter.

He finished the ramen, and then moved the laundry, starting another load as long as he was in motion anyway.

The 'phone rang, but he ignored it. They didn't leave a message, or call back, so Trowa assumed it was Catherine. He made a mental note to email her in the morning, and went to put fresh sheets on the bed.

When he got the second load into the dryer, he got to feeling really tired, so he went to lie down on the couch and stare at the ceiling. In an attempt to pretend that he wasn't going to waste the rest of the night, he brought the laundry he needed to fold with him.

When the 'phone rang, he automatically assumed that it was Catherine, and went to answer it without looking.

He clicked it on from the side, leaning against the wall as he waited for the other person to speak.

First, there was a very loud sigh, and then, "Trowa, damn it, get in front of the 'phone already."

Trowa blinked three times, not sure if he should move or not. But another whining sigh got him in front of the 'phone, despite himself.

Duo smiled weakly. He looked tired, his eyes seemingly lined and his hair limp. "Hi."

Trowa nodded shortly.

Duo lowered his head, obviously shaken. "So. How's it going?"

Trowa considered shrugging. His eyes fell to the carpet between his feet. "You know."

Duo nodded, his eyes still mostly concealed by his bangs. "Yeah."

Trowa felt the uncomfortable need to keep the conversation going. That was not usually his role in any conversation, so he was distinctly out of his depth. "You have a good lunch?" He had not intended to ask that, nor did he want to hear the response, but he at least had the satisfaction of having kept his tone neutral.

Duo laughed bitterly. "Not really. Heero and I had this huge argument, and we got kicked out of the deli. Then, he made me late for work getting back, and I had to stay late so my boss could act like he was my fucking superior. All in all, I had a pretty awful lunch. You?"

Trowa had to think for a minute before he could respond. "I don't think I took one."

Duo smiled again, the expression washing over his face like the low tide, clearing the sand of footprints. "He just left. We had sex."

Trowa nodded mutely.

"I think I should apologize or something."

Trowa half-shrugged, and half shook his head. "I'm not going to ask you to choose."

"It would be easier if you would." Duo sounded morose, but Trowa couldn't only see the top of his head as Duo rubbed the back of his neck.

"Well. I'm not going to ask you."

Duo turned his head away, and Trowa found himself wanting to be able to see Duo's eyes. He imagined Heero biting Duo's neck, and the image killed him a little.

"Hey, Trowa?" Duo smiled, his face still turned away, his eyes closed. "Can you auto-fellate?"

Trowa blinked several times before he was able to make sense of those words in the order they had been placed together. "Excuse me?"

Duo winked at him, teasing. "Well... I was thinking about when... I mean, you are so... flexible and all... If I were as flexible as you are, well... I don't think I'd ever leave my apartment." Duo winked at him again, his grin invitingly contagious.

Trowa took exactly thirty-seven seconds to appreciate how unfair it was that Duo could make a person smile after telling him that he was fucking someone else, too, and then he shrugged. "I don't know. I've never tried to."

Duo leaned forward, his elbows on the console of his 'phone, grinning at Trowa. "Try."

Trowa considered it for a moment. He honestly had no desire to taste himself, or to cause his own ejaculation. On the other hand, Duo would be watching.

He shrugged dismissively, and took off his shirt. He turned to take off his pants, but Duo stopped him.

"Adjust the scope of your camera, so I can see the whole couch. And do it so that your hips will be facing the phone once you get them up in the air."

Trowa nodded, making the necessarily adjustments to his camera before slipping his pants off, and then lying down on the couch.

It was a bit awkward. He didn't like having to touch himself to get things going, but on the other hand, it would be useful to be started already before trying anything advanced. He belatedly thought that it might have been a good idea to stretch out a bit before trying any couch gymnastics.

"Don't try to touch yourself." Duo's voice was somehow soothingly commanding. "Just put your hands on your belly, and listen to me before you start. Imagine that I'm in the room with you. I'm standing at the end of the couch, and I'm naked. I've got my braid in my hand, and I'm leaning forward. I'm touching your dick with my hair, just a little. Can you feel it?"

Trowa was having a little trouble hearing over his labored breathing. He closed his eyes to facilitate the fantasy, and found his fingertips ghosting over the skin just below his belly button absently. He didn't think that Duo's question required an answer.

"I lean all the way over, and I've let go of my hair. The braid falls over your belly and your groin. It's heavy, and it tickles a little. My mouth is just a little bit over yours. My hands are right next to your body. I move my head from side to side, and my braid moves over your skin, slowly, so the end tickles your groin. Does that feel good?"

If Duo wanted something more coherent than a groan for a response, he wouldn't be talking to Trowa like this, now would he? Trowa let one hand slip lower, grazing his hard cock as he rubbed his inner thigh.

Duo was smiling. Trowa could hear it. "Ok, so I stand up again, and I push your legs up. Higher. I push them so they are straight up in the air. And I let my hands run all the way from your ankles to your ass, and I feel up your ass. God, Tro, your body is like a work of art. I push your ass up... higher... until you are resting on your shoulders. Your feet are now behind your head.

"Trowa. Open your mouth."

Trowa did as he was told, and he stretched his legs out a bit behind his head. The tip of his cock bumped his chin, and with only a slight adjustment to his hips, he had it in his mouth.

Duo groaned for him, and he wet his lips with the fluid gathering at the slit.

"More, Tro, you want more..."

Trowa agreed, and he wrapped his lips around his cock and took more in. He could feel his muscles stretching over his back, almost painfully at his neck, but he was only aware of two things: Duo's voice, and the feeling in his groin.

It didn't take long, with Duo moaning and milking him with his voice.

Afterwards, he stretched out over the couch, his legs flopped uselessly, one straight out and the other over the edge so his foot was on the floor, and his arms above his head.

"See?" Duo sounded very satisfied. "Isn't life fun with me around?"

Trowa grinned. "Very."

"Are you sleepy?"

"Yes."

"Then clean up and go to bed, Tro."

Trowa nodded, but didn't move.

"And Tro? I think we should have lunch together tomorrow. Ok?"

"Ok." Trowa waited until Duo disconnected before he thought about rolling off the couch.





There were too many children around. Trowa didn't really care for children that much. They tended to be loud and messy, and they spent considerably portions of their life just having fun.

Trowa was certain that it wasn't natural.

Duo was at the counter, buying ice cream. Trowa stood close to the door, his arms folded over his chest, watching the whole scene with distrustful eyes.

Duo seemed to like to talk to and tease the little hellions swarming around him, but Trowa wasn't certain that Duo really was enjoying it. The one pulling on his braid was certainly earning some harsh looks along with the too-wide smile.

Trowa kept his eye on the braid-puller as Duo came toward him with his purchases. Duo kept his eyes on Trowa the whole time, his expression very clear.

In another time, the braid-puller would have had to learn to get by without kneecaps.

"You like fudgsicles?" Duo smirked as he handed Trowa the treat, his eyebrow raised just enough to share the joke with Trowa.

Trowa lifted his chin, effecting defiance. "This is lunch?"

Duo shrugged, taking a quick pull off the top of the fudgsicle. "Eh. Who cares? I actually wanna eat this, so..."

Duo walked out of the convenience store without looking at Trowa to see if he was following. They walked like that, Duo ahead and Trowa ambling behind, as if they were merely going in the same direction. Duo headed for the park, which was mostly empty, due to the weather.

Trowa followed dutifully, not bothering to work at keeping up. He knew that Duo wouldn't get too far ahead.

They walked through the paths for a few minutes before Duo plopped down on a bench randomly. Trowa sat down next to him, but he was concentrating on his fudgsicle. It was melting, the drips of chocolate threatening to fall on his fingers. This was definitely unacceptable. Trowa monitored the situation carefully, and dealt with any aggressive drips with impunity.

"We have therapy this afternoon, right?"

The question seemed to fall in the category of small talk, so Trowa felt no urge to respond. He made a preemptive strike against the fudgsicle, licking up the side quickly. He decided that he didn't much care for foods that required him to stick his tongue out.

"I don't think we should tell him about us."

The statement hung out there, and Trowa kept up his campaign against the fudgsicle as he weighed each word individually with care.

"Why?"

Duo shuddered, his slim shoulders shaking as his head turned away. "It's just... none of his damn business. He's such a pervert anyway. After I told him about Heero, he just wanted to talk about all the details... At first, I thought he was just, you know, being all psychiatrist-y, but he really just wanted to know about the actual sex part. That's when I realized he was jonesing on it. I just..."

Trowa watched as Duo pulled his legs up under him, the line of his neck temptingly displayed as Duo hid his face. Trowa considered it. He wasn't sure if there might not be something else motivating Duo, but the truth was, the other man had a good point.

Trowa nodded, and even though Duo was looking away, he seemed to understand that Trowa had agreed, because he seemed to relax a bit.

"Anyway, I don't think we need any help." Duo looked at Trowa from the corner of his eye as he sucked on his fudgsicle. Trowa's eyebrows raised as he realized how dirty Duo made it look. "I think we got all the mechanics down just fine."

Trowa swallowed a piece of the top of the fudgsicle before he'd even realized that he'd taken a bite.

Duo's grin widened. "I was really impressed last night. You are... very talented."

Trowa beamed quietly as he went back to his campaign against the fudgsicle.

"I have talents, too." Duo spoke nonchalantly, looking straight ahead, but his whole manner was teasing.

Trowa turned his head to look at Duo more directly, intrigued.

Duo smiled. He started to lick the fudgsicle with long, full-tongue motions, slowly enjoying the treat. When he had Trowa's complete attention focused on his mouth, Duo smirked before slipping the fudgsicle between his lips, pulling back and forth, pushing in further and further until he was thrusting the whole fudgsicle in and out of his mouth.

Then he sucked the whole thing in, his cheeks moving in and out violently. He kept the fudgsicle in his mouth for a long time, long enough for Trowa to start squirming.

When he finally pulled the stick out of his mouth, it was completely clean, without the slightest trace of chocolate.

Trowa's eyes widened, and he looked back at Duo, grinning like a Cheshire cat with his mouth clearly full. With an exaggerated effort, Duo threw back his head and swallowed hard, his throat working hard to take it all down at once.

Trowa couldn't keep his mouth completely closed, it seemed. Duo smirked as he licked his mouth clean, watching Trowa floundering.

Blinking innocently, Duo smiled, and pointed at Trowa's hand. "Want some help with that?"

Trowa blinked, and looked dumbly down at his hand. His own partially eaten fudgsicle was melting over his fingers. Still, even knowing what Duo was talking about, Trowa wasn't able to figure out how to speak in response.

Duo sighed, and leaned down. He licked Trowa's still fingers slowly, working his way up until he was licking Trowa's fudgsicle, taking soft bites out of the remains.

Trowa watched Duo service his fudgsicle, sitting stock-still as if he were carved from stone.

Not all of him, of course...

When Duo sat up, after slurping up the last of Trowa's treat with satisfaction, it was only the inertia that had taken a hold of him that prevented him from attacking Duo's mouth in response. Tossing the cleaned off fudgsicle stick with disgust, Trowa crossed his arms over his chest.

"You would do that when we're in a public park." Trowa had tried to sound cross, but he was content that at least he didn't come off as whining.

Duo wiggled his eyebrows. "Ya wanna go someplace private?"

Trowa didn't bother thinking about it for any length of time. He just got up and took Duo's wrist, heading off down the most direct path that would lead to a bus stop.

Duo laughed, needing to run a bit to keep up. "Trowa, our lunch break is almost over!"

Trowa grunted.

Duo kept laughing all the way through the park, only managing to bring himself under control as they were just about to get to the bus stop. Trowa did not let go of his wrist, though, because he found the contact soothing to his desire.

The next bus came only after a few minutes, which Trowa took to be a sign that he was due really good oral sex. He certainly thought so, so he wasn't about to argue with fate.

The elevator in his building had a nasty habit of making a great deal of noise as it moved up the shaft. It was somewhat irritating, and Trowa always pictured the schematics of the elevator when he was riding up, thinking about the various potential failures in the maintenance that would cause such noise. It was the sort of irritation that was enjoyable, as it was distracting.

Today, the elevator slid up smoothly, without making the slightest groan or screech of metal against metal, which Trowa thought was odd, although it could have just been that he couldn't hear it over the sounds he was making as Duo fondled his cock.

They made it inside Trowa's apartment, although Duo spent a bit more time fishing through Trowa's pocket that was likely entirely necessary getting the keys. Trowa was not prepared to take another step before he got the oral sex.

He stopped short, grabbing Duo's wrist, letting it slide through his grip so that he was just touching Duo's fingers before Duo turned. He leaned so that his shoulders were flush against the door, and he unbuttoned his pants.

"Please." Trowa didn't beg, and from the gleam in Duo's eyes, he didn't think that he had to.

Duo got to his knees as a penitent man drops to his knees before an altar. He put his hands on Trowa's hips, and looked up at Trowa, slowly resting his chin on Trowa's stomach. "Open your shirt."

Trowa threw his tie over his shoulder, and undid the buttons as quickly as he could. Duo watched him, his chin on Trowa's stomach, and his eyes wide open and unblinking. When Trowa's clothes were completely open, he let his arms fall to his sides, and he looked down at Duo, expectantly.

Duo smiled, just a little in the corners of his mouth, and then he pressed his lips to Trowa's stomach, just above his belly button. His hands pushed Trowa's pants down a little, but he left Trowa's boxers in place for the moment. His tongue slipped out, and traced the muscles of Trowa's abdomen slowly, before circling in to dip into Trowa's belly button.

Trowa reached over, and let his fingertips touch Duo's head, slipping into his thick hair. He did not try to guide or motivate Duo, just let his hands rest there. Duo moved his head down, and breathed over Trowa's hard, but still covered, cock. Trowa heaved, the effort of breathing almost painful, and he bit his lip, to keep from pleading.

Duo showed mercy. He pulled the boxers down, and set his mouth to work on Trowa's cock. He used long licks and short sucks at first, before he started to take it into his mouth in earnest. Trowa was only partially aware of Duo's hands, caressing his balls and inner thighs, as his entire being was solely focused on the mouth that had so successfully brought the fudgsicles to the end of their existences.

Duo shifted, getting more serious about his task, and he wrapped one hand around the base of Trowa's cock. He started to take it into his mouth, sucking hard on the tip as he began, so that Trowa threw his head back and banged it on the door.

Duo twisted the hand that was holding the bottom of Trowa's cock, slowly encompassing more and more of Trowa's length, sucking hard all the time, so that the sound of the air passing through his nose as he adjusted his breathing was deafening. Duo's lips reached his hand, and Trowa wasn't sure that he would be able to take in any more. Trowa was not overly proud of his length, but no one had ever deep throated him quite this fully before.

But Duo was determined, and he was very effective when determined. It seemed to happen very quickly, as Duo stretched out his throat, opening up, and sucking Trowa's cock in. Trowa wasn't sure what kind of noise he made, nor was he in control of the fingers that were digging into Duo's scalp, but he was pretty sure his feelings at the moment were being appropriately expressed.

At least, Duo was definitely getting the message. The suction was so great, and the heat, the moisture, everything, surrounding and enclosing Trowa, like he was trapped in a cave, like the pleasure was chains binding his whole body, and he felt utterly helpless, totally at the mercy of this heat and pressure...

Trowa did not like the moment that came right after an orgasm. There was a sense of vertigo that seemed cold. He swallowed hard, and stared at the ceiling, feeling fundamentally at a loss.

Duo let Trowa's softening cock slip out of his mouth, until the very tip slipped out with a smacking noise. Duo licked his lips, and leaned forward to kiss the base of Trowa's cock. "You taste a little like honey, Tro. Did you know that?"

Trowa smiled, his eyes fixed on the texture of the paint of the ceiling.

"Better than chocolate eight days a week." Duo sounded very sure, so Trowa believed him.

Trowa regained control of his hands, and he stroked Duo's head tenderly. "Thanks."

Duo grinned up at him. "I came on your door. I hope that's not a problem."

Trowa shrugged, and then slipped down, his back against the door and his feet holding their position on the ground, until his ass touched the floor. He caressed Duo's face and ears, his expression still a bit dazed. "Thanks."

Duo raised an eyebrow. "You said that."

Trowa leaned forward and kissed Duo, pressing his tongue as far into Duo's mouth as he could get. He could almost taste the lingering presence of a touch of honey.

Duo groaned, putting his head on Trowa's shoulder. "We have to go to therapy."

Trowa didn't nod, as he was sure that Duo knew he knew anyway. They didn't move right away, their bodies still limp. Trowa ran his hand down Duo's braid. "I think we need to clean up a little first."

Duo chuckled, the sound emanating from the bottom of his chest. "Ya think?"

Trowa simply nodded solemnly.

They were understandably late for therapy, though they offered no explanation. Duo put his head on Trowa's lap and stretched out over the rest of the couch. Trowa brushed his fingers over Duo's hair, playing with the loose tendrils around his ears as Dr. Clarkson droned on. He asked them about skipping the afternoon of work, and then barreled into many other questions that seemed oddly personal in nature.

Trowa felt in daze, though, and he barely acknowledged any of it. He spoke when it was required, and offered vague responses that were tersely abrupt. Duo spoke dreamily, acting as if he were perfectly content.

Dr. Clarkson looked at them both, and Trowa could see that he was superimposing what he knew of their skin over what he saw. It would normally have made Trowa feel uncomfortable, but in this circumstance, he merely felt annoyed.

When the session finally came to an end, Dr. Clarkson seemed determined to give them a lecture, but Duo was so busy stretching out, as if he had just woken from a nap, that Trowa didn't really know what the doctor had said.

There did seem to be a sense of accomplishment that they got their forms without removing any clothing.

They ate at a Chinese fast food place, using chopsticks to eat the noodles. They sat in a booth by the bathrooms, and they didn't speak while they ordered or ate.

Trowa thought about putting his hand on Duo's waist, or taking his hand, as they walked. They went first to Duo's apartment, although Duo seemed uncomfortable there, as if he was sure they were going to be ambushed any minute. After he had thrown clothes and toiletries for a night in a bag, they walked to Trowa's apartment.

There was a message on Trowa's 'phone display, but he ignored it. They got undressed, and slipped into the bed. Duo put his head down on Trowa's chest, and fell asleep.

Trowa was groggily awake when Duo woke up hours later, but they still didn't speak. Duo placed gentle kisses on Trowa's chest, and Trowa wasn't sure if Duo knew he was awake or not.

When they left for work in the morning, Duo kissed Trowa for a long time right before he opened the door.

Trowa spent the whole day at work playing minesweeper, and thinking about Duo's mouth.





Catherine was far more excited about Trowa's newly expanded social life before she knew it was Duo he was seeing. This served to annoy Trowa so much that he hung up on her less than a minute later. He felt oddly out of place in his apartment, and he turned on both the tv and the radio in an attempt to fill his space with noise.

He had no desire to clean, nor did he wish to do anything productive or entertaining. He would have taken a walk, but he didn't want to leave the apartment. He thought about ordering food, but he was feeling dissociatively nauseous, so he didn't bother. He didn't want to sit, and he was tired of standing.

He went to the bathroom, and turned on the light. He stood in the threshold of the bathroom uncertainly.

He did not want to cut himself. He did not want to see Duo's face when he saw the bandages. He did not want to clean up his own blood.

At the same time, he did not know how to resist the lure of the pain.

He stared at the tile on the floor of the bathroom until his eyes could not focus, and the lines of the grout swam and blurred into the tile. He wanted to lie down for a while, and it seemed easiest to lie down on the ground where he was standing.

The tile was cool against his skin, and his thoughts got progressively darker, until he forced himself to think about the conversation with Duo, replaying every word exactly.

He had wanted Duo to come over. He had even thought of a movie they could watch together. They could order it on the streaming video, and they could watch together on the couch. It seemed like a very good plan.

Duo even seemed to want to do it. He just wanted to do it later, possibly tomorrow.

He didn't say why he wanted to delay, and Trowa was not so foolish as he needed to ask. Duo kept talking, and Trowa wanted to hang up. Trowa wasn't angry or jealous or disappointed or upset. Not in his reaction. He was completely blank.

This seemed to make Duo agitated. Trowa derived some pleasure from that, though he was careful not to show it.

He spent an hour or more after the 'phone call watching the alley, but then Catherine called. She only called once, and when she tried again later, Trowa felt obligated to answer.

He did not like feeling obligated to Catherine. He did not owe her anything. She had saved his life once, but it wasn't something that he valued, so he did not consider that a debt.

He wished she had let him die in the war, when it would have meant something. It was as if she had single-handedly thwarted his destiny, and now he was adrift, trying to navigate without a destination to try and reach.

He closed his eyes, and counted to seven hundred and ninety six, and then he got up because his neck was aching.

He had told Duo to come over whenever he was ready, that they could watch the movie late if that was more convenient, but he knew that Duo wasn't going to show up to see the movie.

He pictured what Heero was going to do to Duo, was doing to him, and he sat down on the couch, staring straight ahead at his video shelf.

Duo had been agitated when they had ended the conversation. Trowa had been uncooperative, and Duo had spent more time than he intended chattering nervously. When he did disconnect, he apologized for hanging up, but he was going to be late.

Trowa sighed, and put his head down on the armrest of the couch. It would have been nice to watch a movie with Duo.

He lost track of the time, and eventually he became aware that the apartment was in complete darkness. This did not bother him, so he felt no need to do anything about it.

Duo knocked on the door at 3:27am. Trowa knew it was Duo just by the way he knocked - almost as if he were scratching the door.

Trowa wasn't sure he wanted to answer the door, even as he was standing up to get it. There were too many reasons that Duo could be here at this time.

He opened the door carefully, standing in the space the door revealed. Duo was leaning against the jamb, looking utterly bedraggled. Trowa nodded at him, causing Duo to lift his eyes.

"Can I come in?" Trowa noticed that Duo was hiding half his face behind the jamb, making him look smaller and a bit innocent.

He was fairly sure that it was intentional, but it didn't matter that much. He moved away from the door so that Duo could get past. Duo walked in with his head down and his arms over his stomach. His t-shirt was all rumpled and had a large food stain on the hem. He wasn't wearing his jacket, and Trowa wondered how long he had been outside his door; he must have been cold, but he wasn't shivering at all. His pants were zipped but not buttoned, and they hung down low enough to show off the top of his boxers.

He looked small and tired and dirty and used.

"Mind if I use your shower?" Duo couldn't look at Trowa as he spoke, and he kept his eyes just the to the right of Trowa's feet.

Trowa waved his arm in the direction of the bathroom, and Duo nodded, moving quickly to escape. Trowa watched him go, his eyes on the way Duo's braid hung limply over his back. For a second, Trowa just stood there and looked at the bathroom door. Duo would let down his hair to shower. Trowa could feel his limbs settle into a lethargic state, and he tried to motivate himself to move, but he just stood in the center of the small hallway, staring at the door to the bathroom, thinking about Duo's hair.

When the water started, he blinked. Duo was in his shower, washing his hair and his body. They were technically lovers; Trowa could be in the shower with Duo. But he knew somehow that he wouldn't be entirely welcome yet.

He wasn't even sure he should be using the word 'yet.'

He trudged into his bedroom, and pulled out a plain t-shirt and a pair of sweats, and a fresh towel. He opened the door to the bathroom just enough to slip them inside, and then he went to the kitchen, to make tea.

That was his intention, at least, but he realized that he had no tea, so he made chocolate milk instead. He swirled a knife in the tall glass for the duration of Duo's shower, switching from one glass to the other mechanically every nineteen swirls.

The water stopped. Duo was now drying himself off, and his hair would be all wet, and covering his body. His body would be bright and flushed from the heat of the water, and from the scrubbing. If he knew Duo half as well as he thought he did, Duo would have scrubbed himself nearly raw.

He took the two glasses to the living room, leaving the milky knife on the counter, neglected. He placed them very precisely on the coffee table. The light from the kitchen illuminated the living room strangely, leaving elongated shadows to trail over the room. He found it atmospheric. He had never realized that the light from the kitchen would have this effect before.

Duo stepped out of the bathroom, and Trowa was hyper aware of the sound of his feet on the carpet.

"Thanks for the clean clothes."

Trowa nodded, but he didn't turn his head to look at Duo, because he was a little nervous about what he might see. Duo stepped in front of him, and Trowa had to bit back a sigh of regret. "Does your hair dry in a braid?"

Duo shrugged with one shoulder, and in Trowa's larger t-shirt, he looked frail. "Doesn't matter. If I waited for my hair to dry, I'd be waiting a long time." Duo wrapped the towel around the braid squeezing it gently, making his way down to the bottom. He sat on the couch so that his back was to Trowa a little, his body shielding his face.

"I made chocolate milk."

Trowa could hear Duo's smile as he replied, "Thanks."

They sat a foot apart.

"You ok?" Trowa wasn't sure what to ask exactly, and he had no idea what Duo was thinking.

"Yeah."

Trowa nodded slowly. He picked up his glass, and just held it so he could feel the cold in all his fingers. "That's a nasty bruise."

Duo's hand reflexively went to his face, and he curled his body to try to hide his reaction. "Yeah."

Trowa nodded, and took a small sip of milk.

Duo picked up his glass in a flurry, and downed half of it at once. "Is it ok if I stay tonight? I didn't mean to... I mean, I don't want you to think..."

"It's ok." Trowa nodded, smiling a little, his eyes down.

Duo nodded. He finished his milk, and then he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. It was such an unconscious, childlike gesture, Trowa found it amazingly endearing.

"You need anything?" Trowa's tone was open enough so that his words could have meant almost anything.

Duo tucked his legs under his body, his feet facing Trowa, and he kept his hand next to his feet, inches away from Trowa. "It's been a long night."

Trowa nodded once.

Duo frowned, and Trowa was a little surprised that Duo was being so incautious with his feelings. "Heero was mad that I was so late. He was talking shit, all mad and stuff, and I was annoyed with him... He said some shit about you, and I lost my temper. I told him..." Duo smirked a little, shaking his head in amusement. "I told him that it was nice to be fucked by a man for once, instead of scared little boy who couldn't let go of the past."

Trowa found himself laughing abruptly, and he turned to Duo a little to see the expression on his face.

"Heero didn't like that much." The tone of Duo's voice was enough to tell Trowa what had happened.

Trowa reached out, and touched Duo's face gently, tracing the bruise lightly. Duo leaned a little in Trowa's direction, his body still blocking Trowa.

"He was mad, and I kept provoking him. I tried to hit him back, fight him... but he's a lot stronger than I am. In the end... even when he was hurting me... I just kept provoking him, and letting him..." Duo closed his eyes, and tightened into a ball, until he rolled over, and put his head down on Trowa's thigh.

Trowa reacted normally. He put one hand on Duo's waist, and the other played with the hair around Duo's face. Duo adjusted himself until he was comfortable, and then he turned his head a little so he could see Trowa.

"I got really mad at him, Tro, and I just couldn't let it go. He said things... and I knew he was just trying to get a rise out of me. He sure did." Duo put a hand under his face, on Trowa's thigh, and squeezed a little.

Trowa ran his hand down Duo's slick braid. He wasn't sure what to say. He was a little overwhelmed by the bubbling content feeling that was telling him that Duo came to him to relax and decompress.

"It was like getting high." Duo closed his eyes, and shivered. "I mean, it didn't feel good, or anything like that, but it felt like... felt like... getting out of my skin."

Trowa understood that feeling all too well. It was the sickening freedom of opening flesh with metal. It was the head rush that came from watching your blood drip onto the tile floor. He shivered, and held Duo tighter.

"I was consumed with anger." Duo spoke with detached wonder, like he was talking about something he read in a book. "I just wanted to hurt him. I used to love him, you know. Kinda... scary, isn't it?"

"Yes," Trowa replied thickly. Much of what Duo was saying was scary.

"He called me a whore." Duo pressed his forehead against Trowa's thigh, and Trowa could feel his breath through the cloth of his pants. "Which isn't totally inaccurate, I guess."

Trowa shook his head at the bitterness in Duo's voice. "That's not true."

"I'm having sex with two men." Duo's eyes were wide and clear, gazing up at Trowa. "That's not exactly model behavior."

Trowa pulled a wet strand of hair from around Duo's ear through his fingers, winding it into a curl. He nodded slowly, letting the hand at Duo's waist touch the skin underneath the shirt he had given the other man. "You aren't promiscuous."

"Hm," Duo stretched and curled a little, encouraging Trowa's hands on his body. "I guess that's a question of perspective. I know what I should do." He bit his lip, his brow furrowing. "I know I shouldn't be with Heero anymore. But..." Duo swallowed.

Trowa nodded. "I don't expect you to choose." He felt a little hoarse as he spoke, and his fingers dug into Duo's waist just a little. It was beginning to feel a little like a motto.

"See? You are too good for me, Tro." Duo's bitterness was palpable. "You shouldn't be saddled with me and my problems. You have your own problems."

"I like you." Trowa brushed his fingers up Duo's flank, imagining the thrills as Duo's skin became sensitized. "Your problems distract me from the critical boredom of my days."

Duo smiled. "As long as I can be entertaining..."

Trowa brushed his thumb over Duo's temple. "You are. Very."

Duo laughed quietly under his breath. "Well. Good, then." He rubbed his cheek against Trowa's thigh, and ran his hand over Trowa's knee. "He knows that I get pissed when he calls me a whore, though. He does it on purpose. And then I get even madder at him. It was like a... game. Or something."

"You guys play rough." Trowa ran his fingers through Duo's bangs, his fingers touching Duo's forehead almost reverently.

"Yeah. Well, when we first met, I shot him. I guess we've always been going for broke." Duo turned to face Trowa. "Neither of us plays fair."

Trowa's hand ran over Duo's tummy, his forefinger tracing his bellybutton.

"I used to know whores on L2. Growing up. Some of them were nice. They would give us kids money or food, if they were feeling generous. Usually when they were high. Others were meaner than pit bulls. They hated us, would beat us..."

Trowa kept his hands on Duo, the contact keeping both of them grounded as Duo reminisced.

"There was this one... She was only sixteen. She looked like she was thirty. She... She had a thing for Solo. He had to have been twelve at the time. But she would try to hang around him, try to get him to take her out... She hated me. I guess she thought I was competition, or something."

Duo's voice got small and wistful, even as he spoke of bitter things. Trowa admired Duo's calm.

"She called me Solo's slut. And she was mean. One day... she had me cornered in an alley. She was crazy, she wanted to know where Solo was. She wanted to know what things we did together. She was fucking nuts. She was convinced that Solo was fucking me. She... she tried to pull my clothes off. She wanted to know what Solo saw in me.

"I was only nine, about. I had no idea what her problem was."

Trowa leaned down, so he could hear Duo better, and so he could see Duo's face. Duo's eyes were a million miles away.

"She started to hit me, she said she was gonna find out why Solo liked me so much. I was scared... I tried to fight her, but she was bigger, and every time I hit her or clawed at her, she just got madder. She... she was like a rabid dog.

"Solo and I never really separated much. I mean, we always worked the same areas. So, he musta heard me or something. Anyway. Next thing I knew, he was there, and he had a brick. He hit her across the face. For a minute, I thought he had killed her, there was blood and some teeth, and she was just lying on the ground. Solo was trying to drag me away, but I was still hurt and scared..."

Trowa ran his hand over Duo's neck, nodding as Duo spoke. Hearing about Duo's past made him think about his own, and he almost wanted to make Duo stop talking, just so he could stop thinking. But he wasn't about to interfere.

"The next thing I know, she's on her feet and spitting blood and screaming and screeching. And Solo is dragging me away, but we didn't get away fast enough, and her pimp showed up. He was this... really slimy guy, with oily hair, and just... he was skinny with yellow teeth and bad clothes. A pimp.

"And this girl, she was screaming at him, about me, calling me names, telling the pimp that I screwed her up, and he should take care of me. Solo shoved me behind him, but...

"The pimp looked at her. He said, 'you're no good to me like this.' And she was all proud, and lookin' at me like she was gonna be dancing on my grave. The pimp pulled out a gun, and shot her in the face from three feet away.

"I screamed, and Solo grabbed me by the waist and dragged me away. We got back to the hole in the wall we lived in, and Solo held me. He was talkin' to me, telling me that he needed to look at my wounds... And I was cryin'. I had... I had never seen anyone die before, never seen anyone get shot before. And Solo... wiped my tears away. He told me that boys didn't cry, and anyway she was just a filthy whore. When she was gone, there'll be a dozen more to take her place. I wasn't supposed to get upset."

Trowa sighed silently, and ran his hand up and down Duo's braid.

Duo twisted a little so that he was on his back. "Have you ever cried Tro?"

Trowa brushed his fingers up and down Duo's face. "I cried when I first moved here. I was alone, and I missed Cathy. I missed the circus, and the animals. I hated the job, and all the conditions they were placing on my employment. I hated my life. And I cried."

Duo reached up and touched Trowa's cheek. "Why did you stay here?"

Trowa shrugged, looking at the wall. "Cathy was worried about me. She... she was the one who found me. In the bathroom, in my blood... both times, actually. After the first time, she was going to watch me. And then the second time... and I nearly died. She didn't know what to do. She thought this would be better for me, more stable, healthier. That the Preventers would take care of me, and people would be looking out for me..."

"And you'd be out of her hair, so she wouldn't be responsible anymore." Duo had his hand over Trowa's heart as he spoke, and the way he said the words, it was almost like he was saying something nice.

Trowa's head dipped down. "Yeah."

"Don't worry, Trowa." Duo smiled up at him. "I'll take care of you, now."

Trowa felt a smile spread over his face, a feeling so natural, he didn't even feel it. "Are you tired? Do you want to go to sleep?"

Duo shrugged. "I dunno. You going to bed?" He looked a little anxious, like he wasn't sure what he wanted Trowa to say.

Trowa ran his fingers over Duo's braid. "Let's go together. Get some sleep before work."

Duo nodded, and sat up slowly.

The dawn was just creeping into the windows when the slipped under the covers.






notesPart OnePart TwoPart ThreePart Four • Part Five • Part SixPart SevenPart EightPart NinePart TenPart ElevenPart TwelvePart ThirteenPart FourteenEpilogue



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