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Out of the Shadows by Aurora
Chapter Ten-Fix You
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Chapter Ten: Fix You

“What is it?” Dawn curiously asked as she leaned over, staring intensely at the small piece of unknown material in the miniature box cradled in Giles’s hand.

The Watcher scanned the basement, noticing how all of the gazes suddenly shifted in his direction.

Xander had just finished fastening the shackles around Spike’s wrists after checking that the chains would hold the vampire once he turned feral. The said vampire was sitting impatiently on the cot, clearly feeling like some carnival freak show attraction. The SITs were all upstairs, being kept busy by Anya and Kennedy, oblivious to the exorcism that was about to take place beneath their feet. And much to Spike’s chagrin, Wood was also there, watching him. To say that tensions were high in the cramped basement was an understatement.

“It’s called a Prokaryote Stone,” Giles began to explain, his voice audible enough for everyone to hear. “It will move within Spike’s mind to reveal the root of the trigger’s power. It can bring forth images, memories…hopefully an answer to whatever it is that’s setting Spike off.”

“It’s kinda shiny,” Dawn casually remarked as she took a step back.

Giles rolled his eyes. “Yes, quite.”

“Hold on a tic?!” Spike shouted. “When you say move within my mind, you don’t actually mean…” he trailed off, hoping Giles wasn’t seriously alluding to what he didn’t dare say.

“Yes, Spike. We have to put this in your brain,” the Watcher clarified, a slight smirk tugging at his lips.

As much as Giles wanted to accept the vampire’s relationship with his Slayer, there was still a part of him that hated the idea. He trusted Buffy and if she was falling in love with Spike there was little he could do to stop it. It didn’t mean he wouldn’t take some enjoyment out of making Spike squirm though. In Giles’s eyes, as her pseudo father, no one would ever be good enough for Buffy, even if Spike was the most deserving of his approval thus far.

Spike’s azure eyes bugged out in distress. “Bugger that!”

Buffy swayed on her feet uncomfortably, sending concerned grimaces in Spike’s direction. “How do we know when it’s worked?” she asked in her patented, no-nonsense Slayer style.

“It might not work,” Giles reluctantly informed her.

Everyone slowly turned to look at the Watcher, shock and confusion visible on their faces.

“Huh?” Dawn asked, speaking for the group.

“The stone’s just a catalyst for the process. The rest is up to Spike,” Giles elaborated, glancing over at the disgruntled vampire.

Spike sighed as his gaze caught sight of everyone staring at him. “Alright. How do you expect to get that hunk of rubble into my cranium?” Spike asked with bitter surrender.

Giles turned to Dawn, who was waiting for him to take the open spell book she had in her hands. “I was given the accompanying spell for the stone but since Willow isn’t here, I’ll have to perform it myself,” he enlightened them as he accepted the text from Dawn with one hand while holding the box with the stone in the other. Clearing his throat, he began. “Kun'ati belek sup'sion. Bok'vata im kele'beshus. Ek'vota mor'osh boota'ke.”

As the last word of the incantation echoed throughout the silence the stone began to wriggle within its small confinement, no longer appearing to be solid, but that of metallic liquid. Holding the enchanted rock away from his body, Giles tentatively moved toward Spike. Everyone else watched tensely as the Prokaryote Stone lived up to its name.

The vampire jumped back upon seeing the slithering pebble. “Oh, you have got to be joking?” Spike angrily barked, panic evident in his eyes. “What now?”

“The stone must access the cerebral cortex via the optical nerve,” Giles gruffly replied with his medical jargon.

The vampire eyed the stone warily, his terror-stricken gaze flipping from the box to the Watcher’s unsympathetic face. “Oh, bollocks. With all the rubbish people keep stickin’ in my head it’s a wonder that there’s any room for my brain,” he quipped apprehensively.

Giles rolled his eyes for the second time that night. “I don’t think it takes up that much space, do you?” he derisively murmured.

Spike shot Giles a scowl as the fellow Englishman lifted the box to his face, lining the mystical mineral up to just below his right eye. As if on cue, the Prokaryote Stone slinked its way up Spike’s cheek, slithering beneath his eyelid, causing him to clench his jaw and to pant needlessly from the discomfort. He clutched his head in pain, feeling as though the stone was searing a path through the grey matter in his skull.


The immense pain soon intensified into pure torture. “Oh, OW!” he cried out, writhing in agony.


Buffy was at his side in a second, pulling his hands away from his face as the pain appeared to have quickly subsided. “Spike?” she worriedly tried to gain his attention.

“Maybe we should’ve waited for Red to get back” he hoarsely responded, his bleary gaze focused on the floor in front of him.

Buffy wasn’t completely sure what he meant. “Are you alright?”

He shrugged. “How am I supposed to know if this bug-ugly’s doin’ its job...”

Spike trailed off as the basement and its occupants faded to black, the room melting into another place, another time. Two figures appeared before him. Two people who he had known in another lifetime, ages ago. A naïve and sensitive man was in the midst of reading his latest work to his biggest fan, an older, sickly woman, with eyes that glittered with undying adoration. Two people who Spike hadn’t given much thought to in the past few years, and one person in particular who made him wish he could just forget.


Buffy noticed that Spike’s eyes had suddenly glazed over. “Uh, Spike?”

The dazed vampire said nothing, continuing to stare out at the expanse of the overcrowded basement. Buffy frantically waved her hand in front of his face, calling out his name a few more times in the hopes that he’d snap out of it. Jumping to her feet, she rushed over to Giles who was also eying the vampire strangely. Tugging hysterically on his arm, Buffy pointed to her incapacitated boyfriend. “Giles, you broke him! Fix it!”

Giles didn’t even have a chance to respond.

Spike awoke from his stupor, vamping out ferociously. Buffy and Giles scrambled away from him as the vampire pulled and tugged on his chains. Snarling viciously, Spike picked up the cot, tossing it across the room. Poor Xander didn’t even know what hit him. As Dawn and Wood rushed out to help the unfortunate victim of Spike’s inadvertent attack, Buffy watched helplessly as he continued on with his feral episode. And suddenly, almost as quick as it had began, the vampire abruptly stopped, his body rigid and his face emotionless as the stone slipped from whence it had entered. Breathing erratically, though quite unnecessarily, Spike stared in bewilderment from the group of people before him to the cold cement floor, unclear of what exactly it was that had just been revealed to him.

Dawn assisted a clobbered Xander upstairs, using a comforting but steady hand to lead him away from any more physical harm. With Xander taken cared of, Wood could lay all his unadulterated concentration on the vampire. His dark brown eyes glared fiercely at the creature before him. Buffy’s good-willed intentions for including him in this little demonstration, to prove to him that Spike was a changed vamp, had been in vain. If anything, it only reaffirmed his vengeful resolve. William the Bloody had not changed. He was still the same monster that killed his mother.

Buffy took a cautious step toward the frazzled vamp. “Spike?” Her voice was small and uncertain, with the smallest trace of fear lying beneath the surface.

Spike slowly lifted his head up, eyes sparkling as he tried to put on a strong face. With a sad grin, he nodded. “Right here, luv.”

Running back to him, Buffy threw her arms around his neck, seizing him in a tight embrace. Burying her face in his chest she let out a muffled whimper. “You had me worried there for a second.”

Wrapping his arms around her waist, Spike gently placed a kiss on her cheek. “Can’t get rid of me that easy, Slayer,” he weakly joked, his voice no more than a faint whisper. “I would’ve found my way back. Like I always do.”

“What did you see, Spike?” Giles inquired, bringing the couple back to the task at hand.

Buffy slipped out of Spike’s arms, taking a spot at his side. Sliding her small hand in his, she gave it one good squeeze. Buffy could tell this was gonna be the hard part.

Buffy watched as Spike glanced from her Watcher over to Wood, who was at the moment standing by the stairs, a seething glower plastered on his face. Blue eyes remained locked with brown, seized in a silent round of distrust and intimidation. Spotting the discontented expressions on both their faces, Buffy knew there was no way Spike was going to open up if she didn’t step in.

“Uh, Giles. Could Spike and I have some time alone?” she asked, politely.

Giles understood. He knew Spike wouldn’t want to divulge his deepest, darkest secrets to the man who, for all intents and purposes, was Buffy’s father. If the vampire wouldn’t share his revelation with him, then he sure as hell wasn’t about to say boo with Robin Wood in the room. Nodding, Giles motioned for Robin to follow him.

Eyes still engaged in non-verbal death threats, Wood gradually made his way upstairs, refusing to take his malicious gaze off of Spike. The vampire himself observed the two men part with restrained ire. It wasn’t until he heard the basement door close shut did Spike break from his angered vigil.

Dropping his head to dejectedly look at the chains binding his wrists, Spike sighed noisily. “Mind takin’ these soddin’ things off me, luv?” he asked, his voice low and calm but not void of the desperation that was threatening to consume him.

Without any reservations, Buffy promptly released him from his restraints. Rubbing the feeling back into his sore and bruised wrists, Spike gave her a shy smile. Uncertainty about what was yet to come, amongst other things plaguing his conscience, brought forth his uncharacteristically insecure demeanor.

“Spike? Did it work? Did it have anything to do with that song you’re always singing before you go bizerk?” Buffy fretfully wondered.

Sighing for what felt like the hundredth time that night, Spike moved to flip over the overturned cot. Plopping himself down on the lumpy mattress, he stared at the chains on the wall. “It’s called ‘Early One Morning’. Old folk ditty my mum used to sing to me,” he dismally informed her, his usually clear blue eyes fogged with unprecedented melancholy. Eventually, staring back at Buffy, pushing aside for the moment the guilt of his past, he added, “Does it even matter if it worked?”


Andrew pressed the zoom-in button on his camcorder, trying to capture Xander’s pain as Anya and Dawn sat on either side of him on the living room couch, trying to tend to his more or less superficial wound. The would-be director was careful in his selection of camera angles, ensuring that he caught the entire group gathered at the epicenter of the Summers house. Since he had been banned from being part of the afternoon basement activities, this little meeting was the only way he could get the scoop on what the heck was the latest predicament facing the Slayer and her vampyre.

Turning the camera lens away from the group and aiming it a little too close to his own face, Andrew set the scene up, making sure future viewers would understand the context of what was being said.

“Hello gentle viewers. It seems that something unusual has transpired today. Our leader, Buffy, along with a few of her devoted companions, ventured into the basement hours ago. All have just now emerged, except for the Slayer and Spike. Let’s watch now as Xander tries to recuperate from what appears to be an arduous ordeal.” Pivoting the camera back, Andrew zoomed back in on Xander.

“Ow!” The unmanly squeal resonated throughout the room. “Jesus, Ahn! What’s in that bottle? Sulfuric acid?” Xander inquired indignantly.

“Stop being such a baby,” Anya scolded as she dabbed a cotton swab of alcohol over the gash on Xander’s forehead. “Honestly, Xander. For a man who has extensive knowledge in giving women many orgasms, you’re a wuss.”

Dawn, along with all the other Potentials in the room, shifted uncomfortably. “Someone please change the subject,” Dawn pleaded, unable to look at Xander beside her.

“Uh…yeah…so what’s up with Spike?” Kennedy threw out, willingly discussing the vampire if it meant not thinking about Anya and Xander having sex.

“Yeah, why didn’t anyone tell us that he’s dangerous?” Rona crossly asked.

“Spike’s not dangerous,” Amanda countered defensively. “He hasn’t done anything to us.”

“Yet,” Rona mumbled.

“If it wasn’t for Spike, we woulda never gotten the training we did. We can’t just turn against him now,” Vi also defended, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Spike’s trigger is still working,” Kennedy solemnly informed the girls. “He could snap at any second and go off on all of us.”

“But Buffy’s tryin’ to fix that,” Molly retorted, trying to look on the bright side of what was a very scary situation.

“And what if she can’t? How’re we even gonna know the difference?” Rona said irately. “She knew about Spike all along and didn’t tell us. I just don’t get how Buffy can take this for granted. It’s not her life on the line here.”

Seething, Dawn was past the point of annoyed but before she could ardently defend her sister, Anya surprisingly stepped in.

“People go through things,” she generally stated. “Things that no one else can even come close to understanding. And sometimes you overlook the bad because you love them so much that you can’t live without them,” she philosophized, her warm, remorseful eyes connecting with Xander’s hopeful and surprised gaze. She tenderly wiped his forehead one final time before turning to the group around her. “So sure, Spike’s got a Get Out of Jail Free Card when it comes to Buffy, but it’s only because she’s in love with him. We all know that’s why she can’t let go. We just either forget or all out deny what’s staring us in the face,” she poignantly finished.

She became a bit stunned when she suddenly felt a familiar hand close around hers. Staring back over at Xander, she lightly squeezed his hand when she spotted the promise in his eyes. Maybe he was willing to give it another go. Maybe they should try it like Buffy and Spike, without the sex. Ha! Who was she kidding? But one thing was for sure, she wouldn’t be having sex on Spike’s cot again. It hurt her back and smelled like smoke.

Their heartfelt moment was cut short by Andrew’s unexpected and unwanted bit of directorial instruction. “Anya, do you mind repeating that last part for me again. My finger slipped and I didn’t get it on film.”

The ex-couple broke from their intense gazes and glared at the annoying geek as the rest of the girls began to disperse to separate parts of the house. There wasn’t much left of their half hour break and no one was in the mood to waste it on yelling at Andrew. Xander and Anya could have him; they looked as though they were about to throttle him anyway.


In the adjacent hallway between the living room and the basement entrance stood a grim faced Wood and a contemplative Giles. The Watcher glanced at the other man, who seemed to be keeping his persistent glare on the now firmly shut basement door.

Due to his long and unplanned absence, Giles was a bit out of the loop. All Buffy had told him was that this unassuming high school principal was actually a rogue demon hunter, who appeared to have some sort of personal vendetta against Spike. What exactly had happened between Wood and William the Bloody was still left to be determined, but from the fury blazing in the man’s eyes, Giles could tell it wasn’t about to blow over.

“What if Spike can’t be cured?” Robin asked, eyes still glued to the well-worn wooden door. “What if the trigger can’t be de-activated?”

“We cannot consider that option,” Giles firmly replied. “We must keep faith with Buffy.”

“Shouldn’t there be some kind of contingency plan?” Wood wondered, finally turning his gaze to Giles.

Giles pulled his glasses off his face and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Pardon my frankness, but who are you?” the Watcher asked.

He had never been formally introduced to the Buffy’s boss, so this was a good a time as any. Even having already been informed by Buffy of Robin’s M.O., pretending he knew bugger all about the man actually gave Giles the upper hand. People were more prone to talk if they thought no one knew what was really going on in their head. Giles just hoped that Robin would make the same mistake.

“Robin Wood.” The stranger extended a confident hand in formal greeting.

Taking the offered hand, Giles shook it firmly but briefly. “Ah, yes. Buffy had mentioned you. Said you fancied yourself a bit of demon hunter,” he good-humoredly remarked.

Robin gave a modest smile at the Watcher’s suddenly warmer and more welcoming attitude. “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you know so much about me. You are Buffy’s Watcher after all,” he casually commented.

Giles chuckled a bit at the notion. “I may be her Watcher, but only in namesake. Buffy no longer reports to me. The definition of our Watcher-Slayer relationship was never exactly textbook. It still isn’t,” he explained, unintentionally glancing over to the basement door.

“But she would listen to you, right? If the occasion called for it, she would listen to her Watcher?” Wood wondered with a hint of urgency.

“What are you getting at?” Giles somberly asked, his demeanor turning on a dime.

“If Spike becomes uncontrollable, wouldn’t you advise her to do what’s best for the greater good?” Wood guardedly said without actually out rightly saying ‘kill Spike’.

“Careful what you say, Robin. If you know what’s good for you, I wouldn’t repeat any of this to Buffy,” Giles ominously warned though not surprised by the man’s one tracked mind.

“Someone has to tell her. She won’t hear it from me, but Buffy would trust her Watcher,” Wood argued, determined to get the Watcher on his side.

“How’s it you know so much about Slayers?” Giles suspiciously inquired. He was beginning to wonder if maybe he had underestimated Robin’s hatred for Spike. It must be some kind of grudge if the Principal was willing to go up against Buffy. Brave man. Stupid, but brave.

“My mother was one,” Wood threw out, his voice steady though his dark brown eyes screamed of devastation and misery.

Giles’s eyes widened, his mind whirling as everything suddenly came together. “You’re Nikki Wood’s boy. Crowley adopted you after—”

“Spike killed my mother,” Robin venomously finished off the other man’s sentence.

“And this dire necessity to have Buffy prepared for the possibility that she might have to kill Spike has nothing to do with your own personal motives? How do I know this isn’t some ploy to get back at him?”

Giles wanted to be sympathetic but he simply couldn’t muster up any phony compassion when Wood’s actions could potentially have world altering consequences. The look in his eyes told Giles all he needed to know. If Buffy didn’t do something about Spike then the dear ole principal would.

Almost reading his mind, Robin immediately replied, “If he’s a threat, if he compromises the mission, then what does it matter?”

Giles took an unwavering step forward, purposefully getting in Wood’s face. “It matters to Buffy and in the end, it’s her call,” he furiously stated before pointing a hostile finger at the obstinate man. “You listen to me. Do not make Buffy’s decisions for her. It’s her call because it is her right. If there is so much as the slightest chance that Spike is needed for this fight against the First and you bollocks it all up with your damned need for vengeance, I won’t be there to stop Buffy.”

The temperature in the room felt as though it had dropped several degrees. The casual good natured introduction had turned into a silent war of wills.

With clenched anger, Robin slowly began to speak. “I’m only saying that we have to consider the possibility.”

“So long as that’s all you’re saying,” Giles retorted, making his way to the kitchen. “I’ll be in the backyard training the Potentials for the rest of the night. If I were you, I’d find some way to entertain yourself. Who knows how long it’ll be before they’re through,” he advised, throwing a glimpse at the basement door.

Silently, the Watcher walked out of the hallway, leaving Wood to carefully ponder his next move.


“What did you just say?” Buffy asked, uncertain if she had heard the vampire right.

“Does it even matter if it worked?” Spike repeated, elbows on knees as he miserably stared at the cement floor.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Buffy didn’t know if she should be offended, shocked or devastated by Spike’s apathy. “Of course it matters if it worked.”

“I get that,” he sadly stated. “Gotta stop the First from pullin’ my puppet strings. I get it. It’s just…just…”

“What Spike?” she pushed, becoming frustrated.

“If Rupes didn’t want you with me before, you sure as hell aren’t gonna get his blessing now,” Spike finally clarified. He hated himself for being so insecure, but he couldn’t help it.

They hadn’t said much to each other since she and Giles had come back from their little walk and talk. The second Buffy had stepped through the front door she had instantly gone into slayer mode. Nothing but demands and orders with not a single explanation for any of them. Next thing Spike knew, he was putting on a show for the rest of the Scobbies by having some prophylactic stone shoved into his brain

He still had no idea what had actually been said between Buffy and her Watcher. Spike was positively, absolutely certain that Rupert was against the relationship. If that pathetic peck on the cheek Spike had gotten a few hours ago told him anything, it was that Buffy cared what Giles thought.

“And you think I care what Giles thinks?” Buffy’s exasperated voice rang in his ears.

Spike’s head instantly shot up, staring at her disbelievingly. “Well duh, pet,” he replied with blatant sarcasm.

“Look Spike. I don’t know what’s with all the mopiness, but snap out of it,” she chided.

“So good to know I’m nothin’ more than an inconvenience to you luv,” Spike muttered. He might be acting like a ponce but she wasn’t giving him any reason not to.

Buffy groaned, rubbing her forehead as she sat next to Spike. “I’m not gonna end this between us, Spike.”

A flash of hope lit up his eyes as he looked at her. “So, we’re still together?”

Buffy gave him a sweet smile. “Yes, Spike, we’re still together,” she reassured him as she lifted her hand to soothingly brush his cheek. “But if you get all girly on me again, I might change my mind.”

“Girly?!” Spike shouted indignantly, pulling away from Buffy. “A bloke gets a bit insecure and suddenly he’s girly?”

“What got you all with the second guessing anyway?” she asked curiously.

Spike shrugged. “Well, Rupert’s back and we all know how he feels ‘bout yours truly,” he began to explain, scratching the back of his neck. “‘Probly didn’t help my cause with the whole untamed sideshow, huh?”

Buffy shook her head. “No. I don’t think that’s it Spike. At least not all of it anyway,” she openly doubted.

“There was…well…there was…God ‘m such a poofter!” he self-deprecated.

“Spike, just tell me,” Buffy implored. She didn’t want any tensions between them. Things were starting to get intense and were inevitably going to get even bleaker. Buffy needed Spike to be in her corner, to be there for her no matter what was about to happen. There wasn’t any room for misgivings or distrust. She needed things to be okay between them.

“Why didn’t you kiss me?” he asked out of the blue, sounding like a lost little boy.

“What? When?” Buffy asked incredulously.

“When you got home from work, pet. First you couldn’t get your hands off of me, then your Watcher shows up and I’m suddenly chopped liver,” he sulked, feeling as pathetic as he sounded.

“Are we really discussing this? I couldn’t just make out with you right in front of him, Spike,” she berated. “It’s bad enough he’s the last to know. I didn’t want him finding out by walking in on one of our grope fests.”

“I wasn’t expectin’ you to inform Rupert by makin’ him watch on as you snog me into a second death, pet,” he countered mockingly, “but a guy could use a lil’ reassurance once and a while.”

Buffy exhaled loudly, at last understanding Spike’s puzzlingly fickle mood. “It’s gonna take a lot to end this thing between us Spike. And I mean more than homicidal personality triggers, or foreboding internet prophecies, or even my occasionally overzealous Watcher,” she clarified, hoping it would be enough to settle his uncertainties.

“I’m a right git, aren’t I?” Spike mumbled, mentally kicking himself. Like Buffy didn’t have enough on her plate, she had to deal with his brooding too. Yes, he had to admit, this qualified as brooding.

“Yeah,” Buffy halfheartedly agreed. “But you’re my git,” she added cheekily before planting a gentle kiss on his lips.

Pulling her into his arms, Spike released a sigh of relief. “Thanks, luv.” Burying his face into the crook of her neck, he brandished her tender flesh with a few more kisses.

He had never felt as confident about their relationship as he did at this very moment. And even though Buffy had still yet to say those three little, but very monumental words to him, Spike felt loved. Not the altruistic adoration he had had for Druscilla, or the petty infatuation he had experienced with Cecily, or the all consuming obsession he had had with Buffy. It was different now. It was unconditional and at last, reciprocated. Spike could bet money on the chance that had he and Buffy not fallen into a romantic relationship, she would have still loved him, as a friend, for just being himself. He hadn’t been that sure of someone else’s feelings in ages. Not since his mother.

Oh God. Mum…

Buffy sighed contently, oblivious to Spike’s ruminations. “See, I can be reassurance girl,” she quipped, hugging him harder.

Spike however didn’t hug back.

In fact, he suddenly felt inexplicably limp. “Spike?” Buffy worriedly whispered as she pulled away from his embrace.

Spike didn’t hear her. He couldn’t hear her. The stone was taking him back.

“William?” his sickly mother apprehensively called out, walking into the parlor in her nightdress.

Spike, or William to be precise, uneasily greeted her. “Uh, mother.”

“Where have you been?” she inquired, her voice quivering with emotion. “I’ve been beside myself for days.”

William’s manner brightened, excited about revealing his new state of existence. “You needn’t have worried mother,” he consoled. “You’ll never have to worry about anything again. Something has happened. I’ve changed.”

“Are you okay?” Buffy asked, confused by his silence.

William’s mother stared at her son, unable to comprehend his behavior or the words that were spilling from his mouth. “What are you talking about a-and why are you acting so strangely?”

William approached the woman who had brought him into this world, who had given him life. It seemed somewhat surreal that he was now standing before her, dead on his feet. Well, undead anyway.

“It’s alright, mother. It’s only me,” he comforted, wrapping his arms around her fragile form.

Upon saying his name for the second time, Buffy felt the arms around her tighten. She mistook his hallucinated reaction as nonverbal assurance that he was still there with her. Unknowingly, Buffy allowed herself to fall back into the embrace.

“We’ll be together forever,” William promised his mother.


Buffy barely heard him, his voice so low that not even her close proximity could make up for its inaudibility. “Spike…?”

“William…?” His mother remained motionless, the uncertainty and fear evident in her meek voice.

“It’ll only hurt for a moment,” Spike whispered reassuringly before slipping into game face. It would be the last words he would say to the woman he knew as mother.

Before Buffy knew what was happening, Spike’s fangs descended upon her neck.


Thanx Darkezza! You're the best!

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