Continuing Tales


A Marvel Movieverse Story
by startrekfanwriter

Part 13 of 26

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Darcy wakes up to an empty bed. She reaches out and touches the pillow next to her. It's cold. Closing her eyes for a moment she wishes for Loki to materialize. But he doesn't. She pulls her hand back, closes her eyes, and buries her face in the pillow. She doesn't cry. In fact, she smiles, even if it's bittersweet. How many years will her memories keep her warm?

x x x x

Darcy woke on her side in darkness, her back pressed to something cool and hard, a weight draped over her waist, her fingers splayed with another's entwined between them. For a moment she thought it was another dream - the linked hands could only be a dream of Loki. She squeezed the hand, and it squeezed back. Closing her eyes, she felt the marvelous feel of muscles spent in positions they hadn't enjoyed in a long time.

It was no dream, and he was still with her. Darcy wiggled and rolled over, disengaging their fingers. Loki was a shadow silhouetted against the light creeping between the cracks in the shade. His eyes fluttered open, two warm orange lanterns, and she laughed.

"What's so funny?" he whispered, finding her hand in the darkness, slipping his fingers against her own again.

"It's just, I think that usually when people talk about the light of their lover's eyes they're talking metaphorically," she said. And then she stilled, her body going rigid, and his, too. Lovers. It was maybe not the right word. Doesn't it have connotations of something with permanence? Something eternal? He said he still can't give her time...maybe this is it. And if it is; that is alright. Who else would she want to step into the future with this way?

The hand in hers squeezed. Pressing his forehead to hers, Loki whispered, "I have two weeks, 1 day and 5 hours, Darcy," he said, the specificity startling her.

There was something important about that date too, but she couldn't place what it was at that moment.

"I'm yours in that time." He took a breath. "If you'll have me."

"Of course I'll have you!" It came out a slightly undignified squeak. Darcy's lips spreading into a smile so wide it hurt.

Loki pulled his forehead from hers. Her eyes had adjusted to the dimness and she could see him smiling. It was a completely uncalculated smile, wide, stretching all the way to his eyes. And innocent, the way smiles from a so-called-god of mischief and chaos aren't supposed to be.

x x x x

Darcy lifts her head from the pillow. The memory of that uncalculated smile makes something in her stomach uncoil and puts her on the verge of tears more than anything else. The alarm in her phone sounds. It's time for her weekly Skype call with Franz and Max. Turning off the alarm, she pulls herself up and finds a silken blue pajama top with a cinch tie waist that David got for her years ago. It has a matching pair of pants. David loved the set because, "If you only wear zee top it iz sexy. If you put on zee pants you can wear it in front of the boyz. They never know zee memoriez I have with you only in the top..."

Loki liked it, too.

x x x x

Darcy stepped back into the bedroom wearing only her pajama top, cinched at her waist. It went to just below her hips and wasn't really decent, but she'd left the room in a hurry. A noise in the office had awoken her. Thinking it was Cock Block, she'd slipped the top on quickly, tied it automatically, and dashed out of the bedroom to try and catch the sneaky creature. But there was no cat, only a breeze through an open window rifling some papers on her desk.

As she came back into the bedroom, she was scowling a little bit. Loki's back was turned to her, a blue storm cloud in white sheets. As she climbed back into bed, he turned his head, raised an eyebrow - perhaps at her expression - and then rolled over onto his back.

Her hand went to untie the sash at her waist band, but his hand stopped it. His eyes drifted down over her body, before they came back to her own. "What's wrong?" he asked. Sitting upright, he reached out with a hand to stroke the curve of her side.

"I thought I heard Cock Block." She frowned. "I wanted to give you a proper introduction...and I haven't seen him in a while. I'm worried about him."

His face went slack for a moment, and the hand stopped, but then he said, "I wouldn't worry about him, Darcy. He's a tom cat." He smirked. "They get around."

With a sigh, he reached for her and pulled her so she was straddling his legs. Sliding his hands down her back, he pulled her closer. "So, any idea where you want to go for lunch?"

Darcy looks down. "I guess Alfheim is out of the question?"

Loki pressed a kiss to her neck and huffed. "I am afraid so."

"Vanaheim? You aren't banned there, are you?"

Pulling back, Loki said, "No, but if I took you there, they'd kill me."

Darcy's brow furrowed. "Why?"

Loki tilted his head and looked away. His hands found the edge of the fabric on her hips, but didn't slide under. Instead, he traced small circles through the fabric. "The Vanier have never believed that Asgardians should meddle in the affairs of humans. They cannot stop us from doing so here on Midgard, but they can help it in their own realm."

"They don't like humans?" said Darcy.

Loki pressed a kiss to the side of her breast through the fabric. "No, they have no quarrel with humans. They just don't believe Asgard should interfere with the evolution of humans or any other race." He pressed another kiss a little closer to her nipple. "Be it by coming here and trying to take over, shooting your spaceships out of the sky, or bringing you along for a tour."

"Oh," she was disappointed but was doing her best to hide it.

Loki straightened, and Darcy noticed a green mist rising into the air.

Putting his head above her shoulder, he pulled her close again. "Jotunheim is actually quite lovely, in a stark, bleak way...what little I've seen of it. I never got to see much more than the receiving halls, and some of the mines. I wish I could see more of it with you..." He reached up and brushed a lock of hair from her eyes. "To see it through your eyes..."

Looking away he said, "Darcy, I can't risk it. As my experience with Steve shows, it can be dangerous, no matter how innocent the intent. Too much is at stake to risk another accident."

Darcy blinked. Around them green mist rose higher. Face very serious, Loki said, "Sometime soon you will get the opportunity to travel to Jotunheim. Promise me when you get that opportunity, you will take it."

Darcy tilted her head. As far as she knew Asgard was still claiming the space between solar systems off limits. The upcoming moon-shuttle launch, a few days after Loki's upcoming departure, is the most ambitious of Earth's extraterrestrial adventures. "How?"

"Just promise," he said, pushing his forehead to hers.

"Okay," she said. A smile crossed her face. "And will I see you there?"

Loki said nothing for a moment. And then he said, "You'll see for me."

"What -"

"Shhhh. There are things I cannot speak of," said Loki. His hands flowed over her back, and along her sides. Darcy had known him long enough to know when he started talking in riddles it was time to let her questions go.

For a few moments they were silent. His hands continued rolling over her, the silken top shifting against her skin. And then he took in a long breath of air and said, "I love how soft you are."

Darcy smiled and put her hands on his arms. "And I love how hard you are."

Loki tilted his hips up a little bit and gave a soft huff. She took a deep breath as she felt him below her, separated by only a wisp of fabric. But she wasn't going to give in so easily.

"Actually, I was referring to these," she said, stroking his biceps. She slipped her hands down to his stomach. "And these." As her hands brushed the ripples of the six pack around his torso, she grazed some sensitive areas. Loki's hips tilted upwards again, but by his sudden intake of breath she could tell it wasn't intentional.

"Seriously, Loki," she whispered, enjoying the tease. "Work out much?"

Voice a little raspy, he said, "Sparring with Thor and Steve."

She brought her nails up his front and used them to trace long lines that started at his chest and didn't stop until below his hips. "But I thought you hated sparring?"

Almost unconsciously, Loki said, "Despise it. But have to stay in shape..."

His hands came around to her front and he cupped her breasts, thumbs brushing her nipples. It was her turn to gasp. She sat up a little straighter and a thin bit of fabric that had separated below pulled away.

Loki's eyes met hers, his pupils dark and wide. She pulled herself higher on her knees and positioned herself above him.

And that's when her phone's alarm rang. Darcy's eyes went wide and to the side. "It's time for my weekly Skype call with Franz and Max."

His lips came together in a thin line that could only be described as a pout. For a moment Darcy swore the air shimmered as though by heat. And then he narrowed his eyes and flopped down on the bed. "Go!" he said raising a hand in the air.

"Are you sure?" said Darcy, already pulling away.

In response, Loki put a pillow over his face.

Darcy slipped on the pants that went with the pajama top.

From beneath the pillow covering Loki's face came a muffled, "Aarrrrrgggghhhhhhhhhhhhh..." and then he kicked his feet like a disgruntled toddler. All things considered, it's pretty gracious on his part. But he has children, he understands.

With a laugh Darcy headed into the office.

Darcy finds herself in front of her computer three minutes before the call with Franz and Max. It is just her and the ghosts of the men who she's loved most. There is the desk that David refurbished for her, and all his notebooks in the bookshelf. She looks beyond her monitor. And there is the space beyond the desk where two calls ago Loki had stood.

x x x x

Darcy straightened her hair, using the computer's camera view as a mirror. She connected with Franz and then with Max, their faces appearing in a split screen.

"Mom, you're late," said Max, sounding faintly indignant.

"Hey, Mom," said Franz leaning in to adjust his camera. "What'cha been doing?"

"Well, I ..." said Darcy.

There was a pop in the air beyond the monitor. Outside the line of vision of the camera Loki appeared, wearing a long black t-shirt, layered with a short black tee with the words, "Black Sabbath" on it. With one hand he mimed holding something cylindrical up to his cheek. Opening his mouth, he pumped the hand, making a bulge in his cheek with his tongue to the same rhythm.

Darcy's mouth fell open. It was the best pantomime of a blow job she'd ever seen.

Loki smirked. She narrowed her eyes, looked at the screen, and then said, "Just a moment. I hear something at the window." Hitting the mute button, she stood up so she was outside of Franz's and Max's line of vision. With her straightest face, in her sweetest tone, she said, "If you need a toothbrush there's extras underneath the sink in the bathroom."

Loki stopped his rude gesture. From the quirk of his lips she could tell he was fighting a smile. Sitting back down, she unmuted her computer and tried to stifle a smirk of her own. God of Mischief, indeed.

There was a poof of green, and Loki vanished.

Over the speaker Max said, "How was your show?"

She gave them the details, but didn't tell Franz she'd met his some time chess partner there.

They were moving on to discuss her sons' lives, when Loki popped back in the room, still outside their line of vision. This time he had a toothbrush in his mouth - and he looked rather bored. Darcy should have known to be worried.

Max started to talk about joining the rowing team and Loki started pantomiming rowing - toothbrush still in mouth, bored expression still on his face. It was hard, but Darcy successfully stifled a laugh. When Franz started talking about a robotics competition and Loki began a surprisingly good imitation of a street performer robot, she cracked up.

Loki beamed. Franz and Max said nearly in unison, "Mom, is someone there?"

Blinking at them she said, "No, no one. Nobody."

Looking wounded, Loki mouthed the words, No one? Nobody?

Franz went back to talking about the robotics competition - but it was hard to pay attention. Loki was grimacing comically and putting his hands over his heart. There was a swirl of green, he threw back his head, and suddenly there was a raw, slimy, bleeding, heart in his hand - Darcy knew it was a heart from a photoshoot she'd done with a cardiologist.

She screamed.

"Mom!" said Franz.

"What's wrong?" asked Max.

Chest completely intact, Loki plucked a bright silver knife out of the air and started stabbing the heart over and over again.

Standing up, Darcy shouted, "Get that bloody thing out of my house!"

Loki looked up at her, his face the picture of innocence.

"Mom!" screamed her children.

Sitting down quickly, shooting Loki a glare, she said, "It's just Cock Block...he...found something. Something bloody and dead."

She glanced up to see Loki smirk. There was another swirl of green and a pop, and he was gone.

"Where's Cock Block?" said Franz.

"You know bringing their humans their kill is the way cats show their love," said Max.

Darcy glared at the camera.

And then there was a soft thud on the desk beside her.

"Awww, it's Cock Block!" shouted Franz.

"Is that a heart in his mouth?" said Max. He was pre-med. "I bet he stole it from the butcher down the street."

Darcy turned her head to see Cock Block on the edge of the desk, a raw heart in his mouth. He sidled up beside her and dropped the organ. It fell with a plop on her clean desk. Darcy's nose wrinkled up and she found queasiness rising in her stomach.

"It is a heart!" said Max, sounding way too excited. "I think from a sheep."

Darcy blinked at the raw meat, fighting back nausea. And then it clicked.

Cock Block's mysterious absences and Loki's "business trips"...they did coincide, didn't they? Whenever Loki came back she always complained to him that she hadn't seen Cock Block in a while,and Loki would always tell her not to worry. And sure enough, usually within 24 hours, Cock Block would show up at her window. Almost always at night. He'd crawl into bed with her, or join her in the bathroom while she bathed...

Narrowing her eyes at the cat, Darcy said, "I'm going to kill you."

"Mom!" yelled Max.

"You can't kill him," said Franz, sounding horrified. "He just gave you his heart!"

Darcy turned and stared at her sons, too mad to say anything. Loki-Cock Block sat down, wrapped his tail around his feet and purred. It sounded suspiciously like a laugh.

x x x x

Darcy taps her finger on the desk. As soon as she got off that call with her sons she had chased Loki-Cock Block into the bedroom and walloped the "cat" with a pillow. Cock Block had morphed into a Loki in hysterics.

Her computer chimes as her sons come online. Darcy clicks to accept their calls.

The conversation is dominated by the upcoming launch of the Stark Industries moon shuttles with their payloads of solar panels. The boys are dying to see it. Darcy's feelings are mixed. David spent so much of his life on this project. And Loki won't confirm, but she thinks David gavehis life to the project.

Tapping her finger on the desk, Darcy looks to the side as the boys describe the journey of the ships. Loki has been gone a few days - he'll miss the launch. She did ask him if his trip had anything to do with the moon shuttles. He'd laughed and said, "Moon shuttles? Not at all. I'll be on a more...ceremonial assignment."


Darcy blinks at the screen.

"Are you okay?" says Max.

"You look a little blue," says Franz.

They're looking at her so earnestly. Their eyes are Asian, like David's, but startlingly green. They have Darcy's nose and wide lips, their father's black hair. Their personalities are more like David's - only they go even beyond him in the math-science-geek department. It's strange how different they are from her and yet how much she loves them. She thinks even now that she could give up her life for them, or kill for them.

"Is Cock Block gone again?" says Max.

Darcy smiles bitterly at how close to the mark that is. "Yes, yes, I think that's it."

"Don't worry, Mom," says Franz. "He always shows up when you really need him."

Darcy doesn't start to cry at that, but her eyes well up. And then the conversation becomes nothing but her boys reminiscing on Cock Block's antics. Darcy sits back in her chair and begins to wonder how much of Loki's visits in feline form were about her and how much of them were about recreating the family he lost in Asgard. She knows he divorced his wife Sigyn and disowned his sons Nari and Valli when he began planning his sabotage of Thor's coronation. He told her he did it so they would have impunity - and that they never forgave him.

Her phone chimes. Shaking herself, she looks at note from her calendar that pops up. "I have a meeting with a client in an hour, guys. I have to go."

"Watch the moon shuttle launch!" says Max.

"Leave the window open for Cock Block," says Franz.

Darcy says her goodbyes and gets ready. Not too long after, she's in the foyer at the Avengers' mansion. She has prints to deliver to Steve. He meets her there alone. He's wearing workout gear.

Darcy's wearing a neat pants suit and a light coat and scarf. Her hand clenches involuntarily. She feels naked.

x x x x

In the four days since Darcy has said yes to Loki's offer to 'be hers,' their life has fallen into a pattern. Wake up at a decent hour with a plan to do something or go somewhere for the day. Eat something. Get distracted by sex. Fall asleep. Wake up famished. Nix plans. Eat at one of the local diners. Possibly go somewhere, possibly come home and get distracted again. Take nap. Go out to a restaurant Darcy would never ordinarily be able to afford. Maybe go to a bar or a late night show afterwards. Come back to Darcy's house. Be distracted, fall asleep. Repeat.

On the fourth day something new happened. It was after breakfast, and after their post-breakfast distraction. Darcy's head was on Loki's shoulder and they were both drifting off to sleep when Loki's cell started to chime the Star Spangled Banner. There was a pop in the air, and she felt Loki shift under her but didn't open her eyes.

"It's Steve," Loki said. "He is inviting me to lunch. He wants me to meet the new girlfriend."

"Hmmmmmmm," said Darcy. "I don't like the idea of you leaving." She sighed. "But you should go. You won't see him for a while."

Loki tensed beneath her. "You won't come with me?"

Darcy opened her eyes. Loki's orange-red gaze was focused on her. He looked hurt.

"Well, of course I'll go if you want me to," she said.

Relaxing instantly, Loki turned back to the phone in his hand and started texting with a thumb. "I'm telling him we'll meet him at two."

Darcy did her best not to tense up.

Normally when they went out, Loki was all over Darcy. An arm around her shoulder, or more often, his hand in hers, fingers entwined. Nothing inappropriate. Well, not if anyone was watching. He'd pulled her into a dark corner on occasion and been less than appropriate, but it had always been fun to oblige.

Darcy wondered how he'd be around Steve. Were they hiding the change in their relationship? She would have asked, but remembering Loki's look of hurt earlier, she decided to play it by ear.

At lunch, Loki was as affectionate as ever. As soon as his utensils were down, his arm was around Darcy's shoulder or his hand was in her lap, fingers in hers. Darcy's smiles came easy. She and Loki bounced the conversation off each other effortlessly, and had Steve, his date Sharon, and themselves laughing.

They had several more visits with Steve during their time together, and with Jane and Thor. Loki behaved in exactly the same way.

At the time it felt wonderful to feel so cherished and possessed.

x x x x

Darcy stares at Steve. She feels so exposed, her loss on display.

"How are you doing?" Steve says. And the since Loki left is implicit in those four words.

Shrugging, Darcy says, "Alright, I guess." She lifts her portfolio like a shield. "Where would you like to look at the final prints?"

Nodding, Steve says, "This way."

They're walking through a hallway when Steve says, "You know, it was too short. But what you and Loki seemed perfect."

Darcy looks down. It had been perfect - or nearly. But there was a reason for that. "We didn't have time to get on each other's nerves," she said. It was like a honeymoon.

"You've had plenty of time to get on each other's nerves," says Steve.

"We actually did get in a pretty nasty fight," she says quickly, her voice cold and inflectionless. And she knows what she's doing. She's trying to erect armor.

x x x x

"I have to get ready," Darcy said. It was 8 AM. She was throwing clothes down onto the side of the bed that wasn't occupied by her frost giant...whatever. Loki was leaning on one arm, looking at her wardrobe selections.

Picking at a button on a suit coat he says, "Why don't you play hooky today?"

Turning around, Darcy scowled and headed to the bathroom. "I have been playing hooky. I haven't worked on my own stuff for the past five days, and that's bad enough."

She turned on the water in the shower above the bath. From the doorway behind her, Loki said, "But surely a vacation now and then is in order?"

And Darcy broke. Spinning around she said, "Don't you get it? This is a commission. It's how I support myself, yes, I have David's life insurance, but I've still got two boys in private college, and retirement. And I can't fuck up."

Loki didn't look hurt or angry, only quizzical. "If it is only money, I can help with that."

Darcy stared at him, and her mouth fell open. She sank down to the edge of the tub and put her head in her hands. "It's not just the money. It's what I do, it's who I am. And it's all that I'll have when..." She waved a hand at him, and despite herself she actually started to cry.

It would be all she had when he left. She dropped her head and wiped her cheek.

For a few moments there was only the sound of the shower. But then Loki came forward; his hands went to her shoulders. He was so close, his body so long and lean, and she wanted to stay...and she didn't. Couldn't.

She looked up at his face. It was hard and cold. "You're right ,of course," he said. And then he said, "There's something in your nose."

Embarrassed, Darcy put a hand up to her face, but Loki was quicker. With a flick of his wrist he tweaked her nose and pulled a flower out of mid-air. He presented it to her with a smirk.

x x x x

Darcy opens her portfolio in the dining room of the Avengers' mansion. Steve starts flipping through the pictures.

After her fight with Loki' she had gone to her client. Loki had gone to spar with Steve and Thor here at the mansion, saying he should have been going regularly anyway. The rest of his visit they'd been more careful to give each other space.

As if reading her mind, Steve says, "It was fun having him here so often the past month or so. He's a challenging opponent to spar with." He leans back on his heels looking at a photo of Thor. "And he and Thor really went at it," Steve says.

Darcy rifles through the photos. She has one of Steve and Loki she wants him to see.

"Did you know Loki has a sword?" Steve says and Darcy freezes.

"He used it in some of his matches with Thor."

Darcy straightens and her eyes go to the window beyond the grand dining table. "Lævatein," she says. "I saw it when he took me to his home."

"His home?"

Darcy shakes her head, her eyes going wide. "His place here in Manhattan. I wheedled and whined until he took me there."

x x x x

"There, are you satisfied?" said Loki as Darcy walked out of the green cloud that had followed their teleportation.

"The living room is bigger than my apartment," she said.

"Yes, I suppose so," said Loki tersely.

Darcy looked around. The outer walls were floor to ceiling windows, now overlooking the nighttime lights of Manhattan. All the other walls were lined with bookshelves, and, she noted, artwork. Some of it hers.

She peeked in a doorway. There was a desk and some large computer monitors.

"The office," said Loki. His voice sounding far away. Darcy moved on. There was an enormous kitchen with stainless steel appliances that looked like it had never been used, a powder room, dark with slate tiles on the floor and walls, and a wide open dining area. There were many closets. Darcy opened one. "It's empty," she said. "I told you I only use this place to eat and meditate," said Loki. He looked tense and uncomfortable.

When she came to the last doorway, she smiled back at him and waggled her eyebrows. "I can guess what this is."

Loki rolled his eyes, but he smiled - for the first time since they'd arrived. Not waiting for an answer, Darcy slipped in the door. Sure enough there was a bedroom. Her eyes went immediately to the enormous king size bed and she gasped. There, like a scar of black on the dark green duvet was a sword in a black scabbard, its silver handle gleaming dully in the low light. Darcy swallowed and felt a chill.

Loki stepped quickly by her. "Lævatein," he said. Picking it up he said, "I keep it for sentimental purposes. It's mostly ritualistic, really."

He disappeared into what looked like an enormous walk-in-closet. When he came back, he said, "Shall we go back to your place?"

Darcy sat down on the edge of the bed. "Comfy," she said, giving a little bounce. She looked backwards. "And huge."

"I like your bed," said Loki, coming forward so he was almost at her knees. "I sleep better there."

Darcy fell back onto the mattress and let her hands drift up as though she was making a snow angel. She was wearing a light gray form fitting dress she knew he loved. It had a princess neckline that was absolutely demure, and it went to just below her knee. It hid everything important and nothing at all. Loki described it as "Innocently wicked."

"Maybe you just need to make some better memories here," she said sweetly.

Smirking, Loki put a knee down on the bed to one side of her. She grinned up at him. Raising an eyebrow, he put his other knee on her other side, and then he dropped down onto his hands so he was on all fours above her.

"Maybe you're right," he said, pressing his lips down to hers.

But Darcy was wrong. She woke, still in Loki's apartment. Loki was beside her, twisting and shaking beneath the sheets. His brow was contorted, and he rattled off words in a language she didn't understand, but the tone sent a chill up her spine. It took her a few moments to realize he was having a nightmare.

Touching him with a hand, she whispered, "Loki, it's alright, it's alright." His body tensed, and then the orange light of his eyes suddenly shone in the dark. For a moment he didn't say anything, just gasped for breath. She heard him swallow.

She slid her head onto his shoulder and he wrapped his arms around her and held her tight. After a while he kissed the top of her head, but said nothing.

"Let's go home," she said.

Loki didn't respond, but a few moments later there was the swirl of green, and then they were lying on top of Darcy's familiar sheets.

x x x x

"Do you know where he's going?" says Steve, and Darcy turns quickly.

Steve's put her photograph down. "All he will tell me," Steve says, "is that he's working for Fury -"

"Causing perfect chaos," says Darcy, running a hand through her hair and turning away. She's heard it so many times, she's stopped asking.

Raising an eyebrow, Steve says, "Yeah...sometimes he says it's what he was always meant to do." He shakes his head, "He's seeking some sort of atonement for Earth and Jotunheim, but I can't figure out what."

Darcy freezes. For some reason, at that moment, David's last words before he died come back to her. Right before he said he loved her...

"," Darcy whispers. "Prometheus!"

She looks around wildly. David said he didn't think the shuttles were going to the moon. But before anyone could leave the solar system, they'd have to get past the watchful eyes of Heimdall first.

Darcy swallows. Her breathing sounds too loud.

All the sparring with Steve and Thor with Lævatein...

Ritual. Ceremony.

What was Loki always meant to do, in all the myths? Cause Ragnarok, the end of the world. More specifically, lead the armies of Hell against Asgard - and kill Heimdall. And be killed by him.

She doesn't know how exactly Loki sees it as atonement, but she does know what Loki is doing.

She turns to Steve and grabs his shoulders. "We've got to get to Stark Tower before the shuttle launch. Loki's preparing to die!"


A Marvel Movieverse Story
by startrekfanwriter

Part 13 of 26

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