A Life not Spent with You

BY : Rin-chan
Category: DarkFic > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 4305
Disclaimer: Any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental - this is a work of fiction.

TRIGGER WARNING: This story deals with sexual assault that may be upsetting to some readers! Ye be warned!


 Can't do anything... Right after eating, Damien shut himself in the bathroom to clean up. Ivan laid himself down on the bed, his legs still hooked over the edge. Bringing up a hand to massage one of his temples, he let out a long sigh. There's nothing I can do besides be here and keep strong for him... All the battles were in Damien as he tried to find his sense of security and deal with the path ahead. Switching hands to massage the other temple, he made a mental note to research everything he could about how to help his lover, and stay afloat in this supporting role. From the effort it took not to break down and sob along with Damien started up a headache that would surely grow as the day progressed. Closing his eyes, he couldn't help but compare the vivacious and care-free man his lover had been. In the four years they'd been together, he could count on one hand the times he'd seen the younger cry. And in the past twenty four hours he's cried numerous times he's so scared I'll give up on him...

  The shower started, the opportunity to cry was now but nothing came. It was only seeing how hard Damien was trying to make himself act normal again, that really jerked his heart. Remembering the desperate kiss just now made him grimace, green eyes opening, staring at the white ceiling above. Hearing him fight back sobs as he kissed me wanting to prove he could go through with sex... What he'd read on the subject, rape was about power and control – Ivan couldn't agree completely, sex was definitely a factor. “No leads, the paper said...” Not hearing from the police was a bad sign, though he wasn't sure how long it took to analyze evidence. Could be weeks or even months... Catching himself trying to plan ahead, he took a couple deep breaths and sat up suddenly. Glancing at the bathroom door, he went to the desk and opened his laptop.


  Gritting his teeth, Damien rinsed under the warm jet of water. The soapy suds streamed off his body, making him feel marginally cleaner. Better than yesterdays shower...Crying and alone as pieces of my broken heart swirled down the drain. Bringing his hands together, he gathered water and splashed it up to his face, tried to erase the pitiful image. Trying to kiss him like that I don't know what came over me... The desperate bid to prove he wasn't affected by what happened made him flush with embarrassment. Flying off the handle wasn't strong enough to describe how he felt, and he was steadily growing sick of it. Each time he tried to think rationally it backfired all to hell. What must he think...That I have such a low opinion of him...'will you leave me if I take too long?' Groaning, he splashed his face again, hating how pathetic he was behaving. I feel like a complete stranger in my body... Wanting clothes on him again, a barrier of some kind, he turned off the shower and stepped out to dry himself. His face still felt stiff on the side with his still purple bruise, the back of his head hurt badly. As he carefully dried his shoulder, upsetting the bite mark wound there, he shut his eyes tight as his heartbeat spiked in memory.

 Hearing movement behind him as he tried to tidy up their living room. Confused since he was the only one in their ground floor apartment. Fingers snatched his hair painfully, and a strong force slammed his face down, his body falling forward with a loud thud as he hit the floor. The radio was loud, probably masking the sound. Just stop!

With a huge effort, he tried to stop the memory but it stubbornly remained on its tracks, hurtling faster like an unmanned train.

Terrified, his head aching badly, winded from his fall as he tried to turn his head as he struggled to get up. A sickening strike to his head, made his vision rock slightly like a television trying to focus. STOP!  Stunned, frantic to move but his body refused to cooperate as he was pushed back on the floor, hands roughly tugging at his clothes. SNAP OUT OF IT!

 Feeling dizzy, he bit his tongue hard, directing his focus to the sharp pain. He was suddenly aware he was breathing far too fast with salty tears spilling from his blinking eyes. Scared, not knowing when he started crying or how long he was stuck the memory, Damien jumped when the door knocked.

“ Dami! Please, are you alright? Please answer!” The words took a few seconds to decipher, too much effort to understand. Black spots clouded his vision, the dizzying getting worse. Clothes... Some semblance of awareness hated the idea of being naked in front of Ivan. Take a deep breath, calm down! Be a man and get a hold of yourself for fuck's sake! Fumbling for his pajama pants, he tried to right himself, head spinning like a carousel. He swiveled dangerously off balance against the wall as he stepped into one of the legs, somehow managing the other one. My heart! Oh god make it stop! It was beating furiously in his chest, fear leaked into him as he was grossly aware where exactly it was pounding in his body. The knocking grew steadily more frantic.

“ I-I'm here! Wait!” Partially relieved to hear the younger man's voice, he waited, hating the panicky sounds Damien made. Ivan had been looking up more websites when he heard a whimper from the bathroom. He'd figured it was Damien crying again until he heard steadily worsening, choppy pants, which sounded like hyperventilating. “Just stop it! STOP! SNAP OUT OF IT!” All of this happened within seconds, from the first scared shout he'd bounded over to the door and knocked hard, tried the door to find it locked. Please open the door! I'm waiting I waited open the door! A terrible scrabbling on the other side, then the door knob clicked. “Dami, move back from the door, I'm coming in!”

 After hearing the shuffle of what he hoped was the younger man moving out of the way, he swung open the door and took in how panicked Damien was. He was beyond weeping, his hand pressed hard against his chest, the room echoing slightly with the out of control breathing. As he made choking noises as he inhaled sharply, his boyfriend turned to look at him as he half-sat on the floor, his back resting against the sink cupboard. “I-I can't breathe, I-Iva, think 'm having a har-heart attack!” He tried to stand up but his feet jerked feebly, couldn't find purchase against the bathroom floor. Taking a few steps towards him, Ivan knelt and touched his arm. “Damien, calm down! You're alright! Just breathe slow, can you do that?” His throat was so dry, he swallowed painfully as he petted his shoulder. His lover shook his head, his other hand coming to join his other hand, pushing hard against his own chest. “Look at me, take a deep breath, do it with me, see?”

 I'm dying my heart oh my god why doesn't call 911 my heart is beating out of my chest! Trying to talk, he couldn't make his mouth work, his vision starting to darken. Terror had flooded his body, he could feel it in his veins like freezing cold water. Whimpering, hating to feel his hands throb with every beat, he shakily tried to take a deep inhalation. A sob broke through his attempt, his energy drained with that one try. “Try again, sweetheart, just hold it for a couple seconds, a deep full breath!” Focusing hard, filling his fading vision with just Ivan, Damien tried again. “That's it! Now do it again, with me! Match my breathing if you can.” Wincing as his heartbeat pounded thunderously in his ears, he  complied somehow. His head began to stop its lazy spinning, the world less blurry as he streamed all thought into breathing. Timing it with his lover's, he tried not to let crying ruin his focus.

“Great, you're doing so great!” Voice low, Ivan adjusted his kneeling position, so he wasn't crowding the slighter man. Damien squeezed his eyes closed, stammered his name. “Give me your hand, I'm right here.” His lover shook his head as he wheezed slightly, so much effort in calming himself. “Can't, m-my heart, it feels like it'll beat out of my che-chest if I don't keep hands-” He broke off, his shaking growing worse. The almost normal pants started to pick up speed again; quietly, Ivan had him follow his slow, steady pace. “Its not a heart attack, its a panic attack. I know you're very frightened but you're not dying or in any danger.”


  He'd imagined alarm bells ringing in his mind since this started, what felt like hours ago. Forcing his lungs to work at Ivan's pace, Damien started to tune out the screaming sirens. Exhaustion was numbing out the rampant fear that plagued his system. A panic attack...can't do it alone what if he leaves thinking its over. Sensing his breath was relatively normal, he tried to swallow, couldn't. “I still feel bad, don't l-leave yet. Don't-” The thought of being alone made his lungs stutter a quickening rhythm again; with a struggle, he slowed again. Please stop oh stop I'm so tired make me normal again I swear I'll never complain again! This overwhelming sense of losing control and of dying was a thousand times worse than how he'd felt before. It was the last rung before what surely was madness. “No, luv, keep it nice and slow.” Ivan murmured, made him nod, tears slipping free from his eyes.

 His body felt so blocky and strange – where his injuries were didn't hurt, more like gave off heat. The hottest parts of him were the back of his head and where he was torn. Being so aware of the heat, he felt more water dripping along his face, the sensation odd. “I'm not leaving, I'm staying right here, darling.” It was ridiculous how grateful he was to hear and understand what they meant. “Can I give you a hug?” Certain it'd feel strange – everything felt wrong and unfamiliar – he nodded, needing comfort now more than ever. The older man shuffled closer, tentatively wrapped an arm around his shoulder as he sat beside him. He twisted his torso, and enfolded him in a gentle embrace; his touch was cool, affected him like a refreshing breeze on a hot summer's day.

 A sharp cry of relief escaped from the slighter man's lips as he curled closer into his arms. He fit perfectly, his cheek coming to rest on the hollow of his collarbone. With difficulty, his boyfriend abruptly wriggled out of his arms and tried to lift himself up, half-sitting on his thigh. Understanding, Ivan sat cross legged, gently guiding the younger man into his lap. The constant half-sobs Damien gave started to die off as he resumed their embrace, rocked them ever so slightly. A low whimper that ended in a real sob echoed around the room, the sadness biting. “Good, you're doing good, just keep inhaling nice and slow.” The anxiety he'd felt since this panic attack started finally began to die down. Feeling very tired but proud he'd managed to calm the younger, Ivan tenderly pressed a kiss to his sweating brow. Damien tensed minutely, turned his face and kissed his collarbone, whispered a thanks.

  Lips lightly touched his forehead again, the gesture sweet beyond words. It washed through him slowly, erasing the debilitating effects that froze his body into inaction. Still scared as his heart continued to thrum in his chest, Damien bit his lip, on the edge of the decision to free one of his hands.  Sucking in a shaky breath, he unhinged his right wrist from its awkward position and let his arm fall into his lap. Hurriedly, he wrapped it around Ivan's side and locked securely around his back, pressing them closer. This will be over soon and we'll laugh about this and go back to our normal lives. Everything was upside down, going back to a normal life seemed like an impossible task. His breathing started to hasten again – closing his eyes, he leveled it again. Every time I start to worry it gets worse its like a loop.

  Forcing his mind to clear was difficult. Ivan rested his cheek upon his head; dimly his voice reached him, made him realize the older man had been whispering encouragement and reassurances for a while now. His soft speaking helped, the slight rise and fall of his words soothing the swirl of anxiety in him. Relaxing his body, he pictured an ocean, the deep blue water lapping gently at beach, the shoreline. The crystal drops that splashed as a wave glided in, rolling and spilling calmly up onto the sand. The first real glint of hope filled Damien when he realized it was working. More aware of his body, feeling more in control again, he quelled the bubbling emotions and concentrated on his ocean. The wave... Timing his slow breathing with the wave as it skirted towards the shore, he let it out as the water swept up as far as it could and slipped back. Throughout this, a hand ghosted along his shoulder, touched his hair, smoothing the drying locks. Each movement helped him drift along, until gradually night fell on the sea and he wasn't scared of the dark.


 After a few minutes Ivan stopped speaking, feeling Damien's even, steady breath of a person at rest. Relieved, he sat longer, enjoying how the fit together. The younger man always jokingly scoffed at couples they saw lounging in each others laps or swaying as they did what couples do in public. 'That stuff is for infants and not grown adults'...Maybe he got that phrase from his mother...It seemed to calm him down though... Damien had grown up with both parents. His father fairly accepting of everything as long as it caused no harm; his mother, however,  never made the disdain for having a gay son, or whatever else she disapproved of, a secret.

  Hoping he could manage it without waking the younger man, Ivan looped his arms under his knees and around his shoulders and carefully stood. Supporting him securely, he turned sideways to leave the bathroom. While Damien was showering he'd tidied up, made the beds – now he made his way to the closest queen bed and gently set him down. His lover didn't wake, only turned his head to the side as he took the top blanket off the other mattress and covered him, tucking him in. Feeling tired himself, he deliberated on where to sleep, and laid himself down next to him, still giving him space. Lying on his back, he looked to see the calm, almost peaceful look on his lover's face. I think I can chalk this up to a victory... Pleased with both their successes, he closed his eyes and drifted off into a light sleep.


 The phone ringing launched him into consciousness almost painfully. Disoriented, Ivan kicked up his legs and looked around. Gotta turn the ringer volume down... He thought as he glanced to see if he'd woken the other man. Damien had turned onto his stomach in his sleep, facing away from him. His drying hair had foamed like always, thought it'd probably be slightly wavy from not being brushed. It fell like a shiny curtain just past his shoulder blades, the ends curling slightly as hair does when it refuses to grow longer. Smiling, the blond went for the phone where it sat on the table with the laptop and glanced at the screen. An unknown number. Curious, he flipped it open and fought not to yawn his greeting.

“Good morning, this is Branch thirteen police department, is this Damien Syerson?” An authoritative voice queried. Wide awake, Ivan pulled the chair out further and sat down. “Ah, this is Ivan Marsters, I'm h-his partner. Do you want me to wake him?” Hoping the man on the phone wasn't adverse to their relationship, his eyes darted to his boyfriend, still dozing away.

 “You are the man that signed the release forms at General Hospital with him? Okay, if he's sleeping, don't wake him. I'm Inspector Roland Larson, I oversaw the evidence collection from your apartment. I wanted to call to let you know that we're finished processing the apartment and you two can return to your home if you wish. Also, we have Damien's cellphone, you can pick it up at our branch at any time.” There was a pause. “How is Damien coping with everything? I'd like to offer my condolences, I'm not sure if that means much considering I'm just a voice over the phone.”

 Oddly touched hearing the sincerity from, indeed, a stranger, Ivan rubbed the back of his neck. “He's...trying so hard, but he'll pull through, we'll pull through. Thank you for your kind words, they do mean a lot. Would you mind, telling me what to expect in the coming weeks?” He absentmindedly fiddled with the knee of his pajama pants; what he'd researched about crime processing didn't go far into detail, information scarce. “Well, there will be mostly waiting, all the evidence that is comparable to what we have on file can take months. I can explain more in detail at a later time. Would you like the address to the police station?” Grabbing a pen from the desk top, Ivan copied down the address and thanked the Inspector once more.


 They're done with the apartment...  Upon hearing this, Ivan knew that returning would be impossible. Damien had said he was terrified of being back where it happened, understandably. Ivan as well found the idea of going home upsetting; no doubt he'd be constantly guessing where and what had happened. He's told me a little bit...Mostly when he was really worked up in nervousness... He knew he was attacked initially from behind, hit so hard he couldn't move. A hand knotted in his hair, pushed him down. Hugging his chest, Ivan ducked his head, face tightening with anger. Probably took him from behind thats why he has that bite mark on his shoulder high up almost where his neck begins... The angle of it, the wound looked deep, such a vicious action. His temper flared at the image of Damien being mercilessly violated, could almost hear the choked pleading and sobs. Seeing red, Ivan clenched his fists, his breath growing heavy and audible as he tried to stop the vision in his mind. When the cops find the fucker I'll rip his sadistic guts out I swear-

 Across the room, his lover jerked his arm closer to his face as he slept. Head burying deeper into the pillows, he let out a muffled sound, a nightmare surely taking hold. Anger forgotten, Ivan quietly came over to the bed and tentatively sat where he'd been sleeping before. “Shhh, its okay, sweetheart,” Reaching out, he lightly touched his shoulder; the younger man flinched away, breath catching in a low gasp. Curling closer, Ivan made sure not to crowd him, only brushed his palm gently along his upper arm, shushing him, telling him it was only a dream. This time it worked, the raven-haired man calming again, turning on his side to face him, bangs falling into his closed eyes. Smiling faintly, the blond swept them out of the way.

This anger doesn't help anything... As he drew his hand away, Ivan bit the inside of his cheek, dropped his chin, gave his head a shake. All the thoughts of revenge were wasted energy, just emotions that would amount to nothing. God I can't keep a hold of myself...

 Feeling useless, Ivan went back to the desk, sat and flipped his laptop open once more. Seeing his phone sitting there next to him, he opened it, thumbed the hot key to bring up the contacts list. The first five listings were starred, Damien took number one; he stared at the second name, Bailey. Throat growing tight, he started to text, tried to sound casual. After the third try, he gave up, closed the phone with a harsh breath. A strong mental picture flashed again in his mind, their living room, his lover wrestled to the floor. I should have been there I shouldn't have gone to work oh fuck I have work tomorrow night what'll happen when I'm gone? Taking a deep breath, Ivan focused on his task, and brought up the search engine, typed what he needed. As he looked through websites in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, tears slipped down his face silently. All the information chipped away at his strength. Its one thing after another... The nightmares, the desperate kiss before breakfast, and now this panic attack. He felt so powerless and useless.


 The garden was beautiful as it was yesterday. He and Ivan sat on a bench together, facing the entrance back into the hotel. Stomach quivering in anxiety, Damien fought not to cross his arms and hunch like a beaten dog. He'd slept into the afternoon, and still he felt so exhausted. I hope I never panic like that again oh god it was like time had slowed down to a crawl... He'd been very surprised to know the panic attack lasted only ten minutes; to him, it felt like hours and hours. Thankfully he could no longer feel where his heart was in his chest, ceased to hear his heartbeat thundering in his ears.

 Glancing to Ivan, who sat a little away from him, Damien bit his lip and crossed his arms. Shame reddened his cheeks, he could feel the warmth rushing to his face. I can't keep a hold of myself... Upon waking an hour ago, as Ivan explained what had happened to him, Damien had felt like a child being given a lesson. It sparked his temper slightly, hating to be so helpless. Irritation rippled under his skin like water starting to boil, so he sat alone, a few inches away from his boyfriend. I don't think I could bear holding his hand or anything...

As they waited for Bailey, Ivan stared at the ground in front of them, admiring the swirled designs on the marble tiles. Birds chirped merrily, the tiny waterfall splashing serenely. He'd felt hollow after reading for hours, an emptiness settling in his heart. Being abruptly launched into this new world had shaken him, a part of him felt violated as well. More than anything, he wanted a simple hug, a reassurance. But when he woke...I felt some support beam crack between us... He'd seen the tiniest glimpse of resentment in Damien's eyes as they talked of his panic attack. His lover asked about it, and Ivan told him. Knowing full well the younger man was experiencing a myriad of emotions, it still hurt to be given the cold shoulder as he was now.

 There was a space between them, physically and emotionally. Feeling caught against the tide, Ivan drifted, alone and uncomforted. How selfish of me... Disappointed at himself, Ivan unclenched and closed his fists that were resting on his knees, trying to wring the tension out of his shoulders and neck. He didn't notice the younger man taking notice and paling slightly as he wondered if the blond was angry.

"There he is..." Damien drew his eyes away from Ivan's hands and looked up ahead of them. There, he saw Ivan's friend coming towards them at a brisk pace. As his eyes took in Bailey's monochromatic work clothes, his long, luxurious hair tied back in a ponytail, Damien felt unease pull low in his stomach. Bailey was tall, his shoulders just a little too broad for his medium build. The Brazilian's face was gorgeous, his finely angled chin came to a gentle point, his cheekbones high, dark brows. His dark brown, almost black eyes were full of concern as he closed the distance between them. Standing, Damien felt his heart flutter, scaring him. Just as Ivan stood as well, and just as Bailey took those last few steps, the musty scent of Old Spice hit him. A jarring flashback hit him, froze him.

 "Damien, Ivan, I came right over, I'm sorry." The Brazilian's words flowed with an accent, exotic like the rest of him. Noticing his friend wasn't as exuberant as he usually was, not as loud, Ivan took the couple steps forward, took his best friend's offered hand. Bailey swooped an arm around him and gave a strong hug. Stupidly, Ivan felt like crying at the comfort, and drew away. Turning back towards his lover, emotion slammed into his heart at the way Damien had backed away a few steps. His eyes were wide, face so pale as he trembled, staring at his friend with fear. "Dami, honey, are you alright?" He half stepped towards him, not wanting to startle him. The younger man jerked his gaze from the other, looked at him vacantly. "Whats wrong?" Offering a hand, Ivan watched as his lover's eyes went back to Bailey; his clenched hands, which had come up to his chest protectively, faltered outwards. Their hands met, Damien's hold frighteningly strong as it drew him closer.

 Heart racing, Ivan stood right against him. Needing more, Damien curled an arm around his lover's waist, needing to be shielded. The scent assailed his body, his inner defenses. Cold sweat broke over him, and try as he might he tried to stop staring at his friend, Ivan's friend. Bailey this is Bailey move say something anything for fuck's sake!

 Arm coming around the younger's shoulders, Ivan glanced at his best friend. Bailey looked at him worriedly, his hands out to show he meant no harm. Perhaps seeing another man so close had scared the younger, it was completely understandable, but whatever it was really upset Damien. The cold, forbidding demeanor his lover had given off as they waited, now had changed to a blind need for protection and reassurance. "Dami, its okay, you're safe here."

 Bailey lowered his hands, adjusted his messenger bag strap on his shoulder. "I'm sorry if I startled you, I'm glad to see you, Damien." He reached out a hand partly, as if his emotion was too strong to keep in. His rich voice trailed off, unsure what else to say. Ivan felt the younger's shaking lessen, "B-Bailey, you didn't. I'm just not myself, I'm sorry." The broken whisper of his apology grated on his heart, the magnitude of sorrow hard to bear.

 As he studied Bailey's face, fought to calm his emotions, Damien felt his face rush with heat as he tried to breathe through his mouth. Ashamed to be so cowardly, he ducked his head, wanted nothing more than to be back in their hotel room. Memories crashed into him, each lasting less than a second, like a slideshow of the worst parts of his attack.

"There's nothing for you to apologize for, you've done nothing wrong, Damien. I was so worried when I read about- you're alive and in one piece, you did everything right." The weight of emotion in his words managed to get through to him; Damien felt his mouth try to smile. "Here," Raising his head, he watched the other man pull something out of his pocket and offered it to him. Shaking his head against Ivan's chest, he bit his lip, embarrassed beyond words. His lover took what Bailey offered, a key. "Its a spare key to my apartment, my door is always open to you, Damien. You can call me any time you want, I'm here for you." Murmuring a thank you, he fought to hide his face as his vision began to blur with tears.

"Thank you, my friend, it means so much." Staying where he was, Ivan flashed his friend a smile before looking down at his boyfriend. This is more than just scared of a man... Damien had gone absolutely rigid at Bailey's hand reaching towards him, his breath even halting for that one second. "I've got to head home, I want to change out of these clothes," Bailey half-laughed and started to turn his feet to go. "Remember, call me any time. Be well, Damien, Ivan!" He waved and started back towards the garden's entrance. Ivan watched him go, silently thanking his friend for his tactful decision to leave.

 Seeing Ivan's friend finally leave through the doors, Damien relaxed, his whole body washed with relief from the constant tension. Breathing through his nose again, he took a few breaths, anger welling inside him for acting so pathetic. A bitterness lodged in his heart as he tried to contain all the volatile emotions and bury them away in his mind. Ivan was still beside him, an arm wrapped around his shoulders, the other one slung around his waist loosely. Tired again, Damien leaned into their embrace, weary from their chat. He's going to ask and ask and oh why this and oh why that... It was a stupid reason, but he now understood why he'd felt apprehension to seeing the Brazilian. Because he wears the same deodorant as my r-rapist... Just a smell reminded him so strongly of his attack. Get it together for fuck's sake!

 Glad the younger man didn't push him away, Ivan gave him a gentle squeeze, careful not to be too constrictive. Unsure whether or not he should ask, the blond steeled himself for an irritated reply. "Dami, can I ask what frightened you so badly? You-you were shaking..." Not often did he stammer, but Ivan waited, hoping his question didn't launch them back into the cold shoulder treatment. His lover tightened his hold slightly and stepped out of his arms. He looked tired as he shook his head, his blue eyes narrowed as he held his long locks for that one half-second before tossing them over his shoulder. Damien raised his face to meet his gaze with empty eyes, devoid of any emotion. His chin was set in a determined tilt. "Its nothing, just a stupid reason."

 Seeing the surprised blink at his indifferent words, Damien plowed ahead. "I want to go to the police station, find out whats going on with our apartment." Inside he trembled at going out in public, so many possible threats everywhere. Anyone could have been his attacker, the police in the station would know and look at him like a victim. I am a victim though... This new facade was as hard to maintain as not having a facade. But we need to go home...We can't stay in this hotel forever and I won't fuck this up Ivan has work  tomorrow. With a start, he realized that just now, the information always there but unimportant with the recent events.

His boyfriend kind of shrugged, his face careful. "Well, while you were sleeping, an Inspector Roland Larson called. The apartment processing is finished, we can go back any time, and they have your phone, we can pick it up any time." Damien could hear the hesitance in the older man's voice, understood it but didn't act as his emotions wanted to. I can't go back there I can't please tell me to stop Ivy please... The younger man nodded, heard himself say. "Great, lets go grab it and go back home."



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