The More Things Change...
Lady Starlight - February 02 2002

Author's Note: This story was inspired by two things. One, a dare. Two, juliatheyounger's incredible story Soft (archived at Go read, it's marvelous. After mine, of course.). The POV changes and the asterisks are derived from her. I admit it, 'cause it's true.


It's something we've done a hundred, no, a thousand times before. Find the vamp nest, destroy the vamp nest. No big, not for us.

So Spike's all the way over on the other side of the crypt, beating the snot out of some brainless fledgling, I'm doing what I do to the 'Master' of this little family grouping, and Willow and Tara are throwing stakes around like they're party favours when I hear Tara scream.

Spike and I finish up what we're doing quick like bunnies and run to Willow. She's still screaming, so I push her into Xander's arms. Just to get her out of the way. Bad idea, because then I get to see what she's screaming about.


Bloody hell. I lean down towards Tara's body, cos that's what it is, and sniff at her mouth. Bloody buggering hell.


Spike looks up at me. He's all, I don't know, wigged out. It takes a minute for me to process what he's said.

Apparently, it takes Willow a minute too, because I clue in and she redoubles the whole screaming thing at the same time.

"She drank? Are you sure?" I know, dumb question, but...


"Hello! Vampire, pet. Of course I'm sure." I look down again at her body and close her eyes. Don't like the way they're staring at me. Not my fault. I wasn't the one lobbing the pointy things around. I thought they could take care of themselves. Thought they'd figured out the whole "Poor Willow, can't do the mojo anymore".

I look over at Harris. "Get her out of here, for chrissakes!" He swallows, but drags Willow out of the crypt.

"What are we gonna do now?"


Why does everyone think I have an answer for everything? I can't think with Willow's screams still ringing in my ears.

"We can't just leave her here." Shut up, Spike! Like I don't know this handy factoid.

"Can you take her back to your place? Just for a little bit, until we can figure out what to do."


Buffy is severely wigged out. Can't even look at the floor, in case she sees Tara.

I'm shocked by what she finally does say. Back to my place? What, I'm the designated vamp-sitter now, too? Bloody hell.

And then I remember how Tara looked at me after I'd proved she was human. All big eyes, and "ow" but like I'd done something spectacular. Like for one split second, I mattered. And how she'd sensed that she'd hurt me, when we were fleeing those Monty Python look-alikes. She'd cried, she had.

"Yeah, alright."


I can't help but notice how gently he picks her up. He gets her settled just so in his arms and walks out of the crypt.

Leaving me, of course, to try and get Willow calmed down enough so she isn't broadcasting "Come eat me" to every grrr-y thing within miles. Bastard.


I walk Willow to Spike's. After running up a phone bill to England that's probably going to make Anya go vengeance again, she's calmed down now. She's clutching a handful of fax sheets that Giles sent her and tears are still running down her face.


For once, there's a knock on my door. I'm pretty sure I know who it is, so I don't even ask. I just open it and step back.

Willow's still crying, but she waves a handful of paper in my face and launches into, well, most people would call it speech, I just call it confusion.

"Sit down, pet. Take a breath and tell me what's going on."

"I talked to Giles, and he thinks there's a chance, maybe, if she was turned by a fledgling, she might not need to hunt."

I look at her blankly for a second. Then Buffy takes over. "As I understand it, if Tara was turned by a fledge, and doesn't have human blood for a first meal, she might not be, um, uber-grrrr."

Still blank.

"She might be satisfied with alternatives." And as they look at my fridge, I finally clue in.

"D'ya want to see her, Willow?" She looks around the crypt like I've stashed her in a corner. "She's downstairs. On the bed." Willow heads down the stairs and I turn on Buffy. "Who's selling ice skates, pet? 'Cause he's about to make a killing in Hell, given that it's frozen over."

She hangs her head for a minute. "It wasn't my idea. Willow called Giles, and he looked in some book some stuffy Watcher wrote a gazillion years ago, and boom! She's all happy again."

I just finish pouring a shot when she grabs the glass away from me. She still makes that funny noise when the alcohol hits the back of her throat, but she gets it down.

I take the glass back from her and pour another one. This time, I hang onto the glass. "And I'm assuming you need me to pull off this wacky caper, right?" I drink down the contents and turn to face her. "Go by the butcher's and bring me a cooler full of blood. Pig's, cow's, don't matter. Then leave us alone. If I can't control her, I'll stake her. Don't want Willow to have to...."

She grabs my hand and squeezes it. "Thank you." I squeeze back.

I gently shoo them out the door and close it firmly behind them. I really need to get this done before they come back with the blood; and I really am not wanting to try and explain it to them.


I fumble around in my trunk and find a switchblade I'd taken off some git who thought he was da bomb. As I draw the knife across my palm, I remember when I watched Angelus do the same thing.

"Y'see, boy, an older vampire can take control of another's children. An' I never get tired of takin' the piss out o' Robert."

I gently pry her mouth open and let my blood drip into it.


Her eyes open and I fumble a dipperful of blood into a mug. Bloody pain, it's been, too, trying to keep a potful of blood on 'simmer' for 4 days. Was startin' to get worried. Usually, we rise sooner than this. Maybe the longer we take to rise, the less grrr we are.

"'Ere, luv, drink this." She drinks it down and licks her lips. I hand her another one and tell her to get herself outside of it.


I can't quite figure out where I am and why Spike is sitting beside me handing me mugs of...blood? Oh- oh. This can't be good. "Sp-Spike? What happened to me?" He looks at the floor for a minute, like he's trying to figure out how to tell me a very bad thing.


I sit down on the bed beside her and take her hand. "You were turned. Willow got in a panic and called Giles, and after looking in some dusty diary somewhere, they figured that if you didn't feed on a human, you'd be..." She cuts me off.


"I'd be safe. Is that it?" Okay. I'm a vampire. I'm a vampire. I'm a vampire. No matter how many times I say it in my head, it's still not making sense. However, going on all available evidence, Spike's right, because that pan of blood is looking mighty tasty. I think of Willow. Do I want to snack on her? Not in the "suck all your blood, big evil" kind of way, no.


"Yeah, somethin' like."

"Willow? Is she here?" She gets off the bed and makes for the staircase. I just manage to grab her around the waist and hold her back. "Whoa, there, pet. Let's calm down for a minute, hey?"

I look carefully at her face. No fangs, no blood lust that I can see. Huh. Maybe Watcher-boy was on to something. "Tara, tell me exactly what you feel right now. No lies, now, cos I'll know."

She looks me right in the eyes and says, "I just want to see Willow."

I'm running out of cigarettes anyway, so we make a swing through the convenience store. She does well, except she insists on dragging out her wallet and paying for them. We have a mini-spat in front of the bored checkout clerk, which ends when said clerk makes some crack about marriage and men forgetting their wallet. She doesn't even go into game-face at that, though I'm tempted, just blushes and scoops her change up off the counter.


Stupid clerk. Marriage. Ewww. I sneak a glance at Spike as we're walking. Well...he is awfully good-looking, though. And why am I thinking that? Willow. Going to see Willow now.


I ring the bell and pray that Willow's home. Don't think I want to try and track her down tonight. Tara's practically dancing beside me. Then the door opens. Tara sees it's Willow and goes to hug her.

Tara bounces off the barrier and her face falls. Buffy appears behind Willow and sees it's us. "Oh. Spike. An-and Tara. Um." She and Willow look at each other for what seems like forever. Probably got some kind of girl telepathy thing happening. Then Buffy says, "Come in, Tara."

Tara walks through the door and just looks at Willow. They take a tentative step towards each other, then Tara grabs onto her like she's just been told the monster under the bed is real. I step back onto the porch and pull the cellophane off my new pack. I listen to Tara's broken phrases of love, then all talk stops. I'm still hanging onto my smoke when I turn back so I can see what's happening.

Willow is stepping back from Tara, her arms at her sides. She looks at me, then at Buffy. "She's cold, Buffy. You never told me she'd be cold." She takes another step back, then turns and runs up the stairs, almost falling once.

Tara pushes past me and runs down the sidewalk. "You didn't tell her? Bloody hell. Did you two think everything'd be the same except for the red stuff in the fridge? Stupid bloody women!" I can just hear Buffy as I sprint down the street after Tara. "I forgot, Spike. I'm sorry! I'll talk to Willow." Forgot. Bitch. How could she forget after less than a week? Oh, right. Forgot we're monsters. Stupid me. Stupid us.

I catch up to Tara after a minute or so. She's slowed right down, and the tears are pouring down her face. When I put my hand on her arm, she stops.


I close the door behind Spike. Yeah, this went well. I resist the temptation to bang my head on the door for a while and go upstairs to talk to Willow. She's sitting on the bed, wrapped in a blanket and just staring straight ahead. I sit down beside her and get a flash of déjà vu. Oh, this is so not good.

"Will? Are you okay?"

She turns her head to me then. "She was cold, Buffy. She said she loved me, but she was cold."

I want to take her hand, but I settle for patting the blanket where I think her hand is. "Don't think of it as being cold, Will. Think of it as just, an absence of heat." She starts looking at the wall again. Note to self: probably will not make a good counselor. I'm still patting. "You get used to it, really. After Angel, and Spike it took me a while to get used to how...warm people really were." She kind of falls over onto her side, and I stop patting, because now I'm pretty sure I'm patting a bad touch area.

"I need to think, Buffy."

"Oh. Right." I get off the bed and walk to the door. I stop and look back, trying to think of the words that will make it all okay again. I can't seem to find any.


"It'll be alright, Tara. Red'll fig-"

"Figure out if she still loves me? If she can love me? Why did she do this to me? Why didn't she just leave me alone?" She's raging now, swinging wildly at me. Ow. Some of her punches actually land and I decide that she's going to need some training if she's going to stick around. I wait until she stops swinging, then I step in close and grab her to me. "We'll figure it out, Tara. I promise. I won't leave you." She stands rigid in my arms for a second, then she collapses against me, and, oh boy, again with the tears. I let her cry for a bit, thanking my lucky stars that no cops have shown up to quell the 'domestic disturbance'.

"Now, pet, try and stop crying, all right? You're going to shrink my coat, and that won't be a happy way to start off this little... relationship."

She makes a sound that's halfway between a sob and a gasp and tries to step back. I let her go and look at her eyes. They're full of so much fear; I react without thinking about it. "Not that. Never that. I swear to you." The fear drains out of her eyes, but much too slowly for my liking. I reach out and gently take her hand. "Come on. I'll heat up some nice cow's blood for us, and there's sure to be something good on telly."

She swipes at the tears on her face with her free hand and trots along beside me. I am still not happy with whoever put that fear in her eyes, occupying my thoughts nicely, thank you very much, when she clears her throat. "Yes, luv?"

"You wouldn't....?" I turn to face her. "I have never forced a woman. Ever. Angelus was into rape, but it leaves me cold." I brush her hair away from her face. "If, and it's a big if, you decide that you want to visit Boy's Town, I'd be more than willing. But it's your choice."

"O-okay." We walk the rest of the way home in silence.


The most god-awful noise reverberates through the crypt, bringing me straight up out of my chair. I look wildly around for a minute before I place it as coming from downstairs. I don't even bother to take the stairs, just jump through the hole. Tara is standing by the north wall, hands to her temples. I have to shout to make myself heard over the noise.

"What the bloody hell are you doing?"

"Calling water, and it's hard, so shut up."

Calling water. Right. Now why didn't I think of that? I lounge back on the bed and light a cigarette. Finally, the noise stops and I notice a pipe sticking through the wall. She wobbles over to the bed and flops down beside me.

I can't quite figure out why she just wiped herself out, but I try anyway. "So. Water?"

"I want a bathroom, Spike. 'Cause, no offense, but a bucket of cold water in the corner and a dirty rag doesn't cut it." Hey. Not fair. "And the terms of my trust fund only pay for big bills if they're from school. I get an allowance per month, but it won't stretch to renting a place, so..."

I hit myself gently on the ear. "Trust fund?"

She blushes a bit at that, but explains. "After Mama died, my father found out that he wasn't going to inherit her money. She went to a big law firm in Birmingham and set up a trust fund for me. Daddy was really mad...." Her voice trails off and I figure out that she doesn't want to talk about her Da's fit of pique any more. I plan a little road trip in my head for a second. Never been to Alabama before. Dru got twitchy around Spanish moss. Thought it was ghosts.

"That's how you paid for school, right? And I know you were covering some of the bills for a while." She shrugs defensively. We sit in silence for a while, then I get an idea. "Pet?" She looks over at me. "Can we get a mini-dish? It'd be fucking brilliant. Please?" She starts laughing and I push her off the bed and onto the floor.


I can't believe what I'm hearing. Is this the way we treated Spike before? I slap my hands down on the table and stand up.

"Will you people listen to yourselves? Vampire or not, I am perfectly capable of deciding things for myself!" Spike's thumb is gently brushing against my leg. I can tell he's trying to calm me down, but I am really not in the mood.

"Did any of you ever wonder just how I was paying for school? Or for the expensive magick supplies? Or pancake mix for Dawn? Or were you so wrapped up in your own problems that it never even occurred to you to ask? I have a trust fund! We don't need help from you."

I throw a wad of money at Xander and say, "I want a bathroom. Make it happen." I grab Spike's hand and turn to go.

Once outside the shop, I automatically turn for the crypt, but a gentle tug stops me. He's looking at me with this big smile on his face.


The door slamming is suddenly very, very loud. I can't believe that Tara, shy, quiet Tara was just talking to us like that. But then, she's not really Tara any more, is she? I look over at Xander, who is fanning the bills out in front of him. My eyes widen as he just keeps fanning.

It is Willow who speaks first. "Uh, did she give you enough?"

He's got a slightly stunned look on his face. "Oh yeah, Will. She gave me enough."

The part of my mind that thinks bad thoughts immediately jumps to a picture of Spike and Tara in a tub full of bubbles. No. Bad mind. Do not think of Spike and soapy slick skin, warm from the water moving over mine bathing at the same time. He's evil, remember? And I will not get jealous of Tara.

Ever practical, Anya speaks up. "Will you make a profit from plumbing, this time? Because when you helped Tony fix Buffy's plumbing, you didn't make any money."

Xander is still counting bills, but he manages to affirm, that, yes, there will be profit involved.


We. She said We. I can't keep the grin from showing and I don't really care.

"Want to go for a drink, pet? I'll buy."


I'm still pretty torqued, so a drink sounds fine. To my surprise, we don't go to the Bronze. Instead, we wind up at this demon bar and Spike introduces me to tequila. Which, also to my surprise, I get along fine with.


Tara takes to tequila like she was a lush in a previous life. It's a slow night so the pool table's free. She's bending over the table, lining up a shot when I notice that, now that I've gotten her out of her Snow White dresses, she's got a great ass.


We're playing pool when I notice that when Spike takes off his duster, he's got an incredible butt. I try and blame the twingies in my tummy on the tequila, but then he sinks a double bank shot and smirks over his shoulder at me. Nope, not the tequila, but I order another shot, just to make sure. While I'm waiting for the waitress...waiter...thing that brings me drinks, I wonder what it would be like to run my tongue over his cheekbones. I grab the shot off the tray and order two more.


I practically carry her home. She's singing some Top Twenty drivel, and I think nostalgically of the 70's for a minute. Punk sounded better if the singer was drunk. She stops walking and looks up at the sky.

"Look, Spike. Stars."

"Yes, pet. Stars. Always up there. Pretty, aren't they?"

"Yup. Pretty, pretty, pretty."

She's looking up at the pretty stars, when the inevitable happens and she starts to overbalance. I'm standing right behind her and we both go over. She lands right on top of me.


Oof. Fell down. Can still see the pretty stars, though. Whoops. Lost Spike. I turn over and there's Spike! "Hi Spike." He's smiling. Nice smile.

"Hello, pet."

"Why are we lying down?"

"You fell over."

"Oh." I wriggle around, trying to get comfortable. Soooo tired. Just going to rest for a minute.


Okay, so maybe it's a good thing that she passed out, otherwise she might pick up on the fact that I seem to have acquired a third leg. An' since I've got one, prolly not who she wants to get down with. I roll her off. She doesn't even twitch when she hits the ground. I just lie there for a minute, thinking the most un- arousing thoughts I can. Stakes. Sunlight. Rancid blood. Xander naked. Okay, that last one isn't exactly un-arousing, but it gets me moving. Since it'd be just my luck for Buffy to wander by and have her ask me what I'm doing on the ground. And since my mouth sometimes works independently of my brain, damned if I'm going to let her know that she's not the only Scooby I'd like to get a leg over.


I'm drilling Tara in defense when it happens. She trips over something and falls towards me, so I do the gentlemanly thing and move to catch her. Only my hand somehow ends up full of a cotton-covered breast. And by how quickly her nipple peaks against my palm, she's not entirely unhappy with the situation.


I trip. Over what, I don't know, but one minute I'm completing a roundhouse kick, the next, I'm headed for the floor. Spike catches me, and in the flurry of movement, he ends up with one strong hand cupping my breast. I arch slightly into his touch. It's been so long since anyone touched me there. Touched me anywhere. My nipple hardens against him. It feels so good, I rub against his palm.

I want more.

I want him to touch me everywhere.


We freeze for a minute, then she steps closer to me. I take a step back, not sure what to do. She steps forward again, until there's barely enough room for a sheet of paper between us. She slides her hands behind my head and pulls my mouth down to hers. Her lips explore mine and I put my arms around her.

We're standing there kissing, when I splay my hand across the small of her back and pull her in that last little bit. She wriggles her hips against me and moans into my mouth. Okay, all systems go. I brush my tongue across her lips and she opens for me.

I'm not exactly sure how we managed it, but we're downstairs now.

I pick her up and toss her gently onto the bed, then stretch out beside her. I'm wondering how to take off her whatchamacallit, her sports bra, when she sits up and pulls it over her head and shimmies out of the bottom part of the outfit.


He's just looking at me. I want him to touch me, so I sit up and pull off my bra and manage to squirm out of the Spandex shorts. His pupils widen and he sucks in a breath.

Now, of course, I realize that I'm naked. Naked in front of Spike and I move to cover up. I want him so much, but I'm embarrassed. Not hard to tell that I'm fat. You're a fat pig and no man will ever want you a size or two larger than Buffy. And Drusilla.


She catches me staring and her hands start that embarrassed fluttering around her breasts and crotch. I grab them and stretch her arms up above her head. "Don't." I whisper. "You're perfect."

And she is. Creamy smooth skin, nipples the colour of those latte things everyone and their dog sells now, and honey-blonde curls between her thighs. I capture her mouth again and kiss her until her stiffness is gone. My hand finds her breast again and I tug gently on her nipple. Her answering moan goes straight to my groin. Somehow, I manage to get my jeans off and I slide on top of her.

I start to nibble that sensitive cord that runs down her neck and she rocks her hips up against mine. Her nipples are begging for my attention, so I slip down and take one into my mouth. I take my time, biting one, then the other and then soothing the bites with my tongue. She is rocking her hips against me in a more and more frantic rhythm. I coax her legs apart with mine and slide off the bed. I kneel in front of her and just stare for a minute. She is all pink and gold, a wanton spread open before me.

I lean forward and run my tongue between her folds. She inhales sharply and her hands find my hair. I purse my lips around her clit. She seems to like the gentle tugging, if her moans and cries are any indication. I start to bite and suck on it, darting my tongue inside her. She is arching off the bed and moaning my name when I slide a finger inside her.


I am screaming for Mama. He doesn't care that it hurts, that he shouldn't be doing it. I can just hear what he's saying. The pain increases until I feel like I'm going to be split in two. He slaps me and tells me to shut up not there. Spike would not hurt me. He promised. If I asked him, he would stop right now. He might need a session with the magazines he thinks I don't know about, but he'd stop.

He bites down a little more on my clit and the pleasure of now washes away the remembered pain of then.


Just for a moment, she freezes, and I wonder if I've moved too fast. I bite down a little harder on her clit, and the rhythm starts again. She starts moving faster and I oblige her. Her fingers clench in my hair, pulling me closer to her.

"Oh god, oh Spike, oh please, please, please" Music to my ears.

She bucks towards me one last time and screams my name. I continue licking her gently until I'm sure she's finished. I rock back on my heels and move back from the bed a little so I can see her face. She's got a tiny smile and she looks very happy. I look down at myself and note absently that I apparently managed to get myself off at least once, though it seems I'm still ready and willing. It's a good thing I've moved back a little, because she sits up and slides off the bed onto my lap.

I grunt slightly at the impact of flesh on flesh and am very happy she lands on my thighs. It's a sensitive target area, and I don't fancy havin' to lie about for the next couple of days with an ice pack on my dick and the Slayer's laughter ringin' in my ears.

She kisses me deeply and then pulls back a bit. "You didn't...." She gestures towards my crotch and then pushes me over on my back. I brace my feet on the floor and move us around so we're parallel to the bed. She rocks up onto her knees and then positions herself. She lets herself down onto me until just the tip of my cock is inside. I grit my teeth to keep from thrusting up into her.

She stops then and studies my face. I clear my throat and manage to choke out "We don't have to. If you don't wan-." She's obviously made her decision because she just...sits down. "Oh, God. Oh, Tara." She leans down towards me and kisses me again. Her fingers find my nipples and twist them slightly as she starts to raise and lower her hips.

After several minutes of heaven, I can feel her thigh muscles start to quiver. She's starting to lose the rhythm. I slide my hands under her and take over. She smiles gratefully and starts to play with my nipples again. I stop for a second and sit up, spreading her legs out straight on either side of me. I lay down again and just look at her. Christ, she's glorious. I start moving her again, but I notice that she's not having as much fun as I am. I capture one of her hands in my own and bring it to my mouth. I suck on her finger, trying to keep the same rhythm at both ends.

When I think her finger's wet enough, I guide it to just above where I'm thrusting into her. Her eyes pop open and she looks at me.


What is he doing? I thought guys were all "let me make you come with my manly self"?

But his eyes are so gentle. And then he says he wants to watch.

I start stroking myself in just the right way. Firm, fast strokes that make me buck my hips a little bit. My fingers move in rhythm with his cock. I can say cock now. His cock inside me strong thrusting inside me.


She's got that deer in the headlights look until I say, "Go on. I want to watch." She starts fingering herself, and did I say she was glorious before? Double it. Hell, triple it. I'm thrusting into her and I'm watching her play with herself and it's...Heaven.


I've never felt so adored before. He's watching me pleasure myself and he likes it. He's thrusting faster inside me now. I can feel my second Oh, god, he's made me come twiceorgasm building inside me. If I just lean a little bit backward... Ohhh that's it. Oh god. Oh god, don't stop. Don't stop, please.


She starts to pant and grind down on me. Her fingers are moving faster now and I'm so close to exploding inside her. Her face is twisted into a masque of ecstasy, and she is moaning incoherently.

I grab onto her hips and thrust harder. I grunt out "Come for me. Come for me, Tara, sweet" and she does. It's a toss-up as to which of us starts first, but we finish together. She collapses on top of me and we don't move for a long time.


I never realized before this how much work Giles actually did. We've been trying to find the newest baddie in town for hours now, and still no luck. I close the book I've been looking at and toss it onto the "Nope" pile. That action raises a cloud of dust and I sneeze. Dawn turns over in her sleep and mumbles something about ponies. Jeez, is she still thinking about that?

A clap of thunder overhead seems to shake the whole building. Willow, Anya (and Xander though he'd never admit it) all let out a little yelp, then look at each other and grin shamefacedly. I start to say that maybe we should call Giles, when the front door of the Magic Box flies open.

The first thing I hear is laughter. They are laughing together as they shake the raindrops out of their hair. He mutters something we I can't hear in her ear and she has to grab onto him for support, because she's laughing so hard. Finally, they stop and come over to the table. Greetings all around. Willow immediately starts to tell Tara about the newest beastie and Spike rags on Xander for some-damn-thing-or- another. Some things never change.

He sits down across from me and pulls her onto his lap. She loops an arm around his neck and, just like magic, he shuts up and listens to Willow. After Willow is done, they sit in silence for a minute, but you can just about see the wheels turning in that bleach-blonde head. He starts in on a story about a demon he once knew, or shagged, or whatever. At the end of the bloodletting, he mentions a name. Tara nonchalantly holds up a hand and a book flies from the bookcase and smacks into her palm. He puts his lips too close to her ear and whispers something.

Tara just smiles and opens the book. She puts it down in front of Willow and leans back against him. I watch them as Willow starts reading from the book. They are so comfortable together. Not like you, never like you. He's playing with her hair as she rests her head on his shoulder. Could've had that. Could've had support, love. I did not love that man monster. He was a shelter in the storm convenient. That's all.

Why did he agree so quickly to help with Tara's little problem? He's never Got tired of being used. Wanted someone to hold, to love told us why. I have to admit, he's good to her. He would've been good to you. Bet she doesn't tell him he's dirt, a monster I was awfully skeptical at first, but he's proved me wrong. He loves me. He loves me... her.

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