nsync in black and white

Fiction by Pen . . . . . not real, made up, purely intended for entertainment

Different Harmonies

thanks to Nopseud for the beta

"Tough cookies, Lance. Looks like you get to spend more time with your favorite Backstreet Boy." Chris was unrepentantly gleeful. He couldn't help it.

Lance growled. He was not happy with this development, not happy at all. If this stupid basketball game was meant to be about group rivalry and getting the fans to cheer for whichever band they loved, then why was he being swapped for AJ? And if it was all about being friends, why were they competing?

The whole thing was stupid. And worst of all, it had to be him, Lance, who was going to play on Backstreet's team. Couldn't they have sent Joey over, or JC?

"I can deal," he said, irritated.

"You're gonna have to be nice to Kevin Richardson," Chris said.


"Chris is right," Joey said. By now they were back at the hotel. Joey had found a box of popcorn—probably inveigled some innocent German girl into getting it for him—and was throwing kernels up into the air and trying to catch them in his mouth. He wasn't very good at it. "You are going to have to be nice to Kevin. Is that gonna be a problem?"

"He just—he gets on my nerves," Lance said. "He's always talking crap about us, saying we're the copycat group, and you know that's not true!"

"Yeah, and so do you, so why do you care?"

"Because—because he says it to the press!" Joey was the most tolerant guy alive, and Lance loved him for it, but even so. "He disses us. It's not right." Lance would have liked to say more, a lot more, and in terms his momma would not approve, but he couldn't quite bring himself to do that. He seethed instead. "We're just as good as Backstreet."

"Eh, we will be," said Joey. "Not yet, though. Don't forget they got a few years head start on us."

"Chris is way better at the high harmonies than Howie will ever be," Lance argued. "And JC's easily as good a singer as Brian. Better!" He'd say more, because he could surely make a case for Justin being a total professional even though he was the youngest of all of them, whereas Nick Carter was still such a kid.

"They sing different harmonies than us."

"Well, ours are better."

"Course they are," said Joey, with a huge grin.

"And no way is Kevin Richardson a real bass."

"Can't argue with that, Pez," Joey said, and Lance grimaced at the nickname. "But you know most of this stuff is just for publicity. Probably Lou's idea, get the fans riled up to support their favorite group. It's not real."

Lance thought privately that Lou was encouraging Nsync and Backstreet to dislike each other because it suited him to keep them competitive. "He wants us to be ambitious, and he wants them to keep trying to stay ahead of us."

"Of course he does. If you were managing us, wouldn't you?"

Lance grunted. If he were a manager, he'd be better at it than Lou Pearlman. Maybe he would, one day. When he knew more about how the business worked. At any rate he wouldn't need to play off his acts against one another and keep them feeling insecure. There had to be a better way.

Joey hauled himself off the bed and went to brush his teeth, and Lance lay back, thinking about the Backstreet Boys, about practice tomorrow and the game the day after, and how he was going to deal.

In truth, he thought most of them were decent guys. it was just Kevin Richardson who always looked at them—at him—stonily, who didn't make friendly overtures, who thought of Nsync as competition. Which they were, Lance reminded himself. But Kevin, with his scary green eyes, he—well. Whatever. He didn't frighten Lance, he just… just got on his nerves.


"So, you're Nsync's secret weapon, right?" Brian said with a grin, as the five of them walked into their dressing room to change after practice.

"What do you mean? He sucks!" said Nick, with his usual lack of brain-to-mouth filter. Lance hadn't needed to be around Nick much to figure out that Nick didn't think very hard before he spoke. Still, it stung, a bit.

"Nick!" Kevin reproved. Kevin did that, Lance realized, he kept his Boys in line, but he wasn't nearly as fierce as he'd seemed when Lance wasn't part of Kevin's team.

Nick's eyes went wide. "Well, I mean, he's—um. Sorry, Lance. I didn't—I just meant, you aren't very, uh…"

Lance took pity on Nick. "It's okay. I know I'm not much of a basketball player. I'm not really into it." He wasn't much for team sports, except to watch—he liked swimming, and horseback riding. Though actually, the only one in his group who was any good at basketball was Justin. Chris was the only one of them who stood a chance against Justin one on one, but that was because Chris could be insanely competitive if he was in the mood, and didn't mind cheating.

It was actually possible, Lance thought, that the diktat to swap him for AJ was meant to make the game a bit less of a formality.

"They probably want to even things up a bit," Kevin said, unexpectedly echoing Lance's thoughts. "It's not like group integration was a concern before."

"If they really wanted to sabotage you, they'd have swapped me for Brian," Lance said. Brian was surprisingly good at the game. Lance was used to thinking of tall people as the ones who were good at basketball, people like Justin. Not people like Joey and JC, though, because neither of them was much better than Lance. He hauled off his singlet and poked through his stuff for his T-shirt.

"Aren't you going to shower?" Nick asked.

Much to his own annoyance, Lance felt heat rising in his cheeks. No, he had not been planning to shower with these guys. Much safer to go back to their hotel, even if—

"The showers are hotter here," Howie said, with a friendly smile.

Yeah, Lance thought, and they'll have naked guys in them. "I'll, um, yeah," he said, and fumbled with his clothes, undressing slowly while the Boys bounded off to the showers. Shrieks echoed through the room and there were loud accusations in Brian's voice and Nick's.

"Don't mind them," Kevin said. "I don't think they grew up yet, but they're harmless."

"No, it's okay," Lance said. "Actually, they remind me of my guys. Chris and Justin are exactly the same." Chris would undoubtedly be harassing Justin with threats of what he might do with the soap, and messing with the temperature controls. And Justin would be giggling and fleeing and trying to fight back, exactly like it sounded Nick was doing.

"You would not believe the stuff they get up to. Or what they get the rest of us doing, sometimes."

Lance grinned suddenly. "I guess I would, though. Chris is kinda…"

"Don't tell me," Kevin said, dryly. "In my experience, he's not very subtle."

"Mm," said Lance. "Can't really argue with that." It didn't even feel particularly disloyal, not when Kevin was rolling his eyes at the noises coming from the shower area.

It quieted down. ""Sounds like Howie stopped the riot. Might be safe to go in there now." He picked up his towel and shampoo bottle and strode towards the showers. Lance sneaked a look, because he wasn't dead. Kevin had the most perfect dimples in his lower back. Which Lance had better stop thinking about.

He grabbed his own stuff and hurried towards the showers.

Nick and Brian were snapping towels at one another, but they seemed to be done, and Howie was drying his hair, carefully out of range. Lance kept a cautious distance from Brian, and made it safely into the hot water. When he risked a glance behind him, the others had disappeared.

"You don't need to be afraid of them," Kevin said.

"I'm not afraid of them."

"You don't need to be afraid of yourself, either," Kevin said, gently.


"You can look all you want. No harm in looking."

Lance didn't think he could blame his blush on the hot water. He might never stop being confused.

Still… he looked. Kevin's back, the muscles moving below the skin as he lifted his arms to shampoo his hair. Water trickling down over his ass and thighs. Kevin's soapy hands sliding across his beautifully proportioned chest, and belly, and—okay, maybe he shouldn't watch that part. Except for how Kevin's eyes were on him like a challenge, and he really really really wanted to watch that part.

"My turn now," Kevin said.

* * *

Game night, and Lance couldn't help the nerves. He knew it was stupid, this whole thing was stupid even if it was for charity, somehow this stupid basketball game had been loaded with all kinds of stupid ideas about inter-band rivalry at the same time as it was supposed to be about co-operation. What did it matter who won a stupid basketball game?

That did not stop him wanting his team to win. Though it was difficult to tell which was supposed to be his team.

"So, Lance, give us the inside dope," Brian suggested with a wide, friendly smile. "What's the best way to take down the other team?"

"Brian, that's not fair," Kevin said. Lance was definitely beginning to appreciate Kevin's protective streak, now that he was on the right side of it.

"But AJ's gonna be telling them all about us," Nick interrupted. "He's gonna want Nsync to win, just so's he can say it's because he was with them, and we lost 'cause he wasn't with us."

"Yeah," said Howie. "AJ's going to spill all our secrets."

"So, watcha got?" Brian asked again.

Lance looked at four pairs of eager eyes. "Hm. Um. If you want to distract Justin, put Nick up against him. Justin'll be so determined to beat Nick, he won't notice if he's actually making it work for his team or not," he said, and, strangely, felt less like a traitor than he'd expected to.

"Be a bit foolish to put anyone but Nick or Kevin up against Justin, anyway," Brian said, nodding. "What about Chris?"

"I… don't think you'll be able to do anything about Chris. He's kinda unpredictable." If Chris was feeling competitive, he'd fight like a tiger; if he wasn't, pretty much anything could happen. But if Chris had mischief in his mind, Lance did not think there was anything in this world that could distract him from it. "If you wanna distract Joey, get a bunch of girls in really tiny shorts to sit courtside and smile at him."

"Hey," said Nick, "that'll work on AJ too, right?"

"Nah," said Howie. "AJ will spend the first couple of minutes deciding which two he's going to bring back to the hotel, and then he'll forget about them."

"Oh, man." Lance began to laugh. "You mean, AJ's actually worse than Joey?"

"I think AJ will be showing off," Howie said. "And what about JC? Will the girls work on JC, too?"

"I don't think they'll distract him," Lance said, thoughtfully. "Uh, you should put Howie onto JC, or maybe me. He'll feel guilty because he's taller than Howie, or because he knows I'm not exactly comfortable with this whole deal, and he won't play hard. It'd feel mean," said Lance. This did feel a bit treacherous, what with JC being such a sweetheart, but hey. They were here to win this, right?

They did win. Lance was quite grateful to realize that his sneaky bits of advice hadn't really made a lot of difference. With Chris being in a crazy mood rather than a competitive one, it had been a foregone conclusion, but also a lot of fun. And no matter how much he tried to argue himself out of it, Lance couldn't help but be a little bit pleased that he was on the winning side. He'd be using it to squash Justin for weeks.

Brian, Nick and Howie went straight into the showers again without apparently giving a moment's consideration to the fact that Kevin and Lance were hanging back. Why should they, anyway? They weren't feeling prickled all over with anticipation, with the breathless hope that Kevin would, that they'd, that he could look at Kevin again, naked, soaping himself, and Kevin would look back.

Every muscle of Lance's body felt tight, and he had to keep his towel casually but carefully dangling in front of his groin, because his dick was thinking even harder about the possibilities than the rest of him was. But he made it to the showers without any of the Boys noticing, and didn't so much as glance sideways at Kevin until he could hear the others' voices echoing from the locker area back around the corner.

A tiny smile flickered on Kevin's mouth, and his eyebrows twitched a fraction, his face really wasn't stony at all, he just didn't telegraph things. Lance looked back at him, steadily, lifting his chin. Lance's right hand, white with lather, slid straight down and gripped his cock, a hot, slithery grasp and slide mirrored by the other man. Kevin's spare hand smoothed over his chest, his nipples, and Lance matched it. The hot water pattered down, and there was a burst of singing from the other Boys, and Lance's breath caught in his throat as he watched Kevin's cock and jerked himself off hard and fast. He clamped his mouth shut over the groan that wanted to escape as he came, and saw Kevin's face distort with the same effort as Kevin's cock spurted all over his hand.

Neither of them spoke. They washed quickly, and turned off the water, dried, dressed, and it was like it never happened. Except Lance would be jerking off in bathrooms for weeks with the memory of Kevin's orgasm in his mind.

* * *

February, Germany, and Backstreet won the Best Group award for the third year in a row.

"Eh, it'll be our turn next year," Chris said philosophically. "We sang better, anyway."

"AJ couldn't help being sick," JC said. "It makes a huge difference to their sound, not having him there."

Lance kept quiet. He was more interested in trying to figure out what to do about Kevin. He'd been thinking about—fantasizing about, mostly—Kevin for months, and now they were finally in the same place, there had to be something he could do. He didn't think Kevin would blow him off. He had a feeling Kevin had wanted… what they'd done, as much as Lance had. But he couldn't find out for sure until they got the chance to be alone together.

There was, of course, a party after the show.

Lots of necessary and boring socializing, but here and there they did get to talk to someone interesting. It took quite a lot of the evening before Lance managed to maneuver himself into the same conversation as Kevin. He fixed a smile on his face for the PR people who were making nice with the Backstreet Boy, but his skin was tingling again, that prickle of awareness like before. What were they talking about? Oh, dancing. Boybands, dancing, how marvelous it was that the Boys really sang. Nsync sang their own songs too? Marvelous.

"I think how you look is important," Lance said. "How we look, I mean. You have to put on a good show, when people are there to watch you. But you have to, you know, touch people too." His heart was beating way too fast.

"Looks aren't everything," Kevin agreed, smoothly. "You have to reach people here." He put one hand to his chest, over his heart, and the PR people looked doubtful. They talked about the importance of presentation for a while, with a lot of deeply stupid jargon that was probably supposed to sound impressive. Lance could translate the jargon, and was not impressed. After a couple of minutes, Kevin excused himself and headed for the bathroom.

The PR people weren't anywhere near as interested in talking with Lance as they'd been in Kevin, so the little group fell apart about two minutes later, and Lance made his way quietly through the crowd.

There was someone washing his hands, who finished up and brushed past Lance on his way out. Lance coughed.

A stall door opened.

He checked, but there was definitely nobody else around. He stepped into the stall.

"So what do you want?" Kevin said in a low, dark voice.

"I want—touch me, I, I—anything. Please?" Oh, God, way to be completely uncool, but he just—

"Look at me." Lance stared up into Kevin's incredible green eyes, and Kevin's hand slid across the front of Lance's pants, and he gasped. His hips pressed forward involuntarily, and Kevin's hand firmed against him, curved around his rapidly hardening cock. "You look so pretty when you come, I want to watch you," Kevin murmured. Lance couldn't look away from Kevin's face, the intensity in his eyes, the thin line of his mouth. And Kevin's hand kept working him through his khakis, and then the button, the zipper, and Kevin's hand was on him now, hot strong fingers on his erection, thumb circling over the head of his cock.

The hand was gone, and Lance whimpered, and moaned again as Kevin lifted his thumb to his own lips and sucked it in, then let it slide out wet and gleaming with spit, and took his hand back to Lance's cock and did that thing with his thumb again, and Lance's hips thrust forward against Kevin and he panted for breath.

"Hush," Kevin whispered. "Don't make a sound."

Lance bit his lip and lifted his chin defiantly so that he could look into Kevin's eyes, wide black pupils rimmed with green, and Kevin jerked him hard and perfect until he spilled a silky flood over Kevin's hand.

Toilet paper and a handkerchief provided effective cleanup. "Can I? Please?" Lance whispered, sliding his fingertips across Kevin's groin, along the length of Kevin's erection.

"No time," Kevin said. "Not now. You should… go wash your hands."


"We can't get caught like this."

No, that would be bad. Beyond bad. Lance shivered at the thought, nodded, and pulled the stall door open. Not a moment too soon—the very second he touched the faucet, the door opened and a stranger walked into the bathroom and settled himself at a urinal. Lance washed his hands with great care, dried them, and walked out.

* * *

Just a month later they were back home in Orlando, and nobody knew who they were.

It was so very weird.

Nsync, and another dozen—more—Orlando-based bands in a benefit concert at Universal Studios. And the Backstreet Boys were headlining.

Somehow he got through the hours of preparation, the performance, and the socializing, with Joey, Chris and Kevin reminiscing about what it was like to work in a theme park, Justin and JC asserting the superiority of Disneyworld over the rest, and the other Boys taking sides more or less at random. They all seemed to get along pretty well now. Kevin was not so hostile as he'd been—and Lance understood it, now, understood that Kevin was protective of his boys and angry at anything that might threaten them. Lance was that way himself, really. His guys had picked him out of high school, when they were all professional performers and he hadn't done anything, and he had been determined right from the start that they were never going to regret it. If he had to work himself into exhaustion, if he had to keep his secrets from them as well as from the world, then he would.

Lance smiled, and threw in his share of the conversation, but most of his mind was occupied with how to find somewhere private to be with Kevin. This time, he would get to touch Kevin. He had all kinds of ideas on how he was going to touch Kevin.

It didn't work out that way.

They ended up in a dark corner together, but Kevin only had a few minutes. Backstreet were flying back to Europe, to Ireland, and there was no time, and it wasn't fair, it just wasn't fair.

"Your cellphone, give me your number," Kevin said, and Lance did, squinting in the shadows, and he put Kevin's number into his own phone, but when were they going to be able to talk if they were on different continents? "I'm—I wish we had, I wish we could do this properly." Kevin sounded like Lance felt.

"I want to," Lance said. "I want you so much."

"You're so young," Kevin muttered. "I shouldn't even be here."

"I'm nearly nineteen. I'm old enough."

"Yeah, and I'm—damn. I ought to care. I should. Come here." And Kevin's hands cupped Lance's face, and Kevin's mouth covered Lance's mouth, and as they kissed their bodies seemed to melt together.

There was never enough time.

* * *

And then Kevin was in Europe and Lance was in the US, and although they managed occasional snatched conversations there never seemed to be a chance to see one another. Lance got a long, long letter on his birthday which he kept hidden, a letter full of wonderful, wicked promises that wouldn't be kept for months because there was no chance they'd be able to meet up. Even when both groups were in North America life was too frantic, concert tours left them no freedom, although being in roughly the same time zone did make calling a little less ridiculous. And Brian had surgery, and Howie's sister died, and the Boys split from Transcon, and Lance did his best to provide some stress-free moments in Kevin's increasingly complicated life, but there was so little he could do.

* * *

"So, the AMAs," the phone call began. "You guys are up for Best New Artist."

"And you're performing, right?" Lance tried not to let the excitement color his voice, but he couldn't help feeling it. For the first time in almost a year, he and Kevin would be in the same city. At the same place, even.

"Do you know what hotel you'll be at?"

"I'll find out."

"I want—I'd like, if we can spend the night together?" Kevin sounded so hesitant, as if he thought Lance wouldn't want that too.

Lance made it very clear that he wanted exactly the same thing. He was quite detailed.

It took a lot of finesse, but Lance knew how things worked now, which of their people he could trust with secrets and which to avoid, and he slid away from the afterparty—they won! they won!—and spoke to the bodyguard and got into the car.

Fifteen minutes later his back was pressed against a hotel room door and Kevin was kissing him and undoing the buttons of his shirt.

Lance combed his fingers through Kevin's hair and kissed back with all the fervour of pent-up months waiting for this, for Kevin's mouth hot against his, for Kevin's tongue. Kevin's hands on his skin, sliding greedily across his chest and down, unfastening his pants. "Wait, wait, shoes," he gasped.

Kevin stepped back and gulped in air. "Yes. Let's do this properly. God, Lance."

Lance pulled at his heavy black boots, wishing he'd been allowed to wear something he could just rip off his feet. Off, off with them, and socks, and pants too, and he collapsed backwards onto the big white bed to watch Kevin, unfairly graceful, stepping out of his clothes. He was such a perfect shape, long and lean and—Lance's eyes slid to the bulge in Kevin's black boxer-briefs, and his mouth watered.

Kevin stretched alongside him on the bed. For a moment they stared at one another, and Lance's hand lifted tentatively to Kevin's side. Then they seized on one another, kissing frantically, tipping so that Lance lay on top, his leg between Kevin's thighs, his erection rubbing against Kevin's hip. He slid his hand over Kevin's tight belly and down between them over the underwear, enjoying the anticipation, enjoying the way Kevin's hands cupped his ass and Kevin's fingers slid beneath the cotton of Lance's boxers and traced along the crease at the top of his thighs. Suddenly impatient, he peeled Kevin's underwear down and out of the way, and as Kevin kicked free, Lance's hand was at his groin, his fingers combing again in the rough crinkled hair, and he curled them around Kevin's hard, smooth cock, and grinned at the hiss and whimper that escaped Kevin's mouth.

"I want—can I—"

"Anything you want," Kevin said. "We got all night."

So Lance dipped his head, and let himself taste Kevin's cock, heavy on his tongue, warm velvet with wet salt in a glistening drop at the very tip. He licked it lovingly, repositioned his grasp, and settled in to enjoy. He'd never done this, but he'd thought about it so very many times, how it would feel, what he would do, he wanted it so very much.

Kevin helped by making the most gratifying noises, and patting and stroking him almost randomly as though he had no attention to spare from what Lance was doing. Lance took in as much as he could, let Kevin's cock slip slowly from his mouth, and swooped down again until his lips met his own fingers, curled firmly around Kevin's shaft. With his other hand he controlled Kevin's agitated hips. Kevin pleaded, Lance sucked, and Kevin's fingers tightened in his hair.

"Lance, I, I, stop, I'm—"

Lance hummed his unwillingness to stop, and worked his hand faster, and sucked harder, and suddenly there was a splash of hot, briny liquid against the roof of his mouth. He flinched in surprise, but swallowed all that came, then swirled his tongue to collect the sticky residue, and at last let Kevin's cock slide free of his lips. Almost regretfully he wriggled up the bed into Kevin's arms.

"Sorry," Kevin muttered, though he didn't sound it.

Lance kissed him, slow and deep. He certainly wasn't sorry. He was feeling extremely pleased with himself, and with life in general. He rubbed hopefully against Kevin's hip.

"I guess turnabout is fair play," Kevin said eventually, and pushed Lance onto his back. And sweet Jesus, having Kevin's mouth on him was the most incredible thing ever.

Lance was more or less begging when Kevin stopped, and reached for the bedside drawer.

And Lance found that having Kevin's mouth on him and Kevin's lubed finger inside him was better still, and he shivered and shook and arched against the mattress as his orgasm rushed through him like wildfire.

After that, they spent a while lying languidly together and exploring each other's skin. Lance's eager hands went everywhere and couldn't find a flaw, but even more miraculously, Kevin seemed to think Lance's body was beautiful and sexy too. He appreciated every inch of it with fingers and tongue, and Lance was definitely convinced. And he knew, from Kevin's sounds and sighs and shivers, that Kevin loved what Lance did to him in return. Like this, and this, and even better, this.

Not so very much later, Lance discovered how good it felt to have Kevin's cock moving inside him while Kevin's hands worked on Lance's own erection. And after that, Lance found that pushing slowly deep into Kevin's ass—and then fucking hard until he shouted with joy and collapsed face down with his thighs trembling—was something he was very soon going to be addicted to.

"Okay, wow," he said, when he'd recovered his breath and managed to lift his head from the pillow. "I think I'm kinda more of a top.'

"Oh, good," said Kevin, and they twined together, and slept.

When Lance woke up, someone was nibbling his neck. He smiled, heavy-lidded, and stretched accommodatingly. Behind him, Kevin hummed with approval.

"I see you got some sleep," Kevin said.

"Seems kind of a waste… What time is it?"

"Does it matter?"

"We have a radio interview today. I said I'd call the driver to come get me."

Kevin stretched across Lance to pick up the watch lying on the bedside table. "Not yet, I hope."

Lance rolled onto his back, glanced at the watch, and smiled. "We have some time."

Kevin shifted until he was on all fours above Lance, with his knees astride Lance's hips. "Good. How should we spend it?"

Lance smiled wider. "Got any suggestions?"

"We seem to have covered most of the options already," Kevin said, and dipped his head for a swift, gentle kiss. "Did you have a favorite thing?"

"I think all of it was my favorite thing. You are…" He stroked over the smooth, sleek skin of Kevin's shoulder, down to one taut, tiny nipple. "You're so beautiful. I—I couldn't have had, it was all, everything was so good. All my first times and all amazing."

"You realize you're making me feel like an evil seducer," Kevin said.

"So long as it doesn't stop you doing it again." Lance wasn't worried. He knew he'd made it very clear that he wanted Kevin and everything Kevin would give him.

"I don't think anything's going to stop me doing it again, except for the little fact of us never getting to spend time together."

"We'll figure something out," Lance said. "And we'll talk on the phone a lot, because that works for me, provided I get some time alone with my cell, and meanwhile we don't waste the next ninety minutes." He nudged Kevin's thigh with his cock, which was cheerfully erect.

"God, I'm sleeping with a teenager," Kevin moaned. "I can't keep up."

"Make the most of it, old man. I'll be twenty in May."

"Oh, in that case…" Kevin sank down on top of him. Despite his protests about not keeping up, Kevin's cock was plenty interested. They kissed slowly at first, then fiercely, sucking and biting at one another, rubbing together, hands everywhere. Lance didn't think he'd ever get enough of Kevin's body, long and lean and perfect.

"Let me fuck you, please," he whispered, and Kevin grinned at him like it was just what he wanted too, and helped him roll the condom on—condoms were more difficult than Lance had expected, he'd made such a mess of that one last night, they'd giggled for ten minutes right in the middle of everything—and Kevin lay back on the bed and opened his arms and Lance went into him and it was so, so perfect.

Eventually, of course, he had to make the call to summon the car, kiss Kevin goodbye, and go back to his crazy life. But there would be a next time, and a time after that. They'd make time.


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