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21 April 2008 @ 06:42 pm
Letters I've Written Never Meaning to Send  
Title: Letters I’ve Written Never Meaning to Send
Author: skyblue_reverie
Fandom: RPS
Pairing: Stephen Fry/Hugh Laurie
Rating: R, I guess
Word Count: Approximately 1500
Summary: Hugh reacts to Stephen’s account of their meeting
Author's Notes: You may want to read/re-read Chapter One, The Beginning first because this is Hugh’s reaction to that and it won’t make much sense if it isn’t fresh in your mind. Humble gratitude as always to my beta-love Essie, the best beta (and friend) a girl could ever hope for. Fact and fanon checking (and helpful feedback) provided by the goddess of all things Hugh and Stephen, notatracer. Encouragement, handholding, and feedback by rivers_bend, ennui_blue_lite and libertine_68. Apologies to The Moody Blues for stealing their line for the title.
Disclaimer: As far as I know, never happened. And I only wish they were mine.
Feedback: is like oxygen.




18 April 2008
Los Angeles, California, United States

Dear Stephen,

Here I am, writing another of these bloody endless letters to you that I will never work up the balls to post. I've got quite a collection going. I wonder if Jo will ever find the ones at our place in London. I wonder if I half hope she will. But that's neither here nor there. I've just finished reading the first chapter of your new manuscript - your version of our meeting, and I found that I had something to say about it:

You bastard. You bloody, buggering, smug, self-serving bastard.

Where do I begin? You said you fell in love with me when we met. Well, by the time we met, Stephen, I was already more than halfway in love with you.

I knew you by reputation, naturally - everybody did. You were famous, or perhaps infamous, at Cambridge - your wit, intelligence and charm, or your pomposity, pretention and self-centeredness, depending upon whom was asked. You always were divisive. And, of course, you were famous for your sex life. Everyone knew you were homosexual, of course - you were not only open about it, you positively flaunted it.

I admired that tremendously, you know - your ability to be who you were, what you were, and damn the consequences and anyone who didn't like it. That was before I found out that it was all an act, that you were as much a fraud as I am. But in those days, before I even knew you, I thought you hung the moon. I wanted to be you, and failing that, I wanted desperately to be close to you, to be with you, just to exist in your orbit.

You were enthralling. I had never seen anyone as talented as you, or as charismatic. You were effortlessly funny, and of course astoundingly brilliant. You were mysterious - there were rumors that you had been to prison for some unknown but doubtless exciting and romantic act, and there were at least a dozen stories circulating at any given time about what that act might have been. Even your background was provocative - a Jew, it was whispered, half in fascination and half with anti-Semitic contempt.

I, on the other hand, was and am as thoroughly average as it is possible to be, your excrutiatingly over-flattering descriptions of me notwithstanding. Average face, average body, average intelligence, average personality. I am the standard British everyman. I am a chameleon. I am nobody.

Enough maudlin self-pity - my point was that you were most emphatically not nobody. And I wanted just to be near you, to bask in your reflected radiance.

I managed, finally, to talk Emma into introducing us. She resisted, you know. I think she realised, even then, how I felt about you and was trying to protect me. Women, I firmly believe, are wiser than men. But eventually I convinced her to introduce us, as you said, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1980.

As soon as you looked at me I felt the charge between us. I had never been on the receiving end of such flatteringly intense interest before, and I admit it went straight to my head. Both of them, actually. You were interested in me - not just in my body, I thought, but in me. You laughed at all of my jokes, you approved of the books I'd read, you wanted to know my thoughts and opinions, and you actually took them seriously.

And equally obviously you wanted me. Jesus, Stephen, you were as hard as a brick and nearly as big. No one could've missed it.

I’d never been with a man before you, you know. Well, of course the odd bit of fooling around at school - that goes without saying. But to actually pick up or be picked up by another bloke at a party and slip into a cupboard for a bit of slap-and-tickle? Never. My father would have died, or killed me. He once caught me jerking off to a sporting magazine - some photograph of a shirtless rugby player or the like - and I’ve never been able to forget the look of utter disgust on his face. I knew then that however big a disappointment I was to him, I could fall still further in his opinion, and I dreaded that. From that point on, I limited my romantic attentions solely to women. That was until I met you, and it all went to hell.

I couldn’t have resisted you if I’d wanted, and I didn’t want to anyway. I was dying just to touch you, to have your hands on me. Our five minutes in that coat cupboard was the most sublime sexual experience of my young life. Do you even remember what you said to me as we stood there together, having just given each other a - for me, at least - mind-blowing orgasm? I was wondering if now was the point that we kissed, or whether I should just vow my undying devotion to you and be done with it. You said in a voice cool with disdain and rich with amusement, “Well, that wasn't altogether unpleasant.”

I thought I would vomit, or die of humiliation. Possibly both.

I don’t even remember how I got myself out of there, or anything about the rest of the night. I knew I promised myself that I would never put myself in that position again - to be hurt - to be humiliated - like that by you. That was only the first of countless promises that I have broken on account of you.

I also swore to myself that I would never make any effort to see you again, and that promise lasted about as long as the rest of them. I sought you out in your rooms the next day - just to see you, to see if maybe I wasn’t totally alone in how I was feeling.

You didn’t remember our encounter. Stephen, you didn’t even remember my name. Or so I thought, until I read your manuscript thirty years later, you complete and utter arsehole. Thankfully, I somehow managed to hang on to some shreds of dignity and we actually began a discussion. Thus was born our relationship - the most twisted, intense, rewarding, suffocating, confusing, overpowering, miraculous thing in my life, then or now.

Why couldn’t you have been honest with me? Why couldn’t you have admitted that you wanted me, that you - dare I say it - loved me? Why will you never make yourself even the slightest bit vulnerable, even to me, even now? You’d like to present our story as if I were the one to break your heart and walk away from you into the arms of a woman. Stephen, you always kept me out, always pushed me away. You wanted me to give everything of myself to you, and you wanted to give nothing real of yourself to me, nothing that could ever be used to hurt you. When I asked you if I should marry Jo, after I found out that she was pregnant, I was longing for you to say no, that I should stay with you always, that I could support Jo in her decision but that I didn’t have to tie myself to her for the rest of my life. Instead, you just looked at me, raised an eyebrow, and said you were sure that I’d do the right and proper thing. I often wonder, Stephen, how our lives would have been different if you had been able to tell me the truth, to tell me what you really wanted from me, needed from me, just once.

But I digress. Back to your manuscript.

You said that you had night after night of erotic dreams, each one different. I had only one dream, and it was the same each night. You looked at me with your expressive and anguished eyes, and asked me why. Why I could not admit what we had, why I would not be with you openly, why I cheated on you with an endless parade of girls, why I couldn’t just accept your devotion and be happy. I had no answers for you. I still don’t. But that dream tormented me, and I dreaded going to bed each night because I knew you would be there, waiting for me, asking why. You deserved so much more than I gave you. But damn it, I deserved more than you gave me too.

And now here we are, middle-aged, one of us balding, the other going soft round the middle, and still neither of us can acknowledge what we have. Still giving each other mind-blowing orgasms every chance we get and still not admitting what we are to each other, publicly or privately. Still hurting each other in so many ways, subtle and deep.

And yet, despite it all, I love you, you insufferable sodding git. Always have, always will. Bastard.

Yours Ever,
Hugh

 
 
Where am I?: the comfy couch
How do I feel?: happyhappy
 
 
 
Claire: Kiss me!sweet_fallacy on April 22nd, 2008 03:10 am (UTC)
Damn it! As if the first one didn't tear into me enough, you just had to add this beautiful piece.
Sky: [stephen] lolskyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
Ha! I'm not sure whether to apologize or thank you for the comment, so I guess I'll do both. ;)

Sorry for the tearing, and thank you for the lovely compliment!
newbaskervillenewbaskerville on April 22nd, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)
Absolutely lovely.
"And now here we are, middle-aged, one of us balding, the other going soft round the middle, and still neither of us can acknowledge what we have."

That made me go "awww".
Another fantastic fanfiction. Thank you.
Sky: [hugh] hugh eyesskyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 03:58 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks so much! I'm happy that you liked that line - it's always lovely to know what bits worked for people. :)

I'm so glad you enjoyed, and thank you for the very kind comment.
Lucy: Fry & Lauriecaptain_lubey on April 22nd, 2008 04:18 am (UTC)
Awww, it's good to see an accompaniment to your other fic which I enjoyed immensely. This is wonderful :)
Sky: [fry & laurie] ampersand tuxesskyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
Yayy, I'm so glad you enjoyed. Thank you for the lovely fb! :D
Che Gorillaaxmxz on April 22nd, 2008 05:11 am (UTC)
OMG, a sequel! WHOOHOO!!

Excellent as usual. One tiny nitpick though: "Even your religion was provocative - a Jew..." It's rather a matter of ethnicity than religion in this case... I can't count how many times I've heard this: "You don't believe in God? But you just said you were Jewish!" Race, ethnicity, bloodlines - they have little to do with religion. Lots of Jews, even full-blooded ones, are agnostic or atheist.
Sky: [fry & laurie] blueskyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 05:18 am (UTC)
Hey there, and thanks for the fb!

Lots of Jews, even full-blooded ones, are agnostic or atheist.

Ha, yes, I'm one myself (an agnostic, leaning toward atheist, Jew). I totally hear what you're saying - for me, being Jewish is definitely cultural rather than religious, but I'm not certain that college students back in Hugh and Stephen's day would have made that distinction, and I feel like Hugh wouldn't say "even your ethnicity was provocative." I mean, who knows, it's all me projecting anyway, but it just felt more authentic to me to write it that way. But definitely your point is well-taken, and thanks for taking the time to discuss that issue! :D
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 05:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 05:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 05:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 05:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 05:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 05:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 05:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 05:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 06:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 06:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - potatofiend on April 22nd, 2008 08:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 08:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - potatofiend on April 22nd, 2008 08:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - Clifta Frizzell on February 28th, 2016 05:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - potatofiend on April 23rd, 2008 07:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 23rd, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 23rd, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 23rd, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 23rd, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Che Gorillaaxmxz on April 22nd, 2008 05:13 am (UTC)
See, now I'm curious. H says he read S's manuscript and found out the truth. Why won't he post the letter then?
Sky: [fry & laurie] b&w facesskyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 05:22 am (UTC)
Because it wouldn't make any difference, because he and Stephen have been hiding from each other so long that he can't break the habit now, because withholding his true reaction is his passive-aggressive way of getting revenge on Stephen for hurting him, because Stephen should know that this is the way it went down but his convenient memory has caused him to reconstruct the events differently and Hugh doesn't want to fight about it, but mostly, I think, because Hugh is terrified of what might happen if they were finally fully honest with each other and with themselves. I'm hoping that I can eventually get to that point in this series, but who knows. Those boys are so contrary. ;)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 05:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 05:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 05:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 05:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 06:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 06:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 05:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 05:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 05:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 05:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 05:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 06:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - axmxz on April 22nd, 2008 06:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 06:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
Che Gorillaaxmxz on April 22nd, 2008 06:46 am (UTC)
Another question: "...having just given each other a - for me, at least -mind-blowing orgasm?" - If he'd read the manuscript, he'd certainly know that it was also so for S, right? That was part of the whole point of his pouring out his frustration: he now knows it *did* mean as much to S as it did to him, and he's hurt and pissed off that S pretended and continues to pretend otherwise. The uncertainty is gone, but it's replaced by unhappiness and a sense of time wasted.
Sky: [stephen] smoking 2skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 06:58 am (UTC)
Right - he's going back and describing how he was feeling at the moment - the uncertainty and fear that he felt at that moment. NOW he knows that it was good for S too, but he didn't know THEN, and that's what he's trying to get across to S. S was so caught up in his own insecurities that he couldn't let on that it meant something to him, so he let Hugh think he was the only one, then misinterpreted it when Hugh ran away. Or at least that's what I was trying to get across.
libertine_68: stephen fry wavy hairlibertine_68 on April 22nd, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
I love. You know this ;)
Sky: [stephen] coatskyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you so much, querida! ♥
(no subject) - libertine_68 on April 22nd, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - libertine_68 on April 23rd, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 24th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - libertine_68 on April 24th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on April 25th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - libertine_68 on April 25th, 2008 05:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
dil_dealdil_deal on April 22nd, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
That was too wonderful. Even some teardrops appeared. Damn.
Thank you for writing THAT beautiful.
Sky: [fry & laurie] b&w facesskyblue_reverie on April 22nd, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you so much for your comment! *hands kleenex* Teardrops is a very high compliment indeed.

*smishes*
Strictly Ornamental: jwdaasgrrl on April 23rd, 2008 02:42 am (UTC)
Oh, so very gorgeous. You always get them down so very perfectly (well, you know, as far as my imagination goes anyway *g*) and make me love them all over again. Lovely to see you back, too :D
Sky: [fry & laurie] whisperskyblue_reverie on April 23rd, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
Eeee, thank you so much! What a very sweet thing to say, that I make you love them again. *luffs on boys* *luffs on you too*

It's wonderful to be back - and I've missed you even with your non-Hugh/Stephen-shipping ways. :p
Fluffy: Sam smug and Gene squirrelflufshepherd on April 24th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
Damn. Hugh's so sad and frustrated and it's written so well, so now I'm sad and frustrated. Damnit, Stephen!

And you are awesome. As always.
Sky: [hugh] top hat smokingskyblue_reverie on April 24th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
Ahh, hon, I'm sorry to have made you sad and frustrated, but I am proud that it had such an impact. *hugs*

That "Damnit Stephen" was exactly the reaction I was hoping for - when I wrote the first one, I was going "Damnit, Hugh" and then I wanted to turn that on its head when we saw Hugh's POV. So I'm glad it worked! :D

Thankees so much for the lovely comment - you are awesome too!

p.s. thank you so much for the new icon tutorial - haven't had a chance to go through it yet but I will soon.
(no subject) - flufshepherd on April 24th, 2008 02:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Chief Acolyte of Teh Pudge: Fry&Laurie - ABOFLserpenatrix on April 24th, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC)
OMGYOURBACK!! I'm glad to see you looking so well... and you bring us The Sequel! After that gorgeusness that is The Beginning I was longing for it. And my goodness me, it was worth the wait! You've done it again, you've captured Hugh's voice admirably and this letter is the perfect other side of the coin. Deliciously heartbreaking.

My favourite bits:

You said in a voice cool with disdain and rich with amusement, “Well, that wasn't altogether unpleasant.”

I can perfectly picture Stephen saying that, barricading himself behind that masquerade before becoming too vulnerable.


Why couldn’t you have been honest with me? Why couldn’t you have admitted that you wanted me, that you - dare I say it - loved me? Why will you never make yourself even the slightest bit vulnerable, even to me, even now?

Oh dear, the last "even to me, even now?" did put a lump in my throat. Confused, desperate, reprocheful, helpless, pleading, insecure and utterly intoxicated with Stephen: I love this Hugh.


But that dream tormented me, and I dreaded going to bed each night because I knew you would be there, waiting for me, asking why.

Brilliant counterpoint to Stephen's dreams, it speaks volumes about Hugh's self-deprecating personality.

I hope you keep on writing, it would be a real treat to know more about their relationship through your point of view and literary talent, can't get enough of your writing!

Thank you very much for the awesomeness.
Sky: [fry & laurie] whisperskyblue_reverie on April 25th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
Yay I'm back! Oooh, I'm so thrilled to hear that you were anticipating the sequel. :) Hugh's voice is much more a wing & a prayer kinda thing than Stephen's since Hugh hasn't written nearly as much, especially as much autobiography/nonfiction kinda stuff. But I'm really glad it worked for you.

Poor Stephen, he really does hide behind his words and his devil-may-care image, I think. But poor Hugh, the one who really gets hurt by it. :( I'm sorry about the lump in your throat but also quite proud it had that much of an impact.

Thanks so much for quoting your favorite bits - I always love that. I'm definitely hoping to keep writing, so we shall see what happens...

Thank you for your awesomeness and very kind and detailed comment! ♥
ennui_blue_lite: Hugh/Stephen - We know who Hugo...ennui_blue_lite on April 29th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
Hi babe,
Sorry it’s taken me so long to review this, but I haven’t exactly been Mrs. Livejournal as of late. But on to more important things.

You, Sky, are the only person on earth who can write RPS that doesn’t make me feel all icky inside. Okay, that doesn’t seem like much of a complement, but here’s why: I’m not reading RPS fanfic. You write autobiographies. I will never understand how you do it – how do you step inside Stephen Fry’s skin and pour out such show-offish self deprecation? How do you then summon the spirit of Hugh Laurie and fire back with an accusatory tirade that is also somehow fully self–contempt?
I love how you envision them – lovers, and deeply in love, but forever closed off to one another. Love in unsent letters and unsaid words, all contained.
You deserved so much more than I gave you. But damn it, I deserved more than you gave me too.
That really says it all. They both had love, but neither one was willing to show their hand, and they suffered for it. And now they still have love, and are still concealing it, and still suffer. Other lines I loved:

That was before I found out that it was all an act, that you were as much a fraud as I am.

Hugh as a fraud, and Stephen as a fraud, but in almost polar opposite ways. I love it.
Average face, average body, average intelligence, average personality. I am the standard British everyman. I am a chameleon. I am nobody.
This is so Hugh, and he is so wrong.
You said in a voice cool with disdain and rich with amusement, “Well, that wasn't altogether unpleasant.”
I think it’s an important theme with these two – Stephen keeps cool and distant, fearing to let himself known to Hugh, and Hugh is devastated, because he takes every last action personally. It’s why they could love for a lifetime and never quite work.
At least, I think that's it. I could be wrong.
I could quote forever, you know I could. It’s brilliant, honey, one of your best.
Sky: [fry & laurie] i love youskyblue_reverie on May 1st, 2008 05:28 am (UTC)
Aww, hon, I know how busy you are, so it means a lot to me that you hopped on LJ to comment on my story. :) You are the best!

I'm so honored that my RPS doesn't make you feel icky. :) And saying that I write auto-biographies of the boys is the highest praise imaginable, so thank you! *floats on cloud 9*

You always get my writing, what I'm trying to express. I love that about you. MWAH.

I think it’s an important theme with these two – Stephen keeps cool and distant, fearing to let himself known to Hugh, and Hugh is devastated, because he takes every last action personally. It’s why they could love for a lifetime and never quite work.
At least, I think that's it. I could be wrong.


That's exactly how I see them. Whether we're right or both insane together, I don't know. :)

I'm having fun with this series. I hope I can continue it, maybe even do the lengthy epic I'd started ruminating on. But in the meantime, thank you so much for all of your comments and observations and for seeing them the same way I do. And for quoting your favorite bits. I love you, hon, you know I do. ♥ ♥ ♥

p.s. TWO WEEKS TIL VISIT OMG!!!!
my wings are like a shield of steel: quotation marksbuckle_berry on May 4th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
i've just read both of these, and they're wonderful - perfect companion pieces to each other.

i am delighted that the voices you have for each of them are so different and so right. it made them a real pleasure to read one after the other. the picture you paint of the two of them is so frustrating, but to be honest, this is my favourite kind of stugh, twisted and brutal and gorgeous.

thanks :)
Sky: [fry & laurie] b&w facesskyblue_reverie on May 5th, 2008 01:35 am (UTC)
Thank you so much - I'm delighted that you enjoyed them. I'm a huge fan of your Hugh/Stephen RPS, so your opinion really means a lot to me! I agree - twisted, brutal, angsty, gorgeous H/S is the best, and I'm so glad you think mine fits into that category! :D
(no subject) - buckle_berry on May 5th, 2008 08:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skyblue_reverie on May 5th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on July 25th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC)
What a fabtastic fic. ;)

Oh and I've had my work with QI, it was rather awesome and hopefully I'll be back doing it next year should all go to plan *crosses fingers*
Sky: [stephen] stubble SF borderskyblue_reverie on July 26th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks. Oooh, do tell! I want to hear juicy details, woman!
sinij_steplersinij_stepler on October 28th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
A bit too late maybe, but thanks for the text! It's just brilliant!
Helen, Russia
Sky: [fry & laurie] b&w facesskyblue_reverie on October 28th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, it's never too late to leave a comment - I love them!

Thank you so much for your reply, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :)