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stargate, DanielJackson

Torment Of Tantalus (chapter 3)

Posted on 2012.10.25 at 15:52
Tags: , , ,


There’s a story that says her voice is carried on the wind, as nature’s current itself is infused with her power. It’s said her words fly on the wind and whisper into the dreams of the sleeping, commanding their will as her own.


Klaus sits there, as still as the body, not aware of time passing. He’s broken out of his trance by the sound of rocks beings thrown about, and Elena trying to calm Damon down. He wants to rip both of their heads off, but he supposes Damon has as much right to be here as he does. He immediately wants to tell Stefan how reasonable he’s being, and then somehow remembers afresh that he’s never going to be able to tell Stefan anything again. Unless…

He strides purposefully out of the cave, cold gaze on Elena;

“Where’s that nitwit brother of yours?”


Klaus sees Jeremy and is surprised by the time that has passed. The boy’s an old man now, grey engulfing his hair and a stiff crick in his step. Jeremy’s the one who tells him about the funeral (he hasn’t been reading his messages).

There’s an empty seat in the front row, it’s for him he supposes, but he remains off to the side far from the others. Not in the mood for dealing with these people, and not interested in the empty coffin. The words bore him, and his eyes drift over everyone. Elena’s crying, tears silently sliding down her face, her hand is clasped over Damon’s, digits tightened over his daylight ring, as though it might accidentally slide off his finger. Damon’s arm is around her shoulders, but his gaze is straight ahead into nothingness. Caroline is standing at the front speaking, about what a good friend Stefan was, her make-up is perfect and unhaunted by tears, but her hand is clutching a blood bag she has hidden in her purse (he can smell it).  

The others present didn’t really know Stefan, he was an incomplete image of a colleague or friend they’d known for a few years at most, even those who knew he wasn’t human; Elijah was sitting beside the empty chair, probably to make sure he didn’t do anything untoward. And he was certain Tyler was more concerned with Caroline than anything else.

He leaves before anyone tries to convince him to go to the wake.


Klaus drags Jeremy around like a lifeline; the old man spends most of his time sleeping or fiddling with his phone. He drives them to everywhere he thinks Stefan could be. Mystic Falls and Chicago and dozens of places he had mentioned over the years.

“Look, it just doesn’t work like that,” Jeremy says after two weeks of nothing.

He never thought he would regret having that indestructible white oak ash stake destroyed.


He doesn’t know who the witches who orchestrated this were. It almost doesn’t matter, this way his vengeance has no ending; this way he can allow payback to swallow him whole. He likes to think Stefan would appreciate what he’s done.

This is the memorial he creates in eight parts.

i He finds a witch

He moves as silent and significant as sunrise. She is planting seeds for vervain, pushing soil over the hole, light brown hair dangling in her eyes; he grabs a large strand, yanks back. She gathers herself quickly, setting off aneurysms in his head. He pays little attention. There’s an almost constant hum now anyway; scores of dead witches haunting him, he revels in the pain. It’s a good distraction.

ii He pours poison into them, lets them feel the pain of slowly dying

Wrenches her mouth open with his fist, lets the poison slide out of his grip and down her throat, she tries to spit it out. He keeps still (hand air-tight on her mouth) even as his hand is coated with bile and saliva. She’s already trembling when he lets go. But she doesn’t cry out in pain like some of the others have.   

iii He asks questions, what they know, who they know, the answers are never enough

“Who did it?” Klaus demands.

“What?” she asks with confusion.  

He sometimes forgets everyone doesn’t know, that Stefan’s death hasn’t been imprinted on everyone like it has with him. Well, that’s a travesty he plans on changing. When he’s done, they’ll all be just as broken by Stefan’s death.

“Who kidnapped Stefan Salvatore, who had him bitten and then shoved him in a cave there was no escape from, who bloody orchestrated his death!” Klaus yells.

“I don’t know, and I wouldn’t tell you if I did,” she replies in an unyielding tone.

He’s indifferent to her fight; some fight, some don’t, they all die the same way. And if he never gets answers, he has time to kill them all.  

“What do you know?” he whispers, lips forming a malicious grin, settling into calm as he gets into his ritual.

“Nothing,” she says, still firm even though he can see that small spasms are beginning in her fingers and left leg.

“Now, now, I don’t believe that, you witches are all so chatty, you must have some titbit of gossip, tell me something and I’ll make you all better,” he taunts, holding her up as her leg buckles.

“You can kill as many as you want, you’ll never know if you’ve caught them, you will have to live with the idea that someone might have gotten away,” she says, collapsing entirely, unconscious and shaking on the floor.

“You didn’t last long,” he says, kneeling down beside her, frustrated by his interrogation being cut short by her weak constitution.

iv He heals them with his blood

He bites into his forearm and places it against her mouth; she wakes as his blood touches her lips. She’s one of the few who try to spit that out too, bucking beneath his wrist. He breaks her jaw apart.

v He plays, rips them apart

He begins crushing the bones of her left wrist inside his fist and snapping her tibia. Then twists her knee out of joint, and makes holes in her with his fingers--careful to avoid major arteries for now. Many of the others start begging and pleading at this point if they haven’t before, she doesn’t. He’s almost impressed.

Her face is lined with pain as he holds her up by her chin, fingers digging into her pale cheeks. She dangles there like a puppet. Tugs the left arm until it pops, lets it hang there dislocated for a while. Then rips the limb off entirely. Red speckles turn to a gush, and he clamps his hand over the hole, does the same with her right arm, and listens to the screams turn to shallow whimpers as blood runs through his fingers like gravy. 

vi When they wake, he forces them to drink blood and complete the transition (no more witchy spirits to worry about).

He looks around her home as she lies dead on the floor. Gaze slithering along book spines and hands rummaging through cupboards. She has Memento on DVD. He puts it in the player and puts his feet up on the dark-glass coffee table. As resistant as she may’ve been under torture, she springs awake all the same—too shocked to hide. 

“Drink this,” he orders, throwing her a blood bag.

He waits, he will force her if he needs to, but letting them give in on their own, watching them surrender to their fate, is so much more fun. She inches towards it and throws it against the wall.

“That really only changes where you drink it from,” he says, gesturing at the small puddle forming on the floor.

He pulls her by her hair again, pushing her face-first into the puddle. Grins as her new fangs extend.

“Now,” he says, pulling her up and forcing eye contact, compelling her, “tell me what you know.”  

She scowls as the words fall out; “James, a warlock I knew from Seattle, knew one of the witches involved.”

vii He stakes them

“Thank you dear,” Klaus says with faux sincerity.

“No hard feelings,” he adds, taking a stake out and skewering her. 

viii Repeat and repeat and repeat.

The next one is a tall well-built man with patchy stubble and hair in bleached blonde spikes. His name is James.


Klaus is sitting outside a café, his table covered in maps weighted down by a coffee mug filled with blood and topped up with espresso, when he hears familiar stealthy footsteps approaching.

“Elijah… to what do I owe the pleasure,” Klaus asks, attempting a tone of amusement but it ends up watery at best.

“You have to stop this, Niklaus,” Elijah says simply, face as calm as always.

“I will stop when I have avenged Stefan.”

“It has been ten months, and you’re no nearer to finding the culprits; it seems you are planning on continuing to execute innocent witches until there are none left,” Elijah states.

Klaus started at hearing it had been ten months; he had paid little attention to the passage of time, in part the ache is still sharp as though only days have passed, dismissed periods of darkness being due to clouds rolling across the sky, he hasn’t slept, has eaten little. Then again a part of him felt it had been years, endless spooling of time alone, wandering, hunting, killing.

“Do not try to stop me brother,” is all Klaus says, returning to his maps.

Elijah, recognising that there will be no more getting through to him at this time, walks away.


Klaus goes from state to state, sometimes by car, sometimes by bus, sometimes he runs all the way. He interacts little with anyone in between, except for his spies; the witches are running, are fighting, are surrendering in the hope of mercy. He catches them all eventually. But the journeys are getting longer, through deserts and cities and remote backwater towns. Soon he will have to leave America, find those who have run afar to countries on the other side of the earth, but he has been hesitating, wanting to be done here first. He doesn’t want to leave Stefan behind, and that’s what travelling across the world feels like. 

He’s more cautious in Denmark and Germany, he can find people easier if they don’t know he’s in Europe. He buries a warlock deep in concrete, and another in a landfill, but most in the woods. Now earth joins the constant bloody detritus beneath his fingernails. He comes and goes from France, without visiting any of the museums which he usually spends days frequenting. 

In Naples he finds a girl with almost red hair and a mild Texan twang. The difference with this witch is that Damon is with her.

“Don’t touch her,” Damon demands, chest puffed out, blocking his path.

“Get out of my way before I break every bone in your body,” Klaus hisses, stepping into his face.

“It has been almost two years. You’ve killed over a third of the witches. I don’t really care about you deluding yourself that this is what Stefan would want, when we both know it’s the last thing he ever would. But she is on our side, she’s trying to help, so leave her alone,” Damon lectures him, trying to block the girl from his view as she steps towards the door. 

“Trusting any witch to help is naïve,” he replies, taking hold of Damon’s arm and staking him in the gut for his candour.  

The vampire still attempts to protect the girl. It’s only when he throws Damon across the room past a stray beam of light that he notices the shutters are down.

“Where is your daylight ring?” Klaus asks.

“I lost it,” Damon shrugs.

Klaus grabs the girl and flashes away.


Damon tries to slip inside their house silently, via the bedroom window, but Elena of course sees him coming. She’s standing there, ring accusation-ripe in her hand. He reaches forward to take it.

“This is the sixteenth time you’ve left this,” Elena says with resignation.

He almost steps back in shock, hand hovering around in air, this isn’t her usual reaction. She puts the ring in her jewellery box, determinedly closing the lid.

“It’s time to decide,” she says. 

It only takes a moment for him to remember what she’s referring to, and he thinks back to the first time he did this.

“No, you don’t get to do this, not now,” Elena yells at him, as she forcefully shoves his ring back on his finger, “it hurts, I know, it hurts like hell, it feels like a piece of you has died and you can’t go on, but you have to go on anyway, now is not the time you get to decide you’re giving up.” 

Elena’s softly spoken words interrupt his reverie;

“I’m done convincing you, and I’m done fighting with a ghost, you have to decide for yourself, whether this is worth living for, whether I am worth living for. If you open that box, you’re putting that ring on and not taking it off again.”

He sits on the bed, Elena goes downstairs and he can hear her making tea, then watching some television, then doing some washing up and filling out some forms for work. She’s reading a book in the living room when he puts his ring on and joins her.  


Today’s witch is a short, black haired creature with thin lips and saucers for eyes. It’s during part five that a reproachful shadow falls over him.

“Some witches have taken Caroline and Elena; they’re demanding that you go to them,” Elijah tells him.

Klaus looks up from the body wrapped around his hands, takes in Elijah’s stance, and then looks back down at the almost-corpse, dismissing his brother.

“You’re not going,” Elijah says with a barely perceptible hint of resignation.  

“No,” Klaus confirms. He refuses to follow any witches demands—who are they to demand anything of him.


Damon sneaks around outside the warehouse, listening, considering his next move. The sensible thing would be to wait for Elijah to get back; even though the original has already told him that Klaus isn’t coming, he would be a useful addition to a rescue mission. But Damon doesn’t want to risk Elena’s life by waiting, and he’s never been much for the sensible thing.

He finds a vent to crawl through, and moves as quietly as possible through the too-small shaft. He knows he’s in the right area before he sees anything, can smell the vervain from several feet away. He carefully peeks through the grate into the room and immediately spots Elena and Caroline bound to nailed down chairs with vervain ropes. There’s only one guard in the room, but probably a lot more elsewhere. He takes out one of his tranquiliser darts, but it doesn’t fit through the grate holes, so he meticulously removes the grate, wincing as he’s sure the sound will alert the others.

He shoots the dart and leaps into the room, covering his hands with his sleeves as he removes the ropes.

“Quickly,” he urges, pulling Elena and Caroline out of the seats, but their movements are sluggish from the vampire poison. He holds up Elena with one arm and Caroline with the other as they navigate the isles of the warehouse.

Soon another guard appears in front of them and Damon rips his heart out, but they haven’t gotten much further before another two are behind them and three in front, they’re surrounded. Using his full speed he snaps a neck, and is then drowned by aneurysms. Rises in a hunch through the pain, he can’t let Elena down, finds her wielding a weapon and watches in awe as she somehow decapitates one of them despite the vervain and aneurysms, he smirks with pride, pulling out another heart. Caroline bites into one of them.

But more keep appearing, making the debilitating pain stronger. Then a fire alarm goes off. He only understands why when the sprinkler system starts, and the water pouring down on them turns to fire. They’re all making noise, even strong vampires don’t burn silently, but there’s a loud screech and he turns his head to find Caroline turning grey and vein-riddled, stake poking out from her chest.

“Elena,” he calls desperately, suddenly terrified for her. He hears no response. It seems ridiculous that this could be the end after everything.  

A stake is plunged into him. As he moves to fight back, it suddenly feels like he’s drying up and rotting from the inside out, and he realises it has pierced his heart. And it all fades away.


Klaus continues, day after day, month after month, year after year. However long it takes, squirrels witches out of mountain ranges and retreating ships, bustling cities and wildernesses. Until fire laps up their forests, and crop fields, and industrial brickwork. Until he can find no more, until they’re almost all dead. Until the world is burnt grey from lack of magic.

He’s tired, and he’s done.

Then she comes to him. It’s said her bones were built from old dark magic, eyes as dark as the world. Well, one of her underlings, Ciara, comes to him.

“What do you want?” Klaus snaps at the slip of a woman, winding fingers around her throat, knows there’s more power there than meets the eye, doesn’t care.

“My mistress wishes to speak with you,” she says demurely, unmoved by his attack.

“I care little for her wishes, leave, and be grateful I let you live,” he says briskly, but has no suspicion that she was at all involved with Stefan’s death; why would witches who work with such darkness care of his redemption.

“Why would you care so little, especially when she can end your suffering?” she asks with an annoyingly knowing voice, face jutted defiantly at him.

“No one can end my suffering,” he says resigned, forgoing his habitual quip; she knows better.

“But you’re going to let her try,” the woman states, yet again in that knowing cadence. 

“Tell her she may come.” It’s not like he has anything better to do.

“You will come to her,” she orders.

Klaus rolls his eyes and glares simultaneously.

“Very well.”


He has owned larger palaces, but it’s still a luxurious one. Walking through into the room he’s directed to, he sees her seated in a plush high-backed chair. He’s not surprised to find that it’s her; of all the attempts she probably came the closest to ending him, and that was never as easy feat. The girl hasn’t aged a day.

“Bonnie Bennett,” he says, tone deferential. 

He wants her to kill him, get it over with; he’s so tired with this. It’s only efficient to be polite.

“I thought I should thank you,” Bonnie says, her voice still as determined as he remembers, but now also rich and old, power-laden.

“For what?” he asks, already growing impatient.

“For eradicating my enemies so efficiently,” she says, dry amusement tingeing her expression.  

“The other witches? Believe me, it was entirely my pleasure.”

“Well, you’ve definitely earned a reward.”

“Are you going to kill me or not?”

“Still so impatient, no,” she says, meandering over to an altar. 

It’s a typical witch’s altar, unremarkable. He has little interest in her reward, rushes at her (it’s the best provocation he has) and is flung into a wall like a puny human.  

“All those who would challenge us are gone; now we truly can’t be stopped. It would be in your best interests to work with me,” she says, continuing her work at the altar.

“I don’t work with witches. If that’s what your little reward is contingent on, I will be leaving.”

“No, not at all. This reward is a thank you, a settlement if you will. It’s unwise to remain in another’s debt. Joining our forces is only a suggestion.”


Four years earlier

Ciara had worked with the hope of coming to the attention of the legend. In the end, her plans had paid off, the legend had found her.

“You will come with me. You shall serve me, and you will be rewarded,” the woman spoke, words sounding regal and scratched.

It felt as though the air itself was alive when she met her. She felt entranced. The fruition of years of work, and she was being offered everything, a chance to taste of this power. It felt like her veins were drugged and on fire; she couldn’t refuse, and she didn’t want to. Her mouth felt strange as if words might refuse to come, so she nodded instead.   

Bonnie held back a smile at the girl’s nod, as if she had a choice, as though her will hadn’t already been twinned to Bonnie’s own. She had been entering the girl’s dreams for over two years to set this game in motion, but no one else would come to know.


Klaus gasps as a body appears on the altar, refuses to believe his eyes.

“How dare you perform this mockery,” he yells, fists wrapping the edge of the altar to overturn it.

And then he hears a heartbeat, pauses. The body reanimates in that instant, springing upright.

“Stefan,” Klaus wonders.

“Nik,” Stefan whispers with awe, wide smile gracing his lips.

“Stefan,” Klaus gasps, launching into a hug, squeezing as though Stefan might disappear if he didn’t hold on tight enough.

“Hey,” Stefan croaks, patting his arm.

“Hmm,” Klaus says, only loosening his grip slightly, he pushes his face into the crook of Stefan’s neck and stays there. Stefan laughs.

“How long was I gone?”

“I don’t know. Long.”

“Five years,” Bonnie says from a corner. “Come Klaus, Stefan must rest.”  


“Still opposed to an alliance?” Bonnie asks smugly.

“It seems we could be useful to each other,” Klaus replies, grinning in turn.


Stefan’s mouth stays open, forming a small ‘o’ of surprise as he’s filled in on what he’s missed.

“I’m away for five years and you facilitate a world take-over?” Stefan states blankly.

“I was upset,” Klaus replies, shrugging.

Stefan walks towards the door.

“Where are you going?” Klaus asks, suddenly fearful.

“I just need some time alone, to process…everything,” Stefan says, shooting Klaus an apologetic look.


Two weeks later

“When are you going to stop avoiding me!” Klaus demands, blocking Stefan’s path. 

“I don’t know, I’m sorry, this is all so much. You killed all those witches, and now you’re working with Bonnie to take over the world. I need to know why, explain it to me, how did you get to this?” 

“Come on Stefan, is it really that much of a surprise, this is me,” Klaus points out.

“No, that was you a long time ago; you changed, maybe not in the eyes of those witches, not some redemptive ideal, but you were definitely different. What happened?”

“You were gone, and I…”

“Don’t. No…I can’t. You can’t put all of this on me. I can’t let you put all of this on me. I can’t be that person again, I don’t want to be that person who feels so much guilt and so much self-loathing for actions that weren’t mine. You helped make me better, and after everything, after all this time, I can’t let you be the one to drag me back to that person. I won’t.”

“I know, I’m sorry, I know. But that’s the thing; you and I both know you’re already back there, because this isn’t even about the witches. I wish it was.”

“In what way is this not about you massacring almost an entire supernatural race?”

“You care about the witches, not as much as you want to, but enough. They’re not why you’re so angry.”


“It’s not your fault, I’m not blaming you. You were gone, and I was lost, I was in a dream, I wasn’t here, the person I am now…the person you helped me become was gone, I returned to default settings. I was running on auto-pilot, and I let them be killed. I let your brother be killed…” Klaus trails off, and a deep silence descends, both of their gazes on the floor.

“I don’t know if I can forgive you,” Stefan finally whispers. 

“There shouldn’t be a way for us to come back from this, but there has to be, I need you too much for there to not be.” 


“You must stay Stefan,” Bonnie says, with a worldly intonation that reminds him of Emily Bennett.

“I want to stay with Klaus, but I can’t.”

“You can. It will take time, but that’s something we have an abundance of.”    

“You started this all didn’t you?” Stefan asks.

“Yes,” she states simply. Bonnie isn’t surprised by his insight, they’ve always shared the same darkness and the same light. “Klaus cannot know. It would not be wise to have two indestructible superpowers fighting across the earth—the destruction would be catastrophic, but you know this already.”

“Even if I stay, why would I help you take over the world?”

“You’ve already said it, after all that he’s done, you want to stay with Klaus; that isn’t going to change. I will have my vengeance with or without you; you might just get to control whether or not the world gets through it in one piece.”

“So I’m the world take-over watchdog,” Stefan deadpans. “It may be a long time before I can be with Klaus again, and he’s not going to wait around letting me work with you guys in the interim.”

“You will pretend, and carry on pretending, until one day it is real.”

“What makes you think I could do this even if I wanted to?”

“Because you are who you try to be, and you have no one to try for anymore except for Klaus,” Bonnie says poignantly.

Stefan looks at her, and she looks at him, he nods. This is the moment. It has been a long time coming. They both knew long ago, before anyone else would’ve ever guessed, back when she was a new witch protecting her loved ones, and he was a vampire protecting his own in turn. She had just saved him from a fire. They had looked at each other, shared a moment of wisdom, and had known her words weren’t small. That she would protect her loved ones, and destroy all those who stood in her way. Whoever and however that meant.  


“I’m staying,” Stefan states.

“I knew you would,” Klaus smirks, but the words are too full of gratitude to be convincing.

He moves to kiss Stefan, but the vampire moves away.

“I’m going to need some more time.”


Stefan gives him an incredulous glare and he sighs.


He leaves the room because there’s something in his eye and grins at Bonnie as she enters.

“What happened to pretending?” Bonnie says when she’s sure Klaus is out of hearing range.

“I’m not doing that to Klaus, I love him, I’m not going to use him for your convenience, when I’m ready then I will be with him,” Stefan says, walking away.

She decides to leave him be for now.

Her plans can wait a while; their bonds must be strong for them all to gain full power.

For a month she watches them cautiously, spying on their interactions, taking in their faces when they think they’re alone, going from sorrow and anger to mildest cheer. Tallies Stefan’s finger twitches and replaces every crystal glass Klaus breaks. She knows they will be ready soon, knows it’s time to make her next move.


Bonnie’s face is on every television channel and every computer screen, and her voice every radio, on the planet. Her stare is direct and intense, her smile knowing as always and conniving as Venus fly-traps.


She makes no super-villain speeches. Then she is gone.


Over the next few days, everyone makes up their own ideas of what happened, of who this mysterious woman was, and how she managed to gain control of all the systems at once. Media trumpets the idea of super-hackers, aliens, spies, new computer viruses. A witch tells everyone who she is and is called crazy. Then there are also ideas of sorcerers, of magic, of witches and warlocks, of devils and angels. She lets the legends grow.

Klaus rips off the buttons on Stefan’s shirt, his lover has finally stopped avoiding him and they’re fucking on the sofa. But every time he tries to kiss Stefan, he’s manoeuvred somewhere else.

“What is it?” he demands impatiently.

“Can we just forget everything and do this?” Stefan replies.

“No. What’s wrong?”

“Everything. But I can’t not love you.”

“Well, that’s lovely to hear,” Klaus says, snapping his neck.


“Hi,” Stefan says.

“Hello, love,” Klaus replies. “Sorry about the whole neck-snap thing.”

“That’s okay. You know we will get through all this, it’s just going to take time.”

“I miss you,” Klaus whispers.

“I know, I miss you too,” Stefan says, pressing his forehead to Klaus’s.

That evening as Bonnie sits around one of her smaller tables eating with Klaus and Stefan, she notices a difference; for once they’re relaxed with each other, smiling more light-heartedly, speaking less warily. She knows the time is right, now her boys are ready. She makes a toast, and they clink glasses together, celebrating their alliance and what’s to come.

They stay with her as night falls and the full moon begins to crest.

“It’s time,” she states, and Klaus and Stefan give her their blood as they had agreed.

Taking the chalice filled with blood, she pours the power-laden liquid onto the table, whispering words of an ancient tongue; joining her boys to her. They will take this journey together.

“We are now bound as one,” she states when the ritual is over.

Stefan looks wary still, but Klaus only grins and winds his arm around Stefan’s shoulders. Bonnie gives them a soft smile before walking to the window and opening it. She stands there, hands rubbing her arms against the chill.

She breathes in the world, entirety of nature’s power laid out for her, barely anyone to share it with, and no one to stop her. Pictures every drop of oceans, every gust of wind, every blade of grass and draws the power to herself.

“Come to me,” she commands; nature is her servant now.

Plants wither and darken and die, orchards and crop fields and vegetable gardens alike.

She returns to everyone’s screens and makes a simple announcement (garnished with a reborn forest).

“If you give me the world, I will bring it back to life.”


In the next days, statement after statement flies out of the offices of governments, religious organisations, monarchies and other bodies of power, all declaring a surrender. The world is being turned over to Bonnie Bennett.

It’s said her bones were built from old dark magic.


lady_vader67 at 2012-10-26 19:48 (UTC) (Link)
First *Awe*

Now, I love this pairing and I miss it on the show :(
This is perfect and how it comes together by weaving back and forth in time and the legend and
just wow at Bonnie

I did not see it coming.

Love this and now I have to re-read.
swirlsofblue at 2012-10-26 20:06 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, I'm so pleased you loved it so much that you want to re-read it and that you liked the Bonnie surprise :)
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