Title: Never Know What Hit You
Authors: Sxymami0909 & Xtremeroswelia
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Timeline: Set after 3.18 'Riddled' AU from there.
Rating: R - for extreme violence
Pairings: Stiles/Lydia, Scott/Kira, Allison/Isaac, Eventual Sheriff Stilinski/Melissa, Derek Hale, Aiden, Ethan, Alan Deaton, Chris Argent
Summary: Stiles is in a race against time to figure out the latest mystery in Beacon Hills before he can no longer remember his friends and family. But when Stiles heads down a dark path, Scott and Lydia have to work with the pack to find a way to save their friend and save Beacon Hills. But are both possible? Or will they have to choose? Does one life outweigh the many? Or will a sacrifice be made to protect what's left of the town? Friendships will be tested, bonds broken, and lines drawn. And when all is said and done, nothing will ever be the same again.
Previous Chapters: | One | Two | Three | Four | Five |
They were coming. His heart pounded hard in his chest. Hurry, please, he thought, trying to maintain control. If he could just keep the darkness at bay for a little while. Just a little while. They were already out looking for him. If he could just hold on…
When he woke up, he’d found himself in the middle of the woods. It was dark and he couldn’t see much of anything. But there was blood all over him. All over his hands. His clothes. God, there was so much blood. He felt it.
Aiden’s blood. A soft sound escaped him and he pressed his forearm to his mouth as a wave of nausea overwhelmed him. He’d thrown up, hands digging into the dirt and grime, mixing with the blood that already caked his fingernails.
He’d ripped Aiden’s heart out of his chest. What the hell kind of monster did something like that? It didn’t even matter if it was him or the thing inside of him. The Nogitsune was going to keep doing this, keep killing and maiming and causing chaos. More people would get hurt. Allison might be dead because of him. A sob wracked his body as he pressed his back up against one of the trees, squeezing his eyes shut tightly.
He could’ve killed Scott. Could’ve killed any of them.
He just had to hold on a little longer. He could hear voices off in the distance, knew they were getting closer to him. He’d texted his exact coordinates and he hadn’t moved from his spot since. His body was shaking, teeth chattering in his head as he waited. Hurry, he thought, desperation clinging to him, a real thing that felt like it was sitting heavily on his chest.
Just freakin’ hurry.
Stiles saw lights bobbing in the distance and he held his breath, squinting as one shone on him, and then another. He was nauseous again.
“Be careful. It could be a trap,” a familiar voice said.
Chris shifted his head taking in the area before moving forward, fingers curling tightly around his crossbow. “You two go to the left, you men to the right. I want a circle around the entire area and be careful.” He said voice hard.
Chris had given Scott a chance to take care of this, but after he got the call from the school, he was done waiting. Whether they liked it or not this was getting taken care of tonight. He lifted his crossbow, positioning it in front of him as he moved slowly looking at the ground every so often to avoid traps as he approached the coordinates that were sent to him.
He spotted the figure pressed against a tree. Chris paused, shining his light in that direction spotting Stiles right away. “Over here!” He called out to his men as he stepped closer to Stiles. He paused several feet in front of him. “So what is this? Another one of your tricks?” He asked keeping the cross bow trained on Stiles.
Stiles looked up at him but couldn’t quite meet his eyes. Was Allison still alive? Was she dead? Had he killed her? He wanted to ask, but he couldn’t form the words. He simply shook his head jerkily, shivering in the cold. “I just...I woke up out here.” His voice was barely a whisper, guilt-ridden. “There’s no trick.”
Chris’s jaw hardened, “And I’m supposed to believe that?” He sneered, “Oh I just terrorized the town and then took a little nap in the woods and woke up all better.” he said sarcastically. “I don’t think so.” He motioned to the hunter behind Stiles, “Tie him up,” he barked the order before glancing back at Stiles’ face. “You’re coming with us.” He said matter-of-factly.
He couldn’t, and didn’t, blame Allison’s father for his skepticism. Or his anger, for that matter. “I’m not better,” he said shakily, wincing as the man behind him jerked him to his feet, yanking his arms behind him none-too-gently. “It’s why I called you.” He didn’t try to pull away from the hunter who was now binding his hands with wire that cut into his skin. He didn’t understand why they were tying him up. Why they weren’t just going to get it over with here, in the woods, before he had a chance to lose control of the nogitsune inside of him.
Chris lowered his crossbow and nodded to the hunter beside him. “Go clear us a path down to the drop-off by the river.” He said his gaze never wavering from Stiles. He could see how tired he was, how beat up and a part of him felt bad. Stiles didn’t ask for this, but no one ever did. “We’ll make it quick,” he said as he moved forward and grabbed the wire attached to the back of his hands dragging him along following the hunters leading the path.
Stiles grimaced, trying to ignore the pain that shot through his shoulder that was still far from recovered from the arrow that Chris had shot him with before. He didn’t protest, didn’t make a single sound as he walked along the path, less like a death row inmate facing his execution and more like a lost boy who was just too tired to keep going anymore. He just wanted it over and done with. The walk wasn’t long, the river not far from where Chris had initially found him in the woods.
He stared at the rushing water, tears blurring his eyes. “Wait just...my phone.” He swallowed hard. “It’s in my left pocket. I need you to give it to my dad. Please,” he whispered.
Chris stopped walking when they reached the edge. He glanced at Stiles and his chest tightened slightly at the tears he saw there. He cleared his throat and reached into the younger boy’s pocket to grab his cell phone. Chris took it out and slipped it into his pocket. “I’ll make sure he gets it.” He said as he glanced over Stiles head and motioned for the two hunters behind him to head out. Chris put the crossbow down and reached behind him in his pants and pulled out his gun.
“Thanks,” he said, shutting his eyes, his heart pounding hard in his chest. “Is Allison…” His voice wavered as he choked on the question. “Is she…”
“No,” Chris’ voice was hard. “She’s alive, though the wolfsbane almost killed her in the middle of surgery,” he said his heart clenching. “She’s a survivor though, she’ll get past this.” He paused, “I’m sorry I have to do this Stiles, it might not seem like it, but I can’t let you hurt anyone else...you understand.” He said as he shifted a few paces back so he was standing directly in front of Stiles as he cocked his gun.
He flinched at the angry tone, nodding and slowly sinking down his knees, the blood rushing in his ears. At least he hadn’t killed Allison, too. “I know.” At one time he would have called Derek for this purpose, but Derek wasn’t acting like himself anymore either. He’d tried to convince Derek to kill him earlier and he hadn’t, and if he had, Aiden would still be alive. “Just do it.” His voice was barely audible.
Chris swallowed heavily, lifted his arm aiming at Stiles’ head, and started to pull his finger back on the trigger when the sound of another hunter screaming sounding in the quiet forest and then the guy was flying through the air and smacking into a tree.
Scott let out a loud, angry roar as he ran over to the next hunter fully transformed. He reached up grabbing him by the throat and tossing him aside. He glanced over and saw Derek working on taking out the other two hunters. They had been searching all night for Stiles and finally caught his scent a few miles back.
Stiles’ heart sank when he heard the roar because he knew that roar. He didn’t want Scott to be here for this. He squeezed his eyes shut tightly, feeling sick all over again.
Scott stepped forward, a growl building in his throat. “Get away from him.” He growled his voice hard as he continued walking towards Chris.
“I can’t do that, Scott,” Chris informed him, keeping his gun trained on Stiles’ head. “You know I can’t. You know why I can’t.”
Fury filled Scott and he was having trouble controlling it. His eyes glowed in the dark of the night and he felt Derek coming up beside him meaning the other hunters were taken care of for the moment. Not dead, just knocked out. Scott glanced between Stiles and Chris, his eyes going to the gun. “If you shoot him, you won’t make it out of these woods.” He threatened something he never did. But Stiles was his best friend and he didn’t deserve this end.
“Scott, don’t,” he whispered. “Don’t.” His voice was pleading. “I called him here, okay? I called him.”
Chris kept his finger on the trigger, eying Scott warily from the corner of his eye and keeping the other trained on Stiles in case he tried anything.
Scott’s gaze turned to Stiles, “I’m not letting him kill you, I promise I won’t let you hurt anyone else. We have plan...Lydia called. She and Kira know how to get rid of the Nogitsune without killing you.” He said taking a step forward. “You don’t need to die, Stiles please,” his voice broke and Derek stepped forward glancing at Chris.
“Give us a chance to fix this...enough people have died. We don’t need to add anyone else to that list.”
A tear slid down Stiles’ face, and then another. “I could have killed Allison, Scott. I could’ve killed you,” he said, voice raw. “I know you want to, but you can’t stop this thing. You saw what I did. I ripped Aiden’s heart out of his chest! I don’t want to do that again! I can’t!” He turned his head to look at Scott. “You have to go now. Please.”
Chris held his breath, stomach tightening a little. “You found a cure?” he echoed, uncertain.
Scott nodded, Lydia didn’t give him exact details, “Yes,” he said with conviction. Scott transformed back, letting his wolf recede. He took a few steps forward as he slid his hand into his pocket and pulled out a syringe. “Letharia Vulpina,” he said, “Deaton says this will poison the Nogitsune inside of Stiles long enough for us to get it out. Lydia and Kira are on their way, we just need to tell them where we are. And then this will all be over.” He explained.
Derek stood beside Scott keeping an eye out for the hunters in case any of them woke up.
“No,” Stiles pleaded, crying in earnest now. “No, Scott. What if it doesn’t work? What if it doesn’t work? What if I kill you? What if I kill Lydia or Kira or Derek or --”
Chris grimaced, lowering his gun. “Do it.”
Relief crossed Scott’s face. He looked to his best friend and what he saw and heard made his heart clench as agony tore through him. “Stiles...give me this, if it doesn’t work,” he paused his eyes closing; “If it doesn’t work then we can do it your way. I just...please,” he said his voice choking up, eyes burning. “I need to try this, I need to fix this. Please.”
Wordlessly, Chris reached out and took the syringe from him, stepping closer to Stiles and plunging the needle into the side of his neck, wrapping an arm around the boy’s middle as he started to collapse. He looked back at Scott, shaking his head. “He’s not in his right mind, Scott.”
Scott rubbed a hand down the front of his face as he silently stared at Chris for a minute his throat tightening, “Thank you.” He said his voice quiet.
Derek lifted his phone out of his pocket as they were talking and his brows drew together when he checked it. “That’s Lydia,” he said reading the text message, “She said we need to go somewhere with electricity.” He shook his head, “Everywhere has electricity,” he commented as he walked passed Scott and over by Chris to lift Stiles up off the ground.
Chris frowned at the words. “Somewhere with electricity.” He paused, an idea formulating in his mind about why they needed that. “The basement of your old house.” It was secluded enough that if this plan didn’t work, there would still be time to do what he needed to do to ensure Stiles didn’t harm anyone else.
Derek grunted, “Oh yes, I love going back there,” he said with a sigh. “When this is over not only are Stiles and I even, but he owes me,” he commented lightly while tugging him over his shoulder. “Well, let’s go, someone text Lydia and tell her where we’re going, my hands are full of teenager at the moment,” He told them as he turned and started heading in the direction of his old house.
Scott took his phone out and told Lydia to meet them at Derek’s before falling in step with Chris as they walked behind Derek. Scott sent him a sideways glance, “I’m sorry about threatening you,” he said quietly.
“We’re both just trying to do the right thing,” he said after a moment. He hadn’t wanted to kill Stiles. He hadn’t spent much time with the kid, but Allison had always talked highly of him, and he knew that she considered him a good friend. If there was any possibility that some method aside from killing him would work, he had to give that a shot first. For his daughter’s sake. She’d lost so much already. Her favorite aunt. Her mother. He didn’t want to be the one who added to that list unless there was no other way. And he wasn’t convinced that this would work anyway. “I’m coming with you, you know that right?”
Scott glanced at him, “Well I figured since you’re you know...following us.” He said as he scratched the back of his head nervous. Lydia hadn’t given him many details over the phone. She just said that she and Kira talked to Deaton and they found the solution. But what if--No he wasn’t going to let himself go there. They were going to do this and it was going to work. There was no other option.
Chris simply nodded, falling silent as they walked. He just hoped whatever plan these kids had come up with was a hell of a good one. Because they were going to need it.
Lydia pulled the car up to the rundown old Hale house. She parked the car and turned it off swallowing hard as she sat there for a minute still digesting everything that Deaton had told her. She let out a slow breath and glanced at Kira. “When we go in there, you know what I’m going to need you to do right?” She asked turning slightly in her seat.
Okay, so Lydia hadn’t exactly explained things to Scott, but that was because she knew if she did he’d be hesitant to follow through and she couldn’t let that happen because they didn’t have any other options left.
“Yeah, I know.” If Kira sounded nervous, it was because...she was nervous. She was really nervous. But it had been her that had started this whole mess to begin with, however unintentional it had been. She swallowed hard, looking at Lydia sideways.
Lydia sent her a reassuring smile, “It’ll be fine, you just make your fireworks when I tell you and this whole thing will be over.” She paused hesitating, “Thank you for helping,” Lydia knew she hadn’t exactly been nice to Kira since she started at Beacon Hills, but when this was over maybe they could start over or something.
“Well, it’s...sort of my fault so.” She looked down. “I didn’t mean to cause all this trouble, Lydia. Not for Stiles or Scott or anyone.”
Lydia’s expression softened, “It’s not your fault okay? It was an accident. Blaming you would be the same as blaming Stiles for everything that’s happened. It’s a terrible thing, but it’s not your fault.” She told the other girl, her gaze drifting back to the house. “Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we ready?” She asked nerves filling her.
Kira looked over at her once more, nodding, looking more resolute now. She reached out and grasped Lydia’s hand for a second. “We can do this,” she whispered, eyes bright.
Lydia smiled, “We can,” she said as she pushed open the car door closing it behind her and making her way towards the house. She spotted Scott waiting outside for them and she sent him a tired smile, “Sorry it took us a little bit, we’re ready though. He’s here?” She asked lightly.
Scott didn’t look nearly as hopeful as Lydia did, but he nodded. “Yeah, he’s downstairs. What’s the plan?” He asked anxiously.
“I’ll fill you in when we get downstairs,” Lydia said as she started to walk past Scott and into the house.
Scott watched her go before turning to Kira, “Hey,” he said quietly, “Thanks for being here.” He told her as he met her gaze.
Kira offered him a quick smile. “You’re welcome. I want to help.” And she was hoping that the plan they’d come up with was going to work. She really cared for Scott and she didn’t want to see him lose his best friend. Not like this, and not anytime soon, or ever. She hesitated, then held out her hand to him.
Scott took Kira’s hand without hesitation threading their fingers together. He knew he was going to need the support. He tugged her gently into the house following the way Lydia had gone back to the basement. Back to Stiles.
Stiles was half-standing, half-slouching over in the chains that Derek had bound him with to the wall. He was also only half-conscious, slowly beginning to wake up. As soon as he realized he wasn’t dead and rotting in hell, his chest tightened with anxiety. His heart began to pound more quickly than before, and he lifted his head, spotting Derek a few feet away, watching him, and Chris standing on his other side, doing the same. Chris’s hand rested on the handle of his .45.
Why were they drawing this out? Why were they doing this? Feeling ill, he heard footsteps approaching the room, which he didn’t even recognize to begin with. It was dark, and it was cold and momentarily he wondered if he was just buried so far inside of himself that he was dreaming and none of this was actually happening.
Lydia made her way carefully into the room, the whole place giving her the creeps. She stepped inside and frowned, “Does he have to be tied up like that?” She asked her heart clenching at the sight of him.
“It’s just in case the drug wears off,” Derek explained, glancing over at her with troubled eyes.
She felt like it had been forever since she’d seen him. Lydia hesitated glancing between Derek and Mr. Argent before closing some of the distance between them. Lydia reached out and brushed her hand against his cheek, “Stiles?” She asked softly.
He flinched, pulling away from her because he was a monster and Lydia shouldn’t be touching him. “Don’t, please.” His voice broke. She shouldn’t be anywhere near him. He’d murdered her boyfriend. Almost killed her best friend.
Lydia stepped back, her eyes prickling at his response, but she swallowed hard and forced herself to push her emotions aside. If she was going to do this she needed to stay calm. Deaton told her she had to concentrate only on her intention when Kira initiated the foxfire and Lydia didn’t think it would help if she was overly emotional at the time.
Scott cleared his throat making everyone glance in his direction. He squeezed Kira’s hand gently, “Okay, we’re all here now what?” He asked looked between Lydia and Kira.
Kira’s eyes widened and she looked at Lydia nervously. She wanted to help, but she wasn’t sure she could really explain to Scott what the other girl wanted to do.
Stiles shut his eyes, tired and feeling drugged and half out of it. He didn’t want to know the plan. Whatever it was, it wasn’t going to work. He just had no faith that anything was going to be able to save him now. Not after everything.
Lydia straightened up, her voice calm, “Now Kira is going to use foxfire on Stiles again.” She said holding off on the other part of it for the moment. “Is there an open electrical wire that she can draw from?” She asked glancing over at Derek and Mr. Argent.
“You’re -- what?” Derek’s eyes widened a little, caught off guard. This wasn’t the plan he’d been expecting at all.
Chris pursed his lips, not looking at all phased or surprised by this information. “One on the far wall,” he told her, nodding toward it.
Scott frowned, “Wait foxfire, but isn’t that what woke the Nogitsune up in Stiles in the first place? Why would we be using that?” He asked his gaze falling to Kira.
Lydia studied Scott for a minute, “Because that’s how we’re also going to draw it out of him.” She told him matter-of-factly. Her gaze went back to Derek, “Can you help me with this wire?” She asked not giving him a chance to answer as she started walking toward it.
He followed her slowly, his gaze watching her closely. When they got over by the wire he glanced over his shoulder towards Scott and Kira and then back to her. “What’s going on?” He asked keeping his voice low.
Lydia sent Derek a sideways glance. “Promise me something?” She said as she fiddled with the outlet.
Derek grunted. He did not like the sound of that. “What?” He asked his eyes narrowing.
“No matter what happens, don’t let Scott stop it.” she whispered as she met his gaze. “Not until it’s over.” She demanded.
Crap. Now Derek really didn’t like the sound of this. He glanced over at Kira and Scott, who were talking quietly which meant he probably wasn’t paying attention to Lydia right now. “Lydia-”
“Promise.” She said again.
Derek dropped his head forward slightly. “I promise. But I want you to know I’m promising under duress.” He pointed out.
Lydia nodded and glanced over at Scott and Kira, “You ready Kira?” she called out.
Kira looked over at her. “Yeah.” Ready as she’d ever be anyway.
Stiles looked up at Lydia’s voice and looked around, realizing she was holding an electrical wire. It only took him a second to realize what they were about to do. Oh god.
“I think this is a terrible plan,” he said anxiously, struggling against the chains that held him in place. Not only was it terrible, it was reckless. They didn’t know for sure what kind of effect this might have on any of them. What the Nogitsune might do in retaliation. “Lydia, don’t.”
Lydia closed her eyes momentarily, focusing her mind on one thing and one thing only. Getting that thing out of Stiles. She looked at Mr. Argent, “You and Derek need to go stand by Scott.” She told him before stepping aside so Kira could come near the open outlet. Lydia made her way over to Stiles, “I’m sorry,” she whispered waiting for Kira to get in position.
Chris knew she was right, and moved over to stand beside Scott, eying Derek when he did the same. This was either going to work or it was going to be a tragedy. There wasn’t really room for anything in between. Not this time.
“Lydia, listen to me. Don’t do this,” Stiles said urgently, casting a frightened glance at Kira. “I know what you’re doing and I’m telling you not to!”
Lydia took a step closer to him. “I’m not going to lose you. This is going to work. You need to trust me,” she said her words soft, but her voice was thick with emotion. “Stiles,” she paused, “Trust me.” She repeated grabbing onto him tightly. Lydia glanced at Kira, “Make sure you give the syringe to Scott. The second this works tell him to give it to me.” She said before nodding her head, “I’m ready.”
Lydia’s words made Scott’s eyes widen. “No,” he said quietly. Stiles would never forgive himself if this didn’t work. It would kill him. “Stop!” He said as he took a step forward.
“Kira now!” Lydia said louder this time knowing they needed to do it before Scott tried to stop them.
Shooting a worried look at Scott, Kira prayed that Lydia and Dr. Deaton knew what they were talking about. She grabbed the live wire, the room lighting up with electricity.
Stiles tried to protest, but before he could get out another word, pain shot through him and he screamed, his entire body shaking violently from the shock.
Chris flinched, reaching out and resting a hand on Scott’s arm, pulling him backwards instinctively and shielding his eyes from the sudden brightness that lit up the otherwise dark room.
Derek was on the other side of Scott doing the same thing making sure he didn’t run forward and jump in the middle of things.
Lydia’s hand clenched around Stiles, as heat seared through her body. Pain ripped into her and she threw her head back and screamed, the sound carrying through the entire room. She felt a ripple of emotion from Stiles and then the damn broke, all the pain, chaos and strife the Nogitsune had created slammed into her when it invaded her body.
Lydia screamed again, but it was different this time. Her grip released Stiles as she grabbed her head, dropping to her knees. “Ahhhhhhhhh,” the emotions were overwhelming inside of her and she could hear it taunting her. Lydia shook her head. She needed to remember Deaton’s words. What was she supposed to do?
She felt sick, her head hurt, no...what did she have to do? She forced the thought to the forefront of her brain. She needed to scream. Lydia closed her eyes focusing all her energy on the foreign presence inside of her body, jerking her head back and taking a deep breath. Seconds later Lydia screamed, the sound so deep and loud it shook the room, glass breaking as Derek and Scott both fell to their knees with the force of it.
Chris covered his ears as she screamed, the loudest, longest scream he’d ever heard in his entire life, face filled with alarm. What the hell was that? he wondered, stunned.
But her scream didn’t stop, not yet, there was still more to get rid of inside of her. And then several minutes later, Lydia’s screaming came to an abrupt halt. Silence filled the room as her body gave out falling to the ground in front of Stiles.
Chris’ ears were still ringing even as he moved forward to where she’d fallen, reaching out and placing his fingers against her throat to feel for a pulse. He exhaled, shutting his eyes for a moment in relief when he found one.
He looked back over his shoulder at Scott and Derek with an expression that clearly stated he wanted answers in the realm of SOON.
Kira looked over at Scott, then at Lydia, then up at Stiles who was now hanging in his chains, limp and unconscious. “Did it work?”
Scott scrambled to his feet and ran over to where Chris was, “Is she…” His breathing was heavy and when Chris shook his head, relief crossed his face and he moved over to Stiles, glancing briefly at Kira. “I don’t know...how do we know if it worked? What’s supposed to happen?” He asked.
Derek came over, wiggling a finger in his ear and making a face. “Well?” He glanced between an unconscious Stiles and then to an unconscious Lydia, “What’s the verdict?”
“Dr. Deaton said that...it needed to be Lydia. Because she’s his tether?” Kira sounded uncertain because she still wasn’t exactly sure what that meant. “And because the Nogitsune couldn’t occupy the body of someone who was already occupied supernaturally. And that her scream would destroy it.”
Chris stared at Kira for a long moment, then looked down at Lydia. “She’s a banshee,” he mumbled. The wailing woman. But he didn’t know what Kira meant by Lydia being Stiles’ tether. That part didn’t make sense to him either. Tether to what he wondered.
Scott started undoing the chains from Stiles, “So then...it worked. She screamed,” he said quietly carefully lowering Stiles to the ground, “The nemeton is what let the Nogitsune in. When Stiles, Allison, and I sacrificed ourselves to save you guys,” he said glancing at Chris, “Deaton told us we’d be letting darkness inside of us.” He swallowed hard as he laid his best friend on the floor listening to his heart, making sure it sounded okay.
“Allison and I were able to close the door inside our heads...Stiles wasn’t.” He explained. “When we did the ritual we had a tether linking us to this world so we didn’t get lost. Isaac with Allison, Lydia with Stiles, Deaton with me.”
Derek bent down beside Scott. “We should get him cleaned up and changed. Maybe get your Mom to look at that arm,” he mumbled mostly to himself.
“When you did what?” Chris asked in disbelief. “When you sacrificed yourselves to--” He rubbed a hand over his face. “Christ, Scott.” He wondered if his mother and Stiles’ father had any idea.
Kira moved over to Scott’s side, laying a hand on his shoulder and then kneeling down beside Lydia and carefully brushing some of her hair out of her face. Scott was tossing out a lot of unfamiliar words like Nemeton and she wasn’t quite following along, but she’d ask him about it later. “We should probably get them to the hospital,” she said hesitantly.
Scott nodded, “You’re right.” He said as he started to lift Stiles off the ground.
Derek stood, “I’ll grab Lydia,” he commented moving over by Chris and lifting the limp girl into his arms. He straightened up, “Someone grab a car,” he said.
Scott was the next up with Stiles in his arms. Still not able to believe it was finally over.