ptahrrific: Jon and Stephen, "Believe in the me who believes in you" (fake news)
Erin Ptah ([personal profile] ptahrrific) wrote2013-02-03 04:29 pm

Fake News | Jon/"Stephen", others | PG | Silent (4)

Title: Silent (4/4)
Rating: PG
Cast: Jon/"Stephen" (eventually), brief Jon/OC, Larry, Kristen, OCs
Disclaimer: #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement. Characters belong to the Report. Names of real people are used in a fictitious context, and all dialogue, actions, and content are products of the author's imagination only.

Stephen finally finds a way to let his Daily Show explode into its full potential. The only question is whether he can bring Jon along with him. And how much longer it's going to take him to invite Jon to make out, already.

AO3 mirror | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Embarrassing Noises


The third act opened with a tight shot of Jon sitting at the interview table: a nice round plastic-and-lucite setup on the side of the stage, even more normal-looking when compared to the C-shaped desk. Jon was scribbling mindless doodles on the cards that listed his questions, but he looked up as the applause died down, smiled winningly at the camera, and began to sign.

"Welcome back to The Daily Show with Stephen Colbert! I'm Jon Stewart."

A snicker ran through the studio audience. They could see a couple of punch lines ahead, and were enjoying it already.

"Now, those of you who are long-time viewers of the show will notice something different about me today. Specifically, this melodious new voice. For those of you who were big fans of the subtitles, don't worry: they've been sent to a very nice farm upstate, where they will have lots of space to run and play and be happy."

As arranged, the teleprompter stopped scrolling while people laughed. They had also planned emergency backup signals for Kallie in case the techs screwed up the timing, but the pause before it started up again felt right to Jon. It was about the same length of time Stephen left after Jon's answers before moving on to the next question.

"The voice tonight will be provided tonight by my capable assistant, Kaleo Thompson." Jon turned to face the chair across from him. "Kallie, would you like to say a few words as yourself before you go back to being me?"

He folded his hands on the desk top and waited, with an expression of polite, genuine interest.

"Um, sure, I guess," said/signed Kallie, as the shot panned back to reveal that she was wearing a suit and tie that almost perfectly mirrored Jon's, her dark hair swept up under a cheap (but passably Stewart-esque) grey wig. "Are you sure I have to wear this?"

Jon gave a short, sharp nod.

"Okay." She turned to the camera and signed, briefly getting her own subtitles: Hi, Mom! Check it out, I'm on TV! "I guess that's it."

"Thank you, Kallie." She even looked more confident when providing Jon's voice. "About time to bring out the guest...if you would?" She nodded, stepped out of the chair, and took her post behind and to the left of the guest: easy to both hear and see. "Can we give her another hand? Kallie Thompson, everyone."

Pause. A quick round of clapping, this time. Scroll.

"Our guest tonight. An investigative reporter for the New York Times, his new book is called The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation. Please welcome to the show Philip Shenon!"

Walk-on. Smile. Sign welcome to the show as he approaches, trust that Kallie repeated it, shake the guy's hand.

Jon was maybe two parts giddy as a schoolgirl who just got Justin Bieber tickets, one part terrified that this was about to come crashing down around him, and five parts fascinated with the book and downright hungry to get more of the author's thoughts on it.

They dove in.


"Hi, everyone. Well, this is awkward...but the interview ran a little long, by which I mean like eight minutes longer than expected. So there's going to be a couple of weird edits in the middle. The good news is, I just found out the technical staff is able to put our whole uncut things on the web for everyone to see. ...uh, that didn't come out right."


"Can you stick around for a couple more minutes? We'll do the fade-out, then we'll come back and keep talking for a little bit, and that part will be put up on the Internet."


unicornprincess76: so i herd u liek interviews
shamsky62: ???
unicornprincess76: it's a meme, Jon. all the kids do it these days. get with the times.
unicornprincess76: you like doing the interviews.
unicornprincess76: you are totally into these x-treem interviewz, radical, dude!
shamsky62: The freshness of your "memes" aside...yes. It's tremendous, Stephen. Thank you so much for working this out for me.
unicornprincess76: no prob, no prob, just what friends do :-)
unicornprincess76: but Jon we may have an issue
unicornprincess76: you ended up going over time in 3 of the 4 interviews last week
unicornprincess76: haven't had time for us to write a Wørd of the Day in months
unicornprincess76: also it has finally sunk in that this means 33% less face time for me in a night
shamsky62: Stephen, if we have to cut this, please just cut to the chase and say so.
unicornprincess76: hear me out sir

unicornprincess76 is typing.

unicornprincess76: this could be our second half hour.

you could clearly fill a full 12+ minutes of guest time on-air every night without blinking. we wouldn't even be asking advertisers to take a chance, because Internet people inform me that the hits your full-length interviews get online are super-double-plus-good! plus you could extend into the act before or after if the guest was really awesome, making even less work for the rest of us.

it's still only one guest per night. unless they look like boring guests, in which we should probably play it safe and book two in a row. that would still would involve filling 200% of the time with less than 200% of the bookings.

it's a low-effort segment for the writers, because you just come up with smart questions and then let the expert do all the talking.

also low-effort for Jimmy and the crew. no fancy camera work, no lightning-fast slew of effects, not even any subtitles, just cutting back & forth between you & Tonighty McGuesty. plus if we bump up the frequency of having a field piece in the first half, we can make sure they get breaks if they need it.

we have a ton of correspondents and contributors. more than ever before. and if for some reason they don't produce enough material I'm sure we can find an emergency backup. the building manager thinks I'm cute, he would probably go try to do a field piece if I asked.

and it would all happen with me getting 100% to 133% of the former max amount of face time

(did I get all those numbers right? I had to ask Allison for help.)


shamsky62 is typing.

shamsky62 has entered text.

shamsky62 is typing.

shamsky62: I don't know! I want to say yes, you are clearly some kind of mad genius (Allison-enabled or not) who has worked out the perfect way to give me everything I've ever wanted in life. But it would still leave me supervising more writing than before (50%-100% more, give or take), on top of making sure I always have backup questions ready for those interviews that turn out less naturally engaging than expected. I had these vague dreams of having time for a social life again once the election was over...not that I've ever been great at that anyway, but still! This time it isn't about concern for everyone else. It's 110% about me. I'm scared of burning myself out. I'm scared, Stephen.
unicornprincess76: Jon please take a deep breath
unicornprincess76: there is this exciting new thing called delegation! it means making other people do some of your work for you. for example: the new head writer will do most of the wrangling, just as soon as I figure out who they will be.
unicornprincess76: which of the writers have you judged most awesome?
unicornprincess76: my guess is Allison! or Ben. or both! we could have co-head-writers!
shamsky62: And I'm...becoming a standard writer/correspondent again? Or, I guess, a writer/interviewer? What's my job title in this scenario?
unicornprincess76: did I not mention the part where I wanted you to be my co-executive-producer?

Twenty minutes later, Jon showed up in Stephen's office with a freshly-delivered basket of muffins, and hugged him so hard he couldn't breathe.


Jon botched his first interview with John McCain. He had admired the man deeply over the years, but at some point the uncomfortable lapses in integrity that had been all over this campaign season had to come up, and he probably went at it too hard. McCain was probably not coming back.

He did pretty well in his first interview with Barack Obama. They really hoped he would accept another invitation one of these years.

At some point Stephen decided he missed doing interviews after all. The show hired a couple of assistants for their talent booker, and quietly started bringing in second-act guests who could speak to whatever topics Stephen most wanted to talk about that day. He stayed at the C-shaped desk for these. The interview table was Jon's.


The Indecision 2008 set was a thing of beauty.

Stephen's desk got moved into Jon's spot, and Jon's table stashed off-set entirely, making room for the latest and greatest multi-seat edition. The complaints Stephen had were mollified by a giant C-shaped decal on the back of his laptop. He checked in with all the correspondents in turn, and co-interviewed a few special guests with the help of Jon-via-Kallie. As ever, Jon kept an eye on the numbers, and periodically stepped in with the results of congressional races as they came down.

As the hour wore on and the washes of red and blue (but mostly blue) spread across the map, Stephen got more and more depressed. When they didn't have a guest between them, Jon did a lot of comforting patting.

They were about to push into overtime when CNN called it.

Stephen might hate it, but he had one last sacred duty to do as host before he found a dark corner somewhere to curl up and sob into a carton of Americone Dream. He tapped Kallie with his WristStrong hand, signed I'll do it, and faced bravely forward.

"The next President of the United States," he said, simultaneously with Jon, "is Barack Obama."

And then it turned out he wasn't even going to get peace after that, because Larry cited the new racial paradigm as a reason to escort him and Jon out of their seats, while Wyatt took over his precious desk. Everything was chaos for a while. The fact that Jon's immediate response had been to scoot meekly out of the way did not help.

(Kallie, of course, moved to follow Jon. "No, no, you can stay!" exclaimed Larry. "Hawaiian people are totally covered by this too.")


Jon figured, and rightly so, that it was probably not a good night to leave Stephen alone. By the time the car dropped them off Stephen was red-eyed and stumbling on his feet; he only managed to kick his shoes off before tumbling fully-clothed into Jon's guest bed, eyes closed, mumbling things that Jon didn't have a prayer of lip-reading. It was left to Jon to turn out the light.

The next morning Stephen seemed downright functional, stealing one of Jon's razors to touch up his face and making pancakes while Jon did the crossword.

It's the day after, he explained, between carving up syrup-drenched forkfuls. That means it's basically the Boxing Day of Election Day, right? The day when you traditionally take the election back and exchange it for a new one?

If only anything in the world worked that way, replied Jon dryly, taking a moment to spread more butter over his own plate. But it could be worse, right? Even you have to admit, at least it's not a rehash of 2000.

2000 had its good points, sulked Stephen. Like the fact that it ushered in eight years of our greatest president: what's-his-name.

President Bush?

No, that can't be right. Stephen paused to lick syrup off his fork, tongue caressing the curve of the tines. Remember how he handled Katrina? And those two never-ending wars he started? And you'll have to take my word for this, but the man couldn't pronounce...well, anything.

Jon (who had, in fact, supervised the writing of enough pronunciation-based jokes that he didn't need to take Stephen's word for it) let it go. One of the greatest perks of getting to this point, in his opinion, was the serious possibility that he might not have to discuss George W. ever again.

(The other one, which he also couldn't see bringing up with Stephen, was the reappearance of enough free time for a social life. The whole subject was an area his otherwise opinion-driven Stephen avoided like the plague; whether he was closeted or asexual or just had terrible luck, Jon didn't know and hadn't pried. Besides, at this point, the amount of time Jon had gone without getting laid was just embarrassing.)


The year's big nondenominational holiday party was held at Jon's new loft apartment.

Stephen usually avoided hosting because of the whole "conspicuously missing wife and kids" thing. He was playing that safe even now, though he had spent a couple years not bringing them up, and was now trying to give people the vague impression that he had gone through a painful divorce some years back. New hires wouldn't know the difference, and Jon kept assuring him that his long-term employees had all figured it out by now.

Conveniently, nobody else wanted Stephen to host either. His attempts to include non-Christmas holidays in the decor, however well-intentioned, never seemed to go over well.

So here Stephen was in Jon's living room, alternating between saying hi to people and subtly adding extra holly and candy canes to Jon's boring attempt at seasonal decoration. (It was mostly candles.)

There were plenty of people to talk to. The guest list included most of the staff who were still in town, various friends and associates that they didn't necessarily get to see in person that often, and a veritable flock of plus-ones. Back in the day Jon would have found Stephen's side early and never left it; now whenever Stephen looked for Jon he spotted him deep in conversation with Professor Rosen, or one of their NAD contacts, or β€” more slowly, notepad on hand for difficult moments β€” John Oliver or Sam. Which was good! It freed Stephen up for...networking. Yeah.

On his way into the dining room for more cookies and eggnog, he taped some mistletoe over the doorway.

His chance came not fifteen minutes later, when he spotted Jon's sensible navy sweater (with the not-entirely-sensible snowflake pattern worked into the knit) moving toward them. Stephen had to shoulder his way around a circle of conversation (it involved Wyatt, his girlfriend, and Conan O'Brien, who in spite of their January feud had accepted this overture of peace), but he finally managed to come up sideways and tap Jon's shoulder.

Well, this is awkward, he signed, looking up at the mistletoe.

"I know, right?"

Stephen nearly jumped out of his skin. Kallie, in an exact duplicate of Jon's outfit, gave him a sheepish smile.

"Why are you dressed like you're on the job?" demanded Stephen, clutching his pounding heart. "Why are you wearing the wig?"

"I've conditioned myself to feel more confident in large groups if I present this way?" said Kallie. Then she signed, If this whole thing was an excuse to kiss the real Jon, you may have a problem.

"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard." I wasn't. But let's say I was. What problem?

"Stupid enough that you're going to not kiss me over it?" Jon brought a plus-one.

"What?" What?

"Mistletoe. Kiss. Hurry up, I want to get another mini cheesecake." In the purple dress. Go look.

Stephen groaned, dropped the world's quickest chaste peck on Kallie's cheek, then shoved her (gently!) in the direction of the food and went looking for Jon yet again.

He spotted the dress first. The woman in purple was someone he had noticed signing earlier; he had assumed she was either NAD or one of their +1s. Now she was walking on fabulous heels toward one of the hastily-composed circles of seats: an ugly metal chair, three nice wooden ones, and a recliner. She handed a topped-off glass of champagne to...okay, yeah, that was Jon in the ugly metal chair.

Stephen pressed himself against the bookshelves and scooted down the wall, trying to get a better line of sight. Purple Lady took the seat next to Jon, holding her own glass of champagne. She smiled. He smiled. So far, so normal...

Then Jon took her hand and pressed a kiss to the back of her wrist, charming gaze never leaving her eyes.

Stephen quickly made himself very busy straightening the nearest row of fake candles.

There was no mistaking the intention there. Jon was a reserved kind of guy; if he'd been hearing, he probably would have been one of those people who flinched when patted on the back. He wouldn't be making out with someone's hand if they didn't have some kind of thing.

Defeated, despondent, Stephen slunk off to the kitchen. The buffet table was not equal to the level of feelings he was feeling right now. Hopefully Jon had a pint or two of ice cream in the freezer.



unicornprincess76: welcome back to work. how was your break?
shamsky62: Pretty relaxing. Stephen, are you okay?
unicornprincess76: of course Jon I am perfectly fine why would you even ask a thing like that
shamsky62: Because you never ask anybody how their break was.
unicornprincess76: maybe my new year's resolution is to be more courteous did you ever think of that
shamsky62: Oh. Sorry, no, I didn't.
unicornprincess76: I accept your apology
unicornprincess76: and am still awaiting your apology for not telling me about your lady friend
shamsky62: Since when do you ever want to hear about my love life?
unicornprincess76: since new year's Jon try to keep up
unicornprincess76: sooooo who is she?
shamsky62: Which one?
unicornprincess76: ...
unicornprincess76: Jon are you some kind of secret slut here
shamsky62: What?? No, nothing like that!
shamsky62: I've gone out with a few different women over the past couple months, and none of them got super serious, so I don't know which one you would be thinking of. That's all.
unicornprincess76: oh
unicornprincess76: well the one I saw was the lady with the fabulous heels at the non-denominational Christmas party, so you can start with her
shamsky62: Okay, that was Andrea. She's in education -- we met at one of those fundraising dinners I keep getting invited to. In her free time she likes to go on these week-long hikes through various wildernesses, which I think is admirable in an insane kind of way.
unicornprincess76: sounds nice
unicornprincess76: well I would say congratulations but it seems like you didn't get very far
unicornprincess76: considering how she did not stay after the party
unicornprincess76: if you know what I mean
shamsky62: Um.
shamsky62: If you really want to know, she got there a couple hours early.
unicornprincess76: !!
unicornprincess76: and her hair still looked that fabulous afterward?
shamsky62: Well, obviously a lot of that time was spent redoing her hair...
shamsky62: I do like her, though. We might go out again sometime :-)
unicornprincess76: yes well good
unicornprincess76: okay enough chitchat
unicornprincess76: now get back to work
shamsky62: Was getting a work ethic another of your New Year's resolutions?
unicornprincess76: meanie.


In the week before inauguration, the whole production staff worked as hard as Jon had ever seen, making sure they had enough material prepared that they could safely take an hour off that Tuesday afternoon and watch the ceremony. Stephen offered his office (the largest television-equipped space in the studio, short of the set itself) as one seating area for the occasion. Jon was startled until he realized that Stephen did not plan to be in it at the time.

Much as he wanted to see the ceremony live, his conscience won out about three minutes before it started, and he went looking.

Stephen turned out to have holed up in Jon's office, where he was leaning against the wall and stewing over a plastic cup of something alcoholic. Jon raised his eyebrows. Isn't it a little early to be drinking?

Glaring balefully at him, Stephen took another hearty gulp just to prove that he could, then stuck it on the nearest shelf (between a framed photo of Seaside Heights and the Rubik's cube Neil DeGrasse Tyson had solved) so he could answer. I'm trying to sulk. Leave me to my misery.

Jon's first reaction was to tell him no, he was being ridiculous. When Stephen was upset or hurt, Jon was always there to look out for him. Why had Stephen chosen Jon's office to lurk in, if not as an invitation to do just that?

On the other hand, maybe Jon only saw it that way because of his own desire to comfort Stephen. Maybe he wasn't helping at all, just being pushy where he shouldn't.

He swallowed. If you really don't want me here, Stephen, I'll leave you alone.

Stephen gazed evenly at him with watery eyes. When his hands moved again, it wasn't to send Jon away or to beckon him over. Say my name.

Jon frowned. Stephen.

Stephen shook his head. Don't sign it. Voice it.

It should have been easy. Jon didn't think for a second that Stephen wanted to make fun of him. And while he could count on one hand the number of times he'd voiced English these past four years, he'd had the phonemes drilled in pretty hard as a kid, and wasn't seriously afraid he'd lost them.

For some reason, though, he found himself getting jittery. Are you sure? I'm really out of practice at that sort of thing....

I'll help you if you get it wrong. I just want to hear it.



All his vague memories of Jon's tenor were sharpened in that moment. Stephen quit slumping against the wall to stand up straight. Almost! The first E is long, and it should be more of a V in the middle there.

Jon's brows furrowed. I thought P-H made an F sound.

Yes, a lot of the time, said Stephen impatiently. He did not have the time to explain the whole history of English phonemes. He didn't know the first thing about the history of English phonemes. But in my name it makes a V sound.

For an uncomfortable moment Jon stared. Then a smile twitched onto his lips.

What? demanded Stephen.

Jon was starting to crack up as he answered. I just now got why Even S-T-E-V-P-H-E-N works as a title.

All right, that was funny. Also cute. Jon was cute. Jon was adorable. Stephen signed can you try it again? mostly to give his hands something to say other than I love you I love you I love you I love you.

The tension on Jon's end had broken; he responded, sheepish but good-natured, How's this? "Ste...fwen."

Still too soft. When you do a V, it's... Stephen had to spell the word. B-U-Z-Z-I-E-R.

Jon raised his eyebrows. You lost me.

To make sure he hadn't lost himself, Stephen had to mutter a couple of syllables: fwuh, fwah, vuh, vah, ven. Yeah, your bottom lip vibrates, your teeth are against, feel.

He caught Jon's wrist and brought it up, laying the side of one finger against his lip as he intoned, "Vvvvvvvvvv...."

Jon was watching intently, blue eyes bright as they fixed on him; Stephen desperately willed his heart to stop beating so hard, for fear Jon would feel that too. Their faces were close, but not closer than they'd ever been in the past. And of course Jon was touching him, Jon never had any problems touching him....

"Ste....vvvven," voiced Jon, and tipped his head slightly to one side.

Stephen's breath hitched in his chest.

Jon slid his hand around the curve of Stephen's cheek, thumb dragging over Stephen's bottom lip as it passed. Stephen was clinging to his wrist now, shivering. Jon had not done this before. This was 100% new.

His head tilted a little further, inched a little closer, eyebrows raised and features open in the ubiquitous asking-a-question sign. Can I...?

There was just enough space left between them for Stephen to whip off his glasses before going for it.

Jon's mouth was hot and soft and his teeth pulled at Stephen's lower lip in a way that made Stephen go weak at the knees. His free hand went to Stephen's waist and splayed across the small of his back, while Stephen's flailed for a moment before locking across Jon's shoulders and clinging, feeling the way the muscles shifted as Jon moved to cup the base of his skull. The moment Jon's tongue made an appearance Stephen sucked it into his mouth, and moaned like he'd never tasted anything so good.

At last Jon pulled his head back with a gasp, and retrieved one of his hands enough to flash O-K?

Stephen nodded so hard he made himself dizzy.

Jon gave him a warm, relieved smile, then continued the disentangling. Stephen allowed it, reluctantly. Any moment Jon was talking to him was one less moment for Jon to shove him up against the wall before someone came and found them.

So, said Jon at last. Guess I should stop trying to date now, huh?

I love you, burst out Stephen.

A flush crept up Jon's neck. Wow, if that's what my voice does to people, it's a good thing I avoid using it.

Stephen made a not-entirely-kidding throttling gesture. If Jon couldn't be serious about this for one minute....

Sorry. Jon tucked a wisp of Stephen's hair back behind his wonky ear. My dear Stephen.

It was enough to get Stephen's hands flowing again. I didn't want to tell you. Then I did want to tell you, but was afraid because of the whole only-dating-ladies thing. Unless you were secretly seeing men at any point in there? (Jon shook his head.) Because I was! But you were so friendly to the gays that I figured you would have said something. Why didn't you say something? You could have been kissing me years ago!

That earned an indignant look from Jon. You're the one who's been hiding things! he protested, indicating Stephen with a reproachful poke in the chest. I never imagined...look, I've had crushes on guys, but in practice way more of us are straight women than gay men, so I never planned on having a chance to try it out in person. And you didn't exactly give me any reason to doubt it! I'll admit I had a hunch about you and other dudes, somewhere between the fake wife story and the fiftieth anti-gay segment pitch I vetoed, but how was I supposed to know you'd be into me?

Stephen's face fell. With gestures so taut his hands hurt with the strain, he insisted, You are my favorite person in the whole world.

Jon melted into a long-suffering sigh that Stephen found just a bit melodramatic. Then he relaxed. I accept your apology.

He went straight from the phrase to spreading his open palms over Stephen's chest, so Stephen decided that making a fuss was less important than letting Jon kiss him again.


"Okay, guys, seriously, one of you has to be in here, this isβ€”"

Kristen stopped with her hand on the doorknob and one foot over the threshold of Jon's office. Her boss was backed up against the wall, writhing in a slow burn of pleasure, while her other boss felt up under his shirt and kissed his neck and ground their hips lazily together.

Stephen twisted to get his chin hooked over Jon's shoulder. "Is it an emergency?" he demanded, surprisingly authoritative for someone half out of breath.

"Um, no," admitted Kristen, transfixed by the motion of the back of Jon's...shirt. Yeah.

"Then come back in ten minutes."

"Sure. Okay." Kristen started moving backward, with slow, sliding steps.

"Hurry it up!" snapped Stephen, burying his fingers in Jon's hair. "And shut the door!"


"All of us at The Daily Show are absolutely thrilled and honored to accept this latest Emmy. Although I can't imagine why we got it," said Stephen, patting its pretty little head. The staff were clustered around him, Jon at his right hand, signing along with the speech he had prepared. "I mean, it could have been so many things! Jon's hard-hitting and headline-making interview with Jim continued spotlight on the epidemic of glorifying wrist violence in this culture...maybe that week we did half of each show from Iraq. Whatever it was that caught the Academy's eye, we applaud their perceptiveness. Thanks to everyone on the staff and crew, especially Allison Silverman, Ben Karlin, Jimmy Hoskinson, and Kallie Thompson. But thanks, most of all to me. None of this would have happened without my tireless...."

He trailed off; Jon was tugging at his arm. "What is it, Jon?"

The audience understands that just because I'm signing this for you, it doesn't mean I endorse all of it, right?

Stephen tucked the Emmy under his arm to answer. For someone who had survived two weeks of trying to sign with one arm completely out of commission, this was nothing. "Of course the audience doesn't think you endorse everything I say just because you happen to be translating it," he scoffed. "The audience thinks you endorse my words because you work in a supervisory capacity over the people who actually wrote them. Or does the buck just not stop anywhere, Jon?"

...never mind.

"I will never mind. Thank you." Stephen went back to cradling the Emmy like a child. (The main difference, as far as he could tell, was that you could melt down the Emmy and sell it if necessary.) "Aaaand they're playing us off. Thank you again!"

There may have been some playful shoving as they filed offstage, leading to some gossipy comment from the announcer that Jon didn't notice and Stephen didn't listen to. A few minutes later, the crowd-cam caught Jon kissing Stephen just below his right ear, and the announcer had to admit that it didn't look like there was trouble in paradise after all.

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