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the person you desired most

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Todd had always wanted to become a vampire. Or a witch. Or something equally punk and mysterious. After his band had kicked him out he'd become obsessed with studying witchcraft and vampirism, he'd spoken to every person claiming to have something to do with either in Seattle and he was still yet to find an actual anything. Which was why he was sceptical of the circled spell that he had found in a strange book in the local library. It’s purpose had been crossed out so he wasn’t entirely sure what it would do but at this point he was willing to try anything. And somehow he’d stumbled on the real deal, the room filled with a pinkish smoke as he began chanting and when it cleared there was a badger sitting in the middle of the room. Then the door banged open and a man stumbled in. The man had wide, wild eyes, his auburn hair was sticking up at odd angles, and he was wearing a bright yellow leather jacket.

“You took my badger!” He yelped, running into the centre of the room and picking up the badger. “Did this mean man hurt you Baguette?”

There were so many things about this man Todd didn’t understand, he didn’t even know where to start. “Your- what? Baguette- what? Who- who are you?”

“The better question is who are you, badger thief?”

“I- what? No! This is my house! You- you answer me! Answer me first! Then- then I’ll answer you.”

The man thought for a moment, then grinned. “That sounds fair, I’m Dirk Gently, local vampire- or not local, I’m not actually from here, you can probably tell from my accent, but I’m local now. And this is Baguette, my badger, I found him a few months ago and he was eating a baguette so…”

“So you named it baguette, of course, because that makes sense.” Todd said, before backtracking and reassessing exactly what Dirk had said. “Wait, hold up, you are a vampire?”

“Yes.”

“You?”

“Yes!”

“You just- I mean you don’t look it, do you?”

“And what exactly does a vampire look like Mr never-seen-a-vampire-ever?

“Well… I mean you’re meant to be all mysterious and- and dark. And not wearing a bright yellow leather jacket. And my name is Todd.”

“Well Todd, I think you shouldn’t make assumptions about a species you know nothing about.”

“What if I don’t believe you’re a vampire?”

“What reason do you have to think I’m lying?”

“I don’t need a reason.”

Suddenly, before Todd could even take another breath Dirk was across the room and pinning him to the wall.

“Is this enough proof for you?” He asked, even leaning down and brushing unnaturally pointy teeth against Todd’s neck to make his point. “Perhaps, Todd, you shouldn’t mess with forces you don’t understand for your aesthetic, something could happen to you.”

Todd’s breath hitched. “If that thing is you pinning me against the wall I don’t think I’d mind.” The words tumbled from his lips before he could stop them, and he instantly regretted them. Because he didn’t even think this man was attractive, with his stupid bouncy hair, and dumb shining smile, and his awful fashion sense. And who even keeps a stray badger as a pet? Who does that? No. Todd did not find this Dirk attractive at all.

Dirk just stared at him blankly. “I’m sorry, I’m not certain I heard you correctly.”

“I didn’t- I didn’t mean it?” Todd tried, but Dirk wasn’t buying it and a sly grin Todd didn’t like the look of found its way onto his face.

“I think you like me.” Dirk said, his voice certain.

“I don’t- that’s not what I said.” Todd protested, slipping out of Dirk’s grip.

“No, you said you’d like me to pin you against walls.” Dirk said, matter of factly.

“Did I though?”

“Yes.”

“Did I?”

“Yes.”

“Well I don't think I did.”

“Todd. I know what you said.”

“But-”

“Todd!” Dirk interrupted, spinning around and glaring at Todd, his eyes desperate, “people don’t like me, Todd, I get thrown out of houses and hotels. I appreciate when someone likes me in any way at all.”

“Well…” Todd didn’t know how to respond to that, because sure he was an asshole but he wasn’t that much of an asshole. “I’m sorry.” Was what he settled with.

Dirk nodded curtly, then looked around, his apparently usual enthusiasm somewhat returning. “I’ll be staying here tonight, it’s the least you can do since you stole my badger.”

“I didn’t- whatever. What even was the spell I cast to end up with your badger here?”

“I don’t know Todd, I’m not a witch.” Dirk replied, sitting on Todd’s bed and bouncing a little. “I do know a witch though, we can go see her in the morning.” Then he proceeded to lie down on Todd’s bed. Leaving Todd standing awkwardly in the middle of his own apartment wondering where he was going to sleep. He stood there for a good five minutes before Dirk cracked open an eye and said, “well? Are you getting in?”

Again Todd was at a loss as to how to respond. He wasn’t entirely certain he wanted to share his bed with this strange man, but the only other option was the really quite uncomfortable couch or the floor. Apparently Dirk caught onto his dilemma because his eyes shot open and he leapt out of the bed.

“I apologise, I should have asked if you were willing to share the bed, I’m perfectly happy with a couch.”

And well now Todd just felt bad, but, he reasoned, Dirk had broken into his apartment, he barely had the right to sleep on Todd’s couch let alone his bed. So Todd took the bed, feeling a little guilty but ignoring it valiantly. Something had changed. He knew that much. Something changed about him, about his life, when the badger appeared in his apartment. Was it a good thing? Well he wasn't sure yet, but his life wasn't great at this point so he wasn't sure it could get much worse.

Chapter Text

Todd woke the next morning to the smell of coffee and bacon, a smell he had not woken to since he was a kid. He wasn’t even sure he had bacon in the house.

“Goodmorning Todd.” Dirk’s voice called from his kitchen, “I made us breakfast.”

“Where’d you find food?” Todd asked, pushing himself out of bed and stretching.

“I went to the shops.” Dirk said. He was standing in the kitchen, wearing a different jacket, still brightly coloured and still leather but a different one, purple instead of yellow, which meant he must have gone back to his house, wherever that was, before Todd had woken up.

“When did you do that?” All the curtains were closed, presumably by Dirk to avoid the sunlight, but he figured it must be around 10 or 11am because a warm glow was filling the room through the curtains.

“Before the sun rose.”

“Jesus, when did you wake up?”

“Around 5am.” Dirk was now serving the food onto two plates, which surprised Todd.

“I thought vampires couldn’t eat.” Todd commented, taking a plate from Dirk.

“Of course we can.” Dirk said, “we need food as much as we need blood, we’re not that different from you, you know.”

“But you can’t go into the sun?”

“Not really, no. I mean for a short period of time it’s not too bad. Think of it as we get sunburned very easily and very quickly.” Dirk explained, shoving a piece of bacon in his mouth.

“Do you have a reflection?”

“Yes. Well, sometimes, as long as the mirror doesn’t use silver I have a reflection.”

“Can you turn into a bat?”

“No, of course not, that would be ridiculous, Todd.”

“What kind of blood do you drink?”

“Pig usually. It’s the closest to human without being human.”

“Right.” He was honestly surprised Dirk was so willing to answer his questions.

“If you’re done with your interrogation I called my witch friend and she’s happy to help you work out what you did.” Dirk said.

Todd nodded, he was done with his interrogation, for now. “We should probably go then.” He stood up and grabbed a random t-shirt and jeans from the floor, checked they both smelled more or less ok and then headed into the bathroom. “I’m just gonna get changed.” He called out to Dirk.

“I’ll clean these plates up.” Dirk said. And by the time Todd got out the two plates and the pan were both clean and put away, and Dirk was standing by the door ready to go.

“Now I must warn you about Sharon, she’s a bit odd.”

“What kind of a name is Sharon for a witch?”

“Now that’s the kind of thing you really shouldn’t say to her.”

“Ok so what should I say?”

“Just hand her the spell and ask what it was, let me do the rest of the talking.”

Todd sighed and nodded in acknowledgement.

“So how come the sun doesn’t hurt you in the car?” Todd asked as they climbed into the car.

“Oh I have this.” DIrk replied, pulling a ridiculous hat out and putting it on. “As long as the sun doesn’t hit my skin I’m okay.”

Todd nodded in response. The drive took over an hour, mainly because of Dirk’s navigating, which was less than brilliant. He had a habit of yelling the turns at the last minute, when Todd really couldn’t take that turn anymore. Which meant they had to turn around multiple times. The place they finally arrived at was not what Todd had been expecting. It was probably the most suburban area of all of Seattle and the house they were now parked out the front of was probably the most normal house in the entirely normal suburb. The door opened to reveal a lady. A lady with an ‘I want to talk to the manager’ hair cut and an apron on.

“Dirk!” She exclaimed in an oddly fake voice, pulling him into a hug, “it’s so good to see you, I haven’t seen you since the incident with the burning shoe!”

“Sharon!” Dirk said, in an equally fake voice, “we really need to catch up more!”

Todd watched the exchange in confusion, this was not at all what he expected from a witch and a vampire but at this point he was beginning to think everything he thought he knew was wrong.

“What can I do for you and your friend, Dirk?” Sharon asked, finally looking at Todd.

“Well, Todd here is rather interested in your craft and so, rather impulsively, tried out a strange unknown spell he found in a library book.” Sharon’s fake smile faltered a little.

“Well that’s just an entirely idiotic thing to do.”

“I know, it’s actually how I came to meet him, his spell transported Baguette into his apartment, anyway, we were hoping you could tell exactly what the spell he cast was.”

Sharon let out a breath from between her teeth, tilting her head from side to side in consideration, then finally sighed and said, “Oh why not, come in.”

She led Dirk and Todd down a long hallway into a kitchen that again, like the rest of the house, was not at all odd or spectacular.

“Alright show me the spell then.” She said, pulling a big book out of a cupboard and slamming it on the counter.

“It’s, uh, it’s this one.” Todd said, opening his book and pointing at the circled spell.

“Alright…” She said, reading over it and then flipping open her own book, “some kind of summoning spell, but there’s something bonding in there, so…”

Todd looked over at Dirk, his eyes widening, he didn’t like the sound of bonding, he did not want to be bonded with Dirk’s badger.

“Here it is!” Sharon stopped flicking through her book, pointing at a spell titled ‘Who I Want Most’

“What does that mean?” Todd asked, his eyes flicking frantically between the book, the witch and Dirk, who was nodding as if he already knew the information that had just been revealed to them.

“That’s what I thought.” Dirk said knowingly.

“No you didn’t!” Todd exclaimed, turning to him.

“Oh I did.” DIrk said, still nodding, “I just didn’t want to say anything until we knew for sure.”

“You did not know!”

“I absolutely did! I did Sharon.”

Sharon nodded at him in agreement.

“Whatever. What does this mean?” Todd said, after he finished glaring at Dirk.

“Well…” Sharon said, turning back to her book, “this spell is meant to summon whoever you desire most, however since you are, well, an inexperienced idiot, I believe it just summoned the closest living thing to the person you desired most, so: Baguette.”

“I don’t desire Dirk.”

“But you wanted to find a vampire didn’t you?” Dirk pointed out.

“I guess?”

“And I was the closest vampire, so the spell went for me.”

“Right… Wait a second, how did you know I wanted to find a vampire? Are you telepathic as well? Is that a vampire thing?”

“No, I just had time to look around your apartment this morning.”

“Of course, because that’s not creepy.” Todd muttered to himself, then he turned back to Sharon and asked, “what about this bond part? What does that mean?”

“Oh that’s the good part,” she said, sounding more excited than Todd would like, “this spell isn’t just a summoning spell, it bonds the person and the summoner for a year, at which point the summoner can choose to renew the bond with this follow up spell.” She pointed to a spell below the spell Todd had cast which hadn’t been in his book.

“What- what exactly does ‘bond’ mean exactly?” Todd asked, only realising he’d said exactly twice after he said it.

“It’s probably a pretty weak bond considering-” she gestured at Todd, “-but you probably want to stay within 100 metres of each other until the year is up, it probably wouldn’t kill you to separate but I’m sure it would be pretty painful.”

“Oh…” Realisation lit up DIrk’s face, “that’s what that was.” At Todd’s confused expression he explained, “I went home and got changed this morning then went to the shops for breakfast and I was in a lot of pain until I got back inside your apartment. I mean I assumed it was just vampire stuff but this makes a lot more sense.”

“Yes… well if that’s all…?” Sharon said, not even bothering to hide the fact that she wanted them to leave.

“Of course, we’ll be off, thank you for your help” Dirk said, already halfway down the hall by the time he had finished saying that, with Todd following close behind.

“We really must catch up more!” Sharon exclaimed again before shutting the door in their faces before Dirk even had a chance to reply.

Chapter Text

“I think that went rather well.” Dirk said, as he climbed into Todd’s car.

“I think that went awful, you realise she just told us we’re stuck together for a year.” Todd replied, starting the car.

“But she didn’t curse us.”

“Why would she curse us? I’ve already done that.”

“I think you’re being a bit dramatic Todd, I mean really there are much worse ways to spend the year.”

Todd didn’t agree. How was he even meant to go to work if he had to stay within 100 metres of this insane vampire? Todd didn’t even realise he’d been silently glaring at the road ahead until Dirk broke the silence, “Listen Todd, I know you hate me and I know you think spending a year with me is the worst possible thing in the world but I think it’s going to be worse if you keep fighting it so can we please just try to be friends?”

Todd sighed, “Yeah, alright.”

Dirk nodded and went back to staring out the window.

“I don’t,” Todd said after a while, “hate you that is.” He glanced over at Dirk, “I don’t hate you. I don’t even know you.”

Dirk glanced over at him and their eyes met. “I think we could be great friends.”

Todd just rolled his eyes. He didn’t have friends, not anymore, he hadn’t had friends since his band threw him out and he dropped out of college to pursue research about witchcraft. He barely even spoke to his family, his sister had almost entirely dropped off of the face of the earth a few years ago and his parents wouldn’t tell him why. He was completely alone in the world at this point in his life and he’d come to be ok with that. He didn’t want to be bonded with anyone for any period of time.

“I want to find a reversing spell.” Todd said finally, as they came to a stop in front of his apartment.

“What? Why? I thought we just said we’d be friends.”

“We can be friends I’d just rather not be friends who physically can’t leave each other’s sides for an entire year.” Todd turned the car off and got out.

“If there was a reversing spell Sharon would have told us.” Dirk said matter of factly.

“You didn’t even ask!” Todd exclaimed over the car, before slamming the car door and starting toward the door to the building.

“I didn’t need to, I know Sharon, she tells you everything you need to know right off the bat, if there was a reversing spell she would have told us.” Dirk said, following Todd, “and anyway, who else do you suggest we talk to?”

“I don’t know! Don’t you have any other witch friends?”

“No. Well, none in Seattle. I know one in New York, hey we could go on a road trip!”

“No.”

“But-”

“We’re not going on a road trip.”

“Well what’s your plan?”

“I don’t- I’m not sure yet but I’m gonna work it out so just leave me alone, alright?”

Dirk shrugged and walked into the apartment- Todd’s apartment, Dirk was not meant to be there. So now Todd had to find someone who knew something about witchcraft, someone who was legit. He dug through all his research, all the people he’d ever spoken to, and the only thing he could find was a vague mention of a rumour about the Spring family. Patrick Spring was a millionaire with a beautiful wife and a gorgeous daughter, his life was perfect until his wife was killed and his daughter injured in a vicious attack, the attacker was never caught. After that he and his daughter disappeared entirely, the rumour was that he was using witchcraft to make his business work so well and earn him all that money, and a vampire got angry and killed his wife and attempted to kill his daughter. But the daughter didn’t die. Rumour had it she was turned and that’s why they went into hiding, people said the daughter of Spring’s best friend/bodyguard became Lydia’s caretaker, learning everything she could about witchcraft and vampirism to protect Lydia. The rumour was that she was an expert. And Todd believed she might be the only person nearby who could help them.

Tracking her down was the only issue. The Spring family had completely vanished off the face of the planet, there were no phone numbers or addresses to be found anywhere.

“You could try this number.” Dirk commented, jerking Todd out of his thoughts and handing him a book with a phone number scribbled on the last page.

“What makes you think this is their number?” Todd asked incredulously.

“Because it says ‘if it’s an emergency contact the Spring family here’” Dirk said, flipping to the previous page and pointing at the words scrawled on the previous page.

“Where did you even find this book?”

“On your bookshelf.”

“That’s insane I’ve never seen this book in my life.” Todd said, looking over the book, titled ‘Spring Spells’.

“It was quite hidden.”

Todd sighed and picked up his phone. “I guess it’s worth a shot.”

The phone rang 3 times before it was picked up and a woman’s voice said, “How do you have this number?”

“I found it in a book, is this the Spring family?” Todd replied.

“Depends, what do you want?” The woman asked.

“I need to speak to Farah Black about reversing a spell.”

There was silence and then, “58 Spring Drive, Shoreline. 9am tomorrow.” Then she hung up.

“What did they say?” Dirk asked.

“We’re gonna visit them tomorrow morning.”

“So I’ll be staying here again.”

“I guess, yeah.”

“We should go get my things from my apartment.”

“You have an apartment?”

“Of course, I’ve lived here for at least a month Todd, I was staying in a hotel for a lot of that but I did cave and buy an apartment eventually.”

“Of course.” Todd said, rubbing a hand over his face, “yeah okay, let’s go to your apartment.”

Todd let Dirk drive this time. It was a mistake. Somehow his inability to give directions within a reasonable distance to the turn carried over to his driving. He would yelp and swerve around corners and somehow not notice traffic lights, stop signs, and pedestrians until the last second, slamming his foot on the brake and throwing them both forward. All in all a terrifying experience and Todd was beyond relieved to stumble out of the car in front of an oddly nice apartment building. In fact it was very nice. Dirk led Todd to the door of one of the bottom apartments with nice gardens in front of them and opened it to reveal a spacious front room and kitchen with a big tv set up and comfortable, probably not broken couches.

“You’re rich!” Todd exclaimed indignantly.

“I am not! I don’t have a job, Todd.”

“Well maybe you don’t now, how long have you been alive? Where did you get the money for this?”

“Oh I only got bitten like 15 years ago, and I get paid for… something. I’m not sure exactly what it is I do but I get a cheque in the mail sometimes. It started when I got bitten then kicked out of college.”

“Well that’s just weird.” Todd said, “have you never tried to investigate where the money is coming from?”

“I’ve never really thought about it, I believe everything happens for a reason, everything is connected. Admittedly I haven’t found the connection between the money and me quite yet but I’m sure I’ll work it out eventually.”

“That’s insane! Why on earth wouldn’t you- no, fuck it, never mind, just… explain to me why we’re staying at my shitty apartment instead of here?"

“You summoned me to your apartment!”

Todd rolled his eyes. “Well we’re going back to my apartment for my things then we’re staying here.”

Dirk shrugged. “Alright then.”

This time Todd drove, without directions. It didn’t take him long to collect his clothes, a few books, and his treasured guitar. The fact that almost all his belongings fitted into a small backpack and a guitar case was somewhat sad in Todd’s eyes, but Dirk just grinned and said, “You know we compliment each other rather nicely, I have a tendency to hoard, and you don’t!”

It continued to astound Todd how Dirk seemed constantly and consistently determined to have a positive outlook on absolutely everything. And it was that fact that made Dirk right, they did compliment each other; and for some reason that made Todd feel good, a soft, warm, good feeling deep inside that he wasn’t sure he recognised.

Chapter Text

Dirk had set Todd up on his couch and Todd was beyond surprised to wake up the next morning, after a good, solid, night's rest, feeling less tired than when he went to sleep the night before. Somehow Dirk’s couch was better than his own bed. He could vaguely hear Dirk’s voice holding a seemingly one sided, rather animated, conversation.Todd got up and walked into the kitchen, where he found Dirk arguing with - or rather, arguing at - his badger.

“I’m telling you Baguette, green apple are disgusting. Now, I know what you think about that but they just aren’t as good as red apples and you know it!”

“Hey Dirk… am I interrupting something?” Todd asked.

Dirk spun around and grinned at Todd, “Not at all! Good morning! I made waffles.”

Todd nodded in reply, really it was far too early for so much enthusiasm in his opinion. “What time is it?”

“8am.” Dirk replied cheerfully, opening the waffle iron, pulling a waffle out, and stacking it on a plate, already containing a tower of waffles.

“Ok… uh Dirk I think that’s enough waffles.”

Dirk looked over the pile of waffles for a moment, contemplating, then he put down his tongs and nodded. “Yes I suppose that will do. There’s maple syrup in the pantry, help yourself.” He told Todd.

“Do you have coffee?” Todd asked, opening Dirk’s pantry and grabbing the maple syrup, which was one of the five things in the cupboard, the other four being chocolate ice cream sauce, a huge bag of flour, icing sugar, and sprinkles. Upon seeing that Todd rephrased his questions, “Dirk do you have any actual food apart from waffles?”

“Of course.“ Dirk replied, “I have 10 apples, ice cream, and frozen pizza.”

“But you have a one kilo bag of flour?”

“Well yes, I understand flour is essential to a lot of cooking.”

“Only if you have the other ingredients though.” Todd pointed out, Dirk just looked at him blankly in reply. “Never mind.”

They ate breakfast in relative silence, Dirk seemed happy to just eat waffle after waffle without talking in between mouthfuls, and Todd was more than grateful for the silence, it wasn’t so much that he disliked Dirk’s voice, more that everything Dirk said made less sense and Todd was getting tired of trying to keep up.

Todd drove them to the address, regretting the fact that he let Dirk choose the music the whole drive. Dirk’s music taste was what Todd might call atrocious, it was mainly bouncy pop music that you would hear… well nowhere probably. And Todd did not approve. Luckily it wasn’t a long drive.

The house was hidden behind a wall of trees, you could barely even see the road leading to it from the street. They parked the car and walked up to the door and pressed the doorbell. The same voice Todd had heard on the phone yesterday spoke through an intercom.

“Who is it?”

“It’s uh… I’m Todd and this is Dirk… we spoke on the phone yesterday?”

The door opened, a slightly angry looking woman stood in the doorway. And wow, was all Todd could think, because wow she was gorgeous.

“I’m Farah Black.” She said holding out a hand.

“I’m- I’m uh- I’m Todd.” Todd stuttered out, Dirk gave him a weird look then took Farah’s hand and shook it.

“I’m Dirk Gently, local vampire, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“O- Okay.” Farah said, looking rather surprised by Dirk’s, well, everything.

“I know you’re probably thinking I don’t sound local,” Dirk said, walking past Farah into the house, “And that would be because I’m not actually from here but since I’ve been living here for nearly a year now I think I’ve earned the right to be the local vampire, considering I haven’t met any other vampires here. This is a nice house.”

“Well… come on in.” Farah said to Todd before following Dirk down the hallway.

“I’m sorry about him.” Todd commented awkwardly, “He’s… we’re not friends.”

“Okay.” Farah replied, giving him an odd look before opening a door on the left and leading them into a room with couches and a massive tv.

Sitting on one of the couches was someone Todd hadn’t seen in a very long time. “Amanda?”

“Todd? Holy shit!” Amanda lept up and pulled him into a bone crushing hug. “I haven’t seen you in like ten years what happened?”

“I uh- well I got kicked out of the mexican funeral, which you know, then uh I cut contact when I went on a kind of soul searching journey across America searching for proof of witchcraft and vampires then I ran out of money and ended up here but more importantly what are you doing here?”

“I’m dating Farah!” Amanda exclaimed, like she’d been waiting the whole time to tell him that.

“Wow that’s- wow,” Todd said, glancing between his sister and Farah.

“I know.” Amanda said, grinning wildly, “She’s so out of my league.”

“So uh, how did you two meet?”

“Your sister inherited a genetic… ‘gift’,” Farah explained, “it gives her witchcraft abilities but only in small uncontrollable bursts. She came to me for help controlling and reducing its more damaging effects and then…”

“She asked me out!” Amanda finished, grinning with pride. Next to her Farah blushed, a soft smile crossing her face before she turned back to Todd and Dirk.

“So what’s this spell you need reversed?” She asked.

“I… cast a spell that I didn’t know, and apparently it was a spell that summons the person you… ‘desire’ most and bonds you to them so now we’re bonded for a year and I would like to not be."

“This guy is the person you desired most?” Amanda asked incredulously, “no offence dude, just you’re not exactly Todd’s type.”

“None taken,” Dirk said, “I’m Dirk by the way.” He held out his hand for Amanda to shake.

“He was the nearest vampire.” Todd sighed.

“You’re a vampire?” Amanda asked, shaking Dirk’s hand.

“Almost definitely.” Dirk replied.

“Cool, the only vampire I know is perpetually an eight year old girl.”

“Fascinating, is she still mentally eight?”

“No.” A voice came from the doorway, they turned around and sure enough there was Lydia Spring, she must have been about 16 but she didn’t look a day over eight. “Farah I can’t reach the stove again, do you know where my stool is?”

“I think I moved it to the pantry this morning, do you want some help?”

“No.” Lydia called, already halfway down the hallway.

“So,” Farah said, turning back to Dirk and Todd, “You want help reversing a spell that you accidentally cast?”