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The first time Mantis touched Gamora, she didn’t mean to. The floor gave way, and Gamora hauled her up. For an instant, Mantis’s mind was a blank. Rage numbed her. Sorrow stifled her. She couldn’t breathe.

Gamora yanked her hand away, and the world returned. “Stop it,” Gamora snapped, and stalked away.

The second time, Mantis wore gloves. They were red and very thin; they covered Mantis to the elbow. Mantis reached along the stone bench and took Gamora’s hand. “Is this right?” Mantis asked.

Gamora’s lips quirked with feelings Mantis could only guess at. “It is acceptable,” Gamora said.