New York City was bustling continually, non-stop movement all around. Lights, sounds, movement, bodies brushing up against each other and hardly anyone stopping to look at another person or thing.
This city was the perfect hiding place for two teenage runaway boys who wanted to be left unseen and in the dark. "Come on Tucker, we don't have much time till dark." A dark haired boy said as he glanced around a corner, keeping an eye out for police.
"I know Danny, just give me a minute, I can't keep going like you can." A dark skinned boy said as he clutched at his tattered forest green hoodie tightly, the heat of the summer day doing nothing to help him keep warm. "Are we anywhere near a soup kitchen so we can get something to eat?" Tucker questioned as he looked up with dull and tired green eyes.
Danny nodded his head, his own tired and dull navy eyes shimmering with worry for his friend. "Yeah, I found one when I scouted ahead earlier, we're about three blocks away and then we'll get some food into you Tuck." Danny smiled at his friend and got a tired one in return. "Do you need help?"
Tucker shook his head in the negative. "I can make it dude, no worries." He said as he nodded for Danny to lead the way.
Danny nodded his head and pulled the hood of his purple sweater over his head and merged into the crowd of people passing the alley they had been in seamlessly, Tucker right behind him.
They moved through the crowds of people carefully and keeping their heads down as they headed straight for a crosswalk. They would have to cross two intersections to get to the Soup kitchens where food and some beds would be waiting for them. The two teenage boys crossed the first road without incident but it was the second one that they had problems at.
They were crossing the road, the only two at the time, when a long black car came speeding right at them. "Tucker grab hold!" Danny yelled as he realized that they wouldn't have time to dodge the vehicle and so he had to resort to something else.
Tucker quickly grabbed hold of his friend's arm and the two disappeared from sight, leaving no trace that they had been there.
"Happy stop the car!" One Tony Stark exclaimed as he stared wide eyed at the road where two teenagers had just been standing in the way of his limousine. "What the hell just happened?" He asked as he looked at his companion and lover, Pepper Potts.
Pepper shook her head as she stared dumbfounded as well as where the kids at been. "I don't know, I have no idea what happened or how it even happened." She said as she turned and looked Tony in the eyes as well. "Did we just hit some kids though?" She asked.
Happy shook his head from his place behind the steering wheel. "No, we didn't hit them, they disappeared before we could." He informed the duo, snapping Tony out of his shock and into something else entirely.
"Jarvis! Did you get a clear view of those two kids!?" Tony called out to his AI, Jarvis, who instantly replied by bringing up a Holographic screen with a picture from the camera mounted on the dash of the limousine.
"Yes Mr. Stark, I did. The two boys disappeared 2.5 seconds before impact." The AI informed while Pepper and Tony both looked at the picture of the two boys, Happy having begun driving towards Stark Tower once again.
Tony nodded his head. "Bring up the video and play it Jarvis." Tony ordered and watched as the two boy stared at the car that was heading straight for them before one shouted something and then the other grabbed hold of the one that shouted. Then they disappeared. "Jarvis can you turn the volume up on the boy that shouted, the one in the purple sweatshirt?"
"Of course Mr. Stark." Jarvis said as the video rewound and then the volume increased so that Tony could hear what the boy was shouting.
"Tucker grab hold!"
"So it was the purple sweater that did that disappearing act." Tony mused as he leaned back in his seat while Pepper looked closer to the still picture of the two boys with scrutiny. "I wonder what he did to make them disappear like that. Teleportation? Super speed? Intangibility?"
Pepper frowned as she looked at Tony, her red hair framing her face beautifully as her blue eyes gleamed with worry. "Tony, those two boys, their homeless." She stated.
Tony blinked in surprise before turning back towards the still picture and taking in the forms of the two boys with his own scrutiny. He wasn't overall pleased with what he found.
Both boys were too skinny, and even though one was black, both were extremely pale with dark bags under their eyes. Their clothes were torn and dirty and worn down almost completely. The boy in the purple sweater was barefoot and it was obvious that both boys were covered in cuts and bruises. The dark skinned boy looked exhausted and like he was about to keel over while the white skinned one seemed to radiate strength merged with exhaustion.
Tony scowled as he realized that Pepper was right, both boys were homeless and had almost just died if it hadn't been for the purple sweater kid. "Jarvis, use all the cameras in the city and find those two boys. I don't care what you have to do, hack and tear down firewalls if you have to, but I want to know where those two boys are!" Tony ordered as he looked at the picture of the two boys with grim eyes.
Pepper blinked at the sudden action taken by Tony and tilted her head. "I can understand wanting to make sure their alright but you rarely use that sort of tactic anymore. What is it Tony?"
The billionaire frowned as he ran a hand over his face before he turned to look at Pepper. "I don't know Pep, but I just have this feeling that we need to find them…before something happens that I'm not going to like." Tony looked back at the picture with a grim feeling.
He needed to find those boys before someone else did.
"Are you okay Tucker?" Danny asked as he helped his friend towards one of the beds in the shelter, watching worriedly as the African American slumped onto the bed tiredly.
"I'm fine, just really tired." Tucker said as he threw a hand over his face, his glasses long ago having been broken due to a fight with another homeless man over territory. "Can you get me some food though, I don't know how much longer I can go without." Tucker said, his voice going softer the longer he spoke, obviously almost fast asleep.
Danny nodded his head. "I'll be back Tuck, just get some rest." Danny said as he quickly turned and left the room, running towards where the cafeteria in the shelter would be and quickly getting into the line to get some food.
"What can I get yah hun?" A woman with graying brown hair asked as she smiled gently. She hated seeing kids in here and in the condition that this one was in too.
Danny smiled back tiredly before looking at the food in front of him. He quickly decided that the best thing for him and his friend would be the beef stew. It had bits of meat and vegetables in it while the broth would be easy on their empty stomachs. "The beef stew and can I get two bowls please, my friend is in one of the rooms sleeping right now." Danny explained and hoped that this place wouldn't be as strict as the other shelters he had been in before.
The woman frowned before shaking her head. "Sorry Hun, but I can't do that, your friend will have to come and get a bowl for himself." She explained. "The cafeteria is open until nine, which gives him two hours to come and get food before we close." She explained as she handed the boy a single bowl of the stew and a plastic spoon.
Danny grimaced before nodding his head in understanding before turning away and back towards the rooms. When he got back to the room Tucker was sleeping but Danny knew that his friend needed something in his stomach or he wouldn't be able to move. "Tucker, wake up, I got you some food." Danny said as he shook his friend awake.
Tucker quickly awoke despite being so tired, being on the run like they were would make any heavy sleeper a light one when in danger. "Oh god, that smells delicious!" Tucker exclaimed as he quickly took the bowl and began to eat.
Danny sat on the same bed Tucker was on, the other four having already been taken by other homeless people. "I hope that this will tide you over until morning when they open again." Danny said as he watched his friend with worried eyes.
Tucker took a moment to breathe and allow the stew he had eaten to settle in his stomach. "I should be okay, I've gotten use to the little amount of food we've been eating." Tucker said as he smiled at his friend to assure him, before frowning at the lack of bowl in Danny's hands. "Didn't you get any dude?"
Danny smiled and nodded his head. "I ate it as I came down, you know me, nothing will hurt my stomach no matter what." Danny lied as he allowed his eyes to flash green before returning to blue. "Just eat cause I have a feeling we'll have a busy day tomorrow." Danny stated as his face went solemn.
Tucker nodded his head and finished off the bowl of soup before the both of them laid down on the bed, curling up with each other to help conserve their body heat. Danny pulled the blanket over them and soon both were sleeping, used to sharing personal space after months of running over the country.
Tony scowled as he watched the footage from security cameras, hoping that he would catch sight of the two boys from two days ago. "Where are you two, how are you hiding from me?" Tony asked as he squeezed his little blue stress ball, wondering if he was going to ever break the thing.
"Tony, I have a meeting in half an hour, so I can't have lunch with you, so make sure you eat." The Red headed woman said as she placed her keys into her purse and bent to kiss the man on the cheek. "You'll find them Tony, I know you will."
Tony smiled at her before nodding his head in agreement. "How can I not find them when I have all the cameras in New York looking for them right this instant!" Tony said confidently.
Pepper nodded her head in agreement and was about to saying something when there was a binging sound from the computers in front of Tony. "Mr. Stark, the two boys have been caught on the camera off of Broadway." Jarvis informed as he brought the footage up. "They've walked onto a street where a shelter commonly used by the homeless is located."
"Awesome, put the coordinates into my Mercedes, I'm going to go and get them." Tony ordered as he grabbed his leather jacket that he had been wearing that day. "Be safe on your way to your meeting Pep and I'll see you later." Tony kissed her on the cheek and then was gone.
"Oh that man can be so impulsive sometimes." Pepper said with a fond smile on her face.
"Danny, do you still have it?" Tucker asked as he dove into his bowl of tomato soup and then dunking his grilled cheese into it before taking a bite.
Danny nodded his head grimly before lifting his sweater and then turning enough for his friend to see the thermos that he kept strapped to his back all of the time, before he pulled his sweater back down into place. "Yep, and from what I've noticed so far we might've lost them finally." Danny informed calmly as he looked around, slowly eating his own soup and sandwich. "But I want us to stay vigilante at all times, I don't want to be taken by surprise like in California."
Tucker shuddered at the memory and rubbed at his right arm, knowing that that could happen at any time and wherever. "Got it, stay vigilante."
"Here are the boys I've been searching for." A voice said at the end of the table where the two of them were sitting, causing the two to jump and spill their soup.
"Run Tucker!" Danny said as he tackled the man without even looking and then got up and started running right behind his friend.
"Wait! Stop I just want to talk!" The man that had come upon them said but neither boy stopped.
Danny and Tucker ran out of the shelter and then turned onto Broadway, not daring to look behind them to see who could have possibly found them. "Damn it, don't stop Tucker, not until I say so." Danny ordered as he stayed behind his friend and pushed him forward when the African American teenager slowed. "I'll stall if I have to, I won't let them get you!"
Tucker gasped in air as much as he could and nodded his head, knowing that Danny would see the motion.
The two boys ran for as long as they possibly could, taking shortcuts in alleyways and streets, crossing streets and almost being ran over several times, but never stopping until they came to Central Park where they ran into the trees and hid behind them. Both were gasping for breath at this point, Tucker more than Danny. "You…alright Tuck?" Danny questioned after several minutes, looking around his tree for whoever was chasing them.
"I'm…fine…just…need…to…breathe!" Tucker gasped out, his face going paler by the second.
Danny's eyes widened when he realized what was happening, wondering how in the world he had forgotten about that. "Tucker, you still have it right, please tell me you still have it." Danny said as he rushed over to his friend and began to check his pockets and his backpack, only to realize that what he wanted wasn't there. "Oh no, nonononononononononono!" Danny panicked as he upended the backpack and frantically looking through the contents. "It's not here, Tucker!" Danny cried in horror as he looked back up at his gasping friend.
Tucker's eyes were clenched shut as he grasped at his chest, frantically trying to get air into his lungs but nothing was working. "Danny…" Tucker wheezed as he pitched forward, unable to stay standing, let alone conscious."
"Tucker!" Danny shouted as he caught his unconscious friend, unable to think of what to do to help him. Tears began to build at the corners of the raven haired boy's eyes as frustration and fear built up into him. "Don't you dare Tucker, you can't do this to me now!" Danny shouted as he put his hand on his friend's chest. "I won't let you."
"Jesus Christ!" The voice from earlier shouted. Danny's head shot up in surprise as he looked at a man in his thirties, a mustache and beard with his black hair looking as if he had rolled out of bed. He wore black jeans and a leather jacket over a white shirt. "I'm calling an ambulance." The man said as he whipped out a cellphone.
Danny's eyes widened at that, wanting to shout 'No' but couldn't when he looked back down at his friend. "He has asthma." Danny said after the man had called the paramedics.
The man looked at the boy and nodded his head. "They'll be here as soon as possible and your friend will get help."
All Danny could do was nod and wait and pray for the paramedics to get there in time.
Tony stared down at the African American teen that now had several IV's in him and a nose piece that pushed oxygen into his lungs through his nose. The information that he had gotten on the boy was stunning.
The teen was malnourished and had been for months apparently, severe dehydration, exhaustion, even an infection to several of the cuts on his body and a lung infection. It didn't help that the boy had asthma and had an attack only five hours ago. Tony was glad that he had been able to catch up with the two boys when he had, for if he hadn't, this one would have died.
The other one, the purple sweater one, had been taken away by a doctor to be checked over himself only ten minutes ago, but Tony had a feeling that the boy would be back within five more minutes. He was just as interested to hear how that one was doing as this one, so Tony waited patiently.
Three minutes later a raven head poked around the opened door and looked in, spotting his friend still passed out and the strange man from earlier. The purple sweater, now no longer having the sweater or his clothes from earlier but hospital scrubs instead, walked further into the room and sat next to his friend. Tony's eyes were on the canister strapped to the boy's back, as if it were a sword in an old samurai or ninja movie.
They were quiet for all of two seconds before Tony spoke up. "He'll be fine, malnourished and dehydrated, along with his latest asthma attack, but fine." Tony informed the boy as he came to stand next to the raven haired boy. "It seems the two of you have had quite a long few months."
The boy nodded his head but didn't speak and didn't take his eyes off of his friend. Tony frowned and was about to continue to speak but a nurse came running into the room with a frantic look on her face. Once she saw Tony and the purple sweater kid in the room she calmed. "I said to wait in the room for the doctor, not to leave!" She exclaimed as she walked up next to the boy and grabbed his arm.
"I said I'm fine! It's just my friend who needed help! Not me!" The boy protested as he was forced onto his feet but that's as far as he went, he was digging his feet into the floor and holding his place. "I'm not leaving until he wakes up!"
The nurse frowned at him and continued to pull the boy behind her, as fruitless as it seemed to actually be. "Your friend will be fine, he just needs to rest! You need to be checked over, for I'm sure that you're in just as bad of shape as he is." She stated as her eyes ran over the skeletal frame of the teenager. "If not worse actually."
The boy scowled at that and tugged on his arm, succeeding in prying it out of the nurses arm the second time. "I'm fine! I don't need to be checked over." He insisted.
The nurse opened her mouth to say something most likely reasonable but was stopped by Tony. "I'm sorry miss, but it seems that he doesn't want help and as you're aware, a patient, whether they're checked in or not, can refuse treatment." Tony said as he sent her a charming smile. "But I promise I'll keep a close eye on him and if he suddenly passes out I'll call a doctor lickety-split."
The nurse frowned at this before looking at the stubborn set to the teenager's shoulders and the determination in his eyes before puffing slightly in irritation. "Fine then, but you better call a doctor if he shows signs of illness." She said sternly at Tony, even pointing a finger at him. She left the room after she had checked on the young African American.
The raven haired boy sighed in relief before sitting back down in the chair next to his friend with worry in his eyes. "So…" Tony began as he pulled up another chair and sat next to the conscious teenager. "What's your name?"
The boy glanced at Tony from the corner of his eyes before looking back at his friend. The silence stretched for half an hour and Tony was about to give up on the waiting game before the teen replied. "Danny, my names Danny." Danny finally answered, sighing in resignation.
Tony smiled at that before turning to look at the black kid. "Alright, what about him, what's his name?"
"His name is Tucker." Danny replied after five minutes, obviously thinking over his options, Tony knew.
Tony nodded his head as he slouched in the uncomfortable plastic chair that the hospitals always seemed to have. "Why are you two running?"
"We aren't running." Danny stated too quickly for Tony's liking.
"Of course you aren't, that's why you ran away when I found you at the soup kitchens."
"We thought you were social services."
"You didn't even look at me before you ran."
"Yeah, well, we didn't want to take our chances."
"I was being nonthreatening, especially since I almost ran you guys over a few days ago."
"That was you! The hell, haven't you heard of a stop light before dude!"
"It was my chauffer that was driving and the light was green! You two just ran into the road!"
"You should get a new chauffer because the light was red!"
"No it was green! I have the security footage to prove that!"
"Wha…What! Are you the police then!?"
"No I'm not! I'd never sink that low especially since I break laws not defend them!"
"Dude…can't you two argue outside of….the room?"
Danny and Tony both snapped their heads towards the once unconscious teenager, only to find dull green eyes staring at them and a tired grin. "Tucker! You're okay!" Danny smiled as he took his friend's hand that didn't have the IV in it.
"Yeah…why are we at…a hospital?" Tucker asked as his voice quivered slightly and fear leaked into his eyes.
Danny chuckled at his friend but it was Tony who replied, bringing the attention onto him. "You had an asthma attack and didn't have your inhaler on you, so I called an ambulance and brought you here. I've had my personal doctor looking after you the entire time." Tony explained.
Tucker though missed the entire explanation as he stared at Tony, his eyes wide and moth wide open as he took in the image of Tony in front of him. "You're...you're…you're…."
"Devilishly handsome, irrevocably charitable, glaringly kind in the face of scorn?" Tony asked as he smirked and sent a glance at the obviously scowling blue eyed teen beside him before looking back at Tucker.
Danny turned away from Tony and stared confused at his friend as the dark skinned boy continued to stutter horrendously. "Just spit it out Tuck! Before you have another attack!" Danny finally snapped after a good few minutes passed by.
"You're Tony Stark! Genius, playboy, billionaire, and philanthropist!" Tucker finally squeaked out as he stared at Tony in astonishment. "What are you doing here?!"
Tony chuckled at the description he had given thousands of reporters and enemies before tilting his head. "Paying for your hospital bills and hoping the two of you wouldn't mind coming to live with me."
Tucker's eyes just got bigger while Danny's eyes widened and his jaw dropped as well. "What the hell! Why would you want to take in two street kids?" Tucker asked while Danny's mind ran into overdrive, the conversation with Tony came popping into his mind.
"Oh no…" Danny muttered as he covered his face with his hands.
Tucker stared at his friend with worry. "What's wrong dude?" It normally didn't take a lot to freak Danny out at all but for some reason Tucker felt dread crawl up and down his spine like a Monkey climbing a tree.
"His stupid Chauffer was in that car Tucker…the one that almost ran us over…" Danny said as he looked at his friend with annoyed and terrified eyes.
Tucker nodded his head slowly, wondering what his friend was getting at. Tony knew what Danny was getting at though and couldn't help but butt into the conversation. "I have footage of that day."
Tucker's eyes went wide as he realized what that meant as he snapped his head towards Tony and then back at Danny and then at Tony again. "What are you going to do? You aren't going to experiment on him are you!?" Tucker exclaimed as he began to panic and his heart monitor began to signal his raising heartbeat.
Tony stared in shock for several moments before shaking his head frantically. "No, no I won't be doing any human experimentation. That isn't my field of expertise after all." Tony assured the dark skinned teen.
Tucker sighed at this and relaxed as he remembered everything about the man again, realizing that Tony indeed was more mechanical genius than a human experimentation genius. "Right, sorry forgot there for a moment." Tony nodded his head in understanding.
Danny though was completely confused as he look between the two and he began to wonder exactly who this man is. "Tucker, can you tell me who exactly this guy is?" Danny asked and was rewarded with two gob smacked looks of disbelief. "What? What did I say?" The baby blue eyed teen asked as he looked between the two.
"Are you serious? You have no idea who I am?" Tony asked as he stared at Danny and then looked at Tucker. "Is he serious? Cause if he is I'm seriously putting the news and biography channel on every TV he ever watches when you come to live with me."
Tucker just nodded his head slowly, ignoring the implement on them living with him. "He's serious, Danny is incredibly clueless, not to mention extremely slow sometimes." Tucker explained as he regained his composure and turned to look back at Tony. "As long as we explain he'll understand though."
Danny scowled at the two, even more so at Tucker with what he had just said. "I'm not clueless or slow Tucker." Danny growled as he crossed his arms and muttered under his breath.
Tony blinked at the mentions of "Stupid doctors…psychologists don't know what they're saying…not stupid." From the raven haired boy before smirking and going into his ever charming mode.
"As your friend explained earlier, I am a genius, playboy, billionaire, philanthropist,….and wait for it…. Iron man!" Tony announced as he spread his arms out wide as if expecting an adoring crowd of admirers to suddenly shout in excitement and glee. "Please hold your applause until after you get my autograph."
Danny just blinked at the arrogant man before turning back to Tucker. "Is that supposed to make me understand this any better than I did before…and what's an Iron Man?"
Tony was left to gape again while Tucker only smacked his forehead. "You are so clueless dude! When was the last time you watched the news?"
Danny raised an eyebrow at his friend and Tucker seemed to remember himself and smiled sheepishly at his friend. Tony meanwhile just continued to stare at Danny. "How can you not know who I am?" He finally asked as he pulled out his Hi-tech phone and put up a holographic video of his encounter with two twenty-two Raptors. That had been a fun encounter. Note the sarcasm.
Danny blinked at the video while Tucker was drooling at the action and the tech that was being displayed right in front of him. "Okay, cool movie…what's it supposed to be about?" Danny questioned.
Tony shook his head in disbelief and turned to the other who was now laughing at his clueless friend. "Is he always like this?" Tony asked in disgust while pointing at an offended looking Danny.
"You have no idea dude." Tucker said after he got control of his laughter.
Tony shook his head again before coming back to the subject he wanted to talk about. "Anyways, because of that footage I want you two to come and live with me." Tony said as he brought up the traffic Camera footage that he had deleted after he had a copy, and showed the two boys the film. "I have a feeling your running for a reason and whatever that reason is has something to do with that nifty disappearing trick of yours." Tony said as he shut down the hologram program and put his phone away.
Danny looked at Tony warily before glancing at Tucker, who was staring at Danny, but Danny ignored Tucker's own look and took in his friend's appearance. Danny gulped before turning back to Tony. "Can we talk alone for a minute please?" Danny asked politely, remembering the manners he had been taught.
Tony grinned and nodded his head. "How about I go and get us some soda, I'm sure we could all use one." Tony said as he turned and left the room, closing the door behind him as he went.
Once Danny was sure that the man had walked away from the door did he turn and look at Tucker with a completely serious face. "What do you know about him Tucker, and I mean really know about him?"
Tucker went serious as well as he narrowed his eyes in thought. "He's exceedingly rich and has his own company, Stark Industries, which use to build military weapons, but now builds more economically useful things. He was kidnapped a while ago and escaped, he had to put what he calls an Arc Reactor in his chest to stop Metal Shrapnel from getting at his heart. He has a lot of DUI's and several other infractions, but he's generally a nice guy. He has no connections to them Danny, I'm sure of it."
Danny nodded his head at this as he looked at the IV line that connected to his best friend before looking back at the door. "Do you think it would be safe for us to go with him?" Danny questioned as he thought of all the consequences, especially since this guy was apparently famous, not that Danny's ever heard of him, and he would most likely be surrounded by reporters almost always wherever he went.
Tucker blinked before tilting his head. "I think so, he's a hero dude, he's protected the city from a lot and he's building a huge Arc Reactor to power the entire city, though that's still in progress. He wouldn't hurt us and I'm sure that if we tell him he would keep us out of the sight of reporters." Tucker explained, knowing that this could be a chance to finally be off the streets, to be safe and warm and have food whenever he wanted. The meat he would eat! Tucker was already salivating at the thought but then sobered as he remembered Danny.
If Danny decided it would be too big of a risk than Tucker would go with Danny. They were friends…no, they were brothers, and Tucker would never leave Danny, not after what had happened back in their hometown. Tucker shivered at the thought of their old home.
Danny gulped as he looked Tucker over again, taking in the skeletal frame, the pale complexion that could've been tan for a white person, the copious amounts of bags under the dull green eyes, and the overall exhausted aura his friend exuded. Not to mention that Tucker was hooked up to an IV and Heart Monitor because Danny hadn't been able to provide for his friend properly.
Just the thought of Tucker having another Asthma attack or just falling over from hunger, dehydration, and exhaustion had Danny making his decision right then and there, because he knew, he knew deep down that Tucker couldn't last any longer. Not the way they were going anyways.
So Danny took a deep breath and nodded his head and waited. It was only a few minutes later when Tony walked into the room that Danny spoke again. "Alright." Danny said as he turned to look at a curious Tony Stark. "We'll live with you."
The smile on Tony's face could've lit up the entire nation with how bight it was. "Alright, I'll call up my lawyer so that you can both be Starks."
A.N. Alright alright alright! First chapter is done! What do you guys think so far? I wanna know so review and tell me what you thought! Also I would like to think I got Tony's personality somewhat right, but I can't really say I did since I haven't seen any of the Iron Man movies at this point. I'm trying to but I can't seem to get my hands on them! Netflix is out of the question since I can't pay for it right now so I'm going off the Avengers and clips off of Youtube! So much fun.
Anyways I can't wait to write Danny's and Tucker's reactions to that last statement Tony made. It'll be so much fun, not to mention when Pepper is introduced! Even more fun! Hurray! So review and tell me what cha' thought! Review Review Review!
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