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There are scars on Vander's knuckles and chemical stains on Silco's palms.

When they're still young, Vander patches his wounds with whatever he can get: putty meant for sealing cracks in the concrete; tape meant for electric wires that are fraying at the ends. Whatever keeps them closed and stops them from getting in his way. Silco is less careful; then again, maybe he needs his hands a little less. He lets the stains set in until it almost scares Vander to touch his hands, like something toxic will slide off Silco's flesh and seep into Vander's pores.

Like just touching him could poison his blood somehow. Stupid, obviously; that's why he never says anything; that's why he doesn't flinch away when Silco leans in for a touch; that's why he lets Silco help him with his wounds after a fight, and long thin fingers stitch a gash on his palm closed, and stubby nails pick out those same stitches when the wound is sealed.

They're beautiful hands. Delicate and clever; broad and strong. Silco likes to kiss the scars on Vander's knuckles, the calluses on the pad of every finger; Vander likes to press Silco's palm to his cheek. There's a map of Zaun hidden in the scars and wrinkles and the dark little hairs on the back of his hand. There's a sensitive brush of raw skin where their fingerprints have started to melt together from too much touching. When Vander wipes his mouth, he tastes the chemical tang of an explosive that he must have picked up from Silco; when Silco bites his thumbnail there's a copper reek of blood he must have gotten from Vander's last fight.

It's Vander's hands that close around Silco's throat and shove him underwater.

It's Silco's hands that drive the dagger into Vander's gut.

He knows these hands like they're his own.