By Shotzette

By Shotzette
Rated R

This is a sequel to Missy's "Desirious" series.

This is only a work of fanfiction. It isn't intended to infringe upone anyone's copyrights at all. This was written for the amusement of tens of people. Relax and enjoy it!

Shirley Feeney breathed a sigh of relief as she stepped off of the Greyhound bus and into the warm spring air. Her visit with her cousin Danny and his family had been just short of a nightmare. The moment she had arrived in Chicago, Danny's wife, Kate, never a subtle personality to begin with, had peppered her with endless questions about when she and Carmine were going to tie the knot, and reminding her just as often, that she wasn't getting any younger. If it hadn't been for their three delightful kids, Shirley would have left five days early, instead on only one.

The long bus ride back to Milwaukee gave Shirley's anger time to cool. Ruefully, she had to admit that the worst part of Kate's interrogation was the fact that her queries gave voice to questions that Shirley had been avoiding for years.

Why weren't she and Carmine engaged? Or even, technically going steady? She wasn't like Laverne, who could gleefully mothball a wide assortment of men, only to dust them off for a night on the town. She wanted to get married, for God's sake, and start having babies! That's all she'd ever wanted. And Carmine...

Well, it was hard to pin down what he wanted. Last week, she was his beloved Angelface, the love of his life. This week, he'd probably been squiring Lucille Lockwash all over town in her absence. Well, at least if they're in public, they're not...

She pushed that unpleasant mental image away. She told herself that physical pleasure, was the only real thing between Carmine and Lucille, but it was hardly a comfort. She'd alway been told that men had their appetites. Appetites that nice girls like she'd always tried to be, should never try to satisfy if they still wanted to remain nice girls. Still, she couldn't deny the feelings that Carmine initiated in her when he kissed her. Heck, even when he just held her hand, she felt butterflies in her stomach. Those gorgeus dark eyes, that terrific smile, the way he held her close on the dance floor...

Shirley felt the flush crawl up her cheeks as she loosened her neck scarf in response to the sudden temperature surge. Well, well. It wasn't even noon yet and the temperature was climbing. Milwaukee must be heading for a hot and steamy summer, she mused, as she lugged her heavy suitcase up the stoop. The dark and dingy vestibule felt comforting to her. Not just for it's cooler temperature, the darkness made her feel safe. She'd felt suddenly very exposed on the sidewalk, almost as if she was being watched...


Her short yelp was punctuated by the sound of her fist hitting a leather jacket.

"Jeez, woman!" Andrew Squiggman shrank away from her, protecting his vitals as he retreated to the safety of his dark corner.

" degenerate!" Shirley sputtered angrily. "Is that your new game? Lurking in the darkness to prey upon unsuspecting, helpless women?"

"Shirley Feeney, you ain't never been helpless a day in your life! All I done was say hello, 'cause my drunken tramp of a mother raised me to be a gentleman. What do I get for my polititude? Abuse!" Squiggy's dark eyes flashed angrily as he straightened his jacket. "I was even gonna help you carry your suitcase, but now you are on your own!"

"Yes," Shirley said, rolling her eyes in exasperation, "I have no doubt you've waited here all morning just to be my knight in shining armor."

Something unknown flickered across Squiggy's face, only to be replaced instantly by his characteristic sneer. "You should be so lucky. I was just going to the mailbox to see if my latest gentleman's publication had arrived."

"Stop it! I don't want to hear anymore, and now I won't be able to reach into our mailbox without worrying what might be sitting in yours right next to it."

"Hey, if I can deal with Laverne's "True Depressions", you can deal with my gentleman's--"

"Enough! Let's change the subject. Do I have to go and apologize to all of the neighbors about the wild parties Laverne threw in my absence now, or can I wait until after I have lunch?"

"She didn't throw no parties, Shirl. Heck, I ain't ever seen her all week, 'cept at the brewery. I figured they'd had some sort of Sea Hunt marathon on, or something?"

"You've got to be kidding? I'm gone for six whole days, and Laverne didn't run wild? No parties, no men over until all hours, nothing?"

"Maybe she was swallowing in her guilt on account of breaking poor Lenny's heart?"

Shirley cocked her head to the side at the sight of Squiggy's darkening features. "Now Squiggy, you know that was for the best. Laverne doesn't feel the same way for Lenny as he does for her, and it would be cruel of her to lead him on. Frankly, I think she would have saved some wear and tear on his heart had she nipped it in the bud earlier."

"If she was nipping his buds, Lenny's heart wouldn't be all that broked. Oww!" he yelped again, as he massaged the shoulder she'd just hit.

"Lenny needs to get over her. He needs to find a girl who will feel about him the way he felt about Laverne, God help him..."

"I agree. However, he's been sulking at his sister's place for most of the week, so I ain't really had a chance to give him one of my famous Andrew Squiggman pep talks."

"Poor guy. Why was he staying at his sister's? I always got the impression that Lenny's brother in law didn't like him very much."

"He can't stand the poor idiot, but he calls Lenny every time he needs help lifting something heavy, or if he needs to find out which circuit breakers are live in the fusebox."

"Charming. Oh well, I don't want to keep your from your busy day."

"Like you could. Welcome back from wherever it was you went, Shirley."

Shirley shook her head as Squiggy turned away and headed to the stairs that led up to his and Lenny's apartment. There's got to be something in the water, she reasoned. That's the only way there could ever be two of them. Her brow furrowed as she replayed Squiggy's words in her head. What if Lenny wasn't over Laverne? What if Laverne had holed up in their apartment all week just to avoid her addled Romeo? Well, she thought as she picked up her suitcase once again and headed downstairs, there was only one way to find out.

The door to her apartment hadn't even opened all of the way when Shirley caught sight of all the dirty dishes piled up in the sink. Sympathy for Laverne's romantic woes were all but forgotten as exasperation took hold of Shirley. Great. She was gone all week, and her lazy-boned roommate apparently hadn't lifted a slovenly finger around the apartment. The sound of a running shower caught Shirley's attention. Why, it was nearly one o'clock in the afternoon, and Laverne was just getting up now? What a slugabed! Shirley stuck out her chin and marched towards the bathroom door with a determined look in her eye. This would stop here and now. Laverne needed to act more responsibly, and it was unfair for her to think that Shirley would gleefully clean up her mess after blowing a week's worth of vacation time for the family visit from hell.

Shirley opened the door to the steamy bathroom. By the looks of things, Laverne evidently thought hot water grew on trees. Shirley grabbed the shower curtain and yanked it back, fully intending to give Laverne a piece of her mind, then and there.

Unfortunately, the sight of a very naked Lenny didn't leave Shirley with a lot of mind to spare. She gasped in horrified amazement, unable to find her voice to scream. Lenny, apparently had no problem vocalizing at the top of his lungs at that moment. And, however unladylike she now believed Laverne to be, at least she didn't talk with her mouth full.


"So I yanked back the shower curtain, and you'll never guess what I saw..."

"What, Shirley? What?" Carmine's eyes were bright as he leaned in closer, his face rapt with anticipation.

"I'm too much of a lady to say." Shirley leaned back into her chair, her nose in the air.

"Aw, jeez! I hate it when you do that!"

Shirley frowned. "Let's just say it was unnatural and leave it at that." The dopey grin that spread across Carmine's face only deepened her frown. "You're not shocked?"

"Shocked? No. A little surprised, maybe. I didn't know Len had it in him."

"You almost sound like your pleased with their...animalistic behavior."

"Hey, if the big animals didn't do that, we'd never have any little animals." He broke off, looking chagrined, and seemed to study his beer mug intently.

"This isn't funny, Carmine!"

"It kinda is..."

Shirley slammed her palm down on the battered tabletop, causing a temporary lull in the conversations drifting through the Pizza Bowl. Her face reddened as she realized people were now staring at her and Carmine. She gave them a tiny little wave and waited a moment or two before the other patrons resumed their own conversations. Conspiratorially, she clutched Carmine's muscular bicep and drew him closer in towards her. "Don't you understand what this means?"

"The Powers that Be finally cut Lenny a little slack?"

"Not what this means to Lenny! Right now I don't give a flying Aunt Fanny about Lenny!"

"Oh, that's nice, Shirl."

"Think about Laverne! I left her on her own for six, count 'em, six days, and what does she do? She turns around and throws away her virginity with Lenny Kosnowski! What are people going to say? It's not like Laverne has a discreet bone in her body when it comes to men anyhow... But now? Now that she's in an illicit and immoral relationship with Lenny? If that big greaseball doesn't tell everyone and his brother about it, then she will!" Shirley finished, wheezing for air.

"You done?"

She gasped, trying to fill up her now aching lungs.

"Then listen up. Laverne chose Lenny, and you have to deal with that. He's nuts about her, Shirl. He's had a crush on her for years now, and when I guy feels that strongly for a girl, he don't talk about her in the barber shop, or the pool hall. Actually, I'm surprised it took the big lug so long to act on it. Then again, Lenny's not exactly known for quick thinking..."

"Okay, so I guess in some cheap and tawdry way, Lenny's won the Irish Sweepstakes of Fornication, hasn't he? It doesn't matter that Laverne is now damaged goods, and probably won't be allowed to marry in the Church even if some miracle occurrs and a decent man proposes to her in the future, now does it? All that matters to you, and to Lenny is that he had some smutty need fulfilled, and damn the consequences, isn't that right?"

"No, Shirley. It's wrong. Dead wrong. Lenny and Laverne are acting like two people--normal people, Shirley, who are in love. Lenny wouldn't do anything to hurt Laverne, ever," he held his hand up, as Shirley started to interrupt. "No, let me finish. Laverne's only just now doing what half the neighborhood thought she did back in high school with Fonzie. I still think Laverne's a nice girl, Shirley. What about you?"

"She's my best friend."

"You didn't answer my question." He looked at her, saddness gathering in his puppydog eyes.

"Laverne and I made a vow when we were fifteen that we would both wait for our wedding nights. Doesn't that mean anything?"

"Yeah. When you're fifteen and haven't even been kissed, it sounds reasonable. Hell, when I was twelve, I wanted to be a priest."

"I bet Lucille would have loved that," she said, the catty remark escaping before she could stop it.

The sad puppy-dog eyes hardened. "That's what it's all about, isn't it? That whole, if-it-feels-good-then-it's-bad garbage that your mother drummed into your head?"

"Do not drag my mother into this, Carmine!" Dimly, Shirley was aware of heads turning around to stare at her, but it no longer mattered.

"Shirley, when to people are in love, it's normal for them to want to be together--in every way."

"So, in your perfect world, a girl should just vodey-oh-do on the first date, is that it?"

"Sex, Shirley. It's called sex. And no, I don't expect anyone to put out on the first date."


"But," he sighed and closed his eyes momentarily before saying slowly, "I never intended to wait for my wedding night."

"Well, luckily you have Lucille. You don't have to."

He looked at her, shocked. "Do you think women are interchangeable, Shirley? Do you think I've been with Lucille just so you can remain pure until your wedding night? I don't know how you can say something so awful about a guy you say you like. I would never, ever march down the aisle with anyone I wasn't completely in love with." Carmine took a deep breath, and then added gravely, "And for me, being in love would also mean making love."

"So," Shirley said, as bitter tears began to slowly crawl down her flushed face, "Are you telling me that if I want a ring, I have to put out?"

"No more than you're dangling a carrot in front of a very hungry donkey to leverage your way to a wedding ring. There's a name for that kind of barter, Shirley, and it ain't pretty."

She didn't know who was more suprised by the slap across his face, her or Carmine.


Shirley curled up under the afghan on her couch and tried to lose herself in Sea Hunt. As miserable as she felt, even Lloyd Bridges's "lungs bursting for air" couldn't hold her interest.

The bathroom door slammed closed, as Laverne strutted past her, not even bothering to try to make eye contact with her roommate. Shirley sighed. She was on day four of the receiving end of the silent treatment, and she didn't see a thaw coming anytime soon. Laverne took her coat out of the closet and left without a backward glance.

On the bright side, she thought sarcastically, it must be love if Laverne was going out with Lenny on Sea Hunt night. The thought did little to comfort her.

The loneliness of the past few days caught up with Shirley as she felt tears well up in her eyes. Usually, when she and Laverne had a fight, Carmine was her shoulder to lean on . And when the drama of their on-again-off-again romance was too much for Shirley to bear, Laverne had always been a sympathetic sounding board. Now with both of them furious at her, she had nowhere to turn. A sniffle escaped her, as she realized she'd never felt more pathetically alone and desperate in her entire life.


Talk about going from the frying pan into the fire... "Squiggy, get out. I'm not in the mood."

"Yeah, like that's some kinda hot news tip."

"I mean it, get out!" The volume of her roar surprised even Shirley at that moment.

"I would, but thanks to you, I ain't got no place to go," he replied in his usually smarmy way, before plopping himself down on the couch right next to her."

Shirley glared at him malevolently. She then became aware that the tears that had been threatening to spill down her cheeks moments before had completely evaporated. Maybe there's a use for Squiggy in this universe after all, she wondered silently. "What do you mean you don't have anywhere to go? You live in that horrific cesspool four flights up."

"That *horrific cesspool* as you put it, ain't my home all the time no more. Not since your roomate started setting up housekeeping with my almost-former best friend."

Shirley looked over at Squiggy sharply. "Laverne's in your apartment. Voluntarily?"

He snorted, "Not at my invite, she ain't. She put some bug up Lenny's keister about our apartment not being clean enough. So my roommate, the man I'd love like a brother if it didn't make me sound all fruity and all, hustles me out of the door this afternoon so's he can make the place all presentable to that she-devil!"

"Lenny's cleaning? For Laverne?"

"Jeez, Shirley! If I'd have known English wasn't your brother tongue, I would have spoke slower. I don't know what's got into him!" The small man leapt from the couch and began to pace back and forth in a manic fashion. "All of a sudden, nothing's good enough for Laverne! The place ain't clean enough, he don't earn enough money, and all of a sudden he has to take a bath every day! It's enough to make a grown man weep like a tot! All of this for a woman who's using him as batting practice--"

"What do you mean by that remark?"

"You know, a guy to--how shall I say this--practice her womanesque techniques on until somebody better comes along. Batting practice."

"How dare you!" Shirley felt the blood drain from her face as she leapt to her feet. "How dare you say that about Laverne? You've known her as long as I have, and you know that she's not that type of girl! Laverne would never use anyone that way! She follows her heart, and well, sometimes her glands--but she'd never use anyone that way!"

"Aw, c'mon! She's always known Len's been a little sweet on her, and last week she couldn't get rid of him fast enough. It looks like someone decided it might be fun to have a little flap-dog to play with. Besides, you know how fast Laverne goes through men. She won't remember his name by next month."

"I oughtta slap your face! How dare you call my best friend a tramp! She wouldn't be with Lenny if she wasn't crazy about him! What girl would? Yet, she's publicly dating him and having lunch with him every day at the brewery. You know what that's called, Squiggy? It's called having a relationship! It's called two people being so crazy over each other they want to be together in every way--" Shirley gasped and sank bonelessly back on the couch, as her words sounded painfully familiar.

"Yeah," Squiggy replied softly, as he sat down next to her on the couch, "that's how it is. And that's how they are. You need to be okay with it, so they can go back to being happy."

Confusion seized her. "Laverne and Lenny aren't happy?"

"Well, they're not totally unhappy. I mean, they got each other," he glanced up at the ceiling, "and they've had an empty apartment for nearly an hour. But, they ain't as happy as they should be. I mean, they're in love and I'm sort of the only one celebrating with them."

"I'm an awful friend."

"Yeah. But you'll get better at it," he said as a rare, gentle smiled flickered across his face. "I know Lenny ain't the man you woulda picked out for Laverne, anymore than she's the broad I woulda picked out for Len." At her look, he elaborated, "I mean, Laverne ain't no codependently wealthy stripper or nothing, but she'll do. Ow! Hey, that swat didn't hurt all that much. Are you sick or something?"

"No, Squiggy. Just tired of fighting with my best friend."

"Well, that's over now. Alls you gotta do is waltz your keister upstairs and knock on the door-- By the way, I'd at least give them ten seconds before barging in. Trust me on that one. Knock on the door, and say 'Laverne, I've been a horse's patooty' and everything will be back to normal. You'll both laugh, you'll cry, you'll hug... Lenny will really like watching that last part, then the four of us and Carmine will go down to the Pizza Bowl and celebrate. At least until Mr. DeFazio finds out, and then we'll all get to stop him from strangling Lenny."

Shirley's tears returned with a vengeance.

"There, there," Squiggy said, as he awkwardly patted her back. "Okay, you got the crying and hugging part down pat. Now all you gotta do is laugh. Laugh, Shirley!"

"I'm not in the mood to laugh, Squiggy. Fighting with Laverne is only one of the terrible things I've done." Shirley paused, her body wracked by tear induced hiccups. "Carmine and I broke up the other night," she finally managed to gasp.


"For real this time. I'm just not ready to give him what he wants and he's not ready to give me what I want."

"Well," Squiggy leered, "It don't take no Mr. Blizzard to figure out what Carmine wants-- Ow! Okay, Shirley! That one really hurt!"

"Men! Is that all you think about? Vodey-oh-do-ing at the drop of a hat? Or, excuse me, as Carmine so crudely put it 'sex'?"

"Shhh!" Squiggy hopped off the couch and began to look around nervously, "The neighbors will hear you! Do you want Mrs. Babish to think we're having an orgy in here or something?"

"Why not? Apparently, everyone else in the building is throwing ethics and morality to the wind, why shouldn't I?"

"Cuz...cuz," he stammered, helplessness written all over his form, "Cuz you're Shirley Feeney and you're a lady!"

"I'm a what?"

"A deaf lady?"

"You think I'm a lady? Really, Squiggy. I never thought that would be something that would make an impression on you."

"Well, lady or not, I guess you don't know everything."

Shirley ran a hand over her tired eyes as a dull thud began to pound behind her sinuses. "I know nothing, Squiggy. This whole incident has taught me that. I don't know what my best friend wants. I don't know what my boyfriend--ex boyfriend wants. It's like I don't know who they are anymore. Or who I am," she added quietly.

"You're Shirley," he replied in a strangely normal tone. "You're the one the rest of us count on to do the right thing. You're the one who makes us act better than we really are. You're the one who tells us it's okay to hope."

Shirley glanced over at him, but Squiggy continued to stare at the floor, as if his dark eyes could burn a hole through it. Maybe they can, she wondered. There was something about Squiggy, she realized; call it confidence, arrogance, or just plain foolhardiness; that made him seem larger than his five foot three inches. She was reminded briefly of the terrier that belonged to her aunt. Ruffles was tiny, but he had the aggressive bark--not to mention the very sharp teeth--that made him a formidable foe and a highly effective watch dog. Squiggy was the same way, small but dangerously powerful, if only in his own mind some times.

As if he could fell her gaze, Squiggy looked up at her. For once, she looked into his dark eyes. Behind the usual leer, she saw a flicker of compassion. "I'm sorry," he said quietly. "Y'know, about you and Carmine."

She waited for the come on, the crude invitation for some rebound smut. It never came.

"Maybe you two will make up?"

"No. No we won't this time, Squiggy. I don't know, but it seems like that fight had been building for a while. In both of us." She picked nervously at the fuzzballs on her cardigan as she tried to distance herself from her words. "Carmine and I are just too different in our thinking to make it work, and neither one of us is going to change."

"Why should you hafta?" Shirley looked at him blankly as he continued. "I mean, I ain't never been in love or nothing, so I might be talking out of my fat; but don't you fall in love with people for what they are? And shouldn't they feel the same way about you?"

"I suppose..."

"What do support hose hafta do with this? Anyways, I know that when I meet the woman who loves what I am, I'm gonna slap a ring on her finger and make her Mrs. Andrew Squiggman so fast she won't know what hit her."

"Lucky girl."

"Yeah, she will be. But, y'know what? I'll be even luckier cause I'll feel the same way about her. And we'll be together forever, or y'know, until we die."

"Well, well, well," Shirley said, trying to inject some levity into the all too serious tone the conversation had taken, "I guess there's more to Andrew Squiggman than being the brewery playboy, isn't there?"

Immediately, his face darkened and returned to it's familiar sneer. "Don't mock me, woman."

Instantly chagrined, Shirley reached out and touched his arm. "I'm sorry, Squiggy. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."

"Like you could!"

"I mean it. Really. Please don't go," she said as he rose from the couch. "It's just hard to reconcile what your saying with the Squiggy I know."

"Maybe you don't know me all that well, Shirley Feeney. Didja ever think of that?"

Ridiculous, she thought. She'd known Lenny and Squiggy as long as she'd known Laverne--since first grade. But, then again... "You're right, Squiggy. I've known you for several years, but there's a lot I don't know."

"A lot you never wanted to know..."

"Fair enough. Maybe it's time I learned."

Suspicion warred with puzzlement in his eyes. "I thought you was all in a hurry to go make up with Laverne?"

"I am. And I can do that later. Besides," she added as she looked up at the ceiling with a grimace, "I have a feeling if I ever interrupt her and Lenny again, she'll take a swing at me."

"That she might," Squiggy agreed. He hesitated for a moment, then said, "Y'know, he does love her. And he's a gentleman. Lenny didn't breathe a word to me--his best friend since kindergarten--about him and Laverne. I didn't put two and two together and come up with three until he ran up the stairs screaming and naked that day."

"Yes. I'm sure a lot of the other tenants figured it out that day."

"I mean it, Shirley," he said in his eerily serious tone again. "I know you ain't crazy about the two of them being together, but he'd do anything for her. Really."

"I know that, Squiggy. And, don't worry. I'm not going to give them a hard time about their new...relationship. As long as it stays out of my shower, of course."

"Yeah," he said with a guffaw. "Look on the bright side, you chased them outta your shower, now they're up in my apartment and I got no where to go."

Shirley looked him up and down appraisingly before giving voice to the bizarre thought forming in her mind. "Are you hungry?"

He rolled his eyes in exasperation. "Always. Don't you even know that?"

"I'm going to let that one slide. Want to go to the Pizza Bowl?"

"I only got four dollars."

"I've got five. Between the two of us, that's a large pizza and two sodas. What do you say?"

"I dunno. The Pizza Bowl's a pretty public place. Someone could see us and think we was together. Don't that bother you?"

"Not as much as it would have last week, Squiggy," Shirley replied as she stood up and headed to the door.


One Year Later...

Shirley smiled as she watched the happy couple dance their first dance as man and wife. She had never seen a couple happier, or more in love than Laverne and Lenny. The wedding had been beautiful; small, tasteful, and fast. It had to be fast, Shirley thought wryly as she glanced at the tight bodice of Laverne's somewhat off-white gown. She gave quick thanks that her prayers had been answered, Lenny hadn't tripped over anything and Laverne was given a one day respite from her morning sickness. Still, as she looked at the radiant couple embracing on the dance floor of the Knights of Columbus Hall, there was such a rightness to them, that it took her breath away.

Shirley allowed herself to relax and to enjoy the fellowship and good wishes of her friends. They were lucky to have found one another, just as she had discovered she was lucky.

Her gaze went to the bandstand, and she couldn't suppress a smile as Carmine sang "Isn't it Romantic" for all he was worth. She could tell Carmine was feeling it too, as he gave her a quick wink when she caught his eye.

She felt a brief thrill of the old tingle. Carmine Ragusa was a gorgeus and charming man, and she felt very fortunate that they had remained friends. Although their break up had been painful, to live out her life without his dynamic presence would have been harsh.

The smile on her face grew as now familiar warm fingers grazed the back of her neck. "Dime for your thoughts?"

"I thought the expression was a penny for your thoughts, Squiggy?"

He snorted derisively. "That's for cheap thoughts, and you ain't never had one of them." He nodded to his best friend and his bride on the dance floor. "They sure look happy, don't they?"

"Very," she replied, as she leaned back against him. Strange. During all of the years she'd know him, Squiggy's hands had always been the one thing faster than his mouth. Now that they were officially dating, he treated her like she was made out of glass. It was good, she had decided, to finally be the one setting the pace in a relationship. Instead of always fending off hands, she was allowed to be the aggressor. She'd never known that level of control before, control over herself. It was, in it's own way, liberating.

"So, what was you thinking about," he prodded with a smile. He smiled more these days, she realized. It changed his whole face.

"I'm just thinking about how lucky they are, and how lucky we are."

He snorted again. "Luck had nothing to do with it. It was all patience for me and Lenny, waiting for the two of you to grow up and realize what handsome he-men we was.

She giggled. A year ago, that remark would have made her screech in anger. Now, it was all part of the larger than life package that was one Andrew Squigman. Her boyfriend.

"Really? So you two have just been biding your time all of these years?"

"Yes we have. I always wanted to be with a girl who was too good to bring home to Mama. Now I am. And--"

"You really do talk too much, Squiggy," Shirley said, before pulling him into a warm kiss.


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