Key: Read or you won't get anything!!
Naruto rules = .
Naruto rules = Tristen1497
Naruto rules = both of us!!!
Back in black baby! Oh, yeah!!
And as you can obviously tell I'm still clinically depressed and Crimson is still… well…
Guess whose back? Back again. Shady's back. Tell your friends!
Shut up. As you can see she still hasn't given up on sugar.
Oh! Oh! Oh! Guess what?!!!! I'm FINALLY getting my license.
It's about time…
Umm…. RUN! Everybody get off the road!!
(Random screeching sounds of car tiers) Purple dog on a Sunday afternoon-
Anyway, this story is dedicated to super-rat for making us write it.
Sorry it took so long! ^_^
Have fun, enjoy, and of course
Let the randomness begin!!!!
Note: Unlike our previous stories this one has not yet been written in full before we started posting. Translation = depending on how much time and inspiration Tristen1497 has you'll have to wait anywhere between a day and two months for the next chapter.
You BETTER not make our readers wait TWO MONTHES!!!!
How about YOU write the story then?
I thought not. Now shut up so we can get to the story already.
Why bother? They don't even read our supper long comments anyway… Flying Drumsticks!!!
Electrocution's Actually Not That Bad
Dedicated to super-rat
Shuukaku – This print
Inner Sakura – This print
Kohana. Possibly the most disgusting, dreadful place in the whole world, or at least that's what Sabaku no Gaara thought as he entered the city. It was warm out; the heat was nothing compared to that in Suna, but the air here was not just warm. It was muggy, heavily weighed down with moisture, storm clouds standing guard outside to block out the sunshine and let the gloom creep into your soul. He hated muggy, and rainy, and wet and therefore he hated Kohana.
The never-ending stream of council members (*cough* *cough* *minions!*) followed after him, a countless number of eyes that never left him. Even after being Kazekage for three years the sensation of being watched was bothersome. At first he would fidget under the pressure before finally breaking and shouting at them, followed by a few getting put in the hospital for a week or so. Now, he had more control. He no longer squirmed under their gaze and rather then hospitalizing them Gaara took to imagining ways to hospitalize them. It was a fair substitute.
I hate this place, Gaara thought to himself as they started towards the Hokage's tower. The whole reason he was stuck in this horrible, muggy place, his meeting with Tsunade.
So blow it up.
Gaara sighed. The voice of his inner demon, Shuukaku, was always anxious to tell him what he wished to do on the inside. He was the voice of his inner-most desires and he would never leave him along. (Yes, we know he's supposed to be gone now, but if you know us you know that we will NEVER get rig of that cute little Tanuki. Deal with it.)
I don't think that's a good idea.
But it's is what you want to do.
Yes, but I also want to decapitate all of these stupid council members that won't stop watching me.
Why don't you do that instead?
Because both ideas are bad! We've been through this before. I'm Kazekage now, meaning no unlawful murders and no blowing up ally villages.
I hate your job.
Well I don't.
Shuukaku smirked. Yes you do. Remember, I know and think everything you do on the inside and I know you hate it. Especially the paperwork.
Gaara felt his hand cramp up just at the thought of signing another piece of paper. Okay, so I hate the paperwork. That doesn't mean I hate everything about my job. I like…
You can't think of anything you like about it, can you?
Shut up. So I don't like anything about my job. That doesn't mean I hate it. I mean the missions, protecting the village, planning military acts; that stuff is alright. I may not particularly like it but then again I don't like anything so it doesn't count.
Oh, you like stuff. I can think of lots of things you enjoy greatly. Let's see here. Killing people. Impaling people. Killing people by impaling them...
Stop making it sound like all I enjoy doing is killing.
Okay then… You like almost killing people. Fighting people.
Wow. You've really opened my eyes. I have no healthy recreational activities.
I know one that's healthy… Shuukaku snickered.
Gaara quickly blocked out the images Shuukaku sent his way, all of them of pretty girls, most of them unclothes.
Stop it! He yelled in his head. That's disgusting.
You know you like it.
No, you do!
We're one in the same kid. Your sexual tension is my sexual tension.
Hey, it's not your fault you still haven't gotten laid.
Now Shuukaku or I'll kill you.
Oh, this is rich. You're going to kill yourself. Don't shoot the messenger kid. I'm just the voice of reason in your head that tells you what you really want.
Gaara blocked Shuukaku out, forcing the demon to the back of his mind. Marvelous. He was having a fight with himself (over his sexual tension no less).
Thunder cracked in the sky above, the dark clouds getting ready to release their heavy load. Gaara increased his pace towards the Hokage's tower, his council members hurrying to keep up with him. The first rain drop came down to drop onto Gaara's cheek just as they reached the entrance. Two council members wrapped head to toe in their desert travel clothes opened the large double doors for him, allowing Gaara to step into the cool, dry lobby.
Their footsteps echoed softly around the large, plain, white room. The tile beneath their feet was so white it blinded them. Gaara paused a few feet away from the receptionist table, allowing his head council member, Fukigen, to address the lady at the desk, so absorbed in her work that she hadn't even noticed they had arrived.
"Ah hem," Fukigen coughed.
The receptionist lifted her head and jumped in her seat, frightened upon looking up to see several tall men dressed in long, tan robes.
"May I help you?" she asked in a small voice.
"Yes. Lord Kazekage has a meeting with the Hokage." Fukigen said in his high and mighty voice. Gaara felt like rolling his eyes. The middle aged council member never failed to look down upon people.
The receptionist's eyes darted from Fukigen's stern, wrinkly face to search frantically for the white and blue hat that would mark the Kazekage but found none. Gaara often refused to where the hat. It was inside of his travel pack being carried by the men hired for the very purpose of carrying everything.
Instead the receptionist pinpointed him by the patch of blood red hair that marked his location. Her eyes widened further when they met his cold, heartless jade ones, staring down at her with an unclear hatred.
"Umm… y- yes. Of course. Ua… let me see here…" she stuttered. Gaara watched as the young girl searched through her papers at a hurried pace. She looked as if she had not been informed he would be coming. He saw the beads of sweat start to appear on her forehead as she ruffled through her papers.
I didn't know the Kazekage was coming. Oh this is bad. This is really bad! I look like such a fool! What will Lady Tsunade say? I'll loose my job! Suna will be so unpleased that they will go to war with us! The world will end!!!!
Every head in the room turned to see who had spoken. Instantly the receptionist sighed in relief. She was saved.
Gaara knew who had spoken before he had looked to confirm, but when he did look he was shocked. She looked nothing like she had nearly two years ago when he had seen her last.
Sakura Haruno stood off to one side of the lobby right in front of one of the massive hallways that led to other parts of the building. She wore an outfit similar to the one Gaara had last seen her in. Black shorts with a red and pink skirt over the top of it. Her shirt was different though. It was the same red and pink as her skirt but the cut had been changed. It started below her rib cage at her waist and was made of two overlapping fabrics, one piece folding over the other like the fabric at the top of a kimono did, forming a v neck line. The sleeves were long, starting out tight at her shoulder and forearm and fanning out as they neared her wrists.
It looked like she had grown her hair back out because most of it was held up with her headband and two black senbon, the ends dangling in the middle of her neck. Her bangs were left down, streaming down past her shoulders.
She smiled sweetly at him and his group. The grin reached the corners of her eyes, crinkling them closed.
"My name is Haruno Sakura. Lady Tsunade has instructed me to escort you to your rooms here in the tower and to inform you of the days proceedings." She continued once she had everyone's attention.
Fukigen nodded. "Thank You Miss. Haruno." He said. "Tell the Hokage that we greatly appreciate her hospitality."
"I will." Sakura nodded. "Now, please follow me." She added, motioning down the hall behind her.
Gaara started forward with the council following close behind him. He gripped Fukigen's shoulder to hold him back when he started to walk in front of him. He glared at him as he passed. Fukigen insisted on speaking for him and doing everything else for him as if he couldn't do things himself. He needed to learn that there was a line separating Kazekage from council member.
That was one of the things Gaara missed the most about not being Kazekage. Doing things for himself. Ever since he became more than just Gaara he was never alone and could never speak for himself. He wasn't even permitted to carry his own supplies for crying out loud!!! He thought back to the men who had to carry the carts holding all of their goods. He felt bad for whoever got the cart carrying his gourd of sand. It didn't look as heavy as it truly was.
"How have you been Lord Kazekage?"
Gaara snapped out of his thoughts to find Sakura walking beside him, leading him through the building. Obviously she had been the one to speak.
"Fine, thank you. And you Haruno?" he said, trying to be as polite as possible, knowing full well she wasn't just the Hokage's apprentice. She was Naruto's good friend, not to mention the medical ninja who had saved his life. Good manners were required.
"I've been well. Now, you and your council members have been provided with separate rooms, all in the center of the building. S level security has been provided to insure your safety and there are medical staff present in the building at all times should an injury occur. Your luggage has already been brought up by one of our best teams of ninja and had been carefully placed in your rooms.
"Your meeting with Lady Tsunade will take place in her office in two hours. I'll be back to escort you to her quarters when the time comes. Also, I have a message I was told to deliver to you." She finished.
Gaara blinked, trying to take everything in. "What's the message?" he asked after processed all the other information.
"Uzumaki Naruto has requested an audience with you before your departure. He's anxious to fight you again."
Gaara smirked. "Same here."
"Would you like me to tell him you have accepted his invitation?" Sakura asked.
His eyebrow twitched. Screw conformity and formality. "I'll do it myself. It shouldn't take me long to run into him here."
"Yes Lord Kazekage."
His eye twitched again.
"Haruno, we may not be friends, so to speak, but I've known you for over five years now. That, and we are both friends with Naruto. And between you and me I've had enough formality to last a century."
"Well thank god for that. I thought I was the only one." She sighed, grinning at him. "Tsunade said she would kill me if I'm not polite. Sorry if it was too much."
"Just a little," Gaara muttered as they reached the hall where their rooms were.
"Well… I'll be back in two hours." Sakura said before turning to make her way back down the hallway. Gaara didn't watch her leave. He was too focused on finding his room.
One by one the council members filed away into their respected rooms, following Gaara's lead. His room was more like an apartment. As soon as you entered there was a large sitting area complete with a couch, a lounge chair, and a TV. Off to the side was a small kitchen with a table and chairs and in the back a large bedroom area furnished with a king sized bed, end tables and a dresser. There was even a bathroom off the side of his bedroom.
Gaara headed strait for the bed, stretching out on it and closing his eyes. He may not have been able to sleep, but relaxing was better than nothing.
All this formality... It's killing me.
Gaara sighed. There were times when he thought that perhaps Shuukaku was right.
Yes you can.
It's not that bad. I mean, I can always tell Fukigen to cut it out and let me speak for myself and carry my own stuff. I am Kazekage after all. I make the rules.
Whatever… I just wish people would cut the crap. "Yes Kazekage." "Right away Kazekage." "How are you Lord Kazekage?" It's disgusting. Even Haruno…
What do you mean, even Haruno?
Well you guys are like, friends right?
How should I know? She saved my life. Does that count?
You've got a long way to go kid. A long way to go. You and friends are still like water and oil.
Whatever, just shut up so I can relax for a while…
Gaara heard no more as his inner demon slunk back into the depths of his mind. What was Shuukaku talking about? Water and oil? Ha! Maybe back then, but not now. He had been trying really hard and in his opinion it was paying off.
He talked with Naruto constantly, discussing their demons among other things and having mock battles whenever they were in the same town. He talked with Hinata, Naruto's girlfriend, sometimes. She was still scared of him but they could hold a discussion. Neji was his friend, somewhat. They didn't hate each other at least.
Temari was dating Shikamaru, so they had taken part in a couple of interesting discussions together. Rock Lee and him had talked often, sometimes training together. Even Sakura. They weren't exactly friends. He still called her by her last name and never really showed his true self in her presence but still. They were polite towards each other and had spent some time together when they went out with Naruto and a couple other friends. True, he hadn't seen her in person in nearly two years since Naruto's birthday party, but they were still somewhat friends, right?
Gaara made up his mind then and there to prove Shuukaku wrong. He could make friends. He'd be more polite and possibly a little less formal when around her to try and strengthen their… acquaintanceship. That would work.
Gaara's thoughts wandered off the subject of friendship and onto a more important matter; why he was there. The council members had arranged this meeting with the Hokage a week after his eighteenth birthday, saying they were going to discuss the ties and bonds between the two villages, but more than that he did not know. Maybe it was just his imagination but he felt like the council members were keeping something from him…
"Here you go Ma'am," Sakura said, heaving a huge stack of papers onto Lady Tsunade's desk.
The Hokage sighed. "Not more paperwork!" She slumped in her chair, groaning.
"I'm afraid so My Lady. Oh, and your meeting with the Kazekage is in ten minutes."
Tsunade's eyes lit up immediately. "Really? Time flies. Umm… why don't you go escort him and the other council members here?"
"Yes. Ma'am." Sakura murmured, bowing before she left the room, walking down the long hall and towards the stairs.
I wonder why Tsunade's so… excited. She's never this pepped up about meeting with other Kages.
I don't like it. Inner Sakura complained.
You never like anything. You're so negative.
Which technically means you are the one who's so negative.
Are you listening to me?!
Oh, sorry. I'm just so wrapped up in this. I really want to know why she's so happy about this meeting. She's been looking forward to it for weeks. More than weeks. She was talking about it months ago when she sent Gaara his birthday present. I wonder if it had something to do with what she sent him…
Since when are you so absorbed with Gaara?
I'm not. I'm absorbed with Tsunade. Usually when she gets excited about something it means a whole lot of pain, agony, and suffering for those involved and a whole lot of paperwork for me. I hate paperwork...
Gaara seemed a little on-edge too. Do you think he knows?
I don't know. Maybe he's nervous because he doesn't know. Wait. How could you tell he was nervous?
You mean how could you tell? Inner Sakura giggled. It was obvious. I mean, of course Gaara is assertive and speaks his mind most of the time but I would think that he wouldn't have been so blunt about hating formality.
He's always blunt about hating it.
How would you know? You haven't seen him in two years. Anyway, you could just tell. Usually he's in full-on Kage mode unless he's around friends.
Are you saying I'm his friend?
I don't know… are you?
I doubt it. I mean, I guess we should be considering Naruto is our friend but I really don't know. You said it yourself. We haven't seen each other in two years. And it's not like we talk a lot when we do see each other… Maybe I should ask if he wants to go to Ichi-Raku with me, Naruto, Shikamaru, and the others tonight.
So, you want to go out with him do you? Her inner self teased.
No! Sakura argued defensively. I meant like a friend's night out thing. Not like that.
You're so weird. I mean, did you see how tall he got? Last time he was barely your height and now he's like a head taller. And he's so hot-
No! Not listening! You SO did not just think that.
Of course I didn't. You did. After all, I'm just your inner-most desires talking.
Shut up. Okay, MAYBE he's a little hot. But his personality is so… ew… I'm sorry but no. I could never see us together like that. Besides, he doesn't like anyone, not even as friends, Naruto being the only exception. He may be the Kazekage now, but he's still the same old Gaara.
She rounded the last corner then and walked down the hall to the last door, the door to his room. Sakura didn't even have a chance to knock on the door. She had barely raised her hand up to start knocking when the door swung inward, Gaara standing in the doorway in his Kazekage robes including his hat for a change.
Wow. Inner Sakura was right. He got tall… Sakura thought before blinking, trying to regain her composure. She opened her mouth to speak when once again Gaara beat her to the punch.
"Let's go." He almost hissed.
I didn't mean to be offensive. I meant that I would have no objection if you wanted to go into the bathroom and-
Gaara blocked his demon again. He could feel his temper wearing thin thanks to that stupid Tanuki.
"Alright," Sakura whispered as she walked over to the other rooms to summon the council members.
What's his problem? She thought, catching the tone he had used in speaking to her.
Crap. Gaara realized thanks to Sakura's obvious taken aback expression. He had scared her. Just great. That was a marvelous way to try and be nice to her, to build their acquaintanceship, if only for the sake of their mutual friend, Naruto.
He thought of a way to apologize all the way down to the Hokage's room, but to Gaara's dismay they reached her office before he decided on a way to strike up a conversation with the young konoichi.
"Lord Kazekage to see you Ma'am." Sakura said, once she had opened the door. She stepped aside to allow Gaara and the council members inside.
"Ah, Gaara. Good to finally see you. It's been far too long." Tsunade smiled.
"Indeed it has Tsunade. We should make an appoint to meet more often." Gaara said, repositioning his political mask and making himself comfortable in the chair in front of her desk while the council members gathered around him.
He took in a few deep breaths, trying to calm himself. He needed to keep his head today. It didn't matter that Shuukaku was getting on his case about not having friends, not enjoying his job, and not having a sex life, and it most certainly didn't matter that he was being crowded around by old, smelly guys. All that mattered was being formal and getting through the meeting alive. At lest Fukigen wasn't speaking for him.
"We should, we should." Tsunade agreed, smileing back at him. "Oh, Sakura?"
Sakura had almost made it out of the door, but not quite. She pushed the door back open and poked her head in.
"Yes Lady Tsunade?" she questioned.
"Please stay. This concerns you as well." The Hokage said motioning her back into the room.
Sakura scrunched up her face in confusion. What on earth was going on? She closed the door again and walked over to Tsunade's side, standing by her, facing Gaara and his council. She could see the confusion on his face as well. It would seem she wasn't the only one not let in on the fact she would be present during this meeting. The council members seemed to know…
Gaara was thinking the same thing. He knew Fukigen and he would most certainly not allow someone uninvolved to stand in during a meeting. So that could only mean that Haruno was involved. He narrowed his eyes at her. Did she know why he was really here?
She look's just as surprised as you do, so stop glowering.
What on earth could the council have in mind that concerns both of us?
Whatever it is Tsunade is both excited and a bit nervous. Excited because she likes the idea, and nervous because she knows we're going to hate the idea.
"Kazekage… Gaara," Tsunade began.
Must be serious. He used his first name.
What the hell is going on? Sakura thought.
"Something has come to the attention of me and the Suna council members." She continued.
"What is it?" Gaara asked, eyeing her suspiciously.
"Are you aware that there are requirements for each Kage? A strict code of rules and regulations written down by their villages' government."
"Yes," said Gaara, getting annoyed that she was beating around the bush.
"Well… it has come to our attention that there is a requirement in Suna… It was never considered or brought to your attention when you accepted the tile because… well… we weren't aware of it. It has never come up before considering all the other Kazekage's that have come before you were considerably older and by that age…"
"Just get to the point Tsunade." Gaara growled. He did not like being left in the dark.
Tsunade sighed. "Gaara, in Suna it is dictated that every Kazekage be married by the age of nineteen."
……. (Awkward silence engulfing the room goes here)
"What?!" Gaara rose to his feet so quickly the chair in back of his toppled over. Fukigen leaned over to erect it. "Kohana doesn't have that rule!"
"Yes, but things our different here. We elect Kage's based on strength. In your village it is passed down through a family, and since Kage's don't tend to live too long it is required the Kazekage is married by then to insure the production of heirs-"
"Yes heirs, now calm down and sit down!" Tsunade shouted, standing up out of her chair.
"And you didn't tell me?!" Gaara yelled to his council members.
Fukigen tried to explain. "We thought it best to-"
"Bull shit!" Gaara barked. "There's no way in hell I'm getting married!"
(Here is where a vein pops out of Tsunade's head anime style.) Tsunade's eye twitched and she banged her hands down on the table, splitting her desk in half.
"Listen up! Gaara you are getting married! In three months to be precise, AND it has been decided by the Suna council and I that you will be married to an upstanding konoichi from Kohana to help strengthen the ties between our two villages!" Tsunade shouted.
The whole room fell dead silent.
Wait. Did she say konoichi from Kohana? Is that why…? Gaara thought.
I- I think I know why I'm here now… Oh god no! Tsunade you can NOT do this to me! Sakura thought, panicking.
"And who have you selected to be the bride?" a council member asked.
"Gaara," Tsunade said, sending him a death glare, telling him the decision was final and that he had no say in the matter what so ever. "You bride is going to be…"
Awe! Come on! Not Haruno! She's good-looking, but not NEARLLY sexy enough!
Ew! Please no! Anything but Gaara! He may be hot but I SO agree with Sakura! His personality is horrid!!!!
Tsunade took a deep breath as everyone else held there's. "Ino Yamanaka."
Gaara and Sakura's jaws dropped. (Didn't see that one coming did ya? –evil smiley face-)
Score!!!!!! Ino's got one HOT body and have you seen her ass?! Gaara, I love your job!!! ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^
I hate my job.
"Tsunade, I here by formally resign from the position of Kazekage of the sand village." Gaara said with a blank, serious-as-hell face. "Fukigen, you're in charge." He removed his Kazekage hat to place it on the advisors head before turning on his heal and walking out the door as quickly as his feet would carry him.
"Lord Kazekage!!" nearly everyone shouted as the door slammed shut behind him.
"Crap…" Tsunade moaned, sinking down into her chair. "I thought this might happen."
Sakura turned to Tsunade, feeling awkward and out of place. "Umm… Tsunade? Why did I have to be here?"
I think she just wanted to scare us half to death, making us think we were getting married to Gaara.
"I was getting to that," Tsunade sighed. "I spoke to Ino's father about the match and he agreed. Ino also agreed right before she left for her last mission."
Well that explains why Ino was so… weird before she left. Sakura thought, remembering how on edge her friend had been before she left a week ago on her month-long mission.
Tsunade continued. "Since you are Ino's closest friend I'm putting you in charge of organizing the wedding. You have to get everything you need from here and arrange for it to be moved to Suna. Then when Ino returns from her mission I need you to travel to Suna with her, finish putting things in order for the wedding, and of course help to protect her until the wedding day."
"It may not seem like a lot but this is actually an S ranked mission Sakura. Can I count on you to complete it?" the Hokage asked, almost in desperation.
"Of course Lady Tsunade." Sakura smiled, secretly wondering how all of this was going to work out.
"Oh, and sakura?"
"Can I ask you to do one more thing for me?"
"Go find Gaara and convince him to come back."
The rain poured down relentlessly, coming down in sheets from the black sky above. Lightning flashed and thunder shook the earth. Gaara ignored it all, walking as quickly as possible towards the village gates. He needed to get out of there.
I can't believe it! Ino?!! She's… She's…
No! She's just… I can't stand here! She's worse than Haruno.
What? Were you hoping to have to marry Sakura instead?
Of course not!
Speak of the devil and she shall appear…
He walked faster toward the gate, his feet splashing in the rain puddles, his hair and robes soaked from the precipitation.
"Get away from me Haruno! I'm NOT going back there." He barked, walking faster still.
She caught up to him then, walking by his side as quickly as she could to keep up. "Gaara, you have to go back. You can't just walk out on your country like that."
"Oh really? Watch me!" He walked faster.
"Gaara, I know you don't want to get married, but you have to. You're the best Kage Suna has ever had. Without you…"
He turned around sharply then, startling her and gripping her shoulders tightly. "Heirs Haruno!!! She was talking Heirs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"I know Gaara. I know this is a big adjustment but-"
"But it's not like you weren't going to get married eventually."
"Ha! Me? Married? NEVER!"
"Gaara, think about what you are doing. You're condemning your country!" Sakura's tone changed then, no longer comforting and soft but hard and angry. "It is a Kage's job to do what is best for their country despite what is best for them! Suna is depending on you Gaara! You can't just walk out on them! You're better than that!"
Gaara paused then, just as he had reached the gate leaving the leaf village.
"I can't do it Sakura." He whispered, gripping the mighty metal pole that held the gate up. "I just can't do it. Whether it is for my country or not."
"You can do it Gaara. You can do anything. I know it. You're one of the strongest people I know." Sakura gently laid one of her delicate hands on his shoulder, turning him slightly so that she could look into his eyes.
"You can do it." She repeated, her face and voice holding no trace of doubt.
Neither of them had time to react. The thunder rumbled, the lightning flashed, striking the giant metal pole.
Right after the flash both Gaara and Sakura were lying on the wet ground, unconscious as the rain continued to poor down.
Hey, did you know guys are struck by lightning more often than girls are? It's a fact. Look it up. Then us girls can ban together and duck tape all the men in the world to radio towers. Then we can rule the world!!!!!!! MUUAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
I'm glad I'm not a guy.
Oh! But we can't electrocute Mike Frisby! He's MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
… you know what? I've just realized this. You scare me.
Well that's a relief because if I didn't… …I just lost my train of thought.
Be on the look out for the next chapter to see where Crimson might have been going with her comeback.
NOTE!!!! 2CrasyRandomPeople do NOT support the couple InoXGaara! (Sick-Os!) It was just the most random paring we could think of. That, and it goes with the plot line. THIS IS STILL A GaaraXSakura STORY!!!! Also, the funny randomness is coming. We were forced to make this story more serious for the sake of the plot line. (Stupid plot line.)