Sarabi walked away from Zira, heading to the entrance of the main den where Kukuza was standing. She looked said and concerned while he looked disappointed in himself.
"Is it true? Are you really..."
Sarabi nestled her head into his big grey mane, feeling sad that she'd only get another day with him if Zira were telling the truth.
"I need to find him Sarabi, he needs to come back home."
"But you? You have obligations here. You said we'd be together forever!"
"I know, but... Sarabi, what's your choice? Me or your grandson?"
"I want both you big grey softy!"
"And you'll get both, I promise."
Vitani was distressed, and before he left he managed these few and simple words to his daughter.
"I'll have Kopa with me when I get back, Vitani."
Kukuza said this to Vitani in hopes it would lift her spirits. She was losing her father and had lost her mate, both good things replaced with the evil of her mother.
Later that night, Kukuza was walking around, trying to find Kopa's scent still in the pride land area.
Kukuza whirled around, seeing the little Nuka standing behind him. He looked up, nervously smiling at his father. Kukuza was concerned that Nuka might of done something to get himself in trouble.
"Are you alright son?"
"I'm fine dad I'm fine, I just... had a question, for you."
"Absolutely" Kukuza spun around all the way, sitting down and facing his son. Nuka moved forward, also sitting down. They both crossed their paws, being attentive to one another.
"Dad, it's just that... why can't I be king? I'm older then Kovu and Vitani. Plus Kopa's disappeared."
"It pains me to see your sister so sad."
"Me too, I wish he were still here..."
Added Nuka, fear building inside of his chest- unsure how his father would react.
"Nuka, life isn't just about being king. Being the king is a position of great respect and responsibility. People look up to the king, but you can be honorable and wise without that title."
"You can be whoever you want to be if you try. Nuka, do you want to be wise? Respected? Loved? Do you want to be someone?"
Said Nuka proudly, sitting up nice and tall to his father's words of encouragement.
"Then be that person! A title will not now or ever hold you back."
Thanks dad, I'll try and be a better person."
"Remember Nuka, you need to be concerned about the future- life is the longest thing you'll ever do- so you should invest everything you have into making it worth living."
"Thanks dad, I feel much better about it now. Not that I wanted to be king, I was just wondering why I wasn't first pick."
Kukuza sighed, Nuka felt sad- he was first born, but was hated by his birth father, and his mother wasn't an angel either.
"I love you Nuka, you're my first pick."
Nuka nuzzled his dad before walking away happily. Back to Beleco's side.
This was the second to last night of Kukuza staying at pride rock, and once dinner had ended everyone was very sad that he'd be leaving. His future absence was more then just a mater of sorrow, his absence would be a political matter. He had spent most of dinner sitting with Simba, talking about kingly things. Sarabi was also there, and so was Zira. She was representative of the outlanders.
"What will you do Kukuza? You can't just walk off into the distance and expect to find my son." Said Simba in recognition of the sad reality he was forced to face.
"Kukuza, when you go, will you take me with you? I don't want to be alone."
"Sarabi, I can't take you with me! No offense, but woman as amazing as you aren't particularly suited for cross-Savannah treks."
"Kukuza, I think she's right. Remember what I told you? You can't chose one of us, and then opt to leave us both without."
Said Zira, acting civilized when on the inside she was bubbling over with disgust.
"I don't know." Said Simba, also shaky of the idea.
"Sara could come with us! So that way I wouldn't be the only lioness."
Added Sarabi, pleading to go with her mate.
"I don't know, things might not go so smoothly."
"Please Kukuza, we won't dawdle! We can run and be fast, go without sleep or food or water."
"My friends at the Coventry Pride owe me a favor, they'll make it possible for you and Sara to come with me."
"What are you planning?"
Asked Simba, both Sarabi and Zira thinking the same thing.
"I could order a group of lioness' to come with us, so that way we'll be strong in numbers, and no rogue in his right mind would try anything."
"They'd do that?"
Asked Sarabi who was unaware of Kukuza's relationship with that pride.
"Bahati would do anything for me, so would his mate."
"You two were friends?" Asked Simba.
"I saved his life, found him his mate, and helped him build his pride from scratch, we're more then just friends."
"I've met him, he's a tricky blond, but he'll help you."
Added Zira, scoffing at the name King Bahati like it were a joke.
"That reminds me, Zira, you can't stay here if Kukuza isn't here to watch you."
Said Simba plainly.
Zira raised her eyebrows, growling softly as she spoke, her voices volume rising with each word.
"Why can't I stay!"
"I don't trust you! You tried to hurt my son once, who's to say you won't hurt Nala, or her unborn cub!"
"I wouldn't dare!" Yelled Zira, raking her claws across the rocky floor.
"Zira, please, hopefully I'll be back quickly, and once I'm back you can stay here."
"No Kukuza, not just her, the entire outland pride."
Added Simba, deepening the situation.
"Simba that's a little extreme."
Said Sarabi, not believing her precious son had just said that.
"No Sarabi, I agree, they can all be together with Zira for a while."
"..." Zira couldn't think of anything to say. She had been kicked out of the pride lands! Her home! For the second time, she was thrown out of Kukuza's life. What a life she lives!
"So we leave tomorrow morning?"
Asked Sarabi happily.
"No, we leave the day after tomorrow."
"You should go tomorrow morning, I'll leave with the outlanders tonight."
Said Kukuza, smiling at her weakly.
Sarabi had gotten up to go and tell Sarafina what was about to happen, and the wonderful journey they were going on the next morning.
Shouted Sarabi as she plowed down the side walkway of pride rock, running over to her friend who was sitting with a pregnant Nala and Hun.
"What Sarabi? Is something wrong?"
"No not at all, I just have news about Kopa."
Said Sarafina, both Nala and Hun raising their heads to listen more attentively.
"Did you find my son?"
Asked Nala with desperation and worry on her breath.
"No Nala, but tomorrow morning Kukuza and I are going to go out and look for him, and you're coming Sara because I could be gone a while."
"You just drafted me into this?"
Asked Sarafina, she was happy about going, but she was acting disgruntled to be playful with her old friend.
"Yes, and Hun, Zira is leaving with all the outlanders to go back into banishment tonight. I'm so sorry, once we get back though the prides can re-merge like it is now."
"I'm being sent out there? With her? And the cubs! Wow, I suppose that's alright, just find Kopa quickly because I can't be out there with that she devil forever."
Sarabi and Sarafina chuckled.
"We'll work fast."
As the news spread, the three cubs eventually heard it also. Kovu was unfazed, he was so young, he wouldn't even remember this short stint in the pride lands. Vitani didn't care, she had no reason to stay, and when Kopa came back, she would be welcome back. No problems. Nuka had gone to speak with his mother.
Said Zira bitterly, fairly angry about her forced relocation.
"When we leave, I can still come back here to..."
"No! Absolutely not! There will be no visiting! Say goodbye and let it be! Now leave me."
Nuka was shaking with fear of his mother, backing up and quickly scampering away.
He ran into Kukuza, who had been talking to Zazu about his leaving and that Rafiki would have to be told.
"Dad! Mom says I can't visit Beleco once we leave!"
Kukuza reeled back, only surprised a little toward his ex-mate's reaction. Zazu flew away, not wanting to hear this conversation.
"You know Nuka, you can visit her in secret. No one would need to know but you and her."
"Really? But dad.."
"Nuka, no one must know. Not even your sister, if you want to see her, plan it out so that you two can meet when it's dark."
"I'll go and talk with her now."
Nuka ran off, not before smiling and nuzzling his father's leg. Nuka's a smart boy, he'll figure something out.
In the den, Beleco was lying down, sitting there and thinking about things.
"Beleco, I need to tell you something."
Just then, Intesa and Amico, the other two lioness' in this age group walked in, talking happily until they noticed they were interrupting something. Their two pale gold bodies stopping mid step, Intesa's black paws stopping with Amico's grey.
"Are we interrupting something?"
Asked Intesa, being the softer spoken of the duo.
"No! I need your help."
Amico stopped walking away, turning around with a raised eyebrow. She walked toward Nuka, getting so close he had to back up and sit down, pulling his face in.
"What do you need?"
Said Amico, smiling, so close to Nuka's face. She was trying to make him feel uncomfortable.
She released him, sitting down next to Beleco with Intesa not far behind, also sitting.
"Tonight... tonight my pride is leaving to go back to the outlands."
The three gasped.
"No!" Shouted Beleco, feeling scared and alone.
"My dad is leaving to go and find Kopa, and since the king doesn't trust my mother, we have to leave."
"But you can stay right?"
Asked Amico, not understanding Simba's logic.
Nuka shook his head.
"My mother wants me to go with her, and so does my dad." Nuka sighed. "Beleco, my mother doesn't want me to see you anymore... she said I can't visit."
Beleco let a single tear fall, biting her lip and looking at the den's ceiling in attempt to calm her feelings.
"Why do you need us?"
Asked Amico, still being blunt. Intesa had her paw on Beleco's, letting the now single lioness cry on her shoulder.
"I want to visit, but we have to do it in secret."
"You'd do that for me?"
"Absolutely! I just need some help. I can sneak away from my mother easily, but we can't meet here, Simba can't know either, or your mom Beleco."
"How? Is this possible?"
Asked Intesa, Beleco's paw still beneath her own, holding her close to keep her calm.
"We'd need to meet late at night when everyone's asleep, but I think we'd have a few hours every week."
Beleco stood up, kissing Nuka happily, smiling and kissing and crying and smiling.
"Break it up you two."
Said Amico, rolling her eyes and blushing- she wanted to feel love like that, how come she didn't have anyone!
"Will you help me?"
Asked Nuka, trying to look serious while his girl plowed her head into his neck, purring loudly.
"Of coarse." Said Amico, smiling and letting her softer side out. Her eyes which usually glowed so brightly you couldn't look at them were toning down to a soft yellow, a pretty color for a pretty lioness.
"Thank you Amico." Said Nuka, closing his eyes and continuing to nuzzle the purring Beleco.
The time came, the outlanders were leaving, Zira was crying. She had cried before, but not like this. Zira was giving up on the man she wanted to love her- but in fairness she had had her stint with him, and now it was Sarabi's turn.
Kukuza stood back, watching as Zira and the outlanders walked off.
Inside Zira's heart, she had developed a new hatred for her first son Nuka. He was too similar to Kukuza, the way they talked and acted, so confident and proud of themselves.
He even had a similar body. Yes, Nuka was Scar's son, but that was not important. Nuka acted like Kukuza, and that drove Zira mad.
This decision to separate the prides, would cost Nuka his life.
She remembered the days when Scar had Sarafina, and she had Kukuza, but then everything went down hill when she decided to kick a hornets nest of trouble. She hated him, Kukuza, Nuka, Hun, she hated everyone. The only person she still loved was Vitani.
Spending just a little time around her mothers hardness ruined Vitani's sweet personality. She was vulnerable after Kopa had gone missing, and without him she needed something to cling to. Sadly, she chose Zira. Silently, Vitani looked up at her mother, wanting to be cold and seemingly emotionless like she was. There would be no more tears, no more dainty female ways. She'd be strong like her mother, cold and fierce, also beautiful.
Zira whispered under her breath, still lightly weeping at this tremendous loss.
She shrieked at him, she was crying, salty tears dribbling down her face. Even strong woman have their breaking points.
Kukuza and the other pride members waited, watching as the outlanders returned to their temporary prison. Later that night, Kukuza was sitting alone with Sarabi. They loved each other so much, and the journey would be fierce for her female spirit. She was strong, but not as strong as her mate.
"I hope we find him Kukuza."
Said Sarabi sadly, nuzzling his cheek and kissing his neck a few times and slow wet repetition.
Sarabi began to cry, she couldn't bear to leave her home. She was there with her son and family, but she'd have to leave to be with the one that she loves. At least she'd get to bring her friend. Kukuza was also crying, he couldn't bare to see her so upset, but this had to be done.
"I know Sarabi, this situation is far from ideal."
"It is! At least we'll have each other."
Kukuza smiled, kissing her cheek happily and letting him nuzzle her body.
"We have tonight... and one day- we'll be back here, I can't have a good strong woman like you walk away from me now, tell me you'll stay, the journey will be long."
Kukuza kissed Sarabi, unsure when that day- the day of peace- would come.
Kukuza backed away from the kiss, looking passionately into Sarabi's eyes. The honey circles screaming 'come hither.' Her ears flicked back sexually, wanting to be with him on their motherland before they left.
In that moment, he seemed to channel his protective and loving spirit directly into this beautiful lioness' soul and heart.
She took in his warmth and love like the way the earth takes in the suns heat. They touched, nuzzling, an electric connection that would have overloaded weaker hearts. But their love was strong, grown, healthy, they could take it.
That night, they slept together. Enjoying each others bodies, in a comforting and loving experience of romance, bliss, and love. Kukuza was happy, Sarabi was even happier, they both shared that moment that no one else's love could challenge.
THE NEXT MORNING
Kukuza departed with Saranbi and Sarafina, the goodbyes were heart felt and loving.
Said the king as he nuzzled his mother, smiling,
"Bring back my son, please."
Nala looked into her mother-in-laws eyes with sadness and fright, Sarabi smiled back at her. Nodding.
"Protect my mother... dad."
Simba smiled, nuzzling Kukuza as he nuzzled back, smiling equally.
"Don't worry Simba, I'll keep her safe and I'll find Kopa."
After walking for several hours away from the pride lands, making small talk the whole way, Sarafina decided to speak. Sarabi looked really happy, and Sarafina knew something was up.
"You two look happy."
Sarabi blushed and smiled at Kukuza, who smiled back.
Said Sarafina, recalling the times when she had a smile like those two lovers had in that moment.
"Do you think that... where will we look first?"
"We'll check as many prides as possible, and then other areas."
Said Kukuza, looking for a place to rest for the night. He sighed heavily, suddenly depressed.
"Sarabi, I can't see far enough to find a den, can you to look for one?"
"Of coarse, anything for my man."
Sarabi smiled, knowing full well her mate was suffering on the inside for his inadequacies.
They found shelter for the night, far away from the pride lands.
They'd continue to search for Kopa as long as it would take. As night settled upon the traveling party, the entered their shelter, small and only big enough for the three of them.
Asked Sarafina, squished into his side. Kukuza sat between his mate and his mates friend, Sarabi had already fallen asleep, she remained asleep as the two talked.
"I'm sorry that I hated you so much. I wasn't nice enough to you for all those years. I hated you for something you didn't do, I hated you for all the things Zira did. You were with her and... I blamed you."
"It was my fault too Sara, I couldn't keep her mind and paws busy enough."
"Also, I can't... I don't think we should go back to Coventry. I can't do it Kukuza. Not after what happened... I can't do it... I can't face him. We're the only ones left who know, and we can't... I can't do it."
Sarafina wept silently, unable to look at Kukuza's sad grey eyes. She was a disgrace, she had let bad things happen and even worse things happen to someone innocent. Kukuza gripped her paw, nuzzling her in attempt to comfort her.
"Even... even Sarabi doesn't know..."
Added Sara, sniffling and nuzzling him some more.
"I won't tell a soul."
Kukuza closed his eyes, listening to her shed tears and sniffle.
"My Taka... we almost had everything. You remind me of him. He always held my paw and told me things would get better, even when he knew they wouldn't."
The Scar and Sarafina romance was probably the purist in the entire prides history. It wasn't clean cut or simple, it was convoluted and messy. Yet, they loved each other endlessly.
"He loved you Sara."
"He was taken away from me before he should have... I love him, he... he died."
"I know Sara, I was there too."
"I know you're with Sarabi but, will you hold me? I don't feel well."
Sarafina choked on her words, nuzzling him a little more. Kukuza looked to see Sarabi, his beautiful mate- curled up and sleeping- unable to consent or protest.
"I can't do that."
Sarabi was far to beautiful, she was far to valuable. Even if nothing happened, and nothing would, but he wouldn't let her be mad at him. Kukuza loved Sarabi, and he wouldn't do anything to remotely worry her.
She was begging, Kukuza felt awful saying no but he simply had to.
"I love Sarabi to much, I can't, I shouldn't even be touching you like this."
Kukuza swallowed, trying to back out of the nuzzle.
"She won't mind." Sarafina pushed in, nuzzling a little more and starting to kiss his neck softly, her tears dry now. "Let's go somewhere." She nuzzled him further, her words like nightmares and daggers.
"No Sara! Stop, stop right now! I don't want you, nor ever have I!"
"But you wanted Nala... I'm just like her! I'm her mother..."
"I NEVER wanted Nala, stay off of me. I'm telling Sarabi about this."
"No! Kukuza please! She'll kill me!"
"You're vulnerable, please just go to sleep."
She smiled, looking at him with less lust and more sadness.
"Taka told me that, he always said I was up too late, and that I should go to sleep."
Kukuza gave her one kiss to her cheek, a very short and non romantic peck. He dodged a bullet. Sarafina was a pretty girl, always was, but Sarabi wasn't just a pretty girl, she was his pretty girl, his mate. There would be no muse this time, this relationship wouldn't be like his with Zira. There would be no rough spots, they'd be in it until one of them died. Even past that really.
Sarafina laid down to go to sleep, disappointed in herself.
Kukuza was a little turned on by Sarafina's longing, and he took it out on Sarabi. She was asleep of coarse, but he kissed her anyway, nuzzling up to her and making her purr. She vibrated from the purring, and Kukuza smiled from the feeling, happy she was happy and even happier that she loved him.
The next morning, everyone had woken up, the hunting complete. They were on the move to their first stop. Kukuza walked by Sarabi's side, and Sarafina held back a little.
"What's wrong with her?"
Asked Sarabi, wanting her man's opinion first.
"She misses Taka."
"He was so cruel, never made any sense to me."
"You should also know, she made a move on me last night after you fell asleep."
Whispered Sarabi, awestruck that her best friend dare make a move on her lion.
"It was nothing really. She was distraught, crying about losing Taka. She probably just wanted to feel loved again. It's been almost a year now since he died."
"I understand, and thank you. I'm glad you stuck by me."
"I will forever. You're the alpha in my life, I was up late too, thinking about everything Sara said."
"You're so pretty when you sleep. The fur, the eyes, the face, your body. I couldn't help but kiss you for some time while you slept."
"Next time though-" Sarabi used his bad eyesight to her advantage, pushing his big muscular shoulder with a firm punch, "-wake me up, that way I can kiss back."
Kukuza smiled, nipping at her ear as they continued to walk. After six months of searching, the three still had absolutely nothing to show for it. Kopa's scent was gone, rain, time, and other animals had covered the scent, eliminating it. Six months of nothing but loss. Kukuza's vision was getting worse, he couldn't see things when he walked. Sometimes he tripped. When they went to visit other prides, both woman had to hug his sides, pointing him in the appropriate direction, and steering him clear of anything he might fall over.
One night Kukuza and Sarabi had fallen asleep, tightly wrapped up together. The next morning Sarafina woke up first, starring at the two and admiring how happy they were. When they were young, Sarabi always said she'd find someone who would love her for who she really is, and now she had that. Sarafina had that once too. She had her Taka, they were happy until Zira tore them apart, and Scar fell into her trap. In his efforts to struggle out of her grasp his claws tore away at his friendships and relationships, destroying his family and life as well as the lives of several others. Including her.
Kukuza roared softly as he yawned himself awake, squeezing Sarabi's body and nuzzling her.
"Good morning beautiful, I love you."
Kukuza nuzzled her, but she didn't nuzzle back.
"Sarabi wake up, we need to get going."
He smiled, kissing her neck and nuzzling her again. She still didn't move.
He shook her a little, and her head limply fell from his paw onto the cold rocky floor of their shelter. Sarafina stood, looking to see what was wrong.
"Sarabi wake up."
She wasn't moving. Kukuza took a heavy breath as his thick grey eyes grew damp. His heart felt light and sharp, like a razor in his chest. He couldn't see her eyes and that made it worse for him. He felt empty, she wasn't answering him and he couldn't find out why.
"Sara... Sara come here now!"
Shouted Kukuza, letting his tears fall as he nuzzled Sarabi some more. He shoved his nose deeply into her neck, feeling the hot tingling of his tears as they fell across his face. His eyes clouded further and glistened as pools of tears accumulated. He felt his heart burn with sorrow.
"Sarabi... Sarabi please wake up, wake up Sarabi please. I love you. I love you so much Sarabi please just wake up."
He smiled, kissing her some more, nuzzling her even harder as he took in what was left of her scent.
Sarafina knew by looking at her life long friend, she had died in her sleep.
"Come on Kukuza, we need to go outside."
She reached for his paw, but he took it and placed it on Sarabi, holding her lifeless body as close as he could to his.
"No! Get away from me! She's fine... Sarabi just needs to wake up. I love her."
Kukuza's throat hurt and he didn't know why, his lower lip trembled as he nuzzled her deeper, feeling how cold she was.
"Come on we can't be here."
"No! No! I love her.. This isn't real... This isn't happening... My mate, my Sarabi! Wake up darling, all you need to do is wake up!"
He shook her shoulders again, unable to figure out why the love of his life was so cold. In the back of Kukuza's mind logic told him what had happened. He refused to belief it, kissing her lifeless face again and again in endless passion and romance.
She still didn't answer. Kukuza but his bottom lip. Crying harder then he had been before.
"There's so much I wanted to do with you.. we were going to have cubs."
His neck muscles tensed up and he sniffled before wailing in frustration at her passing. Damn the universe for taking her away from him! This isn't fair!
"I love you Sarabi. I love you so much. Don't do this not to us, you can't be gone."
Sarafina stood, watching, she cried just as much as he was. She couldn't move. There was a time when she doubted this man's feelings for her lifelong friend, but no more. She could hear the passion in his voice, spilling in his hot tears over her body.
"I love you."
He kissed her again, sobbing deeply. He laid back down beside her, grabbing her body and hugging it as tightly as he could. He loved her and she was gone, he wanted to hold her forever.
He wanted to die.
"I can't even see you..."
He missed the way she looked, when they first met when they were young, he could have loved her from the beginning. He could have saved her from this short cruel life.
Sarafina sniffled, grabbing Kukuza by his shoulder.
"We have to go Kukuza, let's go-"
"No! Let go of me!"
He sobbed hard. Standing up and kissing her a few more times.
"My Sarabi's dead... This isn't fair."
He turned away, unable to look at her anymore. He immediately regretted this decision, he wanted to be near her. Sarafina walked him out of the den, crying with him as they stepped.
Once outside Kukuza roared as loudly as he could, falling to the ground and weeping, curling up in a ball. He looked back at the den, screaming.
"Why her! Why now! We were going to be happy forever!"
The roof of the den collapsed, sealing the body of Sarabi inside the stone tomb forever.
Kukuza roared again.
"No! I hate this! None of this is right!"
He had stood up on pure adrenaline, falling back down and crying again.
"Sarabi..." Whispered Sarafina to herself, knowing now that her best friend was dead.
"It's alright Kukuza... She died in her sleep. It was painless."
Kukuza shook his head no.
"I can feel it in my soul, it's not painless it burns like fire."
"She loved you-"
"And I loved her! Now she's gone! Sleeping bones to rest in earth forever. Far away from home. Here, in the middle of nowhere... It's not right."
After hours of moping silently. The two left for another shelter. Kukuza cried the whole time they walked away, he felt far away from Sarabi.
While he cried and begged her to come back, she was in the heavens, looking down and seeing his sadness. She couldn't bare to stand it either, she'd been called away to a perfect place but he couldn't come with her yet. She cried just as much, knowing his pain and wishing he didn't have to feel so dreadful. She hurt on the inside.
That night it rained, hard.
"Look Kukuza, Sarabi is crying too."
Seven more months had passed, and without Sarabi they felt like years. Kukuza's eyesight had continued to grow worse. He had nothing in this world left to see, so his eyes closed up shop. There was nothing left to look at. He could only see shadows, he tripped over everything, and he was lost without Sarabi. Literally and figuratively. He couldn't find his way without her because he was blind, and he didn't want to live because neither was she.
They had been searching for a year and three months, and for the past seven months they had been one person down. Sarafina missed her friend just as much, and felt uncomfortable alone with her widowed mate. He was nothing but tears, and never before had Sarafina see anyone cry but Taka.
"Where else is there to search?"
Asked Sarafina with a very weak smile, a smile she knew he couldn't see. He walked pressed up against her side, and they traveled slowly so he didn't fall too much.
"The oasis. We should start on the far end, work our way back to the pride lands."
"Will we go back even without him?"
"I want to find him. Simba will be so disappointed, he's lost his son and his mother now, he doesn't know yet."
"We carry on Kukuza."
He sighed, saddened.
"The walk to the far end of the oasis will be about two days with my slowness."
They walked on, over the horizon, just the two of them. For a while they hated each other, their was a time when Sarafina would have killed him and thought nothing of it. Now, he was like her cub. Without her he'd be useless. He'd simply stumble around until he died.
"I'm glad we're friends Kukuza."
Soon enough, they would arrive in the oasis to find what it is they sought out, and more, much much more.