Author: is it a self-insert if you use your dog as a main character?

There was a hidden ninja village once, known by very few people simply because the ninja who lived there were more than happy to remain virtually unknown. I say virtually because, hey, ninja have to make a living too. So, anyway. The village was the village of Happy Shiny Things, mostly because the ninja specialized more in kenjutsu than other forms of fighting. They were also smart enough to realize that knowing taijutsu, ninjutsu and genjutsu were also good ideas, and so they taught their kids those techniques as well. So, yeah. In this village, just as no one looked Japanese, they also had non-Japanese last names, just to fuck with everyone's heads, since, hey, they're ninja, and ninja have to be Japanese, right? So, in this village there was a family with the surname of Plarchick, and they were renowned as good, well-rounded fighters. The mother was good at genjutsu, the brother at taijutsu, the sister at kenjutsu and the father at ninjutsu...and then there was the dog. The villagers had been attacked by a demon a few years back, and they, without any convenient newly-born children, had to make due with the new puppy that the Plarchick's had acquired. They used a special sealing technique and the village was saved! Kinda. No one had known beforehand that the demon's personality would leak into the dog's. Thankfully, the dog/demon kept her violence to the Plarchick family, who had sealed the demon. But now that all that background exposition is finished, we can get on the er..."plot"...of the story.

Itachi was bored. Sasuke hadn't shown up to make his latest attempt at killing him, Akatsuki had nothing for him to do, and, well...there was just nothing out there to accomplish that wasn't already being taken care of for him. It was amazing what saying a few right words and killing the a few people would do to make your life easier, as long as you did it subtly enough. He had quite a few conflicts going that he had started and didn't have to worry about any longer. He was walking along, Kisame a silent presence at his back when they entered a clearing and found to both of their surprise, a small, quiet village. And judging from the games that the children were playing it wasn't an ordinary village. It was a ninja village. Kisame and Itachi moved back into the shadows again, and both looked at each other.

"That's a ninja village."

"Looks like it."

"Have you ever heard of a ninja village here?"

"No."

The two watched as a few of the teenagers pushed the younger ones into the village walls, looking behind them occasionally.

"They know someone is here."

"Better than Konoha."

"Ow. That's your home village."

"Doesn't mean I can't say they're stupid."

Kisame and Itachi watched as the doors closed with a click and watched as a few chuunin(they could only guess; apparently this village didn't know, or care, about the clothing that marked rank) set up station at points on the perimeter. Itachi felt an itch and could feel the ghost of a smirk on his lips.

"No one knows about this village."

"Right..."

There was a feral undertone to Itachi's smooth, even voice, "Let's see how good they are."

---

Mother Plarchick(also known as Theresa), was fretting, and so had a nice tub of sugar-free-fat-free-carb-free-nutritional-value-deficient-ice cream sitting in front of her, but was too nervous to even think of picking up the spoon. Her daughter(who we will refer to as Pat)was calmly sharpening her shuriken, kunai, and various other bladed instruments of death, waiting in her own way. She picked up one sword and held it to the light, and smiled gleefully. "Dude! This is going to kick ass!"

"Patricia! Don't say that!" Theresa reprimanded, as she idly made hand-seals, practicing without realizing it. "We could all be killed!"

Pat looked puzzled. "But isn't that the fun part?"

"Your father and brother are out there! What will I do if your father dies! I've always wanted to die before him so I don't have to live without him!"

"Stop being so dramatic. Da can take care of himself."

"That's what you think," was the dry reply as Theresa stood and put the ice cream away.

On the perimeter, Pat's brother, who we will refer to as Francis, was joking with his group of friends, making stupid jokes and nearly killing each other with gleeful blows to the back.

"You'll see! I'll mess these guys up good! No-one'll get by me!"

As he boasted, Itachi slipped by the group.

On the other side of the village there was an explosion as Kisame set off some of the clever traps set by the other villagers with Pat's father's, who we shall refer to as James, guidance. The alarm was raised and everyone in the village, chuunin, gennin and jounin alike were all more wary than they had been. Being wary, however, is not enough when confronted with Itachi's not-so-secret super-power; the ability to kick anyone's ass. Kisame took care of the perimeter guard, and found himself left with only a few skilled Chuunin and Jounin, among them the Francis and James. Itachi scoured the inside of the village, taking out Jounin, Chuunin, Gennin, civilians and children with little thought. It was only when he ran into the PMS-ing Pat and Theresa did he have a difficult battle on his hands. For he had accidently set fire to the bakery and chocolate shop, depriving the two women of sweets to ease the pain.

And that, dear readers, is a terrible, terrible offense that not even Itachi can fully get away with.

Itachi, after having exerted himself far more than he thought he would have had to was turning to leave when he felt a sudden, sharp pain in his left arm and looked down. There, snarling, was a small, angry tawny ball of fur that, in better light, revealed itself to be a dog. But a very pissed dog. Itachi sighed and tried to throw it off. To no avail. He tried to kick it off. She still hung on. Eventually, he resorted to trying to pry the dog off with sticks, swords, and other sharp, shiny things for which the town was named, but any wound he inflicted healed as soon as it was made. Chakra attacks didn't work either. It was only once he had finally run out of ideas that he used his Sharingan...and stopped only a moment after he had begun.

"The stupidity! It burns! It burns!" He looked away and rubbed his eyes with his free hand, trying to scour the taint of stubborn idiocy left by the dog. He looked back at the dog after he had recovered and glared at it.

"Demon dog."

The dog's eyes said, "Damn right."

Itachi thought of every possible way to get the god-forsaken beast off his arm, but couldn't find anything he hadn't tried.

'Maybe when it gets tired or dies from starvation and dehydration it'll let go.' He frowned as he looked at his now blood-soaked coat. 'But it ruined my best coat!' he growled inwardly and began to walk out of the village, dissatisfied.

---

"Umm...Itachi-sama?"

"Yes."

"What's that?"

There was a long, frigid silence broken only by a rumbling, angry "grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr," from Itachi's sleeve.

"It's a bracelet,"was the clipped reply.

"...right...Have you tried to get that bracelet off?"

"Are you saying that I don't have the ability to?" was the deadly soft reply. Kisame shuddered and shook his head quickly.

"No, I'm not saying that. Are you sure you've tried everything, though?"

"It's demon possessed. Literally. I can't get it off until it dies."

"That sucks."

"..."

Itachi hit Kisame on the head, HARD, with the arm that had the dog on it, adding the force of the dog's dense mass to his punch, which sent Kisame reeling. Itachi then continued to walk calmly along, shoving no other outward sign of his annoyance.

---

Many years passed and people finally discovered that the village of Happy Shiny Things had been destroyed, and people were suspicious.

Sasuke blamed Itachi, obviously, and chalked up another reason to kill him. Not like he didn't have enough already. Or that he had even known anyone in the village.

"Sasuke, would you stop obsessing? That village has been gone for years, or so it seemed. He's not going to be near here," Naruto sighed as he kept in step next to his boyfr-...er...comrade. No, teammate. Better word choice there. Teammate. So, they were walking along with Sakura in tow, Sasuke brooding and Naruto trying to get him out of it, to concentrate on the mission at hand rather than angsting as he normally did.

"SASUKE!" Sakura gasped and pointed. Conveniently(ie because the author said so), Itachi was a little ways down the road, but was looking rather disheveled, and Sakura could see blood dripping down his hand, and a little tuft of what seemed to be brown fur peeking out from beneath the sleeve of Itachi's Akatsuki coat.

"ITACHI!" Sasuke snarled and lunged before Naruto or Sakura could react. Itachi dodged the attack with little effort and caught Sasuke in the stomach, and sent him flying back with a punch to the chest into his friends that were running to help.

Itachi sighed inwardly. As much as he loved watching his little brother fall to pieces in front of him, he was not in the mood for it today. He simply turned and vanished into the shadows as team 7 untangled themselves.

Sasuke looked around, annoyed, and stood quickly, in case Itachi was nearby. When he felt Itachi wasn't, he snarled and cursed. Sakura and Naruto stood, Naruto saw that Sakura was thinking.

"What is it Sakura-chan?"

"Itachi..."

"What about him!" Sasuke asked quickly, even the first syllable of that name making him react violently. Sakura jerked back a little, but then stood straight and steeled herself in front of Sasuke's undirected anger.

"He looked like he was hurt."

"What?" was the shocked reply from both Sasuke and Naruto.

"He was bleeding on his left arm. I saw it."

"But no-one can touch Itachi!"

Even though he hated him, Sasuke still had a bad case of hero-worship for his older brother. That lasted all of a second, though. "If he's hurt though, it means he's weaker! And if he's weaker...finally, I will have my revenge!"

Sakura and Naruto looked at each other and sighed. Sasuke would be even more of a fanatic now.

"After we complete the mission, Sasuke. After we complete the mission."

The mission was completed in a, for once, timely manner, and Team 7 headed back to Konoha. They were sent on other missions, but always Sasuke kept a lookout for Itachi. It was a few years after the last time that he had met Itachi that they crossed paths again. Sasuke attacked without any warning, for once, not even an angry yell of "Itachiiiiiiiii!"

They fought, and Sasuke was proud of himself. He was doing well against Itachi, but found that whenever he attacked Itachi's left that any Chakra attack was repelled and, in some cases, absorbed, and every time he physically attacked, he was always startled by a snarl as he hit what seemed to be a solid, small body. Itachi and he fought for hours on end, and both were getting tired. Itachi pulled both arms up to block a Chakra attack from Sasuke and heard a pained yip and felt teeth tear out of his arm and felt a weight fall into his sleeve. He staggered back and let his sleeve fall, and out plopped a small, tawny form that resolved itself into a dog. Itachi was bleeding freely from his left arm, but both were too mesmerized to see that, but their thoughts were radically different.

'It's...off...'

'WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!'

Sasuke turned from the dog to notice that Itachi had disappeared again and cried out his frustration to be joined by the ferocious barking of a dog. Kiba, who he had been working with, came up behind him and stared at the dog, mouth hanging open.

"I didn't know dogs had that kind of vocabulary."

Sasuke turned back to look at him and glared. "I don't care about the dog. Itachi just got away!"

"But you gotta do something for her. Look at her! She looks so unhealthy! She needs a few days of good care to get her back to what she could be."

Kiba knelt down and held his hand out to the little dog.

Who promptly bit it. When Kiba didn't even flinch, though, she was intrigued and so let go, and licked the wound until it healed, surprising Kiba. The little Welsh Corgi looked up and gave Kiba her most pathetic, "love me" eyes she could manage. And Kiba melted.

"Awww..." He picked the dog up and let Akamaru sniff her, and the dog sniffed back and sneezed. Akamaru made an unhappy growl of disapproval, and resettled himself in Kiba's coat.

"Let's get back to the village. We're finished our mission, so we're heading home anyway..."

Sasuke pouted, but finally sighed in consent.

"Fine. Let's go."

Kiba smirked inwardly. That had taken much less effort than it would have if Sasuke were younger and Kiba had said that.

'It seems rumors are true sometimes."

"Kakashi-sensei! Please?"

Kakashi looked up from Icha Icha Paradise and over to Kiba and the dog he was holding in his arms.

"She doesn't look particularly intelligent."

"I could say that same for you," was the tart reply from the ball of damp fuzz in Kiba's arms.

Kiba stared down, intrigued. She hadn't said a word before.

"What's your name?"

"Lucy. Laugh and die."

Kakashi was seriously considering doing that, but at the look in the dog's eyes, he decided otherwise.

"Where did you find her?"

"After Sasuke had a fight with Itachi. It seems as if she had been...err...attached(?)to his arm and fell off when Sasuke hit her a little too hard."

"Right."

There was a long silence as Kakashi looked Lucy over, and as Lucy became more annoyed.

"Fine. But if she turns out to be like Sasuke, I'm giving her to you, Kiba."

Kiba was confused. "What do you mean by, 'turn out like Sasuke'?"

"Never lets go of anything, physically or mentally, vengeful, obsessive...you know, how Sasuke is. Minus the angst."

"Riiiight."

Kiba set Lucy down, who shook the last of the water off from the bath Kiba had tortured her with. She walked over to Kakashi and sat down next to his feet and smiled at Kiba while also bearing her teeth, even though he didn't catch the second implication.

"Good luck, Kakashi-sensei."

Kakashi looked down at the dog who looked back up at him, an evil glint in her eye.

"I'll need it."