Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, either Pet Shop of Horrors series, or any of the characters in these series.
A Boy and His...Fish?
Count D looked up from the cage he was dusting as the door to his shop creaked open. Two boys stood in the doorway. The older one peered around the edge of the door cautiously, while the younger one bounced into the shop with an excited look on his face.
"See, nii-san? It's a great big pet shop, just like Shino-san said! I bet we can find you a really good pet here!"
"I fail to see why I require a pet in the first place," the older boy grumbled.
"Because, everybody should have a pet!"
"You do not have a pet."
"Well, somebody's gotta take care of your pet when you're away on missions, right? So when you're not here, your pet'll be like my pet!"
The older boy sighed. "If we must get a pet, it should be one that isn't too much trouble to take care of. And it shouldn't be noisy. Or messy."
"Well," said Count D as he swept over to the brothers, "it sounds like you boys already have a pretty good idea of what you want. Please feel free to look around and ask any questions about any pets that catch your eye."
Count D watched as the younger brother proceeded to drag the older one around the shop, periodically exclaiming over some pet that the older brother inevitably dismissed as unsuitable.
"Ooh, nii-san, look! A bunny rabbit!"
"Or, or, what about this one? Look how colorful its feathers are!"
"A white snake, nii-san! I've heard those are really super rare!"
At that point, Count D decided to take pity on the older brother. "Now that I think about it, I believe I may have a pet in stock that is perfect for you. If you and your brother will please follow me?"
Count D pushed open a door in the back wall of the shop, revealing a long, branching hallway. The two brothers followed him into what appeared to be a maze-like extension of the main shop. There were people in many of the rooms they passed. D-san's employees? Itachi wondered. But most of them appear to be doing nothing but socializing. And surely a pet shop doesn't require such a large staff? Even with his well-honed sense of direction, he was having trouble keeping track of all the twists and turns. "Where are we going?" he asked, a hint of suspicion in his voice.
"Why, we're going to find your ideal pet!"
"Will it be much farther?"
"Not far at all! In fact, we're already here." Count D had come to a halt in front of a huge set of ornately carved double doors. He stood aside and gestured grandly.
Itachi slowly pushed open the door. The room on the other side was absolutely huge, but mostly bare. The only thing in it was a wooden table, on which stood a large fishtank. A single fish swam placidly within the tank, darting around fronds of seaweed.
Sasuke's face fell. "But that's just a fish."
"Au contraire!" exclaimed Count D. "That's not just any fish. That is a shark."
Sasuke wrinkled his nose. "That's not a shark! Sharks are big."
"Sasuke!" Itachi reprimanded his brother sharply, but Count D merely waved a hand.
"Don't worry about it. Many people underestimate a pet just because it isn't so immediately impressive." He crouched down in front of Sasuke, who still looked skeptical. "Sharks come in all sizes, from the length of a finger to many feet long. And even a small shark like this one has many interesting qualities. Come and take a closer look, both of you." He pointed to the shark, which was, Itachi thought, a rather pretty shade of blue. Its gills flexed as it swam incessantly back and forth. "Do you see those little barbs on its skin? If you run your hand over it in one direction, it will feel like ordinary fish scales. But if you touch it in a direction opposing those barbs, your hand will be cut. And do you notice how it never stops swimming? That's because it can't stop--movement is what keeps water flowing over its gills. If it ever stopped swimming, it would die. And although its body is sturdy enough to withstand the pressure of so much water above it, it has no actual bones. Its skeleton is made entirely of cartilage."
Sasuke's skeptical expression had changed to one of surprise and interest. "Really? I never knew that stuff."
"Well, it's all true. Sharks are very interesting creatures, even small ones like this one."
Seeing a chance to escape with a pet that wouldn't take all his time, make a huge mess, or cause his parents to have a fit, Itachi hastily said, "I agree. Something doesn't necessarily have to be big to be interesting. And the color of it is actually quite soothing."
"So, was I right? Is this your perfect pet?" Count D clasped his hands, looking ridiculously like an overexcited schoolgirl.
"...I suppose so."
"Excellent! Then all that's left is for you to sign the contract. That will explain everything you need to know about its care. Now, I must warn you that if you don't take proper care of it, my shop cannot be held responsible for any consequences." Itachi had no problem with that--if you didn't take care of your pets, it was hardly fair to blame the shop if the pet died.
A few minutes later, Itachi and Sasuke set off for home with Itachi's new pet shark swimming happily in its tank.
I can't do this. Itachi sat on the edge of his bed, running his hands through his hair. His father wanted him to spy on the ANBU. The Hokage wanted him to spy on his family. His father was trying to gather support among the clan elders for some sort of action against Konoha's leadership, and Shisui was acting concerned about his behavior.
Itachi raised his head and found himself eye-to-eye with the shark that Sasuke had insisted he buy. That had been a couple of years previously, and privately Itachi was surprised that it was still alive. He was glad it was, though--sometimes it seemed like that shark was the only one who didn't have any expectations of him.
Itachi stumbled through the dense forest that surrounded Konoha. I have to keep moving. If I stop for even a short time, I'll be caught. His bloodstained sword dropped from nerveless fingers. Despite his best efforts, he fell to his knees as his stomach lurched, and he retched at the base of a tree. Tears streamed down his face, and he impatiently wiped them away, then rinsed his mouth with a swig of water from his emergency canteen. He clambered to his feet and kept going.
There was a surge of chakra up ahead, and he saw a shadowy figure emerging from between two trees. "Who's there?" he called hoarsely, drawing a kunai as he did so.
"Not to worry," said a gruff voice. "I'm your new partner. I'm from Akatsuki." The figure stepped into a patch of moonlight, and Itachi saw that it was a tall, broad-shouldered man with with blue skin and gills under his eyes. A huge sword, wrapped in bandages, was strapped across his back. "My name's Kisame."
Kakashi moved through the ruins of the Uchiha compound with the rest of the ANBU investigation team. Medical teams were on-site too, but no survivors had been found so far.
Inside Itachi's home, Kakashi found the bodies of his mother and father. A quick check established that they, too, were dead, and Kakashi pushed away the memories of finding his own father's body many years ago. Neither of their children was there, but there were clear signs that the head of the clan and his wife hadn't gone down without a fight. On the upper floor, Kakashi pushed open the door of Itachi's bedroom, fearing what he might find inside.
The room was empty, and devoid of any signs of struggle. No, that wasn't quite right. On the floor next to a bedside table was a shattered fishtank. Kakashi guessed that the concussive blasts of jutsu and explosive tags in the rooms below had knocked it off the table.
Oddly, the body of the fish that had resided in the tank was nowhere to be seen.
A/N: I've started reading Petshop of Horrors: Tokyo recently, and this idea came to mind. I've done a story about Itachi visiting Yuko's shop (from the CLAMP series xxxHolic), so I figured I'd do one with him visiting another supernatural store. I tagged this as AU in the summary because canon Kisame presumably has some history as a human(ish) being before the night of the Massacre.
Count D is awesome.
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