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Cats and Dogs

By Jessica Landers

Romance

Chapter 1

Disclaimer: Nope. I don't own Naruto.

So another idea that won't leave me alone. I hate being so scatterbrained!!!!

***

"You did what?!" I shouted at my father. He narrowed his eyes at me and didn't say anything. My mother sitting beside him intoned, "A daughter does not raise her tone to her father. It is disrespectful." Before I could respond my father growled, "You're getting married. That's the end of this discussion." I threw up my hands and stalked out without ceremony.

Saturo and Reizo looked up from their positions outside and stretched before standing. Reizo yawned, showing off his long sharp teeth, "So, how'd it go?" I glared at him, "You know exactly how it went! I'm getting married to some stuck up, no account Konoha shinobi!!" Saturo hummed deep in her throat, "You've been trained for this, Kuri. To be angry is foolish on your part." I huffed and marched away, ranting as I went, "I'm not angry at getting married, it's the chosen groom! I refuse to get married to someone from the Inuzuka clan!" Reizo pausing in licking his paw and looked at me, "You're marrying a dog boy?" He asked calmly. Saturo swatted him in the head with her paw, "Be nice, a person should be polite when speaking about someone not around." Reizo looked at his sister, "I'm not a person." He stated. I rolled my eyes, once again wondering why I was stuck with the two most infurtiating nin tigers in the world. I picked up my pace to out distance them.

Reizo chuffed and shook out his orange coat before sprinting after me, Saturo close behind him. I walked through the small village composed entirally of the Neko clan. My clan members and their nin cats loitered around, all nodding respectively to me. Reizo and Saturo walked gracefully on either side of me, heads held high. My own head was bowed with embarresment. My own clan was starving and I was being selfish. The Inuzuka clan was well established among the fire country, I would do well to marry into them.

I slammed into my apartment shared with my cousin, Mika, who was closest to my age. Mika looked up startled, her black kitten hissed in surprise and darted underneath Mika's bed. Mika sighed, "I almost had her trained to let me pet her without givieng her a treat! You probably made her go rogue again." My cousin enjoyed taking in stray cats and training them to by nin cats. Apparently she thought they made better nin cats then the ones born into our clan. I plopped down on my own bed, ignoring her rants of how inconsiderate I was. Reizo laid his large head in my lap, looking up at me with his spring green eyes. I scratched him behind his ears, causing him to moan with pleasure.

Mika paused in her triade, having noticed that I wasn't defending myself. She blinked several times, then asked timidly, "Kuri? Are you alright?" I sniffed and shook my head before burying my face in Reizo's thick neck fur. Saturo lept up on my bed and curled around me, offering me comfort. "Kuri, what happened? Why are you crying? Don't cry, you'll make me cry..." My younger cousin sounded hysterical. Saturo growled at the girl, barring her teeth as if trying to protect her young.

I got a hold of myself and shook my head, it was selfish to indulge in tears. I looked up at Mika, her brown eyes wet with tears. Reizo jumped away from me and began washing his tear streaked fur. Saturo sat up to let Mika sit down beside me then laid at the foot of the bed, her white head resting elegently on her paws as she watched her brother groom himself. I looked at my hands and explained, "My father has deemed me old enough to be married." Mika gasped, "But that's great Kuri! You finally get to leave this place." I gave her a small smile, I hadn't thought about that. Mika continued, "Who's the lucky one? Where is he from? Have you met him yet? Or--" Both my tigers snorted loudly, shutting her up effectivly. She bowed her head to each one in apology then turned to me, eyebrows raised. I whispered, "Inuzuka Kiba, a shinobi from Konoha."

Mika gasped again, this time out of horror, "A dog boy? Your father is making you marry a dog boy?" Reizo smiled at his sister, his long whiskers pointing forward and chuffed. Saturo in turn snarled. Mika had been around them long enough to understand somewhat of their behavior. She ducked her head and correcter herself, "Forgive me, you're marrying someone from Inuzuka?" Saturo shot a smug look at the disgruntled Reizo. I gave my cousin a look of my own, "That's what I said." "Oh Kuri, that's horrible! To marry one of them, it's... it's just simply horrid!"

Reizo looked up from his grooming, "Yes we know this, but it shouldn't be too bad when we murder the mutt." I glared at him while Saturo bashed him in the head with her paw. Mika looked from Reizo to me, "What did he say?" I shook my head and darted around the question, "Something rude. Don't worry about it. Now you better grab that kitten before Saturo makes her lunch." Mika looked to see her little black kitten getting ready to pounce on Saturo's twitching black and white tail; she yelped and scooped the kitten up, it protesting over the treatment.

Saturo sneezed, "I would never eat one of my own kin, you know that. Even if she is annoying." I ruffled her fur, "I know, but it's the only way to deflect questions. Come, I need some peace." Both my tigers took their time raising to their feet, making me even more impatient, but followed me out the door. I kept my composure until we were out of the village, then I let loose and ran as far as I could. Reizo and Saturo kept pace with me, jumping off tree trunks and leaping over the undergrownth to stay level. Despite how bad the day had started I felt happy to be free of the choking rules of the Neko clan.

I reached a glade that I had discovered when I was very young. Panting I stopped by my favorite tree and sat down underneath it's shade. Reizo and Saturo laid down in the shallow creek that ran through the glade. "It has been long since you ran that fast. I'm getting too old for this." Reizo complained. Saturo brought her paw down in the water, splashing her brother, "We are not even six years. Exercise will do you good for once." I called to them, "I came here for quiet, not to hear you bicker. Behave or I'll make you two into rugs. I hear tiger skin rugs are very popular these days." Two pairs of eyes, one green the other icy blue, looked at me with such horror that I couldn't help but laugh.

Saturo got up and came over to me, her white fur sopping wet, "Teasing is disrespectful, and should ber punished." She mimicked my mother then shook water all over me. I shrieked and tried to shield myself from the water but Reizo started to do the same thing on the other side, trapping me in a shower of water. After emptying their coats the two sat down and began to dry themselves. I pushed my wet blonde hair out of my eyes and glared at the tigers, "I think you carried half of the creek up here with you." I commented. Saturo looked up at me, her tongue still sticking out of her mouth. I stuck my own tongue out at her.

I laid back and watched as the birds swooped through the trees, none of them startled by the tigers. Reizo snapped at a crow that ducked too close to his head, but didn't give chase. Why should he when he was fed three times a day, plus the random snacks that I managed to sneak to him? Saturo chuffed at him and said, "The lazy cat does not catch his dinner." Reizo stated calmly, "That's right, all my food is prepared for me." I yelped at a sudden thought, "Prepared! I was supposed to meet Oka-san to prepare for the wedding!"

I shot to my feet and looked down at me still laying nin tigers, Reizo shook his head, "I'm staying here. I'm still hot." Saturo muttered under her breath, "Lazy..." I rolled my eyes and took off without them. My tigers knew the way back, they should after running with me almost everyday since I started training them to be my nin cats. I took the shorter way back to the village, through patches of briar and thick undergrowth. By the time I reached the village the sun had set and I was a mess. Twigs were stuck in my golden hair, scratches marred my face and bare arms.

My mother looked at me disapprovingly when I entered her apartment shared with my father, "As your father's daughter, you should strive for the image of perfection. As a cat is never filthy in public, so should you." I bowed my head in apology, I should have taken the longer route and faced the lecture on tardiness, it wasn't so trying on my patience. My mother paced gracefully in front of me, her face masked with a look of serenity as she continued her lecture. "You are Neko, to arrive trailing filth like an unwanted stray reflects badly upon your family and clan. That is the job for dogs." She spit out the last word as if it itself was assosiated with filth.

"We Nekos strive for cleaniness and grace. You, daughter, do not seem to hold our highest regard as your own. Why else do you think your honored father chose someone from the Inuzuka clan to be your life-long partner?" I stared at her with upmost horror. My family did not think I was worthy to carry the Neko name? Was that why they were marrying me off to one of our greatest eneimes? "However, I know how cruel it is to place you in the hands of our rival, so I have used all within my power to pacify your father." I began to look at her with hope, did she manage to cancel the wedding? My mother answered my question, "He has given you the chance of finding a new mate before the next full moon. Or you will have to marry Inuzuka Kiba." She finally turned to face me, her wayward daughter, "For this reason you are to go to Konoha to look for a husband, and meet Inuzuka Kiba. If you are rude to him in anyway that your father discovers of, you will marry Kiba, even if you find a replacement. Understand?"

I jumped up and hugged her, surprising both of us. Nekos' were not enthusiastic about showing emotion of any kind. "Thank you, Oka-san!" I cried. Finally I had a chance to escape my fate.

^o^

Good? Bad? Weird? I'm on a role lately! Finish a story for a friend, another chapter for another story, and now wrote another story! ...I still hate myself sometimes... Any ideas, comments, requests, and/or suggestions go into the little box below! More reviews I get the more motivated I am to write!!


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