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By GoodMorningFlower

Romance / Adventure

Prologue 'Sold'

Itachi dismally followed behind the greasy store keeper, trying not to think about how stupid this was. That he, Uchiha Itachi had been asked by his parents to bring home a pet for himself. How low has he sunk into depression that his parents asked him, the cold hearted ice prince, to find a pet to cheer him up?

The man sighed inwardly. He really didn't want a pet. They were so bothersome. Having to clean up after them, feed them, and constantly show them affection… he just figured they weren't worth his time. But alas, his parents begged him to get one from the pet store and so here he was, following after the pale skinned man with black hair matching his own.

The owner of the store no less, named Orochimaru whose looks could scare even the biggest man. This Pest Shop, Itachi was sure, was going to be nothing but trouble for him.

"So, what are you looking for in a pet?" Orochimaru asked quietly, leading the Uchiha into the rooms where all the adoptable animals were kept.

"I don't know. Can you recommend any?" Itachi murmured, licking his lips slightly. He didn't know what he was doing here. He didn't like any animals let alone have any ideas for the one he wanted to bring home.

Orochimaru lead Itachi to a door that was off to the side. Itachi could already hear all the animal sounds through the door. The whimpers, cries, barks and meows. Orochimaru led him in and walked past creatures of all sorts.

"So, any kind right?" the shop owner asked, stopping in front of a few cages that held dogs.

Itachi cocked an eyebrow, "As long as they don't like to cuddle or be all lovey dovey."

Orochimaru chuckled and led Itachi into a room full of cats. "Cats? Aren't they the ones who like attention?" Itachi asked, feeling a growing emotion of anxiety.

"Depending on their personality. Some are lap cats, some stay outside all the time and only come back for food and water," he explained while picking up an orange tabby by the scruff. It was still small, looking somewhat like a kitten but still big enough to be over a year old.

"This one, for instance, is a very special cat," Orochimaru smiled proudly.

"How so?" despite the mood he was in earlier, Itachi was somewhat intrigued that the owner had picked out one special cat for him.

"It can change into human form!" the pale man exclaimed as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. The orange tabby however just looked annoyed, swishing its tail about.

The Uchiha huffed, "Ok, I'm not an idiot. Cats can't change into a human. This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard."

"Naruto-kun, turn into your human form now! Come on?" Orochimaru tried to coax the tabby.

"Cat's are only dumb creatures with inferiority complexes. I don't need that thing," Itachi smirked as the cat growled. It could obviously sense he wasn't a cat person. Or an animal person for that matter.

"Oh, so with cats being stupid and all, that would mean Naruto-kun here is stupid too," the owner said with amusement. "Show him how wrong he is, Naruto."

Itachi gave the other man a look saying he was obviously crazy. Until the orange tabby started glowing with a silver-white and flashed, making the Uchiha step back to close his eyes against the invading light on his red irises'.

The tabby slowly lost its fur and grew longer. Soon the only things left were the orange ears and long cat tail poking through the blue jeans the boy was wearing. Where the cat had once been in Orochimaru's grip, now stood a young blonde boy with the brightest blue eyes, shining with the hurt ego Itachi's words had caused.

Whisker marks marred his perfect, tanned skin. Itachi stared with astonishment as the crazy old man turned out to be not so crazy. Though Itachi could be dreaming. He pinched himself and figured that he wasn't dreaming since it hurt.

Uncontrollably, the man walked up to the tabby/boy and touched his cheek softly, feeling the smooth warm skin. Itachi inwardly thanked his parents for sending him on this quest to find a pet. Not looking away from the frowning neko, Itachi asked, "How much for him?"

"20, 000," Orochimaru grinned, loving the shock on his former pets face. Frankly, he was quite happy to find a different owner for Naruto. He was tired of trying to keep up with his eating habits and large ego. Itachi and Naruto should be an interesting pair.

"WHAT! You can't sell me! I don't want to be sold!" the blonde shouted indignantly. He tried to jump into the shadows to make a get away but was held back by a firm, icy hand. He looked back to see Itachi holding him. "DAMMIT! Let me go!" Naruto practically screamed.

The Uchiha pinned the small boy to the floor with one hand holding the blonde's wrists and straddling him while his free hand reached into his wallet to pull out the payment for this gorgeous neko.

"WHAT THE HELL! Come back here you snake!" he hollered to the retreating back, "I don't wanna be sold!"

"Oh, one more thing, Itachi-kun," Orochimaru said, ignoring the blonde completely, "I'll throw in a free collar." Then the man disappeared, no doubt to go and reap his rewards. Getting rid of an annoying tabby that ate too much and getting a large sum of money. This was definitely his day!


"Naruto, was it?" Itachi asked, holding the squirming teen under him. Naruto growled and nodded shortly. "Well, Naruto-kun, I'm your new master now."

"I don't need a new master! I was doing just fine on my own!" the cat hissed at the man. He tried his hardest to push the bigger man off of him to no avail. He was simply too big for his small frame.

"Listen, pet, I own you now. Try not to test me or you will be punished," Itachi whispered to him, sounding menacing enough to make the tabby sit still for a moment. Itachi used this time to attach a red collar around Naruto's neck from the cage he had originally come from.

"Damn you," Naruto hissed, none too happy that he could be bought and sold, bartered for money without a second thought and no guilt whatsoever from his previous caretaker to this strange red eyed man.

"Don't anger me, please. I can only play nice for so long," Itachi smirked, standing up off the boy but still holding onto his wrist like he was a small child.

Naruto knew his chances were slim if he were to try and run so he didn't put up much of a fight against the man.

Walking back to the front of the store, Naruto glared at the snake man before being tugged out the door and into a dark blue Ford Fusion. A small car but it suited the Uchiha and now it would fit his new pet.

"Listen," Itachi grinned lightly, starting his car, "Mom and Dad can't see you like this so I need you to change back or whatever you do until I can get you to my room safely. Can you do that?"

Naruto didn't speak but sat there with his arms crossed, cat tail twitching with irritation and ears flat against his head. He nodded shortly and looked out the window as the car sped forward. "What's your name?" the boy asked suddenly.

Itachi smirked. "Uchiha Itachi. And yours?"

"Uzumaki Naruto," he said shortly.

"How old are you, Naruto?"

"Cat years or human years?" the boy replied with sarcasm.

"What ever age you go by," The Uchiha mocked.

"I'm 18 by human standards. That's all you need to know," Naruto glanced at Itachi, almost daring him to say more on the subject.

But the man stayed silent. He counted in his head. Seeing as a one year old cat's maturity equals that of a fifteen year old human, and a two year old cat would equal a 25 year old, and after that, each calendar year was equal to four years, and since Naruto was 18, technically speaking, the boy would be 89 years old in cat's years.

Itachi smirked and double checked his math, trying to figure out if he was right, then looked over at the silent boy.

"So your 89?" the man guessed, trying to see the blonde's face. Naruto scowled at the dash board in front of him.

"What of it? That too old for you? Gonna shoot me out back and bury me?" he snapped.

Itachi grinned and shook his head, pulling into his drive way and shutting of the soft hum of the engine. "No, I'm only 22. I'm scientifically older than you. But I don't want to hurt my brain any more than I have to. You're 18 and we will stick with that."

Naruto unfolded his arms and looked at older man with wide blue eyes. His arm was resting between the seats, turned towards him with a soft smile planted on his lips. What was with this man?

"Can you change back before I bring you in to meet my family? They wouldn't be as intrigued with you as I am."

Naruto glanced up at the large, three story house in surprise. He hadn't even really noticed that they stopped. He nodded and the silvery white light engulfed him and he immediately shrank down into the young orange tabby with a bright red collar.

Itachi picked him up gingerly and stepped from his car. He walked into his home and waited for his family to come and meet the newest member of the Uchiha family.

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