Author's Note: How's it going? Yes, I'm still alive and well, so no worries. I know you guys were looking forward to a new update of A Japanese Scheherazade, but recently I've read some of the chapters from Pet Shop of Horrors and the idea for this crossover wouldn't stop bugging me. So I present you this story; I doubt it will go on as long as my first story, and I'm planning on uploading the next chapter of A Japanese Scheherazade soon!
Warnings: FemNaru, SasuFemNaru, Suspense, Possible horror/violence (this is a crossover with Pet Shop of Horror), Swearing, Bestiality? (It depends on the angle you're looking at, though; but there definitely won't be sex with an animal explicitly shown here)
Disclaimer: I don't own either Naruto or Pet Shop of Horrors!
Desirous - 望んで
Part 1: Duty - 義務
"I guess this is the place…" a young woman mumbled as she stared at the building right in front of her. It wasn't a massive building for Chinatown, though it looked impressive with several features of traditional Chinese architecture dominating its façade. But something about it made her slightly nervous. It definitely wasn't the appearance or size of the place that made her feel like that. There was just something about the air hanging around it; its atmosphere, if you will…
She nibbled her lower lip as she tucked a blond lock of hair behind her ear. 'Alright, Naruto,' she scolded herself, 'there is no need to get all nervous. Remember; you're here to pick something up for your buddy Shino. This is probably like any other pet shop you've visited.'
With renewed confidence (though she would never admit to anyone about losing it in the first place), Naruto walked through the entrance arch, down the concrete steps and up to the paper screen doors. She pushed against one of the doors and stuck her head through to peer into the shop.
The room was quite dark, being lit by only a few oil lamps that were strategically spaced around ink paintings and on large wooden furniture. Faint noises could be heard in the background, most likely from the animals that were for sale. The scent of incense clung to the air, making her grimace as it brought up unwanted memories…
Wanting to distract her mind from that train of thought, Naruto couldn't help but wonder how the shop ran with the subtle lighting; shouldn't it be brighter so the customers wouldn't trip over themselves and that the employees wouldn't make any mistakes?
'Wait a minute; now that I think of it, where the hell is everybody?'
It was true; there was no sign of anyone inside, not even a janitor cleaning up some dirt. Naruto, quite confused, couldn't help but wonder if the shop was closed for the day or that everyone recently went on a lunch break.
She wandered into the room and, wanting to make sure there was no one else with her, loudly called out.
"Oi, is anyone in here? I'm here to pick up an order!"
Her shout was loud and clear, but nothing seemed to respond to it, let alone come out and greet her. "Huh," Naruto mused, "I guess the store really is closed-"
"Gyah!" Naruto jumped three feet into the air from the voice that sounded it was right behind her. "What the hell?!" She cried out annoyed as she spun around to confront whoever said that. But when she caught sight of the figure behind her, Naruto couldn't help but be taken aback and stare.
The person was a tall Asian man clad in silk clothes of the Qin dynasty style. He was quite beautiful, with straight jet-black hair that was cut at the chin and pale, flawless skin that made her all the more aware of her darker skin tone. The man also had a somewhat feminine, but very graceful air around him, reminding her of an old friend she made back when she was twelve. But the most striking feature of all was his eyes; one a deep royal purple, the other a bright gleaming gold. There was something about the man that seemed familiar, almost nostalgic, but she couldn't remember what…
"Uh, sorry for yelling earlier," Naruto sheepishly apologized as she scratched her head. "I thought that there was no one around and the shop was closed."
"Oh no, not at all," the stranger explained with a mysterious smile, "I was just in the back brewing a pot of tea when I heard you come in. Now, what is it you desire? We have all sorts of animals here: cats, dogs, birds, fi-"
"I'm not here for a pet, mister. I'm only here to pick up something for a friend." Naruto interrupted.
"Oh, is that so?" the man said, a little surprised by the teen's reason. "And what have you been told to… pick up?"
Naruto began to search her pockets for the note Shino had given her earlier. "Hang on – just let me find it…" After a minute of searching, Naruto finally found the note and gave it to him. "Shino gave me this and told me to give it to the owner. I think his name was Count D. Is he here?"
"Ah, you're a friend of Mr. Shino? I remember him; young man with dark hair and sunglasses. I sold him some rare Kikaichῡ beetles about a week ago, a quite unique species that comes from a remote island in the southwest Pacific."
"What a minute, you're the Count?" Naruto was really surprised. When Shino told her about the Count, she imagined an old man who was a little round from eating a whole bunch of sweets (apparently the Count loved eating sweets whenever he can…). But then again, Shino didn't really tell her how old he was, if he even knew that at all.
"Not exactly," he murmured, scanning the note in his hands. "The Count is actually my grandfather. He's been traveling abroad for a while now, and I have been running the shop in his place."
"Oh… so what do I call you?" she asked him.
"I suppose you can refer as Count D," he simply replied. "And it seems that the Kikaichῡ's food supply is starting to run low."
"Do you still have some?"
"I do. I just have to go into the back to get it. But why didn't he come to get it himself?"
"Well, he and Dog-breath, A.K.A. Kiba, had to stay behind at school to finish this project we have at school. The rest of our friends either were swamped with homework, going to their jobs, or needed to go to clubs. Since Sakura-chan and I were already finished and I had some free time, I volunteered to go get it for him." Naruto couldn't help the shiver that run down her spine when she mentioned Sakura. While she loved her like a sister, she could still remember how Sakura pressed her into not procrastinating and finishing her half of the project as soon as possible. And there was no one else so well versed in Spartan training/discipline than the pink-haired teenager…
"Ah, is that so?" he mused. "Well, so long as you can pay in his stead, I'll go and get it."
But before Count D could take a few steps, Naruto started to hear flapping. Now at first, she that it was just a bird; it was a pet shop, after all. But then she heard another sound. It wasn't a chirp or a squawk or even a caw; the sound went "kyu, kyu," like it was made by some rodent. And was it just her, or was it getting closer…?
The mystery animal few out of the shadows and landed on the Count's shoulder. And when Naruto had a proper look at the creature, she couldn't believe her eyes. The little animal was kinda cute, looking like a chubby little gerbil. But it also had rabbit ears… and bat wings… and didn't look like any rodent she had ever seen.
'Maybe Sakura-chan was right; maybe that ramen cup I had earlier was expired…'
But Count D didn't seem to have any problem with what was on his shoulder. In fact, he seemed to be having a conversation with it.
"Ah, you're right, Q-chan. It is time for tea. Oh, Miss?" he called out, breaking Naruto out from her stupor.
"Uh, yeah?" she answered intelligently.
"Would you mind if I retrieved the food after tea? It won't take long, and you're welcome to join us."
"Um, are you sure?" Naruto was a bit torn; she didn't want to keep Shino waiting for his package. Then again, he did say she could take as much time as she'd like, so long as she gave him the food by the end of the day…
"It wouldn't that much trouble. I made plenty of tea, and I recently received a couple of boxes of creampuffs and fruit tarts."
Now that got her attention.
"Did you say 'creampuffs'?"
"So your name is Naruto Uzumaki? You must be Japanese, then." Count D stated as he calmly sipped his tea.
"Yeah, though a lot of people don't believe me when I tell them that. Hmph, it's not my fault I inherited my dad's coloring…" Naruto mumbled and took a bite out a creampuff.
Tea time was going well; the tea was fine and the sweets were great, coming from one of those fancy pastry shops the teen and her friends Sakura, Ino, Hinata and Tenten would visit when they were craving for sweets. Naruto and the Count made a little small talk about their lives and the shop. Though it seemed that Naruto was doing most of the sharing; not Count D.
"Does your name mean anything in Japanese?" he asked.
"I think my last name translates to 'whirlpool' or 'maelstrom'. And my parents named me after a character from one of Ero-senin's non-pervy books."
D frowned at the last part of her explanation. "What do you mean by 'non-pervy'?"
"Oh… Well you see, Ero-senin, my godfather, he's famous for writing the 'Icha Icha' series. He labeled it erotic romance, but it's really just non-stop smutty and hentai scenes." Naruto stated with an irritated eye-twitch. Like many women, Naruto was greatly annoyed by the fact that that particular series did so well, despite it lacking what they would call 'substance'. "I swear, it was all just so he could spy on pretty girls when they're naked. And that old perv would probably continue doing it, if not for…" she trailed off, a look of discomfort, pain, and sadness coming over her face.
D noticed the change of mood in the otherwise cheery and energetic teen. "If not for what?"
"If it wasn't for him… passing away… a couple of months ago." She whispered, trying hard to not let her voice crack.
"Oh…" D said. "Allow me to offer my condolences." Then a look of contemplation appeared, quickly followed by slight shock and – was that disgust?
"Pardon me," he asked the silent girl, "but what was the man's name?"
Naruto was a little confused by his sudden question, but still answered. "His name was Jiraiya Sanin."
D let out a terse breath escape from his mouth. "So that's who he's been going on about." He mumbled.
"Someone who comes to the shop regularly is a fan of Mr. Sanin's… work. So he became quite sad when news spread of the author's death." D explained with a calm, steady voice, though he didn't disguise the annoyed twitching of his eyebrow.
"Oh…" the teen responded in a flat voice. She was not surprised to hear other perverts missed reading her godfather's smut, but she still didn't like hearing about it…
The man in front of her gave out a snort and ate his fruit tart. "Personally, I don't see how humans enjoy reading garbage like that. It seems to just rot their brains until they can only think about sex."
"Well, that's a pervy book for you," Naruto stated, quite oblivious to how the Count used the word 'human,' as if he was talking about another species instead of his own. "I don't get why they're so popular either, but Ero-senin still made money off them."
D hummed and placed his cup down on the table. "So, how have you been coping with his death up to now?" His inquiry set her into a more somber mood, but she still answered him while looking into her cup of unfinished tea.
"To be honest, I've been trying to take it one day at a time. Some days are better than others. I tell myself that Ero-senin wouldn't want me to be depressed forever…"
But there was still something missing, Naruto realized. It was like his death had created a void in her, and there was nothing she or anyone else could do to close it up. And she didn't know if there was anything that could ever do the trick…
The Count stared at the young girl in front of him, taking in her features with his mysterious mismatched eyes. They didn't seem to stop at her appearance, though; it was as if those eyes were directly studying her inner soul. "Naruto," he slowly began, "have you ever considered taking in a pet?"
Naruto, taken a little aback, questioned, "Huh? What do you mean?"
"Some of the customers that come here looking for a pet do so after the death of a loved one. I know of a couple who bought a rabbit after losing their only daughter."
"I don't know…" Naruto said with a pensive frown on her face, "That would seem like replacing Ero-senin instead."
"I'm not saying you replace your godfather with a pet. What I am saying is that some of them find getting a pet helps them deal with loss better."
Naruto was silent for a few moments. Finally, she told the Count, "I don't think I can have a pet right now. Maybe in a couple of weeks, but right now…"
"I understand," Count D calmly said. "If you ever change your mind, though, you're welcome to come back."
The rest of tea time went by silently, save for the sounds of clinking silverware or china, or the sounds of chewing and swallowing. After tea, the Count gave her what Shino needed for the beetles and told her what the payment was: three roll cakes and a box of beignets from the French pastry shop downtown. While a little confused about the desserts, Naruto nonetheless promised him to send them over and left the shop. But even as she walked out of the door and into Chinatown, the conversation she had with the Count replayed over and over in her head.
'A pet, huh…'
Well, here is the first chapter. And like I said before, the next chapter of AJS is coming up. Please read and review!
Chinatown – Generally an area of a city (like L.A. or N.Y.C.) that is comprised or historically was comprised of mainly Chinese Americans. This area is where you'll find a majority if Chinese-run/family-run businesses.
Gyah – A sound made when you're very startled by something
Ero-senin – Translates to "Perverted Hermit."
Sanin – From Naruto canon. Roughly translates as "Three ninja."
Hentai – Japanese for "Pervert" or "perverted." Can be used to describe 18+ stuff.
Couple and rabbit: A reference to one of the Pet Shop of Horrors chapters