Itachi didn't disturb the man sleeping in the bed next to him when he awakened. He read the letter on the desk addressed to him, folded it carefully at the creases again and closed his eyes, bowing his head for a moment as he struggled for composure.
Then he slipped the envelope into one of the pockets in the institutional jumpsuit he wore, and ghosted out of the cell. There was still dried blood crusted at the corners of his eyes and mouth, but he didn't care. His eyes were a hot crimson, three commas around the pupils as he moved down the row, counting prisoners, noting that most of them were still asleep.
His hair was unbound around his face and he paused at the end of the row outside the showers. His fingers worked at the cuff at his ankle, slicing with directed chakra, until he had cut away a strip of fabric. Still kneeling on the floor, he gathered up his long black hair to tie it behind his neck, his senses extending outward to detect any approach.
It was fortunate for Takumi that Kisame was away when he arrived on Itachi's turf.
The area around the temple was thick with trees, and vegetation had encroached on the ancient stones, vines winding up and over the walls, roots wriggling into cracks to split stone. Here and there were small pieces of paper patched discreetly onto trees - likely too discreetly for anyone not ninja trained to notice them. Each was activated with a tiny spark of chakra. If Takumi disturbed one, it would explode.
At ankle, knee, shoulder and head height, threads of chakra thin as a human hair wound from tree to tree. One couldn't approach the temple on foot without alerting the ninja, and if one tried to go from tree to tree, one would definitely set off one of the exploding seals.
The ninja sensed the disturbance in his traps instantly when someone broke one of the invisible threads. Itachi rose from his stone chair as he felt the thread break, and then another. Someone was coming, and it wasn't Sasuke or one of the Akatsuki. Whoever it was would likely die quickly, then, unless they had some legitimate reason to be here.
He seemed to vanish, moving so swiftly and silently that he was nearly invisible to the human eye. His eyes burned crimson as he leaped out of a window and into the branch of the nearest tree, then leaped to the next tree. He knew the safe routes, and wouldn't activate any of his own traps. Light and silent as wind, he made his way towards the intruder.
The church in Domremy was large, drafty, and choked with dust. Yuri had lived here for almost a year, and few in the area failed to have heard of the Demon of Domremy, which protected the small French town from demon and human incursions alike.
Tonight the light of the moon was rivalled by a huge explosion of power in the hills to the north. Yuri had gone to investigate and found the area blasted black with some unknown force. There was no sign of how it had happened, but the demons, wolves and bats in the area were already beginning to gather around a young man who lay unconscious in the middle of the blast zone.
He brought his wings in close as he landed and bent over the boy. Amon's face couldn't frown, but there was a feeling of intense concentration as he rolled the boy over onto his back with one massive talon.
He wasn't dead. In fact, he didn't even seem to be injured, and he wore white clothes made of a strange tightly-woven fabric that Yuri had never seen before.
He was still trying to decide what to do about this when the boy began to come around.
Shito and Blackout had lived at the Den for a week now. Shito was still terribly suspicious, but he had agreed - reluctantly - to stay. He knew that Blackout knew his world best, and had had to swallow his horror at the very thought of staying here in a slave den.
Still, he had rarely left their room for the first few days, and he slept badly. He cuddled close to Blackout at night, and only left the room to make sure he never let his lover out of his sight for long.
It wasn't exactly a good situation, and after a week it was taking his toll on the zombie, who was snappish, paranoid, and bored out of his skull.
Niveus wasn't sure how he had ended up in this forest. This dead forest, teaming with life, but somehow operating entirely without the use of vox.
He felt naked without their swirling, caressing, tugging presence.
Standing in a shaft of sunlight, Niveus closed his eyes and listened to the world. He didn't know where he was, or how he had come here, but he had come here following Certo, and he could scarcely feel his presence at all.
But he was here. Somewhere.
Greed was having a fucking epic of a bad day.
He'd been in the Devil's Nest, snuggling with a willing beauty and shooting the shit with his pals, when the alarms all went off. Not any kind of mechanical alarms, but when one of your boys had the nose and instincts of a dog, you always knew when someone bad was coming.
Escape went by the book, if Greed's gang had a book. The girl was set packing, the chimeras scattered to secure the escape route and meet the threat, and Greed sat where he was, waiting to kick some serious ass.
But there was no ass to kick. No sooner was he alone in the room, but Greed was mobbed by something... he didn't even know what. Something in a black cloak, who had one hell of a bad accessorizor selecting his evil Wizard staff. It had a rat or something on the top. Chintzy.
It had been a clusterfuck of a fight, and then Greed blacked out. Now he was in what seemed like some kind of tent. He had nails driven through his palms and feet - nice and ironic, crucifying a Sin. His amazing regenerative powers couldn't force the nails out of his body, especially since they were weighted down. Even worse, he could feel something else, like some kind of magic. The pressure of it turned his stomach and made him feel weak as a kitten.
When he got out of this, he was going to fucking kill someone.
And he really wanted a cheeseburger, too.
The masked thief climbed up the seemingly sheer wall of the prison, his nimble fingers finding small cracks and gaps in the mortar, left after long weathering. Once he flattened himself under the eaves of a rooftop, holding perfectly still as a pair of guards patrolled past, then he flipped himself up over onto the roof and darted upwards, before letting himself in through an upper window into a storage room.
His quarry was likely in the basement, he figured, close to where Iroh had been kept. He was a special prisoner, known to be in the close confidence of the Avatar.
Zuko needed to get to him before the Fire Nation and Dai Li interrogators managed to worm the location of the Avatar out of him.
When Shito and Blackout had found themselves, once again, in Clearwater Cove, he'd been torn between dismay and relief. Dismay, because this was where Megatron was, and presumably Toho as well, and because he'd been just starting to come to terms with Shito's world as his new home. Relief, because now he could be reunited with Scorponok, and as determined as he was to become comfortable with Shito's Japan, it was still a very alien place to him.
He'd barely let Scorponok and Shito both out of his sight once he'd found the little boy, unwilling to risk that they'd be separated again by some capricious whim of this place. It was awkward, and more than a little frustrating, but he didn't want to chance losing his son again.
Thankfully, or perhaps unfortunately, they didn't have to deal with the inconvenience very long, as they were on the island for barely a day before Blackout ushered his son and his lover through a doorway, expecting to come through in the buffet, and finding instead somewhere...else.
There was an uncomfortable jolt in the pit of his stomach, only intensified by Scorponok's excited cry of, "Home home home home!"