Neji gazed, dispassionate as ever as he filled the gleaming syringe.

He performed the movements fluidly, as he had done a thousand times before, more familiar than his Eight Trigrams or Gentle Fist. The bandages on both arms were unwound, exposing the tiny marks branding him, irrevocable as the seal upon his forehead.

His heart stirred, the faint fluttering of a trapped bird inside his chest, the rushing excitement coiling within him as he fulfilled himself on the drug, his key to freedom.

Destiny was inescapable. But, for the moment, he was saved from the darkness, flying on unchained wings.