Vergil had seen death countless of times in his life. He'd seen the blood being drained from a face and had felt the chilling sensation of a soul leaving a body. He was used to that; he felt nothing when he witnessed those acts that either occurred by his hand of the hands of others. There was nothing unsettling or especial in death, it had always unfazed him, but that time it had been different.
There was nothing that could be compared to the feeling of seeing your son die in front of you.
It had happened too quickly; he saw Nero fending off some demons, and he'd smelt the tangy sweat dripping off his forehead and the metallic scent of his blood with that characteristic undertone of sweetness that came from a small wound on his arm. He was doing well; Vergil didn't worry about him because he trusted his capabilities; but when the sweet smell of blood spread like a perfume on the heavy atmosphere, he knew something was wrong.
Vergil remembered looking over his shoulder and seeing the tall figure of Nero plummeting to the floor after his skull was trespassed by the claws of a demonic creature. He had seen his blood cover the floor in a pool of red, how his body had fallen limp at the mercy of the claws, and heard the piercing sound of Red Queen hitting the pavement with a piercing cry.
That was the last memory he had of him.
He was aware of Dante's piercing stare when they buried his body. He wanted to talk, but Vergil dismissed his attempts to establish a conversation about Nero. It had already happened; there was no use reminiscing about such matters.
Vergil's face remained stoic during the ordeal; Kyrie had been the one to organize a religious burial of sorts. Vergil didn't agree with it, but both the girl and her religion had been a part of Nero's life that he couldn't ignore. They asked if he wanted to say some commemorative words, but he refused. He had nothing new to say.
Tears were shed by others, flowers placed on the descending casket and meaningless apologies whispered into the air with a broken tone. Dante might have gotten a tear in his eye, but Vergil didn't. Near the end of the ordeal, he grew tired of the hollow words that kept finding their way to his ears and left the cemetery.
The first time that he was been home after the accident had been odd. There was no longer a light peeking from under Nero's door at wee hours in the morning that was sometimes accompanied by some thuds and shuffles. The sound of his door creaking at night as he wandered off to the bathroom was gone forever. The doors were no longer slammed at random intervals because no one but Vergil wandered the apartment. There was no significant use for the kitchen now that Nero that gone.
The quietness in the house was something strange, even if it had always been a soothing state for Vergil, now the silence felt heavy. He and Nero never really talked much, but those meaningless conversations that they sometimes had were better than the dull silence that reigned the house.
Three days after the funeral, Vergil started putting Nero's belongings into boxes. Kyrie, with tears in her eyes, had asked for a memento; she even offered to help Vergil clean up, but he refused. He would send her what she wanted, and that was the last he wanted to know about her.
His room still smelt like him, albeit faintly. Clothes and wrappers were scattered all over the bed and floor of the room. No matter how much Vergil tried to make Nero clean his room as a kid he always ended up making a mess; he soon learned to let him be as long as he respected the rest of the house.
All his clothes, old and new, were neatly folded and placed in boxes that would go to the trash bin along with his shoes; the pictures on the walls and mementos that he didn´t care to inspect were all placed in Kyrie's box; his guns, holsters and rings were placed into a smaller box that he would give to Dante along with Red Queen. There was nothing worth keeping but an old photograph of them in a children's book hidden in the closet. Nero was a child still, perhaps around the age of five; he was glaring intensely at the camera while Vergil carelessly looked at something far off in the distance. There was something amusing about that, something that captivated Nero's spirit.
He didn't know about Kyrie afterwards; Dante didn't want to take the box but ended up doing so.
Dante made him go to the cemetery with him a week after the accident. The red-clad devil sat down on the grass and talked to the grave. He went on about his life, how this had changed and how that person had done this and that, how he was going to take care of his stuff and keep an eye on his dad. When Dante asked Vergil to do the same, he declined. He couldn't hear him anymore, what was the point of that? Dante didn't have a reply to that bitter statement that would make sense to Vergil's mind.
Vergil visited the grave often, at least once a week. There were always flowers in the cement vases beside the tombstone. The flowers had a sickly talc smell that seemed too unpleasing to manage, but the vibrant colors brought some sort of light to the grey and green of the cemetery. Vergil mused that it was probably the girl's doing because his brother would ever thought about doing such a thing; it wasn't in their nature to be so thoughtful.
The air smelled sweet because the grass had been recently cut and the breeze carried out a gentle tune of warmth. Vergil stared at the grey tombstone surrounded by grass and flowers and, for a second, he let his lips part before pressing them back together. A sigh escaped his lips before he kneeled down, letting his coat pool behind him in a sea of blue.
He felt a frown forming when he fixated his gaze on the date. He died far too young. Even if he didn´t like to admit it, Vergil believed that he wouldn´t witness the day his son would die. Aging was a slow process for him, but he was aware of his past, of what he had done and to whom, and the prospect of living a long and peaceful life was out of the question. And now there he was, looking down at the grave of his only son.
"You are allowed to blame me for not being careful enough," Vergil said. "I should have known that you were not strong enough to battle those creatures." Saying that didn't make him felt better, not in the least. The bitter taste of regret and anger burned his way to his throat and permanently left its acidic taste there.
The action felt silly and a tad forced. How Dante managed to do it every time he was there was surprising to a degree. But, Vergil was sure that if Dante had been the one buried six feet under, Nero would've probably done the same.
He went back home after that strange ordeal. Everything was too quiet, too dark. He walked past Nero's bedroom without giving the unopened door as much of a glance; yet, when he was about to enter his bedroom, he looked back to see if there was any light emanating from under the door.
All he could see was darkness, and from that moment on it would forever stay that way.
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