Anniversary

Side B

"Don't you worry," the perpetually cheerful young lady whom had been called to watch the twins said, "You go out and have a great evening. Your kids will be safe with me."

Eva, although trusting of the girl's references and the fact that she had been recommended, was more than ready to argue a point that might enable her to negate the evening that had been planned...but Sparda ushered her out of the door with thanks to the sitter before his fretting wife could say a word.

The sitter, whose name was Christy waved as the parents of her charges went off about their business. With a sigh, the red head turned to the adorable boys that had taken up perch side by side halfway up the stairs, with their pet watching intently from behind them by resting its head on their shoulders.

"That's a lovely doggy you have, huh? What did you say his name was again?" she enquired sweetly.

"Jackpot." they replied, faces stony and voices blank.

"That's cute" she replied, her smile never fading. "Have you had him long?"

"Long enough for mum to wanna get rid of him." Dante grumbled, scratching Jackpot behind the ear which caused the little hellhound's tail to thump against the stairs in delight.

"Aww, that's too bad; he seems like such a sweet little guy. Hmm...I've been told that you two still have some homework to be getting on with. Now, I don't want your mummy and daddy mad at me so how's about we go and get that done with. That way we'll have the rest of the night to have all the fun we want."

The twins turned to each other with identical looks that somehow suggested both sheer desperation and utter defeat. It was already terribly obvious that there was no way on earth that tonight was going to pass without a hitch.

For Dante, homework was something he attempted to not only put off until the last minute but actually forget about altogether. Vergil, on the other hand, being the smart arse that he was, treated the same activities with indifference. It never usually took him long and so it was no bother to him. Problems only usually ever arose when they were made to do their work in the same room, at the same time as each other. One of Dante's favourite pastimes was trying to distract Vergil, which would cause Vergil to grow increasingly annoyed and eventually explode, pursuing his sibling around the house while brandishing the nearest blunt object with the intention of braining him with it. Normally Sparda would break them up, relieve Vergil of his make shift weapon and send him to his room to calm down while making a hysterical Dante get back to his neglected work. But most of the time Vergil got his sweet revenge when his brother came crawling back to him asking for help with an equation, long after Vergil had completed all given tasks.

But tonight was not a usual night; tonight they had a strange lady suffering from perpetual happiness hanging over their shoulders all the time, trying to help them. Vergil had no desire whatsoever to be helped and was ignoring her with a sub zero attitude...Dante, however much he might want the help, was never in a million years going to accept it from a sitter and so kept scuttling further away from her until he ran out of both table and chair and fell on the floor. This caused much mirth for Vergil and a lot of awkwardness for Dante as he tried to avoid Christy's sympathy and care.

The evening passed smoothly enough, the boys quickly retired to their room and played with their Gameboys with Jackpot acting as draught excluder and barricade while Christy went to see what to prepare for their dinner. She'd been left strict instructions as to when the boys and the dog should be fed and to not let Dante con her into giving him any sweets early, as he was a master of the art.

Things probably would have remained that way, peaceful enough, if it were not for the event about to unfold.

It all started with a scream

The scream in question belonged to Christy; it was shrill and short lived and carried an undertone of terror. Dante, Vergil and Jackpot leapt to their feet (or paws) in unison and raced for the kitchen where the sight that greeted them was Christy peacefully passed out on the floor, still clutching a baking tray with one hand. All of the colour had drained from her rosy face and her faint had been caused by the rag robed, spindly demon crouched up on the worktop. With a gesture a sword appeared in one misshapen, clawed hand, the blade of which was black as pitch with a dull dark orange glow pulsing at its edge.

"Uh oh..." Vergil breathed as it locked swollen, bloodshot eyes with him.

"I second that statement." Dante agreed.

"Here's the plan; Jackpot takes first go at it while we fetch our swords and then we all go together."

"Sounds good to me."

Jackpot didn't need to be told; the second Dante let go of his collar he sparked up and charged forwards, allowing his little masters to make a tactical retreat to gather weaponry.

All four combatants fought long and hard with neither side giving an inch but unfortunately it was inevitable that it was the demon that had the upper hand with its skill, experience and speed. It was only the twin's slighter size and sheer determination...as well as Jackpot's protective loyalty…that kept them all from becoming a small set of stains on the floor.

Somehow they managed to stand their ground and using Jackpot as a flaming shield to push it back they managed to herd the disturbing thing into the bathroom whereupon they used their swords to wedge the door closed.

Dante leaned his back against it and Jackpot bayed and howled as the door shuddered with the force of the demon's escape attempts.

Vergil dashed for the stairs yelling, "I'll call dad!"

-Downstairs-

The phone rang at least half a dozen times before it was answered and Sparda's voice spilled down the line. "Hello?"

"Dad, it's me; Vergil! Err…we've got a bit of a problem, please don't be mad…a demon turned up out of nowhere. But we're ok though; we've got it locked up in the loo…the sitter-lady is unconscious but she's alright too." There came a crash from upstairs. "Uh, gotta go!"

He slammed the receiver down and headed back upstairs.

"What happened!" he demanded. The scene looked no different from how he had left it.

"Not sure," Dante admitted, "but it sounded like it might have busted the sink."

"Mum and Dad are gonna kill us."

"S'not our fault…do you…uhm…do you remember where mum put the keys for the box the holy water was put in?"

"No."

"Never mind then."

They put their shoulders to the door, wedged their feet in the carpet and hoped help would arrive before both they and the door gave way.

-A Few Minutes Later-

The front door crashed open and Sparda barrelled up the stairs to where Vergil was waiting at the top with his sword and Dante was ready to open up the toilet as soon as he was given a signal.

Sparda nodded and the door was flung wide open and the demon within leapt out, wheeling around and targeting the Legendary Dark Knight who was ready for the attack the very second it was instigated.

The twins and their dog (who had returned to his 'normal' form) watched from a distance as their father's superior battle skills bested the demon's and sent it back from whence it came…but not before it's ugly blade had cut Sparda deep…not that he even appeared to notice it had happened; shrugging it off as easily as he would a scratch or graze.

When it was all over he turned to his sons. "So where's the girl?"

"Christy? Kitchen." Vergil told him, pointing to the stairs.

They all briskly made their way back down said stairs and to where Christy was soundly unconscious…but a few cold glasses of water to the face and good shake saw her right. She woke with a start and sat up shrieking again as if she had not collapsed at all, pointing at the counter that the demon had appeared on…after a moment of incoherent babbling she gathered together the tatters of her sanity and took notice of the people around her.

"Are you alright?" Sparda asked kindly.

She blinked. "I'm…all wet…"

"Yes, well, we had to wake you up somehow, I apologise. Dante, would you please fetch a towel." He paused a moment for the item to be brought. "So, Vergil tells me that you slipped and hit your head. It must have been quite a fall."

"Hit my head? No, I…there was some sort of…animal…right here in he kitchen." She told him, though beginning to doubt her own words as soon as she spoke them.

"The back door and windows are all locked, nothing could have gotten in…oh dear…you must have fallen quite hard."

The next few minutes were pent convincing her that she had not just seen a cursed creature spawned from the deepest pit of the underworld and had just had a funny turn and bumped her head, triggering a vivid nightmare of sorts. She bought it and decided that she was fit to continue. Sparda said his farewells all over again and then returned to his wife, leaving the boys once again in Christy's care.

She rubbed her eyes and fixed her smile back on her face. "Sorry about that, guys. I'll do your dinner now."

Unfortunately she didn't get very far with it all; whilst going to the bottom of the stairs to ask whether they wanted fish fingers or not she collapsed again, her memories winning over the words she had been fed and her brain deciding that she could cope with it all much better if she were horizontal.

The twins heard the thump as she paid another visit to the floor and once they'd got to her found that trying to wake her was the most pointless thing they'd ever attempted. They both concluded that interrupting their parents again would only upset them…thusly it came to pass that they would make their own meal without aid from grown ups.

The fish fingers that had been left on a baking tray in the kitchen were finally placed in the oven they had been destined for and left in for entirely too long while the twins became engrossed in card games. By the time the fire alarm sounded to warn them of the smoke pouring out of the oven, the food had somehow managed to weld itself to the metal and the smell was clinging like a determined limpet.

"What do we do now?" Dante pondered aloud as he prodded the silencer button on the alarm with his sword and accidentally put a neat hole through it.

"We try again…I guess."

"But the oven stinks! I don't want fishy chips! Bleagh!"

"Could grill them."

"You know how to work it?"

"No…but I can work the toaster…s'pose we could toast them…It's all just heating things up, after all."

"Worth a shot."

But yet again it must be noted that children, no matter their parentage, are forgetful creatures and games consoles are very distracting. It took quite some time for their culinary experiment to be remembered.

"Hey, Verge, can you smell something? Like burning?" Dante asked lazily, performing another KO while his sibling was distracted.

"Where's Jackpot?" was the instant cry from Vergil.

They hurried and followed the smell to the kitchen where the chips they had placed so carefully in the toaster had gotten wedged and burnt.

"Oops." Dante muttered and upended the toaster…but only about half of them could be dislodged; a good few were left jammed in the bottom.

Vergil swiped the appliance from his brother's hands, picked up a fork and began probing around for them.

"Er…Verge…" Dante said, poking his brother in the shoulder to try and grab his attention.

"Shut up and quit it; I'm busy."

"But Verge…"

"Cut it out."

"Verge!"

"Shush!"

But Dante's attempted warnings went unnoticed and ignored and so it was no surprise to him when his dear brother was electrocuted. He did try to warm him…it's not a good idea to poke about with a metal fork inside a toaster that's been knocked about a lot while the power is still on.

"Yeah…uhm…Verge…it's still plugged in."

"Bit late." Vergil stated, not dead but slightly frazzled and feeling a bit bouncy…and his hair was now standing on end.

"Hey, that's not a bad look for you." Dante grinned.

Vergil then did what any good brother would do in such a situation; he beat Dante with the fork and chased him about the house.

Once he'd calmed down, however, he patted his hair down and they both returned to the kitchen.

"So now what? Everything is totally messed up." Dante announced, throwing his hands in the air in an over-dramatic display of defeat.

Vergil dangled a loaf of bread in front of his face. "Sandwiches?"

Dante's eyes lit up and a distinctly devilish grin became encamped on his lips. "And there's no mum about to say what not to put in it."

The grin appeared infectious and soon Vergil was sporting one of his own as the kitchen was turned upside down as they raided it for anything with a high sugar content. Jams, honey, golden syrup and chocolate spread all found their way between slices of Hovis…and it wasn't long before they became slightly more adventurous with their fillings and dived into packets of crisps, toffees, caramels, Smarties, jelly babies and other such confectionary. Jackpot managed to devour the pot of Nutella while his masters' enjoyed an enthusiastic food fight and went unnoticed for nearly ten minutes when he vomited it all back up again in front of the TV where it steamed and stank and began to eat a hole in the carpet, bubbling quietly to itself.

When Sparda and Eva returned however, it went without saying that they were not best pleased, vowing to stay at home on future anniversaries…and it was a long time before Christy could bring herself to baby-sit ever again.

End

Author's Note – I'm so sorry it's taking me so long to come up with these. This one would have been ready a few days ago but my lovely laptop saw fit to eat half the file and I had to write it all over again…hence it didn't turn out quite as planned. I also apologise for not replying to the reviews for the last chapter…I usually do and so I feel quite rotten for not getting around to it this time. I promise I will in future. Thanks to all who have ever reviewed and/or read this fic and I hope I can come up with some more. I think I'll go back to the suggestions in some of the older reviews and try to come up with some plot around them.

Hopefully it won't be such a long wait for the next one. Thanks for being so patient!