Spoilers/Warning: This fic contains spoilers about the game and its ending so consider yourself warned. And also there's some swearing in here, due to the Sparda brothers' potty mouth.
Dedication: This first chapter goes out to Divine Star, this really talented deviant artist. Her comics always make me laugh! You can see the link to her gallery in my profile. Also mad props to Arianni for her constructive criticism. I've taken it to heart and re-written the first chapter. Hopefully it's better. Also thanks to Kerrianne Harrington for that lovely review. Cookies for you both:D
Disclaimer: Devil May Cry is the property of Capcom. But the chibi-Dante dancing in my head is all mine. MINE I TELL YOU! XD
A/N: OK, can we say REDO? LOL I rewrote the first chapter so hopefully it's better. I have to revise the other two chapters as well, but I guess it's all worth it. I decided to scrap the idea of this fic being humorous because apparently I can't write humour if my life depended on it. So it will be a mostly 'serious' fic with splashes of funnies in it. I hope. ;P
Anyhoo, review please! It really does go a long way to motivate me to keep on writing. And with this site's finicky editting program, I need all the motivation I can get. Constructive criticisms are welcomed and heeded! However no flames please.
Chapter 01: Home Coming
Everything was so wrong.
The landscape was the most obvious one; it was an aberration of the natural order of things. As far as the eye could see there was nothing but desolate wastelands that held no signs of life. The laws of physics held no meaning here as chunks of hard earth floated in the sky and wreckages of buildings jutted out at impossible angles.
Even the heavens itself was coloured a deep crimson that seemed to bath everything in blood. Shadows abounded where light should have chased them away. It was a place that swallowed all hope and allowed no dreams to come true. This was a place of Hell.
However even the chaotic atmosphere wasn't what was so wrong.
In a fast moving river that chilled to the bone, two men stood. They were brothers, identical twins, and the last of their family. And they had just tried to kill each other.
The one dressed in a red leather coat watched as shock registered on his brother's face. Dante's chest heaved as he tried to catch his breath. Though the water he stood in was ice cold, it did nothing to numb the pain from the cuts and bruises his brother had inflicted on him. But the greatest pain of all was in his heart at seeing Vergil's grievous injury, and the dark knowledge that he had inflicted it on him.
"Am I … being defeated?" Vergil asked in disbelief. He clutched at the deep wound on his chest, Dante's sword having missed his heart by less than an inch.
"What's wrong?" Dante asked, tasting bile in his mouth. He knew what was wrong with this scene, but he doubted Vergil shared his views. "Is that all you've got? Come on; get up! You can do better than that."
As if hearing his bother's voice had woken him from a dream, Vergil's expression changed from astonishment to grim determination. Dante knew that look well; even as children Vergil had been stubborn. It meant that he would come up with a way to get what he wanted.
Dante feared what his twin would do next.
With deliberate steps Vergil walked backwards. He saw Dante's blue eyes widen as he approached the edge of a cliff. Behind him was a deep yawning chasm that seemed to go on forever. It was dark, even more so than any shadow they had seen yet. The pitch-black gloom even seemed to suck up the unnatural red light of the sky.
A cold wind moaned from the gulf, and it reminded them of a monster's call, a monster that was waiting for its next meal.
"The portal to the human world is closing, Dante, because the amulets have been separated."
Dante flinched at Vergil's matter-of-fact tone. Indeed he had noticed the ground starting to shake. He hadn't known why it had begun, and frankly he had been too distracted to care. But at his brother's statement he knew it was because the way back to Earth was slowly closing.
Nonetheless he couldn't leave Vergil in this place. Their father's sword was still here somewhere, and he knew Vergil lusted after its power. He had no idea why his older twin wanted it; Vergil had claimed he needed strength to protect. But protect what? As far as he knew he was Vergil's last remaining family, and he doubted his brother had a lover or even a friend. So what did he need Sparda's power for?
One thing Dante did know was that he had to stop Vergil from gaining the Legendary Dark Knight's demonic might. Though he was still at odds with his father's memory, he respected Sparda enough to follow his wishes.
"Let's finish this first. I have to stop you … even if that means killing you."
"No one can have this, Dante. It's mine," Vergil said forcefully as he clutched his golden amulet in his left hand. "It belongs to a son of Sparda."
Vergil paused for a moment, and then stood up more rigidly as if coming to a monumental decision.
"Leave me and go, if you don't want to be trapped in the demon world. I'm staying. This place was our father's home."
Without any more words or warnings, Vergil tipped himself backwards into the waiting jaws of the abyss.
As if by reflex Dante immediately ran forward to arrest his brother's fall. But all he got for his trouble was a lightning quick slash to his outstretched hand. Blood dribbled down in rivulets onto the dull brown earth.
'I wonder if I'll ever see you again,' Vergil mused as he watched his brother's stunned face. 'Dante, do you understand why I did this? Will you ever? If this incident brings you pain … forgive me for forcing your hand.'
Dante's face left Vergil's view and was replaced by the red skies. It reminded him of the colour his brother favoured so much, and the blood that ran through both their veins. Vergil was struck with the odd thought that though they shared the same blood and heritage, they were completely different people.
Almost immediately the sky was replaced with the all-consuming blackness of the chasm. The bitter wind tugged at his white hair as he began his descent into Hell. Vergil met the darkness with a feral look in his eyes. He would not allow himself to fear this place. This was, after all, their father's home.
The back of Vergil's head had unexpectedly smacked into the cliff face with a loud thud. His vision swam for a moment before he realized something was keeping him from falling. And that something was –
"DANTE! Let go of me right now!"
Bending his abdomen in a sit-up position, Vergil glared at his brother's visage. The other half-demon was lying on his stomach at the edge of the cliff. His uninjured arm had grabbed onto Vergil's left foot, holding him upside down over the gulf.
"No can do, bro," Dante grinned almost wickedly. "This may have been Father's home, but it's not ours."
Vergil made a growling noise at the back of his throat. Dante had always been a pain in the rear since their childhood, and apparently he hadn't changed much.
'How could such an immature idiot ever defeat me?' Vergil groused to himself as he felt his twin begin to yank him up onto solid ground. Unfortunately each sharp tug made Vergil's head hit the wall again. And again. And again. And again.
When Vergil was finally on the cliff once more, the back of his head felt like one giant bruise.
"Vergil …" Dante said uncertainly as he watched his brother clutch his head. The usual pale man was paper-white now. Why wasn't his devil healing abilities working?
"Dante," Vergil hissed like an angry wet cat. "Were you trying to save me or kill me?"
To his immense frustration all Dante did was tip his head to the side like a confused puppy. Vergil didn't know if he was pretending to be clueless on purpose just to be annoying, or if Dante really was dense.
He was betting on the latter.
Regardless of Dante's intelligence, or lack thereof, Vergil tried to lunge at him. To his confusion all he got was air and then a mouthful of dirt.
Dante didn't have the heart to point out to his brother that his aim had been way off. Vergil had tackled the air a foot away from where Dante actually stood.
"Wow, Vergil! Maybe you need glasses now 'cause your aim sucked!"
All right, maybe Dante had enough heart for one remark.
"Or maybe you just like eating dirt. I remember how you used to eat mud pies in the backyard! Haha, Mother would freak out whenever she saw you!"
OK, two remarks.
'Asshole!' Vergil screamed in his head as he spit filth from his mouth. 'I was three years old when that happened. And you're one to talk! You ate more disgusting things than I ever did!'
Vergil tried to make a proper retort but ended up choking on some left over grit.
'Dante, you bastard! When I get my hands on you I'll … mm, actually this dirt doesn't taste all that bad.'
He went stock-still.
'Argh! Dante! You gave me brain damage! I'm really going to kill you for this!'
"Come on, the portal to the human world is closing because the amulets have been separated. We better leave if we don't want to be trapped in the demon world," Dante rose as he looked around their former battleground.
Indeed the ground, and now the sky, seemed to shake with more strength as the seconds ticked by.
'Don't steal my lines!' Vergil roared in his head, but even that simple thought caused his senses to spin out of control. Feeling the urge to throw up, Vergil dry gagged a few times before he felt his brother's strong arms wrap around him.
"Try not to dirty my coat, will you? It's the least you could do for your dear brother whose saving your life."
'I'd rather take my chances in Hell …' Vergil thought as his vision was being eaten away by gray spots. He recognized this sensation; he was about to faint. But why was it happening to him now? His injuries had never failed to rapidly heal, thanks to his devil heritage.
Putting an unresisting and nauseous Vergil on his shoulder in a fireman's carry, Dante beat a hasty retreat. He somehow managed to balance his ill brother and both their swords as he ran towards the gate back to the human world.
With luck they'd made it to the portal in time to return to Earth. He didn't want to make his visit to Hell a permanent vacation.
'The streets are still deserted,´ Lady thought as she surveyed the area. To her immense surprise she didn't see any police or emergency workers buzzing around the Temen-Ni-Gru.
With such a huge tower emerging in the middle of the city's urban core, it was a miracle that no one had come. There weren't even any reporters milling around for God's sake!
'Maybe it's magic,' she shrugged to herself as she carefully picked her way through the broken asphalt. The emergence of the Demon Tower had cracked the roads and cut off all power to this area. People had also fled this section of the city, though there weren't many residents here anyway.
This was a ghetto, the bleakest of the bleak. No one stayed here by choice. Only those with no money or had hopeless lives called this place home.
Looking back at the Demon Tower, the monstrosity her father had summoned from its resting place, a deep frown crossed her face.
It was going to take a lot of explosives to tear this thing apart. And they would need to. Still hovering above the Temen-Ni-Gru was the portal to the demon world. They couldn't leave that entryway open any longer.
She could see red light emerging from the portal through space and time. It resembled a fatal wound inflicted upon the overcast heavens.
To her surprise she saw the portal began to waver, just like air above pavement on hot summer days. The portal seemed to undulate and the red light began to flicker erratically.
'The portal is shutting down!' she realized as she watched the gateway to Hell collapse upon itself. It seemed to wrestle with some invisible opponent before, with a loud BANG that echoed throughout the streets, it finally heaved shut.
Almost immediately pale sunlight broke through the cloud cover, and she smiled up into the sky. It was over. They had won.'But where's Dante?'
For a few moments her heart constricted with worry. Though he was half-demon Dante had proven to be a warrior for the side of Good. He was sarcastic and irreverent most of the time, but she felt a certain connection with him. They did share the problem of power-hungry, homicidal family after all.
Her fears were intensified as she watched the Demon Tower began to tremor. Large pieces of stone began to fall, and she ran back a safe distance to keep from being flattened.
When the smoke and debris cleared several long minutes later, Lady gazed upon the remains of the Temen-Ni-Gru.
More than half of the tall structure had collapsed and its wreckage was strewn everywhere. A few errant pebbles rolled down to stop by her feet, but aside from them there was an eerie feeling of stillness. It was as if the world was holdings its breath for something.
Lady stood uncertainly for a while before deciding to walk away. Her job was over, done, finito. She had stopped her father's mad schemes, and she had gotten revenge for her poor, innocent mother. There was nothing left for her here.
She commanded her legs to move, but they remained where they were. Lady found herself scanning the rubble for any signs of red.
'Stop it!' she scolded herself. Looking for Dante in all this mess would be like finding a needle in a haystack. And perhaps … perhaps he had gotten stuck in the demon world. If so she could do nothing to help him.
Scowling at the thought, Lady abruptly turned away from the wreckage. She didn't care if he was trapped in Hell; he was a demon in any case, and should be right at home there.
'Yes … that's right,' she firmly told herself and began to slowly walk away. But it was the hardest thing she ever had to do, and that included when she shot her own father.
"So, you're still here."
The voice stopped her as if an invisible fist had grabbed her entire body. She spun on her heels and gazed at the cocky smirk of a certain devil hunter.
Unconcerned about her lack of a response Dante deftly hopped down from the slanted section of road he had been balancing on. This area was quite a mess, and that was before the Temen-Ni-Gru had imploded on itself. Now it just looked like someone had dropped a bomb on this place.
Sauntering over to where Lady stood, he stopped in front of her and grinned. She looked at his face and saw that underneath the confident smile he looked tired.
'No, not tired. Exhausted.'
"I see you had quite a time over on the other side," she said flippantly as she circled him. His red leather coat was in ruins and she spied dried blood on his chest, arms, and legs. The brown leather pants he wore were also slashed to ribbons and she knew they couldn't be repaired.
"Yeah, it was a blast," Dante said as he leaned forward a little to catch his breath.
Vergil had passed out when they exited the portal, but Dante couldn't stop to check on his twin. The Temen-Ni-Gru had started to collapse around them as the door to the demon world violently shut. There was no telling how long the tower would stand, and so Dante, to his chagrin, had to run some more.
In fact he ran and jumped to avoid falling debris and to reach the lower levels faster. So now as he stood outside once more, Dante felt bone tired.
"I need my Kalina Ann back," Lady said as she stopped in front of him.
"Right, gimme a minute," Dante said as he tried to regain his strength. To his annoyance he found that some of his wounds were still bleeding, and his stamina hadn't returned to him yet. It looked like Vergil wasn't the only one suffering a lapse in his demon healing abilities.
Finding the silence uncomfortable, not that she'd ever admit it openly; her bi-coloured eyes fell on the blue clad figure still on Dante's broad shoulder.
"Isn't he heavy?" she asked.
"He's not heavy! He's my brother!"
Lady rolled her eyes at his bad pun.
After long moments had passed Dante stood up straight once more. His breathing had returned to normal, but he still looked worn out. And grimy.
Wrinkling her nose at him; he still had some dried Leviathan blood in his hair and skin; she placed her hands on her hips.
"What?" he asked densely.
She gritted her teeth and reminded herself that he'd probably suffered some brain damage from the time she'd shot his forehead. The thought didn't stem the temptation to do it again.
"Right, your tricked out bazooka," Dante adjusted Vergil so he rested more comfortably on his shoulder.
Another (shorter) pause followed.
"You know I'm not leaving you until I get it back."
"Why, Lady! Are you coming on to me?" Dante asked coyly, or at least he thought he did. For a response she shot at his foot.
"OK, OK, I'll give it back! But I don't have it with me right now, so wait a while, will ya? I have to take my brother home and patch him up."
She glared suspiciously at him, and he gave her his best 'innocent puppy-dog' expression.
"If it's all the same to you, I think I'll tag along," Lady said obstinately.
"Suit yourself," Dante shrugged as he began to walk away, Lady falling into step beside him.
A/N: Liked it? Hated it (with good reason)? Please tell me in a review!