Disclaimer: I don't own Devil May Cry. I don't even own the idea for this fic. Janegray requested it.

…I'm way too easy to get to write fics, probably. Devil Sunday has gotten a ton.

Dante grinned, his new motorcycle stopping on a dime. He loved this thing! Lady putting him in contact with the guy who had made hers totally paid him back for showing him the tricks of the trade. This thing rocked almost as much as Nevan. Almost. Nothing beat the satanic guitar.

He shook his head, the wind having pushed his hair back straight on his head so he almost looked like Vergil, if Vergil would have been seen dead on a motorcycle. Not that Dante wanted to see him dead.

But that train of thought led to moping, and Dante didn't have time to mope. Too many demons, too little time.

He needed to bring home the bacon, seriously. He'd been so eager to get this made he'd spent all of his reserve money. Nevan had told him that if any unexpected expenses showed up, they might not be able to buy bullets, pizza, and pay rent.

He'd just hit Enzo up for a new shop since the old one had never recovered from being trashed, and he didn't want to let Enzo laugh at his jinx with shops, especially if he lost it for such a normal reason as defaulting on the lease.

But the call had had the password, which meant the informer who had passed it on had made sure the check was in the mail (or they would suffer the wrath of Dante and Enzo), and it was ten thousand for fifteen minutes' work, less if he used Quicksilver. Not that he would, he was practicing Doppelganger right now.

The ranger at a national park had noticed that there were way fewer deer than there should have been. It wasn't the wolves which was his first thought: those were totally gone. And he hadn't seen a bear in six months.

Made sense. Demons went after what fought back first.

Then he'd come across an abandoned campsite that had been roughed up. Maybe it was just litter, people who came up from the city did crazy things, but then an experienced camper who had been coming up every other month for years went in and didn't come out.

He'd talked to someone, and it passed down the grapevine until someone sent him the password. Dante got a lot of clients that way.

He hadn't taken random calls since that one from a tabloid.

But this was legitimate work. Somewhere, somewhere close, were some demons.

He dismounted from the bike and left it on the edge of the dirt track, then jumped up into a tree branch. He'd take the high road.

He found the abandoned campsite the ranger had told him about, but not before noticing signs that something else used the high road. There were claw marks deep in the bark. He knelt on a branch near some and studied them.

The six claws were about three inches long and the thing weighed about a hundred twenty pounds. He found black fur on a branch.

There was a scent in the air: sulfur. That wasn't just a superstition, not all the time. There were tons of specie of demons. He didn't think he'd seen this one before.

He sniffed the air. The scent was stronger… that way. He took off.

After a while, he paused. Then he moved off to the right, tracing a rough circle. A quarter mile that way. He could hear nothing, but demons could stay perfectly still.

He smiled. Perfect.

He needed the practice, so he summoned the Doppelganger, sending it forward while he circled to the right.

It was eerie, looking out two sets of eyes, but he would get used to it. Moving two bodies differently was like rubbing circles on his belly while patting his head: during the stuff in the tower he'd only been able to make the Doppelganger copy his own movements.

As the Doppelganger, he rushed forward, dropping to the ground. Six of them, up in a tree.

"Here, kitties kitties kitties!" The Doppelganger taunted them, gesturing them forward while Dante's lips barely moved.

Six of them. The air around the edges of them blurred, and he thought they might be invisible to human eyes.

They circled the Doppelganger through the trees above him while Dante's puppet shot at them. Then they roared and pounced.

Dante and the Doppelganger switched to Beowulf and punched and kicked like crazy, jumping up to stay in the air as much as possible. Damn.

Beowulf was a weapon for one-on-one, not crowd control!

"Rising Dragon," Dante whispered, and felt the gauntlets on his own hands and feet twitched.

He hit them away as they jumped at him. Fast.

He wished he'd brought something else, maybe Nevan for her defensive abilities, but well. He really couldn't ask for better practice with Beowulf. Maybe this would take more than fifteen minutes.

And now the energy he used to turn into a demon ran out. His shadow returned to him and he listened.

Quiet. Damn things were quiet in the trees. Hopefully he would have the few seconds' warning of their roar.

Well. That was enough of being cautious. He grinned. Time to rock. He jumped forward through the trees.

Yep, the damn idiots roared when they pounced. He hit one of them into a tree hard enough the tree cracked, jumping up again in mid-air. "Woo hoo!" His demon energy was recharging pretty fast: soon he would be able to summon the Doppelganger again and work on fighting two-on-six. These things were already outnumbered as it was. He laughed.

Three of them at once. He kicked and spun around, then rebounded off a tree.

Wha? He was spinning and dropping.

He'd tripped. One of them had been jumping up and intersected with his foot and now he was spinning… he had to do a midair jump.

Good job, doofus, doing a jump when you're upside down.

And now you're headed for the splintery stump of a tree. Vergil would be laughing his head off right… ow.

It felt like all six of them bit him at once. "Get away you goddamn cats!" He pulled himself out of the stump and summoned Doppelganger. Those kitties were so dead. No one made him look stupid and lived.

The Doppelganger stumbled. What? Looking through two sets of eyes was always disorienting but now he felt… dizzy? He wasn't sure, he'd never felt dizzy before.

It would be cool if one of those cats hadn't just bit him again, then jumped back before… why hadn't that kicked connected?

He'd kicked with the wrong one. Which one was him again?

This was so, so embarrassing. He, they, swayed. And got bit again. Both of him at once.

Must be some sort of poison. It was burning out of his system, but they kept biting him again and again…

Okay, dismiss Doppelganger.

Damn. He would have to wait until his Devil Trigger ran out.


Damn cats!

If Nevan was here he could just invoke her, but all he had was Beowulf.

Ow! These bites were actually hurting now!

"Get your ass out here, Light Gauntlets Beowulf, and kill these goddamn cats!" He refused to say the traditional summoning. The word 'thy' would never pass his lips.

The gauntlets glowed, man, that looked trippy. Everything was in weird colors, and Beowulf appeared, punching and kicking the hell out of the damn cats, throwing trees at them.

Dante clapped when Doppelganger disappeared and he had regained enough coordination. "Thanks!"

"You defeated me, and therefore you are my Master, Seed of Sparda," Beowulf growled.

Dante brushed the leaves and splinters off his clothes. "Thanks anyway. Those things were annoying the hell out of me. I was actually in trouble there for a second."

"You would have defeated them. You are strong." Beowulf looked like the words were being dragged out of him, at least that was how Dante read his ape face.

"Strong for an accursed half-breed son of a traitor? This must be driving you nuts, getting your demonic ass kicked by me and Vergil." Dante grinned. He had never been one to refrain from rubbing it in. "Hey, your eyes grew back."

"This isn't my real body, just a form made of dust like the weak demons. It takes the shape of my soul."

"Yeah, the really weak ones have to possess things to get a body, I know that much." Dante folded his arms. "You're pretty strong yourself."

"I served my Master Mundus as an enforcer. I was sent to destroy human rebels."

"Sparda rebelling and taking your eye must have really stung." Dante laughed at his pun. "And now his son is your Master."

"Yes." Beowulf growled at him. "Is there a point to this, Master, or may I return to the gauntlets?"

"Well, I guess if you didn't try to kill me at that you're not going to." Dante nodded. "Truce?"

"Truce? I am honor-bound to serve you now. You think I would stab you in the back?" Beowulf looked deeply offended.

"Well, dear old Dad was a traitor. You've gotta understand trusting demons isn't the easiest thing."

"If he is how you judge demonkind," another growl. "No wonder you don't trust me."

"And Dad was strong and a dark knight and all of that." Dante shrugged. "So. Truce?"

"You have my fealty, until someone defeats you and takes me." And that day could clearly not come soon enough.

"That's enough for now. I just want to make sure you didn't start singing the Hundred Bottles of Beer song every time I tried to use you or anything." Dante grinned.

"Hundred Bottles of Beer?"

"You don't want to know."

Beowulf snorted. "Humans are senseless creatures."

"And I'm absolutely crazy." Dante laughed. "I think I like you."

Beowulf clearly didn't care. "You are not what I expected. You are strong and fight with honor."

"I don't fight with honor. That's Vergil. I fight to kill." Dante was proud of it.

"That is honor. A human wouldn't understand."

Dante shrugged. "I don't think I want to understand. You can get back in the gauntlets now. Show's over."

Beowulf glowed and the gauntlets settled around Dante's arms and legs again. Dante flexed them and executed a few moves before dismissing them.

That was enough for tonight. Now to get back to his bike and home.