A/N: First DMC fic. I adore brothers in fandom, and this pair are my most recent obsession. You'll find NO SLASH here, folks! I have absolutely nothing against it, but I prefer not to slash family members. Okies?

WARNING: This fic contains copious amounts of hurt/comfort/fluff. Because fluff is the luff. Savvy?

Oh yeah, I haven't actually played the DMC games, so if I get any facts wrong, please leave a review and let me know about it!

Prologue

No matter how hard you try, you're never going to be like father.

The roar of blood in his ears was only matched by that of the river below. It beat relentlessly in his ears, screaming at him to push harder, faster. He had to win. Had to prove to himself, to Dante, to the world, that he was the stronger of the two of them.

I need more power.

The torrential rush of water caught his feet, and his right leg gave way, sending him crashing down into the shallows, panting. He bent low, his forehead practically touching the surface of the water, flecks of spray spattering his face almost mockingly.

"Am I…being defeated…?" He gasped between heaving gulps of moist, cool air. It made his lungs feel heavy. His entire body was shaking with exertion, trembling with fatigue. He was reaching his limit.

He felt rather than saw his brother approach, a dark, crimson figure towering over him. Dante's breathing was deep but regular, efficient, not straining. His brother had gained the upper hand. Somehow, between here and their last encounter, he had grown stronger.

Much stronger.

"Come on! Is that all you've got?" Dante taunted, a triumphant smirk curling his lips "Get up! You can do better than that."

Vergil curled his fingers slowly around Yamato's hilt, trying to draw one last ounce of strength from its solidity. The bones of his fingers felt brittle, the blade heavier than it had ever been in his palm. Slowly, he raised his head, staring at his distorted reflection in the water.

Same face. Same nose, same mouth, same eyes. Everything was identical. And yet, they were not the same. The eyes of his brother burned with deep strength which was absent in his own.

He forced himself to his feet with some effort, and immediately, the ground began to shake beneath him. He looked sharply about, noting the ominous tremble of the rocky landscape, then glanced upward.

"The portal to the human world is closing, Dante." It was not a warning, he told himself. Just a statement. "Because the amulets have been separated."

Dante's eyes were hard. He did not spare the closing portal even a glance. He intended to end this fight with everything he had. "Let's finish this, Vergil. I have to stop you." He looked unflinchingly into Vergil's eyes "Even if it means killing you."

Vergil felt something numb and cold fill his chest, but suppressed it. He raised his Father's sword, ignoring how heavy it was and how it seemed ill-fitting in his hand. Reluctant. But a sword had no will of it's own.

They both charged at precisely the same time. In eerie synchrony, they ran towards each other, matched step for stop, breath for breath. Vergil felt the world slow, time pausing to watch this most tragic of climaxes.

A sudden piercing pain in his gut. Flesh tore and blood spurted from him, flying from Rebellion in a graceful arc. The sword of his Father slipped from his grasp, his half of the amulet falling to the river as though it was ashamed of him.

Breathing heavily, he reached to retrieve it, the enormity of his defeat crashing over him in waves of shock and anger and malice. How could he accept this? After all he had done, all he had fought for, how could he face this humiliation?

He would rather die.

"No one can have this, Dante." He clutched the amulet to his chest, staggering backwards "It's mine. It belongs to a Son of Sparda."

Dante turned, and his brow furrowed in confusion for a moment. Vergil felt his right foot hit solid rock; the edge of the precipice. He saw his brother's eyes widen in shock, as he realized what Vergil obviously intended to do.

Maybe it was selfish. Maybe it was cowardly. Maybe it was childish. But it was what he wanted.

Dante charged, but stopped as the tip of Yamato's blade found his throat, fear filling his features and making him look like the little brother Vergil sometimes wished still existed. The naïve boy who had believed Vergil could do no wrong.

He supposed he had failed Dante as much as he had failed himself.

"Leave me and go, if you don't want to be trapped in the demon world."

He had never been a worthy successor. That right had always belonged to Dante. He just had never been able to accept it.

"I'm staying. This place…was our Father's home."

One small step, and he was falling, tumbling backwards as though death was eager to claim him. He vaguely heard Dante cry his name, reach desperately for him, and was surprised to find that he was smiling.

In this, at least, he would have his way.

He swung his blade, sliced a shallow cut in his Dante's palm. A final farewell. A taunt that Dante could only catch the tip of his blade, and not his brother's hand.

And then, he was plunged into complete darkness.

&&&

A/N: IMPORTANT: If this sucked, I can just leave it like this as a one-shot. If anyone wants me to continue, however, the next chapter would be in Dante POV and involve me completely ignoring Capcom and its crappy sad endings. Because we all know Dante could and should have jumped straight after his big bro!

This chapter was kinda emo…please review and let me know if I should continue!