Hi! I really felt like writing… so don't mind the craptastic job I did in this one. I just wanted to get some things down quickly, so this is not meant to be a perfected one-shot. Umm…maybe I'll rewrite this again after I have some more ideas--or use some parts in a future fic. Please review; I need comments and constructive criticism so that I can improve my writing.

Disclaimer: Devil May Cry series and its characters are property of CAPCOM. I am borrowing them for personal entertainment only.

Realization

"Next to a battle lost, the greatest misery is a battle gained." —Duke of Wellington.

Only once in her life had she felt utterly confused and vulnerable-- the year of her mother's murder--and now this with Dante. She was a closed diary that no one but he could unlock. Dante could ruffle her aloof, unflappable exterior like a flimsy deck of cards. Lady couldn't stand the fact that Dante could fluster her so. Little gestures like a friendly pat on the shoulder and fleeting looks from those blue eyes made her uneasy. She was losing concentration in their hunting missions. It was laughable, really, how one man can undo all the years of honing herself into a cold, cynical, unemotional machine. Because only Dante can make her feel. Feel the way Mary had been capable of before her life was painfully wrenched out of her hands. As a hunter, one of the things she truly detested was being reminded of her old self-- the weak, useless Mary. She hated that feeling of vulnerability.

Plus she was Lady now, not Mary. And Lady was not a little girl anymore.

So she packed her bags (not like she had a lot, only her precious Kalina Ann and the rest of her weaponry) and vanished like the morning mist. There were no farewells or handshakes exchanged, just glances of lingering apathy from both. It's not like they had something to begin with. They had no relationship; just an precarious link between two lone wolves who carried similar bloody pasts.

She convinced herself so many times, telling herself that this alien feeling was a temporary sickness out to plague her. By distancing herself from him, she conjectured, would resolve this unfamiliar emotion he elicited from her. Lady was brave, determined, rational, sensible. She knew it was a hazardous risk to carry emotions especially for a demon hunter like her, aside from animosity. Emotions can blind one from the rationality. It can hinder and burden, and it will certainly mean death. Her lifestyle forbid her from forming any kind of attachments and so she chose to walk in the path of solitude. It was inevitable. Lady could not risk taking any chances.

The cascading stream of time passed with dullness, and Lady and Dante found themselves living in different worlds, ever so close but never colliding. Lady was so confident that this kind of existence would be the cure, but she was only rewarded by the sting of emptiness. Even demon hunting (her favorite hobby) would not preoccupy her as much as she wished it to. Life had become so mundane. Lonely. Out of place.

At night, she found herself dreaming of a silver haired man. A handsome phantom haunting her mind. It angered her that she can't escape him. Here she was trying to steer clear from him and he comes romping into her unconsciousness like he belonged there. What's wrong with her? Was she missing him? Was her heart subconsciously yearning for him? Impossible. She couldn't be attached to Dante, that arrogant bastard.

But the man was not all that disagreeable upon closer consideration. He walked in that haughty manner that irritated her, and had his cocky comments at the tip of his tongue. Yes, he loved to tease and annoy her, but it was always in good fun. It also didn't hurt that he looked like Adonis come to life-- but she would rather bite her tongue before she admitted that she thought him handsome. And maybe he understood her better than anyone else (if she had any acquaintances).

No matter how she denied everything else, she cannot deny that fate was twisted. How she wished she could stop this nonsense. Why now? She was too late. Too late to accept that she missed his crazy antics, his idiocy, his arrogance, even his damnable smirks. Too late to realize her own feelings. She lost a battle before it even began.