A/N: I always wondered what Dante's life was like between when his mother died and DMC 3, so I made this. I'm not plannin' on makin' this very long, but I'm not really sure. Anyway, tell me what ya think!

Disclaimer: Devil May Cry is owned by Capcom.

Devil May Cry: Genesis

Chapter 1

"Their up there, huh?"

"They always are, causin' all sorts o' hell! Jus' last week, they were playin' that god-awful music o' theirs fer all damn day!"

"Ever thought about movin' away?"

The old man pointed a finger at his hired help. "Don't give me no sass, boy! It ain't only me they're scarin'. Th' entire neighborhood's bein' infected by 'em! We were doin' fine until those hooligans showed up and began floodin' our streets with drugs an' guns an' whatnot! Back in my day, I use-"

"Easy their, pops. I don't remember askin' for your life story."

"What'd I say about yer sass, boy?!" The old man was almost fuming, but the boy hardly cared. "I tried th' cops, but they don't give a shit about what happens here! Two days ago some poor girl next door t' me was cracked outta her mind an' slit her wrists because she thought there were bugs unda her skin! No offense, kid, but hirin' you shows jus' how low I'm willin' t' go."

The boy shifted the weight of the sword that rested on his shoulders. He drained the last of his strawberry soda and tossed the empty can into a nearby trashcan.

"How many are we talkin' 'bout here?"

The old man calmed down a bit. "Not too sure, never really saw myself but I say no less than five. Ten at th' most."

"Five to ten, eh?" The boy smirked. "Too simple."

"Now don't get yer head filled with all that hero nonsense, boy. That'll getcha killed."

"Whatever, just make sure you have my money ready."

The old man watched as the youngster began walking toward the apartment building.

"I don't like this, not one bit." The old man spat on the ground. "Gettin' kids to fight my fights. But they say yer th' best kid. Best o' luck t' ya."

"Hurry up over there, man! The boss wants us to get this shit out on the streets tonight!"

"Shut it, Stubs!" One of the gangsters bellowed from the kitchen. "We're getting' it ready!"

Another man in cheap shades stuck his head from the bedroom, a smile plastered on his face. "Just got a call from the boss! Said that the cops have been paid off. That means smooth sailing from here on out, boys."

A man dressed in a sweat-stained tank top was stuffing white powder into plastic bags. "I can't believe this! I mean, first we were just some thugs last week, now we're in the Benzetti family! We've got it made, man!"

"Yeah, just careful how you act." A punk with died green hair called Stubs warned. "The Benzettis ain't known for their kindness."

"No kiddin'." The sunglasses wearing man added. "Especially that daughter, Adriana. Bitch is psycho. Sadist in training, ya know?"

"Just keep yer opinions t' yourself!" The oldest of the five was dressed in a leisure suit worth far more than the wardrobes of the other four combined. "Mr. Benzetti would collect your fuckin' tongues if he heard you say that shit around him!"

"Sorry, Paulie." Stubs shrunk back along with the others. "Won't happen again."

"Damn right it won't!" Paulie straightened his blazer. "And that's Mr. Paulie t' you!"

"Right, right, sorry." Stubs reiterated.

"All set, Mr. Paulie." The tank top wearing man and a man with greased hair emerged from the kitchen with boxes.

"'Bout funkin' time! You punks are the slowest-"

A knock came from the door that caused the men to instantly reach for their guns.

"We expectin' anyone?" The sunglasses man asked.

"Don't be stupid." Paulie hissed. "Go check it out."

The man crept towards the door and peeped through the eye hole.

"Just some punk kid."

Everyone in the room relaxed. A few put their guns away.

"Tell 'em ta fuck off." Paulie kept his Berretta in his hand, but let it dangle by his side.

The man in shades nodded and opened the door a crack. "Fuck off, kid before I blow yer-"

The rotten wood hit the man in the face, the security chain snapped off. The gangster fell to the ground clutching his bleeding face.

The other four men jumped at the sound of their front door being kicked in and their fellow gangster screaming and cussing about his nose being broken. Paulie snapped his gun to the door frame and squeezed off a few rounds.

"What the…the hell's gonin' on!" Stubs shouted, swinging the hunting shotgun around.

Before anyone could answer, a figure shot into the room straight towards Stubs. The man squawked and fired. A filthy recliner exploded as buckshot tore through it. His own fear fouled up his aim. A fist connected with his stomach the emptied his lungs. Stubs crumpled forward and clutched his stomach, the shotgun clattered on the wooden floor. A foot came down over his head and blackness overcame him.

Gunshots filled the room as Paulie and the remaining two men tried to bring down their assailant. The figure bounded over a couch that absorbed the shots. The three gangsters emptied their weapons, hoping that one found its target.

"Come on out, you fucker!" Paulie bellowed. "Unless yer already dead!"

He thumbed the lever that dropped his empty clip from his gun and retrieved a fresh one from his pocket. The man with greased hair began fumbling with his revolver as he attempted to reload it one round at a time. The tank-top clad man slapped in a clip in his Glock.

"Sonuvabitch! Who is that-"

The man with greased hair suddenly had a foot planted in his face. Teeth went flying.

Paulie hesitated. Somehow the mystery attacker had flipped over the couch and landed right on his underling's face from half-way across the room.

The figure dashed to the man in the tank top that had finished reloading and took aim. A blinding flash of metal arced out. The man's arm broke as his gun was forcible removed from his grasp. He fell to his knees, howling in pain.

Paulie did not know what was more astounding. The rather large blade the figure wielded or the Glock that was partially sliced in half that was still caught on the sword's edge.

The figure, a young boy, flicked his wrist. The gun clattered to the ground.

Paulie snapped out of his daze. He raised his gun and yelled at the top of his lungs.

His yell died as the sword was suddenly inches from his face.

"I just took down four of your guys." A cocky voice came from the boy. "What makes you think you have a chance?"

Paulie blinked, captivated by the sheer mass of the blade the boy held and how he managed to point it at him with only one hand without the slightest look of fatigue.

"Hello? Anybody home?" The boy waved a hand in front of Paulie's face. "You go dumb on me or sumthin'?"

The mobster finally took notice of the boy. "Who…who do you think yer fuckin' with? Huh? Do you know who I am? Do you know who I work for?!"

"No, but I have a feeling your gonna tell me anyway."

"The name's Paulie. I work for the Benzetti family!"

"The Benzetti family?" The boy looked confused. "Never heard of 'em."

"Don't act stupid, punk!" A vein popped on Paulie's forehead. "The Benzetti's run this city, ya hear me! And I'm one of their lieutenants! You kill me and you'll have a shit storm rain down on ya!"

"Really?" The boy began examining his nails, seemingly bored with the conversation. "A shit storm? Never saw one of those. Better buy an umbrella when I go home."

Paulie was furious beyond words. A mere snot-nosed brat was making a fool out of him. He remembered the gun in his hand.

A bullet ripped into the boy's chest.

"Ha! Yer all talk, kid! No one disrespects me or the Benzettis and gets…away…with…"

Paulie trailed off in a daze. The kid did not fall or even flinch when he shot him.

The boy toyed with the new hole in his black shirt. "Do you know how much this cost me?"

Paulie trembled. This was not possible. His brain sent a signal to his hand to fire again. His hand refused the order.

With the speed of a cobra, the boy snatched the gun out of Paulie's grasp.

He turned the weapon over, examining it. "Beretta, huh? Looks brand new. Bet it's worth sumthin'. Enough to replace my shirt anyway."

The boy switched the safety on and thrust the gun into his belt.

"Now I got a message for ya. Move. Tonight. And don't you or any of your little buddies come back, or I'll turn you into a shish-ka-bob, got it?"

Paulie nodded, still dumbstruck by the boy's apparent immortality.

"And people say gangsters can't be reasoned with."

-----

"Jesus boy, whadya do t' those bastards?" The old man's eyes were wild with disbelief. "Not that I'm complainin' or nothin', it just looks like those low-lives got into a fight with a gorilla or sumthin'!"

"Don't worry about it." The boy casually walked out the building with his sword resting on his shoulders. The old man kept pace as he walked away.

"Goddamn! I thought my friend was pullin' my leg when he mentioned ya. Said you never fail, never lose t' nobody. Thought it was all hoppla and all, but nosirre, you the real deal!"

"Save your hero worship for somebody else." The boy snorted. "Where's my money?"

"Right, right, of course." The old man held out a wad of bills. "Six hundred dollars, as we agreed."

The boy snatched up the cash and shoved it into his pocket. "See ya around, pops."

"Wait one moment there, son, I got a question for ya. Jus' how old are you?"

The boy stopped, turned around, and looked at the sky thinking. "Today…I turned fifteen."

-----

The boy trudged through the rain washed alley. The smell of rotting garbage and raw sewage filled his nostrils. Nighttime had fallen and his stomach grumbled, letting him know that he had missed dinner. He picked up his pace, hoping to reach his home soon.

"Damn pawnbroker." The boy cursed under his breath. "Lousy two hundred bucks for the gun. That thing was worth over five hundred easy. Last time I sell anything to that tub of lard."

He ran his hands of his new black shirt. He muttered how it was not fair since he just broke the old one in. He had tossed the bullet-hole one away when he emerged from the clothing store.

A faint whisper caught his ear. The boy stopped and looked around. Aside from a stray dog sniffing at an overturned garbage can, he was alone.

He brushed off the noise and moved on.

He had gotten ten more feet when he heard the whispers again, only louder. The hair on the back of his neck stood to attention. He could feel something near, something dark.

He trained his ears and could make out what each voice was saying.

"That's him, the spawn of the traitor!"

"We've found him!"

"He's still a child! He's all ours!"

"Kill him! Kill him now!"

"Kill! Kill!"

A toothy, vicious smile spread on the boy's face. Today was just getting better and better.

He brought his sword down from his shoulders and let the tip touch the ground.

"I can hear ya!" He called out. "Why don'tcha show your ugly mugs? Or are ya afraid of a kid with a sword?"

Things moved in the shadows, taking shape from nothingness. Beings with thin limbs and bulbous heads crawled along the walls like gravity held no power over them. They clutched jagged knives in their tiny three-fingered hands.

"Us? Fear you?" One demon hissed. "We shall kill you slowly for that."

"Once we bathe in your blood, we shall claim the power of the traitor's bloodline!"

The boy barked a laugh. "Bathe in blood, huh? Doesn't sound too hygienic. But if you want it so bad…"

A demon leaped from the walls and aimed itself right at the boy.

The boy spun around. His sword struck the demon, the arm that held its knife flew through the air.

The demon floundered on the ground, screeching in pain. Dante brought his foot down and mashed its head like a ripe tomato.

"That's one." The boy joked.

The other demons attacked as one, hoping that one of them would be able to get the boy before he struck again.

Like a grasshopper, the boy shot into the air as the demons clumsily rammed into one another.

"Man are you guys lame!" The boy laughed. "And you're supposed to kill me? Please, you losers look like you'd have a hard time finding your own asses."

The demons scrambled out of their pile and hissed at the boy. A few took to the air while others ran along the walls.

The boy stood his ground and lashed out with his sword. Three demons fell in pieces.

He swung his sword again in furious motions that caused demons to rain like confetti. Sparks flew from the walls as the oversized weapon scraped against it, leaving deep cuts.

One demon collided with the boy and prepared to plunge his knife into his heart.

A hand grasped the demon's arm and snapped it like a twig. The pain lasted only as long as it took the boy to shove the demon headfirst into the wall. Blood splattered the brick structure.

The remaining demons began to shrink away. Their hisses had begun to sound like cries.

"Strong…he's too strong!" One yelped.

"It ain't just that." The boy pointed the horde. "You guys are wimps. I bet you have to team up to win."

"You may have beaten us boy, but know this! We shall…"

The demon was cut off as the boy's sword suddenly had it pinned to the wall.

"Sorry." The boy shrugged. "Butterfingers."

The demons moved around, uncertain what to do next.

"Looks like I don't have my sword right now." He cracked his knuckles. "Maybe I'll be easier to beat. Wanna find out?"

The shadows enveloped the still living demons, the ones that had met their end incinerated until nothing was left. The boy was alone again.

"Punks." The boy spat and snapped his fingers.

The sword trembled until it loosened itself from the wall and spun back to its master's hand.

"Gangsters and demons in one night. Don't I feel special."

A growl sounded in the boy's stomach.

"Alright, already!" He said. "I heard ya the first time, I'm going!"

He slung the sword back onto his shoulders and continued his trek home.

-----

"Let me see if I have this straight. You're telling me, that you and your new crew got beaten up by a kid with a sword?"

Paulie had to muster everything to not tremble in the presence of the Don. "I know it sounds hard t' believe, boss, but it's the truth! The boys, they'll back me up when they get out of the hospital."

"How odd that those four individuals are all in intensive care while you don't have a mark on your whole body."

Paulie's heart skipped a beat. "B..boss, you know me. I've worked for you for ten years now, I'm not dumb enough t' betray you! I know what that leads t'!"

"And yet, even you must admit, the evidence does not look kindly on you."

"Look, I know I screwed up boss, but I'll make it up t' you. I'll find that kid and put him six feet under! All I need are some guys, not flunkies but real professionals! Arm ourselves t' the teeth and hunt down that little S.O.B like the dog he is!"

"You want me to give you my top men and biggest guns to hunt down a child?"

"If all it took was one bullet, he would have been dead by now! I should know, I plugged him, right here!" Paulie pointed to his heart. "But he was still standing, no one lives after a shot like that, no one!"

The Don gave a quick glance to a young girl with strawberry blonde hair that sat nearby. She had worn a small smile the entire time, but once she heard about the shot that should have killed, her smile grew.

"I see." The Don folded his hands over his large belly. "Perhaps it is best that we faced this troublemaker with appropriate force, as you suggested. It would be unwise to let such an act go unpunished."

"You got it boss!" Paulie felt the fear drain away, replaced with renewed vigor. "Just say the word, and I'll-"

A shot rang out. Paulie dropped to his knees with blood staining his shirt.

"However, I can not overlook your failure." The Don pointed the gun at Paulie's face.

"B…boss! Wait, p…please! Gimme a chance, that's all I-"

A second shot. A bullet went into Paulie's eye, but did not come out his head.

His body slumped to the ground. Two men in black suits and sunglasses dragged the body away. A maid began mopping up the blood.

The Don returned the snub-nosed pistol to the blazer of his custom-tailored Italian suit. "Interrogate the men in the hospital, then kill them too before the police get a hold of them. Make it look like an accident."

Three men nodded and left the room.

"Micheal." The Don called.

A man with slick-black hair and round glasses stepped forward. "Yes, sir?"

"Go work your magic and find out whatever you can about this mystery kid with a sword. Check our sources with the police, FBI, ATF, everyone."

"At once." The man bowed respectively and left.

"The rest of you, leave us. I wish to speak with my daughter. Alone."

The remaining men and the maid repeated Mikey's bow and departed.

The Don stood in front of his wet bar.

"A boy with a sword that can send four armed, grown men to the hospital with broken bones and can withstand a bullet to the heart." The Don plopped four ice cubes into his glass. "Sounds like an interesting fellow."

"I know, daddy." Adriana stood up and smoothed her French-designed dress. "I'll bet he'll be fun to play with."

"Perhaps." He finished pouring his whiskey and returned to his large office chair. "I doubt you'll be able to have anytime with him. This pest needs to be stomped out quickly before others try to rally behind him and attack us."

Adriana made a fake pout. "Oh, come on, daddy. It's been a while since I took care of things for you."

"I can't send my only child to do her father's work all the time." The Don smiled at his daughter and took a swig. "Tell you what, I'll make you a deal. If this boy survives my men, he's all yours."

A giggle escaped from her lips. "You promise?"

The Don nodded.

The young girl laughed. The people she had killed recently were pathetic, big-mouthed idiots that cried and whimpered for mercy when she had them where she wanted them. All her fun had been sucked out of it.

Adriana left her father's office, secretly hoping the mystery boy did live, at least until she got her hands on him.

-----

The neon sign of the Devil's Paradise flickered slightly and bathed the surrounding buildings in a crimson and purple glow. Swarms of small insects clouded around the sign, annoying the strip club's entering customers. The club's bouncers, two men with large builds, guarded the entrance with black shirts, crossed arms, and glares. They had already tossed out two trouble makers and were ready for more.

It looked like their third victim was already in sight. A boy in a black shirt carrying a large sword sauntered to the front door.

One of the men stuck his hand out. "Beat it, kid. This ain't a place fer minors."

The boy looked the man square in the eye when he replied. "Move it, tank, I live here."

"Get real, kid." The man snarled. "And watch yer damn-"

"Miss Valentine wants to speak with you." The second bouncer interrupted. "She's by the bar last time I checked."

The boy let out a huff and pushed his way past the two.

"What the…" The first bounce watched the boy open the doors to let the pounding club music out before being silenced again when the doors closed. "What're doin', man? Why'd you let that kid in?"

"You heard him, Jake." The second bouncer said. "He lives here."

"What're you…" Jake trailed off again. "You mean…that's Valentine's special friend?"

"Yep."

"Yer shittin' me! The boss is doin' a kid?"

"It ain't like that, dumbass. And keep your mouth shut about it."

-----

With his ears ringing with heavy-beat music and his nose overwhelmed by cigarettes and booze, the boy pushed his way through the crowd of overly excited men and scantily-clad women. Many of the patrons looked surprised and a little embarrassed when they say the pre-teen. The women, on the other hand, greeted him like he was family.

He finally got through the mass of bodies and found his landlady sitting at the bar, just as the bouncer said.

"Welcome back, sweetie." The woman cooed. "How was your day?"

She crossed her legs in a suggestive manner. Her black business dress hugged at her thighs and a cigarette dangled from her fingers.

"I got shot today, need I say more?"

A smile crossed her lips and she patted the stool next to her. "Have a seat, hun."

He plopped down on the seat and propped his sword on the bar. He slammed a wad of bills in front of Valentine.

"There, this month's and last month's rent." He snarled. "So you can quit naggin' me about it."

The mature woman merely used her fingers to slide the money in front of her, but kept her eyes on the boy.

"That's good." She softly replied. "But next month's rent is due in a few days you know."

"Yeah, yeah." The boy folded his arms on the bar and laid his head down. "I'm workin' on it."

A gurgle overcame the music and loud conversations in the bar.

Valentine sighed. "I suppose you haven't eaten yet."

"Sorta."

In a few minutes, the boy was wolfing down a ham sandwich. Valentine watched with amusement.

"You can't keep being late on meals, you know." She took a drag from her cigarette. "You're a growing boy."

The boy grunted, but did not stop eating.

"Hey there, kid!" A curly-haired blonde woman in a thong suddenly hugged the boy from behind. "We've been wondering where you've been!"

The boy almost choked on his sandwich. The girl purposely tightened her hold, pressing her large chest into his back.

Why did all the girls that worked at Valentine's always tease him?

"We were wonderin' if you got lost." Another woman in white lingerie leaned on the bar. "But you found your way back, like a nice kitty."

"Kitty?" The woman latched onto the boy asked. "I think he's more of a puppy dog."

"What is it with you and dogs, Fifi?" The woman in white tossed her brunette hair. "He's a kitty. He's a loner, always lands on his feet, and has a temper like an alley cat."

"He's a puppy dog, Sapphire." Fifi rubbed her cheek on the back of the boy's head. "He's loyal, whimpers when he's left alone, and has the cutest little nose!"

"I do not whimper!" The boy tried to sound angry, but flustered was what came out. Having a half-naked woman latched onto one's back tended to do that to a boy in puberty.

"Aw, he's upset." Fifi cooed. "Aren't we givin' ya enough attention?"

The boy stewed in frustration as the two women laughed and snuggled him.

-----

With a creak, the boy opened the door that lead to his room upstairs. He trotted inside the sparsely decorated room, let his sword slip from his grasp, then spun and fell onto his bed. He bounced twice before he settled in.

"Damn, what a busy day." He thought as he watched the ceiling fan go round and round. "Bet there'll be more jobs when I met Kyle tomorrow."

He felt the sweet embrace of sleep begin to overcome him when a knock came from his door.

With a growl, he hopped out of his bed and tore open his door.

"The hell you-"

The boy stopped as a chocolate-frosted cake was thrust into his face.

"Didja really think we'd forget?" Fifi sang. She had changed her attire to a T-shirt and jeans.

"Hittin' the big one five." Sapphire said, wearing a sweater. "Seems like our little boy's growin' up way too fast."

A swarm of girls entered his room, giving him hugs and kisses. They began setting up streamers and decorations. Party music began playing on a stereo someone brought up. Many of the girls began dancing. The boy suddenly found himself in the center of the gaggle of females, being traded off to different dance partners at random. The boy was somewhat indigent about the whole affair. Sure, being passed around by a bunch of women might have made any male's day, but he knew these ladies well, they loved to tease him, not very healthy for a boy his age.

"Alright girls, settle down."

Valentine called and the women answered by brining their full attention to her. The older woman stood in front of the boy, who at the moment was smooshed into the chest of one of the strippers.

"Let him go, Katie."

"I was just wishing him a happy birthday!" She giggled and released her captive.

The boy gasped for air and stumbled back. All of the women erupted in laughter.

"Now then," Valentine started. "It's been almost a year since you and I first met. We've given you a home and you've made yourself apart of this family. So, here's a little something from all of us."

A gift-wrapped box was put in his hands. The boy furrowed his brow in confusion.

"Go on, open it!" One of the women squealed.

"Jesus." The boy thought as he began to unwrap it. "And I'm the kid here. I mean, they're how old again?"

The torn wrapping paper fluttered to the ground. The boy took off the top and froze as he gazed into its contents.

"Custom tailored." Valentine sported a sly grin. "Hope you don't mind, but I had one of the girls snoop through your clothes. Find your size and everything."

He reached in and retrieved something in red leather. The clothing article unfurled into a long coat.

"You said you liked red. Your white hair might make you stand out, but I always believed the clothes make the person."

"Well, whadya think?" Fifi gleamed.

He slipped on the red leather coat and examined himself in front of the full length mirror.

"Oh, I like it." The boy nodded in satisfaction. "I like it a lot!"

He turned to the smiling women who gathered around him, applauding him for his new look.

"Happy Birthday, Dante!" They all said.