A/N: Okay, here's the deal. This story is based off of a writing community on LiveJournal called 30 Wounds. The idea behind the community is that you get thirty different prompts, and you're supposed to write thirty different one-shots about whatever pairing you choose based on these themes. Well, instead of writing thirty short stories, I've decided I'm going to write one huge, long-ass story, with each theme being a different chapter. The chapter titles will be the names of the themes. So this story is going to have thirty chapters. Get it? Okay, good.
This is a Dante/Lady story, and it is also a story about Dante and Lady as individual characters, though ultimately I'm going to try and focus it on their relationship. Here's the deal - the first half of the story is set during DMC3. Some of the chapters will be original things I think could have happened in between canon scenes, and some (like this one) will basically be novelizations of scenes that really happened, focusing more on what's going on in their heads and all that. The second half of this story (chapter 15 on) will take place after the third game and be original stuff (so if you wanted to skip the novelization, you could start reading at chapter 15).
Okay, now about the M rating...I hate rating this M because the vast majority of the chapters will be more in the K+ to T range. However, there will eventually be some chapters that are definitely deserving of M, so because of that I will keep the whole story rated that way. So yes, that's a future warning, there will be sexual content in this. Not for a long time, though. Please attempt to hide your disappointment.
As for the title, I couldn't think of anything else and I thought it was a good comparison to Dante and Lady. Dante's guns look different on the outside (well, different colors), but they work the same, and work best when together. Likewise, Dante and Lady seem different at first glance, but are actually very much the same, and work good together. Or are MEANT to be together, I should say. Although I doubt they'll ever hook them up in the game, but that's why fanfiction exists! Oh, and also, it fits with their hair colors - Dante has white hair, Lady has black hair. I just thought of that now.
Okay, I think that is all. Hope you like, and if you bother to read this story please take a minute to review and let me know what you think!
Chapter One - "It's Just a Flesh Wound..."
The girl was used to having her life flash before her eyes - it had happened to her many times before.
You see, Mary wasn't exactly your typical, every-day girl. Her life may have started out that way, but by the time she was in her early teens, things had gotten a bit more complicated. It had started getting weirder when her father steadily became more and more obsessed with demons and the underworld, followed by his little announcement that he planned to become one himself. His dabbling in the dark arts had been scary enough, but it didn't end there. Everything would have been okay, so she convinced herself, if she had just run away with her mother. The two could have escaped him, moved away and been a happy family by themselves. That had been the plan, in fact.
But then she had awoken one morning to find her mother dead, and her entire world shifted irreversibly.
Her mother had been her best friend in life. She was at an age where most girls snub their mothers, don't dare to be seen in public with them, but Mary had been different. She had always been different from the other children, and she didn't care to be friends with any of them. Her mother understood her, and was the one who encouraged her to be independent and strong. She was the one who had always supported her endeavors as a child, always finding ways to pay for her gymnastics and karate classes, no matter how tight the budget was. The two could talk about anything, from the most silly and childish of topics to the most serious - namely, as time went on, their growing dread of Mary's father.
And then one day she awoke to find her mother, her biggest source of comfort in life, violently ripped away from her, never to return. Stolen from her by her father. That was the day that had changed her. Her world had come shattering down as her innocence broke, along with her heart, which was filled with an unquenchable rage. Her world was consumed by it. That very day, she had made a vow for revenge, and that was the first time her life had flashed before her eyes. It had flashed because it that was the day that Mary had died. The young, innocent Mary had died, and in her place a nameless girl was born, a cold girl who did nothing but train herself, perfecting her skills in a mechanical way with one purpose - to kill her father, and every other demon that was unfortunate enough to fall across her path. She had become a girl who would never stop, never rest, never feel peace, until every demon in existence was eradicated for good.
This was the girl who was falling to her death, who had just been flung over the edge of the tower and towards the ground by the very father she had been trying to kill. The fall was incredibly long, like a bottomless pit. The wind felt like needles pricking her skin, chilling her to the bone, and her stomach all but flew through the top of her head as she plummeted straight towards the ground.
But her life had had so much peril, so many near-death experiences, that she was able to think straight in situations where most humans would panic, thereby signing their own death certificates. She fought back the numb terror in her heart, forced herself not to think about the fact that this really might be her end, and she tried to formulate a plan. She forced her thoughts to be rational, to figure out how to save herself before she ended up as nothing more than a splatter on the unforgiving ground.
She could feel the straps of Kalina Ann - her rocket launcher that was named after her mother - tugging into her skin, and the heavy object only seemed to be pulling her down faster. Her mind whirred as her body plummeted downwards.
I need to get it off, need to prop it up against something, use the blade, dig into the wall, need to use it to slow down -
And just like that, she stopped.
The world was still upside down, and the sudden, jolting lack of movement forced a wave of nausea over her, the blood rushing into her head, which pounded with a headache. She felt dizzy, the tower wall spinning before her, the sudden stillness disorienting her even more than the actual fall had. She struggled to think. It felt like minutes, but it was actually a mere split second before she realized what had happened.
Somebody's hand was wrapped firmly around her ankle.
She lifted her heavy head in alarm, and saw an upside-down man. He was tall, young, strong, with a muscular physique beneath a long red jacket. His hair was silver, and it fell into his eyes, which looked clearly amused, and were of a piercing blue. His lips were curved into a grin. He was smirking at her. He looked exceptionally calm for someone who had just caught a woman falling from the sky, and she suddenly felt trapped in his grasp.
Instinctively, she brought her arms out in front of her, guns aimed at his face in a position of self-defense. She trusted no one. As far as she was concerned, everyone was her enemy until they gave her solid evidence proving otherwise, especially around places like this. It didn't matter that he had just saved her life - he still couldn't be trusted. Besides, she was more than capable of saving her own life. She didn't want help from anyone.
And then he actually had the nerve to chuckle at her, as she dangled somewhat helplessly over the void.
"Well, this is my kind of rain!" His voice was youthful, cocky, flirtatious. She could see his eyes roaming over her as he grinned, and her defiance only increased. She was reminded of the perverted boys she had met long ago at school. "No wonder the sky looked so funny today."
"Let me go!" She demanded, fingers waiting ready on the triggers of her guns. Clearly, he didn't take her seriously, and she wouldn't hesitate for a second to show just how serious she could be.
"Let you go?" He said, his voice full of mock alarm, and she got the impression he was speaking down to her. "But it would be a waste if you ended up as just a pretty stain."
That was all she needed to hear. She pulled the trigger, a bang echoing as the bullet hit him square in the forehead. If the sweet-talking bastard wouldn't honor her wishes, she'd force him to. She lost all sympathy for anyone who underestimated her, who treated her like a sex object, or on the other end, like a stupid little girl. Her extremely defensive nature was quick to attack people like that and slow to feel remorse for them.
And she found herself falling again, stomach plummeting, world distorting, but she was prepared this time. She had known before she pulled the trigger that she'd be going down as his body limply fell backwards, and she knew what to do. Quick as lightening, she slid the straps of Kalina Ann off her shoulders and manuevered the rocket launcher in front of her, grasping the weapon firmly in her arms with the large blade facing the tower wall. Pushing with all her might, she forced the blade into the wall, digging the sharp object into the surface. There was a screeching noise that she barely heard with the wind rushing in her ears, and she watched as little pieces of wall crumbled away, the blade trailing a long gash down the side of the building as she continued to fall, holding on tightly, the blade slowly digging in deeper and deeper.
And then abruptly it stopped, the blade finally sinking in deep, the rocket launcher protruding from the wall like a tree limb. For a split second there was nothing but pure terror in her body as the sudden stop jolted her backwards, clammy fear flashing through her palms and the soles of her feet, but the terror was gone as quickly as it came. Her grip was firm, and she held on tightly as her body swung back and forth with momentum from the sudden stop. The launcher held firm. The entire process took mere seconds that had stretched on for ages. Relief flooded through her as she realized she had done it, she had stopped her fall. For the moment, she was safe.
"What the hell was that for?"
Relief was replaced by alarm as a voice called down at her from above. She looked up in shock, and there he was, the man she had just shot in the forehead, leaning over the edge. All traces of flirtation were erased from his features, and he looked angry. Even from the distance, she could see the intensity of his blue eyes glaring at her, and there was blood on his forehead. Blood, but no bullet hole.
What - how -
"Here I am trying to help you, and you show your thanks by shooting me?"
Without a moment's hesitation, she ripped her gun from its holster, hanging on by only one hand now, and fired another shot directly into his face. His head jerked backwards and he disappeared from view, but she knew he'd be back. If one bullet hadn't stopped him, neither would two. She did a quick flip fowards, her feet landing on top of the rocket launcher. She crouched on it in a defensive position, one hand leaning against the tower for support, body balancing skillfully on the launcher. She kept her gun aimed at the spot where his face had just been, waiting for it to reappear.
Sure enough, it did. He peered over the edge again, eyes still an icy glare, and she watched in awe as he spit her bullet out of his mouth to the side, as casually as a human might spit out a kernel of popcorn. She couldn't stop herself from feeling amazed. She had seen many things, but never that.
He wasn't human, that much was for sure.
Her body tensed, muscles straining, finger waiting ready on the trigger. Human or not, she could take him. She'd have no choice if he attacked.
But he didn't attack. He simply glared down at her, then waved her away dismissively, walking away from the edge in an annoyed sort of manner. His voice carried down as he left.
"Whatever. Do as you please."
He sounded like a man who had just been rejected for a date, as opposed to shot twice in the head. The next instant, he was gone.
She lowered her gun slowly, still in a bit of shock from what she had just seen.
"So, he's a demon too..." She muttered to herself.
Never before had she seen a demon that resembled a human so strongly. Maybe he's some kind of shape-shifter, she mused. Either way, she had killed lots of demons before, and never once had she seen one react so casually to the threat of death. Demons were hard to kill, but enough ammunition eventually took care of them, and he acted like she had been spraying him with a water gun instead of driving bullets through his skull. Like a bullet to the brain was just a simple flesh wound.
He was stronger than the others.
Great, just another thing to watch out for.
She sighed, head and body aching from everything that had just happened in the last few minutes. As if seeing her father for the first time in years only to be defeated by him wasn't bad enough. Now she had a new threat to deal with. Well, he better just pray he didn't run into her again, because she wouldn't show mercy.
He may be strong, but nothing is immortal.
With this thought in mind, she reholstered her gun, preparing herself for the long journey down the side of the tower.
Dante sighed to himself as he walked away from the ledge. He could feel blood trickling down his forehead, and he wiped it away in annoyance.
"I'm beginning to think I've got rotten luck with women," he muttered to himself, wiping his now bloody fingers against the wall as he walked back into the tower.
He recognized the girl - she was the one who drove a motorcycle, who had come crashing through the roof of the Ice Guardian's chamber. That was the first time he had seen her, and she had intrigued him then. Seriously, what could be more interesting than a girl randomly crashing through a roof on a motorcycle? He hadn't gotten a good look at her, but from the glance he did get, it was obvious she was pretty and well-endowed. Not to mention clearly skilled, which was a nice change of pace. Most of the girls he knew who had features as pleasing as hers weren't really skilled at much except dancing around poles.
He had hoped at the time that he'd run into her again, maybe actually get to talk to her this time, but the thought had sort of slipped his mind as he continued on his journey, dealing with more serious matters. But then, lo and behold, she had come falling from the heavens, directly into his outstretched hand. His hopes had been answered better than he could have asked for...well, with the exception of her trying to kill him.
He scoffed to himself, shaking his head slowly as he thought about it. Crazy bitch. What the hell had she been thinking? She should have been thrilled she'd run - well, fallen - into him. Did she really think she could make it on her own? Skilled as she may have been, it was obvious she was still only human. Even the most skilled human being was no match for some of the stuff that came out of the portals of the underworld.
At the very least, no matter how independent her spirit, she should have at least appreciated the fact that he had been trying to help her, instead of treating him like an enemy. Actually, come to think of it, that first time they had met in that chamber, she had fired a missile at him. Maybe that should have been a warning sign right then. But that had been different. She hadn't gotten a good look at him, didn't know anything about him except that he had taunted her. This time was a whole different scenario. This time he had saved her life.
Well, whatever. Let her go and get herself killed. In all honesty, though, that wasn't really what he wanted. Somehow, the fact that she had behaved so stubbornly only made the nameless girl more intriguing than before. Half of him didn't want to see her again, wanted her to stay the hell out of his way, but the other half of him hoped he'd run into her again. He had a feeling she wasn't finished with him. Well, good, 'cause he wasn't finished with her. If they did meet again, maybe he could enlighten her a little. Give her a real taste of what she was going up against.
"Just try and kill me again, babe." He murmured to himself. He brought his fingers up and rubbed them across his forehead. Just as he suspected - not a single scratch to be found. He smirked. "Just a flesh wound. You'll see. You're gonna have to learn that your bullets don't work against my kind."
This thought in mind, he pulled out Ebony and Ivory in preparation as he pushed through the next door. Bullets might not work against demons of his level, but there were plenty of lesser hellspawn that were susceptible to them. Maybe a good round of ass-kicking was exactly what he needed.