June 29) Devil May Cry, Sparda/Eva: domesticity - "I think it's safer for you to move the holy water."

Disclaimer: I don't own it. Capcom does.

This is a challenge fic for the livejournal group springkink, not a return to writing DMC fic on the whole, sorry.

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Quick note – I was working out Eva's likely weight, 140ish, and then realized that to a lot of people that means obese instead of fit so I'd best explain.

Muscle weighs more than fat. At what I picked for Eva's height, someone at 110 with her figure would be obese, because a huge percentage of their body would have to be fat for it to weigh that little. If you're dieting and your weight is going down while your clothing size isn't, then you're actually getting fatter as your body tries to survive the famine by replacing those gas-guzzling muscle cells with fat storehouses.

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Adjusting to the differences between them actually wasn't all that hard, or perhaps it was that they had already adjusted long before moving in together.

Sparda had spent two thousand years on earth: he knew humans and their limits very well by now. One of the things Eva liked about him was that he didn't think she was weaker than him because she was a she, but because she was human and didn't possess inherent magic, an exoskeleton, and various other differences that actually existed. Being considered weak by someone whose balls she could shoot off before they finished calling her a devil's whore was more insulting than their pitiful excuse for an insult. Sparda considering her weak in that she couldn't survive a blow that he would laugh off was a good thing.

She wasn't his equal. He was stronger, faster, smarter, older, wiser, hotter, and so on. If he had tried to treat her as an equal and, for example, not covered her when she needed it she'd be dead.

He knew her strengths and weaknesses, and pretty accurately, although she prided herself on surprising him.

If he'd thought she was stronger than she actually was she wouldn't have liked it. It would have meant that the person he saw when he looked at her wasn't her any more than the woman secretly wanting a strong man to dominate her the male chauvinist pigs saw herself.

He had a very good idea of her limits and helped her push them.

She, on the other hand, didn't quite have a feel for his.

Very, very powerful, yes, but his limits were something he was used to concealing. He was weaker, much weaker, than when he cast the seal. Holding two universes apart and keeping sundry weak spots sealed and so on and so forth was incredible. A miracle.

So on the one hand she needed to treat him like he was still that godlike to keep up the image that discouraged sorcerers from attacking, and if enough attacked eventually he'd be taken down, the weak point found, and keep him alive.

The fact that even in his weakened state she would be little more than a roadbump to anything tough enough to take him out was not something she was happy about. She wasn't strong, so she'd have to fight smart, with emphasis on the dirty tricks.

This was why she was holding a watering can with the sort of rapt attention and fanatically steady grip normally used for high explosives.

The water of the gods, more commonly known as holy water, was an airborne chemical weapon that could be purchased from your local small shrine honoring the God of Time. Prices may vary, see statue for details. The substance, once unleashed, would harm everything in range as much as possible before it ran out except the person who used it and those they considered allies.

The problem there was that deliberate use did not include accidental spills. Without the intent to guide it to a target, the intent to kill, it would just attack whatever was in range. This meant it could be used in automatic defenses and booby traps, for one thing, although it rarely was. The price went up the more you purchased (special deals for new customers) and by the time a devil got established enough to have someplace they wanted that sort of defense on the price was generally so astronomical that it was cheaper to just put a lot of minions there.

In other words, if she spilled more than a few drops from this can, which contained the liquid from six bottles, she was dead. She had a gold orb on her, but those didn't come cheap either. Not to mention that holy water was a very, very unpleasant way to go. Forget mustard gas.

She'd picked something hard to spill from, yes, but if she were jostled or something… accidents happened. Paranoia was a necessary life skill if they were out to get you.

Which was the reason why she was tipping the 'water' out of the vases with the magically preserved flower arrangements and replacing it with holy water. The vases were held to the walls by metal brackets and were very, very thin at the top. That made it difficult to get the water in without spilling, yes, but it also meant that with the flowers blocking the opening like a cork the odds of the water spilling, even in a fight, were miniscule. The vases were enchanted not to break, and why would an enemy go to the trouble of undoing a seemingly useless domestic spell? Even if the walls and their protective spells were broken down the vases should survive, and if they didn't the holy water would probably hit whoever broke down the wall, which was all to the good.

If the vases survived, then they were stealth holy water hand grenades. The original bottles and their protective enchantments, their very paranoid anti-braking enchantments, were distinctive and wouldn't be missed. No one would pay attention to mere vases in a castle containing the treasure accumulated over two thousand years.

The reason that the flowers sealed the necks of the vases like a cork was that they had been designed that way. This was number 29 on the list of old defenses that Sparda had taken down because they weren't necessary anymore. He'd adjusted to his changed strength since this castle had been first built a little under eighteen hundred years ago and no longer needed to bother with such last-ditch gambles, especially ones that a clever enemy could use against him (holy water didn't care who threw it, so if an intruder figured out the vases' secret…).

They were going through and reactivating them now, a few at a time so that the buildup in defense wasn't noticeable. If people thought that Sparda worried about her, if they scented weakness, the sorcerers after the bounties on Sparda's head and hers would start searching for that weakness, the reason the god was afraid.

Sparda had a busy schedule. She, on the other hand, was supposed to be 'settling in.' The invisible servants out of the Disney version of The Sword in the Stone had done the unpacking and arranging she wanted and was theoretically doing in thirty minutes. As long as she could find things and had a furniture layout that was highly defensible (and Sparda's already was), she didn't care about it. Not enough to spend a week on it.

Instead she'd taken the list and gotten to work. She couldn't stand doing nothing and while they might know each other as much as was possible for them she still didn't know how she was going to do now they were married. For one thing, all her clients were on the other side of the Atlantic, she had several times the assassination attempts to deal with now…

Until she figured out what she was going to do all day adding her version of 'a woman's touch' to this place wasn't a bad way to spend a lot of her time. The invisible servants were set-spells, not actual servants and couldn't be trusted with WMDs like this.

The wives of lords had been responsible, in a lot of places and times, for keeping the castle prepared for a siege by storing food and so on.

She was doing woman's work and it was actually sort of fun. And nerve-wracking at the same time.

Careful, careful…

It wasn't that he'd snuck up on her. No, he'd come around the corner like the normal person he aped, pardon the pun. She hadn't even been surprised or shocked.

There was just this small movement, or many small movements, from the smile on her face to the brightening of her eyes, the shift of focus from what she was carrying to the love of her life.

She caught herself: the water sloshed around a bit but didn't spill.

"Eva, can I borrow you for a moment? I'm working on the gatehouse defenses," there had once been human hunter families that lived here to train and keep up the pretense this was a normal lord's home, "and I need you to activate them, since they're set up to only respond to humans."

"Sure thing." She almost stepped towards him but paused again, feeling the start of the step add to the sloshing feeling. "But I think you'd better carry this, or else we'll take forever to get there." With it she had to walk very slowly.

He took it with only a graceful nod, not making any comments about how between his inhuman precision and his resilience he should have been the one to move the holy water. He knew she was up to it. The fact that it was so very easy for him didn't make her attempt to protect them both worthless in his eyes.

Other newly married couples chose wallpaper and curtains. Her new home had tapestries, tile inlay, mosaics and so much else, baroque but not overdone. Sort of like his wardrobe.

This was anything but normal, but there was still a certain rightness to this. Making sure that their home was safe, secure, exactly perfect for what they wanted. Home.

It would take awhile to make it safe enough to raise a family in. She didn't know if she would ever stop worrying about her husband whose power was both far beyond hers and far below what everyone thought it was and her future children. But worrying was good. Worrying meant things like this were done. Worrying meant weaknesses were found and patched.

She couldn't protect the great Sparda on her own. She was a mere mortal.

But this castle was their home, and she would make it her sword and their shield.

A hundred-and-fourtyish pound (she made a note to weigh herself: her breasts had looked a little smaller this morning and if she was that low on body fat she needed to start pigging out before she became an A-cup again) five foot four thirtyish year-old human, female or male, hunter or not, Mundus could eat for breakfast. In a one-on-one fair fight.

Which was why she wanted to get her some backup.

A countless-ton, couple dozen story counting the tower and secret basement escape routes big damn fortress with centuries of accumulated spells and boobytraps sounded about right. She just hoped she didn't need it.

It was a foolish hope, but if they abandoned all hope they might as well move to hell and have done with it.