Dedicated to Pillowmagic,
just because you inspired me.

Brief summary: Dante gets stuck raising a kid he denies having any relation to, despite everyone else very boldly pointing out that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. When Nero barges into Devil May Cry and accuses Dante's teenage son of stealing Yamato, it reinforces Dante's suspicion that he was right all along. But then, maybe things aren't exactly as they seem…

This story is pretty damn layered, it's not just another 'Dante's a dad' fic because the plot twist hasn't been done before. For the record, I own Ali (she's my OC) And no, I don't own Enji. He's totally and completely Capcom copyright... I just changed his name to fit in with the story. I've left hints about where this fic is going all over the place, and most of what goes on before the real action starts is going to be a bit ironic. You'll see what I mean.

Read, review, and I won't disappoint – devil's honour! ;)

*Edited: I can't believe this fic has gotten so many readers when the grammar in the summary sucked piles. Changed. Yay! :) *

~……….~

The weather was miserable and damp outside the warmth of the brightly lit diner. Icy blue eyes shifted from the grey downpour on the concrete outside, to the nearly finished vanilla sundae coated with sliced up strawberries in front of him. He dug a spoon into the creamy mound and rested his elbow on the table, studying the heap of ice cream for a moment.

"Happy birthday, Vergil." Dante muttered, and shoved the spoon into his mouth. He slouched back in the leather booth with a long sigh of contentment. Strawberry sundae bliss.

"Another one, Dante?" A curvaceous girl in a striped pink uniform rollerbladed over to him, chomping on gum and flashing him a warm smile.

"Nah…okay, you persuaded me. One more, and don't be shy with the strawberries, Cindy." Dante said.

"Coming right up." Cindy giggled and rolled away.

Dante watched her go with a grin before turning to look out the window beside him once more. Funny. It always seemed to be crap weather on this day. Although it was by all means a gloomy day – commemorating the remembrance of his misguided and deceased brother – Dante felt rather chipper.

His needs were fulfilled in every possible way. Trish provided the emotional nurturing he needed; the occasional warm-blooded women took care of his sexual desires; and hunting completed his daily dose of spiritual healing and physical exercise. He was in a good place. His life was balanced. And today was a damn good excuse to take the day off – something Dante didn't do all that often.

He devoured his second sundae that morning, and hailed a cab back to the Devil May Cry shop. He kicked the door shut behind him and sauntered over to the cheap red leather couch before dropping into it. In between jobs he liked to take a breather. Bring himself down from the high of another job well done, clear his head, give his body the chance to recuperate whatever damage it had encountered. And just chill out before business beckoned once more.

He needed today, after the hellish week he'd had. He was always chasing after one or the other evil, always on the move, always working. He loved his work – it encompassed his being. It was his purpose, and it was his life – it was his everything. Not to bloat his own turkey, but he was the best in his line of work. Many who were in the business knew this, which is why there was always another job cued up and waiting for him when he would return from a mission.

It was also why all the high ranking demons tried to kill him at every given opportunity. He'd been dodging a lot of them this past week, more than the norm he was accustomed to.
Hence the fact that today, shop was closed and Dante could relish in the lethargy that solitude brought. He did a lot more work than people gave him credit for. It wasn't his fault that customers happened to catch him every time he was down and out on the couch. So it came as no surprise that he was just dozing off when a loud, perfunctory knock came on his door.

"Shop's closed." Dante called out. He popped open one lazy eye when there was another knock. "Can't you read the sign, shithead?" He said louder.

There was a quiet shuffling outside the door, and then nothing but the steady whir of the ceiling fans spinning. He closed his eye with a tired sigh, shifted on the couch to get more comfy, and waited. He could still sense somebody outside. Why they didn't just turn and leave, or come barging in, didn't worry him that much – in his line of duty job requests were never done over a cup of coffee.

Dante was on his feet and striding toward the door the same instant the knocking started up again, this time more insistent and irritating. He flung the door open, ready to either blow someone's head off or wrench them inside for interrogation, and was faced with an empty street. He stepped outside, red trench coat gently swaying in the cool breeze, and warily scanned up and down the road with cool eyes. There was nowhere to hide, and no human could have run fast enough for him to miss. He turned and walked backwards, squinting up at the roof of his building. There was nothing anywhere near his shop.

Weird.

He gave the street another slow, assessing glance to catch any flurry of movement. There was none. "Well that's annoying," Dante muttered, putting his head down to march inside when his eye happened to catch on a small package laid out on the bottom step. It was a rolled up patchwork blanket of dirty wool and green fleece, about the length of his forearm, and something inside of it was stirring.

Dante sent another weary glance around. Damn, he really wanted to chill out today. He gave the package a critical stare. He somehow knew he really didn't want to see what was inside.
"Sweet, a present for me?" He called out to the entity that was hiding from him. "I'm touched you remembered it's my birthday. Now how about you come show your face so I can give you a proper thanks?"

He looked around, waiting, and let out a dissatisfied grunt. "Fine, you want to play that game…"
He crouched down and snatched the corner of the blanket up. It unleashed the awful stench of excrement, and Dante flung it aside with a shudder of disgust. Something coated in a mixture of blood and black-green tarry gunk rolled out onto the wet concrete sidewalk.

Dante had Ivory out of her holster and aimed at the thing before it even came to a complete stop. He didn't recognize what it was straight away. Not until a very heartfelt cry emanated from the open mouth, the little nude body trembling with every scream. He stared at it for another moment before putting away his weapon.

"This isn't any orphanage, lady!" He yelled as a fresh wave of annoyance crashed over him. He waited another drawn out moment, hoping the infant's screams would work its charm on the maternal instincts of the woman he knew had to be watching him from somewhere.

The cries heightened in pitch and volume, turning into sharp forks of unbearable sound poking into his eardrums. Dante stooped and carefully picked up the slippery little thing, holding it at arm's length as he marched back into the shop, grumbling unhappily. He found a semi-clean hand towel and wrapped it around the baby. It went beyond his logic how such a tiny being could produce such ear splitting volume. The baby couldn't be more than a few hours old – the cord was still attached.

Dante held the bundle against his chest while he punched a number into the antique phone, cradling the receiver between his shoulder and ear. He got the number wrong the first time – he was very rarely the one doing the calling – and only got it right the second time round.

The ringing cut off quickly. "Morrison," a voice came back in his ear.

"I need a ride." Dante said, grimacing down at the baby in the crook of his arm. Its screams were nearly overlapping one another in agonized distress. Dante added, "Right now."