His eyes felt like they were coated with grit. Every time he blinked, it seemed the world shut itself off for a second longer. Every time he looked up, one or the other drunk idiot would slap him on the shoulder in merry good humour and crack some lame joke about 'fuelling up' before facing the family dilemma on his return home. Everyone seemed eager to include him in their world.

Dante pressed his lips together and stared into the empty beer bottle in his hand. The fact was he and Trish had had a fall out of sorts – something ridiculously minor whacked completely out of proportion. He thought it might have been about a sandwich... but the liquor must be getting to his head. He couldn't remember much about the fight except that Trish had threatened to physically assault him – something that actually didn't happen unless she was pushed to her limit – and he'd pushed her well beyond that. The result was that Dante had no one to go home to.

The cheerful, saint-like sound of a choir singing hymns and jolly Christmas songs outside drifted into the stifling bar. Dante put his empty bottle down with a clang, and signalled the bartender.

"Gimme a whiskey, Freds. Straight up."

"Don't go overboard, Dante." The bartender warned, turning away to fix the drink.

-the hell? If anyone deserved to go overboard, it was him. Dante said nothing. If he started tossing banter across the counter at Freddie, he'd get kicked out, and tonight Dante didn't trust what he'd do if the brawny security officers touched him. Maybe take out their kneecaps with a few bullets. He was wasted enough to do something that reckless. To be honest, he was more worried what he'd do to the angelic choir disturbing his peace of mind. Shout profanities at them. Challenge their so-called God. Insult their kind. Hell, he might even slug a few snowballs at the annoying bunch.

A crystal glass was placed in front of him, dark gold liquid licking up the sides and beckoning him with the promise of deliverance from the pestering cheer around him. Dante took a swig of the whiskey, and savoured the sharp fire the smooth fluid left behind in his throat. Ah. Good ol' Jack. The best damn friend he'd ever known. Dante pushed the empty glass aside and leaned his arms on the counter, welcoming the familiar numbness suddenly pumping through his veins. He rested his forehead against his arm, and closed his eyes.

Somebody was speaking to him in quiet, monotonous tones. It wasn't a friendly voice either – it carried images of frost and iced rock and death. It took him a long moment to fight off the lethargy of alcohol abuse and lift his head. He did a double take at his surroundings – wondering briefly how he'd gotten back to his Devil May Cry store – and then he found the person who had been speaking to him.

He'd done something wrong. Something really, really shitty. Dante knew that much by the rigid posture of the figure rooted on the other side of his desk. In that moment, Dante was beyond relief that he'd given Yamato to Nero. If he had to fight now, he'd get his ass handed to him in the poor condition he was in. Then again, as he studied Vergil's solemn expression, he was probably going to get hurt anyway.

Because Vergil looked seriously pissed off. Dante started out of his chair, dazedly staring around his office.

"There is no one here but us." Vergil said, and Dante looked at him quickly when the air around them crackled with power. "Now."

Their eyes locked. What did he do wrong? Answers clamoured over one another in response to his thought. Funny how that would be the first thing his mind would throw out at him, instead of asking how the hell his dead brother was standing across from him at all. Living. Breathing. Seething.

Vergil's lips curled into a malicious smirk. "I may not have the real thing," he drawled, moving to reveal something from within the folds of his deep blue coat. Dante stiffened, observing his brother warily. "But this will have to do for now."

The sword was as lengthy as the katana had been, had the same slim look, was Yamato's mirror image except – it was red. And white. Stripes. A bow was tied around the pommel, the lose ribbon rippling like molten gold in the charged air around them. A candy cane sword. Dante smacked his lips together and stepped forward challengingly.

There was a moment of pause when both opponents measured one another up. Then, with finesse, Dante reached into his red coat. With an engaging war cry of "Enguarde!" he whipped out something white about the size of a soccer ball. The fluffy thing squirmed and kicked helplessly in his grasp, and both guys gave the bunny a disconcerting stare. There was an awkward silence. It seemed he'd been sucked into Wonderland... or Vergil had brought this madness with him from the depths of hell.

Dante threw the bunny aside and reached into the other side of his coat to draw out his sword – a replica of the one Vergil held in his hand. He barely felt the weight of it in his palm before Vergil streaked forward in a blur of blue. The crunch of candy canes filled the office with horrific clarity.

"I never would have thought I'd see your ugly face again," Dante choked through gritted teeth, deflecting Vergil's blows. He struck out so fast, Dante didn't understand how he could counter every single blow with equal speed. Not that Vergil had ever been quicker than him, but he ought to have gotten at least one hit in by now. Dante was a bit 'happy' after chilling with ol' Jack, after all. He was thinking of throwing a witty taunt at his brother about it, but his mind refused to work with him. Instead, he said, "And even if I did know we'd meet again, I never suspected that you'd defile your honour by showing up here."

"Clearly you didn't receive my invitation." Vergil snarled back. "I was going to be nice, but since you decided to play the annoying little brother..."

"Nice? You? What invitation?" Dante asked, breathing hard and staggering back a step when Vergil knocked his sword out of his grasp.

"To indulge in bottomless strawberry sundaes - what else, you fool?" Vergil snapped, lifting his candy cane sword to lob off Dante's arm.

"What? Why didn't you call me and tell me about it, asshole!" Dante exploded.

"Temper tantrum? Really I thought you would have outgrown those by now," Vergil lowered his sword at the unexpected retort, and scowled.

"Hey! Look, I've got every reason to be more pissed than you. You don't even like strawberry!" Dante said, and ripped out a pair of ginger bread guns from behind him. He fired several shots at Vergil, but the crumby bullets only seemed to bounce right off his twin. "You don't even like it!"

Vergil was in front of Dante with Rebellion before his eyes could even register that his brother had moved. He shoved the blade into Dante's gut as easily as a hot knife through butter, and gripped his shoulder tightly.

"Control yourself."

"Okay fine, I'll control myself." Dante ground out, and winced when Vergil withdrew the bloody blade from his abdomen. "Why do you always do that?"

Vergil responded with a blank look while he gave Rebellion a forceful swing through the air, flicking Dante's blood off the blade.

"Stabbing me is really starting to get old." Dante said to his vacant expression.

"But... you're my brother." Vergil said, frowning. "I'm just showing how much I love you."

Dante thought the words hit him harder than any of the blows ever did. He gaped back at him in disbelief. "That is how you say 'I love you bro'?"

Vergil shrugged, and advanced a step toward him.

"Stay where you are!" Dante snapped coldly.

Vergil obeyed, and responded with an equally cold voice ridden with anger. "Wimp!"

"Oh yeah?" Dante growled, and stormed toward his storage room. There was the sound of things falling and crashing behind a closed door, and when Dante reappeared, it was with Pandora in his hands. He placed the suitcase on the ground, opened the lid to let lose a blinding flash – which unveiled a gigantic demonic muffin. "The next time you decide to show love, I'm using this." Dante threatened, malevolently glaring around the muffin at Vergil.

Vergil had started to back away, somewhat unnerved.

"You better be scared," Dante sneered triumphantly, rising to his feet.

Vergil backed up against the wall, and stopped at Dante's words. "Tch," he sneered back, and without glancing away from Dante, he grabbed Sparda's sword from the wall behind him. "Come on!"

Dante didn't need to be told twice. He picked up the demonic muffin the same moment Vergil charged him with Sparda, and he launched the muffin at his adversary. The demonic thing was mid-air when a disturbing POP resonated through the room, and Kyrie literally popped out of the muffin. Vergil came to a staggering halt, his rush dead, and then Kyrie flung herself at him.
She knocked him flat to the floor. There was a second of complete bewilderment, then Vergil's infuriated voice danced off the walls.

"HELP!"

"Oooh, Vergil, can I have you?" Kyrie giggled, and proceeded to bite his ear.

Dante stepped closer cautiously, watching with round eyes. "Dude, that chic is soo weird. She's eating you man. Do something!"

Kyrie became airborne when Vergil kicked her off angrily. He scrambled to his feet, his eyes as round as Dante's.

"She probably thinks you're a blueberry pie." Dante added, concentrating on locking Pandora's laser on his moving target before firing at Kyrie. A cloud of sparkling golden dust exploded around Kyrie, and she dropped to the ground with a dull thud.

Nero was going to be pissed.

But Dante had bigger things to worry about, it seemed. Vergil had taken shelter behind Dante, mimicking his movements like some irritating shadow. "What are you doing?" Dante asked, spinning around to glare at him.

"Save me!" Vergil retorted angrily.

"Dude, relax. She is dead." Dante said, giving a dismissive wave in Kyrie's direction.

"But they always come back." Vergil said, and yanked off Dante's coat. He slipped out of his own blue coat before pulling on the red leather, fixing the collar, fidgeting with the sleeves.

"Dude, what the fuck?" Dante said, staring at his brother in complete embarrassment.

Vergil quirked an eyebrow at him in response, and simply turned toward the metal staircase leading upstairs. "Might want to watch your back there."

Dante glowered at his retreating brother before turning – just in time to avoid a zombified Kyrie's outstretched hands. Her fingers were curled into claws, and her freaky eyes looked like they were shifting inside of her head. Vergil's malicious laugh from the indoor balcony made Dante look up. He cast an evil smile in turn, an idea coming to mind, and snapped his fingers.

Something tightened around his wrist, and a slimy thing slid in between his fingers like an elongated slug. Dante turned to stare at Kyrie – his entire hand was in her mouth, right up to his wrist. Her lips were closed around his skin, her cheeks caving in and puffing out as she tried to suck his entire arm in. He'd never seen – or felt - anything more disgusting.

"Gerroff me you evil cow!" Dante screamed, grabbing his arm by the elbow and attempting to tug his hand free.

A manic laugh floated down from Vergil, who was watching with twisted amusement from his safe podium above the room. Dante heard his brother's laugh cut off abruptly with a curious 'Oooh, I do look good in leather'.

Dante glanced up to see Vergil oogling himself in a mirror, twisting this way and that. "Dude! Help me!"

"Fine," Vergil huffed, and crossly stomped downstairs. He paused beside Dante, who by now had one foot against Kyrie's chest as he strained back to pull his hand free of her enormous mouth. Folding his arms with deliberate casualness, Vergil drawled on, "What should I do?"

"Find the rainbow cross, quick." Dante said, and they blinked at one another in startled confusion. "Just do it. Trust me."

"Fine," Vergil mumbled again, strolling toward a cabinet filled with various arsenal behind the desk. He returned a moment later with the rainbow cross. "Now what? How does it work?" Vergil asked, fidgeting with the contraption.

"Say the magic words!" Dante managed in a stifled voice.

"What are the magic words?" Vergil asked, arching his eyebrows. "Pizza? Olives?" A sly look swathed his features. "Dante is a cry baby?"

Dante opened his mouth to fire something twice as insulting back, but the phone ringing shrilly through the office stopped him. Kyrie dropped off him like a bloated tick and stood back, hands folded in front of her. She would have been the picture of innocence if it wasn't for the telltale stringy thick slime still attached to Dante's hand and dribbling down her chin.

With a shudder, Dante shook the excessive green ooze off his hand as he strolled toward the desk. He flung himself into his chair and snatched up the phone. "Devil May Cry."

Silence on the other line answered him. Dante glanced across the room at Vergil, patiently waiting for him to return to the current situation, and creepy Kyrie watching him with starved eyes. "Uh, hey. How you doin'?" Dante said into the phone, stalling, wrecking his mind for an escape route. "Fighting with gel in brains as usual," Dante added, glaring at Vergil. "Seeing how much of that stuff he uses on his hair, he is made of it."

Vergil let out a despondent sigh, not easily fooled by the act."We talked about this before, Dante. Jealousy makes you nasty." He walked over to an oven situated beside a plastic palm tree – Dante vaguely wondered when exactly he'd invested in an oven – and opened the door. Using his bare fingers, Vergil retrieved a jumbo sized pizza from within the dark confines of the hot black and white square – and launched it straight at Dante's face.

Dante leapt up, scrambled to grab hold of his candy cane sword lying a few feet away from him, and sliced up the twirling pepperoni and pineapple adorned pizza coming his way. Globs of pizza flew through the room; splashing over the couches, smacking into the walls and sliding down slowly, dripping from the ceiling fans – one glob hit Kyrie right in the face.

"I would kill you," Vergil said, not impressed at the mess. "But I need my sword. A certain Sparda wanna-be clone is running amok with it, I believe." He scooped a handful of glob off the floor and hurled it at Dante.

Dante dodged out of the way, and the pizza added a few more toppings to Kyrie's face when it slammed her right off her feet. Vergil let out an angry growl for missing and took a step forward to get Dante in a strangle hold, and slipped on a piece of greasy cheese and ham. He knocked his head into the floor with a reverberating SNAP, and lay immobile.

Dante edged closer uncertainly, until he was close enough to see that Vergil's eyes were closed. He sent a look heavenward. "Thank you, pizza-god," he said in quiet elation, and focussed on the problem at hand. He needed backup.

Fighting Vergil while he was still battling down the after-effects of drunkenness was a sure ticket to Pain Ville. He wandered back over to his desk, on his way aiming a kick at Kyrie's head when she started to sit up. She fell back onto the floor with a thud, and then started to slither toward Vergil's unconscious form.

Dante was wondering how he was going to call in Trish or Lady when there was a shuffling noise behind him, a loud, unhappy grunt, and a sharp intake of breath. He turned around to see Vergil had regained consciousness. His brother was jolted to his feet, staring at Kyrie with a sick look on his face.

"What do you think you're doing!" Vergil shot at her, and glared at Dante. "And I'm not done with you!"

Without really seeing how Vergil got hold of it, Dante was faced with his brother charging him with a tall coat hanger. There was bloodlust in his eyes. Again, Dante was thankful Yamato was nowhere close by, as he pulled a trickster manoeuvre out of Vergil's attack range.

"There's something nasty in the air," Dante said, when Vergil changed direction and came after him again. "Stay where you are. Don't move!"

"Nasty?" Vergil repeated, slowing his pace down. "What can possibly be more nasty," Vergil said, wiping off the slimy drool from his neck with an aggravated motion, "than waking up with some woman salivating over you?"

That seemed to trigger Kyrie back into action. She tackled Vergil from the side, and they both went down hard. Vergil was quicker to recover this time, and kicked her off him. He steered her across the room toward a closet with the sheer force of his heel repeatedly slamming into her spine and shooting her forward. His last kick sent her sprawling into the deep closet, and Vergil shut the door firmly, mumbling something inaudible under a breath of relief.

"What did you say?" Dante asked.

"I said, we need a sign here to read annoying females chamber so that you don't open the damn door and unleash that beast." Vergil said.

"Okay." Dante said, and they stared at one another for a long moment. "Should we do a summoning?" Dante finally broke the awkward silence.

"Yes." Vergil said, relieved. "I'll get the bag of sugar."

"And I will get the gym socks." Dante said as he moved past Vergil to the back of the office.

"And don't forget the torch," Vergil called after him as he headed in the opposite direction.

A moment later, they rejoined in the middle of the room. Vergil straightened out Dante's coat, now slightly marred by lingering female drool. Dante fixed a classy black cowboy hat on his head, and smirked. "Let's get this party started."

The ritual didn't take long. It was over the second they lit the bulging sugar filled gym sock with the torch. The room throbbed with a bright pink haze, and then the sound of little bells filled the room. Both sons of Sparda turned to look when a voice greeted them with unrestrained madness.

"Hey, devil boy! Long time no see!" A vision in purple appeared beside Dante, and then leered over Vergil's shoulder. "Helloooo, Vergil."

"What did I say about that mouth of yours, clown?" Dante said dangerously, pulling a gun at Jester.

"Damn. You again." Vergil muttered, and sank down onto the edge of the couch.

"So you're going to shoot me, and then eat your pretty little girlfriend?" Jester said, moving to hover over Dante.

"What the hell are you talking about?" Dante glared at him, standing tall. Jester motioned in a random direction, and Dante noticed Trish backed up against the door.

"She doesn't like it, y'know, being turned into a sandwich." Jester crooned. "But you're going to anyway, aren't you? That's not very nice now is it, devil boy?"

"We don't play nice, do we, Dante?" Vergil said pointedly.

"I told you before..." Dante said slowly.

"Yeeeeesssss," Jester said. Dante grabbed the clown and pressed the barrel of his gun hard into his chalky white cheek.

"I don't like anyone with a bigger mouth than mine." Dante said.

"Ooooohhhh." Jester said, eyes widening for a second before ripping free of Dante's hold.

Dante started shooting at him, but Jester danced around the bullets, dodging them almost mockingly. He glanced toward his brother, hoping he'd lend a hand, but Vergil's response left him disappointed.

"I'll sit this one out, seeing as Jester owned me last time we met."

"OWNED!!" Jester echoed and tittered maniacally.

"Don't remind me," Vergil muttered, hanging his head low and glaring down at the ground at his feet.

Dante vanished with a trick up and jumped over Jester. Rebellion raised high into the air, ready to chop him in two. Jester bolted for the door.

"Jestah owned yo ass! OWNED YO ASS!" He hollered over his shoulder. He did a quick turn when he realized Trish was blocking the door, and made a U-turn back toward Vergil. Dante dropped back to the ground.

"Clowns. I hate clowns."He grumbled and rushed at Jester again.

Jester smacked himself on the butt and disappeared. Dante stopped short, blinking slowly, and turned in a full circle. His eyes had gone red in his rage – he really hated clowns.

"Let's see how you do against two of me!"

"Huh? What?" Trish asked, stumped, glancing at Vergil in confusion. Vergil could only offer a shrug in response to her question.

Meanwhile, Dante was still going on his little rant. "You forgot the doppelganger, didn't you? DIE!"

"No I didn't," Trish said. Slashes lit up the air, and she sent a current of burning sparks and paralysing electricity through Dante and his doppelganger.

Dante dropped to the ground, startled, and turned wide, shocked eyes on Trish. "What did you do that for, Trish? Let me kill him!"

"The Jester?" Trish frowned. "He disappeared, Dante. You were going after me again."

"Again?" Dante repeated blankly, and took a moment to survey the office. "Well, now that you've mentioned it..."

The door to Devil May Cry burst open, and a fair young woman came barging inside. "Dante!" Her infuriated cry bounced off the walls.

"Dammit," Dante said, getting back on his feet.

"Why are all the hellgates that I so carefully sealed open? What the hell did you do?" The girl raved at him.

Dante gave the girl an assessing glare. "And who are you?"

The girl looked insulted at his cold greeting. "I'm your little sister, you great big dumbass!"

Dante unclipped Rebellion slowly from his back. "This party just keeps getting better and better. I don't have a sister. Now I'm going to ask you once more, who are you?"

"Yes, you do! My name is Megara Athena Sparda. I am the daughter of the legendary Dark Knight Sparda." The girl replied, holding her head high.

Dante slowly approached the girl and circled her, giving her a once over, smirking in disbelief. "You're my father's child?"

"You don't believe me, brother?" Meg responded, holding his gaze evenly.

Dante cocked his head to the side, and the smile disappeared from his face. "No."

Exasperated, Meg whirled around to appeal to the other young man. "Vergil, do you believe me?"

Dante followed her gaze, and looked at his brother expectantly. Vergil, in turn, barely looked up from his sulking, brooding posture. Jester must have really yanked a chain in him – but then he'd yanked a chain in Dante too, one which wasn't meant to be tampered with.

"I was not aware that I have any... living... siblings," Vergil said, and finally cast a cold look back at Dante. "Apart from the big oaf with my face."

"What do I have to do to prove to you that I am your little sister?" Meg demanded in frustration, and caught her breath when Rebellion unexpectedly flashed through the air and came to rest at Vergil's throat.

"Not in the mood. You know how I get whenever I see clowns." Dante said in a low voice, glaring back down into his twin's eyes with a fury and ice that rivalled even Vergil's.

"I am on your side," Vergil said warily, glowering back at him fearlessly. "For now."

"Dante," Meg said in an attempt to distract the brothers from each other. "What do I have to do to prove to you that I am your little sister?"

Dante lowered the sword and his hands rested on the pommel as it pointed toward the ground at his feet. He sent a sideways look at Meg. "You claim to be my father's child?"

"Yes...and want me to prove it?" Meg said.

"No need," Dante said. He turned his back on her and walked away. "I don't have a father."

"What about our mother then, Dante?" Meg pressed.

Dante halted in his tracks. "She is dead."

"I know. How can I prove to you that I am your sister? What do I have to do – whip out a family photo?" Meg said relentlessly.

Vergil looked at Dante, and slowly shook his head when he lifted an eyebrow in silent query. Dante regarded Rebellion for a moment, then sheathed it across his back in a flash, and folded his hands before turning to face Meg squarely.

"You really want to be part of this?" Dante asked, motioning to Vergil and himself.

"Yes, because I am your sister."

"Then you should realise we stay away from each other," Dante said ruthlessly. "We're not the chummy kind of family."

"Yes I know, you and Vergil never got along when we were kids...so I wouldn't expect you two to get along now. But you two always comforted me when I had scary dreams at night..." Meg trailed off at the sight of their evasive expressions.

"That I don't remember. Do you, Vergil?" Dante asked.

"When I was little." Meg added almost pleadingly.

"Can't say I recall. But then, I can't remember being dead either." Vergil said chidingly, as though Dante was supposed to know these things.

Dante sighed. "You should have stayed dead," He said, and levelled his gaze with Vergil's blazing one. "But I reckon hell has its fair share of nuts already."

"You guys really don't remember me, do you?" Meg said feebly, and tears welled up and streaked down her cheeks.

"Can't say I do, and stop crying," Dante scolded. "The sons of Sparda don't cry, which says a lot about you."

Vergil let out a sigh, and rose to his feet, shifting into a fighting stance.

"Well, I am a girl, and I am hurt that my big brothers don't remember me!" Meg shot back, and sobbed.

"Your wit amuses me to no end, Dante," Vergil said, giving a tearful Meg a measuring look before facing his brother dead on.

"And I thought hell was full of musical amateurs, not lousy retorts." Dante replied evenly, and frowned at Meg. "Listen, let's get one thing straight, kid. I neither care, nor am I curious as to whether I have another relation. One sibling is bad enough," Dante said, and countered the right hook Vergil threw at him with his own punch. He gave Vergil a hard shove away from him before marching up to Meg. "You want to find love? Here. Throw a Fortuna card – they'll worship the ground you walk on. Literally."

He snapped around when there was a loud bang behind him. He didn't know whether he spun right into Vergil's fist, or whether something hit him in the head. He was leaning toward the latter in the momentary confusion before his mind reared back to life. It was like being sucked through a black vacuum and thrown into a blurry pit swamped with stuffy headaches and dangerously sensitive stomachs. Dante opened eyes swollen with heavy bags, and tried to make the swimming world in front of him come into focus.

"Whoa-"

"Hey, easy there, buddy." A voice snapped through his head like a gunshot.

Dante moved so fast to look for the source, his momentum sent him crashing to the floor with a loud 'oomph'. Pain blazed up his elbow, sending his vision into a momentary wild dance as the world wobbled around him.

"Wher'm I?" Dante slurred, reaching up to the barstool he'd fallen from and hauling himself to his feet unsteadily. He blinked and widened his eyes at the bartender, who seemed to be shaking so violently Dante could barely make out his features. His right leg spontaneously gave in beneath him, and Dante slumped his body halfway across the counter to keep from going down again. He pointed a clumsy finger at the guy. "Lggchn you... neh..." Dante paused, squinting hard at the person in front of him. Then, with an exasperated sigh, he dropped his hand dismissively and turned his head to survey the room behind him. He couldn't take any of it in, and turned back to the bartender with a cocky, and somewhat drunk, expression.

"Hmnf."

"I called your next of kin to come pick you up. Just sit down and take it easy, buddy." The bartender said.

Dante flinched away from him and straightened up, swaying on the spot. "No reasuhn to shout at me dude," Dante drawled, and gave an awkward heave with his shoulders. The motion caused him to teeter unsteadily to the left, but he managed to catch himself and stay on his feet. "'sides, I duhn't need any nexofin or whutever for a pickup. I duhn't do drugs, pal."

"Good, you're just in time," The bartender said.

Dante arched his eyebrows at the blurry man, and scowled at him a second later. He swung around to see who he was talking to and nearly tripped himself in doing so. Startling silver hair and blue coat met his rickety sight, and Dante acted on instinct. He let rip a powerful left hook, putting all his weight behind the blow, mumbling in incoherent anger and confusion, "gots some nurve t'follow me here you fuggin' twisted bustard..."

The figure ducked out of the way of the clumsily aimed punch, and caught Dante around the chest when his body – and face - rushed to meet the floor.

"I gotcha, easy there, big guy," Nero said, holding the devil hunter up. "Thanks for calling me, Freddie."

The bartender called something after them, and Dante lifted his hand over his shoulder to give the guy the finger. "You too, pal!"

"C'mon, let's get you back to the office," Nero said, steering him toward the exit.

"'ey, kid!" Dante said, as if only noticing Nero that moment. "Wher'v you been, huh? I was havin' myself a famwy reunion with my bruther... he is kinda nutty...like squirrel poo...you shoulda been there."

"That's nice, Dante. Work with me here, I can't carry you all the way back home. Lift your feet," Nero chided lightly.

"Watcha doin' round here? Thought you'd have your hands full widdat lady of yours...eh heh heh... hands full, geddit?"

"Yeah," Nero sighed patiently, shouldering the door open and half-dragging Dante out into the chilly newborn hours of morning. "She's waiting for us at the office."

"Hmnf... I duhn't trust drooly womahn in my store..."

"You can trust Kyrie, she knows her place."

"Who?" Dante gave him a blank look, and noticed the red and green wreaths on store doors they stumbled past. "Heyyy, kid. Mewwy ho ho ho."

"Yeah. Merry Christmas to you, too, Dante."

They left footprints in their wake as they disappeared down the snow laden street, staggering toward the horizon where faint shades of green and pink heralded the arrival of Christmas morning.

~...~

Dedicated to the wittiest smart-ass Dante - my twin brother in evil mind and thought – you are the coolest dude ever.
And dedicated to the fiery Trish – the devilish angel that reels us in and keeps us from killing each other. Thank Mundus for creating a demoness like you!

Disclaimer: Megara is copyright of starlitebaby. All credit for the abounding wit and banter exchanged goes to Zany and Starlitebaby. You guys ROCK! :D


***!MERRY CHRISTMAS!***