Blood. It always caused him pause to see how much blood one human body could possess. It would spill for so long, and humans could live through the whole thing. Frozen they could watch their own life seep away, unable to do anything to stop themselves from dying.
It was a shame contractors needed vessels. If they could incorporate their demon form on this plane then there would be no need to possess a man and wear his skin. But as powerful and devastating the Yellow-eyed Demons were they still needed a human's body to walk and talk and make their deals in.
Vergil threw the cold, dead body to the side with not so much as another glance its way. The demon didn't have the chance to flee its vessel before Vergil's strike stopped its beating heat. One move and he sent the abomination back to its lifeless home – back to its enraged master.
One move and the poor human soul, trapped by the demon's influence, died right along with its intruder. Vergil frowned. Hopefully, they did not travel to the same place.
"Well, you could have simply said no." The second demon shrugged at Vergil direction, its yellow-eyes stuck on the corpse next to him.
"No." Vergil answered. He knew the Deal-Maker wouldn't attack him. Even though he now had a warning – his dead comrade – and could escape before Vergil exorcized him that did not mean the demon was willing to work so hard to find another vessel.
"Shit, Vergil…" His younger brother overlooked his work with a pale face. "You didn't have to kill the bastard." Vergil didn't look at him. Was he talking about the demon, or the man? It was always so hard to tell what Dante meant.
The remaining demon cleared his throat as he slowly stood straight. He straightened his coat and righted his fedora with a shaking hand. "I understand you may not want to make a deal right now. But you know how to find me when you do, just call for 'Alan'." He replaced his hat. "And trust me, you will need a deal to get out of this one with that humanity of yours still in tack." Again, with slow and steady movements, the demon walked away from the half-breeds. Deliberately showing his back and looking as human as a demon could.
Dante sneered, "We're going to let a Yellow-eye go?"
"Yes." Vergil growled. He hurt everywhere. It didn't even take much effort to kill the contractor. He thrust his hand through his chest and clenched his heart in a matter of seconds. Vergil's hand twitched. The blood was caking already. If Aella saw it… What would she do? What would he say?
Why did his body hurt so much?
Aella watched as the men turned and ran. It wouldn't have taken anything but a thought to catch up to them and end them. But she merely watched them flee at a moderately human pace. After Lady had brought her back to her senses, Aella had purged the Deal-Maker's hold over them, making the contract void, and leaving them completely and utterly human.
She also found their moral fibers and reinforced them with such implementation those men would probably never have another night of peace. For the rest for their miserable lives, the screams of their victims would not bring them victory but fear and self-disgust.
Might as well have killed them.
"What the hell was that?" Lady snarled, and for a human was fairly decent at it. "You nearly ripped that fucker's head off! Not that they didn't deserve death, but damn Angel." Lady turned away from her, like she couldn't stand the sight of her.
Aella flinched at her words and actions. She did not like Lady, but she agreed with her now more than ever. Whatever happened to her, it was not because of herself. Something dark inside her, something that was not from Hell but not from her own desires was trying to influence her actions and thoughts. Though she did not want to kill the human, she was going to.
The dark thing flinched from her awareness of it. Afraid and ashamed it seemed to be hiding from her.
And that just made her pity it. Stars and Stones! How am I going to handle this?
The worst of it was that there had been rage when she had been influenced. She shouldn't have any concept of rage, but she knew of it. Learned it during her time in the pit, watching the souls that came there and suffered. Aella knew she couldn't feel it, but what had happened… Whatever it was it allowed her to feel an emotion an angel had no business feeling.
"Come on, Angel. Let's just get back to Dante's place. We should tell him what happened I'm sure he'll know what to do from here." Lady grabbed their bags they had dropped when the men showed up. She handed out half to Aella while not looking at her.
When she grabbed her half, Aella noticed Lady had goose bumps all over her arm. That was when she could smell the stench of fear off Lady as well. This human woman was afraid of her.
Isn't that the opposite of what you're trying to do?
The doors were uneven as Aella and Lady reached Dante's shop. It was small and barely unnoticeable. Though they were closed Aella noticed the thin strip of empty air between the two frames of wood. The wards fluttered in disturbance even though there was nothing upsetting them. She broadened her sight and found no activity from the nearest portals. What did that mean?
Lady pushed the doors open in her dramatic way, ignoring the minor detail of the hinges squeaking. "Dante! Get your sorry ass out here!" She hollered to the empty first floor. As Aella followed her, with more awareness involved incase someone had set a trap within his wards, she heard as series of cursing from upstairs.
"What the fuck, Lady? What's with all the screaming so early in the morning?" The half-breed stumbled over the last two steps as his eyes caught hers. She looked away and wondered why she felt so uncomfortable. She had no reason to be embarrassed.
"You'll never guess what we ran into in town," Lady pointed one of her slender fingers at his chest, not even making a dint in his leather.
"That pirate from those movies you make me watch with you?" His smirk seemed to set her at ease as she sighed and slouched in his chair, stacking her booted feet on his desk, just as Aella had seen Dante do.
Aella found that watching a half-breed blanching was something to add to her list of top ten most surprising moments of her life. So either Dante knew about the contracts in town, or he was told so by a little birdie.
"Contracts, huh?" Lady did not catch Dante's reaction; she flung an arm over her eyes as she continued to loosen each muscle individually. How strange that Dante could have such an effect on her.
"Yes, you know about contracts? Don't you, Dante? Mortals too stupid to fix their own problems running to a demon to make a deal and selling their soul? Ringing any bells, am I?"
Dante gave a nervous laughter before he shook his head and scratched the back of his neck – a tick he seemed to do unconsciously. "Are you ok? I mean, their just some juiced up dickheads, but still-"
"I'm fine." The ice in her voice left him no room to discuss her frailty any more.
Aella cleared her voice, "I wish to speak to Vergil, where is he?"
Dante flinched, as if he forgot she was standing mere feet from him. "Right, Vergil. Uh, he's taking a shower right now. Just give him a minute." He looked everywhere but at her. So something was wrong.
"Did the two of you talk while we were gone?" Lady asked as she stretched to get the last of her kinks out.
This time Dante only stared at the floor with a distant gaze. "Not really. He got real bothered by something I said, then he…" Aella quirked an eyebrow at him. "Then the moment kinda past, you know?"
Lady began to chastise her half-demon comrade but Aella stopped listening. Something was wrong here. Dante was lying to Lady, hiding something from the both of them. Though the sound of water rushing through old pipes echoed in her ears, she didn't believe she needed to wait to speak to Vergil. It was important that they discuss what had happened to her. If it was because of the bonding then there were going to have to be some new ground rules to establish.
Like no more outings with Lady.
Do not be outside of a ten foot radius of each other.
Always be aware of what you are feeling.
Yes. And that would only be a start until they could figure a way to control the darkness within Aella that made her act out in such an unangelic fashion. Since it occurred only when she was away from Vergil, the logical response would be to stay next to him. That wouldn't be so hard, considering she preferred his company to any other at this point in time.
Progress, right? She liked his company, enjoyed listening to his voice, found solace in his presence, it was all very positive. Perhaps she would tell Vergil this. Somehow Aella knew the information would please him. And that thought seemed to make her steps lighter and her weariness of the fight lifted.
As she rounded the top of the stairs, completely unnoticed by Dante and Lady, she heard the groan of the pipes being shut off.
Growling and cursing, Vergil scrubbed the last of the blood off his body. He couldn't bring himself to take his clothes off at first, Dante helped scrub each arm individually while Vergil stood just outside the iron cast tub. Once he couldn't see it, he stripped and nearly scarred his skin as he tried to get rid of the smell. Aella could never know what he had done.
There were no safe guards, no loopholes to save him from her. It was a Yellow-Eyed Demon possessing a weak minded human. But the human did not consent to the possession, not like the Contracts who willingly sought out the Deal-Makers. It didn't matter what the demon was doing, Vergil should not have killed him.
No amount of shame or pain to his pride should have let him do so.
And nothing was going to get back to Aella. She was not going to ever know what he did. This was guilt he would live with forever, without her disappointing look to make it a thousand times worse.
Such a strange and foreign and unfamiliar word to slip across his mind. Since when did he, Vergil of Sparda, ever decide to suffer guilt? He grimaced as the diluted and faded water and blood mixture swirled around the drain. Never had he degraded himself so. Never had he allowed such a weak annoyance to penetrate his being.
Vergil never was the weaker of anything. He made sure to excel in whatever he sought to conquer. But now… it was different. Aella made things different. It had not been that long since the Temptress plagued his mind and showed him his human desires. Aella had been…she was…a wife – his wife.
And it was another unfamiliar word to have slithered passed his devoid demon heart and lay waste to his unfeeling demon nature. Wife. He never thought to marry before. It never came up, never crossed his mind, not once did his dreams stray to such human fancies. And yet the Temptress had seen it. She had known.
The blood left a stain on Dante's bathtub. Vergil snarled at it. Even the slightest bit of evidence and Aella's keen senses would pick it out. She'd know it was human. She'd know and then she'd ask questions. Then…Then what could he do? Lie? Could he lie to the woman he secretly sought to be his wife?
Vergil's grimace darkened.
A rattle at the door was the only warning she gave – and he was probably lucky she afforded him that much – before she shoved the small wooded frame out. He noticed she was agitated. It was more than the expected annoyance of dealing with crowds and shopping with Lady. She was fidgeting with the sleeve of her silver coat, shifting her weight between her feet, glaring at the cheap linoleum floor, and most of all Vergil noted she was biting her bottom lip.
The action caught him off guard. Aella was a poised killing machine. She was polite to the degree it was torture. Her back was straight, her shoulders back, and her balance perfect, like she had been a well-breed aristocrat. But she presented herself to him now as a fretting, little girl; guilty of stealing from the cookie jar or caught with the deviant boy next door.
It unnerved him to see her so troubled. So he immediately went to her, forgetting completely that the underneath of his fingernails were still caked in dried human blood, or that he was completely naked, or that the tub still reeked of his terrible deed. His touch warmed her though; he took a gentle hold of her elbows and guided her with ease to face him.
"There is something we need to discuss." She said with a soft voice. Perhaps she hoped he would miss the quiver beneath the words. He chose to ignore it outwardly. Inwardly, however, he tensed with apprehension.
"Of course. What happened?" He tried to nudge her out of the bathroom but she was suddenly made of stone. Now that she had his undivided attention, the nervous little girl fleeted the scene and in her wake was the marble statue.
"A pair of Contracts ambushed Lady and me," she began and Vergil felt like cringing. He should have known. Divide and Conquer, not a particularly Yellow-Eyes' choice in tactics, but he should have see it coming nonetheless. "While we confronted them I felt the most…" she drifted off. It was as if she could not fathom the correct word.
"Did they do something to you?" he prodded.
"No!" She reassured readily enough. "It came from something else I believe. Something influenced me, Vergil."
"I felt…" She began to worry at her lower lip again. "I felt…something I shouldn't feel."
He frowned at that. Although she was the one who instigated this conversation, she seemed to be frugal in her information. He needed to know more if he was to understand what this was really about.
Before he could encourage her however, her nose scrunched up in the cutest of sorts. It was so adorable in fact that Vergil overlooked the key detail that she was sniffing at the residue of blood. But with her nose bunched like a curious kitten's he could hardly be blamed for missing such an important fact.
"Whose blood is that?" She asked, the cute kitten gone in a flash. It made Vergil cringe, but he had to keep face. If he let anything, anything at all, even the slightest of anythings, he was doomed.
"While you were out, Dante and I had some trouble of our own," he began. "A couple of demons ambushed us the moment I stepped out of the wards." He clenched his raw fists. The blood was not on his hands. It was coming from the bathtub. Vergil repeated the thought again and again. There was soap, disinfectant, alcohol, and gallons of water diluting the stench. He was safe from her knowing.
She stared at him, her gaze giving him nothing to work off of. Did she believe him? It wasn't a lie. Two demons did come for Vergil. It was the truth. Part of the truth, but that is not a lie. Not a complete lie. He wasn't lying to her.
"Did you get…" she paused again, like she was still having trouble finding the proper words. "Were you…angry?" the last word was so soft any human ear would have missed it.
"Angry? Why do you-"
"At any time during this encounter were you outrageously angry?"
He frowned. So it was "outrageous" now? What was she looking for? Of course he completely lost it and became something the Rage Demon would have admired. Could he tell her that? Well, he couldn't lie to her. "Yes," he finally answered. "There was a point when the demon enraged me. I ended up killing him."
She opened her mouth, and then closed it. She glared at the linoleum again with renewed heated distaste. Was that the wrong answer? Had he still somehow received her disapproval he so painfully wished to never know? He was a demon after all. Of course he would become enraged. It wasn't terribly uncommon for humans to feel the same at some point.
"Aella?" Calling her seemed to bring her back to him. Her dark eyes pierced him to the spot and Vergil thought for one aching, horrible second that she knew.
But her next words denied his fears, "I believe we have a problem with our bond."
Vergil had ushered her out of the bathroom so fast she thought he sensed another demon attack from their bedroom. But he only shoved the unhinged door at a slant to give them the semblance of privacy before he snagged a pair of old jeans from somewhere and sat on the edge of the mattress on the floor. Aella thought he would have used the able bed Lady had slept in last night, but he seemed to not have noticed the bed or chose to ignore it.
"What happened?" He asked as he threaded his fingers together and set his head on them.
"During my confrontation with the Contracts, I felt a rushing through my blood." she stop. Why was this so hard to confer to him? He was the only one she could talk this kind of thing about. It wasn't like Gallus left them an instruction manual. Vergil's crystal gaze pinned her like a bufferfly's wing. "I don't really know how to describe it. But it was cold, like ice sliding down my throat." She bit her lip unconsciously as she remembered the horrifying sensation. But she had to tell him everything if they were going to get through this. It had to be all or nothing and it was too late to back out now.
"It wasn't unpleasant." At this Vergil's eyes widened in his surprise. "I felt… hot."
"You said it was like ice."
"Yes, the feeling that penetrated me, right before that it was ice. Then after that I was hot and all I could think about were the terrible things the man had done. I had to power to do something about it, I could make him feel all the fear he forced on others. And I really wanted to do it, too." She looked away from him. "I-I think you may have…"
Vergil froze; he must have drawn to the same conclusion. Such a clever man he was. "Rage…You felt rage…"
"I should not feel anything of the sort, as you know." Aella rushed on. "Rage is not a feeling I can fathom. But seeing it for so many years in others, and feeling it… though it is not the same… I think…"
She had been standing as far from him without drawing suspicion, leaning against the wall by the window, directly in front of him but just out of reach. As he began connecting the dots Aella watched his face. His silver eyebrows melting into a darker, deeper frown, the clench of his jaw, bright, blue eyes glaring daggers at nothing, when suddenly for one fleeting moment his face was wiped clean. He must have found something she missed and calmed him for but the briefest of moments.
Aella wished to be given this calm thought but knew that he would not share it just yet.
"When we are apart, we can feel what the other feels." He finally said, his voice collected, smart, clam, if only slightly excited. She nodded and he just stared at her. "And you feel uncomfortable around me now." He did not ask it because he already knew it to be true.
"You understand this is wrong for me. To feel what you can feel. I'm not supposed to feel everything as you do."
He stood and made quick strides to her. She shouldn't have bothered forcing space between them. "Aella," he said with a thick voice – too much. There was too much in his voice, in his eyes.
It was a whisper that shattered his world.
The woman put her hands up as if to guard herself. "I need space. Do you understand? I can't – I don't know how… This is frightening" – he nearly flinched at the word but stopped himself before he revealed how hurt he was by her words – "and I'm not sure if you should be so close to me now."
He gave her a small grin, "Isn't it better if I am closer, so we do not risk what happened again?"
"I will no longer leave your presence, but please don't get too close to me."
It would have been better if she had stabbed him in the back with his own sword. But he pulled himself away from her. "Alright," he nodded with cold eyes, "if you think that's best." Then he abruptly shoved her out of the bedroom.
He fumed and seethed at everything and nothing. If there was a fate, he'd have blamed her! But Vergil did not believe in children stories. Alone, in his brother's dingy home he stared at the bright blue sky out the lone window. There was someone to blame. And it was completely justified that he did so.
Now, Vergil was not a religious man. Being half-demon kinda made you dark-natured to begin with. And though his mother spoke of God, it was scant and she always mentioned him in a distance way, like a relative that lives very far off but someone you still wish to see more. His mother was not apart of any church, marrying a demon and the like outcast her from normal society. Perhaps she did believe in a God, but she didn't put much faith into her two sons for Him.
But with his "brush" with Death, and his new acquaintance with the angel breed, Vergil was not so foolish as to think there was no God. Aella had a "Father," as did Gallus. And though they were years apart in age, they spoke of the same "Father." Vergil new of one God who was called a "Father."
Now was the time to do some serious blaming. This "Father" allowed his daughter to suffer so, and through her suffering she pushed him away just when he thought they were actually getting somewhere. Aella, fallen, traitor, suffered more than he had ever known while he was in the Pit. And the worst of it all was that she wanted to be better and yet her "Father" still neglected her.
"Is she not good enough for you?" Vergil demanded at the bright, blue sky. "Has she not suffered enough to your liking?" he sneered. Yes, he could blame God just fine. "She has no home, no friends, and now you separate her from me?"
Vergil snarled, his fangs showing to the stratosphere. "Was this the warning you sent me? Vesper told me to leave her, was that something else you thought she deserved?" When no answer came Vergil sighed, feeling a heavy exhaustion take him. Blaming God was easy, but he was left feeling foolish and childish for talking out loud.
Before he pulled away from the bright, blue sky he muttered despairingly under his breath, "What will happen to her?"
Wow. I have absolutely nothing to say to you. Which is probably NOT what you want to here. But seriously, I kinda lost my way on this one. I could blame writier's block, but since I know what I'm doing with this piece and how I'm ending it and all, that's not entirely the case. Of course it's the stuff between point A and point B that falls prey to writer's block, but again not entirely the problem.
I won't lie and say I didn't get bored. Cause this isn't the most interesting chapter, if you couldn't tell. (Which also hurts cause this is what I give you after all this time.) There's all this talking and thinking. Although I will say the end is one of my favorite parts of this entire story. Vergil blaming God. I mean, we all blame God for something at some point and this really kinda just… SPOKE to me. You know?
Now here I am, back and hoping that all my fans are still alive and still care. Which brings me to my shout out of the chapter. wiznoy just recently reviewed this story. I was checking emails when I saw that my story had a review. And I sat there thinking, who is even reading my stuff? I mean, I haven't updated in 6 months! Who found it under all the updates of all the other stories?
And it made me think, "You know what? I want to share what happens to Vergil and Aella!" So I busted out my word docs and spruced up my last chapter and now, here it is. After sooooooo long, I want to give it to all of you!
If the feedback is good and I keep getting reviews, then I promise the next chapter won't be far behind!
I guess now's a good time to tell y'all as well, this story is almost over. It's got only a couple more chapters to go. I mean, we all KNOW where Vergil's freaking sword is. Dante's just got to bit the bullet and take them there! Plus, um, well, let's just say there will more angel action too.
Anyway, I hope this makes your day and you aren't too pissed at me.