Hello, back again with another Dante/Nero fic, I hope you enjoy the start and I'll try to update regularly, though PS3 addictions make it difficult!
Disclaimer: I do not own Devil May Cry, but if I did, Nero could not in anyway shape or form be Vergil's son and he'd be in a hot relationship with Dante.
Rated M for a bit of gore and plenty of yaoi.
The Shadow Stalker
Chapter 1 – His Biggest Regret
A heavy rain storm was hammering against the large windows of the Devil May Cry office, the strong wind rattling the glass panes in their frames. Business had been slow of late since this heavy deluge began two days ago; already several streets further out of the sleazy town had been flooded by the endless downpour. It was not surprising that even devils hid away from this weather, preferring to hide in unused, dilapidated buildings rather than cause trouble of the city's human population. However with the lack of business came seemingly endless boredom and Dante was beginning to drown in his frustrations.
The red leather clad demon slayer sat at his old oak desk, leant back in his chair with his feet propped up on the wooden surface and a magazine over his face. It wasn't the frustration of having nothing to do that was getting to him, it was the feeling of regret that was working its way into the depths of his heart. It had been two months since he came back from Fortuna with adrenalin rushing through his veins from the aftermath of an exciting mission. At times like that, there was nothing that could compare to the thrill of fighting the minions of the demon world; not only was it a huge boost for his spirits, it was something to stroke his ego with. But the more time he had to dwell on things, the more he realised that the thrill of the mission on that religious island did not come from slaying demons and defeating the power obsessed Order.
For weeks now, his thoughts had been plagued with a certain white haired man with ice blue eyes to match his and a cocky, punk ass attitude. There was no choice now for Dante to admit that fighting that kid had been more thrilling than battling the Saviour. Hell, for a moment or two, he'd even given the more experienced hunter a run for his money and that was saying something. Though it had been momentarily troubling that the teen had been so fixated with obtaining Yamato, he still managed to put on a cute face while doing so. The only turn off had been the girl he had wanted to save so badly; it would be just Dante's luck if a kid as cute as Nero was straight. Nero. There was no way of kicking that name out of his thoughts right now, especially as he uttered it in every dream he had.
The half devil groaned beneath the pages of his magazine as he recalled the dream he had been having through his last nap. The cute, cocksure Nero had arrived at his doorstep, his face wet from rain and tears and his blue eyes huge with loneliness. Dante had welcomed him into his home with open arms and before long, he had tossed his willing uke onto his king sized bed. Unfortunately, before he'd had the opportunity to jump on him and tear off his clothes, a large gust of wind blowing the doors open had interrupted him. He groaned again, closing his eyes and trying desperately to go to sleep and have another encounter with his dream Nero, but he simply wasn't tired. You're going out tonight with no arguments, his devil side told him.
Dante sighed, knowing that it was probably a good idea before he was driven insane from either the boredom or the sexual frustration. He would visit Love Planet for a few drinks and see which of the male escorts from the agency were hanging around. After all the only reason he hadn't been to see them was because he felt embarrassed at the prospect of moaning Nero's name. Suddenly, his thoughts were interrupted by the office doors being flung wide open and the sound of heals walking across his wooden floor.
"Listen we're closed," Dante grumbled under his magazine. "Can't you see the weather?"
"Is that anyway to speak to a business partner, Dante?"
He growled. "What do you want, Trish?" Business partner my ass.
"Just checking to see if you're still in the land of the living."
"Well, I'm here okay. I don't want to talk to you."
"Oh, so you're happy to read this trash all day then?"
He was cut off as the blonde removed the magazine from his face, his eyes squinting against the sudden brightness. He blinked a few times and stared at the leather clad demon, watching as she wrinkled her nose in distaste at the content of the trashy magazine.
"Honestly Dante," she shook her head and threw it on the desk. "You're gay!"
"We've been through this Trish," Dante grumbled. "I've told you plenty of times that most of the customers who walk through that door would head right back out again if they knew I was gay. That's the way this city is; hell I have to go to a strip club and stare at half naked chicks just to find a guy to bring home, so where's the harm?"
"Okay, okay! I rest my case."
"So what are you doing here?"
"I'm here to bring you some news you might find interesting."
"What could possibly interest me at this moment in time?"
"If you're reduced to staring at this," she indicated to the magazine. "Then anything!"
He grunted and put his feet down. "Spill it then."
"I bring news from the city of Fortuna, do you remember that place?"
"Oh?" Dante felt fidgety, but he would never reveal that to Trish. "And why do you think that would interest me? I've been there, done that and finished with that religious place."
"I just thought you'd like to know that the city hasn't been recovering well. Fortuna was all but destroyed after the incident with the Saviour, as you well know and since then, it's being swamped by demons again. They can smell weakness and right now, that place is full of the weak and innocent."
"Is there a point with this story?"
The blonde smirked. "Not really, but apparently the problem is being dealt with quite nicely. I heard it from Lady, seeing as she's taking a mission close to the ferry port right now and it seems that a lone hunter is keeping the demons at bay. Even though it seems the locals don't think too highly of him, he continues to work selflessly towards ridding the city of all devils."
Heh, sounds like the kid alright. "Nice to know someone's having a good time."
"Maybe you should go and pay a visit, you know, just to follow up your good work."
"Why would I want to do that?"
Trish rolled her eyes skyward. "I've had to cope with your moping for a while since this downturn in business and I can tell when you're bored and when you're not. I know you'll never admit it, but I think you regret leaving something behind in Fortuna... or someone."
Dante glared at her. "It was my choice to leave Yamato with..."
"Oh stop it Dante, you know exactly what I mean. Go and pay Nero a visit, it is possible that, for some ungodly reason, he might want to see you again."
Dante swallowed as he recalled what the kid said to him before he left. Hey Dante, will we meet again? Was that the moment he regretted leaving that place? Did he regret not giving him a proper answer, other than a salute? Had he been too cautious in stopping himself from coming on to him too strongly and scaring him off? He leaned his elbows on the desk and rested his chin on the palms of his hands, sighing deeply.
"You really do regret it, don't you?" Trish queried with a smirk.
"Such a cute guy..." Dante mumbled, sombrely. "I probably missed my chance."
She laughed in an almost mocking way. "And I always thought you said there wasn't a man on Earth who would refuse you?"
He sighed. "Nero's... different..."
"Oh? It never used to bother you before if the man in your sights was straight."
"Yeah, but he..."
He trailed off again, remembering the endearing expression the kid had in his eyes whenever he looked upon that redheaded girl. He frowned a little, a part of him almost longing to see that expression turned in his favour. He rarely thought about chance encounters like this for more than a few days, especially if nothing happened between them. So why was his head constantly filled with images of the white haired beauty?
Trish closed her eyes and smiled. "If you're worried about that girl, you should ask him."
Dante growled. "I'm not going all the way up to Fortuna just to ask that!"
"You know, sometimes I think it's a curse that I look like your mother; I end up trying to act more and more like one to you! But really Dante, I wish you would take people's advice to heart sometimes. I do try to help you."
Dante smirked. "I'd go to Fortuna if you gave me pocket money."
She glared at him, forcing a chuckle from the white haired male. Still smirking, he got to his feet, the sound of the chair's legs scraping across the wooden floor filling the office. He turned his head to look out of the large windows, seeing that the rain seemed much lighter now under the orange glow of the streetlamps.
"I'm off out," he stated. "Just taking advice from someone close to home."
He tapped the side of his head as he walked over to the coat stand, collecting his red leather trench coat and shrugging it on over his broad shoulders. Trish raised an eyebrow and rested one hand on her hip as he wandered passed her, a hand in the pocket of his tight leather trousers. He didn't say anything to her as he opened the door, but she stopped him just before he left.
"Will you admit it?" she asked him. "That you like that guy?"
Dante looked over his shoulder and smirked. "Let's just say he's exactly my type."
On that note, he left the shop and realised quite quickly that the rain was still deceptively heavy. Actually, in comparison to the number of days he'd spent in the office, the rain and fresh air was exceedingly refreshing. He let the rain run down his face, the slightly acidic water cooling down his warm skin and soaking into his soft hair. He always knew when he felt the weather conditions so acutely like this that he'd been indoors for far too long. Enjoying the invigorating feel the rain, Dante strolled leisurely down the street until he saw the bright neon signs for Love Planet.
The instant he crossed the threshold and went inside, he was engulfed by the usual heat and oppressive smell of the place. As usual, it was full of men surrounding the stages where half naked women were dancing around poles, no doubt trying to hook one for a date. Though Dante was comfortable with looking at, or even flirting with women, he would never go any further than that; he didn't swing that way. In these cases, there were times when humans smelt worse than demons, though he figured it might not have been so bad if he was one of the men drooling over the stages. But that was something he would never regret, no matter how much he wished he'd dragged Nero back to Devil May Cry kicking and screaming. Smirking to himself as he imagined such a scenario, which ended with the pair of them in bed together, Dante sauntered over to the bar and sat down on one of the high stools.
"Now where have you been, Dante?" asked the barwoman as she leaned against the counter top, her loosely buttoned shirt hanging much lower than necessary.
"Just at home babe," he said with a shrug. "To put it simply, rain sucks."
"Tell me about it! The usual?"
"Nah, give me some whisky and straight."
She smirked and winked suggestively. "Out for a fun night, are we?"
Dante chuckled. "You bet... so... seen anyone?" It was handy having someone in the establishment who knew the men with opposite preferences.
She stood back from the bar briefly and glanced around the dimly lit club before turning her gaze back to the half demon. "I've seen a few of the guys around, though not as many as normal. You looking for anyone in particular?"
"Nope, not especially."
"Well, needless to say they missed you for these past few days. And the girls too."
"Heh, you know I don't really go down that route."
"Just don't say that too loudly; last time you sent three people to hospital."
"That's what they get for being intolerant. Damn homophobic bastards."
The barwoman smiled and shook her head. "I'll get your drink."
Dante sighed lightly and folded his arms across the counter, his ears filling with the low, thumping bass of the dance music. He looked around to try and spot a few of his regulars, but all he could see over the flashing lights were groups of men and women flocking around the stages where the strippers were dancing. He heard the dull clinking sound of his glass being set on the table top and he immediately reached for it to take a swig, the taste washing away the leftovers of cheap coffee. There were times in his life when he'd spent long nights out in this place, chatting and flirting to whoever approached him until he woke up the next day with a slight hangover and a naked man in his bed. But within the last two months, those thoughts were no longer so appealing. I'm seriously starting to think too much.
"Now here's a face I haven't seen in weeks!" a smooth, deep voice cut through his chain of thought.
Dante turned his head to observe the owner of that voice, seeing a face he recognised well from his outings in the past. He was quite a small man; barely over five and a half feet tall with a slim frame, but his features were so well formed and beautiful no one would notice or even care. His face was somewhat more masculine than the rest of his body, his thin, shoulder length black hair framing his face nicely, especially where it partly fell over his left eye. The white haired devil smirked, shifting on his barstool slightly as he offered the man a seat next to him.
"Vince, it's been a while," he noted.
"What brings you back here?" the other male queried, his tone now light and airy.
Dante watched keenly as his guest removed one hand from his glass of gin and gently ran his long, thin fingers through his hair. His dark brown eyes gazed into his own, the look strangely both friendly and suggestive at the same time. The flashing lights shined off the metal of the numerous piercings on his right ear and a light smirk pulled at the corner of his lips. Never once did Dante doubt the reasons for this man being the number one of the male escort service. He knew what he was doing and was stunningly beautiful to match.
"Nothing in particular," Dante shrugged before taking another swig of his whisky.
"Oh, you don't lie very well Dante," Vince purred.
He chuckled. "Why did you have to be here of all days?"
"If there's something on your mind, maybe this meeting was fortunate."
"How the hell do you read someone so easily?"
"I'm always well sought in this place, I have lots of practice."
Dante laughed, resting a hand on his hip. "You always have that trouble, don't you? So many of your clients always become completely infatuated with you!"
"That's why men like you are easier to deal with; you're not easily infatuated."
"Hmm, I wouldn't exactly say that right now," Dante said with a smirk.
"Ah, then there is something on your mind..." Vince took another sip of his gin. "Or someone."
"So perceptive, as always."
Dante swigged back the rest of his drink and set the glass down on the counter, asking the barwoman for another. He had always figured this man knew him too well, even though he hadn't shared much personal information with him. If he did not look and smell one hundred percent human, he would have sworn the guy was a demon.
"Then perhaps you came here more for talk than for sex, hmm?" queried the smaller man as he trailed the tip of his index finger around the edge of his glass. "Everyone has something they don't feel comfortable telling someone they know; this is where people like me can be useful. We gain nothing from learning people's secrets."
"I don't envy you in that situation," Dante replied as he picked up his new drink.
"Maybe not but on some nights, it really is a blessing if they just want to talk."
The half devil smirked as Vince rested a hand on his shoulder. "Rough night?"
"No, not tonight. Everyone just seems to want to talk right now."
"Oh, so you want it, eh?"
"Yes, I'd certainly say that..." he trailed off as he ran his slender fingers through Dante's white hair, playing with the ends slightly. He smiled absently and ran his hand down to stroke the other man's stubbly face before resting it on his shoulder again. "But not from you."
Dante sighed. "I guess I can't argue with you if you've set your mind on that."
"I'm not just saying that as an escort, but as a friend."
"You can be really manipulative, you know that?"
"Of course, it's part of my job..." he took another sip of the clear alcohol, his dark eyes never leaving the blues of the other man. "I've seen a lot of things in your eyes, Dante. Loneliness, boredom, frustration and not to forget lust. But this is something I've never seen before."
He allowed the tips of his fingers to ghost across Dante's neck. "Regret. Not just any regret, but something important. This is something you deeply regret from the bottom of your heart, not something just scratching the surface."
Dante shook his head and grinned. "I don't even have to admit anything to you!"
"This man... are you in love with him?"
"That depends if lusting after him passes as love."
"That's a good start, and all love takes is a start."
He sighed, setting down his glass. "When I first met this guy, he tried to kill me. As you'd expect with me, that was far from a turn off and the more I saw of the kid, the more I began to think about him. At first I thought it was because I'd never met anyone like him, but when I left him, I don't think I realised exactly what I was leaving behind. Just thinking about him drives me crazy! Recently, It's not just in my dreams, it's all through the damn day; I can't take my mind off him! But the real thing that gets to me is the fact that there seems to be a girl involved and that makes me jealous. Imagine that! Jealous; me?"
Vince looked thoughtful. "For you, that's pretty deep."
"Hey, I'm speaking my mind to you right now!"
"I know, but it's just the truth. You don't usually speak about other men in that way."
Dante heard a faint undertone of disappointment in the other man's voice. "I don't mean..."
"Oh that's not offensive to me, you know that," Vince said with a chuckle. "All I'm saying is that you're speaking about this man as if he completely confuses you. If you think about him in such a way, you really need to think it over and confront him to understand your feelings."
"What, you think I should confess to him?"
"No because I can tell you don't understand your feelings for him yet."
"Heh, you're telling me?"
"I hoped I would see this someday," Vince smiled warmly and once again ran his fingers through Dante's white locks. "No matter how attached I become to a particular client, I always feel a sense of joy when they find someone special to them. Though you may not know it yet, I think you found that person."
"Aw, does that mean you're attached to me?"
"I've always been attached to you, Dante. No matter what mood you're in, you've always been considerate of what I want and you've never forced yourself on me. Without a doubt, you are the friendliest and most considerate man I've met during my work, even if you are hard work when it comes to satisfying you."
Dante grinned. "Well, what can I say? Sometimes, I'm a needy guy."
"You don't say."
"So, will ya miss me while I'm gone?"
Vince closed his eyes and smiled. "I'll be lying if I said no."
"If I find out Nero's straight, I'll be hunting you down to blame you!"
A faint blush appeared to the other's cheeks. "Don't make such promises, Dante."
The demon hunter smirked. "It's just in my nature."
"On that note, I think my work here is done. I wish you well for the future."
"Heh, I think you're more optimistic than me!"
Vince looked away slightly as he got to his feet. "I'm not quite sure of that."
"Oh?" Dante looked confused. "I don't feel all that optimistic."
"Maybe not, but assuming you are the same man I know, you'll be able to get what you want," he smiled again, turning to face his companion and stroking his white hair again. "Just don't screw up, or else you'll have deeper regrets than you do already."
"Well, I guess I've really set my sights on the kid."
"Yeah, it looks as though as you have..."
Dante smirked. "Though you have people setting their sights on you all the time!"
The other man sighed a little. "Just never the ones I want," he murmured.
Vince smiled again, but it seemed a little forced. "Don't worry about me, you worry about yourself! All I can really do now is wish you luck."
"Anytime..." he trailed off with a slightly vacant look on his face. "Goodbye Dante."
"Nah, I'm sure I'll drop by and see you again when I'm back."
"Remember what I said about promises."
On that note, Vince removed his fingers from Dante's silvery hair and disappeared into the crowd of people. Leaning back against the counter, Dante kept his eyes on him until he was out of sight, taking a last swig of his whiskey. Although the night hadn't turned out the way he'd imagined it, at least he had been able to straighten a few things out in his mind. Sighing a little, he got to his feet and left the bar, his sights set on having a decent night's sleep before setting out for Fortuna the following morning. Maybe it didn't hurt to take advice from time to time.
I hope your enjoyed it, and I hope not one minds my male escort too much. Chapter 2 is on the way...