"Damn winter…" He murmured, throwing his feet from the desk to the wood floor. The wood was freezing, even through his wool socks. He ran a hand through his silver hair and stood up, resting the magazine on the desk. The phone rang soon after.
He picked it up, "Devil May Cry. Dante speaking."
"Hey old man. Miss me?" the all too familiar voice mocked.
Dante chuckled. "Kid? What the hell do you want?"
"Is that any way to treat an old friend?" Nero responded.
"More like rival. What do you want?"
"Nothin'." He stated. " I just wanted to wish my friend a Merry Christmas."
"Sure… and I'm Santa Claus." Dante said, sarcastically.
Nero sniggered. "I don't know, with all the red you wear you can't be so sure."
Dante mentally thumped the kid in his head. "Shut up."
That kid has, and always will be, a little punk. Ever since Dante first laid eyes on him, he knew he'd be trouble. Little half devil… literally. "You're a little punk, you know that?"
Nero scoffed, "Bet you this 'little punk' was the only one who called, huh?"
Dante stayed silent. He was right, after all.
"Thought so," Nero confirmed. "I'm coming over there, Dante. Whether you like it or not."
Dante shook his head. "No kid, I can't let you do that."
"Like I said, whether you like it or not."
Dante sighed, "Look kid…"
"Expect to see me 'round four. Catch you later," and with that, he hung up.
Dante shook his head and smirked. The damn kid could be as stubborn as a mule. Dante laughed quietly to himself, for he new that kid reminded him too much of himself. He looked around to see if anything was presentable, and just as he thought, nothing was even close. He glanced at the clock.
"Three o' clock, eh?" he read the time aloud. 'Just enough time to clean this place up,' he thought. He arched his back and stretched like a cat, before picking up a broom and starting his task.
Dante was wiping down the table when a brisk, arrogant knock echoed from the door. "Hey Dante!"
Dante glanced at the clock, and then crumpled the paper towel he was using to wipe the table, throwing it in the waste bin that he placed by the door. He gripped the doorknob, opened it and flashed a cocky grin at the punk in blue. Nero wore a navy blue jacket with a matching hat. His jeans were stone wash gray. "Yo, Dante."
"You realize it's Christmas Eve, right?" Dante asked as Nero waltzed in, without permission.
Nero smirked, "I know."
"What about that one chick? What's her name…" he scratched his head in thought, "Kiki, Kim…"
"Kyrie. She's with her family," Nero verified. Dante sensed remorse behind his voice. "She wanted me to come with, but I didn't want to scare them with this," He explained by gesturing to his devil arm. Dante nodded his head.
"Alright," then Dante thought for a second and furrowed his brow. "Why are you here?"
Nero shrugged. "I needed a place to stay."
"Hold up, wait, what?" Dante shook his head vigorously. "No, no, no, kid. You can't stay here. I barely have enough food and space for myself! I can't supply…"
Nero held out his hand in a signal to stop. "I got it covered," Nero stated, reaching into his back pocket with his other hand to expose five hundred dollars. "Tada."
Dante looked at the money, then at Nero, then back at the money. He raised a brow, pointed at the money and asked, "Where'd you get that?"
"Demons live in Fortuna too, you know. I help out, I get tipped, and I get money." Nero slapped the money into Dante's open hand. "That should cover me for a couple days, right?"
Dante looked at the money, then he smiled, tousled Nero's hair, and said, "Welcome home, kid."
Nero scoffed. "So you let me stay when I flash money in your face. I see how it is."
Dante smacked him in the back of his head. "You're lucky I'm letting you stay." Nero massaged his head, mouthing, 'ow'. Dante patted his back and went into the kitchen. Nero followed.
"Hey Old Man, where do I sleep?"
Dante sighed. "I'm not old, kid. And you're sleeping either on the couch, or on the floor somewhere"
"But I don't want to sleep on the floor." Nero complained. "Stop calling me kid, Old Man."
"Stop calling me old man, Kid." Dante countered. "And too bad. It's either couch, or floor."
Nero huffed in frustration. "Fine, whatever. And I'll only call you Dante, if you call me Nero."
"Hmm, let me think," he tapped his chin in mock thought. "Nope."
Nero crossed his arms and sighed. "I thought you'd say that, Old man."
"Shut up!" Nero shouted. "Stop saying that. It's not a glow stick. It's demonic energy from the inside of my arm, you arrogant ass."
"Oops, did I offend you?" Dante asked with mock concern.
Nero sighed. "Where do you keep your blankets?" he asked, completely dropping the subject.
"On my bed."
Nero chuckled darkly. "You stingy old man."
Dante laughed. "I was kidding. And you're really pushing it with the 'old man' crap," he started up the stairs. "Follow me, I'll show you. I keep some extras' in my closet."
Nero followed, and grinned. "Thanks, Dante."
Dante smirked. "Whatever."
Dante woke up at twelve in the morning to eat a midnight snack, and found the kid on the couch, shivering. It was well below zero outside, so without the heater going, which it wasn't, it wasn't warm in any way. Nero had a thick, old, quilt draped over his body, but it wasn't enough to keep him warm. Dante had suggested he sleep in his room, but Nero refused because he'd felt he would be some sort of burden. Dante sighed. The kid had heart.
Dante sat on the coffee table adjacent to the couch, and contemplated whether or not to take him upstairs. There would be consequences. One of them being the kid whooping his ass for carrying him up the stairs, but the kid would have a damn fever by the time he woke up if he kept him down here. Dante sighed again, then lifted Nero from the couch, and carried him up stairs. He put Nero on his bed and took the quilt, replacing it with his comforter. Dante got an old rocking chair from the corner of his room, sat in it, covered himself with the quilt, and drifted into sleep.
When Nero woke up on Dante's bed, he flipped out for a second. Then he saw Dante sleeping on an old rocking chair with the old quilt, and saw himself in a warm comforter. Guilt washed over him, because he never asked for Dante's sympathy. Suddenly, Nero heard Dante sneeze, and looked up. Dante had woken himself up with a sneeze, and then Nero felt even guiltier. Dante probably had catch cold for his sake.
Dante looked his way. "G'morning kid," he sniffed and rubbed his nose. "Sleep good?"
Nero sat up. "You didn't have to…"
"But I did." Dante cut him off. "And you would've got a fever if I didn't."
Nero smiled. "I owe you, man."
Dante yawned and cracked his back. "You don't owe me anything but a strawberry sundae."
Nero smirked. "Whatever."
"What? A guy can't get a sundae once in a while?"
"Dante, name one store open on Christmas that sells strawberry sundaes?" Nero asked, kicking off the bed sheets and rubbing his eyes.
"Who said anything about a store?" Dante inquired.
Nero rolled his icy azure eyes, stood up, and started out the door. "It's way too early for sundaes anyway," Nero muttered, yawning and stretching. Nero heard Dante sneeze halfway down the hallway. Nero sighed. "And it sounds like a sundae isn't the best thing to eat, dumb ass." Nero told him. "I'm making breakfast. You want some, come get some."