Disclaimer: I don't own anything. All characters, places and events belong to their respective creators. I'm just messing around.
Warnings: Father!Dante, Son!Nero, Annoying/Sweet!Patty, Maternal!Trish (to both, as in no romance), Cursing, Gore, Violence, Death, spoilers for DMC1, 2, 3 and 4 as well as the anime. Foul, Foul language, at least just for the first few chapters before Nero gets it beaten out of him.
Timeframe: Takes place during the DMC anime, post episode 8, after DMC3 and before DMC4. Dante is 31, Nero is 10, and Patty is 9. Okay, so this is a Dante-is-Nero's-father AU. As such, Dante conceived Nero when he 21. Backstory will be explained.
For People Who Haven't Watched the Anime: I don't blame you, it's definitely a low budget anime. Only things you need to know is this; Morrison is Dante's agent – replaced Enzo. Patty Lowell is an orphan that befriended Dante and visits his shop frequently throughout the series.
Pairings: As of now, none for Dante and Nero. There is a possibility of seeing both het, yaoi and yuri pairings as I don't really get hung up on gender. However, this story isn't a romance so don't be looking for it here.
Other Notes: They only name for the city Dante lives in is Capulet City. Couldn't find much else about the city so I sorta made things up. The city has four different sections. Capulet East (the Slums), West (a step up from the Slums, where Dante's shop is located), North (administrative center of the city, where those who have money live) and South (the harbor and the industrial sector).
I know I'm a dork to plan that all out. Anyone else think that Dante's new look is horrendous? As long as the gameplays alright and he's still the cocky, cheese-cutting man we all love I will be okay.
Thanks to Jason M. Lee for beta-ing this chapter.
Like Father, Like Son
The Pizza Thief
Morrison was such a dick. Dante's agent had called what seemed to be every pizzeria in the Capulet and told them not to sell him any pizza unless he paid in cash or paid off the massive tabs he owed. In response, Dante had to walk from the fringes of Capulet West where the shop was located all the way to Capulet East, the fucking slums, to get a goddamn pizza. In the rain.
Like he said, such a dick.
How the hell was he supposed to pay anything off with Trish and Lady raping his wallet every other week anyway? Wasn't fair, goddamnit. A man can only do so much, even when you're as awesome as he. Dante sighed and shoved an entire slice in his mouth in one swoop, hurriedly making his way in between the shop awnings in the hopes of keeping the box dry.
Dante's pace slowed slightly as he approached the dark lip of an alleyway. He couldn't smell shit in the rain but his instinct still told him that there was something, maybe not a demon, but something all the same was coming his way. Sure enough, a small form came skidding around the corner before launching himself at the hunter. Dante stepped easily out of the way, catching the kid by the back of the hood seconds before the dumbass rocketed himself into the road.
The kid, a street brat by the looks of it, made a strangled sound as the lip of his hoodie caught him around the neck and landed promptly on his ass. To Dante's surprise the boy rolled into an immediately crouch, staring up at him with bright, pissed off blue eyes.
"What the hell, man?" the boy snarled.
"You wanna end up a pancake, kid?"
There was the sound of feet pounding on cement and the boy tensed.
"Crap!" Hands – one bandaged, one not – reached up to yank a raggedy ass looking wool cap far enough down it almost covered his eyes before throwing him a dark, accusing glare and pivoting to face a small herd of approaching teenagers.
Dante recognized the gang's colors immediately. The 76s were a semi-organized gang of teenagers who dealt mostly in drugs. They were pretty violent in a way that Dante usually only associated with stupid, young male humans. The leader of the group was, unsurprisingly, the beefiest teen there. He pointed a pipe threateningly at the hooded boy.
"Thought you were fast, didn't ya, you piece of shit?"
"Faster than your fat ass."
"What the fuck did you just say?"
"Maybe if you weren't a friggin' blimp you wouldn't be paying for it every night. Can't even afford the A-team can you? I don't even wanna know what C-Team pussy looks like."
"You little bitch!"
Dante had to give the kid some credit. The boy was dishing out insults almost too quick for his mouth to keep up with and was still managing from keeping the gang members from totally flanking him. The group was attempting to form a semi-circle around the kid with Dante completely forgotten about to the left. How, the older man wasn't quite sure. He was quite tall. And dressed in leather. Red leather. Nevertheless, the leader of the little gang clearly didn't seem to think the hunter was worth paying attention to. It sort of annoyed him.
The atmosphere of the fight circle changed abruptly as guns started to be brandished in response to some of the boy's more creative insults and with a sigh, Dante decided things were getting a little too serious. In the hunter's defense, there was no way he could have known that the pop can he decided to kick at Beefy's face was still half full of orange liquid. The can sprayed violently as it arched through the air, covering the group almost equally before smacking into the dead center of the leader's sports jerseys. The group turned to stare at him as one shocked unit. He gave them a friendly little wave.
"Careful where you point that squirt, guns are dangerous ya know." Dante honestly didn't know what the fuck was going through Beefy's mind that he even remotely thought it was a good idea to shoot at the strange, heavily armed, older man but his actions set off a chain reaction of equally stupid actions.
With a snort of disbelief Dante easily avoided the shots fired his way, shoving both the boy and his pizza into the alleyway and out of harm's way before kicking some major dumb teenage boy ass. It ended, predictably, almost instantly.
"The kids in this town get stupider by the day. I was never that dumb," the hunter announced grumpily as he dumped the confiscated handguns into a nearby postbox. "And now I'm completely soaked too. Hey kid, is the pizza dry–"
The kid was gone.
So was his pizza.
For a moment Dante just stared at the empty alleyway in disbelief before deciding, fuck it, God was against him today and he was done playing His sick games. He was going back to the shop and drink until he forgot how much this day sucked.
Morrison was such a dick.
The streets of Capulet City stretched out like a patchwork quilt of lights from up here. If Nero didn't know any better he'd call it beautiful. But he lived on them and he knew just how ugly they really were. This city was draped in sin, perhaps the only thing that the Order had ever told him that had turned out to not be a lie. And East Capulet was the worst the city had to offer. Nero had seen some shit here in the slums that would make paint peel.
But all the same the half-devil liked it here. As long as Nero kept his hat on and his arm covered no one spared him a second look. Here he was just another nameless street rat. The bar below him was just starting to really get into the swing of things and the roof vibrated pleasantly beneath him. It was an old blues bar, rickety as hell and in the worst part of the neighborhood but Nero liked the tunes.
His foot tapped with a slow rhythm when a familiar ballad came on. They always played the same songs every night but it didn't seem like it hurt the bar's business at all. Nero really liked this woman – he no idea who she was but he liked her songs the best. The young half-devil was stretched on his back, legs propped vertically against the back of the bar's neon signs, a swiped bottle of beer in one hand and equally stolen pizza in the other. The tar roof was still wet from the rain earlier but considering he was already soaked, he didn't mind it much.
Nero sighed as he took another bite of the cold pizza. Not the best birthday dinner, but he didn't really have that many options. Things hadn't quite turned out as the newly turned ten-year-old had hoped when he had run away here nearly a year ago. But it wasn't as bad as it could be. He'd learned the streets quick enough, and his strength and agility gave him a clear advantage over any of his competition.
The weather here fucking sucked compared to Fortuna. It rained a lot and was really starting to get cold at night. Nero had a horrible suspicion that it was going to get way colder here than it ever did back home.
Not that it mattered. It wasn't like the preteen really had that much of a choice in coming here. Nero brought his right arm up to his face frowning as he stared at the ugly, leathery spot that was there. Blue eyes narrowed as he took in the process the growth had made across his forearm.
It's spreading so quickly.
When it had first appeared, the red spot had been barely the size of a dollar coin but within a weak it had nearly doubled in size. And now… Now, it spread across the entirety of his forearm, reaching vine-like growths towards his elbow and wrist. It was even starting to grow outwards, forming horny ridges and making his forearm seem like it had tumor on it or something. The majority of it was a dark maroon but recently the bottom of the ridges had begun to change color, the red fading until it seemed purple and in some places blue.
It was this damn things fault that everything had changed for Nero.
He could still remember the day it had appeared – it didn't seem like a year had gone by since that horrible moment. It was when he'd still been back in Fortuna, picnicking with his adopted brother and sister. It was supposed to be a special day. It was to celebrate the fact that Nero had demolished the Order's Junior Knight's Saber III and Up tournament despite being two years younger than everyone else. His sister Kyrie had made him an entire lunch from scratch and his older brother, Credo, had even managed to get the day off from his Order training to join them.
The demons had attacked right when they were about to eat the cake. Credo had done a hell of a job at beating off the Scarecrows, especially considering that fact that he was only sixteen. But the damage had already been done. Nero – the frigging idiot he was – couldn't resist joining in. The preteen had been training with practice swords for the last two years and he was really, really good. But the end result was him looking like a jackass. Even though he did manage to kill one of them on his own, the boy had managed to get himself stabbed quite nicely and Credo had to come and save his ass.
Nero hadn't been too worried. He'd always healed really fast and the next day the wound was gone. But in its place was the growth. Nero's adoptive mother Ruth had taken him to see the doctor, and since both his father and brother were in the Order, Nero had gotten to go see the good ones.
The reaction to his arm had been startling. They took like seven million skin and blood samples and he'd been seen by like four different doctors, and one crazy dude with glasses who just stood in the back and stared at him the whole time. Nero had found it weird but he'd never really been to the doctor before, so how was he supposed to know it was abnormal? After all the commotion the doctors ended up just sending him home with some antibiotics and told them both to come back the next day.
That night his adoptive father had woken him in a panic. Nero's father, Ezra, worked in the Research and Development division as a lab assistant under someone really important. He didn't talk much about what took place there, but Nero didn't like the way it smelled. His father always came home smelling like dirty blood and disinfectant. Before Nero had really understood what was going on, he was dressed and at the docks, with a handful of bills packed in his tennis shoes. That had been a bad night for Nero. It was the first time he'd heard the words 'half-demon,' 'Agnus,' and 'The Bloodline.'
"I have to leave?"
Credo nodded, checking behind him nervously. They stood huddled in a dark alleyway, their father was a few feet away bartering with the ferry master in quick, desperate movements.
"But I don't want to leave! I wanna–"
Credo's hand clamped against Nero's mouth as he looked around them, every muscle straining as he listened. After a moment, the brunette shook his head and slid his hand from Nero's lips to ruffle his hair.
"I don't want you to either, Nero. But it's not safe here," the teenager explained softly. "Father says they mean to use you for experimentations because of what you are."
Nero looked away, hands fisting as fear and anger rose equally inside him. "You mean a demon."
"I mean my little brother," Credo amended fiercely, the hand on Nero's head falling to squeeze his shoulder tightly. "There's no way a demon could be as annoying as you."
"Hey," Nero complained weakly, trying desperately not to cry. He really was going to be sent away.
"Nero, you'll be fine," the teenager said reassuringly, sounding more confident then he looked. Both his hands reaching out to straighten the wool cap to cover his brother's snowy hair. "You're smart and you're fast. Keep your head down and stay hidden. Don't let anyone see your hand, okay?"
"Yeah…" There was no denying the tears but damn he was trying. "Where should I go?"
"The ferry will take you to Port Black, when you get there use the money and take a train to Capulet City. You got that?"
"Capulet City, right." A piece of paper was pressed into his palm and Nero looked down at the letters in confusion. "Ellie-Mae? Who's that? A friend of mom and dad or something?"
"No. She's your real mother's aunt."
"You know who my moth–"
"Nero." He'd heard that tone in his brother's voice enough times to shut up immediately. "She'll look after you."
Yeah right. Ellie-Mae, or rather Lady Mae as she preferred to be called, had turned out to be the Madam of a particularly stately whore house in the slums called the Pink Lily. She'd taken one look at him and kicked his ass to the curb. Auntie Mae wasn't a complete bitch though – she would give him food sometimes and even let Nero spend the night if they were slow. Which wasn't often. Who knew that prostitution was such a cash cow?
So far the boy seemed to be in the clear. Nero hadn't seen anyone from the Order coming after him. The preteen reached blindly behind him and grabbed the last piece of pizza. Nero bit into it with a particular sense of relish, thinking of the strange smelling man he'd stolen it from. The dude looked a lot like him. White hair wasn't that common. Well, he didn't think it was as he'd never seen anyone else with it. He kind of wished he'd stuck around and found out more about him, but he didn't want to risk anyone else from the gang showing up. Nero would've gotten away just fine on his own, but it was something else to see the old man kick the shit out of the 76s. And he'd gotten a free pizza out of it.
Ha, dinner and a show.
In the distance a bell was announcing the new day. The sounds from below became even louder as the song switched to another one of Nero's favorites and the preteen grinned, taking another swig of warm beer.
It hadn't been such a bad birthday after all.
Next time: In which Nero pisses off the wrong person and Dante's curiosity is peaked.
This is a happy birthday fic for my friends the twins, who really wanted a paternal! Dante. I've already got the second chapter written and am working on the third one. I'll upload them eventually if there is any interest, or if the twins want me to keep doing so, otherwise I'll just give them the chapters. There will be 12 sessions in all.