DISCLAIMER: I don't own DMC, or its characters. All of that goes to Capcom.
Author's Note: Hey guys, it's been a while since I've been on . A lot of crazy things happened, but most importantly I'll be published real soon! It's the one thing that's been taking up the bulk of my time, as well as graduating this year to get my first degree (there's two lol suicide? maybe) Anyways, this story was one I wrote a while ago, but where I had it posted disappeared, and it just seemed like a shame to keep it sitting around my hard-drive. The title is Latin for "flying without wings". I hope you enjoy.
"You called to see me, your Holiness?"
Sanctus drew a pale, long-fingered hand towards Credo as he signaled him to sit down beside him. Without question he took his seat by the man he, as well as others of the Order, revered.
Some had speculated about Sanctus.
Credo, however, had no time for speculation.
And like the loyal military dog he was, he did as he was told. But, today of all days, that fervent loyalty would be put to the test.
Credo had seen it a long time coming.
Entering the room, he hadn't expected to see the old man. Sanctus' slow and assessing gaze brought Credo at attention.
'I will not fail him,' Credo thought haughtily. He was the highest chain of command—Sanctus' right hand. There were others who found Sanctus's choices distasteful. There was one in particular by the name of Agnus.
Despite several attempts to take his place, Credo was almost certain Sanctus would never sway for the likes of Agnus. He had sacrificed so much and would not come short for anyone. With pride Credo sat at the old man's side, crossing his kidskin gloved hands one over the other on the table.
"Credo," Although he was firm, the unmistakable plight of age had settled into his voice. Credo listened intently just for that reason.
"That boy, Nero is it? I hear complaints…" It always took Sanctus a while to get to the point. It took everything in Credo not to twitch. He'd heard of Nero's raucous behavior nearly enough from the other Spardan worshippers already.
Not to mention now his younger sister, in her foolishness, was batting lashes at him. Credo was definitely not in the mood to hear even his Holiness.
Credo was pretty sure Sanctus did not care.
'You'd think he'd give a damn and show some respect to the other members. Now, I'm up to my neck in complaints. When I catch that brat…' Credo thought angrily. He didn't bat a lash as Sanctus rested his hand over Credo's tightly clutched ones. No matter how many times Sanctus did this, Credo could never feel the warmth of his hands.
"I will take any measure to cause a cooperative behavior in him. I need more time, your Holine—"
"Yes, I realize that." Sanctus interjected calmly.
Credo held his tongue.
"He is your charge. His lack of discipline is a direct image of you. He has no respect for the sanctity of Sparda."
Credo pursed his lips as Sanctus leaned closer. "Now, Credo," Sanctus whispered sweetly, the pad of his thumb brushing Credo's gloved knuckles. It made his skin crawl, but he watched Sanctus carefully.
"Yes your Holiness?" He finally said.
"You know what happens to those who cannot behave well with the Order?" Credo stared into his lap for a long time before he snapped his head up attentively.
"Yes your Holiness, I do."
When Credo had finally entered his home it had been late.
All this talk of a Savior from Sanctus was all he could think about. Was it possible to become like an angel? Sanctus had promised many things, but Credo was beginning to wonder if it was all the fantasy of an old man gone mad.
Nevertheless, Credo was still fascinated.
There was a legend that Sanctus often spoke of when Sparda was the Feudal lord of Fortuna city. Sparda had turned against his demonic brethren to save humanity, so the story went. But it had been so long ago, and who knew the truth?
Sanctus was convinced, however.
Despite his joining the Order, Credo wasn't much on faith. He had to believe in believing for the sake of the old man. And that's how things had been for the Commander for a very long time.
He trudged up the steps slowly as he tugged open his uniform. A crystalline snifter of brandy at his fingertips, Credo took a once over at Agnus's new experiments.
The "Blanco Angelo", as he so tackily called it, was supposedly soldiery entities whose sole purpose would be that of defending Fortuna city from demonic invasion. Several etchings and poorly scrawled notes littered about the already messy floor of Credo's study.
It was his space of Zen, a place he could go to when things were out of control. Right now he wanted to tug off his strapped boots and fall asleep on the divan, snifter and all.
Everyone had their poison to pick. He preferred his smooth and mind-numbing.
His household was a respectively quiet place. Kyrie was hardly ever here now, constantly at the church to pray and sing and do whatever young girls her age did. Despite his beloved sister's absence, Credo enjoyed the peace and quiet when he could. Everything else was chaos.
Entering his study, Credo tossed his uniform top across the divan, settling in an old cushioned chair he enjoyed sitting in.
The crystal snifter of brandy sat untouched at the unkempt desk across from him as he contemplated drinking to boost his denial at what was going on with himself. It was always a choice he had no problem making.
Credo was always known to be self-sufficient. Since the time his parents passed away, he'd stepped up to take care of his little sister, Kyrie. He remembered what first fueled him when joining the order. Things had been very hard at first—he was only fifteen when Sanctus took power of the Order. But it was only recently that the Order had militarized.
Credo's brow creased. Those times were well beyond them, now.
"Do you know what your name means, my son?"
"No, your Holiness, I do not."
"It is a statement or belief; a creed. Remember to walk uprightly in this world, my dearest Credo."
The soft sound of Sanctus' voice ebbed away into the back of Credo's mind as his memory faded away. Credo reached for the snifter without hesitation to pour himself a glass. It had been years since he'd remembered that conversation. It was one of the turning points to his career as Sanctus' right hand.
The things he'd done to get there haunted him—foolish, stupid things he'd thought in his youth were the right choices to make.
'I did it for Kyrie, for the family.' But, deep down that was never the real reason. The heat built up in his chest and stomach as he leaned back with his legs spread. I could use one more glass, Credo rationalized as he poured another. Just as he was about to take a sip, a soft rap at his door caused him to reach for his sword on impulse, but eased when he saw Nero's white head poke through.
'Damn. Just like Nero to interrupt my plans of self-pity.' Credo groused.
"How'd you get in here?" Credo barked; Nero barely took into account how grumpy Credo ever was. Perhaps he was so used to Credo's abrasive behavior, or was simply unaffected by it.
Christ, was no one scared of me, anymore? The thought baffled him but for a moment.
"Kyrie gave me the key." Nero's brow rose in amusement at Credo's almost confused glare. He had given his sister a personal key in confidence that only in an emergency she could come up here. He was glad to know he could now revoke her access.
"You and my sister have been awfully close. Did you steal it off of her?" Credo sneered as he downed his glass. Nero leaned in the doorway, arms crossed.
"I just pointed out that she gave—me—the—key." Nero reiterated, rolling his eyes. "You're drinking this late, again huh?"
"Go away, Nero." Credo grunted, not amused by Nero's game of twenty-one questions. But the boy strode into the room regardless as an open act of invading his privacy.
Nero, be damned.
Not anyone could be in this room. Kyrie wasn't even allowed in here really. What made Nero think he was more deserving? Credo sat back and reached for the glass grumpily.
'He has no sense of self-control, Credo. You know what happens to those who are unruly, don't you?' The soft titter of Sanctus' laughter echoed at the back of his mind. The hair on Credo's neck stood on end. Sanctus could not get a hold of Nero, no matter what. Credo felt ill at ease at the idea.
He was sure Nero knew nothing of those 'initiations'. Credo wanted to keep it that way. He would protect Nero for as long as he could.
Not that he really needed it, now that he was a capable fighter for the Order. In fact, perhaps he was one of the best. His attitude on the other hand…
"I spoke with his Holiness, today." Credo let out tersely as Nero tumbled haphazardly into the divan, the action knocking a short stack of books over. Credo watched him with furrowed brows as Nero's muddy-strapped boots draped over one of the arms. Credo attempted to swallow the slow boil of anger in his belly at the act, rubbing the bridge of his nose as he barreled on.
"About?" Nero dug a finger in his ear. Credo seemed affronted by the action.
"Your inability to cooperate with the Order, it seems." The older male managed to say.
"Look, it's not my fault those assholes have a problem with how I do things. It gets the freaking job done. Case closed." Nero made hand gestures as if to wipe his hands of something, tossing his hair out from his face. Credo's eyes narrowed before downing another glass.
"I get that you are doing all this to prove something. But, don't be an idiot." By the fourth cup, Credo could feel the velvety burn of the amber liquid coat his insides. He felt right where he needed to be, almost ready to ignore Nero's presence.
"Gonna give me a taste of that?" Not likely. Damn it all.
Credo had almost forgotten about Nero for a moment, swiveling slowly in his creaky, cushion-y chair. Credo finally regarded Nero's crouched sitting position on the couch. The boy was staring at him openly with that curious gaze of his.
Credo curled his lip. Just what was he looking at? Credo's eyes wandered lazily over Nero's facial features. He'd grown so much in these last two years alone since he joined the order. He had been against it, but Nero insisted he serve.
'Just as I had at that age.' Credo thought in discomfort.
Nero had always been quite the pipsqueak in his younger years, constantly following the older male about. He'd been so taken to Credo as a child like a little duckling chasing after its mother. It was borderline ridiculous how much time they'd spent together. In some ways Credo was like the brotherly figure Nero enjoyed looking up to. The boy had made no secret about it.
Nero had no family, had no recollection of their existence. Credo and Kyrie were the closest to family he would ever get.
Credo never wanted to admit it but Nero looking up to him, made the Commander somewhat happy. The same snot-nosed, wild-haired brat he'd encountered on those orphanage steps was no longer a little child. Nero was fast becoming a man.
Unable to hold their gaze, the older man averted his eyes elsewhere.
"Shouldn't you be too young to be drinking this?" Credo chuffed.
"I'm not a little kid anymore, Credo."Credo paused at Nero's intense gaze. The older man looked away again, the awkward silence filling the space between them. Suddenly Credo wasn't sure if they should be in the same room together.
Perhaps he needed to lay off the brandy for a while. Either way, the feeling in his stomach coiled at the silence between them.
"I suppose you aren't." Credo finally said as he reached for another glass atop the shelf nearest to the desk, pouring the contents into the glass a quarter of the way. Nero's ears perked. Credo pretended he didn't see it as he poured. Surely there was a law out there somewhere he was breaking.
Story of my life, Credo thought sourly.
The soft shuffle of Nero's leather-strapped boots behind Credo made his shoulders tense. Nero sat at the edge of the desk, plucking the glass from Credo's hand, their fingers touching. Credo looked up slowly to watch Nero drink down the amber liquid, a trail of liquor dripping down his throat.
Credo gripped into the table. Something about this was wrong. He was sloshed—the alcohol was making him see things. He would leave it at that.
Nero watched Credo reach for the snifter, stopping the older man from getting it. There was an almost teasing smile about that young face of his. Credo gave him a suspicious glance.
"Why are you here, anyway?" He asked, not sure why he hadn't done so sooner.
The look in Nero's eyes was gone, instantly withdrawn as he cocked his head to the side to shrug nonchalantly. "I don't know, to be honest. I hoped you'd be here, so I came by."
He came to see him? Credo shifted in his chair, slightly guarded by Nero's confession. Working for the order had kept Credo pre-occupied more times than not. There was a time when they hardly saw one another, both of them occupying themselves with the swarms of demonic creatures constantly appearing in the area.
His cheeks colored a bit, clearing his throat. It had been quite some time since they even sat in the same room together. They both sat in awkward silence, both seemingly contemplating what next to say.
Credo hardly recognized the young man sitting just a hair's breadth away from him. No sooner had he tried not to frown, he failed miserably at doing so.
Well, I tried.
"I suppose I'm glad… you came." Credo leaned back into the chair, placing his glass down.
"You do?" Nero sounded genuinely surprised, his cheeks a rosy pink. Was that delight he'd seen? Or hope? Credo decided not to look at his face. It was nothing to be excited about, honestly. He didn't know why Nero had to act so… he didn't know how to describe it, really.
"Well, I mean—"Nero interjected. Had that been uncertainty in the boy's eyes? Nero was a lot of things, but uncertain was definitely not one of them.
"Err… never mind." Credo watched him do his trademark nose-scratch. He found himself a bit irritated by it.
Yes, it was definitely time for Nero to leave.
"It's time for you to go." Credo murmured suddenly.
"Aw, c'mon Credo!" Nero's head shot up, standing up to lean on the arm-rests to Credo's chair, barring his way from escape. The older man let out an indignant sound, curling his lip at Nero's sudden closeness.
"You're making me uncomfortable by just being here, so if you don't mind—" Credo let out, clamping his mouth shut as soon as the words had left him. He had way too much to drink, deciding upon blaming the copious amounts of brandy he'd practically inhaled earlier. He had even made the mistake of drinking freely around the boy.
Nero's eyes lowered as he moved closer until they inhaled each other's exhales. Nero's pink, parted lips were in Credo's vision.
What was happening…?
"Credo, I—" Credo's eyes widened a fraction more, glued to his chair like a deer in headlights as Nero bit his lower lip. The sound of the door closing downstairs sent Credo rushing out of the chair immediately. Behind him, he could hear Nero giving a soft curse.
"Kyrie's here." Credo whispered out more to remind himself. For a moment, just a moment, he'd felt a guilty quiver take hold of him.
"Let her come, then?" Credo heard from behind him. The older man whipped around to stare at the boy, brows furrowed. 'Just what does he mean by that?'
"Didn't you say she never comes up here?" Nero whispered harshly, his cheeks red. The boy's cheeks lit up brighter than a Christmas tree at Credo's reprimanding glare. The wheels to the cogs in his mind were finally starting to turn.
"Yes, but—" This was probably the first time in a long time since he'd seen Nero embarrassed with himself. It still reminded him that Nero was still a young brat. Way too young.
Too young for… Stop that, this instant.
The noises died away, both of them standing at the door, uncertain as to why they were both hiding like mice in an attic. What exactly do I have to hide, again?
What was Nero going to say back then? Nevertheless, it was beyond them, now. Deep down, Credo didn't want to know. It was just better if Nero did him a favor and kept his mouth shut. Another glass of brandy would help douse his brain free of guilt.
He hoped, anyway.