Author's note: Interest drove me to writing this. Or is that obsession? Whichever choice, after a short rental of PS2's Devil May Cry, I knew a fanfic would in inevitable so I began to write. Buying the game a short time later, I continued writing and cranked out this story! My first DMC fic, ladies and gentlemen. Let me know what you think in those reviews!

Disclaimer: I don't own DMC or its game related characters. Really.


Tantalizing You

Dante Sparda's lightly dozing form jolted at the sound of an insufferable loud bang. A rush of cool air ruffled the silvery bangs drooping over his half-lidded cobalt eyes and he knew it wasn't the air conditioning acting up. It took him a hazy moment to figure out two things: First of all, the afternoon rain still held its death-like grip on time, meaning still more opportunity to catnap.

Secondly, he figured out that it was one of Devil Never Cry's new double doors that was the source of the horrid noise. His gloved hands instinctively reached to his holsters for Ebony and Ivory, his most loyal handguns. Mild fumbling ensued due to residual fog that invaded his cognitive process. Add to it his long legs which had gone totally numb as a result of being propped up for way too long on his office desk. He twisted, hoping momentum would push them to the floor. Nothing. He couldn't get them to budge! Clumsiness was definitely going to get him killed, but his legs wouldn't damn move! At least his arms were functional as they outstretched and aimed for the intruder's head. Demon-enhanced acuity made life good in frozen moments like this, especially with this poor lighting in the dingy office he considered home.

"Is that the kind of welcome I get from you? Thanks so much."

Upon recognizing the panting trespasser, he relaxed, knowing real danger wasn't about to rear its head, unless well-aimed insults counted. He replied, "Just wanted to check those fantastic reflexes of yours, Trish." He put away his guns and took a slow couple seconds to back up his swivel chair until his black boots thudded on the hard wooden floor. He let out a satisfied groan at the tingling sensation that began to spread up from his toes to his fingertips. A chuckle escaped when Dante noticed the accumulating puddle of rainwater at her feet, but the sour expression on Trish's face amused him far more. He cleared his throat. "Y'know, I heard an umbrella is perfect for preventing your situation. Or do you just love singing in the rain?"

His assistant shoved the door closed, then walked over to the front of his huge desk. "Shut up." She wore a light blue halter top and exquisite leather pants, black as always. A nice pair of matching boots completed her ensemble. Her waist-length tresses clung to her skin and made dark blotches on her shirt, reminding Dante just how long that hair of hers really was. He swore he could feel his pupils dilate as his deliberate eyes roamed her dripping form up and down...and again. Nice shoulders, he thought in appreciation. The bright blue of her shirt was certainly an alluring change. Whenever she came into the office, her wardrobe was always something dark. Black, brown, whatever. He noticed she even brought along a beaded purse. The whole thing was shiny and made up of multicolored beads of purple, blue and green.

Trish shook rain off her attire and squeezed at her wheat-colored mane. She said, "I didn't do this on purpose."

"Darling, it looks to me you did." Dante's mad grin couldn't be suppressed. Even with everything that had happened between them back on Mallet Island, she turned out to be a great friend, not to mention one fiery sidekick when it came to matters of demons and other ghoulish things. Because of her friendship status, he loved poking fun at her. The ribbing didn't head into much deeper territory, since he knew going further would only cause unmistakable trouble. Sure, both of them flirted during slow spots of business, even kissed some, but it almost always was a one-sided initiation and it wasn't he who sparked it.

It wasn't like he hated those intimate moments. It was just sometimes he saw his mother from everyday life things that Trish did. An angle her body turned, or how her straight hair fell over her shoulders when she moved a certain way. It wasn't Trish's fault she looked liked his mother. When a memory unlocked, Dante's natural tendency was to remain distant. At times, reminiscing didn't bother him enough to stop flirting and he kept right on doing it. Other times, the notion of having Trish in that way because of his flirtations made his eyes water and he couldn't- wouldn't think of anything that second. If he didn't keep a blank mind, real disgust would follow and it wasn't how he wanted to feel towards Trish. Though he never told this to her in the verbal sense, she seemed to understand the unspoken explanation for his non-reciprocation. He did often wonder about her true thoughts on the matter. Dante's head shook to file away the serious pondering. This could be done another day.

Grumpy Girl continued, "Look, ten minutes ago there wasn't a drop of rain. I'm walking outside nice and content, and then I hear some thunder and the next thing I know, I'm taking refuge here."

"You could have teleported."

"In public? I don't think so." She gestured to her clothes, pale blue eyes scrunching up in a wailing defeat. "This is unfairrrrrr!"

The unbidden snigger that slipped from Dante only provoked more fury from the miserable, wet lady. Furious, she flipped a clump of stray hair off her cheek and shouted, "That's not funny, Dante! Maybe that little red outfit of yours needs the treatment I got!"

All humor stopped dead. He glided quick hands over the smooth crimson leather of his jacket and pants and frowned in unmasked horror. "Like hell! Don't you know leather costs? The real stuff, not that imitation junk." A brash grin appeared. "It took me weeks to find the perfect leather ensemble, not to mention the perfect color."

"All the more reason to get you wet, then." A flick of Trish's dripping hand at his face caused his stern look to deepen to a near scowl. She smiled, then remarked, "My, I didn't know I could make you that grouchy! I AM good!"

"Funny." Leather creaked as the half-demon rose and walked around to relieve his stiff spine. How long had he been sitting in that same position? An hour? He really had to stop falling asleep in that chair. He shot a pointed look at Trish. "You're getting my desk wet. And the floor." He paused. " And you got me wet." Dante baited the last statement like a carrot on a string, waiting for her to take it and retort back with something demeaning.

Arms akimbo, she disappointed when only said, "I need a towel."

"What, no comeback about my wonderful personality?"

"I'm too wet to care."

She had a point, Dante noted. But did he really want to stop the fun of creating more unflattering insults? It induced a sort of high within, all hot and electrifying. So why stop now? Shoving aside the thick curtain on a window he reconsidered his judgment. The dreary rain wasn't going to let up anytime soon and the investigative business of demon slaying produced no exciting results at all today. Other than a misdialed number and a wrong password call, the need for supernatural assistance plain weren't filling up his schedule lately. It wasn't the worst thing in the world; he could sit back and enjoy the city's finest bourbon without worrying about ugly-ass creatures loping up from behind and wanting his head as a trophy. At least, that's what he wanted to believe. Just a fraction.

Yes, as much as Dante hated to admit, he wanted Trish's company, if only for a few hours. Sometimes she would meet up with her friends and every so often he with his own, so they didn't spend too much time together. Spending this afternoon with her didn't seem horrible at all. Evening would reveal its enticing self as always, and then they could wait by the phone some more while dining on tasty TV dinners. With an actual TV. It would be great if the rain stopped by then too. Humid weather made him cranky. Humid weather made his leather outfit very cranky.

"Danteeee?"

Dante didn't bother with the curtain. He found a small towel in the tiny bathroom and when he emerged in the office, it jiggled in his hands teasingly. "What's the magic word?"

Trish growled in acute irritation. "Dan-te!"

"Sorry, that's not it. Too bad, it's so very dry." He pressed the fabric against his chest like a heartbroken lover would to a goodbye note.

"Maybe you'd like to reconsider that." With nimble gracefulness in spite of her soaked clothes, Trish danced over to his wall of weapons. From a screwed rack Dante had proudly tacked up, she grabbed his beloved sword Alastor. His mouth parted open in silence, but it shut abruptly, his cocky attitude rising again.

"You flirt with danger, taking my sword."

"And you with my towel!"

"Yours? Funny, I recall me buying it, me bringing it here and me putting it in that bathroom. I don't see how that can make it your towel."

The blonde did some practice swings in the air and ended with a sharp lunge in Dante's direction. "Quit with the brain teasers. You fetched it for me and it's only proper you hand it over." Brilliant, royal blue lightning crackled over the elegant blade as she held it up to admire the shining surface. "This does make a fun weapon. I can, oh say, use this as a pizza cutter." She gasped as something large and soft struck the side of her head and her grasp on Alastor disappeared. After she caught the fluffy object in her arms, her gaze darted around to find sneaky Dante behind her, the sword she claimed mere seconds before resting on his shoulder. His icy blue eyes narrowed upon eye contact. He said, "Nobody makes a pizza cutter from this beauty."

"Except you, maybe." Trish smiled thanks as she toweled her long hair.

Dante returned the sword to its glorious place on the wall, glad to have it in his possession again. Holding Alastor always made him feel all cozy inside. His long trench coat swung around as he turned. "Not when it comes to my weapons."

"You're hopeless. I figured with everything you've gone through with Mundus, those experiences would have made you more sensitive. Guess I'm wrong."

"Hey, you got the towel, didn't you?"

"Yeah, but not after threatening your Alastor to a lowly state of being a pizza cutter instead of a demon cutter."

He let out a low sigh at the insidious d-word. "That might be the case if we don't get a decent job soon. This almost makes me want to be back on Mallet Island." A rumble of thunder made him glower at the window. "Unless this rain drowns all the freaks first. Then I'm really unemployed."

Trish went to the window and looked at the endless rain as she dried. "It'll stop soon."

He scoffed while following her line of vision to the outside world, perching himself on the edge of his desk. "What makes you say that? You followed the weather report today?"

The damp towel landed on his lap and he in turn, tossed it on the heavy desktop. "You've got to have optimism about this sort of thing," she explained patiently. "Don't let the bad weather ruffle your feathers." She moved toward him and smiled brightly. Then she mussed his long bangs with a hand. "Or your hair."

Dante seized the hand and in one move he held it behind her back. "Are you in the mood for danger today?" he inquired into her ear. "'Cause I can help you out with that, babe."

"Ouch, let me go! And stop calling me that!"

"What's the magic word- Ugh!" Her free elbow jabbed painfully at his abdomen and he immediately released his captive.

"Thank you," the triumphant girl said, straightening her arm. "That's what you get for calling me a babe ever since we got back from the island."

Smoothing down his frazzled locks, Dante replied, "It's fun. Anyway, it seems to be a slow day for customers, so I thought I might polish up the new doors while I'm here." He pointed at the front, his trademark smirk on his lips. Once they had returned from Mallet Island, he forced her to pay every penny for the replacements. Sparks flew at the start of that conversation, but in the end, after the bickering and refreshing electro-shock treatments, he got his way. It was a sore spot for Trish since the chunk of depleted cash meant less cappuccino fiestas. She had discovered the addictive drink about two weeks after she began working with him. It wasn't a surprise that it had been he whom she spent a major part of her time with, so it was natural that he would be the one to introduce her to the intoxicating substance known as caffeine. Now just over a month had passed for them. Ah, memories.

Now, Trish's expression fell at the reminder of her break-in. "I apologized for that a million times already! How was I supposed to know double doors would cost so much? What's with you and wood, anyway? The walls, the floor, your desk..."

Silence filled the room as Dante contemplated. He tapped a black boot on the hardwood floor in thought, producing a hollow sound with each beat. He liked wood because... well, it always broke effortlessly under his power. Bookcases, chairs, tables...anything lumber. All it took was a swing of his sword or a swipe or two from his flaming Ifrit gauntlets and bang, no more. And wood could shine. Trish laughed at the latter reasoning. "You do love shiny things," she mused, "so that's not quite as ridiculous as it sounds. Your guns, your swords, the amulet."

Reminiscence took a brief hold of his heart as he recalled when his kind mother gave it to him. He was young, not much older than 10. It had been a warm day and special, for birthdays were celebrated for both Dante and his brother Vergil on the same day. Like always, Vergil had been picking on him while they played outside on their reliable swing set. It was guaranteed to be fun in five minutes or a scamper to elsewhere.

This time, Vergil's issue was about the lateness of their birthday gifts and how Dante was to blame Maybe Vergil was serious, maybe he wasn't. Either way, taunting continued all through afternoon, but Dante didn't let the pestering bother him. After all, it was his birthday! Evening came around and both boys heard their names called. Happiness infused their mother's face when she came out of their home's front door, her hands held behind her back. Dante picked up on this first and jumped off his swing in mid-arch and raced over. His brother caught up, and both kids went ecstatic when they were each presented with a striking pendant as gifts. Though the light of a dwindling sunset had dimmed to a chilly darkness, the boys didn't pay any mind as they babbled and jumped around in glee at their birthday presents.

The pendant had a light reddish gem in the center with a gleaming silver setting and chain . Dante flipped the jewel over and saw engraved words, To Vergil and Dante. Curious why his gift had both their names inscribed (and from the confused look on Vergil's face, he too was thinking the same thing), Dante was about to ask when Mother informed them that both pendants were halves and that each side put together created one full pendant. Dante never saw such a pretty piece of jewelry before. It has power and imbues the holder with both the seen and unseen strength, Mother confided. Naturally naive of what the thing "power" and "unseen strength" truly were, child Dante only nodded and chirped in happiness, "It's really shiny!"

Mother urged them inside the house and told them stories about their father, which made the two brothers even more hyperactive. Dante had always loved hearing them. His ears took in her soft voice as tales of their sacrificing and noble father swirled in his imagination. How brave he was, so dedicated to banishing evil from Earth. Young Dante enjoyed the stories with a passion which often caused bursts of laughter from his entertaining mother with his inane questions and re-enactments. Vergil usually just made fun of him.

The grown Dante of the present blinked a couple times as his mind drifted back to the office. "Uh, so what were your plans?" he asked Trish.

Taking a glance around at the pierced and hung skulls adorning the walls, Trish remarked dryly, "Certainly not here, having those eyeless heads gawking at me."

"You mean not with me." His cheek twitched ever-so-slightly. Did he feel...just a tad upset?

It passed in an eye blink when Trish's vision suddenly found one of those eyeless heads fascinating to admire. "I uh, I didn't say that. I just don't want to be cooped up in here all day."

So, she too had similar affections about spending quality time together. She seemed very shy in admitting it! Something vocal almost accompanied the gleeful grin that lit up Dante's features, but he suppressed the itch. He just kept grinning.

"Yeah. What's the big deal with that? It's not like it's illegal." Trish sounded rather defensive, the pinkness that spread across her face not helping her dignity the absolute slightest.

Now he had to laugh. "Nothing!"

Air exhaled from the blonde's lips and she added with her best haughty voice, "Whatever. I'm going for a latte."

"With that haystack of hair?"

She reached for the top of her head and bee-lined for the bathroom. A faded yelp Dante made out and Trish rushed over to him. Her hand held out. His eyebrow raised. "What?"

"Your hairbrush."

He sniffed, crossing his arms over his chest. "I have no such thing."

Her blue eyes turned into horizontal slits when she didn't believe his words. "I don't!" Dante insisted more firmly. Trish continued to glower.

This was the dumbest accusation in the world. Ebony left her holster and curled around his index finger a number of times, then returned back smoothly, his gaze loving the show of flashiness, of lithe. He repeated this four times. With each twirl, the dark metal gleamed in the overhead fluorescent lighting. He wasn't about to give in to some answer which would make girls squeal. He didn't have a damn brush, and that was that. But nooo, the woman had to beat the issue with a stick until it snapped in half. What did she want next, flowered pants? A hate for coffee? He reached for a fifth spin, hand poised above the gun's handle. Trish wouldn't stop glaring. He began to.

"Second drawer down to the right."

"Yesss! I kneeew it!" the girl exclaimed, then flounced back to the mirror. Dante groaned. His pride had been promptly shredded to confetti bits. Ah well, there's got to be another guy somewhere in this world that's gone through the same disgrace, he thought. Seconds passed before Trish's neck stuck out from the doorway briefly. "You need it?"

His face jerked away as it grew hot. "No."

The sound of his hairdryer clicked on in the bathroom and Trish soon returned into the office all smiles, her coiffure tamed to perfection and completely dry. She made a big show of touching it. "I figured you were hiding that brush. There's no way hair your length can't get tangles and how it looks perfect always!" She whispered in his ear, "I saw that bottle of hot oil treatment. Is that how your hair stays shiny?"

Dante's face flared. Just wonderful. "Will you shut up about my hair? You made your point. 'Dante Sparda cares about his hair.' I see nothing wrong with good grooming. It's how you make a fine impression in the business world."

A very Dante-like smirk moved Trish's facial features as she walked to the front door, her purse swinging. "Uh huh, and those expert grooming skills have gotten us so many odd jobs lately. Anyway, I'm dry enough and world of coffee beckons to me. Come along. I'll treat." She snapped her fingers in feigned remembrance. "Oh, and I'm borrowing your car either way."

The man didn't even register the silent phone on the desk as he came up next to her. "You're paying." As an afterthought, he checked for his depressingly thin wallet and found it inside a pocket of his ruby coat. Who knows if the silly girl really had enough cash for more than one cup of coffee?

She laughed and pointed at his holsters. "No weapons."

A/N: Dante's hair just couldn't be left out. I had to make fun. Stay tuned for the next chapter!