Set after Vergil's defeat. Vergil's thoughts as he intends to leave Dante for good are thoughts his brother was never meant to hear. Dante, however is full of surprises and Vergil's unintentional confession inspires an alternate ending to the twins' saga.
"You seem to be in a bad mood."
Understatement, perhaps understatement of the century. Vergil was raging, pacing back and forth in the small circular room, his blue coat flowing out behind him, allowing glimpses of the gold lining every time he turned. Dante briefly wondered what had his brother so riled up and then quickly decided he would rather not know.
His brother was so caught up in whatever had gone wrong that he had not yet noticed Dante's presence, a fact which spoke volumes about just how much of that famous self-control Vergil had let slip, indeed, far more than the slightly raised voice and the tightly-balled fists ever could.
The elder twin rounded on his younger brother suddenly, dangerously. Dante smiled tightly, ignoring all the emotions which threatened to come rushing to the surface at the sound of his name from Vergil's lips. Instead he focused on just how much his name sounded like a curse, something which his calm and oh-so-proper older brother would never usually resort to. Vergil was pissed.
Not that it mattered to him really, in fact Vergil was more fun when he was angry, he didn't hold back at all. And while it seemed he wasn't going to get what he wanted, at least not at the moment, a fight was a good enough excuse to stay around for a while. Vergil couldn't kill him, nor could he kill his brother-they had tried often enough when they were younger to know that for definite-and this rare display of rage from the usually cold and emotionless elder twin served to fan the faint spark of hope he'd felt when Arkham had first confirmed to him that Vergil was indeed still alive.
So he drew his sword, slowly and deliberately, and pointed it at his brother who was absorbed in his own thoughts. A single lock of white hair fell into his face, and Dante almost smiled at his brother's distraction. In a flash however Vergil was facing him, his stance mirroring that of his brother, his hand resting on the katana at his hip.
His brother's smile was cold and confident, assured as ever of his victory over the younger twin. At that moment Dante hated him as he'd never been able to before. Rebellion in hand he charged at his twin, feeling the now-familiar warmth as his trigger took over his body in a haze of bloodlust and anger.
Much later, somewhere in the fire of the underworld, he found himself facing off against his twin for the third time. He had truly believed it would be different this time, the maniac Vergil had addressed as Arkham, but he had only known in the guise of Jester was defeated, and so everything should have been finished. He should have been able to take what he wanted, namely his brother, and leave. Vergil however seemed to have other plans, and as usual there had to be a difference of opinion between the two, always a fight in one form or another.
So now, even though everything was different, should have changed, Dante found that it was once again just the same. Vergil's smile was cold and condescending, a glint of a katana flashing at his hip and Dante was once again charging at his twin, rebellion in his outstretched hand.
After the fight, exhausted and elated he could only watch his twin, thinking back to their previous battle. Vergil lay in front of him, defeated but still proud. He tentatively extended his hand, now finally Vergil would have to leave with him. He hadn't counted on the depth of his twin's pride, and was unprepared, dumbstruck even, as the regal figure turned and walked calmly off the cliff in front of him.
I am impressed Dante, you have become so much stronger than I remember. As I gather my strength to leave you forever my thoughts are turned inward, remembering the last time we fought. You were stronger, faster than before. The fact that you eluded my notice for so long was only partly due to my fit of rage, though I would never admit such weakness to a soul. How ironic, Dante, that in my moment of defeat my thoughts mirror yours. As always we are more alike than either of us cares to admit.
I will never speak a word of this to you, though should you choose to investigate you would find it all there, just as I have read the turn your thoughts have taken. I never cared to shield myself from you. Now, in my moment of weakness, I remember times from our shared history, some significant, others which seemed at the time laughably insignificant.
I remember the two of us, five years old, playing in the gardens of father's mansion. We were not yet at odds, as we seem to have been since, and I have a startlingly clear vision of the gardens as we ran through mother's precious flower beds, blissfully oblivious to her reaction. It was my idea I remember, and mother punished me accordingly afterwards for destroying her beautiful violets and roses. Even the knowledge that we would be punished could not have deterred me for long; the delight on your face was enough to ensure that. You have always shown a tendency towards destruction, and many of mother's vases fell prey to that very trait I remember. That memory is one of my most treasured Dante, I believe that was the last time I looked in your eyes to see nothing but admiration. Every time I remember in any detail after that day your eyes have held a challenge, these days they are guarded and there is a shadow somewhere in their depths.
I cannot remember exactly when our rivalry began, and I doubt that you will either. I am certain you attached no real significance to such an event, and even if you had then your memory has never served you well for dates and times. I do remember with clarity how once began it seemed to invade every facet of our lives, from our education to the training we received from father at home. I remember the slow progression as we aged, beginning as simple sibling rivalry it has now become an all-encompassing hostility which pains me more than you could ever realise. I often wonder, had we known the direction our rivalry would take us in would we have been more understanding about the differences between us? Would we maybe have cherished our similarities more? Would you Dante? I like to think I may have done.
As I reminisce another memory rises to the surface, unbidden, unwanted. I remember another time in the wide sweeping gardens around our house. We had finished our training with father long before, but neither of us was prepared to submit. So we sparred, driving ourselves and each other ever closer to exhaustion in our now-familiar battle for dominance. I was, always have been by far the more accomplished swordsman, but your prowess with guns has always impressed even father. As we tired it quickly became clear that we were reaching a standstill. We have not fought so evenly matched in many years since Dante.
Tiring as I was from your relentless onslaught I had failed to notice a sinister black shadow approaching. A Hell Vanguard, Dante, though I doubt you have bothered with names for all the scum you slaughter, such details never did hold your attention. They are sly and cowardly by nature though quick to anger and ferocious once provoked. This one, we knew instinctively, had come for our father. Though our twin telepathy has long since fallen into disuse in those days we could communicate wordlessly with ease.
We both dashed for the safety of the house, father would protect us, but I noticed immediately that we would not both reach shelter in time. I try to reject the memory, to think back to happier times but my traitorous mind insists on showing me this scene in startling clarity. I hear myself call to you, telling you to hide. I remember the ease with which you accepted my proposal, nothing but complete trust in your eyes.
At that realisation I feel a pang of guilt for forcing your trigger upon you so unceremoniously, though it was necessary. You would never have survived Temen-ni-gru otherwise Dante, and that was the only way your body would accept your trigger. You are not, unlike myself, given to fits of anger, and if passion could suffice then I suspect you may have inadvertently hurt many lovers in your time.
As the memory continues, evidently determined not to be derailed by a show of emotion, however unaccustomed I may be to such a thing, I remember how you fled, hiding yourself expertly as I searched for father. When we returned however the demon had found your hiding place. You were shaking, crouched behind a barrel as the ethereal scythe descended towards you. I drew my katana, not Yamato, not for many years to come, and rushed forward in fury. I was stopped, shaken from my anger by father who was, as ever, calm and collected.
"Stop Vergil. You will only endanger yourself."
Those words have haunted me Dante, I was not strong enough to protect you that day.
That night you slept in my room, in my bed. We comforted each other as young siblings are wont to do and I swore to you that I would never again fail you so miserably. Of course you had fallen asleep by then, but I have endeavoured to keep that promise Dante, despite what you assume.
The very next day father found me, not in our vast library as was my usual fashion, but in the garden, training furiously. Truth be told I was more accurately merely honing my katana, chopping up anything in my way. I was tiring now, and the marble column in front of me bore the brunt of my frustrations amongst silver flashes from the strokes of my sword. I had not heard father's approach, and drew back in surprise as he plucked the katana from my fingertips.
"You cannot save everyone Vergil."
"I have no wish to save anyone. Only Dante."
His gaze was calm and level, filled with a composure I have long since strived to emulate, though at that time it made me uncomfortable as if I had admitted something deeper, something I would not know the truth of for many years to come. I changed the subject instead, asking a question which had plagued me many times previously,
"Father, do demons become evil because they gain power, or is power granted to someone once they choose that path?"
I was genuinely curious, and at the tender age of ten it had not occurred to me that there might not be such a direct link. All I had even known of demons was power and evil, and to me the two seemed inextricably linked. Father sighed as if he had expected such a question, though I am sure he had not expected to have it asked of him so soon.
"Power is not evil my son. It is the wielder of the power who decides to what end it is used. I sacrificed my own because I found something worth far more to me."
I was not surprised, but to hear father say it so calmly threw me somewhat. He only smiled at me as I gaped up at him through messy white bangs, more reminiscent of the style you usually sported. Father, as ever looked immaculate in his purple robes.
Again one memory triggers another, and I find myself remembering a time five years after the previous memory. Mother was alone with us by then, and though she tried valiantly I knew she struggled to keep some semblance of order in the house without father's knowledge of what we were, what we were to become. She worried about our sparring, and limited our time in the arena. This naturally meant we had to find an alternative outlet for our rivalry, and the form which it took was that of verbal fights. These turned out perhaps more harmful to our relationship than all the battles where we had cheerfully carved each other's limbs into ribbons. Such verbal spats would leave me in a furious rage for days, and you stubbornly avoiding me.
It was during one such period that everything I understood about our relationship changed for me.
I had, as was my usual habit in such times, retired to our vast library. The sheer calm of the place always helped me to collect my thoughts, and I had no fear of being disturbed. Mother had no reason to enter, as most of the sepia-toned books were ancient texts, in a language not entirely human. Eva knew little of the demonic realm save that which Sparda had explained to her. I remembered father spending hours in the library, which had become my haven, but father was gone now, leaving our little family group one short. As for you, Dante, you only ever ventured inside the library to annoy me, or so it seemed, and after our last fight there seemed little danger of such an occurrence that day.
I had intended to retire to bed immediately, however my body demanded a shower so I set off down the empty hallway, finally realising the late hour. The thick carpet underfoot muffled my steps, lulling me back into the realm of my own thoughts, considering whatever trivial misunderstanding had prompted our recent squabble. These days I cannot remember.
The sight which greeted me upon entering our cold marble-tiled bathroom took me by surprise, though with hindsight it should not have done. Remiss as ever you had forgotten to lock the bathroom door, and I walked in to find you already occupying the shower. The water clung to your tanned back, and your hair hung in silver ribbons about your neck. I was rapt. Though Mother Nature may have intended for us to be identical this was never the case. Our very souls rebelled against the idea, and it seemed to me that our bodies had followed suit as I studied the differences displayed in your naked form. I was leaner, swifter, but your skin held a tan, and, though broader was honed to perfection by your restless overactivity. I still have little grasp of how much time passed whilst I stood, entranced, though it could not have been long as you had yet to turn round and catch sight of me.
I was rendered mute and immobile for the first time in my memory, though not the last, Dante. I suspect that even though you cannot, perhaps simply will not return the sentiment you would derive your usual perverse pride from knowing that you are the only one to have ever had such an effect.
First love is rarely an attractive sight, being in itself far too raw and unformed, more often than not an emotional eyesore. Romanticism is something humans employ to justify the ugliness of their emotions, but I needed no such justification. My discovery however robbed me of many nights sleep before sending me reeling to my usual safehaven in the library. Were such feelings normal for a demon, if not for a human?
I soon discovered that our kind were not unknown, demons are promiscuous and humans easily tempted from their restrictive sexual taboos, however few had survived long in our place, stranded between both worlds. As a consequence there was no precedent for my situation.
The year which passed after my realisation was a difficult one for both of us. Twin half-devils attempting to make their way in a world where we were not exactly welcomed. Images flood my mind of the two of us during that fateful year.
As a child you would enter my room at night. We spent many nights in such a fashion, often talking through the night, so mother would scold us and warn that it was inadvisable to forgo sleep when one had classes the next day. I recall how you would lie on my bed, hands folded under your head, as though you had every right to be there. During that final year I would sit across the room in my chair, afraid to be too close to you in such private quarters. Countless times I admired your lithe form from my seat, studying the subtle nuances which ensure you will never merely be my own mirror image.
Though this stalemate could not continue for long. Sometimes the only option was to distance myself from you. During times when the mere sight of you could set my pulse racing and cause my inner demon to stir it was easier to send you away. At those times I would ignore the hurt on your face, and deny you the attention you craved. I knew the hurt you showed was only in mourning for the closeness we used to share as children. As adults we were destined to be more distant still.
Once you came of age you found the attention you had previously sought from me elsewhere. Though jealousy is an emotion I detest I could not help hating all of the lovers you took to your bed, always overcome with relief when none of them stayed in your favour for longer than two weeks. I took lovers myself, it may surprise you to know. I was always secretive about my relationships. To tell the truth Dante I could never convince myself to favour any of those who shared my bed, as none of them could be what I truly desired.
Although you tried valiantly to repair our fading bond I could not let you. You would come to me once your lovers had left, wanting to talk as we had done when we were younger. I could not. I sent you away, and I am sorry, though it had to be this way. You have always favoured human ways, human morals, and those very morals do not allow for my desires. I did not want to offend your sense of propriety, or see you feel obliged to indulge me to preserve our relationship, so I drove you away.
When mother died circumstances forced me to allow you back into my world. We could not survive alone and separated, though our reunion was bitter and painful for me. You took ever more lovers, while I withdrew into myself, into my library. Father was the only one of us who had ever been capable of protecting what he loved, and I needed to find a way to emulate him. I had to protect you.
One night you found me in the library, asleep. As I woke to the dust of the ancient books I noticed you, the red leather coat you wear startling amongst the dull browns of the book-lined walls.
"Dude, you spend far too much time in here. Come and have a little fun."
I raised my eyebrows questioningly, though you gave me no hint as to what 'fun' might imply. I know now that I should have denied you as I had always done, but I was too fresh from sleep to deny my own desires. Caught unaware I was unable to suppress my enthusiasm to spend time with you.
"What do you propose?"
Perhaps all that happened afterwards was worth it, for the look on your face was truly beautiful.
As it happened you proposed a drink. Father had kept a supply of liquors in his study, and mother had never thought to remove them, or drink them. Though our demonic blood had always allowed us to withstand the occasional glass of wine which mother would allow us it was no match for the determined onslaught of several bottles of father's expensive liquor and two recently bereaved teens. Within a short time we were both intoxicated. I do not remember what topics of conversation we covered that night Dante, though I believe we set the universe to rights between ourselves.
Once I realised the extent of my own intoxication, and the fact that it was much closer to being late morning than night I told you we should settle into bed. You were more intoxicated than me, relying heavily on my support as we headed upstairs to our rooms. My intention had been to support you into your room, and then settle into my own bed. Somehow my plans changed, and I found myself far more inebriated than I had imagined. As a result of this it seemed more convenient to guide you to my own room, and settle into bed there together as we had done as children.
As we fell asleep your lips brushed the bare flesh of my shoulder. A mere hint of a touch, and in your inebriated state I doubt it meant anything to you. I doubt you intended the intimacy my own intoxicated responses read. It was enough, however to set my heart racing. Before I could register my own actions I found myself pressed against you, our bodies moulding into one. You were already asleep, your tolerance for alcohol evidently lower than my own, though I believe these days the situation may be reversed. Before I could stop myself my lips were pressed against your own, and your eyes fluttered open, only to be instantly overcome as sleep once again claimed you. I pulled away, horrified with my own lack of control.
Sleep claimed me soon afterwards, a fact that I was grateful for, as it afforded me respite from my thoughts. Before I submitted to sleep I ensured I was as far from you as the constraints of my bed allowed, not trusting my body to keep away from yours. When I woke the next morning I found that while I had not moved you evidently had, for your arm was wrapped around my waist. My top had also moved overnight, traitorously exposing my bare flesh to your fingers, the sensation of which was far too much for me to bear in my fragile post-intoxication state. I shot out of bed with a growl, and you woke with a start.
Your face betrayed your shock at finding yourself in my bed, and it pained me somewhere deep inside. With a great effort I focused on the nickname you persisted in using though I had told you many times that I hated it. This to avoid the guilty realisation that while in my drunken state I had brought you to where I wanted, though you could never share the same desire.
"Don't call me that Dante. My name is Vergil."
I wanted an excuse for my behaviour, for not merely depositing you in your own bed as I should have. Though my inebriation may have sufficed it would still have roused questions. Though maybe that was only paranoia. You smiled at me, amused as ever by my reaction, and not seeming shaken in the slightest that you were currently occupying my bed whilst I stood , fists clenched, using all my willpower to stop myself pacing the room, so unsettled was I.
"Now that you're sober-"
and indeed you were, no trace of the hangover which currently marred my own features on your face.
"get out of my room"
The last few words were hissed with more than a trace of venom, directed, rather at myself than you Dante. Though from the hurt which spread across your usually calm features I gather you believed it directed at yourself.
"I'm going Verge. But for the record-"
You turned and looked at me as I tried desperately to not watch you untangling yourself from the sheets on my bed.
"I know we're too different, you don't need to make it so painfully obvious that I don't fit in your neat little life."
Oh, but you were wrong. You fit perfectly, in a space never intended for you.
The very next morning I left. You were still asleep, predictable as ever and I silently thanked your inability to wake before midday. I placed a chaste kiss on your forehead, and left by the faint glow of the upcoming sunrise.
I had to leave Dante. I can no longer be the brother you need, I can no longer act like a brother. I can do nothing greater than this for you Dante. I hope that somehow you will realise that I have always protected you, though it may be that these days I am only ever protecting you from myself.
I had hoped it would be different the next time we met. A year without my irrational desires would perhaps purge them from my system.
The rest of the story you know, Arkham served his purpose, which was to bring you to me, and we met again atop the Temen-ni-gru.
I had not expected your hate, but as ever we are at odds.
I love you Dante.
"The door to the human world is closing Dante, I suggest you leave me and go if you don't want to be stuck here with me."
Though Dante had no intention of staying in the demon realm, he'd come so far, and to have his plans thwarted by his brother's stubbornness was something he was not prepared to accept. So he smiled, a cold smile which would not have seemed out of place on his brother's lips, and turned to face Vergil, concentrating intently on not thinking about the last night before Vergil left. The night Vergil had been far more drunk than he'd realised and Dante had been more sober than he'd given his brother reason to believe.
It was not, never had been in his nature to brood, and he did not intend to start now. He would not think about how good it had felt to be so close to his twin, after all Vergil had evidently decided his momentary lapse in self-control to be a mistake. He'd made that perfectly clear the morning afterwards.
Dante glanced between the portal above him, shimmering silver, and his brother in front of him, blue coat flashing gold in the breeze, and made his decision. Vergil stumbled backwards, away from his brother, then turned and walked towards the edge of the cliff.
Dante followed at a distance, determined not to allow his brother to get away this time. He hadn't intended to read Vergil's thoughts, hadn't believed he even could any more, it had been so long. Plus the days when Vergil would allow him to know his thoughts were long gone. Or so Dante figured. He'd always respected Vergil's privacy before, allowed his brother to push him away, and given him the space Vergil seemed to crave so much. So it couldn't do much harm to try and find out just why Vergil seemed to hate him so much before he lost his one remaining family member for the second and final time. To say that what he understood from the jumble of memories in his brother's mind shocked him would be an understatement.
Vergil was always hard to read, and he could quite easily have drastically misinterpreted his brother's thoughts, though he didn't think so. After all, they were more alike than either cared to admit.
"Not leaving so soon are you Verge?"
A small smile, as the red leather coat rustled in the slight breeze.
"We've got a lot of catching up to do don't you think?"
Vergil looked at his brother, blue eyes unwavering, his expression stoic as ever. A small smile flickered across the elder twins' lips, disappearing almost as quickly as it had appeared, and then, nothing.
"Leave me and go"
Vergil stepped backwards, allowing himself to fall from the cliff. Instinctively Dante reached out to pull Vergil back to him. His hand connected with the unforgiving steel of Yamato's blade, causing him to recoil in shock, though the younger twin recovered almost instantly, automatically reaching for his brother with the unaffected hand. His fingers barely grasped the front of his twins' coat, though it was enough. Vergil's pale eyes shot open at the jolt as he fell to his knees, dishevelled but still there. Yamato slipped from his grasp, lost to the demonic realm now, as Dante took his brother by the hand giving him no opportunity to escape. The portal was closing, and he was not prepared to leave Vergil in Hell. His brother was still disorientated, though not exactly docile, and Dante took advantage of the momentary lapse of Vergil's usual composure to pull his brother through the portal which was fading, pulsing faintly as the light dimmed.
Once again you have surpassed me Dante, though I had not expected this. You should have left me in the underworld, as this position we find ourselves in is indeed troubling. Your legs entwined around my own, your red leather jacket serving as a shield to hide us from any prying eyes, the mere sense of just how close we are to one another, all of these awaken my own unwanted desires. I know I should move, wake you and push you away, though I am suddenly reluctant to do so. You are warm, similar yet unfamiliar, and though I am loathe to admit it, our current situation is far from unpleasant.
I can feel you stirring now, waking from the jolt of our fall, and unconsciously my body tenses. I should have pushed you away. My actions were hardly subtle, will you recognise my sin and leave me? I hope not, though I fear I have revealed too much in one simple gesture.
I feel your warmth leave me, my eyes still closed as if I might feign injury as an excuse for my lapse of sense. I open my eyes tentatively, and note that we are once again on the roof of the Temen-ni-gru. As I assess the situation around me I see that Arkham lies sprawled at the edge of the tower, fatally wounded, though not by my hand or your own this time. A slight figure is curled up a foot away from him, her slender frame shaking with each sob. Your back is turned to me, red leather and white hair my only view of you as you walk towards Mary.
You are gentle, gentler than I had imagined you could be, as you kneel by her side and speak calmly to her. I could listen, yet I have no desire to hear. She reacts well, quickly even, to your touch, drying her tears and throwing her arms around your neck. Jealousy is an emotion I have always despised Dante, though now, watching you with Arkham's daughter I feel my inner demon snarl. I bite my lip, hard enough to draw blood though my unnatural healing abilities have sealed the wound before it can calm my rage. It therefore takes several seconds of self-control before I can look at you both again. Calmer now, I realise that I know Mary would be a good match for you, stubborn and driven as she is, as you both are. I see in her eyes as she looks at you that she feels the same.
You seem unfazed by her actions, though when she tries to kiss you I notice that you turn your head away. Relief soars through me, though I calm myself. I have been away from you for a year, if there was someone permanent in your life I would not know. Jealousy rises in me again, like bile in my throat. I consider who it could be that you have rejected Mary for. Whoever it is, I am sure, will be captivating, as you always were selective, though inconsistent, in your choice of partners. Myself I was more consistent, though equally demanding in my encounters. I never lacked for attention, though I am certain you considered yourself the handsome twin. I am still contemplating these posibilities, fighting back the vestiges of my envy, when your voice cuts through my thoughts.
I look at you, stood opposite me as we have so often found ourselves recently. Your stance is relaxed, though this tells me nothing, you are rarely tense about anything. Your handsome features are calm and composed, a sight rarely seen in my impetuous younger brother, but you are ever full of surprises. One look in your eyes, however, incites a storm somewhere deep inside me.
My hand instinctively travels to my hip, though I find myself bereft of my beloved Yamato. I remember why, and a frustrated anger flares inside me. Why did you not allow me to fall along with her? There is nothing left here for me Dante, nothing in this world which would allow for me. Our positions suggest another fight, yet I find myself unprepared to fight you again, shamfully weakened from our previous encounters.
Your voice interrupts my thoughts once more, and returns my attention to your handsome features.
"You let Yamato fall"
There is a tremble of anger in my voice, which sounds alien to me. I never allowed my emotions such reign over me before. I do however focus on my rage, ignoring the uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach which tells me you know, you must know, and dreads the confrontation which is certain to follow.
"Verge, I'm sorry"
Is that uncertainty in your voice brother? How very uncharacteristic of you. I intended to taunt you, a fight would be preferable to this stalemate we find ourselves at, and you were always easily tempted into rage. A single glance at your face however confirms my fears, you have realised what I had intended to keep hidden. Rebellion is still on your back, untouched, as you advance towards me. The time has come for confessions long overdue.
"Why didn't you tell me before?"
I give a scoff of derision, before replying,
"Why do you think, brother?"
Though I realise from your words that you might have more insight that merely what has passed between us in the previous moments, and I understand that you have been following my own thoughts. Once again, despite myself, I am impressed little brother.
Again I fancy I hear a hint of trepidation in your voice, so unlike my brash, shameless younger twin. I wonder what exactly is it that has made you so nervous Dante? The expression on your face is devoid of the revulsion I had expected from you, instead an unholy curiosity shines in the depths of those blue eyes, so alike yet so dissimilar to my own.
"Everyone I dated, every time, I thought it would be different. It never was though, almost as if something was missing, y'know Verge?"
Oh I know. It is a sentiment I have shared for longer than I would care to tell you. Though perhaps you have already realised?
Your voice is lower when you next speak, more certain. It sounds more like a conspiratorial whisper than the challenge you usually present to me.
"Ever wonder why I always came to you-not mom, not dad-you when there was anything wrong? Why I was always around you, even though you made it clear you'd prefer to be alone?"
"What are you trying to say Dante?"
My voice sounds husky, with a slight quiver, for my body has turned traitor with you so close to me.
"C'mon Verge. Even you can't be that dumb"
I snarl at the insult, though your hand stops any words which might have followed, by reaching up to trace the line of my jaw.
"Dude you think too much"
And that may be true most of the time, perhaps has been true my whole life to this point, but not now. Your lips brush my own, and my mind abandons all sense of coherent thought in favour of the sensations my sharpened senses are currently delighting in. Have you truly wanted this too Dante?
Your breathy reply is all I have ever needed to hear.
Dante had lain where he landed in Vergil's embrace, far longer than he should have, though in truth he'd been waiting for his brother to wake and push him away. With a hint of concern when Vergil didn't instantly recover, Dante shifted his position, subtly, intending to check Vergil was unhurt from his fall. When his brother tensed slightly, a sharp intake of breath barely suppressed, at the contact this provoked, Dante relaxed. Vergil was indeed alive, and evidently none the worse for the events of the past few hours.
Vergil had still not moved, however, when Dante's keen ears caught a soft sound from the far side of the tower. Reluctantly he untangled himself from Vergil's embrace, careful not to disturb his brother. Vergil's eyes were still closed, and a couple of strands of white hair had fallen over his eyes. Dante absently reached up to brush the strands of hair away, then thought better of it. Vergil would be awake soon enough, and he was not truly ready for the confrontation which was certain to follow just yet. Better to leave Vergil for the moment.
Instead Dante busied himself by surveying the fallout from Arkham's insanity. Arkham himself lay in the centre of the tower, in a pool of blood, sure to be his own. The man was dead, of that Dante was certain. Though what caught his eye was the small, deceptively frail figure curled up at the side of the Temen-ni-gru. Lady. Mary, as Arkham had addressed her, though she had responded to Lady.
The girl's tears were still falling when Dante approached her, and gently dried her tears. Knelt by her side he could hear the pain in her voice, and felt for the headstrong and driven, if slightly psychotic girl he had met on his arrival at the tower.
"I killed him. He was my only family, and I killed him."
"You had to; he would never have stopped otherwise"
Dante reminded her softly.
"Sometimes humans are the real evil"
The girl looked at him, shocked as if this were a revelation, then threw her arms around his neck. Surprised by her actions, she'd previously tended more towards shooting him than embracing him, Dante could do nothing but return her embrace.
"I've been stupid haven't I?"
Distracted by the unmistakable sound of Vergil waking behind him, Dante's only response was a barely intelligible murmur.
"You're a demon, but there's more good in you than most humans."
And then warm lips collided with his cheek, as he turned his head at the last second.
"I'm sorry Lady"
She nodded, blinking back a tear, but accepting the rejection as Dante placed a gentle, chaste kiss on her cheek.
As he turned he noticed Vergil. The two fell into a familiar position, stood opposite each other, as if they planned to fight once more, though Dante planned another outcome of their stalemate.
His brother's blue eyes, previously fixed on Lady, snapped sharply back to Dante's face. Vergil's hand fell to his hip, as if to draw Yamato, though his fingers found nothing. Anger flashed through blue eyes, not quite the mirror of Dante's own.
Dante stood, tense though he wouldn't let his brother notice this.
"You let Yamato fall"
Vergil's voice trembled with anger, and Dante recoiled instinctively. Such fury was almost unknown in his impossibly calm and collected elder twin.
Dante apologised, uncertain how to proceed. Vergil's anger had rarely been directed at him before, and he was beginning to doubt his convictions Perhaps he had misread his brother's intentions?
A sneer formed on Vergil's face, though it dissolved quickly as Dante schooled his features into a calm expression, showing nothing of the trepidation which had spread its way through his being. His eyes resolute he approached his twin.
"Why didn't you tell me before?"
Vergil froze, his eyes momentarily unguarded. When he finally spoke his voice was laced with sarcasm.
"Why do you think, brother?"
The icy detachment returned to Vergil's expression almost immediately, though his words had reassured Dante. It was as close to a confession as he would ever receive from his colder twin. It was time for his own confession.
His voice still sounded unsure, Dante thought. Even now, with his renewed conviction that Vergil shared his own sentiments. Vergil's brow furrowed at the slight shake in his voice, but he said nothing, only waited for his brother to continue.
"Everyone I dated, every time, I thought it would be different. It never was though, almost as if something was missing, y'know Verge?"
At these words his brother bowed his head, an invitation to continue perhaps, or an admission of shared guilt.
Dante's next words were more confident still.
"Ever wonder why I came to you-not mom, not dad- you when there was anything wrong? Why I was always around you, even though you made it clear you'd rather be alone?"
When Vergil finally responded the trepidation was in his voice.
"What are you trying to say Dante?"
At this Dante sighed, his brother still couldn't understand that he could share Vergil's sentiments. Vergil was perceptive, though he had at every opportunity missed Dante's own indiscretions. Though Dante had missed any indication that Vergil shared his own guilt.
"C'mon Verge. Even you can't be that dumb."
His brother bristled, and snarled at the insult, though it was a weak effort. Dante stepped closer, and silenced his brother by softly running his fingers along Vergil's jaw. His brother's breaths had quickened, his body quivering gently with the proximity the two of them shared, though he still had said nothing.
"Dude you think too much"
Dante whispered. He didn't need telepathy to read the silent consent as he brushed his lips softly over his brothers, or the question in Vergil's eyes which asked whether he was certain, whether he shared the same feelings.
His own voice unsteady Dante replied softly.
Before bringing his lips to Vergils again, only to be taken aback when Vergil responded, matching him with a passion Dante had never seen in his brother. He smiled, his eyes sliding closed as Vergil's slender fingers tangled in his hair drawing the two of them closer still. Dante resisted the urge to return the favour, knowing Vergil would not appreciate that, instead his fingers wandered under his brother's coat, exploring the contours of his toned chest through the tight vest Vergil insisted on wearing, his own coat hanging open, exposing his bare chest to his brother's exploratory touches.
And soon Dante was less content to wait, more impatient to take his brother back home, to claim what had always been his.
6 months later, outside Devil May Cry.
The twins can be seen, stood, as ever, opposite one another. Vergil's slender fingers grip the hilt of Force Edge, and Dante's crimson coat flutters in the slight breeze. Rebellion lies, for the moment, untouched on his back, yet in a flash she can be unsheathed when the moment calls for it.
This time though the situation is slightly different. A smile graces the face of both twins, the atmosphere charged only with friendly rivalry.
The sun is high in the sky, the hour still early, and Dante grimaces at being woken by his brother for a sparring match, though they both do need one.
A cursory glance at his brother tells Dante what his sleep-starved brain had yet to grasp, and he shakes his head, unruly platinum locks flying in the breeze.
"Dude put your coat on. I'm not fighting you half-dressed!"
The hint of a smile on Vergil's lips morphs into a smirk, and the light in his eyes suggests all manner of things unholy to Dante.
"Why brother, I do believe you would be distracted by my state of undress."
And this is somewhat true, Dante has spent six months discovering what secrets Vergil kept locked behind that ice-cold veneer of propriety, and it has indeed been a revelation. Though in their current situation to admit such a thing to Vergil would be foolish. And Dante has never been one to pass on a fight.
So he retrieves Rebellion from her place on his back, the weight of his sword comforting even now, and points her at his brother.
"Of course not Verge, but you're already missing Yamato, it wouldn't really be a fair fight without your coat too now, would it?"
The unholy light shines brighter now, and his brother's expression appears almost feral in the bright morning light.
"Remove your coat too, brother"
Dante smiles in return, and shakes his head emphatically.
"Nuh-uh Verge. Then you'd get distracted, and I don't want to kick your ass too badly!"
A smile, barely suppressed, which Vergil recognises as his brother being pleased with himself.
"A man with guts and honour hmm?" teases Virgil, one white brow cocked. A small smile graces his fine features.
It is meant as a joke, an invitation to the fight that they both want, but somehow in that gentle taunt Dante hears a whisper of a future not quite obsolete. The younger of the twins falters in his steps, Rebellion now replaced on his back.
Virgil notices, and re-sheathes Force Edge, approaching his brother unarmed. He pulls Dante into an embrace, cold leather meeting his bare arms, and with one slender finger tilts his brothers face towards his own.
Dante leans into his brothers embrace, happy to forgo this battle. The twins' lips meet tentatively at first, then with more force, all thoughts of fighting forgotten in favour of other duels.
And there we shall leave them, if we wish to believe that they can truly thwart their destinies.