Fan Fiction ❯ Brother Never Cry ❯ Chapter Three: Tremors ( Chapter 3 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Brother Never Cry
Summary: An account of how Vergil was led into darkness and how Dante came to set up Devil May Cry. Set one year before DMC 3.
A Word From The Author: Thanks to all reviewers…
Seeker: I really have to apologize for omitting your name in the Thank You section last chapter. Anyway, thanks for the info. Even if it still was a bit vague. So when DID Sparda close the gate, I wonder…? As for Hermissa's name, it just got stuck in my head for some reason while I was drafting the chapter so I used it. I dunno if I can get DMC 1 though. So long ago…
Millgen: Thanks for reviewing both chapters. And for the praise, coz I really need the support, due to sudden writer's block for Chapter Three.
Trinity Archangel: Nah, there's better stuff out there. After all, I'm pretty new to Devil May Cry, haven't got all the ropes yet.
CrazyParty: Well…I don't think Eva's death was mentioned in DMC3, which is why she's in here. I guess you're right; I'll just have to ignore DMC1 for this fic.
Laylah: Glad you think so!
Rikku142: Hmm…I interpreted the dialogue `In your veins flows the blood of the sacrificed woman' as Arkham having sacrificed Mary's mother or something…that is a new take.
Feral: Yeah, well, here it is.
Disclaimer: I have absolutely no claim to any of the canon characters i.e. Eva, Sparda, Dante, and Vergil, who all belong to Capcom. I am not making money off this fic.
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Chapter Three: Tremors
Crimson eyes, staring at him. They were everywhere.
This was a trap, and he'd walked straight into it.
Lightning flared, flashing silver radiance into Dante's eyes and, briefly, illuminating the blurry outlines of the demon host. Vaguely humanoid, with half-formed things that resembled human features set in wax and melted. The effect was grotesque. Lips like the scarlet slash of a knife parted, leering at him. The rain poured down harder than ever, turning them into purplish-black silhouettes dominated by hungry, burning eyes.
Dante was unimpressed.
The tallest reached for him, folds of sickly flesh falling from its jowls like drool. Its fingers were withered talons that Dante sidestepped easily. Swallowing his disgust, the half-demon then glided inside the circle of the demon's flailing arms and pulled off an uppercut that snapped the brittle bone like a twig. There was a shrill, wailing cry, yet the demon persistently clawed at his arms, its head bent to an unnatural angle.
“Ew…gross,” Dante hissed, wrinkling his nose. The initial shock over, he was even beginning to enjoy himself. After all, they were just a bunch of rotting corpses. What could they do? He swung his fist into the…thing's…chest, which instantly gave way beneath the force of the blow. The bones crunched like dry sticks, splinters opening small cuts in his hand, which healed almost instantly.
The demon crumpled at his feet, Dante allowed himself a satisfied smile. Stepping over the pathetic remains in the ground, he settled into a fighting stance. “Okay, who's next?”
During the pitiful excuse for a fight, some of the demons had edged past and they now surrounded him. As he brushed sodden white hair out of his eyes, they came upon him in an oddly silent horde, no screaming or battle cries, just the clack-clack of claws against gravel and the insane smoldering of their eyes.
“Now, no rushing!” Dante called laughingly. “Didn't your mommy ever teach you the virtue of patience? And while we're talking about your lack of education—” He aimed a left hook at a demon stubbornly trying to sink its fangs into his bicep—“How about learning how to take a bath? You guys stink.” He shook his head in mild sorrowfulness as he snapped off the hand off a demon tugging at his hair. “No touching the hair!” he added threateningly, lashing out with a kick that reduced the demon into bony confetti.
No doubt a more experienced…ah…demon hunter, as Dante had so grandiosely named himself…would have been alerted by now that the fight was too damned easy. And, as anyone would tell you, there's no such thing as an easy fight.
The old myths and legends are truer than we ever realized. They chronicle the pitfalls and downfalls of heroes and villains, and for both categories it's nearly always the same reason that leads to said doom. Overconfidence, underestimation. And now Dante was over inflated on both.
There were more demons than Dante had taken note of earlier. He snarled in irritation as he punched right through a particularly shambling specimen, his earlier thrill now replaced by boredom. He shoved his way through a wall of demons, to find the exit of the alley. He had gone deeper inside than he had realized, his path littered with white fragments and shattered bodies. He headed out.
Then something closed around his ankle, and he tripped, losing his balance. Too surprised to react in time, he crashed down heavily on the ground, coughing as gray, powdery substance went up his nose. “Damn!” he swore, planting his hands flat on the ground and pushing himself up. Another hard tug on his ankle, accompanied by a fierce stab of pain, pulled his feet out from beneath him, and he slid to his knees again, ruining his best trousers and introducing new scrapes to his palms. This time he yanked his leg forward sharply, and there was a sickening crack as he examined his ankle, Black talons were wrapped firmly around the leg and deep gouges had been dug into the skin. Dante cursed again as he rose to his full height and gingerly tested his injured ankle, all too conscious of the slavering demons behind him.
“Knew it was too easy,” he muttered rather untruthfully to himself as he made for the entrance. On another day when it wasn't raining and he had Rebellion with him, he'd clean this nest out. Now, he was suddenly craving dry clothes and steaming pizza. Anything that was hot.
There was a sound, like fabric rubbing on fabric, ahead of him. The bone shards seemed to glow white in the darkness of the alley, illuminated occasionally by lightning as it splintered across the boiling sky. The scuffling noise came again. Dante ignored it; he kept his eyes fixed on the orange light spilling into the alley, cast by a lamp on the street.
It was consumed by shadow. Dante skidded to a halt as his demon sight was abruptly unable to penetrate the darkness. Blinded, apprehensive, he looked uncertainly around.
“What?” he asked loudly.
Around him, oddly unaffected by the rain, the bone flakes were stirred up in a mini-storm, caressing the skin of his lower legs as they danced madly, leaving numerous thin red lines. Dante hesitated, then made up his mind and plunged straight into the heart of the shadow. Ice silvered the skin of his forearms; as he rubbed his arms for warmth the layer of ice vanished into cool vapor.
Then he saw what was causing the shadow.
He saw, and was now forcibly and unwillingly intimidated, and for the first time in his short life, his firm belief in his own immortality wavered and fell apart like the ice on his skin.
Which was when Dante called to his brother for help, which, ya know, he wouldn't have done normally, but desperate times called for desperate measures and all that shit.
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Brother, what have you done—or interfered in? Vergil wondered with a mixture of irritability and concern as he lugged Rebellion down the stairs. His own slim katana, Yamato, was sheathed by his side, reassuring him with its comforting weight. He hurried down the stairs where his mother lay sleeping on the sofa, but as he clanked his way past—goddamnit, what Dante sees in this heavy lump of metal I don't know—she opened her eyes. “What's wrong, Vergil?”
Trust Mother to be so perceptive. He weighed his words, decided not to worry her. Besides, time was ticking by, with Dante in potential danger. “Dante got himself into another bar fight again. I've got to go sort things out. He apparently tried to pinch someone else' girlfriend…” As he spoke, he edged sneakily towards the door.
“Oh?” Eva looked suspicious. “And you need your swords to `sort things out'?” Her sleepiness was gone, replaced by a concerned expression.
Vergil had the door half open. “Trust me, Mother, everything will be fine. Dante and I will be home soon.”
“Now, just you wait, Vergil…”
Vergil escaped and shut the door behind him. He hated deceiving his mother, but he saw no reason in giving her extra time to worry. As long as he rushed, he was pretty sure he could help Dante. Fearing that he might distract his brother, he resisted the urge to call and ask if he was all right. Ignoring the looks from the few passers-by still walking around on such a cold, rainy night, he set off at a smooth lope, praying that he'd get there in time.
He didn't know what he'd do if he ever lost his brother.
Unnoticed by him, the cluster of shadows gathered thickly at the side of the brownstone shivered and twitched. Two indistinct shapes peeled themselves away, and moved, with purpose, towards two tramps covered in newspapers on a bench down the street…
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They had reformed.
The rotting cadavers whom Dante had killed with such ease earlier had flowed together, and…melted…into a new shape. That was the only word that came to Dante's mind as he gazed, aghast, at the towering spectacle before him. Like wax statues that had been melted down, carelessly molded, and left to harden. The creature's skin was a ghastly fish-belly white, through which hundreds of staring, gaping faces stared blankly, pressed against the skin from the inside. Its head could only be described as a lump, devoid of any recognizable features save two small holes, which could be the nose, and the lips that gleamed particularly red against the ivory flesh like a shining cut. The familiar crimson eyes he was learning to hate littered the creature's massive six-foot tall body liberally. There was one blinking at him on the demons' belly, on its feet, its chest, its feet, on its hands. There were only three fingers, twisted and deformed, with a small mouth at each end, through which black tongues flickered like slithery fingernails. As it exhaled, shadows rushed from its nostrils and flickered around its body like a tarnished aura. Pale, naked limbs—arms, legs, a head, as though the bodies trapped within had been too much for the demon to contain and had burst out— hung from its body at intervals, looking strangely frail and vulnerable.
All in all, something not to be messed with, or at least, it was visually intimidating.
Dante had never been particularly religious, but now he mumbled a prayer to every deity he could think of. As the creature lumbered ponderously towards him, he ran forward, relying on his speed to keep out of the way of the nasty-looking hands. He aimed a punch towards the demon's abdomen. To his horror, the flesh was as soft and pliable as liquid wax. It molded around his fist, and the faces inside, stirred to wakefulness, snapped at his hand hungrily, showing small, pointed teeth.
Dante thought he might be sick. As he stumbled back, wiping his fist repeatedly on his increasingly battered-looking trousers and thinking that he would never get it properly clean again, the demon sensed him and the arms and legs on its body came to sluggish life. Fortunately, due to their unique positioning, the angle of attack was all wrong and he suffered nothing worse than a few feeble kicks. Still, as a huge fist whistled over his head, causing the hairs on his head to ripple, he knew that he could not keep this up forever. He had completely lost all sense of direction in the shadow stuff the demon was creating, and he was already tired. He fervently hoped that Vergil came soon. With Rebellion, he'd show this demon who was the boss.
But until Vergil arrived, he had to stay alive.
Then the familiar scrape of claws on the ground alerted him to the presence of the lesser demons behind. Cursing foully, among which `fuck' was the politest, Dante relied on his senses to drive them back. But now and then one of the demons—who seemed to be immune to the globe of darkness—got in a lucky scratch. The wounds on his body burned with poison, weakening him further. Venom his demon blood could handle, no problem, but with every ailment cured, the more his energy was sapped. Time was running out.
Then the fist of the elder demon seized him around his neck; distracted by the minions, he could only claw helplessly, his eyes bulging as he sought air. Bits of pasty white stuff lodged itself beneath his fingernails, and the tiny mouths on the tips of the demon's claws hissed, and leered in vicious delight. The tongues writhed and flicked on Dante's face as though tasting him. Disgust and fear overwhelmed him.
I'm going to die, he thought, and his mind spiraled into blank numbness. A horrible calm engulfed him. Vergil and Eva would be so upset, but it couldn't be helped. He could only hope that they knew that he had thought of them in the end, and had loved them. A strange lethargy crept over him; probably the poison, he thought drowsily…
He was falling…
The grip around him loosened. Dante cracked open his eyelids to find that not only was he alive and kicking, the demon's arm had chopped off at the shoulder, and that could only mean one thing…
“Verg!” he bellowed, hurriedly disentangling himself from the now limp hand. Picking himself up from where he had lain in an undignified sprawl on the ground, he added, “My sword!”
“Typical,” an amused voice said from very near him. Dante nearly jumped a mile in the air, but caught himself in time. “An inch removed from death, and all you can do is scream for your weapon. Here.” A cold metal hilt was pressed into his hand, which warmed quickly to its master's touch. Dante stood still for a moment, feeling terribly guilty. Despite his brother's light-hearted tone, it could not disguise the underlying relief and concern beneath it. “I'm really sorry, Verg…”
“Later,” Vergil cut him off. Practical as always.
Without the need for words Dante understood what Vergil intended. The twins turned towards the beast, which was emitting a high-pitched shriek that aggravated their eardrums and clutching at its stump. The shadows were beginning to lighten a bit, and Dante could see the lesser demons crouched on the ground, shuddering, as though affected by the misery of their superior.
The elder demon's fiery eyes sought them out, and together the twins raced forward, swords drawn and glittering with a light of their own. With a few quick strokes, both had cut a pathway through and were within the innards of the demon. The faces of the dead strained forward at them, dusky eyes filled with insatiable craving. They were dispatched swiftly and soon Dante and Vergil were out again, on the other side. The demon screamed in agony and stumbled around, knocking bricks out of the walls and its own followers around. Vergil gauged the height of the demon, smirked, and gathered his long legs in a leap. At the apex of his jump, he spun in midair and his katana cut through the air—right at the demon's head. The older twin used his momentum to cleave right through the malformed lump. As Vergil landed gracefully in a crouch, Yamato pulled itself free and returned to his hand.
Good one, Dante commented in his head.
Without replying, Vergil turned to first dispatch three lesser demons that had been sneaking up behind him and then focused. Now?
Yeah, I figure you've done enough damage.
Simultaneously, bound by their bond and connected now in the face of shared danger as they had never been before, Vergil and Dante drew their swords back, and flung. Spinning end-over-end, Rebellion and Yamato stabbed right through the demon's already mutilated belly.
“Jackpot!” the twin brothers cried in unison, as his brother's sword exited via the other side and landed in a waiting hand. As the echo of their words died, so did the demon. Without fanfare, the demon lay down and vanished into thin air, causing the mist to dissipate. So did the minions; screaming in rage and disappointment, their cries a suiting serenade for their master's demise, they disappeared, leaving behind the dirty rags they had worn.
Gasping, both brothers tossed back each other's sword before sinking to the ground, reveling in each other's companionship. After a while, Vergil spoke, “You owe me a very big favor, Dante.”
“Isn't it enough to know that you have my undying gratitude?” Dante asked hopefully, leaning on his brother's back.
Vergil smiled wickedly. “No such luck. Garbage duty for a month, mister I-Can-Take-On-Ridiculous-Numbers-Of-Demons-On-His-Own.”
“Aw, come on…”
Vergil suddenly spun around, causing Dante to fall back into his lap. The older brother seized his twin by the front of his shirt, giving him a violent shake.
“And what did you mean by that?” Vergil spat out, practically nose-to-nose with Dante. “You could have been killed by your foolishness! I could have lost you forever! Eva would have been devastated!” Vergil shook him again. “Think, Dante, think! Your impulsiveness could lead to your death one day, and what would that do to me?!”
Dante stared at his brother in surprise. Vergil was breathing heavily, and a lock of hair had flopped down into his nose. He had never seen Vergil lose control, or said so much at one go, before. It served to intensify the pangs of guilt.
“I'm sorry,” he said again, feeling the utter inadequateness of the two words. “I know, it was dumb. That is…” he laughed awkwardly. “I guess I've learned something from this. Never walk down a dark alley you know is demon-infested without a handy weapon.”
Vergil regarded Dante intently. “Remember that.” He released Dante and stood up. “Because, if you do something stupid again, I'll never let you forget it when I get to the afterlife.”
Gingerly rubbing his throat, Dante followed suit. Vergil abruptly paused, and turned around. “I may have seemed harsh,” he said quietly, “but I must caution you…” His somber expression suddenly turned into an evil grin, “Wait until you face our mother.”
Dante stopped in his tracks. “Oh, crap! Couldn't you make up a story or something?”
“Come, Dante. You know our mother better than that. She wouldn't fall for any kind of lie. I will enjoy seeing her drag the sordid truth out of you.”
Dante groaned into his hands. “In that case, you had better kill me now, because she certainly is going to when we get back.”
“I'll support you,” Vergil said rather unconvincingly, clapping a hand on Dante's shoulder and steering him out of the alley.
“Yeah, like hell you will…”
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When they walked up their street, they, however, immediately knew that something was wrong. From the end of the road they could see the flashing red and blue lights that illuminated the block, the crowd of curious people, the distinctive shape of the squat ambulance, the frightened whispers that drifted in their direction, borne by a quiet evening breeze.'
“No,” Vergil said uneasily. “It can't be…”
The twins broke into a mad dash; indeed, blue-uniformed policemen walked around importantly, shooing away the spectators; the red and white safety tape; the lamenting wail of the ambulance, an ominous omen for what was to come…
It was their house, all right. Shoving through the excitable crowd, some reaching out with sympathies, others with probing questions, they reached the edge of the gathering and stopped, rooted to the spot. Dante stared, utterly dumbstruck, the inquiries of the constable falling on deaf ears. Stared at the pale, crumpled figure, golden hair spread around her head like a beautiful halo…
A terrible howl of grief broke his stupor. Dante looked back, to find his twin, only to see that Vergil was gone, leaving several sprawled people in his wake where he had clearly shoved brutally aside.
“You are her son!” the policeman's words finally registered through his haze of shock. Dante nodded dumbly, unable to find his voice. The policeman took his elbow and steered him away. “I'm sorry, sir, but we'll have to ask a few questions. It's all routine, you understand…”
Dante nodded again, and for him, it seemed that the whole world had collapsed, and nothing mattered anymore…
…because she was gone.
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Author's Ending Note: And this was why Eva was alive in this story…the whole fic is based on this crucial point, you'll see why. Oh yeah, I didn't think using the demons I encountered in DMC3 was suitable, and I don't know any DMC1/2 demons, so I had to resort to original ones, I hoped you guys felt they were realistic. Oh, and like I mentioned to CrazyParty, only DMC3 info will be used in this fic.
And this chapter was longer! Yay!
See you next chapter. Ta.
Signing off,
T. Axile.
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