You pulled on a set of rubber gloves, scowling at the mountain of dishes Dante had left you to do. He finally brought down the ones he had been hoarding in his room, so many that there was no longer any open counter space, so they had to be washed.
You filled the sink with hot, soapy water, and with a sigh, began to scrub. This wasn’t technically your job, but your Type A kept showing, brain forcing you to clean for him even though he was a grown ass man.
After a few minutes, you absently began to sing, an old song that your mother would sing to you if you couldn’t fall asleep, or woke up from a nightmare. It was about a sailor and his wife, bidding each other goodbye as he left, only for his ship to be sunk in a storm, leaving his wife heartbroken, but hopeful that they will meet again in the afterlife. Perhaps not the best song for a six year old child, but it still calmed you down even now, when the occasional nightmare would rear its ugly head.
“It was in a gale the ship set sail,
His love was standing by;
She watched the vessel out of sight,
And the tears bedimmed her eye,” you sang softly, volume not much louder than the running water, gently setting the mismatched glasses on the drying rack.
“She prayed to him and heaven above,
To guide him on his way;
And all the parting words that night,
Still echoed round the bay....
Farewell, farewell my own true love,
This grief it makes me sore....” A baritone voice joined you on the second line of the chorus, and you dropped a glass into the filled sink with a thunk, soapy water splashing onto your face.
Whipping around, you saw Vergil, mug in hand as he went to fill it with coffee. You looked at him in disbelief, using your shoulder to wipe the suds off of your cheek.
“Do you...know that song?” you asked, incredulous.
“One would assume, since I was singing along with you,” he replied with a smirk, bringing the mug to his lips.
You tried to hide your smile. “Ah, yes, that would make sense,” you replied sheepishly, turning back to the sink.
Digging around, you located the dropped glass, checking it for cracks, and when there weren’t any, rinsed it off and placed it to dry with the others.
Well, you thought, grabbing some plates next, that’s half of them.
“You can keep singing, if you’d like,” you heard him say behind you. Looking over your shoulder, you watched as he took a seat at the kitchen table, cracking open a dusty old book to read. He met your eyes with an intense gaze, and you quickly looked away, embarrassment flooding your face.
“You’re sure I won’t be disturbing you?”
“Not at all. I do I hope you don’t mind if I make it a duet.”
You smiled at Vergil, appreciating this strange turn to the softer side. “Not at all,” you echoed, scrubbing at some congealed substance on a plate. “I’ll start at the chorus, then?”
“Very well,” you heard him say softly over your shoulder.
“Farewell, farewell my own true love,
This grief it makes me sore;
And you will be my guiding light,
Till I return once more.
My thoughts will be of you my love,
When the storm is raging high;
So farewell, farewell, remember me,
My faithful sailor boy, my faithful sailor boy....”
He let you sing the last line yourself, another repeat of “My faithful sailor boy.”
You didn’t want to look at him, fearful that this kind illusion would break if you made eye contact again. He didn’t give you a choice, as he came up to stand next to you, pulling dishes out of the strainer to dry with a towel.
“It seems you still have some dishes to do, I suppose we should sing another to make the chore seem less arduous,” he commented, and you bravely turned to look at him, trying to keep you mouth from hanging open in disbelief.
He looked down at you with an amused expression, but didn’t say anything.
“Any ideas?” you finally asked, still not quite over his behavior. You weren’t complaining, though, it was better than the sarcasm and silence that you usually got when trying to talk to Dante’s twin.
“Do you know ‘Wind and Rain?’” he asked, opening a cabinet to put the dried glasses into.
“Oh, you mean the one about the older sister who murders her younger sister by pushing her into a river, and then various bones of hers are taken by a questionable musician who turns them into a fiddle that only plays ‘Wind and Rain?’....That ‘Wind and Rain?’”
Vergil stopped in mid-glass-raise, turning his head to gawk at you. You smiled brightly at him, and he cleared his throat to try to hide the smallest little laugh.
“So you are aware of the tune, then,” he replied softly. You barked out a laugh, accidentally bumping your shoulder against his arm. You muttered an apology, but he just looked at you with that amused expression again, like he was studying you, trying to figure you out as much as you were trying to figure him out.
You turned your head to focus on the remaining dishes as Vergil began to sing. Your hands came to a stop after only a moment, though, because he was singing the song in Gaelic.
You sucked in a harsh breath, turning to watch him as he sang. When you failed to sing your part, he trailed off until there was only silence between you.
“Is something wrong?” he asked softly, placing the towel down on the countertop.
“I haven’t heard anyone sing to me in Gaelic since my grandmother died,” you admitted, looking away shyly. “It just caught me off guard, that’s all.”
You felt his hand on your shoulder, tentative and light, and you flushed, still not able to look at him.
“I hope,” he began, voice nary above a whisper, “it evokes good memories of her.” He removed his hand, leaving a pleasant warmth, and began to sing again from the beginning.
You chimed in with your part, in English, finishing up the mountain of dishes and feeling just a little bit closer to Dante’s opposite.