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The Devil's Pact

Chapter Text

When you take the time to think about it, the matchup seems unlikely. He is apprehensive and uptight. Always pensive, thinking about one thing or another with either a book in hand, or a crease in his brow - there are no alternatives, and there is no real middle ground. You on the other hand are brash and the speak-your-mind type, which is likely attributed to the fact that Nero and Nico are the ones you typically spend the most time with. Makes sense when they're the ones who got you into the business of demon hunting in the first place, but what doesn't make sense is that Vergil eventually shoehorned himself into your life too, although not quite under pristine circumstances.

To call what the two of you have 'friends with benefits' would only be half right. You aren't really friends.

You just have the benefits.

It's at Devil May Cry's yearly gathering - this time in Fortuna - when it finally happens. You've only met Vergil a small handful of times before tonight, but that's understandable when he and his brother are based all the way in Red Grave. You don't get along badly, but as far as you can tell, Vergil doesn't treat you any differently than he does anybody else. That is to say, he meets you with a stony look, a brief acknowledging nod, sometimes a handshake, and then he's off to peruse the library at the orphanage. On a good day, he might even exchange pleasantries with you, but that's the extent of your communication with him. Dante always reminds you that it's nothing against you, that he just needs to warm up to people first, but you're not really that bothered by it, if you're honest with yourself. Unless Vergil goes out of his way to be curt and hostile - something he has yet to do - his quiet presence isn't something that worries you. No, you don't mind him, and evidently, he doesn't mind you.

"God," you recline back in your seat to stare blankly up at the ceiling. The garage of Nero and Kyrie's orphanage is actually comfortably inviting after the thorough cleanup you all gave it that morning. With a few folding chairs and tables lined up, and decorative lights offset by the open garage door to let in the crisp evening air, it's not a bad place to hold a year end party. It's far more than Dante ever does to spruce up the main Devil May Cry office, and you distantly think maybe that's why it's being held in Fortuna this year. You're idly nursing a beer bottle in your hands, your fourth so far, and though you aren't drunk - you never let yourself get that far - the warm lightheaded buzz you feel is always a welcome sensation whenever you do indulge. You make a tired, prolonged noise of complaint, somewhere between a groan, and a grumble. "I need to get laid."

Your bold admission actually earns you a few chuckles.

"Okay no--" Nero leans all the way across the table to pluck the bottle out of your hands to drop it in front of him. "That's enough for you. How many times do I need to tell you to keep that talk away from Kyrie?" He's always been protective of her - the figurative light in his life - firmly believing that yours and Nico's bad habits are a bad influence on her. Oh, and the children too, of course, but they've long since been put to bed, so that excuse is all but tossed out the window.

You hum, giving Nero a rather pointed look, and he just knows that something is coming. "Big talk from the guy who probably still has the robot arm sex toy--"

"NOPENOPEnononoDON'T." Nero's exclamation is deliberately loud in the hopes that he obfuscates the last string of cursed words you uttered, but with the way Dante slams his hand down onto the table indicates that his attempt was unsuccessful. It isn't much of an exaggeration to say that you've pretty much thrown him to the wolves and left him for dead.

"I'm sorry, the what?" His eyes, playfully accusing and just glittering with mirth, are on his nephew. "You filthy little punk!"

The younger hunter's face is tomato red, but his expression remains defiant - a look that is so undeniably, and wholly Nero. "Wh-- I-- Don't look at me, Nico made it!" His flustered outburst to shift the blame only serves to fuel the fire, because rather than be embarrassed, Nico has always been the type to roll with the punches. Just like you, really.

"Uhhhh yeah?" She speaks as though she's stating the obvious, and you have to give her credit because it sounds convincing. The stubborn folding of her arms across her chest is a nice touch too. "'Cause ya asked me to?"

The look on Nero's face is priceless, as if he can't decide if he wants to bellow his anguish to the heavens above or bury himself six feet under. Or hell, maybe do both at the same time. In the end though, he settles for hissing through his teeth, voice only barely level and contained because the frustrated embarrassment is heard plain as day underneath it. "That is bullshit, and we both know it. You just dropped it into my lap one day and told me to thank you later."

Nico pretends to think about it, tapping her chin in thought. "Weird. Doesn't sound like something I'd do."

"Oh my god." And it's at that point that Nero gives up, crumpling into his seat to drop his face into his folded arms on the table. And taking that as your cue to exit stage left, you rise to your feet to head outside for some air, giving Nero's shoulder an apologetic pat on the way - not too apologetic though because he's had that coming for a long ass time - and then reclaim your bottle of beer. Behind you, shrinking into the distance, you can hear Dante's voice - 'soooooooo what's it called?', 'please tell me you don't actually use it', 'Neroyouputthatchairdown!'. 

A tragedy in three parts.

You don't even need to look back to know what the ensuing crash is.

The streets are quiet at this time of night. The orphanage is really the only building still lit up, and you can't help but smile to yourself, listening to the chatter and laughter behind you. It's actually kind of a shame you all don't have the chance to meet up more often. It isn't that you don't like your usual company - for all the incessant teasing, Nico and Nero are near irreplaceable to you - but there's always more fun to be had in numbers. It's something about the chemistry of the entire group that brings a warm, boisterous liveliness. There's Trish with her (literal) spark, Lady's zingers, and Dante's aptitude for cheeky fun means laughs are had all around. Strange how such a ragtag group from so many different walks of life were able to come together under such bizarre circumstances, but out here with the brisk chill in your lungs, you realise with an unforeseen clarity that there is little you wouldn't do to keep those people safe. Exactly when did you go from working for profit, to being so willing to throw your life down for any of the people in that garage?

You scoff quietly to yourself at that thought. Maybe you have had too much to drink tonight.

"Were you serious about earlier?"

"Holy shit--!" The enquiry is spoken mildly, but it's the suddenness of it while you were so caught up in your own thoughts that has you flinching enough that your bottle of beer slips from your fingers. But ever quick on his feet, Vergil catches it with a graceful ease before it hits the ground, handing it back to you while murmuring a quiet apology. "Christ Vergil what the hell, you're lucky I'm not armed when I'm around the orphanage or else you'd totally have been stabbed just now, holy fuck--" Heaving a breath, you clasp a hand over your heart in an attempt to calm it. It doesn't really work though, because fuck, you didn't even hear him on the approach until he started talking. But is that a reflection on your instincts - albeit currently dulled by alcohol - or a statement on Vergil's own skills? It's hard to say. "Sorry, what were you saying?"

"I asked if you were serious about what you said earlier." Vergil half turns to lean up against the wall. His gaze isn't on you, but down the street instead, and if his tone and stance weren't so steady, you'd have thought he was being shy.

Though he doesn't see you do it, you tilt your head in thought, "You mean when I said I needed to get laid? Well I wouldn't have said it if I wasn't, I guess." Your fingers drum against the side of the glass bottle in your hands, trying to figure out if the buzzing you're feeling in your blood is the beer or the anticipation of something else, because you're not an idiot by any stretch of the term. You're well aware that there's really only one reason he'd ask you a question like this, but you do have to give him credit for having the courage to, because he really doesn't seem like that kind of guy to you. Still, you do the courteous thing and give him the benefit of the doubt, because if the tables were turned, you'd want him to do the same for you. Treat others how you want to be treated, right? "Why?"

Whatever Vergil's staring at down the street loses its value, and he turns to you now, fixing his steely gaze onto you in a way that almost feels predatory. It's the look of a man who knows what he wants, and you can't deny there's something sexy about that aura of danger he carries with him wherever he goes. In the back of your mind, it's then and there that you decide that the buzzing from earlier is definitely not because of the beer. "If you'd like the company, I'm offering you my time, but if you'd rather not, then..." He spreads his hands in a vague 'no big deal' gesture.

One of your eyebrows arches upward. "You're okay with this kind of thing?" You know that isn't an answer, and also that it's rather presumptuous on your part, especially considering you don't actually know Vergil all that well. But surely he can't blame you for being surprised - he's always  bore that no-nonsense sort of air about him, making him come across as stoic and, well… prude. If anything, you'd actually always assumed Dante would be the one having this conversation with you, but here you are.

"Yes and no." Again, Vergil surprises you by actually giving you an answer. "I won't deny that I enjoy the physicality of it, but I'd rather have this sort of… correspondence with someone I'm at least familiar with."

You take a swig of your beer. "That's probably the nerdiest way of saying you don't like bedding strangers that I've ever heard in my life."

It's purely by virtue of the cover of night that you can't see him roll his eyes, but the brief pause he leaves open while he does it is telling enough. He isn't here to pick a fight though, and so he simply cuts to the chase. "So what will it be?"

Huffing out a breath of air and watching it rise in front of you as vapour, you take all of three seconds to mull it over, because it's a no brainer, isn't it? A handsome man asking for a night of fun. What harm could it possibly bring? So you give him an easy shrug.

"Sure, why not?"

The party carried on well into the late hours of the night, but it's only after Vergil is absolutely certain that nobody will notice he's gone that he slips out of the orphanage and makes his way to the arranged motel you gave him the address to earlier, scribbled almost hastily on a slip of paper. When he asked you if it'd be easier if you both returned to your home, you'd said you weren't sure how you felt about having him there. That's fair enough, Vergil supposes, the location doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things anyway.

You should already be there if he isn't wrong, the both of you deciding that it would be for the best if you left and returned at delayed intervals to avoid rousing suspicion, and feeling a buzz in his pocket - his phone - he's able to confirm that you are as he gazes down at your message onscreen. It's nothing fancy, all it contains is the room number you're in, but that's all it needs to be. Brief and succinct.


You open the door rather readily when he knocks, and the first thing he does when he enters is close the door behind him and then give the room a sweep. Cleanliness is his primary concern, but you know your way around Fortuna better than he does. If you chose this motel, then that will have to do.

"So…" Of course it's now that you're starting to feel awkward about this. You're no stranger to having one night stands yourself, but you have the opposite problem to Vergil - you tend to only hook up with strangers, because well… isn't that the point?

"Strip." Vergil's request is almost overwhelmingly blunt and to the point, and when you look at him, he's already removing his shoes, lining them up neatly by the door with his gaiters. For such an intricate piece of attire, he sure gets them off quickly.

Your eyebrows curve upwards in surprise. "Wow, there's no preamble with you, is there?" And yet, you're still moving to unbuckle your belt to slide your pants down your legs.

"Were you expecting I buy you dinner first?" Vergil's voice is every bit as dry as his expression, shrugging out of his coat which he hangs on the back of the door, and then he's peeling his gloves off his hands. The way your eyes are trailing his arms isn't lost on him, feeling a faint spark of pride in the idea that you find him appealing. But of course you would. You surely wouldn't have agreed to this in the first place if you didn't.

He does briefly wonder how far he can push his luck with you though, because even though your expression indicates you're amused, it's paper thin at best - a sheer veneer of courtesy because why squander the opportunity for a good fuck over some idle banter? "You don't actually do this a lot, do you?" If it's true - and it's looking to be that way the longer he stays silent - it's actually rather relieving. You can only imagine the sort of standards a man like him would have. The women you'd be compared to. But on the other hand, he was the one who approached you with the offer in the first place, wasn't he? That's a good sign, isn't it?

The water gets muddier the more you think about it - best just banish the thought entirely.

"Not often, no." Vergil's answer comes after a rather pregnant pause, and you're pleasantly surprised by his honesty. Excessive pride was something else you had him pegged for, and it's actually rather nice being able to confirm he isn't all cold steel and honed edges. "Time is not something I have in abundance. I'm sure it's a sentiment you can understand when you're in the same business."

"Fair enough. Might be weird of me to say, but I kinda appreciate the honesty." A brief moment of sincerity before a night of no-strings-attached passion is perfectly reasonable. Yep. Not awkward at all. But at least the mild tension from before has been dispelled. When you approach him, you're already down to your bra and panties, pulling his hands away from him so you can nestle into his chest, splaying your fingers wide over the skin his open vest reveals. "You know, you're not as bad as Dante always says you are."

There's faint amusement in his eyes at that, a spark of mischief that one wouldn't normally attribute to Vergil. "We're brothers - it's in our nature to belittle one another." His eyes trail off to the side as a thought occurs to him. "I'd do the same."

Unlike moments ago, your smile now is genuine, but rather than proceed with that conversation, there are many other, much more fun things you could be doing with your time. If Vergil wants to talk later, he knows where to find you, but for now, there are more pressing matters that the both of you need to address. "You don't mind if I get a bit handsy, do you?"

Vergil merely watches you with mild curiosity, but doesn't stop you when you skim your fingers down his torso to press your palm against the front of his pants. He's hard already, which you find yourself smiling at even though you're hardly in any position to talk - even just squeezing your thighs together is enough friction to make you sigh, and you know this because that's precisely what you're doing. You experimentally rub him in circles, mentally gauging the size and thickness of him, feeling him twitch under your hand, and god, even through his pants, he feels impossibly hot. All the while, Vergil is simply watching you, although there's a certain sheen over his eyes, a foggy quality that darkens the pale grey, and as easily as that, with one look, he establishes the mood.

"I probably shouldn't be surprised you have a son if that's the look you go around giving women." The smile that tugs at your lips is sultry. Sensual. "Now let me take a peek at what I'm working with." Dropping your gaze, you take half a step back to reach for his belt, deliberately catching your breasts between your arms to emphasise them as you unbuckle it. After all, why not give him a show while you're working?

It's a successful trade, and you can feel his gaze travelling the swell of your chest, leaving an invisible, but certainly not unfelt, molten trail over your skin. It makes your nipples harden into nubs inside the cups of your bra, and you swear that you can feel them delightfully grazing the material, sending pleasant tingles through your body that settle low in your gut. When you finally pull his pants and underwear down, allowing his fully erect cock to bounce free from its confines, you can't help the groan that escapes the back of your throat. He isn't impossibly large, but it's his thickness that's making your mouth water, wondering just what that's going to feel like when he stretches you open on him. The thought of it alone sends a mind numbing jolt straight to your core, making your toes curl in anticipation.

You give his cock a slow pump before you sink to your knees, watching him with half-lidded eyes as you give the velvety head of his cock a lick. He stirs above you, his hand reaching down to place his hand over the back of your head, though clearly trying not to move or urge you in any way. No, he just wants to watch you blow him. With one hand gripping the base of his cock, you lave your tongue against the underside, angling him against your appendage to your liking, and feeling him throb in your hand makes you puff a breath of hot air over his already heated, sensitive skin. Your free hand trails down your body to settle between your legs, and you tentatively run your middle finger down the length of your slit, not surprised in the least that it comes back damp. It urges you to repeat the motion, slowly adding more pressure, more fingers as you continue to suckle at Vergil's cock, almost whimpering as you make your way back to the tip.

It's when you wrap your lips around his cockhead that he finally buckles a little under the pleasure of it, giving you nothing more than a pleased rumble from deep within his chest. It's a rather vicious feedback loop - the deeper you take him into your mouth, the more insistently you press your fingers against your clothed cunt, which in turn makes you moan around his length and try to urge him even further. You allow yourself some reprieve however, pulling back until only the tip remains within the heated cavern of your mouth to take a breath. To let your tongue flicker against it and taste the salty precum that's flowing almost freely from the slit that adorns the crown of it. You can feel his fingers pressing into your scalp now, can hear him hiss above you as he tries to keep himself from thrusting shallowly into your mouth, and then you're slowly pumping your hand at the base of his cock and drawing him back in with an aggression and confidence that surprises even you. Because there isn't much in the world that you know of that can - literally or metaphorically - knock Vergil off balance, but here he is, vest open, pants undone just enough for him to have his cock out, and pliant under your touch and the wetness of your mouth.

The thought of it alone, the sense of power it brings, has you nearly cumming then and there, making you still your fingers to focus more on hollowing your cheeks and sucking his damn soul out through his cock.

Apparently, Vergil's had enough too. He's pulling you off him now, though you don't leave without a fight, tightening the seal you have around his length and letting your lips slowly drag against his skin until the head of his cock pops out from between them.

"Getting impatient?" Your smile is sly as you rise to your feet, slipping your hands under his vest against his bare chest to urge him backwards towards the bed. Would he appreciate a lap dance, you wonder? But as soon as the backs of his legs hit the edge, he turns the both of you around to shove you rather unceremoniously onto it, following after you to grasp your hips. He poses you to his liking, propping you on your hands and knees as he absently ruts, letting his cock scrape against the apex of your thighs.

"You're one to talk." He withdraws just long enough to peel your panties down your thighs before his hands skim back up your legs to rest on the curve of your hips. "I can smell you from here. Seems you enjoyed that as much as I did."

You shoot him a rather sultry look over your shoulder. "Can you blame me? The way you show restraint is utterly adorable, I… mmmgod--" The rest of your sentence never makes it out, because Vergil's dipping two fingers inside you, probing around to test whether you're ready to take him. Your admission earlier in the evening wasn't for nothing apparently - it would seem you're as starved for this as he is, if the way you so greedily arch your back to force your hips into his hand is any indication. It's an alluring motion, he finds, one that's uninhibited by the constraints of social etiquette. No, this is debauched and filthy at worst, and primal at best. Whichever side of the scale it falls on, right now, he thinks it's just the thing you both need.

He gives a satisfied hum, pulling his fingers out from within you, and then his eyes are snapping up to meet yours. "Protection? I've no interest in fathering another child."

"Kind of feel like that's on you to provide, since you're the one who came running to me." The words are scathing, but your tone is teasing when you're tossing a small foil package back at him. Vergil catches it rather deftly between two fingers before he blinks down almost owlishly at it.

Where the hell were you keeping it?

Bah, doesn't matter.

Vergil doesn't delay, tearing it open and rolling the latex over his cock with the kind of expert and efficient precision that he's been known to have, because you were right earlier - he is getting impatient. He guides his cock back between your legs, lines it up with your entrance, and slowly pushes in, making you keen.

"Fucking finally--" That isn't a jab at him, but more a relieved exclamation because at long last, after weeks of work, bith in demon hunting and helping Kyrie around the orphanage, you're finally getting laid. The urge to push back against his hips, to take all of his cock at once is near overwhelming, but with the inconsistency of your job, the hectic timetable, who knows when you'll have this chance again? Best you milk it for all it's worth. And lord, are you going to.

He gets about halfway before he grips your hips, holding you in position to lazily pull out to the very tip and letting the head of his cock kiss your folds. Both of his hands are on you now, sliding up to your waist where he curls his fingers around your body. His eyes follow the curve of your back, higher and higher until he briefly meets your gaze, and then in one single stroke, buries himself to the hilt in your heat. It earns him a breathless moan from you, making you toss your head back and bite down on your lower lip to keep from making too much noise as he sets a rough and unforgiving pace, one that builds towards your pleasure as much as his own. But you try to goad him into fucking you just that much harder anyway, wanting that thrill of power again. Wanting him to lose himself in the tight wetness of your cunt.

"God-- Vergil." Your words are punctuated with gasps and high pitched whines that match the rhythm of his hips snapping into yours. "Haven't-- been fucked like this-- in a while. So-- Fucking-- Good."

Your efforts are rewarded with a low groan and one hand ghosting down your abdomen to begin rubbing at your clit. His fingers dip even further down, just shy of where his cock is driving into you to gather your slick on his fingertips before returning to the swollen bud, and the smoothness of the circles he rubs against you makes you squeeze once around his cock, hard enough that it makes his hand stutter before it finds its pace again.

"Then--" His hand twitches against your clit, making your walls grip him tighter in a way that nearly has his eyes rolling back into his head. It's borderline shameful how close he is already, how fucking into something so hot and wet as opposed to his closed fist makes such a harsh difference. "Then we'll simply meet again. Agreed?"

"Yesyesyesyes!" It doubles as both a shrill announcement of your orgasm and an answer to his question, although the both of you are too far gone, too caught up in the way your bodies are responding so viscerally to one another to really make anything of it. Your arms give out from underneath you, and you end up with your cheek pressed into the pillow. You're absolutely content with letting Vergil simply fuck you through your climax, moaning absently as he continues to drill you through your convulsions, and you just know you're drooling onto the pillow, but you can't bring yourself to give even half a shit. You can still feel his fingers on you, flicking faster, more desperately at your clit, trying to pull another orgasm from you.

"Give me another." You can barely hear him over your own mewls and the slap of wet skin where his hips meet the plush flesh of your ass. "One more--" His own words fail him at that point, because the sound of his voice, so strained and desperate, the urgency of his fingers rolling your clit, the way his cock so perfectly stuffs you full on each stroke, the very nature of this depraved scenario - fucking a man you work with that you hardly know and having him return the sentiment with equal enthusiasm - has you barelling right into another climax, and you have to angle your face into the pillow and bite down on it to keep from screaming at the intensity of it.

It's near relentless, the way you're bearing down around his cock, and with one final tug, Vergil yanks you backwards onto him to drive his length as deeply into you as he can where he meets his own end. His body twitches with each spurt of cum, making him dig his fingers into you to find purchase while he thrusts shallowly, a gentle pace that's a stark contrast to the ferocity from mere moments ago, trying to goad your body into milking every last drop of cum he's got.

And then the air finally stills, and the only sounds heard in the room are two sets of ragged breathing. He's motionless for a long while, simply basking in the heat of post-coital bliss, but then you can feel his hands slip from you to give your ass one final squeeze before he slowly pulls out. There's an empty longing after he does so, but not in any emotional sense, because on that front? Oh, you're more than satisfied. No, it's your cunt that's trying to clench down on nothing, clearly already missing the feel of his thick cock inside you.

You feel the bed shift underneath you, and you know it's because he's getting up, so you roll onto your back and drape the back of your wrist over your eyes like a dramatic and spoiled Victorian maiden. You sure as hell feel like one right now.

"Thanks." Comes Vergil's rather awkward proclamation, making you raise your other hand to wave it at him.

"Oh no, thank you." Is your breathless reply, letting your hand drop limply back onto the bed.

There aren't any more words exchanged between the two of you after that - Vergil silently stalks off to the motel bathroom, closing the door behind him, and you continue to lie rather helplessly on the bed to wait your turn to clean up.

His earlier question - his offer to meet up again - and your immediate response is momentarily forgotten in favour of returning to the status quo. Quick and dirty is all this was ever going to be.

It's all that it's supposed to be.

Chapter Text

As luck would have it, Vergil is in Fortuna again the following week. With Nico taking her place as the new weapons artisan, most maintenance has all but fallen onto her. Not that the Devil Arms that the twins possess are in need of any conventional maintenance, but Ebony and Ivory - both created under the basis of human world materials and physics - are both long overdue for a proper service. It's something Dante hasn't actually done… ever actually, considering Nell Goldstein's unfortunate absence. Now that Nico's come into the picture though, that's about to change.

"You seem to use 'em just fine, and long as you clean 'em, I don't know what the problem could be." Nico is skeptical, but she picks the guns up off her work counter in the garage all the same, holding them this way and that to get a better look.

Dante folds his arms, takes a breath, steeling himself for the oncoming storm. "I do. But they uh… tend to miss at more than fifteen yards."

She still doesn't really buy it, but Nico does halt her inspection of Ivory to give Dante a pointed look, because fifteen yards ? That isn't all that far, and for another thing, these were handguns crafted by her grandmother , the goddamn .45 Caliber Virtuoso, unless he's botched something somehow, they shouldn't be missing at all. "Ain't never seen you miss though."

"That's because I know to adjust for it. I have to veer to the left if I actually wanna hit anything."

Ever passionate about arms, Devil or otherwise, Nico's eyes narrow rather dangerously at that. "And how long's this been going on?"

He nervously chews his lip. "...Couple years." The way Nico's shoulders drop to demonstrate her utter disbelief makes Dante cringe a little, because he's seen the way she handles it when Nero's Breakers used to… well, break. "Maybe like twelve…?"

"Twelve?!" And then Nico is repeatedly slapping Dante's shoulder and actually forcing him to shrink backwards several steps. He doesn't even bother trying to defend himself - he knows he has this coming - so all the Legendary Devil hunter can currently do is splutter half words and broken sounds with each slap that connects with his arm.

And that's the scene you walk in on with Nero as you carry groceries in through the garage, one box at a time, to drop them off into the kitchen. The two of you merely exchange bewildered looks, ignoring Dante's pleas for help and continue on into the kitchen. That's where you see Vergil, conversing quietly with Kyrie. You don't hear what they're talking about, don't even bother to try and make out what they're saying since it's none of your business, but there's a moment where Vergil meets your gaze over her shoulder, and you can swear you catch them darkening. The sheer weight of his eyes on you is enough to have you slow your pace to a near crawl, making Nero bump into your back, and his reaction is near immediate.

"Hey c'mon, keep moving. We've got another seven boxes to bring in, and probably one corpse to clean up in the garage if we leave Dante with Nico any longer." He tries to urge you forwards by poking at your back with the corner of the box he has bundled in his arms, and it's only on one very insistent poke right between your shoulder blades that you finally get moving again. You both place your respective boxes on the kitchen counter, making Kyrie bow her head apologetically to Vergil before she makes her way over to the two of you.

" Seven boxes?" She's already pulling the nearest one towards her to start unpacking its contents to line them up on the counter. She's miraculously skilled at finding space for every last item, making everything tessellate and fit like some sort of never ending game of Tetris, but the usual delivery is normally only half this amount. "We didn't double up the order by mistake did we, Nero? I don't think we could spare the money to pay for this."

"Nono." It's downright endearing how quickly he jumps in to reassure her, hopping around you to gently grasp her arm. "It's just that the driver won't be here for the rest of the week, so he brought us Friday's order too. We're not paying any more than usual."

The rest of the conversation is tuned out - it's probably just more gentle reassurance and vague lovey dovey talk anyway - in favour of you moving to stand by Vergil, who watches on in the stony silence you've come to expect from him.

"Hey, you."

Vergil just gives you a small nod.

Okay… tough crowd, but you were anticipating this. "It's rare to see you flap your gums with anybody around here. What were you two talking about?"

There's a measured silence before he answers you, as if he's weighing out his options, trying to decide whether it'd be prudent to answer you or not. Eventually, he does. "Funding. Running the orphanage is more costly than our own living expenses, and so we send a portion of our revenue here every month. Whatever we're able to spare." Hearing that actually makes both your eyebrows arch in surprise as you dip your head to get a proper look at him, because that ? Kind of an unexpected answer. But the longer you study him, the more your thoughts start to wander. You've noticed it before - hell, you noticed it the first time you saw him - but you've never quite realised how stunning he actually is. The high cheek bones, the intensity of his eyes, and the strong jawline... Vergil has a certain presence about him that isn't easily overlooked. One that demands proper respect. When you tilt your head in thought, it isn't because you don't believe what he's just told you.

As if sensing the scrutiny, Vergil's eyes roll towards you to look at you out the corner of his eye, head tilting only just barely to accommodate his gaze. "You seem surprised to hear this."

Banishing those earlier thoughts, you shrug. "Just never knew, is all. Nero never said anything to me." And why would he? You do your part to help out where needed, but the finer details aren't really necessary to divulge to you. In any case, you turn to go, regarding Vergil over your shoulder. "Come give us a hand? We've still got like five cartons to bring in, and then we have to find space to put all this away."

"Seven and one corpse." He lightly corrects you. And with one last glance over at Nero and Kyrie, Vergil turns to follow you through the kitchen, out into the garage where Dante, looking oddly humbled and even ashamed as he rubs his sore shoulder, stands with Nico, and then out into the afternoon sun where the delivery truck still waits.

"Hey, by the way…" Your voice is hushed as you half lean into the back of the truck to drag a box towards you before sliding it over to Vergil. "How uh… how long do you think you and Dante will be hanging around for?"

It's his turn to be surprised now, and though he moves to grasp the box in front of him in his hands, he doesn't lift it, doesn't begin to walk away like you were worried he might. "I thought you'd forgotten I'd asked."

You thank the stars above that he's smart enough to piece together what your question had meant. Even if nobody else is really around, it isn't a matter you really want to be discussing so openly or in such obvious terms. "Forgotten?" One corner of your lips quirks upwards in a cheeky half grin as you catch your bottom lip between your teeth, and for just the briefest of moments, you notice Vergil's eyes flicker down to it. "There is nothing about that night I'll be forgetting anytime soon."

You think you see something along the lines of pride gleam in his eyes, but he's lifting the box to carry it back into the building before you can properly appreciate it. "It depends on how long it takes to service Dante's firearms." His voice returns to its usual cadence, even and professional, because now you're within earshot of two of the most nosy members of Devil May Cry, and you can't help but feel a faint buzz of excitement - the spark of a forbidden rendezvous. "But I'd wager we'll be here for a few hours."

A few hours? You can work with that.

The two of you pass Nero on your way back into the building. You suppose whatever he was talking to Kyrie about is over. "Hey, have we got any other loose ends to tie up after this?"

"Uhh." Nero takes a second to think on it, spinning on his heel to walk backwards so that he's still facing you. He somehow makes it down the stairs like that. "Kyrie might need your help for dinner tonight, since I got a thing to take care of. The earlier, the better too - we got a lot of prep to get done and freeze."

Ahead of you, Vergil doesn't react, but you smile knowingly as you call to Nero. "Gotcha. Thanks, champ."

He simply waves his hand as he disappears out the garage door.

You sit on the edge of the motel bed - the same motel you were at just last week - idly kicking your feet. After you'd finished carrying all the groceries in, Kyrie had insisted that you leave it to her to pack everything away. For somebody usually so mild-mannered and genteel, she really does know how to usher someone out the door. And well… it is her kitchen - you imagine she has a particular way she likes to store everything.

You're kind of the same when it comes to your home too.

"So should I just assume this is going to become a regular thing?" You watch as Vergil shucks his coat off to hang it up, exactly the same way he did the last time, before going for his gloves. He's meticulous, you notice, actions dictated by discipline and efficiency. He doesn't waste movements, both on and off the battlefield, and it almost… almost feels militaristic in nature - rigid and exact.

But then you remember how he looked with your lips around his cock, how he'd barely held himself back from thrusting into your wanting mouth, and you smile. He isn't nearly as inflexible as he makes himself out to be.

"As regular as we're able to make it. I wasn't expecting to be back this soon." He then takes a seat on a plush chair, crossing his ankle over one knee to begin working the buckles on his gaiters. "I imagine we won't be this lucky again."

"Should we set some ground rules then?"

Vergil stops what he's doing to stare back up at you, looking as though he wants to object, but he quickly realises you have a point. If the two of you are going to be sneaking off behind everybody's backs for a quick fuck, coming to a mutual agreement on the specifics would be more beneficial in the long run. More efficient too. "What did you have in mind?"

You flop backwards onto the bed to toe your boots off your feet one at a time, making sure to provocatively lift your legs up higher than they'd ever really need to be. Why not give him something to look at in the meantime, right? "Well, there's the basics, I guess? Condom every time, no exceptions. We keep things discreet. Work comes first."

"Those are a given. Have you any preferences?"

"Not really." The flow of the conversation should feel awkward by conventional standards, and yet here you are, calmly discussing sordid affairs with the sort of nonchalance you'd apply to discussing the weather. Hell, maybe he has a point about preferring to keep these sorts of arrangements within his social circle - having the foundation of an already established familiarity is actually kind of convenient. With his shoes off now, Vergil rises to his full height again to get to work on removing his vest. For you, your pants are the next to go, which you slide ever so slowly down your legs, letting your fingers caress the skin of your thighs as you pull them down. "I'm open to trying most things at least once. If you're feeling particularly bitey, I'd prefer you keep it where I can easily hide it, and I'll do the same for you." Kicking your pants off, you then rise up onto your elbows to tilt your head at him. "How do you feel about kissing?"

Immediately, Vergil's eyes snap up from the creamy skin of your thighs to bore into yours. Under any other circumstances, it'd be an intimidating look, but in his current state of undress, the shiver you feel down your spine is anything but one borne of fear. All that look does is fuel you.

"I'll take that as a no, then. Good to know."

A grunt, a deep noise that comes from the back of his throat, is your response. Did you offend him with that question somehow? You're not quite sure. It probably doesn't matter anyway - it's off the table now, and you're not exactly in this with the intent of getting his tongue in your mouth. Although you wouldn't mind, per se, if that was the case.

The look in his eyes is still trained on you, still sharpened to a refined edge, even when he crosses the room to run his hands over each of your thighs. His hands are large, even a little calloused despite the gloves he always wears, but they're also almost searingly hot. You didn't notice it during the rush of the last time you met, but there's an innate, natural heat that radiates off him. You feel it even in the very tips of his fingers as they curl around your thighs to drag you towards the edge of the bed, and the noise you make in response is deliberately exaggerated to hopefully stoke the fire that burns just as brightly in you.

It does, but he doesn't want you to know that.

Vergil slowly drops to his knees at the edge of the bed, gently coaxing your legs over his shoulders. His tongue might not be going into your mouth, but there are certainly other applications for it, and you knowingly reach down to slip your fingers into his hair. You feel his teeth nip the insides of your thighs next, each bite just a little bit higher than the last, making your hips squirm as he shifts closer to your most sensitive parts.

You press your head back into the mattress, and whine. "Get on with it, will you?"

"Why?" You can feel Vergil angle his head up towards you. "Getting impatient?"

Oh for the love of--

"Hah." Your brief bark of laughter is dry in an ironic contrast to the state of your panties. "Because of what I said last time. Funny. Didn't take you for the cheeky type. Or the chatty type, for that matter."

"No." Vergil's teeth return to painting crude splotches of red and purple on the skin of your thighs. "But I saw an opportunity and would be remiss if I didn't exploit it."

Whatever retort is coming however, falls away because in one deft movement, he's pulled the gusset of your panties to one side to lick one broad stripe up the length of your slit before he doubles back to lap up the slick that steadily leaks from you. You don't know it, but he's paying close attention to the sounds you make and the way you clutch at his hair, committing to memory just where you want his mouth to be in order to make your body sing for him. And sing you do, the moment he latches on to your clit to gently suck it into his mouth. Unlike Vergil however, restraint isn't your strongest suit. You arch and buck, moaning his name and trying to press his face deeper into your cunt, and though he loves the way you're so responsive to his tongue, can feel the throb of his aching cock still trapped in his pants, he wants none of it. His hands slide from your thighs to press flat against your abdomen, effectively anchoring you to the bed and leaving you entirely at his mercy. This, he decides, he likes much better. But for what you lack in restraint, you make up for with a brazen attitude. His mouth is currently preoccupied, but yours isn't, and as appealing as simply letting him have his way with you sounds, as much as you want to cum on his face with reckless abandon, you're not one to go down without a fight.

"For someone so quiet, you've got a filthy little mouth, haven't you?" Vergil's tongue doesn't still, doesn't even falter. He continues to lap at your folds at the same steady pace, only ever skirting around your entrance, so you take that as your sign to continue, to press on to see how far you can push him before he buckles. "But you're so desperate. Makes me wonder if this is for my benefit, or yours. I bet you could cum with your head between my-- fuck…!" The rest of your sentence is lost when Vergil seizes the moment to plunge two fingers into your heat, making your thighs twitch around his head. His eyes are molten as he pulls off your clit, pupils blown wide, but there's no second guessing the wicked gleam that swirls in the grey of his eyes.

He's daring you to look away.

And despite the resounding thud you feel in your ribcage, the poignant beat of your heart from the adrenaline and the arousal, you don't.

"Are you forgetting who was at the mercy of whom the last time we met? As I recall, it was you who could barely contain themselves." As if to prove his point, Vergil crooks his fingers, probing your front wall for that one singular point that has you bucking almost wildly, even under the firm press of his hand on your stomach. "Just like that, yes."

You cross your ankles against his back, remember to breathe in between your moans as his fingers continue to work you to the edge. And christ, how is he even managing this when all he's doing is lazily pumping his fingers in and out of you. "You're such-- hah… such a fucking asshole, you know that?

The laugh in his tone is nearly audible. "That doesn't sound as threatening as you think it does."

It's your stubbornness that's forcing your even tone now, your unwillingness to back down from a challenge that's making you keep your pathetic mewls contained within your chest. Your hands even fall from his hair to instead grip at the sheets under you for purchase, and you distantly think that for somebody who claims to have had only a few one night stands, Vergil's fingers and tongue are damn near as sinful as his dick. He's either talking shit, or demon/human hybrids really are just naturally good at everything. "Just wait until I ride you. Then we'll see how talkative you are."

"Hmm." He hardly sounds convinced, voice coming out in a slow, rich drawl as he withdraws his fingers from you. "I suppose we will, but it'll have to wait. We're short on time."

You watch as he stands again, digging two fingers into his pants pockets for a condom that he rather mockingly waves at you, but rather than be exasperated, you just give him a triumphant little smirk of your own. The fact he had one on him means he came to Fortuna with the hopes of meeting with you again. Or so you'll just let yourself think, because the thought of him wanting to is making you obscenely wet.

And well, it's rather sweet that he remembered.

Just like the last time, he only ever pulls his pants down far enough to let his cock spring free, and just like last time, he wastes no time in rolling it on.You can't help but lick your lips in anticipation when he lifts one of your legs to let it rest flush against him, the position gently urging you to half lie on your side, propped up on one elbow. He has to reach down again to slide the gusset of your ruined panties to one side as he lines himself up, and then in the very next breath, he fully sheathes himself inside your cunt in one stroke. The sheer force of it sends a shudder throughout your entire being as you double over, head hanging low as airy whimpers fall from your parted lips in short puffs.

His hand smooths over your outer thigh in what almost seems like a caress, but the thought is lost on you with the urgency of his thrusts, and the look of complete concentration on his face. His brow twitches faintly when he feels your walls spasm around his cock, and it reminds you of his commendable restraint that you personally vow to see undone one day. The hows, wheres and whys currently elude you in favour of his cock drilling into you, but it's the thought of seeing him fall to unbridled lust that makes you gush another torrent of slick and grip the sheets, repeating his name to the lewd beat of skin on skin.

Vergil's other hand falls to your other leg, using it as leverage to tug you towards him on each stroke and spear you on his length. But for all his discipline and precision, his eyes wander, never lingering on any one spot for too long as if greedy to take in the sight of all of you before either of you cum. He watches the way your clothed breasts bounce, thinking that he has yet to cup either of them in his hands, or roll a pebbled nipple between his fingers, or fuck, gently knead one between his teeth; catches the sight of your parted lips from where his name falls so fucking sweetly, as if his cock is the only thing in the world you currently care to think about; trails his gaze back down the length of your body, over your curves and back between your legs where you're stretched so taut around him, it's a wonder he even manages to fit; and fuck, the most arousing sight of all is the way his cock disappears inside you, wrapped in your unforgiving heat so tightly that he swears he can feel your rising pulse.

You're close now, he can tell. Can remember the sensation of you squeezing him, and the way your voice pitched the last time he had you at his mercy. He may be rather rusty, somewhat clumsy, but Vergil has always, always been a fast learner - watching and listening and exploiting every last detail he can gather. But what starts to do him in is your hand snaking down your body to rub and flick at your clit. It's incessant and so needy, how you're chasing your own pleasure, and Vergil leans forward to prop his hand onto the mattress to fuck into you harder, deeper, because he isn't far behind. How could he be when exposed to such a sight?

"God, fuck, Vergil, you--" You're so close to the brink, the very edge of that redhot sensation between your legs that you can't really form sentences anymore. You're aware that you're talking, but the words are choppy and broken. "I'm… shitfuck I'm--"

"I know." He says between his own soft grunts. His eyes, that pale grey, now hardening to the colour of steel, watch you intently, and you think that if you weren't already on the bed, your legs would have given out on your for sure, and not just because he's pounding into you. "Cum."

And with one last sharp inhale of breath, you do. Is it frustrating that you reached your orgasm on his word? Maybe a little bit, but the waves of pleasure that wash over you, jolting you right down to the tips of your toes takes precedence. Vergil can feel the intensity of your climax, every muscle in your body contracting almost simultaneously in a series of full body shudders, and he only has a few seconds to enjoy the sight and feel of it before he buries himself to the hilt inside your relentless cunt where he remains, letting the aftershocks of your orgasm milk him, ushered on by the soft sounds of you coming down from your high. Your leg is still twitching against him, and he finds it in himself to rub soothing circles over the heated skin of your thigh, so soft and warm. He doesn't understand what compels him to do it, but he doesn't stop himself either, simply letting his hand continue the gentle motion. It's only when you stop quivering does he still, and then he slowly pulls out of you, acutely aware of the way your walls cling desperately to his flagging length, making it throb with need, because he knows you'd be greedy enough to let him fuck another climax out of you.

And he could go again - stamina isn't an issue with him - but he glances between you and the digital clock on the bedside table. There isn't time.

Gently, Vergil lowers your leg to let it dangle over the edge of the bed, and sharing one final look with you, leaves you to bathe in the afterglow on your own. A cool rush of air ghosts over your flushed skin when he steps away, and as you distantly hear the click of the bathroom door closing, you briefly lament the heat of his body against you.

Maybe it's the post-coital bliss, but you genuinely think he's ruining you for other men. Not that you think he needs the ego boost that would no doubt accompany you telling him this though, which is why you don't ever plan on it.

But the more your skin cools, the more you begin to think that it's true.

Chapter Text

On his desk at the office, Vergil's phone buzzes. It's a rare occurrence for someone to call or message him about any given thing - perhaps rarer still that people have his number at all - and at this point, his phone serves as more of a glorified paper weight than anything else. It's often laying about unused around the Devil May Cry office, forgotten on his desk, buried beneath bills and files. The only reason he still has one at all is at Dante's insistence, in the event of some sort of emergency, which, considering Red Grave's track record for demonic invasions, is fair enough.

Except the only emergencies thus far have been of the 'yo we're out of beer' variety.

Maybe that was Dante's plan from the very beginning.

Vergil absently reaches for his phone, lifting his gaze and expecting to see another number he doesn't know, probably trying to message him about some bill he allegedly hasn't paid for a service he doesn't use. But to his (pleasant) surprise, the number the message is from is one he does recognise. It's yours.

It's been just over a month now since the two of you were last together. It isn't that either of you have been terribly busy in that time, but you both knew that extended breaks would be a factor in your 'relationship'. You both simply mutually understood that your respective schedules would rarely line up, and moreover, that traveling the distance between either city for the sole purpose of a quick fuck, no matter how mind shatteringly good, would not only be a hassle, but difficult to make an excuse for. Eventually, the days without contact from either party became a week. That single week went on to become several, and still, neither of you made the first move to break the ice. Vergil wouldn't go so far as to say he'd forgotten about your little arrangement - his ears would metaphorically perk whenever he overheard Dante muttering about needing to head to Fortuna for one reason or another, even though they would never end up making the trip - but he hadn't felt any real need, any real desperation to seek you out, even to talk. For him, it's a matter of pride. Of the unspoken game the two of you knowingly play with each other. Vergil isn't quite sure when it began. Maybe it was back during your first tryst. Or maybe it's innate due to your respective stubborn natures. He can't be certain. All he knows is that he cannot give you the satisfaction of initiating contact. He wants to keep you waiting. To keep you wanting. To make you cave in to his absence first so that when the time comes, he may gloat and laud this victory over you, whispering in a mocking tone about how you just couldn't wait, could you?

Which is why there's a triumphant gleam in his eyes when he finally goes to read your message - he knows he's won this round. It was a long, and dare he even think it, lonely month, but he can rest now, knowing that whatever you've sent him will only play to his ego. Except when he finally does open the message, all he can really do is raise a questioning eyebrow at your cryptic words:

Let it go to voicemail. You're welcome.

He sits there staring at it for a moment longer, but then his phone starts buzzing again, this time because you're actually calling. He almost wants to answer, to try to understand what it is you mean to do, but for one thing, Dante is in the room, and for another… well, you'd probably just tell him off before hanging up yourself and calling again - and that's counter-productive towards the mental score he's been keeping against you (in his head, he's in the lead). So, he just squints rather suspiciously at the device in his hands, then simply puts his phone back down onto his desk, facedown, letting it rattle rather obnoxiously against the wooden surface and returns to leafing through the month's bills and bank statements. After a few more buzzes, Dante looks up from his date for the night, a tub of strawberry yoghurt.

"You not gonna get that?" He gestures to Vergil's phone with a nod of his head, only really half curious - he's more concerned about the noise than anything else.


The younger twin makes a face, clearly confused, but he doesn't say anything more on the matter - who Vergil goes out of his way to avoid isn't any of his business. Hell, there are some days where he's the one being avoided, so he doesn't really have the moral high ground here. He is, however, free to address the annoying rattling though.

"If you don't wanna answer, you know you can just send the call directly to voicemail, right?"

Vergil has since moved on to making notations of the month's business - knowing who they dealt with and the nature of the job is an easy way to set a precedence, especially when it comes to negotiating a price, which Dante fails spectacularly at doing. It's no wonder he's so often in the red. Vergil's pen stops moving when Dante speaks however, and that's all the proof that's needed for him to know that no, Vergil had no damn idea that was a thing you could do. But he makes the motion of silently reaching for his phone all the same, swiping the on-screen prompt to decline your call with the composure of a man trying to discreetly hide the fact that he'd been caught. Dante meanwhile, just smiles down at his snack. It isn't all the time, it might only be for the most fleeting and short-lived of moments, and he would rather literally die than ever utter the words out loud (and Vergil would be happy to see to it, too), but sometimes Dante thinks his older brother is adorable in a peculiar, fish-out-of-water sort of way - there's just something incredibly endearing about someone so well read struggling to catch up with the banalities of everyday life. He doesn't think Vergil is stupid per se (and far be it from him to think such a thing) he knows he'll catch up eventually, but that doesn't mean he can't enjoy the journey.

"I know what you're thinking," Vergil's stern voice cuts through Dante's reverie, "and I'd suggest quitting while you're ahead."

Dante purses his lips, choosing for once, to heed his brother's warning.

It's a few minutes later when his phone vibrates one more time, making both twins glance up at it, but this time, Vergil doesn't bother checking it. Whatever message you've left him can't possibly be anything innocent. Not when contact between the two of you has been damn near non-existent for a whole month. And definitely not when you've strictly ensured your call goes directly to his voicemail. But that also means it isn't anything he wants Dante to be hanging around in the background for whenever he does get around to listening to it. Which means he has to wait.

Vergil clenches his jaw, feeling an odd mix of arousal and frustration begin to churn his blood, because already, already his body is responding to the anticipation, the adrenaline that comes with his victory. He crosses his legs under his desk, tensing the muscles in his thighs in an effort to staunch the flow of blood to his crotch, and though it works… to a degree, it doesn't stop his mind from wandering to places it needn't go. Is the message you simply begging him to come see you, he wonders? No, that doesn't sound like you, especially not with that coquettish little 'you're welcome' you tacked onto the end of your message. He may not know you well, but he fully understands your motives, your desire to play with and tease him, because he is exactly the same way with you. That is, after all, more or less the explicit reason for your impromptu month-long break, and frankly, it annoys him about as much as it makes him hard. If you ever found out that he actually likes that bold streak in you, that he'd relish in the sight of you bouncing on his cock as you ride him, he'd never hear the end of it.

He stops writing again. When did such debauched thoughts become the norm for him? He certainly hasn't been this… energetic before. Sure, he's had moments where he's indulged in the pleasures of the flesh even in spite of his aversion towards intimacy with strangers, but he's never once been this eager to jump from one fantasy to the next. Never been so enticed by mere possibilities and fabrications. He is a man of discipline and utmost control, grounded and level headed. He always has, and he always will be. And yet his phone, lying so innocently on his desk, keeps drawing his attention no matter what he's doing or how much he tries to ignore it; he notices it when he reaches for his tea; when he puts his business ledger away; when he settles back into his chair with a book now that his work is finished. It's almost like a beacon, the way it pulls his gaze, beckoning silently with an allure he's finding harder and harder to resist.

And then he realises that it's because of you. It can't possibly be anything else. That sultry look you give him from under your eyelashes. The smooth feel of your thighs. The sound of your voice as his name falls from your lips--


Vergil reaches for his phone and gets up, ignoring his brother's questioning looks as he retreats to his room for the evening, shutting and locking the door for good measure. Not that such a meagre thing could possibly keep Dante out, but the lock is in place for its implied meaning than anything else - he doesn't want to be disturbed.

It speaks to how impatient he is that the most Vergil does when he enters his room is lean his back up against his door. Being on his bed means having to change the sheets later, which will only open up a series of invasive questions from Dante that he has no desire to answer whatsoever, but if he spills onto the floorboards, which he feels is becoming a very likely option, he can at least clean that up rather inconspicuously. The less he has to deal with the aftermath, the better.

Vergil's body is abuzz when he down at the phone in his hands, drawing in a steady breath in a rather futile attempt at reigning himself in. With a swiftness that surprises even himself, he navigates to his voicemail at unprecedented speeds, bringing up your message and holding his phone up to his ear. And then he listens, and he waits. 

It's quiet on the other end at first, but then he hears a faint click, and then a low, constant hum of something in the background, something whirring that's barely audible, but his sharp hearing picks up on it nonetheless as clear as day. Your voice comes next, whispered and airy, and fuck, you could probably be preparing to read the dictionary to him for all he knows, but he's already palming himself through his pants anyway.

"Fuck… it's been so long." You pause, taking in a breath. And all at once, Vergil immediately understands that the buzzing he's hearing is a vibrator. That only a mere half hour ago, you were pleasuring yourself to the thought of him… Sucking in a sharp breath, he lifts his right hand to his mouth, catching the worn leather of his gloves between his teeth to crudely yank the material right off his hand in one go. He considers spitting the glove out of his mouth, to let it fall to the floor to be immediately forgotten, but then he remembers that Dante is home, and through the fire that licks at his skin, despite the tension building inside his pants, he decides instead to bite down firmly on it. Vergil doesn't tend to make a lot of noise (that he's aware of), even when lost in carnal pleasures, but he doesn't want to run the risk of being overheard, so the glove stays where it is, half hanging from his mouth, and he figures he must be quite the sight at the moment, but nothing other than what he's hearing is of any importance. He then pinches his phone between his ear and shoulder, freeing both of his hands so that he can start unbuckling his belt to pull his aching cock out. All the while, you're still moaning so sweetly right into his ear. It has a bit of a tinny quality to it - the result of listening to a recorded message - and so has nowhere near as much clarity and allure as it would normally have if he were physically there, but one month is a long time to go without any sexual release. The fact that it took Vergil all of fifteen minutes to go from zero to fully hard and leaking is a testament to that. He closes his eyes and wraps his fingers around his length, letting himself get lost in the honey you're pouring into his ear. 

"This is what you've reduced me to doing, Vergil-- ngh… using these paltry toys to help me get off to the memory of you fucking me." The buzzing falters - you must have been adjusting it's position - but it returns to its steady thrumming after a short moment, and though it's quiet, muffled by his makeshift gag, Vergil groans at the thought of you lounging on your couch in your home. Would you be laying down? No, he'd imagine you'd have your back up against the armrest, legs wide open, pressing the vibrator right on top of your clit. Maybe bucking into it every now and then. Maybe leaving a wet mess on your thighs. Even the couch cushions… Are you greedy enough to perch your phone onto your shoulder so you can finger yourself with your now free hand? You certainly are in his mind's eye.

Vergil adjusts his grip on his cock, slowly pumping in full, languid strokes from base to tip. His mind is jumping from place to place almost erratically. One second he's listening to you gasp in his ear, asking if he remembers how wet you were, how tight you felt as he fucked into you; the next he's chasing the memory of the taste of your slick on his tongue, how you helplessly tried to buck your hips into his face; and then he's trying to remember the feel of your lips, sealed so tightly around the head of his cock, and how you pulled off him with a wet pop, in the hopes of emulating that feeling with his hand. It doesn't work of course, doesn't even come close to the wet heat of your mouth, but after one long month, it's more than enough to have him already leaking precum in excess. It dribbles down his length, over his fingers, helping to ensure his strokes are smooth and easy.

"I miss your thick cock." You're breathing a little heavier now. In deep, almost ragged sighs. Vergil assumes it's because you're close. He knows what you feel like when you're close to cumming, but he's not as familiar with the way you sound. Not yet anyway. Yet his hand begins to stroke faster all the same as he tightens his grip, applying just a little more pressure the same way he remembers your cunt doing. "I miss having it stuff me so. Damn. Full."

He groans again, throwing his head back hard enough that it thuds against the door of his room, but he pays it no mind. He's too deep into the sound of your voice to give a shit, too close to letting himself cum all over his bedroom floor, too caught up in the thought of you thinking about him.

"Mm Vergil I'm close… I'm so close."

Vergil bites down hard enough on the leather glove in his mouth that he swears he can hear it creak from the tension as the stitching in the seams pull taut. There's a small pool of precum at his feet now, his thighs are tensing, and fuck, maybe one month is too long to go without this kind of relief - he just didn't quite notice it until now in favour of having you fall to the pressure first. But somewhere in the back of his mind, he has to wonder which of you has really fallen here. Is it you who made the first move, who thought to leave him such a lewd message? To let him listen to you touch yourself to memories of him? Or is it himself, who could barely wait to listen to it to the point where he's now backed up against his room door with half his glove in his mouth.

Maybe it's both. 

You're both bad for each other. 

But he doesn't care.

He doesn't care he doesn't care he doesn't care.

"Nobody fucks me like you do."

His hand is pumping his cock so furiously now, but just a little more. A little more, and then he'll not only have the release he didn't realise he was sorely needing, but he'll also have his victory over you. Something he can deviously bring up with you the next time he sees you in person. Preferably while his head is between your legs again. That could be fun.

But then the moans in his ear suddenly stop along with the quiet hum of the vibrator. Vergil's hand goes completely still as he tries to process what's happening. Has the message glitched somehow? Did something go wrong? The heat in his body reduces back down to a meagre simmer.

"And that's all you're getting."

Wait, what?

The whimpery nature of your voice is gone, replaced by its usual, confident tone. "Call it payback for disappearing for a month."

Wait just a second--

"Come see me soon, okay~"

And then the message ends.

There's a prolonged silence in Vergil's room, one that's equal parts bewildered, frustrated, and also amused as he stands almost dumbly with his cock in his hand and his back against his door. Did you really go through all that effort just to pull the rug out from under him at the last second?

You sly vixen. 

With a measured inhale and renewed vigour, Vergil releases his length, and reluctantly tucks it back into his pants with a wry smile. You played a good hand with your message, even he has to admit that, but this is far from over.

Minutes later, you receive a text message from him.

Give me your address.

It's barely twenty minutes after you gave him your address that there's an urgent knock at the door to your apartment, which admittedly throws you for a loop. Did your little 'gift' to him go according to plan? Oh yes it certainly did, if his curt response is anything to go by. But were you expecting him to act on it so soon? Not quite. But you're not going to complain if it means he's finally coming to see you.

So much for never wanting to bother to make the trip.

The second you open the door, he barges through and kicks it closed behind him. He doesn't waste time, there are no formalities, he doesn't even look around to assess your home, or even acknowledge that he's here for the first time. No, all he cares about currently is crowding you back against a table where he keeps you pinned, arms on either side of your body to cage you in, and god, he's never really noticed that he's so much taller than you before today. So much bigger.

He fucking loves it.

And so do you.

"That was well played." His eyes glint dangerously in the dim lighting of your home, voice thick with unrestrained lust.

You just smile at him. Innocent, yet knowing. Oh yes, you absolutely know what it is you did. "And yet you came running. Or did you fly?"

He doesn't quite answer you yet because his hands are already moving to undress you himself. Your shorts are tugged harshly down your thighs to fall to the floor, and the determination, the sheer urgency in his actions already has you moaning.

"You are insufferable."

He cups two handfuls of your ass, effortlessly lifting you and seating you on the edge of the table.

"A thorn in my side."

Your heart races as you daringly sling your arms over his shoulders. But he doesn't shrug them off.

"And I will have you begging before I'm done with you." Vergil's hand then appears between your thighs, palming you through your panties, already feeling the heat emanating from you. The very beginnings of that wetness, and ever familiar scent of you.

You suppress another moan, your fingers barely teasing at the hair on the nape of his neck. This is the first time he's gotten this close to you, the first time you've been able to touch him like this, and the effect it's having on you is electric. "Begging you to let me cum?"

"No." His palm lifts away, only to be immediately replaced by probing fingers as they run the length of your slit, back and forth, up and down. His fingers aren't even properly inside you, but he can already feel your walls clenching. "Begging me not to stop."

The nuance, the subtle difference in what he means, and what that means for you makes you shudder against him. "Good. That ought to make up for lost time."

Vergil snorts, opting to say nothing as he slips his hands under your jumper, finding the waistband of your panties so he can, almost quite literally, tear them off you. They're promptly discarded and immediately forgotten as he nudges his way back between your legs, and he's only barely settled in before your hands drop from his shoulders to start tugging at his belt to get his pants open. That's been something of a recurring pattern, hasn't it? Neither of you have ever bothered to fully undress before he sinks his cock into you, but that's a thrill in and of itself. A factor that merely adds to the forbidden nature of your meetings.

But maybe tonight will be different. It just depends on how eager he is on keeping his word.

When you pull his cock out of his pants, you notice he's already wearing a damn condom, and you quirk an eyebrow, gaze flickering upwards to meet his while your hand lazily pumps his throbbing length. He's impossibly hard in your hold, making you wonder just how long he's been like this for. "Someone couldn't wait."

His teeth are bared in a grimace, and at first, all he does is hiss through his teeth at you. He's been hard for about forty agonising minutes now, all without any kind of release, but he still finds it in himself to snark back at you. He'll always have the energy for that. "Were we not making up for lost time?"

You wrap your legs around him, locking your ankles together at his lower back to drag him closer to you as you lean back on your hands. "Touché."

Vergil gives your ass a firm squeeze, kneading the flesh under his entire palm, using his other hand to guide his cock to rub the tip against the very entrance of your cunt. To his utter delight, he feels no resistance, only smooth and welcoming velvet, and he hides his low groan with a breathy laugh as he angles his hips away. "For all of your talk, I don't even need to prep you, do I?"

You don't miss a beat, even though you're dripping and desperate. "Says the man who literally flew over here. You're just as bad as I am."

"Maybe." If Vergil has a follow up for that, it's immediately lost when he sheathes himself inside your silken heat in a single stroke and it takes all of your restraint, all of your willpower to stop yourself from cumming right then and there. Part of you thinks he knows this because he grants you no reprieve - he's rough and demanding right from the beginning, fully believing that the past hour serves as adequate foreplay for you both. And he's right to make that assumption, because he enters you so easily, your walls welcoming him so readily, as if being buried to the hilt inside you is where he belongs, and jesus fuck, just fucking you once tonight won't be enough. Twice won't be enough.

He might not ever have enough.

"Shit--" You can hear the table scraping against the floor from the force of his thrusts, but all it does is make you keen as you tighten your legs around him, ball the material of his coat into your fists. "I wasn't lying-- in that message, you know." The heat that his body emits is damn near maddening at this proximity, but you drop your forehead to his shoulder anyway, because you're about to cum already, and good god you don't think you can hold this one back. "I've missed you."

"Missed me?" He doesn't believe you for even a second as he wrenches your hips forward onto his, splitting you open on his cock as if he's making a point. Because he is. "Or missed a part of me?"

Through the heavy curtain of lust that's been drawn over you and the way Vergil keeps relentlessly driving his cock into you, filling you in the way only he possibly can, you only just barely register yourself smiling. "It can't be both?"

"We'll see, won't we?" Vergil's voice is strained both from the exertion of his thrusts and the hot, silky feel of you wrapped tightly around him. This is the feeling he remembers from your previous encounters - the telltale sign that you're on the brink of an orgasm, and in the back of his mind, the most stubborn and petty little corner, he adds another point to his name in the mental tally he's been keeping. "I'll ask you again when I'm finished with you tonight. Now stop fighting it."

You try to shake your head 'no', but all you end up doing is pressing your face further into the crook of his neck, your hands scrabbling for purchase, because for all of his apparent desperation, it's been an arduous month for you too. You weren't faking that message you sent to him - in fact, the vibrator in question is still lying somewhere on your couch - you did mean every word. And even though you finished yourself off after you hung up, thinking, hoping that Vergil would be gripping his perfect cock, stroking himself to the sound of you, having him here with you now, filling you so perfectly again and again and again has figuratively brought you to your knees.

Although if he wanted you to, you'd literally get down on them too.

"Cum." His command is so powerful in its simplicity, and your legs twitch even as they try to pull him in closer, to force him in as deep as he can possibly go, because you want him to feel every pulse, every convulsion, everything that he does to you. Your rapture comes in waves even though your body has gone numb to everything except what's happening between your legs, and you have to bite down on his coat to muffle your own screams as you cum the hardest you have in weeks. It's at his command again, something he's bound to bring up to you at one point or another in that smug way you've come to associate with him, but he's still fucking you through your orgasm and god, if this is what he has in store for you through the rest of the evening, then you'll cum as many times as he tells you to, your own pride be damned.

In your fervour, you're not sure if he reached his end. You think he did, because his hips begin to slow, dropping back down to a lazy rhythm, and you, utterly boneless, let yourself fall backwards to lie back on the table under you, hearing something heavy - probably a book or two - thump to the floor. Your chest is heaving, breath still struggling to catch up to the rest of you, but Vergil doesn't pull out.

He's still hard.

"I'm not done with you yet."

You let out a tired moan, truly believing that he could simply talk about the immoral things he'd do to you in that low voice of his, and you'd be entirely at his mercy. Maybe that's something else to try later on - if neither of you make the trip to see each other, you both are technically only one phone call away. You file that away for later though, because Vergil is adjusting his grip on you, sliding his hands down your thighs to hold your legs by the backs of your knees, leaving you vulnerable to him in a way you've never really been before. Your body responds before you verbally can, your cunt contracting around him as his hips resume thrusting. His strokes are somehow smoother than they were before, but of course they would be when your slick is all but pouring from you, making a mess of your table, covering the insides of your thighs, and the front of his hips. It only spurs him on though, the sound of his cock wetly driving into you is as captivating as the siren song that falls from your lips, stoking the fire that already burns so hot in his blood.

Vergil looks down, gaze falling to where the two of you are joined, where he has you impaled on his cock, and again, he thinks about how he didn't used to be like this before you took him up on his offer. He didn't used to get off on the thought and sight of him sinking into you, didn't find it at all compelling, but now he can't look away from how your folds shine in the light because you're such a messy woman, can't think of anything other than how he has you so opened so wide for him, keening and mewling with your arms reached up above you to grip the opposite end of the table for purchase.

It's so debauched. It's so dirty. This can't possibly be right, but why does it make him throb and twitch? Why does it nearly make him delirious with the pleasure he derives from it?

"Again--" Your wan voice brings him back to reality. It's worn and tired, but Vergil can feel the way the muscles in your thighs are tensing - you're not beaten yet, and fuck if that doesn't make him harder. "I'm gonna-- cum again--!"

Who would he be to deny you? He made you a dark little promise, after all. Gritting his teeth, Vergil digs his fingertips into your legs, leans over you, pressing deeper and harder into you. He pushes through the way your cunt spasms and clenches around him, wanting to finally be able to cum, but wanting you to fall to the pleasure first even more. He wants to ride out his ultimate high with the sound of his name coming from you, wants you to clamour for him as his dam finally breaks.

He doesn't say anything to you this time. He doesn't need to, because your back is arching up off the table all on its own as your whole body tenses. Your mouth is hanging open, but only short gasps of air and breathless moans escape you, yet that's all that Vergil needs to hear before he finally lets himself cum with a low rasp of your name. His hips never stop moving, he keeps drilling his cock into you even after he's expended every drop of his pent up tension.

Because the month was long, but so is this night.

You can barely keep count of how many times Vergil made you cum. You remember feeling his weight on you when the two of you finally made it to your bed. You remember his tongue lapping at your cunt, and his fingers reaching deep inside you to make you see stars. You remember being pinned against the wall too, but you can't quite place when that happened anymore. It was after the table, surely, but was it before the couch?

The only thing you can really grasp as being real are the damp bed sheets that twist around your naked body, and you think to yourself that you're going to have to change them in the morning.

After you've scrubbed down the entire apartment, and opened up the windows to let the smell of sweat and sex out.

Your limbs feel so heavy, body well and truly spent, and if there's one thing you have to give Vergil credit for, it's that he is a man of his word. Speaking of, you hear your bathroom door open, and Vergil re-emerges in your living room wearing nothing but those damn leather pants. His hair is damp, silver locks falling a little heavier than they usually do, and steam still rises from his body, which you swear is probably his natural state and not because he just got out of the shower.

He silently pads towards your bed - a modest mattress on the floor - and tilts his head at you, still sprawled atop it. "Are you not going to clean up?"

You wave a dismissive hand at him. "Later. Unlike you, I'm a human being with human being limits. Everything's gonna hurt tomorrow, but whatever, it was worth it."

Vergil simply hums at you before turning to finally take an actual look at your living space. It's small. Cozy. But your belongings are strewn haphazardly all over. What he believes to be your weapon of choice leans up against the wall by the door, there are unwashed dishes in your sink, and all manner of tomes and books crammed into whatever space is available. And yet, he gets the feeling of an organised mess when he looks at it.

It's distinctly you , and to his surprise, he doesn't hate it.

Behind him, he can hear the bedsheets rustle, and when he turns back, you're sitting upright, legs folded underneath you. You're modest enough to think to cover your chest with the sheets, which is a rather ironic gesture considering the events of the evening, but he understands that that moment has passed. Whatever this is, it's uncharted territory, and he isn't quite certain of the protocol here either. After all, he never thought to linger after sex. He never thought he would.

"You really don't talk much do you?" Your breathing has returned to normal. Even though you were going on about your human limits, your own stamina isn't anything to shake a stick at either. He's actually rather impressed. "It's kinda weird, because you're chatty as hell when we fuck."

It's a rather crass way to phrase it, but you're not entirely wrong."What would you have me say?" Vergil finds himself asking, not really knowing why he's indulging you.

"Shit, I don't know." You look down into your lap, kneading your sheets between your fingers absently. "This whole thing is kinda new to me too."

Whether it's because he can't think of anything to respond with, or whether he just simply doesn't , Vergil steps back over to your dining table, crouching to pick up the books you'd accidentally knocked off earlier in the night. When he flips them over, he sees that they're tomes on alchemy. Interesting. Do you practice it, he wonders, suddenly realising that outside of your insatiable lust, he… actually doesn't know all that much about you.

Yet he remains silent as he returns them to their place on the table, making you fidget rather nervously. You don't really mind him going through your stuff - at least, not if it's just the books you have lying around - but it's his unreadable silence that's throwing you off. At least during sex, you have context clues and wandering hands that implicate what he wants, but like this, he's giving you nothing.

And that's when a thought occurs to you.

"Okay, new plan, since you're Mr. Untalkative." You wait for him to turn back to you before you continue with your thought, rocking back and forth casually on your mattress. "Whenever we meet up, we ask each other one question that we have to answer truthfully, no matter what. Sound good?"

Vergil just stares at you for the longest time, trying to decide whether or not you're actually being serious, but the longer you hold his gaze, eyes expectant, the more he's convinced that yes. You're absolutely serious about this suggestion. It seems juvenile to him honestly, but he'd be lying if he said he wasn't curious about you, and this seems as good a way to learn about you as any.

What harm could a series of questions possibly bring, after all?

"Then ask me your first question."

You pump your fist in a gesture of triumph, suddenly oddly excited at the prospect of unravelling the man before you. "Okay, so since this is the first one, I'll make it easy for you. When was your first time?"

He faintly feels a corner of his lips twitch upwards. That question is the lowest of low hanging fruit, but it's a decent enough icebreaker considering the nature of your relationship. "If I didn't know any better, I'd think you had that one already loaded." You just shrug, not really giving an answer one way or the other, because you're clearly more interested in what he has to say.

"I was eighteen, and it was here in this city." He says after a pregnant pause, picking up that tome from earlier to flick through it just to give himself something to do while he talks. "If I'm not wrong, that was likely when Nero was conceived--"

Vergil is cut off by your burst of laughter. It isn't malicious in its nature as far as he can tell, you just… can't really picture it. What would that have even looked like? "Is that why you're so set on using protection now? Do you remember who the woman was? Were you like… dating her?"

"No." His answer is simple and to the point - a Vergil staple. "But I believe you've used up your allotted quota for questions."

Well shit, maybe you should have upped the limit to three or something. Keeping your blanket pinned to your chest with your arms, you half raise both your hands in defeat. "Fine, okay. What's your question then?"

It takes him a few seconds of idly flipping the pages of the tome in his hands - distantly making you think that he really is most at home with a book of some sort - before he responds. "Tell me of your first time."

Well if that ain't one grand cop out, but to Vergil's credit, you'd probably have done the same thing. Isn't it natural to want to know under these particular circumstances?

You continue rocking, leaning back further and further with each repeated motion, eyes trailing up to your ceiling. "I think I was seventeen? A relative of mine was telling me not to do anything stupid with the guy I was seeing at the time, and guess what happened about a week after that?" You don't answer your own question, feeling that it's obvious enough to piece together without prompting on your part. "Except neither of us had any idea what we were doing. It wasn't even good. If you want the whole truth, which I'm supposed to be giving anyway, I guess I kinda regret it?"

The addendum makes Vergil peer up at you from the tome, finding it rather hard to believe that the word 'regret' even exists in your vocabulary. From the outside looking in, you seem to wear your heart on your sleeve, possessing the same sort of tenacity that he sees in his own son. But again, he doesn't really know you all that well, and the fact he's thinking any of this at all speaks for itself.

"I didn't take you for a romantic." That's a rather broad statement, all things considered.

"I'm probably not. Which is why… you know," you take a second to gesture between the two of you with a wave of one of your hands, " this is happening. I'm just saying it could've gone better is all. But hindsight has twenty-twenty vision and all that, so..." You deliberately let the sentence hang as you shrug again to show that you aren't really all that bothered by it, because really, you aren't.

The silence that falls over the room next is marginally more comfortable - a marked improvement over what befell the room mere minutes ago - but then Vergil snaps the alchemy tome shut, returning it neatly to the table behind him, literally closing the book on the topic. He then bends to reach for his vest and coat, giving each a quick shake before he slips them back on. He doesn't need to tell you that he's leaving - that much you can already see for yourself. You simply watch him move about your apartment, collecting the articles of his clothing that were discarded one by one, forming a trail that leads him right back to your bed on the floor.

He's slipping his gloves back on by the time he gives you one last look, and there on your mattress, you simply look back up at him. It's admittedly awkward, but you figure there'll eventually be some sort of routine in place.

"Heading out?" You finally ask.

"Yes." He answers, giving you a small nod. Then he's turning to leave.

He's halfway towards your door before you bellow out. "Make sure you delete that message!" You pause. "Or don't. Up to you. Just don't make me wait another month."

Vergil doesn't reply, he simply just shakes his head with a faint smile. His hand reaches for your door, pulling it open, before he remembers something, making him turn back towards you. "So which one do you find you missed?"

It takes you a few seconds to realise what he means. God, that conversation felt like an eternity ago, and all you can do is jeer back at him. "Just get outta here, you."

Ah, that about tells him all he needs to know, and with a satisfied smirk, Vergil leaves, closing the door behind him. It's only when a rush of something large and blue and definitely demonic in shape rushing by your window that a realisation hits you.

"Wait a second--"

Why the hell didn't you make him stay to help you clean up the mess the two of you made?!

Chapter Text

The city is normally only just waking up at this time of morning and the streets won't typically begin to fill with people - even the ones travelling to work - for another hour. Yet today, Fortuna is bustling or so Nico notices, particularly along your street where she waits in the Devil May Cry van for you to come down from your apartment. You never personally ask it of her, but whenever Nico is in the area - usually picking up materials for her latest project - she offers to give you a lift to the orphanage since it's on the way. There's no real reason for you to be there during the day, but in the event that anything comes up, it's just easier for you and Nero to move out if you're already together. Saving time means saving lives, after all. And okay, maybe you like hanging out around there too. Kyrie is a gentle soul who deserves all the best things in this world, Nero is fun to pick on at the best of times and like a nagging brother at the worst, and Nico? Well, Nico is--


--probably where you get a lot of your attitude from.

She's causing a scene by blaring the horn this early in the morning - you know it, she knows it, hell, everybody within three blocks knows it - but true to her nature, Nico simply doesn't care. Even parked on the side of the road, the sheer size of the van alone is intimidating, and any passerbys simply give her a mildly annoyed look before moving on, fearful of whatever wrath they might incur by telling her off. That, and well… the citizens of Fortuna have slowly realised the importance of Devil May Cry, and so they've come to simply accept the presence of the van, knowing not to interfere whenever they spot the vehicle around the city - they owe Nero at least that much for being there to protect them from all things demonic. And according to Nico, it's a rather handy way to avoid getting parking tickets, if not waiving fines altogether.

(Sometimes it's hard to tell which of them is part demon, and which is a full-blooded human.)

Still though, that isn't any excuse for you to dally around your apartment, and there's really only so much people can take at this hour. So what's your response then? To open your window and lean half your body out of it so you can bellow into the street below.

"Just gimme five damn minutes, will you?!"

It makes a number of people divert their attention to you, distracted by the noise, and in the back of your mind, you think that the street is unusually busy for this time in the morning. There are far more loiterers than usual - in fact, it was the virtue of a quiet street that had you choose this beat up apartment building in the first place, so what's with all the people down in the street all of a sudden? Bah, maybe something's happening today, who knows?

At your rather elegantly phrased demand, Nico, with her head out the driver's side window, just waves dismissively at you before she settles back into her seat. The street is still busy, the idle chatter of the many still filters through the air, but at the very least, there's no obnoxious horn, and that's as good a start as any.

Heaving a frustrated sigh, you stand up again and pull your window shut, drawing your curtains closed with a grumpy huff for good measure. From behind you, reclining on your chaise couch, you hear a quiet chuckle, making you round on your (very) early houseguest at whom you point an accusing finger.

"You don't get to laugh." You sound more frustrated than you actually feel, feeling a need to put on a show to maybe hurry him out the door a little faster than the snail's pace he seems to be moving at. "Whose fault do you think it is that I'm running late?"

Vergil, content to continue lounging in nothing but his trousers, doesn't appear phased, but does he ever? "You didn't need to indulge me. I did show up unannounced, and yet," he gestures to your current state of dress - naked save for the sheets you wrapped around your body, "here we are."

It's because he's (absurdly frustratingly) right that you reach for the nearest object, which just so happens to be his coat, balling it up into a rough sphere and doing your best to hurl it at his head. It would have been a good throw if the coat, as if sensing animosity towards its owner, didn't end up unfurling and flapping rather pathetically at his feet, adding insult to injury. And Vergil, having followed the unfortunate trajectory of your makeshift projectile with his eyes, has the gall to huff an amused snort when it falls dreadfully short, figuratively mashing salt into your open wounds. You just purse your lips, hiding your agitation by making a beeline directly towards your closet, which you immediately pull open.

"Shut up." You pretend to hum and haw over your selection of clothing just to give yourself something to do so, because you can feel his gaze on you, lingering and almost burning. He's probably counting this toward that dumbass score he's been keeping against you, and god that annoys the hell out of you. What gives him the right to arbitrarily decide what counts as a win and what doesn't, anyway? Maddening. Utterly maddening. "Just make sure you clean yourself up and get outta here. You need to-- Vergilgodfuckingdamnit!"

You hate how for someone so much bigger than you, he's so quiet on his feet, agile enough that he's able to cross the room and nestle up behind you without you noticing. His pants are on, albeit undone and open, but you can feel his length, already (or still, perhaps) half hard, rubbing against you, even through the sheets you're fighting to cling on to because he's trying to tug it off your body.

"You seem stressed." His words, like velvet, are murmured into the skin of your shoulder, followed closely by his tongue, lapping incessantly at the residual salt of your sweat. He still doesn't kiss you, still refuses to, but you're not too fussed about it when he uses his mouth in other, more delightful ways. And frankly, it's better this than any snide comment that only plays to his favour - if his mouth is on you, it leaves him less room to egg you on. A shame when he has such a low, sultry voice, perfect for whispering quietly into you ear, or groaning his pleasure. Vergil gives up his game of tug-of-war with you, abandoning it entirely to instead slide his hand directly under the obstructing material to cup your cunt with his entire hand. With a choked gasp, you immediately squeeze your thighs shut in a rather futile attempt to stop him, but all you really end up doing is trapping his hand there. Vergil has never really used his immense physical strength on you before, but you both know how easily he could pry your soft thighs apart if he wanted to. It's something he's admittedly keeping in his back pocket for another time because fuck if that doesn't get him off too. "I can fix that for you before you leave if you'd like. It pains me to have to leave you in such a foul mood."

He's still grinding against your backside and his other hand has joined its twin under the sheets that cover your body, though this one settles over one of your breasts, massaging gently and parting his fingers just wide enough that he catches your already pebbled nipple between them. This, he only ever pinches lightly, knowing full well that the denial of direct stimulation is just as effective on you. You're trying not to make noise in the meantime, trying not to give him what he wants by biting down hard on your lip. Is the pain a distraction? Yes, but only up until Vergil's teeth pinch at your skin when he sucks a purple splotch into it.

You can feel yourself already leaking onto his fingers, which he goes to purposely spread all over your labia before he delicately runs the entire length of his middle finger through your folds, back and forth in a sawing motion. Every part, your mind manages to think, every damn part of him is a sin. Whether it's his mouth, or his tongue, or his long fingers, or his damn perfect dick, you hate how much you love the attention he gives your body, even when he's being a coy little shit like he is right now, because you know he pays attention to what you want, that he listens, and that ultimately, he will deliver. It's the only reason he can make you melt into his hold so easily.

"Nico's gonna be pissed--" Because you did tell her you'd be down in five minutes.

"All the more reason you shouldn't be so agitated when you make it down there, wouldn't you agree?" Vergil's mouth never stops moving against your shoulder, refreshing the marks he left on you just an hour ago. He's gotten so much bolder in that regard recently, forcing you to find more and more creative ways to cover up the uneven blemishes that he frequently leaves behind. It's infuriating to you how you can't pay him back in kind for that - his vest is high collared, and he's rarely ever seen without his coat. But on the other hand, you're not certain any marks you leave would even remain considering his ability to heal near instantly. Dammit, why are you the only one who has to suffer like this?

Although come to think of it, there are probably worse ways one could suffer.

Vergil's finger dips inside you briefly, testing how wet you are, and with a breathy sigh, you have to amend your earlier thought. There are definitely worse ways to suffer.

One of your hands slips under the sheets you're still clinging to your body, fingers closing over the wrist of the hand that's between your legs but not necessarily trying to pry him off you. No, you just enjoy feeling the motion of his hand against you, feeling the muscles in his arm ripple under your fingers. It's near impossible to tell under his usual outfit, but Vergil is delightfully toned, and feeling his muscles pull and stretch under your hands is something you've come to love about touching him whenever you do think to do it. Your sessions with him normally skew more towards the heated side of passionate, impatient and clamouring as opposed to anything else - prolonged touches and gentle caresses aren't things either of you care to make time for.

There are exceptions to this though, normally ones beyond either of your control. Today, it's your ringtone suddenly blaring on the dining table that makes his hand slow and then eventually still. You don't even need to check it to know that it's Nico calling you. Has it really been five minutes already?

"You should get that." Vergil pulls his hands away from your body, but not before circling the very tip of his middle finger around your clit, just because. Is he giving up? Taking it easy on you? You doubt it's that simple, and you have every right to, because he deliberately waits until your shoulders go slack as the tension drains from you before he grips your sheets in his hands and yanks it off your body in one go. The next thing you know, you're being backed up against the dining table, trapped between the furniture and his all-too-warm body. He really does love that too, you note to yourself, feeling him press up against you when he leans past to retrieve your phone for you. His eyes flicker down to the screen, and sure enough, your prior assumption was true.

"Nico…" He says quietly before rounding his attention back to you and gently pressing your phone into your hand, having the audacity to look cheeky about it. "Answer it."

Your eyes widen in alarm, because you know how it goes from here, you know what that wicked glint in his eyes means, and like hell if you're going to let it happen, so stop getting excited about it, body!! Brain is calling the shots here!!! "And let you have all the fun? Hell no, bucko--"

"Answer it, or I leave you like this." Vergil is so smug, you almost want to slice those pretty lips right off his face. "It's all the same to me, it just depends on whether you want to endure the rest of the day like this."

He can see the conflict brewing in your eyes, your expression, as you genuinely consider your options, trying to decide if this venture is worth the potential humiliation. Ever since the incident with the voicemail message, he's become increasingly daring, and you know it's because he's still trying to even out the playing field. That's why Vergil drinks up every last drop of hesitation on your face. You just make it too easy for him some days. Far too easy.

Finally though, you give a frustrated hiss. "Fuck you." You don't give him a chance to respond by accepting the call, holding your phone up to your ear, and half turning your upper body away from him. "Nico, I said five damn minutes!"

Vergil can hear Nico as plain as day on the other end, but he's only half paying attention, finding it much more interesting when you give him a defiant look as he drops to his knees in front of you, slinging one of your legs over his shoulder. Fucking hell, is he serious about this? And why is your heart hammering so rapidly in your chest because of it? Why are you already nearly moaning at the anticipation, the mere notion of what he's going to do?

"Yeah well I'm roundin' up. Get your butt down here, or I'm leavin' without you."

Vergil doesn't waste time. Whether it's because he knows you're short on it, or is just being an asshole though, you can't be certain. It could very well be both with this man. Either way, he goes straight for your clit first, already sensitive and swollen, sucking it into his mouth and humming in approval at the taste of you on his tongue. Come to think of it, it's been a while since he's had you like this.

"Then just leave--" Your voice is still even, but it isn't the talking that you're worried about. You're more concerned about gasping too heavily into your phone, about the soft noises that Vergil is so adept at forcing from you. The absolute last thing you need is for Nico to catch on to what's really happening. Not because you'd be embarrassed that she knows you have a man's head buried nose deep between your legs, but because she has a big mouth and can't keep anything to her damn self. Nero aside, you don't think you could stomach it if Kyrie found out about it. There's just something about even the idea of disappointing her that doesn't sit well with you, and having to meet her saddened, disappointed, judging eyes… perish the thought!!! You're already sorry!! "I'll head over on my own later."

"Nah, forget it." Nico is ever casual, and you can hear a squeak of leather as she flops onto the couch in the van. "We're both already late anyways. Why put on a raincoat when you're already wet?"

You feel Vergil hum in amusement at that last part specifically. Because obscenely wet you are, his tongue is only just barely able to keep up with the slick that keeps dripping from you, the writhing appendage making you lean your head back and mouth a silent string of curses at your ceiling. He's gotten so much better at giving oral, but that isn't the only thing that's making you pull at his hair with your free hand and rut into his face, wanting so badly for him to finish you off. No, there's one other factor that's weighing heavily against the part of your mind that's still clear.

It's the thrill of potentially getting caught.

That Nico really might find out what's going on.

It's a dangerous mindset to fall into. A doorway you really shouldn't even be considering to open, because you both initially agreed to keep work and sex separate, that you would not put your bedroom romps before your jobs, that this would be a discreet affair, but the longer Vergil's tongue continues to work you, the more eagerly he licks up the slick that leaks from your core, the less you give a shit, because fuck if it isn't exhilirating in all the right ways. Maybe this is something you should talk to him about after this is over. It couldn't hurt.

"Okay, whatever, just give me another--" It's deliberate, and you know it, but Vergil chooses that exact moment to dip his head a little lower, press his face a little deeper between your thighs and plunge his tongue into your depths, probing so slowly, but so thoroughly, taking great care to leave no inch of the paradise between your legs untouched. You can feel his breath against your cunt, coming out in hot puffs between the open mouthed kisses he's leaving on you, indicating to you that he's enjoying this as much as you are. Christ, what is this is even called? Exhibitionism? Does this really count towards that? You don't know, but you can wring your hands over the semantics later. Wrenching your jaw shut, only just barely avoiding biting down on your own tongue, you gulp hard and exhale slowly in a way that alludes more to a stifled yawn than a suppressed moan. "Another ten minutes. Then I'll be down. I promise."

Maybe it's because you overacted the calm and reserved tone, or maybe it's because you're just generally not that nice to her, but Nico's suddenly concerned. "Shit, you bein' kidnapped or somethin'?" Mildly concerned. "You ain't never this gentle with me."

"I'm not--" You have to pause again. Words are getting harder to string together the more he bites and sucks, guiding you towards your third orgasm of the morning with devilish flicks of his tongue. Even though the day's only just begun, you're already so overwhelmed. So tired. "I'm not being… kidnapped."

"Yeah, that's exactly what someone would say if they were bein' kidnapped, so tap the receiver twice if you need me to bust into your apartment. I'll kick--"

"Nico!" You love her despite her eccentricities, you swear you do, but juggling your usual banter with a desire to cum all over Vergil's face, on top of the desire to not be heard while that happens is not really a skill you were prepared to be forced to have. The muscles in your legs begin to tense, he can feel it underneath the hand that still supports your leg over his shoulder, so he doubles his efforts, dragging his tongue back up to your clit where he knows you're weakest to his ministrations. He wants to make you cum while you're still on the line so he can see how you react. How you hide your pleasure from your friend. Would you try to talk through it so as not to rouse suspicion, or would you fall silent and pull the phone away from your mouth so none of those lewd little noises you make manage to slip through?

Just a little more, and then he'll have his answer.

With your body still half leaned, half perched on your table, you're trying your best to press his face deeper between your legs with just one hand, gripping his hair so tightly in your fist there's no way it can't be pulling on his scalp. But if anything, it urges him on, chasing the taste of your sweet cunt. It certainly hasn't escaped his notice that you're more into this than usual - it seems that no matter how much he laps at you, your slick just keeps on coming, coating his lips and chin. The impulse to just toss your phone across the room to rut into his face is far too tempting, and at this point, he's all but won whatever point he'd initially set out to obtain, but which victory you give him - whether you keep Nico on the line or hang up - is still entirely up to you to choose. Do you save your pride, or do you saviour your looming orgasm? You only have a few precious seconds left to decide before you fall to his mouth, still sealed around your clit, tongue teasing and flicking.

Keep her on the line, or hang up?

Keep her on the line, or hang up?


"Just--" You don't know what you were intending to say there, what the second half of that sentence was supposed to be. Maybe all it ever was was a noise that so happened to resemble a word? Regardless, it doesn't matter to you now, because you're lifting your other leg to wrap around Vergil's back, locking your ankles and thus his head between your thighs as you finally cum. You untangle your fingers from his hair to prop it on the table behind you for support as you lean back, lips parting in a silent cry at your ceiling, hoping to god that Nico can't hear the wet slurps and smacks coming from below you in your prolonged silence. You're afraid to move, thinking that if you so much as twitch, if you so much as breathe, it will immediately unravel your tightly wound control, leaving you an arching, writhing mess on your table once again, the consequences of being caught be damned. 

Without your other foot on the ground to anchor you, the weight of you on the table, coupled with Vergil eagerly pressing into you, has it sliding back half an inch, screeching against the floor. That, at least, fills the silence.

"Just make it snappy before Nero gets pissed at how late we are.." And then Nico finally, finally hangs up. The moment the call disconnects, you drop your phone from your hand, not caring in the least when it bounces off the table and hits the floor, because there are far more important matters to tend to, such as twining your fingers back into Vergil's hair to give you the leverage you need to ride out the remainder of your orgasm on his face, grinding slowly to prolong the pleasure for as long as you can, making sure his mouth stays right therejesusfuckdon'tyoudaremove. The moans and mewls you were keeping locked so tightly in your chest slip so easily from you now, like a dam that finally caved to the pressure.

Vergil loves that desperation in you. As it turns out, it was his second prediction that rang true, but for all your silence, your frantic scrabbling at his hair, nails dragging and scratching at his scalp; your legs locking him into place; your hips bucking into his face all demonstrated perfectly well, the pleasure you couldn't voice. Somewhere, in a deep recess of his mind that isn't buried up to his nose in your cunt, he has to admit that he admires that restraint.

He will never tell you, but you did well.

"God, I hate you sometimes. I really-- oh god--" You breathe in sharply, entire body twitching involuntarily when Vergil sucks particularly hard on your throbbing, oversensitive clit, and you feel your walls squeeze pitifully over nothing, almost as if lamenting the absence of something thick and hard. You should probably be grateful for that - if he'd used his fingers, or god forbid, bent you over the table, you're not sure you'd have managed to keep quiet. "I really do."

It isn't as though it was an exceptionally intense orgasm, but being subjected to three in just over an hour is an exhausting affair, and to this end, your entire body goes limp, legs relaxing, tension releasing. It takes all you have to not collapse back onto the cool surface of your table.

It's with a series of deliberately slow licks as he cleans up what would have otherwise been a wet mess that Vergil finally untangles your legs from around him and pulls off you. He watches you with a self satisfied look in his eyes, taking in the rewarding sight of you as he rises to his feet, swiping across his lips with the back of his hand in a display that sends one final, albeit weak aftershock of pleasure through you. Then he leans forward, reassumes his earlier stance - pressed firmly against you, trapping you with hands on either side of your body - and simply looks at you with eyes full of mirth.

"You have a nasty habit of saying what you don't mean." Oh yes, Vergil doesn't find your little confession to be at all convincing. He rarely ever does, because you both know it's true. "Especially when your body reacts so viscerally to me."

To me, he says, as if he's the only thing in the world capable of making you cum. The sheer audacity of this man--

"Whatever." It's a noncommittal response at best, and a weak one at worst. "But that was risky as hell. What the hell was I gonna do if she found out?"

Vergil contemplates that for a moment, expression turning into something leaning a little too close to grim before he discards whatever he was thinking, and his pale eyes return to that playful shade of grey. "That wouldn't be my problem." God, you'd swat at his shoulder if your body didn't feel so weak. "Regardless, you seemed to enjoy yourself well enough. Perhaps a little too much." To further drive his point home, he brings a hand back between your legs, idly running his fingers through your still wet folds, pleased when it draws a tired shudder from you. "Have you a preference that you neglected to tell me of?"

The only reason you don't answer him is because you're short on time. It absolutely isn't because it's out of spite because he's also adept at reading you like a book. Not that it matters any to Vergil anyway, because your reaction, the way you furrow your brows and look away speaks for itself. He'll just have to coax it out of you another time - as much as he enjoys his victories, he does understand that you have somewhere to be. Hell, so does he.

It's impossibly easy to tell when Vergil shifts back into his usual tepid demeanour. In fact, he makes it seem as simple as flipping a literal switch with how seamless he makes the transition, expression tightening once more as he rears back up to his full height, stepping lightly to the side to give you room to squeeze past him. Even the very air around him seems to change.

Just like that, he returns to being strictly business. A fellow coworker. The father of your friend.

"I suppose we'll have to take a raincheck on the continuation of our second agreement. You should get going." It's an unspoken, indirect suggestion that you should clean up first that oddly gives you pause. When he isn't being smug - which is often, whenever he's with you - he really does possess the capacity to be thoughtful, and as if to further cement this, Vergil extends a hand to you, helping you back onto your (shaky) feet when you silently accept it. He even goes so far as to pull your table back to its original place - ever a man who pays attention to detail. "I'll be sure to lock up after I leave."

"Yeah. Thanks."

Nico's still lounging on the couch in the van when you finally open the passenger door and let yourself in, grunting at the exertion because even with the little perch on the outside of the van, pulling yourself in feels almost like a chore when you're feeling as raggard as you are. It's barely ten in the morning, and you've already gotten a thorough work out. Hopefully, whatever Nero gets you working on at the orphanage today isn't physically intensive.

"You had company over, didn't you? I put two and two together after I hung up." There's no need for you to question her on just what she means by 'company', and Nico herself hardly bats an eye at her casually worded invasive question. The two of you have been friends long enough that there's no real need to dance around formalities or courtesies anymore. You actually appreciate that about her.

Which is why you don't even bother hiding the truth from her. "Yup." Although the who might need to stay on the downlow. Nico is aware of your tendency to engage in bouts of anonymous sex, but you're not sure how she'd take it if she found out you were fucking the father of a mutual friend. If you have your way, she'll never need to find out.

"Gross." The comment is made idly and with the same sort of enthusiasm as when she has to deal with something as menial as, say, spilling a drink. That is to say, she doesn't really care. Nico exhales a lungful of cigarette smoke before she continues, angling her head through the window to gaze up at your apartment building as if she might be able to catch a glimpse of your guest. "He still up there?"

"Yeah. Taking a shower I think." With another grunt, you lean your weapon against the dashboard and then pull the door closed behind you. It's always those short few seconds after all the doors close that the smell of the van hits you the strongest. It isn't unpleasant to you - a mix of tobacco, oil, coffee, and the distinct, sharp odour of burnt metal - it just smells like home, if you're honest. Of nostalgia and safety. You probably love this van as much as Nico does.

She makes a surprised noise as she pushes herself up off the couch, making her way back to the driver's seat where she sits facing you. "He a keeper, huh? You don't normally let one night stands stay unattended at your place." When you don't answer her, Nico shrugs it off. It isn't really her business - what you get up to in your own time is entirely your choice, and if push comes to shove, she knows you can protect yourself. "Must be a hell of a lay though because from where I'm sittin', it's like you ain't even noticed."

Now that gets your attention, making you regard her with a confused look. "Noticed what?"

She simply nods past you, gesturing back up at your apartment building with her eyes, making you click your tongue in mild annoyance because she's being deliberately vague in order to ramp up the drama. But you follow her eyes anyway, turning in your seat to hang your head out the open window and craning your neck upwards to see what the hell she's talking about. You're actually about to ask her to be a little more specific, to maybe give you a hint as to what exactly you're looking for, but when you actually look up there, there's no mistaking it.

Five jagged lines run the entire length of your apartment building from one corner to the other, gouged straight into the brick itself and deep enough that you wonder how none of the blocks came loose. The dread you feel is immediate, because this , you realise, is why there are so many people out on the street today.

They're all staring fearfully up at the clawmarks something left on your building, whispering among each other, glancing nervously between the clearly inhuman marks and the van. From their perspectives, it can only point to one thing - something dangerous lurks in their city.

Even though you're so tired, the gears of your mind begin to spin as a heavy sort of guilt begins to build up inside you. How could you have been so careless? Why didn't you notice? Because of Vergil? Because you were too busy having some of the best sex in your life? Because of something as selfish as that?? Fuck --



Think .

How long have they been there? It can't be any older than a day. Maybe even less than that because there were definitely no nosy passerbys loitering around on the street when you made it home last night. And if it is older, then the orphanage would have been inundated with calls from distressed civilians by now, begging Nero to investigate it. So when ? Sometime during the night? How in the seven hells did you not hear it?! You adjust your position in the passenger's seat, rolling the window all the way down so you can shove the top half of your body out of it to get a better look at what you're dealing with. Judging by the distance between the individual indents themselves, their arrangement in the wall, the fact they are so high up on the building all point to the creature being sizable. Five lines means five-fingered, which in turn means it's humanoid. Likely capable of flight…


Capable of flight? Humanoid? Fresh clawmarks?

You freeze as your entire body goes rigid, and an unpleasant, anxious burn begins to churn deep in your gut as you recall the events prior to Vergil's arrival at your door. That thundering tear you heard mere minutes before he showed up and then subsequently immediately forgot about as soon as he set foot through your doorway because he was already pulling at your clothes, already crowding you up against a wall…

It was him.

"Mother fucker !" You can't help the sudden exclamation as you're still trying to wrap your head around what you're seeing, feeling a tumultuous combination of varying emotions from both ends of the spectrum all jumbled into the one sensation. You genuinely don't know whether you're supposed to laugh at the idea that Vergil used your entire apartment building as a personal handbrake, be pissed that he caused damage to it, or be pissed that this is far from discreet because he has marked up your goddamn apartment building . It's damn lucky that your outburst can be attributed to the situation at hand without sounding suspicious, and as a testament to this, Nico interprets it as surprise.

"Yeup. So buckle up. Nero's gonna wanna hear about this." Nico spins in the driver's seat, moving to finally start the van, but then she tilts her head in thought. "Assumin' he hasn't been flooded with calls already."

All that you can do when you pull yourself back into the van is flop into the seat and rub tiredly at your temple.

How the hell are you supposed to explain this?

Chapter Text

Vergil should have known something was wrong the moment he looked at his phone and noticed he had three missed calls from you. Unlike you, he prefers to keep his device on silent, relying instead on his sharp hearing to pick up the low buzz that accompanies the steady vibrations of an incoming call. He's normally rather good at it, even if he hardly ever picks up, but even his demonic sense of hearing isn't infallible because as it turns out, something as mundane as being cooped up inside your tiny shower stall as he washes away the morning's sweat and filth is enough to overcome it.

It isn't until he's just about to leave does he go for his phone, giving your home one last quick sweep to ensure everything is as it was prior to his arrival before he looks at it, slowing to a stop just shy of your front door.  Even as a mere prompt on the screen of his phone, Vergil can somehow sense the urgency behind the three calls he's missed from you, purely because you never bother to call him unless it's to ask if he's… 'busy'. He can't seem to fathom as to why you'd call him though, because surely you can't be after another round when it's barely been an hour since you left, and he can't picture you calling him just to talk, even in spite of having left before you could ask each other your respective questions. No, he doesn't get that clingy sort of feeling from you, which is partially why he enjoys having this relationship with you in the first place. So what do you need him for then? 

With a soundless sigh, Vergil figures it'd be in his best interests to find out sooner rather than later, especially considering the trials he put you through. No doubt being forced to cum while on the phone with a friend will come back around to haunt him later, and if he's honest, he'd actually rather not give you even more ammo with which you may do so. And so, it's with a rather heavy reluctance that he navigates to your number in his phone - he still hasn't bothered to save you as a contact, just in case Dante snoops around - and then holds his phone up to his ear as he finally, finally leaves you apartment, ensuring your front door is well and truly locked behind him before he starts down the hallway. You pick up on the second ring.

"I should kick your goddamn ass!" Though whispered harshly, your words are scathing right from the beginning, spoken without a care for Vergil's currently unenlightened state, because you are pissed, and the way you see it, you have every right to be.

He however, doesn't seem to agree, and the tone with which he answers you is equally as biting, skipping entirely over giving you the benefit of the doubt and jumping head first into defensive. Never let it be said that Vergil takes anything lying down. "Excuse me?"

"What the hell happened to discretion, Vergil? You left goddamn clawmarks all over my building!"

The accusation, sounding more and more familiar as the seconds pass, actually brings Vergil to a complete halt, leaving him standing rather dumbly in the middle of the hallway just outside your apartment. His expression, if you could see it, is the very definition of schadenfreude - a pleasant mix of stunned and, surprisingly, horrified. It wasn't his intention to leave those marks. Of course it wasn't. He isn't stupid. And it wasn't necessarily that he was too eager to see you either that caused him to come to a literal skidding stop using your apartment building as a clutch (although the anticipation was certainly there), he'd merely… well, never considered the consequences beyond giving a few citizens an empty scare. People would see it, certainly, but so what? How would such marks in a port city like Fortuna - a veritable magnet for demonic activity - possibly point back to him? No matter how you slice it, there's just no conceivable way.

Except it doesn't have to incriminate him, he realises with a nervous bubbling growing in his gut, because all it has to do to make trouble is lead back to you.

In this moment, he actually has to agree with your earlier sentiment - a split second decision, a brief lapse in his usual judgement, something he deemed as inconsequential at the time has sewn unfavourable results. He still doesn't believe anything will come of it, but that doesn't change the fact that what he did was foolish. Overbearingly, irrefutably and frustratingly so, and the silence that he's answering you with is one borne from both anger and disappointment in himself.

And maybe also a little shame with a sprinkle of anxiety, because he's well aware that you will get him back for this. He doesn't yet know how, but he knows you will.

"Nothing to say, huh? I figure that means you understand what you've done, you complete moron!"

"You're overreacting." Vergil spares a passing glance to a man making his way down the hall past him, half turning to face the wall to provide some semblance of privacy in the open space. It only sort of works.

"I'M--" You stop yourself there, having to lift a hand to your face and pinch the bridge of your nose as if to physically curb your frustration. It only sort of works. "Not overreacting. The fuck am I supposed to tell everyone? 'Sorry, I was getting laid and didn't hear the seven foot tall demon use my building as a personal handbrake'? Is that how you wanna get outed to your son, because that sure hell isn't how I plan to live out the rest of my life. And yeah I did mean to say that, because assuming Nero doesn't kill me, I'll probably die of embarrassment anyway!"

There's a minor pause as Vergil grants you an extra few seconds to continue your barrage, but when you don't, he steps in. "Are you quite finished?"

"No. Fuck you." You give that a moment to let it sink in, and you swear you can make out a faint sigh on the other end. "Now I'm finished."

"Good," Vergil says, watching over his shoulder as the man disappears down the hall, "because nothing will come of this."

Oho, that is rich. "You sound mighty confident about that, o wise one."

"Then permit me to explain." The edge in Vergil's voice is undeniable now. "The underlying basis is simple - there is no demon to be found. Nero will adamantly search the city, but it will yield no results--"

"Okay no--" For whatever reason, you feel obliged to hold up your hand to gesture for him to stop, even though you're speaking to him over the phone. "Hold up. If you're trying to tell me that Nero, and even the rest of Fortuna will give up on this when tangible evidence to the contrary is present, then that tells me two things about you. You don't know Fortuna, and you understand Nero even less." The silence on the other end of the line is biting, bordering on awkward, and for a split second you actually wonder if you've taken it too far, if you've actually managed to piss Vergil off. It's true that you've never really seen the father and son interact on any sort of personal level beyond greetings and formalities, but it could also be true that their relationship is more of a 'behind closed doors' affair. Perhaps even unspoken, given the respective natures of those involved. After all, isn't that technically what you have with Vergil right now, even if a crude approximation?

When Vergil responds, the tension in his voice bears an almost physical weight, his words sounding forced and through gritted teeth. It's only a brief flash before it fades, but you feel something you'd later identify as regret. It wasn't your place to say so.

"I know him better than you think."

"But less than I gave you credit for." The words haplessly tumble from your lips before you can stop them, and you have to bite down on your tongue the second that they do, because even pissed as you are, you know how to differentiate between justified anger and blindly lashing out. Currently, you're doing the latter, no matter how closely interchangeable the two may seem. Heaving a quiet sigh, you rub at your temple, voice a bit softer now, a little less harsh. But just a little. "Look, the bottom line is, Fortuna isn't in any position to take these sorts of incidents lightly. Were you ever told about what happened here six years ago? The sheer scale of it changed this city forever, and even though The Order is a shadow of what it used to be, and nobody outside Fortuna knows about it, we remember, and we won't put ourselves in that sort of vulnerable position again under any circumstances. We have a new creed now, a new order among us, and that's that we keep each other safe no matter the cost."

Standing there in your hallway, Vergil is staring almost blankly ahead of him at the wall, memorising the patterns and hairline cracks in the old wallpaper as he listens. Aside from the visits to the orphanage and more recently, your home, he's never really spent any time in Fortuna, mingling among its people. That also holds true for when he was last in the city decades ago, back when he met Nero's mother. It was of no consequence to him back then, and perhaps rightly so, all things considered - he was in the city for one reason, and one reason only. Why waste the effort in things he had no need for? But hearing this now, from someone he frequently sees and interacts with sheds a rather blinding new perspective. Of course he knows about the incident with The Saviour. It's how he was able to discover the whereabouts of the Yamato, but he never once considered the lasting effects it had on the city. On its people.

Can he say he ever has?

Vergil's mind flashes back to the Temen-Ni-Gru. To the Qliphoth. To the fresh clawmarks that now decorate your apartment. And he physically recoils, the memories remaining a set of burning hot coals he can't yet touch, can't yet come to terms with.

He hasn't changed at all, hasn't gotten any better or any stronger, and at his side, his hand clenches into a fist. It's the only sign of his discomfort that he'll presently allow. As it stands, he has a much more direct problem that requires his attention. "Then might I suggest a new plan?"

You're not sure if it's by virtue of being over the phone, but you swear his voice is quieter than it normally is, the subtle yet noticeable difference being just enough to make you pull your phone from your ear to give it a puzzled stare before you lift it back up. For what it's worth, he at least doesn't seem to be angry with you, but who knows? "If it's better than the one you just brought up, then I'm all ears."

"Where are you now?"

"In the van?" Where on earth is this going? "We're nearly at the orphanage."

Vergil tilts his head at your response. "Are you not concerned about Nico overhearing this?"

"Relax, I holed myself up in the bathroom." And as if on cue, Nico manages to hit the curb as she turns a corner, jostling you and forcing you to snap your hand out to grasp the wall mounted towel rack. Goddamnit Nico, you somehow manage to get this entire van up a demon tree, but you can't avoid a curb? "I'm not an idiot like you."

Vergil's eyes dart off to the side in vague annoyance. "When you're ready, come meet me at the entrance of Fortuna Castle. The Hell gate that was once there is broken, but minor demons are still able to pass through any tears between the realms. We will hunt a demon and use it as a scapegoat. Is that reasonable?"

If you're honest, you're not entirely sure where you're supposed to begin with that, because for starters, you weren't expecting Vergil to be this cooperative, especially not after the way you just spoke to him. And for another thing… "'We'?"

"Yes." The way he says it denotes a minor sarcasm that you overlook purely because you're more interested in being constructive. "Unless your intentions were merely to ridicule me, were you not looking to hold me accountable? If my assumption is wrong, I'd have no qualms with leaving this for you to handle alone."

The grip you have on your phone goes slack for half a second, mind casting back to the rather offhanded and selfish way he handled your concern at being caught by Nico.

'That wouldn't be my problem.'

And yet you can't help but note the contrast between then and now. It's the same feeling you got when he helped you off your dining table, the way he didn't release you until he was certain you were steady. He isn't a bad guy, he's just dumb as hell.

Guess he and Dante really are brothers after all. Although speaking of which.

"And what about Dante? He's probably expecting you back at Red Grave."

A pause as Vergil mulls that over. No doubt Dante has well and truly noticed his absence by now, but it's a minor inconvenience at best. "I can handle my brother."

The vague, ironic way he deliberately hides his solution from you doesn't escape your notice. "Not my problem, huh?"

To your pleasant surprise, Vergil catches on immediately, his tone finding its usual rhythm once more. "Not your problem."

Fortuna Castle, once the crown jewel of the city, is all but abandoned these days and left vastly untouched even years on. Given that the Order's main headquarters lay only just beyond the Castle, tucked safely within Mitis Forest, it's no wonder they forbade the general public from entering the grounds. Even though the castle held such importance and deep-seated historical influence, only those within the Order's upper echelon were ever permitted to enter, and even peruse the main Headquarters. Of course, the Headquarters have long since been destroyed - and will be left so as a testament to Fortuna's desire to move forward and away from such blind devotion - but with nobody left to guard the area, occult journalists and thrill seekers from beyond the city, fueled by rumours, are really the only people who frequent lonely Lamina Peak anymore. In most cases, it doesn't end well for them, with Nero either saving them and then subsequently threatening them to keep quiet, or they meet their untimely ends at the hands of the very creatures they came to photograph to make a quick buck off of. Though for entirely different reasons, neither outcome is favourable - the mountain is ruthless and cares little for who you are or why you've come.

Vergil stands by the large, foreboding doors of the dilapidated castle, his back turned to you until he hears you on the approach. The sun is directly overhead now, but the breeze carries a brisk, frosty chill. Hardly surprising when Lamina Peak is covered in snow almost all year round.

"You took longer than I was expecting."

"Yeah well Nero was pissed, and I was getting the brunt of it."

Vergil arches a curious eyebrow at you. "What did you say to him?"

You rub sheepishly at the back of your neck, making a strained noise. "Just said that I slept through it. Needless to say he didn't like hearing that one bit." Your gaze then trails skyward rather ruefully, groaning in a way that sounds like defeat to Vergil. "And then Nico opened her big mouth and said I was getting laid. She doesn't know it was you, but she's pieced together that I've been seeing someone. Nero didn't like that either."

Vergil follows your eyes, tilting his head back to idly watch the clouds drift by, oblivious. Distantly, he finds the idea of you, someone normally so brash and unafraid of anything, being reprimanded to be rather amusing, but he has the prudence (and self preservation instinct) to keep that to himself. "I'll be more careful."

You just grunt, your demeanour returning to one of mild agitation. "You'd better. You know you owe me big time for this, right? If anything, I should be the one leaving you to fix this on your own."

Pushing up off the bannisters that line either side of the castle's bridge, Vergil begins to head for the main entrance, expecting you to follow after him. It's with reluctance that you do, making a face at him behind his back. "You would run the risk of me being spotted over a grudge?"

"A perfectly justified grudge. Which reminds me--" You fall into step at Vergil's side for the sole purpose of lifting your hand to slap at his shoulder as hard as you dare to. You're not sure if it actually hurt him, but you hope it did. "-- that's for being reckless."

The answer to your unspoken question comes in the form of Vergil sparing a glance down at the shoulder you hit with a narrowing of his eyes that toes the fine line between annoyed and mildly inconvenienced. By all rights, he actually should be annoyed, but there's something refreshing about being met with this sort of reaction, about how you don't mince words around him. When he casts his eyes back up to you, even without speaking it, the intention behind the look he's giving you is abundantly clear: 'was that supposed to hurt?'

You don't give him the satisfaction of an answer. "Can we just get this over and done with?"

It seems that was all you needed to say. Vergil gives a satisfied hum, and then returns his attention to the doors that now tower over the two of you. They're imposing, perhaps deliberately so, old, heavy, reinforced with steel, and designed to pull open via a lever that sits god knows where. In all honesty, you've never really been up here before either, but rather than look around for the mechanism that controls the door - assuming they still even work and haven't rusted over entirely - Vergil gives one of the doors a push and with a tired rumble and hair splitting screech, it moves, opening just enough for you both to squeeze through. You've always known that the twins, and even Nero, are absurdly strong, but witnessing an example of their strength - regardless of how tiny a fraction of its true potential - sheds a whole new light on what you thought you knew. It's startlingly eye opening, and not even because of what it could bring to the bedroom. No, seeing it for yourself only highlights your inadequacy. Your frailty.

You hate it.

"If you're getting cold feet, I will do this on my own." It's Vergil's annoyed quip that snaps you out of your thoughts, making you realise he's still holding the door open, waiting for you to move through. It takes another second for you to react, once more at odds with how often he seems to be… well, at odds with your perception of him, but you file that away for later, brushing past him to fully enter the castle for the first time. You hate the Order, virtually everybody currently in Fortuna does, but you can't fight off the nervous excitement you're feeling as you make your way through, unsure of what to expect, but looking forward to it all the same in a rather nasty sort of way.

Unsurprisingly, the main foyer, a large open room, is a mess. What was once an opulent chandelier now lies in ruins in the center of the room, severed from the ceiling itself. Pews line either side of the foyer, but most lie broken, either from the chandelier itself, or the mad scrabble as any remaining members fled the property during the attack six years ago. Decorative marble tiles that once paved the floor, holding abridged murals of Sparda's undertakings are covered in dirt, dust and dried blood. The rest are cracked or shattered beyond recognition. The sight of something once so prestigious and acclaimed now falling to such ruin almost makes you sad, but when you glance up what used to be an elaborate and ridiculously oversized painting of Sanctus, any reverence, any nostalgia the castle sparked within you is effectively snuffed out. The colours have faded by now, the regal red and gold of the Order's uniform now reduced to shades of brown and grey thanks to years of grime and dust, but what's more striking to you is the large gash in the painting that reveals a hidden path behind it. Seeing its presence only serves to fuel your anger towards the faux religion - was there ever a time they were truly honest with their followers? The hidden passage says no. You take several steps forward, resting one hand gingerly along the backrest of one of the few pews still intact and take a deep breath. Despite the brisk, the air is stale and smells heavily of rust and the acrid, metallic aroma of blood. Oh yes, Fortuna Castle's glory days are long gone now. And all for the better too - the Order of the Sword brought nothing but deception and pain to Fortuna's people.

"How did you know about this place?" You half turn to watch as Vergil steps through the door himself now, letting it automatically pulls itself closed behind him - seems the chains and gears that operate it are still functional after all. "Fortuna used to be unwelcoming towards all outsiders - we'd wouldn't have told anybody from beyond the city about this place, much less let them in. We barely let our own people up here."

In the darkness of the castle, Vergil's eyes seem to glow, making the way he falls into step beside you feel more predatory than a casual gesture. "I let myself in many years ago." He takes a moment to survey the foyer too, finding that even despite the wear and tear, it hasn't changed much from the version that exists in his memory. Even that hideous painting is the same. Just how old was Sanctus? "As you know, Sparda was my father. Back then, I felt that investigating the religion that worshipped him as a god would enlighten me as to what gave him the strength he wielded." Amidst the dim of the room, searching for his eyes that somehow still catch and reflect light should be easy, but you get the feeling he's deliberately avoiding your gaze - you're never able to meet them dead on. "But all I gained from my time here was the conception of Nero."

You have to wonder if it was just your imagination that his tone took on a bitter timbre towards the end.

"And you?" With the shift in topic, Vergil finds it in himself to meet your gaze in the dark, and the ethereal glow, not unlike the disembodied eyes of the cheshire cat, ever vigilant and studious, root you into place. "Your surveillance of the area indicates to me that this is your first time here."

"Because it is." You respond simply, refusing to be intimidated.

"Were you not with the Order?"

"I was. Everybody in Fortuna was. It's why I have this--" Reaching down, you give the sword in the scabbard at your side a pat, your fingers closing over the rounded hilt as if it provides a sense of security. It does, in a way - this sword has been with you through the best of times. And also the worst. "It's a Caliburn. A sort of mass produced version of Nero's Red Queen, given out to the grunts of the Order."

"The grunts…" Vergil finds himself repeating after you. It's hard for him to envision you bowing your head and following the orders of others, the free spirit that he understands you are, but apparently Fortuna was a very different place six years ago. That likely holds true for you as a person too. Where was he six years ago, he finds himself wondering.

"Mm." Dusting your hands off, you step around to the side of the main foyer. Several support columns line the underside of the balcony of the second floor, and just beyond it lies another set of doors, much smaller than those at the main entrance, but impassable nonetheless when it's blocked off by debris. Whatever occurred here really did a number on this place. "The only people allowed in here were those who belonged to the upper echelon of the Order's ranks. Holy Knights - Nero was one, by the way - Generals, all the big shots. There is one other group of people they let in here though." You wait for Vergil to give you a questioning look, sensing the vague cant of his head that signals you to continue with your thought. "Everybody who took part in an Ascension Ceremony gets to frequent this place. You know what that really was, right?"

"...Yes." It's hard to hear Vergil over the hollow echo of the foyer. There's no noise save for what's being made by the two of you, but there seems to be a constant thrum of something in the air, something dense and heavy that resonates with the cold stone and rusted steel of the castle. "Humans were infused with demons - a sort of forced hybridisation that resulted in superhuman capabilities. Not on par with, but not much different from us." The documents Vergil helped himself to so many years ago had mentioned as much, but the procedure was only ever bestowed among 'trusted members'. The higher up you were in the hierarchy, the more strength you were given. It was a one way ticket to paradise, a surefire way to stay in the know, to be part of the World that Sanctus promised.

"Right. I wasn't good enough to be chosen, but I guess that was a blessing in disguise." You shrug as you hop up onto the broken chandelier, balancing on one of the many steel rungs to gain a better vantage of the room. "If I was, it's possible I might have been killed back when Dante first swept through the city when he was looking for Sanctus. He didn't really discriminate back then, but I don't really blame him."

The admission, carefree as it is, has Vergil watching you from below in a thoughtful silence. Dante may seem to act with a devil-may-care attitude, and with little apparent thought or care behind what he does, but Vergil knows first hand that his brother is far kinder than that and knows even better that he is never paid the credit he's due for it. Literally - the amount of times Dante has waived fees on jobs out of sympathy, even when they're well and truly in the red, is staggering.

"He wouldn't have killed you." Of that, Vergil is certain.

You on the other hand aren't obligated to believe it. You remember that day with fierce clarity - the day Dante dropped in on the church and shot Sanctus point blank in the head, the cold efficiency with which he did it. But Vergil's eyes are determined and more telling of his stance on the matter than anything else, and you can't really bring yourself to argue with him on it. "If you say so." It's offhanded and dismissive, but you're not exactly looking to debate with him on your potential death at the hands of his brother. "Now come on, we've got a demon to hunt. Assuming there are even any here."

Sensing that you want to shift the topic, Vergil obliges - doing so will likely make the next hour or so go much smoother than if he were to contradict you at every turn. "There are. The Hell Gate that was constructed here lies in the main courtyard of the castle. It's been broken, but the materials it was made from still draw enough power to allow lesser demons through. It's a long process - creating tears in reality isn't easy - but it's inevitable so long as the material exists, and demons persist on the other side."

"Okay." Is it annoying that Vergil is actually incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to the ins and outs of his job? ...okay, so it's actually pretty helpful to have someone so well informed around. What bothers you is simply that he knows more than you do. "And which way is the courtyard?"

He gestures with a slight nod of his head past you and towards the second floor. "The fastest route would be through either set of doors on either side of the painting. They both lead to a balcony overlooking the courtyard."

You take a moment to adjust the scabbard for your Caliburn, ensuring it's still strapped tight around your waist, not hanging too high or too low. Such things can mean all the difference when in the heat of battle, and it's only when you're satisfied do you half raise a hand. "Lead the way."

Wordlessly - you swear you hear him scoff, but it could easily have also been the ambient sounds of the old castle - Vergil does exactly that, striding past you to make his way to the front of the room, jumping effortlessly on to the second floor and landing with all the grace of a dancer upon the handrail that skirts the perimeter of the entire level. He then turns back to you expectantly as if challenging you to keep up with him. To, quite literally, get on his level. It's a challenge you don't back down on, one you wouldn't dream of backing down on when he's confronting you so boldly like this. Hopping down from the chandelier, you give yourself a running start, heading straight for the raised platform at the forefront of the foyer, using the railing there to springboard yourself up to the next floor to stand at Vergil's side, perched rather precariously atop the handrail that by all rights, should be crumbling beneath both your combined weight, but is somehow still holding on. His expression gives nothing away, but you feel a twinge of pride when Vergil breaks eye contact first and drops down onto solid ground.

Then, in an immediately contrasting motion, he extends a hand out to you, making you blink owlishly at his gloved hand, gaze flickering between his face and his palm as if you're expecting him to judo throw you back over the edge. You're not sure why these thoughtful actions strike you as odd, why they feel so out of place, just that they do. BStill, you accept his hand all the same, albeit in a more hesitant fashion than you did this morning. If Vergil's at all offended that you seem keen on continuously second guessing his kindness, he doesn't show it, he simply helps you regain your footing in silence before withdrawing his hand and making for the nearest door. But it's when he can't sense you following along behind him that he stops and turns to look for you with the door half pulled open. You're standing in the middle of the balcony, staring up at the horribly torn painting of Sanctus with a look on your face that he's never seen on you before - unfiltered, unbridled hate, simmering… no, boiling just below the surface, threatening to engulf you.

Your hatred for the religion you were once part of is clear as day, but he doesn't get that same level of vehemence from Nero or Kyrie. Although to be fair, it's exceedingly difficult to gleam any sort of malice from her. Is it just you that hates the Order so, then? What about the rest of the city?

"If we aren't pressed for time," Vergil begins, getting your attention, "I'd like to ask you my question."

And get your attention it does. The malice fades from your expression, your brows going slack, muscles relaxing as the tension melts away. "I thought you already did before. When you asked if I was with the Order?"

"That was part of it, but there's more I'd like to know."

Okay… he's technically breaking the rules of 'one question per fuck', but you supose you can let it slide. "Shoot, I guess."

"Tell me more of Fortuna." Your confusion doesn't need to be stated to be obvious - that much Vergil can gather from the way you squint and the way your nose scrunches up. "This morning, you accused me of knowing nothing about this city and in the interest of keeping well informed, I'd like to remedy that. As it stands, the memories I have of Fortuna are antiquated, belonging to a time when the Order was the single governing force and not to be trifled with under any circumstances." Not that that stopped Vergil back in the day. "But the Fortuna you describe is vastly different. Free. I'd like more insight into that."

When you rake your hand back through your hair, it isn't because you're frustrated. It isn't even because you don't want to answer him - it's that you're not sure where to even begin. Fortuna's history was stagnant for so long, but the accident with the Saviour six years ago kickstarted a chain of events that lead to Fortuna's people, its culture, its structure… everything to be rebuilt from the ground up. How do you condense such rampant and rapid change into an easily understood form?

"Well…" Your thought immediately trails off, and you find yourself folding your arms across your chest, pacing back and forth as if to jolt your thought process. "After the incident, the Order dissolved since all of its key members were gone. It's still around today, but it's barely functional, and since they know everybody and their mother is keeping an eye on them, they're harmless. The attack on the town scared a lot of citizens away from the city - people left in droves - but the ones who stayed are the ones we have to thank for shaping the city into what it is now. A lot of the buildings are still under reconstruction, and we still haven't cleared most of the debris away because there aren't enough hands to keep up a decent pace, but everybody chips in. Everybody. Together." Your pacing has led you back to the bannister overlooking the main foyer, where you lean backwards against it, elbows propped on the cold stone.

"You speak as if you aren't including yourself." Of course someone like Vergil with a keen sense of attention to detail would notice your particular choice of words amongst the slew of information you just dumped on him. Of course he'd have noticed you made no mention of 'us' or 'I'. Only 'they'. Only the collective, impersonal 'we'.

The ceiling, still so high above the both of you, suddenly becomes immensely interesting as you loll your head back, and the soft voice in which you speak only further obscures what you have to say, although his keen hearing picks up on it nonetheless. "That's because I had every intention of leaving too, but what made me stay was Nero. He…" You pause, hesitant about whether you ought to continue down this particular avenue. The man you're divulging this information to isn't some two-bit journalist hoping to get lucky - it's Nero's father for god's sake. But taking precedence over that is the fact that Nero is your friend first, and you'll respect his privacy before you respect the wishes of the man who wasn't there when he was most needed. With a sigh, you raise your head again, staring Vergil down with more confidence than you feel. "Look, the main thing to take from this is that Fortuna owes Nero a debt that we can never hope to repay. We saw how hard he fought to save this city, how hard he still fights to protect this city, and if we push ourselves any less hard, if we meet him with any less tenacity than that, then it's nothing short of an insult to the scorn he endured from us for most of his early life. We're free because of him. We're strong because of him. And for the first time in decades, we're more united than we've ever been because of him."

You absently touch your shoulder, where the Order's insignia once rested upon the uniform you've long since thrown away. It somehow tingles and aches like a phantom limb, but one that you voluntarily severed, one you are happy to be rid of. "Instead of bowing our heads in prayer, we tore off our hoods, looked up, and saw the sky for the first time. We don't need a Saviour anymore, because we've learned how to be exactly that for ourselves."

For what feels like entire minutes, there is only silence and the eerie ambience that comes hand in hand with all abandoned structures, like a constant breeze that echoes in the empty halls, making the tension pique the longer you continue to hold Vergil's otherworldly gaze. But then he lets go of the door he's still holding open, lets it slide closed with a soft thump and whoosh of stale air, breaking the silence and the stillness. There's so much to unpack in what you've just said; the solidarity of your people; finding strength in someone else; utilising that to become better… but what Vergil latches onto with the most ferocity surprises even himself.

"Nero was scorned?" He doesn't understand why he finds that hard to believe. He gets the sense that in spite of your and Nico's antics, your behaviour towards him, you hold nothing but adoration for Nero. But Vergil has to remind himself that six years is a long time for things to change.

You don't take the bait however, waving your hand dismissively to close the book on the subject as you push yourself off from your lean against the railing. "Nope. No. I've already said too much about that as it is. I'll tell you as much about Fortuna as you want, but all of that is off limits. If you wanna know more, you can ask Nero yourself, but it isn't for me to tell you." And to emphasize your point, to really hammer home that you have no desire to speak further on the topic, you move past Vergil to open the door again, stepping through before he can say anything else.

He catches it before it swings closed again, watching the empty space you leave behind as you go. He knows you're right about what you just said, but that isn't something he feels he can just say . How does one bring such things up casually? Vergil isn't even really sure if his son accepts him. Hell, he can't say he's sure that even the reverse is true. They've always just… danced around each other. Spoken, but have never really talked .

"Move your ass, Vergil!!"

Though it could have definitely been worded more elegantly, he's actually rather grateful for your intervention. Delving into matters regarding his son tends to send him spiralling head first into a silent and broody mood, or so Dante has come to be well aware. With tensions between the two of you being high enough as it is, he doesn't necessarily want to toss more fuel onto the fire by being abrasive - he's through with burning bridges, deliberately or otherwise.

And well… he'd be lying to himself if he said he wasn't moved by what you said, or the strength that Fortuna as a city exhibits. He can feel it in the way you talk about it, a reverence and passion that is so potent, he swears he could reach out and touch it. Perception is such a strange thing, he decides. Your point of view can change so drastically at such short notice - all it takes is getting a little closer.

When Vergil catches up with you, he finds you peering around a stone pillar at the courtyard below, lifting one finger to your lips as soon as he gets close. He isn't really one to make excessive noise in the first place, knowing how and where to distribute his weight as he paces to reduce the sound that he produces, but Vergil ducks behind an adjacent pillar all the same. Down below, circling seemingly endlessly is a pair of demons. They're a little on the smaller side, scaled and lizard-like, donning helmets and shields upon their arms that look medieval in nature - a rather stark contrast to the general public's perception of what demons are supposed to look like. From what you can recall of the Order's official files, what you're looking at are a pair of Assaults, but it's rare for them to be hanging around Lamina Peak. They may be otherworldly creatures who have no need to heed the rules of the human world, but they are technically cold-blooded - they wouldn't be up here in the cold voluntarily, which means it's likely they've only just breached the human world. Talk about perfect timing.

"Assaults." Although you deeply suspect that Vergil already knows what they are, you bring it up anyway, because he isn't the only one in the business of demon hunting and you want to prove that to him. Why though, you're not quite certain. "Just those two from what I can tell. Must have been all that could fit through whatever gap between realms was formed."

"Will they do?" Vergil peeks around the pillar he's standing behind, just enough that he can glimpse the two demons prowling the courtyard. They're a fair deal smaller than his transformed state, but their size isn't too relevant when all the physical evidence he'd unwittingly left behind were a series of clawmarks. All they have to do is match up.

"Unless we find something else, they're gonna have to." Reaching down to your side, you draw your Caliburn from its scabbard, and push yourself away from the pillar in a single motion. Vergil is instinctively aware that you plan to jump in head first, but by the time he opens his mouth to stop you, you're already leaping over the bannister.

It's a move that's brash, foolish and reckless - all signs of someone who fights because they have something to prove rather than something to protect. Maybe that mentality has gotten you by thus far when your enemies are nothing but lesser demons, but it makes all the difference if what you're up against can match you in cunning.

He feels a flash of anger within him, frustrated that you would leap in so blindly, but he keeps it in check with a measured breath and honed discipline, following after you with a flourish of his coat tails when he hops the ledge. The sound of an engine revving is sorely out of place in such an archaic setting, the roar of it undoubtedly carrying all the way through the empty halls of the rest of the castle, and over the din of what's happening in front of him, Vergil can pick up something else in the distance - the low guttural hiss of another creature acknowledging the disturbance of the otherwise tranquil halls. It still sounded like it was far off, and Vergil surmises that you have perhaps a minute, two at best, to dispatch the two Assaults before it manages to follow the noise all the way to the courtyard.

But even if it does arrive sooner, he isn't worried. Why would he be? These creatures hardly serve as an adequate warm up, much less pose a real threat. But to you, a full-blooded human, they loom much more dangerously.

A hollow clang of steel from behind him pulls Vergil from his thoughts, and he glances over his shoulder just in time to watch as your arm bounces back from the fruitless impact of your sword  against the Assault's formidable shield. It drops low onto all fours, taking the opening it just created to spin and lash its tail around, meaning to knock you flat on your back. Assaults are perhaps on the higher end of the scale when it comes to lesser demons, capable of coordinated attacks when in numbers, but even with its (mildly) superior intelligence, it fails to notice the vague twist of the wrist on your sword arm until flames erupt from one of the two vents along your Caliburn. It might not pack as much of a punch as the Red Queen - the sheer force of the propulsion it's capable of would likely dislocate the shoulder of a regular human at best - but for the mass produced version, it's more than enough to sever the limb of a demon or two. Your sword blazes a red hot trail as the momentum of the exhaust system forces it downwards in a perfect arc, cleaving the tail of the Assault clean off its body, and with a shrill shriek, one that you swear is potent enough to shatter glass, it recoils in both shock and pain. But you don't stop there - you can't afford to stop there for fear of severe muscle strain in your back and shoulder - and so you follow through on the swing of your sword, twirling with it to offset the momentum of the propulsion, coming back around to aim a kick at its head while it's still regaining its bearings. Vergil decides he's seen enough at that point, diverting his attention back to the Assault that's rounding on him.

(Though he does note that the Assault you're busy with goes flying a split second later.)

His enemy leaps up off the ground with a snarl, spinning midair to build up torque in an attack intended to pierce straight through his body. Vergil merely scoffs. Such a pitiful creature isn't even worth unsheathing the Yamato for, and so when the demon begins its dive, Vergil meets the attack head on with a simple swing of his arm. Sparks fly as claws clash with the sheathe of his most prized possession, the feedback from the impact halting the Assault in its tracks. The sudden termination of its momentum rattles its very frame, and all it can do is feebly swipe at Vergil while it's still within range. But its claws never reach its target, because Vergil moves again, raising his arm above his head to bring his weapon down onto the Assault's head, leaving an indent in the shape of Yamato's sheathe in the elaborate helmet of his foe. The demon crashes hard enough into the floor that it bounces , rising high enough again that Vergil has enough room to spin his sword in his hand to stab the butt of the sheathe into the Assault's gut and send it flying backwards. But it still isn't over. The key to defeating demons is to either deal one single decisive attack, or to overwhelm it with an endless barrage with no care for whether it can even breathe between strikes. The finishing blow for Vergil today is a series of summoned swords he materialises in the air, suspended above the trajectory of the hapless demon. The moment it's within range, Vergil lets them all fall in a rain of spectral blades, skewering it in place, and tearing its body to shreds.

" Hey!! " Among the flames and the sparks, the shrill cries and the hisses, you're able to find a moment to berate Vergil. With another clang, you jam the blade of your sword sideways into the maw of your prey, effectively holding it at bay. "Don't mutilate the corpses too badly, genius!! This is all for nothing if it doesn't look like something I could have done on my own!"

"Then all you need to do," Vergil finds himself playing along with your little game. Something he's finding is becoming increasingly easier to do as time goes on, likely by virtue of being intimately familiar with you. "Is to be better than you are."

It's such an obvious ploy to rile you up in the way you're both familiar with by now, like a routine you've both fallen into so naturally, and yet it strikes a chord somewhere deep within you, in a place that's a little too close to home for comfort.

You shove at the snarling Assault with a grunt, knocking it off balance for the split second you need to enact your plan. With another twist of your wrist, a flick of the mechanism that ignites your weapon with a portable inferno, you pull downwards and sever the creature's lower jaw from the rest of its body. You can hear it drop to the floor with a heavy thump, followed shortly after by the pooling of blood and another pained cry as it staggers backwards, clutching at its face, but you bellow even louder, drowning out the chaos that's directly in front of you.

" I'm trying!! " Desperation seeps into your tone despite your best efforts to curb it, and at your outburst, Vergil actually goes rigid, his lips parting in a genuine surprise. But you don't give him any more than that - he doesn't need to know what's really going on in your mind, your fears of inadequacy, of failure of atonement. Nobody but you needs to know of those.

In a fit of rage, at Vergil, at yourself, at these insects that still plague the world, you swing once more, twisting your most trusted partner and stabbing the blade straight into the Assault's skull through the soft flesh of its upper jaw your previous attack left exposed. Its golden eyes watch you from inside its helmet for the several seconds it still has cognitive function, before they begin to spasm in their sockets and then finally roll back. Its body sags immediately after that, limbs twitching and jerking involuntarily as its body, so caught up in the thrill of a fight, finally realises what's become of it. You pull your sword free with a wet squelch, swinging it one last time to rid it of the thick blood that coats it before you return it to its scabbard.

"I'm trying." Your voice is even again, despite your laboured breathing, sounding so much more resolute now compared to the flash of despair from before. You're almost ashamed that Vergil heard it, but you're salvaging the moment as best as you can.

And despite your protests to the contrary, Vergil is no fool - he can sense that you aren't willing to discuss what just happened, and far be it from him to try to talk you into doing so. It isn't his business, and he's fine with that. But that momentary lapse, the reprieve granted by victory, leaves him with his guard down, and he sees the shards of frosty ice propelling towards you too late to properly deflect them. He has less than a second to respond, knowing that such an ambush is beyond your ability to retaliate against in such a small window of time, and that that isn't your fault. But would knowing that grant you comfort, or simply fuel whatever insecurity that weighs upon you? It isn't his place to know, and so Vergil discards the thought, his body instinctively understanding what he needs to do before he consciously thinks it.

Your mind however, processes what's happening faster than your body can react to it, and you recognise the projectiles barrelling towards you as belonging to a Frost - a demon of higher calibre than a mere Assault, with power over ice that no flame below the extreme heat of the Underworld can melt. They're larger, stronger and a much more formidable enemy even when alone. If not under these unfortunate circumstances, you'd have loved to test your mettle against one of these without Nero running interference and stealing the spotlight, but today is not that day. The shards that were shot towards you are already far too close by the time your hand falls to your Caliburn, and the first thing you feel is a biting cold that precedes a sharp pain in your shoulder as one of the bullets manages to hit its intended target. The next thing you're able to register is a flash of excessive heat, a rush of air that blows your hair back, burning hotter than the fires that ignite your sword. All you can see in front of you is a curtain constructed of a peculiar glowing pattern of blue, vaguely circular shapes that mould and tessellate together in a haphazard mess, yet is strangely stunning to behold all the same. The source of the immense heat originates to your direct right, and you slowly turn your head to look upon the towering creature that came to your aid.

You've never seen any of the Sparda kin's transformed states before today, and even though you're fully aware that Vergil would do you no harm, you feel your heart tighten in your chest, can hear your pulse beginning to fluctuate, pounding rapidly in your ears, and you can't tell if the sweat that begins to form on the inside your palms is due to the heat or the fear that grips you. It could very well be both, because what you are looking at is a real bonafide demon. Whatever else lies in wait in the Underworld cannot possibly compare to the twisting horns, the pointed teeth, the chitin-like armour that covers nearly his entire body. And his height . Vergil was already taller and broader than you in his human form, but like this, he positively towers over you, looming and further fueling that sense of dread. Your fight-or-flight instinct kicks in that very moment, screaming at you to run, to escape from this apex predator that you would have no hope of ever defeating, but it's your stubbornness that keeps you grounded. With a jaw that you're clenching so tight that it's beginning to hurt, you tear your eyes from Vergil's face to stare in front of you as the curtain shifts, making you realise that what shielded you from the rest of the Frost's attack were his leathery wings, so impossibly wide and all encompassing.

They fold away neatly at his back, and you're met with a refreshing breeze of cool, crisp air just in time to see the Frost teleport in front of the two of you, sizing up the situation with a calculating quality one wouldn't normally attribute to demonkind. Does it realise that by entering the fray against a vastly superior being, its sealed its own fate? One can only wonder.

Not that Vergil gives it the chance to. You hear a low growl, one that permeates your entire being as the very air in the entire courtyard begins to rumble. Even a mere human like you can feel the heavy pressure, the crackle of demonic energy that pulses off of Vergil, but you can't bring yourself to utter a single sound, even when he lunges forward in the next second, cracking the ground under his clawed feet and dislodging the rubble with nothing but the raw strength that he exudes. The Frost is ill-prepared for such an opponent, but you would wager that anybody would be. All it can do is let itself be thrown around like a rag doll, and the ice that naturally forms over its body, normally a viable shield against any other person, shatters in seconds. You can hear the gut churning crunch of bones amidst the scene in front of you, but you can't make anything of what Vergil is actually doing to the poor beast - it all just looks like a blur to you.

That's when you realise there are tears in your eyes.

Tears of equal parts fear and awe and the overwhelming notion that no matter what you do, no matter how you try to better yourself, this gap is something you will never be able to close. With a frustrating, infuriating clarity, you realise you can never be equal to Sparda's kin. You are impossibly small, and they are leagues above you.

It's a hasty swipe over your face with the back of your hand, but you make sure to rid all evidence of the wetness of your eyes by the time Vergil is finished with the Frost, dropping the tail he was swinging it around by onto the floor. The dense nature of the atmosphere begins to fade as Vergil returns to his human form, and when he looks at you, instead of a smug look of challenge, the look in his eyes is somehow wistful. Somehow knowing.

"We'll use the Frost as our scapegoat." You say quietly, trying to distract yourself from wondering what the look in his eyes means and instead turning your attention down to your shoulder. The ice that had lodged itself into your arm has melted away thanks to the heat that Vergil radiated, thankfully preventing any onset of frostbite, but the wound is open now, and the blood flows freely. You merely staunch it by clapping your hand over it. Clotting will handle it.

"Are you--"

"I'm fine." You're quick to reassure him, making him sigh as he relents. It's your call, and he won't push you on it. "If anything, getting scratched up a bit helps sell the story a little more, especially against an opponent like that."

"Nero won't be pleased."

"Probably not." It seems that with the dissipation of demonic energy as Vergil dispelled his demon form, it took with it the oppressive atmosphere that had unknowingly settled between the two of you. Good. For the most part, you intend to leave what transpired here to rest in solitude on Lamina Peak, never to be disturbed or seen again. "But he's already kinda pissed at me anyway. Why put on a raincoat when you're already wet, right?"

Despite everything, Vergil actually snorts in amusement.

Things will be okay, you think.

Things were not okay.

Nero had bought your story about the Frost, finding it of greater importance to berate you for being careless as he tended to the gaping hole in your shoulder. Nico was giving you a rather strange look through it all, but had the foresight not to contradict your story when you had gone through apparent lengths to try to cover the origin of those marks.

After all, Frosts have four fingers. Not five.

But all's well that ends well, at least for about a week. A call comes through to the orphanage from a distressed resident, talking about an upturned car that had been smashed into the side of a building. Nero promised to look into it, as is in his nature to do so, but he thinks it's likely to be vandals, perhaps some troublemakers from beyond the city with too much time on their hands. An intimidation display and a few idle threats ought to send them scurrying.

But then the orphanage gets another call, this one about strange screeches and scuffling in the night.

And then there's another call.

And then another.

Which leads to today.

Everybody is gathered in the orphanage's garage. Everybody. Nico sits in the doorway of the van with a cigarette hanging from between her lips, idly blowing smoke out of her nose. Trish is standing by a short distance away, leaning her hip against the side of the van. Everybody else is nearby, forming a vague half circle in the middle of the garage, waiting to be debriefed on the situation.

"Sorry I had to call you two all the way out here, I know you've probably got your hands full with your own stuff, but this is important, and we need as many eyes as we can get." For the most part, Nero is genuine in his apology. He's always genuine.

Dante just shrugs as he checks Ivory, pulling the slide on his pistol back, closing one eye to squint into it. It makes Nico smile - he's taking care of her babies!! "It's fine. You're responsible for a lotta people out here, I get it. Not like we were doing anything anyway, eh, Verge?"

"..Yes." It takes Vergil an extra second to respond because he's inwardly fielding the accusing stares you're sending his way. In your mind, Vergil is the culprit behind these successive acts of vandalism - likely a way of atonement for what he'd done to cast the blame on you for sleeping on (or with, perhaps?) your job. Did he think that leaving a trail of breadcrumbs away from your apartment would take the heat off you?

Did he learn nothing from your lecture last week?! Maybe you really should have kicked his ass.

"Whatever," you remark casually, finally pulling your glare away from Vergil to cast it out the garage door, "it's probably just some idiot demon anyway. Probably got lost on his way out of the Underworld and is throwing a stupid tantrum because the wife isn't happy with him at home."

All anybody can really do is exchange puzzled looks with each other, not really sure where this animosity is even coming from. Even for your nature, this is… rather uncalled for. Mean spirited even, despite the fact that you're talking about a demon that needs to be eradicated. Vergil only looks off to the side, body tense and teeth clenched. It's by some pure stroke of luck that he isn't visibly flustered, but the humiliation he's feeling boils and seethes directly underneath his calm. He can't even say anything in return to defend himself, not here where others are present. All he can do is endure the indirect insults you're lobbing in his direction.

It wasn't him for goodness sake!! Do you actually think he's stupid?!

Apparently the answer to that question is a resounding 'yes'.

"Okay…?" Nero says cautiously, as if he's worried that you'll turn your scathing words onto him next. But you're apparently not finished.

"Man, it must suck being that demon. Talk about pathetic . I'd probably be too embarrassed to be seen in public if I was him. Ridiculous." You fold your arms tightly across your chest, the action pulling on the bindings that are still wrapped around your shoulder and making the injury ache, but you power through it regardless. "Just absolutely ridiculous."

You don't notice it, but Nico is watching you again, flicking her cigarette between two of her fingers to rid it of the ash that's accumulated at the end of it before she returns it to her mouth. You're definitely acting weirder than you normally do, she just can't imagine why.

"Okay look." Nero tries again, hopefully this time without you butting in. "We've gotten a couple of calls from different residents around the city about various disturbances. I don't really know what's happening, but I want eyes on the ground to find the source, ASAP because we've never had recurring sightings like this before. Not successively."

"Could just be coincidences. You're forgetting Fortuna's a port town," Dante muses as he scratches at the stubble that covers his chin with his free hand, "Like Vie de Marli, it's prone to tears opening up and letting small fry through. These things just happen."

"I know, but I just wanna make sure, dammit!" A certain edge seeps its way into Nero's tone, a defensive tenor that crops up without fail whenever the safety of Fortuna is compromised. In the background, Vergil makes note of this, remembering what you'd told him a week ago.

You were right about him.

"Hey relax, okay?" Dante reholsters Ivory and then adjusts his coat. "Nobody said we weren't gonna look into it. I know what this place is to you, I'm just saying--"

Whatever he was planning to say next is interrupted by a series of rapid footsteps approaching the garage from the outside before a rather stocky man collapses up against a half empty barrel of fuel, his shoulders heaving as he takes large, ragged breaths. Judging by his horribly out of breath state, the redness of his cheeks, and the hair that's matted to his head with sweat, he's been running for a while.

"Nero--!" The man takes a second to gulp down another lungful of air, and immediately, the young hunter crosses the garage to gently grip his shoulder, helping him stand up straight again. "I-- I saw-- signal flare--"

It's all he can manage to get out before he sinks to his knees out of exhaustion, but it's all Nero needs to hear to understand what's going on. With a hissed curse under his breath, he strides out onto the street, eyes immediately lifting to scan the skies, and sure enough, several blocks away, he watches a plume of smoke curl and dance into the air.

"Hey!" Nero gets your attention with a curt bark of your name, and you stand to attention, all traces of the agitated derision gone in an instant. "We got a signal. Black. About four blocks away. Nico?"

A scuffle from within the van before the engine roars to life is all the affirmation he gets, and Nero is about to pile into the van until from out the corner of his eye, he sees another plume of smoke. This one red. And then one more just two blocks behind the orphanage. Yellow.


The two Sparda twins merely look at each other, clearly the only ones not in the loop (there is Trish too, but she's already inside the van with Nico), and they're left standing rather cluelessly in the garage while Nero ushers the resident into the orphanage. You can all hear him barking orders, telling Kyrie and the children to lock up and stay inside.

"Anybody wanna explain what's going on?" There's a tiny speck of something in Dante's tone, a certain inflection in his words that denotes a very rare annoyance - he only likes it when he's the one who gets to be deliberately obtuse - and you figure you should throw him a bone. When you speak though, you're looking at Vergil with a glint in your eyes that he can only interpret as pride.

"It's Fortuna showing you city slickers how we get shit done."

Chapter Text

"It's what?" Dante follows your eyes, still trained on his brother, in the hopes that someone will actually start making some sense.

You break eye contact with Vergil now, addressing the both of them. "It's something we collectively came up with. A rudimentary form of quickly communicating to everybody within the city of any threats that crop up, their approximate location, and what action to take." You try to keep it simple, keep it quick - you can't afford to dally around for too long, because: "Black flares are the highest priority. They mean there are residents either under attack or in the immediate vicinity, and we target that first. Holy Water use by residents is permitted only in the event of a black flare and as a last resort in case we don't get there in time. Red means the same - threat spotted, but no threats to civvies. Get off the streets, into the nearest bunker. Yellow means there was a sighting, but we lost the visual on it, and to get off the streets. Whenever something does happen, we have volunteers who post themselves at designated points around the city who keep an eye on these alerts, and any changes in the situation get--"

You're interrupted by the ring of the phone inside the van. Perfect timing.

"Get phoned through to us."

It's an exceedingly simple system, but one that is easy to spot over a large area, easy to understand, and most importantly, cheap and simple to maintain. A city-wide alert by way of something like a siren is far too expensive to have to set up and maintain, whereas flares can easily be made by Nico. Thus far, it's a system that's been proven to work, provided everybody does what they're supposed to.

And they always do. Always.

Nero reemerges from inside, vaulting himself over the handrail of the stairs and landing with a solid thump by the van before he hops up into the doorway of it, turning back so he can address everybody properly. Kyrie appears at the top of the stairs shortly afterward, and Dante gives her a brief wave, which, despite the look of concern on her face, she returns with a small but distracted smile.

"Alright, I've got Kyrie locking down after we leave." Nero announces, propping both hands on either side of the van's entrance. "We're gonna head towards the black flare in the van. We've got a red too, and a yellow about two blocks behind the orphanage." He looks towards Dante and Vergil expectantly then, making the twins glance at one another, seemingly sorting something out between themselves.

"I'll take the red then."

"ICALLSHOTGUNONRED-- I said it first!" To everybody presently in the garage, it was clearly Vergil who managed to get in first, but what can anybody really do about it? You've thought it before, and you're positive it won't be long before you catch yourself thinking it again, but Dante really is a child sometimes - it's a quirk you've noticed he defaults to more and more ever since he was reunited with Vergil, as if he's somehow trying to make up for lost time. "Red's my colour, I get to go."

The look on Vergil's face is tired and dry, but he relents all the same with a wave of his hand, earning quiet a chuckle from Kyrie that she hides behind her hand. With a quiet 'woohoo!' and a notable bounce in his step, Dante heads out into street, surveying the three plumes of bright smoke briefly before he tosses you all a salute over his shoulder. Then with a wink, he leaps away.

"I will stay here." Vergil's quiet and rather resigned to his fate, clearly not pleased he'll be running what essentially amounts to babysitting duties, but he feels that somebody should stay behind. Still standing in the doorway of the van though, Nero bristles, his fingers gripping the steel frame just a little tighter at that prospect. If it's something Vergil notices though, he doesn't remark on it. "A yellow flare means the whereabouts of the demons are unknown, correct? Someone should stay here in the event it turns up."

There isn't anything in Vergil's suggestion that you, or anybody else can fault - it's a perfectly sound and reasonable course of action - and yet the silence continues to hang awkwardly. Nero's eyes flicker to you momentarily, then to Kyrie who seems quietly conflicted, perhaps even pleading in some way, but says nothing. There's a tension here, a certain reluctance at what's being laid out on the table, but you can't quite grasp what it is, or why. It intrigues you, but as much as you'd like to puzzle over it, you're not going to throw Fortuna under a figurative bus just to do so. So in the interest of maintaining the safety of your city and its residents, you make for the van to try to squeeze by Nero who's still standing in the doorway. He doesn't make room for you to nudge by like he normally would though. In fact, he doesn't move at all.

"I need you to stay here too." Nero doesn't look at you as he speaks, almost like he's hiding something, reluctant to spit out the truth when usually that's all he ever does.

You blink, perplexed. "What?"

"Nero--" Kyrie starts, voice oddly firm and chiding, which in itself is an oddity - she hardly ever takes this tone, least of all towards Nero. As it stands, she's clearly the only one who knows why he's suddenly behaving this way, although Vergil himself is suspiciously quiet during this whole affair also. "We'll be alright."

What occurs next is a barrage of quickly fired shots, each one a steady escalation of tension and volume than the one that preceded it. It seems almost rehearsed in hindsight.

"That isn't it. She's still hurt."

"That's bullshit, I'm fine."

"Nero, please!"

"Just stay, okay?!" Nero continues to block the doorway when you make the attempt to duck under his arms and force your way through, and then he's craning his head over his shoulder to peer at Nico in the driver's seat. "Nico, drive!"

Your interjection comes immediately, and vehemently. "Hell no, don't you dare!!"

There's no verbal response from the artisan, but despite the conflicting orders from her two closest friends, she ultimately has to pick one. Nico floors it with a solemn, almost apologetic glance up at the rearview mirror, watching how you make a last ditch effort to shove past Nero and get inside even as the tires screech against the concrete and the van begins to move. What you're attempting is as reckless as it is dangerous - if you slip and fall, if you happen to end up under the wheels instead, you won't be getting off with a mere scratch or a bruise or two, not considering the sheer size of the van. You're vaguely aware that Kyrie is calling your name from where she's standing, both hands clutching the stair's railing, watching helplessly as your foot treads air instead of the step leading into the van. Your heart skips a beat, and you can feel yourself lose your balance.

But it's a firm tug at the back of your collar roughly yanking you backwards that spares you from ending up underneath the heavy vehicle. You feel your back collide with something firm, but not immovable, as whatever you hit moves backwards with you, supporting your weight, and then the van is speeding away, skidding out of the garage and out onto the street. You only barely catch the look of apology on Nero's face before it moves out of sight, screeching around the corner and fading into the distance.

"What the hell, Vergil!?" You round on him the moment he lets go of you, completely overlooking the fact he just saved you from serious injury. "Why'd you just let that happen?!"

He isn't moved by your sudden eruption, expression remaining passive and collected. Perhaps even cold. "Nero asked you to stay. As a friend of his, you should respect that."

"That's a load of horse shit!" And that was a knee-jerk response, fuelled by your frustration at being left behind. And for what reason, exactly? Because you're hurt? Or is it because Nero doesn't trust you to hold your own in such a state? Neither of those alternatives bring comfort, and you shove past Vergil to make your way inside the building, pausing only to wait for Kyrie to stand aside and let you in.

Once you're out of earshot, Kyrie lets out a sad sigh, tucking a tress of her hair behind her ear. "I'm sorry about that, Vergil." It shouldn't be her job to apologise, and yet she does it anyway. "Nero is-- he…"

With a shake of his head, Vergil silences her. "It isn't your fault, Kyrie. And I don't mind." He pauses to give her a look of reassurance, one as convincing as he's able to muster. Lord only knows if it's at all effective. "Having another pair of eyes to keep watch will be helpful."

She smiles, grateful for the attempt and turning to peer into the kitchen in the direction you stormed off in. "Though I'm not certain she sees it that way."

Vergil just hums, also watching the open doorway where you were last seen rather thoughtfully. "No," he agrees, then turns his attention back to Kyrie, " should head inside. We'll keep you safe."

"I know you will."

She just wishes he thought the same.

The breeze is gentle and soothing up on the roof of the orphanage. Winter is finally beginning to give way to spring, but the sky, so pale and endless and blue is currently marred by the three plumes of smoke that still drift upwards, now caught in the wind and smearing across the horizon like paint on canvas. Behind you, you can hear the rooftop access door swing open with a telltale creak, and you absently remind yourself to grease the hinges later. Light footsteps begin their approach towards you, and you sigh, hanging your head low to hide your face.

"I'm not ready to talk, Kyrie." It isn't so much a warning as a declaration that you want to be left alone for now, and behind you, you can hear the footsteps come to a sudden stop. They seem to be deliberating something, and you think that Kyrie's hesitating on whether what you just said is true. But after a short pause, they continue to move towards you, clearly undeterred. Heaving a low groan, you half turn to meet her. "Kyrie, I just--"

And then your sentences dies in your throat, because where you're expecting Kyrie to be, there stands Vergil instead. Embarrassed, either because you mistook his light paces for a woman or because you don't really want to see him right now either, you quickly spin back around, occupying yourself with watching the red plume in the distance. There are sparks flying over there. Literal sparks. Dante must be having fun.

Despite your body language, the very aura you're currently exuding, Vergil joins you at your side, but instead stares off in the other direction, towards the black signal flare. For a long while, neither of you say anything. You're quiet because you have no desire to speak to him at the moment, and Vergil is equally reserved because… he's Vergil. But eventually, he does break the ice.

Somebody has to.

"That was quite a scene in the garage." He says simply. It's a blunt way to open up the topic to be sure, but he's always been a straight forward man. Words are wasted if not used to directly state what you mean.

You only grunt in response, a low and dismissive sound that makes Vergil purse his lips. This must be what it's like when trying to talk to him when he's in one of his rare moods, and distantly, he has to give Dante credit for being persistent in always trying to break through in spite of it. It normally results in a harsh exchange and threats hissed through gritted teeth that always have his brother shrinking back in over exaggerated, over dramatised fear, but Vergil is not afraid of you, or your misplaced anger. He came up here to say his piece, and that's what he intends to do.

"Nero had good intentions in asking you to stay." In his periphery, he can see your entire body go stiff. Surely you had to have known this was what he came up here to address. "It has nothing to do with your injury, or his perception of you."

Still refusing to answer him verbally, you slump forward with a non-committal noise from deep within your throat, letting both your arms dangle over the edge and resting your chin on the cold railing. Your eyes are staring listlessly ahead of you, into the distance. It's a defeated stance, but one that Vergil takes to mean that you're listening.

"You understand the importance of this place to Nero, don't you?" It's a rhetorical question of course, but even if it wasn't, Vergil knows you'd have no intention of answering him. That's why he doesn't bother to wait for you. "This is his home, one he built up and made into what it currently is with Kyrie. It's something precious to him that must be protected at all costs."

"That's what you're here for." You finally mumble, annoyed, into your arm. You're fully aware of how childish you sound, but the bitterness you're feeling is a commendable foe against common sense. Why is it still called common sense when its so frequently and easily subdued by lesser traits? And perhaps fueling this bitterness even further is the very fact that it's Vergil who's standing next to you and not Kyrie - it seems as though all he's done recently is witness parts of you that you'd much rather keep hidden from the eyes of others. Restless now, your fingers begin to drum on the steel bar you're leaning on. "I don't need to be here when you are."

"And you're right - I could defend the orphanage with my eyes closed." Vergil agreeing with you makes the rhythm you're beating into the rail with your fingers quicken, and in its unsteady, erratic tempo, he can hear your irritation. Having it put into words is somehow all the more cutting than if it were to be left unsaid. It feels so much more real. Holding so much more weight. "But you were asked to stay because I'm here."

Wait, what?

Slowly, you rise up onto your elbows, craning your head to look at him in a silent demand for an explanation, but all he does for a few seconds is shift on the spot as he grips Yamato tighter in his hand, suddenly feeling uncomfortable in every sense of the word; the collar of his vest feels too high, and pulled too tight, even though it isn't; his gloves don't feel like they're sitting right; and when he swallows, it's like a mass of something refuses to budge in his throat. But those are all things that, like you, he doesn't wish for another person to see, and though he is perfectly trained in the art of maintaining one's composure, his eyes have always said more than he ever needs to. His eyes have always betrayed him. It's a good thing he isn't looking at you right now. You don't need to know of his current discomfort.

"The first time I met Nero was in that garage - it was when I came to reclaim the Yamato inside his demonic arm." By tearing it clean off. He's expecting a barrage of questions at that point, asking him why he did it, how could he, and wasn't there another way? But nothing comes. The only thing he hears is the wind and the sound of your fingers drumming against the metal in a constant thrum. As far as he can gleam from out the corner of his eye, you've barely reacted, still appearing distant even though he knows you're listening. Vergil doesn't know how much, or how little you know about what transpired that day, but your silence on the matter is somehow relieving to him, making his next words flow a little easier. "As a result of that event, he's… uncomfortable with the idea of leaving Kyrie and the children under my supervision. Nero asked you to stay in order to watch me."

Your freeze then, eyes widening, and fingers going still in a startling, sobering moment of realisation. He's right. You'd just never noticed because Vergil never has been alone in the orphanage before - Dante was always nearby to appease Nero's irrational worry, even months ago when you walked in on him talking to Kyrie in the kitchen. Every time he's been to Fortuna (sans the times he's personally come to see you, of course), every time he's come by the orphanage, someone else was with him. But what's most astonishing to you is that Vergil himself seems to understand this - even before you did - silently accepting that his son still doesn't know what to make of him, when intentional harm is the last thing Vergil would bring.

Why does that make you so sad?

Why doesn't Nero know better than this?

"...sorry." Your voice is so tiny, barely audible over the breeze that now carries the faint stench of smoke.

At last, he turns to meet your gaze, his expression ever collected. "For…?"

"You know. Giving you a hard time last week. Then in the garage just now too. And--" You take a deep breath, holding it for a few seconds before you release it all at once.

"I know him better than you think." Vergil had said to you last week.

"But less than I gave you credit for." Came your belittling reply.

You had no right to say that to him.

"You do know him."

To your surprise, there's no snide remark being thrown at you in return, not even a teasing 'I told you so' you'd have expected under any other circumstances. No, Vergil simply accepts your quiet apology with a subtle slackening of his shoulders. "It isn't only books that I read." He leaves the implications of the rest of that sentence - that he's adept at reading people too - squarely on your shoulders. You pick it up with ease of course, knowing first hand how well he picks up cues regardless of whether they're verbal or unspoken. Whether hidden behind nuance, or buried inside gestures. Vergil notices it all.

His silence should never be mistaken for ignorance.

"Aren't you pissed though?" Your eyes slowly drift back in front of you, down into the street below. "You're basically saying he left me here to babysit you because he doesn't trust you."

Vergil lapses into a thoughtful silence at that, eyes closing to search for the answer within himself. Whatever conclusion he comes to though, he doesn't voice it. "What I feel doesn't matter. These are the facts."

For a long while, you don't say anything. You don't think you should, not after how snappy you've been with regard to his relationship with Nero in general, and yet you find you're not content with simply leaving things as they are. It just doesn't seem fair for either side. Or for anybody, for that matter. You're stuck on babysitting duty because of this after all, aren't you? And lord knows what sort of pressure Dante is under to patch things up between father and son. None of this is right.

"He doesn't hate you, you know." You don't know if that's what Vergil wants to hear right now, but it's something you feel he should know, something he needs to be reminded of. "Why don't you just… you know, talk to him about it? The worst he can do is tell you to piss off, which we both know he won't do. That just isn't who he is."

It's at that moment that the breeze, so gentle, stops blowing, bringing the very air between the two of you to a stand still. With nothing to break the silence, the awkward tension builds at an alarming rate. But as soon as you're convinced that Vergil won't answer you, he finally does with a measured inhale. "I understand what you're trying to do, but you don't have the moral high ground you think you do."

If you're honest, his response feels like a cop out, a deflection to primarily serve as an easy way out of the current discussion, but you aren't so ready to let him get away so easily. If he's going to be stubborn in providing non-answers, then all you have to do is dig your heels in even deeper. "What, because I'm sleeping with you?" It feels odd to say it aloud in broad daylight, and all of a sudden, you realise why hunting for a demon with him last week felt so strange and out of place - whenever the two of you are alone, it's typically for sex, so to have been together for another purpose, and with clothes left entirely on, was a rather jarring experience that left you unsure of how to react to him. But it wasn't entirely bad either. Just strange. Different. Even though by all accounts, it shouldn't have been. "Well, don't take it as advice from someone like that then. Look at it as consultation from a friend."

Immediately, Vergil's head whips up to stare straight at you, the confronting nature of it making you regret the boldness of such a statement, fearing you'd, on god, offended him. But to your surprise, he doesn't admonish you for it. His penetrative stare is pensive, but not threatening. "Friends?" His bewilderment is unmistakable. "You and I?"

His skepticism is more surprising to you than it is insulting. Is it supposed to be insulting? Frankly, you don't really know. It's something perhaps you both have been a bit slow on the uptake for - you're certainly flying by the seat of your pants right now, coming to this realisation as suddenly as he apparently is, and all because you spoke without really thinking. But the more you consider it, the more it makes sense to you. "At this point? I guess so? I mean…" You push up from your lean against the railing, stretching out the fatigue that gathered in your shoulders and hearing a faint series of pops as stretch your arms above your head. Then you meet his eyes dead on, head tilted as if you're questioning yourself too. "You came up here to make me feel better, didn't you? That's something friends do for eachother, isn't it? I was honestly expecting Kyrie, but when I turned around-- there you are."

There's something in the way Vergil is watching you, a flicker of uncertainty that flashes across his eyes that makes you think he's only just realising this himself. It just goes to show how deeply innate the instinct to bond with other people can be if it can blindside someone who's usually so observant and self aware. But there's something else in his eyes too. Like he's unsure whether you're being serious, or whether you're jerking his chain. It's an expression that instills something in you. Nothing as profound or as deep as sadness, but certainly something similar. It feels…


It's a look you've seen before, so many years ago now, and you have to bite that memory back. It has no place here in the present.

"Vergil," you prompt, leaning your upper body towards him to get his attention before you offer him a crooked and rueful smile, "come on, seriously?"

The shock on his face seemingly melts away as his expression returns to its usual placid temperament. "It… satisfies the definition." He says quietly, a response that is so incredibly like him. It's a little more begrudging than would be ideal though, but you'll take it. Just as long as he stops making that face.

"Of?" You know full well what he means, but you want him to say it. To affirm it for himself. You read somewhere once that sort of thing helps with the internalisation process, and oddly enough, this is something you want him to understand.

"Friendship." He sounds reluctant again, but you know him well enough by now to know that if he truly disagreed, then he would say so.

With one firm nod, you pull back, satisfied (at least for now) with the response. "Good. So talk to your son."

If it's at all possible for someone of Vergil's inclination to physically deflate, then the subtle way he turns away from you to sigh would be it. "Why is this so important to you?"

You don't miss a beat. "Because Nero's a good friend? Because… I guess you're my friend too? Didn't we just establish that? Look, I'm not asking for you to be best friends or anything, I'm just saying that things don't have to be like this. He'll forgive you if you give him the chance to."

"You're forgetting that I tore his arm off." Vergil sounds… no, he is deadpan when he says that, voice completely flat to match his expression. But you're not convinced. If Vergil really did come up to the roof with the intent to mollify you, then you can't rightly let him leave without returning the favour. Quid pro quo, is how the saying goes, right?

"And then he grew another arm back." That isn't a sentence you ever thought you'd have to say in your lifetime. "No harm, no foul."

"And you're certain of this?" Not that he grew the arm back of course - that much is obvious. Vergil means your overall stance on the matter. That Nero can come around.

"Yes." You pour as much emphasis on that single syllable as you can muster up. "A few years ago, he told me 'an eye for an eye, and the world goes blind'. He had to put up with a lot of shit from a lot of people for a long time, but he still fought tooth and claw to save this city because he doesn't believe in grudges. You can trust me on that."

Vergil snorts, half amused, both at how he's lost this battle of attrition and at how readily he wants to accept your words as truth. Hell, it's possible that's why he lost in the first place. "If endless lectures is what friendship entails, perhaps I'd rather we stick to our original agreement."

You spread both your hands wide in a casual shrug. "It'd still be a win-win situation for me either way, so the ball's in your court on that one."

It takes him a moment to react as he considers his options (what options, more like). He doesn't feel like there's any real alternative for him. He could deny you, certainly, and just return to how things were, where things fell into a comfortable routine of him showing up at your door; him fucking out his stress, his tensions, or simply just because; of him perhaps indulging your question for him and returning the sentiment, albeit with less enthusiasm; of him leaving afterward without looking back. It's simple, clear cut, and no nonsense. All things he objectively prioritises. Yet there's a part of him, so small, but so obnoxiously loud that wants him to bet on this gamble. However, he hesitates. Why is that? Because he's afraid?

No, that's impossible. He has nothing that he fears anymore.


Wordlessly, Vergil turns towards you, extending a hand and holding it out to you. You spare it a brief glance, mind harkening back to last week when he'd done exactly this to you on two separate occasions. You remember feeling unsure of what to make of his gestures, thinking he was probably planning to throw you over the balcony of the second floor of Fortuna Castle in a bout of pettiness you can honestly see coming from him. You remember second guessing him. But there's something earnest about his open palm today that feels different, even though outwardly, it looks exactly the same. This time, you take it easily, grasping his hand firmly in a handshake. A wordless confirmation that's so befitting of someone like Vergil, when it'd likely occur unprompted and naturally were it anybody else.

Friends, huh? That doesn't sound so bad.

The moment however, is not to last. It starts off quietly at first, a gentle rattle that you mistake for a loose sheet of metal rustling in the wind before you realise there is no breeze at the moment. The air around you is still. And then Vergil is lifting his hand as the noise gets louder, more forceful, and you notice that the Yamato is quivering in his hand. It vibrates in its sheath with a firm clattering that steadily increases in intensity, and if Vergil's expression is anything to go by, you get the feeling that isn't normal.

"What's happening?" You're on edge immediately, pulling your hand back to instinctively rest it on the hilt of your sword. You don't draw it, but should you need to...

"I don't know," Vergil admits, his own hand moving to mirror your action, but his seems to be more akin to a soothing motion, one intended to calm his sword as if it were sentient. But the Yamato doesn't stop trembling. "This has never occurred before."

"That's worrying. Does this mean demons are nearby?" You take a second to peer over your shoulder, surveying the rest of the open area that serves as the rooftop. Vergil had closed the door on his way out. Good. That means a demon won't be getting inside should the worst happen - all the conventional ingress points, even the garage door, are either forged from or reinforced with gilgamesh. It'd take more than a thorough beating from even the toughest of demons to bash it down. The windows… not so much, but demons don't know that, and Nico's working on it.

"I don't believe so, but it's reacting to something." Vergil's moving now too, striding away towards the far corner of the rooftop. It's minuscule, something he has to really focus on in order to really notice, but curiously, the closer he gets to the direction that Nero left in, the more intensely the Yamato responds. It's a complicated sword that, unlike Rebellion, is dependent on the state of its user. Sparda had entrusted it to Vergil over Dante because he had the mental fortitude to properly wield it to its full potential, and as a result, there is nothing about the Yamato that Vergil doesn't inherently understand. And this feeling that he's getting… "A portal is opening."

Except that goes against everything you both know about the broken hell gate on Lamina Peak - the fact that so many demons are appearing in such a short amount of time… it shouldn't be possible with the residual power left in the rubble. And across the entire city too?

"That can't be right. You said the hell gates--"

Vergil cuts you off. "It isn't the gates." He regards you over his shoulder and lifts his sword for emphasis. "The Yamato specialises in cutting and separating material. Any material. Even rifts in space. It was broken once before, the shards lost and scattered throughout the Underworld. They're harmless in the hands of lesser demons, but in the hands of someone more capable, a being with more strength, they can potentially cross over to this world. Or anywhere they'd desire."

That is, in fact, precisely how Vergil, finally freed of Mundus' influence, managed to escape the Underworld. It was pure chance - he just happened to be in the right place at the right time and managed to slip through.

"Larger demons aren't capable of crossing realms through the tears created by the gates - they're far too small. But even a shard of the Yamato is potent enough to create something bigger."

"Waitwaitwait." Amidst the slew of information you've just had dumped on you, there's one thing that stands out to you, and you have to physically hold out your hand to get him to stop. That prompts Vergil to turn on the spot to face you again. "You're telling me that this whole time... you could've just cut your damn way to my place instead of flying? You knew this and chose to fly over anyway?? You know I have to pay five hundred big ones to get that wall fixed, right?"


Vergil's eyes narrow into an almost comical squint. Then he opens his mouth, letting it hang there for a scant few seconds before he actually gets his words out. "...I can't help but feel you're missing the point."

You suck in a sharp inhale of air, much more grave than is really warranted, and wanting nothing more than to chew (perhaps literally) into him (again), but you are aware you're careening off track here. "Sure. Okay. Fine. But I'm putting a pin in that because this discussion isn't over." As you blow out that held breath, you release all of your aggression with it, returning to the matter at hand, which, for the record, you fully believe to be of lower import. Five hundred dollars is no small sum of money, especially in this city. "If something big is coming through, then you should go."

That's... admittedly not an answer that Vergil was expecting from you. "You don't want to go?"

"Of course I do." You can feel the agitation begin to simmer again, but you force it back. "But if I left, I'd be going against what Nero told me to do. Wasn't respecting my friend's wishes your idea?" It's faint, but you can hear him give an amused huff. You have a way of always turning his own words back onto him, he finds. But it isn't an altogether bad thing - it tells him you're an applied learner, quick on the uptake, and quick to adapt to new information. Whatever your insecurities are in your own abilities, having that alone is already an ace up your sleeve.

"Then I'll also stay." Vergil declares, then amends his statement when he feels you staring at him. "Whatever comes, I believe they'll be able to take it on - were it a demon of significant strength, it wouldn't require a shard of the Yamato to breach our world." Not only that, but it wouldn't look good for you if Nero returned to find him missing.

Vergil doesn't feel that's worth mentioning though.

"We should get in contact with Nico." He places a hand over the hilt of Yamato again, gently, soothingly. It still rattles, but it's toned down remarkably as if it really is responding to his touch. You don't think you've ever seen him handle something so tenderly before. "They need to be informed of this development." Vergil then turns to leave, making his way back to the access door.

You bow your head, allowing yourself a brief, sad smile. If only Nero could see his father like this.

In the end, it was exactly as Vergil had predicted. A demon utilising a shard of the Yamato had attempted to breach the human world, resulting in a plethora of other demons seizing the opportunity to come pouring through. It could have happened anywhere else, it's simply that unlucky Fortuna, like other port cities, is a magnet for demonic activity. But as luck would have it, they picked the wrong day to invade. Nero was already cleaning up shop by the time Dante, sensing the disturbance, had arrived, and when they all returned to the orphanage, the lone shard of Vergil's sword came with them (amongst other bits and pieces Nico insisted on bringing back), bundled in some rags they had on hand.

"What do we do with it?" Nico asks, though everybody in the room knows she's only asking as a courtesy - the look in her eyes is a dead giveaway that she wants to study it. She may as well be drooling.

"Are you kidding?" Nero, mildly chastising, actually reaches over to swat at her arm. "We put it away! Keep it somewhere safe. This is what led the Order on a stupid goose chase to build the gates in the first place and I don't want that thing getting into the wrong hands and causing another Saviour accident." And to hammer his point home, he actually does take the bundle out of Nico's hands, moving over to you, where he holds it out.

"Me?" You gawk rather incredulously, staring down at the unassuming blade. It catches the light in the garage, and for a split second, it looks almost iridescent. Even as a mere fragment of the Yamato, you can see how refined of a blade it is. It makes Dante's greatsword look brutish by comparison.

"Yes, you." Without waiting for you to properly reply, Nero dumps it into your hands. "That's where it'd be the safest."

The statement makes your heart thump in your chest - an unexpected but all the same appreciated reminder that Nero does in trust your abilities.

"Because you're too stupid to utilise it yourself."

Welp. Good feelings gone.

"Wow, okay." With a scowl now marring your features, you make a show of wrapping the rags around one end of the jagged shard before pointing it towards Nero like it's a shiv. "I won't hesitate." Your victim however, does little more than stare down at it with a crooked smile and an arched eyebrow, not bothering to even pretend to be afraid.

"Yeah, I'd honestly like to see you try." Secretly though, he's glad you don't seem to be holding what happened earlier in the day against him like he thought you might. In all honesty, he was expecting you to launch yourself at him with a dropkick the second he stepped off the van, but instead, you just stood there, head tilted expectantly. He has no idea what happened while he was away, but something clearly appeased you.

He's grateful for it, whatever it was.

Nero sidesteps your improvised weapon, curling one arm casually around your shoulder to steer you towards the van where Nico's waiting to give you a lift home, shutting the door behind you once you're inside. He can see you squinting at him through the window, but after a few seconds, you wander off to drop down into the passenger seat.

"Anyway, that about wraps it up. We got everything, and the city's clear." He turns to regard his father and his uncle. "Thanks for coming out here on such short notice. Hopefully it'll be a while before something like this happens again."

Dante dismisses Nero's bashful gratitude with a wave of his hand. "Hey, don't mention it. It's only a short flight anyway, and the view's pretty great." He then nods his head in Vergil's direction, adding with a light laugh: "Company's pretty quiet, but can't win 'em all."

At that, Vergil simply snorts rather than rising to the bait, because inside his coat, he feels his phone buzz. In a subtle motion, he reaches one hand inside, pulling it out just enough that he can glimpse the screen with a vague cant of his head before he tucks it back away. Off to the side, Dante watches this happen, but otherwise says nothing.

"Well, we'll get out of your hair." Similar to how Nero handled you earlier, Dante does the same to his brother, dragging him out of the garage and onto the darkening street. By some crazy miracle, Vergil lets it happen because all things considered, he's in a rather good mood tonight; no residents of Fortuna were harmed; there is a glimmer of hope with regards to his son; and he has an unexpected friend now too. One who just sent him a message.

Ditch your brother and come over when you can.

Vergil raps at your door twice with the back of his knuckles and then waits. He can hear you shuffling about inside before you pad towards the entrance and pull it open, revealing you dressed more on the scanty side of modest. With winter on the way out, your choice of homewear seems to skew more towards comfortable than chaste, and though he's seen you in less, seen you completely bare even, there's something alluring in getting to see you in nothing but your underwear and a tank top, in the glimpse of skin that resides between.

He opens his mouth to give you a greeting, nothing more than a simple 'hello', but you're already leaning forward to yank him inside by the lapel of his coat and closing the door behind him. Your expression is strangely unreadable to Vergil, your smile rather empty, never quite reaching your eyes, but either way, you're not giving him the opportunity to say or even do anything as you guide him backwards, hands roving up the front of his chest to slide his coat off his shoulders. Vergil helps you along in this, shrugging out of it to let it fall to your apartment floor with a soft thump. He normally isn't one to be so careless with his belongings, but it suddenly hits him that the two of you haven't had the chance to meet like this for a while - surely he can allow himself this moment's indulgence.

By the time his coat is off, the backs of his legs have hit your couch, and you're shoving him backwards onto it. Again, Vergil only allows this because of how long it's been - he certainly isn't curious as to what you intend to do, and he definitely isn't already half hard at the thought of it. He lands among your cushions with a quiet grunt, and then you're clambering into his lap, caging his legs with your own and settling in, the apex of your thighs just shy of the growing tent in his pants. As you do, Vergil catches a whiff of your shampoo, notices that the ends of your hair are still slightly damp. You've already showered? Odd. If the evening is going to be heading where he thinks it is, there's no reason why you'd have bothered to cleanse yourself beforehand.

Why does that worry him?

"Where's the fragment of the Yamato?" It's likely strange for that to be the first thing he asks about when he has you half naked on his lap, but he figures it'd be best to get that out of the way first.

"It's here somewhere," you reply, deliberately avoiding his eyes. "Nero was right to leave it with me. It'll be safe."

Vergil can't be sure on that, not when you don't seem to have any additional security measures in place save for the locks on your front door. But if Nero is convinced, and you insist so, on what grounds can he really object? None that he can name, so when you tug lightly at his clothes, it pulls him back into the present. Into the sensation of your weight on top of him.

"So," you begin, your fingers slowly popping the buttons of his vest one by one, "the Yamato makes portals?"

"Yes." Even adept as he is when it comes to reading microexpressions, there are no twitches in your brow, or suggestive tugs at your lips for him to build up any expectations. All Vergil can currently do is sit on your couch, watching as you pull on the tab to slowly unzip his vest. You're not looking at him as you work, eyes are currently downcast, watching as every new inch of his skin is revealed to you. When his vest pulls open completely, you pull either flap open and splay both your hands over his chest. You're expecting him to tense up when you do that, but the mood has shifted from casual and is barrelling towards the smug competitive air that always naturally forms whenever you indulge in one another. If you won't give anything away, then neither will he. Vergil remains relaxed, his large hands falling to rest on your hips. "Shouldn't you know about that? It was used as a catalyst for many of the Order's experiments."

"I wasn't a high ranking officer, remember?" You absently palm over one of his nipples, pressing the heel of your palm into it, hoping to elicit any kind of reaction from him, but all you get is a dangerous narrowing of his eyes. He still isn't doing anything. His hands are still only just there on your hips. Guess you'll have to up the ante. "I wasn't even good enough for Ascension. They wouldn't have told me anything about anything."

Both your hands and attention drop from his chest and onto his hips instead, slowly undoing the buckle of his belt, and pulling it loose with a series of metallic clinks. Even though you're not quite sitting on his clothed cock, you can still feel it pulling on the leather of his pants, and you have to really fight the urge to grind up against it. You've genuinely missed what his cock can do to you, your fingers and toys only providing so much relief, but you have a point to make tonight, and that takes priority. You delicately trace the rim of the buttons on his pants with the tips of your fingers, and that's when you feel his cock twitch. Though it's futile, you hope he doesn't notice that it isn't just your hair that's currently damp, but you know he's got a keen sense of smell - that's probably why he still looks so calm.

"It was how the Order constructed functional hell gates to begin with." The pressure that's building in his pants is finally alleviated when you undo his fly, but the only outward acknowledgment you get out of Vergil is an even exhale and his eyes sliding closed for a few seconds, letting you take delight in the fact that they're several shades darker when they reopen. There's a rustle of material as you slide back on his thighs, giving yourself enough room to work his cock out of his pants, and when it springs free, the smile on your face turns a little more genuine. Tentatively, delicately, you wrap your fingers around him at the base, reveling in the soft velvety feel of his skin and the way his fingers dig into your hips ever so slightly. And then you start to pump him. Slowly and in full strokes all the way to the head, squeezing out the barest stream of milky precum and letting it dribble all over your hand. Christ, you'd lick it up if that wouldn't destroy the mood you've established.

"I'm sure it was." You're only half interested in all of that. Vergil's hands on your hips slide around to your rear as he squeezes the flesh of your ass, and underneath you, his hips are beginning to gyrate in time with your hand. You can't have any of that, so you stop the languid stroking of his cock and use your free hand to reach behind you and lightly smack at one of his. Your tone of voice takes on a bit of an edge, not enough that it's berating, but just so it gets your point across. "No moving from you. You know I'm still pissed at you for the damage, right? And now I find out your sword makes convenient portals? You should be glad I'm even letting you touch me."

Ah, and there they are. Your motives.

"It isn't as simple as deciding a destination." Vergil is adamant in defending himself, but you note that his hands return to your sides, that his hips go completely still in compliance. You merely give him a cautionary stare before you slowly resume your work, warming his cock with your hand. Not that it needs it - it's already so hot and heavy in your grip, amplified by the natural heat that his body radiates. "Our two worlds don't run parallel to one another. They revolve on an axis, and where you enter isn't necessarily whe--" His words stutter when you decide at that moment to thumb at the very tip of his cock, spreading the warm precum over his skin and coating the inside of your hand with it.

"Oops, sorry, don't mind me." Your voice is dripping with faux innocence. "Keep explaining."

A stern look overtakes Vergil's features, but he complies nonetheless, continuing on from where he left off. "Where you enter isn't necessarily where, or even when you exit. It's why Dante and I took as long as we did to return. Time is convoluted." He has to stop on a particularly forceful stroke of his cock, and you note his adam's apple bob in his throat as he gulps. Your hand is so slick and hot against him, the precum that he's leaking in excess is more than sufficient as a lubricant for tonight. But he's well aware you're probably not going to let him cum, not by a long shot, and though it's only for half a second, he considers what would happen if he did anyway, urged on the sight of you on top of him, the feel of your hand wrapped around him. The forced control you have on your breathing and the heady smell of you even despite the scent of your shampoo is telling him that you're equally roused. How mad would you be if he slipped his hand between your bodies to see how wet you really are? Would you stop him if he dragged you forward onto him to have you rut against him?

He has the physical strength to find out.

"Don't even think about it." It's as if you've read his mind, although in reality, it's simply that were you in his position, you'd probably try something too - the two of you aren't all that different in that regard. "You owe me."

Though what, specifically, you haven't quite made your mind up on just yet. But why squander the opportunity? You'll think of something you want from him eventually. In the meantime, you focus your efforts on gripping his cock a little tighter, twisting your hand a certain way as you continue to work him to the edge, to learn what his limits are. Last week, you briefly lamented the vast difference in strength between the two of you - a veritable chasm you can't ever hope to cross - but like this, with him under you and at the mercy of something as simple and meagre as your hand fills your chest with a sense of pride… which then shoots straight between your legs in a thrilling rush of tingly, giddy power. You have to be leaving a wet patch on his pants by now. There's no conceivable way he can't smell the arousal on you. But you're determined to see this through.

"You might be off the hook with the portals, but I'm still short five hundred bucks. How are you planning on making that up to me, Vergil?" To emphasise your point, you lean into him a little more, trapping his cock between both of your bodies and pressing the swell of your breasts against his chest. You're not wearing a bra underneath your tank top - you never do whenever you're at home - and he can feel your pert nipples even through the flimsy material. More precum dribbles from the head of his length, staining your shirt and the skin of his abdomen, and lord, you've never noticed that he produces so much of it before tonight. Part of you actually thinks it's a shame you're not planning on letting him finish, because the sight of him ruined and painted with streaks of his own cum might be a… pleasing to behold. How much of that does he release, you find yourself wondering. It'll no doubt be what you'll be thinking about when you finish yourself off later on. But for now, you continue to stroke him, rhythm increasing to match your own rising pulse.

His breathing is quickening now too, much as he's trying to contain it with a series of shuddery, composed breaths through his nose. "I can forward the money to you if you'd like."

"Nope." You're quick to shoot that idea down despite its inherent appeal. "That's no fun. I'm not even sure you boys even have that kind of money. Try again." The tips of Vergil's fingers are pressing insistently into your skin, and the only reason you allow it to happen is because you're taking that as a sign that he's close. It's a little sooner than you'd anticipated, but that's not an issue. You can just start again.

When his brow scrunches up and his eyes flutter closed, it makes you tighten your thighs over his legs, longing for any sort of friction to appease the growing desire to slip the seat of your panties to one side and sheathe him inside you to ride him until you're both sweaty and satisfied, condom be damned, but you remind yourself that this isn't about you. This is about getting even.

"I'll--" Vergil's words stutter to a complete stop, and in your hand, his cock twitches. You take that as your cue to stop completely, releasing him to plant the palm of your hand, nearly totally coated in his fluids, onto his chest. His heart is racing, you notice, beating fiercely against your hand, but in contrast to that, the look on his face is indignant when he opens his eyes again. "I'll make it worth your while."

That makes you bark out a short laugh, dragging your precum covered hand all the way down his front to idly poke at the head of his dick and using the very tip of your finger to circle his leaking slit. All it does is prompt another stream of precum to seep from his needy cock. Ugh, such a waste - you really ought to be lapping all that off him with your tongue. "Careful, don't go saying something you'll regret."

" Will I regret it?" If there is one thing you can presently say that Vergil has, it's the audacity.

You wait until his breathing evens out again, until his brow relaxes, and then you grasp his length in your hand once more, grip firm. The prominent vein on the underside of his cock is pulsing under your fingers, and you can see the muscles in his jaw work as he grits his teeth. "Let's just see how tonight pans out before you get too ahead of yourself."

Vergil's throat bobs again.

You have to give him credit for his restraint, because it's been nearly an hour of you incessantly pushing him to the brink before you pull your hand away to let his body fall back down to a mere simmer. Vergil never begs you, much to your disappointment, but you're not really surprised either. And it isn't all for naught, because for all of his unshakeable composure, you can tell he's beginning to wear down in the way he jumps and twitches under your touch, hips trying to push up into your hand whenever you deny him another orgasm that he's just so close to. But a firm tut from you is all that's required for him to settle down with a clenched jaw and a defiant look in his eyes. Hell, you're surprised you didn't give in either, but apparently the desire to get even is more powerful than your lust, no matter how good he looks when sweat beads on his skin and rolls slowly down the side of his throat, or when he lets his head fall back onto the back rest of your couch to hiss a curse at your ceiling. It hasn't been nearly as torturous an experience for you, but you'd be lying if you said the power you have over him, regardless of how fleeting, didn't have an affect on you - you've had to fight the urge to grind your clothed slit against his cock until you cum more than once.

"You know, I thought you'd be more upset about this." You murmur absently between bouts of stimulation, rubbing the tips of your fingers together as if studying the viscosity of the precum that still coats them. Between you, Vergil is still full mast and a tender, flushed red to complement the tint that now lightly dusts his cheeks.

"I am." His voice is strained, but still firm. "But I know how to pick my battles."

Ah, yes.

"Lose the battle, win the war, huh?" You reach down to give his oversensitive cock a gentle flick, making Vergil release another shuddery groan, and then you slide yourself backwards over his legs, tucking him back into his pants. Lord, even that nearly makes him cum, he realises with a raspy groan. "Well good luck with that, because we're still not even. Not by a long shot."

A restless sideways loll of his head is all the response you get. Of course it wouldn't be enough.

You make quick work of buckling his belt, guessing at which hole to buckle it at, and then his vest is being done up too with equal efficiency. Vergil doesn't like the feel of his dried arousal cracking on his skin, but he gets the feeling you're not about to let him take a shower, and he isn't about to push his luck by asking either. He just lets you redress him, understanding that biding his time and exercising patience will lead to his triumph later down the road.

The next thing he registers is that you're behind him, pushing him towards your door as you cheekily bid him goodnight, but a vague noise that Vergil hardly recognises as his own voice gives you pause as you linger in the doorway, peeking through a half closed door.

"My coat?"

"Oh." It's as if you've only just remembered it. "Sure, hang on." You disappear from the crack in the door after that, giving Vergil a moment to sweep his hand back through his hair to pull himself together, because fuck if his pants aren't the most uncomfortable thing in the universe right now. Would it be worth slipping off to a public toilet to relieve himself? Is he that desperate?


It's nearly a full minute before you return, pulling the door open and shoving his rolled up coat rather unceremoniously into his arms. But that isn't all. There's something else scrunched up in your hand too, but with your hand enclosed around it, Vergil can't quite tell what it is. His hazy mind thinks it's the Yamato shard, still rolled up in the rags from the van, but it's far too small to be that.

"Here," you say, tucking the pale wad of material into the first layer of his vest, "something for the road as a token of our newly established friendship. G'night!"

It's only when you close the door in his face immediately afterwards does Vergil sigh, letting some of his frustration bubble to the surface. Newly established friendship, huh? Angling his head down, he raises his hand to pull the suspicious bundle from inside his vest, but he recognises what it is even before it fully unfurls, because the scent of you is wafting off it, made all the more intense when it's so close to his face. He immediately scrunches it back up in his hand to hide it from any prying eyes, even though the hallway is empty at this time of night, because after all, you've just given him a pair of your goddamn underwear.

The pair you were only just wearing.

That's still soaked with your slick.

His aching cock, tucked painfully inside his pants, throbs in protest at the thought. It's going to be a long, frustrating trip back to Red Grave, and that quick trip to a toilet is looking more and more appealing by the minute.