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The Devil's Pact

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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.

Simple.

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.

"No."

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--

Fuck.

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--

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP

--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?

Keepheronthelineorhangfkup--

"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 --

No.

Stop.

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…

Wait..

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.

"Shit--!"

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, "...you 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…

Lonely.

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.

Nothing.

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?"

Silence.

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?

Maybe.

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.

Chapter Text

The sudden sound of your phone bellowing its ringtone echoes throughout your surroundings, bouncing off the walls and filling the room with its resonance. It admittedly startles you, making your entire body jerk right off the metal grate flooring that you're currently sitting on, and you mumble a curse to yourself while you fish it out of your pocket. If it's Nico or Nero, you fully plan on letting them go to voicemail - you specifically asked to be left alone today, and though they don't know the circumstances surrounding your sudden request, as your closest friends, they're supposed to respect that! You've been wanting to do this for so long now, and this is finally your chance to--

Oh, it's Vergil.

Huh. Suddenly, having been interrupted isn't as frustrating anymore.

"If this is a booty call, it has to wait."

True to Vergil's nature, it didn't take him very long to become accustomed to your unusual form of friendship. Although to both his and your credit, it doesn't differ all that much from your usual behaviour towards him. Or anybody for that matter - you treat everybody mostly the same, and it's a trait that he's rather come to appreciate, finding the crass way you talk to him to be refreshing as opposed to the awkward, stifling air that comes with the usual attempts at inclusion that the others wrangle up. By your very nature, things just feel… less forced.

Even though the establishment of your friendship was essentially the exact opposite - spoken out loud and then shaken upon like it was a professional business deal… Vergil himself thinks back to that moment and can't help but cringe slightly.

"It isn't." Vergil affirms. "But you aren't at the orphanage, and nobody seems to know why."

Ah, right. You didn't tell Vergil what you were doing today either, but that's only because you didn't think he'd be in town. You shift the phone to your other ear and pinch it between your head and shoulder, feeling a smile slowly pull at your lips. He can't see it of course, but he can probably hear it in your tone. "Are you worried about me? That's cute."

He sighs, but is otherwise unaffected. "I'm merely curious."

"Well." You make a mildly strained noise as you draw your knees up towards you, hunkering down on the uncomfortable steel underneath you. "You're in luck, because I'm in a pickle." You deliberately leave the fact that you need help unsaid, leaving him to pick up on it himself, which you know he will.

"...and?"

...even if he doesn't immediately remark on it.

You can very clearly see the flat look on his face in your mind's eye when he says that. The annoyed squint, the deep crease between his eyebrows… It's plain as day in your head. " And you still owe me, or did we forget that?"

There's a long silence on his end of the line, but eventually, he heaves another sigh, this one deeper, perhaps even more defeated than the last as Vergil hangs his head, no doubt regretting letting his curiosity get the better of him. "Fine. Where are you?"

"Fortuna Castle." You give that a few seconds to sink in before you continue. "You remember that passageway hidden by the painting?"

On the other end of the line, Vergil blinks, puzzled. What on earth compelled you to go through there? How did you even get in when you can't physically open the main door yourself? He figures he'll find out when he arrives. "I'll be there soon."

Ever succinct and to the point, the call is ended with nothing else but a definitive click as he hangs up, leaving you to wait in silence.





True to Vergil's word, you hear the great doors in the main foyer creak open a mere ten minutes later, making you perk up from your position. Even with the utter stillness of the great castle, it's hard to hear Vergil's footsteps, and you're not sure if it's because of his distance from you, or if it's simply because he's always so light on his feet. Regardless of which it is however, you can hear them slowly approach your position, growing marginally louder the closer he gets.

They echo off the cold stone walls as he makes his way through the passage behind the torn painting, sparing it not even a single glance as he moves under it. The air isn't as stale as he remembers, but that's likely attributed to the fact that this path has been open to the rest of the  castle for years now, although what lies beyond the door at the foot of the stairs may be a different story. The door is open, Vergil notices, but not in a way that would suggest a frantic escape - it merely sits in a half open state, the created gap only just large enough for one person to squeeze through. You. He follows your lead without hesitation, and the moment he sets foot through the door, the ambience changes from opulent, archaic candelabras and meticulous hand-sculpted bannisters, to steel pipes and transformer boxes lining the walls of a cramped hallway. There's no faint hum of electricity coursing through the panels to bring them to life, no hiss of pressurised steam being vented through pipes as he recalls from decades ago, just hollow, empty silence, and more cold.

Not that the castle could be said to have been warm in the first place, even when fully lit and bustling with cultists.

"Vergil?" Your voice bounces off the walls in such a way that it obscures your exact location. The only thing that Vergil can be sure of is that you're somewhere nearby.

"Where are you?" His voice is cautioned, eyes scanning the narrow hallway as he moves forward. There aren't many places for you to be hiding here, and the fact that he's not spotting you is equal parts concerning and frustrating. If this is some sort of game you're playing with him…

"I'm here!" You cry, perhaps a little more forcefully than intended. But it's a response that isn't helpful in the slightest, you realise, so you quickly append before your saviour gets a little too fed up with this unintended game of cat and mouse. "Walk to the ledge at the end of the hall, and look down!"

It takes a few more seconds for him to follow your instructions, but eventually, you see his head of silver appear at the very edge of the ledge. What lies before him - or under him, rather - is a very long tunnel directly downward, impossibly deep. Whatever this room used to be before the impromptu excavation, the concrete flooring has since been broken through to make way for the downward expansion. Literally broken through - Vergil can see the jagged ends of rebar jutting out from within the concrete that still remains around the perimeter of the room. Even if only vaguely, he remembers this being the way to a secret laboratory far below the main castle, carved right into the mountain itself. There are several mesh panels - catwalks, he presumes - that periodically line the curved walls of this vertical shaft. Vergil has no idea what they could possibly have been used for when there aren't even any doors that provide proper access to these walkways, and all the more confusing is that they only seem to extend half way down at most. He can spot some steel drums sitting on several of the platforms, but what purpose did they even serve in such a spot? Were they filled with oil? For what?? Vergil shakes his head to dismiss the thoughts - rather than questioning the (piss poor) architectural choices of a cult that's long since fallen out of power, he's better off focusing his attention on what he came for. You. Who he can see now, sitting on the lower most platform, casually waving up at him as if being there, clearly stuck with no way down, is the most natural thing in the world. Maybe to you, it is.

Oh if only you could see the worn, stupefied look on his face… But as it stands, you're so far below him that you can't even make out the annoyed click of his tongue even in the eerie quiet as he begins his descent.

Vergil is far more graceful than your loud attempts as he hops between catwalks on his way down to meet you, landing on the one you're sitting on with only a gentle thud that barely disturbs the metal under you. You're quite certain that isn't how physics and gravity actually works - technically, their sheer size and bulk in their demonic forms alone shouldn't allow them to fly as swiftly as they do (if at all), but apparently the laws of the human world bend around them, and who are you to refute it?

"I was trying to reach the bottom, but this is far as I was able to get." Your explanation comes without Vergil needing to ask and he watches in silence as you crawl on all fours towards the edge to peek over it towards the distant ground. You've come a long way from the top of the passage - a feat in and of itself, to be sure - but even then, there's no feasible way for you to continue now that you're out of platforms to play leap frog on. And climbing back up is out of the question when you can't jump high enough to reach the ones above you. Thus the pickle you mentioned earlier. "I mean no, technically I can go further, I'd just break both my legs in the process."

"Or worse." Is it your imagination or is Vergil berating you for this? His voice sounds chiding, but with the resonance of the room and the way his voice bounces, it's hard to tell. "What would you have done if nobody could come get you?"

You simply shrug, far too casual for someone who was only just talking about breaking their legs. "I had faith. If Nero wouldn't do it, then I figured you would." Despite the potential there for something a little deeper, something a little more meaningful, the admittance is ever so detached as you rise to your feet, and so what promise it could have held immediately loses its meaning. But that's the furthest thing from your mind when you meet his eyes with a cheeky half grin. "You know, since broken legs aren't conducive to fun or enjoyable sex."

Vergil folds his arms, clearly not seeing the humour in the situation. "Neither is a corpse."

"Ehh," you dismiss his concern with a wave of your hand even though that does nothing but fuel his agitation, "depends on who you ask."

"That's disgusting."

You hold Vergil's eyes for a few more seconds before the smile drops off your face. Your shoulders then follow suit and your arms drop from your hips to hang limply at your sides. "...yeah. Regretted it as soon as I said it."

He just hums, tilting his head down to the bottom of the tunnel. "Well? I'm assuming you came here for a reason?"

"I did..." you fiddle with a popped seam on one of your gloves as you speak, suddenly nervous, "There's apparently a lab back here. I kinda just wanted to have a look around."

When Vergil doesn't answer you immediately, you chance a glance at him from out the corner of your eye in an attempt to gauge his reaction only to find him staring over at you. Or rather, at the satchel that hangs from your waist. It isn't normally part of your everyday ensemble, at least as far as he's aware. "Did you wish to look, or to loot ?"

The smile that now adorns your features is tight, strained, both at the poor play on words, and at the frustrating fact that Vergil has once again seen right through you. "...the latter," you grind out between gritted teeth, your tone deceivingly polite, "you know what though, I don't like this mean, snarky Vergil. Bring back the one who was literal putty in my hands last week, I liked him better."

At that, he simply huffs, far too snide for your liking. "I'm afraid he won't be in for a while. May I take a message?"

"Yeah." Your arms are now crossed over your chest, and you square your shoulders, forcing them back to give the impression of presence even though he's more than a head taller than you are. To help mitigate that, you angle your chin up as well, just to give you an extra centimeter. "Tell him he can keep my panties."

A silent stand off is what ensues after that moment, the two of you merely watching the other, sizing each other up in a wordless, soundless display of intimidation. Until Vergil takes a step towards you, that is. And then another. And another. He backs you right up against the curved wall, lifting one arm to lean it against the cold stone you're now pressed up against, and then he stoops low, bringing his face down to yours. He still says nothing, allowing his sheer presence to speak for itself, but you're not afraid of forcing your way to stand on equal ground with him, height difference be damned.

"You know, reacting this way just makes me think you did something filthy to them." Even in the low light, your eyes glitter with mirth. With power. God, it's such a rush. " Did you? Could you still smell me on them when you got back to Red Grave? Or did you just cum on them and call it a day?"

The seconds roll on, but neither of you move. Neither of you blink. Neither of you even breathe. Such is the clashing of petty wills cast in iron - a skirmish performed solely with locked and unwavering gazes. But eventually, somebody has to relent, and that somebody today is Vergil.

His lips tug upwards into that familiar smirk. "You're awfully insistent on this train of thought, but surely I needn't remind you that you soaked right through that poor excuse for an undergarment."

"And…?"

" And ," he begins, with a slight cant of his head, his eyes briefly skimming down your form, "are you sure you're not asking me this to validate your own fantasies?"

If he'd meant to throw you off with that deflection, then you'd be pleased to announce that he failed, because a short bark of laughter escapes you. "If you're asking me whether I think the idea of you jacking it onto my panties is hot, then yes. And if you're asking me whether I fingerfucked myself to the thought of it after you left, then also yes."

It's clear that what you've said is pleasing to him in some way, because for a brief moment, something in his eyes darkens and you swear that he's going to tear your clothes off to take you right then and there. Maybe that's lowkey what you want too. Unfortunately, he doesn't. But the look he has on his face as pulls away and returns to his full height would imply he's satisfied with the outcome of the conversation nonetheless. "Quite shameless, aren't you?"

"Did you really only just notice that about me?"

He gives you a rather sharp look from the corner of his eye as he turns away, the sexual tension in the air already beginning to dissolve simply because of his increased distance from you. "I knew the moment you boldly announced to your circle of friends that you 'needed to get laid'. And that was months ago." Vergil steps lightly towards the edge of the platform, casting his gaze downward. It really is a long way down to the ground from here - much too far for a human to jump without serious risk to their life. When he tilts his head up to inspect the way you'd both come, he concludes that there's no feasible way back up for you either - you can't reach the upper platforms by jumping, and the walls are far too smooth to be able to climb. Vergil scoffs quietly. What if you didn't bring your phone with you? Accidentally left it behind or something to that effect? Then you'd truly have been stuck here with no help, and no access to the outside world. You're so reckless. Reckless, reckless, reckless . "Shall we press onwards, then? I doubt this brief hiccup will have deterred you from what you originally came here to do."

Which is loot. He's almost certain of it. But loot what , exactly, remains a mystery.

"Sure. You're gonna have to carry me down there though. Human legs, remember?" Pushing yourself up off the wall, you fall into step beside Vergil, sparing him a glance. "So how are we gonna do this? Bridal style oooooooor…"

You're not given the chance to provide a follow up to your suggestion, because Vergil's already smiling by the time he meets your eyes. The next thing you know, his hands are on your waist, effortlessly picking you up…

...and slinging you over his right shoulder like you're a sack of potatoes.

"Hey!!" You're already beating at his back with both fists, arching your back and craning your neck to drill menacing holes into the back of his head. "What the hell is this? Put me down!!"

The initial reply to your tantrum is a swift slap to the outside of your thigh, and then Vergil's hefting you up higher on his shoulder, turning to face the ledge once again. "I would suggest you stop talking or you'll bite your tongue on the landing."

Oh he cannot be serious. Is he actually planning on jumping down there with you like this?

"Wait. Vergil, wait a goddamn second!!"

"You were warned."

Oh god, this is really happening. This is really happening--

"Don't fucking drop me, or I swear I'll--!" Your threat to him never makes it past your lips, because Vergil chooses that exact moment to casually step over the edge to plummet towards the ground, forcing you to immediately wrench your jaw shut. The vertigo that whirls in your gut is instant, making you bunch fistfuls of Vergil's coat into your clammy palms as you bite back a shriek. But Vergil's arm looped over your midsection is firm, keeping you tight and secure against him, and even though you swear you can feel your stomach flipping, like it's being forced right up to your throat, you somehow know that you're safe.

But that doesn't make this freefall any less terrifying. Especially with the view you have of the floor rushing up to meet you.

When he lands, it's surprisingly soft, with Vergil himself absorbing most of the impact by crouching low, almost all the way down to his knees. But even long after he rights himself, straightening his stance, you're still gripping his coat as if your life depends on it. In a way, you suppose you actually were. You can only presume that your lack of a response is worrying, because Vergil peers over his shoulder to look at you with one finely arched brow.

"You're awfully quiet."

Apparently, that's enough to set you off, snapping you out of your blank stupor to resume beating at his back, and you hope he doesn't notice you're not putting as much fervor into it as you did before. "At least ask if I'm okay, you complete jackhole! Put me down! "

You feel him shake his head at you more than you can see it, but he does comply with your request, angling his body forward and leaning over until you slide right off his shoulder to touch the ground with wobbly feet. They don't quite give out - you'd never forgive yourself if you really did collapse in front of Vergil - but you find yourself instinctively reaching for him to steady yourself, and it doesn't hit you quite as hard anymore when he actually does offer both his arms for you to hold onto while you regain your footing. He may not have verbally asked if you were alright, but you note that he doesn't withdraw his arms until you let go of him yourself. At your own pace, and on your own terms - a thoughtful and dare you even think it, gallant gesture. One that wasn't necessary on his part at all but was made regardless.

So rather than berating him further, you sigh, releasing the tension you're holding on to and giving his forearms an apologetic squeeze before you let go.

"Come on," you gesture at the single door leading out of the room. It's sturdy, completely forged from steel and about as industrial-looking as the rest of this secluded area, a far cry from the antiquated elegance of the castle above, "apparently Agnus - Nico's father, by the way - had a lab back here. Nero and Dante cleaned it out years ago, but all they took were research documents, blueprints… files on demonology. Whatever might be dangerous if it fell into the wrong hands..."

Though you reach the door before Vergil does, having to put your weight into tugging it open and using your hip to keep it open, he comes up behind you, reaching over your head to grasp the edge with a single hand and effortlessly taking the weight of it off you. When you blink up at him, confused, he merely nods for you to go through.

You can't really say for sure what you were expecting out of friendship with this man who speaks so little, often letting his actions and presence speak on his behalf, but it wasn't this , certainly. It wasn't small, gentle gestures, and playful banter. Or that it would be this easy, or even comfortable.

And yet it is.

It's so curious.

"Are you even listening to me?"

"What?"

Oh shit, has been talking to you? Oops.

"I said, if all important documents have been retrieved from this place, what is it that you're looking for here?" Vergil's voice takes on a strange sound as it rebounds off the curved walls of this rounded hallway. It seems the deeper you venture into the pit of the castle, the less the layout makes any sense. But on the other hand, this is the way to Agnus' lair, and from what you can recall of the hulking man and his imposing stature, he was anything but conventional. "What's so important to you that you refused to speak of it to anybody?"

You absently adjust the strap of your satchel, untwisting it so that it lies comfortably flat against you. "He dabbled in some pretty sinister things, and was solely responsible for a lot more, but on paper, Agnus was the Order's resident alchemist, creating tools and synthesising augmentations and items." You pat at the empty satchel that hangs at your side.

"I came here to find ingredients so I can do the same."





Like the rest of the castle, Agnus' lab is in complete disarray, not only because of the mad scramble from six years ago, but also because Nero literally turned the place upside down to ransack it for every scrap of important documents he could find. But even without those factors in place, the room you're now standing in holds its own sort of chaotic buzz, completely unrelated to the open drawers and upturned stools. Defunct and silent power generators (and not the pissy kind you rev up, but the sizable turbine-operated kind) line all the walls of the room, and littered on the floor among shards of broken glass are pipes and cables of all sizes, entangled and entwined, supplying power - and seemingly lots of it - to the entire room. There is machinery here the likes of which you've never seen before, with gauges and pumps and pistons all designed to not only hold but siphon demonic power. And god , the smell. With no real ventilation in place, the stagnant air of the lab still reeks of burnt metal, twisted copper and something sour that you can't really place. But the centerpiece of the room, the one object that draws the eye is the pedestal located in the middle of the lab. Whatever item of import it held, it now sits neglected and empty, but there's certainly no denying its importance to the lab itself when all of the cabling and wires and pipes, some as thick as your arm, all convene at one singular point beneath the stand.

Even though none of the lights on any of the machines are blinking, even though the room is completely silent, even though there is no hiss of vented steam circulating the pipes, there's a stark cold present in the room that isn't related to the temperature. It simply feels ruthless - indifferent and far too scientific. If you recall correctly, there are several reports (and testimony from Nero himself) that say that Agnus directly experimented on demons, drawing on their power for his own research, and though you're not about to sympathise with demons, it begs the question of who between Agnus and his guinea pigs were the true devils.

"I never met the guy myself - probably because he was always cooped up in here all the damn time, but looking at this, I'm not sure I'd have wanted to. Guy seems like such a freak… poor Nico." Your commentary is unwarranted as it is idle, but you weren't expecting to be met with silence from Vergil. Even if just an affirmative hum or a grunt, he typically responds to you in one fashion or another, so when he doesn't, you turn on the spot to peer over at him, expecting to see him inspecting something that's perhaps piqued his interest.

But he's just standing there with a certain expression on his face that you can't really recognise. It's unsettled and taut, yet strangely blank, and when you look down, you notice his hand is covering the hilt of his sword again, just like he did on the rooftop of the orphanage. It isn't an offensive stance - you don't think he's about to draw it - but there's a tinge of something in the way his hand covers the hilt. Something soothing.

"Vergil?" Your call to him is cautioned, hesitant, but it's enough to have him blink out of his trance-like state. You crunch over some shards of glass and slowly step towards him. "Are you okay?"

"Yes," he answers, but perhaps a little too hastily. In reality, he doesn't like it here. This room is unnerving in a similar, yet familiar way that a certain suit of armour once was, because right there on that pedestal is where the Order, or perhaps Agnus, rather, kept the broken Yamato. Where he studied it. Where he experimented on it. Where he made his clumsy attempts to reforge it, all of which were abjectly rejected by the sword. But that never deterred Agnus. He just kept trying. Again and again. Day after day. Vergil wasn't the only one who learned to endure in order to survive. He closes his eyes for a few seconds, paying no heed to the fact that you're likely confused by the conflicting nature of his actions versus his statement, and clears his mind. When he reopens them, his expression returns to its default, placid state. "What ingredients are you looking for?"

You watch him for an extra moment or two, trying to decide whether pressing him on what just happened is worth the effort, or whether he'll even give you an honest answer. Of course, you could simply invoke your One Free Question, but you were kinda hoping to cash that in for something else later. In the end though, you decide you'll let it slide. If Vergil hasn't brought it up himself, then you figure it isn't for you to know.

Even though you're curious.

"Anything, really, but demon parts specifically. Glands, bile, claws, teeth. Whatever's left behind I think I can use. The black market sells this kind of thing, but at heavily inflated prices, and harvesting parts yourself obviously comes with certain risks, so obviously, if anything's even here, then I want it."

"You don't think Nero would have taken them all?" For what it's worth, Vergil seems back to normal now, pacing the perimeter of the room to inspect the defunct gadgets, sometimes even tilting a stray panel out of the way with the end of the Yamato to get a better look.

"I don't think he'd have known to." With a soft grunt, you step up onto a desk to check the wall mounted cupboard above it. There are some old vials there, lying on their sides and caked in a thick layer of dust, but you reach for them anyway, brushing the filth off of them with a quick sweep of your hand in an attempt to read the handwritten label. It's hard to make out due to years of neglect and what you assume is Agnus' own barely legible, scratchy handwriting. "Synthesis of any hunting tools that utilise demonic parts is a high risk, high reward venture - it's rare even in our line of work. And they're volatile substances too, not used to the general atmospheric conditions of the human world. That's why even the containers they're stored in are--" you pause to turn towards Vergil who's already watching you when you do, and you make a show of throwing one of the vials in your hands onto the ground. Though it's glass, it bounces harmlessly, coming to a rolling stop right at Vergil's feet, "--extremely durable, airtight and all that good stuff. It's why it's probably still good to use even after all this time."

Lowering himself down onto one knee, he scoops the vial at his feet up into his hand to skim the label. It takes him a moment to parse the handwriting (if it can even be called that), but eventually he does. This particular vial apparently holds the saliva of an Assault. How charming.

"And what do you plan on doing with these? Open a museum?" Though it's an offhanded remark, Vergil watches your reaction closely. You're not as naturally inclined to secrecy as he is, he believes you'll answer if asked, but he's more curious as to what your intent is when you didn't even bother telling your two closest friends.

He certainly isn't at all interested in the prospect of knowing something they don't. Of sharing something only the two of you know. Nevermind that the core of your 'relationship' is precisely that already.

The noise you make is a clear indicator of your reluctance, but not because you don't want to tell him, per se. "You have to promise you won't tell anybody. Not Dante, not Nico, not even Kyrie. And definitely not Nero."

That almost makes him roll his eyes. Of course he wouldn't tell Nero. "Why all the secrecy?" You have to give Vergil credit for being relentless in his questions - he asks them with little to no fear of reprisal. "Nico at the very least would want to know that you're dealing with demonic parts."

You'd considered at least telling Nico before. Her skills and knowledge in applying them to real world objects is near unparalleled, but the caveat is that she also has a big damn mouth - you don't think she'd be able to keep it to herself, and not even out of any intent to be spiteful. She's just always had that sort of carefree, easy-going nature. If she spilled the beans, she wouldn't have done it on purpose, but that's precisely why you can't tell her about any of this. Vergil watches on as your shoulders go slack and you drop the remaining vial in your hand into your satchel with a gusto that, for all intents and purposes, is lacking in the energy he's defined as being wholly you.

"I...want to surprise them with this. Nero especially." You pause after that to take a deep breath, condensing the torrent of your perceived insecurities and flaws into one simple, easy to understand sentence. "I just want to be better, and this is the only way I can think of to do it." It doesn't explain everything, but you're not really prepared to. At least not today.

Your admission is met with a pensive silence as Vergil reflects on your words. He doesn't know for what reason you have these concerns about your abilities, recalling that day the two of you were last here within the confines of the castle and the way you'd blindly rushed forth. Your frantic outburst. Vergil personally feels that's where you should start if you truly want to be better, but you've made your choice, and you've already committed to it to boot.

"Alchemy is a versatile practice in our line of work," you continue your explanation without any prompting on his part, "you can synthesise important items, make bootleg holy water that's functionally the same as the real thing, augment and improve existing objects. And that's not even getting into the art of transubstantiating, but that's a whole other ballpark that I can't delve into until I get the basics down."

"Which explains the alchemical tomes I've seen around your home." Vergil recalls seeing several out on your dining table. The reason that they always seemed to be readily available and within reach seems so obvious now.

"Yeah." Hopping off the desk, you then casually crouch low to check underneath it. You doubt there's anything there, but it never hurts to be sure. "Those, and only those have been my reading material for a few months now. I haven't studied this hard since… well. Ever, actually."

While you're on the ground, you hear Vergil approach, stepping carefully over the myriad of wiring and general mess on the floor, and when you rise to your feet, it's to Vergil holding the vial you made an example of out towards you.

"Then you can rest assured I won't tell anybody." It's a statement made in earnest, and one that you appreciate. At least until he follows it up with: "You have enough hanging over my head as it is."

The zeal you were lacking earlier comes back in the form of you plucking the vial from his fingers to place it with the other inside your pouch, pulling the top flap of it closed with a firm snap of leather. "And we were having such a nice moment, too."

Vergil just smiles.

With the lab being so contained, even a thorough sweep of the room takes no more than fifteen minutes, and when you're done, you're only an extra three vials richer to bring your profit up to a grand total of five demonic components. Considering that number is exactly five vials more than you were expecting to get in the first place, you'll call that a win.

"It isn't exactly the haul of the century, but I'll take it. C'mon, let's get outta here." You begin to move towards the door you initially came in from, but Vergil stops you, staring past you at the opposite wall. More specifically, at the unassuming door that sits there.

"That way would be faster. It leads directly to an open area outside - a valley in the cliff face." If Vergil's memory serves, it also leads the way to the mechanism that controls the bridge to Mitis Forest, but that part isn't necessary to bring up.

Your expression immediately sours, but even though you're unhappy with this turn of events, you're following him all the same, crossing the lab one last time. "You mean there was a back way in?"

"Yes, but unless you're suddenly proficient in scaling mountains, you'd still have required help getting in." When you open your mouth to counter, Vergil cuts you off. "And need I remind you that you will also require my help in getting out . Again, unless you are suddenly proficient in scaling mountains."

Which he doubts.

Because it's true.

And true enough, beyond the very next door is an open area, carved directly into the mountainside. The air here is brisk and a welcome change from the stale interior of the castle, and so to illustrate this point, you breathe in entire lungfuls of it. Fortuna is already a smaller city, tucked away in an isolated corner of the country, so the air has always smelled a little different, but Lamina Peak is even moreso. Cleaner. Crisper. It's nice. Vergil meanwhile leaves you to your… breathing exercise, and walks to the very front of the balcony area, head tilted upward to survey the cliffs above. It is a valley, just as he remembers, with a rushing river down below, but he can't pinpoint any secure footholds in the cliff face to leap off of. Not any that could hold the weight of two people at any rate. No, the only viable option is to fly out, and then walk back to the city, which means...

An explosion of blue from behind you prompts you to turn around, and where Vergil once was, now stands his demonic form, instantly making you hop backwards half a step out of instinct. He's as tall as you remember like this, and even though you're several generous paces away, he utterly dwarfs you, even from where you're standing. There's considerable bulk on him that you didn't really notice last time, jagged armour-like plating that covers most of his body. But again, it's his wings that draw your eyes the most - they way they unfurl from around him, stretching impossibly wide in the open space you're both standing in. He shakes them out once, as if to rid them of fatigue and then they're folding back around his body again, tucking neatly away in a way that looks and feels far too deliberate to have simply been for convenience's sake.

But more than that, you can feel it begin to stir in your chest again - the feeling of inadequacy in the face of such unparalleled strength. It constricts you, your heart, your entire being, everything, firmly rooting you to the spot like a deer in headlights. You ball up the leather of your satchel in one fist, feeling the sturdy glass vials that lie inside grind against each other under your grip in the smallest act of stubborn defiance that you can currently mustrer. Are these tiny little things supposed to help you get stronger? Some saliva, and a few demon toenail clippings? Some bile? That's absurd. How do you go from here to there? It isn't possible! It--

One firm thud as Vergil thumps his heavy tail on the ground is all it takes to pull you from your invasive thoughts, the sound forcing its way into your headspace to shatter all pretenses before they can take proper shape. You mutter a curse under your breath as you smooth a hand back through your hair - a small, if not meagre attempt at collecting yourself that only sort of works.

...wait, he has a tail too?

"Does this form scare you?" He sounds a little more subdued than before, but as always, Vergil travels the most direct path to your thoughts. His voice comes distorted, as if swathed in radio static, and you notice for the first time that his teeth, pointed fangs almost as long as your fingers, are constantly bared in a permanent snarl, yet don't move even though he's talking.

And yet, the fear isn't as potent as the last time you saw Vergil like this, even though he quite literally eviscerated a demon in front of you. You're not feeling the urge to run quite as strongly this time around. "I dunno. I think so? Because I mean, it's kinda hard not to be, you know?" Your gaze drops to your boots momentarily, but even when you're not looking at him, your instincts are telling you there's something large and oppressive and dangerous standing far too close to be safe. It isn't really his fault you're reacting this way, and it isn't really yours either, but you detest it all the same. You release the canvas of your satchel, forcing yourself to relax, sliding your hand up to grip the strap of it instead in what you hope passes for a casual motion. Although even if it does, your voice betrays you, coming out quiet and timid. "Do… do you mind if I…"

Your sentence tapers off, but you take a small step forward, lifting a trembling, adrenaline-fueled hand towards him and making a slow sweeping gesture in the air with it - a wordless request to get a closer look at him. And like he did earlier, in complete silence and with an understanding that transcends a need for any kind of verbal communication, he offers himself to you, half raising clawed hands for you to touch, to ground yourself with like an anchor as opposed to a symbol of everything you perceive to be wrong with you. Your fingertips touch his open palm first, but even with that minute touch, you immediately notice that he runs hot, just like he does when he's human. Even though he's covered from head to toe in cool, soothing hues, you realise that not all fires burn red - in Vergil, they blaze a bright blue and one would be a fool to presume that the two don't compare. The skin on the inside of his palm is smooth and leathery, and slowly, you trace your fingers up his arm to gingerly touch the plating that covers his forearm in pointed ridges. It is armour, you realise, in place to protect the smoother, softer scales that cover the rest of his body. From there, your circle around him, mindful of his tail on the ground, which you make sure to step over. Curiously, it protrudes from the middle of his back, but the entire length of it - and it is long - is covered in scales too. But these ones are larger, tapered to a point at one end and backwards facing. Almost like spines. And just like spines, they bristle individually, your eyes following the movement snaking down the length of his tail until you reach the tip, pointed and undoubtedly deadly. Whether Vergil is conscious of it or not, it taps against the ground, as if impatient, leaving visible grooves in its wake.

You press on, continuing your inquiry by circling around to his other side to repeat your earlier inspection of his other hand.

Vergil simply watches as you slowly, warily explore his demonic form, somehow enthralled and fascinated at the way you're addressing your fear… but also at how softly you're moving from one plate to the next, never lingering in the one spot for long, only ever just enough for you to memorise the patterning on his armour, or the texture of his scales. Your hands stop trembling by the time you make it to his torso, your fingers dipping into the glowing 'V' that adorns his chest.

"You're kidding me." He hears you say while stifling a laugh, and he thinks he's supposed to be insulted by that, but he isn't.

Behind him, with a mind of its own, his tail flicks this way and that along the floor, curious and not unlike a cat. Strangely enough, it helps in soothing you and, in an even more bizarre turn of events, also helps in humanizing the creature that towers above you. You're well in front of him now, close enough that the heat that radiates off him is beginning to overtake the cool, crisp air of Lamina Peak, but you don't pull back yet. Both of your hands wander the expanse of scales and chitin on his chest, following the natural lines they form up to his face, but that's where you freeze again, rooted to the spot as another pang of fear strikes you.

The permanently bared fangs are menacing in their own right, but to have those glowing eyes watch you from above in a stark silence that's permeated only by the sound of his breathing is unnerving in a whole new way. They're nothing but angled slits in his face, but there is a veritable, and perhaps even literal fire that burns behind them. You've attributed Vergil's gaze to that of a predator before, but that's never been more true than it is now. Your heart thuds noisily in your chest, probably loud enough for Vergil to hear, and in an attempt to quell it, you take a breath, swallow and slowly touch two pads of your fingers to his teeth. They part slightly under your touch, and you can feel an almost unbearable heat fan over them as he breathes out. They're probably sharp enough to slice right through the bones in your fingers with ease, but his jaw only ever parts that tiny bit and no more. It makes the rumbling that emerges from deep within his throat all the more compelling, the vibrations from which travelling all the way up your arm.

"Jesus fucking christ." You breathe out a laugh when you pull your hand back, satisfied in part with your daring venture to address your fear. It hasn't been fully abated, but you have to remind yourself that this is still only your second time seeing him like this. If there's ever going to be a third, you can't say for sure yet, but at least you'll be prepared. You give both your hands a shake as if to physically dispel the jittery agitation that's overcome you, but more than that, you needed a physical distraction from the tension that had unwittingly built up in those few minutes of near complete silence, because the longer he watched you, the longer you held his ethereal gaze, something worryingly familiar was beginning to build too. It has to have been the adrenaline, the surge of hormones triggered by your fight-or-flight instinct that got its wires crossed somewhere along the way, because there is no way in god's name were you beginning to feel aroused by the creature in front of you. That growl couldn't possibly have been a purr. It was in no way pleasant to listen to, to feel rattle your very bones. You laugh again, but it sounds empty and disappointed even to your own ears. "Fuck…"

Vergil's chest heaves, the glowing mark gently distorting with the movement, and then his wings unfold. Christ, you'd completely forgotten about those too.

"We should go." His voice still sounds like it's coming through three different (and very old) radio sets, but it isn't grating, nor hard to hear. The disappointment that's buried underneath that static has to have been your imagination…

"Yeah," you say, reaching for his outstretched hand and letting him pull you toward him, "take me home, country roads."

"...pardon?" It doesn't show on his face of course, but the confusion colours the tone of his voice even though you've wedged your boot rather uncomfortably into his thigh during your climb into his arms.

Nervously, you settle into his hold on you, feeling the faint pricks of his long claws on your skin when you answer him. "It's a song. Don't worry about it."

Vergil grunts at that, but doesn't answer you, opting to pad quietly to the edge of the balcony to rest one foot on the railing. You can hear the beat of his wings as they spread wide on either side of him, and then he's glancing down at you in his arms one final time for your nod of approval. He doesn't have to do that, but more and more, you're coming to like these little facets of him, finding that these too help in your ever changing perception of the man who, until only recently, was as much of an enigma to you as he was a casual fling. Now though, this isn't so bad - you really can see yourself being friends with this guy. And the fact he's a good fuck is really the icing on the cake, instead of the reverse being true.

But maybe that's still the adrenaline at work, who can say?

You're still not quite comfortable in his grasp - the jagged ridges on his torso aren't really conducive to being held the way you are, but it's only temporary, you tell yourself, one hand rising to grip at one of the plates at his collar. Vergil doesn't move until you give him a nod, but the very moment you do, he leaps into the air, catching the wind under his wings and letting it carry him upwards, clearing the ravine in a smooth upward arc. But your stomach churns with butterflies at the movement. You're up so high that your ears have popped, but the roar of the wind from the sheer speed he's moving at is somehow still deafening. Vergil can feel you shrink into yourself when he reaches the very peak of his upward climb. You are still afraid, but likely not of him, so he tucks his wings back, angles them just so, for the wind to stream smoothly over them instead of through, and he spirals down again, looping lazily around the castle turrets to land back in front of the castle. The impact of his landing, the ensuing rush of wind, blows the snow back from around his trajectory, creating the barest of craters, and were you any more capable of doing so, that is, if you hadn't just been put through a series of mentally (and physically. Those butterflies are extremely aggressive) taxing hurdles, you'd comment on it. But alas, the most you can handle is wriggling out of Vergil's grasp to land on safe, glorious, wonderful solid ground. Once again, your knees nearly give out on you, but you disguise it by doubling over to rest your hands on them, strangely out of breath despite the fact you've barely done anything.

"I don't know how you're used to that." You wheeze.

"It comes with the territory." With another burst of light, Vergil returns to his human form, using his free hand to smooth out the front of his coat with a frustratingly casual nonchalance. "And is a convenient method of travel."

"For you maybe. Regular humans aren't made for flying. Now walk me home in case I pass out."





You drop your satchel right onto your dining table the second that you're close enough to do so, not even bothering to toe your boots off before you flop face first onto your couch. The queasiness associated with the impediments of the day have long since passed, but the truth of the matter is, you just wanted to have Vergil inside your apartment. Not that he would turn down the implications that automatically come with such an invitation, but you want to relish in the look on his face when you finally do spring your trap on him. Turning your head so your face is no longer pressed into the cushions of your couch, you watch as he steps into the main living area of your home.

Tension wouldn't be the right word to describe it, but there's certainly something that hangs between the two of you - a certain unspoken and eager buzz, because you both know what happens from here, it's really just a matter of who initiates first. So you roll over and sit up, taking a page out of Vergil's book and taking direct action.

"So… wanna fuck?"

He folds his arms across his chest and scoffs, clearly amused. He doesn't make the effort in crossing the room just yet though, merely standing his ground for the moment, but you can tell he's interested - he's never turned down an offer before. "I can't imagine what other reason you'd want me here for."

You shrug as you kick off your boots one at a time. "It could happen one day, you never know. But for now… you're kinda right." Standing up, you start to undo the buttons of your shirt one by one, predictably drawing his eyes, and the more your shirt opens, the darker his eyes become. But your hands go still about halfway down, falling away to reveal only the very top of your bra underneath. "I do have some stipulations though."

That immediately has his eyes darting back up to a more modest height, alarm bells already beginning to toll in his mind. He tilts his head at you, eyes narrowing to signal his curiosity, so you step over to your bed. More specifically, to your bedside table, and pull the top drawer open, deliberately bending over to peer into it. What you're looking for is right where you left it, placed atop the assortment of accoutrements you keep there for… ease of access. When you angle your head to look back over at Vergil, there's a very particular way that his eyes flit back to meet yours, and you know it's because he just got done checking out your ass. All you give him in response to that though, is a knowing smile, and then you're tossing something in his direction. It's a tiny little thing, hardly visible while it's flying through the air toward him, but his sharp eyes catch onto it easily enough, and then he's snatching it right out of the air with his patented graceful ease.

Whatever it is, and despite its odd shape, it's small enough to fit into the palm of his hand. He doesn't recognise what it is at first - it's clearly some kind of toy, slightly heavy, vaguely egg-shaped, but flat and made of silicone? There's a hole in the fatter end of the device too, making it look like a ring, but it's far too large to be worn on someone's hand--

Vergil feels his chest constrict, face falling and seemingly stuck in an expression of worry…

...for himself.

"So you do know what that is." You may as well be laughing outright at him, but you have the prudence not to, if only because you don't want him doing a complete one-eighty and marching right out of your apartment. That's counter-productive.

When Vergil looks up at you, your voice worryingly close, it's to you standing before him, hip jutting out to one side and twirling… oh god, a pair of handcuffs around one finger. Those he isn't too concerned about - his primary woe lies with the cock ring that's so innocently sitting in his palm, because he remembers with a very fierce clarity what happened the last time he was here.

And that was just with your hand.

"You can't be serious." Incredulity is a look you rather like seeing splashed across Vergil's usually stoic face, and you inwardly make a note to endeavour to see it more.

"Do I look like I'm kidding?"

He takes a moment to consider your question, studying your expression, and he rather conclusively decides that no, you really, really don't. He also hates that, dressed as you currently are - shirt half open and twirling a pair of fucking handcuffs - is a look that he likes on you. Perhaps a little too much. And yet he doesn't think that sight is worth another hour (god he hopes it's only going to be an hour) of torture, no matter how blissful.

"I'm leaving." He announces flatly, and he almost manages to turn all the way around, but you tag him by the back of his collar, pulling him backwards half a step.

He's far too tall for you to whisper in his ear, so you append that by unhooking your finger from his collar, reaching up to gently tug at his ear until he's down at your level. It's only when you're absolutely certain he won't immediately pull away from you do you let it go, letting your hand fall to his shoulder instead, and giving the shell of his ear a kitten lick. "Five hundred dollars in damages, and an extra sixty bucks for the cock ring that I bought especially for you, especially for this. But I'm willing to waive that cost in exchange for your help today."

Because you are nothing if not kind and merciful.

Sort of.

Not really.

It's barely there, but Vergil slightly turns his head toward you, silently going over all of his options - of which there admittedly aren't many - in his head. He could just leave. He really could. But for how long can he put this off? Another week? What's to stop you from arbitrarily adding to his debt when a sixty dollar cock ring was enough to have you adding to it? But where would you go from there? What's worse than a cock ring?

He decides he doesn't want to think about it. Or push his luck.

"Pick your battles, Vergil."

It's almost as if you've read his mind - a testament to just how well you've come to understand the way he thinks when it comes your frequent romps. Underneath your hand, you can feel the tension in his shoulder begin to slip away, making your smile grow, knowing that you'll finally have him right where you've been wanting him the most. Underneath you. Sweaty, bucking, and desperate. Ah, the mental image alone...

"Will we be even after this?"

"That depends on you."

Chapter Text

Vergil was reluctant to do as he was told, moving about with a certain rigidity in his body that deeply contrasts with his usual elegance, and even now, lying back on your bed, coatless and vestless, he exudes a particular defiance that only adds to the allure of having him underneath you. You're perched over his waist as opposed to his hips, thighs on either side of him, twirling those ridiculous handcuffs again, but this time with the added visual benefit of being dressed only in your underwear. His eyes watch the slow descent of your bra strap as it slips from your shoulder before he locks gazes with you again, expression set and unreadable.

"Arms up, please." You busy yourself with opening them as Vergil begrudgingly obeys, head craning backwards when his hands hit the metal feet of the industrial shelving units you keep at the head of your bed. Which, for the record, is simply a mattress on the floor of your apartment. He'll be long dead in the ground before he admits it's comfortable though, with a touch of chaotic flair that's so very you. You lean forward onto your knees, deliberately smothering his face with your bra-clad breasts, but you feel him stiffen underneath you nonetheless, trying to turn his face away. Alas, that just results in you teasingly following his movement, ensuring that even if just a bit, your breasts are still touching his face in some manner. You can't help but laugh lightly when he gives you an annoyed tut.

"Is that really necessary?"

His voice, slightly muffled by your breasts just makes you laugh again. "I finally have you right where I want you - docile and obedient to boot." You snap one of the cuffs closed over his wrist, leaning forward to loop it around two legs of two adjoining shelves, the movement forcing you to press your chest even further into his face. Vergil just tuts again and tries to shift under you, but it's all futile, of course, because wherever his face goes, you will follow without hesitation. You close the other cuff around his other wrist, and with a quiet rattle of metallic teeth, they too snap closed with a decisive (and to Vergil's ears, life ending) click, and then you're finally pulling back to set your weight on his torso. "You didn't honestly think I wouldn't take every opportunity to make you miserable, did you? If anybody's to blame, it's you. Now stop squirming." Your eyes travel from his face back up to the shelves he's cuffed to. "They're anchored to the wall, so they're not gonna come tumbling down anytime soon, but I wouldn't go pulling too hard anyway."

Vergil does his best to mirror your smug smile, but it feels more like an empty threat than anything else. Like this, half naked and cuffed to the wall, he's as docile as they come, but you have to give him credit for trying. "And you think I won't simply break out of these?" To illustrate his point, he pulls his wrists apart as far as the chain that connects them will allow, straining and stretching the links in between for a brief second or two before he relaxes his arms again. "It would be a simple affair."

"You're right." Your attention is not on him, but your fingers instead that are now tracing idle patterns into his chest, swirling between his pecs before drawing circles around one of his nipples. "You can easily break out, sure, but the idea is that you won't . Unless you want to keep adding to what you owe me."

Can an orgasm be achieved through the look on someone's face alone? If the way the smile drops off his face at what you just said, you think it might really be possible.

"Cock ring, please," you're a little too cheerful when you ask him for what he still has clenched in his palm, but he obeys all the same, opening his hand to reveal the devilish little ring. You lean forward to pluck it from him, going for a bottle of lube you conveniently left on your bedside table at the same time, and then you're shuffling backwards on his body to straddle his thighs instead, making sure to apply the bulk of your weight against the thick ridge in his pants as you go. Your efforts are rewarded with an averted gaze, and a delightful little hiss from between his teeth. Raising the cock ring to your mouth, you hold it between your teeth and wedge the bottle of lube between his thighs, nestling it right up against his perineum, and with both of your hands now free, you go to unbuckle his belt, deftly working at it until it clicks free. Your hands are swift and practiced, as if you've done this a thousand times before, and quite frankly, at this point, it's almost as if you have, because you're already pulling his half-hard cock out of his pants before he even knows it. This time though, you also pull his balls free from the confines of his pants, gently massaging their velvety texture with your fingers, and you can't help but chuckle at the way his cock springs a little higher at the extra attention. But that's how you know you should stop - you can't put the ring on properly if he's too hard - so you pull your hand back and go for the bottle of lube that's still tightly wedged between his legs, popping the cap and drizzling a rather generous amount all over his cock. The liquid, cold against his heated skin, has Vergil bucking once, and then again when you wrap your hand around him to smear it all over, taking the opportunity to gently thumb at his cockhead in the way you know he likes, swiping the single bead of precum off the very tip before retracting your hand. You pull the cock ring from between your teeth and take an extra second to lock eyes with him as you lick his arousal off your finger, noting with mirth that his brow twitches at your action.

"You're adorable when you're trying to be angry," you idly muse as you slide the cock ring down his length. You're quite surprised at yourself for being able to accurately gauge what size to buy, and though it's just a touch loose, you know he'll swell to fit it nice and tight once he's completely hard. Which is exactly what needs to be done next, "but just sit back and enjoy this. You now I'll always make you feel good." You scoot even further back on his legs, leaning down to bring your face right up to his cock while you slowly pump it with one hand.

"Then take that thing off." Even though he knows that asking is futile, Vergil does so anyway if only to salvage what scraps of his dignity that he can.

But that just makes you laugh again, a low and sultry sound that he wouldn't mind hearing again. (He gets the feeling he will before the day is over.) "It's hardly been a minute, and you want it off already?" You give the tip of his cock a gentle kiss. "At this rate, you'll never clear your debt to me. Unless that's what you want?"

"Hardly." Vergil gives you time to hum softly in response before he continues. "I merely--"

But whatever he intends to say slips away from him when you wrap your lips around the tip of his shaft and suck, unable to help the moan that slips from you the moment the full taste of him hits your tongue.You pull upwards off him slightly before you ease yourself down on him again, your lips reaching further and further down his length on each successive motion, making sure to always suckle a little harder, with a little more force, everytime you pull back. It's utterly delightful, the way you can actually feel him harden against your tongue, and you're almost tempted to slip a hand between your own legs to play with yourself. In fact you do, because while Vergil is the one you're planning on teasing to the very brink of delirium today, there's no reason for you to abstain. You rub yourself in slow, lazy circles while you continue to work Vergil with your mouth, not surprised in the least when you can already feel yourself beginning to soak through. You've always liked giving blowjobs, and all the more when you're giving them to someone like Vergil who tries so hard not to buck into your eager mouth, and to hide his pleasure. It makes it all the more satisfying when they finally do come undone in your hot mouth and cum on your tongue (and sometimes face).

And they always do.

Alas, not today, you lament, pulling off his cock completely with a wet pop. You pepper kisses down the length of his shaft, gripping him in your hand to angle it this way and that to give yourself better coverage before you sit back up to meet his eyes again. Vergil still looks defiant, expression ever stoic, but you know it'll eventually crack, especially now that he's completely hard and throbbing, even as you continue to work him.

"How does the ring feel?" You ask with all the innocence of a pure maiden, instead of someone who intends to tease out the border's of his restraint. It doesn't fool him for even a second, but he does answer you. Vergil knows that playing to your favour will pay off for him in the end - he knows because he's already thinking ahead.

Thinking of revenge.

"...different." He finally says.

"Bad different, or good different?"

The muscles in his jaw visibly clench. "...good different."

You give him one final lazy pump before you let go and pull yourself forward on his thighs, settling in completely flush against him and trapping his cock between both your bodies. "I'm glad to hear it, but this is only the beginning."

His lips purse.

"Get comfortable, because you have a very --" you roll your hips in that moment, grinding your cunt along the underside of his cock, "--long day ahead of you."

Vergil doesn't answer you this time, mind focusing on his only ray of hope, the light at the end of what he perceives to be a very long, and very dark tunnel, because he is at least eighty percent sure that he can see the corner of a condom wrapper tucked safely into the cup of your bra.

You must have it there for a reason.

He swallows thickly.

...right?





You're only pretending to read. You know it. Vergil knows it. But you make the motion of loudly turning the page anyway, trying not to pay any mind to the feel of Vergil's tongue against you as you slowly rock into his face. You didn't expect him to indulge you when you lowered yourself onto him, but whether it's because he thinks that if you cum on his face, the rush of it will push him over the edge too, or that he simply enjoys eating you out (which is a real possibility, lord forbid that you ever find this out), you can feel him angle his head underneath you as he leaves open mouthed kisses all over your cunt.

"Naughty…" you muse idly, balancing your tome in one hand to lean forward so you can flick at the head of his twitching and neglected cock. It has him groaning directly into you, hips jerking upwards into the air, into nothing. If the sight of it didn't turn you on so much, treating Vergil to another gush of your slick all over his lips, it would honestly make you sad, but judging by the way he greedily laps at you, the hot breath that fans out across your skin, it's most certainly the former. "Getting off on eating me out, huh?" You watch his chest heave as he breathes in, and the contented sigh that escapes you, though exaggerated for the sole purpose of riling him up, is genuine. He licks and sucks like a man starved - which he is, in a way - and again, you think that he's becoming frightfully good at giving oral. He's always generous in the long sweeps he makes with his tongue, knowing where to tease with the tip, and where to broadly lick, taking cues from the way your thighs cage his head in, and how you'll press yourself right up into his mouth and moan.

You lay the open tome face down on Vergil's torso, splaying your fingers wide across his skin as you ride his face, hips rolling and gyrating in a steady rhythm that complements the motions of his tongue. You feel his head dip, chin angling down to give him better access to your clit, and when he sucks it into his mouth, so warm, bordering on hot, your thighs twitch on either side of his head.

"Yes--" your voice is beginning to pitch. "Make me cum on your face, Vergil. I know you know how."

His response is an open moan into your cunt and another vague thrust of his hips into the air, as if pleading for any kind of contact, of friction, anything to help ease the slow tension and constriction around the base of his cock. And you have a rather good idea as to how to give it to him. You lean forward over his body, fingers tenderly grasping the shaft, idly massaging the prominent vein that runs the length of the underside. It pulses under your fingertips, and then again when you bring the ruddy head of his cock to your lips, tongue slipping out from between them to lick in small, tight circles. His skin is so silky smooth on your tongue, offset by the bitter taste of his precum. It isn't unpleasant to you - nothing about this man could possibly be - but what you relish in is the way it slowly, but consistently oozes from the tip of his dick. You'd lamented not being able to saviour the taste of him the last time you had him over, but today makes up for that in spades because by the time you've finished swiping your tongue over his glans, another small, milky stream replaces it almost immediately. So as if atoning for the sin of wasting such abundant arousal, you seal your lips over the very tip of his cock, taking your sweet time in swallowing him any further, unable to contain the smile when you feel him rut upwards in an attempt to push more of his length into your mouth. In fact, it's only because you're on the brink yourself that you indulge him on it, letting him push past your lips, your tongue laving gently at his thick cock and guiding him deeper into your mouth. At this angle, you can only take half of him at best, but you can feel Vergil rumble a long, drawn out groan, sending pleasant tingles straight through you that have you in turn moaning around his cock.

Above his head, still bound to the feet of the shelves at the head of your bed, the cuff links stretch taut as Vergil absently pulls on his binds, not hard enough to break, but still enough that his enthusiasm is apparent. The gentle clinks of the metal chain sound in your ears over lewd slurps, wet smacks, and the sounds of muffled pleasure - they're a thrilling reminder of the power you currently have over this man. A reminder that he is helpless beneath you.

A reminder that you still have another surprise for him.

The anticipation of it makes your pulse race, makes your hips roll into Vergil's face. His tongue is probing at the entrance of your pussy, the tip smoothly slipping inside with each precise flick, but that isn't what makes you clamp your thighs around his head, it isn't what has you pressing desperately into his waiting and wanting mouth as you cum with a full body shudder and a whimpery moan. No, it's what his reaction will be when he finds out the cock ring you put on him vibrates that has you mewling in spite of the fact your mouth is half stuffed with his cock, mind torn on whether you want to suckle at his throbbing length or abandon it entirely to praise him. In the end, you end up doing a haphazard mix of the two as you murmur his name and a string of curses around his dick. You can feel it twitch in your mouth, weakly, but persistently, in a dry, flaccid, and undoubtedly depressing orgasm, and though the feel of your cunt clenching against his tongue, washing wave after wave of your slick right into his mouth and smearing all over his face is pleasing in its own right, he lets out a frustrated and defeated snarl between your legs. With one final pleased hum, you pull off his cock, still twitching, and still so, so hard, at the same time you lift your cunt from his face, stretching a thin web of his saliva from the pointed tip of his tongue to your entrance.

The neutral (yet vaguely spicy) air of your apartment helps in flushing the smell of you from his senses, clearing the hazy, distant look from his eyes as he pulls his own tongue back into his mouth. He can't quite describe what he's feeling, having never experienced a dry orgasm before, but if there's one thing he's certain of, it's that it's… not altogether unpleasant, but it's unfulfilling, unsatisfying. Vergil forces his composure when you clamber off of him, turning back around to perch atop his abdomen, and even though his skin is already so flushed and warm to the touch, the heat of your cunt as it presses against him is distinct. Wet. And with a sudden, fierce clarity, one that almost has him bucking up into nothing, he realises he misses the feel of your velvet around him - the heat of it, the feel of you. Vergil takes a deep breath through his nose, steels himself for whatever coquettish remark you're obviously winding up. He can feel you roll your hips against him one final time, as if teasing yourself, smearing more of your fluids against his already damp skin. His eyes, clearer now, watch you draw your bottom lip between your teeth in a coy little smile that makes his own hips shift again.

"Still defiant, huh?" You shuffle backwards a little, just far enough until you can feel his cock settle right into the cleft of your ass, fitting perhaps a little too snugly, a little too perfectly. He doesn't make a sound when you start to wriggle your hips, but you can feel his breath hitch. "How're you holding up?"

His eyes flicker down to that loose bra strap that's still sagged over your shoulder, lingering for an extra second before he turns his head to stare out the window instead. "I'm fine."

"Are you?" You ask, breathing out a light laugh. "Because I can't imagine you're 'fine' after that poor excuse for an orgasm you obviously just had."

It's pure luck (and one infuriating little cock ring) that a faint red already colours Vergil's cheeks, because that actually does make him fluster out of equal parts embarrassment and… oddly enough, arousal. Arousal that peaks with a shudder when you idly grind back on his tender cock again and run the palms of both your hands up his chest, so smooth and taut under your touch.

"I can keep going." Vergil reassures you, voice indicating a sense of conviction that the look in his eyes only half conveys.

"Good." You emphasise your minor praise with a firmer touch, pressing some of your weight into your hands on his chest. "But we're still taking a break."

"I said I can--"

Vergil's words are cut off by a finger pressed to his lips, still shiny with your slick, and you note, distantly, fleetingly, that they're so plush under your finger. "Spare me your theatrics, it isn't for you. I need one."

He waits until you pull your finger away to speak - he at least has the good grace for that. "And you plan on leaving me here like this?"

"Of course not, that would be cruel." Though your words are sympathetic, the tone with which you say them is anything but, and it washes a fresh wave of dread over Vergil when he watches you lean forward to pluck another little something from atop your bedside table. His eyes dart across the room, trying to recall if he saw anything peculiar there before you sealed his fate by sealing his movement, and while he does recall seeing a small rectangular… thing , it didn't register in his mind as anything worth keeping a tab on. And why would it have? It was such a small, nondescript little thing… His gaze travels back to you, to the little square you're now gently running your fingers over. "I plan on leaving you like this ."

Like what , Vergil wants to say, but he hears the faint click of a button, and then the cock ring, still secure around the base of his cock, buzzes to life, sending a low constant thrum up the length of his shaft. Immediately, he jerks, his arms automatically tensing and pulling on his restraints, making the metal screech faintly in protest. Under any other circumstance, it would be grating to hear, but today it has you quietly moaning under your breath, your thighs squeezing down on his sides just so you can press yourself down harder against his abdomen, because that look on his face, the way his eyebrows scrunch together, and how he wrenches his jaw shut to keep himself from making any noise that would otherwise indicate how fucking good it feels to have something rumble so gently against his cock, is all too thrilling.

But he doesn't have to make any noise, he can hide and muffle his pleasured groans all he wants, because all the proof that you need is his chest heaving in uneven breaths underneath your hands, and the slow gentle roll of his hips rutting into you, even though the only contact he's getting is your ass against one side of his cock. You honestly think this single moment alone could serve as acceptable penance for his recent mishaps, but why stop there when you can string him along for a ride?

Haha.

A ride.

Chuckling to yourself, you swing your leg over his body and clamber to your feet, ignoring the way his head follows your movement. When you reach your dining table, you grab your discarded satchel by the strap, half turning to let it swing from your fingers.

"I'm gonna go put these away." The way the words fall so casually from your lips makes it almost seem as if mere minutes ago, your mouth wasn't half stuffed with his cock as you came into his mouth. "You sit right there and wait, okay?"

It takes Vergil an extra second to reply to you, both of his hands balling into fists in order to concentrate on words instead of how he can feel himself dripping with his own precum, strangely cool now that he's fully exposed to the open air. The fact that it's probably going to stain his pants is only a minor inconvenience in the face of his already aching cock. Lord, what he would do to have your lips around him again, so warm and wet and enthusiastic in the way you hollow your cheeks to suck him dry.

Well, what he would do outside of telling you this, he supposes.

"As if I would be anywhere else," he replies, inwardly pleased and surprised at even himself at how steady his voice remained. It's only when you give him a (knowing) smile and disappear down a corridor that Vergil lets his head thunk back onto the pillow, releasing a sigh when, and only when, he hears a door open and then close behind you. He'll be long mad before he ever admits to you how much he genuinely wants to watch you ride him - he'd felt this way months ago even, long before you slipped that cursed ring over his cock - but when his eyes slide shut, when he actually thinks about and considers how good that gentle buzz feels, nestled so comfortably against him (and how much he wishes it was just a bit higher up, just a little bit closer to the head of his cock), he thinks he might end up going mad before you return to him.

His hips shift, the muscles in his thighs ache from tension, but perhaps no more than that of his neglected dick, and somehow, over the thrum of the vibrating cock ring that he swears he can feel resonating through his entire body, Vergil can hear the tick of the clock up on your wall.

And to ground himself, he starts to count the seconds until you come back, leaking an abundance of precum all the while.





Four hundred and thirty nine.

That's when he hears the door open again as you pad back into the main living area. He doesn't really have the energy to lift his head, having spent most of those four hundred and thirty nine seconds ruefully grunting softly to himself whenever he felt another passive gust of air on his soaked cock. There were times he swore he was becoming desensitised to the vibrations, but all it took to dissolve his resistance was a slight thrust of his hips and somehow, the device managed to stimulate some place vaguely new - his perineum, his balls, his imagination - and he'd be back where he started with a choked gasp and a hissed curse, where the only comfort he had was the sound of your bed sheets rustling underneath him as he squirmed and writhed.

When you enter Vergil's field of vision, he has to chew on the inside of his cheeks to keep another moan from tumbling out, because there you stand, wearing his goddamn coat like it's a trophy. It's too big for you, shoulders too wide, and coat tails too long, but the lapels do well in concealing your body in just the right way that makes him pant and writhe and fidget as his cock pulses in another dry and mediocre orgasm. Fuck, you weren't even touching him this time.

You laugh briefly, a low sound that only temporarily drowns out the maddening hum that's been plaguing him like a lewd and crude tell-tale heart. "I had a feeling you'd appreciate this." Bundling one of the coat tails into your fist, you twirl on the spot in a flourish. "I've always wanted to wear this, you know."

And perhaps not under these exact circumstances either, but you couldn't let the opportunity pass you by.

"It hardly fits you," Vergil manages to croak.

"I guess, but it doesn't need to fit to look good on me," you nod at his twitching shaft, your pupils already blown wide open from the sight of it - a healthy, flustered red, and shiny from his own fluids, "as you've just proven."

Approaching your bed, Vergil's temporary prison, you kneel at his side, your eyes drifting from his face, down his sweaty body before your attention rests solely on his cock, still standing to attention. Your hand fishes around inside his coat for a few seconds, fumbling to find the pocket that lines the inside, and when you do eventually find it, you pull out the little remote that controls the cock ring. Locking eyes with him, you press one of the buttons, 'accidentally' making it buzz at a higher frequency, as denoted by the louder hum, and Vergil's near pained expression. You swear you actually hear him murmur a low 'fuck', but you can't really be sure over the sound of your own heart racing.

"Oops," you chirp, teasing and coy before you switch it off entirely. Vergil is not unlike a balloon in the seconds that follow, his body sagging and deflating as he releases all of the tension in his taut muscles. Even above him, his arms go limp, falling as far to the ground as the handcuffs will allow as he breathes out a sigh of pure relief. After agonising minutes of that infernal vibrating and the memories of last week's stint, the sensation of… nothing, and the sound of silence is pleasurable in its own way. You say nothing as you reach forward, your fingers gently, so gently wrapping around him, immediately feeling just how eager he is for you in the way your hand so smoothly pumps up and down, the inside of your palm already coated with his musky fluids. But more so, you note Vergil's reaction to you grasping his dick, the urgency with which he thrusts into your hand, so desperate for the touch of something foreign that it already has you wet. With a quick glance out the corner of your eye, you confirm that he's watching you, jaw clenched and expression set in a stubbornness he only musters up when he knows you're looking at him.

It's rather cute, in a cheeky sort of way.

"Seems you've had a hell of a time out here by yourself though. I mean just look at this mess you've made…" With your unsullied hand, you curl a tress of your hair behind your ear before you dip down to lick one slow stripe up the length of his cock, gathering as much of his arousal onto your tongue as you go before engulfing the thick head entirely in your mouth. Vergil's legs tense up on your mattress as he shifts his weight from one side of his body to the other, and then back again while you continue to lave at him with your tongue, cleaning as much of his precum off him as you can. It's an endless task when it leaks so generously, letting you revel in the salty taste of him until you've had your fill, whenever that actually ends up being. The wet sounds of your mouth around him are intentional and deliberately loud so that he can hear you enjoy your feast in a litany of slurps and your own muffled mewls of delight when you take him deeper. A breathy gasp falls from his parted lips when you slowly pull off him, lips puckering around his glans in a lewd kiss as you lift your head up. A fog has once again misted up his eyes, clouding them from their usual clarity and judgement, but they still watch as your throat bobs once when you swallow a mouthful of his precum. Your own lips pull into a devious little smile as you swipe at them with the back of your hand, moving to once again straddle his thighs with an air of finality about you.

Vergil's pulse fluctuates almost to the point of giddiness when he sees you reach for his saviour - that lone condom wrapper still tucked into your bra - and the tempest in his blood only increases when he watches you tear it open with your teeth, rolling it into him tantalisingly slowly. When your deft fingers reach the base of his cock, you tease at the ring that still sits there, so snugly, gently twisting and fiddling with it. He knows better than to expect you to take it off him, but that doesn't mean he doesn't feel a sting of disappointment when you pull your hand back and situate yourself atop his pelvis, just like you did when... back when you first… when was that again? It feels so long ago now, an experience of a different man of a different time.

No, that's absurd, what on earth is he thinking? This whole thing is clearly making him delusional.

His attention snaps back to you when he feels your weight, familiar and somehow soothing after being left to his own devices, on top of him, once more sandwiching his shaft between both of your bodies. He flexes his arms in a slow rhythm, clenching his fists and contracting and releasing the muscles of his arms as a means to distract him from the heat and pressure of your cunt pressing down on him. The pleasure is intense, raw, forcing a hiss through gritted teeth, but it's a godsend after the last four, five… far too many minutes he endured in solitude. Having the skin on skin contact, the warmth of your body, your weight on him, even the teasing way you grind yourself along his length… all of it is preferable to the loneliness of that cock ring.

Rising up on your knees, your hand slides under you to gently grasp his length in your hand, lifting it to tease at your own entrance. You don't need to look at him to know he's watching - he's never been able to resist the lure of his cock slide in and out of you before, and starved for release as he is, you know his eyes are glued to the head of his cock nestled so agonisingly close to, but still very much not anywhere near where he wants to be. You nudge the very tip of him inside you before you let it go, your hand sliding up his sweaty body, feeling the muscles in his torso work underneath your fingers as he tries to keep himself from bucking into you. Fuck, why is that sort of restraint so sexy?

Even you're not sure how you still sound so playful when you're already dripping and ready for him, eyes watchful for every twitch in his expression. "Are you ready?"

Yes. Yesyesyesyes fuckyes .

"Ready for this to be over," Vergil replies, voice even despite his chest slowly heaving with each deep breath he takes.

You only chuckle quietly, bracing yourself against him with your arms while you let gravity do your work for you, sinking onto him in one smooth, languid motion. You haven't had the pleasure of having him fill you in weeks , which is a crying shame in its own right, and as soon as you're fully seated, as soon as your hips meet with his, you can't help the moan that tumbles from your lips at the sensation of having him inside you, stretching and filling you in the way that only he can do. It's no coincidence either that at the very same moment, Vergil bucks up to meet you with a breathless groan of his own, his arms pulling on the cuffs with enough force that the shelves they're still connected to strain from the exertion. At this rate, he may actually crack the plaster of the wall they're anchored to, but you can't bring yourself to care when you can feel him throb and twitch inside your heat.

Slowly, gently, you begin rocking your hips back and forth, wedging him inside you as far as you can possibly take him, making sure every glorious inch of him has the luxury of being squeezed by your cunt. Your hands slide down his chest, bracing themselves low against his abdomen to give you the leverage you need to start bouncing yourself on his cock. It's slow at first, soothing and gentle, but even those lazy movements are enough to have him bucking, panting, biting back his own pleasured huffs. His breaths are short and choppy, leaving him lightheaded, leaving him unable to think of anything other than how you're so hot and wet and slippery and tight and he is so, so close to coming undone. He can't bear the thought of another dry orgasm, that empty, unsatisfying burn in his cock as it throbs and bays for proper release, and yet it feels…

...good.

Why is it so fucking good?

"You have to tell me the truth, Vergil." Your own voice is strained, pitched, words panted between your own keening moans and short breaths as you fuck yourself on him, as you use him for your own pleasure. "What did you do with my panties after you left? I know you were desperate. I know how close you were."

Wait, why does he have to tell you the truth? He doesn't--

Oh you slippery, scheming little minx…

"I didn't--" Vergil's rasped sentence is punctuated by a sharp inhale, face heating to an uncomfortably warm point. "I didn't do anything to them."

"Then… then what about with them?" Your hips move faster, pressing the bulk of your weight onto his abs so you can bounce harder, deeper. "Fuck-- maybe even on them? If you can't tell me before I cum--" and that honestly might be sooner than expected, "--then we start this all over again." Fully seating yourself back onto his cock, your hips still, breathing shallow as you lean forward to hover your lips right by his ear.

"And I have all day."

Most of his senses have numbed by this point, lost to more immediately carnal desires, so the only reason he knows that your teeth have latched onto his ear lobe is because he can feel you pull on it as you sit back. Vergil has no idea when or even how or from where you pulled that cursed little remote, but suddenly it's in your hands again, and suddenly, the ring around his tender cock is buzzing back to life. When Vergil yanks on his bonds again with a curt cry, this time, it's hard enough that he bends the steel they've been looped around, stretching the cuff links to their very limits before he immediately (and forcefully) relaxes his arms.

You, meanwhile, can only smile, the display before you, under you, making you release another pitched moan as you rock yourself against his pelvis, the constant vibrations of the cock ring resonating within your own body, and, given how firmly pressed atop him you are, given the unusual, yet deliberate shape of it, it drones against your clit, fulfilling its other unique purpose of stimulation.

"You don't have long, Vergil." Not with the way your walls are beginning to clamp down on him, and certainly not with the way he's bucking up to meet you on your downward thrusts, so lost in pleasure that reeks of desperation. "Did you use them to get yourself off?"

"...yes." His voice is quiet, far too easily swallowed up by the wet slaps of skin on skin and the gentle clinking of metal chains, but it sends a rush through you nevertheless, convening at the apex of your thighs, which, for the record, are beginning to tingle from all the work they've been doing.

"Did you-- mmfuckVergil-- ...did you cum on them? Did you blow your load all over them?" Your own thoughts are beginning to race to match the pace you've set with your hips - a furious beat whose tempo only ever increases until it hits that glorious fever pitch.

"Yes." Vergil's face is burning, his back vaguely arching in an attempt to fuck deeper into you, to feel more of you bearing down on his oversensitive cock.

"Was it good?" Unlike Vergil who only has to pant out single word responses, you're forced to structure your words, and it's becoming increasingly harder to when you're right on the brink, your soft walls already beginning to flutter around him.

" Yes…! "

With a final cry, your own back arching, breasts peeking out from between the lapels of his coat, you cum hard . The intensity of it wracks your body in a series of jolts, and from your slackened mouth comes only curt puffs of air as your own voice melts away, drifting off with the rest of your bodily senses. The only thing you're aware of is that buzzing that nestles right against your clit, and the slow wiggle of your hips as you prolong your own orgasm with each insistent press of yourself down against him, triggering another wave of raw pleasurable spasms.

Underneath you, Vergil is an incoherent mess, his eyes are wrenched shut, expression fixed to one of utter concentration as he wills himself not to fall prey to another disappointing orgasm, even with the unforgettable sight and feel of you on top of him. He knew, he knew that he would revel in it, in seeing you work yourself hard on his cock, building yourself up to climax with harsh thrusts and grinding hips and breathless moans. So much in fact, that he had to tap into his well of demonic power to keep him from losing himself to your exotic throes. When he opens his eyes next, they're swathed in an ethereal, blue glow, spiking out from pupils that have long since blown wide, and the air around him ripples with an unseen pressure.

It's a look you don't think you'll ever forget, even in your current groggy and dizzy state.

When the pleasure begins to subside, when the buzzing starts to become numbing, you move to switch it off entirely, once again feeling Vergil go slack the very moment it does. He mutters a curse under his breath when you lift yourself up on shaky legs, gently grasping him by the base of his cock to slowly pull him out of you, your own whimpers joining the cadence of his voice, still feeling residual pleasure at the way your cunt still squeezes at him in protest. And for the last time, you let yourself fall back onto his thighs, boneless.

You give yourself a minute or two to catch your breath before you straighten yourself out again, weak fingers gently handling his cock. It's so red by now, twitchy and overworked, but still hard. You sigh in contentment as you slowly begin to work it off him, twisting it to and fro to softly ease it up over his sensitive length. Amidst the consistent, weak pulses, you can't be sure if the act of removing the cock ring alone made him cum again, but the density of the air, the sense of weight that it somehow possesses says he didn't.

And that's genuinely impressive.

When the cock ring is finally off, the demonic glow of his eyes dissipates, returning them to their usual washed out hue. They watch as you fling it onto your bedside table, not caring too much for the fact that it's completely covered in a mix of his precum and your slick.

"Are you okay?" The concern that laces your voice is, for the most part, genuine. Now that the rush of the moment is gone, you realise you did put him through quite a wringer with all of this.

Haha.

W ring er.

Vergil just grunts at you at first, his breathing beginning to even out now that usual blood flow has returned to his cock, and lord does it ache something fierce. "Just get me out of these handcuffs."

"Oh. Yeah, of course." With a faint sound of exertion, you kneel over him, blindly reaching out to your bedside table to feel around for the key you left up there. You're not so cruel as to shove your breasts into his face this time, but even with the respectable distance, Vergil can smell the sweat and arousal on you, mixed in with his own minty scent on his coat, and for a brief second, the haze returns to his eyes.

When he feels the iron on his wrists loosen, when they clatter to the floor, he lets his arms follow suit with a dull thud, relishing in his freedom for a moment and letting the blood return to his arms in a faint and rather muted tingle.

And then he moves.

Whether it's because you're so caught off guard - your surprised squeak would certainly indicate so - or whether he's simply too fast for you, too precise and calculated, you're on your stomach, sprawled on your mattress underneath him before you fully realise it. His rough handling of you has left his coat askew, dangling precariously off both your shoulders, and he watches the way your muscles faintly work under your skin when you realise what's happening, and what he's about to do. Bundling your pillow underneath your head, you work with him rather than against, smiling rather dopily into your pillow in anticipation as he shifts and maneuvers you into a position he likes - face down and ass up. He tosses the tails of his coat to one side, revealing your plush ass to him, and with the feeling returned to his fingers, Vergil runs the pads of two of them up the length of your slit, enjoying the silky wetness of your cunt.

"You're awfully compliant," he says, bracing his weight with one hand next to you and lining himself up at your entrance with the other. Vergil considers teasing at your folds, nudging and probing, but he doesn't think he has the patience for that at the moment. When he finally obtains his goal - when he finally is able to ejaculate for real - he wants it to be buried inside you. The mere prospect of it already has him trembling. "Was this part of your plan also?"

"Maybe."

That's all you're able to utter before Vergil thrusts forward, bottoming out completely in a single stroke. His other hand comes to rest on the other side of you, caging your body in underneath him in a rather ironic and literal turn of tables, and utilising that leverage, his thrusts are hard and full and true, with the purpose of seeking his own pleasure above yours. He deserves it after everything he just endured, doesn't he? His eyes are on the skin of your back, where his coat has fallen away, watching how the loose bra strap bounces on your shoulder every time he fucks into you, and he really can't help it now, uttering pleasured grunts and coarse moans with every snap of his hips against your ass.

Your teeth find the smooth material of your pillow case, sinking into it to muffle your own noises, because even exhausted as you are, there's something exceedingly sexy and primal in the way he's using your body to chase his own heights - the desperation of his feverish thrusts, those soft groans, that forceful hand he presses in between your shoulder blades when you try to move that pins you in place beneath him. All of it reignites a spark inside you, blooming into something so sinful and almost animalistic that your eyes really do roll backwards into your head and have you clutching at your pillow for dear life.

In more ways than the obvious, this man really is a demon.

Warmth floods your senses when Vergil lowers himself, pressing his sweaty forehead into your shoulder as his hips stutter, balls drawing tight, and with a shuddery moan, one that continues even after each puff of air into his lungs, he finally, finally gets to cum. His whole body is shaking from the anticipation of it, mind completely blanking when the ecstasy hits him with wave after wave of  mind numbing bliss. Slipping one arm underneath your midsection, he tugs your body up off the bed to meet with his as his other hand scrabbles at your hips to make sure that when you also reach your climax - and he knows you're about to - it's to him rocking his cock inside you in shallow thrusts. He wants you to milk him for every drop of pent up frustration that you've forced him to accrue, to take everything that he has to give you, latex barrier be damned. Vergil licks at the skin of your shoulder, rasping out groans that originate from deep in his throat, and hearing it so close, feeling it rumble through your back is oddly what pushes you back over the edge and straight into the arms of sin itself. You're drooling onto your pillow, clenching your jaw hard enough that it starts to ache, but that alone isn't enough to quell your quiet moans as you spasm around him, feeling him pulse and throb in the midst of your own clenching walls.

He stays inside you, slowly undulating his hips for what feels like entire minutes, riding out the remainders of his euphoric bliss with you clutched against him. His breathing, hot puffs against your back, begin to slow as the tempest that courses through his veins reduces to a tepid simmer. He should probably pull out, given how much cum he's certain he's released, but he stays buried inside you, gently rocking into you, listening to your tired breaths, and the wet squelch of your cunt. Vergil breathes out a gratified, satisfied sigh, releases the iron grip he has on your hip, only to slap his hand down against it again to give it a full palmed squeeze that makes you laugh in that sultry tone he likes.

"Are you okay now ?" You eventually ask.

"Yes."

Chapter Text

As it turns out, once was not enough for Vergil. Twice wasn't enough for Vergil. With the infernal ring no longer constricting him, his desires allowed to run rampant and unchecked, by the time he'd taken his fill of you, he'd gone through another two condoms and spilled one last time down your throat. You'll never forget the sound he made as his cock pulsed in your mouth that final time, a low, almost haggard groan rumbling from the base of his throat as he bundled more of your hair into his fist. The look on his face when you pulled off his cock with a wet pop and one final lick was equally satisfying - a blissful, boneless state of peace... at least until his eyes met yours again, backlit with a tinge of ferocity, almost as if in challenge. But you'd simply given his thigh a pat and told him that he'd paid his debt in full.

Truth be told, he'd worked off that five hundred back when you switched the vibration setting on for the first time. The low groan of tired metal pulling, the immediate pulling on the cuffs, the voluntary restraint he exhibited… you drank up every single one of his reactions. The only disappointing thing about today's turn of events is that unless he does something equally reckless (which you doubt), you don't think you'll ever be able to convince him to try anything like this again.

What a shame...

Your shower is running rather long today, but you feel you deserve it. The hot water, steaming and veritably scalding, is soothing on your body, easing the tension in your muscles and the rings of teeth marks that litter your back. Rough as he was with you, particularly in those final rounds, it isn't a pain you feel so much as that satisfying ache that always takes hold after a thorough workout; a warm burn that tells you that what just transpired was well worth the effort. You give a contented sigh, inaudible over the constant hiss of the shower, thanking the heavens above for whatever stars they aligned just so that convinced Vergil to take you up on your brazen statement all those months ago. He truly has ruined you for other men. Or ruined other men for you. Whichever. The semantics aren't important - you just hope that he'll keep coming back to your bed.

Or to bed you.

Semantics again. Whatever.

With a towel draped over your shoulders to catch any wayward droplets from your hair, you emerge from your bathroom with a trail of steam behind you in nothing but a towel, your steps coming to an abrupt stop when you see Vergill still present. He's normally long gone by the time you've showered - the typical routine being that he cleans himself up first, considering he's the one who has to travel - yet you find him sitting on your couch, fully dressed, sans his coat, as if he is ready to leave. But his pose is relaxed with one ankle crossed over his opposite knee, one arm resting along the backrest. In his other hand is the old orange book you were 'reading' earlier while you were ah… sitting on his face. It's a tome detailing the delicate balance and intricacies of demonic synthesis, and how to bind such volatile ingredients without negative feedback. In plainer words, it's a book talking about how easy it is to get it wrong.

"You're still here…" You don't know why, but you clutch at the front of your towel to preserve your modesty - a move you don't fully understand yourself considering he's seen far worse. Or is it better? Bah... In hindsight, your observation comes across as rather… dumbfounded and rather dull, but what else could you have said?

Lifting the book in his hands a little higher, Vergil indicates his reason to you with a brief wave of it. "These are difficult texts," he announces without so much as a glance up at you, "how long did you say you were studying all this for?"

"Umm…" The ends of the towel around your shoulders drop from your hands, half in thought, half out of surprise. "A couple months? It was something of a New Year Resolution for me, so I started around the time we uh. You know… hooked up."

Vergil looks up at you now. "Any progress?"

"Yes and no," you admit, perhaps a little too carefree and a little too easily considering the stress it's been causing you. With a vague tilt of your head, you peer over your shoulder at that door in the hallway you disappeared into earlier to store the day's haul. The door you have always deliberately kept closed since Vergil started paying visits to your home, just to maintain a little privacy. A little secrecy. He's thankfully never questioned you on it before, but it remains to be seen whether that's because he doesn't care to know, or if he's simply never noticed it before. "I've managed to slap together a little workstation with materials we have on hand in the city. Had to order some parts in from your neck of the woods too, actually, and I have all the components I need for my first project, it's just…"

"Just…?" His prompt falls on deaf ears, eyes watchful when all you do instead is fold your arms across your chest. The additional support underneath your breasts gives him a rather pleasing view, though one that he appreciates aesthetically rather than sexually - he's well and truly sated in that regard. Well, at least for a few days. A week at the most.

Your index finger taps your upper arm almost impatiently. "Promise me you won't tell anybody about any of this."

Vergil recalls that brief moment in Agnus' lab - it somehow feels like it was weeks go rather than mere hours. "Have I not done that already?"

"You did… then you left me with a joke that makes me think you weren't taking me seriously, so promise me again." There's a look on your face that he's never seen before, something grave and a little worried that belies a sense of urgency. "And better this time."

He spends a long time trying to decipher your expression, wondering why it resonates with him. Until he remembers he doesn't need to just wonder. Closing the tome in his hands, Vergil sets it aside to turn his full attention to you. "Then tell me why this is so important to you."

It takes you a moment to realise what he's actually asking you to do, but when the realisation dawns on you, your weight shifts restlessly from one foot to the other, fingers still tap, tap, tapping at your arm. " This is what you're cashing your question in for?"

Vergil leans forward onto his knees, suddenly interested. "If you're so reluctant to answer me under regular circumstances without the use of our agreed upon arrangement, then yes. That's a normal reaction to have, wouldn't you agree?" For once, you don't take the bait, merely watching him again with that look . He's been privy to a range of expressions and emotions from you recently, ones he didn't think you were capable of feeling - fear, insecurity… all things that are more telling of you as a person than the words that come out of your mouth. Not to say that you've lied to him, but words can be indirect and vague, whereas every twitch in your brow, even the frown that tugs at your lips, hints at an honest and direct truth. Every new expression he unveils tells a story he wants to read. Merely because he's curious.

Just curious...

You click your tongue once, rather annoyed at yourself for not having the foresight to consider that this might happen when you oh-so-casually made the original proposition. One truthful answer to one question per sexual encounter, with no exceptions… You never thought Vergil would think to pry into your life like this, but to your credit, you never thought you'd ever be in any position to call him a friend either. That alone is already so far beyond your expectations that it should be no wonder you weren't able to predict this outcome.

You expel a lung full of air and raise your head high - a thinly veiled attempt at exuding a confidence you do not feel - and then you begin your reluctant explanation, eyes somber and voice subdued. "...I have to live up to the version of me that Nero sees. When he talks about Fortuna and how far it's come, I want to exist in that backdrop." You don't know why you can't bring yourself to look at Vergil when you say this. Is it because he's his father? That's ridiculous, they aren't even close. And yet your hands are looking for something, anything, to fidget with, to serve as a physical outlet for they anxiety that brews within you. In the end, you make do with twisting one end of the towel you have around your shoulders. "Nobody in Fortuna was--" no, that isn't quite right, is it? " I wasn't good to him. The only people who were were Kyrie and her family. Because he was different, you know? Nobody knew where he came from and nobody accepted responsibility for him. He was an outcast and an outsider, and we hated him for it. But when the Saviour Incident happened, he stepped up because he had something he wanted to protect. Even if it was just one single thing, he had something that anchored him to this city. Do you know where I was when all of that happened?"

You somehow manage to wrangle up the courage to meet with Vergil's studious gaze, feeling that you have to. To do any less would be an insult to Nero, to one of your closest friends for almost six years. But it's now that Vergil really gets to see the abundance of mixed emotions in your eyes, the curve of your brow, the frown that mars your face… He sees hurt. Shame. Regret. More stories he wants to know the full meaning of.

He's just curious…

He just wants to know for the sake of it...

"Sure, I helped in rounding up all the civilians and ushering them to safety. But when legions of demons poured out of those hellgates, I took off my uniform, clutched my sword and hid." You clench the towel in your fist, squeezing it until the muscles in your hand howl in silent protest. In contrast to that, your voice is so small and so weak. It's a recollection, a revelation that not many are privy to - not even Nico knows - and had your then playful 'one truthful answer' arrangement with Vergil never come to light, that's likely how it would have stayed. "'I never asked for this'. 'I deserve better than this'. 'I don't want to die for this stupid city'. That was how I felt back then, so when shit hit the fan, I laid low, and I hid. And when demons found me, and they always did, I ran again."

Running… hiding… that feeling of helplessness...

A thoughtful, wistful look crosses Vergil's face as the memories of a lost and wandering boy wash back over him, seeping into old wounds and coaxing them back to life with a dull ache. He isn't surprised that such a thing is prevalent in this world, especially here in Fortuna of all places, but he is surprised to hear it come from you. He thinks back on your reckless behaviour; the way you launched yourself at those Assaults in Fortuna Castle; the way you tried to shove your way into a moving van; the way you didn't even think to bring a goddamn rope with you only just today . Based on everything he's seen you do, and what little he knows of you, he never would have pegged you as a coward.

Strange that, because it takes one to know one, after all.

"When things settled down, I couldn't bear to be in the city anymore. People hated the Order, and I didn't want them to hate me ." Another bitter, empty laugh. "Sounds stupid, right? The one who did the picking on can't handle the heat herself - textbook schoolyard bully. I wanted to leave Fortuna, head out to the mainland and just… do literally anything else with my life, but Nero came and stopped me. Said that I was the last of the old Order knights. I guess everybody else was either dead or had already left. But he said he could use my help in keeping the city safe. That everybody who chose to, or had to stay deserved a second chance. Even me." Whether in defeat or relief at having aired some of your dirty laundry, you sag against your dining table and bury your head in your hands. You'd come to terms with your past actions long ago, but speaking it aloud is a far different experience to simply tossing and turning it over and over and over in your own mind. Verbalising it all makes the consequences feel so much more real . "If I didn't hate your son as much as I did back then, if I wasn't carrying around so much of that fickle Fortuna pride, I'd probably have started crying."

Vergil still doesn't speak, listening to what is far and away the most heartfelt thing he's ever heard come out of your mouth since he started regularly seeing you in complete silence. In solidarity. He admittedly has trouble picturing you being openly hostile towards Nero in any sort of real capacity, especially considering the constant exchanges of playful banter, but he has to remember that it's been a long time since then. Six years is plenty of time for people to change, and having undergone something so similar, having humility so brutally and forcefully bestowed upon him in one mere month as V, he thinks he can understand what you mean by all this. Vergil knows first hand that his son is… special. That he is the sum of all of his experiences, and all for the better rather than the worst. But perhaps most poignant of all is the realisation that you are not so different from himself. Though of different origins and upbringing, you are both bound to the same person on a common ground, the both of you tethered by the same chains;  one of self loathing, and the other, an unshakeable respect for just one person…

"He didn't have to, and I didn't deserve it, but he gave me an honest chance at starting over. So if I can't live up to Nero's expectations of me, if I'm not strong enough to watch his back, then what am I even doing here, right? That's why this is so important to me." A beat, and then you laugh again, but this time there's a little more energy in it. "God, I can't believe I just told you any of that." You shake your head and let your hands drop back down to your sides. You're not really bitter at having told him any of what you did, and it certainly isn't regret that you feel. It's… yes, relief. Relief that he doesn't seem to think any less of you in spite of hearing all of this. That's another thing about Vergil that's surprised you today. "A heart to heart about your son right after exhaustive sex isn't really… I want to say, normal? Guess we both kinda really suck at this friendship thing."

"One might say that having already bore witness to… less scrupulous things about one another, it facilitates the ease at which all of this comes." With a squeak of leather, one that you can't tell whether it originates from Vergil or your couch, he gets to his feet and makes his way over to you.

His attempts to smooth things out with you and defuse the tension don't go unnoticed, because you find yourself smiling a little more genuinely as you both fall back into a more comfortable routine. It's strangely easy to do with him, something about his quiet nature promoting a tranquil calm. "Again with the nerdy, pretentious speech. You know you can just say that it's easier because we've seen each other naked, and it'd still get the point across, right?"

"Maybe, but that would be too easy. You said it yourself - we're both simply fumbling about in the dark." Vergil says, a playful gleam in his eye. It dissipates as suddenly as it had appeared though, when he cranes his head towards that single closed door in the hall. "Now show me your progress."

But rather than moving towards the room, you hold your ground, your arms still folded across your chest. "You still haven't promised though."

Vergil rolls his eyes in an exaggerated manner before he drawls out a halfhearted vow. "I promise I won't tell anybody."

Well that was… rather pathetic. Your eyes narrow at him, as menacingly as you can muster, clearly unconvinced. "On pain of death?"

He half turns to glance over his shoulder towards your bed on the floor. Particularly at that unassuming set of drawers you keep by it. "On pain of whatever other hellish little devices you keep in that forsaken drawer." And just in case he hasn't sold you on it, he adds as an afterthought: "And for what it's worth, I'm of the opinion that everything within it should be cast onto a pyre and burned."

"Pff--" You try to hold your amusement back, you really do, but the smile that spreads across your face, and the laughter that bubbles from your lips proves to be an unstoppable, contagious force - even Vergil finds himself smiling. "Okay, fair enough. Come on."

Slipping past him, you reach for his coat, draped over the back of a chair as you go, and sling it around your shoulders. When you catch him raising an eyebrow at you, you give him a shrug. "What? There are volatile substances in there, and I'm not wearing much. It's hazardous."

It's a justifiable excuse, and one that saves you from having to tell him that it's comfortable, even if the coattails drag along the floor behind you. By the time you've finished situating yourself, tugging at the sleeves that extend past your hands, surrounded by the scent of him, you've reached the foreboding door. There's nothing about it that sets it apart from anything else in your apartment - it's just another door - yet Vergil, ever curious, always wanting to know , can't help but feel anticipation when your hand closes over the handle. It culminates in a perceived rush of air that greets him when you push it open, the smell of iron and something otherworldly and organic taking over his senses.

The room is somehow even more, but also remarkably less messy than the rest of your apartment, giving the impression of an organised mess than a careless one. Tables line each of the walls, on top of which are a vast range of jars and vials, arranged in tiers and all labelled and sealed. A plethora of papers and folders and books litter almost every inch of free space on these tables, arranged far too meticulously to have been the result of an indiscriminate toss. On them, Vergil can make out scribbled notes among printed words, and many, far too many, brown rings - residual coffee stains from the bottom of a mug. Jerry cans marked with 'DISTILLED WATER' in what he presumes to be your handwriting occupy the space underneath the tables, all lined up neatly with several cartons of paint stripper beside a small bar fridge. Based on his cursory knowledge of demonic alchemy, Vergil assumes that perishable components are stored within for safe keeping. The paint stripper however is a little lost on him - it's a little too caustic for alchemical purposes, isn't it?

But speaking of safe keeping, an imposing safe occupies one corner of the room. From within it, Vergil feels a familiar buzz from deep within him - the shard of the Yamato that Nero entrusted to you is kept locked inside, and unless his senses are leading him astray, it sits alongside a host of other items of import too, all of varying levels of power and intrigue. He senses something else too, and his eyes trail upwards towards the floating shelves mounted into the walls above the tables. Atop these are what he can only presume are trophies. Skulls of Assaults and Frosts, and even the elongated nail of a Mephisto. But what draws Vergil's eyes the most is the line of helmets, all based off a design he is far too intimately familiar with to possibly be comfortable.

The Angelos.

Bianco, Alto, Scudo, Proto. They all watch him from above through empty visors as nothing but poor and failed attempts at recreating the infamous Nelo. Though all differ in their design, with the Bianco and Alto offering a more sleek and streamlined look (that was, as he recalls, a deliberate choice on the Order's part), it's the curved horns on each helmet that give away their origin - the Proto being the most chillingly accurate of them all.

At his sides, his hands ball into tight fists. The very image of these… these insults to his suffering awakening an anger he hasn't felt in an age, making his jaw clench and his breaths fall in rapid, erratic puffs. But before the faint ringing of hollow armour resonates too deeply inside his own head, Vergil forcefully tears his eyes away, takes one slow breath, and looks over to you, where you stand by a structure of your own making, and perhaps is easily the most impressive thing in the room. Its stature is thankfully a welcome distraction from the visors that still leer at him from on high.

It's a cacophony of glass tubing, valve handles, and sealed beakers supported on custom-made wooden framing, all converging into a lone steel, seemingly heavy duty vessel at the forefront. There are gauges attached to this device(?), showing readings for measurements he doesn't yet understand, but another series of tubing snakes behind the container, leading out the nearby window. For venting pressure? Steam? One or the other. Though complex in its design, when Vergil looks a little closer at it, he notices the uncoordinated nature of it more and more - something in how it's arranged feels unplanned, with bits and pieces added as afterthoughts as opposed to one complete system. And yet...

"You gathered and assembled all of this yourself?" He doesn't bother hiding the fact he's rather impressed, having always been a firm believer in credit where it's due, because he's clearly underestimated your dedication to your work. And perhaps it isn't just him. Nobody else knows of any of this - you've diligently kept everything you've been doing under metaphorical lock and key, a pursuit of strength and knowledge hidden from the prying eyes of others until the time is right. Whenever that ends up being. This passion of yours, this hardworking and careful nature, evident in the way you've assembled your own alchemical workstation, in the very fact you've given up what was clearly once your own bedroom to convert into such, yet kept hidden behind casual banter and feigned ignorance is surprisingly pleasant.

He can't help but respect that.

You twist at one of the nozzles, tap at another gauge, frowning when the red needle on the display doesn't move. "Yeah. Although 'gathered' is probably overstating it." Standing right on the tips of your toes, you lean over the metal capsule and tinker with something out of Vergil's sight. "My bed wasn't always a mattress on the floor, you know, but it was a free and accessible supply of timber, so... I dismantled it and repurposed it."

Your attention is still on your crudely assembled set up, so you miss the slow, understanding nod of his head - you'd even given up your own furniture to put all of this together. "While admirable, I'd like to remind you that not even Dante lives like that."

Sleeping on the floor, he means.

Vergil hears something click, and then you're stooping back over to poke at the same gauge again, this time humming when, with a quiet hiss, the needle falls within an area you've drawn on with a marker. He assumes that's a good thing, because you stand back up again, returning to your regular height with a quick dusting of your hands… all over his coat. He frowns.

"Don't act all surprised when you know how tight money is." You throw him a pointed look over your shoulder. "Why do you think I got so up in arms over five hundred dollars? I have more important things to be spending my money on than property damage. And besides," you wait for his eyes to meet yours before you continue, "I never hear you complain when you're in it."

Vergil laughs. Well, not so much laughs as barks out one sarcastic 'hah', but you'll take it. "I would argue that my attention is elsewhere during those times, but that would be playing to your ego, and I believe you've had enough of that for one day." He comes to stand by you, his fingers and then his eyes skimming the assortment of notes that lie in front of your creation, taking in key words as he moves from piece to piece.

--under pressure.

Balance.

Instability.

Vital Star.

Both of his brows arch skyward. "Your first project is a Vital Star?"

"Yeah…" You sound meek in comparison to mere moments ago. A little unsure. "They're rare, but obviously useful to me, since I don't have that weird healing you guys do. Not having much progress though. Like I said before, I have everything I need, it's just that I'm worried it won't turn out right, you know? The conditions for synthesis of a Vital Star are really stringent and need to be perfect, or else according toooooo--" lowering your eyes, you follow in Vergil's prior example, skimming each document with both your fingertips and your eyes until you finally reach the right piece. Pinching a corner of it between your index finger and thumb, you pull it free and hold it out to him, "-- this , you wind up with imperfect stars, and those present a whole host of other problems. It's why they're so hard to find even on the black market, and when you do , they cost a fortune - high risk, high reward, high price."

Vergil takes the document you're dangling in front of his face, noting the burnt, crisp edges, and the sigil of the Order that adorns the top corner - all of the notes you've been referencing are all official Order documents. Suddenly, and with a piercing clarity, he realises this is why your home is near covered with an assortment of folders and books and tomes. Why it's more shelves and filing cabinets than actual furnishings (beyond those you've dismantled to create the frame of your work station, at any rate). He remembers you telling him that Dante and Nero cleaned out the Order HQ after the Saviour Incident, reclaiming years and years of research and weapon blueprints, he just never thought that all of it would be here and under your watch.

In hindsight, perhaps he should have known - he'd asked once before about the whereabouts of all the pillaged knowledge, but the only answer he was given at the time was that none of it was at the orphanage. And there is no grand library or archive in Fortuna anymore either - both of those are situated in a segment of the city that has yet to be cleared, and that's assuming anything within them is even salvageable in the first place. He doesn't think sensitive material of this nature belongs in such a public space anyway, so easily accessible to anybody curious. So of course it would be somewhere close and with someone trusted.

You.

He snaps back to the present with a series of blinks, focusing back on the slip of paper in his hands. You've done all the hard work for him, highlighting relevant passages in a bright yellow, leaving annotations on the side where necessary. It's messy, the writing sitting at an awkward to read slant, but he finds he rather likes the arbitrary placement. It somehow feels more genuine. What he reads however, is not so warming - the side effects of imperfect Vital Stars are a nuisance at best and permanently debilitating at worst, and the only real way to know is to test it. There is too much that can go wrong, and too much that can occur as a result.

"So yeah," you take the enlightened look on Vergil's face as your signal to continue, "that's why I've been wringing my hands over actually getting started. I have to make absolutely sure the conditions are perfect, because-- okay hang on, let me give you a quick run down on how this all works--"  you lean forward to touch at each of the glass containers above the steel vessel, "--so each component goes into each of these with a bit of distilled water to act as a lubricant. Gets it all moving, you know." Your fingers skim down the adjoining pipes where you tap at the enclosed capsule, producing a hollow ring that echoes from within. "Gravity feeds it into the capsule at the bottom here over the course of about an hour, and that's where it all bonds under heat and gravitational pressure, roughly at around one point eight times that on earth. Apparently that's the gravity situation in the Underworld? Not sure how anybody ever figured that one out, so who really knows, but it has to be exactly that or the materials don't properly bond and I might end up growing a demonic limb, or an extra three fingers or something. And that sounds fun, but isn't the sort of thing you can just explain away."

"And so you've been wringing your hands over all of this ever since?" Though posed as a question, the neutral air of it has it that you can't really tell what Vergil's thinking as his eyes continue to skim the paper in his hands, darting from side to side as he takes the presented information in at a rather impressive pace. When he's finished, he places the scrap back down in its original position, his fingers tapping at your table in thought as he seemingly turns something over and over in his head. The question is already poised in his mind, already sitting right at the tip of his tongue, but the struggle lies in giving it a voice. For a few more seconds, he stands there with his lips parted, his eyes conveying a sense of confusion and frustration at why he can't seem to speak. In the end, the only reason he does is because you prompt him with a questioning tilt of your head and furrowed brow.

"If you'd like," he begins tentatively, "I can be of some assistance to you." It isn't quite the same as what he'd had in his head, looking at your reaction, you've already pieced together his true intentions.

It's your turn to to raise your eyebrows at him now, studying his face for any sign that he's kidding - a quirk of his lips, a playful flash in his eyes - but you don't notice any of his usual tells. In fact, he seems dead serious about his proposal. "You mean you want to help me with this?"

His eyes meet yours in earnest. "Is that strange?"

"Coming from you, and without any rhyme or reason? A little bit, I guess. You know you're totally off the hook about the property damage now, right? Did I make that clear enough?"

"You did." A flat, deadpan edge creeps into Vergil's tone of voice. "But I want to see for myself how far you go with this. You may have already heard, but I was once keen on the pursuit of power, even if toward... unfortunate ends. Those days are behind me now, but seeing that growth in others is something that's of interest to me."

What Vergil doesn't say is that his interest lies in wishing to further understand himself - to compare himself to others, to see what drives them in the hopes that… maybe he can draw from that sort of inner strength too.

"Besides," he continues unabated, but his tone is sly, "if you were to end up with an extra limb, it would make our joint ventures cumbersome, to say the least. I might even have to call it off entirely."

With an offended (but exaggerated) gasp, you lift your hand to swat at his upper arm.





Though not overly skilled in alchemy, at least in comparison to your exhaustive studying for the past few months, having Vergil around to bounce ideas off of has admittedly been a blessing to you - it not only helps to solidify what you already know, but he also provides a crucial outsider's perspective. His questions to you fall more in line with basic fundamentals, but in alchemy, particularly when handling such fickle materials, moving on to more involved processes such as the funnelling of raw demonic power requires complete mastery of the basics.

The minuscule margin of error such tasks grant don't allow for careless mistakes, and should something go wrong, it wouldn't be just your pride on the line.

"Stop shaking your foot," he scolds. Even though situated on your couch, Vergil can see your leg twitching out the corner of his eye. You're lying on your back on your bed, staring impatiently up at the ceiling with your ankle crossed over your knee. A motion borne of anxiety and restlessness, it twitches and bounces in what people often dub as 'the poor man's shake'.

"I can't help it, okay, I'm nervous!" So you say, but the infernal bouncing does come to a stop. In its stead though, you roll onto your side to look at Vergil on your couch. He's shuffling through some of your notes, something he's been rather keen on doing in the subsequent visits to your home ever since you agreed to let him assist you, burying himself in folders and crisp tomes with a studious air you're not surprised he has. On some occasions, it even seemed as though he had more interest in reading than in you , having had to call his name several times in succession to even get his attention, and rather than a sexual partner, you think maybe you should have enlisted him a study partner instead… There's a gentle rustle as Vergil secures the paper clip back onto the corner of the documents, then a soft pap as he tosses it onto your dining table. Though the shaking was an annoyance to behold, he can't fault you for falling to it - you have every reason to be jittery.

"If synthesis is a success, what will you do next?" His question is idle, and deliberately so, aiming to distract and soothe. To take your mind off what is literally brewing in the next room.

You tuck one of your arms under your head to prop it up a little higher as you think. "I don't really know," you admit, gaze trailing listlessly off to the side, "haven't thought about it much."

"Is that so?" Vergil pretends to busy himself with a frayed seam on his worn gloves. He isn't really picking at it, moreso simply twirling the loose strand between his fingers. "Because I've seen the concepts you've been working on."

Immediately, you bolt upright and fold your legs beneath you, snapping at him with a sudden and incredulous agitation. "You've been snooping around my stuff? What the hell, Vergil?!"

However, in the face of your storm, he is the very image of calm. "Don't be ridiculous," his chiding is gentle, poised, "it can hardly be called snooping when your designs litter the margins of your notes like a middle schooler. It's a weapon, isn't it?"

Defeated, you flop back down onto your bed, spreading out your arms and legs. "Yes. Vital Stars are imperative for me to have, but that's what my ultimate goal is." The staring up at your ceiling continues. "Unlike you guys, my strength is limited to a certain point. After that, no matter how much I try, my physical abilities will plateau, and unless I keep finding new ways to keep up, I'll be left in the dust."

"And you don't want that…" Vergil doesn't pose that as a question, merely letting it hang in the air as a neutral statement

You're about to answer him, but from the next room comes a high pitched ding of a timer going off, making the both of you immediately turn towards it, though you are miles more snappy than he is. The ring of the bell sounds almost identical to what one would find on an oven, but that's because… well, that's exactly where you pulled it from. You sit up again, drawing in a shaky breath, anxiously meeting Vergil's eyes.

"Well?" He prompts, somehow feeling a faint excitement, an eagerness in witnessing the fruits of your labour and stress. But he won't move until you do. It only seems right that you be the one to see the results first.

You scramble to your feet and head into the other room, palms already sweaty and heart hammering violently. The room is humid when you enter, proof that the lone pipe that funnels out the window isn't adequate ventilation on its own. That's fine, you'll rethink the layout of your workstation later, what's more important to you right now is the sealed iron receptacle and what (hopefully) lies inside it. The air around the pressurised container quivers and warps, and the gauges that indicate the readings from within have fogged over - visual proof of the immense heat that swirls within. You step up to it as Vergil emerges in the room, a nervous hand reaching for the valve handle at the top to turn it with both hands, listening as it depressurises and funnels the excess steam out the window. There must be a small leak somewhere - a tubule that hasn't been properly sealed - because a tiny jet of steam seeps through. It's such a minor amount, surely not enough to cause an issue, but it worries you nonetheless, paranoia and anxiety coming together and making you wonder if the gravitational forces, the pressure, the heat inside the container was constant enough to expedite the process. If it wasn't, you know that the results of irregular pressure can vary quite wildly.

Compromised structural integrity.

Instability.

Deformation of the final product.

You hope that if anything, it's the latter.

You pray that if anything, it's just the latter.

When the hissing stops, you undo the latches that hold the container closed, flipping them open with practiced ease. And swallowing down a hard lump in your throat, you pull open the door.

Lying at the bottom of the chamber, still steaming, is a translucent green star. It's asymmetrical in its shape, each of the five spokes jutting out at slightly different angles and thicknesses and lengths, but that's normal for a Vital Star - the individual components bond in such a way that during the final stretch of synthesis, in one last ditch attempt to break free, they try to escape one another, pulling in different directions.

The faces that sometimes form on their fronts, locked into twisted expressions of pain, are a reflection of this very fact.

You let out a laugh, a soft relieved noise, because from what you can tell, it looks… normal. Perfectly normal. Gingerly, you reach for it with a quivering hand, unable to help the eager smile that spreads across your face in a mix of elation and relief. What on earth were you so worried about? It seems so foolish in hindsight. You'd spent so long studying, poring over old notes, cross referencing different sources, so of course you'd be rewarded. Of course it would pay off--

A crack splits the air, like the sound of splintering glass. Both you and Vergil hear it at the same time, but just like that moment in Fortuna Castle, his reaction precedes yours, yet is still too slow. The Vital Star rattles at the bottom of the chamber for a brief second, hairline cracks splitting the tormented face of it right in half, then with a short pop, it bursts in a rain of glittering green shards.

That singular moment is when you learn that failed aspirations have a cutting edge - tens of pinpricks biting into your outstretched hand like shards of broken glass.

Strangely though, it doesn't hurt nearly as much as the dejection that comes with failure.

Chapter Text

Your apartment is silent.

The fridge hums.

The lights buzz.

There is a gentle clinking as Vergil pulls tiny green shards from your hand with a pair of tweezers, dropping them carefully onto a metal tray.

And yet your apartment is eerily silent.

You and Vergil sit on opposite ends of your dining table. Your hand is outstretched between the two of you, serving as a bridge, the only point of contact as you press your face into the nook of your other arm. The hurt you're feeling comes from something a little less tangible than the countless slivers that have embedded themselves into your hand, leaving a rather dull ache in comparison. No, the bulk of what you feel originates from somewhere in your chest instead - a palpable disappointment in yourself that's left you a boneless, listless heap that only vaguely resembles a person.

Vergil had strode across the room the very second he heard the cracking, feeling an erratic spike in demonic power emanating from the Vital Star. But still a little too late, and he did the only thing he could think of to do in the few seconds he had to act - he stepped between you and exploding star, shielding you from a rain of glass. And while he bore the brunt of most of the shattering star (and sustaining little to no injury in the process, the shards harmlessly swept off his skin with a casual brush of his hand afterwards), your hand had been hovering right over it, almost close enough to touch. You didn't let on about any pain though, didn't cry out, not even in surprise. And now, with your head buried in your arm, you sit in complete and unnerving silence. Vergil realises that without the tells that hide in your face, the microexpressions that leave a trail of bread crumbs for him to follow back to your increasingly labyrinthine thoughts, he's surprisingly lost. And perhaps even a little bit annoyed. That, however, he keeps under wraps.

"This next one is lodged in deep." He murmurs absently, angling his head a little lower to provide a closer perspective on what he's doing. Though you haven't given him any outward indication of being in any pain, it's still something he'd like to forewarn you about - the absolute last thing he needs is for you to flinch in surprise and smack him in the face.

"...that's what she said." Comes your mumbled, muffled reply, slurred together by virtue of the fact that you still refuse to lift your face from the crook of your arm. But faint as it is, Vergil can hear the despondence in your voice, the utter lack of energy behind it. And as earnest an attempt it was to fool around, he sighs, completely unamused, lowering the hand still holding the tweezers until it rests on the surface of the table. Far be it from someone like him, rife with his own flaws, to rush somebody through their own processes, but he feels he's been patient enough. Although Vergil is quiet in his own right, with a particular fondness for the stillness of tranquility, he doesn't like the sound of your silence - he may be adept at reading people, seeing the words written between the lines in an unseen ink, but without any cues from you at all, he's… rather unsettled. Nervous.

"How long do you plan on sulking like this for? It's unsightly."

Your response this time comes in the form of you craning your neck to stare up at him with deadpan eyes, offering him nothing but a grunt before you resume your original position; flaccid and facedown. This only prompts Vergil to click his tongue at you, some of that earlier annoyance finally seeping through to the surface. He grips your hand a little tighter, his fingers pressing into your wrist in an attempt to perhaps physically coerce a response out of you. When that doesn't work, he resorts to something a little more drastic.

And just a touch petty.

With the tweezers, he pinches the fleshy expanse of your palm underneath your thumb and twists, resulting in you jolting upright with a surprised yelp. Your involuntary jerk has your knees colliding with the underside of the table, and atop it, the tray holding green slivers of debris clangs rather noisily, but no more than you.

"DAMNIT VERGIL--" It isn't necessarily the pain that forces the cry from you - it really was little more than a pinch - but the abundance of nerves that are clustered within the inside of your palm makes the sting all the more potent, forcing tears to bunch up in the corners of your eyes.

Yet Vergil is nonchalant. "How long do you plan on sulking like this for?" He asks again, as if nothing had occurred. His free hand slides smoothly over to the tray, pulling it back towards him after your sudden jolt shifted it an entire inch and a half to the left. Physically deflating, you drop back onto the table, but this time, you rest your chin on your arm to watch as he gets back to work on your hand, your lips set in a stubborn pout. His movements are slow, but precise and methodical, keen eyes missing not even one splinter.

It's then that you notice he's taken his gloves off, likely finding it easier to maneuver such a small pair of tweezers without the additional hindrance of worn leather. It isn't surprising how dextrous he is - you're ah... intimately aware of how skilled he is with his hands among other things - but you've never taken notice of his long fingers before. Or how gentle they are when he sweeps his thumb over the inside of your palm to smooth out your skin, feeling around for the edge of another shard. But what it is that you're ultimately surprised by is how you can't seem to look away - the motions he makes with his hands are almost as mesmerising as they are tender...

At least until Vergil taps at the fleshy underside of your thumb with the tweezers again, poising the tip of it over the soft skin of your palm - a wordless threat that you know he'll act on if you continue to avoid his question. And so with a sigh, you grumble, "probably at least through the rest of the day."

Your answer is met with silence at first, and then he leans back a little in his seat, straightening out his back and tilting his neck from side to side to ease some of the accrued fatigue with a litany of faint pops. Then he turns his full attention back onto you, lips pursed. "Over one failure? Of what will undoubtedly be many?" In contrast to his gentle hands, his voice is firm, perhaps even a little too abrasive for your current mood. "You knew this wouldn't be easy, were aware of and studied the complications for months, and yet you expected success on your first attempt? I have to admit I'm disappointed in you." With a fixed, piercing stare, Vergil pins you down with not just his hands, but with a mere look that denotes his sheer sense of presence. But where you're expecting derision, there is instead a sort of sincerity in his eyes. A glimmer of something earnest and rather heartfelt. "And that in itself is something I didn't think I would need to be, with regard to you."

More than anything else, it's the sting of shame, the heavy notion that you've let somebody down, that has you tearing your eyes and only your eyes away to stare blankly into your kitchen, taking in only abstract shapes as opposed to actual recognisable objects. Your natural instinct is to move, to pull back and curl in on yourself, but your hand is still being held in place by his own, anchoring you to the spot. Vergil can feel the pull of your arms though, can perhaps sense it coming, which is why he grips your wrist a little firmer, but that just makes you flinch back from him all the more. "Now that you don't owe me anything, you're getting a bit too big for your britches." You blink back up at him, reaching within yourself beyond the shame and going for stubborn instead, the opposite end of the spectrum. Extremities are what you deal in, after all - the 'all or nothing' mentality being something you picked up from Nero as the years went by. "Sure are picking a hell of a time to start being a dick again, aren't you?"

For a moment, Vergil looks genuinely perplexed. "Is that what this sounds like to you?" Your expression sours as you steel yourself for what's to come, gritting your teeth and setting both feet flat on the floor, almost ready to spring up and out of your chair if you need to. And, anticipating that the metaphorical shoe has yet to drop, Vergil leans forward slightly, placing a particular emphasis on his next words to you. "I'm saying you shouldn't give up so easily."

Your body stills as you suck in a sharp breath. It's momentary, involuntary, the dispelling of the fight or flight instinct that was beginning to coil within you, but for just a second, your fingers briefly curl over his hand in your palm, giving it a gentle squeeze before they flinch back open again. "I know you're right," you admit quietly, "it just… feels like I've wasted my time. Like I'm doing this for nothing, you know?" Does he know? Can he even understand what you mean?

Wordlessly, Vergil returns to his work in front of him: removing the last of the green splinters from your hand. "Your ambitions should not be so fickle that one or two failures are enough to deter you - doing so would be undermining all of your struggles and efforts since the turn of the new year. Is this what you deconstructed your own furniture for? That's ridiculous. Not to mention…" Vergil hesitates here, voice falling away into uncertainty. But he pulls himself together with a quiet breath, and though between the two of you, his own resolve is not so weak, he is also not as courageous as many believe him to be, perhaps much to his own chagrin. Slate eyes narrow, his brow furrows, and he squints down at your hand that's nestled within his own, focusing on what's directly in front of him so that he doesn't think too hard about what he's about to say, lest they crumble just like you have done. Because how does genuine encouragement even work? Are you supposed to just say it? Why is doing that somehow so embarrassing?

"...I have yet to see you soar."

Your head tilts in your arms to stare back up at him with wide eyes, and you note that it's with a hint of bashfulness and hesitance in the way he blinks that he meets your gaze. Perhaps the only reason that he does at all is because he doesn't like backing down from a challenge, and maybe that courage is why you bite back your sarcastic quip about his antiquated choice of words - you aren't quite in any position to be touting arrogance after all, and so what comes instead is the barest of smiles at his efforts. "Do you think I can?" You don't know what prompts you to ask, but if Vergil is surprised, he doesn't show it, dropping his gaze back down to your hand as he pulls the very last sliver of green from your palm. He sets the tweezers down and, without looking, reaches for the roll of gauze he'd set aside earlier.

"Yes." He makes it a point to not look at you anymore, but you suppose that's because he's beginning to wrap your hand with the bandages, and not because he's being bashful - you'll give him at least that much credit, because doing it right is harder than it looks. "If you are the person Nero believes you to be, then there's no reason you can't. Knowing the people that you do, I'm more surprised you haven't already internalised this."

You bite back a wince when Vergil pulls the bandages a bit too tight, his eyes flickering up to you briefly before he loosens it accordingly, using the twitches in your expression as his cues for what you deem to be a comfortable tightness. Ah… it's so much easier for him this way, being able to see your face…

The conversation then continues without a hitch. "Internalised what?"

"That humans are more hardy and capable than you think. Tenacity is what separates us from demons."

You bark out a curt laugh, but it's steeped more in amusement than bitterness. "What, so I just have to believe in myself?" You ask, placing a gently sarcastic emphasis on the last three words of your sentence.

Vergil's hands still for a few short seconds as if he's turning over a response in his head. When his hands begin to move again, weaving gauze carefully between your fingers with all the focus and careful intent you expect from him, that's when he speaks once more, a hint of a smile in his tone. "And you say I'm pretentious."

The ensuing laugh that bubbles from you is forcefully stifled. All of a sudden, the dank veil that had settled over you is gone, and you once more hide your face in the crook of your arm to keep him from seeing the relaxed, relieved smile that spreads across your face. "...thanks, Vergil."

Strangely modest, still rather bashful, he deflects your gratitude with a shake of his head. "Don't." And when he notices, right on the edge of his vision that you tilt your head curiously at him, he makes an addendum to clear your confusion. "Save that for when you succeed."

Closing your eyes, feeling surprisingly warm, content, you hum. "You're more human than everybody gives you credit for, you know."

Before you can continue with your train of thought, Vergil cuts in, still humouring you with his own unique brand of wit. "Perhaps. It does cap at fifty percent, however."

"Hah." That's the most that you can bring yourself to muster, finding it to be more clever than actually funny. "Why don't you talk like this to anybody else?"

And just like that, the very temperature of the room begins to drop again, but this time at his behest. The playful glimmer that was present in Vergil's eyes fades before you can commit the colour to memory, and that warm grey returns to its default setting - a cold and gilded iron. This hue, he directs down to your hands instead of you. "Likely for the same reason you divulged your history to me. It's simply easier to maintain this scale of intimacy when we are…" His sentence tapers off as he searches his mind for an appropriate word.

"...intimate?" You offer.

Vergil relents. "In a sense."

"So... I take it that means you haven't talked to Nero yet?" Immediately, you feel a tug on your hand when Vergil's own hand slips, resulting in a sharp pull on the lap he'd made around your thumb with the gauze. He's quick to correct his mistake, but even though he makes no outward notion of having heard you beyond that slip of his hand, you already know that means he hasn't. "...are you going to? You said you would."

The muscles in his jaw visibly tighten. "I did, and I will."

"Alright." It's only because you feel you owe it to him for the gauntlet you put him through earlier in the week - the cock ring, the incessant teasing - that you don't press him any further on the matter, closing the topic with one final pointed look in his direction before you both lapse back into a comfortable silence.

He finishes wrapping your hand, makes a few more loops around your wrist, and then secures the end in place with… a safety pin. It was all you had in the house. "Flex." His quiet instruction actually makes him sound like a medical practitioner, but this, you also keep to yourself, doing as he's asked and balling your bandaged hand into a fist. "It isn't too tight?" It takes you a few more clenches, and then a full circular roll of your wrist for you to determine this. "No, it's fine. Also, that's what she s--"

You're cut off by the ungodly scrape of Vergil's chair against your kitchen floor when he gets to his feet, leaning halfway across the table to cover your mouth with his hand. "If you finish that sentence--" he nods in the direction of the tray, "--I will douse every single one of these shards with salt before I put them right back into your hand." Vergil continues to watch you for several seconds after his (empty) threat, almost as if he's daring you to act against him. And what sort of woman would you be if you didn't walk right through the door he's so generously opened for you? You're no barbarian, you have manners! So you lick the inside of his palm, one bold strip upwards as far as you can go. His hand snaps back on instinct when he feels something unfamiliar probe his hand, already knowing what it is even before he's even properly pulled back. He frowns, clicking his tongue in annoyance and wipes his hand on the leg of his pants, shooting you a look that tells you he's more inconvenienced by what just happened rather than disgusted.

He doesn't sit back down though, not now that he's finished tending to your hand. Vergil steps over to where his coat lies, hung over the arm of your couch, and wordlessly, he slips it back on. He then pivots on the spot, eyes scanning your apartment for his gloves.

Recognising this routine, you prop your elbow up on your table and nestle your chin inside the palm of your good hand. "Leaving?" You ask, only a touch disappointed - you were hoping he'd also help you sweep up the mess under your workstation in the other room, citing your injured hand as an excuse, but if he has other places to be, then suppose you've taken up enough of his time for one day.

And you really can't blame the guy for walking out on you when you pulled the same poor, overused joke on him twice.

He looks up at the clock on your wall and ponders something unseen. It's still only four in the afternoon. He has time. "No."

Oh? Well, colour you genuinely surprised.

Vergil throws you a rather blunt look over his shoulder. "Your medkit is woefully understocked and unprepared for an actual emergency." You're already grimacing at that much alone, though what you're feeling isn't shame, so much as mischief. "There's no rubbing alcohol, no medical tape, your burn salve has been squeezed and crumpled to the point that it looks as tortured and pressed as Dante's tube of toothpaste well after the thing is empty, and." He pauses for dramatic effect. "You are now out of bandages."

For whatever reason, you find the meticulous listing of the contents of your piss poor medkit to be amusing, having to bite your lower lip to keep from laughing. "What's it got to do with you?"

"It bothers me." Enough for him to want to take direct action, evidently. "Why have it at all, if you're not going to bother keeping it stocked? What would you do if you are in need of the tools that you don't have?"

"Okay, fair enough. Don't think you have to do it on my account though. I can restock it in my own time."

"Would you though?" Vergil's enquiry is purely rhetorical, hence the flat edge with which he speaks. He already knows the answer.

And so do you. "...okay, that's also fair." A beat. "Hey so wait-- you and Dante have separate tubes of toothpaste?"

Giving his left glove one final adjustment, a light tug at the base of it to properly secure it over his hand, he makes his way over to you, answering your question without batting an eye, nor with any regard for Dante's reputation - whatever is left of it. "He likes the bubblegum flavoured ones." Vergil waits for you to breathe out a quiet 'oh my god he's such a loser', waits until your shoulders stop shaking from your own suppressed laughter, and then he holds his hand out expectantly. Which you cluelessly blink down at. It's only when he rubs the tips of his fingers together - the universal signal for money - do you understand what he wants. "Restocking your medkit won't be coming out of my pocket. If anything, I should be charging you for not only a consultation fee, but also delivery."

"Or you could just put it on my tab," you point out, a touch too far on the side of suggestive. You both know what that tone implies. "I know I basically have one, especially after the whole thing with your new favourite toy."

Though he raises a skeptical eyebrow at you, Vergil, being as equally opportunistic as you when it comes to your more unsavoury relationship, actually stops to ponder this, straightening his posture when he decides to take you up on your offer with a low hum in concession. "When the time comes, I want you to remember that you suggested this."

Smiling far too flippantly, far too confidently, you sit back in your seat and spread your hands wide in a casual shrug. "I'm yours to bake and broil as you like. I thought that was already implied."

"Those are bold words for somebody whose fate is undetermined." All hints of humour then drain from his face, a motion that feels far too practiced and natural on his part, as he returns to his status quo. "I'll be back soon. I would suggest you reassess your workstation in the meantime. Go over the formula again. There must have been something you missed."

And leaving it at that, Vergil disappears out your door.


It's well after Vergil's left that you hear a mechanical buzzing somewhere inside your apartment. You've only just finished sweeping up the remains of the shattered Vital Star into a dustpan when you hear the noise, setting it aside to stand at the doorway with your head tilted, trying to listen for it. The sound rings through your apartment again, an obnoxious, persistent rattle that draws your attention to your phone on your kitchen counter. But rather than immediately start to head over towards it, you squint suspiciously in its direction, finding the vibrating to be… odd. It isn't the notion that someone is trying to contact you that's strange, it's the fact that you almost never leave your phone on silent that has you arching a curious eyebrow as you begin trekking across your apartment to fetch it. But as you approach, you realise what the cause of this contradiction is - it isn't your phone, but Vergil's. The summer months are approaching now, and though Fortuna is a port town, right on the cusp of the ocean and typically welcomed by a sea breeze, the city gets humid. And naturally running hot, Vergil has developed a tendency (or perhaps he's simply comfortable enough to?) to remove his coat whenever he comes by. And when he does, he normally also empties the contents of his coat pockets, leaving them somewhere accessible for until whenever he leaves.

Of course, Vergil leaving his phone behind isn't a great problem in itself considering he'll be back soon enough, the problem is instead the fact that Dante is calling. You have the sense not to answer of course, happy to let the call fall through, but when it eventually does, the prompt on screen indicates that that wasn't the first time Dante tried calling. There were three previous attempts, and obviously, none of them were answered.

There's a sinking feeling in your gut, one of worry that you've been keeping Vergil from something important enough to warrant that many calls from someone as lackadaisy as Dante. In fact, it's worrisome enough to have you peeking at the screen for a touch longer than you really should be, wondering if you should at least send him some sort of message. Snooping around in another's belongings, much less something as private as a cellphone isn't something you'd normally do, but you both know Dante. You've known him longer than you've known Vergil. Much longer, actually, now that you think about it… What a strange epiphany that is.

At some point in your internal conflict, the screen lights up again, and Vergil's phone rattles once against the counter top, this time because he's received a message.

brooooooooooooooooo

And thus, it would appear that the answer to your problem has presented itself. It's only to ease Dante's concern, you tell yourself, as you scoop Vergil's phone up off the counter and into your hand. It's just so he'll stop trying to contact his brother and making you feel anxious, you promise, as with a flick of your thumb, you swipe to unlock it (why Vergil doesn't bother with even a PIN or something is beyond you), and then you find yourself staring down at the empty message box, suddenly nervous. Should you pretend to be Vergil? Does he talk differently to his brother than he does with you? Or anybody else? You don't really know, but should you risk that…? Butterflies, strangely, begin to churn and twist in your stomach, growing more intense the longer you leave the message field blank, taunted by the blinking cursor. But eventually, your thumbs begin to move.

Dante

brooooooooooooooooo

your brother's stepped out for a bit. he's fine. he'll be back soon.

You go to put down the phone after that, content with the brief message you've left. It's certainly still vague, and… reading it again with a slight grimace, maybe even a touch threatening, but hopefully Dante understands the general message you're trying to convey, and that'll be the end of it.

But it's when the phone buzzes again, and this time before you've even had the chance to put it back down, that you understand that it isn't. Because this is Dante, you realise with a slow building sense of horror. Of course that single message wouldn't have been the end. A barrage of messages makes the phone vibrate constantly in your hand, the butterflies in your stomach swirling higher and higher with each new set until they finally stop. And, swallowing a lump in your throat, you unlock Vergil's phone again.

Dante

brooooooooooooooooo

your brother's stepped out for a bit. he's fine. he'll be back soon.

holy shit

...are you like

the one he's been going to see?

holy shit omg hahahahaha

I KNEW IT

hi im dante

his brother

You stare down at the onslaught of texts, simultaneously surprised and unsurprised that Dante is the sort of man who rapid fires text messages like an excited puppy. But what are you supposed to do from here? Especially when he already seems to know about your existence. It might not be you specifically that he's aware of, but it's clear that Dante seems to know Vergil has been sneaking around. Your mind, in a similar fashion, begins to panic fire a series of questions. How long has he known? Does he know Vergil has been sneaking off to Fortuna? What has Vergil been telling him, exactly? And perhaps the most obnoxiously loud question of all:

How dead are you?

You force yourself to breathe in a lungful of air to calm yourself down before you get carried away. If you keep calm, you can salvage this.

Dante

his brother

I know who you are

i dont know you though

you are the one though right?

hes been in and out of the office for months now

kinda just goes out whenever he wants

never tells me where

but i figure hes seeing someone

and im guessing thats you

Well, if nothing else, at least that tells you that Vergil has never explicitly told Dante where he goes. He'd once offhandedly mentioned to you that 'he'd handle his brother', and back then, you'd trusted that he would, even if his method of doing so evidently involves not giving his brother much of an answer at all. You'd rather he made up something, just so Dante wouldn't go forming his own conclusions, but how Vergil chooses to do things isn't something you have any interest in controlling, and for all this hindsight is worth, it's far too late to do anything about now. The most you can really do at this point is keep Dante off your trail, and to that end, you try to think back on your occasional messages to him, trying to recall how much of your personality you've injected into them, if at all. Maybe playing the mysterious card is your best bet, if you want to keep him guessing.

Dante

and im guessing thats you

you've caught me ❤️

hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

holy fuck

you a guy or a girl?

sorry im honestly wondering

he kinda strieks me as going both ways

not judging just curiuos

i'm 100% woman

oh cool cool

this isn't anything serious though is it?

???

youre not dating

official

whatever

like im not gonna be calling u sis anytime soon right?

Of all the possible things that Dante could have homed in on; who you really are; how long you've been "with" Vergil; how you met; how this arrangement even occurred in the first place... there are a host of other avenues he could have taken with his questioning, and yet, he's chosen this one. That he would find the entire situation to be amusing was something you'd predicted would happen - after all, if you were in his position, you certainly would too (and have probably been a bit more annoying about it, in all honesty), but all of this? Asking if you're… what, serious? In a relationship? You don't really know what he's getting at, and though this isn't the Dante you're familiar with, you can't help but laugh. But not because you find this to be amusing.

But because for some reason, you're nervous.

Dante

like im not gonna be calling u sis anytime soon right?

ew no

so its just casual?

yup ✨

ok

The curt response instills a sense of dread in you even though you've answered truthfully. You've never been arrested before, but you imagine this is what it feels like to be interrogated by a cop - the same sort of guilt and anxiety, even though you haven't done anything wrong.

It's that sort of oppressive atmosphere.

Dante

ok

you don't believe me? i'm not interested in your brother

that's what im worried about

Wait. What?

Dante

that's what im worried about

excuse me?

look im not looking to get all mama bear on a grown ass man

but he's been away

im guessing to see you

like 4 times this week

dont really care what you g uys do

dont even really wanna think about it 🤮

but when youre finished with him

whenever the hell that is

i want my brother back in one piece if you get what i mean

hes had enough happen to him

You spend a long time staring at that final message, realising that it isn't just Vergil that you don't really know… it's Dante too. Having only ever seen him behave like a child, with that giddy sense of excitement whenever he's given a new toy to play with, or when he reclines back so far in a chair you're certain it's going to give out from under him, even though it miraculously never does, it's far too easy to forget that he's so much more perceptive than many think him to be. Maybe if you didn't have the additional context that the usual nature of these twins result in a clash more often than not, maybe then you'd be rightfully offended that Dante seems to be doubting your intentions. But it's because you know how they normally behave around each other, the biting sarcasm and thrown punches, that you can't seem to bring yourself to get upset that Dante has Vergil's best interests in his. Family look out for one another.

Even one as small and broken as this one.

Dante

hes had enough happen to him

I'll look after him

sure. if you say so

now do me a solid and clear this whole message history

pretty sure he'll kick both our asses if he finds out about this

just make sure he's back by 7

not because he needs to be in bed or anything

work calls

but bedtime is 10 though fyi 😃

Dante doesn't send anything more after that, leaving you in a rather sombre, somewhat enlightened state that has you smiling gently down at Vergil's phone until the screen automatically dims. You've always known the younger twin to be roundabout in his words and his ways, hiding his true intentions behind a veil of humour, but at his center is a man who perhaps cares entirely too much about his family that is entirely too small. Maybe that in itself is why.

You do just as Dante told you - you clear the entire message history. But not out of any concern that Vergil might discover the conversation you had with his brother (even though that is a completely valid worry to have), but because you want to respect Dante's wishes.

It makes you wonder whether Nero is truly the only one Vergil needs to talk to.

And whether or not it's on you to see that it's done…


It's been several days since your mishap with the Vital Star. The tiny gashes in your hand are healing up quite nicely, and though the pain was always at a rather tolerable level, it's almost nonexistent now, even when you fully stretch your palm open to deliberately exacerbate the numerous scabs. Vergil hasn't returned since that day. In fact, you haven't so much as heard from him ever since. Normally, it wouldn't bother you any at all - he has his life, the same way you have your own, as intertwined as they may have become as of late - but your mind constantly recalls the rather profound conversation you had with Dante, unable to help the constant and nagging feeling that his absence is related, even if it isn't. But such is the way of the irrational worry.

And so, the elation you feel when you see that you've received a very rare text message from Vergil is borderline euphoric. A palpable vindication that has you laughing quietly to yourself as an unseen pressure is lifted from your back. Your guilt was unwarranted.

Good dick

I take it you haven't seen what I left for you that day.

Despite the fact that he can't hear you, you let out a confused bleat nonetheless, casting your mind back to when Vergil returned with extra medical supplies in tow. He did seem rather smug upon his return, but you'd simply surmised it was due to the nature of the conversation you had with him before he left. You thought he'd perhaps already cooked up some sort of revenge scheme already...

Good dick

I take it you haven't seen what I left for you that day.

I have no idea what you're talking about

I left you a book. Saw it by chance while I was out getting your supplies, and thought it would be helpful to you in your work.

You're welcome.

Wait, Vergil left you something? And you never noticed? Immediately, and with a noticeable spring in your step, you bounce right onto the balls of your feet, moving to scour every inch of your apartment that looks the slightest bit unfamiliar in the hopes of finding it. Is this… a gift? Can this be called a gift? Even though it's likely to be something small - Fortuna's wares are generally of this scope nowadays - it's all rather thrilling to you for some reason, a nervous excitement pulsing in your chest as you wander to and fro. Your scavenger hunt leads you right back to your dining table where Vergil had left your newly bought medical supplies. The exact same supplies you have failed to put away ever since and are in fact still sitting in the very same plastic bag that he brought them back to your apartment in. He'd probably not be happy to know of this, but he is neither present, nor capable of doing a single thing about it. Besides, what you're currently more interested in is what lies directly underneath the bag in question.

A crisp tome that you do not recognise as your own.

Your heart thumps wildly in your chest, equal parts excited for what knowledge it holds within it and the fact that someone as enclosed as Vergil thought to gift this to you. Even if his intentions are ultimately for his own abstract benefit, it's a heartwarming gesture from someone who otherwise would seem so adverse to the idea of such a sentimental gift. He truly does have it in him to be kind.

Except…

Your expression, your cheer, your mood in its entirety falls to the very pits of the earth the very moment your eyes fall upon its title. In a fancy golden, embossed font, perfectly vintage in all the right ways are the words 'A Beginner's Guide To Alchemy'.

A beginner's guide.

A book designed for amateurs, containing the watered down versions of texts that you can now virtually cite from memory. You wouldn't be surprised if it even contained pictures for you to colour in...

A low grinding sound permeates the atmosphere of your apartment. The sound of teeth being clenched so hard over the sheer audacity of a man who, mere days ago, was putty underneath you, breathless and writhing… pristine skin dotted with sweat… You, of the foolish belief that you'd tamed the beast in blue, that there was no possible way he could outdo your show with a vibrating cock ring, have been thoroughly played, right down to the fact that you were happy about his generosity, and lord, does that bother you. Thumping the book back onto the table, you march back over to where you'd left your phone, scathed, but far from defeated.

Good dick

You're welcome.

Wow. Love it. I'll make sure to keep it somewhere real special



That's hurtful. I spent money on that.

Over in Red Grave City, the twins are cooped up inside the office. Dante pretends he's invested in the crossword puzzle in the newspaper from two weeks ago, but every now and then, he steals a glance over at his brother, observing in a curious silence, the constant attention he's been paying to his phone. Dante knows Vergil doesn't use it often, that he keeps it on his person only because Dante keeps insisting on it, but for the past few days, he's been checking it incessantly. And it's those moments that Dante is trying to keep a tab on to try to understand just what the hell he seems to be so antsy about. Vergil doesn't have any friends, though not because he isn't amenable to the idea, but because their line of work doesn't often facilitate easy mingling without going out of one's way to find it. But that's precisely the thing, isn't it? Vergil has been going out. And often.

And when he returns, he's always a little too… relaxed.

Bringing this up with Lady and Trish merely yielded him a slew of half-hearted answers when, for the first time in his life, he'd have preferred something a bit more straight laced: 'come on, it's obvious. He's got a girlfriend' 'totally sleeping with someone' 'could also be charity work though' 'like at a soup kitchen?' 'no, I was thinking more like reading to children at the hospital''ohhh yeah I can sorta see that.'

Dante had tuned out the rest of that conversation, his mind homing in on the very first thing they'd brought up.

A girlfriend.

Of Vergil?

He doesn't think it to be unlikely in all honesty, but if that were the case… why all the secrecy? Because he thinks Dante would make fun of him for it?

...okay, so maybe that's actually pretty likely, but the reality of the situation is much more grounded, and, even Dante himself has to admit, is not like him at all - he actually doesn't like the truth of the matter any more than Vergil potentially would, and it's with a bitterness that he realises that age has mellowed him out just as much as it did his brother.

Movement out the corner of his eye pulls him from within the confines of his thoughts - it would seem that his constant vigil has paid off because he catches Vergil smiling (albeit smugly, with the sort of haughty pride Dante would take pleasure in erasing with his fist) down at his phone. A smile, even one so laced with the conceit that comes hand in hand with a victory, is a rare sight coming from his brother, and, casting his eyes back down to the newspaper in front of him to avoid rousing suspicion, Dante thinks of the woman he'd briefly conversed with through Vergil's phone. Considering that his head has not yet been mounted onto the wall as both a trophy and a threat, it's safe to say the mystery woman had done as he'd asked and deleted all traces of their correspondence, but he has to wonder about whether she will stay true to the second thing she had promised.

The longer Vergil continues to smile down at his phone, the deeper Dante's frown is set upon his face.

"I'm telling you this right now bro, as a mercy to you." It's such a daunting, confronting way to open up a conversation, but it's an effective one. Vergil diverts his attention from the device in his hands and up to his brother, his twin only in name now that age has made them so distinct from one another. "You should quit while you're ahead."

"What are you talking about?" Unlike mere seconds ago, Vergil's voice is full of sharp edges - not at all an unfamiliar sound, at least where Dante is concerned. He's perhaps even justified in it today. After all, what sort of opening statement is that? It's something one would say to start an argument rather than a civil conversation.

But Dante doesn't budge on his stance, merely holding the intense steely gaze of his brother with not a trace fear - not once has he ever been afraid of Vergil. being afraid for him however, may be another thing entirely. "Quit while you're ahead. This won't be any good for you."

There is only the barest of a twitch in Vergil's brow that gives him away, easily missable to anybody who doesn't know him well. And people of that particular brand can be counted on the one hand. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

Now, Dante sighs and lets the newspaper drop from his hands as he leans forward in his chair. "Look, I know the running joke is that everybody thinks I'm an idiot, and hey, if it gets a couple laughs out of people, then I'll happily bear that cross. But assuming it's true is where I kinda draw the line, man." A pleading sort of look overtakes his expression, something tinted with a splash of hurt. "Give your baby brother a little credit."

Silence stretches between the siblings as Vergil cants his head, challenging, but inquisitive - it's an invitation for Dante to proceed. Not that he would have stopped regardless.

"It's… pretty clear to me you've been seeing someone. And that's fine. Seriously. Congrats. Just--" Frustrated that his words, his point, his concern isn't coming as smoothly as his usual quips (he really isn't used to this), Dante rakes a gloved hand back through his hair, holding his too-long bangs out of his face for a few seconds before he drops his hand back onto his desk. "--all I'm saying is, don't get too caught up in it. A couple one night stands? Sure, that's cool, go nuts, I'm not your mother. Don't wanna be. But then I remember that you've been ducking out without letting me know where you're going for months now, and that's starting to raise some red flags for me. The thing about one night stands is that they're really only supposed to last for one night."

There's no flustered denial on Vergil's part, no babbled arguments to the contrary, just a quiet and accepting hum as he places his phone back down onto his desk, feeling that in this instance, Dante is deserving of his full attention... even if he can feel the hairs on the back of his neck begin to bristle. Out of anger? Anxiety? Vergil doesn't know. But he does what he's always done best - keep a level head. "You're implying that this will escalate? That's ridiculous."

"Is it?" The cool azure of his eyes takes on an accusing gleam. "Because you seemed awfully happy to have gotten that message."

"It isn't what you think." And for what it's worth, it truly isn't. Dante just doesn't see it that way.

"Verge. Bro. That's like… the first thing people say when they're trying to deny something. Look, I-- jesus, I can't believe you're gonna make me say this, I'm gonna puke after this, I swear, just right here all over the damn floor--" He sucks in a sharp breath, braces himself. "I've spent years… years, Vergil, picking up after you. Temen-Ni-Gru. Remember that? I cleaned up the mess you made then. I cleaned up the mess you made of me when Mallet Island happened, because nobody else was fricken around to. And then there's the stupid goddamn tree, and the stupid empusas who still show up like roaches from underneath the fridge even after you think you've got 'em all--

"If this ends happily, then I'll eat my words, and you can hang this over my head for as long as you want. But if you get serious about this woman--" Dante catches himself there. "--or whatever, and then get told 'nope sorry, don't feel the same, I'm outta here', I am not about to pick up the broken pieces of your heart. That's… way beyond my job description. And…" Finally, his shoulders sag in relief as the built up pressure, the frustration at his own lack of tact and eloquence begins to ease. He hasn't fully said every last thought on his mind, won't even touch on the genuine sense of apprehension and worry on Vergil's behalf, lest he really does throw up on their floor, but this, for the moment, will do. "You deserve better than that."

To say Vergil is moved by this admittance, broken and poorly worded as it was, would be an understatement, but true to his nature, he displays the surge of affection in his chest for his (not so) stupid baby brother with nothing more than a softening of his hardened gaze. As the older sibling, Vergil had always felt an innate responsibility to be better than Dante. Smarter, wiser, stronger. To be a shining example within the shadow of their father's legacy, as obfuscated by his own insecurities as that mentality became… But now more than ever, he feels that the reverse is true - that it is he who could stand to learn a thing or two from Dante. Starting with this. This… strange method of bonding that, perhaps to any other family would be normal, yet is strange only because they themselves are exactly so.

With a slow creak, Vergil reclines in his seat, stares up at the ceiling for a prolonged moment, merely watching the spinning blades of the fan above lazily whirl. "I'll see to it that you won't have a need to clean up after me anymore. They do say the third time's the charm." Out of context, the response would sound flippant and dismissive, but they are a strange family.

Dante isn't convinced, far from it in fact, but he appreciates the effort and the attempted clearing of the air. He supposes that's really all he can ask for at this point, and with a wave of his hand, he physically defuses the tension. "Yeah. Sure do hope so. Lightweight that you are, you wouldn't even be able to drink your woes away."

Vergil just snorts.

Chapter Text

"You open it."

"Have you no faith in yourself?"

"I do. I just don't have magic healing powers in the event that something goes wrong."

"And you think something has?"

"...no."

"Then you open it."

"No."

Vergil sighs, his shoulders sinking low out of exasperation. He takes one exaggerated step directly to his left, and you, standing directly behind him, immediately follow in the same direction, deliberately keeping his body between you and the twisting labyrinth of steaming tubes and beakers that is your workstation. It's a little more organised than what he recalls from the last time he was in your study, a bit more compact and certainly less haphazard and… intimidating is the only other word he can think of. And though certainly still warm, the stifling haze of humidity that he remembers from the last time is also no longer present: the pipe that funnels out the window to vent excess heat has been completely replaced with a thicker one, allowing for a more efficient flow to the outside. You hadn't (and still haven't, he noted with a frown upon entering your apartment) bothered to put away the damned medical supplies he bought for you, but you clearly took the time to meticulously streamline your array, making small improvements to the overall structure's ergonomics. He supposes he can't blame you for that - in the grander scheme of things, your priorities are perfectly rational, it's just…

He pivots on the spot, turning to stare down at you with only a mildly annoyed look on his face. "Then will you at least stop using me as your shield?"

Currently half bent to one side, leaning to peer around Vergil's body, you break your rather intense stare down with your workstation with a quiet huff, matching his steadfast posture in spirit with folded arms and a narrowing of your eyes up at him. "Why? It worked a treat the last time we were in here."

"It doesn't inspire confidence." He counters.

Even pressed into your forearm, your hand, the one with a myriad of lingering crescent scars inside your palm, chooses that exact moment to tingle perhaps as a reminder of what happened the last time you made an attempt at synthesis. That wasn't necessary of it; the memory of that day has been with you ever since, always looming at the forefront of your thoughts, sparking an entire rewrite of the formula you used. So desperate you were, you even actually read the tome that Vergil left for you as a 'humorous' gesture. It didn't contain any colour-by-number images like you'd bitterly (and half heartedly) assumed, and while concise, even if overly patronising at times, it didn't bring anything new to the table, nor did it tell you anything you hadn't already thoroughly internalised. Not that you were expecting it to.

But the point of the matter is that you've been busy ever since, reading and re-reading and ordering parts and fine tuning your array. The only thing you can think of that went wrong that first time is that the gravitational pressure was off - too much air and steam was leaking through unsealed tubes. You've mitigated that problem now, as evidenced by a lack of any humidity in the air… and yet you can't bring yourself to approach. Or even answer him. Because it's true: you aren't confident.

And that very unease is so evident on your face. Unlike Vergil himself, you opt to be honest with your feelings, no matter what form they take, or how they end up being expressed. He's still trying to learn how to properly navigate these bouts, trying to distinguish when he ought to use a satirical, if not cheeky push in the back, and when to be sincere.

As awkward as that makes him feel.

It hadn't appeared so at the time, but his admission to you about wishing to see your success was difficult for him to voice. And harder still was meeting your eyes afterwards, so full of surprise at such an earnest remark. He saw that glimmer of mischief in them then too, that moment of deliberation you had on whether to playfully chide him, no doubt on his 'nerdy and pretentious' pattern of speech, and he's secretly glad you chose not to. He was rattled then, somehow anxious even though the worst of your injuries barely sunk beyond your epidermis, leaving nothing but mere flesh wounds that had healed up with no problems, and, by next week, will likely disappear without any traces whatsoever. So why the influx of concern over something so small? It's been far too long since he'd felt a genuine concern for anybody's wellbeing other than his own, and even after the Qliphoth fiasco (Dante has tried and failed to coin the term 'Qliphiasco'), expressing this sort of sentiment is something he's never had to personally do, always hanging back to let Dante do the talking. It's better that way. Vergil might be more of an intellectual than his brother, but Dante is far and away the more articulate twin, not saddled by things like guilt and the fact he's razed the same city twice. So perhaps it's that alone that makes all of this so poignant.

Surely that's what it is.

When you fidget on the spot, a rather idle hopping from one foot onto the other, Vergil is brought rather crudely back into the present, suddenly realising that the reason for your anxious fidgeting is because he's been staring at you in complete silence for almost an entire minute. He blinks just the once to acknowledge his (lack of) conduct, inwardly thanking the sole fact that he's a placid individual by nature, and springboards off his stoic silence with a slow nod of his head in the direction of your workstation - a wordless demand that you stop prolonging the inevitable. His attempt to salvage his temporary lapse and disguising it as an intentionally intimidating pause is successful, the tension that he had unwittingly fostered forcing you to fold under his heavy, fixed stare.

"Okay!" Exasperated, you throw your hands up into the air, hiding a physical dispelling of your tension in the same motion as you brush past him to approach your setup. "Okay..." That one is muttered more for your own benefit than Vergil's, and with a measured inhale, you twist the valve atop the main capsule, repeating the same process as last time: venting the steam, and letting it fully depressurise with a muted hiss before you flip the latches and pull the door open with more haste than is really required. If something's going to go wrong, you'd rather just get it over and done with as quickly as possible, like ripping off a bandaid. It's then that Vergil comes to stand by you, likely poised in the event he needs to perform another last minute, drastic measure to protect you.

But you're both greeted by a soothing silence. When the sound of rattling and then splintering glass is one that's haunted you over the last five days like a cruel reminder of your failure, the complete lack of sound is equal parts relieving and validating. Strangely, it's what you were fearing the most when you pulled the cover of the capsule open, that hollow ringing of inadequacy… but there's nothing to suggest the same thing will occur today. The Star, a vibrant, soothing green, is intact and completely still. Like the one that came before it, this one too, is asymmetrical in its shape, and the face that adorns it is familiarly and similarly unsettling. There's otherwise no outward indication that anything is wrong, but the cuts in your hand, minor as they ended up being, stand as a testament to your complacency. So this time, you wait.

Ten seconds.

Twenty.

Thirty.

Still nothing.

"I don't feel anything from it," Vergil provides with a calm that borders on frustrating, yet isn't solely because you're still so nervous, "it's safe to touch."

"You're sure?" Not for the first time ever, but for the first time in so many years, you genuinely hate the sound of your voice. You hate the softness, the uncertainty and the dense, sinking feeling that writhes and shifts in the pit of your stomach like something living. It reminds you far too much of lying in that stale-smelling cot in the theater, listening to the tired, but no less heated gossip from the people who hated you. Well, not 'you' as an individual, but if they ever found out you were a Knight hiding amongst them, they might have.

"I'm sure. It's dormant."

You give Vergil one final look from out of the corner of your eye, trusting his judgement on it - he is the one with the unnatural sensory perceptions after all - and then you reach into the confines of the cannister to gingerly touch the spoke of the Star currently closest to you. Your other hand is poised on the door, ready to swing it closed at the slightest indication that it's unstable like the last one, but other than the single slow rocking motion it makes when you poke it with one finger, it doesn't move. It doesn't combust. It just continues to gently steam with a soft hiss, releasing its residual heat from the binding process.

Breathing in sharply, anxiously, you scoop it up into your hand to let it rest inside your palm, feeling its gentle warmth bloom into the very tips of your fingers. The surface of it is glassy and polished, catching the light and reflecting a green luminance onto your ceiling, yet the structure of the Star itself is… definitely not solid like you were somehow expecting. Your texts define a Vital Star as a culmination of demonic fluids that are absorbed into the skin rather than ingested, and the Star itself is merely a vessel for the mixture that's bonded within it. What makes your heart skip a beat is that the item in your hand not only fits that description - soft and almost gelatinous in its texture - but that it is of your own doing.

Until you realise you're still being too pre-emptive. Because even though this Vital Star is structurally sound, there's still the matter of whether or not it works.

Sensing your shift in demeanour, Vergil's expression hardens. "What is it?"

"It needs to be tested." You say simply, fingers closing back over the warm Star in your hand. "I need to know that it works before I can celebrate. And I know exactly how--" Your explanation ends there as you turn on your heel and swiftly leave your study, hearing Vergil move after you. You're already slipping your foot into your second boot by the time Vergil catches up with you, standing immediately after to tap the tip of it against your floor.

"How?" He asks. Demands, rather, even though you don't answer him, silently making your way over to the entrance hallway of your apartment where Caliburn sits mounted upon hooks in the wall. That mere action alone tells him all he needs to know, and before you can pull your sword off its mount, he stops you by placing his hand over it, keeping it in place. "You want to use it on a demon?" "Yes." You do your best to emphasise that with a tug on your sword in an attempt to pull it free, but it, of course, doesn't budge under the weight of Vergil's hand. Turning to look at him, you grind out, "Or I would if you'd let me."

He feels you pull on Caliburn again, and though it isn't necessary - the cursory hand applied to the sheath of it being more than enough to keep it anchored where it sits - he leans more of his weight onto his anyway. "You think a demon will keep still long enough for you to use it? Much less let you approach to do so?" To emphasise his point, Vergil leans toward you. "It would decimate you."

"So what do you suggest?" Your hand is still closed over the handle of Caliburn, but Vergil can feel your defiance, the incessant push against his efforts hand begin to weaken. He takes that to mean that you're listening. And he actually does have an idea as to what to do, he just isn't sure it's any better than what you were planning on doing. It's safer, certainly, than hunting for a demon to force into your live trial, but technically only for one of you. Still, the flash in his eyes is resolute when he draws a lungful of air through his nose.

"Use it on me."

Your response is swift, immediately incredulous, and oh so condescending. "You're joking." When Vergil simply continues to level that look in his eyes at you, letting that pale glint speak for him, you realise he isn't. "You know the side effects of these things are permanent, right?"

"I'm aware." He replies flatly. You've only mentioned it a generous handful of times by now. "But I am an outlier. From what I understand of my own abilities, I should be able to metabolize the Star in an unspecified amount of time, and undo any… unwanted side effects."

It's only when you remove your hand from Caliburn to fold your arms across your chest does Vergil take his hand off your sword, convinced that you no longer bear any intention to be reckless. Though to your credit, his idea is equally so. "And how much do you actually know about how your own body works? Nero's kinda got the same thing you and Dante do, but I've seen him come back from a job all cut up and bruised - it clearly has limits."

"Exhaustion is a primary factor," Vergil begins, "when our energy stores are running low, when we haven't ingested anything in too long, if we don't sleep for an extended period of time… any combination of those may have an effect."

You're simply not having it, narrowing your eyes into a skeptical squint. "Yeah, but it's not like any of this has been documented or studied before - you can't just go on a hunch when there're…" Your words trail off when you catch the look on Vergil's face, a nameless blend of too many emotions; an honesty that borders on hurt; a suppression of memories just below the surface; a vulnerability and loneliness that's somehow different to the glimpse you caught on the rooftop so many weeks ago now.

"I know very well the limits of my body." His voice takes on a cadence you've never once heard from him before, something so sombre and bitter. Quiet, but in a way that sounds so unnatural coming out of his mouth that it stands out to the point that it's unnerving. "Perhaps more than any person should."

There's something so oppressive about those simple statements. Powerful words that imply something so overwhelmingly large just below the surface. What are you supposed to say in the face of your ignorance?

"What do you mean?" Your own voice is equally subdued and uncertain. It feels wrong, unnatural, to be asking him such a thing, as if there's a rite of passage that hasn't quite been cleared yet. But you push your luck anyway, hopeful and curious, wanting to understand the meaning behind that look on his face. He's never really talked about himself before.

Slate eyes look from your face down to the Star still clutched in your hand, and you're able to see in real-time, the way Vergil Sparda retreats back behind his even tempered facade. It's so subtle, so nuanced, the way his expression pulls taut, brows scrunching together, lips pursing, hardening into chiseled angles once again. He'd said too much, tempted a little too far beyond his boundaries where things had become familiar and comfortable. Surely you wouldn't want to know of such a long, burdened story, and so this too, he salvages with graceful aplomb. When he speaks, his voice is painfully neutral, dismissing his last exchange with you as a faux pas on his part. "It means that you don't have a need to worry. Worst case scenario, I'm trapped here for a time while my body metabolizes what it deems as a toxin and returns my body to its status quo. Best case, nothing happens, and you have your assurance that your project was a success." He holds out his hand in a wordless request for the Star you're now gripping protectively. He could simply take it from you, he realises, but he finds he doesn't want to. "Does that sound fair?"

It does, your silence says.

A little too fair, your expression opposes.

Vergil appraises that look with a thoughtful silence, and, seeing that sincerity has fallen short in the way that the reluctant gleam in your eyes does not falter, he defaults back to the more comfortable option when it comes to navigating the rocky waters of your temperance - dry wit. Appealing to your sense of humour, what he understands of it at any rate, has yet to steer him wrong. It's a tactic that works well on Dante too, acting as a hard tonal reset. "If it'll make you feel better, I'll sign a waiver."

Instantly, your apprehension dissolves, unconsciously soothed by the transition back to a more familiar routine, and so you yield with a low bowing of your head to hide your defeated smile, and then you shoot back with a quip of your own: "Sure. And then I forge your signature on a host of incriminating documents."

Vergil's own smile is lacking in feeling, heart. It's an empty gesture designed to merely progress the conversation past his brief lapse in better judgement. "Having seen your handwriting, I'm not sure anybody would fall for it."

"No," you agree, though bereft of any humour as you finally drop the Star into his waiting palm, "but don't make me regret this decision. I've had enough of those too." The final admission is nothing but an afterthought. One you tacked on to remind him, however indirect, that he isn't the only one to have suffered and then overcome trials, and perhaps more importantly: that he isn't alone in that sense. Whatever he'd chosen to steer the topic away from may have been deemed too sensitive, too personal for your ears, but a little solidarity goes a long way. With Vergil Sparda, it's the little things. Always the little things.

For a quiet moment, Vergil considers your words, and you think you glimpse something that steals across his eyes - a relenting of the tempered steel in those grey depths. It's there only for a half a second before he starts to turn away from you, pacing back into your apartment with nothing but the expectation that you will follow You spare Caliburn one more glance, expel a short breath, and then you do.

The two of you reconvene in the kitchen of your modest apartment, where Vergil stands rather awkwardly now. His eyes are on the Star sitting in his hand, staring down at it with a pensive, yet still strangely blank look on his face. It's rather curious to you how he's able to do both at once - with a frown pulling at his lips, and his eyes curiously distant.

"If you're having second thoughts, better tell me now before I take my boots off." Though said half in jest, which then technically does imply you're half serious, the brief flash of Vergil's eyes up at you sparks a sense of relief more than anything.

"It isn't that." The particular flatness in his voice, that sarcasm, is something you're becoming far too familiar with. Vergil looks down again, his weight shifting as he shuffles on the spot uncomfortably, and the very pointed avoidance of your eyes is rather telling of… embarrassment? "I… don't know how to use this."

"Pff--" You clap a hand over your mouth before any more laughter seeps through. If there were any more tension between the two of you from earlier, it's all but gone now, and you find yourself wishing, pleading, that Nero can one day witness his father's most true self; so awkwardly and unintentionally funny; so... overwhelmingly normal. The Vergil you were told about who raised the Qliphoth, and the Vergil who stands before you now, expression set into bashful agitation, are two completely different men. When will Nero get to see him like this?

When will Nero get to see him as you do?

When will anybody?

He clicks his tongue, appreciative of the fact you haven't laughed him out of your home, but still clearly miffed that you're amused at all. "To my credit," Vergil mutters, "I've never had a need to."

It's only when you're certain your stifled laughter has died down that you let your hand fall away from your mouth, shrugging in a dismissive manner. "Yeah, I know. Magic healing powers." All traces of humour then vanish from your face, and with the same hand that you'd used to shield your rolling laughter, you open it up to mirror his stance before balling it into a fist in one succinct movement. "Just crush it and it should burst. The fluid inside will bind itself to the nearest living host to be absorbed through the skin. Don't worry about your clothes - it'll find its way."

Vergil frowns. He isn't afraid of the outcome, but as someone who prefers to understand the entire chessboard before making a move, apprehensive would be a better descriptor of the crease that mars his brow. "Your choice of words is unsettling." But his fingers do curl around the Star, though not firm enough to distort its gelatinous structure. "What of the outer shell?"

"It'll disintegrate when drained." You say simply, confidently. And then immediately, in direct contrast to that: "...in theory."

Whether it's that he refuses to comment, or simply can't, Vergil shakes his head, peers back down at the object in his hand, with its mortified, agonised expression. And with no further fanfare, no warning, nor preparation on his part, Vergil swiftly closes his fist over it and crushes it. It bursts with a brittle sound rather than a pop, and the green fluid within takes on an unearthly glow the very second it comes into contact with open air. It spreads up his arm at an almost alarming rate, appearing more like it's actively climbing than it is seeping, yet Vergil regards it with no more than a curious tilt of his head, where perhaps any other person would have made an attempt to shake off the unsettling sinuous goo. Maybe even you, too. But the viscous fluid is warm and oddly comforting despite its disturbing appearance, somehow entirely negating its freakishly unnatural motions as it seeks out its patient's core. Of course, being half human, Vergil doesn't possess a demonic core the way other higher demons do, but the seemingly sentient fluid aims for the center of Vergil's chest anyway, where it convenes, recollecting itself into a vaguely circular blob. And then it begins to flatten itself, sinking directly through his vest until he can feel a blossoming warmth directly against his body. When the liquid is absorbed into his skin, there is a slow, dragging silence that takes hold as you both look at each other. Your chest tightens, as does the grip you have on your shorts at your side as you ball the material into a tight fist. If nothing happens to him, if nothing changes, and there are no adverse effects, then the synthesis was a success. It was such a simple and easy to understand concept when Vergil initially pitched it, but now that all's been said and done, the simmering anxiety in your gut is beginning to mount at an exponential rate, dotting your palms with a cold, foreboding sweat.

The sound of the clock on your wall counting up the seconds to your ambitions is all that's heard in the room. By some strange coincidence, it harmonizes with the heavy drum of your heartbeat pounding forcefully inside your ribcage.

Thirty seconds pass.

Nothing.

Forty beats.

Still nothing.

But right on fifty, Vergil hunches forward with a curt, breathless gasp of air as one of his hands shoots out to grip the back of one of your dining chairs. A surge of electrical current - is it electricity? It crackles just like it, but they fly off him like embers - flickers over his body, snaking around his limbs, pulsing with an energy that even you can feel, filling the air with a low, resonant hum. It makes the hair on your arms stand on end, disturbs the very air in your home, fluttering documents, blowing at your hair. Everything rattles and shakes as if an earthquake has seized your home. A splintering of wood sounds, creaking and grinding, until Vergil's fingers, closed so tightly over your chair, snaps the wooden rung in his hand. Blood seeps from inside his palm, pooling from where splinters have, in a cruel irony, lodged themselves into his skin, but the vacuum of air that billows around him blows it away, leaving a trail of crimson droplets for you to find later. Much later. You don't care for the mess at the moment. Not even a little bit.

"Vergil--!" An overwhelming sense of urgency takes hold of your voice as you step towards him, terrified that the trembling that is wracking his body are the throes of pain. What chills you, gnaws persistently at you, slow and insidious, is the thought that he is suffering because of you. That it is your shortcomings, your own lack of self confidence, that has him suffering consequences that were never his to bear. You grip his forearm despite the pulses of energy that emanate from him, and though it tingles, raw energy crackling up your arm, you turn him towards you to try to get a better look at him.

His eyes are wide, pupils narrowed into predatory slits, and lit with that familiar cold, blue glow. They flicker erratically, sometimes dimming to their natural tone, and others glinting so brightly that you have to squint from the abrupt flare. Vergil's teeth, more like fangs now, growing and warping before your very eyes, are bared not in a grimace of pain, but of exertion; almost as if he's suppressing something... holding something back. Another crack sounds, but not the creaking of strained wood this time. It's a low, sickening crunching and grinding of bone as through his hair, a pair of horns begin to grow. They're blunt protrusions of thick plating, with that peculiar little indent at their apex that suggests they're hollow; holes through which a surplus of demonic energy flows to dissipate in the atmosphere. You know what this is, you've seen Vergil's power before.

He's transforming.

Why? As a result of the Star? Why is he holding it back?

What are you supposed to do?

There's a peculiar choppy whirring, almost like the blades of a helicopter that split the air in your home as pulses of energy continue to roll off Vergil. You're conscious of the fact that you're speaking, asking if he's alright, whether he's in any pain, but your voice never reaches your own ears, replaced instead with a pitched whine, constant and grating. The vacuum that surrounds Vergil increases in both pressure and force, the gale providing almost an impenetrable barrier of gushing wind around him. It whips at your clothing, your hair, your bared arms, you can barely keep your eyes open, and behind you, you can hear the sounds of furniture being tipped over.

But suddenly, the dam breaks in an explosion of pale blue, almost glaringly white. You feel a burst of searing heat, hear a roar of air whip past you, and suddenly you're flying backwards through the air. A sharp pain blooms from your back as you collide with something, and then…

…the world goes still.



You can feel the presence before you long before your body begins to stir - a hulking mass of jagged edges, permanently bared fangs, and claws that hover over your prone form. Behind closed eyes, your mind races, flashing images of blue fire that burns behind the thin slitted gaze of a higher being. Goosebumps automatically raise on your arms, and despite the clamouring heat, you feel the welcome chill of sweat forming on your skin as more images bubble forth. The eyes narrow, and a great maw just below them opens to vent a puff of hot, shimmering breath. But rather than hiss or roar, you hear your name in a soft voice. Far too gentle to be coming from the beast that your imagination has conjured. Far too human.

Your body jolts and your eyes snap open to the familiar glow of Vergil's eyes, but what has you instinctively shrinking away from him, a knee jerk reaction that makes his expression twitch with something like remorse, is the darkness of his sclera. It highlights the otherworldly glint that's taken hold of his eyes, that sharp gleam with an ever present hint of danger. Normally, the sight wouldn't bother you, but right now, still trying to find your feet after a lapse in your consciousness, you're jumpy. Anxious. And before you can scoot backwards away from him, you feel a gentle pressure on your arm. Vergil gives your upper arm a squeeze and says your name again, and in the midday sun that filters in through the windows, you find solace in the soft velvet of his voice, grounding the fleeting fears of a paranoid mind. Gears and cogs inside your head click and turn, filling the gaps in your memory with context clues and conjured images.

The surge in his demonic power; the sprouting horns; the sharpening of his teeth; the darkness that seeped into the whites of his eyes like blank ink in water; that static charge that filled the air...

This Vital Star was a failure too.

Your eyes drop to his hand on your arm, half covered in crudely formed scales - mere wedges of hardened skin, tinged in but a modest shade of blue. You look away, but not because you're unsettled by the sight.

"I did that to you, didn't I?"

Perhaps a little too abruptly, Vergil's hand lifts away. His fist clenches, and his nails, now pointed claws, prick into his palm.

"...yes." Despite the mild tenor of his voice, you flinch. Of course he'd choose to be honest with you, you're just not certain if that's quite what you want to hear at the moment.

You hesitate. "Did it hurt?"

"No."

Finding his eyes again, that constant shimmer of silvery blue amidst an abyss, you hold his gaze, determined not to cave to the pressure that wants so badly for you to hide away, and press him on it instead. "Really? You looked like you were in pain."

"I wasn't." His tone is still so bland, so temperate that it almost feels intentional. But because he knows you aren't convinced, can already see the beginning of a counterargument in the way your brow creases, he cuts you off before you can round on him again. "There is no benefit in lying to you."

It's only because you know he's right that you stay your tongue on the matter. "Are you mad at me then?"

His contemplative silence is worrying to you, but his expression remains even, voice even more so. He answers you easily, coolly. "No." And you know that isn't mere lip service. You feel yourself relax as he continues. "I volunteered after all. But you may be relieved to hear that what occurred was not a catastrophic failure on your part." He stands back to give you a little more space when you shift on your couch, pulling yourself up into a sitting position and wincing when a sharp jolt of pain shoots up your back. Whatever you hit when you were blown back sure as hell did a number on you.

"Yeah, well from where I'm sitting, it sure does look like a catastrophic failure." You mumble bitterly, swinging your legs around to touch them onto the floor, noting that, on top of moving you to the couch, Vergil seemingly had the prudence to remove your boots for you too. It leaves you with a twinge of guilt that sits atop a sense of gratitude, adorning it like a candied cherry atop a cake.

You hate candied cherries.

Peering down his nose at you, Vergil folds his arms across his chest, giving you a better look at the half-formed scales smattered unevenly up them. He's silent for a while, trying to find the right words to say. "The Star worked too well," is what he finally decides on after the brief lull, and he knows he made the right choice when you blink in surprise, your head jerking upwards, "what you witnessed was, for lack of a better term, an overabundance of vitality that triggered an involuntary transformation. I was trying to withhold it, to reduce potential damages, but--" Vergil gestures to the rest of your apartment with a tilt of his head, one that you follow to perform a quick sweep of the area.

There are obvious signs that Vergil did his best to clean up while you were out cold, but for someone generally so prim and proper, he'd done a rather poor job of it - folders and documents are piled onto your dining table with no order to them, your broken chair and the wooden chips that came from it were crudely swept to one side, other minor odds and ends were returned to incorrect places… And then there's one of your industrial shelving units, now sporting a you-sized dent in several of the middle shelves. That must have been what you hit when you were blown off your feet, and looking at the damage it sustained, and the pain in your back, it's no wonder you passed out. But there's one more thing that you're missing. Something else that's different about your home that's eluding you… unsettling you.

And then you finally realise it: there's a startling absence of ambient noise in your apartment. Your fridge lies silent. There is no constant whirring of the air conditioning unit. Even your clock on the wall has stopped ticking. Nothing is moving. Nothing is making even a peep.

"That… explosion…" you begin, "it took out the power?"

Now, Vergil seems rather sheepish; he clenches his jaw and the fangs in his mouth, those jagged teeth lock together perfectly. "As well as that of the surrounding tennants, both above and below, yes." And then as if to protect himself from any chiding remarks, he adds: "If I didn't suppress it, I'd estimate the entire building would have been affected." It's damage control in all possible meanings - he would rather not be in any position where he 'owes' you something again.

But instead of treading down that road, instead of being indignant and digging your heels in about what he's inadvertently done, the look that you give Vergil is pleading. Desperate. "But you're okay?"

Vergil's head tilts at that, feeling bewildered and even confused at your persistence when it comes to his well being. Are you truly that worried about him? Didn't he already say he was alright? Does he not look it? Ah… with a brief glance down at his arms, he supposes he doesn't right now. Though the sense of care that Dante shows to Vergil is obvious, he is never direct with how he feels. And beyond that, Vergil hasn't had anybody treat him with such an honest concern since… well… since Nero grumbled his exasperated, but no less genuine worry back when he was V. It may simply be because you feel a sense of responsibility for what befell him, but regardless, Vergil's shoulders sag when he realises that… that makes him happy… It's only there for a split second, gone in the literal blink of an eye, but you do notice a transient, wan smile.

"Yes. No pain. Like I said before, my body will restore itself to what it deems as the norm over time. It's already begun." He lifts a hand for you to see what he means, showing you the scales on his arm that are, before your very eyes, sinking back into his skin and returning to its regular pale hue. He hears a gasp, and then your hands shoot forward to grab at the arm he has on display, bringing it closer to your face and yanking him forward an entire step in the process. There is a genuine fascination upon your features as you turn his arm this way and that - you've never seen them heal up close like this before, and though you'd rather witness the flesh stitch shut from a gash instead (purely for scientific purposes, of course), this is a good enough second place. It's slow and seemingly random, but the scales are retreating back into his body, leaving no trace of their existence. Even though his current appearance is a natural and inevitable part of him, something he can normally control at will, the fact that his body is able to do this is… incredible. There just isn't any other word for it. Part of you wonders what would happen if you used Vergil's blood as a component in place of demonic bile, but such an experiment would be akin to learning how to walk before learning how to crawl - it wouldn't be wise.

Or even ethical. Having him volunteer to test your work is one thing, but it's another one entirely to ask him for his blood - he doesn't come to you for that.

"So as you can see," he continues, wresting his arm back from your close scrutiny of it, "the only thing you need to worry about is a refinement of your formula. Third time lucky."

Though it is by no means as bright as his currently are, your eyes do begin to glitter at the prospect of what he's saying - the Vital Star overshooting in its intended effect is as easily fixed as merely tweaking the amounts of each ingredient. In fact, you already have a rather good idea as to what to adjust first, mind reeling and almost giddy with thoughts and possibilities and numbers that it's hard to keep up; you wonder if this is how Nico feels when she has one of her own breakthroughs. Success is so close to you now, right at your fingertips, and though Vergil's presence fell more along the lines of moral support than anything else, having him with you at all made the journey feel so much less of a task, and more. Well, fun. How do you repay him for that?

You think you know.

Such a milestone in your life can only be repaid with one of equal importance.

"Wanna make a little bet on it, then?" You're going out on a limb by asking him this, toeing the line of this budding friendship.

"Oh?" So far so good; he's interested. "And what exactly do I stand to gain from this?"

You steel yourself with a quiet breath. "If my next synthesis is successful, then you have to talk to your son."

Vergil is visibly taken aback, fists clenching, muscles tensing in that way that makes you think of a cornered mouse. It's like he wants to leave, but he knows that like this, half transformed, he can't. Or shouldn't, rather.

"If this is something that I can overcome, then what's stopping you from clearing the air with him?" It's your turn to be bashful now - now that you've put your thoughts into a verbal form, they seem all the more intrusive and personal - but you distract yourself from it by mussing at your hair. "One good turn deserves another, right?"

The sheer logic in what you're saying is the only thing that's keeping Vergil grounded. It's practical. It's sound. He's just… why is he so nervous about it? The task is so simple, yet the thought of it instills a sense of dread in him so profound that it roots him to the spot. It dawns on him then, why you were so reluctant to witness the fruits of your own labour earlier in the day, why you so badly wanted to hide behind him and have him take the plunge in your stead. You weren't afraid of the outcome so much as the idea of failure itself. You were afraid of inadequacy. He is afraid of rejection.

But even if it was at his insistence, you still did it.

His eyes close and he relents, trying to dispel the tension that coils his muscles. "...fine." Hearing a quiet rustle, and then sensing movement in front of him, Vergil's eyes open again to the sight of your hand held halfway out between the two of you, fist closed, save for your pinky which lies outstretched toward him.

"Pinky swear."

Were Vergil the type of man to cringe, he would. "That's childish."

And were you the type of woman to let slide an opportunity for banter, you would have. "Oh puh-lease. As if a pinky promise is the worst thing I've had you to do to me." Your voice softens. "Just humour me on this, okay?"

The curt exhale that Vergil breathes out isn't quite a snort, nor is it a sigh. It's just a noise of indignation before he complies with a shake of his head and a slow roll of his eyes. He can't bring himself to look at you when he curls his pinky around yours, but there's a warm tingle where his skin meets that of yours, and something so assuring in the solid shake that follows.

"Part of me hopes you'll fail again." At any other time, it would have been a joke made in poor taste, but as of this moment? You don't particularly mind. In fact, all things considered, you're beaming, rekindled with an eagerness and a spring in your step.

"Wouldn't be my problem - you'd be the one testing it."

Something behind him shuffles, slithering up from his back to circle around to his side, a sinuous movement that you've seen before. Unlike most of him, his tail is fully formed and fully functional, appearing just as it normally does; covered in diamond-shaped scales and ending in that lethal tip. You sit, watching it with a sense of… dread? No, it isn't quite that far - you know he won't hurt you - but there is certainly a hesitance in seeing that barbed spearhead moving so close to you. He unfurls his hand from yours, and the book that his tail had wound itself around drops into his open palm.

And then he uses it to bop you lightly atop your head. "Not happening. This is the last time I bear your cross."

"Ow--" your exclamation - though it can hardly be called that - is instant and automatic, something said reflexively rather than because it actually hurt, and your hands rise to rub at where he'd hit you. Again, not because it hurt, but just because it feels like you're supposed to. "I know, okay? I won't ask you again." Because with luck, you won't need to. "Now get that tail out of my face. You're gonna poke my damn eye out with it."

The both of you then take the time to regard it as it hovers at Vergil's side. It swishes and twirls in a way that seems so unnatural and otherworldly, before it flops back onto the ground with a lifeless thud. But even then, it continues to flick this way and that, almost as if it itself is curious about its surroundings. As if it's sentient in its own right.

The thought makes you shiver, but you're not quite sure why. Like before, it isn't fear. "How long do you think it'll take for you to go back to normal?"

Vergil sighs quietly, opening the book in his hands as he thinks. Cringing, you note that it's the one he bought for you as a joke. You'd deliberately stashed it into one of your more unused bookshelves in the hopes that he'd never know you kept it, but with your track record of luck, of course that the one shelf you slammed into is the same one you'd hid it within. How is that fair? "I don't know," he admits with a casual air, "however long it takes for the tail to disappear - even with my coat, it's the most difficult to hide."

Even the way he's talking about it seems to denote that it's its own entity, and maybe that's why you lift both your feet off the floor when the tip of it seems to seek you out.

"Okay… well uh," you keep your eyes on his tail, even as it inches up the couch towards you. When it breaches the edge, you press the very tip of your toes just under the spear-like tip, anchoring it to the floor. That seems to make it understand, and it lies still, at least for now. "I guess that means we've got time to kill then." An awkward silence fills the air. "You uh. Want something to eat?"

He lowers the book in his hands just enough for him to arch one eyebrow at you, clearly skeptical at first, but suppressing all of that demonic energy was a drain on his own stores; he doesn't need to eat immediately, but he probably should while you're still offering. And who knows, eating might help him recover faster. So he snaps the book shut, arriving at what he deems to be a decision based around pragmatism rather than curiosity about your hospitality.

"What do you have?"

Chapter Text

It's nothing fancy, just a simple carbonara made with only the essentials; pasta, bacon, eggs, parmesan, and pepper. It's less that you're a stickler for traditional recipes (though many would argue, and quite vehemently at that, that it's still not quite traditional) and more that it's merely easy to make, with ingredients one should already have at their disposal. Not that you tell Vergil any of this, of course - it's nice to pretend you have a bit of class, even though your bed is but a mattress on the floor.

Vergil stands somewhere to your side, leaned against one of the counter tops with that damned book in his hands again, and you squint, annoyed, at the cover before you turn your attention back to the stove where you wait for the water to boil.

"I'm surprised you read this at all," he muses aloud. There's a deliberate nature to it that makes you think– no, that you know means that he'd intended for you to hear it. He turns the book around in his hands and shows you one of the pages where you'd scribbled a set of furious notes next to an entire passage that you'd crossed out, tapping at it with nails that are slowly beginning to blunt and reduce in size. "And perhaps more so that you were so passionate in correcting what essentially amounts to training wheels on a bike."

You give the warming pot of water one succinct and indignant tap on its rim with the wooden spoon in your hand before you perch it just as violently across the top of the pot. "I did it to prove to you that it was a worthless book. Because it was. I can't believe you actually wasted money on it."

"A few dollars was worth your affronted message." And he isn't lying about that - thinking about the photo you sent him of the book in your bin still gets a rise out of him to this day. Though normally very frugal by nature, it was frivolous money well spent, and the only thing he regrets is that he wasn't there to see your reaction in person. He doesn't let (too much of) his amusement show on his face though, lest he conjure more of your ire, so he quietly thumbs to the next page where you've left a set of very aggressive red question marks all the way down the margin, biting back a smile at your annotated 'CONDESCENSION MUCH??'. "And worthless as it may be, you still kept it." Even if in a corner of your home where you'd assumed he wouldn't find it.

It's a strangely warming gesture.

"You know, I'd be well within my rights to eat this entire vat of pasta in front of you by myself." At that, Vergil remains silent, and you relish in your minor victory for all of three seconds before you angle your head down towards the smooth, almost leathery sensation that curls around your ankle. It's been bothering you for the past few minutes now. "And that isn't cute, by the way. Knock it off. It hurts."

It doesn't, but. You know.

The way that Vergil glances up over the tome implies a sort of intentional disregard - he isn't particularly interested, but he feigns it if only because he refuses to eat whatever Dante will order in if you send him home famished. And lord knows you actually might, for his tail, with a mind of its own snakes between your feet, climbing up your calf like ivy. Any attempts made to try to shake it off merely result in it gripping you tighter.

He flips another page and sniffs, neutral and uninterested. "That is not my doing - it acts of its own accord."

Your head snaps up to raise an eyebrow in skeptical disbelief, genuinely unable to tell if he's joking. To the untrained eye, Vergil is unreadable when he wants to be, but there are always subtle quirks of his brow and certain accents around his eyes that give him away. If only he wasn't hiding behind that damn book...

"Why are you acting so concerned?" He's ever nonchalant. "I was under the impression that you liked the attention."

"What?!" Your reply is sharp, and far too hasty to be believably incredulous. To Vergil, you sound more like you're in denial.

"It isn't fear that I can smell on you." He states matter-of-factly, finally shutting the book in his hands and sliding it onto the kitchen counter top behind him. He then directs those blackened eyes back towards you, and just by virtue of being shrouded in darkness, emphasising the way they flicker with energy, they seem to peer into your very soul. More than ever, you know he sees right through you. Even before you realise what he means for yourself. It takes an extra few seconds of you staring right back him, more frustrated than puzzled, but with another shiver when his tail sidles up a bit higher, with another squeeze, and another prick of those barbs into your skin, it finally dawns on you. It's the same feeling you got that day you studied his demonic form up close outside Agnus' lab:

Curiosity.

Arousal.

A desire to be overwhelmed and rendered helpless by something so–

You look away with a sense of shame and even horror brewing in the pit of your stomach.

And sensing that you've made the connection, Vergil smiles, wicked. Dangerous. It's the sort of smile that reminds you, even more than the patches of scales that litter his skin, or the claws, or the teeth, or those eyes, that you are dealing with a demon.

To your utter dismay, you feel your face begin to warm. "That's ridiculous–" And yet it's denial that forces you to tilt your head away from him when he pushes off from his lean against the counter top. He's worryingly silent as he paces across your small kitchen, moving into position behind you. "Vergil." You try to sound intimidating when you feel his hands on you - they're modest for now, settling on your waist, but you know what he's getting at, and he's right. "Start anything and you starve."

His fingers spread wide on your body, trailing to your hips now, where they slink around to the front of your shorts. One of his nails tap, tap, taps on the button that sits atop the fly, a taunting rhythm that you seek to put a stop to with your own hand closing over his wrist. As if anticipating this, Vergil's free hand snaps around to grab yours. This he lifts out of the way, meeting a feeble and ultimately futile resistance from you. Under any other circumstance, it would have been a valiant attempt, commendable even, but he has his piercing eyes set on wrangling the truth out of you. Whether by word or pleasured sigh, he isn't picky, and then his voice is in your ear, low and tantalizingly derisive. "You say that like I wouldn't find an alternative meal." It's the combination of his voice, and that lecherous pun coming from somebody usually so reserved and tactful that makes you shudder, and right by your ear again, you hear him breathe out a laugh. "I should have known someone of your tastes would find this appealing. What is it that you like? The size? The texture?" His voice drops, and you feel the pinpricks of pointed teeth on your ear. "The way it writhes?"

The sound that leaves you is an undignified squawk, but it tells him all he needs to know. He shuffles the two of you backwards until he hits your dining table. Distantly, you think that should the day ever come that you call your arrangement with him off, the dining table should be the first thing you burn for all the sexual conduct that's happened on and around it, but the thought crumbles, falls away into nothing, when the button of your shorts is popped open and his hand slips underneath. You think it's strange that he didn't slip it underneath your panties too, but again, you're interrupted, this time by the pads of two fingers running down the length of your lower lips. Automatically, your thighs clamp down around his hand, but you feel the pressure on your leg lift. Vergil's tail sweeps up to coil around your knee, bending it, forcing it up and holding it in place. Spreading you open for him.

"Or is this what you like?" Propped over your shoulder, you feel him tilt his head, curious. "Being held in place while being used?" He observes your silence for a few seconds, contemplating. Your head is angled away from him, but even though he can't see the red of your cheeks, he knows better. Can smell better too. It's all the more compelling now that he's this close to you. Stronger, and oh so telling. There really is nothing better than when he has you cornered like this. "No?" His hand slips back out of your shorts and skims up the thigh of the leg his tail is keeping raised, where vigilant fingers slide underneath your bent knee to let the extra appendage slip free, unfurling from around your leg and leaving behind faint red imprints of his scales. An intimate tattoo of triangular shapes and meaningless patterns and striations.

It twists like a snake, movements slow and sinuous, bearing an almost inquisitive nature about it with how it pauses in front of you, the scales that adorn it bristling and stretching in a wave-like motion that extends down its entire length. It's deliberate. Seemingly possessive. Alive. Your eyes follow the tip, where that pointed spear head skims down your body and tucks into the front of your opened shorts. Your teeth sink into your lower lip as you watch it squirm against you, whipping and undulating to catch the material of your pants along the jagged edges. You try to keep your breathing even, try to ignore the warmth that's beginning to tingle and blossom between your legs - surely this isn't happening? Surely you aren't getting wet over… over this? Wrenching your jaw tightly shut, you muffle a gasp when seams begin to pop one by one, catching on pointed barbs to pull apart and fray. The material tears right down the crotch seam, and from there, his tail makes short work of the rest of your shorts, the shredded scraps falling to the floor at your feet. You gulp when the tip of his tail teases at the skin of your thigh, scraping it as it passes through and leaving reddened welts across your skin, and then it curls downward, lifting a smooth portion just beyond it to nestle comfortably along your core, nudging and gently writhing. It's slow and curious in how it pulls back and forth, but with an undeniable pressure that makes your breath hitch. The scales are pressed flat along its entire length, and in contrast to the rest of his demonic body, at least from what you can remember with your fleeting sense of self, is soft and smooth. Tougher and more rigid than a snake's scales, but with enough give that when you squirm against it, it's soft and spongy.

Having ridden Vergil before, and also sampled the taut muscles of his leg at once stage too, his tail, with its gentle rippling and constant vigilance against your cunt is an entirely new sensation. It has the benefits of being rigid enough to grind on (and it hasn't escaped either of your notice that your hips are beginning to move), but is pliable enough to wriggle against you. And it does. It slinks further in between your legs, nestling a thicker portion of his tail against increasingly damp panties.

That's what makes you buck, grinding down on it with a breathy gasp.

You feel Vergil's hand clasp your wrist tighter, his nails beginning to sink into the skin there. Not that you recognise the pain. Not that he even really realises it's happening either; there are much more interesting, much more unabashedly lascivious things that are demanding his attention. The flickering of his eyes intensifies into a glow, hungry, but not for what you had planned on cooking. He wants the brewing heat between your legs. "This is it, isn't it?" He peers down over your shoulder, over your now heaving breasts where he watches the length of his tail stroke and caress your clothed slit. When it pulls out to it's thinnest width, just before the tip, he swears he can see his scales glisten with something wet in the sunlight, and the sight has him sucking in a breath through his teeth. He doesn't feel much of anything in his tail, there's no real sensation to be had save for the light press of your cunt against it, but he idly grinds against the curve of your ass all the same, deriving his own pleasure from your shameless need - a desire for him that's so desperate, you're getting off on one of the most extreme parts of him. "Of all the things you could have from me, of all the things I can give you, it's my tail you want."

And there is most certainly something dizzying and empowering in knowing that he really is the only one who can provide that for you. It's a rush of adrenaline that inches his tail higher, harder against you, while behind you, his cock begins to do the same.

"Vergil…" Your voice quivers, but your ire is unmistakable, and your tone is one of warning. Maybe it's that very vehemence that makes it tremble so.

"Yes?" He drawls, momentarily lifting his gaze towards your face, still so adamantly turned away from him, almost to the point that your cheek meets his shoulder. Any intimidation that your voice may have carried is immediately dashed by your insistence in avoiding his eyes because you're always like this: honest, forward, and so brave until he has you pinned.

"You don't get to talk when I can feel you getting hard."

His hips still at that, but not out of any notion of shame. "Mm. I'm not making attempts to hide it though, am I? Your moral high ground means nothing to me."

"You're so not getting fed–" A choked sound cuts off the rest of your sentence when his tail presses up against you again, twisting back and forth between your legs and making your lurch in his grip, the leg that's dangling in the air twitching helplessly. It curves upwards on every outward stroke, deliberately and effortlessly stroking at your clit, and out of a physical need to ground yourself, your free hand reaches for something to grab hold of. You blindly grope around for purchase anywhere you can find it on Vergil's body, before ultimately sliding it upwards and grabbing a fistful of his hair and one of his horns, bared wrists scraping on small spines that poke through the skin at the nape of his neck.

Feeling the light backwards tug on his horns, Vergil growls in a voice tinged with static, raising the hair on your arms. It washes a chill over your skin, even though your body feels so warm, and you swear it makes you even wetter than you already are.

"Well, if I'm going to be punished regardless, I may as well take what I want then, don't you agree?"

With your hips now freely rolling in time with his tail's sensual motions, that mind melting friction, you almost, almost say yes. Thankfully, what comes out instead is a pitiful whine when it pulls away, and the sudden lack of pleasurable synapses snaps your eyes open again with a poignant lucidity. You register yourself in Vergil's hold, at his mercy, with one leg being held in the air at the knee. To your surprise, he gently lets that go, but the second your foot touches the ground, he turns you around to face him, long fingers gripping your chin in a hold that's domineering enough that it makes your core ache, throbbing and yearning for the thick friction you were reveling in only moments ago.

"On your knees." Vergil watches the colour of your eyes melt into liquid fire when he says that, and if he wasn't hard before, he most certainly is now when you angle your chin away to sink your teeth along the length of his thumb in a surge of contempt. "Kneel." He urges again, voice firmer this time, and he is almost giddy from the thrill of it - he's always wanted to say this to you, to be in charge while you suck his cock. "Or I don't finish you off."

He feels another unrelenting pinch on his thumb when your teeth bear down harder for just a split second. You don't know whether it's the receding scales, or whether your teeth just aren't sharp enough to pierce his skin, but you leave a series of red crescents in your wake when you release his thumb. As an afterthought, one last ditch effort towards rebellion, you suck it into your mouth, laving your tongue across the rough pad of his thumb, your eyes persistently still locked with his. A quiet rumble stirs the base of Vergil's throat when hel feels you suck lightly on his thumb, your lips set and appearing so puffy and plump around his digit. But your provocation goes no further than that, and you pull off his finger with a faint wet pop.

"You're an asshole, you know that?" And yet you're already sinking to your knees in front of him, levelling yourself with the tight bulge in the front of his pants. You keep your eyes on him as you pull at his belt buckle, and he, in all of his haughty arrogance, peers down his nose at you.

"For giving you what you want?"

"For taking advantage of it." It's absurd how quickly you're able to navigate his pants now, pulling them open to reveal his swollen cock to you - a mouth-watering sight in its own right. It's also absurd how quick you are to grip the base of him with your hand, giving him one deliberately slow pump before you take the soft head of his cock into your mouth. You don't go any further than that, letting him take in the sight of your lips around him like you know he likes to do.

He gives a contented hum, a growly, raspy sound, and true to his word, you feel his tail worm its way back between your legs, the pointed tip of it scraping pleasantly at the skin of your soft thighs as it passes through. Once it does, once that delightful stretch of smooth scales presses into your cunt again, your thighs immediately clamp down on it, and you gasp around Vergil's cock in your mouth, voice tapering off into a muted whimper. You can feel the muscle ripple just beneath those thin scales, sliding, stroking, massaging the wet gusset of your panties, once again coating it with a wet sheen of your slick. It's such a different sensation to riding his hand or his thigh… or even his face; it's so thick and alive, writhing and squirming, slipping further, deeper between your legs.

Your free hand falls to the length of his tail that extends in front of you, idly running your hands up and down the flattened scales, exploring its pattern and texture under your fingertips; aimless patterns of lines and hardened fibers. You spread your fingers wide over it, situating your weight more comfortably, and taking the pressure off your thighs to let you rut against the appendage with more fervour. Each forward roll of your hips against his scales feels so smooth, where each backward drag catches on their shape, the minor dips between them, the uneven texture providing so much rapturous friction you'd be surprised if you weren't dripping all over your floor; you're most certainly drooling all over his cock, with eyes half lidded and lost… Distant. Caring more for the thickness between your thighs that coils and twists and curls up the meet your now swollen clit through your panties than for indulging him. Vergil's clawed fingers curl into your hair, where you feel the barest of pricks in your scalp, and you understand his silent request, letting your hand still wrapped around his length sink to the base as you inch more of his cock into the warmth of your mouth. You're admittedly not giving his cock the careful, teasing attention you normally would, but Vergil doesn't seem to mind, clearly finding his own thrill in seeing you ride him in a whole new way, watching that deep, circular motion of your hips with predatory eyes.

If he's honest, he might cum from that sight alone and spill down your throat with little to no effort on your part - just the wet heat of your mouth, those muffled moans, and your constant rutting against his tail. He'd be lying through his teeth if he said he wasn't affected by your shameless movements against it, the rich smell of you that you're smearing all over his scales, so helpless for him…

So helpless…

A fleeting glint steals across his eyes then - he knows how he can make this better. For the both of you.

You feel his tail slide further in between your legs to emerge behind you, nestling a cooler, even thicker portion of it against you for you to freshly coat in your arousal. A familiar rough scuffing against the bare skin of your arms alerts you to the tip of his tail winding around them, cinching at the elbows to force your arms behind your back to bind them in place. It forces another muffled cry from you, your hips grinding down against that damned tail when you realise there was some truth in Vergil mentioning being held in place. Restrained. At his mercy– no, not mercy. When he gets like this, the word loses all meaning.

What you're taking pleasure in, you realise as your tongue works at the underside of his cock, peeking past your lips to spread an unholy mix of saliva and precum, is being at the mercy of his whims. You mumble out a choked, stifled 'fuck' around him at your epiphany, and you feel Vergil nudge his hips forward into your mouth when you do.

"You seem to be enjoying yourself." Without any means of responding to him, all you can do - perhaps in an act of disobedience despite your currently bound state - is slowly bob your head along his cock, sinking deep enough that the soft head of it hits the back of your throat. Somehow, that only stimulates you further, your thighs clenching down hard around the coiled muscle underneath you, spreading and smudging your sticky slick further across your inner thighs.

Your head is beginning to spin, to feel light. In fact, your entire body feels like it's gently buzzing - brought on by such a foreign sensation against you, perhaps? His tail tightens around your arms, spreading flames up your forearms and into your shoulders as they're stretched further behind you. And then down between your legs, it curls upwards again, supporting and cupping your cunt from both sides, giving you more to rut desperately into. More of that decadent friction where you've been wanting it most. It's with shameful speed that your peak approaches, your body already beginning to tense and tremble with the anticipation of it while the thick length of his tail continues to slide smoothly through your legs, stroking every part, every nerve so delightfully that you actually think you're seeing stars dot your vision, each one blooming in time to the shallow thrusts and flicks against your clit. In time to the rhythm of Vergil's hand guiding your head along his cock.

"Cum on it."

That one sentence, spoken with a tight, riveting authority is what does it for you - you're already on your knees with his throbbing cock in your mouth and his tail in between your legs, arms bound and powerless. You're already feeling so fucking good, and with what sounds like a whined, muffled 'yes', you wrench your thighs together to lock his tail in place as you cum with twitching limbs and intermittent mewls around his cock. Even bound, your arms pull and strain, your fingers stretching open and closed out of a need to do something, because you honestly think the pleasure is going to swallow you whole. Your thighs are aching with how hard you're pinching his tail between them, allowing your hips to continuously gyrate against smooth, wet scales, dragging your orgasm on and on with repeated shocks to your nervous system. Even clenching on nothing, you feel your cunt spasm violently as the muscles of his tail stretch and ripple under your clit, the sensation almost as thrilling, almost as electrifying as if you were riding him completely bare. The thought of that forces your eyes shut, hiding the way they then roll up into your head.

You're still spasming weakly when Vergil's hand yanks your head forward and spills directly down your throat with a strained, raspy growl; thick ribbons that you find yourself, amidst your own fuzzy bliss, wishing he'd left on your tongue instead to let you taste. You're only able to sample a few drops of his bitter taste when he pulls out of your mouth, your head inadvertently leaning forward and chasing the tip of his cock to give it one last suck and a gentle flick with the very tip of your tongue, and then you're gasping for breath with heated cheeks and foggy eyes.

His hand slips from your hair, fingers following the contour of your face, your jaw before he curls his fingers under your chin again. It's a gentle grip this time, accompanied by a soft swipe of his thumb over your wet and swollen lower lip, and even that has you moaning softly, your entire body still far too sensitive to touch. To that end, his tail has come to a complete stop underneath you, but you're still idly grinding your clit against it, chasing the mild jolts and aftershocks to milk the experience dry. But those too gradually fade, and in their place, lucidity returns. For a while, you can only hear the sound of your own breaths, still returning to an even pace, and it's only because Vergil thinks you might honestly stumble if he lets you go, that he keeps his tail wrapped around your arms.

When he thinks you're cognizant enough to keep yourself upright, the tail loosens, gently releasing your arms and letting them fall back into their natural position at your sides. Though there's not much feeling in them, the very tips of your fingers buzzing with that static numbness, you prop them against the length of his tail in front of you, letting your shoulders sag as you expel one final lungful of air.

By the time you look up at him again, he's already taken the liberty of tucking himself back into his pants - in fact, he's still only just buckling his belt. "So you do control it."

Ah, and it's straight back to this. Vergil smiles rather easily, helping you back onto your feet when you reach for him. "Do I?" His tone is as deceptive as it is simple. And behind you, his tail thuds against the floor, dull and heavy, as if speaking on its own behalf.

You grouse; a vague noise of either complaint or lightheaded fatigue (it's one or the other) and then you step forward to sag against him, using his body to support yourself. Your eyes close the second your forehead hits his shoulder. "Whatever," you mumble into his vest, "just gimme a minute."

You're met with silence at first, and a peculiar stillness before Vergil, nigh imperceptibly, relaxes under you. It's gradual, as if the tension drains from him starting from the very tips of his hair down to his toes - so slow, as though he doesn't want to disturb you. It's strange. He's had you pressed up against him like this before, sometimes against a wall, sometimes your mattress, even the very table he's backed up against, but it's never been this…

...this what?

Soft? Is that the word he's looking for? Intimate? Yes, that feels a bit more accurate.

His hands have arguably roved your entire body - he knows the feel of your skin, your arms, your legs, your back, your breasts… yet they remain at his sides, completely at a loss as to what he's supposed to do with them right now. So he stands there, unsure, unblinking, and unmoving, staring vacantly ahead of him while you gather yourself.

And when you do, when you pull away with a rejuvenated "thanks", trailing your fingers across his chest as you go, he misses that comfort, that closeness almost immediately - intimacy without any intimacy.

"Shit…" Your voice jostles him out of his thoughts, and he blinks back towards you to find you rubbing at your arms, particularly where his tail had wound around them. There's a trail of reddened imprints in your skin, a half formed serpentine pathway of triangular scales to match the ones that mark your inner thighs. "Looks like I'm stuck here too until these fade."

What you don't tell him is that it was worth it.

(He already knows, but only because you haven't mentioned the fact he shredded a pair of your shorts.)

Vergil hasn't said anything yet, but you wave him off regardless. "It's fine. Just uh…" you tilt your head over in the direction of the stove, where the post of water is bubbling away. How long it's been boiling is anybody's guess, really. "Your hands are clean right? Can I get you to dump the pasta in? I'm gonna clean up."

"...Of course." The pregnant pause and rigid nature of his voice is lost on you as you shuffle over to your wardrobe to fetch a fresh pair of underwear. That means you don't notice his eyes on you either as you make your way to the bathroom.

Before the door closes, you poke your head out. "Don't set fire to anything."

That's when Vergil rolls his eyes, the magic of the moment, the brink of an epiphany in intimacy crumbling away to default back to that air of playful banter. When you close the bathroom door, so too, does Vergil let that quiet moment slip away. You clearly didn't think much of it, didn't realise the sudden pressure you'd put him under, so that means it isn't worth investing time and effort into.

...right?



"So…"

Your mouth is half full of pasta when you talk, stuffed into one cheek as you peer at him over your shoulder. Vergil is the only one actually seated at your table, whereas you're merely resting your hip against it. It makes him wonder why you bother having one at all if you never use it for its intended purpose, at least until he remembers its more frequently utilised off-label use. It's less a dining table and more a table on which you fuck. A fucking table.

Oh wait.

Maybe that's why you're not sitting at it.

"...what's your favourite food?" Your curiosity comes unabated.

Vergil isn't so uncouth as to talk with his mouth full, but he does give you a confused squint when you propose the question, at which you raise your bowl. "I mean, you know, since we're eating, and I like a little bit of conversation to go with my meals. You owe me an answer anyway."

Ah, he supposes he does, so he concedes with a quiet hum.

"Risotto." He answers quietly. "I'm not particular about what's in it, it's the consistency and texture I enjoy."

"Oh yeah? Prefer something with a bit of bite to it, huh? I can see that." The lilt in your tone is implicit of something more; the suggestion that he's sitting in your apartment right now because of his peculiar preference, that tendency towards toughness. It's almost flattering. "Why risotto in particular though? I mean depending on who you ask, all pasta's supposed to be a little tough."

The ensuing hush is disguised with a mouthful of pasta as Vergil deliberates the answer. The two of you may have promised each other one truthful answer per sexual encounter (a promise that feels so long ago, and made by two complete strangers), but he's technically provided that already. What he answers with from here is purely at his discretion.

And even he finds it strange how easily the explanation comes.

"It was a comfort food from my childhood. Winters in Red Grave are harsh, and all the more when you presided in a large manor." Vergil tries to mask it, but knowing where to look, knowing where the cracks in his armour lie, his eyes are wistful and nostalgic. Even a little sad. You watch this facet of him with a steadfast fascination. "We had a fireplace in the kitchen, but it was her cooking that warmed us."

"'Her'?" You prompt, hopeful.

Grey eyes stare into the bowl in front of him, another quiet moment of deliberation passing, but to your surprise, he does give you an answer. "My mother."

Turning to look back around to look into your own bowl, you aimlessly stir the noodles with your fork, round and round in meaningless circles.

His mother.

The elusive mother you only know about through Trish's existence. The extent of your knowledge about her is that she's dead, and again, only because Trish exists - it's not a topic that gets brought up everyday. Of course it isn't. Dante never utters a single word about her to anybody, and that of course extends to quiet, private Vergil too. That strange feeling of overstepping boundaries comes back to hit you like a road roller, leaving you unsure if you have the right to ask him more. To have him explain.

Luckily, Vergil decides the course of the conversation for you. "And you? I believe you similarly owe me a response."

Your head tilts, not all the way, not far enough that he can see the unrest on your face over whether or not you're disappointed the opportunity's slipped by. "Yeah, suppose I do." With a soft exhale and a shrug, you discard the thought. "You're eating it right now, I guess. I make it so often, it probably counts as my favourite food by now."

"You cook often, then?"

"Hmm? Nah." The admission comes easily and with a relaxed wave of your fork through the air. "More like I cycle through four or five recipes. I read somewhere it's good to have a couple you know by heart that you sorta tinker with and change to your liking. Most of the time, I just mooch leftovers from the orphanage. Nero hates it. Says Kyrie is 'enabling' me." You do resume your half-turned posture now, twisting around to look at Vergil behind you, expression incredulous. "Why is it my fault when she's offering?"

Vergil smiles down at his pasta. "Well, to your credit, this is adequate."

You arch an eyebrow. "Adequate. Adequate?" The teasing intonation has returned to your voice, something that Vergil matches one-for-one.

"Not on par with what I've sampled of Kyrie's cooking, but with some work--" A latter half of that sentence was neither intended nor necessary, because in a predictable move, your right hand, fork and all, swings out behind you in an attempt to swat at his head. And of course, anticipating this, Vergil simply leans out of reach. "Careful," he chides, but not with any noticeable annoyance, "you could take somebody's eye out with that."

"Ha ha." You bark out, utterly humourless and swathed in a bitter derision. "Should've let you starve."

"That isn't very hospitable." He replies smoothly.

Huffing out a short, incensed grunt, you whip back around to poke at your bowl of carbonara again, twirling noodles around the fork, but not partaking. Like sediment in cloudy water, time defuses the tension, no matter how minor, leaving pettiness to settle to clear the air. When you turn back around again, his transgression (if it could even be called such) is already forgotten.

"Hey, Vergil." You begin, in a bid to get his attention. He's got a forkful of pasta in his mouth, but he does give you an acknowledging hum in place of a verbal answer. "I've only ever really heard bits and pieces about her, and since you brought it up before… could you…" your words trail off into an uncertain silence that you bolster with a deep breath, "could you tell me about your mother?" It's a simple question, one you actually think you should probably have saved for another time, so to speak, but if he'd refused to divulge any information earlier about why he's so well versed in the limits of his own body, you want to give him the option of refusing this too - forcing an answer from him seems unnecessarily cruel.

But where you're expecting a taciturn response, perhaps even a swift change in subject, his eyes trail off to the side in contemplation. It drags on and on like this for almost an entire minute, just a silence and stillness that you're not sure you'll ever really get used to as far as Vergil is concerned. It makes you nervous, and you think that, for once, maybe you really, truly have offended him this time. That there is a reason why Dante never talks about her either. Until his eyes meet yours again, resolute, but with a hint of apology.

"Maybe another time."

It may not have been the answer you were expecting, and it's further still from the one you were hoping for, but there is a small chance, you realise, as you finish off your meal with a modest smile.

"Yeah. Sounds good."

Because he didn't say no.

Chapter Text

Behind closed doors, in the safety of your apartment, all bets of conduct between the two of you are off. Hands wander, slipping underneath clothes to grip at bare skin. Toes curl and lips part in wordless, soundless sighs. Breath is all but shared in the minimal space between bodies, warm, humid, and sticky. It's all teeth and tongues and biting and marking. It's enthralling, enticing, and he is everything you could ask for in a sexual partner, in someone who responds in kind with a fervour and fire that matches your own. But only ever in private. Things are measured and formal in the presence of others. Distant, even. There are no looks, no slips of the hand. Sometimes you don't even talk.

So it was pure coincidence that one, and then two pairs of eyes saw through your false script and read between the lines. Coincidence and bad luck.

Who'd have thought that knowing someone so well could turn out to be a bad thing?



Being composed of both blade and complex machinery, Caliburns and Durandals (and by extension, the Red Queen herself) require extensive maintenance at frequent intervals; cleaning, regreasing, and refueling are all essential in their upkeep. Failure to do so, as was very often and very strongly emphasised back during your tenure as a lowly Knight, often resulted in catastrophic consequences. You'd once heard of a Caliburn outright exploding in the hands of a careless trainee… And so in the interest of keeping your hands attached to your body, you borrow the tools in the orphanage's garage once a fortnight to give Caliburn a full clean. It's a very practiced routine for you by now, something you think you could honestly do with your eyes closed, but again, in the interest of self preservation and basic desire to have hands, you meticulously keep them open.

"Don't give me that," you mutter under your breath, directing a sense of ire towards your sword. Speaking to it is a habit you unwittingly picked up from Nero over the years - like many things about him, you thought it to be rather ridiculous at first, but look at you now. Neither Caliburn nor Red Queen ever give any sort of response of course, but projecting a sense of one-sided humanity onto it helps entrench an already deeply rooted bond… Or it might just be creepy, who knows, you never do it loud enough for other people to hear anyway. "You're getting fueled with the primo stuff this time, I promise."

"Hey–" From the open garage door, comes Nico's sharp interjection. She's carrying a box of groceries in her arms as she crosses the room - she's helping to bring the orphanage's weekly delivery of foodstuff in. From outside, you can hear the low roar of the delivery truck as it rumbles to life with a tired splutter before it pulls out onto the road. Normally, it would be you in her place, but seeing as your hands were already greasy, someone else had to help and since Nico was just standing around watching you work, she became your unwitting and unwilling scapegoat. "–don't even think about tappin' into my supply! Use Nero's!"

You think she's just a touch bitter about that.

Your eyes never leave the half dismantled sword in front of you, occupied with unscrewing the minuscule fuel tank from within the handle of your blade. Your rebuttal comes similarly undisturbed. "If you don't want me using your stuff, maybe think about locking it up then."

"I did." Loud and proud is Nico's reply before she realises the contradiction at hand. "Wait a minute– I did."

You smile sweetly and breathe out a short laugh, tapping at the opened combination lock that sits on the bench at your side with your screwdriver. "You can do better than 4-2-0, Nico."

There's a string of incoherent, half sputtered, but very much indignant words leaving Nico's mouth before she pulls herself together. "You weaselly lil'–" But before she can fully round on you - she's already halfway down the short stairway and looking ready to up end the box in her arms right over your head - Nero bellows from inside the kitchen:

"Nico hurry it up! We still gotta pack all this away!"

Leaning over the stair railing, the brunette squints at you in warning, an intimidation display that falls dreadfully short of its purpose, and then continues inside. You can hear quiet thumps and murmuring come from the open doorway, soft indistinct voices as the weekly puzzle of fitting everything into the pantry rears its head yet again. Come to think of it, there's a spare refrigerator one of the residents in your apartment block no longer needs and has been offering around to other tenants; you keep forgetting to bring that up with Nero… So, picking up a pencil, you scribble 'FRIDGE' right onto the surface of the bench as a reminder for later. For now, you want to get your Caliburn into optimal fighting shape, which means… premium fuel.

Whistling notes at random, you spin on your heel with the fuel tank in hand to make your way towards Nico's stash of jerry cans, listening to the idle banter that drifts into the garage from the kitchen.

"If I eat it now, we won't need to put it away. Problemo solved...o."

"If you eat it now, I'm putting you away. Drop it, Nico."

"I was just sayin'..."

You're rather enjoying the background noise, finding peace in familiar voices playfully arguing, and the smell of oil and grease, but when those voices become muffled, you peer up from the unscrewed jerry can in front of you and cast your eyes over towards the door. There, Vergil stands with the door pulled halfway closed behind him with that oddly vacant look he always has on his face whenever he's around the others; whether he's overwhelmed, awkward around them, or simply not needed in that small space is up in the air. Whichever it is though, he glances in your direction and holds your gaze, giving you a nod, only barely noticeable by the brief flick of his hair. Your expression doesn't change, but you return the gesture. A verbal greeting would have been more natural, but keeping at a distance when in such close range of the others is always at the forefront of your mind whenever you're both at the orphanage. You've come this far without anybody knowing about your frequent rendezvous, and you intend to take that as far as you can.

Ideally, that would be until one or both of you are cold and dead in the ground.

And as much, and as often as you call him an idiot, you know he isn't actually stupid; Vergil throws a contemplative look over his shoulder, pausing to listen for the sounds of conversation, the sounds of distraction from inside, and it's only when he's satisfied with the flow of what he hears that he begins down the short stairway to stand at the workbench Caliburn is spread out upon. By the time you finish filling up the fuel tank, he's holding the break handle, rolling it between his hands as if he's testing its weight. Even though Caliburn is nowhere near as large as the Red Queen, the sheer scale of inner mechanisms involved make it heavier than any average sword; he's well aware by now that you are stronger than you look, but Vergil realises for the first time that the solid leather brace you wear on your sword hand is not for any cosmetic purpose, but for support. Given how you handle him, how you talk to him - unapologetic and unafraid - underneath your heedless mannerisms, so much larger than yourself, simply so much more, you are simply human. Though come to think of it, it's hard for him to view any of the people he knows as such when they all harbour strength in their own ways. Even Kyrie, who is astute and, surprisingly, very stubborn.

He supposes that's how she manages to slot every last scrap of food into a space every week as though it were nothing.

Squeezing the break handle until it sits flush in its cradle with an empty click, Vergil muses rather idly. "Given Fortuna's inclination towards more traditional methods, I didn't think it would base the design and function of their core weapons on… motorcycles, of all things."

You shrug, still saying nothing, and lean halfway over the bench to try to peer through the door to the entranceway. Though Vergil pulled it half shut behind him when he came through, there's still a decent gap - certainly large enough for someone to peek through should they hear a conversation between two unlikely guests. A look of concentration crosses your face as you try to listen for the voices of those within. You can make out Nico and Nero easily enough; Kyrie rarely needs to use the garage for any specific purpose, so it's unlikely she'd enter; the children are all in the backyard… and so that leaves Dante. At least, you assume he's here. After all, why would Vergil be around the orphanage without Dante?

"They're busy." Vergil assures you. "Apparently I wasn't needed, and so…" he trails off and gestures at himself with his hands in a silent 'here I am'.

FInally, you hum, and before you straighten your stance, you pluck the handle from his meddling grasp and drop it back onto the benchtop. "Probably still isn't a good idea for you to hang out around here though."

Undeterred, Vergil picks up another piece, this time the dismantled handle which he inspects slowly, thoroughly. He twists at a portion of it, watching the gears set within it click and turn. "No, but Dante is aware of my fascination with weaponry, and I know so little of Fortuna's wares." What he's saying is not entirely untrue - he does understand incredibly little of the Order's weapons, and he is interested in their inner workings (fuel injection? In a sword?). But what he isn't telling you is that he doesn't quite feel comfortable being anywhere else in the building. The books in the modest library have all been flipped through, some with care, most with a mere passing interest, and he understands Nero's apprehension with his unsupervised presence among the children. What else is left? Drifting aimlessly from room to room? Watching from the sidelines awkwardly as his acquaintances push and pull and consider adding extra shelving to the kitchen?

To be completely honest, rather than any of that, he'd rather just be with you, in the comfort of familiarity and that peculiar casual openness of the atmosphere that he finds… so easy and accepting; it's a bit like Kyrie now that he thinks about it, only there are no formalities, no procedures, or any need to stand on ceremony. It's simply more… well, he doesn't really know, can't seem to narrow his thoughts down to one concise idea. All he knows is that it's just. Well. Nice. He recalls you mentioning it's because you've both shared so many intimate moments that it makes bridging a friendship easier, but to Vergil, that feels so backwards. Untraditional and nonconforming, both of which are things he doesn't typically enjoy.

And yet here he is.

It's so bizarre.

"Well, I don't really know what to tell you." Your voice pulls Vergil out from within the confines of his thoughts, where with a soft click, you slot the fuel tank back into place, nestled tightly into Caliburn's crossguard. With your eyes trained downward, you continue your work with practiced ease as you continue to explain. "These were already in circulation by the time I joined, but they'd been streamlined a bunch since their conception. The first models weren't uh… very stable, as far as I know." In your hands, Caliburn clicks and gears grind as you reassemble the parts with frightening speed, all without batting an eye; the flint mechanism attaches to the fuel tank, and around that slots the break... "There were a few accidents that got referenced even well after their time, not that any amount of streamlining will prevent accidents, because I mean idiots exist no matter where, or when you are in the world– There was a trainee who had his hand blown off. Like, the whole thing. Gone. Was discharged from service before he even began. These things are temperamental if you don't treat them right. More prone to rust than most other swords too, so they need a lot of maintenance." You pause, hands going still, and then you're rolling your eyes up towards the man across from you to look at him from underneath your lashes. "Must be nice having a demonic weapon that doesn't really require this sort of upkeep."

A beat passes as Vergil considers, tosses a quick glance over his shoulder towards the door, checking for the sounds of distant chatter before he answers you. "It has its uses, but there are moments where I find my hands itch for something to touch." He says this with a deliberate, almost playful lilt in his voice that makes you stop what you're doing to stare up at him in silence. To your own surprise, you're not… uninterested. It's a bold statement to make when the risks are so great, but you don't hate it. In fact, it's been well established that the exact opposite is true; the danger excites you, and Vergil thrives on that.

Still though, this is perhaps a little much when you're both so out in the open, so you suppress a smile by biting at your bottom lip, favouring prudence at least for today. Maybe another opportunity will present itself when you're both somewhere a little more… enclosed. "That was smooth, I'll give you that, but I'm just gonna go ahead and strike that from the record. I hope you understand."

Vergil's lips curl upwards into a smile before they part, most likely with another retort lined up, but his head suddenly cocks to the side, grey eyes darting over to the door. The good humour drains from his face shortly afterwards, and with an abruptness that rocks the bench and rattles its contents, he pushes off of it and moves swiftly to the opposite side of the garage to inspect the tools hanging upon the wall there. You're a little off put by his sudden chill, but the reason for his unexpected and hurried distancing eventually dawns on you - someone must be approaching. And so you too play your part, diligently returning to tending to Caliburn. The boots stomping towards the door from inside, heavy and resolute, sound like Nero to you, but for whatever reason, he stops just short of it.

"–oh, sure thing, hun… Nico get off your ass and help me look for it!" A minor pause. "How the hell am I supposed to know?"

Though only half a conversation, you can probably piece together the sort of chaos that's going on inside the kitchen. You hear a door open nearby, and Nero sifts through the entryway closet for a little bit, mumbling to himself as he goes. It's only a few short seconds later - too soon for it to have been thorough - that he gives up with an exaggerated grunt and kicks the closet closed with the tip of his boot. And then the half closed door of the garage is swinging open as he pokes his head out, calling your name. You, of course, look up with an arched eyebrow, silently beckoning him to proceed.

For just a moment, his eyes flicker over to Vergil standing on the far side of the garage. Both of his eyebrows rise as if he's surprised to see him there, but he blinks it away almost immediately, opting to focus on what he'd come for. "Have you seen the new tupperware set we got from the Sartors? I thought that got put away in the kitchen somewhere, but we're not finding it."

"Oh. Yeah, uhh…" hesitance brews in your gut as you suck in a breath, "it's at my place."

"...the whole set?"

Your tone takes on but a modest dash of defense. "Kyrie let me borrow it when she let me take home some of the soup you guys had last week."

"And you haven't brought them back?"

"I mean, obviously."

Over by the wall, in his halfhearted inspection of the absolutely riveting and utterly mind-bending array of wrenches and spanners, Vergil smiles to himself.

"Oh my god," Nero's exclamation is accompanied by a tired roll of his eyes, "see this is why you shouldn't get to have any of our leftovers, you're being spoiled. And you're a thief. And I'm calling the cops." Pushing himself up from his lean against the doorframe, Nero turns to head back inside, heavy boots thudding against the floor and into the distance.

He's well out of earshot when you mimic his last sentence in a deliberately pitched voice, "'I'm calling the cops.'" Breathing out a short huff, your voice then returns to its regular cadence. "He wouldn't dare."

Vergil chooses to favour prudence just as you did earlier and remains silent in the face of your childish answer, pacing over to one of the shelves inside the garage, this time to tilt his head at an array of motor oils. But the amused smile remains on his face, hidden only by his back to you.

Inside, Nero wanders back into the kitchen empty handed where Kyrie awaits with the others. There's a large pot, chilled with a fine layer of condensation misting the outside of it sitting on the kitchen bench; the idea was to store its contents (Kyrie's 'famous' fish stew) in tupperware to make more room in the fridge, but… well. That idea is a bust.

Nico, with her hip propped against another counter top, leans back on her hands and bellows a yawn. "You didn't find it?"

Nero spreads his hands to showcase that they're clearly empty. "I mean, obviously." He grimaces immediately after the words spill from his mouth. He hadn't intended on mimicking you, but something something birds of a feather. Shaking it off, Nero then points his thumb over his shoulder back in the direction of the garage. "She's still got them. Still got them."

The gunsmith makes a face, scrunching her nose and eyebrows together. The look she shoots over to Nero is borderline accusing. "Well ask for 'em back?"

"You think just asking her to bring 'em back is gonna make her do it?" Long used to her brash nature, Nero is largely unperturbed, deflecting the accusatory gaze with one of his own and accentuating it with a finger pointed at her. "You're still holding on to one of our plates. And it's been months."

Nico's lips purse and her eyes go wide, clearly looking for some sort of scapegoat now that she's been so publicly called out. It comes in the form of her pushing herself off of the bench, and rolling her shoulder as she leaves the kitchen.

"You gimme five minutes with her, I'll get yer damn tupperware back."



It's now been ten minutes, and the complete silence from the garage and Nico's prolonged disappearance are telling that something has gone awry, and so finishing off the last of his doughnut (Fortuna makes them so much more springy somehow), Dante dusts off his hands.

"I'll go see what's taking so long." And with that, he wanders out of the kitchen, leaving the murmuring couple behind. Truth be told, he always feels a bit like the third wheel whenever he's left alone with them. Is he happy that his nephew found true love? Sure. Do they have to be cuddly all the time? According to Dante, no. But on the other hand, Dante categorises brief, fleeting touches to be cuddly, so he may not actually be the best judge on the matter. Lady merely says he's a bitter old man, but isn't that more Vergil's schtick?

Whatever.

As he moves through the building, he's perplexed, to say the least, to find Nico hidden behind the door frame, body bent at an odd and likely uncomfortable angle and peeking out into the garage. The uneven clumping of his boots down the hallway alerts her to his presence, and she whips her head around immediately, eyes flashing with an unspoken threat as she lifts a finger to her mouth in a swift, jagged movement. The meaning behind her actions (and perhaps more vividly in her eyes) are clear as day: keep quiet, or I will kill you.

Dante feels a tingle on the back of his neck as the short hairs there rise on end; fight or flight is telling him that that second half of her unspoken warning is not an idle threat.

Puzzled, he spreads his hands in a silent 'what's going on?', even though he knows she isn't likely to respond, and true to his expectations, she just nods her head out the door, eyes still wide and vaguely threatening. When Dante still doesn't understand, she rolls her eyes and beckons him over with a wave of her hand, growing more impatient the longer he abjectly refuses to do so. His shoulders sag, his arms drop to his sides limply, and though it's soundless, his lips part in a mimed groan; the way he's acting, the irritated exasperation that's rolling off of him in waves, one would think he was asked to do chores. Because seriously? What could possibly be so interesting that it would warrant this sort of behaviour? Far be it from Dante to say he's mature by any stretch of the term, but there is fine print in regards to how he chooses to present himself. But Nico is nothing if not persistent… and also kind of scary, so despite finding all of this to be more trouble than it's worth, Dante heaves a quiet sigh before he adjusts his weight, walking only on the tips of his toes in a manner that's almost comical for a man of his size, and then he's copying Nico's pose, slivers of his silvery hair poking out and around the door frame an entire foot above her head. Under any other circumstance, he'd remark that he's getting a bit too close - a harmless quip that's come to be expected (and also mostly ignored) by all who know him - and he most certainly is with his chest nearly to her back, but his attention is instead drawn to the scene in the garage. As it turns out, what has caught Nico's eye is of interest, because what he sees is Vergil.

With you.

At first glance, there's absolutely nothing going on. He's pacing the perimeter of the garage with that quiet curiosity he's always held within him, and you're finally putting Caliburn back together with soft thoughtful hums as you work, slotting the handle back onto the breaking mechanism and screwing it all into position. It's perfectly innocuous. Nothing out of the ordinary for either of you. But this is what Nico has been watching for the past ten minutes, and now for some reason, Dante is too, drawn by something that he's seemingly missing from the nothing that's happening; the nothing that's most certainly saying something.

"Will you cut that out?" you suddenly snap, and for a split second, Dante thinks you're talking to him and Nico. But your eyes are directed over towards Vergil, set in a familiar unsettling glare - guess you picked that up from Nico. Or did Nico pick that up from you? "I feel like a carcass being circled by a vulture." At which Vergil merely gives you a look.

Oh yes, there's absolutely nothing out of the ordinary as far as both of your personalities go.

...and yet Dante can't bring himself to look away. His eyes dart between his brother and you, back and forth, again and again, just watching as a crease begins to mar his brow with deep lines. On the surface, it doesn't seem like much of a difference in either of your behaviours; he knows Vergil is the type to utilise his quiet nature towards mildly (then to moderately, and then to incredibly) threatening ends, and he knows you are the sort to speak out against exactly that. To any other combination of people, this would hardly be worth this level of scrutiny and reflection, but Dante knows his brother, and to some level, maybe not as deeply as Nico or Nero, he knows you. Thus, he also knows that Vergil isn't the sort to pay much heed to things when they don't interest him, and you are only this bold when you are familiar with the other party. To Dante's knowledge, you never speak to Vergil, and Vergil doesn't have any friends.

...except he does, doesn't he?

He casts his mind back to that evening in the office when he expressed his concern to his brother about his repeated 'one night stands', and the eagerness with which Vergil would check his phone. To that day he exchanged a bout of text messages with a mystery woman who seemed far too peppy in personality to possibly be A) a real person, and B) someone that Vergil would willingly spend an evening with, no matter how good the sex was. And that tells him that the sender of those texts was masking their own personality. Their own quirks. And the only reason someone would have a need to do that is if they were a mutual acquaintance–

No.

Oh hell no.

How did he not come to this conclusion earlier?

But it's impossible. Totally absurd. Vergil and you? You and Vergil? A chill washes over his body, forcing an involuntary shiver as realisation seeps into his very being. Fighting King Cerberus and facing a sheer cold capable of snap freezing a human being in seconds is nothing compared to the ice that now seeps into his blood. Could it be? The more he looks at the display before him, the more he thinks that silence between the two of you, that pointed motion of looking at anything but each other is rehearsed. And suddenly it clicks.

"...holy shit."

Perhaps what's even more shocking is that his breathed exclamation is layered with another voice, spoken at exactly the same moment, and with exactly the same sense of wonder - Nico's voice. Her head snaps upwards, and Dante's down, their eyes, widened in shock, locking with each other in awe of their synchronised thought; a once in a lifetime occurrence; a mind meld over a startling revelation. And then they gasp in unison once more.

"Holy shit!"

From just beyond the garage comes the sound of a light scuffle - light, rapid slaps and harsh, hushed whispers. You can only pick up bits and pieces of the muted conversation, filing it away as the sort of background noise that you're used to. But your interest in the ruckus goes from zero to mach three speeds in mere seconds when you hear worrying keywords such as 'ridiculous' and 'can't tell' and... oh god, 'relationship' (with a very poignant inflection that denotes a question) that make you freeze in place. Your screwdriver drops from your hands, bounces once upon the bench top before rolling onto the floor, and the sound of Vergil's pacing coming to a complete stop somewhere behind you is equally telling of an equally perturbed response. The look you flash him over your shoulder is cautionary:

Play it cool.

The commotion, the tumult of voices, comes to an abrupt stop, and the door slowly opens to Nico with Dante trailing behind. She seems rather blasé - but to her (and yours and Vergil's) credit, that's typically how she always carries herself. But Dante? His expression is grave, and his complexion seems pale. Already, that's not a good sign.

"Verge? Can I get a word, please?"

Dante? Being cordial and polite? The sky may as well be falling.

There is a brief, but very pregnant, and very tense pause before Vergil silently agrees. His shoes click on the concrete beneath, and as you hear them pass you, you exchange another set of worried glances from out of the corner of your eyes:

Play it cool.

You don't know where Dante's leading Vergil (though you note it does give you the same air of finality as someone being led away to the electric chair), but you aren't given the chance to dwell on it because Nico's making her way toward you, arms folded and shooting you a knowing look. The entire time, you're pretending you don't notice, eyes instead focusing on the rag you're wiping your hands on, suddenly so invested in the blackened smears that now decorate it. You sense Nico hovering on the opposite side of the portable workbench, exactly the way Vergil was doing earlier, and in a move that feels too much like Vergil to be a coincidence, she spends a long time merely standing there in complete silence. Occasionally, she'll poke at a stray bolt, rolling it around on the table with her finger, but otherwise says nothing. Is she sizing you up? Trying to build up tension?

For once, it's working.

"Get in the van," she finally tells you, "you owe Nero some tupperware."



The ride to your apartment is deathly quiet; not even the radio's on. Not that Fortuna has any stations to call its own, and the reception is far too poor to properly receive anything from the mainland. But all the same, it would be nice to at least have the luxury of fuzzy static to fill the void. As it stands, the only thing moving between the two of you is the sway of those gaudy fuzzy dice that hang from the rearview mirror. It's never this awkward between you and Nico, and the longer she stretches this silence out, the more exhausted you feel.

Knowing how stubborn you can be, maybe that's what her goal is; playing the bad cop to wear you down to make wringing a confession from you easier.

Does that mean Dante is playing the good cop?

"It's Vergil, isn't it?"At last the silence is broken! Her tone isn't nearly as accusing as you thought it was going to be. No biting malice, or scalding derision. She sounds almost amused, but maybe that's simply what you want to be hearing. "He's the guy you been sleepin' around with."

Beside her, in the passenger's seat, you pry your gaze from the passing terrain outside to look at your friend. "What!?" You don't quite know why you're still attempting to deny it, trying to bolster your protest with a nervous laugh. "You mean Vergil? No, I–" All it takes for you to fold, is a skeptical eyebrow arched upward, a slow, sarcastic blink, and you crumble under the pressure with a frustrated cry. It seems her deliberate silence was a success, because Nico's lips curve upwards into a smile. An empty, humourless, but knowing smile. "Yes! Okay! It's him. Jesus christ, Nico."

"Hah!" Her bark of laughter is a sentiment not shared by you. "How long's this been goin' on for?" Again, she sounds more like she's playing with you than interrogating you. You appreciate that she doesn't seem to be upset at the notion (like you honestly thought she might have been), but at the same time, you almost want her to be - it'd somehow make the weight of the conversation a little less crushing. A little less devastating. Nico isn't ripping off the bandaid so much as merely teasing at the edge of it, and out of a restless desire to do something with your hands, you swipe at your face with the back of one, smearing a light trail of grease just under your nose. Looks like you didn't quite clean your hands properly before you left, and now on every inhale, you're getting a faint whiff of oil. Well, at least it's a good excuse to do the same thing with your other hand to try to wipe it away - it keeps you busy while you answer her, gives you a physical outlet for the coiling anxiety that's building within you.

"Beginning of the year?"

Nico whistles, impressed, and you have to fight the urge to reach across the space between you to slap her on the arm. "Damn, girl. You been hittin' it a while, huh?"

You groan, letting your head roll back until it hits the headrest behind you with enough force that the whole carseat shudders from the impact. "This is killing me, Nico. Can you just get pissed at me and get it over with already?"

But your friend only blinks, puzzled. "What, am I supposed to? Please." She waves her hand at you to physically dismiss the idea, but she glimpses your skepticism out the corner of her eye. And doing what you sought to do earlier, Nico reaches across the gap to playfully shove at your shoulder. "C'mon, we both know this is good for the guy. According to Dante, he's had a stick up his butt nearly his whole life. Maybe a good fuckin's all he needs to loosen up–" Her words come to an abrupt stop when you lift both of your feet up onto the seat to hug your legs to your body, your face finding the little nook between your knees and you groan. She doesn't seem to understand your current ails. "What...?"

"Can you please not say it like that?"

"It's the truth though. You'd rather I get mad at you?"

"No." You sigh, tilting your head to rest your cheek on the tops of your knees. "Just… please don't tell Nero. I'd have to kill you, and then myself."

"Will you relax? I ain't gonna say anything to him. It's bros before hoes, ain't it?" You meet her eyes with a flat look, at which Nico shrugs, casual as ever. "...you know what I mean. Funny as I think it'd be, your secret's safe with me. But."

"But?"

"Look, I'm cool if you wanna blow off some steam with an older guy. If you ask me, there's no reason why he can't be Nero's daddy and yours too–"

It genuinely takes everything you have not to launch your entire body at her, the risk of the van careening right into oncoming traffic be damned, because how was that necessary to say?! Worse still is the heat that seeps into your cheeks, warming your face to damnable levels. You've never blushed in front of Vergil - at least not out of a genuine sense of embarrassment - who has seen you at your most debauched and debased. But this? An offhand remark is all it takes? You thank the stars above that he can't see you like this. "Nico! Can you not?!"

To her credit, she does, indeed, not, but only after she's leant over to literally pinch your lips shut with her fingers in an astounding display of accuracy and precision; her eyes are still on the road, and the van is still going at an even pace. "–all I'm sayin' is don't let it get outta hand. You wanna bump uglies, I ain't gonna stop you, but make sure bumpin' uglies is all you're doin'." It takes an extra few seconds for what Nico's saying to really sink in, and funnily enough, in a sudden face turn, you feel a twinge of offense begin to simmer in you. There's an unspoken implication in Nico's words that rubs you the wrong way, an assumption that it would be wrong for something more than mere friends with benefits to develop. The problem lies in what you believe that something to be.

Isn't she talking about friendship?

You pry her fingers off your lips and bat her hand away with an annoyed click of your tongue. "What, we're not allowed to talk? Hang out? He's not a bad guy, you know."

"And that's what I'm afraid of." Nico waits for you to interject with something, but all she gets in response to that is confused silence at which your friend only sighs, finding it in her to now feel exasperated; Nico hates having to get serious. Life's just too short for that sort of thing. It's part of the reason why the two of you get along so damn well. "You been seein' him, what, five months now? Six, give or take. I ain't ever seen you keep a guy around for this long. And every time you've bailed early? The extra time off you've been taking? You gonna tell me he doesn't have anything to do with that? That's bad voodoo if I ever heard any."

To you, who knows Vergil has been helping you with the progress of your Vital Star - an undertaking you've kept even from her - Nico's logic is flawed and blatantly incorrect. Sure, there have been a few… sexual altercations in between, one only very recently in fact, but he helped you navigate the depths of Fortuna Castle. Ferried you back. Kept you company when all you'd had were dusty old books. Took a risk for the sake of your progress. He's largely been with you to help you. But looking at it from Nico's perspective, of course that's suspicious, isn't it? Your constant wandering, desire for time off away from the orphanage… it all lines up a little too well. But there's something else too, something that she's omitting and leaving for you to piece together through words left unsaid. It dawns on you slowly at first, bits and pieces coming together to form a coherent conclusion, and you suddenly find yourself spluttering, falling over dissipating words and half choked noises. You're at a complete loss as to what to say, because what she's implying is that–

"You seriously think I'm gonna do something stupid like fall in love? With him?" Your knee-jerk reaction is that earlier sense of offense flaring, burning ever hotter, ever higher. You don't really understand why that is, you only know that you're annoyed. Insulted even. Is it because this isn't the first time you've been accused of something like this? Dante had said just as much too, back when you'd donned a fake persona and exchanged several texts with him. "You're joking." That comes out a touch less forceful, a touch less confident than you'd like.

Nico frowns, pushing up her glasses with her knuckle even though they're already sitting perfectly in place - they never ever seem to move. Her eyes flicker over to you almost reassuringly before they turn back towards the road. "I'm just sayin' it's a possibility. When was the last time you kept a guy for more than a month? Vergil's holdin' the record by a landslide." She holds up a hand, threatening to clamp your mouth shut again when she sees you open your mouth to argue. "So I want you to remember that Nero is his son."

You blink. What on earth does that have to do with anything?!

"Wh–" You don't even get that finish what you're about to say.

"Nero. Is. His son." She repeats herself slowly, emphatically. "He isn't Dante's. He isn't anybody else's. Justify fuckin' Vergil anyway you want, that ain't none'a my business, but you were Nero's friend before you were Vergil's, so whether it's fuckin' him or bein' his friend, you only get to have one of those things. I just want you to remember that."

"Nico, you're blowing this way out of proportion, we're just–"

"Friends? Yeah, bet a couple months ago, y'all were just butterin' up the biscuits, and that was that." She sighs again, restless, finding it hard to keep still. It isn't like her to be fidgety; fingers drumming against the steering wheel; her boot tapping against the carpeted floor of the van; chewing on her bottom lip... she wants a smoke, and she wants it bad. "You wanna keep this whole thing from him, I say that's fair, I got your back. But if this gets worse, just remember I tried to spare you an awkward as hell conversation with Nero."

You fall into a sombre silence as the van pulls up just outside your apartment building and you hear Nico rustle around in her pockets for her pack of cigarettes. A second later, you hear the flick of her lighter, and then comes the pervasive smell of smoke, curling into the still air. She takes a long, deep drag on it, holds it for a few seconds, and expels all of it at once in a whispered sigh of relief.

"Just tread carefully, girl, that's all I wanted to say. Now go on and git that damn tupperware, so we can be done with this whole storage thing. I want some lunch, and I reckon you owe me for the next month."



As you trudge up several flights of stairs towards your apartment, your mind is stuck in an endless loop of Nico's talk with you; a broken record that skips and repeats, skips and repeats.

Don't let it get outta hand.

Tread carefully.

You were Nero's friend before you were Vergil's.

You only get to have one of those things.

Nero is his son.

That statement, so obvious, yet also so… obfuscated and complicated, bothers you in a way you can't really describe. Like it's something you should have been known from the beginning. No, not from the beginning. It didn't really matter to you in the beginning. Back then, it really was just casual. He never stayed. You never talked. It was what it was supposed to be - harmless.

Was it?

Is it?

You pause halfway up the final flight of stairs before your floor, poised mid-step, your fingers gripping the cold rail at your side.

Is it harmless?

Perhaps if Nero was merely a distant relative, but that isn't the case anymore is it? There was a time where you were convinced he was Dante's son. It seemed obvious; the same hair, similar facial structure, the same overwhelming strength, and to a degree, even their attitudes were similar. But Dante refused to address it whenever it was brought up, finding excuse after excuse after excuse to dismiss the topic until everybody simply stopped crying wolf. For whatever reason, when that finally happened, he seemed so much more at ease.

It was only after Nero returned from Red Grave with a newly grown human arm, and stories of a bloodsucking tree that his heritage was truly brought to light. Considering your relationship with Vergil now - now undeniably actual friends with benefits - it's strange to think that he'd once walked the streets of Fortuna in his youth when he was Nero's age (or thereabouts. You don't care to do the math). That he met someone and sired a son.

A son that you hated so much at first.

A son that you grew to tolerate.

A son that you work so hard for now, to keep up with.

A son you don't want to disappoint.

A son who deserves better than to find out one of his close friends is and has been fucking his father for the better part of five months.

Jesus fucking christ.

Why has it taken you this long to reach this conclusion? Why did it take someone intervening before such a glaring contradiction to come to light? In one hand, telling Vergil that his son is the reason you are still in this city, your raison d'etre, and in the other, getting fucked right into the mattress by him until you can't even speak. Sagging against the wall beside you, you let your head droop and breathe out a long suffering sigh - a cocktail of frustration, exasperation, and even guilt. "Goddamnit, Nico…" One hand rummages around in your pocket for your phone, and when you fish it out, you find there's already a message from Vergil. It seems he had a similar idea:

Good Dick

Seems we've been found out.

Yeah no shit.

How'd things go on your end?

Dante seems to think this is inviting trouble.

Yeah, that's kinda what Nico thinks too lol.

Fuck he doesn't hate me, does he?

No. He was surprised, but I don't believe he harbours any ill will. That is not how my brother carries himself. We are both adults, and he understands that.

Okay. Well. That's something, I guess.

All the same, you make a note to apologise to Dante later… as much as doing so terrifies you. What if he brings up the embarrassing persona you put on for him when you texted him? Somehow, through some rather impressive mental gymnastics, that's your primary concern. Luckily for you, your phone lights up with another message, diverting your attention away horrid hypotheticals:

Good Dick

How do we proceed?

You pause the very minute you finish processing those words, staring down at them, unmoving, unblinking, right up until the screen goes dark and you're suddenly looking at your own blank reflection. How do you proceed? As normal? This isn't normal. Call it off and probably never get to experience satisfying sex ever again? You make a pained noise that echoes up the entire stairwell, and somebody a few flights up actually peers over the railing to investigate the noise. You wave, ensuring them you're alright, and then unlock your phone:

Good Dick

How do we proceed?

I mean...

Maybe we can cool it on the sex a bit, you know?

Just like… sorta hang out and be friends?

For Nero's sake?

...yeah.

This time, it's his turn to pause and leave you waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

It's unsettling. Makes you nervous. Makes you tap your foot impatiently to a soundless, restless beat on the step above you. Several times, you see the three little dots to signal his typing pop up. They last for varying intervals; sometimes only a few seconds before they disappear with no new message, sometimes blinking up at you long enough that again, your screen goes dark, and you aren't sure which one of those worries you more. So with a dismissive shake of your head (and spurred on by the familiar sound of Nico impatiently blaring the horn of the van outside), you pocket your phone and continue your climb up to your apartment.

It isn't until the journey back to the orphanage that your phone buzzes, and with a heavy resignation, you check it.

Good Dick

I understand.

He doesn't say anything more than that, and when you do return to the orphanage with a stack of nesting tupperware in tow, Vergil is nowhere in sight.

Well. One step forward, right?

Chapter Text

Loneliness as a concept is something Vergil understands well. When he reads about it in whatever context he happens across it in - an article, or more commonly, a facet of a character in fiction - he grasps it well enough, but applying that level of introspection and understanding inwards, towards himself, is a much harder task. Vergil cannot rightfully say the cavernous feeling that's been plaguing him is the same beast he's been reading about. Because him? Lonely? Surely no. He is a Son of Sparda. He is an adult - the very notion of it cries absurdity to the highest degree. Yet there's no mistaking that he's been feeling a certain dour way ever since you said your relationship would be better served as friends. He doesn't understand it himself, which is a worryingly increasing state for him as of late. After all, a relationship such as the one he had with you - the sating of more carnal desires - only runs skin deep, leaving nothing but superficial scars, but he still feels… good lord, rejected and unwanted. Objectively, there is truth in your logic. Is he aware your intentions are for the better? Of course he is. He isn't so selfish that he would have you jeopardise your friendship with others, much less that of his son, over something so inconsequential and so shallow. You're not treating him any differently either, still making jokes, still just as crude and brash, and all the things he finds to be enjoyable to spend any amount of time with.

And yet he can't seem to shake the feeling of dejection. That he isn't wanted.

It doesn't help that you're keeping from touching one another even on a casual level, to the point where it likely looks as laughable and ridiculous as it feels; unnatural and stiff. Your behaviour may not be any different, but your direct interactions with him most certainly are… Maybe that's what he doesn't like about it. He'd only just gotten comfortable, gotten used to the idea of friendship.

...gotten used to liking it.

He shakes his head, tells himself he's being ridiculous and that he's taking it too personally. Looking too deeply in an attempt to find something that doesn't exist. You're both still friends. Of course you are. Why else did he think of you when he heard a supplier on the Red Grave black market was offering a particularly low price on demonic components? Why else did he purchase them and 'negotiate' a lower price? Why else is he in your home again, handing them off to you?

Doing things for other people is nice. It isn't something he has the opportunity to do often.

He likes that you're happy about it.

That should be enough.

You're inspecting each phial thoroughly, one by one, murmuring their contents to yourself before you line them up neatly in front of your station. They clink gently with each new addition, counting down the time left he has to stay. "How much do I owe you?"

"Nothing." Upon seeing one of the suspended beakers tipping to one side in its supporting clamp, Vergil reaches up to readjust it, strangely mindful of the static that seems to be leaping that minute gap between both of your shoulders. Is it real? Is he imagining it? He wonders if you can feel it too; an awkward charge you're both pretending just isn't there. "I managed to procure it for rather cheap. Dante and I are quite infamous among Red Grave's seedier clientele - he was happy to do me a favour."

If by 'happy', he means the man was on the verge of soiling himself at the slightest increase in pressure. Vergil's always been aware he possesses a certain gravitas - revels in it, even - but why do business in a city like Red Grave if you're not prepared for a half demon or two to walk through your doors? It was like taking candy from a baby.

"Oh yeah?" Vergil recognises that playful cadence in your voice. He also recognises the way it is immediately corrected with a light clearing of your throat and a pointed aversion of your eyes from him - your innuendo about returning favours hovers, unsaid, on the very tip of your tongue. "Well. Thanks, I guess. I was running pretty low, so you came in with these at a good time."

"You're welcome."

"Let me know if this guy has any more special sales, yeah?"

"Of course."

Polite. Cordial.

Empty. Unfulfilling.

There's that nagging sensation that everything is all backwards again. Going from strictly sexual to strictly platonic; there's nothing inherently wrong with that, simply that it feels wrong. But come to think of it, wrong is simply what the status quo has been for the two of you since the very beginning. It's merely that neither of you have actually treated it as such until now.

And that makes all the difference.



"Man, sure is nice to get out of Fortuna every now and then." Nero leans back in his chair and stretches both arms above his head, taking in his surroundings; bars in Red Grave are a different beast to the modest selection back home. A far cry from the quiet, even gentle hustle, this one is far more haphazard and chaotic in its aesthetic. There's no real organisation in how the tables have been arranged, carelessly strewn wherever they would fit. Neon signs light up the walls and cast harsh lights on passing patrons, their low droning hum drowned out by overlapping chatter, and the live band performing on the small humble stage in the back. The hardwood floor feels constantly sticky with spilled drink, and the stench of alcohol is thick in the air - a cloak heavy enough to provide a buzz through smell alone if it weren't tinged with the grounding aroma of grease and something decidedly hearty that wafts unchecked from the kitchen.

Yet there's something undeniably homey and well worn in the bar's overall presentation of mahogany furniture and heavy drapes; a moody cacophony of mismatched themes that Dante unironically calls 'cozy' that nobody could rightly argue. Because somehow, with its constant animated chatter and clatter of cutlery, its slow rhythmic beats from the band and rousing cries of encore, its bright neon signs that contrast surprisingly well with soft orange lights, it is. A perfect microcosm of the chaos that is Red Grave City.

This is the home of the Spardas.

And true to its constant demonic turmoil that almost puts it on par with Fortuna, its residents are equally lively and in possession of a certain flair that Fortuna is still only beginning to carve out for itself. You think you understand Dante a little better simply by observing his frequent haunts, and this, he admits, is one of them; a bar and bistro called the Dizzy Pint Taproom.

Even the name is fitting.

"Well," Dante begins, nursing his glass of beer, "gotta show you country bumpkins the hospitality the city life affords, right? We couldn't really show you guys the sights the last time you were in town."

"Ahah." Nero's laugh is as dry as it is humourless. "Right. Last time we were here, there were tarps on every building and a crane on every corner. But this is nice. Food could use some work, but we can't all be Fortunan gourmets."

Lady rolls her eyes. "There he goes again. Don't know why you insist on inviting him, Dante, he'll always find a way to bring up his pwecious home."

The youngest hunter slaps the table, only mildly offended, reflected in his playful intonation. "Yeah, which has been demon casualty free for years, and we're a hotspot for that shit."

"That's dark."

"And also low."

You smile down into your empty cocktail glass and tune out the ensuing bickering from the opposite end of the long table, swirling the bright remains of your fourth Tequila Sunrise and listening instead to the ambience of a large city. Opposite you sits Vergil, who has pointedly been avoiding looking at you throughout the evening; something that has been happening in increasingly obvious bouts since you both agreed to call it quits on the casual sex, and is something that you can no longer deny is happening at all. You're frustrated at him for essentially ghosting you despite his constant reassurances on your friendship, but perhaps in more ways than the one; you've seen a few people since your agreed upon declaration of abstinence, but to say it was lacking in something would be an understatement. It wasn't bad, it just… wasn't the same. Not as fulfilling. Not as filling. Donning a placid mask, you look up at him for what feels like the twentieth time for the evening. The soft lights overhead do wonders in accenting the usually steep lines of his face, highlighting his cheekbones, his jawline, but as usual, it is his eyes that are the most striking feature–

Your thoughts are interrupted by Nico none too gently elbowing you in the ribs as she leans in close to whisper over the din of the bar. "Everything okay with you and Sir Stick-Up-Butt?" Vergil's sharp hearing picks up on that, and he sends a cautionary glance your way that makes you squirm. And not particularly for the reasons he'd be hoping. Undeterred, unphased, unafraid, Nico continues. "Haven't seen you this high strung since the time you burned out the brakes on ol' Cali. Can't find the time to stick it?"

Vergil quirks an eyebrow at the both of you, you particularly, because this is the first he's heard of Nico's apparent approval of what the two of you have.

Had.

You'd informed her of your decision on the way back to the orphanage that day of course, and she'd brushed it off right then and there, saying you wouldn't be able to go 'two weeks without his dick', because you're 'nasty' and 'horny'. Some best friend. Well. It's been five weeks and counting now, so never let it be said that spite isn't the best of motivators. That isn't to say that Nico is at all put off by your efforts though, and already, you can feel the beginnings of a headache. You've never technically been drunk before (not many on Fortuna can say they have), but you get the very distinct feeling that a hangover would feel something like a seeping headache that throbs right behind your eyes, and you hope that's what's looming threateningly over you as opposed to whatever your supposed best friend is inflicting upon you.

You slurp loudly on the remains of your drink through the straw, and when that doesn't appease her, you place the glass back onto the table with an emphatic clink. In the distance, a waitress takes note of your empty glass. "Nico, please."

"Girl, don't worry about it, I gotchu– owowowokay!" Underneath the table, you grind your heel into the toe of her boot hard enough for her to blubber a slew of pained noises while rapidly slapping at your arm - literally tapping herself out. Right on the very edge of your peripherals, nothing but a fleeting wisp, you think you see Vergil smile.

Your chair screeches underneath you as you rise up from your seat. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'm heading to the ladies' room." One final passing, but no less cutting, glance is tossed in Nico's direction before you physically excuse yourself, weaving through the crowd to head towards the toilets in the back. It's an unusual setup; one communal washroom with only a single basin, more one long trough with multiple faucets beneath one similarly long mirror. It's covered in scratches and stickers both old and new, featuring bands you've never heard of and advertising concerts you'll never go to. It's the very picture of the sort of bar you'd find in a movie, even more so than the scenery outside. Giving an amused snort, ironically marvelling at how much of a caricature of a real city Red Grave is, how comical and fanciful, you enter one of the unisex bathrooms the establishment offers.

When you emerge, stepping back into the small enclosed washroom, you find Vergil there at the basin, a wad of paper towels in hand and swabbing, annoyed, at a wet patch on his vest. Given the dark hues of his outfit, it isn't visible to you, or even to anybody else who looks at him, but you know him to be very particular about his appearance, always wanting to be presentable to an unseen, yet omnipotent judge. That and… well. You figure having a wet patch square in the center of your chest probably isn't too comfortable. All the more if what was spilled on him was alcohol. As you come to occupy the faucet beside him, a strong stench of rum (with sugary notes. Cola? Nico had ordered a Cuba Libre...) confirms your theory. But not all of it is attributed to a spilled drink; Vergil hadn't drunk that much, certainly not enough to normally affect a man of his size in any capacity, and yet here, underneath the bright, neutral lighting of this washroom, you can now see he's flushed, expression looser, more relaxed than his usual set and stern frown, melting a handful of years right off his face. But his eyes are foggy, and his hands are sluggish in their movements, weighed down by the very beverages he had been nursing over the evening. Two? Maybe three? You don't think he's drunk, he's still far too coordinated for that, with a glimmer of a honed edge that is still wholly and undeniably Vergil lurking in the depths of those misty eyes, but he's certainly giving off a different air. Is this why he's been so quiet all night? You briefly wonder what he'd be like if he really was drunk.

"Nico." Vergil's presence is explained away with but a single word, but that's all he needs to say for you to nod slowly in understanding. He can feel you watching him in the mirror as you wash your hands, still wiping at what's going to inevitably be a sticky and uncomfortable mess with a damp paper towel. "I believe it was her intent to get me back here."

You chance a glance out beyond the open doorway, back into the bar itself. Your table is mostly empty now, everybody likely filtering off to the various corners of the bar to seek other entertainment. Nico is still sitting there though, and she holds up a fresh drink when she catches your eyes.

Thank me later, her face is saying.

"Yep," you agree bitterly.

"She doesn't know?"

You navigate Vergil's vague question rather easily - though slightly inebriated yourself, thoughts beginning to fray right at the edges and pulling loose thread by thread, you're not so far gone as to stumble over words and overly complicated questions. "No, I told her. She just doesn't think we can uh. Maintain it." You turn the faucet off with a quiet squeak and reach into the cubby underneath the mirror to pull free a towel to dry your hands on, still watching him clumsily attempt to clean his vest. Good lord, why is he smearing? That's only going to make it worse. "We can though, right?"

He avoids your reflected stare in the mirror, but he answers with no hesitation. "Of course."

"...and still be friends?"

Vergil's hand falters. The soaked paper in his hand tears. He frowns. A few of those lost years return as lines that etch into his brow. "Yes." He says, mindlessly reaching for another paper towel.

Instead, you bat his hand away, claiming one for yourself. "Watching your inebriated ass is about to give me a stroke - let me."

And he does.

You pad the spot he'd been helplessly dabbing at with your fingertips, finding that he'd done more bad than good by applying a completely soaked paper towel to his vest, and you grunt, annoyed on his behalf. Scrunching up the paper in your hand, you press it into his chest in firm motions and…

...and find it to be just as solid as you remember. Just as unrelenting underneath your touch. Is he tensing all of a sudden?

You risk a glance up at him, just a peek, just a blink, and find him watching you with a fixed stare. It's questioning, but deep inside those distant greys is the Vergil you know best, predatory and voracious, and then you're tensing, body warming with a familiar tingle that settles between your legs. Fuck, all he's doing is looking at you–

You look back down at your hands and wrench your thoughts away from looming subtext, inhaling a measured breath until your hearing, the pulse that beats inside your head, is replaced by the steady drum of the band in the background instead.

–ah, the towel in your hands has taken up as much liquid as it can… When did that happen? You toss it and grab another, continuing to soak up the remnants of a mistake in silence. He steps closer, shuffling forward half a step, and you tell yourself it's so you have an easier time.

But you can smell him now, that vaguely spicy aroma mixed with wearied velvet that lingers on his coat. There's an overpowering splash of rum mixed in with it now, courtesy of Nico's 'accident'; to you, it smells like a brewing mistake. You try to distract yourself, reaching for the first thing that springs to mind. "If… if we're still friends, why have you been acting so..." you realise you can't find the words to describe the sensation and let the sentence hang with a tapered sigh.

"I miss our meetings." The sheer simplicity with which he says those words has you mentally reeling, not out of surprise for the sentiment, but at the ease at which Vergil admitted it; he'd skipped first, second, and third base, and immediately bolted for home.

...that metaphor is far too on point, given the circumstances.

"I mean… sure, I do too." Your eyes being downcast is the only reason why you don't notice a twitch in his expression; he's far from subtle about it. "I got in touch with an old contact the other day actually. A uhh… break glass in case of emergency sorta deal." It isn't just your imagination anymore, Vergil is definitely tensing now, posture fixed and inflexible. The only movement in the room is your hand and the slow bob of his throat as he swallows - it's a stifling kind of tension that hinges on carefully chosen words. "Wasn't worth the time though. Nothing's really been the same."

You almost miss his shoulders relaxing. "Good." That, he also says far too easily.

"Wow." You have to actually stifle a laugh, physically dismissing some of that tension with a shake of your head. "A few drinks and that tongue loosens right up, huh?"

Vergil doesn't miss a beat. "You would know how loose it can become."

Your eyes widen, and your mouth goes dry, heart thudding noisily again.

...what's the opposite of subtext?

"Vergil..." you don't sound nearly as firm as you'd like, your resistances waning the more the smell of him floods your senses, so familiar and dangerous. The next time you look up at him, he's so much closer than he was mere seconds ago, and even though his arms are still at his sides, his height, the breadth of his shoulders, works just as well at caging you in. You're both dancing with the devil now. Playing with fire. Leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for the starving wolf to follow home.

But in this version of that tale, the girl in the red hood is just as famished. Maybe she'd left that trail on purpose...

The paper towels forgotten, you grab instead, two fistfuls of his coat lapels and give a low frustrated hiss. Buried deep within it is a touch of venom that Vergil's never heard in your voice before.

"God, I hate you."

He follows the direction of your pull a little too easily, body yielding not only to your fervour, but to the fuzzy warmth in his veins that clouds and slows his perceptions and inhibitions. The door to one of the bathrooms clicks shut, and the bolt slides across with a metallic snap, but those sounds are lost to you, drowned out by the rush of adrenaline and the sound of clothes pulling, shifting, opening. Your back hits a wall and suddenly Vergil is there, body solid, real, and so warm that you're already beginning to sweat when his hands are still only on your hips. There's a foreboding darkness to him that extends beyond the orange light overhead, dim, as opposed to merely soft. It only barely illuminates the room, casting shadows that hide and conceal, but neither of you need to see when you know each other's bodies so well. His thumbs tease the waist of your pants, grazing against bare skin, but just that alone, just his hands, so forceful and commanding, has you squirming beneath his electric touch. They skim higher, his palms pressed flat against your skin, following the natural curve of your body higher and higher, revealing that soft stretch inch by inch until he bunches your shirt up over the top of your breasts. He isn't going to bother pulling anything off of you, you realise, when his hands then yank the cups of your bra down, and you feel the bite of the straps in your shoulders. The floor of a bathroom in some bar, no matter how reputable, is the last place any items of clothing should be going - cloudy as his mind may be, an effect of the alcohol he clearly can't take, he's at least aware of–

"Fuck–" You can't suppress the short cry when Vergil hunches his back, ducks his head and seals his lips around one of your nipples. The second that distinctive taste of your skin hits his tongue, he moans, actually moans; a low, needy sound brought about by the gentle encouragement of loosened inhibitions. The broad flat of his tongue is rough, his mouth is hot, and you're already arching towards him, thrusting your chest out into his mouth. He can feel your nipple harden into a tight little bud right there against his tongue, coaxed even further by his teeth and a gentle pull, a slow drag backwards until it slips away from him.

Breathing out a desperate gasp, he switches to the other nipple, tongue flicking and teeth grazing, teasing until it too hardens in his mouth. Wandering hands replace the lost wet heat his mouth once provided on the other, using his own saliva as lubrication to roll and pinch it between rough fingertips. Heat pools between your legs at an alarming rate - you're far too eager to let him ravish you with this desperate attention, but if you were any more sober, any more aware, you'd notice there's a tinge of loneliness in his movements too. A need for a closeness he was so close to obtaining, even if he barely understood why he wanted it in the first place. But as it stands, neither of you are processing anything beyond taste and touch; your salty skin, gently bitter with sweat, and a peculiar something else too, that's making him rut against you until you can feel his hardened cock on your thigh; the feel of his mouth, so hot and wet; the trail of saliva that rolls down the contours of your body; the sultry and resonant thrum of the music shaking the walls...

Vergil gives your breast one firm squeeze, the sting of his nails bordering on painful before his hand drops to the front of your pants, already opened from his earlier impatience. His fingers slip underneath the elastic band of your panties, testing the waters, and though both of your hands are in his hair, keeping his head in place so his attention remains just where it is, your head tilts back until it hits the wall behind you, and you whine his name with enough urgency that his questing fingers go still. There's reluctance in the way he pulls off you, and even more in the avoidance of your eyes. His head lifts, but he presses his forehead against the cool tiles beside your head. His breathing is controlled, but in a stark contrast to that tempered blaze, his body feels so hot, and his cock is barely restrained inside his pants; throbbing weakly, it presses so desperately against you that you actually question why you urged him to stop by calling for his attention.

Strangely, distantly, it almost hurts that he even did.

God, maybe even you've drunk too much tonight.

"You want to stop." When he says that, voice quiet and barely audible over the pulsing rhythm of music just beyond the door, his tone implying not a question, but a hard statement, you actually do feel a pang of hurt.

"I… I don't have any change…" you manage to say over the rapid beating of your heart. It pounds hard in your chest, louder and faster when Vergil lifts his head to look at you. It's been so long since you've witnessed the intensity of his eyes, a shimmer of silver inside a storm. Right now, all that look does is make you wetter. You turn your head to the left, where, mounted on the wall, the very same one you'd given a bemused snort at when you first saw it, is a condom dispenser. It's trashy to be sure, and implicit of the fact that you are far from the first two to make use of the enclosed space, but there's just enough tension, just enough weakness, just enough of a scalding need - a cocktail far more dangerous than the ones you've been slamming down all night - that when Vergil follows the direction of your gaze, he growls, low and approving. Strange... your fuzzy mind interprets it almost as a purr.

Vergil lifts his hand from your body, curls his fingers into a fist and shoves it directly into the metallic box with little fanfare, and even less regard. A plethora of small foil packets spills from the hole in the dispenser when he pulls his hand free, falling to the floor in a cascade of bright colours. He doesn't care about those, or the mess he's made with them; only the one that's held between two of his fingers.

He turns you around with forceful hands on your hips, and you comply in the very same breath, your sweaty palms flat against the wall now in front of you. You hear the sound of a belt buckle unclasping behind you, and you have to pinch your lip between your teeth to keep from moaning, the sound alone further melting any inhibitions to reveal a desire so raw and charged that you physically jolt when you hear the sound of a packet tearing. Your body writhes, hips squirming impatiently, and you don't realise you're whining a set of constant, pitched hums until Vergil's hand comes down on your ass hard enough that it expels the air from your lungs. It immediately begins to tingle with a gentle warmth when his hand returns, encompassing one soft cheek almost within the entirety of his palm, kneading and squeezing. He breathes out a quiet puff of air behind you, a pleasured gasp that you don't recall him ever making before and then suddenly, your pants are yanked halfway down your thighs.

You half mutter, half moan a curse, some slurred jumble of a word that you don't bother correcting because in the next moment, you feel his cock slot between your legs. Clear lube, only barely warm from the intense heat of his body, smears over your thighs and the seat of your panties, adding to the darkening, damp patch that sits over your slit. Vergil's large hands return to your body, pressing your legs a little closer together, closing them around his cock and giving him more of that mind numbing friction that he's been missing. It's different to the feel of your silky cunt, or the velvet that lines your throat, smoother and softer, yielding more easily to the path that his twitching cock takes through the softest stretch of your thighs. But it isn't enough for you, and you whine your protest into your arm, your hips moving to meet with his on each forward thrust he makes. Vergil laughs, a strained and strangely breathless sound, but tinted in darker undertones that makes your skin tingle. One of his hands slides from the outside of your thighs again, up and around, and teases the frilly band of your panties with the tips of his fingers. He doesn't linger for long, clearly impatient in his own right, and his hand slips beneath the thin material, applying the callous tips of his fingers to your clit, pressing down in rapid, tight circles. The pressure, the force, the restless agitation in every single one of his movements makes you sink your teeth into your sleeve and press your ass right up against his pelvis.

Whether he takes that as a sign that you're ready for him, or merely that you're just as hasty, he grunts, letting his middle finger dip further down between your slippery folds to prod at your entrance. He only ever teases the very rim of it, biting back another rasp when he feels you roll your hips towards his hand. The motion tenses your thighs and resists his probing cock, still pinched between your legs, but even that pushes him a little closer towards rapture. With one last caress of his fingers, one final press against your wet hole, he slides up, up, up the length of your slit, deliberately skirts around your clit, and then Vergil pulls his twitching shaft free, adjusting his stance to better suit what's to come. His hand follows suit, slipping from the confines of your panties and he brings it swiftly down on your ass again, a touch more playfully this time, eliciting another yelp from you.

"Did you always get this wet this fast? Or is it that we're out in public?" His words, deliberately rasped with a sneer, pierce your thin veil of modesty, tears it right to shreds and you let out a high pitched pleasured hum when tingling warmth seeps outwards from where his hand had connected with your ass. You normally aren't one to be spoken down to, preferring to be the one holding the reins instead, but Vergil's domineer comes so naturally to him; in his posture, in his firm hand, his voice, his eyes– Nobody else has come close. Nobody ever will. And oh he loves that you're compliant for once, conforming under spoken words and questing hands - he's missed this thrill. "I recall you were particularly responsive to the danger of being caught."

You neither confirm nor deny, not out of any sense of petty spite that he's right, but simply because you feel him hook a finger underneath the seat of your panties to pull it to one side, and you're more eager for what will follow. You feel him line himself up behind you, one hand spreading your cheeks to grant him a view he hasn't had the pleasure of seeing in weeks, and, with a shaky breath that fails to belie his own shredded patience, he presses the thick head of his cock right at your sopping hole. He doesn't wait for you to get acclimated, senses that you're just as needy as he is, and in one languid motion, smooth from beginning to end, he sinks into you.

Your reaction is immediate, one long moan that you try to suppress by pressing your face into your arm, but feeling yourself stretch around him, that comfortable burn as he effortlessly fills and warms you from within… there just isn't anything else like it. Not in Red Grave. Not in Fortuna. Not anywhere. It's only then that you realise your voice is layered over Vergil's own soft grunts, lax and relieved; a rumbling, vibrating purr as he feels your silky walls shift around his cock. Each of his thrusts bears an avid fretfulness to it, different to the fire he'd normally stoke with measured presses into your core. He is impatient, groaning into your shoulder, thinking only of the heat of your skin, and how wet your little cunt is for him, thinking of how it's only been a month, and he's this starved.

When he said he missed your meetings, it was a half truth.

He missed the enthused roll of your hips, always so eager to meet his own.

"Holy fuck, yes–"

He missed the feel of your sweaty skin under his hands, muscles rippling and flexing just beneath the press of his fingertips.

"Vergil... fuckyesVergil–"

Your voice, your mewls, your whispers, your rolling moans, your sounds...

The sum of your sins.

The parts that make up you.

 

Oh god, he's missed you.

 

"I know…" you have to take a moment to pant, to think about your words before they slip away. Already, they're beginning to dissolve, much like you feel your body doing. "I know you can–" Though faint, the words are on the tip of your tongue, just waiting to fall, but all you can think about is the push and pull of his thick cock inside you. Push and pull, in and out; a warm tide that's beginning to swell. "–fuck me harder than this…"

"Oh?" In contrast to your hitched pants and moans that are hiccupped in time to the fervent snap of his hips, Vergil is composed. Relatively. "I could bring down this entire building. Is that what you want?" He drives his cock into you hard enough that the weight of him behind you forces you forward until you're bracing your forearms against the wall, and for several beats of that resonant bass, the walls of that tiny bathroom tremble to the beat of a very different song; sung by two bodies too in tune with one another to possibly perform with any other ever again. With your forehead pressed into your arms, you laugh, giddy from a high only he can give to you. "Look at you- such a needy little slut." It's frighteningly easy how smoothly, how naturally that term rolls off his tongue. Is it the alcohol? The incessant, jaw clenching squeeze of your walls around his cock that's encouraging such obscene language? Whichever it is, the effect it's having on him is bordering on dizzying. Such power over you… "Letting yourself be fucked in a public bathroom… you don't have a shred of decency in you at all, do you, kitten?"

Your little cunt flutters around him again, body jolting at the only term of endearment he's ever called you. Does he realise he's said it? Does he realise how fucking wet it's making you?

Oh how could he when you were such a sopping mess to begin with.

A hand ghosts up your abdomen, squeezes one of your breasts, letting it mould to the shape of his palm. Your pebbled nipple, nothing but a hardened nub now, finds its home between two of his fingers, kneading, kneading... needing. He can feel the wild hammering of your heart through his hand, an erratic beat that resonates harder, more deeply than the heavy bassline that shakes the walls. Its deep pulsing masks the needy whines that you're no longer shy about muffling, but all the same, Vergil lifts his other hand and grips your chin with it. It's far too natural, the way you automatically open your mouth when something gently prods at your lips, letting two of his fingers slip into your waiting mouth. The taste of your slick lingers on his fingers, a residual salt mixed with the bitterness of his skin - it has you sealing your lips around them to suck them clean with a blissed hum and an immodest slurp. Behind you, from deep within his chest, he rumbles an approval, pinches just a little harder on your nipple still clipped between his fingers, and buries himself as deep as you can take him, hard strokes right to the hilt on every thrust that knock the wind out of your lungs. He feels you clench around him once, twice, as he massages your tongue underneath his fingers, relishing in the way it slips between them, over them, dipping into every crack and crevice to soak up every last ounce of your own flavour. Vergil can't decide which he prefers more; the hot cavern of your mouth and the velvety pull on his fingers as you suck them clean, or the sweet grip your little cunt has on his cock, latching on to him so greedily everytime he tries to pull out of you.

He can't decide. Both are searing. Both are wet. And both are utterly, eye rollingly rapturous.

He doesn't even realise he's mimicking the motions of his cock with his fingers, thrusting them in and out of your mouth until he feels a trail of warm saliva roll down his hand. It seeps from your lips while his fingers caress the flat of your tongue, applying just enough pressure, just enough weight, that your jaw hangs open and you're left puffing uneven moans into the sticky bathroom air. Right at the peak of insensitivity, of numbness, as if he knows just when to move on, Vergil's hand drops from your breast to circle around your middle, his body shifting behind you until your back is pressed into his solid chest. The closeness would almost be tender if your mouth wasn't still plugged with two fingers right up to the knuckle, if the passive nature of his voice wasn't crumbling away into something more wild and untamed next to your ear. He keeps your body folded into his, ass flush against his hips as he continues to buck in short, fretful thrusts, the force behind them shuffling you forward until your entire body is almost flush with the wall itself, trapped between his broader frame and a solid pane that shakes with the loud drumming of music on the other side. The bassline is low and deep, powerful and compelling, a thundering force that's only barely keeping the two of you grounded with its rhythm when a much more seductive song is being coaxed out of your pliant body.

"Nothing to say, kitten?" He definitely notices the way you flinch when he calls you that; your pathetic, helpless little mewl, muffled as it is. He makes a note of it. "You're normally so talkative. So spirited." Vergil's voice drops. "Are you such a slave to me?"

You can barely stand it; your face is burning as brightly as the rest of your body, flushed a deep shade of red that you can no longer blame on one too many cocktails. You're used to Vergil handling you, positioning you where and how he likes, but it's rare that he talks to you like this, demeaning and teetering on humiliating. And it's rarer still that you like it, much less allow it, but there's no denying that quiet lull of his voice, commanding with just enough husk to make you whimper around his probing fingers.

"It's alright," he pauses to take a breath, humming when he feels you tighten around him, "all I need you to do for me tonight is cum, kitten."

The more he calls you that, the more your inhibitions melt away, mere words nudging you ever closer to release alongside the drag of his cock against your walls. His pace begins to increase, growing in intensity until you can feel his balls slap against you. You'd normally chide him on that, tell him he's fucking you like an animal, but the weight of his fingers holds your tongue down, and words were already so hard to form back when all he was doing was laving at your nipples with his tongue - what hope do you have when every full stroke, every thrust, presses up again and again, against that one spot that makes your jaw clench, and your teeth sink into his fingers?

"Don't hold back."

You're biting down hard enough to bruise when your body succumbs to his words, joints locking, leaving you still and rigid so that your hazy mind has the chance to catch up with the sensory overload your body is experiencing; muscles are twitching, your cunt is clenching, you're drooling all over his fingers, while below, you gush and spasm over his cock that's still pistoning in and out of you even as you try to milk him. You'll never really be able to pinpoint what it is about the way that Vergil fucks you that makes him stand out from the rest, but your body sings his praises in returned rolls of your hips to drag out your orgasm for as long as you can.

You can hear a strained wheeze behind you, something that sounds like a hoarse groan before Vergil follows you into that carnal high. His arm around your middle tightens one last time, cock slamming into you right to the hilt as it twitches and throbs and pulses its release. It's so deep inside you, nestled so tightly, that you swear you can feel it over the bloom of heat as you gush another torrent of slick around him. The smell of it is so thick in the cramped bathroom that Vergil mumbles something incoherent into your back, but you pay it no mind, instead relying on the steady rhythm of his chest expanding on each breath he takes to guide you back to your senses.

When his fingers slip from your mouth, they follow your jaw to the tip of your chin before skimming down your throat, painting an invisible trail with your saliva. Your chest is still heaving, bare breasts still pressed to the wall that's now warm with your body heat, and sticky with your sweat. His cock is still throbbing weakly in intermittent bursts, taking in the feel of you, the slippery wet... But now that the air is reducing to a simmer, some of that stifling haze beginning to clear, you're beginning to overheat, trapped in his firm hold where his torrid fever continues to burn; he isn't pulling out, and he isn't softening.

You're not surprised.

And you're not averse to the idea of another round either.

Distantly, with a part of you that's still teeming with sobriety, you think that's supposed to worry you.

"Fuck…" It's a meaningless assertion - merely something to plug the silence with until your clouded mind scrapes something together.

Vergil ends up beating you to the punch. With one last slow exhale, calm and steady, he retracts his hands, sliding them down to your hips as he pulls out of your wet heat. His cock still stands at attention, bobbing gently when he steps back from you. He's satisfied for now, but as he watches your shoulders slump, your hand lazily skimming down your body to slip between your legs where you rub in slow circles over your clit to tease out the last few jolts of pleasure, he pauses. You huff gentle breaths against your arm as mild aftershocks wash over you in warm waves, your thighs trembling and spasming with each one. With the way your voice pitches again, the alluring arch of your back, he swears you've brought yourself to orgasm again with only those soothing motions. Behind you, breath hitched, hand over his cock, matching the rhythm and speed of your fingers with slow, soft pumps, Vergil watches with a dark fascination; your fingers glistening with a thin sheen of your slick as you spread the sticky warmth over your skin; the quiver of your thighs… he's almost tempted to slide back inside you to really have you shuddering and breathless, but your hand falls away and dangles limply at your side. Between your fingers, he can see a faint webbing - thin strands of your juices - and the urge to return your earlier favour and lick them clean overwhelms him until he tears his eyes away. He's still hard when he releases his cock. Still hard, but now that at least one dense fog is lifting from his mind, he's also just a little bit…

Hmm.

"I'm…"

"Sorry?" You finish for him, accurately predicting his next word. You follow in his footsteps, pushing off of the wall to begin straightening yourself out; the first thing you do is wipe up the mess on your hands and thighs with a wad of toilet paper. "Don't be. I can tell you needed that - I guess you haven't been… you know, with anybody?"

There's a lull in the music from outside, a momentary lapse in all sound save for the soft rustling of clothing, the snap of latex… "No." Vergil answers eventually. "It's… difficult for me to find a suitable companion."

Another half truth.

But one that you believe.

You pull up the cups of your bra, smoothing them out over your breasts again. "Right, not into sex with strangers. I remember. But fuck, maybe I needed this too, you know?" You laugh, spent and out of breath. And maybe just a touch pathetic. You focus on pulling up your panties, grimacing lightly at the sensation of air chilled slick against your body. The damp, the wet, is but a secondary concern, though you might have to excuse yourself early for the evening and get to a shower. "I mean, look at us - five weeks apart, and we're fucking in a bar bathroom."

The forlorn smile that tugs at Vergil's lips is disguised by a brief, humourless chuckle. "Some would call that pathetic."

"Or just desperate." When Vergil doesn't respond to that, you steel yourself with a breath, mouth opening and closing several times in succession as you fumble over your next words. They're somehow so much harder to say than they would have been a few months ago; what happened to the you who so casually accepted his offer for sex? "But I mean, we're fine, right?"

Vergil's eyes bore into the back of your head, feeling faintly… hopeful for the direction this conversation is going. Or so he thinks. Physical needs are so easy to understand and sate; if he's hungry, he eats; if he's tired, he sleeps; if he wakes in the middle of the night and his cock is hard, all he need do is close his fist around it and pump and rely on memories.

But all this other baggage is troublesome and meddling and confusing…

...but strangely exciting.

He goes still, waiting for your continuation with a deceptively indifferent silence.

With your clothes back in place, and only a red flush in your cheeks to indicate any scandalous doings, you turn around to face him, blinking in surprise when you see he's already mostly dressed. Holding his gaze, finding courage in the fact that he isn't turning your implication away, you continue. "We're big adults. Whatever they're worried about happening– If things start to get out of hand, we just stop again. We can technically do that whenever we want, so... it's not that big a deal, right?"

Unwavering and confident, Vergil answers you easily and with a readiness you should have had the foresight to notice. "Right."

At his affirmation, you nod. "And it's not like we were ever classy about this to begin with - we started off in a cheap motel."

He fishes around in his pockets for his gloves; you don't even remember him ever taking them off, even though you should have when his fingers were in your mouth five minutes ago. "If I didn't know better, I'd think you were trying to convince yourself." His eyes flicker from his hands back up to you, and in them, his unspoken question is clear: are you?

"Well shit, maybe I am. It's hard for me to balance, you know?" You make a show of holding out one hand, cupping an imaginary ball; a concept. "On one hand there's Nero, who I'm close friends with." And then you hold out the other. "And on the other, I'm like… semi-okay-good-friends with his dad, who I'm also fucking every other day. And I know I'm not sounding like it, but it's kind of a big deal, so..."

"So if things… change," Vergil feels strange saying that, the implication physically weighing on his tongue like something foreign because it is, "we simply stop."

"Yeah. Exactly. We go cold turkey and never look back. Easy peasy, right? Best case scenario, we keep having great sex. Worst case scenario, we go our different ways and have mediocre sex for the rest of our lives." Though your phrasing could do with an overhaul, sounding far too flippant for the apparent gravity that the situation holds, Vergil understands your logic, but should have had the foresight to better highlight the risks.

Neither of you are on your top game, too caught up in physicality, in the adrenaline that's still pumping through your veins, and hindsight will later tell you that this decision amounts to two steps back, taken in tandem.

But for the moment, this foolish logic, found in the dimly lit bathroom of a bar and fuelled by drink and the smell of sex, is perfectly sound.

"We'll be okay."

Chapter Text

For all of the stiff tension, the conscious distancing, the chosen and chaste words, returning to the norm was a worryingly simple affair, further cemented by another quick trip to a motel after everybody had disbanded for the evening. Neither of you had forgotten the feel of the other, the shape, the sounds, the shivers. It was as desperately fulfilling as it had always been.

When midnight tolled and morning came, it was as if that absence had been forgotten; guilt and sticky sin alike washing down the drain of a motel shower, buffered by a mutual and wordless agreement.

Time rolls on, and so do the two of you.



"If you wanna grab a bite to eat or something, help yourself." You say as you push your door open. You don't actually have any food currently prepared, save for some leftovers you swiped from the orphanage, but it's a common enough gesture - an open invitation for him to make himself at home. It's a bit of a late entry into your budding friendship, but better late than never. Yet Vergil doesn't answer you, lingering awkwardly in the entryway like a deer in headlights. It isn't like him to be seen so unoccupied. Did your offer rattle him that much? "Vergil?"

Still nothing.

So you step back over to him, reaching out to softly touch his upper arm. You don't nudge him, don't push or pull, just simply rest a few fingers on the worn velvet of his coat to get his attention, tone lighthearted. "Hey..."

His eyes widen sharply, abruptly, but it lasts only for a fleeting moment before he flinches away from your hand. That also isn't like him.

"I'm alright." He says before you even have the time to ask, an unseen tension already (perhaps forcefully) draining from him. To you, he still seems distracted by something, but Vergil seems adamant on avoidance, turning away from you and shrugging out of his coat to hang it upon the very same rack you keep your Caliburn mounted on. You don't quite like that he does that - that rack is strictly for your sword - but seeing as he has few other options at hand, you let it slide. "It's simply been some time since I was last here, and though I always steel myself for the state of your home whenever I come here, I find myself surprised every time." He looks over to you, by another set of shelves where he meets your flattening expression. "This is worse than I remember."

You're not sure you believe that delay was a result of the state of your home, following up your skepticism with a pregnant pause of your own. But Vergil doesn't crumble under the pressure, hardly even flinches, his demeanour returning to its default state and bolstered by a slight puffing of his chest. You want to question him on it, but the longer you have your standoff with him, the more the moment passes.

Until it's gone.

You sigh.

With a shake of your head, you relent and pan across to the expanse of your apartment. It is a touch messier than the norm, you realise; in addition to the usual assortment of books, the casually strewn clothes, and the occasional dirty dish, thick manila folders are scattered over the dining table, your couch… even the floor by your bed has a rather generous and uneven stack for some light bedtime reading. It really doesn't seem that bad to you, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, with 'beauty' in this case, being clutter.

"It's homey," you finally argue, toeing your boots off one at a time, leaving them wherever they happen to fall on your floor. If anything, such an action only proves the point that Vergil is making; it's evident through the look on his face, in the slight upturning of his nose, and the scowl that drags the corners of his lips downward... But this has been your home for years now. You don't know it any other way. "It's lived in and comfortable. Well worn, but not weary. Cozy."

Vergil snorts, amused. "Perhaps you should consider real estate as an alternate career," he says, treading deeper into your apartment, "you seem adept at stretching the truth where necessary." He lifts the cover of one of the folders around your home, far enough just for him to glimpse a few keywords when he tilts his head to get a better vantage: Gilgamesh, transposition… how curious. Have you moved on since he's been away? "Did you give up on the Star?"

You utter a surprised, reluctant noise, that earlier hiccup forgotten now. "No, I made another one after another set of adjustments. Tweaked the amount of bile versus CSF, since you said it worked too well last time, and it came out okay…" you fully turn towards the shelf in front of you, busying yourself with scanning the spines for one particular tome. Meanwhile, Vergil says nothing, his silence an unspoken gesture for you to continue. So you do. "I just haven't gotten around to trying it out with the new tweaks."

"Why?" His question doesn't come as a surprise to you, but it makes you suck in a breath all the same. The shelf you're standing in front of doesn't hold the book you're looking for (you've thought about arranging them all in a more organised fashion, but that honestly just sounds exhausting to you), but you pick a random one off the shelf anyway, just to have something to fidget with while you talk.

"I don't know." Your admittance of that comes quietly, flipping the tome open to a random page to stare at. The words are less words and simply mere shapes in your eyes. "I'm scared, I guess."

You feel your palms begin to go clammy when Vergil answers you with another silence, the sweat making the stiff leather cover feel vaguely sticky in your hands. You're getting better at interpreting them now, understanding through context clues and body language which ones are designed to intimidate, and which ones are humbled. This one is the latter.

"Afraid it will fail again?"

You exhale a large breath, not quite a sigh, but something a bit more resigned and thoughtful. Either way, Vergil takes that as a 'yes'.

"I'll not be your lab rat again." He'd meant it as a joke, tone rather light in the face of your more serious air; an odd reversal of roles that… having come this far, doesn't actually feel all that odd anymore. But you give him a rather grave look, wrestling with something that he can see in your eyes, but cannot name.

"I know." You reply, resolute. You recall that day with a clarity you don't like or even want. That guilt. That knowledge that you had placed upon him the onus of your own mistakes... "I'm not going to ask that of you again."

Vergil's gaze drops for just a moment, feeling a surge of admiration, and perhaps even jealousy too, in your steadfast manner. The last time he had felt that strongly about something, he was in a garage and tore the arm of his son off. But that was about survival, he tells himself. He had no choice back then - it was do or die.

And if there is one thing that Vergil can say he fears, it's death.

Lord, he is sentimental today. What on earth is going on with him–

"Good." He distracts himself from a plethora of thoughts he doesn't need to dwell on by focusing on the now. It's a very Dante-esque approach, but he just isn't prepared to face that sort of strife yet, all the more when he's so… distracted. So maybe it's a good thing that you have yet to test your latest Star. He has no doubts that you remember the promise you made to each other over this very thing - that when you finally succeed, he will have to make amends with Nero - and the last thing he really wants is to be forced into such murky depths so soon. You both need a little more time, and when put that way, he realises he doesn't really have the right to push you on it. "So what have you been doing since? You've clearly still been working."

Returning the book back to the shelf, you turn and head towards your bed, kneeling beside it, fingers grazing the stack of folders just beside it until they touch on the one you're looking for. Though everything is unmarked and unlabelled, you know precisely which one is relevant to the conversation at hand, carefully slipping it out from the middle of the stack and pulling out a few sheets from within it. Written in Nero's familiar angular scrawl, but drawn up to near perfection, they're the original blueprints for the Red Queen that were stored within the Order's archives. Though designed by Nero (and you remember that very notion causing quite a stir among the other Knights), it still of course had to be approved by the Supreme General himself before he was authorized to use official resources to build it. But right there on the front page of this smaller bundle of papers, adorning the corner of Nero's letter of proposal in a pattern of red that you now associate with deception, sits the seal of approval of the former General. You remember that causing quite a ruckus among your peers also; the idea that Nero was so favoured by someone in such a powerful and esteemed position.

A small part of you hated Credo for that, but time eroded that too.

It has a way of softening all manner of things.

Making your way back to Vergil, you hand them to him. "Everything Nero uses to fight, he customised himself." You've long since memorised everything on those delicate sheets, so you instead watch as Vergil's brows knits together in thought as he scans the pages, turning them over in his hands to skim the diagrams and notes. He does the math in his head - around the time Nero was inducted, he was no younger than... maybe seventeen? Eighteen? Drawing up such complex mechanisms, expanding on provided foundations to such an extent at that age… and for them to still be so reliable. it's quite remarkable. "The Red Queen is the result of taking the Order's Durandal to its highest limit and pushing it even further. Just to keep the steel from melting from excessive heat, the blade had to be fused with gilgamesh. That alone separates it from the rest."

Vergil thumbs over a close up diagram of the fuel injection ports - an entire two more than what is on your Caliburn - recalling the blistering flames that erupted from them with but a mere twist of Nero's wrist. The heat. The ensuing propulsion... Oh yes, having personally felt its bite before, he's quite familiar with the strength and capabilities of Red Queen, and for a weapon made and limited by the standards of very grounded human physics, gilgamesh or no, Nero's sword is nothing to second guess. Even the Order's mass produced, standard issue weapons are extremely capable; Vergil wonders if the Qliphoth would have been as successful in gathering as much human blood were it the Order, and not the state's military that swooped in to control the chaos. Firearms are useful against demons only if used in excess, or reliant upon raw explosive power - the Kalina Ann is the perfect example of this - but it is melee weaponry that is much more efficient. It requires a very different set of skills, certainly, a kind of weapon discipline that he doesn't recall seeing during his one month stay in Red Grave as V. Maybe more lives might have been saved.

He expels a breath. At least with this shift in topic, his preoccupied mind can focus on one singular thing. "And your intentions are to make something similar?" Though his head is still angled down toward the papers in his hands, his eyes flicker up to you. They were simply doodles littering the margin of a set of your notes then, but Vergil does recall you drawing up a myriad of swords once upon a time. Some of the designs seemed far too outlandish, too fanciful, but all of them used Caliburn, used the Order's signature brake mechanism, as a base. It isn't just Nero - you too, are ambitious, and he wonders if that is a Fortunan trait or something that you picked up. "Unfortunately, a human wielding a weapon of Red Queen's explosive nature would dislocate your shoulder.

"...presuming it doesn't tear it out of its socket."

Your arms cross over your chest, trying to decide whether you're annoyed at Vergil for being presumptuous. He isn't wrong that your Caliburn is, for all intents and purposes, outdated, but he's mistaken in thinking you haven't taken your strength into consideration when that singular idea is what this, what all of this, is all about. No amount of strength training will let you do even half the things their blood allows so freely. Synthesizing a Vital Star was just the beginning, simply the gateway, the rite of passage, to something more. Something bigger. Better. Heavier. Something that will let you stand shoulder to shoulder, back to back, with people who exist so far above you.

"I'm not making a Red Queen." You're a bit more testy about that than you really need to be, something that Vergil immediately notices. For the moment, he diverts his attention from the blueprints and back up to you, giving you his complete attention. It works in placating you; your shoulders loosen, your arms unfold, and you pull out one last sheet from inside the folder to offer it to him, kept there for quick and easy reference. It contains a sketch of a sword of your own design, slightly curved, almost like a saber. No, the blade is still too broad, too wide for that. A falchion would be more apt for what he's looking at, but what draw's Vergil's eyes the most is the way it's curiously segmented. The sketchy lines lack the confidence of someone who knows their craft inside and out, but he can tell what you're going for nonetheless. "I guess it's the Fortuna blood in me, but I'm not into guns, so I was thinking of something with range if I need it, but still heavy enough that it packs a punch."

Vergil hums as if in agreement. "Mm, subtlety never was one of your virtues."

You can't help the smile that pulls at your lips, choosing to take that as a compliment. "Not even once." The smile then drops from your expression, overtaken by something a bit more sombre. "It functions like a regular sword, but the break mechanic changes its properties. Instead of the Exceed function, it separates the segments - all connected by a wire or something… probably have to be gilgamesh to take the heat, because the sparks from doing so ignites the fuel and sets everything on fire. And you kind of just–" you make a wide, slow sweeping motion with your arm, "–like a whip, but it's more… dense. More substantial. I'm not the most dextrous - it's brute force that I specialise in, so it's heavier and thicker. More bang for your buck, or something like that - I didn't really rehearse this speech."

You look nervously up at him, strangely eager (and strangely hopeful) for his approval. "What do you think? You've probably seen more Devil Arms than I have. Does something like that hold up?"

He holds your gaze, contemplating. Assessing. Recognising the desire for validation you're trying so hard to keep hidden. Vergil looks back down at the papers in his hands, the way you've drawn up this new weapon, how it unfolds, the way it's meant to be lashed like a whip, albeit a heavy and unwieldy one... Then he bundles them up neatly, lining them up in his hands and temporarily setting them down on a shelf. "The problem with having partitions is that it will weaken the overall integrity of the blade. It will be prone to chipping, and if you're particularly rough with it, shattering entirely. And even without the propulsive power of Red Queen, prolonged use will result in severe muscle strain–" he turns your body by the shoulder, using this thumb to press into each spot on your shoulder and down your arm. It's professional and clinical, but strangely intimate, all things considered, "–here, here, and here. Likelihood of muscle tearing is also high. It's nothing a Vital Star won't fix, but that isn't a cost effective use for them when components are tedious and expensive."

You turn your head to meet his eyes again from over your shoulder. "If you're asking how I plan to offset all that, I have thoughts on that. But I'm asking if you think something like that is viable."

His expression turns incredulous. "You're aware that Dante is in possession of a weaponized motorcycle, yes?" Good lord, Dante loves that thing. "In the right hands, almost anything is viable as a weapon for destruction. But it would be slow, and to compensate for that lack of speed, it would need to be damaging. Keeping the blades sharp and in an optimal condition would play a pivotal role, and depending on use, the blades would need regular changing. Maintenance would be more tedious than Caliburn already is - weren't you last complaining about that exact issue?" And while Vergil is oddly proud of the fact that you're seeking his counsel on such things, he knows you to be thorough in your research. Everything inside your study is proof of that. The way you're not flinching, not reacting, adversely or otherwise, speaks to that end also - it tells him that these are all things you've already taken into account.

So then why ask at all?

"You don't seem surprised to be hearing any of this."

An initial silence is his only reply for a while as you turn your head to stare in front of you again, hiding your expression from his view. Like you do, Vergil uses cues to interpret your lapses into silence, but now that you're facing away from him, the most he can surmise is that you're not playing any games. Not about this.

Your response confirms that assumption.

"Because I'm not." A beat. "Do you remember when something tried coming through a portal here? It cut its way through from the other side with a shard of the Yamato, and then Nero entrusted it to me. I was... thinking that I could…"

Vergil connects the dots faster than you say the words yourself - the Yamato is not a blade forged by any conventional means. Other than maintaining its appearance, it requires almost no upkeep to maintain optimal performance, and it's also durable. Extremely so.

As much as its master.

"You want to infuse it." He doesn't need to phrase that as a question; he's convinced that you do.

"Yeah." Uncertainty returns to you, but you bite it back, reinforcing your confidence and reasoning by turning to face him again when you feel his hands fall away from your body. "Is that okay?"

Retrieving the small bundle of papers from their perch on the shelf, Vergil takes the folder from your hands and slides them back inside as he mulls it over. "Infusing Yamato would mitigate the need for constant maintenance of the blades. But if you're expecting to be able to use it as I do, then–"

You cut him off then and there. "No, I know I can't use it like you do, but I meant are you okay with that." There is a particular tic that Vergil always exhibits whenever he's confused - a subtle scrunching of his nose when his eyes narrow in thought. It's something he probably doesn't even notice he does, and you used to think he was annoyed whenever he made that face. But that was a long time ago. You know better now.

"Why?" He asks.

His confusion makes you doubt yourself, second guessing your own reasoning that seemed so clear to you up until this very moment. "I don't know." That's a poor bluff - you do know - but you need something to fill the awkward air with. "Because it's still technically your sword? I'd probably be pissed if you took a chunk out of Caliburn and slotted it into Yamato. I don't know whether Devil Arms actually have special connections to their owners or not, but I just wanted to get your okay on it. Wouldn't have felt right if I just went ahead with it without telling you, so..."

"I don't mind." Vergil's candid response leaves you somewhat dumbfounded, unsure whether his bland tone holds some sort of double meaning. But you know he isn't like that; Vergil is wry and cheeky, but it isn't founded upon dishonesty or insincerity. If he had a problem, he would tell you. "Even if that is a fragment of what is mine, it can't serve any purpose to me as it is. And no matter what form, she is not one to remain idle."

You cock a questioning eyebrow. "'She'?"

He mirrors your sly smile, deflecting your attempts at ridicule. "Trying to mock me when I've heard you speak to Caliburn? Yamato at least has sentience to a degree. Even Rebellion does." Or did, Vergil supposes. The sword that Dante wields now is more an extension of his entire being than a separate weapon - a fusion of everything he stands for. Everything he protects.

Just like Sparda.

Vergil feels something gnaw at him at that realisation, something ugly and festering, but he buries it deep where it will have to fight in order to resurface again. "I know my sword - she would rather see the light of day than spend her time inside that boorish safe in your study." He takes a moment to observe the casual roll of your eyes; he knew you'd react to that. Then he draws a breath in through his nose, seeking the courage to be honest, even if over something so small and menial. It comes easier than it once did. "And I believe she would be in good hands with you. She favours tenacity and strong wills - Fortunans seem to possess those traits in spades."

Though crudely phrased, the compliment does bring a gentle, genuine smile to your face, and you look down at your feet, suddenly just a touch bashful. "Thanks. That means a lot coming from a hardass like you." Vergil looks like he's about to counter with something, but you beat him to the punch with a soft: "I mean that."

Any contempt, any derision that may have been simmering beneath his collected expression melts away, and his mouth closes again for just a moment, the very beginnings of a smile tugging at his lips. "What will you call it?"

You blink. "Huh?"

Opening up the folder in his hands one last time, Vergil's eyes flicker back down to your crude blueprints (it can hardly be called that when it's still a mere concept at best), trying to look for any notation of a name. He doesn't find one, just your scribbled notes with 'lights on fire' emphasised with several underlines. Finding nothing enlightening within, save for his own amusement at your notations, he closes it again. "I hardly think you're the kind of person who'd come this far on a new weapon and not have a name for it. Are you going to continue calling it Caliburn?"

Your eyes trail downward as if in thought. You have indeed thought about a new name for your sword, there's just something embarrassing about having to say it out loud; a sort of finality about it that cannot be taken back once said. "You have to promise not to laugh. If I see even a smile, I'll throw your ass out."

"I don't believe you could."

"Try me."

With a brief, dry chuckle, Vergil raises both of his hands, not in defeat, but as a sign of compliance, after which you steel yourself with a deep inhale.

"Excaliburn." There's a prolonged pause after you say that, one that you expect to be shortly punctuated by a bout of barely contained laughter (like Nico would absolutely do), but nothing comes. When you look back up at Vergil, there's no indication he's not even smiling.

"It works well." He states simply after a moment of thought. "In several tellings of the legend, the Excalibur was said to cleave through iron as if it were wood. And even in human hands, even infused with foreign metals, Yamato would easily be capable of that."

"Really?"

"Yes." There's a hint of pride in his voice there, indicative of a bond that's perhaps as old as you are. You glance over to your front door where the sword in question sits propped against the wall by the entrance. It seems almost a crime that it's touching the floor; something so regal, so elegant, ought to have a proper stand, even if it's one as makeshift as two coat hooks drilled into the wall like the one you threw together for Caliburn. Vergil would probably appreciate that too.

Something to think about another time, perhaps.

"How well does it actually cut?"

Without batting an eye, without even a second thought, Vergil answers. "'Exceedingly well' would be the short answer."

"And the long answer?"

He regards your question with another measured silence until a familiar glimmer sparks to life within those steely eyes of his, playful and mischievous. "Do you trust me?"

You meet his light expression with one of your own, an eyebrow already arched. "And where's this going?"

He replies easily: "Towards a demonstration if none of those clothes are of value to you."

The humming sound you make is one of intrigue and curiosity, emphasised by an equally mischievous smile. You spread your hands wide in a gesture of invitation. "Cut what you will, then."

Vergil gives a quiet snort of amusement, and with a flick of his wrist, tosses the folder in his hand across the room. It spins through the air in a low arc, somehow landing perfectly onto your table in a miraculous feat that neither of you pay any heed to, because he then holds that same hand up, fingers splayed and positioned as if ready to grab something. You aren't sure what, until Yamato disappears from the edge of your vision, dissolving into glowing particles and phasing directly into his ready hand. You didn't realise it had that ability.

But then, you understand very little about Yamato in general. Vergil hardly talks about himself as is, and talks about Yamato even less; you don't think even Dante knows its full potential.

The light reflecting off the pristine blade blinds you temporarily, forcing you to blink back into the present as Vergil unsheathes his sword. It's a slow, deliberate move, his fingers curled firmly around the hilt to pull in one smooth, painstakingly slow motion. It brings to light just how long the blade is, how slender and so seemingly delicate, yet radiating an aura that is unmistakably fatal in how exact and precise it is; a description that runs parallel with Vergil himself. With Yamato completely drawn, his eyes run down the length of the thin blade as if admiring its iridescence, before they flit back up to you. His accompanying smile is measured yet razor sharp, not quite crinkling the corners of his eyes like they do when he means it. (Distantly, you realise you do indeed know when he means it, and what he looks like when he does.) Then he's pointing it at you, a sword that could very well be as long as you are tall, yet you don't feel any real sense of danger, no overwhelming urge to lean away or step back when such a fine edge settles so closely to your skin. Every instance of his body language - the squared shoulders, the firm grip, the look of such calm concentration upon his face - it all paints the very picture of poise.

Vergil traces the outline of your leg with only the very tip of the blade - close enough to touch, to tickle in a hair raising, blood pumping way, but not enough to cut. Not yet at least.

"Don't move." He tells you, voice not quite cautionary, but not entirely lax either, teetering somewhere right in the middle. But there is nothing uncertain about his calculating gaze, the unwavering, unfaltering one handed grip he keeps on his sword. As the tip of the blade travels up your body, skimming your hips and homing in on the line of buttons of your shirt, you notice that it's hardly wavering; such is the control he maintains at all times. It's a weapon discipline many will train their entire lives for and still never obtain.

Realising this, your heart begins to race.

When he reaches the swell of your breasts, the tip of the Yamato presses forward a tiny, trace amount as Vergil twists his wrist. The fine point of the sword wedges underneath the top most button and slices the string that binds it to your shirt. He doesn't need to lift the blade for leverage, doesn't need to make a sawing motion, only tilts it so the thread comes into contact with the cutting edge, and it unravels immediately, falling and clinking lightly against your floor. But you don't dare break away from his fixed stare to follow its path as it rolls away, likely never to be seen again. Your shirt opens ever so slightly now that one of the buttons is gone, the very top of your bra peeking over the fabric, giving him but a glimpse of what lies beneath. His eyes are transfixed on that decorative, innocuous little bow, positioned so perfectly as if this moment was simply meant to be, but his gaze soon drops to the next button, sword tip following soon after, as the point catches yet again on another button's fastenings. With another minute twist of his wrist, another pop, another button lost, more of your chest is revealed to keen eyes and a rapidly growing hunger.

You suck in a deep breath, body tingling… warming… your chest expanding until you feel the prick of that fine point atop your soft skin. It digs in, still not far enough to pierce, because in that same motion, Vergil pulls his hand back just enough, still intent on only teasing your flesh. Pop goes another button, and he's now halfway towards removing your shirt with nothing but a sword.

And there's now a rather profound wet between your legs to go with your pounding heart.

Vergil ignores the buttons now, satisfied with the opening he's made, and lifts Yamato back up to your chest, the tip of the sword grazing your skin as it pushes each half of your shirt over your breasts and to the side to fully reveal your chest to him. He'd always known he'd had a penchant for this sort of thing; dancing around danger. Playing with his food. Being in control. You don't let him fully take the reins enough (for his liking), but when the opportunity does present itself? When you are obedient, letting him maneuver you as he pleases, letting him cut your clothing to ribbons? Oh how he relishes in it.

And he gets the feeling that it isn't just him. There is a pervasive smell coming off of you, the heady musk of your arousal that he's perfectly committed to his memory. But that's how he knows that there's something else buried deep within that aroma too. An underlying, alluring sweetness he can't be sure was always there or not, but had overwhelmed and rooted him in place the very moment you opened your door to let him in. There can't be anything more to it other than it being simply the smell of you, but he is certain it was never this saccharine, or as affecting. The more he strips you of your clothing with the fine edge of his sword, the more your breath catches, breasts heaving, fully revealed to him when he slices straight up the middle of your bra, the stronger and more numbing it gets. And then, with an anxious, almost overeager tightening of his chest, he realises why. Why he was so distracted earlier, mind struggling to focus, why that smell is so overpowering and inviting...

It is fast approaching.

He doesn't know precisely when, he never does, has never really been able to map out a set window of time for when this need consumes all of him, but he feels it beginning to ignite his blood in that infuriatingly familiar way. It's pinpricks, tiny pins and needles tingling all over just beneath his skin, only lukewarm now, but it will get worse in the coming days, because it always does, until he's testy and snappy and constantly irate. And after that, comes the bared teeth and the mindless throbbing, an ache that is so maddening and painful that his nails break the skin inside his palm and he bleeds over being unable, perhaps even unwilling to satiate something so animalistic.

Vergil looks back up at you with a contemplative look crossing his features, doing his best to mask his turmoil by pursing his lips and gripping Yamato tightly in his hand. He was playing with fire when he initiated this, even he can admit that, balancing a reckless desire to see how far, how much he can tempt himself before his better judgement catches up with him.

Should he tell you about this? That he's perhaps only days away from lapsing into a mindless frenzy of lust? He hadn't breathed a word of it thus far, not keen on the idea of potentially scaring you off and painting an image of him as a savage who selfishly caters to his every desire with wild abandon. But he understands things are different now.

You said you trust him.

Should he ask and gauge your interest then? He entertains the idea for far longer than he should, when he has no idea of what the consequences would be… that alone would normally already dissuade him entirely, but knowing you, seeing how you've previously reacted to his other half, he gets the distinct feeling that you would agree to let him ravage you–

Vergil doesn't realise he's lapsed into an almost hypnotic state, blinking out of it only when he registers movement in his field of vision; it's your hand lifting to run dainty fingertips along Yamato's upturned edge. That single gesture is so featherlight, yet at the same time so heavy in sultry undertones that when he sees a line of crimson along the blade, a trail of your essence left behind by your finger only barely skimming sharpened steel, he has to wrench his jaw shut as something in him flares, gnashing metaphorical teeth.

The smell of blood is normally something he tolerates at best - he was never the same after the Qliphoth, after absorbing the blood of so many - but just that faint smear, just that smell, so beguiling and intoxicating, a crimson ambrosia that pumps life through your veins, it feeds into and awakens a dormant, primal need.

To your disappointment, Vergil lowers Yamato again, half turning away from you to look down at the floor. He had that faraway look in his eyes again, just like he did when he walked into your apartment earlier, but that only tips you off to something actually being wrong.

You pull your shirt closed, holding the two halves together with one hand. "Are you sure you're okay?"

His answer is unconventional and unnecessarily cryptic, just one more thing to add to the list of contraries Vergil has showcased to you in the last hour alone, because better judgement still hasn't reared its head yet.

"There's something I'd like to run by you."

Chapter Text

"What do you know about demon biology?" With his fingers laced together, voice oddly solemn, that is how Vergil introduces the topic to you; with a question so specific, yet also completely out of left field.

You'd thrown a new shirt on, lamenting the forever lost buttons and replacing the previous one with something a bit more worn and homey. Yamato was returned to its temporary home by your door, the suggestive tension in the air dissolving the very second it left Vergil's hands. That now leaves you lounging comfortably on your couch, casual and at ease, while he sits off to the side, his body language a stark contrast to your own. He seems wary to you, regressing back to that standoffish nature he possessed in the very beginning of your "relationship.

That feels so long ago now.

You turn your head to look at him, swinging one leg up onto the couch to tuck it underneath you. "Not a lot? I only study whatever is relevant to what I'm doing. Why?"

"Are you aware that demons have…" Vergil trails off there, realising there's no elegant way to articulate what he means to say; ironic that it should make him feel vile and vulgar considering what he intends to ask of you. When the words do eventually pass his lips however, it's with a scowl and a light cringe, "...mating seasons?"

The way both of your eyebrows rocket skyward are clear indicators that no, you had no idea. Of course, he can't imagine something like that would have made it into Agnus' research; the madman had no interest in anything beyond what he could extract from demons. Literally extract. With machines and cables and pipes. With forceps and rib cages pinned open.

"Though some are created through artificial means, most breed as any other living creatures do. The when is subject to change, differing from species to species, but the core of what I'm saying is–"

Having already pieced together what he means, you finish his thought for him, albeit with a cautionary tone: "You go through them."

For a split second, Vergil seems rather miffed that you're putting words into his mouth; it's a perfect mirror to his prior assumption about Caliburn, and something you inwardly take delight in. Even though it's simmered down significantly in the past three or so months, it's nice to see that competitive streak still exists in some way. Is it odd that you're kind of nostalgic for it?

"...precisely." Vergil finally grinds out, tone flat. His ire is only momentary however, dissolving in seconds after he speaks, indicating he was never really that upset to begin with. "It's an inelegant affair, as you can imagine. I'm not… in my right mind during my cycle–"

"Your cycle–" You immediately clamp a hand over your mouth to keep yourself from laughing at his choice of words. Vergil's annoyance returns full force, shooting you a rather severe look until you finally settle down. "Your phrasing, I just..." you clear your throat, "sorry. Go on."

He deliberately lets his pause stagnate, letting the weight of your (out of turn) quip speak for itself, then gives a brief shake of his head before he continues. "I typically endure them alone, but if you're interested..." from his periphery, he sees that you're leaning forward, mouth opening to reply (likely in the affirmative). But he holds up a hand, grips your chin in between his thumb and index finger, and pinches until your lips pucker, continuing so smoothly that it almost seems as though he anticipated you'd try to interrupt him. It's quite possible that he did. "...let me finish."

Making a muffled noise of exertion, almost a squeal, you try to wriggle your way out of his hold on you, turning your head this way and that to break free. Alas, all that does is make Vergil squeeze harder. It's only when you tap yourself out on his forearm in rapid succession does he relent and release you from his iron grip. You think you catch a faint glimmer of amusement in that vague, upturned corner of his lips, but he doesn't let you get a single word in about it.

"It isn't as simple as what we've been doing so far. I would suggest clearing space. Move what you don't want damaged somewhere else, to be safe." His eyes turn to you now, expression cutting. "And you would need to be on alternative birth control. Whatever kind you're comfortable with."

"Wait, why?" Rubbing at your chin to alleviate the sting that Vergil left behind, you sink back into your original place, pulling both legs up to hug your knees. "What's wrong with what we're doing?"

"Objectively, nothing." A rather conservative answer, but it's Vergil's turn to lean forward now, his hand lifting to brace itself against the couch backrest, giving him the necessary leverage to get in close. When he does, whether it's the proximity or something else, his eyes seem to darken. "But I can promise you I will reach a point where I will not stop."

His voice then lowers, dropping an entire octave and washing a chill over you.

"For anything."

It isn't until he assumes his original position do you expel your held breath, your heart racing at the sheer weight of his words and what they mean. A point where he won't stop… You gulp, strangely unafraid of the possibility of pregnancy when alternative means of birth control are within reach, and wary instead of the fact that that very idea sends a warm, excited tingle through you.

"This is why I wanted to talk to you. To gauge your interest. Make it clear that there are conditions and stipulations. Having never... introduced someone to this before, I need you to understand that I cannot guarantee I know what will happen."

"Other than having what will probably be the best sex of my life?"

Vergil's eyes close, expression grave, and maybe a little exasperated, judging by the light furrow of his brow. "I need you to take this seriously."

The moment he says that, you acquiesce, letting the playful atmosphere naturally dissolve when you lean back in your seat, smile waning and back straightening. Even your tone is even now. More subdued. Because it isn't as though you don't understand his wariness - it's rather sweet, honestly - you just… don't quite know how you're supposed to respond. "Yeah, I know, I'm sorry, I just– I don't really know what this means for me." You pause for a breath, slightly hesitant now. Worried. Your jaw clenching and unclenching. All of this, Vergil notices. "Am I... going to get hurt?"

For a long time, here merely looks at you, expression rather unreadable, even though you pride yourself on being familiar with his tics and tells. When he answers your question, it's with one of his own. "Do you trust me to take care of you?"

Normally that would bother you, the question providing nothing but a sense of foreboding. But at least he's keeping you informed, letting you come to a decision on your own - that's very like him. "Shit, Vergil, you haven't given me a reason not to. You've, um. You know, done a lot for me recently," for whatever reason, this particular truth feels awkward to say out loud; an admittance that isn't quite ready to be put to words. Even Vergil looks away. Bashful, perhaps? "Helping me out with the Star, being the lab rat and just… hanging around. It wouldn't be right if I didn't–" you let that sentence hang, suddenly unable to find the right words to continue with that train of thought, so you take an alternate path. "Would it make it easier on you if I… helped you?"

Is that what this is? Helping? Even though it's beneficial to both parties? Even though it feels like you're just taking advantage of the situation?

"It would pass sooner." He informs you. Or so he thinks; it's a logical assumption to make. This is new ground for him too.

"How long does it usually last?"

Vergil casts his mind back. "If unattended, less than a week. Eight or nine days at its worst."

"Jesus. And the whole time, you're just…" you make a vague, rather nonsensical gesture with your hands, waving them as if you're trying to physically pluck words out of the very air itself, "...constantly horny?"

Again, Vergil cringes at the boorish choice of words. Were it in his nature to feel embarrassment, he most certainly would be in this moment, but instead, he handles it with grace, poise... and a poignant clenching of his jaw. "...yes."

You let that sit for a while, let it brew in a thoughtful silence. There's another question sitting on the tip of your tongue that you want to ask, not because you don't trust him to keep his word, not because you don't trust him, period, but because you want to hear him say it himself. You busy yourself with scratching at a frayed strand of fabric on your couch, temporarily avoiding his eyes while you finally work up the courage to ask him.

"What if I say no?"

You can feel his eyes on you the moment the question sinks in, and it's some seconds later that you find it in you to look up, meeting his stare head on. That curious little scrunch of his nose is back; a sign that he is perplexed, to say the least. He genuinely didn't see that coming.

Vergil shifts in his seat, suddenly restless and releasing a quiet breath in an attempt to vent some of that unease. It doesn't work. "If you say no, then this will be the last you hear of it until it passes." He holds your gaze again. "I have no interest in taking what is not freely given."

Though it isn't said in quite the same number of words as you were hoping for, Vergil seeking your express consent is a warming gesture all the same, and you can't help but smile gingerly at that; a wry and even wistful pull of your lips. "It's okay, big guy, I was just pulling your chain. I'm in."

He tries to hide it, turning his head to stare across the room back at Yamato, but you catch the sense of relief that washes over his face. He keeps it to himself, but some hesitance, some sort of reluctance was just allayed.

Even though you don't know what it was, part of you is glad.

"So um. When does this whole thing start?"

"Soon."

 


 

You cast one final look around your apartment, now devoid of all clutter and loose items. Books have been returned to their shelves, your dining table and sole chair have been pushed to one side, safe against a wall, and though you questioned the need for it, Vergil had insisted on additional sheets covering not only your bed, but your couch too. It makes your home look cleaner, certainly, but somehow colder too. Less lived in. (Or maybe even not at all, with those sterile sheets).

Temporary as it may be, you don't really like it.

Turning to him, your hands on your hips, you seek to gain his final approval. "Is this okay?"

"...it will do." Vergil's voice is distracted, much like he's been ever since he arrived this morning, a duffel bag of what you imagine is filled with spare clothing in tow. But you can't really fault him for his absence of mind - lord only knows what he's physically going through.

Though come to think of it, you're soon going to, too.

"I have something for you," he announces out of the blue. You don't know if he was intending to be mysterious about it, but you're rather unphased all the same, offering him a cheeky half grin. You know he's going to regardless, but he can't blame you when he's really left the door wide open for you on this one.

"Kind of think you've got at least a couple of 'something's for me, but sure, shoot I guess."

He opts to completely ignore your remark, validating your wisecrack with only a pursing of his lips (at least, you think, he's becoming more overtly expressive around you). Instead, he reaches into his coat, producing an orange pill bottle from within. This, he grips firmly in his hand, dismissing one final bout of hesitation, and then he tosses it rather unceremoniously toward you. As it hurtles through the air in a controlled curve, its contents - one single pill - rattles its lonely melody from within. You catch it easily enough, arching an eyebrow as you angle it this way and that to peer inside. The label on the bottle is blank, the top layer of film already peeled away, and the pill inside is similarly nondescript. When you unscrew the top to get a proper look, the only visual distinctive marker it has is that it's tinted a light purple, but it otherwise looks… well, kind of like candy. Is it birth control? You've already started on another means… But as if sensing your confusion, Vergil takes the liberty of explaining before you can ask.

"It's a concoction I was able to… obtain. The dubious reasons for its existence don't require sharing, but whether you'd like to use it is your choice."

"And it is…?"

"An aphrodisiac." He replies plainly.

You almost drop the bottle right then and there, fumbling with it as if it were suddenly coated in oil. By the time you finally manage to get a proper grip on it again, your heart is racing. "You… think I need it?"

"It's fused with a Devil Star." He answers, as if that alone serves as an explanation. It only kind of does; you're capable of connecting the dots only because you already know what they do.

While Devil Stars have a focus on rejuvenation like their green counterpart, they function as a boost to one's energy, capable of reinvigorating those on the brink of collapse. And just like Vital Stars, they too, come with a cost; prolonged use will kill a person.

The frail human body just wasn't designed to withstand that sort of constant exertion. And for that reason, Devil Stars are an even rarer sight.

Tipping the pill out into your palm, you tilt your hand, letting it roll this way and that. "So basically it's to make sure I don't, what, pass out?"

"Correct."

"With the additional bonus of meeting you stroke for stroke."

"...if you insist on phrasing it that way." Vergil's eyes close, a trace of that ever familiar annoyance present in his brow, yet his throat also bobs with a pointed gulp, betraying his outer exterior. Even that crude wording, the imagery it conjures in his mind - sweaty and sticky and somehow wet - is ever so appealing. With a light cough, Vergil reaches up and tugs at his collar, readjusting how it sits against his throat. He'd never once considered his vest to be uncomfortable, but on this particular day, it's suffocating, trapping too much heat too close to his body. He isn't normally so hasty, so on edge, but the anticipation of reciprocation is enough to have his cock noticeably straining inside his pants. He knows for a fact that he's already fully hard and leaking, all he needs from you is the go ahead. The okay.

And then?

Well. He doesn't know.

But that in itself is thrilling too.

He watches you consider the pill one last time before you shrug and toss it up into the air, catching it in your mouth and swallowing it dry in one continuous, almost practiced motion. You act as if the weight of the decision doesn't exist - reckless as usual - and yet he's relieved you chose to take it. Not only for your benefit, but for his own peace of mind, too.

"No time like the present, right?" You caught on to him watching you. "Besides, you look like you're about to burst. Is it really that bad already?" Without waiting for him to reply, in part because you already know the answer, you step up to him, your keen hands already moving to unfasten his vest, popping first the buttons of the first layer one at a time, deliberate and slow. Next, you draaaaag the zip down at an unbearable pace, each tooth audibly clicking through the slider, counting down the seconds to a freedom he's been thinking about ever since you agreed to this stint. With your assistance, he shrugs out of it one shoulder at a time and you notice, as your fingers graze his arms, he shivers from your touch, the coiled muscles beneath his skin tensing and rippling with a palpable restraint. The vest, surprisingly heavy, is discarded without a second thought - tossed away and slung over something you don't care to take notice of. His gloves are next, pulled off hands much larger than yours and similarly forgotten almost immediately. The second they're free however, they're on you, pulling at your clothes with an obvious impatience - the first time he'd let his composure slip, when he'd been just such a good boy all morning - but you tut at him, playing the part of his foil.

How long will that last, you wonder.

"Down, boy." The mirth in your voice is tangible and downright scalding, but that's precisely what makes it all the more empowering when he obeys. (But not before you feel both of his hands stiffen in what you can only imagine is an internal conflict). There is a darkness in his eyes, a peculiar way that sombre grey is shifting even in his compliance. He lets you guide his body backwards, your fingertips skimming down his front to begin unbuckling his belt as you move him. Vergil's legs hit your couch, and down he goes, your own body following shortly after to straddle his thighs. He remembers something like this happening once; you in his lap, working his cock out of his pants. Today is almost a one-for-one recreation of that night, down to that mischievous, lascivious gleam in the colour of your eyes.

The moment you close your hand over his cock - already achingly hard, much to your mounting delight - Vergil's hips buck hard enough that he nearly jostles you right out of his lap. He's made an absolute mess of the inside of his pants already, his thick length covered in a generous coating of precum when you unveil him. It stands to attention between your bodies, flushed a deep red and twitching every so often, as if he's been teased and brought to the very edge for hours instead of mere seconds.

"How long do you think this'll take?" Your attention is solely on his cock in your hand, your thumb gently massaging the bulging vein that runs along the underside. Almost as though you milked it out yourself, another stream of precum oozes from the tip of his cock, which you gather with your thumb to mix with the rest.

In front of you, pinned to your couch under your body, he takes one long breath. "For your pill to take effect?" Vergil's words seem forced, not at all swathed in his usual unwavering cadence.

"No." You give his cock a squeeze, wrist twisting just the barest amount. "For you to cum."

You're almost disappointed that he doesn't as soon as you say that, but what you get in exchange is decidedly a better alternative - Vergil grips the sheet covering your couch in his fist, his entire body stiffening as the air around him begins to churn, thrumming with an audible, ominous drum. It gently tousles your hair, blows at your clothes, all while, in your hold, his cock continues to throb. You wet your lips before you bite back a smile, your eyes flickering up to his for a moment before you give him one hard pump over his velvety skin.

And apparently that's all it takes.

Beneath you, his thighs tense and his breath hitches, head lolling back. It reveals his neck to you, pristine and inviting, and you lean forward to lick at the lump in his throat, feeling it bob underneath your tongue. You pinch skin between your teeth, kneading softly until spots of blood dot just beneath the surface while he rumbles his pleasure, deep and throaty. Rather than frustrated that he'd cum so soon, almost laughably quick, there's a clear sense of relief, of freedom in how he groans his pleasure so openly. His hips are rolling in time to each hot pulse, each burst that coats his chest and the front of your shirt in milky ropes. It comes as no surprise to you anymore, how he always dumps an obscene amount, but swallowing a load of it while he pumps it into your mouth is an entirely different matter to just how much of it is on you right now. It soaks through your shirt almost immediately, spreading its heat and sticking to your skin. It's honestly uncomfortable, but figuring you won't be wearing it for much longer anyway, you put up with it.

When some of that stifling heat begins to subside - only some - you lean back, thumbing at the head of his cock, rubbing the pad of it into the slit. It makes him squirm, twitching with muted aftershocks as remnants of his pleasure ooze out from underneath your thumb. When the air stills, by the time you've pulled away from his neck, your prized artworks have already disappeared from his skin. The sight of your efforts vanishing makes you frown, disappointed.

It just isn't fair.

One day, you'll come up with a solution for leaving your mark on him.

For now, there's the faraway look in his eyes, and a distinct lack of focus that relaxes his features. What he's thinking, what he's feeling, is hidden from you, but if nothing else, his cock is still hard and deeply flushed at the tip, and his chest is covered in viscous strings of glistening white. They dribble slowly down his body, rolling over and into every crack and crevice of his abdomen. It's an enticing sight, appealing in the way he's so unrestrained, even though you've only just breached the very surface of what his rut entails.

His chest heaves when you drag your fingers down his body, playing with the milky substance and massaging it into his skin. He hates that normally. Well, at least insofar as you can remember from months ago when this very scenario was playing out. He didn't cum then though; you didn't let him. But he'd grimaced nonetheless, when you smeared his precum all over his chest. Today however, he doesn't seem to mind. And you think you can understand why.

There is a peculiar charge in the air. An energy that's radiating from him. A smell that's alluring and gripping. His very presence is intoxicating to you. And, when you lean in to run the tip of your tongue up his chest, one hot stripe straight up the middle, dipping into the cavity of his collar, you notice with a light flinch, a surge of a phantom electricity, that even his taste is different. There are more layers to his seed; a thick, cloying flavour and... something else. Something that "feels" spicy. Sharp. It's difficult to explain when you're feeling it rather than tasting it on your tongue. Maybe it has something to do with your senses beginning to peak too, opening up a vast array of new sensations you can feel right down to your bones.

The pill?

Already?

That was fast.

Much faster than expected.

Then again, Vital Stars and Devil Stars are designed to have near immediate effects, it stands to reason that even though mixed with–

With...

Your thoughts, rapid and disjointed, come to a screeching halt when, with a delayed gasp, you realise you're being moved, forced to your feet with your hands propped against one of your shelves. Your eyes are trained in front of you, staring at the spines of tomes that have for once, all been gathered neatly and returned to their homes. When did that happen?

You try to turn, to look over your shoulder at the man who'd guided you here, but a hand grips your chin and forces your gaze forward again. He's one step ahead of you now, the tables already turned.

"No more questions. Just give yourself to it."

They're words spoken by a voice you recognise, but who they're being directed to - you or himself - is arguable.

To what, you almost ask, in direct defiance of what he's just said to you, but your body responds before the words fall, new and overwhelming sensations descending upon you all at once.

You notice it first as a heat that bubbles up inside you until it radiates from your skin, as intense as the warmth that emanates from Vergil himself. It doesn't make you sweat, it's neither comfortable nor uncomfortable, it's simply a tingling glow that spreads to every inch of you, igniting every nerve ending along the way. Acute awareness of everything around you comes next, a sort of hypersensitivity that almost borders on supernatural. Vision is sharper, colours are brighter, and Vergil's presence, his aura, his bearing, is as overwhelming as the smell of his musk. It's far too much, far too soon, and you wrench your eyes shut to curb this onslaught, shaking your head in a vain attempt to ground your senses. But all it does is make your head spin, wire your brain to focus instead on the feel of Vergil's presence behind you; his hands on your body, so sensual in how his palms map out your curves; the thick and sticky viscosity of his cum still stuck to your shirt. You're also suddenly, and violently aware of your clothes feeling too tight. No… not your clothes, but your skin itself, pulled far too tight over your body, building tension, creating friction that culminates between your legs and throbs in a persistent and maddening pulse. You pull at the collar of your shirt in a futile attempt to release some of that heat, but it continues to build, licking flames that reach higher and deeper. Body ablaze and senses alight, your clothes continue to brush against your skin that's far, far too sensitive while your thoughts begin to cloud and become harder to grasp and give form to. Even your words are beginning to melt away, dripping right off your tongue in indistinct sounds and half whimpers, because your body speaks on your behalf now; your panties have already, already, soaked through with an overabundance of your arousal.

It spots even your shorts, and behind you, you can hear Vergil breathe in deeply, taking in the very scent of you.

You've never felt the effects of an aphrodisiac before, but it exceeds anything you could have imagined. It's a hot flush, accompanied by a spine-tingling chill. It's cold sweat on sweltering skin. Raw nerve endings madly churning beneath rushed and muted thoughts.

It's too hot.

Everything is too tight.

Too many layers.

Too constricting.

Too many contrasting feelings vying for dominance.

But oh, it's such a rush.

Is this what he feels like? Is this what he endures alone? What torture that must be - cock achingly hard and begging for attention it won't receive, unable to cum even once. But not this time. No, this time around, he has you to vent all of this need on. Again and again and again and as many times as it takes until he's satisfied and completely empty–

Your hand is between your own legs before you realise it, your teeth pinching your lip between them as even the barest pressure on your swelling clit leaves you breathless. Vergil finally intervenes at this point, reaching around you to replace your hand with his own, sliding it into the front of your shorts where a sticky humidity greets him. He doesn't stroke, doesn't tease, just places his hand over your mound protectively, posessively, like he's staking his claim, hissing just a single word into the base of your neck.

"M̷͟į̛n͝͏̴e.̸̡͜"

It's tinged with a darkened static, an extra layer buffering his velvety voice that beckons and reaches for something deep within you. And legs quivering, heart pounding, you obey, and reach back. With a soft, pitched whine, you fall back against him where the curve of your ass presses against his still wet, still hard cock. His hand between your thighs doesn't need to guide you, you're already grinding back against him of your own volition, and even through your shorts, you feel the heat of it as it throbs. Feel his chest rumble through your back. It has you writhing in his arms already, the contact simultaneously too much and yet nowhere near satisfying enough. You want his hands on your skin. You want his cock driving into you. You want his teeth marking you. You want all of him. "I see that it's taking effect." You feel his tongue, hot and wet slip up the nape of your neck, relishing in the salty tang of your skin and the distinct odour of sex. He shouldn't be this excited about finally being able to fuck his way through this rut, but he can smell the enthusiasm on you already, can feel it seeping through your panties and your shorts, massaged right into your thighs when you rub them together. He gives your clothed slit a tentative stroke and moans into your shoulder at how smoothly the seat of your panties glides over you, how little friction, how little resistance there is to his probing fingers. It's only been two minutes at best, but you're already dripping for him. And to think he doesn't need to bother with contraceptives today - he is free to cum inside you as much as he wants, to feel you squeeze and milk him while totally bare. He groans again at the thought, hand slipping back out into the open air where the fluid on his fingers begin to immediately chill. "Take these off." A desperate whine is all you can give him in response, pulling your shorts and panties down in one motion. You're so wet that a single strand of your slick stretches between the apex of your thighs and the seat of your panties, pulling thinner the lower your shorts drop until it finally snaps. You've barely managed to kick them away when Vergil returns to you, sliding his hard cock between your thighs. But he doesn't line himself up, doesn't press into you like you so desperately want him to, he just nestles his hot cock against you, gently pivoting his hips to saw it through your folds. It's gentle and slow, letting you get acquainted with the feel of his naked cock against you. You've felt it many times in your hands before, are used to the weight and feel of it in your mouth, but the direct skin to skin contact is almost searing. Under regular circumstances, the stimulation would be enough to get you started, but today, with that drug pumping through your veins, stoking a rising wildfire, you're already so close to orgasm. Vergil's cock is already generously coated in your slick, but he's no slouch either, obviously just as eager as you are judging by the precum he smears all over your thighs on every thrust. "Legs together," he demands, voice husky and still dusted with that static in your ear, and without even a second's hesitation, you close your thighs around his cock. Vergil's reaction is instant, lips pressing into your shoulder to muffle a long, low groan. His visceral response has you whining in turn, feeling another gush of something hot and wet - you can't tell whether it's you or him anymore - coat your inner thighs. Vergil's hands fall to your hips, guiding you over his cock, pulling you just far enough off him that his cockhead teases at your entrance, lingering just long enough for you to get used to the sensation of having him there before he drags you back onto him until your ass is flush against his body. It's such a different sort of pleasure compared to when he's fucking into you - it's a slow, but no less intense build up, almost sensual in nature as opposed to quick and hard thrusts. You love it when he's rough with you, but this? You could get used to this too.

If only you weren't so impatient.

Your head falls back against his shoulder, eyes pointed toward your ceiling, even though you're not really seeing, not really taking anything in beyond geometric shapes and bright colours. All you can think about is a single thing: "Let me cum. Fuck, let me cum."

Vergil grunts against your skin, his hips stuttering in their torturous pace. Your admittance had more of an effect than he will ever confess to, but still, he finds it in himself to lift his face from your shoulder to hover back by your ear, lips close enough to graze, rewarding him with a shudder and a stifled hiss. "Desperate already?" He has the audacity to sound mocking, but his hands rock you back and forth a little faster, his own hips meeting your ass on every stroke backwards. "Imagine feeling this way for days. No matter how much or how little you indulge, it never relents. Never burns out. Always left wanting."

Your hand lifts, slipping into his hair in what would be a tender gesture if you didn't immediately grip a fistful of it. "Aren't you lucky you have me, then?"

He rasps out a laugh, and you feel his teeth pinch your earlobe until it hurts.

But even that feels good.

"Take care you don't bite off more than you can chew, kitten."

Your breath hitches when he calls you that, your entire body flushing as a wave of want crashes down around you, almost sending you barrelling into your first orgasm of the day. And you get the feeling he can sense it too, because his cock twitches, drooling another stream of milky precum and mingling with your slick. It creates a musk so dense that your head is already starting to spin, making words harder and harder to form.

"You know I can take more than a mouthful, Vergil– oh fuck yes–" your own sentence is cut off when you feel the rough tips of his fingers press onto your clit, forcing an abrupt climax that forces the air from your lungs. Muscles twitch and flex, your walls flutter with an aberrant need, and though you're anchored against his body, you jolt and flinch and writhe in a steady rhythm. You puff short gasps of air in soundless cries of white hot pleasure as your heart races and pounds in your chest. You're giddy, possibly laughing from the thrill of succumbing, but when your head is swimming and swirling from what is only the beginning of a long day drenched in a collective sin, you can't really say for certain.

With a husky sign, and an urgent, almost bruising press of his fingers into your hips, Vergil follows you not long after, pulling his cock out just enough that his cockhead is still buried between your legs, letting you feel each hot pulse of cum. It's denser, heavier than your own juices, but it quickly coats every inch of skin between your legs, and when you look down, you see thick white ropes of it ooze from between your clenched thighs in short bursts. Strings of it splatter onto your shelves, some of it painting the worn spines of several tomes, but rather than upset, the sight, that fervour makes your desire flare higher. At your back, you can feel a rapid thudding from within Vergil's chest, his breaths just as choppy as yours while he thrusts shallowly into your thighs. Your skin was already so smooth around him, soft and inviting, but when lubricated by your slick and his cum, when he slips his sensitive cock into your thighs, the journey so effortless and silky smooth, the pleasure he receives from it is eye-rollingly intense.

On his final thrust, riding out that last jolt of pleasure, he thinks of the absolute mess he's going to make of you - mindless, boneless, limp, pumped full and dripping with his seed - and almost cums again. Until a creature deep inside him looms, horned and fanged, scales in cool shades of blue and wings spread wide. It whispers wordless thoughts, in a muffled, garbled string of sounds, and tells him there isn't any need to merely think about it.

Something like a snarl tears through the air. Vergil wrenches you off of his cock, still as maddeningly hard as when all of this began even though he's two loads of cum deep into his rut, and forces your back up against a wall. Without a word, with hardly even a moment's respite, he hoists you up against him, lifting you so easily with dizzying speed and a sparking, crackling sense of craving. Like this, you're almost face to face with a familiar pair of glowing blue eyes. They're no longer that soft grey - that's been burned to all but cinders. They're a bright and piercing flame now. Predatory. Wolfish. And hungry. So hungry…

The darkness is returning to the whites of his eyes, creeping across their pristine expanse like a blight; watching them shift from human to demonic in real time would be unsettling to most, but knowing the promise that they hold, feeling his hard length press up against your sopping cunt, your arms automatically, instinctively slide over his shoulders, fingertips poised and ready to grip whatever they manage to latch onto.

"Don't look away." More and more, you find yourself melting at the sound of his voice when it's brimming with demonic power - it holds an allure that you can't presently explain, yet can feel upon you as though it's a physical force. "I want to see what you look like while you're being bred."

At those words, your little cunt clenches as if on command, your ankles locking behind his back as Vergil lines himself up, pressing the thick head of his cock into your wet folds. He holds that position for the longest few seconds of your life, until your hips begin to impatiently roll toward his, that desire to have him stuff you so full of all that is him, twisting into an all consuming need. Your cunt physically aches at how empty it is, like an itch you couldn't possibly satisfy on your own. How, before today, you ever possibly managed to do so is beyond you; nothing is ever really as fulfilling as his heat on, in and around you. It might never be again.

When he does finally indulge the both of you with these repulsive, baser instincts, it's slow at first, just like when he was fucking into your thighs (which are still sticky with his cum), letting him take in the feel of your silken walls shifting around his bare skin, molding to the shape of his cock inch by inch by perfect inch until he sheathes his entire length inside you. Vergil lets out a hiss, and you swear you can feel the air around the both of you shimmer from an unseen force.

It's bizarre, how faint you feel, when you also feel his intrusion so fiercely, every nerve lighting up the deeper he pushes into you. When you can't take it anymore, your entire body quivering from far too much sensory input in too short a span of time, you slump forward, your forehead resting against his cheek. But suddenly, his fingertips dig into the flesh of your ass, the blunt pricks of pain translating into sharp pleasure. A deep rumbling growl vibrates against you, and then you hear his voice again amidst the haze in your mind, ringing perfectly clear in a voice that is equally gripping.

"L̢҉͟o̵̧o̕k̡͞ ̷͝at͘͜ m̨e̡."

Vergil doesn't need to physically grip your chin to force your head back; the powerful, commanding nature of his voice alone, calls to something buried deep within you and compels you to obey. And, aroused even by his words, you slowly fall back until the back of your head thumps against the wall behind you, the pain hardly even registering when your blood and body and very soul are abuzz with a potent ache. With eyes clouded, fogged over, devoid of reason or logic or even decency, you stare into his and await deliverance.

The brightness of his eyes, their intensity, fades in and out, flickering like embers. Scales are beginning to creep up from his throat, covering one temple and rippling further every second. He presses more of his weight against you, pinning you to the wall while he continues to urge his cock deeper into you, as if meaning to sear the memory of his shape, the sensation of bared, naked skin, into mind and body. How often does he get to come unbidden like this, after all? To let instinct and desire take reign in a way he's never allowed before?

To watch every twitch in your expression while he fills you with his seed?

The thought alone undoes him, and with a flash of blue in those darkened eyes, his cock pulses deep inside you as he cums again, filling you for the very first time. Your hands squeeze relentlessly at his broad shoulders, your eyes widening, mouth falling open in a breathless gasp, pitching every now and then when you feel him twitch and throb inside you. And the entire time, Vergil watches you intently, gaze staunch and steadfast, even as he's dumping a thick load straight into your core, just like he's been wanting to do for months. It's an odd feeling, not nearly as 'wet' as you were imagining, but there's certainly a searing heat blooming inside you, seemingly filling every possible crevice within you until it begins to seep from around his cock in rhythmic bursts. When it streams down your slit and down your legs is when you can actually feel it, and at the mercy of something so carnal, you cum too, walls squeezing hard around his throbbing cock. Vergil rides out this orgasm too, gently at first, but it's a rapidly rising crescendo as he thrusts into your clenching cunt with an increasing intensity that splatters his leaking cum, stretching a fine gossamer web between your bodies.

At the sight, the smell, the sound, the utter euphoric bliss of it all, he's all but given in by now, to a rampaging beast, now free from heavy chains. And so maybe that's why, with a sound like a desperate grunt, he kisses you, angling his head to devour your surprised whimper with his mouth and swallowing it whole. It's a clumsy, trembling, needy open mouthed kiss - nothing but a hasty mingling of tongues and puffed breaths of air, tinted in something so wanton and physical. Your hands fly from his shoulders and up into his hair to pin him into place, because there's something there, a peculiar sweetness on his tongue that you're certain isn't human in origin; it can't possibly be his natural flavour when it's cloying and candied like some sort of nectar, but it drives you further into ecstasy and refuels your dwindling orgasm until he can feel your tight hole grip him eagerly once more. This close and impossibly intimate, you think his face feels hotter than the rest of him, but it could just as easily be you when absolutely everything is burning; his skin, your skin, his cock... even the evidence of your sloppy kiss, those tendrils of saliva dripping down chins feel as if they're liquid fire. But especially his cum. Oh god, his cum - there's so much of it spilling out of you everytime he pulls out, accompanied by a filthy, wet squelching on every forward thrust. You don't know how you can hear it over Vergil's low rumbling, or your muffled moans and gasps for breath, or even the sound of an equally wet and messy kiss, but you chalk it up to your heightened senses, tuned so acutely to everything that his thick cock is reducing you to as it pounds so fervently into your greedy core.

But even after the sumptuous high begins to simmer back down to more manageable levels, providing a glimmer of clarity, his lips don't leave yours, continuing to move against yours with an enthusiasm that you return in equal measure. That honeyed taste that coats his tongue is still there, so sinfully saccharine that you eagerly drink deeply of, pressing so tightly against him until he consumes and overwhelms every single one of your senses. He remains sheathed inside you as he continues to sample the taste of you, basking in your combined heat and essences below while he maps out the inside of your mouth with his tongue above. When he finally does pull back, taking with him a single string of saliva, the vibrant colour of his eyes has dulled somewhat. Part of you feels a pang of disappointment, wondering if this is all he has to offer you, but then he adjusts the full palmed grip he has on your ass, his nails digging hard enough into your skin that they pierce straight through to collect tiny droplets of crimson upon them. His hips begin to move again, fucking you anew, the pathway paved by a stream of creamy white that makes sliding in right to his base so sinfully easy, and so fucking good.

"Don't stop–" your moan, sounding more like a sob, is pitiful at best, but you can hear a deep, pleasured growl from Vergil in response to your submission. You sound so lost, so desperate for something only he has the ability to give you. "Keep fucking me, oh fuck pleasedon'tstop–"

When he hears those words, begged and so desperate, when he sees the complete absence of everything other than pleasure in your expression, the gentle glow of his eyes spikes, pupils narrowing into mere predatory slits. "Stop?" He drives his cock into you in one forceful thrust, hard enough that the wall at your back shakes, the plaster actually cracking when he does it again. But even that, the strength in him, the lascivious tone of his voice, the raw power, makes your eyes roll, head tilting back to bask in the oblivion he's delivering unto you. With your throat exposed, Vergil takes this chance to lean forward, and with two rows of newly grown fangs, he bites and sucks a patch of colour into your skin, moving immediately to a fresh canvas when he's satisfied with the reminder of his presence. His teeth are leaving deep, immediately reddened indents along your neck, but he can feel you gulp down air, his tongue following the movement of your throat, only pausing in his quest of leaving more proofs of dominance over you to finish his thought: "Kitten, we've only just begun."

You think you're cumming again when you feel a patch of skin break under the pressure of those pointed teeth, but after his second load of cum inside your pulsating cunt - streaming down the length of your slit now, collecting in heavy droplets at the lowest dip of your ass - and his fourth in the last hour, things are starting to get hazy for you.

 


 

With your knees propped on the couch, upper body hanging over the backrest, you're only half aware of time passing, only half aware of an extra set of hands upon your naked body, an extra source of heat in front of you matching the one behind that's squeezing your hips until there's blood oozing out from underneath the pads of his fingers. It's tinted in a blue light, glowing faintly and illuminating your skin with an unearthly glow, but it's certainly not lacking in tangibility like his ethereal appearance might suggest. But it isn't Vergil's demonic form. It's still distinctly humanoid in shape. At least as far as you can tell - the cock currently pistoning in and out of your mouth is definitely still human, but that's as far as your cognition really goes. All that matters to you is the feeling of your mouth and throat being repeatedly filled, and the surprisingly gentle fingers that linger at the base of your neck, supporting your head and feeling for the telling bulge that bloats your throat on every filling, forward thrust.

Vergil's doppelganger is a different beast to the one currently bent over you while he ruts into you from behind. This one is measured and slow; a more accurate reflection of the man you know, right down to the quiet hums of approval when you press the flat of your tongue against the underside of the cock in your mouth. It's a strange, but very distinct sensation; faintly tingly, and completely without flavour, but with a very familiar weight and feel. Not that any of it matters to you right now, mindless as you are. All you can focus on is sucking on the thick length filling your mouth, feeling strangely cool fingers card through your hair to grip a handful right at your scalp to give him the leverage to thrust. His voice is laced in more of that fuzzy distortion than you're used to, but bears none of that compelling, darker edge - they're just pleasant sounds of pleasured rumbles, echoing and contrasting with the feverish slap of Vergil's hips against your ass.

It's hard to tell whether Vergil's imitation is moving of its own accord or whether it's being controlled, but regardless of which it is, the languid motion continues, so gentle, but so thorough on every thrust that you can feel a comfortable burn as your throat accommodates his cock. But unlike the Vergil at your back, this one doesn't seek to fulfill such animalistic desires, content simply with keeping your mouth full, and his cock warm. The tender, featherlight touch of his fingers at your throat squeeze down a little. Not enough to obstruct your breathing, but to feel more closely the bulge of his cock every time he bottoms out inside your waiting mouth, stroking in soothing motions as if to coax you into relaxing. You can't help but whine helplessly at the gesture, wanting nothing more than to please the apparition before you, so you lave your tongue against the thickness invading your mouth, teasing in broad strokes. Your hands slide around his body, clutching at his thighs, his ass, feeling only one uniformly smooth texture beneath your hands - not skin, but something merely warm and smooth. Despite the lack of any real responses from his doppelganger, Vergil - the real one - is certainly responding to the tender flicks of your tongue, to each long drag of it as his clone's cock slides over it, because he leans down over your back. Something hot, wet and impossibly long drags up your shoulder blade before you feel pinpricks on your skin. His puffs of breath feel so humid against you, short and choppy, punctuated by wet slaps of skin and thick squelches, each one never quite sounding the same as the one that came before it.

Again, you can feel your skin break underneath the relentless pressure of his fangs, and again, nothing but pleasure registers in your oversensitive nerves even when warm blood begins to trickle from the perfect crescent of punctures he leaves behind. The smell of it is overpowering to Vergil; thick and tangy and sweet, with an aroma so compelling, so maddening, that the moment it hits his tongue, he comes undone again, letting his hips still, pressed tightly against your ass while he pumps more of his roiling cum into your already sopping pussy. There's a taut bulge low in your abdomen from the sheer amount of his cum he's dumped into you by this point, but there's only so much your body can hold before it spills. Even with his cock plugging your hole, it gushes from you with each new wave, streaming down your thighs in thick rivulets and pooling onto your couch. And the entire time, he doesn't let you go, jaw clenching to wedge lengthening fangs deeper into your skin, drawing more blood, fueling his abrupt frenzy, and resulting in more pressure, more sharp pricks and more blood; on and on the cycle goes until he has a mouth full of scarlet and he's moaning into your shoulder because the taste of you is melting him. The more the flavour lingers on his tongue, the more ragged his breaths become. They're uneven and choppy, as though amidst the maddening pleasures that you, all of you, are providing him, he's forgotten how to breathe.

When he pulls out of you, he's still cumming, painting the rest of his load in heavy stripes up your back with soft, pleased grunts. It's a pleasant sight, seeing your muscles flex and pull, collecting drops of his cum within the curve of your spine; it contrasts nicely with the colour of your skin. But what is most exhilarating is when he slides a hand between your legs, feeling for himself the slimy, sticky remnants of his presence inside you with his fingers. They collect as much of his escaping cum as they can, swiping it from your labia, your thighs, even as far up as your bellybutton before he shoves it back inside you. A hand plants itself on the couch's backrest, dangerously close to touching yours, and then you notice the heat of his body descend upon your back once more, feel the humidity that sticks to his chest smear against your skin. His voice hits you next; pleasant vibrations that tickle and tingle, and make you hum around his doppleganger's cock.

"How does it feel? To be filled again and again." Even if your mouth weren't occupied, he wouldn't have waited for you to answer; Vergil is far from interested in dialogue or exchanging pleasantries today. All he wants to make note of is your reaction, raw and visceral and just so honest - he can already gleam what you answer would have been, when your little cunt squeezes down on his fingers, only once, but with so much eagerness, from that innocuous question alone. It's so much warmer inside you than it usually is, wetter too, but he attributes that to the copious amount of cum he's already stuffed inside you. Even though he's only just finished scooping a handful back inside of you, it squelches out at the seams when you tighten around his fingers. "If only you could see yourself, kitten." You feel his tongue on you, rough and textured and scorching hot, dipping into the base of your spine where it travels up, up, up to the stretch of skin between your shoulder blades. Beneath him, he feels you shiver. "White is a good colour on you."

You can't explain the effect those words have on you, but you can certainly feel them when you cum on his fingers, muffling your ode to his ministrations around the cock in your mouth. Normally, you'd fizzle out by now, go slack from the overexertion and overstimulation, and shy away from his thumb that just keeps on pressing so tirelessly into your swollen clit, but your blood is still roiling and burning with a need that's as bright and white hot as when all of this began. Each time he brings you to another peak, it hits you like a tidal wave; relentless, unforgiving, unending. And never seemingly enough, because you continue to grind into his hand like he hasn't brought you to orgasm multiple times, your back arching, every muscle contracting, and always so desperate for more. The need is so intense that tears now sting the corners of your eyes, equal parts fearful and impatient that you'll never be satisfied.

And as if understanding this unspoken fear, his fingers scissor, working against your clenching cunt, stretching you open in anticipation of something thicker, something larger that will quell those ridiculous concerns. Electricity begins to crackle at the edges of his vision, seeping into perceived colours that are already oversaturated and somehow too sharp. He feels an uncomfortable itch as more scales push up through his skin, still in patches, still not uniform. His nails are growing longer too, and Vergil can feel, inside his own body, the slow shifting of his own bones as they too, grow, making him larger, broader. But most of all, most potently of all, Vergil can feel the incessant throbbing of his cock, beating and pulsing with a life of its own as it lengthens and thickens and morphs.

He withdraws his fingers from you just in time for his nails to come to a lethal point, and these new claws he drags up the rounded curve of your ass. The glow of his eyes intensifies briefly in an unspoken message to his doppelganger, and with one final soothing caress, a soft stroke of his thumb at your cheek, he pulls his cock from your mouth slowly. You make a feeble, needy sound, the tip of your tongue chasing it as it leaves, body following after in the hopes of having it plug your mouth again - you already miss its gentle presence - but a hoarse yelp is ripped from you instead when a large hand grips your thigh and flips you over with ease.

The Vergil that's looming over you now - with one knee digging into your couch beside you - is a stark contrast to the one you remember leaning over your back and lining his cock up with your dripping hole. This one is pointed teeth, horns and barbs, broader shoulders, and a soft, smooth layer of scales; far from human, yet not fully transformed. He rumbles something - words, or merely one prolonged growl, you can't tell with that heavy distortion on his voice - and spreads your legs, holding you open with one hand on your thigh. His gaze travels down to where his cum is still lazily oozing from you, without a care in the world, to the webbed mess that stretches between your thighs, then down further to his cock. Your eyes follow his line of sight to something that, were you any closer to sobriety, would have had you hesitating; it's thicker than you're used to, shaft wide and lined with short protrusions - divots and ribs and ridges - down the length on all sides. The head of his cock is flared and pointed and leaking one long stream of glowing precum, and lord, it's still growing, still finding its own unique shape with every writhing pulse, every beat of the heart of a demon in its rut. You're supposed to be worried that it won't fit, but at the sight of it, your thighs quiver, your breath hitches, and your greedy little cunt spasms.

"Fuck–" you manage to breathe out that word before you gulp down another breath. "I want that inside me–"

Vergil only chuckles, a sound that's equal parts devoid of all reason, yet perfectly deliberate. He leans down, captures one pert nipple between teeth too sharp, scraping at skin too sensitive, before he laves over it with his tongue. That's changed now too, barbed, almost like a cat's, but they give under enough pressure that they're spongy against your nipple, each spur dragging against nerves that are burning.

Your hands, heavy and numb, yet still faintly tingly, weave into his hair, feeling the coarse texture of his horns, warm to the touch, under your fingertips. You apply pressure, tilting his head back and pulling up and up until you capture his lips again. They feel leathery against your own, not that it matters too much to you when his tongue seeks out yours not even a second later, and then you're whining into his mouth, overwhelmed by the addicting feel and taste of him. Your refusal to let him go surprises even you, wanting nothing more than to continue sampling his flavour, his rough tongue, and those teeth he's so sweetly taking great care to keep away from your probing tongue.

At least until they bite down on your lower lip, drawing more blood that he sucks into his mouth. His head angles to drink more of you, spreading an unholy mixture of crimson and dribbling saliva over both of your chins.

But it's then that gentle hands caress your cheek, leaving a tickle of electricity in their wake, reminding you that there is one more being present. Vergil's doppelganger - still human - slowly guides your head back until it sits atop the backrest of your couch. Until it hangs over the edge and you can see, amidst a rainbow of bright, sharp colours, and fuzzy outlines, his blue silhouette line his cock up with your mouth. The head nudges at your lips, swiping over them with such a contrasting delicacy compared to what's been happening to the rest of you. You part your lips just enough to let the tip of your tongue slip through, lavishing his cock in coy kitten licks before you open wide enough to let him in. His expression loosens a little, softens in a way you can't explain, and then he slides all the way into your mouth easily, filling your throat so smoothly, so naturally that it should be worrying. Instead, you swallow around it, returning so willingly to being the warm hole for which he may warm his cock. It's shameless. It's immoral. It's completely unabashed. But you'd open your mouth to him without a second thought, wouldn't you?

Looking down at you from above, at how you're so eager to please, Vergil has to steady himself, has to fight, has to struggle to keep himself from cumming again. He adjusts his weight, leaning the bulk of it onto the knee he's propped onto the couch, hand sliding from the middle of your thigh down and down until he smooths his palm over your lower abdomen. Glistening with a generous layer of his cum and your own juices, your little pussy looks so inviting, so ready to be ravaged and filled, and he just can't help but press his thumb down on your clit. It rewards him with a full bodied jolt from you, your back arching and legs tensing, trying to close in an attempt to trap his hand right there. But his body blocks your feeble attempts, and with one corner of his lips quirking upward, his tongue slips from between his lips, flicking over them briefly, wetting them in anticipation of what he's about to do. You've never taken his cock like this before - hell, you've never even really seen it before today, and he hopes, prays, that he remembers to let you have a more… hands on experience with it one day. The idea oozes another spurt of precum from him, sending another shiver of pleasure fanning up his spine. And then, finally, he's lining himself up, placing the deep red head of his cock right at your entrance. Vergil's hips roll back and forth, just testing the waters at first, his eyes flickering up to your face for a reaction.

Nothing yet.

But when he pushes into you with that bulging cock, in one hard thrust that slaps his balls against your ass, your immediate and abrupt orgasm is all the reaction he could possibly want. He hadn't even had the chance to pull out after that first stroke, before your cunt convulses around him, gripping him tightly and pulling him further, deeper inside you. Vergil watches your breasts heave with each ragged, muffled breath, listens to how helplessly, how hopelessly, you mewl and moan around the cock in your mouth, that desperate scrabble of your hands as they reach for something, anything to hold onto.

Oh, he feels so fucking powerful in this moment. So perfectly in charge.

Because you are his.

You are his.

 

Y̸̩͜ơ̙u͎͔͡ ͏͉̹̹̱͉͍̫͝a̩͍r̪͘̕e̷̛̝̗̼͜ ̸̛̫͔̜͙͍̥̥͜ͅh͎̗̹̮͖͕͝͡i̲̤̺̙̯͈̖͉̯s̡̟̰̖̫̪͖͍.̸͎̜͍̝͕̟

 

Without reluctance, without hesitation, he starts fucking you at a dizzying pace, spearing you onto his cock with grunts and groans he doesn't bother to hide anymore. It's utterly rapturous in how liberating it is, and all of this vigor he directs into your smaller, eager body. Adjusting his grip on you, his leathery palms slipping on the sweat that coats your skin, Vergil spreads you open wider, leaning in to bite again at your throat. The new angle provides a better angle, a deeper penetration, more friction, and he snarls against your skin. His tongue licks in broad strokes, feeling the bulge that his copy forms through your neck, and he moans, voice warped and rasped, every time it pushes back in and nudges at his tongue. It's a thrill he didn't realise he had a penchant for until today; watching you receive pleasure from another's cock. Even if that other someone is an abstract version of himself.

Maybe especially because that other someone is himself.

With any luck, he'll remember that for another time, too.

For now, he only thinks about how his cock feels when gliding through your silken heat, pressing so insistently at your very limits. With the way your back arches, and your breasts thrust forward to press against his chest, he thinks, with a sense of deep mirth, he just made you cum again.

"How much of what you're feeling is the pill?" he whispers against you, the words pouring over you like liquid fire. "How much of it is your own greed?"

It's almost surreal, how in spite of the fact he knows his mouth is moving, that these words still don't feel as though they belong to him. As if he's hearing them come from someone else. Questions that could very well be directed to himself, from a Vergil that feels so distant and faraway in this blurry, hazy moment. The blissful motions of his cock stop, and he pulls out of your sopping cunt, letting it rest and drip its sticky juices down the length of your slit. But the lack of any stimulation, the lack of his cock inside you makes you restless, and your hips squirm.

Ever merciful, Vergil idly teases at you with the underside of his cock, letting the uneven texture catch on your buzzing, tingling clit, providing that perfect middle ground between giving you what you want, and keeping it just out of reach.

"You're taking to this far better than I thought you would." A pause as he trails a hand down your side, where claws drag over the slight bulge of your lower abdomen. He thumbs at it gently, applying just enough pressure to coax out another stream of his cum; it doesn't take much at all before it oozes out of you with a faint squelch. "Does being so completely filled excite you?" He hears you muffle a whine, your hands madly gripping at the sheet that protects your couch from the filth happening atop it. You're trying to reply. Vergil doesn't gesture, doesn't so much as even glance up at it, but it speaks to how intertwined they truly are, that his doppelganger knows to pulls its cock from your mouth, taking with it a string of your saliva, now tinted with a faint blue glow.

You sputter only a little as you draw in a deep breath, not because you'd needed the air, but because his cock is leaving you breathless. You know it's deliberate from how shallow his thrusts are, lavishing your clit with the leathery texture that adorns the tip. It takes you a moment to pull yourself together long enough to lift your head up in challenge, another moment to gather the right words, and then one more to have them take form, but you do eventually manage to force them out.

"I could say the same for you–" You gasp sharply on a particularly hard thrust against your sensitive clit, the sensation immediately dulling when his cock simply rests there in a gesture that radiates offense and indignation. It makes your lips curl into a sly smile, and at the sight of you - flushed and coy, but still so deeply aroused - Vergil's eyes flash. "So eager to pump me full - you don't waste even a drop. I'd say you're the one taking to this."

His cock throbs once, washing another wave of immense desire through you.

"What am I helping you with, Vergil?"

Another twitch, as your hips dare to roll upwards towards him.

 

"Your breeding kink?"

 

 

For a long time, Vergil only looks at you, the sound of what you imagine are the claws on his feet tapping at your floorboards in thought, drowning out even the sounds of your erratic breath, your gently mocking, airy laugh. His eyes travel down to your heaving chest, down to your stomach, still only slightly distended, but you swear you can see a brief flick of his tongue behind his pointed teeth. His eyes then flare, stealing your attention, but you do catch the fleeting smile on his face, curled with mischief. It disappears after a second, when his large hand grips your hip in a full-palmed grasp, the pads of his fingers digging into your body. The pricks of his nails follow in a mild, silent threat, squeezing, testing the limits of your skin before it breaks. And just when you think he won't follow up on it, you're suddenly speared into from both ends; a hand, no longer gentle, forces your head back to shove his cock into your open mouth, while Vergil himself indulges in your already ravished cunt. You accept him easily, despite his fervor, eyes rolling back as you huff helplessly, left entirely at his mercy.

Though mercy may be too forgiving a word.

He's thicker than what you're used to now, and though he's worked you open more than enough, the feel of your wet silk wrapped around him, so impossibly tight, and tighter still when your walls squeeze him, begins to fray the very edges of his tightly wound concentration. The illusion fucking your mouth distorts ever so slightly, like static on an image. Square, discoloured artefacts on a screen. He pins your shoulder to the couch with one hand while he thrusts straight into your throat at a punishing pace, no longer the calm and delicate mirror image, and leaving you keening everytime he forces himself into your throat.

Not that you mind.

Because this is exactly the sort of mindless frenzy your body has been craving. That itch buried so deep within you, finally pulled to the surface by blood and teeth and claws, and impaled on a cock that reaches parts of you that you didn't know were even there. But despite your eagerness to continue seeking such carnal pleasures, black spots begin to erupt in your vision, swirling and dancing, and you think, with a fleeting sense of disappointment, that this might be where you pass out, from overexertion, from overstimulation, from being overwhelmed in every sense of the word. Until you feel something pulse inside you. It washes a haze of purple fog over your vision, lifting that dark veil instantly and returning it to that oversaturated, oversharp set of images. Your body suddenly feels light again, and that vivid awareness, that hypersensitivity to touch comes rushing back into you. And just in time for you to saviour the new sensations of his cock. You can feel every raised ridge, every protrusion, as they scrape against you, faster and faster until his milky cum begins to bubble and froth from the effort. Your inner thighs and your pelvis, have been rubbed almost raw from the friction against his plated armour, still thickening and sprouting more barbs that collect thin scraps of your shredded skin. With a cohesion that's thinning by the second, you think he's going to have torn you apart by the time he's done, rubbed you right down to the bone, but even that thought fuels your mindless desire.

The sound that Vergil makes when he cums this time is inhuman - utterly beyond the vocal spectrum of any person. It's a deep, trembling rumble that rattles not only his body, and those thick plates of armour pushing past his scales, but you too. The cock in your mouth goes still the very moment that the cock in your cunt begins to pump another load into your flooded canal, and though you wish, you sorely wish Vergil's copy also possessed the ability to cum, to pour a generously thick burst down your throat, he gives off instead a faint surge of energy, a static shock that pushes you over the edge again too. It seems to be getting easier to do as time passes, because all it takes for you to fall straight into a second immediately after is the sight and sound of his tail, whipping violently around in space behind him. It's knocking things over, you're certain of it, but it's when it coils tightly around your other leg, effortlessly lifting you to adjust your posture, that cinches it. It reminds you of that day, in your kitchen; you on your knees, that tail between your legs. It took days for the deep imprints, the glorified bruises his scales left behind to heal. You remember because you'd touched them every so often, those perfectly tesselating purple diamonds stung so pleasantly upon the slightest pressure...

And now it's back, that familiar squeeze around your leg, tight and unforgiving. Powerful muscles that ripple beneath a layer of scales. When you're repositioned, it unfurls from around your thigh and wraps around your middle, angling your body so that his cock slides deeper into you. Opening your fist to release the sheets you've gripping this whole time, your hand slips upwards until it rests over a portion of his tail, until you instinctively grip it, your thumb rubbing at the coarse texture of his scales. Peering down at you from above, Vergil snarls his approval.

He remembers that day too. Oh yes.

A paltry whine escapes the very pit of your throat when you notice that the apparition you've been sucking off is beginning to fade, growing thinner and lighter, the ethereal glow dissolving and swirling into a fine mist, now that Vergil is no longer capable of maintaining it. Cracks, like hairline fractures begin to fan out over its body as his concentration wanes, and more and more, it continues to crumble, blown away by a nonexistent breeze. Finally, the pressure keeping you pinned to the couch fades entirely, and now with your mouth free once more, you suck in a deep breath, only to expel it immediately as a hoarse moan. You don't realize that your neck is tingling with a mild ache until you try to tilt your head back down, but when you do, you're greeted by the bared fangs and curved horns of Vergil's most powerful state.

And like this, hunched over your tiny body, spearing you upon a cock that you can feel distending your abdomen, he truly is powerful. A smouldering heat rises from his very being, distorting the air around him. Pointed wings split from his back, spreading wide before creeping around his body until one set embeds itself deep into the couch beside your head. The claw that adorns it sinks into the fabric, quivering from the force of his weight - you faintly hear the wood underneath it crack and split - but that vehemence only serves to make your pulse race, faster and wilder. You don't know what compels you to do it, but your other hand reaches for the lone talon, half buried into your couch, your fingers naturally settling into its rounded curve to hold while he pounds into you. His claw and his tail serve as decent anchors, keeping you from slipping away into oblivion, yet are also pointed reminders of just what has total control over you in this moment. Every breath, every sigh, every little reaction he wrenches from you belongs wholly and solely to him.

Your legs have long since gone numb, incapable of feeling how his large hands and claws dig into your flesh, leaving dark prints in his wake. They're just one reminder, one more of many, of his presence today; a macabre rainbow of dark maroons and purples that he's painting into your skin. And you're about to burst from that alone.

"Fuck, Vergil– I need– I want–" the words don't form properly, as if on every filling stretch of your cunt, every thorough forward thrust, every wet squelch of your combined fluids, your thoughts are reset. "Please…"

"What do you want?" The resonance of his voice is almost numbing in how thunderous it sounds to you when he's like this. It's a deep, heavy bass that's overshadowed only by the tired creak of the couch, barely holding itself together under the weight and intense heat of Vergil's body. "To cum? Or is it mine that you want?"

Your face burns with the final scraps of your dignity, before even those last shreds evaporate off your body to mingle with the vapours that rise off of him. It's a combination of sweat and his inherent, natural heat, creating a humidity so dense that the windows of your apartment begin to fog over.

"Both. Bothbothbothbothbothboth–!" The single word pours from your lips in a stream of sobbed moans. Your body writhes, even in his grasp, forcing his tail to wind around your middle tighter until you can feel the pinch of the edges of his scales.

"Your avarice knows no bounds, kitten." He makes a tight, strained noise, somewhere between a moan and a wheeze. "It's almost as if you want to be bred."

You only moan out in response, a sound that you barely recognise as your own voice when it's so unrestrained and unhinged. "Fuck, yes, daddy, please…!"

Vergil doesn't give you a direct response to the blurted title, perhaps understanding that it's something you babbled without any deeper thought - your blissed expression tells him you're beyond that point now - but he growls from low in his throat. A guttural moan as mid-thrust, he finds an electric pleasure in the word.

Maybe he's already too far gone to care now, too.

Only half sheathed inside you, he pumps another load into your cunt, the luminescent fluid bursting from your core on each pressured pulse. Below him, you sob another string of moans and cried "daddy"s, your hand moving from his tail down and down until your fingers graze at his cock. You caress lightly, your fingers occasionally slipping just because your pelvis, the entirety of your inner thighs is coated in a thick layer of slimy cum. It seeps into the abrasions and cuts left behind by his coarse plating, tingling with a sensual sting, but it merely adds more depth, more layers to the pleasure that wracks you. Beneath your fingers, his cock beats like a racing heart, and in a bout of irony, more than the white viscous fluid that covers your lower half, it's the feel of his cock in your hand that serves as undeniable proof that for the better part of today, he's been doing nothing, been thinking of nothing, but filling you with his hot seed.

Another shot of intense pleasure courses through you at the thought.

Maybe he's right; maybe you are into this.

His weight presses down on you, and you make out another piercing crack of wood beneath you as he leans right down. All you can do is stare into the blue flames that flicker behind his eyes, mesmerised by the way they dance. His jaw parts, and his barbed tongue, coated in a thick layer of saliva snakes out. The tip of it lands between your breasts, and with a vague tilt of his head, it slips up and over one. Fangs graze at the skin around your nipple, the sensation more ticklish than painful, startling your overworked nerves enough that you jolt right up into his mouth where the flat of his tongue meets your nipple. You feel him drag the entire length of it over you, painstakingly slowly to let you feel the press of each rubbery barb. Even his hips have stilled, granting you the small mercy of reprieve; a quiet moment for you to catch your breath.

Or so you think.

Vergil shudders a deep exhale against you, his armour plating vibrating more intensely the longer it draws out, until it seems as if his entire carapace, no, your entire apartment is shaking. The heat, the energy that he expels from his horns flashes once in a searing white, and all of a sudden, you feel something inside you shift. And grow.

Even through the copious amounts of cum, even through your own twitching heat, you feel his cock pulse again. But not because he's cum once morem, this particular sensation is different. It isn't lengthening, but growing wider, rounder, more bulbous at the base. It grows and swells until it's too thick to enter you, merely plugging your cunt and keeping any more of his seed from escaping. Reaching down again, you grope blindly until your fingers close over the knot at the base of his cock, feeling again how it beats in sync with his irregular pulse. Vergil nudges his hips forward, stretching your cunt to its very limit, and getting only half the swollen nub inside, but rather than pain, your eyes roll, and you bite down on your lower lip until you can taste the metallic tang of blood in your mouth.

The couch under you creaks again in a long, drawn out groan when you feel more than see, Vergil lean down, when a gust of warm air surrounds you. His jaw parts and that long tongue snakes into view again, lapping up a dribble of crimson before it can roll down your chin. It collects on his tongue in one wide stroke before finding yours again, offering to you a salty-sweet mixture of flavours that you suck clean off of him. His tongue is thick and invasive, pushing into your mouth with an almost curious nature. The coiled muscle squirms inside your mouth, flexing as it probes, your own tongue mapping out each pointed spike. The tip of it teases at the back of your throat, where you automatically tilt your head back in invitation, but it doesn't venture any further, withdrawing from your mouth entirely with a soft pop.

Suddenly you're being repositioned again, your legs naturally finding their way around Vergil's waist, resting upon a thick armour that's positioned far too perfectly to be a coincidence. The rest of your body hangs low, supported only by the cushions of your couch at your shoulders, and his tail, still wrapped around your middle. It unfurls from you for a moment to readjust its grip, giving you one small window to suck in a deep breath when you feel blood rush to your head. You're almost upside down like this, with no power, no agency of your own, capable only of accepting his cock.

Exactly how he wants you.

And maybe, exactly how you want to be too.

Feebly, with trembling hands and blurring vision, you try to reach for him, whispering his name, but his lower set of wings move, those single rounded claws pinning your wrists to damp and singed fabric. Vergil leans forward over you, his hands bracing themselves on the backrest, and giving him the perfect view of your yielding body, half suspended and bent underneath him. You've never felt as small as you do in this moment, as vulnerable and powerless; knowing what he could be doing to you, what he will be doing to you, makes your entire body shudder in anticipation. Above you, a thick rope of his saliva seeps from between his fangs, dripping one warm glob that lands squarely between your breasts, and immediately trailing another wisp of thin vapours into the air. You whimper even from that, hips rolling, swishing left and right in a vain attempt to get him to move, oh please move, Vergil.

He hisses, guttural and animalistic, his armour once again matching the intensity of his voice with another series of body shaking vibrations. It feels like a response to you, which makes you think you'd mindlessly babbled that senseless plea out loud.

You don't even remember having said it.

But regardless, he does move, slowly at first, testing this new angle with a slow thrust. His tail helps move you, pulling you off of his cock one raised ridge at a time, making your toes curl and voice taper off into a high pitched keen. He can feel your arms flex, resisting the force he's exerting on them with his wings, but it's weak, weak, weak. Lacking in your usual spirit. This sort of obedience isn't something he gets from you often, and so he seizes it, taking every part of you, ever drop of you, for his own. His tail winds tight around you again, almost to the point that it obstructs your breathing, and then his hips are slamming into you. Above your head, or somewhere behind you maybe - you really can't tell up from down anymore - you can hear fabric tear as his claws rip into your couch. He huffs in coarse breaths every time he sheathes himself inside you, watching with such a perverse fascination how your bulging belly extends even further every time he bottoms out. Every stroke is rough and punishing. On you, and perhaps especially your poor couch; the wooden frame inside is beginning to distort and crack under the pressure, incapable of withstanding the brutal fucking Vergil is gracing you with. The sheer force of it bruises your inner thighs and splatters his leaking cum everywhere - your face, your couch, his tail, his own body too, but it's long since cooled from the exposure to the open air, providing a glimmer of relief amidst a stifling heat.

He still only teases you with his thick knot, pushing it barely half way inside your convulsing cunt. He knows you can take it, and he knows, with how your tongue keeps lolling out of your mouth every time he nudges it just past your folds, that you want it too, but he constantly denies you of it. Even as mad as he's been driven by this lust, his need to see that you take every last drop of his cum, that devilish, impish part of him still prevails. And that part relishes in seeing, in hearing your disappointed moans and whimpers every time he pulls back, feeding back into how brightly, how intensely, he burns for you.

More of your blood is drawn to the surface of your skin the more he slams into you, colouring his cum a light pink, and darkening the more your fluids combine. That too, is splattered over your body, joining the myriad of reds and purples that you now wear on your skin, each one like a temporary badge of honour; marks and scrapes and punctures that will last for days before they begin to heal. The grip Vergil has on your couch is unforgiving, the fabric popping between his fingers and spilling white fluff from within. His sharp hearing picks up another gasped cry of his name, another set of garbled pleas babbled between breaths:

"Harder."

"Yes."

"Fuck, fuck, fuck."

"Daddy,I'mgonnacumagain–"

Vergil groans, a deep and throaty sound, more a snarl, that vents shimmering heat from his parted maw. On one final, hard press, one that nearly forces your body to bend in half, he pushes the bulging knot at the base of cock into you, immediately triggering a violent series of spasms as you cum around it. Your thighs squeeze around his sides, and through a debilitating surge of adrenaline, Vergil can actually feel you push back against the claws that pin your wrists down, your fingers flexing and twitching with every white hot jolt that surges through you. You've never felt so bloated before, so impossibly full that on every thrust, every press of his hips that nestles that heavenly cock of his as far as you will take him, you can feel a certain heaviness within you sloshing around.

Your cunt is numb to the way he's throbbing and pulsing - there's just too much of his searing, roiling seed flooding your insides and bursting out of your plugged hole for you to register anything more, even with your heightened perception. But you do feel his tail finally unwrap from around you, revealing a snaking pattern of dark diamonds. And perhaps even more of a relief is when he finally pulls out of you with an audible pop and a sloppy, sickening squelch. His length is coated mostly in his own cum, glowing with a gentle blue that, despite being the same hue, feels like a completely different entity to the fire within his eyes. It flops - still rock hard - atop your distended abdomen, painting three heavy ropes from your face all the way down to your chest before he recedes from his high. At this point, even Vergil's chest is heaving, his breathing haggard and uneven.

Whatever is left of your cognition is proud of that fact.

Wet, warm, and still twitching intermittently, Vergil's cock leaks one constant string of his luminous cum down your stomach until it pools just beneath your breasts, providing a soft blue glow that gently illuminates your skin. In such a large amount, it's uncomfortably warm, but the pool disperses, pouring off of either side of your body when he lifts your lower body up even higher, one hand supporting your back, while the other holds you up by your thigh. The spots that clouded your vision earlier make a vicious return, but the reason for your repositioning soon becomes clear; you feel something long and wet and wriggling lap at your thighs, sweeping over your skin and cleaning them of his cum.

He's licking you clean.

And being surprisingly gentle about it.

He avoids your overworked clit, still swollen and bright red, but his tongue dips inside you, past your sensitive folds and swirling in small, tight circles. You gasp weakly, the collective exhaustion finally crashing into you, despite the pleasure still feeling so intense and raw. The appendage, so perfectly thick and flexible writhes against you, flicking and probing within your walls, clearly not with the intent of lapping up his cum, but instead keen on finding that spot that makes stars explode into unidentifiable colours before your eyes. It's a pathetic lock, hardly anything capable of keeping Vergil down, but you cross your trembling legs behind his head all the same, your numb hands scrabbling for purchase anywhere you can find them, eventually gripping at his thighs while he puffs hot breaths against your cunt. More than once, his fangs brush against your skin, piercing straight through when you squirm in his grip, your hips jerking into his face. Your sporadic motions leave a sprinkling of punctures across your pelvis that immediately spot with blood, but as Vergil withdraws his tongue, pulling with it strands of glowing, steaming cum, he clears those away for you too.

You're well and truly drifting in and out now, never fully slipping into the welcoming embrace of sleep, but also too tired to really stir. The only thing you're truly aware of are your quiet, feeble moans as you're maneuvered by large hands. You're completely limp in his hold, face pressed against his chest, with the heavy drum of his heart pounding right by your ear. Colours, and your perception of them, are beginning to return to their default muted state, but you're not sure if that's a result of the aphrodisiac wearing off, or simply an indicator of how spent you are. Your legs are strewn over his hips, resting on those same flat plates as before, but they dangle, as boneless as the rest of you, jostled back and forth as Vergil repeatedly drops you on his cock, his hips meeting with yours halfway to spear into you, knot and all. He fucks you with that bulge, taking great care to slow each of his thrusts right down when it approaches, making sure you feel yourself stretch around it as it pops in and out of you with that familiar, wet squelch. It's still a consuming, overwhelming feeling, having that knot push its way into your cunt, but the most you can do is muffle your breathy moans into the armour on Vergil's chest.

A warmth envelopes you, but not the gentle lull of slumber, nor is it that suffocating heat that radiates off his body - it's his wings that wrap protectively around you, casting their light, and projecting that peculiar dancing pattern upon your tired body. You don't understand the meaning of it - if there even is one - and maybe he doesn't either, but neither of you say anything.

You don't think either of you possess the capacity to say anything.

So you just whimper, not caring for the trail of saliva that drips down your chin, or how your eyes fall to the side where you stare into empty space. You simply let him grip each globe of your ass in each clawed hand, effortlessly impaling you on his cock, again and again and again and again. There's a bizarre sense of finality in how he's handling you, one last spurt of adrenaline, one final rush before he thinks he's made it through another rut.

One final load of cum.

Deep inside his chest, you can make out a distinct rumble. Maybe he's been making that sound all day, and you were just never close enough to hear it. But pressed into his chest like this, it's as prominent as the beat of his thundering heart. It vibrates through your entire being, providing you with one final earth shattering orgasm, wracking your body with tremors until your calves and thighs begin to cramp. Vergil's knot, that delightful bulb, slips inside your ravished cunt one final time, and with a shuddered groan, his roiling seed fills you with a blossoming warmth from within, pulsing again and again.

Again and again.

And again.

He's pouring his cum into you for what feels like entire minutes, one final, seemingly unending load that carries you through one more breathless peak that has you scratching futilely at his plates.

The last thing you remember for a long, long time, is the sound of a contented rumble. A deep purring.

And then finally, there is darkness. Consuming and soothing. Gentle and mellow.