Author: Darkprism/Demented Dee
Genre: Horror with mild slash elements.
Pairing: Dante and Vergil
Warnings: Horror, disturbing imagery, language, mild slash elements/shounen-ai/incest(ish)
Disclaimers: Characters belong to Capcom®.
Summary: Dante's moment of reflection turns sour.
A/N: To distract myself from life and happenings during the last holiday season, I took prompts in various fandoms that were atypical for me to write. One of them was requested by embers_pen, who wanted a little DMC action. This story was the result. All mistakes belong to me, and forgive me, oh fandom gods, for taking liberties with the worlds. The imagery and possibilities were simply too great.
Dream, vision, or torment, it was always the same. The skulls of demons crunched beneath Dante's boot heels. Lost weaponry jutted and erupted from the ground, swords, maces, axes, guns; things of old and things of new. The sky was a sickening shade of saffron, like it would hail or come tornado in but a single breath. Inky clouds that were not clouds at all, but tattered shreds of devils, all teeth, talon and eyes, rolled and shifted at speed, blotting out any semblance of sun. At Dante's back was a gate, before him were endless miles of nothing.
And it was snowing blood shot with crystalline tears. Great drifts of frozen maroon gathered on the sides of the bone road, glittering with frozen sorrow. Tracts were stuck to Dante's face, the evidence of his humanity painful, sticky, tacky on his tender flesh. There was no warmth to be found here, no solace from the bitter wind, and everything stood for something else while carrying no intrinsic meaning or worth.
The Land of the Lost, surrounded by the great Sea of Malcontent. Every time Dante strode across this slice of miserable geography, he felt his brother's presence long before he saw Vergil, and he knew in the way one knows one's true name, that Vergil ruled this kingdom of horrors. Added death to its conquests and expanded its borders by destroying any and all that dared to strive for the light.
Past a sign that pointed in all directions except the path needed, beyond a pit of naked creatures rutting and raping, and there loomed Vergil. Today his blue frock was in tatters, billowing tendrils in the gusts. He was missing an arm below the elbow and a leg below the opposite knee. Neither wound seemed to be of concern, nor did they stop Vergil from maintaining balance and poise. The ends of bone gathered sickles of blood and ice that snapped to stab the ground, only to form again. His single hand rested on the back of a midnight throne, a pearly white one its match sitting across a table laid with silver for a fine feast: the eyeless, screaming heads of twin infants swimming in soups of muck.
Dante began to mount the gentle slope of a hill that led to the highest point of his brother's domain. He had Ebony, Ivory, Force Edge, and Yamato. The weight of the weaponry was heavy in amplified gravity, and it was the last blade that held Vergil's full attention as Dante came to a halt near the alabaster seat. "Brother."
"You are, yes," Vergil answered. He tilted and morphed into Nelo Angelo, horns turning to dust and whispering like a corpse stirring in a grave.
"The hell am I doing here?" Dante groused. "This place is depressing."
"It feeds me life in its continual death," Vergil answered, shrugging and suddenly looking like a boy at three. Wide eyes gazed up at Dante. "You have something to ask me."
Dante sighed and looked away to watch an ocean made of shadows and the incarnations of final screams wash over a blood-snowed beach. "Do I have to?"
"It's the way of things," Vergil said, much closer. His wounds were dripping on Dante's foot, the smell acrid like burning human hair. He was Vergil the Tattered once more, though now the remnants of demonic armor covered his shoulders and torso.
"Fine," Dante said, and his sigh formed a shape of a skeletal horse that neighed before galloping toward a forest that was, Dante knew, set on fire that would chill your heart still forever. He tipped chin toward Vergil, their cheeks nearly touching. "Why?"
"What answer would you have me give you this time?" Vergil asked, the sorrow a very tangible entity: an emaciated babe made of muscle without skin. "For revenge? For our mother? To seek power to right the wrongs done to me, mine, and ours?" Lips caressed Dante's ear, a tongue snaked to trace its shape. Not sexual. Carnivorous.
"I'd have the truth."
"You'd have your lie, first."
"Been there." Dante couldn't stop staring at a dangling artery twirling in the breeze. He swallowed bile that tasted like cigarette smoke, something so ordinary here in this palace of the peculiar, and it made Dante weep again, the tears snapping to lie dormant next to Vergil's blood. "Don't want it to be like this. I hate what happened. I hate what I had to do. I hate you."
"And now you speak lies instead of asking for them." Silver spiders poured out of Vergil's mouth, crawled to the hurts and to the ground and began to spin webs. "But if it's anger you feel and vengeance you seek in the quest for knowledge, then do what you must. But do it quick."
Dante split into two, and one watched the other draw guns and shoot holes into Vergil's gut. Vergil danced with the impact, a jerking, twitching waltz. And when Dante's trigger fingers began to tire, he drew the swords and ran his brother through with steel that had belonged to each of them. The heads in the bowls on the table cried for their mother. A wail crested the land in a wall of ravaging darkness, and when it was done and the world was silent once more, Dante knelt, whole and heaving from sobs, by what was left of his brother. The two watery pieces were devil and human: two faces, many lives.
"Why?" Dante asked again. Screamed. Yelled. Mourned.
"Because I craved hell while you desired human."
There were things in the blackness, slithering, roving, inching, giggling, sucking. Dante held Vergil to his chest, shut his eyes, and woke without waking at his desk in his chair inside his shop. It wasn't entirely a dream. It wasn't only a vision. It was certainly a torment.
It was all he had left.
Dante cradled his head in his hands and wept by the neon light of his shop's sign.