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Devil May Cry - Degrees of Separation

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Sep. 8th, 2006 | 10:31 am
location: Flagstaff, AZ
mood: apatheticapathetic
music: Atreyu - Exes and Ohs

Title: Degrees of Separation
Author: Britani Gael (sterlingsylver @ lj)
Fandom: Devil May Cry 3
Rating: PG-13
Summary: AU. What if Vergil had won the final fight in the Underworld, instead of Dante? What if he’d lost to Mundus anyway? Seven years after Devil May Cry 3, Vergil returns to the human world – and bring all sorts of problems, demons, and enemies with him.

Warnings: Some DxL history here, and also original characters.

* * *

Leaving the Tower was quickly becoming Vergil’s best option, and he was holding off on it as best as he could. His problems were here. His solutions were probably here. He enemies were here.

The library in Temen-Ni-Gru was the best source of information on the demonic, the magical, and the supernatural. He’d actually regretted not having time to stop there before, but the last time he’d been here he’d had other priorities – namely, finding Arkham before his idiot brother managed to die at the madman’s hands.

It hadn’t been out of kindness. Vergil wasn’t stupid: he’d known he didn’t have the strength to take on Sparda’s power alone.

Now he didn’t have to conquer Sparda’s power – he had it. He needed to control it.

He needed to do research, and that was why he was heading for the library. He just wished he was doing it alone.

Two paces behind him, the boy sighed.

“Make that noise again,” Vergil said, “and I will ensure you are unable to in the future.”

“My dad says it’s not nice to threaten people,” the boy said. “I know ‘cause one time my kinda cousin Jeremy stole my Wolverine and I found out and I told him I’d hit him a lot if he didn’t give it back, ‘cause I could ‘cause I’m a whole lot stronger than him, and I got in trouble and my dad said—“

Vergil stopped in the hall, and looked right and left, making double sure he knew where he was going. Getting lost with someone to witness it would be more than he could stand. “I tire of hearing about your father. And your mother.”

“How come you don’t like my dad? I don’t think you know him, his name is—“

“Do not finish that sentence.” The library should be up ahead. Probably. Damnit, he had just been here, and nothing had changed. Remembering shouldn’t be this difficult. “This way,” he muttered to himself.

The boy’s eyes lit up. “What’s that way?” he asked.

Vergil walked on without answering.

It didn’t matter – the boy followed him anyway. In fact, once they reached their destination the boy darted ahead and bolted through the doors. Vergil rolled his eyes before following.

Once he entered the library, he felt the dull rage grow.

He was going to have to change his plans.

The entire library was torched. Destroyed. Ruined. It looked like someone had set a bomb off in here – bookshelves were toppled and blasted. The walls were charred to the ceiling, scorch marks discolored the stone floor.

“This book was on fire,” the boy said, running up to him and holding out a book. He dropped the document in question, and it disintegrated when it hit the floor. “And that one, too. I think they all were on fire.”

“Yes,” Vergil said, through gritted teeth. “I can see that.”

“I was just saying—“

“Be quiet!”

This had obviously been deliberate – and it had happened after the last time he had passed through here. The library he remembered showed some signs of destruction – actually, it’d shown signs of Dante. Vergil could still see the bullet holes in the wall. But that hadn’t been like this. And as dearly as he wanted to blame his brother, he was an unlikely culprit.

“What are these books about, anyway?”

“Demons and horrors,” Vergil answered absently. Searching the library for some sort of answer had been his last recourse. Without an answer he could not use his father’s power, and without the power he could not defeat Mundus. He knew because he’d tried already.

The only thing the Force Edge had given him was just enough power to escape with his life.

He had fled.

“If you want to know about demons, you should talk to my mom and dad. They know lots and lots about demons, and monsters and stuff. Mom says when I’m older I can—“

“Mention your parents again, and their names will be the last words you speak.”

Maybe it was the chill in his voice, but the boy stopped talking, and Vergil’s threat hung in the air in absolute silence.

The boy’s shoulders shuddered violently, and he abruptly turned away, folding his arms across his chest.

This Verge had been prattling on consistently for about an hour, and though Vergil had tried to tune him out he had still learned far more than he’d wanted to about the boy. He was five. He enjoyed comic books. He lived with his mother and visited his father. He was instantly comfortably with Vergil on sight alone and smelled of the Legendary Dark Knight Sparda.

Though in Vergil’s mind he had only been away from this tower for five days, it was quite clear that more time had passed in the human world. He could find out, he could simply ask the child for the year. He could ask the child for his father’s name.

He could – if he wanted to. If it would tell him anything he didn’t know already.

“If you know who my parents are,” the boy said, once he was finished hyperventilating, “you should let me go home.”

“I am hardly standing in your way.”

“I can’t go by myself. The demons will find me again and I’ll die. They’re looking for me, they said so when they—“ He broke off, shivering.

Children were so weak, it disgusted him. It reminded him that he’d been just that weak, once. “If it comforts you, I doubt your parents will miss you. After all, they looked after you so well the first time.”

The child burst into high pitched sobs.

Vergil glanced at the door, half-expecting a horde of demons to come bursting through, drawn by the noise. He considered cutting the child down and ending all of this – but he was only considering it in the abstract. He’d known for some time that he wasn’t going to kill the boy, just like he had never thought of killing that irritating little girl. Alice.

It’d hardly be sporting.

“If there are any demons about, you are going to bring them here,” Vergil said.

“It’s—it’s not Daddy’s fault—“ the boy choked out. “It was—I knew it was safe inside but I heard—“

“You willingly left the protection of your home?” Vergil asked coldly.

The child nodded, keeping his back to Vergil and picking at his ruined sleeves.

“Then you deserve what happened to you.”

Instead of upsetting the child further, Vergil’s words seemed to calm him down. The boy wiped his nose on his sleeve and turned back around. “I—I know,” he said, and nodded.

Now that the noise was gone, Vergil was better able to think.

Without the benefit of the library, he had no choice but to regroup and do his research elsewhere. There was only two places he’d known of in the world that had the information he was seeking – one such place was the Vatican. He’d gotten in there before, but now he didn’t have the time.

The second was the private library of Arkham.

It was unlikely that the books had survived, since it had seemed Arkham’s lunatic daughter made it through the ordeal. He doubted she would want to keep any reminder of her father around – and he could not blame her.

However, if the library had survived, it would be located in this city.

And if he did manage to find it, the odds of him running into that woman were quite high. And if she had remained friends with Dante over the… what? Months? Years?

He gave the boy a quizzical look.

The boy was still wiping his eyes, and he squirmed uncomfortably under Vergil’s glare. “What?”

“Nothing.” In any case, this Tower was the last place he needed to be. It was nearly night – he could pass through the city below unnoticed. He would have to. His current state of dress – the shredded clothes, the blood coated garments – meant he was ill-suited for civilization.

And since the boy would undoubtedly following him, he was suffering from a similar problem, as well. They would need the cover of darkness to pass unnoticed.

“I’m leaving,” Vergil said, turning towards the doorway. “If you intend to follow me, you had better not slow me down.”

“O… okay.” He nodded repeatedly. “I won’t, I promise.”

“Hn,” Vergil answered, and then he stalked off. If he was lucky, he would remember the shortest way out of this tower.

And if not, he would be walking in circles for a long time.

* * *

Mara woke up with a headache bad enough to kill.

She opened her eyes and tried to sit up. She couldn’t.

No wonder. She’d been beaten in the head about three times and shot today. It was really amazing she was still alive. But there was no reason why breathing was so damn hard. She inclined her head just a little bit, and then she looked down at herself.

“Motherfucker,” she shouted.

Ropes crisscrossed almost her entire body, wrapped like snakes around her feet, her ankles, her stomach and chest. Her arms were folded across her chest and tied there, her legs were tied together at the ankles and knees. The ropes were heavy, and scratchy, too.

Her eyes were about all that she could move; she rolled them around her head and saw nothing she hadn’t before. The room was practically empty and it was a total dump – the couch she was tied to was nasty and old. This place fucking smelled. God.

What the fuck. What the fucking fuck. What had she done to deserve this?

This closet of a room had no windows and the door was shut, but she could just barely turn her head enough to see the slivers of light that came in through the doorframe. It was daylight, and it symbolized freedom. Too bad she was wrapped like a mummy and tied to a fucking couch.

How had Houdini done it? Escaped from all those fancy traps? She’d read something about it in a Stephen King book about vampires but it’d been so long she’d forgotten the method. Books about monsters had become less appealing when she’d starting running into the things in real life.

Nothing was worse than that horrible lady with her demented eyes. Mara hated those eyes, they were creepy and she was pretty sure they’d started showing up in her nightmares. In fact, she could swear she’d seen them there before… Christ, maybe she was psychic now or something.

God, she was seriously about to cry. She just wanted to get out of here. She needed to get the fuck out of here.

Was running really the answer? Fuck yes. That woman and her albino boyfriend were clearly psychopaths, and Mara needed to flee just as soon as she was able. And yet. She wasn’t quite ready to live the rest of her life sleeping with one eye open, waiting for—for freaking Beatrix Kiddo to come barging into her life straight out of a nightmare sequence. Only with more weapons, and less blonde.

Mara, she would say. You and I have unfinished business. Her freaky eyes would have an evil glint, and Mara would be helpless against her onslaught – and against her rocket-on-‘roids. She would make a moving and futile speech for her life, and the lady would shoot her into tiny bloody pieces.

No, chop. Beatrix Kiddo-style.

And scary as the lady was, her boyfriend was about a hundred percent more frightening than her. Mara had seen him take about five steps and that was enough to know he moved like a predator – his hair was too white and his eyes were too blue, something about him was off. That was how she knew he was the father of the Kiddo’s son, she’d seen the kid once and he had the same blue eyes. And cheek bones. And they shrugged in exactly the same way.

Mara might be hyper observant, but that was going to do about jack shit for saving her life.

Her powers mostly worked by reflex – until the lady started hunting her she’d never really thought about them. She’d thought maybe she was telekinetic, but no. And she couldn’t fly. She couldn’t move anything except herself and anything she happened to be holding and she couldn’t teleport either. It was just… magic. Fucking magic. And she was beginning to suspect that was the lady’s entire interest in her.

Oh, and also the reward. But, shit, if it was just money Mara sure as hell could steal enough to double it. No price on her life, no way.

She started struggling – which really meant wiggling around just the little bit she could manage. She was at that for about thirty seconds, when one of the ropes wrapped around her chest slipped up around her neck.

She froze.

“I will fucking kill you!” she yelled.

The building was empty. She would have heard something by now.

“Fucking kill you!”

The second there was a way out, she was so out of here. She’d move to Canada. Mexico. Whatever.

“I hate my life!”

There was no way she deserved this. No one on this planet deserved this. Adolf Hitler didn’t deserve this. Genghis Khan didn’t deserve this. Marilyn Manson didn’t deserve this. Mara was sure she wasn’t thinking of the right name on that one, but whatever. He didn’t deserve it either.

“I’m going to get out of here eventually!”

She hoped that little kid got his brains eaten out. That’d teach ‘em.

* * *

“Oh my, what an adorable little boy,” the old woman cooed from the doorway, bending down and grinning like an idiot. “He looks just like you, yes he—“

Getting here had taken several hours on foot – and getting out of the tower had taken most of that time. Lucky for them most of the demons had retreated with Sergius. Or more likely, they weren’t in the Tower because they were combing the city, looking for him.

Vergil remembered this old haunt as a place to trade rumors and information regarding the Underworld and the occult; it hardly seemed to have changed, and yet it was something of a switch, coming in here with a… toddler in tow. “It’s not mine,” he snapped. Don’t even suggest it. “I’m here for information, information regarding—“

“I’m not it,” the boy said.

Vergil glared, and then cuffed him in the back of the head. “Do not interrupt me.”

“Ow!” the boy whined, much more dramatically than was necessary, because in truth Vergil had hardly touched him. “That hurt!”

The woman gasped. And then she scowled. “How dare you treat your own son like that!”

This was a hindrance he had not been anticipating. He was never going to convince her that the boy was not his son. And could he really blame her? A DNA test would almost certainly agree. And why else would he be traveling with a child, at this hour? Thinking of it in those terms, claiming the boy as his son might be the preferable option. Pity he had no intentions of doing so.

“The child is not mine, and I’m looking for—“

She slammed the door in his face.

Vergil jerked back, narrowly avoiding getting his nose broken. He could hear the woman ranting on the other side, and he glared down at the child. “I do hope you have a home to go to.”

“I don’t know where we are.”

“I fail to understand why that has suddenly become my—“

The door swung open.

An elderly man stood in the doorway, his head lowered. “I apologize,” he said. “My sister can be a little—“

“I don’t care,” Vergil snapped. “I’m looking for information about a man named Arkham, and if you don’t know anything then I’m wasting my time here.”

The man beckoned Vergil with his hand. “Yes, yes. Come this way.”

Vergil paused warily, but beside him the boy darted forward, so eagerly trusting that Vergil had to fight not to roll his eyes. He followed them both, eyeing the bar as they passed through it. It was a seedy place, full of drunkards and half-naked woman – the kind of place he could imagine his brother enjoying.

Vergil cursed under his breath. If Dante intruded unwanted in his thoughts again, he was going to be punished most severely. In the unlikely event their paths crossed.

“Where are we going?” the boy asked.

Vergil started to tell the boy to shut his mouth, but the old man spoke first. “I have a quiet room in the back, where we can talk.”

Vergil’s skin prickled with suspicion, but he remained silent. This couple was probably little more than human, and even if they weren’t the odds that they could pose a threat was than unlikely.

They were escorted to a small hallway that looked like it led to the bathrooms, but the old man opened a door, revealing a tiny meeting room, complete with a table and several chairs. A young man was waiting in there for them, standing in the corner of the room with his arms crossed.

Vergil was uncomfortably aware of how closely the boy was standing next to him as they entered the room, and the young man smiled at them as they entered. “Hello, there,” he said. “Cute kid.”

The old man locked the door behind them, and Vergil felt the boy tense up. So he wasn’t stupid, that was refreshing. “Chase,” the old man said, referring to the younger man already standing in the room, “have you—“

“I’ve got this, Dad,” Chase snapped. He reached into his pocket, and pulled out a small handgun, which he calmly pointed at Vergil’s head.

An entire family. Beautiful.

Vergil stood up, sneering at the weapon. In Dante’s hands firearms were a formidable weapon – in anyone else’s they became nothing more than a human trifling. “It’s time for us to leave, now.”

“Not quite,” Chase said. “It’s like this – an old guy offered us quite a sum of money if we could give him anything on a guy matching your description.”

“Wonderful,” Vergil said. Sergius, doubtless. That would be why he had assumed human form – to better move among humans and collect information.

“And I bet if we came up with the guy himself, we’d be able to bargain for even more.”

“A logical conclusion,” Vergil replied, evenly.

“If you’re willing to beat his price, though, we can talk business.”

Vergil cast his eyes around the room, then he lowered his eyes. “As you wish. We can talk… business.”

Vergil drew his sword and cut so cleanly the young man never saw the attack coming; his decapitated head hit the table with a disgusting smack. The old man’s eyes widened – he had time to do nothing else – and Vergil hurled the Yamato across the room, impaling him through his chest, against the wall.

“Trash,” Vergil said, retrieving his sword. The body slumped to the ground. “Let’s go.”

Getting no response, he turned around.

The boy was standing stock still, much as he had on their first encounter. His eyes wide, and despite that his face was expressionless. He was staring right at the dead body of the old man. “You—you killed them.”

“Obviously.”

“But—but—“ Tears were welling up in his eyes.

Vergil did not have the time for this – and he would never have the patience. “You have two options,” Vergil said. “You can stay here, or you can come with me. Those are your only choices.”

“I’ll… go with you. But—“

“Very well,” Vergil said, stepping towards the door and opening it. The old lady was standing on the other side, and when she saw the scene behind it she started screaming.

“Oh my God! Oh my God, you—“

The entire bar turned around, and again the boy started crying, covering his hands with his face and stumbling the way he thought Vergil was. He was almost correct, close enough that Vergil reached out, grabbing his shoulder and steering him in the right direction. He shoved past the old lady.

No one else in the bar moved to stop them. Obviously, no one else cared, and they left her alone to sob in her grief.

He shoved the boy out the door and slammed the door shut behind them.

“Wh—where are we going now?”

“I don’t know,” Vergil responded. And the truth was, honestly, he didn’t. He did know what his first order of business was – he needed to get rid of this child, immediately.

* * *

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