Fandom: Devil May Cry
Title: Straight No Chaser
Theme: Crimes: 017. Murder
Pairing/Character: Dante and Vergil
Disclaimer: Capcom still owns them. :( Naked Dante abounds in this, so be warned. I know the thought breaks my brain, and not exactly in a good way. Part two of the mini-series.
Summary: Another day, another murder, another chance for Dante to blind his brother with his nakedness. I daresay things are returning to normal. Amazingly, this is actually a bit serious.
Previous Chapters: Jigsaw
Dante had never been the fastest of readers, mainly for the fact that the skill never got any practice outside of the occasional magazine or newspaper, but he managed to finish both the case file and the autopsy reports by nightfall without interruption. Not that he'd really expected one, anyway. It didn't give much insight, either, which was vaguely disappointing. They had been, no doubt, doctored while they were being written, and if unaltered copies existed, he most likely would not be the one to see them.
He didn't let it get him down, though. It was more than what he'd started with. The photos confirmed it was most definitely a demon, with a specific attack pattern. That was a little worrisome, because it meant it wasn't a lower level demon acting on bloodlust or instinct; there was a certain amount of calculation in what was done to the bodies, and he figured there was a pattern or a message there he simply didn't see. Perhaps, if he'd been as nerdy as his brother, he'd have known off the bat what it was, or at least know where to look. But as it stood, it just confirmed and augmented what he already assumed.
It meant a lot of sleepless nights and footwork ahead.
It was around ten that he finally hauled himself from his chair for the last time that night, debating whether to reach for his jacket, or reach for a bottle. Absorbing that much death in that short of a span of time was overwhelming, to a degree, and while he told himself again and again that he should have been used to it, it didn't make it any easier. It didn't help that he was privy to the knowledge that a majority of things were being swept under the rug. He'd started out thinking it was to keep public hysteria down, but after reading the file...He couldn't say that entirely rang true. Not true enough for him, at any rate, and he'd have to fill in the gaps elsewhere.
Part of him wanted to hunt down his brother and tell him about the fact that the files were censored. But he knew - knew - Vergil would take it as a slap in the face. His brother was a touchy bitch, and Dante wouldn't have meant it like that at all. It proved something, was all, but Dante couldn't put his finger on what. He was a demon hunter, not a detective. And he most certainly didn't appeciate the fact that he'd have to play gumshoe to find what he needed.
After a little deliberation, it was the bottle he went for, instead of the jacket that hung, untouched since the night before, on the coatrack next to the bathroom door. It was closing in on the end of the month, and he wasn't too worried about another murder happening with such rapid succession.
And really, he just wanted a breather from death for a while. He didn't think that really made him all that bad of a person. It made him...Well, human. Something he was detested for, but he didn't care. It made him unique, he figured, among their kind, that he was able to keep a strong enough hold on his own sanity (though God only knew how often that hold was threatened) to remain so. It separated him from the bloodthirsty others, a few of which he'd taken down in his somewhat short career as a demon hunter. Those deaths always panged the most - moreso than the few humans he'd had to kill - for the simple reason that he could see himself reflected there. The way he could see himself reflected in Vergil, if he looked hard enough, and thought enough about it; and it wasn't in a twin way. It was the possibility of what he himself could become, given the wrong push in the wrong direction. It was something that kept him up at night, sometimes.
He didn't bother with a glass, and he didn't bother with a chaser, preferring the whiskey (he could hear Vergil's snide remarks on it in the back of his mind) straight to take the bite off of his worries. No one ever got to see that side of Dante; Vergil himself had never even had the pleasure, and he really planned on keeping it that way. That side of himself was far too serious for his own good; he was a worrier and a pessimist, and Dante usually made sure to keep him carefully hidden. He didn't want to get accused of having a brain, after all.
He wandered around the bottom floor of the building while he drank down the bottle, the constant movement somewhat comforting. He had little to worry about, anyway, there, considering the place was warded against a number of things that went bump in the night, so he could get completely shitfaced and not have to worry about what might come through a window or break down the door. His skulls, trophies of prior kills, hung on the wall as more than just simple decoration, after all. He'd picked up that specific trick from Vergil, though it had never been something vocalized between the two. Little of importance ever was, and he supposed that was why his just up and leaving and burned his ass so badly.
Vergil never let him in on the stuff that would really affect him. Dante supposed, in a way, he could see why; either it was some twisted sense of brotherly responsibility, or it was because he thought Dante couldn't handle the big things. And that burned Dante's ass, too.
Bottle finished, he placed it on a kitchen counter to be done away with in the morning - if he remembered it, that was - and he started the long walk up to his bedroom, stopping to check the front door and windows on the way. Warded or not, it didn't mean something human couldn't just waltz in if they felt like it.
The lights were shut off, and he climbed the stairs in the dark and quiet of the old building, the only sounds coming from his footsteps and the settling of the building itself. It was too damn quiet, anymore. Perhaps not in reality, or to anyone else, but he had become accustomed to the buzzing on his senses of his brother's presence, and with it gone, it was as though the building itself had become a void of sound and life.
Which was a pretty sad fucking way of looking at things, but it was true, he figured, as he opened the door to the second floor hallway to make his way to his bedroom. It just reaffirmed the fact that everyone eventually left or died, and he'd been better off on his own; at least emotionally, if not financially.
But that was fine; he could get along just fine without anyone there. He had for years previously, and he could for a long time to come. Dante was nothing if not stupidly resiliant in the face of adversity.
He toed the door to his bedroom open and began stripping, right down to nothing at all; that was at least one good thing about Vergil being gone. He didn't have to sleep in clothes if he didn't feel like, and he most often didn't feel like it. It would have been just too weird to do as he normally did with Vergil right there next to him, and kind of suspicious-looking, besides. And, if he recalled correctly, there had been many a time his brother had tried to molest him (of course, that was something Dante had assumed, and had never had any proof on, but it didn't make it any less real).
Clothes disposed off, he flopped right into bed, having not even bothered with anything else, before burrowing under the covers and collecting the pillows as was his ritual before sleep. He'd done it before Vergil had shown up in his life again, he'd done it during the time they'd lived together, and he still did it then without shame. He just liked having a lot of pillows at his disposal; he didn't think that was such a bad thing, though according to Vergil it had been a cardinal sin. Well, he was certainly sure his brother knew a lot about those, given he'd probably broken most, if not all, of them.
He yawned, deep and loud, before burrowing down tighter and forcing himself to still, since staying up wouldn't accomplish anything, and he was drunk, besides. It didn't take long for sleep to come, but when it did, it carried with it disturbing dreams, no doubt brought on the file he'd waded through.
It figured the thing that would pull him from the depths of unconsciousness would be the phone. Why he'd ever bothered putting one in the bedroom, he'd never understand. He fumbled around, not bothering to open his eyes, until his hand closed over the receiver and he tugged it to himself - upside down. Realizing his folly, he fought with it a moment longer, before getting it in the right position, and pressed it to his ear, scowling.
"Yeah." His voice was scratchy with sleep, and he swallowed, before making a face. One thing that was worse than a hangover was the morning after taste left in the mouth after drinking.
At least it wasn't Vergil, though a telemarketer hadn't been high on his list of people to talk to, either, which was why he didn't bother with fucking with them like he normally would, and hung the phone up, before rolling back over and pressing a pillow over his head. He seriously had the worst luck ever.
There was a reprieve, he figured, of about fifteen minutes, where he'd entered that blissfully numb state of near sleep, when his bedroom door flew open, nearly giving him a heart attack, and had him going for his guns under the pillow. Until he realized who it was, and realized that, in his flailing to get to his weapons, the covers had been completely kicked off, and there he was: Naked as the day he was born while Vergil frowned down at him disapprovingly, before thrusting what was obviously a copy of the early morning paper at him.
"Well. I see what you were up to last night." It was said with that peeved tone of voice; the one where Dante couldn't decide if Vergil was jealous of the imaginary girl (that was Dante's strongest bet), or jealous of Dante himself, because Vergil was just too nerdy to ever have a little fun.
"Your vote of confidence in my nightly activities are just touching," he growled back, yanking the covers back over himself (he hadn't had morning wood, had he?) and holding out a hand for the paper, which was obviously there for him to take. "Don't you know how to fucking knock?"
"Of course I do, don't be silly. And I did. For about five minutes." Vergil was seriously the most impatient bastard on the face of the planet. "While you were busy being a disgraceful heathen, look what's happened." It was said as he ignored Dante's outstretched hand, and tossed the paper at Dante's face instead, where it hit. Dante made an annoyed face, before picking it up where it had dropped to the floor after connecting, and shook it out.
"Well." He scanned the headlines, almost snorting at that fact that one of Paris Hilton's stupid escapades had made it higher than what he was actually interested in; another murder. "What do you know. Paris Hilton's in jail. The world's ending, brother o' mine. Get the bomb shelter ready."
The paper was snatched away, and Vergil slapped Dante in the head with it before dropping it in the younger twin's lap once more. "Don't be stupid. I understand this is like asking you not to breathe, little brother, but let's give it the old one-two for once."
"Oh, shut up and learn to take a fucking joke." It was punctuated with a glare, before Dante scanned the article. "And see, I thought they weren't being hit so close together."
"Well, we all know what happens when you think."
Dante pointed a finger blindly in Vergil's direction. "Fucking. Can it. Seriously." It most certainly wasn't comforting that the one night he'd called a hiatus had been the night someone else had died. "Hey, lemme ask you a serious question." It wasn't something he wanted to ask, because he knew how Vergil was, but it was for Dante's own piece of mind.
"Oh, God," came the reply, as Vergil gingerly perched himself in a chair, as though he were afraid the 'dirty' would jump out and bite him in the ass or something. "Go ahead. By all means, make a fool of yourself."
"D'you know those files were doctored?" He glanced up as he said it, one eyebrow raised. The way Vergil's face blanked said that he most certainly hadn't, and Dante wondered if his elder twin really truly understood how much he gave away, simply because he was Dante's twin.
"You heard me." He started to climb from the bed, and for a moment almost hesitated, but he figured Vergil deserved to be blinded for barging in on him like he had, and stood, before taking a moment to scratch lazily at his stomach. Vergil's eyes rolled to the ceiling, and he reached up to pinch the bridge of his nose, eyes scrunched shut as Dante dug around for his pants and tugged them on. "There. God, Vergil, stop being such a goddamn prude."
"Stop being such a gross, shameless fool." Because it wasn't like they weren't exactly the same, for the most part. As much as Dante bitched about Vergil trying to molest him, it wasn't as though Vergil had never seen it before. But with the way Vergil acted like someone had, honestly, pissed in his corn flakes, one would think he wasn't aware of the fact that he had the same equipment. "Honestly, Dante, get a little couth."
"Hey, baby, you're the one that barged in here unannounced. You get what you pay for." With that, and an insolent wink - just to piss Vergil off - he started out of the bedroom, whistling.
What amazed him, when he got downstairs to look for the file, was how Vergil acted as though he still lived there, deciding Dante needed coffee because obviously 'the little fool is hungover', which was what Dante caught him muttering as he'd moved past where Dante had stationed himself at his desk in the hunt for the elusive folder. It had almost been funny, because Vergil had the biggest entitlement complex of anyone Dante had ever known, and was a controlling egomaniac besides, so the fact that it amazed him at all was hilarious.
It was a trade off, coffee for the thick file, though if anyone were to ask Dante, he got the better end of the deal. And he sat there at the desk for several long moments, sipping his coffee (at least that was one thing Vergil could do right when it came to the kitchen) while Vergil flipped through the file, his expression darkening with each page.
"And just how," Vergil said, finally breaking the silence, "did you come to the conclusion it was doctored, Dante." He glanced up then, and Dante damn well knew that glint in his eye. It meant someone was going to die. Frankly, he couldn't blame Vergil. They'd gotten gipped, and if there was one thing Dante knew his brother wouldn't tolerate, it was being ripped off. Dante could understand; he was the same way.
"Take a look at the witnesses listed." He waved his free hand lazily, giving Vergil a significant glance. While Vergil flipped through in search of it, Dante snickered, pausing as he held the coffee mug to his mouth. "Don't bother. They're not there."
"Then no one saw anything."
"Ayeah, no. Flip to the back. There're reports of noises being heard, strange smells, that kind of shit, but no names given. Now, I'm no detective, and I'm no lawyer, but don't you think that shit'd be important? You know, in case they caught the 'guy'." And he used the word 'guy' loosely, considering he very well knew it wasn't a human doing the killing. "Someone doesn't want anyone to know who's talking. Now, I don't claim to know why, but if you ask me, that shit's suspicious as hell."
"Hn." It was a noncommittable answer, and about as good of one as Dante expected out of his brother. There was another stretch of silence, and Dante sipped at his coffee half in amusement, half in dread (because he knew someone was going to die, and soon), while Vergil flipped through the rest of the file. And when he spoke, he sounded amazingly flippant, for Vergil. That was a bad sign.
"Well, this is useless." The file was tossed over his shoulder, onto Dante's desk, before Vergil started for the door. "You." He turned back, halfway across the room. "Stay here. I don't care if the building's on fire, your skinny ass had better be right there when I return. Do not make me chase you."
"Or what. You gonna spank me?" The grin that followed was hidden behind the rim of the coffee mug, but didn't excape Vergil by the narrowing of his eyes. He couldn't help it, though; Vergil asked for the smartassed responses by simply existing. "Only if you promise to be careful, babydoll. You know how rough you get." He didn't bother to hide the second grin, which was wider than the first, showing off his small devil fangs. It only served to make Vergil's eyes narrow to nothing but glittery slits in the dim light of the room, but Dante wasn't worried. He guaranteed Vergil had bigger things to worry about.
"Do not push my goodwill toward you." Dante had to bite his tongue against the retort that threatened to excape, and waved Vergil on.
"Yeah, yeah. My ass, this chair. Gotcha. Now get the fuck out." It was answered with the slamming of the front door, and he let out a sigh, reaching to tug the file closer, that Vergil had discarded onto his desk. "Of all the fucking luck..." Seriously. Only something like that would force Vergil on him like a big mother hen, and he was most certainly not appreciative of it one bit. While he was still pissed at Vergil for leaving, it certainly didn't mean he wanted the elder twin crawling his ass and ordering him around.
Oh, he was curious as to why Vergil was so intent on helping him out. Of course he was, because it meant Vergil was up to something. What that was, Dante couldn't begin to fathom, but he couldn't imagine it was a good thing; it never was, when it made Vergil so willing to help out, and yet so secretive at the same time. But he'd find out. Vergil had his connections, Dante his own, and he guaranteed the kind of company he kept could ferret out information just as well as Vergil's own.
Turnabout was fair play. If Vergil wanted to play the stalking game, they'd play. And Dante would win, because God only knew he was a sore loser.
30 Somethings - Crimes: 017. Murder
Fandom: Devil May Cry