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In Retrospect

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Dante never really enjoyed overthinking, brooding over things. He knew he was different as a kid but there hadn’t been anything that he could do about it. His life sucked big time in general, what with demons that nobody else could see being out to get him at nearly every turn. So he dealt with it using violence, alcohol and an abundance of sex. Reckless choice it may have been, but really, he hadn’t thought he’d live as long as he had.

Then he met Kat, and then Vergil.

Vergil. His younger twin brother.

To be honest, even after the trip back to his old home, he still could not remember all that much about his childhood. There were a few really clear memories, but those were mainly of Mundus killing Mom, ripping her heart out of her chest. The others were short, random snippets of him and Vergil playing together, mock-fighting under Dad’s watchful gaze and of just being near Vergil when he wanted to sit and do boring stuff like reading.

Dante wasn’t going to deny it. Vergil was definitely the smarter one of the two of them. Nerd.

Feelings also tended to accompany the memories that he’d recovered. Mostly it was a sense of warmth, innocent joy and always, always with an undercurrent of deep, abiding love. Love he felt towards his family, and love towards him from them.

Working alongside Vergil to avenge their mother and also help Kat free humanity from Mundus’ oppression… it was like nothing he’d ever experienced before. It was like he had found something wonderful that he didn’t know he had needed.

It was unexpectedly nice to know that he wasn’t alone in the world. That he still had family, a twin.

Then Mundus had fallen, the world had awakened to the existence of demons and he still had a brother at the end of it… It was a glorious feeling. They were all free now, and freedom had always been something he’d strongly cherished.

So when Vergil had declared that they could now rule humanity in Mundus’ stead, it had blindsided him, and then Phineas’ piercing question back at the tower had made horrible, horrible sense. At that instance, he had been shocked, betrayed and being ruled by emotions more than usual. When he could not talk Vergil out of his decision (because the one thing that both of them had undeniably inherited in equal measure was stubbornness), he’d reacted with his typical methods – violence – and Vergil had responded in kind.

Now that it had been almost three months since that day, and Dante had done more thinking about the entire situation with Vergil than he normally did (or ever did, really), he regretted not doing more to stop Vergil before resorting to swords to get the message across, regretted deciding to kill his younger twin to solve the issue at hand, regretted that it had to be Kat who talked him out of going through with it, despite how she must have felt regarding Vergil’s betrayal of her loyalty.

Sometimes, Dante wished it was the fact that he had been Triggered that had caused him to be so quick to move in for the kill, because rational thought was always that bit harder when he let his inner devil run wild. Most times, he knew that it was just an excuse.

There wasn’t anything he could do about how that fight had panned out now. Vergil had disappeared through Yamato’s portal and hadn’t been seen since. He had feared that Vergil had died regardless, because, Nephilim though they were, he was fairly sure that Rebellion had laid a fatal wound into his brother.

He should’ve gone looking for Vergil, he now recognized. Hindsight was 20/20, but in the direct aftermath of the fight, with his emotions still frayed from Vergil’s betrayal and being almost overwhelmed by a brutal mix of confusion, hurt and anger, he hadn’t even thought about it. Then came dealing with the demons stuck in the real world now that the Hell Gate had collapsed, and all the subsequent chaos of humanity finally seeing that the supernatural was real. By the time things had more or less settled for him and Kat (and he owed a lot to her too, for helping him after), more than a month had passed and any trail Vergil could’ve left would’ve long gone cold.

So now he was stuck in limbo (ha, no pun intended), having enough time on his hands to really think about finding Vergil but not knowing where to start. He now believed that Vergil was alive. There was this psychic sense that had come alive after he’d realized that Vergil was his twin, which had allowed him to sense Vergil when they’d been in close proximity. Dante was certain that if Vergil were dead, he would just… know.

He hoped that Vergil was fine, wherever he was. For a given definition of fine, he supposed. They hadn’t had time to really bond all that much since their reunion after so many years, so he knew he couldn’t say he really knew Vergil all that well. To be honest, Kat probably knew his twin better than he did at that point. But from what he remembered of Vergil and what he still remembered of that day, Vergil had taken Dante’s rejection hard. Plus, Dante wasn’t the one who had almost gotten killed by his own twin brother.

“I loved you, brother.”

There was no way for him to ever forget that Vergil had unmistakably used the past tense in his parting words. There was also no way for him to know if he could ever bridge the rift that had formed between them. But Dante knew that if he could just find Vergil again, he would try.

He would try a lot harder.

The next time he actually met Vergil in the one place he should definitely have looked, however, Dante realized that second chances weren’t given to everyone. Certainly, it had not been given to him. Because when had life ever been truly nice to him?

“Hello, big brother. Would you like to know what I’ve been up to while I waited for you?”