Chapter 1: Kat - Realization
She’d never really registered the white streak in his dark hair, not until the moment it almost all turned white. It was quite like everything else with Dante: half-hidden until you least expected it to make an appearance.
She hadn’t even begun to realize how much she’d started to care about him until those dark hours as the Order headquarters were overrun. She’d realized then that he cared, in that moment when Vergil had left her to die and Dante had knelt in front of her. The man she’d worshiped, that she would have done anything for had abandoned her…and in his place was his brother, his twin who for all of his roughness and foul-mouth was a better person.
More human. Though that realization hadn’t struck until the end, when Vergil had said those damnable words and tried to convince them - no, just convince Dante but she was nothing in his eyes - that he was right.
Kat bowed her head as tears welled in her eyes, shaking as that battle flashed through her mind. She had seen Dante and Vergil fight before as separate entities but the two of them against each other was something else. It was terrible. That feeling was something she had felt in her bones as she watched their swords flash and then it had turned into a screech of wrongness when Dante had won.
It had taken days for her to realize why she’d begged him not to kill Vergil. At first she had set it upon the tangled emotions that clung about the memory her childhood savior. Now, however, she recalled that wrongness had come when they had each unleashed what Vergil had called Devil Trigger.
In that moment when Dante had pinned his twin to the ground with Rebellion, shoving the blade further and further down into Vergil’s chest, he had not been the man she’d come to know. He had seemed wild, rage and anger without a cause, a force that would destroy everything in it’s path. A demon.
She hadn’t stopped him to save Vergil.
She had stopped him to save himself.
"Hey." The soft voice made her jerk, the bullet wound in her shoulder aching with the motion. Kat blinked, her mouth open in surprise, as she found Dante standing there wearing nothing but his jeans with a damp towel falling across his shoulders. His now white hair was standing up in messy spikes and she found that she missed it’s former darkness.
"Hey," she answered weakly, reaching up to wipe at her eyes. When his hands close over hers, his warm skin making her realize that she was freezing, Kat couldn’t help but gasp.
Slowly Dante knelt down in front of her where she sat on the couch in the abandoned apartment they’d taken over since the world had fallen apart. As he twined his fingers with hers, she was reminded of that terrible night and wondered if he would have touched her hands if he could have.
Lifting her head to look at him, Kat found herself caught in his blue eyes. They were so like Vergil’s but…alive. Dante’s eyes had always been so alive, so human, and Vergil’s had always been ever so painfully distant. How had she never noticed that until here, during the end of everything?
No, no, she amended, not the end of everything. She squeezed Dante’s hands with her own and smiled. This was merely the end of one chapter and the opening of another.
"Are you alright?" he asked, his voice still soft.
And she remembers staring at him, frightened, shaking, in tears…but sure that he would keep his promise.
"All you need to do is hold on for as long as you can. I will come back for you."
Kat nodded and answered, “I’m alright.”
Chapter 2: Vergil - Blinded By
Why can he not see?
He deflected another of his twin’s strikes with liquid ease and stepped to the side to avoid a wild bullet from one of the guns - Ebony, judging by the black blur. Silver eyebrows wrinkled as Vergil frowned at Dante, unable to comprehend his brother’s position.
How can he not see that the humans will tear themselves apart?
Precious thought process is lost as Dante scores a hit and Vergil scowls as he focuses his full attention on the battle. It is all a blur of motion and sound until the moment Rebellion darts past his defenses and buries itself in his chest.
He’d never expected his brother to win. Dante had power, yes, and power in spades but he was so reckless and undisciplined. Yet somehow, somehow he had managed to get past Vergil’s defense.
As he fell to the ground and the sword burrowed deeper into his chest, Vergil could see how. Looming above him, his teeth bared, Dante was very nearly lost in the rage of Devil Trigger.
So this is how I die. At the hands of my own brother.
He was fading, he could feel himself already drifting away from his body, from the pain. And then he heard her voice, Kat’s voice, pleading for his life.
I don’t need your help.
Rebellion pulled back out of his chest with a sickening, sucking sensation and Vergil couldn’t help the gasp that he uttered. As the wound began to mend, torn flesh already started to knit back together as supernatural healing went to work, his eyes focused on his brother’s extended hand.
Reaching up for what he knew would likely be the last time, he allowed Dante to pull him to his feet.
"The world is under my protection now," said his brother firmly and Vergil wondered when exactly Dante had changed viewpoints. When they’d found him, he couldn’t have cared less about the world.
Pressing one hand over the healing wound in his chest, he replied, “You’ve chosen the wrong side. You aren’t human, Dante, and you never will be.” Yet even as he says the words, he sees it. His brother, his twin, is so painfully human.
You could be so much more at my side, Dante.
As he uses Yamato to open a portal, Vergil turns to look back at his brother, who stands with his arm extended in front of Kat.
"I loved you, brother," he says and the pain of that statement wars for dominance over the pain in his chest. Then he turns away because there is nothing else to do.
One day you will see how truly weak and damaged your precious humans are, brother. Then, you may just regret refusing me.
If not, you will regret your decision anyway when I do take this world.
Chapter 3: Dante - Realization II
That was the first thing that registered when Dante went into the bathroom of the abandoned apartment he and Kat had taken over until they could find someplace else. He’d stood at the sink just staring for the longest time, not quite able to comprehend the fact that his black hair had been reduced to a bare streak along the right side of his head.
When the fuck had it happened? That question raced through his head as he stood under the almost scalding hot water, running his hands through his hair. Then realization struck and he whipped his head up, eyes wide with the sudden epiphany.
There at the end, when he’d stabbed Vergil and pinned him to the ground, shoving Rebellion deeper and deeper into his twin’s chest. A rage had gripped him in uncaring claws and he’d been fully willing to let it take him wherever it wanted.
Even to the death of his brother.
Dante found he was suddenly gasping for breath and reached out to steady himself against the wall of the shower. Much as he’d been angry at Vergil, he hadn’t wanted him dead.But he could remember now wanting to.
He’d wanted to tear his brother apart.
“Fucking demon thinking,” he snarled. Straightening, he ran his fingers slowly through his hair and scowled. When he’d been in Limbo, Phineas had tilted his head to the side, looking at something when he was talking about him having unlocked some of his potential. He hadn’t even realized it then and had moved on, accepting what he’d learned as nothing more than more power to be wielded.
But fuck, he hadn’t expected it to make him try to kill his brother and get them to look more alike.
As he turned off the water and stepped out of the shower, he wondered if Phineas was still somewhere in the city now that Limbo had collapsed into the real world. The old demon definitely had some explaining to do.
Snorting, Dante shook his head and reached for his jeans, dragging only them on for now. He could hunt down answers later. Right now he needed to shove Kat into the shower because she looked like she’d needed it more than him. He hadn’t said ‘no’ when she insisted he went first though.
As he walked out to where she was sitting in the living room, absently drying his hair, he was thinking that he maybe should have. There were tears tracing their way down her cheeks and he was more than a little shocked by the amount of emotion that sparked in him.
She and Vergil had wormed their way into his heart with him barely even knowing it. And his brother had just proved that his old methods were in the right: you didn’t fucking trust anybody because they always betray you. Always.
Kat, though, she threw him completely off-kilter. She was utterly different from the usual women he’d paid any attention to before. And he knew, knew, that he could trust her. Like he’d told Vergil there at the end, he wouldn’t have been there without her.
And she wouldn’t be here without me.
That thought and the emotions that followed it unsettled him.
“Hey,” he said softly to get her attention, more than ready to distract himself from thoughts that were way to serious. When she jerked hard enough that she had to have pulled her shoulder, Dante held back a wince. He healed fast but, shit, he knew how much a shoulder wound hurt before it started to knit back together.
“Hey,” she answered as she lifted her uninjured hand to wipe at her eyes. He found himself moving then, his hands closing over both of hers and grinding his teeth as he realized she was freezing. You’ve got to take care of yourself, he thought as he knelt down in front of her.
As Dante entwined his fingers with hers, Kat finally looked up at him and he wondered what exactly was going on in that head of hers. She looked…lost.
“Are you alright?” he asked, feeling all of those foreign emotions well up again.
This is what it’s like to give an actual shit, he reminded himself. It had been so long since he had really cared about someone else. So long that he hadn’t even noticed he was hungry for it, aching to give a damn about something.
Slowly Kat nodded and answered, “I’m alright.” She looks a little less lost now and there’s a smile on her face as she looks at him.
And that is what it’s like to have someone else give a shit about you.