Set AU from canon. Dante and Vergil, pre-DMC3, are working as 'partners'. Through Vergil's urging, Dante finds himself on the road with his older brother without an idea as to why. Written for P...
It was a surprisingly cramped little hotel room. That had originally been Dante's thoughts on the matter, but in the end, it wasn't like they had a choice. It was either the ultra-micro room in the middle of nowhere, or the car, which...Admittedly wasn't much bigger. But the room had had a /bathroom/, questionable as it had been when they'd first entered, and Dante found himself kicked right out again as Vergil went into overdrive sterilizing it. Dante figured either he didn't need to tell Vergil how bad the types of places like the one they'd been forced into staying in were because either Vergil already knew himself, or it was better to leave him ignorant.
So Dante just found other ways to amuse himself. The town itself was tiny/, and Dante was admittedly a big city boy. So was his brother, considering, and they were...More than out of their element, in the stopwhistle town somewhere in the middle of Mississippi. It was one of those places where a person /really wondered about the locals, and whether they were inbred or not. It was, and they /stared/. It wasn't like it was early in the evening, where one would expect the yokels to be out on their porches, with the way they lacked anything resembling modern living whatsoever. It was creeping up on midnight, which was the only reason they'd stopped in the first place. After all, they'd been going since two mornings ago, non-stop, alternating driving (with much slapping involved).
It was a creepy little place, and Dante wasn't the type to deny that. But he'd braved an hour, by God, walking around and giving Vergil time to do...Whatever it was when Vergil got that way. Dante wasn't sure. He always got kicked out for it. But an hour, indeed, ended up being all he could stand.
But an hour later and he was back in the room, and while Vergil didn't have it quite to hospital standards, it was damn close. The room, honestly, smelled as though a can of lysol had simply thrown up in there, which made it hard for Dante to keep from gagging himself. But that was fine! It was, because Dante was tired, and had no plans to stay awake to be bothered with it. And Vergil was in a pissy mood to begin with, really, so Dante had no qualms at all about getting undressed almost the minute he'd entered, not even bothering to pass a word to the elder twin before hitting the sack (which, he noticed, Vergil had also sterilized the hell out of, but that was fine with Dante, too, considering).
The little red numbers on the clock Dante couldn't see (it was behind him) read 3:40 when he started awake, finding himself almost nose to nose with Vergil, which, while disturbing in its own right, wasn't what had spooked him. Well. He didn't think so, anyway. Vergil, of course, was out like a light, and snoring (and that bastard totally denied he snored, too), completely oblivious to the stale, dead feeling of the air in the room. Must've been nice, as far as Dante could see it. And that was funny, because it was usually just the opposite. Vergil was the light sleeper, and Dante was the one who could sleep through Doomsday and then some. But all in all, it made sense. Vergil had done most of the driving to that point, and then he'd rid the hotel room of any nasties that could have lurked in a short amount of time.
Which was why Dante showed a little consideration, goddammit, as he sat up and swung his legs over his side of the bed, doing his best not to wake Vergil as he yawned and rubbed at an eye. Besides, he didn't want to deal with the flaming, pms-y hellbeast Vergil would be if he did get stirred from his 'beauty rest', and Dante really didn't want to have to put a fist through his face or anything. Really.
But whatever it was in the air made his skin crawl, and he rubbed at his arms as he shuffled across the room to the lone window, completely covered with blinds. That had been a small luxury he hadn't been expecting, with the state of everything else; a little privacy. As much of an exhibitionist as he could be, really...The people in the town were /creepy/. It reminded him of a movie he'd seen once, though the title excaped him, and it wasn't important, anyway, as he leaned forward and pried the blinds apart with two fingers, peering outside.
The only light was from the one lightpost by the road, which, admittedly, wouldn't offer much visibility to someone who was 'normal'. But to someone like Dante (and he gauged Vergil's vision was even better, in that respect), he could see fine, even if the world was tinged amber and yellow from the streetlight. And, honestly, nothing looked amiss at all. He could see the faint breeze stirring the trees in the distance, and making the powerlines strung between posts sway ever so slightly, and if he listened hard enough, he could hear the rustle of leaves, and cars on the highway, a few miles away. It seemed, for all practical purposes, like any other calm, clear night in some nowhere small town.
Which completely didn't explain the feeling that had him on edge and his skin trying to worm its way right off of his bones. He glanced back into the room, frowning, before turning once more to the window, wondering if he wasn't just hyped up on excess energy at being trapped in a car for two days straight, because Vergil was still dead to the world; that wasn't normal, really, if something really was wrong. Vergil would have been the first on alert for that, right? Right.
Besides, Vergil's senses were way sharper than Dante's, and if Vergil wasn't up in arms about it, there was nothing to worry about. Dante nodded a few times to himself, as though that would convince him that's all there was, before shuffling back for the bed, keeping as quiet as he could. If there wasn't anything to worry about, there was no reason to wake Vergil until he did so on his own. And Dante knew his twin, probably too well, in every respect: It probably wouldn't be another two hours before Vergil was up and about, and Dante slept until it was well past sunrise. And as it should be.
Of course, that thought didn't stop him from tugging Ivory from the holster on his jacket and taking it back to bed with him, stuffing it under the pillow before crawling back in himself. While a gun, really, seemed like a ludicrous weapon to have on hand if it was something like Dante was imagining, Dante, of course, knew better in that respect. Vergil could hate them all he wanted; they were built and equipped for taking out the supernatural.
Several moments passed, while Dante forced himself to relax where his muscles had threatened to lock themselves, in a state of readiness, because really. He was a little old, and a little in the wrong line of work, to get spooked by the dark/. And that, really, was beginning to look like all it was. Of course, having Vergil /right there wasn't helping with the relaxing part, but he damn sure gave it a go. Vergil was breathing on him, though, and that made his skin crawl more, and he shifted, putting his back to the elder twin in order to better ignore it.
One hand slid under the pillow, to get a grip on his gun, and he found himself staring at the wall, ears pricked for any sound out of the ordinary. He had expected to hear rural sounds, in such a small farming town; things like owls and frogs and God only knew what else that lurked out in the woods a scant acre from the tiny motel, but there was nothing. Letting out a breath, he concluded that had to be it. It was just the absence of the sounds he'd been expecting that had him so unnerved, and that was silly. He almost laughed at himself for it, before shutting his eyes and trying to force himself back to sleep.
He'd almost managed it, too, before he was nearly knocked right out of bed as Vergil bolted upright, out of a sound sleep. To Dante, that was a bad sign, if a little late in coming, the slow-assed bastard. Less comforting was when he realized Vergil had kept Yamato right next to his side of the bed, and that that was the first thing the elder twin reached for before his feet had even hit the floor.
It didn't take him long to scramble after him to his own, bringing Ivory with him as he went, before a finger was firmly shoved into his face, on level with the tip of his nose. His eyes crossed a moment, as he focused on it, before he shook his head and scowled, already opening his mouth to protest. He knew what the finger meant. He did. It meant Vergil was about to go steal all the fun, if there was anything out there at all, and there Dante had been the one jittering around over it while Vergil had went about sawing some serious logs.
And that just wasn't going to fly.
Vergil didn't even glance at him, as he shifted Yamato to the hand that had pointed a finger so ominously at Dante and reached for his jacket. "Stay here." Did he think Dante was going to listen? Of course not. That was just going to be the younger twin's only warning, which was something Dante himself was very well aware of. Not that he cared or anything. Vergil's jacket was yanked on, and the elder twin was moving, barefeet, no shirt, and all. Which, to Dante, said it was twice as bad. Vergil? Going out and about for whatever it was looking less than perfect? Big trouble.
Which was why Dante wasted no time yanking on his own jacket, hot on Vergil's heels out of the door. No. Vergil was not stealing it all for himself, because whatever it was had woken him from a /sound fucking sleep/, and it didn't matter if Vergil thought he was king of the sandbox or some shit. Still, it was nice to have some confirmation that he wasn't just going flat-out insane...Even if that confirmation came from the biggest tinfoil hat wearing loony he knew.
That was also perfectly fine/. Because as batshit as Vergil was in most situations, Dante was...Well, some would call him a dumbass for it, and maybe they were right, but he /trusted Vergil, when it came to their area of 'expertise', as it were. He truly did. Dante was, after all, well aware of the fact that if anyone was going to lay a smackdown on him of any sort, Vergil had it in his head that it would be him, and only him, that did so. Oh, Dante acted like he was oblivious to that, but it was a mutual feeling. Which was why he wasn't worried at all. Well. Unless it happened to be something even Vergil couldn't handle, and then he'd be fucked.
He pointedly didn't think about that.
The motel was set up so that every room door opened to the parking lot, with the office in the middle of them. Dante hadn't noticed it earlier, but it was painted pink, too. Disturbing that, but then, they'd both decided beggers couldn't be choosers when it came to stopping for the night. The office itself was where Vergil was headed, and Dante plodded along behind him, Ivory still clutched in one hand.
The red and blue neon sign outside the door flickered as they approached, buzzing in hitches into the otherwise quiet night, before Vergil paused and held up a hand to signal to Dante, cocking his head slightly to the side. When he spoke, his voice was quiet, so that even Dante was forced to strain to hear him over the sign. "Consider this a note for the future." He glanced over his shoulder at Dante, eyes slanted in slight amusement. "Bottomfeeders prefer to have rural hunting grounds, as their prey can be contributed to the attacks of wild animals, unlike the city."
As if that made any sense whatsoever, and Dante's look said it all, before he rolled his eyes. "Uh huh."
Vergil snorted, realizing passing on anything to Dante was a lost cause, and reached out, grabbing Dante by a shoulder before he could react, bouncing up on the ball of one foot and slamming the other into the door, snapping the lock and sending the door flying inward with the force.
And, of course, he wasn't disappointed, or wrong, in his assumptions. There, in the middle of the small office, the rolling chair the desk attendant had been slouched in rolled to one side, was such a creature; blackened, scaley skin covered its long emanciated form, where it hunched over said attendent, who was smeared from one end of the office to the other, the lightbulb overhead doused in blood so the whole room glowed an unearthly red. It was a nasty thing, with spikes along its spine and long, claw-like webbed fingers, the bottom half of its anatomy shaped like some sort of rodent, with its legs bent at an angle far too sharp to be remotely human.
So engrossed it had been in its impromtu meal, it hadn't even acknowledged the two in the doorway; Vergil's expression as bland as could be, with Dante peeping in horror over his shoulder on tip toe. Only when Yamato was slid from its sheath with a slick click of metal did it look up with unnaturally wide, yellow eyes, blinking once, before hissing and arching like a threatened cat.
"You see? Bottomfeeder." It was meant to provoke, and provoke it did, as, with another hiss and a gathering in of itself, the thing (demon) sprang, headed right for Vergil's face.
It was simultaneous, really, as Yamato's blade bit into the thing's neck, and a bullet tore through its forehead, the ricochette unnaturally loud in the night, before thing fell with a fountaining of brackish, black blood from the stump of its neck and a thud, and Vergil snorted, spinning Yamato once and sliding the blade between his fingers before shaking them to the side, like he always did, the big sissy. "Well. That was a tad anticlimatic."
"Uh, yeah, just a bit." Even if Dante was somewhat wide-eyed, where he stood behind Vergil, stuffing Ivory away against his back. Dante was no stranger to gruesome scenes of slaughter, that was very true, but the hick town motel had been the last place he'd expected to see it. Especially in that quantity. He'd have never guessed one body could hold /that much blood/, and the smell of it was everywhere, making him twitch.
"So, uh, now what."
"We raze it to the ground." It was calmly said, as Yamato slid home with a click, and Vergil moved further into the room, ignoring the blood that covered everything. "After a shower. I refuse to take to the road again like this."
"This place becomes the Bates Motel and you're worried about a fucking shower?" Dante stayed where he was in the doorway, eyes widening incredulously at Vergil, before rolling dramatically in their sockets. "Vergil. That shot has got to have been heard by every fucking body in this goddamn motel. We need to vamoose, like, now."
"They're all dead." Inspection of the office complete, Vergil turned from where he stood behind the desk, lifting a magazine with two fingers and making a disgusted face. "Filthy pig. He got what was coming for him." Dante failed to see how, after squinting and making out the title on the shiny cover, jerking off to Hustler deserved that kind of death, but he let it slide. Vergil was cracked, at any rate, and had some really odd notions about things that wouldn't get a second thought out of someone else. "Surely you feel it. We, brother dearest, are the only things living here now."
Dante paused at that a moment, sniffing around to himself. He'd figured the smell of blood was because it was everywhere in the office, but if he thought about it...He hated when Vergil was right. He really did. "Oh."
Vergil started picking his way back around after dropping the magazine, before pausing and making an annoyed noise in the back of his throat. "That reminds me. Come along, Dante, help me with something in the trunk." And with that, he pushed right past his brother and headed to the car (amazingly damage free, for now, considering Vergil's driving), with Dante trailing behind. He reached up and rubbed at his nose, as Vergil moved around (and it was then that Dante noticed Vergil had left the keys in the trunk), before it was popped open, and he gestured to something within its dark confines.
"The hell is that?" Whatever it was, it was lumpy, covered in plastic, and really...Smelled. Really. It was that sickly sweet odor of decay, and Dante, honestly, had come across it enough in his life to know what it was. "The hell is it, a dead dog? Why is there a dead dog in our trunk, Vergil?"
"Dog wouldn't be far off." Vergil reached in and flipped back part of the plastic, which Dante recognized as a shower curtain lining, before giving a concealed heave and backing off a few steps, one hand clamping over his nose and mouth.
"She was in the matress." Vergil glanced back at Dante, the corners of his mouth twitching in sadistic amusement at Dante's display of a weak stomach. "A prostitute, I imagine. Don't tell me you've never heard the urban legend, little brother, of whores being stuffed between matresses after their oh-so upstanding clientele kill them."
Dante gave a cough before waving his hand in front of his face, grimacing. "Yeah, I heard it. But why the fuck did you put her in the fucking trunk/? How the hell are you gonna get the /smell out?"
"Febreeze. Don't be stupid." The plastic was flipped back over the corpse, and Vergil moved to one side, shifting it around to lift it out. "Grab the feet. We'll leave it in the office so it will burn, too." When Dante hesitated, Vergil shot him a glare, and snapped, "Don't dawdle. I want to be gone from here by dawn."
Dante reluctantly moved forward, holding his breath as he drew closer, before grabbing the plastic wrapped feet, and together they lifted the body from the trunk, and started for the office once more. "Dear Jesus, this bitch is heavy." It was said with a stifled sort of voice, because Dante refused to breathe, especially through his nose, as long as they were carrying her.
"You're carrying the light end, you big baby." It was said on a grunt, as Vergil gave a slight shove, making Dante stumble where he was walking backward. "I imagine it's all the silicone she had shoved into her chest. She reeked of it where she was stabbed."
"The fact that you got close enough to smell it worries me, brother o' mine." That earned Dante a dark look, which he returned with a tight-lipped smile, as he backed into the office, feet almost slipping on the blood-slicked floor. Once far enough in, the body of the unknown prostitute was dropped unceremoniously onto the body of the desk attendent, and they were headed back to their room once more, Vergil making a pit stop to slam the trunk shut, and informing Dante they'd worry about the smell when they were ready to leave.
And then promptly took the shower first, after they'd made their way into their room once more, leaving Dante with gathering everything together and hauling it out to the car (Dante's pride and joy, a '70 Hemicuda, fully restored and detailed, which was why he was glad it was damage-free). By the time he was finished - because Vergil had a lot of shit - Vergil was out of the shower and getting dressed.
"You're driving." Because Vergil was horrible on a stick. "You shower, I'll ready everything to burn it, and then we are /leaving/." Really, like Vergil would have to tell him twice. The only hitch in that plan was the fact that Vergil had used all of the hot water for his own shower, and Dante was stuck rushing through one that went from luke warm to freezing in the short time he was in there. He dressed just as quickly, to rid himself of the chills, before giving the room one last once-over to make sure he'd grabbed everything and stepping out into the parking lot, where the sky in the east was lightening to a pinkish-grey, finding Vergil standing in front of the office, playing with a matchbook from the cubby in the dashboard.
"Ready? Hey, what are we supposed to do with these?" Dante held up the room keys and dangled them at Vergil, only to be waved off.
"Keep them as a souvenier." It was said with another sadistic twitch of his mouth, and Dante scowled at him, before shoving them back into his pocket and making his way to the car, before sliding in and cranking it, hoping Vergil realized that, with a car like that, it would take a minute for the engine to warm before it was completely ready to be put through its paces. And, he supposed, at least the actual interior of the car didn't contain a hint of the smell of decay, even if it did smell a lot like Febreeze and leather. That was /fine/.
He watched Vergil step inside the office for a moment, as he gave the engine a little gas, already moving to pop the clutch and slide it into reverse, one foot moving to the gas, one to the brake. If they were going to get out of there in a hurry, by God, Dante was going to do it /right/.
It was a few moments, before Vergil appeared once more and started making his own way to the car, as casually as Dante had ever seen him do anything, even if the office behind him had a strange orange glow in the few windows. When he climbed in himself, almost as if they were out for a Sunday drive or some shit like that, Dante only offered a, "You might wanna buckle in," before letting off of the break and giving the steering wheel a hard twist, nearly flinging Vergil into the dashboard when he slammed on the brake once more.
"Idiot," Vergil snarled, only to get Dante's arm as a brace to the chest, forcing him back in seat.
"I told you, baby, you might wanna buckle in." Before Vergil even had time to retort, like Dante just knew he wanted to, he was slamming into first and beyond, feeling the engine protest at the abuse before responding. Oh, they were going to leave marks, sure enough, but that was okay, too! It wasn't like Dante was dumb enough to use tires with a distinctive tread pattern, with all the shit he got into.
It took a bit of backtracking, making way for the onramp to the highway, and Dante glanced over a Vergil before pushing a button on the radio, because he knew his brother, and he knew it was going to be a long damn drive, and he was going to at least have music for it, no matter how Vergil turned his nose up at 'the sorry excuse for noise' Dante called music.
"So. Where to." Vergil looked like he was going to be sick, all from Dante's driving, and Dante reached back to the slit pouch on the back of Vergil's seat, finding a bag he'd stuffed there, just incase of something like that. "Here. Don't puke in my goddamn car, or you'll be walking."
Vergil gave a slight growl, a corner of his top lip pulling back to expose fang, but took the bag anyway, even it a little grudgingly. "Just head east." There wasn't any destination in mind, anyway, and that, at least, gave them a starting point. "And for the love of God, drive like a normal human being."
"Um hm." Which meant Dante wasn't going to listen at all. 'Drive like a normal human being' in Vergil terms meant drive like a granny, and that wasn't happening. Ever. "You sit back and let me handle this, douche. Catch up on your beauty sleep." It was accompanied with a smartassed-grin, which earned a half-hearted glare.
Oh, it was going to be an interesting trip. Of that, Dante had no doubts whatsoever.