Devil May Cry © Capcom

Sweet Joy I Call Thee

Jason M. Lee

"Me gibe bess hugs!"

Nero sighed, hanging his head. "No, it's 'I give the best hugs.'"

"Nuh-uh!" Cato shook his head, hair flopping about with a pout. "Me gibe bess hugs!"

"Cato- Oh, fu-rag it." Nero threw up both of his hands, trying not to smile as Cato mimicked him with delighted glee. Said smile broke out anyways, prompting him to tweak his half-brother's tiny nose which caused a squeal. "Trying to teach you proper grammar this early is like trying to beat back a horde of Prides in a sandbox."

"Teaching grammar, you?" Dante snorted from the sofa, getting started on folding the laundry, shifting his leg out as Cato toddled over. If anyone else other than extremely close friends (two he could count on one hand, three if he wanted to get technical), or family (two present, two away on a research trip), or his Devil Arms (half didn't care, the other half were curious) saw him at that moment, his reputation might've been gone to hell. One of the most famous - or infamous in some circles - mercenaries/hunters, doing mundane domestic work such as laundry. What would his old drinking buddies think of him now. "What made you think it was a good idea?"

"We're starting on English literature." Nero jerked his head at the small pile of books peeking out from his backpack. "Teach even suggested we try practicing on others. Although I doubt the Arms would be up for it..."

Another snort, but that of amusement, deftly folding away several of Lady's shirts while pivoting his leg up and down for a moment, eliciting happy shrieking as Cato clung on. "I think half of their grammar would either fall under purple prose or gone out of fashion."

"Or talk a blue streak." Nero shuddered, remembering how dazed he became after his first meeting with Agni and Rudra.

Having finally crawled up to his father's side, Cato peered up with wide eyes. "Me gibe Dada bess hugs?"

He did not melt. Nope, he was stone cold like his brother. He was poised like his father. He was as cold as Cerb- Oh, who was he kidding. "Cato can give best hugs anytime," Dante answered softly, feeling tiny arms try to wrap around him and the following purr.

"Hey, I give better hugs!" Nero mock argued, plopping on to his uncle's other side and wrapping his own around both of his male relatives.

"Me give Mommy best hugs!"

"No, I give Mommy best hugs!"

Soft laughter, red shawl fluttering as warm arms wrapped around both boys. "No, Mother gives the best hugs."

"I believe, I give the greatest of hugs, milady."

Dante simply squeezed both of his nestlings closer, fighting the tightness in his throat. "Nah, I give the best hugs around here. to Lady, that is."

A/N: For DMC Gen Week 2019 on Tumblr, Day 2 - Hug/Competition. Follows "Nibble, Nibble", after "Waraizome".

Title from William Blake's "Infant Joy," from which we get V's "'I have no name, I am but two days old'" line in-game.

Also, not responsible for the bills.