Devil May Cry and Resident Evil © Capcom

The Future You Wish For Is Already In Your Hands

Jason M. Lee

'Why the hell am I hesitating? It's just a really small family reunion with relatives you haven't seen in years, Kennedy.'

Leon pursed his lips, knuckles hovering above the door. The invitation - if one could call a bar napkin with a hastily scribbled address that - seemed to weigh as much as the tactical vests he's worn many times. A chance meeting on the street in Red Grave, a quick catch-up over several rounds at the closest pub, and then...

"Hey, uh... There's one or two more things..." Dante fiddled with his bottle.

Leon quirked an eyebrow at his cousin, taking a pull. He knew that slight tinting of pink wasn't from the alcohol, even under the low light. "Spill. You've never been one for dancing around the bush much except when you want to screw around."

More fiddling and flush deepening. "Igothitchedsocomemeetmypartner?"

Somewhere, the agent was surprised his brain didn't crash like the vehicles he's commandeered in the past. He was glad that he hadn't been drinking at that unexpected announcement. "...what."

"And you got a nephew because dear big brother apparently wasn't paying attention-" Dante barreled on, rubbing the back of his head.

"What." Vergil - responsible Vergil- with a son out of wedlock-

"-and Vergil kinda messed around with one of the really wrong types of tree, which kinda resulted in cloning or splitting a part of him. Sooo we got a new brother, or cousin in your case if we want to get technical..."

Leon was sure that a synapse in his brain blew a fuse, because that sounded suspiciously like the incident he had gotten swept up in only a few months ago. "WHAT."

Dante winced. "Whoops. Uh... Ask Verge? Father wasn't too keen about it either."

Glare or face palm, glare or face palm. The older man went for both. "And I thought my luck was bad. Believe me, I WILL ask Vergil about that tree you mentioned. I can't imagine Uncle's reaction."

"Father gave him a good thrashing and Mother was obviously not happy, if it's any comfort to you." The pink disappeared, replaced with a brighter smile that was borderline goofy. "They're going to hold a small gathering at their place next week in honor of me and Lady getting hitched, so swing on by."

The decision on whether to stay or leave was taken out of his hands when a pattering of feet and yipping sounded off towards him, and the doorknob rattled before it stopped. He could barely hear an adult gently admonishing what sounded like a young child on the dangers of not checking who was behind the door before opening.

"Who is it?" a young boy's voice came through.

Penny, pound. "It's Leon, I'm Dante's cousin. He... invited me to the party."

"Fluffy" wasn't supposed to be the first word to enter Leon's mind, but there it was when he saw his surprise nephew with that silver-white hair, blue eyes wide as he opened the door and stared up. A black and gray puppy was struggling to get through his legs acting as impromptu fences, whining and panting excitedly. What was also unexpected was the bird the size of a falcon or small hawk perched on the boy's head, the blue shade not entirely out of the ordinary among most birds.

Except the multi-section lower mandible of a very sharp beak was definitely not of the Human World, much less the small horns. Nor the multiple yellow irises that was scrutinizing him warily and with intelligence.

"Ah, it's been a long while, Leon. Although I suppose 'it's a pleasure to meet you' might be more appropriate."

Blue-gray eyes met dark blue-green, equally measuring each other as they shook hands. Where Leon easily recognized the trademark silver-white hair, the other man saw the strong resemblance between Leon and the twins beyond their faces.


A slightly crooked smile as he held out a left arm covered by a leather bracer, the raptor hopping over with several flaps. "Vitale, Vergil and Dante's... little brother, at this point. You can call me V. This is Nero, our nephew courtesy of Vergil."

"Hullo," came the dutiful response from the child. Who was definitely trying not to hide behind black pants and still studying his new uncle with a mix of childish curiosity and that of a wary fighter.

"Hi." Leon nodded at both animals, hoping to get past the awkwardness as he closed the door behind him. "So, who are these two little guys?"

"This is Orthros, I saved him from a gang of bullies." Tiny triangle ears perked upon hearing his name, letting out a happy whine as small fingers gently rubbed one of the ears. Nero smiled at the excited tail wagging, his own chest puffing up as his shyness left. "Grandpa said he's my responsibility for rescuing him."

"And this..." Slender fingers stroked the horned head, yellow eyes closing and letting out a trill in pleasure. " Griffon, my familiar. Come, Mother's been waiting."

Leon wasn't sure what to make of his two newest relatives as they walked through the halls. The concept of a nephew might have been expected, regardless of how Nero came to be. From the way how excitedly the boy chattered away about training Orthros and school, he seemed to be happy and healthy.

V, on the other hand, was going to be a puzzle. Leon hadn't had much contact with most of his relatives over the years, in part out of worry of them being used against him. From the hasty way Dante described it, this was a whole new ballgame, especially as a new thought flitted through. None of the agencies or organizations he interacted with had encountered anything on cloning research in relation to B.O.W.s yet, but it was something that was still floated between various groups whenever large briefings occurred and there were breaks in between. It was already scary enough on how non-modified viruses reproduced, never mind old stories that mentioned doppelgangers or demonic mimics from overheard recounts by hunters in the seedier parts of society.

"'How much is he of Vergil, and how much is he of his own?' is what you're thinking, am I wrong?" V's low voice broke through.

A dry smile pulled on Leon's face, followed by dark chuckle. "Sorry. My line of work isn't the most social, and paranoia tends to take priority even when I'm not on the clock."

"True, it is the same with devil hunters for the need of constant vigilance." He paused, letting Griffon fly after Nero as boy and puppy took off in another direction. "A part of me will still be Vergil, but to ease your worries, I am my own self ever since our division. In regards to how I came to be, a friend of Dante's simplified it as one lit candle lighting a different candle - the same soul divided and then placed into a different body."

That sounded more like something from priests or spiritualists he'd either pass by or overhear. "Rather mumbo jumbo-ish, even when dealing with devils."

V clucked his tongue with a teasing glint in dark blue-green eyes. "'How have you left the ancient love, That bards of old enjoy'd in you. The languid strings do scarcely move, The sound is forced, the notes are few.' Now now, cousin. One should not be so dismissive of another person's culture, regardless of differences. There is usually some grain of truth in half of those stories, after all."

"Touche." There was a reason for some of the B.O.W.s' code names being based off of the originating region, as some of the words described the abilities far better than what English could at times. Never mind the fact that one of his relatives was a literal living legend.

"Besides," V smiled again, not as crooked, "it's always fascinating on what we learn through views not of our own."

While V continued walking into the kitchen, Leon paused at the threshold. (Hearing V referring to him as "cousin" caused an unexpected lump to form in his throat.) Seeing how Eva tilted her head on listening to a comment from V brought a pang of grief, reminding him of how his own mother would tilt her head when listening to him. The pain was both amplified and soothed as Eva turned around, and smiled at him while hugging tightly. His own returning hug was just as fierce, burying his nose into her hair. "Hey, Auntie."

Eva laughed softly, pulling back and cupping his face with one hand while smiling sadly a bit. She could see far more lines around the edges of his eyes than either of her sons - even though Vergil tend to be seen with his "thinking face" often, he was usually drawn out of it fairly quickly. Leon didn't seem to have that option, going by what her sources told her. "You've been met with a terrible fate, haven't you?"

Seeing him duck his head like the twins - and now including V - would broke her heart a bit. "Story of my life, Eva. It's just..."

"You don't have to say anything." Gently tugging a bang down, Eva kissed him on the forehead and guided him to the kitchen table. Margie had told her older twin how she hadn't had much contact with Leon after the Raccoon Incident, other than knowing he was alive and working for the government but couldn't say much. From what her own contacts among various mercenaries had passed along, the details prompted Sparda to up the many protection wards and put on extra tracking spells. "Don't worry, I'll pass a message along to Sis. Now, anything interesting happened that you can speak of?"

Smiling in spite of himself, Leon eased into telling a story to her and V of a new batch of rookies over a pot of tea and snacks.


"So, you're Leon, Dante's 'most favorite cousin.'"

"And you must be the infamous 'fast ass-kicking hunter' Lady Dante wouldn't stop praising about."

Lady didn't think it'd be possible to be forever blushing, but there she was, trying not to preen as she shook hands with Leon and mentally approving his firm grip. Other than slightly different facial features and hair color, she could see how he'd almost be a triplet to Dante and Vergil. "Hopefully my better qualities, the dumbass. I don't know how you and Eva put up with half of the stunts he pulls off, like wall jumping to get something from the top shelf or using a demon as a skateboard."

Leon felt his lips twitching, already liking her and noting her handgun callouses, not to mention the scar across the bridge of her nose. "You have no idea. How DID you two meet, by the way?"

"On a job," Lady casually answered, just as Dante popped up from behind her and cheerfully replied, "She shot me."

He almost choked on the can of soda she had just offered. "Oh, THIS I have to hear."

Dante grinned, wrapping an arm around her waist and affectionately nuzzling her hair. "We had different clients but the same nest extermination."

Heterochromatic eyes rolled, even though she was leaning into his nuzzling. "I was following one of the adults that had been causing trouble in the area. When I saw this dork the first time, I thought he was also a demon-"

"A good looking half-demon, thank you very much."

"-because he was literally bouncing on top of their heads like some demented form of hopscotch," she continued as if she wasn't interrupted. "I shot at him out of reflex when he caught me after I fell off of a ledge later on."

"Twice in fact!" Dante practically beamed. His devil had been all but enamored with the human female whose first reaction was to fight instead of panicking, while his human side had been intrigued at how she held up up on her own against a group of demons. "I even kept the bullets. She also fired off a bunch of missiles from this kickass launcher of hers just as I landed in the actual nest while Triggered."

Leon was definitely not going to ask her, given how demon hunting sometimes required really out-of-the-box thinking. "And he followed you even after you two got paid by your respective clients afterwards."

"Like an insufferable giant puppy discovering the glorious wonders that is a leather shoe." The genuine smile and tender glance at Dante took out any real sting of her words. In spite of his persistence, Lady couldn't help but admire how Dante never pushed to the point of making her uncomfortable, always backing off whenever she indicated something. Other times, he silently lent her a shoulder, even when she never asked for it. "Would you believe he tried courting me the demonic way, but with weapons and tactical gear instead?"

The former cop couldn't help but laugh, remembering Eva's gleeful recount of Sparda courting her with demon body parts after their first meeting, much to the devil's chagrin. "Bet Eva and Sparda got a kick when they found out about that."

Lady playfully elbowed Dante's side, smirking at his sheepish grin. "Definitely more so Eva than Sparda."

The three of them chatted a bit more on possibly meeting at an outdoor range before the couple had to go greet another arriving guest that Dante knew. Waving them off, Leon grabbed himself a small pile of prepared appetizers at the buffet table and spotted his next target.

Blue-gray eyes narrowed over his plate as he sat down. "Vergil."

White hair shifted in acknowledgement. "Leon."

"Can't decided if I should punch you or kick you."

Vergil paused the piece of grilled zucchini halfway to his mouth, not quite expecting that sort of childishness. "In regards to...?"

"Giant tree, exotic pests, biohazard." Leon momentarily enjoyed that brief hint of near panic flashing through Vergil's eyes, trying not to smile around his grilled carrot. "I was in the city to meet an informant."

Gray eyebrows pinched while his lips pursed, the internal flare of shame rearing its ugly head again over that incident before letting out a resigned sigh through his nose. Vergil might not had spoken with his cousin in a long time, but he could remember his human relative being fair, given that Aunt Margie used to be a police officer. From what his mother gathered, his aunt was a police instructor at the moment. "So what will it be, then? My services to assist whatever organization you're affiliated with for an undetermined amount of time as punishment? Or some other form of discreet reparations?"

A shrug, not hiding his smirk now since it wasn't often Leon got to tease Vergil. After reviewing other reports in relation to the demonic tree, he had been relieved that none of the agents' reports had any real incriminating details that'd force him into a difficult position, overt or in between the lines. "Just be glad the city's CCTV caught you and Dante taking out whatever critters that were crawling out of the tree. As it is, my superiors and the researchers I work with already get enough nightmares on the potentiality of a virus-infected demon. Also, I'm technically on vacation."

The older Son of Sparda did not release the breath that he had been holding, but he did relax at the cover of plausible deniability. He knew Leon wasn't the sort to play those types of mind games, always opting for the police-esqe roles when they were children. On the other hand, he supposed he did deserve a bit of teasing. "A... foolish mistake that will never be repeated again, I can assure you that. Then do you personally have a price?"

Leon's smirk would've rivaled Dante's at his most mischievous, taking a sip of his can. "I'll think about it."

Now Vergil wasn't sure which would've been more preferable - being a "government contractor" as reparations for the Qliphoth, or being Eva's gofer after several more rounds with Sparda. "I see I won't be able to move my way out of that."

Both of them were interrupted by a loud yell. Whipping to search for the cause of the commotion, they saw a flying disc headed straight towards Vergil's head, with a panicking Nero trying to rush forward while a young girl with auburn hair had her mouth covered in horror. Griffon was flying with talons open, as if to try catching it mid-flight. Without thinking, Vergil's tail manifested and in one move slipped the tip of his tail underneath the disc, let it spin around the tail's tip, and sent it flying back to the children without the toy losing any momentum. A grateful call sounded off from Nero as he skidded to turn around, Orthros now running to try catching the toy with the girl following.

A thoughtful look crossed Leon's face as he took in Vergil's expression. It wasn't the complete cold stoicness he's seen on some of his fellow agents that had let cynicism seep inside, nor the brusque hunters or mercenaries who had become far too jaded. Softness seemed almost out of place in his half-devil cousin, but the former officer could see it there, a glimpse peeking behind glacial eyes that tracked the children now back to playing again with raptor and canine. That glimmer of gentleness and warmth was that of someone who had found a solid ground to be able to stay rooted without being swayed too much.

"...almost like a dream," Leon mused, propping his chin up with a fist. It felt soothing, listening to the children's laughter that was carefree with no worries, mixed with Orthros' excited puppy barking and the occasional screech from Griffon. Even though it was likely Nero would eventually follow the family business, seeing and hearing him happy at the moment was like a balm on his weary soul, easing the pain of losing those he worked alongside with.

"Helping people like them... that's why I joined the force."

"A dream that I will continue to embrace tightly," Vergil agreed, sensing the shadows from his human cousin. He was barely hiding that small smile that was threatening to break out as he watched Nero play. The feeling of parental protectiveness from his devil had been unfamiliar not soon after picking up his son from Fortuna, yet it became a comfortable sense as time moved on. The grief of losing Rachel had dulled to a low ache, yet he didn't hesitate to recall what he could remember of her whenever Nero asked about his mother.

"...the girl?"

"Kyrie Eleison, a penpal."

Leon hummed thoughtfully, watching the almost child-like exaggerated carefulness Nero was attempting whenever interacting with Kyrie, and wondered if he could send his medical bills to Vergil for new fillings and insulin shots. He didn't use words like "cute" or "sweet" often, and while he's less likely to say it out loud, he did admit that his nephew was certainly adorable. Guess it was a good thing he couldn't compete with one particular agent who was also a spook - the glasses-wearing man was known to ramble about and shove pictures of his "most darling and precious daughter" into other people's faces on an almost daily basis, much to their annoyance.

"What was she like?"

Vergil didn't need to ask who Leon was referring to. "...someone worthy."

"Bet she had to be, to be able to catch your attention." Leon tilted his head, another teasing glint in his smile. He could remember how some of the neighbors' kids tended to avoid Vergil due to his aloofness and being constantly buried in a book, versus Dante's more charming and fun demeanor.

"Hn." A returned smile, turning back to his plate. "You would've liked Rachel, as her sense of justice reminded me of yours when we were children after she and I were on several assignments - she was something of a private investigator."

"I'd like to hear more someday, then." Turning his head a bit, he blinked at the woman raptly listening to Sparda talking as he worked on the large fire pit. Paranoia reared its head, the earlier thought regarding clones coming back. "Why does that... person look like Eva?"

Following his cousin's gaze, Vergil quickly pinched the bridge of his nose. "I see Dante forgot to mention that little detail when he caught up with you. Trish is... a devil created in Mother's image as a trap by Mundus several years ago. To make a long story short, she owed Dante a life debt when he saved her from her creator, and Mother had been very agreeable on adopting Trish into the family. You can imagine the reservations Father and I initially had, but you know how stubborn Mother can also be."

Leon studied the blonde, noting that despite the eeriness of her being literally identical to Eva, Trish lacked some of the gentleness and spirit of his aunt, and her hair was styled slightly different. Her body language was also off as well - where Eva was always comfortable and at ease around Sparda, Trish at the moment seemed more deferential in a subordinate sense. Part of him hoped that making biological copies via viruses would never happened, but the cynical part of him snarked about wishful thinking.

"However, I will not begrudge her attempt of wanting to be her own person with us, or if she ever goes out on her own," Vergil added. He tilted his head at Nero, who was trying to introduce a shy Kyrie to Trish and Sparda. "Nero has already accepted her as an aunt."

"Huh." 'I've got a quarter-devil nephew, two - now three - half-devil cousins, and a full devil uncle. What's one more demonic relative, artificial she may be,' Leon mentally mused as he got back to his appetizers.


"I hope you have been well, Leon," Sparda spoke lowly. "Or mostly well, depending on what certain birds have been leaving at my window sill."

A wan smile from the cop turned government agent, looking away from the competition of which half-devil could put out the most Summoned Swords at once (or Summoned Canes in V's case). He could hear the cheering of the children at how cool/pretty the energy constructs were, alongside the mixed egging-on and encouragement.

Leon couldn't help but still feel that sense of awe when being in his uncle's presence, even as an adult now - his mother had let him in on the family secret early on. After that fiasco in Spain with Los Iluminados, his research had included cults before stumbling on to information of groups that worshiped Sparda as some divine figure, one of the more notorious ones being the Order of the Sword. ('A demon as a god... Hilarious.') If any of Orders' worshipers saw the devil who betrayed Mundus and sided with humanity at the moment, they would've had apoplectic fits or their viewpoints shattered of the Legendary Dark Knight wearing a bright pink apron turning mouth-watering kebabs over a fire pit as well cutting up different fruits to refill one of the salad bowls. ("Philistines, nephew, it is a lovely shade of magenta.")

Learning that Kyrie's family was from Fortuna and was part of the Order's congregation made Leon agree with Vergil on hoping for the best if - or rather when - she learned of Nero's heritage. The older twin had also confided earlier on seeing if he could redirect her brother's opinions regarding demons, as Credo was a cadet at the moment.

The energy weapon summoning contest soon turned into a strange musical demonstration as Vergil alternated his swords and Tricked to them at certain intervals, creating different tones and pitches as each shattered. V didn't had the same level of agility or stamina compared to the twins yet, and Dante still hadn't reached his older brother's precision of Tricking either. Instead, the younger two exchanged looks and decided to complement the music-sounding notes with a demonic electric guitar and violin, respectively.

"Could be better, but I'm well enough, Uncle." He jerked his head at Vergil, now Tricking to what sounded like a familiar tune as Dante and V followed with their instruments. "Thanks for putting some extra sense into him after that mess. Although I bet V coming out of the left field was definitely unexpected. How'd that happen?"

"A truly unanticipated surprise, indeed," Sparda chuckled softly, moving to place more beef shish kebabs from what looked like the raw meat station. "What did Dante tell you?"

"Only that it somehow involved a certain tree."

The devil nodded. "The tale is Vergil's to tell fully, but all I will say is that it also involved Yamato in a fashion."

Dark blonde eyebrows furrowed, nibbling on a piece of lule kebab and working through the unfamiliar spices. He knew Yamato was what helped separate the Demon World from the Human World, and to truly utilize said sword the wielder required precisely knowing what to cut, be it literally or proverbially. Except... that wasn't discounting the possibility of thinking subconsciously. "Ah. What was Eva's reaction?"

"Alongside Trish, delight." Pale blue eyes warmly observed Lady, Trish, and a dark-skinned redhead - Lucia, another created devil Dante had met on another job - listen with rapt attention to Eva, her hands gesturing on retelling a story. "Any other powerful devil would have immediately killed both Trish and V for a number of reasons, be it them being viewed as 'abominations', their 'usefulness' was no more, the fear of being usurped, or something perhaps ludicrous even by demonic logic. (As much logic as we could call it.) Had it been left up to me, I more than likely would have spared their lives and left them to their own decisions in either worlds - Eva instead saw them as our own children."

Leon held still when Sparda paused, a thoughtful look on the devil's face as hands also stopped moving.

"I would be called a liar if I said I did not lose some sleep over the what-ifs when they stayed with us for their first several weeks. Namely not just worry for Eva, but for also Nero and Vergil. And yet..."

Quietness from him, other than the crackling of charcoal and wood popping as flames ate away. Dante had successfully coaxed Kyrie into joining the impromptu concert with her singing, her higher-pitched voice soaring in tandem with Vergil and V as Nero and Orthros watched in awe. Eva was now retelling another encounter, Trish and Lucia asking questions intermittently while Lady sometimes gave her own comments. Griffon would occasionally let out a cry on dive bombing the small animals that'd wander into the field surrounding the home, pleased shrieking on successful strikes.

"For her insistence to accept them in... Of that human love..." The gentleness from Sparda seemed out of place in relation to the noble airs he had a tendency to project, yet it matched the smile as he turned back to Leon. "I will be eternally grateful."

Leon hummed thoughtfully to himself, sipping his drink.

"Another thing, nephew." Sparda handed over a plate of freshly cooked beef pieces, kindness and empathy in his eyes. "If you find any need for assistance beyond normal means, do not worry if you are bothering us, Leon."

He couldn't help but blink and duck his head a bit at the following head pat, feeling like a little boy again. He tried not leaning into the comforting gesture, but eventually gave in. "Thanks, Uncle."

The full gathering of people over the actual dinner spread had many congratulations showered on the newly weds, Sparda giving the most eloquent toast that was pleasing to listen to and immediately prompting a good round of applause. Lady was obviously trying to maintain a cool facade in spite of her light blush, and Dante was grinning over his own pinking while ignoring the light teasing from V and Vergil.

When it came time for everyone to return to their respective homes, Leon caught V's eye and jerked his head to a side hall, both men stepping away from the front door just as Eva greeted Kyrie's mother and brother.

V raised a gray eyebrow. "Is something the matter, Leon?"

Digging through his pack, the agent let out a soft triumphant sound and handed over a package wrapped in sky blue paper. "I wasn't sure if you had any of Vergil's traits, even before today. So on the off chance that you did shared some... I got you this."

Careful peeling revealed a box that appeared to be made with two different types of wood, decorated with engraved lines that seemed to flow as if clouds drifting by or a gentle water stream. The burned engravings created a contrast to its surroundings, the carver carefully burning to create a shading effect. Opening it up to reveal what looked like a simple yet elegant calligraphy pen with multiple nibs and an inkwell nestled in velvet similar to the hue of Griffon's plumage. Picking up to examine the pen, V could feel a faint hint of demonic power - nothing significant that could cause any real harm to other humans, simply present. The inkwell and nibs were the same, its demonic touch only noticeable when he paid close attention.

Closing the box, V blinked rapidly against the gathering moisture in his eyes. "Where did you find this set?"

Leon rubbed the back of his neck, turning his head slightly away. "Antiques store when I got into town. The shopkeeper recommended this when I mentioned about a relative with bookworm tendencies. Both she and the place had that odd feeling that was kinda similar to Uncle, and given our family..." A weak shrug. Unlike Dante who could be pleased with almost anything he received (and find ways to use it not for its original intended purpose), Leon knew Vergil to be the practical sort of preferring function over form nine times out of ten. Leon didn't know what books to pick - much of his own reading materials had been primarily the many scientific notes (be it the cliff notes version in government offices or whatever he stumbled on to in the field), manuals and training guides for new or improved equipment, reports, and notes of the doomed. "Shopkeeper said the box was made of oak and peach, and seemed to kind of hint that the pen would be great for, quote, 'channeling one's artistic sense into reality.' That last part me thinking that since the whole thing seems to be made with demon stuff, someone could channel actual demonic energies through it."

"I may need Father to properly confirm it, but it does appear to be created from demonic materials, other than the box and lining." V remembered - through Vergil's memories that had also copied over - of how some practitioners used items made with certain materials as conduits for their power. He was no different, choosing a very well crafted cane. The box having peach wood brought a small smile to him, given its protective nature on warding against evil in some East Asian cultures, whereas oak was often associated with endurance and the lightning deities connection had him thinking of Griffon's affinity for electricity. "Were there any additional instructions in regards to ink replacement?"

"Only that she highly recommend using... Red Orbs." He wasn't sure if it was any better than using actual blood, be it from banks or straight from the source.

"Then I will see about additional alternatives." A flutter and the comforting weight of Griffon landing on the shoulder of his padded vest, head leaning down to lightly tap his beak in inspection. V swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat, not expecting such a gift from a new family member. "...thank you, Leon."

He had been smiling a lot more today, something the government agent didn't mind. He didn't get to smile over the simpler things as often, so why not take it. "Happy birthday... cousin."

Around the corner, Dante mentally patted himself on the back before departing to rejoin with Lady.

A/N: For DMC Gen Week 2019 on Tumblr, Day 7 - Free for all.

My attempt to combine all the prompts into one thing.

Title is a line from the opening song to Kamen Rider Den-O, "Climax Jump."

Other than peaches being used as symbols of immortality and happiness in most East Asian cultures like China, Japan, and Korea, peach wood is also used to ward against evil. Oak is a symbol for strength and endurance in many parts of the world, fitting of its hardwood qualities, as well a symbol for a variety of thunder/lightning gods like Zeus from Greece and Odin in Norse mythology. For a real life example on how durable oak can be, USS Constitution was constructed with Southern live oak, and due to its hard nature was perfect for ships in the Age of Sail, which helped give Constitution her nickname "Old Ironsides" when a Royal Navy broadside from HMS Guerriere bounced off of Constitution after a lengthy pursuit during the War of 1812.

Vergil doing musical Summoned Swords is courtesy of chapter 20 of "Rebirth" by TheWritingSquid at Archive of Our Own, a highly recommended reading of Vergil trying to human post-DMC5.