Devil May Cry © Capcom

If My Whole Self Disappears into the Past

Jason M. Lee

"Leggo, leggo, leggo!"

Trish and Vergil stared at the black-haired girl struggling in Dante's arms, who was all but grinning like a loon. A tiny gray vest and plaid skirt instead of a white jacket and black pants, as well lacking the scar on her nose, but there was no mistaking who the girl was with her teal and maroon eyes.

"Aww, but you're so cute! C'mon, you know you wanna gimme a kiss!" He pretended to be pushed away, even though he was stronger than her.

Bi-colored eyes flashed, and she began hitting his face instead as well yanking on a stray bang, prompting a surprised protest. "Mama said no kissing strangers! Lemme go, you crazy man!"

"Dante..." Vergil started, eyebrows narrowing. He and Trish had just gotten done with a difficult city official on why a "heritage statue" was in bloody pieces, despite their repeated and tired explanations that it was the main reason why there had been a spate of missing people. "Explain."

Shrugging, the younger twin set the girl down, who immediately deemed Trish safe enough to hide behind and to stick out her tongue at Dante, much to the she-devil's amusement. "Found her wandering in the park by herself, and the reason I brought her back was because, y'know, Patty."

A thoughtful hum from the older twin, watching how Trish acquiesced to heading to the kitchen after the younger La- Mary asked for something to eat. "I hope there wasn't any other troubles."

"Other than her about to be accosted by some creep that looked to be very 'fond' of kids, if you get my drift." Dante grinned nastily. "The LT's gonna be very happy to have some 'trash' cleaned off the streets."

Vergil responded with an equally nasty smirk. "Quite." He schooled his features when a quick thought and after a quick scan of the shop. "Yet, if she's here, then where's Lady?"

While he had anticipated Dante's show of cheer to be covering for something, Vergil wasn't quite expecting the brief streak of red flashing through his brother's eyes as well his jaw clenching. "Dunno. I was supposed to meet her at the park, but she wasn't there and all I could get was just a sense of something having gotten... tweaked's the best word I can use."

"Like the portals via Yamato?" Traveling between dimensions wasn't common, such as the Furies were known to be able to perform small space-time jumps before ambushing their prey. Rarer still were those able to go between either worlds under their own power or through an item, never mind those able to find cracks wide enough to slip through.

"Kinda? Like how..." Dante leaned against his desk, arms crossed and frowning as he parsed through his thoughts. " when I use Quicksilver or when you do your Judgement Cut, but stronger. Like time itself was being finagled with alongside with the surrounding space, like some funkier way of opening portals, except way more funkier than how you and Yams do it."

The memory of being occasionally caught in the time bubbles sent by the Elder Geryon Knight while battling as V alongside his - their - nightmares floated through. Vergil could remember feeling the strings being tugged this way and that, slowing down their time but not the demonic horse and its rider. He also remembered seeing Ragtime in action, how Nero was able to freely waltz between his enemies, firing away Blue Rose or slashing away with Red Queen, the accumulated injuries piling on top of each other faster than if the younger hunter hadn't activated the Breaker.

Time control, but both were limited by their own concept of "time" as well to the current space they occupied.

Yet to have true control over space and time on being able to send someone to the past and probably someone to the future... Vergil frowned thoughtfully, automatically pacing around the room while rubbing his chin, something Nero had called his "thinking mode". Small rips like what the Furies created, or what he could do with Yamato would obviously pale in comparison - the amount of power it would take would be enormous.

/"If I may, Masters..."/

He paused, glancing at his beloved sword-slash-older sister figure. "You have an idea?"

A slight rattle, as if she was rearranging her sleeves and adjusting her posture. /"Master Dante, you said that you were going to meet with Mistress Lady at the park. Where was your rendezvous point?"/

"That supposed statue of Father." He shrugged at his older twin's raised eyebrow. "Hey, it's a convenient meeting place, every one in this part of the city uses it. It's no different than the dog statue at that train station in Japan or the Running Bull in the Big Apple. It's also where I found Mary."

/"Then, perhaps a revisit to the site of the incident. Father had forged me to be able to cut anything, and for a time slip to have occurred, it is bound to leave a trace. Master Vergil and I might be able to pinpoint its origin."/ The sense of a thoughtful head tilt, alongside gentleness from eyes that could be as freezing as the coldest parts of the Underworld. /"As well perhaps solve the mystery for young Mary's presence, if not send her back home."/

Dante tried not to get his hopes up as he eagerly followed his brother out the doors, yelling at Trish to keep an eye on Mary as well to tell V when he returned back. His devil whined internally on hoping to find their missing mate soon, not liking the separation - Mary's presence had both soothed and agitated devil instincts, knowing that she was technically /"mate"/ yet her young age also causing /"nestling"/ to pop in.

'This is messed up.' He sighed through his nose. As much as the others teased him for his apparent obfuscation, even he knew time wasn't something to play with recklessly - Quicksilver was rather draining on his energy and brain to make sure of his and opponents' positioning. And despite Nico's own boasts with Ragtime, he was able to catch the few moments of her own hesitancy while fine-tuning the Breaker. Guess both of them read and/or watched more than enough fiction on what happened to those that mistreated the ability to control time.

'Hope you don't - Or is it didn't? Freaking tenses. - get into too much trouble, Lady.'


Lady tried not to stare at the white-haired boy she was carrying, nor tried to fidget at the other white-haired boy clutching the tails of her shirt. Rather she ran a quick assessing gaze to make sure neither were injured after the body disintegrated into the ether. "Hey, you two okay?"

Muted nods from both boys, although she tried not to smile at the slight blush on the boy who had his arms around her neck, nor his brother shuffling closer. She couldn't quite blame their nervousness, nor herself after taking down the snake demon that thought little boys would be good snacks out in the middle of a field.

(She was going to tear a new one on whichever magic-using human or demon that sent her away tripping through that portal. Or "borrow" heavy industrial equipment if it was a cursed object. She just had a very good lunch, but of course she had to lose it!)

"Dante! Vergil! Where are you?!"

Little boys who were most definitely the younger versions of the half-demon twins that she knew were adults when she last saw them just hours ago.

The boy she absolutely now knew to be Vergil immediately bolted towards the woman's voice in the distance with a relieved cry. Lady half expected Dante to quickly join his twin, except...

He had been trying hard not to stare at her for the last several minutes.

"Hey." Blue eyes flickered up to hers before dropping down, his blush intensifying. It would've been quite cute, if she wasn't desperately on wanting to know why she was most likely in the past and holding a child version of her mate. That last part got her doing a mental double take. '"Mate"? Oh, geeze... Focus!' "Is there something on my face, kid?"

He quickly shook his head, but didn't stop blushing.

"Dante, there you are!" Golden hair fluttered while her red shawl swirled alongside her black skirts as the Bride of Sparda skidded to a stop, shotgun in hand. Blue-green eyes narrowed, zeroing in on the ammo pouches and holsters, but her firearm was kept pointed down. "Miss, I believe that is my younger son you have in your arms."

'Uh-oh. Mama Bear mode.' If there was another thing in common between humans and devils, it was protective parental instincts. Swallowing, Lady slowly knelt down and removed her arms, giving ample time for her movements to be tracked. As if sensing his reluctance to let go, she patted Dante gently on his head before raising her hands up. 'Time for a gamble.' "I mean no harm to you or your children. ...Lady Eva."

Fingers tightened around the shotgun, yet Eva simply breathed deeply through her nose, relaxing just a touch as Dante ducked behind her skirts. No need to go off half-cocked, even if she was a bit rusty, much less in front of her children. "Dante, back to your father, now." The last part was all but barked, and she waited until his footsteps faded away.

She hadn't missed the look her younger son had tossed over his shoulder at the strange black-haired woman as he darted away.

For several moments, the two women stared at each other, a brief breeze brushing their hair. The one in white and black with her hands still raised, while the one in red and black with her finger still on the trigger guard.

"Equipment pouches, a sub-machine gun, a semi-auto handgun, and a crossbow." Eva tilted her head. "If I didn't know any better, I would've pegged you for a mercenary, but given how fast you took down that demon, you're a devil hunter."

"Yes, ma'am."

"I've met a variety of hunters over the years, and yet..." Lips pursed, studying the stranger before her. Her reputation wasn't as notorious as some, but she always made sure to check with the information brokers she trusted. "...I know I have never met someone like you before, nor gave you my name. Unless you know of me through others."

Dante - her goofball Dante - had often spoke of the hidden steel his mother carried underneath her gentle exterior. How she had been always able to ferret out the full truth from him and Vergil, not just the partial truths or "technically's" that demons sometimes were known for. And how Eva somehow balanced out Sparda over certain topics that he later realized were on how to protect him and Vergil.

"I'm... a stranger in a strange land," Lady cautiously started, brain working furiously. Talking with the dead - be it reanimated revenants or lingering ghosts or even seances - wasn't that completely far fetched, but to speak with her technically deceased mother-in-law while in the past was a bit much. 'On the chances that I did go back in time...' "And whatever I say might change things further down the line, although I think my presence here may have already caused some... effects."

'"Further down the line"...' Eva's eyes widened at the implications of those words and quickly flicked the safety on. "I see. Then I suppose it's best for you to also meet with my husband on this matter."

Lady practically sagged in relief, lowering her arms at seeing she was no longer in danger of eating pellets or buckshot. "Thank you, ma'am."

"Come, I believe you could do with some tea and perhaps a small meal." Mother's intuition thought of safety for her children first, yet a spark of mischief fluttered in, a slight smirk (that Dante would obviously inherit) as Eva shouldered her shotgun. She hadn't missed the lingering look from the younger woman directed at Dante. "Although I do hope you'll tell me how you attracted the attention of my second-born. ...further down the line."

Lady nearly choked before sputtering in disbelief, face coloring as she followed the older woman now cackling away, and feeling that familiar tingle of passing through wards. 'Now I'm starting to see what Sparda and Dante saw in her.'

A/N: For DantexLady Week 2019 over at dxlpartyboat's Tumblr, "past/future". Follows "Pattern Welding and Annealing."

Title is from Kantai Collection - KanColle - Season 1 anime opening song, "Miiro".

Inspiration by super-jump's art of Dante with young Mary and Lady with young Dante at their Tumblr.