Devil May Cry © Capcom

If the Whole World Turns Upside Down

Jason M. Lee

'There's confidence... and then there's overconfidence,' Dante thought to himself groggily. 'What was that phrase... from that weird guru? Somethin' about "slow death"? Somethin' like that. ...I think.'

A trap. Stupid of him to accept the job offer from Enzo's substitute that sounded ridiculously easy - an abandoned house with possible spooky bullshit, and big cash from the client who was looking to renovate it.

And he waltzed right in to the cultists' hands.

'Dumbass... you'd think... freaking tower would've... taught about... leaping before you look...'

Even stringing just that line of thought was a struggle, the words slipping away like sand through clenched fingers no matter how hard he tried.

If Dante had been more coherent, he could've easily broken the iron shackles that held him to the chains connected to the concrete cell, but the gas or pollen or whatever the crud that was used literally incapacitated him. The demonic strength that he enjoyed was practically nonexistent (the weird tingle around his wrists probably meant someone had etched nullifying runes on the shackles), his ears felt like it was stuffed with cotton, vision barely making out any solid shapes in front of him and thus were weirdly shaped blobs, and never mind his nose. The younger Son of Sparda wasn't sure if he was the only victim that had fallen to the cloy smell, although he had vaguely thought he heard groans as he was being dragged away.

Whatever the group wanted with him, he was going to file his complaint once he got his wits again. Violently.

As he fought through the molasses of his mind, the hunter in red knew one thing for sure: Enzo was going to be completely pissed off at his temp. The chubby Italian might be a total scaredy-cat, but when it came to business in this field, the broker took his job seriously. "A reputation to maintain," Enzo's heavy set uncle once dryly rasped through heavy cigar smoke when the older man had visited his nephew and Dante one time while the younger men were working out the paperwork for Dante's home/shop.

Noises in the distance barely penetrated his hearing, but as they grew louder, it took Dante longer than normal to make them out to be gunshots. Shotguns was likely from the slower rate, alongside definitely handguns fired by human hands, and probably an assault rifle from the bursts.

He was sure that if his ears weren't feeling like someone had jammed a lot of cotton balls in, that sounded like demons being none too pleased of having a lead meal.

And that was definitely a grenade. Close by, what with some of the dust shaking from the ceiling.

'Hah... sounds like... quite the party,' Dante thought drunkenly.

The hinges to his cell creaked open and he barely had the strength to lift his head, immediately hating his vulnerability once again.

He hugged his knees tightly, trying not to breathe in too much smoke through his shirt and not make any sound that would give him away, but it was getting more harder to breathe. Sheer luck had it that Rebellion was with him in the armoire his mother had shoved him into, and he tried to focus on the Devil Arm's attempted reassurances instead of the roar of the fire and demons outside.

Her last words to him seared into his mind, his untrained demonic power unconsciously following her instructions.

Her scream was the last thing he remembered before passing out from the lack of oxygen.

Her body was the first thing he saw once he left the armoire, before fleeing at Rebellion's urging.

A blob of white and black moved towards him. Demonic instincts would've had him thrashing to get away and fight, but even his devil was also groggy from whatever was still in his system.


A familiar scent tickled his nose as the blob moved close enough for him to make out the brown vertical streak to be a suspender. His devil practically relaxed upon recognizing the scent.

"...'ady?" he slurred, brain trying to kick start back up. It was like trying to get his second-hand convertible's engine to turn, no matter how many times he twisted the key in the ignition.

"...ang on..." Soft sounds, movement around his wrists, and then he was falling into a warm body that staggered underneath him. "...gotta lay off... ...olives next time."

He all but inhaled whatever was coming from the mask that was gently strapped over his nose and mouth, so much cleaner and pure. Dante didn't even care if the small tank had to be hanging around his neck and smacking his chest at each step as she got one of his arms over her shoulders. The half-devil could faintly hear more gunshots echoing from outside, alongside other noises that indicated the major fight was still going down. "...m'hate ...'lives."

Soft snickering as Lady slowly shuffled them out of the cold cell. "...alternative, then. I got you."

Dante was grateful that she preserved some of his pride and dignity by being able to slip both of them out unseen, giving him enough time to recover properly just as the authorities were showing up.

A/N: For DantexLady Week 2019 over at dxlpartyboat's Tumblr, "role reversal".

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