Devil May Cry © Capcom

Ruby Name Given

Jason M. Lee

Sitting in her mama's lap, they watched the stars spin above them in the night sky as Mama retold stories behind the constellations.

The Hunter. The Scale. The Twins.

And then, a pretty cake with candles was placed in front of her, a smile - liefakelie - on her papa's face, wishing her a happy birthday. She could smell the yummy berries underneath the cream frosting!

Just as she was about to blow out the last candle, she felt something wet trickling down her back. It couldn't be raining, because the stars were still out...

Turning around, she stared at bright red blossoming from Mama's chest, Mama's eyes wide while blood dribbled from her mouth. Her hand was reaching out- whywhensofar -as if warning Mary.

"M-Mary... R-run..."

Papa - notPapa - stood behind Mama, his eyes - likeherswhywhywhy - staring straight at her. The tip of the knife was poking through Mama's chest, and it looked so sharp-

"Good girl, Mary."

His smile wasn't nice anymore. It was as twisted and nasty as that ugly mark that was growing andgrowingandgrowing wrongallwrong over his left cheek. She didn't even scream as her feet pounded and-

-was suddenly knocked down onto the cold and slick stone floor, sharp and piercing agony flaring on her right thigh caused in part by her own bayonet from - neverPapaanymore - him, forcing her to scream as her own blood was unwillingly spilled into the carved channels.

"Pure and innocent..."

Gloved hands struggled to push herself up and through the pain, but she was so weakweakweak, the same feeling after she ranawayrunrun- when she was a little girl. The pressure of the growing power was so great she felt like her lungs were being crushed and the tremors were increasing and there he stood, her wanting to scream out loud damnyoudamnyouWHY-

"...just like your mother."


Wet eyes opened to sunlight just creeping into her and Dante's room. The baby was moving a little more actively, no doubt not happy on feeling their mother's roiling emotions. Lady blinked back the tears, stroking her stomach to soothe the unborn child while wiping away some of the sweat because the city was going through a heatwave.

"Mama's sorry, baby. I didn't mean to make you unhappy, I just had a bad dream. Everything's alright now."

As if relieved, their movements settled back down. Looking to her side showed an empty spot, no warmth indicating that Dante had been up for some time. Wondering where her partner had gone to, Lady shifted to sit up but froze as Nero and Dante all but barged in, both of them holding trays that were covered while Dante's tray included a large pitcher of juice.

"Got a sur- Shit, Lady, you alright?" Dante hurriedly placed his tray on the nightstand, helping her up by sitting behind her. He could still smell the faint salt that indicated tears. "Baby also okay?"

"Just a bad dream, nothing serious, and we're both fine," she quickly reassured them. Seeing her part-devils exchange looks, Lady huffed, leaning back into Dante's chest and taking in his reassuring presence. "'s just bad memories, you two. We're fine."

"Better be." He could always ask her later, no need to stress /mate/ or /nestling/ out - she was already going through so much that he felt rather useless, even if he was taking almost every job Morrison had to offer. More than half of the annoying and simple ones turned out to be basic pranks by teenagers who had too much time on their hands and really should know better, but he wasn't going to complain since he was still being paid for completing the assignments. (A crack about bags under his eyes from Morrison had the hunter reminding himself to make sure on keeping several days free so as to be able to spend time with his family.) Dante lightly pressed a kiss to her temple, jerking his head at Nero. "Because Nero and I got a surprise for you."

She couldn't help but raise a brow. "Go on..."

Both tray covers were pulled off with a flourish, Nero doing so a bit more awkwardly on trying to mimic his uncle. One tray released the wafting smell of a what looked like a full English breakfast that she had never tried before, heaped high with grilled tomatoes, sausage, bacon, poached eggs, mushrooms, what looked like lightly grilled oranges and apples, and lightly buttered toast with a small jar of her favorite spread. The other tray was that of a simple cake decorated with what looked like homemade white cream frosting, decorated with boysenberries and sprinkles, and topped off by a candle shaped like Kalina Ann.

Lady blinked furiously, emotions swirling in her chest again but more positively this time. "You guys..."

Nero grinned widely, rocking on his heels. "Happy birthday, Aunt Lady! We've always celebrated mine and Uncle Dante's birthday, so I thought it should be your turn! Ack! Almost forgot!" A quick run out the door and then he was soon back with what could almost amount for a mess of leather and metal, carefully arranging it on the chair next to the bed. "We also got you a new harness that'll let you carry more ammo when you need to!"

She swallowed the lump in her throat as Dante lit the candle with a snap of his fingers (he had been practicing his demonic powers a bit more). Parts of the frosting was tinted purple from some of the crushed boysenberries that were scattered about, and some spots were thin from the uneven spreading with other sections having a thicker layer of buttercream. The blue gun-shaped sprinkles looked so childish and weren't evenly spread out, yet Lady could imagine the delight and concentration on Nero's face as he decorated it. "It's... been a long while since I've celebrated."

"No time better than the present." Dante smiled into her hair as she blew out the candle before he carefully reached over to set the cake aside and plate out portions of the meal. He noticed that her hair was almost to her shoulders and curling a bit, something that his devil rather liked. "Happy birthday, babe."

Her birthday cake - mixed berries sandwiched between a light vanilla sponge cake - alongside the full English breakfast that Dante had no doubt once ate in the past, had never tasted more delicious.

A/N: Follows "Nibble, Nibble", after "Waraizome".

Ruby is considered the birthstone for July starting after the 1900s, although the gem of Lady's choker in my headcanon could also be carnelian, the other birthstone for July in Britain post 2013. While "given name" is self explanatory, in this case it's both "Mary" as her birth given name and "Lady" as given by Dante.

Written as a birthday fic.