That was the first thing that registered when Dante went into the bathroom of the abandoned apartment he and Kat had taken over until they could find someplace else. He’d stood at the sink just staring for the longest time, not quite able to comprehend the fact that his black hair had been reduced to a bare streak along the right side of his head.
When the fuck had it happened? That question raced through his head as he stood under the almost scalding hot water, running his hands through his hair. Then realization struck and he whipped his head up, eyes wide with the sudden epiphany.
There at the end, when he’d stabbed Vergil and pinned him to the ground, shoving Rebellion deeper and deeper into his twin’s chest. A rage had gripped him in uncaring claws and he’d been fully willing to let it take him wherever it wanted.
Even to the death of his brother.
Dante found he was suddenly gasping for breath and reached out to steady himself against the wall of the shower. Much as he’d been angry at Vergil, he hadn’t wanted him dead.But he could remember now wanting to.
He’d wanted to tear his brother apart.
“Fucking demon thinking,” he snarled. Straightening, he ran his fingers slowly through his hair and scowled. When he’d been in Limbo, Phineas had tilted his head to the side, looking at something when he was talking about him having unlocked some of his potential. He hadn’t even realized it then and had moved on, accepting what he’d learned as nothing more than more power to be wielded.
But fuck, he hadn’t expected it to make him try to kill his brother and get them to look more alike.
As he turned off the water and stepped out of the shower, he wondered if Phineas was still somewhere in the city now that Limbo had collapsed into the real world. The old demon definitely had some explaining to do.
Snorting, Dante shook his head and reached for his jeans, dragging only them on for now. He could hunt down answers later. Right now he needed to shove Kat into the shower because she looked like she’d needed it more than him. He hadn’t said ‘no’ when she insisted he went first though.
As he walked out to where she was sitting in the living room, absently drying his hair, he was thinking that he maybe should have. There were tears tracing their way down her cheeks and he was more than a little shocked by the amount of emotion that sparked in him.
She and Vergil had wormed their way into his heart with him barely even knowing it. And his brother had just proved that his old methods were in the right: you didn’t fucking trust anybody because they always betray you. Always.
Kat, though, she threw him completely off-kilter. She was utterly different from the usual women he’d paid any attention to before. And he knew, knew, that he could trust her. Like he’d told Vergil there at the end, he wouldn’t have been there without her.
And she wouldn’t be here without me.
That thought and the emotions that followed it unsettled him.
“Hey,” he said softly to get her attention, more than ready to distract himself from thoughts that were way to serious. When she jerked hard enough that she had to have pulled her shoulder, Dante held back a wince. He healed fast but, shit, he knew how much a shoulder wound hurt before it started to knit back together.
“Hey,” she answered as she lifted her uninjured hand to wipe at her eyes. He found himself moving then, his hands closing over both of hers and grinding his teeth as he realized she was freezing. You’ve got to take care of yourself, he thought as he knelt down in front of her.
As Dante entwined his fingers with hers, Kat finally looked up at him and he wondered what exactly was going on in that head of hers. She looked…lost.
“Are you alright?” he asked, feeling all of those foreign emotions well up again.
This is what it’s like to give an actual shit, he reminded himself. It had been so long since he had really cared about someone else. So long that he hadn’t even noticed he was hungry for it, aching to give a damn about something.
Slowly Kat nodded and answered, “I’m alright.” She looks a little less lost now and there’s a smile on her face as she looks at him.
And that is what it’s like to have someone else give a shit about you.