[dante/trish; pg-13] Slow Burn
Fandom: Devil May Cry Title: Slow Burn Author: emilie_burns Pairing: Dante/Trish Rating: PG-13 Word Count: 1500 Disclaimer: Devil May Cry is copyrighted by CAPCOM Warnings: None Author's Notes: Written for janegray for the First Kiss Meme. I wish Trish would talk to me more beyond making slashy commentary on all the guys I see. D: Summary: But there was an unspoken agreement. She was welcome in his job, which to the most extent was his life, and to his bed to a degree, but nothing more.
The last three months had seen an increase in business, which in turn meant more money to burn hitting the popular joints in Manhattan. That used to lead to arguments between her and Dante -- their tastes in women ran on similar lines; almost a year ago they'd reached a suitable compromise. While most of the time, they were able to find their own dates, more and more often, they kept a lookout for someone -- occasionally in the plural -- who was all game for having a go at both of them.
There was usually some surprise expressed when it would come to light that neither of them were involved with the other. Surprise, but not much else. Trish preferred women, so did Dante. And a woman was something he definitely wasn't.
Besides, Dante didn't do the steady relationship thing, and Trish understood all too well why.
Maybe there wasn't any room for steady relationships, but there were a few preferred regulars they hooked up with now and again. One of those regulars, a cocktail waitress named Jean who looked like a heavier-set Marlene Dietrich, had come home from the lounge with them and left two hours ago.
It was almost dawn.
The building was silent save for the stereo system in the corner blasting a nonstop variety of hard rock. Trish sat in the kitchen, drinking a cup of coffee without much interest, acutely aware of not being able to go upstairs to retire -- the stairs were in the same room he was in. The whole building had been pretty much a bundle of awkward, silent tension since Jean left.
"As much fun as it is with you two, here's a bit of unsolicited advice. Leave out the placebos, and just fuck already. You're not fooling anybody anymore and I really wonder how you've managed to go about the last seven months I've known you two fooling yourselves like this."
She'd left it at that, and not even Dante had any one-liner quips at the ready as she stepped out to meet her cab. For her part, Trish for the first time came to an acute and intimate understanding with the human phrase "like a deer in headlights". She'd muttered something vague about coffee, and beat a quick retreat to the kitchen with the intention to regroup and sort out her thoughts.
Her thoughts were done sorting, but as far as a plan went, squeezing out that little square of a window over the kitchen sink sounded like a good idea. She wasn't a coward, but... it had been coming from her, right? She did prefer women, but Dante wasn't just any joe off the street. But there was an unspoken agreement. She was welcome in his job, which to the most extent was his life, and to his bed to a degree, but nothing more. At least, that was how she understood it. She was lucky he'd accepted her as an ally, that he didn't leave her to whatever her fate might have been despite the fact she was created to betray him.
How much was that a part of her now? She couldn't imagine ever doing so, but... So it was little wonder that she was kept to arm's length, and that was where she would remain. Trish couldn't find fault in that, perhaps she would have chosen the same, in his shoes.
She didn't hear the creak of the swinging door over the music, nor did she notice how, for a brief moment, it grew marginally louder. Music had a tendency to do that, and nothing gave her indication that she wasn't alone in the kitchen any longer until he spoke.
"Is that coffee ready yet?"
Trish jumped, startled, and looked at him, feeling strangely guilty -- hand caught in the cookie jar made sense to her as well then -- and took the proffered excuse to break eye contact. "I'll pour you a cup. Cream and sugar?"
"Whiskey, actually. Half'n'half."
When liquor entered the picture, it rarely meant creamer. She filled the coffee mug halfway, then topped it off with some Jack Daniels. "Here." His hand ghosted over hers as he took it. She couldn't look at him.
"Maybe Jean's got a point."
Trish almost dropped her mug. Somehow, she managed to look at him, and she felt acutely aware of every nerve stretched taut, crackling and electrified, prickling her skin. He looked down into his mug, swirling the steaming brown liquid a bit before knocking it back, downing the entire cup in one go. A bracer. A bracer for what?
"I love you."
Trish knew she would have fallen over if she hadn't already been sitting. "Dante? What the hell? Since when?"
He turned away, rubbing the back of his head. "Since, hell, I don't know."
"I thought you didn't trust me."
He glanced at her, then gave her a small shrug, accompanied by heavy-lidded eyes and a lazy smile. "Trusting you wouldn't be the craziest thing I've ever done by a long shot."
"This is from out of right field."
"Left, actually. At least you didn't mix your sports up this time." He pulled a chair out from the table with his foot and sat down.
Trish felt a childish urge to razz him.
"And if you ever mix up hockey terms with any other sport, that's grounds for divorce, right there."
That time, she did razz him. "Idiot. People have to be married before they can divorce."
"Just layin' my cards on the table." The brief interlude of comfortable bickering passed, leaving that horrible, awkward silence in its wake again. What was she supposed to do now? What were they supposed to do in general? Her mind wasn't even starting to process the whole thing about love yet -- self-preservation to keep it from completely melting down.
"Huh?" Trish looked at him.
Dante crooked his finger at her. "You. C'mere."
She leaned closer.
He slapped his hand over his eyes and rubbed it down his face as he sighed. "You." He pointed, and mimed a line around the table. "Get up. Come over here."
She snorted in exasperation and stood, crossing her arms and cocking her weight on her hips to one leg, an arrogantly sullen posture, and looked down at him. "Fine. I'm here. Happy n--"
Her words disappeared into a startled yelp as without warning, he pulled her down onto his lap. "Now I am," Dante said, his arms around her waist.
Trish huffed a bit. "You cocky asshole."
"See?" He grinned, broad and arrogant. "Nothing's changing."
Damn him. Damn that man. How he could be simultaneously infuriating and reassuring at the same time? She had to be insane, to love him too.
But she decided, as she lowered her head to kiss him, she wouldn't have it any other way.
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