Every few months Vergil would pass by the city, each time going slightly out of his way to stay at Mia's inn. Each time she would welcome him the same.
"Welcome, Stranger! Your room is ready." Her face would glow, blue eyes glimmering.
Soon, Vergil came to savor her smile. It relaxed him. He would eat and help her with whatever she was doing, listening to her friendly talk then send her to bed.
Vergil finished his tea then took his cup to the kitchen, where Mia was washing dishes. "That is not your job."
She jumped slightly, turning to him with the smile she reserved for him: his smile, before taking the cup. "No but it's the cooks birthday so I gave them all the night off to celebrate. The big four oh." She said winking at him.
Vergil went to the sink, taking over the job of washing and rinsing as Mia put the dishes away. "Why would you do that?" Mia always would do extra nice little things like putting extra whipped cream on a child's plate or giving an entire staff the night off. He never understood it but learned that was just how she was.
"Because a birthday is special, it should be celebrated."
"When is your birthday?" He asked on impulse and immediately wanted to smack himself because of the shocked look of curiosity she gave him.
She laughed, "December twenty first, two months away. I'll be twenty this year." She seemed excited. "When's yours?"
When was the last time he had celebrated his birthday? With His mother and Dante. "I do not remember."
Mia almost dropped the plate she was drying. "You don't remember? How do you not remember your birthday?"
Vergil shrugged, "It never really mattered to me. Age means very little to demons."
Vergil had come to the inn on more than one occasion bloody and near death just to be healed by morning, naturally Mia put together that he was a demon. "Wow. Well if you remember let me know, if not we will have to make one up for you." She winked at him again and warmth spread through his body. "Never give up a chance to celebrate."
They finished up and Vergil headed to bed. Mia weighed more and more on his thoughts lately.
December twenty-first and Vergil found himself in front of the inn again. He knew he would. He pushed open the door, ignoring the snow that made his hair damp and flat, in a style that reminded him to much of Dante's sloppiness.
Mia was laughing with the other workers and frequent costumers who were trying to get her to sit down and stop working. Her eyes floated up to him. "Vergil!"
The sound of his name on her lips made him shiver. Eventually she had badgered him enough to make him tell her his name. She bounded up out of the seat and skipped to him, her hands instantly closed around his, she had never touched him before but she was so soft and warm. Mia led him to the table, "I am so glad you came! Did you remember? Today's my birthday! This is my Grandma."
Vergil gave a light smile at her string of questions and comments, "Yes, I remembered." Then he turned to an elderly lady who looked to be at death's door, with a large blanket wrapped around her.
"Grandma this is Vergil, the man I told you about!"
Vergil was shocked, she talked about him? To her grandmother? Why? He quickly regained composure as the woman smiled at him. Although her hair was entirely gray with age and her eyes were a light, faded blue she shined with a similar 'life' that he saw in Mia. "Hello, madam." He gave a small bow before she grabbed his hand, holding it.
"Hello dear boy, it is so good to finally meet you."
"You as well, Mia holds you in very high regard."
Mia grinned at him, her hand still touching his arm, he suddenly wished he wasn't wearing his jacket so he could feel her, skin to skin.
"Alright, alright!" The cook called, laughing. Vergil straightened as Mia's grandmother released his hand. "Time for cake!" The woman, who he knew to be forty wheeled out a cart with a large three layer cake, lined with twenty lit candles. "Make a wish, Mia!"
She looked up at Vergil with those happy blue eyes and he felt as though she melted him. She let go of his arm as she took a deep breath, blowing out every candle. Cheers erupted from the room. Vergil was not aware of these customs but just the joy of everyone had an effect on him, whether he showed it on the outside or not.
Vergil kept Yamato between his knees so he could have it with him without people tripping over it as he sat in between Mia and her grandmother.
"Are you truly a demon, dear boy?"
Vergil slid his gaze over to an embarrassed looking Mia before he turned to answer the question. "Yes, although for now I am only half."
"Half demon? How is that possible?"
"It shouldn't be. My mother was a human and my father was a powerful demon. I hope to have as much power as he did."
Mia piped up, "But why? What would you do with so much power?"
"Might controls everything. And without strength you can not protect anything. Let alone yourself."
Suddenly his arm was smacked. Vergil looked at the grandmother, shocked, no one had done that before, besides Dante but he was considered brain damaged in Vergil's book, Grandma seemed much to intelligent to do something so stupid. "Silly boy! Might controls nothing. Love controls everything."
"Love does not exist."
"You think it weak to love, but you are wrong. It takes great strength to love someone."
"What good is loving someone when you can not protect them?" This was getting more emotional than he cared for.
The old woman's hand caressed his face, her expression soft and kind. "You are strong enough, dear boy."
Vergil wouldn't have been more stunned if she dared slap him a second time.
"Are you tired Grandma? You should go rest now." Mia sent him an apologetic look. "Can you help me?"
Vergil flipped to being logical again. He nodded before standing and picking up the old woman. "Where should I put her?"
Mia's eyes widened before she laughed, "I had forgotten you could do that so easily." It wasn'r hard, she was light even by human standards. Mia led him through the kitchen and up private stares to a single room.
Vergil set the woman, already lulled by sleep on the bed. As they walked downstairs Mia thanked him. "Where do you sleep?"
She laughed, "In the old chair by the bed."
"You sleep in a chair as a permanent bed?"
"Yeah, it's not so bad, though. I am right there if Grandma needs anything."
Vergil blinked. "You live in an inn, you could sleep in one of the rooms."
Mia led him back into the main area before helping to clean up. "The rooms are for guests, it's not my place."
Her selfless attitude made him angry, she slept in a chair listening to her grandmother slowly die each night and was worried about her 'place'! Vergil was torn, he didn't know if he wanted to beat her or wanted to carry her to his room, holding her as she slept in a real bed. He shook away that tempting thought as he helped clean, moving Yamato, left by the table, by the wall.