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when the night has come

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It’s been twenty-four hours since Noctis disappeared into the crystal in Zegnautus Keep.

At least, Prompto thinks it’s been twenty-four hours. Time feels weird lately, slow and fast at the same time, ever since he was captured by Ardyn. Not to mention the fact that that the days aren’t really days anymore, no, they’re endless nights, according to Aranea, who’d been kind enough to show up before they all became daemon slaughter.

The ride to Lucis in Aranea’s ship is terrible, to say the least. Prompto doesn’t know what to say -- Gladio and Ignis are completely silent, and Prompto can’t say that he blames them.

Noctis is gone.

Noctis has been a constant in Prompto’s life and heart for so long, he has no idea what to do with himself. It leaves a Noctis-shaped hole in his chest he’s uncertain will ever be able to be filled until he sees his best friend again. 

Prompto doesn’t even know how to help Gladio and Ignis. They’ve known Noctis their entire lives, pretty much; Prompto can’t even compare.

Prompto’s never seen Ignis like this, though. Prompto will never forget the way Ignis cried after Noctis disappeared into the crystal. Prompto’s never seen Ignis cry save for slightly misty eyes, least of all like that . Prompto remembers the way Ignis’s knees buckled in front of the crystal, crying so hard that it was almost difficult for him to breathe. The sight alone made Prompto cry, too, on top of everything else. All he could do was grab Ignis and hold him tight, the other man barely registering his presence except for holding onto him in return.

Aranea showed up quickly after that.

Now, a recently sobered Ignis sits on the floor toward the end of Aranea’s transport ship, lips pressed into a thin line, his sunglasses they’d found in Altissia doing little to hide his reddened, cried-out eyes. His cane is propped against the ship’s wall, his usually well-groomed ash-blonde hair falls forward in tiny strands onto his face, clothing tattered from their fight to escape Niflheim and protect Noctis as he went to the crystal.  Despite Ignis looking a bit unkempt, Prompto’s heart hammers with affection regardless.

Prompto has no idea when his feelings for Ignis Scientia began. He thinks they might have been there for the slightly older tactician ever since he met the guy in high school, always at Noct’s side at the end of the school day. At first, Prompto wrote his rapid heart rate around Ignis off as just intimidation -- Ignis always so stoic, insightful, sharp, serious. He realized pretty quickly that Ignis isn’t just all of that, though; Ignis is also sweet, caring, selfless, and hilarious when he wanted to be. Don’t even get Prompto started on Ignis’s looks. The man could kill him and Prompto would thank him. Ignis always looks like he’s fallen straight out of a magazine, never a hair out of place, striking green eyes, cheekbones set higher than his hopes and dreams.

There wasn’t much Ignis could do that didn’t impress him, and Prompto found himself harboring the most intense crush of his life starting at the ripe age of fifteen. Prompto didn’t dare say a word to Ignis at the time; not only was his best friend’s advisor two years older, but he knows that people like Ignis don’t ever think of Prompto romantically . Prompto had come to terms with that pretty quickly. He’s pretty used to rejection.

They’re older now, in their twenties. Still, Prompto’s yet to say a word to Ignis, despite his infatuation with Ignis growing even stronger the more they’ve been through -- the more they’ve bonded -- on what started out as a fun road trip. Now, it’s turned out to be a daily fight to stay alive, what with the apparent endless night, and the daemons that will go with it.

It’s not like anyone can blame Prompto for keeping his lips sealed. Ignis has had more than enough on his plate without having to worry about something stupid like Prompto being absolutely, almost ridiculously, head-over-heels in love with him. After losing King Regis, losing Lunafreya, Ignis losing his damn eyesight, and now losing Noctis to the crystal -- Prompto’s probably the last thing Ignis would ever want to worry about.

Prompto doesn’t know why he even bothers thinking about these things while he knows that Ignis has clearly been in love with Noctis this entire time. Prompto’s never seen someone so fiercely dedicated, fiercely in love with another human being than Ignis is with Noctis.

Prompto’s been trying -- miserably, but still trying -- to come to terms with that, too. Prompto could never measure up to Noctis. Even if Noct doesn’t feel the same way about Ignis, Prompto knows Ignis would never think of Prompto like that.

It’d be easier, maybe, if Prompto’s damn feelings would lessen, even just a little. Despite the fact that Ignis has definitely seen better days -- what with losing his eyesight and the one person he’d dedicated his life to -- Prompto’s feelings for Ignis stay strong. Ignis is still always so beautiful, graceful; still remaining kind despite the hardships and bad luck that seemed to follow them all (but Ignis even more so, it seems). Even the scars that cover Ignis’s eyes do little to deter Prompto’s attraction; in fact, he’s even more attractive, if possible.

Still, Prompto can’t stand to see Ignis sit alone, no matter how he does or doesn’t feel about Prompto. He doesn’t care if Ignis will tell him to fuck off (doubtful), Prompto has to try something. Prompto wishes he could take all of Ignis’s pain away -- all of Gladio’s pain away. He'd gladly take this ache in his chest for the both of them if it means he gets to see Ignis smile again. Prompto knows that’s impossible, and it isn’t how life works -- especially not for the four (now three) of them.

Prompto walks over to where Ignis sits, fidgeting nervously as he hovers next to Ignis, unsure what to say. “I-Iggy…” he says softly, not sure he can speak louder than that. “Can I sit with you?”

Ignis is quiet for a moment, head turning in Prompto’s direction as the tension in his face lessens only slightly. “Of course, Prompto.” His voice is strained, but not unfriendly.

Prompto sits next to Ignis timidly, their legs touching slightly, not wanting to be too close, but also wanting Ignis to feel someone at his side -- even if it's someone as lame as Prompto. He feels so damn useless. Prompto hovers his hand over Ignis’s knee for what feels like an eternity, but decides against it, not wanting to make Iggy too uncomfortable.

Prompto’s at a loss for what to say. What could he say? ‘Are you okay?’ The answer is obviously no. ‘Is there anything I can do for you?’ No.

Ignis doesn’t seem keen on words, either. He remains silent, his closed eyes focusing toward Prompto’s direction, tilting his head quizzically as if waiting for Prompto to speak. When Prompto doesn’t, he turns his head to face forward again.

Prompto scrambles for words, not wanting to disappoint Ignis or be a crappy friend. “I-- I. Uh. I’m here, Iggy.”

Silence.

It’s not like Prompto expected those words to be a comfort. Ignis is in love with Noctis, and Noct’s gone. Still, it doesn’t hurt any less, Prompto scooting a little bit away from Ignis to give the man his space. 

“S-sorry, I know that doesn’t help. I should-- I should leave you alone, yeah? Shit, Igs, I’m sorry--” Prompto gushes, hoping like hell he doesn’t crack again and start to cry in front of all of them, in front of Aranea.

Prompto feels pressure on his thigh; a gentle, needy touch. Prompto looks down to find Ignis’s gloved hand pressed tightly to Prompto’s leg as he hears Ignis inhale a shaky breath. 

“Stay close to me, Prompto, remember?” Ignis says softly, his voice even lower than usual, full of emotion. “Please.”

Prompto can’t stop his heart from pounding, the tears welling up in his eyes silently spilling over. After all they've been through, Ignis remembers those words. Stay close to me. Prompto always uttered them like a lifeline for the both of them after Ignis's accident in Altissia. The fact that Ignis cares enough to say them back, despite how heartbroken Ignis is, is almost too much for Prompto to handle. Prompto’s breathing hitches, giving him away as all the stress, grief, and anxiety overflow. Prompto presses his hand over Ignis’s on Prompto’s leg, keeping him there. “Al-always, Iggy.”

Ignis doesn’t tell him to stop crying, and he doesn’t reassure him with words. Ignis flips his palm up so he can grip Prompto’s hand tightly in his own. Ignis tugs on Prompto’s wrist encouragingly, coaxing Prompto closer.

Prompto melts, soft sobs bursting forth as he realizes that Ignis does want him close, at least right now. Prompto takes advantage of Ignis's outstretched arm to lean into Ignis, head resting against his shoulder and chest. Ignis lets go of Prompto's hand in favor of wrapping his arm around Prompto's waist, securing Prompto to Ignis. Ignis's hand finds Prompto's other in record time, fingers entwining, holding on tightly. 

"Iggy," Prompto cries, unable to stop himself from crying into the tactician's chest. 

Ignis's breathing feels uneven against his chest as he feels Ignis tuck his chin on top of Prompto's messy hair. Prompto can't stop crying, and knowing the ever-so-stoic Ignis is crying softly as well doesn't make things any better.

"Shit," Gladio's voice says from the opposite corner. His voice doesn't waver like Prompto's, but instead sounds gruff; angry.

Prompto looks over through teary eyes just to see Gladio turn his back on the two of them, fists clenching as Gladio utters some more curses, clearly needing to break something. Gladio’s tears are quieter, more reserved.

Prompto cries harder knowing that not even Gladio can take this anymore.

Prompto's free hand slides up Ignis's chest, clawing at his shirt as if it would keep Ignis against him forever. This isn't an ideal first time for Ignis to hold him like this, but Prompto knows it's better than nothing. Prompto doesn't know what he'd do if he couldn't feel Ignis's touch right now. The weight of Ignis's head resting on top of Prompto's soothes Prompto's loud sobs into soft, gasping ones.

Ignis stops crying before Prompto can manage to. Prompto hears Ignis inhale deeply, albeit shakily, as he turns his head slightly, resting his cheek on Prompto's head instead of his chin. For some reason, it causes Prompto's heart to flutter, his grip on Ignis's shirt tightening as he lets himself be selfish with Ignis's touch.

When Prompto's cries go quiet after what feels like hours, feeling himself calm in Ignis's arms, the room stays quiet for a while before anyone speaks. 

Gladio is the first one to break the silence, facing Aranea. "How much longer?" Gladio asks, his voice still tense but not as rough as before. 

Prompto blinks through teary eyes to look over at Aranea. It's the first time he's seen Aranea look sad.  

"About an hour, maybe less," Aranea responds, her voice tight as well. "I'm taking you guys to Lestallum. Supposed to be safer from daemons there."

Ignis clears his throat. “Due to the power plant, I presume?” he finally speaks, his voice a bit hoarse from the crying session they shared. 

Aranea finally looks over at Ignis and Prompto. “Yep. Daemons are popping up everywhere, places are starting to get overrun. People are taking refuge in bigger cities, but with Lestallum being self-sufficient and your crown city in pretty much ruin… it’s safer. Figured you guys would be better off there while you figure shit out.”

The crown city in ruins. Prompto didn’t know it was that bad. Prompto wonders how many places he used to go to are gone; the coffee shop where he used to pick up Ebony for Iggy on the way to Noct’s, the arcade Noctis and Prompto frequented all too much, their high school where he worked up the courage to talk to Noct for more than five minutes, the crownsguard training yard where he spent most of his days falling more and more in love with Ignis.

Prompto squeezes his eyes shut for a moment, trying to forget.

“Wha… what are we gonna do?” Prompto whispers, words muffled by Ignis’s shirt.

Ignis’s thumb gently brushes along the back of Prompto’s hand reassuringly. “We’ll have to find a place to stay, for starts.”

Gladio grumbles. “I need to kill something.”

Prompto can certainly relate. There’s not many ways left to let out emotions, save for crying and killing daemons. 

“We need rest,” Ignis insists.

“Nah,” Gladio responds stiffly.

“Do not get yourself killed because of this, Gladiolus,” Ignis says, voice cool and sharp. “We still have a duty to fulfill.”

Don’t tell me about my duty to him, Iggy,” Gladio snaps back. “Just don’t.”

Prompto can’t say he blames Gladio’s attitude -- especially knowing that losing Noctis so suddenly hurt Gladio in more ways than one. Prompto knows that Gladio and Noct had feelings for each other, but that was an entirely different story -- one that might not ever get to be told, depending on how long it would take for Noctis to return; if he returned.

Prompto can’t imagine how much Gladio is hurting right now. Prompto doesn’t know what he’d do if he lost Ignis, and Ignis is so far from ever being his.  

“Please,” Prompto interjects, voice dangerously wavering on the edge of sobbing again. “Don’t fight.”

Gladio huffs out a grunt. “Ain’t gonna get killed. Don’t need rest.”

Ignis sighs. “Prompto is right. I cannot stop you, but please… Noctis is not the only one who cares for you, Gladio.”

Aranea decides to break the tension, thankfully. “Don’t let me get involved, but I don’t think rest is gonna hurt anything. I’d stick with each other for now. It’s up to you, though. You guys have been through enough.”

Prompto can certainly agree with that. As Aranea’s ship lands, Prompto realizes with horror that Ignis will let go of him, and now that Prompto’s cried himself out, he has no idea if Ignis will ever hold him again.

Still, Ignis doesn’t let go. The ship completely lands, the doors opening quickly thereafter. They landed the ship outside the overlook, which used to be bustling and full of happy people enjoying the warmth. Now it’s dark, deserted, the only light coming from the city itself.

Ignis taps Prompto’s shoulder gently as he lifts his head off of Prompto’s, as if coaxing him away. With a sigh, Prompto disentangles himself from Ignis’s arms in favor of standing up. Prompto reaches down, gripping Ignis’s wrist to help him up.

“Thank you, Prompto,” Ignis says gently as he takes Prompto’s hand.

Prompto’s quick to reach for Ignis’s cane, pressing it into his palm next. “You don’t gotta thank me, Iggy.”

Their fingers brush against one another as Ignis takes the cane from Prompto. Prompto tries to ignore the way his heart pounds at the contact. Ignis smiles sadly in Prompto’s direction, but says nothing else.

Prompto reaches out to touch Ignis’s lower back, guiding him in the right direction. Prompto tries to be gentle but firm, suggesting but not forcing . If it bothers Ignis, he makes no indication of it. 

“This is our stop,” Aranea says. “You guys stay safe. I’ll check in from time to time. I got a lot of refugees to transport.”

“You have my thanks, Aranea. We would not be alive if it were not for you,” Ignis says, turning his head in the direction of Aranea’s voice. 

Prompto perks up. “Yeah! We really owe you one. Whatever you need, lemme know, and I can help!”

Aranea smiles. “Thanks, blondie. You’re welcome. I’m sorry about your loss.” She sighs. “Same goes for you, ‘kay? Let me know if there’s anything you need.”

Gladio’s hands are clenched into fists again as he walks up to both Prompto and Ignis, stopping next to them. “Likewise. Doubtful you’ll need help killin’ daemons, but we’re here regardless.”

Aranea laughs humorlessly. “I could say the same to you. Good luck waiting on your Prince.” She pauses for a moment, and her eyes lock with Prompto’s. “Oh, and blondie?”

“U-uh huh?” Prompto asks, confused as to why her attention is on him.

“Keep an eye on Ignis, make sure he stays outta trouble.” She gives Prompto a knowing wink.

Prompto feels his cheeks heat up with flush. Aranea is one of the only people alive that knows about Prompto’s ridiculous crush on Ignis, and with what little time he spent with her back in Niflheim, she was all but supportive and encouraging. 

“Got it!” Prompto says quickly, hoping he doesn’t give anything away. Prompto peeks a glance over at Ignis, who has an eyebrow raised, but otherwise doesn’t seem to be in on the secret. “We should get goin’, huh, guys?”

Gladio sighs. “Yeah. C’mon.”

Prompto keeps his hand on Ignis’s lower back, guiding him down the ramp of Aranea’s ship. Once they’re on solid ground, Ignis turns his head toward Prompto.

“What was she on about, Prompto?” Ignis asks.

Oh, I don’t know, probably the fact that I wouldn’t stop worrying about you and talking about how important you were to me and that I love you so much sometimes it hurts to breathe, Prompto thinks to himself.

“Oh, um, when she helped me, when I was… in Niflheim, y’know, I talked a lot about you… guys.” Prompto is, again, entirely grateful that Ignis can’t see his reddening blush.

“I see,” Ignis says. “Nothing bad, I presume?”

“No! Not at all, Iggy. She just cares a lot, I guess.” 

The answer seems to satisfy Ignis, as he turns his head forward again, much to Prompto’s relief. The absolute last thing Prompto needs right now is for Ignis to find out about his heartbreaking crush and push him away. Prompto doesn’t know what he’d do if he couldn’t be near Ignis right now.

“We oughta start pullin’ our weight, just like her,” Gladio points out, his tone a little less tense than their spat earlier.

“Yes. I suppose we’ll have to keep rather busy,” Ignis says.

Keeping busy sounds good to Prompto; that way, he doesn’t have to keep his mind fixating on Noct. Prompto can’t imagine how many people are in need of help from daemons right now; he suddenly doesn’t blame Gladio for wanting to run off and kill everything in sight.

“Sounds like people need help,” Prompto agrees. “But… we should… find some food, yeah?”

Ignis sighs tiredly. “Prompto is right. We won’t be of any use to anyone without food and rest.”

Gladio’s responding sigh is even more drawn out. Before he can reply, Prompto spots out of the corner of his eye someone barreling toward them, with short brown hair and a slightly tattered skirt.

“Gladdy!” Iris shouts as she runs right into her brother’s arms.

“Iris,” Gladio says, voice filled with relief as he crushes her to his chest. “You good?”

Iris holds onto Gladio tighter. “Yeah. I couldn’t get a hold of you, I was so worried--”

“I know.” Gladio sighs. “Phone died. There wasn’t anything I could do ‘til I got here.”

Iris pulls away, sniffling a little. “I’m just glad you’re all safe.” She looks over at Prompto and Ignis. Her eyes linger on Ignis’s scars over his eyes, and then notices the obvious missing person. “S--so it’s all true? Is Noct…?”

Prompto sees Gladio’s jaw clench. Prompto loops his arm through Ignis’s, needing to tether himself to something as he sees Ignis frown. Ignis doesn’t push him away; in fact, he pulls Prompto a little closer, much to Prompto’s relief.

“I’m afraid so,” Ignis answers for all of them, voice low.

Prompto tries to ignore the nausea that swirls around his stomach. “He’ll be back,” Prompto insists. “We just… we gotta have faith.”

Ignis squeezes Prompto’s arm reassuringly. “I’m afraid that is all we can do.”

Iris’s eyes water, burying herself in Gladio’s embrace again. “This is all so terrible.”

Gladio doesn’t say anything for a moment, trying to comfort his sister the best he can. It’s clear Gladio isn’t ready to talk about Noct yet -- or at all. “So, Caem’s gone?” Gladio asks. “Talcott? Monica…?”

“They’re all fine, they’re here,” Iris reassures them. “But yeah, Caem is hanging in there but only barely.” She sighs. “Daemons… they’re everywhere, guys. Monica and a bunch of others are starting relief efforts, feeding as many people willing to help hunt them, but they just keep coming. I’ve heard Weskham’s taken refuge from Altissia and is helping keep Caem from being overrun. I’m not sure, though. Monica and Dustin got us outta there really fast.”

Prompto thinks of all the people they’ve met on their trip, all of the places they’ve been, and wonders how many made it, how many places destroyed. His nausea increases, and he really hopes he doesn’t throw up in front of everyone; that would be awkward.

“How many people have you heard from? Cor…? Cindy? ” Prompto can’t help but blurt.

Prompto feels Ignis stiffen next to him. Prompto feels a little guilty, knowing how annoying he is with his constant mentions of Cindy. Sure, Cindy’s gorgeous-- but Prompto only talks about her so much because he doesn’t want Ignis to suspect that his real crush is on him.  

“The marshal’s alright, last I heard he’s gathering what little Glaives that are left and training them for daemon hunting -- and the return of…” Iris trails off, not wanting to say Noct’s name as she chances a glance at her brother.

“Guess that’s where I should be soon,” Gladio says. “Not much of a shield without my king.”

The silence among the four them is a little too much for Prompto. Prompto swallows back more nausea, fighting the urge to just sit on the ground and cry again.

“I wanna be there, too. I wanna learn. I wanna help people,” Iris insists.

Gladio sighs. “Yeah, I guess it’s time.”

“And Cindy?” Prompto asks, worried about their friend.

“Hammerhead’s still standing. They’ve got plenty of lights, and the hunters in the area helped, considering Cindy and Cid are the only ones left to help them with repairs. They do need all the help they can get, though.”

Relief floods through Prompto, glad that Cindy and Cid didn’t die a horrible death, at least. Ignis’s face still remains suspiciously neutral. Prompto’s just glad Ignis hasn’t shoved him away yet.

“That’s good to hear, at least,” Ignis finally says. “We should continue this conversation elsewhere. I’d like to get a decent meal in you lot, seeing as we have not had one for quite some time.”

Prompto thinks about why that is, and nearly shudders. Being stuck in Zegnautus was probably the worst experience of his life. Prompto puts that experience behind a door in his mind, and throws away the key. He doesn’t have time to deal with that right now.

“Prompto?” Ignis’s voice breaks through Prompto’s thoughts. “Are you alright?”

“Huh? What?” Prompto jumps a little. “Yeah, m’okay! What’s going down?”

“Iris is taking us to get something to eat,” Ignis hedges. “Are your wounds hurting you?”

“No,” Prompto lies. The bruises and cuts he gained by being Ardyn’s party guest are constantly hurting, despite endless curatives being used on him, but there’s no point in whining about that. “I’m okay, Iggy.”

They follow Iris around the winding corners of downtown Lestallum, Gladio right behind her, with Prompto and Ignis trailing a bit behind. Prompto mainly doesn’t want to walk too fast with Ignis adjusting to his lack of sight, but he also doesn’t want to leave Ignis’s side.

“How’d you get those? What happened to you, Prom?” Iris asks.

Prompto chews on his lip, remembering the way Ardyn had him strung up. He pushes those thoughts aside, trying to swallow the panic. “Fell off a train!” Prompto jokes weakly.

The joke doesn’t really land, their party falling into a tense silence as Iris leads them to what used to be the marketplace.

“You should take a few days rest, but I guess you already know that,” Iris tells Prompto. “Anyway, this probably looks a lot different than the last time you guys were here.”

The marketplace is a little recognizable, though not by much. Instead of the bustling merchants, shopping, and food Prompto remembers seeing, the place looks a bit like a hurricane went through it. People are lined up just to get food, clothing, weapons, phones, and other various necessities. People all look a bit bleak, none of the happiness he remembers from earlier visits; lots of children crying, their parents looking like they haven’t had a moment’s rest.

Prompto’s surprised to see Monica and Dustin help provide sufficient food to eat at the front of the line, along with several others who appear to also be power plant workers helping along.

“There enough food to go around?” Gladio asks.

“Yeah, for now. Hunters are volunteering to gather ingredients and food, though, we don’t wanna run too low or anything. I’ve been helping get some ingredients, too,” Iris says proudly.

“Prompto?” Ignis asks, his voice lower for Prompto only. “What does it look like?”

Prompto feels a little guilty he didn’t think to describe it to Ignis. “Uhhhh, just people lined up for food, clothes, weapons. Looks like they’re taking volunteers to help with the power plant, volunteer hunters, volunteer cooks… looks like we’re all gonna have to help each other. Monica and Dustin are here, li’l Talcott’s helping a little bit it looks like…” Prompto laughs stressfully at the sight of Talcott trying to help Monica pick out ingredients. “There’s a medical booth, but it’s on the other side of the marketplace, to the right.”

Ignis sighs. “Thank you.”

“No sweat, Iggy,” Prompto murmurs. “Where are people staying, Iris?”

“We’re starting to set up shelters and stuff, the hotels are acting as places for refugees to sleep, mostly for the families and the hunters that are too tired to head out. There’s an opening at the Leville for you guys ‘til we can get a more permanent place set up,” Iris explains.

“That would be grand, Iris. You’re certain there’s room?” Ignis asks.

“Yep! We sorta… saved a space for you guys. It’s the least we could do, after all you’ve been through… After Noct…” Iris sighs. 

“Don’t worry ‘bout me. I’m heading out to help the Marshal as soon as possible,” Gladio insists.

“You’ll need to rest at least for the night, Gladio,” Ignis urges. “I can help with cooking, as well, Iris.”

“We can worry about that after you guys get some sleep,” Iris says. “You guys… look terrible.”

Prompto snorts. “Gee, thanks, Iris.” His usual lighthearted tone sounds off even in his own ears. “Gotta agree with Iggy though, big guy. We all need some sleep if we’re gonna be of any help.”

Gladio looks like he’s about to protest until Iris glares at him. “Fine. But I’m gonna head out first thing in the morning -- night? What the hell time is it, anyway?”

“Little after 3 in the afternoon,” Iris supplies. “Doesn’t really matter, when it’s night all the time…”

“Guess that’s true,” Prompto says with a sigh. Prompto looks over at Ignis. “Stay right here, Iggy. I’ll get us some food?”

Ignis sighs. “Very well. Thank you, Prompto. Would you mind terribly showing us to our room afterward, Iris?”

She nods. “Yeah, sure, guys.”

Prompto heads over with Gladio to get enough food for the three of them as Iris gives them the key to one of the rooms on the second floor of the Leville. Thankfully, it has two double beds, but it painfully reminds Prompto of when they stayed here before with Noct. Things are so different now.

Prompto watches as Ignis props his cane against the wall opposite one of the beds, sitting down on it gently. His heart aches just looking at Ignis; his usually stoic features are sad, tense, thoughtful. Prompto wants to head over there and take the man into his arms and promise him the world, promise him to bring Noct back, but he can’t -- Prompto can’t bring Noct back.

Prompto does sit next to Ignis, though, helping Ignis’s fingers wrap around the plate of food he brought for him.

“My thanks, Prompto,” Ignis whispers.

“Not a problem, Igster. You need anything else?” Prompto can’t help but ask.

“I’m quite fine for now.”

Gladio and Iris sit on the opposite bed. They all eat pretty slowly, Prompto especially. The nausea from earlier still hasn’t entirely dissipated, but Prompto forces the barramundi and rice down his throat. Prompto’s never seen Gladio eat so slow. Prompto sighs. He misses Noct so much.

Iris updates them further on the state of the world. More and more outposts are being evacuated due to lack of sufficient power and resources. The crown city is all but completely evacuated. Prompto can't wrap his head around how many people who are in need right now. He feels a little guilty getting even one night's rest when he knows others are probably getting none. They haven't heard word from so many people they met along their journey. Prompto's stomach feels sick again; he's glad he's finished his food by now. It's almost like the absence of Noct brought the absence of everything else, too.

 "Well, I'll let you guys get some sleep," Iris finally announces when everyone's finished eating. "I'm real glad you guys are okay."

"You as well, Iris," Ignis says. 

"Yeah. See ya tomorrow, little lady," Prompto murmurs in an attempt to be lighthearted.

Iris levels a glare at Gladio's still form. "Do not leave without me, Gladdy."

Gladio groans. "We'll talk about this in the morning, Iris. I love you."

She huffs out a stubborn breath. "Fine. Love you, too."

As soon as Iris leaves, Ignis lets out a sigh. "I believe I'm going to wash up before bed."

Prompto can definitely agree; it feels like they haven't had a quiet room in weeks. "Don't use all the hot water, dude!" Prompto squeaks, still trying to keep them all in good spirits. 

Ignis manages a tiny smile. "I shall do my best."

Prompto collapses onto the bed, staring at the ceiling. Remembering something at the last minute, Prompto peeks his head up in Ignis's direction. "Oh, Iggy? If you need anything, lemme know, okay?"

Sometimes, for the briefest of moments, Prompto almost forgets Ignis is blind; the way he carries himself with such assuredness. Ignis is doing a lot better getting around on his own since the accident in Altissia -- about which Ignis hasn’t told, much to Prompto’s frustration. Ignis learned to adapt really quickly. He still has some ways to go, but considering the other three used to have to guide Ignis everywhere, he’s come a long way. Prompto can’t believe that Ignis can even fight so quickly after the accident, except that he can, because it’s Ignis , and Iggy can do anything he puts his mind to. 

"You have my word," Ignis says gently.

Despite all the shit they're going through, the softest of teases in Ignis's voice makes Prompto smile so much. Gods, does he love that man. 

Prompto looks over at Gladio, who hasn't said a word since Iris's absence. Gladio’s laying on the other bed facing the ceiling, his eyes closed, but his breathing is too fast for him to be asleep.

“Y-you okay, big guy?” Prompto asks softly. It’s been a minute since Gladio and Prompto had some one-on-one time.

Gladio grunts, opening one eye to peek over at Prompto. “Yeah. You?”

Prompto smiles a little for Gladio. He rubs the back of his neck awkwardly. Gladio’s so tough, Prompto finds himself wondering if Gladio needs more than he’s letting on. “Uh huh,” Prompto replies. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah, blondie,” Gladio says tiredly. “You got somethin’ you wanna say?”

“Nah,” Prompto murmurs. “I was just… well, um. Can I give you a hug?”

Both of Gladio’s eyes open as he turns his head to look at Prompto, eyebrows raised. “Huh?”

“I wanna hug you. Can I hug you?” Prompto repeats, feeling his cheeks heat up.

Gladio stares at him for a minute, and Prompto’s pretty sure he’s going to say no until he sighs, sitting up on the bed. “Yeah, kid. Sure.”

Prompto always finds it so funny that Gladio calls him ‘kid’, even though Gladio’s only three years older.

“Cool.”

Prompto slides off of his bed to climb up onto Gladio’s. Gladio holds his arms out for him, and Prompto climbs into Gladio’s arms easily, head resting on his big chest. Prompto sighs when Gladio’s arms wrap around him. Prompto almost forgot how nice Gladio hugs are.

“Sure you’re good?” Gladio asks again.

“Yeah. Just worried about you.”

Gladio huffs out a hard laugh. “Don’t be.” Gladio ruffles Prompto’s hair a bit, making the blonde laugh. “Don’t ever change, Prompto, you got that?”

Prompto has no idea what Gladio means by this, but Prompto’s an expert on Not Changing, at least. “You got it, dude!” 

“I do hope I’m not interrupting anything,” Ignis says from the bathroom doorway.

Prompto looks up, smiling at the gentle upturn of Ignis’s mouth as Ignis walks toward the opposite bed, feeling for the edge of it with his hand before sitting down. Ignis looks so radiant right now; his hair is wet and unstyled, falling forward over his eyes as he wears a soft-looking t-shirt and sweatpants. His sunglasses are off of his closed eyes, displaying the bright pink scars on prominently. The skin still looks so smooth, Prompto wants to press a kiss to it. Prompto sighs inwardly. It’s always nice seeing Ignis so comfortable -- well, as comfortable as they can be in this situation.

“Prompto’s givin’ out free hugs, haven’t you heard?” Gladio teases. He pats Prompto’s leg. “Go get in the shower, dude. You stink.”

“Hey!” Prompto whines as he hops off of Gladio’s bed and starts to make way for the bathroom.

“Well, I’ll be certain to get in line, then,” Ignis remarks, making Prompto’s heart pound. “ After you’ve showered.”

“Wow, I’m just gettin’ it from all sides, now,” Prompto says with a sigh. “Fine, Iggy, but as soon as I’m out… prepare yourself.”

“I wait with bated breath.” Ignis smiles gently.

Prompto sighs as he leans against the shower wall, letting the warm water wash away the dirt and grime of Zegnautus Keep, Noct’s disappearance, and this world of ruin. He tries to ignore the way his body groans in protest as hot water hits his wounds by focusing on the moment he just shared with the other guys. Their playful moment that just happened almost seemed hopeful, like Noct would show up soon and they’d make all of this right.

They’d be okay, they’d have to be. How much worse could it get?

Prompto’s careful to dry off and get dressed in his usual shirt and boxers, not wanting to aggravate his cuts and bruises more than they already are. When Prompto emerges, the lights are off except for the one by the bedside. Ignis has his phone set on his lap, tuned into a Lestallum radio station reading updates of fallen outposts and loved ones. It’s all really bleak and depressing, but he knows it’s important to listen to it. 

Prompto stands before the two beds, unsure where he should sleep. With Ignis elegantly sprawled to one side of the bed, legs crossed, lips pressed into that stressed, thin line again and Gladio back to his quiet sprawled-out position taking up most of the bed, he has no idea which of his friends would rather sleep alone the most.

“Prompto? Are you there?” Ignis finally breaks the silence, head turned toward the bathroom door.

“Yeah, I’m here,” Prompto answers. “Um, should I sleep with you… or…?”

“Specs,” Gladio grunts from the other bed. “You kick way too much.”

Prompto feels his cheeks heat up with flush. “Not really, I mean, Noct always --” Prompto cuts himself off, forgetting for a minute that Noct isn’t here.

Prompto’s attempt to stop himself from finishing his sentence doesn’t really matter. Gladio’s fists are clenched and Ignis’s mouth has turned into a frown.

“I’m gonna hit up the shower,” Gladio says, voice distant. He doesn’t say a word as he slides off the bed, heading into the bathroom. He doesn’t slam the door, but he doesn’t shut it quietly either.

“I-I’m really sorry, I… I…” Prompto starts, feeling the tears well up in his eyes.

“Now, now,” Ignis says gently. “He isn’t upset with you, I promise.” Ignis pats the empty space on the bed next to him. “You are welcome to come sleep with me, Prompto.”

Prompto lets out a shaky exhale, happy that Ignis isn’t as visibly upset as Gladio was for his slip-up. “Are you sure?” Prompto murmurs.

“On both counts, yes,” Ignis responds with a soft yet sad smile for Prompto’s benefit. “I was under the impression that you owed me a hug, after all? Are you no longer offering them?” Ignis’s tone is light and teasing, and Prompto knows it’s solely for Prompto’s well-being. His heart pangs with affection.

“Well, when you put it that way…” Prompto says, laughing nervously.

Prompto refrains from jumping onto the bed next to Ignis, happy to be close to Ignis for the night after all that’s happened. He’d be happy sleeping with either of them, but considering that Ignis is the man he’s been carrying a shameful, shameful torch for all these years, Prompto can admit he’s a little biased.

Now that Prompto has the invitation, he leans into Ignis’s space, sliding his arm around Ignis’s middle, resting his head on Ignis’s chest. Prompto swears he hears a soft chuckle come from the other man as Ignis wraps his arms around Prompto in return, holding him close.

“That’s better, don’t you think?” Ignis asks. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah,” Prompto says with a sigh. “On both counts.” Prompto smiles as he repeats Ignis’s words.

Ignis definitely chuckles this time. “Very cute.”

Damn, does Prompto’s heart fly at Ignis’s words. Prompto remembers Noctis fondly yet exasperatingly telling Prompto to, ‘just go for it, dude,’ and Prompto wishes that he could. Prompto could never work up the courage to tell Noct that Ignis doesn’t love him back, he loves his prince , and that’s it. 

It’d be so easy, though. Just a simple ‘I love you.’ Prompto says it to them all the time. Ignis would probably think nothing of it. They’re alone, though, and Ignis has his arms wrapped tightly around him. Would Iggy think badly of Prompto if he said it now?

“I love you,” Prompto blurts in the most undignified manner possible. Prompto’s eyes widen as he realizes what he’s just said, hoping that it sounds platonic enough. “I’m glad you’re okay, Iggy.” Hopefully that’s enough. 

Ignis is quiet for a moment, but doesn’t shove him away like Prompto’s anxiety thinks he will. “I love you as well, Prompto. I’m very relieved that you’re safe and here with me.” Ignis doesn’t sound surprised or as if he’s going through a revelation, so it’s safe to say that Ignis took the words platonically.

Prompto isn’t sure how he feels about that, one way or another. Still, rejection is something he doesn’t have to deal with at the moment, so at least there’s that.

“Me, too,” Prompto says gently. “At least we’re together.”

“It’s what Noct would want,” Ignis murmurs.

Well, there goes the romance of it all. Nevertheless, Prompto’s happy that Iggy’s words are true, to say the least. Noct would be happy that they’re here together, safe; it’s what he went into the crystal for, after all. 

“Wish he was here,” Prompto mumbles.

“As do I. As you said, we must have faith.” Ignis’s tone isn’t quite right, though.

Prompto narrows his eyebrows. “Is something wrong?”

“I don’t believe it’s a conversation we should have while we’re in dire need of sleep. Let us rest on it, please?” Ignis suggests, voice still tense.

Prompto pushes his head off of Ignis’s chest to look at his expression. “Wait, what? Now I’m never gonna get any sleep ‘til you tell me, dude.”

Ignis’s face loses composure for just a moment, looking near tears before he takes a deep breath. “Prompto, please. Not now.”

Prompto’s heart hammers, not wanting to upset Ignis. Prompto rests his head against Ignis’s chest again. “Okay, Iggy. Okay. I’m sorry.”

“Shh,” Ignis whispers against Prompto’s hair. “None of that, now. I apologize. It’s been a rather long day.”

Prompto wants to press a kiss to every inch of Ignis’s skin. “Don’t apologize! It’s okay. We’re okay. We should… we should sleep on it, yeah?”

Ignis lets out a soft breath, relaxing a little. “Yes.”

Gladio emerges from the bathroom, looking over at Ignis and Prompto for a brief moment before climbing into his own bed. Gladio doesn’t even look surprised, like it’s something that happens all the time. Sure, Prompto ends up wrapped around any one of them in his sleep most of the time, but this is different; intentional.

“Was there hot water left, Gladio?” Ignis asks, as if the two of them hadn’t had such a serious discussion.

“Yep,” Gladio answers, his tone not as bleak as when he left. “You two ready for bed? I’m beat.”

“What say you, Prompto?” Ignis asks, still keeping Prompto in his arms.

“Yeah, we should try.” Prompto sighs, knowing it’s probably gonna take a long time for him to sleep, if he can at all. It’ll probably be like that for all of them.

Ignis turns off the radio on his phone that was already lowered in volume, and puts his phone on the charger. Ignis feels for the bedside lamp, turning it off after a moment. 

“Sleep well, gentlemen,” Ignis says.

“Night, Iggy. Gladio.”

“Night you guys.” Gladio sighs into the darkness.

Prompto doesn’t want to leave Ignis’s arms, but he also knows that Ignis probably wants his space to sleep. He’s accidentally sleep-cuddled Ignis tons of times, but again, it’s never been quite like this. Prompto buries himself under the covers, and finds that not pressing himself against Ignis is actually really uncomfortable. The last thing Prompto wants is space right now.

After tossing and turning in the space next to Ignis, Prompto scoots himself more toward the middle of the bed.

“Iggy?” Prompto whispers. “Are you asleep yet?”

“No,” Ignis’s whispering response is immediate. “Is there something you need?”

“Can I…” Prompto trails off, not wanting to sound like an idiot if he gets rejected. Prompto slowly touches Ignis’s arm, testing the waters. “Is this okay?”

Ignis hums. “Of course.”

Before Prompto can bite the bullet and wrap his arms around him, Ignis seems to do the job for him. Ignis moves his arm over the pillow so that it wraps around Prompto, the space near Ignis’s chest open for Prompto to snuggle into.

Prompto doesn’t hesitate; he scoots further into Ignis’s warmth, wrapping his arm around Ignis’s stomach as he rests his head on Ignis’s chest. Prompto feels immediate comfort by it, so much better than trying to sleep separated from Ignis.

“Thanks, Iggy,” Prompto whispers.

Prompto feels Ignis’s fingers in his hair before patting Prompto’s head gently. “Sweet dreams, Prompto.”

 

Prompto awakens to the feeling of Ignis slipping out of his arms. He hears the soft snores of Gladio, so it must not be time to wake up yet. Prompto stretches, assuming Ignis has just headed to the bathroom. When more time passes, Prompto sits up, seeing that the bathroom light is off and the door is open. 

What Prompto had failed to notice was the sliding balcony door slightly propped open, the lights from downtown Lestallum peeking through the crack in the curtain. Why the hell is Ignis out on the balcony? Prompto looks at the bedside clock as it reads 2:16AM. Prompto doesn’t even know why they bother keeping track of time anymore with endless night and everything in chaos.

Prompto kicks his legs over the side of the bed until his feet touch the carpet, shuffling quietly to not disturb Gladio as he makes his way through the crack in the balcony door. He doesn’t want Ignis -- or any of them, really -- to be alone, especially when they should be getting some rest.

Prompto has to admit the view is nice, once he steps out onto the balcony. He’s always liked cities at nighttime, now he’ll probably get tired of it eventually, funnily enough. The lights of Lestallum shine so brightly, Prompto can hardly see the darkness past it. He shudders to think how many daemons lurk beyond the safety of the lights, and how close civilians are to all of it. Most people are off the streets except for a few lurkers, hunters he assumes by the way they’re dressed, alcohol in hand, talking out of earshot. 

Prompto looks over at Ignis once he presses himself against the railing of the balcony. Ignis has tears in his eyes, cheeks wet from already spilt ones, effectively breaking what's left of Prompto's heart. Ignis seems lost in thought, facing forward almost like he can see the view in front of them, but Prompto knows better. Ignis doesn't say a word even though Prompto knows that he's made his presence known. He doesn't know if that's a good or bad sign.

"Do you wanna be alone, Iggy?" Prompto whispers timidly, the darkness seeming to swallow his words.

Ignis sniffles, reaching up to wipe at his eyes. "No, Prompto. Did I wake you? I'm terribly sorry."

Of course Ignis would apologize for crying, because that's just the kind of person he is.

"No, no! Just… weirdly bad at sleeping alone now, I guess," Prompto admits sheepishly. "Do you… do you wanna talk about it?"

Ignis lets out a soft sigh. "Not much to discuss, I'm afraid." His tone is tense, like he's holding something back. "How are your wounds?"

Ignis's frustratingly self-sacrificing ability to turn the conversation to care for absolutely everyone but himself astonishes and even annoys Prompto at times. 

"Wha? They're fine."

"Will you excuse me for a moment?" 

Prompto looks at him confusedly. "Uh, sure?"

Prompto watches Ignis turn and feel for the door before disappearing inside the darkness of the hotel room. Prompto waits, heart thudding in his ears as he thinks of how heartbroken Ignis looked.

Ignis returns before Prompto’s thoughts can stray too far. He’s now holding a curative in his palm, turning to face the direction that Prompto is standing in.

“Come here, if you will, please,” Ignis says.

Prompto groans. “Nah, dude, don’t waste that! I told you, I’m good.”

“I know you were lying to me earlier when I asked. I allowed you to get away with it then, but while we’re not in the company of others, I will see to it that your wounds heal properly,” Ignis says, tone sharp but not angry. “We’ve lost far too much to be senselessly risky. I won’t allow anything to happen to you, now humor me, won’t you, and come here?”

A pang of guilt floods through Prompto as soon as he realizes how important this is to Ignis. Prompto’s used to suffering in silence. Ignis is good at paying attention regardless, but without Noct, all of the man’s attention is on Prompto, and it looks like Prompto’s not going to get away with his own self-sacrifice any longer.

Prompto sighs. “Alright, Igs. I’m sorry.”

Prompto traipses forward until he’s as close as he can be to Ignis without touching him. Prompto reaches out and wraps his fingers around Ignis’s wrist, letting Ignis know where he is. Ignis presses the curative gently into Prompto’s palm, adding pressure so that it shatters. Prompto instantly feels the magic wash over him. He has to admit that he does feel a little less crappy now.

“Thank you. Was that so difficult?” Ignis muses, letting go of Prompto’s hand.

Prompto sighs. “I guess not. But we’re gonna need to hold onto that stuff in case of an emergency.”

Ignis shakes his head. “And how many times do we have to tell you that your health is an emergency, always, regardless of the circumstances?”

Wow. Prompto never thought he’d heard that before. Prompto’s not stupid; he knows if there was only one potion left, and both he and Noct were hurt, the potion would go to Noct. It would be that way for all of them. Prompto would want Noct to have it. That’s what Prompto signed up for, and that’s what Prompto wants. But to hear Ignis say those words makes him feel good, he can’t lie; wanted, almost. Valued.

“Probably a million times, and you’ll have to do it a million more.” Prompto laughs softly. “It was a clever distraction, I’ll give you that.”

“Pardon?”

“You’re avoiding your issues by focusing on mine,” Prompto murmurs. He reaches out to touch Ignis’s cheek pointedly, still a bit wet from crying. “You’re important too, Iggy. I know I’m not… Noct …” he swallows nervously at the mention of his name, “but you shouldn’t hide this stuff.”

Ignis frowns. “I didn’t wish to wake you, or bother you, whichever--”

“Dude, wake me, I don’t care. You’re scaring me, Iggy. I know this shit is awful, all of it’s scary. I don’t even know what we’re gonna do, I don’t even know where to start. Pretending you’re okay is… worse than waking me up to cry to me. I wanna be here for you. I wish you’d let me in.” Prompto lets out a shaky breath, not knowing where his outburst came from. “Shit, I’m so sorry, Ignis, I’m freaking out here, just ignore me--”

Ignis doesn’t answer with words at first. Prompto feels Ignis’s arms wrap around him suddenly, gathering Prompto in his arms. Prompto melts against him, squeezing his eyes shut as he feels Ignis bury his face into the crook of Prompto’s neck. Prompto can feel the warmth of Ignis’s breath against his neck, and goosebumps rise on his flesh. It’s the closest he’s ever felt Ignis, and all Prompto can do is wrap his arms around Ignis in return, holding him as tightly as he can.

Ignis sighs shakily, turning his head so he’s not accosting Prompto’s neck (much to Prompto’s disappointment). “I always forget how intuitive you are,” Ignis murmurs. “You’re correct. No, you aren’t Noctis, but you’re you, and therefore irreplaceable. I didn’t intend to frighten you. I often think it’s far better to suffer alone, in silence, than to let someone share my pain. We’re all suffering so similarly, it was foolish of me to think I had to be strong for you lot, and that you wouldn’t notice all the same.”

Prompto keeps his eyes closed as he turns his head, resting it against Ignis’s chest. Ignis probably isn’t aware of just how much his words mean to him. “No one expects us to be on our A-game, Iggy, least of all you.” He sighs. “You are strong. Pain doesn’t make you weak.”

Ignis is quiet for a moment. “You are right about that. You’ve come… such a long way, Prompto. I’ve never told you how proud I am of you.”

Ignis’s words hit Prompto right in the chest. “Oh, Gods. I’m proud of you too, Iggy. You’re the strongest person I’ve ever met. You don’t ever have to do anything alone.”

“I’m uncertain about all that, but… that means a lot to me,” Ignis whispers. “Though I am certain that Gladio will likely leave when he wakes.”

“D’you think that’s really good for him?” Prompto asks worriedly.

“We all grieve and express emotions differently. He’ll have the Marshal, and I at least take comfort in the thought that Gladio knows where to find us, and he’ll return when he needs us.” Ignis starts massaging Prompto’s back comfortingly.

“I guess that’s true.” Prompto chews on his lip. “I dunno how he does it. Last thing I wanna be is alone right now.”

“Yes, well, you’ve always flourished around others, it’s rather impressive,” Ignis says softly.

Prompto smiles a little. “Eh, not really. Wh-what about you? Do you… want to be alone…?”

“I find myself enjoying your company, actually,” Ignis says teasingly. “Though we should find ourselves back in bed.”

Prompto tries not to get frustrated. “I mean, like… in general. Right now. In the future.”

“Ah. What are you asking me, Prompto? With Noctis no longer uniting us at the moment, I know we certainly have no reason to stay with one another if we do not desire it.”

Prompto’s heart races. “Do you… ‘desire it’? Hanging out with me?”

“Yes.” Ignis’s answer is immediate.

Prompto pulls away slightly to look at him. “Really?”

“Did you think I didn’t?” Ignis smiles gently, pulling away from him as he gives Prompto his space. “I think it would be good for the both of us if we stayed with one another, at least for the time being.”

Prompto lets out a breath full of relief. “Oh, thank Gods. I thought I was gonna have to go live in a shack or something.”

Ignis barks out a laugh. “Hardly. I never considered a future without you in it. I merely wished to present the option.”

Prompto tries not to overthink the phrasing, knowing Ignis just means the future in general, but Prompto can’t help but think about a future with Ignis. Damn, he really hates this stupid crush more than anything.

“We do have reasons other than Noct, though,” Prompto says softly.

“Hmm?”

“You said we didn’t have any reason other than Noct to hang out. That’s not true. At least, not to me.” Kiiiind of in love with you, dude, no biggie, he thinks . It’s not as if Prompto can say that.

Ignis smiles. “Yes, I suppose we do. I certainly didn’t wish to overestimate my importance in your life.”

Prompto’s eyes widen. “You’re joking, right? I told you I loved you a few hours ago. You’re stuck with me, dude!”

Ignis chuckles. “How utterly dreadful.” He smiles gently. “Thank you for coming out here, Prompto. Sometimes I never know what I truly need until someone provides it for me.”

“Well, yeah, I wasn’t gonna just let you mope out here alone,” Prompto points out. “We can just mope together instead. Just be a miserable couple of assholes.” He bites his lip. “Unless… you actually do wanna be alone? I don’t mean to bother you, dude.”

“You aren’t bothering me, I promise,” Ignis insists. “Your presence means quite a lot to me.”

“And you didn’t come out here to escape me because I was clinging to you like a koala?” Prompto laughs nervously.

Ignis reaches out, his hand falling gently on Prompto’s shoulder. “No, Prompto. I actually felt rather guilty leaving you to come out here, but it’s as I said, I did not wish to wake you.” Ignis sighs. “Feeling you close like that, it felt… a bit as if everything was still the same. That Noct would be lying in the other bed, seeing as you were with me.”

Prompto’s face falls. “Wait… so it was my fault that you were upset? I triggered it?”

Ignis squeezes Prompto’s shoulder. “I never said that it was a bad thing. Human contact during all this, well… it’s rather nice. I’ve grown quite used to sleeping near you, I’m afraid.”

Prompto considers this, placing his hand on top of Ignis’s. “Okay. But if you ever need space…”

“You’ll be the first to know, I assure you.”

Prompto laughs. There’s definitely no doubt about that. “So, me and you, huh? We gonna stick together for now?”

“Certainly. I would hate to see you go,” Ignis insists. “Shall we head back to bed before we awaken Gladio?”

“Think you can sleep now?” Prompto gives himself away by yawning.

“Lead the way.”

Prompto loops his arm with Ignis, linking only their hands when they both have to squeeze single file through the crack in the balcony door. Ignis waits patiently, hand still in his as Prompto quietly slides the door shut and locks it. Prompto doesn’t let go of Ignis’s hand until he’s safely seated on his side of the bed; totally unnecessary, but, hey -- it eases Prompto’s mind.

Prompto lies down in bed, pulling the covers up to his chin, feeling the warmth radiating off of Ignis’s body underneath the covers. He itches to sleep closer to him again, but after all that, he’s a little hesitant -- curse his insecurities. 

“What, no more cuddling?” Ignis’s tease is whispered in Prompto’s direction.

Shit, does Prompto’s heart fly. Prompto’s instantly rolling over, curling his arms around Ignis for what feels like the millionth time tonight. This is bound to spoil him for good.

“I didn’t know if it was cool,” Prompto whispers back, trying not to laugh.

Ignis’s arms lock him in place. “You’re very sweet. Pleasant dreams, Prompto.”

“Can you dorks cuddle a little quieter?” Gladio groans. “Tryin’ to sleep here.”

Prompto winces. “Sorry, big guy!”

“Yes, apologies,” Ignis says. Ignis turns his head, and Prompto feels Ignis’s lips at his ear. “Busted.” 

Prompto desperately tries to ignore the way Ignis’s playful whisper sends goosebumps down his spine. All Prompto can do is laugh breathlessly, nestling himself further into Ignis’s arms. He might not be able to have Ignis the way he entirely wants him, but he can survive on this. He’s so glad they agreed to stay together for now. Prompto doesn’t know if he can make it on his own right now.

“Night, Iggy,” Prompto whispers against Ignis’s chest wistfully, drifting off to sleep finally.

Chapter Text

“Prompto,” Gladio’s voice rings out from the foot of the bed. Prompto groans, burying his face in the pillow. “ Prompto. I’m leaving. Get up, dude.”

That gets Prompto sitting up straight almost immediately. Ignis is no longer in bed with him, sitting at the foot of the bed while Gladio’s standing next to him. Prompto rubs his eyes, yawning as he looks at Gladio who is fully dressed and ready to go.

“You’re leaving already?” Prompto asks sadly, even though he was prepared for it -- Ignis was right as usual.

“Yep. Wanna put myself to good use,” Gladio explains. “You need to get up and do the same. Help Iggy while you’re at it.”

Prompto sighs, not at Gladio’s demand, but at the fact that one of his best friends is leaving. He knows it’ll probably be a while before he sees Gladio again -- the big guy definitely has a lot to figure out, to say the least.

“Now, now,” Ignis remarks, “he’s only just woken up, Gladio. Give Prompto a moment?”

Gladio snorts, rolling his eyes. “Always so soft on him.”

Before Prompto can overthink that comment, he’s shuffling out of bed. “Okay, okay, I’m up.” 

Prompto walks over to Gladio, wrapping his arms around him. “Are you gonna be okay?”

Gladio hugs him back, sighing. “Yeah. Don’t worry ‘bout me. Don’t get yourself into trouble ‘til I get back, alright?”

Prompto relishes in the feeling of Gladio’s hug, not sure when the next time he’ll get another one will be. “You got it. Don’t stay away too long.” Prompto sighs. “And don’t get yourself hurt. We need you.” Noct needs you, but Prompto doesn’t want to say that just yet.

Gladio ruffles his hair as he releases Prompto from the hug. “Didn’t I just tell you not to worry about me?” He laughs. “I’ll see you guys in a bit. Keep your phones charged.”

“Do be safe, Gladio. No recklessness,” Ignis warns from right next to the both of them. Ignis stands up, putting a hand on Gladio’s shoulder. “Prompto and I will be here whenever you may return.”

Gladio pulls Ignis into a hug, and it warms Prompto’s heart to see the quiet moments Ignis and Gladio share with each other after having known each other so long.

“Same goes for you, Specs. Take care of Prompto for me.” Gladio snorts. “And let him take care of you. Give yourself a break now and then.”

Ignis’s mouth twists into a gentle smile that nearly knocks Prompto breathless. “No promises.”

Gladio rolls his eyes. “Guess I expected that.”

A knock comes on the door, Gladio huffing out a sigh to go answer it. His own little sister is at the door, looking at him suspiciously.

“I told you not to leave without me,” Iris reminds him sharply.

Gladio sighs again. “I’ll come back and get you in a few weeks, okay? I just need some time.”

“Gladdy!” Iris whines, frowning. “I want to learn how to do this stuff too. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s important?”

Prompto chews on his lip. He definitely doesn’t want to get involved in sibling problems but he also knows that it is important for Gladio to be on his own for a while.

“Hey, Iris, if you want, I can teach you how to shoot soon,” Prompto suggests. “That’s always a good first step, right, big guy?”

Gladio shrugs. “I don’t see why not. Be careful, though.”

Iris’s eyes light up. “Really? You’d do that?”

Prompto smiles. “Yeah. Let Gladio do his thing for a bit, then he can teach you all the cool stuff I suck at doing. But if there’s one thing I know, it’s shooting.” He throws finger guns at her.

“Prompto’s right, he’s an excellent shot,” Ignis adds. “I’d say that’s a fair compromise, don’t you, Ms. Amicitia?” 

Prompto can’t help but smile wider at the compliment. His battle skills aren’t as impressive as Gladio or Ignis, so it’s always nice to hear.

Iris sighs. “Fine. But you owe me, Gladio.”

Gladio manages a laugh. “You got it, sis. I’ll see you guys soon, alright?”

Gladio hugs his sister before heading out. Iris looks at Prompto and Ignis.

“Good morning, guys,” Iris offers. “Did you just wake up, Prom?” She laughs.

Prompto frowns. “Yeah, why?”

Iris giggles again. “Your hair’s sticking up everywhere.”

Prompto’s eyebrows shoot up, reaching up to flatten the bird’s nest that probably is his hair right now. 

Ignis lets out a soft laugh. “What I wouldn’t give to see that again.” He sighs wistfully. 

Prompto feels his heart ache again. “Okay, gimme a break, you two.”

Iris continues to laugh. “Well, I better let you fix that bedhead. I should get going. We got plenty of mouths to feed.” She sighs.

“Yes, regarding that. Would we be able to lend a hand?” Ignis asks. “We aren’t a fan of idle hands, as it were.”

“Yeah, actually, that’d be great, especially with your skills, Ignis! Though are you sure you guys are up for it? I’d say you’re entitled to a few more days off,” Iris points out.

Prompto laughs. “Iggy hates sitting around. We’ll be good for it.”

“Alright, well, come meet me by the marketplace then? I’ll see you guys soon.”

Iris shuts the door, as Prompto hears her shoes running down the hall. Prompto’s always admired her enthusiasm, though being her age it probably comes by a little easier than the rest of them.

“I suppose we should get ready then, Prompto?” Ignis asks. “Do you need a few moments to wake up still?”

Prompto sighs. “No, I’m good. Guess I got some bedhead to take care of.”

One would think being alone with Ignis a lot wouldn’t cause his heart to hammer every time it happens, yet here he is, heart racing at the sight of Ignis standing there with a soft look on his face, fully dressed yet hair still messy with sleep. 

“I’m certain you look adorable as usual, from what I remember from mornings with you,” Ignis teases.

Prompto feels his cheeks heat up. “Shh, if anyone’s adorable here, it’s you,” he blurts. Hoping Ignis doesn’t read into it, he adds at the last minute, “Want me to help with your hair, too?”

Ignis seems to consider it for a moment. “If you wouldn’t mind, that would be grand.”

It wouldn’t be the first time since Ignis lost his eyesight that Prompto’s helped Ignis with his hair. No one can quite style it like Iggy, but Prompto at least can help. However, every other time has been hurried, with Noct and Gladio close by, nowhere near as intimate as the two of them alone in a hotel room. Prompto’s heart thuds.

“Not at all,” Prompto squeaks. He reaches out to wrap a hand around Ignis’s wrist, pulling him into the bathroom. “You got your hair gel still?”

Ignis gestures to the bottle propped up on the sink counter, and Prompto flushes a little for not noticing it earlier. “Oops.” Prompto laughs.

Prompto wets his hands, reaching up to run his wet fingers through Ignis’s hair, effectively dampening it. Prompto never forgets how soft Ignis’s hair feels between his fingers as he brushes the hair off of Ignis’s forehead.

Prompto teases Ignis’s hair up with his comb, squeezing some gel onto his hand to transfer to Ignis’s bangs.

“Y’know, we gotta figure out an easier hairstyle for you, Igster,” Prompto teases under his breath.

Ignis basically pouts. “I like my hair as it is.”

Prompto laughs, teasing the hair straight up as he waits for the gel to set in his hair before moving his fingers. “Your hair looks good all the time, dude. You’re so stubborn.”

Ignis’s mouth twitches. “Perhaps.”

Prompto rolls his eyes even if he knows Ignis won’t see the gesture. He starts to comb through the rest of Ignis’s hair, making sure it’s all straight and even on both sides.

“I mean, just brushing your bangs back would be so much easier for you. It’s not like you like my fingers rifling through your hair every day,” Prompto points out teasingly.

Ignis chuckles. “I find it quite nice, actually. Touches from those I care about are the among the small comforts I can still enjoy.”

Prompto’s heart thuds affectionately as he looks up at Ignis, unable to keep himself from smiling. “Is it weird of me to say I feel the same?”

Ignis smiles. “Not at all.”

Prompto sighs, finally letting his fingers leave Ignis’s hair. “Good. Looks like you’re all set, spiky as usual.”

“Thank you. I shall give you your space now, seeing as you likely have a chocobo’s arse on your head.” 

Prompto frowns. “Hey, don’t be a jerk or I’ll give you a mohawk next time.” Knowing Ignis, he’d probably still look good. Prompto looks into the mirror, laughing at his ridiculous bedhead. “Okay, you’re kinda right.”

Prompto hears Ignis’s laughter echo from the hotel bed. He smiles as he continues to fix the mess that is his hair, dressing in some jeans and a tank top, not knowing what the day -- or night, he should say -- will bring. 

They find Iris and Monica just outside the marketplace chatting animatedly about something. 

"Monica," Prompto says by way of greeting. "It's great to see you made it."

Monica bows her head. "And you two as well, though I heard your journey has been quite difficult so far."

Ignis clears his throat. "We can only hope that our losses will not be in vain."

Monica smiles sadly. "I have faith in our majesty, as well as all of us for staying strong the way we have been."

Prompto always -- on the down low, of course -- admires Monica. She's soft-spoken and well-spoken, but Prompto's never seen anyone able to do whatever it takes to get a job done; kind of like Iggy. Prompto trusts her with everything -- after all, she's helped Gladio and Ignis become the men they are today. 

Ignis nods. "Indeed. We can only continue to remain strong from here on out. We're lucky to have you, Monica."

It's so funny how often Prompto and Ignis think alike. Prompto never would have guessed that he'd share any similarities with someone as perfect as Ignis.

Monica laughs gently, a pretty sound. "I was just about to say the same to you."

Prompto laughs with her. "Maybe Iggy deserves that, but definitely not me."

Ignis feels for Prompto's lower back, placing his hand there comfortingly. "Now, Prompto, you're a wonderful help. Speaking of which, Iris informed us that we could possibly be of aid to you lot. We would certainly like to earn our place."

It’s a little sad how basically all Ignis has to do is tell Prompto he’s not completely terrible and it gets his heart racing.

Monica smiles. “You’ve already earned your place here. But if you insist, it’d be a great help if you could cook for our hunters here. You’d know best on what foods will give them the most energy if they’re going to go out there and keep daemons at bay. We have a separate line for them on the other side of the city so we can get them fed and families at the same time. I can show you to the kitchen, if you’d like?”

“That would be grand,” Ignis insists. Prompto links his arm with Ignis’s to help guide him to follow Monica as they start to head over to the other side of town, despite Ignis having his cane as well. “Also, seeing as we’ll likely be here for the time being, are there any more permanent residences Prompto and I may reside in -- and Gladio, should he need it? I’d hate to take up all that space in the Leville when more refugees are heading here every day.”

Prompto knows they agreed to it already, but hearing Ignis insist that Prompto stay with him makes him smile involuntarily. 

"Well, we do have a space opening up in a few days. Dave and his friends are going to move on and head toward Hammerhead, now that there's enough hunters here to take care of things. Cindy and Cid need all the help they can get. You can easily move in after they leave. I'm afraid it will be a one-bedroom, and a soda bed as well, however. Bigger spaces will take longer."

Ignis shakes his head. "No, those should go to families. I'm certain we can manage that, correct, Prompto?"

Prompto's not unfamiliar with crashing on couches, but the first thought that comes to his mind, ashamedly enough, is sharing a bedroom with Ignis. He would never ask him, though. Ignis would have to offer it first.

"Yeah, no sweat. We used to cram all four of us in a tent." Prompto laughs. "You sure you can spare the room, though, Monica?"

"Absolutely," she answers. "As I said, you always have a place here."

Prompto helps Ignis follow Monica into a brightly-lit kitchen. It's obvious this used to be a restaurant kitchen, which would be good for Ignis to have enough space to work.

"All available ingredients are in the storeroom and freezers toward the back left there. Make anything you'd like, so long as you're feeding about fifteen people, not including yourselves. Will you be needing any assistance?"

"No, Monica. Prompto is quite enough help as it is," Ignis insists. "Thank you. We'll get started immediately, then."

Monica nods and hurries off, clearly having to be in multiple places at once.

Ignis lets his cane rest against the countertop, still in reach but far enough away to keep it away from everything. "Well, well. I'm certain this will go faster if you'd assist me in doing an ingredient check, if you don't mind, Prompto? I could do it myself, but… it's as I said, it would take far longer." Ignis wiggles his gloved fingers, indicating he'd have to touch instead of see. 

"Sure, dude. That's what I'm here for," Prompto promises, leading Ignis over toward the storeroom and freezers. 

Prompto starts reading off the ingredients, vegetables, fruits, meats, and other products found in the storage. Prompto hadn’t really anticipated there being that much. He’s happy food isn’t something they’ll have to worry about for a while, at least.

“Hmm. Perhaps some scrambled eggs with garula steak might be the best choice?” Ignis mutters, mostly to himself. “Would you be so kind to get those for me while I find some pans?”

Prompto’s stomach rumbles just at the mention of Iggy’s food. He gets to work, finding all the appropriate vegetables and seasonings to go with the eggs and steak.

Once Ignis gets started on cooking, he seems to settle in nicely. Prompto watches in almost awe as Ignis expertly cracks eggs into the pan without making a mess, and chops vegetables up almost perfectly. It’s only here and there when Ignis can’t find something, and Prompto’s happy to be his eyes whenever he needs them.

They’re just about finished with their first batch, everything looking great and smelling even better. Prompto watches Ignis move the eggs to a cooler burner as he pulls a clean spoon from the counter and scoops some of the eggs up.

Ignis turns his head in Prompto’s direction. “Well, would you care to taste test, or shall I do the honors?”

Prompto’s heart thuds dramatically in his chest. Whenever Prompto would help him cook on their road trip -- when things were much, much simpler -- he’d almost always be Ignis’s taste tester. At first, Prompto told himself it was because he just wanted to taste Ignis’s food. However, the way Ignis would always hold the spoon or fork up to Prompto’s mouth directly instead of giving it to Prompto for him to do himself always seemed so intimate. The fact that Ignis wants to continue that, well, it almost seems like things are going to be okay, in some weird way. Prompto’s brain works so weirdly sometimes, he has to admit.

“And turn down tasting something that smells so great?! I don’t think so,” Prompto murmurs.

Now that Ignis can’t see, however, he fully expects Ignis to simply hold out the spoon full of eggs for Prompto to take. Instead, Ignis finds Prompto’s chin with his free hand, holding Prompto’s head in place. Prompto’s heart thuds even harder when Ignis takes the spoon and hovers it toward his mouth. Prompto grips Ignis’s wrist to help guide him, letting Ignis feed him.

Prompto’s so glad that this doesn’t have to change, at least. Ignis has sacrificed a lot since he’s lost his eyesight, and he’s so glad Ignis can still share some nice things with Prompto that they used to do. Then again, there’s things they can do for each other now that would never have happened before the accident, so at least they find new ways to be close to one another. At least, Prompto does. Ignis probably thinks nothing of it.

Prompto’s distracted from his infatuation with Iggy in favor of the incredible taste that hits his tongue. Prompto makes an obscene noise, groaning loudly. “Oh, my Gods. That never won’t taste so fucking good.”

Ignis’s returning smile is the fondest he’s seen since things had gone to shit. “I’m quite glad to hear it. Does it need any more seasoning? More vegetables, perhaps?”

Prompto doesn’t even wait to finish chewing to answer. “Gods, no, that’s incredible.”

Ignis chuckles. “Now, now, it’s impolite to talk with your mouth full.”

Prompto smiles as he swallows. It’s the kind of thing Ignis would say back when they were teenagers, and Prompto was still in high school. Those reminders used to intimidate Prompto, but now he just accepts it with a fond sort of love in his heart. It’s sort of comforting to know that moments like these don’t have to change. It feels stable, somehow, despite all they’ve been through.

Ignis finally lets go of Prompto’s chin -- much to Prompto’s disappointment -- in favor of placing the spoon down on the counter and turning off the stove.

“Get yourself a plate first, then we’ll be about finished, I’d say. I need to get some food in you. I can hear your stomach from here,” Ignis teases.

Prompto’s about to respond when he hears tiny footsteps -- even smaller than Iris’s -- running toward them from the entrance.

“Prompto! Ignis!” a small voice yells, one that Prompto immediately recognizes as Talcott.

Talcott wraps his arms around Prompto’s leg, grinning from ear-to-ear. Prompto grins, ruffling Talcott’s hair. Prompto swears the kid gets taller and taller every time he sees him.

“Heyaz, Talcott, buddy! How you doin’? It’s good to see you, little man!” Prompto gushes.

Ignis’s lips immediately turn upward into a gentle smile, almost like he knows that Talcott’s hugging Prompto. “Indeed. I’m rather glad to know you’re safe, Talcott.”

Talcott pulls away from Prompto finally, looking up at both of them. He’s still smiling, but his eyes are way too sad. It’s always terrible seeing sadness in a kid’s eyes, and Prompto’s almost happy that Ignis doesn’t have to.

“I heard…” Talcott trails off, sniffling a little. “I heard Prince Noctis had to go away.”

Prompto’s heart breaks. Here it is. Prompto’s never been anything close to a parent -- well, aside from taking care of Luna’s dog when it got hurt -- so he’s at sort of a loss at what to do here. Prompto crouches down so that he’s eye level with Talcott, reaching out to put a hand on his shoulder.

“Yeah, yeah. He’ll be gone for a while. I know it’s scary, but Noct will be back so soon! He’s my best friend in the whole world, and guess what? He’s gonna save the world. He’s gonna make sure we’re all okay, I know it. ‘Cause that’s what Prince Noctis always does,” Prompto promises.

Prompto hears a sniffle, but it’s not from Talcott. Prompto looks over his shoulder to find Ignis turned slightly away from him, wiping his eyes. Shit. Prompto didn’t mean to mention Noctis in front of Ignis, but there wasn’t a whole lot else he could do.

Talcott smiles, but it still doesn’t reach his eyes. “D’you really think so?”

Prompto smiles back. “I know so, dude. He’s saved my life a million times.”

Talcott’s eyes start to water as he looks at the ground, fiddling with his hands nervously. “He can’t-- Prince Noctis can’t bring my grandpa back, can he?”

Prompto sucks in a breath, trying really hard not to cry and lose it in front of a little kid. That would be embarrassing. Prompto frowns a little before composing himself. “I, uh, I don’t think so, little man. But your grandpa’s watching over you. And you know what? He’s so proud of you, Talcott. We all are.”

“Really?” Talcott asks, obviously still sad but perking up a little bit.

“You betcha, buddy,” Prompto whispers, reaching out to ruffle Talcott’s hair.

Prompto feels the pressure of Ignis’s hand on his shoulder, feeling for it as Ignis kneels beside Prompto, facing Talcott.

“If there’s anything that you need, Talcott, feel free to come to myself or Prompto,” Ignis insists gently. “Now, tell me, are you hungry?”

Talcott nods, until he remembers Ignis’s eyes. “Oh, um, yes.” 

Ignis smiles. “What would you like to eat?”

“That smells pretty good, actually,” Talcott says. He reaches out to lightly touch the heaviest scar over Ignis’s left eye that peeks out just underneath his sunglasses. “Are your eyes gonna be okay, Ignis?”

Ignis sighs gently. “I’m afraid not yet, but one can see with more than just their eyes. Does that make sense?”

Prompto looks over at Ignis. He wants to reach out and hold his hand so badly. He’s always admired how strong Ignis is, and how positive he can be despite any kind of setback he faces.

Talcott nods again. “Yeah. I’m glad you’re okay.”

“You as well. We’ll get you something to eat in just a moment,” Ignis tells him. “How does that sound?”

Talcott smiles. “Good. Thank you.”

Ignis stands up straight, his smile widening. “You’re very welcome.”

“I’ll see ya in a bit, buddy,” Prompto tells him.

Talcott’s responding grin is the cutest thing as he runs off, a lot happier than he was before. Well, Prompto may not have experience with little kids, but he feels like he didn’t completely mess that up.

“You’re always so wonderful with him,” Ignis remarks as soon as Talcott’s gone. “It’s rather nice to experience you two interact.”

Prompto feels himself flush. “Nahh, it’s nothin’. I feel bad for him, y’know? I can’t imagine being that little and having to deal with all of this. He shouldn’t have to worry about any of this. I don’t even know how to handle it, and I’m way older.”

Ignis reaches out, feeling for Prompto’s arm, his fingers gently curling around his bicep. “Yes, I do agree. I don’t believe there’s an age limit on this sort of thing. We’ve all been through quite a lot.”

Prompto sighs, wrapping his fingers around Ignis’s. “Yeah. That’s true. C’mon, we should get some food, huh?”

Ignis smiles. “Indeed. We’ve quite a day ahead of us.”

 

They definitely did have quite a productive day. By the time Prompto's showered the smell of kitchens and daemon hunts off of himself, the only thing he has the energy left to do is to dramatically collapse into the hotel bed opposite Ignis.

If Prompto's honest, he's grateful to keep busy. If anything, it dulls the heartache and emotions in his brain and heart. 

Spending the day with Ignis, well, that's just another bonus. He had a great day working with Ignis, the two of them working easily with each other despite all they'd been through. Ignis always seemed to be patient with Prompto despite his knack for disaster, and Prompto finds that helping Ignis with his disability when he's asked makes him happy.

Despite desperately missing Noct and Gladio, today was an alright day. It's definitely super weird dealing with nighttime 24/7, though. Prompto can already feel his biological clock start to go out of whack.

"I'm assuming you're staying the entire night on that bed, then?" Ignis asks from the other bed. "If you stay there any longer, you're bound to fall asleep there."

Prompto looks over at Ignis. He’s dressed in his usual sweatpants and t-shirt, still managing to look regal as his legs cross, stretched out on the bed. He's listening to the Lestallum radio station again, phone rested on his thigh.

"Oh, um… I figured you could use a break from me. I bet it's hard to sleep with Prompto Tentacles wrapped around ya." Prompto laughs weakly.

Ignis makes a strange face, one that Prompto can't quite decipher. "I don't mind either way. The choice is yours, of course."

Prompto only wishes the choice was his. If it were up to him, he'd be practically on Ignis's lap by now. The thought of sleeping alone is just as awful as before, but if Ignis gets tired of Prompto only one day after staying together, that would be entirely Prompto’s fault.

“True. I mean, I’d love to, but I know how light of a sleeper you are. I know neither of us didn’t get much. Maybe we’ll be exhausted enough to conk out for the… night? Day?” Prompto sighs. Tell me to sleep with you, please, he thinks . “You good?” he asks instead.

“I promise, I don’t mind. But I do hope you have a good rest, regardless,” Ignis says. “Sweet dreams, Prompto. Thank you for your help today.”

Prompto pulls the blankets up to his chin, looking over at Ignis wistfully. “Yeah, you too, Iggy. I’m glad we’re sticking together.”

Ignis smiles in his direction. “I’m rather glad as well.”

Prompto sighs into the pillow, trying to ignore how amazing it felt to be in Ignis’s arms last night. Exhaustion eventually takes over, and sleep finds him after a while.

 

Prompto stirs, hearing a soft noise coming from the other bed. Prompto turns on his side to face Ignis, staring out into the darkness of the hotel room. He sees Ignis shift a few times in the darkness, accompanied by that same soft noise -- a whimper. Ignis sounds distressed.

“Iggy?” Prompto calls out worriedly. 

Ignis doesn’t seem to hear him, still trapped in sleep. Prompto can only assume that he’s having a nightmare; Ignis usually wakes up at the slightest noise. Another whimper escapes Ignis’s lips, one of his hands gripping the bedsheet stressfully, effectively confirming Prompto’s theory.

Prompto’s heart thuds in his chest, immediately throwing the blankets off to the side to scramble over to Ignis’s bed. Dammit. Prompto totally should have just slept with Iggy; maybe he could have avoided this. So much for trying to act with Ignis’s best interest in mind.

Prompto’s never heard Ignis have a nightmare. He sounds so upset, Prompto can practically feel his heart breaking. He wonders what the hell Ignis is even dreaming about. 

Prompto sits on the edge of the bed, putting his hand on Ignis’s shoulder.

“Iggy,” Prompto whispers. “Iggy, wake up.”

Ignis turns slightly, shifting, but hasn’t woken up yet. It must be one hell of a nightmare not to rouse him like this. Finally, Prompto takes his other hand and rests it gently against Ignis’s cheek, thumb brushing against the soft skin there, ignoring the way his heart hammers in his chest.

“Ignis,” Prompto says a little louder.

Ignis awakens with a gentle gasp, reaching up to grip Prompto’s wrist in surprise. His breathing is heavy, and Prompto can almost hear Ignis’s heart racing from where he sits next to him.

“Prompto? What’s… are you alright?” Ignis asks.

Of course, the first thing Ignis would ask about is if Prompto’s okay.

Prompto gently moves his hand off of Ignis’s face, not wanting to creep the dude out, but Prompto stays near him, his other hand still firmly on his shoulder.

“Yeah, dude, I think you were havin’ a nightmare,” Prompto whispers. “Are you okay?”

Ignis sits up slightly, his breathing finally slowing. “I believe you’re right about that,” Ignis says gently. “I apologize for waking you.”

“What? No, I don’t care about that. I’m just worried about you,” Prompto promises.

Ignis lets his hand rest over Prompto’s. “I’m quite alright.”

“D’you wanna talk about it?” Prompto asks. “That helps me sometimes. When I was stuck in-- when I was gone from you guys, I had a lotta nightmares. Talkin’ to Aranea about them helped.”

Ignis is silent for a moment, just a moment too long, and Prompto’s wondered if he’s said the wrong thing. “I’m very happy she was there for you, then.”

Prompto selfishly allows his thumb to stroke Ignis’s shoulder gently through his t-shirt. If Ignis minds, he doesn’t indicate it. 

Prompto swallows his pride, not wanting Ignis to have another nightmare. “Can I sleep with you?”

Ignis inhales sharply, the dark room quiet enough for Prompto to hear it perfectly. “Yes,” Ignis answers immediately. “Please.”

Prompto could nearly cry at the soft plead to Ignis’s words. Never in a million years would Prompto think Ignis would want this, and here he is, sounding like he needs it.

“Cool,” Prompto says softly. He doesn’t bother to walk around to the other side of the bed. He just hops over Ignis easily, burying himself under the blankets next to Ignis. 

Ignis lets out a shaky exhale before letting it evolve into a full-blown sigh, running his fingers through his hair. It’s the sound Prompto recognizes as Ignis trying not to cry, and it’s a noise he’s heard countless times over the past few days.

“You okay?” Prompto asks again.

“Yes, it’s just… I feel a bit out of sorts, is all,” Ignis says softly. “I’ll be fine.”

Prompto frowns. He knows that even if Ignis needs something, he’ll likely not ask for it or even admit to it. Swallowing his pride yet again , Prompto finds himself scooting over toward Ignis’s side of the bed, letting his arm slide around his waist. He tucks his head against Ignis’s chest.

“Nightmares suck,” Prompto tells him. “You should tell me about it if you want. Remember what I said yesterday, dude? You’re stuck with me. I think you should talk to me about it.”

Ignis sighs, but it’s not as sad as before. Ignis wraps his arms around Prompto, letting his chin rest on the top of Prompto’s head. “I… I don’t remember much. I know that you and Noct were in trouble, and I couldn’t get to you. I couldn’t see anything, but I couldn’t move, either. I could hear the both of you, and you needed me, and I couldn’t…” Ignis is quiet for a moment. “Bloody stupid dream.”

Prompto doesn’t even know what to say at first. The fact that Ignis was that upset about Noct makes a whole lot of sense, but Prompto having the same effect on Ignis is probably the most surprising thing Prompto can even think of.

Prompto’s fingers act without permission, and they slide up Ignis’s chest, neck, and face to find his hair, his fingers comfortingly brushing through the soft strands, the product long-gone from it. Prompto feels Ignis lean into the touch, and he’s pretty sure Ignis can feel how fast Prompto’s heart races, but he doesn’t even care. Ignis lets out a soft, contented hum and Prompto finds himself pulling Ignis against his chest instead, letting the tactician gently rest his head against him. If Ignis couldn’t hear Prompto’s heartbeat before, he definitely can now, as his ear’s currently pressed against his chest. 

“Well, I’m here, and I ain’t going anywhere, okay, Iggy?” Prompto promises. “I’m sorry you had a crappy dream.”

Ignis’s arm rests gently against Prompto’s stomach. If the man were any closer, he’d be on top of Prompto. He’s so close, the only thought in Prompto’s mind is how he wishes he would get even closer, as close as he can be. Prompto continues to run his fingers through Ignis’s soft hair, not wanting Ignis to ever move from his arms. This is the sort of situation Prompto’s only dreamed of, and he gets all of it right now -- but also none of it, because none of it is real. Ignis would never feel the same way that Prompto does. Getting to hold him like this is almost worth it. 

“Thank you, Prompto,” Ignis whispers gently against Prompto’s chest. “You’ve no idea what that means to me.”

“I’m sorry that I slept in the other bed,” Prompto admits sheepishly. “I thought you’d like it better.”

Ignis chuckles. “I told you that I’ve grown used to sleeping near you. I did mean it when I said the choice was yours.”

Prompto chews on his bottom lip. “And if the choice was yours?”

Ignis is quiet for so long Prompto almost thinks he’s fallen asleep. “I would have you near,” Ignis finally admits. “Without my eyesight, I think… I’d prefer feeling you close, at the very least for now. May I admit something to you, Prompto?”

Prompto feels as if he’s gone through about three cardiac arrests at the same time. “Y-yeah?”

“I prefer to feel you in my arms -- to feel your touch, so that I may know that you’re safe always.”

Prompto squeezes his eyes shut, trying so hard not to overreact, to overthink. It probably doesn’t help that every word out of Ignis’s mouth sounds like it tumbled out of a romance novel read by a fireplace with hot cocoa and a blanket. 

“I prefer that too,” Prompto practically squeaks.

“Your heart’s beating rather fast,” Ignis notes, much to Prompto’s horror. “Have I made you nervous?”

Yeah, that’s a word for it. Prompto finds himself laughing nervously, almost proving his point. “No, you don’t make me nervous, I promise, Igster. My heart’s got a mind of its own. Wish it would listen to me sometimes.” He snorts.

Ignis laughs softly, one of the prettiest noises Prompto has ever heard. “I know what you mean.”

Prompto, as usual, wishes Ignis wasn’t the hardest man to read on Eos, seeing as he has no idea what Ignis means by those words. “Yeah. Hopefully when we move into a new place and make it our own, it’ll be easier to not have bad dreams, yeah?”

“Yes, I do agree. We’ll conquer them somehow. At least we only have a few more days here before that happens.”

Prompto doesn’t exactly mind being able to spend four more nights with Ignis in his arms just like this. Then again, with the new place, he’s hoping it’ll be the same. Despite Prompto’s dumb romantic feelings, he’s pretty sure they both need to feel tethered to something. Prompto can work with that.

“We should sleep together ‘til our minds calm down then, huh?” Prompto murmurs.

“I believe we should,” Ignis agrees. “Would you like to try to get some sleep now, Prompto?”

“Yeah. We should probably try.” Prompto sighs. He stops running his fingers through Ignis’s hair in favor of gently resting his hand on Ignis’s. “Night, Iggy.”

“Goodnight. Pleasant dreams.”

It’s the first time Ignis Scientia has ever slept in Prompto’s arms instead of the other way around. It’s definitely bound to spoil Prompto; he can feel himself wanting this every night, and he really hopes this isn’t the last time he’ll get to experience it.

 

Four days go by pretty quickly, much to Prompto’s surprise. He’s spent every night sleeping with Ignis, neither of them taking very long to gravitate toward one another by the time they woke up. Prompto wouldn’t have it any other way, despite how much more in love with the man he’s getting with each and every day.

The apartment they move into just on the outskirts of downtown Lestallum isn’t the biggest place he’s ever been to, but it’s quaint. Prompto’s surprised how quickly it takes to get all of what’s left of Ignis and Prompto’s belongings, especially with Iris’s help. It’s with a heavy heart when he realizes just how many more personal possessions they had back when Gladio and Noct were still with them. 

“Well, we’re here,” Prompto says once everything’s moved in.

“I brought you guys some stuff I thought you could use,” Iris tells them, setting a box on the kitchen table. “Some books, pillows, other stuff that we don’t really have any use for.”

“That’s very kind of you,” Ignis says. “Perhaps you could read to me, hmm, Prompto?” His tone teases.

Prompto laughs. “Dunno how calming that would be, but totally, dude! Oh em gee!” Prompto gushes, looking through the boxes. “What if we could find some stuff in Braille? That’d be cool to try to learn it together, huh, Igster?”

Ignis smiles in Prompto’s direction. “That would be quite useful, actually. For now, I’ll have to rely on audiobooks that I find, as well as accessibility settings on my phone. Learning Braille would certainly improve my skills, I’ll give you that.”

“I’ll be on the lookout for anything I find,” Iris promises. “I actually think I saw something like that at Monica’s place. I’m sure she was holding onto it for safekeeping -- I’ll get it to you as soon as I can.”

“Thanks, Iris!” Prompto says with a smile, holding out his fist for her to bump. “You’re amazing.”

“Yes, you have my thanks. You’ve been a wonderful help. If you ever need somewhere to stay, you know where to find us. We’ve an extra bed to spare,” Ignis says. “You may pass that along to others as well, until I may do so myself, if you’d like, please.”

“Sure thing,” Iris says gently. “I’m glad you guys are sticking together. You two make a good team.” She smiles. “I’ll let you guys get unpacking, huh? See you later.”

Prompto smiles as soon as she leaves. “That was nice of her, huh? I hope that wasn’t uncool to mention the Braille thing. It’s not like you have to learn that, especially since all the Braille books are probably few and far between.” Prompto sighs.

“Not at all, Prompto. I think it’d be a wonderful opportunity to learn to read again,” Ignis insists. “It’s one of the things I miss the most. And better yet, it’s not like it will always be like this. It will be nice to already learn once I have access to plenty of them again.”

Prompto feels his heart swell with affection. Prompto loves how much Ignis’s independence means to him, and he makes a mental note to find as many Braille books he can find so he can help Ignis learn to read that way as well.

"D'you really think that? That it won't always be like this?" Prompto asks softly. 

Ignis smiles sadly. "We have to hope for that, don't we?"

“Yeah. Well, that’ll be top priority then, dude!” Prompto says with a smile. “D’you wanna learn the layout on your own, or do you want some help? Also, if I’m totally smothering you right now, feel free to stab me or somethin’.”

Ignis chuckles, walking over toward Prompto, reaching out to feel for Prompto’s shoulder. “Nonsense, you’re being very kind.” Ignis sighs as he rests his cane against the table. “I suppose it would be best for you to assist me. I assume we’re in the kitchen right now, yes?”

Prompto can't help but smile as he feels Ignis link their arms together. "Yep. For as small as this place is, the kitchen is a decent size. Good enough for you, I think," Prompto teases.

Ignis hums thoughtfully. "Describe it to me?"

Prompto walks him over to the sink. "Double sink here. Right side's disposal. Switch is…" Prompto guides Ignis's hand behind the faucet, "here."

Prompto guides Ignis's hand up to one of the cabinets. "Six cabinets on each side, so… twelve. I'll let you decide what goes in 'em, so you don't forget, huh? Same goes for drawers. Careful, this one's fake." Prompto laughs as he shows Ignis the false drawer just in front of the sink. "I wonder why they make those. It's just confusing."

"Especially for the blind," Ignis teases. "Perhaps we should file a complaint."

Prompto grins. "Uh, definitely. " Prompto takes him around the kitchen. "Dishwasher on this side, fridge on the other. Side-by-side freezer. Stove is over here, aaaand… this door is a food pantry, looks like."

"Hmm. This is quite larger than I expected, you're right, Prompto," Ignis remarks. “Let us proceed? 

Prompto smiles. "Yep! Okay, let’s hit up the bathroom." He laughs.

Prompto shows Ignis everything; how to turn on the shower faucet (though that's one they had to figure out together), the couch, where the closets are, the balcony, how many steps down the hallway before it reaches a dead end. 

Prompto halts to a stop once they reach the bedroom. "And… um, this looks like it'll be your bedroom, Iggy."

Ignis raises an eyebrow in Prompto's direction. "Mine? I thought we were to be sharing?"

Prompto's heart thuds. “I, uh, I didn’t wanna assume? I’m cool with taking the pullout couch, y’know?”

Ignis frowns. “Is the bed too small?”

“Oh, um, no… it’s a queen size, I think.”

Ignis’s frown deepens, an unreadable expression on his face. “If you wish to sleep separately, I will be taking the couch, and you’ll have this room.”

“What?! No! This is all yours, dude. I will sleep on the floor if I have to.” Prompto laughs. “I just didn’t wanna make you share with me. A hotel’s one thing, but, y’know…”

“How is a hotel bed different than this bed, Prompto?” Ignis asks, just the slightest tease to his tone.

Prompto feels himself flush. “I mean, well, technically there’s not, but if you’ve had enough of me…”

Ignis tightens his grip on Prompto’s arm. “I thought I made it clear that I enjoy you close.” He tilts his head. “Is the proximity getting uncomfortable for you?”

“No!” Prompto answers way too quickly again. “Not at all, I just… wanted to double-check?”

“Perhaps you should ask instead of assume,” Ignis suggests, though his tone is all teasing.

Prompto rubs the back of his neck awkwardly. “Yeaaaah… you’re probably right about that.” He snorts. “I’m sorry, dude. I’ve never really had a, uh, roommate like this? I mean, yeah all… four of us have been together, but…”

“We don’t know how long this long dark will last,” Ignis supplies for him. “I understand. I think it’s best if we communicate these things clearly, don’t you? What’s mine is yours, and all that?”

Prompto smiles. “Uh huh. That works. Roomies! Y’know, if it wasn’t under such awful circumstances, this could be kind of fun.” He sighs. “Do you like having a roommate?”

“Well, if our history has been indicative of anything, I’m certain I will enjoy it,” Ignis promises. “The last time I lived with someone was when Noct had his own flat in Insomnia.”

Prompto chews on his lip, trying to ignore the way that his heart twists with jealousy. He would’ve loved to live with Iggy. Hell, he would’ve loved to live with Noct. Living with both of them sounds like a dream. He remembers when Ignis had his own separate bedroom in Noct’s apartment, as it was more convenient for both of them.

At least now, Prompto’s sharing a bedroom with Ignis. He wonders how long it will take for Ignis to get completely tired of him.

Prompto hopes it isn’t for a while.

Prompto sucks in a breath, pushing his negative thoughts away. “Well, I’ll be better at cleaning up, at least!” Prompto offers weakly before sighing in defeat. “I’m sorry I’m not… I’m sorry he isn’t here.”

Prompto sees Ignis move out of the corner of his eye, and before he can turn to look fully he feels fingers brush against his neck before settling on his chin, tilting Prompto’s face upward to look at Ignis. Prompto focuses on the scars that peek out underneath Ignis’s sunglasses, and the smaller scars on his nose and lip. It’s a little distracting how beautiful he is, especially when Ignis is holding his face like this gently.

“Why would you apologize for such a thing?” Ignis asks. “I am happy to be here with you, Prompto, regardless of the way we’re missing our prince.”

Our prince, Prompto thinks. Prompto has no idea how Ignis manages to know just what to say to make things better. Prompto laughs softly, wrapping his arms around Ignis’s middle to give him a hug. “You’re right. We’ll make the best of this, right, Iggy? I’m happy to be with you, too.” Prompto’s eyes widen at his slip-up. “ Here with you, I mean.” He chews his lip.

Instead of calling Prompto out, Ignis merely chuckles as his arms wrap around Prompto in return. “We will indeed. Now, I do believe we have some unpacking to do?”

Prompto groans. “Guess you’re right. We should make this place a little homier anyway, huh?”

Ignis pulls back to smile beautifully in Prompto’s direction. “Certainly.”

Chapter Text

Prompto supposes nightmares are inevitable for himself -- he’s always had pretty vivid dreams -- but after a few weeks of peace, he’s been lulled into a false sense of security. Prompto’s surprised at the lack of nightmares, but he’ll blame it on sharing a bed with Ignis every night since they moved in together. It’s hard to think about traumatic experiences when you’re in the arms of the man you’re one-sidedly in love with every night.

Still, good things rarely stay good for Prompto for long. 

-----

Prompto finds himself running down endless hallways, completely alone. His weapons are gone, and it’s not long before he’s strung up, chains digging into his wrists painfully.

All Prompto can do is watch in horror as Ardyn appears, not wearing his friends’ faces like usual. No, Ardyn’s gripping Ignis tightly, hands wrapped around his throat. Ignis can’t breathe, and Prompto can’t do anything. He pulls against his restraints, starting to bleed as he tries so desperately to get to Ignis to no avail. Their eyes lock, and Prompto can feel tears streaming down his face.

“Iggy!” Prompto chokes out, though it’s more of a sob than anything else.

Ignis looks at him in confusion and in pain. 

-----

“Prompto?” Ignis whispers in his ear, voice much calmer and much, much closer.

Prompto vaguely registers arms wrapping around him, warm and safe as he whimpers, feeling himself stirring. He moves his wrists, finding that they’re free, not restrained--

Prompto’s eyes flutter open, relieved breath filling his lungs. He feels himself pulled further into Ignis’s embrace, Ignis’s arms locking tightly around Prompto’s front, his back colliding with Ignis’s chest as Ignis sits up in bed. Prompto melts back into Ignis selfishly, so happy that it was just a dream, so happy that Ignis is okay and holding him.

“Are you alright?” Ignis whispers gently. “Were you having a nightmare?”

Prompto feels his heartbeat start to calm as he nods, knowing Ignis can feel the wordless gesture against his chest even if he can’t see it. “Yeah. Yeah, shit, I was back in Niflheim… oh, man.”

Ignis’s arms tighten around him. “It was only a dream. You’re safe with me.”

Prompto almost wants to cry harder. Yeah, maybe he is safe with Ignis, but being held like this is getting to be too much. It’s been a month now of waking up curled up against Ignis’s warmth like a blanket, and he knows someday it’ll get taken away from him. Noct will come back, and things will go back to the way they were between Prompto and Ignis. He’d sacrifice it just to get Noct back, but a part of his heart still hurts to think about it. A tear spills over his cheek.

“Oh, Prompto, are you crying?” Ignis asks after Prompto forgets to respond.

“No,” Prompto lies weakly, though his voice gives him away.

“Tell me,” Ignis insists, voice even closer, urging Prompto into serenity, “tell me what you dreamt.”

Well, at least Ignis thinks the stupid tears that accidentally fall down Prompto’s face are because of the dream, instead of how stupid he feels for pining over Ignis like this.

“Um,” Prompto starts, sniffling, trying to pull himself together, “I was… chained up, like… before, when you guys found me.” Prompto sighs. “Except Ardyn had you, too. He was… he was hurting you, and I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t protect you.”

Ignis is quiet for a moment, running his fingers gently along the length of Prompto’s arm soothingly. “Well, it wasn’t real. I’m here, we’re both here. We’re fine.”

Prompto turns in his grip to halfway face Ignis, reaching up to touch one of the scars that cascade onto his cheekbone. "But if anything were to happen to you, it'd be on me. I don't wanna not be able to protect you."

Ignis frowns. "It would be on me, never you. I'm able to protect myself, Prompto. Is that what you're crying over?" 

Prompto almost wants to laugh bitterly at the question. "You can't see, Iggy. I gotta be your backup. Maybe Gladio should be here instead of me."

"I'm fully aware of my disability," Ignis says gently.

Prompto's stomach lurches. Shit. He's been so insensitive, so unthinking. "Dude, I didn't mean… I'm sorry, let me just… I'm gonna go for a walk, I don't wanna keep you up--"

Prompto moves to slide off the bed and away from Ignis, but the arms gripping his middle remain, tightening even further around Prompto. He swallows nervously, letting Ignis keep him there, melting back into his embrace easily.

"Shh, now, I know you meant no offense," Ignis whispers into Prompto's ear. "Don't run from me, Prompto. Not while you're upset."

Prompto sighs, his breath wavering slightly. "Okay. Okay. I'm sorry."

Ignis bows his head so that their cheeks touch ever so gently, and Prompto feels his breath catch in his throat at the intimacy. "No apologies…"

Prompto nods. "Okay, Iggy." He has no idea why Ignis is so comfortable with this closeness, but Prompto will take whatever he can get. Ignis's cheek is so warm against his, and he can feel his breath against his shoulder. Prompto leans into him too, pressing their cheeks closer together.

Ignis pulls back slightly, giving Prompto his space again, much to Prompto's disappointment. He supposes it was only a matter of time, but his cheek still tingles pleasantly where Ignis touched. 

"About your concerns, I was thinking perhaps we could train more together, you and I. Gladio as well, whenever he may show up again. You could lend me a hand in learning to fight better without using my sight."

Prompto frowns. “You’re already great, Iggy. Way better than I am. I was being a jerk, and I’m sorry.”

One of Ignis’s hands slide up Prompto to find his cheek, delicately wiping the tears that accidentally spilled over from earlier. “You weren’t being anything of the sort. I might manage well in battle, but I could certainly be better. Would you be interested in training with me?”

Prompto can’t help but smile. “I mean, yeah, I’d love to, dude.” He sniffles. “You sure I wouldn’t get in the way?”

“You would help me greatly, as you always do,” Ignis promises. “We could start first thing in the morning, perhaps? We’ve a day off, after all.”

“Yeah! That sounds great. I’ve kinda wanted to kill something for a while,” Prompto laughs. “We could go on more hunts together that way, I think. Get used to fighting side-by-side again?”

“Now that I could never forget,” Ignis teases. “We’ll make a date of it, then. Now, how are you feeling, Prompto?”

Prompto tries to ignore the way his heart pounds at Ignis’s phrasing. He didn’t mean it like that, he never means it like that, Prompto repeats to himself. “I’m… I’m okay.” Prompto shifts in Ignis’s arms again so he can look at the other man. He finds himself gazing at Ignis’s scars again, and it’s not long before words he didn’t permit to leave his mouth start tumbling from his lips. “Have I ever told you how pretty your scars are? I hate that you hide them under your sunglasses all the time.”

Prompto watches Ignis’s lips part ever so slightly with surprise. He tilts his head quizzically. “That’s very kind of you, Prompto, but I’m certain others don’t share your sentiment.”

“I doubt that,” Prompto insists. He reaches up, fingers hovering over the scar. “Can I…? Do they hurt still?”

“Not physically,” Ignis murmurs. “You may.”

Prompto closes the distance between his fingers and Ignis’s cheek, fingers brushing along the rigid scar tissue. One side of it travels as far down as the middle of his cheek, and Prompto traces it all. “They really are pretty, but I don’t mean to make light of what you went through to get ‘em. I’m sorry that this happened to you. Do you… wanna talk about it? About what happened?”

Ignis sighs gently. “I will soon, but I… don’t wish to get into that quite yet.”

Prompto swallows nervously. “Okay. I’m here if you ever do.”

There’s the briefest of silences but it’s long enough to capture Prompto’s attention. “Describe them to me?” Ignis asks, his tone softer than Prompto’s heard yet. “I’ve not yet asked how differently I look because of them. I know they’re there, and essentially to what extent, but I’m otherwise uncertain as to how they alter my appearance.”

“You don’t really look any different, Iggy,” Prompto promises. “The bigger one, here, it looks kinda cool, actually. It looks like… flames, maybe? Fire? They make you look badass, and somehow even more untouchably pretty. I mean, you always were a handsome bastard, now even more. Share the good looks, huh?” Prompto laughs weakly, hoping that helps brush off some of the intimate comments.

“I don’t think you need any aid in that department,” Ignis assures him. “There’s a reason why it looks like that, of course.”

Prompto’s heart pounds, flushing a little at the comment. He raises an eyebrow. “Did you get burned? Kinda looks like that, only smoother.”

Ignis stiffens. “Something like that.”

Prompto gets the message; Iggy’s made it pretty clear that he doesn’t wanna talk about it yet. “Sorry, Iggy.” 

Ignis smiles for Prompto’s benefit, head tilting gently. “It isn’t that I don’t wish to share it with you. I… simply don’t wish you to think differently of me once you find out why I have them.”

Prompto frowns. “I’d never think differently of you. We’ve all got our… share of shit, y’know?”

“Yes. I suppose that’s true. Do continue?” His tone teases gently.

Prompto smiles, reaching up to touch just above his other eye. “This one over here, it’s almost just like a tiny cut that separates your eyebrow a little bit. Not much of a difference other than the badass factor.” He laughs.  

Ignis chuckles softly. “I see. And the others?”

“Well, there’s one here,” Prompto says, touching along the bridge of Ignis’s nose. “It’s same as the other one, pretty small. Doesn’t really change anything. Your nose is still… a nose.” He snorts.

“Well, thank the Astrals for that,” Ignis teases.

Prompto bites his lip. The last one is on Ignis’s bottom lip, and he definitely wants to touch it, but it’s not like friends go around touching each other’s mouths. He sighs. “Other one’s on your lip, as you know.”

A tiny smile plays at Ignis’s lips. “Not going to touch that one, are we?” 

Prompto’s heart thuds. “Well, I didn’t wanna be weird.” Prompto reaches out despite his words, pressing the pad of his index finger gently against Ignis’s bottom lip. The texture’s softer than any of his fantasies, and he resists the urge to lean in and kiss him. “This one’s not noticeable at all, unless if you get kinda close.”

“Like you are now?” Ignis asks, the movement of his lips nearly causing him to kiss Prompto’s finger. 

Prompto withdraws his finger like a whip, scared of what he might do next. “Yep,” Prompto exhales the words out. “Your lips are kinda chapped.”

Ignis laughs. “My apologies.”

“Not as bad as mine, dude! At least yours are still soft.” Damn it, Argentum, you had to mention how soft his lips are, he thinks to himself . “Anyway, I’m totally keeping you up, aren’t I?” Nice save.

There’s still that soft smile on Ignis’s lips. “Not at all. I’m very glad you’re alright now, Prompto.”

Prompto sighs. “Yeah. Thanks, Iggy. You always know just what to do.”

“It’s my pleasure.”

“I guess I should still go for that walk, though. I’ve got way too much pent-up energy to sleep right now, and you look tired.”

Ignis raises an eyebrow. “Well, are you set on going for a walk, or might I suggest another activity?”

“Huh? What do you mean?” Prompto asks.

“Well, we have yet to explore the books Iris left for us. I think a novel might be a good distraction for us. What do you think?”

Prompto blinks a few times. “Are you… talkin’ about me reading to you, Igster?”

Ignis chuckles. “Yes, I thought that obvious, it would be rather difficult any other way.”

Prompto starts to laugh, shoving Ignis playfully. "Hey, be gentle, dude. I've never read to anyone before. Well, 'cept for little kids."

Ignis raises an eyebrow, still smiling. "Oh? You've read to children before?"

"Yeah! Used to babysit sometimes for extra cash in high school when you guys weren’t around. And Noct will never admit this but I totally read Talcott a bedtime story countless occasions a few years back when the little guy couldn't sleep. I made it only, like, three pages before he passed out though." Prompto laughs at the memory. "Noct hates that I beat the prince at babysitting duty."

Ignis laughs softly. "That's quite adorable, Prompto. I’m sad I didn’t get to see that at the time.”

Prompto smiles softly. “Yeah, you were always at the citadel so late whenever that happened.”

Ignis nods. “Yes, but aren't I lucky to live with someone who has such experience under his belt?" he teases.

Prompto snorts. "Oh yeah, you're the luckiest. Lemme go pick out a book, huh? Any preferences?"

Ignis gives it some thought -- or at least pretends to. "Surprise me."

Prompto heads to the darkness of the living room, ignoring the clock that reads two A.M. seeing as it’s dark all the time anyway. He finds the books Iris donated to them on their tiny shelf. There’s some romance novels that Gladio might enjoy, some almost ruined young-adult novels, most of them dealing with love or tragedy in some manner or another -- both categories being awkward to read to Ignis before they sleep. Prompto’s eyes fall on one of the books, and realizes that a dark comedy seems like the best -- and least awkward -- he’s gonna get.

Prompto nearly races back to the bedroom, a weird sort of giddiness in his stomach thinking of the intimacy that reading to Ignis will bring. He likes spending time with Ignis more than he should, but he feels like this is something both of them would really enjoy -- as long as Prompto manages to not screw it up, of course.

Prompto knocks on the door casually to let Ignis know he’s returned before flopping on the empty space onto the bed, book in hand.

“Found one that’s promising, I guess. You’ve probably already read it, though, but I haven’t.” Prompto laughs.

“Oh? And what did you find?” Ignis asks, a gentle smile on his face.

Prompto stares at the cover of the book for a second. “ Good Omens? I’ve heard it’s good.”

“Ah, I’ve actually not read that one yet. I’ve been meaning to as well, but I’m afraid life gets in the way.”

By ‘life’ , of course, Ignis means duty. It’s admirable how busy and hardworking Ignis keeps himself, but Prompto sort of wants to teach the tactician how to relax, take time for himself. With Noct gone for Astrals only know how long, maybe Prompto can try it a little -- given that he doesn’t fuck up and make this a totally terrible experience all in all.

“Well, this’ll be exciting for both of us… I hope,” Prompto squeaks.

Ignis sounds more amused than anything when he speaks. “Are you nervous?”

Prompto laughs at how easy he is to read. “Um. Kinda? Like I said, I’ve never done this before other than, like, with kids.”

“Don’t be nervous,” Ignis urges, as if that could will away Prompto’s irrational emotions. It almost works -- almost. “Come here.”

Prompto looks over to find Ignis outstretching his arms invitingly for Prompto to crawl into. Ignoring the ache in his heart at how none of this will lead to anything, Prompto accepts the invitation wordlessly, scooting backward until his back touches Ignis’s chest again, melting into Ignis’s embrace.

“I’ll try,” Prompto says gently. “Alright, cozy enough?”

Prompto can hear the smile in Ignis’s voice. “Quite.”

Prompto desperately tries to ignore the way Ignis’s hand rests on his hip as he opens the book, turning to the first page. The silence seems charged, at least to Prompto’s lovesick brain, and he wonders what Ignis is thinking right now. Is Ignis always this cool with platonic snuggles? Did he touch Noct like this when they were alone? 

Prompto squeezes his eyes shut, pushing the stupid thoughts from his brain as he sighs. They’re just reading a book together. There’s no reason for Prompto to freak out like this. Prompto opens his eyes, holding the corner of the book timidly as he starts to read.

It was a nice day. All the days had been nice. There had been rather more than seven of them so far, and rain hadn't been invented yet. But clouds massing east of Eden suggested that the first thunderstorm was on its way, and it was going to be a big one. The angel of the Eastern Gate put his wings over his head to shield himself from the first drops. ‘I'm sorry,’ he said politely. ‘What was it you were saying?’

A soft chuckle sounds in Prompto’s ear. Prompto looks over his shoulder at Ignis self-consciously. “What?!” Prompto squeaks.

“Apologies, I didn’t intend to interrupt,” Ignis says softly. “I quite like hearing you read, that’s all.”

Prompto chews on his lip, trying to calm his racing heart. “Thanks.”

“Do continue?”

Prompto nods to no one in particular and returns his eyes to the book. “ ‘I said, that one went down like a lead balloon,’ said the serpent. ‘Oh. Yes,’ said the angel, whose name was Aziraphale.

Prompto ends up reading for what feels like an hour, both of them too engaged in the story to say anything to one another. Prompto finds himself relaxing into the task, not thinking about it much at all the more he does it. Halfway through Prompto’s reading, Ignis starts tracing his finger along Prompto’s leg, relaxing him further. Prompto’s heart relaxes eventually after getting used to it.

Prompto pauses for a moment after a while. “Huh. So whatever star this world’s set in only has one God. Weird.”

“It would appear so,” Ignis agrees. “Quite an interesting creative choice, if I do say so myself. Seems like a grand way to have far too much power.”

“I know, right? No wonder stuff’s all going wrong in this book,” Prompto says with a smile. “Guess these demons aren’t like our daemons, either.”

“Humanoid daemons. Sounds strange. Do you like the story so far, Prompto?” 

“Yeah. It’s interesting. Do you wanna go to bed yet?” Prompto bites on his bottom lip, hoping Ignis will say no.

Ignis tightens his grip around Prompto’s waist. “Read for just a short while longer?”

Prompto grins, his heart fluttering with affection. “Cool.”


Prompto, as it turns out, kind of regrets reading so much as soon as he wakes up. The dark circles under his eyes don’t seem to go away no matter how much concealer he uses. He groans as he looks in the mirror, wishing he had more discipline to go to bed earlier instead of reading to Ignis. 

Prompto still can’t get the way Ignis’s arms held him tightly out of his head, though. If he was given the opportunity to redo it, he’d do the same thing all over again.

“What are you whining about?” Ignis asks from the doorway of the bathroom.

Prompto looks over in the mirror as Ignis leans casually against the doorframe, arms crossed. Prompto still has no idea how such casual stances on anyone else look absolutely gorgeous on Ignis.

“I look like crap, dude,” Prompto says with a sigh. “You need in here?”

“I’m certain you look fine. Not immediately, no. I do need help with…” Ignis trails off, gesturing vaguely to his bedhead, bangs fallen onto his forehead tragically.

Prompto grins. “What’cha mean? It looks cute like that,” he teases.

Ignis frowns. “Prompto, please.”

Prompto laughs. “Alright, alright, c’mere, man.”

Prompto wets his fingers as soon as Ignis steps toward the sink, stopping just before he runs into it. Prompto reaches up and starts running his fingers through Ignis’s hair, resisting the urge to sigh pleasurably at the feeling of the soft strands as he wets them.

Prompto chances a glance at Ignis’s face, eyes still closed as always, but still so beautiful with the serene expression, not stressed or sad like he’s used to seeing on Iggy’s features. His lips are parted so slightly, all it would take to kiss him is to just lean in. Prompto remembers how soft Ignis’s lips felt on his finger last night, and wishes more than anything that he had the courage to ask. Some part of Prompto’s hopeful brain thinks that Ignis would indulge him. Friends could kiss each other, right? No biggie.

“Is something wrong?” Ignis asks.

Prompto blinks, realizing that he’s forgotten to style Ignis’s hair in favor of practically caressing it by now. He laughs. “Nope! Not at all, just got distracted.” Prompto brushes Ignis’s hair back with his fingers. “I know I say this all the time, but you should let me change your hair. You’d love it. Keep it the same on the sides pretty much, just style your bangs back instead of straight up. It’d stay outta your eyes in battle way more, and it’d be so easy for you to style.”

Ignis sighs in amusement. “And how much longer would this take?”

Prompto can’t help but laugh as he takes his fingers out of Ignis’s hair and hops up on the bathroom counter to sit so he doesn’t have to reach up as high. “Definitely less time than attacking it with gel to make it defy gravity.”

Ignis frowns. “I thought you liked my hair.”

“I always like your hair. Just tryin’ to make it easier on you, dude. If you want spikes, let’s do it.” Prompto reaches for the hair gel across the sink as he lets his legs start to sway on the counter.

Ignis opens his mouth to speak but lets out a breath instead. “Fine. Don’t make me look foolish.”

Prompto grins. “Really? You’re gonna let me?”

Ignis smiles. “Yes. Don’t make me regret it.”

Prompto tries not to laugh and fails, snickering under his breath as he reaches out to Ignis, now the same height due to the fact that Prompto’s sitting on the counter. He places both of his hands on Ignis’s shoulders, squeezing them teasingly. “I got you. Trust me.”

“I’m already regretting this.”

Prompto continues to laugh as he reaches for a comb. As soon as Prompto makes sure Ignis’s hair is wet enough, he brings the comb to Ignis’s hair, combing his bangs back easily. “See? You’d just get it a little wet, slick it back a little with product...” Prompto trails off, mostly to himself as he starts teasing Ignis’s hair up and back.

“You enjoy this far too much,” Ignis teases him, leaning his head forward slightly so that Prompto has better access to his hair.

Prompto grins. “Maybe,” he allows. He grabs a blow dryer, plugging it in and setting it on high. “Then we’ll dry it!” 

Ignis smiles at him, waiting patiently as Prompto continues to tease and blow-dry Ignis’s hair. Prompto swings his legs as he works, trying to focus on what he’s doing, but fails as soon as Ignis smiles like that. Maybe this hairstyle would be a bad idea; he already looks even more handsome, if possible.

Prompto switches off the blow dryer, biting his lip as he admires his work. He lightly touches the soft pompadour, happy he didn’t put too much product in it.

“Well, how does it look?” Ignis asks nervously. He reaches up to lightly touch his bangs that are now styled back.

Prompto laughs under his breath. Ignis looks more mature with the new hairstyle, even more out of reach; there’s not much that could convince Prompto that Ignis isn’t entirely out of reach, however.

“You look like a prince, dude,” Prompto promises. “Totally regal. You’re a model.”

Ignis starts to laugh, shaking his head. “I’m convinced you’re a tad biased, hmm? I suppose the style can stay for now. It does seem a bit easier for me to style, should I need to.”

Prompto absolutely beams. “I’m glad you like it, Igster.”

“I never said that,” Ignis says, though there’s a soft smile playing on his lips.

"It'll be way easier when you're fighting. Just admit it, I'm a genius."

Ignis huffs out another adorable laugh. "That you are, Prompto. Now, do let us head out? I'd hate to not have a headstart on training."

Prompto sighs, hopping off of the bathroom counter. "Let's just hope lack of sleep won't kill me."

Ignis smirks. "All the more reason to get the adrenaline going, hmm?"

 

Prompto puts the finishing touches on the third target he's set up for Ignis to hit. They're on the outskirts of Lestallum, far enough away to be alone but not too far that the lights won't protect them from daemons. Prompto figures that daemons interfering would only be a nuisance at this point.

"Prompto? Are they far apart enough?" Ignis calls out from a few feet away, his daggers in hand.

"Yep!" Prompto responds, leaving the last target behind to run over to Ignis. "They're about 20 feet apart from each other."

"Different heights, as we discussed?" 

Prompto laughs. "Yeah, Iggy."

"Excellent, thank you. Might you point me toward the middle target?" Ignis asks. 

Prompto nods involuntarily before shouting, "Yep!" He moves behind Ignis, gently putting his hands on Ignis's waist to shift his body to face the target. "Move just a little bit… there ya go."

Gods, has Ignis's body always been this warm? He can feel it even through the thick cloth of his dress shirt. 

"Alright," Ignis murmurs as he flips his dagger in his hands impatiently, "my arm, if you will?"

Prompto yanks his hand back as Ignis flips the dagger, not preparing for Ignis's teasingly threatening move. "Jeez. Warn a guy?"

Ignis chuckles before flipping both daggers in both hands at the same time. "This is purely reflex, Prompto, this shouldn't worry you. I needn't sight for this. My arm, please?"

Prompto sighs as he rolls his eyes. "Don't hate me for worrying, Igster. Okay, okay, don't crap yourself, I got it."

Prompto reaches around Ignis again, fingers wrapping gently around Ignis's wrist to pull it upward to be level with the target.

"Okay," Prompto whispers, moving his hand off of Ignis's. "Go."

Ignis takes a moment to take a breath, concentrating as he gracefully flicks his wrist to toss the dagger into the target. It lands just outside the middle, and Ignis doesn't hesitate before throwing the other, landing closer to the middle than the first. 

"Holy shit!" Prompto gasps as he steps out from behind Ignis and stands next to him. "Do we even gotta practice? You're still amazing."

Ignis smiles softly. "Thank you, but that was only because you aided me. I need to grow used to hearing the targets, so that I may find them on my own, especially in battle when I have to worry about not hitting you lot as well."

Prompto puts his hand on his hips. "Alright, fair point. But never seemed to be a problem before, and you've been like this for, like, two months now? Three?"

"Regardless," Ignis begins smoothly, "practice makes perfect."

Prompto sighs. "Yeah. Sure. Should I start throwing stuff now?" 

Ignis nods firmly, his brows furrowing. “Do stay out of the way. I won’t be putting you in danger for this."

" How many years have I trained with you like this, Iggy? Don't doubt yourself now . I may not be as slick as you but I'm fast when I wanna be," Prompto points out as he jogs over to the middle target to retrieve Ignis's daggers.

Ignis sighs when Prompto returns to press the daggers into his palm. “Fair enough. Create sound only where I’m to be throwing -- stay out of harm’s way, please.”

Prompto laughs as he picks up a few rocks to throw. “You got it, Igster.”

Prompto tosses a rock far away from him toward one of the targets. He watches Ignis concentrate on the sound, tossing a dagger through the air toward it. It nearly hits the mark, only a few inches off.

“How was it?” Ignis asks bleakly.

“Nearly perfect,” Prompto promises. “You’re a tiny bit too off, you threw it more to the right.”

“Hmm. I need to focus on where the target will be, not where I hear it currently. Try again, please?”

Prompto gets ready to aim another rock with a smile. “Alright, let’s do this.”

This time, Ignis’s aim is far better, hitting the location of the sound perfectly. Prompto smiles, reaching over to unfold Ignis’s fingers from his palm to give him a high-five. “Good goin’, Iggy! You’re amazing.”

“It’s a start,” Ignis says warily.

“Hmm. What’ll it take for you to actually be proud of yourself for once? Seriously, you’re awesome . I couldn’t hit any of that with my eyes closed. Not many people could,” Prompto points out.

“You could with practice,” Ignis says. “Shall we go again?”

Prompto chews on his bottom lip. “Can I try somethin’, Iggy?” 

Ignis raises an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”

Prompto returns Ignis’s daggers to him, walking over to one of the targets. “How ‘bout I tap the target, and since I’ll be nearby, it’ll help you throw straight? Just like in battle when you gotta dodge us?”

Ignis hesitates for just a moment before frowning. “No. We shouldn’t do that until much later.”

“C’mon, we used to do that all the time in crownsguard training,” Prompto points out. “What’s the difference? I trust you.”

“Says the man who was uncomfortable with me tossing them in my hand,” Ignis counters, “and, Prompto, the difference is that I could see back then. I would never have purposely put you in harm’s way back during crownsguard training. I had complete control over the situation.”

“Your control now is perfect. You’ll never improve if you don’t challenge yourself. Besides, like I said, I’m fast. I can dodge you even if you mess up-- which you won’t. C’mon, just once?” Prompto practically begs.

Prompto may or may not want Ignis to have more confidence in himself. He can tell that Ignis wants to do it -- he’s always been eager to learn everything at once, at least in the time that he’s known Ignis. The chances of Ignis even slightly messing up are very slim, even despite Ignis’s disability, he does have perfect control.

Ignis huffs out a sigh. “Very well. But you must promise me that you will not do anything purposely reckless. Just because I cannot see you does not mean I don’t know what you are doing.”

Prompto grins as he walks over to the first target. “Hellz yeah, Iggy! Alright, I’m gonna tap the target, then you throw, then I’ll be at the next one by the time you do it. Sound coolsies?”

Ignis nods. “Please, be careful, Prompto.”

Prompto rolls his eyes. “I will, I will,” he groans. “Alright. Ready?”

Ignis flips his daggers, gripping them firmly in his fingers, crouching slightly into a battle pose. “Proceed.”

Prompto tries not to get too distracted at how absolutely beautiful he looks like this, always so graceful and lethal all at the same time. This has always been a problem for Prompto, and apparently it’s not going away anytime soon.

Prompto taps the first target loudly, barely staying there in time to watch the flick of Ignis’s wrist as he backs off toward the other target. Ignis’s dagger lands perfectly against the first target, and Prompto taps the second target immediately after. Ignis tosses the dagger expertly in the new direction as soon as he turns his body, forcing Prompto to run toward the third target. Prompto watches as Ignis summons his daggers back to him just as Prompto taps the third target, ducking out of the way.

Prompto’s so mesmerized by the way Ignis is so fluid and elegant in his movements, he’s definitely not paying attention to his own. His foot hits the ground wrong when he takes a step and finds himself tumbling to the ground, a breathless giggle leaving his lips when he realizes how clumsy he is.

As soon as Prompto hits the ground, he lets out a breathless, “Oof!” He continues to laugh, a little embarrassed but also slightly grateful that Ignis couldn’t see him fall.

Prompto hears the sound of Ignis’s daggers dematerializing, and then footsteps. Prompto rolls over onto his back, propping himself up on his elbows just in time to see Ignis rushing toward him.

“Prompto!” Ignis calls out, kneeling on the ground right where Prompto lies.

Before Prompto can get a word out, Ignis feels for him, reaching out until his hands collides with Prompto’s shoulder. His fingers slide upward until they’re cradling Prompto’s face, and Prompto’s breath catches in his throat at the gesture. Prompto tries not to lean into the gentle touch, but utterly fails, closing his eyes pleasurably for a moment.

“Tell me you’re alright,” Ignis murmurs, voice wavering with emotion. “Have I hit you?”

Prompto reaches up to grip Ignis’s wrist, opening his eyes finally. He gazes up at the look of horror on Ignis’s face, and he almost wants to smile. Ignis is so worried , it’s all over his face; it makes Prompto feel special, almost loved.

“I’m completely and totally fine, dude,” Prompto whispers. “I tripped. Over my own shoe.” He starts to laugh again, sitting up finally.

Relief floods Ignis’s face, lips parting to exhale a relieved sigh, a soft laugh bellowing out from deep within his chest. He smiles beautifully. “All I heard was you hitting the ground, I… I may have jumped to conclusions.”

Prompto laughs softly, but it’s nervous. He swallows guiltily, not realizing what that must have sounded like to someone who couldn’t see. “Yeah, I’m sorry, Iggy. I’m kinda clumsy, you know that. Not a scratch on me, I swear. It’s okay. You didn’t do anything wrong.” Prompto lets out another laugh, looking at the targets. “You really wrecked those targets, though. Man, you’re unbelievable.”

“You needn’t apologize,” Ignis promises, his hand still cradling Prompto’s face gently. “I’m just glad you’re alright.”

Prompto sits up further so he can reach out and put his hand on Ignis’s shoulder. Ignis might be smiling, but he’s still slightly paled, clearly affected by what happened more than he’s letting on. “Iggy, I’m okay. You wanna check?”

Prompto takes Ignis’s wrist and runs Ignis’s hand along his arms, his neck, his chest -- trying to ignore how nice Ignis’s fingers feel on his skin. Ignis is quiet for a moment, feeling any visible parts of Prompto for any sign of injuries. Ignis seems grateful by the gesture -- or amused, judging by the way his smile widens. He rests his hand on Prompto’s neck this time, raising goosebumps on Prompto’s flesh embarrassingly enough.

“Thank you, Prompto,” Ignis says softly. “I don’t know what I would do if any harm came to you -- especially if it was by my own hand.”

It seems like it took a lot for Ignis’s voice not to waver as he said that, and Prompto feels his heart swell with affection. Ignis isn’t the easiest man to read in the world, despite all they’ve been through and all the time they’ve spent together. To hear Ignis confirm that Prompto’s at least a little important to him means more to him than anything.

Prompto surges forward, wrapping his arms around Ignis’s neck to pull him into a tight hug. Prompto buries his face into Ignis’s neck, smiling softly. “You could never hurt me, Igster,” he promises. “I’m sorry I worried you. But I’m okay. I promise. Can’t get rid of me that easy.”

Ignis hesitates for a moment before wrapping his arms around Prompto in response, all but crushing Prompto against him, a soft sigh leaving his lips. “I worried myself. I’m somewhat relieved you still have so much faith in me,” Ignis admits.

Prompto pulls back slightly to look at Ignis, making sure he’s alright. “Of course I do. You could kick everyone’s ass. You’d have me on the floor in a second flat, dude. We just gotta keep ourselves sharp, huh? Both of us.”

Ignis sighs. “Yes, but I’d prefer to wait to throw daggers in your direction from now on, hmm? Perhaps until a few more sessions…?”

Prompto frowns. “You were doin’ fine, Iggy. I tripped.”

Ignis smiles softly. “Yes, I’m aware of that. Humor me, won’t you, darling?”

Prompto’s heart nearly stops beating. Prompto has never heard that term of endearment from Ignis, not to him, not to anyone -- not even to Noct. It had to have been playful, or some sort of accident, right? Would it be weird if Prompto mentioned it? Yes, that would probably make things weird.

Prompto finds himself laughing nervously, fresh flush cropping up on his cheeks, grateful that Ignis can’t see it. “Oh, um, yeah, Iggy! You got it, sweet cheeks .”

If only Prompto could stop being a human disaster, maybe things would work out in his favor for once. This is definitely not one of those times.

If Ignis thinks Prompto is probably the Stupidest Person Alive, he doesn’t say anything about it, much to Prompto’s relief. Ignis laughs instead. “We’ll keep at it, then?”

Prompto can’t help but smile. “Yeah. Let’s do it.”

 

Prompto and Ignis continue to train like that first time outside of Lestallum nearly every day. It takes around two weeks for Ignis to warm up to training with Prompto like the first day they decided to in this long dark. 

After a month, Ignis doesn’t even hesitate to utilize Prompto to train. Even when they go on hunts for nearby daemons, Ignis blossoms -- the training really paid off, and if Prompto’s honest, practicing shooting in the dark is always challenging. Prompto’s able to fire shots in the directions of Ignis’s daggers even more so than before, and Ignis can easily toss daggers or elemental spells where Prompto shoots -- way too accurately, if Prompto’s honest. They grow used to each other in battle so much it’s almost like they’re the same person; Prompto never thought he could be that skilled or graceful, but Ignis taught him how. There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of Ignis easily lifting Prompto up to aim at a target closer with his handguns, and then flipping out of Ignis’s arms so Ignis can finish their hunt off with a polearm, lethal and beautiful all at once. Fighting this closely with Ignis,  even more so than crownsguard training, well; it’s one of the coolest things Prompto’s experienced.

The routine, after another month goes by, Prompto finds fairly soothing. They train or hunt some days, help cook in Lestallum other days -- sometimes both. Ignis doesn’t even need to use his cane anymore except for in unfamiliar places or when Prompto’s not with him (a rarity). And at night, night, every night, Prompto reads a chapter or two of Good Omens to help them both wind down from their daily activities.

It’s not until Prompto reads the very last page that he feels a bittersweet feeling in his chest that always comes with finishing a book -- but something more as well. It’s probably due to the fact that Ignis is in bed right next to him, and there’s always a chance they won’t find another book quite like this, so Prompto won’t get to read to him ever again.

Prompto’s always jumped to the worst conclusions.

“Well, well. What did you think of the novel, Prompto?” Ignis asks, breaking the silence.

Prompto stirs, realizing that Ignis is talking about the book and nothing else. “It was good. I liked that the daemon and the angel were friends, despite being kinda opposites of each other.”

Ignis smiles. “Yes. More than friends, I’d wager, though they left that rather open-ended, didn’t they?”

Prompto raises an eyebrow. “You thought they loved each other?”

Ignis nods. “I thought that rather obvious. They’d do anything for each other, and stopped at nothing to see each other despite being so different. One could argue that a friendship would include those feelings as well, but it seems as if there’s something else there, as well.” Ignis clicks his tongue against his teeth. “I suppose that’s the beauty of fiction. One always can come away with something different than the person who is sitting next to them who’s reading the same exact story.”

Prompto laughs. “No, I mean… yeah, they did seem pretty romantic, huh?” He can’t help but smile. “It’s kinda nicer when you think of it like that.”

Ignis chuckles softly. “Yes, I think so, as well.”

Before Prompto can respond, his phone on the bedside table starts to ring. No one usually calls him at this time, but given that it's been solid night for months now, he can't blame anyone for getting confused. He reaches for his phone, expecting Gladio or Iris, and finds the name on the phone more surprising than anyone else. 

"Huh," Prompto says out loud, "it's Cindy?"

Ignis tilts his head curiously, confusion plain on his face. "I suppose you should answer it, then."

With a shrug, Prompto accepts the call. "Heyaz. Cindy?"

A soft giggle sounds on the other end of the phone. "Howdy. It's Prompto, ain't it? Thought I got the right number from your friend Gladio, but I ain't sure."

Prompto's lips spread into an involuntary grin at the sound of Cindy's cute accent and the mention of Gladio. "Yeah, it's me! Um, hey! You talked to Gladio?"

Prompto can hear Cindy's smile based on her voice alone. "I sure did, ’round two weeks ago. Said he was trainin' a whole bunch. Haven't seen him since, but I was hopin' maybe he was with you so I could ask him a favor? I can't get a hold of him at his number."

Prompto's brow furrows, wondering what the hell Cindy would want from Gladio. "Uh, no, he's still training… I guess." Prompto laughs. "What did ya need him for?"

Cindy sighs. "Oh, nothin' too important, I reckon. There's some daemons gettin' a little too close for comfort. We had a lightin' issue a couple a days ago? Well, I just worry 'bout them gettin' too close to Paw Paw. The hunters here are keepin' a good eye on it, but I was hopin' maybe Gladio or one of y'all could take him to Lestallum for a bit while I make sure the wirin' is dandy."

Prompto looks over at Ignis. The other man's expression is unreadable as his head is turned away, pretending not to listen to Prompto's phone conversation. "Wow, yeah, I totally wouldn't risk that. Gladio's, like, the king of radio silence so maybe it's best if I just hitch a ride down there to get Cid real quick?"

Prompto's words get Ignis's attention rather quickly, his head turning in the direction of Prompto's voice. His mouth wears the tiniest of frowns that no one would notice except for Prompto, having lived with the guy for months now. Prompto wonders if Ignis would be upset having to be alone for a few days. 

"Aw, are ya sure? I don't wanna put ya out if you're busy 'n such. I heard y'all have been through a lot."

Prompto nods. "Yeah, I mean, it's been hectic for all of us, huh? And it's not like we don't owe you, Cindy. You've been a legit lifesaver hundreds of times. If Iggy can't stay here, I'll just bring him."

Ignis turns his head away again, expression returning to unreadable. Prompto still has a long way to go in deciphering Ignis's tells. Prompto supposes stoicism is a skill Ignis acquired while dealing with dignitaries for Noct over the years.

"Well," Cindy says with a flattered giggle, "you're way too darlin', Prom! It'll be great seein' y'all. It's been too long. I'm real glad y'all are safe at least."

Prompto smiles. “Yeah, it’ll be great seein’ you too, Cindy! I’ll get a hold of a car when I wake up and head over to Hammerhead, then? I’ll text you when I’m on my way.”

“That sounds real good! Thanks again, sugar. You two can stay down here as long as ya like, ya hear?”

“Uh huh. Thanks, girl. It was really nice talkin’ to you,” Prompto says and waits for her to hang up. Prompto lets out a soft sigh. “Guess I gotta go to Hammerhead?”

Ignis returns his attention to Prompto, nodding. “I heard. What for?”

“Cindy wants to get Cid outta there for a bit, take him to Lestallum while she makes sure it’s safe there. I’m sure it’ll be totally easy to convince him,” Prompto says with a snort.

“I see. I do hope that it will go rather smoothly. How long will you be away?” Ignis asks.

“Uhh, I dunno, really. Few days? A week? However long it takes to safely get there and back and make sure the daemons near there are taken care of. D’you wanna come with? She’s expecting you, too -- I didn’t know if I could leave you alone or anything. Not that I want that.” Prompto laughs nervously. “We could make a road trip outta it? Like… y’know, easier times.” He sighs.

Ignis hesitates for a moment, but it’s long enough. “I’m capable of staying here by myself. You needn’t be so worried about me.”

Prompto’s heart races, hoping he hasn’t said the wrong thing. “No, yeah, I know! We just had a… routine, I guess. Didn’t know if you wanted to stick with me or not?”

“I don’t wish to slow you down. I’m certain a few days with Cindy will be rather fun for you,” Ignis says teasingly.

Prompto feels his cheeks warm, remembering yet again all the times he couldn’t shut up about Cindy. He couldn’t exactly blame himself; he’d much rather someone think he likes Cindy than the heartwrenching, maddening crush he has on one of his best friends instead. He wonders what Ignis would think if he told him the truth about that.

“Yeah,” Prompto says awkwardly, rubbing the back of his neck, “but I’d like you there too, y’know.”

Ignis frowns. “I appreciate that, Prompto. I did promise Monica I would help her tomorrow, however. I didn’t think it would be an issue until now.”

Prompto feels his own dumb anxiety worm its way into his chest. Was he too much? Was he not enough? He picks at a thread on his boxers. “Oh, right. My bad. I totally forgot about that.” Prompto sighs. “Are you sure I didn’t say something wrong? Tell me, so I can apologize?”

Ignis smiles softly. “You’ve not done a thing wrong, I promise. It will only be for a few days, and then everything will return to normal, yes?”

Prompto chews on his lip. “Yeah. That’s true, Igster. Hmm. I wonder if Dave’s still in town for a few days? He should be heading back to Hammerhead soon.”

“I believe last time we spoke he said he was still here. You should contact him.”

Prompto sends a message to Dave, letting him know that he’ll need a ride. Fortunately, Dave responds quickly.

“Wow. That’s convenient. He’s leaving around the time we wake up,” Prompto notes as he sends a quick ‘thank you’ to Dave.

“Do give Cindy my regards,” Ignis says with a laugh, “as I’m certain she’ll receive plenty of yours.”

Prompto bursts out laughing, his nervous energy bursting forth. “Oh, Gods. I dunno about that. I’ll be sure to tell her for you, though, dude.”

“What, are you shy all of a sudden?” Ignis asks, smiling a little. “You used to prattle on about her for hours , it seemed like.”

This is so not a conversation that Prompto wants to have right now. “Um, yeah. Just haven’t seen her in a while, I guess. Ha.”

“Now, now, I’m merely teasing you,” Ignis says, patting the space on the bed next to him. “We should get some sleep now, since we both have a rather long day ahead of us.”

Prompto sighs, crawling up the bed and depositing himself next to Ignis. “I guess we do.” Prompto stares at the ceiling, then over at Ignis. “You sure you’re not mad?”

Ignis laughs. “Why the bloody hell would I be mad? You’re doing a wonderful favor for Cindy, Prompto.”

“I dunno. Feels weird. I guess I just kinda… don’t wanna go,” Prompto admits sheepishly, chancing a glance over at Ignis.

Ignis’s eyebrows raise in complete surprise. “Oh? And why is that?”

Prompto explores his feelings about that, and knows he can’t tell Ignis hardly any of them. Living with Ignis has been far greater than he expected it to be, given the circumstances of their arrangement. He’s felt closer to Ignis than ever before, and his feelings for the man have gotten so strong that even leaving him for a few days sounds like something straight out of a nightmare. On one hand, it’ll be nice to get out of Lestallum for a while for a change of scenery and to see new friends, but it doesn’t seem to matter much if Ignis won’t be there with him.

“I, um. I like it here. With you,” Prompto blurts, hoping it’s not too much and enough all at once.

Ignis is quiet for a moment before he reaches out, placing a searching hand on Prompto’s knee. “I suppose you’ll have to hurry back to me, then.” He smiles.

Prompto can’t help that his heart twists at the words, and he finds himself leaning over to curl an arm around Ignis. “I will, for realsies,” he says with a smile.

“What’s this? Cuddling your friend so soon before seeing Cindy? People will talk, you know,” Ignis teases.

Prompto laughs, snuggling further into Ignis’s chest. “Shut up. Let me have this. I’m not gonna get it for a few days.”

Ignis chuckles, curling his arms around Prompto in return. “And how can I say no to such a request?”

Prompto doesn’t remember falling asleep, but apparently he does, clinging to Ignis hoping that the next week or so will go by quickly rather than slowly.

Chapter Text

As soon as Prompto wakes up, there’s a heaviness in his chest that he wishes would go away. It’s not like he’s spending a long time away from Ignis; why is he being like this? Nothing makes it go away, however, and as he gets dressed and packs a small bag for his time in Hammerhead, it seems to make the heaviness grow.

“You’re awfully quiet this morning,” Ignis notes as he prepares breakfast for Prompto, much to his insistence. “Are you feeling alright?”

Prompto feels pathetic; he doesn’t want to admit how much he’s dreading leaving Ignis, how much he’s going to miss him. Ignis doesn’t seem too affected, other than being a bit quieter than usual mornings. Ignis always kept a better lid on any emotions, though; not that he was feeling any. Ignis probably is perfectly fine.

Prompto sighs. “Yeah, I’m good, Iggy!” 

Prompto feels a hand on his shoulder as an omelette is placed in front of him, covered in spices, just the way he likes it. “You know, I can tell when you’re lying to me still. Would you prefer I go instead?”

Prompto frowns. He doesn’t really want to admit that Ignis leaving instead wouldn’t solve the problem at all -- it’d actually make it worse, worrying about Ignis making that trek by himself. “Nah, that’s not it. I’m, uh. It’s not a big deal.” Prompto takes a bite of omelette, the amazing taste not even able to distract him from being-- well, a giant baby.

Ignis sits across from Prompto and takes a bite before responding. “You don’t have to tell me what’s on your mind, of course, but I’m here to listen, should you change your mind.”

Prompto lets out a nervous laugh. “Thanks. I’m good. Just bein’ a baby, I guess.”

Ignis frowns. “I don’t think you are.”

Prompto eats the rest of his omelette in a nervous silence. 

It’s not until Prompto’s halfway through the task of making sure Ignis styles his hair properly when he folds, unable to keep his feelings to himself anymore. Ignis is doing well with his hair so far, Prompto’s only there out of habit at this point. Prompto’s tense and nervous energy bursts forward in the form of words as he watches.

“I hope this isn’t weird to say, ‘cause I don’t wanna be weird, but I’m really gonna miss you and it’s kind of bumming me out.” Prompto takes a deep breath, wincing as he realizes what he’s said. “Oh, man, sorry. I couldn’t hold it in any longer.”

Ignis stops lightly combing his hair back, putting the comb gently on the counter before turning in Prompto’s direction. His eyebrows raise with slight surprise, but a gentle smile blooms on his lips. “I’m going to miss you as well, Prompto, but I assure you I’m not going anywhere. Why were you afraid to say this to me?”

“I dunno, you seem fine and stuff. Didn’t wanna be a baby about it,” Prompto mumbles, suddenly preoccupied with applying mascara to his blonde eyelashes to avoid facing Ignis.

“Will you look at me, please?” Ignis asks.

Prompto has no idea how Ignis knows Prompto isn’t looking at him -- maybe the sound of his voice? -- but Prompto’s a glutton for making Ignis happy. Prompto sets his mascara down with a gentle sigh, looking over at Ignis sheepishly. “Yeah? What’s up?”

Ignis is still smiling, a patient look on his face. “I don’t wish you to withhold such things from me. I didn’t think it mattered to you this much.”

Prompto frowns. “Well, yeah. We’ve been living together for months now. Sleepin’ in the same bed, training, fighting, working, cooking… all that. Together. How would it not matter to me?”

It’s like we’re a couple, Prompto thinks. It’s not as if he can actually say that out loud, though he’s awfully curious as to what Ignis would say if he did.

“I didn’t mean anything by that. Of course it matters, I just didn’t assume such a short while would affect you,” Ignis explains. “I’m dreading you leaving as well. I’ve grown accustomed to you being with me throughout these months.”

“I know,” Prompto says with a sheepish laugh, “I just didn’t wanna be lame about this. I wasn’t really expecting it to affect me either.” He snorts.

“I don’t think that at all,” Ignis promises. “I’m rather relieved you feel similarly to me.”

Prompto’s heart pounds. He feels like he’s teetering on the edge of a balance beam and finally losing his balance here. It takes every effort not to tell Ignis that he loves him not just platonically, but in every way the other man would have him. 

Prompto tries to ignore the way his cheeks heat up with flush. “Yeah. I guess we can call each other. D’you have your accessibility settings turned on, Iggy? Text to speak and everything?” he asks worriedly.

“I do indeed. Will you call me before you head to bed this evening? I’m afraid I’m unused to sleeping without hearing that voice of yours,” Ignis admits with a soft chuckle.

If Prompto thinks too hard about that comment, he’ll lose his mind. He’s dangerously close to just leaning in and pressing a soft kiss to his mouth. “I will. How else am I gonna go to sleep?” Prompto laughs. “Just don’t go finding a new roomie that’s way better than me while I’m gone.”

Ignis smirks. “I wouldn’t dream of it, Prompto.”

Prompto sighs, looking up into Ignis’s eyes. His right eye has opened slightly compared to the other one that’s fully scarred and closed, but it has none of the familiar green anymore that Prompto grew used to, and his pupil is gone from whatever damaged his eye. It’s still beautiful, though, especially as it seems to be slowly healing as much as it can. Despite being unable to see out of it, Ignis still manages to be expressive with it, gazing at him fondly.

“I’m glad,” Prompto murmurs. “Looks like your good eye’s gettin’ better. It's opening up more.”

Ignis closes his one open eye immediately, as if on instinct. "I don't have a good eye," he says teasingly, but there's a tinge of sadness to his smile.

"Open it. It's beautiful," Prompto whispers. "I just meant that it's opening, that's all. I'm sorr--"

"Ah, ah. Don't apologize." Ignis slowly opens his eye, vaguely focused in Prompto's direction. "How differently does it look than before?"

Prompto hums, reaching out to touch Ignis's cheek gently just underneath the eye in question. "Well, it's not green anymore. It's lighter, lighter than mine. It is beautiful. Just different than before."

Ignis blinks, a soft pink color appearing on his cheeks. Prompto fails at not staring at it, slightly in awe that he made Ignis blush. "You're very kind, Prompto. The kindest man I know."

Prompto frowns, ignoring the way his heart races. "I ain't bein' kind! It's the truth, Igster!" He takes his hand off of his face. "I dunno how many times I can tell you how devilishly handsome you are before, uh, people start to talk."  He wiggles his eyebrows teasingly. 

Ignis chuckles. "If that were the case, they'd surely already be talking by now."

Prompto laughs, wishing that were true. "You gotta point there." He fishes his phone out of his pocket, pressing the camera app. "You, uh, wanna take a selfie with me before I go? You don't gotta. I just wanna have a pic of you while I'm gone."

Ignis smirks. "It's as if you're heading to war," he teases. "You may take all the photographs you wish, but do be certain not to drain your battery."

Prompto smiles, leaning into Ignis as far as he can while still being socially acceptable. "I won't, I won't." 

Ignis curls his arm around Prompto's waist, securing him to his side. Prompto tries to calm his heart rate. "Good. I'd hate to not be able to call you later."

Prompto beams. "Okay. Three, two, one." Prompto presses the button a few times to make sure he gets a good shot. "Alright. I think I got at least one decent one."

Ignis pulls away from him, much to Prompto’s disappointment. “I’m certain you got several.”

Prompto peeks a look at the selfies. He smiles when he sees them, Prompto pressing so close to Ignis. He’s glad he won’t have to show anyone the way Prompto blushes so much in the pictures, smiling wide as Ignis wears a subtler smile that still reaches his eyes. Prompto resists the urge to sigh; Ignis is always so photogenic no matter what.

“They’re perfect,” Prompto says with a grin. “Thanks, Igster.”

“My pleasure.”

Prompto feels his phone buzz and finds a text from Dave. “Oh, shit. I gotta go, like, now. Damn it.” Prompto’s heart thuds with longing like the loser that he is as he shoves his phone in his pocket.

Without thinking, Prompto turns to rush out of the bathroom, when he feels Ignis’s arm shoot out to stop him. Prompto looks over at him with confusion until Ignis curls his other arm around Prompto, pulling him easily against him into a comforting hug.

“Before you go,” Ignis murmurs as Prompto feels Ignis rest his chin on top of his head.

Prompto whimpers and breathes out the hurried tension he’s holding as he wraps his arms around Ignis tightly, resting his head against Ignis’s chest. Feeling Ignis hold him like this is indescribable; it’s going to take everything for Prompto to be able to pull away from this and leave him altogether.

“Aw, Iggy,” Prompto whispers against Ignis. “Be careful, okay? You need anything, just call me. I’ll walk back if I gotta.”

Ignis chuckles fondly as he runs his fingers gently along Prompto’s back as he holds him. “I certainly will. You as well, Prompto.”

Prompto nods, sighing softly. “I will. Love you, man.”

If only Prompto wasn’t so much of a coward and could tell Iggy he’s in love with him -- but this will have to do.

Ignis’s grip on him tightens for a moment. “And I you.”

Ignis releases him then, freeing Prompto from his grip. Prompto swears his skin tingles where Ignis touched, and his heart thuds when he realizes he’ll have to sleep without that embrace for the next few nights.

“Bye, Iggy. See you in a few?”

“Of course. Farewell for now.”

Prompto tries not to turn to look at Ignis as he leaves, knowing that if he looks behind him, he’ll just run right into his arms again. He grabs his bag and runs out the door, knowing he’s already pushing his luck making Dave and the other hunters wait to make their way back to Hammerhead.

Prompto climbs into the bed of Dave’s truck, as the other hunters have taken up the actual seats. Prompto smiles when Dave’s dog walks up to him, tail wagging.

“Hiya, buddy,” Prompto says. “Looks like we’re sharin’ seats, huh?”

The dog barks happily as Prompto scratches behind his ears. Prompto laughs as he sits next to him, happy to have this kind of company at least. Prompto loves dogs; he’s glad Dave’s seems to be doing well. 

Prompto feels his phone vibrate in his pocket as Dave starts making his way toward Hammerhead. Prompto pulls it out as he continues to pet the dog.

Iggy (8:02 A.M.): Be safe, Prompto. I’ll be thinking of you.

Prompto grins, heart warm as he realizes that Ignis must have used voice-to-text to send him a message like this. It's not like it's rare for Ignis to do so, just rare for him to use it on Prompto. 

Prompto supposes that just any attention from the man in question is good enough for Prompto. He hugs his phone to his chest like a lovesick fool for a moment before responding.

Prompto (8:04 A.M.): you too iggy. thanks for sending this ❤

Prompto relaxes into the truck bed, happy that Dave's dog is here to pet, as the scenery around him grows more and more worrisome. Most of the areas, as he knew, are overrun, but for some reason, seeing it in person is far different. All sorts of daemons roam the streets, destroyed rest stops, and towns; the burnt-out lighting not good enough to keep them away any longer. Some well enough lit places still manage to stand, but they're few and far between. The only way Dave manages to navigate the roads is the pair of strong daemon-resistant headlights on his truck. Even the dog whimpers from time to time, and Prompto finds himself coaxing the dog's head onto his lap for comfort.

Prompto rationally knows he's safe; he's got his best guns in holster and a blade just in case, not to mention the daemons won't go near the lighting of the truck. Still, his anxiety leaves him feeling exposed nonetheless, considering interrupting Ignis at work to call him. 

Prompto ultimately decides against it, not wanting to disrupt Iggy or appear too clingy. 

"I'm glad you're here, Puppy," Prompto whispers into the darkness.

The dog whimpers as if he agrees. Prompto laughs stressfully to himself and tries to ignore the roars and moans of the daemons that surround him.

The tense three-hour ride felt like three days. No wonder Dave makes this trip as little often as possible, Prompto thinks bitterly. He's never been more grateful to see the lights of Hammerhead in the distance.

Prompto gives his canine friend a few more enthusiastic pats before hopping out of the truck bed as soon as it comes to a stop. Prompto’s grateful when his feet touch concrete; his ass fell asleep around an hour ago.

“Well, well, what do we have here? If it ain’t Prompto!” Cindy’s light, gentle voice sounds from over by the garage.

Prompto looks up, grinning from ear-to-ear as he sees Cindy with her hand on her hip. She’s wearing an unbuttoned red flannel top, the long sleeves folded up to her elbows and a black tank top, all of which are covered in grease from the looks of it. She still wears a smudge of grease on her nose, giving off her signature look as usual. It’s so nice to see a familiar face after that long, bleak trip -- Prompto’s so glad Cindy’s still got a few things to smile about.

“Heya, Cindy!” Prompto yells, running up to her at once. Prompto holds his fist out for her to bump. He’d give her a hug, but given the fact that Cindy has probably caught wind of his Fake Crush on her, he doesn’t want to make her too uncomfortable.

Cindy rolls her eyes, brushing off Prompto’s fist bump. “None a’that, now. How ‘bout a hug instead?”

Prompto laughs, happy that she’s not completely creeped out by him. “Fair enough, grease monkey.”

Prompto heads in for a hug, wrapping his arms tightly around his mechanic friend. She laughs into the embrace, ruffling Prompto’s hair a bit.

“So good to see ya! Where’s Tall and Handsome at?” Cindy asks. “Thought y’all were both comin’ along.”

Prompto’s heart pounds at the mention of Iggy. “Yeah, we were gonna, but Iggy had to work in Lestallum to help feed people. He says hello, though. We’ll have to stop by whenever we get another ride.”

Cindy nods as she pulls out of Prompto’s arms. “That’s real nice of him. Speakin’ of gettin’ rides, I thought I’d pay ya back by fixin’ up one of my spare cars while yer here. Heard ya lost that beautiful car of yours.” She sighs wistfully. 

Prompto pushes the fresh wave of nausea behind. “Yeah, I was, um, somewhere else when it happened, but yeah. She’s long gone.” Among everything else, it seems. “You don’t gotta give me a car though, holy crap, Cindy! I’m doin’ this ‘cause I want to.”

“‘Course I will!” Cindy scoffs at him. “This car ain’t been used in a while. Figure it’s the least I could do for y’all. Ignis probably misses drivin’ all the time, right? He could sure use a car, I reckon.”

Prompto freezes. If Cindy thinks Ignis can drive, then she must not know about the accident in Altissia. “Oh, man. Um, he can’t really drive anymore. We ran into some trouble, and, um, well, he can’t see anymore.”

Cindy’s face falls, lips parting in shock. “Sweet six almighty. I’m so sorry, Prom. I had no clue ‘bout that. Give him my love, won’t ya?” She clicks her tongue against her teeth sadly. “Poor thing. I heard about your prince, but Iggy didn’t come up. How is he handlin’ it?”

Prompto nods, sighing deeply. “You don’t have to apologize, Cindy! You didn’t know. He’s doing super good, actually. It was rough for a while but he’s good on his own now. He can cook and fight and pretty much everything. I’ve been livin’ with him while he adjusts, but let’s be real, he doesn’t even need me anymore. I was able to leave him alone to come here and stuff. So yeah.” He smiles. “He’s amazing.”

Cindy smiles gently at Prompto. “You two gettin’ real close, huh? If anyone could make it through somethin’ as tough as that, it’d be him. I’m glad y’all have each other. If I had any idea y’all were goin’ through that, I wouldn’t have even bothered askin’ for this favor.” She chews on her bottom lip.

Prompto shakes his head, reaching out to put a comforting hand on her shoulder. “Oh em gee, no way! I’m happy to be here, dude. Iggy wanted me to come, too. We’re doin’ good, don’t worry about it,” Prompto promises. “Well, as good as we can be.”

Cindy nods. “I know what ya mean. This long night’s a real drag, ain’t it? I’m just glad we can still manage to use the roads for now.”

Prompto sighs. He hopes he doesn’t end up getting trapped here, away from Ignis. The thought terrifies him a little bit. “I mean, if you’re really gonna end up fixin’ up a car for me, you gotta at least let me help.”

Cindy makes a contemplating noise, her eyes falling on Prompto’s guns holstered on his shoulders. “Well… I reckon you didn’t bring those guns for nothin’?”

Prompto looks down at them, pulling them out to show them off, flipping them around his finger. “Why? Got some nasties?” He smiles.

She laughs. “Oh, you know, always. They stay purdy far away from the lights, but I’d rather be safe ‘n all that. There’s a couple’a daemons north from here that are apparently gettin’ real bad, accordin’ to the hunters here. They’re takin’ care of the southern border, but I don’t want ’em havin’ too much on their plate.” She sighs.

“No way, man, I got it. What kind are we talkin’?” Prompto asks, hoping it’s not a giant. He hates those -- and necromancers. He resists the urge to shudder.

“Couple’a bombs and skeletons, I think. Don’t want those suckers blowin’ up my generators.” Her brow furrows. “Think you can handle that?”

Prompto smiles, rolling his eyes. “Who, me? Of course I can,” he teases. “You got somewhere I can tinker with my guns first?”

“Now that I can do! C’mon with me into the garage, won’t ya?” Cindy offers, turning around and heading toward the garage.

Once they’re inside, Cindy sits on the rolling mechanic creeper, about to lay down and roll underneath a car when she points to a workbench. “All the tools ya need should be over there. Gimme a holler if you need anything else.”

Prompto  laughs at how eager Cindy is to get back to working on cars. If the other guys were here with him, he knows they’d torture him about being this close to Cindy. He probably laid the fake crush on a little too thick, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, right?

Prompto sets his Cerberus sniper rifle on the workbench, along with his quicksilver and lion heart handguns. It’s been a while since he’s modified and upgraded his weapons, not to mention cleaned them. He adds some elemental damage to his bullets, as well as improving the scope on his rifle, chewing on his lip in concentration as he works, humming under his breath.

Prompto doesn’t realize some time has passed, apparently, as Cindy walks up to him covered in slightly more grease than before, no longer laying under the car she was working on.

“Huh. You’re purdy handy with tools, ain’t ya?” Cindy asks. “Would’a never guessed that.”

Prompto laughs, brushing off her comment. “Yeah, most people don’t. Guess I take people by surprise, huh?” He sets one of the screwdrivers down in favor of looking at her. “I usually take care of my weapons by myself. One of the few things I’m good at.” He snorts.

Cindy laughs. “Didn’t mean no harm by it. Maybe you could lend me a hand with the car tomorrow when yer done hunting daemons. Whenever I need a hand and Paw Paw ain’t around, I take the hunters' help, but they’re not very handy with cars ‘n all that.”

Prompto perks up, getting excited. When he was in his early teens, being a mechanic was somewhat of an interest of his. “Really? I’d love to help! Maybe we’d still have time later today if these daemons don’t take too long to kill.”

She nods. “Maybe, but I don’t wanna wear ya out. I’m sure yer plenty tired from yer trip ‘n all.”

Prompto shrugs. “Not yet. I should check in with Iggy before bed, though.”

Cindy smiles, looking at Prompto with an expression that makes Prompto involuntarily flush. “You care ‘bout him a lot, don’t ya?”

A nervous laugh escapes Prompto’s lips. “Well, yeah! He’s one of my best friends.” The thought of Ignis being alone still makes him nervous, even though he has no reason to be -- curse his brain.

She lets out a laugh that can only be described as a giggle as she puts her hands on her hips. “That why you’re blushin’ redder than a damn tomato?” she teases.

Prompto’s face falls. Sometimes he forgets that people do, in fact, notice when he blushes. “Um, wait, what?” 

She rolls her eyes. “You should see the way ya talk ‘bout him. Yer eyes just light up.”

If Prompto’s flush could grow any warmer, it does. He rubs the back of his neck awkwardly. “I dunno what you’re talking about,” he lies, practically chomping off his lower lip.

She lets out another laugh, wiping the grease off on her work pants. “Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that. I think it’s nice to have somethin’ to smile about durin’ all this. And you got him by your side. Not a whole lotta people can say that ‘bout the people they fancy.”

Prompto’s heart aches. When Cindy puts it that way, it makes Prompto seem lucky. She seems like a decent person to confide in, which is a little amusing since he pretends to have the hots for her all the time in front of the guys. He considers spilling his secrets for about half of a second before the words tumble from his lips anyway.

“He’s, um… in love with someone else,” Prompto says softly. 

Cindy frowns. “Who could he possibly like if he’s livin’ with you? ” 

“Noct,” Prompto responds even quieter this time, looking at his feet. “Iggy’s only livin’ with me ‘cause he’s not around.”

Cindy hums thoughtfully, her smile disappearing slowly off her face. “I’m real sorry, Prom. That’s happened to me before. Did he tell ya that?”

Prompto raises an eyebrow. “Tell me what?”

“‘Bout the Prince, of course,” Cindy says with a laugh. “King, I guess, now.”

Prompto thinks of all the time he’s spent with Ignis before and after the nights turned endless, when Noctis was still here, when he’d first met Ignis -- it is true that Prompto’s never actually heard Ignis say the words but Prompto just knows. It’s not like Ignis says that kind of stuff anyway.

“Well, uh, no, not to me,” Prompto mumbles. “But, like. He does… everything for Noct. Above and beyond, he’s dedicated his whole life to him. I can’t even touch that. I don’t even come close.”

Cindy’s brow furrows. “Ain’t he the prince’s right hand? Ain’t that his job?”

“Well, yeah, but--”

“And you think he’s head over heels for the prince without him even so much as hintin’ at that?”

Prompto feels his cheeks heat up all over again. “Well, yeah, but he is.”

Cindy starts to laugh. “Are ya sure about that? Really sure?”

Prompto wants to say yes. To be honest, however, Prompto isn’t ever sure about anything, not even when it comes to himself. Ninety-nine percent sure isn’t completely sure, regardless. Then again, Prompto thinks about the way Ignis hugged him this morning, and how easily Ignis lets Prompto curl around him in sleep, how worried Ignis gets during hunts and training, his smile whenever Prompto’s around...

“Uh. Well, I guess not totally, but… pretty sure.”

“D’ya know what I think, Freckles?” Cindy asks with a smile.

Prompto looks into her striking green eyes. “Hmm. What?”

“I think yer just tryn’a think of any excuse not to tell ‘im ‘cause yer scared he’ll run away,” she says.

Prompto frowns. He can’t exactly deny that, can he? He’s spent months now doing everything he possibly can to keep Ignis from knowing, or any of them -- except for Noct, of course. “He totally would. He’d kick me out and call me gross and--”

Cindy barks out a laugh, throwing her head back as she loses herself to a fit of giggles. “We’re talkin’ ‘bout Ignis, right? That tall ‘n handsome feller in the glasses who I watched take care of y’all in ‘n out ever since we met? Same feller, right?”

Prompto wishes he could claw the blush off of his face. He hates that she’s right about this, except he doesn’t really hate it at all. “Well, that was only ‘cause he kinda had to. He doesn’t now.” 

Cindy smirks once she recovers from her laughter. “Thought his job was takin’ care of the prince . He didn’t have to take care of you or Gladio neither back then. He still did. He never had to do any of that, he just did. Maybe you don’t know yer friend as well as ya think you do.”

This is probably the longest conversation Prompto’s ever had with Cindy, and of course, Prompto knew she was a smart person, but never thought that she’d put Prompto’s foolishness on his ass in a minute flat. It’s pretty impressive.

“I-- well-- I mean--” Prompto splutters.

She giggles again. “You seem like a real good kid, Prom. I don’t see why he wouldn’t like you. Like I said, he’s livin’ with you, not anybody else.” She shrugs. “‘M sorry. You didn’t ask for my advice, yet here I am ramblin’ on about it.” She laughs.

Prompto thinks about it for way longer than he should. She does have a point; Ignis wouldn’t leave or bail on their friendship even if he doesn’t feel the same as Prompto. Prompto’s anxiety made that one up all on its own. Even if Ignis does love Noct, he still seems to like hugging Prompto, and living with him -- cuddling him. So, some part of Ignis enjoys being around Prompto regardless. Maybe telling him wouldn’t be so bad. Prompto wouldn’t have to live with his dumb crush; he could get closure about it -- maybe it’d make him feel better.

Prompto lets out a nervous laugh. “No, I’m glad you said all this. I guess I get kinda caught up in my own misery.” He snorts. “Maybe I’ll tell him… once I work up the courage.”

Cindy grins. “Atta boy! Life’s too short these days to hide anythin’ like that anymore.”

Prompto knows she’s right about that at least. Maybe he has been an idiot. Maybe he wasted his opportunity to tell Ignis if he gets mangled by exploding daemons in a few minutes. Prompto sighs. “Well, Miss Cindy, enough about me. How’s your love life?”

Cindy widens her eyes for a brief moment just as a bright pink flush floods her cheeks, lighting up her freckles prettily. Prompto wishes he could look as cute when he does the same thing. “‘M not so sure.”

Prompto raises an eyebrow, smiling. “Oh? Do tell?” he teases.

“Well, I, er… just got around to meetin’ Miss Highwind last month. Don’t know her too well, but I think I’m fittin’ to ask her to dinner next time I see her,” Cindy admits. 

Aranea?” Prompto nearly gasps. “How’d you meet her?”

Cindy giggles embarrassingly. “She stopped by needin’ some parts for her ship ‘n dropped off a few refugees to get ‘em some food. It’s real nice what she’s doin’ -- she told me she used to work for the Niffs. Funny world nowadays, huh?”

Prompto nods. “Sure is, dude. I haven’t seen her in a few months, but… I’m glad you’re reaching out to her. She’s saved my ass way more times than I can count.”

She smiles. “She mentioned she knew y’all! Asked if I’d seen you around, seein’ as you’re pretendin’ to have a crush on me ‘n all that.”

Ah. So Cindy did find out about that. “Well, I mean… not… all pretend, you are… cute…” Prompto manages. “Uh. Forget I said that?”

Cindy laughs, clearly thinking nothing of it. “How’s that workin’ out for ya?”

Prompto thinks of all the times that the guys have made fun of him for his nonstop talks about Cindy. “Uh… not so great?”

Cindy steps forward, ruffling Prompto’s hair. “You’re ‘bout as cute as a button. You should be honest with yer friends, though. Just a bit of advice from a grease monkey.” She beams.

Prompto nods, laughing at himself. “Yeah, you’re probably right about that. I swear I’m not as creepy as I made myself out to seem.”

She tries to hold in her laughter but fails, snorting a little. “I ain’t worried ‘bout that at all, Freckles.”

Relief floods through Prompto. He elbows her playfully. “Y’know, you’ve got freckles too, Missy.”

She grins. “That I do!”

He shakes his head teasingly. “Well, I better get at those daemons before it gets too late and I fall asleep out there.” He snorts. “You need anything else?”

She shakes her head. “Nah. I better get back at it with this damn car. Good luck out there. ‘N be safe!” 

Prompto throws finger guns at her. “I totally got this, dude!”

Prompto heads north of Hammerhead after making sure his flashlight has fresh batteries. He sees the daemons in question easily, the bomb daemons trying desperately to destroy itself close enough to the generators. The skeleton daemons circle around as closely as they can before the light from Hammerhead cuts them off. 

The daemons haven't spotted Prompto just yet, so he pulls his sniper rifle off his back, hopping up on top of an abandoned vehicle for a vantage point. 

Prompto lines up the shot on one of the bombs. "Just gonna pick you nasties off from over here… if you don't mind," Prompto whispers to himself.

Prompto pulls the trigger on one of them, the kickback from the rifle jamming into his shoulder. It gets the daemons' attention immediately. Prompto's heart rate increases as he lines up the shot to the other bomb daemon, as they're currently heading in his direction. 

Prompto fires off another shot, effectively destroying the bomb daemons, but the skeletons are far too fast and are currently too close for his long-ranged rifle.

"Shit," Prompto huffs as he stands on top of the car. 

He shoulders his rifle in favor of pulling his two handguns out of the shoulder holsters. He starts firing off shots one by one, hoping to dispel the skeleton daemons before they get any closer.

Prompto laughs victoriously when the last of the daemons fall, only to hear the ominous sound of more rising from the ground. Several tonberries appear with some goblins. 

Prompto groans. "I'm gonna be here forever ," he whines as he reloads his guns and gets to work.

 

Prompto returns to Hammerhead covered in dirt and Astrals-Only-Know what mess the daemons left on him when they died. Prompto's in desperate need of food, a shower, and a warm bed. He sort of regrets not asking another hunter to join him to help after that happened.

Prompto helps cook a meal for everyone at Hammerhead, utilizing his cooking skills that he's learned from Ignis after living and working with him over the past few months.

He showers in the crappy, tiny caravan shower and finds himself missing home -- his shower, his bed, his Ignis. Well, save for the last part; Ignis isn't his , but sometimes it feels like it.

By the time Prompto flops onto the uncomfortable caravan bed and checks his phone, he sees another text from Ignis. His heart flies as he reads it. 

Iggy (9:14 P.M.): Cindy informed me you went hunting daemons alone. Please respond to this when you're able. 

Prompto smiles at Ignis's worry. His fingers hover over the keys to tease him about it, but he realizes that it might just be easier to call Ignis at this hour. It's with that thought that Prompto finds himself pressing the call button next to Ignis's name instead, stomach filled with butterflies at the thought of hearing Ignis's voice.

Ignis answers halfway through the third ring. "Prompto?" he asks, voice lower than normal. 

Prompto's brow furrows at the tension in his voice. "Hey, Iggy. You okay? What's wrong?"

Prompto hears Ignis let out a long breath. "Nothing is wrong , per se. I've just been a wee bit worried about you."

Prompto can't help but grin at this. "Aww! Cute! I have all my guns, dude. All of 'em. Sorry I just got back to you. Just got outta the shower."

"Yes, well, anxiety can be a bit irrational at times. Are you staying with Cindy, then?" His tone attempts casual. 

Prompto thinks of the conversation he had with Cindy. He doesn't say, 'I wish,' like he usually would. Prompto figures honesty is best from here on out.

"Nah, man. Totally alone in this dumb caravan." He snorts. "Remember when we stayed here?"

Ignis sighs softly. "Yes. The worst bloody shower in all of Eos, I'm certain of it."

Prompto all but cackles. "You're tellin' me, dude. So, how was your day without good ol' Prompto to annoy you?"

Ignis is silent for a moment. "Dreadfully boring, I'm afraid." He chuckles. "Thank you for calling me, although I hate the way Moogle Assistant mispronounces your name."

Prompto smiles. “It still sayin’ Promdo?” He snickers.

“Yes. It’s utterly terrible,” Ignis laments. “How was your day?”

“Hmm, other than having a bunch of daemons up my ass… it was okay. The roads are… real scary. But I got to spend, like, three hours with Dave’s dog. He’s so cute,” Prompto whines. “I helped cook and it didn’t taste terrible. You would’ve been so proud. Oh! Did you know that Cindy has a crush on Aranea?!”

Ignis laughs. “Well, well, it sounds like you had quite the day. How did you find this out, might I ask?”

Prompto swallows nervously. “Weeeell, we were talkin’ to each other. ‘Bout… stuff. Anyway, yeah. She’s totally into her.”

“Hmm. Your heart must be utterly broken,” Ignis murmurs. “Though I must say, they’d make a rather lovely pair.”

Prompto bites his lip, knowing he’s earned that response. “Ha, well, you know me! I’m happy for her, though. If they make it work, y’know, she seems happy.”

There’s a smile in Ignis’s voice when he responds. “Well, well. This long dark has changed you after all, Prompto.”

Prompto laughs a little. If only you knew, he thinks. “Guess so. I, uh-- I miss you, dude.” He winces, hoping it doesn’t sound too clingy.

Another sigh comes from the other end of the phone. “I miss you as well. Had I known you were to be taking on daemons by yourself, I would have come with you.”

Prompto almost whines at the thought of Ignis being here. “There was only a few of ‘em. Also how’d you know that? You checkin’ up on me?”

When Ignis responds, there’s guilt heavy in his tone. “I may or may not have consulted with Cindy after not hearing from you after a while.”

Prompto can’t help but grin, affection flooding his heart. Old habits really do die hard with Ignis. “Oh, yeah? She ratted me out, huh?”

“She informed me you were far more worried about me than yourself.”

Prompto feels himself flush. “The betrayal! She didn’t know what happened to you. So, we got into a convo about you. Sue me for wantin’ you to be safe, I guess.”

Ignis chuckles. “I’m quite honored. What did you discuss? Good things, I hope?”

Prompto feels like he’s in one of those stupid spy movies, dodging laser beams to avoid letting Ignis know about his massive crush. “Hmm. Nah, I insulted you the whole way.”

“Just as I thought,” he teases. “And how is Cid?”

Prompto laughs. “He’s… the usual. Grumpy as ever, y’know. Gonna be so much fun drivin’ him all the way up there, but… Cindy’s giving us a car? So that’s kinda cool. Now we can drive around when I get back, I guess.”

“That’s awfully kind of her.” There’s a momentary pause. “So, you still intend on residing with me when you return, then?”

Prompto freezes. The thought of not returning to Ignis hadn’t even occurred to him; his stomach churns as he worries that Ignis might not want him to come back to him. “Um. Yeah? Wasn’t that the plan?” He laughs nervously. “D’you not want me to… stay…?”

“Shh, relax, Prompto. You know that isn’t what I meant. I’ve, er, had it in my head all day that you’d take one look at Cindy and wish to stay with her instead. I’ve come to peace with it -- or at least I’ve tried to, but I can’t help but ask. I apologize,” Ignis says softly. “Of course I want you to stay.”

Prompto’s heart thuds. He’s suddenly cursing his ability to be fairly convincing when it came to his ‘crush’ on Cindy. “Oh, man. You scared me, dude,” he admits sheepishly. “I don’t wanna stay with Cindy. I can’t wait to see you, man.”

There’s a smile in his voice again. “Apologies. I didn’t intend to frighten you. I can’t quite see you, but I agree with the sentiment. I wish you were here right now, reading to me as usual.”

Prompto laughs. “Well, we finished Good Omens, so I don’t have any books, but… hmm, maybe I can find somethin’ in here to read.” Prompto looks around and finds some sort of regulatory information about the camper tacked up on one of the doors. He clears his throat dramatically. “Are you ready for some exciting literature, Igster?”

“Oh, absolutely.”

“‘ Maximum Allowable Width for Caravans and Campers: Equipment and Road Use Law Summaries.’” He stops to laugh a little.

“Well, well. This does sound exciting,” Ignis teases.

 “Hey, now! Don’t interrupt,” Prompto says with another snort. “‘ In Cleigne, the maximum width is 102 inches. Not to extend beyond exterior rearview mirrors installed by the manufacturer. Mirrors may only extend distance necessary to provide required field of view before appurtenances were attached.’” Prompto giggles. “Appurtenances?”

Ignis barks out a laugh that makes Prompto’s heart race. “It essentially means accessories or additions.”

“Oh,” Prompto realizes. “Hmm. Was that exciting? The plot isn’t really thrillin’ me here, not gonna lie.”

Ignis continues to laugh. “It all depends on the narrator, of course. I’m thoroughly enthused.”

“Well, that’s because I’m amazing. What would you do without my sultry voice, huh?” Prompto starts laughing. 

“I would truly suffer, wouldn’t I?” Ignis teases. “How long do you think you’ll be over there?”

Prompto groans as he stretches, burying himself under the covers as he turns onto his side, resting the phone against his ear. “Soon as Cindy gets that car finished, it should be good. Knowing her, it’ll probably be done tomorrow. I’m supposed to help her with it, so that’ll be awesome.”

“That should be fun for you. I’m glad you don’t have to hunt for very long, then.”

Prompto sighs. “Yeah, me too. Run into any trouble today?”

“None at all thus far; I worked all day, mainly. One of Talcott’s cactuar figures went missing -- it was a dire emergency.” Ignis chuckles.

Prompto gasps. “Oh, no! Did you find it?!”

“Well, I helped. I couldn’t exactly look for it, but I did remind him of where he left it last.”

“Aww.” Prompto giggles. “I would’ve killed to see that. You two gotta hang out more. He’s adorable. Can’t believe he’s getting so tall in just a few short months.”

There’s another smile in Ignis’s voice. “He is. He asked where you were.”

“Aww, my buddy! Did you tell him I’d be back soon?” Prompto asks hopefully.

“I did, don’t fret. Ah, and I picked up a present for you -- well, for the both of us -- more of a treat, really. We can enjoy it when you return.”

Prompto can’t help but smile. “Oh, yeah? What is it?”

“Now, now. It’s a surprise.” Ignis’s tone teases. “I’ve got to keep you on your toes, don’t I?”

“Trust me, you do, man,” Prompto says wistfully. “I guess I can wait ‘til I get back.”

“Good boy.” Ignis chuckles. “I should let you get your rest. You’ve another long day tomorrow, it seems.”

Prompto can hardly focus on the rest of Ignis’s words, as his brain shut down after Ignis said good boy. It’s no secret that Prompto’s probably got the biggest praise kink ever, and he finds the words settle pleasantly along his nerves, and, ashamedly, along his crotch which stirs to life a little without permission. Shit.

“Uhhhh. What was that?” Prompto splutters, completely thrown off-guard, trying to forget that his friend’s given him a fucking boner.

“I merely said you should get some rest. Are you alright?”

“Yeah!” Prompto squeaks. “Yeah, totally, I’m good. You’re probably right. Sleep. You should get some, too.”

“Do you need anything?” Ignis asks.

Oh, I don’t know, maybe come over here and take care of this boner, maybe? Prompto even thinking about Ignis going anywhere near his dick has it even more at-attention, unfortunately, and Prompto squirms a little on the bed.

“Nah. You?”

“No, I’m quite fine.”

“I’ll talk to you tomorrow hopefully?” Prompto asks.

“You will. Sweet dreams, Prompto. Should you need anything, don’t hesitate to call me.”

Prompto smiles. “Alright. You too. Night, Igster.”

Prompto throws his phone across the tiny bed in the camper, groaning to himself. This crush is getting out of hand if Prompto can’t even manage a phone conversation with Ignis without getting hard. The more he thinks of it, the more his cock pitches a tent in his boxers.

“You’re not gonna go away, are you?” Prompto mutters to himself. 

With a sigh, he spits in his hand before sliding it under the waistband of his boxers. He hisses under his breath as he takes his cock into his hand, stroking himself fast and rough until he comes easily in his hand, trying hard not to think about Ignis and utterly failing. Oops.

Prompto gets himself cleaned up before returning to bed, curling into a ball underneath the covers. His post-orgasm high has him feeling even more cuddly than usual, sad that Ignis isn’t here to wrap his arms around. Still, the day -- night -- takes its toll on Prompto, sleep claiming him easily enough.

Chapter Text

Prompto’s wrists ache, pinned above his head. All the bruises and cuts left on him aren’t healed anymore, including his broken rib. It hurts to breathe. All he can hear is his own pained breaths, starting to cry when he realizes he’s alone, all alone again.

Prompto swears he left Niflheim. What the hell is he doing back here? Prompto tries to pull out of the restraints on his wrists to no avail, squirming against the cool metal.

Prompto hears footsteps. His heart races, expecting more of Ardyn’s tortures, when a familiar voice fills his ears instead. His heart rate hammers for a different reason, hope filling his chest.

“Prompto, is that you?” Ignis asks, walking swiftly into the empty cell.

“Iggy!” Prompto gushes happily. “I’m so glad you’re here, I’m so scared, can you get me outta here--”

Ignis laughs, sounding foreign to Prompto’s ears. Ignis walks up to him, his mouth twisting into a judgemental frown.

“Do you really think you deserve it? Why should I?” Ignis asks coldly.

Prompto’s stomach churns. “Wh--what? Iggy?”

“Why should I allow you near Noctis as dangerous as you are? You’re not one of us. You deserve to stay here.”

Ignis’s words almost make sense to Prompto; it’s what he feared this whole time. Ever since he learned about the barcode on his arm and where he was born, how he was made , he’s expected this. Maybe Noct would give him the benefit of the doubt, but Ignis is far too protective of Noct to ever risk it. Still, Prompto’s eyes well up with tears as they spill, his heavy sobs hurting the ache in his chest from the broken rib.

“Iggy, don’t,” Prompto sobs. “Please, I’m sorry--”

“I’ll simply tell Noct you didn’t survive,” Ignis says gently, not reacting at all to Prompto’s tears. “It would be better for him.”

“Iggy,” Prompto begs again, “I won’t hurt anyone, please, I love you--”

“I won’t allow you to. I am sorry it had to be this way, truly. Shall I kill you now and spare you the suffering?”

Prompto almost nods yes, wanting this to be over. All his worst fears coming true, finding safety and solace in Ignis only to have it ripped from him.

 

Prompto wakes up with a noiseless gasp, sitting up almost violently straight in the uncomfortable caravan bed. His heart thuds in his chest, blinking his eyes as he realizes that what happened wasn’t real; it was just a nightmare. Still, he’s never felt so alone in the empty bed. He squeezes his eyes shut, trying to push away the nightmare from his mind to no avail.

Tears start to spill from Prompto’s eyes embarrassingly enough. He’d dealt with Ardyn’s poor imitation of Ignis being cruel to him when he got captured in Niflheim, but he’d never yet dreamt of Ignis -- real , beautiful Ignis -- telling him his worst fears.

Prompto looks at his phone on the charger, sniffling as he tries to blink his tears away. The clock on his phone reads 3:23 A.M., Prompto only had been asleep a few hours. Ignis, all the way in Lestallum, is almost definitely asleep by now, but Prompto so desperately wants to hear his voice; to tell Prompto it was just a dream, reassure him that everything is okay.

Prompto scrolls through the phone to hover his finger over the call button next to Iggy’s name, chewing on his bottom lip as he contemplates calling him.

Prompto knows that Ignis will likely be extremely annoyed at Prompto for waking him up -- he’s always been a light sleeper and it’s difficult for Ignis to fall back asleep sometimes. Guilt floods his stomach as he tries to remember that Ignis did give him permission to call him if he needed anything.

With a gentle sob, he calls Ignis.

Ignis answers on the second ring, voice full of sleep. “Prompto?”

“H-hey, Iggy, um, I’m really sorry to wake you, um--” Prompto’s voice wavers, the urge to cry coming back.

Prompto hears shuffling on the other end of the phone -- Ignis sitting up, maybe. “Are you alright? What’s the matter?”

Prompto sniffles, trying to keep it together. “I, um, I had a nightmare, I--I think. I’m real sorry, dude, I’m--”

“Shh,” Ignis soothes, “that’s quite alright. I’m glad you called me. I’m here now. It’s alright.”

Prompto sighs shakily. “I wish you were here. I hate sleeping alone, I hate it.”

“I quite understand that. I wish I was there with you now as well.”

Prompto accidentally lets out a whimper, grateful that Ignis doesn’t seem to hate him like he did in his nightmare. “Do you really, Iggy? Would you tell me if I was bothering you? If… if you didn’t want me around…?”

“What’s all this? Prompto, what’s the matter? What did you dream about?”

Prompto wipes his eyes, curling up onto his side, hugging his knees to his chest. “You found me in… in Niflheim, and you didn’t want me to come back. You said I would be bad for Noct, that I’d hurt him… you wanted to l-leave me there or kill me or…” 

“Goodness. How awful,” Ignis murmurs. “It was only a dream. But I’m sorry you dreamt it regardless. You know I would never allow anything to happen to you.”

Prompto’s heart thuds. “I didn’t wanna call and wake you up, but I just wanted to make sure… I dunno. My brain plays tricks on me sometimes, I guess.” He sniffles.

“I care for you very much, do you know that? I think about you all the time. I would never do anything like that, Prompto. I promise. You know that. It will be alright.”

“I care about you too,” Prompto whispers, breathing starting to calm. “I always get so worried, y’know? That I’ll hurt you or I’d hurt Noct and that I shouldn’t be around you guys.”

“That isn’t even remotely true. I trust you with my life. With Noct’s life. We all do. You’ve no idea how important you are to all of us, especially to me. Don’t allow a nightmare to cause you to forget,” Ignis says softly. “I do hope you won’t have any more while you’re away. I apologize I can only comfort you through the phone at the moment.”

Prompto supposes he knew all of that, deep down, especially since he’s a part of Noct’s crownsguard; but to hear Ignis say those words, that he trusts him and cares about him is like a breath of fresh air. “I trust you too, Iggy.”

“Do you remember when we rescued you from that bloody awful place?” Ignis asks. “After Noct freed you, and we spent the night in the dormitory?”

Prompto sniffles. “Yeah. You helped me with my broken rib, and when I woke up in the middle of the night, you were there for me. Of course I remember.”

“Do you remember what I told you? When you asked if it was really me?”

Prompto’s heart pounds as he remembers that night vividly. “Yeah. You told me about your happiest memories with me.” He smiles.

“And what else?”

“That anytime I was scared of that, I could ask you, and… and you’d tell me some more.” Prompto swallows. “I, um. I’d really like that.”

There’s a gentle smile in Ignis’s voice. “I remember distinctly a very freckled, blonde young man walking up to my desk at the citadel, very clearly hiding something in his backpack, looking for Noctis.” He laughs. “Next thing I know, King Regis informed me that a baby chocochick had wandered its way into the throne room.”

Prompto feels his cheeks warm at the embarrassing memory. “Someone in history class… shit, I forget his name... brought in a chocobo? Dude’s parents work on a farm outside the city, or somethin’ like that? He had to leave class with a nosebleed and asked me to look after it.” Prompto laughs as he remembers. “I was tryin’ to show Noct… didn’t want the li’l guy to get scared in my bag. Oh, man. I thought they were gonna execute me.”

Ignis laughs. “I remember. I nobly protected you, of course. We spent the afternoon in my office, waiting for Noct, with a chocobo in our midst.”

Prompto grins. “Yeah! I totally thought you were sooo mad at me. Can’t believe you had an office at the citadel at, like, age nineteen.”

“I wasn’t mad. More amused at the distraction, than anything else. You were awfully quiet that day, I do remember. Was it because of that?” Ignis teases.

Prompto bites his lip. “Yeah… maybe just a little.” Prompto inhales sharply. “I miss you so much, dude.”

“I miss you dearly,” Ignis says softly. “I’m happy to hear your voice despite the circumstances.”

“Me, too,” Prompto says with a sigh. “Maybe you should come with me from now on, huh?” He laughs bitterly.

“That might be for the best.” There’s a soft smile in Ignis’s voice. “Would you like to stay on call with me for the rest of the night?”

Prompto’s heart thuds in his chest. “That wouldn’t bother you?”

“Not at all. In fact, it sounds quite nice, does it not? Perhaps that will keep the nightmares at bay,” Ignis suggests. “Do you think you could sleep right now?”

“Yeah, maybe,” Prompto allows. “It does sound nice.” Prompto puts the phone on speaker, setting it on the bed next to his pillow as he tugs the blankets up to his chin. “Can you even get back to sleep like this?”

There’s a soft chuckle coming from the phone. “Yes, I will be fine. And yourself?”

Prompto laughs a little. “Yeah. Thanks for this, Iggy. Thanks for everything. You really know how to cheer a guy up.”

“It’s truly my pleasure, though I could certainly say the same to you,” Ignis murmurs. “Let me know if you need anything. Pleasant dreams.”

Prompto sighs, letting his eyes slide closed. His heart feels so full. “You too.”

Sleep finds Prompto much easier when he gets to hear the occasional soft sigh from Ignis on his phone.

 

Prompto awakens to the sound of his alarm chirping with a groan. The interruption of sleep because of his nightmare did him no favors, but he's grateful the rest of his slumber was dreamless, at least.

Prompto remembers the reason for that, and grabs his phone off the charger. "Iggy?" he calls out, feeling somewhat like an idiot. 

No response.

Prompto looks at his phone and finds the call ended around 7 A.M., just around two hours ago. He finds an unread text from Ignis. 

Iggy (7:02 A.M.): Your breathing seemed restful. I didn't wish to wake you, so I ended the call. I hope you don't mind. I hope your dreams were peaceful. Let me know when you wake. 

Prompto can't help but smile, a longing sigh leaving his lips. Prompto loves the gentle care Ignis takes with everything and everyone whenever he deems it necessary.

Prompto (9:06 A.M.): that's okay iggy! no dreams all thanks to you. I love you man. have a good day!! 

Prompto wonders how long he can get away with telling Ignis that he loves him before Ignis starts to ask questions. He hopes he can get away with it forever; he loves telling Ignis that he loves him.

Prompto rushes through getting dressed, stuffing his face with a few granola bars and washing it down with an Ebony he took from Ignis before he left. As Prompto heads out of the caravan, he checks his phone.

Iggy (9:14 A.M.): I’m rather glad to hear that. I love you as well. Enjoy your day, and keep me updated as often as possible.

Prompto can’t help but feel his heart race at the words on the screen -- if only Ignis meant those words romantically. He sighs, taking what he can get. He makes a mental note to reply to Ignis later as he heads out toward the garage to find Cindy.

Prompto finds Cindy immediately, already covered in fresh car grease from what Prompto can see -- half of her body is shoved underneath the car again.

"Up and at 'em early, huh?" Prompto announces himself. 

She rolls herself out from underneath the car, wiping off a bit of sweat from her forehead. "Hey, Prom! 'Fraid so. This endless night's got a girl's schedule right side up." She laughs. "Ready to get some work done, Freckles?"

Prompto smiles. "I know what you mean. You got it."

After about a half an hour of Prompto tightening bolts for Cindy, she sighs. "I got a surprise for ya, by the way. Should be here any minute now."

Prompto raises an eyebrow. "For me? Haven't you done enough, Missy?"

She giggles. "Well, a pair'a red giants cropped up 'bout a mile from here, accordin' to Dave this mornin'. I could use the help, but since your sweetheart was all worried 'bout ya, I figured I'd make some calls so you wouldn’t have to tackle ‘em alone, 'n… well, one of 'em went through."

Prompto flushes at Cindy calling Ignis his sweetheart , trying to figure out what the hell Cindy is talking about when a deep voice fills his ears at the front of the garage.

"Never thought I'd see you covered in grease, blondie," Gladio says from the entrance. 

Prompto immediately stands up, a tiny gasp leaving his lips when he sees one of his best friends for the first time in a month. "Gladio?!"

Gladio smiles. “Hey, kid. C’mere.”

Prompto all but runs to the entrance to the garage, running right into Gladio’s outstretched arms. He ruffles Prompto’s hair as he holds onto him tightly.

“Holy shit, big guy! It’s been forever! What the hell are you doin’ here?” Prompto asks happily.

“Heard you could use some help with daemons. Haven’t seen you in a while, figured I’d stop by,” Gladio explains. “We brought the Marshal and some Glaives to help, too.”

Prompto pulls back to get a good look at Gladio. He’s sporting some new scars among his old ones, his hair just a little bit longer over the past few months. He looks a little less unhappy, at least for now; Prompto can certainly relate, so happy to see him after all this time.

“Oh, the Marshal’s here?” Prompto asks. “It’s so good to see you.”

“You too. What the hell’s on your face, kid?” Gladio teases, reaching out to touch Prompto’s chin.

Prompto’s been neglecting shaving lately, and he’s been a little curious to see just how much hair he can grow on his chin. Apparently, it’s noticeable enough. He laughs. “Hey, don’t judge! I’m tryin’ somethin’ out!”

Gladio laughs. “Look like a chocobo tail on your chin, dude.”

“Yeah, well, it’s my chocobo tail,” Prompto teases. “I missed you, man.”

“Yeah, sorry ‘bout the radio silence. Just been real busy. How’s Specs doin’?” Gladio asks, putting his hand on his hip. “I know I haven’t made the trip to see you guys in a few weeks.”

Prompto hopes his cheeks don’t look as warm as they feel. “He’s doin’ good. He had to get some work done so he’s still in Lestallum.” Prompto chews on his lip. “I hate leavin’ him alone, but he said he’s doing good.”

Gladio smirks, nodding at Prompto’s words. “Glad you two are still stickin’ together. You dunno how lucky you guys are.”

Prompto blinks, trying not to overthink Gladio’s words. If only Gladio knew how unlucky Prompto is to be in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same for him. “Yeah. Real lucky, I guess.” He laughs nervously.

Cor walks up to the both of them after a moment, so Gladio doesn’t respond. Cor looks about the same as usual; tired, intimidating, and way cooler than Prompto will ever hope to be. Cor reaches out to press a gentle hand on Prompto’s shoulder. “Prompto. It’s really good to see you made it out okay. And Ignis? Is he around?”

Prompto nods. “Yeah! Well, not here, but he and I are staying up in Lestallum for now, trying to help in any way that we can. I’m really glad you’re okay too, sir. I hope that training the new Glaives hasn’t been too hard.”

Cor moves his hand from Prompto’s shoulder. “Glad he’s doing alright. It’s not been too bad. Gladio’s been a big help.”

Prompto laughs. “Yeah, buddy, your sister’s dying to come train with you. She’s a pretty good shot from what I’ve seen training her.”

Gladio sighs. “Yep. Gonna come and pick her up from Lestallum once we’re done with all this.”

Prompto’s eyes widen. “Does that mean you’re gonna come with me to Lestallum?!”

“Yep.” Gladio smiles.

“Oh. Em. Gee. Iggy’s gonna flip! I gotta text him!” Prompto gushes, pulling out his phone. 

Prompto (11:46 A.M.): omg gladios here!!!! We’re goin hunting together i’ll tell you about it later! Have a good rest of your day iggy

Cor clears his throat. “I hate to break this up, but apparently there’s some necromancers that just cropped up near the red giants. We need to handle it quickly. There will be time for this later.”

Gladio nods. “Yeah, you got it. You ready for this, blondie? You got all your guns?”

Prompto taps his gun holsters with a smile. “Yeah and yeah! Let’s do this.”

Since Cindy got word from Dave, two more red giants and three necromancers have appeared alongside the original two red giants. Prompto’s grateful that Cor, Gladio, some of the glaives, and hunters are here to help dispatch them. There’s no way any of them could take them on their own. Gladio and Cor could have a run for their money, but Prompto would never risk sending them out with three necromancers.

Prompto ends up being shielded by Gladio as soon as they head out there, as the necromancer starts aiming their death spell right for Prompto. Prompto’s quick to action, firing shot after shot as Gladio swipes at it with his broadsword. Cor focuses on distracting the red giants with the Glaives, and Prompto fires a bullet right into its weak spot, helping them take down the red giant.

Prompto’s sweating and out of breath by the time the first necromancer is taken out, and they still have two left, not counting the other three red giants as well. He’s really gotten his work cut out for him.

“Prompto! Be careful!” Gladio yells just as one of the red giants fires a beam of fire magic at him.

Prompto rolls out of the way, taking out one of his assault rifles to fire a barrage of bullets into the red giant’s chest. Gladio reaches down and yanks Prompto out of the way to dodge another necromancer attack.

“They’re flanking us,” Prompto realizes. “Let’s get to the Marshal.”

Gladio grips Prompto’s arm and nods, running over across the battlefield, blocking several attacks with his shield before reuniting with Cor.

“Good job on the necromancer. Quick thinking to distract it,” Cor compliments. “Glaives, focus on the necromancers. The red giants are predictable and easy to dodge. Necromancers not so much.”

“We’ll distract the giants, then,” Dave says.

“Prompto, keep a distance, fire shots at their weak points,” Cor commands.

“You got it!” Prompto yelps as he runs toward the outskirts of the battle, firing shot after shot against the necromancers that are advancing on the glaives.

Prompto keeps Cor, Gladio, and everyone else covered as much as he can. The only thing Prompto can think about is how much Ignis would be of use in this battle -- his elemental spells and daggers always did so much damage against necromancers.

One by one and yet somehow all at once, they manage to weaken all the daemons in the area. Cor’s sword strikes and Gladio’s huge broadsword blows are critical, finishing them off with a few of Prompto’s gunshots. 

By the time all the daemons fall, Prompto’s utterly exhausted. The battle had to have taken at least a few hours, none of them wanting to rush things and risk unnecessary lives. Prompto collapses onto the ground, letting out a groan.

“My whole body is dead, dude,” Prompto says to no one in particular.

Gladio snorts. “C’mon, get up before more show up. Iggy’s keepin’ you weak, I see.”

Prompto frowns as he uses Gladio’s arm to stand up. “No way, man! Those were a lot of daemons.”

Cor manages a tiny laugh, and it’s one of the only times Prompto’s ever heard him not be completely serious all the time. “It’s good to challenge yourself, keep yourself strong,” Cor insists, “but Prompto has a point. We had our work cut out for us.”

Once they arrive back to the safety of Hammerhead, it’s already close to dinnertime. Prompto helps cook for their group, remembering how to cook huge portions after his time with Ignis. Just as Prompto finishes, Cindy walks up to both him and Gladio.

“Howdy, Prom. Gladio,” Cindy greets.

“Hey,” Gladio says. “Good to see you.”

“Heyaz. What’s up?” Prompto asks, offering her some food.

Cindy gratefully takes a plate. “So, I finally finished the car while y’all were takin’ care of those nasty daemons. Thanks for that, by the way! It’s not usual for so many of those t’get so darn close.”

“No sweat,” Gladio insists. “Can’t believe you’re lettin’ blondie drive.”

“Hey!” Prompto says with a pout. “I’m a great driver, dude. When should we head back to Lestallum?”

“Eh, we should probably wait ‘til tomorrow,” Gladio says. “We should get some rest tonight.”

“Yeah, Paw Paw will probably wanna wait ‘til mornin’ anyway,” Cindy says.

Prompto nods. “Seriously, Cindy, thanks. It’ll be nice to have some transportation in case you guys or Iggy need anything.”

“Ain’t a problem at all! Now I know I can see y’all more often now that ya have a car. Better bring Ignis here soon. It’s been too long,” Cindy insists.

Prompto smiles. “Yeah, Iggy would like that.” He sighs fondly.

“I dunno ‘bout y’all, but I need to head on in and take a shower ‘n such. I’ll see both of y’all in the mornin’? I got some stuff I wanna give ya on your trip ‘fore ya leave.”

Prompto raises his eyebrow, wondering what else she could possibly have to give. “Oh, okay. You don’t gotta do anything else for us! You’ve already done enough. But have a good one, Cindy.”

“Later, Cindy,” Gladio says. “Thanks for havin’ us.”

Cindy smiles and makes her way out, waving at both of them before disappearing. Prompto loses himself in thought as he watches her leave, thinking about everything in between.

Prompto jumps when he feels Gladio’s elbow sharply jab his side. “Ow! What the hell, Gladio?”

Gladio laughs way too hard at Prompto’s reaction. “Wanna eat in the caravan? I gotta talk to you ‘bout somethin’.”

“Okay, sure.” Prompto tries to ignore the swell of anxiety in his stomach about this -- usually when Gladio wants to say something, he just goes out and says it, no privacy needed. Prompto wonders, as usual, if he’s done something wrong.

Prompto follows Gladio into the caravan, pulling out his phone as soon as he sits in order to have something to look at. He sees a text response from Ignis from a few hours earlier. Prompto must have been hunting while he sent it, as he hasn’t seen it until now.

Iggy (1:02 P.M.): I’m glad to hear it. Do be safe, won’t you? Keep me updated. Have a lovely day as well.

Prompto stares at the text, affection ruling out over anxiety. Prompto’s pretty certain Ignis could text him the link to a recipe or something stupid like that and he’d still get heart palpatations.

“That Iggy?” Gladio asks.

Prompto looks up and sees that Gladio’s staring at him with his mouth full of food, his eyes on the phone that Prompto clutches tightly in his hands.

Prompto nods. “Uh huh. Why? What’s up?”

Gladio laughs. “You should see the way your face looks whenever Specs comes up.”

Shit. Heat floods Prompto’s face as his heart starts pounding. “Uh, what?” Prompto starts to laugh nervously. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Gladio rolls his eyes. “You’re cute when you think you can play dumb, I’ll give you that. I know you’re into him.”

Prompto feels his heart practically stop entirely. He puts his phone down, suddenly disinterested in eating, as nausea has managed to make its way into his stomach. It’s one thing for Noct to know about his crush on Iggy, but Gladio’s a whole different story. Prompto irrationally prepares for some sort of speech that he’s not good enough for Ignis, and finds the urge to run away before Gladio can tell him what he already knows.

“Hey, kid, would you relax? You’re sweating bullets. It’s okay. I’ve known for a while now,” Gladio says.

Prompto chews on his bottom lip before responding. “What? Did… Noct… tell you…?”

Gladio’s lips thin out briefly at the mention of Noct, but otherwise lets the name roll off of him. “Nope. I can just see the way you look at him like he’s the only guy in the room. You hid it well for a while, I’ll give ya that, especially with your blabbing about Cindy. Iggy might be too insecure to notice, but I’m not. You made a move yet?”

Prompto wishes he could claw the flush off of his face at this point. “Make a what now?” He starts laughing, almost hysterically. “Yeah, um, I don’t think so.”

“Why not?”

Prompto looks at him incredulously. “ Obviously if he felt the same, we’d be together by now.”

“Do you even want that?”

Prompto curls his arms around his knees, tucking his head on top of his legs. “Want what?”

“To be with Iggy, duh. Or are you just lonely? ‘Cause the last thing Iggy needs right now is something temporary. Iggy ain’t a temporary kinda guy. If you want this, then you really need to think about it. I love you, Prompto, but if you hurt Iggy only ‘cause you’re lonely--”

“I’m not lonely , I spend almost every minute of the day with Iggy,” Prompto whispers, hoping he doesn’t get any more emotional than this. “I’d never hurt him.” Prompto turns his head, staring at the wall, completely disinterested in eating.

Prompto hears shuffling, and then weight presses next to him onto the bed. Gladio’s sitting next to him, reaching out to wrap an arm around him.

“Hey. Eat your food. You’re too skinny as it is,” Gladio teases. “I know you wouldn’t intentionally hurt anyone, blondie.”

Prompto sighs, trying to breathe out the anxious nausea in the pit of his stomach and reaches for his plate, leaning his head against Gladio’s shoulder as he takes a tiny bite. 

“It’s not like,” Prompto begins, finishing chewing before he continues, “anything can happen. Iggy doesn’t like me like that. I mean, we all know he’s into Noct, and only Noct.”

Gladio nearly chokes on the bite he’s taken. “Wait, what?”

“Huh?” Prompto squeaks. “I said he’s into Noct. Duh.”

Gladio snorts, clearly trying to hold in further laughter. “Is that… seriously what you’ve thought this whole time?”

Prompto’s suddenly preoccupied with eating instead of looking at Gladio, trying to ignore that his flush is spreading past his face. “Um. Well, yeah?”

Gladio doesn’t try to hold his laughter this time. He claps Prompto on the back, hard. “Look, it ain’t my place to get involved with what goes on between you guys, but Iggy ain’t into Noct like that.”

Prompto swallows his current bite. “How would you even know?”

“‘Cause I asked him.” Gladio smiles, elbowing Prompto playfully. “I’m sure you know how I feel about Noct.”

Prompto doesn’t know what to say. On one hand, Noct told Prompto everything about it, but on the other hand, he doesn’t want Gladio to think he’s disloyal to Noct by spilling the beans about it. Eventually, he gives in. “Uh. Yeah.” He laughs nervously. “When did you ask him?”

“After high school,” Gladio says simply. “This trip… Noct marrying Luna, all that, it didn’t seem to matter much anymore, and Iggy agreed. But Iggy never had any intentions with Noct. Never was gonna, either. He wouldn’t lie to me. He knows I’d wring his neck if he lied to me.”

Prompto’s eyes widen. “What if he was just self-sacrificing? ‘Cause Iggy’s like that, y’know. What would have happened if he told you he did want Noct like that?”

Gladio sighs. “Specs is my best friend. I know when he’s being noble. I dunno. We would’ve worked it out, either way. Obviously, Noct has to have a say there.”

“How… how do you work something like that out?” Prompto asks incredulously. “How can one of you just agree to be unhappy?”

Gladio smiles. “We wouldn’t. We’d both be happy. We both dedicated our life to Noct, so if Iggy felt the same as me, we’d both love him. Simple as that. But Iggy doesn’t like him like that.”

Prompto thinks about it at all. He’s never dated multiple people before, but if anyone has that much love in his heart, it’s Noct. Still, if Gladio’s serious -- if Iggy doesn’t like Noct like that -- it’s not even something Prompto has to worry about.

Prompto swallows nervously. “Are you gonna… talk to Noct? Whenever he comes back?”

Gladio nods. “I should’ve done it earlier.” He sighs. “The one time in my life I was careful about something, this is what happens.”

It’s the first time Gladio’s ever said his feelings out loud about Noct, and Prompto feels like he’s witnessing something so rare. “That just means you really love him. He’ll be back, y’know?”

Gladio ruffles his hair. “Yeah. He’ll be back. But you shouldn’t make the same mistake as me. You got yours right here, waiting for you to come back. Don’t throw it away, dude.”

Prompto’s heart thuds. “I, uh. I dunno, man. I dunno if I can.” Prompto stares at his lap nervously.

“Hey. I get it. But you love him, right?”

It would be really uncool of Prompto to start crying at the question, so he refrains, but only barely. “Yeah. Yeah, I really do.”

“Then don’t waste it. Be honest with him. Stick with him. This shit’s all messed up and we only got one shot most of the time. Don’t waste anymore time. It’s been months, I honestly thought you would’ve spilled it by now.” Gladio laughs.

“I don’t want him to kick me out or anything like that if he doesn’t like me--”

Gladio levels him a reproachful look. “You’re kidding me, right, blondie? Quit playin’ dumb. He wouldn’t do that.”

Prompto laughs nervously. “I-- I know. It’s scary, though, man. I love him too much, I think.”

Gladio grins. “No such thing. Look, do what you want. But I’ll be in Lestallum a few days to catch up and see you guys and all that. If things go bad, I’ll be here for you. But they won’t. Okay?”

Prompto nods softly. “Why do you care so much?”

Gladio’s face falls. “‘Cause I love you and you’re bein’ an idiot -- both of you are -- and I want you guys to be as happy as you can be right now.”

Prompto leans in, throwing his arms around him for a hug. “I love you, too. I didn’t mean it like that. I’m just… never gonna get used to having such good friends.”

Gladio wraps his arms around him tightly, practically crushing him to his chest. “You’re adorable, kid, y’know that?”

Prompto laughs, flushing a little. “Shuddup.” He sighs. “I think… I think I’m gonna tell him when I get back.”

Gladio squeezes Prompto’s arm affectionately. “Good.”

Prompto grabs his phone again, responding to Ignis finally.

Prompto (7:56 P.M.): we were super careful!! So much daemon hunting tho, dude, i’m dead. Do you wanna call for a bit? Gladio’s still here fyi

Prompto waits, expecting the response to take a while, but his phone vibrates immediately.

Iggy (7:57 P.M.): I would love to talk to you both.

Prompto smiles as he looks at Gladio. “D’you wanna talk to Iggy for a bit? I was gonna call him.”

Gladio grins. “Hell yeah.”

Prompto calls Ignis, heart thudding with affection. It’s only been a day since he’s heard Ignis’s voice, and yet here he is, acting like a fool again.

“Hello, Prompto,” Ignis says, answering on one of the first rings.

Prompto’s mouth spreads into a grin. “Hey, Igster. How was your day?”

“Uneventful, productive. And yours?”

“I’m so tired,” Prompto whines. “I’m gonna lay here forever. I hate daemons.”

Gladio proceeds to throw a pillow at him. “Baby,” Gladio mutters from across the caravan.

“Shuddup!” Prompto says, and throws the pillow back.

Ignis chuckles. “Tell Gladio I said hello. I’m rather glad you’re relaxing now.”

“D’you want me to put it on speaker?” Prompto asks.

Gladio nods in the background as Ignis responds. “That would be grand.”

Prompto presses the speaker phone button, and Gladio laughs. “Hey, Specs. How’s it goin’?”

“Gladio. It’s nice to hear from you,” Ignis says. “I’m quite alright. I must admit I’m rather jealous you’re spending time together while I’m here.”

“We miss you, Iggy,” Prompto says. “On the bright side, the car’s done, so we’ll see you tomorrow.”

Prompto can hear the smile in Ignis’s voice, and it warms his heart. “You’re both coming here tomorrow?”

“Yep,” Gladio says. “That cool with you, Iggy?”

“You know it is. It’s been far too long since I’ve seen you. What’s bringing you to Lestallum?” Ignis asks. “Are you no longer with the Marshal?”

“Cor’s here,” Prompto interjects. “He said hi.”

Ignis laughs. “Well, hello.”

“I’m with him, but I figured I’d come and get Iris now that things have chilled out. How have you been, Specs?”

Ignis sighs. “Fairly well. Nothing too exciting. And yourself?”

“Good. Been training a lot, not much else.”

Prompto laughs. “You should see the new scars on this guy. It’s ridiculous. He’s been goin’ beast mode, dude.”

“Do be careful, Gladio,” Ignis teases.

“Hey, don’t talk about me. Do you know what’s happening to your boyfriend’s face? That thing he’s growin’ on his chin should be illegal,” Gladio says, winking at Prompto.

Prompto’s eyes widen, his cheeks heating up with flush. “Hey, I’m not growing it, I just haven’t shaved. I’ve been busy,” he whines.

“The last time I checked, it was mere peach fuzz,” Ignis says teasingly. “I hope you don’t look too dreadful.”

Gladio snorts. “Haven’t shaved, huh? That’s not what you told me earlier. You said you were proud of the chocobo’s ass on your face.”

Ignis barks out a laugh. “Oh, dear.”

“You guys are mean. Ganging up on me.” Prompto pouts.

“Now, now. I’m certain you look very handsome, Prompto,” Ignis says gently.

Prompto knows he’s just being sweet, but he starts to flush anyway. “Well, I don’t wanna brag…” He snorts.

Gladio laughs. “You’re way too biased, Iggy.” He stands up, shoving Prompto playfully. “I’ll leave you two alone, I’m gonna hit up the shower.”

“I’ve no idea what you’re on about,” Ignis says. “I’ll talk to you later then, Gladio?”

Gladio hovers near the bathroom door. “Yeah. See ya tomorrow,” he calls out.

Prompto takes the phone off of speaker once Ignis bids Gladio a goodbye, and presses the phone up to his ear. “You doin’ okay, Igster?”

“Yes. I miss you,” Ignis admits. “Hearing you both is a bit lonely.”

“I’m sorry, man. I miss you, too. D’you want me to hang up?” Prompto asks sadly.

“No, not at all,” he promises. “You sound nervous. Are you alright?”

“Do I?” Prompto squeaks. “I don’t mean to, uh. I’ve been thinking, and… um…”

“Out with it, now. I’m bound to overthink here.” Ignis sounds tense. 

“Oh, no, it’s nothin’ bad, I’m just… I’m kind of a disaster?” Prompto laughs nervously. 

Prompto sees Gladio silently encouraging him in the background, his head peeking out from the bathroom door.

“I don’t think you’re anything of the sort. What’s this about?” Ignis asks, his tone still a bit stressed but not as much as before.

“No, I mean, like, when I get back, I think I gotta tell you somethin’, that’s all. I should’ve done it before, but… guess I needed some encouragement,” Prompto says softly.

Gladio gives Prompto the thumbs up sign before he shuts the bathroom door, and butterflies rush through his stomach. He’s barely said anything and he’s already worried about how Ignis will react.

“Are you certain you’re not moving out on me, Prompto?” Ignis teases, but underneath the playfulness there’s a hint of that same tension still.

“No, I told you, it’s nothin’ bad. I mean, I hope it’s not bad.” Prompto laughs. “Anyway, I can’t wait to see you tomorrow. Kinda sucks I can’t call you all night like last night.”

“I’ll take your word for it, then.” Ignis chuckles. “I wish we could as well, but at least you have Gladio to keep you company, hmm?”

“Yeah, but what about you?”

“I’m certain I’ll manage. Should I need anything, I will call you,” Ignis teases.

“You promise?” Prompto asks with a smile.

“You have my word.” Ignis sighs. “I should allow you to prepare for bed.”

Prompto sighs. “Five more minutes, Iggy?”

A soft, beautiful laugh comes from the phone. “Alright. Five more minutes.”

Prompto grins, happy that he’ll get to talk to Ignis that much longer. His heart thuds with affection at the thought of seeing Ignis tomorrow. It’s only been a few days, but to Prompto, they have felt like weeks.

"What time will you lot be arriving tomorrow?" Ignis asks. 

Prompto hums. "Uhhh, morning I think. Probably get there like 10 or 11. You gonna work?"

"No, I'll take the day off for you."

Prompto smiles. "Really? Sweet."

Ignis laughs. "Well, I do have a present to share with you, as I mentioned. We may share it with Gladio now as well."

"Yeah. It'll be nice, huh?"

"Do drive safely, won't you? Both of you "

"We will. I'll see you tomorrow, Igster. Love you." Prompto's heart races when he realizes he's going to be actually saying those words with intent tomorrow.

"And I you. Pleasant dreams, Prompto."

Prompto hadn't noticed Gladio emerging from the bathroom in only a towel until he manages to throw yet another pillow at Prompto's head. 

"You guys are so cheesy," Gladio drawls as he slumps into the opposite caravan bed.

Prompto tries to ignore his flush. "Shuddup."

It’s not long before Prompto’s showered and settled in bed, the sound of Gladio’s snores lulling him to a soft sleep.

Chapter Text

Prompto definitely did not miss the sound of Gladio's shrill alarm chirp first thing in the morning. After all these months, he’d grown used to not hearing it, as opposed to every day on their road trip and hearing it go off around seven in the morning. Noct would always ignore the alarms, but Prompto hated it.

"C'mon, blondie, up and at 'em," Gladio says way too close to Prompto's ear. 

Prompto whines, burying his face in the pillow. "My legs hurt."

Gladio laughs and flicks his ear. "I'll drive the first half only if you get your ass outta bed right now."

Well, that certainly gets Prompto shooting out of bed like a firework.

Prompto's rewarded with a text from Ignis upon checking his phone. 

Iggy (7:03 A.M.): Thank you for calling me last night. I'm very much looking forward to seeing you. Let me know when you're heading out. 

Prompto grins like he's still in high school and just got a folded note from a crush. Prompto pockets his phone, making a reminder to reply once they've started their journey.

Prompto and Gladio head out to the Hammerhead garage, only to find Cindy and Cid in a somewhat heated discussion. 

"Paw Paw, ya can't just back out now. It'll only be for a lil while!" Cindy whines.

Cid stands opposite Cindy with his arms crossed. "I don't need to leave for nothin'."

Gladio and Prompto exchange a look before Gladio intervenes. "C'mon, Cid. Make your granddaughter less stressed, huh? Then I promise I'll drive you right back."

Cid makes a reluctant hmph. 

"Hey, if you get to Lestallum, Iggy will cook for you. He's the best cook there. What's your fav food?" Prompto adds, trying another angle.

After another hmph, Cindy rolls her eyes. “He likes seafood,” she supplies.

Prompto gasps. “That’s Iggy’s favorite. He’ll make you anything you want.”

Cid sighs. “Alright, fine. But I ain’t stayin’ for very long.”

Cindy breathes out a sigh of relief. “Thank you, Paw Paw!” She leans in to kiss Cid’s cheek. “I promise I’ll make sure things are better as quick as I can.”

Gladio looks at Cindy. “You gonna be okay?”

“Yeah. I’ve got Dave stayin’ with me, and Cor’s offered to stay as well. Mighty nice of y’all,” she promises. “Oh, Prompto, before ya head out, I still got some stuff to give ya like I told ya last night. Follow me, won’t ya?”

Prompto nods. “O-oh. Okay, Cindy. Why me?”

“Well, sometimes hunters ‘n such need repairs they can’t afford, so they offer to trade stuff they don’t need,” Cindy explains, taking Prompto to the corner of the garage where a bunch of boxes lie. “They trade all sorts’a things. Books, medicine, hell, there’s even this guitar here.” She giggles. “Thing is, some of the stuff I won’t ever need. Figured you could have a look see and take whatever ya need. Reason I’m tellin’ you is that I do believe right here...” Cindy starts, bending down to shuffle through one of the boxes, “...a ha! Here it is.” She hands a book to Prompto. “I ain’t sure if Ignis has learned Braille yet, but we ain’t got a use for it here so far, and I figured if he’d ever wanna learn, this might help. Thought maybe anything else might come in handy, too.”

Prompto gasps as he takes the book from Cindy. Surely enough, all the pages have Braille on them as he flips through them. Prompto grins. “Oh em gee! We were thinking about learning it together, this would be great, man! I’ve been looking for any kind of Braille books or anything like that. Thanks for this, Cindy.”

Cindy smiles. “I’m glad someone can find a use for it! Here, take the whole box if you’d like. Don’t think there’s anymore like that, but I’m sure you like to read, too. I’ve already read all of ‘em.”

Prompto smiles, taking the box. “You’re such a sweetheart, Cindy. Thanks!”

“You ain’t interested in learnin’ guitar, are ya?” She asks. “Been tryin’ to get that outta here for months now.”

Prompto thinks about it. He hasn’t played guitar since high school, but with the nights never ending and not having any idea when Noct would return, he figures it’s as good of a time to relearn as any.

Prompto shrugs. “You know what? Why not?”

That’s essentially how Prompto ends up putting a box of books and an acoustic guitar in the back of the car Cindy managed to get running for them again.

Gladio laughs. “Why the hell do you have a guitar?”

“Cindy gave it to me,” Prompto says. “I used to play a lot. Or tried to.”

“Gonna serenade Specs, huh?” Gladio teases with a playful elbow.

“Aw, dude, gimme a break,” Prompto groans, flushing at the words anyway.

“You ready to get goin’?” Gladio asks.

Prompto sighs. “Yep. Hey, Cid, do you want front seat or back?”

“I’m takin’ the back. I’m gonna sleep the whole way there,” Cid says stubbornly, already sitting in the backseat.

Prompto laughs. “You got it.”

Cindy walks up to the both of them as soon as Prompto shuts the trunk. “Y’all drive safe now, ya hear? I’ll see y’all in a while.” Cindy pulls Prompto in for a hug.

“Thanks for havin’ us, Cindy. I’ll see you soon!” Prompto says.

Gladio and Cindy say their goodbyes, followed by Cindy hugging her grandfather. Gladio looks a little funny sliding behind the wheel of the car as big as he is, but he fits better than Prompto thought he would. Prompto takes a sip of his last Ebony he took from Ignis, putting it the drink holder before realizing Gladio’s eyes are on him.

“What?” Prompto asks self-consciously.

“You’re even drinkin’ Ebony now?” Gladio teases. “Iggy’s changed you.”

Prompto rolls his eyes. “Look, it’s got caffeine. I need that stuff, man. I’m dying.”

Gladio snorts. “Uh huh. Sure.”

Prompto laughs, deciding to ignore Gladio’s teases. As soon as Gladio starts driving, Prompto pulls out his phone, remembering that he needs to respond to Ignis’s text.

Prompto (8:30 A.M.): we’re on our way igster! i can’t wait to see you❤

Prompto realizes that Iggy's phone assistant will likely describe the heart emoji terribly, but he still can't resist sending it.

Iggy (8:35 A.M.): Glad to hear it. I shall see you soon, then. 

Iggy (8:36 A.M.): Love heart?

Prompto bursts out laughing. Of course, of all the ways the phone assistant would describe the emoji, it had to use love.

Prompto (8:37 A.M.): haha it's the red heart I can't breathe 😂

Iggy (8:38 A.M.): I'm happy to entertain, at least.

Prompto (8:39 A.M.): ...how did it describe that one?

Iggy (8:40 A.M.): Laughing with tears. You always did use that one quite liberally.

Prompto (8:42 A.M.): this is honestly the best

Gladio looks away from the road for a brief moment to raise his eyebrow at Prompto. “You two exchanging love letters or what?”

Prompto starts laughing. “Did you know that Iggy’s phone assistant will read whatever emoji you send him? Like… any of them?”

Gladio grins. “No shit, seriously? I’m gonna have some fun with that later.”

Prompto shoves his shoulder playfully. “He’s gonna kill me if you end up sending him 50 emojis that he has to listen to for an hour.”

Gladio lets out a loud laugh. “Nah. I’ll protect you. Now get my phone outta my pocket and send, like, 10 of those eggplant emojis.”

Prompto snickers, reaching for Gladio’s phone. “I’m on it, dude.”

The ride to Lestallum feels like it takes forever, probably due to the fact that Prompto, at this point, absolutely can’t wait to see Ignis. Distance, Prompto finds out, isn’t his favorite thing in the world.

By the time Prompto takes over driving, he gently pushes past normal speed, much to Gladio’s amusement. At least Gladio doesn’t nitpick his driving the way Ignis does, though he finds that he misses it more than anything.

When did Prompto become such a sap?

Excitement floods through him when he finally parks outside of Lestallum. As Gladio wakes Cid up (he’d slept the entire time), Prompto pulls out his phone to let Ignis know.

Prompto (12:02 P.M.): hey we just got here!! Gonna drop cid off then we’ll be there

Iggy (12:04 P.M.): I’m thoroughly surprised there wasn’t a string of emojis attached.

Prompto grins. He’ll have to shower Ignis in hugs to make up for screwing around with his phone assistant.

Iris meets them just outside the Leville, smiling when she sees Gladio. Talcott is suddenly very preoccupied with asking Cid about cars, to which Cid reluctantly seems interested in.

Gladio wraps his arms around his little sister and pulls her into a hug. “So, I’m back,” he declares.

Iris snorts. “Gonna leave me again, then?”

Gladio laughs. “Nope. Taking you with me if you still wanna go. Prompto said he helped you with aim. How’d it go?”

“It was awesome! But he wouldn’t let me around real daemons,” Iris complains.

Prompto shrugs. “Hey! Not my fault. I don’t wanna get strangled by Gladio if anything were to happen.”

Gladio reaches out to ruffle Prompto’s hair. “Good thinking. I’ll take you around daemons, Iris, when you’re ready.”

Iris sighs. “Fine. Are you guys heading over to Ignis’s?”

“Yep. I’ll come get you when I’m heading back out to the Marshal. Let me know if you need anything,” Gladio says.

Iris smiles. “Okay. I can’t wait!” she says excitedly, practically bouncing up and down.

Prompto hugs Iris and nods farewell to Cid, who is heading into one of the empty hotel rooms at the Leville. 

Gladio claps Prompto on the back. “You ready?”

Prompto nods so vehemently his neck almost cracks. He can’t wait to see Ignis; his heart hammers just at the thought of it. “Yeah. Let’s go.”

Prompto’s heart has practically burst out of his chest and raced down the streets of Lestallum by the time Prompto’s key turns in the lock, opening the door.

The smell of fresh curry invades Prompto’s nose, and he practically moans. Curry’s his favorite dish, and Ignis usually makes it whenever Prompto’s having a bad day, so this is an unexpected treat.

“Oh, man. Smells good in here,” Gladio comments, as if reading Prompto’s mind.

Before Prompto can respond, Ignis appears at the entrance to the kitchen, wearing a black apron, his sunglasses resting at the tip of his nose. His hair is styled back like Prompto suggested before he left -- expertly, Prompto might add -- and he looks absolutely devastatingly handsome in suspenders.

“Prompto? Gladio? Is that you?” Ignis asks, a soft smile spreading onto his face, making him look even more beautiful. He rests his hand on his hip expectantly. 

“Iggy!” Prompto gushes, grinning from ear to ear.

Prompto runs forward, not even waiting for Ignis to give him permission. If anything, Prompto’s footsteps thudding quickly toward him seem to do the trick, as Ignis opens his arms right as Prompto comes crashing into them.

Prompto nearly whimpers as Ignis’s arms wrap around him tightly, holding Prompto against him. Prompto rests his head on Ignis’s chest, closing his eyes happily.

“Well, well, hello there,” Ignis murmurs. He lowers his voice just so Prompto can hear. “I’ve missed you.”

Prompto slides his arms up Ignis’s chest to lock them around his neck. “I missed you too! Cindy gave me a Braille book for us to learn. Oh, and a guitar? That might be fun. And I’ve got, like, tons of books we can read.” He beams. 

Ignis smiles. “Isn’t that exciting? That’s very thoughtful of her.”

“I know, right?” Prompto exclaims, holding onto Ignis as long as he possibly can. “Are you makin’ curry?”

I thought that might be a rather nice lunch, don’t you think? I made it for you.”

Ignis’s head is bowed, lips only a few inches from Prompto’s. Prompto stares up into him, memorizing the lines and scars on his eyes and nose before they travel down to study his perfect pink lips. Prompto’s heart swirls with affection, the distance making him long even more to close the distance between their mouths. The way Ignis holds his head almost deludes Prompto into thinking that he wants it, too.

“That’s… that’s so nice of you, Igster,” Prompto murmurs, unable to take his eyes off of him.

Gladio clears his throat from behind Prompto, effectively causing the both of them to startle, disentangling themselves from each other. “Did you guys forget I was here?” Gladio asks with a laugh.

Ignis frowns. “Of course not. I’m very glad you’re here, Gladio.”

Gladio laughs harder, stepping forward to pull Ignis into a warm embrace. “Hey, Iggy. How you doin’?”

It warms Prompto’s heart to see his friends together again, and he tries desperately not to think about the very obvious missing person.

Ignis pulls away from Gladio with a gentle smile. “I’m quite alright now. Still in one piece, I gather?”

Gladio smirks. “More or less. Your eye’s lookin’ better. Still nothing?”

“I can sense the light,” Ignis says with a soft sigh, “but I’m afraid nothing else.”

Gladio sighs. “You’re doin’ better than any of us at least.”

Ignis smiles softly. “Well, one of us has to,” he teases. “Are you all hungry?”

“Starving,” Gladio says.

“Samesies! You want some help, Iggy?” Prompto asks.

Ignis tilts his head gently in Prompto’s direction. “That would be lovely. Make yourself at home, Gladio?”

“Don’t mind if I do,” Gladio says, sitting on the couch and propping his feet up on the coffee table.

“Mind your feet, Gladio,” Ignis scolds before he reaches out to press his palm to Prompto’s lower back. “Shall we?”

Prompto smiles, savoring the gentle touch as he walks with Ignis into the kitchen. The growing smell of curry causes his stomach to growl as he gives Ignis enough room to work. He watches Ignis stir it in the skillet.

“Would you care to taste for me?” Ignis asks softly.

Prompto can’t seem to wipe the grin off of his face -- Noct would make fun of him so much for how sappy he’s become. “I’d love to. It smells so good, dude.” Prompto tries to sound as neutral as possible, but even he can recognize how absolutely smitten he sounds.

Ignis pulls a clean spoon out of the drawer, finding it easily. It’s always nice to Prompto to see Ignis easily navigate their kitchen from memory despite not being able to see. Ignis spoons a healthy portion of curry with one hand as his other reaches out to grip Prompto’s chin. He’s not wearing his gloves today, needing to rely on touch when Prompto isn’t around.

“Oh,” Ignis says with a bit of surprise as soon as his thumb brushes along Prompto’s chin, “you have grown facial hair, haven’t you?”

Prompto laughs. “Yep. I look pretty cute, not gonna lie.”

Ignis mouth twists into a smile. “Of that I have no doubt.”

Prompto’s heart starts thudding at the compliment. He allows Ignis to tilt his head back as he helps Ignis guide the spoon to his mouth easily. He can hardly hold back the obscene noise that escapes his lips as soon as the curry hits his tongue. 

When Ignis takes the spoon away, a bit of the broth spills onto the corner of Prompto’s mouth. Prompto laughs at it, making a noise of surprise with his mouth full, until Ignis’s thumb slides up to catch it. His thumb brushes against Prompto’s bottom lip, gathering the tiny bit that’s spilled. Prompto feels his cheeks flush at the intimate gesture as he swallows the curry, trying so hard not to press a kiss to Ignis’s thumb.

“Thanks,” Prompto whispers as his cheeks flush harder.

Ignis takes his thumb away almost as quickly as he’d put it there, much to Prompto’s disappointment. The effects of the touch linger, however, in the way that his heart races and his skin tingles. If Ignis is affected, he doesn’t show it, still just the soft smile on his lips.

“My pleasure.”

Prompto stares at Ignis for probably longer than socially acceptable, and he’s a little glad that Gladio isn’t in the kitchen to make fun of him. He realizes he hasn’t yet commented on Iggy’s food. “ Gods, that tastes so good . You’re amazing. How does it taste better every time, dude?”

Ignis chuckles. “You’re far too kind, Prompto. Practice makes perfect, after all. Take some for yourself and get some for Gladio as well, if you don’t mind?”

Prompto smiles. “Sure thing. Can I get some for you, too?”

“You certainly don’t have to, but thank you,” Ignis murmurs. 

Prompto takes their bowls over to the couch, handing one to Gladio and waiting until Ignis is seated to hand him his. Prompto sits in between them, happy to be able to share a meal with the two of them.

“Damn, Iggy. I definitely gotta visit more often. I missed this cooking,” Gladio groans, practically inhaling the curry out of the bowl.

“Well, if it persuades you to stop by more often…” Ignis teases. “You’re welcome to stay, you know. Permanently.”

Prompto perks up. “Yeah! We got plenty of room here, big guy.”

Gladio smiles. “Maybe in a bit. Still got a few kinks to work out, y’know.”

“Surely you’ll stay for the night at the very least?” Ignis asks. “As I’ve told Prompto, I’ve a bit of a surprise that you’re welcome to indulge in as well.”

“Other than your amazing as hell cooking?” Gladio asks with a laugh.

Ignis laughs. “Now, I’m not much. But, yes, if you must ask. Weskham, as you know, is still managing to keep Cape Caem’s daemons at bay, and is taking in refugees there. He stopped by while you were away, Prompto, and left me a bit of fine wine for us to enjoy.”

Prompto raises his eyebrows. The last time they enjoyed any kind of alcohol was in Altissia, one of the last few nights of fun before Leviathan, before Ignis’s accident, before Noct left, before Luna… passed. Maybe an evening of drinking their problems away would be good for them.

Gladio snorts. “You got me interested, I won’t lie. Been way too long since we’ve kicked back, huh?”

Prompto laughs. “Wow, Gladio, is that you? Mr. Tough Guy wanting to kick it?”

“Hey, now. Altissian wine ain’t a joke. Shit’s delicious,” Gladio teases.

Ignis smiles. “The bottles are chilling as we speak, if we’re all on board.”

Prompto elbows Ignis gently. “That sounds amazing, Igs. That’s an awesome surprise.”

“Can’t believe Weskham was willing to part with such a rarity,” Gladio comments.

Prompto looks over at Ignis, who appears suddenly a bit sheepish. “I may or may not have traded some ingredients for them. I thought it might be good for us to relax for a night or two once we were reunited,” Ignis says.

“Well, I ain’t complaining,” Prompto says. “What should we do ‘til tonight, then? Wanna try our hand at learning Braille, Iggy?”

“There’s a thought, although we can certainly wait until Gladio leaves. We wouldn’t want to bore him to death,” Ignis says softly.

“No way, I’m game. You got some books I’ve been meaning to read on your shelf. Unless if you guys want an extra eye for that, in case you don’t trust blondie here.” Gladio’s tone is all teasing despite the joke, reaching out to ruffle Prompto’s hair.

Prompto whines, ducking out of the way of Gladio’s hand. “Wow! Ye of little faith.” Prompto pouts. “I’m totally good for it, right, Igster?”

“I trust you with my life,” Ignis says with a teasing smile.

"I'll go get the book!" Prompto all but squeaks excitedly. He knows it'll likely take quite a while for Ignis to learn Braille from the very beginning, but the first step is exciting. Prompto grabs the book, laughing at the title on the cover as he sits back down next to Ignis. "They totally made us read this in high school, but I just pretended I did so I really don't know anything about it."

Ignis makes a scolding noise. "I'm dreadfully curious."

"Well, you'll just have to learn the title the hard way. Okay," Prompto begins, sliding the book onto Ignis's lap gently, "how 'bout we just start by you touching, and when you've got a feel for the first letter, I'll tell you what it is? Then we'll go from there. Sound good?"

"Sucks you guys don't have an alphabet in order to work with," Gladio says from the other side of the couch, his feet tucked on Prompto's lap as his nose is buried in a cheesy romance novel. "It'd probably be a lot easier to memorize the letters in order."

Ignis sighs. "Yes, well, we'll have to make do. I've yet to encounter a challenge I haven't overcome."

Prompto grins at Ignis's unwavering confidence. "Hells yeah. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout, dude! You ready?"

Ignis smiles. "Guide me to the first letter, then?"

"Uh huh." Prompto reaches over to gently grip Ignis's fingers in his own, the warmth of his skin melting with his own. He places Ignis's finger right at the start of the first raised dot of the book title delicately. "There ya go."

As Ignis feels the first character, Prompto pulls up a how-to guide for beginners on Braille. He tells Ignis what direction to follow only to find Ignis got it right on the first try.

"Alright, I think I've got it," Ignis murmurs, his brow furrowed adorably in concentration. 

"Cool. That's 'T'. Keep goin'."

They continue like that, their heads practically pressed together as they try to tackle the book title together. Impressively enough, Ignis only slips up and feels too many dots a few times. Prompto doesn't register the passing of time, and before they know it, they've got several words down. 

"Ah. The Great Gatsby," Ignis finally declares. “It’s certainly been a while since I’ve read this.”

Prompto grins. "Aww, yeah! Teamwork!" Prompto holds his hand out for a high five. "Give it a while and you'll be readin' that from cover to cover, man, I know it."

Gladio laughs. "Gotta say, you two are adorable together."

Prompto's eyes widen just in time to look over and see the delicate tinge of pink blooming on Ignis's cheeks. Ignis is so easy to embarrass lately, Prompto’s got to admit.

"Do behave, Gladio," Ignis manages after a quiet moment. 

“Jerk,” Prompto adds, punching Gladio’s feet on his lap playfully.

Gladio laughs even harder at this as he turns the page to his novel, but says nothing else.

"Had it for now, or should we conquer the first page?" Prompto asks with a soft smile. 

Ignis laughs. "We'll try and see how it goes, shall we?"

Prompto leans into Ignis's space, ready to help him remember each letter again. Surprisingly, some characters such as the letter 'e' that come up often, Ignis remembers most of the time, only needing a little bit of a reminder for those. Prompto's always so impressed with Ignis, it's a little sad.

They end up taking on three whole pages instead of one before Ignis marks the page and closes the book. “We should call it a day. I should get started on supper before we have anything to drink tonight.”

Prompto finds himself staring at Ignis longingly, again , until Gladio kicks him teasingly. Prompto startles, shooting Gladio a scathing look that Gladio grins at. 

“Lemme help, Iggy?” Prompto asks hopefully.

“Count me in, too. You need a break, Specs,” Gladio adds.

Ignis allows himself to let out a wistful sigh. “Very well, then.”

It’s comfortable, the three of them, cooking and sharing a good meal together, despite Prompto only lightly burning the vegetables (Ignis douses it in so much seasoning afterward, Prompto can’t taste anything wrong). Prompto can even tell that Ignis is in good spirits, and Prompto wonders if Ignis hated the separation as much as Prompto did. Either way, Prompto’s glad they’re all together again, laughing and talking as much as they can, despite the way that they all miss Noctis.

It feels like years since Noct’s left, and it’s only been months. Prompto wonders how long he’ll be gone.

Ignis must sense Prompto’s preoccupation, as he suddenly says, “Prompto, why don’t you open the first bottle of wine, if you don’t mind?”

Prompto breaks from his thoughts. “Yeah, sure, Iggy!” 

This is supposed to be a fairly happy night with Iggy and Gladio -- the least Prompto can do is avoid thinking about Noct, at least for the night. It’s not long before the warmth of the white wine starts to wash away his negative thoughts entirely in favor of spending time with his remaining friends.

Prompto isn’t drunk -- he swears. He’s just warm right now, his friends making him feel warmer. It doesn’t help that Prompto can’t stop staring at Ignis’s face; every scar, every freckle, every bat of his eyelash. It’s been a while since he’s had alcohol around Iggy, and he can feel his self-control start to waver, liquid courage pumping through his veins.

“Wanna take this over to the couch?” Gladio asks, pouring himself another glass.

Prompto grins, gripping the bottle of wine. “You betcha.”

Prompto helps Ignis gently to find the couch, an amused smile on Ignis’s face -- Ignis definitely knows how to get to the couch on his own, but Prompto wants to touch in any appropriate way that he can. Ignis seems happy to indulge him, a soft chuckle leaving his mouth any time Prompto goes out of his way to be a guiding hand. It probably helps that Prompto truly does suggest guidance, not force it -- it’s probably less annoying that way.

Gladio slumps onto his usual end of the couch, as Ignis sits on the other end, crossing his legs elegantly. Prompto snorts at how different their postures are. Prompto’s careful to set the bottle of wine on the coffee table before making his way to the middle section of the couch.

Prompto is clumsy enough without the aid of a few glasses of wine and a tolerance in the negatives, but those factors certainly help when he finds himself tripping right toward Ignis.

Prompto catches the slightest quirk of Ignis’s eyebrow before Prompto has to shoot his arms out to brace himself against the couch, not wanting to crash right on top of Ignis. Ignis, as a precaution, hovers his hands over Prompto’s waist with a look of gentle surprise.

“Careful, dork,” Gladio says from the other end of the couch. “‘Course you’re the one trippin’ in here.”

Prompto feels his face heat up. Even though he technically didn’t trip -- not all the way -- and didn’t touch or hurt Ignis at all due to catching himself, it’s still a little embarrassing. “‘M sorry, Iggy. Did I hurt you?”

Ignis chuckles, the small amount of alcohol flushing his cheeks beautifully. “You’ve not touched me,” he teases.

Prompto feels a nervous laugh bubble out of his throat. “Oh. Yeah. Right. Almost fell right on your lap there.” Prompto sighs. If only.

Ignis’s closes the distance between his hand and Prompto’s hip, gripping it gently. With a smirk, he teasingly slides his hand around the small of Prompto’s back, and Prompto finds himself being yanked onto the couch to the sound of Ignis’s playful chuckle.

Instead of landing in the middle unoccupied section of the couch, however, Ignis pulls him directly onto his lap. Prompto’s heart flies out of his chest as he feels Ignis uncross his legs directly underneath him, and Prompto prays to all six of the stupid Astrals that he doesn’t end up getting a weird boner from this, of all times.

Ignis wraps his arm around Prompto’s front, his breath warming Prompto’s ear. “Too much wine already, Prompto?” he teases.

All Prompto can feel is warmth; the warmth of the alcohol in his system, the heat of Ignis, his heart erratically pumping warm blood through his veins even faster, the heat of his cheeks probably making him look like a lobster. Prompto grips Ignis’s arm that’s around him, wanting this playful moment to last forever. Ignis would probably throw him across the room if he had any idea how much Prompto’s enjoying this.

“No, I just tripped, dude,” Prompto murmurs teasingly. “I’m nowhere near drunk.”

“He is pretty clumsy,” Gladio says with a grin. “Might wanna keep a tight grip on him.”

Prompto looks over at Gladio, wide-eyed, only to see Gladio to wink at him.

Ignis, however, simply laughs, thinking nothing of it -- apparently. “Is this alright?” Ignis whispers practically in his ear again.

Prompto sighs wistfully, leaning back to rest his head on Ignis’s shoulder. “It’s perfect. You’re real warm.”

Prompto swears the grip Ignis has around his middle tightens. “Glad to hear it.”

Prompto is going to blame the wine for how much Ignis’s voice sounds like bottled sex instead of Ignis being intentionally seductive, but either way, Prompto feels like melting into the man underneath him.

“You guys wanna play some cards? You guys can be a team, Prompto can read Iggy the hand,” Gladio suggests, pulling out a card deck from his bag.

Prompto, at this point, has run out of wine in his glass. Instead of pouring some more, Prompto simply drinks from Ignis’s glass resting on the arm of the couch, earning a low chuckle from Ignis that has no business being as gorgeous as it is.

“That sounds fun, huh, Iggy?” Prompto murmurs, hoping Ignis doesn’t let go of him anytime soon.

“Indeed. Let’s see how we fare, hmm? Rummy?” 

Gladio grins. “Sounds good. This bottle’s empty. Want me to get another?”

“If you would, please,” Ignis says softly. “Have you had enough, Prompto?”

Prompto reaches over and grabs Gladio’s card deck. “Nope. I’m down for some more glasses.”

“Damn right you are,” Gladio says. “Shuffle the deck, blondie.”

When Gladio returns with the bottle, the three of them forgo the wine glasses altogether in favor of passing around the entire bottle instead. Prompto desperately tries not to stare at the column of Ignis’s throat as he swallows, and utterly fails as Gladio deals them cards.

Prompto stays on Ignis’s lap to read the cards aloud to Ignis, both of them strategizing to make the best card combination against Gladio. Prompto couldn’t care less if they win or lose, just so long as Ignis keeps him close like this. Prompto tries to ignore the way Ignis’s lips form a smile whenever Prompto asks him which cards to play, happy that Ignis has his sunglasses off so he can look at the pretty scars on his eyes. He wants to kiss them, so badly.

Prompto wishes he could tell Ignis just how fucking gorgeous he is all the time. It’s really so unfair Prompto almost could cry. He settles for drinking a few more swigs of wine from the bottle instead.

Prompto, upon realizing that he and Ignis only have three cards left, slams the bottle on the coffee table and nearly falls off of Ignis’s lap in excitement. Ignis practically has to scoop him back up with a gentle laugh, his hand resting on Prompto’s thigh unconsciously, and it practically burns a hole through Prompto’s jeans.

“Careful, now. Read our hand to me?” Ignis asks.

“Ace of hearts, two of spades, three of hearts,” Prompto whispers in Ignis’s ear. Watching Ignis smile so close to him sends his heart racing.

Gladio snorts. “It’s my turn.”

“So? I’m tryin’ to be helpful, dude!”

Ignis barks out a laugh, patting Prompto’s thigh. “That you are, Prompto.”

Gladio draws a card from the face-down pile and lets out a loud yell. “ Hell yeah. Rummy. Suck it.”

Prompto gasps as Gladio puts the correct remaining sequence of cards down. “No fair!” Prompto whines, leaning back against Ignis.

Ignis laughs in Prompto’s ear, sending tingles up his spine. “Well, well. We’ll get him next time, won’t we?”

Prompto frowns at Gladio. “Did you cheat?” 

Gladio laughs hard. “Only one of us who cheated was Noct.”

At the mention of their king, Prompto feels his stomach twist sadly. He reaches for the bottle of wine on the coffee table, taking a swig of it. Ignis wordlessly takes the bottle from him, drinking from it as well.

“Noct didn’t cheat,” Prompto says with a sad laugh. “He just… peeked from time to time.”

Gladio sighs fondly, a quiet noise from him. “That’s cheating.”

“I do miss him,” Ignis says wistfully.

Prompto reaches over to grab Ignis’s hand, squeezing it affectionately; reassuringly. Ignis smiles in his direction, squeezing his hand back.

“When do you think he’ll come back?” Prompto asks to no one in particular, voice quiet.

“I dunno,” Gladio says. “But we gotta be ready when he does.”

“I hope it’s soon,” Prompto says. “I really hope it’s soon.”

Ignis squeezes his hand again. “As do I. Gladio is correct, however. We must keep our head forward and… walk tall for him in the meantime.”

Prompto’s heart twists again sadly at the words. It’s what King Regis used to tell Noct all the time. That seems like such a long time ago now.

“Shit. I need a drink,” Gladio says, reaching for the bottle of wine.

This breaks the tension a little. Prompto and Ignis laugh gently despite themselves. Prompto wishes he could take the pain away from all of them, especially Ignis and Gladio. They’ve spent their whole lives with Noct, essentially. Prompto’s only been lucky enough to spend time with him since high school.

Prompto shifts on Ignis’s lap so he can look at him better. Ignis wears the softest expression, a gentle smile, but it’s longing, somehow. Prompto can certainly relate. 

Prompto finds himself leaning in, wrapping his arms around Ignis’s neck to pull him into a hug. Ignis shows gentle surprise at the gesture, but moves to accommodate him, his arms securing around Prompto’s back gently.

“I love you guys,” Prompto murmurs into Ignis’s neck, blaming the liquid courage for his ability to show all this affection. “We’ll be okay… right?”

Ignis is quiet for a moment. “I love you as well,” he says gently, “I think we’ll be quite alright.”

Gladio laughs, leaning in to ruffle Prompto’s hair again. “Love you too, kid. You should get some sleep before we get too much wine in ya.”

Prompto betrays himself by yawning. The soft chuckle from Ignis sounds right next to his ear again, and Prompto wants to burrow in the warmth. “You takin’ the pullout?” Prompto asks Gladio.

“Yup. You two lovebirds can take the bedroom as usual,” Gladio says with a smirk.

Prompto groans, his cheeks flushing as he buries his face into Ignis’s shoulder. Prompto can feel the vibrations of Ignis’s deep laugh, glad that Iggy finds this amusing if not anything else. 

“Shall I carry you over the threshold, my love?” Ignis teases.

Prompto has to remind himself at least three times that Ignis is just fucking with him, curse his fragile heart. “Shut up,” Prompto says with a laugh once he lifts his head up off of Ignis’s shoulder. “You totally can’t even lift me, dude. I’m all muscle now.”

Gladio laughs even louder at this. “Uh huh. Sure you are.”

“Oh? Is that so?” Ignis remarks, his eyebrow quirked upward.

Prompto doesn’t have time to respond before he feels Ignis’s arms tighten around him as he stands up, lifting Prompto easily. Prompto yelps in surprise, scrambling to lock his arms tighter around Ignis’s neck, not expecting Ignis to actually do it. Prompto’s legs lock around Ignis’s waist, laughing hard as Ignis stands fully with Prompto curled around him.

“Shit, Iggy, I thought you were kidding,” Prompto says, still laughing so hard he can hardly breathe.

“Still light as ever,” Ignis teases. “Relax. I won’t drop you.”

Prompto tries to heed his words, letting himself melt against Ignis’s strong embrace. Prompto tries to ignore the fact that their hips -- along with the rest of their bodies -- are pressed together, and he absolutely tries to ignore the fact that after all they’ve been through, this is the first time Ignis has held him like this without Prompto sporting some sort of injury.

“Careful, Iggy,” Gladio says sarcastically, “precious cargo there.”

Prompto starts laughing. “Take me to bed, Lord Scientia,” he demands playfully.

“Using my title now, are we?” Ignis asks with a smirk. “Very well then, crown citizen.”

Ignis starts carrying him down the hall to the bedroom, and Prompto looks over Ignis’s shoulder as he laughs. “Night Gladio! Love you!” Prompto calls out.

“G’night, dork,” Gladio says, rolling his eyes at him. “Love you too.”

The further Ignis walks down the hallway, the more Prompto’s heart races. Rationally, he knows they’re just messing around, but the implications of all of this do him no favors; the alcohol in his system doesn’t help either.

When Ignis arrives in their bedroom, Prompto feels Ignis kick the edge of the bed to feel for it before gently laying Prompto down. Ignis has always been so gentle and kind -- at least to his friends -- and it warms Prompto’s heart even more to see how much gentler he is now. Prompto sighs at the loss of Ignis’s warmth as soon as his head hits Ignis’s pillow, his hands releasing Prompto last. 

Prompto looks up at him, at a loss for words for a moment at how pretty Ignis looks from this angle, hovering over him gently. The wine still has Ignis slightly flushed, his pink lips parted slightly as he wears a subtle smile. Prompto bites his lip, wanting to push his body off of the bed to press a kiss to those parted lips, but he keeps himself frozen instead.

Ignis leans away, of course, and stands up straight again. “I’ll join you in a moment, Prompto,” he whispers.

Prompto frowns. “Wait, where are you going?”

Oops. The last thing Ignis needs to know is how damn needy Prompto is.

Apparently, Ignis thinks nothing of it, as he smiles. “I’m going to see if Gladio needs help with the sleeper sofa. I’ll just be a moment, I promise.”

“Oh,” Prompto murmurs, feeling sort of stupid, “D’you need help?”

“Not at all. Just relax for me.”

Prompto can’t help but flush at the gentleness of Ignis’s words. “Okay,” Prompto whispers back.

As soon as Ignis leaves the room with a smile on his face, Prompto shifts, burying his face in Ignis’s pillow. He sighs happily knowing that he’s with Ignis again, and if his luck goes well, Ignis will let Prompto fall asleep in his arms. He’s missed that over the last few nights more than anything.

Prompto peels off his jeans so that he can sleep in his boxers as usual. He tosses them on the floor on his side of the bed, hoping Ignis will wait to chastise him about it until tomorrow.

Ignis returns a few minutes later, wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt. He stops at his side of the bed, head tilted down toward the bed as he brushes his hand against Prompto’s arm. “Scoot,” he says finally, amusement on his face.

Prompto whines, rolling over to his own side of the bed as opposed to Ignis’s. He peels back the blankets for Ignis to climb into.

As soon as Ignis lies down after sitting on the edge of the bed for a moment, Prompto says, "Hi."

Ignis turns his head over to face Prompto's direction with a gentle smile. "Hello."

Prompto touches Ignis's arm, the warmth of his skin inviting him in. "Can I… is this okay?" Prompto asks shyly. 

Ignis laughs. "You've been on my lap all evening, I'd think by now you'd know you have permission to touch me."

Prompto finds himself laughing. He slides his arm around Ignis, gently resting his head on his chest. "Just had to make sure."

"You don't have to, you know," Ignis says softly.

Prompto lifts his head up to look at Ignis. "Huh?"

"Ask. You needn't ask. You may always touch me, Prompto."

If Prompto's heart doesn't skyrocket off of Eos after that comment. Prompto stares at Ignis for a moment too long before he finds himself leaning in, pressing a soft kiss to Ignis's cheekbone. Prompto memorizes how soft Ignis's skin is under his lips, how warm, before he pulls back sheepishly. 

Ignis raises an eyebrow, but his smile widens. "Well, well, well. And what was that for?" he teases.

"I missed you," Prompto admits self-consciously.

Ignis huffs out a laugh under his breath before securing his arms tighter around Prompto. "I missed you as well." 

Prompto sighs, laying his head back down on Ignis's chest. "I had fun tonight."

"As did I. May I ask you something, Prompto?"

Prompto's stomach churns anxiously. "Yeah? What's up?"

"What were you going to tell me? You mentioned it last night on the phone," Ignis says. "What was it?"

Anxiety floods Prompto instantly. Of course, he still wants to tell Ignis about his dumb feelings, but if Ignis doesn't feel the same, he doesn't want this to end. He just wants to get one more night wrapped up in Ignis's arms before it'll likely get awkward.

"Tomorrow?" Prompto suggests. "I'm kinda tired." He hopes Ignis doesn't catch the half-lie.

Ignis is quiet for a moment. "Mmm. Tomorrow, then."

Prompto digs his nails into Ignis's shirt. "Sorry to," he pauses to yawn, "keep ya waiting."

Prompto registers a gentle touch to his hair; fingers, he realizes, gently carding through it. Prompto could easily sleep to the calming, intimate touch. 

"Hush, now. Get some rest," Ignis soothes. 

Prompto might have mumbled something incoherent, but Ignis's questing fingers in his hair lull him almost instantly to sleep.

Chapter Text

Prompto stirs, awakening to an empty bed. It's almost a crime to wake up alone after the way he went to sleep; gently held and caressed by the man of his dreams. Still, he's grateful the wine didn't give him a headache nonetheless.

Prompto showers to wake himself up, hearing Gladio and Ignis talk in hushed tones in the kitchen. He can smell eggs cooking; of course Ignis wouldn't wait for Prompto to wake up so he could help him with breakfast.

Prompto dresses quickly to join the others, heading down the hall when he hears Gladio utter Noct’s name. Prompto stalls for a moment, not wanting to interrupt; their tones sound serious.

“--dunno when he’ll come back. What if he comes back tomorrow?” Gladio asks quietly.

Ignis’s voice is even more tense. “What if he doesn’t?” he asks warily. “What if it takes more months of this bloody endless night? Years?”

Gladio sighs. “I don’t know, man. If it does, it does. Our jobs don’t have expiration dates.”

“Of course they don’t. We will be ready regardless,” Ignis agrees, “but not having him near…”

Prompto’s heart twists at the topic of conversation. He sighs, making himself known, rounding the corner to join Ignis and Gladio in the kitchen.

“Are you guys talking about Noct?” Prompto asks, playing dumb. “At least Noct will come back soon, and then we’ll all be together again. We can be happy again.”

Gladio looks over at Prompto with another sigh tumbling from his lips. “Morning, Prompto. You got a point there.”

Ignis doesn’t look at relaxed. He tenses, his hands balling into loose fists. “Prompto, I do hope I didn’t wake you,” he says stiffly.

“No, I woke up on my own,” Prompto says softly. “What’s wrong, Iggy?” Prompto takes a step toward Ignis, but not any further, deciding against it at the last minute.

“I need to tell you something,” Ignis says finally, “both of you. I… the longer this endless night stretches onward, I’m afraid of--” Ignis cuts himself off with a shaky breath. “I need you both to know that I truly had your best intentions in mind--”

“Wait, what the hell are you talking about?” Gladio asks suddenly. “Spit it out, man.”

Prompto tries a gentler approach. “Yeah, Iggy, what’s up? You okay?”

Ignis opens and closes his mouth more than once, seemingly looking for the proper words to say. “I’m afraid when Noct returns to restore the light to our world… he will not be here to see it.”

Prompto’s brow furrows. He has no idea what Ignis means by that; if Noct comes back, surely he’ll be able to see the dawn? “Wait, what?” Prompto asks. “Why wouldn’t he?”

Gladio is eerily silent, his eyes reluctantly peeling from Ignis’s face to Prompto’s. “You know what he means,” Gladio says angrily. “Noct won’t make it.”

Prompto’s heart feels as if it’s dropped into his stomach. It doesn’t seem like there’s anything that could hurt Noct; he’s supposed to be here forever. Prompto always thought Noct would outlive everyone, including himself. To hear Ignis say those words like he knows they’re true makes him feel like he’s going to be sick.

“What?!” Prompto asks, voice wavering. “That’s not true! That can’t be true! He’ll be fine! We’ll protect him, just like always!”

“We cannot,” Ignis begins, stopping to maintain stoicism, “we cannot help Noctis. He must sacrifice himself to restore light to our world. I have heard the prophecies myself in Altissia.”

Prompto feels his eyes well up with tears. “We… we gotta… there’s g-gotta be something we can do--”

“You’ve known this since Altissia,” Gladio says as a statement, not a question or accusation. His hands are balled into fists. “Since Altissia. That was months ago.”

Ignis turns his body away from the direction of both of their voices, placing his fingers delicately against the bridge of his nose. “I know, Gladio.”

“You were just gonna… wait around to say something like this? About Noct?”

“What was I supposed to bloody say?!” Ignis snaps, turning back toward Gladio again. “You’re in love with him. What was I supposed to… do…? You’ve no idea how difficult--” Ignis cuts himself off.

“I’m starting to get an idea,” Gladio says coldly.

Prompto wants to be angry with Ignis for keeping this from him, keeping the fate of his best friend from him after all these months, just like Gladio. All Prompto can think of is the fact that Ignis carried this burden with him for months. Ignis watched Noct disappear into the crystal knowing that when Noct comes back, it would only be temporary. His heart thuds, a mix of emotions swirling through him. 

Prompto steps forward, placing a hand on Ignis’s arm. “You shouldn’t have held onto this,” Prompto says gently. “You shouldn’t have carried this alone.”

Prompto can’t help it; he wraps his arms around Ignis, starting to cry. Ignis stiffens for a moment before melting into the embrace, sliding his arms around Prompto in return.

“I didn’t know what to do. I was trying to find the best way to tell you both,” Ignis whispers. “With the both of us having near constant nightmares and Gladio away for so long, I--”

“I forgive you,” Prompto says immediately. “I… I think I get it. I don’t think I could’ve held this in but I get it.”

Ignis lets out a gentle sigh, his hand rubbing soothing circles into Prompto’s back. “I apologize,” he says.

Gladio kicks one of the chairs at the dining table, but otherwise doesn’t make any other moves. He’s quiet, letting out a sigh. “I don’t care how I feel about Noct,” Gladio says, though his tone much less accusatory, “you should’ve told me.”

“I know,” Ignis murmurs. “I made a mistake. I apologize, Gladio. I should have told you both far sooner.”

“What do we do?” Prompto asks, eyes watering still as he pulls away from Ignis’s embrace. “How are we supposed to…?”

Prompto feels lost. He doesn’t even know where to begin. He, stupidly enough, was naive to think that things would be okay as soon as Noct returns. He has to mourn for a whole different reason now. He feels completely stupid that all he was worried about when he woke up this morning was telling Ignis how he felt about him. That seems completely irrelevant now. Now, he has to acknowledge the fact that he’s going to lose his best friend; that he’s going to be teased with the joy of Noct returning only to have to lose him again .

“I’m uncertain,” Ignis admits. “We will have to deal with it together.”

“How the hell are we supposed to deal with it?” Gladio demands.

Prompto’s heart thuds. Gladio’s mourning for an entirely different reason. Prompto reaches out to Gladio, wrapping his hands around the top of his arm comfortingly. Gladio makes no move to accommodate him, but doesn’t push him away, either.

 “Noct wouldn’t want us to fight,” Prompto supplies. “We obviously have a lot of feelings about this, none of which are that great, but… we can’t resent each other.”

Gladio sighs. “I know, blondie. I’m not resenting anyone.”

Prompto relaxes a little, looking over at Ignis. “How… how did you know, and none of us? How’d you find out?”

Ignis’s posture tenses again. “I told you, when I was separated from you lot in Altissia, I heard the prophecy from the Astrals themselves.”

“Your accident?” Prompto continues. “Your eyes? Was that at the same time?”

“Yes.”

“What happened?” Prompto whispers, his heart pounding.

“I put on the Ring of the Lucii,” Ignis says after a moment’s hesitation. “I saw everything, and then I saw nothing.” He laughs bitterly.

“That thing took Ravus’s arm. I heard it basically killed Nyx Ulric,” Gladio points out. “You knew that, but you put it on anyway?”

“I used it to fight Ardyn. I had no choice,” Ignis says defensively.

Prompto’s eyes widen. “You knew that it would hurt you…?”

“On the contrary, I’d assumed it would kill me,” Ignis says. “I’m very lucky to be here now. I thought I’d lose my life then and there. I’d prepared for that outcome.”

Prompto’s heart drops. The thought of Ignis not being around sends him into panic. The fact that Ignis was so careless with his life in Altissia scares the hell out of Prompto, especially knowing the fact that Prompto couldn’t have done a damn thing about it at the time, as they were separated.

“How can you just-- say it like that? ‘ Prepared for that outcome’ like you’re not talking about your own life? How could you just throw it away like that?!” Prompto demands, eyes filling with tears. 

“It is my duty, should it come to that,” Ignis reminds Prompto. “It’s why I was hesitant to tell you what happened.”

“Hesitant?!” Prompto barks. “It’s been almost half a year since it happened!”

“You’re upset,” Ignis realizes softly, head tilting in Prompto’s direction. “Any of us could die at any time for Noct. You know this, Prompto.”

“Yeah, but this was suicide--”

“It was sacrifice , Prompto. Do you think I wanted to die? Noct was lying there, Ardyn was going to kill him,” Ignis cries, voice wavering. “I had no choice.”

“Nothing we can do about it now, Prompto,” Gladio says tensely. “Iggy’s alright. It’s done with.”

Prompto feels silent tears start to roll down his cheeks. He feels so stupid for thinking that they could ever be something. Ignis was so willing to throw it all away, to so easily sacrifice his life. Prompto knows, deep down, that Ignis would stop at nothing to do what is right, but it hurts Prompto more than anything, being in love with the man who cares so little about his own life for the sake of others.

“I…” Prompto starts, unsure of what to even say. “D’you have any idea… any idea how much you mean to me, dude? Do you know what that would’ve… done to me-- to Noct --”

Ignis frowns, a tear escaping his eye. “The last thing I wanted was to hurt you. Believe me, Prompto.”

Prompto lets out a fairly ugly sob. “Well, it does hurt me. You’re such an amazing person, Iggy, you can’t… you can’t throw your life away like that. You deserve to be happy, damn it, now you can’t see --”

“I assure you that it wasn’t a decision that I made lightly,” Ignis says pleadingly. “Leaving you was the last thing I wanted to do, but I had to protect Noctis, to protect you.”

“I just found out I’m gonna lose my best friend and now I’m finding out I was this close to losing you, too?!” Prompto cries, trying to swat at the tears that spill from his eyes. “Gods, I’m such an idiot for worrying about stupid shit like-- like--”

Prompto almost says it; he comes so close to telling Ignis about his feelings. It seems so pointless now, though. There’s nothing Prompto can do that would even come close to Ignis’s desire to self-sacrifice. Prompto can’t make him stay. Prompto can’t make him value his own life.

“Hey, kid,” Gladio finally intervenes, clapping him on the back. “Take a deep breath. C’mon.”

Prompto stops to breathe, following Gladio’s advice as he inhales quickly, breath wavering. “Gods, I can’t do this. I can’t fucking do this, I’m freaking out --”

“Prompto, please,” Ignis says desperately. “I apologize for not telling you. You’ve no idea how sorry I am, but I promise you that I will do my best to tell you everything from now on. Please, try to relax.”

Prompto lets out a hysterical laugh. “‘ Relax ,’ he says, like he didn’t just break my fucking heart.” Prompto sighs, squeezing his eyes shut for a moment before opening them. “I dunno if I can be here right now.”

Ignis’s face falls, another reason for Prompto to feel guilty. “Tell me what I need to do, and I will do it, Prompto. Allow me to make amends.”

Prompto’s never heard Ignis sound so desperate.

Prompto sniffles. “I want you to be okay! I want you to make it, I want Noct to be okay, I want Gladio to be okay, I want us to be okay. I want you to let me into your life, I want to be a part of it--”

“You truly don’t think you’re a part of my life?” Ignis asks with a surprise. “You cannot be serious --”

“You were gonna leave me without saying goodbye , without even-- telling me--”

Prompto. Every time we are with Noct, there is a chance that any of us would get hurt or-- Astrals forbid-- die, without saying goodbye. I know that it’s difficult to hear what I did. I know that it’s bloody awful I waited so long. I know I would be beside myself if our roles were reversed. I truly had no choice. You misconstrue my desires with my actions. I have to put others’ lives in front of my own, especially Noct’s. I would put your life before my own, as well. Do you understand this?”

“I know that,” Prompto says. “I fuckin’ know that, man, it’s just it’s a lot harder to deal with when I love you and care about you, and I just need… I need to breathe, I can’t--”

“Okay, okay, let’s just chill out for a sec,” Gladio says. He puts both of his hands on Prompto’s shoulders. “Prompto. Breathe. Just shut up and breathe.”

Prompto nods, closing his eyes to breathe in and out. He tries to calm his heart rate to no avail, but manages to keep his breathing out of the hyperventilation zone, concentrating on the weight of Gladio’s hands on his shoulders and the sound of his own slowing breaths. “Okay.”

“Should I leave?” Ignis asks softly. “I don’t wish to do any more harm.”

“No, stay here,” Prompto says finally. “I think I need some space. I need to clear my head, I need to prioritize shit. I’ve been stupid.”

Gladio snorts. “Kid, you can act stupid sometimes, but this ain’t your fault. This shit sucks. You haven’t had the time to prepare for this life the way Iggy and I have.”

“I’m not… I know what we’re supposed to do, it’s just...” Prompto says quietly. It’s just that I’m in love with Iggy and it sucks so fucking much, he thinks to himself.

Gladio doesn’t need Prompto to finish his sentence. “I know, blondie.”

Prompto looks into Gladio’s amber eyes. “How are you not freaking out?”

Gladio sighs. “I think I had a gut feeling even before Iggy spilled the beans. It’s why I had to spend some time alone. Did me some good. If you think it’ll do you good, then do it.”

Prompto doesn’t want to leave them, not really. He also knows that he might end up acting irrationally or lashing out if he doesn’t get some space and time to clear his head, however. The last thing he wants to do is leave Ignis. He rationally knows why Ignis did what he did, and Prompto knows if he were in Ignis’s position, he’d do the same thing. It’s probably why Prompto’s so frustrated -- he and Ignis are more alike than Prompto initially thought.

“I think I probably should,” Prompto says softly. “I’m not-- I’m not mad, Ignis, I just…”

“I understand,” Ignis says, his tone soft, but sad. “How long will you be gone?”

“I dunno,” Prompto says honestly. “I think I should help Aranea or Cindy or somethin’. Just kill some daemons or whatever. I’ll… I’ll come back soon. If you want me back, that is.”

Ignis tilts his head quizzically. “This will always be your home, should you want it to be. I hope you know that.”

Prompto tries not to cry more, but more tears overflow in his eyes. “Uh huh.” He sniffles. “Thanks, Iggy.”

“You needn’t ever thank me for that.”

“I’ll go get a ride somewhere,” Prompto says. He looks at Gladio. “Will you stay with Iggy for a while?”

“Yeah. I got him.”

“Take the car, Prompto. It’s not as if I can use it,” Ignis points out.

Prompto sighs. “Okay. I’m gonna go pack a few things.”

Ignis nods as Gladio lets go of his shoulders. Prompto heads into their bedroom to pack a bag with a few outfits and things, not knowing how long he’ll be gone. He’s already starting to regret leaving, but he knows it’ll be good for him to know what to prioritize.

Prompto’s sure of one thing, though; he’ll never stop being in love with Ignis, not for as long as he lives, probably.

Prompto slings his bag over his shoulder, dropping it onto the floor when he sees Gladio hold out his arms. Prompto walks into his embrace gratefully.

“Be careful. Don’t do anything stupid, got it?” Gladio says.

“I’ll try,” Prompto manages. “Are you sure you don’t need anything?”

Gladio smiles gently. “Nah, kid. Go find your peace or whatever.”

When Prompto separates from Gladio, he looks over at Ignis, unsure what to do. “I’ll, uh, see you later, Iggy?” Prompto asks awkwardly.

Ignis frowns. “Come here, Prompto.”

Prompto finds himself walking right up to Ignis without thinking it through at all. Ignis wraps his arms tightly around Prompto. Despite the heated discussion they just shared, all Prompto wants to do is hold Ignis.

So he does.

Prompto locks his hands around Ignis’s neck, sighing softly. “Tell me if you need anything, okay?” Prompto whispers against his chest.

“Thank you. I will, so long as you do the same. Know that I care about you very much,” Ignis promises. “Don’t ever forget that.”

“I care about you, too,” Prompto says. “I’ll see you soon?”

“Yes. Of course.”

Prompto punishes himself by leaving Ignis’s embrace too soon. He grabs his bag, and with one final look at two of his best friends, he heads out the door with tears in his eyes.

Prompto sits behind the wheel of the car without driving for a few minutes, trying to calm his breathing. He thinks of how irrational he was being to Ignis, how much he almost let his feelings slip out, how much he misses Noct and how much he’s going to miss Noct even after he comes back, and finds himself bursting into tears.

“C’mon, Prompto, get your shit together,” he mutters to himself, and then starts to laugh bitterly. “Gods, where are you, Noct? You’d be making fun of me so bad right now.” He punches the steering wheel lightly, shaking his head. “It fucking sucks without you, dude.”

Prompto sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose with his fingers, a gesture that reminds him of Ignis so much that he starts to cry a little harder for a moment. He takes a deep breath, blinking away any remaining tears, breathing hard for a few moments.

Not Prompto’s finest hour, that’s for certain.

Prompto puts the key in the ignition, turning on the daemon-resistant headlights before backing out of the parking lot. He starts heading east, hoping Cindy won’t mind that he’s visiting again so soon. With his paranoia about it starting to eat him alive, Prompto calls her, putting her on speaker phone and setting the phone on the dash. 

Cindy answers after a few rings. “Prom? That you?”

“H-hey, Cindy!” Prompto attempts to sound happy, his voice a little hoarse from crying so hard. “I was, um, wondering if you needed a hand at the garage or somethin’, just for a little while? I need to get outta the house.” He laughs weakly.

“Is somethin’ wrong? You just left yesterday, didn’t ya?” Cindy asks with a gentle laugh. “I mean, yer welcome here, of course! Is Paw Paw okay? He ain’t drivin’ ya up a wall, is he?”

Prompto frowns, shaking his head to himself. “No, no, none of that. He’s doin’ good so far. I just… I found out some tough things, and, um…” He takes a deep breath. “I just need some air.”

“Is that shortcake?” A familiar voice Prompto immediately recognizes as Aranea’s comes from the background on the other end of the phone. “Lemme talk to him.” There’s some shuffling, much to Prompto’s amusement, as he keeps his eyes on the road. Prompto hears a gentle protest from Cindy followed by more shuffling. “Blondie!” Aranea gushes, the smile in her voice evident.

“Aranea?” Prompto asks with another laugh. “What are you doin’ over in Hammerhead?”

“Had some parts I thought Cindy might need,” Aranea says, maybe a little too defensively. “What’s going on? You sound all down in the dumps, kiddo.”

Prompto sighs. “It’s a, um, long story.”

“You’re drivin’ all the way over here? What about Ignis?” Aranea asks teasingly.

Prompto’s heart thuds achingly in his chest, gripping the steering wheel tighter. “Uh, it’s just me.”

Aranea seems to get the message pretty quickly, as her tone sobers up instantly. “Ah. I gotcha. Look, if you need to come here, you should. I’m not heading outta here for a few days. We can chat.”

Prompto smiles sadly. “Yeah. That sounds great. I miss you, dude!” 

Aranea sighs. “You want me to stay on call?”

“Nah. Have fun with Cindy. I just wanted to make sure it was okay to come over. Are you sure you checked with her?” Prompto asks, biting his lip.

“‘Course it’s okay. We were just talking about you, actually.” There’s some more shuffling, followed by Aranea cursing. “ Ow. Alright, alright. Cindy’s taking the phone from me-- later!” 

Prompto raises his eyebrows, surprised anyone could manage to take anything from Aranea. 

“Howdy, sorry ‘bout that! Aranea stole my damn phone,” Cindy says. “You doin’ alright, Freckles?”

Prompto smiles at their antics, happy that at least some of his friends are happy. “Yeah, yeah. I’ll be okay.”

“Well come on down, if ya want. We’ll be waitin’!” 

Prompto sighs again. “Thanks, Cindy. I’ll see you in a bit.”

Prompto’s happy he’ll have a place to go while he clears his head. It’s a little unnerving to drive the streets alone, surrounded by daemons, but he knows that the headlights will keep them away, and in case of emergencies, he’s got all his guns with him. Prompto has no idea how long he’ll be gone, but he’s hoping it won’t take long before he’s ready to face Ignis and come clean about his feelings.

Prompto puts some music on his phone on shuffle, smiling at all the songs he used to play in the Regalia before everything went to shit. He remembers always sitting shotgun next to Ignis, Noct sitting in the backseat playing King’s Knight with him, while Gladio read. He focuses on those happier memories, and it drives him through the rest of the region with a decent amount of ease.

Prompto immediately sees Aranea’s ship landed just outside the garage in Hammerhead, and he smiles to himself. The trip didn’t seem nearly as long as it did when he was perched in the back of Dave’s truck, but he’s still happy to see signs of his friends.

Prompto finds both of them in the garage, laughing at each other. Aranea’s holding a wrench for Cindy as she tightens the bolt on a wheel. They seem to be really enjoying each other’s company, exchanging teases. Prompto watches them for a few seconds before making himself known.

“Ladies,” Prompto announces himself teasingly.

Aranea’s head turns, a grin spreading on her face. “Shortcake.”

Prompto smiles as he runs into Aranea’s outstretched arms. She smells like gasoline and other vehicle fumes -- a little like Cindy -- and it makes him laugh.

“Heya, Prom! How ya doin’?” Cindy asks.

“I’m okay,” he lies. “‘Nea, you smell like gas.” He snorts.

Aranea releases Prompto from her hug with a soft laugh. “Blame that on Cindy. She spilled gas all over me.”

“Ain’t my fault you filled it up too high,” Cindy complains, grabbing the wrench from Aranea’s hand without looking. “What ya doin’ back here so soon? Thought you wanted to go back home, it seemed like.”

It’s so strange having Lestallum being referred to as home. Prompto’s never called a place like that home. Though, now, with Ignis, it seems like the man himself is home no matter where he goes, as cheesy as it sounds.

Prompto sighs. “I did. I do. I mean, I dunno.” He looks at the ground. “Found some stuff out, I guess.”

“Yeah, you keep saying that,” Aranea says. “What do you mean? Do you wanna talk about it?”

Prompto kicks a pebble that wandered its way into Cindy’s garage. “I dunno.”

“Did you get into a fight with Ignis?” Aranea presses.

“Oh, I sure hope not,” Cindy adds.

“I mean, not really? I should be mad at him but I’m not as mad at him as I should be,” Prompto murmurs. “I, uh. He told me things I didn’t wanna hear. But I should’ve been able to know a long time ago.”

“Like what?” Aranea asks. “If Ignis messed up, it must be serious.”

Prompto lets out a bitter laugh, rubbing the back of his neck. “Uh, yeah. I guess you could say that.” He sighs. “I found out Iggy almost got himself killed when everything took a turn for the worse, I guess. I had no idea. I mean, I knew, ‘cause his eyesight, y’know? But… I dunno. He didn’t tell me. Didn’t tell anyone, but sometimes I feel like I’m not important to him since he didn’t tell me.”

Aranea sighs. “Look, kid, that’s rough, but I don’t really think he was trying to be malicious.”

“No, I know. That’s why I’m not mad. I’m just kinda disappointed, y’know? Thought I was gonna have a much different conversation,” Prompto says with a sigh. “Now I gotta mourn my best friend.”

“Mourn? Ignis isn’t dead,” Aranea points out. “And the fact that he told you now means he cares and he wants you to know. That’s good, right? What even started all this?”

Prompto feels a lump in his throat, and he desperately tries to swallow it. “I, uh. I wasn’t talking about Iggy. I was talking about Noct.”

“The prince? What’s he got t’do with this?” Cindy asks, putting down her wrench for the moment.

Aranea seems to get the picture, though. Her lips press into a thin line, her brow furrowing as she shifts her weight to the other side, her head tilting toward Prompto sympathetically. “He’s not gonna make it, is he?”

Prompto feels his eyes well up with tears as he wordlessly shakes his head. “Uh, no.”

“So Iggy knew,” Aranea realizes, “and he sat on that. I get it.”

Prompto nods, sniffling as he blinks back tears. 

Cindy looks up with a soft look of sadness. “There isn’t anythin’ you can do?”

“Iggy says no. In order to get rid of all this darkness and daemons and shit,” Prompto starts, “Noct’s gotta sacrifice himself.”

Aranea clicks her tongue against her teeth disappointingly. “Tough fucking break,” she says sadly. “He’s a good kid.”

Prompto smiles through the tears. “He’s the best.” He sighs, trying not to cry in front of either of them. “I just feel so helpless, y’know? And the fact that Iggy hid it from me all this time…”

Cindy looks over at Aranea before looking over at Prompto. “I don’t think he meant any harm by it, darlin’. But I understand bein’ upset. I’d wanna know everythin’ when it comes to folk I care ‘bout.”

“Yeah, I mean,” Aranea says with a sigh, “that’s… probably not the best decision he could’ve made. But I don’t think he was hiding it. It’s a hard thing to tell others that, especially someone like you. You’ve got a big fucking heart, Prompto, and you and his Majesty were, what, best friends, right? That’s a huge deal, kid.”

“I know, I know,” Prompto whispers. “I’m not mad at him. He carried it with him all this time, that was torture enough. I’m glad he told me now, but there’s never really a good time.”

“True. How much of a difference would it have made if he told you as soon as he found out and now?” Aranea points out.

Prompto thinks about that question. She has a point in the fact that no matter when Ignis would have revealed this information, it still would’ve crushed him. “I’m not sure,” Prompto admits. “Maybe just the suffering together thing would’ve helped. I always… think I’ve gotten somewhere with Iggy, then I get the rug pulled out from underneath me.”

Aranea frowns. “I don’t think that’s what’s happening, blondie.”

“Mmhm. You shoulda heard him on the phone when you were last here,” Cindy interjects. “He found out you were huntin’ alone and I swear to the Astrals he was ‘bout to walk over here blind t’make sure you were alright.”

Prompto can’t help but smile at that, remembering how worried Ignis sounded that night. “I wouldn’t put it past him.”

“Y’know, I think Specs has his way of dealing with shit, just the same as you do. Sometimes one or both of you is gonna fuck up. I know you think the guy’s perfect from what you told me back in Niflheim, but he’s gonna make mistakes now and again,” Aranea says.

“I know. I forgave him, and stuff like that. I just… it’s a lot, y’know? I left Gladio with him, he was there when it all went down,” Prompto explains. “I just… I was gonna tell him about my stupid feelings, man.” He laughs bitterly. “I feel like an idiot.”

Cindy stands up, her curls bouncing a little as she frowns. “I still think ya should, for what it’s worth, Freckles.”

“I can guarantee you he doesn’t feel any better,” Aranea says. “How do you think he feels? He let down the guy he likes enough to make him bail.”

Prompto feels his cheeks flush with embarrassment. “I told him I’d be back.”

“Probably wouldn’t make him feel any better,” Aranea says with a laugh. “He’s probably scared shitless right now.”

“Alright, alright, I feel guilty enough,” Prompto whines. “Maybe I should just suck it up and go back.”

Aranea laughs. “I do think you should go back, kid, but clearing your head’s always a good thing. Give it a few days or weeks. It’ll prioritize shit for you. Didn’t tell you that to make you feel guilty. I just know it takes a hell of a lot for you to realize that people care about you. Especially that one. All the times we all fought in battle? I saw you guys. He covered you just as much as his prince. And you did everything to protect Ignis, too. It was real sweet,” she teases, rolling her eyes.

Prompto’s eyes widen. “What? No way. We’re all supposed to protect Noct.”

Aranea smirks. “You really didn’t notice it, did you? Of course you wouldn’t.”

Cindy giggles. “I think you two are gonna be just fine. I give it less than a day before Tall ‘N Handsome’s callin’ me up worried sick ‘bout ya.”

Prompto runs a hand through his hair. “I hope you’re right,” he admits. “I don’t think this is gonna go away. Gods, why can’t I just like him a normal amount?”

“Always the drama with you dorks,” Aranea teases. “Work up a sweat out here, then run back to him. You got this. I am sorry about Noctis, though. Things won’t be the same without him.”

Cindy sighs. “Always so sweet, that one, despite bein’ a little lost out here.”

“He did really good after a while,” Prompto says, sniffling a little. “I’m so proud of him.”

They both nod in agreement.

“Me too, kid. Me, too,” Aranea says, reaching out to ruffle Prompto’s hair.

“Amen to that,” Cindy says. “Now, you two wanna help me replace this darn transmission? I’ll reward ya both with some beers with your name on it.”

Prompto definitely could use something to drink after all this, even if beer isn’t his favorite. He smiles, grateful for the distraction. “I’m up for it, huh, ‘Nea?”

“Lemme tie my hair up,” Aranea agrees with a grin.

 

By the time Prompto’s had some good food and drinks with Aranea and Cindy, showered, and crawled into bed, there’s an unread text message. Prompto expects it to be from Gladio, but finds himself anxiously and pleasantly surprised.

Iggy (11:02 P.M.): I apologize for messaging you so soon, but I do hope you’re alright and I want you to know that I am thinking about you. Please do stay safe. Have a pleasant night, Prompto.

Prompto sighs; Ignis is always so formal, but he’s resorted to even more formalities than usual. He feels so guilty for leaving and upsetting Ignis, but he knows that separation for a while is best, despite the ache in his chest.

Prompto hovers his fingers over the call button for a solid ten minutes before he decides against it. He tosses his phone across the bed after putting it on the charger, trying to ignore it and head to sleep.

Eventually, guilt and longing eat away at him and he finds himself replying.

Prompto (11:42 P.M.): i’m okay. i’m thinking about you too ignis. i hope you’re okay too. sleep well

Prompto bites his lip, realizing it sounds a little too selfish, so he sends another message.

Prompto (11:43 P.M.): if you need anything let me know! 

Prompto sighs, hoping that’s good enough. He closes his eyes, when his phone vibrates almost off the bed entirely. In a moment of weakness, he finds himself instantly reading the reply.

Iggy (11:44 P.M.): I’m glad to hear it. Thank you.

Prompto whines softly at the formality again. He squeezes his eyes shut, trying to push the messages out of his brain, hoping he can recover himself quickly enough so he can head back out to Lestallum as soon as possible.

 

A week passes before he hears from Gladio.

The shrill chirp of his phone ringing after a particularly exhausting daemon hunt causes him to nearly jump out of his skin. Upon checking the caller ID, Prompto sighs. He uses the remaining bit of adrenaline from his hunt to work up the courage to answer the phone.

“Gladio,” Prompto says, sitting down outside the Hammerhead garage with a sigh. “What’s up?”

“You’re alive,” Gladio says sarcastically. “I tried callin’ you, like, three times today, man. What gives?”

“I was hunting, dude! Didn’t check my phone yet, I just got back,” Prompto says. “Sorry.”

Gladio sighs. “My bad. Iggy’s having a damn fit about it, so…”

Prompto hears a sharp, accented, “Gladio,” come from the other end of the phone, sounding exasperated. Prompto’s heart pounds, the first time he’s heard Ignis’s voice in a week. Prompto misses him so much, even though he’s pretending otherwise. 

“Well, uh, I didn’t hear anything from him. I haven’t heard anything from him, so he must not be doin’ that bad,” Prompto says. “... Is he?”

“He’s alright,” Gladio says. “It’s ‘cause he’s trying to give you space. Thinks that’s what you want.”

Prompto frowns. “He doesn’t have to do that.”

“That’s what I told him, but he doesn’t listen,” Gladio says. There’s some shuffling in the background before Gladio grunts, “Ow! I’ll get to it, Specs, hang on, damn. Your food’s burning.” 

Prompto smiles sadly, but he doesn’t feel happy at all. “Glad you guys are havin’ fun, at least.”

“That’s one word for it,” Gladio grumbles. He lowers his voice. “He’s a fucking mess, blondie.”

Prompto’s stomach lurches. “What? I haven’t heard anything about that.”

“Like I said, it’s ‘cause he’s’ trying to give you ‘space.’ Y’know, he calls Cindy every morning and night asking about you,” Gladio says.

Prompto’s eyebrows raise. “Cindy never told me that. Are you serious?”

“Dead serious. He either won’t shut up about you or he’ll just shut down and turn into a robot. If I say your name, he pretty much flinches. It’s real pathetic, dude. He’s got it bad,” Gladio says. “D’you wanna talk to him?”

Butterflies flood Prompto’s stomach. “Do you think that’s a good idea?” he asks gently. “I don’t wanna upset him. Gods, I’m such a dick, I didn’t know. Um. Is he okay?”

“Physically, yeah. Look, this ain’t my place, but… you’re comin’ back, right?” Gladio asks. “I think it’ll kill him if you don’t come back.”

“I’ll come back, I promise,” Prompto says much too quickly. “I miss him, Gladio… I…”

“Specs! C’mere and talk to him,” Gladio calls out before Prompto can do anything about it.

Gladio,” Prompto hisses, but it’s too late.

“Prompto?” Ignis’s voice is gentle, soft, and sadder than Prompto’s ever heard him before.

“Iggy,” Prompto finds himself responding. “Are you okay?”

There’s a moment of silence. “I’m… fairly well, are you alright? How are you feeling?”

The only thing Prompto can tell is that Ignis is lying, saving face as usual. “I’m pretty crappy,” Prompto admits. “I miss you.”

There’s a brief sigh. “I miss you more than I have words for.”

Prompto closes his eyes, taking the phone away from his ear and placing it against his chest for a soft moment. He inhales a deep breath before returning the phone to his ear. “I’m-- I’m glad.”

“You are?” Ignis asks hopefully.

“Yeah. It would suck missing someone who doesn’t miss you,” Prompto points out awkwardly.

A soft, sad chuckle vibrates the phone. “Indeed. I always miss you when you are away, Prompto.”

“Me, too,” Prompto says. “Look, I’m not mad at you. You don’t gotta stay away from me or, like, not talk to me, y’know? I promise you don’t gotta blow up Cindy’s phone if you’re worried about me.”

There’s another moment of silence, and when Ignis speaks, he sounds sheepish. “You… were not supposed to find out about that.”

Prompto smiles. “It’s okay. It’s nice to know that you care. I’m sorry I’ve only texted Gladio now and then about you.”

“I may be a bit of a worrier,” Ignis admits. 

“Just a little.” Prompto laughs. “And I know Gladio’s keeping you safe.”

“Yes. I… will speak to you from now on,” Ignis promises. “I thought you wanted differently. I apologize.”

“Don’t apologize, Iggy. I always wanna hear from you,” Prompto says. “I’ll be back soon, okay? Just need a little bit more time.”

“Take all the time that you need,” Ignis insists. “If you need anything , please… don’t hesitate to ask me.”

Prompto swallows nervously. “I-- you, too, okay?” Prompto wants to say the words over and over and over again: I love you, I love you, I love you. He chickens out, instead, biting his lip on a small sigh. “I should probably shower or see if Cindy needs some help. Don’t burn your food, dude.”

Ignis laughs, but it’s a tense, unhappy sound. “I shall do my best. I hope you can get some rest soon enough?”

“You too, Igs. Bye.”

“Farewell.”

Prompto hangs up the phone with teary eyes, feeling it vibrate in his hand. 

Gladio (6:03 P.M.): u should see how much he’s smiling. thanks for doin that for him dude

Prompto smiles despite himself. He’s gotta get his shit together, and fast, or he’ll lose Ignis for good.

Chapter Text

ONE MONTH LATER

Prompto is pretty sure he is about to die.

He supposes he had an okay run, even though he’s literally not been able to do anything he’s set out to do with his life -- which kind of sucks a lot.

He’d hoped he’d at least get to kiss Ignis, just once. It’s even crueller that he’d planned -- hoped to plan -- on doing that today, or maybe the next day, whenever he can get to Lestallum fast enough.

Prompto guesses that isn’t happening anymore.

Prompto’s sort of glad Ignis isn’t here right now. He’d tell him what a dumbass he is for taking on a hunt like this alone. The only thing keeping him alive right now is his flashlight, and it’s starting to flicker as he hides in an abandoned car frame about ten miles north of Hammerhead.

Prompto has no idea how much time has passed. His phone died what feels like hours ago. He was only supposed to be here about an hour -- tops -- until a necromancer appeared, breaking his fucking arm.

At least, Prompto’s pretty sure it’s broken. He can’t move it and it throbs with excruciating pain. Reloading his guns was a nightmare, until he ran out of bullets entirely. He can’t wield a blade with a broken arm, it’s a sucide mission. His car is parked about a mile out, and even if he can outrun daemons, he can’t get past the perimeter that they’re now circling around the abandoned car frame.

Naturally, the car he’s kneeled in is just a skeleton of its former self -- no windows, no seats, no wheels, no engine. Cindy probably picked it apart for parts months ago, as it’s now entirely abandoned. It leaves little to the imagination of how he’ll die, the groans of the daemons and the cold night air making him shiver. The daemons will rip him to shreds or he’ll starve to death -- maybe get a weird infection from this stupid broken arm, if that’s even possible. Considering that it’s Prompto, it’s probably just his luck.

So, yeah. Prompto’s going to die, it’s just a matter of when.

He’s lucky he managed to slip his body through the frame of the empty car window enough to fit underneath it.

Prompto’s hand tremors as he reaches with his good arm to inspect the bad one once he’s pretty sure he’ll be safe -- for the time being, at least. He tries to move it even slightly, maybe feel for the fracture with his fingers when an excruciating jolt of pain radiates through his entire arm. He groans, a tear sliding down his cheek at the sensation. Prompto’s never been one for pain much. He abandons that attempt. He needs medical care for his arm, if he’ll ever be lucky enough to get it.

Prompto takes a deep breath, reaching in his pocket to try to turn his phone on for the hundredth time.

“C’mon, baby, just a little bit of juice, just enough to call someone, c’mon--” Prompto mutters to his phone above the groaning of the daemons around him.

The phone doesn’t power on -- it doesn’t even flicker the logo anymore like before. Prompto drops the phone onto his lap, running his fingers through his hair.

“Fuck,” Prompto whines, the stress getting the best of him.

The daemons seem to growl more the louder Prompto is, and the more he moves. The sound of them even drowns out the sound of his own panicked breaths and pounding heartbeat.

Prompto’s flashlight flickers, and he looks at it in panic. If it goes out, the only choice Prompto has is to either fight with his blade or make a run for it -- maybe both, with a broken arm and exhaustion settling in.

Prompto throws his head back until it hits the metal frame of the abandoned car with a thunk. “If you’re gonna kill me, why don’t you just fucking do it already!” Prompto shouts, another tear spilling down his cheek.

Prompto tries to think of happy thoughts, any happy thought he can think of. Luckily enough, before this long dark, Prompto has quite a lot of wonderful memories to choose from. For some reason, however, Prompto can’t help but think of one of the first moments he spent time with Ignis totally alone, way back when he was a teenager. He closes his eyes, trying to find his happy place.

-----

There’s not much to do when you’re fifteen years old and you’re waiting for the Prince of Lucis to show up at an arcade to hang out with you.

The Prince of Lucis. Prompto still can’t wrap his head around the thought that Noct even wanted to talk to him, let alone hang out with him all the time. He’s grateful for it, though, because Noct is slowly becoming one of the most important people to him, and Prompto only hopes that Noct even slightly feels the same.

Prompto’s so happy that he worked up the courage to talk to Noct after all these years. It’s quickly turned into of the best decisions of his life.

Waiting, however, has never been one of Prompto’s strong suits. He loosens the tie on his school uniform with a soft sigh. Noct had some sort of training to do after school, so their plans at the arcade are slightly delayed more than usual. Prompto’s usually fine with spending time alone, but right now, all he wants to do is hang out with his best friend.

Prompto hears a tiny whine from one of the claw machines toward the front of the arcade -- a kid, maybe no older than ten, pouts at the fact that he wasn’t able to win one of the plush chocobos stuffed in the corner of the claw machine. It was a tough break -- corner plushes are almost always harder to get than the ones in the middle. The claw doesn’t usually go over far enough, Prompto’s learned (he’s tried it a shamefully high amount of times). 

Still, as soon as the kid’s mother drags him out of the store, Prompto chews on his lip, looking at the plush chocobo. Shuffling the arcade coins in his pocket, he grins, heading toward the claw machine, ready to win himself the cutest little chocobo in the world. (It would look perfect with his other chocobo plushes, that’s for sure.)

One attempt turns into three, and before he knows it, he’s fishing his empty pockets for arcade coins that he doesn’t have.

“Dammit,” Prompto mutters, eyeing the chocobo in the machine like it’s a winning lottery ticket.

“May I try?” a sharp, accented voice asks from next to him.

Prompto jumps, despite recognizing the voice instantly. “Holy crap!” Prompto blurts as he turns to look at none other than Ignis Scientia, who happens to be wearing an amused expression. “You scared the blue outta my jeans, dude!” 

Ignis laughs at this, a light sound. Prompto’s a little floored; he doesn’t think he’s ever heard the guy laugh before. “You aren’t wearing jeans,” Ignis points out, pushing his black, rectangular-framed glasses up his nose. They should look dorky as hell on anyone, but Ignis still manages intimidation instead -- he’s attractive, alarmingly so. “I apologize for startling you.”

Prompto stares at Ignis, feeling his cheeks warm up. He looks over Ignis’s shoulder for any sign of Noct, as the two are usually attached at the hip, but he doesn’t see Noct anywhere. Without Noct, Prompto has no idea why Ignis is even here. Prompto’s pretty sure he’s some sort of cryptid vampire; the guy’s only two years older but it feels like he’s ten years older -- stoic, intimidating, and quiet as hell. As for why one of Noct’s retainers is here without, well, Noct, is a total mystery to Prompto.

“Yeah, it’s an expression, um,” Prompto says awkwardly, hoping he doesn’t look as red as he feels. “No offense, but, uh, what are you doin’ here?”

Ignis’s eyebrows raise, still looking a bit amused, which is still so strange to Prompto; he’s pretty sure he’s never even seen the boy smile in his presence ever. “Winning you a chocobo, of course,” Ignis states plainly, as if this were obvious.

It’s almost like Ignis is being playful. Prompto, who at this point, considered Ignis either a robot or someone who pretty much hated Prompto, blinks at him confusedly. “I’m… outta coins?” he states, phrasing it as question for some reason.

Ignis extends his palm to reveal a handful of coins. “I purchased some more for you.”

Prompto laughs, shaking his head in disbelief. “How long have you been here, dude? I didn’t even know you were here.”

Ignis smirks. “Only a few minutes. You were a bit preoccupied trying to win that chocobo.”

“Are you, like, here to spy on me and kill me on behalf of the crown or somethin’?” Prompto asks warily. “I swear I’m just here to play some shit with Noct, dude.”

Prompto finally sees it, the tiniest hint of a smile playing on Ignis’s lips. He sort of feels honored, like he earned it. “I’m keeping an eye on you for Noct. He’s having a bit of a delay this evening, so I came on his behalf.”

Prompto swallows nervously. “You don’t, uh, gotta do that. Shouldn’t you be with him, man?”

Ignis’s eyes wander over to the claw machine. “Gladio is with him,” he says boredly. “Now, may I?” He gestures to the claw machine.

Prompto feels himself flush for some weird reason, and steps aside to let Ignis have access to the machine. It’s a little funny watching the world’s most stoic seventeen year-old alive insert arcade coins into a claw machine and expertly maneuver it. A funny feeling floods through his chest as he watches the prince’s advisor stare at the plush chocobo with his brow furrowed and bottom lip tucked in his teeth. Ignis aligns the claw up with the chocobo’s head, crouching to make sure that it’s aligned with all angles, his skull pendant necklace hitting the window of the machine softly before he stands upright again.

“Dude, no, you’re not gonna get it, you’re not in the corner far enough,” Prompto mumbles, eyes shifting between Ignis’s face and the cursed chocobo.

Ignis pauses a moment to glance over at Prompto, his eyebrow quirked teasingly. “Watch and learn, hmm?”

That funny feeling returns to Prompto’s chest, and it spreads throughout his body. Ignis might be scary as hell, but mostly because he’s also hot as hell. There’s no way Prompto can tell anyone that, but Prompto never knew Ignis could be playful like this-- mostly because Prompto had no idea Ignis was even within the ballpark of being able to talk to like this.

“Fine,” Prompto plays along, “your funeral, dude!” 

Ignis laughs confidently, returning his gaze to the claw machine. He checks the angles once more before pressing the red button to lower the claw. It grips the bright yellow chocobo’s body only slightly, but it latches firmly around its head, the chocobo effectively being lifted.

“Oh my Gods,” Prompto gasps under his breath, gazing at the claw machine like Ignis is rescuing a puppy from danger instead of a stuffed animal. “Oh my Gods, dude!” 

Prompto elbows Ignis excitedly, and Ignis appears expressionless as the claw successfully brings the chocobo over to the prize slot, dropping it quietly.

Ignis bends down to retrieve the stuffed chocobo from the slot. The dude looks so serious holding a chocobo plush, Prompto can’t help but laugh a little as Ignis turns to face Prompto. 

Ignis pushes his glasses up his nose once again before extending the chocobo to Prompto. “Your prize,” he declares, the tiniest hint of teasing in his voice.

Prompto tries not to overthink this, despite this being the first time Ignis has shown him any attention outside of formal pleasantries. However, the more he looks at the pretty green of Ignis’s eyes, the teasing hint of a smile on his lips just because he was able to win a chocobo for Prompto without anyone else around, the more that weird, funny feeling returns to his dumb heart.

Astrals above, please don’t let me get a crush on the advisor to the crown. Don’t do this to me, I’ve got exams in a week, Prompto thinks bitterly.

Prompto grins despite himself, his cheeks probably redder than ever as he takes the stuffed chocobo from Ignis. “Aww, you won it for me?!” 

Ignis gives him a questioning look. “Certainly. Why else would I have done it?”

Prompto’s heart races out of his chest, and yep, there goes all of his objectivity right out the window. He’s definitely got an official Crush on the boy (with a capital C), and there’s absolutely nothing anyone can do about it, least of all Prompto.

Before Prompto can respond as he hugs the stuffed chocobo to his chest like a prized possession, Noct bursts through the front door of the arcade, a little out of breath as Ignis and Prompto stand next to the claw machine right next to him.

“Oh. Cool, you’re here,” Noct says to Prompto with a smile. “C’mon, what are you doin’ over here? Justice Monsters, dude!” Noctis looks over at Ignis for a brief moment. “Hey, Specs.”

Noctis starts to tug on Prompto’s arm, encouraging him to head deeper into the arcade.  Prompto locks eyes with Ignis, a dazed look on Prompto’s face as he processes what just happened. Ignis holds out the remaining coins Ignis bought for Prompto with a knowing sort of smile.

Prompto hesitantly reaches out to grab them, his heart thudding as their hands and fingers brush along each other. Ignis is so warm.  

“Oh, uh, thanks, Iggy. Can I call you Iggy?” Prompto asks timidly.

Ignis smiles fully then, nodding. It’s so beautiful it nearly leaves Prompto breathless. “You may. Enjoy your games. I can drive you home later, if you’d like.”

Well, that’s certainly one of the perks of having an older friend. Prompto lets Noctis drag him away from Ignis, but still nods with a laugh. “Really? Cool. Thanks!” he calls out.

Once Noct stops in front of the Justice Monsters Five pinball machine, Prompto can feel the prince’s eyes on him.

“Dude, why are you blushing?” Noctis asks, a confused look on his face.

Prompto can feel himself flush further at the interrogation. “Oh, uh. I think it’s hot in here, maybe. Did you know that Ignis doesn’t hate me?”

Noctis laughs, shoving him playfully. “You’re so weird. Of course he doesn’t hate you. He asks about you all the time.”

Yep. Crush with a capital C, baby.

-----

Prompto opens his eyes, even more tears in them than before as he remembers the day that felt like decades ago instead of just a few years. They’d all been through so much. Prompto still has that chocobo in his apartment, though he’s pretty sure it’s gone now along with everything else he left behind in Insomnia. So much for sentimentality.

The sound of the daemons jarrs him from his thoughts, unable to hear anything above their groans, save for the fact that he’s pretty sure more have joined;  he hears crawling, or maybe footsteps hurrying up to join the rest of them. Prompto closes his eyes, hoping that they’ll make it quick and painless if he has to die.

Of all the things he expects to hear next, Ignis’s voice isn’t one of them.

“Prompto?! Is that you?!” Ignis shouts from behind him.

Prompto’s eyes snap open, hoping he’s not hallucinating anything. He peeks his head out of the glassless window of the car frame with a soft gasp.

Ignis.

He’s really here, holding an elemental spell in his hand. Gladio’s not far behind him, his broadsword at the ready as he stares at Ignis, waiting for a command. 

“Iggy?!” Prompto shouts. “I can’t get out, I’m trapped in this dumb car frame. There’s too many of them-- shit--

Prompto ducks backward to avoid a dark spell by one of the necromancers. Apparently sticking his head out of his only protection isn’t the best course of action.

“Stay there! And brace yourself!” Ignis shouts.

Prompto feels the ground start to shake. He hugs his knees to his chest as he hears a loud bang. He starts to shiver as ice solidifies the ground underneath him. The daemons shriek in pain, a menacing growl coming from them as they start to separate.

Prompto realizes that Ignis has thrown his ice spell, distracting the daemons for the time being. Prompto shoves his phone in his pocket, gripping his flashlight tightly as he peeks out of the window once more.

Prompto catches a glimpse of Ignis, his eyes closed and hidden behind his sunglasses as he patiently listens for the sound of the daemons. His daggers summoned and at the ready, he starts tossing them sharply through the air, the sound of them whizzing above Prompto’s head. There’s no way Ignis can hit Prompto, as he’s still hidden in the car frame, but Ignis is just as careful anyway.

“Gladio!” Ignis commands.

Gladio starts striking the necromancers with his broadsword then, hitting the weak spots that Ignis has marked for him -- just like Ignis used to do with Noct. The command and confidence in Ignis’s voice really shows that his blindness hasn’t affected his abilities at all, especially with all the training they’ve done. It reminds him of simpler times, when Noct was here, and Ignis would gracefully strategize them to battle victories.

If this is the last thing Prompto sees, it’ll be worth it. Prompto loves Ignis so much his chest aches. He’d die a thousand times over for him; he’d crawl out of this stupid metal frame and become daemon bait just to keep Ignis safe.

For now, though, Prompto doesn’t think Ignis would care for that last bit too much -- so he stays.

Ignis has now joined the fray with Gladio, using his polearm to delicately complement Gladio’s wide strokes wit h the broadsword.

Prompto thinks of that one school night all those years ago at the arcade. All they had to worry about was a damn chocobo in a claw machine. At least, that’s all Prompto had to worry about. Ignis, as always, carries the weight of their problems.

Prompto then realizes that his weapon is here with him, all but useless. “Um, I got my blade if you guys need it?” Prompto asks. “I’d help you, but I think I broke my arm--”

“Stay in there, Prompto. We got this,” Gladio yells.

Ignis doesn’t say anything to Prompto at this point, as Gladio seems to have summed it up nicely. The two of them fight off the necromancers, Ignis switching between his polearm and daggers and elemental spells, while Gladio uses his broad strokes and his shield to cover Ignis when necessary.

It’s really beautiful watching Ignis fight. He’s lethal and graceful all in one; flexible and strong. If Prompto wasn’t so damn scared for them all out here he’d probably be drooling.

The last of the necromancers fall with a disturbing shriek, Gladio’s final strike killing it instantly. Ignis straightens himself up, daggers disappearing as he turns his body toward Prompto’s direction.

Gladio walks over to the metal frame of the car, kneeling down into the grass. He peeks his head through the window. “Can you get out of there on your own?”

Prompto nods. “Uh huh. I think so.” 

Prompto tosses his flashlight out the window by Gladio’s feet, using his good arm to crawl his way out of the window. He lets himself fall to the ground, as it’s a short drop, landing on his back as he holds his bad arm.

Ignis walks toward the sound of Prompto tumbling onto the grass, kneeling down next to him. Up close, it very much affirms that Ignis is here, after all this time, his brow furrowed with worry, looking as beautiful as ever despite the stress in his expression.

Ignis reaches out, his hand finding Prompto’s chest until it slides up to cradle his face. Prompto makes a soft noise at the gentle touch as Ignis’s thumb starts stroking Prompto’s cheekbone.

“Are you alright?” Ignis asks, his voice low. 

Prompto swallows nervously, his eyes stinging with tears. “Um, I think so. You saved me.”

Ignis’s lips part with surprise, a tear sliding down his cheek. “Of course I did.”

“How the hell did you find me?” Prompto asks.

“Guys, we don’t have time for this. It’s not safe here. Talk elsewhere. C’mon, give me your hand, Prompto,” Gladio urges.

Ignis lets go of his face then, straightening himself back up so that Gladio has enough room to hold out his hand.

“Careful, the other one is--” Prompto starts.

“I know. Good hand, let’s go,” Gladio says.

Prompto takes his good arm and grips Gladio’s hand. Gladio pulls him off of the ground effortlessly. Prompto sways weakly a little before finding his ground.

Ignis instantly reaches out to press his hand against Prompto’s lower back.

“Can you walk?” Ignis asks.

“I think so,” Prompto says, voice wavering a little. “Where’d you guys park?”

“Next to your car,” Gladio answers. “Quick, or more daemons will show up.”

Prompto starts to sway a little, the adrenaline getting the best of him as they hurry to whatever car Gladio brought here. Ignis tilts his head in Prompto’s direction, frowning. Ignis lets his arm curl fully around Prompto’s waist keeping most of his body weight propped against him. Prompto’s grateful for it, leaning in against Ignis’s chest as they walk.

“Do you need me to carry you?” Ignis asks in a low voice.

As much as Prompto wants to tell him yes , he knows Ignis should concentrate on his footing more than anything else, using his cane in his other hand. “No, I’m okay. This helps.”

“We need to give you a curative,” Ignis says softly.

“Gotta make sure that arm is set first,” Gladio warns.

“I’m well aware,” Ignis responds. “We must hurry.”

It seems like it takes forever to get to where Gladio parked, but thankfully, he left the car running so the headlights keep the daemons away. Gladio opens the backseat of the car, just as Ignis lets Prompto gently sit down, legs hanging outside of the car. 

Gladio’s eyes fall on Prompto’s broken arm warily. “Think it can wait ‘til we get back to Hammerhead?” Gladio asks Ignis.

Ignis sighs out a tension-filled breath. “I’m uncertain. Prompto, I need to examine your arm.”

Prompto chews on his lip nervously. “Um, okay. It hurts, Iggy, don’t… touch it too much.”

Ignis frowns, almost resembling a pout as he places his cane in the backseat next to Prompto. “I will do everything I can to not hurt you.”

Prompto sighs, reaching out with his bad arm to touch Ignis’s hand, letting him know where it is. Even that slight contact makes him wince as Ignis grips his fingers gently. Ignis slides his hands up the length of Prompto’s arm, pressing it gently. Prompto gasps when Ignis presses just a few inches before the elbow, withdrawing his hand immediately.

“Ow!” Prompto yelps.

“Apologies, but I have to see if it is a break or a sprain. Please, hold still for me?” Ignis asks tensely.

“‘M sorry,” Prompto whispers, returning his arm back to Ignis’s grip.

Ignis tries to bend Prompto’s arm as soon as he returns to the spot that had hurt Prompto. Prompto groans, trying to chew his own lip off.

“Bloody hell, it’s definitely broken,” Ignis mutters. “Prompto, we’ll need to set it.”

Gladio sighs. “Here. Lemme do it. Move a little, Iggy.”

Ignis lets go of Prompto’s arm, moving slightly to the side with a look of soft horror. “Surely, it can wait. We needn’t do it here.”

“He’s gonna be in more pain later, and on the way if I don’t do it now. Plus, the longer you wait, the more of a chance the potion ain’t gonna work and he’s gonna have to wait for it to heal normally,” Gladio points out. He grips Prompto’s wrist in his hand. “Alright, blondie, deep breath for me.”

Wait a moment, Gladio, let me get the bloody curative,” Ignis retorts.

Prompto watches Ignis pull out a potion, holding it in his palm. Prompto looks over at Gladio with gentle panic.

“Whoa, hey, heh, I don’t mind waiting,” Prompto murmurs nervously, attempting to tug his hand away from Gladio’s grip.

“No time,” Gladio says. “Look at Iggy.”

Prompto’s stomach churns. It’s been a month since he’s really looked at Iggy, and Prompto wants to look at him more than anything, but he’s scared. He’s scared of what’s going to happen now that Prompto literally has nothing left to lose anymore. Gladio’s hand slides up Prompto’s arm to where the break is, and Prompto sucks in a sharp breath through his teeth.

Prompto,” Gladio nearly growls, “look at Iggy, dammit.”

Ignis crouches to get more face-to-face with Prompto, potion in one hand, the other resting on the car door. “Prompto, love, look at me, please,” Ignis says in the gentlest voice.

Prompto turns his gaze to Ignis then, studying the lines and scars on his face, on his eyes. Ignis called him love, like Ignis still doesn’t hate him after bailing for a whole month, like Prompto didn’t make a dumb mistake by staying out here all this time. Ignis even broke his sunglasses by helping him, one of the lenses shattered.

“Okay,” Prompto says softly. “I’m sorry.” Prompto doesn’t know which part he’s even apologizing for -- the glasses, the rescue, the lack of contact.

There’s pressure instantly as Gladio starts moving Prompto’s arm. He tightens his grip with both hands, and Prompto barely has time to react before pain shoots through his arm and up his entire body as he hears a sickening crunch. It hurts so badly Prompto sees stars.

Fuck!” Prompto nearly screams. 

Prompto instinctively reaches out with his good hand to hold onto Ignis’s, squeezing it tightly. Ignis immediately holds Prompto’s hand in his own, rubbing soothing circles with his thumb into the back of Prompto’s hand. Prompto breathes heavily, the pain still throbbing up and down his arm as his eyes water through the pain.

“Shh, it’s alright,” Ignis says gently. “The worst is over with. Give me your hand.”

Prompto’s hand opens hesitantly as he watches Ignis reach out with the curative, feeling for Prompto’s hand so he can place the potion in it. Ignis closes Prompto’s fingers over it, shattering easily. Relief washes over his body instantly as the magic does its job. Prompto lets out a soft sigh, happy that the hard part is done with. Ignis still holds his other hand in his own tightly.

“Good. Move your arm for me?” Gladio asks.

Prompto nervously tests the function of his arm, finding he can move it easily and painlessly. The potion seemed to work, and with Gladio setting his bone straight, it doesn’t even seem like it was even broken to begin with.

“It’s good,” Prompto says hoarsely.

“Alright. Let’s get the hell out of here,” Gladio says. “We’ll get your car later.”

Prompto doesn’t know if Ignis is going to leave his side, but Prompto feels selfish. His grip tightens on Ignis’s hand, not wanting him to go anywhere. He tugs gently, coaxing Ignis into the backseat with him as Gladio gets in the driver’s seat.

Ignis gives Prompto a worrying look. “Are you able to move over a bit?” he asks softly.

“Uh huh,” Prompto says quietly as he gives Ignis enough room to sit next to him.

As soon as Ignis sits, Prompto leans against him, their fingers still locked together. Gladio speeds in the direction of Hammerhead, and Ignis doesn’t make any effort to move Prompto away from him, thankfully.

“Um, thank you both. For saving my stupid ass,” Prompto mutters.

Ignis squeezes his hand. “None of that, now.”

“What the hell were you doin’ out there by yourself?” Gladio asks. 

“Um, well, I thought it’d be a quick thing, y’know. One of those things broke my arm when I tried to get away, I ran out of bullets and didn’t have anywhere to go outside of that car thing,” Prompto explains. “And, of course, my phone died, charger was in the car.” He sighs. “I--I thought I was gonna die. How did you guys find me?”

“I thought it’d be best to come and visit,” Ignis says after a slight hesitation. “It’s been… some time, and Cindy invited us to come see you. When we arrived, she was quite worried, said she hadn’t heard from you and you’d left hours ago. They’d sent out a hunter search party, but had no idea how far you went, or in which direction.”

“We tracked the GPS on your phone,” Gladio explains. “Here was the last known place before your phone died.”

“I was just trying to get in one last hunt before I came back to Lestallum,” Prompto says softly. “I’m really sorry I worried you.”

“I’m just glad you’re alright,” Ignis admits. “How are you feeling?”

“Hungry. Thirsty,” Prompto says with a bitter laugh. “But otherwise okay.”

Ignis reaches down and produces a water bottle for Prompto. Prompto nearly moans at the sight of it as he takes it, chugging at least half of it in one go. 

Prompto swears he hears a chuckle from Ignis, but he’s not sure. “Glad to hear it,” Ignis says softly.

“Yeah. Scared the shit outta us, blondie,” Gladio says with a sigh. 

“Sorry.” Prompto chews on his lip. “Hey, remember when I broke my arm junior year? When I fell outta that tree?”

“Yeah, why the hell were you in a tree at age seventeen anyway, dude?” Gladio remarks from the front seat.

Ignis doesn’t smile, but there’s amusement in his tone. “He was rescuing a cat for Noctis.”

“Of course Noct encouraged you,” Gladio mutters.

“Remember you drove me to the hospital, Igster?” Prompto asks quietly, ignoring Gladio’s tease.

“Yes. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a curative for you at the time. However, I was the first to sign your cast upon your request, as you can recall,” Ignis reminds him.

Prompto smiles. “You drew a little pair of glasses next to your name.” He sighs. “Are you guys okay? Sorry I’ve been so crappy with texts and calls. I’ve just been keepin’ real busy.”

Prompto had only talked to Ignis on the phone a few times after the first week of leaving Lestallum. After a month had passed of working on cars with Cindy, improving his weapons, and hunting daemons, the more and more Prompto felt like maybe Ignis was better off without Prompto. They obviously needed to talk more about what happened, and being so far away, they couldn’t do that. Prompto knows there’s a good chance he messed things up with Ignis permanently, so holding Ignis’s hand like this means more to him than anything.

“Yeah, we’re okay,” Gladio says.

Prompto looks over at Ignis confusedly. Ignis’s mouth is set into a frown, head turned away from him as he responds. “As alright as we can be, given the circumstances.”

Prompto’s heart twists anxiously. If anything is unsolvable between them, Ignis doesn’t mention it. Prompto starts running his fingers along the smooth skin of Ignis’s hand, and he hears Ignis let out a gentle sigh, sounding tired more than anything else.

“S-so you guys, um, are staying with each other still?” Prompto asks timidly.

“I still gotta get Iris training. This was just supposed to be a temporary thing ‘til you got back. If you got back,” Gladio adds at the last minute.

“I don’t need a chaperone, Gladio, we’ve discussed this,” Ignis laments.

“I… um, yeah, I always planned on coming back. I got caught up in this project with Cindy, and Aranea was here for a few weeks helping me figure shit out, and I lost track of time, but… if you don’t want me anymore, um… I understand.” Prompto chews on his bottom lip.

“If you are happy working with Cindy, Prompto, then you should stay,” Ignis tells him, “but if you would like to come back, as I said, it will always be your home just as much as it is mine.”

“Okay,” Prompto says quietly. He’s slightly relieved by Ignis’s words, but not by much -- they have a lot to discuss still.

Gladio, practically flooring it to reach the Hammerhead garage faster, arrives much sooner than it took Prompto to drive out. As soon as Gladio slams the car door, Cindy runs out, dropping whatever tool she had in her hand in favor of getting to the car faster. Iris runs out next to her, apparently having come with Gladio and Ignis.

Before Ignis opens the door, he turns to Prompto. “Are you alright?” he asks, voice low and worried.

Prompto gazes at him for a long time, selfishly and longingly wanting to re-remember every square centimeter of Ignis’s beautiful face. “Yeah. Yeah, I think so. Um, Iggy?”

Ignis has his hand on the door handle and pauses his actions, hesitating. “Yes?”

Prompto feels his cheeks heat up, heart pounding in his chest. I love you, Prompto wants to say. Instead, he focuses on Ignis’s sunglasses. “Your glasses are broken,” Prompto tells him instead.

Ignis frowns, reaching up to touch the shattered lens. “Ah. So they are.”

Prompto bites his lip. “Thank you for saving me,” he murmurs, feeling a little guilty.

Ignis smiles sadly. “No thanks are necessary, Prompto.”

Ignis opens the car door then just as Cindy and Iris get to the car. Prompto crawls out of the backseat, still a little woozy but otherwise fine.

“Prom!” Cindy gushes, rushing forward to wrap her arms around Prompto in a friendly hug. “You damn near gave me a heart attack!”

“You guys found him! Are you okay, Prompto?” Iris asks worriedly.

“I know, I know, I’m real sorry,” Prompto murmurs, using her to keep his balance as he hugs her back. “I’m okay. Just tough luck.”

“I ain’t lettin’ ya go out by yourself anymore, that’s for damn sure! Gotta keep a damn leash on ya,” Cindy says with a frown, pulling away from Prompto. 

Prompto laughs nervously. “I won’t go out alone anymore. Thought it’d be an easy hunt, dude.”

Cindy sighs. “Thank you both for findin’ him. I was worried sick.”

Ignis seems tense, stiff; his lips aren’t quite frowning, but they’re stretched into a thin, emotionless line. “I’m very glad we arrived in time.”

“Yeah, ain’t that lucky. Are you alright, Prom?” Cindy asks worriedly.

“Once we get some nutrition in him, he should be fine,” Ignis murmurs. “No harm done.”

“Broke his damn arm for a minute, though,” Gladio says. “Maybe you’ll be more careful next time, huh, blondie?”

Prompto feels himself flush. “Yeah, I know. ‘M sorry.”

“Perhaps we should cease the torture,” Ignis suggests. “I would hope he’s learned his lesson.”

Prompto looks at the ground sheepishly. Ignis doesn’t exactly sound disappointed, but he sounds sad, which isn’t any better. 

Gladio sighs. “Alright. I’m gonna go get Prompto’s car. Cindy, d’you mind comin’ with me?”

“Not at all,” Cindy says. “Help yourself to any food, Freckles. Get ya back on your feet.” She squeezes Prompto’s shoulder before sliding in the driver’s seat to drive Gladio to Prompto’s car.

“Can I come with, Gladdy?” Iris asks hopefully.

Gladio sighs. “Yeah. Backseat. Seatbelt.

“Stay safe, all of you,” Ignis says. He turns toward Prompto’s direction, with a gentle frown. “Let us get some food in you, then I do say it’s high time we had a conversation, hmm?”

Anxiety swirls through Prompto’s stomach. “Um, yeah. I think so.”

Ignis nods. “Come with me?”

“Okay.”

Prompto and Ignis grab some food the hunters helped cook over by Takka’s restaurant before heading into the unoccupied caravan. Prompto takes a much-needed shower before sitting down with Ignis to eat. Being alone with Ignis is both intimidating and comforting. All Prompto can really focus on is how much he’s missed Ignis.

The anxiety isn’t enough to slow Prompto’s appetite, however; all the energy and adrenaline that he’d used up today leaves him ravenous. He eats pretty quickly, Ignis seemingly grateful for that.

Prompto watches Ignis for a moment. The silence between them is tangible, and Prompto’s desperate to break it.

“Are you, um,” Prompto begins, pushing his plate of food away, “are you mad at me, Iggy?”

“No. I’m simply worried about you,” Ignis says. “You didn’t intend to get yourself into danger.”

Prompto bites his lip. “I don’t mean about that. I mean, like, are you mad at me for leaving for a while?”

Ignis frowns. He reaches out, finding Prompto’s leg to place his hand gently on his knee. “Of course not, Prompto. I want your happiness, always. Even if that means you stay here instead.”

“I really wasn’t gonna stay here, though. I was actually planning on coming back to you tomorrow. Or today, if it was early enough, then all this shit happened,” Prompto explains. “I don’t wanna be away from you. I--I’ve missed you so much.”

Ignis lets out a gentle sigh of relief. “I’ve missed you, as well. Things simply aren’t the same without you.”

Prompto’s heart aches. He reaches out to touch Ignis’s hand on his knee, their fingers lacing together. “I guess I should’ve realized trying to grieve alone was a bad idea. I mean, I had Cindy and Aranea for a little while… but they weren’t you.”

“I was… rather worried that I’d ruined things with you. I know that I deserve it, as I was dishonest with you,” Ignis says, “but I must selfishly admit I hoped that you would forgive me.”

“Iggy, no, you don’t deserve that. You have no idea how much you mean to me. I was never mad at you. Upset, maybe, because it scares me to think about you putting that ring on, sacrificing your life like that. It scares me ‘cause I can’t imagine my life without you, dude,” Prompto admits. “Sorry if that’s, uh, weird to say.”

“I don’t think that’s strange at all. I find myself feeling similarly,” Ignis says softly. “You’ve no idea how worried I was earlier. All I wanted was to keep you safe. The mere thought of not hearing your laugh or smile again…” he trails off, seemingly unable to finish.

“Iggy,” Prompto murmurs. He leans in, hugging Ignis tightly. “I’m so sorry I was selfish. We should’ve stuck together. I broke your trust, and… I left you alone. I suck.”

Ignis wraps his arms around Prompto, pulling him against him. “You aren’t selfish. I’m the selfish one. I wanted you to be alright, I wanted us to continue to be alright instead of dealing with my bloody issues. I was awful to you, and I apologize.”

“Shut up,” Prompto breathes, his face buried against Ignis’s neck, “there’s nothin’ awful or selfless about you. I get it. If I knew… if I knew what you knew, I’d be scared to tell you. We were good together, and… y’know. Wouldn’t wanna mess it up.”

Ignis inhales sharply, his hand burying in Prompto’s hair. “Yes. I’m truly sorry if I have.”

“You haven’t,” Prompto promises. “But… I know I left now, but I won’t leave again. Tell me about your issues, okay? You gotta let me in. You shouldn’t carry things alone just ‘cause you can. I think that’s the only thing that hurt me. Well, y’know, the news about Noct is…” Prompto sighs. “Sometimes I feel like I’m unimportant to you, ‘cause you hide all this stuff... I’m pretty much an open book to you, y’know?”

“I’ve… never allowed anyone to share my burdens,” Ignis admits. “I know all of you would be willing, but I’ve never allowed myself to let it get that far. I’ve always thought I’d be better keeping them to myself, but I… find myself wishing to share everything with you. I always have, I simply wasn’t certain if you’d… desire it. I am sorry that I kept those things from you. I do hope you know that I wasn’t purposely keeping secrets. I was trying to figure out the best course of action -- the right timing, and I ended up getting lost in spending time with you. I was careless.”

Prompto pulls away slightly just to look at Ignis. He reaches up, resting his hand on Ignis’s cheekbone, cradling his face. “Well, I want you to share everything, okay? Everything you wanna share. I wanna be here for you, y’know? We’re… friends! We live together, and… sometimes there is no right time, right place. Sometimes crappy is always gonna be crappy, but we can make it less crappy together, huh? There’s nothing careless about you, Igster. Nothin’. Just… let me be important to you once in a while, yeah?”

“Prompto,” Ignis says, slightly flabbergasted. “You are always , and always have been important to me. You always will be. I’m… going to have to ask you to be patient with me, but I will do everything I can to ensure that you always feel important to me.”

“I can be patient! I’m hella patient,” Prompto says with a smile. “Can we… Can I…”

Ignis reaches up to touch Prompto’s hand on his cheekbone, gathering Prompto’s hand in his own. He squeezes it gently, placing it on his lap. “Yes?” he asks teasingly, a soft smile on his face.

“Can we go home?” Prompto asks sheepishly. “I feel so bad you came all the way out here… let me drive you home.”

“I am always happy to go anywhere to see you,” Ignis promises, then laughs gently. “Well, perhaps not quite literally see you, but you understand the sentiment. Are you certain you’re up for that drive? We can always spend the night here.” Ignis gestures to the caravan.

Prompto frowns. “I mean, as nice as the caravan is…” Prompto says sarcastically. “I miss our bed, dude.” His heart thuds in his chest as he says the words.

Ignis smiles, it even reaching his eyes. It’s such a beautiful smile, it always has been. “I would like that more than anything.”

Prompto lets out a nervous laugh. “Me, too. We should probably talk a little more once we get there, huh?”

Ignis raises an eyebrow. “What ever about, Prompto?”

Prompto swallows. “I, uh, never got around to tellin’ you… what I was gonna tell you, y’know, a few weeks ago.”

It’s quiet for just a moment too long. “You didn’t,” Ignis whispers. “Do you wish to tell me now?”

“Hmm. I would, but in a caravan’s not really the best way to, um…” Prompto trails off, wishing Ignis knew what the hell he was talking about. “Unless… if you wanna stay?”

Ignis chuckles. “I’ve been trying to get you to come home with me for weeks now. I would very much prefer to head back, if you’re able, once Gladio returns with your car.”

Our car,” Prompto corrects. “I’m happy to come home with you too, Iggy.”

Prompto supposes it’s only a matter of time now when he’ll find out how Ignis feels about him, truly. Excitement and anxiety swirl through his stomach as he hears Gladio knock on the caravan door.

“Hey, we’re back. Your car’s fine, Prompto. You comin’ out?” Gladio says through the door.

“We’ll be there in a moment, Gladio,” Ignis calls out. He squeezes Prompto’s hand. “I’m very glad we were able to talk about this,” he says to Prompto.

Prompto bites his lip. “Me, too. Let’s get the hell outta here, huh?”

Ignis smiles. “Indeed.”

As soon as they step out of the caravan, Gladio looks at them warily. “You two good?”

Prompto nods. “Yeah. We’re good,” he says, glancing over at Ignis. “Right, Iggy?”

“More than,” Ignis agrees. “I gather you’re staying here with Iris, Gladio?”

“Yep. Gonna meet up with the Marshal soon, get Iris situated with some basics,” Gladio says. “You good to drive, blondie?” 

“Uh huh. I feel fine now that I’ve eaten a little bit,” Prompto says. “Thanks for taking care of Iggy while I was messin’ around.” He laughs.

“Don’t gotta thank me for that,” Gladio promises. “C’mere.” Gladio pulls Prompto into a spine-crushing hug into which Prompto melts. “Stay safe, alright? Don’t scare me like that again.”

“Okay, big guy. Don’t be a stranger.” Prompto pulls away to look at Iris. “Take care of this dude, okay? He needs all the help he can get.” Prompto winks at Iris.

Iris giggles. “I will. I’m glad you’re okay. I’ll see you around.”

Cindy sighs with a smile. “Finally headin’ home, huh?” she asks. “Well, gimme a hug, Freckles.”

Prompto smiles as he hugs Cindy. “Thanks for puttin’ up with me all this time, grease monkey. I’ll see you soon, okay?”

“You better!” Cindy teases. “Y’all have a real safe trip, alright? It’s so good seein’ ya, Ignis!” 

Ignis smiles. “You as well, Cindy. Take care.”

Prompto watches as Gladio and Ignis hug with a soft smile.

“See ya, Specs. Take care of Prom, won’t you?” Gladio says.

“I will,” Ignis promises. “Farewell, Ms. Amicitia?”

Iris beams. “Bye, Ignis.”

Prompto reaches out to grip Ignis’s bicep, guiding him gently toward their car. “You ready to leave, Iggy?”

Ignis nods. “I’m all yours, Prompto.”

Prompto only hopes that will be true as soon as they get to Lestallum. Then again, life or death experiences really prioritize what’s important, and Prompto knows that what’s important is the man sliding smoothly into the passenger’s seat next to him.

As soon as Prompto pulls out of Hammerhead, he reaches out to grip Ignis’s hand gently. An involuntary smile spreads across Ignis’s lips as he returns the gesture, and Prompto can only hope that everything will work out in his favor.

 

Chapter Text

The trip back to Lestallum, despite its length, seems to go by much faster with Ignis riding shotgun. They hold hands through almost the entire trip, neither of them saying much. The last time Prompto was in a car this long, Ignis was driving the Regalia. His heart aches thinking about it. He never even got to say goodbye to the old girl.

When they arrive back to their small apartment, Prompto can't help but smile. Everything looks the same, smells the same, hints of Ignis and Prompto everywhere -- hell, even Gladio.

Ignis lets go of Prompto's hand now that they're safely inside. "Well, I was going to prepare us supper, but seeing as we've already eaten… perhaps dessert?"

Prompto frowns, feeling his cheeks flush for some reason. "You don't gotta make anything. I should be making you something. You saved my ass today."

"Come now, it was nothing. I'm afraid I insist? I've something nearly prepared already, I simply need to add finishing touches. Sit? You need to relax."

Prompto starts laughing. "Wow, you really are extra as all hell, aren't you? Fine, I'll indulge you, only 'cause you're adorable."

Ignis snorts, his cheeks turning decidedly pink. "Very well, I'll take what I can get."

Prompto grins, happy he's still managing to embarrass Ignis into a pretty flush after all this time. Prompto props his legs up on the coffee table as he listens to Ignis put finishing touches on whatever dessert he's made that's sure to taste incredible. He's missed Iggy's food so much.

An object out of the corner of his eye distracts Prompto from his pining thoughts: the guitar Cindy had given to him over a month ago that he brought home. He hasn't had the chance to play with it yet, having left, but he gets the urge to do it now. 

Prompto picks up the guitar, sitting back down. He strums once, wincing at how out of tune it is. He plucks some strings, tuning it the best he can by ear with a soft laugh.

Ignis peeks his head around the corner of the kitchen at the noise. "Do you play, Prompto?"

Prompto feels himself flush. "Uhhhh, not since high school, and not very well." He snorts.

Ignis smiles. "Now, now. Don't sell yourself short."

Taking advantage of the fact that Ignis seems to have disappeared back into the kitchen, he strums the guitar again. It sounds a lot better than before, at least. Stopping to think for a moment, he remembers the beginning chords to the song he's been humming for the past few weeks. Placing his fingers on the frets, he starts to play the song.

Once Prompto starts, it’s easy to remember the chords from high school. Prompto laughs a little to himself as he plays, humming the first part of the lyrics, not wanting to sing like an idiot in front of Ignis.

Ignis doesn’t seem to make an appearance, however, so Prompto figures it’s safe to start singing softly to himself as he strums the guitar. “ Two of us Sunday driving, not arriving, on our way back home. We’re on our way home.”

Prompto plays through the break in words, happy he remembers the lyrics. He’s usually one to play a pop song, something a little newer, but he used to dig older stuff back in high school, until he realized that life’s too short not to learn to play Carly Rae Jepsen on the ukulele. 

Ignis, at this point, is leaning against the wall, facing Prompto. There’s a gentle smile on his face, and Prompto goes back to humming shyly, not realizing that he was watching.

“Don’t stop, Prompto,” Ignis pleads gently.

Prompto feels his cheeks start to flush as he continues to sing, not wanting to disappoint Ignis. He focuses on his fingers hitting the right chords instead of looking at Ignis, not wanting to mess up because he’s nervous. “ You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead. Two of us wearing raincoats, standing solo, in the sun. You and me chasing paper, getting nowhere. On our way back home. We’re going home.”

Prompto finishes the song, strumming the last chords just as Ignis sits down on the couch next to him. He’s holding a parfait glass filled with what looks like strawberries and some sort of white cream, drizzled with some sort of red syrup and a cherry on top. It looks so delicious it takes him a moment to register the fact that Ignis is sniffling, his nose a bit red.

Prompto shoves the guitar on the floor. “Iggy? Why are you crying? Are you okay?” Prompto asks. “I hope I wasn’t that bad. I told you, I’m rusty.” He laughs nervously.

Ignis laughs despite himself, blinking away his tears. “I’m perfectly fine, Prompto. It’s not often I hear you sing anymore. I’m afraid I let my emotions get the best of me.”

Prompto’s fickle heart thuds with affection. “Oh, jeez, buddy, we need to get you some better taste,” he teases. He scoots closer to Ignis despite his joke, reaching over to collect one of Ignis’s escaped tears on the pad of his thumb. “I didn’t mean to make you cry, but I’ll crappily sing and play an out of tune guitar for you anytime.”

Ignis smiles, seeming to press further into Prompto’s touch. “I would love that. I hadn’t any idea you enjoyed older music.”

Prompto shrugs. “I like pretty much anything, dude. Used to learn shit like that to try to impress my crushes in high school, buuuuut… we all see how that turned out.” He snorts.

“I find it very charming,” Ignis says gently, a soft smile on his lips. “Would you care for some dessert, now, Prompto?”

“Holy shit, would I. That looks incredible, I’ve been eyeballing it ever since you walked over here,” Prompto admits sheepishly. “Is that strawberry?”

“A strawberry cream parfait, yes. You told me you enjoyed strawberries one night at camp, and I’ve had it in my head to prepare something for you since. Well, I suppose I was saving it for a special occasion…” He chuckles. “And here we are.”

Prompto flushes. “Wow. You remembered that?”

Ignis ducks his head. “Does that bother you?”

“No,” Prompto says much too quickly, “it’s really sweet. Lemme try it?”

Ignis smiles. He sets the parfait glass on the coffee table as he reaches over to feel for Prompto, his fingers smoothly touching the side of his neck, sliding upward until they reach his chin. The gesture raises goosebumps on Prompto’s flesh. 

Now that Ignis has located Prompto’s mouth, he scoops up some of the parfait onto the spoon and gently brings it to his mouth. Prompto laughs a little, a nervous sound, as he helps Ignis guide the spoon into his mouth.

The cream and strawberries instantly hit his tongue, and Prompto groans. “Oh, my Gods. Oh my fucking Gods, dude,” he says, words muffled from the dessert in his mouth.

“Is that a good response, or a bad one?” Ignis teases.

Prompto responds with another moan, waiting to swallow before responding this time. “Fuck. It’s amazing. You’re trying to kill me.”

Ignis laughs, his cheeks pink again. “Now, now, I would never. I would be awfully lonely if that were to happen. Would you care for another bite?”

Prompto’s heart thuds at the comment. He tries not to think too much about the fact that Ignis is feeding him dessert, but then again, it is really intimate and Ignis shows no signs of stopping. “I’d love another,” Prompto finds himself saying.

This time, it’s easier for Ignis to guide the spoon to his mouth. Prompto sighs, the second bite tasting just as good -- if not better -- than the first. “Holy shit, dude. You’ve gotta try this.”

Ignis smirks. “I made it for you.”

Prompto laughs, swallowing his bite nervously. “I--I know, but... wait, did you make this and leave it here knowing I’d come back?”

Ignis laughs sheepishly. “Call it wishful thinking.”

Prompto grins. “Well, it worked. I... wanna feed some to you, too… can I?”

Ignis lets go of Prompto’s chin, setting the spoon back down in the dessert. “If you’d like to,” Ignis murmurs, the volume of his voice just above a whisper.

“Okay,” Prompto does whisper. 

Prompto gets some of the parfait on the spoon, making sure there’s plenty of strawberries and cream in the bite. Prompto looks over to find Ignis looking pensive, his lips parted slightly. Ignis’s breath comes slightly heavier than normal, and Prompto wonders if he’s as nervous as Prompto is. Prompto reaches over to gently touch Ignis’s jawline, to let him know where he is, as he slowly brings the bite to Ignis’s lips. Prompto watches, slightly mesmerized as the dessert disappears past his perfect pink lips.

Ignis hums pleasurably as he slowly tastes it on his tongue. Prompto had no idea one could get turned on by watching someone eat dessert, but here he is, being a disaster as usual. He moves his hand off of Ignis’s face, not wanting to linger too long in case Ignis doesn’t want it. Prompto removes the spoon from Ignis’s mouth, a bit of the cream catching the corner of Ignis’s mouth.

“Oh! Oops,” Prompto splutters as he instinctively reaches forward to collect the whipped cream at the edge of Ignis’s lips.

Ignis, however, had the same thought apparently, as his tongue darts out at the same time to gather the remaining cream. It causes his tongue to brush against Prompto’s finger, and Prompto can’t hold back the gasp at the sensation.

Prompto withdraws his finger slightly, not wanting to be too much when Ignis chuckles softly, seemingly unbothered by it. He takes that reassurance and runs with it, pressing his finger back to Ignis’s mouth.

“Might as well,” Prompto murmurs, “there’s still some left…”

Instead of licking the cream off of Prompto’s finger like before, Ignis opens his mouth, taking the pad of Prompto’s digit into his mouth. Prompto lets out a shaky breath at the sensation as he feels Ignis’s tongue swirl around his finger, effectively sucking the cream off of it. The sensation goes right to Prompto’s dick, starting to make itself shamefully known in his jeans. Prompto desperately tries to ignore it, wanting to linger and enjoy this for as long as Ignis will indulge him.

Ignis releases Prompto’s finger with a muted pop that has no business sounding as obscene as it does. Prompto already misses the feeling, the warmth of Ignis’s mouth. He starts thinking of how his mouth would feel on his own, how it would feel everywhere.

Prompto remembers to breathe, bringing himself down from his dirty thoughts as he puts the spoon back in the dessert. “Did you like it, Iggy?” His voice is soft, almost wavering.

“Very much so,” Ignis remarks as he swallows.

Prompto’s inclined to agree, but he’s certainly not talking about the dessert anymore. Prompto leans in toward Ignis, enthused by the encouragement in his voice.

Prompto is about to speak, when Ignis does it for him, the question coming from nowhere yet still the very best thing Ignis could possibly ask. “May I touch you, Prompto?”

“Uh huh,” Prompto responds much too quickly, still leaning in gently.

Ignis turns on the couch to face Prompto more as he smiles, reaching up to brush his fingers along Prompto’s cheekbone. Prompto wants to close his eyes at the feeling of Ignis’s soft fingertips, but he wouldn’t dare miss every infinitesimal expression on Ignis’s face. 

Ignis’s lips are parted softly, curiously, as his fingers lightly travel along Prompto’s cheek before tracing the ridge of his nose. His fingers slide to the other cheek, gently lowering to trace the edge of his jawline. Goosebumps start to rise on Prompto’s skin, and he’s pretty sure Ignis can hear his heart racing a mile away. His fingers cup his jaw, then, cradling Prompto’s head just underneath his ear as his thumb brushes along his chin.

Ignis is smiling now, gently, but still a smile. Touching Prompto’s face made Ignis smile . Prompto can’t believe it.

Prompto’s sure he’s got a hold on his emotions until Ignis’s thumb gently moves upward, the lightest of feather-soft touches brushing against Prompto’s lips. Prompto inhales a breath, parting his lips softly as Ignis’s thumb caresses his top lip before swooping around to brush against the bottom one.

“Iggy,” Prompto murmurs, his breathing wavering a little.

“Hmm?” Ignis says absentmindedly, as if he’s lost in his actions. “I miss seeing this adorable face of yours, I must admit.”

Prompto smiles nervously. “I-I’m not much to look at, don’t worry.” He laughs awkwardly.

“On the contrary,” Ignis whispers, gently sliding his thumb up to caress Prompto’s cheekbone, “I find you utterly breathtaking.”

Prompto’s heart basically gallops out of his chest at this point. There’s not many ways to interpret what’s happening here, despite Prompto’s insecurities. “Iggy,” Prompto repeats again, “I, uh, I gotta tell you.” His voice starts to waver now.

Prompto can’t believe he’s so nervous and wanting all at once; this man has been a constant in his life for years now, a thorn in his side, the reason his heart beats too fast all the time. If he’s not careful about this, he’ll lose all of it.

Ignis’s other hand reaches out to grip Prompto’s. “You’re trembling,” Ignis realizes. “What’s the matter?”

Prompto loses his train of thought as soon as Ignis starts rubbing his hand with his thumb, the touch warm and comforting. “It’s… it’s a little hard for me to… do all this stuff,” Prompto admits. “I--I’m--”

Ignis withdraws his hand from Prompto’s face, nearly shattering Prompto’s heart. “Am I making you uncomfortable?”

Prompto squeezes Ignis’s hand anxiously. “N-no! That’s not what I mean,” Prompto whines. “I think… somehow you gotta know, Iggy, that’s not what I mean.”

Ignis leans in then, far closer than Prompto expects him to, causing Prompto’s breathing to catch in his throat. “Then tell me what you mean, Prompto,” he urges gently.

“I can’t keep doin’ this without… I mean, I want--” Prompto’s words turn to a gasp when Ignis leans in further, their mouths only inches apart. The proper words completely vanish from his thoughts in favor of staring at the slight part to Ignis’s lips; the longing on Ignis’s face. “Oh, Gods.”

“What is it that you want?” Ignis murmurs, his breath gently warming Prompto’s own mouth with the proximity. “Tell me what you want…”

Ignis lets go of Prompto’s hand to slide his fingers up the length of Prompto’s arm, his shoulder, his neck, until his finger traces Prompto’s jawline again, feeling his every move.

Prompto shudders. “Iggy, d-don’t do this if you don’t want it.” Prompto squeezes his eyes shut. “Please, don’t… take it away from me.”

Ignis chuckles adoringly, the sound practically bouncing off of Prompto’s mouth as he’s leaned in so far they’re all but kissing. The hand on Prompto’s jaw slides upward to find Prompto’s hair, tucking a lock of it behind Prompto’s ear. “Oh, darling,” Ignis purrs, “I want this. You know how much I want this.”

Prompto whimpers softly, unable to keep himself from holding back anymore. Prompto closes the distance between their mouths, pressing his lips softly against the warmth of Ignis’s. His lips are even softer against his mouth as he closes his eyes, adding pressure to their kiss.

Kissing Ignis is so much easier than anything Prompto’s ever done before. His anxiety and nerves melt away in favor of pressing himself closer to Ignis, his hands roaming Ignis’s chest before they lock around his neck passionately.

Prompto peels his lips from Ignis’s, his eyes sliding open just in time to see Ignis chase Prompto’s mouth with his own breathlessly. Prompto slides his hands up to tangle in Ignis’s hair and lets Ignis connect their mouths again, with a bit more passion than before.

Ignis teases his tongue against Prompto’s bottom lip, and Prompto finds himself groaning, parting his lips for Ignis to slide his tongue into his mouth. Prompto tugs on his hair as their tongues tangle, and Ignis lets out a low groan of his own which tingles down his spine and settles pleasantly along his nerves. 

Prompto acts without thinking, driven by his need for the man against him, and climbs forward, crawling onto Ignis’s lap while they kiss. Ignis moans into Prompto’s mouth as Ignis accommodates him, leaning back and letting his arms encircle Prompto’s waist to keep him there.

They kiss like that for several more moments, both of them gasping into each other’s open mouths. Sometimes they kiss slowly, passionately, until all of the tension Prompto has been holding these past few months bursts forward and Prompto finds his tongue exploring the tactician's mouth.

Ignis Scientia. Prompto’s making out with Ignis Scientia. After falling for the guy in high school, convincing himself that Ignis was completely untouchable, he’s now on his lap with his tongue in his mouth.

Prompto’s pretty sure this is what heaven feels like.

Both of them separate their lips from each other to breathe. Prompto’s heart pounds as he tries to regain his breath, and wants to kiss Ignis all over again when he sees him grin beautifully.

“Was that along the lines of what you wished to tell me?” Ignis teases, his voice a low purr. “Or is there more?”

“Um,” Prompto breathes, completely losing his train of thought. “I love you. I’m in love with you. I’ve been in love with you… this whole fucking time, dude. Every time I told you I loved you? Yeah, I meant… like this.” The words all tumble from his lips, unable to stop them even if he wanted to. “I’ve imagined you like this so many times I honestly don’t know what to do with myself now that I have it.”

“Well, I can think of a few things,” Ignis murmurs teasingly, pulling Prompto’s head toward him for another kiss.

Prompto certainly isn’t complaining, getting lost in the warmth and softness of Ignis’s mouth once more.

When they pull apart, once again breathless, Ignis reaches up to cradle Prompto’s cheek. “I’m in love with you, as well, you know. I was trying to be patient,” he huffs out a laugh, “so that you were comfortable. I was trying to wait for you to come to me, but… I suppose my patience wore rather thin.”

“You are?! What about Noct?!”

Ignis frowns. “Pardon?”

“Fuck, man, I thought you were in love with Noct this whole time.” Prompto feels his cheeks heat with flush. “Oops.”

Ignis laughs at this, his one good eye closing shut adorably as he does. “Is that why you weren’t receptive to me? After all the times I’ve touched you and held you , you thought I was fancying Noct ?”

Prompto gnaws on his bottom lip guiltily. “Um. Yeah.” He laughs. “Shit.”

“Bloody hell, Prompto. Why didn’t you ask me?” Ignis lets out another laugh.

“I mean, that’s not exactly smooth, is it? ‘ Hey, Iggy, you got a boner for Noct? Askin’ for a friend .’”

Ignis slides his hand up Prompto’s chest with a soft smile. “Well, perhaps not with that exact wording…” he teases, hand sliding up to cradle his face. “I love Noctis, I’m not in love with Noctis, I assure you. I thought it quite clear my affections lie with you. You were my only unknown variable.”

Prompto sighs longingly, putting his hand on Ignis’s to keep it against his face. “Me?! I was, like, throwin’ myself at you, dude.”

“Yes, well, you weren’t exactly quiet about Cindy,” Ignis points out, his thumb starting to stroke Prompto’s cheek. “Then you disappeared over there for nearly a month…”

Prompto feels himself flush, heart pounding nervously. “I--I know, I’m sorr--”

“Mmm, no apologies,” Ignis purrs, gripping Prompto’s head to pull him down for another kiss. 

Prompto groans against his lips, forgetting their conversation for a moment in favor of tasting Ignis’s tongue. When they part, Prompto presses his forehead against Ignis’s, sliding up further on Ignis’s lap.

“I lied about Cindy. All this time. I didn’t want you to find out about my crush on you so I pretended it was about Cindy instead,” Prompto explains sheepishly, pressing another tiny kiss to Ignis’s lips.

Ignis chuckles. “Ah. Is that so?”

“Yeah, she found out about it, too, it was so embarrassing,” Prompto mutters with a laugh. He sobers for a moment. “When I was over there, all I thought about was you. It was getting so hard to be around you without telling you. I think I stayed over there so long ‘cause I knew as soon as I saw you I would’ve… told you. I didn’t want it to ruin stuff…”

“Darling, you couldn’t have ruined anything. You’ve no idea how fond I am of you, how much I wanted you back in my arms every night,” Ignis murmurs, hand sliding around to start running his fingers through Prompto’s hair. 

Prompto feels himself flush at the pet name Ignis gives him, closing his eyes at the sensation of Ignis’s gentle fingers in his hair. “Gods, Iggy, I missed being in your arms, dude. It was killing me… it’s always killed me.” He opens his eyes to stare at Ignis, his eyes lingering on the scars on his eyes.

Ignis is quiet for a moment, continuing to stroke Prompto’s hair lovingly. “How long have you been keeping this from me?”

Prompto’s heart thuds. “Promise you won’t judge me?”

“I would never.”

Prompto takes a deep breath, placing his hand on the side of Ignis’s cheek. “Um, well, I always thought you were kinda hot? Like from the moment I met you, but that’s a kinda no-brainer.” He laughs nervously. “Um… but, like, I was in total denial ‘til that one night… y’know, at the arcade?”

Ignis raises an eyebrow. “You’ll have to be a bit more specific. There’s been an awful lot of nights like those,” he teases, leaning upward slightly to kiss Prompto.

Prompto smiles against his mouth, then sighs again. “When we were, um, alone? You won me that chocobo. In the claw machine…”

Prompto feels Ignis gasp more than he hears it, just the gentlest of noises as his brow furrows. “ Prompto , we were… teenagers . Bloody hell, all this time?”

“Yeah,” Prompto admits sheepishly, “all this time. I was thinkin’ about that night, earlier, when I thought I was gonna…" He swallows nervously. 

Ignis frowns. “Why that night?”

“It was the first time you really paid attention to me. And you did such a nice thing for me. I thought you hated me.” Prompto bites his lip.

“When we were children?” Ignis teases. “I never thought someone like you would enjoy my company.”

“Why not?! You’re perfect, and I’m just…” Prompto trails off, not wanting to go down that route.

“You’re just charming, sweet, clever, funny, and so very much full of love. I’ve never met anyone like you in my entire life. You’ve turned my life upside-down all these years and I’ve yet to be able to right myself ever since.”

Prompto’s heart hammers, shocked that he even managed to have an effect on Ignis at all, let alone like this. “Iggy, holy shit. I--I didn’t even know you thought about me.”

“Of course I do. I think about you every moment of my day,” Ignis tells him sweetly, twirling Prompto’s hair around his fingers. “I was rather proud to win that chocobo the first time around, you know. I thought it would take several attempts to wedge it out of that bloody corner.”

Prompto’s jaw drops. “So all that confidence was fake, huh?!”

Ignis grins. “Perhaps. I spent a rather long time trying to impress you. I suppose after all these years, it seems to have worked.”

“You didn’t need to. I was already impressed from, like, the moment I met you. And Noct gave me that pastry you made for me?! I had to lie to Noct about why I looked like a lobster.”

Ignis’s laugh is deep and musical. Prompto hasn’t seen him smile like this in such a long time. “And did that work?”

“Nope. He found out, like, a week later.” Prompto snorts. 

“You told him that you thought I fancied him instead?” Ignis teases.

“No way, dude! I didn’t wanna get involved in that. I never said a word about it.”

Ignis laughs even harder. “Goodness. Aren’t you adorable?”

Prompto giggles. “Stop. I’m a mess.” He sighs. “How long has it… been romantic for you?”

Ignis sighs gently. “I’ve truly always been rather charmed by you,” he whispers. “Though, I suppose I realized my feelings when you talked about others the way I wished you would talk about me. Cindy, Noct, Aranea… You’ve no idea how much you made me realize what a jealous man I am.”

“Wait, Noct?” Prompto asks. 

“Yes. You’re both very close.”

“Shit. We both thought the other was in love with Noct?! He’ll be laughing his ass off when he finds out,” Prompto says, laughing.

“I suppose he will. We have been a bit foolish…” Ignis teases, lips ghosting along Prompto’s jawline.

“I didn’t mean to make you jealous, I didn’t know you were… it was all fake, anyway. I only ever wanted you. Though, I mean, that is kinda hot… wait, scratch that, really hot.”

Ignis raises an eyebrow. “Oh, is it?” Ignis purrs, starting to place teasing kisses on Prompto’s jawline, nibbling at his flesh playfully. “All this time we’ve wasted, hmm? I could have had you anywhere…” Ignis’s lips travel from Prompto’s jaw down to his neck, peppering kisses there.

Prompto lets out a moan as goosebumps erupt all over his flesh at the intimate kisses. Prompto tilts his head to the side to give Ignis better access as his dick starts to make itself known in his jeans again. “Fuck, Iggy… would you have? Anywhere?”

“Yes,” Ignis nearly growls before securing his mouth to Prompto’s neck and sucking the flesh there. “In motels… at camp while Noct was fishing… the backseat of the Regalia …” He chuckles teasingly and bites Prompto’s neck, hard .

Fuck,” Prompto moans, unable to resist the urge to grind his cock against Ignis’s lap. “Fuck, fuck, fuck, keep going… holy shit, Iggy, mark me.”

“Mmm,” Ignis hums against Prompto’s neck, “only if you do the same for me…”

Ignis latches his mouth onto Prompto and sucks on his neck, tongue brushing against Prompto’s jugular as he raises blood to the surface. Prompto whines, the feeling causing his dick to start throbbing in his jeans. He grinds down hard against Ignis only to find that Ignis is just as hard, their cocks grinding together through the fabric of their pants.

Ignis peels his lips off of Prompto’s neck to moan, his fingers digging into Prompto’s hips to guide him further up on his lap against his cock. “If I’d known kissing your neck was all it took to feel you hard on top of me, I would have done this a long time ago,” he teases.

Prompto groans, rewarding Ignis’s tease by surging forward and burying his face against Ignis’s neck. Prompto presses his lips on Ignis’s warm skin there, feeling Ignis gasp as he tilts his head to the side. Prompto moans softly against his neck as Ignis grinds upward, their arousals brushing together once more. Prompto starts sucking on Ignis’s neck then as they grind against one another. Prompto bites his neck, causing Ignis to moan, one hand on the back of Prompto’s neck keeping him there as Prompto sucks more hickeys into Ignis’s neck.

Prompto’s never heard a sound so sexy as Ignis moaning underneath him. He wants to keep coaxing those noises out of Ignis’s lips; he wants to reward Ignis with everything he can possibly give him. Prompto starts delivering kitten licks to Ignis’s neck before smirking. 

“Gods, the things I wanna do to you…” Prompto moans as Ignis guides Prompto’s hips against him particularly rough. “I’ve imagined you like this so many fucking times.”

Ignis turns his head, his teeth grazing Prompto’s earlobe. “Have you touched yourself thinking of me?”

Ignis’s hand slides around to Prompto’s front to press his fingers hard against the bulge in Prompto’s jeans. Prompto groans. “Yeah, holy fuck , yeah I have,” Prompto moans.

“What did you do to me in your fantasies?” Ignis teases, pressing his fingers against Prompto’s cock harder through the fabric.

Prompto’s hips press into Ignis’s touch, his clothed cock desperate for some sort of relief. Prompto’s not been this pent-up and in need to come in such a long time. “C-came inside you. Made you beg me for it. Fucked you so hard your fingernail marks were in my back for weeks .” Prompto’s a little surprised he can be this vulgar only because he’s horny.

“Bloody hell,” Ignis moans, fingers sliding up to unbutton Prompto’s jeans. “Keep going. Use that filthy mouth for me.”

Prompto continues, hoping he’ll be rewarded with Ignis wrapping those pretty, long fingers around his aching cock. “Y-yeah? Wanted to bury my dick in your ass, give it to you nice and rough ‘til you came all over me. It got me goin’ so bad, Iggy, I’d always come so fast…”

Ignis moans as he unzips Prompto’s jeans, opening them just enough for Prompto to feel the cool air of the room hit his cock trapped beneath the thin fabric of his boxers. “Did… did you ever think of that when I was nearby?”

Prompto presses his mouth to Ignis’s neck, nodding where he knows Ignis can feel the gesture. “Yeah. Sometimes I wanted you to catch me…”

“I would have touched you myself,” Ignis promises, fingers teasing the hem of Prompto’s boxers, “Astrals, I would have taken you into my mouth, then and there...

Prompto moans, his fingers digging into Ignis’s shoulders as he spreads his legs wider on Ignis’s lap, coaxing Ignis to slide his hand down his boxers. “Fuck, Iggy, touch me, please , I’m so fucking hard.”

“Mmm, yes you are, darling,” Ignis says with a soft moan. “Bedroom, then?”

“Right here for a sec, please? Just a little bit, right here, touch me, I wanna feel you,” Prompto whines.

Ignis groans, leaning up to place a wet kiss on Prompto’s lips, tongue darting out to slide into his mouth. Prompto whimpers as he feels Ignis’s fingers slide under the hem of Prompto’s boxers, teasing the skin just above Prompto’s cock.

Ignis pulls his mouth away from Prompto with a smirk. “You’ve no idea how much I cannot say no to you,” Ignis purrs. “Just a little, then…”

Prompto smiles just as he feels Ignis’s hand travel lower, fingers wrapping around the length of his hard cock. Prompto gasps, pressing into the touch as Ignis squeezes his girth teasingly.

“Oh, fuck,” Prompto grunts, “ yes.”

Ignis hums in approval as he starts to stroke Prompto’s cock in his boxers, his movements slow and teasing. Prompto doesn’t even care; he just loves the attention, the touch -- it’s been years since a hand has touched his cock other than his own. Prompto throws his head back, whining as he feels his cock already starts to throb against Ignis’s fingers.

“Mmm, you feel wonderful, do you know that?” Ignis moans. “I’d love to feel you elsewhere…”

Prompto gasps, hips rolling forward into Ignis’s grip. Prompto slides his hand down toward his front, wrapping his hand around Ignis’s, guiding Ignis’s strokes on his cock. “You want me to fuck you? Wanna feel every inch of me, baby?”

Ignis moans heatedly, squeezing the head of Prompto’s cock roughly. “Yes, Astrals above, yes, Prompto…” 

Prompto lets his cock get stroked a few more times selfishly before he’s leaning in to kiss Ignis roughly, sliding his tongue into Ignis’s mouth. “Bedroom, Iggy, fuck--”

Ignis withdraws his hand from Prompto’s cock in favor of wrapping both arms around Prompto so he can stand up with Prompto still in his arms. Prompto whimpers against Ignis’s mouth, refusing to separate their mouths as Prompto’s legs lock around Ignis’s waist.

“Wait, wait, stop,” Prompto murmurs against Ignis’s mouth as soon as he walks past the bathroom.

Ignis stops walking with a raised eyebrow, pulling his lips away from Prompto but only barely. “What is it?”

“Lube,” Prompto breathes with a soft laugh against Ignis’s lips, “bathroom.”

Ignis laughs, leaning forward to connect their mouths again. He takes a detour to the bathroom, and as soon as they’re inside, Ignis sets Prompto on the countertop, kissing him harder.

Prompto moans, reaching up to tangle his fingers in Ignis’s hair when Ignis starts letting his lips travel lower, down his neck, fingers tugging on the hem of Prompto’s shirt. Ignis hastily slides Prompto’s shirt over his head, tossing it in the corner of the bathroom in favor of letting his lips brush against Prompto’s nipple.

“Oh, fuck,” Prompto moans as he feels Ignis swirl his tongue around the sensitive flesh of Prompto’s nipple. Prompto closes his eyes at the sensation, completely forgetting why he’s even in here.

“You’d better hurry, love,” Ignis murmurs in between kisses to Prompto’s chest, “otherwise we might not make it to the bedroom.”

Prompto laughs breathlessly which turns into a groan when Ignis’s teeth graze against his other nipple. Prompto takes one hand out of Ignis’s hair to root through the medicine cabinet to find the bottle of lube he’d stashed there when they first moved in -- just in case, of course.

Prompto resists the urge to let his eyes slide closed and let Ignis have his way with him, but only barely. “Okay, I got it, let’s g-- ah--”

Ignis’s lips have travelled from his chest down to his stomach just before Prompto feels the heat of Ignis’s breath against his cock through his boxers. Prompto gasps, arching his back against the countertop as Ignis’s mouth connects with Prompto’s cock through the fabric, placing teasing, open-mouthed kisses against his clothed cock.

“Fuck,” Prompto whines, tugging on Ignis’s hair tighter. “Gods, your fuckin’ mouth , dude…”

Prompto looks down to see Ignis smirk as his mouth is occupied, before trailing kisses back up Prompto’s stomach, chest, neck before his lips reach Prompto’s mouth again. Prompto loses himself in the teasing kisses, pleasant bliss settling over his nerves. His cock already aches at the lack of attention after getting just a hint of a tease of what Ignis’s mouth feels like on it.

“Mmm, I can’t seem to keep my mouth off of you,” Ignis whispers, delivering lazy, needy kisses to the corner of Prompto’s mouth. “Hold onto me.”

Prompto groans, wrapping his arms around Ignis’s neck tightly as he lifts Prompto again. It isn’t long before Prompto’s attacking Ignis’s neck with kisses, laughing gently as he feels Ignis groan against him. They stumble into the bedroom, all rushed kisses and longing and need , Prompto all too happy to feel Ignis sit gently on the bed with Prompto still perched in his lap.

Teeth graze Prompto’s earlobe again, earning a soft groan from him. “You’re wearin’ way too many clothes,” Prompto gasps, “ fuck.

Prompto gently pushes Ignis to lie back onto the bed, a low moan erupting from Ignis’s throat at the dominant move.

“Undress me, darling,” Ignis pleads, lips parted beautifully as he spreads his legs on the bed for Prompto.

Prompto tosses the bottle of lube to the other side of the bed as he slides up Ignis's lap, taking a moment to admire the view. Ignis's usually perfectly kempt hair falls forward onto his forehead, his relatively unscarred eye still closed with pleasure. Prompto's not even done anything to Ignis yet, and he already looks like he's on the brink of coming -- not that Prompto would mind that sight at all.

Prompto's fingers find the buttons on Ignis's dress shirt as his lips find Ignis's neck. "Gonna let me take care of you, huh, baby?" Prompto coaxes once he slides Ignis's shirt off of his arms.

Ignis moans, tilting his head gently to the side so Prompto can continue to kiss him without interruption. Prompto delivers soft, wet kisses to Ignis's neck before he finds his teeth grazing against Ignis's clavicle. 

"You tell me you imagine us like this sometimes," Ignis begins, already breathless, "but I think about you like this all the bloody time. "

Prompto lets out a breathless whine, his cock aching at the confession from Ignis. He finds himself involuntarily rutting his hard cock against Ignis's leg as he kisses down Ignis's torso. 

"Well, you're gonna get me, Iggy. All of me. You want that?" Prompto teases, his cock grinding against Ignis's leg like he's back in high school and hormones are the only thing ruling his actions. Prompto's slid down just enough for his lips to latch onto Ignis's hip, sucking the flesh there gently. 

Ignis gasps sharply, arching his back slightly under the touch. "Keep going, love, please don't stop…"

"Mmm," Prompto hums, fingers sliding lower to unbuckle Ignis's belt. "You're so fucking sexy, d'you know that? Could come right now just lookin' at you."

Ignis swallows before barking out a breathless laugh. "You'd better not. I need you."

Prompto laughs at how needy Ignis sounds. He's tugging Ignis's pants down eagerly then, Ignis lifting his legs to accommodate him. Prompto straddles his thighs, sliding up to brush their cocks together through the fabric of their underwear.

Both of them moan loudly at the contact. Prompto can feel every inch and ridge of Ignis's hardness underneath his own, and he can't help but roll his hips forward to get more of that contact.

Ignis throws his head back against the pillow, fingers scrambling to dig into Prompto's hips, guiding Prompto on just where to grind against him.

"Fuck, you're hard," Prompto moans. "Iggy…"

"Prompto, please ," Ignis groans, his hands sliding up Prompto's sides lovingly. "No more teases, I bloody need you."

Prompto nods, feeling his cock throb. "Okay. Shit, baby…"

Prompto reluctantly slides lower so he can settle in between Ignis's legs. He reaches up, fingers latching onto the waistband of Ignis's boxers. He slides the fabric down Ignis's cock slowly so Ignis can feel every teasing brush of it, earning a shaky moan from Ignis’s pretty pink lips. Prompto's quick once Ignis's cock is freed, tugging his boxers all the way down his legs until they're gone. 

Prompto moans once he gets a good look at Ignis's cock. It's flushed a brilliant red with neglect, the head an angry pink as a bit of precome has leaked out at the tip and spills out just underneath his navel. Ignis's arousal is long, pretty and slender, as it curves just slightly to the left, and Prompto wants it in his mouth so badly he can't believe he's been able to wait years for this.

Prompto reaches down to palm at his own cock, trying to add pressure to stave off an orgasm. "C'mon, Prompto, don't come, don't come, don't come…" Prompto repeats to himself like his horny mantra will keep his dick from having a mind of its own.

Ignis chuckles breathlessly, spreading his legs teasingly. "My, you do want me, don't you?"

Prompto groans. "Since I was fuckin' fifteen. Gods, Iggy… you're…"

Ignis bites his lip beautifully. "Touch me, Prompto. Make me all yours."

Prompto resists the urge to whimper just this once as he grips Ignis’s cock, the stiff flesh warm and hard in his fingers. Ignis sighs pleasurably at the touch as Prompto experimentally gives it a few slow, hard strokes.

“Mmm. That’s… wonderful…” Ignis breathes.

Prompto’s cock throbs as he watches Ignis melt into the touch, relaxing into the bed as he spreads his legs further to allow Prompto more access. Prompto settles between Ignis’s legs then, lowering his head to lick along the length of Ignis’s cock.

Ignis sucks in a sharp breath through his teeth, hips just barely rocking forward at the feeling of Prompto’s tongue. Prompto moans softly at how pretty Ignis looks like this. He delivers more soft licks to Ignis’s cock, relishing the salty tang of the flesh before he laps up the precome that’s gathered on Ignis’s skin.

“Gods above,” Ignis whispers, his fingers starting to dig into their bedsheets. “Prompto…”

Prompto brings his tongue to the slit of Ignis’s cock, slicking up the head with his tongue teasingly, flicking it along the length. Ignis squirms underneath him; Prompto’s sure not being able to see heightens the anticipation of what Prompto will do next.

So, Prompto brings the head of Ignis’s cock entirely in his mouth. Ignis doesn’t hesitate to let out a loud, bawdy moan, hands reaching out desperately to tangle in Prompto’s hair. Prompto moans a little as he starts to suck on the head, massaging it with his mouth and tongue. He’s rewarded with a quick spurt of precome on his tongue, and his own cock presses painfully against his boxers at this point. Prompto ignores it in favor of swallowing the tiny gathering of precome, holding Ignis’s hips in place to do so.

“Mmm, darling, more, ” Ignis whines, throwing his free hand over his face, burying it in the crook of his arm.

Prompto lets him writhe and beg for more, groaning against the length in his mouth as Prompto lowers his head further, gripping Ignis’s cock tightly to take more of his arousal into his mouth. Prompto’s tongue swirls around the shaft as he feels Ignis’s cock hit the back of his throat, choking a little at the sensation. Prompto can feel Ignis’s cock throb against his tongue and he sucks hard for Ignis, relishing every time his cock secretes more salty precome for him, like a reward for doing well. 

Prompto finds a pace then, opening his eyes as Ignis’s cock buries itself in his throat. Ignis’s back arches delicately off the bed, his chest rising and falling quickly with exertion as Prompto works Ignis’s cock relentlessly with his mouth. Prompto watches Ignis for a moment as his head bobs along the length of his cock. He reaches over to grab the bottle of lube as he sucks Ignis off, uncapping it with his thumb.

Ignis doesn’t seem to notice the sound, and so Prompto drags his mouth along his length until it leaves his lips with a teasing pop.

“D’you trust me, Iggy?” Prompto asks, his voice a bit hoarse from Ignis’s cock being down his throat. 

“More than anything,” Ignis moans. “ Please.”

“Mmm,” Prompto hums, bringing his mouth to the head of Ignis’s cock again. “You taste so good.”

Ignis fingers in his hair turn loving, fingers carding through the soft strands of Prompto’s hair. “You’re magnificent,” Ignis breathes. “Touch me…”

Prompto knows by his tone he doesn’t mean his dick, but Prompto’s a selfish man and he’s absolutely not done with Ignis’s cock just yet. Prompto tips the bottle of lube over to squeeze some of it onto two of his fingers, slicking them up nicely. Prompto spreads Ignis’s legs further with his clean hand, and Ignis accommodates him, spreading beautifully.

“Gods, you look so fucking hot like this,” Prompto moans. “I could take a fucking picture.”

“I’d let you, for your eyes only,” Ignis teases, his hand now off of his face in favor of sliding it down his chest with a smirk. “But for now, I want you only.” 

Prompto laughs breathlessly. “Feeling’s mutual, baby.” Prompto’s slicked up fingers start to circle around Ignis’s warm entrance, inviting him in. “Deep breath for me, gorgeous…”

Ignis obliges, taking a long breath, chuckling a little on the tail end of it. “You’re absolutely killing me, are you even aware?”

Prompto smirks at this before pressing his finger against Ignis’s entrance, the lubrication easing his finger inside of Ignis slowly. Prompto pushes his finger all the way inside of Ignis, the warmth surrounding his digit. “Mmm, perfect, that’s it, you’re alright, sweetheart.”

Ignis’s lips part with a soft gasp as he moans loudly. One of his knees bend as he hikes it up, giving Prompto more room to work with. Prompto’s dick is absolutely ruining his boxers at this point as he starts to pump his finger in and out of Ignis. He hooks his finger upwards, trying to stretch Ignis’s ring of muscle as much as he can with a single finger. Ignis’s body starts to accommodate, taking his finger as deep as it can go.

“Ngh, Prompto,” Ignis gasps, “you needn’t be so gentle-- ah--”

Prompto withdraws his finger to add the second, pushing them roughly into Ignis. Prompto leans forward as he starts scissoring his fingers inside of Ignis’s tight heat so he can bring the tip of Ignis’s cock in his mouth again.

Ignis moans shakily as Prompto works his entrance and his cock, his hips rolling forward off of the bed to push more of his cock into Prompto’s mouth. Prompto giggles against the length in his mouth, letting Ignis start fucking a slow pace inside his mouth.

“D-don’t stop, darling, please--” Ignis gasps as he gives up his last lingering bit of control for Prompto, his fingers digging into the bedsheets roughly.

Prompto lets his tongue swirl around Ignis’s shaft once more as he bends his fingers inside Ignis’s ass. He lets his the tips of his fingers caress his inner walls and Ignis gasps just as a fresh stream of precome hits Prompto’s tongue.

“Bloody hell,” Ignis breathes, swallowing noisily as he thrusts into Prompto’s mouth.

“Mmm,” Prompto moans against Ignis’s cock, scissoring and stretching Ignis’s entrance more as he works his cock.

Prompto feels Ignis’s cock throb harder on his tongue, and Ignis yanks Prompto’s hair upward, forcing his mouth off of his cock. “Keep doing that, and I’m going to come.”

Prompto grins messily up at him, a breathless giggle leaving his lips, his fingers stilled inside of Ignis. “That a promise?” 

Ignis’s fingers leave Prompto’s hair in favor of gripping his chin, his thumb pushing past Prompto’s eagerly parted lips. Prompto moans, sucking on Ignis’s thumb as he starts to finger Ignis some more.

“Good boy, that’s it,” Ignis purrs, “now come here and give me what you’ve been dying to.”

Prompto groans, tongue swirling around Ignis’s thumb before Ignis takes it away, much to Prompto’s disappointment. He whines, removing his fingers from Ignis and rolling over on his back next to Ignis so he can slide his jeans and boxers down his legs.

“Fuck, it’ll be a miracle if I last more than a second. You’re so fucking hot, Igs,” Prompto whines. 

Prompto’s cock, now fully freed, presses against his stomach and he’s unable to resist taking the warm length of himself into his hand. Prompto sighs, breath wavering, as he starts to stroke himself slowly, rewarding his own patience.

“Are you touching yourself?” Ignis asks heatedly.

“Uh huh,” Prompto gasps, “fuck, Iggy, get it ready for you…?”

“Mmm, come here, now, love,” Ignis says demandingly. 

Prompto’s quick to roll over, pressing his body on top of Ignis. He pauses for a moment on top of Ignis to kiss him, moaning as their bare cocks slot together. Ignis’s tongue is needy and wanting as it explores Prompto’s mouth. He tries not to focus too much on the fact that Ignis can probably taste his own precome on Prompto’s lips, because if he does, he’ll probably come all over Ignis.

“I wish I could see you,” Ignis blurts against Prompto’s mouth, hips rolling upward to softly rut against Prompto’s cock. “ Gods, do I wish I could see you, my love.”

Prompto whimpers, kissing Ignis again, his heart pounding. “Touch me instead, baby. Touch me everywhere. Feel me.”

“Mmm,” Ignis hums, pushing Prompto gently to sit up.

Prompto sits up, straddling Ignis’s stomach as he whines a little, desperate to be touched. Ignis reaches down and wraps his hand around Prompto’s cock, a jolt of pleasure racing through his whole body. Ignis’s other hand explores Prompto’s chest, his neck, his cheek, tucking a lock of hair behind Prompto’s ear before it slides back down again, thumb brushing against a taut nipple.

“F-fuck,” Prompto gasps, pressing his cock further past Ignis’s tight grip. “Fuck, hurry.” He leans down, fists pressing into the bed on either side of Ignis.

Ignis moans at the desperation, his thumb swiping the tip of Prompto’s cock teasingly, using Promto’s precome to slick up his length slightly. Ignis squeezes Prompto’s cock, stroking it roughly as his free hand reaches for the lubricant, hand patting the bedspread desperately.

Prompto watches with a heady gaze as Ignis pours lube onto his fingers, reaching back down to coat Prompto’s cock with the substance. His touches are deliberate and desperate, fingers dipping past Prompto’s length to tease lower.

Prompto throws his head back at the sensation, trembling a little on top of Ignis. “Iggy,” he moans, “I c-can’t wait, dude, I’m gonna fuckin’ burst--”

“Hush, love,” Ignis soothes, tossing the bottle of lube across the bed, “I want you to fuck me now, Prompto.”

“Holy fuck,” Prompto gasps.

It’s not the first time Prompto’s heard Ignis curse by any means, but it’s definitely the first time in this context, and his dick throbs a little at the urgency in his tone. Prompto leans down for one more kiss before sliding down Ignis’s body, spreading his legs further to line his cock up with Ignis’s entrance.

“You okay, baby?” Prompto asks as he teases Ignis’s entrance, pressing the head of his cock against Ignis.

“Yes, Gods , yes,” Ignis moans. “Please.”

It’s all the permission Prompto needs to continue. Ignis’s tight ring of muscle has more trouble taking the head of Prompto’s cock inside of him than just his fingers, but Prompto pushes, earning a shaky gasp from Ignis. Ignis’s warmth surrounds Prompto’s cock as he manages to push the tip inside, sliding home in one fell swoop as he buries himself inside Ignis.

“Oh, fuck,” Prompto moans as he stills his entire length inside of Ignis, cock throbbing as it’s surrounded by Ignis’s heat. “Gods, you feel so fucking good.”

Ignis moans, gripping Prompto’s hips tightly as Prompto experimentally rolls his hips forward, allowing Ignis to start slowly coaxing pleasure out of his cock. Ignis’s body is so warm and tight around him, it’ll be a miracle if he lasts even remotely long.

Prompto feels his toes curl as he pushes his cock in and out of Ignis’s entrance, the force of it causing Ignis to rock back against the bed.

Prompto ,” Ignis moans loudly. There’s so much yet so little in just the simple moan of Prompto’s name. Prompto loves it.

Prompto groans, picking up the pace as he starts to fuck into Ignis, feeling his cock steadily leaking inside of him. Ignis’s legs lock around Prompto’s waist, and Prompto lowers his body against Ignis, every inch of their bodies touching as Prompto’s grinds himself inside of Ignis. Prompto’s lips are only a few centimeters away from Ignis’s, and so he closes the distance between their mouths as he thrusts his cock into him. Ignis moans and gasps against Prompto’s mouth; Prompto feels every tiny little tremble Ignis gives away.

Ignis slides a hand up Prompto’s back to tangle it in his hair, gripping the back of Prompto’s head tightly. Prompto starts thrusting a little harder into Ignis, feeling Ignis clench around his cock and Prompto peels his lips away to whine loudly into Ignis’s mouth.

“Is this-- ah-- quite like what you imagined?” Ignis gasps into his ear, teeth tugging on Prompto’s earlobe desperately, legs locked around Prompto tightly.

“Better,” Prompto moans, “fuck, baby, still with me?”

“Keep going,” Ignis pleads. “ Astrals, darling, don’t stop-- ngh--”

Ignis, at this point, has one hand gripped on the back of Prompto’s head and the other reaching up to grip the headboard, lips parted in pleasure as he moans. Prompto can feel Ignis’s body arch off the bed underneath him. Prompto’s cock starts to throb with every thrust inside Ignis, the tight heat of him all but coaxing an orgasm out of him. Prompto reaches up to curl his fingers around Ignis’s on the headboard, holding him tightly.

Prompto buries his face in Ignis’s neck, starting to deliver warm, wet, needy kisses against it. Ignis groans at the sensation, the grip on the back of Prompto’s head tightening.

There’s nothing that can possibly compare to this; both of them breathless, gasping against each other as they seek their own pleasure. The only sounds in the room are their breaths and moans, their skin sliding together, and the only thing Prompto can think of is how much the wait was worth it. Ignis is worth everything to feel him like this.

“You’re so good, Iggy, so good for me,” Prompto moans against his neck. “You’re perfect--”

“Mmm,” Ignis grunts, kissing Prompto’s temple. “My, you’re a sap when you want to come, love.”

Prompto laughs against Ignis’s neck, delivering a rough thrust to Ignis for the comment. “I’m serious.”

Ignis doesn’t reply in favor of moaning at the particularly rough thrusts Prompto’s giving him, hips undulating against him as he buries his cock inside of him.

“You like that?” Prompto teases, fucking into him roughly again. “Want more?”

“Don’t stop, don’t you bloody dare stop,” Ignis groans, eyes squeezed almost violently shut as his grip on Prompto tightens. “ Darling--”

“Yeah, that’s it,” Prompto groans, letting his teeth graze against Ignis’s neck. “You like it when I fuck you nice and hard like this, huh?”

“Y-yes, darling, please,” Ignis gasps. Prompto changes the position of his hips just a little to get better momentum, and he feels Ignis gasp louder underneath him, body stiffening. “Right there, I’m--”

Prompto continues to thrust against that particular spot, and he feels Ignis’s body clench down around his cock. Pleasure shoots through Prompto’s cock as he thrusts through it, feeling his peak nearing. Prompto’s stomach glides against Ignis’s cock between the two of them as he feels Ignis grip the headboard tighter, yanking on Prompto’s hair, moaning his name loudly.

“Oh, baby, you’re gonna come aren’t you?” Prompto moans. “Gods, I can feel you--”

“Prom-- Prom--” Ignis stutters, unable to even finish saying Prompto’s name before Prompto feels the warm splash of Ignis’s cum between their stomachs. 

Prompto’s pretty sure everyone is some form of beautiful when they come, at the peak of pleasure, but Prompto’s never seen anyone like Ignis when he’s coming. It’s the prettiest sight he’s ever seen. His back arches so prettily, his lips parted as he gasps breathlessly underneath Prompto. Prompto makes a mental note to make sure Ignis comes like that always, watching as Ignis’s eye squeeze shut as he moans Prompto’s name endlessly.

Prompto starts kissing Ignis’s neck again, thrusting into him a little gentler so Ignis can get a hold of himself again. “C-can’t believe you came before me. Fuckin’ untouched , Iggy, that’s so hot,” Prompto moans against Ignis’s neck, laughing breathlessly.

Ignis trembles underneath him, probably nearing overstimulation as Prompto’s still delivering relentless thrusts into him.

“Bloody hell,” Ignis breathes, finally coming back to Eos. “Darling…”

“Want me to stop, baby?” Prompto gasps, though his hips demonstrate the opposite of his words.

“No, love,” Ignis pleads, “finish in me, Prompto… I want to feel you…”

Ignis’s orgasm already did a number on Prompto’s dick, the way Ignis’s body clenched down in pleasure putting the most amazing pressure on his cock as Ignis’s body surrounds him. Prompto delivers a few more thrusts into Ignis, feeling pleasure pool deep in his stomach. 

“Shit, I’m gonna come--” Prompto groans, gripping Ignis’s hand tighter.

Ignis grips his hand tighter in response, moaning a little as he spreads his legs for Prompto. Prompto comes hard, whining breathlessly as he feels himself spill his cum inside Ignis. Prompto moans, a wave of intense pleasure surging through him as Ignis guides his head over for a kiss. Prompto thrusts his orgasm inside Ignis as their tongues tangle with each other.

Prompto’s hips start to still as he gasps into Ignis’s mouth. Their kisses start to become less needy and more loving, slow and languid pressing of lips. Prompto squeezes Ignis’s hand as he parts their lips for a moment. Prompto pulls himself out of Ignis, both of them whining a little at the loss. 

“Holy shit,” Prompto says with a breathless laugh as he buries his face into Ignis’s neck. “Holy shit. I think my legs are gonna fall off.”

Ignis chuckles softly, wrapping his arms around Prompto gently, hand sliding up to tangle in Prompto’s hair. “I can’t quite tell if that’s a good or a bad thing.”

“Good. Definitely good,” Prompto sighs as he lifts his head to look at Ignis. “Did I hurt you?”

Prompto watches the soft smile bloom on Ignis’s face, and it still makes his heart race. “Of course not. In fact, just the opposite…” Ignis murmurs, questing fingers sliding up to cradle his face. “That was wonderful.”

Prompto smiles contentedly. “Mmm, Gods, yeah, it was.” He sighs. “Lemme get you cleaned up, huh? We made a liiiiittle bit of a mess.”

Ignis laughs. “Just a bit.”

Prompto whines dramatically as he slides into a sitting position, straddling Ignis’s waist again. He reaches over to the nightstand to grab the box of tissues there. Prompto starts gently cleaning up the mess Ignis left on his stomach before cleaning up his own stomach. 

Prompto tosses the tissues into the trash can across the room, landing them perfectly. “He shoots, he scores!” he cheers dramatically.

Ignis chuckles again, still smiling, but remains quiet in favor of running his hands up Prompto’s sides, almost like he’s trying to touch every inch of Prompto that he can. Ignis laughs a little longer than necessary, making Prompto a little insecure.

“What?” Prompto asks, still laughing a little.

“Come here,” Ignis urges.

Prompto lies back down, pressing their bodies together gently. “What’s up, sweet cheeks?” Prompto teases.

“You’re perfect, do you know this?” Ignis murmurs. “And I love you very much.”

Prompto’s heart pounds. “Iggy,” he whines as he presses a kiss to Ignis’s mouth. One kiss turns into several, and before he knows it, he forgets to speak entirely in favor of sharing lazy, tired kisses with Ignis. “I love you more. You stole my line, man.”

Ignis smiles, tracing Prompto’s face with his fingers. “My apologies.” He laughs when his fingers touch Prompto’s chin. “I’m still rather unaccustomed to you having facial hair, I must admit.”

Prompto laughs. “Yeah, well, get used to it, baby. I like it.”

“Hmm. I love it when you call me that,” Ignis says softly.

Prompto kisses the corner of Ignis’s mouth. “What, baby?” 

“Yes.”

Prompto smirks. “Baby,” he whispers softly, kissing one of Ignis’s cheeks. “Baby.” A kiss to the other cheek. “ Baby ,” he murmurs a third time, pressing a kiss to Ignis’s mouth this time. He can’t help but tease; he’s captured Ignis’s attention and he’s going to take advantage of it for as long as he can.

Ignis’s smile grows the more Prompto teases him, until Prompto feels Ignis’s grip on him tighten. Ignis flips them over so that he’s on top of Prompto. Prompto lets out a yelp of surprise, laughing when Ignis starts attacking his neck with kisses. Prompto turns his head selfishly, letting him go at it, tangling his fingers in the soft strands of Ignis’s hair. He starts stroking Ignis’s hair until Ignis brings his mouth to Prompto’s, kissing him affectionately. 

There’s nothing in the world that Prompto can think of that’s quite like feeling Ignis pressed on top of him, kissing him softly. He’s made out and kissed other people before, for sure, but none of them have compared to Ignis. He feels lucky to even earn Ignis’s attention like this, and judging by the way Ignis sighs wistfully against his mouth, Ignis is even enjoying it. Prompto wishes this could last forever.

Ignis peels his mouth from Prompto’s, allowing Prompto to breathe. Prompto sighs a little sadly, reaching up to stroke Ignis’s face. “Gods, this is unreal. Feels like I’m gonna wake up in a few hours and this will all have been a dream.”

“Well, I’d certainly hope not,” Ignis murmurs with a soft smile. “I’d be terribly disappointed.”

“Yeah. Me, too.”

“I can assure you,” Ignis begins, lips ghosting along Prompto’s jawline, “that I’m very much not going anywhere, as long as you’ll have me.”

Prompto feels his cheeks heat up with flush. It’s not like he’s never dated anyone before, but it’s not ever been as serious as this. Ever since Ignis entered his life and gave him the world’s worst crush, it’s been hard for him to even think of others like this. Prompto wonders if that’s what Ignis means; dating. It’s hard to imagine Ignis dating anyone, least of all, Prompto. He doesn’t want to ask; he doesn’t want to scare Ignis off. After all, they’ve only had sex once -- it’s not Ignis’s fault that Prompto’s so damn clingy.

“Of course I want you,” Prompto says, as if this were obvious. “I’m not goin’ anywhere either. Think you’re stuck with me, man.”

Ignis grins. “Glad to hear it.”

Prompto lets out a soft sigh. “Do we gotta work tomorrow? Kinda just wanna… stay in bed and fool around with you all day…”

“Now, there’s a thought.” Ignis kisses his forehead, rolling over from on top of Prompto. “I was thinking we could spend the day together. Perhaps a formal date is in order? Forgive me for being a bit old-fashioned, but…”

Prompto laughs, scooting over to bury himself against Ignis. He throws an arm around Ignis’s middle, resting his head on Ignis’s chest. “I mean, you’re not that old-fashioned. We are naked, y’know.”

Ignis laughs deeply. “You’ve a point there.”

“You… you really wanna take me on a date? In the middle of, like, daemon central and who knows how long it’ll be nighttime forevsies?” Prompto asks.

“You sound surprised. I can’t think of a better time to focus on what little good we have. If a date is too formal--”

“What?! No, of course I wanna go on a date with you. Just didn’t think you… um, I dunno, wanted to do all that stuff with me I guess.” Prompto bites his lip.

“And how many times do I have to tell you that I wish to do everything with you?” Ignis teases. “Prompto Argentum, may I take you out on a date tomorrow night?”

“Hmm. Well, I mean, technically it’s night all the time, so…” Prompto giggles, kissing Ignis’s chest. “Why, Lord Scientia, I would be honored.” He does his best to imitate Ignis’s elegant accent.

“Oh, don’t you bloody start with that, otherwise I might just keep you in this bed all day instead,” Ignis teases.

“Mmm, you say that like it’s a bad thing. I already want more of you, Igster. Think you’re gonna have your work cut out for ya.” He leans up to peck Ignis on the lips.

Ignis laughs against Prompto’s lips. “I think I can handle it. For now, let’s get you some rest. You’ve had quite the day, haven’t you, love?”

Prompto sighs tiredly, betraying himself with a soft yawn. “Yeah. Worth it, though. Thanks for… saving me, yeah?”

“I’ll always protect you,” Ignis promises. “Sweet dreams, my love. Until tomorrow.”

Chapter Text

Prompto wakes up to Ignis shifting out of Prompto’s embrace. A tiny bit of groggy, irrational anxiety floods through him as he tightens his grip on Ignis, not wanting him to leave.

Lips press against Prompto’s forehead despite sleep causing his hair to fall forward onto it. “I’ll be back, love. I’m in desperate need of a shower, no thanks to you,” Ignis’s deep morning voice teases.

Prompto whines, loosening his grip on Ignis. “Fine,” he mumbles tiredly.

Ignis’s soft chuckle sounds in his ear. “Adorable.”

As soon as Ignis leaves the bed, Prompto whines again, shoving his face in Ignis’s pillow, curling up against the blankets. Prompto swears he hears another laugh but falls asleep before he can think too much about it.

 

Prompto feels pressure on the bed along with wafting scent of Ignis's shampoo and soap. A hand buries itself in Prompto's hair, and he stirs, blinking his eyes open. 

"Are we awake now?" Ignis says with a soft adoration, fingers brushing Prompto’s hair out of his eyes. Prompto has no idea how Ignis can even tell his hair was in his eyes in the first place.

Prompto makes an I-don't-know sound before shoving his head onto Ignis's lap. "Hi."

"Good morning," Ignis teases, fingers brushing through Prompto's hair even more now with the new proximity.

"Ngh. That feels good," Prompto says with a soft sigh. "How was your shower?"

"It was splendid. Are you hungry?"

"Gods, yeah. Wanna make breakfast together?" Prompto asks hopefully, lifting his head to look at Ignis. 

Has Ignis always been this beautiful after just waking up? Probably. Prompto can look at him in a new light now, though, given what they've shared together. Ignis's damp, currently unstyled hair covers his forehead, his pretty scars illuminated by the dim bedside lamp. Of course, Ignis only turns the light on for Prompto's benefit in the long dark, but it's a familiar comfort nonetheless.

Ignis smiles. "That sounds wonderful."

Prompto nods. "'Kay. Lemme hit up the shower first. Can I have a drink of some of that Ebony?"

Ignis wordlessly hands the can of coffee to Prompto, from which Prompto gratefully drinks. "Thanks," Prompto says as he presses the can back into Ignis's palm. "I'll be right back. I love you." 

It feels so good to Prompto to actually be able to say that with its entire meaning. He leans up to place a gentle kiss to Ignis's mouth.

"Mmm. I love you," Ignis murmurs, chasing Prompto's lips for more kisses. 

Prompto laughs, and ends up kissing Ignis for several more minutes, feeling lighter than air.

"How dare you distract me from personal hygiene," Prompto teases after a while longer, kissing him again despite his words.

Ignis smirks. "Apologies. I'm simply making up for lost time."

Prompto sighs, pecking him on the lips several more times. "Turn down the charm, you've already got me." He snorts, looking at Ignis lovingly. His fingers itch to take a picture suddenly, wanting to capture Ignis just as he’s somewhat recently woken up. “Wait, hold still for just a sec for me?”

Ignis raises an eyebrow. “As you wish.”

Prompto reaches over to grab his camera on the bedside table, lining up some shots of Ignis. Prompto smiles as soon as Ignis realizes what he’s doing, smiling himself. Prompto grabs no less than ten shots of Ignis’s soft smile before putting the camera down.

 "Gods, Iggy. The camera loves you,” Prompto sighs. “I'll be right back."

“Happy to be of service. Hurry back.”

Prompto showers and brushes his teeth with a nonstop smile on his face. He never knew he could be this happy despite such bleak and dark times. It's sort of like a life-preserver, finding happiness despite the darkness.

Prompto makes his way through breakfast with that same smile, pausing flipping eggs from time to time in favor of wrapping his arms around Ignis and stealing some kisses from him -- not that anyone can blame him.

Prompto’s interrupted slightly from their meal by the vibration of his phone on the table. Prompto grabs it, a little confused as to who would need to hear from Prompto right now.

Gladio (9:32 A.M.): heard u got laid! Congrats kid!

Prompto flushes heatedly, nearly choking on his sip of coffee. “Did you tell Gladio that we, uh, did stuff…?”

Ignis raises his eyebrows so high that it’s almost comical. “I beg your pardon?”

Prompto doesn’t answer him in favor of responding to Gladio.

Prompto (9:34 A.M): what? Iggy told you that?

Gladio’s response is nearly immediate.

Gladio (9:35 A.M.): no but u just did lol good job ;)

Prompto frowns. “Gladio is so nosy.”

There’s a soft hint of pink to Ignis’s cheeks when he responds. “I might have told him we got together while you were showering. I’ve been rather dreadful to him regarding it during the past month while you were away.”

Prompto snorts. “But, um, did you tell him, specifically, that we…? That I…?”

Ignis laughs. “Had sex? Goodness, no. Why?”

Prompto (9:37 A.M.): omfg i can’t believe you

Gladio responds with a string of winking and eggplant emojis, which Prompto decides to ignore with a laugh, rolling his eyes. “Well, I guess he knows now,” Prompto mumbles.

“I’m certain he was bound to assume regardless,” Ignis teases. “Are you…wishing to practice discretion?” His tone is tense suddenly.

Prompto raises an eyebrow. “Huh?”

“Do you not wish to inform others about the nature of our relationship? Romantic, or otherwise?” Ignis asks. “Do you wish us to keep it a secret?”

Prompto frowns. “What?! No way. You can tell anyone you want. Just surprised me he found out, that’s all. You can tell the entire town of Lestallum your dick was in my mouth last night--”

Ignis huffs out a laugh. “ Prompto,” he scolds. “Though, I daresay I sincerely doubt anyone would be surprised.”

“Wait, seriously? You do?”

“Well, it’s not as if I refrained myself around you at all. We work together, hunt together, train together, live together, sleep together… we’ve only one bedroom,” Ignis teases with a soft wink to his better eye.

Prompto laughs, flushing a little. “Eh. True. We’ve got a pullout couch, though.”

Ignis takes a sip of his Ebony, hiding his mouth behind the can, although Prompto can tell he’s smirking anyway. “We’ve not been known to pull anything out thus far.”

Prompto bursts into laughter, not expecting such an immature joke from Ignis. “ Iggy . Holy shit.”

“I mean, am I wrong?” Ignis teases.

“I hope not,” Prompto purrs in teasing retort, wiggling his eyebrows seductively. 

“Is that so?”

“Mmmhmm.”

Ignis stands, gathering the dishes from Prompto, not before leaning in and pressing a soft kiss to Prompto’s mouth after gripping his chin. “Save that energy for tonight, won’t you?” he whispers before taking the plates to their sink.

A rush of arousal floods through Prompto, and he has to exhale a few breaths before he can calm his heart rate down. “Roger that, baby.”

Prompto can see Ignis’s smirk even though most of him is turned away. Prompto can tell that being able to tease Ignis like this is going to be a lot of fun.

 

Prompto gets ready for their day in the bathroom, styling his hair so it doesn’t frizz and applying some eyeliner and mascara.

Prompto gets so distracted with taking selfies he hasn’t noticed Ignis entering the bathroom.

“Enjoying yourself?” Ignis asks with a laugh. “Would you care to help me with my hair, darling?”

Prompto laughs nervously, feeling himself flush. “Maybe. You know how to do your hair by now, though. I’m useless.” He sighs with faux dramatics, throwing his hand over his head for emphasis.

“Yes, but I like it far better when you’re the one styling it,” Ignis says gently. “And hush that, you will never be, and never have been, useless.”

“Aww, Iggy. Such a charmer,” Prompto says softly. He closes the distance between them, throwing his arms around Ignis’s neck to place soft kisses on his mouth. He sighs again, seriously this time. “Never gonna get used to being able to kiss you.”

“That makes me a lucky man,” Ignis murmurs. “You’re a rather splendid kisser.”

“Yeah?” Prompto laughs, kissing him again. “Glad you like it. Guess all my practice on my stuffed chocobos was not in vain!” 

Ignis laughs. “Knowing you, I can’t tell if you’re joking or not.”

Prompto grins. “Guess you’ll never know. Maybe I kissed the one you got for me, pretending it was you. Put little… specs on it, and everything.” He snickers.

“Again, it’d hardly be a surprise. Though, I must say, the concept is rather adorable.”

“You’re such a sap. What style d’you want, babydoll?”

“The usual.”

“No more spikes ever, huh? You’re a changed man,” Prompto says dramatically.

“Evidently so.” Ignis smiles. “It reminds me of you.”

If Prompto could quiet his racing heart, it’d be ideal at this point -- he’s pretty sure he’s going to die super young of some cardiac ailment. “Dude. You. Are. Killing me,” he whines. He can’t resist a few more kisses as he slides his hands up toward Ignis’s unstyled hair, ready to get to work.

As soon as Prompto’s finished, he snaps a selfie of the both of them.

“Ready to head out, Igster?” Prompto asks with a smile.

Ignis sighs. “My sunglasses…”

Prompto frowns. “They’re broken, Iggy. Remember?”

“Yes, I’m aware. It’s just… Are you certain my eyes aren’t…? Are the scars noticeable?” Ignis asks, his tone betraying self-consciousness.

Prompto can understand, to an extent, Ignis’s apprehension; after all, he’s never seen the scars for himself. Prompto, however, having looked at Ignis’s face -- including his scars -- no less than a million times a day, can hardly imagine anyone not wanting to look at Ignis; scars and all.

Prompto puts his hands on Ignis’s shoulders, leaning in toward Ignis’s face gently. He presses a soft kiss on Ignis’s left eye with the most scars, peppering it with gentle kisses before kissing his other eye for solidarity. “Iggy, you’re gorgeous. Scars don’t change anything, I promise. I know you can’t see ‘em, but trust me.”

Ignis sighs deeply, but smiles. “You’re very kind, Prompto. I do trust you. I just haven’t seen myself in quite some time, as you’re aware.”

Prompto laughs gently. “Don’t worry. People still faint when you walk by. Probably more so, not gonna lie -- they’re sexy as hell. Gonna have to fend off everyone in your honor.” Prompto pouts.

Ignis chuckles. “No fighting necessary, I assure you. My heart belongs to you, and you alone.”

Prompto swears he’s not going to cry -- he swears. “Samesies.” He kisses Ignis. “It’ll be okay. If you really don’t like goin’ out without ‘em, we can do some shopping for some new ones? I’m sorry I made you break ‘em.”

“That isn’t your fault, my love. Perhaps we can look for something while we’re out,” Ignis agrees. “Thank you. I love you.”

Prompto smiles. “I love you too, Iggy.”

 

They hold hands as soon as they head out. Ignis’s insecurities show somewhat as soon as they’re around others, but Prompto keeps him distracted enough. Some of the vendors have provided more luxurious wares other than essential items since the last time Prompto was here, and Prompto shows them to Ignis by having him touch them -- pretty necklaces, soft blankets, dishes, all sorts of items. The things Prompto can’t reveal to Ignis by touch, he describes -- books, food and drinks, artwork. Prompto has no idea if Ignis cares about any of the stuff Prompto gets excited about, but Ignis smiles pretty much nonstop, so he has to be at least having a little bit of a good time.

Prompto comes across a clothing vendor, and gasps. “Iggy, they’ve got sunglasses here!” He tugs on Ignis’s hand.

Ignis laughs. “Is that so? What kinds?”

“These ones kinda look like your old ones.” Prompto laughs as he picks up some circular sunglasses. “And there’s some hipster ones, here.” Prompto makes a contemplative noise, brow furrowing as he tries to pick one. At the end of the row of different kinds of glasses, he spots a pair of sunglasses that are fully tinted almost, more in the shape of a visor than individual glasses frames. “Oh damn. These are really cool, actually.”

“Hmm?”

Prompto places the pair of shades in Ignis’s hands so Ignis can feel for himself. “They’re like, visors, instead of just glasses, kinda? They’re pretty sleek-lookin’. Probably be good to keep your right eye covered during battle, huh?”

Ignis feels the rim of them, nodding gently. “These are quite nice, actually.”

“Yeah?” Prompto asks with a smile. “Want ‘em? My treat!”

Ignis frowns. “You needn’t do that, Prompto.”

“I got plenty! Didn’t need ‘em while I was gone,” Prompto insists, pulling some gil out of his pocket. “Can I? Please?”

Ignis laughs softly, shaking his head. “If you insist. But I’m treating us later.”

Prompto grins. “Sweet.”

Prompto buys the sunglasses for Ignis, bouncing on his toes in anticipation as Ignis slides them on his face. Ignis looks even more handsome, if possible. Prompto still prefers Ignis not wearing anything covering his pretty eyes at all, but he still looks amazing.

“What’s the appraisal?” Ignis teases.

“So handsome, Igs.” Prompto squeezes his hand. “You look older. But, like, in a good way!” He smiles. “Real badass.”

“My thanks,” Ignis whispers. “Well, after all that shopping, you’re bound to be hungry, yes?”

Prompto’s been ignoring his stomach growling for the last hour. The kebabs they had during lunchtime just didn’t cut it. “Uh, yeah! Starving, babe. Wanna go grab somethin’ from the usual?”

Ignis tilts his head, a teasing smile on his lips. “I actually had something else in mind, if you’ll humor me. This is supposed to be a date, after all.”

Prompto frowns. “Well, yeah, but-- don’t tell me you’re cooking. I wanted you to relax today,” he whines.

Ignis laughs, leaning in to kiss the top of Prompto’s head. “Don’t fret. I haven’t lifted a finger -- well, in that aspect, at least.”

Prompto nearly stomps his foot. “Iggy!” he groans.

“Shh,” Ignis says humorously, lifting Prompto’s chin up. “It’s as I said; humor me, darling? For me?”

Prompto sighs. “You’re lucky you’re good-lookin’. Fine.”

“An angel you are,” Ignis says with a soft chuckle, kissing him softly. “Shall we?”

It takes a moment for Prompto to recover from the charming kiss, but he links their arms once more. “Yeah. Lead on.”

Ignis purses his lips. “Mmm. The Leville is…?”

“The Leville?” Prompto asks before shaking his head. “Never mind. I don’t wanna know. It’s this way, baby.”

Ignis takes them to the Leville, Prompto helping guide him a little bit, taking advantage of the closeless to lean into Ignis softly. As soon as they arrive after their short walk, Ignis turns to him. “Now, we’ll need to head up.”

“Up? Second floor?”

Ignis grins. “The very top. The rooftop, that is.”

“Wait, what? Can we even go up there?” Prompto asks. “Okay…”

“You’re nervous,” Ignis realizes as they climb the stairs. “Don’t be.”

“Why would I be nervous? My very handsome companion is taking me to the rooftop of a hotel, what’s there to be nervous about?”

Ignis smirks as he pushes open the very top door to the roof. The air up here is significantly cooler, and a gentle breeze blows through Prompto’s hair. Prompto has no time to think about windswept hair when he sees what’s on the rooftop that had Ignis so smirky. 

There’s a table just toward the corner of the rooftop, covered in a classy tablecloth. There’s two plates, covered by shiny silver plate covers, along with silverware that looks equally fancy. There’s a candle next to a bottle of wine in the middle of the table, and two chairs that look like they used to belong to the restaurant downtown.

“What the hell is…?” Prompto gasps. “How the hell did you do this?”

“I’d arranged it this morning, while you were asleep,” Ignis explains. “Once I explained the situation to Monica, she lent me a cook for a while, which was very kind of her, I must say. The rest, I’m afraid, is my secret. Does everything appear in order?”

“Iggy, this is… oh my Gods. I can’t believe you did this. What the hell,” Prompto says, laughing a little. “You did this just for our date?”

“Of course. It’s crucial to still allow a bit of romanticism in our lives, despite the darkness, is it not?” Ignis teases.

Prompto turns, wrapping his arms around Ignis, kissing him softly. “You’re incredible. I don’t know what to say. Thank you, Iggy,” Prompto whispers against his mouth.

Ignis holds him for a moment, a gentle smile on his face. “You’re more than welcome. I do have to find ways to charm the most charming man alive, of course.”

Prompto again feels the familiar flood of heat to his cheeks. “I think that’s you, babe.” He sighs. “What are we eating?”

“Shall we find out?” 

They walk to the table, Ignis feeling for the chair so he can pull it out for Prompto to sit in. Prompto shakes his head in disbelief at Ignis’s gentlemanly tactics -- like he hadn’t daydreamed of this since he was a teenager. Ignis sits across from him, gesturing for Prompto to lift the plate cover.

The food, amazingly enough, is still hot -- Ignis must have arranged this down to almost the exact minute, impressively enough. Prompto looks down to find long-bone dualhorn steak, covered in all spices just the way he likes it, complete with some rice. Ignis appears to have some sort of seafood risotto with molluscs and shrimp; Prompto remembers Ignis making it a handful of times whenever they managed to camp out by the ocean, and that it’s one of Ignis’s favorites.

“Holy shit, this looks amazing. You still remember my favorite foods, after all this time,” Prompto gushes. “You’re unreal.”

Ignis smiles. “Indeed. That was my job, after all, was it not?”

“Guess so." He laughs. "Want me to pour you some wine, Iggy?”

“Please.”

Prompto’s desire for food outweighs conversation for the time being, relishing in the spice and taste of the steak. It tastes just like Ignis’s rendition of it, which Prompto highly appreciates. 

“Now that I have your attention,” Ignis murmurs as soon as their eating slows a bit. “I have something to ask you.”

“Oh?” Prompto asks nervously. “What do you mean?”

Ignis smiles softly, extending his hand across the table for Prompto to take. “Now, now. There’s nothing wrong, I simply was curious as to where you saw your future.”

“My future?” Prompto asks, reaching out to take Ignis’s hand that’s offered to him. “Like? During all this? After…?”

“Perhaps all of the above, if you’ll have me that long,” Ignis remarks, clearing his throat. “I’m aware the nature of our relationship has changed quite a bit since we last vowed to stay with each other. I was simply curious how you saw your future, and if I was included in that.”

Prompto bites his lip. “Well, I mean, I’d hope my future would have you in it. I wasn’t exactly lying when I say I’m in love with you -- a little hopelessly, I might add.”

Ignis smiles at this. “I didn’t wish to assume -- if your feelings are fleeting, I thought perhaps I’d ask. You see, my feelings are very much lasting. I thought if I were to court you this evening, I’d do it properly, and ask if you’d… be mine, as it were.”

Prompto’s heart hammers. It’s as if Ignis’s words vanish the anxiety of not knowing his place in Ignis’s life. “Like… boyfriends, right?” Prompto asks.

“Yes. As I stated before, I know everything is happening rather… fast, and I don’t want you to feel as if you need to give me an answer straight away. Take all the time that you need, but I’ve made up my mind on the matter. I have for quite some time.” Ignis squeezes his hand gently. “I simply wanted you to know how I felt. Hence, the reason for… all this.” He gestures to everything in front of him.

Prompto’s never felt so ridiculously charmed in his entire life. This feels like something straight out of a romance film, or some sort of cheesy fantasy that he’d zone out to during math class senior year, or something like that. This can’t be something real. “Holy shit. Are you gettin’ paid to do all this adorable stuff for me? Noct screwin’ with me from the crystal, or something like that?”

Ignis huffs out a laugh, thumb brushing along Prompto’s knuckle. “My only reward is hearing you so happy, and feeling your touch, my dear.”

“Iggy,” Prompto mutters, feeling tears sting the corner of his eyes, “jeez, dude. You’re killin’ me.” Prompto’s voice fails at not breaking.

“Oh, my love,” Ignis utters warmly, in reverence. He stands up and circles the table to stand next to Prompto. “I had no intention of making you cry. I apologize for overwhelming you. My feelings can be a bit strong at times--”

Prompto stands up, trying to blink away his tears as he throws his arms around Ignis. “I can’t believe you’re apologizing to me right now. You’re all I’ve ever wanted, dude. Seriously. Used to carve your name in trees outside school when no one was lookin’.” He snorts, burying his face into Ignis’s neck. “Back when you took me to school dances as a chaperone for Noct and me, I just wished you were actually my date. I’ve wanted you to be my boyfriend before I graduated high school. Not like that could happen, but… it could happen now. I didn’t know how to ask.”

Ignis holds him tightly, kisses peppered along the side of Prompto’s face. “I’m… very glad to hear that, Prompto. I love you dearly.”

“I love you. Holy shit, do I love you. I don’t deserve you, but I’m so glad I have you,” Prompto says with a sigh, pulling his face out of Ignis’s neck so he can kiss him.

“Nonsense,” Ignis promises. “Will you dance with me?”

Prompto grins. He puts his hand on Ignis’s shoulder as his other remains entangled with Ignis’s, assuming a formal dance position. “Sure, but, uh, we don’t have any music.”

“Ah. Yes. My mistake.” Ignis pulls his phone out of his pocket, activating the assistant by voice. “Play ‘Prompto’s playlist’, please.”

Prompto’s heart hammers as the phone assistant starts to play a soft melody he recognizes immediately, a romantic, old song -- something they’d play in a cheesy classic movie. Prompto tries not to cry again and fails as Ignis’s hand rests gently on Prompto’s waist as they sway to the music.

“Of course you have a playlist for me,” Prompto says, laughing with tears in his eyes. “I can’t believe you.”

“Yes, it took me a while to compile it all using only voice commands, but my persistence proved fruitful.” Ignis smiles. “There’s quite a variety of songs, mind you, it simply starts with an older one.”

“It’s perfect,” Prompto says with a sigh. “You’re perfect.”

“As are you, my love.”

Prompto holds onto him tightly as they dance, and Prompto laughs to himself a little. “Never thought I’d be dancin’ on a rooftop in Lestallum with you. Daemons all around, Noct gone…” He sighs.

“Yes, life certainly surprises sometimes,” Ignis agrees. “Dancing with you isn’t so terrible, however.”

“True. As long as I don’t step on your toes,” Prompto teases. He’s quiet for a moment. “Y’know, maybe… maybe when Noct comes back, it can just stay like this. That way, Noct doesn’t have to… leave again.”

Ignis sighs, frowning. “I used to think that way,” Ignis admits, twirling Prompto outward as he speaks. “I even mentioned it to him in Altissia, after everything changed. Do you know what he said to me?”

“You never told me that,” Prompto says. “What did he say?”

“Yes, well, it was a dark time for us all. We’d lost Lady Lunafreya, and… I’d just found out about Noct’s fate. It didn’t seem worth it for Noct to die for all of this. But he told me that if he didn’t finish his journey, then everyone who died for us would have done so in vain. He didn’t wish to be selfish. I realized that he was right, I suppose. None of us, least of all you, Prompto, would want those to suffer just so we may enjoy Noct’s company for longer.”

Prompto sighs, tears stinging his eyes for a different reason. “Yeah, I know. It’s… a nice thought, though-- Noct staying with us.”

“Yes, a very nice thought indeed,” Ignis murmurs, kissing Prompto’s forehead. “We’ll simply have to make the most out of the time that we have with him, when that time comes.”

Prompto swallows, trying not to let his grief ruin their date night together. “Yeah. I guess we will. Do you think he’ll be happy for us?”

Ignis smiles. “I know so, Prompto.”

Prompto thinks of all the times where Noct encouraged him to talk to Ignis, how he’d engage in a tickle fight with Prompto just to get him to talk to Ignis, how Noct would get Ignis’s attention just for Prompto. Prompto grins at the memories as he holds onto Ignis tighter. “Yeah. Yeah, me too.”

The song comes to an end, and Prompto finds himself a little sad at that fact. 

“Shall we have the rest of our wine, now?” Ignis suggests.

Ignis’s phone plays another song in his Prompto playlist, and Prompto finds himself biting his lip. “One more dance? Kinda curious what songs you have on there, not gonna lie.”

Ignis smiles. “I certainly can’t resist that.”

 

As soon as Prompto unlocks their apartment door when they arrive home, he feels Ignis lean in behind him. It’s only until Ignis knocks his legs out from underneath him that Prompto realizes what he’s doing. Prompto lets out a surprised yelp, locking his arms around Ignis’s neck as he holds him.

“Holy shit, warn a guy,” Prompto says with a giggle.

Ignis shuts the door with his back, smirking in Prompto’s direction. “And miss you holding onto me like this?” he teases.

“Iggy,” Prompto whines teasingly, placing a kiss to Ignis’s jaw. “This reminds me of when I had too much wine, and Gladio was here, and you carried me to bed…”

“And I had you on my lap?” Ignis purrs. “Yes, I remember that very well. You’ve no idea how much I loved it.”

“Mmm,” Prompto hums, trailing kisses lower along his neck, “I liked it, too. It totally made me hard, not gonna lie.”

“Oh?” Ignis murmurs. “Then why don’t I sit you on my lap again, and you can show me just how hard you can get for me?”

Prompto moans as Ignis’s teases go straight to his cock, already feeling it swell in his jeans. “Shit. Bedroom,” Prompto urges, tightening his grip on Ignis.

Ignis chuckles as he carries Prompto to their bedroom. “Good boy.”

Fuck, ” Prompto whines, writhing a little in Ignis’s grip, wanting more of him.

As soon as Ignis sits himself on the edge of the bed, Prompto turns in Ignis’s arms, throwing his leg over Ignis’s in order to straddle his lap. Holding onto Ignis’s shoulders, he grinds his cock down against Ignis’s, already feeling how hard Ignis is underneath him.

“My, you like that, don’t you?” Ignis moans, gripping Prompto’s hips to keep him from sliding down his lap. “Would you like to be good for me, darling?”

Prompto moans, hips moving steadily against Ignis, grinding his cock roughly against him. “Uh huh. All for you.” Prompto gasps when he feels Ignis grind up against him. “Sh-shit, how do you make everything sound so fucking hot?”

Ignis brings his lips to Prompto’s ear, chuckling deeply. “I think you’re a bit biased, love,” Ignis whispers. He slides a hand around to Prompto’s ass, spanking him lightly. “You’re all mine, aren’t you?”

Prompto leans more into Ignis to present himself more, moaning loudly when Ignis spanks him. “Fuck, you have no idea,” Prompto gasps, holding onto Ignis tightly. “Gods, do that again…”

“Mmm,” Ignis murmurs into Prompto’s ear as he raises his hand and spanks Prompto’s ass a little harder this time. “Let me undress you.”

Prompto releases a high-pitched moan, his cock pressing painfully against his pants at this point. Prompto pauses to kiss Ignis, all tongues, teeth, and gasps before he slides off of Ignis’s lap to stand in front of him. Prompto reaches out to grip Ignis’s hand, putting it on the front of his pants, letting Ignis feel his arousal.

Ignis takes control of his hand, letting his thumb rub the outside of Prompto’s jeans roughly. The sensation rubs just underneath the head of Prompto’s cock, where it’s most sensitive, and Prompto lets out a shaky gasp at how roughly Ignis touches him.

Ignis slides his hand around Prompto’s back, yanking him closer so Ignis can lean in to mouth at Prompto’s cock through his pants. Prompto throws his head back, closing his eyes as he moans low, fingers burying themselves in Ignis’s hair.

“H-holy shit,” Prompto gasps. “Iggy, I want you inside me.”

Just as Prompto confesses this, Ignis’s mouth finds the zipper to Prompto’s jeans. He takes the pull tab between his teeth and pulls, slowly guiding the zipper down with his mouth. Prompto’s cock absolutely throbs at the sight of it, fingers starting to caress Ignis’s hair encouragingly as he whimpers.

It’s not long before Ignis retreats with his mouth, fingers making quick work of unbuttoning Prompto’s jeans, sliding them down his legs. As Prompto steps out of them, Ignis reaches for the nightstand and feels for the bottle of lube they left there from the night before. Prompto watches, cock standing at-attention while Ignis drizzles some onto his fingers.

Ignis returns his attention to Prompto, taking his slicked up fingers and sliding them around Prompto’s backside. Prompto groans just at the slightest brush of Ignis’s fingers spreading him open and pushing against his entrance teasingly.

“Iggy, c’mon,” Prompto gasps, “I need you.”

“Mmm, come here. On my lap,” Ignis purrs, pulling Prompto toward him.

Prompto lets Ignis guide him back on his lap, his hard cock pressing up against Ignis’s shirt. He leans forward, spreading his legs for Ignis to have better access, and that’s when Prompto feels Ignis’s finger gently slide into him.

“Oh, shit,” Prompto moans, leaning forward even more.

Ignis slides his finger all the way inside of Prompto, feeling it reach the knuckle. Prompto gasps at the intrusion, adjusting to make it feel better. Ignis starts to finger him, slowly at first, until Prompto feels his finger curl inside of him, making him shake a little.

“Ngh, Iggy--” Prompto whimpers.

“Mmm, you’re trembling,” Ignis murmurs. “You’re magnificent.”

Prompto groans, closing the distance between their mouths. Ignis adds a second finger just as Prompto’s tongue slides past Ignis’s bottom lip, causing him to gasp against Ignis’s mouth. Ignis starts pumping his fingers in and out of Prompto as they kiss, and when Ignis’s fingers brush against Prompto’s prostate, he trembles in Ignis’s arms again, his thighs starting to shake.

Prompto feels himself melt against Ignis, turning into a shaking, whining mess the rougher Ignis fingers him. He starts to grind his cock against Ignis, precome staining Ignis’s fancy designer shirt, but Prompto is so beyond caring. A particularly rough thrust of Ignis’s fingers against his prostate has Prompto caterwauling, separating their lips just as his cock throbs intensely, more precome seeping out of the tip.

“I’m ready, baby, please, fuck--” Prompto gasps, reaching down to unbuckle Ignis’s belt.

Ignis rewards Prompto’s eagerness by continuing a slow pace with his fingers inside of Prompto, until Prompto grabs a hold of Ignis’s cock, pulling it out of his pants. Ignis moans low when Prompto starts to stroke him, thumb swiping over the tip to slick Ignis up with his own precome.

“How needy you are,” Ignis moans, thrusting a little into Prompto’s grip. “Let me reward you, darling.”

Prompto kisses him again, grabbing the lube to slick up Ignis’s cock more. Ignis groans as Prompto strokes Ignis’s length harder, impatient and needy. Prompto stops for a moment, gripping both of their cocks in his fist and starts stroking them together. Feeling the heat of Ignis’s arousal against his own is indescribable, making his dick throb harder with the need to come. Ignis lets out a beautiful moan of his own, ceasing his movements to allow Prompto to pump their cocks together.

“This feel good, Iggy?” Prompto whispers. “Fuck, you’re so hard against me…”

“Ah, Prompto ,” Ignis groans, leaning back a little to roll his hips forward, pushing his cock eagerly into Prompto’s grip.

“I want you to fuck me, baby,” Prompto begs, stroking their cocks a little faster, “give it to me, please…”

Ignis thrusts up into Prompto’s fist one more time before sitting up, knocking Prompto’s hand away gently. He lifts Prompto up onto his lap just as Prompto reaches behind him, gripping Ignis’s cock in his hand, lining it up with his entrance. He can feel the heat of Ignis’s cock pressing against him just as he takes the head of Ignis’s cock inside of him. 

Ignis’s cock starts to stretch him as Prompto moans, sinking down onto his length. His own cock throbs a little as he takes all of Ignis, sitting back down onto Ignis’s lap with his cock fully sheathed inside of him.

“Mmm, darling,” Ignis moans, “you’re absolutely breathtaking.”

Prompto arches his back a little, throwing his head back as he starts to move at a glacial pace, just the gentlest movement of his hips as he gets used to Ignis’s cock inside of him. Prompto digs his nails into Ignis’s shoulders as he whimpers, loving the feeling of being so full and stretched out.

“Holy shit, you feel good,” Prompto moans. “F-fuck--”

Ignis snaps his hips upward, pushing his cock roughly up into Prompto as much as he can go, and Prompto shivers, fingernails biting into the meat of Ignis’s shoulders.

Oh, ” Prompto gasps at the sudden intrusion, not used to the rough pace yet. “Shit, yeah, like that… fuck me, baby, like that--”

Prompto can’t even get the entire sentence out before Ignis starts to fuck up into him roughly, gripping Prompto’s hips tightly as he starts to deliver a brutal pace into him. Prompto loves every moment of it, squeezing his eyes shut as he takes Ignis’s cock rough and hard inside of him.

“You’ve no idea how long I’ve wanted-- ah-- to do this to you,” Ignis moans.

Every thrust Ignis delivers gently teases Prompto’s prostate, but it’s not enough to fully stimulate. The teasing is almost worse, leaving Prompto dizzy and moaning as his cock throbs for more.

“Ngh, Gods, yes, ” Prompto gasps, “I want-- oh--”

Prompto’s head falls forward onto Ignis’s shoulder, starting to tremble a little at the rough thrusts Ignis is giving him. The new angle from leaning in gives Ignis’s cock the chance to brush right up against Prompto’s prostate, stimulating it roughly. Prompto absolutely gasps.

“What do you want, my love?”

H-harder. Right there, oh my fucking--” Prompto moans.

Ignis drives his cock home into the same spot that had Prompto crying out against him. Prompto moves his hips too, sinking himself down harder onto Ignis’s length to feel more pleasure radiate through his entire body.

“Any harder and I won’t last,” Ignis warns with a breathless laugh.

“I don’t care, oh my Gods,” Prompto moans, riding Ignis’s cock fast and hard. “Come in me, Gods, I want you to come in me, Iggy--”

Ignis lets out a deep moan, holding onto Prompto tightly as he lets Prompto start to set the pace, fucking up into Prompto deeply as Prompto pushes himself downward roughly. Prompto can tell by the way Ignis’s hips start to thrust erratically that Ignis is close, and all Prompto can think about is coaxing an orgasm out of him. He wants to be filled, and he wants Ignis, all of him, as his brain starts to grow fuzzy with pleasure. Prompto laughs a little breathlessly when he looks down, seeing his cock about as red as a tomato, steadily leaking with neglect.

Prompto--” Ignis gasps by way of warning seconds before Prompto feels the warmth of Ignis’s cum flooding inside of him.

“Oh, shit,” Prompto whines, continuing to bounce himself on Ignis’s cock, reveling in the stimulation against his prostate as he works Ignis’s cock to completion.

Prompto feels Ignis’s lips on his neck as he moans his way through his orgasm, hips starting to slow as he comes back down.

Prompto reaches down to touch himself, stroking his cock rough and fast. He feels pleasure start to build low in his stomach when he feels Ignis pull his cock out of him.

“Iggy--” Prompto whines in protest.

Ignis ignores him and flips them over, Prompto’s back colliding with the mattress. Prompto’s too surprised to do anything after the swift move until he sees Ignis sliding down his body, mouthing quick kisses along his stomach.

Prompto gasps as soon as Ignis’s lips take the head of Prompto’s cock in. Prompto thrusts up into the wet heat of Ignis’s mouth, watching his cock disappear past his pretty pink lips.

“Shit, I’m gonna come already,” Prompto warns, reaching down to tug on Ignis’s hair, spreading his legs obscenely to rest them on Ignis’s shoulder.

Ignis makes no noise to protest this; he takes Prompto’s length all the way into his mouth, sucking on it roughly, encouragingly. Ignis works his mouth up and down Prompto’s cock. The stimulation from Ignis’s cock earlier and touching himself almost to completion has him wound up and ready to go. Prompto starts thrusting up erratically into Ignis’s mouth, pulling on his hair roughly.

“Iggy!” Prompto whines, writhing under his mouth a little. “IggyIggy Iggy--”

Prompto comes with a gentle cry, feeling his cock release itself down Ignis’s throat. Ignis hums, groaning a little as Prompto feels him swallow it, mouth still sucking roughly onto Prompto’s cock. Prompto’s heels dig into Ignis as he softly thrusts into his mouth, hips starting to slow the more the pleasure takes over.

Prompto relaxes into the mattress, breathless and entirely spent as Ignis pulls Prompto’s cock out of his mouth. Prompto feels wet kisses placed against his thighs, and Prompto sighs, a little delirious from coming so hard.

Prompto opens his eyes, staring at the ceiling, still breathless and wide-eyed. He's never felt so thoroughly fucked before and he had no idea all of his ridiculous fantasies about the man between his legs would pale in comparison to the real thing. 

"You killed me. You fucking killed me, I'm dead," Prompto declares. 

Prompto feels Ignis slide up his body with a soft chuckle. Ignis kisses him deeply, Prompto not even caring that he can taste himself on Ignis's tongue. Prompto can't get enough of him, fingers tangling in Ignis's soft hair. 

"I should certainly hope not," Ignis teases. "I love you."

"I love you, babe, but if we keep this up, you're definitely never gonna be able to get rid of me," Prompto says with a laugh.

"I'll just have to keep at it, then." Ignis smiles down at him. "It was my pleasure."

"Gods, how are you this perfect? I'm still alone, dreamin' in Hammerhead, aren't I?"

"Again, I rather hope not, seeing as that means I'll wake up without you in my arms."

Prompto smiles, reaching up to gently stroke Ignis's face. "No way. That ain't gonna happen."

They kiss for a few more minutes before Prompto gets himself as cleaned up as possible, not wanting to waste any time so he can bury himself in Ignis's arms again.

Prompto sighs as he feels Ignis tuck his chin on top of Prompto's head. He burrows further into Ignis's embrace. 

"I'm so happy you love me," Prompto says after a moment of silence. "All this… I dunno if I could've lived like this without you."

"Of course you could. You're one of the strongest people I know, Prompto. That being said… I'm very happy you love me, as well. You've no idea how happy you make me, always."

Prompto turns his head to kiss Ignis's chest. "How long do you think it'll be? 'Til Noct… comes back?"

Ignis sighs. "I'm uncertain. No matter when it is, we'll be ready-- together, I do hope."

Prompto reaches out and grips Ignis's hand tightly. "Stay close to me, right?"

Prompto can't see Ignis's smile, but he can feel it.

"Always."

Chapter Text

"Well, well. You kept us waiting." 

In the ten plus years Prompto has spent loving Ignis, he’s come to realize that Ignis has different degrees of softness, of love, of care; right now, Ignis carries a soft reverence only reserved for his king.

Noctis is home.

As Prompto clings to his best friend and his lover equally, Prompto’s not quite felt a bittersweet joy such as this. After all these years, Prompto almost -- almost -- forgot how much Noct and Ignis care about each other. Watching Noct gently grip Ignis’s shoulder, with Ignis smiling softly, Prompto has no idea how he almost forgot that.

Prompto’s never felt so whole in his entire life.

Prompto loves all of them so much, he has no idea how they lasted this long without their fourth. Noctis is here now; older, much older, but here. He still carries that same soft smile, those soulful blue eyes.

Noctis looks at both Prompto and Ignis -- the way Prompto’s leaned into Ignis’s space, holding onto him tightly -- and Prompto watches a beautiful smile spread across his king’s face.

“You both… you’re…” Noctis begins, joyful tears starting to fill his eyes. “I’m so happy for you both. I don’t have the words.”

Noctis hugs them both tightly. Prompto can feel Noct’s tears stain his shirt, and he finds himself starting to cry, too. This is all he wanted, for them to be together; for Noct to be happy. Prompto hears Ignis inhale sharply through their hug, and Prompto knows that’s the noise that comes with Ignis crying as well.

“Noct, c’mon, buddy,” Prompto says softly with a sniffle, “you’re gettin’ snot all over my shirt.”

Noctis laughs, pulling away to look at Prompto. “I love you. Both of you, so much.”

Prompto steals a glance at Ignis, his good eye slightly misty with tears as he smiles softly. “We love you dearly,” Ignis says.

Prompto smiles, pulling Noct in for another hug. “Don’t ever make us wait that long again, huh?”

Prompto’s heart thuds sadly, knowing that Noct can’t make that promise. Noct inhales sharply, hugging him back. 

“I’ll do my best,” Noct promises.

Prompto knows he will.

“Your majesty,” Gladio says teasingly. The look in his eyes certainly resembles a man in love with someone for over ten years, and has only just now laid eyes on him after all this time.

Noctis glances over at Gladio with the exact same expression.

Prompto reaches out to grip Ignis’s hand tightly. Ignis squeezes his hand in return, a loving gesture; a promise.

The decade in Noct’s absence, as long as it had been, hadn’t exactly been boring. Of course, things weren’t the same without Noct, but they certainly kept busy. Prompto still wakes up some days and feels like his luck will run out, and Ignis will disappear.

Ignis hasn’t disappeared just yet.

Prompto’s learned so much about life and love with Ignis. He’s helped Prompto learn about what’s important, to keep those he loves close instead of far, how to fight better, how to be selfless, how to love even more than he already does. He’s helped Ignis learn Braille, walk and fight almost entirely without the use of his cane (though Prompto insists he take it sometimes, regardless). Prompto loves how independent Ignis is, even being able to do things like explore ancient tombs with Talcott over the years. 

Prompto still can’t believe Talcott’s as old as he is now -- it seems like yesterday when he was only an eight year-old. Prompto feels similarly about Iris, who can now put Prompto on his ass in a mere second flat. Fighting with her and everyone else over the years is a privilege Prompto doesn’t really have the words for.

Ignis, well -- he’s always been perfect to Prompto, only growing more perfect to him as the years have gone on. Prompto’s pretty sure it’s not possible for anyone to love anyone as much as Prompto loves Ignis. There isn’t a thing that Prompto wouldn’t do for him. The years have been kind to Ignis -- much kinder than they’ve been to Prompto, in his opinion -- and yet Ignis still regards Prompto as if he put the stars in the sky during their endless night. Prompto thought it’d dull out after a while, maybe, and they’d settle into a routine, but Prompto finds that even despite the years and their routine, Ignis still manages to find ways to make Prompto’s heart race. Prompto never knew it could be like this.

And now, they’re all together again, so much changing and yet, still the same. Prompto doesn’t know how to describe it. If this is the last chance he’ll get at happiness, Prompto isn’t going to waste it.

 

“How does he look?” Ignis asks softly over the crackling of their campfire.

Prompto still can’t get over how handsome Ignis looks in his kingsglaive uniform. He looks so regal, like royalty himself. He can’t believe someone as beautiful, kind, and refined as Ignis, is in love with someone like Prompto -- just a clone made in a facility whose fate was nowhere near anything like this.

“Noct?” Prompto whispers.

“Yes.” Ignis reaches over and grips Prompto’s hand in his own. 

Prompto looks over at Noct, looking like their true king in his regal raiment. He’s smiling softly at Gladio, holding his hand, still eating a bit of Ignis’s food that he made for them all.

“He’s… still Noct. Slimmer, a little bit, but in a healthy way. He’s got facial hair, can you believe?” Prompto laughs. “His hair’s longer, framing his face a bit. He looks older. Handsome.” He sighs. “I’m so glad he’s here, Iggy.”

“Isn’t it wonderful?” Ignis whispers. 

“It’s like we’re gonna be okay, y’know?” Prompto says. “I’m gonna miss him so much…”

Prompto feels himself start to cry for what feels like the hundredth time today. Ignis wraps his arms around Prompto, holding him close.

“I know.”

“Hey, what are you guys talkin’ about over there?” Noct’s voice teases. “Come over here, won’t you? I wanna be close to you guys.”

Prompto looks over at Noct, feeling his cheeks flush as Noct stares at him with a soft sort of adoration, ten years worth of glances all in one.

It’s not long before Prompto and Ignis are sitting on either side of Noctis. Ignis’s arm is around Noct while Noct rests his head on Prompto’s shoulder.

“My apologies, your majesty,” Ignis teases.

It’s safe to say that Prompto takes plenty of selfies of the four of them together during their final camp.

 

The dawn is beautiful, Prompto can admit that. It’s a soft light; quiet somehow, slowly blooming over the crown city, filling the horizon with a beautiful sunrise as far as he can see.

Even Ignis can sense it, letting the warming rays of light illuminate his handsome features. 

Prompto isn’t okay -- none of them are, but eventually, maybe, the wounds will heal enough. With Ignis at his side, and Gladio nearby, Prompto knows that at least they have each other.

“I love you, Iggy,” Prompto says softly, squeezing Ignis’s hand as tight as he can.

“I love you,” Ignis responds, his voice low, emotions wavering his usually stoic cadence just a bit. “I can sense it, the light. Does it look as breathtaking as it feels?”

Prompto smiles sadly, looking out at the vast expanse of warm hues that make up the horizon. “Yeah. Yeah, it does.”

There’s silence for a soft moment, Ignis sighing -- a noise of grief, relief, and happiness all at once. Ignis takes Prompto’s hand, placing his lips against it -- a move that skyrockets Prompto’s heart even after all these years.

“Prompto?”

“Yeah, Iggy?” Prompto looks at him, memorizing every line on Ignis’s face.

“Will you marry me?”