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Just Skin and Bones

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Noct’s almost kinda glad that Prompto lives in such a secluded neighbourhood because it means that there’s nobody around to see the prince of Lucis climbing through an open window.

It’s entirely Prompto’s fault for not answering the door, though. And for arguing with him on Friday. And for not answering his texts all weekend. And for not coming to school this Monday. And for worrying Noct.

He falls through the window into Prompto’s house. All the lights are off. He looks around the kitchen and sees dishes left on the counter, Prompto’s set of keys laying beside them on the counter.

The voice in the back of his head that sounds a lot like Ignis tells him he’s trespassing and that he’s invading Prompto’s privacy and whatever. But Noct needs to find out what the hell’s up with Prompto and see if he’s okay and apologize. Or something.

He makes his way up the stairs. There’s no sound from upstairs and Prompto’s bedroom door is shut. He doesn’t need to check if his parents are home, so he goes straight to Prompto’s bedroom, forgetting to knock.

Prompto’s laying in bed, underneath a mountain of covers. There’s leftover glasses of water on his bedside table—one of them’s been knocked over and the stain on the carpet below is still fresh.

“Prompto?” Noct asks, hesitantly. He receives no response. “Hey, Prompto. Wake up.” 

The tip of Prompto’s hair is peeking out from below the covers. There’s something strange stirring in Noct’s stomach and his limbs feel slow as he moves to the bed, reaching a hand out to lift the covers.

Prompto’s eyes are shut and he’s dead to the world. His skin is pale, though his cheeks are tinged red and his breathing is shallow. “Prompto?” Noct tries again, but he barely stirs. He touches the back of his palm to Prompto’s forehead. It’s burning hot.

“Prompto. Hey. Wake up.” Noct shakes his shoulder, maybe a little more insistently than he should. “Prompto. You okay?”

That gets a response. Prompto’s lips part, just the slightest bit, and he groans softly. He stirs and mumbles something under his breath, but Noct can’t catch it.

“Can you hear me? Or say something?” Noct crouches down to eye level and wishes he had Ignis or Gladio’s knowledge of how to deal with people, particularly sick ones. “Prompto? C’mon!”

“S’not… hurts,” Prompto utters. “Ar… dyn?”

“Yeah, I know it hurts. Anything else?” Noct says. 

“Hurts.”

“I got that much.”

Fuck everything. How long’s Prompto been sick like this before? All weekend? He mentioned feeling sick on Friday but Noct just teased him about his bad stomach and that was before they argued. Noct tries to rub Prompto’s shoulder but Prompto weakly tries to bat him away.

“Sstop. Don’t wanna.”

“Sorry. I’ll stop.”

“H-Hurts. No… needles. 'peri...ment?"

What the fuck is he talking about? Noct grimaces and pulls out his phone. He knows Ignis has a shitton of work he’s doing back at the Citadel, but Gladio should be free and a whole lot closer so he calls him instead.

“What do you want?” Gladio says as a greeting and Noct’s never been happier to hear his steady rumble.

“Gladio, something’s wrong with Prompto.”

“Yeah, and what else is new?”

Noct stands up, nearly knocking over the remaining glasses. He probably shouldn’t be yelling by Prompto but he can’t keep his voice down. “I’m being serious! I’m over at his place right now and he’s in bed but he’s like, I dunno, sick or something?”

“Sick in which way? You’ve gotta be more specific about it.”

“He’s not waking up. He’s just mumbling some weird shit. I can’t make out what it is. And he’s pale and burning hot.”

“Sounds pretty bad.”

From the bed, Prompto shuffles around and grits his teeth. “...no clone. Not. I’m… me?”

“Yup, you are,” Noct says to Prompto, then goes back to Gladio. “You think? Can you come over here? Quick? I think he needs a doctor or something.”

“Already on it. Can you get him to drink water or something?”

“I can’t get him to sit up. I don’t wanna move him. What if he gets hurt? He keeps mumbling hurt.”

“You’re useless,” Gladio gripes, but there’s no bite behind his words. “What else is he saying?”

“Weird shit. Medical stuff like needles and it hurts and—”

“S’not a clone! Vers… tea...” Prompto says again and he’s a lot louder this time, his voice raspy.

“—-yeah. Stuff like that,” Noct finishes. Gladio exhales on the other end. “Just… where are you?”

“Give me three minutes. I’m going as fast as I can. Just keep him alive ‘til then. Think you can manage that much?”

Noct sits back on Prompto’s bed, taking care not to jostle him too much. “Yeah, okay, fine. Thanks, Gladio.”

Gladio makes a sound of agreement on the other end. Prompto’s eyes are barely open, glassy, unfocused slits. Noct has no doubt that Prompto’s not seeing anything.

“Hurts,” Prompto says again.

“I know, buddy,” Noct says, wishing he could do something, anything to stop it. He buries his face in his hands. T hree minutes. It's only three minutes. He can last that long.