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Just Skin and Bones

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Ardyn trips, stumbles, and slows down. It’s only for a second, but it’s enough to let Noctis get the jump on him, tackling him to the ground. There are no other passengers in this part of the train to see Noct straddle Ardyn’s chest. His hands find their way around Ardyn’s neck easily and Noct relishes in the way Ardyn’s eyes go wide with panic.

Wait, Noct,” Ardyn says. Noct presses down with the tips of his fingers. “No, no, what are you doing?”

“What does it look like I’m doing?” Noct growls. He thinks he’s screaming—he doesn’t know. His blood pounds in his ears and he can’t hear anything but that, and Ardyn’s strangled breaths. “You’re a Niff! You—you killed…”

My father. Clarus. Jared. Luna. 

The list goes on; there are so many people who've died for his sake. Their names get stuck in his throat and all that comes out is a choked sob. Ardyn’s features grow soft, pained, but Noct refuses the idea that his words are doing any good—there’s no way that Ardyn’s feeling sorry for him. It’s all just a trick.

“I—I didn’t…”

“Shut up! I saw you! You’re a goddamn monster!”

“Noct—”

“I hate you,” Noct sobs. “ I hate you.”

Grief swells in his chest, anger propels his limbs as he begins to tighten his grip around Ardyn’s neck. Ardyn weakly grabs at his arms, tries to pry them off but it’s no use. He’s helpless and Noct savagely thinks, “Now you know how it feels.”

He pushes down harder, harder, bearing all his weight down on Ardyn’s neck, his chest, forcing the air out of his lungs. Ardyn thrashes and bucks his hips, but he can’t get Noct off him. “Please,” Ardyn wheezes but his voice is growing quieter by the second. Noct can barely hear him over the endless litanies of “I hate you,” that’s falling out of his mouth.

Ardyn’s cheeks are flushed, lined with tears and—and has he always had freckles? No, no. Noct shakes his head and puts his focus back on choking the goddamn life out of Ardyn. Drool collects at the corners of his lips, now turning blue; he splutters, having lost all air to plead. 

Just a little more.

Noct grits his teeth and pushes down that much harder. Ardyn’s body twitches, his eyes roll back in their sockets. His hands fall, limp, to his sides.

Then Noct blinks and suddenly, it’s Prompto that lays under him, motionless. His eyes are glazed over.