Ardyn had purposely been winding Somnus up today. He kept tripping him up. Telling Regis stories of what Somnus used to get up to in his youth to embarrass him. Interrupting him whenever Ardyn got the chance. Basically, Ardyn was being a little shit because he could.
And to no one’s surprise, by the end of the day Somnus had had enough of his brother’s insufferable and childish behaviour that he snapped. He started yelling at Ardyn, telling him everything that he did that pissed Somnus off, and screaming at him to change for the sake of everyone and not just Somnus. And to start with Ardyn just sat there and took it. The immortal daemon knew he deserved this verbal abuse from his brother because he had purposely annoyed him, but Ardyn did not allow Somnus to let his frustration out in the correct way. Ardyn lent over the table and put his hand to his mouth as Somnus continued to scream at him.
“Why can’t you be normal for once in your life?!” Somnus shouted, going red in the face with all the rage that had built up inside of him.
“Because that would mean I would be considered boring, just like you.” Ardyn laughed back.
That pushed Somnus over the edge.
The Founder King folded his arms and narrowed his eyes at his brother. He didn’t mean what he was saying, but the anger and annoyance got the better of him as he continued to insult his older brother.
“No. You don’t have the capability of being normal.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Ardyn asked sitting up, a little confused by Somnus’s words.
“I mean your head is so fucked up and crawling with things that you don’t have a single clue what it is like to be human anymore!”
Ardyn wanted to tear Somnus’s head off for that comment. Somnus sounded so spiteful and hateful when he said those words and it deeply hurt Ardyn. What didn’t help was that Ardyn had been struggling with himself for the past few days. He kept having dreams of Cor’s and Prom’s death by his hand and hearing Somnus say that… his own brother… it felt like a kick to the stomach. And by the look on Somnus’s face, he wasn’t going to take back what he had just stated.
“That was mean….” Ardyn said bitterly.
“It’s the truth though!”
That scrambled Ardyn’s head up further. It wasn’t true. It wasn’t. Because of how offended and hurt Ardyn felt he decided to tell Somnus his feelings to make him realise he had taken it a step too far without Ardyn losing his shit.
“That really upset me.”
“Do I look like I care?!”
Ardyn decided that Somnus was not worth the screaming match today. He got up from his chair and left the room trying to get Somnus’s words out of his head. But the daemons played on the evil words that slipped out of his little brother’s mouth and it made him fall further into self-hatred. Ardyn hated it that he was a daemon. Yes, it had it’s perks. But when everyone including your own brother ostracises you, puts you down, while the creatures taunt you… it got all too much and it caused Ardyn to hate himself and the person he had become.
“Go off and sulk than!” Somnus screamed at him a final time before Ardyn closed the door.
“Ignore them, Prom.” Noctis rolled his eyes as the Prince continued with their math exercises.
“I know Noct.” Prom nodded, answering question 14 in his answer booklet.
The table behind them had been talking about Prompto and Noctis all lesson. Saying that the pair were weak and would amount to nothing. Which was fine because the boys learnt to ignore it. They learn to ignore a lot of things. Like, the other kids only wanted to talk to them because they were the Prince’s of Lucis. Or some kids decided to be spiteful towards them because it made them feel good about themselves. They just wanted to get on with their school work in peace.
Noctis nudge Prompto and smiled at him. “They’re only bitter because they are jealous of how kind you are, Prom.”
Prom was going to say something equally nice back at his best friend but the kid behind them tapped both aggressively on the shoulder and forced them to turn around.
“What was that?!” Ray asked in an angry tone.
“Nothing!” Prompto stated innocently defending Noct.
“What are you saying about me Niff?!”
The word Niff wanted to make Prom put his head on the desk and start crying. He didn’t like being called that. He hated it because it set him aside from everyone else. Ray reminded Prom every day that he didn’t truly belong in Lucis and it wasn’t fair. Prom had never done anything to upset or offend Ray. Well, he didn’t think that he had. So why was he always so mean to him?
Prom tried to be nice and stick up for himself. “We didn’t say anything about you.”
“Leave him alone Ray.” Noctis sneered as he stared at their long-time rival.
“Shut up Princess.”
Noctis was about to punch Ray in the face for the nickname he only allowed Gladio to get away with calling him. But Prompto caught his arm and shook his head at Noct.
Ray laughed. “You let the Niff tell you what to do?!”
“Noctis doesn’t have to listen to me.” Prom said pulling Noctis away so they could get back to their work.
Prom nearly turned around but Ray pulled his shirt and made him look him in the eye. “No. And neither do I. Cause you are not meant to be here. You horrible little Niff.”
“Ray Servius. I will not have that behaviour in my classroom. Please stand outside the room, this once!” Mrs. Vita ordered as she walked over to the boys.
Ray immediately stood up and left the room. None of the children said a word and just continued to finish off their questions. Mrs. Vita told Noctis to get back to work as she knelt down by Prompto and asked if he was alright.
Prom only nodded.
But he wasn’t alright. He wanted to cry. Sometimes he thought it would be better for everyone if he just went off back to Niflheim. That way Noctis wouldn’t have to defend him and no one would look down on their family. Prompto didn’t want anyone he loved to be upset. And sometimes he thought he caused them all upset because of where he had come from.
All of the shit his husband and son had been through went straight to Cor.
Regis and Somnus actively told Cor that Somnus had been a dick and greatly upset Ardyn. Needless to say, Cor punched his brother-in-law square in the face for those words and Somnus did not complain. And Cor got a phone call from the school saying that there had been an incident involving Prompto and that his son was very upset. Because of this Cor cancelled the last training session of the day so he could be home at a reasonable time to cheer his family up.
“Prompto? Ardyn? I’m home!”
Cor walked into his living room to see Ardyn and Prom on the floor with Cerbie laying in their laps, as they stroked their dog for comfort.
“Hello, My Marshal.” Ardyn said with a weak smile, still very upset about his day and angry because someone had upset his son.
“Hi, daddy.” Prom said, not looking at Cor in case he cried.
Cor put his work bag down. He knew what was wrong but he wanted them to tell him on their own terms. “What’s wrong?”
Ardyn and Prom said in unison, with a monotone still stroking Cerbie.
“Could you two try and make that sound more convincing.” Cor laughed but they didn’t laugh back. Cor would never call himself an empath, but when his son and husband were upset it caused him a great deal of pain and was determined to turn their frowns upside down. In an uplifting tone, for Cor the Immortal, he spoke to his family again. “Okay, both of you get up. We are going out for dessert.”
“But I have homework!” Prompto protested. He didn’t really want to go out in case people called him a Niff again.
“And I have a report to go through.” Ardyn groaned, a little unsure if he could deal with the feared stares of the Lucian citizens today.
Ardyn shook his head at Cor’s response and ruffled Prom’s hair. “Let’s not argue with daddy, Sunbeam.”
“Okay.” Prom nodded, reluctant to move. He would have preferred to sit here with Cerbie for the rest of the night.
Once they had decided what they wanted for dessert, Ardyn left the table that they were sitting at to order the three of them their chosen treats. Which gave Cor the perfect opportunity to talk to Prom in private. “Can you tell me what’s wrong, mate?”
“School. It’s okay. Nothing to worry about.” Prom said, trying to smile. But his smile kept fading and turning into nothing but gloom.
“The headteacher called me.”
This was why Cor was glad he left school at the age of 12. Given Prompto was 8 and, no offense to his son, an easier target to be picked on. By Prom’s age, Cor had been kicked out of 2 schools for picking fights with kids that tried to bully him. Cor was just glad that Prompto had not decided to teach them a lesson and use his daemonic powers on them. Because that would not be good even if they deserved it. But Cor didn’t want to see Prompto sad.
Cor held onto Prom’s hand and smiled at his son. “Right, Prompto Leonis listen to me. There are some people in life who are not nice, and it is because they are jealous. You don’t have to go down to their level or get upset by their words, because they are not true.”
“But I am a Niff.” Prompto sniffed trying to keep his tears at bay.
Cor did not want to see tears. He gave Prom a quick hug and proudly said: “You are my son. Nothing else matters.”
“Regis told me what Somnus said.” Cor said as he hugged Ardyn in bed who was facing the other way from him. Cor was met with silence, so he kissed Ardyn’s shoulder and asked. “Do you want to talk about it?”
Cor hugged Ardyn tighter. “Ardyn… don’t listen to Somnus. He is only saying that because he was in a mood. He doesn’t mean it.”
“Goodnight.” Ardyn replied, trying to avoid having this conversation.
Cor did like Somnus, but sometimes he wanted to slaughter the Founder King where he stood. It was a very cruel thing that Somnus said, and his words always caused Ardyn great upset even if his husband never admitted it. To be honest, Cor was very proud that Ardyn had not retaliated and gone for Somnus’s throat.
“I love you.” Cor whispered, moving so he could kiss Ardyn on the cheek.
“I don’t know why?” Ardyn asked in a tired and hurt voice.
“Yes, you do.”
“I love you too.”
After that Ardyn pretended to be asleep.
And Cor couldn’t sleep because he was very worried about Ardyn and Prom. As he lay there, with his husbands fake snoring, the Marshal came up with a plan to make his family feel valued again.
After Ardyn had come back from walking Cerbie the next night, Cor sat on the sofa with Ardyn one side of him and Prom the other.
They were both very miserable from what had happened yesterday, but Cor could tell that they had tried to make themselves happy. But Cor did not want them to pretend anymore. He was going to make them happy. “Prom? Ardyn?”
“Yeah.” Prompto responded looking up at his dad.
“You are my daemons and I love you.”
“Sorry, darling?” Ardyn questioned, raising his head from Cor’s shoulder.
Cor knew that would catch Ardyn’s attention. Because Cor had spent the entire time he had known Ardyn telling him he was not a monster. Cor kept enforcing the idea that he was a person with a nasty past and he was proud of him for being himself. But there was one thing that Cor had neglected to say. That was that Ardyn was a daemon. It was a fact. Because at the end of the day his husband and son were daemons. And he was fucking proud of who they were.
“That you are my daemons and I love you. From now on I no longer want you two to feel bad because you are different. You are daemons and I wouldn’t change either of you for the world.”
“But… I am a Niff and a Daemon.” Prompto said hugging Cor tighter.
Cor returned the hug on his right side to make Prom feel safe and that he should trust in his words. “And? Why would that change how I feel about you? I love you two and Cerbie, and all three of you are daemons. You are the best of the lot of them and I am so lucky to have all three of you in my life.”
“Really daddy?” Prompto smiled with tears of joy as he buried his face in his dads chest.
“You bet mate.” Cor smiled, leaning over to kiss Prom on the head.
Cor realised that Ardyn hadn’t spoken at all since he said that. Cor turned his head to see Ardyn who had very blank expression on his face as he stared back at Cor. Ardyn was still in Cor’s arm, so Cor pulled his husband closer to him and said his name to get his attention. “Ardyn?”
“… don’t say things that will make me cry.” Ardyn said quickly, not wanting to cry at how loved and wanted Cor had just made him feel.
Cor kissed Ardyn on the lips and laughed. “I love you, my silly daemon.”
Ardyn grabbed Cor’s hand to kiss it in return and notice something gold on his finger. It made Ardyn feel even more loved and appreciated because Cor was wearing something that he rarely wore because of his job. “You’re wearing your wedding ring...”
Cor held on to Ardyn’s hand and lightly shrugged his shoulders. “Of course, I am. I try and wear it as much as I can. Okay, starting from today, neither of you let what other people say get to you. Because I love everything about you.”
“We love you too daddy.” Prompto cheered, over the moon with what Cor said.
“More than anything.” Ardyn whispered, going back to resting his head on Cor’s shoulder.
Cor smiled. At least they both knew how much he cared and loved them. And the love he had for these two precious, brilliant, amazing daemons was never going to fade.
Because they were his family.