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Birthday Gifts Covered In Snow

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4 am.  

Cor rubbed his eyes as he got out of bed, only slightly glad that Ardyn was no longer able to snuggle up to him. Ardyn’s skin was too bloody cold for that this time of year and some nights Cor found it impossible to sleep because his very needy and over-affectionate husband liked to cling to him in his sleep. Cor let out a big yawn and went over to the window to inspect the damage outside. 

Great. It was fucking snowing. Again.

There were worst things in the world than snow. But on his birthday… it kinda sucked. 

This year, Ardyn might think so as well. His husband had been hinting that they were going to do something special today but snow would definitely put Ardyn’s plan to a halt. It had already been snowing for two days now and it didn’t look like the roads of Insomnia were going to be driveable. As Cor got a better look at the lighten streets of Insomnia, he could see that the ground was covered in at least 6 inches of snow. It looked like a winter wonderland paradise. The snow was glistening as the lights of the streets reflected on it. The sight made the Marshal smile because that meant Prompto didn’t have to go into school today. Cor could now spend his birthday with his son, his husband and… the dog. 

Cor rolled his eyes at that thought. He was growing to like Cerberus as the years went on but he still wasn’t 100% comfortable with him being in the house. Cor had brought at least 3 new sofa’s in the last 3 years and he knew it was Cerberus’s fault, despite whatever Ardyn and Prom said. Cor was fairly certain that Ardyn couldn’t bite a chunk out of the cushions and Prompto was potty trained years ago. Cor wasn’t a fool.   

A shiver than ran down Cor’s spine as a pair of freezing cold arms snaked around his waist. The Marshal’s back came into contact with something very cold as a chin rested on his shoulder. Cor heard a light chuckle and received a small tender kiss on his cheek as he tried not to tense up at the sudden temperature change. 

“Happy birthday, My Marshal.” 

“Thanks, Ass Hat.” Cor muttered trying not to shiver anymore under Ardyn’s icy touch.

“Sorry, my lovely. I forget sometimes you can actually feel the cold.” Ardyn giggled, still not removing himself from his husband. He ran his lips down Cor’s neck and then looked at the beautiful scenery. “What a magical sight to wake up to.” 

“Bloody freezing is a better term for it.” 

“It’s only a drop of snow. Don’t be so grumpy, it’s your birthday.” 

“I hate my birthday.” 

“I would too if I woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning.” Ardyn sniggered, going back to softly kissing Cor’s neck. “You should come back to bed and get more sleep.”

“I’m awake now.” Cor muttered, praying Ardyn’s arms from his waist so he could have a shower. 

Nothing good came out of this day in his opinion. It brought back too many unwanted memories of neglect he received from his parents growing up. December was a shit month for the Marshal, the 7th, and 25th were always a disappointment to him as a kid so now as an adult he didn’t really feel he need to celebrate them. Ardyn had tried ever since they were together and he learnt more about Cor to make his birthday special. Cor did appreciate it and he did try and enjoy himself. But some years like this one, he didn’t care. And quite frankly he couldn’t be asked to care either.   

Cor tried to leave his room but Ardyn’s voice stopped him from doing so. “Cor. I know you don’t like your birthday. But for Prom, could you try.” 

“Stop using him as blackmail against me.” Cor wanted to kick himself for that. Now he had probably started a needless argument on his least favourite day of the year.

“I wasn’t trying to,” Ardyn said calmly also not wanting this to escalate any further.  

“Than let me hate my own birthday.” 

“I do. All I am asking is that you let Prom celebrate your birthday even if you don’t want to.” 

“Shut up and let me have a fucking shower!” Cor snapped, leaving their bedroom. 

Ardyn rolled his eyes and left Cor too it. If he wanted to mope Ardyn had no choice but to let him do it for the time being. However, Ardyn really wanted to avoid a repeat of last year. Cor got a little annoyed that Clarus had decided to show up in the evening and take him out for a drink. The pair got into a bit of a spat and Prompto got upset because his daddy and uncle Clarus were fighting. Because Prom got upset, Ardyn got angry and ended up throwing Cor and Clarus out of the house until they had sorted their needless bickering out. Thankfully, while that happened Cerbie was being such a good boy and comforting Prom. Cor did not get away with upsetting Prom and under no circumstances was that happening again. Ever again. 

All Ardyn wanted this year was Cor to understand that it was okay for one day of the year to relax and take the day for himself.

Why was Cor such a touchy git when it came to his birthday?  

Ardyn knew the answer but… for Cor’s own benefit could he stop?

Cor got dressed and went downstairs to apologise to Ardyn for swearing at him. That was very uncalled for and harsh on the Marshal’s part. It wasn’t Ardyn’s fault that he felt the way he did. Cor was just stressed and... There wasn’t really an excuse for his poor behaviour. And he shouldn’t be looking for one either. 

“Ardyn, I am sorry for being a dick.” Cor called out as he entered the kitchen.

“Naughty! No swearing!” Prompto gasped back, pointing towards his dad before running up to him and giving him a massive hug. “Happy Birthday Daddy!” 

Cor let go of a small smile, remembering what Ardyn had asked of him and ruffled his 8-year-old son’s hair as thanks. “Thank you, mate. Why are you up? It’s not even 5 o’clock yet and you won’t have to go to school.” 

“Becuase we are going on a walk silly!” 

Oh no…

As soon as those words left his son’s mouth Cor heard their dog trampling downstairs. Cor quickly picked Prompto up in case Cerbie accidentally ran into him and Cor was right too. Cerbie came bouncing in with his three-headed lead in his mouth, waggy his tail as he shot passed Cor and straight to Ardyn. Cerbie continued to bounce with excitement as Prompto laughed at the dog and all Ardyn did was pat his head to acknowledge he knew exactly what their doggy wanted.

“Don’t worry Cerbie we will go in a moment.” Ardyn smiled before turning to Cor. “Don’t worry about it my darling. We can talk about it later.” 

Cor knew he had fucked up than. 

Right, this wasn’t good.

“Yeah! I can’t wait for a snow walk!” Prom cheered, trying to get down. 

 Cor placed Prompto back down on the floor and gulped down the coffee Ardyn had made for him before they went on their walk. Meanwhile, Ardyn was helping Prompto get his wellies, coat, hat, gloves and scarf on so he didn’t get too cold. It became quite a challenge to do because Cerbie kept head butting both Ardyn and Prompto to put his lead on. It may still be dark outside but it would be dawn soon and Cerbie would much prefer to come back to his house in one piece and no be burnt to a crisp. The daemon god was jealous that his dad and brother could go out at any point of the day. Cor saw the dog struggling and decided to be nice for once. He took the lead out of Cerbie’s mouth and put the lead on for him. That earnt the Marshal a massive lick and than Cerbie ran over to the front door ignoring the evil glare he was getting from his daddy. He wanted to play in the snow. 

Once Cor’s coat was on the four of them walked to the nearby park in the darkened city. Prompto got to hold onto Cerbie’s lead, and because Cor felt like a dick he let Ardyn hold his hand on this chilly and frostbitten walk. Cor didn’t hate the snow exactly. There were some parts he really liked. Like the crunch under his feet and the way, it stuck to the trees. But more importantly, he liked the reminder that it brought him. The snow reminded him of the first day he met Prom, even if than like now this weather was a bloody inconvenience. 

“Are you enjoying the walk, My Marshal?” Ardyn asked sweetly, savouring the fact Cor was letting him hold his hand. 

“Look I am sorry for being a dick. I didn’t mean to snap.” Cor admitted, keeping his eye on Prompto and Cerbie as they happily walked a few meters ahead of them.

“It’s okay my darling. I know you don’t like today.” 

“Yes, but you were trying to do something nice for me.”

“It’s still okay honestly.” Ardyn smiled, kissing Cor on the cheek. “I promise. Anyway, we better catch the boys up.”

Cor hadn’t realised they had slowed down. He shook his head and picked up the pace with Ardyn to catch up to them. When they did, Cerbie was digging. Cor rolled his eyes. That dog could probably dig deep enough hole for Prompto to stand up in. He needed to stop. Before Cor could tell Cerbie to knock it off, Prompto called his dads over:

“DADS! Come quick! Cerbie has found something! Look there is something down there!”

“Oh, let’s see what it is than shall we.” Ardyn smiled, phasing over to the spot with a smile on his face. 

Cor walked over to his family and was confused by the sight. There was a sword in there. A Katana. Umm… why was that there? Cor looked deeper into the whole and noticed a note attached to the sword.

Ardyn picked it up with a grin on his face and handed it to Cor. “Oh what a surprise, it’s for you.” 

Cor knew there was something fishy about going for a walk this early. He let out a sigh and took the weapon and read the handle. It had his initials on it with a note attached. It was from  Regis and Noctis. This was Ardyn’s surprise. A treasure hunt. His husband continued to amaze him still to this day. 

Prompto smiled: “Do you like it, dad?!”

“Yeah, I do.” Cor said not able to hide the small smile on his face. He actually liked the idea of a treasure hunt.  

“There are more gifts to get. Cerbie lead the way!” Prom beamed with happiness and as he ran through the snow. 

True to Prom’s words there were more gifts to find. 

Cerbie dug up a box of Cor’s favorite chocolates from Clarus, Gladio, and Iris. A bottle of his favorite whiskey from Cid. A new jumper from Wesk. A dagger from Somnus and that was it. Cor knew that Monica and Dustin along with the rest of the guard would have left a hamper on his desk for when he went into work tomorrow, so there was no present from them. But when Ardyn told him that was the lot and it was time to go home before the sun came up Cor felt a little sad. He secretly really enjoyed this little trip. Because it wasn’t just about him. Prompto was having fun throwing snowballs at Ardyn on the way round and Ardyn was enjoying holding his hand. Cerbie was having a whale of a time, digging and running around the cold park. Because Prom, Ardyn, and Cerbie were enjoying themselves, it took the focus away from Cor. Which he was more than happy with. It was his comfort zone after years of neglect. He knew that wasn’t healthy but he would much prefer his family to be happy than have attention placed on him. 

When they got home, Prompto pulled Cor into the kitchen while Ardyn went into the living room. 

“Dad? I know you don’t like your birthday but… I made you this card and dad helped me bake some cupcakes for you. Would you like them?” 

Prom’s cuteness melted Cor’s heart as he looked down at the card and the cupcakes. The card was a drawing of a Chocobo and inside it read:

To daddy

Happy day-that-you-were-born-on day

Love you lots from Prompto and Cerbie

That made Cor laugh. The Marshal found it adorable that Prom had taken his dislike for his birthday into consideration when making the card for him. When Cor looked at the cakes they were green. His favorite colour.

“Oh Prom, thank you mate. I love you very much.” 

“You’re welcome!” 

Cor gave his son a massive hug and kissed the top of his head. Cor was so glad he was able to spend the whole day with Prompto this year. He decided that he liked the fact it snowed on his birthday as it ensured Prom was with him. After a few minutes, Ardyn came into the room and asked Cor to step into the living room. Because Ardyn and Prom were smiling Cor nodded and did as he was told. When he walked in there he was met with a breathtaking sight.  

There was no birthday banner. There were no balloons. But the curtains were still shut and the room was lite up by blue and white fairy lights. It was beautiful. At the center of the room were green fairy lights wrapped around two presents. Cor knew that these two were from Prom and Ardyn. Cor wasn’t annoyed at the fact he was now getting this attention. He loved the amount of effort had gone into a simplistic act and all four of them could appreciate it. That was how Cor liked it. Simple. Cor didn’t even get this level of simplistically growing up. 

Prompto took hold of Cor’s hand and made him sit on the ground. When Cor was sat down, Prom forced a present in Cor’s lap.“Here dad! Open mine first!”

“Alright, I will.” Cor tore at the paper and inside was a photo album. 

“I thought you could have this and put the photos I take for you in there.” 

“That’s a wonderful present mate. Thank you so much.” Cor was very grateful for this gift. So grateful because it meant he could take this on missions with him and get to see Prom’s work all the time. He really loved it. 

“That’s okay. Now, dad’s present!” Prom said, again forcing Cor’s last present into his lap. 

Cor opened it up and he laughed. It was a book on astronomy. Cor loved the fact Ardyn had used his guilty pleasure and turned into a really thoughtful gift. Cor got on his knees and kissed Ardyn who was sitting on the sofa. He was very grateful for this present as well. 

“Thank you Ardyn. I love you.”

“Oh, I love you too. You are very welcome, My Marshal.”

As the day went on, Cor’s birthday was not mentioned again. 

Cor was more than happy about that. The three of them enjoyed spending the time together. They went out in the garden and helped Prompto build a snowman. Ardyn made a snow angel and Cor put little devil horns on it because Ardyn was a daemon, not an angel. They walked to a restaurant to have a meal and they watched whatever film Prom wanted when they got back. It got to the afternoon, and all three of them fell asleep on the sofa. It was a nice day of nothing but relaxation and more importantly, other than this morning, the whole day was made about the three of them. And Cerbie. Cor couldn’t even leave out Cerbie if he tried. 

At about 7 o’clock in the evening, there was a knock at the door.  

Cor opened it and tried his best not to roll his eyes when he saw Clarus. He better bloody not try to take him out for a drink again. 

“Hello, Cor! I have come to pick up Prom and Cerberus.” 

“What?” Cor questioned, really confused. He let Clarus in and scratched his head. 

“Didn’t Ardyn tell you? Prom and Cerbie are staying with me tonight.”

“No, he didn’t. Ardyn! Come here!” Cor called out. Come to think of it, Ardyn had taken Prompto upstairs a little over 15 minutes ago without an explanation…. What was his husband up to now? 

“Coming darling!” Ardyn appeared at the bottom of the stairs with Prom’s Chocobo backpack in hand. “Ah, Clarus. Right on time here you go.” 

“Thank you.” Clarus nodded, taking Prom’s backpack from Ardyn. 

“Wait a second, why isn’t Prom staying here tonight?” Cor asked, not liking the fact he had been kept in the dark on this matter.

“Because they are.” Clarus replied as Ardyn handed him Cerbie’s lead as well.

Cor shook his head and nearly fell over as Cerbie ran passed him. He was kind of glad that the dog wasn’t staying here tonight now. But with Prom… Ardyn always talked to him first before allowing Prom to have a sleepover with either Gladio or Noctis. It slightly pissed Cor off and Ardyn noticed the scowl grow on his face.

Ardyn laughed and poked Cor on the nose. “Oh, darling don’t be grumpy. You’ll like the reason why I promise. Prom! Uncle Clarus is here!”

“Okay!” Prompto ran down the stairs, winter gear already on and Chocobo doll in hand, and gave Clarus a hug. “Are we going now?”

“Yes, we are. Have fun you two.” Clarus smiled warmly opening the door to let Cerbie out.  “By the way, happy birthday little bro.”

Once Clarus, Prom, and Cerbie were gone, Cor was roughly pushed up against the wall by his husband. Ardyn kissed him with delight, so Cor didn’t punch him on reflex, and smiled as he rested his nose against his husband’s.

“I want to give you your final birthday gift. It consists of us not being clothed and preferably in bed. But I guess the floor works too.” 

Cor laughed and was very happy that Clarus had taken Prom now. Through hungry kisses Cor’s replied. “Alright than Ass Hat. That is a birthday present I know I am going to enjoy.”