As the Shield of the King, Gladiolus Amicitia prided himself on his observational skills. Nothing could get past him during the heat of battle and that intuition let him protect his comrades from a number of fatal blows with just his instincts and his trusty shield.
His wisdom and observational prowess were as more than just something that was useful in a fight, no his finely honed senses were something Gladiolus always took advantage of. His days in the royal academy were filled with a whirlwind of rumors, which was as to be expected in a school full of kids who had an inflated sense of ego due to their family. Gladiolus was lucky that his dad made sure he would never be like that since his dear old dad always knocked him down a peg whenever he got a bit too cocky.
And boy was he thankful for that seeing all those snot nosed brats strut around the academy acting like they all owned the place. He couldn't help but laugh when the instructors of the academy showed they didn't give a damn about who their parents were and treated them like normal punk teenagers.
All except another kid with glasses who he actually got into a fight with during their first week of class. Gladiolus couldn't believe that such a reserved guy took him to his limits. After becoming friends with Ignis for years after their initial fight, Gladiolus looked back at that moment with a wry grin.
The thing about Ignis was that while he was a friendly guy (albeit, a huge snarky asshole at times) he never really made an effort to impress any woman. He himself had numerous "conquests" throughout his time in the academy and beyond but whenever he offered Ignis a chance to go on a double date with him, his close friend always shot him down firmly.
After about a year of thinking Ignis was gay (which garnered some laughs from his friend) Gladiolus finally gave up on the hope of seeing one of his closest friends get lucky. It didn't really bother him that much since he knew that some people were just fine and dandy not caring about romance and if Ignis was one of those people, more power to him.
Well, that was until he noticed something going between him and a certain lovely mechanic that they all were close with.
When the gang first met Cindy, they acted exactly how gladiolus predicted they would. Prompto was head over heels smitten with Cindy and Gladiolus couldn't blame the little scamp; He'd seen a number of lovely women in his time and even then, Cindy floored him as well. Noctis was awkward, shy, and evasive; which was standard Noct behavior for meeting new people and Ignis was courteous, yet friendly which was standard Ignis behavior for just about everyone sans the Imperial army.
But after meeting with Cindy multiple times, whether it be discussing Cid's past with the late king, discussions on how to upgrade the Regalia (and the numerous quests into daemon filled dungeons to get shit like car wax and headlights), or just hanging out as friends do it was only natural that the boys' relationship and attitude towards Cindy change.
Noctis became much more open and personable to the mechanic after getting to know her. It didn't take much to get Noctis out of his shell but since the sheltered prince never really interacted with many people, that fact wasn't well known. If Gladiolus were to guess, he probably made way more friends since their journey began than he had in his entire time living as the prince of Lucis
It helped that Cindy liked King's Knight as much as they did.
Prompto's infatuation with Cindy eventually faded and was replaced with a sense of camaraderie. Gladiolus guffawed at how certain this outcome was. Prompto developed crushes faster than Noctis conjured weapons from thin air. As soon as they went to Lestallum, Prompto's sights moved on from Cindy to the numerous workers of the power plant and that cute photographer that worked for Vyv. Hell, the little squirt toned down all the ogling he did around Cindy because of his newfound feelings of friendship towards her.
Ignis' change of behavior was something that caught the shield off guard and for a while, he thought he was just looking into things too deeply and dismissed his own hypothesis until the evidence piled up so high that he couldn't look away. It's gotten so bad that he had to discuss it with Noctis and Prompto.
"So, I'm like ninety percent sure that Ignis and Cindy are a thing." he said matter a factly as he combed through the magazine he was reading.
Both Noctis and Prompto looked up from their hour-long King's Knight session to stare at Gladio like he grew a second head
"Wanna run that by me again big guy?" Prompto requested while Noctis just uttered a befuddled "Why?"
Gladiolus shrugged "I doubted my instincts for this one too but now I don't think that I could deny it anymore."
Noctis narrowed his eyes at the taller man "Ignis...the guy who hounds me to eat my vegetables and makes sure we all go to bed before midnight is with Cindy?"
"I mean, let's be honest, Cindy does exactly what Ignis does just with a different accent" Gladio responded casually
"You gotta point there." Prompto chirped "Both of them already act like parents.; Cindy for old man Cid and Ignis for us!"
"Hey, can you go back to the "signs" that you see for Ignis and Cindy" Noctis requested "I got to know more about this"
Gladiolus cleared his throat "I mean, have you noticed that the guy who insisted that we get work down on the Regalia at Hammerhead went from Prompto to Iggy?"
"I mean, I admit that I did that to talk to Cindy but she is the best mechanic on the continent and Ignis drives the Regalia more than any of us, so it makes sense that he would want it in tip-top shape." Prompto reasoned
Gladio rolled his eyes "Oh yeah? What about the fact that Cindy started inviting Ignis in the garage when she works? That sure happened suddenly, right? What do you think they are doing there? Just fixing the car?"
"Ignis being interested in a new skill seems pretty standard Iggy, dude" Noctis retorted "Like Prompto said, he's super into the regalia and he probably knows Cindy won't be available all the time."
Gladiolus pinched the bridge of his nose "You guys are totally clueless! I bet you can't see the fact that every time we spend a night hanging out in hammerhead, the both of them are undressing each other with their eyes."
"Uh...yeah, we don't see that" Noctis mumbled uncomfortably.
Prompto stroked his chin in thought, seemingly considering the idea, which made Gladiolus breathe a sigh of relief...until he finally spoke up
"I mean, to be entirely fair, undressing Cindy with your eyes doesn't seem like the hardest thing to do. I mean, I appreciate her confidence but man…"
"You two are really blind." Gladio grunted in disappointment
Noctis put down his phone "Here's an idea, why don't we just ask them if they are a thing? Let's make it a wager of it too! If Gladio is right, then me and Prompto have to get up and run with Gladiolus at the crack of dawn for a week and if we're right, and nothing is going on between them then Gladio has to do all of our chores for a week."
Prompto smirked "Sounds good to me!"
Gladio crossed his arms, brimming with confidence "Alright, you guys are on. I hope that you practiced your cardio…"
"And I hope you enjoy washing dishes!" Prompto beamed
"Holy shit" was all Noctis could say as the three of them barged into the hammerhead garage. As the latest in a line of royalty that possesses power beyond the imagination and the ability to commune with the Gods themselves, Noctis was rarely caught off guard by anything. The sight in front of him however, left his mouth agape and his eyes bulging out of his stomach.
It was Ignis and Cindy alright, but they weren't working on the regalia together. No, Cindy has her back against the car with Ignis pressed right into her. His shirt was unbuttoned and Cindy's hands were all over him when they should be all over the Regalia. Cindy's jacket lay discarded on the floor while Ignis' hands were cupping her rear end. The cherry on top of the mind fuck that Noctis was going through was the fact That Ignis' face was currently buried in the Mechanic's cleavage.
The sound of Noctis' confusion was enough to bring Ignis and Cindy out of their lust induced haze as the mechanic screeched in surprise. Noctis quickly averted his eyes to look at Gladio who wore a wide smile on his face and Prompto who fainted at the sight of it all and was now on the floor.
"What the hell are you doing here?!" Cindy yelled as she covered her chest. Ignis quickly took off his shirt and gave it to her like the gentleman he was before turning his attention to the three men intruding on his little "tryst" with Cindy
"What the fuck?"
"Damn, I never thought I'd hear you drop an F-bomb" Gladiolus quipped "Well, it looks like I won the bet?"
"Bet? What are y'all blabbing about?" Cindy demanded with a pointed look
"It's nothing, you two get back to whatever you were doing, we're sorry for intruding…"
"Uh...yeah...our bad" Noctis mumbled in disbelief "Let's get Prompto and get the hell out"
The two of them picked up Prompto from off the floor and began to stumble their way out of the garage when they heard Ignis clear his throat to get their attention.
"I'm guessing this is bad…" Noctis squeaked as his winced
"I'm not going to cook for you lot for a month since you three children don't know your manners" Ignis reprimanded
"Fuck…" Noctis whispered