Blessings of Eos

Chapter 22

Disclaimer: Don't own Final Fantasy.

When the time came for college, Prompto wound up opting for a liberal arts degree, with a focus in photography. Noctis was stuck with political science and economics. By this point Prompto had all but moved into Noct's apartment, though his parents insisted he spend at least a couple weekends a month at 'home'. Given how the boys spent as much time at Prompto's house as at the apartment, this wasn't hard. It was almost unreal, how good things were going.

Which was why it couldn't last.

The spring after the boys turned twenty, in the fifteenth year since Prompto had come to Insomnia, Prompto came back to the apartment to find Noct in a foul mood. "Dude, what happened?" He asked, bearing his peace offering of mint chocolate chip ice cream (he had had a bad feeling) in front of him like a shield.

Considering how much Prompto hated mint flavor, this was a major offering.

Noct was ignoring the ice cream. "I have to marry Luna." He scowled, blindly grabbing the ice cream as it fell from Prompto's hands.

"WHAT?! WTF?" Prompto flopped to the floor.

Retrieving a spoon, Noct started attacking the ice cream. "Some star-damned treaty from the Nifs that Dad can't not accept; we're just not in the position to be able to fight it. Marrying Luna is part of it."

"Okay, I'm epically confused here. They're insisting on something that has literally never happened before?" Prompto hauled himself onto the sofa, breaking into his own triple chocolate rocky road.

"I stormed out after 'you're to marry Lady Lunafreya.' Probably catch hell for it, but it was that or start hitting something, so that was the lesser evil." Noct plopped down next to Prompto on the sofa. "Think we have to wait for the treaty text to see how bad it is."

Sensing the outset of a bout of nervous vibrating, Noct set his ice cream down and wrapped himself around Prompto. "I don't give a damn what the treaty will demand, you're mine, and I'm not letting you go over something completely out of our control. Not like Luna will have any complaints."

Prompto just sagged into Noct's arms, his own ice cream taking a spot next to Noct's. "Can you really blame me for starting to worry?"

"No, not really," Noct edged in for a kiss, only to meet Prompto's hand. "You know the rule. I don't care how much I vibrate; you're brushing your teeth before kissing me with mint flavor in your mouth."

Knowing that any attempt to press the issue was futile, Noct just got up to do just that. Well, once he stored the ice cream safely in the freezer.

Ignis pushed his glasses up his nose. "Here's the good news: there is absolutely nothing about you being unable to take other consorts or lovers."

"Well if there's good news, then there's bad news too." Prompto stated, Noct wrapped around him to keep him from vibrating too much.

"'No such consorts may be acknowledged until such time as a successful pregnancy and delivery has happened with the Oracle. Any children resulting from a union before the completion of a successful pregnancy and delivery will be disbarred from inheriting the throne of Lucis. There may only be other consorts for the purposes of an heir.'" Ignis read off his stack of paper, having made copies of the relevant sections as far as Noct and Prompto were concerned.

"So I'd be the royal boy toy?" Prompto asked.

"Not unless there's something you've been keeping from us, and given the regularity and frequency of your activities with Noct, we'd know by now." Ignis deadpanned. "It doesn't mention lovers or mistresses, either for or against."

"Can they even impose such a thing? Disbarring any kids born before Lady Lunafreya's from inheriting?" Gladio asked.

"I think they're trying to put in every potentially offensive thing in the initial text." Ignis admitted, leaning on Gladio.

Any attempt by them to keep their relationship undisclosed had died a permanent death when Noct and Prompto came back from class early to find Gladio and Ignis making out in the kitchen.

"Soo…does the ceremony happen here? Gralea? Tenebrae?" Noct questioned.

"It's undecided currently. Indications point to Altissia as the location for the ceremony, being about as neutral a location as be obtained between Lucis and Niflheim." Ignis answered.

"Not to be a warmonger here, but…there's no way this treaty could stand should Noct ascend the throne, right? Cuz the main reason we can't fight it is because His Majesty can't?" Prompto asked.

"Hard to say." Ignis said. "About the only reason Niflheim can get away with such an action is because we are unable to say 'no' without incurring far too great a loss."

"Like giving up everything outside Insomnia isn't too great a loss?" Noct scowled.

"By accepting the treaty for now, there remains the possibility of recovering those lands. Prosecuting a war now has the possibility of never recovering those lands, if only for reasons of inability."

"In short, either we keep our heads down for now, or stick it out and risk gettin' chopped?" Gladio asked.

"Quite so. The Emperor is old, and there's been no mention of an heir even nominally, regardless of the power the Imperial Chancellor has."

The four fell into silence. With little more to say on the subject, Ignis and Gladio left, leaving Prompto to distract Noct any way he could, if only until the next morning.

Altissia did turn out to be the location of the wedding ceremony, with the signing ceremony to take place in Insomnia on May 16th. Noct would depart the city with his entourage of Ignis, Gladio, and Prompto on May 13th.

Prompto found himself bizarrely calm through all the preparations for the trip, from notifying the Insomnia Royal University of their leave of absence to all the last minute training being crammed down their throats.

Both his parents were busier than they had ever been. The treaty announcement had led to them being placed on active duty. Eleanore was put in charge of transferring all major medical cases from the hospitals within five miles of the Citadel to one central, secure location, with less serious cases going to hospitals farther from the Citadel. The hospitals, clinics, and emergency treatment centers within the exclusion zone would remain open up until the day of the signing, after which only medical personnel and Crownsguard members would be permitted access. Michael was part of the team going over the mechanics of security shelters and barricades to ensure they were in working order and fixing those that weren't. In the weeks leading up to the departure, Prompto barely managed to see either of them.

When he did see them, worry was the order of the day. "The rumor going around is that the Imperial Chancellor waltzed into the Citadel and dictated terms himself." Eleanore confided. "Just…be careful. Please."

"Most of the Crownsguard is pissed that His Majesty is relying on Kingsglaive for protection during the signing." Michael told him. "No one's denying the importance of protecting the citizens, but…there's been rumbles, over the treaty stipulations. Even if what is lost can be regained, those with family outside the Wall aren't happy. I'm pretty sure they'll be assigned to less critical areas."

Prompto found himself packing up his most valuable possessions. Miss Aerith had given him a magical bag that let him carry the important things on his person without any one knowing it was there, and weighing no more than the pendant Noct had given him for his twentieth birthday, no matter how much the total weight was.

The pendant Noct had given him had replaced the dog tag he hadn't been able to give up, even after all this time. Eighteen karat gold, both yellow and rose, worked into the form of an intricate sun. The sun's center had a pair of cats etched in black, one completely black and one just outlined in black, leaving the yellow gold visible. It was easily the most expensive thing he'd ever owned, even without factoring in the enchantments Noct had added, not least of which was one that meant the only way it could come off was by Prompto's own hand…or Noct's death.

Calling in a bunch of favors, Prompto had been able to give Noct something similar for the Winer Solstice. Prompto had become the go to guy for firearms in Crownsguard, and having barely touched his stipend meant he had plenty of money saved up for materials. The Royal Metalsmith Master Lali Ho let him use his own workshop, as long as Prompto covered the materials costs. A gold sun that had been treated to tint it black, Noct's Engine Blade crossed with his own gun in the center. Somehow he had kept his nerves over the gift under control beforehand, not spoiling the surprise. The reward Noct had given him, after having Prompto put it on him, still left him blushing and adjusting his pants every time he thought of it.

Into the bag went his old dog tag, the assorted bracelets Noct had gifted him after learning of his past, the letters from Luna, the photo book from his trip with Miss Aerith, all of his cameras save his new heavy duty one, all the pictures on his walls, and his file. While he didn't get just how the bag worked, he was willing to put his faith in its ability. Especially in the face of the underlying uneasiness that had started to pervade the city.

Somehow, his parents managed to get a day off, on the fifteenth anniversary of his rescue. His mom made his favorite lasagna, and with Ignis and Gladio joining them for dinner meant she wound up making two large pans. Finally tasting the mythical lasagna for himself, Ignis could see why his cooking would be second choice, whenever that was on the menu. He debated attempting his own version, but given how this was evidently Prompto's first meal after his release following the bomb removal, he decided against it. Best to leave it stand alone, as a meal associated with his mother.

Word from Lunafreya came, with the assurance that the treaty was evidently on the up and up. She was not immune from any unease, however:

While all signs are that the treaty is an honest one, for all the outrageous demands contained within, I would not discount the possibility of some protest as the signing draws closer. I have been unable to learn of the reasonings behind this unheard-of union. Every generation has speculated about the Oracle marrying the Crystal-anointed King, and yet this is the first time such a union will actually happen.

Regardless, I am looking forward to seeing you in person after all these years, Noctis, and to meeting Prompto in person as well. While my duties as Oracle will resume after the wedding and brief honeymoon, I'm to live in Insomnia between tours. I find myself strangely excited, about leaving behind the unspoken walls imposed by the Empire, for all the 'freedom' my duties necessitate…

The day before departure finally arrived. The boys spent most of it packing up the apartment, for all Noct kept getting distracted by the sight of Prompto in all black for the first time ever. It was strange, leaving behind the place of so many firsts. His first sleepover, his first make out session, his first drink… It was the end of a chapter in his life, an end that Noctis hadn't expected as soon as it came.

Following the closing up of his apartment, the boys went back to the Citadel. The formal declaration and departure were to take place at what Noct regarded as an indecent hour-8AM-so it was much easier to spend the night before in the Citadel.

Prompto was the last to leave the throne room. He paused at the door briefly, looking back to Regis. He nodded, and Regis returned the nod. No other words were needed, in the face of the culmination of trust Regis had placed in Prompto years ago, when he declined to intervene in his friendship with Noct and permitted him access to the range.

Regis somehow kept his composure as he watched his son drive away, accompanied by his Shield, his Advisor, and his Lover. There had been no time for a private goodbye, so the last 'private' encounter had been over a month before, when he had assured Noctis that he would support his relationship with Prompto, regardless of what the treaty demanded.

While his eyes had weakened over the years, Regis could not miss the figure in pink who also watched the boys-men, he should start calling them-depart, appearing much as a mother would, when sending Her sons off to war.

Regis retreated to the Crystal Chamber, to monitor when the Regalia left the Wall. Feeling the Regalia cross the Wall, he whispered, "May the Blessings of Eos follow you on the road ahead."

To be continued in 'Those Chosen By The Planet.'

Shout out to all the people who reviewed, favorited, and followed; I get this isn't exactly an eye-catching concept, once you hit 'crossover with Final Fantasy VII', so thank you for taking a chance and your support. It'll take longer to post the sequel, since I'm planning to replay the game to make sure I do it right.