"Some people don't know what they have until it's gone.

But what about the ones who do know?
The ones who never took a damn thing for granted?
Who tried their hardest to hold on,
yet could only look on helplessly while they lost the thing they loved most?

Isn't it so much worse for them?" –Lang Leav


20160 – 336


Mrs. Argentum packed some of Prompto's belongings. As she grabbed the photos plastered on his wall, her heart broke with every glance she took of her son's smiling face next to Noctis and their beloved friends. How had things gotten this bad? She couldn't comprehend how fast the years had gone. She couldn't put together how something so precious slip from their fingertips so easily.

He's gone. Prompto had told them. But that's okay, because I kinda will be gone too…

Remembering those words made her drop to the ground and let out a loud cry.

There were so many things she still had to tell him. So many things she wished she had said sooner. Now that time was running out for him, she wasn't sure if Prompto could handle the truth if she were to tell him. There were so many truths he had to accept already. His life slipping away, his husband leaving him for someone else, and the truth about his whole being would break him. The thought of it was breaking her.

Mr. Argentum came up and held her close. "Hey, it's okay. It's okay."

It's not okay.

He's gone through a lot and he's still going through more. When Cindy had told her Noctis came over with divorce papers on hand, she blew up. And after she checked up on them after a few days, Prompto still had told him about his sickness.

At this point, it's never going to be okay.

But as her son's joyful laughter resonated in her head, exhaustion took over her and she fell into a helpless slumber in her husband's arms.

She'll find a way. There has to be one.


11520

During their rift, Noctis was often too busy to ever pay attention to Prompto's photography and his work. He knew Prompto's interests in general, but work always caused him to be too tired to care. In the afternoon, for the first time, Noctis sat down and listened to Prompto's plans for his next upcoming portfolio.

Prompto moved slowly, but Noctis was used to his pace by now. He was also used to Prompto occasionally forgetting things or having stalled responses then brushing it off with a sheepish laugh. It also wasn't a rare occasion for Prompto to rub his eyes and close them for a while with deep breaths. Noctis, trying to do what he could to make him feel better, would go and retrieve water whenever possible.

Papers scattered throughout the living room floor. There were small papers with notes on them as well as stapled packets of locations of possible places for photoshoots. Prompto had spread them out for Noctis to see and he watched as Prompto struggled to organize them the way he wanted—if that was why he kept looking frustrated and confused.

"So," Prompto started with a smile, "these are all my ideas and plans."

"That's a lot," Noctis commented as he blinked, looking at the mess. "Are these the ideas you had years ago?"

"No. I threw away everything I had back then."

Noctis raised a brow. "Uh… Everything?"

Nodding, Prompto confirmed. "I threw everything away in late spring."

"Why?"

"I wanted to start over. I realized I've been taking random shots."

"Well, nonsense is kinda your thing, isn't it?" Noctis said, offering a smile.

Prompto returned a small smile. "It is, but I wanted to try something different. That's all."

Glancing down at the words on paper, Noctis grinned. "Well, I'm pretty sure it's gonna be good. Just like the rest. It's always been."

Looking at Noctis, Prompto's eyes twinkled as his lips curved. "Thanks, Noct."

"No biggie."

After a moment, Prompto asked, "Will you come?"

Noctis blinked. "To your show?"

Nodding, Prompto said, "Yeah. Once Vyv approves." Then he added, "I won't make you promise me that you have to come though. I already told you that the last two weeks are all I'll ever ask of you…"

Feeling a heavy tug on his heart, Noctis lifted a hand and turned Prompto's face towards him. "I'll come to see them, Prompto."

Prompto looked more sad than happy, which was the complete opposite of what Noctis expected. Biting his lips for a second, Prompto nodded again then let out another smile. "Thanks."

"No problem."

When Prompto paused for a second to close his eyes and take in deep breaths, Noctis looked at him with a concerned face. "Headache?"

"Yeah…" Prompto nodded weakly, rubbing his temples. "Headache."


"This is too much, Prompto. I've had enough. I can't take it anymore."

As Prompto looked up from his scattered photographs and magazines, Cindy looked at him with glossy eyes. She looked like she was about to cry.

"You can't take what?" Prompto asked softly with his hoarse voice.

Cindy sighed as she handed him two pills and a glass of water, shaking her head sympathetically.

"You look terrible. I can't believe Noctis is playing along this lil game of yers."

Ignoring the comment about Noctis, Prompto sighed. "I look worse than I feel."

"You sure 'bout that?" She questioned, crossing her arms. "I feel like it's the other way 'round."

Prompto couldn't say anything. He knew Cindy was only worried about him. He took the medication quietly and drank water to push the medicine down. Astrals, he hated the taste. If he could, he would have stopped taking it already, but his parents refused for him to stop and Prompto wanted to finish his portfolio before his body deteriorates completely.

There was so much he had left to do. He just wished he had more time.

Two years was the longest, the doctors said.

Just two years.

You're blessed.

Not many take that long.

But that didn't make Prompto feel any better.

His parents suggested they go back to Niflheim. They wouldn't have anything left once he's gone and he wanted to fulfill that wish. He wouldn't want to leave them sad memories. He already hurt them when he said he was sick.

Prompto had promised himself that he'd keep fighting for those he cared about. That's why he took those shitty medications. That's why he did what he could to spend time with them.

He had no battle left to fight for Noctis. The divorce papers inaudibly expressed who had already won and Prompto was okay with that.

"Please rest for the rest of the day," Cindy kneeled in front of him and whispered, placing her hands on his shoulders with a gentle squeeze. "I saw how you could barely stand. That's why Noctis has been getting you water… and now he's off to get your things upstairs. Look, I'll help you stand. Just please go and get some rest… I'll tell Noctis you'll come down for dinner."

"Cinds, I had the whole night to rest," Prompto reasoned out. "And I'm just doing my job."

"Vyv told'ja to take it easy. You're doing nothin' but torturing y'self, sweetheart. If you told him the truth—"

Prompto stared at his half-empty glass.

"You wouldn't understand."

Cindy chewed on her lower lip. "You're right, I don't. But yenno what I understand? That you only have this much time left and you ain't letting yourself be happy. You're gonna get more and more sick and he's gonna leave without even knowing what's happenin' to you."

"It wouldn't be fair…" Prompto answered softly, tracing his ring finger. "It would be selfish and wrong to take away the Noctis' happiness. I can't leave this world knowing I've done that."

"What in the Astrals' name are you talkin' about?" Cindy gasped incredulously. "How can you say that it's selfish and wrong?! Him not knowing and treating you this way is selfish and wrong. There ain't nothing wrong with telling your husband the truth. C'mon, Prompto. You know it."

He did know. A bigger part of him just wouldn't allow himself to say the truth.

Prompto slowly got up by himself. "I knew the consequences that came with my request. He'll think I'm playing with him, and that's the last thing I want."

"Well the last thing I want is him leaving without getting a buncha facial bruises all over his precious face."

Noctis appeared in the living room with a box on his hands. "Who're we talking about?"

Silence.

Convincing Prompto to tell the truth failed and there's nothing more she could feel besides the swelling anger and guilt inside of her, but she knew better. Prompto squeezed her hand in plead and Cindy could only half-heartedly smile at Noctis before her shoulders dropped in defeat.

"I'll leave you two alone," she murmured softly, then she was gone.

Noctis stared at Prompto struggle to keep himself up. After placing the box to the ground, he reached out and helped him sit on the couch.

"You look tired, Prompto. You should rest."

Prompto stuck out his tongue. "Cindy was just telling me the same thing."

"Then majority rules." Noctis smiled, ruffling his hair. "I'm kinda sleepy too anyway. So, whaddya say?"

There was a hint of hesitation on Prompto's part but Noctis' hands were inviting, he couldn't help returning the smile that Noctis had on his face. As they walked up the stairs, Cindy's words echoed in his head; should he really tell Noctis? What if his actions change completely? What if he acts kinder towards him because of pity?

Prompto didn't realize he was staring at Noctis for a while until he started laughing.

"Is there something on my face?"

"Wh-what? No! Sorry! I was just spacing out. My bad."

Noctis raised a brow then resumed back to supporting him up the stairs. "Okaaaaay, if you say so."

Prompto decided he'll tell Noctis.

He'll tell him.

When they finally said their goodbyes. When the divorce papers have been signed and on his hands.

When Noctis' feet are outside the door and won't be turning back.

He'll tell him then.

Not now.


After dinner, Mrs. Argentum sat down next to her husband in their study.

"Is something the matter, dear?"

"…I want to take Prompto back to Niflheim."

"…What?"


AN: I initially meant to post this chapter last month, but my son got sick and I had school. I shouldn't be making excuses, but hey, life's life. Anywho, this is not beta'd again. Just wanted to make a short shoutout to Red SongBird who reached out to me through PM. I don't think I would have posted it if it hadn't been for you. Sending lots of love to you.

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving.