Fifteen year old Noctis didn't know what to do. He's tried to tell his father, Ignis, and even Gladio. But no one seemed to believe him.
Noctis has a monster living under his bed.
No, really. It's true. Noctis had seen it. Sort of.
He had come back to his chambers early one day, because one of the council members had gotten a allergic reaction to something and the meeting had been dismissed. When he had opened the door, there had been someone standing in the center of the living area, holding a ball. It was a large bouncing ball that Noctis had lost years ago, but that hadn't been his main focus at that moment. He had been more focused on the person.
Or, rather, the vaguely person-shaped thing.
The person was the same size as Noctis, but looked to be made up of dark, swirling shadows. In the back of his mind, Noctis wondered how a bunch of shadows could hold a ball. The front of his mind was busy trying to figure out what he was seeing.
Unfortunately, the shadow's mind had been working a lot more efficiently that Noctis', because it dropped the ball collapsed into a pool. Only then did it sweep out of the room and into Noctis' bedroom. Noctis ran after it and arrived in the threshold just in time to seem the tail end of the shadow slip under his bed.
Noctis had tried to get a look at it a few times after that, but he never saw anything. The only reason he knew it was still there was because during the rare times Ignis couldn't stay for dinner, Noctis was able to sneak his vegetables into his room and he would leave them near his bed, and in the morning, the plate would be licked clean.
Noctis didn't know what to do, so he didn't do anything. He continued to feed the shadow his vegetables when he could get away with it, but other than that, he let the monster be. It wasn't hurting anyone, he didn't think it was anyway, so why make a fuss about it?
So instead, he talked to it. He told it about King's Knight, and movies and the arcade he liked to visit. He told it about Ignis and Gladio and how much he loved napping. On days he felt especially down, he talked about his father's failing health, and the crystal and the ring. When he felt lonely, he spoke about school and his on-going quest for the mythical "friend" and his continued failure of it.
The monster never responded, but sometimes he could the the wisps of shadow peeking out from under the bed, and the was enough of a response to keep Nocis talking. On quiet days when Noctis couldn't talk, he played games and slept while the shadow kept to periphery, hovering in the corner of the room or hiding under the sofa as it watched him play. On those days, the shadow's presence was enough to feel as if Noctis wasn't alone.
It went on like this until school started.
Noctis slammed open the door.
Ignis came in behind his and closed it quietly, sighing to himself. The first day of high school and Noctis was already upset. He watched his prince stomp into his bedroom and close the door. Unusual but not unexpected. Noctis normally didn't care if his bedroom door was shut or not. The only time he closed it was when he needed to be alone. It wasn't locked, incase of emergency, but Ignis could afford to give his friend the space he wanted.
Unfortunately, Ignis had a council meeting later, and couldn't stay with Noctis (not that he wanted any company at the moment), but there was nothing going on tomorrow that couldn't be rescheduled.
Ignis only hoped Noctis was feeling better by then.
Noctis threw himself into the bed, burying his face in the soft pillow.
All the whispers had gotten to him today. He didn't know why, it wasn't any different from any other year of public school. But today he just couldn't deal with it. Maybe it was seeing all those people whispering together. Noctis wanted someone to whisper with too. Wanted someone to play games with and text and see everyday. Noctis wanted a friend. He just didn't know what to do about it. The few friends he had made over the years never staying long. The reason always came back to the fact he was royalty. He didn't know what to do about it.
Noctis closed his eyes and forced himself to drift.
Eventually he fell asleep.
Cor Leonis had a monster under his bed. It had been there for almost a year now. It never did anything except hiding under the bed. The only things Cor knew about it was that it slept under his bed, ate whatever he put out for it, and it seemed to leave the apartment during the day.
It was always there once the sun set, and disappeared as the sun was rising. He didn't know where it went, nor did he know why it came back every night. Cor had taken something of a liking to it. It was quiet and didn't make a mess, and despite disappearing every day, it always came back. Kind of like a dog or cat. Without the mess.
It was kind of nice having something to come home to. Even if it didn't talk.
The point was, the monster-shadow thing had a schedule.
Which was why he was so surprised when he arrived home and saw the shadow sitting at his tiny little dining room table.
Cor couldn't help stiffening. This was not part to the shadow's behavioral pattern which meant he couldn't predict what it was going to do next.
Then it spoke.
"Cor, I need your help."
It was only Monday, and Noctis already wanted to go home.
He walked down the hall, ignoring the whispers of his classmates.
Noctis was worried. He hadn't seen a wisp of his shadow monster in a week and he didn't know what happened. Did he upset it? Maybe his bed had only be a pit stop, and it had moved on. Whatever it was, Noctis felt more isolated than he had in a long time. He didn't know what to do.
Then he felt a slap on the shoulder.
"Hey Prince Noctis! My name's Prompto, let's be friends!"