Disclaimer: not mine

Chapter 19

Ardyn watched the footage, seeing Noctis standing before the people of Insomnia, no sign of the collar around his neck and yet unable to speak. The new Retainer was very familiar as well, he was surprised Regis had allowed him to remain at Noctis' side. The Emperor was fuming, almost frothing at the mouth, at having lost the Prince, he didn't care so much about the loss of the MT. The things he was demanding, well, Ardyn was no mans servant. He'd been digging into Besithia's work as well and what he had found…perhaps it was time he bid farewell to the Empire and made his own way.

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Noctis straddled Prom's lap, hands on his shoulders as they kissed, Prompto's hands running up and down his back. It'd been over a week since the press conference and the stories of his rescue were still front page news. It was getting too much and he just wanted to forget for a while and Prompto needed the break too. He broke the kiss, staring down into bright eyes, grinning at him, and Prompto smiled back at him, lifting a hand to run through his hair and he pressed into his hand.

'Love you,' he mouthed.

"Love you too," Prompto pulled him into another kiss.

Noctis loved that Prompto had become so much more sure in their interactions, not hesitating to become physically affectionate beyond simple touches and kisses. Making out on the couch where anyone with the right door code could find them was new and he wasn't complaining. In fact, he was not complaining so much that even his enhanced senses missed the door opening.

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Ignis paused in the doorway before quickly shutting and locking it behind him, unable to take his eyes off the two on the couch. They were beautiful together and his hunger stirred at the lust in the air. They were both pale, but their hair made a very nice contrast as they kissed, one of Prompto's hands tangled in the black locks. He really should mention them being so oblivious in the main room…but not at the moment. He moved quietly across the room, drawn to them, even as he knew Prompto may not feel comfortable enough yet…but they kissed and touched…

Ignis stopped walking, his legs pressed against Prompto's, his hands on Noctis' shoulders, his Prince not reacting, sensing who it was and so not startled at all. Prompto did react, eyes snapping open, grip on Noctis tightening protectively until he realised he was staring up into familiar silvery green eyes. Ignis held his gaze, questioning, ready to back off, but Prompto moved the hand on Noctis' back to Ignis' hip, hesitant fingers moving at where his shirt was tucked into his slacks. It took only a second to pull his shirt out and then warm fingers were running over the skin of his stomach. He closed his eyes, breathing deeply to keep a hold of his control as Noctis arched back against him.

He opened his eyes to find Prompto staring at them, relaxed back against the couch, there was a touch of nervousness but nothing that seemed to indicate he wanted what was happening to stop.

"P," he cleared his through. "Prompto?" he whispered, wanting him to be sure.

Prompto licked his lips nervously and Noctis groaned in reaction, reaching for him. "Bed?" the blond suggested.

That seemed to get through to Noctis, who shifted on Prompto's lap, moving his hand to stroke Prom's cheek, cocking his head to one side, questioning, and Prompto nodded. Noctis went to get up, but was trapped between them. Ignis simply wrapped his arms around him and lifted him, Noctis laughing silently.

Prompto scrambled up from the couch, not as graceful as usual but understandable, his face still flushed, breathing still quicker than normal. They made their way to Noct's bedroom, well theirs really since Prompto always slept there. It was safer with Noctis unable to speak, should an assassin sneak in then Prompto could call out for help if needed. Or if anything happened really. Prompto opened the door and Ignis dropped Noctis onto the mattress where he immediately began to strip, wriggling out of his pants.

Ignis glanced at Prompto who was watching Noctis wriggle and then he looked over, meeting Ignis' eyes. He took a deep breath and then pulled his t-shirt off, chucking it at a chair in the corner that Ignis suspected often ended up with clothing on it. he let his eyes wander over the exposed skin, he'd seen Prompto bare chested and even naked before, but it was always nice to just look. The scars didn't bother him at all, didn't bother any of them. In fact, most of the time Ignis didn't even think about what Prompto was, he looked and acted completely human and so that was how they all treated him, the dampener he wore was on prototype five now and did an excellent job of muting any MT effect. Not that the three of them cared since they'd be with him or without it. He glanced at Noctis who smirked and nodded.

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Prompto tossed his shirt onto the chair, he still felt a bit self-conscious over his scars but from the way Ignis' eyes were wandering, the Incubus didn't care at all. Then again, he'd seen them before when they'd been fresh and Prompto had been curled in his lap, terrified and confused. Things had changed so much since that day and he'd never been happier. He wasn't wearing shoes which made slipping out of his trousers a lot easier, Noct already fully naked and laying back among the pillows, watching them eagerly, his fangs poking out slightly which kind of looked cute.

He looked back to Ignis to find he was now naked too, walking towards him. He reached out, pulling him close, kissing him ardently, they'd kissed plenty before and it felt really good.

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Noctis lay back and watched, happier than he'd been ever, even when Prom had agreed to stay. He wanted this, wanted them all happy together, really together, and it seemed like Prompto was ready to take another step towards that. He really looked good in Iggy's arms.

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Regis read the report and then looked up at Cor. "The Imperial Chancellor?"

"Hasn't been seen in three months, it seems he's either died and they're not releasing information, fallen out of favour very drastically, or has left of his own accord. The Imperial Court has not made a comment on his absence or named a replacement."

"Have our people seen any sign of him?"

"No Sire," Cor admitted.

Regis considered things and then stood. "Where is Prompto today?"

"The whole group are training," Cor knew because he kept a close watch on the four of them. Not due to distrust but to keep them safe. So fae, no one had realised what the boy was but they all doubted that would last forever. "Why him?"

"You saw the footage, he recognised the Chancellor. I'm hoping he can offer some kind of insight," Regis answered as they walked towards the training halls.

Cor opened one, checking, and then they went inside to find Gladio and Prompto on the mats. Watching the boy made it impossible to ignore what he was, not when he flipped Gladio onto his back with one hand. No wonder they trained in private, one look at him fighting so easily against an Amicitia and Noctis' Retainer or not, someone would likely try something stupid.

Noctis looked over and his eyes lit up, his son standing and making his way to them. Regis smiled and hugged him, since Noct's return he had been doing his best to find more time with him. He'd come so close to losing his son more than once over such a short period of time… Noctis didn't seem to mind at all, happily indulging his over protective parental urges.

"I see Prompto's doing well," he offered, and Noctis laughed, nodding.

His son's silence still hurt but was something he was becoming accustomed to. He was beginning to think he would never hear Noctis' voice again, unless it was in the more instinctive noises, purring and the like. Noctis had begun learning the various hand signs used by the Guard and Glaive to give him some way to communicate without his phone or tablet but it just wasn't the same.

His fingers flashed in a request for location and Regis understood. "We would like to speak to Prompto about something that has come up," he answered.

Noctis nodded and put his fingers to his lips, whistling. It had taken becoming mute for him to finally figure out how to do that. The two combatants stopped and walked over, Prompto breathing the one showing the most obvious signs of exertion. They both bowed and Prompto caught the towel Ignis tossed him.

"From what I saw, that was a good match," Regis told them, seeing the boy's cheeks colour slightly.

"He's a good challenge Your Majesty," Gladio agreed.

"Maybe I should see how good," Cor spoke up, and the colour in Prompto's face vanished.

Noctis moved, wrapping his arms around Prompto's waist, nuzzling at him, purring softly, even as Ignis moved behind him, a hand on his shoulder.

Regis saw Cor grimace slightly at how badly Prompto had reacted to that. Just what stories were spread outside of the city and within the Empire about Cor? "Prompto," he called gently. The boy looked up at him shakily, and Regis closed the distance between them, able to hear his heart racing. He rested his hand on the shoulder that Ignis wasn't touching, a firm but gentle grip on the black cloth and flesh beneath. "I do not know what stories you have heard of Cor, but he helped bring you and Noctis home," he reminded him. "Cor would never harm you."

"Sorry," the boy whispered.

Cor shook his head. "There's nothing to be sorry for," he assured him.

Noctis looked up at him, signing again.

"I was hoping Prompto may know something that could help with a puzzling event," Regis answered.

"Me?"

"From the video footage of your capture, you seemed to recognise the Chancellor before he said anything," Regis explained, getting a wary nod from the blond. "He appears to have disappeared. I know you were only a child but do you know anything about him that may help us figure out his motives?"

The boy trembled slightly under his hand, and Regis hated having to bring up memories of that time, but he had not seen the Chancellor when looking at his memories.

"It's alright Prompto," Gladio spoke up, moving to stand beside Ignis, body just touching the younger mans. Perhaps not the most appropriate in front of one's King but Noctis was rather wrapped around him as well.

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The Chancellor had disappeared? That couldn't be good. He remembered the man from the facility, snatches here and there… "He used to visit the Scientist…Besithia, would watch us train." He took a deep breath. "He was…strange, he stood out, like…I don't know. They were close but the last year I was there, he never came around. He wa…he…" Prompto rubbed his forehead.

He heard Noctis make a worried noise, pressing closer to him, and Prompto lifted a hand to grip his shirt. There was something….something….His eyes widened and he gasped.

"Prompto?" Ignis asked in concern.

"He was there…he…he gave me the control unit," he whispered. Why would the Chancellor help them escape when he'd been part of their capture?

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Cor stared in shock at Prompto. The Chancellor? That made no sense? Unless it had been the first step in a plan to defect or something? Or at least to make them think he was defecting? Then again, with the condition Prompto was in when they found him, perhaps the man had thought his aid would never be remembered? If he was defecting or at least abandoning the Empire, it made sense he hadn't done anything on the battlefield, even the Glaive team hadn't been able to help the boys, if he had tried he simply would have been killed or taken into custody.

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Noctis held onto Prompto, comforting him as best he could as he was forced to remember things he knew he didn't want to think about. He felt Prompto trembling slightly, clinging back, Ignis and Gladio at his back. He hated that Prom was still scared of Cor but he didn't blame him, his whole life Cor would have been something of a nightmare, as an MT or hunter. Still, he thought it would be good for Prom to test his skills against Cor.

The Chancellor had helped them escape? Had given Prompto the means to free him from an eternity of nothingness? Why? If he had wanted to defect, why not come with them? He'd have been welcomed if he had, right? Maybe he'd felt guilty, just wanted out of the war?

He huffed in annoyance, and felt Prompto lift a hand to stroke the back of his neck. He nuzzled at Prom's throat, feeling him slowly calm down. "Ssssafe."

Prompto froze and he heard gasps. "Noct?" Prompto pulled back and looked him in the eye. "Was…was that you?"

He pressed a hand to his throat. Was it? He turned to look at his Dad, seeing his eyes wide with hope.

"Noctis, you spoke," his Dad smiled at him.

He'd really spoken? It hadn't sounded like him, had it? But he hadn't spoken in months so his voice would sound different. He opened his mouth to speak to his Dad, but nothing happened. Noct shook his head, why couldn't he do it?

"Shh Noct," his Dad pulled him into his arms. "It's alright, don't try and push yourself. You spoke son, that means you aren't permanently mute, no matter how long it takes, you will speak again one day."

"Perhaps we should finish for the day," Ignis suggested and he felt his Dad nod.

They left the training room, Noctis feeling rather dazed from it all, and when he was able to fully refocus on things he found he was being held by his Dad, suckling at his wrist like a little kid. He wasn't hungry but it was comforting, still, he licked the wound and rested his head against his Dad's shoulder, dozing as his Dad whispered to him, saying how proud he was of him, that he loved him.

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Regis held his son even as he stopped drinking, feeling him fall asleep. He closed his eyes and laid his head back against the back of the couch. He'd spoken, his son had spoken! For the first time in over six months he had heard Noctis' voice beyond a recording.

He felt horrible for stressing young Prompto the way they had but any information on the Chancellor could be important…and it had helped the boy remember something from their escape. Why would such a man help them? He couldn't help feeling wary of that help but for now there was nothing to be done.

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Gladio ran his hand soothingly up and down the sleeping Prompto's side. It had taken some work to calm him down enough to rest, but it had been fun. He could hear the hum of his core but it was quieting now. Ignis looked up at him, looking very relaxed and full.

They were all ecstatic at having heard Noctis speak, even if it had only been one very scratchy word. It was a start and it gave everyone hope for more in the future. They all missed Noctis being able to speak and knew it frustrated him a lot.

"Okay?" Iggy murmured, and he nodded, leaning over Prompto's slumbering form to kiss him softly.

"Get some sleep," Gladio told him, settling down himself to rest for a while.

TBC….