Disclaimer: Don't own FFXV
So this is a slash version of Royals of the Sea, some of it will be the same, other scenes will be different to reflect the relationships.
Noctis looked out at the massive building from the back seat of the car. He was honestly terrified; he hadn't been to a public school since before the attack when he was nine. It had been decided that he would attend high school for his final year. He'd longed for this once, to be a normal teenager, but that dream was long gone. He didn't like the idea of being separated from Ignis and Gladio for so many hours of the day either.
Ignis got out of the driver's seat and moved around to help him. "Shall I come with you?" he offered gently.
"No, got to do this myself, right?" he offered a small smile and headed for the main doors, waving Ignis off.
Ignis watched, torn between honouring Noctis' want of independence with the need to ensure his charge was well. He forced himself to get back in the car and drive away.
Noctis reached the door and moved to open it, struggling with the heavy weight and then a hand darted around him, grabbing it and pulling it open.
"There's a trick to them," a young voice offered. "The school's been promising for years to get them fixed."
Noctis turned to see a teen in the schools uniform with sunny blond hair and blue eyes, the teen offering a smile. "Oh….thanks."
"No problem, I'm Prompto, you're new here, right?" He seemed quite happy to just stand there holding the door and waiting for Noct to move.
"Yeah," Noctis was surprised Prompto hadn't recognised him. Prompto held the door for him as Noctis wheeled himself through and into the building.
"Office is just down the hall, first door on the right. If you need any help with anything, I'm in class 12C. Good luck." The blond grinned and offered his hand and Noctis lifted a gloved hand to shake it.
"Thanks," he offered and the blond waved, heading down the hall. Noctis wheeled himself down to the office to be greeted by the Principal himself.
Prompto dropped into his seat, instantly noticing the modified desk that was now beside his own. Looked like the new kid was going to be in his class. New kid…Prince Noctis himself. He'd recognised him as soon as the Prince had turned from the door to look at him. It had been strange to see him again after so many years. Did the Prince remembered him from school? Though why would he? They hadn't been in the same class, had never spoken… he shook those thoughts off and got his books out, absently tapping a pen against his desk as he waited for class to start. Just one more year and he'd be done with school and out on his own. He loved living in Insomnia but with no support from his parents he'd never be able to afford living there on his own. Even if he managed to get a scholarship for university, that didn't cover everything.
He shook those thoughts off, he still had time. He looked up at the front of the room as the teacher entered and behind her was the Prince. After a brief word, he wheeled himself down the row and Prompto waved as he got close. Noctis blinked and offered a small smile as he manoeuvred his chair into position behind the desk. The class started and Prompto started taking notes, he may not particularly like geography, but it would be useful if he did end up leaving the city. A glance at the Prince showed him struggling to stay awake. "You okay?" he whispered, and the Prince started, blinking at him. "Alright?" he asked again and Noctis nodded, grimacing, but refocusing on the lesson.
Noctis grimaced even as he made sure the blanket over his legs was properly in place, breathing deeply. It was part of why he had been reluctant to attend school. The bell rang and he put his pen down, leaning back in his chair, hating the rigid back and longing for his bed or couch. He glanced over at Prompto to see the blond stretching in his chair, glancing over to grin at him. He had barely met the other teen, but he was so bright, and he had seemed genuinely concerned when he had nearly nodded off earlier.
Prompto grabbed his things and stood. "Eating in the canteen?"
"Is there anywhere else?" Noctis asked, not looking forward to such a crowded room. By now half the school probably knew he was there and he did not want to face the stares.
"Sure, there's picnic tables around campus," he glanced at the chair in consideration. "You should be able to manage some of them. I can show you?"
"Thanks," he pushed out from behind the desk, Prompto holding the door without even having to be asked. They headed outside and Prompto led him around to a table nestled under a tree.
"This one look good?" he asked and Noctis nodded, carefully wheeling over. He got his lunch out and put it on the table, on the side with no seats. "Well…I'll see you in class," a hand nervously ran through blond hair and Noctis hesitated.
"You can stay…if you want?" he offered and Prompto blinked before smiling shyly and taking a seat, getting his own packed lunch out. "Have you been here for the whole of high school?" he asked after a while.
"Yeah, got in on scholarship. We ah….we were at the same primary school before you left," Prompto offered, surprising him.
"Oh," he looked down at his still warm soup. "I uh…I don't remember a lot from before, did we know each other?" he never liked admitting to his spotty memory. The doctors had said it was due to the trauma of the attack and seeing his guards and nanny killed in front of him.
"No, we weren't even in the same class," Prompto quickly answered.
That was a relief, he didn't like the idea of having suddenly vanished on a friend or something. He grimaced as pain lanced through his lower body, gripping the table.
"Are you okay?" Prompto asked in alarm. "Should I get a teacher?"
"No…no, I'm okay," Noctis quickly assured him, taking deep breaths. "I uh…get pain sometimes. Legs are useless, but I can still feel them," he explained, rubbing at one thigh as if to relieve a cramp.
"Oh. Have you got something for the pain?"
"Only if it's really bad, usually it passes pretty quickly," the last thing he needed was Prompto getting a teacher or worse, the school nurse. "You like photography?" He asked, spotting the camera and needing to change the subject, thankful that Prompto took the hint, launching into an explanation.
Noctis undid his pants, pushing them down as far as he could, letting Iggy take them and his shoes off the rest of the way even as Noctis yanked his shirt off. He slipped out of his chair and into the water, sighing in relief as he closed his eyes, leaning against the edge.
"Yeah, thanks Specs," he promised, opening his eyes to look at his friend and Adviser. "Care to join me?"
"I have work to do."
"Please Iggy?" He asked softly and Ignis sighed but took his glasses off, then his gloves, toeing out of his shoes, quickly stripping down to enter the pool as well.
"Bad day?" he asked as he swam over to Noctis' side and he shrugged.
"Two episodes," he admitted quietly. "And…I think I made a friend?"
"Oh?" Ignis asked in surprise.
"You might have seen him, he opened the doors for me," Noct told him and Ignis frowned.
"A blond boy?" he asked and Noctis nodded.
"Turns out we were in the same school but different classes before. We're in the same class now, my desk is beside his. His name is Prompto and he likes photography. He helped me around the school, woke me up when I started falling asleep in class. I didn't mean to," he rushed to assure Ignis who smiled sadly.
"I know," Ignis assured him, gently ruffling his hair.
Noctis leant into him, head resting on his chest and Ignis wrapped his arms around him. "He never said a word about the chair or my being the Prince, just treated me like anyone else. He saw the second episode, during lunch, offered to get the nurse."
"What did you tell him?"
"That I can feel my legs even if they are useless and that I get pain, that its nothing to worry about."
"A good explanation. I will have to perform a background check on him."
"I know. He's at the school on scholarship if that helps since I didn't get his last name," he mumbled and Ignis nodded, running his fingers through spiky hair.
"Get some sleep," Ignis murmured, pressing a kiss to the top of his head.
Ignis opened the file, scanning over the information. Prompto Argentum, seventeen years old, adopted at age seven by Marcus and Leanna Argentum. Place of birth – Niflheim. He looked at the picture in the file, his looks made the country of birth rather obvious. He had top grades in maths and most of the sciences, hence the scholarship.
There was no listing of birth parents, no history at all before he came to Insomnia. How he came to the city was not in the file either and that was…concerning. It was quite possible that he had been smuggled in, it happened with refugees, especially war orphans. The King's policy was to allow them entry, it was not a child's fault if they were born in an enemy country, but the automatic entry ended age five. After that there was a more thorough vetting process, though still not as strict as for adults. If his history was unknown, perhaps someone had been worried he'd be turned away and had taken pity on him.
He was also concerned by the Argentum's travel permits, according to the dates on them, they were hardly ever in the city. So who was actually looking after the teen? If it had been a recent development, well he was seventeen, but it had been going on since shortly after they'd adopted him. Why take on a child if they were just going to leave him in the city while they travelled for work?
Either way, he would have to contact someone further up the chain of command and pass it on. He hoped nothing was found and the boy was allowed to remain near Noctis. Three days at school and Noct was happier than Ignis had seen him in many years. He didn't take it personally and he knew Gladio didn't either, they were very secure in their places in Noct's life and heart, but they also knew how isolated his condition had made the Prince. He was very socially awkward and cut off from those he would one day rule because of it. Hopefully, Prompto could help draw him out.
Noctis sat back in his chair, smiling slightly as Prompto pushed him up the hill. It was rare for him to let someone push him, but the hill was steep, easier to navigate with someone pushing than him rolling the wheels himself.
"We did it!" Prompto grinned as they reached the top, sounding a bit out of breath. He manoeuvred the chair over to the table and Noctis locked the brakes, looking around curiously.
The hill was at the edge of the school grounds and provided a good view of the school and area around it. "Why doesn't anyone else use this?"
"Don't know," Prompto shrugged as he sprawled on the bench. "I've been coming up here for years."
Noctis nodded, digging his lunch out of the bag attached to his chair, frowning when Prompto didn't get his own out. "Where's your lunch?"
"Oh, I, uh, forgot to pack one," Prompto shrugged, picking at the table top.
He barely knew Prompto but even he could hear the lie. He almost wished he hadn't told Ignis not to tell him what was found in the background check unless it was vitally important. He knew Prompto was adopted thanks to a conversation on family the other day, he got the feeling his parents weren't around a lot too. "Here," he opened up the container and found a spare fork. "We can share."
"Oh, no, I couldn't, that's your lunch…I'll be fine," Prompto practically babbled, eyes wide.
"Prompto," Noctis called firmly and blue eyes slowly lifted to meet his. Huh…his eyes almost looked purple in the shadowed light from the tree. "Ignis always packs more than I can eat. I want to share with you. Come on, you haven't eaten till you've tried his cooking." He tipped the container towards Prompto who hesitated but then accepted the fork and took a little, Noctis grinning at his reaction to the food when he tasted it.
Ignis watched the school, standing beside the car, as students streamed from the building. Finally a lanky blond pushed the door open and held it while Noctis wheeled himself through, the two chatting about something he couldn't hear. Noctis looked relaxed, more animated than he was used to seeing, and it had been that way since the first day of school. It made him wish Noctis could have attended years ago but he'd been too unstable to risk it. The general population did not know the secrets of the Royal family and those closest to them, and it had to remain so, who knew how they would react.
He nodded as the blond looked over, spotting him. Ignis hadn't actually met the teen yet and was still waiting to hear back about the lack of information on his childhood. Prompto nudged Noctis' shoulder, pointing out the car and the Prince shifted direction slightly to head towards him, Prompto slowing.
"Come on, come meet Specs." They were close enough for him to hear Noctis call out to the other teen who hesitated but then walked closer. "Ignis Scientia, this is Prompto Argentum. Prompto this is Specs."
"A pleasure," Ignis offered his hand and the teen hesitated before shaking it.
"Hi. I uh…should get going. Got work soon."
"Okay, I'll see you on Monday," Noctis offered and only his knowledge of his Prince allowed Ignis to hear the slight question in his tone.
"See ya Monday," the teen waved and headed off at a jog, glancing back at the corner to wave again before he vanished from sight.
Ignis opened the door and Noctis pulled himself up onto the seat sideways, shifting his legs around until he was sitting properly while Ignis stored his chair. "A good day today?" he asked, seeing Noctis moving well, though carefully to ensure no one saw his legs move.
"Yeah, no episodes either,' Noctis got settled in his seat, stretching a bit.
Ignis drove back to the Citadel and Noctis got out of the car, obviously wanting to walk so Ignis stayed right at his side, leaving the chair for someone else to collect. There were handrails, subtly worked into the décor of the Citadel, for him to use if needed. They had been added over the last few years to make things easier for the Prince. "Your suite or the pools?"
"Suite. Might as well get my homework done first," he grimaced at the idea of homework.
Ignis nodded, happy to detect very little pain from his charge and friend as they made their way to the Royal wing. It took longer with Noctis walking but he would not rush him on a day when he felt able to handle the walk. He needed to keep up the strength in his legs and walking was a good way to do so. No one within the Citadel would ever let it be known that the Prince could walk.
They entered the wing only to see Regis in the hallway, Clarus at his side. Regis looked over and smiled, obviously very happy to see his son up and on his own feet. "Noctis."
"Hey Dad," Noctis smiled as his Dad approached, wrapping his arms around him, relaxing into the strong hold.
"You look very well today," Regis gently ruffled his hair and Ignis moved away, taking his school bag into his rooms.
"I feel pretty good," Noctis assured him.
"I'm glad," Regis whispered. It hurt, to see his son so physically broken. They had tried everything over the years to heal him but there had been no improvement in a long time. He had good days and bad and Regis worried for the day his son would become King. The few public appearances Noctis had made since the attack had been from the wheelchair, his legs always covered, hidden away. Most would think it was because he was self-conscious over wasted muscle, never coming close to guessing the truth. "You're enjoying school?" he asked, keeping an arm around his waist as they moved towards Noctis' rooms.
"Yeah, it's okay."
"Made any friends?" that had been his main worry when allowing Noctis to attend.
"I think so," Noctis smiled and Regis was very happy to see his son happy.
"That's wonderful," he kissed the top of his head. "Have dinner with me?"
"Of course," Noctis grinned as Regis stopped at the doorway. "I've got homework then I was going to the pools. Seven?"
"I'll let you know if it'll be later. Good luck with the homework." Regis watched him slowly walk into his rooms, proud of him. The attack had nearly broken Noctis but in the last few years he had been improving mentally and emotionally, taking an interest in life again and no longer treating the chair like a curse. If he could give his son back what the daemon had taken he would do it in a heartbeat, but not even he had that sort of power.
Prompto groaned and stretched, history was not his best subject but if he wanted to keep his grades up he had to do the homework. He glanced at the clock and grinned, he still had two hours until his shift at work, plenty of time for some Kings Knight, maybe Noct would be on too. Of course that was when the doorbell rang. He headed down the hall, glancing around to make sure the place wasn't too messy before checking who it was, surprised. He opened the door. "Hi Ignis," why was he on his doorstep. They'd barely spoken the few times he'd seen the older male when he was dropping off or picking Noctis up from school.
"Prompto," he greeted. "May I speak with you?"
"Ah, sure. Not for too long, I've got work tonight," he explained and Ignis nodded so he stepped back to let him in. "Want anything?" he pointed at the kitchen but Ignis shook his head so Prompto led him to the living room.
Ignis glanced around, hiding his frown. For a house that was meant to have a family living in it, it was very empty feeling. The house was small and right on the edge of the Niflheim refugee sector. Had the Argentum's moved there to let Prompto be close to the culture he had been born into? He watched Prompto shift nervously and put the file he had been carrying down on the table. "I am unsure if Noctis has told you, but it is required for anyone close to the Throne to undergo a security check," he started, seeing the surprise but then understanding on the younger boys face.
"Makes sense," Prompto offered, shifting on the couch.
Ignis was relieved to hear that response, some would see it as an unforgivable breach of privacy. "I began yours on the third day of class and I admit, I have hit a dead end."
"Oh?" he seemed genuinely confused.
"The file is comprehensive but only for the time you have lived in Insomnia. Other than country of birth, it is blank prior to the age of seven. There is also an ongoing criminal investigation that appears to be missing," he explained only to see the boy go white. "Prompto?" he looked around and then pushed the table back some in case he pitched forward.
"I…I didn't know it was blank," he whispered, arms wrapped around himself. "I can't, I'm sorry. They said I wasn't allowed."
"Who did?" If he knew that then he could go to them.
"The Crown," he whispered and Ignis' own eyes widened behind his glasses.
"I…see… do you know who exactly was involved so that I could ask?" his words caused a look of panic and he sighed. "I do not need to know what is missing, I only need to know that you can be given clearance with what hat information is," he explained and Prompto nodded slowly. "What about the investigation?"
"Remember the anti-Niff issues that exploded five years ago?"
"Of course," and he did not like the sound of that or the way Prompto was staring anywhere but at him.
"Investigation is open because they were never caught."
"What happened?" Ignis asked gently.
"It was at school. They ah, hit me from behind, I woke up two weeks later in the hospital, unable to move. I'm lucky the damage wasn't worse, or I'd have been in a chair too, except not wheeling myself around," Prompto admitted, studying him, before twisting around and lifting his shirt, revealing a mass of scars, some surgical and some not, on his upper spine, not far below his neck. "I was in hospital for months, then a wheelchair. After that I was on crutches for a long while, then a walking stick. I was told, if I hadn't been found when I was then…I wouldn't be here," he finished at a whisper.
Ignis felt sick. Five years ago, Prompto would have been twelve. Who attacked a child? Noctis had been younger but he was also a legitimate target as heir to the Throne, no matter how much they hated thinking about that. Looking at him, he never would have guessed he had been through something so physically and emotionally traumatic. "The file was sealed to protect you."
Prompto nodded. "They didn't want them to realise I'd survived the attack; in case they came back to finish the job. The Marshal himself was handling it towards the end. He uh, used to show up at my physio appointments sometimes, he'd offer encouragement to get out of the chair and walk again. Even got me a neat pen to encourage me to relearn how to write," he smiled slightly as he admitted Leonis' role in things, surprising Ignis, many found the man highly intimidating.
It was also a surprise to hear because the Marshal was not one to get so involved with those outside the Citadel, which he assumed meant the man knew what was missing from the file. The idea of someone attacking the cheerful blond was not something he liked, though he knew it happened. Of all of the refugees, those from Niflheim had it the worst. Those from Galahd may be seen as near savages by many but they also made up the bulk of the Kingsglaive, giving them some status and protection. "I am very sorry to hear what you went through Prompto. No one should go through such an attack."
"Even if they're just a Niff?" he whispered and Ignis swallowed.
"No one can help where they are born," Ignis stated firmly. "Why did you approach Noctis?" he asked to change the subject some.
Prompto shrugged. "Didn't know who he was at first, except a new student. He was struggling with the doors, I couldn't just ignore him, not after all the trouble I had after my attack. He just…seemed so lonely and I heard the others whispering, like they used to about me and I didn't want him to go through all that. I like him, he's nice."
Ignis nodded, satisfied with his answers. "The life of a royal can be a lonely one," he agreed.
"Was…was his injury…well he seems to be in pain."
"Unfortunately," Ignis sighed. "If not for the King, Noctis…would not have survived the trip back to the city." Perhaps he should not tell him even that much but if anyone would understand, it would be this teen who had suffered a similar injury. "Perhaps, you could share your experience with him? Let him know you understand.'
Prompto nodded. "It wouldn't hurt? I mean, I can walk."
"Did you suffer any permanent issues?"
"I ache in the cold, scar tissue they said. I can't do the rope climb either. I have exercises and stretches to do as well, it's why I took up running too, keep my legs strong," he babbled.
"I am glad you were not left with worse effects," Ignis assured him. "And I know Noctis would also be happy to know that you recovered so well. I will not tell him; it is up to you." He stood up. "I shall approach the Marshal to see about your clearance."
"What would happen? If it wasn't given?" Prompto asked softly.
"Nothing bad, you would not be allowed any more contact with him than what is necessary to get through schooling. Likely, one of you would be moved to another class to help facilitate that."
"Okay," he stared down at the table and Ignis had the feeling that was the outcome he was expecting.
"Have a good evening at work Prompto, thank you for your time," Ignis smiled at him and Prompto walked him to the door. He got in the car and headed for the Citadel, really hoping the Marshal could help, he didn't want to have to tell Noctis he wasn't allowed near the boy.
Prompto watched Ignis drive away and sighed, closing the door. He went to the kitchen and began preparing his dinner, mind spinning. He had been told not to speak of his past to anyone when he had finally been cleared for adoption, to keep his wrist and upper arm covered at all times. He had assumed that they would have put something in his records, not just left them blank. He glanced at his phone, considering make the call, but sat down to eat. After he washed the dishes and then sighed, hitting speed dial and listening to it ring.
"Alright kid?" the familiar voice asked.
"I think so? Um, Ignis Scientia was here, he said he's been doing a security check but that my record is blank before I came to the city and then the investigation into my attack."
"I see, what did you tell him?"
"I just told him that I wasn't allowed to talk about it. Though I did tell him about the attack when he asked. He…he said no one should go through an attack like that, even knowing where I was born. He asked me if I'll talk to Noctis about it."
"I will speak with Ignis. You want to be friends with Noctis?"
"Yeah… I like him and he just seems so lonely," he chewed at his lip nervously. Noctis…reminded him of himself in a lot of ways. No one had ever wanted to be his friend before and he wanted to help Noctis be happier.
"I'll handle it," he promised. "Working tonight?"
"No problem, be safe."
Prompto hung up and leant against the counter, eyes closed, relieved. He figured there was a file on him somewhere, even if only the King or Cor had it. They had asked him so many questions back then, run so many tests, and then even more tests after his attack. He did wonder if maybe one day he would get to see it, to know what had been done to him physically. He knew what had been done mentally; programming, brainwashing, those were the words the Citadel doctors had used. He'd finally really been getting over it when he'd been attacked, that had set him back but then Cor had come, helped him fight not to fall back into that mindset as his body recovered.
It was why Cor had gotten him a camera, to help give his hands something to do when he felt the urge to strip and clean a gun he didn't own. When he felt overwhelmed with targets, he could shoot with a camera and not a gun. Running helped too, exercise that was similar yet different to the training.
Would the King want him anywhere near his son?
Cor looked up as a knock sounded on his door. He had a feeling he knew who it was. "Enter," he called and sure enough, Scientia entered. "You're here about Prompto."
The young man stopped, blinking in surprise. "How did you know?"
"He called," Cor answered, setting his work aside. "The investigation into the attack is technically still open, however there is very little to go on. But I assume it is the first seven years of his life that you are seeking answers on."
Ignis nodded. "To complete the security check."
Cor held his hand out and Ignis handed over his tablet with the file open for him to read. Other than the missing time it was very good. This file would be accessible to certain people who were not privy to Prompto's past, which the King himself had classified. He accessed the file and added a few lines before handing it back to Ignis who looked it over. It simply said that his parents were dead, and that he had been found by one of their agents, starving in the cold. They had taken pity on an orphan and brought him to Insomnia where he had received treatment before being put up for adoption. He also placed his seal on the file, giving Prompto the necessary security clearance to be friends with Noctis.
No matter what had been done to Prompto as a child, and the small quirks that remained even after all of the therapy, he deserved the chance to have a friend as much as Noctis did. They were both in the position to understand each other in a way most others couldn't, they had both survived horrific attacks and had both been left permanently scarred by them.
Ignis studied the file and he knew that what Cor had filled in wasn't the truth, or at least not the whole truth, if it was then why leave it out in the first place. They were definitely covering up the younger boys past, but why? Obviously Cor knew and saw no threat to Noctis, Cor would never endanger the Prince, his godson. "Thank you for your time Marshal."
"Of course," Cor nodded and Ignis went to leave before pausing. "Scientia?"
"Is he really alright? His injuries I mean?"
Cor smiled slightly. "He healed well, he was able to get treatment much quicker than Noctis did and his spine took less damage. Prompto heals fast and that helped as well."
"Good. Thank you again Marshal." It was good to know that Prompto had healed so well. If only Noctis had as well, he knew his friend hated spending so much time confined to a wheelchair. He left the office to file the paperwork and then went to the pools and smiled to see Noctis and Gladio chasing each other in the water. He stripped down and dove in to join them.
"Hey Specs…any news?"
"Prompto has been cleared," he offered and Noctis smiled in relief. Ignis was glad he wouldn't have to give up his one friend outside of the Citadel. The Prince grinned and reached out to tag him before taking off, Ignis right behind him while Gladio laughed before joining in. They played for a few hours before getting out to dry off and head to Noctis' suites where Ignis cooked them a meal. After, they fell into bed, Noctis exhausted, but not too tired to cuddle and kiss for a while before he fell asleep.
Prompto waited against the wall, hands shoved in his pockets to keep them from shaking as he searched for any sign of the car that had driven Noctis to school all last week. Would the security clearance check have been finished yet? Would he be made to stay away? Then the car drew up and Ignis was retrieving the chair, Noctis manoeuvring out of the car and into it, a blanket tucked over his legs. Prompto knew first-hand how hard that could be, the strength it took, strength he had lacked in his arms for most of his own recovery.
He saw Noctis looking around and took a step away from the wall, seeing the small grin that formed as Noctis spotted him, so he walked over. "Hey," he greeted.
"Hey, good news," Noctis grinned, waving to Ignis before wheeling towards the school.
"Oh?" he pulled the doors open, heart racing with hope.
"Your security clearance went through."
"Really? That's great," he relaxed, had Cor stepped in? He hoped it hadn't been the King. He barely remembered seeing the man, still confined to a bed, a mass of tubes and monitors as they healed him and made sure he wasn't dangerous, as his body tried to reject what had been done to him.
"Of course, not like you had anything to worry about."
"Yeah…" they entered the classroom and took their seats. He nudged Noctis when he looked to be falling asleep but otherwise they worked quietly until finally the bell rang and they headed for their table.
Noctis was concerned by the way Prompto was fidgeting. They'd only known each other for a week but this kind of squirming seemed off. "Are you okay?" he asked and Prompto looked up at him, absently chewing his lip. "Prompto?"
"I uh… there's some stuff I want to talk to you about but… it'll take longer than lunch," he played with his sandwich and Noctis reached over to stop him.
"Okay, you could come with me when Specs picks me up? I don't have anything straight after school today. We could go get something to eat? Or is this better in private? You're not cleared for the Citadel but with Ignis there we could go to your place or something?"
"Privacy would probably be good," Prompto answered after a while.
"Sure thing, I'll text him. Now eat your lunch," he grinned and went to snatch some of the meat but Prompto pulled it away and took a big bite. Noctis laughed and ate his own lunch, relieved he had managed to cheer him up, even if only briefly. He was worried about what Prompto could be so scared about telling him…maybe…he didn't want to be friends? No…he wouldn't need privacy and time for that.
Ignis stood by the car, waiting for the two teens. He had a feeling he knew why they were going to Prompto's house and he thought the boy was very brave to be willing to tell his story twice in such a short time. Thinking over his first short visit, he realised that the home was still set up for easy access with either a wheelchair or crutches, at least the front areas. Soon the two emerged and Noctis was pulling himself into the car, motioning for Prompto to get in as well while Ignis stored the chair. He got in to drive while the two settled in back, talking quietly.
He eventually parked and got out to help Noctis while Prompto went to open the door. Soon they were inside, and he withdrew into the kitchen while they settled in the living room. He found some ingredients to whip up some snacks, making a mental note to replace what he used….and maybe a bit more with how bare the shelves were. He had found the trend of the Argentum's not being in the city for long periods of time to be very disturbing but what could he do when Prompto would soon be legally an adult? He knew they were currently away, Leanna in Cleigne and Marcus in Altissia, they had been gone a month already.
When he delivered the snacks it was to find Noctis with tears in his eyes even as Prompto stared at the floor. He quietly placed the plates and cups down and then retreated.
"Prom…." Noctis whispered, horrified to hear what his new friend had gone through. He didn't care where Prompto had been born, it didn't matter. He slowly reached out and took a trembling hand in his own, squeezing gently. Blue eyes opened to meet his and he smiled. "What they did to you was evil. You were a kid, taking their anger at Niflheim out on you is unforgivable. I'm just glad you're okay," he told him earnestly, hoping he would be able to see he really meant it.
"I…uh…thanks. You're not…well…" he waved at the chair and Noctis shook his head.
"I would never wish this on someone else Prompto. I'm glad you healed." He hesitated but then pulled the blanket off and took a deep breath, bracing himself on the arms of the chair.
"Noctis?" Prompto stood, looking at him in concern.
"It's okay," he promised and then pushed himself to his feet, wavering, and then Prompto was there, hands under his arms to support him.
"What?" Blue eyes were wide in shock and confusion.
Noctis got his balance and slowly pulled away, standing on his own two feet. "I'm good," he said and then Ignis was in the doorway.
"Noct…" Iggy frowned and Noctis smiled at him.
"It's okay Iggy, I trust him." he looked back to the wide eyed Prompto.
"You're standing," Prompto whispered before grinning. "That's amazing!"
"Thanks…" he took a step and stumbled but Prompto caught him before Ignis could move.
"Easy, I've got you," Prompto supported him and Noctis indicated the couch so he helped him over to it, Noctis sighing at getting to sink into a soft seat. It was nice to sit on a couch and not the chair and he felt it was alright, he was feeling strong today, no episodes, so it should be safe. "I thought…."
"It is safer for Noctis that everyone assume he has remained paralysed," Ignis spoke up. "Some, like yourself, know that he has sensation. No one outside of the Citadel knows that he can use his legs, except for you. I trust you'll keep this to yourself."
"Of course," Prompto didn't even hesitate in agreeing. "Can you walk much?"
"Some days, sometimes the chair is very needed. Sometimes I can walk without any support at all, it changes day to day."
"That's amazing Noctis, I'm so glad. Is there any chance you'll keep getting better?"
"Noct is fine," he smiled at his newest friend. "And no, there's been no change in years."
"Oh, I'm sorry," Prompto grimaced and Noctis patted the couch beside him so Prompto sat down and Noctis cautiously leaned towards him, happy when Prompto didn't pull away, letting them sit with their bodies touching. Noctis liked contact, especially with those he trusted.
"If you two will be fine, I will leave for a time, I have some shopping to do," Ignis glanced between them and Noctis nodded.
"We're fine," he assured him so Ignis left.
"Homework?" Prompto offered and Noctis groaned but nodded. Prompto grabbed their school bags and tossed Noctis his, both digging out their homework.
Noctis watched the city pass by as Ignis drove them home. "You think I shouldn't have shown him."
"I think it was rather soon," Ignis admitted, there was no censure, just honest concern.
"He's the one Specs, our fourth. I can feel it," Noctis looked over at Ignis, seeing his surprise.
"Noct…" he obviously didn't know what to say to that.
"I know it Ignis," he whispered and Ignis swallowed, nodding as he refocused on driving.
Their Fourth….was it really possible? They'd felt incomplete for so long….what were the odds that Noctis would find their missing member on his first day of school? He would need to test that, to see if he could feel it too, which meant he would need to interact more with Prompto. He would wait to mention anything to Gladio, he didn't want him trying to scare the blond off in suspicion, especially if Noct was right. He parked and got out, helping Noctis out and up to his suite where Noctis pulled him down on the couch to just sit together after Ignis helped him out of his shoes while Noct removed the gloves he used to protect his hands while using his chair. Ignis removed his own gloves and ran his fingers through fine black hair, helping him relax and settle after the rather emotional afternoon.
Not much difference yet.