Disclaimer: Not mine

Chapter 7

Ignis opened the door to the training room that had been set aside for him years ago, letting Noctis in before locking the doors. His emotions were steady except for a thread of anticipation, Noct really was looking forward to seeing him fly. There'd been no real change since their rather different confessions, Noctis watched him a bit more but there was nothing worrying about it; no fear or disgust in his emotions, just curiosity and attraction…still. If finding out Ignis wasn't human hadn't stopped it dead, then it would take time for Noctis to see they wouldn't work and move on, but it would happen.

Ignis walked over to the bench, removing his coat and shirt, placing them carefully, before shifting to his true form. Even that didn't get a flicker of anything negative. He stretched his wings out, relaxing, turning his head to find Noctis watching him intently. He offered a small smile and Noct grinned at him.

"Come on Iggy, show me what you've got," he playfully taunted and Ignis leapt into the air.

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Noctis watched Ignis in awe, feeling almost jealous at the way he moved through the air. It was very different to when he would warp up. He kind of wished he had wings, it looked so…freeing. Ignis swopped by close enough that the wind of his passage made Noctis' hair move, and he laughed, grinning widely. He saw Ignis glance back at him and then smile as well.

He turned in the air and then dropped to the ground in front of him, holding out a clawed hand and Noctis didn't even hesitate in taking it. Ignis tugged him in close, wrapping an arm around his waist.

"Trust me?" he asked, glowing green eyes focused on him and Noctis nodded.

"Always."

Ignis let go of his hand to wrap that arm around him as well and then the floor fell away and they were in the air. Noctis relaxed in Ignis' hold, knowing he would never drop him and even if he did, Noctis could warp to safety.

"Alright?" Ignis asked against his ear and Noctis nodded.

"This is amazing!" he laughed, and he felt Ignis laugh too.

After a while they landed and Noctis turned to hug Ignis, not bothered by the coolness of his skin, carefully to slip his arms under the wings. "Thanks," he murmured, and he felt Ignis slowly hug him back.

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Ignis was taken off guard by the hug but he returned it, enjoying Noct's emotions. He didn't need to be told to know his Prince had enjoyed the flight, he was almost bursting with joy and excitement.

Noctis looked up at him, grinning still, and then he pressed a quick kiss to his cheek before slipping away. Ignis smiled slightly, shaking his head in fondness at the action, Noctis was very determined.

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"Marshal," Ignis greeted as soon as he saw him.

"Ignis," he shut the door to Ignis' small office and walked over to his desk. "How are you? Prompto told me what Noctis had planned the other night." He was worried over how such a confession would have gone but he'd been too busy to approach him about it until now.

From the look on Ignis' face, he'd caught him by surprise with his question. He pushed his glasses up. "He knows," the young man admitted, and Cor frowned in confusion.

"Knows what?" he asked gently.

"The truth. I told him that…I can't give him what he would want, and he didn't understand, so I showed him the truth."

Cor felt his eyes widen in shock. Ignis had shifted for Noctis? He'd seen the two in passing since then, walking down the hallway, Noctis leaning in, listening intently to whatever his Adviser and friend was saying. There had been no sign of discomfort, fear, or anything negative.

"He's not scared of me. He even said…that there's more to a relationship than the physical, that he thinks I'm enough," Ignis shook his head, not looking convinced.

"You don't believe him?" Cor asked, he knew Ignis could feel emotions, he'd know how Noctis felt.

"I believe that right now it would be enough, but while I may not have been a teenager, I have observed many of them. Sooner or later he would want more than I can give him. I do not wish to risk what we have now."

"You know Noctis isn't a normal teenager thanks to the attack and his position." Cor hesitated but then decided to tell him. "I know he's fooled around with Prompto before but the fact that they are more interested in just sitting together playing games than anything more would seem to prove Noctis isn't a typical teen."

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Ignis had been aware of the feelings between the two younger boys but somehow he hadn't been aware they had gone that far. Those feelings were why he thought Prompto would be a good choice for Noctis.

He got up from his desk and wandered over to the window. Was Cor right, was there a chance he could make Noctis happy? Did he want that?

"He's not afraid of me, he was startled but he stopped himself from summoning a weapon. He hugged me and even flew with me," Ignis admitted softly.

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Hearing that was a relief for Cor, he hadn't thought Noctis would turn on Ignis but there was always that tiny chance… to let Ignis carry him in the air though showed how much Noctis trusted Ignis. "Will you tell the others?" he asked and Ignis looked startled, he really had gotten a lot better over the years at acting human. "It was never forbidden Ignis. I doubt very much Prompto would react badly considering his own past."

"Gladio is another matter," Ignis said. The two had become closer over the years, working together to keep Noctis safe and well but everyone knew Gladio was the most volatile of the four. "I will….consider it."

Cor thought it would be good if the other two could be told and accept Ignis, it would help give him more freedom to be himself. No matter how hard they tried, the war had picked up making them so busy that getting time to spend with Ignis alone had become almost impossible. At least Noctis was now in the know too and could help Ignis if Ignis would let him know what he needed anyway. He stepped closer and tugged Ignis into a hug, feeling him relax, his own mood improving with the contact.

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Prompto grinned and blew out the candles on the cake Iggy had made for him. His Dad had given him a present that morning before school. This evening was for the four of them to celebrate. Finally, Prompto was seventeen! Sometimes being the youngest sucked. At least his birthday was a private affair unlike Noct's, that had been a circus and he hadn't blamed Noctis for sleeping most of the next day, he'd wanted to do the same.

The cake was as excellent as Iggy's cooking always was, the whole meal had been amazing. Then it was time for presents; a new game he'd wanted from Noct, a nice knife from Gladio since he couldn't always rely on his guns, and a new jacket from Ignis that he could tell had been altered by Iggy himself to suite Prompto's tastes.

"Thanks guys!" He grinned at them.

Noctis grabbed him, trying to tickle him and he shrieked but then Gladio joined in and there was no escape.

"Iggy save me!" He gasped out and Ignis stared at them before grabbing his wrist and yanking him free of the other two. Prompto clung to him, using him as a human shield and Noctis pouted.

"We should be leaving soon; you do have class tomorrow still," Ignis pointed out.

"Right, I'm running a training group tomorrow too," Gladio groaned, getting up and stretching. "See ya kids later," he smirked and ruffled Prompto's hair before leaving.

"I wonder if I might speak with you alone Prompto?" Ignis asked, surprising Prompto. He saw Noctis look at Iggy in confusion before his eyes widened and he nodded.

"Go with him Prom," his best friend urged so Prompto nodded.

"Okay," he agreed, confused, but he trusted Noctis and Ignis completely, so he followed Ignis from Noct's apartment and down stairs.

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Ignis led Prompto into his apartment, removing his gloves and jacket in preparation for showing Prompto. He left his shirt on for the moment, not wanting to make Prompto uncomfortable.

"I've never seen your place before," Prompto commented, looking around the main living area.

"I do tend to prefer privacy when off duty," he admitted. Though that was only because those he once spent all his time with had become far too busy over the years as well as his own duties and training eating up the rest of the time.

"So what did you need to talk to me about?" Prompto asked and Ignis picked up his nervousness easily. The years with Cor and them had helped him move beyond the insecure child he'd been, but there were times when that insecurity was still there.

"The true reason I turned Noctis down," he admitted.

Prompto frowned in confusion. "What?"

"It is not just that I am uninterested in sex, as I believe he told you?" he asked and Prompto nodded. "I am physically incapable."

"What?" Prompto's eyes went wide. "Are you hurt or sick or something? Are you okay?"

"I am fine Prompto, it is simply part of my biology." That explanation brought back the confusion and he moved into his kitchen to make some tea, Cor had gotten Prompto into drinking it years ago and Ignis was pleased to have someone else who drank it. Tonight he made a blend that was calming for humans.

Prompto glanced over at the couch as Ignis collected the mugs and Ignis waved him over to it. He waited until the younger man had sat before handing over the mug of tea and Prompto took it, taking a sip. "Iggy what do you mean? What's going on?" he asked, blue eyes dark with concern.

Ignis sipped his own tea, now that it was time he found it hard to know what to say. In some ways, it had been easier with Noctis, a revelation at the spur of the moment, not something planned like the current situation.

"Ignis?" Prompto leant forward, setting his mug on the table, reaching out to lay his hand on Ignis' wrist.

Ignis smiled softly and turned his hand to take his briefly. "Noctis is aware of this, I told him that night. It is not something that is easy to speak of. The King, Lord Amicitia and Cor are aware of this, as was the Queen. Some guards and scientists when I was first brought to the Citadel…"

"Aware of what?" Prompto was frowning in concern and confusion.

"Do you trust me?" he asked softly and Prompto nodded.

"Of course I do," he responded immediately.

"I am not human Prompto," he told him and the blond blinked.

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"What?" Prompto stared at him, confused.

Had he misheard that? Ignis was human…he wasn't an MT or something, not like Prompto was. From his accent, Prompto had always assumed Ignis was originally from Tenebrae or something and while it was technically part of the Empire, he'd never heard of them doing anything weird to the people there.

He watched as Ignis reached for his tablet and brought something up, placing it so Prompto could see the screen. "Security footage from the first time I met the King," Ignis told him and Prompto looked at him and then down at the video before hitting play.

He saw the King before in a long corridor, facing…a cell? The wall was clear though, not bars. He touched something and the light level in the cell dropped and then he seemed to be talking to someone but Prompto couldn't see anyone in the cell…until there was movement under the bed. He watched a tiny figure slowly emerge and his eyes went wide at the sight of wings and long matted hair.

"That…

"Is me," Ignis said and Prompto looked up at him, seeing the wariness in his eyes.

"Wings?" he asked and Ignis nodded.

He stood up and moved away, unbuttoning his shirt to set it aside and then suddenly something definitely not human was standing there.

Prompto froze, staring with wide eyes, taking everything in. It was Iggy…but not Iggy. He looked…older, almost alien but his face was still recognisably Ignis.

He stayed still, hands open and out to his sides and Prompto slowly got up, taking a small step towards him, and Ignis smiled softly at him, the same smile as always. That had Prompto moving, walking towards him.

"I won't hurt you Prom," Ignis murmured and Prompto caught a flash of fangs in his mouth.

Prompto stopped in front of him and slowly reached out, hesitating. Ignis lifted his hand slowly, threading their fingers together, his claws not even pricking Prompto's skin. "Iggy," he whispered. "You…you're incredible," he meant it. He wasn't scared, Ignis would never hurt any of them. No wonder his own past had never bothered Ignis, what was a clone compared to not being human? He moved closer, hugging him, feeling his chest move as Ignis chuckled, his free hand wrapping around Prompto in return. With their bodies pressed close, he picked up on something…or rather something that didn't feel right. "Oh," he whispered.

"Prompto?"

He blushed slightly and stepped back, looking down to confirm.

"Ah, you picked up on that. I had to be rather more obvious with Noctis."

"Don't tell me you stripped?" he smirked and Ignis laughed but shook his head.

"Not that obvious."

"That's normal? You weren't hurt or something?"

"It's normal, we don't procreate the same way."

"You turned Noct down because of that?" he asked in disbelief. "Sex isn't everything Iggy. Noct is head over heels for you. If he wanted the physical we'd have never stopped fooling around the way we were. Unless, you don't love him back?"

"I care deeply for Noctis, for all of you," Ignis told him. "Human emotion cane be…confusing and overwhelming. Romance…" he shrugged slightly.

Prompto moved back in, reaching for his wing but then pausing. "Can I?" he asked and Ignis nodded. He very gently touched the wing, feeling it shift under his touch, and then he moved his hand to Iggy's arm, running over cool skin towards his chest. The skin was firm, too cool for human, hairless. He blushed and stepped back as he realised he was almost caressing the skin. "Sorry," he muttered.

"No harm done," the older male assured him.

"How old are you?"

"Not much older than you thought, we age differently, in bursts rather than the more gradual process humans go through."

"You look about five or six in the footage."

"I wasn't even a year," he smirked slightly.

"So you're an adult now? Wait…are you actually…well…male?"

"Yes and close enough," Ignis offered. "We're alright?"

"You're still Iggy," Prompto grinned and hugged him again. "So can you fly?"

"Of course. I took Noctis flying the other day, would you like to watch one day as well?"

"Yes please." He just knew that Ignis would be amazing in the air. "Wait…does Gladio know?" he asked and Ignis shook his head even as his form shimmered slightly, becoming human again.

"No, we were not close as children and I always believed that I was meant to keep the secret. It turns out it has always been my choice. I know that I will have to tell him one day, sooner or later it will come out if I don't."

Prompto darted in to hug him again and Ignis returned it, freezing in shock when Prompto kissed his cheek. "If you really like Noct then go for it Iggy, you both deserve to be happy. Night and thanks again for the party!" he called, leaving the apartment quickly.

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Ignis stared after him in shock. Was it really that surprising that both boys had reacted so similarly when they were best friends? He touched his cheek and shook his head. That had gone better than he could have hoped. He didn't believe Gladio would react as well though. He'd meant it, he would have to tell him at some point, better it come from him than be revealed under bad circumstances.

TBC…