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“To Noct,” Ignis said, raising his glass, “and to Lady Luna.”
“To Noct and Luna,” Prompto echoed, and Gladio dipped his head in acknowledgement. Noctis watched the three of them knock back their glasses, toasting him, and hesitated, raising his glass to his lips.
Was this the last night they’d all be together like this?
Was this his last night of normalcy?
Noctis tipped his flute back in one go.
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Ardyn came to a stop, speech ready on his tongue, attentions flitting back through Noctis and his companions, and then the Shield─Gladiolus, that was his name, wasn’t it?─turned and looked at him, and all of his words, all of his thoughts evaporated, the voices in his head falling silent for just a moment.
He knew that face. From a place not here and a time long past, he knew that face. The hair was different, the skin a little paler, the beard shorter, but the features were there, all identical.
He hadn’t thought about any of it in years, centuries, really, yet here it was, alive, staring back at him, real and tangible as ever.
Ardyn's terrible with names, but he never forgets a face.
“I thought the offer was ‘no conversation,’” Ignis began dryly, “and ‘no pleasantry.’”
Ardyn pursed his lips in a mock frown. “You’re right. My apologies.” He slid one of the glasses across the table towards Ignis, who cocked a brow. “Brandy, as a peace offering, then.”
02/20/18: Original reposted.
“So... we’re good on the heels?” Gladio asked, turning the shoe over in his hand to tap the toe against his opposite palm.
The owner stubbed his cigar out in the ashtray, held out his hand for Gladio to give the shoe over. Gladio did, setting it firmly in the man’s grasp, watching him with mild anxiety as he inspected the shoe, heel, the platform, testing the width at the toe, and then gave Gladio a long, hard appraisal from head to toe, before looking him back in the eye.
“It’ll be like puttin’ a pump on a ham, but, yeah, I can do it.”
“I can’t help but notice that you’re rather not fond of me,” Ardyn continued, fingers rapping
against the table.
“You can’t make everyone like you,” Ignis countered, tongue darting out to wet his lower lip.
Ardyn laughed, high and soft. “Very true,” he mused. “But, Ignis, I will admit, I do like you.”
Gladio's not amused.
02/20/2018: Original version restored.