With the restoration of Tenebrae’s sovereignty, things that had been denied them for years by their oppressors had been free to have again, and first and foremost among said things was cell phones and the internet. Communication had been severely restricted during the occupation, with only easily traced landlines and highly regulated and incredibly slow internet permitted to the average citizen, and Luna had not even been permitted a phone or computer. Ravus had been permitted them, but they had been cut off shortly after the battle at the Citadel. However, the king sent engineers when she had returned home, and within a matter of months, enough infrastructure was up and running for Luciconn to present both the prince and princess of Tenebrae brand-new top of the line mobile phones.
Ravus took it in stride, the phones were a bit different than he was accustomed to, but it was clear that it was nothing special to him. For Luna, however, it represented freedom. She could take pictures and post them online for people to see across the world, she could find out news almost as soon as it happened, whether it was Insomnia or Accordo, and she would be able to contact her friends without the help of her mystical dogs, not that she wasn’t endlessly grateful to them for their help over the years.
Well, she would contact them once she managed to procure their phone numbers, at any rate. Official channels were still unstable, regardless of the new modern telecom infrastructure, and she knew that all of them had carefully concealed numbers to keep unauthorized calls or access. Just when she was thinking that she could ask Umbra to send Noctis a note requesting their numbers, then, of all people, her brother came to the rescue, handing her a slip of paper without a word and walking away. A quick glance at the strong block print and she smiled.
Somehow, her brother had the marshal’s number. The note was not in Ravus’s handwriting, leading her to think that perhaps Cor had passed it along for emergency purposes when she had returned home, as he had not left Tenebrae since he had returned shortly after the battle. She carefully programmed the number into her phone and opened the messaging program- only to freeze. What would she say to him? She had left Insomnia over four months prior, and all communications with her friends there had immediately stopped. She had surely missed much in that time frame.
Luna sighed and looked at her phone again. There was no reason for her to keep dithering.
L: Good afternoon, marshal! This is Lunafreya, I recently received a cell phone from the king’s engineers, and Ravus apparently had your contact information. Have you been well?
After ten minutes of no response, Luna sighed and decided to work on some paperwork that Ravus had been pestering her to take care of, glancing frequently at her phone in hope that it wasn’t a bad number. After another thirty minutes, she heard a chime, and she immediately dropped the papers she was reading and grabbed her phone.
C: What did you say to me before the ferry in Succarpe?
Luna grinned. It was a good number.
L: I told you that I was under the impression that you were going to adopt Prompto when we first met, and you told me it was better you didn’t. I think you’ve been shown the error of your ways since, yes?
Cor’s response was immediate this time.
C: Don’t you start that too, I hear enough of that from Nyx.
Luna went back and reread his response several times. The only Nyx she knew was the handsome Glaive that had taken over the Kingsglaive after Glauca was unmasked, so to speak; she had spoken with him on multiple occasions while she was still in Insomnia, but didn’t really get the impression that he and Cor really knew each other outside of work. Curious.
L: It sounds like Nyx has the right of it! I assume he has been well, since you didn’t answer me about you?
C: I’m fine. Nyx is a pain in the ass, but nothing new there. Did you want his number?
Luna blinked, nodding automatically before blushing and responding on her phone.
L: That would be lovely! I don’t suppose I could bother you for Noctis’s number?
C: I’ll send you all four of their numbers.
That worked as well. One after another, the messages popped in, and she dutifully added everyone to her contacts.
C: I’ll give the king your number, so if he wishes he can contact you in the future.
Even better. Luna understood why he didn’t just hand Regis’s number out, the security risk was immense.
L: Thank you, I appreciate your help. How has things been proceeding in Insomnia? Has Prompto’s walking returned to normal? He was still using the cane when I left.
C: Prompto is walking fine these days. His legs tire quickly if he runs, but he improves daily. As for the city, the political situation has generally stabilized. There are occasionally small protests here and there, and of course plenty of slanted media coverage, but nothing too worrisome.
Luna nodded again at her phone. It was good to hear that Prompto was doing so well, he was too full of life and heart to be so...restricted. In the material that Gentiana had found for her years ago on the Dawnsworn, the voice was always depicted as a free-spirited person, involved in far less formality than the herald ever was. She suspected there was far more to their role than she knew of, but that was a question for another day. As for politics? Well, she had been in Insomnia long enough to realize that it was a heavy subject at any given time, and since the battle? Downright maddening.
L: I am pleased to hear that Prompto is doing so well, forced lassitude does not suit him.
C: No, it doesn’t.
Luna signed off soon after with Cor, she could tell that the man really wasn’t one to chat in such a way very often, and she wanted to talk with the others. Although she contemplated for a short while who she would message first, she knew she had to talk to Noctis.
L: I just received your number from the marshal, Noctis. How have you been?
Unlike Cor, Noctis responded immediately.
N: Luna! Cor gave me your number, it’s good to hear from you. I’ve been good, Prompto’s doing much better, everyone else is doing great, and...yeah. How is Tenebrae? And did Ravus ever dislodge that stick from his ass?
Luna actually snorted at the last line, a sound she didn’t even know she could make anymore. Ravus and Noctis were probably destined to never get along, and she accepted that. But still, she could hope. Someday. Maybe.
L: I’m glad to hear that everyone is well! I am sorry I missed your birthday, Noctis. Perhaps I can visit for your next one. Matters in Tenebrae proceed apace, Ravus has been able to hold the borders, infrastructure is being constructed or repaired at a rapid rate, and for the first time in many years, being here in the palace no longer makes me feel
She paused her typing, looking down at her unfinished message. Made her feel- what? No longer trapped? No longer isolated? Ravus had apologized for his part in her confinement, which, a bit to her own surprise, she had accepted his apology handily. She knew that he had done so only to keep her safe, knowing that the empire would not have tolerated an oracle that could not be controlled, and could find no malice within her to maintain being truly angry at him. It didn’t mean he still didn’t drive her mad all the time, but he did that even before the empire came. Luna sighed, then finished typing.
...no longer makes me feel trapped.
N: I understand. And I’m sorry for missing your birthday too.
Luna smiled. She knew he did. He hadn’t really been trapped in the Citadel, but he had been trapped in his own destiny. Well, until Cor and Prompto came and willfully kicked the prophecy to the curb, at any rate.
N: I notice you didn’t answer my last question, so I’m guessing stick firmly in place?
Luna started laughing, a full-belly laugh that saw her nearly tumble out of her desk chair, and did not stop for some time. Her heart hadn’t felt this light in a very long time, and she hoped against hope that it was a positive sign for the future.
After she finished speaking with Noctis, she decided to take a break, heading out of her office to go check on the repairs to the moon palace, which had been damaged in the initial push by Lady Aranea’s forces into Tenebrae in the hours immediately following the battle in Insomnia. Supplies had been difficult to find to complete said repairs for several months, but now work was well underway, and it was expected that the oracle keep an eye on the proceedings on occasion to ensure all was as it should be.
A proper tour of the moon palace later, and she found herself well past suppertime. Bidding the workmen farewell, she returned to the sun palace, only to be halted by a chime from her phone. It was Gladio messaging her, which surprised her a bit; they had gotten on just fine, but he generally wasn’t the first to seek her out for company whilst she had been at the Citadel. Well, unless he wanted to gossip. For a man who cultivated a certain image in public, Gladiolus could talk about life and his romance novels until he was blue in the face.
G: New phone, huh? Welcome to the madness that is the modern world, so to speak. You left us too early, princess, you missed all the good shit that happened
Luna chuckled at her phone as she headed towards the kitchens, looking for a bite to eat. It appeared Gladio was looking for someone to shoot the breeze with, and honestly, she wanted real updates anyway.
L: Thank you! I look forward to being able to talk with you all regularly. So why do you say I left early?
G: You missed the whole saga of Cor and his inability to process possible romantic feelings for people, it was almost painful to watch as it headed into a second month before things finally came to a head, on Prompto’s birthday, of all times
She could feel the mental brakes squealing in her head. Wait, Cor? Romance? She hadn’t noticed anything of the sort while she was still there-
L: Tell me everything.
G: Cor, Nyx, making out on the outside balcony after Prompto’s birthday party had pretty much wrapped up. For a guy who’s gonna be 46 in a few days, he appears to have the energy of someone at least fifteen years younger, so Nyx is perfect for him. I hate to say it, but outside of Cor and Prompto’s growing dad/son relationship, which is super sweet and Prompto deserves an actual parent for once in his damn life, Cor getting into something with Nyx has been the best thing for him. It’s mellowed him out a tiny amount, I think
Luna fell into the first chair at the chef’s table she reached in shock as she stared at Gladio’s reply. Then her mind happily wandered over to what the two men must look like together, and she could feel her cheeks warm. They were utterly handsome separately, they were certainly absolutely beautiful together. Then she felt guilty imagining two of her friends in that way, and her face only grew hotter. She barely resisted the urge to fan herself.
“Your highness, are you well?” Luna jumped at the sound of one of the cook’s voices, and she forced herself to smile normally in the woman’s direction.
“I’m quite well, thank you. Your concern is appreciated,” she said faintly, accepting the simple meal she had requested in-between texting with a thanks, and quickly scarpering from the kitchen, heading straight to her quarters and latching the door behind her. Setting her food onto her desk, she fell into her chair with a happy sigh.
“Oh Cor, you deserve every happiness,” she stated aloud, then set to her meal for awhile until she realized that she had never responded to Gladio.
L: Forgive my delay, I was eating dinner. I must say I am shocked, but I am heartened to hear that you find it such a positive thing. I am truly happy for them.
G: Cor falls asleep on Nyx’s shoulder constantly when they aren’t working, it’s fucking adorable. My teeth hurt watching them sometimes, and I’ve got Prompto around.
What in the world did Gladio mean by that last statement? That sounded-
L: What do you mean you have Prompto around?
Luna was able to finish her dinner, have the dishes taken away, and start to prepare for bed before she finally received a response from the shield.
G: Uh. Just, you know, Prompto. Night!
Luna narrowed her eyes at the last message. That certainly wasn’t suspicious, but the hour was late, and she had affairs to attend to in the morning. She would leave it alone for now. A few more minutes and she slid under her sheets, her face valiantly resisting one more flush when she remembered Gladio’s words on Cor and Nyx.
Oh my goodness .
The next week proceeded with little fanfare, Luna got in contact with Prompto, who happily told her about how everyone was doing, and she could tell that he was happy for his honorary father and his new relationship; however, there was no sign of whatever she had thought with Gladio’s comment, so she did not bring it up. The king actually called, instead of texting, and they had a very pleasant conversation on the goings on of Lucis and Tenebrae, where they discussed everything from construction needs to, well, Cor, which was much more fun to hear about.
“I’ll be honest, Luna, I figured it would end the way pretty much all attempts at wooing Cor tended to; with an oblivious Cor and a disappointed other party. But then he seemed to be responding in some form, which surprised the lot of us, let me tell you,” Regis stated, and Luna giggled. “It's just that he is so clueless about that sort of thing, I've known him for close to thirty three years, and it's been pretty much the same for that entire span of time. But Captain Ulric appears to understand him on a more emotional level than his other attempted suitors ever did, and I’m quite positive that some of the reason is Ulric’s background, but the biggest reason, and this is between the two of us, my dear, is that pretty much every other person who pursued Cor wanted him to be...how might I say this, wanted him to be the one in control. They figured that his status as one of the legendary warriors of the kingdom meant that he would be the one to take care of everything, take care of them.” Luna found herself grinning despite herself, and huffed into the phone.
“He would never admit it, but I think Cor would love someone who would take care of him for once; someone who would not have any major expectations of what they expected him to be, as you said,” Luna told Regis, who gave an amused sigh.
“Exactly. His very position has forced him to be on pretty much his whole life, let alone whatever nonsense he has had to deal with as one of the Dawn Mother’s chosen; watching him and Ulric together is utterly refreshing. I’ve not seen Cor relax this much in decades,” Regis said, and she could hear the smile in his voice. “With Prompto mostly back to normal, it’s made for an exceedingly pleasant Citadel outside of dealing with the trials.” That last bit soured her mood for a moment. The trials, she had almost forgot. She had heard that the rest of the Glaives had been sentenced, and Prompto had told her that one of them had admitted to having been sent to assassinate whoever had been sent to retrieve her, not knowing of Cor’s abilities, which had horrified her. She did not want to be the cause of any more suffering, not if she could prevent it.
“How...is that going? Glauca is the last, correct?” she asked, and Regis hummed his acknowledgement.
“Yes, Drautos is the last. We aren’t dealing in war crimes, as tempting as it would be, we are strictly trying him on Lucian law, as Drautos is actually a Lucian citizen, he hails from a rural area of the frontier. Treason, sedition, murder, inciting mutiny; the man had been exceptionally busy.” Luna could hear Regis taking a deep breath through the connection, the sound wavering enough that a jolt of worry passed through her. “I’m furious with myself that I never saw it until everything came to light, then to find out that Cor turned out to have his own world-shaking secret only seconds later? I thought my heart was going to break. While I could see that his secret appeared to keep him still aligned with me, with Lucis, this was a man I had known since he was just a boy, a man that I thought I knew everything about,” Regis said quietly, and Luna sighed. She wasn’t surprised that he had been angry, she certainly would have been in his place. “I know why he kept it to himself, he was trying to fix as much as he could by his own damn self, but still. If Gentiana hadn’t shown up when she did, and he hadn’t been summoned by the goddess a short time later, I would have probably stayed furious with him for far longer. Then of course everything happened so quickly, and when he and Prompto ended up so close to death-”
“Hard to stay angry when they really did help to fix everything,” Luna mused, and Regis gave a rather rough laugh.
“This is true, Luna, this is true. He did apologize to me and Clarus a few months back, which was appreciated,” Regis paused, and Luna could hear a strange sound which she was positive was the king scratching his beard. “Forgive me, Luna, I didn’t mean to vent at you. I’m not angry with Cor anymore, but I did tell him that if he did hide anything this serious ever again, I was going to kill him with my bare hands. He told me that he understood,” Regis commented, and Luna chuckled. That sounded like Cor. “But back to Drautos, he’s said next to nothing for months, ever since he was detained; it’s made for an interesting trial, as he also refused to speak to the lawyer that was offered to him. The verdict is all but a given, there’s been all sorts of evidence coming out of the woodwork between the Glaives he had recruited and various contacts he had here in Lucis.”
“What will the sentence be?” Luna asked, and Regis groaned.
“That’s the tricky part. Capital punishment is still legal, but it’s been over seventy-five years since the last sentence was carried out. As he was a sworn member of the crown military, he would have more options if we go that route, which honestly? Seems likely. I think he’s expecting it, to be honest. Public sentiment is certainly going that route as well.” Luna wasn’t sure what she felt about the whole affair, to be honest. The man had murdered her mother in cold blood, had ripped apart her home, her life; while she didn’t usually prefer such punishment, not with the unreliability of evidence in many cases, Glauca’s crimes and guilt were beyond doubt and measure. She would shed no tears for him.
“Please let me know when all has been decided,” she asked, and Regis agreed immediately. They spoke about more pleasant matters for a few minutes, until they both had other affairs to attend to; right before they hung up, Luna did remember one last thing she had wanted to ask.
“I don’t suppose you or one of the others could send me a picture of Cor and Nyx? I keep hearing so much about them, I want to see them for myself,” Luna said lightly, and was relieved to hear the king laugh so easily on the other end of the line.
“Of course, my dear, I’ll do my best.”
It took a few days to receive something, but when the darling photo of a dozing Cor slumped against an exceedingly fond looking Nyx came through from Ignis, of all people, it cheered her for the rest of the day. It also reminded her to send Cor a happy birthday message along with a congratulations on his new relationship, which did actually get a response out of him.
C: They couldn’t wait to tell you, could they?
L: Everyone is so happy for you two, so of course not! :)
C: It’s...early. But it’s already lasted longer than any other relationship I’ve had, so I suppose I can own up to it.
C: He’s different. He has no real expectations of me, which is novel. I know how I am, and I haven’t scared him off yet.
L: What you really are is a big fluffy moogle who just doesn’t come out of his cave very often, I sincerely doubt you scared off any of your other relationships, they just didn’t understand you.
C: Really, Luna? A moogle? Prompto is wondering why I have such a strange look on my face right now.
Luna cackled at her phone, prompting Ravus to give her a strange look.
“You seem to be enjoying yourself over there, Lunafreya. I assume everything is well at the Citadel?” Ravus asked, and Luna forced herself to look away from her phone and answer her brother.
“Ah, yes, everything is well. It is the marshal’s birthday, so I sent him a message. I may have also congratulated him on his new relationship,” she said, and Ravus’s eyebrows went up.
“The Immortal? In a relationship? I got the impression that he was an fabled ascetic, from both what I heard from imperial information and comments from around the Citadel for the short time I was there.” Luna shook her head, a smile on her face as she put her phone down on the table.
“When Cor is working, he is completely focused and on point; I’m sure the empire had plenty of evidence of that throughout the years. When he’s not working, he’s a kind-hearted person with a rather...awkward streak when it comes to personal matters. It’s actually quite endearing. The person he’s with understands that, and also understands the whole herald thing better than the marshal himself does, so that helps as well,” Luna explained, watching as her brother continued to look a bit dubious.
“I...see. On a related topic, I have read some of the material you gave me about the Dawnsworn, it was quite enlightening. You say that mother was aware of their existence?” Ravus paused. “Actually, you never did tell me how you met the herald, sister. I got the impression that it was before he showed up to take you back to Insomnia, at any rate,” Ravus said, looking at Luna expectantly; Luna shrugged and nodded.
“He came through Tenebrae on a mission when I was seven; you were away on one of your educational excursions at the time. That was when I found out about the existence of the Dawnsworn and of Cor as the herald. Gentiana introduced him to mother and I as such, and I found the whole concept completely fascinating. That’s where the material I lent you came from.” Ravus nodded absently, taking a deep breath then letting it out.
“Then you didn’t see him again until almost seven months ago, am I correct?” Ravus asked, and Luna nodded. “I suppose he would be hard to forget, especially with his abilities.”
“Exactly.” Ravus hummed, then got to his feet.
“In hindsight, I am happy I was not told about him. I would have felt compelled to say something to the emperor,” Ravus stated, and Luna blinked in surprise. He was right, of course, he had been so angry after their mother’s death that he had willingly joined those who orchestrated it out of a displaced sense of blame towards Lucis, and Regis in particular; he would have crowed anything he thought would have helped. Cor would have been public enemy number one in the empire when Prompto was just a little boy; the chances of the herald surviving to the voice’s adulthood would have been bleak. So yes, her brother was entirely correct. It was best he had not known.
“Thank you, Ravus. I appreciate your candor; you must admit that all has gone much smoother with the healing of the Scourge than it would have gone with the empire reigning over all with their daemons terrorizing the populace on a daily basis,” Luna said wryly, and was pleased when Ravus barked out a rusty sounding laugh.
“This will never become public, but there were early signs that the scientists were losing control of the contained form of the Scourge; it’s very likely that Gralea may have had to have been abandoned if that had happened.” Luna got to her feet, her hand flying to her mouth.
“It was so close?”
“Yes, I think it was.”
There was little to be said after that. As December went on, Luna started travelling more and more around the towns near the manor, something that she had been rarely able to do in the past; only with an imperial escort had she ever been allowed out, and only for her oracle duties. Never before had she been truly able to meet the people she was ostensibly a ruler over, now that the empire was firmly outside their ancient borders. Her mother’s title had been queen, but she had only really ruled over the greater manor and its grounds, as many of her predecessors had done; it had been almost four hundred years since the oracle called the lands of Tenebrae wholly their own. But Tenebrae was in the hands of the Nox Fleuret family again, and there it would stay, as long as the people would have them. The matter of who would actually rule was still undecided; traditionally, if there were a prince and princess, the princess became the Queen-Oracle, while the prince became the Prince-General. But recent events had changed much in her life, and it was not common knowledge that the trident had been lost, only that she had destroyed the crystal.
Would the people even still accept her as oracle? She was uncertain. Ravus had suggested that they not bring up the missing trident unless the topic came to light, but continue on as she would have done traditionally; she still had healing powers, even if the Scourge was gone, and she could still help the people. The residents of the manor had credited her as one of the saviors that finally removed the Starscourge from the world, but it took her going to the outside world to see if that sentiment had pervaded overall. Luckily, at least in the parts of Tenebrae she had travelled to, the people’s support was firmly behind her; they assumed that she had had a damn good reason for destroying the crystal, bluntly, and since it was clear that the King of Lucis wasn’t angry with her, who were they to question it?
Ravus, on the other hand, they were a bit more divided on. While they were grateful that he had stood up as a proper member of his line and done his duty to help remove the empire from their borders, it was hardly a secret that he had worked alongside the empire for years...and had apparently done so willingly. The few times the topic came up, Luna was quick to say that there had been many difficult decisions and choices made by her brother to try and keep Tenebrae safe, but she had intentionally not gone into specifics. He had chosen what he felt he had to, and it needed to be put behind them, and quickly.
Oddly enough, while Ravus’s popularity was tenuous, Aranea, former commodore of Niflheim, was exceedingly well-received; her near-immediate arrival to start removing the human imperial forces in Tenebrae had been its own tale of legend, and she had willingly taken the post to make sure that imperial troops remained without the realm. It actually helped that she had been a well-known mercenary leader instead of a dyed in the wool imperial, the people tended to assume that she was actually less likely to betray them than a standard turncoat would have been seen as.
As the year marched steadily to its conclusion, the empire’s feeble attacks at the borders faded as the snow began to fall, and construction on all but essential infrastructure slowed for the winter. As much as she had wanted to bring back the winter festivals of old, resources were still somewhat scarce, and she had gone on record to her country that next year, there would be a celebration to rival the great ones of old. She had entertained visiting Insomnia for the last few weeks of the year, but the oracle traditionally ushered in the first sunrise of the new year, and Luna knew that there would be better times to visit.
At least she could still be in contact with everyone. Prompto could always be counted on to send her fun and interesting photos, Noctis alternated between silly photos and largely appropriate commentary and jokes on goings on around him; Gladio mostly talked about general gossip and what he was reading, and Cor while wasn’t the most talkative person, he could be counted on for short, biting commentary on various matters, and a dry humor that was very much him . She had only heard from Nyx a few times, but she could tell that he was exceedingly fond of Cor, and appeared to just be an all around good man. Even Regis had both called and sent her messages, usually business, but occasionally amusing anecdotes that reminded her of his son. The trial of Glauca was coming to an end, he had updated her, and the man still hadn’t said a word. Luna was curious as to his motivations, had become more so after realizing that he was actually Lucian and not the native Niflheimer she had always assumed. She wondered if he would ever speak before he was led either to the block or the scaffold.
But that was for another day. The one she almost never heard from, oddly enough, was Ignis. She knew he had Tenebraean ancestry, and she assumed it was one of his parents; his well-entrenched accent gave it away. They had gotten along well enough while she had been at the Citadel, but she had only heard from him once or twice since departing for home. That is, until New Year’s Eve.
I: Your majesty, forgive the intrusion. I hope you are doing well on this, the last day of a most auspicious year.
Luna’s eyes widened when she realized who had contacted her, and she hastily put down her fork next to her breakfast plate and picked up her phone.
L: Ignis! I am pleased to hear from you! For the last time, please call me Luna or Lunafreya, there is no need for titles between friends. To answer your question, I am well, thank you, and I hope you are much the same.
I: My apologies, Lunafreya. I am quite well, thank you for asking.
Luna waited to see if Ignis would send any more messages, but several minutes of eating later, there was still nothing. Hm.
L: Was there something I could assist you with, Ignis?
I: I...have a question for you, if I may be so bold.
Luna finally abandoned the dregs of her breakfast and took up her phone, ignoring the quizzical expression from her brother across the table.
L: Of course, Ignis, what do you wish to know?
It was another minute before she received a response, and she took the opportunity to finish her glass of juice. What sort of question could Ignis have that would make him so hesitant?
I: What are your thoughts on Noctis?
Luna quickly thumped down the empty glass. What sort of question was that? Ignis must know that she cared deeply for Noctis, he was her oldest friend- wait.
L: He is a wonderful person and an even better friend, but I think you are looking for something specific from me, are you not?
The advisor’s answer came quicker than she expected.
I: Were you interested in...pursuing him? We all know the marriage plans were a sham, but I never really asked what your true feelings on the matter were.
Luna’s gleeful smile would have put the cats that prowled the manor to shame, and she noticed Ravus trying to sneak around to her side of the table, his curiosity clearly peaked.
L: Ignis, are you trying to tell me that you are in a relationship with Noctis?
Behind her, her snooping brother choked on his own spit. Good, that’s what he got for peeking over her shoulder.
I: I’m afraid it is a bit more complicated than that.
L: To answer your question, Noctis is what I said he was, and had it been a true marriage, I’m sure we would have made it work...there are worse things than marrying your best friend.
L: But I neither have nor make any claim over him, as he should know.
L: What do you mean by complicated?
Again, several minutes passed without response, and Ravus tried to look like he wasn’t sticking around in hopes of hearing more, even as Luna tried to hide her phone screen from him. What would be complicated? Ignis hadn’t denied her question about him and Noctis, but his answer-
I: I am reluctant to say, Lunafreya, I fear, and I believe so do the others, that you would not approve.
This was clearly meant to be private, and she got to her feet, laid her napkin upon the table, and gave her brother a sharp look that he actually colored a bit at. He didn’t try to follow her, and she walked down the hall to the small study library, knowing that it was rare to have more than a person or two at any given time. To her luck, it was empty, and she tucked herself into the window nook and looked back at her phone.
L: I sincerely doubt that there is anything so worrisome that it would color my opinion of any of you.
What would worry Ignis to the point of hesitation? If there was something so concerning, why would she have not heard anything from Noctis? Luna worried at a knuckle with her teeth, then something utterly extraordinary came to mind. Ignis kept saying others. Oh. My. Was he saying what she thought he was saying? She was giggling like a madwoman before she even realized she was doing it, and not for the first time in the last month, she was two seconds from finding Aranea and begging her to take her to Insomnia.
L: I leave for five months and everyone goes mad. Cor finds an incredibly lovely boyfriend in Nyx, and don’t get me started on those two. Gladio says something a bit odd about a month ago that is suddenly starting to make sense, and then we have your incredibly vague commentary, Ignis.
L: So tell me truly, are you ACTUALLY trying to tell me that all four of you are together? Because if you are, congratulations! At least I know that Noctis has a large enough bed for the lot of you, considering Gladiolus probably takes up a third of it on his own.
Her phone rang seconds after she sent her last message, and it was Prompto’s voice coming out from the speakers, with a more distant sound that she had realized was the sound on speakerphone. She knew she wasn’t imagining the wheezing laughter in the background, and smiled.
“What in the world did you say to Iggy? He looks like he’s two seconds away from a heart attack!” Prompto squawked, and Luna laughed louder than she could remember doing so in a long time.
“Look at the last few messages I sent to him, then ask me again,” Luna stated, then pitched up her voice. “Good morning from Tenebrae, Noctis, Gladio, Prompto, it’s good to hear from everyone today.” She listened to some shuffling for a minute.
“Morning, Luna! I think you broke Iggy, I told him that you wouldn’t mind, but he didn’t believe me...hell, none of them did,” Noctis said, and Luna couldn’t stop laughing.
“Good morning, Noctis. I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that while you were willing to tell me, I have a feeling pretty much no one else knows yet.” Noctis coughed on the other end of the line, and she could hear Gladio mutter to the prince as he moved closer to the phone.
“Honestly, Luna, I’m pretty sure that Nyx has been suspecting something for months, and Prompto is positive that Cor has figured it out somehow, whether through their bond or another way. Otherwise, no, no one knows,” Gladio paused, then snorted with clear amusement. “...and good morning to you too.”
“Good morning, Luna! Iggy is still trying to recover, but I read what you wrote. You are right about the bed thing, Gladio does take up way too much of it,” Prompto said lightly, but there was an odd tone in his voice that Luna could detect that concerned her. “It’s really cold here in Insomnia, although no snow yet, is it still snowing there? Your pictures looked really nice that you sent a few weeks ago-” Prompto was rambling, and Luna took the initiative and cut him off.
“Prompto, what are you worried about?” Luna interjected, and she could hear the lot of them sigh, including a voice that sounded suspiciously like Ignis. After a somewhat awkward pause, he finally spoke back up.
“Are you...sure you’re okay with this? I mean, most of the world still thinks that you and Noct are the one true couple, and I feel like we’ve cut you out somehow, and, well, it’s not exactly common…” Luna sighed.
“Prompto, dearheart, voice of the dawn, beloved of so many people...do not assume things for me. While I am quite aware that my lovely wedding dress is currently being shown in Altissia as a what might have been exhibit, I’m certainly not weeping into my breakfast in the mornings. I am entirely happy for you all, I do not feel like I’ve been cut out, and well, as for perhaps the more uncommon nature of your relationship-” Luna trailed off, a smirk creeping across her features. “I do not envy you all the day when Noctis is dragged into what is certain to be an incredibly uncomfortable council meeting, but I’m certain you will all weather through as you have always done,” she said drily, and Gladio and Noctis both burst out laughing. She could hear Ignis sigh in the background as well.
“Just like that?” Prompto asked, and Luna found herself nodding.
“Just like that. Do not worry yourselves on my behalf any longer, Prompto, Ignis; I fully expect to see you four awkwardly trying to look like you aren’t all dating around the king and Lord Amicitia the next time I come to visit.” With that, Luna could hear Prompto join in with the others in laughing, and after a bit of a shuffle, she could hear Ignis sigh once more, although there was definitely humor in the sound now.
“You enjoy defying expectation, don’t you?” Ignis commented, and Luna chuckled.
“I’ve been chained to my duty for so long that it has been quite lovely to be able to spread my proverbial wings since everything has happened. I can honestly say I am looking forward to what the future brings, which is something that I would have been somewhat hesitant to say less than a year ago. So yes, while things are entirely different, and there are certainly challenges I will have to face in the future, I am enjoying myself here and now,” Luna said, and slowly took a deep breath, letting it out with more than a hint of realization. It was true. Tenebrae still needed serious work, the issue of succession and actual power still needed to be decided, and then there was the issue of whether she could even still call herself the oracle, but for now, things were stable, she and her brother were finding their way around each other again, and her friends were happy. She could ask for nothing more.
“Oh yes, Prompto?”
“I keep hearing about a comprehensive book on the faith of the Dawn Mother and her chosen, I understand it is being published soon? Would there be a possibility of receiving a copy?” The answering groan from Prompto was not what she expected, and it was Gladio, after some pushing and shoving she could clearly hear through the line, who finally responded.
“Touchy subject around chocobo-head, princess, but I’ll make sure you get one as soon I as get my hands on it.” Luna blinked in confusion.
“Well, then I thank you.” Gladio grunted, and Prompto’s voice came back through, as whiny as she had ever heard him.
“Noooo, you don’t want it, it’s...it’s-”
She didn’t even know what was going on, but Luna laughed so hard that she fell out of her nook, and the startled librarian who walked in on her cackling halfway onto the floor was probably never going to recover from the shock.
It was going to be a good year.
It had taken some three weeks for the book to reach her, and there was some very active discussion online about its contents that she had been avoiding until she had her own copy. It certainly couldn’t be that wild, could it?
A few hours later, and Luna, her eyes wide and staring out at the glistening snow on her balcony, set the book down delicately in her lap.
Now she knew why Prompto hadn’t wanted to talk about it. She couldn’t even think of bringing it up to Cor. Her cheeks were probably permanently red, and when Ravus got a hold of this, he would probably rupture something in his embarrassment.
She didn’t bother restraining fanning her face this time.
The eternal question, she supposed, the one the rest of the world seemed to be asking...was it all true? Was part of it true?
The world would probably never find out.