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Because I Knew You

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Because I Knew You

 

Monica was incredibly fond of Cor, the silly moogle that he was (he had actually told her about the princesses’ comment, and she found it very fitting.) She had joined the Crownsguard at nineteen, shortly after King Regis’s coronation, and Cor had been the one who had shown her the ropes. Everyone had known that the young prodigy was going to be running the place in a few years, as much as some of the old guard from Mors’ reign had complained about his youth and low birth, and she had realized quickly that it was only to her benefit that she stay on his good side.

It had only taken her a year or two to also realize how completely hopeless the man was outside of work. When she saw him at the party that had been thrown for him after he had been promoted to Deputy Marshal at twenty-two, she had ended up acting as his social intermediary while he hid in the corner most of the night, polite if approached, but otherwise clearly unsure of himself. Most people took it as him being stoic and mysterious ( please, ) but she saw through it all too well. She ended up taking the unspoken position almost full-time as he was forced into more and more social situations due to his growing reputation, and while she didn’t really mind, it was a little ridiculous (she was just happy he did improve as the years went by at this point.)

A few years and a few promotions after that, she had argued for a minimum age of seventeen for entries into the Crownsguard, and had mostly succeeded (they settled on sixteen.) She had told the council that she thought it was best that the applicants were mostly done with puberty before they entered for their own safety, but that had been only half the reason. The other half occasionally sat on the sofa in her quarters and quietly petted the inevitable cat in his lap, not caring about the fur on his slacks as they talked lightly about work and life. As far as she could tell, he had never had the chance at a normal childhood, or at least a normal teenage life, and while he had chosen to go into the Guard of his own accord, she was positive that he had been just too damn young for the whole affair.

Then there was his handful of so-called lovers over about a ten year period. After she had kicked his last attempt at a relationship out of the Citadel with a few choice words, her attempt to cheer him up in the aftermath led her to find out from the morose Cor that he had never...well. She was honored in a sad way that he trusted her with such intensely personal information, and made sure to put it firmly out of her mind.

When they thought about trying something themselves a few years after that, she realized almost immediately that she felt more like a slightly older sister to him than anything else, and they both agreed to forget the whole thing. She didn’t take it personally that he had looked just as relieved as she had.

Years went by, the war grew worse and the casualties mounted; she and Cor worked, and occasionally took to the field- but by then, it was usually the Glaives that were sent out. It didn’t look good, as much as the city continued on like there wasn’t bodies piling at the gates, and they all knew it. Cor was his usual polite and stoic self, but she could see the strain in his eyes increase by the day as the casualty lists returned and the king looked more and more stooped under the weight of his burden.

Then came the surrender terms, along with Prompto; she had been rather confused by his clear affection towards the kid, but she could see it was almost fatherly, not anything that would lead to any claims of fraternization later, and she shrugged it off as a mid-life crisis.

It didn’t confuse her for long, though. To find out that one of her dearest friends had been hiding the fact that he was some sort of divine emissary their entire acquaintance had been a tough pill to swallow, but swallow it she did. What else could she do? Then they all almost died, but they eradicated the Starscourge and obliterated most of the empire’s troops all in a few hours, so she’d call it a good day.

She could have skipped the part where Cor and Prompto had both almost died, though, as well as their damn comas. Neither of those two were meant to be so...so still , and the fact that the poor kid was down for the count for so long had really screwed with Cor for awhile. But things improved, and Monica finally felt she could take a deep breath and relax. Well, after she shook Cor for information. He owed her that much, and he folded like a piece of paper when she finally confronted him. Good boy.

Then she watched in amazement as Cor started acting like a confused fifteen year old around Nyx Ulric, the soon-to-be new captain of the Kingsglaive, and she could do little but find the proverbial popcorn and hope it would work out. About a week into November, she had forgotten to give Cor something when they were at work, and she had strolled into his quarters unannounced like she had done hundreds of times over the years to pass it along, only to find Cor fast asleep on Nyx Ulric’s shoulder. Oh. The Glaive met her eyes with a smile and a single finger to his lips. It was such a simple thing, but she almost teared up at the sight of it.

From then on, she knocked first.

She knew they were still seeing each other as the year came to a close, thanks Cor, she didn’t need to be hearing that in her office, but she was not expecting to get a phone call on New Year’s morning from a very groggy Cor telling her that he was taking a day. She couldn’t even remember the last time he took a day. Then she found out not long after that Ulric had also called in, and she wondered…

Then the idiot poofed straight to his office the next day and sat on a giant pillow whilst working on his paperwork, and she barely restrained congratulating him. Maybe Ulric had finally figured out the mystery. It had only taken some thirty years, if what he had said all those years ago still held, and well, as long as Cor was happy, she was happy.

The day before the book came out started out far more normal; he had ditched the pillow and seemed to be calmly working through his paperwork like any other day, then the strangest expression had come across his face, followed shortly thereafter by a befuddled blush and some shifting in his chair, and before she could really say anything, he had vanished. She really didn’t want to know.

Then the book came out. She had preordered a copy, which had arrived in the express mail first thing in the morning, and she spent the first few hours reading parts of it while working on her other tasks, only to finally reach the parts that the world was having a collective conniption fit over. Wow. She had never read so many antiquated euphemisms in her life, but the endless descriptions of everything from the ritual of the spring harvest (sex out in the open, no temple or curtains,) summer harvest (sex under a great tree if available, also no temple or curtains,) autumn harvest (sex at night time under a full moon,) and winter, which was the only one that was actually held indoors of the harvest festivals. There was countless rituals and uses for their sacred dew, one somewhat concerning one claiming that it could slow the passage of time, and another that claimed it could make any plant grow (great for crops, but what did these poor divine messengers do, just sit around with dirty magazines and bottle it up? Sounded tiring.) Honestly, she was dying to see if that was true, because she chronically forgot to water her poor houseplant. Maybe he could bottle a little, because that was a normal question to ask someone-

But anyway. It was a lot of sex (there seemed to be an implication that they were more sturdy than regular people, in both general health and sexual health, which was probably a good thing if the ancient Dawnsworn actually did all of these damn rituals, because who had that kind of stamina otherwise) but the rituals were ancient, and really had very little context in the modern world. The only parts that concerned her were the bits that seemed to treat them more like sacred cows (well, that was one way to put it, anyway) than people, and hoped that no one got any ideas. She wasn’t holding her breath.

When Cor had walked into the office about two hours after she had gotten there, she had heard noisier tombs. No one dared say anything, although she could tell that a bunch of them really wanted to. She decided to follow him out when he left with little more than a good morning.

“Working somewhere else today?” Cor looked over at her with resignation, but sighed and tilted his head towards the elevator.

“As funny as seeing them all squirm was, I would prefer not getting stared at all day,” Cor muttered, and Monica couldn’t blame him. He kept looking at her then looking away, and after the doors of the elevator closed behind them, she sighed.

“Just waiting for me to say something, aren’t you?” she said drily, and Cor frowned. “Look, I admit, that book is something else, but a lot of that is ancient history, especially the ritual stuff. I’m honestly more worried about people trying to turn you two into their personal….well, let’s go with milking cows, because while I’m sure you’ll hear stud jokes too, I think the other one is more pertinent based on what I read. You want to know the first thought I had after I was done?” Monica asked, and Cor blinked. “I wanted to know if your...talent could help my poor sad houseplant, because you know I always forget to water that thing-”

“The tabloids think I’ve slept with at least three royals and probably half this building, and you want me to donate to help your damn plant,” Cor said bluntly, and she grinned. “Well, that...that sounds like you. Maybe I will, just for the hell of it.” She wasn’t imagining the look of amused relief in his eyes, and she patted him on the arm before turning and walking out of the elevator.

They worked in peace for an hour or so, then the door opened to reveal Dustin and a rather distraught Prompto, who basically beelined into Cor’s waiting arms. Now that she knew the depth of their connection, she found it really sweet to watch. It also made Argentum a bit of a nepotism accusation risk should he actually return to being a Crownsguard, but for now, the young man seemed to be waiting. For what, she wasn’t certain, but the king seemed happy to let him be, and that was all she needed to know. The kid’s life had been hectic enough.

She and Cor made it a point to stay in the office the next day. People were still staring at him while they pretended they weren’t reading the book in-between their actual work, but no one had gathered the guts to confront him. She had heard from Dustin that Prompto had been seen as fair game when he had stopped by, however, and it was probably smart that he had refused to give either Cor or her their names. The media were still having a field day, the headlines just as silly as before, and it was from Lord Amicitia that she found out just how much the Media Bureau had been bombarded by interview requests for both Cor and Prompto; every reputable, semi-reputable, and downright tabloid media outlet outside of Niflheim was lobbying to be the one who landed the big interview with one or both of them, and the two men in question had been kept in the dark of the scale of the deluge by direct order of the king. She wasn’t surprised, they had known Cor even longer than she had, and while he did perfectly fine at dry press conferences discussing the issue of the week, this was a whole different animal.

Monica watched Cor walk out of the room, clearly pretending that he didn’t notice that most of the room’s eyes followed him, and sighed. Maybe an interview would be just what they needed, something to give the public a personal touch behind the ridiculousness of it all. It wouldn’t stop the media, but it might just wet their whistle, so to speak. She decided to try and gain an audience with the king about it after work. It went about as well at first as she expected.

“Absolutely not-”
“That might actually be a decent idea-”

Monica couldn’t quite cover her laugh in time, but luckily, neither the king nor Lord Amicitia appeared to have noticed, as they were too busy glaring at each other.

“Clarus, she has a point; as removed as they are, young Prompto simply by virtue of being largely an unknown...that little tea was the only semi-public event he’s done, after all, and Cor by being his usual mysterious self, the media has seen fit to make up everything and anything they can in the vacuum. Apparently, Cor has slept with the whole Citadel at this point, which, let me tell you, was news to me. I certainly didn’t get the memo-” Amicitia cut the king off with a groan, his hands massaging his temples.

“Hell, he apparently slept with your father as well, at least according to the Insomnia Enquirer; even the thought of which disturbed the hell out of me, and I know exactly what Cor was doing during those years,” Amicitia said, and Monica just stayed quiet and enjoyed the banter.

“Then we have Prompto. The kid is getting it in spades from the xenophobic zealots as well, they’ve taken the book as the proof that he should be thrown bodily out of Insomnia before his strangeness infects everything,” the king sighed, taking a sip out of a glass that looked suspiciously alcoholic. “How did you like the tabloid declaring that the two of them were controlling us with magic sex? I thought that one was exceptionally fascinating-”

“That’s the same one that accused Cor of sleeping with King Mors, Regis.”

“Are you sure? I think I’m losing track,” the king snorted. “Well, anyway, I still want to know where I was when all this alleged sex was taking place. Well, I’m not going to discount it entirely on Prompto’s account, however; while I don’t know exactly what’s going on, if my son thinks he’s subtle with the cow eyes he’s pretends he’s not aiming at that boy-”

Monica couldn’t hold it anymore, and burst out laughing; the two men actually jumped in their seats at the sound, and she covered her face in an attempt to regain her composure.

“Oh dear, we quite forgot you were here for a moment, Elshett,” the king said with clear embarrassment, and she managed to choke back further laughter and shake her head.

“Don’t worry about it, your majesty. Should I go?” she said, and the king waved a dismissive hand.

“No, no, back to our original topic. Clarus.” The man in question massaged his temples some more. “Why don’t you like the interview idea?” The deadpan expression that the king received from Amicitia made Monica’s day .

“Prompto is kind, sweet, adorable, a bit too prone to senseless chatter, and incredibly anxious about things like this. How long will it take until he’s hiding under Cor’s chair during the interview?”

“Well, I do think he’s improved a bit, word from their stop in Lestallum was that he comported himself quite admirably-”

“But that was before the book came out, how do you think he’d take it if we told him we had already received some fifty baby requests? Let alone the ninety or so for Cor, at last count-” Monica almost choked on her own spit at that. Were these people serious?

“...ah yes, I had almost forgot. Has anyone told them yet?”

“No, I felt it best we give it a few days.”

“I think Cor would be the larger issue, he would dutifully stay for any interview if we requested it of him, but-” the king’s brow furrowed, and Monica took the pause to delicately clear her throat. “Yes, Elshett?”

“Perhaps a cherry-picked person and outlet, something sympathetic to the crown but not too much so that it would be seen as such, and a pre-approved set of questions?” The king smirked, and Monica tried not to react when Lord Amicitia’s glare focused on her.

“Oh, what was that, Elshett? A reasonable suggestion that we could certainly make work? Did we not hear something rather similar just six hours ago from Ms. Sulpicia over in Media?” the king was clearly on a roll, and Monica again swallowed her laughter and stayed quiet as Amicitia finally just crossed his arms and frowned.

“If Cor coldcocks the interviewer when Argentum inevitably gets overwhelmed or when they go off script, on your heads be it. If we are lucky, he’ll just glare instead-” The king sighed.

“Have more faith in the man than that, Clarus, he’d probably just grab Prompto and leave instead. He’s not fifteen anymore,” the king stated, and Lord Amicitia huffed.

“No, that’s true. Alright, we’ll try it. We best give Cor and Prompto the latitude to leave if they feel uncomfortable at any time so we can avoid any issues, and hope it works out,” Amicitia said, and after a silent conversation with the king, he turned to her. Oh hell, she should have known this was coming. “I want you to go to wrangle Cor, we’ll have Scientia ride herd on Prompto. We’ll pass on the details once it’s ironed out.”

And that’s how she found herself voluntold to keep Cor from causing an international incident.

It was decided that they would be scheduled for the Saturday evening prime time slot with Cupitus Margo, an old even-handed journalist who was well-loved for his integrity, something not always easy to find in the modern era, and a few days of a rather unimpressed Cor and worried Prompto staring at questions dubiously later, they found themselves backstage at the network. Scientia was trying his best to keep the sharply dressed Prompto from panicking (the suit they had made for the kid fit him like a glove, and it was easily the most mature he had ever looked, even with his usual hairstyle. She was impressed, honestly.) Cor was also in a stunning new suit (she had seen the look on Ulric’s face before Cor had poofed them over to the studio, and it didn’t bode well for the continued existence of said suit. Poor suit.) Cor kept alternating between looking like he was looking at something in another plane of existence, which was possible but extraordinarily unlikely, and looking at Prompto in concern.

It could have been worse. Then the two minute call to the set came, and Prompto and Cor both stiffened up like a board; the next minute was spent with Scientia fixing Prompto’s tie while speaking quietly to the young man under his breath, and Monica glaring at Cor until he loosened up a bit. Their makeup was just enough to make sure they didn’t drown in the studio lights, and Monica made sure they hadn’t covered Prompto’s freckles. They gave him personality, and they needed that now.

“Alright boys, you can do this. Scientia and I will be right by the entrance to the stage, so just answer the questions, attempt to look friendly and personable, and do not, repeat, do not poof off and leave us here, marshal. Do you understand me?” Monica sternly informed the two men, who giggled nervously (Prompto,) sighed and nodded (Cor,) then patted them both on the shoulders and stepped back. “Good luck.” She watched as the two were directed out to two armchairs waiting for them, and tried not to wince when they both sat down like the chairs were made of fire. Oh boy.

Margo was a staunch professional, the sort of journalist that was usually assigned to heavy-hitting corruption investigations and war correspondence; he wasn’t the type usually assigned to human interest stories. But this story had a little bit of everything, after all; Cor had been a decorated war hero by the time he was able to grow facial hair, long before recent events, and Prompto had sung the (nearly-dead, officially) back to life, even bringing the very source of the Scourge to his knees single handedly during the Battle at the Citadel. Now with the book to provide some context to their abilities, Monica had no doubt that Margo would try to work in political context to bring the interview closer to his usual style, but she was hopeful that he would at least generally stick to the questions.

Monica froze as Margo came out to greet them, a thought coming to her mind. Did anyone tell either of them about the, well, sperm donor requests? She grimaced. She really hoped that Margo didn’t bring that up.

The three men on stage shook hands and retook their seats, and she and Scientia took up places at the edge of the set and settled in for the ride.

 

Margo: The word Dawnsworn is a new addition to the lexicon of the average Lucian; all but forgotten outside of Galahd and parts of the frontier, these messengers of the Dawn Mother, herself nearly consigned to antiquity, have appeared from the shadows to play a major role in the recent defeat of the empire of Niflheim, but more importantly, the complete obliteration of the Starscourge, which had been plaguing our world for millennia. While much has been said about the battle and their actions surrounding it, their relative silence since then and the publication of The Book of the Dawn only days ago have led to an incredible outpouring of public interest surrounding them. We at Lucis Explored were pleased to be invited to interview the men of the hour, if not the men of the last seven months.

[Indicates Cor.]

May I introduce a man well-known to much of Lucis by virtue of his reputation, the marshal of the Crownsguard and well-known war hero, Cor Leonis-

[Cor nods, and Margo turns towards Prompto.]

Unlike the marshal, our other guest was a complete unknown to the public until the events at the Citadel, but between his performance during the battle and his appearance to the city about two months later, he’s made quite the impression. Prompto Argentum.

[Prompto smiles and nods.]

Gentlemen, thank you for coming. Marshal, I understand the tale starts with you. According to the book, the Dawn Mother contacts her chosen when they are young adults. May I ask when you were contacted?

Cor: I was eighteen when she reached out to me.

Margo: What did you think at first? Were you immediately sold on the idea?

Cor: I was not. I was honorbound to the Crown, I felt I would be betraying loyalties to pledge myself to her as well.

Margo: What changed?

[Cor clearly hesitates, then lets out a tiny sigh.]

Cor: She told me of the future that could have come to pass had the events of last May not occurred.

Margo: What could have been so shocking to convince you?

[Cor looks at Margo with a look that actually makes the man blanch slightly, Prompto shifts in his seat and looks at the floor.]

Cor: The possible end of the world made for a convincing proposition.

[Margo waits for more, but Cor is not volunteering.]

Margo: That...sounds understandable, marshal. Mr. Argentum, might I also ask when you were first contacted?

Prompto: I was also eighteen.

Margo: How about you? Did you agree right away?

[Prompto actually flushes a bit.]

Prompto: I thought she had the wrong person, honestly. I’m not...I’m just Prompto. I wasn’t a noble, or some famous warrior, I was just a kid. But she told me that she had chosen me, and how could I not?

[Margo focuses in on Prompto.]

Margo: You weren’t worried about any deception?

[Prompto looked flabbergasted for a moment, before smoothing out his expression.]

Prompto: If you could meet her, you would know that wasn’t a possibility. I don’t know how else to explain it. She just has this presence-

Margo: Did she too bring up the idea of, how might I say it, saving the world?

Prompto: She did, and while I was skeptical of my ability to be of any help, I knew I had to try. Would you do anything else?

[Margo raises his eyebrows slightly at the question.]

Margo: That’s a question for another time, perhaps.

[Margo looks at the two of them; Prompto is outwardly calm, while Cor looks blank-faced.]

Margo: The events of the battle have been disseminated many times in the months since, so I will not go into them here in any depth. I have one question for both of you regarding something in the aftermath, however. Mr. Argentum, after resuscitating Prince Noctis and Princess Luna, both you and the marshal collapsed. Was this from exertion? Or something more serious? You were both in the infirmary for some time in the aftermath, and it wasn’t entirely clear why.

[Cor and Prompto look at each other for a moment, before Prompto faces Margo.]

Prompto: I over-did it. I knew I was there for a reason, to help, to save my friends, and I poured every bit of energy I could dig up to do so. If I had been older, I might have handled it better, but I think I didn’t quite have the...stamina.

Margo: That explains you, Mr. Argentum, but how about you, marshal?

[Cor looks over at Prompto, the two apparently having an unspoken conversation before he looks at Margo.]

Cor: We…

[Cor sighs.]

Cor: We have a connection of sorts. We think it might be possible that he was somehow able to borrow my own...energy, so to speak. We have no other explanation.

[Margo looks fascinated, but Cor’s expression seems to dissuade him from continuing.]

Margo: That sounds interesting, but we’ll move on for now. Now, we all know the talk of the town, the recent publication of The Book of the Dawn, apparently taken from the oldest extant copy of the book known to exist; had you two been aware of the book before the impending publication was announced?

[Prompto leans forward with a somewhat hazy smile.]

Prompto: I was loaned an original by a Galahdian friend while I was still under the weather after everything, after reading through it, I passed it onto the marshal. So yes, I knew of the book.

[Margo nodded.]

Margo: Were you both aware of everything the book claims you are capable of?

[Cor and Prompto look at each other again, Cor sighs quietly under his breath before meeting Margo’s eyes.]

Cor: No, we weren’t. The goddess had been solely focused on teaching us the abilities we would need to be able to fight, she...never mentioned anything else.

[Prompto nods in clear agreement, and Margo’s eyebrows raise.]

Margo: You didn’t know a single thing about the part of the book that is causing such discussion. Truly? Not a single idea? If even parts of it are accurate, I find it unlikely that either of you were entirely unaware, even if you didn’t know exactly what was going on.

[Margo scrutinizes the two men intently; Cor’s expression never changes, but Prompto’s mouth opens a bit like he wants to say something, then just as quickly snaps it shut.]

Margo: Mr. Argentum?

Prompto: Ah, nothing.

Margo: You seem to be a somewhat different mind from the marshal.

[Prompto starts chewing on his bottom lip, his eyes wide, and Cor looks a bit irritated. At who is unclear.]

Prompto: It’s nothing. Really.

[Margo is clearly disbelieving, but he moves on.]

Margo: Very well. Since neither of you knew, what was your thoughts when you found out?

Prompto: It was kinda overwhelming, honestly. That’s a lot of-

[Prompto blushes, which highlights his freckles fetchingly. He seems unaware of this.]

Margo: Mr. Argentum?

Prompto: It’s a lot of sexual stuff. It was really...unexpected.

[Margo looks at Cor, who does not look like he wants to say anything.]

Margo: Marshal? How about you?

Cor: I wasn’t happy about it. At all. It took me some time to work through my thoughts about it.

Margo: Was it the personal physical aspects that concerned you, or the ritual accounts?

[Cor pinches the bridge of his nose, and Prompto squirms in his seat.]

Cor: Both, I suppose.

Prompto: The rituals were weird, and there was a few that really creeped me out, but I’d have to say the er, personal things were the most...alarming? I don’t know, but I definitely was weirded out by the whole thing for awhile. Some of less...er, private things were cool though.

[Margo nods as Prompto finishes, Cor looks slightly uncomfortable, which is not a look the public is used to seeing from the normally stoic man.]

Margo: There’s been a massive amount of discussion about the accuracy of the supposed healing and near-miraculous properties of a certain bodily fluid that the book spends a significant amount of space on. Things that could actually have scientific benefits. Have you tested, or are you aware of how accurate some of these claims are?

[Prompto’s blush returns in full-force, but the shocker is the splotchy flush blooming slowly across Cor’s face. Margo looks amused for a split second, but manages to regain his composure.]

Margo: I know it’s an odd question, but you must admit that there is a significant amount of space dedicated to it.

Prompto: Er, um, yeah, I know. I...maybe? I think some cuts healed after uh, things?

[Prompto returns to chewing on his bottom lip. Cor looks like he’d rather be anywhere but there.]

Margo: Marshal?

Cor: No comment.

[Margo leans back in his chair and looks intently at Cor, who meets his eyes, but his mouth is firmly shut.]

Margo: Would you be willing to cooperate with scientists to explore this part of your possible abilities? I have heard of several that were interested in working with you; Professor Yeager was foremost among them, but there was more.

[Prompto opens and closes his mouth a few times, Cor’s eyes are starting to look vaguely panicked.]

Prompto: ...maybe? I really- I’m not sure.

Margo: Marshal?

Cor: I- I- don’t know.

[Margo takes pity on them.]

Margo: Alright, something to think about. How about some of the less controversial physical aspects? The book implies enhanced healing, for instance, perhaps even strength? Have you noticed anything like that?

[Cor’s relief is palpable, and his shoulders actually seem to relax a small amount.]

Cor: Yes, I have, at least the former. I tend to avoid getting hit, but I have noticed that cuts and small wounds have always healed very quickly on me. I have no way of confirming the second, but I’ve not noticed any major difference from myself and people of similar age and fitness.

Margo: So you can confirm at least that part to a point. Mr. Argentum, any additions?

Prompto: Well, I know I got pretty banged up during the battle, but according to what I was told, I barely had a mark on me by the time I was taken to the infirmary. So yeah? Maybe the healing thing?

[Margo looks a bit relieved that they answered so easily.]

Margo: This next question is specifically for the marshal. In the book, it states that the herald is a divine arbitrator, where his will is supposedly the will of the Goddess? According to said book, your ancient predecessors would call upon the heralds to resolve all sorts of disputes, from minor affairs all the way to succession disputes, and supposedly it was near-impossible to overrule the decisions made; have you...done anything with this ability?

[Cor thinks for a moment, then shrugs.]

Cor: I don’t believe so, no. I think the closest was when I was addressing the Infernian, but that wasn’t quite the same. This is a different time, with its own legal systems; I doubt I’ll ever act in that capacity in any meaningful manner.

[Margo nods, and Prompto suddenly looks thoughtful.]

Margo: Did you have something to add, Mr. Argentum?

Prompto: No, not really, just something you said that made me think.

Margo: May I ask what?

Prompto: Well, you said he, and it just hit me that everyone’s assuming that all of the Dawnsworn were men.

[Margo blinks, and Cor quirks an eyebrow.]

Margo: They weren’t?

[Prompto grins, bright and sunny; it’s the calmest he’s looked the entire interview.]

Prompto: Nope, there was women in the past, although she does tend to prefer men for her chosen. I think it was something like seventy-thirty?

Cor: If not less, from what I understand. But there have been women in the past.

[Margo looks thoughtful.]

Margo: Interesting, you are right, Mr. Argentum, most were assuming they were always male; but it begs the question: What we were discussing earlier, how did that work?

[Both Cor and Prompto both blink, then Prompto actually squeaks and puts his face in his hands. Cor looks at Prompto then glares at Margo for a moment before going stony-faced. Margo visibly backtracks.]

Margo: I...suppose it makes sense that you wouldn’t know.

[Margo takes a moment to shuffle the paperwork he hasn’t touched once the entire time, giving time for Prompto to take a deep breath and regain his composure.]

Margo: Moving on, Mr. Argentum, I have a question for you. I understand that you had been newly accepted to the Crownsguard shortly before the battle at the Citadel occurred.

[Prompto looks a bit puzzled at the question, but nods.]

Prompto: Yes, that’s right.

Margo: From what I understand, you were initially listed as disabled following the aftermath of the battle, but in the past month or so, you were moved to the inactive rolls. Are you planning to return to the Crownsguard?

[Prompto freezes, then looks at Cor before looking down at his fingernails for a long moment.]

Cor: Mr. Argentum will be on inactive status until otherwise decided. We don’t discuss internal affairs of employees.

Margo: That’s all well and good, marshal, but it doesn’t answer the question. What are your future plans, Mr. Argentum?

[Prompto has been chewing on his bottom lip the whole time.]

Prompto: There’s a lot of stuff to consider. I joined because I wanted to help my friend, my home...but I don’t know how much I can help with everything that’s happened. I’ll just have to see.

[Margo nods again, and looks down at his neglected notes.]

Margo: Well, I’ve got a more lighthearted one for you two. I’m sure you’ve been asked this in the past, marshal, but this was the question that was most requested from our viewers. Are either of you two currently in a relationship?

[Prompto and Cor both freeze solid, their twin garula-in-the-headlights expressions clear as day. Margo looks very amused for a moment.]

Margo: Marshal?

[Cor pinches the bridge of his nose and takes a deep breath.]

Cor: I’d prefer not to answer that.

Prompto: Same here.

[Margo looks at both skeptically.]

Margo: You understand that most people will assume you are with that sort of answer. Just to make it clear, you aren’t in a relationship with each other, correct? There appears to be some tradition of it according to some less formal information that has been floating around.

[Prompto’s jaw drops, and Cor actually looks a bit angry for a moment.]

Cor: No, we aren’t. Our relationship isn’t of that nature. At all.

[Prompto bobs his head rapidly, and Margo looks between the two of them.]

Margo: Might I ask what you mean?

Prompto: I’ve known him since I was a kid-

[Prompto cuts himself off and bites his bottom lip again. Cor’s expression looks strained.]

Margo: ...anything else you’d like to add, marshal?

Cor: No.

[Cor has slid to the edge of his seat, and it’s pretty apparent he wants to leave.]

Margo: Very well, then. I just have a few more questions.

[Cor and Prompto look completely done with the whole affair, and even Margo is looking a little tired.]

Margo: There’s a lot of modern legal implications involved in certain parts of the book, as you might suspect. The one that’s probably most timely is the tradition of the...sacred gift, as I believe it was called.

[Prompto and Cor are both clearly trying to remember which one that was.]

Margo: That’s the one where women request for the Dawnsworn’s assistance for children.

[Cor is so close to the edge of his seat it’s a miracle he hasn’t fallen off, Prompto is biting his lip and looking very lost.]

Cor: I remember it.

Margo: Have you considered how you both are planning to handle it?

[Prompto blinked.]

Prompto: Handle what?

Margo: The requests. I’ve heard the the Citadel has had requests by more than one hundred and fifty women so far. How are you planning to handle these?

[Cor gets to his feet in lieu of falling out of the chair, his eyes wide and blush returning with a vengeance; Prompto looks like he’s two seconds from passing out from embarrassment.]

 

The sound of Monica facepalming was audible even on TV.

 

“So, that happened,” Prompto said, throwing back the shot; Cor followed a moment later with his own, and Monica felt like she had lost control of her life somewhere.

“You knew, didn’t you?” Cor grumbled at her, and Monica sighed.

“I found out when I was talking with the king, but it didn’t hit me that no one had told you two until you were already out on stage,” she said, staring at her Tenebraen Sunrise before taking a hearty swig of her own. “Damn Margo just couldn’t help himself.” Prompto groaned and laid his head in his crossed arms on the bar top, Scientia laying a hand on the back of Prompto’s neck without saying a word before picking up his own Duscae Iced Coffee and taking a measured sip. Monica narrowed her eyes at him. “What’s with the moderation, Scientia? Take a good chug.”

“One of us needs to be sober enough to keep the marshal from attempting to take us back his way. I’ll call for a car shortly,” Scientia replied, and Monica took a closer look at Cor, who was at least three shots in.

“Okay, good point.” Cor rolled his eyes at her answer, then promptly took another shot. Monica looked around her for a moment before finally just looking askance at Cor. “Where the hell are we, anyway? You just grabbed the lot of us and poof, we were here.” Prompto lifted his head and waved his hand for another drink.

“It’s a little dive bar near Little Galahd, I went here a few times on my own after I turned twenty,” Prompto muttered, and Monica winced as he slammed back yet another shot without even a blink. She turned to Scientia and sighed.

“Okay, I’m cutting myself off, I’ve gotta make sure Cor can even walk to the damn car the way he’s going. He thinks he can drink like a fish, but Dustin had him practically on the floor the last time we had a Crownsguard shindig,” Monica said, and Cor gave her a dirty look. It was completely defeated by the fact that his cheeks were a suspicious shade of pink and his eyes were getting a bit glazed. “Yeah, don’t even start, I’m passing you off to a specific unnamed individual as soon as we get back to the Citadel, they can take over from there. I’m assuming you’ve got Prompto handled, Scientia?”

“Of course. If it comes to it, there’s always the fireman’s carry. He’s quite light,” Scientia smirked, and Prompto glared at him as he grabbed what was left of Scientia’s drink and quaffed it as well. “Excuse you, I was still drinking that.” Prompto grinned and leaned in, kissing Scientia on the nose. Monica called for the bill.

It turned out that Prompto apparently had a better alcohol tolerance than Cor, which, considering their disparate sizes, was somewhat surprising. But Ignis (when you are forced to handle drunk friends together, you got upgraded to first name basis) only had to escort Prompto to the limo, which was being driven by a smiling Ostium, who had also brought…

“Oh dear, is this normal for him?” Monica sighed in relief, then happily dumped the half-conscious Cor into the car, where Nyx, wearing jeans and a worn hoodie, reached over and slid the marshal over to his side, the older man promptly curling up and dozing off with his head lying on the Glaive’s shoulder.

“That poor suit. I was expecting it to be abused in a different way, not by being wrinkled up by a drunk,” Monica snorted, and Nyx sighed and adjusted his arm around Cor.

“How much did he have? He doesn’t strike me as a lightweight.”

“I lost count. No, he’s not, but his tolerance is average at best. Thankfully, he doesn’t get hangovers, which, if I think about it, probably has to do with who he is. Lucky bastard,” Monica grumbled, and patted her friend on the thigh. “Man, that interview. Cor barely held it together at the end there.” Nyx barked out a laugh, which caused Cor to grumble and shift.

“I was positive he was just going to show up in his apartment halfway through, but I think he was worried about leaving Prompto. The poor kid looked about two seconds from an aneurysm a few times,” Nyx chuckled, and Monica looked over at Prompto to see that he too had dozed off, his head resting against a supremely fond Ignis’s shoulder. Huh.

“The fallout is going to be fascinating, I’ll be honest, my morbid curiousity is already looking forward to tomorrow,” she admitted, and all three conscious men in the car started laughing, which let to a chorus of groans from both of the soused Dawnsworn.

It was good that they made excellent time back to the Citadel, because Cor woke up just enough to realize who he was laying on and started trying to get a little too touchy-feely (badly) with his boyfriend, which led to Monica bodily yanking the drunk marshal off of the captain while Nyx tried very hard not to die of laughter. It was absolutely pathetic, and Monica loved every minute of it. That was the proper way to start a new year.



Epilogue:

 

“So, what’s the general consensus?” Monica asked, and Crowe looked down at her tablet.

“Cor is, at the minimum, a big brother figure to Prompto, most did believe that they weren’t like that. They can’t decide if he’s a total prude or oddly innocent for his age when it comes to sex…” Monica sighed, and Crowe grinned. “Well, we both know he’s getting a proper education there-”

“Crowe, please. I heard enough a week ago in my office,” Monica whined, and Crowe burst out laughing.

“Oh, I didn’t hear about this, do tell.” Monica waved a hand dismissively.

“It was just a solid makeout session, their clothes were firmly on when I barged in and told them to knock it off.”

“And why would you do that? Eh, yeah, I suppose better not at the office,” Crowe nodded, and Monica shook her head.

“That wasn’t even the main problem. You read the book, I assume?” Crowe nodded. “Remember the bit about the in pleasure their voice sounds with power or whatever the hell it was?”

“Yeah…”

“It’s true. Entirely. I had no idea why I was getting so turned on considering I actually couldn’t hear all that much, then I read that thing the other day…” Monica blushed, and Crowe cackled.

“Hopefully neither of them decide to film themselves at any point.”

“- and back to the topic at hand,” Monica sighed, and Crowe looked back down at her tablet.

“So to sum up Cor and Prompto, your average person thinks they are both cuties, Prompto with his freckles and Cor with his adorkable blush, which they totally didn’t expect out of a guy who regularly decimated imperial troops with his pinkie or some shit, I can tell you that he was even on newspaper covers in Galahd back in the day, usually holding that gorgeous sword of his and looking badass,” Crowe said, and Monica nodded.

“That’s usually how he was shown here, war photographers loved following him around at the height of his involvement. He never quite understood why then, and I doubt that will change much now,” she replied, and Crowe smirked and looked back at her screen.

“Well, everyone is positive that they are both definitely in a relationship with someone , but probably not each other, and he and Prompto probably should be left alone about all the magic dew stuff unless they volunteer. A few think that Cor is using his influence to keep Prompto on the public payroll, an even smaller amount think he is somehow using his judgy powers on the king, whatever the hell that even means, and a few more think that Cor is secretly Prompto’s father-” Monica smiled, and even Crowe’s smirk softened. “Okay, probably not too far off the mark on that last one. Anyway, no one can figure out who Cor is sleeping with, the guesses are all over the place. I hate to say it, but you are in the top two along with the king, of all people.” Monica sighed and shrugged, and Crowe moved on. “Prompto, however...most assume he’s sleeping with the prince. Occasionally Gladiolus comes up, but it’s usually the prince,” Crowe finished, then hummed.

“I wonder about Prompto, I think we all know he’s sleeping with at least one of them, but he’s an adult and I’m staying out of it. I can guarantee that Cor knows who, and I think Nyx does too. The king thinks the prince and Prompto are together as well, and doesn’t seem to mind. Could be worse,” she said, and Crowe’s smirk returned.

“Could be. So basically to summarize everything, the fact the two of them were clearly so unpolished and flustered actually worked in their favor. The bitchin’ suits didn’t hurt.”

Monica rested her head in her hands. That poor suit.