“I don't suppose you could break down the door?”
Gladio eyed the steel door keeping them from leaving the small room that they found themselves locked in. It was kind of warped in one corner but it was made of steel. There was also a brown water stain along the bottom which was even more concerning. Gladio had no interest in being stuck in here if the toilet did decided to back up to the point that it was almost a foot deep again. He’d go through the concrete wall first if that happened. “Nope. Can you fit through the window?”
“Doubtful. Nor does the ventilation seem to have enough room in it for me to maneuver in,” Ignis was standing on the back of the toilet, peering out at the free world through a small window not even a foot wide and about half that as high. He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose before carefully descending the toilet that had definitely seen better days to the floor below.
Gladio huffed, glaring around the small room they were apparently stuck in for the time being. “Can I kill them when we get out of here?”
Ignis gave him a flat look, “Killing the person who you are in charge of protecting does not look good on the resume of a bodyguard.” He too was looking around the room trying to see if he had over missed a potential escape route himself. “And I already have… ‘dibs’ on Prompto.”
“Hey, why do you get dibs on him?” Gladio said, the annoyance in his voice was more due to their situation than anything.
“Because he was the one who nicked our cells. This frustration could all be avoided with a simple phone call,” he grumbled in return.
Gladio had to admit he was pretty pissed but also kind of impressed just as he knew Ignis was. Noctis and Prompto were going to have the hardest training sessions of their lives as soon as he got out of here but they had obviously taken the time to plan this out. They’d manage to catch him completely off guard and even outsmarted Ignis.
Of course it's not like either than expected the Prince of all people to knock them into and lock them in a small disused bathroom in the old training hall with help from his best friend.
It all started with Prompto asking him to help him with a photo shot for a school project. “I need to take pictures with various filters and I was wondering if you could take me around the old training hall. You know the creepy looking one you said was little more than a giant, glorified storage shed? The lighting in there just before sunset would be amazing! Think you could help me out?”
Easy enough and he didn’t want to admit it but he had a bit of a soft spot for Prompto. Kid reminded him so much of Iris when she was little it was hard to say no to him. The two of them met up late that afternoon to walk out to the old facility. Prompto had practically bubbling how he was going to get some pictures as some of the last rays of sunlight was streaming through the windows.
“Kind of makes this place spooky don’t you think?” Prompto asked nervously as he took a picture of one of the long halls, the light reflecting off the dust in the air enough so that you could practically see the individual rays.
“Pretty too,” Gladio peered over his shoulder to get a better look at the photo he had just taken. He was using an old fashion filter, giving more of an old time feel to the piece and adding a bit of a dramatic flare. “You’re going to kick ass in this project.”
Prompto nervously fiddle with the camera as they moved to walk down the hall. “You mean it?”
That was what he hated about Prompto. Kid had next to no self esteem or confidence. “Sure do.”
“Thanks…” Gladio had some idea of the kid’s home life which wasn’t great. It was too bad his Dad was so against adopting strays. Gladio would take Prompto home in a heartbeat. It’d be fun to have a younger brother around and then Iris could drag someone else to her tea parties.
There were several thumps coming from down the hall and the sound of hurried footsteps. Gladio stood waiting to see who would come out of the hall that intersected theirs while Prompto slowly shifted behind him. Gladio rolled his eyes. It wasn’t like anyone that could be in here was dangerous. Probably just a Glaive or someone getting some extra g-
Noctis suddenly came scurrying around a corner, looking frazzled in both directions. “Did either of you see a cat?" He asked them when he saw them standing there. "It’s black and fluffy, limping heavily on his rear leg.”
“No,” Gladio said looking at him in confusion. It only then occurred to him what time it was and he frowned, “Wait… Shouldn’t you be home doing homework?”
“That’s what I’ve been telling him for the past fifteen minutes.” Ignis looked perfect as ever and sorely out of place as he followed with near silent footsteps in Noctis' wake. Gladio felt his heart skip a beat at the sight of his best friend and secret crush. “But he insists that he saw a cat limping outside the building.”
“And it slipped inside,” Noct said hurriedly as he turned and trotted down the hallway away from them. Obviously he was intent on finding the cat before he left regardless of what anyone said.
“What?!” Of course, Prompto would get all worked up over an injured animal. What he lacked in self confidence he more than made up for it with his big heart. “Noct! Wait up! I’ll help!”
Ignis sighed as Prompto took off after his friend. He’d only taken a few steps before glancing back over his shoulder. “If you have something else you would rather be doing, I’ll escort Prompto and his Highness from here after they’re done what I am expecting is a wild goose chase.”
It was a nice offer but there was no way Gladio was about to not wander around aimlessly with his crush in a spooky old building. While he didn’t see Ignis as one who would freak out and jump in his arms scared about something, he could hope. “Nah, I don’t mind sticking around and helping keep the brats out of trouble.” He came up behind him and clapped a hand on his shoulder. “‘Sides I’m the one who said I’d helped Prompto with his school project. I don’t need to pawn anything off on your already crazy workload.”
Ignis smirked and dipped his head in a small nod of acknowledgement before turning back towards where Prompto and Noctis could be heard ahead of them. The two boys were talking back and forth, claiming to have searched one area or another as they look for the elusive, injured cat. “In all actuality, tonight I have nothing to do other than seeing to Noct’s dinner.”
Part of Gladio wanted to ask him out right then and there. He knew a place on Thursday night that had a really good appetizer and drinks deal. It would be perfect. Get the kids to bed and the two ‘adults’ could go play. However the other part of Gladio pointed out that this was Ignis and Ignis was about as straight-laced as a came. Besides this was his first night off in a long time. He probably already had plans.
“When was the last time you even had an evening to yourself?” He settled on asking as they trailed after the two younger members of their party. “Got anything special in mind?” He was curious and admittedly a little jealous of anyone Ignis might mention spending the evening with.
“It has been quite awhile hasn’t it? And no, not particularly,” Ignis shifted his shoulders as of squaring up for something. “I should be done at Noctis’ by seven. It's… it's been a long time since I've been up to a local bar. Would you happen to know any good ones in the area?”
His heart thumped again so loudly he swore Ignis could hear it to. He had an idea where this particular line of questioning was leading to -at least he hoped it did- and it was all he could do not to jump in glee and cheer. “I know of a couple. You looking for recommendations or do you want company?” Gladio applauded his ability to keep his voice steady even as his stomach churned with nervous anticipation.
Ignis open his mouth to say something but was cut off by Prompto’s sudden gasp.
“Don't move,” he said holding up the hand to stop them from shifting out of their current positions. Somehow in his search for the cat, Prompto had worked his way around behind them. “I so want to take a picture of you too in that pose.”
The two of them had just been walking down the hallway but Gladio had turned slightly towards Ignis as their footsteps came to a natural halt during their conversation. Ignis was still facing forward but was looking up Gladio as he had spoke. Honestly Gladio wasn't sure what Prompto had seen that made him want to take a picture but he also didn't understand the art of photography so who is he to judge?
“I'm cool with it,” Gladio settled for a casual shrug even as he was screaming in rage on the inside. Leave it to Prompto to ruin the moment. “Iggy?”
“I have no problems with it either,” he gave Prompto a small nod to proceed before turning back to stand and look up at Gladio like he had been.
“Awesome. Thank you guys so much,” he lifted the camera and Gladio look back down at Ignis. In the light of sunset coming through the windows, Ignis’ eyes look even more green than they usually did. He hoped the blush stayed off his face because honestly he wanted to lean down and kiss Ignis right now. He barely heard the click of the camera as he stared at Ignis and Ignis stared right back at him.
Was it his imagination or was Ignis starting to blush?
Of course that moment was ruined when something heavy crashed into a shoulders, the faint tinkling sound of a warp reaching his ears even as he staggered forward. Thrown off balance, he crashed hard into Ignis. There was no way Ignis could support his weight especially standing the way he was and both of them stumbled back and fell to the floor. Gladio managed to get his arm behind Ignis’ head so it didn't crack off the concrete but they still landed a messy pile of tangled limbs.
Something grabbed at his belt and yanked his phone free from his pocket. Gladio had just enough time to push himself up and turn around to see Prompto run out of the room with both of their phones in his hands. Noctis smirked as he grab the door handle. “Thank me later,” he said he quickly as he pulled the door shut.
Gladio was on his feet even as he heard the lock click. He tried to handle anyways, unsurprised when it didn't budge, and slammed an fist on the door. “Noctis!” He yelled, his voice echoing loudly in the small concrete room. “Noctis! Prompto! Open this door right now!”
“Gladio please, yelling is not going to help the situation.” Ignis had picked himself up off the floor and was dusting the invisible dirt off his clothes. “We should see if there's some other way to escape this room rather than yelling ineffectively at the two boys who are no doubt already outside the building by now.”
Gladio huffed again as he stared at the door. Dwelling in the past wasn't helping their present and he had to admit Noct warping into his shoulders had been a good way to catch him off guard and balance. Kid was finally starting to get the hang of warping. He would be impressed if Noctis hadn't inadvertently ruined what could have been a wonderful date.
“What do you think was the reason for them locking the two of us in here,” Gladio asked as he paced around the room again. It was just a small, single room bathroom with a toilet, a vanity and a single bare bulb hanging from the ceiling. About the only thing that looked new in here was a roll of toilet paper perched on the toilet's tank
“A night out with Prompto perhaps?” the room was only about six foot square and Gladio was taking most of it by pacing back and forth in agitation. Ignis, after taking a moment wipe off any dirt, choose to sit on the toilet lid as if he was sitting on the edge of a chair. He shook his head, disagreeing with his own statement. “No, it couldn't be as simple as that. Both of them know they simply have to ask for a night of video games and take out pizza.”
“They better not get into trouble,” Gladio grumbled. He knew what he would do with an unsupervised night off and, if either them even came close to doing half of what he would, he'd strangle them both.
“Indeed.” Ignis loosened his tie and began to undo the buttons on his cuffs. “Since it appears we might be here for a while, I suggest you get as comfortable as you can.”
Gladio snorted in amusement at that. He was in his crownsguard tracksuit so he was already comfortable. However he shoved his hands in his hoodie's pocket and pushed it down a bit to hide his crotch. Ignis undoing the buttons on his cuffs and loosening his tie was enough to set his blood to a low boil. The last thing he needed to do was embarrassing self in front of the man who he almost managed to score drinks with tonight. “If we're here for a couple hours, I am going to kill them.”
The next hour past in relative silence. Ignis had a watch which at least allowed them to mark the passing of time but other than that there was nothing to do in the small bathroom. Thirty minutes into their confinement Gladio had given up his pacing and had chose to sit on the floor leaning back against the wall as close as he could get to the door. The kids were bound to come back to let them out at some point and second that door was opened, he was going to make a grab for them.
“Gladio, I've been thinking…” Ignis had been sitting on his seat quietly for the most part, staring at the wall in front of him.
“You're always thinking,” Gladio couldn't help but say when Ignis trailed off. He had his head back against the wall, staring up at the ceiling. The room's light switch was apparently outside in the hall and what little light the small window was allowing in was casting long shadows across the ceiling. It was after seven which meant he was late for dinner. Jared was probably wondering where he was.
Ignis chuckled, “I can't argue with that statement but I think I may have figure out why we were locked in here.”
Gladio looked away from the ceiling and over at his friend. Ignis was little more than a shadow sitting on the toilet now. The stark whiteness of his shirt almost glowing in the low light. “Shoot.”
“I will admit to not being very well versed in such things but,” Ignis shifted as if nervous about something and then cleared his voice slightly even though it wasn't necessary. “Gladiolus… how long have you had a crush on me?”
Gladio was thankful for the darkness around them but he was pretty sure Ignis heard him swallow his own tongue right then.
Taking his stunned silence apparently as something else, Ignis continued almost nervously. Except this was Ignis and Ignis was never nervous as far as Gladio could tell. “I mean it is a cliche way to get two parties to admit their feelings for each other by locking them in small confined spaces. And I… I was about to see if you'd be amicable to drinks with me this evening. You appeared to like the idea of any right... if I was gauging your facial expressions correctly.”
Ignis was definitely working up steam to continue his rambling. Gladio almost wished he could see his face. He bet Ignis looked adorable when he was nervous and rambling. Silently he rolled up to his feet, reaching Ignis in a single step, falling to one knee next to him. Ignis didn't look at him but choose to look straight ahead even as he continued.
“Of course, I wholeheartedly realize that I may have misread the situation entirely, and if that is the case then please accept my heartfelt apologies for the misunderstanding. I do hope this hasn't damaged our friendship in any way-”
Gladio didn't give him a chance to continue, cupping his cheek and pressing a chaste kiss to the other. Even in the low light he could see the blush on Ignis’ face. “If we manage to get out of here before ten, I know a place we can go for beers and appetizers,” he said in his ear, the blush on Ignis’ face was flaring down on his neck now too. Astrals did Gladio wish the lights were on so he could see.
“Then you're willing?” Ignis turned to face him, glasses reflecting the low light. He voice was low, breathless in disbelief and awe as if he had been preparing for Gladio to tell him to take a hike rather than agreeing.
Gladio titled his head down enough so he could press a kiss to his forehead. “More than willing.”
Ignis smiled, his hands coming up to rest on his shoulders as he turned to face him. “I suppose then I don’t have to ask if I can have a kiss?”
Pfft… as if he had to ask.
It was like a spark past between them as their lips first touch. A gentle pressure that became more insistent as their lips moved softly against each other. Ignis’ hands tightened in Gladio’s hoodie, pulling him a bit closer but still willing to let him go if he pulled away.
Gladio had no intention of that. As he swiped his tongue across Ignis’ lips requesting entry, his hands drifted down his neck and around his back. He wrapped both arms around Ignis, pulling him closer to the edge of his seat and himself. Part of him ached to pull Ignis down onto the floor with him where he could press him back and worship him the way he really wanted to but it was way too early in their relationship for that.
Later on though… it would be a nice fantasy until then.
They finally had to stop to breath. Ignis’ and his breath mingled together as they panted in each other’s faces, reluctant to pull apart. Gladio pressed a kiss to the end of his nose and Ignis sighed and pressed close to him, arms sliding up to wrap around his neck. For a long moment they stayed there, noses pressed to each other’s necks, arms wrapped around each other in a tight embrace, just luxuriating in the closeness of the other.
Finally, after a long few minutes, Ignis pulled back slightly and Gladio let his hands fall away. He hadn’t wanted the moment to end but his knees were sore from kneeling on the concrete and his back was none too happy either being bent over slightly. He stood up, trying to hide his stiffness in his movements and glad that Ignis could see the brief wince that flashed across his face as the blood flow returned to his feet. Gladio knew Ignis would have felt bad for that.
“With that settled, I do believe that it is high time we left here,” Ignis said as he too rose. “I want to buy you a drink.”
“And I want to buy you one so neither of us are driving,” Gladio said as Ignis walked to the door and knelt down to look at the handle. He used the faint light on his watch to get a look at the knob and seemed to nod to himself about what he saw.
“We can take a cab,” he agreed as he stood. “Now please stay back,” he added as he held a hand up to the knob. “I’m still learning to control this and I’d rather not spend our first date in the hospital at your side.”
Whatever comment Gladio had been about to make was effectively derailed as Ignis’ palm suddenly lit up with magic fire. It was a rather small ball of fire, maybe only the size of an apple, but the heat it produced melted the door knob right out of the door itself. The melted lock and handle dribbling down the steel door to the floor.
“Whoa… Iggy when did you-” Gladio surged forward, an arm reaching out to catch the wobbling advisor before he fell to the floor. “You okay?”
Ignis nodded, breathing heavily as he wiped at his forehead, “Yes. Just a moment.” He pulled in a deep breath and let it out slowly. Feet and legs finding themselves as he stood back up on his own but didn’t pull away. “I’m still learning how to use magic properly. Using it to such a finite degree took a bit more out of me than I was expecting.” He paused for a moment to fix his glasses, "Thankfully brass has a rather low melting point compared to steel."
“You also haven’t eaten for awhile.” Ignis was notorious for skipping lunch to pack more into his day so the young Shield was willing to bet he hadn’t had anything but ebony since breakfast. “Come on, I’ll treat since you got us out.”
“I’m still buying you a drink,” Ignis said, finally pulling away to open the door for them. He looked over his shoulder, “Perhaps that’ll best be saved until next time instead?”
Next time? Gladio smiled, liking the sound of that a lot. He was totally down for a next time but right now they had to go on their first date.
Then they had a pair of little shits to track down, thank, and get their phones back from...
… and he was looking forward to their next training session together.