The young prince and his personal shield have grown all too used to the behaviors of their sharp tongued, spectacled companion. Ignis was known for taking his job a little too seriously and sometimes he would stay up for days on end, downing quite a few cans of his favorite ebony coffee just to stay awake enough to function. Gladio carefully kept an eye on the light brown haired advisor, taking note that he had yet to see his head hit a pillow in a few nights. Out of concern for his safety, Gladio asked Noctis to drive them somewhere, anywhere so long as it meant Ignis could take a break.
Car rides, they found, were very hypnotizing to Ignis when he wasn’t behind the wheel. Since they tracked down the daemon repelling headlights for Cindy a few weeks back, Ignis had no reason to fear Noctis driving in the dark. One afternoon, Noctis approached Ignis who seemed to be at his last standing, and suggested they head out to hunt a creature that made its home four or five hours away from where they were.
“If you insist,” Ignis said with a tired sigh as he reached for the driver’s side door. Before he could grab the handle, Noct thrust his hand in front, blocking it from his grasp. Ignis looked up at him and blinked sleepily.
“No way dude,” the dark haired boy refused, “I’m driving, you need to take a load off,”
Ignis’ lips parted to protest but a strong, firm hand on his shoulder stopped him. He craned his neck to meet the amber eyes whose gaze told him to let it go. He quietly obliged and entered the regalia from the back seat instead.
The sun was already setting behind the trees leaving the sky a mixture of blue, orange, and yellow. Ignis removed his glasses briefly while he wiped the haze from his eyes as he vaguely listened to the others casual banter.
The advisor managed to stay alert as long as the others conversed, but after a few minutes the noises died to only the hum of the engine. Ignis gradually rotated his neck, scanning the situation in the car through blurred vision. Noctis stared unmoving out of the windshield, his eyes focused on the road. Prompto had his arms crossed over the open window with his head resting upon them. He looked at the seat next to him where Gladio was reading the book he kept tucked into a pocket in the car for long trips.
With the car in an agreed silence, Ignis felt the heaviness of his eyelids as he struggled to keep them open. The subtle change in light as it shifted into darkness made his body feel like giving into to his sleep deprived exhaustion. He closed his eyes for what he intended to only be a moment, however the tiny action was enough to send him deep into sleep. While unconscious, Noctis took a slightly sharp left turn bringing the sleeping advisor’s body to shift to his right as he toppled onto the strong arm of the prince’s bodyguard.
Noctis saw him from the rear view mirror and snickered quietly. He nudged Prompto immediately followed by a shush as he gestured to the back seat. The spunky blonde pulled out his camera to snap a few shots before the opportunity passed. Before the younger men grew much louder, Gladio hushed them in a low voice.
The dark haired man looked down and smiled at the peaceful expression on the face of his sleeping friend as soon as the boys up front faced forward. Closing his book, he placed it back in its resting spot so he could carefully readjust his position. Gladiolus slowly lifted his arm from underneath Ignis, his body falling delicately into his chest. He rested his now freed arm around the smaller man, feeling the slight rise and fall of Ignis’ elongated breaths coupled with the warmth of his body against his bare skin.
Gladio watched the tuckered out strategist for a moment, letting a soft smile crease his lips before he reached his free arm over and took the metal frame of Ignis’ glasses between his fingers. Carefully he glided the specs off his face and hooked them safely to the front pocket of his shirt. He swore he saw the tiniest smile crease the younger man’s face as he involuntarily nuzzled Gladio’s toned chest.
Now that the eldest man was certain he could sleep peacefully, he returned to his book. Unbeknownst to Gladio, Noctis eyed him as he tended to his friend. Careful not to make too sudden of a movement that could alert the eldest male, Noctis urged Prompto to take a few more sneaky shots of the two men cuddled together in the back seat.
Hours passed and darkness had completely enveloped the world around them before the sleeping advisor started to reopen his eyes. He blinked a few times as he waited for his vision to readjust, realizing that the corrective lenses had somehow vanished off of his face. He tried to sit up from the strange angle he awoke in when he realized that there was something, or someone holding onto him. He carefully turned his head to see the tattooed arm of his rugged companion draped over him. He felt his face fire up, his pale cheeks bursting with color as he realized what he had been laying on while he dozed. He felt his heart skip when the man he laid against muttered him a greeting in his low toned voice.
“Hey there Iggy,” He spoke softly, his piercing eyes peered down at him. Ignis quickly turned his head until he met his companion’s gaze, unable to muster any words. Gladio just chuckled at him followed by a sweet smile. Ignis pushed his way up right, leaving Gladio to rest his arm along the back of the seats.
“I’m so sorry…” Ignis mustered up an apology. He instinctively slid his fingers up the bridge of his nose as if to push up his gasses, reminding him that they were gone. He bent over to check the floor but the large man beside him interjected.
“I have your glasses, I figured you wouldn’t want to sleep in them,” he assured.
“Oh, thank you,” Ignis sat back up, still sounding unsure and a little embarrassed.
“I’d give them back, but you should really try to get more sleep,” the elder man suggested.
“I’m fine, really,” Ignis insisted but Gladio’s powerful arm came down around his shoulder, pulling him back into his embrace. The younger man’s cheeks flared up again but he was too tired to protest. Ignis looked up at Gladio, his green eyes glowing in the feint moonlight. The larger man met his eyes as he gave him a comforting smile. Ignis returned a smile in the privacy of their gaze just before situating his head on Gladio’s firm pectorals, closing his eyes to once again fall into a blissful sleep. Gladiolus picked up his book again, holding his companion more firmly as he rubbed his hand up and down Ignis’ slim bicep.
When they arrived at their destination, Noctis and Prompto couldn’t stop giggling as they flipped through his photos from the day. Ignis raised a brow when they kept glancing between him and the photos.
“What’s so funny?” he asked sternly.
“Nothing,” a devious look spread over Prompto’s face, “except maybe all that Gladio time you were enjoying in the car,” he showed the camera to the older men who blushed at the sight of Prompto’s stolen shots. Ignis covered his mouth, coughing awkwardly without any idea of a response. Seeing the obvious embarrassed expression on his face, Gladio decided to step in.
“That’s nothing,” he pulled out his cell phone and shook it back and forth, “you should see some of the things I’ve caught you two doing in your sleep,” he teased with a cheeky smile. Prompto’s face fell as his eyes widened. He instantly lunged in the bodyguard’s direction.
“Hey! Let me see,” Prompto panicked as he tried to leap for Gladio’s phone, but the tall man had raised up his arm until it was out of his reach.
“Only if you promise to stop sneakin’ pictures,” Gladio narrowed his brow.
“Fine,” Prompto reluctantly agreed. Gladio handed his phone with the pictures already loaded to the young gunman who ran to Noctis so they could look together. With them preoccupied, Ignis whispered to the rugged man.
“Nice save,” he smirked.
“No problem,” Gladio said, sneaking his arm around Ignis’ waist to pull him close, “I might wanna keep some of those photos though.”
“Must you,” The green eyed man blushed.
“Only ‘cause I think you’re cute,” Gladio half joked, He quickly planted a kiss on Ignis’ unsuspecting cheek before running off to tease the boys some more, leaving Ignis standing there shocked. But the warm feeling overcoming his body as he placed his hand to the cheek Gladio kissed was a welcome feeling that Ignis found himself wishing more of.