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Puzzle Pieces

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There was a time during parenting Cor always dreaded. He knew that teens would often go through brief depressive states as per their hormones and he wasn't entirely sure how to help that. It probably wasn’t helping much that Prompto never seemed to have many friends to begin with. On the rare days that Cor got to be home, his son was never really doing anything… social . If this kept up, the man was afraid that the depressive episodes would no longer be so brief.

 

He called Clarus up sometimes to ask and his friend would always say something similar to, "I have two kids and I dealt with you, but that doesn't mean I know how I did it." He was probably telling him to do what came naturally, but Cor had no idea what that was and it only got worse when he had to help Prompto understand that he would be at work more often than he would be at home.

The two only got to speak through texts and even those were inconsistent. Just when he was sure things couldn't get any worse, he was beginning to see signs of depression whenever he did come home. The house would be mildly cluttered and his son would be in bed instead of doing homework. If he wasn't in bed, he refused to speak unless he was texting to him or writing.

There were too many leftovers in the fridge that hadn't even been touched in the first place and that's when he knew he had to do something. Motivation wasn't much of an issue since Prompto always ended up forcing himself to do what he thought was necessary in the end, but Cor added it to the list of things he needed to acknowledge regardless.

On Prompto's 16th birthday, Cor took the day off work. He had an idea to spend time with his kid, but said kid had school and school couldn't be skipped (even though he wanted to give him permission to take a break). Instead, he bid his son farewell in the morning with a promise that he would be there when he came home.

It was the happiest he'd seen Prompto in a while.

On his day off, he went out to the store and bought several puzzle boxes with an idea in mind. He wasn't going to let this demon drag his son further down. Not on his watch. He wasn't the marshal of the Crownsguard for no reason.

When Prompto came home, Cor was sitting on the couch with the puzzle boxes sitting in front of him. Before he even had a chance to ask about it, Cor said, "When I'm not home and you feel sad or down, just put one piece to a puzzle. Take a picture of it, I know you're good at that, and send it to me and I will tell you what I want to see first. You don't have to finish it right away, but it gives you something to look forward to." He pushed one of the boxes towards his son.

"Every time you complete a puzzle, I'll come home and we can go wherever you want." Prompto set his schoolbag down with a shrug. It made sense at the time, so he agreed to it and they began to set up the first one he was going to complete.

While they worked, Prompto made a weird noise and then he spoke. "So why did you decide to do this? Not that I'm not happy that you found something you wanted to do..."

"It's... for motivational purposes and... semi-bonding time." He paused for a moment, attempting to collect his thoughts before he continued. "We both know I won't get to come home often and I know that you don't have many friends to spend time with..." He sighed and rubbed his forehead. "I also know that some parents tend to brush off or ignore their children during these times and I refuse to be that kind of person in your life."

 

Cor always heard people saying that boys don't cry, or shouldn't cry, but he felt his heart swell and break when Prompto burst into tears. The man was terrible with emotions, so he simply reached out and held him until he stopped.

 

Prompto went to sleep late that night and he woke up early to find Cor was already gone. He sighed and went over the to unfinished puzzle and frowned. The pieces were all undone and he felt a little irked that all their hard work was gone.

He was about to redo it when he realized that they were all turned over and there were either little doodles or motivational lines scribbled down.

He picked one of them up and read it.

Best son. Much talent. Wow.

I love you, son.

Look, it's you! Small, but unique!

He picked up one more and flipped it over to find a rather nicely drawn puppy giving a thumbs up. His dad was the best, truly.