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It hurt to breathe.

His lungs wouldn’t respond to him, his mind slowly going blank. He could hear all of them, talking to each other, trying to keep their voices even.

He can’t breathe.

He felt his eyes slowly losing focus, his hands clenching and clenching, perfectly manicured nails digging into the slightly callused skin of his palm.

He wasn’t breathing.


The gloves felt cold on his feverish skin as fingers gripped his chin and gently forced him to look up at the green eyes of his advisor. He saw Ignis smile softly before shooing the other two out of their hotel room. Once they were out the door, he leaned closer to the older man’s touch.

“Iggy.” He never knew why the man held so much power over him, how only a few touches can quell all of his fears and anxieties. He held out his hands and Ignis immediately took it in his own, kneeling in front of him.

“I’m here Noctis, I’m here.”

He felt a sudden wave of happiness surge through him at the words though he couldn’t understand why he felt it so strongly.

“Don’t leave me alone.”

“I won’t.”

He still couldn’t breathe, but he realized it was now for a different reason.


He felt the nightmare before it even befell on the young prince’s sleep.

In the middle of the night, he was shaken awake by rustles beside him and a few whimpers here and there coming from the lips of the black-haired man. He tried shaking Noctis awake, only for his attempts to backtrack as the younger man whimpered more.

He was aware of the recurring dreams the prince had, only because he had felt the extent of it many nights before as Noctis almost hurt himself scratching at his hands with his blunt nails. He tried waking the prince back then as well but the nightmare ended before he could do anything. The next day, the younger man was more quiet than usual, only perking up when they got to ride the chocobos.


Blue eyes opened as pale hands grabbed on to his shoulders. It hurt of course, the nails almost breaking his flesh, but he found himself hurting more at the pure terror in Noctis’ eyes.

“I’m here Noctis, I’m here.”

He then positioned himself in a way that he was comfortable on the duvet and he can lay Noctis on his chest, gently tracing circles on the back of the younger man. After a while, he felt Noctis shaking and something wet falling on his shirt.

He didn’t say anything, allowing Noctis the time to let everything out and composing himself. He wanted to show the prince, his prince, that he will always be there for him, not just out of loyalty or friendship but something else.

Something he wasn’t quite sure what to call.

“Don’t leave me alone.”

He smiled, resisting the urge to kiss Noctis in the forehead as he was prone to do in his dreams.

“I won’t.”

He felt the smile through his soaked shirt and held the prince for the remainder of the night.


The dream left him in a depressed state as he woke up and he felt even worse when he found the book with Luna’s flower pressed between the pages.

“You’re awake.”

He was not sure that he can fall deeper in despair but the feeling intensified as he looked over at the owner of the voice. His breath hitched in his throat and he stared openly at his advisor.

“I’ll call the others.”

Even without his sight, the man still seemed so composed as he stood up from his seat and made his way to the door, feet only hesitating a fraction. Before Ignis could even hold the door knob, he was already at his back, hugging him and burying his face in the comforting smell that was Ignis’ alone.

“I’m sorry.”

He never explained just what exactly he was sorry for, mostly because he himself never knew the exact circumstances that led to that but he hated seeing Ignis suffer for his sake, during high school and even more so now.

A part of him also knew that it was also because he didn’t need to explain himself, because this man knew him better than anyone else, knew his strengths and limitations, encouraged him every step of the way and softened the blows when the world threatened to fall all around him. This was the man who swore his whole life in servitude to him.

And look at where it got him.

“I’m sorry.”

He can feel the slight tremors in the advisor’s body, the shift in the posture, the shaky breath he held. “Nonsense, your Majesty. For you, I would do it all over again.”

Ignis turned to look at him… as much as he could and he found the words tumbling out of his lips before he can stop them. “Don’t. I don’t want you to.”

He held the face in his hand, scarred and eyes milky with fog unlike the green meadows he knew but still handsome and familiar and comforting and Ignis. “Never do this again.”

He saw the twitch in his face, obviously annoyed that he was being reprimanded when he lost so much.

“Never again Ignis, because every sacrifice you make,”he said, bringing the advisors face closer to his until their lips were touching. “every scar, every pain, every expense for my sake, extends to my heart.”

And they kissed, for the first time.

And he felt tears not his own on his cheeks, drying but still so many more were joining.

“Every inch of you holds a place dear in my heart, so never take yourself for granted.”

With their foreheads touching they found solace in each other’s warmth, all the pain and burdens, not gone but shared between the two of them.

“The others can wait, let me have this moment with you.”

He saw the taller man smile, smaller than any other but with the most emotion. “I’m here Noctis, I’m here.”

The silence afterwards was heavy with unspoken words but neither thought it would be the best time for it.

“Don’t leave me alone?” It was said so hesitantly, as if Ignis though that he would ever leave him behind.

“We won’t.” he carded his fingers through ashen hair and pulled the advisor closer. “I won’t.”

The dream was still there in his mind and his heart but for now, he much preferred reality over it.


There was noise in the background but it all fell away until the only thing he heard was anger and pain.

“We have to go back! We have to see if he’s okay!”


Noctis stopped at his voice, and knew he had the prince’s attention.

“There would be no use. We can only hope that we meet at the capital.”

He could feel the other bristling at the thought of leaving Prompto alone to fend for himself but there was not much to be done. Stopping the train would not only endanger them but also the civilians aboard it.

The circumstances leading to Prompto’s fall were suspicious to say the least but it was best to look forward, as of the moment, instead of behind. In order to quell the younger’s frustration, he entwined their fingers, or what he was hoping to be Noctis’ fingers, and motioned him to sit down beside him. He heard Gladio walking away from them in order to give them privacy, their relationship not a secret from the other two, and he pulled Noct as close to him as possible without it being uncomfortable to any other person.

Noctis clenched his hand tighter and his head rested on his shoulder, harsh breaths the only sound between them. After a while, small sniffles were heard and it broke his heart to hear it coming from his prince.

“He’ll be okay. He put up with you for so long so I’m sure his stubbornness would lead him back to us.”

He heard a small laugh beside him and smiled to himself. Even if it’s to relieve Noctis of his pains, he would gladly do it. He lifted their entwined hands and slowly kissed the back of the younger one’s. “I’m here Noctis, I’m here.”

Noctis scoffed softly but he was surprised when his hand was pulled into Noctis’ side and was kissed as well, a ghost of a smile felt from the younger man’s lips.

“Don’t leave me alone.”

The words tumbled out of his mouth and he found himself smiling as he realized what those words meant to them now. “I won’t.”

There was noise in the background but he willed it all away until he can focus only on Noctis beside him, sharing in the silence and fearful for what the future holds for them.


It had been 5 years since he last heard Noctis, last touched and kissed him.

5 years since the sun kissed the Earth.

5 years since the world plunged into icy cold darkness.

5 years since he last felt safe and complete.

In his dreams, he can faintly see a figure alight and alone drifting. He thinks it might be Noctis, calling out to him wherever he might be. He would thrust out his hand for the figure to take but it would take only a few steps of his until he wakes up gasping, arms outstretched to find out that he was holding his knives instead of a warm body.

In reality, he would train, harder until his body cannot anymore and when he’s too tired, he would cook meals, waiting for a snarky remark to be directed at him.

Sometimes, Ardyn would come and unlike the other two who would continue to attack the man, he would ignore the slimy bastard, even when he would throw insults at him. He never gave the bastard any open points in his defence, erecting up more walls as time goes by so he won’t be manipulated.

But then it would always go back to Noctis.

And while he would look as calm and composed on the outside the both of them knew that he was breaking on the inside.

On days such as that, he would stay out in the cold air, a bunch of Memory Lane pastries beside him.

“I’m here Noctis, I’m here.”

Then he’ll exhale into the night air, and strain his ears to hear anything, only to be met with silence, as for the past 5 years.

“Where are you?”

It has been 5 years since he last felt alive and every day feels more like surviving than living. But he was determined to wait. He still had his heart to offer to Noctis when he returns.


Today would be the day…

He kept telling himself that, one hand on his heart as the other picked up the glasses he wore from the nightstand beside his bed. His body was weary from all the fighting and the hoping but for some reason, he felt lighter.

Today would be the day…

It might be wishful thinking on his part but he felt surer of himself today than any other day.

Today would be the day…

At first he thought it was because of the fact that he would finally meet up with Gladio and Prompto after so long but then this felt like a different feeling, something more akin to hope than anything else.

Then Talcott called, and he couldn’t bring himself to stop smiling.

Today was the day…

He felt him first before they even touched, a strong breeze carrying promises and hushed kisses and when they finally stood in front of each other, all proper etiquette be damned, he took the face he has missed so much and peppered it with kisses. He felt Noctis laugh at his antics but he couldn’t stop. He felt the stubble tickle his lips and he couldn’t help but be happy and sad at the same time. This man has given up so much of his life… and now that he’s here…

They camped at the trailer situated at Hammerhead, trading laughs and quips, the tension of 10 years slowly dissipating as time went on, by the (figurative) morning, they equipped their best gear and head on to reclaim their home.

Halfway through, they stopped at the camp overlooking Insomnia and with nothing but the warmth of the fire surrounding them, they kept silent.

Then Noctis says it.

When the two others retire for the night, he immediately captures his Prince…King…Lover… and holds him against his chest, crying as Noctis dampens his shirt with tears. He goes back to the time years ago when he held him in the same way, thinking that he’ll save him from the nightmares that goes his way.

“I’m here, Noctis, I’m here.”

And Noct cries harder in his chest as the promises come back to him. Every second spent with each other filled with nothing but love.

“Don’t leave me.”

“I won’t.”

And even though it was told with shaky breaths, he found that it was much easier to say it when he feels the ring worn in Noct’s left ring finger, bought even before the events at Altissia, when he was still berating himself for buying a ring that will never be given to the intended.

Today would be the day… but they’ll get through this.. for better or for worse.


Two years after Noctis’ sacrifice and he was already on his way to death.

It was a weird feeling, dying.

In all their excursions 12 years ago, he was never scared of the cold claws of death. Most likely because he knew that he had Noctis with him. And probably because he thought that he would die shielding Noctis from anything and everything, and he’ll focus more on the relief at having saved his prince than from the pain flaring from the wounds.

But now he just feels stuffy and cold at the same time, his head a mush and he could faintly hear the sounds of beeping in the white room.

Two years, that was all it took until he captured an incurable illness.

His luck never seems to run out.

Every breath feels like it’s never enough, the lights too bright on his eyelids. Gladio and Prom were visiting him in the… afternoon? Every day was the same, every too bright time a reminder that this artificial light was the only thing that he would feel until his death. Not the light that his lover gave as a gift in his death.

‘Probably best if I conserve my energy.’ He thinks, even if his hand continuously tries to feel the sun.

Then a hand touches his own wandering one and fingers thread in the spaces between.

“I’m here, Specs, I’m here.”

Understanding dawns on him and he feels the tears spill on the corner of his eyes. Gladiolus and Prompto would understand. They all would. It had been too long for him, and without a King, how can he survive. All those years, intending to serve behind a king he admired when in fact he should be beside him.

He smiles a bit, before replying, “Don’t leave me.”

Then he opens his eyes, and sees blue eyes looking at him fondly.

“I won’t. Not now, nor ever.”

He smiles and lets his lips touch the shaved face of his beloved. Vaguely, he can hear a long beep somewhere behind him and the rustling of clothes but then Noctis caresses the hair on his nape and kisses his eyes.

Two years after Noctis’ sacrifice and he was finally in his arms again.