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Final Fantasy XV: Before Crisis Cor

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It took three weeks of hard paperwork and ten months of grueling training before Cor had been given the probationary license to apply to the Crownsguard.

Yet, already Regis is regretting it.

Weskham is inches away from having an aneurysm that frankly, Regis is surprised he hasn’t popped a vein. Still, even though Regis knew what a total smartass Cor is, nothing prepared him for the complete and total mess that was dumped on him twenty-four hours into Cor's probation.

"Repeat that again please," Regis said using both hands to rub his forehead. Forget any form of note taking, this verbal report deserves his complete attention if the angry look Lacus is sending is any clue.

Lacus takes a deep breath. Scientia he may be, he somehow manages to convey his utmost disdain for everyone, including Regis with only one look.

"As I said previously, Cor Leonis destroyed thirteen practice dummies, four wooden swords, three knives and the eastern wall of the Crownsguard training room. In addition, there are sixteen trainees in the Hospital Ward, and four angry noble families waiting to have an audience with you."

Regis groans, completely ignoring the chastising looks from both his former butler and his shield. He needs to vent in some fashion or he'll go crazy!

"I heard that part Lacus and I want to know how Cor managed to do that and why."

Lacus puffs up nobly (childishly). "The how and the why matters little, four noble families are demanding---"

"And I just give you an order." Regis cuts across him, steel in his voice. Lacus' continuous habit of putting the wants of the nobility over the common people was becoming a bigger thorn in his side more and more. "A person's position has no bearing on the situation, as you well know or do I have to recite the Crownsguard rules, yet again Lacus Scientia?"

Lacus bows, and apologizes for the error in his report, but Regis knows this isn't the end.

"According to sources, Trainer Fair had ordered the recruits to engage in some practice sparring before proceeding to walk away to deal with an emergency elsewhere---" Lacus flips a page and scans some lines.

"The witness reports get a bit blurry from this point, as several of the other Crownsguard trainees say Trainee Leonis attacked them and proceeded to hurt them without cause, and destroyed the training equipment during his fighting spree.

Then at 2:30, approximately twenty-minutes later sixteen trainees were admitted to the Hospital Ward with various injuries. Head Citadel Doctor Stella confirms that all injuries were constant with a sword and as the only recruit not injured Cor was determined to be the culprit as confirmed by all sixteen trainees. He is currently being held in lockdown for official punishment. That concludes my official report," Lacus says flipping the pages back into place, looking completely and utterly smug.

As if he didn't just give a completely biased and flawed report.

When Regis groans this time neither Clarus nor Weskham even attempts to correct him.

“Lacus, I am going to ask a series of questions, and you are to answer them. Completely, and with nothing but fact. Is that clear, Lacus?"

"Yes, your highness."

"Did Trainer Fair put anyone in charge after he left to attain to the emergency?"

"No, your highness."

"So no one was watching the trainees while they were left unattended with weapons in the training room?"

"That is correct, your highness."

"Where were---" Regis shuffles some papers around looking for a certain page. "Crownsguard Agusto and Sade during this incident? "

"They were guarding the doors, your highness."

"And yet they didn't even report the incident at all, is that correct?"

"That is correct."

"Where is the report from Head Doctor Stella? Or the footage from the training room?"

"I-it's is still being compiled, your highness."

"And one last question, Adviser Scientia, why was I the last to be informed of the incident?"

"The information needed to be gathered, your highness---"

"Scientia, stop sticking your foot in your mouth." Another more rough voice cut through the room. Regis jumped from his chair, while both Clarus and Weskham bowed as the new person limped into the room.

King Mors, a rough, tough olden man hobbled into the room on his crutches. At forty-four, he was a man of bluntness, direct and without the diplomacy, many of the Royals seem to have in their blood. Yet, even with his bluntness, no one could deny he was charismatic.

"Father, I didn't hear you come in--" Regis said rushing forward to help his father into a chair, even if he knew his father wouldn't have it.

And he was right.

His father refused his help and took his seat on one of the chairs in front of his desk, looking as regal as ever. So much so that Regis wondered if he would ever be like his father.

Mors shifted his crutches to the side and crossing his arms looked at Lacus with disapproval.

“I have ordered a full and independent investigation of the facts by my own Crownsguard and have released the brat,” Regis could feel Clarus smirking from his corner, and resisted the urge to kick him. “The video clips show the kid being ganged up upon, contrary to those scraps of paper you call reports, and your witnesses.” Mors leveled a rather disgusted look at Lacus before taking a small notebook from the coat pocket of his black shirt.

“All the wounded in the Citadel Hospital will undergo remedial training, and disciplinary punishment for their actions, by my personal guards and if they are found lacking none of them will join the Crownsguard. The brat gets a warning and is currently being seen to by Dr. Stella Freya because he has untreated injuries...Regis, if you're going to fidget, then go visit your kid.”

Regis went the color of a strawberry martini.

“Cor’s not my kid,” Regis muttered, but he went anyway. Clarus and Weskham following behind him.

Lacus made to follow but a stern look from King Mors stopped him.

“I wasn’t finished with you Scientia.”

Lacus bowed again. “My apologies, your majesty.”

Mors’ frown deepened. “If you're not going to listen to your prince, and learn to value the people of our nation, then I don’t want you on the council or serving my son. “ He took the crutches from the side, and standing slowly, leveled a long deliberate look at Lacus. “The Scientia are valuable to the kingdom, but never make the mistake to think you can not be replaced.” He said walking out as Lathyrus held the door open for him.

Neither looked back at him as they departed and somehow Lacus knew he would never get another chance.

XXxxxxxXX

“Cor...why are you covered in bandages?”

Cor shrugged. “Training accident.”

Clarus laughed.

XXxxxxXX

Chapter Text

"So this is where you idiots are."

Regis looks up from paperwork and resists the urge to bang his head on his desk at the sight of his friend. He would only end up with a headache if he did. ( Next, to him Clarus chokes on his tea.)

"Hello Cid," Regis says after a second of silence. He really didn't feel like dealing with people, but years and dozens of etiquette lessons refuses to let him be rude. He was the Crown Prince of Lucis and future king of the kingdom he must remain the very picture of royalty--

"The fuck was that response? I told you before princess if you don't want to deal with me, tell me. Don't go giving me that royalty crap. "

Regis fights not to smile and cringe at the same time. Cid always had such a way of cutting through the bullshit that tended to happen at the Citadel so...casually. It almost reminded him of his father. Which now that he was thinking about probably was the reason the two got along so well. They were both so blunt. "I didn't mean to offend--"

"If you use another of those fancy-pansy words on me, I will not be held responsible for my crimes against the frickin' prince. I ain't no noble's son and you know that Regis so stop that flowery-manner nonsense and speak like a normal non-rich human."

Regis doesn't fight the smile this time. Letting a laugh fall through his lips. 

"Cid. CID. Seriously. Stop making me laugh. Father is right down the hall, and if Lathyrus hears me, he'll make me run laps."

"So. you could use some muscle on those bones. You're a stick. You ain't going to be fighting no stupid war with stick arms."

"Sssssh. Not so loud. If--"

"I get it. Your father is down the hall. Six, this place is so stuffy. How does anyone do this for a living? I would be batshit crazy with this crap.”

“It’s a little annoying sometimes, but it’s not nearly as bad as you think—“

“I saw three nobles drinking tea, and I nearly died. Who drinks tea?”

“Clarus does and so do I. Tea is a nice drink, I have no idea why you hate it so much.”

“Of course you don’t and you’ll never know because you’re a tea drinker. You traitor.” He slums into the chair in front of Regis' desk and looks around pointedly ignoring the corner Clarus is sitting in. (Until Clarus manages to beat him in a fight Cid refuses to acknowledge his existence, or something or other. Regis never did manage to get the story behind that one.)

They sit in silence for a few blessed moments. Cid counting something on the ceiling and Clarus helping Regis' through his mountains of paperwork, before the door is slammed open bouncing against the wall.

Cor, dirty and bruised walks in dragging what looks to be an Elder Coeurl corpse and stands directly in front of Regis’ desk looking for all appearances like he’s been through the wringer.

Regis does the only thing he can.                               

He starts banging his head on the desk.

Clarus whistles. “Where’d you get that?”

Cor shrugs. “Outside.”

Regis groans. “Outside where? You were supposed to be on a training mission to the nearby sand dunes around the wall. There are no Elder Coeurls by the sand dunes. Where did you get the Elder Coeurl?”

“From the looks of this fella, he looks to be from around Lestallum, how you’d manage to snag this critter?” Cid said interestedly kneeling down by the Coeurl.

Clarus himself had come around the desk and was poking the creature with one of the spare pens of Regis’ desk. (Regis made a note to trash that pen. There was no way he was going to sign city infrastructure paperwork or any paperwork with a bloody pen. With his luck he’d give himself some sort of infection.)

“Forget that. How did you get to Lestallum and back to the training site? Its five hours by car. And why did you bring it to my desk? No. How did you manage to get it past the guards?!”

Cor shrugged, and Regis felt a deep underlining hatred forming for that motion. Shrugging didn’t mean anything. Why wasn’t Cor saying anything? Why wasn’t anyone reacting? Sensible questions needed to be answered. Why was no one answering him?

“Chill your grill, Regis. Six, you're acting like the kid took down Gilgamesh or something.”

Regis blinked. “Was I speaking out loud?”

Clarus nodded. “Yep. You might want to get rid of that habit.”

Regis glared. “I would if certain people would stop ignoring common sense and be responsible people. Now back to my questions. How did that Coeurl get here, and how did you get it past Citadel Security?” He pressed Cor, arms crossed.

Cor frowned. “I thought we were going to Lestallum for the training exercise?”

Regis rubbed his forehead. “No. You were not going to Lestallum. You were going to Duscae for the training exercise. How did you get there? Explain everything. Leave nothing out.”

“I followed the rest of the recruits to the garage and got into a car. We headed out and eventually arrived hours later at a destination. We got out and fought some big cats—“

Regis looked pained. “Elder Coeurls. You fought Elder Coeurls.”

Cor nodded. “Coeurls and then we got back into the car and returned. The team leader said he was proud of the work we did and said I could keep it so I brought back with me. End of report.”

“And no one stopped you?!”

“No. The commanding officer said he’d cleared it with King Mors and everything was fine. So I brought it here because you said you hated greens.”

“Meat. I like cooked meat. Meat I don’t have to look at. Meat that isn't bleeding all over my floor."

 Cor nods and starts dragging the coeurl to the door.

"Just for clarification. Where are you going Cor?" Regis asks rubbing his forehead. He dearly hopes he isn't wrong about where Cor is taking the coeurl, but longtime experience with his friend has made him a skeptic.

Cor shrugs. "To the kitchens."

Regis took a deep breath.

Cid and Clarus covered their ears.

XXxxxxXX

"Cor's back I assume," Mors mutters shifting another sheet of paper across the desk.

Lathyrus smiles. "You know from the screaming, correct?"

"Obviously," He says not even trying to hide the smirk growing on his face. "Regis has never been the calmest of people. Hopefully, his brat and the mechanic brat can change that. Otherwise, he'd be useless as King."

"Obviously," Lathyrus nodded and shifted some more forms over to his king. "This has nothing to do with making you deal with Lacus by any chance has it?"

"You've been talking to Luciana again haven't you?"

"I can neither confirm nor deny that statement."

"Stop telling my wife crap. I can live without the nagging."

 Lathyrus felt no shame when he shrugged.

Chapter Text

Regis was so close to breaking out into to tears, it wasn't even funny.

Somehow, some way Cor had been forced into the Honorary Season's Opening Ball in the Citadel, and he had come with a plus one looking anything but happy.

Stepping off the grand staircase, he helped his guest—a female in a stunning blue ballroom dress(1) up off the staircase before they both bowed to him and his father.

It took a second to place the woman—

“So that’s what Elshett bet.” His father grumbled to his shield as he nodded to the pair.

Regis blinked distracted from the proceedings. “Bet? What bet?”

“Lathyrus was talking about your kid getting beat by some new recruit, and apparently a bet was at stake.”

Regis ignored the jab at Cor being his kid and moved on to the more important information.

“He was defeated in the training ring? I thought no one had managed that.”

Mors took a sip of his wine, giving his son a rather an unimpressed look. “Relax Regis; no one bullied your kid. She didn’t beat him up. She beat him in the stealth exercises. ”

Regis nodded slowly. “Oh.” Finally, the pieces were starting to make some sense, though there was something a little about the situation—

“And before you freak out, Elshett doesn’t have a crush on your brat—”

“Why does everyone keep calling him my brat?”

“She probably was trying to avoid being pushed into an arranged marriage,” Mors said giving Regis his most exasperated look. If Regis didn’t want people thinking he was the brat’s father then he should stop acting like it. Honesty.

“Perhaps, your highness, if you didn’t act like Cor’s father the rumors would stop—“ Lathyrus tried perhaps feeling a little pity for the prince.

Regis looked at him in betrayal. “But I don’t!” He said, a little too loudly. A few retainers standing at the edge of the throne looked up at them before looking away upon seeing nothing threatening.

Regis went a little pink at being caught acting un-princely before he turned back to Lathyrus. “I act nothing like a father. Father doesn’t visit me in the infirmary when I was sick—“

“He visits fourteen times at minimum whenever you are sick, and has video surveillance on you when he can’t sit by your side.”

“And father never had to worry about me not having enough to eat—“

“He had the opposite problem if you recall the food poisoning incident of 546—“

“You promised to never bring that up Lathyrus!” Regis moaned inching to cover his face.  “But that doesn’t mean anything. I don’t get into nearly the amount of trouble that Cor does.”

Lathyrus and Mors looked at him with the most pained look Regis had ever seen before Lathyrus moved forward to pet his friend on the shoulder.

“He’s your son, Mor’, but he’s an idiot,” Lathyrus said looking at Mors rather sadly.

Mors took a long drink from his wine glass. “Hopefully he won’t be this stupid when Aulea finally gets around to proposing, because if not the Caelum Family is doomed.”

Regis blinked. "What does Aulea have to do with this?"

Mors groaned. "Get me some more alcohol Lathyrus, it's going to be a long night."

XXxxxXX

 "So why did I have to turn up for this dance-pracesy thing again?" Cid said pulling at the tie around his neck. "I thought that cruel and unusual punishment was for criminals."

"Because Accidit Sophiar--"

"Use my full name again, and we'll see how much of a scene I can make with the punch and the wall windows."

Lacus frowned and took a deep calming breath. "As I was saying, as a member of his highness' personal crown guard, you must be present for important royal functions such as--"

"This poorly disguised attempt for bribes and noble snobbery. Bah bah bah, I get it bookmarker--"

"My name is Lacus Scientia, not bookmarker."

"So you say, but I can't find any proof you weren't born with that stick up your butt. Your old nursemaid had plenty to say--"

"How dare you! I am a distinguished member of the council and I will--"

"You will what, tea-drinker? Throw tea at me? Lecture me? Oh, wait, defeat me in combat? I thought we went through this already. You can't beat me with your silver spoon upbringing. Or do you want to go back to the combat fields and get your ass handed to you? Because I'm ready any time you are a wimp."

"You complete--"

XXxxxxXX

"Um father, why is Lacus sitting next to Cid? I specifically remember putting them in different tables."

"Because Regis, they need to get along to function as your guard. If Lacus can't deal with Cid in a proper setting then there's no hope for him." Mors said taking a long drink from his cup.

Regis blinked. "And Cid?"

"He'll need to learn to keep quiet if and when he goes with you to official functions, but knowing the mechanic brat he'll find some way to worm his way out of it."

Lathyrus cleared his throat. "What his majesty means that the reason he put the two of them at the same table is that he doesn't want to be at this gathering any more than you do, so he set of the two of them together to get some entertainment."

Regis scowled. "Father!"

Mors patted his son on the head. "You cannot deny they are amusing."

Regis crossed his arms. "You say that, but you don't have to deal with them... if tables go flying it's your own fault. I tried to seat them separately on purpose for reason. Besides they work well together when they had a common enemy."

Chapter Text

When Cid is bored, he tends to wander off.

He'll enter random rooms and scoff at any and all tea drinkers he sees, and eventually, eventually he'll end up at the one place, Regis says he shouldn't go--the Citadel Training Rooms.

Now, there are a lot of reasons Cid shouldn’t go to the training rooms, but the majority of the reasons boil down to the fault that Cid is himself and he tends to come off as rather…blunt when put next to the children of nobles. This isn’t a bad thing (most of the time), but Cid just tends to piss an awfully lot of people off. People, who have opinions that Regis would prefer not to deal with, but just for the sake of protocol and for the sake of his kingdom he had to.

However, on this particular day, Cid didn’t feel like dealing with either Regis or that stick in the mud Lacus and figured the best place to blow off some steam was to go to the training rooms.

He was right.

XXxxxxxXX

Born on the outskirts of Duscae on the edge of the new wall, and formerly guarded by the old wall, Cid's life out in the borderlands was anything but easy. 

Ever since the wall had been reduced by the late Queen Regina life had gotten harder.  Much harder. Instead of having to only worry about paying his bills and making sure coyotes didn't go through the trash cans they now had to worry about demons.

Lights had been installed around what little was left of Hammerhead after the mass exodus of people and Taka's Diner started handing out missions to passing hunters. It wasn't a perfect system but it was working well enough that people could sleep at night,  even if getting goods, such as food and medicines from the capital was now twice as hard because of shipping costs.

Cid though had lived through that turmoil through stubbornness and pure unflinching grit. He went out with his father constantly fighting against both desert monsters and demons alike to put food on the table. He bled for years and there were many days where he lay in bed too tired to sleep and his bitterness towards the royal family ate at him. His father was the same way and even though he could see the hatred growing in his kid's eyes he didn't say anything. In some ways, he didn't want to, because when the wall was reduced, they had lost so much. 

He wasn't anything like the majority of people who staffed the Citadel or the stuffy nobles and it showed. Oh he still hated them and they hated him, especially because he managed to gain a prized position at Regis' side, but now that he was living in Insomnia and working among them, he saw things a little differently. Most of the stuck up idiots in this places were more ignorant of the pain that people suffered from the people beyond the new wall than actually malicious. So he decided to correct the idiots in his own way by beating the collective snot out of the pampered children of nobility every so often.

Because learning to fight from the safety of a tutor was a far cry from struggling in life and death battles, and if he needed to break a few noses and or limbs well that's just the prices these little wimps would need to pay—

He stopped in his tracks when he caught sight of a certain little brat from across the hall.

Jogging over to the kid, he smacked him on the back.

"What are you doing here brat?" He asked ignoring the slight frown that Cor had and the way his hands nearly went to the training sword on his waist that he carried everywhere. (It was a compromise after the third fight Cor had been in, and he had to have special permission but he had something to defend himself with if the shitty nobles decided to take another swing at him.) Cor stuffed his hands into his pockets instead and leveled him with an angry glare.

Cid smirked back at him. God, how he missed honesty from people. The Citadel had ruined him for honest folks and Cor was like a violent spunky cat he never he needed until he was stuck babysitting Regis in the royal fucking palace.

"Training," Cor muttered trying and failing to get any distance from the gunner. Cid was a crafty bastard on a good day and Cor could not understand why the elder man felt the constant need to mess with him.

Cid's smirk went up two notches on the michevious scale. 

"Sounds fun. But you know kid, I know something that will really make your day." Cid said slinging an arm around Cor's shoulder's and leading him away. (Even as Cor fought him for every step. How he wished he had more weight to throw around so this wouldn't be an issue.)

"What?" Cor bit out, wanting to be anywhere but here.

"Well, you see..."

XXxxxxxXX

"What. Happened?" Regis bit out at the two as he was handed yet another stack of complaints and bills.

"A fight," Cid said stealing some bread off Regis' plate. (Both ignored the disgusted look Lacus sent both of them.)

Regis had bearly been served dinner when Lacus had come storming in with both Cid and Cor covered in bandages and lectures them in rather loud tones. At first, Regis had thought it was something rather small but the longer Lacus went on about training room protocols and policy and what not, the more Regis feared for his sanity.

He had just taken care of appeasing yet another noble family.

What had the two done now?

And just why? Why?

He had just finished his paperwork!

"Regis you better be drooling because if you're crying again, I'm throwing a pillow at you." Cid cut in through Regis thoughts.

Regis did the only thing he could to retain his sanity and started banging his head on his desk.

 Lacus scoffed at the three of them and walked out slamming the door behind him.

Chapter Text

Recently a number of my fanfiction have been reported for abuse, and a number of them locked.
I have appealed but my faith and trust in this site has severely been destroyed.
I have written on this achive for a number of years, and now I don't feel comfortable writing in it.
In light of this I am going to take a hiatus and consider my options and whether I will move to another site.
When I come to a new decision I will post again. I apologize to everyone for this turn of events.


Sincerely, WWC 9/24/19