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In the Silence (Of the Dawn)

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When she says, you were born for this, 
What she means is, you will die for this.


The world stretched out endlessly. His city (their city) all around them, the blown out wall of the throne room opening to the skyline beyond. The sun (the dawn) breaks the horizon and gleams off a world of shattered glass; it makes it look like the wall of light still shelters them, but it doesn't.

Noctis rubs his hands over his bum knee, brace set aside for ease of the practice, and watches the sun rise (and rise and rise) in the distance, hung there like a necklace in the sky. Somewhere there is a moon, but he can't see it for the slice of sunlight, and he.. he misses moonlight, now, more than the sun. A shift of rubble beside him, and he sees a shift of cloth, an elegant, elaborately embroidered cloak of some sanguine shade settles in, not quite shoulder to shoulder but close enough, back facing the opening and the dawn beyond it. (Ardyn isn't wearing a hat. It's not the first time but it's still weird.)

"It's dawn," Noctis points out, ritually, habit by now.

Ardyn tips his head a little, then settles his hands behind him as a brace and leans back, so he can look Noctis (the King of Light, the King of Dawn) in the face. "Of course it is."

Below the Citadel the streets are quiet in the early morning light. Before Insomnia's fall, Noctis wasn't sure the city had ever been quiet, and when he had returned here in the night, the silence had been underlined with a sense of tension, unnerving down to the core. Now it's just... quiet. A forgotten stillness.

"What happens now?" he wonders, thirty years old and not getting any minute older. The Lucii rests on his finger and it still gleams, blinding and sharp as a scalpel, like the dawn. The Armiger still come to them, the old kings still haunt him. The throne (his throne, his father's throne, the stolen throne) sits empty behind him.

Beside him, Ardyn makes an amused sound, though it tapers off into something sad and maybe-apologetic. Noctis can't tell anymore. It's been quiet for a long time. It's been dawn for a long time.

"Didn't you know, my nephew? We were never meant to be anything besides our destinies-- or go beyond them. You and I, I'm afraid, are very much stuck here alone together."