It’s a busy day for Noctis. He’s supposed to be training to be the king, as he’s meant to ascend soon, but it’s tiring. The prince is used to sleeping in until noon before he has to become a productive member of society, but the apartment just seems so much colder this morning. He checks the time and sighs heavily. Four AM. It seems like he wakes up earlier and earlier everyday. Oh well. It’s a good time to go fishing. Today, he’s going to avoid whatever royal responsibilities his dad planned to teach him and just enjoy himself.
Noctis bundles up and grabs his tackle box and rod, a deep sigh leaving his lips. Briefly he considers that he should warn somebody, take his phone, or leave a note, but he decides that he doesn’t want to. He’d rather just be alone. He leaves the house, locking the door, then loads up his car and heads out to Vesperpool. He’s heard about the good fishing spots from a fishing friend, but he hasn’t had the chance to try any of them yet.
Nows his chance, he reckons. The last chance. He can feel that he’s going to be crowned at any minute now. He sighs heavily as the road flashes by. The rain starts, and briefly he considers slowing down, but he can’t. He needs to get to Vesperpool early so that he can fish while it’s still peaceful and quiet. Relief sweeps him when he notices that the rain has stopped. He pulls out his rod and tackle box, going to the dock. He sits down on the edge, boots hanging over the edge, and casts the line.
Meanwhile, back in Insomnia, the alarm is raised. Gladio and Ignis were unable to find the prince upon visiting his apartment. Ignis sighs heavily as a flood of guards come into and look around for any clues. He is mostly frustrated that he didn’t take his phone; After all, if he were to get into trouble, he wouldn’t be able to call anyone for help. Ignis looks at Gladio, then a plot starts to pull itself together in his mind. He smiles deviously, gesturing for Gladio to follow him. Just hours later the news is tearing through Insomnia: first person to find the Crown Prince, Noctis, will be able to train to become his bodyguard alongside Gladio.
Most of the kingdom starts the search for him, and the news spreads even outside. Another few hours, and nearly everyone has heard the news. It’s by that time that Noctis has realized that he feels absolutely starved. He frowns at himself when he realizes that he didn’t even bring himself cup noodle to have to eat. “God…I guess I really do rely on Iggy more than I realized,” he complains to himself, dropping everything into the trunk. The fish he caught are in the ice chest to keep them cool. He parks at a small town, going into the first restaurant he finds to grab something quick. “I guess I have to go home now,” he mumbles as he reads the menu.
A hand clamps down on his shoulder, making him turn quickly, defensive as he raises his other hand to attack the person, before his face registers. “Prompto?” he asks, confusion colouring his voice. He lowers his defenses, and gives his friend a small smile. “I haven’t seen you in a while, since you kinda just…disappeared. Have you had fun being a photojournalist?” He orders what he wants, and then sits down. He can’t help but smile when Prompto sits across from him, his own bright smile on his lips.
“It’s so much fun, Noct! I’m so glad that you got me that nice new camera to do it. It takes the nicest pictures,” he gushes, starting to show them to Noctis. Noctis smiles softly, and flicks through some of the images.
“You’re really talented. I always knew you’d have a future in photography. Have any of the newspapers grabbed you, or are you planning on starting your own?” he asks, head tilted. Prompto smiles, grabbing a paper from his bag and pushing it across to Noctis. The prince opens it, smiling when he sees the article with Prompto’s images. “Wow, I’m really proud of you. You’re doing really well for yourself.”
“Thanks, Noct! That’s actually…really great to hear from you,” Prompto responds, a soft blush colouring his cheeks. A comfortable silence falls over them as their food is set in front of them. Noctis starts to eat, choking when he hears the news cast coming over the radio. Prompto hits his back a few times, looking up in shock when he hears it. “You ran away! You didn’t even take your phone! We have to get you back, Noct. You can’t be doing this, you have to finish your training.”
Noctis pouts at him, wiping his mouth. “They’ve been waking me up early every morning and not letting me sleep until late. I just wanted one day to myself, Prom. I’m so tired all the time. I didn’t ask for this.” He feels himself getting teary eyed. Prompto sighs softly, gently wiping his tears away with his thumb.
“Okay. So, eat and then we’ll go back to the place I’m renting. You can sleep there for a bit, but then I’m afraid I need to take you back to Insomnia,” he says, sitting back down properly. He finishes his own food quickly, smiling at Noctis when he’s finished. “I really am glad to see you, though. You’re not an easy guy to get a hold of. Not with you being so busy all the time.” Prompto hums softly along to the song on the radio, frowning when Noctis pays for them both and stands up, but doesn’t say anything about it. He sees the Star of Lucis and grins.
“Wow! I haven’t seen her in months!” He pats the hood of the car. “This is definitely going to give you away…It’s okay, you can park her in the garage.” Prompto grabs his helmet and straps it to his head. “Just follow me, alright? It’s a short drive away.” He walks down to the end of the parking lot where he parked his bike. He starts it up, smiling brightly at Noctis’ confused face, then drives off towards the road.
Noctis is surprised when they get to the house, and he sees that it’s pretty tidy. He parks in the garage and looks around in wonder before heading inside. He kicks off his shoes and collapses on the couch, only barely looking up to see Prompto laughing at him. He sticks his tongue out, blushing slightly when Prompto snaps a picture. Noctis grumbles, rolling over and going to sleep. Prompto can’t help himself, he takes a few more pictures before draping a blanket over the prince and walking away.
Noctis wakes a few hours later to the smell of coffee. He sits up slowly, rubbing his eyes. He’s momentarily disoriented by his unfamiliar surroundings, but then remembers the events leading up to it. He stretches his arms over his head and finds his way to the kitchen, watching Prompto arrange his photos. He pours himself a cup and sits down, sipping it slowly. “So now we have to go back to Insomnia,” he mumbles. “But I like it here. I would rather just stay.” He’s pouting now. Prompto snorts softly and smiles.
“You can visit whenever you want! Plus I was planning on staying in Insomnia for a little anyways, take some pictures of my hometown.” Prompto pats Noctis’ shoulder and then shuffles a few photos into an envelope. He sets it on the counter, then brushes the rest into a basket to be looked at later. “Alright. When you finish that coffee, we’ll leave. Do you want to take my bike, or just drive the car?”
“Do you even know how to drive that thing with someone else on it? I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’d rather drive,” he responds. Prompto pushes him slightly and snorts softly, rolling his eyes.
“Fine fine, but you have to let me drive you sometime.” He stands up, washing Noctis’ cup when it’s empty, then puts on his shoes and goes out to the car. Prompto runs his fingers over it slowly, smiling weakly. He has to admit that he missed his friends, missed Insomnia. What is it going to feel like going home after all that time? He’s not sure. Prompto gets in the passenger seat and fiddles with the radio as soon as the car is started, settling on a station that plays whatever song is popular at the moment.
The drive is silent for the most part, only music playing to break the tense silence that has fallen over the car. It’s as if there’s something unsaid hanging between them, but neither says a word about it. The only conversation is Prompto’s trivia about some famous spots that they drive by. Noctis parks at the Citadel, then drags himself from the front seat. He braces himself to be chewed out when he sees the looks on Ignis and Gladio’s faces, though Prompto getting out makes the words die on their lips.
“Hi guys!” is the cheerful shout from the blond, just before they’re both being hugged. Gladio hugs him back while Ignis just smiles a little, glad to see Prompto back in the country.
“So. The winner of the contest is Prompto. Who woulda thought.” Gladio smirks, patting the blond’s back. “Training starts early tomorrow. I wouldn’t leave town if I were you.”
“Yes. To find Noctis. The first person to bring him back gets to train to be Noct’s bodyguard. Beside Gladio of course,” Ignis explains to a shocked Prompto. “You honestly didn’t know? Oh well, I’m sure living with Noctis for the time being isn’t too much trouble,” he says with a small smirk. Noctis shrugs slightly, leaning on his car. He stands up, following behind Ignis and Gladio as they start to head inside.
He grabs Prompto’s wrist, and turns to him. “I’m glad you’re the one that found me. Thank you.” Noctis gives a small smile and presses a quick kiss to his lips before jogging to catch up.