They had stopped at some run-down, dirty looking outpost town to refuel and get supplies. Prompto was given the job of trying to get a map of the local area in case they needed to stay. However, he highly doubted that would be happening, the place gave him the creeps.
Not soon after Prompto had started his journey away from his friends he noticed that two men were following him but he just hurried along to complete his task. He wished Gladio was with him, but he wasn’t Noctis so he didn’t get protection. Prompto didn’t have the right to a human shield.
A sinking feeling in his gut kept nagged at him for a couple blocks until he had finally decided that he should abandon his mission for the silly map and go back to his friends. But of course the two men following him were actually four in total. They had conveniently found a way to corner him before he could return to safety.
They had been ready for him, they knew how he fought, and they knew exactly how to get him. Prompto's gun had barely materialized in his hand before a rock had been hurled at his hand, most likely from a sling shot. It had hurt and he went to cry out for anyone that might be nearby but he was literally descended upon and beaten until the world went black.
He felt so stupid, he was a trained member of the crownsguard and he still didn’t stand a chance against his attackers. Prompto was trying desperately not to hyperventilate. Sitting tied up on the floor in a dark closet was playing on all his worst nightmares. Prompto wasn’t sure how long he had been there but the gag they had tied around his mouth to silence him kept him from getting enough air. His lungs were struggling and it felt like his chest was on fire.
Working at the ropes that tied his hands behind his back was not proving successful. His hand still hurt and he became aware that the men had tightly bound a rag around his hands and fingers before tying his wrists together. He couldn’t work at any of the knots or hold his gun if he summoned it. His feet were no better; they had been securely tied at the ankles.
Right now Prompto's main concern was staying awake and breathing. Each breath was a painful one and he thought that perhaps he had a bruised rib or several that made that simple act very, very hard. Next up in the ‘what hurts’ department was his head, the reason he had blacked out becoming apparent to him when he could single out the spot on the back of his head that was throbbing.
Prompto could feel tears prickling at the corner of his eyes, he needed to remain calm and hope that his friends would find him but he was starting to lose that battle with his mind. He wasn’t the one that needed to save the free world, Noct was. So what did it matter if he wasn’t around on the journey anymore.
He choked on a breath after that and couldn’t stop from shaking. This was it he was never going to see his friends again. He didn’t want to know why they hadn’t killed him yet but Prompto couldn’t stop his head from coming up with the terrible things that could happen to him.
Prompto, lost in his own mental prison missed the few tall tale signs of a fight happening not too far away. Bodies crashing to the floor with viscous intent and distant yells throttled mid breath. This followed by a maddening silence then steady and sure footsteps getting louder by the second.
His heart hammered in his chest desperate to know what awaited him. He flinched hard when the door to his small chamber flung open to reveal a tall silhouette wielding a long dagger. Prompto’s eyes already adjusted to the darkness of the closet made it impossible to identify this new threat.
Whimpering Prompto quickly pushed himself back into the tiny space to get away and he vainly attempted to pull again at the ropes on his wrists. Hoping faintly that his gun might work if he summoned it.
“Prompto! Calm down you’re safe now!” Came a voice Prompto was all too familiar with, Ignis.
“Mmmphff!” Prompto moaned as he slumped sideways into the wall and focused on not passing out. Relief flooding over him as his panic subsided.
Ignis made his way in and got down on the floor next to Prompto reaching out slowly and carefully to remove the gag in his mouth. “There just take deep breaths, you’re o.k. now, you’re safe.”
“How did you find me?” Prompto gasped “I.. I thought I was never going to see you all again.”
“You think we give up that easily?!” Ignis responded with a raised eyebrow as he used his dagger to cut away the ropes at Prompto’s wrists. He then turned his attention to Prompto’s feet and leaned back when all the bonds had been removed, dismissing his dagger.
“Don’t you need that out?!” Prompto asked “what if those men…” as he looked out into the room nervously.
Ignis reached out and placed a comforting hand on his back. “Those men won’t be bothering us anymore. I believe I recognized a few of them from our last pit stop. No doubt trying to extort money they think we have.”
“Why would holding me get them any money, that doesn’t make sense?”
Ignis sighed and looked at Prompto, “My dear boy are you not aware at this point that Noctis would storm right into the heart of Niflheim to find you if he thought it necessary.”
Prompto started stammering, opening and closing his mouth trying to form words but it had been a long day already and he wasn’t fairing very well with thinking clearly.
“Come on, can you walk? A potion should make you feel a little more like yourself and I know I have one in the car.” Ignis looped his arm around Prompto’s back and helped him stand.
With a hand on the wall to steady himself and the other slung over Ignis’s shoulder Prompto eventually took a tentative step forward and smiled weakly up at Ignis. “You’re the best, thank you.” Ignis merely smiled back at him and hugged Prompto closer.
Prompto’s breath caught in his throat as he and Ignis walked through the other rooms of the building to get out to the street. The four men that had jumped Prompto were strewn here and there, some with limbs that were definitely not in the right place in relation to their body. There was cracked plaster in the shape of a head in some spots around the room, even down the corridor.
Prompto swallowed hard “Did you do all that?” he asked breathlessly.
“Hmmm, I just wanted to make sure they got the message they needn’t bother us ever, ever again.”
At that very moment Prompto decided to never doubt his friends’ loyalty to him. They really would invade an enemy kingdom to save him. He could feel his eyes watering again. What the hell, he needed to calm down.
The car was waiting outside when they exited the building. Gladio was behind the wheel and Noct was in the front seat with a look that could kill. Prompto suddenly became a little scared that he might be mad at him for getting in this mess. He took a deep breath dismissing that thought and looked again to see the worry and concern on his face.
Ignis stopped just outside the back door and leaned Prompto against the car. He requested Gladio pop the trunk and he fished around for a minute and returned with a potion. Prompto drank the whole bottle and sagged against the door with the sudden relief from the dull aching pain.
“Let’s get the hell out of here!” Noctis hissed from his side of the car “If we stay I might try and burn the whole stupid town down.”
“I have matches if you need.” Gladio chimed in his eyes on fire and his hands clenched around the steering wheel ready for a fight.
Ignis opened the back door and ushered Prompto in and then sat down next to him. “Don’t wait on my account, how do you say it... Let’s blow this popsicle stand?”
Gladio snorted and Noct just rolled his eyes. “Really Specs.”
“I take no credit for such a silly phrase, I just borrowed it.”
Soon the car was rolling away from the horrid little outpost and out into the open road again. Prompto was gazing out the window when he felt a hand on his shoulder. “Care for a nap? You should rest some.” Ignis started pulling him over to his side of the seat.
Prompto smiled and leaned over letting out a sigh as he felt Ignis’ arms wrap around him and cradle him against his warm chest. He was about to drift off when he whispered to Ignis. “I had no idea you could be so lethal.”
Prompto could feel Ignis’ chest hitch from a small chuckle “Only when it comes to helping out my friends.”