“Yes, your Majesty?”
Ignis’ eyes were glued to the marble floor of the throne room, one he was intimately familiar with, and his upper body was bent slightly in a bow in front of his king.
Regis’ blue-gray eyes stared down at his son’s advisor, a soft sigh passing his lips. He was sat atop his throne, one leg slightly crossed over the other. He seemed to be in a more relaxed position than if he were addressing an important matter. He gestured vaguely.
“At ease, Ignis. There is no need for formalities in this moment. Loosen up, my dear boy,” the king uttered fondly.
Ignis, a bit taken aback in all honesty, stood and looked to the regal man who sat a few feet up and away from him. He gave a slight nod of acknowledgement but still remained in a polite stance. Regis knew that would be the most relaxed position he could get Ignis in so he decided to get down to business.
“The reason I summoned you here today is to talk about the upcoming Spring Solstice ball. It’s in a few days. I’m sure you’re familiar with it?”
Ignis had to fight back the completely undignified snort he wanted to give at such a statement. Not only was he familiar with the ball, but he was the one planning it. Despite the fact that such an event was to be handled by the king’s Event’s Committee, of which Ignis was the head of, he still found himself doing all the work. He spent hours upon hours vetting the guests, picking out tablecloths, drawing up decoration schemes and not to mention dedicating days to cooking different hors d’oeuvres, the main course, and a non-mushy dessert worthy of their picky prince. Ignis then painstakingly recreated the recipes and wrote them down in careful print before handing them off to the Citadel’s most trusted cooks.
Additionally, he was also in charge of making sure Noctis knew his role at this function. He spent many a sleepless and ebony fueled night writing the speech for his charge because he couldn’t be trusted to do it himself. He also drove him back and forth to his tailoring appointments, he hardly had time to send in his own measurements for a proper suit and-
Regis’ subtle-not-so-subtle clear of the throat brought Ignis out of what was turning into a rambling anxiety attack and he realized he’d yet to answer his king’s question.
Slightly flustered with himself for getting so in his head in the presence of his king, Ignis nodded and clasped his hands behind his back in a more formal gesture.
“Yes, your Majesty. I am familiar with the Spring Solstice ball. Is there something more you need me to attend to?”
“Yes, actually, there is,” the king smiled, a hint of amusement in his eyes.
Ignis rose his brow fractionally. He knew that look in someone much younger and whenever he got that look, he knew it meant trouble. Like father like son.
“You work too much, Ignis. While you are my son’s advisor...and glorified nanny, for which I apologize, you also handle most Citadel events without much reprieve. I’ve seen you wandering these halls after a late night planning session and if I’m being honest my dear boy, it’s quite frightening. You are young yet, and I’d like to see you act it for once.” Regis’ tone was not unkind. He spoke like a concerned father addressing a troubled son and for once, Ignis’ didn’t particularly mind that.
He spent so much of his time taking care of Noctis and receiving nary more than a grunt of acknowledgement as thanks, so it was quite nice to see that someone as important as the king noticed the hard work he was doing for the Citadel, and their prince. However, he was confused as to what he could do to act more his ‘age’.
Ignis had been sworn to be Noctis’ advisor at the young age of 7 and was therefore treated well above his age and station since then. The idea of being young or even acting less than an advisor or an adult, despite only being 17 currently, was nearly foreign to him.
“Sire? I must admit, I don’t quite understand what it is you’re asking of me?”
Regis sighed once more, his tired eyes looking down at the brunet with something like exasperation and Ignis felt a pang of regret settle in his belly for asking such a question.
“What I am saying, Ignis, is that I do not want you to attend this event as my son’s advisor, nor do I want to see you doting over every detail. Leave Noct’s safety and care to Gladiolus, and leave the remainder of the ball to my event’s committee. It would do them well to actually do their job rather than delegate all responsibilities to you.”
Ignis paled at the knowing look Regis gave him, the one that said ‘ I know you’ve been doing all the work’ . But Regis simply smiled down at the young boy.
“And I want you to bring a date.” At this, Ignis startled.
“A date, your Majesty? Is that truly necessary?” He could hardly keep the annoyed sigh out of his mouth. For a moment he felt like Noctis and he reminded himself to stop taking petulant lessons from his prince.
“Yes, Ignis. It is. I would like you to enjoy this night as well as a boy your age can, which means bringing and entertaining a date. You may choose anyone of your liking, boy, girl, it matters not to me. So long as you bring someone and that you promise me you’ll try to enjoy the night as Ignis Scientia, not Advisor Scientia. Am I clear?”
As if he had any other choice. Ignis knew that Regis was coming from a place of concern but this was as good as a demand as anything.
“Yes, your Majesty. Crystal.”
Pleased by his answer, Regis smiled, emphasizing the wrinkles around his eyes and his face.
“Perfect! You may finish whatever preparations you were currently in the middle of but once the ball starts, I expect to see you on the floor mingling with guests and enjoying yourself. You are dismissed.”
“Thank you, your Majesty.” Ignis gave another deep bow, unable to properly leave the throne room and presence of his king without it, and then turned and walked down the multitude of stairs towards the exit. The closing of the large granite door behind him echoed in his mind for the remainder of the day.
Gladio snorted around the rim of his beer bottle before taking a large swig. He set it down on the counter and shot Ignis a look. “You know he basically ordered you to have fun, right?”
The knife in Ignis’ hand came down hard against the cutting board, decimating a piece of carrot.
“I’m aware, Gladiolus. What I don’t understand is why ? Why now? This is hardly the first event I’ve planned and attended, so why does he feel the need to humiliate me by forcing me to take a date? And furthermore-” The brunet dumped the lot of minced vegetables into a bowl of ground garula and began to aggressively knead it.
“-he said that I was not to protect Noct, but rather leave him to you. Do you think he’s weeding me out as his advisor? Have I done such a poor job lately that he feels the need to-”
Ignis was suddenly aware of Gladio’s hand on his wrist, stopping him from practically pounding his fists into the bowl of meat he was already destroying.
“Ignis, cool it. The king just wants you to let loose. We all see how stressed you are, what with planning this party and taking care of prince charmless over there,” he emphasized his words by jerking a thumb towards Noctis, who was currently playing video games with his blond best friend on the couch. “Maybe this will be good for you. Not having to worry about anything for a couple hours.”
“Perhaps that sounds like ‘fun’ to you, but that’s practically torture for myself.” Ignis pulled his wrist away from the clutches of the shield and sighed, taking the ground meat and vegetables and lined it into a meatloaf tin.
“Come on, Igs. It won’t be that bad. Do you know who you’re going to ask?” Gladio stepped back and leaned against the counter once more. His hand loosely grasped the neck of his half empty beer bottle and he rolled the rim of it against the counter.
“Absolutely not. I cannot think of anyone I’d actually want to attend this function with, let alone some old drol from the Citadel or council. And it would take too long to run a background check on someone from those gods awful dating apps you’re so fond of. I can’t bring just anyone into the Citadel. Let alone near the king.” Ignis had worked while he spoke, making sure the oven was set to the correct temperature before he slid the soon-to-be meatloaf in. He then began work on quartering some baby potatoes, his knife once again gliding over the cutting board with an oiled precision.
“What about blondie?”
It took Ignis a moment to register the pain in his hand. His eyes flicked down to the red splatter of blood and the oozing from his thumb.
“Fuck, Ignis, you okay?” Gladio was quick to grab his hand and hold it up above his heart. He grabbed a handful of tissues and held it to the open wound, bringing him over to the sink.
“Specs? You okay?” Gladio’s exclamation had alerted the two teens on the couch. They were looking over towards the kitchen in concern and their video game was paused behind them.
“Quite alright, nothing warranting your attention,” Ignis replied evenly, still not fully aware of the blood gushing out of his hand.
“It’s not alright, you nearly chopped your thumb off,” Gladio replied gruffly. “Noct, you got any potions in your first aid kit?”
“Oh please, this hardly is a cut worthy of a potion-”
“Iggy I can see the bone ,” Prompto suddenly said from his right side. When had he gotten so close?
“Here, specs,” Noctis came around to their side and cracked a potion over Ignis’ hand. The mint green sparks enveloped his arm for a moment before the skin started to stitch itself together. Soon, the cut was fully healed and Ignis only felt a faint itching sensation.
“Thank you, Noct. I apologize for being so careless, the knife must have slipped from my grasp. I’ll be more careful next time.” Gladio gave Ignis a knowing look but Ignis glanced away.
“Don’t worry about it, Iggy. Is dinner ruined now? Do we, unfortunately, have to order pizza?” Noct batted his lashes at Ignis but he was met with an unimpressed look from his advisor.
“That was the last potato. The others are already in the bowl and uncontaminated by my blood so dinner is very much not ruined, your Highness. But I do thank you for immediately suggesting anything other than my cooking,” Ignis rolled his eyes but Prompto patted him on the back.
“Don’t worry, Iggy! Noct was just joking. Your cooking is the best!”
Ignis found himself very lightly blushing at the blond’s compliment. He fidgeted with his glasses to hide it.
“Thank you, Prompto. Now, everyone out of the kitchen. I have a meal to finish.”
The teens went back to their paused game and resumed where they had left off, but Gladio remained behind.
“What was that about? And don’t say nothin’ cuz I saw the look you got. You got a crush on Prom or somethin’?”
Ignis shot his best friend a glare but there was hardly any heat behind it. He gave a sigh instead and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose.
“I might...hold a soft spot for the boy, yes. I don’t know if I would call it a crush, per se...but there is a sort of attraction there, I suppose.”
Gladio could only chuckle in response. “Ig, why don’t you just ask him to the ball? Worst that can happen is he says no. Best thing? You two go and have a great time. Even if it leads nowhere. It’s worth giving it a try, right?”
Ignis frowned a bit and looked down at the floor. He wasn’t a self conscious man, not by any means, but there was something about being rejected by that literal ball of sunshine that stirred something nasty inside of Ignis. But, Gladio was right. If anything, they might at least have a nice time together and if Ignis was subject to ‘having fun’, then Prompto would be an ideal choice.
“Perhaps...I’ll ask him after dinner.”
Gladio clapped Ignis on the shoulder and grinned. “Atta boy, Iggy!”
“Prompto, might I have a word with you?”
The blond blinked and looked over at Ignis from his spot in the passenger seat of Ignis’ car. It had become a routine by now. Dinner at Noct’s apartment on friday nights, then Ignis brings him home before driving off to his own apartment. It’s something they had been doing for almost a year now, but never once had Ignis offered to speak to the kid. Which, if he was being honest, Prompto didn’t exactly mind.
He’d had a crush on the advisor for a while now and he worried that if they were ever talking alone for more than a few minutes then he’d probably blabber on and say something stupid. He badly suffered from foot-in-mouth disease and the last thing he wanted was to say or do something to offend the guy.
“Uhh, sure, yeah, what’s up?” He laughed, a nervous habit of his.
“Well...I’m not sure if you’re aware of events happening at the Citadel, but the Spring Solstice ball is this Sunday...” Ignis turned his head away, hiding his blush from Prompto.
It was such a rare thing, for Prompto to see the advisor this uncomposed. And twice in one day, too! He remembered the almost dazed look Ignis had on his face after cutting himself in the kitchen.
“Oh! Yeah, Noct’s brought it up a couple times. Mainly how he’s being dragged into it by his dad,” he chuckled, shifting a little in his seat.
“Indeed...I..Ah…” Ignis sighed a bit in frustration and then turned to look back towards the blond. “I...bloody hell, I was wondering if you’d like to attend the ball. With me. As...my date.”
Prompto stared at Ignis, his eyes rapidly blinking. He almost opened his mouth to ask if he heard him correctly but words didn’t seem to want to work.
Ignis was also staring back at him but his expression seemed to change to concern very quickly.
“Prompto, are you alright? You’re very red.”
The blond let out a breath he wasn’t aware he had been holding and gasped. His lungs felt like they were on fire.
“U-Uhm, ahh, uhhhh, I uhm...I…” Prompto stammered. He wanted to punch himself for sounding like such an idiot.
“If you do not wish to attend that’s quite alright. I apologize if I put you in an awkward situation-”
“No! No no, I wanna go, I totally wanna go! W-With you, of course. I wanna go with you.”
It was Ignis’ turn to look a bit red and embarrassed. But he cleared his throat and shifted, sitting up straighter in the driver’s seat.
“Very well then. Do you have the proper attire? A suit and dress shoes are required, although it doesn’t have to be as formal as a tuxedo. If you don’t, I could possibly tailor one of Noct’s old suits to fit you, considering you’re fairly similar in body type.”
Prompto shook his head and gave a soft laugh. “Thanks but uh, I got a suit. Noct actually bought it for me in case he ever wanted to drag me to one of the Citadel’s fancy parties so I think I’ve got that covered.”
Ignis gave a single nod. He was surprised to hear his prince had gone so far as to make sure Prompto was well equipped for a Citadel party. Perhaps his teachings were rubbing off on his charge, albeit slowly.
“Perfect. Do you require I pick you up or can you find your way to the Citadel?”
“I can get there just fine. What time should I meet you?”
Ignis pondered for a moment. Usually he would be there hours early making all the final preparations for the ball before he eventually made his way into the banquet hall. And even then it was hours before anyone would arrive, not even the king and prince themselves. But as a guest? He supposed it would be kinder to himself and Prompto to arrive at a reasonable time.
“8pm. Sharp. I’ll be at the Citadel steps to greet you.”
Prompto smiled and nodded eagerly. “8 pm. You got it, Iggy! I’ll see you then.” The blond got out of the car and slipped his backpack over his shoulder. He walked to his front door and turned away, giving a wave to Ignis and stepping inside his home.
Ignis waved back and then started the drive back to his apartment with a small smile on his face and a pink tint to his cheek.
Prompto felt completely out of his element. He was standing in front of Noct’s full length mirror, warily eyeing the boy in the mirror looking back at him.
“Dude, it’s just so wrong. I’m just a plebe! I shouldn’t be wearing all this fancy stuff.”
Noctis rolled his eyes and lightly shoved his friend’s shoulder.
“You look great, Prom. Iggy won’t be able to keep his eyes off of you.”
Prompto squeaked and flailed his arms helplessly, shoving at his best friend.
“Shut up, Noooooct! You said you wouldn’t say anything,” the blond pouted, turning back to the mirror. Noct just laughed though and handed him a couple of accessories.
“I won’t, I’m just teasing you dude. But seriously, stop worrying so much about it. You look great and specs will think so too. You got this.”
Prompto continued to stare at himself in the mirror. He took in a deep breath and then exhaled, nodding to himself.
‘ I’ve got this ’
Ignis stood at the head of the Citadel steps, watching as a multitude of guests arrived in their limousines and guarded cars, while other guests were already inside the banquet hall enjoying the live music and food.
His eyes were scanning the crowd, looking for any sign of the blond. It wasn’t quite yet 8pm but Ignis was getting anxious pacing the halls that Gladio had to literally hold him in place and tell him to leave and not come back unless he had ‘ that sweet ass arm candy ’. His words, not Ignis’.
When his eyes finally landed on his target, Ignis felt the breath leave his body in a quick gust, almost as if he had been sucker punched. Prompto was walking down the large red carpeted sidewalk that flanked either side of the Citadel’s roundabout and met in the center to lead up the Citadel’s stairs. His normally flattened blond hair was done up in a purposefully messy pomp that seemed to resemble a chocobo’s rear end, but on the boy it was quite endearing. Additionally, his head was surrounded by a halo of sunflowers, evenly spaced out, and mixed with twines of green stems and small white flowers. Baby’s breath, if he had to venture a guess.
But oh, that wasn’t all. He was wearing a white suit that bore a striking resemblance to Noct’s raiment, with gold stripes and a gold vest that matched the hue of the sunflowers on his head. His tie, a stark contrast to the rest of his suit, was midnight black and so were his dress shoes and the cloak that covered his shoulders. Spring in Insomnia was a fairly cold affair and most of the guests in attendance wore some type of wool jacket or cloak to fend off the cold bite of the wind.
He was such a vision of beauty and Ignis hadn’t realized he was staring until the blond was standing just a few steps away and looking around quite nervously.
“Ignis?,” he asked, and from his tone it wasn’t the first time he had said his name in an attempt to get his attention.
“Oh! My apologies. I...I have to admit, I was a bit stunned by your appearance. When you mentioned that the prince had gotten you a suit for events, this wasn’t exactly what I had been expecting.”
The blond laughed and rubbed the back of his neck, glancing away.
“Yeah uh, he made a couple adjustments and stuff...said these colors suited me better than the traditional Lucian black.”
“I have to say I agree with his Highness.” Ignis smiled down at the boy. He himself was clad in deep purple, from his jacket and dress shirt to his slacks. His tie and vest were a pastel lavender and he had a single petunia clipped to his lapel. He prefered the boutonnière to the flower crown, both of which were standard accessories for a Spring Solstice event. The crown would have messed up his carefully styled pompadour, after all.
“You look really good too.” Prompto’s cheeks were a dark red, realizing he had said that out loud but Ignis only smiled and hid the dusting of pink on his cheeks by pushing his glasses up with a black gloved hand.
“Thank you, Prompto. Shall we head inside now and out of the cold?”
The blond quickly nodded and stood by Ignis’ side as they walked in. In a random surge of confidence, he gently linked his arm with older boy’s and Ignis stiffened for just a moment before relaxing and keeping their arms linked.
Prompto let himself be led through the Citadel’s many halls and floors but not without looking at as much as he could. He had been inside the Citadel a couple times before, either to go to Noct’s room when they couldn’t stay at the apartment, or for a few awkward dinners between him and the king when they first became friends and Regis wanted to get to know the boy. But he’d never seen the place in full swing during a social event and it was quite overwhelming to say the least.
The whole place was decked out in lights and streamers and so many flowers he’d think they’d have cleared out several floral shops just to decorate one room alone. But all of that had nothing on the main banquet hall. The large ornate doors were held open and Prompto nearly gasped when they walked in. The room was huge, by any standards. Three large chandeliers hung high above them, spaced along the length of the room. The wall directly across from them was a series of large windows with black and gold curtains pulled aside to let in the moonlight and give them an unhindered view of Insomnia. Either side of the room housed large tables full of different foods, drinks, and desserts, more than Prompto had probably seen in his entire lifetime, and that left the center of the room free for guests to mingle or dance to the live band that was nestled against one of the back windows. There was also the unmistakable scent of fresh flowers. There were hundreds of pots of the most beautiful flora in Eos scattered about the room and even some hanging from the ceilings to give the room a sort of garden vibe. It was absolutely beautiful.
“Wow…” Prompto laughed inelegantly, finding a hard time letting his eyes settle on any one part of the room. Ignis however, had no trouble letting his eyes fall to the most beautiful thing in the room.
“It is quite beautiful, I must say,” the advisor said, eyes firmly on Prompto and drinking in his excitement. The bubble of bliss he was living in however, was firmly burst when he heard the king shout his name from across the hall. It seemed his Majesty had already gotten a head start on the libations. The king walked over to the two and was dressed in his kingly raiment, but instead of his typical horned crown he was wearing one twined of sylleblossoms, as was the prince who looked utterly bored in conversation with some dignitaries a few feet away.
“Ignis! My, you look rather dashing. And who is that with you? Is that Prompto? Goodness! I hardly recognized you, my boy! I hope you two are enjoying your night so far.”
Prompto stuttered out a greeting and quickly bowed, placing a hand over his heart and the other tucked firmly behind his back.
“H-hello, your M-Majesty! Uh, yes! I just got here but everything looks super cool. Uh! I mean it looks great, your Majesty.”
Regis laughed at the boy and put a hand on his shoulder, pulling him up to stand.
“It’s quite alright, Prompto. Please, enjoy yourself.” He gave Ignis a knowing glance and a wink before heading off to make conversation or perhaps save his son from warping away from the one he was currently locked in.
Prompto let out a deep sigh, a bit of color returning to his paled face.
“I’ll never get used to that,” he said with a laugh and even Ignis indulged himself with a chuckle.
“I can assure you, it never gets easier. Come now, how about a bite to eat?”
This night was turning out to be one of the worst nights of Ignis’ short life.
To be fair, it had started off great. Aside from being caught gawking at Prompto and that awkward encounter with Regis, Ignis was proud to say that things had been running smoothly. He really was trying to follow the king’s advice and enjoy his night as just Ignis Scientia. But that was so incredibly hard to do when everyone around him was such an idiot .
After the two had managed to enjoy a few hors d’oeurves and a glass or two of sparkling cider, Ignis had found himself being pulled away from Prompto from a multitude of people. First, it was a problem with the food and Ignis had to disappear into the kitchen to give a verbal lashing to the servers who had somehow mislabeled the trays and had been giving out crab puffs instead of the vegan spinach puffs and that caused quite a stir with some of the guests.
Once that had been resolved, he was almost immediately dragged into a conversation about politics with a few of the older members in attendance and they simply would not let him leave until he gave his detailed opinion about how aiding Niflheim during the war would not only strengthen their army but hopefully show that Lucis was clearly looking for peace in this time of war. Then, if they were lucky, Niflheim would show mercy and perhaps that could open up a whole new conversation about compromise and trading routes.
It wasn’t until Ignis had realized that several hours had passed where he was being pulled in all different directions that he finally snapped and slipped out of the banquet hall and onto the balcony without so much as an ‘Excuse me’. He took a deep breath of the cold night air, hoping it would soothe his hot nerves. What he wasn’t expecting was for anyone else to be out there.
“Iggy?,” a soft voice came from behind him.
The advisor jumped but quickly composed himself and looked back at the source. He saw Prompto with a small plate of food and a glass that looked to be more bubbly than he remembered the cider being.
“Oh, Prompto. I’m so sorry that I left you alone for the duration of the night. I didn’t think so many people would require my attention.” Ignis sighed softly and sat down against one of the many benches lining the balcony.
“That’s alright, Iggy. Noct warned me beforehand that you might end up working tonight anyways, it’s cool. Here, I brought you some food and snuck a glass of champagne away. You haven’t eaten anything since earlier. And well, you just turned 17 but that’s close enough to 18 so I thought one glass of champagne wouldn’t hurt ya.”
He held the offered items to Ignis who took them with a smile.
“That was very thoughtful of you, Prompto. Thank you. Still, I am sorry that I wasn’t able to be a better...date.” His cheeks pinked up at the word but Prompto just smiled all the same.
“Are you kidding me? You’ve been great! You made sure this whole party was running smoothly and yeah, I mean, it would have been cool if you could have relaxed some more but don’t worry on my account. I still had fun.”
His smile was absolutely contagious and Ignis thought that maybe that was the final straw. He set down the plate of food, downed the champagne in a few gulps, and then stood up and held out a gloved hand.
“Prompto, would you do me the honor of dancing with me?”
The music from inside the banquet hall could be heard out on the balcony at a much more soothing volume. Prompto gave a surprised gasp and he knew he must have been as red as a tomato but that didn’t stop him from taking Ignis’ hand and slowly standing up.
“I’d love to,” he said with a giggle.
The two soon fell into a slow rhythm. One of Prompto’s hands rested on Ignis’ shoulder and the other was firmly clasped with Ignis’ other hand, the one not occupied in it’s spot on Prompto’s waist. They swayed more than anything, enjoying each other’s company in the moonlight.
Eventually, Prompto’s head made it onto Ignis’ shoulder and Ignis’ smiled against the blond’s hair.
“This is so surreal...I..I’ve had a crush on you for like two years now and I never thought I’d be slow dancing with you at a party at the Citadel.”
Ignis chuckled and it reverberated through Prompto.
“I, too, have had a crush on you for some time...Although, I can’t say I ever thought you would also have a crush on me in return.”
Prompto pulled back suddenly, a hurt look on his face and Ignis went cold, thinking he had upset the boy in some way.
“Why wouldn’t I like you back? You’re so smart and talented and really freakin’ attractive. I’m surprised you like a plebe like me, or that you’re even single in the first place.”
Ignis snorted at this but continued to sway with the blond.
“Most people are put off by my...compulsive nature. I’ve been told many times that I can be quite ‘uptight’ as they put it. Plus a few other choice words.”
At this, Prompto stopped the dancing and he frowned at the advisor. He reached up and cupped his cheeks.
“You’re not uptight. You like routines and schedules and being neat. That isn’t anything bad. It’s what makes you who you are.”
Ignis looked down at the boy and gave him a small smile.
“And plebe though you may be, you are the personification of sunshine. A kind soul, selfless, and you possess the ability to brighten up any room you enter. Not to mention you’re absolutely beautiful. You have a lot of potential yourself, Prompto.”
Prompto was staring up at him, bright violet eyes dashing back and forth between Ignis’ own emerald globes. Before he could even register what was happening, Prompto had leaned up on his tiptoes and was kissing him.
Ignis gave a noise of surprise but he gripped the blond’s upper arms to steady themselves and returned the kiss in earnest. Their lips were both soft in their ministrations and it almost mimicked the relaxed way they had been dancing not moments ago.
Prompto pulled back first and uttered a breathless “Wow.”
Ignis smiled, keeping his gaze on Prompto.
“I do believe you owe me 100 gil, dear friend.”
Clarus grumbled and reached inside of his robes, pulling out a crumpled bill and handing it to his king.
“Does the bet still count if you meddled in it?”
Regis smirked and pocketed the money, giving a graceful shrug of the shoulders.
“I merely suggested he bring a date, I didn’t specify who. The rest was all him. And, as I predicted, it was the boy. Not my fault you can’t as easily read Scientia.”
Clarus grumbled something again about how his son would have been a better date but Regis just laughed and clapped his shield’s shoulder, turning them both away from the kissing teens on the balcony.