Ignis sat back on the couch after putting the dvd in. he leaned into noctis’s side and laid his arm over his shoulder. “I think shrek is better than shrek 2, noctis, but go off I suppose.”
“What?” Noctis hissed. “I can’t believe this, Ignis!” Noctis curled into Ignis’ side, grabbing his hand earnestly. “All this time, and you never told me?”
Ignis turned, unable to meet his eyes. “I know,” he muttered. “I’m sorry. I wanted to tell you, but it was never the right time.”
The last rays of the evening sun enveloped Ignis from behind- his face, still turned away, was bathed a splendid gold.
Noctis felt like he was dreaming. Noctis felt like reaching out.
Everything that came with royal life—the crown jewels, the Guard, the luxurious halls of the Citadel—couldn’t possibly compare to the ecstasy that rushed through him whenever he held his adviser close to his heart. Gods, he was so lucky; he was the only one who witnessed Ignis like this, with all the walls people whispered about finally down.
“It’s not like you to get so lost in thought,” Ignis murmurs quietly, as if he’s trying not to speak over the quickened pace of Noct’s heartbeat.
“Yeah, because you have custody of all the braincells in this relationship,” Noctis jokes, before schooling his expression into something he knows is simply heartbreakingly fond . “Sometimes,” he begins, before pausing to take Ignis’ left hand and twine their fingers together, “sometimes I look at you and feel like my throat is closing up - in, like, a good way, of course.”
Ignis looks stunned, awed like he is prone to look whenever Noctis tells him something like this. But he smiles beautifully at Noctis, and Noctis feels his heart squeeze almost painfully at the same time Ignis squeezes his hand, putting the back of it to his lips.
“Well then,” Ignis says, disengaging from Noctis yet still looking at him as if he hung the sun in the sky, “What do you want for dinner?”
“I’d rather have this,” Noctis says playfully, leaning in to kiss Ignis, cupping Ignis’ cheek with the hand he had kissed. As they pull apart, Ignis sighs, but he can’t keep himself from smiling.
“What do you want for dinner?” He reiterates.
noctis hmms thoughtfully.
“--have you ever met a person who said no i dont like no parfaits, parfaits are delicious!” donkey chimes in helpfully from the tv.
“i think we should use some of that green shrek ketchup i got you for our 2nd year anniversary. maybe omelette rice?” noctis finally decides.
“Ah,” Ignis chuckled fondly. “That funky little bottle amuses me endlessly. Sounds splendid, Noct.”
He brushed Noctis’ bangs back from his forehead reverently. “Let’s give it a minute, perhaps. I want to spend more of the night beside you.”
Noctis blushes. “Alright, waiting is fine.” He pauses, feeling the warmth of Ignis’s hand where it had come to rest on his cheek. “But what exactly is in that funky little bottle?”
“I’ll be able to tell you someday,” Ignis replied, looking sadly into the other man’s ocean-colored orbs. “Not yet, though. Again, we still have tonight. I don’t want to waste a moment of it. “
Grinning, Noctis moved to press a quick kiss into Ignis’ palm. “Let’s not, then.”
After taking a few minutes to fine-tune the details of their evening, the two men headed out into the chilly night with their sights set on going to a club in a quieter part of town, one with good food and better music. It was one a nameless someone recommended Ignis a long time ago; the years have erased their face from his memory, but no force could ever erase the look on Noctis’ face from as they moved onto the dance floor.
Ignis had opened up to healthier forms of sentimentality as best he could over time, and he was determined to show Noctis exactly how much he adored him—even if Noctis let him know he felt loved every day. He indulged Noctis’ awkward moves, helping him twirl with a flourish and holding him close whenever he stumbled, but didn’t do much dancing of his own; it was hard to follow the beat and simultaneously keep Noctis from noticing the conspicuous velvet box tucked away in Ignis’ pocket.
Soon, a slower song came on, and Noctis smiled, coy in a way that had Ignis transfixed as he was pulled close, Noctis’ arms bringing themselves to wrap loosely behind Ignis’ neck.
“Hey there, Specs,” he whispered, low and soft, as Ignis rested his hands gently around Noctis’ waist. They held each other in silence for a moment, listening to the music as it filtered through the room before Noctis spoke again. “I, um. I’ve been thinking,” he began, suddenly hesitant, and Ignis resisted the urge to make a joke, if only for how unusually nervous he seemed to be.
“Noct?” he pressed, concerned, the burning presence of the ring in his pocket pushed to the back of his mind.
“Oh, Gods - this - maybe this wasn’t the best - just . Can you close your eyes for me?”
Ignis was confused by the hesitance in Noctis' voice, but nodded nonetheless. “Yeah, of course,” Ignis told him. Although unsure of the request, Ignis trusted Noctis more than anything, and closed his eyes.
Noctis took a deep breath, inhaling and exhaling slowly. He bit the inside of his cheek nervously as quiet drapes over the two of them for a few seconds, the only sound the soft piano music still playing, eventually saying tentatively, “I — I have, um, something for you.”
“Oh?” Ignis says. “Do you want me to hold out my hands?”
One side of Ignis’s lips rises in a playful but kind smirk--kind, always so kind-- and Noct grabs one of his hands from under in an attempt to stop himself from kissing it off his face.
“Yeah,” he says hoarsely. “Keep your eyes closed.”
Noctis fumbles noisily with his coat pockets, made difficult with how he only has a single hand to fumble with, the other busy kneading nervous circles into Ignis’s palm with a thumb. Finally, he finds what he’s looking for. He places it on Ignis’s open hand. “You, um, you can open your eyes now.”
“Oh, Noct,” Ignis says breathlessly.
“Before you say anything,” Noctis starts in a rush, tripping over his words, “Let me say a few things first.”
“look. i know i gave you that rose lalonde t shirt back in middle school and you still wear it sometimes even though you kin terezi more nowadays.”
ignis blushes and splutters out excuses.
noct cuts in “--AND i know you prefer the kung fu panda trilogy over the shrek trilogy, but you marathon shrek with me at least once a month because you love me or whatever.”
ignis, the most wonderful, loveliest man noct’s ever met, just shrugs it all aside. “the soundtrack to the shrek movies is better, and the writers are more clever, so its really not that much of a sacrifice, dear.”
noctis lets go of one his hands to scrub through his hair. “ugh! just! open the god damn tiny velvet box! we both already know whats inside!”
Ignis’ hand flew to his mouth. “Noct…” He was helpless to the way his throat constricted, the way his eyes watered.
He cupped Noct’s face and laughed, once he started, he couldn’t stop. “I’ve been planning for so long, yet you beat me to the punch.”
One of his hands covered Noct’s grip around the box, the other, led Noctis into a gentle kiss.
Their foreheads pressed together lightly, and they grinned as they felt this moment for what it was, and what it would mean for their lives still to come. Noctis was warm to the touch, shaking as he gently moved Ignis’s hand away from where it covered the box and fiddling with the tiny latch for a moment before opening it.
“I had to guess at the size,” he confessed. “But I hope you like it.”
A simple, elegant golden band glinted up at Ignis from from where it rested on its black velvet pillow. Breathlessly, Ignis glanced between Noctis’ face and the ring as he lifted it from its box and examined the delicate engraving on the inside. Sparkling up at him, his lovers’ words-
As you wish
For a moment, Ignis forgot how to speak. When he opened his mouth, his words came out as a whisper.
“Majesty,” he gasped, an easy reflex after so long keeping appearances up. “ Noctis .”
An odd feeling bloomed in his chest. Half-panic, maybe, because he didn’t know what he’d done to possibly deserve this supernova kind of love, so painfully unconditional in spite of everything which had once stood between them.
You and I, we’re in this together. Okay.
“I want to spend the rest of my life by your side,” Ignis whispered, almost conspiratorially, like it was an unbelievable secret—though any blind man in Eos would be able to tell from the warmth in his gaze whenever he laid eyes on Noctis.
“Is that a yes?” Noctis asked, peering hopefully up at Ignis, smiling with such affection Ignis felt like he had to blink back tears.
“ Yes, ” Ignis laughed, shakily, and pulled him close, offering his hand and watching as Noctis slid the ring onto his finger and oh, now he was definitely crying. “ Noct - for you, I think, my answer has always been yes.”
Noctis smiled, then, wide and bright and maybe holding back a few tears of his own, and pressed a gentle kiss to Ignis’ hand. Overwhelmed, Ignis couldn’t help but pull Noctis into a hug, cradling him close against his chest.
“I - ah. I have a secret,” he sniffled, after a while, and rested one hand on Noctis’ shoulder so he could pull out his own ring box, the one he had been trying to conceal.
As Ignis produced the ring box, Noctis started laughing infectiously, causing Ignis to laugh along with him. As Noctis continued to laugh, a tear rolled down his face, and Ignis gently wiped it away.
“Noct…” Ignis says softly, reverently, in love. Noctis smiles, ducking his head bashfully as Ignis grabs his hand, gently sliding his own ring on Noctis’ finger.
The two kiss, holding on to each other as if they’re the most important thing in the world, and to each other, they are. When they pull apart, the rest their foreheads against each other, not wanting to pull away from the embrace.
“Man, we’re not great at this, huh?” Noctis says, eyes still watering.
“Maybe not,” Ignis laughs softly, “but we’re together. That’s all that matters.”
“Yeah,” Noctis agrees. “Ignis… Even through, y’know, everything that happened, I wouldn’t change anything if it meant I got to this part.”
Ignis huffs a short and fond laugh. “Given the chance by the gods, I would die and be reborn again to feel the light of your love once more, my heart.”
“You are such a sap.”
Yes, Ignis thinks through the salt and warmth of their kisses. But only for you, your majesty. My king. My love. Noct.