It happens on Saturday, while the sun is slowly setting and the city is starting to shine, its neon shop signs, its shop windows, its skyscrapers, the horizon thin line colored in pink, a bunch of soft clouds with strong lilac shadows that dress up the sky. There's his whole reign lit up and romantic, like the glare of the moon in a well, just beyond the glass of that window, and Regis can't nothing but stare at the loving gaze his son gives to Prompto on a bench in the royal garden.
He's never seen him that way before. He's completely aware of what's going on and his son’s smile while Prompto shows him some photographs warm up Regis’ heart as nothing has done in a few years. When the kid is around there, Noctis eyes can shine more than the whole Insomnia.
Regis slightly smiles when the prince kisses his best friend ?, boyfriend ?, and he heavily blushes and chuckles, returning back after a few seconds.
They're cute, but. He's thankful that Noctis can be that happy again, but.
“I'm worried” he says, squeezing the bridge of his nose with a hand, while closing his eyes.
Ignis is a few steps behind him. He's been called by the King himself and he's patiently waiting for him to confess his doubts. He's the one perfect contact between Regis and Noctis, the only one that can explain what's in Noctis mind without betraying his trust. Since his son is not that honest with him, Regis can only exploit Ignis as a bridge between him and that hotheaded that's hiding, at least he thinks, how much warm his heart is in the garden.
Ignis is young, but well educated.
“For what, Your Majesty?”
Regis sighs, he looks at his son once again, then just turns toward Ignis.
“Noctis knows he's going to marry Luna Freya. Right?” he stops, then puts a hand on his own mouth, “I mean, do you ever talk about this?”
“We do, Your Majesty.”
“And he is… happy?”
“Noctis is fully aware of his task as a prince and he wants to serve his reign as well as he wants the peace between Lucis and the Empire.”
Ignis: so loyal to his prince and his future king that he has mastered how to tell a lot without saying anything at all. He wouldn't blab Noctis’ secrets under torture neither, much less to his father.
He just nods, then looks down in the garden at his son again. “What does he think about Luna Freya?”
“He's fond on her, Your Majesty.”
Regis slightly smiles once more, but with a sorry face this time.
“I'm afraid somebody will be hurt by this, Ignis. And if it's not Luna or Prompto, it might be Noctis himself. And I don't know if I want to let this happen.”
Ignis just stands, silent, his hands both behind his back. He's clever, Regis knows it, and he knows that he's understood what he's going to say, already.
“Maybe we should…”
“Keep Prompto away from Noctis and wait for the moment he will just run away from Insomnia like a young hurt princess in a fable” Ignis continues, blankly.
Regis closes his eyes, scratching his beard as he nods.
“I’m sincerely sorry, Your Majesty. Forgive me and my ton-”
“No, you’re right, Ignis. That’s why you’re my son advisor, and why I trust you this much. You know, sometimes it’s difficult to reason like a… normal father of a normal kid. Hurting Noctis is definitely what will push him away from me without remedy. I’d like him to be happy, now and forever, as a King, and as a parent.”
“I’m sure he will, Your Majesty. Me, and Gladio, and Prompto, as well as Luna Freya, will take care of Noctis. He’s silent, but really clever. He knows what he needs, and what his reign needs, and he’s ready for that.”
Regis deeply sighs, a little bit relieved. He put a hand on the glass of the windows, fondly turning his gaze at the odd absurd couple in the garden, now voraciously kissing on the bench. He just… stands. That’s… that’s not cute, that’s not two kids shily kissing each other in the sunset light hidden from the rest of the world, hands on the faces and tongue at their places.
That’s… lustful looking for each other’s tonsils.
He looks away, blushing. “Mh, ehm… I-” he stops, pondering his own words. Ignis will understand. He’s young, but he’s not that young. “I- I think we should be sure they… they know. They know their… their… reactions?”
Ignis still stares blankly, and Regis is actually really really really thankful for his poker face. He doesn’t know how to say it, but he thinks his son and his friend?, best friend?, boyfriend?, need some…
“Are you serious?”
It happens on Sunday afternoon, in Noctis bedroom, after a long boring documentary on the mating of the otters that he was watching for a coincidence.
Ignis have knocked at his door with a bag on his shoulder, his face fully serious and his eyes static behind the glasses.
Neither in his worst nightmare, Noctis could have imagined that Ignis had a banana and a package of condoms in that bag.
“Please, tell me it’s a joke. Please, please” he whines, as Ignis unpacks another condom.
“I’m afraid it isn’t.”
Noctis gives him a nervous laughter, his eyes wide open on the banana with the lucid transparent membrane on it. This can't be. Please, Ancestors, no.
“You can’t do this” he says, trying to stop his voice from shaking. “I’m the Prince, and I’m ordering you to stop.”
“That’s not how it works if the King asks me to do it.”
Noctis gasps, grabbing Ignis wrist as he tries to just hand him the new condom.
“Are you serious?!” he screams again, his face totally red.
Ignis just sighs, rolling his eyes at the ceiling. “You should be thankful to me” he says, while Noctis jumps out from the bed and pulls his hair. He does the same with vegetables, but Ignis wouldn't have expected that even condoms had that effect on him. Maybe, he can start to blackmail him with condoms in order to make him eat his carrots.
“Why the hell should I?!”
“Because your father wanted me to tell him if you’re still a virgin, and I didn’t.”
Noctis grits his teeth, blushing even heavily. “Oh my, what the hell is going on with you guys?”
“Even if it’s evident.”
“Are you - just stop!”
“It’s just a condom. Since your father doesn’t want you to be unprepared when you and your ‘best friend’ as he calls Prompto, will have sex, it’s important that you know how does it work.”
“I don’t think so.”
“What the hell, it’s just - just like a glove!”
“So, are you wearing it on your hand?”
“No! You’re... you’re having fun, aren’t you?”
Ignis smiles, as Noctis closes his eyes and lays against the wall, exhausted. The tv’s still on, and now there’s a documentary about wild lions. Noctis slaps his own face as the lioness crouches on the ground in order to let the lion go ahead with her.
“If you collaborate, you have my word that Gladio won’t know a thing about this.”
“Were you going to tell to Gladio? Do you tell him everything about me?”
“Not everything. Just the fun things.”
Noctis sighs, sitting again on the bed, but at a considerable distance from Ignis and his things . He tries to hand him a condom again, but Noctis rises a hand, stopping him, and staring at the floor says “I’ve already seen you do it, can we skip this?”
“Are you sure? You have to press out the air from the tip of it before putting it on, or it will make an air bubble, and check if it fits proper-”
“Stop. I know, okay? Go on.”
“Okay then.” Ignis removes the condom from the banana and “remember to not make a mess when you remove it” he says in the meanwhile, and Noctis grunts, scratching his left cheek, begging him, this time, to be less specific and more didascalic, like a stupid school book. Ignis ignores him, wraps up the condom in a tissue and puts it back in the bag, just to pull out from it a pink long and thin bottle.
“Lube is important for anal intercourse.”
Noctis squeaks, squinting his eyes, but his embarrassment is nothing compared to the total shame he feels when his advisor pulls out from his bag a thing that’s like a hot water bottle, but with a thin plastic tube and a beak at the end.
“Intimate hygiene of the rectum is important as well.”
Ancestors, please , no.
It happens on Tuesday night dinner. Noctis waits for Gladio to exit from the lunchroom, luckily called from the Commander of the Crownsguard with perfect timing, to ask for his father attention with a noisy ring of the fork on the plate.
“I am” he says, chewing his beef, the carrots and the broccoli placed aside, untouched.
Regis stops with the glass halfway to his lips, staring at him, confused. “What?”
Noctis blushes a bit. There’s a whole table dividing them, and still he fears that’s not enough. Funny, because for almost his entire childhood he has thought it was even too much.
Regis gulps, placing the glass back on the table without having drunk. He drums his finger on the tablecloth, nodding, then he says “thank you for telling me. I appreciate it.”
“You could have asked me” answers his son, quick, his eyes on the basket of the bread. “But you never do.”
Regis sighs. “These are… private things.”
“Yep. Otherwise, it’s not like you’re my father. You could ask Ignis, though.”
“I thought you wouldn’t have talked about it with me.”
“Because you never talk with me about anything. Neither - neither you feelings for Luna, or Prompto. You haven’t told me that you two were… that close.”
“So you asked Ignis?”
“I saw it.” Regis shakes his head, then looks him in the eyes. “I have seen my son happy, and for a while I haven’t asked myself why because I was already aware of all that mattered: my son was happy.”
They both stares in the silence. Noctis leaves his fork in the plate, blankly, and Regis gets a sip of red wine looking at his city beyond the windows, a shiny mirror of vivid and romantic lights. Though, Insomnia looks so sad to him, so… lonely.
He's almost done here. He wishes his son didn't hate him this much.
“Believe it or not, Noctis, that’s all I want. Sometimes I think that you’re happy as long as I stay out of your life, that’s why… that’s why I talk to Ignis. I want to be sure you’re doing well, without being your annoying bad father. I’m already the annoying bad king, here.”
“You’re not.” Noctis follows his gaze, stroking the horizon line with his eyes. He's so young and Insomnia is beautiful to him. They're different, but they love their reign the same, and they love each other as well. “Neither a bad father, neither a bad king” he continues with a soft tone, like he's trying to apologize. Hotheaded, just like his mother.
Regis smiles, heart-warmed. “Thank you for telling me. I appreciate it.”
Noctis slightly imitates him, taking the fork again and playing with the carrots. Regis clears his throat, embarrassed.
“So, if there’s something you want to talk about… sex...”
Noctis squeaks. “Enough.”
It happens on a Sunday, again, but of the next spring. Noctis and Prompto finally make love, not pretending they’re ready just because Ignis have shown them a couple of documentaries. They do it because they actually are ready. And it’s outstanding. Goofy, a little bit a mess as all the “first-times”, but totally outstanding.
King Regis, of course, asks Ignis, and he doesn't tell a word about it. It's even funnier when he directly asks his son during dinner and he just stops his question before it becomes gross. They will never talk about it, but it's okay, since Noctis looks even happier.
His sexual education accelerated course has gone well, thinks Ignis. Even brilliantly, since he's a virgin in the first place.