Prompto Argentum is not thrilled about his History of Lucis class. I mean, cool, we all got to do pre-reqs, they’re a necessary evil, but who really needs to learn about the kajillion dead kings and where they are buried? Not I, he thinks.
So, he walks into the lecture hall, makes a bee-line for the back row—score, one seat left!—and plops his notebook on the table, unopened, not intent on writing anything. He fiddles with his new pen case out of sheer boredom, waiting for this astralsforsaken-eight-am-three-credit class to start.
Then—it happens. The door opens, heads are turning, people are straightening up. Man, this class sure is packed for an eight am lecture…Surely, only a professor’s arrival warrants such a response, so Prompto turns too, expecting some old fogey, or maybe a stuck-up woman with an axe to grind, but then he sees him walk in, and it takes a full five seconds him to realize his mouth is hanging open, pen clattering on the ground.
His professor isn’t archaic or a prude—unless this is some sort of joke, and if it is, it’s a cruel one—no, he’s a perfectly poised, carved-by-the-hands-of-the-Draconian-himself man, with dusty windswept hair, and eyes as green as emeralds, barely hidden behind glasses that he adjusts while clearing his throat. Good gods, even his slacks and button-down shirt hug his toned, long body in all the right places—not that he needs any extra help with a physique like that, although judging by the goo-goo eyes Prompto’s classmates are throwing at the man, it’s appreciated.
The room is silent, and it has been ever since he walked through those doors. He breaks it at last, opening his mouth to say: “Good morning class. My name is Ignis Scientia, and I will be your instructor this term.” Prompto swallows hard—what accent is that? Whatever it is, it’s sexy as hell—suddenly the teacher’s eyes meet his—shit! “Shall we begin?”
Prompto ducks his head to pick his jaw and pen up off the floor. A murmur of appreciation ripples through the room as others open their notebooks. For some reason, as Prompto nestles back in his plastic chair, he thinks he’s going to like his History of Lucis class way more than he first thought.
I actually wrote this as a mini scene in a Twitter thread...and then was bullied* into making it an actual fic.
*bullied = enthusiastically encouraged
Prompto stares at the steadily blinking cursor, tapping a matching rhythm on the desk with one finger as he hunches over his laptop, feet pulled up to his chest.
It’s 10:15 on a Thursday night, and he’s spent the better part of the day procrastinating on his assignment for his History of Lucis class: choose one of the Lucian kings and describe how their reign impacted Lucis for better or for worse. It has to be at least five pages (double spaced, with a minimum of three credible sources), and so far Prompto has—he counts—three and a half sentences.
Considering he is averaging about ten words per hour, he is going to be up all night trying to submit it by the eight am deadline. If he’s being honest, it probably would be a lot easier to write his paper if he wasn’t so distracted during class, but he can’t be the only one staring at Mr. Scientia’s ass when they should be taking notes.
I mean, really, what does he expect when he wears fitted pants like that? The professor’s first clue should be that the entire front row consists of only female students.
Prompto spends about five more minutes trying to think of a way to say I know this because the king’s son told me so and turn it into a legit-looking citation before he groans, kicks his feet up on the desk, and stares up at the ceiling as if looking for a solution to his current problem. It isn’t long after when he hears keys jingling in the lock, and he glances over to find his best friend and roommate strolling through the door, dressed in dark jeans and a black t-shirt with the Insomnia University crest in golden overlay over the chest.
The Prince of Lucis grins, recognizing Prompto’s miserable expression from years of exposure to it. “Paper writing?” he asks. Prompto exaggerates his second groan, throwing his hands over his face.
“Can’t you just use your royal powers for good and tell my instructor to give me an A?” Prompto wonders. He’s half-joking, half-serious. Okay, more like forty percent joking, sixty percent serious.
“No can do, remember? I’m just a ‘normal’ student while I’m here. Dad’s orders.”
“Can you call your dad and ask him to tell my instructor to give me an A?” he amends the request, causing Noctis to snort as he wanders over to peer down at Prompto’s miserable excuse for an opening paragraph.
“Dad said not to call unless it was an emergency—but, he’s going to love it when I tell him you wrote your paper on him though.” Noctis grins when Prompto slumps forward, mashing his face against the keyboard so that a series of letters and symbols fill up empty space in the word document.
“Wrote implies that I actually did.” Noctis pats Prompto on the head, snickering.
“Well, since you’ve already thrown in the towel, how about you go out with me instead?”
Prompto sits up, glaring at Noctis accusingly. “The last time we ‘went out’ I had a hangover for two days and vomited into my shoes.” The prince doesn’t bother denying it, lips twitching up at the edges.
“Come on, the Alphas are having a party tonight, and—”
“No—” Prompto protests, slapping his hands over both ears to emphasize his refusal.
“—Gladio invited us,” Noctis finishes even as Prompto continues shaking his head.
“No, no, no! I have to finish this paper!” The blond points one finger at his friend as if to keep him at bay, but Noctis shimmies over to Prompto’s side of the room and pulls open the blond’s dresser drawer, tossing a pair of pants and a shirt at him. Prompto catches them instinctively, then sighs when Noctis places his hands on his hips, expectant.
“Come on, I can’t go without my wingman. We’ll stay for an hour or two and you can finish your paper when we get back.” It’s a bold-faced lie, and Prompto knows it from past experiences at the frat house, and yet…maybe a little break is just what he needs to get the creative juices flowing. Besides, anything to distract him from the image of Ignis Scientia’s perfectly shaped ass in a pair of pinstripe slacks is welcome at this point.
When Prompto’s shoulders sag, Noctis knows he’s won. The prince grins as Prompto makes a show of getting up and pulling the skinny jeans on over his boxers, jumping in place to get them on the rest of the way. He then pulls on the white cotton tee with a faded logo on the front that says Wiz’s Chocobo Post, his favorite shirt that he’s had since middle school that he just can’t bring himself to throw away.
Noctis holds out one more article of clothing that he has procured from the closet—his leather behemoth jacket, which Prompto eyes with a frown. “You’re not going to wear it?” he wonders. It’s the prince’s favorite. Noctis shrugs.
“Consider it a thank you for abandoning your homework,” he says, and Prompto nods while stooping to grab for the pair of boots he had discarded beneath his desk. “And maybe a sorry in advance.”
Fair enough, Prompto thinks.
They head out of their dorm room after flicking off the lights, the door locking with a click behind them, and Prompto’s still open laptop fills the room with a blue-white glow.
Alpha Beta Omega Fraternity House is situated on the corner of Insomnia University’s campus, straddling the line between the institution’s grounds and the street that leads to downtown Insomnia. It’s older in style—three stories tall, still with its natural brick walls and wooden wrap-around porch, and rumor has it that it used to be the residence of the first university president, some one-hundred odd years ago.
They can hear the rattling of the bass when they’re two blocks away, and if the music wasn’t enough of an indication that it was the party house, the garish flashing lights strewn all the way around the porch railing like a winter-solstice display certainly was. As Prompto and Noctis saunter up the walkway towards the sturdy oak door with its lion-head knockers, Prompto wonders what the original owner would think of their once prestigious abode being used as a den-of-sin for a bunch of sweaty, hormone-infused college boys.
Good thing they’re already dead and gone, Prompto decides.
They’re greeted by a group of guys who are sitting in various chairs strewn across the porch, beers in hand, some with cigarettes in their mouths, others with girls in their laps. It’s dark enough that Prompto doesn’t notice anyone that he recognizes (not that he looks all that hard). The blond takes his cue from Noctis and offers a wave and a smile, but they continue past the welcoming committee without stopping to chat and proceed through the door, which is unlocked.
The combined scent of bittersweet smoke, pizza, and sweat hit Prompto’s nostrils like a punch to the face, and he squints a little as his eyes water, hiding a gag as a cough while bringing a hand up to cover his mouth. Heads peek over the back of leather coaches, craning to see who has just arrived. Noctis doesn’t seem fazed, eyes sweeping the room with intent, and he barely pauses before veering to the right, past the living room and into a dimly lit kitchen.
Prompto hears Gladio before they see him—his booming laugh echoes, cutting through the music and providing a trail for them to follow. When they finally find the guy, he moves away from the girl who has him pressed against the counter to grin at Noctis and Prompto in greeting.
Prompto used to have a crush on Gladio once. He’s the kind of guy everyone has a crush on—tall and muscular, with dark hair and dark eyes, a sick back tattoo, and a smile that melts your insides. Throw in the fact that he’s from a well-off family, athletically gifted, and a smooth talker and it’s easy to see why he’s someone everyone gravitates towards. Gladio’s only downfall, Prompto thinks, is that he is very, very straight. That, and he’s a part of this gods-awful fraternity.
“Hey Gladio,” Noctis says, stepping forward to offer a hand. Gladio slides his palm against Noctis’s, curls his fingers, and pulls the prince in for the standard bro-hug—two claps on the back, and a brief chest bump, nothing more. No homo, dude. Prompto almost rolls his eyes. “Prompto,” Gladio adds as an afterthought, raising the glass that’s in his hand in salute.
“Gladio, nice to see ya big guy,” Prompto replies. It’s not really a lie. Gladio is easy on the eyes, and a more acceptable target for his unrequited sexual fantasies than his history professor. When Gladio smirks it’s almost predatory, making a surprising heat stir in the blond’s gut. Prompto begins to rethink his decision to tag along.
“Guys, this is Erica. Erica—Noctis and Prompto, they’re friends of mine.” Noctis politely extends his hand for her to shake and the thin, model-esque young woman with long dark hair and too much make up immediately beams, squeezing Noctis’s hand in both of hers. Prompto has the fleeting thought that she’s so small, Gladio could squeeze her in half with his thighs.
“Oh em gee—Noctis? As in Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum? I didn’t believe Gladio at first when he said you were coming,” she squeals. Prompto winces, but tries not to show it, forcing a smile. So much for keeping a low profile. Luckily for Noctis, he’s been dealing with reactions like this his entire life and doesn’t so much as bat an eye.
“Yep, that’s me. And this is Prompto,” he gestures to Prompto pointedly, who really wishes he wouldn’t. The blond waves at Gladio’s flavor-of-the-week with half-baked enthusiasm. Erica nods absently, but doesn’t so much as glance in Prompto’s direction, clearly more intrigued by the fact that she is in the presence of actual royalty. Prompto can’t really blame her, but he does anyway.
“Beer, Prompto?” Gladio offers, already heading for the fridge.
“Please.” Did that sound desperate? He doesn’t really care—he’s past the point of caring—but if he does sound pathetic, Gladio doesn’t show any signs of noticing.
“Come on, all the guys are out in the living room,” Gladio says, and he ushers the four of them out of the kitchen, Erica sticking to Noctis’s side like glue. Prompto takes a large swallow of his beer and sighs, anticipating that it’s going to be a long night.
Prompto feels like he’s floating, but in reality, he is half sunken in one of the faded, stain-riddled couches in the living room, head on Noctis’s thigh and legs dangling over the armrest. When he turns to look at whoever happens to be talking, the room keeps going, even when his body comes to a stop.
Someone finally turned the music down, which helps with the headache that is throbbing between Prompto’s temples, but judging by the glass city of bottles that has artfully occupied every inch of the coffee table, he’s going to be feeling it in the morning.
“…so anyway, I think I’ll pass, even though I slept through the midterm,” Gladio is saying from the other side of the couch. Erica is sprawled in his lap, her head resting on one of Gladio’s muscled shoulders, fast asleep, and Noctis keeps moving her arm that repeatedly flops against his leg uninvited. “How about you guys?” Gladio asks. Prompto shifts, and his hand, which had dipped underneath a cushion, emerges with a damp Cheeto in hand. He flicks it away in disgusted alarm as Noctis answers.
“My schedule is pretty easy this semester—I have Health and Nutrition on Monday and Wednesdays, Bio on Tuesday and Thursdays, a lab on Friday, and two activity classes.”
“He has to boost his GPA or His Majesty is gonna make his ass come home,” Prompto chuckles. He feels Noctis’s hand swat at the top of his head, softened by the alcohol buzzing in his body.
“Well, if you need a tutor, I know a hot one,” Gladio jokes. As if on cue, there is a chorus of laughter from a group of guys opposite them, currently lost in their own conversation. Somehow, Prompto can sense Noctis grinning, and he blinks up through his drunken haze to find the prince looking down at him suggestively.
“Huh?” Did I miss something?
“Prompto, you wanna tell Gladio about your classes?” Even tipsy, Prompto knows that look. He tries to shake his head, but a bout of nausea makes him stop.
“What?” Gladio urges, intrigued. Noctis takes it upon himself to answer for his incapacitated best friend.
“He’s in History of Lucis 101,” he announces, and Prompto is surprised to hear the room quiet. When he manages to lift his head, he finds that everyone in immediate view is staring at him, all wearing the same hungry expression.
“Oooh,” Gladio laughs. “So, you got Sexy Specs as your professor, huh?” Gladio makes the effort to lean across Noctis to make eye contact with and leer at Prompto, nearly displacing Erica in the process, and the blond resists the urge to cover his face with both hands. He hopes he can play off his flush as just him being a lightweight and not horribly embarrassed.
“Yep.” Noctis sounds pleased, as if he just dropped a tasty bit of gossip, but Prompto isn’t about to let him blab about his ridiculous crush to Gladio in front of a bunch of hyper-hetero jocks and their girlfriends, so he forces himself upright—woo, hell-o headrush—and puts his hand up in a stop right there gesture.
“Dude, don’t be ridiculous, all right? Sure, he’s good looking, but the class sucks. And I still have a paper to write—remember?” Noctis sips his beer innocently even though he is anything but innocent in this situation.
“Bro, I’d let that man bend me over his desk—for sure.” Gladio says it so casually that Prompto thinks he must have heard him wrong. I mean, this is Gladio we’re talking about, Mr. I’ll steal your girl and you’ll thank me for it Amicitia, and there’s definitely no way he’d—
“A blow job is a blow job,” another guy quips, raising his drink in solidarity. Prompto gapes, thankful he’s too drunk to react properly.
“Exactly,” Gladio chuckles, and he finally allows Erica to slide to the floor at their feet before placing a pillow under her head. What a gentleman. “You hot for teacher, Prom?” the question sounds sympathetic, but there’s no way Prompto is falling into that trap.
“That’s totally inappropriate!” he whines.
Noctis elbows his friend, insistent. “Dude, just the other day you were talking about how you’d wish he’d suck your—”
“Noct!” Prompto kicks the prince in the shin as their present company hoots and howls.
“That ass,” another man whistles. Heads bob, commiserating, and Prompto wonders how he ended up in gay hell, surrounded by frat boys eager to discuss all his wildest fantasies without any hope for escape—oh yeah, Noctis Lucis Caelum.
“And on that note, I probably need to be getting back.” Prompto stands a little too quickly and veers sideways. When he overcorrects, he stumbles, tripping over the tangle that is Erica’s legs. Luckily, Gladio is there to catch him. One strong arm cradles Prompto effortlessly, and Prompto notes how Gladio is almost as tall as him sitting down. Gladio smiles that melted-butter smile, and Prompto feels his heart jump in his chest.
“Be careful going home, blondie.”
Damn, I need to get laid, Prompto thinks. He hopes he won’t remember any of this in the morning. Clearing his throat, Prompto steps away, more careful this time, and looks to Noctis expectantly. The prince sighs, stretching arms overhead with a yawn.
“Yeah, all right, let’s go. Thanks, Gladio.”
“No problem, princess,” Gladio says with a wave. There is a chorus of goodbyes as the two make way for the door, and although he’s desperate to know just how deep he’s dug himself into a hole, Prompto refuses to look at his phone to check the time.
Noctis slides one arm supportively around Prompto’s back to steady him as they step out into the open air, stars twinkling optimistically overhead. The horizon is beginning to lighten, and Prompto tries not to think of just how fucked he is.
You ever think you’re not that drunk and then gravity proves you wrong? Repeatedly?
Prompto is giggling uncontrollably by the time they make it through the door, having already fallen a handful of times on the long trek back to the dorm. Noctis tries to shush him, but it ends up being louder than the blond’s cackles, and they both end up laughing and tripping over one another as they squeeze into their room.
“Whew, we made it!” Prompto exhales before flopping onto his bed. The room is doing that spinning thing again, except this time when he closes his eyes, it doesn’t stop. He feels the mattress dip next to him, and suddenly a warm body is sidling up against his. “You got your own bed,” he mutters, now giggling for no reason at all.
“Yeah, but it’s up there,” Noctis groans. At this point, trying to climb up into the second bunk would probably spell disaster for both of them, so Prompto lets Noctis squeeze onto the twin, inhaling the familiar scent of his aftershave—citrus and birchwood.
“Six, I’m horny,” Noctis says apropos of nothing, and Prompto’s eyes shoot open in the dark.
Horny somehow equates to his history class—shocker—and it’s like sticking his finger in an electrical socket.
“Fuck, my paper!” Prompto sits up quickly, smacks his head on the bunk overhead, and yelps like a puppy that just got kicked. OW!
“Dude—you good?” Noctis snorts, nuzzling into the pillow closest to him.
“Yeah.” The blond runs a hand carefully over the bump he can already feel forming on the back of his skull and sighs. “I gotta try and write something.” When he moves to slide off the bed, fingers snake into his beltloops, anchoring him. “Nooooct,” Prompto moans.
“Cuddle instead,” the prince pleads. Prompto knows he only gets like this when he’s drunk, and suddenly he’s sixteen again, locked in a closet at a high school party playing Seven Minutes of Heaven with a group of girls giggling outside the door, him and Noctis in the dark.
Wanna blow me? the prince had joked.
Dude, you’re wasted, Prompto had laughed awkwardly. And your dad would kill me. But that’s when he knew—irrevocably, undeniably—that he was gay as fuck.
A heat pools in Prompto’s abdomen, and he glances from where Noctis is half curled on the bed to where his laptop is patiently waiting on his desk. It would be so easy for them both to blame it on the alcohol and pretend like nothing had happened in the morning... Shaking his head, Prompto clears his brain of the scandalous thought before gently uncurling and pulling Noctis’s fingers away.
“Go to sleep, Noct,” Prompto says gently. Judging by the lack of response, he’s already well on his way to doing just that. Shrugging out of the behemoth jacket Noctis loaned him, he drapes it over his friend’s shoulders before shuffling over to his desk and taking a seat.
Surprisingly, writing while intoxicated is much easier than Prompto expects, and he has nearly a page of what he hopes is intelligible sentences before he feels his head starting to nod. Light is peeking in from behind the blinds, and the small clock in the corner of his screen says it’s nearing six in the morning, but Prompto powers through, waxing poetic about how King Regis is the hero Lucis needs—a modern hero in modern times, or something like that.
Prompto’s head feels like someone is taking a jackhammer to it when he finally opens a browser and pulls up his email, dragging the mostly finished essay into the attachments section.
Just a little more and maybe he’ll take pity on me and give me a passing grade.
This gets Prompto thinking of what it would like to go visit Mr. Scientia during his office hours, begging for an extension…
“Excuse me, Mr. Scientia sir? I’m sorry to bother you, but could I maybe get one extra day to finish this paper? You see, my roommate—you know—the Prince of Lucis? Well, he had somewhere to be and he requested my presence, and I couldn’t exactly say no—”
Ignis would interrupt with him with a look, like a scythe cutting through grain, and a single bead of sweat would trickle down Prompto’s brow. Setting the stack of papers on his desk aside, he’d fold his hands in front of him and smile pleasantly, those green eyes like endless pools that Prompto wanted to drown himself in.
“Why don’t you come in so we can discuss this in private?” he would ask, accented words sending a shiver down Prompto’s spine.
Prompto would nod, returning the smile shyly before obeying, now looking at the office with interest as he came to sit in front of Mr. Scientia’s desk. It would be packed wall-to-wall with bookshelves, filled with texts on every subject you could think of, but mostly on Lucian history, of course. Everything would be catalogued and in order, as clean and neat as the professor himself, and Mr. Scientia would allow Prompto to take everything in before clearing his throat to say—
“Now, why don’t you explain to me just how badly you need this extension, and to what lengths you are willing to go for it—in detail.”
Prompto’s jaw would drop open as Ignis stood, loosening his tie. His mouth would go dry at the sight of him unbuttoning his shirt to reveal a perfectly smooth and toned chest and abdomen beneath. The final straw, however, would be when Ignis unbuckled his belt, removing it with a hiss as it slipped free. He’d snap the leather tightly between his hands, head cocking to the side with a little smirk.
“Well, Mr. Argentum? I’m waiting.”
BEEP—BEEP—BEEP—an alarm was screeching in Prompto’s mind, insisting that he was about to cross the point of no return, but Mr. Scientia had already planted his hands firmly on his desk, tilting his torso forward so that it drew Prompto’s eyes down to the line of sandy brown hair below the professor’s bellybutton.
He swallows hard, knowing what is about to happen, but the warning bells in his brain don’t stop, even when Mr. Scientia crawls across the space between them on hands and knees, mouth inching towards where Prompto is frozen in space to allow their lips to brush, the smallest whimper escaping—
BEEP—! BEEP—! BEEP—!
“Prompto,” someone moans, but not in the way Prompto is expecting. This moan is irritated, and definitely not aroused.
“Huh?” the blond twitches, eyelids fluttering open to see his room tilted on its side. Eyebrows furrowing in confusion, Prompto lifts his head and the world rights itself once more. He’s still sitting at his desk, but the room is lighter, and there is a muffled, albeit frantic noise coming from somewhere nearby.
Must have fallen asleep, he realizes.
Prompto gets groggily to his feet, wiping a trail of drool from the corner of his mouth as he moves to locate the sound, and he eventually finds its source under a pile of blankets that Noctis kicked onto the floor in the middle of the night. Shutting off the phone alarm, he runs a hand through his hair with a sigh. It floofs on one side, and he can only imagine the extent of his bedhead.
With his entire body reminding him of his poor life choices from the night before, Prompto grabs his phone and a change of clothes before waddling into the bathroom, hoping that a shower will restore some semblance of his humanity. Unfortunately, he still feels like a zombie by the time he washes off the three layers of dirt, grime, and who-knows-what that he acquired at the frat house, and he lathers his deodorant on thicker than usual, hoping to mask the lingering scent of booze.
It’s about time for Prompto to head to class (if he doesn’t want to be late), and he’s just tightening his belt when his phone buzzes. He glances down at the screen as he procures it from his pocket. Typically, he would ignore email notifications, but the address catches his eye: firstname.lastname@example.org. There’s no subject in the header, and Prompto’s heart begins to race unexplainably.
With Noctis snoring loudly, Prompto figures it is safe to check it before heading out, so he sits in his desk chair and taps on his email icon, skimming the message.
Please refer to our syllabus for proper assignment formatting. This pertains to all aspects of file submission, including appropriate document title.
If you resubmit by noon, you will receive full credit.
Prompto reads the email once, then twice, and then again, just for good measure, frown deepening each time.
“What the hell is he…?” Prompto scrolls up to his attachment, and he gasps in mortified horror.
Prompto’s scream escapes his throat and he is powerless to stop it, and when he jumps up in panic, his chair tips over with the motion, smacking the floor with a loud clatter. Noctis grunts and rolls onto his back, cursing in protest of all the commotion.
“Dude, what the hell?” Noctis demands. “What’s your problem?”
“Noct.” Prompto’s voice is still an octave higher than his usual range, and this captures the sleepy prince’s full attention as he struggles to sit up. “You have to kill me now.” Prompto lets out a low whine, and it’s the equivalent of an animal in the throes of death. The blond lets himself sink to the floor, where he buries his head in-between his knees and screams again.
Noctis, intrigued and alarmed, slides off the bed and pads over, nudging Prompto. “What happened?” he wonders, the last traces of drowsiness now vanishing from his voice. Wordlessly, Prompto holds up his phone, handing it over.
The prince shrugs. “So? Resubmit it. He said he’ll give you full credit.” Prompto shakes his head and gestures weakly to imply that Noctis should scroll up, and he does so, the prince’s eyes going wide when he finds the source of Prompto’s agony.
One file attached: I wish my HST prof would succ my cock.docx
Why yes, I did name Gladio's fraternity Alpha Beta Omega for shits and giggles. But if you say 'no homo,' it's not gay, riiiiight?
Chapter 3: Read Between the Lines
Prompto has to figure out how to recover from his disastrous email submission while struggling to deal with his feelings for his professor.
I told myself I should be working on other, more important writing projects instead of this fic, but if you know me, once an idea gets stuck in my head I just have to run with it.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“What do you mean it’s too late to drop the class?” Prompto demands. His voice reaches the rafters of the student services building, and eyes glance up at him from behind computer screens, judgement reflected in them. The middle-aged woman he is speaking to at the front desk gives him a tight smile as the others behind her continue their work.
“It’s past the drop-add period. If you withdraw now, you will fail the class and will lose your full-time status, forfeiting your financial aid.” She sounds a little too pleased to be telling Prompto this, and he is about to say so when he thinks better of it. Biting his lip, he decides to adjust his angle.
Time to grovel.
“Please, I really, really, really need to drop my history class. There’s nothing you can do?” The blond even lowers his voice and does his best to look harmless, spreading his hands helplessly in front of him. Ms. Karen—of course it’s Karen—Buchanan (according to the name tag pinned to her pastel-colored blouse), shows her teeth, but not in a friendly way.
“I’m afraid not, dear. If you’re in need of a private tutor, you can try the counseling office upstairs.” Seeing that she’s not about to budge, and not wanting to create more trouble for himself, Prompto just nods, turns on his heel, and walks out.
“You can’t just not go to class,” Noctis says. He dips a fry into his chocolate milkshake before popping it into his mouth, both elbows placed on the diner counter. The prince had suggested comfort food to make his friend feel better, but Prompto now finds himself staring down at an uneaten burger, unable to convince himself to eat it no matter how hard he tries. Meanwhile, Noctis has been ravenous, devouring everything in sight. “You gonna eat that?” he wonders, pointing to Prompto’s plate. The blond slides it over to him without complaining.
“So, what should I do then? Go to class and pretend like it didn’t happen?” Prompto digs his fingers into his hair and pulls like he wants to tear out all the strands from his scalp, groaning in frustration.
“Maybe you should just talk to him. Explain you were drunk.” Noctis chomps into the burger, and a trickle of juice runs down his chin. The prince wipes at it with the back of his hand.
The Prince of Lucis, ladies and gentlemen—what a charmer.
“Yeah, right. Excuse me, Mr. Scientia, can we please just overlook what I wrote while I had no filter to stop me from daydreaming about you? Please and thank you? I don’t think that will go over well.” Prompto sinks down in the booth with a pout, kicking his feet up to rest on the bench next to Noctis. The prince smirks.
“Who knows? Maybe he’ll think it’s cute and take you on a date.” Prompto flails at that, nearly falling out of his seat at the exact moment their waitress walks over.
Real smooth, Prompto.
“Can I get you anything else?” she asks sweetly. She turns from one boy to the other, pen and paper in hand.
“Nope, we’re good here!” Prompto squeaks, boots smacking on the tile as he hurries to become vertical. He waits until their server is safely around the corner to thrust an unused butter knife in Noctis’s face. “This isn’t funny, and it’s all your fault!” he hisses.
“My fault?” Noctis scoffs before pushing the knife away. He takes another bite of food, unfazed. “Don’t blame your boner on me. I’m only trying to help.” Prompto hisses again, throwing his hands up in dismay. Does he have to be so loud about this? Noctis finishes off the burger in a couple more chews, swallows, and looks Prompto dead in the eyes, wielding his fork like a sword in Prompto’s direction. “Listen Prom. Ball up, go to class, and finish out the semester. How much worse could it get?”
Prompto almost retorts with, do you know who I am, but Noctis is the Prince of Lucis, and he probably would only find it amusing. Besides, Prompto is getting very tired of discussing the living nightmare that is his life, so he shuts his mouth with a click and waits for Noctis to be finish his meal, anxiety gnawing a hole in his gut as he waits.
By the time Monday rolls around, the initial shame of Prompto’s blunder begins to fade and he starts to think Noctis might actually be right. So long as he keeps his head down and does what he’s told, there’s no reason for Mr. Scientia to hold the incident against him—or so he hopes. There are a couple weeks left until finals, so when his alarm goes off at 7:15, Prompto slides out of bed and gets ready for the day, determined to start over fresh.
It’s another email that causes him to pause when he’s halfway out the door, a push notification from their class’s online server.
HST 101-1: Essay grades posted
Letting the door swing gently shut as he moves into the hallway, Prompto logs in and tabs over to the gradebook, searching for his student ID number. He resubmitted his paper like Professor Scientia instructed (with a proper title this time), and is banking on a C at best, so when he sees the actual grade he blinks rapidly, stunned.
“That can’t be mine.” Prompto scrolls up and down in disbelief, trying to see if maybe he skipped a line on accident, but nope, it’s his all right—a solid B+.
By the time Prompto walks out of the dorm and begins his journey across campus, the shock has worn off and he finds that he is smiling to himself, more pep in his step than he has had all weekend.
I can do this, he thinks. Maybe it won’t be so bad after all—but in that moment he recalls Noctis’s teasing words; maybe he’ll think it’s cute and take you on a date, and suddenly he is a blushing, freckled mess again. He keeps his eyes trained safely on the ground in front of him and his head out of the clouds until he reaches his destination, a sense of dread lurching in his empty stomach when he finally takes his seat at the back of the lecture hall.
It’s eight o’ clock on the dot when the side door leading to the front of the room swings open, and Prompto very intently looks down at his white sheet of paper as if reading a secret message written in invisible ink.
“Good morning, class,” the professor greets in his smooth and tantalizing tone, and Prompto nearly has to pinch himself to keep from visibly trembling. “Your grades have been updated in your online portal. Feel free to contact me directly with any concerns or inquiries…” Prompto dares to lift his chin after Professor Scientia has been talking for a couple of minutes and is relieved to find that his instructor’s emerald eyes are focused on the white board and not on him. Even so, Prompto’s pulse jumps anytime the man so much as turns his head in the blond’s direction, and he buries his nose in his notes more than he ever has in recent memory to avoid accidentally making eye contact.
Prompto nearly makes it through the entire lecture without any mishaps. With his hand cramping from writing so much, he takes a break from notetaking and looks at the slides projected on the wall. Silence lulls as Mr. Scientia waits for pens and pencils too stop scratching furiously, which is when his gaze slides up the rows to land squarely on Prompto.
The blond freezes, and he imagines his eyes are just as wide and fearful as an anak caught in headlights, not daring to breathe. Mr. Scientia holds Prompto captive with his stare, and the seconds seem to stretch out endlessly as neither one of them turns away. Then, the last thing Prompto expects happens—
Mr. Scientia smiles.
It’s quick—fleeting—and as soon as Prompto sees it, the professor turns, hitting a button to progress the slideshow, making him wonder if he imagined it. “Referred to merely as ‘the Rogue,’ not much is known about Crepera Lucis Caelum…” Prompto is left reeling from the exchange, and he remains facing forward, no longer taking notes.
When the bell rings to signal the end of the class, it takes him a little longer than usual to get up and begin to gather his things. Prompto is bent forward, zipping up his backpack, when a shadow falls across him. He turns, first taking in the sight of naga skin loafers and gray slacks—oh shit.
Prompto jerks back, and his head catches the edge of the desk, hitting the same spot that is still tender from his drunken collision with the top bunk in his dorm room. “Fuck—!” The curse slips out before he can stop himself, and he curls into a ball at his professor’s feet on instinct, clutching the back of his skull as someone within ear shot snickers at his pain.
“Are you all right?” A hand, with slender fingers and perfectly manicured fingernails, looms into Prompto’s periphery.
Oh gods—oh gods—oh gods—
“Y-yeah, fine,” Prompto gasps, shying away from the hand that is held out to him. Gritting his teeth, Prompto blinks through the tears stinging at the corner of his eyes and gets to his feet, finally acknowledging his professor standing next to him, who is still looking very concerned for his welfare.
Fuck me—wait, not like that. Prompto hopes his instructor can’t read minds.
“My apologies, I didn’t mean to startle you. Mr. Argentum, may I speak to you for a moment?”
Really, that accent is extremely sexy, but in this situation fear overrides Prompto’s lust. He knows all the color has drained out of his face by the way his head spins in response to the question, but with nowhere to run and no plausible excuses coming to mind, he gives a shaky nod of agreement. “Sure.”
Which is how he ends up in Mr. Scientia’s office a few minutes later. His actual office though, which is a lot more boring than the one he imagined. For starters, it’s smaller than he pictured it would be, with fluorescent lighting—no fancy lamps or lavish windows—and one of the bulbs flickers ominously every so often as Prompto looks in, stalling in the doorway. There is a modest wooden desk with two moderately cushioned chairs in front of it, and the only decorations consist of a pair of thin bookshelves that frame the tiny square window behind where Mr. Scientia sits. The books don’t seem to be organized in any particular order or fashion, sticking out at odd angles, some with bookmarks or sticky notes nestled within their pages.
“Please, have a seat,” Mr. Scientia says neutrally. Prompto must overcome the knee-jerk reaction that he’s being tested, but he eventually does as the professor asks, hands grabbing at his knees to keep them from bouncing when he finally sits.
“I noticed you weren’t in class on Friday. Were you ill?” the professor inquires.
He noticed…? Prompto’s eyes dart up to where his instructor is watching him curiously. Mr. Scientia clasps his hands together on top of his desk, and Prompto gets a flash of a half-forgotten, alcohol-induced dream. He rubs his dried lips together nervously, pushing it out of his head for now.
“Yeah, I was sick,” Prompto lies.
Has anyone ever died of embarrassment? he wonders. Because I might be the first.
“Ah, well, I hope you are feeling better.” There is a pause, and Mr. Scientia leans back in his chair, hands disappearing beneath the desk. Prompto breathes a little easier. “In the future, take care to remember that you will need a doctor’s note on an official letterhead in order to count illness as an excused absence.” The reprimand is a gentle one, and Prompto knows he is getting off easy, so he inclines his head in a picture of penitence, already half-rising from his chair to leave.
“Actually, I wanted to ask you about your essay.” The statement is like a gunshot that rips through Prompto’s heart, leaving him breathless.
“Oh?” Prompto barely whispers, sinking back down. This time when Prompto grips his thighs, his knuckles turn white with the strain.
Just get it over with—or better yet, kick me out of your class and put me out of my misery, Prompto thinks, and he braces himself for what he knows is coming.
But Mr. Scientia doesn’t drop him from his section—he doesn’t laugh—and he doesn’t scold him. What he does do, is smile. And this time, Prompto gets a good, full-frontal look at it.
The smile, a gentle upturn of the man’s full lips, is confident and disarming, and it shoots lightning down the blond’s spine, torso straightening as he inhales slow and deep. Prompto didn’t think the professor could get any more attractive, but he’s painfully mistaken.
Oh boy, I’m in danger.
“You cited Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum as one of your sources.” Prompto, using the span of a few heartbeats to process Mr. Scientia’s statement, has to recalibrate, surprised by the unexpected turn in the conversation.
Prompto blinks, choosing his words carefully. “Oh. Yeah, he’s my roommate.” And my best friend, but he doesn’t like to mention that casually, especially to people who might think he’s using it to his advantage. Mr. Scientia’s eyebrows raise in clear surprise, and Prompto tries not to wring his hands anxiously when the professor leans forward, scrutinizing him.
“I see. So you’re the childhood friend of Prince Noctis’s that Gladiolus mentioned.”
Wait—what? Prompto whips around, glaring up into the corners of the room. Where is the hidden camera? This has to be a joke. Ignis chuckles, and the musical quality of the professor’s laugh pulls Prompto’s eyes back to the sharp-dressed man.
“You seem confused,” Mr. Scientia began. That’s putting it very lightly, Prompto thinks wryly, but he’s giving the man his full attention now. “Allow me to enlighten you. Mr. Amicitia’s father is a close family friend of my parents. They work in the Citadel serving His Majesty. If things had been different, I would have been one of Prince Noctis’s retainers, however, I chose to pursue a career in academia, much to their chagrin. I merely wanted to confirm that your source was legitimate and not a thinly-veiled Moogle search.”
It’s a lot of information to handle, but it makes sense. All-in-all, Prompto is just relieved to hear that the impromptu meeting is because of his choice of cited sources and not due to his dumpster fire of a document title.
“Great. Well, glad we could clear that up,” Prompto exclaims, maybe a little too cheerfully. Mr. Scientia rises as Prompto tries to make it look like he’s not running for the door.
“Oh, and Mr. Argentum?”
Prompto looks back, hand resting on the doorknob as his head cocks into a metaphorical question mark.
“I highly recommend reviewing your syllabus and the student ethics handbook for information pertaining to dropping this class after the add-drop date. For instance, three unexcused absences will result in termination from the course.” Mr. Scientia is smiling again, but a chill winds its way down Prompto’s forearms, making him shiver.
“Yes, sir,” he says before he can stop himself. Swallowing hard, Prompto flees Mr. Scientia’s office, staccato footsteps echoing behind him in rhythm with his rapidly beating heart.
Prompto has never been to the Alpha Beta Omega Fraternity House in the light of day, and he nearly walks right past it in his haste to get to the building. It looks—different, to put it nicely. The sun draws attention to its peeling white paint, gray and splotchy in some spots, and the fact that the porch dips on one side, making it appear like the house is leaning to the right. Prompto spies trash and empty bottles littering the area around the entrance as he stomps up the stairs to the front door, the aged hardwood creaking with his aggressive approach.
The door, predictably, is unlocked. As Prompto picks his way through the silent house (now that he is sober and has light to see by) he discovers more dust and grime than he thought was imaginable is in every nook and cranny. Two people are sleeping pressed together on one of the couches in only their underwear, but Prompto doesn’t look too hard at them—he’s here for one reason, and one reason only.
“Gladio?” he calls out cautiously, climbing the first set of stairs he comes to. He hasn’t ever ventured past the first floor, and it takes him a little longer to locate Gladio’s room. Luckily, trial and error leads him to the end of the hall where there is a door that has a pinup poster affixed to it, a short haired blonde woman leaning suggestively over a luxury car in a bikini, a desert landscape in the background.
Prompto knocks once, then lets himself in, letting his eyes adjust to the dark (the blinds pulled shut even though it’s nearly noon). The faded scent of cologne meets Prompto’s nostrils, a welcome change to the musty smell that permeates through the rest of the house. He makes out a silhouette of a man lying on a bed, chest rising and falling beneath the covers that are piled on top of him.
Steeling himself for potential confrontation, Prompto marches over to the bedside, reaching a hand down to shake the person by the shoulder. “Gladio! Hey, wake up!” This now explains why he wasn’t answering any of Prompto’s text messages, but Prompto is too determined to come back later.
It’s now or never.
“Gladio!” Prompto barks louder this time, and he sees the person in the bed jerk awake with a snort.
“It’s Prompto,” he answers impatiently. “I need to talk to you.” The blond walks around to the window, and with two quick movements, thrust aside the curtains and pulls up the blinds, flooding the room with light. There’s a garbled sequence of hissed profanities, and Prompto turns to find Gladio with a hand thrown across his face, tattooed upper half laid bare for the world to see.
It’s a punch in the gut when Gladio glares at Prompto through his fingers, brown eyes almost golden in the sun. When Gladio sits up, the covers slide low on his hips, and Prompto comes to the realization that his friend-of-a-friend isn’t wearing anything beneath those sheets.
“What the hell, Prompto?” When Gladio grumbles, it’s like a bear growling, low and throaty. Prompto swallows, cursing his body for reacting in a way that is not conducive to his intended interrogation.
“You never told me you knew my professor personally,” he accuses. Gladio chortles, flopping back down on the bed, and clasps his hands behind his head as if to say so what? The posture oozes masculine energy, and Prompto feels blood rushing into his cheeks as Gladio’s biceps bulge, making the inked feathers on them ripple.
“What the fuck are you talking about?” Gladio wonders. Now that the sleeping giant is awake, he seems to find enjoyment in the fact that Prompto walked all the way across campus just to yell at him.
“Ignis Scientia—he mentioned that he knew you—and that you told him I’m friends with Noct.” There is a pause before Gladio’s laugh rumbles through the air like thunder, and it succeeds in making Prompto’s skin light on fire.
“Oh, Iggy? Yeah, we used to hang out when we were younger, but he got shipped off to boarding school and then college when we were still in high school, so.” Gladio shrugs, and Prompto attempts to wrap his head around the fact that his professor got a college degree while he was busy crafting paper airplanes out of his math homework and getting drunk off wine coolers at house parties.
“So…he’s the same age as you?” Prompto concludes. It’s a shock to his system when Gladio nods in affirmation. “Huh.” For some reason, he imagined Mr. Scientia as being much older than him, but maturity can do that—or so he’s been told.
Arching an eyebrow, Gladio unceremoniously gets out of bed, and Prompto, being a very mature twenty-year-old, yelps and turns around to avoid looking anywhere he shouldn’t.
“At least warn a guy!” the blond whines.
Gladio ignores the protest, and Prompto listens to the sound of drawers opening and closing as the older boy continues. “Why? You actually looking to go on a date with him? If I had known sooner, I would have put in a good word.” Gladio down to party Amicitia, would put in a good word for him, Prompto Argentum?
What alternate universe am I living in?
“I can’t do that,” Prompto says as Gladio walks back into his view, now wearing sweatpants, but still shirtless—and with a body like that, Prompto can see why.
“Why not?” he asks in challenge. Gladio’s smile, unlike Mr. Scientia’s, is full and dazzling, dripping with honey. It sticks to Prompto, warming him from the inside out.
For some reason, Prompto’s brain chooses that moment to remember the frat boy’s words from that fateful night—I’d let that man bend me over his desk—and he begins to question everything he knows about Gladio.
“Because he’s my teacher,” Prompto huffs. Isn’t this common sense? Apparently not, because Gladio rolls his eyes like Prompto is being an idiot, and he knows that he probably is, but that’s beside the point.
“Only for another five weeks, give or take. And no one has to find out—if you’re subtle about it.” Prompto can’t help but laugh.
“Me? Subtle?” He’s giggling, feeling marginally better when Gladio chuckles along with him. “Thanks, but no thanks, big guy. I’m in enough trouble as it is.” Prompto leaves off what he really wants to say, which is something along the lines of there’s no way in hell a guy like that would be interested in a guy like me.
“Have it your way, blondie,” Gladio agrees. “But if you change your mind, you know where to find me.” The muscled behemoth of a man reaches down to pat Prompto on the back, and it’s surprisingly friendly, making the blond squint up at him like he might have mistaken someone else for Gladio. “What’s that look for?” Gladio demands.
“You’re…a really nice guy,” Prompto decides after some deliberation. Gladio shakes his head with a wry smile, looking as if he’s not sure whether to be flattered or offended.
The rest of the week crawls at a glacial pace, and Prompto begins to lose sleep, waking up in the middle of the night from dreams that he’s less than proud of. Dreams where Professor Scientia has him pushed over a desk, Prompto’s hands tied behind his back with one of the instructor’s silk ties, jeans sagging down at his ankles.
“Did you do as I asked of you, Mr. Argentum?”
“No—” A gasp as a cool hand smacked against Prompto’s bare ass.
“No…?” A voice whispered into the blond’s ear, tickling at his throat and making his already erect cock jump.
Sitting through those eight am lectures is uncomfortable in more ways than one.
“You’re gonna need to wash those,” Noctis says on one of the rare mornings he’s up before his roommate. Prompto, still in bed after a night of tossing and turning, grunts to relay his confusion.
“Those sheets, dude.”
When Prompto is able to open his eyes enough to see what Noctis is referring to, he buries his face in a pillow and moans while his best friend laughs in the background.
“You need to get laid,” Noctis comments, returning from brushing his teeth. Prompto glares at him, face half-hidden from where he has pulled his comforter up to his nose.
“No shit,” comes the muffled response.
The prince, as happy as a cat sunning itself, is merciless in his teasing. “I could jerk you off if you want.”
“Noct.” Noctis bites his lip, attempting to keep a straight face as Prompto flushes and wriggles his way under the covers to hide.
“Let me ask Gladio to hook you up,” the prince offers, and before Prompto can say no, he’s already whipping out his phone to compose a message.
“I’m not that desperate,” Prompto insists when he finally reemerges. Noctis shoots him a look that says the contrary, sighing when Prompto winces. “That bad?”
“Prom, you’re talking in your sleep.” Prompto’s eyes widen a little, mortified. “You’re moaning, and—”
“All right, all right,” he interrupts in a rush. No need to go into all the dirty details.
“Yeah. So, let me handle it, all right? You’ll thank me later.” The phrase sounds wrong—and familiar— which is when Prompto recalls how he got himself into this mess in the first place. Oh yeah, Noctis Lucis Caelum, but the prince isn’t his ride-or-die for nothing (emphasis on the die) so Prompto settles back into his pillow and watches as Noctis sends a series of texts.
His mind drifts somewhere between the warm sheets, unaware of just how quickly his life is about to change.
Does Gladio have a pinup of Cindy Aurum on his bedroom door? I'll leave that up to you to decide.
Fanart by the very talented @nagifry (Twitter/Tumblr)
Chapter 4: Multiple Choice
A night out is just what Prompto needs to forget his crush on his professor--until a comedy of errors turns a night out into a nightmare.
When you run into your professor in the bathroom of a nightclub, drunk off your ass, do you:
a) Go about your business, pretending not to notice them
b) Make polite conversation
c) Turn around and leave
d) None of the above?
This is the question Prompto has to answer for himself as he stumbles through the door to find Mr. Scientia standing at one of the urinals. He was never one for multiple choice quizzes because he had developed the bad habit of second guessing himself.
The man doesn’t notice him right away, but Prompto’s reaction time is shit-poor and he hesitates two second too long. Mr. Scientia’s head is turning, a zipper is zipping, and the combination of anxiety and alcohol is a toxic cocktail in Prompto’s stomach, rising up into his mouth unbidden and unfortunately for him, unstoppable.
“Mr. Argentum?” the professor asks, gorgeous green eyes a little bigger than usual in their surprise. Clearly, he wasn’t expecting to run into his student off-campus on a school night.
The world tilts on its axis, and Prompto can’t get a word out edgewise as he slams a hand against the wall to steady himself. Lips parting, the blond wretches, vomit spewing out of his mouth and splattering onto the tile at his feet.
He stares at it in horror as if it were a puddle of blood at a crime scene.
D, he thinks. The correct answer, is d.
[Earlier that evening]
The night starts off innocently enough. Prompto snags Noctis’s behemoth jacket out of the closet, daring him with a look to argue when he slips his arms into the sleeves. Noctis doesn’t argue though, instead smacking Prompto’s ass as they head out the door.
“Looking good, buddy. Feeling lucky tonight?”
Prompto finger-guns at his best friend, forcing a smile that he doesn’t quite feel. “Yep. You know I never miss.”
“Shoot your shot, then,” the prince chuckles. “I put some condoms in the inner pocket for you.”
“Thanks, dad,” Prompto jokes, and they’re out the door, calling a cab as soon as they reach the outskirts of campus.
They look good, the pair of them in their dark jeans and t-shirts. Noctis is wearing a different jacket that still manages to make him look cool and mysterious. Sometimes it’s tough being the best friend to a prince, but Noctis isn’t the kind of person to flaunt his good looks, especially around Prompto. They’re like a pair of complementary colors, dark and light, yin and yang—royalty and commoner—and so on and so forth. Prompto knows that they make an astonishingly good team despite their differences, and tonight especially, he is grateful for his best friend’s company.
Until he steps out of the cab and sees where Noctis has brought him. “Loveless? You took me to a club? I thought we were going to another house party,” Prompto says with trepidation. While he’s wondering if he’s underdressed, the cab pulls away from the curb, leaving Prompto without an escape plan, and the prince slides his hands into the pockets of his jeans, trying to appear nonchalant.
“They do trivia on Tuesday nights. Plus, drinks are half off,” Noctis explains, apparently not bothered by being spotted at a notorious gentleman’s club. “The exotic dancers are all on the second floor, so we can just stay on the ground level if you’re not up for it. Gladio said he’s waiting at the bar for us.” The prince moves past where Prompto’s feet are firmly planted on the sidewalk, unmoving, only looking over his shoulder when he doesn’t immediately follow.
Not yet. He laughs at his own unspoken joke. Then, taking a deep breath, the blond squares his shoulders and puffs out his chest. What the hell, why not? It’s not like I have any more dignity left to lose.
“Yeah, I’m coming,” Prompto confirms. When Noctis smirks suggestively, Prompto skips to his friend’s side, linking their arms at the elbow. “But you’re buying the first round of drinks, Your Highness.”
“It’d be my pleasure,” comes his quick reply. They enter Loveless laughing, flashing their IDs to the bouncer as a throbbing techno beat washes over them, pouring out from within.
The club is bigger inside than it looks on the outside, and Prompto takes a moment to get his bearings as they walk into a room buzzing with chatter and music, a long bar taking up the majority of it, and various tables taking up the rest of the space. It’s more crowded than he would expect for a random Tuesday, a mix of college kids and older individuals, which sets Prompto’s mind at ease. No one is looking at him—which is preferable.
After a minute of searching, Noctis and Prompto catch the waving of a hand, and upon further inspection see Gladio’s signature grin, recognizable even in the dark. Pushing their way past mingling patrons, they find that Gladio has saved two barstools on either side of him.
“You made it!” Gladio booms in greeting. Someone beside Gladio turns, and Prompto realizes that he didn’t come alone. “Prompto, Noct, this is Jazz.”
Prompto was skeptical when Noctis told him that Gladio had found someone for Prompto, but looking at the guy in question now, he can’t help but be impressed. Jazz is a little taller than him, with a solid build and cheekbones that can cut glass. Short hair as dark as Gladio’s draws contrast with his bright eyes—a pale, grass green that has Prompto’s heart jumping into his throat before the man can ever open his mouth.
A brief image of another pair of green eyes, behind a pair of glasses, flashes through his mind and causes his pulse to fluctuate.
“Nice to meet you. It’s Jasper, but Jazz is what stuck after one drunken night at the ABO house.” The guy laughs, extending one hand for Prompto to shake. His button down is rolled to the elbows, showing off his toned forearms and a watch that looks nicer than the typical college student’s. Prompto belatedly notices the subtle chocobo print on the navy fabric and grins stupidly. Taking Jazz’s hand, he watches him smile, which has the dual purpose of stirring interest in-between Prompto’s legs and showing off the man’s dimples.
Oh man, ten out of ten, Gladio. I’ll never doubt you again.
“Can I buy you a drink?” Jasper asks as Prompto and Noctis sit. The bartender is already walking over, and Prompto is feeling a little bolder than usual. Why not?
“Sure—surprise me,” he agrees. Jazz leans over the counter to order them two rum and cokes, and Prompto moves a little closer to his mystery date, letting their knees brush.
Noctis and Gladio are shooting each other smug looks, but Prompto is blatantly ignoring them in favor of the giddiness rising in his chest. It’s about time something goes my way, he thinks.
They’re a few drinks in before someone suggests trivia—maybe Gladio, and they’re all buzzed enough not to care if they look like idiots, so they buy in to the game that is currently being broadcast on the flat screens throughout the lower level of the club. Educational, but make it fun—why can’t school be like this? Prompto is wondering after a couple excited rounds of button mashing on the electronic answer pad they’re provided.
The questions are random, from an assortment of categories, and multiple choice. Their team name ends up being “BDE,” which Gladio promises stands for “Big Dumb Energy” and not what Prompto knows it means.
At some point, Jazz whispers to Prompto, “It’s not about the size, it’s all about in how you use it.” They snicker, heads pressing together as they try to come up with the answer to what’s the fastest a chocobo can run. They end up getting it right, and Prompto chalks it up to his random love of the giant birds that made him watch Our Eos on repeat in middle school when everyone claps him on the back.
Drinks keep appearing and disappearing from in front of Prompto, the modern version of a magic trick. It’s getting difficult to focus on the TV screen, music and conversation becoming distorted, but they’re tied for the lead with some team that’s called Glasses Gang, and they’ve been at it too long to bow out now.
There’s a break in the music when the next question flashes across the screen: which Lucian ruler was known as The Rogue? And Prompto bounces in his seat excitedly, nearly slipping off the stool.
“Oh—oh! We learned about this in class! It’s—”
Prompto has gone sideways, and Jazz is reaching to help him into his chair when the blond’s eyes slide down the bar, drawn away by the lilting laugh that sounds all too familiar, and a voice that cuts through the noise.
“C. Crepera Lucis Caelum,” it says, vowels a little softer than normal.
For Prompto, seeing Mr. Scientia at a bar wearing a simple gray t-shirt and jeans, hair down instead of gelled, is the equivalent of having the wind knocked out of him. At first, with the way the professor is turned, Prompto thinks Mr. Scientia is speaking to him directly, but then he notices the man beside him, beautiful in his own right and also wearing glasses.
Glasses Gang. Oh gods.
“Prompto?” Jazz urges. The timer is quickly running out, but Prompto can’t recover quickly enough from his shock, unable to tear his eyes away from the two men on the opposite side of the room. They get it wrong, and Noctis and Gladio groan, begrudging their loss. “You okay?” Prompto’s date asks, concerned.
Safely back on the stool, Prompto tries to summon the cheerfulness he had less than a minute ago, but his mood is plummeting like it took a swan dive over a cliff, the ground rapidly approaching. “Buy me another drink?” Prompto requests. His hand finds its way up the man’s thigh, fingers gripping, and Jazz obliges.
Another drink turns into two, and two turns into several, but Prompto is okay with that. It keeps his mind occupied and his eyes off the end of the bar. Time becomes fluid, his body weightless. He thinks he dances. He remembers hands on his hips, lips brushing his—but the pair of green eyes he sees is always the same, no matter how much he tries to drown himself in booze.
“Gotta go,” Prompto gasps at one point. The blond is on fire and freezing all at once, stomach and bladder at war inside of him, but both begging him to stop what he’s doing and consider his life choices. He starts fumbling through the dark and around tables in search of the bathroom. He mutters apologies when he bumps into unsuspecting bystanders, but his body is insistent—it needs relief now.
He pushes the door open clumsily, but even so, the man at the first urinal doesn’t notice him right away. Prompto, unfortunately, notices him.
His reaction time and processing skills are compromised though, and he won’t remember the irony later.
Mr. Scientia’s head turns as he pulls up his zipper in a swift motion, and those eyes punch Prompto in the stomach again—a stomach that is overflowing with alcohol and woefully absent of any real sustenance. Prompto feels the bile rising and knows there is no stopping it.
“Mr. Argentum?” the professor asks. His jaw is slack in disbelief, lips parted. Clearly, he wasn’t expecting to run into his student at Loveless of all places.
The ground shifts beneath Prompto’s feet, and he tries to bite down as he slams a hand against the wall to anchor himself, but the contents of Prompto’s stomach worm their way past the barrier of his teeth, sloshing onto the ground with a sickening plop.
Fight or flight kicks in almost instantly despite the fog over his mind, but Prompto’s eyes are up and not on his feet. He hears the fall coming, but he will never see it. The tell-tale screech of rubber soles slipping on tile as he steps into his own vomit in his haste, followed by the sensation of arms windmilling desperately for something to grab.
A spark of pure panic.
The bang of collision—then, black.
The first thing Prompto notices is the pressure in his head, but it’s not your run-of-the-mill, drank-too-much, slept-too-little pressure. No, it’s more like, my entire brain has swollen and you literally cannot fit any more into my skull type pressure. It hurts—a lot—and it’s what makes Prompto slow to open his eyes, and even to slower to register that he is not in his own dorm room.
The room he does find himself in is spotless and clean, walls a stark white, with modern furniture throughout it. You know the kind—clean lines with metal accents and subtle curves. It’s all the rage nowadays, or so they say. Whoever they are. There’s also a desk with a laptop and a couple other assorted items, a bookshelf—arranged by color of all things, who does that?—framed artwork that Prompto doesn’t recognize, which mostly look like someone splattered paint randomly on a canvas, but he thinks they’re pretty anyway. There’s a house plant that is green and thriving on the bedside table, not fake like you might expect, and two floor-to-ceiling windows frame the king-sized bed that Prompto is lying in. He rubs his fingers idly over the sheets.
Silk. Did I go home with Jazz?
It’s the only plausible explanation, but the evening is a blur whenever he tries to think about it, so Prompto just sinks back into the multiple pillows he finds himself nestled in, and inhales. The room smells like lavender, which he only knows because his mom used to have an oil diffuser with the same scent. It’s soothing, and it delays Prompto’s recollection of why his head is hurting—until the rattling of a phone’s vibration draws his attention to where his cell is sitting beside him.
He reaches for it—bare arms telling him that he managed to somehow undress himself—and blinks tiredly at the screen, his eyes squinting at the way the blue light makes his head throb all over.
It’s from Noctis.
There are a couple unread messages from Gladio, so he pulls those up without typing a reply.
The context clues settle it for Prompto in his mind, and he sighs, choosing not to answer either of his friends. His only regret is not remembering the details of his night with Jazz. Hopefully it wasn’t too much of a disaster so he will want to go on a second date.
Prompto lounges a little longer and is on the verge of drifting back to sleep when his phone alarm rings.
“Shit!” It’s Wednesday, which means he needs to get ready for his History of Lucis class—
“Shit.” It comes back to Prompto in a rush—the bathroom, his professor, the vomit on the floor— “Fucking Six.” Prompto covers his face with his hands and groans, which prevents him from hearing the doorknob turning, but he smells the coffee immediately, and it reminds his stomach just how badly he abused it and his liver.
“Thank the gods, Jazz, I need—” Prompto stops. He stares at the man who is standing in the doorway, holding a tray with a steaming mug of coffee and what looks suspiciously like a plate of pancakes, but it isn’t the breakfast that has Prompto feeling like he has finally hit the ground, body turning to flan.
It’s the fact that person who is holding the tray is not Jazz at all, but Mr. Ignis eye fuck me please Scientia, and he’s wearing sweatpants and a thin cotton shirt, sans spectacles. Prompto’s brain (or what’s left of it, anyway) short-circuits, and he barely contains the low whine of terror that squeezes between his vocal cords, mouth agape.
“Good morning. How are you feeling?” his professor asks before walking into the room. Prompto’s eyes follow him, too afraid to blink or breathe. Mr. Scientia sets the tray on the bedside table before turning to address Prompto again. “You took a tumble in the restroom last night. I wasn’t sure who was best to call, so I contacted Gladiolus. My flat was only a short walk away and we didn’t want to jostle you too terribly, seeing the state you were in. I apologize for putting you in a precarious situation, but the circumstances being what they were...” He shrugs a little, maybe in embarrassment, or maybe with nonchalance, Prompto isn’t sure. Mr. Scientia’s tone is apologetic, and Prompto is unable to process what is happening.
“Gladio…told you to bring me here?” It’s the one thing his brain finally picks up on. Mr. Scientia nods once, pulling up his desk chair to the bedside to sit in.
“Yes, he ‘called in a favor’ that I owed him,” Mr. Scientia says with a sardonic smile, and Prompto has to look away to keep from hyperventilating. A favor? “I suggest you see a physician. You hit your head rather hard,” Mr. Scientia adds. Prompto reaches back into his hair, finding another large knot along his scalp, right beside the one he has only recently gotten to go away. “I will forward you the notes from today’s lecture. Please take care of yourself in the meantime.” The man pauses, as if debating whether to say more, and Prompto tries his best to look as small as possible, praying for this awkward interaction to end.
Mr. Scientia’s eyes are on Prompto again, and the blond begins to sweat, stomach twisting in knots. “It might be better if you do not mention you stayed here.” The professor is calm—practical, but it doesn’t keep Prompto from feeling like he just got a bucket of ice water poured over his head.
“I’d never say anything,” Prompto blurts. A floodgate has opened, and the blond inhales sharply as a deluge of words rush out. “Really, I’d never want to get you in trouble, Mr. Scientia, sir. I mean, I was a complete idiot and the last thing I want is to embarrass you, or get you in trouble, or make your boyfriend mad at you for taking home some complete stranger when you could have been out with him, and—” Prompto knows he’s rambling, but he can’t seem to stop his mouth from moving. “—I really enjoy your class, and I’m sorry that you felt like you had to help me. You should probably just fail me now—”
The professor lays a hand on Prompto’s shoulder and squeezes, effectively silencing him. Prompto swallows the rest of what he meant to say and braces himself for judgement, unable to meet Mr. Scientia’s eyes.
“Firstly, it is no trouble at all. I merely do not want anyone to think anything untoward about you. If you are a friend of Gladiolus’s, I trust you to be discreet.” Prompto blinks at what he interprets as a backhanded compliment, but doesn’t interrupt. “Second—that man I was with was not my boyfriend, but a co-worker.”
Oh. Prompto flushes, gaze trained on his lap. He knows that Mr. Scientia doesn’t need to explain himself, but the fact that he does makes Prompto glance up from beneath his lashes. It also makes him acutely aware of Mr. Scientia’s hand still on his shoulder. His mouth has gone dry by the time the professor reaches his final point.
“Third, you are not an idiot.” Prompto can’t help it. He laughs.
“Dude—I mean,” he catches himself, sitting back as Mr. Scientia watches him with interest. The professor even crosses one leg over the other, and the man might as well be in the classroom, pretending to listen to a half-assed answer given by one of Prompto’s classmates. “I’m sorry, but you’re wrong about that.” Prompto looks Mr. Scientia full in the face now, adamant about proving his point, but his gracious host doesn’t let him finish.
“You wrote about the importance of humanizing monarchs and how the success of their reign directly correlates with their love for their people, and I assume you did it while absolutely sloshed. Not only that, but you cited your sources correctly, using Prince Noctis as one of them while remaining surprisingly unbiased. And, you resubmitted your work when you very easily could have refused to show your face to me ever again.” Considering you horribly embarrassed yourself, is left off of the end of the statement.
Prompto’s jaw is moving, but he emits no sound. He can’t decide what he wants to do most: scream, cry, or crawl under the covers and die. All of the above. To his absolute horror, Mr. Scientia isn’t done.
“Then, you nearly bested me at trivia.”
Prompto silently curses for getting too drunk to notice Mr. Scientia noticing him.
“I had help,” Prompto insists in a whisper.
“So did I.” Mr. Scientia stands, extending a hand, and Prompto stares at it like it’s a bomb that might detonate at any moment. “You can schedule a meeting during my office hours to discuss any…concerns. We can meet in a public setting—a coffee shop, perhaps—if that would make you more comfortable.”
“Uh.” Mr. Scientia’s hand is still suspended in front of Prompto, waiting. With no way to refuse it politely, Prompto takes it in his, marveling at the smooth, warm quality of the professor’s skin. “Sure.” This guy definitely moisturizes.
“Excellent.” When Mr. Scientia withdraws his hand, Prompto is ashamed to admit that he is reluctant to let it go. “Do not feel the need to rush out, but if you could lock the door before you leave…”
“Sure,” Prompto agrees readily. Mr. Scientia is retreating, but unlike Prompto, his steps are slow and deliberate, apparently unbothered by the fact that Prompto is occupying space in his bed.
Prompto is already sure this is going to be a problem for him later, but for now, he shushes the peanut gallery of doubtful thoughts in his brain and tries to commit the image of the professor walking away to memory. Broad shoulders pulled back, hips swaying naturally with sweatpants somehow making him look more attractive than his fitted slacks ever have.
It’s a sight for sore eyes—and in this case, throbbing heads.
“Mr. Scientia…?” Prompto says hesitantly when his host opens the door.
“Please—call me Ignis outside of class. After all, I am only two years your senior,” the man urges as he turns back to his guest.
Prompto knows that his professor is the same age as Gladio, but his mind had rejected the fact until now. For a split second he sees Mr. Scientia—Ignis—as his peer. It’s a dangerous line to walk, but Prompto figures he is already traversing a tightrope. Now, he only has two options: forward, or way, way down.
Prompto takes a deep breath, and then, a leap of faith.
“Ignis…thank you.” Ignis is smiling and its radiance is rapidly waking Prompto’s body up, more so than caffeine or any alarm clock ever has. He has to get the words out before he can think too hard on them—or become too hard, but the latter is looking like a lost cause. Prompto pulls a pillow into his lap and hopes Ignis is none the wiser.
“You’re—pretty great, too. I’d like that.” Prompto’s confession causes Ignis’s eyebrows to shoot up, disappearing into his mop of sandy hair. Blushing wildly, Prompto seeks to clarify. “To have coffee with you.”
Maybe it’s not exactly class related, but it could be, right? And a public setting, two guys talking about Lucian History over a cup of joe—what’s so wrong about that?
Ignis is quiet as he thinks, and Prompto can almost see the wheels turning in the older boy’s head. Prompto only notices he’s holding the air in his lungs when they begin to burn.
“Very well,” Ignis agrees slowly. “Does tomorrow at nine am work for you? There is a shop called Common Grounds that I frequent. We could meet there if that’s agreeable.” If Prompto thought better of himself, he would say Ignis sounds delighted by the prospect, but he imagines the guy is probably just being nice to avoid any further awkwardness.
As if this isn’t awkward enough.
“Sounds great,” Prompto finally breathes again. Then, just like that, the exchange is complete, and Ignis is inclining his head, leaving the room to Prompto and his crushing self-doubt.
As soon as Prompto hears the front door of the apartment shut, he is scrambling for his phone, fingers flying furiously across the screen.
It’s a group chat that he creates between him, Noctis, and Gladio, and he sends the first message bolded, in all caps.
Two speech bubbles pop up at the bottom of the thread, indicating Noctis and Gladio are both typing. Of course they’re both awake. Their responses come through at the same time.
Prompto sighs, sending a string of middle finger emojis before bothering to answer their questions.
There’s a laughing face from Noctis, and a thumbs up from Gladio.
While he’s waiting for his ride, Prompto works up the courage to pick at the tray Ignis brought to him. The coffee is strong, but it pairs well with the sweetness of the pancakes, which he lathers in butter and syrup.
Even though he’s alone, moaning loudly makes Prompto feel dirty, but the food is too damn tasty not to. Gods, it melts in your mouth. And then Prompto thinks about Ignis’s mouth, and he burns his throat chugging the rest of the coffee.
Prompto devours everything, surprised at his own hunger. After putting carbs and caffeine in his system, he finds he can think more clearly, which is when dread creeps in, overshadowing him like a cloud.
“Oh my gods,” Prompto groans. “I just asked my professor on a date.”
Creating the text messages in this chapter was thrilling and easier than I thought, thanks to THIS work skin tutorial
Loveless is a nod to a club of the same name in FFVII. I also feature it in my fic, Insomnia High School.
Although I don’t explicitly mention it, I went with Japan’s drinking age (20) for this fic.
BDE = Big Dick Energy if you didn’t already know, and Glasses Gang is a play on Gucci Gang.
Judge me all you want, but “In My Head” by Jason Derulo is a PERFECT song for this chapter. Just... listen to it.
Chapter 5: Undeclared
Prompto works up the nerve to "meet" with his professor. (Okay, so it's definitely a date, but no big deal.) Prompto just needs to play it cool. That shouldn't be difficult...right?
There is no one in the café save for a single man, the tinkling of bells on the door handle the only signal of Prompto’s arrival. The man in the booth has his back to Prompto, but turns at the sound, and the skin around his eyes crinkles when his gaze falls on the newcomer.
“Good morning,” Ignis says, gesturing for Prompto to take a seat.
Prompto does so nervously, and he scans the man. Ignis is dressed like he’s about to teach class, in a white pinstripe button up and—oh gods, suspenders. Predictably, he’s perfectly put together, not a single hair out of place. Coffee is already set out in small white mugs, and Prompto realizes that Ignis ordered for him. It’s a flattering gesture, and he takes a sip to show his appreciation.
It’s perfect—temperature, taste, company—everything.
Ignis’s hand is on Prompto’s before the blond can take a second swallow, and he tenses instinctively, looking around to make sure no one sees. If there is a barista, they must be in the back, but Prompto still can’t shake the feeling of a million eyes on him.
Ignis’s gaze burns with an intensity that makes Prompto’s heart rattle inside his ribcage.
“I cannot wait any longer,” Ignis admits in that methodical way he goes about everything. The statement is merely a fact, not a request, and most certainly not an apology. A man like Ignis knows what he wants, and he goes after it, so when the professor leans across the table, Prompto closes his eyes and accepts his kiss willingly. Their tongues slide against each other, and he can taste hazelnut mocha.
“Follow me?” Ignis asks, pleadingly now, and fresh heat crawls beneath Prompto’s clothes and settles between his legs.
“Y-yeah,” Prompto agrees. I’ll follow you anywhere, he thinks.
“Excellent.” Ignis’s grip on Prompto’s wrist is tight, but it only serves to excite Prompto more. He allows himself to be tugged to his feet, and Ignis kisses him again, slender fingers snaking into his blond hair and gripping hard.
Prompto inhales, body clenching to control the passion that’s rising inside him at an alarming rate.
“You’re late,” Ignis comments, grinning wolfishly. His hand is still fisted in Prompto’s golden locks, and the boy is on his tiptoes, eager for Ignis’s touch.
“Late?” Prompto is a little dizzy from kisses and the loss of blood from one head rushing to another, and he doesn’t quite follow.
“Aren’t you?” the professor’s question makes Prompto pause, and as he pulls back, the corners of his vision fade, replaced with—
“Prompto, you’re late dude.”
Prompto jerks awake and gods, my head still hurts, blinks at Noctis bent over him. He’s in his dorm, and the sun is pouring through the open window, illuminating his friend’s judgmental expression with dazzling clarity. The prince is dressed to leave, probably for class if Prompto had to guess, and shakes his head as he peers down at his best friend.
“Yo, don’t you have a date? Don’t want to stand two people up in the same week, do you?” The prince throws a pillow roughly at Prompto’s face, and it collides with a poof. Sputtering, Prompto sits up, rubbing at his eyes as if to push the pressure behind them away.
“Wait—what day is it?” he groans.
Noctis looks incredulous, then snorts, waving to indicate Prompto’s bedhead is just as wild as he thinks it is. The blond tries to smooth it, remembering the all-too-real feeling of Ignis’s hand buried in his hair.
“Thursday. You crashed hard when you got back yesterday, but it looked like you needed the sleep. Oh, and Jazz has been calling you,” the prince explains as he heads for the door.
Prompto is a little dizzy as he stands, and when he glances down, he sees why. The pillow Noctis threw at him comes in handy, providing a shield for his shame when Noctis takes the time to look back at him. Noctis sighs heavily and decides to take pity on his hungover, probably concussed friend (which Prompto knows must mean he looks beyond miserable).
When Noctis is gone, Prompto heads straight for the shower, pressing his head to the cold tile to relieve the ache in his skull and his groin, flushing his arousal down the drain as he mentally prepares for what is sure to be another cringe-worth encounter.
He begins to compose his own eulogy: Here lies Prompto Argentum, dead before his time. May the Astrals rest his horny soul.
Prompto arrives at Common Grounds Café at ten ‘til nine and lingers across the street, deliberating. It wasn’t difficult to find—in fact, it’s only one block over from the ABO house, about a twenty-minute walk from his dorm. It looks to be a popular spot. He can spy college students in booths with headphones on and laptops in front of them through the front windows, no doubt writing papers or cramming for tests, paper cup of half-consumed drinks and textbooks splayed in front of them. Several smaller tables are occupied by couples holding hands, and still others are taken up by friends laughing and chatting, the atmosphere warm and cozy.
It should calm Prompto’s nerves to see the coffee shop packed with people, discrediting the fantasy that is still vivid in his mind, and yet—
Why is my heart racing like I sprinted here?
The blond jumps, yelping and whirling to see him standing there, because of course, who else would it be? My life is just a comedy of errors, Prompto bemoans when Ignis chuckles.
Wait, did he just call me by my first name? Somehow, it’s even more of a turn on than ‘Mr. Argentum,’ and Prompto can tell he’s already on a one-way train to Blushville so he pretends to cough to hide the redness he can feel in his cheeks.
“I seem to have the bad habit of sneaking up on you,” Ignis notes with amusement, and Prompto is relieved to see the man wearing a very normal, not-as-enticing purple shirt beneath a black overcoat and jeans and not the button up and suspenders from his dream, although the tiny skull-bead necklace that rests at the spot between the professor’s collar bones is new, and it immediately draws Prompto’s attention.
“No—I’m just easy.” Prompto kicks himself the moment he says it, but it’s too late to backtrack, and Ignis full-on laughs, much to the blond’s chagrin.
“Noted. Shall we?” He motions that they should go inside, and suddenly Prompto is walking side-by-side with the man across the street, intent on entering the café together. He’s tall, Prompto muses—which, duh, he knows that, but he’s never been at Ignis’s side until now in any official capacity. It’s daunting, but also ridiculously enticing.
This is a mistake.
But like a runaway train, there’s nothing Prompto can do except watch and ride it out until the bitter, undoubtedly tragic end. Steeling himself for the worst and hoping for the best, he follows Ignis inside, the scent of freshly brewed coffee warming him.
They manage to order without incident, and Ignis chooses a spot for them in the back corner, which provides a full view of the rest of the café. Prompto picks the seat that puts his back to the door instead of the wall (just in case he needs to make a quick escape) and then busies himself with sipping his mocha to avoid having to be the one to start the conversation.
“How are you feeling? Were you able to make it the doctor yesterday?” Ignis asks. He has ordered a large coffee—black, and he brings the mug to his lips, steam curling up and fogging his glasses as he tests the temperature.
“Oh—no, but I’m okay,” Prompto assures him. Ignis’s lips purse. Is that disapproval? Prompto tries to smile reassuringly, but probably looks more like a grimace. A for effort? “Really, I’m fine. I hit my head all the time.”
Ignis’s eyebrows raise. “That’s…troubling.”
Smooth, Prompto. The student would typically smack a hand over his face, but thankfully they’re both preoccupied with holding onto his beverage. “You’re probably right.” Definitely right. Prompto racks his brain for a subject Ignis might be interested in and goes for the safest option. “Thanks for the notes you sent. I, uh, haven’t looked at them yet, but I will. And I promise I won’t have any more unexcused absences.”
Ignis sets his mug down with a gentle clink. “We needn’t discuss class matters—unless I misinterpreted the purpose of this meeting…?”
Prompto would have choked on his coffee if he had currently been drinking it, and he clutches the porcelain between his palms as if for dear life.
Wait, he actually wants to hang out with me? He isn’t just being nice? It seems too good to be true.
“Nope, uh, that’s cool. No more school, promise.” Prompto nods emphatically, then stops when it makes his head spin. Ignis’s approval is communicated in the way his lips curve at the corners, eyes twinkling with the motion.
Fortunately, the professor provides the next topic so Prompto doesn’t have to. “How do you know Gladiolus?”
“Oh.” Prompto takes a big gulp of his coffee, and it stings his throat. We sorta met in high school, but then Noct dragged me to one of his parties last semester and I got black-out-drunk and we hit it off. Kinda like what happened Tuesday night, now that I think about it. Paraphrasing seems best, so Prompto answers simply, “Noctis introduced us.”
“Ah, of course.” Ignis nods, accepting it without question.
“What about you?” Prompto wonders. If he’s being honest, he’s been dying to ask, but never thought he would get the opportunity. Gladio and Ignis seem as different as two people can be and trying to wrap his head around the idea of their parents being close friends, or the two of them spending family dinners together, is difficult for him to picture.
Ignis quiets, looking down into his coffee contemplatively. “We were trained together as children—back when my parents were certain I would follow in their footsteps and become Prince Noctis’s Sword.” Sword? Noticing the confusion on Prompto’s face, Ignis elaborates. “Gladiolus is of the Amicitia line, the ‘Shield’s of the King,’ a sort of elite group of bodyguards, destined to be military leaders. He will continue to study under his father after graduation to one day fill that role. I, being from the Scientia line, am of the ‘Swords,’ the head advisors to the Crown.”
Prompto’s brain conjures an image of Gladio in a Kingsglaive uniform—and adds it to his growing list of unfulfilled sexual fantasies.
“So, you could have been Noct’s advisor? But…you chose to be a professor instead? Why?” Prompto bites his lip when Ignis’s smile tightens, thinking he might have asked something too personal. The bespectacled man answers with a question of his own, tone bitter.
“Are you pursuing a career or degree at your parents’ request?”
Prompto sits back, eyebrows furrowing as he considers—really considers—Ignis’s words. “Well, I’m undeclared right now. I’d really like to study photography, but my folks say I’ll never making a living off of it, so I’m making my way through all the pre-reqs before I decide. I’m thinking maybe I’ll join the Crownsguard if I can’t figure out what I want to do.” The blond shrugs. Yeah, he’s had his fair share of fights with his mom and dad about it.
You’ll never make it as an artist—be practical, Prompto.
When he looks at Ignis again, the man has his head propped up in his palm, that same intensity from Prompto’s dream reflected in his gaze. “May I offer some advice?”
You could offer me anything right now, and I would eat it straight out of your hand. Prompto nods slowly, once.
“Follow your dreams, regardless of your parents’ wishes.” Ignis finishes what coffee he has left as Prompto stares. “Life is too short, and too fragile, to hold oneself back.” Judging by the heaviness of the declaration, Prompto suspects there is a story behind Ignis’s strong feelings on the matter, but he doesn’t pry.
It’s only our first date, after all.
Prompto hurriedly shakes his head to banish the thought, deciding instead to try and lighten the mood.
“Well, my dream when I was little was to own a chocobo farm—probably because I watched too much of Our Eos, specifically the part on chocobos, so. It’s probably why I’m good at trivia, too.” He’s laughing, hoping the stupid tidbit might lift Ignis’s spirits, but he doesn’t expect the man’s face to light up like Sunday morning. The giant grin is different from the professor’s usually reserved smile, and Prompto is enchanted all over again.
“I love Our Eos. The second documentary is set to release this December. Perhaps a viewing party is in order.”
“Oh, dude, that would be amazing!” Prompto gushes, belatedly realizing that Ignis is suggesting a get-together post-semester, with him—he’s imagining the two of them cuddled on the couch in Ignis’s swanky apartment in front of the TV, the man’s arm slung casually over the blond’s shoulders, Prompto’s head laying against Ignis’s chest…
“Prompto?” The blond jumps, coming back to reality, and thinks he must have missed something funny based on the way Ignis is smirking. Prompto takes a shaky sip of coffee as he reviews their entire conversation for what he could have possibly said wrong.
“Gladiolus was right. You are adorable.”
Prompto blames it on poor timing—or maybe it’s excellent timing—that he is attempting to swallow at the exact moment Ignis delivers the compliment. He inhales his mocha, gasping for air, and sets the mug down to pound at his chest, attempting to dispel the liquid caught in his windpipe as Ignis half-rises from his seat in alarm.
Prompto slides back, waving Ignis off, which is when the second domino falls. His hand somehow manages to catch the handle of his cup, and it tips sideways, splashing the remainder of his still hot coffee across the table and into his unsuspecting lap.
There’s a strangled yelp as Prompto doubles over in pain, scrambling out of his chair as if to flee the burning in his legs and crotch, the rest of the café going noticeably quiet as onlookers turn to see what all the commotion is about.
“Prompto, are you all right—”
Ignis is reaching for Prompto as if to offer some assistance, but the blond doesn’t wait, and luckily, he is sober enough to avoid slipping in the mess he has made as he runs to the nearest bathroom, head ducked against the eyes that are shooting daggers in his direction.
He’s still coughing when he enters the single-stall room, and he hacks over the sink, eyes misting with tears from the rawness of his throat. Prompto turns on the faucet and splashes his face with cold water, trying to inhale deeply only to collapse into another coughing fit.
The door creaks open. “Prompto?”
No—not again. Prompto makes a mental note to avoid all liquids from now on, alcoholic or otherwise, and maybe bathrooms, too, just to be safe.
“Prompto.” Ignis is firmer this time, and Prompto feels the pressure of a strong hand in-between his shoulder blades turning him so they are face-to-face.
Ignis is close—dangerously close. Prompto wouldn’t even have to fully extend his elbow to curl his fingers in the taller man’s shirt, and as his airway fights to take in oxygen, he gets a whiff of the professor’s cologne. It’s what he imagines sex would smell like, if you could bottle the feeling into an aroma. Prompto’s knees go weak when he tilts his chin upwards to find Ignis’s eyes roaming him from head to toe, calculating and unaware of the power they hold. All the blond can do is freeze in place as Ignis reaches around him for the paper towels, ripping some from the roll to press to the front of Prompto’s jeans.
Did Prompto mention Ignis was dangerously close? The blond has to clamp his jaw just to keep from moaning embarrassingly, and it still wasn’t enough to prevent his cock from jumping in anticipation, despite the fact it had been drenched in scorching coffee.
“You should check yourself for burns,” Ignis says. Of course, he’s right yet again, but Prompto can’t get past the fact that Ignis basically just told him, in so little words, that he should take his pants off.
Their eyes lock, and Prompto realizes that Ignis isn’t going to leave unless he says so. The air is charged with energy, like the static electricity before a storm, and if he touches Ignis now, Prompto knows a spark will ignite, lighting a fire that neither one of them will be able to put out.
Prompto’s heart is beating in his ears, damp jeans rubbing uncomfortably against his erection. It’s the moment of truth.
This is the least sexy, sexiest encounter I’ve had all semester. It’s pretty pitiful, actually, he decides. Ignis’s lips are slightly parted, head dipping down, and true to fashion, Prompto panics.
Clearing his throat, Prompto finds his voice where it is currently buried under a mountain of embarrassment and fear.
“I should probably go to my room and change,” he exclaims, slipping past Ignis for the door. “I’ve got another class at noon.” Forget the fact that he knows it’s not even ten am.
Ignis doesn’t move from where he is standing, only tucks his hands into his jacket pockets and hums in affirmation. “Of course, I wouldn’t want you to be late.”
“Yep—can’t afford any more unexcused absences, right?” Prompto snorts, jittery, one hand missing the doorknob as he reaches for it blindly.
“Right.” Ignis’s smile is brief and polite. “See you tomorrow, then?”
“Eight o’ clock sharp,” Prompto vows, voice cracking as it climbs. He barely glimpses a flash of something recognizable on Ignis’s face as he pushes out of the bathroom, door banging shut behind him as he goes—
Chapter 6: Working Hard, or Hardly Working?
Prompto has been working hard, so he figures he deserves a reward. So why does a hard-on feel like homework? Two voices war inside Prompto's head, but they both can agree on one thing: you're going to regret this in the morning.
[Explicit sexual content in this chapter]
Prompto doesn’t have to pass his Statistics’ quiz to know that he has a one-hundred-ten percent chance of fucking things up with Ignis, Jazz, or both—probably both. Which is why he doesn’t respond to Jazz’s voicemail asking how he is and if Gladio got him home safe yesterday, or the grouping of text messages that he reads on his long walk of shame back to his dorm room.
They were sent at respectable intervals, but just thinking of answering gives Prompto anxiety, so he shoves his phone into his back pocket and tries to busy himself with being a good student, and not one who is hopelessly head-over-heels in lust for his history teacher—but if it’s a test, Prompto feels he has already failed.
Are there study groups for ‘how not to date your professor,’ because if so, I need in on that.
It’s not something they warn you about in high school, but like the disclaimers on coffee cups—caution: contents are hot—Ignis Scientia could be wrapped head-to-toe in warning labels and Prompto still would have been doomed from the start.
It’s a sheer test of will that Prompto manages to go to class, take notes, and get all of his homework done—all while ignoring a raging headache. Prompto blames the burst of productivity on his desperate need to distract himself from what happened at the Common Grounds Café, but seeing that it spurs him to do the reading for his History of Lucis class (for once) he begins to think he might need to publicly humiliate himself more often.
It’s getting late, and Prompto is entertaining the possibility of ordering a pizza to avoid walking to the cafeteria when he sees his phone light up. Grabbing it from the corner of his desk, he reads the message from Gladio.
Prompto hurriedly places his feet onto the ground from where they were kicked up, hunching over the screen as he reads the texts a second time. Crap. Sighing, he composes his answer reluctantly.
Knowing that he will lose his nerve if he waits too long, Prompto taps on the thread from Jazz that remains unanswered, weighing his options. Jazz is a nice guy—attractive, funny, not his professor (major plus)—and they had a great time at Loveless before the whole slipping-in-vomit-and-getting-knocked-out debacle. It makes perfect sense to pursue him, and maybe get off in the process. But on the other hand, there’s Ignis.
Mr. Ignis, too-cool-for-school, unbelievably handsome, thinks I’m adorable Scientia. He’s not the correct option. In fact, he should not even be listed as an answer, but then again, in a couple of weeks, he won’t be Prompto’s instructor. He’ll just be Ignis—and maybe it’s dumb to think Prompto stands a chance with a guy like that, but he keeps recalling Ignis’s words, spoken to him in earnest.
Follow your dreams. Okay, so he probably didn’t mean those kinds of dreams, but still.
Prompto finally crafts a reply, making sure there are no typos, and reviews before sending.
He’s about to turn his phone off so he can focus on the chapter of his textbook about Optimus Lucis Caelum, ‘The Wise,’ but it buzzes in his hand and he glances down to see Jazz’s response.
Prompto has a feeling what the ‘something’ is, and he tells himself: just say no. Say you’re busy. Let him down easy now instead of creating a mess for yourself later. It’s the Good Prompto in his head, the voice of reason, and very easily the best, nicest choice.
Unfortunately, Bad Prompto has very specific needs, needs that haven’t been met and only continue to grow—ha—and it’s that voice that ultimately wins out.
He grins, leg bouncing a little when he sees the speech bubble.
Oh yes, Prompto thinks. If this is what he thinks it is, he’s very, very interested, but he plays coy, taking thrill in the game.
A few minutes go by without anything from Jazz, and Prompto abandons his textbook to get to his feet, pacing while looking down at the phone in his hand. He stops when the image comes through, eyes widening a little at the shirtless selfie, tongue flitting over his bottom lip as he stares at the chiseled outline of Jazz’s six pack.
Prompto, you dog, he thinks. But really—what’s wrong with hooking up with the guy? It’s not like he and Ignis are actually dating. You can’t cheat on someone you only fantasize about being with. Besides, it’s been forever, and Prompto can already feel his dick hardening, obviously in favor of whatever surprise Jazz has in store.
You need to get laid—Noctis’s reprimand for all of his sleepless nights rings in his ears, and he agrees—so it shouldn’t make sense that he feels guilty when he sends Jazz his dorm address and room number.
Good Prompto is yelling at him as he hops into the shower to freshen up. You’re really going to use another dude to quench your thirst for someone else? That’s pretty low.
“People do this kinda thing all the time. I’m not in a relationship with anyone.” Prompto says it out loud, as if speaking it will make it more convincing, but he’s already feeling a little nauseous when he climbs out of the shower, and it’s not from excitement. He’s thinking he should probably text Jazz back and come up with some excuse not to meet up—maybe blame it on his head still hurting, or a create an assignment that he ‘forgot about’—when he hears a knock on his door.
He’s just pulled on boxers and his favorite sweatpants, hands clenching the waistband, when a voice calls out: “Prompto? It’s Jazz.”
“One second!” Prompto turns in a giant circle, not sure exactly what he is searching for. It’s too late to hide (although he does consider climbing out the window) and no excuses for not opening the door are coming to mind, so after a long minute of awkward silence, Prompto resigns himself to letting Jazz in, but only after pulling on a faded t-shirt. I’d rather be fishing, it reads—one of Noct’s from forever ago that he stole and never returned.
Jazz looks even better than Prompto remembers from their first meeting—which is saying something, considering they were both wasted—and his guilt is overridden by palpable arousal. Thank the Astrals for sweatpants.
“Hey,” Jazz greets before bending to plant a kiss on Prompto’s cheek. A band of scarlet shoots across the bridge of Prompto’s nose as he blushes, making his freckles even more prominent.
“Hi.” Prompto lets Jazz in while wondering if his social ineptitude is a terminal illness or something he’ll eventually grow out of. He prays it’s the latter.
When Prompto turns from locking the door, checking it twice to be certain, he runs straight into Jazz’s arms, which wrap around Prompto without warning. The blond gasps, making his visitor laugh.
“Surprise,” Jazz whispers. Prompto knows that tone—a deep bass, full of desire. Combined with Jazz’s hooded gaze, there is no doubt in Prompto’s mind what the man’s intentions are, and he lets himself get pushed towards the bottom bunk of the bed, their mouths meeting along the way.
By the time Prompto feels the back of his legs hit the bedframe, Jazz’s shirt is off and he’s tugging at Prompto’s with one hand. Guess I didn’t need one after all. The other snakes easily past the elastic of Prompto’s sweatpants to grab his already throbbing cock.
“Ah—” Prompto leans his head back to allow Jazz’s mouth to suck at the nape of his neck, and he is impressed with how big the guy is now that they’re pressed together, something he took for granted when they were only sitting next to each other in the club.
Good Prompto makes another attempt to stop things before they go too far, but whatever his inner voice is telling him is drowned out by a loud moan as Jazz’s pumping strokes quicken, a leg hooking around the blond’s knees so that he collapses onto the mattress.
Prompto’s brain registers the sensation of cool air on his skin as his pants and underwear are pulled down, but he barely has time to shiver before it is replaced by the warm wetness of a mouth engulfing his erection, tongue applying pressure along its length.
“Fuck—!” Prompto keens, letting his legs widen to accommodate his partner. He reaches back to grab for something and finds a pillow to smother his face with, afraid he’s not going to be quiet for much longer.
It’s been a while since he’s had a blow job—or anything, really—and Prompto doesn’t think he’ll last more than a few minutes at this rate, so he squeezes Jazz between his knees, hoping he gets the hint. He has the reaction Prompto was hoping for, and Jazz’s mouth slows now, more teasing than deliberate.
Prompto takes a jagged inhale, lifting the pillow to peek down and watch as his partner slides a tongue from his tip to his base, Jazz’s gaze flitting up to the blond from beneath long, dark lashes.
Oh gods—is it too early to ask him to fuck me? It’s as if Jazz can read his mind.
“What do you want? Just this, or…?”
There are a lot of things Prompto wants, but his knee-jerk reaction is I want this to be Ignis, and it’s such a jarring thought that he feels his hard-on waver.
Oh no, no, no—
“Fuck me,” Prompto exhales abruptly, feeling reckless. Another unwelcome thought drifts into his head. It’s easier to pretend you’re someone else that way. He’s honestly ashamed at how terrible it is, and he thinks it would be better to stop after all, but then Jazz sits back on his heels and unzips his jeans and—
Prompto swallows, a remark catching in his throat, and Jazz smiles in that sexy, confident way that turns him to putty. It’s mesmerizing to watch as Jazz strokes himself, finger wriggling into his pocket to retrieve a small, square, plastic wrapper. He tears it open with his mouth (not the best practice, but it looks cool) maintaining the rhythm he has going, and Prompto tilts his head slightly to observe him roll the condom down his cock, the erection now curling up past Jazz’s navel.
Prompto has to swallow the saliva that is pooling in his mouth, rolling over on to hands and knees when Jazz scoots away to give him the space to do so.
“Where do you keep your lube?” he grunts.
“Bottom drawer of my desk,” Prompto directs him, the mattress firming when Jazz slides off the bed to locate it.
The break in the action is enough time for Good Prompto to get another word in. You’re going to regret this in the morning. But with his ass in the air and face in the sheets, Prompto believes it’s a choice he’s gonna have to live with, because it’d be way too damn awkward to back out now. At least, it’s the lie he tells himself.
The lube is cold when it drips onto Prompto’s opening without warning, and he tenses with a yelp, Jazz chuckling at his reaction. “Sorry,” he murmurs, emphasizing his apology with the slow insertion of one finger that has Prompto humming. There’s an uncomfortable pressure at first, but Jazz doesn’t rush it, and soon Prompto’s relaxed enough to enjoy himself, hips pushing back for more. The foreplay is nice, and if he had to rate it, he’d give it an eight out of ten. One point off for the fact he’s in a college dorm, and the other for—well, the fact that Prompto’s feelings are compromised.
When Jazz removes his finger, hands instead gripping Prompto’s hips, the blond bites down and takes a deep breath.
Last chance, his conscience singsongs.
“Ready, baby?” Jazz murmurs affectionately. He can feel Jazz’s tip brush up against him.
Prompto would like to think he would have been noble, even if he hadn’t heard the keys jingling in the lock. That he would have told Jazz to stop so he could say, sorry man, you’re awesome, but I can’t do this—not when what I really want is to be fucked by my professor instead. Instead, the choice is made for him when the door opens.
“Oh—shit, sorry—!” Noctis is saying even as Jazz jumps up and away, zipping his fly frantically. Prompto flips over, shoving hands between his legs to buy time to locate his clothes, and although getting caught in the act is mortifying in and of itself, one pervading feeling rises to the surface: relief.
See, I told you you’d regret this, that annoying voice chides.
“It’s fine, uh—” Jazz mumbles as he stands awkwardly to the side. The prince has one hand covering his eyes, his usually milky skin turning cherry red from secondhand embarrassment.
“Hey, Noct,” Prompto squeaks, busy sliding his sweatpants back on.
“I’m—gonna go,” Noctis mumbles, backing away. “Just, uh, text me when you’re done, alright?” He doesn’t wait for confirmation, slamming the door as he leaves. It’s silent as they listen to the prince’s retreating footsteps, and Jazz blows out a long breath.
Their eyes meet, and Prompto can’t help but laugh—because if he doesn’t, he thinks he’ll cry. Jazz ends up laughing with him, shaking his head.
“We could still…” Prompto’s guest trails off, but the interruption has provided the clarity Prompto needed, and even though his blue balls are going to hate him in approximately five minutes, his mind is made up.
“Sorry—that killed the mood for me. Rain check? And anyway, I probably need to make sure His Highness isn’t scarred for life.”
Although Jazz is obviously disheartened by the decision, he nods understandingly. “Call me?” he asks. He looks so hopeful that Prompto’s heart aches.
Ugh, I’m a terrible person.
“Yeah, for sure.” He will think of a better way to let the guy down gently later, but for now Prompto says his goodbyes and waits for Jazz to walk out before collecting his thoughts.
He eventually texts Noctis, but not before jacking off into the toilet. It’s not dignified, but it’s better than being frustrated for the rest of the evening. Prompto tries to go back to reading for history class, but it only makes him wonder how he’s going to look Ignis in the eyes in the morning and he ends up shoving the textbook into his backpack as Noctis re-enters the room, the prince peeking in first as if to ensure he doesn’t walk in on anything else.
“You should have told me you had plans,” Noctis huffs. “That’s an image of you I didn’t need.”
Prompto rolls his eyes. “I didn’t have plans, Jazz just kinda sprung it on me. Plus, you’ve seen me naked plenty of times.” In a totally platonic way—not weird, right? Hm.
“Sprung it on you, huh?” Noctis echoes, giggling. The prince dodges the pen Prompto flicks at him, the object that just happens to be within reach. “Does this mean you guys are a thing now?”
When Prompto doesn’t answer, instead looking up at the ceiling forlornly, Noctis groans. “Oh no—I knew it. Something happened with your professor this morning, didn’t it?”
“What—no! Nothing happened.” But Prompto winces, and Noctis fixes him with a steely glare, pulling the blond from his chair and shaking him.
“Dude, it’s all fun and games until you actually start dating your professor. Then you’re in deep shit.”
“It wasn’t a date; it was just coffee. Besides, you and Gladio were the ones who left me at his apartment and asked if we slept together!” Prompto shrugs Noctis off indignantly, but the damage has been done. There’s no hiding his guilt from his best friend.
“That was Gladio’s idea, not mine. I didn’t think you were serious about it! Does Gladio know about this?” Noctis has his phone in his hand, already composing a text, and Prompto grabs for it, but Noctis is quicker, shielding Prompto from it by turning his back.
“There’s nothing for him to know,” Prompto whines, begging for Noctis to listen. “And anyway, Gladio doesn’t seem to have any issue with me and Ignis—”
“Oh, so it’s Ignis now?” the prince’s words cut like glass, tone shifting to accusatory, and it makes Prompto stiffen, muscles taut with anger.
“Why are you so upset? You were egging this on too! You called it a date when I left this morning, so what’s the big deal all of a sudden?” Prompto gesticulates wildly with his arms as Noctis folds his over his chest, taking on a defensive stance.
“It’s called teasing, Prom, get a grip. Everyone has had a crush on a hot teacher before, but that’s not the problem—you’re ignoring someone who is perfect for you in favor of some fantasy, and that’s just stupid,” Noctis seethes.
Prompto scoffs, bristling at the accusation, and the retort shoots out like a bullet before he can stop it, fast and wicked. “Perfect for me? Like who, you?”
Prompto knows it’s a mistake—and it’s a big one.
The room turns silent, temperature dropping like Prompto just opened the door of a freezer. He sees a muscle working in Noctis’s clenched jaw, the prince’s balled fists quivering.
“Save it,” he snaps. “If you want to fuck yourself over for a piece of ass, be my guest. I just hope it’s worth it.” Noctis is heading for the door, and Prompto is powerless to stop him.
“Wait, where are you going? Noct, come on man!” Prompto yells as Noctis exits. It’s too late though. The prince is already halfway down the hall, looking like a man possessed. He lets his best friend go, running his hands through his hair to clasp them behind his head.
The whiplash of emotions is too much for Prompto to handle, and he finds himself sinking into his desk chair, head hanging between his knees. Tears prick at the corners of his eyes, but he tries to keep them at bay by digging his fingernails into his thighs.
Bad Prompto speaks sweet nothings to him, trying to make him feel better.
You’re not doing anything wrong—what did Noct expect to happen? You’re an adult! It’s your life to mess up if you want to.
It’s not the most encouraging train of thought, and Prompto almost considers calling up Gladio to request a distraction, but that would probably mean more alcohol, and both Good and Bad Prompto can agree that’s a terrible idea. So he wastes time on the internet instead, but no amount of cat videos or memes can make Prompto feel better, and he ultimately ends up lying in bed, staring at the empty top bunk, wishing Noctis would come back so they can make up—so he can apologize properly.
But Noctis doesn’t come back that night. Or, if he does, it’s after Prompto falls asleep, only to leave again before Prompto’s seven am alarm. Which is highly unlikely.
It starts raining on Prompto’s way to class, and in a way, it feels like the universe is laughing at him. He arrives to History of Lucis trailing water like a slug, light t-shirt partially see-through from the steady drizzle that has dampened it, and goosebumps prickle his forearms from the resulting chill.
He checks his phone—no messages from Noctis.
“Good morning, Mr. Argentum.”
Prompto is too tired to feel anything other than exhaustion when Ignis smiles at him, inclining his head in thanks as the professor slides a stack of study guides in front of Prompto for the student to distribute down his row. There’s a sticky note affixed to the top of the first one, written in an elegant script.
Dinner this evening? Below it is a nine-digit phone number.
Lack of sleep makes Prompto go fifteen minutes into class without acknowledging the note, distracted thoughts causing him to push the papers aside as he tries in vain to focus on Ignis’s lecture. Something about divine judgement, and the magical properties of the Kings of Lucis—blah, blah, blah.
It just makes Prompto think of Noctis, so he tunes out and starts to doodle a chocobo in the top corner of his paper. His eyes pan back over to the sticky note.
Dinner this evening?
“What?” he says aloud, startling like it’s a venomous snake. The girl next to him sits up a little, shooting the blond an annoyed look. Prompto folds the note and tucks it away, peering down to where Ignis is busy doing his job at the front of the room, not paying Prompto any mind.
And why should he pay me any attention? I’m his student, not his boyfriend.
Doubt is creeping in, and it brings along its two friends, Guilt and Anxiety. Prompto chews on his pencil as he watches the clock, counting down the minutes.
When the bell rings, Ignis starts to make his way up the steps to where Prompto is sitting in the back of the class. Prompto makes sure he is gone before he arrives.
It’s still raining, and it’s coming down harder now. Prompto starts to jog, telling himself it’s to get out of the rain as quickly as possible, and not because he’s running away, but he knows the truth even if he won’t admit it.
When he gets back to his (still) empty room, he begins to write out a long text message to Noctis, only to erase it. To make things worse, he gets a message from Jazz around the same time.
His stomach does a backflip. “This is stupid,” Prompto groans. If he’s going to navigate the shitstorm that is his love life, one thing is for certain—he can’t do it without his wingman.
Nut up or shut up, right? He presses number one on his speed dial, listening to the tone with trepidation. It takes four rings, but there is a subtle click at the end, indicating someone is on the other line.
“Noct—don’t hang up! I’m sorry, okay? You’re right, I’m being dumb, but at least hear me out.” Prompto holds his breath, straining for any indication Noctis is still there. Just when he thinks it’s a lost cause, there is the slightest rustle.
The relief Prompto feels is better than any orgasm, and ten times more satisfying—although it could just be because he hasn’t had sex in months, but he’ll take what he can get.
“I’ve got another date tonight, but I have a plan this time.” Prompto begins to strip off his wet shirt and pants as he talks, hopping on one leg to keep the phone to his ear.
There’s a laugh from Noctis. “Oh—this oughtta be good. Let’s hear it.” Prompto grins good-naturedly, rummaging in his drawer for a hoodie to lounge in.
I spent way too much time formatting the text messages in this chapter. RIP
Chapter 7: Per My Last Email
Prompto agrees to a dinner date with Ignis to set the record straight once and for all, but he might have bitten off more than he can chew.
What do you wear to a date-that-is-not-a-date? Something that says, hey I’m really into you even though I shouldn’t be, while also communicating you’re not as desperate as you actually are? Prompto stares at himself in the mirror, feeling awkward in the black dress shirt he typically reserves for class presentations and job interviews.
“Roll the sleeves,” Noctis offers his advice from where he is dangling his upper half off the edge of the top bunk, scrolling idly through his phone as he waits for Prompto to finish getting ready.
Prompto does as the prince suggests, then unfastens the top button as an afterthought, turning to observe his profile. Noctis whistles encouragingly.
“Hot,” the prince confirms. Usually, Prompto would laugh or smile, maybe roll his eyes, but he’s too nervous to do anything, so instead he hooks his thumbs in the beltloop of his jeans and blinks at his reflection as if looking at a stranger. Even his hair is cooperating today—that never happens—and he has the fleeting thought of, damn, I look good.
“Ready to go?” It’s a gentle push from Noctis, but it sets Prompto’s nerves more on edge. He begins to fidget, reaching up to touch his hair, then thinks better of it and lets his hand fall back to his side.
“Yep, as ready as I’m gonna be.”
“Don’t worry—I’ll be there,” Noctis reminds him, springing off the bed and landing with feline finesse. After Noctis pats Prompto on the back, he steers the blond out the door, forcing Prompto into action.
Their cab driver is friendly. “What are you kids getting up to tonight?” the old man inquires, trying to strike up conversation.
“Dinner date,” Noctis answers vaguely. He makes small talk for them while Prompto stews in his thoughts, clutching his phone as he reviews his most recent text messages.
Jazz was perfectly nice when Prompto told him that he wasn’t feeling well enough to go out, and they made plans for coffee after Prompto’s history class Monday morning. It would give Prompto enough time to think of how he could to explain himself—provided that tonight went as planned.
While going over the speech he and Noctis came up with in his head, Prompto re-reads the thread between him and Ignis and tries to ignore the butterflies rising inside his stomach.
When they arrive at the restaurant, Prompto takes a minute to stand outside and watch the front door with a glassy expression. Noctis is the picture of patience, not speaking at first. As the minutes stretch longer though, the prince finally bumps his hip into Prompto’s.
“Just remember what we talked about. I’ll call you in ten minutes in case you need an out. You got this, man.”
“Sure thing.” The instinct is too strong, and Prompto drags his fingers through his hair. So much for a good hair day.
Another nudge from Noctis propels Prompto forward, and it turns his legs on autopilot. They carry him through the front door where a hostess smiles at him politely. “Just one?” she asks, already grabbing a menu.
Prompto doesn’t hear the person who comes up behind him, but he knows who grabs his elbow based on the recognizable scent of his cologne. Amazingly, Prompto doesn’t jump or flinch this time. “Two, actually.” Prompto turns to look at Ignis, and—oh gods—he’s so close that Prompto is warmed by his body heat, and he can see every individual eyelash. Lowering his voice for Prompto’s benefit, Ignis waits for the woman to look away before murmuring, “I hope you’re hungry, because I am absolutely starving.”
It takes everything in Prompto to maintain his composure—because it’s obvious that Ignis isn’t talking about food, and the bluntness throws Prompto for a loop, stomach flipping like he’s on a roller coaster.
Still recovering, Prompto follows Ignis and the hostess to a booth, already struggling to remember the details of the plan he and Noctis carefully crafted. It’d be easier if Ignis wasn’t wearing jeans that perfectly hugged his hips and ass—
“What drinks can I start you off with?” A waitress has appeared, and just in time.
“Water,” Prompto answers quickly. He’s glad he rolled his sleeves, because he’s already beginning to sweat.
“Water for me as well,” Ignis replies. Their server zips off to fill their order, leaving the two men alone.
Prompto is able to study Ignis better now that they don’t have an audience. He has opted for a long sleeve cotton shirt beneath a leather jacket, but it’s just tight enough to show off his broad chest, and his hair is down instead of styled, at a length that it’s almost in his eyes. Everything about Ignis looks effortless, and yet, seeing him sends Prompto’s heart pounding against his sternum, making it difficult for him to think clearly.
“Thank you for agreeing to meet with me again,” Ignis says as he opens his menu. Prompto mimics the action, but he isn’t really reading the options. There’s only one thing he wants, and it’s right in front of him.
Too bad it’s not for sale.
“Oh, yeah, of course. Thanks for inviting me.” Didn’t think you’d want to be seen with me again after last time. Prompto ducks his head and pretends to look at the list of items for purchase. When the waitress returns with their beverages, Prompto takes care to push his glass far away from him—just as a precaution. Ignis is watching him when Prompto sets his menu aside, and Prompto is really, really trying to remember the plan—honest to Astrals—but those eyes and those lips are more enticing than an all-you-can-eat buffet.
“Ah—before I forget.” Ignis reaches into his inner jacket pocket, pulling out what looks to be a clear plastic CD case. “I found this while I was cleaning the other day and thought you might enjoy it.” Curious, Prompto takes the object Ignis is holding out with both hands, reading the title across the disc: The Secret Life of Chocobos.
“Oh! Sweet, thanks! I haven’t seen this one.” Prompto is grinning, some of his initial dread ebbing in light of the gift. Ignis is smiling again, and for a second, it feels like a real date. Prompto smiles back shyly.
“It’s one of my favorites,” Ignis explains before taking a sip of his water. “I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts once you watch it.” His eyes never leave Prompto’s face, and the blond knows he is blushing, but he doesn’t care. Prompto puts the CD next to him and places his elbows on the counter, leaning in. Ignis does the same. The air between them is charged like it was in the café bathroom—electric. The difference is that Prompto doesn’t panic this time. He holds Ignis’s emerald gaze.
“I was hoping we might discuss something,” the professor murmurs. It’s that damn tone again, the same one Jazz used the other night—all bass, no treble—and it sends Prompto’s pulse dancing. “I consider it time sensitive, which is why I was eager to see you again so soon.”
It’s the vibration of Prompto’s phone in his pocket that brings him down the earth (probably Noctis checking in) reminding him of why he agreed to go to dinner in the first place. You can do this, he tells himself.
“I—wanted to talk about something too.” Prompto swallows when Ignis’s gaze flits to his lips suggestively, and his words die on his tongue.
“I’m all ears.” Ignis doesn’t move, and neither does Prompto. In the silence is a gravity that steadily draws their heads closer together, jaws turning like the lining up of two puzzle pieces. Prompto closes his eyes, bracing for impact.
“Are we ready, gentleman, or do we need a few more minutes?”
Prompto startles at the server’s return, snapping his body against the cushioned booth as he looks to the woman like a child who has been caught with his hand in a cookie jar. Ignis is slower to sit back, and he gives his food order without stuttering, unlike Prompto. Their waitress wears a fixed customer-service-smile, promising that everything will be right out in no time before she walks away.
The cellphone in Prompto’s jeans is trembling again, telling him to get on with it.
“I like you,” Prompto spits out. He pauses, stunned at his own boldness. His mouth has gone dry, but he’s not about to risk reaching for his water—not now. Ignis doesn’t react to the lackluster confession, so Prompto presses on, clasping his hands in his lap so that they don’t move as he talks. “I like you—a lot, but…” Ignis’s eyebrows lift the fraction of an inch, which makes Prompto stumble over his words. “But we can’t do this.”
“This?” Ignis asks lightly. “And what is ‘this,’ pray tell?” It’s teasing—playful, even. Prompto is treading in water where his feet can’t scrape the bottom, and he’s afraid he will drown in an ocean of his own making. All he can do is flail and hope for someone to throw him a lifeline.
“This—going on dates, giving me gifts—” Prompto lowers his voice. “—you’re my teacher.”
“Ah, that. Yes, I suppose it is troubling.” Prompto gapes at Ignis’s blatant sarcasm. He’s not denying it?
“Uh, so…” Prompto flounders again, rubbing the back of his neck. “I was thinking—after the semester is over…” The smile on Ignis’s face is amused, but it quickly becomes irritated as something over Prompto’s shoulder catches the man’s attention, shifting it to the left. Prompto can feel Noctis calling again, and he’s thinking maybe he should answer it this time when he twists in his seat to follow Ignis’s stare.
“May I help you?” Ignis is asking, tone flat. It seems a little rude of him—I mean, the waitress is just doing her job. How’s she supposed to know she’s walking in on a serious conversation?
Except, the waitress isn’t the waitress, although Prompto wishes it was when he sees who it actually is. He can’t believe his incredibly bad luck—now he knows for certain that the gods are laughing at him, because the person standing at the edge of the booth with his hands on his hips is none other than Jazz, and he’s glaring down at Prompto with fury the equivalent of Ifrit’s Hellfire. If Prompto thought he was sweating before, he’s definitely sweating now.
I can explain, he wants to say. Everything inside and outside of him shrivels, and he doesn’t dare look at Ignis for fear of what he might find.
“Hey, Prompto.” Jazz’s smile isn’t friendly.
“Heya, Jazz,” Prompto greets weakly.
“So, this is you ‘catching up on sleep,’ huh?” he drawls, judgement oozing from every syllable.
“This isn’t what it looks like,” Prompto insists in a hurry. “This is my history professor, Mr. Scientia—we’re just meeting to discuss class stuff. I’m not standing you up.”
“Your history professor? Good one, but I’m not stupid.” Jazz’s voice is tight, and it snaps like a whip.
“Actually, I am.” The soft-spoken declaration makes both Jazz and Prompto turn, the expression on Ignis’s face causing the blond the inhale sharply. While Jazz’s anger is searing hot and strong enough to leave burns, Ignis’s is bloodcurdling and terrifying, filling Prompto’s veins with ice. Being stuck between the two makes him want to slip under the table and disappear, but it wouldn’t get him out of the hole he has dug for himself, so he is forced to watch the events he has set in motion in penitent silence, hoping to come out the other side in one piece.
Jazz crosses his arms over his chest so that his biceps bulge, striking a vivid image of a bull getting ready to charge. “You often take your students out for dinner, professor?”
“Only the ones I’m romantically interested in.” It’s said so casually that Jazz and Prompto’s jaws drop open in comedic unison, and Ignis sips his water without breaking eye contact with the jilted lover.
“This is a joke, right? Prompto, tell me you’re not actually dating this guy. What about the other night, huh?”
Prompto is squirming, noticing that other restaurant-goers are now eavesdropping. There’s no easy way out, but there’s also no way he can admit to Jazz in front of Ignis that he only considered sleeping with him because Prompto was hot for his teacher.
With no other option left to him, Prompto lies.
“No, of course we’re not dating. Mr. Scientia is just joking, alright? He’s a friend of Gladio’s and he’s helping me with some schoolwork. We’re still on for coffee Monday—please, this is just a big misunderstanding.”
Prompto shudders, feeling Ignis’s eyes shift onto him, but he holds fast to the fib, hoping Jazz will believe it. Jazz is still looking between them skeptically, but his eyebrows are smoothing, arms uncrossing in his confusion.
“…right, okay. My bad.” He shakes his head, chuckling. “You, uh, really don’t look like a professor,” Jazz points out sheepishly.
“So I’ve heard,” Ignis agrees, then adds calmly, “My youthful looks, I suppose.” Under different circumstances, Prompto would have laughed.
“Yeah, definitely.” Jazz blinks, awkward now that his anger has dissipated, and he looks around like he has somewhere to be. “Sorry for interrupting your dinner. I’ll talk to you later then.” Prompto doesn’t bother to say goodbye as Jazz stalks off, exhaling loudly once he is out of sight.
The server returns with their food before Prompto can clear the air, but he notices the slight downturn of Ignis’s mouth and stiffness of his body, reserved hostility now rolling off of him in waves. Neither of them touches their meals when the waitress leaves again.
“I can explain—” Prompto starts to say, but Ignis holds up a hand to stop him. The professor slides out of the booth and gets to his feet in one smooth motion.
“It seems you there are things you and your…friend need to discuss. I am going to pay my bill and take my leave.” Ignis speaks firmly, leaving no room for argument, and Prompto’s heart twinges. He wants nothing more than to throw himself at Ignis and tell him the truth—down to every last dirty detail.
I fucked up, okay? I know I did—but it’s you I want, not him! I know that now.
But Prompto doesn’t say anything, because the professor doesn’t seem like the type of person who would respond well to groveling, and Prompto feels he has already embarrassed himself enough in front of him. So he just nods, throat going tight as he focuses on the untouched plate of chicken tenders that he knows he won’t eat.
“Goodbye, Mr. Argentum.”
A few weeks ago, Prompto would have done anything to hear Ignis say ‘Mr. Argentum,’ in that seductive voice of his, but now he knows Ignis is using the title as a dividing line between them, a regression back to strict professionalism and away from intimacy. He’s no longer ‘Prompto,’ just another student.
It’s a stab in the gut.
Prompto isn’t sure how long he sits in the booth after Ignis is gone, staring blankly ahead. The waitress comes and goes, letting him know the tab has been paid. Eventually, he becomes vaguely aware of a hand squeezing his shoulder. He doesn’t look up.
“Prompto? You good, buddy? I tried calling to tell you Jazz was here, but…” Noctis doesn’t have to finish the sentence. It’s obvious by the fact that Prompto is sitting in the restaurant without either Ignis or Jazz that their plan has failed miserably, and they weren’t forward-thinking enough to come up with a Plan B.
“Come on, let’s get you home.” The prince must forcibly pull Prompto out of his seat, supporting him with one arm around the waist when the blond sways like he might fall. “I’ve got you,” Noctis says.
Prompto leans against Noctis’s shoulder when they step out, the night air crisp and biting. His sweat cools rapidly, and the blond shivers. He stays close to Noctis’s side the entire ride back to the dorm, only pulling away when they walk through the door. Not bothering to change out of his clothes, Prompto collapses face first onto his bed and closes his eyes, begging the darkness to take him and put him out of his misery.
Prompto is running late to class on Monday morning, and he can’t even blame it on being hungover, although he might as well be. His head hurts, he feels like he’s going to throw up, and he can’t get over the sensation of the ground shifting beneath his feet.
Are concussions permanent?
“I think they call it lovesickness,” Noctis had said Sunday night after they had returned from the cafeteria. It was the first time Prompto had eaten a full meal since that fateful Friday night gone wrong, and he had immediately regretted it.
“It sucks,” he had groaned, one hand clutching his aching belly. Noctis tried to cheer him up, suggesting a number of activities—even going to the arcade, something they hadn’t done in ages—all of which Prompto had turned down. “I have history in the morning,” was his excuse. And I need to mentally and emotionally prepare.
“Are you still meeting Jazz after?”
Prompto hadn’t even thought about the guy all weekend, and judging from the radio silence in their text message thread, neither had he. More disappointingly, Ignis hadn’t contacted him either. “Probably not—I just haven’t said anything yet.” Prompto added cancel coffee date to his list of things to do, beneath study for statistics exam and read chapter nine of history textbook. He knew he would procrastinate on all of them until the last possible second, and had gone to bed stressed, not falling asleep until well after midnight.
Now, he is hurriedly walking across campus, phone in hand to check the emails he has been neglecting—not because he has been busy, but because he has been intentionally avoiding the outside world to wallow in self-pity.
When he sees it, it is sandwiched between an announcement about homecoming and a message from a study group he only occasionally attends, and Prompto would have missed it entirely if not for the fact he had to stop at a crosswalk and wait for traffic to pass.
He stares at the subject line, eyebrows slowly drawing together. Confirmation of Withdrawal from History of Lucis 101, it states—the sender address is from the Office of Student Affairs, the name familiar to him.
The walk signal turns green, but Prompto remains stationary, allowing students to flow past him as he clicks on the email with growing alarm that only intensifies the further down he reads.
Dear Mr. Argentum,
Your professor has submitted his approval for your withdrawal from History of Lucis 101. Please retain this email confirmation for your records. As this was completed at Professor Scientia’s request, this will not negatively affect your overall GPA or financial aid status.
Please direct any questions to Professor Scientia. He has asked that you contact him directly by setting up an appointment during his office hours to address any concerns you might have.
Head Advisor – Insomnia University Registrar
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” Prompto hisses. He reads the email a second time, looking to see if there is any other information that he somehow missed. There isn’t though—no attachments, no post script—and the knowledge that no reason is given leaves Prompto feeling empty, hungry for answers that he knows he won’t get unless he faces the one man responsible.
At first, Prompto is angry enough to continue walking to class, hellbent on making himself heard, but the more he thinks about it, the more he slows.
He has every right to be angry. You deceived him. It’s Good Prompto speaking—or maybe it’s Bad Prompto—he’s not sure if he knows the difference anymore. None of this would have happened if you kept your dick in your pants. Okay, that’s definitely Good Prompto.
Barging into the lecture hall would be a bad idea, especially since Prompto doesn’t have the best track record with controlling his emotions, so he does the only thing he can think of—he calls Noctis.
“…hello?” Noctis grumbles, clearly half asleep.
“He dropped me from his class.” Prompto stands on the front steps of the history building, a surge of emotions making him pace like a caged animal.
“Damn, that’s petty.” There’s the sound of movement in the background, and Prompto pictures Noctis sitting up in bed, rubbing his eyes.
“Right?” Prompto is relieved that Noctis is on his side this time, no questions asked.
“Have you talked to him yet?” Noctis yawns halfway through the sentence.
“No, should I?”
“If you’re upset about it, sure. What else do you have to lose?” the prince wonders. Prompto thinks probably a lot, but nothing immediately comes to mind now that he thinks about it. It's just a question of how he should talk to him—show up at his office after class? No, definitely too confrontational. Besides, Prompto isn’t the best with coming up with words on the fly and would probably say something he would regret. Text message then? No—too personal. If Ignis wanted to, he could have easily texted Prompto over the weekend, but he didn’t, which meant it was better to go through more official channels.
That just left email; ironically, it was how everything started, so it was weirdly poetic that it would end this way too.
Prompto sighs, his decision made. “Alright, I will. Thanks, Noct.”
“Can I go back to bed now?”
After hanging up, Prompto plops down on the nearest step to begin composing his message. He gives it more care and attention than any paper he has ever written, and it takes several drafts before it feels complete enough to send.
Dear Mr. Scientia,
I wanted to apologize for my behavior the other day. I should have been more honest about my feelings towards you, but I was afraid of the what would happen if people found out I was your student. What I wanted to say was this: I had hoped to go out with you again after the semester was over to spare both of us the scrutiny and possible trouble it would cause if we continued seeing each other. Mostly because I am very bad at being subtle. (You might have noticed.)
I have made my fair share of mistakes. The night I saw you at Loveless, my friends were trying to hook me up with the guy who showed up at our dinner. At the time, I didn’t think you had any real interest in me, and like your typical dumb college student, I thought I could drown my feelings in alcohol and sex, but I was very, very wrong. I wish I had known then what I know now, which is that I’d risk just about anything to be with you. Pretty stupid, I know.
I understand why you dropped me from your class. I embarrassed you, and it’s too great of a risk to be seen with me anyway, but I hope you will at least accept my heartfelt apology and best wishes.
Thanks for all you have taught me—
He sends it, pushing down the anxiety that makes his stomach clench painfully. He has taken the plunge, and now all he can do is wait.
It’s several hours later before Prompto gets a reply. He has been jumping at every notification as he kills time in his dorm room, only to be disappointed that it’s not from him—until it is. He pulls his phone against his chest, cupping it with both hands as he opens his email eagerly.
The response is short:
Per my last email sent by Ms. Buchanan, please schedule an appointment in order to discuss any concerns you might have.
Prompto, at a loss and overwhelmed, lays his head down on his desk, and cries.
The Secret Life of Chocobos is a reference to the documentary titled The Secret Life of Birds.
Chapter 8: A Final Hurrah
It is nearing the end of the semester, and Prompto is still desperate to forget the series of mistakes that have put a hold on his love life.
Did you know that wild chocobos mate for life, but domesticated chocobos have been bred to accept multiple partners? It’s a strange anomaly, but obviously a lucrative one for those in the business of breeding them. Can’t have a chocobo pining for its lover when it could be laying eggs, right?
It’s something that Prompto learns while watching The Secret Life of Chocobos, and it is what he happens to be thinking about when Jazz waves a hand in front of his face from where he sits across the table in the bustling university café.
“Eos to Prompto—you there?” he asks. Prompto immediately picks up on his companion’s irritation and smiles apologetically, reaching for his now cold coffee. He doesn’t drink it.
“Yeah, sorry. What were you saying?” The university coffee shop is packed with students studying for finals, which just so happens to be around the corner—wow, where has the semester gone?—and Prompto has been trying to move on with his life since being dropped from his History of Lucis class nearly four weeks ago.
‘Moving on’ means more casual dates, primarily with Jazz (mostly because Noctis keeps kicking Prompto out of their room and telling the blond to stop moping) but Prompto continues to avoid any private encounters with the guy. Not that Jazz doesn’t offer, but Prompto’s heart isn’t in it and he knows better than to make the same mistake twice. In the meantime, public outings seem safe, and Jazz has been patient—up until now.
“You’re not into me, are you?” he asks bluntly. It’s not really a question, even though it’s phrased like one, but it’s also more resigned than accusing. Jazz sighs when Prompto doesn’t immediately refute it.
“I’m sorry,” Prompto says lamely. He knows it must be extremely dissatisfying, but he doesn’t have any better answer or explanation, and it’s a huge relief to finally admit the truth after four excruciating weeks of trying to pretend otherwise. “You’re a nice guy, I just…” Jazz is nodding, collecting his things. Prompto never finishes the thought, watching helplessly as his date stands and slings his backpack over his shoulder.
At first, Prompto thinks Jazz is going to leave without saying anything else, but then he asks, “Is it something I did?”
“No!” That, at least, Prompto is sure of. It’s not you, it’s me. He grimaces as Jazz looks to him expectantly. “I…there is—was—someone else I was interested in, but it didn’t work out, and I really wanted to make things work between you and me, but…”
“I get it. Mr. Professor, huh?” Jazz smirks when Prompto’s blush colors his face as red as a Lucian tomato, confirming his suspicions. “I mean, I can’t blame you, that guy looks like he was molded by the hands of the Astrals themselves. Didn’t really expect you to be into that kinda thing though.” The way Jazz says it is not meant to be cruel, just objective—like a nature documentary narrator.
The wild chocobo cannot resist the courtship dance of its potential mate. No other chocobo will suffice; the bird is hopelessly captivated by the plumage of its partner and will not simply settle for second best.
“Uh, well, he dropped me from his class, so that ended before it even started.” Jazz laughs sympathetically, and Prompto laughs with him. It helps to soothe the pain that still aches deep in his chest, the same pain he has been trying to bury with these casual dates.
“Hey, at least he’s not your teacher anymore.” Jazz shrugs, turning to go, but hesitates. “If you ever change your mind—or just want to blow off some steam, hit me up.” Prompto blinks rapidly. Did he just offer to be fuck buddies? Jazz’s smile is slow and sultry so it’s a definite yes he did, but it fails to drudge up a reaction inside Prompto, neither physical nor emotional.
NO. Good and Bad Prompto are unified on this front.
“Thanks, but I don’t think friends with benefits is what I’m going for,” Prompto replies, heeding the advice of his inner voices. His strictly-friend-nothing-more takes the rejection in stride and nods.
“Alright. See you around?”
“Yeah, I’ll see you.” Prompto watches Jazz walk out of the café, then lingers a little longer, not ready to go back to his dorm quite yet. He toys with the idea of studying, but he knows he won’t be able to focus.
A nap would be good, he thinks. Life’s natural reset button.
Prompto rises out of his seat, seeing his table get snatched immediately by a group of students with books tucked under their arms, and heads for the door, dumping his coffee in the trash on his way out.
It’s the buzzing of Prompto’s phone under his pillow that stirs him, and he slides his hand beneath the soft fabric to find it, noting the lateness of the hour. Gladio’s texts are close together, and still coming.
The last thing Prompto wants to do is go to a party, especially this party. It’s the same one that Noctis first took him to last semester to meet Gladio, an ABO tradition: get absolutely smashed before going into finals’ week. Prompto’s body has a visceral reaction to the invite, liver cowering in his abdomen as he groans.
You remember what happened last time—that’s the worst hangover you’ve ever had.
Then again, it might be fun to forget things for a while...
The angel and demon on his shoulders bicker, trading rapid-fire jabs back-and-forth, but a text from Noctis comes through, sealing the deal and silencing them both.
He thinks he should protest (at least for his health’s sake) but whenever Gladio and Noctis decide on something together it’s nearly impossible to get them to back down. Prompto, drawing from experience, knows it is simpler to give in, grin and bear it for a few hours, and then resume his boring daily life in the morning. So, he sends a confirmation text without delay, giving himself the extra time he needs to steel himself for social interaction with drunken frat boys.
When Noctis swings by the room to pick Prompto up, he makes him change. “What’s wrong with sweatpants and a hoodie?” Prompto whines as Noctis throws clothes at him from out of their shared closet.
“It’s a party, not a funeral,” the prince says.
“I don’t know how many funerals you’ve been to, dude, but—”
“Just put this on,” Noctis interrupts. Prompto doesn’t argue, although it does make him pause when he sees it’s the same black button-down he wore to his dinner with Ignis. He hasn’t worn it since, and the nostalgia it gives him is almost enough to make him insist he’s just going to stay in for the night, but then he catches Noctis’s look in the mirror.
It’s appraising in that friendly, supportive way, meant to instill confidence. “See? Much better. Now you look like a sexy black chocobo.” The description gets the desired reaction, Prompto’s fair skin flushing beneath Noctis’s gaze.
“W-what—dude! That’s not a thing.”
“Yeah, well it is now. Man, I’ve missed you.” It’s a confession Prompto isn’t expecting, and he gapes at the prince in disbelief, not sure what to make of it.
“Missed me? Did I go somewhere?” Prompto’s confusion shows as Noctis ushers him out of the room, and the prince rolls his eyes impatiently.
“Don’t make me say it again. Just promise me you’ll try to have a good time tonight.” It’s the hopefulness in Noctis’s eyes that ultimately persuades Prompto to do just that, and he thinks of another scene from The Secret Life of Chocobos on their short ride to the frat house.
Even after a mate is selected, chocobos prefer to travel and live in groups, regardless of pairings within their immediate flock, and it is not uncommon for a chocobo to select a close friend to spend time with, even sharing meals or bedding—regardless of the other’s relationship status or lack thereof.
For Noctis’s sake, he will do his best to be the perfect wingman.
A group of guys, buzzing from the headway they’ve made into the fifth of vodka that now sits empty on the front porch steps, send up cheers when Noctis and Prompto emerge from their taxi. They wave back, accepting beers that are shoved into their hands before they even make it inside.
“To the end of the semester,” Prompto toasts while popping the bottle cap off on an opener affixed to the wall of the entryway—these ABO guys keep it classy.
“To a fresh start,” Noctis agrees, doing the same. They chug their drinks until they’re gone, already looking for seconds as they squeeze through the crowd of people standing in the living room.
They find Gladio leaning against a keg that’s shoved into the corner, surrounded by a group of his fraternity brothers, and Prompto notices a new girl who is not Erica hanging on his arm. This one has short blonde hair and wears a formfitting dress that leaves little the imagination, eyes bright like the sky on a cloudless day.
“Noct! Prompto! You made it,” the older boy shouts, making everyone acknowledge their arrival. Prompto extends his hand to the woman first to introduce himself as a red solo cup is shoved into the other, and lets the guys clap him and Noctis on the back as the squeeze their way into the tight ring of partygoers.
“Monica,” she offers simply. He has a feeling he won’t remember her name by the time the party is over, already working on beer number two.
“Who’s up for a game?” Gladio suggests. The idea is met with raucous support from everyone within earshot, and Noctis and Prompto exchange a knowing look. It’s one that says, I’m going all out.
Prompto puts on his most charming smile and swallows the rest of his drink. “Bottoms up.”
Someone whistles when Prompto unbuttons his shirt to tie it around his waist, his hair already ruffled from the headband that has magically appeared in it.
“I thought you’d shoot better than this considering all the game you spit this semester,” Gladio jeers. He sinks the ping pong ball into one of the two remaining cups at the end of the table that has been dragged into the middle of the living room, and their audience oohs and aahs at the appropriate times. Noctis removes the ball from its target and downs the liquid inside like a shot, unzipping his pants to shrug them off nonchalantly.
The prince is only in his underwear now, and someone barks out something about ‘Gladio claiming the crown jewels’ after his crushing victory, but Prompto is too busy focusing on the triangle of cups he is aiming for to pay it much mind.
“This game is rigged,” Prompto moans when he throws the ball only to have it miss the playing field completely. “And I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.” Erica—wait, isn’t it Mandy?—runs to retrieve it, sliding it into Gladio’s hand sensually. The frat boy stops to give her a messy kiss and pat her ass before returning his attention to the game of beer pong he is currently winning. The only thing he has removed so far is his shirt, but that’s a given.
Gladio squints at Noctis and Prompto’s remaining beer, lining up his shot. “You know exactly what I’m talking about. Jazz and Iggy?” Gladio shakes his head, and the two hold their breaths when he lets the ping pong fly, exhaling noisily as it bounces off the plastic rim. Safe—for now.
Prompto is solidly drunk, which might explain his willingness to broach a subject that he has been avoiding for weeks. “Yeah, well, I fucked both of those opportunities up. No game here, promise.” He doesn’t know why he giggles, although it might have something to do with the fact that Gladio thinks he’s remotely suave enough to be a playboy. That’s a funny thought.
This time, Noctis sinks their ball with a plop into the frontmost container—score!—and Gladio removes his belt with a swish, snapping it tauntingly in his competitors’ direction before tossing it on the floor. “Lucky shot,” he grunts.
“Cake, baby,” Noctis boasts as he throws one arm around Prompto’s bare shoulders.
“Well, you shouldn’t blame yourself, blondie. What happened with Iggy wasn’t your fault,” Gladio insists. Noctis and Prompto trace the arc of his next shot with their eyes, hooting happily when it goes wide.
Prompto snorts—it’s his turn again, and multi-tasking is becoming a chore, so it takes him a few seconds longer to respond to Gladio’s attempt to comfort him, attention focused. “Sure it is. I blew my chance with him by fucking around with Jazz. I should have just went for it from the start instead of jerking them both around—" The ping pong falls short and Prompto curses. “Damnit.”
“Yeah, well.” Gladio steps back for a second, shifting from side-to-side guiltily before frowning. “It wouldn’t have gone to hell without a little help.” Prompto’s eyebrows furrow as he tries to understand what Gladio is getting at.
“What are you talking about?” he inevitably asks—to Prompto’s horror, Gladio manages to get the ping pong ball into the last beer, leaving it for him to consume (and lose his pants in the process). The blond is shimmying free of his jeans to the sound of excited chatter from around the room when Gladio speaks again.
“I told Jazz where you were the night you went to dinner with Iggy.”
Talking continues in the periphery, but to Prompto it might as well be static. His head snaps up from where he is currently bent over, kicking out of one pant leg, and he sees the regret on Gladio’s face clearly despite his drunken haze.
“You…what?” Prompto’s voice is louder than usual thanks to the combination of alcohol and shock. Even Noctis is staring at Gladio in disbelief.
“The night you hooked up with Jazz, Noct crashed here—and he told me everything. When I realized Iggy was serious about you, I knew I had to put an end to things. I didn’t want him to get his heart broken over some punk who didn’t know what he wanted, or worse, one who would get him fired,” Gladio is explaining, tattooed arms spreading placatingly. “So. When he mentioned he was going to meet you, I tipped Jazz off.”
Prompto’s head was already spinning before, but now it is like he is on a merry-go-round that is picking up speed, dangerously out of control. It’s only a matter of time before inertia is going to take over. Anger surges white-hot in Prompto’s stomach, sickening him and coloring his vision red.
“How dare you,” the blond growls, hands balling into fists. His pulse is quickening, palms sweating.
“I did it to protect my friend—and you.” Gladio levels his gaze onto Prompto defiantly, standing by his decision.
Prompto is a firm believer that violence doesn’t solve anything, but his senses are aggressively assaulting him, spurring him to act. There is a roaring in his ears that cannot be ignored, and a heat pumping through his body—an energy that demands out, but it requires a very specific outlet, and that outlet just so happens to be via his fists.
When Prompto flies across the table, it tilts from the weight of him, sending beer splashing across the floor as cups go sideways. There are screams as guests scatter out of the way, and Prompto manages to jump onto Gladio before he registers what is happening, the blond’s hands clawing for anything he can reach.
“Prompto!” Noctis shouts in alarm. The prince has to navigate around the overturned table and beer-slick hardwood as Prompto and Gladio hit the floor and begin to roll, wrestling for dominance.
“Fight!” someone yells excitedly. Noctis is barred from helping his best friend as a circle of chanting college kids materializes from out of nowhere to surround the two brawlers, a few whipping out their phones to record the scene.
Prompto is swinging wildly, inebriation making him clumsier than usual, but Gladio already has him pinned between his legs and is attempting to catch Prompto’s hands. “Fuck you!” Prompto cries, trying to kick loose of the vice grip that is Gladio’s thighs.
“Six—calm down!” Gladio orders angrily, command rising above the hollers of those in attendance.
But Prompto doesn’t calm down. Instead, he spits and swipes like a feral cat, managing to catch Gladio across the face with both attempts. Something dark sparks in the frat boy’s eyes then, and Prompto feels one strong hand wrap around his neck and shake him. It only takes the blond’s head smacking the ground once for his vision to swim like he’s underwater, and it’s followed up with a resounding slap that makes the room go black.
“You didn’t have to be so rough,” a low voice mutters. Prompto knows it’s dark without opening his eyes in the way the quiet lays thick across the room, heavier than a weighted blanket. He’s in someone’s bed, and judging by the voice only a few feet away, it must be Gladio’s.
“You shouldn’t have been so careless with him. It isn’t like a Shield to lose control of their temper.”
If Prompto didn’t feel like death, he would have bolted upright—the lilting tone, those soft vowels—it is unmistakable who else was in the room with them, but all Prompto can do is inhale deep and slow, body sinking even further into the sagging mattress as he listens.
“Well, what’s done is done. Now you know all of it,” Gladio is saying, tone remorseful. “I’m sorry about how it happened, but not sorry that I did it.”
“Hmph,” Ignis tuts. “If you would have let me handle it, we wouldn’t be in this predicament.”
“You’ve already been through a lot, Iggy. If you got fired on top of everything, your parents—”
“You’ve overstepped, Gladiolus.” The retort is chilling, a warning not to go any further. “I am an adult of my own making, and not a child that needs to be coddled.” For a minute, no one speaks as the tension thickens, and Prompto finds himself holding his breath in the event either of the men notice he is not sleeping as soundly as they might believe.
“Sorry,” eventually comes the reluctant apology. “You know I was just looking out for you.”
“In the future, you should look after yourself first. This parade of women is unbecoming,” Ignis says before there is the sound of footsteps. They draw closer to Prompto as the blond attempts to soften the lines of his face, making a special effort to relax his clenched jaw.
“Maybe one day I’ll be as brave as you, but we can’t all run off to ‘follow our dreams’—otherwise nothing would get done,” Gladio says bitterly from across the room. Prompto feels another body sink onto the bed with him, followed by the gentle brushing of fingers across his brow. They’re Ignis’s fingers, and he fears that the man might feel his pulse jump, a clear sign that Prompto is alert to his every move.
“When he wakes, will you ensure that he reads my message?” Ignis’s question is spoken so softly that Prompto thinks he might have imagined it, but Gladio grunts in confirmation.
“Yeah, alright, I guess I owe you that much.” Ignis hums his approval, and then something else presses to Prompto’s forehead—warm, moist lips. It’s only for a moment, but it is long enough for Prompto to feel heat flood his limbs, heart floating into his throat where it becomes lodged.
“Take care.” It’s meant to be Ignis’s parting words, the man standing so that the bed shifts, and Prompto listens forlornly to his steps as they begin to fade.
“Are you sure about this?” Gladio asks as the door creaks on its hinges.
“Surer than I have ever been,” Ignis agrees. A minute passes before Gladio leaves the room too, door latching with a firm click behind him. Once he is gone, Prompto rolls onto his back and opens his eyes, trying to recall the feel of Ignis’s kiss on his skin.
You can imagine the documentary tidbits in Prompto's head being read in that famous narrator voice—you know the one. (David Attenborough)
The names for Gladio's string of girlfriends was taken from the song "Mambo No. 5."
Fanart by @CarrieVogel5 (Twitter)/@MysteriousBean5 (Tumblr)
Chapter 9: Primary Sources
Prompto receives a second chance and a fresh start.
[Explicit sexual content in this chapter]
Sometimes, life surprises you when you least expect it.
When Prompto wakes up—yep, definitely Gladio’s room—the sun is already peeking through the blinds, but the atmosphere in the ABO house still feels like the aftershock of a bomb. The dust has settled and there are no immediate signs of life.
He’s still only in his boxers when he gets to his feet, and he is happy to say he successfully quells his nausea after a few seconds of grounding himself. Deep breaths in, long exhales out. He locates his phone connected to a charger on the nightstand—damn, it’s already almost eleven?—but there are no new messages when he disconnects it, and he’s left to wonder if he made up the whole conversation between Gladio and Ignis; if he dreamed the gentle pressure of lips against his skull and fingers combing through his hair.
It was a nice dream, at least.
Nature calls and Prompto answers, noting that Gladio’s bathroom is surprisingly clean. He wasn’t expecting the cactuar print shower curtain, either. Cute. When he finishes, he decides it’s time to find Noctis and Gladio, so he pads down the hall, gently cracking open whatever doors are unlocked to peer in. They aren’t anywhere on the second or third floors though.
Could they have left without me? It annoys him to think that it’s not entirely impossible, but he resolves to scour every inch of the house before drawing any hasty conclusions.
The first floor is a disaster zone at best, and a hazardous wasteland at worst. It looks like no one bothered to pick up the overturned beer pong table or clean the drinks Prompto managed to spill in his rage-fueled attack, so when the blond’s bare feet connect with the sticky floor his nose scrunches in disgust. Empty bottles, clothes, and half eaten paper plates of pizza are strewn throughout the living room, and he navigates around them like a racecar on an obstacle course.
Prompto is about to call Noctis as he steps out and onto the screened-in patio at the back of the house, shivering against fall’s chill, but then he sees a large form burrowed under a blanket on one of the couches and cancels the call before he finishes dialing.
“Gladio?” Prompto asks, taking one tentative step towards the outline of the immobile stranger. He pauses as the blanket shifts, sliding down to reveal Gladio’s face, slack in sleep with a mysterious bruise over one eye—did I do that?—followed by the emergence of a dark head of hair below Gladio’s chin, a head Prompto knows better than most.
He freezes in place, every part of his body going rigid even as his eyes become wide as saucers. Holy shit.
The smaller body turns a little, leaving no doubt of who it could be, and Prompto is caught between fleeing and pretending he didn’t see anything, or confronting his two friends head on. Platonic cuddling is a thing, this is totally normal, he tries to tell himself. We were all drunk. It could just be a mistake.
Because Noctis can totally be mistaken for a tiny blonde woman, the other, more practical voice chides.
He finally concludes that it is none of his business, and he can wait until they wake up, maybe see if they will mention it themselves, but that doesn’t stop Prompto from holding his phone up and snapping a quick picture for potential blackmail material.
He saves the picture to a password-protected folder of his phone (he’s not dumb where Noctis’s privacy is concerned, he is a prince, after all) and wanders back into the house, finding himself walking to the kitchen. Pulling up a chair, he settles down to wait, scrolling through social media to occupy himself.
Eventually, he hears the groan of floorboards, accompanied by a pair of hushed voices in the living room. Someone is laughing—it sounds like Gladio, and even though Prompto can’t make out the words, Noctis’s tone is pleasant and low, making the blond shift, head tilting towards it with a pang of jealousy that he will adamantly deny if anyone asks. Another sound, a familiar subtle smacking, has Prompto staring more pointedly at his phone, trying to block it out.
Is platonic kissing a thing, too? Prompto swallows, then straightens when the voices start to close in on the kitchen.
Prompto isn’t sure who looks more surprised to see him—Gladio or Noctis. “G’morning,” he tries to say cheerfully, waving from where he’s perched on the barstool. His two friends, both in their underwear, give a little wave back. While Gladio shifts uncomfortably, Noctis decides to take the seat next to Prompto, shooting him a look that might as well be a murder confession. I did it. I’m guilty, it proclaims.
Prompto could be a dick—especially after Gladio did sabotage him and Ignis, but this is Noct we’re talking about, his best friend and Prompto’s one true supporter, and he recalls their toast from the night before as he keeps his expression carefully neutral.
To a fresh start.
“How’d you sleep?” Prompto looks between them, hoping his smile is more teasing than critical. It’s the first time he has ever seen Gladio blush, the older boy coughing as he walks towards the fridge in search of something. The blond recognizes the diversion tactic—he’s used it many times himself—but he doesn’t call him out on it, turning his attention to Noctis instead.
“Great,” the prince answers while meeting Prompto’s gaze head-on. He doesn’t elaborate, and Prompto doesn’t ask. Noctis changes the subject. “How’s your head?”
“Good—I think. No more broken than it was before,” Prompto jokes, running a hand along the back of his skull just to be sure.
“Sorry about that,” Gladio grunts as he pulls out a carton of orange juice and an already open bottle of champagne, locating three (mostly clean) glasses before setting them on the counter.
“Sorry for attacking you,” Prompto adds quickly. A nod from Gladio is all it takes to put the incident behind them, and Prompto immediately feels better.
They watch Gladio pour the glasses halfway full before topping them off with the bubbly alcohol. “Hair of the dog?” The prince’s eyebrows raise as he drinks the mimosa without protest.
“No, we’re celebrating,” Gladio decides, tone firm. “Living through another Final Hurrah, and uh—” he shoots a nervous look first at Prompto, then to Noctis, and back. “—the survival of our friendship, I hope.”
Friendship, huh? Prompto smirks to himself when he catches the side-eye Noctis gives Gladio, lifting his glass. “I’ll cheers to that.” Noctis and Gladio do the same, clinking the rims together gently before sipping.
“Oh—Prompto, that reminds me, I’ve got something for you.” Gladio, already finished with his mimosa, pours another drink that is straight champagne before turning to rummage through a drawer. He returns with a crisp white envelope with his name on it.
Prompto recognizes the handwriting immediately and sets his glass aside, fingers noticeably trembling as he takes it dumbfoundedly.
“Iggy dropped by last night. I texted him after we fought—explained everything.” Gladio speaks gruffly, obviously embarrassed. “He wanted me to give you that.”
So it wasn’t a dream.
Noctis sits up, looking to Prompto with obvious concern while Gladio leans back against the counter, drinking his champagne. Prompto breaks the seal on the letter—he is too eager to know its contents to wait until he is alone, even if it means he might end up crying in front of his closest friend(s).
Please meet me in my office on Monday at 11:00 am. We have much to discuss.
Prompto wants there to be more, but the promise held within the single piece of paper is going to have to be enough. Seeing their names only a line apart—with no mister and no professor between them—just Prompto and Ignis, sends his heart skyrocketing. Monday can’t come soon enough.
“What does it say?” Noctis prods curiously. Prompto folds the note, returning it to its envelope for safekeeping. Before answering, he downs the remaining mimosa in his cup, holding it out so that Gladio steps forward to pour him another.
“It’s a second chance,” Prompto declares, grinning excitedly at the prospect.
“Then you better make sure you don’t fuck it up,” Noctis muses.
Prompto lets Noctis and Gladio choose his outfit for the fateful office date, because he still has no idea what to wear to a meeting with his not-boyfriend-no-longer-my-professor-love-interest to communicate dude, I am so into you and also I’m sorry for everything. Apparently, it’s a pair of his looser, faded jeans and a snug fitting blue t-shirt (to bring out your eyes, Noctis says) with the prince’s behemoth jacket (for good luck). He doesn’t point out that he was wearing the jacket the same night he sent the email that started this entire saga, and maybe it is, in fact, bad luck. There are just some things you don’t say, even to your best friend.
It is 10:55 am on Monday morning, and Prompto stalks the hallway that will lead him to Ignis’s office, the small room tucked in the corner of the top floor of the history building. He reviews the bullet point list of things he needs to say to Ignis. It’s a list that was created over pizza and beer the night before, a group effort between him, Noctis, and Gladio. He has committed it to memory, having already read it about a million times since he woke up (at six am, because his brain wouldn’t let him sleep) but felt it couldn’t hurt to review it one more time.
His phone vibrates, and he reads the messages from Gladio and Noctis as he paces, aiming to be perfectly on time. Early would show he is too eager, and late—well, he knows being late isn't an option.
It’s 10:58, and it’s now or never. Taking several full inhales to try and settle his nerves, Prompto moves until he is directly in front of Ignis’s door. It is unassuming, with a standard nameplate that reads I. Scientia, and yet Prompto is bouncing anxiously as if he’s about to walk into a final exam with his grade on the line.
Prompto counts down the seconds on his watch (something borrowed from Gladio) and knocks at the exact moment it strikes 11:00 am. Three solid taps.
He waits, heart suspended as if on marionette strings.
That same heart is then tugged tight, drawn in by the soft response beyond the door. “Come in.”
You can do this, he thinks.
Prompto, stagnant air burning inside his expanded lungs, exhales and turns the doorknob, entering the office.
Ignis is sitting at his desk, and he lifts his head from where he is currently writing, possibly grading a paper, and the single look he gives Prompto is enough to make his knees knock together. Those eyes, which the blond hasn’t seen in weeks except in his dreams, cut through him anew when Ignis gives the slightest of smiles.
And oh sweet Astrals, he’s wearing those damn suspenders.
“Please, have a seat,” Ignis bids, pushing whatever he is working on to the edge of the desk.
Prompto’s legs have forgotten how to work, and it takes Ignis cocking his head in question for them to remember. “Right.” He walks over to the same chair he sat in during their first meeting in this very room, and he meets Ignis’s eyes slowly, neither of them speaking at first.
Ignis’s face betrays nothing—no anger, no disappointment—and it makes Prompto even more nervous (something he thought was impossible).
Have I made a mistake in thinking he wanted to make up?
He remembers the list in that moment and searches his pocket for it, pulling it out as he ducks his head beneath Ignis’s calm observation. “I, uh, have a few things to say.” Prompto swallows with difficulty, throat suddenly as dry as a desert.
“First of all, I know I messed up—like, a lot. It started with my paper and it was all downhill from there, but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have just told you, especially when things started to go down with Jazz.” Ignis blinks once, sitting back in his chair to grip the armrests. He is watching Prompto with the same quiet intensity he has in the past, and Prompto takes it as a good sign.
- Explain Your Feelings
“I…tried to run away from my feelings, because you were my professor at the time—and I also thought you couldn’t actually like a guy like me. I’m a total disaster, if you didn’t already know, but of course you know that, because you’re really, really smart…” Prompto trails off when Ignis stands without warning, back turning to pull the blinds on the window behind him shut. The blond continues when Ignis turns back to him, waving a hand to indicate he should go on. “…I thought I could get over you by focusing on someone else, but I was wrong.” Ignis walks around the desk and past his visitor, and Prompto turns in confusion, watching as the man approaches the door, turning the deadbolt into the locked position.
Oh gods—is he going to kill me? Prompto starts to sweat, rushing on to his next point when Ignis returns to his seat.
- Beg Forgiveness
“When you dropped me from your class, I tried to move on, but I couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried. I’ve broken things off with Jazz for good.” Prompto grips both of his thighs when Ignis clasps his hands, placing them on the desk, green eyes narrowing. “I really hope you can forgive me, because I can’t stop thinking about you, and I was hoping…”
What was I hoping? There’s no way this is going to end well. He must have just called me here to yell at me.
- If All Else Fails, Pour Your Heart Out
“…I was hoping when Gladio said you were serious about me that there might still be a chance. Since I’m not your student anymore. I want to have coffee with you, and watch documentaries, and know why the hell you color-code your bookshelf. I want—” Prompto blushes. “—I want to wake up in your bed, but with you in it.”
There is still no response from Ignis, just the same quiet, controlled look, and it is finally too much for Prompto. He jumps to his feet, hurrying for the door. “I’m sorry, I must have misunderstood—” His hand reaches for the lock, but doesn’t make it before Ignis’s question stops him.
“Are you done?” It’s spoken tightly, but when Prompto looks over his shoulder, the man looks amused, a peculiar fire in his eyes that stirs unbearable heat in Prompto’s abdomen. “Sit.”
Enchanted, Prompto obeys, returning to sink back into his chair, eyes now forward and unblinking. Ignis stands again, placing his hands steadily on his desk so he can lean down to Prompto’s eyelevel.
“I read your email, and I spoke with Gladio. I am acutely aware of your blunders, but that isn’t why I called you here today.” He pauses for dramatic effect, and it succeeds in sending tendrils of sensation dancing across Prompto’s skin. Ignis’s guest is as still as prey caught in the sights of a predator, muscles bunched as if to run—and Ignis is a coeurl on the prowl, surefooted and powerful.
“I am also to blame for our egregious miscommunication. I had hoped my subtle hints would suffice in communicating the strength of my attraction to you, but alas, I overestimated your ability to read them. If not for the interruption that Gladio so artfully arranged, I would have told you that I had already planned to drop you from my class due to a conflict of interest.”
Prompto’s mouth drops open before he echoes, “Conflict of interest?”
“Yes,” Ignis confirms dryly, deadpan. “I found my ability to control myself around you was being unacceptably compromised, and I simply could not wait until the end of the semester, even as you admitted you were willing to.” It’s a work of divine grace that Prompto’s soul doesn’t leave his body right then and there, because Ignis’s words kill what remains of his common sensibilities, mind spiraling in dizzying disbelief. “Then, Gladio told me of your interactions with—Jazz, was it?—and I am ashamed to say I reacted…poorly.” Ignis’s lips purse.
He was…just as upset? Prompto sneaks a peek at Ignis. The professor is one thousand and one percent staring at him with a hunger that cannot be denied. Words whispered in Prompto’s ear resurface.
I hope you’re hungry, because I am absolutely starving.
“Imagine my relief when Gladio admitted to his meddling and informed me you were otherwise unattached.” Ignis moves like a cat, sexual energy dripping from every pore—an impressive feat when every square inch of him is covered in expensive fabric. He steps in front of Prompto, legs bumping against knees as the professor positions himself on the edge of his desk and bends to take Prompto’s chin in his hand.
They’ve never been this close, and Prompto forgets to breathe—Ignis absorbing all the air necessary for his survival. The professor’s face spans the short distance between them, meeting.
This time, Ignis doesn’t graze his lips sweetly across Prompto’s forehead. No—this is a full, delicious, mouth-to-mouth, tongues intertwining, swallow-me-whole, kiss. Prompto drinks him in, letting Ignis pressure him back against the plastic frame of the chair, hands rising to grip the man’s slender, muscled hips. When Ignis winds a hand behind Prompto’s neck and into his hair, the blond gasps, feeling arousal pulse strong in-between his legs.
“You are infuriating,” Ignis all but growls against Prompto’s neck. Prompto bites his lip to keep from whimpering embarrassingly, too concerned with the Ignis’s strong hands on him, one already slipping beneath his shirt to rake over his chest.
“M-me?” he moans. Ignis has moved his mouth to his throat, teeth grazing the sensitive skin under the blond’s chin. He still has a fist in Prompto’s hair, holding the blond’s head back at an angle that gives him room to work.
“Yes, you.” Ignis explores under Prompto’s shirt with his fingers, and wherever his mouth can reach—his jaw, his collarbones, his ear. Fireworks go off behind Prompto’s eyelids as his internal temperature rises, and he prays to every Astral that he won’t come before they can even get their clothes off. “Walking in to Kenny’s dressed like that, only to insist we wait until the end of the semester.” Ignis huffs incredulously, as if Prompto might have suggested they commit ritual suicide. “Honestly.”
“I—I’m sorry,” Prompto clings tighter to Ignis, using the beltloops of the professor’s slacks as anchor points in the stormy sea of his arousal.
“Not yet. But you will be,” Ignis playfully hums, pulling back suddenly. Prompto blinks like a drug addict coming down from a high, starstruck and needing more—much more. Meanwhile, Ignis stands, legs to either side of Prompto’s knees, and slips off one suspender, then the other, before beginning to unbutton his shirt. Dazed, Prompto can only stare, licking his lips as his eyes fall to Ignis’s toned abdomen. “Do you recall the original title of your assignment, Mr. Argentum?” Ignis prompts slyly.
Fuck—Prompto’s hard-on presses against the inseam of his jeans, and he’s suddenly thankful he wore the looser pair. “Um—uh—”
“I wish my history professor would suck my cock,” Ignis supplies helpfully, pleased. He removes his top then, folding it before setting it behind him on the desk. The professor’s suspenders hang limply at his waist. It serves as a contrast to Ignis’s own erection, which Prompto can now clearly see the bulging outline of through his dress pants.
“Eyes up, if you please.” Prompto jerks his head up to see Ignis smirking wickedly. “Perhaps, if you ask me now, Mr. Argentum, we might begin to complete some research on the subject. I find that primary sources are best, myself.” Ignis is sinking to his knees, and his eyes are fucking glowing like a daemon’s when they flit up to Prompto from beneath his beautifully long lashes.
Fuck—fuck—fuck—I’m not gonna make it at this rate.
All Prompto can do is contract the muscles of his legs and beg for Ifrit’s benediction, because if he empties his load before Ignis unzips his jeans, he is never going to live it down.
Somehow—he makes it past that first crucial step. Prompto’s head might be hanging back as if to gasp for air, and he might be clenching his teeth to stifle a loud moan, fingers white-knuckling the arms of his seat, but hey, he makes it, and that’s what counts. He knows without looking that Ignis is studying his upright dick, pulled free of his underwear with one gentle tug of the elastic waistband. Prompto waits for what seems like forever to squint one eye open.
It’s that moment that Ignis decides to take Prompto into his mouth—all of him, Sweet Six—and Prompto has to slap a hand over his face to keep from crying out, legs twitching, toes curling in his shoes.
It takes something phenomenal to realize you’ve never had it so good. Not that Prompto has had a lot of terrible blow jobs before (although he is having trouble of thinking of any others right now) but Ignis’s? Ignis knows how to suck a dick, and it’s the perfect combination of tongue pressure and suction that has Prompto bucking his hips desperately. When the professor takes a break, it’s to chuckle, the vibrations traveling the length of Prompto’s shaft before resuming.
“Ignis—” Prompto heaves, the palm still over his mouth muffling the name. His other hand locates Ignis’s silky hair, and it clenches and unclenches in time with the man’s steady rhythm. “—I’m gonna—nn—” he grits his teeth and pulls his knees together as a warning, but Ignis pushes them apart with ease, unfazed.
“Actions, not words,” Ignis teases, tongue swirling with deadly precision. It’s the final straw, and Prompto arches with a loud cry as the pressure in his lower half releases with a flourish, Ignis lapping it up as if it were ice cream on a hot summer’s day.
Prompto is sweating through his shirt so he pulls off his jacket, and he sighs with satisfaction as his hands drop away, knees splaying wide as all the tension bleeds out of his body, all of it now swallowed by the smug looking man crouched in front of him. With a hooded gaze, he watches as Ignis licks his lips, wiping his mouth with the back of one hand.
They bask in the warmth that now pervades the office, Prompto in no rush to sit up as Ignis rises to retrieve his clothing. When they are both decent again, Ignis pulls up the blinds, and they both blink at the sudden flood of sunlight as if a spell has been broken.
It is quiet, but comfortable. Prompto eventually shimmies so that he is more vertical than horizontal, and Ignis laughs, more soothing than any ballad. They’re both grinning all of a sudden—stupidly so.
“That…was awesome,” Prompto croons, giddy. Ignis’s grin condenses into a cocky smile.
“More where that came from, darling.”
Darling—Prompto nearly slumps back down in his chair again, cheeks flashing hot as blood rushes to them. Ignis takes the opportunity to come over and kiss him again, first on the lips, and then on both sides of his flushed face. It is affectionate and sweet, more like the one he bestowed on the blond while he was ‘asleep’ in Gladio’s bed, and just as good as the sex.
"What about you?" Prompto wonders, gesticulating suggestively at Ignis's lower half when the professor frowns in question.
“You are adorable,” Ignis says, shaking his head before resting a hand on Prompto’s shoulder. "Alas, I still have another class to teach, but—" he holds a hand up when Prompto pouts. "Dinner at my apartment tonight? You can provide dessert." He emphasizes the word dessert, and for once Prompto picks up on the subtlety without any trouble. "That is, unless you need more time to consider—”
“Dinner sounds great,” Prompto interrupts. He’s almost afraid he’s still dreaming, terrified Ignis might disappear the moment he looks away, but then he thinks that there’s no way his mind could have come up with something so perfect.
“Excellent. I’ll pick you up at six.” Ignis shifts to give Prompto room to stand, and he does, taking his time walking to the door. He turns back as he unlocks and opens it, studying Ignis’s lithe form with appreciation. Ignis chuckles, then waves.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Prompto murmurs.
He’s skipping before he’s even halfway down the hall, phone in hand to text Noctis and Gladio.
Fanart by @CarrieVogel5 (Twitter)/@MysteriousBean5 (Tumblr)
Chapter 10: Dessert-ation
Ignis and Prompto get a chance to make up for their disastrous dinner date. The best way to ensure you have room for dessert is to eat it first.
[Explicit sexual content in this chapter]
Why yes, I did combine 'dessert' and 'dissertation' for this chapter title. Don't @ me, it's punny, okay?
Prompto pinches himself about two minutes into the car ride with Ignis, because damn, this man is fine as hell and he’s all mine is a thought that has never crossed his mind in any capacity to date. After he does (and he doesn’t wake up) he settles back into the plush leather of the passenger seat and smiles like an idiot.
Ignis is a careful driver, and his car is clean. It’s not a brand-new model, but it’s definitely nicer than what your typical professor would drive. Prompto wonders if it has anything to do with his family’s social status—or if it’s just the product of good, old-fashioned hard work. Probably the latter, if he had to guess. For some reason, Prompto finds it incredibly charming that Ignis has an air freshener hanging from the rearview—pine and citrus. Man, this guy is all about smelling good. He inhales it, wanting to commit it, and everything else about his companion, to memory.
As soon as they pull off the main street on campus, Ignis slides a hand over to rest on Prompto’s thigh and squeezes, never taking his eyes off the road. The simple gesture does stupid things to Prompto’s heart, pulse tap-dancing. This guy really is too good to be true—and the thought makes self-doubt creep in unexpectedly, but Prompto shoos it away.
Nothing is going to ruin this moment for me, not even myself.
“I see you brought something,” Ignis notes, referring to the large paper bag that Prompto has placed carefully on the floorboard between his feet.
“You said bring dessert,” Prompto chirps. “Hope you like chocolate-covered strawberries, because they’re my fav.”
They pull up to a stoplight, and Ignis spares Prompto a glance that says, oh, yes, I like them very much. Prompto is blushing when Ignis uses the time to lean across the center console and kiss him slowly, taking up the dead space between red and green lights.
“You’re, uh—” Words, Prompto, his mind reprimands. “—really sweet.” It’s not exactly what he was looking for, but it makes Ignis smile all the same.
“And you are absolutely delightful. I must say, I thought this day would never come,” the professor admits.
And dude, same.
“Big dumb energy, I guess,” Prompto laughs, and he is rewarded with Ignis’s signature eyebrow raise.
“Indeed. We will merely have to make up for lost time.” That shuts Prompto up. He’s suddenly very preoccupied with thinking about all the making up (making out?) that he anticipates they will be doing once they get to Ignis’s apartment, and his body nonverbally voices its opinion on the matter. A resounding, yes, please, and thank you. He shifts a little, crossing one leg over the other to conceal his arousal.
Ignis parks on the street and Prompto is already opening the door before the car comes to a complete stop, too eager to sit still any longer. His driver chuckles at his gusto, leading the way into the apartment building and up a set of stairs. It is strange for Prompto to think back to his first experience in Ignis’s apartment, and how he never would have imagined he would see it again (barring another black-out-drunk fiasco, that is).
Prompto takes in more of the details now that he knows he will be there for a while: the welcome mat in front of the door with a moogle on it, the richness of the hardwood in the foyer, and the clean lines of the kitchen, which is where Ignis heads first after they remove their shoes and set them by the door. A mouthwatering aroma already fills the air of the apartment; something savory and rich that causes Prompto’s stomach to growl. The blond toes across the tile, observing the stainless-steel appliances and orderly countertops, setting his offering of chocolate-covered strawberries aside as he follows Ignis to where he is lifting the lid off a crockpot.
“What is that?” Prompto leans into Ignis’s side to peer into the container, spiced steam wafting up to warm his face.
Ignis takes the opportunity to slip an arm around Prompto’s waist, hugging him tight. “A dry-aged tender roast stew. It has Garula sirloin, Leiden potatoes, and Lucian tomato—among other things. Nothing special.”
“Well, it smells amazing. I didn’t know you could cook.” He really is perfect. Prompto tries to think of any special skills he has to offer, but all he can come up with is his uncanny penchant for getting himself into trouble, a trait that is hardly desirable.
“This was all I could throw together due to time constraints. Next time, I will prepare something properly for you. Any special requests?” Ignis pulls away to open the refrigerator, but Prompto is still stuck on the ‘next time’ part of Ignis’s sentence to answer.
“Huh?” Prompto asks when he notices Ignis is looking to him expectantly.
“Any special requests?” he repeats. Prompto unashamedly scans Ignis from head-to-toe as his host retrieves a bottle of wine.
He grins when Ignis cocks one eyebrow in response. “Nope. I’m easy.” This time, he means what he says.
“So I recall you mentioning, and yet, it has been rather hard to pin you down. Wine?” Hard and pin you down have Prompto squirming back against the countertop, one knee bending into a single-leg stance to accommodate his growing boner.
“No thanks. You might also ‘recall’ that I don’t have the best luck with keeping liquids in their containers. Wouldn’t want to ruin your carpet.” It’s spoken as a joke, but Ignis’s smirk is serious business.
“Unfortunately, if you have agreed to this dinner with the intention of not spilling all over yourself, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place—because that is absolutely what I intend to make you do.”
The blood instantly rushes to Prompto’s head as he considers the bold statement—both heads—and Ignis advances on Prompto, taking measured steps until their hips are pressing together. Prompto blinks in mild surprise, arching back slightly as Ignis stands on his tiptoes to open a cabinet behind him, grabbing a glass from the top shelf. Prompto’s flushed face ends up rubbing against the fabric covering Ignis’s chest, but neither of them mind it.
Ignis pops the cork off the wine bottle in a way that suggests he knows the difference between a Tenebraean and a Lucian red, pouring himself a glass as Prompto tries to find wherever he misplaced his dignity. At this rate, he’s starting to think they’re not going to make it to dinner.
The best way to make sure you have room for dessert is to eat it first.
When Ignis takes a sip of the blood-colored wine, he fixes Prompto with a look over the rim of the glass, full lips curving upwards in the same predatory way they did several hours ago in his office. Prompto gulps, not because he is afraid, but because he is so turned on that it doesn’t seem fair.
Is this guy even human? What if he’s a daemon in disguise—or maybe he’s part Astral? An Astral-human love child??
Ignis’s eyes are doing the glow-y thing again, and it makes Prompto’s heart beat frantically, like the wings of a hummingbird. “Would you like to eat first, or do you still need time to work up an appetite?” The professor lays the flirtation on thick for Prompto’s benefit, but there’s no way the blond can mix up the signals. Nope, they are bright and clear, nothing short of a flashing neon sign.
Fuck me, if you would be so kind—with a giant arrow pointing to Ignis Scientia.
Prompto sucks on his lower lip, planning his next move as he pushes himself away from the counter to where Ignis is only a few feet away. Trying to summon all his confidence (what would Gladio do?) he slides a hand to either side of the man’s hips, effectively trapping him in place. Ignis downs the rest of his wine, sliding the glass away before giving Prompto his full attention.
Their eyes meet, and Prompto embraces the electricity that results, letting it flow through every sinewy muscle.
Your move, Prompto.
He starts with a kiss—primarily because he can’t get enough of Ignis’s mouth, whether it’s speaking or silent. When Prompto’s tongue slides between Ignis’s lips, he tastes the bittersweet tang of the wine. Ignis lets Prompto take the lead, unmoving, but receptive, and the blond finds his hands naturally wriggling their way into the back pockets of Ignis’s pants, groping lightly.
Ignis doesn’t seem bothered by it, and he deepens their kiss. Prompto only stops when he can no longer taste the alcohol, and then he nuzzles into the notch of Ignis’s neck with his nose, surprised to feel some stubble under his chin. It feels nice, he thinks, so he rubs his cheek against it next, relishing in the vibrations of Ignis’s resulting laugh.
“You like it rough?” Ignis teases. Prompto’s dick answers for him, and since he has left no space between them, Ignis hears it loud and clear. “I see,” he hums. “I’ll make a note of that for future reference.”
There he goes with that future thing again—but Prompto is more concerned with the here and now, so he brings his hands back around to Ignis’s front, unclipping his suspenders and letting them fall to the ground with a satisfying clatter.
“Those really get me going,” Prompto says pointedly, because hey, if Ignis is taking notes, Prompto figures he might as well help him make a list. Ignis nods to show he’s listening, still wearing that attractive, if not maddening, smirk.
Prompto untucks Ignis’s shirt next, methodically unbuttoning it until he has an unobstructed view of his chest and stomach. “And I like this.” Feeling a little bolder, Prompto runs his mouth from Ignis’s sternum all the way to his navel, tongue flitting across the pale skin of his abdominal muscles. The action brings Prompto naturally to his knees, and he twists one finger in the golden-brown hairs peeking out from over Ignis’s waistband.
When Prompto hears Ignis’s breath catch, it lights a fire inside him, propelling him onwards. Deftly—no butterfingers for once—he frees the button of Ignis’s slacks, unzipping them slowly. The pants already didn’t leave much to the imagination, but Prompto can’t help but pause in appreciation, memorizing the curvature of Ignis’s erection like there might be a test later. (The only one he doesn’t need a study guide for.) Using his teeth so he can hold Ignis’s hips like a steering wheel, Prompto pulls the underwear down and away, giving a low murmur of delight when Ignis widens his stance.
“Gods,” Prompto mutters, maybe a little jealously. Human-Astral love child for sure. And then, because he really isn’t the best talker, he decides to take Ignis’s advice—actions, not words.
There’s something powerful about making a man like Ignis moan, and the first time Prompto does, he stops and looks up, thinking it must be a mistake. With his mouth still full of the professor’s cock, Prompto watches Ignis’s eyes jump downwards, a desperation in them reflecting a rare vulnerability he isn’t expecting.
“Something wrong?” Ignis asks, accent thicker and less succinct than usual.
“Mm-mm,” Prompto mumbles before continuing. He’s not in a rush, so he takes his time, finding pleasure in every muttered sound Ignis makes, every twitch of limbs. The blond is afraid he is a little rusty, but soon enough he finds his cadence—which Ignis encourages with a louder moan. Jackpot. Prompto shudders at the sound, his own erection pulsing between his legs needily.
“Wait—” Ignis gasps as Prompto starts to pick up speed. Prompto blinks up innocently, hair mussed from the countless times his partner has run his hands through Prompto’s golden locks. “—the bedroom,” he urges.
Legs aching from kneeling on the tile floor, Prompto gets to his feet awkwardly, accompanying Ignis into the bedroom he has only seen once. It is just as he remembers it—tidy and artfully decorated—but the only décor he is interested in is the giant bed that serves as its focal point. They fumble towards it, pulling clothes off each other in the process. That’s when Prompto realizes Ignis is pretty quick for a guy his size, as he has the blond on his back and undressed before he even finishes kicking his pants off.
Propping himself up on his elbows, Prompto gazes on where Ignis stands naked at the foot of the bed (save for his glasses, which he removes before placing on a nearby dresser) both of them breathing a little heavier from exertion. Ignis only pauses for a moment before crawling on all fours across the mattress, positioning himself over top of Prompto. He stretches an arm out, pulling the drawer of the bedside table open to locate lube and condoms.
“Let me,” Prompto insists, snagging one of the wrappers from Ignis’s hand. Before the professor can protest, the blond shimmies lower in-between his partner’s legs, licking from the tip of Ignis’s erection to its base—just because he can. Ignis closes his eyes and exhales as if he’s trying very hard to focus, pre-cum beading at the head of his erection as he does, and Prompto makes a show of sliding the condom on his cock, fondling Ignis’s balls playfully once the task is complete. “Just a little longer,” he teases him, earning a look from Ignis that makes him shiver. Note to self—do that more. The blond rushes to pour some lube into his palm before he becomes incapacitated, slathering it along Ignis’s shaft. As soon as he is done, Ignis yanks him back up so they are eye-to-eye, his lips pursing.
“May I?” he murmurs, fingers finding Prompto’s entrance. Ignis is already grabbing the lube, the blond nodding emphatically. Oh gods, yes. He manages to put his legs up over Ignis’s shoulders to give him easy access. It’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s so, so worth it. When Ignis slides a finger in, then another, Prompto doesn’t bother to suppress the noises he makes—he wants Ignis to know that this is exactly what he has in mind.
Ignis is tender, but he is also strong, and it is the mix of loving attention and feral desire that has Prompto arching and keening like an animal in heat by the time the man finally puts his cock into him. The foreplay?—ten out of ten—would come again, and again, and again…Bonus: the professor isn’t overly large, but he’s not below average either, and Prompto grabs the sheets and twists with every steady thrust, the headboard rattling against the wall like a drum beat.
They get lost in the exploration of each other, falling down the slick and slippery slopes of their bodies, traversing jagged hips and taking refuge within the curvatures of spines. It’s a bit of a game—a hide-and-seek, equal parts lust and adoration.
Here I am—come find me.
Ignis finds Prompto more than once, tugging him free of his insecurities before he can get lost in them, and Prompto cries out when he comes. It’s messy, and it’s amazing, and it’s everything Prompto could have wanted—and much, much more.
“Wow—just—fuck.” They’re laughing, Prompto dizzily reaching for Ignis’s still attentive cock to pump with his hand. Ignis presses their foreheads together as the blond works, damp hair intermingling while he sighs contentedly. The man kisses wherever he can reach until Prompto is able to satisfy him, and he climaxes with a shuddering arch into Prompto’s hand. Ignis spills onto their twining legs and, by extension, the sheets, but doesn’t seem the least bit concerned by the mess they have made. Ignoring the state of the bed, Ignis kisses Prompto slow, and it is full of a tempered heat like the kind that radiates from a fireplace.
Prompto thinks he will never be cold again so long as Ignis is by his side, and the thought is terrifyingly wonderful.
As if reading his thoughts, Ignis hugs Prompto’s head to his chest, the two resting in the silence. The blond can hear Ignis’s heartbeat in his ear, as soothing as ocean waves crashing on a shoreline. Post-coital cuddles are followed up with a forehead kiss that has Prompto melting all over again, and it’s even better than the one that he received in Gladio’s bedroom because he gets to be noticeably awake for it.
“I think I worked up an appetite now,” Prompto whispers, smiling.
Eventually, they untangle from one another so Ignis can strip the sheets off the bed, and the host graciously directs Prompto to the bathroom so he can rinse off in the tub. Ignis somehow manages to get cleaned up and put new covers on the mattress by the time Prompto emerges, hair wet and lavender scented (of course) body warm and loose from the shower (and from the sex).
Prompto is beyond thrilled when Ignis lends him a pair of his flannel pajama pants (which are slightly too long) and an over-sized t-shirt. They smell like him—the equivalent of a crisp autumn day spent in a coffee shop. It brings back memories that Prompto can laugh at now.
Dinner is casual. Ignis pours them both heaping bowls of the stew and they grab the box of chocolate-covered strawberries before climbing back into bed, draping blankets across their laps and sitting so Prompto’s back is to Ignis’s chest. Prompto moans just as loud after the first bite of food as he did when he orgasmed, and it makes Ignis laugh, uncontrolled and loud—unapologetically genuine.
The blond’s heart skips a beat at the sound of it. Oh man, I think I’m in love. Prompto’s new goal is to get Ignis to laugh like that as much as possible.
When they get around to dessert, Ignis does the honors of selecting the first strawberry, holding it out for Prompto to take a bite before eating the rest. They continue that way until they are all gone, finding themselves satisfied in both body and spirit when they finish.
The more they settle into stillness, the easier it is for Prompto to open up, anxiety and fear of embarrassment dissipating.
“Hey, say cocksucker,” Prompto giggles suddenly.
“Cocksucker?” Ignis repeats.
The blond snorts at what Ignis’s accent does to the word. He feels the professor smiling without turning his head, and it only eggs him on. “What about schedule?”
“Shed-ual, you mean?” This sends Prompto cackling, head turning into Ignis’s bare chest. A hand comes up to ruffle his hair good-naturedly. Sex hair beats bed head any day.
“Man, I could listen to you talk forever. You should record some audio books or something. What accent is that, anyway? I always wondered.”
“Tenebraean—I take after my mother. The high school I attended was also in Tenebrae, so I fear it only got worse with age,” Ignis speaks gently, and Prompto notices an undertone that is bordering on being a buzzkill, so he steers the conversation onto a different topic.
“You know, I can only really remember the stuff you taught during your lectures—nothing from the presentations or readings, and honestly, I think it’s because your voice it what stuck with me.” Prompto pauses, thinking how hard it must be for Ignis that one of his sexiest traits is a constant reminder of a mother he is estranged from. Oof.
“Good to know. Does this mean you won’t have any difficulty remembering what I tell you going forward?” Ignis’s playfulness is back, and Prompto nuzzles his head into the fingers that are raking across his skull in circular patterns.
Another few minutes tick by before Prompto finds something new to talk about. Typically, there wouldn’t be any delay—his thoughts are usually racing a mile-a-minute, but now his brain is mysteriously lagging, content to float in the silence and just be. It’s a refreshing change of pace.
“Why do you color-code your bookshelf?” Prompto’s question is rewarded by another boisterous laugh that makes the blond grin. Score.
“They’re actually alphabetized and arranged by genre. I merely created jackets of the same color for each category—for aesthetics, primarily, but it also makes it easier to find what I’m looking for at a glance,” Ignis explains.
Whoa, okay, that’s kinda cool. “Huh.” Suddenly, Prompto’s anxiety spikes—hey, hello, did you forget about me?—and he finds words tumbling out of his mouth, unable to hold back his worry any longer. “What the hell do you see in me, anyway?”
“Beg your pardon?” Ignis’s fingers stop, remaining woven in the tuft of hair on Prompto’s head.
Quieter, Prompto asks: “What do you see in me? I mean, you’re—” He waves his hands cryptically. “—perfect. And I’m a disaster. I mean, outside the sex, there’s probably not a lot—” His rambling is cut off abruptly when Ignis grabs him by both shoulders and turns, forcing Prompto to look at him.
Those green eyes clamp Prompto’s mouth shut, tighter than any vice. “Listen carefully, Prompto.” The instructions are firm, his ‘teacher voice,’ and Prompto hyper-focuses in his attempt to obey. “I am no stranger to inappropriate advances from students. In fact, I have come to expect them due to their frequency.” Prompto blinks, unsure why this is coming as a surprise. I mean, look at the guy. Of course others would have already tried to get a piece of the professor. “When I received your paper, I was more amused than mortified, especially considering the quality of its content—which we discussed when we met for coffee,” Ignis reminds him. Oh yeah, he did mention that. The man speaks more slowly, eyes scanning Prompto’s face to ensure he is listening. “But then, something happened that I was not expecting.”
He waits, lines of his face smoothing when Prompto whispers, “What?”
“You ignored me completely.”
It’s Prompto’s turn to laugh hysterically, but Ignis is patient, waiting for the giggles (and snorts) to subside. “Ignored you—are you kidding?” Prompto gasps. “I couldn’t keep my eyes off of you. I dreamed about you. I tried to have sex with another guy and still couldn’t get you out of my head—” Prompto bites off the rest of the confession when Ignis’s lips twitch into a smile.
“Yes, but you never once tried to use your attraction to me as a means to an end, preferring to drop the course instead of entering into a questionable relationship with your professor. In fact, one might say you overcorrected, avoiding me even after you knew I took an interest in you. I can assure you, that level of self-control and nobility of character is something even most royalty does not possess. My boarding school in Tenebrae was filled with elite students with questionable morals, all of them looking for a way to socially advance, regardless of who they hurt or what obstacles stood in their way.”
Prompto seriously considers Ignis’s assessment of him, staring down at the bed to avoid meeting the man’s gaze. Wheels are turning, cobwebs pulling free of suppressed memories—all the times Prompto shared space with Noctis and had to resist the pull of his own emotions. It would have been easy to give in, but he never did. All these years he just chalked it up to the simple fact of he’s a prince and he’s my best friend, I can’t ruin that, but now Prompto realizes Ignis is right. It was never an option to begin with. There are some lines you just don’t cross.
“In addition, you are charmingly sweet. I asked Gladio’s opinion of you once I realized you were close friends with His Highness. And you know what he told me?” Prompto looks up at that, curious. Everything about Ignis is smiling as he imitates Gladio, saying, “He’s an adorably horny idiot—and you better scoop him up, or I will.” Ignis chuckles when Prompto flushes. “I paraphrased it as ‘he’s adorable’ for simplicity’s sake, but I took it to heart. Gladio is nothing if not brutally honest on all fronts, save for one, that is.”
Wait—which front is that? Prompto doesn’t have enough time to fully process what Ignis is telling him before the professor moves on to his final point.
“Prompto, you are more intelligent than you give yourself credit for. A lifetime of standing in someone else’s shadow might have convinced you otherwise, but I am here to tell you that you are the sun, not the moon. It is time to step out from behind the clouds and shine.” Prompto’s blush reddens with every word that comes out of Ignis’s mouth, but he forces himself not to look away.
Follow your dreams.
“In conclusion, I believe I would very thoroughly enjoy being your boyfriend. I too, want to have coffee with you, and watch Our Eos together, and now that you know why I color-code my bookshelf, I hope to keep you in bed with me, despite my quirks and idiosyncrasies, which you will quickly discover are not all as charming and perfect as you might think.” Ignis takes Prompto’s hands in his, thumbing over the backs of them idly. If Prompto didn’t know better, he would say that the professor is nervous.
In that moment, something clicks into place for Prompto, like being shifted from the shallow to the deep end of a pool. He realizes there is much more to Ignis Scientia than just his ease on the eyes, and Prompto knows that he wants to dive even further into his depths.
Prompto’s smile comes naturally, full and delighted. Ignis mirrors it with his own.
“Boyfriend to Professor Scientia has a nice ring to it,” Prompto agrees. Ignis touches their noses, rubbing them together briefly before bestowing a kiss on the blond’s lips. They sink back into the bed and downwards, and Prompto is amazed to discover you can be lost and simultaneously found.
Chapter 11: RE: FW: Attached
A lot can happen in two months.
The sky is shades of gray, the chill in the air at odds with the warmth beneath Prompto’s jacket and scarf. In the quiet of the late-December afternoon, the ABO house looks almost haunted, thick clouds that promise snow making its peeling paint more muted than usual.
Prompto takes the porch steps two at a time and shoves the front door open, shouting as he enters: “Noct! Gladio! Time to go!” Running up the stairs, he makes a beeline for Gladio’s bedroom. The door is cracked, and he nudges it aside with his foot, grinning at the pair of bodies he can make out under the thick comforter.
A lot can change in two months.
Prompto takes out his phone to snap a picture of the sleeping boys, adding it to his growing collection. He’s thinking of making the pair a photo collage and gifting it to them as a New Year’s present.
“Yo, sleepyheads! Iggy is going to be mad if we’re late, come on, up and at ‘em!”
Someone grunts—most likely Noctis—and it’s followed up by a groan from Gladio as he rolls over, one eye blearily peering up at the blond while the other remains closed.
“It’s already one o’ clock,” Prompto says, folding his arms.
“Yeah? And it’s not like we have anything to wake up early for,” Gladio says even as he sits up, twisting to stretch.
He’s right, of course. The semester ended a while ago, and the new one is still a few weeks away. Most people have left, returning home for the long break. It’s that treasured time of the year where college students are blissfully unencumbered by responsibility, although Noctis will be expected to make an appearance at the Citadel sooner or later. Gladio will most likely accompany him—in an official capacity as his future Shield though, and not as his boyfriend. Prompto is trying to convince them otherwise. It’s not that simple, Gladio argues any time he brings it up.
Noctis isn’t in a rush to make any big announcements about his new relationship status. Then again, the prince is never in a rush to do anything. He’s like a cat that way, Prompto muses—doing as he pleases, regardless of what others want, and defying all expectations. It’s endearing most days, but the prince’s friend is secretly thankful for Ignis’s predictable reliability that is quickly becoming a staple in his daily life. Schedules and itineraries aren’t that bad when they’re filled with recreational activities as opposed to classes and schoolwork.
Gladio slips out of bed, effectively rousing Noctis by pulling the covers off the drowsy prince and onto the floor. Noctis hisses—yep, definitely a cat—clawing for the sheets that are now out of reach. “Rise and shine, princess,” Gladio laughs. Noctis flips the bigger boy the bird as he reluctantly pushes himself upright.
“I’m up, I’m up,” he grumbles, hand running through his hair. Gladio can’t resist making a suggestive taunt.
“Not yet, but you will be when I’m through with you.”
“La la la—I didn’t hear that!” Prompto says loudly, putting fingers in his ears as he turns on his heel to walk out.
“Don’t even pretend like you and Iggy aren’t just as bad!” Gladio yells as Prompto retreats into the hallway to give them privacy to get dressed. There’s more laughter, and eventually the three of them make it out of the house, walking in the direction of downtown and Ignis’s apartment.
They can smell the sugar before Ignis opens the door, the salivating scent of baked goods. Prompto is the first in the kitchen after kissing his boyfriend in greeting, leaving Gladio and Noctis to tease Ignis about his apron. It’s an early New Year’s gift from Prompto, and it reads Stud with the image of a muffin below it.
Where’s the lie, though?
Prompto is snatching a hot cookie off one of the racks, and it’s halfway in his mouth when a menacing aura makes him pause, turning slightly. “At least let them cool,” Ignis murmurs in Prompto’s ear, smacking the blond’s ass in playful reprimand. Prompto defies Ignis’s disapproving expression with a grin, popping the treat into his mouth anyway. There’s that eyebrow raise I know and love.
“Mmhm, I’ll remember that,” Ignis says smoothly, and the promise makes Prompto tingle in the best of ways. The ultimate host, Ignis is already pouring drinks for everyone, some kind of spiked cider that chases away the winter chill instantly. As the kitchen fills with chatter, they help Ignis pile his cookies onto serving plates, giving thanks for the food that is already set out on the dining room table—some braised meat that falls off the bone without the use of a knife, and perfectly roasted potatoes with a side of soup.
“There are vegetables in this?” Noctis questions skeptically. The prince sips the soup in small amounts, as if he’s afraid Ignis might say it’s poison at a moment’s notice.
“Yes, Your Highness. Man cannot live on pizza alone, you know,” Ignis replies as he piles potatoes onto his and Prompto’s plates.
“Just call me Noct,” Noctis insists. Ignis hesitates as he spears the meat in front of him on a fork before nodding.
“Certainly—Noct.” Gladio smiles supportively as they all dig in.
After a few bites, Noctis’s future shield moans. “Iggy? I’ll taste test for ya any time.”
Ignis smirks. “You may have to compete with Prompto for the honor.” Prompto ducks beneath Gladio’s predatory gaze, shoving food into his mouth so he doesn’t have to respond, thoughts drifting as they eat.
Who would have imagined that the four of them would be gathered around a dinner table like some make-shift family, sharing home-cooked meals? Not Prompto. Now, he is practically buzzing in his seat, propping his head in one hand between swallows just so he can take a moment to look at everyone. Ignis catches him staring at one point and winks. Their hands find each other beneath the table, clasping and squeezing tight before breaking apart again.
It took some time to get here, of course. At first, Prompto wasn’t aware of just how accurate ‘Big Dumb Energy’ was for their team name, but he quickly learned that Gladio and Noctis fit the description perfectly—hook, line, and sinker. The night of the Final Hurrah had apparently been their first-ever hook-up (man, I’m such a proud bestie, Prompto had teased when Noctis told him), and although it should have been the start of something beautiful, Gladio got scared.
Been there, done that, buddy.
Predictably, Gladio’s duty as a Shield had always come first for him, which meant that loving Noctis in the romantic sense, and not a filial one, would only get in the way of doing his job. At least, that’s what his reasoning for not making his move sooner was. Ignis would come to tell Prompto that it had always been their biggest point of disagreement in their friendship, even in high school. Gladio simply couldn’t understand how Ignis could abandon his duty—his destiny—to pursue a life of his own, and Ignis would never be able to support Gladio sacrificing his personal happiness to be a slave to his station.
Apparently, Prompto wasn’t meant to be the only one with a claim-to-fame for major fuck ups though, because after admitting his feelings for Noctis, Gladio proceeded to go on a casual-sex-spree with several women—Rita, Tina, Sandra, Mary, and Jessica, respectively. Ignis called it an ‘overcorrection.’ Prompto preferred to call it a holy shit dude you’re in for it now absolute clusterfuck. His best friend might have been the most laid-back, non-princely guy ever, but he was still human, and if Noctis’s sulking was any indication, Gladio’s actions hurt more than he would ever admit.
“Why the hell would he do something like that?” Prompto had asked Ignis one morning over coffee while the whole thing was going down. He had just finished relaying the entire chain of events and was curled up on Ignis’s couch in a pair of sweatpants that he had claimed out of the man’s dresser drawer (and had no intention of returning).
“Why would he use sex with someone else as a way to mask his feelings, you mean?” Ignis had shot back without looking up from reading the morning newspaper.
Excuse me, police? I’d like to report a murder.
It took Noctis having a major blow up at Gladio via text message and three days of silence in the group chat before Ignis and Prompto stepped in and forced the two to talk about their feelings. That dinner was uncomfortable at best, and cringeworthy at worst.
“I’m not going to stand here and watch while two of the best guys I know destroy each other. Won’t you two just—kiss and make up already?” Prompto had yelled, slamming his hands flat on the dining room table so that the silverware trembled.
After more tense silence, Noctis had been the first to speak. “This is stupid, Gladio. We’ve been avoiding this for years. Might as well just give it a shot and see where it goes.” He wouldn’t look up from where he had been pushing peas across his plate (Ignis hadn’t known of his aversion to green things at the time).
Gladio had opened his mouth, no doubt to argue his point, but a single look from Ignis had made him shut it with a sigh. “All right,” he reluctantly agreed. Noctis, lifting his head, had such a look of hope that it made Prompto’s heart hurt. “All right,” Gladio said again, more firmly. “I’m sorry.”
Noctis’s smile, though slow at first, was the equivalent to the sun peeking through the clouds.
And now? They were all still figuring things out, and every day was an adventure. Gladio didn’t want to make anything public, and Noctis (to Prompto’s surprise) had agreed. Ignis, in private, had also expressed his approval of the decision.
“The political implications of their relationship are very complicated. For now, discretion is probably best. It’s a very mature choice.”
When Prompto had pouted, saying he just wanted everyone to be as happy as they were, Ignis had provided the perfect distraction. They’d spent the whole day in bed until Prompto had forgotten what he was upset about.
“Darling?” Ignis says, snapping Prompto out of his reminiscing. “Would you pass the cookies, please?” Prompto does as he asks, unable to resist grabbing a couple more for himself.
“Six—Ignis, these are amazing,” Noctis praises the host while finishing his second, quickly on his way to consuming a third.
“Thank you, Noct.” The man beams, obviously pleased by the compliment, and the dinner resumes in a lackadaisical fashion, no one in a rush to get up.
Eventually, eating and conversation slows, plates empty, and everyone jumps up to help when Ignis begins clearing the table. Prompto and Gladio are put on dish duty, and the blond is amazed to see that the frat boy is actually pretty good at washing dishes by hand.
“Didn’t know any of the ABO guys knew what soap was,” Prompto snarks, earning an elbow to the ribs that hurts more than Gladio intends—ow, the guy doesn’t know his own strength.
“Hey, I keep my shit clean,” Gladio laughs as he positions plates on the drying rack Ignis has set out.
“Really clean. It’s intimidating,” Noctis says from where he is putting leftovers into the fridge.
“You’ve got Ignis to thank for that—the first time his parents brought him to my place and he saw my room, he gave such a scathing review of it that I didn’t have anyone over for weeks.” Gladio chuckles as Noctis and Prompto turn to Ignis in amazement, and Ignis adjusts his glasses and glances away, pretending not to notice their eyes on him.
Prompto wipes his damp hands on his pants as they finish the last of the of the dishes. “Really? I wanna hear more young Iggy stories.” For the first time ever, he sees a flush color Ignis’s cheeks, although his boyfriend attempts to hide it by changing the subject.
“Shall I set up the movie for us?” He’s already heading for the living room, and Gladio grins at Prompto, lowering his voice conspiratorially.
“Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty.”
Ignis manages to hear Gladio somehow (or maybe he just knows him too well), and without missing a beat, calls out in a song-song voice: “Shall we tell them my favorite story, Gladiolus? The one about our summer holiday in Tenebrae?”
Noctis and Prompto watch in wide-eyed wonder as Gladio’s face drains of color, transforming from smug and confident to absolutely horrified.
“Oh—I wanna hear,” Noctis says with a lazy smile. Gladio shoves past Prompto and Noctis to follow Ignis, shaking his head adamantly no.
“Nope, we’re good. It was just a joke, Iggy, lighten up,” he insists, unusually nervous. Gladio finds a corner of the sectional to claim as his own as the prince and Prompto finally make their way into the room. Noctis plops down beside his future Shield, snagging a blanket off the back of the couch and immediately settling against the larger boy’s chest.
“Indeed,” Ignis hums before letting the subject drop. Curiosity piqued, Prompto adds ask Ignis about summer holiday in Tenebrae to his mental list of things to do, watching as the man turns on the TV and slides a disc into the DVD player.
“What are we watching again?” Noctis is asking even as he closes his eyes. Typical.
“Our Eos Two,” Ignis and Prompto chime in unison, finally allowing their excitement to show.
“It is a cinematic masterpiece, five years in the making,” Ignis goes on. “It’s the first time scientists were able to study the famed behemoth in the wild, up close and personal.” The prince grunts at Ignis’s abbreviated explanation, neither approving nor disapproving. Gladio manages to look politely accepting but is obviously more interested in cuddling the prince against his broad chest, slumping back into the cushions. Prompto and Ignis exchange a look, shrugging. Their friends’ opinions aren’t going to stop them from watching the one film they’ve been looking forward to for years.
When the movie finally begins, Ignis takes up the opposite end of the couch, opening his arms for Prompto to fall into. “I’ve been waiting all week for this—all semester, really,” Prompto murmurs as a shot of the Duscaean countryside in high definition appears on the flat screen. He quiets when Ignis plants a kiss on the back of his neck, unable to resist the urge to press his body a little more firmly between the professor’s legs when the narration starts.
This is the tale of our Eos, and the creatures that both strike fear into our hearts and inspire us to reach out—to explore—and to appreciate the planet in which we live. This extraordinary world that we call home contains countless beasts, not all of which are human. From the beloved chocobo, to the fearsome behemoth, and everything else in-between, there is much we can learn from telling their stories…
Prompto’s eyes remain glued to the TV screen for the duration of the documentary, although he does shoot a glare at Noctis when he starts to snore, and later nuzzles intently into Ignis’s fingers when they begin to absently comb through his hair. Gladio shows some interest at the part about the behemoth—dude, that thing is massive—and they all mutter their agreement, noting how crazy it is that things like that exist outside of Insomnia’s walls.
Once the end credits begin to roll, Prompto sighs contentedly. “Man, that was awesome. You know, I’d love to go around Lucis and take tons of photographs someday—maybe submit them to a journal or something.”
“Oh?” Ignis sits up a bit, smiling now, and Gladio shakes Noctis, trying to get him to wake up from out of his dead sleep.
“Yeah!” Prompto readily agrees, then adds shyly, “I even decided to change my major to photography. I submitted my request and everything.”
Ignis’s gaze intensifies—Prompto calls the look his this is important to you, so it’s important to me face, and he knows it means that Ignis is trying to communicate all his love and support without using words. It’s probably Prompto’s favorite thing his boyfriend does, other than his laugh, of course.
“Prompto, that’s wonderful.” Ignis emphasizes the statement with a kiss to the blond’s forehead, and Prompto is delighted to find that it still sends butterflies fluttering in his stomach, even after two months of dating.
“Is the movie over already?” Noctis is yawning as Gladio gets off the couch with a shake of his head. Ignis and Prompto laugh when Gladio scoops the prince up in his arms and Noctis lets his arms and legs go limp, not protesting.
“Come on, you.” Gladio, in a rare show of PDA, kisses the top of Noctis’s head. Noctis’s reaction is the smallest flicker of a smile, which Prompto only notices because he is looking for it. Aw.
“No need to rush out,” Ignis says while rising to his feet.
“Nah, it’s okay, Noct has to pack and it will take all night if we stay much longer.” Gladio’s explanation is met with a groan from the prince.
“I don’t want to go home for some dumb ball.” He wriggles from Gladio’s arms to his feet, but keeps his head on the taller boy’s shoulder. They’re a stupidly good-looking couple, Prompto thinks, not unkindly.
“Hey, we can suffer together,” the future Shield tries to console him, hand coming to rest in the small of Noctis’s back to steer him forward.
Noctis snorts while they make their way for the door, Ignis following them out. “Sure—very romantic.” Prompto gives a little wave goodbye from where he is still horizontal, too comfortable to get up.
“Have fun at home. Say hi to dad for me,” Prompto calls after them.
“Yeah, I will. Bye Prom, love you.” Noctis’s reply is casual—it’s no big deal, he would say—but it fills Prompto’s heart to overflowing with joy so that he starts grinning, and the grin stays long after Ignis shuts the door and wanders back into the living room to rejoin him.
“That was fun,” the blond declares. Ignis, enfolding Prompto in his arms again, murmurs his agreement. “Now what?”
“Now, I get to have you all to myself for the foreseeable future,” Ignis says, lips brushing under Prompto’s ear. Giggling from how it tickles, Prompto rolls over so they are chest to chest, kissing Ignis enthusiastically. He responds by removing his glasses, arching to set them on the table next to them before gripping Prompto’s hips possessively.
Ah, this is the good life, Prompto thinks. How did I get so lucky?
They don’t talk for a while, losing track of time, but then a random thought returns, making Prompto stop abruptly in the middle of their make out.
“What’s the story behind your summer holiday in Tenebrae?”
Ignis laughs so that it reverberates through the blond’s chest, and it takes him another minute to compose himself, Prompto looking to him expectantly. “Ah, yes, well.” The professor clears his throat. “While unexpected, that was the summer Gladiolus was—deflowered, if you will.” (Prompto misses the pun, not knowing that Gladiolus is actually a type of flower and Ignis will have to spell the joke out for him later.)
“Oh—he lost his virginity?” Prompto laughs. “How’d that happen?”
Ignis waits, eyes full of mischief and maybe some pride. He watches the realization dawn on Prompto’s face, indicated by the steady change of his skin from white to crimson, freckles darkening.
“Wait—you?” Prompto gapes in disbelief, too stunned to ask more.
“Yes,” Ignis confirms, not bothering to deny it. “And thus began his slow spiral into questioning his sexuality, and the overcompensation in the form of multiple girlfriends, none of whom lasted very long for obvious reasons.” It makes too much sense, but Prompto is caught up in something Gladio mentioned earlier in the semester during one of their (many) drunken nights at the ABO house.
Bro, I’d let that man bend me over his desk—for sure.
“That bastard,” Prompto yelps, jerking into a sitting position with his knees to either side of Ignis’s waist. Ignis merely watches him with that amused little smirk, hands behind his head. “And you,” Prompto points a finger into Ignis’s chest.
“Oh no you don’t, don’t you do that ‘I’m so innocent’ eyebrow raise at me, sir! How dare you not tell me about this!” Prompto moans, covering his face that is still beet red, mortified.
“Ah yes, forgive me for not bringing it up during one of our many, many sexual encounters and dates over the last several weeks. You see, my mouth has been very, very preoccupied with one man’s cock, and one man’s only, so it must have slipped my mind,” Ignis teases with a hint of annoyance.
“Okay, fair,” Prompto grumbles, hands now steadying in the middle of Ignis’s chest. He’s looking down, unable to meet Ignis’s eyes as he imagines a younger (still hot) version of his boyfriend and Gladio doing the nasty, maybe in Ignis’s room at his fancy boarding school, or maybe in some large, four post bed, the kind with the canopies—
“Prompto.” Ignis’s tone is exasperated, and he must force Prompto to look at him, taking the blond’s chin gently in his hand. “That was years ago, and he was very bad—and awkward—we both were. You have nothing to worry about.”
But Ignis misreads Prompto’s mood. He’s not jealous. Not really. He’s more upset that he never put all the pieces together until now—all the signs that he missed when it came to Gladio and Noctis, and the fact that he was too wrapped up in his own feelings to notice what was going on right under his nose.
Some friend I am.
“You still sure that I’m the one you want?” Prompto asks, eyes flitting back down despite Ignis’s hold that keeps his chin lifted.
“Darling.” Ignis’s exasperation increases, a second hand coming up to frame Prompto’s face. “Surer than I have ever been.” Prompto tries to smile, but it falls short and Ignis tsks. “I see that this will require some convincing. Very well, then.” Determined, Ignis slides out from beneath Prompto suddenly, displacing the blond onto the couch as he gets up and vanishes down the hall. Prompto waits patiently, not exactly sure what to expect, arranging himself so that he is in a seated position when Ignis returns less than a minute later with a small box in his hands.
“This was meant to be a New Year’s gift, or perhaps something to celebrate the start of the new semester…” He places the parcel in Prompto’s hands. It’s plain white, with no label as Ignis didn’t have time to wrap it. Slowly, Prompto takes off the lid, staring in confusion at the item nestled in a square of cotton.
He takes the contents out, holding up a small metal key. “…what’s this for?” Prompto wonders, still perplexed. Ignis places both hands on his hips, more impatient than usual.
“It’s for my apartment. I figured since you are here most days anyway, it would be easier for you to be able to come and go as you please.” Ignis stops when he realizes Prompto hasn’t torn his eyes away from the key since opening the box, strangely silent and stiff. It also means that Prompto doesn’t see Ignis’s mildly panicked expression. “If—if it’s too much, too soon, please tell me. It is merely for convenience’s sake, don’t feel the need to—”
“Thank you,” Prompto blurts. His head lifts then, and Ignis’s throat tightens at the sight of tears in the blond’s eyes. “I love it.”
“Of course,” Ignis breathes out, unmoving. A minute passes at a glacial pace, and Ignis only unfreezes when Prompto smiles again—a real smile.
“You really go after what you want, don’t you?” It’s not a critique, just an observation, but Ignis folds his arms over his chest defensively anyway.
“You needn’t use it if you prefer not to.” Prompto laughs once, rolling his eyes before vaulting over the couch, closing the distance between them so that their hip points touch, arms loosely encircling Ignis’s waist.
“Shut up and kiss me, won’t you? You’re ridiculous. Of course I’m going to use it—you might regret it though. Before you know it, I’ll be coming over at two am, keeping you up until you have to leave for class. Everyone’s gonna be wondering about your new hair style—” Prompto’s grin is wicked. “—'oh, Mr. Scientia, something new?’ And you’ll have to be like, ‘oh, yes, it’s called sex, you really should try it sometime.’” Ignis is cackling before Prompto finishes, kissing first his head, then both cheeks, and finally, his mouth. The taste of chocolate chip cookies still lingers on his lips.
“I am ridiculous, aren’t I?” Ignis murmurs. “Love does that to a person, I suppose.”
Love—Prompto buries his face in Ignis’s shirt, but it doesn’t matter—his entire body blushes.
“You keep saying stuff like that and I’ll never leave,” Prompto threatens, relishing in the feel of Ignis’s hands wandering down his sides. Ignis makes sure to kiss him deeply after that, taking his time before pulling away.
“Should you have any concerns, you may email me to schedule an appointment during my office hours,” Ignis jokes, tongue running over his lip absently as his gaze pans down Prompto’s body.
They’re both laughing as they disappear into the bedroom, and Prompto composes a draft of a letter in his mind, RE: FW: Attached: I wish my HST prof would succ my cock.docx (and love me forever).
If you weren’t already aware, Our Eos is meant to parody Our Planet.
See the next 'chapter' for more detailed notes and bonus content. Thank you to everyone who supported this ridiculous venture. I love all of you.
Chapter 12: Author's Notes & Bonus Content
First of all, I had no idea this story would blow up like it did--thank you for everyone's kind comments, they truly made my day.
- This is an AU! Which means, obviously, that things are different from the original storyline. Some of you have already picked up on a lot of the little nuances with the characters, particularly Ignis. In this story, Ignis isn't the "I'll do anything for Noctis, damn everyone else and all the consequences" character that we know (and love). He's still fiercely loyal, very intelligent, and a little bit of a dork, but I like to think that he got tired of all the expectations that were put on him as a child and decided to just go after his dreams to spite his parents (whom are still alive).
- That being said, no character or person is perfect. I tried to show everyone's flaws in this fic because people are dumb and messy, and they do stupid things like sleep with people they're not supposed to, break people's hearts, lie, be selfish, and so on and so forth. Doesn't make them any less loveable or awesome, it just means they're human. So YES, you're supposed to feel sorry for Jazz, because Prompto kinda fucked him over. Yeah, you're supposed to be mad at Noct for teasing Prompto (when he knows he had a crush on him), and Ignis is a little bitchy and pushy or impatient and jealous at times. This is what gives characters depth!
- I love fanart. You draw me fanart and I will not only love you forever, I will also link it in my fic and swear my fealty to you for life. In blood. Or coffee.
- I miiiiight already have ideas for a sequel in mind, or at least a bonus mini-fic, but it's gonna have to wait until all my other obligations are done. (I already put off a zine submission to write this story--whoops.)
- I hope y'all enjoyed this enough to check out some of my other stuff. If you have any questions you can drop them in the comments or scream at me on Twitter (@HardNoctLife) or Tumblr (hard-noct-life).
Playlist: You can find this on Spotify. I typically create playlists for my long-fics because music is one of my major sources of inspiration. I'll listen to a playlist on repeat while I'm writing to set the 'mood' for whatever story I'm working on.
1 – Prologue
Hot For Teacher by Glee Cast (cover) | “I think of all the education that I missed / But then my homework was never quite like this / Ow got it bad, got it bad, got it bad / I’m hot for teacher”
I mean, this is the whole point of the fic. Hopefully it doesn’t need any explanation.
Connection by OneRepublic | “Right now, right now, I’m switching to a new lane / Foot to the floor, man searching for the real thing / Meet somebody else, sometimes ain’t no shame / Head to the clouds sayin’ / It’s like can I get a connection? / Can I get, can I get a connection?”
That college excitement of meeting new people, finding new love interests, and trying hard to connect with others. This to me is a very Prompto song—it captures his spirit and energy perfectly.
2 – Getting Too Attached
Last Friday Night by Glee Cast (cover) | “Pictures of last night ended up online / I’m screwed / oh well / It’s a blacked out blur, but I’m pretty sure it ruled / damn / Last Friday night / Yeah we danced on tabletops / and we took too many shots / Think we kissed but I forgot”
Parties can get kind of wild at the ABO house. This song is a fun way to set the mood for that first scene where you see Gladio and Noct hanging out with the frat boys and gives you an idea of the shenanigans that can occur.
Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega | “A little bit of Monica in my life / A little bit of Erica by my side / A little bit of Rita is all I need / A little bit of Tina is what I see / A little bit of Sandra in the sun / A little bit of Mary all night long / A little bit of Jessica here I am / A little bit of you makes me your man”
This song is specifically for frat boy Gladio and his ‘parade of girlfriends’—because I couldn’t resist being cheeky and taking the names from his multiple lovers throughout the story from this song.
(You Drive Me) Crazy by Britney Spears | “Baby, I’m so into you / You got that something, what can I do? Baby, you spin me around / The earth is moving, but I can’t feel the ground / Every time you look at me / My heart is jumping, it’s easy to see / You drive me crazy, I just can’t sleep / I’m so excited, I’m in too deep / Whoa oh oh, crazy, but it feels alright / Baby, thinking of you keeps me up all night”
Prompto’s initial feelings for Ignis, especially when he starts dreaming and thinking about him non-stop—his dreams are making him lose sleep, and he just can’t resist learning more about our favorite professor, even going as far as to talk to Gladio about him.
3 – Read Between the Lines
Timebomb by Walk the Moon | “Heads up, look alive / the more that I stare into your eyes / the more I get lost in your face; I’m warning you, babe / A red line, danger zone / Point of no return coming real close / Pulling me in, I’m afraid; I’m warning you, babe / Afraid to light the fuse again; start a fire, lose a friend / but when your heart opens it’s like I’m ready to fall again”
This is another VERY Prompto song. The idea of ‘I can’t control myself so beware,’ truly captures his ‘disaster gay’ vibe to me.
Outta My Head by Khalid, John Mayer | “'Cause days get brighter when you're here / So I gotta keep you near, going crazy / And I just can't get you outta my head / Romance in the atmosphere / You can feel it in the air, getting hazy / And I just can't get you outta my head”
Another song to showcase how Prompto can’t stop thinking about Ignis. He’s absolutely hopeless.
4 – Multiple Choice
Club Can’t Handle Me by Flo Rida and David Guetta | “You know I know how / To make ‘em stop and stare as I zone out / The club can’t even handle me right now / Watchin’ you watchin’ me I go all out / The club can’t even handle me right now”
This is a more lighthearted and fun song, meant to set the mood for the scene in Loveless. Meeting Jazz, getting drunk, Prompto having fun with his friends—until things go sideways, that is.
In My Head by Jason Derulo | “Yeah everybody looking for love / Ain’t that the reason you’re at this club? / You ain’t gon’ find it dancing with him, no / I’ve got a better solution for you / Just leave with me now, say the word and we’ll go / I’ll be your teacher, I’ll show you the ropes / You’ll see the side of love you’ve never known / I can see it going down, going down / In my head, I see you all over me / In my head, you fulfill my fantasy / In my head, you’ll be screaming loud / In my head, it’s going down”
Maybe more of an Ignis to Prompto song (although you don’t know that Ignis is into Prompto at this point in the story) or another one of Prompto’s fantasies after seeing Ignis in the club. The flirty, playful energy is perfect for the two of them. The ‘I’ll be your teacher, I’ll show you the ropes’ is my favorite part.
5 – Undeclared
Your Love is My Drug by Kesha | “Maybe I need some rehab / Or maybe just need some sleep / I’ve got a sick obsession / I’m seeing it in my dreams / I’m looking down every alley / I’m making those desperate calls / I’m staying up all night hoping / Hitting my head against the wall / What you’ve got, boy, is hard to find / I think about it all the time / I’m all strung out, my heart is fried / I just can’t get you off my mind / Because your love, your love, your love is my drug”
Prompto has it BAD, especially now that he’s been in Ignis’s bed. He knows he’s heading to a date, but the temptation to meet with his professor is too strong too resist. Try as he might to distract himself with other things, he keeps coming back to Ignis like an addict comes back to a drug.
Burnin’ Up by Jonas Brothers | “I’m slipping into the lava / and I’m trying to keep from going under / Baby, who turned the temperature hotter / ‘Cause I’m burnin’ up, burnin’ up / For you baby / Walk in the room, all I can see is you / Staring me down / I know you feel it too”
Ignis does mean ‘fire,’ and Prompto is burning up for Ignis both figuratively (emotionally) and literally (after spilling coffee on himself).
6 – Working Hard, or Hardly Working?
Wanna be Bad by Marion | “You say, you say, you say so many things / But when will you ever mean anything, baby / Caught between, this dilemma now / I know what I should do, ‘cause you my darling are / bad, but I wanna be bad / I want to be bad with you, baby”
Prompto knows he shouldn’t be using Jazz’s attraction to cover up his feelings for Ignis, but that Jazz is damn cute AND he’s into him…so Prompto does what any dumb college boy would do and decides to go for the hook-up, even though he knows it’s a mistake.
Oops, I Did it Again by Britney Spears | “I think I did it again / I made you believe we’re more than just friends / Oh baby, it might seem like a crush / but it doesn’t mean that I’m serious / ‘cause to lose all my sense / that is just so typically me // oops, I did it again / I played with your heart, got lost in the game / oops, you think I’m in love / that I’m sent from above / I’m not that innocent”
Yes, I did put two Britney Spears songs on here…don’t judge me. The lyrics were really too perfect for this situation. Prompto plays with Jazz when he shouldn’t, and finds out that he will regret it in more ways than one.
7 – Per My Last Email
Bad Liar by Imagine Dragons | “So look me in the eyes / Tell me what you see / Perfect paradise / Tearing at the seams / I wish I could escape it / I don’t wanna fake it / Wish I could erase it / Make your heart believe / But I’m a bad liar, a bad liar”
This summarizes Prompto in this chapter. He tries to lie his way out of one bad situation with Jazz only to put himself in a worse one with Ignis. He wants so badly to make things work, but he doesn’t realize that he was doomed when he chose not to be honest from the start.
Boys Like You by Anna Clendening | “Mama said there’d be boys like you / Tearing my heart in two, doing what you do best / Taking me for a ride, telling me pretty little lies / But with you, I can’t resist / Before I met you, I never felt good enough / Before I let you in, I’d already given up / Left on read, no reply, left me just wondering why / Now I’m skeptical of love / So when you hold my hand, do you wanna hold my heart? When you say you want me, is it all of me or just one part?”
This can really be used for Prompto-Jazz and/or Prompto-Ignis, so I like to use it for both pairings. Being willing to take a chance on someone, only to have your feelings hurt—this chapter is a doozy.
8 – A Final Hurrah
Solo by Clean Bandit and Demi Lovato | “I never meant to leave you hurtin' / I never meant to do the worst thing / Not to you / 'Cause every time I read your message / I wish I wasn't one of your exes / Now I'm the fool / Since you been gone / I've been dancing on my own / There's boys up in my zone / But they can't turn me on / 'Cause baby, you're the only one I'm coming for / I can't take no more, no more, no more”
Prompto’s feelings after getting rejected by Ignis, which bleeds into the following weeks where he attempts to ‘move on’ by dating Jazz—and fails miserably.
Red Solo Cup by Toby Keith | “Red solo cup, I fill you up / Let's have a party, let's have a party / I love you red solo cup, I lift you up / Proceed to party, proceed to party”
I mean, when your fic has ‘drunk’ in the title, you can’t not include some ridiculous party songs. This is such a silly one, and I love it. It pairs nicely with the whole beer pong scene.
I Love College by Asher Roth | “I wanna go to college for the rest of my life / Sip bankers club and drink miller lite / On thirsty Thursday and Tuesday night ice / and I can get pizza a dollar a slice / so fill up my cup / let’s get fucked up”
Things get rowdy and out of hand (i.e. Prompto’s fight with Gladio) anytime ABO hosts their ‘Last Hurrah.’ This is the ultimate college frat boy song.
Mr. Brightside by The Killers | “Coming out of my cage / And I’ve been doing just fine / Gotta gotta be down / Because I want it all / It started out with a kiss / How did it end up like this? / It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss…Jealousy, turning saints into the sea / Swimming through sick lullabies / Choking on your alibis / But it’s just the price I pay / Destiny is calling me / Open up my eager eyes / ‘Cause I’m Mr. Brightside”
This song is about being cheated on, but I feel like the energy is a good fit for Prompto’s optimism about the chance to make things right with Ignis again. He knows he messed up, but he’s looking on the brightside and hoping it’s not too late to fix it.
9 – Primary Sources
Want to Want Me by Jason Derulo| “It’s too hard to sleep / I got the sheets on the floor, nothing on me / And I can’t take it no more, it’s a hundred degrees / I got one foot out the door, where are my keys? / ‘Cause I gotta leave yeah / In the back of the cab / I tipped the driver ahead of time, get me there fast / I got your body on my mind, I want it bad”
That anxiety and excitement about meeting with Ignis—and the revelation that Ignis is just as thirsty for Prompto as he is for the professor.
Sorry by Justin Bieber | “know you know that I made those mistakes maybe once or twice / By once or twice I mean maybe a couple of hundred times / So let me, oh let me redeem, oh redeem, oh myself tonight / 'Cause I just need one more shot at second chances / Yeah, is it too late now to say sorry? / 'Cause I'm missing more than just your body / Oh, is it too late now to say sorry? / Yeah, I know that I let you down / Is it too late to say I'm sorry now?”
Prompto starts his meeting with a heartfelt apology, a reiteration of his email. He hopes it isn’t too late and that Ignis wants to make up.
Tonight (I’m Fuckin’ You) by Enrique Iglesias |“I know you want me / I made it obvious that I want you too / So put it on me / Let’s remove the space between me and you / Now rock your body / Damn, I like the way that you move / So give it to me / ‘Cause I already know what you wanna do”
Again, pretty self-explanatory—after the office scene there is the promise of dinner (and dessert) that both Prompto and Ignis have to look forward to. They’re not holding back their feelings anymore—time to get dirty!
10 – Dessert-ation
The Bad Touch by Bloodhound Gang | “Let me be Pacific, I want to be down in your South Seas / but I got this notion that the motion of your ocean / means small craft advisory / So if I capsize on your thighs, high tide, B-5 / You sunk my battle ship, please turn me on / I’m Mr. Coffee with an automatic drip… You and me baby ain’t nothin’ but mammals, so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel”
Had to do it to ‘em with this classic by the Bloodhound Gang, especially after all the documentary references throughout the fic. Playful and sexy, this fits Prompto and Ignis’s sex scene perfectly.
I Like Me Better by Lauv | “I don’t know what it is but I got that feeling / Waking up in this bed next to you, swear the room, yeah, it got no ceiling / If we lay, let the day just pass us by / I might get to too much talking / I might have to tell you something / Damn, I like me better when I’m with you”
This is meant to reflect Prompto’s insecurities and belief that he is not good enough for Ignis—but Ignis is determined to bring out the best in him and encourages Prompto to just be himself.
ME! by Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie | “I know that I’m a handful, baby / I know I never think before I jump / And you’re the kind of guys the ladies want (and there’s a lot of cool chicks out there)…But one of these things is not like the others / Like a rainbow with all of the colors / Baby doll, when it comes to a lover / I promise that you’ll never find another like / Me-e-e, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh / I’m the only one of me / Baby, that’s the fun of me”
An upbeat song to wrap up the bedroom scene since it ended on a sweet and fluffy note. The boys are together! They overcame a lot of hurdles to get to this point, but they’ve decided they are uniquely suited to be boyfriends, and it’s so, so worth it.
11 – RE: FW :
Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson | “Maybe we could sleep in / Make you banana pancakes / Pretend like it's the weekend now / We could pretend it all the time / Can't you see that it's just rainin' / There ain't no need to go outside”
This makes me think of the homey atmosphere of Ignis’s kitchen and him baking for the boys, then curling up on the couch to watch a movie. At this point Ignis and Prompto have been spending a lot of time together and are in that “honeymoon phase” of dating where they’re too cute for words.
I’m A Believer by Smash Mouth | “I thought love was only true in fairy tales / Meant for someone else but not for me / Love was out to get me / That's the way it seemed / Disappointment haunted all my dreams / Then I saw her face / Now I'm a believer / Not a trace of doubt in my mind / I'm in love”
The final note to end on—Prompto initially believed he wasn’t good enough for anyone else, especially someone as ‘perfect’ as Ignis, but was proven wrong. You can see his confidence starting to come through, and the happiness that follows. He believes he is worth loving and he’s going to follow his dreams, pursuing a major in photography and, of course, Ignis.
Chapter 13: UPDATE! 11.07.2019
Oh, what, MORE bonus content?
Ask, and you shall receive. (I am easily peer pressured into writing things, FYI.)
A certain someone asked for more WDES from Ignis's perspective, and I have just enough ideas floating around in my head to provide this cursed content. You will find it as a new fic titled "Write Drunk, Email Sober - Verse 2" (If you played Episode Ignis, you should get a chuckle from that.) Be sure to subscribe for more updates as I probably won't be as quick on writing this one as I was before.
Hope you enjoy!