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Keeping Secrets

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Disclaimer: don’t own FFXV

 

 

Chapter 1

 

He bit down hard on the mouthguard; muffled screams being torn from his throat as he writhed in the restraints. He could hear the stifled screams of his bunkmates on either side. It hurt! Why did it always hurt? He felt and heard bone snap, flesh reshaping and he fought to hold it back, but it was so hard…

 

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They stood in perfect lines, always at attention, eyes forward. Ignoring the cold of the courtyard was hard, but they were all used to it, no luxuries like heat for them. The trainers entered, three massive wolves with them, wolves with red eyes. He heard the slight hitch of breath from behind him and one of the wolves focused on the sound, moving silently into their group. There was a sudden crunch and a cut off scream and he knew his group had shrunk by one. He forced his mind to go blank, body locked into position. He would be a good soldier; he would live and serve.

 

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Locked in his pod, he shoved his fist in his mouth to muffle the terrified sobs. He was shaking and he couldn’t stop it. It had never been like that before…had never hurt so much…he’d never blacked out before only to come to find himself back in human form, covered in cooling blood. He didn’t understand what was happening to him. Several of his squad were dead, others had lived but now bore horrible scars…he had a set of claw marks scored deep into his left side, they were still oozing blood even now. He’d caught a glimpse of his eyes in the shiny surface of his pod as he was shoved inside…they weren’t blue anymore, they were going red.

 

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He stood, face blank, watching as a group of fully operational MT’s tore apart captured Lucian soldiers. They were the enemy, evil…so why did he feel sick? When they were finally dismissed he went back to his duties. They no longer trained all the time but were also used to run errands around the facility.

 

He went and collected rations before heading deep underground. He lifted his wrist to the code reader and the door opened, allowing him inside the cell. He didn’t glance at the guards and they ignored him.

 

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He lifted his head as the door opened, shocked to see a kid walk inside with a tray. The boy was silent as he approached and placed the tray down, revealing very basic rations and nothing that could be used as a weapon or tool to escape. He met the kids eyes and nearly recoiled. Human eyes were not meant to be that strange shade of purple. He took a deep breath, trying to pick up scents beyond his own spilled blood and body fluids, the stench of the guards…there, underneath it all was the boy….not human at all but a werewolf. How young had he been when infected? MT’s had red eyes…. Was the strange shade an indication he was becoming one? Or did he just have odd genetics. “Th…anks,” he croaked out and for a second he saw a flash of shock cross the kids face, so he wasn’t as empty as he appeared.

 

The kid glanced back at the closed cell door, cocking his head, listening, before he looked back at him and took a hesitant step closer. He fought back the instinct to hiss at a wolf being so close, even a mere pup. The boy picked up the mug of animal blood and held it to his lips, surprising him. “Drink,” the voice was flat, but he could detect a slight tremor to it.

 

He hungrily downed the almost cold liquid, feeling it begin to work on his wounds. “Not gonna hurt ya kid,” he offered when the boy hesitantly shifted closer. He lifted his manacled hands. “Couldn’t anyway.” The boy nodded and held up the stale bread for him to eat. It was gross but he needed to keep his strength up. “What’s your name?”

 

“Unit 05953234,” was the answer and he felt a new surge of rage towards the Empire.

 

“That’s not a name kid, that’s a number. Surely you have a name? What were you called before coming here?”

 

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“All units are manufactured at the facilities, there is no before.” what was he doing? This was the enemy! But…he didn’t look scary. He was different, to the scientists, guards, anyone he had ever met. He wasn’t yelling at him or snarling or anything. instinct screamed to attack but he was good at controlling those instincts, though it was getting harder. “You are a soldier?” he asked, and the vampire nodded. “You have…a name?”

 

“Yeah,” was the answer and he had a strange expression on his face that 234 couldn’t identify. “Name’s Agosto. Sorry if I stink,” there was an expression he recognised, a smirk, but there was no malice like when the guards made that look.

 

He was insane speaking with a prisoner, the enemy. They were not meant to speak except to answer a superior or scientist. He would be punished if they found out, but the doors blocked sound. Still, he needed to finish and leave. He fed him the rest of the food and then hesitated. “They like it when you fight back,” he whispered before scanning his code to let himself out.

 

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Agosto lay on the hard stone bench, unable to stop shivering due to a lack of blood. Normally extreme temperatures didn’t bother vampires much, but he hadn’t been fed since that kid had come by days ago, and he had lost more of the precious liquid through torture. He doubted he would last much longer, he would never get to ask Rhianna to go on a date with him, would never see if Ulric pushed the Captain into strangling him… there was so much he wanted to do but he’d known when he joined the Glaive that the odds were against him living out a full lifespan. Still, he had hoped to at least reach three centuries.

 

He cracked open an eye when the door opened and there was the kid…or was it the same one? There had been three older ones observing his interrogation, all identical and all older versions of the kid. He’d never seen an MT in human form and no he was terrified to consider just where the Empire found such numbers. He was carrying a tray again which he set down and moved closer, looking him over. “Not...a pretty…sight,” he coughed.

 

The boy pressed the mug of blood to his lips and his eyes widened in shock at the taste…werewolf blood. He noticed a thin, healing, line on the kids wrist and he realised where the blood had come from. Immediately he felt stronger than he had since his capture and he quickly ate the offered food, wondering what the kid had done with the animal blood he should have been fed.

 

“Why?” he asked as he tore into the bread, but the kid didn’t answer verbally, he held his wrist up to the scanner attached to the manacles and Agosto watched as they unlocked, leaning over to see the stark black lines on pale skin. “Kid…” was this a trap? Or what it looked like.

 

“Don’t want to be empty,” the boy whispered, and Agosto realised his eyes were a darker purple now. “You’re not evil.”

 

“No, I’m not,” he promised. It made sense these kids would be told that, the Empire wouldn’t want them to sympathise with their enemy or think they may be able to run to Lucis for freedom. There weren’t a lot of werewolves in Lucis and none in Insomnia, though there were refugees from Niflheim. He slowly reached out and stroked a hand over short cropped hair, hearing the subvocal whine from the kid at the gentle contact, seeing his eyes widen in surprise. He smiled and then pushed himself to his feet, grimacing as muscles protested. “Got a plan?” he asked, and the boy nodded, putting a finger to his lips for quiet.

 

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Agosto lay in the snow, choking on his own blood, struggling to rise. The kid grabbed his hand, pulling at him, eyes wide in terror.

 

“Get up, please,” he begged, and Agosto felt his heartbreak at the emotion. Three weeks on the run and the kid had begun coming out of his trained shell.

 

“Run kiddo…not gonna...make it.” He reached out to run bloodied fingers down a soft cheek. He’d have to drain the kid to stand a chance of healing and he couldn’t do that, he wouldn’t. Everyone else has used and abused the boy, he wouldn’t be another, no matter the cost to himself. He was no older than the Prince and it hurt to see him so skinny and abused. “P…P…Prompto,” he whispered, smiling slightly.

 

“Prompto,” the boy whispered and then nodded.

 

He had been trying to help the kid pick a name since they got out. It suited him; he was so prompt in everything. “Get to…Lucis…” his vision was going black as he heard a choked off sob from Prompto, feeling small, warm hands patting his face as the world faded away.

 

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RUN! Had to run…the icy cold bit into exposed skin, stealing his breath, as he fought through the snow drifts. He couldn’t fall, he’d never get up...he had to get away…get to Lucis. It hurt! He just wanted to sleep. Why had he left him alone? The sun was setting, and he ached, right down into his bones even as he began fumbling to get boots off. The bodysuit is designed to shift with them, somehow, he doesn’t know, doesn’t care. The ice cuts into the skin of his feet as he keeps moving until the moon rises and he falls to all fours, biting back screams of pain.

 

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He dragged his battered body from the water and up the sand, coughing and spluttering as he did. He could feel the blood sluggishly oozing down his face as the sun began to warm him through his black bodysuit. It hurt to think, to move, to breath, but instinct pulled him along until he was further from the water line.

 

He blacked out and when he woke the sun was high in the sky, his body long dry and he pushed himself to sit and look around. His head still hurt but the blood was dry. He didn’t know where he was or why. He tried to remember but everything was jumbled. The facility…cold…snow…blood...pain...shifting…then nothing. He stumbled to his feet and his eyes went wide in shock, he had seen scenery like this only in training…training to fight on Lucian soil.

 

He had to move…he had to…he didn’t know what. There were no trainers or guards or scientists to tell him what to do, to give him orders. He was terrified but he had to get away from the sea. He turned and began stumbling away from the shore, no idea where he was going. Fresh water, food and shelter, he had to find them, or he’d die. He didn’t want to die, he wanted to live, to…to be a person, not an MT. He wouldn’t be Unit 05953234 anymore, he would be…be…Prompto. He was Prompto. He didn’t know where it came from, but it felt nice.

 

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Prompto ducked down, out of sight, growling low in his throat as the coeurl stole his dinner. He wasn’t crazy enough to take it on over a few scraps of meat, no matter how his hunger gnawed at him. He moved away, scenting the air for anything else, wishing for the full moon. He could shift without it, but it usually left him feeling sick and weak and that would get him dead.

 

His bodysuit was long gone, turned to rags, and he didn’t dare get close enough to any of the settlements to steal clothes. Lucis had much nicer weather though, so it didn’t bother him. He spent most of his time skirting the edge of shifting, mentally more wolf than child and clothing meant nothing to animals. It kept him safer too, the daemons didn’t care about animals and he was close enough they didn’t go for him. He couldn’t rely on Havens like a human, too much chance of being found. He wouldn’t go back, he’d die first.

 

He wouldn’t be an MT, whatever they’d done to him, to all of them…he’d seen his reflection in the river, his eyes were going back to blue. Maybe once they were fully normal, maybe then he could risk getting close enough to grab some food from a settlement or store. He felt the want for pack, but they’d never truly been pack, had they? There was so much he didn’t know, he had only been made eight years before he escaped, they hadn’t been taught a lot in the facility. And some of it he was forgetting, the more he held the wolf close to the surface, the harder it got to think like a human, to want human things. Maybe one day he would shift and never change back, live his life only as a wolf. Maybe, that would be nice?

 

TBC…