It’s a bright, colourful, happy game, and Prompto’s already in love. A part of him itches to get his hands on the controller and play it himself, but he squashes that down, because everything’s better when he’s doing it with Noctis. He knows that if he’d bought the game and played it on his own in his empty apartment, it wouldn’t have anywhere near the same appeal. He’d get bored or lonely, and when Noctis called him up to do literally anything else, he’d come running over, because hanging out with Noctis is Prompto’s number one priority.
It also helps that he secretly thinks Noctis isn’t quite as good at games as he is, and that adds an extra sliver at humour. He enjoys poking fun when Noctis accidentally falls through a hill and lands square on the broom, triggering a cutscene. He likes watching Noctis fumble through spelling in a circular mechanic. He likes watching Noctis talk to each and every NPC in his virtual kingdom like the good prince that he is.
Prompto even appreciates that Noctis puts genuine effort into helping the owner of the candy shop. He plays through each note available, leaning forward and clearly concentrating. But he spends so long trying to make a catchy beat that Prompto finally interrupts, “This is such a game.”
“Totally,” Noctis agrees, eyes never once leaving the screen. “It’s super peaceful so far.” There’s a pause as Noctis cycles through the bottom notes, then starts over. “Do you think it’s a metaphor for climate change?”
Prompto glances over. “What?”
“Y’know, with the world ending ‘n stuff, and that sense of maybe it’s inevitable but we could totally stop it if we just tried, and the small efforts add up and shit? And we’re like... going around educating people on empathy in general.”
Prompto hadn’t thought of that. It seems a bit esoteric, but it also puts a few random dialogue strings into context. He slowly decides, “Yeah, maybe.” Then he lightly elbows Noctis and snorts, “Too bad we can’t really save the world with your beautiful singing.”
Noctis scoffs, “You mean your singing; why do you think I named our bard after you?” While Prompto laughs, Noctis continues, “It’s a tribute to your sick voice, dude.”
Prompto knows he’s teasing, but it’s still flattering. Noctis finally settles on a tune, and the shopkeeper thanks him. Then another NPC shows up next to them—a masked character in a particularly elaborate outfit. They’re taught another dance, and as soon as Noctis regains control, he tries it.
Prompto bursts out laughing all over again, because the dance is ridiculous: little Prom starts hopping back and forth on bowed legs with his hand snaking out on other side. Prompto’s never seen a real dance like it. Noctis throws his head back and joins in. He won’t stop doing it. He sidles over between the two NPCs, dancing as he walks. Prompto actually starts to feel tears prickling his eyes.
“I take it back,” Noctis wheezes between chortles. “I don’t want you to sing, I want you to dance!”
Ever obedient to his prince’s orders, Prompto pushes off the couch. He does his best to mimic the character’s movements, which feels so weird but is completely worth the hilarity. Noctis actually drops the controller so he can hold his stomach, he’s laughing so hard. Then he climbs up and steps away, giving himself room to do it too. They dance at each other, both trying to wear serious expressions but cracking around the sides.
“What in the world are you two doing?”
Prompto abruptly stops, spinning around and blushing hot. Embarrassment lances through him, compounded by Ignis’ lifted eyebrow. He stands in the doorway with a fabric shopping bag, eyeing the two of them like they’ve gone insane.
In his peripherals, Prompto can see that Noctis is still dancing. There’s nothing for Prompto to do but join in, until Ignis rolls his eyes and leaves.