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The line of Lucis was one that had its own fair share of secrets. Every royal line did in some shape or form, whether it be simple scandals to magically attuned bloodlines, many of which were known by if not discovered by the public. 

 

But the line of Lucis had a darker secret; one even the royal guard did not know. 

 

The Lucian line was comprised of vampires. 

 

They weren't your fairy tale, murderous, bloodthirsty kind of vampires; the few people that knew their secret didn't even use 'vampire' as a term for them. Put simply, when a member of the family is in dire need, feeling drained of their own life, as is prone to happen for the poor Kings and Queens of Lucis, to restore their energy, they were bestowed a 'gift'; the ability to drain the blood from another human to restore their own vitality. It is such a well guarded secret, that even those who marry into the line do so unawares until their child is in peril, should it ever happen. Many children never even know the power of their line until the need arises, whether they are saved by a family member who does know, or they are blinded by harsh instinct and act accordingly. How far back in the bloodline this ability stems from is impossible to be certain. Whether it was always present or a single member struck a deal with a daemon eons ago; either way, this 'gift' is present in every son and daughter of Lucis. 

 

One such son was Noctis Lucis Caelum, who was never proud of his survival ability. He was ashamed, and considered it a curse to be tempted by the life flowing in another's veins when yours is flowing out. Noctis never wanted to have to use his ability, for fear of the scant rumors of a few of his ancestors that developed a taste for it, and would consume even when there was no real need. He still remembers the day he even found out about his curse.

 

He had been six years old. His father had been doting on him hand and foot after the Crystal had chosen him as it's champion, dubbing him the King of Light. Noctis wasn't sure what this actually meant, but knew it must be something scary if his father always went pale when the prophecy was mentioned. The King would look at his son with such sadness in his eyes, it would make Noctis weep as a child. 

 

A week after his sixth birthday, his father had pulled him aside in his bedroom, dismissed all of his servants, and shut the door tightly. He strode over to his son, his aura regal and commanding. He knelt down in front of the small prince and ran a large hand through his silky hair, a sad smile across his lips. 

 

"My son. There is something I must tell you." he had said slowly.

 

"What is it, Daddy?" Noctis mumbled, worried he was in trouble.

 

"In your life, you will face many challenges and many dangers. When you are injured or weak, you must not be afraid to give in to our gift." the King had whispered, resting a hand on his son's cheek.

 

"The warping and stuff?" Noctis had asked confused.

 

Regis smiled sadly, "No, my son. We have another. One that will heal you, at the cost of hurting someone else."

 

Noctis had furrowed his small brows, "But I don't wanna hurt someone else..." he had mumbled, fear creeping in to his voice.

 

"My son, you must. You must survive and fulfill the prophecy. That is the most important thing. You must remember that." The King had said slowly.

 

That night, the King had disclosed to his small son the greatest secret of the Lucian line, and told him how to use his gift. Noctis had gone to bed, tears in his eyes, terrified of what he was. When he had asked who he could dare hurt, his father had told him to use someone in his service. 

 

As if that were to sound easy and bring comfort.

 

The prince had remained disquieted for quite some time afterward. His servants had begun to worry, especially Ignis. He was only eight himself, but knew the prince well enough by now to know when something was deeply troubling him. Whenever he'd tried to get him to talk about it, all the prince could say was 'I can't tell you, it's a secret.'

 

Ignis was concerned that something had happened between the prince and the king. He always seemed afraid of the king after that, not wanting to remain in his presence for long after meals when he used to treasure every moment with his father. Was there some kind of abuse taking place? No, the King loved his son so dearly, it was almost heartbreaking. Ignis had to find out what had the prince so upset, however. It was his duty to know him, advise him, and look after him. How could he do that when he had 'secrets'?

 

Noctis had been playing in his room when Ignis came in and shut the door behind him. Noctis looked up and gave him a weak smile before returning to his toys.

 

"Do you want to play with me, Iggy?" he asked hopefully.

 

Ignis adjusted his glasses and came to sit across from the prince, "As you wish, your Highness." he mused slowly.

 

Noctis snorted, "Iggy, you know I don't force you to play with me," 

 

Ignis smiled at his little prince. He never was one to stand on ceremony, even if he was still so young. Ignis played with him for awhile, trying to get him to relax a bit before he asked gently, "Your Highness, forgive me, but I must ask you something."

 

"Can I ask you something first?" The prince mumbled, not looking up from his toy behemoth.

 

"Of course, your Highness."

 

"Can you call me Noctis? Or Noct? Anything but Highness," he said, looking up to meet Ignis' eyes. 

 

"That wouldn't be proper; you are the prince and I am-"

 

"Iggy," Noct cut him off, "At least when we're alone then?" 

 

Ignis smiled at Noctis, thinking he was quite amusing. "As you wish, Noctis," he said slowly.

 

Noctis beamed, all happy with himself for winning Ignis over on something. "'Kay, that's better. Now what were you gonna ask me?"

 

Ignis took a deep breath, before whispering, "Can I know what that secret is? It seems to be bothering you, not being able to talk about it."

 

He saw the prince tense visibly. It truly wasn't a pretty secret. "I...I can't tell you. I promised Dad I wouldn't tell anyone."

 

Ignis nodded his head, changing his tactics, "But how can I help you in my position if there are things we hide from each other?" 

 

Noctis seemed lost in thought, "I mean...yeah, but..."

 

"Noctis, I swear on my life I won't ever tell another soul if you do not wish it." Ignis said calmly.

 

The prince stared at him for a long time, contemplating breaking his promise to forge a new one. "You promise? Not even my dad?" he whispered hesitantly.

 

Ignis nodded, eyes boring in to the prince's.

 

Noctis took a deep breath, "Okay. So...the Lucian line...can drink blood from other people to heal themselves." he whispered, looking away like he was afraid of scaring him.

 

Ignis' eyes widened. If this was true, he could see not only why no one was allowed to know, but why Noctis himself had been so troubled by it. Drink the blood of others? That was...terrifying.

 

"Iggy...I'm scared." Noctis mumbled, tears starting to prickle at his eyes.

 

Ignis grabbed one of the prince's hands, squeezing it tenderly, "Don't be scared, Noctis."

 

"I...I don't want to hurt anyone..." he whimpered, tears falling freely.

 

"I will be here for you. I will protect you, and when you need to use this ability, I will be here. Use me, so you don't have to use anyone else." Ignis stated firmly. If this was his unspoken duty to the Crown, so be it. He would do anything for Noctis, even if it cost him his own health or life.

 

Noctis sniffled and wiped tears away with his free hand, "But Iggy... I really don't want to hurt you. You've never hurt me, it isn't fair."

 

Ignis moved the toys aside to get close to the prince, pulling him in a tender embrace, "Noctis. I would gladly do this for you. Never be afraid to ask me."

 

Noctis sobbed into his advisor's arms, scared to ever hurt him. 

 

They stayed like that for awhile, until Noctis had ceased in his cries. When Ignis pulled away slowly, he could see the prince wiping his face, embarrassment coloring his cheeks. "Thanks, Iggy." he mumbled, staring into his eyes.

 

"Of course, Noctis." Ignis said warmly, wiping a stray tear he had missed.

 

Ignis had meant every word. Just because the only reason they had met was because Noctis would be King someday and Ignis would be his Left Hand, he didn't hold his place as his motivator for helping the prince. He would do anything for him, servant of the Crown or not. If that meant he would lose some blood once in awhile, so be it. Anything to keep him safe.

 

Anything to keep him safe.

Chapter Text

Noctis was trying not to fall asleep in the back seat. His royal escort was still far from Insomnia, and all he had for company was his servant, Amelia. She was nice enough, but was always trying to convince Noctis things about his father that his stubborn eight year old self didn't want to believe. 

 

They were passing over a large cliff overlooking the sea. There wasn't much to see at night, but Noctis still wanted to stay awake. He focused on the two cars ahead of them, watching their tail lights dim and brighten with each press of the brakes. He was beginning to doze despite his efforts until he saw the first car disappear from the road in a flurry of sounds and explosions. Noctis gasped as he rose from his seat, Amelia placing an arm around him protectively. His drivers pulled over, marveling at the burning car.

 

Behind the car, Noctis could see what looked like an impossibly large snake, curling around itself and raising its head to reveal an entire torso of a woman, a half dozen arms, laden with swords, as she turned and glared toward the other vehicles remaining of his escort. His drivers panicked, yelling at Amelia to take the prince to safety, as the front of the car was slashed to ribbons by the daemon's swords. Amelia quickly grabbed the prince and took off running, him at her side, as fast as they could away from the destruction. 

 

Noctis dared to peak back, only to witness the daemon scanning the cars, searching for something. A loud explosion caused them both to gasp, revealing their position to her. She descended upon them faster than Noctis would have assumed possible, all he could hear was a sword slicing through air, and Amelia crying out. Intense pain flooded his mind, his back feeling like it had been severed, as they both tumbled to the ground, Amelia already dead. 

 

Noctis had landed on his stomach, the pain and fear restricting his movements. Her blood was starting to pool around him, sticking to his arm as he tried to move away from it. He could feel a nagging sensation in the back of his mind, that seemed to overwhelm even the pain. The blood rushed around him, soaking his side, as it almost seemed to change color in his eyes, still red, but not as disgusting as it had once been, its aroma almost enticing and sweet. He felt a strange allure to it, too strong to resist; all he wanted was to consume it. 

 

Noctis squinted his eyes shut; not willing to look at it anymore. Even if she was already gone, he still didn't want to indulge in her blood. He was pulled from his thoughts when he heard something large slither closer. He looked up to see the daemon hovering over him, glaring at him with seething hatred. Noctis froze, unable to even scream as she raised her swords above her head, ready to cut him to pieces.

 

A shining silver blade cut through the night and across her arms, pulling her attention and her rage to someone else. Noctis glanced over to see his father, surrounded by his glittering Armiger, rage in his face as he moved closer to the daemon, swords and axes being thrown towards her. 

 

Noctis felt hands on his arms, heard voices shouting at him in concern as he was gently lifted and placed on his back. His eyes were starting to cloud over, the pain unimaginable. He tried to move his legs to curl in on himself, but couldn't get them to respond. He couldn't feel anything in his legs. Tears slowly fell from his cheeks as he felt magic being used on him to try to heal him. He looked over and saw his father, haloed in flame, expression one Noctis had never seen before, assaulting the daemon with every weapon at his disposal, before casting her off the side of the cliff, still hearing her cries of rage and pain as she echoed down the ravine.

 

Noctis tried once more to move his legs; anything to move away from Amelia's blood pooling around him. Nothing. It was like his legs weren't attached anymore.

 

He heard hurried steps toward him, unable to bring himself to move his head. He saw his father in his peripheral, concern and fear across his face, as he was screaming at him. It looked like he was saying his name, but he couldn't hear anything anymore. Then he couldn't see anymore, the world enveloping itself in darkness.

 

 

 

 

Noctis awoke in an unfamiliar place. It was beautiful, not made up of dark colors like home was, but instead rich blues and whites. He felt a dull ache and insatiable hunger course through him. He looked over to see his father hunched over beside him, hands clasped around one of his own. Noctis groaned weakly, seeing his father's head shoot up at the sound, his eyes a mix of relief and pain. He brought Noctis' hand closer to his face, promising to always protect him, never let anyone hurt him, and other such promises. Noctis couldn't bring himself to respond, still too weak, feeling like everything he heard and saw was still happening in slow motion. He was worried his father would be angry for not drinking Amelia's blood, but all he seemed was relieved that he was even alive. Noctis tried to move his legs, only to discover they were still unresponsive. He couldn't bring himself to cry. Would he ever walk again? Was it because he didn't drink the blood? Was it all his fault?

 

He felt a warm hand brushing his hair back from his eyes. He heard his father's voice telling him not to worry, to rest, to not be scared.

 

Noctis felt sleep threatening to consume him, but with the last of his strength, he squeezed his father's hand.

 

He felt him squeeze back.

 

 

 

 

The wheelchair was... uncomfortable. Not just embarrassing to the stubborn prince, but he was never one to enjoy sitting all day. His father had assured him his legs would return to full usability in time, but for the time being, they would remain here in Tenebrae.

 

Tenebrae...Noctis had seen pictures of it in books and on television, but nothing could prepare him for how beautiful it really was. Where Insomnia was dark and harsh, Tenebrae was bright and serene. Here, he would recover, under the care of Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, who was so kind to him, teaching him about the Astrals and about the Oracles; even about himself as the Chosen of the Crystal. 

 

Luna was unimaginably beautiful. She was only four years older than Noctis, but she seemed so adult and pristine in her white dresses and with her gorgeous golden tresses. Noctis was reduced to a blushing mess in her presence at times, not that he would ever admit it. She always found ways for him to be comfortable with his temporary disability, never at a loss for what they could do while sitting, especially in the fields of sylleblossoms, where they made flower crowns for each other. Noctis had been so nervous, but her gentle touches to his arm were always enough to make him feel at ease.

 

He'd come to care for her deeply, and was excited when she wanted to maintain contact through journal correspondence after he left. He promised to always write to her.

 

Luna had two amazing puppies, Umbra and Pryna, who she assured would be able to perform as expert messengers for the two of them. They seemed almost ethereal, their gazes could go from relaxing to haunting, never mind that they almost seemed completely aware of their conversations. Noctis banished the silly thought; they were just dogs, right?

 

His legs were starting to get stronger; he could wiggle his toes and put a small amount of weight on them now. Luna never made him feel inadequate, and always praised him enough to sound sincere, but not so much that it sounded condescending. She never pressured him into trying more than he felt comfortable with, never tested his endurance. Noctis was grateful to her.

 

One evening, they were both sitting in his bed, reading about the Glacian when his father entered. 

 

"Excuse me, Lunafreya; might I speak with Noctis alone?" He asked kindly.

 

Luna smiled, "Of course, King Regis." she gave Noctis' hand a small squeeze before turning to curtsy to the King and take her leave.

 

Noctis was sad to see her go, but knew something was on his father's mind. "Yes, Father?" 

 

The King sat in the chair next to his bed slowly, leaning forward slightly, "Noct...that night the daemon attacked...why didn't you drink any blood?" he said slowly, tone very serious.

 

Noctis knew this would come up sooner or later. His eyes fell to the bed, "I...didn't want to." he mumbled.

 

The King closed his eyes and let out a sigh. "Noctis, we have been over this. You can't be afraid to use that power, especially when your life is at great risk, never mind that she was already gone, and would have complained not."

 

Noctis eyes fogged up slightly. Just because she was already dead didn't give him leave to use her blood as he wanted. "Father...it's...disgusting. I never want to have to do that."

 

"So you would rather die?" The King prodded, perhaps being unfair, but his point needed to be made should it ever happen again. 

 

Noctis looked away, "Do you do it?" he whispered.

 

Regis leaned back in the chair, "When I am weak, yes, yes I do. I've never killed using this ability. Keeping up the Wall corrodes my body, Noctis, and to keep it and myself standing, I must use this gift." 

 

The prince looked pained. He didn't want to think about his father drinking someone's blood. "Who?"

 

Regis pinched the bridge of his nose, "I have a few people within my service that I trust. None of them are forced into anything, and all of them would gladly offer." he sighed.

 

Noctis winced. He thought of Ignis, and how he hadn't been repulsed, or wanted to leave, or hated him. How he wanted nothing more than to help and keep Noctis safe. "Okay." Noctis mumbled.

 

"Okay? Okay, what?" The King prodded gently.

 

"I won't be afraid of it anymore. If I need to, I will." Noctis stated firmly. 

 

The King let out a sigh of relief, "Good. When the time comes, you won't be able to find it disgusting, I assure you. It will feel almost...natural." he tried to comfort him.

 

Noctis nodded, remembering the way Amelia's blood had smelled intoxicating, the way the consistency of it didn't seem thick and sticky, but instead like water, and that he'd never drank or eaten in his life. Noctis shuddered slightly at the thought. "Father, would I...be better, if I had?"

 

"I believe you would be healing faster. The daemon did a great deal of damage to you, don't ever forget that, but yes, if you had used your ability, you would perhaps be walking by now." he said calmly. He didn't want Noctis to regret anything; he was just relieved he was even alive after having his spine near severed.

 

Noctis nodded thoughtfully. A part of him was still glad he didn't, but another more stubborn part of him wishes he had, so that he could be walking with Luna. "Okay..." he whispered.

 

Regis rose from his seat, placing a hand firmly on his son's shoulder, giving him a tender squeeze. "I love you, my son. Never forget that." 

 

"I love you too, Father." Noctis mumbled, already losing himself in his thoughts. 

 

The King smiled sadly, "Get some rest, Noct." he whispered before turning to leave. At the door, he gave one last look toward his son, his poor, doomed son, who all he could do for was to teach him how to survive until the prophesied night came. Noctis was looking out the window, watching the moonlight reflect off of the sylleblossoms, not even aware his father was staring. Regis felt a tear threaten to fall down his cheek, and left the room before it could.

 

Noctis waited until his father would be at least down the hall before crying. He was so frustrated; at his father, at himself, at his 'gift'. He fell back onto the bed, tears staining the pillow as sleep claimed him.

 

 

 

 

He ran as hard as he could, his body threatening to buckle from underneath him. He was running through the fields of Tenebrae, crushing sylleblossoms in his wake, trying desperately to get across as the field seemed to stretch farther and farther with every shaky step.

 

Blood was cascading down from his wound, a deep slash across his stomach. He heard the roar of the snake daemon behind him, heard it slithering across the grass and flowers. It wasn't far now.

 

His legs felt numb, like they'd never been there, and he collapsed to the ground. He clutched his stomach as he looked ahead, seeing white heels standing before him. He looked up to see Luna, radiant and calm, as she kneeled down to his side. 

 

"Noctis, let me help you." she whispered, the screams of the daemon getting closer and closer.

 

Noctis shook his head, knowing what she was implying, "No...I won't do it, I-" he was cut off by a large roar from the snake, feeling tremors in the ground at how close it was.

 

"You must, Noctis." She smiled sweetly, helping him to sit up near her, taking his job of holding his stomach from him, and tilted her neck towards him. 

 

Noctis felt an irresistible pull towards her waiting neck, his eyes able to see her pulse though her porcelain skin. He leaned closer, felt his canines extending as his mouth opened near her neck.

 

The daemon was almost upon them now, screams hurting his ears. 

 

"It's alright, Noctis." She whispered as he sank his teeth into her neck.

 

Noctis felt a gush of hot fluid pour into his mouth and down his throat. He used his hands to hold her neck steady, stomach already starting to hurt less. He couldn't hear the daemon anymore.

 

He looked down to see crimson blood staining her beautiful dress. He continued to drain her, feeling himself grow stronger with every gulp of her rich blood. Her skin started to feel cold under his warm hands, her grip on his stomach starting to fade.

 

He couldn't stop. Didn't want to. He kept drinking her blood until there was nothing left. He pulled away, still unsatisfied, and looked down at her grey skin, dry to the touch. Luna wasn't there anymore, only a dried out corpse that had been murdered by a bloodthirsty daemon. Noctis screamed in horror, dropping her lifeless body to the now dead sylleblossoms, and turned in time to see the snake daemon cleave him in two.

 

 

 

 

Noctis screamed as he shot up from the bed, sweat drenching his body and the sheets. An attendant quickly came into the room at the sound of his cries, "Prince Noctis? What's wrong?" she asked bewildered.

 

Noctis jumped at the sound of her voice, and looked at her in fear. She had long rich brown hair, a pointed chin, and kind eyes.

 

She looked just like Amelia.

 

Noctis shook his head in disbelief, and couldn't stop himself from leaning over the side of the bed to vomit. He was still dry heaving what little stomach acid he had left when she had returned with a nurse. They put a wet cloth to his head and cleaned his face, one holding him while the other changed his sheets. The nurse was holding him so tenderly, so afraid he might break, that it made him sob. If he'd ever needed a mother, it was now.

 

After they'd helped him change his pajamas and cleaned his floor, the attendant tucked him back into bed with a tall glass of water. "It's alright, Prince Noctis," she whispered reassuringly, noting how he winced at her voice.

 

"I...I don't want to sleep, anymore." he mumbled, voice dry and croaky. 

 

"It's still early in the morning, Your Highness; you should really rest." the nurse said calmly, stroking his hair back as she checked for any fever. 

 

Noctis shook his head, "I'd rather just get up..." he coughed.

 

"Should I wake the King?" the attendant whispered to the nurse. 

 

She shook her head, "I think some fresh air would be good for him," she smiled kindly at the poor prince. 

 

She pulled back the blankets and carefully reached under his near useless legs to carry him to his wheelchair, "Thank you, Avery, I can watch him from here."

 

The attendant bowed to the Prince before wishing him well and taking her leave.

 

The nurse pushed the chair out onto the bedroom's balcony, which had a beautiful view of the fields. Noctis at first couldn't bring himself to look at the flowers, but forced himself to so as to make sure there were no daemons, or worse, a dead Luna.

 

The fields were empty, not a soul among the flowers. Noctis sighed in relief, taking in the sweet night air, looking up to see the stars starting to fade and the sun an hour away from rising in the east. Even the longest nights had to end.

 

The nurse was more than patient with him, never complaining about the cold, or the time, only making sure he was comfortable and not running a fever. Noctis started to doze as the sun peeked over the mountains, his head falling to his chest as he dreamed a dreamless sleep. The nurse smiled at the small prince, before wheeling him back into his room, gently placing him on the bed and tucking him in, before placing a gentle kiss to the top of his head, "Rest well, dear Prince," she whispered before leaving his room.

Chapter Text

Noctis still hadn't used his gift. He was 15 now, and had been adamant about staying out of harms way and not wearing himself out too much. He could hear that buzzing, that sirens call for blood, even when he had just expended a lot of his magic in training. Ignis kept a close eye on him, never wanting the prince to lose control and him not be nearby. He still wasn't sure exactly what being of service to him that way would entail, but he knew it would have to be private, and he would have to brace himself to feel weak afterwards. 

 

Noctis hadn't talked about it much; he tried to pretend it wasn't real. When Ignis heard about the daemon attack, how Noctis had been found in a pool of Amelia's blood, he knew that Noctis still wouldn't have partaken. He wasn't wrong either; Noctis had told him everything when he'd finally come home. How the blood had a pleasant scent, how he had to fight himself to not drink it, his time with Luna, his talk with his father, bits and pieces of his awful nightmare, and when the world fell down around them as the Empire took Tenebrae, and the feeling Noctis had watching Luna voluntarily stay behind as he was carried off by his father.

 

Ignis had held him as he cried. He was relieved that Noctis was so comfortable telling him these things, even at such a young age. It boded well for their future together; Noctis as King and Ignis as his advisor. 

 

That closeness didn't wane over the years. In fact, they were closer every year. Now 17, Ignis knew much about the prince and how he viewed things, more so than his own father did. Now and then, the King would talk to Ignis privately, trying to assess how Noctis was growing, since he barely opened up to him anymore. Many of these talks were more about his school, his training, his diet. But there was one such conversation that still had Ignis on edge.

 

"You two are inseparable, it would seem." the king had said calmly.

 

"We are indeed very close, Your Majesty; he confides in me very often." Ignis said truthfully, nervous for some reason.

 

"I see. He tells you...everything, then?" The King looked at him then, eyes piercing through Ignis', as if he could see into his very soul.

 

"I...Yes, Your Majesty. I do believe I know all that there is to know regarding the prince." Ignis said slowly, a light sweat building at his brow. Does the King know that Noctis told him? Would he be angry? And if he was, more angry at Noctis or Ignis?

 

The King hummed thoughtfully. "I see. That is...good. That's good." he sighed as he turned to face the window.

 

The years had not been kind to King Regis. The more time he spent keeping up the Wall, that is. Ignis knew the King had his own attendants to aid him in his thirst, but he wasn't sure who they were, or how often their services were needed. How long until Noctis would need Ignis like that, on a regular basis? There already were plenty of nights when he'd come home ragged from training, drinking water until his stomach hurt, sweating bullets. 

 

"Ignis?" the King was facing him now.

 

"Forgive me, Your Majesty, I was lost in thought." he chastised himself for pondering so much in the midst of a meeting with the King.

 

The King seemed unperturbed, however, and was smiling at him. "I said, you'll have to forgive him when the time comes."

 

Ignis' brows rose, "When the time comes, Your Majesty?" 

 

The King sighed sadly, "Lets not beat around the bush further. I know that you know, I have known, for some time. Noctis is... stubborn about this ability, and refuses to use it. My only concern is that if he continues down this path, that when the time comes he must use it, he won't know how to hold himself back. You must be there to help him find his way, and above all, begrudge him not." 

 

Ignis eyes widened as he processed everything the King had just said to him. Noctis could, by trying to remain in control, lose it all completely. But...how could Ignis ever hate him for that? Or anything? Ignis swallowed before saying calmly, "Yes, Your Majesty. I could never bring myself to hold anything against the prince. But if I may ask...what would you have me do to help him in this matter?" 

 

The King reached up to stroke his greying beard, "I believe there is only one course of action. You must force him to use this ability, so he learns to control it himself." 

 

Ignis nodded, letting everything click into place. Force Noctis to drink his blood? He would be so angry. Would he ever forgive him?

 

"This is your duty, and must come before your feelings for him. He will be angry, yes, but more importantly, he will learn to use it safely." The King said slowly.

 

Ignis hoped he hadn't said any of his thoughts aloud, and that the King was simply intuitive. He bowed to the King, "I understand, Your Majesty. It will be done." 

 

"Thank you, Ignis. I'm sorry that such a task must befall you." he sighed as he turned back to the window.

 

Ignis bowed again before excusing himself from the room. He returned to his bedroom to find himself in a cold sweat. How was he supposed to initiate this? How was he supposed to control what Noctis was doing while it was happening? The prince would feel betrayed; Ignis knew how terrified he was of his gift. To force him into using it was just...

 

Ignis closed his eyes as he slid down the door onto the floor. He tried to control his breathing as best he could. Just as his body was beginning to regulate itself, he received a text from the prince himself.

 

'Hey, just finished training, on my way back to the palace'

 

Ignis heart sank. It couldn't happen tonight. He couldn't stand for Noctis to hate him so soon. He punched in a quick reply, saying he was glad he was on his way home, before closing his phone and sliding it across the floor. 

 

It was inevitable. As the King had said, it would only get worse. 

 

But not today.

Chapter Text

Months had passed since that terrifying meeting with the King. Noctis had turned 16, and was given his own private apartment per his request, to live in while he went to high school. Ignis, now 18, went there often to check on him, the King's words still looming in his mind. 

 

It would have to happen soon. Noctis was beginning to stay irritable long after training. It used to be he could calm down after drinking a gallon of water and taking a shower, but now he was in a foul mood all night after training. Ignis' heart ached at what he knew he must do. If it would help Noctis, he would do anything...he just wished Noctis wouldn't hate him in the process.

 

It was one such night that Noctis came home from training with Gladio, a fine sheen of sweat across his face, as he proceeded to his bedroom and shut the door. Ignis got up from the couch, adjusted his glasses, and took a deep breath. This was it. It had to happen tonight, before he got any worse.

 

Ignis gave a light knock to his door. No response. "Noctis?" he called. No response. Ignis swallowed his fear and slowly opened the door, peering inside the dark room. He wasn't there. Ignis looked under the bathroom to see a light on, hearing the shower running. Ignis quietly entered the bedroom and sat at the foot of the bed, unsure of how to proceed. 

 

A few moments later, he heard he shower turn off, but didn't hear Noctis step out of it. He waited as long as he dared, before slowly rising and walking to the door, giving a light rap with the back of his knuckles, "Noct?" Still no answer. "Noctis, are you alright?" Nothing.

 

It was then he heard a crash on the other side, followed by silence. "Noctis?!" Ignis shouted, pulling on the door handle, which was locked, of course. Ignis braced himself against the door, listening for the sound of anything at all. When he heard nothing, he quickly took a step back before kicking the door handle as hard as could, earning a fine ache in his foot, but also access to the bathroom as the handle flew upwards. 

 

He charged in to be met with a heartbreaking sight. Noctis was trembling on the floor, a towel barely covering him, his eyes glowing red as he pulled at his hair. He was rocking back in forth, muttering something to himself, seemingly unaware that Ignis was even there. Ignis slowly approached him, before kneeling a few feet from him, he whispered, "Noctis?"

 

Noctis head shot up, almost feral, as his red eyes bore into Ignis'. He seemed to calm down slightly at seeing his emerald ones, but he was still shaking and still looked pained. Ignis cursed himself. His own selfish needs for Noctis to not hate him had caused the prince to get to this point. 

 

Ignis slid closer slowly, "Noct...I'm here." he whispered, reaching a hand out tentatively.

 

Noctis looked at his hand like it was on fire. He looked terrified. The prince pulled his eyes away, before muttering, "Just go, I'm fine, please, please just leave." he winced in pain.

 

Ignis' heart broke. Noctis was still too afraid of what he was, even though Ignis had promised to always be there for him when there were children, ten years ago. "Noct. I'm not going anywhere. You know what you have to do," he spoke slowly, not wanting to scare him off, as he gingerly grabbed his chin to face him.

 

Noctis' eyes were completely red, irises and all. His face was contorted in pain, sweat across his brow. He seemed like he was going to get closer to Ignis, before he glared and swatted his hand away. "Leave me." he spat.

 

Ignis had to take control. He grabbed Noctis by his shoulders, forcing him to face him head on, "No. Noctis, enough of this. Let me help you, please." 

 

Noctis had his eyes shut tight, unwilling to look at Ignis. He flinched in pain, a silent cry forcing his mouth open. That's when Ignis saw his teeth. His canines, top and bottom, were elongated three times their size, sharp as razors. Noctis' own mouth was bleeding from trying to keep them hidden. Ignis pushed his shame down for now, pulling Noctis to his chest. "It's alright, Noctis." 

 

Noctis tried to push away at those words, his nightmare returning to him. He was too weak to do anything but fall deeper into Ignis' embrace, as Ignis took him by the chin and turned him to face his neck. "Noct..." he whispered, "please, you're killing yourself." 

 

Noctis shook his head weakly, trying not to notice how soft Ignis' skin looked, how fast his pulse was racing through his veins. In a moment of weakness, Noctis leaned his forehead against Ignis' neck, panting as he clenched his nails into his arms, hard enough to draw blood.

 

Blood. He could smell it now. Ignis' blood smelled sweet, like berries. Noctis bet it was just as tangy, just as thirst quenching, just as- 

 

Noctis screamed into Ignis' chest. It was a dry, heartbreaking wail that struck Ignis to the core. His poor, stubborn prince. He couldn't believe his restraint if it had been this bad for so long. Ignis pushed Noctis' chin up so his mouth was inches from his neck. "Do it, Noctis."

 

Noctis snapped. Like a coil that had been twisted tight for years and years, he snapped. He brought his mouth slowly to Ignis' neck, his teeth dying to sink in to taste him. He could feel Ignis tense slightly at the warm breath on his neck. 

 

Ignis tried to relax as he felt Noctis squeezing his arms again. His eyes shot open at the feeling of his wet, blood soaked tongue licking his neck sensually. What...what was that? Before he had any more time to think, he felt stabbing pain across his whole neck, as he felt Noctis' jaw tighten around him. He breathed through the pain, noticing how Noctis' iron grip had yet to lessen, as he heard Noctis gulping down his blood.

 

"Iggy...I'm scared."

 

Ignis brought his arms up to wrap around the prince, holding him closer, making sure he wouldn't pull away. He knew for how long Noctis hadn't been doing this, he would need a substantial amount, and Ignis was more than ready to provide. He gazed up at the ceiling, listening to Noctis drink from his neck, as his head started to feel dizzy. He gripped Noctis as tight as he could, not ready to cut him off yet, repenting in his own way for putting the prince through so much pain because of Ignis' own cowardice of losing him.



"Don't be scared, Noctis."

 

Noctis' grip was finally starting to lessen, as his hands moved from Ignis' arms to wrap around his back, and before Ignis knew it, Noctis was lowering him to the bathroom floor. Ignis moved as carefully with Noctis as he could, not wanting his teeth to tear across his skin. 


"I...I don't want to hurt anyone..."

 

Once he was against the floor, it was like he could feel all of the blood in his body, like when he was a child in the bathtub, and could feel the water rippling around him as he laid down and sat up, he could feel the blood rush through him towards his head. Ignis was starting to become incredibly light headed, his grip on Noctis' back starting to falter. Noctis was straddling him through his towel, hands planted on either side of Ignis' head as he continued to indulge in his neck, blood dribbling down his chin and onto the floor.

 

This is what the King had warned him of. Noctis wouldn't know how to restrain himself, and would need Ignis to help him. Ignis snapped out of his self loathing reverie, knowing Noctis would be far more upset about hurting him than he would be about being cut off. 

 

Ignis tried to speak, but his voice failed him. He moved to scratch at Noctis' back, but he didn't seem disturbed; if anything, he seemed more egged on as he moaned and bit down harder into his neck. Ignis tried not to panic. There must be some way to get Noctis to snap out of it from his rather pinned position. Ignis tried to move his legs to knock the prince off him, but they were already too weak, and getting weaker. He was literally bleeding out.


"I will be here for you. I will protect you, and when you need to use this ability, I will be here. Use me, so you don't have to use anyone else."

 

Ignis coughed as hard as he could, before he managed to croak, "N-Noctis..." 

 

He saw Noctis' eyes snap open, as his own began to fall shut. He felt teeth being pulled from his neck, a wet tongue licking over his wounds before he felt the prince rise to sit next to him, pulling him up slowly, a hand covering his neck.

 

"Oh Gods...Ignis I'm so..." he heard Noctis choke before letting out a light sob, shame coating his entire being. 

 

Ignis opening his eyes slowly, applying his own hand to his neck as he looked sadly at his prince. Noctis seemed like he wanted to vomit, like he wanted to disappear and die from self disgust. Ignis smiled weakly as he leaned his forehead against the prince's, "It's okay, Noctis. I'm fine," he tried to reassure him, but he knew he'd have to take it easy for awhile. He wasn't sure how much blood he'd lost, but it was enough to make him almost lose consciousness, which was definitely a concern.

 

Noctis was shaking his head, "Why...why did you let me do that?! You know how I- that I never wanted to-" he couldn't even finish as he sobbed against Ignis.

 

Ignis leaned his chin up to place a chaste kiss to his forehead, "Because I needed to help you...you were dying, Noctis. You couldn't keep going on like you were." 

 

Noctis shut his eyes as more tears fell. He was sickened by himself. He'd had so much restraint, had never so much as bitten another person no matter how tempting it was, and just like that, it was gone, to his own animalistic needs. He hated himself; hated that he couldn't even lie to himself and say that he didn't feel stronger, didn't feel better, didn't feel all of the pain that had been bearing down on him the last few years wash away in an instant.

 

His guilt and shame were enough to make him feel awful and sick.

 

He wrapped his arms around Ignis, who was so pale, so cold, but still smiling. Noctis went to stand, grabbing his towel just as it started to fall, before bending down and picking Ignis up. He wasn't sure if it was because Ignis had lost so much weight in blood or because Noctis had absorbed that power from it, but Ignis felt like he weighed next to nothing. Noctis carried him into his room and laid him down onto his bed, not caring that some of the blood was getting on the sheets. He went back to the bathroom and grabbed a first aid kit, thanking Ignis silently for teaching him the basics of it. 

 

Noctis proceeded to clean the wound, before dressing it in a light tourniquet that wrapped completely around his neck, his shame bubbling up within him seeing Ignis like this. Ignis was already starting to doze, his face pale and cheeks thin. 

 

Noctis wondered how he'd ever make it up to Ignis. He'd almost killed him; there was no dancing around that fact. If Ignis hadn't managed to say his name, Noctis doubted he would've been able to stop. He brought a hand up to his lips. He could still taste Ignis, could still smell him. It was all a blur to him; he could barely remember laying him down on the floor, or why he'd done so. He did remember Ignis scratching at his back, and how it had only spurred him on. Noctis was disgusted with himself. Just like that, he was no better than an animal. 

 

Noctis was pulled from his self loathing by the sound of Ignis whispering his name. "What, Iggy?" Noctis mumbled, leaning closer so Ignis wouldn't have to strain himself.

 

"I said, don't be ashamed." Ignis whispered, eyes opening to look into Noctis'. 

 

Noctis tried not to cry again. Seeing him like this was too much, especially knowing Noctis had been the cause. 

 

Ignis smiled at him, "I'll be fine, Noct. Really. It wasn't that bad," Ignis sighed as he adjusted his neck.

 

Noctis shook his head, a hand instinctively reaching to grasp Ignis', "I'm sorry." he mumbled.

 

Ignis squeezed his hand. "Noctis." he sighed wearily, eyes drifting shut. 

 

Noctis leaned over and returned the kiss from earlier, kissing Ignis' bangs tenderly. 

Chapter Text

Ignis awoke feeling groggy. His head didn't feel like it was spinning anymore, but his body felt like lead. He looked around the room, surprised to see Noctis sleeping in his chair, pointed to the bed. He seemed to have fallen asleep watching over Ignis. He smiled as he shakily rose to his feet, the tourniquet around his neck starting to loosen. 

 

Noctis was snoozing away soundly. He really did look a lot better than he had in a long time. There was a healthy color to his cheeks, the bags under his eyes were gone, and his skin seemed...tighter, almost. He was completely revitalized, and Ignis was glad he was the one who could play a part in healing him. Ignis didn't think he should tell Noctis about what his father had said. He'd only be angry. He wouldn't want to think that continuing down this path of feeding periodically was the only thing that would keep him alive and sane.

 

Even if that was true.

 

Ignis stumbled as he went toward Noctis, barely catching himself as he braced his arms on the chair. Noctis jumped awake, and was startled to find Ignis inches from his face. 

 

Ignis swallowed, "Morning," he whispered.

 

Noctis had a slight blush to his cheeks, "Morning...are...are you okay?"

 

Ignis smiled at him, "I'm fine. How about you, Noct?" 

 

"I'm...fine." Noctis mumbled. He looked away, still dying of shame, it seemed.

 

Ignis heart ached. He hated seeing Noctis hurt like this. He reached a hand to cup under Noctis' chin, tilting his head up to face him. They stared at each other, eyes locked as Noctis brought a hand up to rest on Ignis' neck, his eyes starting to tear up slightly. Ignis leaned forward and rested his forehead against Noctis', eyes falling shut as they stayed together in that moment. 

 

Noctis was the first to move, arms going up to support Ignis who had started to tremble slightly. "You should really still be resting..." he mumbled, afraid he would hurt himself. 

 

Ignis shook his head, "I'm fine. I'd rather be moving around, anyway." 

 

Noctis tensed, but relented to his wishes. Ignis stood straight up and placed a hand on Noctis' shoulder, giving it a tender squeeze. Noctis smiled for the first time since yesterday, but it disappeared in an instant as the tourniquet finally came loose and fell off completely, exposing Ignis' marred skin, bruised and bitten. Ignis reached a hand up to cover it, not because it was bleeding, but because Noctis had looked at it with such disdain, such misery, that he knew he needed to keep it covered as much as possible. Noctis was already backing away, running a hand through his hair as his eyes were afraid to meet Ignis'. He hated that he already wanted more. He hated that he'd enjoyed it despite himself. 

 

"I have to go. Will you be alright?" Noctis mumbled, already headed to his dresser to change into jeans. 

 

Ignis wanted to lie, say he wouldn't be alright, just so Noctis wouldn't leave, but he knew that would only hurt him more. "Yes. I'll be fine. Noctis..." he trailed off, taking a step towards the prince but stopping himself.

 

Noctis had already discarded his pajamas and was pulling his jeans up when he looked up to Ignis. He looked saddened and hurt. Noctis halted his movements, trying not to let his own shame overwhelm him and cloud his vision of another's pain. 

 

"I'm sorry." Ignis whispered, eyes cast down to the floor. 

 

Noctis rose as he pulled his jeans all the way up, striding over to Ignis before he'd even buttoned them. He pulled Ignis into a tender embrace, making sure his chin rested on the shoulder opposite of his wound. "It's not your fault...you were only trying to help me." Noctis whispered, tears welling in his eyes, "I thought about it a lot last night...and, you're right. I was killing myself. And for so long, I knew it too, and I preferred it." Noctis felt Ignis grip him tightly, felt his own shoulder wet with tears, "But...I can't allow myself to die...not for my own petty shame. I need to find some way to control it, I just... don't know how." he closed his eyes as he pulled Ignis even closer.

 

"We'll find a way, Noctis. Please just...talk to me, okay? If you're having a craving, tell me, so I can help you." Ignis shook his head against Noctis', voice cracking.

 

Noctis whimpered against Ignis, willing himself to continue to open up everything he had to him, "Iggy..."

 

"Yes?"

 

"I...I'm having a craving." he mumbled, burying his head in Ignis' shoulder.

 

Ignis turned his head to plant a chaste kiss to Noctis' temple. "It's alright. This is...to be expected, the first time after you indulge." he held the prince in his arms, heart still breaking at the thought of Noctis laying in the bathroom, writhing in pain, but content to die that way. "I'll do my part, alright? Just promise me you won't ever give up on yourself again." 

 

Noctis nodded his head, "I promise." he said sincerely. He knew he'd been being selfish. Refusing to take on his destiny because he was afraid of his gift. The King of Light almost died in a bathroom, and for what? Because he didn't want to ask his trusted friend, who had already sworn to aid him in this, for help? Because he was ashamed? 

 

Ignis pulled away to look at the prince. Both of their eyes were tear shot, swollen and red, as they looked at each other. Noctis felt a strange urge, not like the kind he had last night, but a different kind of desire, one he couldn't ignore any less. He turned Ignis' head to kiss him on the cheek, mere inches from his mouth, lingering for more than a few moments. He felt Ignis' skin turn hot beneath his lips, the warmest he had been since yesterday, as he pulled away. They were both blushing at the gesture, Noctis suddenly aware of how... intimate, it had been. He cleared his throat as he turned away, struggling to act natural as he went to change his shirt.

 

Ignis reached a hand up to place his fingers over that spot of his cheek, still burning up. That was... interesting. He couldn't bring himself to not enjoy it. His eyes wandered to the prince, taking in his naked torso, scratches from the night before slashing down his back, nothing compared to the jagged scar from the daemon he was so self conscious about. Ignis blushed deeper as he remembered the moan the prince had made against his neck when he'd scratched him. So eager, so driven, to be closer.

 

Ignis shook his head. Noctis wasn't of the right mind whatsoever when that happened. It was like he was high; nothing he said or did could be taken as sincerely being Noctis. Especially those tender licks against his neck, his wet tongue lapping at his skin... that couldn't have really been Noctis' coherent mind doing that...right?

 

Ignis was pulled from his thoughts as Noctis closed his dresser drawer shut, now clad in jeans and a black t shirt. "You're still going out?" Ignis mumbled, trying to not seem flustered.

 

Noctis nodded glumly, "Yeah, I...really need to clear my head, get some fresh air. I'll just go for a walk for a bit; I won't be too long." 

 

"Well, call me if you need anything," Ignis sighed, "Like what you'd like for breakfast."

 

Noctis hummed, "Bacon and eggs?" he smiled weakly.

 

"Over easy?" Ignis smiled, knowing the prince liked his eggs runny.

 

Noctis nodded, finally grinning widely, "You know me so well." he sighed as he went to the door, and left the apartment.

 

Ignis was left to his own thoughts. His neck hurt, Gods, did it hurt. Besides teaching him restraint, they'd have to teach him tactics. Maybe a different area? His wrist? It'd be easier to hide, definitely. 

 

Ignis sighed as he went in to the guest bedroom, changed his own clothes from the selection he kept there, before returning to Noctis' room, changing his blood spotted sheets. The last thing the prince needed was to sleep near blood. Ignis checked the bathroom to see if any blood still remained. There was a small, dried puddle from the night before, where Ignis had been laid down. Noctis either forgot about it last night or couldn't bring himself to go near it. Ignis cleaned it up quickly, making sure to kneel and rise slowly so as not to get a head rush. Once he'd finished, he went out to his bag he'd brought over from the night before, wrapping the black scarf he'd known he would need around his abused neck. 

 

Ignis checked his phone for any word from the prince. Nothing yet. Ignis shook his head; he was only out for a walk. He'd be fine.

 

 

 

 

When a full hour passed, Ignis couldn't stop the worry anymore. He dialed the prince's number on his phone, only to have his heart sink at the sound of it ringing in his bedroom. He'd left his phone? He never does that. Ignis was panicking now despite himself. He needed to find the prince. They'd only just talked about Noctis' lack of care for his own life, and Ignis had been stupid enough to let him leave? 

 

Ignis quickly pulled his jacket on, determined to find his prince before anything ill could befall him. He ran out of the apartment, barely remembering to lock it behind him as he rushed down the stairs, knowing the elevator would be too slow.

 

In his haste and panic, Ignis had forgotten his own condition. Only two flights of stairs down and he was out of breath and dizzy. Ignis fought through the haze, desperate to get down the other 13 floors before Noctis could potentially get any farther from him. It took him a bit, but still faster than waiting for the elevator would have been.

 

By the time he made it to the lobby, he was a pale, frenzied mess. Each breath stung his lungs as he pushed towards the entrance of the complex. Ignis looked in both directions, hoping to receive some kind of inkling, some protective instinct that would tell him which way to go. Ignis must have looked desperate, as the bellhop pointed in the direction he'd seen the prince walk off in over an hour ago. Ignis gasped his thanks, grateful to the Crown for keeping an eye on their prince, before fast walking down the street.

 

Luckily, he didn't have to travel far. After only two blocks, he found Noctis, leaning over a railing that overlooked a highway beneath him, completely immersed in thought. Ignis tried to call out to him, only to wheeze what little breath he had left, resolving to instead hobble over to the distracted prince. 

 

Noctis must have seen him in his peripheral, because his head tilted slowly in his direction, before meeting his eyes, a mix of concern and shame across his face. "Iggy, what're you doing out here? You shouldn't be-" he was cut off by Ignis throwing his arms around him, as if he hadn't seen him in years. Noctis was dumbstruck, but reciprocated the embrace, supporting his weight with his own.

 

Ignis was panting still, chest wracked with pain, lightheadedness overpowering his senses, "Noct...I was so worried," he gasped as he pulled away to look him up and down, checking for damage.

 

Noctis wore a sad smile on his face, "Why? I told you I was only going for a walk..." he mumbled, trying to pretend he hadn't just been staring at cars speeding by for over an hour.

 

Ignis frowned, before grabbing Noctis by the wrist, "Please come home." he pleaded. He didn't like where he found the prince, didn't like that he was alone, hadn't bothered to bring his phone, and still seemed oblivious as to why Ignis would be so concerned. 

 

Noctis nodded slowly, grabbing Ignis by his arm to support him, "Since when did you get so clingy?" he joked half heartedly.

 

Ignis gave a breathy laugh, "Since you left," he sighed as he allowed the prince to lead him back to the apartment. "Why didn't you bring your phone?" 

 

Noctis shrugged, "I forgot it," he lied.

 

Ignis arched a brow at him, "A 16 year old forgetting his phone. I think not." he panted as he tried to regain his composure.

 

Noctis chuckled, a sweet, heartwarming sound that calmed Ignis a little, "Alright, alright, I didn't want to be tracked down, if you must know."

 

The slight calm that Ignis had had left in an instant. "Are you...disappointed with me then?"  he whispered slowly, worried he'd offended the prince's right to space.

 

Noctis shook his head, "No. I'm actually kind of relieved you showed up." he said as he squeezed Ignis arm gently.

 

"Oh?" Ignis mused, finally starting to catch his breath.

 

"Yeah." the prince mumbled, his cheeks turning a slight pink. 

 

When they'd finally reached the complex once more, the bellhop tipped his hat toward Ignis, smiling at the both of them. 

 

Noctis chuckled as they made their way through the lobby, "Guess that explains how you knew which way to look for me..." he sighed as he pressed the elevator button with his free hand. 

 

Ignis smiled as he looked over to his young prince. He was the picture of health; eyes bright, skin colored, hair not as thin as it had been. It still amazed Ignis how even just his first feeding had been enough to undo the damage of his abstinence. 

 

By the time they got back to the apartment, Ignis was ready to lay down again. Noctis was already carrying him to his bed when Ignis' legs had started to buckle. Noctis laid him down gently on top of the blankets, placing the back of his palm to his forehead. "Where'd the scarf come from?" he asked nonchalantly, as if he was pretending it wasn't hiding something.

 

Ignis peered up at the prince from under his hand, "I...brought it in advance, yesterday." he said truthfully, not wanting to expect nothing but the truth from the prince when he himself lied to him.

 

Noctis pulled his hand away. "You...you planned on...?" he trailed off, looking like he was going to be sick. 

 

"Noct, I knew you would have to sooner rather than later. You got worse and worse by the day. So, yes, I made a small precautionary measure." he reached for the prince's hand, which didn't respond to his touch. 

 

Noctis nodded slowly, clearly deep in thought. "I see." he mumbled, still miles away.

 

Ignis pushed himself up onto his elbows to get closer to him. He reached a hand out and grabbed Noctis by the chin, turning his head to meet his, "Noctis. This is something we will have to learn to cope with. Just because you feel better today does not mean you will this time next week. I will be here for you. I never want to see you in that much pain ever again."

 

"I don't want to hurt you again." Noctis whispered, eyes finally meeting Ignis'. 

 

Ignis gave him a soft smile. "We'll find a way to control it better. A different location, absolutely, but also a safe word, perhaps?"

 

Noctis couldn't hold back a grin despite the severity of the conversation, "A safe word, huh? Like what couples use in bed?" he chuckled at Ignis' blush, not seeming to care or know that he was blushing as well.

 

"It doesn't have to be lewd, Noctis. It can be anything that would snap you out of it. Like a vegetable." Ignis hummed in thought.

 

Noctis grimaced, "Pick any vegetable, whatever you can say easily, and I'm sure I'll back up."

 

Ignis laughed at his picky prince, "Very well, Noctis." he paused, looking into those deep blue eyes, before he leaned forward to hold him close. Noctis wrapped his arms around him, sighing and nuzzling the top of his head. Their relationship had...changed. They'd always been close, always hugged when it felt right and placed chaste kisses to each other's head in stressed moments. But now it was like there was never a need for reason. Like they could hug and be close, and kiss other places then just the apex of the head and it would be more than welcome. What Ignis had feared would drive them apart had only brought them closer.

 

Ignis pulled away, leaning back against the pillows, "Will you manage breakfast? I promise I'll make lunch." 

 

Noctis smiled, "Yeah, there's plenty of cereal left. Do you want some?" 

 

Ignis let out a sigh, knowing there would only be sugar packed cereals available. "Whatever has the least sugar content." 

 

Noctis rolled his eyes, before rising off the bed to retrieve them some breakfast. He returned a few minutes later with a chocolatey cereal for himself, and a fruity one for Ignis. They seemed to be the same cereal brand, just different flavors. He swallowed a spoonful, tongue twisting at the sugary 'fruit' flavors, trying not to look unappreciative on the outside. Judging by Noctis' chuckling, he hadn't been successful.

 

"Is it that bad?" Noctis giggled.

 

"Not as bad as the chocolate one would be, I'm sure." 

 

"I like 'em," Noctis grinned, already almost finished with his bowl.

 

Ignis smiled. He forced himself to finish most of it, handing his bowl back to Noctis who was drinking his now chocolate milk from his own. "Thank you, Noct."

 

"No prob. You get some rest, okay?" Noctis smiled as he went to take the bowls back to the kitchen. 

 

Ignis tried not to miss his presence already. He laid back against the bed, weariness taking over as his eyes fell shut. Moments later he felt the bed dip beside him, cracking an eye open to see Noctis laying on his side, eyes already closed. Ignis smiled, but felt a strange pull in his gut. Noctis hadn't slept in the same bed as him in years, since he was a child plagued by nightmares, and now here he was, taking care of Ignis. He sighed as he rolled on to his side to face him, letting sleep take over. 

Chapter Text

Noctis tensed at the sound of the large doors of the Council opening. He hated that room. Just like his father hated the room that held the beautiful portraits of the prophecy regarding Noctis, the prince had the same distaste for the Council room. His father always left looking troubled, weary from hearing so many different opinions about the very real threat of the Empire. The King would always be either distant after such meetings, lost in thought, or overbearing on the prince, as if he was counting down the moments he would have left with him.

 

Noctis sat patiently outside, waiting to hear the tapping of the cane his father now needed. Even with their 'wonderful gift', it couldn't stop the muscle deterioration the King suffered from keeping up the Wall and using the Ring. Noctis looked up to the sound of the cane echoing across the marble floor. His father looked concerned, drained, and empty. There wasn't a strand of hair left in him that wasn't grey, some even pure white. His skin was starting to wrinkle, his back beginning to hunch over, and his hands looking more withered than before.

 

He was only in his fifties.

 

Noctis rose from his seat to meet him. "Hello, Father."

 

"There's my son. How are you, Noctis?" The King smiled kindly at him.

 

It seemed he was in the protective overbearing mood, then. "I'm well, Father, and yourself?" Noctis returned the smile. He really was glad to see him; he hadn't seen him in about a month, ever since he 'moved out'.

 

"Spectacular," he joked, a chuckle escaping him.

 

Noctis rolled his eyes. He always knew he got his sarcasm from his father to some extent, even if the King was much less so than Noctis was. "You wanted to see me?" he sighed, having his fill of pleasantries already.

 

The King nodded, eyes taking over Noctis' form. "Indeed. I was hoping we could talk in my study?" he mused, already turning to walk to the elevator. 

 

Noctis went to support his other arm, "Of course." 

 

They rode the elevator in silence, both wanting to wait until they were truly alone and would not be disturbed. Noctis held the door to the study open for his father, as he slowly made his way in before circling round his desk to seat himself. 

 

"Alright, Dad, what's up?" Noctis drawled, more than ready to be casual.

 

"You look...healthy." The King said slowly, eyes holding a twinkle of knowing behind them.

 

Noctis winced slightly. Had he really looked that terrible before? "What can I say? Ignis makes sure I eat right." he lied, never touching his vegetables unless they were cleverly disguised in his food.

 

"Yes, I'm sure he does." The King gave him a light wink, before shaking his head at Noctis' tension. "So. How do you feel?"  His eyes bore into the prince's, leaving no room for misinterpretation. 

 

Noctis narrowed his eyes at his father. He always knew more than he let on, but could he truly know that not only was Ignis aware of their ability, but that Noctis had finally used it? "I'm...not sure what you mean." he mumbled, eyes unable to meet the King's anymore.

 

Regis steepled his hands together and rested his chin against them, eyes falling shut in thought. "I do hope you are treating Ignis with the utmost respect and gratitude for his service to you."

 

Noctis furrowed his brows, "Of course I am,"

 

The King sighed, done playing this game, "Noct. I am relieved that you are finally using your gift," he raised a hand when Noctis looked like he was about to interrupt, "But you must take care not to take advantage of Ignis. I have multiple people I can count on for those services, perhaps I can help you choose some?" 

 

Noctis flinched, and bristled slightly. So his father had known, and known for some time. Now he expected Noctis to leap at the opportunity of finding more varieties of blood to harvest? No. Even if he had Ignis' best interests at heart, Noctis would rather go without than condemn other people to that kind of servitude, never mind that he would only ever trust Ignis. "How long have you known?" Noctis whispered.

 

"Known that Ignis knew? Quite some time." Regis said surprised, assuming Ignis hadn't yet told Noctis of their conversation. "Really Noct, you should consider-"

 

"I won't do it." he cut him off sharply, suppressing a glare. "I've only used it once, and I've been fine since then. There's no need to drag other people into this."

 

"Only once? And you haven't wanted to again?" Regis eyes him carefully.

 

Noctis clenched his fists, "No." he lied. He'd wanted to the next day. He hadn't even wanted to stop in the first place. Sometimes the only thing stopping him was wanting Ignis to be completely recovered before he even brought it up again. 

 

The King sighed, clearly unconvinced, "You would do well to be careful, Noctis. The longer you go without it, the more you'll want to take." he said, convinced Ignis hadn't told him that.

 

Noctis shook his head, glaring at the floor, "I'll be fine." he muttered.

 

"Yes, clearly your strategy has been sound so far." The King sighed, leaning back in his chair. "You should also choose a more discreet location to feed from; Ignis' scarf is fine in these fall and winter months, but come spring, it won't do you much good." 

 

Noctis' hands were trembling. This really was something that would become 'normal' and consistent in his life. Ignis would be stuck as his blood bag, ready to throw his health away just so Noctis can be alleviated from his pain. 

 

"He wants to help you, Noctis. Have no shame." his father spoke low, wanting his words to sink in. 

 

Noctis gave a curt nod, "Is that all?" he asked, eager to leave.

 

The King gave him a sad smile. There was so much more he wanted to tell him, not just about their gift, but about how proud of him he is, how much he loves him. But he knew a shut down prince when he saw one; anything else he said today would fall on deaf ears.

 

"That's all." he sighed.

 

Noctis turned to leave, stopped only by the sound of his father clearing his throat, "Noct."

 

"Yes?" he spat, still not turning to look at him.

 

"You and I shall begin attuning your magic next month. You'll be very drained afterward. Please keep that in mind." 

 

"Yes, father." he said quietly, hurrying out of the office and the palace. 

 

 

 

 

Ignis tried to maintain his poker face as he silently played one card to draw another. His hand wasn't the best, but he was 71% sure that Gladio's was worse. Gladio kept eyeing him suspiciously, too much so for it to only be about the game.

 

"Ignis." Gladio was staring at him, looking slightly irked.

 

"Yes?" Ignis asked nonchalantly, motioning for Gladio to take his turn. 

 

"What's up with you?" Gladio sighed as he played an awful card and drew another.

 

Ignis tensed slightly, "What do you mean?" he muttered before taking his own turn, hoping for a decent draw. Damn.

 

"I mean," Gladio said, reassembling the cards in his hands still, "What's eatin' ya? You look like shit," he grumbled as he struggled to choose a card to play.

 

Ignis swallowed heavily. He may have not been sure of Gladio's chances of winning this hand, but he knew Gladio didn't know about Noctis. The word choice had simply been coincidence, that's all. "I'm fine, just been a tad under the weather of late," he lied.

 

Gladio said nothing as he placed a card down, picking up the last card of the deck. "Is that why you've got a scarf on? For all of your vanity, I've never seen you wear a scarf." 

 

Ignis rolled his eyes. He wasn't vain; he had a healthy amount of priority towards his appearance, that's all. "Yes, it helps keep me warm." he mumbled into the scarf, trying to prove his point as he played one of his last few cards. He might actually win this game.

 

Gladio hummed in thought. "Well, take it easy. Tell Noctis to rest up too; the King wants me working on him with warping next." he sniffed as he played another card. 

 

Ignis looked up in slight shock. Warping? He could still remember the first time Noctis had actually managed a complete point warp; how sick he'd been, how much he'd thrown up, how he never wanted to do it again. He was so young, then. It shouldn't be as taxing on him now, especially since he'd finally gotten used to the feeling of his insides chasing after his body as he warped from place to place, the world a blur to him as much as he was to the world. Still...it would most certainly wear on him. 

 

Ignis would have to be ready.

 

He was pulled from his thoughts by Gladio clearing his throat, reminding him of his turn. Ignis only had two cards left, neither of them very good, but he played his best anyway. "I'll... let Noct know." he mumbled.

 

Gladio quirked a brow at him, pondering his sudden change in demeanor, "What, he isn't already sick of training, is he? He looked better than I'd seen him in awhile the other day." he yawned as he played his second to last card.

 

Ignis smiled at the thought. Yes, he could help the prince stay that way. As long as Ignis rested in between and they figured out a system to it, Noctis would always look and feel better than he had those last few months. "He's on a new diet that's much more balanced," Ignis chuckled to himself, pleased that he was only half lying. He played his last card, cocking a brow at Gladio, having a good feeling about this game.

 

Gladio laughed heartily, "What, that princess? I've never even seen him smell a vegetable." he grinned widely as he played his last card, trumping Ignis completely.

 

Ignis pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed at his defeat. He pushed the candy they'd been using for bets over to Gladio, who looked as giddy as a child on Halloween. Ignis didn't really mind; he wasn't a fan of sweets, but he had planned on giving them to Noctis if he'd won. 

 

"Seriously Iggy," Gladio hummed, already twisting open a sucker, "You should go to the doctor if you feel this shitty and are losing to me at cards." he smiled as he popped the candy in his mouth, brows furrowed trying to guess the mystery flavor as he handed the wrapper with the answer over to Ignis.

 

"Perhaps, but I really am feeling much better." Ignis sighed.

 

"Pineapple?" 

 

"No."

 

"...Kiwi?"

 

"No."

 

"...Shit, what is it?"

 

"Pineapple Kiwi."

 

"...You suck."

Chapter Text

Noctis came home to find Ignis already making dinner. He was making stir fry, one of Noctis' favorites, and good timing too; he needed a little pick me up.

 

"Hello, Noct. How was your meeting with your father?" Ignis pausing in his preparations when he noticed the prince slightly sullen, "Everything okay?" he asked gently.

 

Noctis sighed as he went to sit on the kitchen counter where Ignis didn't have ingredients scattered around, "It was fine. How was your card game with Gladio?" 

 

Ignis seemed to tense slightly, "Fine. Good. He told me to relay something to you, though." Ignis said slowly.

 

Noctis was already bracing himself for bad news, "What?"

 

"Starting next week, you two will be working on perfecting your warping ability." Ignis adjusted his glasses, taking in the prince's downcast reaction.

 

"Fantastic." Noctis grumbled. He still wasn't a fan of it, even if it was useful. He didn't get sick anymore, thank Gods, but if he wasn't fully concentrating, he'd end up colliding with a wall or the ground. But the worst factor was how much it drained him, how everything it seemed to take out of him was replaced with intense cravings. Noctis ran a hand through his hair, exasperated just at the thought.

 

Ignis looked at him sadly. He hadn't meant to bring him down even further; just didn't want to have him be surprised and unprepared come Monday. "Don't worry, Noct. I'm sure you'll do marvelously." Ignis said truthfully. Ignis could be skeptical toward many marvels of the world, but if there was ever anything he believed in, it was Noctis.

 

Noctis gave a light smile, before raising his eyes to look into Ignis'.  He couldn't believe he'd never noticed how green they were before. It was like each shade and dimension of green represented a layer of Ignis as a person. "Thanks, Iggy." he sighed. "I guess I'm just anxious because Dad is going to be training with me starting next month."

 

Ignis eyes widened, "On what?"

 

"More magic. I think he wants me to have a stronger connection to the Crystal." he muttered, looking away.

 

Ignis nodded slowly. So much was going to be thrown at Noctis at once. Ignis himself would have to be just as prepared. "I'll be here for you." he whispered.

 

Noctis' eyes shot up to meet Ignis'. He clearly understood what all of this would entail for him, and he still wanted nothing more than to help him. Noctis gave him a weak smile, "Thank you, Ignis. I don't..." he trailed off, unsure of how to continue, "I don't want you to ever feel like I'm taking advantage of you, okay? If...if it's too much, please just say so." he muttered, shame and fear threatening to take over his being again.

 

Ignis closed the distance between them, reaching a hand up to cradle his face, "I will. Thank you, Noctis." he smiled kindly at him.

 

Noctis' eyes fell shut as he relaxed into Ignis' touch. He was so warm and comforting, and he could feel some of his anxiety washing away. Noctis had a strange desire to be even closer; to pull him into a tight embrace, to smell his hair, feel his skin...

 

Noctis let out a slight sigh at the loss of contact when Ignis pulled away to return to preparing dinner. What...what was going on with him? It must be his cravings that are clouding his thoughts with those kinds of images...right? There was no denying it; their relationship had definitely evolved into something different, something almost intimate. Noctis pushed himself off the counter, eager for fresh air as he made his way to the balcony, the cool air a relief against his burning skin.

 

Ignis watched him leave, saw how tense his shoulders had been, how he hadn't said a word. Besides being physically exhausted, he would also be mentally and emotionally stressed in the coming weeks. Ignis had to be sure to aid him in each area, whatever he desired. 

 

He pulled out some carrots before proceeding to cut them finely. He heard Noctis shut the balcony door as he reentered the apartment, his eyes following the prince as he laid back against the sofa. Ignis marveled at how handsome he'd become, his angled jaw, his sharp eyes, his toned arms-

 

Ignis let out a wince and curse as he felt the knife cut deep into his finger. He quickly went to grab a towel to apply some pressure, not hearing Noctis rise from the sofa and enter the kitchen.

 

"Are you alright?" Noctis whispered, eyes trying to stay glued to Ignis', trying not to look at the blood on the counter, the geyser pouring from his finger.

 

"I'm fine, just a knick," he sighed, before realization dawned on him. Maybe...soaking it all into a towel was a waste? Ignis took a deep breath, mustered up all his courage, before he slowly offered his hand to the prince.

 

Noctis' eyes widened, wanting to slap his hand away, "What're you doing..." he mumbled, trying to back away but finding his feet glued to the floor.

 

"Noctis, don't let it go to waste. It's alright," Ignis gave him a warm smile, wanting Noctis to feel comfortable in taking this from him. The prince's eyes were starting to change from their cool blue to a warm red, his tongue reaching out to lick his lips. Ignis took a careful step towards him, extending his hand further.

 

Noctis could feel his teeth extending, a not exactly painless process. His eyes were drawn to the soft, beautiful blood that dribbled down Ignis' hand, the smell intoxicating. He found himself reaching a hand out to steady Ignis' arm, bringing him closer.

 

Ignis watched as the prince pulled his arm closer to his face, his warm tongue gliding across his wrist and hand, collecting the blood that had fallen there. Ignis had to suppress a moan at the sensation. Noctis finally reached his finger, still gushing a fair amount of blood, before he reached down to take the whole digit in his mouth, eyes sliding shut and tongue wrapping around his finger.

 

Ignis couldn't hold back the second moan that built up within him, his cheeks flushing at the feeling of Noctis sucking and licking his finger. He wasn't biting, thank goodness, but the whole situation was erotic enough for Ignis to feel what blood he had to spare rushing south. Ignis sighed at the sight of Noctis' tongue gliding down his finger, the feeling of the grip on his wrist tightening, and the sound of Noctis moaning into his hand. Noctis' eyes peeked open to stare at Ignis, finger still completely lost in his mouth, as those glazed red eyes bore into him.

 

Ignis' blush deepened at the sight; how was something that should have been so terrifying, so beautiful? Ignis sighed as those eyes fell shut, that skilled tongue working the digit over in his hot mouth. 

 

Ignis chastised himself mentally. How was he this aroused? This was Noctis, his charge, his friend, not his- Ohhhh. The prince had moaned against his finger, the feeling reverberating down his hand and straight to his groin.

 

Okay, maybe that's why he was so turned on. 

 

His judgement was starting to lose its usual crystal clarity; all he wanted was for the prince to suck him dry, to be absorbed into his body and course through his veins. Ignis let out a moan at the thought, having to grip the counter with his other hand to avoid pinning the prince to the fridge. All of this, just because he was sucking his finger. 

 

Just when Ignis was about to lose control, Noctis pulled away from his finger, licking the digit up and down so not a drop of blood was missed. His eyes opened to reveal those familiar blue ones resurfacing through the red. His face was flushed and he had a light sheen of sweat on his skin. He took in where he was before he slowly curled Ignis' hand into a small fist as he released his arm. 

 

Noctis was wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, still oblivious to the state he'd worked Ignis in to, "Sorry, got a little carried away there, I guess. Are you okay?" he asked as he finally looked up. Ignis did not look okay. He was sweating, his eyes were glazed over, his face flushed, and he was completely out of breath. "Iggy?" Noctis asked concerned, reaching a hand out to touch his face.

 

"I-I'm fine!" Ignis said a bit too loudly, voice cracking. He turned away quickly to hide any evidence of his arousal that might be in his pants. He let out a deep breath, trying to recollect his thoughts and return to sanity. No such luck; Noctis was wrapping his arms around his chest, hugging him from behind, warm breath ghosting through his shirt. There was...something else, too. Ignis forced himself to believe he was imagining it, but he could have sworn he felt evidence of the prince's own arousal against him. 

 

"Iggy..." he sighed as he held on to him tighter. 

 

Ignis leaned his head back to gaze at the ceiling. This wasn't good. On top of this new...development, Ignis had in their relationship, it seemed Noctis might as well. He shook his head, trying to convince himself it had been the heat of the moment in the activity, and that his feelings for the prince were as platonic as they had ever been.

 

Which was when, again?

 

Ignis reached his hands down to wrap around Noctis', "I'm fine, Noctis. Really. Are you alright?" he whispered.

 

Noctis nodded against his back, nuzzling closer. "Iggy?"

 

"Yes?"

 

"Please don't put any carrots in the stir fry."

Chapter Text

"C'mon Noct; you have to be faster!" Gladio shouted, hurling his training sword over his head to throw at him. Noctis barely managed to phase through it, exhaustion starting to take over. Gladio quickly grabbed another sword from the rack before hurling it up and lodging it in a tree, "Warp to it, now!"

 

Noctis panted heavily, turning to the sword and drawing upon the Crystal for more strength. He felt his insides churn, his skin tingling as he launched himself toward it, closing his eyes to not see the world flash by in the second that he was warping. He reappeared just below it, barely managing to grab onto the hilt as he dangled precariously, arm already threatening to snap. He gritted his teeth in pain; he wouldn't be able to keep this up for much longer. Noctis looked down at Gladio, who was already hefting another sword above his shoulder, getting ready to launch it toward the prince. Noctis barely had time to react when it came hurtling towards him, all magic completely drained from him as he let go of the sword above him, falling to the ground with an ungraceful roll. He winced in pain; something in his leg definitely got pulled too far. He shakily got to his feet, remaining hunched over.  

 

Gladio walked over to him, disappointment evident in his features, "Noct."

 

"I'm trying," he rasped, sweat dripping off his forehead down to the dirt. His insides hurt, feeling like they'd been squished and stretched beyond their limit, and like they were incompatible with each other. He wiped his brow wearily, "It's not exactly easy, you know." 

 

Gladio's brows narrowed, "That's why we're doing this; so it'll become easy. Phasing and warping need to be like second nature to you, Noct. You need to be able to do them without thinking, like instinct." 

 

Noctis shook his head, "It's not going to happen in a day!" he barked, frustration taking over his demeanor. He wasn't mad at Gladio, not really. He knew his methods of training have always been fast paced and brutal at times, but he'd never needed to draw on the Crystal before for them, and now, doing it constantly, was enough to leave him beyond fatigued. 

 

Gladio sighed, "I'm not expecting that. I'm expecting progress." 

 

Noctis' leg was screaming at him now, only adding to his irritability. "I'm done for the day. I can't use it anymore; I need to rest." he sighed as he went to gather his school jacket and bag, trying to minimize his limp so as not to seem too pathetic. Gladio wasn't one of sympathy in that department; he was one for teasing.

 

"Fine. Same time tomorrow." Gladio said as he went to retrieve the swords he could reach. 

 

"Fine, whatever." Noctis grumbled as he turned to leave Gladio's place. 

 

"Noct." Gladio called.

 

"What?" he tilted his head over his shoulder, trying to not take his pain out on Gladio.

 

"Eat your vegetables." He grinned, amused with himself.

 

Noctis rolled his eyes as he left the house.

 

 

 

 

 

Ignis was lounging on Noctis' couch, watching a documentary about the Crestholm Channels when his phone buzzed. It was from Noctis, saying his training had been beyond brutal but that he was on his way home. Ignis drank more of his water, trying to prepare himself as much as he could for whatever Noctis would need.

 

Noctis...Ignis couldn't believe his reaction to him the other day. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. He still couldn't fathom how he'd become so aroused and how much it had tried to cloud his judgement. Ignis had literally wanted to have sex with the prince, had wanted to see him naked, hear his moans for more than just blood, see his face flushed beneath him, bangs trying to cover his half lidded eyes...

 

Ignis ran a hand down his face, trying to calm himself down. The last thing he needed was for all of his blood to be downstairs when Noctis came home. He rose from his seat and went to prepare dinner, light sandwiches already on his mind.

 

By the time he'd finished assembling them, Noctis was walking in the door. Ignis set the sandwiches at the table and turned to greet the prince, concern immediately coating his features. Noctis looked ragged; pale and sweaty, bruises forming on his arms, and he was favoring one leg. "I take it training was excruciating?" Ignis said softly, a frown on his face.

 

Noctis winced as he went to lean on the counter, "That's putting it mildly." 

 

"I could have come to pick you up, Noct." Ignis sighed, trying not to be annoyed that Gladio hadn't  dropped him off. 

 

"I thought I'd feel better if I walked it off," Noctis groaned as he wiped his brow.

 

"And do you?" Ignis prodded gently.

 

"Not really." 

 

Ignis gave him a light smile, "Well, dinner is ready, or if you would rather..." he trailed off, not needing to fill in the blanks.

 

Noctis looked up at him, his expression somewhat sad. "Let's eat. Maybe I won't even need any." he tried to sound hopeful.

 

Ignis nodded, pulling out Noctis' chair for him, knowing he wouldn't want assistance walking. Ignis was glad he'd made a dinner that was light and quick; the prince didn't look like he could stomach much. Noctis managed to eat most of it before he leaned back in the chair and closed his eyes. Ignis watched him silently. His hair was still wet down from sweat, and Ignis tried to only have chaste thoughts for the prince. He was tired and in pain, and here Ignis was trying not to check him out. 

 

Noctis opened his eyes, those sapphire orbs falling to meet Ignis', "We have more training tomorrow." he sighed, a slight tone of defeat to his voice. 

 

He didn't need to say anymore than that; Ignis knew where he was going with it. He rose and took their plates to the kitchen, before returning with a towel, "Here?" he asked gently, wanting the prince to be as comfortable as possible. 

 

Noctis' eyes were glued to the table. He sighed as he turned to look at Ignis, taking in the towel and him rolling up his sleeves. Noctis frowned, "I'm sorry." he mumbled, unable to meet his eyes.

 

Ignis rested his hand on his shoulder, "It's alright, Noct. I'm happy to help you, you know." he squeezed his shoulder gently, giving him a warm smile.

 

"I know, and I'm grateful, it's just... I wish there was another way or something..." Noctis looked up at him then, returning a weak smile and reaching a hand up to squeeze his.

 

"I know you do." Ignis whispered, sitting down in the chair next to him. He offered his arm to the prince, who took it slowly.

 

Noctis ran his fingers along Ignis' arm, taking in the soft skin, unmarred and perfect, and here he was about to ruin it. Noctis could feel his teeth beginning to extend, parting his lips to give them room. His eyes shifted to their red glow, before he looked over at Ignis one last time. "Iggy..." he sighed, the grip on his arm tightening. Ignis only smiled at him, which was enough to calm him down. Noctis leaned closer to his wrist, giving it a slow, tender, lick before he bit down as gently as he could.

 

Sweet, warm blood filled his mouth, assaulting his senses. He gulped it down greedily, already feeling his leg start to feel better. Noctis moaned against Ignis' skin at the taste of him, relishing in how good it was. He pulled his arm closer, holding him steady with one while the other held his hand, gripping firmly. He could feel Ignis squeeze his hand back, causing a gush of blood to fill his mouth, eliciting another moan. He felt a hand run through his hair, and for a moment, a part of Noctis wanted to stop. But the hand just rested there, twirling his hair fondly, before falling to rest on his cheek. Noctis opened his eyes to look at Ignis, who was still just smiling at him tenderly, but there was a faint blush to his cheeks. 

 

Noctis' eyes fell shut as he continued to drink from Ignis until his own pain was gone. He could feel his magic slowly rejuvenating within him, like a small flame that was finally exposed to oxygen and could grow. He used his tongue to lick along Ignis' wrist, hearing Ignis make a small groan in the back of his throat. Noctis could feel something starting to cloud his thoughts, like a curtain falling over his brain. Every second that went by that he'd had enough and was ready to stop, the actual thought of pulling away became harder and harder to want to do. Noctis groaned as he bit down harder, feeling Ignis flinch and wince in pain. The last sane part of Noctis' head was screaming at him to stop, torn apart by Ignis' pain, but his desire to feed was growing with every swallow of blood. He could hear Ignis say something, the hand on his cheek trying to gently push him away, but Noctis only bit down even harder, causing the hand to reach into his hair and pull him off of the wrist he'd been draining. 

 

Noctis opened his eyes, wild and feral, trying to reach for that arm again. He saw Ignis wrapping a towel around it firmly, before moving behind him to hold him. Noctis was scratching at his arms, trying to rip the towel off and take what was his. He wanted there to not be a drop left to spare, wanted all of it to course through him and give him a release from his pain. He heard Ignis talking in his ear, but couldn't make out what he was saying. Noctis pushed up on his legs to stand and to try to pull Ignis off of him, to throw him to the ground and finish what he'd started. He felt the arms gripping around his neck, tightening the more he scratched at them. His world was beginning to go fuzzy, black spots appearing in his vision. The miraculous strength he'd felt in his body was being subdued, as his knees buckled and he kneeled on the floor, still clawing at the arms around his neck, digging until he heard Ignis cry out sharply.

 

Like a light switch, Noctis snapped to his senses. His eyes returned to their normal blue hue, his hands retracting from the arms he'd been assailing with his nails. He could feel his teeth recede back into his gums, wincing at the pain of it, before he rasped, "Iggy..." 

 

Ignis released his head lock around the prince, gently easing him to the floor to catch his breath. Noctis gasped on all fours as air returned to his lungs, a hand reaching up to rub at his neck. He could feel blood there, and not his own. He sat on the floor and turned to look up at Ignis, a tear falling from his eye instantaneously at the sight.

 

His arms were scratched to tatters, the towel that had been on his wrist ripped free, causing the gruesome wound to ooze blood as he cradled it in his hand. His eyes looked pained; not just physically, but emotionally from having to retaliate against his prince. "Noct?" Ignis whispered, unsure of himself.

 

"Iggy...Oh Gods...forgive me..." Noctis whimpered, tears falling down his face. He'd attacked Ignis. Ignis had told him when to stop, had gently tried to pull him off, and Noctis had attacked him, forcing him to defend himself. "I'm...I'm so sorry..." he mumbled, wiping his eyes, but the tears kept coming. 

 

Ignis fell to his knees, and placed an arm on Noctis' shoulder, having rewrapped his wound. "It's okay, I'm fine." Ignis whispered.

 

Noctis crawled across the floor to throw himself into Ignis' chest, sobbing into his shirt. 

 

Ignis gently wrapped his arms around the broken prince, pulling him close. To feel Noctis wracked with sobs against him was enough to make him tear up himself. He knew that Noctis hadn't meant it, that he'd lost control and couldn't even hear Ignis' pleas to stop. It broke Ignis' heart to know that Noctis blamed himself so much. He felt the prince's hands clench onto his shirt, wanting him to be as close as possible, still mumbling apologies between sobs. Ignis just ran a hand through his hair, gently raking across his scalp to try to calm him down. 

 

Ignis felt Noctis' heaving start to slow, his fingers start to relax. Ignis gently pulled Noctis away to hold him by his face. His eyes were tear swollen, his whole expression one of despair. Ignis rubbed his thumbs across his cheeks, wiping stubborn tears away. "Noctis." he whispered.

 

Noctis sniffled as he raised his eyes to look at Ignis'. There was no anger there, no contempt. Noctis had tried to kill him and yet here he was, still by his side, still wanting to help him. It broke Noctis' heart in two. "Iggy..." he croaked, still a mess. Ignis pulled his head down so he could kiss his forehead. Noctis closed his eyes and savored the moment as long as he could. When he pulled away, Noctis gripped his face to kiss his cheek tenderly, then his jaw, then his lips before he could stop himself.

 

Ignis eyes widened. The prince was kissing him. His lips weren't moving, just staying there, planted on his, as if he wasn't actually aware of the gesture. Ignis felt cold when Noctis pulled away, could see him processing as he looked from his eyes down to his lips. Ignis pulled him in slowly to return the chaste kiss, feeling the prince's soft lips press against his own. He heard Noctis make a small sound in the back of his throat, his hands sliding up into Ignis' hair as he pressed his lips harder into his. Ignis deepened the kiss, tilting his head to gain more access before he tentatively licked the prince's lower lip. He could feel Noctis open his mouth slightly, Ignis moaning as he gained access to that warm heat. Ignis could taste his own blood on Noctis' tongue, could feel the slickness of it still in his mouth. He didn't care. If anything, a part of him was more aroused. Ignis felt worried that Noctis wasn't in the right mind; that he was taking advantage of the prince, but Noctis just moaned and swirled his tongue with Ignis', causing Ignis to lose his mind.

 

Noctis' pulled Ignis closer, pressing their chests together as Ignis wrapped his arms around him. Noctis moaned at the feeling of Ignis running his hands down his back, reaching the hem of his shirt and gripping it tightly. Noctis gripped Ignis' own shirt, his hands fiddling with the buttons as he worked his way down. When the last button popped free, Noctis ran his hands along Ignis' chest, sighing into the kiss at the sounds of his loud moans. Noctis broke the kiss so Ignis could pull his shirt off, and as soon as it was, Noctis slid Ignis' open shirt off his arms, one sleeve catching on the towel tourniquet. 

 

Ignis saw Noctis pause as he looked at the towel, damp with blood. Before he lost him forever, Ignis grabbed him by the sides of his face to pull him into a passionate kiss, pressing their naked chests together as they both moaned loudly. Noctis ran his hands up and down his chest, causing Ignis to throw his head back in pleasure, Noctis taking the opportunity to kiss down his neck. Ignis felt himself being lowered to the floor, Noctis hovering over him as he worked him over with his tongue. Ignis moaned and ran his fingers through the prince's hair, causing Noctis to groan against his skin. 

 

Ignis felt like he was on fire. Everywhere Noctis kissed or licked felt like a burn, each sending overwhelming pleasure through his body and down to his groin. Ignis panted against the prince, feeling him slide back up to kiss him harder than before. 

 

Noctis held himself up with one hand, already straddling Ignis as he ran his hand down his chest, scratching lightly against his toned stomach. He could feel their arousals being pushed together through their clothing, loving the feeling of when he rolled his hips against it. Ignis moaned into the kiss, tongue licking against his, eager and willing. Noctis slid his hand down further to the top of his pants, playing with the elastic there, sliding a finger in- 

 

They both nearly jumped out of their skins at the sound of the door being knocked on fiercely. Noctis had fallen off of Ignis' lap, banging his head against one of the dining room chairs. He groaned as he rubbed his head, Ignis already sitting up to quickly put his shirt back on. He looked down at the blood stains, realizing this shirt would be useless to answer to door with. 

 

Noctis quickly rose to his feet at the sound of the door being hammered on. He threw his shirt on, fortunate that the black color hid any blood stains before he quickly ran to the door, checking to make sure Ignis had made it to the guest room before he opened it. 

 

Gladio stood in the doorway, looking no less than perturbed, "What's going on?" he barked.

 

"W-what do you mean what's going on, what's going on with you, geez," Noctis squealed quickly, voice cracking and face burning. 

 

Gladio raised a brow at him, scrutinizing his appearance. He was absolutely flushed pink, his hair messy, eyes wild, and he was hiding his waist out of view of the door. "Who's in there with you, Princess." he sighed.

 

"Who? What? What makes you think someone's here?" Noctis panted, fear gripping him. 

 

Behind him, Ignis dragged a hand down his face. There goes going with the 'Just Ignis' alibi. Ignis quickly retreated back to the guest room in case Gladio forced his way in.

 

"Why weren't you answering your phone?" Gladio grumbled.

 

"I don't always have it on me, geez, you don't always have yours on you." Noctis rambled, still not acting aloof at all.

 

"Uh huh." Gladio snorted, clearly unconvinced. "Look Noct, I don't care if you're fooling around with someone in there, but if it had been anyone but me at the door, you would've been busted, bad." 

 

"What makes you think-" 

 

"Your shirt is inside out." 

 

Noctis looked down at his shirt. Of course it was. "That's...how I wear it." 

 

Gladio rolled his eyes, "Cut the bullshit, I'm not gonna rat you out. I'm just here because I wanted to apologize for wearing you out so much today, but it seems like you have...plenty of energy." 

 

Noctis' blush deepened, his eyes shifting to anywhere that wasn't Gladio, "I accept your apology." he mumbled.

 

Gladio let out a loud laugh, wiping a tear from his eye, "Oh, you're a funny little shit. Well, I'll let you get back to it, but seriously Noct, if I'd been Iggy at the door? You would've been maimed.

 

Noctis' heart fluttered at the irony. "Sure, whatever, I'll see you tomorrow?" he said, already closing the door.

 

Gladio chuckled again, "Count on it." before he turned and walked back down the hall.

 

Noctis shut the door, locked it and leaned against it, sighing as he ran his hands through his hair, still not over having his life flash before his eyes. He quickly went to the guest bedroom to find Ignis properly dressing his wrist after having cleaned it, along with having cleaned his deep scratches. 

 

"So. Gladio, huh?" Ignis mused, not looking up from his task.

 

"Y-yeah. Hey...about...out there..." Noctis trailed off, unsure of how to continue. 

 

Ignis looked up at him, before standing and walking over to the prince. He was blushing, hair tousled and lips kiss swollen. "Yes?" 

 

Noctis frowned, "I...I think we should-" 

 

He was cut off by Ignis kissing him tenderly, hand already running through his hair. Noctis' eyes fell shut as he returned the kiss, deepening it as he moaned. The prince ran his hands down Ignis' still bare chest, relishing the feeling of his soft skin beneath his fingertips.

 

Ignis pulled away, "Should what?" 

 

"Uh...I was going to say do it again, if you wanted." he giggled, smiling at Ignis.

 

Ignis smiled back at him, caressing his face and nuzzling his nose. "For once, you have a brilliant idea." Ignis teased.

 

"Hey!" Noctis lightly slapped him on the chest, before pulling him in for another kiss. 

 

Noctis couldn't believe this was happening. He'd been thinking about it for awhile, after if hadn't been a surprising and scary feeling to have for him, but he'd always tried pushing it down because he didn't think Ignis would want to. It was already enough that he was providing him blood; Noctis didn't want him to think that this was a side effect of that. But Ignis clearly didn't think so. In fact, he seemed more than enthusiastic towards the idea. The night had gone from horrible and heart wrenching to amazing and heart warming. Noctis smiled into their kiss, giggling when he felt Ignis smile back.

Chapter Text

Ignis awoke to the prince warm against him. He was holding his waist, his head resting above his heart, having fell asleep to its beat. Ignis smiled as he ran a hand through Noctis' hair, heart fluttering at the sound of his light moan in his sleep. Ignis looked over to the clock on the nightstand. He'd have to get ready to go to the palace for meetings soon, and the prince to school. Ignis sighed, trying to imprint this feeling to memory, wanting to enjoy it for as long as possible.

 

Noctis stirred against him, nuzzling closer to his chest, "Iggy..." he sighed, still half asleep.

 

"Morning, Noct." Ignis whispered, pulling him in tighter. How was he so warm?

 

Noctis groaned as he brought his head up to look at the clock. He grumbled and laid his head back down, "I don't wanna." 

 

Ignis chuckled, "Me either. But we need to get up." 

 

"We're sick."

 

"No, we aren't."

 

"No one knows that." the prince groaned.

 

Ignis smiled before gently rolling them over so that he was hovering over him, "I won't have you become a truant, Noct." he chided playfully as he went to kiss his neck. Noctis grinned and sighed as the kisses started to have more pressure, working their way along his jaw and down his neck. Ignis gave him a tender, slow lick up his neck before kissing him deeply. Noctis moaned into the kiss, his legs working through the blankets to try to wrap around his waist. Ignis pulled away with a smile, "Nice try,"

 

"Thanks," he joked, reaching a hand up to brush Ignis' long bangs from his eyes. He gazed into those emerald eyes, loving the way they twinkled with happiness. His hands ran up his arms, pausing on the light bandages that ran across them. His smile faded. "Iggy...I'm really sor-" 

 

Ignis cut him off with a tender kiss, not wanting the prince to feel any remorse so early in the morning. "Shut up, Your Highness." he chuckled.

 

Noctis couldn't hold back a laugh, pulling him down for more sleepy kisses.

 

Ignis finally pulled away, caressing his face before he leaned back to get off the bed. He stretched and willed the sleepiness to recede long enough for him to make coffee. He grabbed some clothes from the dresser before entering the bathroom to shower.

 

Noctis lay there, trying not to think about how he'd acted the night before. It was...terrifying. He could only imagine what he'd looked like to Ignis; like a feral beast that needed to be put down. Noctis shook his head, forcing the thoughts away as he sat up in the bed. He rubbed at his eyes, hating that it was only Tuesday, and hating more that he had training after school as well. He couldn't push himself today, Gladio would have to get over it. 

 

Captain Cockblock, Noctis thought to himself, smiling as he rose from the bed. He could hear the shower turn off; Ignis was always so prompt in the shower. Noctis thought about staying to see him, wet and half naked, before he remembered Ignis had brought his clothes in there with him. He sighed as he left to his own bathroom to take a shower, trying not to think about Ignis as the water poured over his body. 

 

Noctis had a weird feeling eating at his heart. Yet another secret he and Ignis shared that no one else could know. He wasn't sure what to call this situation. 'Romantically involved' seemed premature. All they'd done was make out. A lot. But if Gladio hadn't shown up last night, Noctis wasn't sure how far they would've gone in the heat of the moment. He turned the temperature of the water down, trying to will his arousal away. 

 

When he was finally dressed and ready to head to school, he came out to find Ignis making breakfast. Eggs and bacon. Ignis turned to smile at him, "To make up for that time I failed to deliver these," he chuckled as he placed the plate on the table for Noctis. 

 

Noctis smiled as he dug in, the eggs perfectly runny, as usual. Ignis was sipping on his coffee, and for a weird moment, it was like everything was back to normal. Like he had no curse, and they had no passionate, lewd feelings for each other. Noctis looked up from his eggs to see Ignis smiling at him, himself unable to not smile back. 

 

Once he'd finished breakfast, he took his plate to the sink and grabbed his bag off the counter. "Okay. I guess I'd better head out," he sighed disdainfully, hating that high school couldn't leave him alone to explore his new favorite pastime: Ignis.

 

Ignis rose and held his arms out, embracing him warmly and planting a kiss on his cheek as he pulled away. "I'll be here tonight; what do you want for dinner?" 

 

Noctis kissed him deeply, longer than he should've, given that he'd already have to run to school. "Anything without vegetables."

 

Ignis chuckled, "We'll see," he whispered as he pulled him in for another kiss. 

 

And then another.

 

And one more.

 

And then another just because.

 

Noctis grinned as he turned to leave, a pink blush staining his cheeks.

 

It was going to be the longest day ever.

 

 

 

 

Ignis sat in the Council meeting, taking as many notes as he could. It was hard to concentrate; the feeling of Noctis' lips against his, his hands on his chest, their arousals grinding together through their pants- 

 

"Ignis?" he heard Councilor Lillian call to him, pulling him from his reverie.

 

"Forgive me, Councilor, you were saying?" Ignis stammered, embarrassment washing over him.

 

"As I said," she stated none too fondly, "It is paramount that we brace ourselves for the coming war. It won't be long before they creep into our borders, before they prey upon our people. We must be ready to combat this threat. Do you have suggestions regarding monitoring this?" 

 

Ignis was at a loss, his brain feeling like it was pouring out of his ears. "We could station outposts outside of towns, eyes watching and arms ready to act?"  he tried, hoping she appreciated his effort.

 

She didn't. "Such precautions are already in effect, Ignis. If you plan on being an advisor to the future King, might I suggest paying more attention?" she spat bitterly.

 

King Regis raised his hand, commanding silence, "Lillian, have a care. You know that Ignis is meant to merely observe these meetings in his current position. Enough testing him." 

 

"Your Majesty," she said as she leaned back in her chair, scowling at Ignis.

 

What a hag.

 

 

 

 

"Ignis, do you have a moment?" The King said gently as they were exiting the Council room.

 

"Of course, Your Majesty." Ignis bowed politely, trying not to act nervous in front of the father of the man he'd been sleeping in bed with only a few hours ago.

 

"I want to know how Noctis has been...adjusting." he said quietly, as they weren't completely alone yet.

 

"He...is trying his best." Ignis whispered earnestly, "But I would be lying if I said he wasn't having trouble."

 

"I see. Is he still reluctant to..?" 

 

"Not as much as he used to be, Your Majesty." Ignis paused, waiting for the last of the councilmen to be completely out of the room, "It's more that when he does, he loses control fairly easily."

 

The King hummed in thought, "I see. I was worried this would happen." he mumbled, stroking his beard.

 

"Do you have any advice for him, Your Majesty? It troubles him deeply." Ignis pleaded, wanting to help his prince through this difficult adjustment.

 

"You mean advice for you?" The King smiled, "Try integrating it to his system another way. The more he loses control through actively feeding, the harder it will become for him to master this ability."

 

"Another way? How?" 

 

"When I was a boy, and afraid of this gift as Noctis is, my mother would mix some of her blood into my food." The King said calmly, as if it was no big deal.

 

Ignis eyes widened. Cooking with his blood? He could admit a few ideas came immediately to mind, but...

 

"That's one thing you can try. Has he...lost control completely when he's used it?" the King said slowly.

 

Ignis let out a deep breath, "...Yes, Your Majesty. Last night, he...tried to attack me afterwards." Ignis flinched at the memory. Noctis had been a completely different person; like an addict being denied his fix that was willing to stoop to murder to obtain it. He'd been literally bloodthirsty, scratching and writhing against Ignis to the point where his only option was to try to knock him out. 

 

The King sighed sadly, "I'm sorry to hear that, Ignis. Truly, I am. How did you calm him?" 

 

Before or after they'd starting making out like schoolboys? Ignis cleared his throat at the thought, "I managed to put him in a headlock until he snapped out of it, Your Majesty."

 

The King let out a surprising chuckle, "A headlock? That boy? I can't imagine he was pleased. Well, should it happen again, Gods forbid, there is something else you can try."

 

"What is it?" Ignis said quickly, ready for more advice on how to contain the prince when he went feral.

 

"I'm afraid I must admit I've had similar experiences in my youth, but one thing always seemed to work. A sudden temperature change." he smiled as if that was clear enough.

 

Ignis couldn't hide his puzzled expression. "So..."

 

"Throw cold water in his face, burn him with a small spell, something of that sort." The King chuckled lightly, finding it suddenly amusing.

 

Ignis' eyes widened, "You're telling me that he'll snap out of it if I throw a drink in his face?" Ignis said slowly, forgetting formalities.

 

"Like a drunk at a bar." The King chuckled again, pleased with himself. 

 

Ignis hummed in thought. That would definitely be easier, if it actually worked. He'd definitely rather douse him with a pitcher than burn him even mildly like the King had also suggested.

 

The King was still laughing lightly, "Yes, I remember when I was about his age feeling as if I'd just woken up and was soaking wet from having Clarus dump a bucket over my head. I didn't even remember trying to attack him, but I did appreciate that method compared to when he would just punch me in the jaw." The King was giggling now.

 

Ignis couldn't believe his ears. Not only had the King confessed who one of his...assistants was, but said assistant would actually try to knock his lights out. 

 

"The Amicitia family is a proud one; a no nonsense kind of people. That's why I asked you to take care of my son, and not Gladio. He puts him through enough as it is." The King chuckled, turning to leave.

 

Ignis smiled, still confused, but smiled anyway, "Thank you, Your Majesty."

 

"No, Ignis. Thank you." he smiled as he walked away, leaning heavily on his cane.

 

Ignis stood there for awhile, dumbstruck. Noctis would be training again today, and with the King as well starting next week. If this actually worked, he'd have little to fear as they eased him into having restraint. Ignis smiled at the thought of him. It was like a crush; everything they said or did was lovable, every opportunity to see them a miracle. Ignis knew that he shouldn't be dallying about with the heir to the throne. He knew it was high treason should he be discovered. 

 

But with the secret they were already hiding, what was one more?

 

 

 

 

Noctis managed to warp to land on top of the sword today; it was keeping his balance after being propelled 100 feet that was difficult. He looked down to see Gladio paused, staring up at him with a wide grin on his face. "Not bad, Princess." 

 

Noctis grinned back, proud of himself for making some kind of progress. Before he could revel in for too long though, Gladio was already hurtling another practice sword towards him. Noctis braced himself as he warped down to the ground, overshooting it slightly as he landed on his knees beneath another tree. Gladio sighed, "We'll have to work on that."

 

Noctis fell back to a sitting position, rubbing his knees. Gladio came over to sit by him, content to take a break. Noctis was still rubbing his knees when Gladio slapped him on the back, "So are you even gonna tell me anything about it?" 

 

"Tell you anything about what?" the prince wincing as he pulled a thin rock out of his knee.

 

"About whoever you were getting busy with yesterday." Gladio nudged him with an elbow, chuckling under his breath. 

 

"No, I'm not." Noctis groaned as he leaned back on his hands.

 

"C'mon, I won't tell anyone," Gladio pried, wanting to know who his antisocial prince was rolling around with.

 

"There's nothing to tell; nothing crazy happened," Noctis grumbled, but he was blushing.

 

"Enough happened that clothes came off." Gladio nudged him further, hoping he'd cave.

 

Noctis sighed, "All we did was make out, it's no big deal," blushing deeper.

 

"Uh huh. Where'd you meet her?" 

 

Noctis winced at the word 'her'. He hadn't really thought about the fact that Ignis was a boy, he just...wanted Ignis. It didn't matter to Noctis what gender he was as long as he was with Ignis. "Uh, school." he mumbled, knowing that would at least seem plausible.

 

Gladio nodded, "Well, be safe, alright? Girls trying to get pregnant with the heir to the throne isn't unheard of, y'know."

 

Noctis sighed. Now he was really glad Ignis was a boy; one less thing to worry about. "Got it." 

 

"Alright, break time's over. Let's get back to it." Gladio sighed as he rose to stand, offering a hand to Noctis.

 

The prince took the assistance, groaning loudly as his body protested at him. All he had to do was the bare minimum to keep Gladio satisfied, then he could go home and see Ignis. Noctis smiled at the thought of holding him and kissing him senseless.

 

 

 

 

Ignis was preparing some pasta, making sure to make one with a red sauce. He planned on stirring some of his blood into Noctis' bowl separately, hoping it would be enough to sate him but not so much that he would notice. If this didn't work, well...he had a pitcher of water at the table. 

 

He was just piling noodles into two separate bowls when he got a text from Noctis, saying he was almost home and he couldn't wait to see him. Ignis smiled; they were both hopeless for each other, it seemed. Ignis poured sauce into both bowls, before he grabbed a knife and slit his finger open above Noctis', watching as the drops of blood fell into the sauce. Once he was satisfied it was enough, he quickly bandaged his finger, and stirred the bowl vigorously to blend in the blood.

 

Noctis was just coming in the front door when Ignis set the bowls down at the table. He seemed a little out of breath from hurrying home, but he didn't seem in too bad of shape like he had yesterday. 

 

"Hi," he mumbled, grinning widely.

 

"Hi," Ignis chuckled at his adorable prince. 

 

Noctis quickly closed the distance between them to pull Ignis in for a tender kiss, deepening it as he tilted his head.

 

Ignis let out a light moan at the feeling, already forgetting how good the prince felt. He could feel Noctis raking his hands through his hair, giving light little tugs occasionally. Ignis couldn't believe how fast the prince was learning what he liked. He had been so inexperienced; Ignis doubted the prince had ever even kissed anyone else, and yet here he was, reducing Ignis to a hot mess.

 

Noctis pulled away while nibbling on his bottom lip, grinning up at him. He gave him a sly wink before going around to his side of the table and taking his usual seat. Noctis quirked a brow at the pitcher of water near Ignis. "You trying to do the gallon challenge or something?" Noctis giggled, twirling a fork in his pasta.

 

Ignis rolled his eyes, trying not to be nervous about the pasta Noctis was about to eat that had at least two tablespoons of his blood in it. "You should drink more water, too." 

 

"Yeah, yeah," he laughed as he took a bite of the pasta. Ignis tensed up, awaiting the verdict. "Good pasta, Iggy. It's almost sweet?" he asked casually, before continuing to dig in.

 

Ignis let out a breath he hadn't been aware he'd been holding as he took his seat. "I'm glad you like it, Noct." 

 

Noctis was chewing slower now, brows furrowed in thought. He was looking at his pasta like it was guilty of something. "What's in it?" he said slowly.

 

Ignis gulped, "Tomatoes in the sauce, unfortunately. I also added some turmeric."

 

Noctis just hummed and nodded. "What else?" he asked, looking up at him fully now.

 

"Noct..."

 

"Really, Ignis? Blood in my food?"  He sighed as he went to rub his hands across his face.

 

"Just an idea, Noct. If you don't like it, then I won't do it again." Ignis adjusted his glasses, saddened the prince was so disappointed in him. 

 

Noctis sighed again as he put his hands in his lap. "No, it's not that. I'm sorry, I'm not angry. I know you're just trying...safer methods." 

 

Ignis gave him a weak smile, "I would rather you be comfortable." 

 

Noctis smiled back, "I am. This is fine, Iggy. Really." he proved his point by taking a large bite and chewing it thoughtfully.

 

Ignis gave him a small smile before continuing to eat his own food. He couldn't help but wonder what the blood tasted like to Noctis. He'd mentioned it was sweet, but like what? That metallic taste with sugar? Was everyone's different? If he'd had more people to choose from, would he have a preference? He looked up to see Noctis staring at him. "What is it?" he asked slowly.

 

"Iggy, I...I'm sorry that you have to suffer through this with me. It's not what I ever wanted for you." He held up a hand to stop him from interrupting, so like his father, "I need you to tell me if it becomes too much. My father, he...has others in mind that could assist me...but I told him I'd rather only have you, because...I trust you. But I can't betray your trust, so if this burden becomes too much to bear, I need you to promise that you'll tell me, alright?" Noctis' eyes were soft and sad.

 

Ignis could only stare back at him. The King had offered other people to him? Who? No, Ignis didn't want Noctis feeding from other people, and not just because of petty jealousy that he couldn't help but have. If Ignis bowed out, that meant others would have to brace themselves for the fallout. Ignis couldn't have that, and he knew Noctis couldn't either. "Noctis...I never want you to indulge in anyone but me. I don't want to sound selfish, but I must decline such an offer. I will always be here for you, whatever you need. Not because it has anything to do with my job, but because it has everything to do with you. I don't ever plan on leaving your side, so allow me to fill such a role for you." he said calmly, meaning every word.

 

Noctis's eyes looked slightly glossy, "Thank you, Ignis."

 

"Always, Noctis." Ignis smiled.

 

Noctis cleared his throat, "Hey, lets have some ice cream and make out on the couch."

 

Ignis couldn't help but laugh, "As you wish, Noct," he chuckled as he grabbed their plates and pulled the ice cream out of the freezer to soften. "Noct, do you think you'll be needing to, tonight?" he asked, ready to arm himself with the water pitcher. Gods, if that didn't work...

 

Noctis looked up from his seat on the couch, "I...I don't think so, Iggy. I think I'll be fine." he smiled warmly, enough to make Ignis swoon. 

 

Ignis strode over to him, cupping his face with one hand, thumb caressing his cheek. Noctis leaned into his touch, closing his eyes and letting out a content sigh. Ignis' heart swelled with affection for his beloved prince. He knew he wasn't allowed to harbor such feelings for the heir to the throne, but he couldn't help himself, and didn't want to. Ignis leaned down to pull him in to a chaste kiss, sighing when Noctis gripped onto his shirt collar to pull him closer. When Ignis finally pulled away, Noctis was already grinning like a fool in love. Ignis kissed his nose before returning to their ice cream.

 

"Just bring the whole thing," Noctis called after him.

 

Ignis sighed as he grabbed two spoons and brought the whole container to the couch, sitting snug against Noctis who leaned in even more. 

 

Noctis was scooping from around the edges where the ice cream was soft and runny, as Ignis scooped from the middle where it was firm. "At least we're compatible," Noctis laughed as he went in for more.

 

Ignis rolled his eyes, "The true romance test: ice cream consumption habits." 

 

Noctis just giggled as he nudged Ignis playfully with his arm, pulling him in for a sweet kiss. His lips were freezing, but it was kind of erotic and nice. Noctis deepened the kiss with his tongue, relishing in the flavor of the ice cream and something that was just pure Ignis. Noctis pulled away to kiss down his neck, every moan Ignis released going straight to his groin. Noctis nipped playfully at his skin, trying not to think about the blood that was rushing faster and faster beneath it. He licked his way back up to kiss him hard, moving the ice cream to the floor with one hand as the other went to run through his hair, swallowing his moans. 

 

Ignis grabbed Noctis by his shirt, wanting him to be as close as humanly possible. He couldn't believe how comfortable they already were romantically; there was no shyness about the way they touched each other, the way they kissed each other, the way they wanted each other. He felt Noctis moan against him when his hands went to rub his stomach under his shirt, loving his toned body and soft skin. 

 

Noctis quickly began unbuttoning Ignis' shirt, hating that he didn't just wear pullovers. Ignis looked positively husky, face flushed to crimson and hair tousled beyond its usual side swept style. Noctis grinned when he finally got to the last button, pushing his shirt open to run his hands across his soft skin, pulling a long groan from Ignis. Noctis quickly pushed him back against the couch to straddle him, leaning down to kiss him passionately, messy and with no finesse, but he could tell Ignis loved it by his growing erection against his own. 

 

Ignis pulled Noctis shirt off so their skin could finally touch, both of them burning up. Ignis raked his nails down Noctis back, loving the way the prince arched into his hands and moaned loudly, eyes shut and mouth hanging open. Noctis opened his eyes to meet Ignis', replacing the need for words. Ignis quickly removed his glasses and set them on the end table near the couch, before pulling Noctis in for more heated kisses, tongues battling for dominance.

 

Noctis couldn't breathe. He couldn't believe this was all really happening. He didn't have to fantasize anymore; he could have this, Ignis, whenever he wanted. Noctis' hands glided down Ignis' stomach, unbuttoning his slacks before anyone could interrupt them this time. 

 

Ignis let out a deep moan when he felt Noctis' hands on his cock, his warm, soft hands wrapping tightly around him. His head rolled back against the couch, gritting his teeth so as not to make too much noise. Noctis was running his fist up and down, varying in tension, deciphering what Ignis enjoyed. Ignis' eyes snapped open and he groaned when Noctis ran a thumb over his slit, precome already slicking his finger. In one swift movement, he grabbed Noctis by his shoulders and rolled him onto the couch, laying him down as Ignis hovered over him, kissing his neck and biting down whenever he felt Noctis grip him harder. Ignis pulled away to shrug the rest of his shirt off, taking Noctis' hand from him to hold over his head, pinning him in place. 

 

Noctis was panting heavily, loving being thrown down and pinned by Ignis. He closed his eyes and moaned as Ignis kissed down his chest, licking a nipple, stirring something in Noctis he didn't know that could do. He arched his back off the couch, sucking in a breath when he felt Ignis bite down gently, his cock throbbing in his pants. Ignis resumed kissing down his stomach, licking above his belt as his free hand unfastened it with surprising ease, only arousing Noctis further. 

 

Ignis pulled his pants down, kissing his cock through his boxers, "May I?" he panted, ever the gentleman.

 

"Iggy, please, please," Noctis whimpered, an arm covering his eyes. 

 

Ignis grinned as he released Noctis' hands, pulling down his boxers to free his aching erection, precome already dripping from the tip. Ignis gripped him firmly, his own cock tightening at the sight and sounds of Noctis unraveling, as he slowly pumped his hand up his member. 

 

Noctis let out a loud moan, hands reaching down to grip Ignis' hair when he felt his wet tongue lick the tip of his cock, swirling around his slit before licking down the underside of him. Noctis' brain was on fire; he couldn't focus on anything except Ignis' warm tongue and his tight hand, mind exploding when he felt Ignis take him in his mouth. It felt surreal, otherworldly as Ignis took more of him into his mouth, his hand moving along with his head to pump anything he couldn't fit. When Noctis felt the tip of his cock hit the back of his throat, he arched his back, grip in Ignis' hair tightening to the point where he was sure it must be painful. 

 

It was nothing like he could've imagined. His own hand would never suffice again; nothing could compare to the feeling of Ignis' wet mouth around his cock, hand tightening as he worked him, other hand gently massaging his balls. Noctis couldn't last much longer.

 

Ignis moaned against him, reveling in the feeling of Noctis in his mouth. Never in his wildest dreams did he think he would be lucky enough to go down on his prince, to be the one to push him so far over the edge. 

 

"Iggy, I- aah!" Noctis gasped, barely holding on.

 

Ignis pulled his mouth away slowly, "It's alright, Noct, let go," he panted, before swallowing him whole, taking him in as deep as he could, the grip on his balls tightening.

 

Noctis let out a wanton cry, back arching completely off the couch as he came hard into Ignis' waiting mouth. His body turned to jelly as he rode out his orgasm, more intense than any he'd ever given himself.

 

Ignis swallowed every drop of the prince's come, loving the feeling of it running hot down his throat. He continued to suck him until he was soft, before pulling away with an audible pop. Ignis licked his lips gratefully, savoring the taste that was pure Noctis, grinning at the sight of him completely undone beneath him, panting and eyes shut tight.

 

Noctis felt Ignis pull away, could hear him licking his lips, as he forced his eyes to open to take in the sight of this handsome man who had just given him the world.

 

"Alright?" Ignis panted, hand reaching up to brush Noctis' sweaty bangs from his eyes.

 

"Amazing," Noctis moaned, tilting his head up to kiss Ignis' hand.

 

Ignis smiled, "Good," he leaned up to catch his breath, jaw sore and throat numb.

 

Noctis sat up slowly, leaning forward to capture Ignis' lips in a sweet kiss. He could taste himself on Ignis' tongue, but he couldn't bring himself to be grossed out. "Let me," he panted, hands grazing across Ignis' still fully hard erection.

 

Ignis kissed him tenderly, "Only if you want to, and you don't have to keep going if you don't like it,"

 

Noctis rolled his eyes, "If I can make you feel what I just did, I'm sure I'll like it," he kissed him one last time before he went to sit on the floor, smiling as he continued to pull his pants down completely, freeing his weeping cock. Noctis looked up at him to give him a sweet smile before he reached his hands out and tried to replicate when Ignis had done for him. Noctis licked the underside, swirled at the tip, before taking him into his mouth, trying to keep his teeth covered. Ignis' head rolled back as he moaned, a hand reaching up to run through the prince's hair. Noctis hummed against him, causing the hand in his hair to tighten, bobbing his head up and down, using his hand to stimulate what he couldn't reach. Overambitious as always, Noctis tried to take him into his throat, his weak gag reflex protesting harshly, as he pulled his head up to cough uncontrollably, eyes watering. 

 

Ignis looked up concerned, "Noct, take it slow; don't do more than you can," he panted, eyes still half lidded. 

 

Noctis waved him off, embarrassed that he wasn't a born expert. He cleared his throat a final time, before wrapping his hand around Ignis again tightly, causing Ignis to groan loudly and clench his free hand into the couch. Noctis took him into his mouth, licking the underside as he bobbed his head, massaging his balls the way Ignis had. Once he got a nice tempo going, it wasn't long before he could hear Ignis threatening to come undone. 

 

"Noct...I can't last-" Ignis panted, before moaning loudly when Noctis licked the tip.

 

"Ignis," Noctis sighed before taking him back into his mouth.

 

Like a rubber band pulled too far, Ignis snapped at the sound of his name on the prince's lips, coming down his throat, moaning loudly as he rode out the waves of his orgasm. 

 

Noctis' eyes watered at his throat being filled with the hot, thick come. He wanted to impress Ignis and make up for earlier, so he tried to swallow it all, before it was too much and he had to pull away, still pumping him as the last of it landed on his face.

 

Ignis leaned his head down, taking in the sight of Noctis licking his cock, come all over his face as he brought a hand up to collect the stray seed before licking his fingers dry of it. Ignis moaned at the sight, trying to imprint it to memory forever.

 

Noctis gave him an open smile, come still coating his tongue, "Any good?"

 

Ignis grinned, leaning forward to kiss him, not caring about the lingering come on his tongue, "Perfect, Noct," he sighed as he leaned back, completely spent. 

 

Noctis smiled, proud of himself before he rose to sit next to him on the couch, wrapping an arm around him, "Oops...guess we're out of ice cream," he giggled as he looked down at the soup in the container.

 

Ignis gave a breathy laugh, "I'll pick up some more tomorrow." he sighed, resting his head against the prince's.

 

Noctis sighed contentedly. This was amazing; Ignis in his arms, come still slick in his throat, both of them utterly spent and in bliss.

 

He'd never been happier.

 

Chapter Text

Noctis sighed as he paced around the throne room. His father was late again, and for their first lesson, too. Noctis wasn't even entirely sure what their training would entail; he knew it involved his magic and the Crystal, and that it would be arduous. He ran a hand through his hair as he let out a light groan. The longer he was here, the longer he wasn't home with Ignis. He'd been staying over almost every night; he even brought a majority of his clothes from his own apartment over. He didn't bother using the guest room either, much to Noctis' pleasure. They would fall asleep in each other's arms after making out senselessly and the occasional blowjob. Noctis had already more than made up for his coughing incident; his gag reflex was a lot more tolerant already. 

 

Noctis was pulled from his lewd thoughts by the sound of the large doors opening, his meek father slowly entering the throne room. His leg brace had been redone; it was more supportive and covered his knee entirely. Noctis tried not to cringe at the thought of his father ruling from his bed, unable to even stand anymore. 

 

"Hello, my son." he smiled kindly, eyes twinkling, framed with crows feet.

 

"Hey, Dad." Noctis gave him a light smile as he walked over to him, stopping a few feet away and crossing his arms, "What's the plan?" 

 

"Not wasting any time, I see," his father chuckled, a low, rich sound. "I haven't seen you in awhile; how are things?" 

 

"Fine."

 

"School?" 

 

"Fine."

 

"Training?"

 

"Fine."

 

"Feeding?"

 

"...Fine." Noctis winced slightly. He talked about it like it was so...normal. Like something any parent would ask their child. 

 

"You've been able to remain in control?" he pried gently.

 

"It's fine, Dad." Noctis sighed, eager to change the subject. He'd been nervous about feeding since the incident, but he'd had to twice since then, but both times he'd been able to force himself to stop long before he felt close to satisfied. That meant he was fine, right?

 

"Because I'm here for you, Noct. Believe it or not, I struggled with it as well, so I can give you advice-"

 

"I don't need it," he snapped.

 

The Kings' kind gaze hardened, "Noctis, I won't have you endanger Ignis just because you are too stubborn to ask for help when you need it. What would you do if you actually killed him?" the King rose to a shout, demanding obedience.

 

That struck Noctis to the core. He didn't want to put Ignis in danger either; he just wanted to be able to live without it. 

 

But he knew he couldn't. It just wasn't possible for him.

 

"Father...I...I'm scared..." he finally confessed. He was terrified. He loved Ignis so much that it hurt, and having to use him in such a way broke his heart, especially when he couldn't control himself and put Ignis' life in danger. His father was right; Noctis wouldn't be able to live with himself if he actually managed to kill Ignis.

 

The King's stance softened at the sound of his son breaking. "I'm here to help you, Noctis. I've tried to help Ignis with this, but I fear he has been too gentle with you."

 

Noctis eyes widened. So that was where Ignis got the idea for the blood in his food. He looked up at his father, shame and fear eating at his heart, "What can I do?" 

 

"You must feed every day." He said slowly.

 

What? Feeding every day would curb his cravings? How did that logic work? "What?" Noctis asked, trying not to sound angry.

 

"If you feed every day, you won't have withdrawal from not keeping your health in top condition. The more days go by that you exert yourself without feeding, the more you will need, and the more you won't be able to hold yourself back." The King sighed as he strode over to his throne.

 

Noctis mulled over this new information. Feed every day to prevent overindulging and endangering Ignis. 

 

Ignis. His beloved. The man he would give the moon if he could.

 

"...Alright." Noctis looked away in shame. So much trouble could have been saved if he'd only swallowed his pride and asked his father for help sooner.

 

"Good. Now, you'll find yourself not needing much, and eventually you'll be able to go without it for days at a time, discounting any injury. I do still think finding another to feed from would be beneficial to you and Ignis both, but he wouldn't hear of it either." The King sighed, rubbing his temples.

 

Noctis couldn't hide a smile. The King had proposed such a thing to Ignis as well who had also turned it down. How very...Ignis, Noctis thought to himself.

 

"But if it comes to it, you must put safety before preference. Do you understand?" The King said slowly and with finality.

 

"I understand."

 

"Good. Now, let us begin your training." he sighed as he steepled his hands together, "We'll begin with summoning the Armiger. An important skill to master; out on the field, you must be able to change weapons in an instant. One second can make all the difference, my son."

 

Noctis nodded, "What would you have me do?" 

 

"Call forth your sword, Noctis." the King leaned forward in his throne slightly, eager to see his son master this skill. 

 

Noctis exhaled slowly. He'd managed to summon tools from the arsenal before, but not at the drop of a hat. He extended an arm forward, drawing on the Crystal as he willed his sword to materialize in his hand. His brows furrowed in focus as he strained to have anything appear.

 

"Concentrate on the feeling of the hilt in your hand," the King said softly.

 

Noctis gritted his teeth, flexing every muscle in his arm, eyes watching as particles appeared in thin air to draw towards his hand. He could feel his hand grow heavy, as if it was holding something he couldn't see. His sword started to form in his hand, made up of only light and shadow, as he slowly felt a familiar weight in his hand, smiling wide when he saw his sword finally appear in his hand. He gave it a light swing, the weight was perfect and balanced; his father had chosen well for a birthday gift. 

 

"Good. Well done, son," the King sighed, smiling gently.

 

Noctis gave it a few test swings, before he dismissed it with a wave of his hand, "What next, Father?"

 

Regis smiled, "Now you will summon a broadsword. This will be more difficult; the larger the weapon, the more concentration is needed to make it appear before you."

 

Noctis nodded quickly. His mind was drawn back to when he was a child and his father saved him from the daemon that had nearly killed him, vaguely remembering witnessing his father able to summon multiple weapons from the Armiger at once without breaking a sweat. He longed to be as powerful, as skilled, as self sufficient so Ignis would never have to worry for him on the battlefield.

 

Noctis extended his hand once more, concentrating on the feeling of a broadsword in his hand, imagining the heavier weight, the rougher hilt. Nothing came. 

 

"Focus, Noct."

 

"I am," he bit back, sweat starting to build above his brow. He grunted at the feeling of his magic being strained, the sensation akin to bile deep in his stomach bubbling from heat. Noctis grunted as he willed more magic to aid him, feeling his hand start to grow heavy once more. He winced when he felt something inside him bend sharply, before he realized he was holding his sword again. He groaned in defeat, disappointment in himself threatening to make him give up.

 

"It's alright, Noctis. I am not expecting perfection on your first day, and neither should you." Regis gave him a gentle smile.

 

Noctis sighed. For all of the times he felt his father would never understand him, in actuality he knew him quite well. He knew he was his own worst critic, and that he only ever wanted to excel so as not to feel like a burden to anyone. He'd been that way since the daemon attack. "I know, it's just..." he mumbled, unable to bring himself to say it.

 

"You want to master your skills so no one will have to risk themselves for you." The King sighed softly, eyes saddened.

 

Noctis bit his lip, turning his head to the side in defeat, "Yes." he whispered.

 

"Noctis, everyone that you love would do anything for you. You have to remember that even if you perfected everything immediately, that a moment will come that you will need help. You must not be ashamed for accepting that help." His father said slowly, wanting every word to sink in.

 

Noctis nodded. "Can I try again?" 

 

The King smiled, "Of course, son."

 

Noctis held out his hand, feeling a bead of sweat trickle down his back. He imagined the weight of the heavy broadsword, forcing every fiber in his being to will it to come to him. Particles of light shimmered in the air, tracing out the outline of his broadsword. He grit his teeth at the feeling of his insides churning from the physical stress on his body. Noctis closed his eyes, envisioning the sword in his hand, the weight bearing down on his arm. He opened his eyes to find the broadsword gleaming in his hand, unable to hold back a grin at his success. He looked up at his father, who was smiling down at him from his throne.

 

"Well done, my son."

 

 

 

 

Ignis grunted as he slid the table aside with his hip, vacuum humming as he cleaned underneath where the chairs had been. The apartment was sparkling; not a dust bunny or crumb in or out of sight. Ignis smiled as he turned the vacuum off, wrapping the long cord around the back. 

 

Once everything was put in its proper place, he awarded himself with a break on the couch, eyes falling shut as he listened to the sounds of the cars rushing 15 floors below. Just as a nap was threatening to take hold over him, his phone buzzed in his pocket. Noctis.

 

He quickly answered and held it to his ear, "Noct?"

 

"Hey," came a slightly shaky reply.

 

"Is everything alright?" Ignis asked, sitting up.

 

"Y-yeah, everything's fine, I just..." the prince trailed off. Ignis could hear the sound of an elevator chiming on his end.

 

"Your lessons?" Ignis said gently.

 

"They were fine. I, um...I was just going to walk home, but uh...is there any way you could come get me?" 

 

"I'm on my way," Ignis rose instantly, grabbing his keys from the counter as he made his way out of the apartment.

 

"Sorry, I just-"

 

"You have nothing to apologize for, Noctis," Ignis whispered as he waited for the elevator.

 

"Iggy?" Ignis could hear the prince exhaling slowly.

 

"Yes?"

 

"I'm...shit, why is this so hard?" he could hear Noctis scratching his head, sighing.

 

"I'll be there soon if you'd rather tell me in person?" Ignis tried, fast walking to the car as soon as the elevator let him off.

 

"I-yeah, I guess that'd be better..."

 

Ignis' heart was racing. What was wrong? Had the prince come to his senses and realized that their relationship couldn't continue? Or that he didn't want it to? Ignis swallowed hard, "I'll be there in about twenty minutes; you should wait inside."

 

"Can we talk until you get here?" the prince whispered.

 

Ignis started the car and connected his Bluetooth, "Of course."

 

Ignis drove as swiftly as rush hour would allow, all the while talking with Noctis about his training. It had been simple enough in concept, but the execution was one that had left the prince drained, as he'd never had to draw on the Armiger so frequently before. Noctis told him bleakly about his first few failures, being too hard on himself as usual. Even when he mentioned the times he succeeded, he still sounded unfulfilled and unhappy.

 

"I'm almost there," Ignis whispered as he pulled in to the long courtyard of the palace.

 

"Cool, I see you," 

 

Ignis smiled as he pulled up to the waving prince, unlocking the doors to let him inside. 

 

Noctis quickly hopped in to the front seat, buckling himself in without a word. 

 

"Everything okay?" Ignis pried gently.

 

Noctis sighed, eyes glued to the floor of the car, "Yeah, I guess."

 

Ignis just nodded, knowing better than to force anything with Noctis. He'd talk about it when he was comfortable and ready, "Very well," he sighed as he pulled the car out of the palace.

 

Noctis let out a deep breath, "Ignis?" 

 

"Yes, Noct?"

 

"I...I need you to know something." he whispered, eyes still refusing to look at him.

 

"What is it?" Ignis braced himself mentally. If the prince decided he'd had enough of him, he would accept it with grace and humility.

 

Noctis shut his eyes as he exhaled slowly, "So...you know how important you are to me,"

 

"Yes?" Ignis let out a breath of his own, tensing up and preparing himself.

 

"I just... I want you to know that I could never have done any of this without you. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you. I mean that." 

 

Ignis eyes widened as he pulled the car to a full stop at a red light. 

 

"I...I can't imagine going through this process with anyone else. I would've given up completely by now if you hadn't been there for me. By duty, you were only ever bound to advise me, and yet here you are, always ready to aid me with whatever I need, blood besides my point." Noctis moved to hold his face in his hands, gripping his hair tightly.

 

Ignis gazed at the prince, heart breaking at the sight of him cleaved in two. He would've stayed there forever had a car not honked at him to proceed through the green light.

 

Noctis let out a deep sigh, "I guess what I'm trying to say is...thank you, for always being there for me, and always reminding me that there is so much to live for." 

 

Ignis fought back the prickling feeling in his eyes. He quickly turned the car down an alley before pulling in to a desolate parking lot. He turned off the engine and turned in his seat to face the prince, "Noctis. Even though I only ever had the chance to meet you because of who you are, know that your title bears no more weight in my heart than you do as a person. Even if you were a beggar, I would stand by you because of who you are inside, not because of any social standing or lack thereof. Never feel that I am bound to you by duty. I am here with you because I want to be, not because it is demanded of me." Ignis stated calmly, reaching out to rest his hand on Noctis' shoulder.

 

Noctis was tearing up. He knew that Ignis cared about him deeply, caring more for him as a person than he cared that he was heir to the throne of Lucis, but hearing it said aloud was enough to break Noctis' calm exterior. "Iggy," Noctis sighed, bringing his hand up to wrap around Ignis'.

 

"Whatever may come, I will remain at your side." Ignis said firmly, hand clasping tightly down on the prince's.

 

Noctis blinked back tears, one still managing to escape as it rolled down his cheek, "Ignis, I...I love you." he whimpered, only slightly worried that he'd come on too strong.

 

Ignis gripped his hand tighter, a small smile spreading across his face, "I love you too, Noctis."

 

Noctis couldn't hold back a sigh of relief. Ignis hadn't recoiled in shock at his confession. He'd welcomed it, and even reciprocated it. Noctis leaned his head back against the seat, a sad smile painting his face, "Thank Gods," he sighed.

 

Ignis smiled, leaning towards the prince to plant a chaste kiss to his cheek, "I will always be here for you,"

 

Noctis' smile widened as he turned his head to kiss Ignis' hand, "And I you."

Chapter Text

Ignis stared at the ceiling in the dark apartment, his fingers tracing circles on Noctis' back. The prince was fast asleep, too tired to even feed after his training. Ignis had offered several times, worried Noctis was being stubborn at first, but he quickly deduced that Noctis was simply exhausted when he hadn't even wanted dinner. Ignis had obliged to let him go to bed without eating, not the least bit surprised that the prince had wanted him to join him.  

 

Mere seconds passed after they'd laid down before Noctis was slumbering soundly. Ignis turned his head to inhale Noctis' scent, the sweet smell of vanilla and tangerines overloading his senses. Ignis still couldn't believe Noctis' confession, earlier. It had been so sudden, and part of him still wasn't sure if it was only because the prince was incredibly stressed. Ignis knew Noctis loved him dearly, of course, but had he truly meant that he was in love with him? 

 

The very idea sent Ignis' mind running in circles. They both know that this...intimacy could only go on for so long. Never mind if they were ever discovered, but the prince would have to marry a political choice, and produce an heir. As much as Ignis loved him, he couldn't do that for him.

 

Ignis was pulled from his thoughts by Noctis adjusting himself in his sleep to nuzzle against his neck. Ignis let his eyes fall closed when he felt that familiar warm breath against his ear. Noctis was sighing, seeming to stir slightly. Ignis' eyes shot open when he felt that tongue licking along his neck. Ignis turned his head as best he could to catch a glimpse of glowing red eyes in the darkness. He swallowed deeply as he felt Noctis' tongue working down his neck, before he leaned up to plant his hands on either side of Ignis' head to hover over him. 

 

Ignis tried to control his breathing. He reached a hand up to caress the prince's face, only to be met with a stone cold response. Ignis tilted his head to the side to give him room, shutting his eyes tight. He felt those soft bangs fall against his cheek, that warm tongue licking along his neck before those sharp fangs sunk in deeply. Ignis winced at the feeling, trying to focus on anything that wasn't the sound of Noctis gulping down his blood. If he lost control, Ignis didn't have anything to defend himself with. He hadn't bothered to bring a pitcher of water like a fool, and could only pray that Noctis was in there somewhere, and knew what he was doing.

 

Ignis brought an arm up to rest on Noctis' back, clenching his shirt tightly. He felt Noctis moan into his neck, the vibration reverberating through his own throat as he moaned himself. He could feel Noctis' tongue licking his skin as he drank from him. Ignis opened his eyes when he felt Noctis' fangs receding, tongue licking over his fresh wound affectionately. 

 

"Iggy..." Noctis whispered in the darkness.

 

Ignis looked up to see those red eyes had vanished, replaced by sad blue ones. "Noctis?"

 

Noctis just gave him a light nod. He sat back to straddle Ignis' hips, his palms firmly planted on his advisor's chest, "Are you alright?"

 

"I'm fine; that was very brief. Are you sure you're alright?" Ignis prodded gently. If Noctis was going to feed, he'd be better off making sure he was sated. The last few times since the incident, Noctis had always been quick to stop, still looking just as pained and worrying Ignis.

 

"Y-yeah. I'm fine. Sorry, that was...not planned on." he whispered.

 

Ignis just gave him a light smile, raising a hand to grab one of Noctis' that were still gripping his shirt, "It's okay. I'm just glad to see you're alright."

 

Noctis nodded slowly. Ignis was always more concerned about him than we was about himself. It broke Noctis' heart. He leaned down to kiss him tenderly, hands running down his chest to tug at his pants. 

 

"Noct..." Ignis sighed, head rolling back as Noctis kissed down his jaw.

 

Noctis hummed against him, trailing his kisses down his neck, licking the fresh bite gently and slowly. Blood was just starting to cease its steady trickle from the wound, and Noctis lapped up what had escaped. His groin tightened when he felt Ignis moan and buck against him, a smile slowly spreading across his face  as he pulled away to remove his own shirt.

 

Ignis quickly followed suit, pulling his own shirt over his head to toss it off the bed, too aroused to worry about folding it. When Noctis sank back down to kiss him, their bare chests rubbing together, Ignis couldn't stop himself from moaning loudly and grinding his hips up to meet the prince's.

 

Noctis' kisses were quickly losing finesse and being replaced with pure lust, tongue ravaging Ignis' mouth as he raked his nails down his chest. Noctis groaned as he grinded his hips down onto Ignis', the friction of their pants alone not being anywhere near enough. Noctis quickly pulled away to kiss down his chest, stopping to tease his nipples with his teeth, before continuing down to grab his pants and pull them down slowly, planting kisses with each newly revealed inch of skin.

 

Ignis threw his head back into the pillow to moan loudly, bringing a hand up to bite down on to muffle his cries as best he could. He saw stars when he felt Noctis lick the underside of his cock, already hard and weeping. Ignis used his free hand to reach down to grip the prince's hair tightly, before he lost every thought he had left at the feeling of Noctis taking him deep into his mouth. 

 

Noctis bobbed his head up and down, hollowing his cheeks as he sucked as hard as he could. He moaned when he tasted that sweet precome that was pure Ignis, one hand pumping his base as the other massaged his balls gently. Noctis hummed against him as he took him in as deep as he could, holding him there in the back of his throat, concentrating on not gagging when he felt Ignis twitch deep in his throat. Noctis sucked hard as he pulled up slowly, tongue playing with the slit of Ignis' cock as he glanced up at him, giving him a mischievous grin.

 

Ignis' mind turned to mush at the sight of the Crown Prince smiling around his erection. He hissed through his teeth when he felt that mouth take him in fully, "Noct..."

 

"Ignis..." Noctis moaned against him, his free hand reaching down to stroke himself. He needed to feel any kind of friction on himself. If he was being completely honest, he wanted to fuck Ignis like there was no tomorrow.

 

"Noctis, I- oh, Gods..." Ignis moaned as Noctis swallowed around him, his mind going blank as he came hard into the prince's mouth, groaning in aroused approval when he felt Noctis swallowing every drop of his come.

 

"Fuck," Ignis moaned as he emptied himself into that wanting mouth, melting when he felt Noctis groan against him as he pulled away, mouth still overflowing with his come, showcasing his huge load before swallowing it completely. Ignis moaned at the lewd sight, his heart swelling in his chest, "Come here,"

 

Noctis leaned up immediately, mouth being captured in hungry kisses as he was rolled over to lay on his back. He moaned hard into the kiss when he felt Ignis grab his cock before stroking it firmly, speed increasing when Noctis threw his head back. Noctis could only watch as Ignis descended down to his erection to take him into his mouth, humming against him and sucking hard. Noctis groaned loudly when he felt Ignis lick along his balls, thumb playing with his slit, "Fuck, Ignis, I can't-"

 

"Tell me what you want," Ignis whispered against him, slowly licking the underside of him before taking his entire cock deep into his throat.

 

Noctis gasped at the feeling of Ignis' throat encasing him, "Gods, I want to fuck you, Ignis, ah-! I want you to fuck me!" Noctis nearly screamed as he came hard down Ignis' throat, that skilled hand still pumping every last drop out of him. Noctis was still moaning loudly, all restraint out the window when he felt Ignis humming against him, before pulling away, still licking his lips and smiling at the prince. "Gods, Ignis..."

 

Ignis grinned down at him as he leaned in to kiss his neck, sucking hard on his collarbone, "Yes?" he whispered playfully, still smiling against his skin.

 

Noctis was still panting for air, "We need to fuck, Iggy," he gasped, head still dizzy.

 

Ignis couldn't suppress a deep chuckle, "I'm sure that can be arranged..." he whispered, leaning up to bite his earlobe.

 

Noctis moaned at the feeling of Ignis' hot breath in his ear, "Ignis..."

 

"Hm?" 

 

"I...I'm sorry that I...threw myself at you." Noctis panted between breaths for air.

 

Ignis pulled away to look down at his prince. His neck was a little sore, but nothing like the first time. Noctis had a blush across his cheeks, eyes refusing to meet Ignis'. Without a word, he leaned down to plant a chaste kiss to his lips.

 

Noctis' eyes fluttered shut at the warm feeling of Ignis' lips on his own. He loved him, so much that it hurt, and he hated having to use him everyday just so he can stand to do anything. 

 

"I love you." Ignis whispered against his lips, his eyes boring into Noctis' in the dark, wanting him to really hear him.

 

He did. Noctis knew he meant it as forgiveness as much as he meant it as a token of love. "I love you too, Iggy," Noctis sighed as he pulled him down for more kisses.

 

He'd have to feed again tomorrow. He'd promised his father he would try to every day, if only to practice restraint for Ignis' protection. Anything to keep him safe.

 

Anything to keep him safe.

 

Chapter Text

Noctis winced as he leaned against the elevator. Training with his father was going well, but it left him far more drained that his training with Gladio. He'd walked home, and it had taken him nearly an hour, but he was still sweating from the palace. Noctis groaned as he pushed himself off the wall to exit the elevator, dragging his feet as he made his way to his apartment. 

 

He sighed as he shut the door behind him, toeing off his shoes before working his way to the couch to lay down. Ignis wasn't home; he wouldn't be for hours yet. Noctis squeezed his eyes shut tight when his head started to pound. He needed to feed, and soon. That low whistle was whispering in his ears, that craving for blood to run down his throat.

 

Noctis growled as he rubbed at his eyes, before clenching his hair into his fists. He tried to focus on anything that wasn't the thought of blood. He rose from the couch, realizing napping wasn't going to be possible, resigning to play video games instead; anything to distract himself.

 

Noctis was nervously scratching at his own arms while he waited for it to load. He gripped the controller firmly, mistaking his shaking hands for controller vibrations. Noctis was only playing for three minutes before he killed someone, the graphics of blood shooting from their neck causing him to drop his controller as his jaw hung open. In his delirium, his own character was killed, drowning in a sea of their own blood.

 

Noctis hadn't realized he'd been grinding his teeth until he tasted his own blood from his protruding fangs. 

 

He rose quickly, not even bothering to shut off the game as he made his way to the bathroom, bumping into walls on his way. He gripped the counter firmly, breath coming out in heaving gasps before he brought himself to look up at his reflection.

 

His arms were scratched deeply, angry red marks crisscrossing his arms as some even dripped blood. His clothes were ragged, and didn't fit him as tight as they used to. His skin was pale, cheeks gaunt like he hadn't eaten in days. His hair was pulled in different directions, and his bangs were matted to his sweaty forehead. His eyes were glowing red, and his mouth was dripping blood down his chin.

 

Noctis couldn't believe it. It was like he wasn't looking in a mirror at all, but at a different person. There was no way that was actually him...

 

It must be. It screamed at the same time he did. Noctis fell back onto the bathroom floor, scrambling to the familiar corner near the shower to pull his body close. 

 

He needed blood. He needed it. There wasn't any near, no one, except-

 

Noctis shuddered as he pulled his arm close to his chest. Even if it wouldn't heal him, the feeling and the taste would be enough to calm him down...right?

 

Noctis shut his eyes tight. He couldn't believe he was reduced to this so quickly. He hadn't properly fed in days, only enough for one full swallow before he would force himself to stop. Never enough. 

 

Noctis was gasping for air as he held his wrist in one hand, bringing it to his mouth slowly. He growled as he bit down into his wrist, his blood slowly pouring into his mouth as he gulped it down greedily.

 

Noctis' eyes shot open. Something wasn't right. It was thicker than it should've been, and tasted like ash in his mouth. Every drop that fell into his stomach felt like a pound of lead. He quickly pulled his wrist away, not retracting his teeth properly as they cut through his weak skin, exacerbating his wound. Noctis spit out what blood was still coating his mouth, coughing hard and gagging on his blood. His throat burned, like he'd swallowed gasoline.

 

Noctis couldn't do anything but heave as he threw up his blood. It was even worse mixed with stomach acid, his blood congealing into tar in his mouth. He felt like he was dying, but that death couldn't come fast enough. His skin felt like it was on fire, his wrist oozing blood from his pressure on his hands, barely managing to hold himself up as he continued to empty his stomach onto the white bathroom floor.

 

He hadn't realized he'd been crying until his vision was blurry. His eyes stung, his own tears feeling too heavy and burning. The blood that coated the floor was thick; it wasn't spreading out at all, just falling from his mouth like paint. 

 

Everything was red. The floor, his arms, his eyes, his mind. The world spun as he fell to the floor, laying on his side in the pool of thick blood. Noctis couldn't move, didn't even wince when his head cracked against the floor, couldn't bring himself to do anything to staunch the steady flow of blood from his wrist. He could barely register the slow rise and fall of his own chest, the fact that he was still breathing being his only confirmation that he was somehow still alive. 

 

His chest felt molten. His eyes burned, and his blood felt like magma. The world shrunk to a slit as his eyes fell closed. 

 

 

 

Ignis shoved his phone back into his pocket, frustration and worry clouding his mind. Noctis still hadn't answered or returned his calls, and it wasn't unlike him to be asleep this early, but he usually would at least hear his phone ringing. Ignis fast walked down the hallway as soon as the elevator opened. He wasn't at all surprised to find the door unlocked; yet another bad habit of the prince's.

 

Ignis locked the door behind him, already worried that Noctis hadn't greeted him like he usually did. "Noct?" Ignis called, met with silence. He slowly walked into the apartment, stopping in the living room when he saw the TV on. It was frozen on a game over screen, the words 'YOU ARE DEAD' written in blood across it. Ignis grimaced at the grisly scene of Noctis' character surrounded with their own blood.

 

"Noctis?" Ignis called louder. Nothing.

 

Ignis turned around to check his bedroom. He wasn't in there, but the bathroom light was on. Ignis tried not to think about that fateful night when he'd first fed from him, and how eerily similar this night was. He rapped his knuckles against the door quickly, "Noct?" he hollered, only to have no response.

 

Anxiety washed over him as he pushed the door open, the handle still not repaired from when he'd kicked it off weeks ago. What he saw now was even worse than it was then.

 

Noctis was lying in a pool of thick, congealed blood, his wrist and mouth stained red with his own blood. He wasn't moving.

 

"Noctis!" Ignis screamed, rushing over to hold the prince in his arms, clasping his wrist tightly to stop what little blood was still trickling out. A faint pulse could be felt, but it was very weak.

 

Ignis quickly pulled out the switchblade he kept in his pocket at all times since the prince had needed his blood, slitting his own wrist as he grabbed Noctis' mouth to hold it open. He pushed his leaking wrist to his mouth, making sure to keep his head elevated to ensure it would flow slowly down his throat.

 

He wasn't responding. Ignis was beginning to panic, uncertain of how to revive the prince if this didn't work. The blood on the floor was soaking into his pants, but it was cold and dark, almost black.

 

Just as he was about to give up and call the King, Noctis sputtered beneath him, coughing as he cleared his throat of Ignis' blood.

 

"Noct!" Ignis gasped.

 

Noctis didn't stop coughing, before dry heaving as he rolled his head to the side, spitting up blood. He wheezed as his throat constricted, "Ignis," he managed to croak, his body having lost all its strength.

 

"Just hold on, help is coming," Ignis spoke quickly, already punching in a text in his phone that would send for the royal guard. 

 

Noctis was shaking his head weakly, voice failing him.

 

Ignis quickly wrapped a towel around his wrist, hearing the front door being knocked open only moments later.

 

Two Kingsglaives pushed the bathroom door open, followed by a medic, "Your Highness!" one shouted, before ushering in the medic.

 

He calmly but swiftly entered the bathroom, assessing the prince's wounds as he checked his pulse, "Get him on the stretcher, now!" he barked, the glaives already unfolding it and grabbing Noctis' legs carefully.

 

Ignis sat there like a stump as Noctis was pulled from his arms. The prince was still coughing up blood, and Ignis couldn't help but feel like he'd done the wrong thing. 

 

"The ambulance is outside; lets go," the second glaive said quickly, giving Ignis a glance, "Coming?" 

 

Ignis shook himself back to the present, "Of course." he mumbled, rising to his feet as they raised the stretcher, Noctis as pale as a cadaver.

 

They quickly hauled the prince down the hallway, pressing the emergency button on the elevator. Once inside, the medic was injecting something into Noctis, Ignis holding onto his hand.

 

Noctis stirred in his delirium, eyes struggling to focus on anything at all, "Iggy..." he whispered, voice hoarse.

 

"I'm here, Noctis." Ignis squeezed his hand firmly to reassure him, that weak hand barely managing to squeeze back before going completely limp, "Noctis?" 

 

"Don't panic, I sedated him so his vitals wouldn't spike anymore than they were," the medic said calmly, already disinfecting and binding his wrist.

 

Ignis let out a long breath, worry still clouding his judgement. They quickly worked their way through the lobby out to the ambulance, the doors already being held open by another medic. They lifted the prince into the back, strapping him in securely and setting an oxygen mask over his face. Ignis was climbing in after when a firm hand planted itself on his chest.

 

"I'm sorry, you'll need to follow in another vehicle. There isn't any room." the medic said evenly, the ambulance doors being shut behind him.

 

Ignis had to fight every urge in his body not to lunge into the ambulance, not half a fiber in his being wanting to have the prince out of his sight, "I..." he stuttered, coherent speech impossible.

 

"Blackwell Hospital." The medic whispered, already turning to enter in the passenger side of the ambulance.

 

Ignis nodded quickly, before sprinting to the Regalia. By the time he'd made it inside, he'd forgotten about his own lethal wound, dizziness washing over him like a tidal wave. Ignis shook his head fiercely, willing adrenaline to take over as he started the car and followed the ambulance as close as was safe, watching Noctis being treated through the small windows. Ignis felt tears prickling his eyes.

 

What had happened?

Chapter Text

Ignis held his head in his hands as he sat outside in the private lobby of the royal wing of the hospital. He'd forced himself to stop pacing around, resigning to just sit and stare at the floor as he pulled on his hair.

 

Noctis...what happened? Ignis tried not to close his eyes; every time he did he saw Noctis lying in a pool of black blood. 

 

Ignis ran what details he had managed to observe over and over in his mind. Noctis had been completely unconscious when he'd found him, wrist lacerated open and blood pouring from it and his mouth. Then when Ignis had tried to feed him, he hadn't been able to keep any of it down. 

 

Ignis shook his head slowly. He didn't want to think for a moment that the prince had attempted to take his own life. It was only a few days ago that he'd expressed that he was finally grateful to be alive, and that he loved Ignis dearly. But maybe that was all a distraction? To have Ignis drop his guard?

 

That blood...it was so thick, so dark, like it had been there for years without ever drying up. It hadn't matched the blood that was dripping from his wrist, but where would it have come from?

 

Why wasn't Noctis healed by Ignis' blood? Why hadn't he been able to keep any of it down? Why was he even in that situation?

 

Why?

 

 

 

Ignis jumped at the sound of the hall doors opening. The King himself strode in, worry evident in his face. "Ignis."

 

"Your Majesty," Ignis mumbled, rising to bow to the King as Regis closed the distance between them. 

 

"What happened?" The King said slowly.

 

"I...I'm not sure, Your Majesty. I found Noctis lying in the bathroom, surrounded by dark blood as he was bleeding out...I tried to give him some of my own, but..." Ignis trailed off, eyes falling to the floor to hide his tears and shame.

 

"He couldn't stomach it, could he?" Regis whispered, eyes falling shut as he brought a hand to rub his forehead.

 

"...No. Your Majesty, please. What's going on with him?" Ignis pleaded.

 

The King motioned for Ignis to follow, sitting on a bench and patting the seat next to him. He sighed as Ignis slumped down next to him, "I can only assume Noctis tried something foolish."

 

"I...I don't want to think he tried to end his life, Your Majesty, he-" Ignis mumbled, cut off by the King raising his hand.

 

"No, I don't either. I believe he may have tried to ingest his own blood." Regis spoke low.

 

Ignis' eyes widened, "W-what?"

 

Regis sighed sadly, "It's my own fault. I could see he was far too drained from our training, and he shrugged off my offer for blood from one of my attendants. I should have forced him to."

 

Ignis' brows furrowed, "So you think he...?"

 

"Yes. You see, the Lucian line may not feed from another of the same descent. My mother was wed into our line, as was Noctis'. I cannot give Noctis my own blood, nor can he drink his own. Our gift is based on the ability to draw strength from others, to absorb the power through another's lineage. When we feed on each other or ourselves, the blood turns to poison in our throats, causing a system shutdown. The blood transforms within us into a volatile venom, and there have been a few deaths from siblings feeding from each other. Like a fool, I never educated Noctis on this, as he was an only child and I never anticipated he would attempt to drink his own blood." The King trailed off to a whisper, guilt clearly eating away at him.

 

Ignis stared at the floor in shock. Noctis had tried to feed from himself, and almost died in the process. "Your Majesty...I-I tried to heal him-"

 

"If his own blood is still in his stomach, he cannot absorb strength from another. His system is rendered incompatible with anyone's until it is cleared." The King sighed sadly. "I imagine they're pumping his stomach still."

 

Ignis wanted to throw up. He couldn't have saved Noctis even if he'd known what was wrong. He'd nearly killed him himself from his own lack of knowledge. "Did I...did I almost kill him?" Ignis whispered, eyes watering.

 

Regis clasped a hand onto his shoulder, "No, Ignis. I did."

 

 

 

A few hours passed before the surgeon finally appeared in the doorway. He was still wearing a mask over his face, and there was a light sheen of sweat on his brow. 

 

The King rose immediately and hurried over to him, "My son?"

 

"He's stabilized. We pumped his stomach and got every bit of his blood out, hard as it was, seeing as how it had turned to near tar in his throat. He's on an IV with O+ to get him healing with his gift, and his wrist has been stitched up and bound. He's resting now, and he should be awake within a day."

 

Ignis eyes widened in disbelief. Not only had the doctor told them Noctis was going to be okay, but he was completely aware of his gift.

 

"I see. Thank you, Louis." Regis mumbled, relief lightening his shoulders.

 

"Of course, but it was close, Regis. He'll need to stay here for a few days, get back on his feet, but you'd do well to make sure he has plenty of alternatives at home." Louis gave the King a knowing look, before he glanced to Ignis, eyes boring into him. "We'll send him home with some blood bags, but try to keep some on hand at all times, alright? I doubt his system could survive a shock like that again."

 

Ignis nodded quickly, wiping his eyes furiously, "I will; thank you so much."

 

"Sure thing," Louis mumbled under his mask, "You can see him if you want, but he won't be up for a while yet-"

 

"I would like to see him." Ignis spat quickly, standing upright.

 

Louis shook his head, but his eyes were creased like he was smiling, "Alright, c'mon."

 

The King nodded gratefully as Louis led them down he hallway. "This is Louis; he saved me a great many times in my own youth, so he and he alone knows of our secret." Regis whispered, noting how Ignis still appeared in shock towards the doctor.

 

"I-I see," Ignis stammered, unimaginably grateful that at least one surgeon knew how to properly care for the Lucian line. 

 

Louis was chuckling ahead of them, shaking his head, "Yeah, Regis got into all kinds of trouble. Kept me on my toes, made sure I knew everything there was to know about their fun little gift."

 

The King smiled, "If only to prepare you for my own child." 

 

"Might've been easier to just tell him everything yourself, Regis." Louis muttered, not caring if he offended the King.

 

Ignis looked over to see if the King was fuming, but instead he just looked saddened, "I agree." Regis whispered.

 

When they reached the end of the hall, Louis gestured into the room with his thumb, "Here he is, I'll be around if you need anything."

 

"Thank you," Regis said calmly, walking into the room slowly.

 

Ignis shook Louis' hand as he headed back up the hall, "Thank you so much. I owe you the world."

 

Louis laughed and pulled a glove off to show a wedding band on his finger, "Already got it, but thanks for the offer." he winked and chuckled as he worked his way back up the hall.

 

Ignis turned to face the doorway to Noctis' room, steeling himself as he took a deep breath. He slowly walked into the room, heart breaking at the sight.

 

Noctis looked absolutely ragged. His face was half covered with an oxygen mask, one arm completely bound with a thick tourniquet. A large IV bag of blood was slowly dripping into his other arm, color slowly starting to return to his skin. His breaths were shallow and his stomach looked near caved in under the blankets. The King was sitting at his side, rubbing his thumb over his free hand, mumbling something under his breath to the prince.

 

Ignis wanted to go to Noctis, to hold him until he awoke, but seeing his father there, whispering to him and holding his hand, made him feel like he didn't belong there. Ignis choked up and was just turning to leave when Regis pulled him from his thoughts, "Ignis, come."

 

It wasn't an order, but Ignis closed the distance as fast as if it had been one. The King gestured to Noctis with a tilt of his head before giving Ignis a sad smile, "He'll want you here when he wakes up." 

 

Ignis felt hot tears stream down his cheek as he closed the distance between himself and the prince, hand reaching up to brush his hair from his eyes affectionately. He let out a light sob when he dropped his hand to stroke his cheek, unable to contain his emotions any further. 

 

Regis rose from his seat by his son, gently guiding Ignis by his shoulders to take his place. "He'll want to see you." he repeated in a whisper, grabbing Ignis' hand to clasp down onto the prince's.

 

"Your Majesty, I-" Ignis choked.

 

"It's alright, Ignis. I'll return tomorrow. Stay with him; he would rather you here than myself." The King smiled sadly.

 

Ignis shook his head weakly, "He...he loves you." 

 

"I know. Tell him I love him too." Regis whispered as he turned to leave, giving Ignis' shoulder one last squeeze as he did so.

 

Now alone with his poor prince, Ignis let the tears fall freely, as he rested his head on the bed. Noctis hadn't tried to kill himself after all. Ignis sobbed into the bed as he kissed Noctis' knuckles, squeezing his hand tightly as he began to pass out from exhaustion.

 

In his last moments of consciousness, he could have sworn that hand squeezed back.

 

Chapter Text

Noctis was fishing in a wide pond. Nothing was biting, much to his displeasure. He sighed as he reeled the line back in to recast it into the center of the pool. He gave the spool a few flicks to entice anything that could be there.

 

His eyes widened when he felt the line catch on something. He gave a sharp tug, only to hear the line threatening to break. Whatever it was, it was way too heavy to be reeled in. 

 

Noctis quickly hopped down from the small dock, boots sinking down into the sludge beneath the water. He trudged his way over to where the line was still caught, wading as the water rose to his chest. Noctis grabbed the line with both hands and followed it down to where it was stuck.

 

It was then that the water began to change. It grew thicker, darker, and when he brought a hand back out it was stained red. The skies began to cloud over and darken, his submerged hand feeling what the hook was caught on. With both arms he hefted the catch above the water, jaw dropping in horror at what it was.

 

It was a man. A thin, pale, dead man. His sandy brown hair was swept over his drained face, and his clothes clung to his body. Noctis quickly picked him up and turned him over, slowly brushing his hair out of his face.

 

Noctis' scream pierced the heavens, the pool turning into a tide that pulled him deeper, the winds howling in his ears as he was pulled under. Those emerald eyes still gazed back at him, lifeless, as they were both pulled beneath the surface.

 

It was Ignis.

 

 

 

Noctis opened his eyes as he gasped for air into the mask. His heart was racing, and his stomach felt like it had been ripped out. He couldn't move; he was under some kind of sedation, and his body was like lead. 

 

He blinked hard as he took in his surroundings. He was laying in a hospital bed, the room dark and painted black. Noctis craned his neck to his left and saw a large IV bag filled with blood, slowly dripping its contents down into his arm. He looked over his other shoulder, his arm completely bandaged and his hand heavy with the weight of someone resting on it. Noctis squeezed his eyes shut hard, before opening them, half expecting that person to be gone.

 

Ignis was sleeping soundly, his head resting on Noctis' hand. Noctis felt a tear run down his cheek. Ignis had been here with him the whole time. Noctis could barely remember anything after he'd first passed out, but what he did remember was Ignis holding onto his hand. 

 

Noctis gathered every ounce of strength he had left to squeeze Ignis' hand clasped in his own, relishing how warm and soft he was. Noctis smiled weakly into the oxygen mask when he felt Ignis stirring next to him. 

 

Ignis' eyes flickered open, before he shot up to look at the prince. He could see his smile through the mask, those sapphire eyes twinkling with tears as he gazed down at him. "Noctis!" Ignis gasped, rising from his seat to stand over him, running the back of his hand down his cheek.

 

Noctis was crying freely now, the tears being wiped away as they came by Ignis' gentle touches. He wanted the mask off so that he could tell him how much he loved him, how sorry he was, how-

 

"It's alright, Noct." Ignis whispered, his eyes meeting his. "Please, try to rest." Ignis gave him a warm smile, even though he wanted to sob against him.

 

Noctis smiled back. He couldn't believe how well Ignis knew him, sometimes. His eyes started to feel heavy, that salty burn from crying making him want to sleep, but the nightmare he'd just had making him not want to.

 

Ignis brushed Noctis' hair from his eyes, before leaning forward to place a chaste kiss to his forehead. "I'll be here when you wake up. I promise." 

 

Noctis' eyes were falling closed, his consciousness beginning to ebb away from the sedatives.

 

The last thing he heard before he passed out was Ignis telling him that he loved him.

 

 

 

Noctis awoke later, not sure how long he'd been out. They were underground, so there were no windows to reveal the passing of day. His mask had been removed and a fresh bag of blood was dripping into his veins. 

 

"Noct," Ignis whispered, his hand squeezing the prince's gently.

 

Noctis slowly turned his head towards Ignis, a sleepy smile growing on his face when their eyes met, "Iggy..." he rasped, voice sounding worse than death.

 

Ignis shushed him with a finger to his lips, "Rest your voice; your throat isn't in the best condition."

 

Noctis blinked slowly, before turning his head to stare at the ceiling, "...wh-what-" he croaked, before having to cough painfully.

 

"Noct, I wasn't joking. Please." Ignis sighed, amazed at his stubbornness. "I'll do the talking, you nod or shake your head, alright?" 

 

Noctis nodded, eyes falling shut as he squeezed Ignis' hand. 

 

"Okay. Do you remember what happened?" Ignis said slowly.

 

Noctis shook his head. He did remember some, but not enough that he wanted to nod.

 

"I found you in the bathroom in a pool of blood. It was black, and you were unconscious." Ignis whispered, pained by the memory.

 

The prince nodded slowly. He remembered insurmountable pain wracking his body, his stomach feeling like it was trying to throw itself up. 

 

"Noctis...did...did you try to take your life?" Ignis mumbled slowly, not wanting to discount the possibility.

 

Noctis' eyes shot open, before he turned to look Ignis in his eyes. He stared at him long and hard, before giving a firm shake of his head.

 

Ignis sighed in relief, "Thank Gods. I...I didn't want to think you had, but...I'm sorry. I needed to be sure." Ignis said slowly, reaching a hand up to caress Noctis' face.

 

Noctis leaned into his touch, pressing his lips against Ignis' palm as best he could. He knew Ignis would've been worried. Looking back to how he must've looked, it certainly wasn't a wild guess. Noctis' heart broke at the thought of Ignis waiting for him to wake up, all the while thinking that Noctis wouldn't want to.

 

"Did you..." Ignis dropped to a low whisper, "Did you drink your own blood?"

 

Noctis eyes clenched shut. Hearing it out loud made it seem even more idiotic, even though he couldn't have known what catastrophic results would've awaited him. He gave a slow nod, feeling a tear trickle down his cheek.

 

"...I see. Oh Gods, and you had no idea..." Ignis sighed sadly, leaning forward to kiss the prince's knuckles. 

 

Noctis tilted his head to face Ignis. Had he known? How?

 

"I...I spoke with your father. He told me that if a member of the Lucian line feeds from another member, or from themselves, that their blood turns to poison within them, and could kill them." Ignis whispered, his eyes prickling.

 

Noctis' eyes widened. What? Why hadn't his father warned him? He'd almost died because his father had neglected to inform him of something rather critical. Even if the King never intended to feed him himself, or never suspected Noctis might try to ingest his own, if it was something that could literally kill him, it seemed damn worth mentioning. Noctis was fuming, his grip on Ignis' hand tightening more than he thought he'd be able to.

 

"Noct. I know. Believe me, your father is beside himself with grief and guilt. He's full of regret for not warning you, so please, try not to hold too much against him." Ignis squeezed his hand back, trying to calm him, even though he himself couldn't deny that deep down he was just as furious with the King.

 

Noctis' heart was pounding in his chest. He'd almost been separated from Ignis because of his father's own carelessness. Noctis hadn't even realized he'd been crying until Ignis was rising from his seat to wipe his tears away.

 

Ignis held his face in both hands, rubbing his tears away with his thumbs. "It's alright, love. You'll make a full recovery, and then we'll go home. We'll stay home for a week, watch trash television, eat plenty of ice cream, stay up until 3 in the morning and not wake until noon." Ignis smiled, kissing Noctis' cheek tenderly, "Among other things." he whispered in his ear.

 

Noctis grinned through his tears, his arm reaching up to pull Ignis down against him. He could feel Ignis holding himself up to not put any weight on him, but he was nuzzling into his shoulder. Noctis was so thankful that he had him in his life. For everything wrong that came his way, Ignis was always there to remind him of everything that can go right.

 

"Ahem," a loud throat clearing came from the doorway. 

 

Ignis sprung off the prince like he'd been electrocuted, turning to face the still masked surgeon, Louis. 

 

"So, you're finally awake! How're you feeling?" Louis cooed nonchalantly, striding over to jot down notes from the EKG.

 

Noctis opened his mouth to speak, before he simply nodded.

 

"Yeah, your throat is gonna be sore for a bit. But don't worry, everything will be back to normal soon." Louis sighed beneath his mask.

 

Ignis let out a light cough, "Your Highness, this is Louis. He saved your life, and is more than aware of your gift." 

 

"'Your Highness'? Rolling in the formality wagon now that you two aren't alone, is that it?" Louis clicked his tongue, shaking his head lightly. 

 

Noctis couldn't help but glare at the doctor. He seemed like an alright person, but the way he talked about them together...it was like he knew, and knew too much.

 

"I...I'm not sure-" Ignis began before he was cut off by Louis waving his hands.

 

"Look, I've got better shit to do than to tell you boys how and who to love. Just be careful, alright? You won't find many people as relaxed about it as I am." Louis muttered, eyes glinting with something serious. 

 

Ignis' eyes widened. Had he been too loud? Did they have cameras? Or were they just that obvious, and Gods help them if that was what it was.

 

Noctis was blushing. No use trying to deny it, now. This guy might not care, but he wasn't lying when he warned them others would.

 

"Anyway, you'll be good to go home in about two days. Should be able to talk by then, too. I've got you on a nice blend of blood for these last few bags, so that should expedite things." Louis sighed, "When you do get home, try not to get rabbit fever, alright? Your throat won't be ready, I can tell you that."

 

Noctis' eyes widened as Ignis sputtered and coughed haggardly. Noctis opened his mouth to speak but could only rasp and wheeze. 

 

Louis just laughed, "Oh man, you guys really are crazy. Well, good luck to the both of you, and I mean that. It's not gonna be easy for you both, but I'm sure you'll make it last as long as you can." Louis sighed sadly, before excusing himself from the room.

 

Ignis let out a deep breath. "Well, that was...mortifying."

 

Noctis nodded slowly, but gave him a reassuring smile. They both knew without having to say it out loud before: this wasn't something that could be permanent. Never mind how taboo it was, Noctis knew he would have to marry eventually. Despite every good reason that they shouldn't be together, every time he looked at Ignis, he couldn't help but wish differently, and indulge in the fantasy that they could be like this forever.

 

Ignis returned his smile, but his face was still beet red, "I should let you rest. Your father should be by soon, and he'll want to speak with you."

 

Noctis' smile faded. He didn't really want to see his dad. Didn't want to hear his apologies. Noctis quickly reached out to grab Ignis' hand, giving it a firm squeeze while he stared at him.

 

"Don't worry. I'm not going anywhere." Ignis gave him a light wink before leaning over to kiss his cheek. "I love you."

 

Noctis cleared his throat as best as he could, "...love you." he rasped, his throat burning.

 

Ignis shook his head, "Rest, love."

 

Noctis smiled as he closed his eyes, sleep taking him quickly.

Chapter Text

Regis entered the room slowly, eyes raking over his son's form. He already looked better; for how much of an inconvenience their gift could be at times, its healing properties were one to marvel at. His skin was already a warmer color, the bags under his eyes had lessened considerably, and his face wasn't as gaunt as it had been in the slightest. 

 

Ignis looked up from his seat, hand still glued to the prince's, "Your Majesty." he mumbled, eyes tired and hair ragged. 

 

It was clear he hadn't left his side.

 

"Ignis. How is he?" Regis whispered as he strode over to stand at the foot of the bed.

 

Ignis gave him a small smile, "He's doing well. He's even getting his voice back."

 

The King smiled sadly, "Good. Louis says he's making a quick recovery."

 

"Y-yes," Ignis stammered, a faint blush on his cheeks.

 

Regis arched a brow at his son's advisor, but it fell when he heard Noctis stir.

 

Ignis quickly turned his head to face the prince, his eyes full of concern. "Noct?"

 

Noctis clenched his eyes together before opening them slowly, taking in the room before settling his gaze on Ignis, "Iggy..." he croaked.

 

Ignis couldn't help but smile, "Feeling okay?"

 

Noctis nodded, "Peachy," he grinned.

 

Ignis rolled his eyes, "Your father is here. I'm going to give you two a minute, alright?" 

 

Noctis tightened his grip on Ignis' hand, before he saw the look in his eyes and released it slowly.

 

Regis nodded towards Ignis, smiling at him gratefully, "Thank you, Ignis. Go eat something, you look positively famished."

 

Ignis nodded slowly, before turning to give Noctis one last smile. "I'll be back soon."

 

"Okay," Noctis coughed to clear his throat, the burn nowhere near as bad as it had been.

 

Regis' eyes followed Ignis as he left, before he turned his head towards his son, "Noctis..."

 

Noctis was already looking away, anger evident in his features, "Dad, why didn't you tell me," he rasped before giving a wet cough.

 

"I foolishly thought I wouldn't have to tell you. I was only told when I had asked my father why he never offered to me, and only my mother. You never expressed any interest to feed from anyone except for Ignis, so I didn't think it important. I'm sorry." The King spoke low, heart heavy with guilt.

 

Noctis was fiddling with a loose string on his blanket, brows furrowed in thought. 

 

"Now you must tell me: why did you try to drink your own blood?" Regis whispered slowly.

 

Noctis groaned as he shot his head to the side, wishing more than earlier that there was any kind of window to look out of.

 

"Why didn't you call me?" Regis sighed, "I could've sent someone."

 

"I don't want that." Noctis croaked, eyes watching his heart rate fluctuate on the EKG. He didn't want some poor person driving out to his apartment just to give him their blood. 

 

"Noctis. When I told you that safety comes first with your feedings, I meant for you too. I already have Louis setting up a weekly bag drop, so that you'll always have at least something when you need it." Regis mumbled, moving to sit by the prince.

 

Noctis sighed as he sat up as best as he could, "I'm not going to bite myself again," he spat, voice still hoarse.

 

"No, I'm sure of that. But this way Ignis can rest. I wish that I could say that we could ease up on your training, but I'm afraid that's not possible." Regis narrowed his gaze when he saw Noctis avoiding his defiantly, "Noctis. It's this or involve more people."

 

Noctis turned to face his father, rage coloring his skin. 

 

"If you can ration the blood bags accordingly, you might not even need to feed from Ignis. However, it all depends on you." Regis said calmly, leaning back in his chair.

 

"I..." Noctis began before stopping himself. His eyes fell to his lap, crestfallen.

 

The King sighed, "I know. You only want Ignis, even if that sounds...selfish. I was the same way."

 

Noctis' eyes shot up. His father always knew him better than he ever gave him credit for. Maybe it was because they really weren't so different.

 

"After I'd...involved Clarus, he was the only one I wanted. This went on for some time, me, running myself ragged waiting for him to be able to indulge me, and him, running himself more ragged to be able to sate me. It wasn't until I'd lost all control and he had to intervene dramatically that I realized I couldn't be so selfish. It was a risk for both of us." Regis' eyes were glued to his son's hands, one playing with a blanket, the other completely bound in bandages. 

 

Noctis felt a tear stream down his face, and cursed himself for being so weak as to cry in front of his father. He was right. He couldn't be selfish about Ignis anymore. All it did was endanger both of them.  

 

"Noctis." Regis whispered, slowly reaching a hand out to wrap around the prince's.

 

Noctis flinched at the contact, but didn't pull away like he wanted to. He wanted to throw off the covers and run to find Ignis, to run home and lay in bed with him, holding him as tight as possible.

 

But even that couldn't last for much longer.

 

The tears were falling freely now, Noctis having given up trying to hide them. He cried for Ignis, he cried for his father, he cried for himself. His heart was pounding out of his chest, and he wanted to rip it out and lock it somewhere dark and cold, so it could grow accustomed to life without warmth.

 

"I'm sorry." The King sighed sadly, tears falling down his own face. He'd never wanted his son to feel so heartbroken, to look so defeated. 

 

Noctis shook his head slowly, "Dad..." The prince shut his eyes tight, forcing yet more tears to roll down his cheeks, "I'm sorry. I've been childish, and it's nearly killed Ignis, never mind myself. I...I want him to be safe."

 

Regis nodded slowly, his hand tightening around his son's, "I understand. Will you accept my help?"

 

Noctis nodded slowly. He knew what he'd just agreed to; allowing others to offer their blood. It had been further than a last resort to him, but now he was left with no choice. If things had been different, and it had been Ignis half dead in a hospital, Noctis wouldn't be able to function. 

 

Ignis. Sweet, gentle, kind, Ignis. Noctis had put him through too much.

 

Enough is enough.

 

 

 

"Eavesdropping on royalty isn't exactly allowed, y'know."

 

Ignis yelped and jumped to turn to face Louis, the doctor who was something else entirely. "I-I-I'm not eavesdropping! I just came back and noticed they were still talking so I'm waiting patiently." Ignis sputtered, trying to redeem himself with yet more lies.

 

"Uh huh. Never saw you leave this spot. Aren't you hungry or something? Gods, and you're trying to be his doner." Louis clicked his tongue through his mask, shaking his head.

 

Ignis raised a brow, speaking low, "So you have been spying on me."

 

Louis raised his hands in defense, "Spying, observing, watching, whatever you want to call it. I needed to make sure you had the prince's best interests in mind."

 

"There was doubt?" Ignis mumbled, heat rising in his cheeks.

 

"None, really."

 

"Then why-"

 

"Oh c'mon, you would do the same thing. You are doing the same thing." 

 

Ignis rolled his eyes, any clever reply dying on his tongue when the door beside him opened, a tear swollen King emerging. "Your Majesty," Ignis bowed his head.

 

Regis gave him a warm smile, before turning to the doctor, "Ah, Louis. Tormenting Ignis, I take it?"

 

Louis' eyes widened, his mask stretching to accommodate his gaping mouth, "Perish the thought!" he said mockingly, "Why, I never!"

 

The King grinned widely, shaking his head, "I'm sure. Ignis, Noctis would like to see you."

 

Ignis straightened up, "Of course, Your Majesty." he bowed his head again as he slipped past to enter the room.

 

Louis tutted, "Look at him, pretending it's all duty." 

 

"He's professional, unlike someone I know." Regis winked slyly at the doctor.

 

"Yeah, Clarus needs to shape up." Louis laughed as he strolled back up the hall.

 

Regis rolled his eyes, "If you say so."

 

 

 

Noctis sat on his bed, looking downtrodden and distant. He didn't even hear Ignis come in, not looking up until he saw him in his peripheral. "Iggy..."

 

"How'd it go?" Ignis whispered, returning to his seat beside the prince.

 

Noctis simply nodded, not saying a word.

 

"Everything will be fine. Things will change a bit, but only for the better. Life will get easier to manage with the assistance you'll receive-"

 

"Ignis." Noctis mumbled, eyes glued to the bed.

 

"Yes?" Ignis said slowly.

 

"I...I'm sorry I've been so...stubborn. It has cost us both now, and we can't afford to do this anymore." Noctis paused to clear his throat, wincing slightly at the tinge of pain from it. "I've... accepted my father's assistance."

 

Ignis' eyes widened in mock shock. He'd heard it all, of course, but only Louis needed to know that. Still, he hadn't heard what exactly it entailed. "What does that mean, Noct?"

 

Noctis sighed, defeated. "It means I'll receive blood bags to...use, throughout the week. I won't physically involve another person while we still have this option." 

 

Ignis nodded slowly. Only a week ago, Noctis had at first objected strongly to having blood in his food, and now he was going to drink someone else's blood like a bag of juice? Ignis could only bring himself to believe it because Noctis was still laying in a hospital bed. "So...how will it work?"

 

"Louis had mentioned to my father that they will need to be discreetly picked up. They don't exactly have a delivery boy." Noctis smiled weakly at the thought, which only warmed Ignis' heart to see.

 

"I see. I'll do this for you." Ignis grabbed Noctis' hand, giving it a firm squeeze. 

 

Noctis looked up to meet Ignis' emerald eyes. They were so calm, so devoted. Noctis nodded before he could cry again. "Thank you, Ignis."

 

"Of course." Ignis gave him a warm smile. "Now, you rest. The sooner we can get you home, the better, hm?" Ignis grinned as he kissed the prince's cheek tenderly.

 

Noctis leaned into the kiss, before reaching his hand up to turn Ignis' face to kiss his lips. He could feel Ignis tense slightly, before relaxing and smiling into the sweet kiss. Noctis grinned and bit his lip as he pulled away, giving Ignis a rather sultry look. "Can't wait to be home," he sighed.

 

Ignis smiled against him as he leaned their foreheads together. "Nor I."

 

Chapter Text

"I hate wheelchairs." Noctis grumbled from his seat, trying not to glare as Ignis pushed him down the hallway.

 

Ignis chuckled under his breath, "I know you do. But it's a safety protocol."

 

"If I'm well enough to be sent home, why am I not trusted to be able to stand?" Noctis sighed stubbornly.

 

Ignis just giggled more at his sweet prince. "I'm sure you can write them a kind letter."

 

Noctis rolled his eyes, "Funny, Iggy." 

 

Louis was waiting for them at the door, a cooler in his hand. Still wearing his mask, but he was definitely smiling. "Ah, so glad to see you all better, Noctis. I'm truly relieved." 

 

Noctis narrowed his eyes. He still hadn't made up his mind about this doctor. "Do you ever take that mask off?" Noctis grumbled.

 

"Do you ever take that tone down?" Louis hummed, before turning to Ignis before the prince could retaliate. "These are for him. Store them in a cool place, but try to be aware if you have company over." Louis sighed as he handed the cooler to Ignis.

 

Ignis looped an arm through the handle, returning his hands to Noctis' wheelchair. "I will. Thank you." 

 

Louis just waved his hand, "Yeah, no problem. Sorry I couldn't cure his RBF."

 

Noctis' brow arched, "My what?"

 

Louis smirked beneath his mask, "Your Resting Bitch Face."

 

Noctis' eyes widened as he growled and moved to slap at the doctor, but he was already being wheeled off by Ignis, "Quite alright, thank you, Louis!" Ignis hollered, trying not to look like he was taking a mental patient home with all of the prince's writhing.

 

Louis was still laughing when the door closed. "Haha, what a little shit."

 

 

 

Noctis was still glowering when they finally got home. His face was scrunched up in a frown and his eyebrows were furrowed.

 

"Keep that up and you'll only prove him right, love. Never mind the wrinkles." Ignis sighed gently, planting a chaste kiss to his cheek.

 

Noctis rolled his eyes but his demeanor softened under Ignis' touch. "Yeah, yeah. I gotta pee." 

 

Ignis froze before moving to stand in front of the prince. "Perhaps you should use the guest bathroom?" 

 

Noctis met his eyes, understanding passing over them. "Alright." he sighed as he went down the hall and shut the door. 

 

Ignis released the breath he'd been holding, before quickly rushing to the prince's bathroom to inspect the damage. His eyes widened at the state of the bathroom.

 

It was spotless. The floor shone with a brightness that was never there before, and not a drop of blood was anywhere to be seen, counter or otherwise. Ignis let out a sigh of relief. The King had already thought of everything, it seemed. Even the door handle was fixed.

 

Ignis left to return to the kitchen, Noctis already lounging on the sofa. Ignis smiled at the normalcy of it, even as he opened the cooler to place the five blood bags in the fridge. They were slightly unsettling, the thick blood coating the inside of the bag and staining it red. Ignis shut the fridge, before calling out, "Hungry for some real food?"

 

Noctis let out a deep groan, "Yes, please. And for the love of the Gods, no vegetables."

 

Ignis chuckled as he shook his head. The prince's hospital diet had consisted of boiled cafeteria vegetables, his very least favorite. "As you wish," Ignis smiled.

 

Noctis flipped the TV on, setting it up for some light comedy. He scratched at his tourniquet, his arm still bound at the wrist where the 15 stitches were. He winced at the pressure, sitting on his free hand to stop himself. Louis had warned him because of the shock to his system, his healing abilities would be slightly stunted.

 

Noctis frowned. He rose from his seat to peruse the fridge, even as Ignis stood two feet away stir frying some soba. 

 

"Noct, lunch will be ready soon," Ignis hummed over his shoulder.

 

"I know, I'm...thirsty." Noctis whispered, reaching for a blood bag, not sure exactly what he was going to do with it.

 

Ignis turned to see the prince rolling the bag back and forth, eyes glazed over. "Noctis, do you need any assistance?" 

 

Noctis snapped from his thoughts, "I think I'll just...I don't know, I'm worried it's going to make such a fucking mess."

 

Ignis smiled, turning the heat on the stove down before moving to help the prince. His brows were furrowed as he searched the bag. "Noct, it's not a juice pouch, it's not going to have a straw hole." 

 

"I know that! I don't really...want it straight like that, anyway." Noctis mumbled, eyes falling to the floor as Ignis took the bag from him.

 

"You don't?" Ignis whispered, reaching a hand out to raise Noctis' chin.

 

"No. What if it's gross?" Noctis sighed, leaning into Ignis' touch.

 

Ignis gave a light chuckle, "Mine isn't?" 

 

Noctis stared at him, before smiling slowly, "No, yours tastes like huckleberries."

 

Ignis' eyes widened. "Huckleberries? Those are so sweet, no wonder you like mine," Ignis said casually, relieved it wasn't such a delicate topic anymore.

 

Noctis just nodded, grinning wider, "Huckleberries and honey." he sighed, eyes falling shut, before snapping open. "What if this tastes like carrots?" 

 

Ignis couldn't help but laugh loudly. "I'm sure it won't taste like carrots, Noctis." he giggled as he moved to the counter to grab a knife and large cup. 

 

Noctis bit his lip, "Iggy, please mix it with something, I'm terrified." 

 

Ignis turned to look at him, "You'll have to tell me what it tastes like before I can tell you what to mix with it." 

 

Noctis groaned as he shuddered. "Alright. I guess I'm just nervous because I have no idea whose blood it is. What if they're gross?" 

 

Ignis chuckled again, "I'm sure they aren't gross, Noctis. Now come, try it." Ignis sliced a light hole into the side of the bag, tipping it to pour a shots' worth into the cup before propping the bag up between the blender and the knife rack, holding the cup out to the anxious prince.

 

Noctis' eyes narrowed and his mouth pulled into a grimace. "Ugh, okay." He sighed as he knocked it back, eyes scrunched shut as his mouth contorted in displeasure before his face relaxed slightly.

 

"Well?" Ignis prodded gently.

 

"It's...like a fruit, but there's a spice, too." Noctis mumbled.

 

Ignis' brows raised, "Sounds lovely. Still want to mix it with something else?"

 

"Yeah, it's pretty thick." Noctis sighed as he wiped his mouth.

 

"Alright, what fruit and what spice?" Ignis asked, already knowing that if it was anything more complex than a pineapple and a clove the prince would never be able to tell him.

 

"The spice is definitely like cinnamon." Noctis said slowly, pondering the fruit.

 

"And apple?" Ignis tried.

 

"No...more like a pear." Noctis sighed, "I hate pears." 

 

"You hate everything." Ignis chuckled as he went to the fridge to pull out an apple juice to mix with the blood. 

 

"I don't hate you." Noctis whispered in his ear, biting down on his lobe gently.

 

Ignis couldn't suppress the instant moan that came from his lips; as much as he hated to admit it, he'd grown so accustomed to the prince's touches that the last few days without him had been near unbearable and left every nerve in edge. "Noctis, why must you always do this when I'm cooking?" 

 

Noctis chuckled against his ear, the hot breath ghosting over Ignis. "You're sexy when you cook," he moaned as he bit down harder on his earlobe, his free hand working his way down the front of Ignis' torso. 

 

Ignis rolled his eyes through the lusty haze, "I'm sure. Now if you please-" 

 

Noctis cut him off by turning him around to kiss him deeply, tongue diving into his mouth. Ignis was moaning against him and turning into butter, his arms wrapping around Noctis as he pulled them flush together. Noctis moaned into the kiss, tilting his head for more access as his hand trailed down to Ignis' pants, a cool finger dipping in to tease warm flesh.

 

Ignis moaned as he pulled away, hair already a mess and face flushed, "Noct, not now, Gods."

 

Noctis gave a fake pout, before smiling and kissing Ignis once more, "Later then?" 

 

"Yes, I'm sure we can later." Ignis sighed as he straightened his glasses. 

 

"Mmm, fine," Noctis hummed as he went to lean against the counter.

 

Ignis was already pulling out ice from the freezer, pouring some into the blender, followed with apple juice and a healthy amount of blood.

 

Noctis' eyes widened. "You're making me a smoothie? In the blender?" 

 

Ignis chuckled, "Don't worry, I never have smoothies anyway." He licked his lips, the faint taste of someone's blood still lingering on his tongue, "All it tastes like is copper to me. It truly is interesting that you can taste so many flavors."

 

Noctis nodded his head slowly, trying not to think about how his own had tasted like gasoline and death. "Yeah, it's definitely something else."

 

Ignis turned the blender on, the loud grating noise flooding the apartment, as he turned to look at the prince. A shadow had passed over him, and his eyes were glued to the floor in deep thought, a small frown on his face. Ignis gave the blender a few good churns before turning it off, closing the distance between him and the prince. Noctis was just starting to look up slowly when Ignis captured his mouth in a tender kiss, one hand holding the back of his head, the other stabilizing himself against the counter. He could hear Noctis let out a light moan, feel his arms wrapping around Ignis' neck. Ignis smiled into the kiss, pulling away to kiss down his neck, causing Noctis to throw his head back and moan. Ignis gave a light bite to his neck, eliciting a sharp gasp from the prince, his hands on Ignis' neck tightening. Ignis licked at his bruising skin, other hand running down his back to grab his ass, giving it a firm squeeze that was met with a breathy gasp from Noctis. Ignis pulled away just as Noctis was becoming unraveled, babbling sweet nothings and begging for more.

 

"Ignis, what the fuck." Noctis groaned, frustrated but still light headed and blushing.

 

Ignis just smiled and placed a delicate kiss to his cheek before leaving to return to the stove, soba nearly cold. "You're right, that is fun."

 

Noctis grumbled, his own teasing game used against him, "Dick," 

 

"Maybe later," Ignis chuckled as he worked the soba back to life, smiling when he heard Noctis let out a dry laugh as he poured himself some of his bloody smoothie. 

 

Noctis grabbed a straw from the counter, giving a few experimental stirs and sniffs, before taking a swig. It was sweet, a little spicy, and the ice had diffused it nicely. "Tastes great, thanks Iggy." Noctis whispered as he squeezed Ignis ass before retreating from the kitchen, giggling.

 

Ignis shook his head, but he was grinning. 

Chapter Text

Ignis sat on the couch, Noctis leaning into him. They were watching an airy talk show, a rerun that Noctis had missed while he was away. One of his favorite actors was on the show, talking about his newest movie, and Ignis grinned whenever he heard Noctis giggle at something he'd say. 

 

"You sure do like him, don't you?" Ignis teased, planting a kiss to the top of his head.

 

Noctis playfully slapped his chest, "He's talented, Ignis."

 

"Uh huh," Ignis drawled, chuckling when Noctis laughed at a joke the actor had made. "And handsome."

 

Noctis clicked his tongue, rolling his eyes, "That's just a bonus." 

 

Ignis laughed loudly, amused that his prince was so enamored with a celebrity. "Never guessed you could be so...fanatical,"

 

Noctis shrugged, "Only for the right reasons." He giggled as he nuzzled closer to Ignis. 

 

Ignis chuckled as he pulled Noctis closer, loving the way his soft hair felt against his face. Ignis was lazily tracing a finger along his hip, a smile growing on his face whenever he felt Noctis inhale sharply when he would touch skin. 

 

Noctis was sighing into his chest, his own hand starting to work its way up to scratch lightly at his collarbone. He smiled when he heard Ignis moan, the sound traveling straight to his groin. "Ignis..." Noctis sighed, pushing himself up to look at him properly.

 

Ignis was blushing, his breath already labored. "Noctis..." he sighed as he pulled him in for a deep kiss, unable to be without it any longer.

 

Noctis was smiling into the kiss, tilting his head to gain more access to that moist heat that was Ignis. He moaned into the kiss as his tongue wrapped around Ignis', his hands traveling down to work at his shirt. 

 

Ignis broke the kiss to work his way down the prince's jaw, down his neck, planting wet kisses everywhere he could reach as he used his free hand to help Noctis unbutton his own shirt, sighing with relief when it was finally pushed open and Noctis could rake his nails down his skin. 

 

Noctis quickly pulled away to straddle Ignis, pulling his own shirt off in the process, needing to feel skin on skin. Noctis leaned forward to capture Ignis' mouth in steamy, sloppy kisses, grinding his growing arousal into Ignis'. 

 

Ignis raked his nails down Noctis' back, swallowing his moans of pleasure. He moved his hips up in tandem with the prince's movements, his pants starting to feel far too small to be comfortable. 

 

Noctis pulled away for air, his face completely flushed and breathing ragged, "Ignis, please," he whimpered, grinding down into him.

 

Ignis' mind was a haze, his senses both dulled and heightened as he melted under Noctis' touches. "Noct..." he sighed as he leaned his head back into the couch, his vision starting to blur at the sheer amount of pleasure from Noctis straddling and grinding into him.

 

"Ignis, please, I...I need you." Noctis moaned, leaning forward to kiss at his neck, giving a light bite as he moaned into his skin.

 

"Are..are you sure?" Ignis panted, knowing if they went much further he'd have a hard time stopping. 

 

"Yes, Gods, please!" Noctis moaned as he grinded into Ignis, hands gripping his hair tightly as he sighed into his neck, "Fuck me." 

 

Ignis groaned as he pulled Noctis into a desperate kiss, before he rolled Noctis onto the couch, kissing him senseless before pulling him to his feet, chuckling at his inability to stand properly, resolving to carry him bridal style to the guest room. 

 

Noctis was a giggling hot mess, attacking Ignis' ear with love bites as he was carried to the bedroom and laid down on the bed, immediately wrapping his legs around Ignis' hips when he moved to kiss him. Noctis moaned loudly into the kiss at the feeling of Ignis working at his pants, bucking his hips impatiently as he scratched at his back. 

 

Ignis groaned when he finally got the button undone, his hands quickly pulling the prince's pants down and tossing them on the floor, giggling when he felt Noctis immediately wrap his legs around him once more. Ignis grabbed Noctis' hands, pinning them above his head, being careful not to put any pressure on his stitches. 

 

Noctis moaned wantonly at the feeling of being restrained, it turning him on more than he thought it would. He sighed in pleasure as Ignis kissed down his chest, down his stomach, before nuzzling against his erection through his boxers. Noctis gave a sharp hiss when Ignis mouthed him through the thin cloth, his hips writhing under his touch. He gasped when Ignis moved up to pull his boxers down with his teeth, Noctis opening his eyes to watch as Ignis pulled them down slowly, watching as his aching cock sprang free, already weeping. 

 

Ignis used his free hand to grip Noctis firmly, giving him a few pumps before licking the underside hard and slow, grinning when he heard Noctis unraveling at the sight. He looked up to meet his eyes, those blue ones clouded over in lust, mouth hanging open, moaning when Ignis licked the head. Ignis gave him a quick wink and a sly smile before he wrapped his mouth around him, sucking hard.

 

Noctis cried out at the sight, Ignis knowing exactly how to get him riled up. His eyes fell shut as Ignis worked him over, that skilled mouth making him see stars. His hands clenched in Ignis' firm grasp, the feeling arousing him to the core. 

 

Ignis moaned against Noctis when he tasted precome already leaking from the tip, breathing hot air against him as he licked his slit, hand pumping him firmly. Ignis hollowed his cheeks as he sucked hard, earning loud moans from the prince. He pushed Noctis as far down his throat as he could, moaning against him as he twitched in his throat. 

 

Noctis was trying not to buck his hips into Ignis' throat, his restraint ebbing away the more Ignis moaned into him, each reverberation going straight to his brain. Noctis could feel that deep tug in the pit of his stomach, that rush to the edge that threatened to overcome him so soon. "Ignis-"

 

Ignis just moved faster, sucked harder, moaned louder. 

 

"Ignis, ah-!" Noctis' vision sparked as he came hard down Ignis' waiting throat, moaning loudly when he felt him swallowing around him. Noctis' back was arched off the bed, his hands clenched tightly in Ignis' grip. 

 

Ignis swallowed every drop gratefully, having missed doing this for his sweet prince. He looked up from where he was still swallowing around him to see Noctis completely undone, his eyes closed shut in ecstasy. Ignis smiled around him as he sucked him long and slow, before pulling off with an audible pop.

 

Noctis opened his eyes to a world still spinning. He was gasping for air as he looked down to see Ignis licking him clean, bringing his free hand up to collect some stray drops on his face before licking them from his finger, Noctis letting out a deep moan at the lewd image. Ignis was smiling at him, his face red with exertion, and his bangs falling into his eyes.  

 

Ignis quickly rose up to kiss Noctis deeply, finally releasing his hands, allowing them to wrap around him to pull him close. Noctis was smiling into the kiss, still panting for air but unwilling to let him go. Ignis ran a hand down his stomach, scratching lightly at his skin, earning a sharp hiss from the prince beneath him.

 

"Ignis..." Noctis sighed, throwing his head back in pleasure. 

 

"Hmm?" Ignis teased, kissing his way along his jaw, breathing in the sweet smell of him.

 

"I need you inside me," Noctis moaned, reaching a hand down to grip Ignis' aching cock, pumping it hard as he grinding his hips into him.

 

Ignis inhaled sharply, having forgotten how good the prince's hands feel. "Noct...are you-"

 

"I'm fucking sure, now fuck me already." Noctis panted, head still spinning.

 

Ignis chuckled at his too aroused prince. He kissed him deeply before he leaned over to the side table, pulling out a small tube of lube.

 

Noctis arched a brow, a wicked grin across his face. "Been prepared for this, have you?"

 

Ignis just smiled as he squeezed a fair amount of lube onto his fingers, warming it between them, "Have you seen how much of a horny little tease you are? I figured this would happen sooner or later." Ignis chided gently, smirking at his grinning prince.

 

"'Horny little tease', he says." Noctis mumbled, but he was still smiling like a fool in love.

 

Ignis leaned forward to kiss him sweetly, nibbling at his lip as he pulled away. "It's going to feel...strange, at first. Tell me if anything hurts, alright?"

 

Noctis nodded, pushing back the questions in his mind, like how weird it was going to feel, how much it would hurt, and how Ignis knew.

 

Ignis guided the prince's legs so his knees were in the air, before pressing his lubed fingers to his entrance, trying not to laugh when Noctis flinched away.

 

"Fuck, that's cold," Noctis groaned, embarrassed that he was so sensitive.

 

"Apologies, I'll warm it further," Ignis whispered, working his fingers around before gently placing them to Noctis' entrance, pleased he didn't flinch this time. "Try to relax. Ready?" 

 

"Yes...?" Noctis mumbled, not really sure what he was agreeing to. He got his answer when he felt a single finger push into him, the sensation pinching and weird. Noctis winced slightly at the feeling. It didn't hurt, exactly, but it was definitely foreign. 

 

"Okay?" Ignis asked gently, concern across his face.

 

Noctis nodded, wondering how on Eos Ignis' whole cock was going to get inside of him.

 

Ignis slowly began working his finger, pumping in and out of the prince's tight heat, loosening him up as best he could. His eyes were glued to Noctis' expressions, gauging what was alright and what wasn't. When Noctis started to relax, and moaned lightly, Ignis added another finger, scissoring them together. 

 

Noctis gave a light moan at the feeling. The pain was ebbing away, as was the strangeness of it. It was starting to feel almost...good. Feeling Ignis' fingers working him from the inside out was stirring something within him, and it wasn't long before he was starting to harden again. 

 

Ignis slowly inserted a third finger, kissing Noctis' temple when he winced at the stretch of it. He worked his fingers in and out, prepping Noctis for what was to come.

 

"Fuck, Ignis," Noctis moaned, throwing his head back and grinding his hips down to meet Ignis' hand. He needed more.

 

Ignis pulled his fingers out, Noctis whimpering at the loss. Ignis smiled as he squirted more lube into his hand, before applying it to his cock, giving Noctis' entrance a fair amount as well. He pulled Noctis in for a wet kiss, before pulling away to rest his forehead against his. He lined himself up with his entrance, cock twitching at the sound of Noctis moaning at the contact. "Tell me if it hurts," Ignis whispered, kissing him hard.

 

Noctis moaned into the kiss, before pulling away, "I will, now c'mon, fuck me." He panted as he shoved his hips down to meet Ignis' aching cock.

 

Ignis slowly pushed into him, that tight ring of muscle unrelenting at first, his heart clenching as Noctis cried out. He kissed his cheeks as he slid in deeper, kissing away his tears from the pain. Once he was fully inside, he paused to allow Noctis time to adjust. 

 

Noctis' eyes were shut tight as he squeezed around Ignis, feeling every twitch of his cock inside him. He felt like he'd been torn in two, biting his lip as he groaned at the feeling. 

 

"Noctis-"

 

"It's fine, I'm fine, just gimme a minute, alright?" Noctis whimpered, embarrassed that he wasn't stronger.

 

Ignis just kissed his cheeks, tenderly and sweetly, as he waited patiently for Noctis to be ready.

 

Noctis gave a shaky nod, ready for it to feel better already, "Okay, do it."

 

Ignis pulled out slowly, Noctis moaning at the feeling, before he thrust back into him fully, letting out a long moan at how tight the prince was. He paused again as Noctis winced, his grip on his shoulders tightening, and drawing blood. "Noct-"

 

"Harder," Noctis moaned, throwing his head back as Ignis obliged. The pain was quickly being replaced with something euphoric, and he soon couldn't get enough. He was panting and moaning loudly with every thrust, Ignis already working them into a hard rhythm. "Fuck, Ignis!" Noctis groaned as Ignis bit down on his neck, ramming into him with a desperate force.

 

Ignis' vision was starting to spot. Noctis' tight heat was too much, his moans too beautiful. Ignis was covered in a sheen of sweat, panting against the prince's neck as he thrust into him harder, deeper, trying to find-

 

Noctis cried out sharply, back arching completely off the bed as he scratched deeper into Ignis' already bleeding shoulders, his eyes shut in pure bliss. "Fuck, right there," he gasped, head spinning.

 

Ignis grinned against the prince as he hit that spot within him with every thrust, leaning down into him further to support himself over the bed as he took him hard. 

 

Noctis was quickly losing his mind, Ignis' bleeding shoulder only inches from his mouth. Noctis tenderly licked at the abused flesh, smiling at the taste of Ignis on his tongue, moaning loudly with it combined with Ignis ramming into him. Noctis wrapped his arms around his back, pulling him closer as his teeth extended, before he sank them into his shoulder, moaning into his skin.

 

Ignis flinched at the sharp pain in his shoulder, realizing what Noctis was doing. Ignis thrust into him harder, a part of him more aroused by his actions. He reached his free hand down to grab Noctis' cock firmly, pumping it in time with his thrusts.

 

Noctis moaned loudly into his shoulder, the strenuous activity causing Ignis' blood to pump faster into his mouth. Noctis swallowed it all greedily, before he felt a tight coil in his stomach once more, pulling his fangs from his shoulder as he cried out, "Ignis, I-"

 

"Noct, I'm close," Ignis panted against him, his hips losing their rhythm and being replaced with desperation.

 

Noctis leaned up to lick along his bleeding shoulder, moaning as he threw his head back, "Come inside me, Ignis!" 

 

Ignis was sent over the edge, thrusting in deeply as he came hard into the prince, feeling those walls tighten around him as he pumped him hard, Noctis' own orgasm following immediately after. Thick come painted across the prince's chest, as his head was thrown back in pleasure. Ignis groaned at the sight of Noctis panting and covered in come, leaning in to ravage his mouth, tasting his blood on his tongue.

 

Noctis was still moaning into the kiss, dizzy from everything he'd just experienced. He sighed as Ignis pulled out of him, feeling emptier than he thought he could feel. He could feel Ignis' hot come dripping from his ass, but all he felt was pleasure knowing it had been Ignis who had fucked him so senseless.

 

Ignis leaned down to lick along the prince's stomach, not leaving a drop behind as he cleaned him up. Noctis was moaning at the feeling, Ignis knowing he was bursting at the seams with adoration, causing him to grin as he licked along his rib cage. Once he was satisfied he was clean, Ignis rolled off of the prince, laying next to him as he caught his breath.

 

Noctis was still gasping for air as he rolled onto his side to lay his head against Ignis' bruised shoulder. "Fuck." 

 

Ignis gave a breathy chuckle, "Good?" he rasped, stamina gone for the week.

 

Noctis giggled against him, before placing a tender kiss to his shoulder, "Perfect. Sorry about the bite," he mumbled.

 

"Don't be. It was...interesting." Ignis mused, eyes falling shut as he pulled the prince close to him.

 

Noctis smirked and laid his head back down, licking the tender flesh affectionately, "So you liked it, huh?" he whispered huskily.

 

"So long as you don't do it during a blowjob, yes, I can say that I don't mind it at all." Ignis teased, moaning lightly as Noctis licked his skin.

 

"Very funny," Noctis sighed as he rolled his eyes, still licking his abused skin. 

 

"Why, thank you." Ignis said dryly, smile plastered on his face.

 

"Iggy?"

 

"Yes?"

 

"I love you."

 

"And I you."

Chapter Text

Sex had opened a whole new door for Noctis and Ignis. Being the teenagers they were, it was a common occurrence, taking place  anywhere in the apartment, from the bedrooms, to the living room, to the kitchen, to the shower. At times it would be drawn out, lasting well over an hour, other times it was fast and desperate, as if they were timed. Noctis was quickly learning what he liked, what he loved, what blew his mind, and Ignis was more than willing to assist. Their combined libido was a marvel, their current record four times in one day. Noctis figured it was because a part of him wanted to make up for lost time, another part of him wanting to fuck Ignis as much as he could before he'd have to wed. 

 

Noctis' feeding habits had been much more stable, the exertions of their passion being enough for him to need to feed every day. The blood bags they'd receive from the hospital were a fantastic supplement, though he still preferred Ignis, which his advisor didn't mind. If feeding didn't lead to sex, sex lead to feeding.

 

Noctis' grace period of a week away from school and training went by too quickly for his liking. It was all too soon before he had to return to the real world, a world where Ignis wasn't consistently at his side. He clouded his thoughts constantly, more than he used to. 

 

Every morning before school, Ignis would pack his lunch, which included a thermos of some kind of blood cocktail that Noctis could have discreetly if he grew weary at school or during training. Noctis was grateful he'd never have to worry about going through the withdrawal that had racked his body in pain before. 

 

It was one such day at school during lunch that his best friend Prompto sat with him, chattering about what he'd missed while he'd been on 'vacation'. 

 

"And so that teacher clearly doesn't work here anymore," Prompto drawled, picking at his salad.

 

Noctis just chuckled in disbelief, "Wow, I never thought of him as all there, but still."

 

"Right? Crazy," Prompto laughed, tilting his head up to bask in the sun.

 

Noctis liked Prompto. Whenever he was bummed out or stressed, Prompto could be there when no one else could. He treated him like a person, as if he could leave his lineage at the door.

 

It was surreal to feel normal, even for a short time.

 

"So, where'd you even go, dude? It sucked without you," Prompto mumbled through his salad.

 

"Emergency political bullshit out of Insomnia. Wasn't really a vacation." Noctis sighed as he sipped on his drink, being careful to swallow hard so as not a drop tinged his mouth.

 

"That sucks. Well, I bet you didn't miss school at least," Prompto sighed as he cracked his neck.

 

Noctis chuckled, shaking his head. "Can't say I did. Missed you though," he said earnestly. He had. He wished he got to see Prompto more, but ever since his training began and his need to feed, he hadn't been able to invite him over as often.

 

Prompto gave him a playful nudge into his shoulder, "Aww, who knew you were such a sap," he teased, giggling.

 

Noctis laughed, but quickly groaned when he heard the bell tolling that lunch was over. He rose to his feet, extending a hand for Prompto to pull him up.

 

Prompto took it gratefully, happy that Noctis could help him up when he used to not be able to when they were kids. He bent down to pick up their trash, grabbing Noctis' thermos and popping the lid off, thirst killing him. He brought it to his lips, expecting water or some sort of juice, but what he tasted was anything but. It was thick, coating his mouth, and tasted like metal. He quickly spat it out, wiping his mouth as it dribbled down his chin, "Dude, what the fuck is that?" he rasped, coughing to clear his throat.

 

Noctis turned from the trash can and his eyes widened in horror, quickly closing the distance to take the thermos from Prompto's hand, "Shit, you okay?" Noctis clapped his back as he coughed, anxiety making his heart beat out of his chest.

 

"I'm fine, but what the shit!" Prompto exclaimed, still spitting to get the taste out of his mouth.

 

Noctis bit his lip. He couldn't tell Prompto. Especially not now, and not like this. Maybe not ever. "It's a protein shake. Raw eggs, weird powdered shit, you know." Noctis lied quickly, hoping Prompto wouldn't notice that he was sweating.

 

Prompto's spit was still red, Noctis quickly wiping the stains from his chin, "You're the pickiest eater ever, how are you stomaching that? It's disgusting, it tasted like ass."

 

Noctis laughed to hide his nerves, "Eat a lot of ass, do you?" he teased.

 

Prompto just giggled, still clearing his throat, "Not as much as you, clearly." he teased back.

 

Noctis chuckled as he wrapped an arm around Prompto, steering them towards their next class. "You'll get there," he sighed. 

 

Catastrophe averted.

 

 

 

"He what?" Ignis balked, wanting to both laugh and scream.

 

"Yeah, before I could stop him." Noctis sighed as he twirled a fork in his pasta.

 

"Gods, what happened?" Ignis asked slowly.

 

"Well, obviously he spit it out-"

 

"Obviously."

 

Noctis shushed him, "He was asking me what it was, so I lied and said it was a crazy protein shake with raw eggs and shit."

 

Ignis nodded slowly. "Did he believe you?" 

 

Noctis hummed as he chewed on his pasta, perfectly al dente, "I mean, I guess. We started talking about ass eating after that." he said nonchalantly.

 

Ignis' eyes widened. "You...why?"

 

"He said it tasted like ass, so we starting talking about ass." Noctis explained, as if it were so simple.

 

Ignis sighed as he rubbed his temples, "Next he'll find out about us,"

 

"Doubt it. Prompto's a lot of things, but omniscient isn't one of them." Noctis giggled, chasing down his food with a smoothie.

 

Ignis chuckled, "I see someone's been reading."

 

"Hey, I know big words, Iggy, geez." Noctis sighed but gave him a sly wink. 

 

Ignis shook his head, laughing. 

 

 

 

"I see you've come prepared." Regis smiled as he nodded towards his son's thermos.

 

"Yeah. I need to put a big 'Don't touch' sticker on it though." Noctis sighed as he removed his jacket.

 

"Oh?" The King mused.

 

"Yeah, a friend at school almost drank some," Noctis lied, not wanting to hear too much of a lecture from his father. Not that he could mention the ass eating part, anyway.

 

"I see. Well, that could've been...disastrous." Regis sighed as he rose from his throne. "Besides that, I do think it's quite clever to have on you."

 

"It definitely keeps me level throughout the day." Noctis smiled slowly, pleased his father was happy about it.

 

"I'm sure. Are you ready to begin?" Regis asked gently.

 

Noctis extended his arm, his great sword materializing effortlessly, "I am."

 

 

 

"How is that little turd?" Louis called through his mask, still walking down the hallway from Ignis.

 

"He's doing well, the medicine you gave him is helping tremendously," Ignis sighed gratefully, fast walking to keep up with the surgeon.

 

"Good, good. I gave him some of our best, and I'm sure you're here about refilling his prescription?" Louis winked, loving games.

 

Ignis nodded, "Yes, he's nearly out." 

 

They pulled down an unpopulated hall, Louis turning to face him, "How has he been taking it? Orally? Suppository?" he giggled beneath his mask.

 

Ignis' eyes narrowed. "We're not talking about the same thing anymore, are we?" he said dryly.

 

Louis laughed loudly through his mask, elated to have so much fun on the job. He sighed as he wiped a tear from his eye, "Forgive me, I first tried out to be the King's jester, not his doctor."

 

Ignis stared at him, his expression unmoved.

 

"That's a-"

 

"I know it's a joke."

 

 

 

"How is that giant asshole?" Noctis called from the couch as Ignis put the bags in the fridge to chill.

 

Ignis chuckled, "He asked me the same thing about you, actually."

 

"What, how I was, and that I'm a giant asshole?" Noctis hollered.

 

"I believe his words were, 'little turd', but close enough." Ignis laughed, amused that they didn't get along when they were so similar. 

 

Noctis rolled his eyes as he rose from the couch. He made his way to the kitchen, pulling Ignis into a warm embrace. "And what did you tell him?"

 

"The truth. That you're doing splendidly." Ignis hummed as he kissed his neck.

 

Noctis sighed happily in his arms, content to melt under his touch, "And was he a dick about it?"

 

"He's an interesting character for certain, Noct."

 

 

 

Noctis squirmed against his headlock, pissed that Gladio had subdued him so quickly. When he finally released him, he scrambled away, rubbing at his neck, "Dammit,"

 

"You're getting better, Princess. Not by much, but better than nothing." Gladio smirked as he leaned back against the ground, inhaling the rich scent of the outdoors. 

 

"Or you're getting worse," Noctis mumbled.

 

"Damn, you're a funny little shit."

 

 

 

"Fuck, I can't move." Noctis groaned, laying on his back on the bed.

 

Ignis chuckled next to him, completely out of breath, "Good thing you don't need to."

 

"I can't feel my legs." Noctis sighed as he rolled onto his side to nuzzle against Ignis.

 

"I'll take that as a compliment." Ignis whispered as he pressed a delicate kiss to his temple.

 

Noctis giggled under his breath, still panting for air, "Like you need one,"

 

"Never hurts," Ignis smirked.

 

Noctis sighed, "Good fuck, Ignis, job well done."

 

"Why, thank you."

 

 

 

"So wait, let me get this straight; you're seeing someone?" Prompto asked, eyes wide.

 

Noctis smiled, but was blushing under his friend's intense gaze, "Is it that hard to believe?"

 

"Uh, yeah dude. You're the prince, I doubt Ignis would be so chill about you fooling around with someone." Prompto lowered his voice as a group of upper class men girls walked by.

 

Noctis shook his head, "He's fine with it, actually."

 

Prompto's mouth fell open, "What?"

 

"I know, right?" Noctis laughed as Prompto shook his head in disbelief.

 

"Okay, but your dad doesn't know, right?" 

 

Noctis paled and shook his head sternly, "Gods, no. I doubt he'll ever know."

 

Prompto couldn't help but giggle at his friend's reaction, "Probably for the best, dude."

 

 

 

"I hate it."

 

"Noctis, it can't be that bad." 

 

"It tastes like vegetables."

 

"I'm sure it doesn't." 

 

"Not to you, maybe. To me, it tastes like radishes."

 

"Would you like me to mix it with something?"

 

"Yeah, the trash can."

 

"Noct."

 

 

 

"Prince Charmless seems to be doing better." Gladio hummed as he laid down another card.

 

"He is. Significantly." Ignis smiled as he laid down his own card.

 

"And you seem better, too." Gladio mused.

 

Ignis adjusted his glasses, "It's less stress on my shoulders."

 

"I'll bet," Gladio sighed as he played his last card.

 

"You shouldn't bet." Ignis chuckled as he played his final card, winning the game.

 

Gladio laughed, "Well, fuck me sideways, you are doing better." he slid the candy prizes over to Ignis, who was already putting them in a bag for the prince. 

 

"I am." Ignis moved to rise from his seat before a firm hand planted him down.

 

"Ah ah. Let's see if you can do it," Gladio unwrapped another mystery flavor lollipop and handed it to Ignis, clutching the answer to his chest like treasure.

 

Ignis grimaced at the sweet assault on his tongue. It was vile, but there was hints of flavors he knew.

 

"Well?" Gladio asked, checking the answer on the wrapper and smirking at it.

 

"It's plum apple." 

 

"...Get out."

 

 

 

"Candy?" Noctis asked incredulously, marveling at the haul of sweets Ignis carried in with him.

 

"My trophies for beating Gladio at cards," Ignis smiled triumphantly, pleased to have his game back.

 

Noctis shook his head, but he was grinning. He rummaged through the plastic bag, scrunching his nose at the amount of sour things. "Gladio bought these, didn't he?"

 

"And thought he was going to win, I'd imagine." Ignis smiled as he sat down next to the prince, kissing his cheek tenderly.

 

Noctis grinned and leaned into the kiss, before he tilted his head to kiss him on the lips. He tasted sweet, as if he'd been eating some of the candy on his way home. "I thought you hated candy." Noctis sighed against his lips.

 

"Not all candy, some aren't too disgusting." Ignis mused as he bit Noctis' lip gently.

 

Noctis giggled and kissed him hard, tongue swirling against his and tasting artificial tartness. He pulled away for air, hand coming up to hold Ignis' face. "Tastes good to me." he whispered, staring up at Ignis from underneath his thick lashes.

 

Ignis chuckled, "Care for one, then?"

 

Noctis smirked before kissing him quickly, "Don't mind if I do," he clapped his hands together as he continued to rummage through the bag, as if they hadn't just been making out shamelessly.

 

Ignis sighed and removed his glasses to rub his eyes, before putting them back on to read a wrapper Noctis had handed him.

 

He'd never guess it.

 

Noctis hummed as he swirled the small lollipop around in his mouth, pulling it out to lick it slowly.

 

Ignis arched a brow at the prince, a sly grin on his face, "Really?"

 

"Really, what?" Noctis asked coyly, eyes all innocence.

 

Ignis shook his head, smiling at his prince, "Have you reached a verdict?"

 

"Hmm..." Noctis sucked at the lollipop, eyes shut in 'concentration', as he swirled his tongue around it, making sure it was all visible. He opened his eyes, sharp gaze locking onto Ignis, and a faint blush on his cheeks, "Maybe if I had a hint?"

 

Ignis rolled his eyes, trying not to get flustered at the sight of the crown prince deep throating a candy. "P."

 

Noctis grinned immediately, mind being tossed further down the gutter. "Oh? How many letters?"

 

Ignis' eyes fell shut as he sighed, "5."

 

Noctis giggled as he worked the candy around in his mouth, "Hmm...what could it be? Five letters, starts with P..." Noctis tapped his temple in mock thought.

 

Ignis ran a hand down his face, but he was smiling, "Do you give up?"

 

"Never." Noctis whispered huskily, swirling the candy on the tip of his tongue. 

 

"How about the other flavor?" Ignis mumbled through his hand, hiding his blush.

 

"Hint?" Noctis chimed as he leaned into Ignis.

 

"D."

 

Noctis giggled again, "Letters?" 

 

"...4."

 

Noctis' eyes widened, "Serious?" he mumbled around the candy, seduction attempt briefly forgotten.

 

"Unfortunately." Ignis sighed, fate having a sense of lewd humor.

 

Noctis smiled as he leaned up to straddle Ignis, pushing him back into the couch, leaning forward to breathe hot air into his ear, the sound of the candy knocking his teeth being anything but sexy, "What is it?"

 

"Peach Date." Ignis whispered, trying to hide the inevitable arousal in his pants at the prince straddling him.

 

Noctis' eyes widened as he pulled the candy out of his mouth, wiping his tongue vigorously, "I hate dates," he grumbled as he threw the rejected sucker onto the table.

 

Ignis chuckled against him, his hands reaching around to grip his ass firmly, kneading the tender flesh and sighing when he saw Noctis arch into his touch and moan. 

 

Noctis threw his head back as he reached his arms up to grip onto Ignis, before leaning forward to kiss at his neck. He licked over his neck slowly and gently, asking permission.

 

Ignis worked a hand into Noctis' pants to grab his bare ass, before he nodded firmly.

 

Noctis smiled against his neck, licking over that spot again sensually, allowing his fangs time to extend, before sinking them into Ignis' waiting neck. Hot blood rushed into his mouth, sweet honey and tart huckleberries washing away the candy from his tongue. Noctis moaned into his neck, licking as he sucked harder.

 

Ignis groaned as he worked Noctis' pants off of his hips, kneading his ass as the prince drank from his neck. Ignis hardly felt any pain anymore, the act being so closely associated with arousal. He moaned when he felt Noctis retracting his fangs, that skilled tongue working over his wound in an attempt to seal it, before Noctis leaned back, face flushed and eyes glazed, a small trail of blood falling from his lips as he licked at them. Ignis pulled Noctis down for a heated kiss, his own blood smearing across their faces, leaving a sticky trail of red. Ignis groaned into the kiss at the feeling of Noctis unbuttoning his jeans, sliding a hand in to grip his aching erection firmly, pumping him hard. Ignis threw his head back with a heavy moan, Noctis taking the opportunity to lick at his neck once more.

 

Noctis quickly stood to remove his pants, smiling as Ignis kicked off his own. Noctis returned to his lap, straddling him and grinding down into him, moaning as their erections rubbed together. "Ignis-"

 

"Bottom of the bag," Ignis panted, glasses askew and face stained with his own blood.

 

Noctis leaned back to dig through the bag, laughing as he pulled out a small tube of lube, "Part of your winnings?" 

 

"More like a pit stop I made to be prepared," Ignis grinned as he hooked his fingers around Noctis' shirt, pulling it over his head as the prince giggled above him. 

 

Noctis quickly uncapped the lube, warming it between his fingers before he coated Ignis' weeping cock generously and applied some to his entrance, before tossing the bottle onto the table. 

 

Ignis had removed his own shirt, and was watching in anticipation as Noctis lined himself up. "Noct, you need-" 

 

Noctis cried out as he lowered himself down onto Ignis' hard erection, the pain whiting out his vision from not being prepped. His body shook against Ignis, nails gripping tight into his skin. Ignis reached behind Noctis to help him remove himself, before Noctis leaned into him and rolled his hips, "Fuck me," 

 

Ignis grabbed onto Noctis' ass, thrusting his hips up to meet him as he moved him up and down his cock, Noctis a moaning mess above him. Ignis groaned as Noctis clenched down around him; he was so tight, that if it was hurting Ignis, there was no way Noctis wasn't in pain. "Noctis-"

 

"Don't stop," Noctis moaned as he leaned forward to bite down on Ignis' neck, reopening the wound and gulping down fresh blood. 

 

Ignis moaned at the sound of Noctis swallowing near his ear, thrusting into him harder as the prince's body began to relax. Ignis reached a hand in between them to pump Noctis' cock, causing him to moan into his neck as he continued to drink from him.

 

Noctis grinded his hips down to meet Ignis' thrusts, the tempo excruciating and desperate. Noctis carefully retracted his fangs, licking the wound tenderly before he arched his back, balancing himself with his hands on Ignis' knees, blood dribbling down his chin onto his chest. 

 

Ignis pumped Noctis harder, matching his hand to his thrusts, trying to imprint the image of Noctis arching his back while riding him to memory. Ignis used his free hand to pull Noctis forward, pulling him down for sloppy, bloody kisses. 

 

Noctis moaned into Ignis' mouth, raking his nails down his chest as Ignis pumped him harder. Noctis threw his head back with a loud moan when Ignis hit that spot deep within him, his vision spotting and ears splitting. 

 

Ignis was gasping for air, his thrusts losing their rhythm as he gripped harder around the prince's cock, hitting that spot within him with each thrust. 

 

Noctis let out a sharp cry as he came hard against their chests, clenching down around Ignis as he emptied himself within him. Noctis panted heavily as he leaned forward to embrace Ignis, his hot come pressed between them. Noctis kissed at his neck, half affectionately, half apologetically, as Ignis pulled out of him, Noctis shuddering at the feeling of his come dripping out of him and onto the floor. 

 

Ignis pulled Noctis into a deep kiss before he carefully leaned him down onto the couch, easing him into a comfortable position as he leaned over him to grab his shirt to clean their chests and dying arousals.

 

"Ignis..." Noctis mumbled, arm thrown over his eyes.

 

"Noct?" Ignis whispered as he squeezed between the prince and the back of the couch, pulling him into a spooning position.

 

"Fuck, I love you." Noctis sighed as his breathing began to slow.

 

"I love you too." Ignis smiled as he kissed his ear, nuzzling into his neck.  

Chapter Text

Three years went by. Noctis graduated high school with flying colors, and Ignis' training as his advisor was complete. Noctis was completely in control of his cravings, the only times that it would waver being when he'd overexerted himself training. His ability to warp and conjure weapons instantaneously was perfected, and his father beamed with pride each time he saw him.

The war with Niflheim was the only thing getting worse in their lives. As much as Noctis wanted to ignore it, the sight of his father grey and limping with a cane was all too much of a reminder of what would be expected of himself soon enough. It became more and more of a delicate topic, the idea of his father dying too much for the young prince to bear. Noctis would gladly assume care of the Wall if it meant his father could rest.

Ignis' heart tightened at the thought. Their fairytale life in his apartment was coming to an end; Noctis was due to move back in to the palace soon. He would be present in more meetings with the council, to better himself in caring for his kingdom. Ignis knew Noctis was dreading it, dreading losing his freedom and privacy, and losing his time with Ignis. They would be together, but never as often and never as intimate.

"Ignis." Noctis sighed as he placed another box near his bed. He didn't have to pack his things himself, but he'd insisted it was his task.

"Yes?" Ignis moved to stand behind him, wrapping his arms around him.

"I...We can't do this anymore, can we?" Noctis whispered, voice cracking.

Ignis held him tighter. He'd stolen the words from his mouth. "I'm afraid not."

Noctis leaned his head back into him. In the short years they'd been together, Noctis had matured into a handsome young man. He hadn't gotten much taller, but his physique lost its boyish charm each month that went by. His hair was longer, jaw stronger, heart harder.

Ignis himself had changed as well. Gone were the days of his hair down in his face; it was immaculately styled each day up and out of his face, only adding to his masculinity. His eyes even seemed more green.

Noctis brought a hand up to clasp down on Ignis'. His heart ached at the thought of never being able to be as intimate with him. "We'll find a way. It can't end here."

Ignis smiled into his skin. His determined prince, so driven to have what he desires while still acquiescing to the needs of his throne. "What if it must?"

"We've come too far to quit now." Noctis said instantly.

Ignis hummed into his hair. Practically speaking, there was no way this could continue. Even if Ignis would be living in the palace with him, mere doors down from his room, if they were ever caught-

"Ignis."

"Noct?"

"I love you."

Ignis smiled, closing his eyes and surprised at the feeling of tears running down his cheeks. "And I love you."

Noctis turned around to face him, wrapping his arms around his neck and melting his body into his. He sighed into his chest, grateful the fabric was absorbing most of his own tears.

They held each other for a long while, crying silently in the darkness.

 

"Welcome home, Noctis." Regis smiled as his son entered the palace. Even though he'd trained here several times a week over the last few years, it felt like the halls had been completely devoid of his light since he'd left.

So why did he look so upset?

"Thanks, Dad." Noctis mumbled as he watched as attendants moved to grab his bags from his hands to take up to his room, along with others heading out to the car to grab boxes.

"Is everything alright?" The King asked gently.

Noctis shrugged. His eyes seemed heavy, and his shoulders were slumped.

Regis pulled Noctis to the side, away from prying ears, "What's troubling you?"

Noctis just shook his head, "Nothing."

Regis arched a brow, unconvinced. "If it's about our-"

"It isn't." Noctis stated flatly.

"So there is something?" Regis whispered, having cornered him.

Noctis rolled his eyes, "Just going to miss having privacy, is all."

"I know you will. But in time, it will feel like home again." The King smiled kindly, hoping his words gave his son at least a small amount of solace.

"Yeah." Noctis sighed as he turned to head for the elevator, eager to just go to bed.

Regis watched him leave, a sad shadow over his face.

"He'll be fine." A firm voice whispered next to him.

"I know, Clarus. That's not what worries me." Regis sighed sadly.

"Then what?" Clarus gave his King a sideways glance.

"I'm worried this peace here, troubled as it is, won't last much longer." Regis whispered.

Clarus nodded, dropping his voice low, "We both know that it won't."

 

Ignis stood outside Noctis' room, trying to bring himself to either knock or leave. His head and heart were pounding, the rushing of blood beginning to dizzy him. Maybe he would want to be alone?

Ignis was just turning to leave when the door was thrown open, a wide eyed Noctis staring at him before pulling him inside. Ignis tried to maintain his balance as the prince threw him against the wall after locking the door.

"Noct?" Ignis whispered, bracing himself to see red eyes glowing in the darkness, hungry for blood. But when Noctis looked up, all he saw were bleary, blue eyes staring at him sadly. "Noctis..."

Noctis crashed his mouth onto Ignis', not ready or not willing to talk about anything yet. He moaned lightly into his mouth, tilting his head as his hand gripped his neck, pinning him in place. Noctis swirled his tongue against Ignis', his free hand trailing down to tug at his pants.

Ignis pulled away with glazed over eyes, "Noctis, we can't," he hissed quietly, biting back a moan as Noctis fell to his knees, pulling Ignis' pants down with him. Ignis opened his mouth to protest, but was forced to concentrate his efforts on clamping a hand over his mouth to stifle his moans as Noctis took him into his mouth. Ignis clenched his eyes shut tight, knowing that the sight of Noctis on his knees sucking him off would be too much. His hand scratched at the wood of the wall, his head grinding into it as Noctis hummed against him. Ignis bit down on his hand as an attempt to distract his mind, but the feeling of Noctis' hands pumping him in tandem with his skilled mouth was quickly becoming too much to bear. Ignis was moaning shamelessly into his hand, sweat beading down his brow as that coil tightened in the pit of his stomach.

Noctis took him down his throat as far as he could, swallowing around him as Ignis came undone. Hot, thick, come shot down his throat, the taste familiar and sweet to him. Noctis bobbed his head as he sucked Ignis dry, eager to not lose a drop of his come. He pulled away with a loud pop as he rose from his knees to capture Ignis' mouth in a steamy kiss.

Ignis moaned at the taste of himself on Noctis' tongue, guiding him backward to the bed to hover over him. Noctis was desperately trying to rip off his clothing, Ignis' judgement clouded as he assisted him. It wasn't long before Ignis was completely naked above him, panting as Noctis pulled down his own jeans and wrapped his legs around him. Ignis kissed him hard, before trailing wet kisses down his chest, taking a nipple between his teeth as Noctis cried out and gripped his hair tightly. Ignis continued his way down, dragging Noctis' boxers down with his teeth, eliciting a deep moan from the prince. Ignis kissed the underside of his hard cock before taking him into his mouth, moaning against him as he took him farther down his throat.

Noctis threw his head back as he moaned loudly, gasping Ignis' name as he bucked his hips up to meet his mouth. He panted for air as he felt Ignis swallowing around him, his deft hands working him up and down where his mouth couldn't reach. Noctis was writhing on the bed, his vision blurring as Ignis worked him to the edge quickly. Noctis grabbed Ignis by his hair to pull him up for a deep kiss, moaning into his mouth as he rolled them over to hover over him, spreading his legs apart. Noctis leaned over the bed to grab a tube of lube from an opened box near his bed, quickly warming it between his fingers before pressing them against Ignis' entrance.

Ignis moaned as the prince's lubricated fingers penetrated him, scissoring together as they prepared him. Ignis rolled his hips to meet Noctis' fingers, groaning when he inserted another.

Noctis kissed down Ignis' neck, twisting his fingers inside of him as he moaned into his skin. Satisfied that he was ready, Noctis removed his fingers before applying a generous amount of lube to his aching cock, pressing himself against Ignis' entrance. "Ignis-"

"Noctis..." Ignis rasped between breaths for air, giving him a swift nod.

Noctis kissed him hard, tongue working over his mouth as he slowly pressed into him, swallowing Ignis' groans as he thrust in to the hilt. Noctis moaned and gasped for air as he waited for Ignis to adjust, his tightness almost too much. They'd done it this way before, but Noctis was the bottom far more often.

Ignis squinted his eyes in pain, before he nodded and rolled his hips to urge Noctis to move. Ignis threw his head back as Noctis thrust deep inside of him, rocking his hips up to meet him with every movement.

Noctis was panting into Ignis' neck, licking along his skin as he felt the blood in his veins pumping harder and faster. Noctis whispered his name before biting down into his skin, gulping down the blood that poured forth, sweet and tart all at once.

Ignis moaned as Noctis fed from him, those strong hips still thrusting deep into him, making him forget where they were and who he was. Ignis scratched hard down Noctis' back, wrapping his legs around him tighter as he took him faster.

Noctis groaned into Ignis' neck, gulping down his blood as he fucked him as hard as he could. Noctis pulled away, blood still dripping from his mouth as he grabbed one of Ignis' legs to throw over his shoulder, hitting him harder and deeper than before.

Ignis' vision sparked as Noctis hit that spot deep within him, his bones turning to jelly as he stimulated it repeatedly. Ignis brought a hand up to cover his screams, eyes closing shut as Noctis licked at his abused neck, hot air ghosting over his skin.

Noctis groaned loudly as Ignis clenched down around him, coming across his chest. Noctis thrust deep within him, tempo sporadic and desperate as he followed suit, filling Ignis to the brim with his come.

Ignis arched his back, moaning into his hand as he felt that hot come coat his insides. His legs fell limp as Noctis pulled out of him, watching as he leaned down to clean him with his tongue, swallowing his own come as it poured out of Ignis.

Noctis hummed against Ignis' entrance as he licked him clean, before he leaned back to fall onto his side on the bed, gasping for air.

Ignis reached his hand down to Noctis' face, offering his wrist, which the prince accepted gratefully. Ignis winced as fangs pierced his flesh, the sound of Noctis gulping down his blood echoing in the dark.

Noctis lapped at his wrist, licking his wound tenderly before pulling his hand down to entwine their fingers together. "I'm sorry."

Ignis' eyes shot open, "For what, love?"

Noctis shook his head, still panting for air, "That was...abrupt, and unwise for where we are."

Ignis rose, every muscle in his body protesting, what blood he had lost making him slightly dizzy, "I will admit that we shouldn't have," Ignis whispered, "But damn everything if that wasn't worth the risk."

Noctis smiled, bringing Ignis' hand up to kiss him palm tenderly, before sighing sadly. "Gods, I couldn't even go one day without you."

Ignis chuckled as he leaned down to kiss him sweetly, "You lasted a few hours."

Noctis laughed as he cracked his neck, clearing his throat. "Love you."

Ignis smiled as he kissed his cheek, "Love you too."

 

Regis stood outside his son's door, heart sinking at the sounds that came from within. The moans, the bed creaking, the sound of skin slapping skin-

Regis shook his head as he turned to leave, not wanting to see his son and his advisor indisposed, even if he knew he should stop them. He walked down the hall, his heart heavy at this new revelation. He'd had his suspicions before, but he'd dismissed them as any paranoid parent would try to do. He couldn't bring himself to be angry, even though he knew he should be, couldn't bring himself to want to reprimand them, even though the law called for worse.

Despite the treason, Regis wouldn't dare call for harm against Ignis. In a perfect world, they would be able to love each other freely, without abandon.

But Eos was anything but a perfect world.

 

Noctis picked at his breakfast, the eggs nowhere near as good as the ones Ignis would prepare for him. His father was eerily silent; he hadn't said a word since he'd bid him good morning. "Dad?"

Regis snapped from his morose thoughts, "Yes, my son?"

"What's wrong? You're never this quiet." Noctis mumbled, worried his father was faring worse than he appeared.

Regis stared at his son sadly, heart broken that his affair couldn't continue for much longer. "It's nothing."

Noctis quirked a brow at his father, "And you wonder where I get that from."

The King chuckled mirthlessly, "Oh, I've never wondered."

Noctis sighed and continued to pick at his food. There were too many vegetables. "Dad, seriously. It's not like you can't talk to me about things that bother you."

Regis smiled sadly. His son was so caring, even if he tried hard to generate an aura of aloofness. "Thank you, Noct. I'm fine, I promise."

Noctis stared at him, expressionless. He opened his mouth to continue, but was interrupted by Ignis entering the dining room, thermos in hand.

"Forgive my intrusion, Your Majesty," Ignis bowed before handing the prince his thermos of blood, a small smile on his face when their eyes met.

Noctis smiled back, hands brushing against Ignis' as he grabbed the thermos, "Thanks,"

"You're very welcome, Your Highness." Ignis smiled before bowing and excusing himself from the room.

Regis steepled his hands together, eyes shut tight as he gathered the courage he'd need to confront his son.

Noctis gulped down a healthy amount of blood before wiping his mouth, "Dad, what's-"

"How long?" Regis cut him off, face stern.

Noctis stared at him wide eyed, his skin going pale. "How long what?" he mumbled.

"How long have you and Ignis been...an item?" Regis said slowly.

Noctis gulped slowly, blinking hard a few times in disbelief, "What? We're not-"

"Noctis, enough. I'm tired of lies. Answer me." Regis said flatly.

Noctis stared down at his food, paling by the second. "...Almost four years." he whispered, voice faltering.

Regis sighed slowly, wiping his hands down his face. Four years. Four years of his son gallivanting around with his advisor, breaking the law, and spoiling his heart. "I see."

"Dad, please-"

"Do you understand the gravity of this situation? Ignis is guilty of treason! He could be executed, should be executed, and you continued this, this-"

"It isn't like that!" Noctis shouted, eyes boring into his father's, "We...I...I love him, father. I won't let him come to harm because of it." Noctis' hands were clenched into fists, his knuckles white.

Regis scowled at his son. He was only a child. A child in love, that may be, but a child either unaware or uncaring of the repercussions of his actions. "Noctis. I cannot abide this. It is forbidden, and-"

"I don't care!" Noctis rose from his seat, glowering at the King, "If you plan on hurting him, you'll have to go through your heir first. I won't allow him to be harmed." Noctis' eyes were firm, face red with anger.

Regis stared at his son, unfazed by his rage. "Then you will cease these relations with him. Immediately. I don't want to harm Ignis; he's done too much for the throne and is invaluable. But my hands will be tied if you two are discovered."

Noctis' stance wavered. His eyes blurred as he shook his head fiercely. "Father, I...I can't-"

"If you value his life, you must." Regis rose from his seat, closing the distance between them.

Noctis was taking shaky steps back, fighting back tears. His lip was trembling as he brought his hands up to clench his hair between his fists.

Regis' heart was slowly shattering. He extended a hand out to his son, only to have it swatted away.

"Don't. Don't touch me." Noctis hissed, glaring at his father through his tears.

"Noctis. I am giving you an opportunity to still be in his presence, and to save his life. An opportunity my own father would not have given me. Don't squander it." Regis bit back as he left the room.

Noctis' mind squeezed against his skull. This couldn't be happening. He fell to his knees, a dry scream piercing his lungs as he hit the floor.

 

Ignis let out a deep breath as he pushed the door open to the King's study, trying not to think about the beads of sweat he could feel running down his back. The room was dark, and the King's back was to him, his hands held behind him. "You summoned me, Your Majesty?" Ignis whispered.

Regis sighed deeply, "Yes. Please, have a seat, Ignis."

Ignis did as he was instructed, taking a seat on the other side of the King's desk, wringing out his hands in his lap. He said nothing, only waited for the King to face him and to speak.

Regis kept his back turned, not ready to look into Ignis' eyes. "Do you know why I've called you here?"

"No, Your Majesty." Ignis mumbled, anxiety gripping his heart. He'd been on his way to visit Noctis when an attendant had notified him to report to the King, immediately.

Regis sighed heavily, "You're an intelligent man. What do you think it could be?"

Ignis didn't like it. Too much bait for a confession. Ignis swallowed hard, all too certain that the King had somehow found out about him and Noctis. "Your Majesty, forgive my transgressions."

Regis turned around slowly, eyes narrowing on Ignis, "That was quick. Faster than my son's confession, anyhow."

Ignis' eyes fell to the floor. His heart burned at the thought of Noctis being confronted this way by the King. They hadn't been careful enough. "My life is forfeit, Your Majesty." Ignis paled as he said the words. There was no point dancing around it; he wouldn't survive this high treason.

Regis shook his head sadly, "Ignis, I don't plan on executing you."

Ignis' eyes shot up. Banishment, then? Castration?

"This isn't the first affair within any royal family. I'll not treat it as such." Regis said slowly, eyes falling shut. "However, I cannot allow it to continue. I'm sure you understand why."

Ignis nodded his head, his heart heavy. King Regis was ever merciful, but never a fool.

"My son is to be wed someday, to someone of political standing that can produce an heir. The line of Lucis must continue, Ignis. We cannot afford such a scandal." Regis sighed into his hand.

Ignis felt far away, like he was watching the scene unfold for someone else. He remained expressionless, heart pounding in his ears as the King continued.

"It is not my wish that you be separated from my son. Only that you cease these...relations with him." Regis moved to sit in his chair, rubbing his temples with his fingers, "I am sorry. Truly, I am. If things were different, I would turn a blind eye- no, I would be supportive of such a union. If my son's happiness was a priority I could afford to have, I would place it far before my own." Regis stroked his beard, leaning back into his chair, "But I'm afraid such things are out of my power. I must put our kingdom first."

Ignis cursed the tear that rolled down his cheek. He hadn't even noticed his vision starting to blur. The King was right, and no matter how stubborn Ignis could try to be, the King would never not be right. He was grateful for his life, for his privilege to stay near Noctis, and grateful for the time that they did manage to share together.

"Do you understand, Ignis?" Regis spoke low, eyes studying him.

Ignis nodded slowly. "I understand."

Regis sighed sadly. "Very well. You are dismissed."

Ignis rose on wobbly legs, gave a shaky bow, and exited the room. He walked in a trance back to his quarters, falling to the floor once he'd made it inside.

His life wasn't over, wasn't cut short.

So why did it feel like he was worse than dead inside?

 

Ignis watched as the rain assaulted the window. Insomnia drowned in the water below, this maelstrom coloring the whole world grey. Thick rivulets rolled down the glass, the sound of the heavy downpour echoing in the empty hall.

He tried to think about anything that wasn't Noctis, tried to concentrate on each raindrop splattering against the window from the harsh wind. His heart pounded in his ears as the halls seemed to close in around him. It was long past sundown, and yet the palace seemed darker than outside. Ignis was suffocating in the stagnant air, a bead of sweat rolling down his brow despite the chill. His eyes fell shut as he tried to concentrate on his breathing, trying to level out his heaving chest.

His eyes shot open at the clap of thunder. The dimly lit hall flickered for a moment, the electricity threatening to fail. Ignis sighed heavily as he turned from the window, a stark flash of lightning illuminating the dark hall as he made his way to the stairwell. Thunder rolled outside as he made his way up the narrow stairs, needing to reach the roof to breathe in real air, feel real water on his skin.

The door was weighed down by the wind as he pushed it open, struggling to close it behind him. The skies roared with wind and rain as lightning flashed across the sky. Ignis breathed in deeply, taking in the scent of fresh rain, the static smell during a storm. Ignis braced himself against the wind as he made his way to the center of the roof pavilion, the cherry blossom trees rustling loudly as their delicate petals fell. Ignis removed his glasses, tucking them safely in his soaking coat, running a hand through his hair to push back stubborn locks as the wind buffeted him mercilessly. Thunder rumbled in the distance, bright lightning casting a white glow on the roof for a moment, long enough to reveal he wasn't alone.

"Your Highness?" Ignis called over the wind, rain stinging his face.

Noctis had his back to him, his jacket whipping back and forth with the changing winds.

Ignis slowly worked his way over to him, concern plaguing his heart. He stopped a few feet from him, before calling out to him again.

Noctis turned slowly to face him, his eyes tear swollen and lip trembling. His dark hair was stuck to his face and his skin looked even more pale than usual. He said nothing as his blue eyes gleamed in the darkness, boring into Ignis' green ones.

"Your Highness, you should be inside," Ignis called over the wind, closing the distance between them so he wouldn't have to shout.

Noctis shook his head solemnly, seemingly unbothered by the weather, "Iggy..."

Ignis' eyes widened as Noctis crashed into him, gripping him tightly as if the wind could carry him away. Ignis wrapped his arms around him out of habit, mentally chastising himself for not having more restraint. "Your Highness-"

"Stop calling me that," Noctis squeezed Ignis harder, hiding his face in his shirt.

Thunder roared near them, as lightning flashed across the sky. Ignis shivered as Noctis pulled away to lead him over to the gazebo, forfeiting the fight against the weather. Ignis shook his head from side to side as he removed his useless jacket, carefully setting it on the bench to protect his glasses.

Noctis was trembling, but seemed adamant to suffer what he could. His fists were clenched at his sides and his eyes were cast down to the floor.

Ignis studied him for a moment, before moving to stand behind him, "Noct."

"I'm sorry." Noctis whispered, voice shaking.

Ignis' eyes fell shut as he placed a delicate hand onto Noctis' shoulder, giving him a reassuring squeeze. "You have nothing to apologize for."

Noctis shook his head stubbornly, his heart breaking. "It's all my fault. If I hadn't forced you to stay with me the other night-"

"You didn't force me to do anything. What I did, I did of my own accord. No fault lies with you, Noctis." Ignis said firmly, meaning every word.

Noctis scoffed, "Bullshit, I'm the one who threw myself at you. Just like I did out here. I can't help it, every time I see you, I just...I can't think anymore." Noctis flinched at a rumble of thunder, lightning exposing his face wet with tears.

Ignis' heart pounded in his chest. "I'm the same way."

"At least you can control yourself," Noctis grumbled, head turning to watch the rain falling sideways. "What kind of king will I be if I can't even control my heart?" Noctis whispered, his voice a broken sound.

Ignis turned Noctis to face him, grabbing his chin to force him to meet his eyes, "Noctis, listen to me. You will be a great king. You will rule with a kind heart, a firm hand, and a clear mind." Ignis smiled as Noctis' eyes twinkled, "And I will be there to help you. Always."

More tears welled up in Noctis' eyes, his lip trembling as Ignis brought both hands up to hold his face. Noctis shut his eyes tight as lightning lit up the sky, tears falling heavily down his cheeks, "Ignis...I-"

Ignis cut him off with a quick peck on his lips, lingering only long enough for Noctis to feel warmth again. Ignis smiled sweetly at the prince, before pulling him in for a tight embrace. "No matter what happens, I'll never leave your side."

Noctis shivered against him, thunder rumbling around them, the gazebo being shaken by the wind. Noctis gripped onto him tighter, blood pounding in his ears. His breathing sped up as he began to gasp for air, "Iggy-"

"I know," Ignis whispered as he lowered them to the floor of the gazebo, already loosening his collar.

Noctis winced as his fangs extended, mouth hanging open in pain. His nails dug into Ignis' arms, his own shoulders shaking as he tried to control his breathing.

Ignis' eyes fell shut as he held the prince. Noctis still lacked his own staff to assist him with this problem, still not wanting to involve anyone else. Without their usual proximity, it was difficult ensuring he received his daily thermos, let alone that the war had called for less 'donations' to be allowed. If things continued as they were...

Ignis winced at Noctis biting deep into neck. He used his free hand to rub small circles on his back, tilting his neck to allow him more access. Noctis was humming into his neck, and Ignis could hear him swallowing down blood over the roar of the storm.

Noctis sighed at the familiar taste of Ignis. His grip on his arms slowly began to loosen, his own heart rate beginning to return to normal. It wasn't often that he'd have withdrawal attacks like this, but he was glad that Ignis had been here.

Ignis tapped on Noctis' arm, signaling that he was reaching his limit, something that would have been absolutely useless years ago.

Noctis immediately pulled away, licking his bleeding neck tenderly before leaning back to sit on his knees. His eyes were cast down at the floor as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

"Are you alright?" Ignis asked gently, already applying pressure to his neck.

Noctis nodded glumly. "Yeah...thanks, Iggy."

Ignis gave him a warm smile, "Of course." He rose to his feet, his stance only wavering briefly, "We should head back inside. It won't do for them to look for us and find us together, soaking on the roof."

Noctis sighed but stood up, giving his mouth another firm wipe to make sure no blood lingered on his lips. "Alright."

"Noctis?" Ignis whispered, pushing the prince's wet hair from his eyes.

"Hm?" Noctis mumbled, still frowning.

Ignis leaned in close, pressing another swift kiss to his lips, "I love you."

Noctis smiled despite himself. He knew that there was no way they could continue even this kind of relationship, and he knew that Ignis knew it too.

But they were both too hopeless for each other.

"Love you too."

Chapter Text

"Why can't I go?" Noctis whined as his father rubbed at his temples.

 

"I would rather you weren't present, Noctis." Regis said slowly, hoping his son would leave it at that.

 

No such luck.

 

"But if I'm to be King someday, don't you think I should be there when an Imperial envoy arrives?" Noctis grit his teeth in frustration. 

 

"Noctis, enough." Regis rose from his seat, wincing as his knee buckled.

 

Noctis was at his side in an instant, supporting him by the arm and urging him to lean into him, "Father, you can barely stand. Let me go with you."

 

"No. I forbid it." Regis shifted and stood near upright, leaning on his cane and pulling away from Noctis.

 

"Fine." Noctis spat, turning on his heel to march off to his quarters.

 

Regis sighed heavily. He hoped that one day, Noctis would realize that everything he did, he did to protect him.

 

 

 

Ignis sat in the chair near Noctis' desk, waiting patiently for the prince to calm down. He was throwing a tantrum, ranting and raving about how his father expected so much from him in the future but did nothing to make sure he was actually ready for it. Ignis just nodded occasionally, knowing that in this state, he couldn't be reasoned with or offered advice.

 

"I mean, why shouldn't I be there? He thinks I don't know how we lost hold on one of our borders yesterday, and-"

 

Ignis just nodded and gave a light hum now and then, knowing Noctis just needed to vent. It didn't matter if Regis had his reasons; not yet.

 

"How can anyone be prepared to ascend a throne if they're kept completely in the dark about their kingdom? It doesn't make any sense-"

 

Ignis took mental notes, preparing his own argument once Noctis was able to listen. They'd had arguments between themselves before, as any couple would do, and Ignis knew better than to try to talk over him. The best tactic he'd discovered was to wait for him to tire himself out, then strike when he was too exhausted to argue anymore.

 

But this one could take awhile.

 

"He's acting like I'm still a child, like I don't need to know things, or that I couldn't handle things-"

 

Ignis bit his tongue as his prince ranted, indeed, like a child. He could scarcely blame him, he had quite a few valid points; he just wasn't looking at the larger scheme of things. Regis never acted without reason.

 

"Don't you think so?" Noctis sputtered, out of breath and face red.

 

Caught off guard, Ignis nodded affirmatively, "Absolutely." 

 

Noctis seemed slightly relieved. He groaned as he threw himself onto his bed. "Why can't my father understand that?"

 

Ignis rose from his seat, moving to sit beside the prince. He tentatively reached a hand out to rub his back, eliciting a light moan from Noctis. "There are things we don't understand about him either, Noct."

 

"Clearly." Noctis sighed into the pillow. "I just feel like he doesn't have faith in me."

 

Ignis shifted to use both hands on his back, "Nothing could be further from the truth. He believes in you, Noctis. With all of his heart," he whispered.

 

Noctis tensed slightly, before turning to roll over and face Ignis. "Huh. When you say it, I believe you." the prince mumbled, a light pink tinting his cheeks.

 

Ignis smiled warmly at him, "That's because it's true, Noct."

 

Noctis smiled back, heart less heavy. Ignis always knew how to bring him back to his senses. "Hey...Iggy?"

 

"Yes?" 

 

"Come with me?" Noctis asked sheepishly, rising from the bed and tugging on his hand.

 

Ignis' heart skipped a beat. "Noctis, we-"

 

"It'll be fine. We'll be quiet..." Noctis gave him a lewd wink, biting his lip.

 

Ignis remained planted on the bed. Everything in his mind was screaming at him to not give in, but his heart and body were already lost. 

 

Noctis gave a mock pout, "Please? We don't have to have sex or anything, just...fool around." Noctis whispered coyly, licking his lips as he smiled at Ignis.

 

"...Five minutes." Ignis stated firmly, proud of himself for having 'restraint'.

 

"Plenty," Noctis grinned as he pulled Ignis off the bed, leading him into the master bathroom of his room and locking the door behind them.

 

Ignis pulled his phone from his pocket, tapping in an alarm.

 

"Really?" Noctis whispered, already pulling his shirt off.

 

"I meant what I said, and what're you doing?" Ignis stammered, eyes already drinking in Noctis' body.

 

"Getting comfortable," Noctis purred, sauntering over to Ignis, pushing him back against the wall, turning the lights off as he went. "Ready?"

 

Ignis nodded, tapping the start button on his phone.

 

Noctis crashed his lips onto Ignis', breathing hard through his nose to substitute his moans. His hands roamed up and down Ignis' body, reaching around to grab his ass hard.

 

Ignis bucked into Noctis' hips at the feeling, tongue diving into his mouth as his own hands raked down his bare chest. Ignis bit back a groan when Noctis wrapped a hand around his neck, squeezing gently. Ignis grinned into the kiss, already feeling lightheaded and loving every second of it.

 

Noctis groaned as Ignis scratched down his back, tightening his grip on his neck further. He rocked his hips into Ignis', grinding into him through their clothes, craving even more friction.

 

Ignis gasped into their kiss before pulling away to pant for air. 

 

Noctis removed his hand, replacing it with his mouth, licking his soft skin before sinking his teeth into his neck, blood gushing into his mouth.

 

Ignis bit back a moan as he brought a hand up to hold Noctis' head in place, wanting him to have all of him and more. He lifted a leg to wrap around Noctis' waist, their growing arousals given more access to grind into each other. 

 

Noctis smiled into his neck, pulling his fangs out to lick his tender skin. He sighed against him as he pulled his head down for more steamy kisses, blood smearing across their faces.

 

Ignis wrapped his arms around Noctis' neck, pulling him even closer. The taste of his own blood only spurred him on, as he dove his tongue deep into his mouth-

 

They both jumped at the sound of the alarm going off. Ignis quickly pulled his phone from his pocket to silence it, the light illuminating his blood stained face.

 

Noctis was panting, but smiled when he noticed Ignis still had a leg wrapped around him. "So..."

 

"So, time's up, Noct." Ignis sighed, out of breath. He wiped the sweat from his brow as he lowered his leg.

 

Noctis groaned sadly, "Fine, fine. I, uh, need a cold shower." he mumbled as he turned the light back on, both of them squinting as their eyes readjusted.

 

"As do I," Ignis whispered, eyes widening at the sight of his bloody face in the mirror.

 

Noctis grinned, "Hey, maybe we should save water and-"

 

"Nice try, Noct." Ignis rolled his eyes before giving him a quick peck on the cheek. He sighed as he moved to the sink to rinse his face and neck.

 

Noctis stood there, watching him clean himself of his own blood. He looked up to his own reflection. Blood was dripping down his chin, and there were even smeared drops on his bare chest. Noctis shook his head when old traumas of his bloody reflection tried to resurface, turning away to begin removing his pants.

 

Ignis dried himself off, turning to see Noctis already naked and stepping into the shower. Ignis sighed at the discarded clothes on the floor. "Do you need me to bring you any clothes?"

 

"Nah, I think I'll stay naked for awhile." Noctis chuckled, voice echoing under the water.

 

Ignis rolled his eyes, "I'll bring you a robe." 

 

"'Kay. Hey, Iggy?" Noctis called, holding back the curtain and gesturing Ignis to come over.

 

Ignis arched a brow, suspicious already. Nevertheless, he closed the distance between them, "Yes?" 

 

Noctis just smiled at him, "I love you."

 

Ignis' heart soared. He'd never grow tired of hearing it, no matter how futile it all was. He leaned down to kiss him deeply, before whispering against his lips, "I love you too."

 

Noctis turned pink and grinned. 

 

 

 

Regis' heart was heavy. The peace negotiations with Niflheim had gone as he'd expected: more of a polite way to tell them surrendering was their only option. Regis had gone into the meeting already bracing himself to lose even more territory, lose even more hope in his kingdom, but the final arrangement had been...unexpected.

 

Regis worked his way down the hall to Noctis' room, trying to put together a script for what he was about to tell his son. He would be angry and confused, no doubt. 

 

He paused in front of the door and took a deep breath before he rapped his knuckles on it, "Noctis?"

 

"Come in," Noctis called from the other side.

 

Regis let out the breath he'd been holding and slowly pushed the door open. His son was sitting on his bed, clad in nothing but a black robe. Regis paused as he entered, before slowly working his way over to the desk to sit and rest his leg.

 

Noctis had been determined to remain angry, but seeing his father so drained and unhappy caused his heated heart to waver. "Dad?"

 

Regis smiled at his son, a weak upturn of the lips that signaled how hard he found it to do so. "My son."

 

Noctis' brows furrowed. "What happened?"

 

Regis sighed as he stroked his beard, "They came with an offer for peace, as you know-"

 

"I'm sure that's what they called it." Noctis muttered, disgust evident in his features.

 

Regis nodded slowly, "I've accepted their terms, Noctis. I had no choice."

 

Noctis' eyes widened. "What did they want?" 

 

"We'll be forfeiting all of our lands past Insomnia, along with one other condition." Regis spoke low, nervous for his son's reaction.

 

Noctis frowned. It was bad enough that they'd be losing what little territory they'd managed to retain during the war, but what else could they possibly want? "The crystal?" 

 

Regis shook his head, "Never could I willingly part with that. Especially to Niflheim." 

 

"Then what?" Noctis asked, growing impatient.

 

Regis took a deep breath. "You are to be wed to Lunafreya in Altissia within the month."

 

A sharp intake of breath caught in Noctis' throat, coughing as he tried to clear it. "What?"

 

"I'm sorry Noctis, my hands are tied. It's a wedding to bring peace to our kingdoms-"

 

"Tenebrae isn't their kingdom! This isn't-"

 

Regis held up a hand, "They conquered it Noctis, as you well know. Lunafreya is only a former princess, true, but she is the Oracle." Regis paused as Noctis fumed. "Noct, this is a good thing. This will help bring an end to this war."

 

Noctis shook his head in disbelief. His world was crumbling away under his feet. "But..."

 

Regis gave him a halfhearted smile, "It's Luna. As I recall, you were more than fond of her." 

 

Noctis turned his head to hide his blush. Sure, when he was a kid and she'd been everything kind to him in his darkest hours. But now...

 

"You'll be leaving in two days. You can bring whomever you wish with you, so long as they do not hinder your swift arrival to Altissia." Regis whispered, rising from his seat.

 

Noctis rose at the same time, fists clenched and teeth barred, "Father, don't I get a say in this?"

 

"It shouldn't be news to you that you'd marry politically, Prince Noctis." Regis frowned. "Be glad that it's at least someone you know, someone you care for." He sighed as he left the room, unable to bear to see his son so heartbroken anymore.

 

Noctis fell back onto his bed, feeling nauseous. He had two days until he would leave for a wedding. His wedding. To Luna.

 

It wasn't that he despised her; they'd kept in contact all of these years through her journal, and she was indeed very important to him. But marriage? That's something that people who are in love do.

 

And Noctis' heart already belonged to another.

 

 

 

"I'm coming, I'm coming," Ignis called as he strode over to his door, where it was being pounded on mercilessly. He opened the door to find a puffy eyed Noctis, his skin splotchy from crying. "Noct? What's wrong?"

 

"I need to talk to you." Noctis whispered. 

 

Ignis stood aside to let him into his room, heart already racing. Something to do with the negotiations, no doubt. He watched as Noctis walked over to sit on the bed and pulled his legs up to his chest, like he did as a child. Ignis locked the door behind him before moving to settle in next to the prince. "What's happened?"

 

Noctis took in a shaky breath, before moving his hand to grab Ignis'. "I...I love you."

 

"I love you too. What's-"

 

"I'm getting married." Noctis mumbled quickly.

 

Ignis' eyes widened. "I don't..."

 

"It's part of the peace treaty. Niflheim wants me to marry Luna for the sake of peace. I have to leave for Altissia in two days." Noctis squeezed Ignis' hand tight.

 

Ignis swallowed hard. His heart was beating out of his chest, and he knew that Noctis could hear it, if not feel it. It was a strange request for peace. Ignis was ashamed that he'd wished they'd asked for anything else.

 

"I'm sorry." Noctis mumbled, sniffling as he wiped away a tear.

 

"You have nothing to apologize for. It's not like you had any choice in the matter." Ignis said automatically, his heart broken.

 

Noctis nodded, trying to be reassured by his words. "I...I know that it's going to be...difficult, but...would you come with me? I don't think I could do it without you..."

 

"Of course I will." Ignis whispered, bringing Noctis' hand up to kiss it softly. "I'll always be by your side, remember?" 

 

Noctis smiled somberly, "What did I do to deserve you?" 

 

Ignis gave him a light wink, "You were you."

 

Noctis let out a breathy laugh, before leaning in to kiss Ignis gently. His lips were soft, and he tasted sweet. He smiled when he felt Ignis wrap his arms around his neck, caution to the wind. Their kiss quickly became more heated, Noctis working on unbuttoning Ignis' shirt as Ignis pulled Noctis' own shirt off. The prince sighed when their bare skin could finally touch; it had been months since they'd done anything more than make out, and even that was rare. His heart raced as Ignis pushed him back onto the bed, hovering over him as he kissed down his neck, Noctis clamping a hand over his mouth as he moaned. 

 

Ignis ran his hands down Noctis' bare chest, scratching lightly with his nails as he went, relishing the way he arched his back under his touch. He paused before he reached his pants, pushing himself up to lean over him and hold his face to meet his eyes.

 

Noctis reached a hand up and smiled as Ignis leaned into it. Their eyes were locked, understanding passing between them, words no longer necessary. They knew that soon, this would be more impossible than it already was. Their love for each other would never fade, but they would never be able to do this again. Noctis blinked back a tear as one fell on his cheek from Ignis' own eyes. They smiled at each other as Ignis leaned down to kiss him deeply. Noctis' eyes fluttered shut as he wrapped his arms around him, pulling him close.

 

 

 

"I still can't believe you're getting married, dude! And to Lady Lunafreya!" Prompto sighed dreamily, elated for his best friend's good fortune.

 

"Me either." Noctis mumbled, eyes glued to the floor.

 

Gladio slapped him hard on the back, "Suck it up, Prince Charmless."

 

Noctis waved him off, trying not to be irritated with him. "Whatever."

 

Ignis looked on sadly, his heart breaking for his prince. They'd managed to spend hours together the last two days, but decades would never be enough.

 

"C'mon, best not keep him waiting." Gladio sighed as they entered the throne room.

 

 

 

"Take care on the long road." Regis lowered his voice as he limped closer to his son, "Wheresoever you should go, the line of Lucis goes with you."

 

Noctis was silent, understanding what his father meant. He'd already had Ignis prepare as many thermoses as he could in the trunk, but the hospital had to hold on to as much blood as they had, even with peace close at hand. Noctis opened his mouth to speak, but it snapped shut as his father placed a hand on his shoulder.

 

"Walk tall, my son." Regis said earnestly, eyes twinkling as he held Noctis' shoulder.

 

Noctis was at a loss for words. Part of him was still so angry with his father, with his own situation, but the way his father stared him down with paternal affection gave Noctis pause, unable to quip back at him. He nodded curtly, before turning away from his father's hand, feeling it fall from his shoulder as he descended the stairs.

 

Noctis nodded to Cor before letting himself into the backseat, Ignis already at the wheel. Their eyes met in the rear view mirror, Ignis silently asking him if he was ready. Noctis hesitated, looking back up the stairs to where his father stood, hunched over and leaning on his cane. He was smiling sadly at him, eyes squinting in the sun. Noctis gave him a meek smile, before turning to nod to Ignis.

 

"Woohoo! Road trip!" Prompto wailed before they'd even moved half a foot.

 

 

 

"Seriously?" Noctis groaned as they pushed the car in the scorching heat. He'd already abandoned his jacket in the backseat, sweat dripping down his face as he pushed the car down the road, the breeze of cars whizzing around them the only reprieve from the unforgiving heat.

 

"It's not much farther," Ignis called from the front seat.

 

"So you've been saying," Noctis mumbled back. 

 

"Put your back into it," Gladio grumbled next to him, his muscles rippling from the exertion. 

 

Noctis sighed as he pushed harder, but the car only started to feel even heavier. He grit his teeth as he pushed, but his arms began to protest. He looked up from the bumper to see Prompto sitting in the car, guzzling down water like he'd been near death. "Prompto!"

 

"What? I've earned a break!" Prompto whined.

 

"Not in the car!" Gladio shouted. 

 

Ignis sighed as he pushed up his glasses. "Here, you steer then." Ignis quickly exited the slow moving car, popping the trunk open as he did so.

 

Noctis fell forward and landed on his hands and knees, exhaustion demanding his attention. He winced as the hot asphalt heated his flesh, sweat dripping down his arms. A shadow passed over him, and he looked up to see Ignis holding a thermos out to him. Noctis nodded appreciatively, before leaning back to drink. 

 

A coolness passed through him, his senses sharpening with every sip. He could hear Gladio's heart racing, Prompto swallowing down water, and Ignis wiping sweat from his brow. Noctis forced himself to stop when the thermos began to feel light, twisting the cap on tight before handing it back to Ignis. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, before he felt Ignis dabbing his lip with a damp handkerchief. Noctis smiled when their eyes met, Ignis giving him a quick wink.

 

"When are you gonna stop babying him?" Gladio groaned. "The kid can wipe his own damn face."

 

"I'll stop when he asks me to." Ignis sighed sarcastically, rising to stand up straight, placing the handkerchief back into his jacket. 

 

Gladio raised a brow at Noctis.

 

Noctis shrugged, "I like it."

 

Gladio threw his arms up in defeat, "Gods almighty."

 

Prompto giggled from the car, "C'mon Gladio, it's not that bad."

 

"You, out of the car and get pushing!" Gladio hollered, cracking his neck as he leaned forward to push the car. "Iggy, come steer!"

 

Ignis hummed before turning to offer Noctis a hand up, which he gratefully accepted. "Alright?" he whispered, eyes scanning the prince's.

 

Noctis nodded, "Better, thanks." he smiled as he held his gaze as long as they could spare.

 

"Any day now!" 

 

 

 

"What's for dinner?" Prompto whined as he placed another band-aid on his elbow. The day had quickly turned into one of hunting; they still weren't finished, having yet another dualhorn to take care of come morning.

 

"Rice balls." Ignis sighed as he checked the rice once more.

 

"Whaaaat? That's it?" Prompto moaned as he leaned back into his camping chair in defeat.

 

"We don't have any meat?" Gladio mumbled, stomach growling loudly.

 

Ignis sighed again, "You can go find some. Then I can make us sushi."

 

Gladio rose from his chair, "Alright. Let's go, princess." 

 

"I'd rather not, thanks." Noctis yawned as he leaned back into his chair.

 

Gladio groaned, "Fine, c'mon Prompto."

 

"Why me?" Prompto whined indignantly as he rose from his chair.  

 

"Because, Iggy's cooking and Noct is lazing." Gladio huffed as he marched off.

 

Prompto sighed before quickly turning on his heel to chase after him.

 

Noctis was staring at the fire, watching the wood crack as it burned. His heart was heavy as he sulked. He felt adrift, like he'd been uprooted and tossed into the sea, with no shore in sight to try to float to. His world had never been idealistic, but now it felt as if he'd never had sure footing in the first place. 

 

"Noct?" 

 

Noctis snapped out of his reverie, his eyes darting up to look at Ignis  standing near him. "Sorry, what?"

 

"I said, quit scratching." Ignis chided gently, gesturing to Noctis' arms.

 

The prince looked down. He'd been scratching his arms red, and some places were already threatening to bleed. Noctis sighed as he moved to sit on his hands. "Sorry."

 

"Don't apologize to me, talk to me." Ignis whispered, moving to kneel next to his chair. He placed a hand gingerly onto Noctis' knee, smiling when he felt him lean into his touch.

 

"I...I just thought..." Noctis trailed off, biting his lip as he looked away.

 

Ignis clicked his tongue, reminding Noctis to stop biting, before he leaned forward, "Thought what?"

 

"I thought we'd have more time." Noctis whispered, his voice cracking. 

 

Ignis' eyes widened as his heart shriveled. "Noct, listen to me."

 

Noctis slowly met Ignis' gaze, the fire illuminating his glossy eyes.

 

"Our romantic life may have been short lived, this is true," Ignis smiled sadly as he brought a hand up to cradle Noctis' face, "But we'll always be together. Forever." Ignis gently wiped away a tear that fell from the prince's eye, giving him the warmest smile he could muster.

 

Noctis smiled back, bringing a hand up to wrap around Ignis', "Gods. I'm so tired of crying."

 

Ignis chuckled under his breath as he rose to his feet, "I know, love." 

 

Noctis couldn't hide the wide grin that spread over his face at the sweet sound of Ignis calling him his love. Noctis stood up from his chair, closing the distance between them automatically. He slowly raised a hand to caress Ignis' face, before leaning forward to kiss him chastely. He was always so warm, no matter how cold it was outside. His lips were still so soft, even after a full day in the sun; but he didn't bite his lips like Noctis bit his own. Noctis hummed as he pulled away, eyes fluttering open and smiling when he saw Ignis' beautiful, emerald eyes. "I love you."

 

"I'll always love you." Ignis whispered. 

 

Noctis grinned as he tugged at Ignis' jacket, "Is the rice okay?" he whispered in his ear, lightly biting down on his earlobe.

 

Ignis shuddered at the feeling of Noctis' hot breath in his ear, "It'll be fine, but we don't have-"

 

"We've worked with less." Noctis sighed against his skin as he led him toward the tent. 

 

"Noctis, we really shouldn't-" Ignis began, only to stop at the sight of Noctis licking his lips and giving him a sly wink. "...take very long."

 

Noctis grinned mischievously, happy to have won, "That's the spirit." 

 

Ignis' mind was a daze as he was pulled head first into the tent, his lips immediately being crashed against Noctis'. Ignis moaned into the kiss, his hands pulling Noctis' shirt up to expose his taut stomach, swallowing the prince's groans as he raked his nails down his skin. 

 

Noctis threw his head back as Ignis kissed down his stomach, biting his lip to stifle a loud moan. He let out a sigh when he felt Ignis dip a hand into his pants to stroke him, leaning forward to tug at Ignis' own pants. 

 

Ignis tried to swat Noctis' hand away, determined to have him be the only recipient in the small amount of time they had, but nearly crumbled into the prince when his soft hand wrapped around his aching erection. Ignis bit back a moan as he was rolled onto a sleeping bag, his pants being pulled down viciously by Noctis. Ignis opened his mouth to speak but quickly had to clamp his hand over it as Noctis licked up his cock slowly. Ignis shut his eyes tight as Noctis took him into his mouth, that skilled tongue tearing him apart at the seams.  Ignis arched his back involuntarily as the prince moaned into him, digging his nails into the sleeping bag beneath him, praying that it was at least one of theirs.

 

Noctis smiled around him, pleased he hadn't lost his touch. He bobbed his head vigorously as his hand moved in tandem, knowing they didn't have much longer. When he felt Ignis reach a hand down to grip his hair tightly, Noctis knew he was getting close. He hummed against him as he took him as deep into his throat as he could, breathing hard through his nose. He could feel Ignis grip his hair harder, and mutter something in between moans. Noctis just pulled up slowly, before sinking back down, taking all of him into his throat before swallowing against him. Hot, thick come gushed down his throat, Noctis struggling to swallow it all and not choke.

 

Ignis' vision sparked as he came undone in the prince's eager and talented mouth, moaning his name as he came. He could feel Noctis swallowing around him, could hear him gulping down his come in the dark. 

 

Noctis sucked Ignis clean, smiling around him at the sound of Ignis babbling his name over and over. He leaned back and met his eyes, licking his lips as come dribbled down his chin. "Well?"

 

Ignis giggled under his breath, "Gods, I'd almost forgotten how amazing-"

 

Noctis quickly clamped a hand over Ignis' mouth at the sound of Prompto's laughter not far off. Noctis' eyes widened in horror before they both quickly began redressing themselves, Ignis still struggling as his limbs were reduced to jelly. Noctis buttoned Ignis' pants before pulling him in for one last, deep kiss. 

 

Ignis smiled against him before quickly righting himself and exiting the tent. He patted down his clothes and went over to the rice cooker just as Gladio and Prompto reached the top of the haven. "Welcome back," Ignis huffed, not ready to turn around lest they see his red face even in the darkness.

 

Noctis emerged from the tent shortly after, looking only slightly disheveled, "Whatcha get?" he yawned as he moved to sit back in his chair.

 

Gladio smirked, "Dualhorn," 

 

"A bunch of it!" Prompto grinned as he skipped into camp, already throwing himself onto his chair.

 

"Perfect," Ignis hummed as he stirred the rice, relieved it wasn't overcooked. 

 

"Uh, Noct? You take a nap or somethin?" Prompto smiled with a brow raised.

 

Noctis' eyes widened as Ignis visibly stiffened. "Y-yeah, why?" Noctis mumbled, trying not to blush in the dimly lit camp.

 

Prompto squinted at him, "I think you've got some leftover drool, sleepyhead." he giggled.

 

Noctis quickly wiped his chin, knowing already that it wasn't drool that had been drying on his skin. 

 

"What a baby." Gladio mumbled, ruffling Noctis' hair as he brought the meat to Ignis. "Here ya go, Iggy. Do you need any-"

 

"No, I'm quite alright!" Ignis said far too quickly, turning away to hide his red face. 

 

"If you say so," Gladio yawned as he went over to his own chair.

 

Noctis was burning up, and needed to change the subject that didn't even exist. "King's Knight?"

 

"Oh yeah! Get ready to lose!" Prompto squealed as he pulled out his phone.

 

Gladio grinned as he rummaged through his pocket, "You both are gonna lose so bad," 

 

"In your dreams," Noctis smirked as he grabbed his own phone.

 

Ignis smiled as he prepared dinner, relieved they'd managed to yet again evade disaster.

Chapter Text

"Noct, how much longer?" Prompto drawled.

"We've turned the car around for your hobby." Noctis groaned, teasing the fishing line.

"Yeah, but it doesn't take hours like this is..." Prompto whined.

Noctis shrugged as he rolled his eyes, "So go for a walk."

"What, alone? I'm too handsome to be alone out here." Prompto mumbled.

Gladio snorted, "What, worried someone might grab ya?"

Prompto huffed as he crossed his arms indignantly, "As a matter of fact, yes,"

Ignis adjusted his glasses with a slender finger, "I wouldn't worry about that."

Prompto narrowed his eyes at Ignis, "Are you saying it's safe here or that I'm not that handsome?"

"Both."

"Can you guys please take the banter elsewhere? You're pissing off the fish." Noctis groaned as he recast his line.

Prompto turned on his heel, "Pissing off the fish, or pissing off you?"

"Both." Noctis and Ignis said at once.

"Ugh, fine. I'll be back later." Prompto sighed as he marched off.

"Gladio, perhaps it would be best if you did accompany him? I feel uneasy what with that man about." Ignis whispered, on edge since their encounter with the strange man on the dock.

Gladio nodded, "Yeah, yeah, I'm on it."

"Thank you," Ignis sighed as he went to stand behind Noctis. "Anything?"

"Not a damn thing." Noctis grumbled, reeling in his line.

"Hmm. Perhaps we should try another day?" Ignis yawned as he cracked his neck.

Noctis sighed in defeat. He could see glowing lights in the water, half a dozen barrelfish swimming about lazily in the moonlight. "Maybe I should try another lure..."

"Noct. I have a better idea." Ignis stated flatly, nodding in the direction of a small cove on the beach.

Noctis grinned as he shook his head, "Feeling risky and frisky?"

Ignis arched a brow at his ridiculous prince, "Not if you aren't."

"Oh, I always am." Noctis smirked as he returned his fishing rod to the Armiger, already setting off towards the cove.

Ignis rolled his eyes as he followed after him, checking behind them as they went for any sign of their comrades, or the mysterious, unsettling man from earlier. Not a soul in sight.

Noctis elongated his steps as far as he could, his feet trudging through the sand. He could hear Ignis stumbling behind him, grinning to himself as he heard him move faster and faster to keep up.

Once they'd reached the cove, opened on both ends, Noctis did a thorough search for anything dangerous, or anything Prompto. Satisfied they were alone at last, Noctis turned and grabbed Ignis by his collar, pulling him in for a deep kiss. He smiled as Ignis moaned immediately, melting in his arms as they held him close. Noctis swirled his tongue around Ignis', moaning at the familiar taste of his natural sweetness. His hands trailed down to his belt, making short work of it before unbuttoning Ignis' pants.

Ignis pulled away to kiss down Noctis' neck, "This...this might be our last chance..." he whispered against his skin, nuzzling into his neck.

"I know." Noctis whispered back, tilting his head to give Ignis more access to his skin. He sighed as Ignis pushed his shirt up to rub his stomach, his cold hands a sharp enough contrast to give him goosebumps. "If only we-"

"I've come prepared," Ignis chuckled as he pulled a small tube from his pocket, the smirk on his face visible even in the dark.

Noctis laughed under his breath before kissing Ignis hard, "My hero," he whispered in his ear, biting down on his lobe.

Ignis inhaled sharply, pushing Noctis back against the cave wall before setting to work on removing the prince's pants.

Noctis moaned as the cool air brushed over his skin, quickly replaced by Ignis grinding against him. The jagged wall of the cave wasn't comfortable per se, but he was too aroused and too desperate to care. He wrapped a leg around Ignis' waist as soon as his pants were removed as well, groaning when they were finally able to grind against each other properly for the first time in months.

Ignis moaned into Noctis' neck as they thrust against each other, grabbing Noctis' leg to wrap around him tighter. He reached down to grab his ass hard, squeezing in time with his hips, grinning at the sounds of Noctis coming undone.

"Fuck, Ignis-"

"Hmm?" Ignis sighed as he bit down on Noctis' neck.

"Please, please fuck me," Noctis panted as his vision began to blur.

"With pleasure," Ignis whispered in his ear, before pulling away to lubricate his fingers. Ignis quickly warmed the slick fluid between his fingers before reaching down to tease Noctis' entrance, swallowing his sudden moans with a deep kiss. Ignis knew Noctis would need a fair amount of preparation; it had been over half a year since they'd last been able to have real sex.

Noctis moaned into the kiss, urging Ignis to continue with a roll of his hips. As soon as the first finger was inside him, Noctis only winced slightly before scratching down Ignis' back under his shirt. Another finger followed soon after, both of them scissoring back and forth to prepare him. Noctis threw his head back, ignoring the scraping from the cave wall, before throwing his head forward to lick at Ignis' neck. With the third finger, Noctis felt his teeth extending, pained from not having to do so for awhile. As the fingers continued to work him out, Noctis panted against Ignis' skin, lightly scraping his teeth along his flesh.

Ignis pulled his fingers away, Noctis groaning at the loss. He quickly lubricated his aching erection, before lining himself up, urging Noctis to wrap his other leg around his waist. He caught his eyes in the darkness, the faint glow of red both familiar and arousing. Ignis inhaled deeply before pushing himself into that waiting heat, thrusting up until he was down to the hilt.

Noctis bit down into Ignis' skin, moaning against him as he felt full at last. Noctis rolled his hips to get him moving, the sound of skin slapping skin echoing in the dark cave.

Ignis barely groaned at the feeling of Noctis drinking his blood, each gulp he heard satisfying himself just as much. He thrust harder and deeper into the prince, holding him up by his ass as he fucked him into the wall.

Noctis pulled his teeth away as Ignis found that spot deep within him, assaulting it over and over. Noctis grit his teeth as he rode Ignis, using his arms to hold himself up against the wall. He winced at the feeling of biting his own lip open, anxiety of ingesting his own blood threatening to overwhelm his pleasure. Noctis barred his teeth, trying to will his fangs to recede as Ignis pounded into him harder. At the feeling of Ignis biting along his neck and stroking his cock, Noctis could feel his head swimming. "Ignis, I-"

"Come for me, Noct," Ignis panted through his thrusts, tightening his grip on Noctis as his thrusts quickened.

"F-fuck, Ignis!" Noctis threw his head back, hitting the wall hard as he came. His vision began to blur as he rode out his orgasm, warmth filling him as he moaned Ignis' name. Dark spots flooded his vision as Ignis' thrusts began to slow, his oil flavored blood coating his mouth. Noctis collapsed against Ignis, his legs falling limp as Ignis struggled to catch him. Noctis tried to speak through the haze, his mind already foggy. He could hear Ignis calling to him, could feel him wiping his face, could taste blood, could smell blood, could see blood.

Then everything was dark.

 

Noctis awoke in a soft bed, with warm light reflected off the ocean illuminating the room. Half of the room was made up of windows, the scent of salt and fish wafting through an open one. Noctis groaned as he tried to move his arms, but his body felt like lead. Noctis' eyes fell shut as he tried to remember what had happened...he'd been fishing. He was finally alone with Ignis and they'd decided to fool around in a cave nearby...there wasn't much else left.

Noctis winced as he turned his head, rolling right onto a goose egg of a bruise. Warm hands were brushing his face in an instant, a familiar scent calming his nerves. "Ignis..."

"Noct. How're you feeling?" Ignis whispered softly, caressing his chin gently.

Noctis groaned as he squinted his eyes shut. "Like hell."

Ignis smiled as he brushed hair from Noctis' face, "I know, love. You took quite a...pounding."

Noctis cracked an eye open at Ignis.

"Forgive me, I couldn't resist. What I meant was you hit your head hard and lost consciousness." Ignis whispered.

"Sounds vaguely familiar." Noctis sighed as he licked his dry lips, a faint tang of gasoline on his tongue. "Did I-"

"You did, but I forced you to vomit as soon as possible." Ignis leaned back to clean his glasses, the sunrise haloing his head.

"You...how?" Noctis reached a hand up to hold his throat.

Ignis placed his glasses back on his face, "Easily. Enough fingers down a throat can make anyone vomit."

Noctis' eyes widened. "So I've heard."

"And yet you asked." Ignis chuckled to himself.

Noctis rolled his eyes. "What did you tell the others?"

Ignis hummed to himself, steepling his fingers beneath his jaw. "Something I know you won't like."

Noctis paled, "The truth?"

"I'm not daft, Noctis. I told them you slipped on the dock and hit your head on one of the posts." Ignis said calmly.

"Oh. Brilliant." Noctis sighed.

"Gladio didn't think so; he thinks you're quite an idiot." Ignis tutted.

"Are you done?" Noctis groaned.

Ignis laughed loudly, the first time he'd done so in awhile. "Hardly."

Noctis smiled at him. Yet again, he owed Ignis his life. If a concussion hadn't been bad enough, internal hemorrhaging from his own toxic blood might have done him in. "Thank you." Noctis whispered, raising a hand to intertwine with Ignis'.

"You've nothing to thank me for. Simply doing my job." Ignis smiled as he rubbed his thumb affectionately against Noctis' hand.

"That so?" Noctis chuckled.

"Well, I suppose I like you well enough to not be completely annoyed by the thought of preserving your life." Ignis grinned as he leaned down to kiss his hand.

"Your sarcasm is on a roll today." Noctis sighed, but he was smiling.

"Why, thank you." Ignis smirked and gave him a light wink.

Their hands flew apart as the door opened. Gladio entered with Prompto in tow, both carrying plates of breakfast. "So, the princess is awake?" Gladio snickered as he placed a wide plate of steaming fish onto Noctis' lap.

"He awoke a short while ago." Ignis sighed at the scent of overseasoned trevally.

Prompto grinned from ear to ear, "Hey dude; how do you feel?"

Noctis groaned at the dull throbbing in his skull, "Well, my pride's wounded."

"As it should be. Your boots are treaded so that you don't slip." Gladio sighed as he sat in an armchair on the other side of the room.

Prompto shook his head as he went to sit by Noctis' side on the bed, "Dude, did you even catch anything?"

Noctis blushed in embarrassment, "It's not like you would've."

Prompto was unfazed by the jab. "Nope! I can only catch candid moments on camera."

"Do you know what candid means?" Ignis mumbled as he reached into a bag beside him.

"Uh, yeah dude, it means happy and great." Prompto rolled his eyes as he giggled at Noctis.

Noctis sighed. "Prom..."

"Hurry and eat, princess. I want you up and moving when this boat gets here." Gladio grumbled from his chair.

"Roger." Noctis mumbled as he picked at his fish.

"I think I'll do some reconnaissance." Ignis sighed as he rose to his feet. "That man yesterday still has me on edge."

Gladio hummed as he chewed his food, "Alright; be careful."

"When am I not?" Ignis asked with a smile as he left the room.

Noctis' gut ached. Partially from throwing up his own blood yesterday, but something didn't feel right that morning. The sun was shining too bright, as if it was trying to hide something sinister. The ocean was lively, as if it didn't plan on accommodating anyone.

Nothing felt right.

 

Ignis' stomach sank as he read the headline. Every one was the same; some variation of the same, terrible news. His heart raced at the thought of Noctis' reaction. There would be no consoling him. Not by conventional means. Ignis shook his head as he grabbed one of the papers to bring back to the room, anxiety crippling his steps.

Once inside, he couldn't stop himself from gazing at Noctis empathetically. He looked so...normal. As if his world hadn't just been shattered yet again.

"What's that look for?" Noctis asked with an arched brow, knowing Ignis well enough to know something was amiss.

Ignis looked to the floor; he couldn't meet those eyes anymore. He held his hand out as Gladio grabbed the paper from him. "It's in all the papers..." he mumbled, his voice cracking.

Prompto looked on over Gladio's shoulder. "'Insomnia...falls'?" he whispered incredulously.

Noctis gasped as his eyes widened, his heart already pounding in his chest. "Is this your idea of a joke?" he exclaimed, already closing the distance to Ignis.

"I need you to calm down so I can explain-" Ignis tried to assert himself, knowing already it was futile.

"I'm as calm as I'm gonna get!" Noctis shouted as he stood face to face with Ignis, his eyes flashing as he stared him down. Anger and confusion clouded his thoughts, causing him to lash out at the only person he knew would not only never lie to him, but forgive his actions should he lose himself.

Ignis held his ground, "There was an attack. The Imperial army has taken the Crown City." Ignis whispered as he avoided Noctis' firm gaze.

Noctis' mind crumbled. Gladio was reading on, something about the treaty signing going awry, something about explosions. Noctis felt light headedness combating his rage, his disbelief. He moved to stand by Gladio, looking over his shoulder, but not really seeing anything.

Gladio read on, voice level, "...'When the smoke cleared, the King was found, dead.'"

"No, wait, hold on..." Noctis stammered as his eyes darted about the room, searching for some kind of answer. This couldn't be real, couldn't actually be happening. His father couldn't actually be...

"We had no way of knowing." Ignis spoke low behind him, pacing as he fought to hide how distraught he really was.

Noctis was on him in an instant, programmed to always hear his voice. "What? Knowing what?" he shouted, his heart threatening to explode.

Ignis looked at him sadly. "That the signing was last night, that Insomnia-"

"But the wedding! But Altissia-" Noctis argued, desperate to have some kind of reasoning for this chaos.

"I know!" Ignis cut him off sharply. "That was the plan. Yet the reports of the invasion are all the same." Ignis looked away, grief for his prince wracking his heart. "How could every headline in the kingdom be wrong?" Ignis whispered.

Noctis felt his breath flush out of his lungs. He wanted to run, he wanted to scream, wanted to cry. "...Lies." Noctis whispered, hoping against hope someone would confess to this all being a cruel joke.

"If only." Prompto mumbled from the window. He'd been silent this whole time, contemplating things of his own, and Noctis hated that he couldn't bring himself to care yet.

Noctis' limbs threatened to give way. He shakily moved across the room to sit in a chair, listening to the blood rushing through his ears. He couldn't hear his companions over the sound of it, couldn't see through the glaze over his eyes. His father...he hadn't...Noctis had still been so angry when he'd left. If he was really gone...

"Turn back?" Gladio muttered, his face ashen.

Noctis felt like he was underwater.
That everything was moving slower, sounding quieter, feeling heavier. He looked down at his sweaty palms, his skin pale and hands shaking. His mind and body were in tatters. He heard himself say yes, that he wanted to go back to Insomnia. He sat there, feeling like his life was evaporating into thin air through his skin. His vision became blurry, and colors seemed less vibrant. Breathing hurt, his throat protesting with each breath.

The familiar scent of love eased into his senses, Ignis standing beside him and squeezing his shoulder. Noctis instinctively placed his hand over Ignis', not thinking or caring about what the others might think. "Ignis..."

"I know." Ignis whispered. His heart was cleaved in two. They'd only just begun to accept the new conditions of their lives; Noctis' imminent marriage, their relationship having to cease, and now...

How could everything have gone wrong in just one night?

 

Noctis fumed in the backseat of the Regalia. Rain pounded against the windows, the clouds grey and foreboding the closer they got to home, as if Niflheim had control over the weather itself. His mind was racing; other broadcasts had even said that Luna and himself had perished in Insomnia, meaning his father could still be alive as well. Propaganda was known to go so far.

Noctis was jarred from his thoughts at the car braking suddenly. Ahead was a blockade across the entrance to the city, Imperials flooding the street like ants.

"We'll have to find another route." Ignis whispered, shifting the car into reverse to pull down a side dirt road, the thick mud painting the Regalia.

Noctis was flexing his hand, still feeling his strong connection to the Crystal. Good.

He'd need it.

 

Ignis had never witnessed Noctis in such a rage. He was warping through enemy lines, cutting them down like they were less than nothing, never pausing to take a breath. His eyes would flash red as his blade connected, his teeth barred with pure hatred. Noctis was a ghost as he faded from place to place, kill to kill, until none were left. Ignis' jaw dropped at the sheer amount of blood that dripped from the prince's sword, his own black garb damp with blood. He watched as Noctis wiped his mouth, his face contorted in disgust, as if a drop of Imperial blood would do worse than kill him if he ingested it.

"He's pretty pissed, huh?" Prompto mumbled, his gun still safety locked from not having to be used.

"Aren't you?" Gladio grumbled, his eyes stern.

"Well, yeah! Of course, but..." Prompto trailed off, watching the prince return his blade to the Armiger, not even bothering to clean it.

"But this is madness." Ignis whispered, his heart beating hard in his chest. Ignis couldn't have Noctis seeing red like this; recklessness to this degree was only liable to get him killed. Noctis had just begun to stomp off up the hill when Ignis shouted to him.
"Noct!"

Noctis ignored his name being called, eager to get a view of the city. When he'd finally reached the cliff, his knees buckled and it took all of his strength not to fall.

The city was a ruin. Imperial hovercrafts swarmed like flies as smoke billowed from the streets. Sirens were blaring in the distance, but were drowned out as a hovercraft flew overhead.

Noctis heard the broadcast over Prompto's phone, his rage swelling with every detail.

 

"Noct?"

Noctis stared at the floor of the caravan. His heart was beating slow, his mind blank. Everything was gone, was over.

"Noctis."

"What." Noctis sighed, not looking up.

Ignis inhaled deeply before moving to sit next to him on the beat up couch. "Talk to me."

"There's nothing to talk about." Noctis lied. He didn't want to talk. He didn't want to do anything. His father was dead, and his kingdom was stolen.

There was nothing to talk about.

"Noctis, you can't wall yourself off like this. We are all here for you, whatever you need-"

"What could any of you do? Honestly? This isn't something that holding hands and singing around the campfire is going to fix!" Noctis shouted, his head pounding as a sharp sound blared in his ears. He winced and held his head, opening his eyes to find Ignis staring at him with concern.

"Noct? What's wrong?" Ignis asked quickly, placing the back of his palm to the prince's forehead. "You're burning up..."

"I'm fine." Noctis hissed as he swatted Ignis' hand away. The high pitched sound resumed, Noctis gritting his teeth as he covered his ears. "What is that sound?"

"What sound?" Ignis said gently, worry overwhelming his hurt feelings.

"That! Can't you hear it?" Noctis leaned back on the couch, shutting his eyes as he focused on trying to ignore the shrill sound.

"I don't hear anything, Noct." Ignis whispered, carefully placing a hand on the prince's knee. "Are you...when was the last time you fed?" They still had a few thermoses left, but not many. They were supposed to be able to restock in Insomnia next week...

Noctis groaned as he leaned forward, his sanity peeling away. "I...this morning."

Ignis' face turned sour. "No, you didn't. It was last night, but you didn't end up being able to retain any of it." Ignis was already rolling up his sleeve, offering his wrist to him. "Here."

Noctis shook his head. He wanted to get up and run as far as he could. It wasn't enough that he'd been trying to push Ignis away, now he was still willing to give this to him? "I don't want to."

"That isn't an option." Ignis stated firmly. It wasn't; if Noctis ended up going through withdrawal, at a time like this...

"Ignis-"

"Noctis, now."

Noctis looked over at Ignis' wrist. It already bore so many scars. Scratches, teeth marks, and two, large scrapes from when Noctis had lost himself. He didn't need any more.

"Noctis, please. You need to do this." Ignis pleaded, his voice soft.

Noctis licked his lips as his fangs extended. His skin felt warm, like he was being cooked from the inside. He watched as his hand shakily reached for Ignis', gripping tightly and pulling him closer. Noctis exhaled a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding, before tenderly licking along Ignis' flesh, like he'd always done. He lined his teeth up with a previous scar, hoping at the very least to mar his beautiful skin less. He slowly bit down, the sound of scarred skin tearing finally drowning out the sound of the high pitched wailing in his ears. He bit down further, warm blood beginning to flood his mouth, Noctis sucking hard so as not to let any fall onto the couch. He elevated Ignis' hand, allowing the blood to flow forth more easily, gulping down the sweet, tart blood. He hummed into his skin, licking along his wrist as he indulged himself. In the back of his mind he was aware of Ignis fondly stroking his cheek. Noctis could feel his control beginning to slip; they'd been so careful, so cautious regarding his feeding habits. The stress of the world had taken a toll on his body, and his wants were outweighing his needs with every swallow of blood.

He wanted to drain Ignis completely.

He wanted him to flow through him and him alone, to not have to be apart from him. Skin to skin contact would never be enough, not when Noctis could consume him and always have him. He wanted him dried up, completely devoid of color and life, so that Noctis could never feel empty. The thought of Ignis only existing within him spurred him on, and he sucked harder, swallowed faster. The sweet taste of huckleberries and honey clouded his senses, made his own heart beat faster. Noctis bit down harder, gripping tighter when he felt that hand fall from his cheek. He could hear Ignis calling to him, but he sounded so far away. Soon, he would always be near.

Cold water splashed over him, chilling him to the bone. That high pitched siren in his head drummed through him, and he bit down even harder in retaliation, feeling flesh squeeze in his jaw. A weak hand was tugging at his wet shirt, the sound of fabric tearing being drowned out by his own greedy gulps of blood.

Suddenly his neck was on fire. Sharp teeth were digging into his neck, and Noctis bit down harder on Ignis' wrist in response, wincing in pain. Noctis recoiled when those teeth bit down even harder, pulling away and wiping his mouth as he rubbed at his neck. He looked up to stare down Ignis, his blood boiling before going ice cold in an instant.

Ignis was breathing heavily, his skin pale and teeth specked with blood. He was cradling his wrist, which was already bruising beneath the smears of blood. His eyes were scared and sad, his lip trembling as he fought to find words.

Noctis' eyes widened in horror. He'd done it again. He'd lost control completely, and Ignis had paid the price. Noctis looked down at himself, his shirt soaked from water and ripped at the collar. Blood was visible even through the black fabric. His fangs finally receded as he closed his eyes.

"Noctis?" Ignis mumbled, his heart racing.

"Ignis..." Noctis whispered, eyes still closed as he wiped his mouth.

"Are you alright?" Ignis said slowly, scooting closer to where he was sitting.

Noctis' eyes shot open. "Am I alright? Ignis, I nearly killed you. Again. How can you honestly ask me if I'm alright?" Noctis spat as he pulled off his shirt to wrap around Ignis' wrist.

"I'm fine." Ignis whispered, his voice slightly hoarse. "It's because you lost control that I'm asking."

"Damn it, Ignis, you're not listening to me." Noctis grumbled, tying the shirt tightly around his wrist.

Ignis arched a brow at the prince, "It's you who isn't listening. Are. You. Alright?"

Noctis inhaled deeply as he rubbed his brow, leaving a streak of red in its wake. "Just peachy."

Ignis gave him a small smile. "Good. Now come here, let me see your neck."

Noctis sighed as he tilted his head away from Ignis. He winced slightly when Ignis touched the bite mark, surprised that it hurt as much as it did. "Why am I wet?"

"I've always tried to keep a flask of water on me at all times for the last few years." Ignis whispered, gingerly touching the bite.

"That's nice. And the answer to my question?"

"It was a recommended tactic to snap you out of those fits." Ignis mumbled, his heart heavy.

Noctis grew quiet. He knew only too well where Ignis would've received such advice. "Something else he was wrong about."

Ignis halted his movements, before grabbing Noctis by the chin to force him to meet his eyes. "Noctis. Your father was many things, but he was not a fool. And he loved you more than could be said."

Noctis huffed, not ready to fully tackle the beast that was mourning for his father. "Clearly. He chose to save me over anyone else in an entire city!"

Ignis frowned. "Noctis, you were chosen by the Crystal. You have a calling you must answer to, and to do that, you must be alive."

Noctis rolled his eyes. "A 'calling'. I'm meant to save people, not have them be sacrificed on my behalf!"

Ignis raised his hands in defeat. "I can't fight with you about this, clearly." Ignis reached down to grab Noctis' hand, placing his other one on his neck. He inhaled deeply as he used Noctis to channel magic from the Crystal, healing the prince's wound.

Noctis' eyes widened at the familiar tug in his gut, that feeling of being pulled from both sides. It didn't hurt per se, but it didn't tickle.

Ignis lowered his hand to inspect his work. "Better. Still some light bruising, but nothing terrible."

"Ignis, your arm-"

"Ah, yes. I suppose I should address that next. May I?" Ignis inquired gently, removing Noctis' makeshift tourniquet and placing his hand over Noctis' again.

Noctis nodded lamely. The fact that Ignis only asked for permission to harness his magic from him when it didn't pertain to Noctis himself was both touching and heartbreaking. He watched as Ignis' flesh began to reassemble together, a green glow and light hum emanating from his weak hand. The broken skin stitched itself in place, until no open wounds remained, only bruises and dried blood.

"My thanks." Ignis whispered as he inspected his arm. It was still black and blue; magic couldn't heal scars or bruises, only real wounds, which was more than enough.

"You have nothing to thank me for..." Noctis mumbled, turning away so he wouldn't have to see that sad skin anymore. "I'm the one who did that to you."

"I'm aware. But I will always do whatever is necessary to ensure that you are looked after and well." Ignis smiled weakly, color still absent from his skin.

Noctis watched him sadly. His heart felt like it was being squeezed and not allowed to beat. "Ignis..."

"Hm?"

"I...you know that I-"

"I love you too, Noctis." Ignis whispered.

Noctis felt a tear roll down his cheek. Today had been such a long day. First his kingdom and his father were gone, and then he nearly killed the man he loved. Noctis reached up to hold Ignis' face, rubbing his skin tenderly with his thumbs. Noctis swooned when Ignis nuzzled into his hands. Noctis gave a breathy laugh, another tear escaping him as he pulled him in a tender kiss. Ignis' lips were so soft, so willing to be kissed by him, that clever tongue sneaking its way into Noctis' mouth as he tilted his head to deepen their kiss. Noctis sighed at the feeling of Ignis caressing his neck, his skin on fire everywhere he touched. Noctis pulled away, slightly out of breath, heart still thumping in his chest. "I'm sorry."

Ignis, for once, decided not to argue. "I know."

Noctis looked up at him, giving him a weak smile before kissing his forehead. "I guess I should change before going out to the others."

"That would be wise; I'll clean myself up as well." Ignis whispered, rising to his feet unsteadily.

Noctis rose to support him in an instant. "Iggy, maybe you should stay..."

Ignis waved him off as he shook his head. "I'm quite alright, Noctis. Go ahead and get changed."

Noctis furrowed his brows, but sighed in defeat as he turned to look for another shirt.

Ignis couldn't pull his eyes away from his beautiful skin and toned stomach. Noctis caught him staring and gave him a quick wink, Ignis blushing and clearing his throat as he turned to wash his skin in the sink.

Noctis pulled on another black shirt as well as his jacket to hide his neck as he went to stand behind Ignis, pressing against him and breathing into his neck. "I'll meet you over there?"

Ignis hummed as he scrubbed at his arm, "You will."

Noctis smiled before planting a quick peck onto his neck, "Thanks, Iggy."

"Of course, my love." Ignis whispered as Noctis left the caravan.

Alone with his thoughts, Ignis contemplated just how their journey had changed, and just what their next move should be once they'd managed to track down Cor. Ignis hated that a part of him enjoyed the idea of traveling longer with Noctis, even under such circumstances. The wedding may no longer be a sign of peace with Niflheim, but once all is said and done, it might be more crucial for the people than it would've been before. Ignis' heart raced in his chest at the thought of watching Luna walk down the aisle to meet Noctis, standing at the altar, clad in his raiment, smiling in the sun.

Ignis winced as he pulled his arm out of the water, looking over the stains of bruises. What would become of that part of Noctis' life? Ignis would always be there, always ready and able, but what if he wasn't enough? What if Luna found out and was terrified? What of their children that will possess this 'gift' as well?

What would become of Noctis?

 

Chapter Text

"Drive faster, I'm cooking alive," Prompto whined from his seat, peeling his shoulder off of the deep mahogany colored leather of the Regalia.

"I'm driving fast enough, thank you. It wouldn't do to attract any more unwanted attention than we already have." Ignis sighed as he adjusted his lenses.

Gladio hummed as he flipped through his book. "It's not like we can go any faster with the princess like that."

Ignis peeked into the rear view mirror, eyes narrowing at the sight of Noctis sitting on the back of the car, arms casually at his sides like they weren't going well over 60 miles per hour. "Noct, would you please sit down?"

"I am sitting." Noctis yawned, glaring as Prompto snapped a picture of him.

"Oh perfect, Noct! You look totally aloof and carefree!" Prompto giggled as he inspected his new masterpiece.

"Why are you still taking pictures? This isn't exactly a vacation anymore." Gladio grumbled as he closed his book.

Prompto bit his lip. "Well, yeah but...it'll still be nice to have when this is all over and we save the day!"

Ignis tutted as he gently steered the car around a curve. "If you say so."

"I do! Trust me, you'll see," Prompto smiled, proud of himself.

Noctis rolled his eyes as he hopped down into the back seat. "How much longer?"

"We're nearly there." Ignis nodded toward a small settlement at the base of dry mountains.

"And Cor is supposed to be here?" Gladio raised an eyebrow at the obvious hunter lodge in the distance.

"So Cid said." Ignis glanced at a herd of anak off the side of the road, their height imposing even at this distance.

Prompto snapped a picture of them, but furrowed his brows at the blurry image. "Iggy, do you think maybe we could-"

"No." The others said in unison.

 

"I feel like I'm about to be murdered." Prompto whispered, carefully stepping through the dark cave, his flashlight aimed at his feet.

"You always feel that way." Noctis mumbled, fingers twitching for his blade at every sound in the distance.

Prompto screamed as a door slammed behind them. "Can we please go?"

"You say it like it's an option." Gladio sighed.

Prompto whined. "It's creepy in here, dude. And whatever is in here with us clearly wants us to be scared."

"Of course it does. We're invading its space." Ignis said nonchalantly, unfazed by the eerie setting.

"I wouldn't be rolling out the red carpet either." Noctis chuckled, glancing at a small well as they passed, faint echoes reverberating from the bottom of it.

"Ha, ha. So funny." Prompto drawled. "Why is it you guys only have a sense of humor when it's at my expense?"

"It's funnier that way." Gladio hummed as he checked another locked door. "To hell with this place."

They all stopped dead in their tracks at a loud scraping sound echoing further down the tunnel, followed by footsteps behind them.

"How many are there?" Prompto whispered, his voice cracking.

"Enough to surround us, it seems." Ignis sighed as he adjusted his glasses.

More creaks and scraping sounds came from both directions, both ends slowly getting closer to them, and louder. Several feet could be heard dragging in the dirt, some quickening to a run.

"Oh my Gods, they're coming right for us!" Prompto whined, summoning his pistol.

Noctis felt the hairs on the back of his neck raise, straining his ears to pinpoint how many there were.

The footsteps and scrapes were reaching a crescendo, each side echoing with the other. In the faint light cast from their flashlights, Noctis could barely make out glowing eyes and barred teeth, gnashing and growling as they got closer.

They quickly assembled back to back, arms at the ready for the fast approaching menace. They were nearly upon them, their march cacophonous in the deep tunnel.

Noctis braced himself, getting ready to lunge forward, when suddenly...nothing. There was nothing there. Not even a sound in the distance to signal their retreat. It was like they were always alone in this tunnel, as if they hadn't just been nearly overwhelmed by sheer numbers of...whatever they were.

Prompto gasped. "Dude, what-"

Ignis hushed him, craning his neck to listen for anything at all. Nothing. "Noct?"

Noctis closed his eyes and concentrated his senses, which weren't as sharp as they could be had he'd fed, but keen nonetheless. His eyes opened slowly. "There's nothing..." he whispered as he strode into the darkness, kneeling to inspect the dust, which was undisturbed. "Not even footprints."

"What in the hell..." Gladio whispered, sweat beading down his brow more than it had been when an ambush seemed imminent.

"Are we crazy? Are we dreaming? Are we dead and in hell? What's going on?" Prompto blubbered quickly, spinning in circles, looking up and down.

Noctis leaned up to flick him on the ear.

Ignis adjusted his glasses and sighed. "There must be a logical explanation for this...conundrum. But we shouldn't waste any more precious time here. Let us keep moving."

"Y-yeah...alright." Prompto whispered, rubbing his ear.

"C'mon, let's go." Gladio grumbled, hand still on his blade.

Prompto nodded, looking back to the well. Something was twinkling there, something that hadn't been there before... "Uh, guys-"

"Prompto, the sooner we get moving, the sooner we can leave. Now let's go." Noctis called, heading for a new door.

Prompto gulped heavily, giving the well one last look before trotting after them, sticking particularly close to Gladio.

 

Noctis laid on the creaky bed of the caravan, his heart still ringing in his ears. It was like his blood was thicker, like it took more force just to pump it throughout his body and back to his heart. If he were in Insomnia, he'd go see Louis about it. Noctis' eyes opened at the thought of that eccentric doctor. Hopefully he'd made it out; he was a good man underneath all of his bullshit.

"Hey, Noct?"

Noctis sat up, letting out a stretch and a yawn. "What's up, Prompto?"

Prompto scratched the back of his neck nervously, refusing to meet his eyes. "Oh, uh...nothing. I'm just checking on you, dude."

Noctis arched a brow. "Making sure I haven't lost my mind yet?"

Prompto shook his head. "Dude, no one would judge you if you needed to let something out. I feel like that would be healthier than this bottling up thing you're doing."

"Who said I'm bottling anything?" Noctis snapped, already irritated that he felt annoyed by someone's genuine concern.

"Nobody, but...what happened in the tomb today with Cor-"

"Forget it, Prom." Noctis whispered, falling back onto the bed.

"Noct, y'know I can't do that...I care about you buddy, and I need you to know that it's okay to feel what you're feeling, and that I'm here if you need someone to talk to..." Prompto trailed off into a whisper, looking down at his feet. When Noctis said nothing, Prompto took a deep breath and continued. "I love you dude, you're my best friend. I just want to help."

Noctis remained silent, simply staring up at the ceiling of the smoke scented caravan. He was still processing everything that had happened at his own pace, and that meant hiding his feelings about it. After his outburst to Cor, he was embarrassed and ashamed for not seeming stronger, yet at the same time, he couldn't bring himself to care. Anger, anxiety, and apathy were all swirling together in his mind and his heart, each hitting at different times and different intensities. Until he could reign himself in, how could he accurately tell someone how he was feeling? These raw feelings didn't know how to be expressed, and Noctis didn't have the time to figure out how to. So he'd already resigned to battle it internally, alone, without confiding in others, but each time it bubbled to the surface, it got harder and harder to hide.

And harder and harder to care.

"I'm sorry, Noct. I'll leave you alone." Prompto whispered after no response, turning to leave.

Noctis gathered every ounce of will he had left to call out to him. "Prompto."

"Yeah?"

"I love you, too." Noctis mumbled, eyes falling shut to hide their glisten.

Prompto smiled wide, before exiting the caravan, closing the door behind him.

Noctis rolled onto his side, cradling his arms around his legs. He took a deep breath, held it for as long as he could stand, and let it out as slow as possible. He continued to do so until he felt dizzy and lightheaded, and fell into a dreamless sleep.

 

"How is he?" Gladio whispered, reshuffling the cards on a table across the street from the caravan.

"Not great." Prompto sighed as he sat down in defeat.

Ignis nodded. "It's worse than he's letting on."

"Of course it is. He may be a princess, but he isn't one to want to be thought of as weak." Gladio grumbled, frustration making his fingers fumble the cards.

Ignis calmly gestured with a slender finger, and Gladio surrendered the cards for him to shuffle. "We need to be patient with him." Ignis began, elegantly shuffling the cards with a perfect bridge. "It's going to take quite some time before he's even willing to talk about it. That's just how he is."

Prompto hummed in thought. "That's right, I guess you've known him the longest out of us, huh?"

Ignis nodded sadly. "Since he was a very small child, yes. All the more better for my position as his advisor to know him so well."

Gladio snorted. "Doesn't hurt that you guys seem like two peas in a pod; I'm surprised you're not with him now, let alone that he hasn't been talking to you about what's going on."

Ignis' eyes narrowed. "He needs his space and rest just as much as he enjoys my company." Ignis sighed, trying to at least remain truthful, if not horribly vague. "He's told me enough, all that I need do is be ready for him when he needs to say any more."

"Fair enough." Gladio mumbled, grabbing the deck to cut it.

Ignis stared blankly at the table. "It is, however, what we promised His Majesty."

Gladio halted his movements, Prompto visibly stiffening.

"We're not to guide him..." Ignis began, tapering off as he closed his eyes.

"Merely remain at his side." Prompto and Gladio finished together, both lowering their heads in silence.

Ignis nodded, opening his eyes to look at the stars. He could see the Ifrit's Belt constellation from here in the countryside, usually not visible from Insomnia's city lights. Ignis imprinted it to memory, not certain of when the next time he'd be able to take in the stars for a moment.

 

"So this is Duscae..." Noctis mumbled as he hopped out of the Regalia at the gas station.

As far as the eye could see, rolling green hills of thick forests scattered about, along with arches of rock cutting through the air. A large lake was visible deep in the valley, a handful of catoblepas grazing in the murk. In the distance, the Disc of Cauthess shined in the sunlight, its jagged edges jutting up from the earth, the surrounding cliffs still leaning away in a scattered swirl from its initial near impact.

"Fuck." Noctis sighed as he took it in, not seeing this much green since his visit to Tenebrae as a child.

"'Fuck' is right." Gladio whispered in awe.

"It's so beautiful!" Prompto giggled, eager to see and photograph everything.

"Much of it is a treacherous marsh, but yes, it certainly has its own appeal with its woods and cliffs." Ignis mused, adjusting his glasses.

"Iggy, can't you just say something looks 'nice', for once?" Gladio sighed, already walking away with Prompto in tow towards the gas stations' store.

Ignis rolled his eyes and shook his head, turning to look at Noctis, who was still gazing out at Duscae. "Impressed, I see."

"It's so different." Noctis whispered. He looked over his shoulder to meet Ignis' eyes, giving him a weak smile.

Ignis lost his breath, even at a smile so small, so tired, so sad. Ignis cleared his throat. "Do I really never say things are simply 'nice'?"

Noctis gave a light chuckle. "No, but that's what I like about you. Simple sayings are never enough to express your true feelings, so you tend to paint your own words with what has significant meaning to you."

Ignis' eyes widened. "You think so?"

"Of course I do. You're very interesting, Ignis." Noctis gave him a sly wink.

Ignis smiled at him, wanting nothing more than to simply hold him in his arms with no other thought of other people. Instead, Ignis casually placed a hand on his shoulder, gave a tender squeeze, before leaning in to whisper, "You look nice, Noctis."

Noctis laughed loudly then, a sound that hadn't happened in so long, that Ignis wished he'd recorded it, lest it continue to be so rare. Noctis' cheeks were tinted a light pink, his eyes glistening in the sun. "Such poetry, I'm blown away." Noctis laughed, carefree and sweet, forgetting all of his troubles in that moment. "Thank you, Ignis."

"Always, love." Ignis whispered, turning on his heel to fill up the Regalia.

 

"Chocobos!!" Prompto wailed as he jumped from the still moving Regalia.

"Dear Gods." Ignis sighed, pulling the car off to the side to properly park.

"Noct! You gotta come see this!!" Prompto hollered as he grabbed vegetables to feed the large yellow avians.

"Geez, someone's excited." Gladio yawned as he hopped out of the car. "Like he's never seen one before, right Noct? ...Noct?"

Noctis was already running to Prompto, eager to see a chocobo up close. Anything to get out of his head.

Gladio sighed as he rubbed his sore neck. "Well, got him to quit moping at least."

Ignis hummed to himself, straightening his jacket as he strode after the prince. By the time he caught up with him, Noctis was petting one that had already seemed to take a liking to him.

"Iggy, look- isn't she cute?" Noctis beamed.

Ignis smiled back, reaching a hand up to stroke her feathers. "I always seem to forget how much you enjoy animals, Noctis."

"Do you not?" Noctis chuckled, wrapping his arms around her large neck, sighing happily as she nuzzled against him. In this moment, his problems weren't his own, and Noctis welcomed the distraction wholeheartedly.

Ignis grinned. Like a child at a petting zoo, Noctis was overjoyed. He'd always had a way with animals, always wanted some of his own in the palace. Ignis recalled a young prince begging the King in tears for a puppy, a kitten, even a fish.

Regis had always said no, for some reason.

"Iggy, I think she wants you to keep petting her." Noctis smiled, gesturing Ignis to come closer.

"As the lady wishes." Ignis hummed, reaching up to scratch her neck, chuckling when she leaned into his touch.

"Where's Prompto?" Gladio called behind them, looking around the ranch.

"I dunno, with his hair, he'll blend right in." Noctis laughed, not looking away from his new feathered friend.

"Literally, always at my expense!" Prompto huffed from behind them, holding a baby chocobo in his arms.

Gladio whistled. "Damn, that thing's tiny."

"Can't be more than a week or two old. Who on Eos trusted you with it?" Ignis mused, raising an eyebrow.

Prompto stuck out his tongue, but smiled as the small chick tweeted in his arms. "This guy named Wiz owns this place! He let me hold him!"

"...and you walked off with it?" Gladio sighed.

"I'm still in the ranch, geez! You're acting like I'd steal a chocobo!"

The others fell silent, brows raised.

"You guys are the worst; no trust." Prompto pouted, petting the small chick.

"Can I hold him?" Noctis smiled, unable to hold back his eagerness.

"Sure dude, just be careful, you might steal it." Prompto teased, handing the chick over with more care than he would a human infant.

Noctis rolled his eyes before swooning at the small chick chirping in his arms. It barely weighed a thing, and it's feathers were still short and poofy. "Oh my Gods."

"Cute, ain't he?" A man wearing a bright yellow bandana walked over, smiling wide at them. He looked kind, with crows feet around his eyes from either smiling too much or squinting in the sun.

"You must be Wiz?" Ignis extended a hand which the man shook politely.

"That's me, and this here is my ranch. This lad here mentioned we had some enthusiasts comin' in." Wiz smiled, giving Gladio a wink.

"'Enthusiasts?'" Gladio sighed as he shot a side eye at Prompto, who suddenly found the ground very interesting to look at.

"It means-"

"Shut up Noct, I know what it means. Why does everyone think I'm some kind of idiot?" Gladio groaned.

"Can we ride some?" Noctis smiled his most charming smile, wanting to ride and feel the wind through his hair, hoping the rush of oxygen would clear his head as well.

"I wish y'all could, but it's too dangerous for the birds to be out with Deadeye about." Wiz sighed sadly.

"Deadeye?" Prompto whispered, eyes wide.

"Aye, a behemoth with a temper and an appetite for these here chocobos." Wiz rubbed his beard thoughtfully. "There's a bounty out for him, but no takers yet."

"We'll kill it." Noctis said quickly.

Ignis' eyes widened. "Noct, maybe we should think this through. From the sound of it, this is no mere beast."

"We've handled worse." Noctis handed the small chick back to Wiz before heading over to the bounty post.

"His mind sure is made up." Gladio sighed as he went over to get the details.

"I'm all for helping chocobos, but what if we're in over our heads?" Prompto shuddered.

Ignis removed his glasses to rub his eyes. "Doesn't seem we have much of a choice."

"If y'all are sure, I'd sure be grateful." Wiz whispered as he petted the small chocobo in his arms, smiling as it relaxed into his touch. "The birds have been antsy about being all cooped up."

"I'm sure." Ignis whispered, watching Noctis rip the sign down to shove it into his pocket.

Noctis walked back over, a fire in his eyes. "Consider it done."

 

"This must be his lair..." Prompto whispered, eyes taking in the deep claw marks scattered about to mark a territory.

"And there he is." Noctis nodded toward the angry beast.

Wiz hadn't been kidding that this behemoth was a real monster. It's muscles could be seen rippling beneath its skin, and it's tail was thick enough to be considered a limb. It's fangs were yellow and sharper than knives, with claws to match. The scar that took out one of its eyes only made it look even more pissed off.

"Ugly son of a bitch." Gladio whispered, hoisting his broadsword over his shoulder.

"Let's go." Noctis whispered, only to be pulled back by Ignis. "What?!"

"Patience. See the barrels? Ignite those and we'll do considerable damage." Ignis whispered, eyes narrowed in concentration.

"Gotcha." Noctis mumbled, rising back to his feet to prepare his assault.

Deadeye had caught on to their trespassing, and roared loud enough for them to cover their ears. Gladio charged first, drawing the beast down from its perch, the ground shaking as it landed. In a blink of an eye, it used its heavy tail to send Gladio flying, simultaneously swiping down at Noctis, who barely managed to warp away in time.

Prompto fired his pistol from a safer distance, aiming for its face, but not doing much damage. Ignis slid underneath Deadeye's belly, slashing its legs with his knives as he went. The beast roared in pain as it swerved around and knocked Ignis through the air, his back slamming against a stone wall yards away.

Noctis warped up to its back, stabbing his sword down into its spine as far as he could, only to have the beast roll to shake him off. Noctis winced as he fell to the ground, narrowly escaping being crushed by the angered behemoth. Gladio swung his sword against its leg, the satisfying gush of blood spilling to the ground.

Deadeye howled in rage as it clawed fiercely at Gladio, grazing his shoulder as he rolled away. Ignis was stumbling to his feet as he ran towards him, quickly healing him so he wouldn't lose anymore blood. Prompto yelled in the distance, going trigger happy with his gun as he aimed for the wounded leg.

Noctis breathed heavily and screamed for everyone to stay back, calling upon the crystal to launch fire from his hand at the nearest barrel. It exploded instantly, fire latching onto Deadeye, the cries of pain deafening.

The beast whirled on its feet, charging for Noctis at full speed. Noctis managed to warp away, running as fast as he could around the corner of the stone wall. The beast skidded across the dirt from its wounded leg, but continued to bound after the prince, fury in its eye. Noctis slid to a stop in front of a large gas canister, turning to see the behemoth only a few seconds from him. He could hear his friends calling to him, adrenaline taking over as he waited until the last second for the beast to get closer before warping behind it, the sound of it crashing into the canister and spilling oil over itself loud enough to send a tremor through the ground.

Noctis turned on his heel, quickly summoning fire magic to his palm, leaning back to throw it behind the beast that was already turning around. Deadeye was rearing up to strike him down, and its claws connected with Noctis' chest as the gasoline caught on fire, a barrel nearby igniting and exploding, the force sending Noctis back as the beast cooked alive in the flames.

"Noctis!" Ignis screamed at the top of his lungs, running at break neck speed and skidding across the dirt to where the prince had fallen. Ignis quickly picked him up in his arms, calling upon the crystal to heal him. A faint green light illuminated Noctis' wounds, but did little to stitch him up. His shirt was in tatters, exposing three large scrapes across his chest, all still oozing blood. "Noctis, look at me; focus."

Noctis coughed up more blood, vision starting to blur. His mind begged him to concentrate on drawing on the crystal, but his body was too drained from his previous exertions, and his strength was sapping away each second.

"Shit, Noct!" Gladio hollered as he pulled out a potion, uncapping it before he handed it to Ignis, who quickly put it to Noctis' lips. The prince coughed and sputtered, but even the potion did little to heal such grievous wounds.

"What else do we have? What else do we have?!" Prompto screamed, digging through his pockets, with no luck of finding an elixir.

Ignis' mind raced. There was only one other option. The last resort, especially with Gladio and Prompto nearby.

It couldn't be helped. He'd deal with the repercussions later.

Without a word, Ignis pulled out the knife he always kept on him, concealed in his coat pocket. He swiftly flicked it open and cut deep into his own wrist, ignoring Gladio and Prompto yelling behind him. Ignis quickly pressed his wrist to the prince's mouth, who's skin was already pale and eyes closed.

For a terrifying moment, nothing happened. Ignis clenched his hand into a fist as more blood gushed from his wound into Noctis' mouth. Ignis grit his teeth and shook his shoulder free from someone's grasp. "Come on, Noctis." he whispered under his breath.

Ignis gasped as Noctis' eyes flickered. A warm tongue was licking at his wrist, the sound of gulping blood ringing in his ears. Ignis nearly cried with tears of joy when Noctis' eyes opened, and those sharp fangs bit into his skin. Ignis whispered encouragement as Noctis drank from him, his arms weakly reaching up to hold Ignis' arm close.

Color was already returning to his skin. The horrifying wounds on his chest stopped bleeding, and were even starting to close. Noctis' eyes glowed a faint red in the setting sun, his throat bobbing up and down as he drank more and more blood.

Ignis was so relieved, he'd forgotten to make sure he didn't die himself. When he began to feel lightheaded, he calmly leaned down and whispered to Noctis, trying to appeal to him to let go. His free hand stroked through his hair, begging the Gods above that he wouldn't lose control; not now.

Ignis winced as Noctis' fangs retracted from his skin, watching as he licked his wrist tenderly before licking his own lips clean. Blood still trickled down his chin and his mouth was stained red; his shirt was nothing more than a rag and his wounds had barely begun to scar, but he was alive. Ignis never needed any more than that.

Noctis' eyes blurred into focus, smiling when he saw Ignis staring down at him. "Hey...sorry." he coughed as he wiped his mouth.

Ignis shushed him tenderly, brushing his hair from his eyes. "You should be. Rest." Ignis whispered, relieved when Noctis listened and his eyes fell shut.

"What in the fuck..."

Ignis paled, more than he already was. He'd nearly forgotten in his distress that Gladio and Prompto were right behind him. Had seen everything.

"W-what was that?" Prompto's voice quivered, his shaking evident in his tone.

Ignis shook his head as he quickly bound up his wrist. "I can explain-"

"You'd fucking better! What the hell was that?" Gladio hollered, overcome with too many emotions to process anything rationally.

And Ignis knew it, too. "I'll explain, at camp." he sighed as he rose to his feet unsteadily. "Carry him for me?"

Gladio said nothing. His face was ashen and his eyes seemed... hurt. Without a word, he bent down to cradle the prince in his arms, trying not to look at his blood covered body and face.

"Is he-"

"He'll be fine, Prompto. As will I." Ignis mumbled. He popped the cap off another potion and downed it himself, already feeling his wrist begin to hurt less. "Come, let's leave this place."

Prompto mumbled something, turning to look at the still burning beast. The stench of burned flesh hung thick in the air, along with the metallic scent of blood.

Gladio remained silent as he held the prince close. He seemed so fragile in his arms, so delicate, like he could break in a strong enough breeze. And yet he'd just watched him feed from Ignis' bloody wrist like he wasn't even human.

 

Noctis awoke in his sleeping bag. His eyes felt dry and irritated, and even having them closed hurt. Dancing shadows across the tent signaled that there was a campfire outside, the smell of steaks cooking slowly wafting in through the open zip. Noctis shook his head as he tried to recollect his thoughts.

They saw chocobos...they took on a deadly hunt for a behemoth to keep them safe...that was most of what he could remember.

Noctis winced in pain as he tried to sit up, his chest screaming at him to lay back. He reached a hand down to trace over his skin; it was warm to the touch, and felt tight, yet thin. Noctis shut his eyes in concentration as he tried to recall what had happened. He'd been injured clearly, but wounds this severe wouldn't have been mended easily. So how...

"...that he's this, this...bloodthirsty thing?"

Noctis paled. Gladio's voice sounded distressed and confused, and going off of the context, he'd found something out.

"...why weren't we told? What if something happened and you weren't there-"

Noctis swallowed hard as his eyes fell shut. This had to happen eventually, and he knew they'd be shocked, but Gladio sounded hurt. Like he hadn't been trusted.

"...can't believe this."

Noctis groaned as he rolled onto his side, trying to get a peek of outside through the small opening in the tent flap. He could see shadows of a bulky figure, clearly Gladio, his arms crossed.

"...ever going to tell us? We could've helped, him and you!"

Noctis could hear Ignis whispering, trying to calm him down.

He still hadn't heard Prompto's voice.

"Gladio..." Noctis mumbled, his voice hoarser than he thought it would be.

Gladio's shadow stiffened before turning around and walking closer to the tent. It stopped outside and Noctis held his breath.

After what felt like years, Gladio unzipped the tent and poked his head inside. His eyes were slightly puffy, and his face was pale. "Hey. You okay?"

"I...I'm sorry." Noctis whispered, ashamed that his friends had had to find out this way. He tried to convince himself that it wasn't because he didn't trust them, or didn't think they could handle it, or-

"It's alright. Do you need anything?" Gladio stepped inside, kneeling down to run a hand through Noctis' hair.

Noctis shook his head lamely. "Are...are you angry?"

"Not gonna lie, I'm a little pissed, yeah. But I'll get over it. Are you sure you're feeling okay?" Gladio sighed as he felt Noctis' forehead with the back of his hand.

Noctis nodded slowly as Ignis appeared behind Gladio. "Noct..."

"Hey Iggy." Noctis smiled despite himself. "W-where's Prom?"

Ignis bit his lip. "He's out here; do you want to see him?"

Gladio remained silent.

"Yeah." Noctis winced as he tried to sit up.

"Hey, take it easy. He'll come to you. Prompto!" Gladio called.

There was a light sniffle before a mumbled reply. Within a few seconds, Prompto stood behind Ignis. "H-hey, Noct."

Noctis gave him a warm smile. "Come here?"

Prompto nodded as he squeezed past Ignis, moving around Gladio to sit on the other side of the prince.

Ignis sighed. "I'll let you guys talk; someone needs to watch dinner." he mumbled as he turned to leave, closing the tent flap.

No one said anything for a long time. Noctis fidgeted uncomfortably, wondering if things would ever be able to go back to the way they were.

"Noct?" Prompto mumbled, twiddling his thumbs.

"Hm?"

"...how come you didn't tell us?" Prompto whispered, looking away.

Noctis let out a heavy sigh. His eyes fell shut as he took in a deep breath. "It...it wasn't that I didn't want to, it's just...Ignis wasn't even supposed to know; it's the biggest secret of the Lucis line."

"How long has Ignis known?" Gladio mumbled, eyes boring into Noctis', daring him to lie.

No point lying anymore.

"...since we were kids." When Gladio looked away, Noctis continued, "But that was only because I needed someone to know; my dad-" Noctis' voice broke. He shook his head, not ready to open that can of worms. "He never wanted me to tell anyone. He wanted me to have these...retainers. Strangers who would only ever serve me by being a blood supply."

Prompto nodded thoughtfully, but he was still frowning. "What is it for?"

Noctis' brows furrowed. "It's a survival thing. Some of my ancestors have done it before as more of a...hobby. It took me years of suffering before I was ever willing to use it."

"When was the first time? What happened?" Gladio mumbled, only slightly worried he was prying too much.

Noctis eyes fell shut at the memory. "I...I'd been over exerting myself with my training. Dad had been pushing me to use it since he told me, wanting me to develop a natural restraint, but I was too ashamed of that part of me to ever want to, no matter how much I needed to...I was dying in my bathroom at the apartment when Ignis found me. That...was the first time." Noctis trailed off, hating recalling that he'd almost killed Ignis.

"And Ignis, he...he's the only one you've ever..." Gladio looked away.

"Technically, no. I had an...accident, and had to be hospitalized. Since then I've been able to supplement Ignis with blood packs from the hospital. That's what the thermoses in the car were." Noctis sighed.

Prompto's eyes widened. "Uh, those 'protein shakes'?"

Noctis choked on his own breath. "Uh, yeah. That one time at school, that was-"

"Oh my Gods..." Prompto balked, looking like he was going to be sick.

Gladio sighed. "Not gonna bother asking about that right now. You still haven't answered the question, Noct. Why didn't you tell us?"

Noctis looked stunned. There was no concise answer. "I...I didn't know what you would think. I feel bad enough having to use Ignis like I do...I didn't want to involve anyone else."

"Back when things were safe in Insomnia, fine. But out here? On the road? You almost died today, with only one person alive who knew how to save you. What if he wasn't here? What if-" Gladio groaned, rubbing his eyes.

Noctis looked sheepish. "I know. I know that now. I'm sorry I left you all in the dark, and that you had to...see what you must've seen. I hope that I didn't disgust you guys-"

"Shut up, Noct." Prompto stared him down. "We're your friends. It's going to take a lot more than that to scare us off. All we want is to help you, if you'll let us. If we'd lost you today..." Prompto trailed off, wiping his eyes.

Gladio looked down at the floor. "He's right. We're here to protect you, and if that means you need blood now and then, fine. Let us help you and Ignis. You guys don't have to do this alone anymore."

Noctis squinted his eyes shut when his vision turned glossy. "I...thanks, guys. I'm sorry."

"Quit apologizing, princess." Gladio chuckled as he ruffled Noctis' hair, rising to stand and cracking his neck. "I'm gonna go help Iggy. Do. You. Need. Anything?"

Noctis took in what he meant, and shook his head. "I'll be fine. I just need rest."

Gladio smiled. "Alright. Gimme a holler if you do." He nodded as he left the tent.

Prompto quickly hugged Noctis tight, being careful not to put too much weight on his stomach. "I'm sorry, dude."

Noctis bit back his wince. "For what?"

"I just...you have so much going on right now dude, we all do, but you need to remember that we're all here for you, whatever you need. I'm serious." Prompto pulled away to hold Noctis' face, staring him down. "Just ask, alright?"

Noctis smiled and reached a hand up to cover Prompto's. "I will. Thanks, Prom."

Prompto grinned before pulling him in to kiss the top of his head. "Yeah, dude." He pulled away to rise to his feet. "You hungry? We managed to grab some behemoth steak, it should be almost ready."

Noctis nodded. "Yeah, I'll have some, probably in here though; I don't think I can walk much yet."

"You got it, dude." Prompto smiled as he left the tent.

Noctis sighed in relief. That hadn't been nearly as bad as he thought it would be. He wasn't shunned at all; if anything, they were even closer. Noctis yawned as he pullec down the sleeping bag to inspect the damage. Three, deep scars sliced across his stomach, but the edges were already fading. He'd probably lost a lot of blood, never mind that he couldn't remember how much of Ignis' he'd had to take.

The tent flap opened to reveal Ignis with a steaming plate of food. He knelt down beside him and helped adjust some pillows so he could sit up to eat properly. "How are you feeling?"

"I've been worse." Noctis whispered. "How about you?" He asked when he saw his bandaged wrist.

"I'm fine. I'm relieved that we have one less secret to worry about." Ignis dropped his voice to less than a whisper.

"Me too."

"You scared me today." Ignis mumbled as he ran a hand through Noctis' hair.

"I know- I'm sorry." Noctis whispered, voice barely audible.

Ignis shook his head before leaning in to kiss him deeply. He smiled when Noctis let out the tiniest of sighs. "Just be more careful, alright?"

Noctis nodded, leaning his forehead against Ignis'. "Okay."

"Good." Ignis returned his voice to normal volume, setting the plate in Noctis' lap. "Be sure to remain sitting up for at least 15 minutes after you finish; it's not good for you to lay down after eating."

"Thanks, mom." Noctis rolled his eyes, but he was smiling.

Ignis gave him a light wink before standing up to exit the tent.

Noctis' mouth was already watering from the sweet smell from the steak. It was rare as could be, just how he liked it.

Noctis laid in the tent for what felt like hours before the others came to bed. He pretended to be asleep, listening as they settled in around him. His breath hitched when an arm wrapped around him, its weight only able to be Gladio's. Noctis smiled as he felt him scoot closer, feeling safe and protected by his bodyguard. His eyelids quickly became too heavy to keep open, and sleep overcame him soon after.

 

Chapter Text

Noctis awoke to the smell of eggs cooking. The warm arm around him was gone, and when he opened his eyes, he found himself completely alone in the tent. Noctis ran a hand down his chest, but found only faint scars, no longer warm to the touch. He groaned as he pushed himself on his arms to sit up, the cool air on his bare skin giving him goosebumps. He was still sore, but standing no longer seemed like it would be an impossible feat.

Noctis sighed as he stood in the tent, rummaging around for a clean shirt to throw on. Adequately dressed, he leaned down to unzip the tent and stepped out into the warm sunlight.

"Morning princess." Gladio nodded as he picked at his eggs.

Noctis smiled back before taking in the woods around them. They were on a slight hill, only a few minutes from the lake itself. The water gleamed in the morning sun, the sounds of catoplebas calls in the distance echoing in the valley. Noctis could see a herd of garula to their left, lead by their larger mother. The woods around them provided a safe enough canopy to rest under, for the most part hidden from any imperials that might fly overhead.

"Hungry?" Ignis cooed softly, watching Noctis' over easy egg carefully.

"Yeah." Noctis sighed, stretching and cracking his back before moving to sit near Gladio. "Where's Prompto?"

"Said something about taking pictures. Went up into the woods." Gladio mumbled through his food.

"What, alone?" Noctis' eyes narrowed towards the woods, searching for a bobbing blonde head.

"No, our fan club showed up and are taking him to see the sights." Gladio rolled his eyes.

Noctis glared back at his bodyguard.

"Yes, he's alone." Ignis sighed as he flipped Noctis' egg onto a plate. "He's not going far; I'm sure he'll be fine."

"Yeah." Noctis whispered. He gratefully accepted his breakfast, a beautiful over easy egg, and flame roasted toast. Noctis chewed his food slow and thoughtfully, listening for Prompto's return.

When it never came, Noctis stood up, only slightly uneasy. "I'm gonna go look for Prom."

"Like hell you are. You can barely walk." Gladio mumbled around his food.

Ignis sighed heavily, setting down his fork. "Gladio's right. Besides, Prompto will be fine."

"Then I'm going to go stretch my legs in that direction." Noctis groaned.

"Noct, wait." Ignis set down his plate and reached into a backpack. "Take this with you." He sighed as he held out a thermos, not needing to say what was in it.

Noctis stared at it like it was on fire. "...I thought we ran out of these."

Ignis nodded slowly. "We did. There's been a donation. Take it."

Noctis' brows furrowed as he glanced over to Gladio, who was staring at him with a blank expression. It was then Noctis noticed it: a small tourniquet on his arm that hadn't been there the night before. Noctis shook his head. "I..."

"It's alright." Gladio said evenly.

"...thanks." Noctis mumbled, grabbing the thermos and heading off for the woods before anyone could say anything else.

Once he was out of earshot, Gladio piped up. "Should we follow him?"

"Yes. But we won't." Ignis sighed as he picked up his plate.

"Why not?" Gladio looked confused.

"It'll only make him angry. He wants to not seem weak, or that he needs us." Ignis whispered.

"Even if he does?"

"Especially if he does."

 

Noctis was already sweating. Never mind the humid weather of Duscae and the incline of the hill, his system just wasn't completely restarted yet. He'd lost a lot of blood, more than he'd been able to receive in return. Noctis looked down at the thermos, feeling Gladio's thick blood slosh around within. His heart was racing, feeling like a sip would be enough to take the edge off.

Noctis groaned as he forced himself to keep walking. If he came back with an empty thermos and no Prompto, the others would only worry about him more.

"Prompto!" Noctis hollered, hearing birds in the trees scatter at the noise. Noctis closed his eyes and strained his ears. Scattered footsteps, but too many to be Prompto.

Noctis opened his eyes to see laser targeting dancing in the trees ahead. "Shit." He reached a hand out summon his sword, throwing the thermos into the Armiger. As quickly as he could manage, he found shelter behind a thick tree, controlling his breathing.

There were no voices amongst the troops, and their footsteps were heavy and rhythmic. Magitek soldiers.

Noctis quickly scanned around, hoping to find Prompto hiding in the trees as well. Nothing.

The footsteps were getting closer. Noctis was running out of time to make a decision. He quickly threw his sword upwards into the canopy, warping after it to hang above them. They hadn't seen him, and paid no attention to the leaves and nettles that fell around him. Noctis scanned the soldiers. There were only seven, but one of them was carrying something. Noctis squinted his eyes, and had to bite back a gasp when he saw the tuft of blonde hair.

"Dammit." He cursed under his breath, quickly calling forth a spear to launch himself at the largest one, warping right on top of it and slamming it into the ground. It convulsed as it short circuited, its eyes fading to black as it powered down. He could hear the swiveling of gears as the others turned to charge at him. Noctis quickly stood and warped behind the one carrying Prompto, grabbing its head as he kicked its knees, ramming his sword through its chest and grabbing Prompto as it fell. Noctis tumbled to the ground, an unconscious Prompto falling on top of him. The thudding sounds of heavy feet trudging after him.

"Fuck, Prompto! Wake up!" Noctis yelled as he rolled him off of him. No good; there was a deep gash on the side of his head, a bruise already visible around the blood.

Noctis quickly rose to his feet and called forth his daggers. He wasn't as proficient in them as he would like, but he'd need to move quickly and be able to strike in dual form. He threw one above the nearest soldier, warping to it and throwing himself down on top of it, only to be thrown back by the blunt side of a broadsword before he could finish it off. Noctis rolled across the grass, quickly rising and sidestepping when laser targeting flashed across his vision, the echo of a shot being fired ringing in his ears. Noctis charged forward, determined to keep them far from Prompto. He parried one soldiers sword with his dagger, quickly stabbing the other into its side, twisting hard as sparks flew from the gaping hole. He jumped back as it fell to the ground, that dangerous red light of the laser creeping up his torso. Noctis barely had time to warp to the side, landing on a root and falling to his knees.

Before he could even move, a spear rammed its way through his shoulder, pinning him to the ground as he cried out in pain. The sickening sound of bones breaking and muscles snapping filled his ears, the pain unbearable as he struggled to remain still, unable to fall or stand, never mind warp. His vision was already getting blurry as more footsteps approached, his eyes closing tight as capture seemed imminent.

There was a jarring pain of the spear holding him down being moved, Noctis screaming as his body protested. The weight was gone, and when he peeked around his shoulder, so was the the magitek soldier.

Gladio had hacked it to pieces as Ignis dashed behind him to throw a dagger in the face of the sniper. Gladio quickly threw his great sword at one closing in on Noctis, sparks flying as it was crushed from the impact. Ignis quickly dispatched of the final one, severing its head completely with his daggers, sparks shooting up from its neck.

"Noctis!" Ignis hollered as he ran over to where the prince was pinned.

Gladio was there in an instant, but Noctis waved him off. "No, check on Prompto," he gasped in pain.

Gladio did as he was told, running over to the still unconscious Prompto, quickly inspecting his wound before pulling out a phoenix down.

Ignis had a hand on Noctis as he inspected the spear. "Forgive me, this won't be easy to remove."

"S'fine, just get it out." Noctis grit his teeth in pain, trying hard not to lose it.

Once Prompto had began mumbling and opened his eyes, Gladio handed him a potion before running over to Noctis. He met Ignis' eyes in mutual understanding. "Sorry, Noct- we'll try to be as quick as we can."

Ignis moved to stand in front of Noctis as Gladio stood behind, grabbing the spear as gently as he could. Ignis counted down before swiftly cutting the shaft cleanly above the spearhead as Gladio simultaneously pulled the shaft from Noctis' back.

Noctis screamed in pain as his body followed the spear until it was completely out, falling forward to be caught by Ignis. His entire shoulder burned with white pain, his arm limp and useless.

Gladio tossed the shaft to the ground. "You got him?"

"Yes, check on how Prompto is recovering." Ignis said as calmly as he could. He turned Noctis in his arms, holding him close as he inspected the wound. If there wasn't so much blood, he was certain it would be wide enough to see through. "Noct, the thermos-"

"Armiger..." Noctis rasped, eyes clenched shut as he tried to level his breathing.

Ignis quickly reached a hand out to summon the thermos, uncapping it and pressing it to Noctis' lips. "Carefully, now." Ignis whispered.

Noctis drank from the thermos as steadily as he could. The taste was so foreign; a tangy flavor with sharp spices within. Noctis made a face as the strange taste flooded his mouth, the thick blood coating his tongue. He groaned as he felt his shoulder go numb, the numbness unable to mask the feeling of bones moving to set themselves, muscles stretching to resew themselves together. Noctis continued to drain the thermos, the spice beginning to overpower his senses. Once it was completely empty, Noctis sat up to cough and clear his throat, his mouth burning.

"Noct-"

Noctis coughed hard, shaking his head. "I'm fine, it's just...hot." Noctis winced at the tenderness of his shoulder, before quickly looking around. "Is Prompto-"

"I'm fine," Prompto mumbled, embarrassment evident in his features. "Shit dude, I'm so sorry; if I hadn't been out here taking stupid pictures-"

Noctis held up a hand to quiet him, still clearing his throat. "Don't worry about it. You'd better have some good ones, though." He smiled warmly, giving him a light wink.

Prompto looked sheepish, but he smiled back, brows still heavy in shame.

Gladio was wiping down Prompto's cheek and temple. "That potion helped; you'll have a hell of a headache, but you shouldn't be any more brain damaged than you are."

Prompto rolled his eyes, but it was immediately clear that caused him a headache. "I'm unique, not damaged."

Noctis relaxed into Ignis' waiting arms, sighing in relief. Ignis was already instinctively raking his fingers through his hair, resting his chin on his head.

"You're both grounded." Ignis sighed.

"Whaaaat?" Prompto and Noctis said in unison.

"You heard me." Ignis lifted his head up to stare them both down. "No more expeditions alone."

"Not even to piss." Gladio mumbled. "It's just too dangerous now, for any of us, to be alone."

Ignis nodded. "What happened anyway?"

Prompto looked down, clearly still embarrassed. "I, uh... was setting up a perfect shot of the Disc on my tripod, and I guess I was too absorbed to hear them come up behind me."

Gladio sighed. "Couldn't even lie about it, eh?"

Noctis chuckled in Ignis' arms, smiling to himself when he felt him hold him tighter.

"Well, we'd better get back to camp and then get the fuck out of here. Iris is still waiting in Lestallum, and we should head there to restock anyway." Gladio huffed as he pulled Prompto to his feet.

"Wait, we still haven't collected out bounty! Or ridden chocobos..." Prompto whimpered, kicking the dirt like a child.

"We could use the funding in town, but the chocobo riding will have to wait." Ignis stated firmly, ignoring Prompto's protests. "Are you alright to walk?" He whispered to Noctis.

"Yeah, I'll be fine." Noctis groaned as he leaned back to stand up, only slightly unsteady.

"Do you...need anymore?" Ignis asked gently. The wound was closed, but the skin around it was still red and angry, never mind the turmoil in his body underneath.

"Maybe later. You've both lost enough today, and so has Prompto... I'll be fine." Noctis reiterated calmly. He felt adequate to walk, and that was more than enough.

Ignis sighed as he stood. "Very well. We'll go clean the camp, collect our bounty, and then make for Lestallum."

"Maybe we can go there on chocobos-" Prompto tried.

"You know that the car is way faster, but A for effort." Gladio chuckled as he headed downhill, Prompto following, defeated.

Ignis placed a hand on Noctis' lower back. "Are you sure you're alright, love?" He whispered under his breath.

Noctis leaned back into his touch. "Honestly? I'm still in shock from the spear skewering me like a wild boar, and I'll be better once we sleep in actual beds."

Ignis' eyes widened at Noctis' honesty and confiding. It made him feel like he trusted him with his pain, something Ignis always knew, but always knew Noctis was stubborn before anything. "We'll be there by sundown." Ignis whispered, fully intending to speed whenever possible in the car.

Noctis smiled, checked to make sure the others were far enough away, and placed a quick peck on Ignis' cheek. "Love you."

Ignis smiled back, squeezing Noctis' rear quickly. "Love you too."

 

The wind blew in Noctis' hair, the breeze a welcome feeling in the hot, dry air of Duscae. Prompto was less of his bubbly self, but he smiled as they sped down the road.

"Question." Gladio said finally, after a few miles of silence.

"To who?" Noctis yawned as he checked his shoulder. It was still red, but his arm was already fully responsive again.

"You, Princess." Gladio cracked his stiff neck. "Back there, you said that my blood was hot. Like, temperature, or-"

Noctis made a face at the memory. "Like, spicy."

Gladio arched a brow in confusion.

"I can taste different flavors within people's blood. It's not all just that metal flavor that you guys taste." Noctis rubbed his nose, feeling weird talking about it so casually with anyone that wasn't Ignis.

Prompto turned around at that. "No way. What did Gladio's taste like?"

Noctis grimaced. "Like peppers. And lime."

Gladio laughed loudly at that, wiping a tear from his eye. "Well, I am a spicy guy."

Prompto giggled before humming in thought. "What about Ignis?"

Noctis smiled out of habit. "Like honey and huckleberries." He said almost wistfully.

Ignis couldn't help but smile himself.

"Aww, is it because he's sweet? What makes people's blood taste like those things?" Prompto asked keenly, oh so very interested.

Noctis turned away to hide his blush. "I'm not sure. Of those blood bags I'd get from the hospital, some were savory or sweet, sometimes both. But I never knew who they were or what they were like, so I know it's not just my own perception of them as people." Noctis hummed in thought.

"So you do think I'm spicy." Gladio chuckled, nudging Noctis' elbow with his own.

Noctis rolled his eyes. "Someone's not listening."

Prompto bubbled in his seat. "I wonder what I taste like..."

"Probably dumb and ass." Gladio chuckled, proud of himself.

Prompto turned around to glare at him. "And you taste like shit and dick." Prompto spat, not missing a beat.

Ignis snorted.

"Hey, Noct- what if I put some of my blood in your thermos? Then you could tell me! I-I mean, if you want." Prompto stopped himself, knowing Noctis might still feel sensitive to more delicate parts of the topic.

Noctis gave him a warm smile anyway. "Sure, if that's what you would like to do." Noctis paused, furrowing his brows before continuing. "I could even tell you now, if you want." Noctis watched Prompto carefully, wanting to make sure he hadn't made him feel uncomfortable.

Prompto's eyes widened. "Sure! Let me grab something to prick my finger." Prompto dug into his bag, pulling out a small utility knife.

Ignis stiffened slightly. He knew that they knew this wasn't some game, some fortune telling gimmick, but all the same he didn't want them to develop an unhealthy curiosity. A small, deeply rooted part of him couldn't help but threaten to be jealous of Noctis feeding from anyone else. What if someone tasted better than he did, and Noctis preferred their blood to his own? He's always been ready and willing to accept this burden alone, and he'd even welcomed it at times. The thought of someone else sating Noctis' needs that way, being preferred over him in any way, was enough for Ignis to worry, whether he thought he could help it or not.

Prompto winced as he slit a tiny cut into his finger, squeezing it tightly until a bead of blood swelled on the tip of his finger. "That enough?" Prompto asked gently.

"Plenty," Noctis nodded as he scooted forward to the middle of the seat, grabbing Prompto's arm and licking the small droplet of blood from his finger.

Prompto shivered at the sensation, never having been licked by anyone before.

Noctis closed his eyes as he focused on pinpointing the flavor. There was a sweetness to it, but there was something else deeper down, too. Something weird.

"Well? Am I a hot fudge sundae? Pizza?" Prompto asked giddily.

Noctis shook his head, slightly confused. "Yeah, there's a chocolate. Like a chocolate with fruit in it, like oranges or something. But something else..."

Prompto was already pleased with himself. "I'm a chocolate orange, how cute!"

Gladio flicked Prompto's arm.

Noctis' brows raised when he finally realized what the last flavor was. "...metal."

Prompto ceased his celebrations. "Eh? I thought you couldn't taste metal." Prompto asked confused.

Noctis rolled his eyes. "It's not that I can't taste metal; it's that everyone else can only taste metal with blood."

Ignis narrowed his brows. Before, the strangest flavor Noctis told Ignis he'd encountered was one that was coriander and salt. Salty soap, he'd called it.

"Huh. Weird." Prompto mumbled, turning back to face the road.

Noctis let the question he had go, turning to look out across Duscae.

 

"Wow! Lestallum is huge!" Prompto's eyes widened as he took in every detail as they circled the car around to park on a lot overlooking Duscae.

"It's so loud." Noctis mumbled.

They'd made it into town just after dusk, the whole city glowing with lights. Different aromas wafted from stalls, many of them spicy. A majority of the locals appeared to be women, most clad in unzipped hazmat suits that hung around their waists.

"Iris said she's be at the Leville." Gladio yawned, catching eyes with one of the local girls.

"Let's go then, I'm tired." Noctis sighed.

The walk from the main plaza to the hotel wasn't far, but Noctis grew weary with each step. His head felt like lead, and after a few minutes he had to stop walking.

"Noct? What's wrong?" Ignis asked immediately, worry on his face.

Prompto gasped as the ground shifted abruptly, vibrations shaking the town. "An earthquake?!"

Noctis quickly grabbed his head, feeling tremors within his very brain. He could vaguely feel Ignis steadying him with his arms as the ground shifted around them. His mind felt like it was splitting in two, images of eyes flashing across his vision, orange and angry.

The ground settled around them, the commotion of the locals quieting down as well. Noctis grabbed Ignis' arms for stability, his head still shell shocked.

"Noctis, what happened?" Ignis asked quickly.

"I...I don't know. I just-"

"Gladdy!" A sweet voice called from the hotel.

Gladio's eyes lit up in an instant, smiling wide as he turned around. "Iris!"

Iris immediately ran into his arms, being twirled around by her brother. "I'm so glad you guys are safe!" She giggled happily.

Iris was a darling girl. She wore mostly black, as is custom in Insomnia. Her skirt twirled as she spun, and her short brown hair fluttered in the breeze. She had a sweet face, with Gladio's same warm brown eyes.

"Noctis! It's so good to see you!" She smiled as she ran over to embrace the prince, who had righted himself so she wouldn't worry.

Noctis hugged her back politely, ignoring the throbbing in his head. "It's good to see you too, Iris. It's been awhile." He smiled back at her. He really was glad to see her; they'd been friends since they were kids, getting into all kinds of trouble in their youth.

"Boy, you're a mess!" She teased as she played with his hair. "Come on, there's plenty of hot water in the showers here."

"Hot water?" Prompto swooned.

"Showers, plural?" Ignis sighed dreamily.

"Yeah, I'll bet you guys have been on the road for awhile. Let's head inside and we can catch up after you guys get situated." Iris smiled sweetly, twirling on her heel to lead them inside, Gladio by the arm.

"Man, she's so...adorable." Prompto sighed wistfully, eyes blinking rapidly.

"I wouldn't get any ideas." Noctis chuckled as he headed inside.

"Indeed. Remember who her brother is." Ignis grinned as he followed after Noctis.

"Who said I was getting 'ideas'?" Prompto protested. "Besides, she's 15 you guys! You act like I'm some drooling lecher or something."

 

Noctis fell back onto his bed. His head didn't hurt anymore, but his arm still felt tender. The hot shower had done him plenty of good, but not as much as a good night's sleep in a warm bed will.

"You seem relaxed." Ignis smiled at the prince, walking over to his adjacent bed in their shared room.

Noctis nodded as he smiled. "I am. First good news in awhile was that Luna was seen safe and sound not long ago."

"I agree; it is a relief that she is well." Ignis removed his glasses and set them on the nightstand.

Noctis leaned up to rest on his good elbow. "Hey...you know what we haven't done in awhile?"

Ignis smiled immediately. "What would that be?" He asked coyly.

Noctis wiggled his eyebrows as he bit his lip. "Oh, something involving you and me...on a bed...probably naked."

Ignis raised his eyebrows and nodded at the suggestive suggestion. "What would we be doing, exactly?" He whispered as he strode over to sit behind Noctis, kissing down his neck and drinking in his scent.

Noctis chuckled breathlessly, already feeling drunk off of Ignis' love. "I'm thinking you would definitely be inside me at some point. Fucking me as hard as you could stand."

Ignis laughed at his prince. "Very quick to the point, as usual."

"Why waste time that we don't have?" Noctis whispered, sighing at the feeling of Ignis pulling his shirt down for more access.

"Well said." Ignis whispered in his ear before biting down on his earlobe roughly, blood rushing south at the sound of Noctis moaning beneath him.

Like a starting gun had been fired, Noctis quickly spun around to pin Ignis to the bed, kissing him hard. The feeling of his tongue against his was so incredible that he'd wondered how they'd gone this long without each other like this. Noctis moved a knee between Ignis' legs, his free hand running down his body to tug at his shirt.

Ignis chuckled at the prince's eagerness, lifting both of them at once to remove his shirt, Noctis following suit between hungry kisses. Both naked waist up, they ran their hands across each other's chests, moaning lightly into their kiss. Ignis snuck his hands down to unbutton the prince's pants, grinning when he felt Noctis do the same.

"Fuck, it's been too long," Noctis sighed as he felt Ignis grip him firmly, his cock already hard and aching. Noctis captured Ignis in more greedy kisses, his own hands working on Ignis' pants to reciprocate his touches.

Ignis' head fell back when Noctis took him in his hand, both of them working the other as they knew they liked. Ignis had to cover his mouth to stifle a moan, Gladio and Prompto only across the hall.

"Dammit, I missed hearing those moans," Noctis sighed into his neck, biting down gently into his skin. He quickly pulled away to remove Ignis' pants completely, shrugging off his own loose ones as he went. Both finally fully naked, Noctis moaned as he began grinding into him, raking his nails down his chest.

"Shit, Noctis," Ignis groaned as the prince rolled his hips against him. In one swift movement, Ignis rolled Noctis onto his back, kissing down his chest as he descended downward. Ignis kissed just under the prince's navel, smiling at his low whimpers and writhing legs. He nuzzled Noctis' hard cock before licking up its length slowly, kissing the tip before taking it fully into his mouth.

"Fuuuuck-" Noctis drawled as he instinctively reached a hand down to grip Ignis' hair. Ignis always knew exactly what he liked, from the harder pressure at the base to the gentle massaging of his balls. Noctis had to bite down on his knuckles when Ignis hummed against him, those sweet reverberations hitting him every right way.

Ignis breathed heavily through his nose as he bobbed his head up and down, loving the way Noctis would grip his hair tighter every time he moaned against him. Ignis peeked up from his work to see Noctis watching him with heavily lidded eyes, his face flushed and breathing ragged. Ignis smiled around him as he worked his way back down, locking his eyes with his own.

"Ignis-" Noctis was cut off by having to bite down his moans, Ignis gripping him firmly as he hollowed his cheeks. There was no way Noctis could last much longer, not with Ignis working him so masterfully like this. "Ignis, I-"

Ignis moaned hard around him, that hand in his hair tightening almost painfully as thick, hot come shot down his throat. Ignis continued to pump him as he sucked him dry, his own cock throbbing at the sound of Noctis' moans. Ignis pulled off with an audible pop, sitting back to stare at Noctis before licking stray come from his chin.

"Fuck, you know I think that's hotter than anything," Noctis sighed, out of breath as Ignis giggled before leaning over the bed to reach into his bag, the beautiful sight of lube in his hand making Noctis grin. "Hurry, I need you inside me, now." Noctis growled, leaning up to kiss Ignis hard, unphased by the lingering taste of himself on his tongue.

"If you say so," Ignis joked while grinning, squeezing a copious amount of lube into his hand, warming it up before prepping the prince.

Noctis winced slightly at the intrusion, before he found himself grinding down to meet Ignis' hand, already needing more of him. When the fourth finger finally had stretched him completely, Noctis whimpered at the loss of contact, only to have to clamp a hand over his mouth to stifle his screams as Ignis entered him.

Ignis let out a long, deep moan at the feeling of Noctis tightening around him. He leaned over to press sweet kisses to his temple, urging him to relax. "Noct-"

"Fuck me." Noctis groaned as he shifted his hips, bringing his arms up to pull Ignis closer.

Ignis obliged, pulling out completely before ramming into him hard. Ignis moaned at the sight of Noctis throwing his head back in ecstasy, biting his lip so as not to be too loud. Noctis nodded, Ignis pulling out to set a steady rhythm, bucking his hips into Noctis', kissing his neck and gripping his hips hard.

Noctis raked his nails down Ignis' back, the smell of fresh blood sending his mind into a tizzy. He ground his hips down to meet Ignis' thrusts, letting his mouth hang open to give his fangs room to extend. "Fuck, Ignis-"

Ignis nodded and leaned down to place his neck near Noctis' mouth, slowing his fast tempo down as he felt Noctis licking at his neck. That warm tongue worked him over before sharp fangs slowly pierced through his skin, the sound of Noctis sucking on his neck echoing in the small room. Ignis groaned as Noctis fed from him, substituting his inability to thrust quickly with hard strokes of Noctis' cock.

Noctis moaned against Ignis' skin, that sweet blood overloading his senses. His mind became foggy and clear at once, senses heightened and stifled simultaneously. Noctis groaned when Ignis scratched down his chest, Noctis carefully pulling his fangs free to moan and pull him down for hot, bloody kisses.

Ignis sighed into Noctis' mouth, quite used to the taste of his own blood by now. Ignis resumed his heavy thrusts, kissing Noctis deeply until they both had to pull away for air. Ignis continued to work Noctis' cock, lifting one of his legs to throw over his shoulder to penetrate even deeper within him.

Noctis saw stars when Ignis hit that sweet spot deep within him, his whole body sparking. Noctis could feel blood dribbling down his chin, dripping from Ignis' neck onto his chest. Noctis moaned as he pushed Ignis away, pulling up as he did so. Noctis moved quickly at the sight of Ignis' concerned expression, pulling him down onto the bed to lay on his back as Noctis moved to straddle him. He gave Ignis a heady grin before lining himself up and sinking down as Ignis pushed up into him. Noctis arched his back as his hands gripped Ignis' hips for purchase, his mind going blank as Ignis filled him completely. Once he was resettled, Noctis quickly focused on his leg muscles to work himself up and down Ignis' hard cock, his large smile at the feeling uncontrollable.

"Fuck, Noctis," Ignis groaned, grabbing Noctis' hips to ram up into him without mercy. His eyes followed the drops of blood that trailed down his chin and chest, the sight only spurring Ignis on. Noctis was quickly turning into putty in his arms, Ignis picking up the pace as he hit that spot deep within with every thrust.

Noctis was losing his mind. The feeling of Ignis' hands on his hips as he fucked him was sending his mind into a flurry, needing to feel completely owned by him. "Ignis, Gods, I-ah!" Noctis had to lean forward to support himself as he covered his mouth with one hand, his heavy breathing through his nose filling the room along with skin slapping skin.

"Noctis, I-" Ignis lost it at the sight of Noctis pulling up to arch his back as he came, his hot come coating Ignis' chest. Noctis coming undone above him was too much, Ignis giving a few more sharp thrusts before coming deep inside him, biting his lip to stifle his moans.

Noctis couldn't breathe. His cock throbbed as he emptied himself, his insides on fire at the feeling of Ignis coming hard inside of him. Noctis' back was arched far back, his mouth hanging open in a silent cry. His hair was stuck to his skin from sweat, and he could still taste blood on his tongue. Noctis couldn't support himself anymore, falling on top of Ignis with him still inside, his sticky come pressed between their chests. Noctis gasped for air, unable to move.

"Fuck." Ignis sighed, breathing heavily. They'd gone too long, their bodies aching from the rigorous exercise. Ignis looked down to see Noctis grinning on his chest. "Adequate, my love?"

Noctis giggled breathlessly. "S'alright," he panted, planting a kiss onto Ignis' chest when he felt him laughing.

"Oh, good." Ignis chuckled, reaching a hand up to run through Noctis' hair.

After they'd caught their breath, Noctis moved to sit up, dried come on his chest. "Oh, that's gross..." Noctis groaned. "I literally just showered."

"We could take another." Ignis suggested, content to go to bed clean and dry.

"We kinda have to, don't we?" Noctis sighed as he pulled up off of Ignis, feeling emptier than he had in a long time.

"Are your legs well enough to stand in the shower?" Ignis grinned.

"No, carry me."

Ignis' grin fell.

Noctis rolled his eyes. "See, why would you even ask that if you didn't want to deal with it?" Noctis giggled as he placed a kiss on the tip of his nose. "I was kidding, you ass. Now come on."

Ignis smiled as he pulled Noctis down for a slow, passionate kiss. His heart fluttered at the sound of Noctis moaning into the kiss breathlessly. "I love you."

Noctis grinned against Ignis' lips. "I love you too."

 

"This is as far as the road will take us." Ignis sighed as he parked the Regalia at a gas station west of Lestallum.

Gladio nudged Noctis awake. "C'mon princess, time to move."

Noctis groaned as his eyes flickered open. He took in his surroundings as he yawned, stretching his arms. His legs and ass were still sore, but it had been more than worth it.

Ignis turned to lock eyes with Noctis. "Who knows what we'll encounter. Are you well?"

Noctis winked out of sight of the others. "I'm fine, my shoulder feels as good as can be expected."

Ignis' gaze softened. "Very well. We'll be cautious regardless, then."

"Sounds good! Man, I hope we can get some good pictures soon..." Prompto sighed wistfully.

"Didn't you say you were never going to risk anything for a picture again?" Gladio stated flatly.

"I said I wouldn't do anything stupid for a picture again. Risk is required for a good shot!" Prompto crossed his arms, proud of himself.

Gladio rolled his eyes. "And yet somehow that doesn't classify as stupid to you."

Noctis snorted as he retied his boots.

"Children, please." Ignis tutted. "I think we can get down this way." He pointed to a small staircase off the side of the highway that lead down into dense foliage. The sound of running water could be heard over the passing cars.

"'Behind a waterfall.' Sounds like we're nearly there." Gladio hummed as he set off towards the stairs.

Prompto followed suit, a light spring in his step.

Ignis walked behind Noctis, his smile growing at the prince's subtle waddle. Ignis closed the distance between them to whisper in his ear. "Interesting gait."

Noctis slowed down to grin and whisper back. "It's my gay gait."

Ignis snickered under his breath, skin flushing pink.

Noctis bit his lip as he smiled, turning back to follow after Prompto.

The hill became steep as they descended, a narrow path through the greenery winding downward. They could see water flowing into a river, both sides of the steep canyon towering above them.

Noctis stopped in his tracks abruptly, Ignis walking into him. "What's wrong?" Ignis whispered.

Noctis' eyes were wide as he scanned the area, calling for Gladio and Prompto to halt. His senses were still sharp from his recent feeding, his ears straining to hear what he'd thought he'd heard. Noctis kneeled to the ground, planting his palm firmly in the dirt. There was a light tremble in the earth, something large, something fast. Noctis shook his head as he rose to stand. "There's something up ahead."

"What do you mean?" Gladio mumbled. "What is it?"

"I...I don't know, but I don't like it." Noctis whispered.

Prompto whimpered. "M-m-maybe we should come back another day? When whatever is freaking Noctis out isn't here?"

Gladio flicked Prompto's forehead. "It's freaking you out, and whatever it is probably lives nearby anyway."

"Then we sneak past it?" Ignis suggested.

"We don't even know what 'it' is!" Gladio sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"We could find another way around?" Prompto whined, not eager to see whatever this monster was.

Noctis held up a hand for silence. The others turned to him expectantly, brows raised. "I don't hear it anymore..."

"So what, it left?" Gladio mumbled.

"Or it heard us and is lying in wait." Ignis whispered slowly.

Prompto's eyes widened. "Can we please go? We'll be sneakier tomorrow-"

Noctis shook his head. "There'll be no avoiding it, it seems. Let's just get this over with and in one piece."

Ignis nodded. "Seems to be our only course of action."

Gladio summoned his broadsword, throwing it over his shoulder. "At least it won't be boring."

"I don't mind a little boring here and there..." Prompto whimpered.

"Everyone keep quiet so I can hear it if it moves." Noctis whispered, calling forth his own blade.

They worked their way down until the reached a large bank surrounded by slates of rock in the river. The ground was too silent, as if the entire world was holding its breath in that moment. Their eyes were peeled, but nothing could be seen except for some giant crabs in the distance.

"Are they what you heard?" Prompto suggested hopefully, knowing already Noctis would say no.

Noctis shook his head. He paused as he took in the ground ahead of him. It wasn't as packed down as the rest of the area was, as if the dirt here was constantly being disheveled or burrowed into. "Shit, get back!"

Before they could blink, a heavy rumble shook beneath their feet, the sound of earth moving beneath them drowning out the river. Suddenly, the ground erupted between them, all four of them being pushed back by the force of the monster breaching the surface. Noctis scrambled to his feet, jaw dropping at the sight of the monster.

Iridescent purple scales covered its entire body, which was well over two dozen yards long. It had a giant, barbed hood around its head and neck, two large sacks of venom visible near its mouth. It reared its head back as it hissed with intense ferocity.

"Midgardsormr!" Ignis shouted, falling back out of its range.

"A what?!" Noctis yelled, warping far behind it to drag a stunned Prompto to safety.

"A colossal cobra! Use caution!" Ignis shouted.

"No shit!" Gladio hollered as he slammed his sword down onto its tail. It didn't seem to damage it so much as it pissed it off, turning around to hiss at Gladio before batting him away with its huge tail.

Ignis sighed. "And yet..." He mumbled as he sprinted to Gladio's rescue.

Noctis quickly warped up to the cobra's head, slashing at anything he thought would hurt it with his sword. He dodged its swift bites as he glided through the air, striking until he struck a nerve, causing the snake to wail as it hunched down to spray acidic venom into the air, a cloud of green falling around them. Noctis grit his teeth in pain where the venom touched his bare skin, the sound of his skin sizzling nothing compared to the feeling of it.

Prompto was on his feet, firing a frenzy of bullets at the snake's head as he walked toward it. Gladio was charging towards it, greatsword trailing behind him as he held it over his head to strike. Ignis ran into the green mist as fast as he could, biting back his cries of pain as it stuck to his skin, grabbing Noctis as he ran through. Ignis skidded to the ground with Noctis in tow, pulling him up to look at his injuries. "Are you-"

"I'm fine, fuck, that stings," Noctis groaned as he inspected his skin. His arms were burned, some skin very clearly cooked.

"Noct, maybe you should sit this one out." Ignis quickly placed a hand on Noctis shoulder as he healed him. "Your shoulder-"

"I'll be fine, Iggy. Now c'mon, let's go!" Noctis launched to his feet before Ignis was finished, charging toward the cobra. It saw him coming, anchoring itself in the ground with its barbed hood to spin its massive tail in his direction. Noctis barely had time to leap over it, warping in midair to attack its hood still near the ground.

Gladio came up behind, slashing at its rattler on the tip of its tail. Prompto kept firing at its head, which was enough to draw its attention as its hood flared and it launched acid from its throat in a jet in his direction. Prompto dodged the worst of it, but his elbow sizzled as the skin began to melt off.

"Shit," Ignis quickly reached into his pocket to pull out a magic flask, already cold to the touch. "Back up!" Ignis yelled as he threw the spell straight at the cobra.

Gladio and Noctis sprinted as far from the snake as they could, feeling the chill nip at their heels. The flask had exploded on contact, an intense blizzard unleashed from the nether to surround the snake in biting winds. It hissed and wailed at the fierce cold, its scales becoming covered in a thick frost. Snow and ice began to cover the ground around them, the cobra slipping on its frozen scales as it writhed on the ground.

Noctis reached an arm up to cover his face as the blizzard licked at his skin. His arms that once felt on fire now felt brittle and chilled down to the bone. He could barely hear his companions shouting in the distance, the roar of the storm drowning them out.

Just as the winds began to clear, Noctis could see why they'd been shouting. The cobra was charging toward Ignis at full speed, intent on wiping out the largest threat. Noctis began sprinting towards the snake, warping to attack its hood, not deterring it in the slightest. "Ignis!" Noctis shouted as he whipped around with the snake.

Ignis had been waiting for the snake to get closer, another flask ready in his pocket, but cursed as he ran out of the way, Noctis far too close for him to even consider magic.

The cobra reared up, shaking Noctis off, hissing as he fell to the ground. Noctis groaned as he rose to his feet, only to widen his eyes in horror as he was being circled by the cobra, its speed accelerating as it closed in around him. He could hear Gladio screaming to him, his voice barely audible over the swift cobra. Noctis was being closed in, completely trapped and too drained to warp. The snake was nearly on him, its fast moving muscles a violet blur around him. Just when it was almost close enough to touch him, Noctis looked up to see it rearing its head to strike down upon him.

Time slowed down. Noctis could see its glowing eyes, its sharp fangs as it lunged at him. As more of the snake rose up above him, the circle he'd been trapped in began to spread. Once the cobra was close enough that Noctis could count scales, he leaped back away from its gaping mouth as it collided with the ground, grabbing onto its barbed hood. The snake wailed in pain, slithering away as fast as it could, Noctis barely managing to hold on. It stopped abruptly as it reared its head up off of the ground, the momentum launching Noctis into the air. Fangs were ready to sink into him, Noctis barely having time to throw his only flask into its open mouth as he fell to the ground.

An explosion erupted from its gaping jaw, the smell of cooked meat flooding the area. The cobra hissed in agony, whipping its tail around in a desperate attempt to hit someone. Gladio took the opportunity to cleave his sword down hard onto its rattler, the repeated attacks against it finally paying off as it was severed clean. Prompto fired as fast as he could, a lucky bullet finally punching through one of its venom sacs, the green liquid pouring forth like a geyser. Ignis drew his spear as he ran up its back, launching himself as far as he could up its neck to drag his weapon down its spine. Noctis watched in awe as his companions dismantled the colossal cobra completely, its wails of pain being drowned out by its own toxic venom filling its throat, seeping into its internal burns, falling forward with its spine completely visible, its severed rattler still shaking yards away. Venom could be heard cutting through rock beneath the cobra as it lay dead in its own pitiful pool of blood and acid.

Their heavy panting could be heard over the roar of the river. Noctis rose unsteadily to his feet as he clenched his shoulder in pain. He'd held onto the snake with his bad one, the ache reminding him that it hadn't been completely healed. "Fuck." He rasped as he held his arm.

Ignis was at his side immediately, trying to hide how out of breath he was. "Noct, are you-"

"S'fine, what about you guys?" Noctis winced.

Gladio cracked his neck as he brushed himself off. "Never better."

A click could be heard behind him, Prompto inspecting his newest photo. "I'll survive, but I wish I'd been able to get a picture of it alive! Like, shooting acid or something!" Prompto sighed as he checked his elbow. "Man, that shit burns."

"It's not going to spit Ebony..." Gladio mumbled, rolling his eyes.

"I wouldn't mind that at all." Ignis chuckled, before turning his attention back to Noctis. "Let me see your arms."

Noctis opened his mouth to protest, but bit his tongue when Ignis shot him a look. Noctis winced as Ignis prodded gently at the tender skin. "That hurts."

"I know, I'm sorry. Would you like to-"

"No, you- ...you've given me plenty already." Noctis stopped himself, brows furrowed.

Gladio cleared his throat. "Ahem, there are other volunteers, y'know."

Noctis' eyes widened. It still surprised him how normal they all acted this was. Even Prompto, who had also suffered injuries, was smiling and nodding his head in affirmation. Noctis shook his head slowly. "No, I'm fine." He mumbled.

Gladio was already closing the distance between them. "Like hell you are. C'mon, while we're young." Gladio teased as he shot him a grin. He was bruised and battered, but he didn't have any burns or open wound that were bleeding. Tactfully speaking, he would be the best volunteer at this moment.

Noctis tensed at the sight of Gladio extending his arm. His giant tattoo wrapped around most of his arms and torso, but there were plenty of spots left where the skin as laid bare. Noctis could feel his mouth watering at the sight of Gladio's veins pumping through his muscles. He could vaguely here Gladio calling to him, Noctis walking forward without thinking. He winced as his fangs extended, the feeling of teeth stretching from his gums unpleasant. Noctis watched as his arm reached out to shakily grab Gladio's, his heart pounding in his ears. Noctis leaned down to lick along his skin, his tongue tasting salt and earth, and something that was just pure Gladio. He could feel him tense under his carresses and tighten beneath his grip. Noctis closed his eyes as he sank his fangs deep into Gladio's wrist, blood gushing forth and filling his mouth with a spicy flavor.

Ignis frowned at the sight of Noctis feeding from someone else. A thermos was one thing, but there was something...intimate, about feeding from another persons flesh. Ignis eyed Gladio's expression carefully, but he seemed distant, not even in any pain. Prompto stood off to the side, rubbing his neck as if he felt incredibly awkward.

Ignis realized he was doing the same thing.

Noctis slowly pulled his fangs from Gladio's arm, licking the small wound before pulling away. He could feel the blood dribbling down his chin, letting it fall as he watched Gladio wrap up his arm.

"Whoa. Noct, your eyes-" Prompto mumbled, cut off by Gladio elbowing him hard.

Noctis tensed, remembering how he must look. He turned away in shame, his red eyes meeting Ignis', who gave him a reassuring smile. Noctis felt some of the anxiety ebbing away. Without thinking, Noctis stumbled forward to wrap his arms around Ignis tightly, his heart fluttering when he felt those arms wrap around him in return. He melted in his arms, his vision clouding up before he realized it.

Gladio's brows were furrowed as he frowned, still applying pressure to his wound. He caught Ignis' eyes, mouthing 'Did I do something wrong?'

Ignis shook his head lightly, wrapping his arms tighter around Noctis. He could feel him trembling slightly in his arms, could feel hot tears on his neck. "Can you two check the Midgardsormr for any meat? We could use some."

Gladio and Prompto nodded, getting the hint as they left to work over the giant snake.

Ignis nuzzled into Noctis, exhaling into his neck. "Are you alright?" He whispered as he ran a hand up and down his back. He could feel Noctis shaking his head, his breath catching with every inhale. "Talk to me."

Noctis shook his head. "Not here." He mumbled under his breath, pulling away to look Ignis in the eyes.

Ignis removed his glove to lick his thumb, running it across Noctis' chin to wipe away the drying blood. His eyes had returned to their beautiful blue, glistening from his tears. Ignis checked to make sure Gladio and Prompto had their backs turned before leaning forward to kiss his cheek. "I love you."

Noctis gave him a weak smile. "I love you, too." He whispered.

Ignis smiled before looking him over. His arms were healed completely, not even a hint of redness from where the skin had melted from his body only a few minutes ago. His shoulder wasn't even hanging lower than the other anymore, and his skin had a healthy glow. "Feeling better?" Ignis whispered.

Noctis rolled his shoulders and cracked his neck, sniffling before he nodded. "Much."

Ignis' heart thumped in his chest at his prince so upset. He wanted to whisk him away and hold him forever, whispering sweet nothings in his ear and kissing his cheeks until it would be impossible for him to ever frown again.

But he couldn't. And all he could say was "Okay."

 

"Holy shit, it's freezing in here!" Prompto shivered as he rubbed his arms, his breath coming out in small white puffs.

"It's completely covered in ice..." Ignis whispered, watching his footing.

Gladio groaned. "Why can't we ever go someplace nice?"

Noctis was silent. He hadn't said a word since the river. He was lost in his thoughts, barely remembering to watch where he stepped.

Gladio caught on to his tense prince. "Hey. Are you gonna be okay?"

Noctis nodded glumly. He didn't want to hear his own voice right now.

Gladio let it drop.

Ignis stopped abruptly. "We have a problem."

"What now?" Prompto whined.

Ignis merely gestured ahead as he shined his flashlight. There was a steep incline down, a tunnel completely made of ice that spiraled down into darkness. Ignis kneeled to inspect it, before shaking his head. "It seems sturdy enough...but trying to go down slowly will be hopeless."

"So we slide." Gladio chuckled as he rolled his shoulders.

"Wait, we what? What if it leads to a death trap? Or-or-or a crazy monster lair?!" Prompto shook his head violently as he crossed his arms. "No, thank you."

Gladio rolled his eyes. "We have to get down there, one way or another."

"Yeah, but-"

"Noct!" Ignis shouted as Noctis weaved past him to slide down the tunnel, the sound of him squeaking along the ice echoing down with him. Without hesitation, Ignis leapt after him. His flashlight fluttered around the tunnel, the ice speeding his way down faster than he could hope to see anything. Before long, he saw another light at the end of the tunnel, bracing himself for impact as he reached the bottom. He nearly stuck the landing, the slippery ice causing him to land on his knee. Ignis quickly rose and patted himself down, relieved that Noctis was standing near him unharmed. "Noctis, for the love of the Gods, don't ever do that again." Ignis panted as he pulled him close.

Noctis nodded in his arms, before pulling away to inspect the cave.

Ignis turned to face the tunnel. "Come on down, it's fine!"

Gladio winked at Prompto before sliding down, chuckling as he went.

Prompto shifted nervously before following suit. He rolled to break his fall, rubbing his ass as he stood. "My ass is freezing!"

Gladio laughed as he slapped him on the back.

Ignis held up a hand. Glowing eyes surrounded them, chattering teeth echoing in the cave. Ignis summoned his daggers. "It can't ever just be easy..."

Gladio hefted his sword over his shoulder. "Nah. No fun that way."

 

"Finally." Prompto sighed as they were met with the sealed door.

"Seems just as out of place as the others." Ignis whispered.

Noctis nodded as he went to push the heavy doors open. Yet another tomb with another stone coffin, holding two swords. Noctis exhaled slowly as he extended his arm, the swords turning ethereal as they rose in the air, before diving into his chest. Noctis flinched at the contact, but he felt no pain as his armiger spun around him, already feeling stronger.

"Nice. Let's get going." Gladio mumbled as he turned to leave.

Noctis remained still. His eyes were captivated by the stone coffin. An ancestor that he couldn't even recall, entombed beneath stone and ice. Another blood drinking monster. Would Noctis end up like this when he died? Forgotten in the dark, waiting to be looted by his own descendants? Was there even a body in here? Would his own father have a tomb dedicated to him, without even a proper burial?

"Noct." Ignis whispered as he gently laid a hand on his shoulder.

Noctis tensed slightly, before clearing his throat. "Do you...do you think they all drank blood too?" He whispered, barely audible in the dark.

Ignis frowned. "So we've been told...why do you ask?"

Noctis shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts. "I...I don't know. I guess it's still just hard to believe sometimes. Was it always like this? Or did it start somewhere? With someone?"

"I wish I knew the answer, that I might calm your thoughts, Noctis." Ignis mumbled, eyes drawn to the coffin. He imagined kings and queens, baring even he slightest resemblance to Noctis, feeding off of people for power. Were any of them as terrified as Noctis is?

"I...I hope I'm able to live up to these men and women." Noctis sighed in defeat. "I don't think I'm off to a good start at honoring their legacy."

"You don't need to honor them. Only yourself." Ignis squeezed Noctis' shoulder tenderly. "You are the only one you need approval from."

Noctis laughed dryly. "If only that were true, Iggy."

 

"Sunlight! I'll never take you for granted again!" Prompto cried out as he stepped into its rays, bathing in it like a man fresh out of doing years in a prison.

"Just wait till we get back to the hot leather car seats." Gladio chuckled.

Noctis trudged down the hill, his footing slipping as the ground shook around them. There was a white noise reverberating through his brain, hunching over as he cradled his head. Images of glowing eyes, a fallen meteor trapped around cliffs, and a glowing blue light. Noctis shuddered as he grit his teeth in pain, holding his skull as if it would fall apart.

"Noctis!" Ignis kneeled in front of him, holding his shoulders and steadying him.

The ground stopped shaking, and Noctis' head stopped aching. He opened his eyes, immediately calmed by seeing Ignis. He sighed in relief that the torment was over. "Fuck, I didn't need that."

"What happened?" Prompto asked, worried.

Noctis stood upright, still holding his head. "I...I don't know. I think I saw something."

"What did you see?" Ignis asked calmly.

"The Disc of Cauthess." Noctis stared flatly.

Gladio crossed his arms. "Is this what happened back in Lestallum too?"

Noctis nodded.

"So..." Ignis tutted, adjusting his glasses. "It would appear the Archaean is calling out to you."

"He couldn't shoot me a text?" Noctis groaned as his head throbbed.

"I'd imagine his hands are quite full holding up the meteor." Ignis chuckled. "We'd best go down there and see what is amiss."

Gladio nodded. "If it means stopping these earthquakes too, I'd be fine with it."

"Okay, but can we eat first?" Prompto whined.

"Yeah. Let's go rest in Lestallum first." Gladio sighed as he began his march back to the car.

"Alright." Ignis squeezed Noctis' arm tenderly before following after Gladio.

"Let's go, dude! Grub!" Prompto winked as he trotted off after them.

Noctis looked up at the sky. Violet and vermillion were streaking across the sky, the sun already beginning to set. Demons would be out soon, and they definitely didn't have the energy for that. Noctis hobbled after Prompto, his head ringing with every step.

 

"I never asked, how was your morning with Iris?" Ignis called as he folded their newly clean laundry. "I heard she showed you the sights of the town."

Noctis shrugged. "Yeah, it was alright. I was a little distracted, but it was fun hanging out with her."

"Distracted by what?"

"Everything going on. Where Luna might be." Noctis mumbled.

Ignis nodded thoughtfully. He hated to admit he was relieved the wedding had been postponed, but he'd never in his life wish anything ill to befall Lunafreya. "I'm sure she is safe. She's quite wise."

"I know. I just hate not knowing where she is." Noctis sighed as he rolled onto his side to watch Ignis.

"Iris fancies you, I believe." Ignis blurted out.

Noctis was silent. His eyes bore into Ignis' before he calmly whispered, "I know."

"Let us both down easy, hm?" Ignis teased, needing to lighten the mood.

Noctis stared at him, blue eyes a mystery. "I don't want to let anyone down."

"Noct, that isn't what I-"

"No, I know what you meant. I just..." Noctis sighed before smiling. "When did I get so sensitive?"

Ignis gave him a warm smile. "I think you always have been."

"Oh, thanks."

"It's not a bad thing, Noctis. Think about it: you haven't had this many trials and tribulations in quite some time, so it's only natural that you are stressed and short tempered. But I feel like this is who you've always been. It's just manifesting to your rapidly changing environment." Ignis paused before smiling wide. "I'd rather have a feeling king than an apathetic one. It shows that you have a conscience."

Noctis found himself smiling. "Iggy."

"Hm?"

"I'm so lucky to have you."

Ignis smiled before closing the distance between them to kiss Noctis' forehead. "And I you, my love. Do you want to talk about what happened today?"

Noctis hummed as he nuzzled into Ignis' chest, wrapping his arms around him to hug him close. "Nah. I'm fine."

"Noct."

Noctis groaned before falling back onto the bed. "I'm just still getting used to it, I guess. It took me long enough to get used to feeding from you, and you even fuck me in the ass."

Ignis' eyes widened as he grinned.

"But with the others, I just... I don't know. I'm still worried about their fear, their judgment, their...everything."

Ignis nodded before moving to sit beside Noctis. "I know, love. But you should know by now that this doesn't make a difference with how much they care for you, which is quite a significant amount."

Noctis nodded slowly. "I know, but-"

"Would you fear them? Judge them?" Ignis asked quickly.

Noctis thought about it, before a small smile grew on his face. "No."

"Exactly."

"Ignis?"

"Yes?"

"Can you kiss me now? You being right all the time is starting to piss me off." Noctis grinned as he leaned toward him, pawing at his thigh affectionately.

Ignis chuckled. "So you want me to kiss you?"

"Yes, please."

"As you wish." Ignis whispered before leaning down to capture Noctis in a deep kiss. His hand reached up to hold his face, his own smile widening as he felt Noctis wrapping his arms around his neck to pull him closer. Ignis licked along Noctis' bottom lip, diving his tongue into his mouth as soon as he was granted access. Noctis always tasted so sweet, and his soft moans always made Ignis melt against him.

"Iggy-" Noctis mewled, grinding his hips up to meet Ignis'.

Ignis groaned against his skin, pulling away from his hot mouth to kiss down his jaw, down his neck, running his hands up underneath Noctis' shirt.

The cold air made him gasp as he threw his head back, scratching down Ignis' back and pulling his hair with the other. Noctis had to clamp a hand over his mouth when he felt Ignis pinching his nipple, Noctis flushing red as even more blood went south. He reached his hands down to pull off his own shirt, needing to feel more of Ignis on his body.

Ignis grinned as he kissed down his bare chest, his mouth biting down on one nipple as he pinched the other, growing hard at Noctis wrapping his legs around his waist and moaning like there was no tomorrow. Ignis kissed down, down, down, until he reached his navel, licking above his pants and raking his teeth down.

"Fuck, Ignis!" Noctis gasped as he bucked his hips, reaching down to unbutton his pants, only to have his hands held down by Ignis in one, firm grip above his head. Noctis grinned as he moaned at being restrained, a personal favorite he's so glad to have discovered. Noctis writhed his hips as Ignis slowly worked the button open with his mouth, before pulling down the zipper with his teeth, Noctis holding his gaze the entire time. Once his aching cock sprang free, Ignis immediately began teasing it with soft, tender licks, grinning as Noctis moaned for more.

Ignis suddenly pulled away completely, before kissing Noctis deeply. "Stay here." He whispered before retreating to the bathroom.

Noctis groaned as he did as he was told. It couldn't have been more than a few seconds, but it felt like hours before Ignis returned to him, dark fabric in his hand.

Ignis gave him a wicked grin before straddling him, fabric soft in his hand. "Trust me?"

"Implicitly." Noctis gasped, eager to be tied down like they used to.

Ignis chuckled. "I must be rubbing off on you, words like that."

"I wouldn't mind you rubbing me off, honestly."

"Aaaaand it's gone." Ignis teased, pulling him in for steamy kisses as he worked the sash around Noctis wrists before tying them above him on the bedpost. He held up one last piece of fabric, wider than the others, twirling it in his fingers. "This one...you can choose where I put it."

Noctis smiled with an open mouth, licking his lips hungrily. "Yeah?"

Ignis grinned. "Yes. If you can promise to be quiet...I can cover your eyes. If not..."

Noctis bit his lip. He needed to be able to gasp, to kiss, to bite. Sight be damned. "I can be quiet..." he whispered to emphasize his point.

Ignis rolled his eyes, kissing his nose sweetly. "We'll see."

Noctis held his breath as Ignis hovered over him, the thick sash being wrapped around his head to cover his eyes. Everything went dark as he focused on the feeling of Ignis on top of him.

Warm breath ghosted over his ear. "Good?"

"Uh huh," Noctis moaned as nails scratched down his chest.

"Remember the safe word?"

"Carrots." Noctis stated flatly, his arousal decreasing a small percentage at the thought of the terrible vegetable.

"Good boy."

Noctis bit back a gasp as teeth dragged down his chest, arching his back to meet them. His wrists protested from their bindings above him, clenching his fists as teeth bit down on his hip bone. A warm hand trailed down his stomach as a hot tongue licked along his weeping cock. Noctis bit his lip, trying to stay quiet as that hot mouth worked him over. He bucked his hips against his will, that hand on his stomach scratching down hard.

"Ah-ah-ah."

Noctis' cock twitched at that voice; deep with a sultry, suave accent that made his hairs stand on end. He wanted to keep misbehaving just to hear it more.

Noctis felt the bed shift before he felt more hot breath over his ear. He moaned hard as teeth bit down on his earlobe, a warm, firm hand working his cock. Noctis' head was spinning from having to absorb every sensation as they came without warning. Nails raking down his chest, a firm grip pumping him up and down, hot breath and light groans in his ear...he was in ecstasy.

The bed shifted, that warm mouth licking up and down his cock. Noctis bit back a groan as fought the urge to writhe in his restraints. "Fuck..." Noctis whispered as that expert tongue worked him over, a light slap echoing in the room as a hand stuck his thigh.

"Quiet."

Noctis grinned and arched his back. He loved this, he couldn't help it. Some deep, dark part of him loved being restrained, being spanked, being punished. He bit back a deep moan as that warm mouth took him completely, working up and down as it sucked hard. It took every ounce of willpower in Noctis' body not to buck his hips, not to moan, not to beg for more. Nails dragged over his hip bones, sliding under him to squeeze his ass. Noctis' eyes shot open, only to be met with complete darkness. Every sense was sharpened and on edge; he could make out every fingertip on him, every breath that ghosted over his abdomen, every swirl of that talented tongue. Noctis moaned despite his efforts when that mouth took him deep and swallowed against him.

Nails raked down his ass before squeezing hard, almost painfully. Noctis grinned as he threw his head back, loving being at Ignis' mercy. Noctis began grinding his teeth, clenching his fists until he drew blood. His own blood smelled of diesel to himself, but the thought of blood itself...thick, red, hot, delicious-

A deep voice echoed in the dark. "Hungry?"

Noctis whimpered as he bucked his hips. He felt the bed shift as a familiar scent flooded his senses. His fangs extended as he licked along the flesh in front of him, feeling the racing pulse against his tongue. A warm hand grabbed his cock firmly, squeezing hard as it pumped him. Noctis groaned as he sucked along that skin, intent on leaving a mark. The heart beating above him quickened, as did the speed of the hand on his cock. Noctis kissed that neck firmly before sinking his teeth deep into it, gulping down greedily as blood flowed freely into his waiting mouth.

Huckleberries and honey warmed his being, Noctis drowning in the flavor, wanting to be covered in this blood. He wanted it to stick to him, to stain him, to save him. Noctis bit down harder, that hand squeezing him in return. Noctis groaned as more blood filled his mouth, wishing he could swallow faster.

That giving neck soon pulled away, Noctis' heightened senses hearing each blood drop fall onto his chest. Noctis writhed against his bindings, needing to feel more of this sweet torment. The sound of a lid opening and snapping shut made him grin, adjusting his hips to allow more access. The smell of cherries lingered in the air, bringing with it fond memories of euphoria. Noctis gasped as lukewarm lube was rubbed over his entrance, two fingers sliding in with ease to prepare him.

"Someone's horny." The voice chuckled in the dark, it's smooth accent making Noctis' blood simmer with lust.

Noctis whined in response, leaning his legs to one side to give those slender fingers more access. A hard slap echoed across the room as his ass burned, Noctis smiling wide and drooling at the feeling. His ass reverberated with tingles from the sharp contact, another finger sliding in while he was distracted. Noctis arched his back and groaned low, his cock weeping and dying for attention. As if sensing his desire, a slick hand grasped him firmly, pumping him up and down as the wet sounds echoed in the dark.

Noctis writhed and bucked his ass, craving more roughness. A slap harder than the first one filled the room and his senses, his tongue hanging out of his mouth as he drooled and moaned loudly. That slick hand left his cock to clamp over his mouth, Noctis licking through his lips to lap at the cherry lube. A fourth finger curled inside of him as Noctis groaned into the hand muffling him, grinning as it pulled away to give him room to suck on its lube covered fingers. Noctis smiled lazily as he sucked on them, moaning as they twirled in his mouth as other fingers stretched him out. Noctis dragged his teeth across the fingers, both of them bleeding lightly into his mouth. His head swam as blood dropped down his throat, sucking on the bleeding fingers like his life depended on it.

"So dirty..." that voice whispered in the dark, chills running up Noctis' spine at the sound of it. Both hands pulled away from him, Noctis sighing breathlessly at the loss, before smiling wide and writhing as he heard the cap of the lube snap shut again. Still drunk on blood, Noctis flexed his arms as he threw his head back to moan when he felt the tip playing with his ass, followed by a harsh slap.

"Tell me what you want."

Noctis arched his back as hands gripped his hips roughly. He sighed as his head lolled to the side, a grin growing on his face. "Mmm- Fuck me," Noctis groaned, bucking his hips and licking the blood from his lips.

A warm hand clasped around his throat, Noctis gasping for air as it squeezed down. Noctis saw stars beneath the blindfold, his heightened senses hearing the air rush out of his throat.

"Beg."

Noctis grinned despite himself. No matter how far Ignis took it, no matter what he did, Noctis' ability to trust him wholly and completely meant nothing could ever phase him. Noctis threw his head back and gasped for air, "P-please..."

A hot mouth was on his in an instant, that hand releasing his neck to squeeze his cock. Noctis gasped for air through his nose as his mouth was assaulted, a skilled tongue battling his for dominance. Noctis suddenly threw his head back as a thick cock entered him to the hilt, his mouth hanging open in a silent cry.

A deep groan echoed in the room, firm hands gripping his hips to pull Noctis down to meet their sharp thrusts. Noctis clenched his fists, the soreness of his arms forgotten as that heavenly spot was struck deep within him. Noctis couldn't bite back the loud moan that erupted from him, a hand quickly being placed over his mouth as strong hips continued to buck into him. He panted hard against the hand as his body was driven deeper into the bed, deeper into insanity. His mind was in tatters as he was brutally fucked, an arm reaching down to pull his knee up over a shoulder. Noctis cried out loudly into the hand, relieved it stifled most of his sounds as he bucked his hips down to meet every thrust just as hard.

Noctis could feel beads of sweat dripping onto his stomach, could feel every bruise forming beneath his skin, every scratch turning red. The blindfold against his skin seemed to grow darker and darker, as if the world was just as dark outside, and whether he had it on or not made no difference. He could feel and hear everything, and sight only felt like it would be distracting. Noctis could feel every vessel carrying his blood through his body, the sensation unlike anything he'd experienced. His skull felt heavy, but his brain felt light. He could feel that rush of his senses, that charge to the edge, that need to explode.

Noctis whined into the hand against his mouth as he felt himself grow close. Those hips began to pump into him even faster, even harder, before a hot mouth bit down on his neck.

Noctis screamed into the hand, his vision sparking even through his blindness. His body felt aflame as he came hard all over himself, the feeling of it hitting his skin akin to burning. His muscles spasmed as they contracted, his fists clenching hard enough to draw more blood, his heart beating in his chest so hard he thought he was dying.

Just when he thought he couldn't process any more sensations, a low groan above him followed by hot come filling him made Noctis shudder in ecstasy. His mind fried as his heart melted, his entire body felt comprised of gasoline, and Ignis was the match, the fire.

Noctis fell slump against the bed, his body completely numb and overworked. Soft hands reached up to untie the blindfold, Noctis blinking hard to adjust to the dim light in the room. Once everything was clear, Noctis lost what little breath he'd managed to regain.

Ignis hovered over him, sweat coating his body as his hair matted to his forehead. His emerald eyes seemed to glow in the dark, and his whole face was flushed pink. He was panting for air, but had a lopsided grin on his face as he gazed longingly at Noctis. "You alright?"

Noctis laughed. Loud. His arms felt like they'd been ripped off, his ass felt like it'd been cleaved in two, his throat burned from moaning so much, his eyes hurt as they were still adjusting, his hips were bruised and scratched, his heart was still beating out of his chest, and his brain felt like microwaved putty.

"Never better."