Noctis wakes up, to the smell of sweetness in the air.
He stretches and orients himself. He's naked, in Ignis's bed, and Ignis isn't in bed. It's too early on Saturday morning for Noctis's taste, he discovers by checking his phone. Ignis's dressing gown is at the bottom of the bed, so Noctis shrugs it on and goes to investigate.
The smell turns out to be pancakes, when Noctis wraps his arms around Ignis's apron-clad waist and leans past him to see.
"Morning," Ignis says, lifting his arm and then bending awkwardly to kiss Noctis beneath it. "You have a few hours until weapons training. You could have slept in longer."
"But there's pancakes now," Noctis says, grinning.
"Well, yes." Ignis tips the current one out onto a plate, gently. "There's this one, certainly."
"You were gonna eat it without me," Noctis continues, accusingly.
"Merely testing my efforts," Ignis says with a smile, before he sets down the spatula and turns.
Morning kisses are something Noctis has learned to appreciate in the past few weeks. Ignis is never not affectionate, but there's something that Noctis finds especially precious about the kisses he gets in the morning before Ignis converts himself back into his more distant Chamberlain mode. Besides, Ignis in just his pyjama pants and an apron is a great combination of silly and sexy, something that Noctis doesn't think he's ever going to get sick of seeing.
"And are they good?" Noctis asks, meaning the pancakes, when Ignis lets go.
"Why don't you help me decide?"
Drizzled in honey, the pancake tastes pretty good to Noctis, but then any food offered to him on a fork by a smiling Ignis tends to be pretty good. Noctis grins, makes a thumbs-up gesture, and Ignis starts pouring out more batter. Usually, Noctis would stay right where he was, arms around Ignis, trying to steal more kisses and pancakes for as long as he can. Today, though, he retreats with his plate back to Ignis's dining table. He can admire Ignis's back from a distance for once. If he interferes too much, Ignis might burn the pancakes, and that will make him a bit grumpy. Noctis wants Ignis to be having a more or less perfect day, today, and that means no burnt breakfast.
The reason is that Noctis's father wants to have lunch with them both, as a consequence of Noctis officially telling him that they're a thing. His father was quite clear on 'bring Ignis as your boyfriend', too. Noctis feels distinctly weird about the whole thing. Ignis seems like he's quite calm about the prospect, but Noctis is about eighty percent sure that's just Ignis putting on a brave face.
And afterwards, Noctis has a plan for the evening. He's got it all set up, too. He just needs a way to bring it up -- oh. Oh. Of course. He knows just the thing.
When he gets back, Ignis is setting down a small stack of fluffy pancakes on the table. He raises an eyebrow at what Noctis is carrying.
"So, this," Noctis says, putting the painting on the table. "This painting I did isn't great."
Ignis immediately scowls. "Noct."
"Nah, look at it," Noctis says. "I messed up the colour wash here so it's not a smooth transition, and the stars are way too heavily done so they're bumpy, and the paint's flaking off on the top of them a bit, and honestly the composition--"
Ignis, to Noctis's surprise, puts a hand over the top of the painting, splayed out protectively. "Noct. I love this painting. Don't malign it so."
Huh. That's a stronger reaction than Noctis expected. "I just mean, I could do a better one."
"Perhaps you could." Ignis's fingers are moving, like he's stroking it. "But I don't want a replacement."
"Okay." Noctis rubs at the back of his neck, a bit confused. It's just a painting, and one Noctis had figured Ignis had only bothered to put up on his wall because they'd started dating. He'd been surprised Ignis had even kept it -- a darkly cynical part of him had assumed Ignis had thrown away all the stuff that reminded him of Noctis or home, back when he'd wanted to leave Insomnia and return to Altissia. "But… I still want to paint you a better one."
Ignis nods, his hand still touching the painting. "As long as I can keep this."
"Then can we go out tonight? So I can get some inspiration?"
"An expedition, you mean." Ignis picks up the painting, by the frame, very carefully. "It's rather short notice to arrange something."
Noctis grins. "I've already got a pass for the gate, and there's stuff in the car. It's all ready."
"How convenient." Ignis smiles at him, and then leans across the corner of the table and kisses him gently. "Very well. Tonight, then."
It's only when they're outside his father's suite and Ignis ducks back to check himself in a mirror that Noctis actually clicks why Ignis took so long to get dressed this morning. Oh.
Ignis is fussing with his shirt collar -- it's a nice shirt, with little metal corners on the collar points that match the silver buttons -- and Noctis has a feeling Ignis has suddenly decided he isn't dressed right for this. He steps in front of Ignis, pulls Ignis's hands onto his shoulders, smiles up at him.
"Noct," Ignis says as if he's annoyed at Noctis for getting in the way of his preening, and geez, Noctis can see how tense he is by the way his forehead creases above the rim of his glasses.
"You look fine," Noctis says. "Hot, actually. Dad's gonna tell me I'm punching above my weight, with you looking like this."
"Shush," Ignis says, but he dips his head enough for Noctis to kiss him on the cheek.
Good enough, if he's letting Noctis touch him affectionately inside the Citadel. "Come on."
What Ignis is probably too tense to notice, Noctis thinks a few minutes later as Ignis 'Your Majesty's his way through their hellos, is that Noctis's dad has probably spent just as long worrying about his clothes as Ignis has. Noctis's dad is as dressed-down as he gets, a plain black suit with his knee brace over the top, none of the normal paraphernalia of state. Not even a cravat, just a little bolo tie holding his collar tight.
King Regis, in casual clothes for meeting his son's boyfriend. Noctis stifles a grin.
Dinner is also about as casual as dinner in his dad's suite ever is. They sit at the dining table, bunched up around one end, and his father's personal staff bring in plates of pasta and sauce, and then they go away and close the doors behind them.
"Well," Noctis's dad says, picking up his fork. "Let's eat before it gets cold."
"On it," Noctis says, and nudges Ignis's knee under the table because Ignis looks like he's going stiff with nerves. "It smells great."
"Yes," Ignis says. "My compliments to the chef."
The pasta is only so-so. Noctis does his best, but the vegetables are too obvious for him to avoid chewing them, and so each bite is full of texture. Ugh. His father's going to think he's still a child who won't eat his food properly, at this rate, but Noctis can't eat this stuff.
"Some things don't change, I see," his father says, a little later when he sees the pathetic pile of remaining food on Noctis's plate. "Not hungry?"
"I… ah, not really," Noctis says, grateful for the excuse. "I think I filled up too much on breakfast."
To Noctis's surprise, Ignis's hand brushes against his knee, and then lands. It's gentle, reassuring rather than sexy, and Noctis manages to hide his little jump of surprise at the contact. "I did make rather a lot," Ignis says, as if agreeing with him. Bless him for letting Noctis off the hook.
"Hm." Noctis's dad smiles. "You cook for my son?"
"Since ages ago," Noctis says. "But more now, I guess. Ignis is a great cook."
"You should return the favour sometime, son."
Ignis makes an amused sound. "Noctis has cooked for me, your Majesty. But my cooking ruins fewer pans."
"And I like cooking for Noctis. He's an appreciative audience, your Majesty."
"Ignis, please use 'sir', in here."
"Unless you'd rather call me 'dad'?"
Oh, god. Poor Ignis. Noctis decides it's time to butt in. "Dad, be nice. I like him, don't scare him off."
His father gives him a speculative look. "I'm fairly certain that's my duty as a father, Noctis."
"Yeah, well, knock it off." Noctis drops his hand below the table, takes Ignis's hand, squeezes it. "You know he's awesome, and he got your permission, so don't pretend you have to sound him out for being good enough for me."
His father laughs, an actual guffaw of laughter. "And I see I don't have to doubt the depths of your feelings for him, either. My apologies, Ignis."
"Ah… that's quite alright, sir."
"All the same, I'm not certain what is permissible for me to say in my son's eyes."
Ignis actually smiles. "Noctis has many opinions on what we should discuss, I'm certain, sir."
"Wait, don't you two gang up on me. You both like me, remember."
"Albeit with fond exasperation at times," Ignis says.
"Ah yes. The fussy eating, the constant napping," his father says, ticking them off on his fingers. "Mono-focusing to the point of ignoring everything else, habits of messiness around your rooms--"
"Ah, he has improved there," Ignis adds. "Often you can actually see the floor in his apartment."
"A miracle indeed."
Right, well, if they're going to be happier picking on him gently together, fine, Noctis can play along. "I vacuum sometimes, Dad."
"Ignis, I'm feeling very betrayed right now."
Ignis squeezes his hand, and then says, "I do think that Noctis's ability to concentrate so intensely is often an asset for schoolwork, rather than a problem."
"Hm. I suppose it might be." His dad leans back in his seat. "That reminds me that we'd discussed your university prospects at one point. Are you still interested in going overseas?"
Noctis had forgotten about that. Overseas. Away from Insomnia. "Uh. I… I don't--"
"Because of course, we wouldn't want to send a large retinue, but we wouldn't send you alone."
Noctis glances over at Ignis. "Oh."
"Altissia is beautiful," Ignis says, and there's an odd tone to his voice that makes Noctis wonder if Ignis still misses Altissia after all. "Or Tenebrae, I believe, has a good reputation in several fields."
"But I've duties here," Noctis says. "Not just in the Citadel, I mean."
"True." Noctis's father makes a vague gesture. "And I'd rather you stayed close."
"Then that's that," Noctis says, firmly. It's not a hard decision, really. "I mean, I'm still going to university, I think," he adds. "Just, here, and then I don't have to give up any of my duties."
Ignis, under the table, gives his hand a tight squeeze. Whether it's approval or not, Noctis has no idea.
"Have you a preferred subject for study yet?" his father asks, and then that's the conversation swept away into discussions of whether Ignis and his father think obscure branches of historical studies are better or worse than each other. It's nice, seeing them talk like this about something that isn't really work -- Noctis knows that they won't mind what he eventually picks to study, which helps -- and by the time they leave his father is promising to loan Ignis several books on their ancestors, including a few diaries Noctis knows aren't supposed to be seen by anyone outside the family.
It's nice. Maybe Ignis is one of the family, now. The thought makes him tuck his hand into Ignis's as they stroll back through the Citadel, and Ignis doesn't pull away, and that is really nice too.
Ignis is at meetings most of the afternoon, while Noctis hangs out with Prompto and Naomi and Cassia. Prompto's bought his little instant camera and keeps taking pics of them -- in the park, at the cafe, the brief stop by the arcade where they bump into a few guys from their class. Noctis steals a couple of the photos to show Ignis that he does have friends other than Prompto, but otherwise he tells Prompto the truth when asked -- Prompto's photos are okay, but he's got a lot of work to do to get good, starting with not cutting off the tops of people's heads or their chins.
Thankfully, Prompto just grins and tells him he'll work on it, then asks him to take photos of Prompto and Naomi together.
Those photos make Noctis a bit wistful. He doesn't really have many pictures of himself with Ignis, even though they've known each other most of their lives, and he has absolutely none since they started dating. It seems weird, asking Ignis to take a selfie with him, somehow, and besides that's not the same as someone else taking pictures of you together.
Well, he thinks, he can always start on the photo front. Ignis probably won't say no to a selfie, Noctis just needs to get over himself and ask.
And then his phone rings.
"I've finished early," Ignis says. "Are you free?"
"I'm hanging out with Prompto, but--"
"Ah, then I'll see you later."
There's a pause, in which Noctis raises his eyebrows at Prompto and receives a mouthed 'of course you can go' response, but Noctis isn't gonna just cut and run when he promised to hang out.
"Why don't you come here?" Noctis asks, cautiously.
Another pause. "If you'd like me to."
"Yeah." Noctis takes the menu Cassia's waving at him, reads off the street address at the bottom. "It's just a diner, nothing fancy."
"I'm sure it's charming. I'll see you soon."
As he puts his phone down, Naomi and Cassia both, in chorus, go, "your boyfriend?"
"I still think he's scary," Prompto says, and then grins. "But nice, when he's not scary."
Ignis, when he arrives, is definitely set on seeming more nice than scary. He asks questions like he's really interested in the answers, Noctis thinks, even when it can't be that interesting to know if Prompto's planning on buying a newer camera or whether Cassia's choosing which subjects to keep on studying in university. It's sweet, and it certainly makes the conversations flow really easily, and Noctis finds himself relaxing. Okay. Good. Ignis is willing to hang out with Noctis's friends sometimes, and isn't super uncomfortable when he does, so Noctis isn't going to have to keep those bits of his life separate.
Ignis sits next to Noctis in the booth, even puts his arm around Noctis's shoulders when Noctis leans into him. Even better, he doesn't pull away when Prompto snaps photos of the two of them together, though he's clearly not very used to smiling on command. It's hilarious, in fact; his dorky closed-eye smile on the photo Prompto shows Noctis is adorable, and Noctis makes a note to get a copy and use it as his phone screen forever.
They sit for some time, chatting, and then Ignis insists on paying for Noctis's food because he ate a few of the french fries.
"He's gorgeous, Noctis," Cassia says when Ignis is at the counter. "And… how old is he? I mean, he's a grown-up."
"Only a bit older than us. He's always been sort of mature though."
"And that accent," Naomi adds. "Don't you just want him to read things out to you all the time?"
Prompto gives Naomi a disbelieving look, which she ignores.
"I know, he's great. But paws off," Noctis says, rather pleased by their open admiration, "he's mine."
He looks over at Ignis, who catches him looking and smiles at him as if there's nobody else in the whole place, and Noctis's heart beats hard in his chest.
Ignis is his. Noctis is so lucky.
Ignis is still in his Citadel clothing when they get back to Noctis's apartment, smart shirt and pristine hair and looking as though nothing could ruffle his composure.
It really doesn't take long to get him exactly where Noctis wants him from there, shirt half-off and trousers opened, with his weight against the wall and his hands clenched tight in Noctis's hair as Noctis sinks to his knees.
Ignis likes blowjobs, a lot -- he definitely likes giving them, to Noctis's vague surprise, but he really likes getting them, and gets hard with gratifying speed when Noctis so much as hints that he's up for that. That makes Noctis feel incredible, sexy and powerful and confident all at once, as does the way that Ignis moans and calls out his name, and the way that Ignis's knees always seem to give out just afterwards. It's pretty handy, too, means Ignis ends up slumped on the floor where he can give Noctis a sloppy, desperate kiss afterwards. Noctis loves those kisses, where it feels like he's reduced Ignis to something where he can only express himself in urgent action.
Noctis also loves that Ignis, when he's got his breath back, is practically single-minded in his intent on getting Noctis naked, into bed, and off, in that order.
Orgasm knocks everything out of Noctis's head, all his anxieties and doubts swamped in a sort of white noise as he curls up and lets himself doze against Ignis's chest. Ignis kisses the top of his head, murmurs sweet nonsense against his hair, and then for a while -- always too brief, really -- there's just calm, thoughtless contentment between them.
"I thought," Ignis says, softly, "that you wanted to go out?"
"I do." Noctis lifts his head. "But, you know. First things first."
Ignis lets out the little, lazy huff of laughter Noctis only ever hears at times like this. "I can't argue with your priorities."
"Still, if you wish to get to our haven before nightfall--"
"Alright, alright." Noctis stretches. "Okay, getting dressed now."
"Yes, I can see exactly how dressed you are getting right now."
Noctis doesn't spin out getting dressed this time, since Ignis is right and they need to get a shake on. Still, he does cast a few looks at Ignis, as usual. Ignis is possibly even more attractive naked than he is with clothes on, and that still doesn't quite seem fair to Noctis; if he lets himself think about it too much, he starts comparing how scrawny and short and, well, boyish he is compared to Ignis. Ignis is tall, and the training he does about as often as Noctis does seems to show more easily on his body. But Ignis doesn't seem to have any complaints about how Noctis looks.
And while Ignis is looking away, Noctis slips the lube from the side-table into his pocket. Ignis likes it for when they jerk each other off, but it's definitely meant for, well, other things too.
Noctis has condoms in the bags in the car already, just in case. They haven't done that yet, but Noctis is hoping they might, tonight. It's not something they've really discussed, though. Maybe Ignis doesn't like doing that. Noctis figures he can ask, and if Ignis isn't interested, fine, but if he never asks then maybe Ignis will think he isn't interested.
Ignis has never put a tent up before in his life, Noctis would swear to that, and yet, he can see that Ignis is quietly itching to take the tent parts away from him so he can build the tent himself. It's almost tempting to tell him to give it a whirl if he wants, but Noctis wants to do most of the actual work this time. Tonight he's going to be as good to Ignis as Ignis usually is to him.
That doesn't mean he's not going to get Ignis to go get the fire and kettle set up, though. Got to keep him busy somehow.
Noctis has the tent up and the air-mattress mostly-inflated with the little electric pump he's brought before Ignis sticks his head in to see what he's doing. "I see we're not roughing it, then."
"What, you wanna sleep on foam mats?"
"I'm sure I'd survive."
"Yeah, well, some of us are not afraid of comfort." The pump clicks off. "Now go on, scoot, I wanna make it nice in here and you'll ruin the impact."
Ignis makes an amused noise. "Very well."
Noctis hangs the little lantern from the tent's peak, and clicks it on so he can see in the already-dwindling light. Bedding next; Noctis has proper sheets and a thick blanket in case they get cold. He tucks the condom and lube under the bed on his usual side, pulls the blanket down so the bulge isn't obvious. There.
It's not super romantic, as it stands, he thinks critically as he looks at the tent interior. But it's cosy, and hopefully the outside views will be beautiful enough to make up for it.
He turns off the light, and goes back outside.
Ignis has the campfire going, though it's still quite low, and it looks like he's even refrained from opening the box of foods that Noctis also brought along. The kettle is steaming, and as Noctis watches Ignis pours out two cups of tea for them.
"All set," Noctis says. "Hungry?"
"Rather famished, yes."
Noctis can't cook anything like the way Ignis can. He tried, the night before when Ignis was busy, using a recipe he found online. Everything went into the trash, after taste testing. No good, or not good enough at least.
So he cheated, and bought tonight's meal instead.
He doesn't pretend otherwise, pulling the clearly labelled containers out of the food box, and Ignis makes a delighted sound as he sees the name. It's the same Galahdian place he bought breakfast for Noctis from, which seemed a good omen to Noctis. Galahdian skewers and meatballs, all as spicy as Noctis can stand since that's the way Ignis likes them, and Ignis gives Noctis a side-long look as he puts the foil containers on the metal tray.
"We are both going to taste of this, you know," he observes.
"It's fine if we both do, right?"
Ignis's smile curves up. "No, I didn't mean our mouths."
Oh. Oh, ew. "Seriously?"
"So I've been told." Ignis's smile is indecipherable, like he could be winding Noctis up or just amused that Noctis doesn't know this. "I suppose I won't mind too much."
Noctis kisses him, instead of asking questions he might not get a proper answer to.
The sky darkens to smoky black, and the dinner is delicious, and afterwards they use the little contraption of Ignis's that covers over the firepit. It wipes out most of the ambient light and leaves the sky unfurled above them, an ocean of stars.
Ignis sits down and spreads his legs out, pats the space between his knees invitingly. Noctis obediently sits where he's told and leans back against Ignis's chest. Oh. Okay. It's immediately his new favourite way to stargaze, with Ignis's arm looped around his waist and Ignis's warm body against his back. He tips his head back, and Ignis shifts obligingly so that Noctis's head is resting on his shoulder.
The night sky has always been special for Noctis, ever since his childhood. He spent long hours trying to memorise the maps of constellations, only to be disappointed by what he could see from the Citadel. Their many evenings spent finding better and better places to stargaze were a response to the need Noctis hadn't even been able to explain properly, the need to see the stars himself, to prove they're really up there.
Out here, the sheer depth and grandeur of the night sky fills that anxious ache entirely.
The position is intimate and comfortable, and means that Ignis occasionally presses soft little kisses against the edge of his hairline just behind his ear, which is just arousing enough to keep a little buzz of anticipation humming in Noctis's nerves.
When that prickle becomes just a little too much to bear, Noctis turns his head and lets Ignis claim his lips. Ignis's hands move slowly down Noctis's chest and stomach as they kiss, a caress that only adds to the heat building in Noctis's belly, and it doesn't take long for him to pull away and say, "tent."
It takes Noctis a few fumbling seconds to turn on the lantern once they're inside, seconds in which Ignis's hands have made short work of Noctis's trouser buttons. Hands on skin; it makes Noctis feel giddy with desire. They topple over, Noctis below Ignis, and as clothes slide off hands are followed by the hot tracks of mouths. Ignis kisses everywhere that Noctis has bare; arms, stomach, the hollow of his hips, and only then does Noctis reach for Ignis to stop him.
"Wait," he says, and reaches for the supplies he brought.
He's expecting a faint protest, or at least an 'are you sure', but Ignis just blinks once, slowly, and then takes the condom packet and lube from him. Ignis presses another kiss to the hollow of Noctis's hip, and then the inside of Noctis's thigh, and then when that makes Noctis lift his leg he pushes the leg up and kisses the back of Noctis's thigh.
Whispered words, slickened fingers, gentle pressure. With fingers inside Noctis -- and that's just weird to Noctis, uncomfortable but not unpleasant -- Ignis begins to mouth at his cock, and then there's a few confused moments where Noctis's body doesn't seem quite sure how to handle the combination of stimuli. His muscles spasm along his thighs and in his stomach, and Ignis's other hand strokes gently as if to soothe him, even as Noctis gasps and tries to stop the twitching.
And then it all starts to feel good, and he relaxes, and gives himself over to the dual points of pleasure, hot wetness on his cock and fullness further back. The feel of Ignis touching inside him reminds Noctis of the times he's tried pressing up hard behind his balls when jerking off, like an added intensity to the rise and ebb of his arousal.
"Noct," Ignis says, his breath ghosting along Noctis's wet cock, "you're alright?"
It's one swift, fast slide upwards on Ignis's part, and then he's kissing Noctis again and lifting Noctis's ass up. It's an undignified position, and Noctis has to hold himself there while Ignis does the necessary with the condom and lube, but then Ignis is pressing into him and biting at Noctis's lower lip with hungry noises.
The airbed dips alarmingly beneath them, but that's easy to ignore in favour of everything else.
Ignis inside him is another weirdness, but one that very quickly recedes until Noctis's head is full of a sort of foggy, animal want instead of thoughts. He's not sure he's making this good for Ignis, because all he seems to be able to do is moan and grip Ignis's shoulders, but Ignis is making the same sort of noises he does when Noctis gets him off so clearly it's good enough.
Ignis's hand closes around his cock, and it's a startlingly short time from there until Noctis comes, hard, the force of it spasming through his body and making him jolt upwards. Ignis stops completely until Noctis is relaxed and sprawled and feels limp, and then he hitches Noctis's ass upwards in a way that's sort of undignified and slowly resumes his thrusts. To Noctis's surprise, that feels good even though he's already come, the full sensation and friction and stretch as Ignis takes his own pleasure in Noctis's body. When Ignis comes, his breath is hot and wet in Noctis's ear, and Noctis hears the word 'love' somewhere in the jumble of nonsense that Ignis spills out.
Love. It makes Noctis feel even more blissed-out and content; sex-drunk, happy and loved.
Afterwards, Ignis keeps making little huffing amused noises as they clean up.
"This tent is hardly sound-proof," Ignis says, gesturing upwards. "I do hope we didn't disturb the local wildlife too much."
"Hey, we weren't that loud."
"I wasn't. You, on the other hand--"
Noctis's cheeks warm up with embarrassment. "You made me noisy, it's your fault."
"And my knees rather regret the choice of an airbed."
"Are you going to complain about everything?"
Ignis pauses, and then leans in to kiss Noctis. "No. I'm astounded by how lucky I am, Noct. You were perfect."
Noctis sniffs, theatrically. "That's more like it."
They lie sprawled out together for a while, Ignis for once pillowing his head on Noctis's chest. It's so far beyond anything Noctis could have imagined even a couple of months ago, this closeness and happiness.
"Well," Ignis says, lifting his head. "Not to ruin the moment entirely, but I need to, ah, bladder--"
"Oh, go, go, don't pee on me."
Ignis gets up, puts on his pants and glasses, and leaves the tent. For about twenty seconds. Then he ducks his head back in. "Noct, get out here."
Noctis grabs the blanket and obeys, confused, and when he sticks his head outside he sees why Ignis was so urgent.
Oh. Oh my god. Right above them, a meteor shower. Noctis cranes his neck and marvels, steps out of the tent and wraps the blanket around himself. It's beautiful, like the stars have decided to dance just for them.
Ignis is staring upwards too, and the falling stars are reflected in his glasses when Noctis looks over. Noctis closes the gap between them, pulls the blanket around them both, and leans his head against Ignis's chest.
Ignis isn't perfect. Noctis isn't, either. But what they have between them, at moments like this, is as close to perfect as Noctis could possibly wish.