The first person Prompto asked for advice from was Ignis.
The few times they’d met were only whenever Ignis was at Noctis’ apartment, but Prompto had figured that was enough for him to consider Ignis a friend. Ignis seemed pretty cool and smart, like he must know about so many more things than Prompto did. He seemed like a good place to start. And most importantly, he was the person who saw Noctis the most besides Prompto himself.
Ignis had given Prompto his number when they first met, explaining that he could contact him anytime, especially if something ever happened to Noctis or the both of them. Prompto didn’t ever think he’d talk to Ignis about something like this, but. He did say anytime.
Prompto spent approximately an hour lying in his bed as he agonized over the text. He wondered how much detail he should say, how direct he should be. He typed something only to quickly backtrack, thinking hard about every word.
In the end, he settled on: hey ignis!!!
The reply was prompt: Hello, Prompto.
Prompto chewed on his lip, wondering how to say this.
so bond day is coming up and there’s something i want to ask you
This time, Ignis’ reply was belated: … I am listening tentatively.
Prompto internally screamed. IT’S NOT LIKE THAT
Oh. Well in that case, how can I help?
Prompto took a deep breath, then typed the words he had planned carefully in his head.
so i was thinking of getting noctis something but i’m kind of out of ideas. what do you think he would like?
Prompto pressed his burning face against his pillow. This was a terrible idea, but the text was sent and he couldn’t do anything about it now. Maybe Ignis would think Prompto meant it platonically; friends exchanged gifts on Bond Day just as often as lovers did. But it would be nice to give Noctis something that showed Prompto really was… interested. In that way. Gods, this was embarrassing. Prompto pressed his face harder into his pillow. Maybe he could just suffocate here instead and end his suffering.
He waited for his phone to buzz. And waited. And waited. Ignis seemed to be really thinking about it.
Then, finally: Make something. The crown prince can get almost anything in the city that can be bought, but something you made would be—well, priceless.
Prompto blinked. wow you should write slogans for bond day cards
Good night, Prompto.
Prompto grinned. Make something. He could probably do that. He’d start brainstorming tomorrow.
thanks though ignis!!! for real
A moment, and then: Flowers are especially nice to bring to confessions, as well.
To which Prompto said: GOOD NIGHT.
On the way to class that morning, Prompto thought hard about what Ignis said. Making something was easier said than done. Prompto couldn’t cook like Ignis—any meal he attempted for Noctis would end in smoke and flames and embarrassment. And Noctis probably ate the best foods in the world, there was no way Prompto could make anything nearly adequate enough.
On Bond Day, most people gave tokens—something they wore to display that they were bonded to someone else. Prompto had seen people give necklaces, earrings, pins, clothing… But what would Noctis want? What did Noctis like? Prompto thought: video games, sweets, comic books… Augh, none of this was helpful. Prompto ran his hands through his hair in frustration, not caring if he messed it up. His head hurt. He just wanted to get Noctis something nice.
He dragged himself to his classroom, slumping into his seat in front of Noctis.
Noctis asked, mildly concerned, “Hey, you okay?”
“’M Fine,” Prompto mumbled. Noctis raised his brows. Prompto just crossed his arms on Noctis’ desk, burying his face. “Bond Day stuff, that’s all,” he explained.
“Oh.” Noctis’ voice sounded a little awkward. “Do you… want to talk about it?”
Prompto sighed, looking up. “Nah, it’s—I’ll figure it out. I was just wondering, um.” He considered how much he wanted to say. He already regretted bringing up Bond Day at all, but maybe this could be his chance to probe into what Noctis liked. “Well, I was just wondering what a good gift would be.”
Noctis was quiet for a moment. “Oh,” he said, again. “Do you—do you have someone in mind?”
“Um.” Prompto tried really, really hard to stop his face from getting hot. “U-um, maybe. Well, just like, in general, I guess—um, what do you think would be a good gift? Just like, you know, hypothetically.”
Well, that came out smoothly. Prompto had never before wanted to kick himself as much as he did now.
Noctis seemed surprised at the question. “Me?”
Prompto just nodded, not trusting himself with words at the moment.
Noctis considered, idly fiddling with a pencil on his desk. Prompto looked at him, with his messy hair and blue eyes, his lips pursed just slightly as he thought. And as embarrassing as it was, Prompto could feel his chest squeeze; he really, really liked Noctis. And he really wanted Noctis to know.
“I guess,” Noctis began, his expression thoughtful, “I don’t really have anything specific in mind, but… The important thing is showing that you care, right? And… I guess the best gifts are one where—where you can tell the people are, um. Bonded.”
He looked down, drumming the pencil against his desk. Prompto could see red in the rounded tips of Noctis’ ears, and it was all—damn it, it was all so cute Prompto kind of felt like exploding.
Noctis continued, “The only Bond Day gifts I’ve given were like, for Gladio and Ignis and my dad. It wasn’t—you know.”
Prompto nodded. “But what would you like?”
“What would make you happy to get? From anyone.”
Noctis grimaced, which was surprising. “I feel like I’ve gotten every possible kind of Bond Day gift.”
“Really?” Then Prompto realized: he was the prince, Noctis had no shortage of admirers. This was the first Bond Day they would experience together since becoming friends, so Prompto had never seen but could certainly imagine the piles of gifts Noctis would find on his desk, at the front door of his apartment building, probably on the steps of the Citadel, too.
That just made the stakes of his own gift that much higher. What could Prompto possibly give him that he hadn’t received already?
“Yeah,” Noctis sighed, propping his elbow on his desk and leaning his cheek against his hand. “But all of those people are just… strangers. None of them really know me besides my title. I guess I’m flattered, but…”
“But…” Prompto licked his lips. “They weren’t… personal to you?”
Noctis looked at him, then. His eyes were bright, and a stray lock of dark hair tickled against his cheek. Prompto wanted to touch it, to use his fingers to gently tuck it behind Noctis’ ear.
The classroom door opened and their teacher strode into the room; all chatter died as she greeted the class, and began writing the day’s lesson plan on the board.
Prompto turned around in his seat, thoughts swirling in his head.
Something personal. Something that showed Prompto really knew Noctis, in a way that no one else really did.
Prompto strolled through the crowded streets of the shopping district, looking through storefront windows as he passed, trying to get some inspiration. Normally, he and Noctis walked this way to get to the arcade after school, but Noctis had a meeting with his father today, and apologetically told Prompto he couldn’t. He was a busy guy, Prompto understood. Besides, it gave him a chance to think of gift ideas without Noctis being suspicious.
There was a tremendous amount of people shopping. Bond Day always brought out the crowds, and everywhere he looked, Prompto saw signs advertising matching gifts for you and your beloved. They were all shiny and expensive and completely outside of Noctis’ interests, as well as Prompto’s price range.
He stopped in front of one store. Inside the window, there was a display of new fishing rods, gleaming and impressive. Noct liked fishing, Prompto remembered. Maybe something in here—
Prompto turned, and saw Gladio and Iris emerge from the bustling crowd. Gladio carried a number of shopping bags in his arms while Iris waved enthusiastically at Prompto.
“Hey!” Prompto said, grinning.
“Haven’t seen you in a while,” Gladio said, bumping Prompto’s shoulder. “Don’t want to come train with me and Noct, is that it?”
“Er,” Prompto stammered, remembering the last time he went with Noctis on training day and he was somehow persuaded into a crash course in sword training. Prompto’s arms were sore for a week. “I-I’m very busy with school, you know that.”
“Sure,” Gladio said. “Must be hard to do homework between trips to the arcade.” Iris giggled at that.
“Listen,” Prompto said, “I’ll have you know I’m not on my way to the arcade right now.”
“Oh, are you shopping for Bond Day, too?” Iris asked. “Gladio just helped me buy a bunch of presents for my friends!”
“Is that so? What did you get?”
Iris dug through one of the bags in Gladio’s hands. She pulled out bundles of string, in all sorts of colors: blue, red, pink, orange. Prompto tilted his head, confused.
“I’m making bracelets!” Iris explained excitedly. “We went to the craft store and found a bunch of colors, and beads, too, look!” She pulled out a small bag of beads in different shapes and colors.
“Wow, you know how to make bracelets?” Prompto said, genuinely impressed.
Iris nodded. “I practiced a lot and I’m pretty good at it now.”
“Huh.” The cogs in Prompto’s head were turning. Maybe something like this… It’d be kind of childish, maybe, and he probably wouldn’t make it very well, but it would be something unique. He could make one for him, and one for Noctis—the thought made Prompto’s heart beat a little faster in his chest.
“Hey, Iris,” he said, “do you think you could show me how to make one?”
Iris gasped, “Really?”
Prompto nodded. “I think that’s a really good idea for a Bond Day gift.”
Iris beamed. “Then of course I can show you! Do you want to go back to the craft store, look at some colors? Oh, and some beads? There are so many cute beads!”
“Why don’t we stop to eat first?” Gladio suggested, patting her head. “We just spent two hours there, I think we should take a break.” He said to Prompto, “You should come with.”
“If you’re finished shopping, that is,” Iris added.
“Thanks to you, I think I’ve found what I’m looking for,” Prompto said, and smiled. He started considering what colors Noctis would like.
As they started walking towards the nearest restaurant, Gladio said, “So. Fishing store, huh? Any reason you were looking there?”
“Uh, that was—! I mean, it was just there and, and my eyes were just. Also there. And—and no other reason really.”
Gladio gave Prompto a long stare. “… Okay.”
“Doesn’t Noctis like fishing?” Iris chimed in.
“Wow, I am starving, let’s eat already,” Prompto said, loudly, pushing ahead of them and ignoring the smirk on Gladio’s face.
Learning to weave bracelets wasn’t as hard as Prompto expected—it was simple enough for Iris to teach him during lunch, but he definitely needed to practice. His first attempt was uneven and sad, and too small to fit on anyone’s wrist besides maybe a child’s. Prompto wondered if he could somehow subtly measure the width of Noctis’ wrist, wrap his hand around the fine bones there and feel his pulse against his skin.
Prompto fumbled with the weaving as he thought about it. Focus, he needed to focus.
He settled on the colors blue, silver, and a shining gold he found at the craft store, which Iris was enthusiastic about when he picked it. He thought it would make the bracelet look nicer, give it a shine that a string bracelet wouldn’t normally have. A small part of him wanted the gold to remind Noctis of Prompto.
His phone buzzed from over on his bed, and Prompto looked up from his desk to see who it was.
It was Noct. Hey prom
Prompto reached over for his phone and texted: sup
Noctis didn’t answer immediately. Prompto went back to weaving. His phone buzzed again, and he read: Are you home right now?
Prompto raised an eyebrow. He replied: yeah. why?
Noctis took a moment, the little dots on Prompto’s screen telling him he was typing. Then Noctis said: Is it alright if I come over? It’s ok if you’re busy
Prompto blinked. He looked at the time—it was late, the city was dark and quiet. Noctis had been to Prompto’s place before, but never at this time of night. Worry gnawed at Prompto’s stomach, but he didn’t think Noctis would ask if it wasn’t important. He said, of course that’s fine noct
Ok cool because I’m at your door
“What?” Prompto shoved his bracelet and string into one of his desk drawers before quickly making his way to the front door. He peered through the peephole and sure enough, there was Noctis, shuffling awkwardly on his feet. Prompto pulled the door open.
“Noct,” he said, “What are you doing here so late?”
Noctis opened his mouth, then stopped. “Um,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck. “That meeting with my dad… It, uh…It was…” He squeezed his eyes shut, as if he had a headache.
“Hey.” Prompto reached out, grasping Noctis’ arm. “It’s okay.”
Noctis exhaled, then opened his eyes. “I’m really sorry to intrude. I can—I can go now.”
“No,” Prompto said. Noctis looked tired, fragile, like he was barely holding the pieces of himself together. “Come in, dude, I get the feeling you don’t really want to be alone right now.”
Noctis didn’t say anything, but his expression softened and his shoulders relaxed, just a little. Prompto stepped away from the door as Noctis toed off his shoes and came in.
The house was quiet and empty—it always was. Prompto never realized this was something they were both used to. Maybe this was why Noctis didn’t mind him coming over so much, and why Prompto didn’t mind Noctis being here now. That, and the simple fact that Prompto would do anything for Noctis, if he asked.
“Do you want anything?” Prompto gestured to the kitchen. Noctis shook his head. “Okay. Wanna just chill in my room?” Noctis shrugged. Prompto took that as a yes and led the way upstairs.
When they first started hanging out, he was always self-conscious about showing Noct his place. He figured Noctis was used to his own room at his condo, which was much nicer and more spacious than Prompto’s own small, plain bedroom. Prompto’s room had none of the expensive furnishings and fine bedsheets that Noctis’ room did, but the first time Noctis came over, he didn’t blink twice. Only flopped down onto Prompto’s bed like it was his own, and asked if he had any video games.
Noctis did much the same now when Prompto opened the door to his bedroom, heading immediately for the bed and lying down on it heavily. Prompto turned on his desk lamp and sat in his chair, swiveling it to face Noctis. Noctis didn’t say anything. He grabbed a pillow, pressed it against his face.
They stayed like that for a minute, silent. Prompto waited. If Noctis wanted to talk, he would talk.
Finally, Noctis sighed, then said, “I started magic training with my dad.” It was a little muffled by the pillow.
“Oh,” Prompto said. He wasn’t sure what else to say, but clearly something about it was bothering Noctis. “How did it go?”
“It was... fine, I guess.” Noctis lifted the pillow off his face and hugged it with his arms, instead. He stared at the ceiling as he spoke. “Just tiring. I hadn’t seen my dad in a while, and he looked—different. Older.” Noctis’ brows furrowed, troubled.
Prompto said, softly, “I’m sorry.”
“It’s—it’s what it is.” Noctis turned on his side to face Prompto, still hugging the pillow. He looked very young. Prompto couldn’t imagine what it felt like, having the burden of kingship looming over his shoulder, being reminded of it every time he saw his father, his hair a little grayer and eyes a little more tired each day. Prompto wished he could do something. The helplessness he felt was agonizing.
“Tell me about your pictures,” Noctis said suddenly.
“Your pictures.” Noctis pointed to the collage of photos Prompto kept taped on the wall in front of his desk. They were pretty random—a sunset Prompto caught on his way home one day, a bird sitting on a window sill, their school building on a rainy day. Prompto didn’t consider himself an expert by any means, but sometimes he got lucky and captured something nice. Still, showing them off to Noctis was a little embarrassing, but if that was what he wanted—Prompto would always oblige.
“Ah…” Prompto ran a hand through his hair, sheepish. “You know me, I always like to take pictures. Sometimes I keep the good ones.”
“Which one is your favorite?”
“My favorite? Hmm…” Prompto studied the photos; there were kind of a lot. “Maybe this one.” He pointed to one of Gladio swinging his practice broadsword during training, the weapon raised high in the air by Gladio’s strong arms. It was pretty cool, but Prompto recalled specifically why he liked this one. “Remember this? Gladio was gonna show you a new technique and he started doing it, but I guess he was trying a little too hard, and—”
“And he tore his pants,” Noctis finished, grinning.
Prompto laughed aloud. “Yeah, he was so embarrassed. I felt so bad but gods, that was so funny. At least I got a picture before disaster struck.” Prompto laughed hard again, his cheeks aching with the force of it.
Noctis muffled a laugh into the pillow. It made Prompto smile even bigger.
When Noctis finished, he pointed and said, “Is that you?”
Prompto looked: it was one of the first selfies he took, back when he was rounder in the cheeks and stomach and was determined to lose it all before he befriended Noctis. Prompto sputtered, “O-Okay, we’re not looking at that one!”
“I remember back then,” Noctis said. He was smiling a little. “What’s wrong? You were cute.”
That made Prompto blush hard. “I was not!”
“Sure you were.” Noctis looked nostalgic, thinking back on it. “You were a lot shyer back then.”
“Y-Yeah, well.” Prompto shrugged a little, looking back at his younger self. “I had some growing up to do, I guess.”
“It would have been nice,” Noctis started, then stopped. He looked like he hadn’t meant to say that. At Prompto’s confused look, he continued, “It would have been nice… to know you better back then, too.”
Prompto's heart fluttered, just a little. He ducked his head, plucking at a loose string on his sweater. Maybe all the shyness hadn't quite left yet. “Yeah,” he said quietly. He looked up and smiled. “Well, I’m here now.”
Noctis hid half his face behind the pillow, and mumbled, “Yeah.” They were quiet, again.
Then Noctis seemed to notice something—he propped himself up on one elbow and said, “Is that… me?”
Prompto knew what picture it was: the one of Noctis’ profile, laughing at something Prompto had said, his smile half hidden by his hand. It was a little blurry, but Prompto remembered liking it so much, his heart warming when he looked at it. Noctis had never noticed it before on the previous times he visited, and Prompto had never really thought about it.
Prompto said, “Yeah. I don’t know if you remember me taking that.”
“You take so many pictures, there’s no way I could remember every time.” Noctis looked flustered. “Didn’t think you’d keep the ones of me, though.”
“Why not?” Prompto blurted. He couldn’t fathom it. “You’re my best friend, of course you belong here.”
Noctis was silent. He stared, as if stunned by Prompto’s words. He hid behind the pillow again, and said so softly Prompto almost missed it: “Thanks.”
Prompto blinked. “For what?”
“For letting me be here.” Noctis gestured vaguely. “For—for being a good best friend.”
Prompto reached over and patted Noctis’ knee. “Of course, Noct.” He smiled. “Now, as per proper best friend behavior, I think it’s time for some video games.”
Noctis looked up at that, and moved to sit up on the bed. “Can we play that one we played last time? The fighting one?”
“Sure,” Prompto said, getting up to turn on his TV and get out his controllers. “If you’re ready to get your ass kicked again.”
“That was once—”
“Fine, twice. But I’ve grown since then, as a person.”
“Shut up,” Prompto laughed, lightly shoving Noctis over to make room on the bed. Their knees bumped as they sat next to each other, warm and familiar.
It was around midnight when Noctis finally said he should probably call someone to pick him up. Both of them were tired and yawning, but Prompto felt good. Happy. It was always nice hanging out with Noctis like this.
They played one more round before Noctis’ driver arrived and knocked at Prompto’s door. As Noctis stepped outside into the cold, late night air, he said a sleepy, “See you tomorrow, Prom,” before sliding into the backseat.
The car pulled away. Prompto closed the front door, leaned his forehead against it. His heart was racing. He made his way back up to his room. It was late, but he wanted to weave just a little before he slept. He took the bracelet out of his desk drawer, ran his fingers lightly over what he’d made so far. It looked nice, he thought, and he really hoped Noctis would like it.
As he sat there, fiddling with the bracelet, Prompto looked up at the photo of Noctis again and felt his heart swell. It felt like longing. Maybe even love.
School was buzzing when Prompto got there. It was Bond Day, after all. Everywhere he looked he saw people exchanging gifts, flowers, candies. He saw pins on people’s uniforms and bright new necklaces around people’s necks. And flowers. So many flowers. Prompto didn’t mind, exactly, but it made the weight of the box in his pocket feel even heavier, made the nervousness in his stomach flutter just that much more.
Every step to homeroom was a trial, but Prompto persevered. He was ready. He pulled open the door.
Everyone turned to look at him.
There were giggles, whispers. Did he have something on his face? Was his uniform on backwards? Prompto looked down at himself and noticed nothing out of the ordinary. What the hell was everyone’s problem, then?
Prompto ignored them, walking past them all to his desk. That was when he realized what they were all giggling at him for.
His desk was covered in flowers. Flowers Prompto had never seen before, of every color, shape, and size. There was a large vase of them on top of his desk, and more bouquets around it. They were in his chair, too, unbelievably. Prompto gaped.
Of all the flowers, he noticed one in particular: it was blue, with many wispy, delicate petals. It was nestled amongst all the flowers in the large vase, dream-like and pretty.
“Seems like someone has an admirer.”
That was when Prompto realized their teacher had entered the room. He also realized how hot his face had become, how red he must be right now.
“Mr. Argentum, if you are able, please take a seat. Class has begun,” she said, the amused curve of her lips betraying her stern tone.
“U-Uh, yes.” Prompto took the vase off his desk and set it on the floor, along with the flowers in his chair. He could still hear giggles, and he wanted to melt into the floor right there.
As the teacher began the lesson, Prompto realized another thing, something that cut through all the embarrassment and made his stomach sink with disappointment:
Noctis wasn’t here.
His desk was empty. Prompto thought maybe he was running late, some sort of emergency princely duties keeping him. But after five, twenty, forty minutes into the lesson, Prompto accepted that Noctis wasn’t showing up today.
He dug his hand into his pocket, felt the corners of the box he put the bracelet inside digging into his palm, and tried to focus on the lesson.
Prompto had no idea what he was going to do with the flowers. There was no way he could carry them all by himself, but he couldn’t just leave them here. He needed his desk, dammit. He couldn’t do anything with it covered in flowers.
Everyone else had left the classroom already, the day-ending bell having rung a while ago. Prompto could hear the bustle of people in the hallway dying down as people left school to go celebrate their Bond Day properly. Meanwhile, Prompto was here, figuring out what to do with his life. He didn’t even get to confess like he meant to. The thought made Prompto sigh and slump his shoulders.
At least the flowers were nice, whoever they were from. Prompto lifted up the large vase. The flowers smelled sweet and light. Prompto couldn’t help but like them. He set the vase back on his desk and looked at the blue flower again. He pulled it out of the bouquet, twirling the stem in his fingers. The petals swayed gently with the movement.
“Do you need help with those?”
Prompto spun around.
Noctis stood at the door of the classroom. He was blushing and had his arms crossed in what Prompto knew was an attempt to be casual. He kept his gaze locked with Prompto’s, something like determination burning in his eyes despite the nervous line of his lips.
“Noctis,” Prompto breathed. “You—You weren’t here today.”
Noctis shook his head. He took a halting step forward, then another, approaching Prompto. “I was… a little scared, honestly.”
Noctis looked at him with wide, blue eyes. He gestured at the flowers. “I was scared of what you’d say, I guess.”
Prompto looked at the flowers, then at Noctis, then at the flowers again. He may have stopped breathing. “These are from you?”
Noctis smiled a little, then nodded. He gently took the blue flower from Prompto’s hands, studying it. “I had some help from Luna. The flowers in Tenebrae are really nice. She even took care of these ones herself.” He held it out for Prompto. Prompto reached up for it, felt their fingers brush as he took it. Noctis said, “I just—um. I wanted the best for you.”
Prompto stared. Here was Noctis, blushing and sweet and vulnerable. Here was this boy he had admired for so long, and loved for months, baring his heart out for Prompto when Prompto had always believed it to be the other way around. He must have missed something, along the way. He couldn’t possibly have been this blind.
“Prompto?” Noctis said, sounding uncertain.
“I, um!” Prompto stammered, shoving his hand into his pocket and digging out the box he had prepared. “I got something for you, too.” He finally, finally handed it over to Noct.
Noctis looked surprised. “You—”
“Yep,” Prompto said, mouth running faster than his thoughts. “I spent hours on it, actually. I just, I really wanted it to be nice for you, because you’re—you’re. Well, you’re Noct. And you’re important to me.” Prompto swallowed. “And I like you. Like, really like you. And I wanted to tell you that today but you weren’t… You weren’t here.”
Noctis gave Prompto a small, apologetic smile. He stepped closer and said, “I’m sorry.”
Prompto shrugged, and smiled back. “It’s okay. You’re here now.” He cradled Noctis’ hands, pushed the box closer to him. “You’re here now, and you can open it.”
Noctis carefully lifted the lid from the box. Inside was the bracelet Prompto spent so long on. The blue, silver, and gold were carefully interwoven, much more neatly than the first time he tried. Dangling from it was a tiny, blue crystal.
Beside it was a matching bracelet, same in color and design except for a pale yellow crystal hanging from it instead.
“This one’s for me, actually,” Prompto said, pointing to the one with a yellow crystal. “But that one’s for you. I thought we could, you know, match.” He lifted the blue crystal bracelet out of the box, shyly offering it to Noctis. Noctis just stared at him, his eyes very bright.
“Sorry it’s not super fancy,” Prompto continued, “I know you probably get really nice gifts from everyone in the city, and this is probably far from the best one, but—but I thought you’d maybe like something I made for you. I also thought you’d like these colors and I—I kind of hoped that the gold would make you think of me b-but—”
Noctis kissed him.
Noctis was kissing Prompto’s mouth with his mouth. Their mouths were touching. They were kissing. They were kissing.
Prompto quickly forgot all the thoughts in his head and focused instead on Noctis. His lips were very soft and his breath was hot against Prompto’s skin. Prompto didn’t really know what he was doing; he’d never kissed anyone before, and never did he expect to kiss Noct someday, no matter how much he imagined it. But he was here now, solid and warm and Prompto wanted to get closer, wanted to feel every inch of him.
He slid his hand into Noctis’ dark hair, angled his head just so, so their lips could meet more comfortably and, oh. That was really nice.
“Prompto,” Noctis breathed between their mouths. And again, “Prom.”
Prompto sighed, pressing his lips to Noctis’ one more time before pulling away, just enough to press their foreheads together. Noctis’ eyes were closed, dark eyelashes fluttering against his cheeks. Prompto’s heart felt so full and happy he could burst into tiny, little stars.
Noctis’ eyes slowly opened, pupils darker than Prompto had ever seen them.
“Hey,” Prompto said, his voice a little hoarse. He cleared it before continuing, “Do you want to try it on?” He still had the bracelet in his hand.
Noctis grinned and exhaled a laugh. “Yeah. I do.”
He offered Prompto his wrist. Prompto held it in his hand, curled his fingers and felt Noctis’ quick-beating pulse under his thumb. Then he slid the bracelet over Noctis’ hand, pulling the loose ends to tighten it. It looked nice on him. Prompto couldn’t stop smiling.
“Put yours on,” Noctis said, pulling the matching one out of the box. This time Prompto held his hand out while Noctis slid the bracelet over it, his fingers lingering against the skin of his wrist, briefly, before letting go.
Prompto looked at it, dangling on his left arm. He hated looking at his right, knowing what secret hid under the wristband he kept there. But this, this didn’t make him feel a hard seed of anxiety in his stomach. This made him feel like he belonged here, like where he was from wasn’t so wrong anymore. Being bonded to someone, to Noctis, felt like finding home.
“It looks good,” Noctis told him. He shyly curled his fingers between Prompto’s, gazed at their identical bracelets, crystals blinking in the light. “You did a good job.”
Prompto rubbed the back of his neck, laughed, “Really? You should have seen the first ones I made. They were pretty bad. But Iris was a good teacher.”
“Iris? Gladio’s sister?”
Prompto nodded. “I had some help. I even asked Ignis for advice.”
“I didn’t know who else to ask!”
“… I asked Ignis for help too, actually.”
“He was the one who suggested flowers.”
“He told me the same thing! I can’t believe he knew both sides the whole time!” Prompto said despairingly, covering his face with both hands while Noctis laughed at him. He reached up to grasp Prompto’s wrists and pull his hands away.
“Come on, he was just trying to push us in the right direction.”
“I guess…” Prompto pouted, adjusting their hands so he could twine his fingers with Noct’s. “Did he help you set this up, too?”
“Your desk? Y-Yeah.” Noctis ducked his head. “And then I left because—because I was too afraid to face you when it happened I guess. And I didn’t want to make a scene in front of all our classmates.”
“Ah, yes,” Prompto said, smiling, “covering my desk in flowers didn’t make a scene at all.”
Noctis just bent his head down further and hid his face in Prompto’s chest. “I came back because I realized you’d be stuck with all of them, and it'd be my fault.” He looked up. “Did you… like it though?” he asked.
“Of course I did!” Prompto said. “I mean, at first I wanted to be swallowed into a void, but not because I didn’t like the flowers. They’re really nice. No one’s ever—” Prompto swallowed, his cheeks warming up. “No one’s ever gotten me flowers before.”
Noctis smiled. It was soft and fond and, Prompto realized, not unfamiliar. Had Noctis always smiled at him this way? The world felt like it had shifted, a little, and Prompto could see clearer than he ever could. Like everything was a little brighter and more vivid.
“Hey,” Prompto said, “let’s get out of here.”
They were still at school, after all. Thankfully no one had walked in on their little moment, but Prompto had had enough of school for the day. He just wanted to spend time with Noctis.
Noctis nodded in agreement, squeezing Prompto’s hand. “I guess I can send someone to collect the flowers,” he offered.
“That would be really nice, thanks.” Prompto grinned.
“Maybe Ignis. It was his idea to begin with.”
“Payback for stringing us along?”
“Something like that.”
Noctis leaned in, his nose nudging against Prompto’s as he sought a kiss. Prompto couldn’t imagine getting used to this. Maybe it would take a few more kisses.
He reached up to touch Noctis’ jaw, his thumb brushing against his cheek. Noctis hummed a soft, pleased sound.
Okay, maybe a lot more kisses. Prompto was more than willing to oblige.