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Complete Sun & Sand & Chocobos

Discussion in 'Pandora, Year 1 - 7' started by Noctis Lucis Caelum, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. Noctis Lucis Caelum

    Noctis Lucis Caelum Final Fantasy

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    May 3, Year 7
    tag; @Prompto Argentum
    "So," Noctis started as he stepped away from portal network building that was meant to be their ticket back to Misty Hollow, taking the front steps two at a time. The very same network where he'd been talking quietly to the guy working there (and half arguing with, trying not to let his frustration get the better of him) while he had waited for Prompto to go and get some last souvenir or ice cream or whatever from their extremely short visit to Horizon. They'd arrived only a few hours ago, early that morning, escorting some people who were far too freaked out about the fall of Misty Hollow's barrier to stay there.

    Noctis had been with the Defense force for only a day now, so he didn't complain when he was given the job of escorting people through the portal, making sure they got settled into Horizon okay and had a place to stay. Luckily, there was plenty of room in Horizon for visitors and tourists in a couple of inns. Plus, some of the residents were more than willing to share their homes if only for a little while.

    It was going to be just a short visit to Horizon, no more than a few hours. And then Noct and Prompto would head right back, and Noctis could start with the actual defending stuff that he was eager to help out with. Because he was pretty damn good at that sort of stuff. Not that he minded helping to take people to safety, of course. But he had other skills that could be put to good use.

    "Do you want the good news first? Or the bad news?" he finished, shooting the mirror network one last frustrated look before turning back to Prompto, arms crossed over his chest. Cause yep, there was definitely both good news and bad news here.

    The bad news? "So, the woman who was running the portal network? She...uh...heard about Misty Hollow's barrier falling and is kind of now refusing to send anyone to Misty Hollow. Even us." So yep, their stay was kind of extended. It was suddenly a bit longer than a few hours.

    As for the good news? "They're trying to get someone in to replace her, but they think it might take a day or two. Soooo...We're kind of on vacation." Which...kind of sucked. Noct had already called his boss to explain the situation, and he'd been understanding. But despite the pretty bad situation back home (but the rest of the Defenders had it covered -- Misty Hollow would still be there when they got back), Noctis did find himself looking around the small desert town with renewed interest.

    Maybe a vacation with his bff would be kind of good, especially since they hadn't like really hung out (or if they had, Noct had drowned it all in a haze of 'woe is me') and this could be kind of fun. You know. If there was anything to do in some little town in the middle of the desert.
     
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  2. Prompto Argentum

    Prompto Argentum Final Fantasy
    Chocobro

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    It was like riding a bike. A bike full of daemons and hard-repressed memories; which sounded like the lyrics of some emo song t-b-h. But that was reality, yo. All the able-bodied folk helpin' out all the people who didn't know how to fight. Getting them to places that were either safe or more safe; while the fighters fought the good fight.

    Yeah, it would have been easy to fall into a slump of oh no; but honestly he was all so used to this, that it was somehow balancing out the panic. It wasn't like the sun went away or anything. It was just a big part of his life before. Which - yeah - was friggin' unsettling. But there was enough to do, so it didn't really get under his skin. Plus, Noct was around, which helped.

    The fact the boyo seemed to be sorta loving this series of apocalyptic events, was kind of hilarious in the saddest way possible...like most things Noct, t-b-h. He liked having a purpose; goals and things depending on him. Which was - yanno - the opposite of how he was before the road trip. But Prompto felt it too. Before Noct had dropped into M-H, he had been finding himself seeking danger, despite his own life being redic-levels of domestic.

    Apparently that was just...something that happened.
    Weird, yo.

    Prompto had ended up volunteering all his free time with the Defenders; ready to help however he could. Because like...it would have been a beyond dick move not to. He was pretty dang good at keeping his booty safe, at this point in his life. To just let other peeps handle the burden, would have been the exact opposite of helpful.

    So now they were in Horizon.
    Relocating a nice little family that couldn't quite handle the spoopiness of Misty Hollow.

    Entire thing shouldn't have even taken half a day. Just escort them to the network-thingy. Settle them into Horizon. Get home and burn some cereal somehow. Buuuut something was up. What exactly, they had no idea. So Prompto had wandered off to do a tiny bit of playing tourist, while Noct fought the good fight. Meaning used his ever-so-slightly-better social skills to find out what the hell was going on.

    Prompto returned with two cones of ice cream; because ice cream. There didn't need to be logic or reason. He had just seen - or rather - smelled the shop. A super cute ice cream girl may have swayed that further. And there he stood - with two cone of ice cream. The one in his right hand already licked down almost to the cone; the left untouched. Somehow not quite melty yet. It was super thinking about dripping though.

    "I bringith sugar...ith," he handed Noct off some ice cream, as the broski asked what flavor of news he wanted to hear, "Uhhh...bad. Rip off that band-aid, dude."

    Cleaning the edge of his cone with his tongue as Noct talked, he frowned, "What the hell? I get wanting to protect people, but come on! We literally just came from there. She should just warn peeps maybe then let us friggin' pass," he shook his head, "Now seduce me with your good news."

    It took him several seconds to actually digest what Noct had just said. He was so stuck on stranded that the idea of vacation took an actual amount of time for him to comprehend.

    "W-whoa. Vaca?" a grin spread across his features - before he glanced over his shoulder.

    This place was friggin' beautiful. Weather was nice. Had cute ice cream girls. Plus like...since Noct had come back - and for years - they hadn't really just...bro'd. Yeah, they hung out. Yeah they sat around and did nothing. But not genuinely like. Bro'd. With a capital B.

    And even with both of them weirdly addicted to danger or whatever the fuck was happening there - the idea of just having fun with Noct was...neat. Sorta quieting that internal panic that was low-key brewin' in his gut.

    He punched Noct's shoulder, "Dude! Yes! I mean it's like...turbo bad that we can't go back to help; but it's also like not our fault we're stuck here, yanno? So, dude...wanna go exploring? Down the street," he motioned over his shoulder - bouncing on his heels slightly, "I swear I heard the chocobow kweh," his impression actually wasn't terrible, "But I mean...do you think chocobos are here? Dude! What if chocobos are here" his mind was bouncing around faster than his mouth could follow, "We! Need! To! Go! Find! Them!" he punctuated his words by motioning with ice cream hand.

    A good portion of his ice cream ended up next to his shoe.

    "Aw, dammit," he poked it with his boot, "Rip ice cream. But! Oh...man. If they have chocobos, that means they might have chocobo stuff. I could get a chocobo hoodie to replace that one that got shredded. Oh! OH! Man, we could actually get you more than like...two shirts. I mean..." he pulled out his wallet, staring at his money as he did a bit of mental math too, "I'm not loaded right now but...let's get weird."

    Meaning go see some large birds and possibly buy some much needed clothing.

     
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  3. Noctis Lucis Caelum

    Noctis Lucis Caelum Final Fantasy

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    Noctis' eyes could only follow the path of that ice cream cone as Prompto flailed it wildly around, waiting for its inevitable end splattered across the ground.

    Or across Noctis' shirt.

    It was part of the reason he had stepped like two feet back as Prompto's arms started going wild, because there was no way in hell he was tempting fate. Besides, his own cone was already dripping and Noctis just rolled his eyes at Prompto's exuberance (from a certain angle, he almost looked like he was trying to flap around like a chocobo) as he licked up everything that was dripping, and then the sides to try and avoid any future dipping. Then he kind of just took a bite from the top, shuddering a bit from the cold. But it was a good shudder, cause chocolate.

    And man, not even the inevitable loss of a good chunk of Prompto's ice cream could sour his mood. And he was already talking about clothes shopping, and souvenirs and of course the chocobos. Noct was like halfway done with his own ice cream by that point, face settled into somethihng halfway between amused and bored as he tucked a hand into his pocket. "One rule, man. I am not wearing anything yellow."

    Noctis' wardrobe was like.... 90% black, with the occasional red or white or dark blue tossed in there for just a touch of variety. Yellow was not in his vocabulary. And if they found any chocobo merch, yellow was a guarantee.

    But he definitely was just as curious about the chocobos as Prompto, and his eyes looked across Horizon, half hoping to see a giant feathered bird just hop out of nowhere. He just, you know, kept his excitement very carefully contained.

    "Don't know about here, but I did meet a black Chocobo a while back. Before I ran into you," he started as he meandered down the street, gesturing over his shoulder for Prompto to follow. "It was chasing a guy up a tree," he recalled, snorting a little at the memory. That day had been kind of ridiculous.

    Finding a chocobo in Horizon, it turned out, was just a little bit more of a challenge. They were currently in the center of the town, weaving their way through an open air market, over the multiple pillars of earth that jutted the center of the town up above the ground of the gorge, wooden bridges connecting each section to each other.

    At least until they stumbled upon a little wooden sign, one that had a crude chocobo etched into it, with a big arrow pointing off towards a walkway that would lead them down to the bottom of the gorge, where it was all plantlife and vegetation and probably chocobos now too.

    Noctis walked up to the low fence that stopped anyone from bumbling into a particularly nasty fall and leaned over the edge, brushing his hair out of his eyes as he spied what he was pretty sure were big fuzzy yellow somethings meandering about, still a ways off. He brushed his hair out of his eyes, took a bite from his ice cream cone as he grinned over at Prompto.

    "You think they'll let us race 'em?"
     
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  4. Prompto Argentum

    Prompto Argentum Final Fantasy
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    It was kinda a bummer about the whole being stranded thing; but once vacation mode started to take hold of Prompto's mind - he was getting excited on a level that he wasn't even trying to contain. Why would he? Noct was used to this. Wasn't like he was some pretty girl he was trying to impress. He could just be himself and literally vibrate and drop ice cream on the group and make squeaky noises about chocobos.

    Because CHOCOBOS.

    Prompto snorted as Noct made a royal decree about not wearing yellow. Of course the broski wouldn't wear yellow. With all the black in the dude's wardrobe, he'd end up just looking like a bee. While hilarious, he got it. But Prompto was also about a thousand percent sure that the fabled black chocobo gear would exist too.

    And then...betrayal. Prompto made a noise that started in the back of his throat, and somehow came out through his nose. Similar to a cat being pet the wrong way, really. His eyes widened as Noct just casually mentioned meeting a black chocobo and never-ever - yanno - telling Prompto. The person who basically cried the first time they rolled up to Wiz' ranch. The person who had chocobo PJs and wore them with pride.

    "Dude!" he started following Noct as the broski wandered yonder, "Where the hell did you see chocobos," his ice cream stain long forgotten on the ground behind them, "Cuz like...I cannot believe this is the first I'm hearing of this, yo. You not telling me about seeing a chocobo here. Like I pay for your food, bro. I feel so betrayed," he sighed, attempting to add extra angst into his voice, but the excitement of actually seeing a chocobo was making it impossible.

    They continued to wander until they found a sign with a familiar shape; Prompto punching Noct in the shoulder over and over as he stared at it.

    "This! Is! Happening!"

    Coming across a low fence, he finished off his ice cream - eyes locked on to a very familiar shape.

    "Bro," his voice barely above a whisper, as he put his hand on Noct's shoulder, before shaking him slightly, "We should ask! Like...this place is kinda a tourist trap. Be dumb if they didn't."

    His eyes were still locked on the poofy giant birds that were roostin' in the distance. Pulling his camera from his shoulder, he took a picture. Wasn't the greatest but...who cared? The smile that was plastered on his face was a different brand than the one that had bubbled over with excitement. It was...more relaxed.

    "Man," his voice quiet, as he stared down at the picture on his camera, "I'm glad I'm here," spoken mostly to himself, before he shook the two secs of serious, and the normal smile pulled at his features.

    "The bird-dude wouldn't be too far from his kids, right? So..." his eyes scanned the area around them, before pointing at a building a bit further down. It rested next to the low fence. Seemed promising.

    Shooting Noct a silent question with a glance, he slapped his shoulder, and half-skipped in the direction of the building.

    "I'm gonna ride my chocobo all dayyyyyyy."


     
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  5. Noctis Lucis Caelum

    Noctis Lucis Caelum Final Fantasy

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    "Chocobo. It was just one chocobo," he corrected Prompto. Not like he really needed to. Because whether it was a single Chocobo or a whole flock of them, yep, Prompto was having a mini-meltdown over there. Then again, it was a black chocobo, and they were a pretty rare find out in the wild. But Noct just shrugged lightly, amusement quirking his lips as he shook his head. "You never asked."

    Asked or not, Prompto was clearly getting his revenge now with each playful punch and jab to Noctis' shoulder. Repeatedly. The excitement building, and for one crazy moment Noct had to wonder if his friend could literally implode from all that energy that he wasn't even bothering to hold back. He twisted his lips, pretty sure his shoulder was gonna be all bruised now (it wasn't) as he rubbed at it.

    "Ow," he said, voice flat.

    And then the shaking, and Noct snorted, twisting out of Prompto's grip to shove his own hand against his friend's shoulder, giving him a taste of his own medicine. It was something playful and childish, and it felt good.

    So yeah, maybe he could take a day or two without feeling trapped under the weight of his own thoughts.

    He leaned forward against the fence, one arm drooping lazily over it, the cone in his other hand back at his mouth. Noct still had a good half of it left, while Prompto devoured the rest of his -- everything that hadn't been splattered over the ground, at least. And he just kind of hummed in response to Prompto's whispered statement, falling easily into that lazy, peaceful moment as he watched the yellow balls of fluff meander around in what must have been a rather large pen.

    Behind them was one of the several waterfalls spilling noisily down the earthen walls of Horizon, flowing away towards somewhere out of sight. Noct's eyes followed the flow as he turned slightly, leaning a bit further out as he tried to get an idea of where it was heading.

    He was already itching to break out his rod and check out the fishing down here.

    That rod hadn't seen the light of day nor the starlight of a clear night since before he'd arrived in Misty Hollow. Before his single-minded determination, that bit of hope, had been fractured into little tiny pieces. But something new -- still fragile, but growing stronger by the day -- had been shaped from those broken shards..

    Noct jerked his head back up, pulled suddenly from his thoughts to see Prompto pointing excitedly towards a building as he smacked Noct's shoulder (again) and took off in that direction, a familiar song on his lips. The Prince let out a sigh and, hand rubbing his shoulder again, followed after Prompto at a far more relaxed pace.

    He was skipping on the inside.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Horizon had Chocobos. Which that helpful sign had first told them. But soon after they arrived at that central building -- part information center, part gift shop -- they soon were faced with all the extras too. Riding lessons. Chocobo rentals (with the bird carefully matched with the rider, of course, for best compatibility). There was even a track that had been setup around the perimeter of the floor of the gorge for racing or just trotting.

    Of course, rentals and racing required a bit of a test of skill first, to make sure the birds weren't being taken out by anybody completely inept. No need to endanger either the riders or the Chocobos, after all. Not that Noct was worried about that, at all.

    They were practically pros at this point.

    Still, it was kind of weird trotting around in circles, directing the Chocobo, speeding her up, slowing her down, all while some stranger with a clipboard and a bright yellow hat enthusiastically judged them, even shouting out number scores.

    Noct was relieved it was over, the lady giving them a thumbs up and a legit Chocobo License, all laminated and shiny. Meant they didn't have to repeat that humiliating process with each subsequent visit.

    And now? With his new license pocketed, Noct grinned, feeling far more relaxed now that they were no longer being literally graded. He held up a bunch of gysahl greens to the large yellow bird who was shaking out her feathers, before darting her head curiously forward and tugging on a clump. "That's a good girl," he said, reaching up to stroke down the back of her neck. She was healthy and strong, probably a few years old. The Chocobo lady had introduced her as Paprika.

    "You ready to ride?" He couldn't hide the excitement in his voice as he leaned back to wave at Prompto.
     
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  6. Prompto Argentum

    Prompto Argentum Final Fantasy
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    Prompto stared at the brand-spankin’-new license between his fingers. It was something he never knew he needed, but here he was. With a friggin’ chocobo license. Back in Lucis, he was pretty sure these things didn’t exist. They just sorta trusted that you weren’t gonna eat your chocobo when you rented it. Maybe Wiz was just like that. He was a pretty chill dude, after all. Even stayed chill after the sun went splat and his ranch had to shut down.

    But honestly? Prompto dug this system. Made sure people who actually got on the giant amazing birbs, knew what the hell they were doing. Didn’t make him any less stressed when the testing started, though. Yeah, he knew what he was doing - but that didn’t mean it’d come across. Or worse - maybe something he normally did while choco-riding was like...super frowned upon here.

    What if he was hurting the chocobo and didn’t even know it?

    In the end, though, his score was pretty sweet. Even somehow made half-friends with the person who examined him. Not that he got her number or anything. Or would want it. She was like...twice his age, easily. But she loved chocobos too, and that’s what matters.

    With a satisfied smile, Prompto slid his license into his wallet with the assorted other useless cards. He...honestly didn’t know why he kept them. There was his Insomnia Driver’s License - featuring the worst picture that has ever been taken of him. There was his debit card for his pathetic bank account that didn’t exist here. Nor...had really existed since Insomnia went bloop. There was an Insomnia Library Card that was made of some sort of cardboard. Thing was basically a circle, it was so old. Relic from the days where books were his best friend, not Noct.

    Crazy.

    Taking a deep breath, he wandered over to Noct - who was doing exactly what he expected he’d be doing; befriending every animal in the city. Broski just...had a way with nonpeople. They all just instantly loved him. Honestly one of Prompto’s fav pics of Noct of all time, was him passed-the-hell-out on his chocobo. Not...while riding it, of course. That’d be dangerous. Nah, this was during camp. After some long-ass day of running around Lucis and fighting the good fight. The chocobo was curled around Noct - almost kinda protectively, as he just...snoozed happily on its feathers. It was friggin’ adorable, okay?

    Uh-door-uh-bull.

    And here was Noct, hugging a chocobo.

    Prompto snapped a quick shot.

    Born ready!” he resisted the urge to shake, punch, or vibrate Noct any more than he already had, “Bruh...we’re officially licensed to ride chocobos! How cool is that?” his focus shifted to the beautiful chocobo Noct had been flirting with.

    He offered her a smile.
    She replied with a kweh.

    Hello there, beautiful,” he winked, before clapping his hands together and glancing back to Noct.

    It was super easy to be distracted by this many chocobos around him.

    So! Wanna race? Wanna just wander Horizon on chocobos? Both? I vote both,” he rubbed his hands together, way-way-way too eager to get started.

    It was easy to get kinda wound-up from the crazy shit that was happening back in Misty Hollow, t-b-h. Yeah, fighting was fun. Helping people was fun. But like...man, it was familiar. Way-way-way too familiar. But with the sun up and this lil’ break from the madness, Prompto felt like he could actually handle it all. Well - he was already handling it, but in a more vague sorta sense. Like he’d freak himself out at roughly 3am while staring at the ceiling.

    This lil’ vaca though...made it seem way more possible to actually keep his head on straight and just take it all in stride. After all, it wasn’t the same, yo. Wasn’t like Noct had been sucked into a crystal right after Prompto had been finally ripped from Ardyn’s gross-ass fingers. It wasn’t like the sun had gone away and left them with nothing but ‘uhh...what...do we do now?’ It wasn’t even close to the same.

    He’d be okay.
    And this was just making it easier.

     
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  7. Noctis Lucis Caelum

    Noctis Lucis Caelum Final Fantasy

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    So maybe Noct was kind of the animal whisperer. He'd always had a way with animals, ever since he was young and had started sneaking food to the occasional cat that managed to slip into the Citadel's gardens. Those cats had shown him the tiny spaces only a child could slip through in order to find his way to freedom beyond the Citadel walls, after all (though it hadn't taken Ignis very long to figure out what was up -- typical Ignis). He'd continued to feed those cats even after after he'd grown too tall, shoulders too wide, to manage those tight spaces, ignoring any protests or gentle chiding to giving the cats a reason to keep coming back.

    He might have even gotten a pet cat when he had finally convinced his father (who had gone to great lengths to convince the Council) to let him live on his own, and learn some independence. Except that the few apartments that fit their rather stringent requirements were mostly lacking in pet approval. And sure, if the Crown Prince of Lucis had asked for a cat, who in their right mind would have said no to that? But Noct had never been keen on throwing his status around in order to get what he wanted, and so his apartment had remained sadly cat free.

    But man, he really loved animals. To the point where he could legit ignore the familiar snap of that camera as he hugged Paprika, pressing his face into her feathers. Yep, they were totally bonded now and forever. Sucked that he probably wouldn't be able to come back here too often.

    "Cooler than getting my driver's license," he said with a faint smile, looking over at Prompto who was practically vibrating his excitement.

    Prompto who was totally flirting with Noct's chocobo, and the prince raised an eyebrow at his friend, one hand stroking those feathers still.

    "Hey man, no stealing my chocobo. I saw her first," he teased, waving his friend off. Paprika gave Prompto another little 'kweh' before nuzzling her beak into Noct's hair, mussing up the dark strands. He instinctively ducked out of the way, fingers going up to his hair, trying to blindly fix the damage.

    But man, it felt good to swing himself up onto the Chocobo's back, settling down into the saddle, fingers wrapping around the reigns. Even in a totally different world, this felt so familiar and he gently pressing his legs into the Chocobo's sides, urging her forward. He cast a glance back towards the town and then to the race track in the distance. Horizon wasn't all that big, though the bottom of the gorge seemed to be teaming with life that must have been a rare find in the rest of the desert. He cast his eyes towards the walls of the gorge and found option #3.

    "Race ya to the top!" he called back to Prompto, before urging his chocobo forward, Paprika letting out a happy note as she trotted towards that winding path that twisted up the walls of the gorge, trusting in the chocobo to follow a route that was all too familiar to her. Prompto could probably get some cool photos from up top too.
     
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  8. Prompto Argentum

    Prompto Argentum Final Fantasy
    Chocobro

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    A smile spread across Prompto’s freckled features, at Noct’s comment about his driver’s license. Honestly...the fact Noct had his at all was sorta mind blowing. With Iggy driving him around all the time - and honestly literally anyone he asked - it really wasn’t needed. He always assumed that Noct just got consumed by Prompto’s own excitement to drive. As a kid with parents who worked the weirdest hours in Eos, he did a lot-lot-lot of walking, bike riding, subway taking, and bus braving. And every-single-time, it sucked. Driving, however, was a promise for better. Before Insomnia went down in literal flames, he had actually been saving for a car. Had a decent amount stowed away, before their entire economy basically stopped existing.

    That money was long gone now.

    Right?” he gave a quick nod, “Plus unlike that test, I aced this one,” he winked for some reason, before quickly shoving his hands in his pockets, wondering why he was the way he was.

    And - of course - the Noctinator very quickly picked up on Prompto making eyes at his chocobo. Were this a girl that had a thing for Noct, he’d probably insist Prompto took her off his hands. But this was something that actually mattered to Noct; it was an animal.

    Which...was an entire bag of cats that Prompto made a point to not touch with a thousand-foot pole. Noct just...seemed annoyed by girls. Well, not girls in general. Just...flirting. Which made the whole engaged to Luna thing mind-blowing on about a billion levels. But that wasn’t exactly Noct being romantic and smooth. That was a Peace Treaty dealio. Weirder yet was that Noct actually didn’t seem to throw a fit about the idea; though Prompto had a slight suspicion that it was just ‘cuz he missed his former bff.

    And that's understandable, yo. He just hadn't seen Noct for three years, and was losing his mind. Not seeing him for twelve? Fuck that.

    In conclusion, Prompto needed to stop flirting with Noct’s chocobo before he got punched.

    Prompto laughed as the chocobo messed with the broski’s perfect hair.
    N’awww, she’s cleaning you. Not sure if that means you’re her husband or kid,” his eyes dropped in thought, “But...I actually got a chocobro over yonder. Her name is Popcorn and I’d die for her,” he nodded, “She actually followed me around after I finished testing. Isn’t exactly as in love with me as yours is - but I am but a pleb,” he motioned over his shoulder, before jogging off to go grab Popcorn.

    She was chocobo who was yellow. Very, very, very yellow. Like...burn your eyes out yellow. But the best part was that she had a lil’ patch of white on her chest and butt.

    Popcorn was beautiful.

    Climbing onto her back, he guided her over to Noct - who had already done the same.
    Yonder wander!

    It quickly became apparent that Horizon wasn’t exactly...big. So there options were limited.

    Prompto’s mind was slowly sorting through each thought as it came to pass, until Noct just kinda...chose.

    And totally got a head start.
    Cheater.

    Prompto was quick to follow; giving Popcorn a gentle kick to the sides to get her going. She made a strange-ass noise, but ran forward. Prompto’s teeth dug into his bottom lip as they ran; eyes on the emo-nerd who was a no-good cheater. Popcorn jumped for some reason, causing him to make a strange-ass noise, before they hit the ground again.

    Finally making it to the top, he stopped Popcorn next to Noct, who - yes - kicked his ass.
    Dude,” Prompto’s eyes moved from gently glaring at the back of Noct’s head to the view in front of them, “Holy...crap.

    Before them, was all of Horizon. The height sorta made him wanna throw up, but the photo-nerd in him kept his stomach’s goop firmly in place.

    He slid off his chocobo, offering Popcorn a nice scratch before he stood in front of her.

    Since coming to this reality, he had done some sightseeing. Poked his head into Pandora Town on a few days off; ran around Misty Hollow’s forests like someone who was asking to die. Yanno - totally normal things. But...honestly? Forests were nice, but kinda dangerous and there’s only so many tree-pics you can take before it gets stale. Pandora Town was nice and all..but it was a straight-up city. Views were mostly of cool buildings and not much else.

    Genuinely finding vistas and just...really nice sights, wasn’t something that had happened, since basically the sun went away. Yeah, he still took pictures once Noct left, but they were always of something or someone specific. Mostly of the Glaive and Hunters while they fought, for Vyv. Sometimes he’d sneak in a selfie with Iris or Cindy. But just...pretty scenery shots? Sorta hard to take them when everything was covered with daemons and death. Yeah, the stars were nice - but they sorta lost their spark when it became a constant.

    Prompto smiled as he took a few shots; feeling like he was reclaiming a part of himself that he didn’t even know he lost.

    Then...his chocobo kinda just shoved him over with a knock of her head; Prompto scrambling backwards so he didn’t fall off the friggin’ edge. Sitting on the ground, he glared up at Popcorn.

    Babe, no.


     
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  9. Noctis Lucis Caelum

    Noctis Lucis Caelum Final Fantasy

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    Paprika was energetic, fluttering her wings and even hopping eagerly once or twice as Noct guided her up the twisting cliff-side path. Well, she was doing most of the work, really. It was clearly a familiar path to her, and ever sharp turn was made easily. And even as he rode, as absolutely useless as it was, his hand kept going self-consciously to his hair. Cause yep, she had definitely been grooming him and there was no way in hell his hair wasn't an absolute mess after that. But it was hard to feel too annoyed with the air rushing by around him, that thrill of the ride, Noct leaning forward to urge her on just a little faster.

    He pulled up on the reigns, slowing the chocobo with her bright and fluffy yellow feathers to a far gentler canter. The bird hopped around with another 'kweh', barely even winded from that brief rush. Noct grinned, sitting up a little straighter, fingers running through her feathers, scratching the back of her neck as he let his eyes travel over the scenic vista, Horizon spread out with its colorful marketplace and tents and elegant waterfalls and that lush greenery all below them.

    All in the middle of a sea of shifting sands that seemed to stretch on forever, the horizon broken only by the pale form of Mt. Pompeii looming tall in the distance.

    And then there was Prompto pulling up to a stop just next to him, and Noct could only let out a quiet note in agreement at his friend's wide-eyed awe.

    Yep, it was a pretty awesome view. It was also the first one Noct had really taken in since coming to Pandora. Sure, it was hard to beat the view from way up on Mt. Pompeii where the prince had first found himself dumped in by weird shadow tentacles or whatever the hell those were. But he'd been way too focused on the 'what the hell' questions to really take a moment and admire the grand vista that would have given him a good look right across Pandora.

    He slid down off of Paprika just as Prompto did the same off of Popcorn (Noct had to wonder if all the chocobos were named after edible stuff). He could hear Prompto snapping photos as Noct stepped forward, just a few steps from the edge, peering over to actually follow the river he'd spotted from down below.

    Score. Fishing hole spotted. Maybe not a dock, but he could see a pond or lake or something where it gathered. Yep, this was definitely happening. Noct stepped back, a familiar eagerness in his eyes -- except he yelped, jumping back as Prompto when stumbling to the ground, only to tumble back onto his butt and scramble away from the edge. And Noct was laughing as he dropped down next to his friend, stretching out his legs.

    Popcorn just cleaned her feathers, all innocent like. Paprika was settling down to sit on the ground.

    "When you said you'd die for her, I didn't think you mean literally," he said lightly, lips quirked up in amusement as he leaned back on his hands. After everything they'd gone through, there was no way Prompto was going out from an accidental tumble off a cliff.

    But man, as unfortunate as the Misty Hollow stuff and that little magical gate thingy incident, it was nice to be just hanging out here. Kind of felt almost like old times. Which...really weren't that long ago to Noctis. But after his month or however long of kind of just...living as a zombie, yeah, it felt like ages.

    "We should take a picture here,"
    he said suddenly, staring out over the vista. And he wasn't just talking about the scenery. Then it really would be like the road trip. You know, minus the Regalia and the other two who should have been traveling with them.
     
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  10. Prompto Argentum

    Prompto Argentum Final Fantasy
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    It really shouldn’t have been surprising that Popcorn was low-key a murderer. There was something about the glint in her eyes that just screamed blood. Or maybe he was over-analyzing how she happily cleaned her feathers, as he shoved himself back from the edge of the friggin’ cliff. Heart rattling around in his chest, as he caught his breath; a fear of both dying and heights, messin’ up his funky groove.

    Taking a deep breath, he puffed out his cheeks to try to settle the sheer amount of adrenaline that was bouncin’ around his system. He glared over at Noct at that comment.

    Popcorn, I have learned, is a very literal girl,” he held up a finger as he spoke, before glancing back at his murderous chocobo, “But I still love you,” he whispered, wiggling his fingers at her. She pretended to be asleep.

    Rude.

    Frowning to himself, he glanced over at Paprika, who made a quiet kweh at him, and fluffed up her feathers.

    Why did Noct get the cooler chocobo? Not fair. But...maybe it was just Noct. He seemed to have a way with animals, that Prompto could only dream of. Paprika might have normally been a turd, but the soothing ways of the Noctis, made her the beautiful and friendly chocobo that was currently cooing behind them.

    Shifting his views away from the chocobo that was determined to make Noct punch him, he settled slightly. Leaning back on his hands as he just sorta...took it all in. The nice breeze, the nice view, the nice company. Defo worse ways to be stranded.

    His gaze shifted to Noct at the suggestion of a picture; a wide grin spreading across his face.
    "Um! Yeah, dude!" he grabbed his camera from over his shoulder with a laugh; flicking it back on.

    Putting an arm around Noct, he turned the camera around and smiled - snapping off a few shots, before lowering the camera and taking a look.

    "So...we should prob get you to some body of water so you can fish before we bail from this place, dude," he continued scanning through the pictures he had taken that day, "Since - yanno - not exactly a ton of fishin' spots near us. Also could check out their choco-swag because a scary fart monster ripped my only hoodie. And like your only shirt. Also...non-choco-swag, too, I guess. Yanno. Normal clothes we're normally not around," he shrugged, "Also maybe real food other than ice cream."

    Or just more ice cream.

     
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  11. Noctis Lucis Caelum

    Noctis Lucis Caelum Final Fantasy

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    Despite the fact that Noct had been the one to suggest it, he somehow was caught by surprise as Prompto tossed an arm around his shoulder, leaning in close for a selfie. Stiff and startled with the first snap, looking vaguely disgruntled, Noct managed to relax and lean slightly back on his hands as the camera kept clicking away. More for Prompto's always growing collection.

    He leaned in as Prompto ended the impromptu photoshoot, peering over the blond's shoulder to check out the images as Prompto moved through them. Noct couldn't hide the wince at the first one -- yep, there he was, looking more surprised than annoyed, face totally awkward as Prompto caught him way before he was ready. But Noct didn't demand he delete it. Nah, that was reserved only for particularly embarrassing ones.

    Besides, he trusted Prompto not to post up any meme-worthy photos on social media -- not publicly, at least. Nope, those were saved strictly for the friends only settings, which he was grateful for. Plus, it saved Prompto the hassle of having to deal with very, very irritated and strictly controlling public relations employees whose sole job was to make sure the Crown Prince only had on his best face for the public. Not that was actually something either of them had to worry about anymore.

    Yeah, he really didn't want to think about that.

    Thankfully, by the last photos Noct had managed to settle into a small smile, utterly relaxed with chocobo feathers all fluffed up behind them as Popcorn groomed herself. Perfect.

    And as Prompto continued checking out the photos, Noct glanced over at him as he started listing out potential plans for the rest of their day. Fishing (which got a quiet, "Hell yeah," from Noct in response), shopping, eating. It was a shame Noct hadn't actually gotten his first paycheck yet, so this was (still) all on Prompto for now. But hey, he'd be able to actually start helping out in that area soon. The young man snorted though as he leaned back, resting on his elbows, face turned up towards the warm sun.

    "You taking over my itinerary now that Iggy isn't around?" he drawled out, almost rolling his eyes at the thought. But even as he cast Prompto another glance, Noct frowned softly, eyes sliding down to his camera. No Iggy. No Gladio. If they did pop up in Pandora, would they be from around the same time as Noctis? Or would they have all those same memories Prompto had? Memories of a world that had gone to hell.

    The prince pushed himself back up, face unreadable, eyes fixed on his friend's camera. How far back do the photos on it go? "Hey, let me see your camera."
     
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  12. Prompto Argentum

    Prompto Argentum Final Fantasy
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    It would have been an insult, if it wasn't oh-so-very-sadly true.

    Prompto had noticed himself stepping into the tall-hair-man's shoes awhile ago, t-b-h. Back when Noct was a useless pile of garbage in his bed (Royal Garbage), he found himself having very annoying idle Iggy thoughts. He was tempted to just...leave job listings by his napping corpse. Try to lure Noct into cooking something simple with him, with promises that he wouldn't have to do some other basic chore. Then, of course, there were the days where he was tempted to Iggy all over the place. The ceiling, the floor, the walls. Basically, the desire to just tell Noct he needed to get his shit together or...something. The mystery of the something is what held him back, even when he felt himself almost lose his shit a few times. Literally would ask Noct to do like...one thing. One chore. And instead he'd find him asleep - probably somewhere strange, and literally just...have to leave the room. The problem was that Prompto couldn't really...threaten Noct with anything. Not that he wanted to. But it wasn't like he could put Noct on time out or do anything other than take a giant dump all over their friendship. Yeah, he could have kicked Noct out but...yo. That was not on the table even once.

    "One day I'm gonna wake up with really, really tall hair and a weird accent," Prompto smiled, his toes wiggling inside his boots, "Gonna not put my contacts in, and make something with…" he dramatically glanced over at Noct, "Dun dun dun. Veggies."

    Silently he watched as Noct went through some mental journey. Yeah, his face was as blank as a friggin' white wall; but he had been like…happy and teasing literally two seconds before. Somethin' was bouncin' around that pretty little head of his. Of course Prompto knew better than to go 'hey tell me exactly what's making you less happy in this exact moment.' So instead he simply thought about finally getting Noct to a proper fishing spot. He was prob gonna get that big stupid grin on his face that was oh so rare unless fishies were involved.

    When the broski asked for his camera, he handed it over without hesitation.

    "Here ya go, my dude," he offered fingerguns as soon as the camera was out of his grasp, "Also - awesome possum thought...sum. What if grabbed food that's...like portable or something? Like...sandwiches or something easily taken with us, yanno? Then we take that and eat while you fish! Like a picnic by the water," his voice falling into an unnerving dreamy voice he was typically yelled at when he used.

    Never stopped him, though.
    Ever.

     
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  13. Noctis Lucis Caelum

    Noctis Lucis Caelum Final Fantasy

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    With the camera in hand, Noct immediately switched it over to the photo preview mode. Same camera. Same controls. He was glad to see that this had survived for the three extra years that Prompto had on him, at least. But he didn't hit the left button to start moving back through the recent photos. Nope, he hit the take-me-back-to-the-beginning button. That was what he really wanted to see just then.

    He didn't know how to ask the questions bouncing around his head. Wasn't sure he could give them a voice. So borrowing Prompto's camera and finding his own answers were the next best option.

    The first few photos were familiar. Scattered moments from the road trip that Noctis actually remembered living through. There they were posing around the Regalia in Hammerhead, right at the beginning of the road trip, Prompto's arms thrown wide, Noct smiling and relaxed and lounging with one leg drawn up. One of the rare photos of all four of them together.

    There were others he recognized too. Moments pulled easily from memory. Stopping by Wiz's chocobo ranch and saying hi to the Chocobos. Another with a sleepy, indignant Noct tossed over Gladio's shoulder as he was manhandled right out of the tent. He really, really hadn't felt like getting up that morning.

    Iggy's glasses catching the glint of the sun, as he held up a fork topped with green beans. And then there was Prompto and Noct, taking some random selfie in some random moment Noct couldn't quite remember, but he was sure it had happened anyway. Cause they took so many selfies.

    Noctis glanced up for just a moment as Prompto suggested something about sandwiches and picnics and fishing, and he flashed him a grin as he nodded his head. "Yeah, let's do it." Good food, good company, and a quiet fishing spot. What more could he ask for?

    But then he paused a moment, eyes back on the camera's display, seeing the four of them on top of what looked like a lighthouse. The Cape Caem lighthouse, maybe? Noctis frowned faintly, tipping his head. He didn't remember ever going up there, though that must have been from his own future.

    So now he was in new territory. A couple photos from a boat (heading to Altissia, probably). And then one last one with Noct tossing a fond, sheepish smile at the camera, one hand on his hip while the other seemed to be reaching out to shove the camera away. The elegant architecture of unfamiliar buildings made up the backdrop, a canal with a boat gliding through it just behind him.

    That was the last one he was in. The last one he saw daylight in, and it was just darkness over scattered landscapes of Eos. A Red Giant was captured in one photo, a distant shot of it on a hilltop, burning against the night sky. There were more like that. Daemons rising up in the darkness. People hanging out under the too bright lights that protected those tiny communities, sometimes a shot catching one looking out towards the wilderness with wary eyes. Lestallum, which only seemed to become more of a ruin with each passing shot. Cindy here and there. Iris just once or twice, laughing and smiling about something despite the end of the world around her.

    He paused a long moment on the only photo of Ignis from those times, the man straightening his glasses. Noctis would have pegged him for staring off into space, but....this was Ignis without his eyesight, wasn't it? And he swallowed heavily, a finger tracing over the screen where he could see stark scars peeking out from behind the man's glasses.

    "What happened to Gladio and Iggy? You guys...you guys all stuck together, right?" he asked as the pictures cycled back into daylight shots. Artsy closeups of flowers, long landscapes of Pandora, all taken under the warmth of the sun. Shots of the various people Prompto must have met here before Noct finally wandered back into his life.

    But after what Noctis could only call "the good times", there'd only been that one photo of Iggy and nothing of Gladiolus.
     
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  14. Prompto Argentum

    Prompto Argentum Final Fantasy
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    As Prompto idly planned out the day, he watched as Noct started going through his old photos. For a second he was confused why; then he realized it was his own lil' way on catching up on stuff he missed. Or...so he guessed. On the road-trip, Prompto used to make it a habit to clear his cards out whenever they were in a motel, hotel, or near an outlet. He'd dump the pics onto his old laptop, so he'd have max room left on his cards for pics. Once things got all darkest timeline, however, he started...not doing that. Yeah, he'd back up stuff; but he found himself putting pics onto the card. It was always something different; just a handful of things from before the sun went away. His head-space was a super-fragile thing; easily got pretty messed up. The pictures...helped. Grounded him. Sorta reminded him why he needed to keep fighting, instead of just letting the darkness swoop him away.

    Honestly, he had forgotten about that. Brows rising as he stared at things he took way-back-when. Man, things were so different. Quietly, he set his chin on Noct's shoulder; watching as the broski scrolled through them all. It was crazy to see how his style changed too. Framing and focus pretty dang different with the early stuff. A smile settled on his face as he watched; though it slowly faded when the sun stopped being a thing in pictures. Most of the shots taken specifically for Vyv, rather than his own enjoyment. Only a handful were. Iris being adorable. Cindy being Cindy.

    When the pics jumped to Pandora-times, it was almost jarring. The color and brightness almost blinding compared to his no-sun stuff. It was crazy how desaturated the world looked without a sun. Or...hope.

    At Noct's question, Prompto straightened - pulling his chin off his shoulder.

    He knew he had to word this...carefully. Noct's straight-up-break-down when he accidentally said way-too-much when they met up again, was still floatin' around in the back of his mind. He wouldn't make that mistake again. After all, it threw Noct into a depression-spiral that they were only now just breaking. Noctis wasn't a weak guy, he just cared...a lot about the people who were close to him.

    "We still hung out," he admitted, after a bit of a pause, "But we all sorta...ended up doin' our own things, yanno? Wasn't like...we stopped talking and just started hating each other without you or anything," he smiled, gently punching Noct's shoulder, "Just without you, we all had to actually get real jobs and stuff. And with literally everything just sorta a screamin' hell-scape, that sorta kept us apart a lot of the time. Which sucked. I missed those jerks," he shook his head, "Dunno if I told you this, but I actually got a job as like...an actual photographer, dude. Vyv hired me to take pics of the 'Glaive and Hunters killing daemons to help boost morale for everyone. That's actually the last batch I took, before being scooped up here," he motioned at the camera, "Also did a lot of like..mechanical stuff with Cindy. We had to like...reinforce trucks and stuff so they were more daemon proof and people could travel safely. Plus I ended up workin' a lot with light-rigs too, since...light was life. Which sounds like a meme, but it was the cold hard truth, yo."

    Prompto nudged Noct's shoulder, hoping he hadn't somehow pooped all over this fantastic day.
    Fishing a picnic still defo needed to happen.

     
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  15. Noctis Lucis Caelum

    Noctis Lucis Caelum Final Fantasy

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    Prompto's guess was right. Noct was trying to play catchup in his own little way. Though even that was hard to do with photos alone, when they didn't have any context. It had take a few of those nighttime photos in a row for Noctis to slowly realize that maybe they weren't nighttime photos. Just......no sun photos. He felt Prompto's chin settle on his shoulder, and Noct didn't even think about it as he tipped his head to the side a bit, naturally giving Prompto more room as he adjusted the camera for both of them to see easily.

    Not that Prompto needed the reminder. And yet his presence was a comforting one as Noctis scrolled through a world he would fail to save, just glimpses of something he'd never really understand.

    But when Prompto pulled away, not answering Noct's question immediately, something in the prince shook. Was this more bad news? Was he probing at wounds he never should have been? And gods, there were so many awful possibilities. Death being at the very top of that list. Luna had already died in this future, after all. Luna, himself, probably so many others. His eyes dropped down to the camera, as the photos finally moved to more recent days. Selfies of the two of them together. Noct back in Prompto's life.

    Fortunately, Prompto's pause was for reasons that had nothing to do with worst case scenarios. Just....drifting apart. Drifting apart without Noctis. Their lives going in different directions with the end of the world upon them. The young man lowered his eyes, that funny mix of relief and guilt twisting up his stomach. Maybe he hadn't caused the end of the world, but still. The supposed King of Light vanishing (dying?) and then darkness just dropping over everything?

    Yeah, it was hard not to feel just a little responsible.

    But he turned off the camera, turning to finally look at his friend as he regaled him with more snapshots of that world Noctis would never see. Prompto, a legit, employed photographer. Cindy and Iris still alive and in good spirits, which was such a relief. Light is Life. Of course, that made sense. Those powerful lights that kept those tiny towns safe would be more important than ever. Have to run 24/7. With a chill, Noctis wondered how many of the towns they passed through would actually be able to sustain the level of power needed.

    Noctis felt...drained. Drained and tired, and he didn't want to drag the mood down by talking about all this stuff. But every little day, ever little interaction gave him another bite-sized look into what Prompto's life had been like when the world had ended. But hey, getting to be a legit photographer was pretty cool.

    That little nudge to his shoulder, and Noct broke out of his thoughts, glancing up at Prompto. He managed a smile for him, nudging him back. "If we ever go apocalypse world, I'm definitely sticking with you," he said, trying to lighten the mood. "You seem to know what you're doing." But he was climbing back to his feet, and as if able to read his mind, both of the chocobos were up now too, shaking out their fathers, tilting their heads curiously at the two young men.

    "But c'mon, those fish aren't gonna wait forever," he decided, swinging himself right back up onto Paprika's back.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And maybe the fish wouldn't wait forever. But man, they just had to stop at that little shop right near the entrance to the Chocobo Ranch. It was like chocobo souvenir heaven. Everything was mostly in bright shades of yellow that Noctis would never, ever, ever be caught dead wearing. Though he was maybe checking out a black t-shirt with a tiny little chocobo on the hem of it.

    It was definitely, uh, different than the boutiques he was used to shopping for clothes in. Not that they hadn't grabbed a souvenir or three while driving around Altissia, but Noctis' sense of style was rather particular. And nope, most of this was waaaaaaaaaay too bright.

    Though that throw blanket looked super comfy to curl up under.

    But there was one display in particular he couldn't quite ignore. Noct reached up, plucking something off of it before wandering up behind Prompto who was oohing and aahing over something or other. He allowed an amused smirk to quirk up his lips as he suddenly shoved the obnoxious chocobo-themed hat right over Prompto's chocobo-themed hair, dragging the brim low over his friend's eyes.
     
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  16. Prompto Argentum

    Prompto Argentum Final Fantasy
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    It prob should have been concerning with how easy it was to repress the hell out of the - as it was dubbed by a few random peeps - world of ruin. Like he remembered it. It was hard not to. But here - in this beautiful place - it was almost too easy to just not even really register that it happened. No, Noct wasn't eaten by a Crystal; he was right there. No, the sun wasn't gone; Prompto was promptly getting sunburned at that exact moment. No, Ardyn hadn't won, because he could still smile.

    "I really don't," he admitted about the whole 'apocalypse world' dealio, "But we're stickin' the heck together, obviously. Ever at your side, am I right?" he nudged Noct, before remembering that...they never had that convo. Noct would have no idea what he was referencing, other than just sounding like a tool. This Noct hadn't saved him from Ardyn, and given an impassioned speech that was straight up the most Kingly thing Prompto had ever heard. This one was before that. Still Noct, just not hardened by the psycho-diarrhea-storm that was Ardyn.

    Crazy.

    Prompto scratched his neck, before shoving himself to his feet and smiling, "Heck yeah. Les'go."

    - - - ​

    But first, a pit-stop.

    To heaven.

    Prompto's mouth opened in awe, and was yet to close. Chocobo...themed...everything. Hats, shirts, jackets, pj pants, blankets, calendars, journals, license plate frames, keychain charms, a CD of chocobo songs. Just...everything. Prompto's pockets weren't exactly bottomless, so he knew he could get like...not literally everything in the store, which was essentially the Dream™. So he'd need to decide on like...two things, max. Maybe a hoodie and a clearance t-shirt. Oh...but that keychain was super super cute. Uhg, why was this so hard?

    Then - an attack from behind.

    Due to being one-thousand-percent distracted by chocobo stuff, he hadn't even noticed Noct wandering off. Then a hat was shoved over his head; vision disappearing behind the brim, as a wave of panic very briefly punched him in the gut, before he remembered that Noct existed, and was - in fact - fucking with him.

    "The hair, the hair," he whined, pulling the hat so he could actually see, "Oh..." he looked in a mirror that was on the counter next to him, "'Em gee," a large grin spread across his face, "This is the ugliest hat I have ever seen. I'm buying it," he turned to face Noct - who was prob overwhelmed by all the bright colors and tacky-shit that was around him, "See anything you want bro? I can cover a thingy or two," he winked, making fingerguns - leaving the hat on his head, because there was no way it was coming off.

    His hair was destroyed and the lady would scan it while on his head.


     
  17. Noctis Lucis Caelum

    Noctis Lucis Caelum Final Fantasy

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    Yep. Noctis was 100% fucking with him. Ruining his hair by shoving ridiculous hats on Prompto. He took a step back, raising his cell phone just in time to catch Prompto staring at himself in the mirror, capturing that perfectly ridiculous moment with Prompto's perfectly ridiculous smile with a brush of his thumb.

    Prompto didn't have to the only one cataloging their adventures. He just had the fancy equipment and the actual eye for this stuff. Still, Noct glanced down at the picture on his phone.

    Yep. That was a keeper.

    Satisfied, he shoved his phone back in his pocket, an easy smile on his lips as he took in Prompto's new headwear. Noct probably would have freaked out and ripped it off his head the first moment he got, frantically fixing his hair, hoping nobody saw. But this was Prompto and he'd clearly already adopted that ridiculous hat with its little side wings into his wardrobe.

    "Nothing as cool as that hat," he said, grinning as he reached up, flicking the brim, which was bright orange and he was pretty sure was actually the chocobo's beak. But did he seriously want anything? Noctis loved chocobos to death. He'd probably be happy retiring on a chocobo ranch with a great fishing pond and living out the rest of his days like that.

    Noct turned slowly, eyes sweeping back over the brightly colored wares, most everything in shades of yellow or bright pastel pinks, blues, greens, though some others were mixed in there as well. But Noct wandered away from Prompto and managed to come back with the only black t-shirt in the entire place. Just black, with a lightly detailed chocobo design in a softer yellow running up from the hem.

    But gods, there was that one yellow thing he couldn't resist. It was big. It was fluffy. And the yellow wasn't horribly obnoxious. Plus it had a bunch of little chocobos and baby chocobos running around on it, and looked super warm and comfy.

    And as down to earth as the prince was, he had still grown up in the lap of luxury. Even when they were scrimping and saving gil on their road trip, Ignis had taken care of all the finances, keeping careful track of their spendings, and inevitably sighing when Noct had his heart set on something dumb and working it in somehow.

    Nope, he never even thought about checking the price tag on that ridiculous blanket as he turned back to Prompto, holding his findings up.
     
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  18. Prompto Argentum

    Prompto Argentum Final Fantasy
    Chocobro

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    While he loved Misty Hollow, some itty bitty part of him, was low key considering looking into what moving to Horizon was like. See if there were any super cool photography jobs he couldn't pass up, or just a really nice house that had Prompto and Noct etched into the wall already. Truth was, the only reason he was so loyal to the ol' M-H, was because that's where his ass was dropped by the Astrals or whatever-the-hecky-fuck controlled this place.

    Which was an entire other bag of slightly damp cats, which he tried to not think about.

    But in all seriousness, Horizon was like...made for them. About a million fishing spots for Noct to be a low-key old man at. Chocobos for Prompto to Prompto all over. Plus the views were just...insane. While he had taken a lot of pictures since he popped into Pandora - it was just who he was - he was taking way more in Horizon.

    Hmm.
    Maybe he'd give it some thought.
    Maybe.

    The thought was quickly kicked aside, when he watched Noct stare into the brightly colored void that was the store. This was was...super not his normal jam. For one, there was color. Secondly, it was all tourist junk. Low quality everything, with just chocobos transferred onto them. So, Prompto's people.

    His eyes widened as Noct managed to find the only actual black t-shirt in the entire place - not bothering to hide a laugh or shaking his head. It was honestly hilarious. Not...that Prompto wore that much more color than Noct. He just didn't fear it. Plus he owned plenty of loud clothing, before Insomnia went splat, and he was left with his Crownsguard uniform, and like...a handful of other clothes. Then the world ended, and they weren't exactly making brightly colored tanktops anymore. Well, Iris was; but that was a whole other thing.

    Then Noct latched onto something bright yellow, and Prompto thought he was gonna have a stroke.

    But...made sense. Big soft blankey. Prompto had been staring at it from afar for awhile, too. Just...made him wanna curl up on the couch next to Noct under it. Which was a weirdly specific and mildly gay thought to have, but he'd basically come to terms with that. His mind was a wild and sticky place.

    Prompto's fingers sunk into the blanket, as Noct returned to his side with his stuff.

    "This is...the softest blanket of all time, bro," he started petting it like it was a cat, before he flipped over the price tag, which just happened to be turned away from him.

    Prompto hadn't grown up poor, but 'rich' wasn't exactly anywhere close to the environment he lived in. They were solidly middle class; probably in the lower end of it. His parents made okay money, and they got by. Some months got a little tight if something happened; like a surprise medical expense or car repair. But they were always okay. Still, it was uhhh...sorta a culture shock to see how Noct saw money - even as an early teen.

    Prompto tilted the tag, as if that would change the price - his nose scrunching up. That...was well, about his entire budget. Then some. Prompto idly doing math in his head, wondering how he could make it work. Well, he was pretty sure they were both being paid to help relocate the peeps to Horizon. Plus he'd been meaning to grab a few extra shifts at work.

    And didn't need to eat or anything.

    "Bro, this blanket costs more than my bed did," he tried to run his hand through his hair, only to remember he was wearing a hat - causing it to awkwardly bump into the brim, "So...uh...let's go with either shirt or super-soft blanket," it felt shitty to say, but his wallet wasn't bottomless, "Uhg...sorry to Iggy all over you. I am just poor, dude."

    He paused, a weird idea bubbling together in the back of his head, "Or...what if we like...sell some of the fish you catch, and use that money to get the blanket too?"

    Honestly didn't seem likely Noct could catch that many fish; but it'd at least cut the price down. A slightly discounted over-priced blanket, he could probably swing.


     
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  19. Noctis Lucis Caelum

    Noctis Lucis Caelum Final Fantasy

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    It was weirdly satisfying to see Prompto petting the blanket like that. He got it. It was the softest blanket in the world, and the yellow wasn't garrish or super, super bright. It was kind of a weirdly pleasant yellow, and Noctis didn't do pleasant yellow. But then there was that little thing called money that Noctis still tended to just kind of....forget about.

    Being a depressed lump on a log until nearly this point, Prompto had taken care of all those things like budgets and spending money. Did they even have a budget? Or did Prompto just kind of wing it? Oh gods, was he going to have to start thinking about budgets? How did you even work that stuff out? How much did normal, everyday expenses cost? Noctis was making money with his new job, but was it good money? Or just okay money? Or money that meant he should be living in a cardboard box?

    Ugh.

    Noctis' face fell, eyes looking down at his amazing blanket with a growing uncertainty. Prompto was telling him no. Or at least trying to find a way to meet him halfway. All for some dumb blanket. The crown prince just kind of shrugged his shoulders and tugged the blanket back from his friend, pushing the shirt towards him instead.

    "Let's just get the shirt. This thing is way too yellow anyway." It was an excuse so that Prompto wouldn't have to worry about it. Besides, Noct had to learn to make those sorts of sacrifices, right? His fingers drifted over the softness of the blanket once more before putting it back on the shelf where he'd found it, silently bidding it farewell.

    He could feel the ghost of Iggy's approval hovering there over his shoulders.

    The dark-haired man turned away from what might have very well been the blankets of blankets, one hand tucked into his pocket as he headed off ahead of Prompto towards the register, his decision made.
     
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  20. Prompto Argentum

    Prompto Argentum Final Fantasy
    Chocobro

    Posts:
    178
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Journalist
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    Human(ish)
    Age:
    23 (+1)
    Alignment:
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    In their beautiful and amazing friendship, Prompto was pretty dang certain that he had never told Noct 'no' before. Which sounded weird but like...Noct had really good ideas pretty much always. Okay not always 'good' but Prompto normally just went along to see what would happen, t-b-h. There were a few times he'd heavily suggest something else, but never really...no.

    And wow-oh-wow did it feel terrible.

    Prompto puffed out his cheeks slightly as Noct decided on the shirt and just...slowly somehow formed a tiny dark cloud over his head. And not...literally. While magic, he wasn't that sorta superhero. Just...face fell. Pulled the blanket away, and shoved the shirt at Prompto - wandering off to put it back on the shelf. Chewing on his inner cheek, he sighed, before wandering to the register - quickly pulling out his phone to jot down the name the blanket had on the tag. While he couldn't get it now, technically he could save up and maybe surprise the heck out of Noct for like...his birthday or some other holiday. Would be awesome.

    Using that thought to calm the choppy-shitty feeling in his gut, he took a deep breath and smiled at the cute girl behind the register.

    Right, he wasn't gonna let this spoil the day.


    And it didn't.

    Things quickly smoothed out, once he threw Noct's new and shiny shirt at him and they left the chocobo place. Ended up grabbin' some food-stuffs on the way to the docks. Just a few sandwiches that smelled ridiculous. The place literally smelled like fresh-baked bread. Everything fresh made and probably like...grown and caught locally or whatever. Prompto was way too excited to put his mouth on it.

    It didn't take long for them to grab a nice lil' spot. A small dock that didn't seem to be private - just small. Nobody else really around. Sitting down on the edge, Prompto started to pull their sandwiches out of the handy-dandy bag they were given - feet kicking just above the water. Taking a bite of his sandwich that was too big for his mouth, he made a loud moan, as he shook his head.

    Prompto wanted to yell about how good it was, but his mouth was full.
    So he held up a finger as he chewed, before finally speaking, "I'm gonna marry this sandwich."


     
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