Prompt Post

Mar. 1st, 2017 05:21 am
[personal profile] ffxv_kinkmod posting in [community profile] ffxv_kinkmeme
 Welcome to Round Two of the FFXV Kink Meme!

CLOSED
 for prompts | OPEN for fills

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  • One prompt per comment. Warnings for common triggers and squicks are encouraged, but not required.
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Prompt, write, draw, comment, and most importantly have fun!

(You can also check out our Pinboard for Filled or Unfilled prompts)

UPDATE 3/2/2017: Per the Rules thread: Do not hijack prompts. I
f someone posts a prompt for one pairing, don't comment to say "I want to see this for [other kink]" - post your own prompt for the other kink). To that end, if you are unclear on a prompter's kinks/DNWs, please feel free to ask about them. If you ask about kinks/DNWs or to clarify a prompt, you are in no way obligated to fill it.

Additionally: Do not repost prompts from the previous round in their entirety. By this we mean copying and pasting prompts without any changes. If you see a similar prompt to a prior prompt, that is not a repost. Obviously prompts that are reposted per the above rule do not count either. (After all, they will be similar but not the same.)


ROUND TWO IS NOW CLOSED FOR PROMPTS!

Go ahead and keep on filling away, we will open up round three for prompts at 0000 EST, Saturday April 22, 2017.


Fill: 1/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-07 03:33 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Messing with kingdom traditions/worldbuilding a little to fit the AU. I hope you like this!

*******************


When Noctis Lucis Caelum arrived at the Amicitia stronghold at the border of Duscae, he came alone.

The gate sentries spotted him first: A slender, dark-haired man in a simple black tunic and leggings, dripping with gold chain and crystal. Diamonds winked on chains fine as thread in his hair, gold bracelets snaked up his wrists, and he wore a black cloth collar laced with gold wire. His feet were bare, and the guards who apprehended him flinched at the angry scrape of red at the soles.

He was brought to the tent where the King was to receive visitors, and was left under guard for two hours. King Gladiolus had informed them that he was not to be woken for trifles, and went about his daily routine with deliberate slowness, taking his time.

When he finally entered the tent, Prince Noctis lifted his head with a clatter of precious stones. His hands were bound behind him to his ankles, making him arch his back in order to put on any semblance of a decent posture.

"We assumed you'd have a company with you," the King said, gratefully taking a cup of water from an attendant. The Prince's gaze focused on the cup in his hand with a surprising intensity, and Gladiolus moved it to see if his eyes would track it's progress.

"We don't send soldiers to accompany dead men," the Prince said, in a short, cracked voice. Gladiolus sat on the wide chair in the center of the tent and frowned thoughtfully.

"I'm afraid my grasp of your language fails me," he said. The Prince watched the cup as he took a slow draft. "Is this metaphorical, or do your people assume that I'll execute you so soon?"

The Prince seemed to take a moment to consider this. "Both," he said at last. "When a soldier is taken as a... spoil of war..." his lips twisted in a grimace, and Gladio smiled. "He is considered dead. Even if he is a prince. I walked out of my funeral pyre six hours ago."

"Excuse me. You walked out of a pyre?"

"They lit it after I left." Noctis shrugged, and the collars and chains at his neck and arms clinked softly. "Metaphorical. But also literal. My father will have to find a new heir, soon, and technically, I have no claim on my name."

The King whistled low. "That's cruel, even for a Lucian."

"You were the one who chose me," Noctis said, a fierce anger only now breaking the surface. "To humiliate us."

Gladio's voice took on a hard tone. "And you were the ones who lost the war." He rose, and looked down on the young man on the floor beneath him. "You walked all this way alone? You could have run."

"I may not be a prince any longer," the young man said, "but I won't abandon my people. If the treaty calls for it..."

Gladiolus laughed bitterly. "How noble. I'd almost believe it, if I didn't see you personally set fire to half of a battlefield with that gods-cursed magic of yours. Guards." The guards in attendance straightened to attention. "Get that shit off of him and take him to be outfitted properly. He looks like a noble's whore."

"And that's not what I am to you?" the former prince asked, with no small amount of surprise. The King didn't even look at him.

"The chance you had to address me directly is done," he said. "And no. To be anything to me, you'd need dignity, and a soul. I know you well enough to know you have neither."

"You think I'd--"

"Luche, if you please." A guard stepped forward: There was an almighty crack, and the dark-haired man folded in on himself, panting faintly as a red mark bloomed on his cheek. Gladiolus went to the cup of water by the chair and brought it to him, tipping his head back so he could stare up at the lip of the cup leaning over him.

"Beg for it," the King said, in a voice so low it was a purr. He could feel the man's aching thirst in the way he trembled under his touch, the way his hands strained at his bonds.

Noctis stared up at the water as though he were dying, but said nothing.

"Very well." The king dropped the cup to the floor, letting the water splash over the prisoner's knees, and left him alone and gasping in the tent. "You'll learn."

Re: Fill: 1/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-07 03:47 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Ohhhhh FUCK yass @_@

Fill: 2/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-07 01:44 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Gladiolus spent most of the day with his advisors, drafting up the terms of surrender for the Lucian army. It was a long, exacting process, full of needless protocol and reminders from helpful clerks that Lucis was proud, Lucis was expansive, Lucis would starve before the first winter thaw. King Gladiolus learned what years of fighting King Regis' mages should have already taught him: The sons and daughters who would have taken up the plow had instead sown the earth with blood. Crops rotted in the fields. The desert of Leide swallowed what fertile ground could be tilled, and even with the mystical crystal to guide them, the kings of Lucis could not prevent the oncoming wave of famine.

Now, as the man who had finally laid the house of Lucis low, it was Gladiolus' job to find a solution.

He returned to his rooms with a splitting headache, nursing a cup of willowbark tea as he stepped into the study that lay between his bedchamber and his private reception hall. When he heard a low, croaking voice in the bedroom, his hand nearly flew to his sword before he remembered: The prisoner. Of course.

"It's alright," he heard the former prince say, almost gently. His voice was accented when he spoke in the Amicitia tongue, thick and heavy. "I won't hurt you. Just pretend I'm not here."

There was a shuffling sound, and a clatter. "Here," the man said. "I'll... Hm. If I turn around like this, I almost blend in with the curtains."

There was a nervous, high giggle. "No you don't." That had to be Liona, the maid who cleaned Gladiolus' rooms. "Now you're just ridiculous."

"Exactly. Hardly frightening at all."

Gladio opened the door to his chambers, making Liona jump in surprise. She was folding his nightclothes over a privacy screen, and the prisoner did indeed have his back to her, twisted painfully around on his knees at the end of a heavy rope. His attempt to make the maid more comfortable had led him to pull the rope taut, causing it to tug his neck back by a new, metal collar padded with cloth. His feet were bound with gauze, and he wore a simple tunic in the Amicitia blue and grey. When he saw Gladiolus, the faint humor in his eyes died immediately.

"Enjoying captivity so soon?" Gladio asked. "Thank you, Liona, that will be all." He waited for the maid to bob a curtsy and leave, then firmly latched the door shut.

"Your country is a gods-awful mess," he told the prisoner, heading behind the privacy screen to disrobe. "I've half a mind to raze it to the ground and start over. Good thing I have you in that case. You're good at destruction."

The prisoner--Noctis, he supposed he should call him, now--seemed to bristle at the accusation. He struggled to turn towards the king. "I'd never--"

"Don't give me that shit," Gladio said shortly. "I was there the day you showed your true colors. I did your kingdom a favor, taking you out of the equation. I can only imagine what it would be like to have a monster running the country."

"You don't understand," Noctis said, slipping into his native language. "I wasn't the one who--" He seized and coughed, dry and painfully, and blinked in a quick, disoriented way.

"Hell's wrong with you?" Gladio started tugging on his nightclothes. Noctis grimaced.

"Your mage put a stasis spell on the collar," he said. "And I haven't had any... It's been a long day."

Ah, the famous Lucian pride again. Gladio glanced at a pitcher of water at his bedside, just out of reach of the prisoner's rope, and made his way to it.

"You say that Prince Noctis is dead," Gladio said to him. He held the pitcher in both hands. "Prove it."

The man swallowed. A very long moment passed, both of them watching each other, Gladio with eternal calm, Noctis with mingled fear and disgust.

"Please," Noctis said, in a small, tight voice. His gaze was fierce enough to burn.

"Please, what?"

Noctis' lips quirked. "Your Majesty."

"No," said Gladio, walking towards him. "Master will do."

Noctis visibly recoiled, and the king's smile was all teeth. He dipped two fingers in the water and bent down, holding them to the prisoner's cracked lips. Noctis closed his eyes and let Gladio push his fingers along the younger man's tongue. It was barely enough for a few drops, but Noctis sucked reflexively, desperate.

Gladio tried it three more times. On the fourth, Noctis was trembling, on the verge of being well and truly broken by thirst and humiliation in equal measure. Affording him a mercy he didn't deserve, Gladio poured him a cup and held it to his lips.

After the second cup, Gladio put the pitcher away. He climbed into his bed, drawing the curtains on one side, and pulled out a book on astronomy. He'd barely opened it when he heard the rustle of cloth. Noctis was staring at him, looking lost and somehow young, his lips parted and cheeks flushed pink.

"What?"

"Where am I..." he switched to Gladiolus' language again. "Where do I sleep?"

Gladio huffed. "Where you are," he said, and turned back to his book.

Re: Fill: 2/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-07 02:28 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This fill gives me LIFE anon, you have no idea.

The part where be made Noct suck his fingers was just... umph, perfection. <3

Fill: 3/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-07 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Gladiolus woke in the early hours of the morning to a dull ripple of movement at the foot of the bed. Thrown into instant alertness, he pushed himself up by one hand, reaching for the blade he kept hidden behind the mattress and headboard.

At his feet, obscured partly by the ironwork of the bedpost, the former prince Noctis panted in the dark. He was drenched in sweat, his hair curling at his temples and neck, and his pupils were blown with adrenaline. Gladiolus recognized the wild-eyed, erratic gasping of night terrors from his time on the field, when companions would wake in the ditches with no notion of where they were, frozen in a too-close memory of death and fear. Gladio watched the young man slowly gather his bearings, registering the quiet of the fortress around them, the safety of enclosed walls. His hands were still bound, so he leaned heavily on the foot of the bed to hold himself upright.

"It smells like death in here," he whispered.

"No," said Gladio. "That's just your brain fucking with you."

"Prince Gladiolus?" the man turned unfocused eyes to him, and Gladio cursed inwardly. Noctis was well and truly gone, lost in whatever dream had overtaken him.

"King Gladiolus, now," he said. "Do you know who you are?"

There was a long silence. "I don't know. Gods. I don't know, I--"

"Alright. Shit. I'm coming." Though he didn't know why. It was almost instinct--Gladio always looked out for his soldiers, was quick to put himself first in battle and last in a retreat, just like his father, and even if this man on the floor was nothing more than a war criminal raised to command, he was... in a way, his.

"I'm gonna untie you," he said, in a low voice. "But you need to promise not to try and strangle me."

Noctis didn't respond. He sat back on his knees as Gladio untied the rope from his neck and wrists, and let himself be lifted to the bed. Gladio sat in front of him, and waved a hand in front of his eyes, checking his response time.

"You're Noctis," he said, in the same low tone. "You lost the battle of Leide a week ago, and the Lucian army surrendered. You've been given to me as part of the terms of peace. That make sense?"

"Yes," Noctis said, slowly. "You're going to execute me."

"What? I--"

But the young man wasn't listening. He lifted his hands to his face, shoulders trembling as he tipped forward. His forehead touched the center of Gladio's chest, and the king carefully, carefully laid a hand over his soft black hair.

"Thank you," the former prince of Lucis whispered. "Thank the gods."



When Gladio woke again, it was to the sound of a body falling out of the bed next to him.

"Oh," he said, in a dry voice. "You're awake."

Noctis let out a string of Lucian swears that was almost inspiring, and made to climb onto the bed again. Gladio made a clicking sound against his teeth, and the man looked at him with frank confusion.

"Once you're out, you're out," he said. "You only use the bed on my order. Last night was an exception."

"Last night?" Noctis' eyes widened, and he scrambled at the hem of his tunic. Gladio rolled his eyes.

"You just slept, princess. When I fuck you, you'll know." He groaned and got out of bed.

"And will you?" Noctis asked. "Fuck me, I mean?"

"That's why they sent you," Gladio said. "You know what Lucian appeasement gifts are. Also, it's early, so I'm letting this slide, but from now on? You ask for permission before you speak to me."

"Do I need to ask for permission in order to ask for--" Noctis gasped as Gladio grabbed a fistful of his hair, looking down at him for a long moment.

"That right there?" he said. "That's the kind of shit I don't need. You want the peace talks to fail?"

The color drained from the prisoner's face. He opened his mouth, closed it, blinked slowly.

"Permission to--"

"No," he said, and he watched a shiver run down Noctis' skin at the sound of it. "I think it's time we lay down some ground rules."

Re: Fill: 3/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-07 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Aw man, I wonder if he's gonna make Noctis beg to be allowed to piss. >D

I'm loving this so far!

Fill: 4/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-08 02:53 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
lmao why am I adding angst to this?!? Ohhh well, smut will arrive shortly.

-----

On the day King Clarus Amicitia died, four miles of land on the border of Leide and Duscae burned to the ground.

Prince Gladiolus numbly watched the smoldering wreckage where his father's squadron had charged not hours before, crouching in the safety of a Hunter's lookout. The fire had burned so strongly that no one could recognize the remains of those who had perished, but the truth was clear: At the time that Prince Noctis had lifted his hands and called fire down onto the battlefield, over seven hundred of his own Lucian soldiers died in the resulting blaze. It was Lucis' greatest loss of the war, and it was all done to kill one man.

Gladiolus had known that his father could die during the war. He had been raised to battle, taught to value his subjects' lives over his own. The kings of his country were called Shields for a reason, and the protection of their people should always be at the forefront of their minds.

In the dark mess of the killing ground, a young man in black walked over melting patches of ice. Prince Noctis stood in the center of the scarred earth, a small figure in the sights of Gladio's spyglass, and his face was cold and unreadable.

There are monsters who walk the world on two feet and call themselves men, Clarus had told him, long ago. Only then, staring down the man who would abandon his people for the sake of a minor victory, Gladio knew what his father had meant.


---


Noct fell to his knees on the stone floor of the dining room with a hissing gasp.

"Might want to respond a little faster next time," Gladio said, in a dull, uninterested tone. The guards who had kicked the prisoner's knees out from under him moved back to their places at the wall, and Noct cast the young king a glare of pure hatred. Gladio casually reached a hand out to grip his jaw and tilt it away and down. He held him there for a moment for emphasis, and turned back to his meal.

"Cor," he said, to the man sitting at the other end of the table. "What are you doing up so late?"

At least, to his credit, Noctis remained kneeling throughout the meal. When Gladio slipped down strips of toast and ham, he felt slender fingers gingerly take them, and knew that the man was trying not to seem overeager. After a few minutes of this, Gladio wiped his hand on his napkin and leaned in to whisper to the young man at his side.

"A little gratitude is appreciated," he said. "Not every day you're hand-fed by a king."

"Like a dog," Noct spat back.

"Not true," said Gladio. "Dogs are bred to be loyal. No one could say that about you."

He pushed back his chair and stood, saying his goodbyes to the men and women remaining around the table. He made it five feet towards the main hall when he turned to find Noctis still kneeling, glowering at him darkly.

He snapped his fingers. The ripple of disgust that ran through Noctis at that was almost palpable, and it was obvious that it took a great strength of will for him to rise to his feet and follow. Laughter followed him out--The men and women of Gladiolus' country had little love for the wild mage of Lucis, if the jeers that echoed through the fortress halls were any indication.

If Noctis' feet were still sore--and Gladio suspected that they were--he didn't show it as he followed Gladio through his daily routine. But when they stopped at the king's bedchambers shortly after midday to retrieve one of his reports, the prisoner's legs failed him at last. He buckled against the door-frame for all of a moment and slid to the floor.

"They grow them scrawny in Lucis," Gladio noted, and Noctis glared up at him.

"Permission. To speak. Please." He grit it out like a challenge, and Gladio raised his brows in mock concern.

"No."

"This is pointless," the man said anyways, showing a stunning lack of regard for his own safety. "You don't even want me as a prize, you just want to humiliate me."

"Yes. And?"

This silenced Noctis. He frowned up at the king, searching his face. Gladio sighed and leaned over him, hands on his hips.

"Do you know why I asked for you?" he asked.

"I killed your father."

"No." The prisoner looked truly surprised at that, and Gladio laughed bitterly. "No, I chose you because you were willing to sacrifice your own people. You'd never be a king. Just a monster, a dictator. Someone to overthrow."

Noctis closed his eyes slowly, and took a long, even breath.

"Then you're holding back," he said. Gladio rocked back, unnerved by the glint in the man's deep blue eyes. "I'm here. I was given to you. I came to you. Do what you want."

Gladio stepped away, turning to face the bed at the end of the room. When he spoke again, his voice was so low and rough that it seemed almost unfamiliar to his own ears.

"Strip."

Re: Fill: 4/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-08 03:15 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Fffffffffffuuuuuuck Y E S

(Also, I am so intrigued by what Noctis supposedly did. "The wild mage of Lucis," LOVE that)

Fill: 5/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-08 01:33 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
How do y'all like fucked up, emotional sex? :)

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

Soft, useless slippers, stained with blood at the heels, lay against the oak dresser of King Gladiolus' bedchambers. They were joined by grey leggings, and a tunic in grey and blue that fell in an unruly tangle of sleeves and wide hems.

Gladio hissed through his teeth.

"That beautiful, Your Majesty?" Noctis' voice had a mocking edge, and his eyes were bright and cold. Gladiolus had seen that look in battle, when Noctis had been a prince and the most terrifying of his father's mages, breaking through the lines of the enemy as he froze their blood from the heart outwards. The young king was suddenly grateful for the stasis spell on Noctis' collar. Even now, stripped of his power, his title, his pride, there was something dangerous twisting behind his too-bright eyes.

Gladiolus ran a hand along the other man's shoulder-blades, and felt a tremor ripple under his touch.

The young man's back was riddled with scars. Some were old and faded almost white, some raw and pink, raised in criss-crossing patterns. Hardly a palm's breadth of bare skin was left to him; the damage was so extensive that Gladio wondered how he could possibly still be alive.

"Those are whip weals," the king said. "We're you captured...?"

"No."

Gladio's smile was wry. "Your people love their royal family," he said. "No one would whip a prince."

"I haven't been a prince in anything more than name," Noctis said, slowly, "for two years now."

Two years. That was the time that Gladiolus' father had been killed, along with hundreds of Lucian soldiers--at Noctis' hand. He met his eyes again, and Noctis' smile made his stomach go heavy in dread.

"King's orders, after the battle," he said. "One for every squad we lost." His smile was humorless. "It took a while."

"You're sick," Gladio whispered. Again, Noctis shrugged.

"People believe what they have to," he said, which was an odd thing to say, but Gladio was through listening to him. This was a terrible idea, letting a viper into his bed, but he'd gone this far already...

When he gave his next order, Noctis came willingly.

For all that he was forever speaking out of turn, Noctis was strangely quiet when Gladiolus took him, stretched and sloppy with lube, on the soft carpet. Gladio was used to responsive partners, to drawing out their pleasure and adapting to fit their needs. An indifferent man just left him cold, and he pulled out after a minute of this, looking down at the scarred mess of Noctis' back.

"This was a mistake," he said.

Noctis rolled to face him. "Permission to--"

"You'll do it anyways."

"You weren't going hard enough," Noctis said. Gladio raised his eyebrows. "You aren't looking for a lover, Your Majesty." He lifted a foot to Gladio's shoulder, and closed his eyes briefly when his thigh was shifted for a better grip. "Quit acting like I am one."

"You don't give the orders," Gladio said, in a low voice, but when he thrust into Noctis anew, hard and fast and to the hilt, the man beneath him moaned.

The carpet, however plush, had to chafe the sensitive scar tissue of Noctis' back, but he simply writhed and panted and whimpered under the swift, forceful thrusts of the larger man pinning him down. His hands clutched at Gladiolus' chest, and he rocked back onto him, urging him to push deeper, the slap of flesh drowned out in his helpless cries to keep going, Your Majesty. Gladiolus. Please, please, gods, I want, I want you to...

He came before Gladio, tightening around him as his seed spilled onto his chest and stomach. The tension in the other man's body proved too much, and the king came on the heels of it, slamming into him once, twice, before letting pleasure take him.

Noctis lay sprawled beneath him, gaze hazy and dark, not at all like the battle-ready gleam that had been there before. He looked oddly vulnerable, almost melancholy, and when he let his head fall back, Gladio almost forgot who he was and swept back his sweat-damp bangs.

Almost.

He smacked the side of Noctis' thigh and pulled out. "Clean yourself up," he ordered. "The day isn't over, yet."

"Yes, my Lord," Noctis whispered, still lost in the fog. Gladio shuddered, and rose to retrieve his discarded clothes.

Re: Fill: 5/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-08 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Surprisingly, not as fucked up as I was imagining this would go! (The sex, that is. The stuff about the whipping IS pretty damn fucked up)

Fill: 6/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-08 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Attempted noncon in this one, but it's not described in detail.

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

In retrospect, perhaps Gladio shouldn't have been so quick to gag him.

Noctis' new docility lasted as long as it took to scrub himself down over a basin in the king's private bathroom. As soon as he emerged, fresh-faced and with only a slight bow to the legs to show for Gladiolus' efforts, the spark of defiance was back in his eyes. Gladio had to press down on the back of his neck to make him kneel again, and he climbed into his clothes with considerable slowness.

It took three catty remarks for Gladio to break. He had an attendant fetch one of the thick leather gags they used in on-the-field surgeries, fitted it tightly between Noct's teeth, and tied it firm enough to stretch the corners of the man's mouth.

He cuffed his hands again for good measure. Noct rolled his eyes, but flinched away when one of the guards shifted forward, and held out his hands with a sigh.

When it came time for Gladiolus' daily sparring session that afternoon, a guard came in with a thick chain and secured Noct by the collar to one of the benches overlooking the training yards. Noctis sat cross-legged on the bench, the picture of noble languor, and gently massaged the soles of his feet.

Gladio ignored him, focusing instead on the heft of his sword, the balance of his step, the heat of the day. He was nearly back in the comfortable, quiet mindfulness that always came upon him in the midst of a fight, when he heard a booming clatter behind him and a shout of pain. He lowered his sword and turned to the commotion.

Noctis had yanked the chain so forcefully that the bench he was sitting on had overturned. The young man was lying on his back, a knee to the groin of one of the younger enlisted soldiers, cuffed hands gripping the links of his chain as it wound around the soldier's neck. The soldier scrabbled at the chain, but his mouth was parted in the desperate gasp of a man on the edge of consciousness.

Gladio reached them just as the soldier was going under, and wrenched Noctis' hands from the chain. The soldier collapsed on top of the dark-haired man, coughing and gasping, and Gladio gently pulled him to the side to get more air flowing through his lungs. Noctis stayed where he was, panting silently, limbs trembling with adrenaline.

"He's mad," the soldier said, when he could finally choke out the words. "All I did was walk past him and he..."

Gladio looked from the soldier to Noctis, and noted the red flush to the prisoner's neck, and the leggings that had been tugged down to his thighs. Leaving the soldier to catch his breath, Gladio crouched over the other man, who jerked back and raised his knees in self defense.

"Yeah, I know," he said, softly. He avoided Noctis' flailing limbs and tugged his leggings up again. Then he carefully loosened the gag and pulled it down to his chin.

"He's right," Noctis said. Gladio glanced back at the soldier, whose eyes widened in astonishment. "Took one look at him and thought, well, all this chain can't go to waste..."

"The mage is a menace, Your Majesty," the soldier said. "We all know what he's capable of."

"Mm." Gladio unhooked the chain from the bench and wrapped a loop of it around his wrist. "What do you say, Noctis?"

"Smart men you have here," Noctis said. "You should listen to them."

Gladio shook his head and fit the gag back into Noctis' mouth, gaining a strangled cry of protest. Then he turned to the soldier, his eyes hard.

"You will report to Cor for punishment detail," he said, and the soldier stiffened. "If you'd take advantage of a prisoner, I cannot trust you among your fellow soldiers. There will be an investigation, I assure you." The soldier opened his mouth, and he lowered his voice. "Cor. Now."

"Yes, Your Majesty," the soldier said, and fled.

"You," Gladio said to Noctis, and gripped the chain hard. He pulled the man up by the collar and spoke in a low growl. "When I ask you a question, you respond honestly, not out of some weird fucking death wish. As long as you're mine, Noctis, you'll have to learn to live with yourself."

Noctis made a muffled noise against the gag, but Gladio knew enough to recognize the look in his eyes. "If I want your opinion, I'll ask you."

He dragged Noctis to his feet and tugged at the chain, urging him to follow once more.

Re: Fill: 6/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-08 06:11 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Not OP

I'm just loving this so much! I love how Gladio is firm but not unnecessarily cruel and Noctis, oh man, Noctis is a mess emotionally and physically and I love it because I'm a horrible human being.

And it feels like, (and feel free to shoot this down or completely ignore it) did Noctis, purposely, sabotage his own side of the war when he killed all those Lucis soldiers, if so I'm dying to know why?? If not nvm this is still my favorite fill of this meme, first round included! Can't wait for more!

Re: Fill: 6/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-08 06:46 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
A!A here

Well, there is a secret to what happened, for sure, and it's definitely tied in to what has given Noct that recklessness/self loathing thing he has going on. I have plans. Plans! Ha ha ha I'm a monster.

He DID purposely sabotage his chances later (I'm working on explaining how after the fire, he would just... throw himself into the fray with no regard for his or anyone else's safety) but the truth of what went down when Clarus died is a little twisty.

I'm glad you like this. Honestly, I'm really uncertain about how this story is going over, so that's nice to hear!

Re: Fill: 6/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-08 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Not the anon you replied to but the other anon that's been commenting - I for one love this story. I love the characterization and the world building and I look forward to every update <3

Re: Fill: 6/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-08 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Noctis gagged and in chains in my weakness, anon. So damn delicious~

I continue to love how level-headed Gladio is vs Noctis' defiance.

Fill: 7/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-08 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Flashback time, then exposition time, then smut time!

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

Gladiolus had long known that the Lucian army was nothing without their magecraft. Even at the end of the war, with the loss of many of their on-the-ground soldiers, their mages called up winds, threw fire, and made the earth slippery and treacherous with ice. The worst of them could summon lightning, but only the royal family could do so with any real strength.

Prince Noctis was the one mage who didn’t stay behind King Regis’ walls of protection. He seemed to take the fire of King Clarus’ death as permission to charge into the press of battle himself, wearing nothing but his mage robes and a sheen of ethereal fire that made both his own troops and enemy combatants fall before him.

At the battle of Leide, he was in top form. When the diminished troops of Lucis were given the order to retreat, he stood in their midst as a rock before the tide, drawing down webs of lightning onto the oncoming ranks of Gladiolus’ army. One of Gladiolus’ Generals fell to a pillar of flame, another to a bolt of lightning out of the blue, and when Gladiolus and Cor flanked the young mage at last, the king felt a chill curl in his chest and saw the flash of violet fire flicker in the prince’s eyes.

“Your king has surrendered,” he said to the prince. “And your magic is nearly gone.” It had to be, for Gladio to still be alive, and the prince knew it. He turned part-ways to the figure of King Regis on the crest of the hill, and saw a white banner cracking in the mid-summer heat.

He looked back to Gladio, bowed deeply, and disappeared in a burst of magic. There was another burst fifty feet up—Gladio’s men leveled their bows—and another, and another, until a bloom of blue fire coalesced into a dark figure standing at King Regis’ side, safe behind the king’s wall of protective light.

“What I’d give to muzzle that one,” Cor said, and Gladiolus laughed.

“You never know, Cor,” he said. “Before this is over, we might get the chance.”



Three days later, King Gladiolus and his men and women at arms met with the enemy king. King Regis stood tall and proud on the baking earth of Leide, showing no discomfort at the heat that must have been constricting in his dark robes. At his left stood a member of his Kingsglaive, and on his right the Kingsglaive captain, Drautos. Further still stood the prince—an odd placement, Gladio thought, but then he wasn’t cognizant of every Lucian rule of order.

One, however, he did know, and it was one he’d been dreading ever since the surrender had been called.

A line of men and women in Lucian black stood just to the left, several feet behind King Regis and his retinue. Gladio kept an eye on them as the useless formalities were made, words of peace spoken through gritted teeth. At last, King Regis gestured towards them with an idle air.

“As per tradition,” he said, in his low, musical voice, “the conquering kingdom has the right to an appeasement prize. The men and women you see here are well trained in the arts, both in pleasure and in entertainment, and are all exemplary servants with the privilege of formal educations.”

“As per tradition,” Gladio said, testing the words with careful deliberation. He knew that the Lucian people would not consider the gift to be akin to slavery, but the thought of it made his stomach turn. A citizen of their country shouldn’t be considered free for another to use or discard as they will. He quested among the faces there, the young men and women behind the King who had been trained for this task, who showed no fear, no trepidation.

Then his gaze rested on the prince.

“Him,” King Gladiolus said, at last. “As per tradition, we will accept Prince Noctis as the appeasement prize for your terms of surrender.”

There was a brief silence. Wind swept through the dust at their feet, and Gladio waited for the inevitable protest, the cries of dismay, the insistence that tradition meant trained and common. That the kingdom needed this monster to survive. It didn’t come.

“Very well,” said King Regis, without a flicker of emotion.

“We’ll have him to you by the end of the week,” said Captain Drautos.

And Prince Noctis, the mad mage of Lucis, the man who slaughtered troops in domes of lightning and shattered their hearts with ice, threw back his head and laughed.

------

“What do we say?”

Noctis looked up at Gladiolus through half-lidded eyes, a slight smirk on his shadowed face. “Please, Your Majesty,” he said. “Will you, in your eternal grace and wisdom take off these fucking cuffs?”

Some ways behind them, Gladio heard a suppressed snort of laughter. He gazed down at the prisoner with a look of polite disdain.

“You know, I don’t think you’re being sincere,” he said, and rested a heavy elbow on his shoulder. Noctis scowled and leaned in to the side of the couch Gladio was reclining on, and one of the members of Gladiolus' inner council laughed.

"Never thought I'd see the mage used as furniture," said Monica. Gladio shrugged. He could almost feel the heat from Noctis' cheeks. "Anyways, back to important matters. It's been three weeks now, and King Regis keeps sending the treaty back with corrections."

"Again? He does know he surrendered?" Gladio caught the closed file from Monica and unhooked the cover. "Furniture," he said, to Noctis. "Does your language have a word for Surrender?"

Noctis raised one eyebrow, and spoke the word in his native tongue.

"Well, he would know," said Cor. Gladio felt the man tense beneath his arm, and shook him slightly, a warning to behave. Noctis raised his cuffed hands a fraction and gave him a deeply sarcastic look.

"It's not really the terms," Cor said. "He keeps changing his heir. It's Nyx Ulric this time. Set in stone--literally. The Crystal accepted him a few days ago."

Noctis was suddenly very still indeed.

"And Captain Drautos says he can dismantle the mages within five weeks, but they need a select number to protect their northern border. Excuse me, did I miss something?" Cor turned to Noctis, who was staring woodenly at the floor. His hands were clenched so tightly that his knuckles were white, and the edges of his mouth were hard, as though he were grinding his teeth together.

"It's nothing," he said, at last. "Nyx Ulric's a good man."

"Better than some," Monica said, pointedly. Noct shrugged the shoulder not currently occupied, and lifted his gaze.

"I wouldn't trust Drautos, though," he said. A short silence greeted this, and Cor and Gladio exchanged glances.

"You'll forgive us if we don't take your word for it," Gladio said. Again, the one-shouldered shrug. "Cor, as you were saying."

-------

"You gonna offer an explanation for that?"

The council had broken up after three hours of dithering over border disputes and grain silos, and Gladio requested a moment of privacy in the receiving room to gather his thoughts. Gathering his thoughts, it turned out, meant leaning back with his hands in Noctis' hair as he thrust into his willing mouth. The man had begged earnestly for this, when there was no one but Gladio to witness it, and not for the first time, the king wondered what pleasure he took out of this particular brand of debasement.

Noctis pulled off of Gladio's cock with a slick, wet sound, and Gladio heard the chain on his cuffs clink as he tried and failed to make one of his typical broad gestures. "Your Majesty," he said. His accent was thicker, slurring the hard consonants and dragging out the vowels. "I can suck your cock, or I can talk politics."

Gladio tried to school the amusement from his face, and dragged Noctis forward again.

"Thank you," Noctis murmured, and the warm heat of his mouth engulfed Gladio again, tongue working along the underside as he bore down. Gladio held back a moan.

"Where does a prince learn this kind of skill?" There was another clank of chains, and Noctis' brows furrowed. He relaxed his throat and took Gladio down to the base, his lips pressed to the soft skin there, and hollowed his cheeks as he leaned back. That was as much of an answer as he was willing to give, clearly.

When Gladio came, he bucked into him hard, an involuntary jerk that had Noctis gagging and struggling to work his throat around the warm come that coated his mouth and tongue. His fingers pressed against Gladio's inner thigh as he pulled back, and Gladio leaned down to press his thumb into Noctis' partly open mouth. Noctis let him push down along his tongue, and moaned faintly.

"Do you want to come?" Gladio asked. He pulled his thumb out and wiped it off on the other man's jaw.

"If you want me to, Your Majesty," he said, looking up at him with that same, vague expression Gladio was starting to recognize as edging the border of desire and blissful thoughtlessness.

"Go ahead, if you can," Gladio said. He leaned down on his elbows, watching Noctis try to jerk himself off awkwardly with both hands linked together. It took him a minute or two, but he was already aching for it, and he fell forward with the strength of his release and pressed his lips to the side of Gladio's thigh.

Gladio knew that he was taking advantage of Noct's dazed state of mind, but he pressed a hand to the man's collar and forced him to look up.

"What was that about Captain Drautos?" he asked. "Nyx Ulric?"

For a minute, Noctis just breathed, slow and open-mouthed, throat rising under Gladio's fingers.

"Nyx Ulric is a good man," Noctis said, in his slurred, thick voice. His eyelids fluttered, and he closed them lazily, tilting his head to rest on Gladio's knee. "And Captain Drautos will ruin him."

Re: Fill: 7/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-08 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Ooooohohohoh, the plot thickens! I am so intrigued~~ there are so many layers to this story. <3

(Also, I love the fact that Noctis totally hates the real aspects to being a slave but likes the kinky aspects)

Fill: 8/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-09 04:44 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
After weeks in each other's company, Gladiolus and Noctis had come to an understanding regarding their morning ritual: Namely, if Noctis didn't drag his scrawny little ass off of the pallet at the foot of the bed before Gladio finished dressing for the day, he'd have the singular pleasure of receiving a basin full of water to the face. So far, Noct had only shown up to breakfast looking like a drowned rat twice.

The morning they were set to travel to the neutral city of Lestallum to finalize the surrender of Lucis, Noctis clung, dripping and furious, to the foot of the bed, stared up at Gladiolus, and lay back down.

"Really?" Gladio said. Noctis turned his back to the king and dragged at his sodden blanket. Gladio sighed and pulled it out of his grip. Noct curled in on himself instead, dripping a pool onto the floor.

"I can't begin to explain how little time I have for this shit right now," Gladio said, and grabbed the young man by his dark hair, dragging him up. Noctis cursed and struggled to rise faster than Gladio could pull, and ended up on his knees, hanging over the edge of the bed.

"Thank the gods for that collar," Gladio said, when Noct glared daggers at him from over his shoulder. "I'd be what, ash on the floor right now?"

"Lightning, definitely," Noctis said.

"Yeah, you were good at that. Well, now that you're up, get dressed. We're going to Lestallum."

When Noctis saw the clothes waiting for him on the chair, he flinched. "Gods, what is that?"

Gladio smiled. "Lucis makes a big deal about treating their gifts properly. That means decking you out like that doll you were made up to be that first time."

Noctis shivered, lifting the fine, blue cloth tunic in both hands. "May I make a request, Your Majesty?" Gladio nodded. "Keep treating me improperly. This is a nightmare. It won't even cover my ass."

"Not supposed to. You've seen that style before. Throw it on, princess, daylight's precious."

Gladio had to admit, when Noctis was dressed and pulling awkwardly at the waistband of his soft pants, that it was a ridiculous outfit. It was made to show off, and Noctis' strong points weren't exactly his legs. Or his ass. Or his shoulders, even. Honestly, he was a bit of a mess all around. He was more attractive when he was moving, when his bright eyes were darkened by biting sarcasm and his smile twisted sideways just so...

Noctis seemed to be reading Gladio's expression. He placed a hand on his hip and twisted round to get a look at the curve of his own ass. "So, Your Majesty," he said. "Want to ravish me yet?"

"Less talk, more action," Gladio said. "Bathroom, now. It's a long drive."

It was. Noctis slept most of the way, curled up at Gladio's feet while Cor shuffled his legs awkwardly the next seat over and tried not to stare. When it came to sleep, the prisoner proved to be fairly shameless.

Gladio kicked him awake thirty minutes out to the city, and between the two of them, they managed to throw enough gold and silver jewelry on Noct's shoulders and arms to shame a magpie. There were even earrings, long, dangling ones dripping with crystal, and when Noctis hurriedly brushed his hair back into a semblance of order, they reflected spots of light onto his cheeks.

"You should wear this without the nightmare tunic," Gladio said, impulsively. Noctis' smile was anxious and wan.

"King Regis would love that," he said, and sat back down at Gladio's feet, wrapping his arms around his knees.

For a moment, Gladio considered bringing up the subject of Captain Drautos again, but decided against it. Between him and Cor, the most they got out of Noct was that Drautos was "an asshole, okay?" and "not a threat to you," neither of which explained the agitated state the mere mention of his name brought on. Gladio had to chalk it up to political in-fighting, and resolved to send one of his spies in the Citadel to scope out Drautos' offices some day soon.

When they arrived in Lestallum, Gladio hooked a chain to Noct's magical stasis collar, and gently pulled him out onto the street.

The city was awash with banners and posters advertising the "treaty," a kind name for the cruel act of surrender, and with every poster featuring King Regis' face that they passed, Noctis grew more and more withdrawn. He was entirely distracted by the time they made it to the Leville, and when they found a light luncheon tray waiting in Gladiolus' private suite, Noctis reached for a muffin reflexively.

He stopped with it halfway to his mouth, carefully set it down, and sank to his knees.

"Astrals, I'm too tired to care," Gladio said. But he sat next to the table and passed the entire muffin down anyways, letting Noct's chain fall to the rug.

They had a blissful thirty minutes to stare out the window at the steaming piles of trash in the adjacent alley before Talcott, Gladiolus' page and family friend, arrived to inform the king that the envoy from Lucis had arrived and would be at the Leville's dining area for the official banquet.

"Which means dress clothes, Your Majesty," Talcott said, grinning at Gladiolus' resulting threat of exile. He tripped out the door with a whistle, and Gladiolus made to pin on his ridiculous formal cloak. He was adjusting the clasp on his shoulder when he heard a faint clinking of metal behind him, and pale fingers appeared at his shoulders from behind to hold the clasp in place while he locked it. Noctis worked on adjusting the cloak, and when it draped over the king's shoulders to his satisfaction, he drew away, leaving Gladio's back suddenly cold.

"Permission to stay behind, Your Majesty," he said, in a soft voice. Gladiolus didn't respond. He simply picked up the lead of the chain at the prisoner's neck and walked him to the door and down the stairs. With every clank of the chain and shushing clatter of the finery at Noct's shoulders and neck, the former prince came one step closer to the room where King Regis, his retinue, and the new Prince of Lucis sat in wait.

Re: Fill: 8/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-09 05:16 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oooooh, this gon be GOOD, hehehe >D

Re: Fill: 8/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-09 06:10 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh man, oh man, this just keeps better and better. I cannot stress enough how much I love this story!

Re: Fill: 8/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2017-03-09 06:12 am (UTC) - Expand

Fill: 9/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-09 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Gladio nearly had to drag Noctis through the doors of the Leville’s private dining room. The chain at his collar was pulled tight enough to choke, and Gladio could hear the younger man’s breath behind him, short and harsh. He glared in his direction and jerked his head shortly.

“Quit lagging,” he hissed. “I won’t let anything—“ But then Talcott was at his elbow, directing him to a line of men and women in Lucian black, and Gladio sighed deeply. Cor and Monica appeared at his sides, already waiting at the wings, and they approached the delegation from Lucis with fixed, false smiles on their weathered faces.

“Your Majesty, King Regis,” Gladiolus said. “How good to see you well.”

“Likewise, King Gladiolus.” They engaged in the complex dance that was royalty trying to bow without insulting the other or damaging their pride, and Gladio felt the chain at his hand go slack as Noctis finally, finally caught up.

Then King Regis’ gaze turned to Noctis, and it took all of Gladio’s willpower not to step aside as the young man collapsed. His fall was coordinated: Knees, waist, arms, head, folding up on himself in a genuflection that ended with his forehead pressed to the carpet. Seeing a man—even the mage—bow like that to his own father was nothing short of horrifying. King Regis’ gaze slid over him with only the faintest twinge of an emotion Gladio couldn’t place, but a man in glasses behind Regis lurched forward, mouth open. The man at Regis’ left shook his head minutely, and the other man rocked back, hands flexing as though reaching for a weapon he couldn’t summon.

Introductions were made as though there wasn’t a man currently curled and trembling on the floor. The man in the glasses was Ignis Scientia, the advisor to the prince. The prince was the man on the King’s left, Nyx Ulric—someone Gladiolus recognized in reports from the war, but not a man he’d had the fortune of fighting against. Captain Drautos he already knew, and there was Crowe, a woman with the robes of a mage and an inability to hide her obvious discomfort at the whole affair. He felt a strange sort of sympathy with her, and took a moment to clasp her hand in greeting.

Noctis didn’t move until the Lucian delegation returned to their seats at the table.

“The hell, Noctis?” Gladio said, as the young man lifted himself to his knees.

“Don’t address me by name,” Noct said, so low that Gladio had to lean down to hear him properly. “It’ll be an offense, when my name was taken from me. And I don’t… as I am, I don’t deserve it.”

“Could’ve told me this earlier,” Gladio pointed out, holding down the revulsion that ran through him at those words. Noctis was breathing quickly, as though he were winded, and he kept his gaze fixed on the floor.

“I’m sorry, Your M—“ he stopped himself, and Gladio saw his jaw working, distaste in his eyes. “Master.”

It was the word Noctis had stubbornly refused to use, and Gladio, despite taunting him with the option now and then, had been privately thankful.

“This only lasts until we’re out of Lestallum,” Gladio said, firmly. “Whatever this is. Don’t quote me on it, but I think I like you better as a stubborn little shit.”

Noctis looked at him then, and a hint of a smug grin smoothed the hard lines at his mouth.

“I said don’t quote me on it,” Gladio repeated, smiling back, and waved his hand. “Come on. I’m not having you crawl to the table.”

There was a cushion for Noctis next to Gladio’s chair, and he was given his own glass of water by the slightly worried-looking waitstaff, who kept shooting the man sympathetic looks every time they passed by. When Gladio wordlessly offered to pass down some of the appetizers on a plate, Noctis shook his head and mouthed, nerves, in his native tongue. Gladio shrugged and waited for the formal opening statements of the banquet to be over. Gods, never in his life had he wanted more to be home and away from all this mess.

King Regis was civil, if not pleasant—No one could feign true friendship when they were about to hand over most of their land and all of their military. Gladio spoke to Cor for the most part, and tried not to notice how the man at his feet was endeavoring to hunch his shoulders, making himself disappear from the other diners’ views.

During a lull in the banquet, Gladio was alerted to movement around the edge of the table. Ignis, the advisor, was heading towards him with a black and gold-edged card in his hands. He bowed properly to Gladio, in a funny, old-fashioned sort of way, and stepped a little too close as he held out the card. He knelt so as not to stand above the king—either Gladio or Regis, he supposed—and Gladio saw that Ignis’ shoulder was only inches from Noctis’ back.

“On behalf of the Lucian delegation,” Ignis said, in an accent that was much smoother than the former prince’s, “I present to you a gift to show our good will towards your nation, and the peace we seek to ensure here.”

“Hopefully not another human being,” Gladio said. He had to admit that it was tactless, but the man before him only looked politely blank.

Noctis leaned just a fraction so that his back was pressed to Ignis’ side. The advisor kept his green eyes on the king, but let his left hand drop to his upraised knee as the note was taken from him. Noctis slowly reached up to brush Ignis’ fingers with his own, and for a moment, the two men were a tableau of fear, rabbits frozen in the face of an encroaching predator. Gladio pretended to be engrossed in the message in his hands instead, and heard the faintest sigh escape Noctis’ lips.

“Yes, thank you,” he said to Ignis, with a polite nod. “I have not had the chance to attend a play held in Lestallum in years. I’ll take your recommendations in mind.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty,” Ignis said. He stood and bowed deeply, but his hand still barely touched Noct’s.

Gladio lowered his voice. “I won’t bite if you want to talk to him,” he whispered. The look Ignis gave him in response was tight with pain.

I can’t,” He straightened from his bow and made to return to his side of the table.

No.” A silence descended over the collected officials as Noctis half rose from his knees, pulling the advisor back by the hand. “Iggy, gods.

Ignis yanked his hand free of Noct’s hold as though it burned him, and Gladio felt the weight of his dinner companions’ gazes, looking to him to control his misbehaving prize. He grit down the taste of bile in the back of his throat and placed a hand on Noct’s shoulder, holding him down.

He leaned close to whisper in his ear. “Don’t. Not right now. I’m sorry, but you’ll have to apologize.”

Noctis shuddered and twisted towards him, lowering his forehead to rest on his thigh. “Forgive me,” he said, in a voice clear enough to carry. “Master.”

Gladiolus felt sick.

“I apologize for the outburst,” he said to the table at large. He placed a hand on the back of Noct’s head, trying to soothe him somehow, fingers digging into the hairs at the nape of his neck. “It won’t happen again. Your Majesty, have you tried the quail eggs?”

The conversation picked up after that, but Gladio noticed that Ignis didn’t eat much. Noctis remained silent through the rest of the dinner, mutely refusing food and water, closing his eyes to the brush of Gladio’s hand through his hair. Gladio resigned himself to it and requested an attendant to bring up a dish to his suite, just in case.

“I’m afraid I must offer an apology,” King Regis said, when the last of the main courses had been cleared and a round of palate-cleansing sorbets were delivered. “We did not have adequate time to train your gift in the behavior befitting their station.”

Gladio forced himself not to tip his wine into the other king’s lap. “I’d be hard-pressed to say if I’ve noticed anything out of the ordinary, Regis,” he said, with a brittle smile. “But then, slavery is illegal in my country, so I wouldn’t know what to look for.”

It was hypocritical as hell, he knew, but it was worth it to see King Regis’ eyes darken and his lips thin in a familiar scowl.

“Ah,” he said. “That’s the same look he gives me. There’s quite a likeness.” He felt fingers clench on his thigh, and glanced down. Noctis was sitting up, the light of his earrings reflecting on his neck.

“Master,” he said. “May I speak?”

“So polite, too,” Gladio said to Regis, and leaned down to the former prince at his side. Noct’s voice, when he spoke again, was in his usual sardonic tone.

“Remember that I’m the only mage here with a stasis collar, Your Majesty,” he snapped.

“There are magic jamming signals all over the city,” Gladio said. “You can’t tell?”

Noctis tapped his collar in response and shrugged. “Thank you, Master,” he said, in a louder voice, and placed his head on Gladio’s lap again. The king sighed and turned back to his companion, who was engaged in deep conversation with Captain Drautos.

Nyx Ulric—or Nyx Lucis now, Gladio couldn’t wrap his head around Lucians and their ass-backwards approach to titles—didn’t speak to him once. He looked more uncomfortable than Ignis, if that were possible, and kept glancing over at Gladio when he thought he wasn’t paying attention. His dark eyes were sharp and calculating, but they could have belonged to any of the men or women on Gladiolus’ side. Straightforward, stern, full of resolve. Nothing like the wild spark that burned in Noctis’ gaze when he was pushing back against Gladio’s orders, or those moments when Noct was undone by pleasure and made vulnerable and open, seeking comfort under the hands of a man he knew should hate him.

Captain Drautos will ruin him, Noctis had said. Gladio looked to Captain Drautos, so calm and well-composed, and down at the man at his side.

Hell. He wasn’t there for mind games. He wished his sister, Iris, were there—She always knew how to read a room better than even their father—but she was back at the capitol, doing the important work of running the nation while her brother tried his hand at war. He wondered what she’d think of Noctis. Probably be rightly disgusted by the whole business, if he knew her sensibilities—

“Fuck’s sake,” he muttered under his breath. Could he go one second without thinking about the man? He looked down at Noctis and made a gesture with his hand, calling one of the attendants over from their place at the door.

“Escort him to my suite, please,” he said, and the look Noctis gave him was so sickeningly grateful that he felt like hitting something. “I’ll be up shortly—it looks like it’s winding down.” It wasn’t, but he could tell that King Regis was starting to tire, and it would be poor manners to let a king collapse in the middle of dessert. Gladio felt a weight lift from his shoulders as Noctis was towed away, and was so caught up in the freedom of it that he didn’t even notice when Captain Drautos begged his king’s leave to retire for the evening.


-------

Feelin' kind of uncomfortable, are we, Gladio?

Re: Fill: 9/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2017-03-09 06:57 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Fill: 9/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2017-03-09 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand

Fill: 10/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-09 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
"Okay, self, now's your chance to write a short kinky story," I said. "Don't make it into A Thing," I said.

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

Gladio had been trained to walk quietly. It was a skill his father taught him early, and had proven itself useful in a world where the threat of assassination was more than just a passing notion. It became a habit, one that most did not expect of the larger man, and it was the only thing that prevented Gladio from being detected now, as he turned up the stairs towards his private suites and saw a figure standing in the hall.

He fell back behind the partition just at the end of the stairwell. Captain Drautos had been leaning into the darkness of an alcove, his low voice reverberating in the empty hall. Gods, Gladio hoped he didn’t have a lover with him. The way the man had pressed both hands against the wall on either side of the alcove, and by the cold smile on his lips, it seemed obvious that someone was there.

“You don’t have a claim on me.”

That was Noctis’ voice, as haughty and cold as it had been those first few days at Gladiolus’ fortress, dripping with noble disdain. What was he doing out of the room? Had the attendant not even bothered to cuff him, or lock him out? Had he just sent him up and walked off, certain that Noct’s recently compliant behavior would be enough? Gladio adjusted his position on the stair to mask his shadow, and shook his head at the way anger made fools out of the best men. Anyone could have been listening, and the two of them were barely bothering to whisper.

“That’s right,” said the captain. “You’re in the hands of King Gladiolus now. How hard did you have to beg for him not to strike you down? Or is he waiting until after the surrender?”

“I didn’t beg for my life.”

“No.” Drautos’ voice lowered. “No, I’d bet you begged him to take it.” There was a silence. “You did. You did, didn’t you, and he didn’t even find your life worth enough to take—

“Don’t.” Noctis sounded almost raw. “You don’t mean that. You used to say, you said I—“

Noctis made a noise somewhere between a grunt and a whine, and there was a sound of jingling metal.

“Who set the fire?” Captain Drautos asked.

“I did,” came the whispered response. It sounded rote, practiced, a script Noctis had heard before.

“Who cost us the war?”

“You. Fuck.” There was a rough scrape of cloth, and the thump of a fist against the wall.

Who cost us the—“

“I did! I did.” Noctis’ voice was breathy and high. “I was too reckless, I should have seen it, should have known. You know I know this, Titus. You of all people.”

There was another thud, a vibration in the wall, and a low, unfamiliar laugh.

“You don’t have the right to call me by my name.”

For a moment, all that could be heard was their breathing, and the slow slide of a boot against the carpet.

“Who has you by the balls, Titus?” Noct spoke in a light tone. “Not King Gladiolus. I’ve seen enough to know that. Tenebrae? Niflheim? Accor—“

A hitch of breath. “You planning to whore yourself out to them, too? Get the boy king to pass you around? He looked almost used to you. Does he curse you, when he spreads you open—

Gladiolus had heard more than enough. He quietly backed down a few steps and laid a foot heavily on the stair. “Don’t mind me, Cor!” he called, over his shoulder. “Just a few glasses of champagne.”

He climbed the steps slowly, taking care to make as much noise as an inebriated boy king could conceivably manage. By the time he made it to the hall, it was empty, but the shadow in the alcove was a shade darker than it ought to be. He padded silently towards it, and looked down at the wretched form of Noctis, digging his hands in his dark hair as though he wanted to rip it out by the roots.

Cold blue eyes met amber, and didn’t look away.

Noctis sank to the floor as soon as Gladiolus locked the door to his suites. Gladio ignored him, and walked on into the bedroom, where he pulled his phone from the top drawer next to the bed, flipped through it, and pressed a button. A static white noise filled the room, like a broken down air conditioning unit.

“Come here,” he said, pitching his voice over the dull roar. Noctis hesitated, and started to crouch forward. “No. Walk to me, like a man.”

Slowly, eyes almost closed in the dark of Gladiolus’ rooms, Noctis went to him.

“Keep your voice low, and no one will hear us,” Gladio said, when Noctis was standing just a few feet away. “Did he hurt you?” He lifted Noct’s chin, pulled back his hair, and checked his neck for bruises. Noctis stood utterly still and quiet, shifting when needed and fixing his gaze to a spot just to the right of Gladio’s ear.

“He didn’t hurt me,” he said, after a minute of this. “Took the wind out of me, held me down, but didn’t hurt me.”

“I’m gonna say that counts as hurting,” Gladio said, gruffly. “Noctis. A while back, you said you came to me. You walked from your camp to mine, on your own. But it wasn’t to honor the treaty.”

“No,” Noctis said, dully. “It wasn’t.”

“It was Drautos. You suspect him of being a double agent? A traitor?” The other man nodded. “Why would you think Captain Drautos is in my pocket?”

Noct’s voice was very soft indeed. “You had the most to gain.”

“Explain.”

Noctis took a shaky breath. “May I—may I sit? Please?” Gladio waved an arm in approval, and Noct fell back against the bed. He toyed with the crystals under his right ear, making them wink in the light through the window.

“I started training under the Kingsglaive when I was fourteen,” he said. He continued to run his thumb and forefinger over his earring, letting it trail over his skin like a wave. “I was a prodigy. We usually are, in the line of Lucis. Dad taught me the basics, how to throw lightning, how to pull up a wall… but he turned me over to Drautos. It made sense. And he was… he was nice. Complimented me. Told me I was going to be the king of kings, the one who brought glory back to Lucis. It was good to be useful, have a purpose.”

“The day your dad died…” His gaze flicked to Gladio for a hairs breadth of a second. “That was supposed to be the start of it. End the feud with the Amicitias, cement my place as a hero. So Drautos and I, we made a plan. We knew where King Clarus Amicitia was going to charge that morning. We purposely made a weakness in the ranks, one we knew he’d try to exploit.”

Gladio felt his blood run cold. Noctis drew his knees to his chest with a clatter of necklaces and bangles.

“I didn’t say it was honorable,” he said. “But I was to strike just him. Just him. When I say I’m a prodigy, I mean it. I can hit one bullet out of a sky full of them, if I have to. When I cast my spell, it hit King Clarus. Only King Clarus.” Gladio made to interrupt, and Noctis rushed to fill in the empty space. “When he struck the ground, he was still burning. That’s how the magic works, it’s—powerful. And then… Turns out the lines in the ground that Drautos had ordered to be filled with oil were lit. Someone had buried pots of it under the sand. When I came back to check, I saw pottery, bits of it, in rows.”

“That’s insane,” Gladio said, slowly. He remembered watching Noctis walk through the scorched earth of the battleground, after, head down. Remembered how small he’d seemed, how impassive his expression. “I saw—“

“Did you?” Normally, there was just a hint of a wild spark in Noctis’ eyes. Now, they blazed with it. “Did you see it? How did the fire burn, Your Majesty?”

Gladio forced himself to think back to that terrible day. He hadn’t seen his father die, but he had seen the first bout of flame. And then the second, and the third, jetting forth across the battlefield like a wave.

“It was made to look like a spell,” Noctis said. “A great spell. Da—the King, he said it was the only explanation. For all he knew, I’d drawn from the power of the crystal to kill my own people. I was dead to him then, and Drautos took my place at his right side.”

Gladiolus fumbled for his chair and sat heavily. He carded his fingers through his hair. “Do you have proof of this?”

Noctis’ laugh was cold. “Would I be here if I did? But before I walked into the pyre the day I came here, he told me. He knew it was too late, I’d already proven my reputation on the battlefield, all those times, trying to die. He figured you’d execute me. So did I.” His voice trailed off at that, and Gladio forced himself to look at him again.

“And you came here because you thought he worked for me?

“You won the war.” Noctis shrugged.

“My father died on that battlefield,” Gladiolus said. “Do you think I’m the kind of person who would orchestrate my own father’s—“

“You aren’t!” Noctis’ voice rose dangerously, over the hum of the white noise. His fists were clenched in the sheets of the bed, and he slowly released them, shaking out his hands. “I know that. I’ve seen it. I was wrong.”

“But then… What’s Drautos planning?” Gladio asked. “Why go through all this? Why hand me Lucis?”

“I don’t know,” Noct admitted. “He wanted us weak… If he isn’t working for you… Maybe it’s someone else. Maybe it’s just him, wanting me out of the way. Nyx isn’t of the Lucian line. There are too many things that can go wrong.”

Gladio breathed in deep, turning his gaze to the ceiling. “Astrals,” he said. “What have I inherited?” When he looked back to Noctis, the young man was shaking slightly, as he had when he’d bowed before his father, and he refused to meet Gladio’s eyes. “Hey. Noctis. Look at me.”

“You shouldn’t’ve been dragged into this,” he said. He turned his back to the king. “I don’t blame you for hating me. For choosing me. If I hadn’t killed your father, none of this—“

Gladio climbed onto the bed next to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. Noct flinched away.

“Prince Noctis.”

“Don’t call me that.”

“What happened on that battlefield, it wasn’t you.”

Noct barked out an awful laugh. “Do you blame the man who pours the oil, or the man who lights the fire?”

“You were tricked into it,” he insisted. He thought of the scars on Noctis’ back, the vindictive way he seemed to own them, the terrors that woke him in the night. “Drautos didn’t take any of the blame. Was he whipped for his pains, Noctis?”

Noct closed his eyes.

Gladio didn’t trust himself to speak after that. He pulled at Noct’s shoulders, leaning the younger man against his chest, and held him that way for a moment, stiff and unmoving in his arms. When he finally started to relax, Gladio sighed.

“Let’s turn in for the night,” he said. “You won’t—“ When Noctis slipped out of his hold and started lowering himself to the floor, Gladio felt monstrous. All this time, he’d been punishing Noctis as well, and he’d—

“Not like that. Astrals, stop.” He pulled the other man back up, and turned him around. Noct refused to look at him even as the king carefully lifted off every necklace, every bracelet, the stones in his hair and at his ears. For a moment, Gladio’s hand lingered on the stasis collar at his neck, and felt warm fingers close over his.

“Leave it,” the young man whispered.

When he looked more of a man and less of what the war had made of him, Noctis silently climbed into the covers. He rolled himself towards Gladio when the king settled down next to him.

“You deserved better than this,” Gladio said. He couldn’t be sure if Noctis was even listening, but it had to be said. He repeated the words in Noctis’ own tongue, and the man who had once been a prince shook his head, buried his face in the crook of Gladio’s arm, and breathed harsh and ragged against his skin.


--------

Honestly what have I done

Re: Fill: 10/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2017-03-09 11:20 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Fill: 10/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

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Re: Fill: 10/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

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Re: Fill: 10/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

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Re: Fill: 10/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2017-03-10 03:22 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Fill: 10/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2017-03-10 05:50 am (UTC) - Expand

Fill: 11/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-10 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Noctis--Formerly the wild mage of Lucis, formerly Noctis Lucis Caelum--had never drowned before, but he was fairly sure he knew what it felt like. Sometimes, when he woke in the night to the stench of burning flesh and the tight heat of fire, he would wake fully, panting and desperate, to drag himself back to the world. But other nights, he only half woke, and lay trapped in a thick fog, throat constricting, chest struggling to rise against a heavy pressure in his lungs. Lately, his questing fingers would find the cool metal of the stasis collar, and he would cling to it like a lifeline. It was a reminder of who he was, now. Who he no longer had to be.

That morning, as Noctis gasped himself awake on the heels of a familiar vision, his hands pressed against soft skin at the hollow of his throat.

Panic seized him. He rolled to his side, taking deep gulps of air, pushing his fingers along the line of his jaw in search of the now-familiar collar. It wasn't there. He stared unseeing into wallpaper he didn't recognize, and forced himself to focus. Citrus. The scent of flowers--Gladiolus. For a man who cut his eyeteeth on a broadsword, he had a fondness for faint, floral scents. Fussy, Ignis would have called it, but it was almost pleasant, really. Organic, but without the reminder of decay.

Above that scent was the ground-in dust of the Leville. He turned his gaze to the window and winced. How late was it? Hell, he was due a bucket of water to the face any minute now.

Except it didn't come. He waited a moment, arms wrapped tight in the covers of Gladio's bed, but all he saw was the steady crawl of light from the window, following the sun. Finally, he rolled onto the floor and stripped off the nightmare tunic. The signing wasn't until the afternoon--maybe he was being left alone until then.

Then why was the collar gone?

Low voices sounded in the other room. Gladiolus, and... Someone he knew. Noct dragged a hand through his hair and stepped into the suite reception room, his free hand pressed tight to his neck.

Ignis Scientia rose from his seat at King Gladiolus' side.

They aren't your equals any longer, the man who had trained him in the proper protocols had said, before he was to be sent to the enemy as a prize. Don't insult them by refusing to acknowledge your new place in the world. He obeyed that voice involuntarily, now, knees buckling. Ignis lunged forward.

"Noct, please." Firm hands gripped his shoulders, dragging him up, and Ignis drew him to his feet in an unsteady stumble. "Not to me. Not here."

"Not again, if I can help it." Gladiolus looked up at Noct with something that seemed worryingly like regret, but he barely had time to register it. Ignis pulled him into his arms, digging at his hair and lightly brushing the scars of his naked back. A shudder ran through his former advisor and friend, and Noct returned his embrace, gentling him with a hand at the nape of his neck.

"Gods, Noctis," Ignis said. His voice was muffled against his shoulder. "Forgive me. I couldn't stop them from sending you away, I couldn't stop any of it..."

"Ignis, it's fine." It wasn't, it never would be, but he hated the quaver in his friend's voice. "But why are you here? The stasis collar, where did it--"

"I removed it." Gladio's voice was strangely short. "Take it as a sign of trust. Don't make me regret it, Prince Noctis."

Noct flinched. "I'm not--"

"You are." Gladio's eyes had the same cast they had when he'd removed Noct's jewelry the night before. Not pity--Noct didn't think he could handle that--more like remorse. Sorrow.

Noct drew back from Ignis' hold. "Yesterday, I was calling you Master," he said, and Gladio winced. "Why would you--"

"I called your former advisor in for a second perspective," said the young king. "He says your story warrants investigation. I've passed requests down the line to my Intel department: There's no way an operation the size you described could go off without leaving a trail. Oil needs a supplier. Suppliers need trade routes and contacts. And agents never work alone." He placed his hands on his knees and leaned forward. "No one is untouchable, Noctis. If Drautos is the one behind all this, we'll find enough evidence to bury him."

Noct tried to make sense of this. When he'd broken at last, the night before, he'd expected Gladiolus to spit the words back in his face. To laugh. Not to treat him so, so gently, more than he deserved. Not to believe him. Noct hadn't even told the entire truth to Ignis, but an enemy king... He felt a laugh welling up in his throat, and cool hands touched his chest.

"It's too much at once, I know." Ignis' voice was kind, achingly so. "Let me help you dress. His Majesty sent for coffee; You'll feel more of the thing, then."

"Still looking after me, huh?" Noct said.

"Always." Ignis scooped up a bundle of black cloth. "Steady, Your Highness."

Noct knew he didn't really need the help. Ignis just stayed there, cool and composed as ever, waiting for him to finish. He'd been the only true grounding presence in Noct's life for the past two years. The only one who said "highness" in a tone that didn't ring hollow, who met his gaze and didn't look away. Noctis slipped on the provided clothes in such a daze that he didn't realize they were in Lucian black until he was fastening the buttons of his jacket.

"I know it's a little tall for you," Ignis said, from his seat at the window. "But it's the best I could find on short notice."

Noct stared down at the soft black cloth under his fingers, and felt the hot sting of tears in his eyes.

"Don't worry about it, Specs," he said. "It looks fine."

Re: Fill: 11/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2017-03-10 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Fill: 11/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2017-03-10 03:47 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Fill: 11/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2017-03-10 03:59 pm (UTC) - Expand

Fill: 12/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-10 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
The changes in Noct's place with Gladiolus took some getting used to. He perched on the edge of the couch with the nervous air of an imposter, ready to drop to the floor at the twitch of an eyebrow, and he kept reaching up to touch his neck, shivering at the tenderness of the bruises the collar left behind. Gladio watched him warily, as one would a wild animal, and Noct slowly and methodically ripped apart the breakfast roll on his plate.

"Noctis, have a care," Ignis admonished. Noct grinned at him briefly and lurched for his coffee.

"Technically," Gladiolus said, as Noct poured what had to be half a cup of cream and sugar into his drink, "You're still a prisoner of war. We'll have to put a magic-jamming signal on a tracker at your ankle when we leave the city, but it won't drain your mana like the stasis collar does. And you'll be held at the capital under house arrest. But not as... Not as you were."

"King Regis will see that as an insult," Noct pointed out.

"Yeah, well, he's lucky I'm letting him keep the throne." Ignis straightened a little, and the king gave him a dry look. "It's the truth," he said. "The way you were--the way I treated you--was unacceptable. My own father would have been ashamed. I'm sorry, Noctis."

When Gladio bowed in his seat, Noctis nearly dropped his coffee. He watched him for a long moment, trying to sort out his own feelings amid the wreckage of the past few weeks. Part of him still felt like Gladio hadn't been hard enough... But it was the part of Noct's mind that spoke in Drautos' voice, soft and insidious, whispering to him at every flicker of pain and flush of humiliation: Who set the fire? Who cost us the war?

Then there was the part of Noct that he couldn't push down, the part of him that fought against the isolation of the past two years, who spat defiance in the enemy king's face and tried to freeze his heart to cracking pieces at the battle of Leide. That part still raged, still hurt, and no amount of bowing and scraping could be enough.

Noctis sipped at his coffee, and settled for silence. The king didn't look surprised by this, and simply moved on, flipping open a file on the table between them.

"Now," he said, in the brusque, formal voice he used with his soldiers, "As I can count on your discretion, there's one wrinkle in the terms of surrender that we need to discuss..."

-------

When Gladiolus approached the table where King Regis waited to formally sign the terms of surrender, he saw that a cushion had been placed next to his chair. He kicked it aside, letting it skitter underneath the table, and bowed lightly to the Lucian king before taking his seat. Talcott rushed forward with another chair, which remained empty at Gladio's right as the others waited for his approval to sit. He nodded, and both delegations moved to occupy the benches along the wall.

"A matter was brought to my attention," Gladiolus said, when the formal announcements were done, "that required a change in section 4a of the terms of surrender. If you will, Your Majesty." He gestured to King Regis, who flipped through the folder before him and narrowed his eyes at the addendum pushed towards the end of the terms.

"We cannot afford to be lenient in this matter," Gladiolus said, trying to call to mind the way his father used to speak, as though there were no doubt that his command would be followed implicitly. "There will be full disclosure of Lucis' intel, dating back to ten years before the start of the war. The Intelligence operations you have in place will fall directly under our control. Failure to comply will be considered a breach of the terms, and will result in the dissolution of the Lucian monarchy."

King Regis raised his eyebrows, but did not respond. He had no choice but to comply--It was not the place of the surrendering country to argue their terms, and this addition was only an extension of a condition that already existed.

Gladiolus let his gaze drift down the line of officials on Regis' side of the room. Captain Drautos seemed to have turned to stone, his gaze fixed on the opposite wall. Gladio held back a smile.

"Very well," Regis said. "It is not unreasonable." He returned to the terms, and both he and Gladiolus were the first to sign their names. Then came the fuss and pomp of the top brass listing their own signatures beneath theirs, and the governor of Lestallum signed as one of the two required witnesses.

"Forgive me, King Regis," Gladio said, looking down at the last line on the terms of surrender. "The second witness is on the way."

He pitched his voice to carry over the wide room. "Prince Noctis. If you would be so kind?"

King Regis clenched his hands on the table as a slender, dark haired man in black rose from the crowd of attendants in the back of the room. His footfalls were soft as he passed the long line of Lucian officials, and if he noticed the way Captain Drautos jerkily turned to watch his progress, he gave no indication. He stopped before King Regis and King Gladiolus, and bowed properly, just at the slight angle a prince would afford to a foreign ruler. Gladio inclined his head, but Regis remained rigid and silent.

When Noctis leaned over the table between them to examine the terms, his hand only trembled slightly.

"Right here, Your Highness," Gladio said. Noctis' lips twitched in the faintest sideways smirk, and he slashed his signature across the page. Then he rose, bowed again, and sat in the chair directly to Gladiolus' right.

A ripple of sound rushed through the room.

"Very well," Gladio said, as the whispers rose to a roar. "It is done."

Re: Fill: 12/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2017-03-10 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Fill: 12/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2017-03-10 05:36 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Fill: 12/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2017-03-10 06:26 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Fill: 12/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2017-03-10 09:44 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Fill: 12/? Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2017-03-11 01:28 am (UTC) - Expand

Fill: 13/13 Re: Gladio/Noctis - war prize AU

Date: 2017-03-11 04:16 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
After the conference broke up, Gladio and his entourage took Ignis' invitation from the previous night and went to a play at Lestallum's oldest theater. They crowded in to a roped-off upper balcony that smelled faintly of cleaning solution, and had the pleasure of viewing the mold-encrusted gilding of the theater ceiling from a head-on perspective. Noctis sat in the corner of the balcony, a deeper shadow against the black curtains, but not before discreetly stealing a stuffed date from the tray of appetizers the theater staff had delivered at Gladio's side. He applauded as the curtain rose, and propped his feet up on the balcony railing.

"I don't know what I'm watching," Cor hissed after about half an hour, leaning in to shoot Gladio a desperate look. "So is she.. is that actress supposed to be marrying him, or is she secretly a duchess? Why did she step on the stuffed ferret? Is that... symbolic... of something?"

Gladio shrugged helplessly. On the stage, the woman in question threw a hat in the air, and all the onlookers gasped, scandalized. Noctis' eyes widened.

"It's a metaphor," Noct whispered, and the others turned to stare. "Something about... Look, she stabbed the cheese wheel earlier, so that means this is supposed to represent the fall of the Galahd monarchy two hundred years back. Except the ferret means Lucis is repeating the cycle, which, I mean, I'm gonna have to object on patriotic reasons--"

The others on the balcony were deathly quiet.

"You're shitting us," Gladio said. On the stage, a man kicked a wall and challenged it to a duel.

"No, this is pretty basic stuff. You don't have plays where you're from?" He looked so bewildered, so earnestly curious, that Gladio realized with dawning horror that he was telling the truth.

"Not... like this," Gladio admitted. Noctis shrugged and turned back to the stage. His hands hadn't stopped shaking since the signing that afternoon, and his face was unnaturally pale in the darkness of the theater, but the show seemed to be helping somewhat. He followed along with true interest, and Cor and Gladio found themselves watching his expressions more than the plot of the actual play.

When the curtain closed on the first act, Gladiolus turned to find Talcott at his shoulder.

"Prince Nyx here to speak to, um." Talcott glanced at Noct, who sighed and dropped his feet to the floor. He rose from his seat and leaned down as he passed Gladio.

"Tell me if they actually follow through with the Astral allegory. I'm amazed this hasn't been shut down yet."

"So am I," Gladio muttered, for an entirely different reason. Noct bowed politely to Nyx, who stood to the side in a perfectly tailored suit.

"The royal colors look good on you, Ulric," Noct said. Nyx scowled. Their voices were low, and they stepped to the side, but they both knew it would be considered a breach of trust to speak privately. Gladio leaned back a little to get a better look at them.

"I had my doubts," Nyx was saying. "Really, Noctis. I did. The way Ignis talked about you... But after the fire, when you started--"

"This again?" Noct sighed. "Yes, I know. I'll add you to the list of deeply disappointed Lucians--"

"But it's true, isn't it?" Nyx's voice was fierce with anger. "You might as well have shouted it, back there. You were in King Gladiolus' pocket the whole time."

"If that's what you want to believe," Noctis said, in a bored, vague tone.

"No wonder he asked for you. What are you getting out of this?" Noctis sighed and made to walk past him, and Nyx grabbed him by the collar. "What do you have planned for us, Noctis?"

Noct grabbed the other man's hands and slowly pried them off of the front of his jacket. "I want what you want, Nyx."

"If you knew what this has done to the King--"

"Enjoy the play, Your Highness." Noctis bowed, mockingly, and stepped around the other man. He resumed his seat in the corner, seemingly engrossed in the drama unfolding on the stage, and Nyx watched him with barely withheld rage before turning on his heel and striding off without a word.

"Oh," said Noct, in a quiet voice. "They made the allegory after all."

---------

"Gods, what a night."

Noct staggered into the royal suites after Gladio, running a still unsteady hand through his hair. They'd all stopped for a refreshment at one of the outdoor restaurants, and were summarily mobbed by photographers, making the trip back to Leville a long, weary trek through side streets and back alleys. Even Gladio was exhausted, and when he stumbled into the bathroom, he didn't so much shower as he stood under the stream of water and tried not to fall asleep on his feet.

He came back to find Noctis sprawled out on the bed, lazily unbuttoning his jacket with fumbling fingers. Gladio leaned against the wall and watched him as he slithered out of his jacket, shoved off his pants, and climbed into the covers without bothering to remove his socks or shirt. He looked up at Gladio through half-lidded eyes and rolled his shoulders slowly.

"What?"

"I'll sleep on the couch," Gladio said, and turned to go.

"No, wait." Noctis scrambled to a sitting position and drew up his knees. "The hell brought this on? You never had a problem before."

Gladio's face darkened. "Seemed like you wanted it before."

"I did."

"Right. And how much of that was you tryin' to punish yourself?" Noctis just gaped at him, and Gladio let out a derisive snort. "Yeah. Thought so. I'll just--"

"It's easier," Noct said, and the bed creaked as he moved towards him. He had the same open, slightly lost look he'd worn that first night, on the heels of the nightmare that had drawn him gasping into a terrified half-awareness. "At night, when there's someone there. We don't have to... I mean, it's nice when there's something to lead up to it, but even just knowing someone's nearby, it helps."

Gladio gave him a long, slow look. He knew that it killed the prince to have to admit to this kind of weakness, to needing someone. Astrals, even when he was made a pariah in his own kingdom, he responded by becoming the wild mage they thought him to be, rather than admit that he had been manipulated. He'd even done it again that night, at the theater with Nyx.

A terrible thought crossed Gladio's mind. How did Noctis come to be so used to taking a lover to ease the night terrors that came with sleeping alone? Who in the Lucian Citadel would bring themselves to lie with someone they thought responsible for the greatest loss of the war? He hoped it wasn't the man he suspected. Let it have been Ignis, or a stranger. Someone who wouldn't teach Noctis to equate pleasure with repentance.

"Alright," Gladio said, after the silence had stretched on a moment too long. "But nothing more than this."

Noctis lay back down, burrowing into the covers, and Gladio joined him. He remained unmoving under the sheets, but Noctis rolled towards him, settling into the curve of his body as though he belonged there. For a moment the king tensed, but the man next to him was already sinking into sleep, more interested in the warmth he provided than anything else. At last, Gladio released the breath he'd been holding, and let his own mind drift to a close.

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

The next morning was warm and damp, air fizzing with the anticipation of rain. It was the sort of oncoming storm Gladio saw often in his youth--so heavy with the promise of a downpour that the trees seemed to swell beforehand, and the world took on a greenish tinge under the leaden sky. It was a day that made him think of home: Wide streets swept so clean that he could walk the city barefoot, new buildings framing old foundations in a haphazard jumble of uneven architecture, fresh flowers bursting from windowsills and verdant gardens hanging over the lip of every roof.

He looked down on the stone alleyway beneath the Leville balcony, and watched a woman kick aside a pile of garbage on her way to the power plant.

"Lost in thought?" Prince Noctis was standing behind him, being fitted for a prisoner's ankle cuff with a magic-jamming signal. When they made it to the capital, he would be given one more attuned to his own magic, instead of an all-purpose stop-gap like this one. As it was, he accepted the cuff with the same nonchalance he'd used at the theater with Nyx, which Gladio took to mean that it troubled him on some level, but he'd be damned if he showed it.

"Thinking of home," Gladio said honestly, and turned from the window. "It'll be good to shake the dust of this city from my feet for a while."

"Gods, yes," Noctis said, as the attendant finished locking his cuff. He twisted his ankle, testing his foot for freedom of movement, and winked at the attendant. The attendant rolled her eyes and stood, bowing to Gladio before she left the room.

Ignis had sent his regrets that he couldn't say farewell in person--it would be too dangerous for him to be seen being too familiar with the former prince--but he'd also sent along a tray of what looked to be the flakiest, most decadent tarts known to man. Noctis smiled faintly when he saw them, but closed the box they came in before Gladio could get too close.

He doled them out at last when he and Gladio piled into the waiting line of cars set to take them out of the city and towards the Amicitia capital. On the other side of the street, they could see the Lucian delegation standing around their own cars, uncomfortable in their warm, muggy black finery. Drautos and Nyx were leaning against one of the larger vans, talking close. Drautos smiled; Nyx tilted his head back for a laugh. Watching them, Noctis' fingers tightened on the back of his seat.

"Hey," Gladio said, softly, and Noct closed his eyes for a moment before turning away.

"It won't be long," Gladio told him. "He's already set for a fall. The real work will start when we get back home."

"Right," Noctis said, in a distant voice. "Home."

The line of cars rumbled to life, one by one, and the Lucian delegation turned to stare as they slowly crawled their way down the main street of Lestallum. Noctis looked back to them, gazing at the diminishing black figures with a hunger that seemed to pour from his skin like steam. The sky opened up at last with a thunderous roar, and the last Noctis could see of what remained of Lucis disappeared in a blinding dark curtain of rain.


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

WOOOOOOOOO I GUESS THAT'S AN ENDING??? SO:
1. I can't really continue this without turning it into a novel, and I don't wanna spam you good folks on this here kinkmeme
2. I'm probably going to revise the hell out of this and start putting it up on AO3. It may take a while, but I'll post a link on here when it's up!

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