Title: Sleeping Arrangements
Genre: Friendship, hurt/comfort, humor
Summary: Moments from Alone in deeper detail from Noctis' pov.
Chapter 2: Sleeping Arrangements
"We have two tents yet we don't use this opportunity to not sleep cramped together. What's up with that?" Prompto complained as the four companions set down their sleeping bags, getting ready for the night.
"It would be highly improper of us to intrude upon Lady Lunafreya's privacy, Prompto. She is His Highness' betrothed, after all", Ignis replied with an even voice while adjusting his spectacles. Noctis couldn't help the sly smirk that rose to his lips as a thought formed in his mind.
"So it would be fine if I moved to her tent, then?" Gladiolus openly laughed, but Ignis remained as cool and collected as ever.
"I did not imply that, Highness."
"I, for one, think that's a good idea", Gladiolus butted in. "Maybe she'll have more luck waking him up than we do." Noctis scoffed outward, internally thanking his bodyguard's subtle backup.
"As long as Sleeping Beauty here won't keep her up all night with his snoring", Prompto grinned and jabbed Noctis' ribs.
"Ha." Noctis returned the favour in full force. Once Prompto was suitably pushed to the floor, the prince got up with his sleeping bag in tow and marched outside the tent with purpose.
Lunafreya's tent was at the other side of the campfire. She claimed she didn't mind being alone in a separate tent, but Noctis had a nagging feeling that she wasn't being completely truthful. If nothing else, he would feel better having someone watching her back and possibly providing some warmth during the chilly nights. He quickly discarded the mental images of his betrothed under his arm, snuggling contently against his side.
He cleared his throat as a warning and opened the tent's zipper slowly to give her time in case she was indecent.
"Luna? Are you still awake?" He poked his head inside and saw her combing through her messy locks with her fingers. She looked back at him, confusion written across her delicate features.
"Something the matter, Noct?"
Noctis fumbled for a decent excuse. "Yeah, uh, you see, I couldn't get a shut eye with Prompto talking in his sleep. You don't mind if I sleep here tonight, do you?" He wasn't sure if she bought his rather obvious cover story, but in the end it didn't matter as long as she agreed to play his little game.
"Go for it", she said and continued her attempt to tame her blond locks. That was all the encouragement he needed. He kicked his shoes off and unceremoniously dropped his sleeping bag next to hers. He settled down and stared at her as she gave up trying to fix her hair. Maybe he should go fetch his comb from the other tent and offer it to her? Would she appreciate it or wrinkle her nose in disgust? He knew some people were very picky and did not wish to use other people's brushes in fear of lice. Not that he had any as far as he was aware, but he couldn't be sure what she'd think.
She was his betrothed and a childhood friend, in a way. Yet he felt he knew very little what she was like. It had been many years since he had ran with her as children, hand in hand across the meadows.
Noctis blinked and focused on Luna's apprehensive eyes. "What-what?"
"Expecting a goodnight kiss?" Well, that was not what he expected to hear from her. Noctis decided he liked what he was hearing; she shared his sarcastic wit.
"Maybe. You are my bride, after all", he grinned and leaned on his elbows to get a better look at her serious face. She held on to her poker-face, but he could tell from the way her posture had slightly relaxed from the normal stiffness that she obviously found their banter as amusing as he did.
"Is it not traditional for the engaged couple to sleep separately until the wedding?" she crossed her arms in defiance.
Noctis snorted, clasped his hands behind his head and stared at the tent's roof nonchalantly. "Tradition is overrated. Besides it makes no difference", he turned to look at Luna who had now also settled down in her sleeping bag, blond hair framing her travel worn features. "We're still on the road and have to do some", he paused, pretending to think "compromises along the way." The laughter disappeared from her eyes and turned serious as she thought for a moment before voicing her thoughts.
"Fair enough. I do not wish to be inconvenience and intrude upon your merry retinue." Noctis frowned. Her eyes turned to look somewhere past him. She looked troubled. He grabbed her hand to regain her attention.
"So far your presence has been a boon to us, Luna. I doubt you'll become a hindrance any time soon." She looked at their hands before returning her attention to him.
"Your words set me at ease", her voice was devoid of any playfulness. Noctis gave her hand a small squeeze before he let her withdraw her hand. They gazed at each other, emotions dancing in their eyes that they couldn't quite name. Luna turned to lie on her back, eyes fixed on the roof. The moment was broken.
Maybe for the best. Noctis mused. Better end the night on a light note.
"So", he drawled. "Where's my goodnight kiss?" His efforts were rewarded with a low chuckle.
"Persistent." She sat up. He followed suit. "Very well", she gently cupped his face between her small hands and leaned forward. Noctis felt his heart hammer against his ribs, almost painfully. He reflexively closed his eyes, impatiently waiting for the pressure of her lips on his. Just when he was about to give up on waiting and lean forward himself, she tilted his head down and pressed her lips in a feather-light kiss on his forehead.
"May you have pleasant dreams", her eyes danced with laughter as she let go of his face and returned to lie down in her sleeping bag.
Both relieved and shattered, Noctis glared back at her before grumbling: "Suppose I ought to when pleasant moments are denied in reality."
Luna allowed herself another low chuckle before bidding him goodnight and turning her back to him.
The cheek of her.
The following morning felt like every other morning to Noctis. They always seemed to come too soon when he was at the deepest state of sleep.
Noct, wake up.
No, it was way too early. He would stall for as long as he could. Ignis could shove that phone of his up his-
Noctis, if you do not remove your hand from my blouse this instant, I will unman you.
… Wait, what?
His eyes shot up and searched for any evidence of the inappropriate behavior he was being accused of.
"Well, that was effective. Too bad you will not fall for it a second time." Ah. So it was merely a trick to wake him up. Damn, that was clever of her. Highly tasteless, but clever. "Come, the sun has risen and soon your companions shall as well." As if on cue, he could hear the vibration and the accursed ringing tone of Ignis' phone's alarm in the next tent. He groggily sat up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes.
Luna had already braided her hair, not quite as elegant and neat as when he had met her in Altissia, but she had done well enough without the aid of that comb he had thought about lending her. She had come with him and his friends with minimal belongings; only the clothes on her back, the rapier tied to her hip, an extra tent and a sleeping bag.
As he finished rolling his sleeping bag, he off-handedly remarked: "I'll get you back for that. Just wait and see." She glanced over her shoulder at him and gave an impish smirk.
"I look forward to it."
"My, my. You truly are a wonder, Lady Lunafreya. I've never seen His Highness up so early and with unclouded eyes", Ignis praised. Noctis rolled his eyes and helped Luna to pack the tent. He stuffed it unceremoniously in the back of the car before sitting down next to the unlit logs. Gladiolus was working on the fire while Ignis took out his cooking supplies and Prompto packed the other tent.
"Told you it was a good idea", the tattooed man glanced slyly at Noctis. Luna gazed at the man suspiciously. "I beg your pardon?"
Noctis was not having this conversation right now.
"Hey, Ignis, what're we having this fine morning?" he exclaimed, perhaps too eagerly if Luna's accusing glare was anything to go by.
"Egg in the Basket, Highness." Sweet. Food that you could quickly stuff in your face and be back on the road within half an hour; exactly what he needed. He took back his earlier mental insult about Ignis and his phone. Just need to keep the conversation going and make sure it didn't stray to the wrong direction, Noctis mused to himself.
How hard can it be?