A/N: Put simply I got FFXV over Christmas and I've been playing it constantly. It had an unintended and unforeseen side effect of dousing my Soulsborne fire.
It bothers me that people tell Noctis to walk his own path but he goes and walks a path set by other people for him. I'm not dissatisfied with the ending, it was very emotional and a fitting end to Noctis's journey but I feel like the overlying theme of the game is lost with this ending.
It also bothers me just a little bit that Noctis always ends up with Luna, even if you treat her ambivalently or poorly; the notebook you get as a key item has three different descriptions; "it's covered in dust", "the pages are well worn", and "it's stained with tears" depending on your responses. This shows to me that Noctis and Luna do not have to love each other and may not even by the end of it all depending on how you answer. Square had the opportunity to make multiple endings to this game, with the original being the "canon" or "true" ending while having an ending based upon how you interact with characters.
This playthrough, for lack of a better term, ends with Noctis and Luna comfortable with each other; the pages are well worn and they do care for each other but not romantically. To be honest I never got that vibe from them in the first place and their interactions gave the feeling of a more platonic, sibling-like relationship rather than a romance.
This is a concept shot for now, I fell ill over Christmas and my immune system is battling both a cold and a particularly bad spider bite at the same time so I won't be writing often. Also my other stories are not axed, I will get to them eventually but at the moment I don't feel like writing anything in the Soulsborne universe.
I should also note that this simply can't be a retelling or novelization of XV, there is far too much that could still be revealed in DLC that some of us do not know, and I won't assume the reader has watched Kingsglaive or Brotherhood, this story will be written with the intent of not requiring knowledge outside of what the game itself gives you. It can't be a novelization because there is so much excess in XV; do I take into consideration the side quests, do I focus only on the main story, what do you want to see?
. . . . .
The battle was over.
Noctis Lucis Caelum, King of Kings and Chosen of Light, finally closed his eyes in rest, his cherished friend and wife Luna resting on his throne's arm.
"The sunlight feels good…" he thought, his consciousness fading. "I could use a long rest…"
King of Kings. It pains me to drag you from your deserved hearth. However I would speak with you.
The warmth vanished. Noctis snapped his eyes open. "Who's there? Show yourself!"
The throne room and Luna abruptly vanished, and he was standing in a dark void. Floating, almost, before a faint light began to light the darkness. It was about as helpful as shining a light into the deepest trench.
For a moment nothing happened. Then the darkness in front of him rippled and began moving. It shifted, becoming a fierce, warlike horse, a destrier if his history lessons were correct. A horse used by Niflheim knights about six hundred years ago. Black armor enclosed its neck and body.
The horse was massive, and Noctis himself was only as tall as a single limb. One of…six legs?
The horse's rider was equally imposing. The being seated atop this horse could only be described as kingly. His face was hidden behind an impassive mask cast in gold, and his eyes were like blue stars, a far cry from the humanlike eyes of the Six. A horned helm rested atop his head, the horns like a deer's antlers.
The knight's body was enclosed in equally grim and dark armor, a long, tattered black cape billowing in a nonexistent breeze. Sheathed on his hip was a glaive Noctis knew he would not be able to lift.
And all of this he only vaguely processed in the dim light as Noctis himself felt trapped under this being's gaze. He quailed at it in a way that he did not quail at Bahamut's presence. Something about this entity seemed profoundly off and all of his instincts told him to be wary around this knight.
"I am Odin, and I have descended to greet the King who gained the approval of five of mine fellows and the acknowledgement of a sixth," the knight rumbled.
"Odin…" Noctis murmured. "That's not a name I am familiar with."
"Of course it would not be. Only denizens of Niflheim offer me veneration," Odin spoke, although his mask did not move. "I preside over death. Violent death."
"Then you'd be Shiva's sibling?" Noctis asked, surprised. Shiva, even as Gentiana rarely spoke of other Astrals, which always begged the question of if the Six were the only ones, or were there as many Astrals as there were stars?
"Correct. She presides over a peaceful death, appearing before those who die from age. I appear before the champions who forge the foundations of human civilization. But I digress. I have collected the souls of your fellows."
At this Noctis's blood ran cold. "Wait, then-"
"The Kingsglaive is gone. Without a King to protect and serve they fell in battle, offering their lives and spilling their blood so you might fight the Usurper undisturbed. I have come to greet the man who commanded such valiant souls."
At this the joy he felt reunited with Luna, to finally properly speak to her, turned to ashes in his mouth. "Then… Gladio, Prompto and Ignis are gone…" Noctis bowed his head before realizing something. "Wait, then what about the rest of humanity?" Insomnia had become the heart of daemons, in essence; it was true Aranea, Cor, and Iris (Noctis still found himself bemused by the thought of sweet, innocent Iris, becoming a daemon slayer) protected humanity but there was only so much three people could do.
"The daemons will be exterminated, quell thine worry. However the damage has been done. Humanity has been dealt a blow it cannot recover from. Dawn breaks upon a dying world," Odin said, his voice dispassionate.
"I have to do something-!" Noctis said, panicked. His sacrifice, his father's sacrifice, his friends' sacrifices meant nothing if what the Astral said was true.
"What will you do, trapped in the afterlife? You have no mortal coil to return to, and I would not let you even if you tried," Odin said, his voice firm. Noctis's head shot up, about to challenge this god, before he continued. "…is what I would normally say. However, with humanity dying the Six's efforts will have been for nothing, and I have been plead to by Lord Bahamut himself to offer you this choice."
"A choice?" Noctis asked, confused.
"To return to the past, and save humanity," Odin responded simply. "King of Kings, your duty is fulfilled. You have no need to repeat your arduous journey. And fear not, you will reunite with your friends and family in the place beyond the sun," Odin reassured him. "Yet the Six would ask this favor of you: return to the day where it all began, and save humanity. The path you walked lead to dawn, certainly, but humanity and by extension the Six's protectorate is gone," he proclaimed, hand dropping to the glaive at his hip.
"How would I do that though, I couldn't change fate…" For all that everyone had put their faith in him, he simply couldn't see any way of avoiding what his destiny demanded of him. Noctis Lucis Caelum simply had to die, and that was something he eventually accepted. Yet...
"You can. Mine obsidian blade can sever the threads of fate; what must happen will no longer be required."
The implications of this statement were enormous. He could save everyone; Ravus, Luna, his father…! But he had gotten savvy with how the Astrals work. They would not offer their services to anyone freely.
"What must I do?" Noctis asked, his voice filling with determination.
"You would depart this paradise? Your just reward?" Odin asked, his voice still impassive but with a hint of curiosity.
"I can't rest in peace, knowing that I could save everyone, but choosing to do nothing. That is not what a King does," Noctis answered, his voice resolute.
Odin regarded him for a while, before his shining eyes turned crimson. "Very well. But know this; I am not omnipotent. I will only sever your thread. The threads of others will be unchanged. What must happen will happen. Yet you, unbound by fate, can change these threads."
He drew his glaive and raised it high. "I ask only that your path be walked of your own will. Break the shackles of fate. King of Kings, go with mine blessing and acknowledgement."
And then he swung the blade, and the darkness itself was split in two. Noctis felt blinding pain, before a deep darkness was all he knew.
. . . . .
A/N: I don't do two author's notes but the first one was a preface, these are the actual notes.
I can't write a gay or lesbian pairing as I don't actually know how to do one so Noctis's relationship with the Bros is purely platonic. And since I mentioned that Noctis and Luna had a more or less close but platonic relationship I also have to put down what he felt towards women he encountered in his journey. Again this is based off my experience, Noctis is an open character who can have differing personalities depending on how you answer in game choices.
Noct isn't the savviest guy when it comes to romance; he played along with Iris on the date because he feels comfortable around her. No he didn't recognize the crush and obliged her, inadvertently stringing her along. However he is aware of the Bro Code; you don't date your Bro's sister. Does that mean Iris is off the table when it comes to a romantic relationship with Noctis… well, we'll see. I wouldn't discount it however, five years difference is not too large but with that said there's no way this would happen before the World of Ruin.
With Luna, as I mentioned it's platonic. He's all right with the marriage because both of them were good friends and if you had to be in an arranged marriage at least go into one both of you are comfortable with. Noctis is also a prince so he acknowledges it's a fairly solid political move as well as it all right with that. The relationship between Noctis and Luna are basically two close friends "married" to each other; while they'll probably remain faithful to each other there isn't a reason to go through with the marriage in the present day because Tenebrae is gone and Insomnia is largely destroyed, unless you made Noctis truly love Luna.
As for Aranea, they got along very well. There is a mutual trust in battle between the two of them. She certainly seems to approve of Noctis moreso than the other bros. As for Noctis's feelings towards her, she is probably the one he is most physically attracted to. There may be some reciprocation depending on how you interpret Aranea's character; for all intents and purposes in this story she's at the very least interested in him.
I might consider adding Gentiana/Shiva as a possible love interest as well. Most of the pictures taken in my playthrough where she was in it had her looking or close to Noctis. Again though, this is a tall order, one does not simply date a goddess. Although that might be interesting (this one may or may not be serious).
What can I say, I made Noct have a thing for older women.
When I said that Noctis might have a harem he may have all of the above's affection, he might have one or two, it all depends on if and how I can work it realistically since XV prides itself on its realism.
This is technically a time travel story going back to Insomnia's fall, but for plot reasons I have to put some things out on the table.
The first being that he does not have access to the full Armiger; he completed it but because he is being returned to the past he has not collected them and as such he would not have access to them. However because he is acknowledged by Eos itself as the King of Kings, expect it to be significantly more powerful than what can normally be accessed.
The second is that he is not retaining the Astral's blessings; however he is restarting his journey with Odin's who will have plot relevance to the changes I will be making in this second journey. I mentioned that Noctis received the acknowledgement of a sixth; this is Ifrit. This may or may not play a plot point in the future.
Odin is a god of fate and violent death, as I mentioned; he is known as Ganglari in Niflheim, an ominous figure who appears before major, pivotal battles throughout the Empire's history. His presence varies between being a sign of good luck or an omen of ill future.
The third thing on the table is that he is retaining his power and skill otherwise; gamewise speaking he's level 70 something while the others have returned to their base level. He's King Noctis while the others are expecting Prince Noctis. Expect him to be called on this, and this won't be a rehashing of the story. There'll be immediate attempted changes.