"Prom, what's your favourite colour?"
Everybody in the Regalia turned their attention to the Prince that they had assumed was sleeping. Ignis glanced into the rear-view mirror, Gladio raised his head from his well-worn book, and Prompto twisted in his seat. Noctis' eyes were lightly closed, his expression peaceful, as he rested his chin on one palm, leaning heavily against the rear door of the Regalia. In the muggy, dry heat, the convertible roof was down, and a pleasing, if warm breeze, was buffeting them all as they sped along an uneventful highway.
"You mean you don't know?" the blond chuckled, grinning back at his best friend, who was smirking. "I'm disappointed, dude."
"No, I don't know. You don't know mine, either."
"Why do you wanna know?"
"No reason," Noctis shrugged vaguely, his eyes still closed.
"Man, you are totally up to something," Prompto reprimanded fondly, and Gladio snorted in agreement, going back to his book. "I like bluey-green, you know? Like the sea," Prom grinned.
And with that, the brief conversation seemed to be over. Chuckling to himself, Prompto turned back in his sun-warmed leather seat to face the open road ahead, whilst Noctis snuggled himself more comfortably against the door, letting out a sleepy sigh.
When they arrived at Hammerhead, Noctis seemed disturbingly awake, with a curious intensity on his face. He casually skulked out of the car and proceeded to fill the gas tank, scratching distractedly at the slight sunburn that was irritating his pale cheeks and the bridge of his nose. He saw Gladio and Ignis get out to stretch their legs, chatting away and heading in the direction of the diner for cold drinks.
Prompto sidled up to him, fidgeting with his wristband and clearing his throat as he leaned in close.
"Hey…you wanna…go for a walk or something?"
Noctis smirked, and narrowed his indigo eyes at him. "You mean, 'do you wanna go make out?'" he murmured.
Blushing, but glad that Noctis had gotten the hint, Prom nodded, biting his bottom lip. "Missed ya."
The Prince was tempted to tease him, but he couldn't help but agree. Since they had left Galdin Quay two days ago, there had been precious little opportunity for them to spend any private time together, as the last two nights on the road had involved camping, and daylight hours were packed with foraging, fighting and fishing.
With Prompto sighing in his sleep and warm and wriggly in his arms, yet unable to do anything about it, Noctis now had yet another reason to dislike the four-person tent and their sojourns under the stars.
Noctis shrugged instead. "…Thought you'd wanna see Cindy while we're here," he said with ostensible calmness but a distinctly bitter tone. The fact of the blond's crush on the female mechanic had been a sore spot for Noct ever since the very beginning of their trip, long before he and Prompto had made their feelings for each other known.
"C'mon Noct, don't start that again," Prom whined. "You know that wasn't serious."
"Hm." Noctis shrugged ambiguously. "…Kay, gimme a minute. I've got something I need to do first. Come with me," he instructed, beckoning the photographer towards the garage after he had slotted the gas pump back into place. Feeling faintly, instinctively worried, Prompto trotted after him, both of them wincing against the stark, hot setting sun that burned the cluttered forecourt.
Knuckling sweat from his hairline, Noctis approached the lofty garage, relieved at the cool shade that drenched them as they both crossed the threshold.
"Hey, Cindy?" Noctis called to the buxom blonde, who was tinkering with something large, metallic and oily upon a scarred workbench.
She looked up with a sweet, bright smile, a smudge of dirt on her nose. "Oh hey, boys! What can I do ya for today?" She wiped her hands on a rag on the workbench, and approached them with swaying hips.
"I wanna paint the Regalia."
"Again?" She chuckled. "Well sure thing, honey. What coat d'ya fancy?"
Noctis glanced at Prompto, who looked supremely uncomfortable and hadn't said a word.
"Uh…bluey-green. Like the sea," the Prince told her.
"Hm…now let me see, that'd be the Bright Emerald," she nodded, fetching him a glossy printed card from a drawer and pointing it out to him. "What do ya think?"
"Prom?" Noctis insisted, nudging his best friend. "It's for you after all."
The blond's face was a picture, strained and red, the shade of his skin making his cobalt eyes appear especially blue in contrast. He swallowed noisily before stuttering. "I…it's…really pretty, Noct. But I-"
"We'll take it," Noct told her firmly.
"Sure thing, handsome. Hang around, I'll be as quick as I can."
"Come on, Prom. Let's go hang around," Noct drawled, giving Prompto his most shameless, predatory stare and slightly vampiric grin.
"I…uh…right," the blond muttered feebly, yelping as he was given a sharp slap on the backside before being ushered from the cool, oily-smelling garage and back onto the dusty, baking forecourt.