Note de l'auteur
I say Hello! To other Lightis fans[LightningxNoctis) here. I want to welcome you all to my fanfiction that I have worked on in all purposes to please my inner-fangirl for my favorite Final Fantasy ship to date. I like this pairing, even though it's impossible, they're still hot.
I'm not big into crossovers, but I Loved (with a capital L) Lightning ever since I first played the game.
As for Noctis. Was in love with the man when I first saw him in [insert gasp here] 2006! I forgot about Final Fantasy Versus XIII for about two years when I returned at 2008 I was surprised it was still not out yet. Eventually, I finally played XIII and XIII-2 was about to come out, I became member of the Lightis ship. 2012 arrived and the game is still not out yet, so I started this.
I did my research concerning Versus Universe. Seen all trailers and read all Nomura/SE interviews and then some. I hope that by the time the game releases, a lot of the names I included in here are correct.
#1. WARNING: This following story may or may not have adult themes. I'm not going to warn every or any chapter about its content. Take this into consideration as you proceed.
#2. WARNING: Partly AU. Both Versus and XIII worlds are included in, as I've put them all under the same universe but on different worlds.
#3. WARNING: For the sake of this storyline, XIII-2 never happened. There are elements that cannot or can be found in here of it, but plot wise it has no existence. Even some factual events in Versus and XIII are altered.
#4. WARNING: Spoilers? It's not THAT much spoiling, but I will not be responsible for anything that you didn't want to prematurely know about the games.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything. This has been made purely by a fan for fans with no profits made what-so-ever. No copyrights infringement intended. All under 'Final Fantasy' rightfully belongs to © Square-Enix and its creators. This will apply for every chapter onwards.
And so my fantasy begins…
He missed her.
Her name was all he could think of. Her likeness was all he saw in front of his eyes. Her voice was all he heard between his ears. She was all he felt in his heart.
Stella, Stella, just Stella.
He could still feel how his hand would run through her hair and stroke the soft skin of her body. He could still smell her perfume in between his sheets. He could still hear her voice giggling his name. He could still remember the feel of her lips as she kissed his own.
His Stella. The love of his life. She was, and forever would be, perfection in his eyes.
How could one not want his Stella? Though she was his, no one would deny her. They couldn't. Not even him.
She told him how many suitors had offered and asked for her hand in marriage and how many times she refused. She rejected them all, because she was already in love with another.
It only took a couple of months of courtship before they were betrothed, but it was mere weeks before they first made love. And, like her, it was perfect.
The memory… it still hurts.
She was the future Mrs. Stella Caelum. The next queen consort and, upon announcing their engagement, she became Princess Stella Fleuret.
Her name resounding through him brought pain to his whole being.
His princess, his queen-to-be.
He used to think himself lucky. There weren't many monarchs in the course of history in the world that married purely out of love. Marriage, because of their stations in life, was simply a pure business matter; a preset arranged deal that would supposedly set both parties involved into some sort of content state.
But not his. His marriage would be because of love.
Or so he had liked to believe.
He recalled all the congratulations that were given to him like it was yesterday, and he received them with a thousand-watt smile. He was a man that didn't give his smiles freely, but whatever times he did, no one could take it off, even if they tried to beat it off his face. He possibly glowed like the sun on a beautiful summer morning.
His father, Regis Caelum King of Lucis, immediately approved of Stella. Even he gave a sincere smirk and told his son that he was a lucky man.
Because Stella Nox Fleuret was perfect.
In more ways than one, she was perfect. She was up for the task that laid out for her as the future Queen Caelum. She came from a long line of Fleurets, with blood almost as blue as Noctis's own. Her family had been the highest sort of nobility for centuries long and therefore were the founding fathers of Tenebrae. They were a neighboring country to Lucis and one of the few allies during the war. As such, her presence was easily accepted in Lucis.
And because she was born and raised as an aristocrat, it would have been easy; she was always a little princess in everything but the official title. She was already a lady; she already knew how to converse with others of high society, and how to flash a beautiful, political smile in front of the people and the media. Etiquette had been drilled into her since birth, so the only thing they possibly could have taught her as she was to step upon the throne as the queen, was how to properly wave to the citizens.
She had the looks of a queen as well. She was elegant in her own right; graceful and beautiful. She held her head high because she was proud to be a Fleuret, and proud to be his princess. She kept her back and shoulders straight, and yet all of it was so feminine and so gorgeous. She had a bedazzling smile that could entrance anyone, and long, wavy blonde hair that appeared to be like a blanket of stars at night, and rays of sunshine during the day. The number of times his fingers caressed through her hair while they were in bed, in his bedroom, contained within concealing walls, was uncountable.
She was what everyone wanted. And everything she said and did was flawless.
Too flawless, even...
It was all just part of her plan. Had he not ended her, she would have succeeded in completing it.
She betrayed them and her betrayal was cruel. Cruel to her family. Cruel to her future country, but most of all, cruel to him.
Ever since that day, he wondered every night if — up until the point that he figured it out — if all of it was staged. Was it all just a ploy? Did she love him like he had so truly loved her? Was it just her plan to use him as a tool? A foolish pawn in her grueling game?
His bitterness was harsh.
How could she? How in the world could she choose his family's crystal over him? He would have happily given her the world on a golden plate — a crystal plate if necessary—if it meant that she would have stayed by his side. He would have died for her. So how? Pray tell, how could she?
Noctis grunted. Already he could feel his eyes tinge a furious crimson.
He decided it would be best to conceal his eyes and thus his visible inner rage, lest he scare the servants around him.
Then again, why should he care? Better they see the blood-red of his anger than the tears of his pain. Both were unacceptable no matter how he looked at it.
The helpers were bustling hurriedly around the castle, as he sat in leisure on one of the royal seats in the Monarch Chamber, facing the very throne he must step onto soon, in the room where his coronation would begin.
The palace had to be pure. After the betrayal of Stella, the castle needed a 'cleansing'; His father's words, not his.
Any and everything that held the essence of the traitorous woman known as Stella Nox Fleuret needed to be erased. The curtains, the sheets, the candlesticks, any kind of other object that had 'N&S' either printed or engraved or embroidered in them had to go. Tapestries and boards were removed and replaced. Artifacts given by the Fleuret family or Tenebrae were to be destroyed. Her very memory had to be extinguished.
If one thought the palace was bad, the entirety of the kingdom was worse. Her name was slandered throughout the land. She was the high traitor. She was the thief. And worst of all, she was the witch who forced the prince in faux engagement.
Of all the accusations, that last one had not been true. The engagement was not false, nor did she bewitch her ex-fiancé. He truly did love her. He was head-over-heels in love with her like you hear in all those mushy love songs and see in those cliché rom-com flicks. And his proposal of marriage was as real as that of any other man in love.
And that's why she hurt him the most.
"Yo Noct!" Came the obnoxious voice of Prompto, snapping the prince out of his thoughts. Noctis had not seen his friends for days, almost weeks now. His mind was only filled with anything relating to Stella, and he just needed a break from everyone.
"Stop being so gloomy and get your ass over here!" The blond young man yelled over the bustling of the helpers through the Monarch Chambers, as he was standing, with Gladiolus on his side, who waved from the door's threshold at the other side of the room.
The simple black chair Noctis was occupying held his slumped form. "Why?" He called back, his voice a bit husky, but the deep timbre was not missed. "And go where?"
"Just outta here!" Prompto's head jerked towards the exit and the taller Gladiolus Amicitia, in his usual calmer demeanor, nodded. The calmness was deceiving; he was very much capable of being just as childish and annoying as Prompto.
Noctis would have taken that offer if he didn't know better that he'd end up somewhere he'd rather not be.
"Does it involve alcohol?" The Prince asked skeptically, not moving an inch from his seat.
The two men didn't move closer to him either, and so they called over the lot of servants walking around.
"Nope!" Prompto said simply, grinning, his tone barely containing his excitement at the prospect of getting their best friend some fresh air.
"Unless you want to that badly," Gladiolus added, grinning too, as he loved his alcohol.
"Does it involve trouble?"
"Not at all!" The blond shooter assured him.
"Unless you want to go look for it, that badly." Gladiolus shot again.
There was something they had in mind that Noctis wouldn't like. "Does it involve scantily clad women?"
Silence from their end. Noct should have known. "No."
"Aw, c'mon man, it'll be fun! It's time to just hang around. You're in the prime of your life. You should enjoy it." Prompto knew men twice the prince's age who would switch places with him any day. Youth truly was wasted on the young, or at least on Noctis...
"No." Noctis said again more firmly. He had enjoyed more than enough in his life.
But that was before Stella.
He barely remembered the man he was — he was a boy really, before he met Stella, that is. Oh, how she had changed him. For better or for worse, he had yet to find out.
The young Prompto sighed, Gladiolus slapped the younger boy on the back of his shoulder. "Told ya it wouldn't work."
"Pfft, that's because he's so boring. He's done nothing but mope around the place and make everyone depressed along with him for weeks now."
Some time after their adventure had ended and they had saved the kingdom, Prince Noctis changed. Noct was fun... in his own awkward way. Prompto looked up to him. He was the kind of guy the boy never thought he'd wanted to strive to be, but Noctis had that kind of effect on him regardless. But look at the future king now...
"It's all that Stella woman's fault." Promto wasn't supposed to murmur that out loud, so he was really glad that Noctis couldn't hear him. The speaking of Stella's name had been made strictly forbidden.
Gladiolus heard his words and they couldn't have been truer. "That's a man in love for ya," Glad whispered back.
"Huh?" Prompto gave the taller man a pointed look.
On the other side of the room, Noctis was just about to ask them what they were gossiping about like two schoolgirls, when a manservant was heading straight towards him. His uniform was differently than the rest of the helpers in the Monarch Chambers, and that only meant he was a servant of his father. A Nimphus.
"Excuse me, my Lord," The Nimphus bowed, his voice as toneless as possible as he excused himself. "Your father, His Majesty the King, has summoned you for an audience."
Noctis rose from his seat to his fittingly majestic height. He wasn't enormously tall by any means, but his height somehow fit a young king-to-be. "In his study, I presume?"
"Correct, Prince Noctis." The Nimphus were servants bound to those of the royal Caelum blood — one amongst a small handful of helpers whose purpose was to wait upon their sovereign master and only him — bowed at the hip swiftly. Once Noctis became king, their loyalty would be fully sworn to him, instead to his father.
Aware that his two friends were still standing a few feet away, he nodded to them in a gesture indicating that he would be leaving through the other door to meet with his father. In response, Gladiolus raised a lazy hand before taking Prompto by the collar and guiding him away.
"That much in love?" After the display of the King's servants coming to call for Noctis, Prompto resumed his question to his comrade.
"Yeah," Gladiolus sighed quietly as they stepped through the dark, archaic hallways of the Caelum castle. "That's what Noctis had been, before Stella Fleuret betrayed him." The way he said Stella's name was almost spiteful.
"He'd told you that?" Noctis was generally open about lots of things, and sure even he had his secrets, but he had his lips closed tight when it was about that woman.
"You could've read it from his whole persona."
"Oh, you could, could ya?" Prompto poked Gladiolus's rock-hard side, teasing. "You're a love doctor now?"
Gladiolus stopped them from walking any further and stared very serious at the blond. All fun and games had flown past them and out of the atmosphere.
"Listen, you may be a bit young for these things, kid, but let Noctis be a lesson to you. He was very much in love with the woman he had to kill. That kind of love… that could end a man. I'm sure he still loves her, even now, but is too hurt to let it go just yet. Women are vile creatures. They're able to get a man on his knees and make him forget who he is. Beware kid. Same thing might happen to you too."
Prompto gulped and already he could feel his brow starting to sweat. Was what Gladiolus said true? About a woman being capable of so much? Pfft, nah; he'd hardly believe that. He was Prompto Argentum for Etro's sake! Nothing — least of all a girlie — could break him. Besides, if these were the stages of grief, then Noctis was handling them all pretty well. And if Noct could, then—should the day arrive—he could too!
"Then, what about you?"
"Me?" Gladio pointed with his thumb to his chest. "Nah, I'm immune to the fatal charms women possess. The opposite sex and I have had their time together, but it's never been anything lasting. But, you, my friend, I'd advise you to beware."
Rue the day Prompto would hopelessly fall for anyone.
"Let's go and find Ignis and tell him to prepare a ride. We, Noct included, are going to blow some steam later in the mountains." Gladio decided to change the subject from the previous heavy topic. He could see that it would work on the younger man's nerves if they had kept it up.
His plan worked as Prompto cheered and pumped his fist in the air. "Boo-yeah, some awesome teamwork and epic monster extermination! Exactly what we need." At least it was better than his 'hit the strip joint' plan.
The Librarian Study Chamber.
It was not really meant for any king to make it an office, but Noctis's father favored this room above all the other libraries in the other wings of the palace. It was good to be out of the throne room, which was not only where he would be crowned within the next year, but was also where his wedding should have taken place, as well.
"I see the Fleuret traitor is still bothering your mind, Noctis."
The aged and deeper voice of his father startled him. He had been lost in thoughts again, as he often was these days and he very nearly hadn't even felt his father's presence.
"Don't call her that," He snapped, instantly feeling a burning lump in his throat and he was sure he couldn't breathe for a second there. Upon realizing this, he clenched his hands into fist and let his short nails bite into his skin, focusing on the minor sting to help him regain his composure.
Regis shot him a warning look that made the prince feel stupid. "Your eyes," he commented scoldingly.
Damn it. He really had to stop doing that, and this time he didn't even feel it.
Even dead and gone, she still affected him.
Noctis squared his jaw and stiffly asked, "Did you call for me or not?"
"Yes. We need to start discussing your future position. Also, I wanted to begin to educate you on some details. Such as the status of the city, as it is still in a bit of a state of chaos. However, it is improving: citizens have finally returned to their homes, the economic crisis seems to be seeing its last days and the questions about the crystal have begun to lessen."
Not this again. Noct has had this kind of conversation with his dad quite some times before this. He probably knew it by heart by now.
"But as a warning I want you to be careful. With your coronation, the months ahead are dangerous for you."
And how many times hasn't he heard that when speaking with his father? He always responded the same way: "I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself."
Indeed he was. If the king had any doubt about Noctis and his use of the ancestral crystal before, they were all proven wrong after the end of the war. He has proven himself to be quite worthy of the Caelum name.
By the time Noctis left his father's study, Ignis was leaning on the wall opposite to the door. He pushed up his glasses when he looked at Noctis.
"Yo." The prince greeted first.
"Hn. You better be in for a training session or else I've been standing here for a good half hour for nothing."
Noctis chuckled. He was well aware that he was in need of training. He hadn't had a good workout since a long while. "No, I'm in for a session. You've been sent here by Prompto and Gladiolus?" Something to take her off his mind.
Ignis led the way and his friend easily fell into step. "Try sent by only Gladiolus. Like that blond moron can send me anywhere to do anything."
"Not even if he asked nicely?"
"Not even if he were pleading on his knees."
The dark prince smirked and shook his head. Those two were unbelievable. "You have no heart."
Ignis could have retorted that Noct's own heart was too big, but he held that comment to himself. Their conversation was fine as it was, and he knew that the implications of such a reply would only darken the prince's mood; he was there to lift his spirits, not bring them back down.
While his outward facade wouldn't show it, Ignis Scientia had always been Noctis's rock amidst the raging currents ever since they were children. Being the same age, they grew up together, and so, along with Gladiolus, was one of the few people who knew the true Noctis. Not just the one that everyone else saw. Though in their childhood, it was Gladiolus who treated Noctis first as a friend instead of a prince—Ignis had originally been taught to address him properly. But after years of spending time with Noctis, he grew to be more of a friend. Though still to this very day, he—as the position he'd been born into required—wasn't as informal to Noctis as Gladiolus and, now Prompto, also are.
When it came to Stella Fleuret, they had to walk on eggshells around the prince. Every thought Ignis really had about her was wisely kept to himself, though he was sure even Noctis knew he had a very rude opinion about her. Nevertheless, he was most certainly not ready to hear it.
À M βR Ø T U ß
¡Aspicere oportet quidquid possis perderere!
"It hurt too much. I couldn't face it." ~ Lightning Farron
"If you give him a finger," Ignis resumed their conversation about Prompto. "He'd run away with the entirety of your shoulders, and would expect you to give your other arm as well."
The Caelum nodded his midnight black head, positively convinced that his friend was right.
The walk to the underground garage was uneventful. Adservio around stepped to the side as the pair bypassed them, trying to continue their work while simultaneously bowing to them to pay the prince their respects. Prompto was the only friend who wasn't used to such courtesies. The first few days in the Caelum castle had him stuttering and gasping. Their adventure together around the world made the blond nearly forget he was a royal prince and heir to the throne in the first place. But upon their return to the castle, there was a reminder of the awkward question that asked if Prompto, too, should show his friend the respect which was demanded by the rank of a prince.
If anything, Noctis wished nothing more than friends who acted normally around him and addressed him as a normal man; not as the future king. At least by his three friends, this wish was granted.
They arrived at his sleek, black personal car, and the two other men were already waiting for him, while leaning on the vehicle.
They joked around; Prompto being a bit too rough as he always was, but the tides turned when Gladiolus reciprocated his horseplay. Ignis was quiet behind the wheel while the two argued behind him. To Ignis's left was the prince brooding against the window.
Lost in himself yet again, he thought of how grateful he was to have his friends. They were normal, just like he asked for. It didn't always feel like that when Cole was around, though. He wasn't the kind of man who wanted a lot, but the one and only other thing he thought he truly wanted was forever gone.
They drove nearer to the mountains.
Her name brought an ache to his chest, but he couldn't stop thinking about her.
Stella. Stella. Stella. Stella.
Prompto was running about, screaming something about a monster's nest not too far from their current location.
Noctis craved for the action, the adrenaline rush. The feel of every muscle in his body working for survival.
Monsters sprung from every shadow.
The last time he truly pushed his body to the limit was his battle against Stella.
The heat of summoning his crystals rose.
She was so fierce for the petite flower she appeared to be. She was small with soft curves, with a body meant to wear an evening dress, not to be dodging sword strikes.
He remembered being so tired those days. Tired of running and fighting, and then running some more. Tired of fearing for his kingdom and of more fighting... Then Stella had to betray him, and the fact that he was the one who had to kill her left him broken.
Stella. Her eyes, the dark hue of violet blue was filled with so much torment as she was taking her last breaths.
It pained him. So, so much...
"Noctis, look out!"
He did not know who screamed. He couldn't make out the voice above the roar of the mature behemoth. He had been seeing Stella's eyes for far too long and he didn't keep up his shield. A beast got lucky, it had embedded its claws in Noctis's left arm before he killed it.
He had been so caught up in his heartache that he didn't even feel the physical pain at first.
Ignis grabbed him by his right shoulder and Prompto made his way through, clearing a path.
"We have to leave. You're losing a lot of blood."
Since when did a few scratches and a little blood stop any of them? There was nothing wrong with him.
"I'm fine," Noctis growled, pissed mostly at himself for getting wounded by an untrained low-level monster.
And he really was fine. He was a greatly skilled and highly trained fighter. What was this measly pain compared to other situations he had been in? Compared to what Stella put him through?
He swallowed thickly at the thought.
Should he be honest, he'd rather have had hundreds of behemoths tear him apart than ever again have Stella pain him.
"I know you are." Gladio glanced over his shoulder back to Noctis, who was half dragged away by Ignis. "That's why we're taking you away now, before it gets worse. Knowing you, you would just push on and continue."
Yeah, he would. The very reason he came here was to blow the scalding-hot steam out of his system. But the very thing he wanted to escape from made him lose his concentration and got him injured. And now he had to stop. Great.
All because of Stella.
It didn't take long before the castle was in uproar and within record time the media knew all about the event that had occurred at the mountain range.
Infernal people couldn't keep their mouths shut.
Noctis kept stressing that he was fine, regardless of his arm gushing blood like a freaking fountain and his father sending at least five medics to see to his recovery.
Bed rest for a week, was their advice.
As if he would be hold up inside his chambers for another hour! He didn't like his bed anymore. He didn't even like sleeping in it anymore. Her face haunted his dreams. Though the sheets embroidered with their insignia had been removed and destroyed, her presence continued to linger there. He could still see her lying in his bed beside him. Her naked shoulders peaking from the top of the blankets. The warm smile she greeted him with as he opened his eyes in the morning. He had always reveled in her warmth. Even now, he felt it.
The pain of losing her felt too real.
With an angry scoff he threw the blankets off him. His left shoulder hurt like a bitch, reminding him of his injury. Not that he needed the reminder; three slashes in the form of claws ran from his bicep down to his forearm. The gashes weren't deep though. At least, not anymore. Each of the five medics had their own elixir that healed him a bit better than the previous one. It didn't completely heal though. Nature had to take its course and he had to heal by himself.
He groaned and rolled his shoulder despite the pain. He could not afford to let the arm lose mobility because of some wound, no matter how much it hurt. He would endure it; he had been through worse, after all.
"What were you thinking?" King Regis Caelum raised his voice as loud as he could go without it qualifying that he was actually yelling in rage. Proper monarchs barely raised their voices, and they definitely didn't scream. They were expected and taught to keep to a certain level of composure, to never lose face.
Right now, though, in the confines of his father's chambers, Noctis could tell how badly he wanted to let loose and yell at him.
"What are you talking about?" Noctis was actually not playing dumb. After the whole Stella affair and the official end of the war, they had not talked about any of what had happened. His father could have been pointing to any of the situations in which he acted foolishly.
"You know exactly what I am talking about. That foolish decision of yours to do what you did yesterday? And those boys were no hair better!"
"We were training, dad. You know how it's like."
"Training? That is why we have the base below. To train there. Not in unsupervised mountains where Etro knows what kind of creatures are crawling."
"Expelling those creatures are the best kind of training, old man. We do not have those kinds in the base."
"You call those the best kind? You should be lucky that the monster did not completely tear off your arm. What if it had truly grasped an opportunity to do so?"
The prince did not want to say that he had his guard down because he was distracted by thoughts of Stella Fleuret. That'd not only bring a lecture of how he shamed his ancestors for such stupidity, but also a conversation about Stella following it. He wasn't ready to discuss that matter at all. He'd rather leave that can of worms closed, thank you very much.
"The purpose of going was because weeks have passed since I've last trained. Forgive me?"
"Very well. But do not go there again, agreed?"
Noctis really had nothing to fear in terms of his father butting into his personal life, actually. Regis was not a man who spoke of private troubles, and he did not weasel his way into business that was not his own. Not even if it was his son's. Conversations with him were political and superficial at best these days. They had been able to confide much more into each other when Noct was little. But things had been this way ever since his mother's death.
His non-intrusive character made him the kind of father who wouldn't be the first to talk about Stella. He knew how important she was to the prince and what the betrayal did to him. They had spoken here and there of what her plan had been all along, what she could have accomplished. But the brutal tearing of the prince's feelings caused by what she did had never been discussed.
That was a private matter. And the king did not meddle in such.
Cameras flashed when Prince Caelum took his first step onto the raised stage. The coronation announcement was about to take place. Everyone knew he was going to be king some day. A lot of people knew he was going to be king soon. But only few people knew precisely when.
This was his conference to the press about it. It was to be a great event where he would stand in Square Venatio in the middle of the Crown City, in front of his people with what seemed to be millions of cameras all focused on him, while he'd have to give a long ass speech that even he thought was boring.
But it was to be expected. And as one of his first personal goals before becoming king, he had to prepare himself.
That afternoon in the palace had been chaos. Clothing designers from far and wide came to show him their suits, just so he could wear one of them on the conference. He acted like he was seriously contemplating which one he would chose, before randomly picking one from the right.
It was a blue suit/white dress shirt/red tie combination. He didn't care. He only wanted the commotion of designers to be over with.
The citizens — thousands of them — gathered on Square Venatio to witness his announcement. They called his name, 'Prince Noctis' over and over again, chanting it enthusiastically. Flags and banners with the Caelum insignia of the Reaper was waved in all the thousands of hands holding each and every one of them. Children sat on their fathers' shoulders to see the future sovereign better.
Noctis, however, felt isolated without his friends near. They were not allowed to be on the stage with him, but they assured him earlier that they would in the crowds. Despite their promise, he couldn't see them.
His mouth was dry as he looked up the ten or so microphones propped up on the stand at the same level as his lips.
He just stared at the public for a few seconds. His blue gaze had them quieting down on their own before he could utter a word.
"Good evening, people of Lucis!"
The people cheered, shortly.
"I am honoured you are here to take time to listen to my precious words. For years I have known nothing more than being an heir. But with the celebration of peace, I knew I was ready. I would like to share with you all, that today, a year from now, I would take the honour, the privilege and duty as your new king."
The people went wild. They cheered because a new king always meant new hope for the coming decades.
Noctis continued. "The war has taken a lot out of us. Pain and suffering for long, cold years was what, at a certain point, all that we knew of. I know your suffering. I went through that pain."
And worse pains: Stella Fleuret.
"I have fought battle after battle with the liberation of Lucis in mind. With my comrades, I fought for freedom. For your freedom. For our freedom. Victory has been gracious enough to be on our side and now I strive to give the next generation and beyond a brighter future as your king.
"With the gods above us, may they protect the kingdom of Lucis and bless you all. Thank you."
The crowd cheered vehemently. All waved and applauded and threw fists in the air, shouting his name.
The reporters tossed questions at him left and right while he softly smiled to his people and waved in return. He was not to take questions but that didn't mean he didn't hear them.
"Are we now allies with all the neighboring countries?"
"How much have you sacrificed in the name of our kingdom?"
"Now that the war is over, will the crises be over as well?"
"Will taxes be lower now that supporting an army is unnecessary?"
"Is trading with the neighboring countries still illegal?"
"Is it safe for citizens of Accordo and Tenebrae to travel up to this kingdom?"
That particular question seemed to spike up the interests of the reporters into whole other sorts of questions.
"Now that Lady Fleuret is no more, will you take a new bride?"
"Are you in search of a new future queen after the disappointment of Fleuret in order to have an heir?"
"Will we expect another engagement soon?"
"Is it true Stella Fleuret seduced you for personal gain?"
"Were Fleuret still alive, would she have been executed for high treason, theft and murder, or would she have been jailed?"
"Is there a new princess on your mind?"
"Stella Fleuret, a witch of an evil house?"
"Are the Fleurets banned from Lucis forever?"
He should have completely tuned them out. They were so close to him, shooting questions he didn't want to face but he heard them all.
The lump formed in his throat again whenever his emotions got the best of him regarding Stella.
In the heat of the moment, however, his senses alarmed him, ringing him awake just in time so his crystal shield was up before three bullets – two aimed at his heart and one for in between his eyes – were shot from nowhere.
The bullets froze mid-air, an inch from his person, before they fell down as worthless coins.
The extremely loud echo of a gunshot rang through the square and people started screaming. There had been an attempt at ending the life of the prince and men and women alike quickly panicked.
What should have been a cheerful event rapidly turned into out-of-control chaos. Woman hollered, children cried and everyone ran into a frenzy in every direction. Crowds like this ran over people who had fallen and literally stampeding them in their haste to escape.
Noctis looked over every skyscraper around him, checking if he could see movement from the direction the bullets came from. He was ready to protect his citizens anytime. Unfortunately, the security guards around him—which would normally have been discharged with a simple snap of the fingers—came and dragged him away. He struggled from between the five big muscled men trying to get him off the stage.
"Excuse us, Prince Noctis, Your Highness," One of the men said lowly in his ear. "But right now we're obliged to set an example as your security. Your safety is our priority now."
Not one to admit it, but the man had a point, so Noctis let them move him directly to his car that held his driver, Argus.
As they were well on their way from Square Venatio, Argus saw through his rearview mirror the solemn look on the future monarch's face. In vain, he tried to cheer him up. "Excellent speech, Prince Noctis." He complimented. "You had the people eating out of the palm of your hand."
The Caelum prince gave a distracted nod. His gaze was stuck in the dimly lit streets of Insomnia. The streets were still crowded and many stared at the fancy car with tinted windows.
"You should be rejoicing of how positively the people reacted to you, Prince."
Yes. He was happy with how the people cheered and clapped for him. But the ending was an absolute disaster to him... and he didn't mean the shooting. The excruciating questions the reporters kept asking, tugged at the inner strings of his heart, and one wouldn't believe how much it hurt.
Stella Fleuret. What have you done to me?
...into a new future...
Aliases until further notice:
(further notice has arrived! These names weren't going to linger long anyway, so I told myself I was gonna change it all when their actual names were released. I'll leave this note right here so should any newcomer come around and wonder what the names was that I chose for them were, they could still read it if they are interested enough, though I doubt anyone really cares. But cheers to Nomura finally revealing his sexy shit.)
Gladiolus von Kirschenbaum [Means "Flower of the cherry tree"]
Prompto Highwind [Means "Fast high wind"]
Ignis Aurelius [Means "Fire golden/the golden one"]
Argus, the driver seen in trailer.
King Julius Caelum – There was a name 'Lucis' dropped in one of the trailers. I did not know if they were referring to Noctis's father or a possible uncle. But I stuck with Julius. [And we all know it's King Regis now]
About the Caelum 'Hawk' insignia. I've studied those damn trailers of Versus till my eyeballs bled. (Though they healed up whenever I saw the pretty pretty face of Nocty-poo) And y'all clearly remember those little poles that blocked Noctis's car from proceeding before driver (Argus haha XD) typed in his key code? Well, the poles are little statues of a bird. I do not know which bird though. I chose a Hawk, because that's what friends decided that it would be. I didn't know if I should take that or an Eagle or whatever.
Second clue to the insignia: When Noctis and entourage are staring at that smoking cathedral building thingy, on Noctis's clothes, on his back, was the same type of bird silhouette pressed in the material. – Yes, this is how close I've looked for details. So there.
Nifelheim – Noctis's kingdom. Mentioned in the trailer. [Which is Lucis!]
Nihilsomnus – I think one of the neighboring countries which Nifelheim has war with. Mentioned in the trailer.
Fin note de l'auteur
And… That's a wrap!
You've seen that Stella was engaged to Noctis and even called princess. No Lightning yet, and I'm not gonna tell when she'll arrive here. You may guess.
As for Noctis, a lot of misery on his part. Stella betrayed him, I think it's clear how and why she did it. That little mofo.
I have no problems against Stella. In fact, before I even played XIII, I was sorta into Nutella[NoctisxStella] before I met Lightning. Because I wanted Noctis with a lady, and Stella was available, (back then what I assumed,) I paired them. But Lightning is such goddess, and when I thought closely about how beautiful Lightning and Noctis would look together, I became a sailor of the Lightis ship and a mutineer to Stellis.
I wanted Lightning with someone. And no one in her game seemed to cut it. Or even in the sequel. Though Lightning stands amazing on her own, independently of a man, Noctis however would look great with Lightning.
I'll be looking forward to the next chapter. Like the French say; L'art est long, la vie est courte.
¡Always appreciate that what you could lose!