You have: seven new messages.
"Hey son, it's your old man, here. I'm just calling to ask if you needed anything - it hasn't been long since you moved into that old shitty place, and I was thinking that by now it must've-"
"Prompto, why aren't you answering your phone? I know it's in your hand 24/7, so there's no reason that I should be going to voicemail - you know I haven't gotten the hang of texting yet-"
"Hey boyo, it's me. I've been thinking. Maybe you moving out wasn't such a good idea. I know you're not a teenager anymore, but you're still in your early twenties, and kids that age are still-"
Prompto clicks off his phone, shoving it into his back pocket and proceeding to roll over and smother his face into his flat, weirdly shaped pillow. The cheap mattress springs squeak as his wiggles around, trying to get comfortable, but it's almost impossible with the bed being so cheap. Maybe getting this bed at a garage sale wasn't the best idea. Even if it did seem like a good deal at the time.
His phone vibrates in his pocket, and he reaches back to pull it out, blinking blearily at the screen. He groans when he reads the screen. Just another stupid email about his rent being late. Like he doesn't already know that.
Don't landlords have anything else to do other than send stupid emails? Especially since this landlord is being extra shitty by deciding to increase the rent by three hundred bucks - three hundred bucks Prompto does not have and does not want to ask his uncle for.
He rubs a hand over his face before rolling onto his back and staring at the cracked ceiling that looks like it's about to cave in any second. Honestly at this point, he hopes that it does.
Life isn't going as great as he hoped it would when he had decided to bypass college and go straight into photography, going after some 'dream' that he's had ever since he was a pudgy loser in the fifth grade. If he'd known that he would be living in some shitty apartment with some shitty job that can barely help his pay his rent, then maybe he would've considered going into debt at university. At least he would've been in debt with a decent place to live.
Taking a black and white photo of a lawn chair won’t pay the bills, Prompto. Get your head out of your ass and make an adult decision.
Well, shit. Maybe he should've listened.
It had taken a lot of begging and pleading for his uncle to finally relent and let him get a place of his own. His uncle had put down the deposit, helped Prompto gather a few things, stayed a while, and then went on his way. Prompto couldn't help but notice the way his uncle kept looking back over his shoulder at him, like he didn't want to leave Prompto in this shithole apartment.
Then came the phone calls. They weren’t everyday or anything crazy. Just enough to get on Prompto’s nerves.
It was always something - asking about his rent, asking about his job, asking if he was sure that he really wanted to live on his own - after a while, Prompto quit answering.
He gets it, he really does. His uncle is the only family he has left. Sometimes he wants to pick up the phone and call him up too if he didn't think that his uncle would grill his ass about his life choices.
His phone vibrates again, the email notification popping back up again like a notification usually does when you don't open it after two minutes.
Fuck. He has no idea what to do next. He can't afford to pay three hundred dollars more for rent per month - especially when the apartment isn't even worth the extra amount - and he sure as hell does not want to go back to crash at his uncle's house.
He grabs his phone again, swiping past the email and tapping on the search engine app as he holds his phone above his face. 'What should I do if I don’t have my shit together and how do I fool people into thinking that I do?’
Prompto stares blankly into his phone that he holds above his face, biting his lip as he scans the links. This is a terrible idea. Has he really stooped so low?
His phone suddenly slips from his fingers, the bulky corner of the old, worn out phone case smacking right onto his face and onto his nose. Pain erupts across the bridge of his nose, and for a second he considers just laying there and suffering. Serves him right for googling how to get his life together with one of those clunky, 5 year old phone models above his face because he can't afford any of the new shit that has come out.
His nose throbs, and he feels the tiny trickle of what feels like blood, so he groans and he gets up off his sorry ass to assess the damage.
A pretty noticeable nick to his nose that’s starting to turn red around the edges stares back at him; he winces as he pokes at it and swipes away the little bead of blood. He applies some ointment to it anyway, and flips off the light and climbs back into bed, kicking at the boxes in the corner as he passes by.
He wriggles around until he’s comfortable, and picks up his phone to continue his little pity party, when he notices a page loading that he doesn’t remember looking at. Huh, he must’ve accidentally clicked the link when he dropped this cinderblock on his face – his nose throbs painfully in response.
When the link finally loads, Prompto raises his eyebrows in surprise. Apparently, there’s some event going on near the beach, at Galdin Quay, and tomorrow is the last day. It’s cliff-diving, something he’s never done before. He scrolls through the rest of the page, and his jaw nearly drops to the floor at the entry fee – yup, way more numbers that he currently has in his bank account.
His phone suddenly vibrates again, his uncle's name flashing across the screen, and he takes a deep breath before he swipes and accepts the call. He should probably answer some of his uncle's calls before the man shows up at his porch.
“Hi Uncle Cor." He clears his dry throat a little.
“Hey son." Prompto can hear the television in the background, the telltale tune of the I Love Lucy show that his uncle takes to watching over and over again. He suddenly really misses him at the moment. “How’re things? You and that boy doing okay?”
Prompto swallows. Somewhere among the awkward phone calls between he and his uncle, Prompto might have let it slip out that...he had a boyfriend. Like, a real boyfriend. A person. With skin and bones and everything.
It had been some last ditch effort to keep up the "nah, I'm doing fine, I'm a real adult, doing adult things!" charade he was currently playing, and it sorta worked for a little while. But suddenly it feels like the world's stupidest idea ever.
His uncle had been surprised, to say the least - not that Prompto had a boyfriend, because they'd crossed that bridge a long time ago.
He's really glad that he’s alone in his room in the dark and that his uncle can’t see how much he resembles a ripe tomato.
“Heh, uh yeah, we’re doing okay! Don’t worry about us.”
“You sure? You sound kind of…distracted about something,” Cor replies, and Prompto tightens his hold around his phone. His eyes dart over to the boxes that he has packed away in the corner of the room, ready to be moved and settled into a new apartment. Hopefully.
“W-well uh, actually I was packing.”
“Packing? Where are you going?”
Shit. This isn't going where he wants it to. He tries to get his uncle off the topic, anything to not to get to that point where his uncle is going to ask about his living situation, and his mind flashes to the cliff-diving page that he’d been looking at a few minutes ago.
There’s a pause. “Cliff-diving?”
Prompto should really just come out and say it, that he’s single and he needs a place to crash until he’s back on his feet again, it would really help him out a lot – “Yeah! Sounds fun right?”
“I suppose,” Cor sounds amused. “Maybe I should tag along? It’d be the perfect chance for me to meet this boyfriend of yours, you know the one I haven't even met yet?”
Well, this is it. Prompto is officially screwed, and then in a few days he’ll be screwed and homeless. His opens his mouth to say something, anything, but he stutters when the words finally slip out. “Uh, I-I don’t think that’s a good idea-“
“Of course it’s a good idea, I haven’t seen you in so long,” Cor interrupts, and it’s obvious that he’s playing along. Which is not a good thing. Definitely not a good thing. “Don’t you think?”
“Then it’s settled. Tomorrow.”
He hangs up, and all Prompto can do is just dramatically roll over onto his bed and scream pathetically into the thin duvet, because tomorrow is going to be one shit day.
Why the hell does the beach look so beautiful on the day that Prompto is supposed to be digging his own grave?
He glares menacingly at the crystal blue waves and the soft sand between his toes. Children are laughing in the water, splashing each other, building sand castles. Families are having picnics, laughing and smiling. A volleyball game is going on the far-left side of the beach.
At least his uncle isn’t here yet. The sun is almost in the center of the sky, meaning it won’t be long until lunchtime. He sighs – he knows that his uncle won’t kill him, but he’ll be very disappointed, and fuck that’s probably worse in his opinion.
Prompto walks aimlessly through the soft sand, letting the sun’s rays warm his back. He’s not going anywhere in particular, but he’s also not paying attention.
Suddenly, something smacks into the right side of his head, knocking his head to the left and causing him to stumble into the sand as he lets out a cry of surprise. A volleyball is rolling through the sand near his knees, and he glances up to see a group of people staring at him, a net between them. One of them is standing with their arms crossed, smirking.
Rubbing at the throbbing spot above his ear, he’s about to reach for the volleyball that had attacked him when he hears footsteps treading towards him. He looks up, blinking in the harsh sunlight.
“Hey, sorry about that. That’s the second ball I’ve had to replace. Probably shouldn’t have been standing there, huh?”
The voice has a smooth, yet rough edge to it, and honestly that's a point in Prompto's book. He squints, trying to see the person's face, but the sun is making it very difficult right now.
"Uh, yeah. I guess so. Sorry." His face heats up despite the scalding heat of the sunny day as he climbs shakily to his feet. He dusts the sand off his shorts.
"I think I'm right, in this particular situation. You should've been watching where you were going." The voice says, a little condescendingly, and Prompto feels a snark remark right on the tip of his tongue in response.
Okay, so maybe this dude was right on some level, because he should've been watching where he was going, but the guy didn't have to be an asshole about it. Prompto wasn’t about to take any shit today.
But then he looks up, and their eyes meet. Violet eyes meet azure. Suddenly, the crashing of the waves, the laughter of the children, and the squawks of the seagulls as they fight over a french fry in the sand - all of that fades away.
The guy in front of him is...incredibly handsome. His hair, spiked and mussed from the breeze, is so black that it almost looks blue. A few strands rest above his eyes. His body is somewhat pale, despite the heat of the day.
Prompto can't describe the look in his eyes. They stare at each other for a few seconds more, before the other guy blinks, crossing his arms and smirking.
The smirk, looking so good on his face, catches Prompto off guard, and he blushes even further. The guy cocks a hip, and for some reason, the mood shifts.
Suddenly Prompto feels like a fourteen year old freshman girl being hit on by a senior in high school. This guy knows that he looks good, and is amused at Prompto's obvious fluster.
Prompto scoffs, kicking the volleyball towards the guy so that it taps at his bare feet and settles down in the sand.
“Maybe you should learn how to handle your balls dude." His heart leaps in victory at the stunned expression that flashes across the guy’s face for a split second. He notices movement behind him, and two figures are standing by the volleyball net, as if they're waiting for this guy to get the ball so they can finish playing.
One of them has dirty blonde spiky hair with glasses that look like they turn into sunglasses outside, wearing swim trunks and a white t-shirt. The other has sunglasses on as well, with dark hair that reaches his shoulders and a tight, long sleeve black shirt that seems like it was meant for surfing. He's wearing swim trunks, as well. Prompto doesn't know why he's studying them so much.
The guy in front of him suddenly composes himself quickly, lets his face returns back to its cocky smirk, before he shifts onto his other hip. “By the look you just gave me a few minutes ago, it looks like you’d rather do it yourself."
Prompto feels his heart leap up into his throat, and he opens his mouth weakly to protest -
“Attention! All cliff-diving participants, please make your way towards the checkpoint!” A voice echoes across the beach, and Prompto's ears perk up. Cliff-diving. That's what he was here to do, right? Right.
He glances back, noticing a few people heading towards the area where someone with a big megaphone is waving and guiding the guests towards the sign-in area.
When he turns around, the guys eyes are slightly unfocused - and for some reason, it gives Prompto the confidence boost he needs to step froward and reach out, laying a hand on the guys shoulder.
The touch of their skin is somewhat electric, but Prompto shakes it off due to the thought of the heat of the sun beating down on them. He's honestly trying not to freak out, and this confidence boost is wearing off fast.
“I’d better go, I got a cliff to go dive off of, but hey, it was nice meeting you.” He winks, before quickly turning in the sand and jogging away.
He nearly gnaws his lip off as he jogs, his heart racing beneath his tank top as he makes his way towards the checkpoint. His hands are trembling from the adrenaline, and he runs faster, trying to loosen up.
Where had that cockiness come from? He’s never had that sort of confidence in his life, much less in front of a hot guy. He shakes his head, following the group of people up the hill after storing his belongings away in a little storage cubby provided. He's pretty sure there's a line for the entry fee but somehow no one sees him as he makes his way up.
He’s so caught up in his own head that he doesn’t realize how fucking high up he is. When and how the hell did he get here? Why is he doing this? Is he uncle here yet to bury him? He looks down at the coastline, and swallows back the curl of nausea at the sight of the ants down there. But they aren’t ants, they’re people because he’s so high up and-
“Hey buddy! I’m not getting any younger over here!” A few people begin to yell at him, annoyed at his frozen state on the edge of the cliff. He looks behind him, noticing the line that has formed while he was here hyperventilating.
He shakes his head, fuck this, fuck everything –
As he turns around, intent on running past everyone so that they can’t see the rosiness of his cheeks from embarrassment and the tears in his eyes from fear, his bare foot slips on the rocky edge, and before he knows it he’s falling.
Fleetingly, Prompto thinks he’s too young to die; sure he’s joked about death before (unironically), but now that it’s actually happening, he’s terrified.
He can’t muster up the strength to scream, or to even open his eyes, the pressure is so strong. He can’t even maneuver his body into a position that would somewhat allow him not to break his fucking neck. He can feel his neck snap hard against his chest as he outright plows into the water, and he can feel himself sinking.
He closes his eyes.
Water gushes up his throat and out of his mouth, sloshing back onto his face as he struggles to breathe. He feels hands on his shoulders, turning him onto his side, and it helps - more water rushes back up, the puddle growing beneath him as hacks up more salt water. His hands are scrabbling around in panic, clutching at the sand, at his drenched shorts, at the hands still on his shoulders - he shifts, fingers grasping onto forearms and taking deep breaths.
He blinks, and looks around.
It looks as if the entire beach is surrounding him, staring at him. A few people are even recording, to his utter embarrassment, and he lets his head hang, defeated.
“So, how fun was that? Wanna do it again?” A voice says, and a few people in the crowd smother a chuckle, and Prompto just wishes for the ground to open and swallow him up.
It’s the same voice, the same gravelly voice that has Prompto’s heart beating into overdrive; timidly, he looks up, and sure enough it’s that hot dude, onyx hair wet and plastered against his face and neck. Water droplets hang from his thick eyelashes, and some even cascade down his chest. A thought passes through his head - is this really the time for the guy to be showing off? Worse, he still has the guys arms in his death grip, and he yanks his hands away, face burning. The guy doesn't seem to care, though.
Once he’s assured everyone that he’s fine, the crowd starts to dissipate. A few linger, but it’s obvious that everyone is starting to go back to what they were doing before. He runs his hand through his hair, which is sopping wet and hanging in his face. He turns to look at the guy tiredly.
Before he can open his mouth to speak, he hears his named being shouted, everyone turning to look as his uncle runs as fast as he can through the sand before landing in a huff beside him.
“Prompto! Are you okay? Why didn’t you wait for me? I didn’t think you would actually do it-“
“I’m okay,” Prompto interrupts. His head is starting to hurt, and he rubs at his temples. “I’m just lucky I washed up on shore, I guess.”
“Washed up on shore?” Prompto almost jumps out of his skin, because he forgot that it wasn’t just him and his uncle here. The guy kneels closer to Prompto’s face, looking into his eyes. “Everyone saw you fall. When you hit the water, you didn’t come up. So I went and got you.”
“You-" Prompto points at him, dumbfounded as the guy smirks back in response. “Saved me? Why would you do that?”
Before he can get a response, his uncle grabs him by the arm roughly. “Prompto, if this was some stunt to prove to me that you actually have a boyfriend, then-”
“No! No, it’s not,” Prompto nearly shouts, because the guy is still sitting next to him, watching their conversation. “I just…wanted to have some fun?” He cracks a smile, trying to lighten the mood. His uncle shakes his head.
“Next time you wanna have some ‘fun’, how about you stay on the ground, huh?”
“Duly noted,” Prompto chuckles, but it turns into a coughing fit. Cor worriedly helps him to his feet, pulling a water bottle from his bag and handing it to him. Then he looks past Prompto’s shoulder. “Thank you for saving my nephew. How can I thank you?”
Prompto looks back unwillingly, because the guy is still standing there. He has a calculated look on his face, and Prompto’s gut drops because he can feel that whatever comes out of this dude’s mouth isn’t gonna be good. He cracks open the water and takes a huge mouthful.
“How about your nephew’s hand in marriage?”
Prompto immediately begins choking, the water going down the wrong pipe and some up his nose. He splutters, hacking and coughing until he’s red in the face. He stares incredulously at the guy, and a look to his right shows the exact same look on his uncle’s face. He turns to him.
“You know him?” he asks, and Prompto tries to answer, but his throat is burning and he goes through another coughing fit.
“Of course he knows me." The guy steps forward to interlace his fingers with Prompto’s. “I’m his boyfriend Noctis, and maybe his fiancé, if you give us your blessing, sir.”
Cor opens his mouth to no doubt ask the same thing Prompto is thinking, but Prompto beats him to it.
“Wait wait wait. Fiancé?! Who the hell-?” He tries to tug his hand away, but the grip tightens.
He looks towards his uncle, flashing him a small smile. “Excuse us.” He tugs hard and leads Noctis into a secluded cave nearby, and snatches his hand away.
"Noctis. You can call me Noct."
Prompto gives him an exasperated look. Is this asshole really interrupting him?
"Noct, whatever," he says, watching the subtle smirk Noct gives him as he cocks his hip. "What the fuck. Why did you say all that-?”
Prompto takes a step back. “W-what?”
Noct takes a step forward. “For one month. Please, pretend that we’re married.”
Prompto is completely confused, and he’s staring at this guy he’s known for literally thirty minutes. Thirty minutes! He can’t form a coherent sentence at the firm look in Noct’s eyes, but he manages one word. “Why?”
“You owe me,” Noct replies, simple as that. “I saved your life.”
“That doesn’t mean I have to marry you!”
“Hey, I said pretend.”
“That’s not the point!” Prompto shouts, and he lowers his voice at the curious glances of onlookers. “Why can’t you just ask someone else?”
Noct shrugs, looking away. Obvious that he’s doesn’t want to go into much detail. “I heard what your uncle said. You told him you had a boyfriend, but you really don’t, right? That’s where I come in.”
Prompto had to admit that he kinda-sorta liked the idea of that, but he shakes his head. “No, I can’t do this. I’m already at my wits end here, with my job and my place-“
“You don’t have to worry about that,” Noct interrupts, for the third fucking time. “You move in with me, and you won’t even have to work. It’ll be more believable to other people that way.”
“You’re a stranger.“
“Yeah, I am, but so are you. We both need something from each other, so why not? I'll scratch your back, and you scratch mine.”
Prompto stares at him. His heart is racing, because he can’t believe he is actually considering this. It would be nice to have somewhere to live, and not have to worry about how much money he had to save. Plus, he wouldn’t have to keep hiding from his uncle, making up excuses as to why he couldn’t meet his ‘boyfriend’…
And Noct is really nice to look at.
“So? You pretend to marry me, and I’ll pretend to marry you and give you a place to live for free. You don't want your uncle to find out you lied to him all this time, do you?" Prompto cringes at his words...that would really disappoint and piss off his uncle.
Noct holds his hand out, waiting. Prompto doesn’t move.
Noct rolls his eyes. “C’mon. I mean really, I’m not that bad looking, right?”
No the hell you are not.
Noct reaches forward, gripping Prompto’s hand and shaking it firmly. Prompto gathers his wits, inhaling deeply. It’s better than what his original plan was, right? He's got nothing to lose.
He grips his hand back.
“Well that certainly didn't take as long as I had thought,” Noct grins a lopsided smile, and Prompto scoffs and looks away to hide the heat rising to his cheeks. He shakes off Noct’s hand, and makes a motion with his fingers towards him.
Noct looks confused. “What?”
“Propose to me.”
Noct’s eyebrows shoot up straight to his hairline, and Prompto presses his lips together in amusement. If he was going to go through with this, then he was going to have some fun with it.
“Down on one knee, or I won’t do it, Noct,” he says, and Noct doesn't move for a second. Prompto clicks his tongue at him, and Noct realizes that the blonde actually wants him to kneel in the sand. Grumbling, he does so, and looks up at him with a bored expression.
“Marry me,” he deadpans, and Prompto frowns.
“Like you mean it.”
Noct, clearly irritated, smiles, though it doesn’t quite reach his eyes. He holds Prompto’s hand delicately.
“Would you please, with whipped cream and a cherry on top, marry me?”
“Hmm…okay,” Prompto grins, and Noct looks away in embarrassment as he retracts his hand. “I don’t appreciate the sarcasm, but I’ll do it.”
Noct stands up, his face serious. “Prompto. There's something else that I need you to do.”
Prompto raises an eyebrow, trying not to dwell on the fact that this is the first time that Noct's said his name aloud because this sounds serious. “Okay?”
“You have to promise not to fall in love with me.”
Prompto blinks, his chest fluttering at the thought, and for a second he can imagine it. Falling in love with this stranger in front of him, going through multiple scenarios together while Prompto learns more and more about this person, finds out he's more than what he seems, and falling for his antics-
Prompto's never been in love before. Never been in a relationship, actually. Noct's staring at him with his pretty blue eyes, his sharp yet soft features, and his hair shifts with the light breeze that passes through. Noct's probably been pined after by a lot of people, been in a few relationships, broken some hearts.
Prompto's never done any of that. So he's pretty sure that he'll never fall for Noct anyway.
He nods, and Noct visibly relaxes. He turns, looking. He finally spots Cor, who's drawing with his toe in the sand. His sunglasses hang over his face, tipping onto his nose. He looks like he's trying really hard not to look at the two of them.
Noct makes his way towards where Cor is still waiting, then pauses to look back at him.
“Hope it’s not too difficult for ya,” He grins, with that stupid lopsided smile before continuing to walk away. Prompto rolls his eyes, catching up to Noct quickly.
“Oh, it won’t be.”