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The Place

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The main thing that struck Ignis as so strange about the place was the lack of life the structure seemed to hold. The furniture was modest and well kept, yet unlikely to tell the story of more than one person utilizing it at a time. A thin layer of dust covered the area, the sections vacant of such indicating the homeowners attempt at tidying away any unimportant clutter of magazines or old mugs. He’d later describe the house as feeling like a show-room, artificially presented to feel welcoming, yet lacking any treasured mementos that would tie the area to any one-living person. The room he currently resided in was cold, unloved, and lacked anything that would allow it to proudly call itself a “Living Room”.

Some people preferred to live simplistically, Ignis would know seeing as he himself was one of them. The majority of his time was spent either in his broom-closet of an office or shadowing Noctis’ apartment which, considering the amount of upkeep he did for the place, basically counted as a second home by this point (He even had his own bedroom, something Noct had lovingly tried to redecorate to interesting results). As such he felt little need for a well-furnished house; as long as he had someplace to rest after a long day then he was perfectly content with the necessities. Despite this fact, Ignis had still gone out of his way to make sure the place felt like his own quiet retreat. His favorite books almost burst from the bookcase, the second-hand sofa was adorned with soft blankets and throw cushions, while his walls showcased pictures of his closest friends. His apartment didn’t hold much when it came to monetary value, but in terms of sentiment it was satisfactory. To put it bluntly, his own premises were the exact opposite to those he was currently surveying.

If he hadn't known any better, Ignis would have presumed no one had stepped foot in this house in years .

Not a single frame inhabited the blank wall, nor did any trinkets line the mantelpiece. There was no evidence of someone having grown here, having laughed here, having cried here. No evidence of a loving family, of flowers gifted from one to another or of a child's drawing slowly decaying with time over on the fridge. The place was a blank slate, a facade, a dark reminder to the person currently residing there of scenarios that would never come to pass. Was there once a time when they sat at the table surrounded by loved-one’s, sharing tales about their days over a fresh meal that would warm their stomachs for hours to come. Just as with the living room the kitchen is also inexplicably pristine and devioed, the one appliance that shows the most wear-and-tear being the ancient microwave sat by its lonesome on the counter. Ignis briefly depeates opening the nearest cupboard to see if it contains any food or ingredients, anything that would cause the pit in his stomach to heal as he grows more concerned for the lone occupant. Internally chatizising himself for his over-analyzing, The Advisor is soon brought out of his thoughts by the sound of footsteps carelessly bounding down the stairs, and the corresponding figure that skips happily into Ignis’s range of vision.

“I found it!! Sorry for the wait, the lens had, uh, somehow ended up underneath my bed.”

“That's quite alright Prompto, I assure you it’s not the first time I have had to wait upon the discovery of a lost item.”

“Yeah, how Gladio misplaced a whole broadsword is honestly quite impressive… ANYWAY we should probably get going, don't want to ruin the schedule any further right?”

“While I somehow I doubt his highness will mind us being a few minutes late, it certainly would not harm us to begin heading off.”

After triple checking that Prompto definitely had everything (“Did you remember your homework” “Do I have to remember it?”), the duo finally said goodbye to the premises, something Ignis could say with certainty he was happy about. The thought of Prompto living there alone, day in day out, stirred an uncomfortable feeling in his heart. He feels anger that anyone would choose to consistently leave him on his own, a boy just shy of turning 17, and wonders just how long this scenario has been going on for. From what little info Prompto has shared about his parents, it’s clear they have not left much of an impact on his life either both positive or negative. The state of his home has only further confirmed that fact. Ignis can only feel slight satisfaction in the fact he is able to allow Prompto a small respite for the night, a sleepover with his charge that will no-doubt consist of binging on junk food and gaming until the sun rises so-to signify a new day.

Come tomorrow Ignis will return to the prince’s apartment, present the two of them with breakfast, then drop Prompto off back home so he can prepare for his morning run. He will leave, and then Prompto will be alone in that house once more, the showroom that drains the happiness from those who dare to step foot there. Contemplative, Ignis debates extending an invitation to Prompto to remain until Sunday, disguising the abruptness of the request by claiming it would be “pleasant for Noctis to have the extra  company” . It would be a simple appeal, one that would smoothly gloss over his real reasoning for being reluctant to return the boy home. Not a permanent solution, but Ignis was willing to chance any that would prevent Prompto from feeling alone ( unloved ) for even just one night.

Anything to prevent him from being returned to his cage .