Prompto smiled as he usually did before holding out a thin but semi large box towards Noctis. It was wrapped in cartoony chocobo themed wrapping paper of course. "I couldn't decide between this or the fish. The more I think about it, maybe the fish would have been better. But either way! Happy Birthday Noct!"
Noct couldn't help but roll his eyes at the childish wrapping paper. Leave it to Prompto... "You didn't have to get me anything," he said, even as he tore eagerly into the paper and box. He pushed tissue paper aside, revealing the slick, black satin and embroidered behemoth design. "What..." He trailed off, pulling the jacket up out of the box in stunned silence.
Prompto was practically grinning ear to ear. He could barely contain the excitement bubbling inside of him. "Surprise! Whaddya think?"
Noct stood up, letting the stuff in his lap fall carelessly to the floor. "Dude, it's perfect!" He laughed a little as he tugged the jacket on to try out its fit. "How's it look?" He struck a pose, grinning widely at his best friend.
"You look amazing! Like you totally rock it!" Prompto said before holding up his camera. "Totally look like a fashion model now or something."
Noct held his pose long enough for Prompto to take the shot. He laughed at the compliment, waving it off without really taking it to heart. Prompto was always heaping the praise on in weird moments that sometimes made his chest feel tight.
He flopped back down and ran his fingers over the arm, admiring the material. Only then did it hit him that a jacket like tho must have cost a fortune. "You really didn't have to do this," he said, trying to breach the subject with some small amount of decorum. "I know it must have been pricey."
Prompto pursed his lips with his smile wavering slightly. Money had always been a sensitive subject for him since he lived on his own most of the time. "I... I know. But I remembered how you would stare at it when we passed by the store. I knew you were thinking about it. So yeah... I just wanted to get it for you."
There it was again. That tight feeling in his chest that he had no idea what to do with. After a few moments of silence, he reached over and punched Prompto gently on his shoulder. "Thanks. I mean it."
Prompto started to smile again, before giving a light shove to Noct in return. "Hey, no problem. It's your birthday after all. You gotta look ho-.. AhI I mean stylish! Gotta look stylish that's right!" Prompto chuckled afterwards, albeit a bit nervously.
"Ahh, you were about to say hot, weren't you," Noct teased, reaching over and ruffling Prompto's hair. He was purposely being a little on the annoying side. It was better than focusing on the guilt of letting his best friend spend money he really didn't have. "Admit it!"
"Wh-what are you talking about? I wasn't trying... I didn't mean..." Prompto fumbled over his words, trying to avoid eye contact with Noct.
Noct hopped up and tossed his arm around Prompto's neck, tugging him down into a playful headlock. "Too late now," he laughed. "Your secret is out! You're totally in love with me!"
Prompto gasps. He tried to break from Noct's hold but he couldn't and only ended up flailing. "Y-you're not m-mad?"
Noct froze, still holding onto Prompto's head. "Wait." He swallowed hard. "I was, uh, joking. Were you serious?" He looked down, letting his arm fall from around his friend's neck.
Prompto staggered back once he was free. His chest rose and fell as he took in deep breaths. "I... I... never mind. I was just kidding! Had to say something to get you to let me go! Ha ha..."
Noct furrowed his brow. He knew Prompto was lying, without a doubt but his own fear of rejection was making it hard to accept what was right in front of him. "Y-yeah. Heh, of course." He reached over and patted Prompto's shoulder. "That'd be pretty crazy, huh? You and me..."
"Yeah..." Promptp agreed weakly, his voice much softer than before. "P-Pretty crazy for sure..."
Noct took a step closer. "Heh, can you imagine? Like... Kissing each other?" He tried to laugh but it sounded fake even to his own ears. Noct's heart was pounding away in his throat and he knew he shouldn't be saying things like this. He was just begging to get his feelings hurt.
"D-Dude don't joke around like that!" Prompto shoved him lightly. He stared at with eyes that didn't show disgust, but instead something more akin to unease or worry.
Noct smirked. "Aw, I'm not that unfortunate, am I?" He tried to brush it all off with a short laugh, running his hand through his hair. "I dunno, maybe I am. I never, uh... I've never kissed anyone. Not, you know, for real." Being the Prince didn't exactly give Noct much private time.
"Seriously?" Prompto gawked. "20 years and still haven't had your first kiss?"
Noct looked up at Prompto with a frown, even as he felt his cheeks heat. "Shut up. It's not like I have a ton of opportunity. Besides, how many people have you kissed?"
Now it was Prompto's turn to look a bit red in his cheeks. "O-Oh... well you know..." he stumbled over his words as he swayed back and forth. "I can't really remember."
Noct huffed, feeling annoyed. "That many," he asked sourly, crossing his arms and doing his best not to pout.
"What? You jealous bro?" Prompt asked.
Noct made a pfft sound with his lips and shoved at Prompto's shoulder. "No. Kinda." He tossed his arms up in surrender. "Yeah, okay? Yeah, I am."
"W-Wait really? Cause..." Prompto trailed off slightly. "You know I'm not serious, right? Ju-Just messing around?"
Noct shrugged. "Still... You've at least done it before. Of course I'm jealous."
"No! I haven't!" Prompto suddenly snapped.
Noct stared in shocked silence for a few moments that seemed to last forever. "R-really? C'mon, don't lie dude. As much as you flirt? You've gotta have..." Noct stopped. Honestly, he didn't much like thinking about it.
"N-No... I wasn't..." Prompto sighed. "I didn't mean to lie. Just got a bit caught up in the moment y'know?"
Noct ran a hand back through his hair, brushing it momentarily out of his face. He huffed softly. "I really can't believe you've never kissed anyone." For some reason, saying it made him smile. "We both suck."
Prompto chuckled sheepishly. "Yeah, we do."
Noct smiled at the expression on Prompto's face. He was always so cute when he got shy. And his freckles got a little darker when he blushed. Noct stepped a little closer. "So, uh..." It was suddenly much harder to breathe. "Wanna try it? I-I mean... You know. As friends?"
Prompto's eyes widened. "W-Wait what? You mean... just try and k-kiss?"
Noct shrugged, looking much more casual than he felt. "It's not that weird, is it?"
"I don't know. Friends don't usually just do that stuff."
"Oh." Noct looked down at his feet, feeling ridiculous and not wanting to let it show. "You're probably right."
"Yeah..." Prompto sighed quietly. "We'd have to be... you know... more than friends..."
Noct bit his bottom lip and glanced up at Prompto. He felt he was on the brink of saying something he couldn't ever take back. "S-so... Wanna check out the new game Iggy got me? It's two player." He chickened out.
Prompto nodded quickly. "Yeah... yeah let's do that instead."
Noct reached down and grabbed Prompto's wrist, giving him a little tug towards his couch. "It's a new fighter game so I'm totally gonna kick your butt!" Excitement over a video game was much easier to deal with emotionally than the nervous tension from before and Noct switched gears completely, wanting to move on.
Prompto was smiling again, this time much more honestly than before. "No way! I'll totally kick yours first! Just you watch!"
Noct laughed and let go of Prompto's wrist as he flopped onto the couch. He grabbed the extra controller and passed it over as the game loaded.
Prompto exhaled before flopping down next to Noct. "Okay! Let's do this okay? And don't think you can get away with winning just cause you got a cool new jacket!"
Noct laughed and elbowed his friend playfully. "No fair using my jacket against me. I'm absolutely going to win now, just to teach you a lesson!"
"I'd like to see you try!" Prompto replied as he elbowed Noct in return.
Noct smirked over at him as he loaded the game and selected his character. Of course, he picked the main hero. As the game started, he leaned forward eagerly. Games were fun but they were always better with someone else.
Noct grinned back over his shoulder. "Keep talking," he teased. Their first few matches, Noct won easily but as Prompto began to get a feel for the game, his character's combination of speed and long range began to win out. After the third loss in a row, Noct cried out and flopped back on the couch." Aww, come on, man! You gonna treat your Prince this way?" He shot Prompto an accusing look.
"Hey I said I wasn't going easy on you!" Prompto taunted.
With a grunt, Noct sat back up, looking all too serious. "Alright. One more. Winner takes all. You're going down this time!" Despite his bold words, he lost pretty quickly to Prompto the next round and tossed his controller down on the couch next to him. "That's it!" He turned on Prompto and grabbed twin handfuls of the blonde's ribs, tickling him mercilessly.
Prompto immediately burst into laughter. He tried his best to contain it, but he was fairly ticklish. "N-Noct! Cu... c-cut it out!"
"Let's see you 'flawless win' against me," Noct said, shifting his hands around so Prompto couldn't catch him. He got up on his knees to get into a better position. "Admit I'm the winner," he demanded, barely giving Prompto time to breathe.
"Haha ha... n-never!"
"C'mon, admit it," he said, hands drifting a little lower than they probably should. "I'm not gonna stop until you do!"
"I... I c-can't..." Prompto said between short breaths. Suddenly his body went rigid. "A-ah... don't you... th-think your hands... are getting a b-bit low there?"
Noct paused briefly. "S-sorry. But that won't save you!" He dove back into his tickle attack, being more aware of his hands this time. "Appease my ego or suffer!"
"Ah! Noooo, ahaha... I surrender! I surrender!" Prompto sputtered out quickly before having another laughing fit.
Noct finally let up and raised his arms in victory, laughing all the while.
"Yeah yeah, laugh it up," he gently pushed at Noct's face.
Noct grinned down at Prompto. "You love it."
Prompto's face started to turn red. Quickly he turned away from staring at Noct. "Wh-whatever..."
Noct couldn't help but notice how Prompto had clammed up everytime he said something like that. It made him curious and he wanted to push a little, just to see. "Uhn-uh. You surrendered, remember. You have to admit you love it."
"I don't have to..." Prompto whispered. "Don't wanna make this weird again..."
Noct reached out and brushed his hand over Prompto's hair. "C'mon, dude. I'm just having fun with you, that's all. Nothing is weird between us. You're my best friend."
Prompto let out the faintest whimper while his eyes seemed to start swelling up. He tried his best to take in a steady breath. "Y-Yeah... best friends."
Noct felt like he'd been punched in the gut. He let his hand rest in Prompto's shoulder. "Prom... I'm sorry if I said something wrong. You really are my best friend."
Prompto choked back a small sob. "No... it's nothing you did. I'm the stupid one. I'm making it all worse."
Noct was confused but pushed it aside to tend to Prompto. "You're not stupid. And you're not making anything worse. If anything you..." It was Noct's turn to blush. "You make everything better."
Sitting up, Prompto rested his head on his knees. He still refused to look back at Noct. "You're just saying that "
Noct wanted nothing more than to hug Prompto close but instead he just squeezed his shoulder. "Prom. You gotta be kidding. I've been throwing a fit to get you into the Crownsguard so we could be together more often, remember?"
Tilting his head slightly, Prompto sighed. "I guess that's true. Sorry though... I still just feel..."
Noct shifted so he was sitting in front of Prompto. "Feel what? Come on, you know you can tell me. I meant what I said. There's nothing weird between us."
"But I'll just end up making it weird!" Prompto blurted. "I should... I should just go." Slowly he started to get up from the couch.
Noct reached out and grabbed Prompto's hand, preventing him from getting all the way up. "Dude, it's my birthday. You can't walk out on me like this."
Prompto stopped. Lowering his head he let out a long exhale. There was still heavy conflicting twisted in his face. "You're right. I guess I'm just overthinking things."
Noct reached out and lifted Prompto's chin with the tip of his finger. The blonde looked so sad and Noct wanted nothing more than to make it better. He didn't know what to say so he just sat there and gave a small, hopeful smile.
"I'm sorry..." Prompto whispered.
Noct shook his head. "Don't be, Prom." He reached up and ruffled Prompto's hair, completely messing it up. "You know I love ya."
Prompto gulped. There was a twitch in his face again and the unease and worry was back. Finally there was a long sigh to follow. "Me too..."
Noct tilted his head a little, studying Prompto's face. Slowly it began to dawn on him. The way Prompto would freeze up when they got close, the things he suddenly refused to say, the heavy sigh. "Maybe," he started, then paused to swallow nervously. His mind felt like it was swimming. "Maybe I love you too much."
Pink dusted Prompto's cheeks. "Noct... please. I don't know if I can keep doing this…" The tears were swelling in his eyes once more.
Noct leaned in a little closer, reaching out to run his thumb over Prompto's cheek. "This isn't easy for me," Noct answered. "I'm... I'm scared you're gonna run out if I say it."
It almost seemed like Prompto was already going to pull away, but he stayed there. He let Noct touch him gently as he was, though it only added to the red on his cheeks. "You said it yourself... were friends... you can tell me."
Noct sighed and looked away. His heart pounded with anxious energy. "What if it's something you don't want to hear? What if I make it weird, like you said. I can't... I don't want to lose my friend."
"I don't wanna lose you either Noct. You're like my only friend I really have." A single tear dropped from Prompto's face and he tired quickly to wipe it away.
Seeing Prompto cry hurt Noct in a physical way, like someone was squeezing him too hard and he couldn't breathe. He took a deep, shaky breath and let it out slowly. "Prompto... Please don't cry. I... I..." Noct blurted the words out quickly. "I really do love you."
"Yeah" Prompto replied as he lowered his head. "Like a friend... like you said before. I get it."
Noct sighed and shook his head. "No, you dummy. Look at me." He waited until Prompto obeyed. "More than a friend."
Prompto gasped. "Y-You mean… like you actually…?"
Noct felt a little sick with worry. He couldn't quite tell if Prompto was reacting positively or not. "Yeah." He chewed at the corner of his bottom lip.
"B-But what about Luna?"
Noct sighed heavily. "She's so far away and it's been so long... I've grown since then. I just don't feel that way about her. Not... Not like how I feel about you."
Prompto let a sob escape his throat before he clung onto Noct's shirt. His whole body was trembling. "You... you're not just messing with me right? You're serious?"
"I wouldn't lie to you, Prompto. Especially not about something like this."
"Noct..." Prompto sobbed. "You don't know how relieve t-that make me."
Noct still felt anxious. "Do you... feel the same," he asked hopefully.
"Of course you big dork!" Prompto chuckled, his voice still sore from the tears and sobs.
Noct smiled widely. "Don't call your Prince a dork," he chided though he didn't mean it at all. "Iggy is gonna kill us."
"But..." Prompto tilted his head up, smiling widely. "You're my dork. You really think he'd be mad?"
Noct shrugged in response. "Maybe? I never know what he's gonna do. But I don't care if he is. I fought for you once. I'll do it again."
"I still can't believe this is real. You and me... we're actually, well you know."
Noct grinned. "Yeah, we are. Wow." He chuckled softly. "Happy Birthday to me, huh?"
Prompto started to chuckle as well. He went slowly to wrap his arms around Noct's neck, bringing his forehead to meet his. "Yeah... Happy Birthday, Noct."
Noct smiled softly and reached up to slide his hand through Prompto's hair, resting at the back of his neck. "Thank you. For everything."
"Ever at your side," Prompto whispered softly, his eyes staring deeply into Noct's. Slowly he moved his face closer, his breathing slowly down until his lips pressed up against Noct's.
For Noct, the entire world seemed to stop. He shifted his head and pulled Prompto a little closer, completing their kiss.
Prompto let out a happy humming sound before pulling away. His face had become beet red at this point. He chuckled in a goofy manner. "I guess I had one more present for you."
Noct laughed softly. "I guess so. I gotta admit, Prom. This is my best birthday so far."