It was two days before Noctis was set out to leave Insomnia. Two whole entire days before he would actually leave the safety of the city that he had grown up in. He would finally be going out into the world and braving it all on his own. Well he wouldn't be all alone, he would have his three best friends, his brothers, by his side.
But either way Regis still worried about Noctis. He worried just how well he would be and if he would have a hard time adjusting to a not so easy life. Though that doubt was quick to pass, for he believed in his son and trusted him with all his heart.
Still the thought of him leaving though made Regis feel a little empty inside. His one and only son was going away and there was a chance he wouldn't be coming back for quite some time. It was foreboding yes, but Regis knew it would probably happen. So he needed this moment. He needed to take whatever time he had to make things right between him and his son.
He stepped into Noctis's apartment room, making his way slowly towards the bedroom. He chuckled when he saw the lump that was his sleeping son. He looked so peaceful within his deep sleep. A beautiful tranquil face that reminded him of when Noctis was much younger. Even at 20-years-old Regis still thought that his son was adorable. But he knew saying that aloud would get an eye roll and an embarrassed groan from Noctis.
Regis reached forward and placed a hand on Noctis's shoulder, shaking him lightly. "Noct, wake up."
Noctis groaned, shifting in the bed. He still was a heavy sleepier and trying to wake him up at this hour was going to be a challenge, but Regis wasn't one to give up easily. He tried again, shaking the shoulder a little harder.
"Wha…" Noctis finally mumbled, not even opening his eyes.
"Come on son, there's something I want to do today."
Groaning, Noctis slowly started to open his eyes. He squinted up ath is dad, trying to make sense over the fact that he was standing there in his room. "Dad? What are…" he yawned. "What are you doing here?"
"I wanted to see you of course."
"I don't leave for two days…" Noctis muttered as he started at his digital clock. "It's 6am… why so early…"
"I know you don't leave until then. So that's why I wanted to spend one last day with my son before he heads off to be married."
"But again… why so early…?" Noctis asked as he started to sit up.
"Because, early morning is the best time to fish," Regis replied with a smile.
Suddenly it seemed like Noctis was far more awake than before. Even if they were sitting in the darkness of his room with no lights on, Regis could see the glint in his son's eyes. Ever since Regis had taken Noctis fishing when he was a little boy, there was just something that he connected with. Maybe it was the peaceful feeling that came with staring out at a calm and quiet lake. Or maybe the satisfaction of catching a fish that would make for a great dinner. Either way it was one of the few things that Regis and Noctis actually had bonded over, and Regis took that bond deeply to his heart.
"You mean it? But don't you like have important stuff with the treaty coming up?"
"Of course, but if I want to spend one last day with my son then I am damn well allowed to do so. And nobody can stop me from that."
There was a small smile that curled up on Noctis's face. Regis wanted to take out his phone at this moment and snap a picture of it. A smile on his son… something he hadn't seen in so long. He missed these small moments where it was just him and Noctis. These moments where he could forget what their roles were in a god's prophecy and just be father and son.
"All right," Noctis replied as he climbed out of bed. "The usual lake?"
Regis nodded. "The usual lake. Now come let's hurry so we may get as much time as we can this morning."
Noctis smiled again and headed to his closet to grab some casual clothes that he had not already packed away for the trip. Thankfully he still had some clothes that would work as his 'casual blending in' clothes.
Regis was already dressed for the occasion as well, and as Noctis was getting dressed he made his way back to the front of the apartment to sit down in the kitchen. His legs were still aching and he needed to let them rest even if it was only for a moment.
Noctis came out from his room though, dressed up in light colored t-shirt and jacket and dark blue jeans. He was putting on a pair of gloves as he came over to his dad. "Okay, are you ready?"
Regis nodded his head and pushed himself to his feet. "Yes, Clarus should be outside waiting for us. So let's not keep him."
The two of them were heading towards the door when Regis stopped and picked up a cap that was nearby and placed it on top of Noctis's head. "It's going to be pretty sunny today, so wear your hat."
"And what about you? Shouldn't you be wearing a hat?" Noctis asked.
Regis chuckled softly at the slight snark from his son. "Ah yes, I left mine in the car. I'll make sure to put it on when we get there."
"You better. If I gotta wear mine, then you gotta be matching."
"But of course."
They headed down out of the apartment to the car where Clarus was waiting. As usual he barely looked anything other than serious, but upon seeing Noctis walking alongside Regis, he seemed to lighten up a little.
He bowed his head as he opened the door. "Are you two ready to head to the location?"
"Of course, let's hurry as best as we can," Regis said as he got into the car.
"We are not being reckless," Clarus muttered. "Which is why I am the driver."
"Come on Clarus," Noctis said as he got into the car after his father. "We aren't that bad at driving."
Clarus huffed while shaking his head. "So you may say, but I know better otherwise."
Closing the door he walked around to the driver's seat. Meanwhile Regis was laughing lightly. "I suppose reckless driving must run in our blood."
"Were you really that bad out on the open road?"
"When you get out to Hammerhead and meet Cid, you can ask him yourself. I'm sure he has plenty of stories he could tell as embrarring as it is to admit."
"Plus," Clarus said as he started up the engine now that he was in the driver's seat. "There was the time when Regis nearly wrecked the car driving to the hospital when you were born, Your Highness."
Noctis's eyes widened. "Wait what?! How come I never heard this story before!?"
"There was never a need for it to come up," Regis replied, trying his best not to laugh.
"But it was about my birth! Don't you think that makes it a little important to bring up?"
"I suppose you're right. Maybe if we get the chance I'll let you know the future story later, otherwise you may have to as Cor."
"He knows too?" Noctis asked in near disbelief.
"He was the one that was with His Majesty that night," Clarus answered. "So if anyone else can tell the story, it would be him."
"Well maybe it'll be more fun to ask him behind your back," Noctis replied with a smirk. "That way I can get all the juicy details out without you knowing."
"If you say so," Regis laughed. How good this felt to be laughing alongside his son. He had missed this dearly and he was glad to soak up this moment.
Clarus drove them through the city, with it still being early in the morning barely anyone was out. It was quite the sight to see the city looking so vacant, but once the day really got started then it would be crowned as ever.
They drove until they reached the out area of the inner city, now houses were spaced out more and there was much more in the way of parks and lakes. There was one of these lakes that was covered and surrounded by many trees, giving great shade, but it was also one of the best spots for fishes.
They pulled into a spot to park and Noctis was the first to get out of the car. He held the door open as Regis slowly came out of the car and placed his cane down for stability. There was a small frown that crossed Noctis's face, but he didn't say anything on it.
Regis knew his son too well, always having the concern but never being able to properly express it. "No need to worry, I will be fine."
"Sure…" Noctis whispered, his eyes drifted to the ground.
"When it comes to fishing nothing can stand in my way, not even my weary legs. I won't let it get the best me yet."
"If you say so."
"Besides," Regis said as he stood up tall. "I can't sit back and let you catch all the fish."
"Is that a competition I smell?" Noctis smirked. "Cause if it is, you are so on."
"Don't forget that your old man showed you these fishing spots. He showed you and taught you your skills," Regis replied boastfully. "I think I have the upper hand."
"Ah but what about when the student surpasses the master?"
"Ha we shall see. Come let's get to our spot."
The two of them walked ahead through a forested path before it led out to an opening. Before them now was a small lake, but it was still big enough for plenty of fish to be hiding. They walked over to the dock and each pulled a folding chair out from their armigers. After setting those down they both summoned their fishing rods at the same time.
"So what lure do you think you will start with?" Regis asked as he got seated in his chair.
"Not sure. Maybe a poppeck or a burrower," Noctis replied as he looked through his tackle box.
"Hmm I see, well what about this?"
From his armiger Regis pulled out a purplish colored lure. Noctis's eyes widened at the site of it and slowly he reached out to take it. Holding it in the palm of his hand he stared down at it. "This is… your Tidal Might Leviathan lure."
"But why are you-"
Regis reached over and guided Noctis's fingered to close around the lure. He then placed his own hand over Noctis's and started to smile. "I want you to have it. Think of it as... " Regis paused, humming before he continued. "This can be your going away present. So when you get out to the really big lakes, you can use this to catch the best fish."
Noctis laughed, shaking his head lightly. "For a moment I thought you were going to say this was my wedding present."
"I mean if you want it to be then it can," Regis replied, smirking rather childishly at his son. He knew if Clarus could see him, which no doubt he was watching from nearby, then he would be sighing heavily.
"No way! A fishing lure cannot be a wedding present. A whole entire fishing set though… you know new tackle box filled with all the good lures and line and a new fishing rod, then maaaaaybe I'll let that slide."
"I'll make note of it then for the future. But use that lure well, I know you will be able to catch many fish with it."
"Yeah, I think I'll save it though. For the big lakes as you said. I'll just use my usual poppeck one."
"Then that shall be that. Let's see who can catch the first fish of the day."
Taking his seat, Noctis smirked and cast out his line to the water. "Let's begin."
At first they started the early morning in silence, not saying anything to one another. But slowly Regis started to ask Noctis a few questions here and there, trying to see what was on his son's mind. He just wanted at least something to go off of, something for them to connect on while talking.
"So your friend Prompto I hear has finished his Crownsguard training?"
Noctis nodded. "Yeah, you should have seen how surprised he was when Cor congratulated him. I swear that he was going to pass out from the excitement. But he really did do a good job."
"Well I am sure that he will be fine by yourself. Having a man who works well with long range weapons is a good thing to have on your side."
"Oh hell yeah, you should see how good he is with his gun. I thought he was just lucky creaming me all the time at the arcade, but he really has a knack for it."
"I'm glad to hear it. Not only for Prompto and his progress, but for the fact that I know he will do well being by your side. I know that you will be in good hands."
"Yeah well Ignis and Gladio will also help out with that," Noctis shrugged. "If I'm honest they're more of the adults in the group than me and Prom."
"Friends either way, I understand. Clarus and Cor have always been the serious ones compared to me. They put up with quite a lot when we were on the road."
Noctis let out a snort. "So I should be just as bad and drive the other three up a wall?"
"Like reckless driving, I would say it's in our blood. But also be kind to your brothers," Regis replied simply as he started to feel a small tugging on his line. "And ah ha! I think I shall get the first fish!"
"You don't have it yet until you reel it all the way in!"
"Then just give me a moment and that shall happen! And no interference!"
The two stared laughing while Regis pulled in his fish, a good sided Lucis catfish. Seeing that it would be a good size to keep he placed it in the container to take back for later. Noctis now was dead set on staring at the lake, as if that would make the fish just come to his lure. Though as Regis watched, he noticed Noctis's eyes looking watery. Eventually a sniffle came and Noctis went to wipe away the water with the palm of his hand.
"Everything okay, Noct?" Regis asked gently.
"Huh? Oh yeah. Just fine. Everything is fine." Noctis's voice was a little softer than usual, just a little more weary perhaps.
Like before he was hiding the emotions he didn't know how to express, but thankfully Regis was good at reading them. Moving his chair closer and placing his fishing rod in a knot hole, he placed a hand on Nocits's head. His son flinched initially, but he looked up with his sad but joyfully emotional eyes.
"Once this treaty stuff and your marriage is taken care of, I promise that you and I can go travel all of Eos to all of the best fishing spots."
"Y-You mean it?" Noctis asked, this voice starting to sound a little sore.
"Of course. I'm sorry these past years have been rough and I haven't been there when I know I should have, but I want to be here now as much as I can be and so forth."
Noctis placed his fishing rod down and wrapped his arms around his dad. It was a bit awkward as he was leaning over from his chair to his father's but he stayed close, with his head brushed up against Regis's chest. He let out a few short sobs, letting the tears actually fall from his face.
"Think of it," Regis whispered softly as he placed a hand on the back of Noctis's head. "The Two Lucian kings traveled the world for fishing. The gossips magazines will have a field day with it."
Regis knew what he was saying was just an empty promise. He knew it couldn't be fulfilled because of the prophecy, but even if it was technically a lie, he could still hold out hope. He could still dream of a better future for his precious little son. He could hope and imagine a world where everything was better.
All he wanted was for his son to be happy, and if a little bit of imagination of a future that would never be was what it took, then he would do it. He would do anything to protect Noctis for as long as he could, even if in two days he would slip away from his sight.
"It would be pretty silly sounding," Noctis replied.
"Maybe we should use cover names then."
"You really think that would work?"
"You will be surprised, not a lot of people outside of Insomnia know what we look like, aside from those dreaded gossip magazines. Unless we were to go around parading in our Sunday best I believe we could pull it off."
"Sounds like a plan then," Noctis laughed, still holding on to his dad.
"Yes…" Regis smiled bitter sweetly. "That does sound like a good plan."
If only Regis could truly promise that it would happen.
After a few more hours, it was getting closer to noon. They had eaten a few light sandwiches that they brought along but other than that they didn't have much else. So with that they decided to call it quits for the day.
"So that's three keepers for me and two for you," Noctis said as he closed his tackle box before sending it away to the armiger. "I think that means I win."
"Ah but you forget about all the ones we just caught and released. I released twelve, you only released eight. Which means total wise I had more."
Noctis scoffs. "Whatever. Just you wait until I get out of Insomnia. I'll be catching all the big fish and then we'll see who is winning."
"I would hope you have the pictures to prove it."
"Oh you know it! Prompto will be my right hand photographer during all of this. Maybe we will even make our own fishing magazines," Noctis hummed thoughtfully.
"The Prince of Lucis and his own personal fishing magazine. Now there's a new one I've never heard before," Regis laughed loudly while they started their way back to the car. "Do let me know how well that one turns out."
"You know, I just might actually do it. Just to show you I can. It'll be my first decree as king!"
"Ah yes, King Noctis, known for publishing his own self indulgent fishing magazine. I'm sure it'll be a number one best seller."
Their banter continued back and forth until they reached the car. Once they were back inside, both of them sitting next to each other in the back seat, Noctis started to yawn more just as Clarus was staring up the engine. They soon were on the road again and heading back towards the Citadel.
"So Noct," Regis said. "What do you plan to do for the rest of the day?"
Yawing again, Noctis slouched in his seat. "Sleep first of all. Fishing… this was a lot of fun, but…" another yawn broke from his mouth. "It's still too early for me."
"With how much you sleep I wouldn't be surprised if people remembered you as Noctis the Sleepy," Regis teased.
"And you'd be… Regis… the Best Dad," Noctis mumbled, his head already slouching over as he grew more and more tired.
Regis felt something in his heart at those words. He was ready to break out into tears anymore, but he made sure he could stay reserved as best as he could. But still either way the words touched his heart, touched his very soul and he wished he could scoop Noctis up into his arm this very moment. He wanted to hug him and cradle him like he used to when Noctis was a baby.
But while he couldn't do that, he got something just as close. Noctis, who was clearly fast asleep at this point, shifted and he fell against Regis's shoulder. Regis smiled as he moved his arm carefully and guided Noctis's sleeping form to lay down on his lap.
It was now like when Noctis was little. Their long drives when they had the chance would always tire him out and he would fall asleep, laying his head into his father's lap/ The smile that was on Regis's face was wide and beaming at this point, having his son so close to him once more.
By the time they pulled into the hidden parking spot at the Citadel, Clarus turned around to give Regis a look. "Shouldn't you wake him?"
Regis shook his head. "It's fine. If you want Clarus you can step outside the car. Let us sit a little longer until Noct wakes."
"That could be quite a while, sir."
"Then that's what it shall be," Reigns replied as he began to lightly stroke the hair out of Noctis's face.
If he could spend the entire day like this then he would, His last few moments with his beloved son were precious to him, and even if Noctis was sleeping through most of it, Regis would still take it. This day was better than he expected, for the wonderful loving memories he had from today would last for the rest of his days, and he hoped Noctis's as well.