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It was hot.
It felt like I was standing in an oven and with all of this black on I was surprised that I wasn't laid out on the floor or better yet surprised that I wasn't dead from overheating.
The heat here in Hammerhead usually isn't so bad that we could actually wait outside for Cindy but today it was so unbearable that it had sent Ignis, Gladio, Prompto, and I indoors. We were all sitting in Takka's Pit Stop while we waited for the Regalia to be fixed up.
One of her tires had gotten a flat on our way here after retrieving the headlights Cindy needed for the upgrade, we all agreed it was luck that this would happen, the Regalia getting a flat, while doing a job for the mechanic.
So here we sat waiting for the clear from Cindy so we could move on. I fan myself with my hand as I look over at my brothers; Gladio was reading his book, Ignis was jotting down something in his journal, and Prompto was passed out with his arm and my jacket folded on the counter using both as a pillow as he slept. I couldn't blame him the heat was just that bad...though I tried to figure out how he could sleep in this weather.
Despite the air conditioner blasting in the restaurant I still felt like I was suffocating "Man it's so hot." I grumble pulling at my shirt which stuck to my skin "I feel sticky and gross." I complain. My comment goes unnoticed by Ignis but Gladio looks at me "Then take off your shirt." He says smirking knowing full well why I won't. I think the big guy gets a kick out of me admitting that I'm not as fit as he is.
"Here you guys go, it's on the house."
I hear Takka say as something gets placed on the counter behind me making me twist around, on the counter I see three oval shaped bowls with two light blue scoops of ice cream in each. I look up at Takka as he sets down spoons for us, I reach for mine and shovel a spoon full into my mouth without hesitation. The flavors were hard to describe it had a fruity taste but it was also very sweet and salty at the same time.
"Exquisite. I must say I never had a treat with such flavors blended so wonderfully."
"Yeah, it's good."
I take another bite nodding agreeing with the others "Yeah real good." I say around the spoon.
This seemed to make Takka happy "I'm glad you boys like it. To be honest I borrowed that recipe from a fella in another town when I was on vacation. A small town called Twilight Town, I saw that a bunch of young folk was eating it so I thought I would give it a try. The fellow that was running the shop said that that there is called Sea Salt Ice Cream. "
Ignis takes up a napkin wiping his mouth "Well we must thank you for sharing it with us." He says as he picks up his pen and journal jotting down his own version of the recipe, while the tipster shakes his head "Don't mention it, when weather gets like this I can't help but want to help folks cool off." He says "Should I get a bowl for your friend here?" He asks looking at Prompto.
I shake my head "Nah, you really don't want to see him on a sugar high." I say placing my hand on his neck checking to see how hot he was "Besides I think we can all agree it's best if he's sleep otherwise he'd be outside gawking at Cindy and he'd probably be in the way." I hear Gladio say as I pull my hand away satisfied with his temperature.
Takka nods "Perhaps he could get one when he wakes." He says turning to the stove preparing to cook up some meals.
I reach into my pocket pulling out my phone to start up King's Knight when I noticed a text from Cindy saying 'Bout another 2 hrs' making me sigh as I open up the game.
When the time came round that the Regalia should be done Prompto was awake looking disheveled and sleepy, the sun had gone down at this point and it started to feel much cooler.
"Sorry to keep y'all waitin' here all day."
The sudden sound of the accented voice causes me to turn around, walking up to us was Cindy "The tire I needed for the poor girl wasn't in our inventory but she has 'em now." She says nodding.
"Oh yeah? Thanks, you're a real life saver." I say pushing myself off the stool, out of the corner of my eye I could see Prompto fixing his hair and checking his breath. I shook my head slightly I honestly found it rather funny how Prompto was so obsessed with Cindy but I was happy for him.
"Oh don't mention it, I'm always happy to help out. Besides it's not often a gal like myself gets to see something as beautiful as your Regalia." She says.
I simply laugh reaching into my pocket to pull out my wallet "Now hold your horses prince, I don't need your gil. It's on the house." She says smiling which earns her a smile from Prompto.
Not gonna lie, I do enjoy getting things for free, I was going to ask for the keys but I could tell we were all exhausted and wanted this day gone "Well I guess we'll go to bed and pick her up tomorrow." I say stretching. "I think it would be best to stay at the caravan tonight, it's just too hot for camping." I say already thinking of cranking up the AC unit to its lowest setting.
"As you wish."
"No objections here!"
With that everyone wished each other a goodnight before me and the guys parted ways with Cindy.
As we left the diner I heard Prompto speak up "Man isn't she the best? I mean who works on a car for as long as she did and tells you don't worry about paying? Ah, I can't believe a place like this has an angel." He says in a love laced voice.
I didn't want to say something to upset him so I just kept quiet, though Gladio took the advantage of this moment "I can see you wrecking your car many times just to come here."
"That outcome should only turn up hatred towards you." Ignis says looking at Prompto "I think it wise that you should stick to walking."
"Or Chocobo back...at least you don't hafta to use gas money on them." I add.
Not gonna lie, the caravan was cramped but it beat camping. I decided to sit outside since I was sort of feeling like I was in the way. I noticed that Prompto was outside too cleaning his gun "Sup." I say sitting next him in the chair in front of him "Hey." He says sounding distracted "Couldn't handle the tightness of the caravan?" I ask reaching for my phone.
"Ha, you know me too well. Yeah my claustrophobia was starting to act up." He says shaking a bit. I nod knowing how bad his attacks are, it's part of the reason why we ride with the top down in the Regalia and because the breeze feels good.
"Howdy, y'all doin' one of those stake out things."
I look up from my phone when I hear her voice and shake my head "Nah, just thought I'd sit outside with Prompto here." Cindy laughs a bit before pulling up a seat next to Prompto, I could see him turning red "Ooh, is that there your firearm?" She asks pointing to Prompto's gun.
He looked like he was going to pass out, so I lower my voice "Yeah."
"Y-Yup, s-sure is."
"Mind if I see her?"
This was thankfully easy for Prompto he lowers his gun into Cindy's hands and she begins to marvel at the weapon. "Oh ain't she a beauty." She says turning it around "And you use this to fight them daemons?" She asks sounding impressed. Prompto nods "Yeah, though I like to use it protect my friends." He says.
It was obvious that Prompto was trying to act cool and I didn't know if Cindy could feel it too and was just being nice or if she bought his act. Either way I left the two alone figuring Ignis could use some help in the kitchen.
It was around ten when I was sitting outside alone, I closed my eyes for a second when I suddenly felt someone lightly slap my back causing me to jump and look over my shoulder. I could see Prompto standing there, looking bashful.
"What is it?" I ask feeling exhausted.
Prompto looks up at me however it wasn't in the eye before looking down at his feet. I cross my arms tilting my head to the side "Well?" I ask "I...uh...." He says pausing before looking at me once again "Can you help me with something?" He asks softly. I sigh a bit knowing that Prompto would be crushed if I decided not to help him "Okay, what is it? It's not a picture of something is it?" I ask recalling the incident with the Catoblepas.
He shakes his head "No, not this time...I was...well...you see I...." He looks over in the direction of the garage then back at me "I was hoping that you can help me get...uh..." He pauses rubbing the back of his head "get a date with Cindy." He suddenly says quickly with a rush of air.
I simply laugh "Is that all? Geez you had me thinking it was something life threatening." I say before clapping a hand on his back "Sure." I say causing him to light up "R-Really!?"
"Yeah, I know how much you like her and I know that you would really like this."
"Ah haha. Thanks Noct! Okay let's get there early!"
"Do we have to?"
"We can't keep a lady waiting."
I watch as he climbs into the caravan and I glance at the Hammerhead Garage sighing trying to figure out why everyone loved getting up so early.
As promised I woke up early and headed outside waiting for Prompto to come on out. I seen him head for the shower but that was about a while ago.
When he did appear finally it was around nine and I stared at him with a glare "What took so long?" I ask feeling irritated "You said to get up early."
"Sorry Noct, I took a shower and everything...I just wanted this to go good. You know impress her and make her really want to go out with me." He says, I did notice that he didn't smell like that outrageous body cologne he's into "Well whatever it takes I guess." I said starting to walk towards the garage.
I could see him freaking out, he was shaking a bit and the closer we got I could hear him say that we should turn back or ask me if he looked alright. I don't know how many times I reassured him in that short walk, but I was glad when we finally arrived.
We could see Cindy in the garage polishing the Regalia (if I didn't know better I would say she is far too obsessed with my dad's car) "Hey." I greeted causing her to look up and wave "Hi there prince and buckaroo." She says "Here for the ol gal?" She asks "Not yet, actually, we're here because Prompto here wants to ask you something." I say stepping to the side pushing Prompto forward.
The sudden action seemed to have surprised Prompto because he looked at me with a slight panicky expression "Wha'cha wanna ask me Prompto?" She says kindly, and the look on his face hearing her say his name was hilarious "She said my name!" He mumbles breathlessly "Prompto? Sweetie? You okay?"
"She called me sweetie!"
I probably should've told her to stop but I figured Prompto was just happy hearing those words and his name together. I punched him gently "You wanted to ask her something?" I say making him nod as he struggles to speak "C-Cindy...w-w-would yo-you...." Prompto froze up after stuttering through the sentence. I sigh "go out with me." I say, hoping he would repeat but he ends up making a weird squeak sound.
I shake my head and Cindy simply laughs "I get it, you're trying to ask me out aren't ya?" She asks making Prompto squeak again with a nod "Well, let's see...maybe I'm free...." she pauses in thought "oh shoot...." she adds.
"Oh well I'm sorry you're busy, c'mon on Noct. Let's go back...." I hear Prompto say frantically. "Not so fast little Chocobo, I'm just messin' with ya. I would love to go out with you tonight." She says "Pick me up around say...seven?" She asks and he nods "Sure." He says with a delighted laugh.
With that Cindy waves goodbye and we head back to the caravan.
"Ahahaha! Thanks so much Noct!" Prompto cries out happily as he hugs me "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" He says stepping back "Tonight it's just me and Cindy!"
"So you finally worked up the nerve to ask her out?" Gladio teases when Prompto and I return, I simply nod "Yeah well it was more Noct but still." He says "I can't wait for tonight!"
The time finally came (you should've seen him checking the clock and counting down to the hour) and Prompto was dressed in a suit that Ignis had made for him (it was more or less a modified version of his usual outfit). Ignis had given him enough gil for a full course meal, a movie, and little extra for whatever else they had in mind.
He would never admit it but Prompto looked nervous and I offered to go with him so I could drive them around but Prompto insisted that he would be careful and drive slow. Ignis, Gladio, and I all walk with him to the garage where Cindy was coming out dressed in a black shirt that stopped above her belly, she wore jeans and red sneakers. It wasn't something I thought girls would wear for dates...then again the only other girls I know is Luna and Iris. And somethin' tells me Gladio would have fit if Iris dressed liked Cindy did.
"Well look at you dressed like I'm a special gal."
"You are too me...er well...I mean." Prompto blushed when the words just sort of stop spilling out causing Cindy to kiss his cheek and his face turns red.
"Well shall we be off?"
"Uh huh, well see ya guys!" Prompto says smiling.
We watch as Prompto opens the door for her only to close it seconds later when she got inside. We watch as he gets in the driver's seat as we wish them a great night before they pull out of the gas station leaving us behind for a night out on the town and I couldn't help but feel happy for him.
"Soon that would be you and Lady Lunafreya." I hear Ignis say. I look up over at him and noticed that he looked proud.
"I remember Iris's second date, she was so happy when she returned home." Gladio says smiling as he crossed his arms.
"Second? What happen to the first one?" I ask confused.
"The guy broke her heart so I broke his arms and legs." He said cracking his knuckles. I knew Gladio was a protective older brother and the thought of him breaking someone only made me laugh.
"You gonna break Prompto if he makes Cindy cry?" I tease making Gladio laugh "You bet it. It ain't right for a man to make a girl cry."
"I doubt Prompto has the capacity to hurt someone's feelings." Ignis says pushing up his glasses.
"Well...guess we should head back inside." I say heading for the lodging.
We spent the rest of the night in the caravan waiting for him to come back. I had often found myself texting him just to see if he was okay. He would text; 'Doin' good ' or 'Its great happy w her <3'.
Then there were moments where he didn't really bother to text me back, I assumed it's because he was busy with his date. Ignis told me not to worry and Gladio said that he was the same way with Iris.
The hour had gotten later and I couldn't believe that I was anxiously pacing the caravan as I would occasionally check out the window for the Regalia.
I knew Gladio and Ignis got a kick out of this but I couldn't help it I was worried about Prompto, he was like a baby brother to me.
"I swear if this is what having kids is like I ain't havin' them...." I grumble looking out the window for what could've been the hundredth time that night.
"What's wrong daddy Noct worried about his own little prince?" Gladio teases "Don't worry I'm sure mama Lunafreya will make sure to ground Prompto for being late."
"I must say grounding an adult seems rather barbaric." Ignis adds in.
I sigh collapsing onto the couch "Is it wrong I want their date to end already?" I ask checking my phone for the time and any new texts that Prompto could've sent but seen none.
"Its normal, I know how you feel. When Iris was out both of those times I was constantly checking the clock and texting her. Just be patient." Gladio says.
It was around ten when I could see the lights of the Regalia on the wall of the caravan as it approaches. I had to fight the urge to race outside as I peek out the window and saw the car pull up to the garage. I watch as Cindy got out, look into the passenger window, and walk into the adjacent building next to the garage.
Seconds later the Regalia pulls up near the gas pump but Prompto doesn't get out.
It was hard to tell what was going on in the car but I could feel my chest tighten I wasn't sure what it was but I knew something was wrong.
Ignis and Gladio are at my side suddenly as they too peek out of the caravan window "Is he alright?" Ignis asks but I shrug "I don't know." I admit as Gladio looks harder straining his eyes "I can't see anything...oh he's getting out."
We could see Prompto climb out of the Regalia locking the car, he stands there for a moment just staring before he pockets the keys and walks up to the caravan with his shoulders slumped. His expression was hard to make out until he had gotten fairly close at that point we could tell he looked absolutely miserable but we all agreed to pretend not to notice.
When he failed to knock on the door I was more than tempted to go outside. I reached for the knob when Gladio spoke up making a odd face "Aww man...somethin' must've went down." he says moving away from the window.
"What? What's wrong?" I ask moving towards the window and peeking out, I could see Prompto with his wrist up to his face as he shook. There was no doubt in my mind that he was crying, I known Prompto for five years and I knew every last one of his quirks. This one, with his hand to his face...it angered me. That sight was enough for me to head outside, I opened the door which causes Prompto to jump with a glance at me. He looks away viciously wiping at his eyes as he struggles to steady his breathing.
"Hey Noct." He mumbles trying to force a happy tone.
"Hey how did it go?" I asked hoping I sound curious instead of angry but he simply shrugged, which I more or less expected "It was...okay." He says softly. This was a complete one-eighty from this morning. He was laughing and talking being genuinely happy but now he was depressed.
I look over my shoulder when I hear Gladio speak "So there's our lady killer, how was it and will there be a second date?" He asks faking his playful tone.
Prompto however didn't respond, we all could see his eyes fill with tears as he shook his head. I was at his side immediately with an arm around his shoulders holding him tightly. I wanted to say something anything to comfort him but I didn't know what to say and it killed me. Because here was my best friend who I loved and cared about and I couldn't help him feel better. Here he was standing here crying his heart out over a girl that he loved and she had the nerve to break his heart.
"I think it best if we hear what happen. For the best thing we can give him right now is an open ear." Ignis says as he exits the caravan "Prompto go on, we are here to listen." Ignis says taking a seat in one of the chairs that stood outside of the lodge.
I lead Prompto to one of the chairs as well sitting a second one next to his so I could be there for him. "Take your time if you need to, we're here for you." I say.
Prompto blinks back the tears as a small smile forms on his lips and a small sad laugh escapes him "Believe it or not...the start of the date went great. She wanted me take a few pictures of her and she said that she really wanted to see and ride Chocobos. So I took her to Wiz's place and we raced." He said sniffing as the tears came to a stop.
"She was really good at it and I couldn't help but laugh whenever she cheered out a victory. But the dinner is what made this night...." He pauses for a moment taking in a sharp breath before continuing this time his voice was laced with tears.
"We...we're eating when she asked me what I liked about her and why I liked her." He pauses for a moment and I could only assume it was to control his wobbly voice "I told her what I tell you guys, I was being honest and she said that I was being sweet. So I was curious to know what she thought of me."
We can all see his eyes fill with tears as he continues "She only laughs a bit saying that I was cute and she liked that I took pictures." Prompto shook his head and it was clear that he was struggling with this "I don't know why I said what I did...I think it was my fault...." Prompto's voice broke making it go a pitch higher "I ended up saying that I loved her...I know stupid right?"
"She only laughs at me before saying that she wasn't into guys like me." He said at this point the tears were rolling down his face and he lifts his arm to wipe at his eyes.
"Did she say that to you?" Gladio asks his tone was different, it held this serious older brother tone.
Prompto lowers his head as he shook it "Sort of...sh-she said that I was like a friend or a baby brother. She ended up describing the 'Perfect Man' and he was....he w-was nothing like me." He whimpers.
"She said she wants...I'm not...hearing that I'm not the type of guy she wants to spends her life with made me feel...bad." Prompto says failing to come up with a better word. "I didn't have the heart to tell her to stop...but the more she spoke the worse I felt. It's because I know I can't ever be that tall, dark, muscular, guy with riches and who's smart...." Prompto says his words getting caught in his throat as he stares bitterly at the garage "I th-thought that just being me-" He suddenly stops speaking as a sob escapes him and I pull him into a tight hug.
He hides his face behind his balled fisted as he starts to sob all over again. I try rubbing his upper arm but it didn't seem to do much, I look over at Gladio noticing how he had his arms up and bent moving them back and forth as if stretching them. But I knew Gladio all to well, he was angry and I could tell it was taking everything in his body to not storm over to the garage.
"Well? What are you gonna do now knowing Cindy was the one to make Prompto cry?" I ask Gladio who was now rubbing his neck, he doesn't say anything instead he grabs Prompto up forcing him to stand.
Prompto shook as he wipes at his eyes trying to stop the tears in fear of being ridiculed by Gladio. I was about to say something but Ignis stopped me.
"Prompto." Gladio says and Prompto begins to speak "I know...I'm a crybaby...."
Gladio sighs shaking his head "That's not what I was going to say. Listen." He says placing a hand on his shoulder "I know what Cindy said had hurt you, I know that her words tore at you and made you feel like you're nothing." Gladio says watching as Prompto looks away his lip quivering as he blinks back tears "I'm not going to go and tell you all these cliches like 'There's plenty of fish in the sea' or tell you something like ' She wasn't good for you', because I know how much you loved her."
"But I will tell you this, it's the same thing I had told Iris. You're going to hurt for a while but you'll be okay. You're going to get better with time, it's going to be hard and you're going to be reminded of Cindy by the smallest of things. Don't let those things get you down, you hear me." Gladio says causing Prompto to shuffle uncomfortably where he stood "Look if you feel like locking yourself away or moping about find us. We'll help you through it."
Prompto hiccups as he wipes at his eyes "Bu-But...I thought th-that...I thought that she was perfect. I...I can't imagine life without her."
Gladio laughs "Iris said the same thing. You'll find someone else, it may take dating a few more times but you'll find Mrs. Right. This world is a massive place who knows there could already be someone out there looking for a gunmen skilled in photography with a Chocobo hairstyle." Gladio says smiling, but despite the smile Prompto only tears up "What if she doesn't like me either?"
I was actually surprised to see Gladio being patient with Prompto, I guess we can thank the fact he's experienced this already. Gladio sighs as he takes Prompto's hands into his own "Prompto. Prompto look at me...no just look at me."
Prompto finally met Gladio's gaze.
"Prompto, you may not see it right now but there are people out there who love your personality. Who will love you just for the simple fact you exist. You are special and if Cindy can't see that then she doesn't deserve you. You are someone that can easily brighten anyone's day."
Prompto looked like he was struggling to not break down again. His cheeks, ears, and nose were a pinkish red as he used his shoulder to wipe his eyes.
Each word Gladio said was obviously making the youngest out of us cry.
"And another thing. If you ever feel like crying go ahead and cry. Yeah I know I give you a hard time about it but if it's going to help you feel better then go for it."
With that Prompto let's out a loud wail as if the pain of rejection was far to heavy to bear. He moves his hands to his face as the tears came on full force and he was helpless against them. Gladio was the first one to move he pulls him into a side hug gently rocking him "There you go...get it out." He whispers to him causing Prompto to cling to his jacket as he buries his face into his chest.
Ignis and I move in and I loop an arm around Prompto, it hurt seeing him like this because he would never stop talking about Cindy, he was probably obsessed with her and having her knock him down like this...was probably like having your idol call you a brat.
I really don't know how long we stood there listening to Prompto's cries but once he calmed down enough we broke apart. Prompto looked horrible, his face was red and his eyes were puffy. He sniffles as he wipes his nose on his sleeve. He looks down at his feet before shyly looking up at us "Thanks...guys. I'm g-good now...thank you." He says weakly as I walk up behind him tangling my hand into his hair "You sure?" I ask for I never seen him cry like this before and it freaked me out.
He nods "Yeah...I'm sure." I nod at his response.
Gladio steps up and places a hand on his back gently patting him "You should go inside and wash your face, it's gonna help you feel better. And when that's done call it a night, a good night sleep will do you well." He says.
"Sleep does sound good." He says heading for the caravan "Night Prompto." I call out to him as he disappears into the shelter. I watch as Ignis follows in after him, I can only assume it's to fix our gunmen a warm drink. I look at Gladio who was staring at the garage "You never answered me." I say suddenly snapping him out of his trance.
"Earlier, I asked what will you do now knowing that Cindy was the one to make Prompto cry."
Gladio shook his head "There's so many things I want to do to her...but I'll just settle with talking to her...and be at peace with the knowledge that she won't be with Prompto. Because let's face it I'm positive there are far more cuter girls out there that will love him for himself."
I couldn't disagree with that.
I follow Gladio inside the caravan closing the door, for I too was ready for this night to be done with.
He will deny it all day everyday but Prompto is extremely sensitive. He may laugh or joke around about a comment directed at him but catch him in a quiet moment and you'll see him thinking about what you said.
I don't have enough fingers to count how many times I seen him sitting quietly thinking about who knows what. It even happens while we're walking he'd stop and mess with his glove in thought. However I really notice it in the Regalia we'd be talking and laughing and he'd stop, fold his arms over the car door and lay his head down just thinking. Prompto is sensitive and if Cindy knew that...maybe the night would've went differently.
Prompto loves Cindy which everyone knows. He doesn't go a moment without thinking of her or mentioning her to his friends. Yes, the youngest of the group has a crush and it's pretty bad.
But does Cindy feel the same? She has to right? Because let Prompto tell it "They have so much in common"
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