Trying out the present tense… it’s hard, guys.
They think I don’t see. They think I’m concentrated fully on
the road. But I can see them, I’m not blind. Prompto’s chattering away in my
right ear, completely oblivious; Gladio’s reading his latest book; Iggy’s
drinking his coffee. On the surface, it looks like they’re just doing their own
thing, but in the mirror I see it – Gladio’s hand moving from his own lap over
to Iggy’s, giving a small squeeze to his knee. Iggy smiles slightly, his eyes
going soft as he looks out at the passing Duscae landscape. His own free hand
moves to rest atop Gladio’s, his fingers curling around the much larger palm
and squeezing. Gladio’s cheeks redden slightly and Iggy’s smile grows a bit. I
feel myself smiling too as I round the corner and head into Cleigne. I’m with
three of the greatest friends I ever could have asked for – and I’m glad two of
them have found happiness. They’ve given me so much love and support over the
years – I can’t put to words how happy I am to see they’ll be able to be there
for each other too.
I’ve started to love driving. Not because I enjoy not being able to grab a nap in the back seat – god I hate that – but because I know Iggy’s one, getting time to steal some much-needed rest and two, stealing a few hand squeezes and knee-touches with Gladio while he thinks no one’s watching. I think it’s sweet, really, the way they keep stealing these little moments when they think Prompto and I won’t notice. It’s kind of adorable how shy they are about it. I mean, it’s Iggy and Gladio – they aren’t usually shy about a damn thing. And I mean, it’s not like Iggy’s sexuality was ever exactly a secret. We all just kind of knew without him ever saying anything. Sure, Gladio comes as a bit of a surprise to me; but it really does put how protective he is of Iggy in battle into perspective. I always just thought Gladio thought Iggy was all style and no stabbing – but I guess love just makes you worry all the time. I can get that; I love these guys to death – and I worry all the damn time about them.
I see Gladio’s hand make its way up to Iggy’s hair, replacing a few strands that blew out of their usually-perfect placement in the wind and I almost snort before catching myself. Here’s Gladio, the big, serious macho-man being the sweetest, most damn adorable dude I’ve ever seen. Huh. Maybe that’s why they’ve been keeping this on the down-low. Maybe it’s Gladio who just isn’t ready for us to see this side of him yet. My eyes fall back on the mirror as Iggy’s hand goes up to pull Gladio’s away from hs hair, holding it instead on the seat between them, smiling at down at the newspaper in his lap that he’d bought at the Coernix station with his Ebony. Gladio’s thumb rubs the back of Iggy’s hand until Iggy pulls his hand away when Prompto turns around to ask him a question about whatever random fact he’s been looking up on his phone this whole time.
Gladio’s expression looks sad to me in the mirror, missing Iggy’s hand in his. Or maybe, I guess, looking at the sour way he watches Prompto help Iggy replace his flyaway hairs by pointing them out, he’s just upset to have lost Iggy’s full attention. Luckily for him, Prompto’s easily distracted and I’m the greatest friend in the world, so I call Prompto’s attention back away from them and out of the car by pointing out the way the sun looks shining down on the dewy trees and rocks, and he starts rooting around for his camera, excited. Gladio’s lips quirk upwards the second Prompto turns away, and he leans over in the pretense of checking out the page Iggy is reading, but I see his lips press against Iggy’s cheek on the way. The cheek turns pink and Iggy huffs at him, nudging him away with his shoulder. Gladio smirks and straightens up, pulling out and opening his book, leaving one hand on the seat between him and Iggy. It only takes a minute for Iggy to reach out and take it again, shooting Gladio a gentle smile before turning his attention back too his paper, cheeks pink, as I see Gladio’s thumb start rubbing the back of Iggy’s hand again. I really can’t help but smile. Not only is this the most damn adorable thing I’ve ever seen, but these guys are also some of the best friends I could ever ask for – they desrve the world. They at least deserve a few stolen moments together in the back of the car, at least for as long as I can keep Prompto distracted. I love these guys more than anything, and I’ll do anything to make sure they can stay this happy forever.
It’s a gratifying thing knowing Iggy trusts me enough now to actually fall asleep while I drive at night. I mean Prompto, hell, he can sleep anywhere, something he proves easily sleeping with his head at a really awkward angle against the side of the Regalia, his mouth hanging open, lips and hair fluttering in the wind. I snort so hard it hurts a little– he looks like such a dork.
The sight of Iggy in the rear-view mirror, asleep against Gladio’s shoulder, catches my attention. He looks so peaceful, none of that nagging worry I keep seeing in his eyes. I can’t help but smile – he looks… happy, there’s no other word for it. My smile grows as he snuggles closer to Gladio in his sleep; it’s the most damn adorable thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Scratch that – Gladio pulling him closer and kissing Iggy’s hair is the cutest friggin’ thing I’ve ever seen.
Gladio looks up and notices me looking and grins. ‘So how long you been grinning like an idiot at how adorable Iggy is when he gets all snuggly?’
I snort and roll my eyes at him. ‘Couple weeks. And come on, it’s not just him who’s being cute. Why you guys sneaking around? You know we don’t care what you two get up to when you sneak off, right?’
‘It’s Iggy who worried,’ Gladio shrugs, adjusting his shoulder as Iggy moves closer in his sleep. ‘He didn’t want you to think his dedication or focus would be compromised. Which is stupid, because no one is more dedicated or focused than Iggy.’
‘Right?’ I laugh. ‘Well you tell him that I don’t give a shit how snuggly or, ya know, otherwise,’ I wink in the mirror at him, ‘he wants to get with you. He’s still my Iggy. And I still love him just the same. You know, just not the same as you do.’
‘I hope not,’ Gladio yawns. ‘You looking to take a break or what?’
‘Naw, I’ll keep driving. You go ahead and get some sleep. Trust me, you’ll know if we run into any daemons.’
Gladio nods and rests his head on Iggy’s, falling asleep almost instantly. It’s a warm and fuzzy feeling, knowing two of your best friends are so happy together, and of course, knowing I’m helping them get some cuddle time in. I turn towards the nearest rest area, Taelpar or whatever, and smile. I’ll do whatever I can to make sure they get as much as they need; because they’re my friends, and I love them more than anything – no matter what I have to do for them. And really, there are worse things than driving at night right? It’s not like any of us are in mortal danger. At least not as long as any Iron Giants don’t materialise in the street.
‘They still secretly cuddling back there?’ Prompto asks groggily.
‘Go back to sleep, Prompto, you get really grumpy when you’re tired.’ I smile as Prompto passes out again almost immediately. I hate the silence, but I’d rather have them all happy and well-rested than not. Like I said – they’re my friends. I want only the best for them.