If you're still taking prompts, I'd really love to see Prompto suffering from nightmares after the events of "Memories of the Past", and Ignis recalling the calming effect that hair petting had on child Prompto. Poor Prom is too exhausted to be embarrassed, though there's nothing to worry about as Ignis cares so much for his wellbeing. It's really, really soothing. (Those tender, bittersweet moments between the two just slayed me, I love that fic so much!)
What a sweet prompt! This one was really fun to do. Thank you for sending it my way, and I’m glad to hear you liked MotP. <3
A Soothing Touch
It’s been scarcely a week, but already most of the obvious signs have faded.
Prompto no longer starts when someone approaches without warning from behind. At meals, he’s stopped taking seconds and thirds, just to prove that he can. His aimless chatter has returned: frequent, and optimistic, and full of humor.
Perhaps Gladio and Noctis are taken in by the thin veneer of normality.
Ignis, however, does not have that luxury. By habit, he wakes early, to drink his first cup of coffee in peace and begin the preparations for breakfast. He sees Prompto’s face, unguarded in sleep, twisted with pain and terror, and he knows that, though the physical changes have faded, some lingering ill effects from his brush with the time daemon yet remain.
It cannot be easy, these memories of a past Prompto’s struggled so hard to leave behind.
This morning’s nightmare, it seems, is particularly unpleasant. Prompto shifts and jerks in his sleeping bag, as though trying to escape some nameless foe. He makes a sound, low in his throat, like a wounded animal. His face is paper-pale in the early morning light, and Ignis can just make out the tears tracking slowly down his cheeks.
All at once, Ignis decides his coffee can wait.
He takes care not to wake Gladio or Noct, moving with careful steps over their sleeping forms until he stands beside Prompto. Then he lowers himself to the tent’s floor.
He still remembers the way Prompto felt in his arms, when he was so much smaller. He recalls the way that fragile frame trembled against him, and how readily a gentle touch calmed him into contentment.
Carefully, Ignis reaches out to smooth his fingers through Prompto’s hair.
He sets a steady rhythm, the one that became habitual in the few days Prompto was reverted to a younger self. It’s the way he would stroke a frightened animal: soft, and gentle, with infinite care.
Perhaps Prompto can feel it, even in sleep. His restless motion stills, and he makes another sound, quieter this time: almost pleased.
Ignis stays that way for perhaps ten minutes, nothing but the feel of Prompto’s hair between his fingers and against his palm. He stays until the nightmare, whatever it was, has been soothed away. Then he moves to rise.
Breakfast won’t cook itself, after all.
“Iggy?” says a quiet voice beside him.
When he looks, he sees that Prompto’s awake, peering up at him with eyes that are still red from crying.
There’s a pause that lasts so long Ignis is certain Prompto won’t say anything.
Then, finally: “Could you keep doing that? Just for a little bit.”
“Of course,” says Ignis. “For as long as you like.”
Perhaps breakfast can wait, after all.