Gladio breaking up with his s/o before they're setting off on the account of knowing how dangerous it'll be even though he's crazy for them. But then Insomnia falls and he can't reach them and vice versa. During the 10 years of darkness they meet, Gladio still nursing a flame for his s/o. He finds his former s/o did move on but they never fell in love again. They never found anyone they connected with as well as they did with Gladio and tell him as such.
This was such a good idea Nonnie, I had fun writing it! Though I’m sorry it’s so long.I hope you enjoy!
Gladio x Reader
“What do you mean I can’t go with you?”
The voice felt like a thousand knives piercing his heart. He had never heard so much pain in it before, even after their long time together, and it was all because of him. Gladio could hardly bare to look at you, your pained expression only plunging the knife in deeper.
“You heard me. I can’t let you go. It’s far too dangerous, there’s a chance that we won’t make it back alive. I can’t let you suffer the same fate.”
“Oh great, you can’t let me suffer that fate, but I have to be okay with you swanning off to your possible death?”
Gladio frowned, his gaze finally dropping to the floor. He knew that this was going to happen, that you wouldn’t just agree without a fight. It was one of the reasons he loved you so god damn much. Your spirt and passion were definitely what drew him to you, and then bam that was it. Like a moth drawn to a flame, he couldn’t deny his feelings. You were his partner, always there to lend an ear after a stressful day, to get feisty and stand up for yourself and sometimes even him, to stay together and just be. But now, when that connection might put you in danger? Never. Not on his watch.
“It’s my duty. It isn’t yours. I know you won’t understand-”
“Oh no I understand just fine Gladiolus. I understand.” There was venom in your words now, choosing to cling to anger rather than the crippling heart ache you knew was just lurking underneath your angry words.
“You don’t think I’ll last five minutes out there do you? So what, you’re just going to… to walk away from me? From us?”
Gladio winced at your words, as if they were causing him physical pain. It certainly felt like they were, right to his heart. All that training, and this person can get me defenceless and vulnerable in under five minutes…
He dreaded saying what he had to next. He knew the anguish it would cause, for he would feel it too. He knew just what face they would make, knew that there surely could be no coming back from this.
But it’s my duty… And I can’t drag them down with me, it was never their choice. He tried to tell himself for the millionth time, none of those times ever making him feel even remotely better. Yet he still lifted his head to look you directly in your eyes as it was the least he could do. Your warm, bright eyes alight with such passion and anger…
Gods above he was really going to fucking miss you.
“I guess that I am. If it keeps you safe.”
You were stunned for a few seconds, frozen at the confirmation of your worst fears. But there it was. He was leaving you, and that was that. Gladio watched as the light dimmed from your eyes and your shoulders slumped, as if this very conversation had aged you. Sucked all the fight from your body.
He hated himself that he did that to you. Bile rose in his throat, and it took every ounce of strength he had not to rush over to you, to take you in his arms and tell you he wouldn’t leave. Anything to see the hurt go away.
“I see.” Is all you said, your voice breaking on the last word. Gladio took a step forward without thinking, hand outstretched to rest on your shoulder, such a familiar and warm feeling. But he stopped in his tracks as you stepped back, like the one move repulsed you.
“Then I guess… this is goodbye then Gladio.” And with that you turned, all the energy and anger completely zapped from your body, leaving room for the crippling emptiness to work its way around. You felt numb.
Gladio watched with a heavy heart as his lover walked away from him, slowly becoming a speck in the distance, never once looking back.
He was struggling to stay calm, his stomach a whirling pit of nausea as he strode forcefully over to the regalia, the others in tow.
The words whirled round his brain until they were a blur, until they had lost all meaning. He was only certain of one thing, they had to get back. It was hard to attempt to keep calm on the outside, telling Noctis to not worry just yet. But god damn it was he feeling the same.
I said to stay because they’d be safer… tch, what a fucking fool.
His heart was beating furiously, and although Ignis was really putting his foot down it just didn’t seem anywhere near fast enough. He’d left his lover in Insomnia, he had really thought that it would have been the safest place for them… if anything had happened… The guilt would be too much. And what had become of his sister? If he were to lose his only family… both you and her…
“Why? Why does he have to die?” The furious voice of Noctis came from the left side of Gladiolus, and although he was feeling something similar, a spark of anger prompted his reply.
“Don’t say that! Don’t say that until we know for sure! There’s always a chance.”
Noctis blinked at his sudden outburst, not realising that he was saying those words for Noctis just as much as he was for himself. Nothing has been confirmed yet, we don’t know yet… He played it over in his mind like a mantra, the only thing he focused on. They couldn’t be dead… not yet.
“Gladiolus is right, we need to see for ourselves.” Ignis agreed from the front of the car, also oblivious to the other reasons to his words of comfort.
“I guess you’re right…” Noctis muttered.
I pray to the six I am.
Finally the car stopped with a lurch and Gladio was the first one out in the pouring rain. Nothing could stop him now. He charged forward, swinging his great sword with a power he didn’t know he had, thoughts of you and Iris the only thing he could focus on. The few imperial guards stationed around the side entrance had no chance. Gladio cut through them as if they were nothing, as if he was slicing through the fog.
“Gladio! Watch it!” Prompto called, but the dark haired man was already on it, knocking the on coming guard flying and out of the way.
“Uh… looks like you’ve got this!” Prompto amended sheepishly, and carried on with his own attack.
Rain drenched his shirt through, his hair sticking to his face as he fought but nothing could keep him from his goal. And finally they reached the hill over looking Insomnia, over looking their home. He stood silently, sending his sword away as he watched the smoke rise to the sky from the destroyed city. And he knew in his heart, that all was lost.
10 years. 10 freaking years had passed, and still there was no sign of Noctis. Gladiolus was beginning to get impatient, but Ignis as always was the voice of reason, saying they had no clue what was happening to him in this time, and they just had to wait.
But Gladio was sick of waiting. The nights had stretched on and on until the sun just didn’t rise anymore, daemons appearing from every path except for the few remaining safe heavens. He just wanted it to be over, wanted everyone safe. He thought back to Iris, staying once more in the safety of Lestallum. Thank the gods she had been safe on that fateful day. Though, someone else hadn’t been that lucky…
The familiar feeling of dread and guilt swirled in his stomach.
Yep, it had been 10 years. But not a single one of those years had diminished what he had felt for his lover. Not a day passed where he didn’t think about them, where he didn’t wish he could go back and change his choice. Where he didn’t ask for their forgiveness.
I would change it all, I was wrong to make you stay. I would take it all back in an instant, I promise.
After coming into contact with Iris, Gladio had searched everywhere for his lover. Every place the group had gone to, he asked locals about you, showed them a small picture of the both of you he hadn’t been able to let go. It was crinkled and faded, worn from the numerous time he had shoved it in and out of his pocket. But he had never let go, and never stopped looking until… until the darkness fell. However, he had never truly moved on. There was just no one else who lighted that passion in him like you had, that spurred him on like you had, that was anything at all like you. There was no replacement for you, he had well and truly lost you. And it had all been his fault. Had he not been duty bound to protect Noctis, he would have walked away.
The young prince would never have known how hard it had been for Gladio to see him retreat into his shell after Luna had died. How he had needed Noctis to stand up for himself, to continue with his task, to persevere as best he could. Because Gladio had had to do it, so he could continue to protect Noctis. And seeing the prince so locked away just brought it all back for him. When he lost his someone.
The familiar anger bubbled in his veins, an easier way to deal with the pain he still felt after all this time. “Argh!” He cried, swinging his fist into the first tree he could find in the empty wasteland.
Where are those daemons, I need to fight with something right now.
As if answering his prayers, a noise that resembled a steely door dragging on its hinges echoed behind him. Turning around, he watched one giant red fist reach out of the swirling purple floor, a sword following it.
A red giant.
The daemon finally pulled itself out of the ground, shrieking and swinging its sword menacingly. It was a lot bigger than any other red giant Gladio had faced, but at the moment, he didn’t care. Anger had built up like it so usually did when he thought about his past mistake, a mistake that had cost you your life, that it clouded his better judgement. Without waiting to assess the situation, Gladio ran straight in to the fight, brandishing his sword and aiming straight for the giant’s head. It shrieked and swung for him, a huge fist barely dodging the man. But he wasn’t perturbed, and used that moment to jump up and bring his sword down on the monster’s wrist. It wailed in pain as Gladio landed on his feet easily.
Huh, ridiculous. He almost scoffed.
His muscles sang at the feeling of being used, his body coiled and ready to spring. He could feel the anger slowly leaving his body with every swing of his sword, as it so usually did when fighting daemons. It made him feel so much better – much more able to deal with his emotions. With the familiar feeling of his anger evaporating, Gladio went in for one last strike – but failed to notice the opposite arm swinging towards him.
“Ugh!” Gladio huffed as he collided with the giant’s arm, the wind rushing behind him as he flew through the air and struck one of the trees in the waste land. The impact winded him, causing him to cough as he struggled to catch his breath. Footsteps shook the ground beneath him as the giant strode ever closer.
Shit… I can’t die here, get up! Never give in!
Even chanting his mantra, the man struggled to get to his feet, his sword suddenly feeling so heavy in his hands. The giant finally loomed above him, ready to strike once more.
No… this can’t be it.
Suddenly there was another sound, drawing the giant’s attention away from the winded man on the ground. Looking up Gladio saw it – a figure, streaking through the night. He couldn’t place it, it definitely wasn’t Iggy who although was adept at fighting daemons, couldn’t jump so gracefully through the air such as this silhouette was. Prompto – well, grace wasn’t that guys forte.
The shadow quickly dodged through the air, missing an attack from the giant by mere inches. Winded as he was, Gladio still found himself to be impressed by the sheer grace and speed this person had. It couldn’t have even been Aranea, their armour wasn’t the same. And yet, watching their graceful attack on the giant with a short sword, Gladio couldn’t shake the feeling that this person was so familiar.
Who the heck are you?
The shadow danced around the giant to stand behind its back, and leapt into the air, sword brandished ready. In one swift move they had plunged it into the beast’s back, and with a great shrill the daemon fell to the ground, dissolving into the same purple goo in which it had appeared.
Without realising it, Gladio had managed to regain his normal breathing pattern and had been watching the figure move with an astounded expression. Finally, he managed to get to his feet and headed towards the figure ready to thank them, but their voice stopped him in his tracks.
“Not usually like you to need my help, big guy.” The person stepped forward, removing their protective face guard finally. And Gladio’s knees gave way, hitting the floor with a dull sound.
With a tentative smile, you stepped forward towards the slumped figure. He was exactly the same as you remembered him – in top physical form of course, though he seemed to have acquired more scars than you remembered. Still sans shirt, and still with hair that he stubbornly refused to get cut, now with an added ponytail. You couldn’t help it – a brilliant smile broke out on you face, remembering how you used to run your fingers through those black tresses, teasing him about how it would just get in his eyes while fighting and that he’d look like a daemon soon.
Gladio’s eyes were shinning, wet from the tears collecting in the corners of his eyes. He couldn’t believe it, there they were, stood right in front of him. Alive. It was like his heart had imploded, years of regret and guilt, love and longing had just burst through his self-inflicted barricade. It was too much.
“[Name]…” He breathed again, like your name was just a wonder to even be saying again.
“Wow, no one has called me that in a long time.”
Gently, you stepped forward towards Gladio, your hand outstretched to rest on his shoulder. But before you could, he caught hold of your hand and pulled you towards him, pulling you in a tight hug. You didn’t complain, your arms looping around his shoulders, burying your face into his neck and his ever growing mane. He still smelled the same. Familiar, warm. Your Gladio.
You weren’t sure how long you both stayed there, arms wrapped around each other. It was like you had been starved of each other’s touch, neither of you wanted to let go. And you were pretty sure you could feel Gladio’s silent tears drop into your hair. After a while you pulled back, remembering where you were and that another Red Giant could pop up at anytime. As you pulled back you could see the desperation in Gladio’s eyes – he wasn’t ready to let you go yet. And that thought alone made you feel warm in a way you hadn’t done for a long time.
“We should get out of here.” You suggested, and finally Gladio stood up, wiping any stray remaining tears away.
“I know a place.”
The old café had really been decked out, boxes of ammo lying around rather than tables and chairs, but you and Gladio managed to find some seats from somewhere. When the both of you arrived at Hammerhead, a tall man in aviators and a shorter blonde man had gone to greet Gladio, but he just waved his hand as if to say not now, later. The blonde man’s gaze had followed you quizzically.
You guessed Gladio hadn’t mentioned you to them.
“Who are they?” You asked as you sat down inside the warm repurposed café.
“Oh, they are my friends who I left on my journey with.” Gladio was a little hesitant to talk about this subject you could tell. The last time you guys had seen each other…
“Oh… well, I’ve heard about what has happened to the king of course. The star scourge… I never would have guessed anything like this would have happened.” You gave Gladio a sly smile. “Never would have guessed that one day you’d be relying on me to save your life either.”
At that, a spark finally twinkled in Gladio’s eyes – a familiar one.
“Well, I had done most of the work for you beforehand of course.” He grinned at you, his usual cheeky grin that you had loved so much.
“Get lost, had you even touched it?” You teased back.
“Of course, you only had to hit it twice.”
Your heart was racing. It was just like old times, like how your relationship had been before all of this had started. It was crazy how much you had missed it.
Gladio’s warm brown eyes never left yours, but his smile faded slightly. You knew what was coming.
“What… what happened?” His voice was soft, though still as deep and as gruff as you remembered it.
“It… well, it all went wrong as you know when the Nifs decided to throw the treaty out of the window. But while they were out wrecking things I… I managed to slip away in the carnage. I got out. Battered and bruised, but I got out.”
Seemingly without thinking, Gladio’s large hand came to rest atop yours.
“I just ran. Kept going until I came to somewhere with other people in it. I got questions of course, but I decided to change my name. I didn’t want to be tracked down by the empire or anything similar. And Gladio…I tried. I really tried to get a hold of you but I couldn’t for some reason. You were probably travelling all over on your ‘quest with the prince’ as you put it.”
You could feel his hand tighten on top of yours, and you knew in an instant he blamed himself. And of course, you were right.
All these years I have been moping… while my lover was still out there? Gladio could feel himself getting angry at his own actions, but had to stop himself in an instant. There is your lover now. Alive. In front of you! And at that thought, his annoyance left. He focused solely on you.
“So how did you… how did you get to be so good at fighting?”
You had to repress a smirk at that one.
“I decided I couldn’t just sit back and do nothing. Also, if I ever was caught by the empire I wanted a way to fight back. So I asked a few hunters to train me, and I’ve been slaying daemons ever since.”
“You…you’re a hunter?”
“I am indeed, Rank 10 I’ll have you know.” You told him proudly.
Gladio was impressed. He was beyond impressed. Though he wasn’t really surprised.
That is just like them… not to take things sitting down. What did I expect, them to cower for 10 years? The fondness he felt for you and the love just overwhelmed him. Gods did he want to kiss you right then and there. But he stopped, an odd and unwelcome thought striking him.
“So, did you ever… y’know. Did you meet someone?” It was very rare for Gladio to ever become nervous, but this was definitely one of those times. He was almost afraid of the answer.
The question made you smile.
“No… I mean, I stopped thinking I’d ever be able to track you down but… there was never anyone else for me. How about you?” You felt the same as he did, nervous to know the answer. But it came as a big relief to you as he shook his head.
“There never could be anyone else for me. [Name], I searched for you too. I wanted to know if you had made it out of there, but I was asking by your old name not knowing you would change it. Oh, and I also used this.” Gladio withdrew his hand to search for something in his pocket, finally setting the item down in front of you. Picking it up, you gasped.
“You kept this…?”
It was an old looking photo now, worn down and faded. The two of you stood in front of the castle gates smiling into the camera as some stranger you had stopped took the photo. Gladio’s hair was so short… and you had changed so much over the years.
“No wonder they didn’t recognise me.” You whispered, voice thick with emotion.
“Yeah, we are pretty different now.”
Gently you gave the photo back to Gladio, unable to stop the tears from gathering in your eyes. He noticed straight away of course, the look sending shocks down his spine. It was true you may have both changed, but Gladio would have recognised that look anywhere. It transported him back, all the way to 10 years ago, when he told you he was leaving.
And without another moments thought, he was out of his chair and by your side, pulling you up into his arms once more. It was so warm, so cosy and familiar, so right.
“[Name], I know it’s taken 10 years but I know we were destined to find each other again. Can we please… please give it another go?” His voice was quiet, you could hear the regret in his tone, knew the desperation he felt. You felt it too.
“Of course Gladio. I’ve never connected with someone like I have you, not in 10 whole years.” You smiled, giddy with the feeling of surprise and love for the man in your arms.
Well, I never would have guessed this would happen when I woke up this morning.
“Uh… hey.” An awkward voice cut through your moment, and you and Gladio reluctantly let go of each other to face the voice. It was the blonde haired boy from earlier, looking rather sheepish and terribly embarrassed.
“Sorry to interrupt, but Gladio I’ve just got a call from Talcott. Noctis is back.”
Even though you hadn’t really known the king that much, or as he was back then the prince, you knew how big of a deal his return was. Everyone would. It signified the possible end of the star scourge.
“Thank you Prompto, I’ll be out in a minute.”
The guy called Prompto nodded, then scurried off back outside. You turned to face Gladio once more, feeling his excitement from the prospect of the king’s return. He gazed at you also, his hand resting on either one of your shoulders.
“I know it’s only been a short while, but when Noctis returns I will need to leave-”
“Oh no, no way Gladiolus Amicitia. You are not doing this to me again, especially not after we have just found each other. I’m going with you.”
“[Name], no. We’ve just found each other – exactly! I can’t lose you again.”
“Gladio, I can do this. I’ve gotten stronger, just trust me on this.”
Gladio held you at arms length, looking straight into your [e/c] eyes. There it was, that oh so familiar passion, that determination that he loved so much. Sure, physically you may have changed, but you were still that head strong, loving person he had fallen for all those years ago. And your words echoed in his brain, causing him to think back on his last mistake and the words he had thought to himself mere hours ago – ‘I would take it all back in an instant, I promise.’
He heaved a sigh, but when he looked at you once more he was smiling.
“It’s gonna be hard work.”
“It’ll be dangerous.”
“It will probably be the most gruelling fight of your life.”
“Bring it on.”
Gladio shook his head and smiled.
“And that is why I love you.”
Then he brought his lips down to yours for a swift kiss. They would go to this last battle together, and fight together. But that was the part that mattered most, after 10 whole years apart, they were finally going to be together again. And that made Gladio feel stronger than ever.