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SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS THE AU POINT IS A SPOILER SPOILERS SPOILERS

Fandom: Final Fantasy 15
Rating + Warnings: R No Unusual Warnings Apply
Word Count: ~~2000
External Link: NA
Summary: I changed a thing in it but it's a basically a spoiler for the whole plot.



Gather strength oh Chosen
The fate of the world falls to the King of Kings
His Providence consecrated in the divine light of the Crystal
so it is ordained


Not even the glory of Leviathan could prepare Noctis for what was before him. That was Bahamut. Noctis stood upon the deity's palm and searched Bahamut's face for something to connect to. Though Noctis was devoid of dragon fear by birth, he felt a shudder that started in the depths of his chest roll along his spine.

The other gods that he had dealt with immediately pressed a sense of familia in Noctis. Bahamut only radiated aloof determination that made Noctis feel like a means to an end. Despite his misgivings, Noctis' worry for his friends was stronger. He shouted up questions to the dragon god.

Prompto, Luna, and the others were alive. Alive at least as much as "standing against the darkness and abiding in hope" could mean.

Bahamut answered in flowing speech that was far more formal than Noctis used outside of court. It felt strange to be called things like "the True King" and "Chosen One". Noctis was still rolling the meaning of everything from Ardyn Izunia an immortal Usurper to the death of the Chosen One – wait.

"Hey! S-Stop a minute!" The dragon god's face never moved, but Notcis felt a wave of offense at his insolence. "You mean Ardyn is my ancestor?"

No answer came, the giant palm tipped.

---+++---


"Oh Lady Lunafreya, I thought I'd killed you. Don't you know your part in the play is over?" Ardyn smirked at the seething group before him. "I suppose I'll have to take care of that now."

"Over my dead body." Gladiolus surged to his feet and stepped in front of Lunafreya.

Lunafreya moved to stand beside Gladiolus and lifted her trident. "What did you do with Noctis?"

A wide smile split open like a wound on Ardyn's face. "Oh, he's being quite rude, don't you think?" His eyes half closed and he chuckled in a self satisfied manner "I suppose I can bare to wait longer."

With an explosive shattering sound the Crystal split open. Brilliantly lit shrapnel erupted from the center crystal. The smaller, glass-like fragments cut across Ardyn's cheek around the same time his smile fell. He dodged to the side in a blur of color. A giant crystal fragment took out the railing and part of the bridge before it's trajectory was stopped by the thick wall of the tower. The whole of the crystal had shattered and the fragments imbedded themselves about the room where they vibrated with an undulating rhythm.

The of the bridge buckled with force and dropped Noctis' friends to their knees. Gladiolus attempted to shield the others with his own body. His jacket took the brunt of punishment, though the hits were hard enough to bruise or crack a rib. The bridge trembled loosely on its support structure.

In the breathing punctuated, undulating hum, what was left of the crystal spun in a gentle bobbing motion. Jagged, but intact, the bottom of the crystal hummed in time with its lost shards. Ardyn ran the back of his wrist against his mouth; the action scraped crystal fragments against his cheek and prompted black blood to drip down his cheek. Then, suddenly, the crystal and all its fragments went black. Everything plunged into silence so quickly that a familiar thunderclap nearly went unnoticed.

A flash of blue light brought Noctis to a stop just behind his friends. His eyes glowed and his body hunched; the smile on his face was almost feral. "Change of plans, grandpa. You two need to hug it out."

Ardyn gasped and looked behind him at the crystal before scowling back at Noctis. In the same moment, Noctis connected with Ardyn's chest at full speed. The crystal lit back up brilliantly and started to attempt to absorb both Ardyn and Noctis with him.

"No!" Prompto lunged forward and wrapped his arms around Noctis' waist. "I gotcha buddy!" As one, the rest of the group surged to their feet and reached out for Noctis.

Noctis' right hand closed on the sleeve of Ignis' shirt "shit!" He struggled against the crystal.

With a loud yell, Ardyn yanked a hand free of the crystal and grabbed ahold of Noctis' left wrist. He jerked the smaller man to him and gripped Noctis' tightly by the bicep. "This. Isn't. How-" Ardyn's protest was cut short when his mouth was swallowed into the crystal. The crystal's hum rose in pitch and began to thunder around the tower. Parts of scaffolding began to come loose, though the sounds were muffled by the roaring light.

They were engaged in a grueling tug-of-war for Noctis. Ardyn's free hand snapped and morphed into a dark claw that embedded itself into Noctis' left arm, just above the elbow. The blackness bled from Ardyn's body like living tar that twisted and glopped about in it's attempt to swallow the Crystal, Ardyn, Noctis, and the young prince's friends.

Ardyn's head and total left side had vanished. The moving black slop made it impossible to tell if he was in or out of the Crystal at that time. "On three" Ignis said then counted down to a rallied jerk.

There was a sharp pop and Noctis cried out in pain. "My arm!" He hissed out.

"You wanna lose the arm or the rest of you!?" Gladiolus ground out.

"Just hold on!" Ignis yelled over the noise "if you let go we'll lose him!"

Everyone strained and the Crystal surged. Noctis' body was sucked down to the shoulder. Blackness oozed around his neck.

Lunafreya…

"Don't let go!" Prompto yelled. The Crystal started to tremble.

Lunafreya could only feel the chaos from the vibrations of scaffolding under her feet. She let go of Noctis and took a silent step back. Everything felt so slow around her. She could see Prompto's shock, read the lips of Ignis and Gladiolus.

Lunafreya... who was that? It's us. Sitting at the entrance were Umbra and Pryna.

"You've never talked be-" Lunafreya looked down as a shard of crystal slowly scraped against her arm. It was so sharp that she barely felt it as it worked a fine line across her skin. She looked back up at her messengers and then, she understood. "Help me."

The two dogs nodded and turned to leave. Pryna cocked her head to the side let go.

Frantic panic hit Lunafreya's chest but she turned against the world as it sped up. "Let him go." She said with finality.

"You crazy!?" Prompto snapped.

"Luna!" Noctis' closed his mouth and held his breath.

She took a step forward and placed her hand on Ignis' shoulder. "Please."

Prompto was the last to let go. His hand clenched and unclenched tightly as if it would keep him from running forward again.

Lunafreya reached out and held Noctis' right hand. She pushed the ring he wore to her forehead. "Please don't take him too." She then whispered something else in a tongue older than Bahamut itself.

With that blinding light cracked around the room. The Crystal shook and the very foundation of the building groaned under the pressure. The tension stretched to the point of being brittle and then it finally snapped.

All that could be felt was falling. The ground was unforgiving and with the impact, they were all knocked into an uneasy blackness.

---+++---

It was Lunafreya who awoke first Umbra and Pryna's urging. "Oh..." the world swam evasively before her. She reached out clumsily until her hands gripped the fur of her dogs. "Pryna, Umbra." She swallowed, the tangy metallic taste of blood and sandy grit forced its way down her throat. Lunafreya took a deep breath with her eyes closed then let it out slowly. Another breath. Then the Oracle opened her eyes.

Above her the broken Crystal still glistened. Its light was radiant and showed off how the tower had been split into quadrants like a log after a sharp ax strike. It crackled with something like electricity as it spun alone, hanging in the air.

"Pretty sure that's still not good." Gladiolus spat out a mess of rust and blood after he spoke. He was bleeding from multiple cuts and gashes, though only a few looked rough enough to scar.

"It is better than the alternative, however." Lunafreya glanced over her shoulder at him. She grimaced in pain at the motion.

"I take it we're not out of the woods yet." Ignis made a motion to adjust his glasses, they weren't on his face however. In mid-motion he changed the direction and ran his hand through his hair. "Just part of the crystal then?"

"Yup." Gladiolus had made it to his feet and was helping Lunafreya to hers.

"Where is the rest of it?"

"That will take time to figure out." Lunafreya commented.

Prompto sprung up to his feet. "More importantly! Where's Noct!"

"H-here." Noct's voice was faint and strained. He sounded like he had been screaming for hours. His breaths were raspy and hurt to listen to.

"Are you able to move?" Ingis asked.

Prompto didn't wait for an answer and scrambled over parts of the wreckage. After he reached the crest of metal he could be heard scrambling down the other side. "Gladio! Help me!"

Gladiolus looked at Ignis and Lunafreya. "Go help him. We can handle ourselves." Ignis then found a spot to settle down in a seated position. "We'll wait here."

The crater that Noct and Ardyn were in was deeper than expected. It looked as though they had both been shot into the ground to cause it. Both of them were barely on their feet. Noctis was at a half-kneel with his right hand holding his dislocated left shoulder. Through his tattered clothes one could see his veins were glowing in an angry red and purple. Spidermarked lighting scars stretched from his left hand till they were hidden under his shirt. His left eye was swollen shut, blood trickled from it's corner. The other was glowing with that esper-pink light.

Ardyn, by contrast appeared to simply be standing in the name of spite. His knees were braced together and both of his hands were clutching at his chest. He snarled, "Impudent idiot. This is not what I intended!"

Noctis straightened his back as much as he could and taunted "you didn't ask my permission."

"And who are you?!" It was strange to see Ardyn unhinged and angry. His otherworldly calm shattered for a horrifying moment. His yellow eyes were narrowed and that thick, old tar that kept him going spilled from the corners of them and his mouth. Ardyn shut his eyes and curled into himself slowly then took a deep breath.When he spoke, he was calm again. "It doesn't matter who you think you are." He slowly straightened and then lifted a hand to adjust his hat. "Fine. Now what shall we do about this, wayward prince?"

Noctis glanced behind him and momentarily stumbled. Prompto grabbed Noctis' arm to keep him up. "Noct?"

"Or maybe my little puppet could just drag you over. Eh, Prompto?"

Noctis let out a growl and sneered. "Fuck. You."

"You're the one that chased the little reject off." Ardyn tilted his chin up "Hrm? Remember that?"

The hand on Noctis' arm was shaking slightly. Noctis lowered his head and put a hand over Prompto's to steady it. "Don't listen to this bullshit, Prompto."

"Awww. If I'd have known, I'd have dismantled it for you and shipped it back."

"Noctis, he's trying to taunt you." Ignis warned.

"Brilliant deduction there! Oh, over here. Here. Shall I clap? I know you're not seeing so well these days." Ardyn smoothly turned his ire onto Gladious "You truly are shit at this job, aren't you? I say this harshly but I only have your best interests at heart."

Gadlious growled, but before he could say anything Ardyn continued.

"One dead king, One dead parental figure, oh, and let us not forget Lady Lunafreya's brother. I do hope you killed the poor boy quickly. Traitor's deaths and all."

"You asshole!" Luna snapped; her voice cracked with threatened tears. "Why are you doing this?"

"Because I can, my dear Oracle. Because I am what happens when people like you can't die." He waved a hand. "And spare me the tearful denial. I know you so much better than you know me or even yourself. Don't you have any resentment in that pure perfect soul?" He smiled widely and placed a hand on his hip. "Don't answer that either, it's rhetorical. Everyone has resentment."

He took a deep breath. "Fine, be all sunshine, rainbows and kittens. Let me introduce you to a friend of mine. He doesn't quite care for humans much." Behind Ardyn a fire began to rise. It knotted and rose as a throne with a figure upon it. The great horns of the deity stretched taller than some of the buildings in ruins around them. Ardyn spread his arms wide and spun in a slow circle, "Ifrit!" He lowered his hands and then lowly added "teach these idiots a lesson."

"I thought…" The heat rolled off Ifrit enough that Ignis didn't need to see to be able to tell where he stood. "...I thought that the gods were dead."

"Sleeping." Lunafreya answered. "Able to be awakened in times of need."

"I think that the rulebook changed on us." Gladious grabbed his sword and spun it once.

Without leaving his throne, the fire god dismissively waved the air in front of his face. Fire roared up like a wave at sea. Unable to flee, Noctis and the others put their guard up in a futile attempt to last against the flames.
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