Not What He Seems

Chad takes things too far in his efforts to torment Evie, Jay, Mal, Carlos, Doug, and even Ben, and they hatch a plan to get their revenge. But when something shocking and sad about Chad is revealed, they find themselves wanting to help him instead of hurt him. What will the VKs and their friends decide to do? Contains violence, depression, and talk of suicide throughout. (Entry for the "Battle of the Fandoms" competition in the OUAT/Disney category)

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15. Brother

Chad's POV:

I looked at Derek, tears welling up in my eyes as he was hugged tightly by his battered friend. He just laid there on the ground with blood streaming from his nose, putting his jacket back on to cover the scars I had gotten a glimpse of. The crying boy that held my brother in his arms looked up at me, his eyes swollen and rimmed with red. I recognized him as Dominic, Doug's cousin, who'd gotten thrown in this dump after taking the blame of a robbery he didn't even know about. I was about to say something when Derek let out a soft moan, burying his head in Dominic's hair and inhaling a shaky breath. I rushed over to my brother's side, running a tanned hand through his hair and let out a shaky breath. How could I let this happen to him? How?!

"W-Who are you?" Dominic choked out, clutching Derek tighter to his chest, his eyes blazing as his body tensed protectively. I smiled dryly at Dominic and quickly wiped my face before setting a hand on Dominic's shoulder in what I hoped was a reassuring way. Derek tensed and his eyes glanced up at me. I gave him smile. 

"It's me, Chad. I'm here to get Derek out of this place. I'm with some of my friends," I said lowly, at Derek's eyes widened. He tried to scramble out of Dominic's arms and go farther away from me, but I grabbed his wrist before he could get anywhere. He gasped in slight pain and I loosened my grip as much as I could without letting go, not wanting to hurt Derek anymore than he already was. 

"L-Let go of me! Stop it!" Derek said, his voice panicked. He wrenched away from me and backed up against the drab, gray metal lockers, shaking with pure terror and holding his hands out in front of him as if to protect himself. Dominic stood up and stood in front of him protectively, his eyes flickering from me to people walking through the halls that stared at my distraught brother. I glanced around, becoming a bit irritated, and leaned close to Dominic to whisper in his ear.

"I know you don't recognize me. It's a disguise. If you come with me, I might be able to get you out of here along with Derek. If not that, you can at least see Doug." Dominic stared at me, his eyebrows raised in alarm. 

"Doug's... here? With you?" Dominic asked weakly, his blue eyes lighting up slightly with hope. I nodded and Dominic glanced back at Derek, who had curled up on the ground and was muttering softly to himself, running a hand through his shaggy black locks as he quivered. Dominic turned back to me grimly. "I don't know if I should believe you... How do I know if you're not one of Maxwell's henchmen?" Dominic asked, his eyes firmed. There was that dwarf stubbornness again... 

"If I was with Maxwell, would I have made such an effort to defend him? I mean, come on, when we went to Auradon together I knew you were kind of stupid, but this is a whole new level for you. Just trust me, okay? I only intend to help, not harm," I said slowly, choosing my words carefully and throwing in the joke to lighten Dominic up a bit. The other teen still seemed skeptical, but he gave a curt nod and turned back to Derek, kneeling in front of him and cupping his face in his hands. Derek flinched and tried to pull away at first, but when he opened his eyes and saw it was Dominic he immediately calmed down. The two boys exchanged a few words before Dominic stood up and helped Derek get on his back, piggy-back ride style. 

"Alright... take us to the others," Dominic mumbled. 

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