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)


3. Discoveries

Evie walked past Chad shyly as she entered the dorm room he shared with Ben, feeling a bit self conscious about the whole thing. She was relieved when Chad let the other VKs, Ben, and Doug into the room as well, and quickly sat on the floor next to Doug, resting her head on his shoulder. Chad closed his door and had trouble locking it because of his shaking hands, but he managed to complete the simple task. He sat at the edge of his bed so he was facing his unexpected guests, but he kept his gaze fixed on the floor.

"So... who's the dude in the mirror? Is he your boyfriend or something?" Carlos asked after a few moments of awkward silence. "What?! No! I'm not gay!" Chad said with a sigh, his expression a mixture of confusion and weirded-outness. Evie's hopes of blackmail deflated and she sighed. So it was a friend, then. After all it couldn't be a family member; the guy in the mirror looked nothing like Chad. Chad's upset expression returned and his face twisted as he tried to hold back tears.

"Everyone always thinks that when they find out about him," Chad muttered, wiping his eyes on the jacket of his sleeve and sighing. "His name is Derek. He's turning sixteen in about a month or so. He's... He's my younger brother," Chad said, smiling at them all weakly. Oh. Evie was wrong again. They all gaped at him, their surprise apparent on their faces at the unexpected news. The teen in the mirror was Chad's brother? How was that possible? They'd never heard of or seen him before! Ben was the first to react as he blinked, staring at his ex-best friend in shock. "You never told me you had a brother!" he protested, and Chad chuckled humorlessly.

"Yeah, I know. It's kind of a long story, but... Do you guys really want to know about Derek?" Evie glanced around at the others in discomfort, and wasn't surprised to see that they looked just as uneasy as she did. Their original plan was to use what they learned about Chad against him, NOT LISTEN TO HIS SOB STORY AND FEEL SORRY FOR HIM! THAT WAS THE LAST THING THEY WANTED TO DO! I MEAN COME ON, THIS DUDE IS A JERK. AN EVIL, MALICIOUS JERK THAT CARES ABOUT NOBODY BUT HIMSELF AND TREATS THEM ALL LIKE FREAKING PUNCHING BAGS. HE'S A JERK I TELL YOU, A JERK!

Or was he? Evie didn't know him that well, just that he played her and used her to get his homework done. Was there possibly a softer side to Chad? There had to be, if the person he loved more than anything was his younger brother. Evie's eyes feel on the smiling boy's reflection in the mirror and a smile of her own formed on her lips. She tucked the mirror into her bag and leaned against Doug, ready to listen to what Chad had to say.

"Go ahead. I'm all ears," Evie encouraged Chad. Doug raised an eyebrow at her but didn't question her, settling against the side of Ben's bed and preparing to listen to him as well. The other occupants of the room grumbled and muttered to themselves, grudgingly following their example and paying attention to Chad. Said arrogant jock shifted uncomfortably, staring down at his hands.

"If I cry, you all better keep your mouths shut. This story could ruin my entire reputation," Chad said, and the only reason they all nodded in agreement was because of the slightly begging edge to Chad's tone. A royal never begged, never. Chad smiled in gratitude and cleared his throat, ready to begin.

"Derek and I have been close ever since we were little kids. Even though I was only one when he was born, I can still remember holding him for the first time. I knew in that moment that he would be my best friend, and my partner in crime if I ever grew up to be some sort of troublemaker. Over the years, we became closer and closer until it was almost like we were one person. I mean, he was a thousand times smarter than me, maybe even smarter than Doug, but neither of us cared. We actually made jokes about it," Chad began, a small smile on his face. Evie already found herself transfixed in Chad's story, both out of curiosity and the cuteness of the story.

"We made a promise to each other that no matter what, Derek and I would always stay friends. Even when I started coming to Auradon Prep and he was home schooled by mom and dad, we wrote letters back and forth and called each other. When he was old enough to come to Auradon Prep, he was so scared about fitting in, and getting compared to me, and getting picked on my the other kids. I told him he didn't need to worry and that I'd make sure he was just as popular as me and I'd take down anyone that tried to hurt him. But... B-But I didn't..." Chad's voice trailed off and he buried his head in his hands, his shoulders shaking slightly as he took deep breaths. Ben's expression softened and he sat next to him, putting an arm around his shoulders. Chad quickly looked up and scooted over a little, making Ben's arm fall from his shoulders. All of the others, even Jay, couldn't help but feel sympathetic.

"Anyways, like I was saying, I didn't keep any of my promises. Derek got beaten up pretty much every day, and sometimes... I was with the people that did it. It hurt me so much to watch him getting treated so badly, but the people who had chosen him as target said that if I did anything to stop them, they'd kill Derek," Chad continued. Evie gasped and Mal's hands flew to her mouth. Someone had threatened to kill Chad's brother?! Chad was growing closer and closer to tears as the minutes dragged on, and Evie wanted to stop everything right there. This was obviously painful for Chad, and it was just as painful to watch.

"And you guys call yourselves heroes," Jay spat with disgust, and Chad gave him a shaky nod. "I know. right? but the threats didn't even matter, anyways. The bullying got so bad that Derek... He didn't... he decided it wasn't worth it anymore. Later he told me that he didn't care if they ended up killing him, he'd only wanted me to stick up for him and be the big brother I'd always promised to be. So about a week or two before the last day of school, he tried to... to kill himself." Chad started crying and he closed his eyes, looking away to hide his face Carlos' eyes widened in horror and Evie clung tighter to Doug, biting her lip as she tried not to follow Chad's example and bawl her eyes out. This was so horrible...

"It's all my fault. Derek said so, my parents keep saying so, and I know it's true. Mom and dad pulled Derek out of Auradon Prep and sent him to a different school, somewhere in Sleeping Beauty and Philip's kingdom, and they didn't tel me where." Chad looked back at them, his jaw clenched and his hands shaking. "I haven't seen Derek in two years. I miss him so much, but dad won't let me talk to him. He says that I'll just keep hurting him. I tried to change and not be the way I was when Derek was here to prove to mom and dad that he could come back and he would be safe, but I became so bitter without him, and I've just gotten worse. You guys know that better than anyone," Chad finished, tears silently rolling down his cheeks.

For anyone who was curious, Derek Charming would be portrayed by Joey Bragg (The actor of Joey from Liv and Maddie) if he was a canon character and was in the movies. Thanks for reading, and don't forget to drop a like, favorite, and comment!

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