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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11. Down the Rabbit Hole

"How long, Evie?" Chad called into the back from his position in the driver's seat. Audrey, who was sitting next to him, looked back at the six in expectation. Evie pulled out her mirror and asked the question for what seemed like the fifth time that day, not bothering to keep the annoyance out of her tone.

You have arrived, the mirror said in a Siri voice. Chad hit the brakes so hard all of the limo's occupants lurched forward, Carlos screeching and clinging to Jay to keep from falling. Chad looked out at the desert like, empty space in front of him. There was nothing there. The mirror was wrong! Chad growled in frustration and reached into the back, grabbing the mirror out of Evie's hands. Sure enough, the mirror said that they were right on top of the school.

"This is bull crap!" Chad hissed, shoving the mirror back at Evie and slumping down into his seat, pinching the bridge of his nose in exasperation. Audrey hesitantly put a hand on her frustrated boyfriend's shoulder, trying to come up with something to say. Chad was visibly upset, shaking slightly and clenching his jaw tightly to keep from lashing out at anyone. The VKs, Doug, Jane, and Audrey all stayed silent, not wanting to set him off.

"There... There could be some sort of secret entrance. Maybe Copper Cove is underground...?" Jane suggested timidly. Chad hummed softly in consideration and looked back at Jane, surprising everyone with a slight smile. "Since when were you so smart?" Chad muttered, and Jane's face turned bright red. Chad unlocked the limo doors and motioned for the others to get out, opening his door and stepping out into the hot air. It was indeed some sort of desert, with a few shrubs and cacti growing here and there. Chad was already sweating in his blue suit from the blooming heat of the sun.

"Look for something that might get us in. Some sort of machinery," Carlos said when he got out of the car. The other teens all nodded and scattered in every direction, searching the ground for some sort of pole, security device, or anything else that looked out of place. Chad was looking behind a shrub when he felt someone poke his shoulder. He looked up to see Jane standing over him shyly, scuffing the ground with her shoe.

"I think I might have found something, but I need help uncovering it," Jane explained. Chad's eyes widened and he leapt to his feet, following Jane eagerly as she led him to her discovery. Behind a tall cactus plant, the edge of a metal plate jutted out of the ground. It had tons of grooves and things that looked like buttons. If that wasn't what they were looking for, then Chad wasn't a Charming. He quickly bent down and dug at the hard earth around the plate, not caring that his nails were chipping and the skin on his hands was getting scratched up. Derek was so close.

"You really want to see him again, don't you?" Jane murmured, kneeling at his side and helping him uncover the plate. "Yeah. I have for two freaking years," Chad snapped, hoping Jane wouldn't take offense. He was nearly at his wits end, and being so close to where his brother might be was starting to get to him. Jane stayed silent and the two of them dug, uncovering the plate bit by bit.

"This is it!" Jane squealed as they finally chipped away the last particle of dust. The plate began to glow brightly and the two backed away, watching in awe. The others saw the commotion and ran up, realization dawning in their eyes as they saw the brightly lit plate. The plate screeched as it opened, revealing a yawning black hole. Cold, musty smelling air came up from the hole and Chad looked down. It seemed to go on forever. Swallowing back the lump in his throat Chad regarded the hole for a moment.

He took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and jumped.

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