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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10. Sealed

The next morning, Evie asked the mirror how far away they were from Copper Cove. It wasn't a surprise when the mirror said they were hours away still, and Jay spoke for everyone when he said if he didn't go to the bathroom or get his hands on some sort of food, he would implode. Or was it explode? Either way, no one wanted that. Auradon had only four or so actual rest stops. They were all run down, dirty, and had about one employee on duty. The were left over from the days Fairytale characters were still in hiding, and regular people without any faerie ancestry were the majority.

The one our heroes came across was actually one of the nicer rest stops. It was run by some of Cinderella's animal friends, so it was kept in tip-top shape. They also recognized Chad when they walked in and he was almost immediately surrounded by friendly birds, mice, squirrels, and even a few rabbits. Chad didn't look the slightest bit annoyed at the attention and called each animal by the name, giving them all pats on the or shaking their tiny hands with his little finger.

"You guys go ahead and do whatever you need to. I'll stick around with these guys," Chad said while grinning at Jaq and Gus, who were sitting on his right shoulder. They both had aged quite nicely, with beautiful silver fir. Jaq had gained a bit of weight while Gus had lost a lot due to a diet Cinderella had recommended for them. The others consented to Chad's suggestion and went about their business, tended after by the other animals. Jaq climbed up Chad's neck and settled in his hair like it was home, making the teen smile.

"So, Chad, what brings you here?" Jaq asked in his familiar squeaky voice. Careful not to knock Jaq or Gus off of their positions on him, Chad sat down on one of the nice benches lining the walls before replying, "We're going to Copper Cove." Gus let out a squeal of terror and jumped into Chad's front pocket, quivering slightly in fear (he still hadn't gotten rid of his timid nature, even being as old as he was), and peeked up through the top of the pocket at Chad with wide eyes.

"Th-That's a s-scary place, Chad! D-Do Henri and C-Cinderella know you're g-going there?!" Gus exclaimed. Both mice noticed how Chad's expression darkened at the mention of his parents, but Chad quickly hid it with a smile. The well-meaning but slightly ignorant mice pushed the dark expression to the back of their minds and continued their interrogation of the young Charming.

"Why are you going there? Surely, like Gus suggested, your parents don't know. If they did, they'd be livid!" Jaq mumbled. "Why, I have a mind to go call up your mother and-"

"No! Jaq, please don't!" Chad said, jerking his head upward with so much force that Jaq tumbled backwards off the top of his head and gave out a little scream before grabbing some of Chad's hairs and pulling himself back up. "Well, why not?! Your mother trust all of us in full! I can;t just betray her trust like that!" Jaq huffed, sitting down in Chad's hair with his arms crossed. Chad's face fell and his shoulders slumped. Gus peeked his head out of the pocket once again, a concerned look on his tiny face.

"What's wrong, Chad?" The simple, three word question made Chad's stomach churned and he gripped the sides of the bench, his knuckles turning white. Gus looked up at Jaq and they exchanged a concerned glance. Scurrying out of their places, they crawled down Chad's arms and rested on his knees, perched up they were looking up at him. Chad kept his gaze up and straight forward, refusing to look at the kind, mentoring mice.

"This doesn't have anything to do with... with Derek, does it?" Jaq asked, taking off his small red hat and scratching his head. When Gus and Jaq saw Chad stiffen, their question was answered. "We'll keep our lips sealed for now," Jaq said with a smile, patting Chad's knee with his tiny hand. "Unless your parents panic, of course." Chad blinked in surprise and stared at the two mice on his knees, shocked that his mother's best friends would just go against her like that!

As if reading Chad's mind, Jaq said, "Your mother is a wonderful woman, Chad, but she can be a bit selfish sometimes. King Henri has some problems as well." Chad, still too shocked to really say anything, nodded and gave Jaq andd Gus a grateful smile. Letting out a small cheer, the two elderly mice scampered down Chad's pant leg.

Gus said, "Now, you best be on your way! Wouldn't want to miss that brother of yours!"

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