Not What He Seems

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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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16. Diva Intervention

"I still don't trust him," Derek whispered to Dominic, clinging to his arm as they walked behind the kid that claimed to be his older brother. "He looks nothing like Chad-"

"He said he was using a disguise, remember?" Dominic muttered back, sounding like he was trying to convince himself more than Derek. The bespectacled teen shook his head and glared at the back of the other boy's head. Derek didn't believe that guy for a second. There was no way Chad's attitude had changed that much in just two years. Disguise or not, this wasn't Chad. Chad had been a cruel, despicable person when he'd been sent away, not giving a damn about anybody but himself. Unless... Derek shook his head to clear his thoughts. Everything about this was insane, he had no idea what to think about any of this. 

"Chad! There you are, I was wondering where you went!" A girl who looked like a female version of Maxwell ran up to the boy who claimed to be my brother, kissing him excitedly before pulling away, a big smile on her face. He smiled wistfully at her, eyes softening. A few people walking by snickered at us, especially the two of them, but Derek was glad it wasn't directed at him for once. The girl's eyes fell on him. "You must be Derek. I'm Audrey, Chad's girlfriend," she said warmly. Audrey. That sounded familiar. Derek vaguely recalled a girl named Audrey who used to come around with Jane when they were much younger. 

"I remember you," Derek said softly. "You used to come over a lot. Our moms were friends." Audrey's smile grew wider and she flipped her hair over her shoulder somewhat smugly, happy to be recognized. 

"Well, I'm glad I can be a familiar face. Are you ready to go?" Audrey asked, looping her arm through Derek's and walking through the hallway with him. Derek's face flushed slightly at the action, not used to the attention. He just nodded, and Audrey flashed her white-toothed smile at him again. She began to speak when a hand came flying out of nowhere and slammed him into a locker. He saw Maxwell's angry face and sighed. This was really starting to get old. 

"You thought I was done with you? Fat chance," Maxwell hissed, his grip on the front of Derek's shirt tightening. Derek just looked back dully, folding his arms across his chest. 

"Ok, are you actually going to punch me or are you going to stand there like an idiot?" Derek snapped, glaring at Maxwell. The bully's nostrils flared, but before he could start his beat down, Audrey came up behind him and grabbed his elbow. 

"Max, don't!" Audrey pleaded, tugging on his arm. Maxwell stiffened. 

"Don't call me that," he spat, whipping around to who dared to get in his way, and the anger immediately dissolved from his face. His eyes widened and he lowered his fist, staring at Audrey in both amazement and disbelief. "No fucking way," he muttered under his breath, letting go of Derek's shirt. Audrey looked up at him, tears pricking her eyes. 

"Max..." Her voice was gentle as she took her older brother's hands. "It's Audrey. You remember me, right?" Audrey's voice held fear in it, and Chad knew why. Maxwell had been in here since he was 15 years old. He was 19 now. It had been four years since he had seen his sister. Maxwell's throat tightened. 

"Of course I remember you. You're...you're so big now," Maxwell said. Derek was taken aback by how soft he sounded. Where was the villainous bully who made him want to kill himself every day? It was unnerving as hell. 

"And you..." Audrey's expression hardened. "You've changed. And not for the better. What is wrong with you?" Max paled, but Audrey didn't let him get a word in. "Tormenting this poor boy every single day, for two years! Why, Max?! Do you get off on it or something?" she spat. Her eyes were blazing. Maxwell grimaced and tried to speak again, but Audrey was far from done. "It's no wonder you got locked up in here! I was angry at mom and dad for putting you in here. I thought you didn't deserve it, but I was wrong. You're a monster, Maxwell. I hope you rot." Max and Derek both stared at the princess in shock until Audrey gently took Derek by the arm, her kind demeanor returning. "C'mon hun, everyone is waiting." Max watched them go, jaw clenched. Derek cast one last glance back at Maxwell, watching until the other boy disappeared into the crowd. 

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