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 i. audrey

the day the vks came to school, nothing else too monumental really happened. audrey lamented to chad about how stupidly pretty these stupid villain girls were, he tried to pretend he cared about females in any shape or form (beyond using them for homework), and that was that. audrey knew he wanted to stay as far away from the ‘new kids’ as possible, and she never blamed him.

the vk’s never really fit in, but at least they tried. some of them tried. but even after audrey struck up a very close friendship with evie, an understanding with mal, and a friendly acquaintance with jay, she didn’t… know much about carlos de vil. or talk to him. or think about him. which was bullshit, because she knew everything that went on in her school. but the kid was basically invisible.

this was why she was so confused when chad was suddenly dropping everything to follow de vil around.

“he’s helping me with math,” chad would say one day. “he showed me this really nice place in the woods.” he would say the next. he always had a reason to be with de vil, and he always sounded grossly affectionate when talking about him.

she demanded that chad introduce them, then. as chad’s longest and sometimes only friend, she had to be sure that de vil wasn’t going to do something evil, even though after the coronation she was only one who remained cautious. so chad introduced them.

“hi, audrey,” carlos said, and he smiled at her. she was taken aback, always having found him to be aloof. “evie talks about you all the time. we haven’t really talked much one on one though, have we?”

she shook her head and then him and chad came into her dorm, chad giving her a thumbs up. something was a little weird. the way that carlos’s hand would linger on chad’s arm, the look in his eyes when chad did something… hm. obviously she was letting her cautiousness get the best of her, because carlos was the sweetest boy she’s ever met. she chalked everything up to puppy love, and sipped her tea.

little things changed.

chad starts showing up to less and less of their hangouts. he never gave an exact reason why, but he would always be skittish and not look at her.

“are you okay?” she would ask him, and he’d nod and leave and then text her saying he couldn’t saturday, or sunday, or monday or tuesday or any other day.

which is fine. whatever. he was caught up in carlos, and that was fine. she’d give him some time to get out of the honeymoon phase, and then he’s be running back to her.

two months passed.

“what’s the deal with carlos?” audrey asked evie. they were on one of their tea times, the ones where audrey didn’t invite the other princesses. she liked to call them dates, evie liked to call them princess time. but they still held hands, so audrey didn’t care.

“what do you mean?” evie set her teacup down gently. “is there something wrong with him?”

“well, no,” audrey copied evie. “i just haven’t seen chad much. guess they’re spending all their time together.”

evie frowned. “i didn’t even know carlos was seeing chad. he never mentioned it,”

audrey paused for a moment collecting her thoughts. “ i might be mistaken, then.” but she wasn’t. she knew she wasn’t.

after tea time, she went to chad’s dorm. she knocked, and carlos answered. “oh, hi,” he said, obviously surprised to see her. “chad’s in the shower, uh… do you need him?”

she blinked, then shook her head. “yes. well… it can wait, i know how long he can take in there. tell him i stopped by?”

carlos gave her a smile and nodded, brushing his hair out of his face. “of course i will. how was tea time with evie?”

“it was… good,” audrey smiled tightly, not sure why she felt so uneasy. it’s just carlos. of course he wouldn’t tell evie about chad, after their past together.

the two said goodbyes and audrey went back to her dorm, humming. she never saw the disappointment in chad’s eyes when carlos told him nobody was at the door.

 ii. evie

if asked how long she knew of carlos, evie would say always. she was always aware of the boy who lived next to her, mostly because of the screaming always emitting from hell hall. as for how long she knew carlos… well. sometimes she still wasn’t sure that she knew him at all.

he was quiet in school, kept to himself, but was nicer to her than anyone ever had been. while she was being outcast and picked on by other kids, carlos would smile and tell her not to worry, because they’d leave her alone eventually.

sometimes she used to imagine a world where she could date carlos, not a prince. then she realised he was like her brother, and she was very interested in princesses.

but still, she understood exactly why someone would want to date carlos, or could fall in love with him.

she didn’t really understand how chad charming was one of those people.

her opinion of him was low enough to begin with, but the only reason she could think that carlos wouldn’t tell her about him was if chad didn’t want her to know. which just made her mad, because she was so over chad and he acted like she was still hung up on him.

she got back to her and mal’s dorm, and she almost pulled out her knife when she saw carlos sitting on her bed. she calmed down, taking labouring breaths while putting a hand on her chest. “god! carlos, don’t scare me like that!”

his lips quirked up in apology. “sorry, e,” he said. “but you weren’t here, so i decided to wait.”

she sighed and took off her jacket and purse, sitting next to him on the bed. “how did you even get in here?”

“don’t apply logic to de vil,” he told her seriously, before breaking into a tiny laugh. “the door was unlocked.”

“oh,” evie specifically remembered locking it. weird, maybe mal came in and forgot…

“i actually needed to ask,” carlos dug around in his pockets, then pulled out a small chain. “can you customise this for me?”

evie took it and looked at it. “oh, it’s so pretty!” she hummed slightly, then looked at him. “is it for chad?”

his eyes widened, and he quickly looked away, blushing. aw. “uh… how did you know about…” he hit his head. “ugh, audrey, right.”

“a, it’s okay,” she put the necklace on her side table and took his hand. “you don’t need to hide it from me because chad’s being a dick.”

“...yeah.” carlos said after a long moment. “yeah, okay. sorry for not saying anything, but me and chad are keeping things… private.”

evie smiled warmly. “don’t worry so much, okay? i'm happy for you.”

something flashed across carlos’s face, then he smiled back. “thank you.”

evie hugged him, distinctly ignoring the unease that suddenly filled her gut. that look was a whole lot like the ones her mom got when hearing about castles and princes.

she started paying more attention to chad. she noticed how he changed in ways. he’s generally nicer, he doesn’t even seem to have eyes for anyone but carlos.

good, evie thought. he’s finally learning how to be a good boyfriend.

he didn’t talk to her anymore. he didn’t look at her, if they’re in the same room he’ll stay on the other side. which is just fine, but… it’s weird. she tried asking him where carlos was once, and he physically flinched away from her.

whatever. if chad was going to stay away from her, well then that was all the better. she figured carlos was trying to defend her honour or something, telling chad to stay away from her. he really was too sweet.

she never really noticed the sadness in chad’s eyes whenever she walked away.

 iii. lonnie

really, lonnie loved the vk’s. she loved the idea of bringing them to auradon, she loved the way they strutted around. she loved hanging out with jay and mal, and evie was pretty okay too, and she didn’t know a whole lot about carlos. but he seemed like a nice person! definitely not the toughest and meanest though.

lonnie loved chad too. kind of. they played together as kids, and she knew that he had to be well intentioned deep down, but he was so… exhausting. especially in tourney, despite not being salty about her making the team anymore. but she knew he loved tourney, so she wouldn’t ever have complained to the coach and make him kick chad.

which makes her wonder even more why chad quit tourney.

it was the same time as carlos quit, too, but carlos didn’t even enjoy tourney, so she understood why he would leave the team. why would chad follow his footsteps?

she tried to corner chad, to make sure everything was alright, but all she got was a half assed excuse and then him running away. now that was very unchadlike. but then again, she thought back to the last few months. chad has been… well, to be blunt, bearable. he had stayed after every practice to help her put equipment away, not really talking much.

lonnie decided the best course of action to take was to not confront him. instead, she wrote him a letter. a really nice one, talking about how much he was wanted back on the team and wondering why he quit in the first place. she even got all the other members to sign, including jay.

despite being a jerk, chad really was a good tourney player, and, since last year's players graduated, they needed all the power they could get.

she knocked on his dorm door and was surprised when carlos answered, shirtless. lonnie blushed brightly, averting her eyes. “o-oh, sorry! i didn’t know you and chad were-”

“it’s okay,” carlos said hastily, stepping out and closing the door behind him. “uh, not many people know.”

lonnie nodded. “right. sorry! i was just, um… can i talk to chad?”

carlos gave her an apologetic look. “he’s sleeping right now. kind of tired out by… uh…” he blushed brighter and lonnie’s eyes widened.

“oh! right! uh, don’t worry about it…” she reached into her jean pocket and pulled out the note. “uh, here. can you give it to him? please?”

carlos took the note and nodded, smiling brightly. “righteo. is that all?”

“yeah, i think-” she hesitated. “actually. would you happen to know why he quit tourney? i was just wondering because you left around the same time,”

carlos shrugged. “he told me he wanted to focus on his school work, now that he’s not accumulating a harem to do it for him.”

lonnie frowned. schoolwork? chad? carlos noticed the look she got. “yeah, i had the same expression! but then i was like, okay, it makes sense. he really is trying, you know.”

carlos looked so proud of chad that lonnie felt a part of her melt slightly. maybe chad was better off the team? “well, okay then. i'm happy he’s focusing on his grades.”

“hmm, yeah. you probably shouldn’t mention tourney to him, though. he really misses it, i don’t want him doing something stupid like failing a class because of it.”

that seemed kind of… odd, to add, but chad’s boyfriend would know him better than her.

“catch you later, lonnie,” carlos told her, turning to go into chad’s dorm again.

“bye!” she said brightly, and carlos gave her one last smile and a wave before shutting the door behind him.

she didn’t see chad next tourney practice, or the rest of the season, but that was fine. chad was in good hands, with carlos. she didn’t try to ask him about tourney when she saw him alone either, or really talk to him at all. she really hoped he did well in school!

she never saw him under the bleachers, watching the others practice with longing in his eyes.

 iv. doug

in his eyes and surely in the eyes of other people, doug considered himself a chad expert. after rooming with the guy for a good three years and being boy scout partners for even longer, he was pretty sure he knew the inner workings of the charming mind completely.

which was precisely why doug called bullshit to chad requesting a new roommate at the start of their last year.

“why do you want to room with carlos?” doug asked as they walked through the halls. “do you even know him?”

chad let out a deep breath and ran a hand through his hair (his curly, ungelled hair, what weird unholy universe has doug been tossed into here) nervously. “he’s just- we’re- i’m-” he huffed. “he’s my boyfriend,” chad mumbled, looking at the ground.

doug blinked. “oh. i didn’t. oh.” chad stopped walking so he did too. “so… you’re gay?”

“yes,” chad said, and doug suddenly knew what stressed chad looked like. which was weird. “i am, and… yeah. that’s it.” his eyes were flickering around.

“okay, so you want to room with your boyfriend. that’s cool, whatever, hashtag ImWithHer,” chad looked like he was going to point out that had absolutely nothing to do with being gay, but thought better of it. doug continued. “why didn’t you just tell me?”

“because i’m not supposed to-” he cut himself off. “i mean… look. just go away or something. okay?”

doug stared at him blankly. “yeah, sure. is this a gay thing? you know i don’t care about that, my last two girlfriends ended up being lesbians-”

“doug, just go away, please?” he sounded desperate and that’s when doug’s red flags went off. chad charming never begs.

“chad, what’s wrong-”

“hey boys,” carlos said, appearing out of seemingly nowhere. “what are we talking about?”

“nothing,” chad said quickly. “doug was just wondering why we were rooming this year.”

carlos turned to doug, and doug suddenly noticed the red that highlighted the brown in his eyes. it was… kind of creepy. “is there a problem with it?”

“” doug said, staring at carlos. “not at all.”

he smiled sweetly, but doug could sense the sharpness of it. “good. come on chad, let’s go break in the bed.”

chad followed him without complaint or looking back, and doug’s eyes narrowed.

nobody else seemed to notice. everyone was fine with this but- doug noticed. carlos was doing something to chad and doug hated it. hated how he couldn't even do anything about it, because chad refused to even look at him.

he was angry, and he was going to do something about it. so one day he went to chad and carlos’s dorm, pounding on the door.

carlos answered, of course he did, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. “man, me and chad sure are popular today.”

“i want you to get away from him.” doug didn’t bother beating around the bush.

carlos raised his eyebrows. “really now? are you sure chad wants that?”

doug crossed his arms. “it’s what's best for him.”

“you don't get to decide that.” and almost like magic, carlos’s entire demeanor changed. he smirked. “you’re going to try and convince chad? he’s wrapped around my finger, i have him too scared to even look at anyone else.”

doug’s blood ran cold. “you… holy shit.”

“are you going to complain about me? try to tell all your little friends how awful and scary i am? how do you think that’ll go down? it’s your word against that of chad’s loving boyfriend.” he morphed his face into the innocent, puppy dog carlos everyone knew. “‘chad’s just been feeling down lately, sorry!’” he mocked himself.

doug’s fists clenched at his sides. “you’re not getting away with this. i’ll figure out something-”

“good luck.” he crossed his arms. “really, i wish you luck. because chad is mine, he’ll always be mine.”

“carlos?” chad’s tired voice came from inside. “who’s there?”

“just doug, darling,” carlos called back, his voice warm. “he’s trying to tell me how i should leave you.”

chad’s face appeared at the door, crestfallen. “what?”

doug’s eyes widened. “no! no, i-i mean… i was saying that but just because-”

“we’ve heard enough,” carlos said, glaring at him. “now leave chad and i alone.”

the door closed on him, and doug wondered how the fuck that ended up going so bad.

he never got to see chad sobbing on carlos’s shoulder, heartbroken.

v. chad

his first thought on carlos de vil was that he was the prettiest boy he’d ever seen.

he blew doug out of the water, really, which was impressive because chad’s had a crush on doug since the start of time. or, alternatively, since their final year of boy scouts where they shared a tent. carlos was short, he had a million freckles and he was flawless.

chad never expected carlos to return his feelings, much less be the one to initiate a relationship. if, you know, making out with him in the corner of a empty classroom was considered that. carlos was witty, he wasn’t afraid to tell chad the truth, and chad was utterly infatuated with him.

he never really had many friends. which was fine, because nobody really knew that. he was plenty popular, always sat with ben and audrey or the tourney team, so why would anybody assume anything other than that he was swimming in people who cared about him?

as it turns out, nobody cared about him.

except carlos. carlos cares about him more than anybody, which is why he’s so honest with chad.

“i know i shouldn’t tell you this, but i heard audrey telling evie the nastiest things about you, and then they giggled about it. i'm so sorry, dear.”

“sweetheart, i know it hurts, but i’m telling you, everybody in tourney is making fun of you. i can’t stand it, everybody hating you so much, we should just quit together.”

“doug’s being so awful, darling, he’s trying to separate us, i know it. don’t talk to him anymore, alright? i don’t want him putting horrible things in your head.”

carlos knew chad better than chad knew himself. so he trusted carlos with everything. it hurt, it hurt so much knowing that he couldn't trust anybody else, to know what they all think of him. but he was so happy he didn’t have to live in lies.

carlos loved him. he loved him so much sometimes he got jealous, when chad would talk to other people. chad accepted it, because, god, carlos already has to deal with chad’s insecurity, and he almost never complained. with the jealousy came the roughness, the yelling and the screams and some well placed bruises.

but he accepted it, because he loved carlos. and sometimes the jealousy would spiral, and soon chad didn’t even look at anyone, because if it made carlos happy then he would deal with the soul crushing loneliness.

he had never been any type of religious before, but he accepted carlos as his god, his saviour, his everything.

“i love you,” carlos will mutter to him softly, as they lay in bed. “i love you so much more than anybody else ever will.”

“i know,” chad replies, and he does.

“you won’t ever leave me, right?”

“of course not.” chad replies, and he won’t.

“you love me too, don't you, sweetheart?”

“i do,” chad replies, and he does

then carlos kisses him, and he’s happier than ever.