Chapter Twenty Three


A/N: I do not own anything other than my OCs when they come out to play. Everything else belongs to Disney!

Wow, I can't believe we're on the final chapter. It seems like just yesterday I was getting started on this story. I guess we can thank COVID-19 for giving me all the time to write since I really wasn't doing much of anything else, other than working.

Now, I know what you're probably thinking: is Ginnyrules27 going to do a Watching D3 story? The answer, dear reader, is yes. However I will be doing a 'break' story first. I don't know how long it will be but I will make sure it's finished before I start on a Watching D3 story.

KayeBell: Oh thank you! I'm so glad you enjoy reading my stories!

Tracie: I will be doing a 'break' story to connect D2 and D3 together, almost like Bridging the Gap connected the end of D1 and the beginning of D2.

danifan3000: In Chad's defense, words I thought I'd never say, I'm pretty sure I'd hug someone for dear life if Maleficent randomly appeared before me. Though if it was Kristin Chenoweth Maleficent, I'd hope she sang first and then hug someone for dear life. I'm glad you like the quotes from the Disney movies :D An infomercial about dungeon shackles...? It's official, the books will break my brain at some point.

AliceCullen3: Oh I'm so glad.

TR Lara Croft: Oh I'm so glad you liked it!

Hufflepuffgirl95: No apologies necessary, rant away! There were times I got frustrated with the Olympians and I wrote the dang chapter! I'm so glad you enjoyed the chapter though!

Buzzemz: Oh I'm so glad you liked the chapter! And thank you for the compliment-it's nice to know I'm 'amazeballs'! :D

AmethystDragon14: I'm so glad! Yeah, Chad's a jerk but he steps up when it counts. As for Mal and Herc, well they are cousins. Also, Mal has a lot of cousins I just realized. As for the talk Ben and his parents had, I felt it was needed :D I know, time flies...especially when you're working from home because your country can't handle their COVID pandemic.

SlytherinAvengerPrincess: A Bal talk is coming, I promise! The chapter was just getting too long that something had to give. Plus with a 'break' chapter coming, there will be plenty of Bal goodness, considering that's my main ship for Descendants! I don't want to spoil anything for the upcoming story so all I'll say is you'll have to wait and see :D

Grace: Oh I'm so glad you liked the chapter and that you're looking forward to the next story!

OceanBlueSeaEyes: I'd pay to see that fight!

Kaybugg1: Oh I'm so glad! No I haven't read any of the Descendants School of Secrets books. I'll have to check them out if more AKs/VKs are mentioned. That's pretty much the same as things here in VA.

LOST MUSES: Oh I'm so glad! You're fine, please ask all your questions-I'll do my best to answer! 1: After talking with another reviewer, I theorize that Le Pelt (the villain from 101 Dalmatians 2-the Live Action one) is Carlos' father-however James, David's twin brother, would be someone the EQ would push Evie toward once she was old enough since he had been a prince. 2: Yes, you will. 3: The audience for the Watching D3 has not been confirmed. I don't want it to be too large of an audience like Family Day but at the same time I don't want too few people commenting.

twilightgirl587: Oh I'm so glad you liked it! :D

lilyflower101: All decisions will be made in the next story!

Eliana311: Oh thank you! I can promise that there'll be a conversation between Ben and Mal in the next story that covers that!

Guest: Ask and you'll receive!

61394: Oh thank you!

Calvin Sloan: Oh thank you! I'm so glad you're enjoying this story! :D

Neverland: It's official, you've broken my brain. lol Neverland has its own Gods?

Hope you all enjoy this chapter! I'll try to get the next story up as soon as possible but I'll be working on the next chapter for Choosing Family so no promises on time! Thank you all for the support you gave to this story, I really appreciate it! :D


The scene opens up at the night sky as the camera pans over the lights and down toward Ben and Mal, who have moved from the middle of the yacht to standing in front of the stairs.

"I think someone went to have a private talk with his girlfriend," Emir chuckled. "I mean, how else do you go from standing in the middle of the yacht to being in a whole new location?"

"Maybe they went to get changed?" Emma suggested. "After all, Mal's missing the crown she had been wearing when she transformed."

"Plus her dress is shorter," Ashaki added. "I don't think whatever force changed her dress gave Mal two dresses so I'm guessing Evie gave Mal the same removable fabric that were on all of our dresses."

"Of course," Evie nodded.

Ben: Looking back at yesterday

I thought I gave it everything

But still there's so much road ahead of me

"What's that smile for?" Emir asked. "Like, Mal has this sort of smirk and Ben just looks dazed…"

"Mind. Gutter. Out." Akiho sighed. "Ben's probably just happy that he and Mal are True Love."

Emir shook his head. "That is a dazed look."

"Well how would you look about who knows how long from coming out of a hypnosis spell?"

Aziz just shook his head. "You're both idiots," he chuckled. "He could just be happy that everyone's safe after what just happened."

Mal: When I looked into your eyes

I guess I didn't recognize

"Jay, what's that look for?" Mal asked, looking at her oldest friend.

"If I knew, I'd tell you," Jay chuckled. Meanwhile, Lonnie was rolling her eyes at the small glare Lil Shang was leveling toward Jay.

"I can take care of myself you know," she muttered to him. "Besides Jay's a good guy."

Who we are and all that we can be

"And they're just…staring at us," Mal muttered, looking at the on-screen trumpeters, Lumiere, Fairy Godmother, Belle and Beast.

"Get used to it," Ben told her, gently squeezing her hand.

Ben and Mal: Sometimes it's hard to find yourself

"So that was the cue for all of us to start dancing?" Akiho asked, raising an eyebrow.

"It's us. Do we really need a cue to start dancing?" Emir chuckled. "Besides, you act like we don't have choreographed musical numbers all the time."

"We don't."

"Really? Family Day ring any bells?"

"That was planned. I'm talking spontaneous musical numbers."

"Okay. Last viewing ring any bells?"

But it's worth it in the end

'Cause in your heart is where it all begins

Ben frowned as the future versions of his classmates and friends bowed to him and Mal. He knew, because it was an official event, there was nothing he could do. Didn't stop the fact that he hated it.

Most of his classmates were people he knew since he was a kid. It felt weird going from their peer to their king. Six months wouldn't eliminate that feeling.

All: We got to be bold

We got to be brave

"Evie, I'm so sorry about your dresses," Rowyn sighed. "All that salt water…"

Evie gave her a small smile. "Well, it won't happen now so I'm trying to not think about it."

We got to be free

"Ah ba ba ba, mister. Why are you not dancing with Mal?" Akiho asked, raising an eyebrow.

"He's right. After everything you went through in this viewing, at least dance with her," Emir nodded.

Ben just shook his head in amusement.

We got to get loud

Making that change

"Ben just willingly bowed to someone," Emma chuckled.

"Well Cotillion is an official event," Emir said, shaking his head in amusement.

You got to believe

Whoa-oh-oh

"Much better."

"I'm glad you two approve of the actions of my future self," Ben said, rolling his eyes.

"Oh like you don't?" Emir teased.

We'll look deep inside

"And no one slipped or twisted an ankle?" Emma asked, stunned.

"If this happens at the actual Cotillion, you'll be able to tell us yourself," Neal reminded her. "Maybe if you can take a break from staring into Emir's eyes."

"Neal!"

"Kids, behave," Snow said but gave a small head shake in amusement.

And we'll rise up and shine

We can be bold

We can brave

Let everyone see

It starts with you and me

Elle sighed, seeing herself in the corner with some of the other guests. At least Emma was keeping her company, though she knew that wouldn't be the case this time.

Not that she would begrudge her friend a dance with her date.

Whoa-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh

Hey

"I'd like to point out that they were completely pointless," Harry muttered to Uma as the on-screen Belle and Beast danced. "What was the point of them being there? I mean, they're the former king and queen so it's not even like they're there in an official capacity?"

Uma shrugged. "Dunno what to tell you Harry," she muttered back. "They might have been there to support Beastie Jr?"

It starts with you and me

"Who's that? That one, there. Who is that?"

"Kit, dear, I think you're a little too focused on who your daughter is dancing with," Cinderella said, a little amused. "We saw Kitty dancing with someone in the last viewing, why is this one a surprise?"

"That doesn't answer the question Ella!" Kit exclaimed. Yes, he was aware that Kitty had danced with a boy at the end of the last viewing and truthfully he wasn't that thrilled about it then either. That was his little girl, his namesake. Besides, Kitty and Lucy were too young to be dating anyway!

Cinderella shook her head, still amused at her husband's reaction. True, she felt that fourteen was a bit too young to date but Lucy had argued that if Snow White could find her True Love at fourteen, then she could at least go on a date. Besides, even if she had said no, there was truly nothing stopping her daughters from going on a date if they wished.

"Dad, it's probably just Roland," Lucy chuckled at her father's reaction to Kitty dancing with a boy. He hadn't had that reaction in the last viewing, which made it all the more amusing. "Kitty and I have been friends with him for ages. Though I'm surprised he'd be there, since his family moved over to Sherwood."

Kitty, though, couldn't help but stare at the screen in shock. She was there, dancing with Roland! Was it a date? Had someone told Roland she didn't have a date and he took pity on her? Had she asked him? So many questions were going unanswered.

Whoa-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh

Hey

"Liking the dress there Lu," Alexandria smiled. "The blue and silver's really pretty."

"Thanks Alex," Lucy smiled. Is that Carter I'm dancing with? She thought, titling her head. Huh, maybe we ended up going as friends. Or I just went solo and we ended up dancing together at Cotillion?

It starts with you and me

Evie and Carlos: There's something special that I've learned

It's together we can change the world

"You know, the Isle's not that scary with the full moon behind it," Herkie spoke up. "It actually looks kinda peaceful."

"Too bad we've never seen it. The moon I mean," Dizzy told him. "At least not all of it."

"Yeah, only those who live close to the water get a glimpse of the moon," Hadie nodded.

Everybody's got something they can bring

Jay and Mal: When you take a look inside yourself

Do you wish that you were something else

But who you are is who you need to be

Mal shot a small smile toward Jay as her on-screen self rested her head on the on-screen Jay's shoulder. Jay just rested a hand on Mal's shoulder and gave it a small squeeze. No words were needed.

Macaria chuckled as she watched her on-screen self dance behind Jay. Evie was right, she thought. The lighter purple was definitely the way to go.

Sometimes it's hard to find yourself

But it's worth it in the end

'Cause in your heart is where it all begins

"Looks like Ben's taken your place as your right hand man, Mal," Carlos teased.

"I see nothing wrong with this," Mal said with a small smirk.

All: We got to be bold

We got to be brave

We got to be free

We got to get loud

Making that change

You got to believe

Evie smiled as she watched the on-screen Mal and Doug dance. It was irrational, she knew, but she was happy to see her boyfriend and her best friend dancing. It was like a confirmation that they were friends.

Or at the very least that Evie would never have to choose between the two of them.

Whoa-oh-oh

We'll look deep inside

And we'll rise up and shine

"Hey there's Julia!" Phillip Jr. grinned as he saw the brunette dancing in front of the on-screen Mal. "I thought she wasn't going to Cotillion because she couldn't find a date."

"Maybe that changed," Audrey said, nudging her brother a little. "At least one of us would be able to enjoy Cotillion."

We can be bold

We can brave

Let everyone see

It starts with you and me

Whoa-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh

Hey!

It starts with you and me

Mal couldn't help but chuckle at the sight of Ben and Evie bowing and curtseying to each other.

"Hang on, didn't Evie walk in the opposite direction of those stairs when she walked away from the group?" Evan asked.

Whoa-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh

Hey!

It starts with you and me

"Nice moves Emir," Akiho said with a small chuckle.

Mal and Evie: If we all can do our part

"I'm sorry, I know it seems completely random to even comment on, but how is Mal's hair still perfect after all that splashing?" Rowyn asked.

"Magic?" Rachel suggested.

We know that it can be the start

"I love the dancing trumpeters," Alexandria chuckled. "Everyone's just enjoying themselves."

To bring about the difference that we need

Yeah

Mal, Ben and Evie: I promise we can work this out

I promise we can see it through

Persephone gave a soft smile at seeing the loving look the on-screen Mal was giving the on-screen Ben. It almost matched the look their real life counterparts were giving each other.

Don't you know it's up to me

"I'm not the only one with some moves apparently," Emir chuckled, looking at Akiho. "Dude, was that a cartwheel?"

"Yes."

It's up to me and you

"So being 'bad' in Auradon is running around in water and jumping in puddles?" Gil asked, speaking up for the first time since he realized Uma had left him and Harry on the Isle. Something she had promised she'd never do. Captains don't leave their crews behind, after all.

He looked over at Macaria, who was looking at the screen. Maybe he could find a way to reach out to her? After all, she was nice—from the little they had talked at least. Plus his father would approve of her. Not that Gil wanted to be friends with her for that reason alone. That was more his brothers' choice.

We got to be bold

We got to be brave

"Was that a…water angel?"

"Hey, don't knock it till you try it," Carlos joked, chuckling at the confused look on Jay's face.

We got to be free

Gotta be free

"Nice moves Carlos!" Phillip Jr. grinned.

"Thanks," Carlos chuckled. "I'm just amazed I haven't fallen on my butt in all that water."

"You're amazed? All the girls are dancing in heels!" Audrey exclaimed. "Heels are hard enough to walk or dance in normally but add at least an inch of standing water?"

"At least Jane's dancing in wedges," Emma nodded. "Those would supply more stability than say a stiletto."

We got to get loud

Making that change

You got to believe

Whoa-oh-oh

We'll look deep inside

And we'll rise up and shine

Mulan smiled at the sight of her daughter dancing with Jay. Even if they were at the Cotillion as friends, it was still nice to see Lonnie having a good time.

Especially right after the events that had occurred.

We can be bold

We can brave

Let everyone see

"Even soaking wet, she still looks gorgeous," Rose muttered enviously as she looked at the on-screen Evie.

"Heels. She's dancing in water while in heels and not falling on her ass. Forget True Love's Kiss, that is the real magic being displayed," Rowyn muttered, shaking her head.

It starts with you and me

"That was smooth, Doug," Emir said with a small nod of his head, as if he approved of the on-screen Doug's actions.

"Uh, thanks?"

Dizzy smiled as Doug slid toward Evie, happy the closest thing she had to a sister had found her prince. Even if he wasn't technically a prince.

Whoa-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh

It starts with you and me

Adam/Beast chuckled at the sight of Ben and Mal splashing each other. It was nice to see his son act like a sixteen year old. Yes, Adam/Beast knew that Ben was the king and needed to present himself a certain way but at the same time he knew it wasn't fair to Ben.

Whoa-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh

Yeah, yeah, yeah

"And now her hair is all damp like the rest of ours," Rowyn noted.

"Well with all the splashing…"

"Rach, there's been nothing but splashing!"

It starts with you and me

Rose and Lucy leaned forward slightly, eager to see yet another kiss from Ben and Mal. Sure, they figured they might want their privacy but if their on-screen counterparts wanted privacy, then they wouldn't be kissing for the world to see.

Whoa-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh

It starts with you and me

"Seriously guys?" Ben shook his head as his on-screen classmates all ran up and splashed the on-screen version of himself and Mal.

Hades couldn't help but smile slightly at the sight of the on-screen Ben pulling Mal closer to him as the splash occurred, as if trying to protect her from the water. Mal didn't need the protection but it was nice to see all the same.

Okay, maybe the ice the boy's on isn't as thin as I thought, Hades thought.

"Oh Macaria, I love your dress," Robin said with a small smile, seeing her friend dancing near Jay. "That shade of purple is really pretty!"

"You can thank Evie for that," the brunette said, brushing some hair out of her face. "I had been tempted to go darker but she insisted on a lighter shade."

Oh, oh, yeah, yeah

It starts with you and me

Whoa-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh

Hey!

Jane smiled at the sight of her mom dancing with Lumiere. It was cute to see. After all, the two of them had been good friends all these years.

It also doesn't hurt that he's my father, Jane thought with a small inward chuckle. Mom and dad have always kept their relationship a secret and to this day I don't understand why. It's not like King Beast wouldn't approve.

It starts with you and me

Whoa-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh

Hey!

It starts with you and me

"Dude, your dad's going for a handshake and you just shake your hair at him?" Emir chuckled.

"Future self," Ben said, shaking his head.

"Oh I'm used to it," Adam/Beast said with a fond chuckle. "The number of times Ben would do that as a kid, especially coming out of the bath…"

"Dad!"

Mal chuckled. "Ben, you did that on our first date. I kinda figured it was something you had done your whole life."

Ben shrugged, his cheeks still tinged a bit red. It was one thing to do it on his date with Mal, it was another thing entirely for his dad to bring up the fact he used to do it coming out of the bath.

At least he didn't mention that tidbit on Family Day, Ben thought with an inward chuckle.

"Ben, if this happens at Cotillion, please wait until I'm out of the splash zone before you shake off," Belle chuckled at the reaction of her on-screen self.

"Yes mom," Ben nodded.

Whoa-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh

Yeah, yeah, yeah

It starts with you and me

Whoa-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh

"The Tourney team has some moves!" Macaria chuckled.

"Of course they do," Hyllus nodded. "How else would they have been able to burst into a routine with Ben after the game in the last viewing?"

Oh, oh

It starts with you and me

Whoa-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh

Yeah, yeah, yeah

It starts with you and me

Ben grinned as his on-screen self placed his ring back on the on-screen Mal's hand. It's where it belonged.

"Seems we still have much to teach that boy," Emir muttered to Akiho. "That would have been the perfect time to kiss her."

"Hey, they just found out they were True Love and they had two public kisses already, not to mention the possible private kiss they had between Mal tilting Ben's crown and the start of this musical number," Akiho chuckled. "I mean, they definitely changed locations there so it's not out of the realm of possibility that they went off to talk."

"True."

Whoa-oh-oh, whoa-oh-oh

Oh, oh

It starts with you and me

Fireworks went off in the background, a brilliant mix of green, white, blue and purple, as the Cotillion guests bowed once more.

Mal stared at the screen, slightly in shock. "Ben…"

"What? You thought the fireworks would be blue and yellow? Like they were at Coronation?" Ben asked gently.

"Well yeah!"

"Mal, the whole purpose of Cotillion is to induct you as a member of the court," Ben said, softly rubbing his thumb over the back of her hand. "Why wouldn't I make sure the fireworks were in your colors?"

"But if you were spelled…"

"Not enough time to change it," Jane told her. "Sorry to eavesdrop but I wanted to interject. Those fireworks were preordered months ago. There wouldn't have been time for a spelled Ben to change the colors even if he wanted to."

You and me

You and me

Rose and Lucy sighed at the sight of Ben and Mal with their foreheads gently resting against each other.

"Okay, they may be True Love but if they get any sweeter, they're going to give me a cavity," Chad muttered to Audrey.

"And here I thought you'd be freaking out over your sisters dancing with guys, not complaining about Ben and Mal," Audrey teased.

"No reason I can't do both."

You and me

You and me

You and me

It starts with you and me

It starts with you and me

"And we're still just standing there," Mal sighed. "At some point it gets awkward, especially with the trumpeters just staring at us."

"I don't know if I should be amused or concerned over the anchors with the banners that read 'true love' rapped around them in the background," Evie pointed out.

"You're the one who said that you thought I had that with Ben!"

"Thought. I thought it."

"And now we know it," Jay chuckled as Ben grinned, wrapping an arm around Mal's shoulders.

The scene changed to Lady Tremaine's Curl Up and Dye with Dizzy sweeping, listening to her headphones. She stopped as couriers walked in, dressed in the royal blue and gold colors.

"Guards. Tell me there are guards stationed outside the shop at least," Akiho muttered, rubbing his temples; the good feeling of Fairy Godmother calling for them finally wearing off.

"At this point, I think it's safer to assume Ben doesn't employ guards," Elle told him. "Did you see any come when Fairy Godmother called for them?"

Emir groaned. "We were trying to not remind him of that."

"Why?"

"Ben!"

"That's why," Emir chuckled at Akiho's exclamation. "Well, at least he's not crying."

"Give it time," Ben sighed. "It may just need to sink in."

"Wait, do you employ guards?" Emir asked, turning to Ben.

"Of course I do!"

"Okay, just making sure, Mr. 'I Trust Everyone'."

Dizzy took off her headphones as one of the couriers handed a scroll to Dizzy.

"He looks really uncomfortable," Evie said softly.

"His Royal Majesty, King Ben of Auradon and his Counselor, Ms. Evie of the Isle, hereby request the pleasure of your company, Dizzy Tremaine, for the current academic year at Auradon notify His Majesty's couriers of your response to this request. We'd love you to join us at Auradon Prep. Will you come? Signed, King Ben." Dizzy read aloud.

"Really?!"

"Like I said before, I told you I'd get you off the Isle permanently," Evie grinned, wrapping her arms around Dizzy as the younger girl squealed in delight.

"So Evie's your counselor?" Mal asked with a small smirk.

"If she wants to be," Ben said. "The Isle has no representation on the council but maybe it's time to change that."

Mal, Evie, Jay, Carlos, Hadie, and Dizzy stared at Ben in shock. As did Uma, Harry and Gil but two out of the three hid it well.

"The boy's not human," Jay muttered under his breath.

"Wait, I thought mom was on the council?" Hadie spoke up.

"I turned it down," Persephone said gently. "With your father being sent back to the Isle, there wouldn't be a way I'd be able to make the meetings that occurred during my six months on the Isle."

Pausing for a moment as if to let it sink in, Dizzy screamed in delight and wrapped her arms around the courier in front of her.

"Huh, I'm surprised Edwin allowed that. He's not big on hugs," Ben mused.

"When an excited ten year old ball of energy wraps her arms around you, you're pretty much powerless to stop it," Mal pointed out.

"Zip it up!" Lady Tremaine exclaimed, banging on the ceiling. Dizzy let go of the courier, who smiled and turned to leave.

"Mother," Anastasia chuckled and shook her head. "With an official invitation like that, there's no way your mother would refuse to let you go Dizzy. Especially with Maleficent and the Evil Queen's daughters already in Auradon."

"But…you'd still be on the Isle," Dizzy said softly. Anastasia gave a sad smile as Dizzy said that.

Anastasia truly hasn't done anything evil since Mary Poppins brought her in, Ben thought with a small frown. We've seen how truly awful the Isle is and while I will work to fix it, it doesn't make any sense to have someone live on the Isle who doesn't deserve it. Queen Ella had petitioned for her stepsister to be released from the Isle before and I said it had to be a council decision. Maybe it's time I acted around the council. Just this once.

"Yay!" Dizzy said as she turned back toward the shop, still reading the invitation.

"Oh Dizzy, I'm so happy for you," Lucy squealed.

"You'll be able to visit all the time," Alexandria grinned.

"I'll look after her," Cinderella said softly, resting a hand on Anastasia's shoulder. "She'll always have a place to stay in my castle should she need it."

The scene changed to a shot of the ocean near the Isle as Uma rose from the depths.

Mal gave a low growl at seeing her cousin in blood only rise from the dark ocean waters. Knowing what Uma was capable of, well let's just say Mal would be sticking to Ben like glue from now on.

"What?" She asked, looking at the camera. "You didn't think this was the end of the story, did you?"

"That doesn't sound menacing at all," Ashaki muttered.

Uma let out a laugh as she sunk back down to the fantoms below.

"And that is the end of the viewing," the Blue Fairy said as the screen faded to black and the yellow glow around the edges faded from view once more.

"So I'm guessing we just go back to our lives like before?" Rowyn asked.

"Wait! After all that, we're just supposed to go back to the Isle?" Uma asked. No one had the chance to answer as, just like before, they were all engulfed in the same bright light that had brought them to the room. Just like before, the room faded with all proof of its existence gone from the world.