A/N: I do not own Disney's Descendants movies. And yes, I've watched all three of them. They are... really fascinating. A world like the one Descendants puts forward has so many possibilities that I think three movies and a few books aren't really the best medium to explore it. A proper live-action series would have been perfect. Alas, this means no catchy musical numbers.

Anyway, this is my take on the lead-up to a particular scene in D-3, because Ben certainly planned this out.

Group Effort

Hey, can I talk to you all for a moment? Meet me at the bleachers on the Tourney field during free period.

Evie is the last one to arrive.

Sitting up on the bleachers, in a disorganized circle, are Doug, Carlos, Jay, and Ben. Mal is nowhere to be seen.

Ben notices Evie's arrival first, and he seems… relieved?... to see her.

"What's this about, Ben?" Evie asks.

"Yeah, bro," Jay chimes in. "And why isn't Mal here? You and her don't really leave each other's side."

At this, Ben blushes, before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a small black box. "Well…"

"NO WAY!" All four teens shout at once. Thankfully, no one is close enough to be curious; this school's gossip mill is relentless.

"Yes, way," Ben confirms. "I wanna propose to Mal."

Evie very nearly swoons out of her seat. "So," the budding fashionista asks, "what do you need us for?"

"Well, I was thinking, and I want to do something special. Doug, you brought your guitar?"

"I did, pal," Doug answers, pulling a guitar case out of nowhere. "You thinking of writing a song?"

"Actually, yeah," Ben nods. "You remember when Mal put me under that love spell, and we all did that big musical number at the Tourney game?"

Carlos and Jay snicker, and try their best not to burst out laughing. "Oh, we remember," Carlos nods. "That video went viral."

Ben has the decency to look embarrassed. "Yeah, I watched that, like, a lot of times. I was wondering if we could, I dunno, retune it somehow?"

"You mean a remix?" Evie asks, and she's liking this idea more and more. "Dibs on the backup vocals!"

They spend that entire hour helping Doug draft the sheet music. He has a gift for the guitar, it seems. Every day for a week straight, the five rehearse and rehearse, with Ben never quite able to wipe that lovestruck grin off his face.

Mal notices, though. She notices the change, how Ben seems more affectionate than normal. Evie puts her fears at ease a couple days before they head off to the Isle to pick up four more VKs.

"Don't worry about Ben," she reassures the purple-haired girl that's as close to a sister as Evie will ever get. "He's not so cruel as to go out on a high note."

"A high note?" Mal repeats, confused.

"Well…" Evie trails off, before winking slyly. "You'll see."

A couple of days later…

Ben holds Mal's hands in his own.

"Mal, it feels like I've known you my whole life. But did I mention… that I'm in love with you?"

Everyone plays their parts perfectly. Even Mal, who looks away long enough for Ben to get…

"….down on my knee…"

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