A/N: Day 3 of arriving at home ridiculously late, this sucks, wtf. Couldn’t scrounge together a drabble but here’s a plot bunny that’s been on my mind that I might as well articulate it now.
Underneath The Red Lights
“There is no Isle of the Lost, no convenient rock in the middle of the ocean to banish villains. Instead, there is a walled and warded prison, where all magic users are held. When Carlos is fifteen, his best friends are taken from the orphanage in the middle of the night and imprisoned there.
Three years later, either Carlos is going mad or he’s about to pull off the greatest jailbreak in history. He just has to get the crown prince to cooperate.”
Okay, wildly AU, really don’t think I’m going to do it, because there’s a lot of overlaps with Ain’t No Rest, WHICH I STILL REALLY REALLY WANT TO DO, and this one also seems like a lot of world building which may just warp things too much.
Anyway. Based off a weird dream I had, essentially, as the fake summary above suggests, there is no Isle of the Lost. Instead, the villains and minions are imprisoned in various facilities and any children are raised in government run orphanages. Actually, all magicians are in a maximum security prison. I’m toying with the idea that that includes the Fairy Godmother, too. And so Jane would also be in the orphanage.
Anyway, at age sixteen (I just figure the other three Lost kids are older than Carlos) the government does checks for magical potential, and thus Evie, Mal, and Jay are all locked up. Even if they weren’t on the Isle of the Lost, they are still Carlos’ best friends so he’s just like… wtf, damn it Auradon, but he can’t really do much since… he’s a minor and living in a government run orphanage.
Now for the part I actually dreamed. Carlos begins hearing/seeing his friends–the image of Evie is next to his reflection in mirrors, shiny pieces of metal, even puddles; whenever he’s in danger, he can hear Jay’s voice telling him what to do; and every so often strangers will come up to him, all of them different, but all of them with the same glowing green eyes. Either he is going crazy or his friends have somehow managed to project themselves out of the prison and to him. Never fear, it’s the latter.
Now, because they are in maximum security, the only way to get them out is *mumbledy mumbledy plot device* which means somehow Carlos needs to get access to the castle. Not only that, but the inner sanctum of the castle–where important government stuff and such is held. That’s not open the public. In fact, the only people who can get in are extremely high ranked government officials or the royal family. And Mal can’t just possess someone because the castle is also warded against magic.
So Mal temporarily possesses Ben while he’s out being a real boy (a bit Jasmine-esque) and basically has Carlos pretend to be his boyfriend in really public places so the paparazzi will catch them and eventually the royal family will have to make the rumors true.
Except Mal can’t hold on to the possession for very long and there was one vivid scene I dreamed in which Mal!Ben brought Carlos to a really fancy clothes store, and while Carlos is in the changing room that’s when the possession fails and so when Carlos goes to show off the outfit to who he thinks is Mal, it’s actually Ben who’s just like–I have no idea what is going on, I’m pretty sure I blacked out for a couple of hours. Did I go out drinking? Did I hire a hooker while I was blackout drunk? This is a very good looking hooker, good choice drunk me.
Ben’s as affable as canon and he kind of just… rolls with it because hey, there’s this cute boy who isn’t some snobby noble or boring politician who, sure, might or might not be a hooker, but is very fun and smart and well, drunk!Ben seemed to know what he was doing so, sure, let’s buy this cute boy some very flattering clothes and take him out to dinner.
Carlos does realize that it’s not Mal but he’s pretty sure he should keep going with the fake!dating thing–or at least, that’s what Evie’s image (there’s no sound in reflections) seems to be gesturing when he asks the changing room mirrors.
And eventually I guess they do fall in love and there’s a whole thing where maybe betrayal is brought up (but seriously, if Ben can forgive Mal for basically roofie-ing him, then he’ll probably forgive Carlos for not telling the whole truth about how they started dating) and then Ben is just like… why are we imprisoning people with magic even if they haven’t done anything wrong? Shouldn’t it be innocent until proven guilty, even with magic? So hooray, all the magicians who are not villains are set free, including the Fairy Godmother and the three other Lost kids, Carlos and Ben officially get together, happily ever after, etc. etc.
I dunno, if anyone wants to adopt this, feel free? I would totally be up to beta/brainstorm some more.
edit: I lied, apparently, here’s a drabble for UtRL, though it’s a “bad ending” remix