Well, this is it, the sixth and last week of the Jaylos Week, I hope this story makes a good ending for my participation!
If someone had ever said that things in the Fairy-Tale-Land were utterly perfect, then they had been either very naïve or lying.
No matter how good, how nice things were in Auradon mistakes were made, bad words were spoken, and something could always go wrong.
Although, if you came from the Isle of the Lost and had lived there you knew that, while something could go wrong in Auradon, it was never bad enough as for it to not have a repair.
Truth to be said, the Isle children had gone a huge way ever since their first arrival to Auradon, especially in what concerned to getting to understand love, even if they were still hesitant when showing it, always expecting to be mocked at or called weak for it.
On the other hand, while both Mal and Evie had started to date Auradonians shortly after their arrival, the male former villains had decided to go rather slowly, taking baby steps until finally deciding that, now that they were in a place where love and affection wasn't condemned, maybe they could give it a try, much for the girls' amusement.
Although, even if both the daughters of the Evil Queen and Maleficent had assured the boys that they could start a relationship and that no one would bat an eye at it or at the fact that they were both males several times, they had decided not to risk it, not at the time, anyways.
It wasn't that they didn't want to make their relationship public, Jay had explained to Mal at some point, but Carlos was just starting to feel secure at Auradon, and it would have been a cold day in Hell before he let anything shake that security from the son of Cruella, let alone something as silly as letting everyone in Auradon know something that was still as meaningful if only the four of them possessed such information.
Of course, that, especially when they were around, something had to go wrong with that plan.
It was an accident, a slipping, almost too small to be important or even noticed. Except that it was.
Ever after Ben's coronation followed by Maleficent's defeat, the five of them had acquired the habit of studying together, mainly because now that their stay at Auradon was something permanent instead of merely temporal, Ben was determined to have them keep up with the classes better than ever. Not that the four former villains wouldn't have managed on their own, but this way he also got the plus of spending time with Mal.
The accident that made everything crash and burn was during one of those afternoon meetings, when Evie let slip the fact that Jay and Carlos were dating.
Ben, born and raised to be king did not miss the usage of words, although he was too caught up by surprise to realize that if he hadn't heard anything about it then it probably would be wiser to pretend he hadn't noticed right then either. On the other side, all he found himself able of doing was blink back in confusion, which, of course, made the blue-haired girl dwell on her mistake.
"So, you two are together, like, together, together?" the young king asked, connecting the dots while he turned to Jay and Carlos.
"I… we…" Carlos stuttered, stiffening under the playful chokehold of the former thief that was rapidly turning a tight hold.
And just like that Mal, Jay and Evie, who had been lazily laying on the dorm's beds ―on Mal's the girls and on Evie's the boys― were suddenly brought to their feet, daring him, daring him to say something impropriate, something against any of them, to utter something hurtful.
Mal's eyes shone with a fierce gleam and by the way Evie bit her lower lip it was easy to see how she was not only the pretty face people often mistook her for, but a ferocious defender of anything she considered right or held dear.
Oh, and Jay―Jay practically irradiated a barely withheld wrath as he looked down at the former prince, who was still sitting on the floor of the room, in the place that both beds left empty. The son of Jafar's gaze murderous.
The sight, far from terrifying like it would have been under normal circumstances, made Ben smile. It was amazing, sincerely astonishing and halfway between heartbreaking and heartwarming how close those four had become, how dependent from each other, how much they relayed on someone that had been called their rival not so long in the past.
Raising his hands in surrender as he brought himself to his feet, Ben couldn't help but laugh, and though it wasn't mocking like the former villains in front of him were somewhat expecting, it still made Mal's and Jay's scowl deepen.
"Guys, relax, it was just a question. If you don't want me to know, then that's fine, too" he offered, with an easy smile, stretching out his right hand to Jay in an attempt to make peace and amend his error.
"What do you mean?" the son of Jafar replied, with an expression that had yet to lose its stormy appearance, even when the tension in his shoulders had eased the tiniest bit.
"Hey, I get it" he assured softly. "You're worried about this new experience and that's fine. It's different and you're scared you'll do something wrong" Ben explained, shooting a glance to Mal before directing to Carlos. "But I can assure you that it's alright, everything is alright".
"Are you saying that us… us two, for being… you know, like… It isn't―?" the son of Cruella ventured, not going too far before his own stuttering forced him to stop.
However, neither Ben nor the others needed any more words to understand what Carlos meant, and while the boy's friends stiffened further, Ben's kind smile only turned winder and fonder as he shook his head in a slow motion, almost to emphasize his action and future words.
"Auradon cherishes love, Carlos" he started, reaching for the boy's shoulder with his left hand while he silently prayed Jay didn't perceive his movement as a hazard. "And all love is equal".
"Do you mean it?" Mal inquired with a raised eyebrow, too old to trust someone's words that easily, even if they were Ben's.
"With Auradonian pride*" the former prince replied, not seeming taken aback by the question.
As the very menacing people in front of him suddenly let go of a sigh they didn't seem quite aware they had been holding before becoming somewhat normal teenagers once more, Ben dedicated one last reassuring nod to Carlos and Jay, turning to the daughter of Maleficent so he could circle her shoulders, relieved that the girl didn't even try to jerk away anymore.
She didn't look hazarding anymore, her expression didn't hide a jeopardy or a murderous gaze. She just seemed slightly confused, maybe even a bit perplexed.
In all honesty, he wasn't mad at her for not having trusted him right away; far from that, he felt proud. This was her family, the one she had willingly chosen, the one that had readily taken her in and it didn't matter to Ben that she would have preferred their happiness over Auradon, over him. The mere fact that she was protecting something ―let alone someone― with that fierceness was enough to make the king of Auradon feel thankful that he had manage to free those people from the Isle of the Lost.
When the five of them resumed their previous seats as if nothing had happened ―Mal now comfortingly placed next to Ben in his spot on the floor―, the former prince couldn't help but feel at ease. Yes, he had just been threatened by those guys, yes, he knew that, as a matter of fact, they could be dangerous, but he understood their reaction, he could put himself in their shoes, get how it was hard to believe his words. He could do that much, he owned them that much.
After all, who was he to judge, when his own relationship with Mal had been highly criticized not so long in the past before people in Auradon understood he wasn't changing his mind on her? Who was he to throw a fuss over something that he had assured was the only thing that kept the world spinning only because it was a bit different than expected?
Love was much more than the way a person looked or the gender you felt attracted to. Love was much more than the wrong sayings you've been told by others or the happy moments you spent with your significant other.
Love was being together in the tough times, sharing, not only dreams and goals, but fears, nightmares, passions, secrets, too. Love was a silent pledge of support, a vow of protection that needed no more recognition than the one it got from the couple.
And, in the end, what he'd said was true, in Auradon and everywhere else―all love was equal, no less wonderful, no less valuable.
What can I say? Every fandom needs that one fanfiction writer that messes things up and throws some angst on the favorute-gay couple and I'm here to take that place! However (all of those who have read my Percy Jackson stories know it full-well), I'm growing tired of the "It's okay to be who you are" and "I love you, no matter the sex that attracts you" conversation, and thus I decided to just be objective—love is love and Auradon loves it so, who cares?
So, here we are, this is officially the end. *wipes a tear* With a heacy heart and wistful thoughts we must say good bye and—what am I doing, don't worry, I promise you you'll see more Jaylos soon enough! XD
I want to give a huge shoutout to everyone who read, followed and reviwed! Thank you very, very much! It's only because of awesome people like you that I continue doing what I do!
*1: Yes, yes, that was a pride pun. C'mon, we both know you needed that in your life!