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A Wicked Match

Chapter Text

Mal stared at the screen of her phone, just a little shocked by what she saw. Or, well, maybe shock wasn't the right word. She always felt... something between her and Evie. There was jealousy for most of her life, but it was quick to fall apart when Mal had actually met and traveled with her. Then came denial, over what Mal wasn't ever sure.

Maybe it was denial that kept her from figuring out the feeling, but staring down at the twinkling, 'IT'S A MATCH!' made it clear that she couldn't deny it any longer. Her tiny photo- that Evie has taken for her, Mal recalled- sat next to Evie's own little portrait.

"No way," she mumbled, unable to tear her eyes away from it. She knew there was no way it was a joke on Evie's part; the hours Mal had sat leaning against her friend had shown her she only swiped right on the people she was truly interested in.

In addition to that, Evie was the one who'd gotten Mal a phone. She had purchased it with her own cash, added her own number in the contacts before handing it over, and had not-so-subtly suggested a dating app to Mal. And when Mal had protested, Evie let it drop. Of course, the idea of checking the app out after that nagged at the back of Mal's mind until she finally downloaded it and gave it a try.

Suddenly, a loud ringing cut through her thoughts and her head snapped up, watching as students and teacher alike trickled from the classroom. She hastily put away her notebook- doodles of apples and dragons scattered throughout- and left the room. Her mind was abuzz with the tiny but significant piece of information the app had provided.

A small, somewhat giddy smile found its way onto her face, and she headed to her next class, where she just so happened to sit next to Evie. Stuffing her phone away in a pocket when she entered the room, her gaze instantly locked onto Evie. Said girl was digging through her bag, and Mal couldn't see her phone in sight at all.

That made her both nervous and relieved as she plopped down next to her.

"Oh, hey, M!" Evie greeted, looking up at her through eyelashes as blue as the rest of her hair.

"Hey, E. Lose something?" she asked, gesturing down to the bag.

Evie looked down and back at Mal. "Nah, just looking for my phone. I dropped it in here earlier, but it kinda blends in with all my other stuff."

"Maybe just check after class?" Mal suggested, masking the disappointment she felt at her own words.

Evie considered this and looked at the clock. Seeing they only had a minute left before class started, she sighed and let her bag droop to the ground. "Yeah, I'll find it then. You eating lunch with us today?"

Shrugging, Mal leaned back in her chair. "I guess, I don't really have lunch plans anymore." She shrugged again, but froze when Evie's hand fell on her shoulder.

"I'm sorry about what happened with Ben, Mal," she whispered, eyes soft and voice sincere.

Mal smiled in return. "It's okay. We're still friends. It just... wasn't working out right then. He's got kingly duties that keep him away all the time, and I've got chemistry homework." When Evie didn't look convinced, Mal too her hand and squeezed it. "I really am okay, E."

"Good. I don't want you to ever look that heartbroken again." She gave a return squeeze before pulling her hand away. "Now, I was thinking we could maybe set up a little hang out later, with just us and Jay and Carlos. We can watch some movies, play games, mess with their printer. You know, do whatever we want, like we used to."

"That sounds pretty nice, yeah. Better text them, though, otherwise the AKs will wanna join in."

Evie nodded. "Good call. We'll text 'em after. I'll ask Carlos, you ask Jay?"

"Sounds like a plan to me."

They exchanged a quick fist bump just as the teacher came in and called for the class's attention. Mal's phone burned in her pocket, and she could hardly pay attention in class with the person of her dreams right there next to her. She was caught staring more than once, but Evie only gave a knowing smile in return each time.

When class ended, Evie pulled her phone right from her bag, and told Mal she'd meet her in the cafeteria.

It was only when she sat down at their lunch table that Mal realized how quickly Evie had found her phone- without even looking down at her bag.

Chapter Text

About five seconds after her realization, her phone buzzed with a notification, and it almost fell from her hand when Evie's name came up. Looking around to make sure nobody had seen her fumble, she quickly unlocked her phone and checked the message.

[From: Evie]

Hey, M! You know, you didn't tell me you ended up getting this.

Mal felt her lips curl into a smile before she messaged back.

[To: Evie]

and you didnt tell me you swiped right...

[From: Evie]

Well, no harm done if you swiped left. But you swiped right on me too, so.

[To: Evie]

thats fair. you didnt say anything in class though

[From: Evie]

I mean, you didn't either. I have to admit, I really wanted to make sure you were okay after Ben first... and I wanted to see if you'd act differently after we matched. Also, look up.

Mal did, and she was met with Evie pulling out a chair to sit next to her.

"You looked at me a lot through class, you know. You're not very good at subtle," Evie said with a small laugh.

"Got me there. I was just pretty surprised. You're usually more direct with that kind of thing."

When Evie didn't respond, Mal looked and saw that she was staring at her.

"What?"

"You're joking, right?" Mal didn't answer. "Oh my god. Mal, subtly isn't my strong suit either. I'm pretty sure I was far from it."

"Are you serious? We've never done anything that was... couple-y."

"That's not-"

"Hey, girls," Jay greeted, throwing his bag on the table and spinning a chair around so he could sit with its back touching the table. "What's for lunch today?"

"Disbelief," Evie answered, sending a pointed look Mal's way. "And it's Frieday, so everything they're serving is basically left over from the week."

"Alright, well, I'm gonna go get some grub. We can talk about the disbelief thing when we all get some." Jay patted the table once before standing. "Either of you coming?"

"You two go up, I'll make sure Chad doesn't try stealing our table again," Evie said with an amused look on her face.

Mal snorted. "Good luck. Jay." She nodded towards the buffet and they both stalked over. Mal grabbed one tray,and Jay grabbed two, and it wasn't long before both of their trays were piled high with different foods.

"Hey, so what's up with you and Evie? Something happen?" he asked, looking longingly at the fruits he hadn't yet ransacked.

With a roll of her eyes, she grabbed herself a second tray and held it out for jay to shove more food on. "Why would you say that?"

He gave her a flat look. "It's pretty obvious to anyone with eyes or ears."

"Whatever, just finish stocking up on food so we can sit down."

"C'mon, Mal," he said, tossing an apple in the air and catching it. "You know I'd never make fun of you!"

"Uh huh, sure," she scoffed. Nonetheless, she told him just as he threw the apple again. "Evie and I matched on Wicked today."

"Wait, really?" The apple dropped to the floor and rolled away, but Jay was quick to shake off his surprise and retrieve it. "So, like, you finally know now?"

"Are you saying you already did?"

"Uh, yeah. Mal, I'm pretty sure everyone knows. It's why Doug broke up with Evie." He finished piling on food and turned to head back to their table.

"What? No, no, they told me they thought they'd just work better as friends." Mal turned too, but didn't move and instead watched Evie from afar.

Jay shook his head. "Now I get the disbelief thing. C'mon, she'll probably explain everything when we're all there."

But Mal didn't move.

"Mal?"

"How long?"

"Since you saved her from touching the Dragon's Eye. She couldn't believe you took the curse for her, you know."

"I had no idea," she said softly. "I've never had a friend like her, I didn't realize..."

"Hey, it's cool. You grew up with the baddest villain in all the land, so it wasn't really your fault. You know now, anyways."

Slowly, she nodded. "Yeah. Yeah, I guess you're right. Let's go." They arrived back at the table just in time to see Evie send Chad off.

"Problems with the prince, E?"

"No, though I think he has problems with me. I'm not fooled by his charm anymore and it drives him crazy." She chuckled just as Carlos, Jane, and Lonnie showed up.

"Hey, guys." Carlos threw his bag on the seat next to Jay. "Ally and Freddie'll be here late."

Jane set her things next to Carlos and Lonnie next to Jane. They both waved, but were in their own conversation and didn't stop when they went to get their own trays.

"Cool," Mal said simply, sliding the tray of fruits to Jay. The food in front of her- even with it being leftovers- was far better than anything they'd had before coming to Auradon. She didn't like taking it for granted, especially with all the close calls of getting stuck on or sent back to the Isle. It was a hard mindset to shake, but she was working on it as she picked away at her food.

Evie's hand nudged her, making Mal give her her attention. "We-" she gestured to Carlos- "are gonna go get our food. We'll talk when I get back, yeah?"

"Whatever you want, E," she replied with a smile. Evie grinned in return and stood, took Carlos by the arm, and walked away.

"Dude," Jay said, a laugh in his voice. Mal sent him a confused look, to which he could only respond with, "You've got it so bad."

Chapter Text

It took a moment to respond, but in the time that it did, Mal's gaze had returned to watching Evie walk away. "I don't think I ever tried to deny that. Not to someone else, anyways," she muttered.

Her attention lingered on the other girl until she felt a grape hit her cheek. She glared at Jay, whose body shook with laughter.

"C'mon, let loose and have some fun," he managed to say in between chuckles.

"We can let loose later," she said, taking his spoon from him. "Evie wants us four to hang out tonight. You in?"

"Is it easy to steal candy from a baby?" Jay asked in return, like the answer was obvious.

"Awesome. Come by our room when you get out of practice." Pretty much ending the conversation there, she Mal used the spoon she'd taken from him and started to actually eat what was on the tray in front of her.

A few minutes passed by in silence as they ate, and the other four soon made their ways back to the table. Jane and Lonnie had neat plates, Carlos had a mountain of plates carefully balanced on each other and had somehow found Dude when he'd gone to get food, and Evie came back with a single plate, covered in her favorite foods.

"So," Mal started, talking around a mouthful of strawberry. "How're we supposed to talk about... this?"

"Talk about what?" Lonnie asked, finally taking interest in the change of air around Mal and Evie. Jane looked over when she asked, and while Carlos didn't look, it was obvious he and Dude were listening.

"M didn't realize I liked her until we matched on Wicked today," Evie explained, smirking when Mal scowled at her.

Lonnie snorted at that and Jane giggled just a bit.

"Better late than never," Carlos commented, sipping on a juice he'd grabbed whilst petting Dude.

"Gee, thanks," Mal muttered, stabbing at her plate of salad. "Seriously, though, how does everyone else know?"

"Mal, you guys were so touchy at Cotillion. Even after Uma left, Evie walked you down and you guys were just so close," Lonnie remarked. "It was kind of hard not to notice. Unless you're Ben or you, I guess."

"There was also when Evie dragged you away from Ben a couple of days before Cotillion. I had to talk to him and I saw. And how Evie stuck up for you with the whole Zevon making you act bad thing," Jane added. There was a note of confidence in her voice she hadn't previously had when talking to Mal, and she did have to admit she was happy the girl wasn't as scared of her anymore.

"When we sang Space Between on the Isle. If the timing has been a little better, I think we might've kissed. But we were super close and we touched foreheads and, well, basically that whole song was us telling each other how we'd always be there." Evie hesitated on saying more.

"E?"

"Yeah, sorry," she said, shaking her head clear of her thoughts. "Before we had come to get you, I told Ben to make sure I didn't get stuck on the Isle again. But when I was with you, I was fully prepared to give up Auradon."

"I... I didn't know you told Ben that. I knew you loved Auradon, but I didn't realize-"

"I know you didn't," Evie interrupted. "That's not your fault."

"Okay," Mal conceded. "What else?"

"The nicknames," Jay pitched in. "E and M. You guys don't call Carlos C or me J... the letter, not my full name."

The group laughed at that, Mal and Evie most of all.

"And how do you know we don't call you by the letter? There's no vocal distinction," Evie said, chortling into her hand.

Mal could feel her cheeks warm ever so slightly, not enough for it to be noticeable by the others, but enough for her heart to flutter at the sound of Evie's laugh. She beamed at her group of friends and laughed along until it died out and the conversation continued.

"There was also the thing with the Dragon's Eye," Carlos told them. Lonnie and Jane looked on confused, so he explained. "Back on the Isle, before we came here, Mal's mother made her go to this little island inside the barrier. At the time, only Mal and Jay were really friends, if you could even call it that."

"Mm, I'd say we were more like associates. Not enemies, but definitely not friends. Not like we are now, anyways," Mal said.

"Yeah, we just stole and pulled pranks together. Or stole from and pranked each other. It was all the same thing back then."

"Right. So anyways, we all traveled to the island to get Maleficent's scepter- the Dragon's Eye. The thing was, there was a curse on it. The first person to touch it would fall to sleep for a thousand years."

Jane's eyes went large, and Lonnie stopped eating. Mal looked down at her own meal, still feeling slivers of guilt over that whole situation.

"Mal wanted revenge on Evie for inviting everyone but her to her birthday party when they were kids, so she planned on letting her grab it. She was going to, too. Her fingertips were less then an inch away when Mal shouted and grabbed it herself."

"I still don't know why I did that," Mal admitted. "I didn't hate her anymore, but I was still evil. My feet kind of moved on their own. And my hand reached out because I didn't... I didn't want her to take the curse for me."

"So what happened?" a new voice asked, making a few of them jump. Behind Carlos stood Ally and Freddie, late just as Carlos has said they'd be. They both sat their trays down before sitting down themselves. Ally looked between all of them. "What? I'm curious as to why Mal's awake!"

Freddie grinned. "You know they were about to get there, right, babe?" Ally crossed her arms and turned her head away. "Aw, c'mon, don't be like that. I'll share all the donuts I grabbed with you." She waved one in front of Ally's face.

"Fine. But only because you took all of them and I couldn't get one myself unless I went off-campus."

"Great!" Freddie slid the plat between them before prompting, "So, the rest of that story?"

Swallowing the food he had in his mouth, Carlos continued, "Mal fell to the floor at its touch, and we were all pretty shocked and concerned, no matter what they'll tell you." He smirked at Jay, who shoved his shoulder in return. "Like two minutes later, she woke up. Evie accused her of planning to let her take the curse. Jay admitted to how he was planning on stealing the scepter."

"I still can't believe your mom's stupid bird stole it before I could," Jay muttered.

"And I can't believe you're still hung up on that," Mal said with a roll of her eyes.

"Well I can't be-"

"Guys. The story." Evie pushed her tray towards Carlos, so Dude could lick the crumbs from her plate.

"So we all ended up going back empty handed, but you could feel a shift in our group. After everything we went through for the scepter, and then to see that the kid of the biggest bad do an act of good? Yeah, things were different. A good different. We were actually friends after that." He took a big bite before finishing. "Mal went from hating Evie's guts to being her best friend. We didn't really have a phrase for it, though. We went with 'gang activity.'"

"Aw, Mal, that was so sweet of you!" Freddie exclaimed, voice dripping with sarcasm. Ally gently slapped her arm, which only made her smile wider.

Not bothering to respond, Mal focused on eating her food until Evie spoke up.

"She saved my life that day. I've been smitten ever since."

"Wow, that's a pretty crazy story," Jane said. "I'm glad you all made it out okay."

"Seriously, I'm so glad you all got to come here and be, well, not sleeping for a thousand years," Lonnie said.

"And we're glad to be here," Mal told them, speaking for her and her friends. "It was a tough adjustment for... well, not them, but for me. I'm glad I'm here now, though."

Under the table, Mal felt a hand close around hers, soft and warm. Her gaze slowly made its way to Evie, who still wore a smile. There was a squeeze, and Mal took it to mean 'I'm glad you're here too.'

"Okay, I just have one more question," Ally said. "Why were we talking about that story? What's the reason?"

"That's two questions," Freddie teased, earning a jab to her ribs. "I'm curious too, though."

"Oh, we were telling Mal about all the instances where Evie was being pretty obvious with her feelings."

"Wait, you mean she didn't know? Girl, you are somethin' else," Freddie said, shaking her head.

"Yeah, yeah, I know. We can all talk about how oblivious I am later, but classes are about to start again and I'd rather not get another late mark."

"Oh, me either. Fairy Godmother is getting real tired of seeing this face in her office."

"Freddie, darling, how often are you late?" Ally asked, hastily finishing her meal.

"Often enough to know FG is letting me keep a stash of snacks in her office for all the times I'm there."

"You're such a mess," Mal commented, gathering the empty trays to put away. She saw a few of her friends about to speak, so before they could, she said, "Yes, I am too, you guys do not need to say it."

The group broke into laughter once more, and Mal couldn't help but join in while they all cleaned up their table. When it was all finished, they made promises to meet again the next day, and went their separate ways.

Mal walked Evie to her next class, as she always did, and finally saw what everyone else did. Their hands were clasped together, and their shoulders touched with each step, just like they did everyday.

Wow, Mal thought, I can't believe I didn't see it before. As she thought about their relationship further, they made it to Evie's classroom and stopped outside the door to face each other.

"Wanna talk before we hangout with the boys later?" Evie asked, gently swinging their arms.

"I do. See you after classes?"

"Yep. See you then!" she promised, reluctantly pulling her hands away. Walking into the classroom, she cast one last look over her shoulder, and then disappeared from view.

The warning bell rang through the halls, ushering students to their classrooms, including Mal. It went without saying that she couldn't focus through the rest of her classes, and instead decided to doodle through her notebooks once again.

Chapter Text

When Mal’s professor released them from class early, she was the first out the door. Normally, she’d head back to her dorm room and sit back until Evie came home, but after the events of the day, she headed in the opposite direction- towards Evie’s classroom.

Leaning up against the lockers just outside of the room, she studied her nails to keep herself occupied. They were purple, with silver and green designs swirling over them. Evie always said that silver was a 'Mal color' and gold was her own when she painted Mal's nails. And green was a given. There were a few chips in her nails, which meant Evie would be removing the polish and redoing them within the next two days.

Right. Evie. Mal shook her head to clear her mind. She and Evie were going to have a talk. About them. And while she was certain things would go great, she couldn't help the anxiety seeping into her mind over it.

Just when she was about to chicken out and meet Evie in their room instead, the bell rang, and suddenly the halls were filled with students heading to their next class or to their dorms. Mal pressed herself up against the lockers, and glared at any students who pushed into her. By the time the halls were mostly empty again, she still hadn't seen Evie.

Pushing off from the lockers, she popped her head into the classroom and saw that familiar head of blue hair.

"E? You okay in here?" she asked.

Evie's head flew up at the sound of her voice. "M! Yeah, sorry, I was just making sure I had everything."

Mal stepped inside the room and walked over to her. "Do you?"

"Yep! What're you doing here, though? We usually meet back at the room."

"Well, I got out of class early, so I decided I'd just wait for you to get out so we could walk back together. That's fine, right?"

"Of course it is." Evie held out her hand. "Shall we?"

Mal grinned and took it. "We shall."

Silence followed for a couple of minutes, but when they were halfway to their room, Mal broke the silence.

"So, how were your classes today?"

"They were fabulous! There was a chem test today and I'm pretty sure I aced it. It was kind of hard, but you know, challenges are pretty nice when you're not risking your life," Evie said with a laugh.

"I'll say," Mal replied with her own chuckle. "Seriously though, that's awesome, E! It's really cool that you like chemistry so much. We had science back on the Isle, but it wasn't anything like this."

"Yeah, I know, right? The difference is crazy." She paused. "While we're on the topic of chemistry, though... How about you and me?"

Mal snorted. "I cannot believe you started this conversation with a chemistry joke."

"Well, I had to start it somehow, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity." She smiled widely at Mal, whose eyes softened as she smiled back.

"Okay, fair." Her hand squeezed Evie's nervously. "You and me. Right. I'm not gonna lie, I'm really not good with this kinda stuff, Evie."

"Don't worry, I don't think anyone actually is. We can make it simple," she said, reaching for her room key to open their door. She grunted trying to fit it in, so Mal took over and opened it without a hitch.

"Simple how?" Mal asked, taking her hand out of Evie's so she could throw her bag down on her bed.

"Well... Mal, will you go out with me?" Evie asked, setting her own bag down before walking over and reaching for Mal's hands again.

"That's pretty blunt." Mal smirked.

"Simple, blunt, it's all the same." Evie responded with a shrug.

"True. In any case, Evie, I would love to go out with you." She squeezed her hands, and tugged so the space between them became almost nonexistent. "Can I kiss you?"

Evie's eyes widened just a little before she let out a soft laugh. "Of course you can." She set her forehead against Mal's, reminiscent to how they had done it after talking on the Isle the last time they were there.

Not bothering to reply with words, Mal closed the gap and kissed her. Her heart was hammering, but all she could think about was Evie's gentleness.

The kiss didn't go on too long before Mal pulled away. Evie's eyelashes fluttered as she opened her eyes back up. There was a light dusting of pink over her cheeks, and that only made Mal fall harder for her.

"Sorry, I-" Mal started to say.

"Hey. No apologizing. You can stop a kiss whenever you want, alright? You have nothing to apologize for." Her hands came free and reached for Mal's face, her thumbs rubbing over her cheeks.

Sighing, Mal relaxed into the touch. "Thanks for being so understanding, E. Kissing is... it's nice and all, I really loved kissing you, but I just. It's just." Letting out a frustrated groan, she set her head on Evie's shoulder. "I don't know how to explain it. I don't think I'm feeling what I should. I know I'm in love with you, and I've kissed before, but there's nothing special about it to me."

"You know, that's perfectly normal. Not everyone feels the same way." She stared at Mal for a minute. "And if you're thinking about how you might really be like the big bads back on the Isle for not particularly enjoying kissing, don't."

"I know. It's still kind of hard to shake, though," Mal admitted.

Her smile turned sad. "It is. But we have to."

"We do."

"Not alone, though. We never have to do anything alone ever again. We're an us now. I know we'll always be there for one another."

"Of course we will be. That's one of the few things I have no doubts about."

"Good, I'm glad." She pulled away. "Now, let's get ready for hanging out with the boys. Think we'll be watching any movies tonight?"

"Mm, probably. You know they've been really wanting to see the Harry Potter movies, and I'm pretty sure Carlos managed to get bootlegs of all eight."

"Bootlegs? Really? I thought he knew better after Fairy Godmother caught us the last time!"

Mal opened her mouth to respond when a knock on the door sounded. "You can take it up with him while I prepare some snacks," Mal said, opening the door to let Carlos in.

"Hey, guys," he greeted, waving around eight dvds in paper cases. "Jay said he'll be a few minutes. Wants to wash up after practice."

"And you don't?" Mal asked, wrinkling her nose.

"I had a super last-minute appointment with Fairy Godmother about Dude's talking, so I had to miss practice."

"Huh. Alright, well, I wanna hear how that went when I come back. You guys finish setting up."

Mal didn't stick around to hear their answers, knowing they'd finish even if she hadn't said anything, and headed to the kitchen.