Reckless Paradise

Summary

Quinn Little, raised in Auradon by Little John, finds out that her heritage is not what she thought it was. When Little John tells her that her real father was a villain, she must go on a journey of self-discovery that will bring her to all the forbidden places in the United States of Auradon. Pre-canon & canon-compliant to the first film.

Genre:
Adventure / Drama
Author:
aclmohle
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
23
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
16+

Chapter One: Auradon Prep

Would all the bad and evil vanish
If evil-doers were all banished?
Or is there evil in us all?
Is it our own choice to fall?

But if they are set up to fail
How dare we tell them to prevail
For if beggars cannot choose
Can we blame them when they lose?


“What is she wearing?”

The whispers slid around the halls and Quinn was going to ignore them until she saw the subject of the buzz.

A young girl walked down the hallway; it was probably her first day here. From her clothing and appearance, Quinn guessed that she was from the Northern Wei, Mulan and Shang’s home.

But the reason why everyone was staring at her was her clothing. Instead of a dress or a skirt, like everybody else, she had the audacity to wear pants.

She fiddled with the strap on her backpack but held her head up high as she walked down the hall. As she passed by Quinn, she saw that her eyes darted around at all the people watching her.

Poor kid.

Quinn stepped forward and held out her hand. “Hi, I’m Quinn.”

She looked up at her nervously. “Lonnie,” she said quietly, shaking her hand.

“I like your pants.”

Her eyes scanned her face, probably trying to guess whether she was being sincere. Then she noticed Quinn’s outfit. She wore a light green tunic with beige leggings underneath. It was not quite pants, but it wasn’t exactly a dress either.

“Thank you.” She looked around at the other students again, apprehensively.

“Don’t listen to them,” Quinn said. “You look nice.”

The ghost of a smile passed over her face. As she walked onwards, Quinn saw her pay less attention to the other students.


“Would Fa-Li Lonnie please report to the office?”

Quinn looked up from her book as she sat in the corner of the courtyard, hoping she had not gotten in trouble on her first day.

A few minutes later, the intercom went again. “Could Quinn Little please report to the office?”

Frowning, Quinn wondered what it could be about.

In the office, Fairy Godmother was waiting. She led Quinn into her office. Quinn sat down beside Lonnie, who held her hands in her lap, feet dangling off the chair. Fairy Godmother sat behind the desk.

“Fairy Godmother,” Quinn said. “What is this about?”

“The dress code.”

Quinn closed her eyes for a moment, stifling a sigh. She and her friends had had problems with the dress code before and had made their own loopholes. But they had been a group, all kids from Sherwood, whereas Lonnie, looking understandably nervous in the chair beside her, was alone. Quinn felt a surge of anger and protectiveness.

“What about the dress code?” she asked, looking back at Fairy Godmother.

She blinked. “I believe that Miss Lonnie’s outfit is inappropriate and she mentioned that you said that it was alright.” She looked Quinn directly in the eye. “Do you have authority over the dress code?”

“No, I do not,” Quinn said. “But I was also not aware that there was any rule against wearing pants in the dress code.”

“The dress code states that all students should dress in a good and proper manner.”

“That is rather vague,” Quinn said. “Why do pants qualify as proper clothing for the boys but not for girls?”

Fairy Godmother sighed in an infuriatingly condescending manner. “Miss Little, I realize that your upbringing in the Sherwood Village has caused you to have slightly different standards than the rest of us–”

“Excuse me?” Quinn asked. “Are you suggesting that perhaps the residents of Sherwood Village are not as good as those born of royalty?”

She smiled slightly. “Of course not, dear, I was simply hoping that perhaps you could not force your standards upon others of different upbringings.”

Quinn pursed her lips and glanced over at Lonnie. If she learned to fit in now, then she would be fine for the rest of her life. Why should she encourage her to live like her: not quite fitting in with the Royals. It was alright for Quinn, but Lonnie was kind of a royal herself.

Did she wish that fate upon her?

Sighing, Quinn turned to the little girl. “Fairy Godmother is right, Lonnie. It’s best if you wear the proper clothes.” she felt her stomach twist tighter with every word.

Lonnie’s eyebrows scrunched together and she tilted her head to the side. “But what you said before–”

“I was wrong.” Quinn pasted a smile on her face. “Fitting in is what you want. You’ll be able to make friends easier.”

“You may go, Lonnie,” said Fairy Godmother. When she had left, Fairy Godmother turned to Quinn. “Thank you, Miss Little. It’s for her good and the good of all of us.”

Quinn shook her head. “I only did it for her, not the rest of you.” She stood up. “The dress code is ridiculous.


Dear Mr. Little,

I regret to inform you that your daughter, Quinn Little, has been given a week’s worth of detention due to some worrying behaviour. I request that you come in to speak with me regarding the matter at your earliest convenience.

In goodness,

Headmistress Fairy Godmother


Quinn sat on the bench outside the Fairy Godmother’s office, slouching in a way that she hoped made I look like she did not care, while she hid her embarrassment. As students passed by, they glanced at her then turned to whisper to their friends.

Hardly anybody ever got detention.

The bell was about to ring, so students scurried quickly down the hallways until they were empty and silent. Tapping her feet on the stone floor and fiddling with her coarse coiled hair, Quinn tried to rid herself of nervousness.

Finally, she heard footsteps approaching and looked over to see the Fairy Godmother accompanied by a very tall man with dark hair, greying at the temples. Quinn smiled a little at the sight of her dad, although he did look slightly concerned.

“If you would wait out here a little longer, Miss Quinn,” she said. “I need to have a few private words with your father.”

Quinn nodded, staring blankly at the golden buttons on Fairy Godmother’s sky-blue jacket. As they passed by into the office, Dad put a hand on her shoulder and Quinn looked up to find him smiling sympathetically.

The door closed behind them and for a moment, she stayed where she was, resisting the urge to eavesdrop.

Quickly, Quinn looked up and down the hallway and knelt beside the door, pressing her ear to it.

“...all about?” said Dad. “I appreciate the hospitality, but I would like to know what Quinn’s worrying behaviour has been.” There was a clink like the sound of a teacup being set down.

Fairy Godmother cleared her throat delicately. “Of course, Mr. Little –”

“Please, call me John, or Little John, if you’d prefer.”

“We are concerned that Miss Quinn may not agree to the values that uphold our nation.”

“That is a serious accusation.” Quinn could tell by the incredulity in his voice that Dad’s eyebrows had just climbed up his forehead.

“I realize it is a shock,” Fairy Godmother said, misinterpreting his disbelief. “But we have been suspecting this for a while now.”

“And you did not inform me of this?”

“We did not want to unnecessarily worry you.”

“Very well,” Dad said, sighing. “What actions of hers have led you to think this because I have not noticed anything that would give me cause to be concerned.”

“Most recently, there was her encouragement of a younger student to dress inappropriately for someone of her station. Then there is her attempted taming of animals such as snakes and ravens, both of which are strongly associated with villains. And of course, her flagrant disregard of dress code. I realize that things are different in Sherwood, but we do have standards. I hope you understand, Mr. Little.”

There was silence inside the office.

“And this is why you think she disagrees with our nation’s values?” Dad asked quietly. A smile pulled at the edge of my mouth. From his tone of voice, he was on my side.

“Yes.”

“My daughter sees the beauty in animals that others fear and the good in a thunderstorm. I see no trouble in that. As for the dress code, I stand by my daughter wearing what she likes. Things are different in Sherwood, and I do not see why she should dress differently here.”

Another moment of silence passed awkwardly. “Are there any other concerns I should be aware of, Fairy Godmother?”

“Um, well,” Fairy Godmother said, and there was the sound of shuffling papers.

“She has not harmed any fellow students or broken any school rules?”

“Not technically,” she said, sounding flustered. “But… she criticized our king.”

“And is that against the law now, Fairy Godmother?” Quinn could hear Dad’s voice getting tense.

“Well, no…” her voice trailed off.

“If we are finished here, I would like to speak with my daughter privately, perhaps outside?”

Quinn heard the scraping of a chair against the floor and quickly got up and sat on the bench again, just before the door opened. Dad came out, closely followed by Fairy Godmother. The irritation in his face softened slightly when he looked at her.

“Your father would like to speak with you alone, Miss Little, so perhaps you could show him the gardens?” she said, smiling.

Quinn nodded.

“And remember that you have detention with me in the library after school,” she continued, her usual perkiness returning. “Don’t be late!”

Nodding again, Quinn got up and started down the hallway, Dad following close behind. Once they were out of earshot, he said quietly, “Sorry I couldn’t get you outta detention, kiddo.”

She shrugged. “I usually hang out in the library after school anyway.”


“So, was she telling the truth?” Dad asked.

They were walking through the forest beyond the school sports field. Quinn saw how Dad lightened up once they got under the trees. He did not belong in castles like the other heroes. Neither did she, really.

“I don’t know, what did she say?” Quinn asked.

Dad looked at her, eyebrows raised.

“How did you know?”

He looked pointedly at the smudge of dust and dirt on her left knee. “That wasn’t there before. And I know you prefer your left ear.”

Quinn smiled. “Sorry for eavesdropping?”

“Is it true?”

“Yes, it’s true, but I don’t see why it should be a problem. I happen to disagree with some silly rules, can’t I have a civilized debate about it? When the other Sherwood kids were here, we talked about that stuff all the time.”

“If you start going too far against the silly rules and traditions, they’ll start to think you harbour villain sympathies.”

“I know,” Quinn said, kicking a stone and watching it skitter ahead of her. “And maybe I do.” She saw Dad’s concerned look. “a bit. I just don’t think VKs should be punished for their parents’ crimes. They never did anything against us.” She paused. “Don’t worry, I don’t talk about that.”

Dad frowned. “But from the reports, many are already delinquents, pickpockets running little gangs and roaming the streets causing trouble.”

“That’s because they’re set up to fail. We leave them to be raised by their parents with their only contacts being villains, growing up despising us because we left them there to rot!”

He sighed. “You may have a point, but if you start talking like that, you’ll start to make people nervous.”

“Come on, Dad,” Quinn stopped and turned to him, grabbing his hand. “You agree with me and I don’t care what people think.”

“You don’t want people to get the wrong idea.”

“You always taught me to stand up for what is right, like what you did, with Robin Hood and Will Scarlet!”

“King Adam is hardly Prince John, Quinn.”

“Yeah, I know, but still.”

Dad sighed and drew a hand through his hair. “Do you think you can come home this weekend? Then we can go over this a little more privately.”

Quinn turned back and saw the tourney team getting ready for practice on the field. Looking back at Dad, she smiled. “Sure, it’ll be nice to go home for a bit.”

“If Fairy Godmother gives you any trouble, just tell me. I’ll think of some excuse.”

“Thanks, Dad,” Quinn said. “For understanding.”

“No problem.”

She started to head back to school, but then quickly went back to hug Dad. It was nice to have someone on her side at this school again.


The period was not quite over, but Quinn did not particularly want to go to Grammar and Proper Communication, so she wandered the hallways. Since the last of her friends from Sherwood had graduated last year, so she did not have anyone to hang out with. She found it difficult to relate to the kids who had been raised in castles by princes and princesses when her home was all trees and former vigilantes. They were two different worlds.

So Quinn headed for the archery range, one of the only places in Auradon City that reminded her of home. It was usually empty and working on her marksmanship often helped her clear her head. She passed by her locker to grab her bow and was happy to find the range utterly deserted.

After turning on the lights and setting up the targets, Quinn began to shoot arrow after arrow. She changed positions as she did so, simulating an actual fight like how Dad had taught her. She was pretty good – not Robin Hood good of course – but good.

“You’ve gotten better,” said a voice behind her suddenly and Quinn spun around, face breaking into a smile when she saw her best friend.

“Mark!” she exclaimed, putting down her bow and arrow and running to give him a hug.

“Hey, Quinn!” he said. “In trouble, are we?” Mark was Robin Hood’s son, and so he and Quinn had basically been raised together, practically family. He had graduated last year.

Quinn frowned. “My dad met you on his way out?”

He shook his head. “You’re just shooting arrows very intensely when you should be in class. I’m not stupid.” He sat down on a bench and looked at her expectantly.

“It’s nothing,” Quinn said. “Just all these princes and princesses around me.” She smiled. “I miss the Sherwood group. At least we all made some sense.”

Mark raised his eyebrows. “What did you do?”

She sighed and sat down beside him. “I just told a girl that pants are fine, and apparently they don’t like my various attempts at taming ‘evil animals.’” She sighed. “And then I told Dad I think the children of villains didn’t deserve to be on the Isle and he told me to keep that on the down-low.”

“Well…” he said cautiously.

“Oh, come on, Mark,” Quinn said, irritated. “Not you too.”

“You don’t want them to get the wrong idea.”

“That’s exactly what my dad said!”

“Maybe he has a point.”

Quinn sighed again. “Why are you back anyway?”

“Coach Jenkins wanted help with archery.”

Nodding, Quinn glanced at the clock on the wall. “You know, I still have a few minutes.” She grinned at him. “Best out of five for old time’s sake?”

Mark’s grin reflected hers. “Oh, you’re on!”

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