His Pine Tree stared in shock as moments passed; with eyes wide, and mouth slack-jawed, gaping like a fish. Then, he hunched over, laughing hysterically with his arms folded over his stomach. After a few minutes, as Bill hovering in place, the teen finally straightened up, wiping a tear from his eye.
"That has to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard."
Admittedly, if Bill was anyone but himself, he'd agree.
He figured he should be straight-up honest with boy. No beating around the bush.
Dipper deadpanned, "You're gonna have to try harder than that, Bill, cause I'm not falling for that trick anytime soon."
"IT'S NOT A TRICK! I CAN'T HELP THAT I FEEL THESE—That I love you, Pine Tree."
"But that doesn't make sense!" Dipper yelled, throwing his hands up.
"How—Why would you—You know what, I'm not even gonna ask. Even if you did feel something towards me, there's no way it could be something like... love." Dipper felt awkward just thinking it. The demon turned red. In a split second, he was right in front of the brunette, leaning forward as he peered down at the teen.
"Look, Pine Tree," His voice was dark and sinister. "You might as well just accept it because these feelings—my feelings—my love for you isn't going to change anytime soon."
As Bill backed away, he realized that his Pine blanked out. He let out a sigh. He really needed to work on his temper. His anger benefited absolutely no one... Well, maybe himself sometimes—but that's not the point!
Anyway, his Pine Tree started laughing again for some reason.
"This is not happening. This is all just one big delusion. Yes, that's it. I'm delusional. I've finally lost my mind. I'm insane–"
"NOT REALLY, BUT YOU'RE GETTING THERE," Bill interrupted. Then he remembered. "BUT HUMANS DON'T LIKE THAT APPARENTLY."
He stroked his nonexistent chin. "What to do?"
He could try to find the problem himself, then fix it manually, but he doubted his Pine Tree would appreciate the intrusion, regardless of the reason. Maybe he could get one of those... therapist people—Wait, do they even still exist anymore after Weirdmaggaedon? He didn't get humans. What's wrong with being insane?
Dipper froze in horror as a realization dawned on him. "You're... not gonna leave me alone, are you?"
"OF COURSE NOT," Bill replied, glowing brightly. "NOW THAT YOU'RE HERE, I'M NOT LEAVING YOU AGAIN."
"Just great," The teen groaned. "Now what am I supposed to do? Mabel's going to freak. Not to mention, my Grunkles–" Dipper gasped. "How am going to explain this to my Grunkles?!"
Bill rolled his eye. "DOES IT EVEN MATTE-Wait no." He stopped abruptly. It does matter. "I NEED TO ASK THEM FOR THIS 'BLESSING' THING, DON'T I?"
He knew that marriage ceremonies were necessary for humans to have when they choose their partner for life. He also knew that they could work even without the 'blessing' thingy, but Bill didn't want that. His Pine Tree deserved only the best, after all, and nothing less. He would have to look more into these 'marriages' later though. Bill sighed internally. Why do humans have to make everything so complicated? Not that he couldn't handle it, of course. He's Bill Cipher. He can do anything.
"This is really happening, isn't it?" Dipper muttered under his breath before sighing loudly. "Is this going to be my life from now on?!"
Dipper trudged forward, the dream dream demon floating right behind him spouting whatever random stuff he wanted. This whole thing was madness. Bill loving him? It was absolutely ridiculous. Yet here they were, unfortunately.
He ignored the triangle for now, tuning him out; he had to focus on his tracking spell. In his hand was a charm bracelet his sister gave him; it glowed as he used his magic. His surroundings reverted back to the scenery he had seen before entering the wendigo's domain; tall dark trees with branches that covered the skies, the glittering stone formations, and the glowing plants and occasional animals crossed his path. It was even darker than earlier, indicating nighttime; but Dipper hadn't bothered recasting the light spell since Bill was here, and he glowed at least ten times brighter.
When the brunette muttered under his breath as the spell flickered and changed direction again, Bill spoke up.
"WE'RE LOOKING FOR YOUR FAMILY, AREN'T WE, PINE TREE?"
"Well... yeah," Dipper said slowly. He inwardly cringed when the demon said 'we' but he chose not to comment on it.
"THEN WE'RE HEADED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION." They both stopped moving forward. Bill pointed to Dipper's left. "YOU'RE FAMILY'S THAT WAY," He said.
Dipper narrowed his eyes in suspicion. Even if Bill did announce his self-proclaimed 'love' for him, he wouldn't put it past the demon to lie to him, or do something to his family if hadn't already.
"And how would you know that?" He asked.
"OH, I KNOW LOTS OF THINGS," Bill admitted. "THAT AND MY MAGIC IS WAY MORE POWERFUL THAN YOURS."
Dipper fumed. Track & Search Magic was an uncommon magic that only three other people in Gravity Falls, besides himself, had an affinity for it. Unlike Sensory Magic, which detected everything within a certain radius, it was capable locating specific targets within reasonable distances, and used less magic. Dipper hadn't mastered it yet, but he was confident of his abilities.
"My tracking spell works perfectly fine."
Bill held up his hands defensively. "I'M SURE IT WOULD IF IT WAS ANYWHERE ELSE BUT NOT HERE."
He floated over to a large stone stack, motioning for the boy to follow. He moved forward, pocketing the bracelet as he did; when he approached, the demon started talking. "THIS ENTIRE DARK FOREST BORDERS MY WHOLE TERRITORY. RARELY ANYONE MAKES IT THIS FAR AND THOSE WHO DO NEVER MAKE IT OUT. I'M ACTUALLY IMPRESSED THAT YOU GOT THIS FAR IN ONLY TWO DAYS—Someone must've been slacking off."
Bill made before an annoyed sound before placing his hand on the stone; the purple specks started glowing brightly underneath his touch. Curious, Dipper reached out with his own hand, but Bill stopped him.
"THESE ROCKS, AS YOU MIGHT'VE NOTICED, ARE LITTERED THROUGHOUT THIS FOREST," He continued. "AND THEY'RE ONLY FOUND HERE, NO WHERE ELSE."
Bill took took a loose fragment of stone and crushed it in his hand, leaving behind a small pile of purple dust. "THEY CONTAIN A MINERAL CAPABLE OF DISRUPTING AND INTERFERING WITH MAGIC CURRENTS. ENOUGH OF IT CAN EVEN BLOCK OFF MAGIC COMPLETELY."
He pours the dust into the teen's hand. Dipper marveled at it. Thinks of all the applications something like this could be used for! The dust was capable of being a revolutionary discovery in itself.
"What is it called?" Dipper had to know.
Bill shrugged. "I never bothered naming it. I created on accident after all."
"An accident?" Dipper could only stare, dumbstruck.
Bill rolled his eye. "Yeah, it was an accident. A by-product, a side-effect, call it what you want. I won't go into details."
He knew Bill was weird, but this was just crazy. "You're insane."
"Sure I am. What's your point?" Bill didn't miss a beat. "Anyway, with this stuff everywhere, you won't find your family on your own, anytime soon."
Dipper leaned back against the purple-dotted rocks. "Now what am I going to do?"
"Well... We could always make a deal?" Bill suggested.
Dipper froze, his expression slowly turning into horror as he backed away from the demon.
"No! No! No! Never. Again!" He cried.
"JUST HEAR ME OUT, PINE TREE," said Bill. "I LEAD YOU BACK TO YOUR FAMILY, AND IN EXCHANGE, I GET TO GO BACK WITH YOU TO GRAVITY FALL AND STAY THERE FOR AN INDEFINITE AMOUNT OF TIME."
"Hxll no. Like I'd want you anywhere near Gravity Falls!"
"Do you honestly think you can stop me from entering Gravity Falls?"
Dipper didn't reply. He knew.
"NOT TO MENTION, THERE ARE MUCH WORSE CREATURES HERE OTHER THAN THE WENDIGO. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO RISK YOUR PRECIOUS FAMILY RUNNING INTO THEM?"
Dipper bit his lip. He still didn't say anything.
Bill sighed. "IF YOU NEED TO, JUST THINK OF IT AS THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS."
"WHAT DO YOU PREFER, PINE TREE?" He leaned in close. "A deal or a life-debt?"
He was referring to the wendigo. Dipper reviewed his options. None of them were good. He sighed.
"Okay, I'll make a deal with you," Dipper answered. "But we're doing it on my terms."
If he was going to make a deal with Bill, it was going to be in his favor. "You owe it after everything you put me and the rest of Gravity Falls through."
He replied easily. "ANYTHING FOR YOU PINE TREE!~"
"First things first, you will always listen to me while we're there. My word is law. Second, under no circumstance are you to hurt, kill, maim, or cause pain to anyone in Gravity Falls–"
"HEY I CANT HELP IT IF SOME SORRY PATHETIC MEATBAG ENDS UP TRAUMATIZED JUST BY LOOKING AT ME," Bill interrupted.
Dipper sighed again. "Fine. Under no circumstance are you to directly or intentionally cause any sort of harm to anyone while we're in Gravity Falls without my permission. Better?"
Dipper didn't wait. "And lastly, you're not allowed to left alone anywhere in Gravity Falls. You must always be accompanied by someone I trust, got it?"
"I DON'T PLAN ON LEAVING YOUR SIDE, SO THAT'S FINE WITH ME."
"GREAT, NOW SHAKE MY HAND AND IT'S A SEALED DEAL." Bill offered a the familiar flaming hand to Dipper. Hesitantly, he took the the demon's hand and gave it a firm shake, completing the contract.
When they let go, Dipper stared at his hand, instantly regretting what he'd just done. Bill, on the hand, seemed to glow even brighter.
"COME ON PINE TREE. THE SOONER WE GET TO YOUR FAMILY, THE SOONER WE GET TO GRAVITY FALLS!"
The demon flew off in one direction at reasonable pace for the teen to follow, and begrudgingly, he did.
In the middle of their awkward walk, Bill broke the silence.
"FUN FACT, I ORIGINALLY PLANNED TO SURPRISE YOU ON YOUR BIRTHDAY, BUT THIS WORKS TOO."
"Thank goodness you didn't. That would've been the worst birthday gift ever."