Actions

Work Header

But You Love Me (A Gravity Falls Fanfiction)

Chapter Text

The triangle demon aimlessly floated through his Fearamid. His second Fearamid, actually. The original Fearamid was destroyed with the failure of Weirdmageddon. Was it really a failure, though? Can you count it as a failure if you fail on purpose? Honestly, Bill didn't care anymore, it was all for him after all.

Anyway, this second Fearamid was a bit smaller and more hidden than the original. Can't have random creatures or people stumble across his home, after all. Other demons knew where he lived, but they wouldn't dare try anything ever since Cipher had made sure they knew their place after he got tired of the multiple failed assassination attempts on his life during the past few years.

The demon eventually drifted into one of the many rooms. This room was filled with various knickknacks he's collected from multiple dimensions. With a sigh, he started to sort through the items, in hopes of alleviating some boredom. Nightmares and torture was fun and all, but even that can get boring after awhile when there's no purpose to it, also the fact that at start of the apocalypse, everyone came to know of the dream demon, so most intelligent beings that needed sleep slept for the minimum amount of hours required or even less. Not to mention, he was trying to lessen doing it in the first place for the sake of the only being he actually cares about.

A pink fire demon appeared underneath the doorway. "Bill!" She called.

Said demon turned to face her. "PYRONICA! WHAT BRINGS YOU HERE?" He asked in that chipper and high-pitched voice of his.

"The other demons are being rowdy again." Pyronica crossed her arms. "They want to take over this dimension since you aren't, but are too scared to do anything because they're afraid that they'll incur your wrath. They want to know if you still have plans for this dimension."

Bill sighed and rolled his eye. "I SAID IT BEFORE AND I'LL SAY IT AGAIN! I DON'T CARE ABOUT WHAT HAPPEN TO THIS DIMENSION AS LONG AS ME AND WHAT'S MINE ISN'T AFFECTED BY IT!"

"That's what they're confused about," Pyronica responded. "The demons don't understand how someone like you could have feelings for a hu-"

"ARE YOU QUESTIONING MY FEELINGS FOR PINE TREE?" Bill appeared right in front of the pink demon, glaring and a bit red.

"N-Never!" She took a step back. "It's just that they're not clear-"

"THEN MAKE IT CLEAR!"

"Y-yes, boss!" She turned around and left in hurry.

Bill relaxed and let out a frustrated sigh. He really needed to work on his temper. Pine tree wouldn't like him any better if didn't. Speaking of his Pine tree, in less than two weeks it would be his and Shooting Star's eighteenth birthday, not to mention the nearing date of the anniversary of Weirdmageddon. But eighteen was a special age for humans, wasn't it? Perhaps he should do something special for the occasion. He already gave Pine Tree what he wanted, but this could be his chance to actually be with his Pine Tree instead of just watching over him. Bill tapped his nonexistent chin.

Maybe he should...

Chapter Text

Magic. It what something that took a long time to get used to. If you weren't someone from Gravity Falls that is. It was an advantage to be already aware of the weirdness, and Gravity Falls happened to be the epicenter of it. So when magic, which was laying dormant for centuries, finally awakened in humanity, they weren't that surprised. To be honest, Dipper half-expected it to happen.

Dipper lazily looked out the window of the moving RV, staring at the sun peaking out over the horizon. Him, Mabel, Wendy, Pacifica and Gideon were returning from a recon mission to a new werewolf settlement that sprung up recently. Ever since Weirdmageddon, demons and other supernatural creatures started making themselves known to the world, claiming territories for themselves. Most cities all over the world suffered destruction at the hands of demons. Small towns and villages were much safer.

How did they know about what was going on with the rest of the world? Well, for some reason the satellites, towers and such were still functioning, so they still had access to electricity, radios and the Internet. Television was a no-go. Sorry, Grunkle Stan. At least, you still have your DVD's to watch.

Dipper looked to the rest of his team. Wendy was driving and made small talk with Gideon, who was riding shotgun, every now and then; while Mabel and Pacifica were discussing something he probably didn't care about. Pacifica and Gideon have really changed over the past years. Especially Gideon who had finally gotten rid of that ridiculous pompadour. He still has a thing for Mabel, but isn't creepy about it. Together with Wendy, Mabel, and himself, the five of them were the most powerful team of magic users in Gravity Falls, excluding their Grunkles of course.

Not everyone can use magic, but unsurprisingly, everyone in the Pines family can. But the same can't be said for Dipper and Mabel's parents or any other relatives, due to fact they have yet to make any sort of contact with them. They could only hope for the best... or fear the worst.

There must've been a better way of how things could've turned out. But hey, at least they weren't dead or under the tyrannical rule of a certain evil dorito.

Dipper sighed, leaning his head against the glass window. Everyone knows who Bill Cipher is now, but no one knows where he is. Maybe the other demons do, but they probably couldn't ask them anyway. Not that Dipper was complaining or anything, in fact, he hopes that Bill would never return but that was wishful thinking. It's just that Bill could've won, he destroyed the barrier after all... And the way he ended it was really strange too.

 


"WHAT'S THE MATTER, PINE TREE? WASN'T THIS FUN?!"

Dipper stood at the top of the Fearamid with the dream demon floating in the air in front of him. His family was surely making their was up as well.

"Fun?!" Dipper yelled. How dare that demon say that after everything he's done?! Bill lied and tricked them; led them around with a false hope. All those 'helpful' hints he gave them were all pointless. He didn't need Grunkle Ford to disable the barrier. He destroyed it himself! It was all just a game to him!

"OF COURSE IT WAS A GAME, PINE TREE! DID YOU MEATSACKS ACTUALLY THINK THAT YOU COULD BEAT ME?!" Bill laughed at the notion.

Bill read his mind. Of course he could read minds! How could he forget?! Why wouldn't he read his mind?! That isosceles freak has no respect for personal space. He invades people's minds after all. This whole invasion must be just some form of entertainment for him. What did he expect them to do now? Just bow down and submit themselves to this madness? This may be a game to you, Bill, but these are our lives at stake-

"WOAH, THERE. CALM DOWN, KID. YOUR BRAIN MIGHT EXPLODE FROM ALL THAT THINKING YOU'RE DOING!

I KNOW! WHY DON'T YOU SIT DOWN ON THIS COUCH MADE OF FLESH?"

Bill snapped his fingers. The couch appearing right next Dipper, making him jump.

"IT COMFIER THAN IT LOOKS, PROMISE!"

Dipper just glared at the triangle demon. He refused to sit down. He too a quick glance at it. Yup, definitely not sitting on that.

"WOW, YOU MEATSACKS SURE ARE PICKY!"

Bill circled around Dipper, his hands on his sides. "THEN WHAT DO YOU WANT, PINE TREE?"

The boy fumed. He's actually asking that now?! As if he wants to make him happy?! He couldn't believe it.

"Are you kidding me?!" Dipper yelled, stomping his foot on the ground.

"Do you really want to know what I want?!" Dipper was ranting at this point. He didn't even notice how the demon slightly leaned closer.

"I want you-" He pointed at Bill. "-to stop all of this! End Weirdmageddon! Turn everything and everyone back to how they were, fix Gravity Falls,-" He gestured at the remains of the town. "-stay away from us, and leave me alone!" Dipper remembered the his numerous encounters with the demon. It felt like he never left him alone.

The triangle demon seemed to deflate a bit at the last demand, but only for a second. Bill narrowed his eye, and rubbed his nonexistent chin. "So if I do all that, then you'll be happy. Hmmm..." The demon hummed and slightly tilted back, as if he was actually considering it. That simple action left Dipper staring.

"Dipper!" He heard his sister call out his name.

 

Everything after that was history. The rest of family arrived to back him up. Grunkle Ford shot Bill with his quantum destabilizer, but it didn't do its intended purpose. It didn't send Bill back through the rift, but it did send him away. Once he was gone, the town fixed itself and all of its citizens were freed, but the weirdness and demons didn't go away. The damage was done, and it spread throughout the rest of the world, causing a supernatural apocalypse. Even with Bill gone, Grunkle Ford warned them that one day he will return, and on that day, they would have to be ready for it.

"Dudes, we're back!" Wendy announced, snapping Dipper out of his thoughts.

Mabel was bursting with excitement as the RV rolled to a stop. As soon as the doors slid open, she jumped out and straight into the waiting arms of her besties, Candy and Grenda. They've all been busy lately. Grenda used her affinity for body-strengthening magic to help around with the town construction and defenses, while Candy currently studied the arts of brewing to make potions and elixirs.

On rare occasions like these, they just had to take advantage of it. They immediately started gossiping about the latest news around town and the new werewolf settlement. Pacifica was quickly absorbed into their conversation as well.

Gideon stood next to Dipper. "Looking back, I never did understand how girls have so much to talk about."

"Yeah." Dipper agreed.

They didn't notice the redhead standing behind them.

"Oh, please. You two nerds will talk for hours about paranormal stuff if given half the chance," Wendy said as she ruffled both of their hair, nearly making them jump in surprise.

It was true, though. Putting their past differences aside, Dipper and Gideon had bonded over their interest in the supernatural and unknown; but Dipper was always more enthusiastic about it.

"Anyway," She continued. "I'll go ahead and take care of stuff here. You guys can do whatever."

"We can help you," Dipper offered.

"Yeah, we can unload the RV," Gideon agreed. "Or we can deliver the report." He gestured to the folder full of papers she had picked up.

Wendy denied the offer. "Nah, it's fine. I can get my brothers to help out. I know you two want to meet up with the Stan's." She waved them off. "Don't worry, I got this."

The two thanked Wendy and left towards the direction of the Shack until Gideon stopped. Dipper turned to him.

Gideon explained. "Before we go, I have to check in with the station first."

"Oh, right." Dipper almost forgot that Gideon had a second job at the Police Department.

"So I'll meet up with you later while you go ahead or-" Gideon jabbed a finger at Dipper's chest. "-you get some rest because I know you spent most of the trip staying up all night to work on that report."

Dipper looked away. He couldn't deny it, instead he kept silent.

Gideon sighed. "You really need to take better care of yourself, or else Mabel will be on my case about you."

Dipper sighed in response. "Fine, but if you're not there by the time I get up, I'm going without you."

"Yeah, whatever." Gideon rolled his eyes and shooed him. "Now go take a nap or something."

Chapter Text

As soon as Dipper entered the Mystery Shack, he was greeted by a strange yet familiar sight.

"Oh hey, kiddo! You're back already? Where's your sister?"

In front of him stood, not his Grunkle Stan, but a holographic clone of the man with an unopened can of Pitt Cola in his hand.

"Mabel's catching up with some friends." Dipper looked around. "Where is everyone?"

"Soos got called in to heal some roughed up newcomers. McGucket left a couple minutes ago, while me and Sixer are still in the basement.

"I got thirsty." The clone held up the cola. "Gotta love magic. Makes life so much easier."

Holographic Cloning is Grunkle Stan's personal magic. Personal magic is much more difficult to learn considering how one-of-a-kind and unique it is for each individual magic user. People don't know it right away, so it's hard to figure out if they even have one or not.

Though Grunkle Stan had mastered his personal magic to the point where he can make three clones at once and still have them able to function individually. Combining his magic with how fit he's gotten since Weirdmageddon, Stanley was a force to be reckoned with.

"Wanna join us? I'm sure my bro would love to talk your ears off on our recent discoveries. And here's a hint on the most important one: it involves a dream demon we all know and hate."

"As much as I'd love to, but-" Dipper pointed to the stairs. "-I figured that I should get some rest first. Long trip, ya know. I'll go down later with Gideon."

The clone rubbed his chin. "With that kid, eh."

"Grunkle Stan, we've been over this. He's changed," Dipper said.

"I am over it! He's definitely become more of man compared to five years ago. You on the other hand..." The hologram looked him over.

Dipper groaned. "Grunkle Stan..."

By all means, Dipper Pines is no wimp. He has a perfectly fit and lean body. But he had to admit that Gideon had gotten a more muscular build; and despite being nearly two years younger, Gideon was only half an inch shorter than him.

The clone laughed. "Just teasing ya. You can go now," was the last thing holographic Stan said before disappearing down the stairs that led to the basement. Dipper sighed and went straight to the attic.

He let himself fall onto his bed, kicking off his shoes and tossing his trademark cap to the side. Dipper shifted into a more comfortable position and waited to fall asleep. He waited... and waited... and ended up laying awake for who knows how long. Time continued to pass as Dipper continued to stare at the ceiling. He sighed. He pushed himself up into a sitting position and looked at the clock. Only a couple minutes had passed.

If he couldn't sleep, he might as well study for a bit. Dipper cast a short spell and the books, notebooks and other materials lying a couple feet away from his bed came flying over to him and remained hovering in the air in front of him. Dipper hummed a tune to himself as he took one of floating books and began reading through it. Time seemed to fly by and he began to feel drowsy.

Dipper let out yawn but continued to study nonetheless, writing occasional notes in his notebook. His eyes started drooping. For some reason, his thoughts drifted to a certain triangle demon. He blamed it on the fact that his and Mabel's eighteenth birthday was coming up soon and six days before that was the anniversary of Weirdmageddon. Not exactly a good way to hype up for one of the biggest's days in their lives; but did it even matter now? This was all Bill's fault.

~~~~~~~~~~~

"WAKE UP, DIPPER!" The voice screamed.

Dipper screamed back in response; flailing and tumbling out of bed and onto the floor. Mabel leaned over him with her hands on her hips.

"You were studying instead of resting properly again, weren't you?!" She accused.

Dipper shook himself out of his state of drowsiness and looked around. Besides Mabel looking down at him, he noticed Gideon leaning next on the doorframe with his arms crossed and holding back a snicker. Dipper glanced at the clock. Less than five hours had passed since they came back.

"Uhh..."

Mabel sighed. "Dipdop, if you don't start sleeping properly, we might have to drug you."

"Hey, I can't help it if I can't fall asleep at times," Dipper said. "Weren't you with your friends?"

"Candy and Grenda went back to work, and Pacifica left with Wendy." Mabel offered him a hand and pulled him off the floor. Ever since Pacifica discovered her affinity for Sensory Magic, she'd started to train under Wendy's guidance.

"We came to get ya before going to your Grunkles," Gideon said as he entered the room.

"Let's go then." Dipper looked back at the books and papers scattered across his bed. He muttered another spell and the mess fixed itself.

Gideon rolled his eyes at the blatant use of magic.

~~~~~~~~~~

"Hey, kiddos, nice of ya ta join us!" Grunkle Stan greeted when the teen made their appearance.

"Yes, you won't believe what we've uncovered!" Grunkle Ford said enthusiastically.

"Try us," dared Mabel.

"Grunkle Stan mentioned something to do with Bill Cipher," Dipper recalled.

Stan shrugged when Ford looked at him. Ford sighed. "We've learned much more other than that, but it seems that Stanley would rather get straight to the main event." Stan shrugged again.

Ford led them over to a metal table with a hologram of the entire region on it. It was one of Stanford's inventions. The holographic display was a product of Ford's personal magic, Recording Magic. Really useful for a researcher such as Stanford.

"As you all know, excluding the demons themselves, no one has come into any kind of contact with Bill Cipher since Weirdmageddon. It's as if he just disappeared from this dimension, but we all know that isn't true." Everyone nodded at this. For anyone capable of magic, if they tried hard enough they would be able to detect faint traces of Bill's magic energy from almost anywhere; for those from Gravity Falls, it was never a good feeling.

"Based on our intel on demons," Ford continued. "All demons, no matter how weak or strong, has claimed its own territory somewhere across the globe."

Ford's invention projected a hologram of the Earth with numerous markers on it. A red marker for each known demon territory, white markers for all known settlements, and a single green one for Gravity Falls.

"Bill must have a territory of his own. One difficult to enter so no one will find it."

The hologram zoomed in on a cluster of red markers that formed triangle with an empty center. Dipper recognized the locations for some of them. It wasn't that far from Gravity Falls; just a three-to-four hour drive away.

Dipper understood it by now. But if it wasn't obvious enough, Ford added, "All of these territories belong to Bill's henchmaniacs, and no one has ever gotten through them an lived to tell the tale."

That settles it then.

"All evidence leads to Bill Cipher hiding here." Ford concluded, pointing at the center of the triangle that has now lit up with a yellow marker.

Silence filled the air as the news settled in for the teens. All these years where most people wondered "Where is Bill Cipher?!" it turns out that he's less than a day's drive away from Gravity Falls. All this time Bill has been so close to them and they never noticed it.

At the center of a triangle; it was so obvious that Dipper kinda felt stupid for not realizing it sooner.

"So what does it mean for us then?" He asked. "Are gonna try to get in? And then what?"

"No, of course not," Ford replied. "Not now at least. We have to scout out the surrounding landscapes first. Even the areas surrounding the demon's territories are heavily infested with monsters and all sorts of dangers."

Gideon winced. "Yeah, barging in doesn't seem to be good idea."

"And too much work!" Stan added.

"It's what we have to do if we want to stop Bill and whatever he's planning," Ford said. "Unless you have a suggestion on how to lure him out?"

Stan pretended to think for moment before replying, "Nope."

All known methods to call Bill Cipher failed, not that there were many in the first place. Heck, he didn't even answer his own summonings anymore.

Ford sighed. "You kids should go enjoy yourselves while you can. Me and my brother has work to do." Stanley groaned when he heard 'work'.

"Oh, and Dipper," Stanford called out before they left. "Can you find Wendy and tell her to come to the Shack?"

"Sure thing, Grunkle Ford."

Chapter Text

"Hey Pacifica, Wendy!" Mabel called out to the two girls as she ran towards them, Dipper following behind her.

Wendy's place of choice was always somewhere deep in the woods, forcing the twins to trek through it whenever they wanted to find her or whoever she's with. It helped that Dipper was learning Tracker Magic. Gideon separated from the two earlier, after they exited the Shack, saying that he had to go back to work.

Pacifica and Wendy waved back to the brunettes with cheerful expressions, not at all surprised by their arrival. Wendy said something to Pacifica before going to her bag to grab a drink. The blonde, on the other hand, ran over to the twins and gave Mabel a hug, who hugged her back.

"So, how's magic training going?" Mabel asked as she let go.

"Wonderful. I saw you guys coming from miles away." Pacifica gestured her hand towards the direction the twins had come from.

"Miles? I doubt it." Dipper rolled his eyes at her obvious exaggeration.

Pacifica stuck her tongue out at him. "Fine, not miles, but I really am getting better... And it's harder than it looks!"

"I think you're doing great, Pacifica," Mabel complimented.

Dipper left the two girls to their conversation and walked over to Wendy. He had gotten over his crush for her years ago.

"Hey, Wendy."

"Sup, Dipper."

"How's Pacifica?" He asked.

"Good, she's getting the hang of it," the redhead replied. "But she's still pretty tense about spreading out."

Dipper nodded in understanding. He remembered Wendy explain to him how Sensory Magic needed the caster need to lower their guard and relax their mind completely in order to spread their magic to far distances. It's understandable that that Pacifica would be hesitant to let her guard down in the middle of a monster-infested forest..

"Oh, right! My grunkles are looking for you." Dipper remembered. "They want to talk to you. I think it involves something about Bill."

"The one-eyed freak that pretty much wrecked the world?"

"Yup."

"Sure." Wendy turned to Pacifica's direction. "Hey, Paci, we're done for today! The Stan's need me!"

"Okay!" Paci yelled back.

Wendy went on ahead and left so Dipper walked back to his sister and Pacifica.

"Looks like I'm free for the rest of the day. You guys wanna go hang out at town?" Pacifica asked the twins.

"Of course!" Mabel answered.

~~~~~~~~~~

"Wow! It feels like forever since we've been here!"

As always, Mabel was bursting with energy; Dipper and Pacifica walked by her side, taking in the familiar sights. The brunette skipped down the streets with a constant smile on her face, greeting and waving to everyone she made eye contact with. The townsfolk she greeted cheerfully greeted her back; the newcomers were always on edge, but they managed to wave to her as well.

Most would find it strange that some people(such as those from Gravity Falls) could afford such luxuries as being carefree and having lengthy periods of sleep during the post-apocalypse. Normally, it was never safe to let your guard down for even a second and longer naps meant longer nightmares, but Gravity Falls was always strange. Not to mention they had the only true weirdness experts, mainly Grunkle Ford.

The refugees that came to the Falls were always shocked by how easygoing life was here compared to everywhere else. It always took awhile for newcomers to settle in after leaving in fear for the past couple years, but eventually they'd adjust to their new lives. Gravity Falls wasn't just the weirdest place on earth, now it was also the safest!

"It's only been a month, Mabel," Dipper replied to his sister's earlier statement.

"And that's too long!" Mabel walked ahead of them with a twirl in her steps.

"Oh, Gravity Falls, I've missed you-UMPF!"

"Mabel!"

She unknowingly crashed into the person in front of her, causing them both to fall to the ground.

"Mabes, are you okay?" A concerned Dipper asked.

On the other hand, Pacifica said, "Mabel, you have to get up right now."

"Whoopsie-daisies." Mabel, a bit disoriented, sat up and faced the person she fell on. "Sorry about tha-Oh, hey Gideon."

The person Mabel had crashed into was none other than Gideon Gleeful.

"Fancy meeting you here, my princess. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you've fallen for me."

"Haha, funny," Mabel told him. Pacifica gagged and immediately pulled her up while Dipper helped Gideon.

"Don't call me your princess." Mabel playfully punched Gideon's shoulder.

"Don't you have police stuff to do?" Pacifica asked him.

"Actually, I'm taking a lunch break. I was thinking Greasy's Diner." He stated as a matter of fact. "Would you like to come?"

The invitation was directed at his sister, Dipper obviously noticed; Gideon had turned towards his sister he asked. And of course, his sister accepted.

"Do I?!" Mabel exclaimed. "Then what are we waiting for? Let's go!"

She grabbed her brother's hand and pulled him forward. "TO PANCAKES!"

Dipper smiled at his sister's antics but it immediately disappeared as a shiver went up his spine when he felt two glares burning into his back.

~~~~~~~~~~

"Don't you agree this is fun?" Mabel asked. "Four friends eating just like old times."

"Fantastic." "Just wonderful." Pacifica and Gideon replied. Mabel didn't notice the force in their words.

Dipper just wondered what 'old times' his sister was referring to. He remembered eating out with them when there were multiple people like with Wendy, Candy and Grenda, or even their grunkles; but specifically just the four of them alone, he had no memory of.

They waited in silence for their food to arrive. Dipper and Mabel sat in the booth next to each other, while Pacifica and Gideon sat across from them.

He could feel the negative energy radiating off of them. How was Mabel not sensing this?! Oh wait, she's radiating too much cheer and positivity to notice it.

Dipper stared at his sister blankly.

"What?" Mabel asked, innocently tilting her head.

Chapter Text

Dipper sighed. He turned up the volume on his music to drown out the ramblings of the other passengers aboard the RV. They were back on the road again just two days after returning from their previous trip, but this time the group consisted of the Pines family and Wendy. Pacifica and Gideon were left behind.

Grunkle Ford wanted to get data on the area surrounding the demon's territory right away; so only two days later of returning home, Dipper and Mabel were back on the road once again.

"It won't take too long," their grunkle had said. "Just a two or three days and you'll be back in Gravity Falls." Dipper hoped that was true; he knew his sister hoped so, too.

Fortunately for Dipper, he managed to grab one of his books before they were shoved into the RV, so at least he had some entertainment. Dipper was deeply immersed into his book, he didn't he didn't even notice that the RV stopped moving. Five minutes later, he barely felt Wendy tapping his shoulder, telling him that they've already arrived.

Dipper stepped out of the vehicle only to nearly crash into a Stan clone. Two of his grunkle's clones were setting up Ford's various equipment, while the the real Grunkle Stan was standing next to his brother, who was talking non-stop.

Stanley let out a rather obvious yawn. "Are you listening to me, Stanley?!" Ford questioned. Stan waved him off.

"Course I am. Why'd you bring the WCU?"

"I already told you, it's–"

Dipper walked passed the two brothers and stood next to his sister, who was staring off into the large expanse of trees in front of them.

"What do you think we'll find in there?" She asked.

Dipper shrugged. "Maybe something new and undiscovered... and hopefully won't kill or maim us."

Mable chuckled. "Well, it's nothing we can't get through."

She slung an arm around her brother and grinned. "After all, we're the Mystery Twins!" With her free arm, she pumped a fist into the air.

Dipper smiled. "Yeah."

~~~~~(time skip)~~~~~

They've been hiking through the wild woods for a few hours now. A day had passed since they've arrived. At first they only walked around the perimeter, collecting data and identifying nearby wildlife. So far they haven't encountered anything worse than a gremogoblin, and to be honest, it was slightly disappointing. Nothing was too out of the ordinary. Well, for them at least. Every kind of fauna and flora they've seen has already been identified.

"This is sooo boring," Mabel whined. "Wasn't this supposed to be super dangerous?"

"Patience, Mabel. We're probably just not in deep enough," said Ford.

"But we've been walking for hours!–"

"Monster incoming!" Wendy interrupted.

They immediately got into defensive positions.

"Where is it coming from?" Ford questioned. A loud screech came from above them. Wendy pointed at the sky.

"Up there!"

A large metallic bird, colored bronze and iron, flew into view at a breathtaking speed. It swooped down into range and shot its razor-sharp feathers at them like throwing knives, forcing the group to dodge and scatter.

"What is that?!"

Wendy created an ice wall to shield herself and Mabel, while the males hid behind the metallic feathers that were lodged into the ground. The giant bird halted its attack; it landed on the ground and raised its wings in a threatening manner and its bronze beak pointed forwards. Grunkle Ford fired his plasma gun at the bird, followed by Wendy throwing ice axes, which only resulted in giant feathers getting shot in their direction.

"We need to leave! It might have a flock and call for them!"

As if on cue, the unknown bird let out a shrill, ear-piercing screech. Ford formed a plan in his head and relayed it to the rest of the team.

"Dipper will get its attention and lead it over there-" He pointed and Dipper acknowledged it with a nod. "-where Stanley and I will knock it down. Wendy will freeze it to the ground and, Mabel, you prepare a Starpath. We'll need a quick getaway."

Starpath. It's one of Mabel's personal magic spells. The rest of the team nodded and preformed their respective tasks. Dipper stepped out of hiding and called out to the metallic bird, catching its attention. The large bird sprinted towards the boy with its razor wings spread out. Stanford ran to Dipper's side and shot at the creature's eyes. Irritated, the bird halted and covered its face from the plasma blasts. Stanley took the chance to gather magic into his hands and gave one loud clap in the metal bird's direction, creating a powerful sound wave that knocked it to the ground. Wendy stepped forward to cast her magic. The white-blue magic enveloping the bird's wings and feet and freezing into ice. Distressed, the metal bird began to struggle and hack away at the ice with its sharp-pointed beak. Grunkle Stan called out Mabel's name, prompting the girl to cast her Starpath which made a glittering road of shining lights appear. They stepped onto it while the feathered creature tried to free itself and they were off.

Starpath is a unique spell of Mabel's that anchored magic from one point to another and creates a shortcut of sorts. It's not teleportation, it just... moves really quickly. But in order for the spell to work properly, the caster, which is Mabel, has to know the exact location of the two anchor points, otherwise the spell will fall apart halfway. Speaking of which...

"Mabel, where are we going?"

"Uhh, to that stream we saw a while back... I think..."

"You think?!"

"Mabe–"

Ford was interrupted when he narrowly dodged the metal feathers that were shot from above.

"Uh-oh."

The five of them looked up to see five more of those familiar metal birds in the sky and were quickly gaining on them. Stanley swore under his breath as the creatures swooped down, firing more feathers at them; the interruption caused the unstable Starpath to implode on itself, sending the five humans to tumble off in different directions.

When Dipper got his bearings, he immediately found himself being chased the three of the bronze birds. He broke into a full sprint and tried to get away; jumping over roots and ducking under branches, all the while throwing magic spells behind him. It's hard to focus directing his magic when blade-like feathers were being shot at him. He managed to knock one of them out of the sky.

Dipper ended up on the edge of a cliff, just beyond a small clearing m. He turned back around to see the two remaining birds land on the ground, blocking his path. The predators pounced, but Dipper, at a cliche turn of events, took a step backwards on some lose rocks which slipped and sent him tumbling of the edge with a scream. The two birds peered off the cliff. After confirming that the boy had disappeared beyond the thick expanse of treetops, they took off and left, a bit disappointed that their prey had vanished. As soon as the carnivorous birds were out of sight, four humans entered the small clearing, the brunette ran to the edge and leaned over. She cried out, "DIPPER!"

Stanley grabbed her arm and pulled her back away before she herself fell over. "No no no..."

"Mabel, calm down!" Stan told the girl as she tried to wretch herself out of his grasp. "You won't do your brother any good by panicking."

"I'm sure your brother's fine. We've been through worse after all," Ford reassured her.

Mabel freed herself from her Grunkle's arms. "I know he is," she said. "It just that... it always scares me whenever something like this happens."

"We better start looking around," Wendy said. "There has to be a mildly safer way down than jumping off a cliff."

Chapter Text

"DIPPER!"

Dipper opened his eyes, feeling faint. The last thing he remembered was falling and his sister screaming his name, which was completely accurate since that was exactly what happened. His body felt sore and bruised all over; His vision blurred from his drowsiness. He moves his fingers and feels something undeniably wet.

Dipper jerks himself upright and immediately regrets it as pain exploded throughout his body. He almost fell back again, but managed to keep himself steady and looked himself over. Besides sitting up in a puddle of blood with several scratches and bruises, his arm was bent at an odd angle and his leg had a large gash; he could also feel some sort of injury on his back.

The brunette began casting a spell, a soft green light covering his body, while grabbing his bent arm and forcefully twisting it back. His bit his lip to avoid screaming, instead releasing a loud gasp followed by a groan. The light faded from his body. With a heave, Dipper pushed himself to stand. The bleeding stopped, but the gashes had barely closed, and a couple bruises and cuts still lingered. The healing spell hadn't worked completely for some reason, but he could still move.

After confirming his broken walkie-talkie, Dipper finally noticed his surroundings. It wasn't at all like the forest they had explored earlier. It was dark. The trees were tall and enormous, their branches covered the sky with so much leaves that barely any sunlight passed through them. The only sources of light came from strange glowing, yet beautiful, flora and a couple fauna, but that wasn't enough to light up all the darkness. He cupped his hand and spoke a short spell; a ball of soft light formed in his palm.

He wandered the dark forest, the ball of light flickering every now and then. Strange. He'd have to come back here with Grunkle Ford some time. Dipper looked up at numerous rock formations with glistening purple specks; they all seemed to be naturally formed despite how intricate they looked; and none of the creatures or even plants showed any hostility... yet. He wasn't sure how long he was passed out, but judging by what little sunlight peaked through the leaves, he guessed it would be around dusk as the sunlight continued to grow dimmer. Dipper decided use a tracking spell, so he should eventually run into his family and friend.

It was night now. His surroundings got darker as he delved deeper into the forest, letting his magic guide him. Sights of fauna and glowing flora began to decrease and more rocky formations appeared. The light in his palm began flickering more frequently. Did the spell go wrong somehow? Dipper shook that thought out of his head. The spell had never failed him. Perhaps the spell was weak due to the fatigue of his injuries. But that's never happened before either. He just needed to focus. Anyway, Dipper pressed on.

"Dipper?"

His sister's voice rang throughout the silence and darkness.

"Mabel?" Dipper called back, moving faster. He heard his name being called out again.

"Mabel!" Dipper yelled again. He began running. His magic light extinguished which should've plunged him into pitch darkness if it wasn't for the glowing moss and vines wrapped around some of the tress and large stones; he was practically surrounded by the rock formations. His running slowed down to a halt.

"Mabel, where are you?! Guys?" He called out into the darkness. He raised his hand again and recited the short spell for light.

...

What?

He repeated the spell over and over again. Nothing happened. Not even a spark. The brunette inwardly panicked, but he wasn't too fazed about it. He could just create a makeshift torch–

Dipper froze. He shuts his mouth and stays very still as the creature stalked forward. A wendigo, he realizes. The monster jumps off the boulder and creeps closer. His eyes track the wendigo as it roamed back and forth around him. As much as he wants to cast spell, he couldn't with the flesh-eating creature right in front of him.

As soon as it turned away him, Dipper kicked a small rock into the distance, catching the creature's attention while Dipper sprinted in the opposite direction. He heard a shriek coming from behind him; he refused to look back even for a second, knowing fully well that the wendigo was right behind him.

Dipper tried casting spell after spell, some seemed to sputter into effect for a moment before just dying out completely. None of them were working right. Why? What was causing his magic to malfunction? Was it the wendigo? It couldn't be. He knew for a fact that wendigos weren't capable of such things.

While running, as cliche as it may be, Dipper tripped and found himself cornered; his back pressed against the bark of a tree. The carnivorous monster loomed over him. As it struck its clawed hand at the teen, he brought up his arm in front of him, casting a defensive spell. The spell half worked. He then used his other arm to block the other clawed hand that struck forward. His strength wavered as he struggled to keep the claws away. The spell began to break as the pointed tips began to pierce through his skin. With a loud scream, Dipper began to push back against the monster, impaling his forearms even more as he did; pushing his foot into its neck to keep it away as it tried to bite his face off.

He wasn't sure how long we could keep this up. He shut his eyes in concentration; his spell was fading and he had yet to think of way to escape without getting mauled since his magic wasn't working properly. As Dipper started feeling desperate, he felt a weight being lifted off him.

"YOU'RE A REAL TROUBLE MAGNET, PINE TREE."

That voice.

The weight was lifted off completely; his arms no longer felt impaled. Dipper opened his eyes; his mouth dropped open. It was the freaking demon everyone knew but hasn't been seen nor heard from for years. Whose powers had only gotten stronger since Weirdmageddon, but hasn't done anything since. That's right. It was Bill fxcking Cipher.

"THE ONE AND ONLY!!"

The demon tipped his hat with his free hand. The other was holding up the wendigo by its head.

Fxck him and his mind reading.

"WHOOPS. FORGOT THAT BAGS OF WET MEAT DIDN'T LIKE THAT. SORRY."

He didn't sound sorry. Anyway, shouldn't he do something about that wendigo. The monster's body was lax; its arms hung limply at its sides, blood dripping from the stained claws. It was still alive, but wasn't making any effort to escape from the demon's grasp.

"OH YEAH."

He lifted the limp body and began shaking it like a ragdoll as he spoke,

"NO ONE COMES HERE OFTEN, SO THE THE WENDIGOS ARE A BIT MORE FERAL THAN USUAL."

Bill crushed its head as easily as squishing a grape, the rest of the body falling to the ground into a heap. With a snap of his fingers, the bloody remains exploded into colorful streamers.

The party-like explosion snapped Dipper out of his shock.

"W-Why are you here?!" He asked warily.

"BECAUSE YOU'RE HERE, DUH."

The dream demon replied as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. Dipper was at a loss as he hugged his injured arms to his chest when realization of what exactly just happened finally dawned on him.

"Y-You saved me... Why did you save me?! Answer me, Bill!" Dipper demanded, shakily pointing at the floating yellow triangle.

"Is that really the way you speak to your savior?"

Bill sighed and rubbed his nonexistent chin.

"YOU KNOW, PINE TREE, I CAN THINK OF MORE THAN 5,891,816 EXCUSES TO SAY, BUT LET ME BE BLUNT WITH YOU."

"Huh?"

Dipper flinched back when the demon moved in too close for comfort. His next words nearly gave him a seizure. Out of everything, the teen never expected Bill to say,

"I love you."

Chapter Text

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.

"IT'S TRUE."

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?"

"WELL..."

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."

Chapter Text

Mabel sighed as she dropped her head onto her hands in boredom. She playfully kicked out her feet while seated on a tree stump. Wendy leaned back with her arms crossed against a large boulder next to her. Mabel loved how the stone seemed to shine with purple glitter.

It took two days to find a safe way down the cliff that didn’t have the risk of being eaten by giant carnivorous plant or falling to their deaths. The forest had some of the largest trees she’s ever seen and had barely any light. Only a few hours into the dark forest, and they were already forced to take a break due to Grunkle Ford’s magic detector starting to malfunction.

She looked back to her Grunkles and puffed her cheeks. When will they get moving again? Every minute that passed was another minute longer that her brother could be in danger. And they’ve been sitting here for nearly an hour!

Dipper could be injured somewhere or unconscious! Despite Mabel’s crazy tendencies and random impulses, her twin was always the more likely to fall into dangerous situations. It was ironic, considering their personalities, but Mabel wasn’t surprised. His personality reminded her of a curious kitten.

After all, Dipper was the one to find the third journal and confront Bill Cipher at the top of the Fearamid. It seemed to get worse when magic appeared, like that time when he got cursed into a cervitaur after trespassing on a nature nymph’s territory. There was also their most recent expedition to the new werewolf settlement. Two werewolves fell madly in love with Dipper, which was cute and funny at first until one of them kidnapped him under their noses! Fortunately, they rescued him before anything serious happened, but she digressed.

“I don’t understand.” Ford stared at the inner workings of the device. “Everything is working fine but it’s not reading anything more than a meter away.”

“Hxll if I know,” came his brother’s unhelpful response.

“Stanley!”

“What’s the big deal? We’re all adults here. Well, most of us at least.” The older twins continued to bicker back and forth.

Wendy rolled her eyes at the siblings’ argument. Then she froze, her eyes widening. She picked up her axe and walked past the Pines.

“Wendy?” Mabel called after her, catching Stan and Ford’s attention.

“Something,” She began. “Something’s coming.”

Ford appeared beside her. “How far is it? What could it be?”

“I-I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know?” Stan questioned.

“My spell is being blocked,” Wendy explained. “I don’t know how though.”

Mabel pulled out her pink and glittery, nail-studded bat, and joined the others. They all had their weapons out, prepared to attack as the leaves began the rustle.

When to their surprise, a familiar face poked though the bushes. They were faced with wide and brown doe-eyes when he caught sight of them.

“Mabel?”

“... Dipper?”

Mabel dropped her bat and ran to her twin. She embraced him in a tight hug as he stumbled out of the shrubbery, eliciting a gasp from her brother.

“Dipper!”

“M-Mabel! Please let go.”

Dipper tried to push away but ended up nearly collapsing in his sister’s arms. She heard the others behind her call out. Mabel pulled back her hand and her eyes widened when she saw the blood.

“You’re injured!”

She immediately dragged her brother over to the stump she was previously sitting on. Mabel immediately started casting healing magic on him.

It failed.

Mabel frowned. She wasn’t an expert on healing like Seus was, but she wasn’t terrible at it either. She cast the spell once more.

It failed again.

It took two more tries for the spell to start working. Wendy leaned over them with her hands on her hips.

“Geez, what happened to you? Those gashes are pretty deep.”

Before Dipper could give her an answer, a bright yellow light lit up in the direction he had come from.

“HEY PINE TREE!”

Everyone became alarmed at the sound of the demon’s voice. Except for Dipper, oddly enough, Mabel noticed. He looked irritated, and his hand was trembling.

“Dxmmxt! Kids, get behind me!”

Grunkle Stan and Grunkle Ford immediately placed themselves in front of the younger twins. Stan’s fists crackled with mana and Ford charged up his blaster.

“OH HEY, SIXER! NICE TOY YOU GOT THERE!”

Ford snarled. “Begone, dem–“

Dipper dashed off the stump and grabbed his grunkle’s arm before he could fire.

“Wait, Grunkle Ford!”

“Dipper! What are you doing?!”

The boy glanced back from his grunkles to the demon. The demon had his hands rested on his sides and had a curious look on his face that silently said ‘go on’.

Dipper swallowed and look back to his grunkle.

“I-I made a deal with Bill.”

Wendy gasped and Mabel’s jaw dropped. Ford’s face lit up with rage. He grabbed his nephew by the collar and shook him furiously.

“Dipper, what you done?!” He cried. “Have you forgotten everything we’ve taught you?!”

“Eyy! That’s enough, Pointdexter!” Grunkle Stan freed Dipper from his brother’s grasp. “I’m sure the kid had his reasons.”

Stan placed his hands on the boy’s shoulders. “Now, Dipper, tell me what you promised that demon.”

“I-“ Dipper shifted nervously. “I said that I’d let him come back to Gravity Falls.”

Stan’s face lit up with rage. He grabbed his nephew by the collar and shook him furiously.

“What were you thinking?!” Stan shouted. “Did you lose your brain when you fell of that cliff?!”

Wendy marched up and separated them. “Stop it, already! What’s done is done, and we can’t undo it.”

She forced the older twins to calm down. Dipper and Mabel silently thanked her in their heads.

“And you.” Wendy pointed her axe threateningly at the demon and narrowed her eyes. “What’s your game, Bill Cipher?

“THERE’S NO GAME, ICE BAG,” said Bill Cipher nonchalantly. “JUST COURTING PINE TREE OVER THERE.”

Said Pine Tree turned pale at the statement. Wendy lost her composure, her eyes widened win shock, and the two grunkles blanked out. Mabel wasn’t sure if she heard Bill correctly. She thought she heard the demon say that he wanted to date her brother, but that can’t be right. Right?

“YOU HEARD RIGHT, SHOOTING STAR. I LOVE PINE TREE.” Mabel covered her mouth.

“Dipper... What the fxck,” Wendy stared at the teen in disbelief. Dipper immediately hid his face behind his hands.

“W-Wendy...”

Stan snapped. He started to stomp over to Bill, prompting Ford to grab his brother and pull him back before he could make any reckless moves. Stan flailed around in his grasp and screamed.

“OVER MY DEAD BODY, YOU FXCKXNG TRIANGULAR PIECE OF SHXT!!”

“Stanley!” His brother scolded.

“THAT CAN BE ARRANGED!” The triangular demon replied merrily.

“Bill, no!” Dipper called out. His face started to tint red. “Not. Helping.

Wendy moved to her brother’s side. “No offense, dude. But everyone is going to flip their shxt when we get back.”

“LITERALLY OR METAPHORICALLY?” Bill unhelpfully asked.

“Does it matter?!” Stan yelled. Bill seemed amused at his reaction.

“Stanley, calm down,” Grunkle Ford ordered. He crossed his arms and tapped his chin. “Now, what do we do? That demon definitely won’t let this go.”

“NOPE!~”

Ford sighed. “Then we might have no choice but to bring him with us.”

“What?!” Stan cried.

“We are not prepared to deal with Bill Cipher right now, in case you haven’t noticed,” Ford ground out. “If even just a grain of Cipher’s self-proclaimed ‘love’ is true, it will be safer for us.”

They didn’t even try to hide their shudders.

“HEY! DON’T MAKE LIGHT OF MY FEELINGS FOR PINE TREE, SIXER!”

The demon was promptly ignored.

“Alright, fine!” Grunkle Stan conceded. “But I’m not happy with this.”

“Well, we can’t really do much since a demon’s deal was already made,” said Wendy.

Mabel thought it was odd. Bill Cipher was exactly how she remembered him, but more... compliant and docile. Words that she never thought that she would associate with the demon until now.

“We will head back to the camp now.” Ford turned to Dipper and spoke to him sternly. “And you’re going to tell everything that happened after you fell that led to this on the way back to Gravity Falls.”

Her brother flinched. “Yes, Grunkle Ford.”

His body started to tremble and tears started to prick at the corners of his eyes. Dipper lowered his head. “I’m sorry, Grunkle Ford.”

Their Grunkle sighed and put a hand a her brother’s shoulder. “We’ll get through this.”

Wendy and Grunkle Stan were getting ready to move. Meanwhile, Mabel discreetly glanced back at Bill.

It was a strange sight to see. He was staring intently at her brother. There was no killing intent or scheming look, but the demon seemed to be... confused or unsure of himself, almost as if he was in pain. Mabel wondered if Bill wanted to swoop in to wipe away her brother’s tears and carry him away.

But in that case, did that mean his ‘love’ was true when he said it? Did the great and powerful Bill Cipher actually fall in love Dipper? It seemed like a plot of some romantic novel she would read. Since when did he fall in love was the question, and why with her brother of all people.

Mabel suppressed the urge to chuckle. Dipper always stirred up some kind of trouble wherever they went.

She wasn’t sure if her questions would ever be answered. But if Bill was indeed infatuated with Dipper, then perhaps they could...