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The Boy Who Leaped Through Time

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“I'm telling you, it was the craziest thing!” A man said from his table at the diner. “There was a bright light, but no cause! We went over to check right away and everything?”

“And where was this 'bright light'?” Stanley Pines asked, looking up from his table.

“I can see your skepticism, boy. We was out fishing last night over by Glass Shard Beach when we saw it over by the caves. I'm telling you, there's somethin' spooky there!”

“Sounds like our kind of adventure.” Stanley turned to his twin brother. “What do you think, Stanford? Wanna go check it out?”

Stanford closed his book and checked his watch. “We're expected back home in three hours. I think we have time.” He gathered his books into his bag and got up. “Come on, Stanley.”

“Alright, let's go.” Stanley paid for their food and then they headed out to his car.



“Nope. Nada. Nothin'.” Stanley kicked at the sand. “Nothing interesting here.”

“Perhaps he was just tired.” Stanford said, sounding a bit dejected.

“Let's head back, it's starting to get dark.” Stanley started to leave the cave.

Stanford nodded, starting to follow him out. They both gasped and turned around in unison as a bright light lit up the cave behind them. To their shock and amazement, the light subsided and left behind a blond(e?) figure dressed in blue lying down on the rock.

Bleeding.

Oh god, they were hurt. The twins ran over and Ford dug into his bag for his first-aid kit while Stanley turned the stranger over carefully to unfasten their blouse. Luckily, he discovered, the stranger was male. A very pretty male, but male. He looked to be 16 to 18 years old, blond, and had skin as pale and unblemished as a porcelain doll, with three little freckles under each eye that were just unhumanly perfect, like they'd been drawn on. Stanley resisted the urge to test that theory and focused on attending to the bleeding claw marks on the stranger's stomach.

“Ford, we need that aid.” Stanley reached for the supplies. Stanford handed over the bandages, gauze and sanitizing wipes and Stan got to work on cleaning and wrapping the wound.

“See anything that could tell us about who this guy is?” Stanley asked as he worked.

“No, nothing. Well, aside from this weird broken measuring tape.” Stanford held it up. It was black and blue and had an hourglass on it, an interesting design. It also looked to be electronic in nature. Maybe he could repair it, if he had the right tools. Certainly not in the cave.

“We need to get this guy some proper treatment.” Stanley sighed. “There's no ID on him at all? Anything?”

“Nothing I can see, but I didn't check in his pockets yet.” Stanford admitted. “He was probably holding this.”

“I'll do that.” Stanley finished the wrapping and secured the bandages before he moved on to checking every pocket. In the shirt pocket was a pencil and notepad, both in some kind of case that Stanley suspected was waterproof. In the right pants pocket was a Swiss army knife and a packet of chalk and in the left pocket was—a wallet! He pulled it out and opened it up, checking inside. There was no ID or money, but there were pictures. Wanted posters, Stan realized. Pretty good prices, too. He did find something in the back pocket, though, a folded-up letter.

[Everything is riding on this, G. We'll follow you when we can, but be safe. There might be some wounds from using the device, so don't forget to fix yourself up before looking for the targets.

Good luck,

D.P.]


“Maybe he's some kind of cop.” Stanley theorized, folding up the letter and wallet and passing them both to Stanford to look at. “What do you think?”

“I assume 'the targets' are the people in these pictures.” Stanford said thoughtfully, turning the wallet this way and that. He gasped as another piece of paper fell out and het picked it up, his eyes widening when he saw it. “Stanley...”

“What is it?” Stanley came over to look at the picture. “Whoa...”

In the picture, which had been tucked away where Stanley hadn't noticed it, was a picture of the two of them. It was old and worn, but it was them as they were exactly now.

“...Are we one of the 'targets'?” Stanford asked anxiously.

“I'm going to wake him up. Go get some rope from the Stan O'War.” Stan nodded to him.

“Stanley, we have to get home soon.” Stanford said as Stanley left his side again.

“So we'll tie him up and stash him in the boat.” Stanley shrugged. “Deal with it tomorrow. C'mon, get some rope.”

“At least close up his shirt, this looks weird.” Stanford said as he got up and left to find some rope.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Stanley waved his hand dismissively but did as he said.



It didn't feel right leaving G tied up on the boat, but they had to get home before their curfew. Stanford looked out the window as they left the beach and sighed, looking forward. “Who is he, I wonder?”

“Yeah, and why is that picture so old?” Stanley huffed.

“I have a theory.” Stanford turned to him.

“Oh boy, here we go. What is it?” Stanley looked at him.

“My initial thought was 'alien', because of how he showed up. But, I'm thinking that with the picture and everything else, he might be from the future.” Stanford said, cringing a bit at Stanley's skeptical expression.

“Okay, so G might be a Future Boy?” Stanley asked.

“It's just a theory. He could still be an alien.” Stanford nodded. “Perhaps the picture isn't as old as we think.”

“Maybe he's an angel.” Stanley theorized.

“An angel, Stanley?” Stanford sighed. “Unlikely.”

“No, think about it! Angels are supposed to be beautiful, right? And inhuman in appearance? Perfect and all that? Maybe he got hurt by some fight with a demon!” Stanley punched at the air. Stanford sighed, staring at the red light ahead of them.

“And how do you explain the machine? An angel wouldn't need any machine.” Stanford pointed out.

“Right, true. Okay, so he's either an alien or a time-traveler.” Stanley nodded.

“Or both. He could be a time-traveling alien.” Stanford pointed out.

“Oh man, this is gonna be bugging me all night.” Stanley groaned. “I'm not gonna be able to sleep.”

“How do we even know he's really a boy? If he's an alien, maybe he's genderless. Did we check down below?” Stanford asked.

“No, no I did not and I'm not going to.” Stanley drove on as the light turned green. “All we know is that G and 'D.P.', whoever that is, aren't from here. And G's on some kind of mission. And I'd say he's not here by accident. Plus, the letter said the wounds might be from that device.”

“Pretty gnarly wounds to get as a side-effect.” Stanford cringed.

“True that.” Stanley nodded.

“Should we tell anyone?” Stanford asked.

“And get him taken away by the government? Nuh-uh, bro. This is our find.” Stanley grinned at him.

“I just hope we're not in over our heads.” Stanford sighed.



Everything hurt. The stomach especially. And there was something binding him. That was alarming. Had he already been discovered by them? He'd made sure to wait a day before following, though. Maybe they were expecting to be followed.

He was lying against a wooden wall, staring at a wooden sealing. His arms and legs were bound tightly with rope. He tried to kick free, but there was no good there. Plus it was kind of tight. Good thing he was claustrophobic.

At least it wasn't a cage. He could handle tight spaces as long as it wasn't a cage. Echoes of laughter creeped in and he shook his head to chase them away.

He had to figure out how to get out of these binds. He could try magic, but he'd set everything around him and himself on fire if he tried that. His mind was foggy from pain, so telekinesis was out.

Maybe he could just rest a bit longer. At least until his captors showed up. He'd figure out what to do then.

Cosmos, his stomach hurt...

 

Chapter Text

There was a test going on, but Stanford just couldn't stay focused on it. For the first time since ever , he wanted to skip school and head to the beach, but he knew he'd get in trouble. Besides, there was a test. Which was easy enough, so he filled out the answers before going back to his daydreaming and theorizing.

Who was G? Who was D.P.? What did they want? Were Stanford and Stanley targets? Who were the people in those pictures? And they were targets, why were they kept separate? Maybe they were just persons of interest? Maybe the guys in the posters were after them . Maybe G was a Space/Time Cop and he was here to save them because of some bad guys out to kill them before they became something great. Or, maybe Stanford was at the center of a world-takeover plot in the future and G was here to take him out or sway him into doing things that wouldn't lead to said plot? Or maybe Stanley was.

Maybe they didn't have anything to do with it at all. Maybe G just knew them in the future and had their picture for some reason. Maybe he was supposed to recruit their help with something. Maybe he was supposed to avoid them. If so, then he screwed the pooch on that one.

He was so distracted by his wonderings that he didn't notice when the test had ended. Stanley nudged him and they both got up to hand their tests in before they headed out of class.

“Man, you are one distracted guy.” Stanley remarked.

How long until school lets out?” Stanford asked anxiously.

“I haven't seen you
this excited since you heard a rumor about Mothman showing up behind the gym.” Stanley grinned. “Two more hours, Poindexter.”

“Why is school so
long?” Stanford lamented.

Stanley laughed and patted his shoulder. “Hang in there.”



Finally, school was over. Stanford practically ran to their car and Stanley caught up to him to find him already sitting in the front seat, impatiently honking the horn. “Okay, okay, we're going.” Stanley threw their backpacks into the back seat and drove off to the beach. “You're lucky practice got canceled.”

“This is
much more important.” Stanford said, pulling out the device. He'd attempted to fix it, but had not had any progress. Maybe G could give them some insight into its inner workings.

They finally reached the beach and Stanford hopped over the car door and bolted for the boat before Stan had even turned off the engine. He could hear him laughing as he followed with their bags, but he didn't care. He ran up to the boat and opened the door to the small cabin, his heart pounding.

It wasn't some bizarre dream. G was still there, awake, and looking...well, annoyed. His eyes were an unusual turquoise color, Stanford noticed, and he had his lips pursed in silent frustration. “You're still here.” He breathed.

“No. Shit.” G said irritably. “Can you untie me, please?”

“You speak English.” Stanford asked with surprise.

“Heavens to Betsy, what will I possibly think of doin' next?” G rolled his eyes.

“And you're Southern.” Stanford said, nodding. “I have some questions for you.”

“I won't answer any until you untie me.” G said coldly.

“I cannot trust that you will not run away if I do.” Stanford said honestly.

G considered his answer and shrugged a bit. “That's fair.”

“First, what is this device?” Stanford held it up. “No, wait, before that. What's your name?”

G glanced at the device in Stanford's hand, then seemed to consider his answer. “Star. M'names 'Star'.”

“Yeah, sure. The letter we found in your pocket calls you 'G'.” Stanley held it up.

G looked annoyed at the reveal. “
Cosmos, ye're nosy.”

“Who are you
really?” Stanley asked.


G sighed heavily. “M'name's Gideon. That's all ye're getting'.”

“Gideon.” Stanford nodded. “Well, Gideon, how about you tell us about this device?” He waved the machine around.

“...What did you
do to it?” Gideon asked, staring at it in disbelief.

“It tried to fix it.” Stanford shrugged. Admittedly, he had made things a bit worse.

“You tried to—so, it was this damaged before?” Gideon asked.

“Well, no. I think I bent the door a little, and some wires wouldn't go back in place. It was just parking and was charred before.” Stanford admitted. “I'll fix it, though! You'll see! It might help if it knew what it did.”

Gideon groaned and leaned his head against the wall, muttering something that sounded
suspiciously like “Why are you like this? Why are you always like this?”.

Stanley shifted a bit in the tight opening and then stepped back a bit. “Look, we just want to understand you. I mean, you came from a glowing light in a cave.” He looked around to make sure no one heard them.

“Normally, people would stay away from it, or call the government.” Gideon pointed out.

“Well, we're not normal people.” Stanford shrugged. “We're supernatural slash paranormal investigators!” He looked proud of that fact.

“Ah'm sure you are.” Gideon sighed. “Unfortunately, you're not
allowed to understand me. Quite frankly, we were not supposed to have even met.”

“Then, why did you have our picture?” Stanley demanded.

“So I could
avoid you.” Gideon sighed heavily. “You and I know each other in the future, and I can't influence your past selves at all. So, if you would kindly untie me and let me get on with my mission, that would be spiffy.”

“Well, too late for that. You're stuck with us.” Stanley grinned. “I bet you need help with this mission, don't ya?”

“No, no I don't.” Gideon shook his head.

“The letter implied this mission is dangerous. You don't know this place. Are you from another time, or another world?” Stanford asked.

“It's none of your business.” Gideon said, tensing up a bit. “It's for your own goods to just go on like we never met.”

“But, we can't just do that!” Stanford shook his head. “Besides, I need to fix your machine!”

“Someone else will do that, just leave it with me and let me continue my mission.” Gideon said shortly. “And
untie me.”

“No.” Stanley crossed his arms over his chest.

“Pardon?” Gideon looked up at him.

“No. We're not untying you until you agree to let us help you with this adventure.” Stanley nodded firmly.

“Don't you have something
important to be doing?” Gideon asked, frowning.

“Like what?” Stanley challenged.

“Like focusing on your lives and education.” Gideon rolled his eyes.

“Why, is our education significant in the future?” Stanley asked.

“And
this is why the men in black wipe people.” Gideon muttered. “Could really use a memory gun right about now.”

“What was that?” Stanford asked, his eyes shining. “I didn't quite catch it. Something about memory?”

“I was just wishin' I had a way to wipe your memories of me so that you wouldn't remember this.” Gideon sighed. “Sadly, I do not have such a device.”

“So, you're stuck with us!” Stanley grinned.

“Apparently.” Gideon closed his eyes. “Can you untie me now?”

“Oh, right. Move over, Ford.” Stanley moved closer and started to untie Gideon. “You know, I wasn't sure if you were a boy or a girl when I first saw you. Did you know you're really pretty?”

“I'm aware, thank you.” Gideon said, rolling his eyes.

“So, you're from the future. Do you have any money from this time?” Stanley asked.

“No.” Gideon shook his head.

“Well, how were you planning to get some?” Stanley asked.

“I wasn't. I was planning to not get involved with anyone.” Gideon shook his head. “Unfortunately, the device knocked me out when I used it and now we're here.” He massaged his wrists and then held out a hand to Stanford. “The device, please.”

“Oh, right. Here.” Stanford handed it over, while Stanley untied Gideon's ankles. “Sorry about the ropes and all. I mean, we didn't know if you were a threat.”

“That's understandable.” He examined the device and cringed. “This won't be an easy fix.” He muttered.

“So, uhm...the cave is pretty much left alone, so we could bring you a tent and sleeping bag to stay there.” Stanford said as they stepped out of the cabin and let him step out. Stanley noticed that he was actually pretty tall. “What can you tell us about those guys in the wanted posters?”

“They're criminals, obviously.” Gideon said unhelpfully.

“Okay, didn't we just agree that you were going to let us help?” Stanley asked.

“More like you coerced me into it.” Gideon rolled his eyes. “I never said I'd tell you about the criminals. I just said I'd let you help.”

“How can we help if you don't tell us anything?” Stanley asked.

“Do you know anything about magic?” Gideon asked sweetly.

“Uh...no.” Stanley admitted.

“Do you know anything about future technology?” Gideon asked just as sweetly.

“No.” Stanley looked down.

“Then telling you about them is pointless. All you have to know is that they are dangerous.” Gideon said, dropping the sweet tone. Stanford noticed that when he wasn't upset, he disguised his accent a little.

“So...is that device a time machine?” Stanford guessed.

“Ding. Ding. Ding.” Gideon said flatly. “And don't feel too bad about it being broken, that thing breaks all the time. Completely ridiculous, but what can ya do? I've never been a fan of science.” He shrugged.

“Are you a time cop?” Stanley asked.

“Not usually. I got brought in by a friend who is one because it's more my field of expertise.” Gideon brushed a loose strand of hair from his face as he turned towards the ocean and Stanford tried not to look too long. The rest of his hair was tied up in a ponytail, but it had come somewhat undone. It also looked like his bangs HAD been slicked back, but that was also coming loose. Stanford couldn't help but find it attractive, which was really weird because he'd never been attracted to anyone before. At least, not like this. “Have you noticed any strange weather patterns? Perhaps an unexpected earthquake?” Gideon asked, breaking him from his thoughts.

“Uh, no.” Stanford shook his head.

“Seems they haven't started yet. Good. At least I have that in my favor. Where is this cave?” Gideon looked at them.

“We'll show you.” Stanley led him off the boat and towards the cave they'd found him in.

Gideon walked over and knelt down, placing his hand on the rock. “There's a lot of energy here.” He murmured. “I was following their trace to get here, so maybe I can follow their energy trace to locate them now.” He pulled out the chalk from his pocket and started to draw.

“What can we do to help?” Stanford asked, watching in awe.

“Stand back and be silent.” Gideon said, reaching into his shirt pocket and pulling out the case. He opened it up and opened the notepad, turning pages until he found the right one. Then he continued to draw, muttering to himself.

“Should we go find you that tent and sleeping bag?” Stanford offered.

“Sure, if you want to make yourselves useful.” Gideon replied, not looking up from his work.

“Okay, we'll go do that.” Stanford stepped out of the cave. “Don't...don't go anywhere, okay?”

“The spell will take a half-hour to complete. I'm not going anywhere for a while.” Gideon assured him as he continued to prepare it.

Stanford nodded and walked out with his twin. They made sure no one could see Gideon from outside it and then hurried to their car. Time to dig around in the attic.



It was good to finally have a moment to himself. Gideon ran his hand through his hair and groaned, shaking his head. How had he screwed up so badly? He'd never used the device before, and had only agreed because Dipper had begged and begged him to help. He'd said he'd used it many times and it should have no problem, but only Gideon could latch onto their magical signature and use to it propel himself to the right arrival point. And, unfortunately, time magic came at a cost Gideon wasn't willing to pay. So, he'd relented and used the faulty device – and now look where it'd gotten him. Drawing in a cave with rope-burns on his wrists and ankles while Stanford and Stanley Pines ran off to find him a tent and sleeping bag.

He wasn't meant to meet them. Not for many, many years. Forty years, to be exact. According to their stories, Stanford Pines should be working on his perpetual-motion machine right now, not focusing on some time-traveler from the future. Ugh, how could you mess things up so badly, Gideon Gleeful?

And the worst part was that he could see Stanford had an
interest in him, which was just plain creepy. He'd only seen the Back to the Future movies once, hadn't enjoyed them, and now he was living one. He ran a hand down his face in exasperation and then continued drawing.

Maybe he could find a way to erase their memories of him. Or maybe he could go back in time and—no. That's stupid. Paradox. Perish THAT stupid thought right now. How many stupid sci-fi movies involving time-travel had he seen that involved someone going back in time to stop their past self from doing something stupid, only for something stupid to happen anyway, only worse?

Maybe there was a spell he could use. He could go into their Mindscapes and erase their encounter with him. It wouldn't restore the lost time, but...no, they'd ask too many questions. Questions would open up the locked doors again. Right back to square one.

He needed to get Stanford back to that project, but how could he do that without being told about it first? Maybe he could ask Stanford about what he's been doing for school. That was a good start.

And what business did those criminals have in this town? He had the sneaking suspicion it involved the Pines. Groaning, he shook his head and continued drawing, then he put the chalk away before getting up and dusting off his hands.

“Now I need a moonstone and three drops of virgin blood.” He muttered. “...The blood might be easy, but the moonstone might be difficult. Damn, maybe there's a workaround that doesn't require any other ingredients...if only I had my book. My bag doesn't seem to have made it through with me, let's hope it's back with the others.”

He couldn't considered that before drawing this. Well, maybe he could try to do it without those ingredients. It might weaken him, taking from his magical energy, but he could try it. He cleared his throat and held out a hand. “
Erif.” He muttered, a small flame appearing in his hand. He then knelt down in the center of the circle and started to mutter an incantation to himself.

This might take a while...

 

Chapter Text

Convincing their parents that they wanted to camp out on the beach for the weekend was easy. They gathered a tent, two sleeping bags and snacks and headed out to the car to pack them in. They also got a change of clothes for each of them, as well as an extra outfit for Gideon. Ford hoped his clothes would fit, the blond was so much more lithe than he was.

As an afterthought, he also packed his latest invention, thinking it might be fun to work on it while they were waiting around. Stanley give it a side-eye as Ford packed it in its own bag but said nothing. They kissed their mother on both cheeks and then headed out to the car with a packed dinner.

“Don't get into trouble.” Their father warned them as they left. They collectively breathed sighs of relief as they left the building and drove off to the beach.

They were both shocked to find Gideon once again passed out on the rock, lying in the center of some drawing. They hurried over and Stanley lifted him up as Stanford checked him for any wounds anxiously. “Gideon? Gideon, wake up!” Stanford cried worriedly.

“Nn...” Gideon groaned softly and slowly opened his eyes. “What...I passed out?” He sighed. “I wasn't...strong enough, then.”

“Strong enough for what?” Stanford asked.

“The spell I was using took some components I was missing. I intended to substitute myself, but it...didn't work.” Gideon sighed, sitting up. “You don't happen to have any moonstone, do you?”

“Moonstone?” Stanley shrugged. “Nope.”

“We can look, though. I'm sure we can find some.” Stanford said eagerly.

“That would help.” Gideon smiled a bit. “I'll have to charge it, though, I highly doubt there any charged moonstones around. Maybe if I could find a witch or wizard in town...” He looked thoguhtful. “Do you two happen to know if there is one?”

“Uh...no?” Stanley laughed a bit nervously.

“No, I suppose not. It's the 60s, they probably wouldn't show themselves. Or they'd be disguised as hippies or something.” Gideon muttered, getting up from Stanley's lap. “Well, no point in keeping this here, since I'm not using it.” He held out a hand. “
Retaw.” Water went over the drawing and then both vanished as if neither were there.

“Whoa...” Stanford breathed. “Was that...are you a
wizard?” He looked at Gideon.

“Mmhm. I notice you brought a bunch of bags.” Gideon gestured to them.

“Oh! Yes, we're going to be staying the night on the beach over the weekend.” Stanford brought one of the bags forward and dug through it. “And-and this is for you to wear. Since yours has blood on it.”

Gideon took the offered outfit and looked it over. It was a blue shirt with black pants and a black belt. He nodded and set them down on the amazingly-dry rock before unbuttoning his shirt. Stanford gasped and turned away, blushing. “How do you ever manage in locker rooms at school?” Gideon asked, sounding a bit amused.

“He just doesn't look.” Stanley grinned, then noticed Gideon's arms as the sleeves moved off them. “Whoa. You've got a bit of muscle there.”

“I've been working out for a few years.” Gideon said distractedly as he took of the shirt off completely and set it to the side.

“You much of a fighter?” Stanley asked.

“Physically? Not unless I have to.” Gideon looked at him. “Would you mind turning away?”

“Oh, right.” Stanley turned away and Gideon finished undressing, then got dressed in the new clothes. After he was done, he adjusted the belt and then turned to them. “You can look now.”

Stanford turned to him. “So, uh, how do they fit?”

“Well enough. I didn't have to add any extra notches to the belt.” Gideon shrugged.

“The shirt sleeves look a bit tight, though.” Ford noticed, blushing a bit. Gideon was a lot more filled out than he was. Maybe he should have invested more time into boxing...

“Not too much.” Gideon said dismissively. “Anyways, I suppose we'll get that tent set up. By the way, are you building that boat?”

“Oh, yes!” Stanford nodded.

“We've been working on it for years.” Stanley grinned. “The Stan O'War - we're going to go sailing on so many adventures on it!”

“Sounds like quite the future.” Gideon grinned. “Any other projects you're working on?”

“Well, I
do have an invention I'm working on.” Stanford said, going to his other bag. Stanley got to work on unpacking the tent. “It's still a work in progress, but it's going to be a perpetual-motion machine!” He opened the bag and pulled it out. “See?”

Gideon took the device and looked at it thoughtfully. “You're building this?”

“Yeah, but I bet you already know about it. I mean, it's going to be revolutionary.” Stanford blushed a bit, feeling a bit foolish.

“I'm not going to confirm or deny any of your theories about what I do or don't know.” Gideon said, handing the device back.

“That's fair.” Stanford nodded.

“Uh, don't use that phrase.” Gideon told him. “It doesn't come into use until a few decades in the future.”

“Fair enough.” Stanford said, grinning.

“Better.” Gideon nodded.

“So, Gideon, you got a girl back home?” Stanley asked as he unrolled the tent. “Ford, help me set this up.”

“Right.” Stanford put the device away and went to help Stanley.

Gideon sighed. “Sadly, no. I had a hopeful, but it was not a mutual interest.” He admitted.

“So, you're single?” Stanley nudged Stanford with a grin. Stanford blushed and bowed his head to hide it.

“Sadly, as she has not changed her mind yet. We had a shaky start to our friendship and I'm honestly lucky she's at least my friend after that mess.” Gideon walked over to help them set up the tent. “Did you tell anyone about me?”

“Nope.” Stanley shook his head.

“Good.” Gideon nodded. “It's better that way.”

“Yeah, we figured.” Stanley nodded.

“Our father would surely call the government on you.” Stanford said grimly.

“How old are you, by the way?” Stanley asked.

“I'm 19 years old this year. Well, the year I'm from.” Gideon chuckled a bit. “I'll be 19 soon.”

“We're turning 18 soon.” Stanley grinned, nudging his brother. “So, you're older than us!”

“So I am.” Gideon nodded.

“How do we know each other in the future?” Stanley asked as they finished setting up the tent.

“We work together.” Gideon replied, stepping back to look it over.

“Niiice.” Stanley grinned. “What year are you from?”

“I will not answer that question.” Gideon said, rolling his eyes.

“Damn.” Stanley laughed. “Okay, another question, then. Have you ever been interested in guys?”

Stanley!” Stanford squeaked, his face red.

“I haven't explored that possibility, but I'm not ruling it out.” Gideon replied. “However, I should tell you that when I first met you I was
nine years old. And you were much, much, much older. Therefore, it would inadvisable to attempt any form of a relationship with me, Stanley Pines.”

Stanley blinked and then laughed. “Oh, no, not me! I've got a gal! I was thinking maybe you and Fo--” Stanley was promptly hit with a sleeping bag before he could finish his sentence.

“I'm SO sorry for my butterfingers, Stanley!” Stanford said, his face red with embarrassment. “I'm so sorry about him.” He said quickly to Gideon.

Gideon smiled and shook his head. “No, it's fine. He doesn't change.”

“Nice to see my charm is a constant.” Stanley said, getting up and lightly smacking ford in the head with the sleeping bag. “So, we only brought two bags, but you should be able to share with one of us. You're small enough. I suggest Ford, he's smaller then me.”

“Stanley,
please...” Stanford groaned.

“Also, we brought snacks. And our mom packed us some dinner.” Stanley reached for a bag.

“I don't need a blanket, it's warm enough.” Gideon replied. “You didn't seem much concerned about any warmth or cold last night, after all.”

“Oh, right. Sorry about that.” Stanley rubbed the back of his neck.

“It's fine. I would have done the same.” Gideon assured him.

“Anyways, the offer's still up if you want to share.” Stanley picked up the sleeping bags and took them into the tent.

“I am
so sorry about him, I really don't know where this is coming from.” Stanford said nervously. “So, uhm, is there anything we can do to help you right now? With your mission?”

“Well, I can't use the locator spell without some components I don't have.” Gideon sighed. “So, until they make a move, neither can I. I'm not expecting any backup for the next couple weeks, maybe a week at the earliest. There's a bit of cleanup that needs to be done back there.”

“Wow, what happened?” Stanford asked.

“The criminals trashed a research facility and stole some important things. Since they are not actually human, I was asked to help my friends and go through time after them.” Gideon sighed. “I have
no idea what they want with this time. I hope it doesn't involve you. Cosmos knows I've already screwed up your timeline just by meeting you decades earlier.”

“Well, what's the worst that can happen, right? I mean, it's not like I'll be anything important.” Stanford said, feeling self-conscious.

“I will not confirm or deny that assumption.” Gideon said calmly. “But, I can at least tell you that your mind is brilliant and will do great things.”

“Like my invention?” Stanford guessed.

Gideon nodded, looking over at the bag. “I can tell you're working very hard on it, and you have a great talent for science.” He chuckled. “Not that I know
anything about science. It's always gone over my head.”

Stanford smiled shyly, slipping his hands into his pockets. “I could...teach you some.”

“I'll take you up on that in the future, assuming I haven't erased it.” Gideon said matter-of-factly.

Stanford nodded. “On the off-chance that you have...I mean, that things have changed, and you can't go back...what would you do?”

“Manage, I suppose. Create a hiding place, live out the rest of my life through the next few decades. Maybe keep you two from ruining your lives.” Gideon shrugged.

“Are we...going to?” Stanford asked.

“I will not--”

“Confirm or deny anything.” Stanford sighed. “Not even a hint?”

“Not allowed.” Gideon shook his head. “Let's just assume that I'm going to be able to go home.”

Stanley came over to them. “Hungry?” He held up the packed dinner.

“Yes, thank you.” Gideon nodded.

Stanley smiled and sat down to open it up. “We should set up a campfire.”

“Let's do that.” Stanford nodded. “I'll go get the firewood.” He left the cave to go find some.

 

Chapter Text

...I forgot to pack a lighter.” Stanley sighed. “I've been trying to quit smoking, so I stopped carrying one around. Can't smoke if you can't light up, right? You ever smoke?”

“No.” Gideon shook his head.

“Drink? Take drugs?” Stanley asked.

“No and no.” Gideon shook his head, then looked thoughtful. “I did go to prison though.”

“No! Why?” Stanley shifted in his seat.

“I tried to take over my hometown with a giant robot.” Gideon shrugged. “And I wire-tapped every person in town.”

Stanley's jaw dropped. “Hooooooly shit. Why? I mean, you don't seem the type!”

“To be fair, I was under the mental manipulation of a demonically-possessed book.” Gideon said, shrugging with a smile. “I was ten years old.”

Ten years old?” Stanley breathed. “Holy shit!”

“Hey, demons are nothing to scoff about.” Gideon nodded firmly and sat down. “I got manipulated into summoning him and in the end I led to the town being taken over by the demon and his demon friends for a couple weeks, only to be beaten by the family that had been trying to stop me all summer.”

“Hah! Guess they finally managed it, then!” Stanley grinned. “Where were you when they stopped the demon, then?”

“I was in a cage being forced to dance for his amusement, because I decided to help that family instead of him. By the way, the girl I like is part of that family, so there's our history. I tried to kill her brother so many times that summer.” He sighed and sat back on his hands, looking at the ceiling. “She's finally forgiven me for it, but it's unlikely we'll ever be a couple. I think I'm finally coming to terms with it.”

“So, on that subject, if you weren't from the future or if you ended up stuck here, would you date Ford?” Stanley asked him.

“...I....have only known him...for a day. Barely that. My first impression is him tying me up.” Gideon sighed heavily. “I think it's too early to tell right now. We just met, after all. It's hard to look at him and not think of his future self.”

“Heh, and how old is he then?” Stanley asked.

“Around...seventy?” Gideon shrugged. “Thereabouts?”

“Oh, wow.” Stanley breathed. “That's WAY older than you.”

“I did repeat 'much' three times.” Gideon sighed and looked over at the cave entrance. “Hopefully my friend will have a way to just help you forget about me and replace the memories with something else. I can't...alter the timeline. I've already done too much.”

“Well, hey, you just might save our lives.” Stanley shrugged. “Tell me about the criminals.”

“They used to work with the demon, until we defeated them. We thought they'd been sealed away, but they escaped and stole from us. Probably intending to revive their fallen leader. They stole a time machine and went through time and so I followed them.” He looked at the device. “But...I was in Oregon. This is New Jersey. The location change might be what damaged the machine. I should have never mixed a locator spell with the machine's mechanics.”

“Yeah, that might do it.” Stanley grinned, and then his expression turned serious. “Do you have a way of checking to see if your future still exists?”

“...No. Time travel is tricky business. I can hope that things have just...changed, but that might be optimistic. Only the wizard Merlin has ever achieved time travel and he's not even human anymore because of it.” Gideon bit his lip.

“No way to contact home, huh?” Stanley asked.

“Nope.” Gideon shook his head. “He's late. I'll go check on him.” He got up and left the cave, looking around. “Stanford? Stanford, are you out here?”

Stanley came out after him and noticed Gideon tense up. “Gideon?”

“Get back in the cave.” Gideon ordered sharply. “Now!”

Stanley stepped back and gasped as Gideon clapped his hands together and a glowing wall was erected over the cave's entrance. “Gideon!”

“Alright, Pacifier. I heard your chains. Come out.” Gideon said coldly.

To Stanley's horror, a demonic-looking creature came into view carrying his unconscious brother. “Well, well, well. If it isn't the little dancing boy!” The demon taunted.

“Put him down. You know that if anything happens to him then he will never grow to do what you want.” Gideon told him.

What...?

“Ah, but here's the thing. If we take him now and force him to do our bidding, we won't face nearly as much opposition.” Pacifier told Gideon.

Gideon held out his hand and formed a fire spell. “Put him down.”

“Or what?” Another voice spoke, a pink-skinned woman. “You think you can take on both of us, little boy?”

Stanley realized that these people were in the wanted posters.

“I can certainly try.” Gideon said calmly. “Put him down, unless you intend for him to be hurt in the fight. And I'm sure your boss wouldn't like that.”

“Fine.” Pacifier set Stanford down on the beach and then his chains raised like tentacles ready to strike. The woman stepped forward and flames erupted on her body. “Let's do this, Li'l Gideon.”

Gideon stepped back then clapped his hands, the wall dropping. Stanley realized what he was doing and lunged for Stanford, grabbing him and pulling him into the cave before the demons could realize what he was doing. Another clap and the barrier had both Stanley and Stanford safely behind it.

But Gideon was still out there. Stan watched anxiously as he used magic to block their attacks and use his own attacks, but the fighting came to an end when lights turned on in the city and the demons vanished. Gideon fled back to the cave, going right through the barrier effortlessly, and then touched the barrier to turn it invisible. If Stan squinted, he could still see the outline glowing green around the entrance of the cave.

“So...you got history with them?” Stanley asked.

“How's Stanford?” Gideon asked, turning to him.

“He's fine.” Stanley nodded. “He's not hurt. What...what did you mean earlier? What were they talking about?”

Gideon walked over and sat next to the packed dinner again. “We should eat. Wake him.”

“Gideon, I want an answer. Especially if they're going to targeting my brother.” Stanley said firmly.

Stanford started to stir, unnoticed by either of them.

Gideon sighed. “The same demon that manipulated me also manipulates your brother in the future. That's their boss. And that's all I can say.” He glanced away. “I'm sorry that he got hurt.”

“He's not hurt.” Stanley assured him. “Just knocked out. Probably fainted at the fight of that demon, the wimp.” Stanley joked good-naturedly.

“Hey, he was pretty freaky-looking.” Stanford grumbled.

“Oh, you're awake.” Stanley looked at him.

“Good. Let's eat.” Gideon nodded. “Truth be told, I don't know if I'll be able to capture them on my own. I thought I could, but that fight earlier only proves me wrong. But, at least I know why they are in this time.” He looked at them. “They're after you two.”

“I thought they were just after Ford.” Stanley frowned.

“If that was the case, they would have just left with him. They were waiting for you to come out. They were surprised to see me.” Gideon shook his head. “They want both of you. And...possibly your brother.”

“Why our brother?” Stanford asked with concern.

“You know that family I mentioned that took out the demon?” Gideon asked. “They were the Pines. And your brother is the grandfather of the biggest threats to the demons. Or, he will be.”

Stan's jaw dropped. “Holy. Shit. Balls.”

“Wait, when did you mention that?” Stanford asked.

“He talked about it earlier.” Stanley told him. “He got manipulated by a demonic book and that same demon apparently manipulates you in the future but our family takes him out so yay.” He waved his hands. “But, wait, our brother's not in this town. He's at college.”

“Well, not yet.” Gideon shrugged. “Anyways, I'll keep them off of you, you two continue on with your lives. I might need to get the help of some witches and wizards from this time.” Gideon sighed.

Stanley started to serve them food in the packed bowls. “Well, let's eat and then sleep on it. Looks like the food is still warm, heh.” He put a spoon into one and handed it to Gideon before moving on to the others.

“So, how many of those guys are there?” Stanford asked.

Gideon took the offered bowl and spoon. “There's four of them. Pyronica is the leader, Pacifier is her second in command, Keyhole and Kryptos are their followers. They're all capable of shape-shifting into human forms.” He took a bite of the food, then set his bowl down to untie and retie his ponytail so it wasn't so loose. Then he picked up the bowl again. “That's probably why you never noticed them before. They probably showed up here a day before I did.”

“The flash of light.” Stanley looked at Stanford, who nodded.

“Pardon?” Gideon asked.

“The night before we found you in the cave, a fisherman saw a flash of light in this cave. That was probably them arriving.” Stanford explained.

“Makes sense.” Gideon nodded.

“So, what is their plan? To take us to the future?” Stanley asked.

“No, obviously not.” Gideon shook his head. “From what Pacifier said, they intend to capture you and force you to do their bidding until the time comes for you to do what their leader wants. They're immortal, so they don't care about whether they live here on Earth an extra few decades or not.”

“But, you won't let that happen...right?” Stanford asked anxiously.

“They'd have to do it over my dead body.” Gideon said calmly. “Or, well, my chained body, because they might not actually want to kill me, but instead keep me as a play-thing. My current age would be more entertaining than when I was ten years old.”

“What is...their leader like?” Stanford asked. “Is he...around here?”

“He's been making deals with people all over the world since the beginning of time, from Egypt to Japan to America. I heard he even made a deal with George Washington.” Gideon shrugged. “He could be here. I don't know, though. And I'm not inclined to shine flashlights into people's eyes looking for jaundice and slit pupils.”

“Is that what we need to look for?” Stanley asked. “Any other hints?”

“Look, don't go looking for Bill Cipher.” Gideon said, shaking his head. “He's almost impossible to find unless he wants you to find him, trust me on that. If he shows up, we'll deal with him, but if he doesn't then we count ourselves lucky. Let's just focus on not getting captured and enslaved by his demonic underlings.”

“Can you teach us magic?” Stanford asked.

“Uh...” Gideon looked reluctant.

“Please? If it's our lives on the line, our freedoms, then we deserve the chance to fight back! Teach us how to fight!” Stanford said anxiously.

Gideon sighed and ran a hand through his bangs. “...Alright. I'll teach you magic. On one condition: You don't use it on anyone or anything but the demons. The witches and wizards of the 1960s are hidden for a reason.”

“Got it.” The twins nodded in unison.

“I hope I don't regret this.” Gideon sighed and continued eating.



“I see.” The blond man gently stroked a Siamese cat with one gloved hand, the other hand lightly tapping the arm of his leather office chair. “So, you're from the future. And you say that I will be...defeated? By children?” The hand gripped the armrest tightly. “I suppose the fact that you're here in this world at all is proof that it was a very close contest.”

“Oh, yes. We were very close to winning.” Pyronica nodded.

“But, in the end, I was...defeated.” The man trained a glowing yellow one on them. “By children. And now you're telling me that one of those children is...here? In the past?”

“He's hardly a threat, especially compared to your power.” Pacifier assured him.

“I see.” The gloved hands moved together into a templed position and the cat hopped off the man's lap. “Well, then. You should have no problem taking care of the problem by yourselves. I will grant you my host's home to stay in as guests, but I will not make a move unless you prove to be entirely incompetent.”

“Of course. We beg your forgiveness for this disruption.” Kryptos bowed low.

“Ugh, Kryptos, you boot-licking swine. You never change.” The man waved them off. “Go, the maid will show you to your rooms.”

They straightened up and left the room, a maid standing at attention outside the door. “I am granting them temporary residence here. Treat them appropriately and show them to their rooms.” The man told her. “And maniacs?” They turned to him. “Don't terrorize my staff.”

“We'll behave.” Pyronica giggled and followed the maid away.

“We won't terrorize them too much.” Pacifier grinned.

“We'll only give them a few nightmares.” Keyhole assured him.

“You're all assholes.” The man smirked at them as the doors closed, and then he turned his attention to the pictures he'd been given. “Hm...Gideon Gleeful, is it? He's part of the Wheel...” He murmured. “I wonder what would happen if he were to live until
after his birth?” He chuckled and picked up the picture, setting it aflame between his thumb and index finger. “Let's find out.”

 

Chapter Text

Uuuugh, you never said this would be boring.” Stanley groaned, falling onto his back.

“It's meditation, Stanley.” Gideon sighed and looked over at Stanford, who had started studying while waiting. “Is he
always like this?

“Yep.” Stanford said with a popping “p” at the end.

“When do we get to the part when you set your hand on fire?” Stanley asked.

“When you learn how to focus your energy.” Gideon told him. “Relax. Breathe.”

Stanley sat up and tried again. “Okay, I'm breathing.”

“Clear out your mind, focus on your inner spirit.” Gideon told him.

“Clear out my—oh, shit!” Stanley suddenly stood up. “I got a date!”

“You have
demons out to get you and you're worried about a date?” Gideon asked him.

“Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned.” Stan said, heading for the cave entrance. “I'll see you two later!” He ran off to the car, with Gideon staring after him in disbelief.

“...Are
you ready to learn?” Gideon looked Stanford.

“Yes!” Stanford set the book aside and went over to join him.



Stanley got to Carla McCorkle's house to pick her up with minutes to spare, and still had to wait a few minutes for her to finish doing her hair. Then they were heading off to the diner together, singing along with a song on the radio.

This is what Stanley lived for. Hot dates and good times. She smiled sweetly at him and kissed his cheek at the red light and he placed his hand on her leg, right under her own hand.

Of course, things had to go badly just as he thought they were fine. The street in front of them suddenly burst open from the bottom and Stanley swerved to avoid a mass of...chains! “Oh, fuck.” He muttered, driving away from there. What was the guy's name? Pacifier? Gideon had called him that, at least.

“What was THAT?!” Carla cried, looking over her shoulder at the demon.

“Don't know, don't wanna know, let's just get out of here.” Stan said anxiously.

Of course, things were never that easy. The chains ducked back underground and then came up in front of Stan's car again. He hit the brakes and stared in disbelief at the demon in front of him, while Carla clung to him with terror in her eyes.

He was big, he was black, and he had two sets of eyes, one on his face and one on his belly...oh. His belly had a second mouth, which was occupied by a
pacifier. That must be where he got his name. The chains waved around hims lazily, like he was waiting for something.

Or some
one.

“You know, I just realized how
inconvenient this time is.” The demon finally spoke. “In Gideon's time, people would have been pulling out mobile phones and calling the local authorities on demons. In this time? I don't think you even have mobile phones yet.” He chuckled. “It makes it very hard to get his attention. But, it's also rather useful.” Chains started to wrap around the car. Stan realized what was going on and started to unbuckle himself and Carla so they could bolt. “Oh, don't be in such a hurry. You're not going anywhere.”

“What the hell do you people
want?!” Stan yelled as they were engulfed by the chains.

“Stan?” Carla clung to him. “Do you
know that thing?”

“Uh, long story short, we found a time-traveler the other day and he came back in time to stop these guys from doing something that apparently involves attacking my brother and I.” Stanley admitted. He couldn't see what was going on, but the chains were shifting slightly around them. “I don't know all the details, Future Boy isn't telling me much.”

“So, what
is that thing?” Carla asked him.

“According to Gideon, he's a demon and a criminal. And my family, in the future, ends up kicking their boss's ass.” Stan shrugged helplessly. “And now they want to capture us, so...yikes, right?”

“Yeah.” Carla nodded. “Oh, Stanley, you should have never come outside if that's what was going on! I'm so sorry, baby!”

“No, you didn't know. I
barely know.” Stanley sighed. “I wonder what's going to happen next...”

“I guess we'll find out...” Carla looked down. “We could sure use Superman right about now.”

“Heh, yeah...” Stanley nodded.

The chains suddenly jerked and shifted violently before unwrapping from around the car. Stanley gasped and held onto the car as it hit the sand of the beach and he looked up to see Gideon and Stanford apparently both using magic on Pacifier.

“Get. In. The. Cave!” Gideon yelled at them.

Stanley grabbed Carla and bolted for it, ducking into the cave before Pyronica could grab them. “
Jesus, holy fuck!” He hissed.

“Is that the time-traveler?” Carla asked. “Why he's...he's only a boy! Barely older than us!”

“I never said he was a wizened old guy.” Stanley said as they looked out at the battle. Stanford and Gideon held their own against the demons, but eventually the demons disappeared and they ran for the cave.

“Who is this?” Gideon asked as they got back in.

“This is my gal, Carla.” Stanley introduced.

“Well, you just made her another target. Good work.” Gideon glared outside. “Why did they leave? The way they acted, it was like someone
told them to leave.”

“You don't think...Cipher?” Stanford looked at him with concern.

“It's possible.” Gideon pursed his lips.

“Hey, uhm...what do you mean 'target'?” Carla asked him.

“The demons are targeting anyone that's close to the Pines. I put a barrier around your home already, Stanley. Provided your mother doesn't do any shopping, they should be safe.” Gideon glanced at him, then looked out again. “I can't handle this by myself, Dipper...” He muttered, looking a bit desperate. “Why did I
ever let you talk me into this?”

“Because if he hadn't, your future would have drastically changed with no resistance?” Stanford offered.

Gideon sighed. “That's true. If I hadn't been here, they would have grabbed you and Stanley already.”

“This is crazy. Someone should call the government!” Carla said anxiously.

“I'm sure they'll be a
great help, assuming they aren't being controlled by Bill Cipher as we speak.” Gideon said coolly.

“Bill who?” Carla asked.

“He's the demon ringleader.” Gideon explained. “He's been with several influential people throughout history, taking hosts and manipulating human progress. Earth is his sandbox and he loves to play.”

“Why are you in Ford's clothes?” Carla realized.

“Because they fit and mine were covered in blood.” Gideon replied.

“Who is 'Dipper'?” Stanley asked.

“Hm?” Gideon looked at him. “Oh. It's my friend's nickname. You know, the
actual time cop I told you about?”

“Oh. D.P.” Stanford nodded.

Gideon looked outside again. “Let's just stay in here for a little while. I don't see them, but chances are this area is being watched. If we
do leave, we leave as a group.”

“Is my car okay?” Stanley asked anxiously.

“I'm sure your car is fine.” Gideon assured him.

“Okay, good.” Stanley nodded, then looked at him. “Hey, Gideon?”

“Yes?” Gideon asked.

“What's a mobile phone?” Stanley asked. “Pacifier mentioned it.”

“Damn it!” Gideon banged his head on the cave wall. “It's future tech! Don't ask!”

“Oh, okay.” Stanley held his hands up in surrender.

“I'm going to
maul him...” Gideon grumbled.

“So...phones became...mobile in the future?” Stanford asked.

“Yes, Stanford. They do.” Gideon groaned.

“That's...amazing.” Stanford breathed. “Imagine the possibilities of it! People wouldn't have to go home to make plans, they could make plans on the go! If you got caught up and were late for curfew, you could call at the time and say what happened instead of waiting until you get home! Or, or someone could be lost in the woods and call for help! That will be revolutionary!”

“Or you could call the cops if you get robbed without having to run into a store or find a payphone.” Stan chimed in.

“Or you could give one to your child for calling you when they're on the way to and from school!” Carla added.

“Damn you, Pacifier...you did that
just to mess with me, didn't you?” Gideon grumbled. “Now I have to deal with this.”

“I, for one, am looking forward to when mobile phones are invented.” Stanford decided.

“I think we can all agree there.” Stanley nodded with a grin.

“I am s
o getting one.” Carla nodded.

Gideon sighed and turned to them. “It's probably best you
don't tell anyone about what he tells you, okay? Just keep it to yourself. He's not even supposed to be talking about it, but demons are assholes that don't listen to the rules of time.”

“Got it.” Stanley nodded. “Keep it secret.”

“So, changing the subject, how old are you?” Carla asked.

“I am 18 years old.” Gideon replied.

“That's...really young.” Carla frowned. “And you're fighting, what, demons?”

“I first fought them when I was ten. Didn't do so well then.” Gideon shrugged. “I'm doing much better now.”

“Why were you fighting demons when you were so young?” Carla asked in disbelief. “What kind of future did you
come from?”

“The future is fine, I was an idiot.” Gideon shrugged again. “I got involved with the demon ringleader and, when I realized it was bad news, I tried to go against him and got captured and tortured for it.”

“TORTURED?!” All three cried out in unison.

“He just made me
dance, geez.” Gideon rubbed at his ear. “Not like he electrocuted me or anything.”

“And that guy is
here somewhere?” Stanford asked.

“Probably.” Gideon nodded. “Tomorrow is Monday, though. You'll be expected to go to school. I'll try to keep an eye out, so please don't anything unexpected. It's harder to protect you. And do not under any circumstances use magic in front of others.”

“Understood.” Stanford nodded.

“I feel like I'm living in a comic book.” Carla said in awe.

 

Chapter Text

Why did you tell us to leave?” Pacifier asked. “We almost had him!”

“You end the game far too quick.” Bill said calmly, stroking his cat again. “We have plenty of time. Gideon probably has backup coming, in which case we don't want to cut things off before they arrive.” He put pens in a row on his desk. “We'll wait for all the pieces to be in place and then snatch them up.” He picked them all up with one hand. “I'll find you a good hideout to take them to. Until them, tire the boy out, learn what he can do. Let him think he's winning. And then, after a while, go silent. Make him think you've given up. Then strike when his guard is down.”

“This is why you're the boss.” Pyronica grinned.

“The twins can't rely on him forever. After all, he's just one boy. He'll have to call for help sooner or later.” Bill chuckled. “Oh, what a fun little game you've brought me. And here I thought I'd be bored here.”

He set the pens back down. “Go back to watching the cave. They have to come out sometime, the twins do have school, after all. And Gideon will most likely try to make his own moves. Keep track of everything they do and plan accordingly.” He shifted his sunglasses and grinned at them over the top. “And remember, don't end the game too soon.”

“Yes, boss.” They all said in unison, standing up to leave.

“Actually,” Bill hummed, holding up a hand to halt them. “I might make my own move tomorrow. Stick to observing until I give the word.”

“What are you planning to do?” Pyronica asked.

Bill chuckled. “You'll see, Ronnie. You'll see.”



“So, your eyes...are they natural?” Stanford asked as they packed up the tent and sleeping bags. He couldn't held but silently lament the fact that Gideon had chosen to sleep outside the tent instead of inside of it with them, but it turned out to be just as well when Carla stayed the night and ford moved outside it.

“Hm?” Gideon looked at him.

“I've just been...wondering.” Stanford admitted, blushing a bit.

“They are.” Gideon nodded. “As natural as your hands.” He tied one of the sleeping bags into the roll shape and handed it over to Stanley.

“So, they're an anomaly.” Stanford nodded. “Wow...they really do come in all shapes, sizes and types.”

Gideon shrugged. “S'pose so.”

“Is it hereditary or...?” Stanford looked at him thoughtfully.

“Honestly? I don't look anything like either of my parents in the face.” Gideon admitted. “My father's got a clown-like nose, my mother's got a tiny hooked nose, and then there's me.” He shrugged. “I'm...different. Weird. But in an oddly attractive and adorable way, apparently? According to others?”

“You are rather beautiful.” Stanford blushed.

Gideon cleared his throat. “Uhm, I'll tell you the same thing I told your brother. You are five decades older than me. We may be of a similar age in this time, but in my time...it's just kind of weird, y'know?”

“Oh, right. Uhm, sorry.” Stanford looked down and nodded.

“No, it's fine. I suppose it's easy to forget.” Gideon shrugged. “I'm not covered in future tech, mainly because I don't use tech much and, well, I'm not stupid enough to walk around wearing future tech while trying not to tell you about future tech.”

Stanford chuckled.

“Ford, we gotta get going.” Stanley spoke up. “Let's all head over, load up the El Diablo and get to school. Gideon, there's a cafe near the school you could set up at to watch the area.”

“I don't have any money.” Gideon shrugged. “But, I'll walk the area, see if I can find any witches or wizards.”

“Be careful.” Stanford said, picking up a couple bags. Carla helped out by grabbing a few other bags and Stan grabbed the sleeping bags. Gideon walked out with them with his hands free so he could protect them if he had to. To their immense relief, the demons didn't make a move as they packed up the car and drove off.

Of course, that only made Gideon wary of what they could be planning. After Stanley parked at the school, he got out and headed off to walk the area as he planned, keeping his eyes and ears out for any sign of the demons.



Hours passed, and there was no sign of them. Gideon spotted a few possible witches or wizards, but they weren't in a safe spot to test them. He kept his hands in his pockets as he walked, listening to the 60s music play around him and questioning the point of bell-bottoms and pumps. At least Ford wore sensible clothes, but he missed his own blouse and slacks. Ford was taking his clothes home to wash them and he would get them back tomorrow.

A wolf whistle pierced the air and he frowned, turning to the sound. A blond man with lightly-tanned skin wearing sunglasses and dressed in a yellow sweater vest with a black shirt and slacks with black boots and gloves waved at him and Gideon frowned. This guy looked suspiciously like...nope. He turned and started to walk on, but another wolf whistle pierced the air and he turned around again, looking annoyed. The man beckoned him over and Gideon glared him before crossing his arms over his chest and shaking his head. No. No way. He wasn't going to deliberately approach Bill Cipher.

The man laughed and left the wall he was leaning against, casually sauntering over. “No need to be so unfriendly.” He said, walking up to Gideon. “I hear you're new in this area. I sure don't recognize you, and I've been around a while.”

Gideon narrowed his eyes at him. “Good for you. I'd rather not get involved with you.” He turned to go again.

“Now, hold on.” The man grabbed Gideon's arm and he stopped short. “Let's have a little chat, you and I. C'mon, my treat. Milkshakes are all the rage these days.” He held Gideon's arm a bit tighter and steered him into the cafe they were close to.

Gideon tensed up but managed to keep from yelling at him, even though everything in him was telling him to run from the demon overlord. The man led him over to a booth and sat him down before sitting next to him, effectively trapping him in. The waitress came order to take their orders and he ordered two chocolate milkshakes and an order of burgers and fries for each of them. Once she was gone, he finally let go of Gideon's arm and moved his hands to rest on the table.

Gideon rubbed at his arm, sure there was going to be a bruise later. “Why have you brought me here?”

“I told you, I want to talk.” The man replied. “I figured you'd prefer a public place. Let me introduce myself. I'm--”

“I know who you are.” Gideon glanced at the man's glowing eye behind the sunglasses. “Bill Cipher.”

“The host's name is Cyrus Wilheim, actually. He's a businessman. Loans and bonds.” Bill looked at him. “It would be best for you to not call me by any other name.”

“Fine. Cyrus.” Gideon huffed.

“Good lad.” Bill grinned. “Now, I don't know what you do in the future, I haven't really used my Sight to check, but my henchmaniacs seem to think you're a genuine threat.” He chuckled. “Which I think is ridiculous, because you're looking at me like I'm a giant snake about to devour you in one bite right now. What threat can a little lamb like you be?”

Gideon frowned. “I can hold my own against your 'henchmaniacs'.”

“Oh, I know. I was watching you yesterday.” Bill hummed. “But, you're still not really a threat to me. Therefore, I don't see any point in joining in.”

“Then, why talk to me?” Gideon asked.

“Oh, just to let you know I know you're here, and to warn you to keep yourself out of anything that doesn't concern you. As long as your attention is focused on the twins and nothing else, I don't give a shit what you do.” Bill cackled. “The history you and I have, that's in the future.”

Gideon frowned. “...What...else is there to worry about?”

“Absolutely nothing. After all, you want to preserve the timeline,, right? So, you stay off my toes, I stay off yours, and maybe you just might make it back to your own time alive.” Bill patted his cheek. “Got it?”


“And if...I don't?” Gideon asked. “If I find that you're about to do something that I don't remember ever taking place, so it must have been stopped?”

“Now, Gideon, let's not be stupid and play hero with things that don't concern you. You're here to keep the twins safe, right? So, just focus on them and nothing else.” Bill looked up as the waitress brought over their milkshakes. “Thank you, love.” He grinned at her, then slid Gideon's milkshake over to him. “Just think about it. If you don't remember it happening, then someone else probably steps in, right? I mean, isn't it a bit arrogant to think that you're the reason it doesn't happen?”

Gideon frowned. “...I...suppose so.”

“Exactly. So, here's my proposal.” Bill tapped his fingers on the table. “You do as I ask, keep the twins out of danger as you plan, and I'll tell the maniacs to let up on you a little, maybe even give you a bit of spending money to help you out while you're here. I'm going to guess your time machine isn't working?”

“How did you--”

“You have no backup with you, no supplies, and you're involving the locals. That's a pretty good indicator of a desperate man. I could probably even get someone to fix your time machine.” Bill offered.

“...What's the catch?” Gideon asked.

“No catch. Just stay off my toes.” Bill patted his shoulder and sipped at his own milkshake. “Mmm, yeah. Milkshakes are some of the best things ever invented.”

Gideon glanced at him, then sipped at his own milkshake. It was just a milkshake, no need to have such a reaction...

“Oh, yeah. It might be a good idea to not involve any more of the locals. I'll instruct the maniacs to not do anything within the city. Keep it to the beach.” Bill looked at him. “In return, though, I could use a little bit of...magical help.”

“I learned my lesson about helping you.” Gideon glanced away.

“Ah, but that's future me. Consider me a different person!” Bill grinned.

Gideon gripped the glass tightly. What kind of magical help could Bill want? What was this? A trick? A game? “What magical help do you need?”

“Oh, nothing big. And nothing I wouldn't reward you for.” Bill assured him. “You tried to use a locator spell before, didn't you?”

Gideon looked at him, about to ask how he knew, and Bill chuckled, sipping his milkshake. “I have eyes everywhere, Gid. Every triangle is a window for me.”

“...Oh.” Gideon pursed his lips. The cave opening...and the circle he drew had a triangle on it. Of course.

“Yes, I did. I failed, though. I wasn't enough to substitute the missing components.” Gideon admitted.

The waitress come over with their food and Bill grinned up at her. “Thank you, love! By the way, is that new set of earrings?”

“Oh, you noticed!” The waitress blushed.

“I always do.” He lowered his sunglasses and winked at her. She squealed a bit and scurried away with the empty tray. “Ah, I love it when she does that.” He righted his sunglasses.

“Does she not...see your eye?” Gideon asked.

“Not when I'm using a host, no.” Bill chuckled. “Let me guess, you never saw me using a host in your time.” He looked at him. “Did you make a Deal with me?”

“...Yes.” Gideon nodded. “But, it ended when I...” He faltered. Did he really want to tell him so much?

“Hey, don't worry. That's in the future. Deals made in the future don't affect me now.” Bill shrugged and unwrapped his burger. “You should eat.”

Gideon sighed and unwrapped his own burger, starting to eat. There was something surreal about sharing a diner meal with Bill Cipher. He looked out the window, then at Bill. “...Did you tell them not to make a move today?”

“I told them I'm going to be making a move.” Bill hummed. “They're waiting on my word.”

“Your word?” Gideon asked.

“Of course. Life in the 60s could be great for you, Gid, or it could be the worst experience you've ever had.” Bill draped an arm over his shoulder, taking a bite from his burger held by the other hand.

“Meaning...?” Gideon asked.

“Meaning, I have a place for them to drag you kicking and screaming to if you decide to play hero and piss me off.” Bill looked at him with a sadistic smile. “Or, I could help you out and be your best pal until you go home to your own time. It all depends on your choices, Gid. Are you in or out?”

Gideon looked down at his burger. Working with Bill left a bad taste in his mouth, but he got the feeling that refusing him would put not only himself but also Carla and the twins in danger. “...Alright. I'll help you.”

“Smart boy.” Bill squeezed his shoulder before pulling his hand back and continuing to eat. “Mm, one of the best parts of having a physical form, Gideon. Eating. Cosmos, humans have such a variety of delicious food!”

Gideon rolled his eyes and silently ate his own food. Why was Bill always so embarrassing about everything?

 

Chapter Text

Bill dropped Gideon off at the high school shortly before it let out, and then disappeared before Stanley and Stanford could see him. Gideon felt a little shaken about the meeting but assured the others that everything was fine, he was just having trouble adjusting to the new time.

He hadn't shaken Bill's hand, on fire or not, but he still felt the weight of making a Deal with a demon pushing down on him. Bill had told him he'd contact him when he needed his help, and to sit tight and stay out of trouble until then.

Bill was planning something, he'd pretty much declared that, but no matter what Gideon did he couldn't think of anything special happening at Glass Shard Beach aside from Stanford and Stanley's growing up there. Was it supposed to happen after they left? If only he could check, but he didn't have a way of contacting home.

“So...where are you staying?” Carla asked him as they left the school with the twins.

“Uhm...I'm not sure. Probably not a good idea to stay in the cave.” Gideon said, shaking his head. “But, it's probably the safest right now.”

“Haven't seen the demons around.” Stanley commented as they passed by the damaged intersection. “Any sign of them today?”

“Nope.” Gideon shook his head. “Maybe they're planning something big.”

“You did ask about natural disasters and weather changes.” Stanford said thoughtfully.

“So far we've just seen Chainy McBabyface do anything.” Stanley pointed out.

“You mean Pacifier?” Gideon asked.

“Yeah, that guy.” Stanley nodded. “What's the chick do?”

“Sets fire to everything.” Gideon replied. “And is usually very giant. Actually, they all usually are. I suspect they're staying small for blending purposes, or perhaps to not anger their boss by smashing his hideout.”

“Yeesh.” Stanley cringed. “Any sign of their boss?”

“I wasn't looking.” Gideon replied.

“You didn't answer the question.” Stanford pointed out.

Gideon glanced away, then sighed. “I met him. He told me to focus on you guys and nothing else.”

“Doesn't that mean he's planning something big?” Stanley asked.

“Perhaps, but it's probably not due to happen for many years.” Gideon shrugged.

“So, we shouldn't do anything about it?” Stanford asked.

Gideon sighed. “As far as I know, nothing of note happened in Glass Shard Beach.” Gideon assured him. “So, whatever he's planning, it probably fails anyway.”

“...Okay.” Stanford nodded. “I'll trust that.”

“So, you actually talked to the guy?” Stanley asked. “And all he did was tell you to mind your own business?”

“He also bought me a burger and milkshake.” Gideon nodded. “It was...surreal. The last time I spoke to him, he was ordering me to dance for an eternity. He kept telling me that our history in the future didn't matter, that I should consider him a different person.”

“That is freaky.” Stanley commented.

“Yeah.” Gideon nodded. “My thoughts exactly.”

“So, where to? Back to the beach? We're going to take Carla home.” Stanford told Gideon.

“Yeah. Back to the beach.” Gideon nodded. “I could use a rest.”

“Maybe we should've left the tent up. Want a sleeping bag?” Stanley offered.

“Sure.” Gideon nodded. “Thank you.”

They dropped Carla off at the house, hanging around a bit to kiss her goodbye and for Gideon to put up a barrier around her home. Then they took him back to the beach and Stanford walked with him to the cave, carrying the sleeping bag.

“Well, we better get home. Thanks for putting the barrier on the car.” Stanford said as they pass through the barrier.

“It should keep the demons off you on the way home.” Gideon said, nodding.

“You look exhausted.” Stanford said, concerned.

“I'm fine. What's important is that you survive.” Gideon took the sleeping bag and laid it out so he could climb into it. “A bit of sleep and I'll be fine. Be safe getting home.”

Stanford nodded. “I'll use my magic if I have to.”

“I suggest using a wind spell, it's easiest to explain away.” Gideon turned to him and smiled a bit. “See you, Stanford.”

Stanford nodded. “Sleep well.” He walked out of the cave and returned to the car.

Gideon sighed and rolled over, closing his eyes as he heard the car drive away.

--

He wasn't asleep long before he was woken up by an imposing presence. He sat up and looked towards the entrance of the cave, where he could feel the presence standing. Sighing, he got up and walked over to the cave entrance, looking out. “Bill.”

“Hey, kid.” Bill grinned at him. “Mind if I come in? The barrier's got me blocked out.”

Gideon pursed his lips. “Can we just talk here?”

“We could, but I don't feel like standing so long.” Bill leaned against the cave wall that was outside the barrier. “Come on, open up. We need to talk.”

Gideon considered refusing again, but there was too much relying on his compliance. “...Fine.” He placed his hand on the barrier and it dropped. “Come on in.” He walked over to the sleeping bag and sat down. Bill strolled in and sat on the sleeping bag next to him. “What do you need?”

“Wow, you're quick to cut to the chase.” Bill chuckled. “I have a job for you. You see, I'm told you have a certain...talent with the mind that surpasses even myself. While I personally don't believe it, I'm having a little trouble with someone and I need something from his head. And I can't manage to navigate his Mindscape to find it.”

Gideon tensed up a bit. “What will you do with the information?”

“Ah-ah-ah. What did I say? Stay out of my business.” Bill lightly tapped Gideon's nose. “Just get the information I need and then back away.”

“When do you need this job done?” Gideon asked.

“Tonight. I'll send one of my henchmaniacs to pick you up.” Bill grinned. “We'll have dinner!”

Gideon glanced away. “Sounds great. I'm feeling a bit tired, so could--”

“Say no more, say no more. I know you've been tiring yourself out, erecting barriers around town.” Bill grinned. “I also know that if you pass out or get knocked out, they'll all come down at once. Simple sleep, though, it does nothing to them.”

Gideon shivered a bit. He didn't like how Bill was revealing that he knew how easy it was to bring those barriers down. It sounded like a threat. “Y-Yeah.”

Bill patted his cheek and then got up. “I'll see you tonight.” He winked at him. “Sleep well, sweet dreams.” He left the cave and Gideon climbed into the sleeping bag to curl up, feeling sickened by his choices.

 



Stanford looked out the window worriedly. There was a storm forming, and he couldn't help but wonder about how Gideon was faring. Maybe they should have offered he stay with them. Their father wouldn't have allowed it, though. He hoped Gideon found some other form of shelter besides the cave, which would likely become water-logged within the hour.

“Should we bring dinner to Gideon?” Stanley asked, looking out the window. “Hey, wait.” He frowned, his eyes narrowing. “Is that...?”

“Was that Gideon in that car?” Stanford asked, standing up and opening the window to look out it better. He couldn't see who was in the car now, but he was sure...

“Couldn't be.” Stanley frowned. “Who would he being riding with? Or going to see?” He looked unsure, though. “Let's take the El Diablo and check on him.”

Stanford nodded and followed him out to the car, grabbing their coats as they went.

After a short drive, they arrived at the beach and ran to the cave. They found it empty, with a small note left behind.

[You're probably worried, but don't be. I'm fine. I'm doing this to ensure your safety.
~ G]

“You don't think...Bill?” Stanley looked at Stanford.

“He was looking very distracted and concerned about something when we met up with him.” Stanford said anxiously. “Did you happen to catch the license plate number?”

“No. Sorry.” Stanley looked down. “Guess...he's on his own. Let's hope he's right and he really is 'fine'.”

“Could sure use one of those mobile phones right now.” Stanford said solemnly.



“Ah, Gideon!” Bill greeted as the teen was let into his dining hall. He wasn't wearing his sunglasses, Gideon noted. “Welcome, welcome! Please, sit down.” He walked over and pulled out a chair for him. “Tsk, your clothes are soaked.” He commented as Gideon sat down. “Guess the storm caught you by surprise, hm? Well, I'll give you something warm and dry to wear before your meeting later. Do you want to wash up, too?” He placed his hands on Gideon's shoulders as he spoke.

“I'm fine.” Gideon replied.

“No, really, it's best you do. It's been a few days since you arrived, after all, and you have sand in your hair!” Bill tsk'd at him again. “But, we'll worry about that after you eat!” He gestured to his plate, with a butler was serving food onto. “Did you have a pleasant drive?”

“It was a car.” Gideon replied flatly.

“Gids, you're killin' me with this monotone business. Lighten up!” Bill patted his shoulder and went to his own chair. “My henchmaniacs have already eaten, so you don't have to worry about them disturbing your meal. Was Keyhole an asshole to you on the way here?” He grinned.

“No.” Gideon shook his head. “He was very polite.”

“That's why I sent him.” Bill nodded. “How are you enjoying the 60s?”

Gideon glanced away. “...I miss home.”

“I took a peek at your current year and I have to ask you: why would you want to go back there?” Bill raised an eyebrow. “There's an absolute maniac in the White House, the likes I haven't seen since ol' Adolf. And I bet he's not even associated with me!”

“No, he's definitely not.” Gideon shook his head. “You've been a stone statue since 2012.”

“I've been a—a what?” Bill asked, laughing a bit.

“You didn't look at yourself?” Gideon looked at him. “You were defeated. Though, some people think you might come back.”

“Damn.” Bill laughed. “How the fuck did I do that?”

“You got outsmarted by a con man, a nerd and a couple kids.” Gideon shrugged.

“Damn, I must've lost my touch.” Bill tsk'd. “Well, that's in the future! I'm only concerned about the present. The now.”

Huh. Gideon had expected him to be angry. “Okay...”

“I mean, when you get right down to it, you haven't even been born yet. So, what's the point of getting angry at you about something that technically can't have happened yet?” Bill shrugged. “You know? That's decades later! Way in the future! Not important!” He waved his hand dismissively, then laced his fingers together with a grin behind them. “All that matters, to me, is what happens tonight between you and my special guest.”

Gideon nodded and picked up his fork to start eating. Bill sat back in his chair. “By the way, I've been thinking. You've already revealed to your little friends about our meeting—eyes everywhere, remember?—so I'm considering offering you a room here in ol' Cyrus' mansion. It's much healthier than a cave on the beach, and you won't have to be picked up constantly to do your jobs for me.”

Gideon frowned and lowered the fork. “...What's the catch?”

“Not everything has a catch. I've already told you what I get out of it.” Bill smirked. “I could make it more beneficial to me, though?”

“No.” Gideon shook his head. “That's...that's fine.”

“Good.” Bill chuckled. “Then, you'll be brought to a room to freshen up and change and then that'll be where you stay while in this time.”

Gideon nodded, then pursed his lips. “...Thank you for your hospitality.”

“Ah, nice! The boy has manners!” Bill clapped his hands. “Good to see, good to hear! Let's finish eating, now, and then you can clean up for your meeting!” He picked up his fork and dove into his meal eagerly.

Gideon focused on his own meal, trying not to think about Bill savagely but politely tearing into his meal. By the time he finished one serving, Bill had finished three. He had to wonder where Cyrus packed it all.

He pushed back his chair when he finished and stood up. “I'm done.”

“Gideon, you should've just said and I'd have pulled your chair out for you!” Bill got up walked over to him, hooking his arm around the teen's. “Well, let's go get you cleaned up and dressed for your meeting!”

“I'm going into someone's mind, how am I supposed to dress?” Gideon frowned.

“I just want you into some dry clothes.” Bill shrugged and led him out of the dining hall. “Even though the blue shirt is clinging rather nicely to your skin.” He winked at him.

Gideon frowned. He didn't recall Bill ever being so...lewd. Then again, he was a child then. He was an adult now, even if he was still counting as a teen for the next year. “Can you...stop that?”

“What?” Bill asked innocently.

“That flirting.” Gideon shivered.

“Aw, you're shivering! I should've had you changed right away.” Bill tsk'd and led him up a set of stairs. “Well, don't worry, Gid. We'll get you all cleaned up and warm.”

“You're ignoring my issue.” Gideon sighed.

“I don't know what you're talking about!” Bill grinned widely.

He led Gideon to a room and opened it. “This room comes with its own attached bathroom facilities! Feel free to get acquainted with everything, but try not to take too long. I'll be back to pick you up for your meeting in an hour.” He gently ushered him and then shut the door behind him. Gideon noticed the click of the door locking from the outside and sighed, walking over to get undressed to shower.

Bill had set it out like he was a guest, but that locking door told him quite plainly that he was a prisoner here. Bill didn't want him running around unsupervised, especially not in his mansion. He took a quick shower and changed into a comfortable blue cotton shirt and black pants set that had been left for him and then waited for Bill to come and pick him up, his hair tied back in a loose braid.

Dipper would be disappointed if he saw him now, but could he really say he'd have done any different? After all, it was the Stans' lives and freedoms at stake. As long as Gideon played nice with Bill, he could ensure their safety until backup arrived to capture the henchmaniacs. Then he could end this game and go back to his own time.

The door unlocked and Gideon looked up to see Bill standing the doorway, looking him and down. “Very nice.” Bill praised. “You clean up nicely. Alright, let's go to work!” He opened the door wider and Gideon stood up to walk out with him. “He's already prepared for you, nice and tied up. I wasn't sure if drugs would affect the search or not.”

“They would get in the way. I need a clear mind to search.” Gideon replied.

“Ah, good. Good call, Bill. Thank you, Bill.” Bill praised himself. Gideon had to wonder if he always did that and he never noticed or if he was just lonely.

They reached a locked door and Bill pulled out a key to unlock it. Inside, there was a dimly-lit room with a single chair in the center. A man was tied up in it, his head bowed as if he was unconscious. Bill looked at Gideon encouragingly and led him in, shutting the door behind them.

“What do you need me to find?” Gideon asked.

“Look for information on File B35 dash 6056 dash JKG.” Bill replied.

Sounded simple enough. Gideon walked up to the man tilted his chin up. The man groaned and slowly stirred, looking surprised to see Gideon. “What...?”

“I'm sorry.” Gideon murmured, holding his face in place with one hand as the other went to his temple. Then he maintained eye-contact as he started to dive into the man's mind, both of them glowing a gentle blue-green color. Bill watched eagerly as the man jerked from the search but couldn't actually escape it. Finally, Gideon pulled away and held his head, seeming to be reeling from what he'd seen. “That was...”

“Did you find it?” Bill asked.

Gideon nodded.

“Good.” Bill held out a notepad and pencil. “Write down what you found out.”

Gideon did as he said, rubbing at his head occasionally. Bill smiled brightly at him and then took the notepad back when Gideon offered it. “Thank you! Now, it's off to beddy-bye!” He opened the door. “I'll send him back to where I took him from, don't worry. And he won't even remember a thing!” He grinned.

Gideon nodded, walking out of the room. Bill closed the door behind him and followed him back to his room, walking like some cartoon character. “Not bad for a first day, eh? You're a natural!” He praised as they walked.

“Tired...” Gideon mumbled.

“Of course, of course. And, don't worry, I'll give you your reward.” Bill assured him. “When you wake up tomorrow, you'll have some nice spending money under your pillow! Like the tooth fairy!” He giggled in a disturbing way.

“The desk would be preferred.” Gideon said, sighing.

“Oh, fine. Desk it is.” Bill shrugged and patted his shoulder before opening the door. “Well, sleep well! I'll let you out to wander the city tomorrow after breakfast, but I want you home for dinner at 8.” He stepped aside so Gideon could walk in. “Sleep well~!”

Gideon walked over to the bed and laid down on it. He didn't even bother climbing under the blanket and was out as soon as his head hit the pillows.

So, it was a bit of a concern when he woke up with the sun shining through the windows to find himself neatly tucked into bed with a fancy wallet full of money sitting on the desk in the room and a note that said. “Don't spend it all at once~! – Cipher.”

Chapter Text

Stanford and Stanley practically bowled him over when he showed up outside their school after they got out the next day. “Are you okay? Did he hurt you? It was Bill, wasn't it?” Stanley asked.

“What did you have to do? Is everything alright?” Stanford asked anxiously.

“I'm fine, he didn't do anything to me. I just helped him with something small, nothing dangerous.” Gideon assured them. “He has, however, given me a room in his host's mansion, so I guess I'm not staying in the cave anymore.” He shrugged.

“Oh, right! After we got there, there was another flash of light. A bag arrived, but there was no time machine with it. Maybe it's your bag that went missing in transit?” Stanley asked.

“That would be a relief.” Gideon nodded. “Where is it?”

“We took it back home. It's under my bed.” Stanley told him. “Let's go pick it up!”

“Why did you help him?” Stanford asked Gideon as they got in the car.

“Because he controls the demons. As long as I do as he says and help him, you two are safe.” Gideon replied.

Stanley frowned. “That can't have been easy.”

Gideon shook his head. “It wasn't. He and I have...history, though he keeps saying it doesn't matter.” He kept him locked up when he was in the mansion, though... “But, ensuring your safety was more important than any amount of trauma I may or may not have.” He went on, nodding firmly.

“You're deflecting again.” Stanley pointed out.

“I suppose I am.” Gideon sighed. “Let's just get my bag.”

The twins nodded, but didn't look like they wanted to drop the subject yet. “So, uhm, how are your wounds?” Stanford asked.

Gideon looked at his stomach. “Oh. I might need new bandages. I just reused the ones from before.”

“That's unsanitary!” Stanford blustered. “I'll replace them while we're in our room!”

“You don't really--”

“Yes, we do.” Stanley said, cutting Gideon off.

“Okay, then.” Gideon sighed. “I probably have a healing potion in my bag...”

“A...healing potion?” Stanford asked, thoroughly distracted by the mention of something new and supernatural. “Potions are real?”

Gideon latched onto and and started to tell him about different types of potions, including adding a warning about the true nature of “love potions”.

“If you want what's usually described as a love potion, you actually want an affection potion.” He finished as they reached the Pines Pawns. Gideon looked up and chuckled a bit, noticing the store next door. “Hot Belgian Waffles.” He said quietly.

“Oh, did you want some?” Stanley asked him. “They're good.”

“Uh, sure.” Gideon nodded. That wasn't why he'd said it, though.

“How about for breakfast tomorrow?” Stanford suggested.

“I'll bring it up to my host.” Gideon glanced away. Bill had been pretty adamant about him having breakfast and dinner with him.

Stanford's brow furrowed. “Gideon, are you sure--”

“How's your project coming along?” Gideon asked. “With the maniacs off your tails, you've probably been able to continue on with no problems.”

“Oh, uhm, it's coming along great.” Stanford nodded. “I can show you, it's on the desk in our room.” They parked and got out, heading in.

“Sounds great.” Gideon nodded.

The bell on the door jingled and they stepped inside. A man Gideon didn't recognize but greatly resembled the twins when they were older was sitting at the counter on the phone.

“Look, Cyrus, I know what you said. And I'm telling you, it's not financially feasible. Besides, this is a good street, lots of business.” The man was saying, and then he glanced up. “Hm? Oh. Just the kids home from school.” He waved them along and Stanley ushered them through, leading the way past them. “Yes, I have considered your offer. I'm. Not. Interested.”

“Bill.” Gideon said quietly as they closed the door on their father's voice.

What?” Stanley breathed.

“That's Bill's host's name. What business does he have with your father?” Gideon asked quietly.

“No idea.” Stanford shook his head.

“Heeey, look who's back from school!” A voice said as a man walked into the room from another one.

“Shermie!” The twins ran towards him and threw their arms around him.

“When did you get back from college?” Stanley asked excitedly.

“Gideon, this is our older brother Sherman.” Stanford introduced.

“Just an hour ago.” Sherman grinned, then looked up at Gideon. “Oh? A friend of yours, Ford?” He asked, looking Gideon up and down appraisingly.

“He's just visiting town for a couple weeks.” Stanford said, nodding. “But, I guess you could say we're friends.”

“Well, it's nice to meet you, Gideon.” Sherman held out a hand. “Hope my brothers haven't been driving you too crazy?”

“Nope.” Gideon shook his head and took his hand to shake it. “They're my kind of crazy.”

“Nice, you found someone that shares your interests!” Sherman grinned at the teens. “Well, I better get back to helping mom bake. Oh, and I brought my wife and kid, they're in the kitchen with her!” He pried Stanley off and went to leave the room.

“Let's go to our room, best not to crowd the kitchen. You'll meet our mom in a bit.” Stanford smiled at Gideon.

“She's a psychic?” Gideon asked, looking at the sign on the window.

“Well, so she says.” Stanley winked at him.

Gideon chuckled. “Yeah, people doubted me, too.” He looked at Stanford. “Lead the way.”

Stanford nodded and led him to their shared bedroom, Stanley following right behind.

--

The room was pretty typical of a room inhabited by men. Not that Gideon could relate, he'd always tended towards the more feminine hobbies. There were boxing gloves hanging near a shelf of boxing trophies and a nearby shelf of academic trophies, both sporting pictures of each twin to show off which was which. The top bunk was neatly made while the bottom bunk was mussed like he'd just hopped out of bed and left it that way and Gideon suspected that the bottom bunk was Stanley's. Plus, he remembered that Stanley Pines, until the summer of 2012, had a fear of heights. Man, that was a weird day.

Stanley picked up a dirty magazine from his bed and tucked it away in a box, whistling innocently. “So, uh, sit anywhere you like.”

“Is the desk chair open?” Gideon pointed to it. The desk was covered in books and machine parts, with the perpetual motion machine sitting pretty in full view, a work in progress.

“Oh, sure!” Stanford nodded and wheeled it out from where it was tucked under the desk. “Here you go.”

“Thanks. No offense, Stanley, but I don't think your sheets have been washed since you made use of that magazine.” Gideon pointed out, sitting down in the desk chair.

“Oooh, busted.” Stanley mock-winced and then grinned. “Man, you're sensitive.”

“Oh, did you bring the time machine?” Stanford asked. “I wanted to make another attempt at it.”

“Bill's having someone he knows look at it.” Gideon shook his head. He'd been asked to hand it over at breakfast that very morning.

“Should you really be trusting him with your only way home?” Stanley asked, concerned.

“No, but what choice do I have? If I refused, he would've stolen it.” Gideon sighed. “So, uhm, my bag?”

“Oh!” Stanford knelt down and pulled the light-blue duffle bag from under the bunk-bed. “We didn't look in it. Though, I really wanted to.”

Gideon reached for it and it was handed over. “It's better you didn't.” He unzipped it and checked inside. Everything looked intact, but he realized after his search that he hadn't thought to bring healing potions after all. “Stupid move.” He muttered. “Going up against demons and you forget to bring a healing potion. What the fuck, Gleeful.” He muttered to himself.

On the bright side, he had a moonstone now. Fully charged, from the feel of it. Stanford stared at it in awe as Gideon held it up and examine it. “Is that...a moonstone?” He asked. “It's so...clear. I've never seen one so clear.”

“That's an indicator it's magically charged.” Gideon replied. “It goes opaque when the magic is spent. I can probably use this thing for four or five spells.” He put it back in the bag, then pulled out a tome. “This could have come in handy before.” He murmured, then put it back and closed up the bag. “Thank you for retrieving it.”

Stanley nodded. “So, uh, any way to contact your home in there?”

“No. Though there is a scrying orb, I need to be in the same time as them to contact them with it. If I tried now, I'd just annoy them.” Gideon sighed. “But, it's nice to have my change of clothes, at least. And my tomes and components.”

“Can you stay for dinner?” Stanford asked. “Ma's probably planning something really nice for Shermie's return.”

Gideon pursed his lips. “...No. My host has told me he wants me home for dinner at 8.” He looked at the clock. It was already 6pm. “I should probably head back, before he sends someone after me.”

“It's not fair.” Stanley huffed. “If only we could've offered you our place to stay...”

“He probably would have insisted I move to his place, anyway.” Gideon looked down, sighing. “He locks me in my room when he's not escorting me everywhere. He doesn't want me out of his sight for long, and he has eyes everywhere. I have knowledge of the future, knowledge about him. He doesn't trust me to not use it, I suspect.”

“Wow.” Stanford breathed. “That must be terrifying.”

Gideon nodded. “Plus, I'm pretty sure the maniacs told him that I was related to his defeat in the future. I know him, I can see he's resisting the urge to smack me into the wall if I ever backtalk. So, if I plan to ever go home, I have to play nice. On top of cooperating with him so that he keeps his friends off of you.”

“But, Gideon...” Stanley's tone was serious now. “What if he doesn't let you go home?”

Gideon pursed his lips tightly. “...Then hopefully Dipper can save me again.” He said softly. “Because I'm in no position to save myself.”



“Tch. Time Cops are utterly useless.” Bill remarked, twirling the time machine in his hand. “Useless tech that breaks down all the time. This thing looks to have been repaired more times than is safe, and of course Gideon had to let Stanford Pines get ahold of it so now it's really damaged from his messing around trying to figure it out.”

“Are you actually going to fix it?” Pyronica asked him.

“No.” Bill chuckled. “Why would I? But, I'm letting him think I'm going to fix it.” He gripped the machine and focused, crushing it into space dust. “As far as I'm concerned, he's not going anywhere.” He stood up, dusting his hands off. “Filbrick's still evading me, but I'll figure him out. Right now, I'm more interested in my newest acquisition. He's got a beautiful body and a beautiful mind, with beautiful powers! That's just gotta be illegal, right? How could there be such a perfect prize?” He laughed. “And he's human, which is just insane! The only time I've seen something so perfect, he was a demon!”

“He's hiding a wound from you.” Pacifier remarked. “The time machine damaged him.”

“What?” Bill turned to him. “Oh, I have to fix that. Healing isn't my expertise, but...” He chuckled. “Oh, well, how fitting that you brought it up just when I was thinking of the only other perfectly beautiful creature I've ever known! I'll have to give him a call, I know he loves when I call him!”

“He hates it.” Kryptos mouthed to the others.

“I'll do that when Gideon gets home. He can join us for dinner!” He skipped out of the room. “Oh, I should dress up for the occasion! Ronnie, would you like to join us as well? We'll have a party!”

“Am I perfect and beautiful enough to join the party?” She asked, fluttering her eyelashes.

“Babe, you are the most perfect woman I've ever met.” Bill winked at her and walked out of the room. “I'll prepare something delicious! And chocolate! He loves chocolate!”

“He's going to hate this.” Kryptos laughed nervously. “I'm not going to be around for this. Have fun, Pyronica.”

“Yeah, we'll go back to patrolling the area for any Time Cops.” Keyhole nodded.

“Have fun at the party, Ronnie.” Pacifier patted her shoulder as they all left the room.

“Well. I suppose I better get cleaned up and dressed in something more presentable.” Pyronica sighed, changing into a more human-like appearance and leaving the room.

Chapter Text

“It's getting late.” Gideon looked at the clock. “I better go before he sends someone after me.”

“Maybe we can drive you.” Stanley offered. “Where does he live?”

Gideon lifted up the duffle bag. “I guess I can direct you.”

“Great!” Stanford nodded, getting up. “We'll go let Ma know we have to take you home.”

Gideon nodded. His brief conversation with her hadn't revealed any actual powers, but she could just be very good at hiding them. He hadn't exactly delved too deeply, either. Maybe he'd talk more at length with her another time, when she wasn't distracted by a baby and her newly-home son and daughter-in-law.

“Are you sure you're going to be okay?” Stanley asked. “Here, your clothes are clean and dry.” He handed Gideon the blood-free clothes. “I had to ask Ma how to clean blood out of clothes, but didn't tell her why. I think I worried her, so I just said that I was asking for a female friend.”

“And you think she could tell you were lying?” Gideon guessed.

“Yeah.” Stanley nodded. “Pretty sure she saw us replacing your bandages earlier...”

Gideon sighed and looked at the clock. “It's already 7:30. We better go, it's a twenty minute drive.” He packed the clothes into his bag.

Stanley nodded and led him out. Stanford met up with them at the door and they headed out to the El Diablo.



The ride to Cyrus Wilheim's mansion was full of awkward conversation and tense silences. Gideon could tell that they wanted to do anything but drive him right to his past tormentor's past self's mansion, but they also knew that Gideon wouldn't let them not do it.

“So, uh, you have our number now if he lets you use a phone. We can make plans and stuff.” Stanley said as they pulled up to the iron gate separating the mansion from the rest of the town. He'd never liked this place, too spooky for his liking, but he had to admit it gave it really nice candy on Halloween.

The question was, how long had Bill Cipher been in Cyrus Wilheim's body, and had they been getting that really nice candy from a demon this whole time?

“That sounds nice.” Gideon nodded.

“Your friend will be showing up in a couple weeks, right?” Stanford asked.

“That's the plan.” Gideon nodded again, staring at the mansion. “Or a week, if he can get here sooner.”

“Hey, can you maybe find out how long he's been in that guy?” Stanley asked him.

“Sure.” Gideon nodded. “Why?”

“Just...just curious.” Stanley shifted a bit and shut off the engine. “Gave really nice candy on Halloween, was wondering if it was the human or the demon.”

“I'll ask.” Gideon opened the car door and grabbed his bag to get out.

“Hey.” Stanford reached out and placed his hand on his arm. “Be...be safe, okay? And don't hesitate to call if you need anything. Even if it's just to talk. And if he tries to ask you to do anything you're not comfortable with, just run. We'll hide in a barrier from the demons.” He gently took Gideon's hand in his before Gideon could pull away. “I don't want you to sacrifice yourself for my sake.”

Gideon sighed and reached out to place his hand on Stanford's cheek. “You are worth everything. Don't ever forget that. The Cosmos has a big plan for you, and you are destined for great things. Both of you are. Don't let anyone tell you any different.” He moved his hand away and walked away from the car. The gate opened up invitingly as he approached it and closed behind him once he was through, cutting him off from the other two.

Bill greeted him at the door and wrapped an arm around his shoulders with a grin to usher him inside, flashing a smirk at the twins as he shut the doors behind Gideon. Stanley shivered and looked at Gideon. “Were his eyes... glowing ?”

“Yeah.” Stanford nodded. “Let's...let's get home.”

“Yikes.” Stanley started the car and backed up to turn the car around to get back on the road. “I can't imagine living with that .”

“Poor guy...” Stanford looked over his shoulder. “So, I...I get involved with that guy in the future?”

Why ?” Stanley breathed, shaking his head.



“I've laid out some nice clothes for you. I'm having a special guest over!” Bill grinned. “And this one, you don't have to get into the mind off. I'm giving you the night off! We're gonna have a party!”

Gideon nodded. “Alright...” He let Bill lead him to the bedroom and walked in. He started tp unbutton his shirt and frowned, noticing the door was still open. “Yes?”

“Pacifier told me the time machine hurt you.” Bill shrugged. “I wanted to see for myself.”

“Oh.” Gideon finished unbuttoning the shirt and pulled it aside. “It's just a few scratches, nothing big.”

“Gideon, that 'nothing big' is staining your bandages.” Bill raised an eyebrow. “You're lucky it's not reaching your clothes!”

“Oh.” Gideon looked at it. “Guess it is. I didn't notice. Must've shifted my body in a way that aggravated it.”

“Fuck, what did I do to you in the future for you not notice that?” Bill asked, laughing in disbelief. “Well, don't worry. My special guest will fix you up no problem. Just get changed for the party, I'll wait out here.” He closed the door to give Gideon privacy.

“So, who is this 'special guest'?” Gideon asked as he changed clothes. Oh, ow, that hurt a bit.

“You'll see~!” Bill said in a sing-song tone. “I think you'll like him~!”

“...Sure. Oh, by the way, how long have you been using this guy as a host?” Gideon asked as he pulled the blue slacks up and tucked in the black dress shirt. Then he reached for the black tie and started to put it on.

“Hm? Ol' Cyrus. We've been together most of his life. He wanted success, a rags to riches story, so I gave him what he wanted. In exchange, I wanted a puppet.” He chuckled. “He's pretty much come to terms with our relationship by now.”

“So...how many years?” Gideon asked, feeling a bit horrified.

“I think we're going on 20 years together now!” Bill said, sounding pleased with himself. “He's really been quite the fun puppet, very open to the games I like to play.”

Gideon picked up the blue blazer and pulled it on, fastening it. “...Why did you pick this outfit for me?”

“My henchmaniacs told me that you wear this kind of outfit all the time.” Bill replied. “I wanted you to wear something you were comfortable with.”

“That's...nice of you.” Gideon said, trying to think about how he'd worn an outfit just like this one when he'd summoned Bill Cipher in the future.

“Anyways, are you done?” Bill asked. “Need any help with the tie or are you good?”

“I'm good.” Gideon replied, walking over to the door. “I'm done.”

Bill opened the door and grinned at him. “Great! Personally I prefer bowties, but I went with what you prefer.” He adjusted his bowtie and winked.

Bill was wearing a golden-yellow and black suit and bowtie set, with a black hat, boots and gloves. His pants and shirt were black, his bowtie was golden-yellow and his tailcoat was a flashy golden color that Gideon was sure had either sequins or glitter on it. He was going to guess sequins, glitter would be falling off as he moved. His hat had a golden band on it, and his left eye was covered by a black eyepatch with a golden outline of a triangle. His short blond hair was slicked back and showed off more of his lightly-tanned skin than before, and Gideon had the firm suspicion that he was dressing up for someone besides Gideon.

Wait a moment, when had he changed clothes? He wasn't wearing this when he brought Gideon to the room and he never left the door while Gideon got changed. “Bill...?”

“Yesss?” Bill grinned.

When did you change your clothes?” Gideon asked.

Bill cackled. “Magic!”

“Of course.” Gideon nodded. “So, are you going to tell me about this mystery guest?” He asked.

Bill offered his arm and Gideon reluctantly took it. “Nope! You'll just have to wait and see him! Oh, we should do something about your hair.” He unhooked his arm and moved behind Gideon to undo the loose braid, styling it into a French braid before going to Gideon's front and moving his hand over his bangs, slicking them back without the use of any kind of gel – Gideon did see a shimmer of blue as he worked, though, so he must be using magic. “Much better!” He grinned and hooked his arm in his again before leading him along. “To the party!”

Chapter Text

The doors opened at Bill's slightest touch and Gideon was led inside. He noticed Pyronica standing nearby in her human disguise, but didn't see anyone else. Bill led Gideon to a chair and pulled the the chair for him before grinning. “Oh, you're going to love this. Ronnie, is it ready?”

“Ready for you.” She gestured to a canvas that had a single blue triangle painted on it.

Eeeeeexcellent!” Bill walked over and placed his hand on the canvas. “Knock knock, babe!”

Gideon gasped as the triangle glowed and Bill stepped back to look at the image now within its borders. There was a pale-skinned stranger dressed in a blue and white version of what Bill was currently wearing with an almost silver shade of blue hair, which reached down to his hips and was braided, reading a book. He turned a glowing blue eye, the right eye covered by an eyepatch much like Bill's only blue and white, towards them and sighed, setting his book down. “I thought I told you not to call me unless it was urgent.”

“But, babe, I'm throwing a party! And it's not destructive in any way!” Bill said invitingly. “Come on, spend some time with me! Come out of your book!”

“I'd tell you to go screw yourself, but you probably already have out of boredom.” The man sighed and stood up, setting his book down. “Fine. I'll indulge you, but I expect some kind of reward for it.”

“I have chocolate.” Bill held up a tray of chocolates.

“...That'll do.” The stranger walked up to the triangle and, to Gideon's shock, stepped through it.

“What...how...?” Gideon got up and winced a bit.

“Gideon Gleeful, meet William Cipher!” Bill gestured to him. “He's my perfect and beautiful doppleganger!”

“No, I'm not, people just mix us up because we're both triangles.” Will looked annoyed, and then concern flashed across his face before he walked over and placed his hand on Gideon's waist. “What happened? Did Bill...?”

“N-No, it was a time machine. Did you say you're a triangle?” Gideon asked, confused. This close to him, he could see that Will's skin had a faint blueish tinge to it, like he was frozen.

“Honestly, I use this form most often because it gets us mixed up a LOT less.” Will rolled his eye and then his expression softened again. “Does it hurt?”

Gideon nodded, pursing his lips. “Bill said you could heal it...?”

“Of course I can heal it.” Will placed his hand on the wound and closed his eye, focusing. The wound was surrounded in a golden glow and then the pain was gone. “Better?” He opened his eye to look at him.

“Yeah.” Gideon nodded. “Thanks.”

“All better?” Bill came over to join them. “Great! Let's eat, drink and be merry! Will, I have a room prepared for you if you want to stay the night. Or I could share my room with you, if you—”

“The guest room is fine.” Will said sharply.

“Oh, babe, you shoot me down faster than a speeding bullet.” Bill placed his hands on his chest. “Ah, Ronnie! Ronnie, come over here and say hi!” He beckoned her over. “Tonight, we're just going to have fun! Put our pasts – or futures – behind us and just relax! All my beautiful, perfect friends in one place!” He pulled her close as she approached them and then pulled them all into an uncomfortable group hug. “This is the best!”

“Have you already been drinking? Or are you high? What substances have you put in your poor host?” Will asked, moving his arm away and ducking away from another grab.

“Nothing he doesn't approve of. And I'm just a little excited, that's all!” Bill grinned at Will. “Y'see, Gideon here is from the future!”

“Is he?” Will looked at Gideon. “You did mention a time machine.”

“So is Ronnie, actually.” Bill looked at her. “And it's been forever since I got you two in one place and, since Gideon needed a fix-up, I decided to have this party and invite you over! You know, since you have full access to your powers and I don't.”

“You say that like it's somehow my fault you're a murderous criminal.” Will said flatly.

“Ah-ah-ah! No, nope, we're not talking about past or future transgressions! Peace, Will! Peace!” Bill stepped away and offered him the tray of chocolate. “Come ooooon, have the chocolate and give me a smile!”

“Fine.” Will sighed and smiled a bit, walking over to take some chocolate off the tray.

“I see he's never changed...” Gideon said, looking at Pyronica. He noticed she was in the appearance of a pinkish-skinned human woman with a pink eyepatch and pink minidress. A red shawl was draped on her shoulders and she had red gloves and boots with high heels. Her short pink hair was pinned back by a barrette that had a nice row of orange and red fire, a red heart, and a golden triangle.

“He put a triangle on you?” Gideon asked.

“You've got one too.” Pyronica pointed out.

“What? Where?” Gideon looked at himself.

“Your hair-tie. It's pretty noticeable.” Pyronica shrugged. “So, we have to play nice. Like we haven't been trying to kill each other for almost nine years.”

“I don't know about you, but I don't want to risk ruining his party.” Gideon walked over to get some food, noticing that Bill was playfully trying to put some chocolate in Will's mouth with his own fingers. They certainly seemed to have history.

“Come on, babe, just once?” Bill pleaded.

“You are insufferable.” Will rolled his eye but parted his lips. Bill popped in a chocolate and grinned.

“Maybe, next time, I'll use my tongue.” Bill licked his lips.

That's not happening.” Will said, shaking his head.

“Oh, Will, Gideon is a total package of too-perfect-to-be-human. He's got beauty, he's got brains, and his powers are just amaaaaazing. I've seen him using them and he's just so good! You have to watch him work! You'll totally get it!” Bill gestured dramatically to him when he noticed he'd joined them at the table.

“Why did you ever get on my annoying acquaintance's radar?” Will asked Gideon.

“Oh, just admit we're at least friends!” Bill threw his hands up in exasperation.

“That would require me to have a heart to have friends with, and my heart is frozen, remember?” Will asked coldly.

“...Damn, you are never going to let that go, are you?” Bill shook his head.

“Oh, not for the next few millennium.” Will replied, moving to grab a plate.

“Salty bitch.” Bill laughed.

“Are you using future lingo again?” Will rolled his eye.

“Yes! The year Gideon's from is full of crazy lingo! I gotta teach you some of it!” Bill said excitedly.

“I'm perfectly fine with the lingo I have learned on my own from the 18th century.” Will replied.

“Man, that stuff is old.” Bill made a face and went to grab his own plate. “Heeey, don't just eat sweets, William!”

“Who are you to tell me what to and not to eat? My mother?” Will raised an eyebrow at him. “I came here because you promised chocolate, so I am having chocolate.”

“Okay, okay.” Bill held his hands up in surrender.

Gideon sighed and focused on his own food. He wished he could go to the Pines' and share their dinner. It might be less stressful to him than eating with the demons, even if one of them is apparently nicer than Bill.

Oh, right. “Hey, uh, Bill?” He turned to him.

“Yeah?” Bill looked over at him.

“Is it okay if I eat breakfast with Stanford and Stanley tomorrow?” Gideon asked. “They wanted to take me to that waffle place next to the pawn shop.”

“Mm...okay.” Bill shrugged. “But be back for dinner, okay?” He hooked his wrists around Will's neck. “Hey, pay attention to me.”

“I came for food, not for you.” Will replied.

“You know, this is why people say you're cold. And why I even made that joke. And it was a joke, Cosmos!” Bill huffed. “Not to mention, it was a joke I made millions of years ago!”

“Millions of years is a blink of an eye for us.” Will said calmly.

“Easy for you to say, you're not trapped in a decaying dimension!” Bill snapped, his eyes turning red.

“And whose fault is that?” Will turned to him with a narrowed eye, which also had tints of red.

“Hey, uh, let's change the subject.” Gideon said, stepping forward. “We're not talking about past or future transgressions, right?”

Bill blinked and looked at him. Gideon breathed a sigh of relief as the red faded away to yellow. “You're absolutely right.” Bill smiled and walked over to rub Gideon's head. “Sorry about that, it must've been scary. I'll try to avoid it happening again, okay?”

“Sorry.” Will said, looking over at him. “My mistake.”

“So, let's change the subject! What'd you do today?” Bill grinned, wrapping his arm around Gideon's shoulders.

“Well, I met up with Stanley and Stanford outside their school and they told me that my bag that I thought I'd lost finally came through, so they took me to go pick that up from their place. I met their parents, brother, sister-in-law and nephew and Stanford showed me a project he's working on.” Gideon said as he continued filling his plate.

“Ah, bags always go missing or show up late during transit. Time travel is no different, clearly!” Bill laughed.

“It seems so, I'll have to keep a firm grip on my bag next time I try it.” Gideon nodded. “How are the repairs coming along, by the way?”

“Well, I've got a guy working on it, but he's not optimistic. I mean, that thing's been beat to heck and put back together even before your trip, it looks like.” Bill shrugged. “I'll keep you posted, though.”

Gideon nodded.

--

They spent the next half-hour talking and eating, and then Bill signaled to a butler, who turned on some music for them. “Dance with me, Gideon.” He took Gideon's plate and set it to the side.

“Oh, I...I can't dance. I-I mean, I can dance, but I can't dance without...not without...” Gideon's eyes widened with fear at the thought. “He...you...in the future...I have to go, I...” He stepped back a bit.

Bill frowned and took Gideon's hand in his, the other hand moving to cup Gideon's cheek. “Hey. Look at me. Look at me. Whatever he did to you, that's Future Bill. This is me, right now and decades before, with you. Don't think about him. Think about me. Look at me.” He led him away from the table, swaying with him a bit. “Hear me. See me.” He moved his hand down to Gideon's waist, leading him into a waltz. “Touch me.” He held him close, moving a hand up to stroke his hair. “Feel me.” He moved his hand back down to Gideon's waist to lead him in the dance some more. “Don't think about the future. Don't think about your past. Think about the here and now, the present. Because that's all that matters tonight.” He twirled Gideon away before pulling him back to him, wrapping his arms around him and holding him close. “That's all that matters to me. Don't let what he did to you taint this peace we have.”

“Bill...” Gideon's voice shook a bit.

“Shh.” Bill gently stroked his hair and then his cheek. “Just for now, forget what happened to you. Let me reinvent you. He hurt you, broke you, made you cry. I intend to heal you, mend you, and let you fly.” He gently kissed his head. “If you'll let me, I can be your greatest friend. Just stay.” He murmured, swaying with him again. “Don't think about the future. Don't think about your past. Focus on me, and me alone.”

Gideon's eyes grew half-lidded as he listened to him speak, feeling a warmth embrace his mind and chase away his fear, chase away the nightmares. Bill twirled him away and then back to him before swaying with him again, his golden-yellow eye looking strangely comforting now.

He was right. This was Bill in the past, he had never done anything to hurt Gideon. Sure he'd locked him in his room, but that was for his own good. He'd helped him keep the Pines safe. He was kinder, gentler. Gideon fell into his embrace when he was pulled towards him again and he clutched at his tailcoat slightly. He couldn't hear the laughter anymore. He'd danced, and he didn't hear the laughter. Bill had helped him, as he'd said he would.

“Okay.” He said softly, nodding. “I'll...stay a little longer.”

Bill smiled and stroked his hair fondly, closing his eye. “Good lad. Stay as long as you like.”

Will looked exasperated while Pyronica looked pleased at this development.

Chapter Text

What are you intending with the boy?” Will asked Bill, following him out of the party room. Gideon had been talked into dancing with Pyronica and a butler was keep an eye on things. “He has to go home, Bill.”

No, he doesn't.” Bill turned to him. “His future is miserable. He's plagued by nightmares, a broken home and an unrequited love. Here he's happy. And he's of use to me, besides.”

“And there's the real reason for being so nice to him. You never do anything nice without an ulterior motive.” Will crossed his arms over his chest.

“If that was my only reason, I wouldn't bother with seduction. I could just threaten him into doing as I say.” Bill looked over at the closed doors. “But, my future self left him a damaged man in need of healing, and not physical healing. This is healing only I can do.”

Will sighed. “Because you're replacing your future self in his mind. Bill, that's not fair to him.”

“Say what you want, he's not going home.” Bill shook his head firmly, turning away. “I'm not going to lose my prize.” He then sighed and scratched the back of his head before turning to him again. “Will, he was so desperate to please his friends that he went through time after demons to fight a battle he couldn't possibly win. And backup isn't due to come for a week or two! He's not in any state to leave alone, so I'm keeping him. That Time Cop friend of his will have to pry him out of my host's cold, dead hands .”

Will sighed. “Why do I even bother...”

“Because you care.” Bill grinned. “And it's sweet, but he's in good hands, Will. Trust me, if you saw his future, you'd be doing this, too.”

“Well, then you'll have to get used to having me around.” Will sighed.

“Why?” Bill asked.

“Because you know absolutely nothing about how a human's heart works .” Will raised an eyebrow. “And I doubt Pyronica will be much help.”

“Awesome, I get two perfect beauties for the price of one !” Bill grinned.

“You're insufferable.” Will shook his head and walked back to the party room.

“You know you love me!” Bill called after him. Will held up his hand and dropped every finger but the middle one. Bill laughed heartily at that and then walked on to his intended destination.



“Where'd Bill go?” Gideon asked as Will rejoined them.

“He went off to be an insufferable pest elsewhere.” Will shrugged. “Cake?”

“Cake's good.” Gideon nodded and followed him to the table.

“So...how did you two meet?” Gideon asked as Will served them both cake. Pyronica had started dancing by herself wildly to the song playing.

“Oh, we each got mistaken for each other by others and one day crossed paths and Bill declared 'Wait, you're my doppleganger'! It was very rude. Of course, the fact we shared a last name didn't help the mix-up, I suppose. And our names are dreadfully similar.” Will handed him his plate. “So...what did Bill's future self do to you? How did you even get involved with him?”

“I was young, foolish, ambitious , ten years old, and decided to summon a demon to get what I wanted. I made a Deal, then went back on it to help a friend Bill was going to hurt, and Bill forced me to dance non-stop in a cage for his amusement. That's the abridged version.”

“That explains why dancing gives you nightmares.” Will said thoughtfully. “I'm sorry that happened to you. He can be...cruel, at times.”

“But, he's nice right now.” Gideon looked at the doors he'd left through. “I mean, he's been kind of scary, but he hasn't hurt me. Not like the one back home did...”

“Do you want to go home?” Will asked suddenly.

“Well, of course.” Gideon nodded.

“Why?” Will questioned.

“Because...I have friends back there?” Gideon shrugged.

“But, you have friends here.” Will reminded him.

“Yeah, but they're not the same friends.” Gideon shook his head. “I don't know if--”

“Bill told me that you have been hurt in your past, and not just by his future self.” Will spoke up. “Who hurt you?”

“My...” Gideon faltered. “...My friends.”

“Have your new friends hurt you?” Will asked.

“No.” Gideon shook his head.

“Has Bill?” Will pressed.

“No, not in this time.” Gideon shook his head.

“What else do you have to go back to? Family?” Will moved on.

“No, my...my family is...falling apart. My father doesn't remember me half the time and exploits me when he does. My mother ran away with a farmer and has always hated me.” Gideon looked down. “I-I have a cousin, but she has her own problems...and her parents hate me...”

“Is she worth going back and enduring your father for?” Will asked.

Gideon looked at the cake on his plate. “I...want to say 'yes', but...”

“But?” Will led him to a table and sat down, Gideon taking another seat.

“But, sometimes I feel like she's still mad at me for somethin' I did in the past, and...and it's soured our relationship.” Gideon glanced away.

“If you were offered a fresh start, with a new identity and everything, would you take it?” Will asked him.

“I...don't know.” Gideon admitted.

“It's alright. You don't have to answer right now.” Will placed his hand on Gideon's. “Bill has told me that he intends to fight any Time Cop that comes to bring you home. If you choose to stay , no one has to get hurt. But, you have time to think about it.”

Gideon nodded. “Thank you. I...I will.” He smiled a bit. “He...really does care, doesn't he?”

“He seems very fond of you.” Will nodded.

“And, if I stayed...I could see Stanford and Stanley. That is, until...m-maybe I could help Stanley when...” He gripped his fork tightly.

“Is something going to happen to them?” Will asked with concern.

Gideon nodded. “Y-Yeah. If the timeline goes as it has...”

“Is it bad?” Will frowned.

“Yeah.” Gideon nodded again.

“You have the chance to change it, then. Would you take it?” Will asked.

“Uh, probably not? I might erase my future.” Gideon shook his head.

“Futures don't get erased. They get shifted. You would disappear from it at the time you went through time, but it would become an Alternate Future, and a new future, possibly better, would form as the Main Future. That future would continue on without you, but it would be no different than if you died.” Will explained calmly. “No one else from your current future would be affected by your decision, but you could save the ones you've come to know here from what happened to the other ones.”

“...The science fair would take place three weeks after I left if I did...” Gideon whispered. “If I stayed...I could keep Stanley off the streets. I could help them mend their relationship. Maybe I could even watch the gym for the saboteur!”

That's the spirit.” Will smiled. “ Don't rush into a decision, though. You have time .” He moved his hand back to his own fork and took a bite of his cake.

Gideon nodded, taking a bite of his own cake quietly as he contemplated what they'd discussed.



After the party, Bill took Gideon back to his room to rest. After waiting for Gideon to change into a nightshirt and pants, he tucked him into bed and kissed his cheek before turning off the light and leaving the room. “Sleep well, Gid.” He smiled and closed the door, locking it.

He almost jumped out of his host body when he turned around to find Will standing right behind him. “Frvprv, zkdw wkh IXFN, Zloo?!”

Will chuckled. “Oh, are we not using English now?”

“I was just startled.” Bill groaned and walked with him down the hall. “So?”

“I've gotten him to be interested in staying. I started with his fragile friendships and broken home, comparing them to what he has here, and then brought it to your caring for him and being willing to fight for him and he carried it on to Stanford and Stanley, who apparently have something in their future that he wants to stop from happening.” Will replied calmly. “I think his mind is pretty much made up. But, don't push him, wait until the Time Cop shows up and see what he chooses on his own.”

“See, I would've never thought about that. Pushing is my thing.” Bill shrugged.

“That's why you are the Master of the Mind, and I am the Master of the Heart.” Will rolled his eye.

“Is that our official titles?” Bill grinned.

“It is now. Show me to my room, I would like to retire for the night.” Will sighed. “It was...an enjoyable party, I must admit.”

Bill grinned and then cupped Will's cheek, licking the corner of his lips before drawing away. “You had chocolate there.” He said, walking on ahead of him.

Will sighed. “Aaaaand you continue to be insufferable .”

“You know you love me~.” Bill cackled.

Chapter Text

“One thing I didn't even think about was the fact that Will is a fan of The Beatles. Now I'm going to have to hear them every day. Ah, the price I pay for having him living with me.” Bill said as he handed Gideon a wad of cash, the said demon singing along with “All My Loving” in the background while Pyronica harmonized. “Here, for breakfast. Also, get yourself a coat.”

“I have one, it's in my bag.” Gideon told him.

“Yeah, no, that's not the fashion of this era. Get a period-proper coat.” Bill shook his head.

“Fine.” Gideon sighed and went to open the door, seeing the twins already waiting on the other end of the gate. “I'll be back for dinner.”

“Have fun, but not too much fun.” Bill kissed his temple and waved him off, watching as he went down the walk and got in the car. “Look at that.” He smiled at Will. “He's walking like he's had a ten-ton weight lifted off of him. All his fears about erasing the future by doing something different were unfounded, and he can actually make a difference here without hurting the people he cares about back home.”

“The heart is a gentle creature, you must treat it kindly and listen to what it needs.” Will said, nodding. “On that note,” he turned on “If I Fell” and started to sing along.

Bill leaned against the open door to watch him sing, then looked out at the car driving away. His future self had hurt Gideon so badly, he cried in the middle of the night with tears from nightmares that Bill had dashed away with a kiss to his temple. What was his future self even thinking?



“You seem in a better mood from yesterday.” Stanford observed.

“Bill had a friend over and we had a little party. It was actually very enjoyable.” Gideon nodded. “He also helped me work through some trauma from his future self.”

“The friend did?” Stanley asked.

“No, Bill did.” Gideon shook his head. “His friend just talked with me and helped me figure some things out.”

“Like?” Stanford asked.

“Well, turns out that my worries about erasing my future were unfounded. Futures don't get erased, they just shift. I would no longer be a part of it, like if I died, but it wouldn't be harmed at all.”

“So...if that happened...would you still be weighed down by the future?” Stanford asked. “What if you already can't go home?”

“Well, then I screwed up in the first place by meeting you guys, I guess. I like to think that I can still go home, though.” Gideon looked at the clear sky, thinking about his conversation with Will the night before. Did he really want to, though? Stanley, Stanford and Dipper had been the only ones to not regard him with hostility. Well, he supposed he couldn't fault Mabel for her hostility, after all he did to her. They might be happier if he stayed in the past and forged a new future.

If nothing else, if he and the henchmaniacs stayed in the past, they wouldn't have to deal with his emotional trauma-induced outbursts, or the henchmaniacs causing trouble anymore.

And he could save Stanford and Stanley from themselves. They were so happy right now, it hurt to think that they had gone forty years with an emotional rift between them.

The pros were outweighing the cons, really. Back home he had pain, heartbreak, a bad reputation, and a criminal background. Here, he could get a fresh start. Bill could easily get him an ID, forge him a new identity. All he had to do was help Bill with whatever he was aiming for. And with Will here, maybe he could get Bill to not kill people. He seemed very fond of both of them.

“So, on the off-chance that you do end up staying...” Stanley spoke up. “Would you be interested in dating my brother?” He grinned.

“Oh my GOD, Stanley, please.” Stanford groaned, covering his red face with his hands.

“Stanford Pines, don't even try to deny it. You dream about him!” Stanley light shoved him with a laugh.

“No, no I don't. He's crazy. I don't know this crazy man.” Stanford blustered, blushing. “Who is this? I'm just sitting next to him in his car.”

“Oh, I'm crazy, am I?” Stanley laughed. “What are you doing in my car, then?”

“I don't know, you kidnapped me or something. I don't know you.” Stanford said, grinning.

Gideon chuckled. Yes. He would sacrifice his past for their future. Nothing back home was worth letting these two fall apart like the ones in his own time had. Seeing them arguing in the Fearamid after spending so long getting to know Ford and his regrets was painful to watch. He wouldn't let that happen again.

“I dunno. Maybe. I still barely know you. I mean, you're old men in my time.” Gideon reminded him.

“Am I at least hot?” Stanley asked.

“You have both been referred to as 'silver foxes'. Which I guess means you are very attractive old men.” Gideon shrugged.

“No way, Ford too?” Stanley grinned and lightly punched him playfully. “We still got the looks at old age, Sixer! Looking forward to making those ladies swoon when I'm in my 60s!”

“Oh, Stanley...” Stanford chuckled.

“But, you didn't answer the question.” Stanley looked at Gideon.

“Stanley, eyes on the road!” Stanford snapped. Stanley focused his attention on the road again.

“Yeesh, sorry.” Stanley cringed.

Try not to kill us with reckless driving, please.” Gideon said, shaking his head.

“We're almost there.” Stanley assured him. “So, why did you really mention the shop?”

“Huh?” Gideon blinked.

“You said it in a reminiscent way.” Stanley pointed out.

“Oh. Well...future you uses it as a soft-swear around kids.” Gideon grinned.

“That...sounds like something I'd do, yeah.” Stanley chuckled.

They parked and got out and the twins led Gideon inside to order some waffles. Gideon took a seat and looked out the window, considering the town. It wasn't too different from living in Gravity Falls. He could get used to it.

“Here we go.” Stan set down their orders. “Hot Belgian Waffles!”

Gideon smiled and picked up his fork. “Thanks. I was planning to buy my own, though.”

“Nope, our treat.” Stanley grinned.

“Well, what am I supposed to do with all this money Bill gave me?” Gideon asked.

“You can buy lunch!” Stanley suggested.

“Hey, where's Carla?” Gideon asked, realizing he hadn't seen her around.

“Oh...” Stanford winced.

Stanley sighed. “She, uh...she's grown interested in some hippie, Thistle Downe. We were dancing the other night and she got distracted by him playing guitar and now she won't return my calls.”

“Uh oh. That sounds suspiciously like an attraction spell.” Gideon frowned. “Show me this Thistle.”

“Will do!” Stanley grinned. “Probably a better idea than hijacking has van...”

“Stan!” Stanford cried out, aghast.

“I didn't actually do it yet!” Stanley insisted.

“Still...” Stanford shook his head, sighing.

“Anyways, after we finish breakfast, I'll take you to go see Thistle.” Stanley told Gideon.

“Sounds good. It might be good to let him know that I'm in town.” Gideon smiled a bit. “Assuming he doesn't already know , that is.”

“Please don't set him on fire.” Stanford said quietly.

“I won't.” Gideon assured him. “I just really don't like people that stoop to using attraction spells .”

“It could just be love at first sight.” Stanford commented.

“Trust me, if she's ignoring any phone calls from her friend suddenly, it's not just love at first sight.” Gideon assured him.

“Also, hey, is it possible to change someone's clothes magically?” Stanley asked. “Like, I could swear that her hot-pants changed into bell-bottoms right before my eyes...”

“And I told you that you hit your head when you collapsed from shock at being ditched.” Stanford sighed.

“It's possible.” Gideon replied. “Some simple summoning magic combined with illusion magic. Or perhaps materialization magic. It's not easy, though. Usually only high-level magical creatures can do it, like demons.”

“Please, don't encourage him.” Stanford sighed.

Gideon focused on his meal, letting them bicker over if he imagined it or not. “In the end, it doesn't really matter.” He commented. “The question is, did she start wearing bell-bottoms after the fact? Even if it just an illusion, it could still have happened the way he described it.”

“Why would someone use magic for something like that ?” Stanford asked.

Gideon sighed and moved his braid forward. “This hairband did not look like this before Bill used magic on it. Sometimes they just change things for shits and giggles.”

“It's a triangle.” Stanford said, looking at it curiously.

“Yes. It's a triangle.” Gideon moved his hair back and continued eating.

“What's the significance of that?” Stanford asked.

Gideon glanced at him. “The triangle is his...logo. His symbol. Sigil.”

“Insignia?” Stanley offered.

“Yes, that. His signature image.” Gideon nodded.

“Oh.” Stanford nodded. “I see.”

Gideon nodded. “Let's finish eating so we can go see if Thistle is really a wizard.”

“Oh yeah.” Stan dove into his food while Stanford ate at a more polite pace.



“Okay, here's Carla's place. If anyone knows where he is, it's her.” Stan said as they parked outside her home.

Gideon got out and walked up to the door, knocking three times. The door opened and Carla looked out with a smile, then it faltered. “Oh. You're, uh, not who I expected.”

“Is he coming here?” Gideon asked.

“Who?” She asked, looking a bit nervous.

“The one who put that pink glow in your eyes.” He placed his hand on her forehead and she let out a sigh as she suddenly collapsed.

“Carla!” Stan ran over to see if she was okay.

“She'll be fine.” Gideon assured him. “It's an attraction spell alright.”

“How do you know if it's a love spell and not an attraction spell?” Stanford asked him.

“She would have answered the door in her lingerie.” Gideon told him. Stanford and Stanley both grimaced at the thought of her doing that under control of a spell.

“So, what do we do now?” Stanley asked.

“Take her to your car, drive out of sight, and I'll wait here for her intended guest.” Gideon replied.

“Uhhhhh, okay, let's uh...” Stanford laughed nervously. “NOT do something potentially criminal-looking?”

“Oh, for the love of—take her to the hospital! She just passed out!” Gideon gestured to her.

“Oh!” The twins nodded and Stanley carried her to her car. Stanford hung back, though, and Stanley was already driving off before Gideon realized he wasn't with him.

“Anything I can do to help?” Stanford asked, walking over to join him back at the door.

“No sign of the usual Witch marks...” Gideon murmured. “Lots of mushrooms, though...”

“Is that...bad?” Stanford asked.

“Does she normally have mushrooms?” Gideon asked, looking at him.

“Uh, no. She hates mushrooms.” Stanford shook his head.

“So, why would there be mushrooms all over her yard ?” Gideon gestured to them. “Any theories, Stanford?”

Stanford looked thoughtful. “Uhm...it's supernatural, right?”

“Yes.” Gideon nodded.

“So...” Stanford started to pace a bit, running over the possibilities in his mind. “Mushrooms where there weren't before...”

“The only thing we're missing is a ring of them.” Gideon offered helpfully.

“Wait. Hold on.” Stanford turned to him. “You think Thistle Downe is one of the Fairfolk?”

“I honestly suspected as much just from the name, but his being a hippie also confused the theory.” Gideon admitted. “We won't know until he actually shows up, though. And he will.”

“How long do you think we have to wait?” Stanford asked.

“With how eagerly she opened the door, he'll probably be here very soon.” Gideon shrugged.

“So...do you want to talk while we wait?” Stanford asked.

“Sure.” Gideon nodded. “What about?”

“...How does the war end?” Stanford asked softly. “My...my brother might get drafted, or Stan or I might, so...”

“War...? Which...” Gideon frowned, thinking over what had happened around this time. “Oh. Vietnam.”

“Yeah.” Stanford nodded. “Do we...do we win?”

“We should've never gone over. It wasn't our fight.” Gideon said grimly. “Maybe things will be different for you, but for my time...we lost. Badly.”

“Oh.” Stanford's lip quivered. “I...”

“I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said anything.” Gideon walked over and wrapped his arms around him. “I hope things go better for your timeline. Mine is...pretty miserable.”

“So, why would you go back there?” Stanford asked. “I mean, you could have a better life here.”

“Yeah, that's what Bill and Will said.” Gideon nodded. “But...I think I'd miss Dipper.”

“Dipper? Is that D.P.?” Stanford asked.

Gideon nodded. “He's one of the few people I can count as a friend there.”

“What's the P stand for?” Stanford asked curiously.

Gideon chuckled softly. “His last name is--” He looked up suddenly and moved Stanford behind him. “Stay behind me.”

“Is he here?” Stanford asked, turning to see the van Stan had described to him before. “Oh.” He moved behind Gideon.

The van door opened and a blond-haired hippie stepped out, carrying a guitar. He looked surprised to see Gideon then and walked up to him. “Hey, man, what's going on here? Where's Carla?” Thistle asked, looking at the door still left ajar.

Kvy'k cj jvy voknujcr, kvy aorrcnkyz. ” Gideon replied. Stanford looked at him confused.

“Oh, geez, she okay?” Thistle asked.

“She'll be alright. U kyy eoi ipzylkjooz qy tikj pog. ” Gideon said calmly.

“Well, yeah, you—oh. Well, shit, that wasn't English , was it?” Thistle looked around.

“No, it wasn't.” Gideon shook his head slowly. “I want you to release the girl from the attraction spell.”

“Hey, why don't we talk in the van, huh?” Thistle gestured to it. “Somewhere private. For both our sakes.”

“Fine.” Gideon nodded.

“Is that safe ?” Stanford whispered as Gideon followed Thistle to the van.

Chapter Text

“Okay, let's just get right to business. You're not supposed to be here.” Thistle told Gideon.

“That's true, but I am here regardless. And you hurt my friend.” Gideon said calmly.

“What, the boyfriend?” Thistle asked.

“Yes. Stanley Pines, her boyfriend. And you hurt him, and you hurt her by using your magic on her, and so I'm going to force you to release her if you don't do it willingly.” Gideon narrowed his eyes, his eyes flashing dangerously as he slipped his knife from his pocket.

Thistle stepped back. “Whoa, okay. No need to whip out the iron, kid. I'll let the girl go. But, damn, none of the others around here have bothered!”

“None of the others are friends with the Pines.” Gideon said coolly. “Though, now that you mention them, could you introduce me?”

“Uh...not today. There's...there's a thing. I was going to take Carla to it, and it's pretty exclusive. Besides, uh, you kind of...well, you feel like you're been around demons. As in, plural.” Thistle said nervously.

“That's because I have.” Gideon nodded. “Are you afraid of them? Because I'm not.”

“Yeah? Which ones?” Thistle asked.

“Does the name 'Bill Cipher' ring a bell?” Gideon asked.

“Oh, fuck.” Thistle breathed. “Yeah, uh, they...they don't like him.”

“Really? Then you and they and anyone else better not mess with the Pines or anyone associated with them, or I will involve Cipher.” Gideon said with a cold smile.

“Okay, okay! We'll keep off them!” Thistle held his hands up in surrender. “You...You won't tell him about me, will you?”

“As long as you don't mess with Carla again.” Gideon opened the van door. “I'll be watching you, Thistle Downe. Aunvyl vck yeyk yhylegvyly.

Thistle nodded and waited for Gideon to leave the van before he did a few strums on his guitar. “There. She's free.” He then shut the van and drove off at almost-illegal speeds.

“Thank you for your cooperation.” Gideon said after the van.

“You're okay!” Stanford went over to Gideon. “You...are okay, right?”

“Mmhm.” Gideon smiled and looked over as the mushrooms disappeared. “He won't mess with your family or friends again.”

Stanford smiled brightly. “Stanley will be so happy to hear that. Oh, uh, but he left us without a ride...I guess we could walk?”

A car honked and Gideon looked over to see a gaudy gold and black Ford Mustang. “A Ford? Seriously?” Gideon breathed, shaking his head.

Bill lowered the window, wearing the sunglasses again. “Wow, he sure sped out of here in a hurry! What'd you do, set his ass on fire?” He laughed and smacked his steering wheel before getting out of the car and walking over.

“Is that...him?” Stanford asked.

“What are you doing out here?” Gideon asked.

“Well, someone invoked my name.” Bill walked over and poked Gideon's nose. “My ears were burning.”

Gideon shrugged. “He said I felt like I'd been around demons.”

“Yeah, alright. Close the girl's door, geez. Bugs!” Bill walked over and shut the door, snapping his fingers so her keys appeared in his hand. Then he locked the door and walked over to hand them to Stanford. “Get these back to her. I'll take you to the hospital, and then I got plans with Gideon.”

Stanford took the keys, looking at him with wide eyes. “What...what plans?”

“For starters, I'm buying this guy a coat from this time period.” Bill placed his hand on Gideon's shoulder. “Then we're gonna go to the beach.”

Stanford frowned. “Why?”

“What are you, his mother?” Bill raised an eyebrow. “If you're that worried, you can come along after dropping off the keys.” He walked over and opened the car door. “Come on, get in. Gideon, you take front.”

Stanford got in back behind Gideon as Gideon got in the front. Bill nodded and got into the driver's seat, adjusting his sunglasses before driving off down the street.

“Why are we going to the beach?” Gideon asked.

“Keyhole saw something suspicious at the cave.” Bill replied. “It's too early, so unless they came sooner than you thought they would...”

“It's time-travel, so they could've.” Gideon nodded. “He's been through time a lot more than I have, so he's probably got it down better.”

“Yeah, being an actual Time Cop would do that.” Bill said teasingly.

“Hey, his first time trip was actually highly illegal.” Gideon grinned. “He was a downright criminal, went through Globnar and everything.”

“Oh, Cosmos, not Globnar!” Bill laughed.

“What's Globnar?” Stanford asked, pulling out a notepad and pencil.

“Space gladiator arena. Any civil disputes are settled by having them go up against each other in a series of games, and if you win you get the option of executing the loser.” Bill grinned at him in the mirror. “I've done it once or twice.”

“You're a criminal?” Stanford asked him.

Bill and Gideon looked at each other before Bill laughed. Gideon looked back at Stanford and nodded. “He's one of the worst criminals of the Multiverse.” Gideon answered him, since Bill apparently wanted.

“And you live with him?” Stanford asked, horrified.

“Hey, I'm not hurting anyone right now. I'm focusing on some other stuff.” Bill shrugged. “Non-crime stuff.”

“Like what?” Gideon asked.

“Nothing you need to worry about, babe.” Bill draped his arm over Gideon's shoulder. “Don't worry, if it was anything for you to worry about, Will would've stopped me already. Guy's a huge party-pooper about crime. Hard to believe he's not a square.”

“Hey, uh, what do you feel about the war, as a...a non-human observer?” Stanford spoke up.

“The war?” Bill looked thoughtful. “It's just another example of human stupidity and greed. I mean, at least the Revolutionary War had some semblance of purpose. America has a bad track of getting into wars they have no business in. Actually, humanity as a whole does. Cosmos, it's no wonder Atlantis just said 'fuck you all'!”

“Wait, Atlantis did what?” Stanford asked eagerly. “What can you tell me about Atlantis?”

“Well, don't tell anyone.” Bill rolled up their windows. “Atlantis was the most advanced civilization known to this world. It was actually ruled by wizards and demons, and the wizards specialized in shapeshifting. The demons were the ones that built it, and they lived in harmony.”

“Did you live there?” Gideon asked him.

“Uh, no. It was too fucking round for me. If I lived there, I'd be the fuckin' King, it'd be a triangle, and it'd FLY, not go under the fucking water.” Bill sighed. “Anyways, they lived in prosperity and peace, until the rest of the world decided they wanted all that nice tech and knowledge and resources and attacked. While they could have beaten the attackers, they decided to avoid conflict altogether and surrounded the city in a dome barrier. Everyone was changed into a creature of the water and they disappeared under the deepest sands of the ocean, never to be seen again.”

He sighed. “Uuuuunless you're Will. He's been there a few times. Oh, and the Library of Alexandria? He fuckin' plundered it, thinking humans didn't deserve it, and set it on fire. The entire collection is in his tower in the Multiverse.”

Will did that?” Gideon breathed.

“He's a petty asshole but I love him.” Bill grinned.

“Who's Will?” Stanford asked.

“Will Cipher, my absolutely-not-related doppleganger.” Bill replied. “He's living in the mansion with us, because he's taken a liking to Gideon.”

“I don't know what it is about me that attracts demons.” Gideon shook his head.

“You've just got that kind of aura.” Bill shrugged and then parked at the hospital. “Alright, Fordsy, mind if I call you Fordsy? Go find your brother and his girl and tell them everything's okay now.”

“You'll wait, right?” Stanford asked.

“We'll find you after we go shopping.” Bill grinned at him. “I have eyes everywhere.”

“Uh...okay.” Stanford got out of the car. “See you around, Gideon.”

Gideon waved as he watched him go in, then looked at Bill. “What is with this insistence on me getting a coat?”

“Well, gee, you first came to me soaking wet. And your only coat is the kind of thing that gets people to have time-travel theories about old pictures. You're gonna be in a crowd and someone will take your picture and they'll be like 'Whoa, that coat didn't come out until just this year! What the fuck'! You know?” Bill started the car and drove away from the hospital, chuckling.

“Alright, you've made your point.” Gideon sighed, shaking his head with a smile.

“Good, because I could've gone on for another ten minutes but I don't really want to.” Bill cackled.



“How about this one?” Bill asked, holding up another coat.

“What is it with you and gold?” Gideon shook his head and picked out a blue and black one instead.

“What is it with you and Will and blue?” Bill hung up the gold and black coat again.

“It's a nice, comfortable and non-flashy color.” Gideon said, trying on the coat. “So, where is Will right now?”

“Last I saw, he was napping on his bed with a book on his face.” Bill chuckled.

“He didn't want to check out the beach?” Gideon asked, taking off the coat. “This one's good.” He handed it over.

Bill took it and went to pay for it. “I didn't want to risk his groggy wrath.”

“Cyrus Wilheim, are you afraid of him?” Gideon asked with a grin as he joined him.

“No, I'm not afraid.” Bill frowned. “Just...don't want to disturb his beauty sleep. Even though he doesn't need it.”

“Oh, Cosmos, I have finally found something Bill Cipher is afraid of!” Gideon laughed.

“Hush, you.” Bill swatted his shoulder before looking forward again.

Gideon chuckled. “Oh, this is great.”

“Stop it.” Bill shook his head. “I am not afraid of him.” He reached the front and paid for the coat before shoving it into Gideon's arms and leading him out to the car. “You're a brat, you know that?”

“What was it you keep saying? 'You know you love me'?” Gideon grinned at him.

“Stop being so damn cute.” Bill laughed and opened the car door for him.

“I'm pretty sure that's impossible. Trust me, I've tried.” Gideon said, getting in. Bill shut the door and went to the driver's side.

“Why would you try to stop being cute?” Bill asked as he got in and shut the door.

Gideon's expression grew clouded with pain and he looked away. “...Because if I wasn't so cute, maybe people would see...me.”

Bill frowned and reached out to take Gideon's hand. “I see you. Do you see me?”

Gideon looked at him, blinking in confusion at the question, before he realized he was asking if he still looked at him and saw his future self. Smiling a bit, he nodded and squeezed his hand. “Let's head to the beach.”

“I bet the twins are already there.” Bill said, pulling his hand back so he could start the car and drive away.

 

Chapter Text

Stanford bobbed on his feet anxiously, looking for Bill's car. “Where are they?”

“Obviously, their shopping took a while.” Stanley shrugged. “Should we go to the cave ahead of them?”

“Oh, there they are!” Stanford waved to the gold and black Ford Mustang pulling up. Stanley got up and waved as the car parked. “You got here after us!” Stanford said, going over to the opening doors.

“Gideon couldn't decide on a coat.” Bill shrugged. “Let's go check out the cave, then.”

They all headed over where the henchmaniacs were all waiting. “So, what have we got?” Bill asked, looking in.

“Looks like some kind of box.” Pyronica replied. “But it takes a DNA scan to open. Probably Gideon's.”

“Okay, then.” Gideon handed Bill the coat and walked over to kneel in front of the rather large box. He found the hand-print scanner and placed his hand against it. A retinal scanner popped out so he used that, and then another thing came out with a needle and tray.

“What's that?” Stanley asked.

“What on earth is in this box?” Gideon muttered, picking up the needle and poking his finger with it. Then he placed his bleeding finger on the tray, which scanned the blood before everything vanished. Gideon stuck his finger in his mouth as the box unlocked and then started to open on its own, in a very jigsaw-puzzle way.

“Whoooooooaaaaaaa.” Stanford breathed, watching it with awe.

“I probably wasn't supposed to have an audience for this.” Gideon said thoughtfully as the box finished opening up to reveal... "Dipper?”

He sounded concerned, and moved towards the unconscious young brunet that was curled up in the box. He gently wrapped his arms around him and tilted his face up before checking him over. “You're hurt. Who hurt you? It looks like you barely got inside. What happened back there?”

“He's bleeding. Pretty badly, too.” Stanley said, looking at Stanford. Stanford had already gotten out his first-aid kit from his bag.

Dipper was suddenly pulled from Gideon's arms by white gloved hands and Bill let out an undignified sound of surprise as he realized Will was in the cave with them. Gideon got up and looked at Will. “Can you...help him?”

“I can. I need time, though.” Will said, placing his gloved hand one of the wounds. It glowed a gentle golden color, and then he vanished, taking Dipper with him.

“...WHO was that and where did he take the guy?!” Stanley asked, looking at Bill.

“He's probably at the mansion.” Bill shrugged. “So, theories?”

“We didn't bring everyone. The others probably attacked.” Pyronica shrugged.

“So, what happened to Mabel and the others?” Gideon looked at her.

“I'm sure they're fine.” Pyronica assured him. “He's probably only hurt because he was hanging back to send himself through time.”

Stanford examined the box. “Can we...go see him?”

“Sure, why not?” Bill shrugged. “Party at my place!”



They found Will had rearranged the living room and laid Dipper down on a table. His gloves were off and Dipper had been stripped down to his underwear. He was covered in all sorts of strange markings, as well as horrific wounds. Gideon walked over to look at him anxiously as he moved his hands over Dipper's body. “What...what happened to him?”

“Well, he has multiple broken and fractured bones, he's been clawed from head to toe, and he has five curses on him, which usually takes going to the person that cursed them to remove but I can remove them without us having to do that.” Will said calmly as he continued to wave his glowing hands around Dipper's unconscious form. “He's going to need to be in recovery for a few days, even with my healing, so prepare him a room or share yours. You might have to delve into his mind to find out what happened, because I cannot discern that from here. He's withdrawn too much, shut too many doors.”

“When did you follow us to the cave?” Bill asked.

“As soon as I heard you mention it, actually. I'd been there waiting since you left the mansion.” Will replied. “I would ask for you to give me a quiet place to work.”

“Which is code for: Get the fuck out of this room.” Bill said, pulling Gideon out of the living room and shutting the door. “Well! That was fun!”

“Is he going to be okay?” Stanford asked.

“With Will on him, definitely. But, let's not bother him. Come on, you like books? I got a library. Tough guy, what do you like?” Bill led them down the hall.

“Mind if I take a look at your car?” Stanley asked.

“Sure.” Bill smiled.

Gideon looked over at the living room. “I feel I should be in there with him...”

“And I'm pretty sure Will didn't make you an exception when he told us to get out.” Bill replied, shaking his head.

“I'm going to try anyway.” Gideon said, walking over to the door and opening it. He was blown back by a cold gust of wind into the opposite wall and the doors slammed shut before being encased in ice. “...That's a 'no', then.”

“Will Cipher, the Ice Queen.” Bill shook his head and walked over to help Gideon up.

“I see why you're afraid of him.” Gideon said, his body trembling.

“I'm not afraid of him. I just...respect his power.” Bill said, shaking his head. “Plus, HE is physically here, and I'M borrowing a human host body.”

“Wow...” Stanford breathed, looking at the ice-covered doors. “That's...wow.”

“Come on, let's leave him to his work.” Bill ushered them away.

Gideon nodded, looking at the doors with his brow furrowed in worry as he left with Bill and the others.



“How long do you think he'll be in there?” Gideon asked as he picked out a book. Bill had had his butler take Stanley to go see his cars in the garage and was spending time with Gideon and Stanford in the library.

“Not sure. From what he said, that kid was pretty beat up.” Bill shrugged.

“'That kid' is almost 21.” Gideon frowned.

“Still a kid to me AND Cyrus.” Bill replied.

“Then why do you flirt with people my age?” Gideon rolled his eyes.

Stanford checked his watch. “It's getting late...”

“Oh, it is.” Bill nodded. “Want to call your parents and tell them you're having dinner at a big mansion?”

“What...is that how you invite someone to dinner?” Gideon looked at him.

“I'll have to ask if it's okay.” Stanford set the book he was reading down. “Can you show me to the phone?”

Bill closed his book and motioned for Stanford to follow as he walked off. Gideon watched them go and then sighed before getting up and following him.

He couldn't help it, some part of him still didn't trust Bill Cipher being alone with Stanford Pines. Not after the history he'd heard from the older Stanford Pines.

Stanford was led to the phone and he picked it up to call home. Bill stepped back to give him space and walked over to Gideon. “I'm going to need your help again tonight. Alright?”

Gideon nodded. “Alright.”

“Good.” Bill smiled and reached up to stroke his cheek. “Do you like it here, Gideon?”

Gideon nodded. “You treat me well. And I have friends.”

“Good.” Bill grinned.

“Why didn't you tell me you had a cat?” Stanley asked, walking up to them carrying a Siamese cat.

“Oh, hey Cryptic!” Bill grinned. “Where have you been? Will's room?”

“I didn't know you had a cat.” Gideon said, as Bill took the cat from Stanley.

“Oh yeah, Cryptic's my baby.” Bill stroked her fur. “She's not a normal cat, either.” He turned Cryptic to him. “Are you, baby?”

Gideon gasped as the cat blinked at him and then a third eye opened on her forehead, every eye now glowing. “She's uh...a demon cat?”

“She's a demon cat.” Bill grinned. “I picked her up in Egypt eons ago and we've been close ever since.” He nuzzled her. “She always finds me in my hosts. Always.”

Then where was she in HIS time, Gideon had to wonder. He didn't see any mention of a three-eyed cat in any of Ford's books. Was that because Bill didn't let him write about her? If only he could ask the future Bill, but that wasn't happening.

“She's...” Gideon started, but Stanford cut in.

“She's beautiful!” Stanford walked over after hanging up the phone. “We can stay for dinner, but we can't stay the night. May I?” He held out his hands.

Bill smiled and handed the cat over. “Here you go, kid. Be gentle with her.”

“I love her...” Stanford whispered in awe as her three eyes blinked at him. He moved his hand to pet her and she seemed to stare at his fingers for a bit before nuzzling his hand and letting him pet her.

“Well, since you're staying for dinner, I'll inform the cook! And I'll go check on Will.” Bill turned to go.

“I'm going with you.” Gideon said, nodding firmly.

“Let's all go.” Bill shrugged and led the way back to the living room.

Chapter Text

The door was still encased in ice when they arrived. Bill walked over and knocked on the ice before clearing his throat. “Hey, Will? Are you eating dinner?”

“No.” They heard Will say from inside. “I'm busy. Save me something.”

“Alright. Keep up the good work.” Bill said, then turned to them. “So he says. Let's leave him alone.”

Gideon walked closer to the door. “How long do you think it'll be?” He asked.

“Should be done by the end of the night.” Will replied. “Make sure to prepare him a room and clean clothes.”

“Right.” Gideon nodded. “Thank you for helping him.”

“It would be heartless to do otherwise. Please stop distracting me.”

Gideon stepped back. “Sorry.” He turned to Bill. “So...dinner?”

“Dinner.” Bill nodded, ushering them along.



Will glanced at the door as he heard their steps leave the hallway and then he looked down at the unconscious man on the table. “What do you get up to in your time? Did you face an army on your own? So many curses...so many wounds...”

“M-Mabel...run...”

Will pursed his lips. “I hope whoever that is, they're safe. What did you even come back here for? To find Gideon? To escape?” He placed his hand on the man's forehead. “I can't reach your mind...something's blocking me out...” He gasped, moving his hand to the man's temple. “This is...where did you learn about this?” He murmured.

Tattooed on the man's temple was a spell intended to block out any demonic access to his mind. Will hadn't seen this spell in eons, and it was on both sides of the head. No wonder he couldn't get through! He'd have to see if Gideon could push through better, not being a demon and all.

He moved his hand down the man's face and to his chest, focusing on bending the damaged bones. The surface wounds were easy. It was the ones beneath the skin that would take a while. Gideon was really concerned about this man, Will considered. They must be close.

Close enough that he could sway Gideon into going back to where he was hurt. Maybe he could convince this man that Gideon was better off here. If he was truly his friend, he'd focus on his happiness.

For now, Will had to make sure he recovered from this. He started on the curses next, noticing that one of them was damaging the bones over time. Nasty.



“Giiideon.” Bill poked his cheek. “You're really distracted.”

“Sorry.” Gideon sighed and shifted in his position on the couch in the library.

“Is it about your friend?” Stanford asked, looking up from his book.

“He'll be fine!” Bill assured him. “Will Cipher is the best healer in the Multiverse!”

“What's the Multiverse?” Stanford asked eagerly.

“The Multiverse is every world, every universe and every dimension. Alternate universes, parallel dimensions, it's all there.” Bill grinned. “Oh, it's beautiful, kid.”

Gideon frowned a bit. “Can I ask a question?”

“Shoot.” Bill grinned, making a shooting motion with his thumb and finger at him.

“I'm pretty sure that my future is likely to become an Alternate Future...is there a way that one could get back to that one?” Gideon asked.

“Hmm...you'd have to ask Will about that one. As in, HE'D have to be the one to do it. I'm pretty limited in what I can do.” Bill admitted.

Gideon nodded, looking down. “Dipper might...might want to go home.”

“But not you?” Bill asked.

“I don't know.” Gideon admitted. “I...I like it here. But, I'd miss Dipper.”

“You could probably contact them.” Bill offered.

“How?” Stanford asked.

“There's ways.” Bill smiled a bit. “For example, I contacted Will in another dimension.”

“How did you do that?” Stanford asked, already writing in his notepad.

“Well, he told me how to contact him anywhere and anytime and I used it.” Bill grinned. “It's different for every demon, and there might be a way to use your scrying orb to contact someone in another dimension, Gideon!” Then his grin faltered and he looked thoughtful. “Though, time is a bit of a...tricky thing. I'll see what Will can figure out.”

“How would one contact you?” Stanford asked him.

“Draw a yellow triangle with one eye with a bowtie and tophat.” Bill grinned. “That's my calling card. Add a hooked cane for flair! Then I'll pop into your dreams and give you further instructions.”

Stanford looked back at his notepad to scribble something down.

“Of course, that's not really necessary until I don't have a host body.” Bill shrugged. “Cyrus is good for me right now. He's got quite a few more years left. For now, well, we live in the same town!” Bill laughed.

“By the way,” Stanford looked up from his writing. “What business do you have with my dad?”

“He has potential and he's wasting it.” Bill replied. “He could have a bigger business and a larger shop that isn't shared with his home, if he took the help I offer him.”

“Why are you offering it?” Gideon asked.

“Because I'm a big fan of helping people realize their potential.” Bill replied.

“What do you get from it, though?” Gideon frowned. “You always have a benefit.”

“I see a beneficial relationship with him, if he accepts. So far, he hasn't.” Bill smiled and rubbed Gideon's head. “It's not like I'm offering him a Deal. Don't worry, Gid.”

The butler came into the library. “Dinner is served. Young Stanley is already in the dining hall.”

“We'll be right there.” Bill nodded and looked over at Stanford, who was putting his notepad away. “Let's go eat.”



“So...there's a chance you can never go back home.” Stanford said, looking at Pyronica. The henchmaniacs had been invited to join them for the meal, now that Gideon was more comfortable than them. “Does that bother you at all?”

“We weren't planning to go back.” Pyronica shrugged.

“What were you planning to do with the stolen technology?” Gideon asked her.

“Oh, that's just to help us blend in and stuff. A machine to make fake IDs that actually pass as real, stuff like that. Did you not look at what we stole?” Pyronica grinned at him. “Oh, but we also stole a torture device we haven't had to use yet.”

“That you're not going to use.” Gideon said, raising an eyebrow.

“Eh, I might use it sometime. What's it do?” Bill asked.

“It--”

Pyronica was cut off by Gideon speaking over her. “Do you really think Will would approve of you torturing people with future tech?”

Bill shrugged. “What Will doesn't know...”

“Oh, Cosmos...” Gideon groaned.

“How can you feel comfortable living with him?” Kryptos asked nervously. “I mean, doesn't he cover the whole room in ice when he's upset?”

“I can endure a little ice to be near his perfection.” Bill sighed dreamily, placing his hand on his cheek.

“There he goes again.” Keyhole rolled his eyes.

“You really like him, huh?” Stanley looked up from his food at Bill.

“Oh yeah. He's my babe.” Bill grinned. “Even if he tries to act like he doesn't like me, I know he loves me.”

But if he was swooning over him so much now, decades ago, why wasn't he swooning in the future? Why didn't he invite Will over for Weirdmageddon? What had happened to Will Cipher in Gideon's future? He couldn't help but wonder this as he listened to them talk. Bill had been considerably more unhinged in the future, manic, and occasionally depressive when he thought no one was looking.

It was too bad he couldn't ask any—oh. Wait. He could. The henchmaniacs were from his future. They might have the answers to his questions about the cat and Will Cipher.

He'd have to talk to them outside of Bill's view, though. Which seemed downright impossible. Maybe he could communicate in writing.

The dining room door opened and they all looked over to see Will walking in, carrying Dipper wrapped in a blanket. “He needs a room.”

Bill got up. “I'll show you the way.” He walked out of the dining room with him again, closing the door behind them. “I'll be back, everyone, just keep eating!”

Gideon watched him go, then looked at Pyronica. “...Where was he during Weirdmageddon?” He asked quietly.

Pyronica pursed her lips and leaned in to whisper to him. “Around the time that Bill was involved with Stanford, Will was getting involved with another Stanford...who enslaved him. He's still in chains.”

Gideon's eyes widened. “What...? What about...the cat?”

“Cryptic?” She looked over at Cryptic, who had taken Bill's seat and was nibbling at his plate. “Guess she hadn't found him yet before, y'know, it ended.” She straightened up and continued eating. “Cryptic's immortal, so I doubt anything happened to her.”

Gideon nodded. “Maybe...I can save Will, too.” He whispered. “I can save them all.”

“Are you getting a hero complex again? You know how dangerous those are.” Pacifier remarked.

“Who's doing what?” Stanley looked up from his food.

“Save who?” Stanford asked Gideon.

Gideon smiled. “Anyone I can.”

 

Chapter Text

Dipper still hadn't woken up. Stanford and Stanley had already gone home, and it was almost midnight. Gideon sighed and curled up with his head on Dipper's bed.

The older man had been dressed in blue pajamas not too different from the ones Gideon was wearing. He'd asked to see Dipper after finishing his search through Bill's newest guest's mind and he hadn't left Dipper's side since.

“Gideon...” Bill stood against the door. “It's getting late, come on. Will said it'll be a few days before he wakes up. He's recovering from a lot.”

“I wish I could help him wake up sooner...” Gideon sighed. “Even when everyone else treated me badly, he stood by me. I just want to be here for him.”

“You are here.” Bill walked over and lifted Gideon into his arms. Tired, Gideon barely put up a protest and gave in after a bit. “But, he needs rest, you need rest, we all need rest. Come on, let's get you to bed.”

Gideon leaned into his embrace. “Okay.” He said, resting his head on Bill's shoulder. “But, I want to come see him first thing tomorrow.”

“After breakfast.” Bill promised him, carrying Gideon out of the room. He kicked the door closed behind them and carried Gideon off to his own room. “For now, focus on sleep. You did well tonight.” He carried him into his room and laid him down, gently tucking him in before kissing his temple. “I'll make sure nothing happens to Dipper, okay?”

Gideon nodded with a sleepy smile. “Thank you.”

Bill grinned and headed for the door. “I'm gonna lock the door so you don't sneak out to see him, okay? Stay in bed. Good night.” He blew a kiss and then closed and locked the door. Then he headed for Will's room, knocking twice and waiting for the okay to go in.

“Come inside.” Will's reply was weary.

Bill frowned a bit and then opened the door, smiling brightly. “Hey, babe. How you feeling?” He walked over and sat next to him on the bed. There were little ice crystals around the room that refused to melt and plates, some of them empty, of different chocolate confections.

“Tired, but...happy.” Will nodded. Bill smiled and wrapped his arm around him. “Gideon didn't seem happy, though. Is he okay? I saw him whispering to Pyronica.”

“I'll ask her.” Bill assured him, gently squeezing his shoulder. “I'm sure it's nothing. Maybe he's just worried about that girl, uh, Maple.”

“Mabel.” Will corrected him.

“Yeah.” Bill nodded.

A high meow distracted him and Bill smiled as Cryptic came in and climbed on their laps, settling down on Bill's right leg and Will's left, stretched out. Will reached down and gently scratched her behind the ear as he spoke.

“How did their future get so bad? Gideon's eyes are clouded with pain and loneliness whenever he thinks of home. He's worried that something bad that happened in his time will happen here, and very soon. And even though the humans smile and have fun, their eyes are clouded with pain and fear. I...” Will moved his hand off of Cryptic, clenching his fist. “I want to help them, Bill. I want to heal them. But, I don't know how.”

“You'll figure it out.” Bill took his hand and kissed it gently. “You always do, babe.”

Will sighed and snapped his fingers, his clothes changing with a golden glow into a blue nightgown and his hair unraveling from the braid. “I'm going to sleep now.” He reached up and stroked Bill's hair a bit, running down from the top of his head to where it stopped at the nape of his neck. “You should sleep, too.”

“Can't, I'm on Nightmare Duty.” Bill shrugged. “Gotta be up to eat up Gideon's nightmares for him so he'll have pleasant dreams.”

“At least let the host body sleep.” Will raised an eyebrow.

“Alright, alright.” Bill grinned and kissed his cheek before he picked up Cryptic and headed for the door. “I'll see you in the morning, babe.”

“Good night.” Will crawled over to the pillows and used magic to tuck himself in. Bill sighed wistfully and closed the door to give him privacy before walking on down the hall. He missed being able to use magic so freely. Magic was a strain on most humans, and he couldn't use it without needing rest currently. Oh well, the price he paid for being able to have a physical body outside the Nightmare Realm.



Stanford was having trouble sleeping. He listened to Stanley snore and tossed and turned before he decided to get up and work some more on his project. The ladder creaked as he climbed down it, but Stanley only turned in his bed instead of waking. Nodding to him, he went to his desk and pulled out the chair to sit down, reaching for his tools as he scooted the chair forward slightly.

“Can't sleep?”

Stanford started and looked over to see Stanley had woken up. Or maybe he'd been faking his snores the whole time, Stanford wasn't sure. “...No.” He admitted, setting down the screwdriver.

“How come?” Stanley sat up in his bed.

“I...I got Gideon to tell me some more about the future.” He admitted. “I asked him about how the war ended.”

“Did we win? We won, right? We always do.” Stanley grinned.

“No.” Stanford shook his head. “We...we lost. Badly.”

“America's never lost.” Stanley frowned. “I mean, we've taken hits, but...”

“Yeah, I know. Gideon said we should have never gone over there at all.” He looked down at the desk. “Once we're out of school...I might go on to college right away with some scholarship, but what if...if you got drafted...and Shermie...”

“Hey, hey.” Stanley got up and went to his side, throwing his arms around him. “I'm not going anywhere, okay? Especially not without you. Where we go...”

Stanford sniffled and looked up at him. “We go together.”

“High-six?” Stanley held up his hand.

Stanford smiled and placed his hand against his. “Thanks, Stanley.”

“We'll figure something out, don't worry. We're not going to Vietnam, not me and not Shermie. I swear it.” Stanley nodded firmly, lacing his fingers with Stanford's.

Stanford smiled and nodded. “Okay. We'll figure it out.”

“Ready to go back to bed, or are you going to do your nerd stuff?” Stanley gestured to it.

“I don't know if I can focus on it right now.” Stanford admitted. “Can I sleep in your bed?”

“I don't know, can you?” Stanley asked teasingly. “Come on, you big nerd.” He coaxed him out of the chair and went to his bed, pulling back the blanket. “I promise these are clean sheets.”

“I don't particularly care.” Stanford shrugged and climbed in next to him. “I mean, I have to hear you, so...”

Stanley grinned. “Sorry.”

“It's fine.” Stanford assured him, sighing and resting his head on Stanley's shoulder. “I think...Gideon wants to stay.”

“Think you have a chance?” Stanley asked.

“Maybe...” Stanford blushed. “That is, if Bill Cipher isn't already laying claim on him...”

“Doesn't Bill already have Will?” Stanley yawned.

“He seems the type to want it all.” Stanford pouted.

“Well, Gideon's not going to let himself be pushed around. He's stronger than that. He can coerce him into assisting him with whatever, but he can't coerce him into a relationship.” Stanley yawned again. “Especially since it would be counter-productive to helping him recover from what the other guy did, right?”

“What if Dipper tries to make him go back?” Stanford asked worriedly.

“Then he wouldn't be a very good friend. I mean, he's always pretty miserable when he talks about home.” Stanley shrugged. “Let's go to sleep, poindexter.”

“Okay.” Stanford sighed and closed his eyes, listening to his brother's heartbeat match his own. “I'm just so worried...”

Don't be.” Stanley smiled reassuringly. “Things will work out, you'll see.”

Stanford nodded quietly, drifting off.

“You'll see.” Stanley whispered, pulling the blanket over them both.

Chapter Text

“So...” Stanford poked at the box, which had been brought to Bill's mansion out of the cave. “This is pretty advanced technology. I mean, all those locks? And what kind of material is this? It seems completely extraterrestrial!”

“That's because it is .” Will replied, plucking a chocolate from the plate floating next to him while the other hand still held his book. “I suspect that, in Gideon's time, they have made contact with aliens. Seeing as Dipper is a Time Cop.”

“Are Time Cops aliens?” Stanford asked, looking up at him.

“Some of them are.” Will nodded.

“Are you an alien?” Stanford asked.

“I suppose I am.” Will shifted in his seat and picked up another piece of chocolate, popping it in his mouth. “I am not of your world.”

“Whoa...” Stanford sat up straighter. “So...would you be willing to answer some questions about yourself?”

“I see no reason why not.” Will smiled and moved his bookmark before closing the book and letting it float next to him, his hands moving to his lap. “What would you like to know?”

Stanford set down his own book and pulled out his notepad eagerly.



Bill strolled down the hall and stopped at Dipper's room, where he politely knocked on the door. “Gideon? May I come in?”

“Go ahead.” Gideon replied.

Bill opened the door and walked in with a smile. “Hey.” He walked over and pulled over a chair from the desk in the room to sit next to the bed, where Gideon was sitting next to Dipper's sleeping body. “He's still asleep?”

Gideon nodded.

“Did you try going into his mind yet?” Bill asked.

“No, that...it would be invasive .” Gideon shook his head. “I couldn't do that to my friend .”

“Even if it would help him?” Bill asked.

Gideon looked at Dipper. “...I...guess I could try it.”

Bill smiled and reached out to gently squeeze his hand. “If he gets mad, tell him I made you do it.”

“Yeah, he'd believe that.” Gideon smiled a bit and placed his hand on Dipper's head, focusing. Their body's started to glow and Bill squeezed his hand encouragingly, glowing a gentle blue color to offer his own power as a boost.

“Thank you.” Gideon whispered, holding his hand tighter.

--

Delving into Dipper's mind was...painful. Bill held his hand the whole way, but it was still rough on Gideon. Pushing through his memories to find his subconscious, he knew that Bill was able to see everything but was more concerned about not being able to find Dipper in this mess. Where was he? He had to be here!

They paused in the whirlpool of memories and Gideon focused, trying to make it so that they would stop moving around so much. They finally moved to the side walls to make a tunnel instead of a whirlpool and he sighed softly, looking at Bill next to him.

He wasn't a triangle, but he wasn't Cyrus, either. His hip-length hair swayed loose behind him and he was once again wearing a gold and black version of what Will wore. His skin was charred like someone that had been set on fire, with flecks of gold indicating veins that went up his neck and around his face. His hair was a brilliant yellow-gold color, with actual gold laced in the strands.

Cosmos, he was beautiful .

“You alright?” Bill asked him, frowning a bit.

“Yeah.” Gideon blushed, realizing he'd been staring. “Let's...let's find Dipper.” He moved forward, still holding Bill's gloved hand.

Bill smirked and moved closer to him. “Like what you see?”

“Not now , Bill.” Gideon said, shaking his head. He gasped as a flash of glowing eyes caught his attention and he looked back to see Dipper's body being controlled by Bill in a memory. “...Dipper...” He had laughed before, when Bill had told him about it. But, he was still corrupted at that time. Now, looking at it, it hurt to see it. Bill was throwing Dipper's body around like a rag-doll and laughing about it.

“Whoa...future me is twisted .” Bill remarked.

“Yeah...” Gideon nodded. “He...he was.”

“No wonder you were so scared of me.” He reached up and gently stroked his cheek. “Let's walk on.”

“It's only going to get worse.” Gideon warned him.

“Eh, I want to see what he did.” Bill shrugged.

“Are you always this casual about going through someone's mind?” Gideon asked him.

“I'm always this casual about everything , darling.” Bill assured him, looking around. He frowned a bit as he saw hints of Dipper being haunted by his future self, moments of supposed paranoia where he saw Future Bill lurking in the shadows.

“Dipper said that, after the 'puppet' incident, he never left him alone. Not until Weirdmageddon.” Gideon said softly.

“How did that go?” Bill asked.

“Chaos, terror, monsters everywhere. How was it meant to go?” Gideon looked at him.

“...I just wanted out . I've been trapped in a decaying dimension for trillions of years.” Bill looked at his future self as they walked, having now reached Weirdmageddon. “...What happened to me?”

“Maybe...” Gideon frowned. “Maybe...it was Will being hurt.”

“Will? Hurt?” Bill turned to him. “Where? When?”

“Pyronica told me that Will made a Deal with someone and got enslaved around ten years from now.” Gideon explained. “I'm...hoping that I can keep that from happening this time.”

“Yeah.” Bill pursed his lips. “That...would do it. I'd go insane with desperation to get out. I mean, I'm already insane, but really insane. I wouldn't be focused on the fun as much.”

“This is the guy that tortured me, that terrorized me, that gives me nightmares. This is the guy that was defeated and turned into a statue, a constant reminder of the danger of demons.” Gideon said softly, and then he held Bill's hand a bit tighter. “But, that's not you . You're different . You're better . Nicer .”

Less insane.” Bill nodded with a playful grin. “Let's find your friend, babe.”

Gideon nodded, but he couldn't take his wide, trembling eyes off the imposing figure of Bill Cipher. Frowning, Bill moved Gideon closer to him and gently pulled his hand free to wrap it around him and cover his eyes. “Don't look at him. Look at me . See me .” He kissed his temple. “Hear me . Touch me . Feel me .” He murmured, gently swaying with him.

Gideon nodded, resting his head on Bill's chest as he listened to him speak. He slowly looked up at him and smiled. “Thank you, Bill.”

Bill grinned and gently unwrapped his arm from around him. “Come on. Let's find your friend.” He moved his hand down Gideon's hand and laced his fingers with his.

They continued down the tunnel of Dipper's memories, until they came out and found themselves at a forest. Gideon looked around and softly breathed, “His Mindscape...”

“He's gotta be somewhere here, right?” Bill looked at Gideon.

Gideon nodded and walked on with him, looking around. “Dipper? Dipper, are you here? Please answer!”

The monochrome forest was imposing, and every tree had a door in it. They found a building and went inside, finding it to be a library. Books rattled on the shelves, beckoning them to open them up and see the contents, but they pressed on.

A back door to the library took them to the Mystery Shack, and Bill looked around in wonder as Gideon crossed the lawn with him, heading for the door. It opened as his touch and he stepped inside, once again ignoring the rattling doors as he headed for where he suspected Dipper would most likely be: The attic.

“Where is this place?” Bill asked curiously.

“You looked at the state of the world and my past but not at things like this building?” Gideon looked at him.

“I looked at what your current life was, I didn't dig around in your past.” Bill shrugged.

Gideon sighed and opened the attic door. Nothing. So, where would... “The basement.” He breathed, turning and running down the stairs, pulling his hand free from Bill's. Bill followed right behind him, keeping up as Gideon approached the vending machine and typed in the code. It unlocked and opened and he walked in, Bill stepping in behind him.

“I guess this building is pretty important?” Bill asked.

Gideon walked over to call the elevator up. “Yeah. Pretty important.” He nodded.

The elevator arrived and they got on, taking it down, down, until they reached the bottom. He stepped out and tensed as he instantly recognized that imposing presence. It was just like Bill's, only... worse . His eyes widened as he realized what that must mean and he walked into the portal room, trembling with fear. Bill walked with him and took his hand, lacing their fingers together.

“Remember, I'm with you.” Bill assured him.

Gideon nodded and stepped through, his eyes widened as he looked at where the portal machine stood.

Dipper was curled up in a translucent golden triangle, naked and unconscious. Gideon pulled his hand free of Bill's and started to walk towards it, reaching out a hand..

Only to be suddenly pulled back and turned abruptly in Bill's tight embrace. It took him five seconds to realize that Bill had just taken a blow for him.

“Bill?” He looked up at him.

“It's okay.” Bill grit his teeth and Gideon realized they were jagged like a shark's. “It's just an Imprint.”

“An imprint?” Gideon asked, confused.

“Yeah, with a capital I. You were thinking it was the real Future Me, right? It's not. It's an Imprint. When someone makes a Deal with me, and it's never broken off, an Imprint is left in there for easy access later. I usually use it to keep track of who's still got open accounts with me. This one, though, seems to be set on keeping him trapped. Which is just fucked up.” Bill glared over his shoulder at the triangle.

“Can you...get rid of it?” Gideon asked.

“Yeah, should be able to. Stand back, let me handle this.” Bill gently nudged back back towards the elevator and turned to the triangle. “Oi, what a mess.” He ran his hands through his hair and sighed, bundling up his hair into a ponytail that was secured with a golden hairband. “I really lost it, didn't I? Fuck...”

Gideon watched as he moved closer to the triangle slowly, like someone approaching a dangerous animal. “How...do you normally handle it?”

“Uh, normally I just reabsorb it. But, this isn't mine , this is...it's insane. I'm not absorbing this Imprint. So, I have to destroy it.” Bill replied.

“Why do you think the Imprint is doing this?” Gideon asked.

Bill clicked his tongue thoughtfully. “Well...there's two possibilities. One, someone he's given authority to has invoked it. Two, Future Me isn't as dead as you thought and HE created this.”

“B-Bill could be back ?” Gideon breathed, terror growing in him.

“It's a possibility.” Bill replied. “And, uh, could you refer to him as 'Future Bill'?”

“Right.” Gideon swallowed nervously. “Future Bill. Sorry, Bill.”

“It's fine, I know you were freaked out.” Bill dodged a glowing tendril that lashed out at him. “Wooooow, you are so insane you don't even recognize me. What the fuck.” He dodged another one and then another before he reached the triangle and placed his hand on it. “Okay, let's find out why you're like this. Who created you to be this way?” He focused his energy on it, glowing a gentle blue color, and the triangle started to glow and shift and change shape before he stepped back to look at it.

Another Bill appeared, holding Dipper tightly in his arms. His hair was shorter, his smile was deranged, and his clothes were damaged, so his shirt was in tatters and his chest was almost completely exposed, as well as one arm. He also had magical scarring that glowed a blue-green color and decorated different parts of his exposed skin.

“Whoa...” Bill whistled lowly. “What happened to you?”

Gleeful .” The other Bill spat. “ Stanford Gleeful. That's what happened to me.

Gideon's eyes widened. “That's...who Will made a Deal with in my time, Pyronica said.”

Bill frowned. “He damaged your mental form?”

The other Bill nodded.

“Can you let the kid go?” Bill gestured to Dipper.

Mine. My puppet. Mine . ” The other Bill held him possessively and fondly ran a hand over his body. “ He was so willing to give in to me...he still longs for me, even now. I broke his heart by not taking him to my side during Weirdmageddon.

“Once you had a physical form, you had no reason to hold onto the Deal.” Bill pointed out.

It doesn't matter. He is my puppet . ” The other Bill hissed.

Bill sighed. “Alright, so here's another question. Who triggered you?”

The other Bill nuzzled Dipper affectionately. “ He did.

“Who?” Gideon asked.

My puppet . He's retreated into his mind. I took him in with open arms. He is afraid. He doesn't want to fight anymore. The facility has fallen. The Time Cops have fallen. His sister has gone missing, his uncles have disappeared through a portal to find her. He chose to stay and fight, to protect Gideon's way back, but he was defeated. Desperate, he locked himself away and auto-set the box to be sent through time to Gideon. ” The other Bill nuzzled Dipper affectionately again.

“What...?” Gideon breathed, stepping closer.

The humans have fallen. The demons have risen. Bill Cipher will arise again, once Stanley Pines is found. ” The other Bill cackled. “ Reality is an illusion. The universe is a hologram. Nothing is real, all will fall to the nightmares!

“Okay, that's enough of you.” Bill held out his hand and focused. The other Bill started to jerk violently and then it cried out as it was suddenly sucked into a yellow triangle-shaped light in the palm of Bill's hand, dropping Dipper as it vanished in a yellow glow. Then he conjured up a box and put the light inside, snapping it shut. “He was starting to annoy me.” He turned to Dipper, who had collapsed to the floor. “Alright, let's wake him.” He knelt down next to him and gently shook him awake. Gideon walked over and knelt next to him as well.

“Hn...nn...” Dipper slowly opened his eyes, looking confused and dazed for a bit. Then he saw Bill's eye and gasped sharply, backing away. “G-Get away from me! Don't touch me!”

“Dipper, it's okay!” Gideon moved in front of him, right in his view. “It's okay. He's safe. This isn't the Bill we know!”

“S-Safe?” Dipper asked.

“Let's get you woken up.” Bill suggested. “Then we'll explain stuff over a meal, sound good?”

Dipper looked at him warily, then looked around before looking at himself. “Uh—where are we my clothes?”

“The Imprint made them disappear.” Bill shrugged and snapped his fingers, a gray and white Time Cop uniform appearing on Dipper's body. “There. I undid what he did. Now, c'mon.”

Dipper looked up at the portal and then at Bill. “...You...you're...not going to hurt me?”

“If I did, Will would kick my ass. And Gideon would cry. And I honestly have no issue with you, seeing as you're not even born yet in my time.” Bill said, looking at the portal thoughtfully. Then he got up and offered Dipper a hand. “Let's open up a portal out of your mind, hm?”

Dipper nodded, standing up. “Okay. I'll...see you in the waking world.” He held out a hand and conjured a portal for them to leave.

“See you.” Gideon smiled and nodded, going through it with Gideon.



Gideon moved his hand off of Dipper's head, noticing that the tattoos on Dipper's temples had been warped. He felt a bit bad, realizing that he'd let Bill in through a back door, but he just couldn't do this by himself.

Bill gently squeezed his hand and Gideon looked at him, seeing Cyrus again. He almost missed the charred skin. “That couldn't have been easy, Gid.”

“It wasn't.” Gideon nodded. “Do you...did that...really happen, do you think?”

“Let's ask him.” Bill nodded to Dipper, who was starting to wake up.

Gideon nodded, smiling a bit as Dipper opened his eyes. “Hey. Welcome to the 1960s, Dipper.”

Dipper blinked up at him. “... The 1960s ?!” He cried in disbelief.

 

Chapter Text

When you say 'the 1960s'...what year is it?” Dipper asked.

“1965.” Bill replied.

“196—are you serious?!” Dipper ran his hand though his hair. “I just...
why are we in the 1960s, Gideon?!”

“Because the henchmaniacs went back to when the Stans were teenagers, I followed them, and you followed me.” Gideon replied. “Stanford is building the perpetual-motion machine as we speak.”

“I...what...” Dipper sighed. “Wow.”

“Now, you tell me something.” Gideon frowned. “What happened back home? Did Earth
really get taken over?”

Dipper bit his lip. “...Yeah. Mabel fled into a portal with a bunch of other Time Cops to try to find someone that can help, and the Stans went after her.
I was supposed to go, too, but I realized someone had to tell you what happened before you came back to that mess.” He curled up, wrapping his arms around his knees. “I...didn't expect to get ambushed. The rest of Bill's henchmen thought they could use me to get Grunkle Stan, who was the final piece to their plan. They cursed me, attacked me, I still managed to escape into a box and seal myself in, setting the static time-machine on a timer.” He reached for his pocket, then stopped when he noticed the pajamas. “...What happened to my clothes?”

“Well, they were pretty ripped up. I'll ask Will, though.” Bill offered, turning to go the door. “Why don't you come join us in the library? Gideon, think he'll fit your extra clothes, or should he just stay in the pajamas?”

“I'll show you to my room.” Gideon offered to Dipper.

Dipper nodded, slowly getting off the bed and watching Bill leave the room. “...Who is he in?”

“Cyrus Wilheim. He's actually been with him for decades, and they get along very well.” Gideon nodded and offered him a hand. “Here. You're probably really shaky.”

Dipper took his hand and let him pull him up. “Thanks.”

Gideon nodded. “I'll take you to my room.” He led him out to the hall.



“I still can't believe it. The
1960s? They don't have cell-phones. They don't even have ABBA or Star Wars. Heck, the internet didn't exist back then! Pong won't come out until next year! Pong! That's the very first video game! They're using typewriters, Gideon. Which is really cool in a touch-museum, but they're actually really slow to use in actuality.” Dipper pulled on the shirt Gideon offered him, stripped out of his pajamas.

“Why are
you complaining? You use a notepad and pen.” Gideon grinned at him.

“Because, I just...the
1960s, Gideon! We're stuck in the advent of The Beatles, stuck in...in the middle of the Vietnam War! We're...” He faltered. “The first televised...that's this year, Gideon. In just a few months! I...” He sighed and walked over and sat on the bed, his shirt half-buttoned.

Gideon sat next to him. “What do you mean 'stuck'?”

“Well, it's not exactly
safe go back, is it? They're probably monitoring every time-travel signal at this point!” Dipper bit his lip anxiously.

“Oh.” Gideon looked thoughtful. “I guess it's...just as well that I decided not to go back, then.”

What?!” Dipper looked at him. “What do you mean you 'decided not to go back'?!”

“Dipper, I've been happier here than I have since...since I can
ever remember. Stanford and Stanley have been great friends, Bill's fun and nice and not violent and Will's a really good voice of reason for him. I had dinner with the henchmaniacs, attended a party with Pyronica, and nothing happened. I danced, Dipper, and didn't cry or curl up screaming and covering my ears.” Gideon stood up. “Our future has probably already been shifted at this point--”

“'Shifted'?” Dipper asked. “Wait, hold on.”

“--I mean, I chased off Thistle, who was a fairy, by the way, so Stanley and Carla are still together and I could probably keep Stanford's project from being damaged--”

“Hold on. Hold. On!” Dipper stood up. “Gideon, you're talking about making
drastic changes, here!”

“I think Stanford meeting Bill thirty years early is a pretty drastic change already. Heck, my appearing in front of them in the cave was probably the
big change!” Gideon sighed heavily. “And you said we can't go back anyway, so what's the deal?!”

“What the—what's the DEAL?!” Dipper gripped Gideon's shoulders. “Gideon, you broke a
million time laws, that's 'what's the deal'! You weren't supposed to make contact! You weren't supposed to be seen! You were supposed to find the henchmaniacs and keep them away from their goal until backup arrived!”

“I KNOW that!” Gideon snapped. “And I
tried! I tried deflecting questions, I tried avoiding trouble, but trouble found me! The henchmaniacs told Bill about me as soon as I arrived, and he sought me out! I had to agree to help him with something he was doing so that he would stop the henchmaniacs from attacking the twins!”

“And now you're
buddy-buddy with this guy? Gideon, he tortured you!” Dipper gestured to the door.

“That's not
him! That was a deranged, pained, future him that he's not going to became because Will isn't going to be enslaved this time!” Gideon cried, on the verge of tears at the thought. “He's different, Dipper! So different! The future Bill would laugh at this war! This Bill...he HATES it! He thinks it's unnecessary! He's got his head screwed on a little more than the other guy and the most he's done to me is coerce me into helping him when things were still sour between us, and otherwise he's dragged me around to buy me a coat from this year and given me a curfew! He lets the Stans visit me whenever they want! He and Will are just...so great to be around, and I want to stay here even IF it wasn't dangerous to go back!”

They heard someone clear their throat and looked over to see Stanley awkwardly standing in the open doorway. “Uh...sorry to...interrupt? Bill was wondering what was the hold-up...”

“Sorry. We'll be right there.” Gideon smiled a bit at him.

Stanley nodded, scuffing his shoes on the rug a bit. “So...'The Stans', huh? That's...that's actually pretty neat. Is that what we called ourselves in the future?”

“How much did you hear?” Dipper frowned.

“I think...from about 'can't go back'?” Stanley smiled sheepishly.

“But..nothing
before it?” Dipper asked cautiously.

“Yeah. I was walking down the hall to this room and then I heard Gideon say 'can't go back' and ran over to hear more.” Stanley grinned, proud of his eavesdropping.

“Right.” Dipper finished buttoning up his blue shirt and picked up the black sweater-vest. “Well, in the future, it would be
best if one of the henchmaniacs came to get us, in case we make any mention of the future that you shouldn't know about.” He put his arms in the sleeve-holes and pulled it over his head.

“Oh, like cell-phones?” Stanley asked innocently.

Dipper pulled his head through the hole for his head. “GIDEON!”

“It was Pacifier!” Gideon held up his hands and stepped back. “HE told him!”

“...
Damn him.” Dipper sighed.

“Already damned, thanks.” All three jolted in surprise as Pacifier walked up behind Stanley in his human disguise. “They're still waiting. Will wanted to go to the beach while we still have daylight.”

“...The
beach?” Dipper groaned. “I...Will is the one that has my machine, right?”

“Maybe.” Pacifier shrugged. “He doesn't like to be kept waiting. If you're dressed, let's go.”

“Hold on, damn it.” Dipper looked around. “I don't have my boots.”

“We'll ask Bill about them.” Gideon suggested. “Let's go to the others.”

“Alright.” Dipper nodded, sighing. He stuck his hands in his pockets and headed for the door, pausing when he noticed Stanley staring at him. “...What?”

“You...look a
lot like my brother. Especially when you do that.” Stanley said thoughtfully. “Are we...are we related? Are you a Pines?”

Dipper gave Gideon a long-suffering look and sighed. “...Yeah.”

Stanley looked a bit excited at this and then ran off, probably to tell his brother before they arrived. Dipper glared at Pacifier and crossed his arms over his chest. “You know, NONE of this would be happening if it wasn't for YOU guys.”

Pacifier chuckled. “
What can I say except 'you're welcome'?” He sang as he walked away.

“You—don't—
STOP MAKING REFERENCES TO THE FUTURE!” Dipper threw his hands up and stormed after him.

Gideon chuckled and walked out, closing his bedroom door behind him. Then he sighed softly and followed after them.



“Oh, good! You're awake!” Will greeted as they joined them in the living room, which had been returned to its usual state. “How are you feeling?”

“...Okay, I guess. Thoroughly displaced.” Dipper rubbed the back of his neck.

See?” Stanley stage-whispered to Stanford.

“Do you think he's descended from one of us? Or Shermie?” Ford asked him.

“He'd
have to be.” Stanley nodded. “He's a Pines.”

“Heey, look who's up!” Bill strolled into the living room with a couple picnic baskets. “Oh, but you need shoes!” He set the baskets down on a table and turned to Will. “Where's his stuff?”

Will snapped his fingers and Dipper's clothes dropped into their owner's arms unexpectedly. “In a sub-dimension.” He said casually.

Dipper looked at the rips and tears in his uniform and winced. He'd been pretty beat up. But, he didn't have any trace of wounds on him now. “...These look...pretty damaged.”

You were pretty damaged. Took me hours to fix you up.” Will told him. “Bill, there's chocolate in those, right?”

“Yes, I packed chocolate cake because it's the least likely to go bad in the heat.” Bill assured him. “Oh yeah! Dipper Pines, meet Will Cipher. Will, your patient.” He gestured between them.

“You know, at
some point you have to work.” Gideon pointed out to him. “Doesn't Cyrus have a job?”

“He's taking a vacation.” Bill stuck out his tongue. “I want to hang out with my perfect beauties. Speaking of, where is Ronnie?”

“She already went to the beach.” Pacifier shrugged.

Bill laughed. “Of course she did!”

Dipper knelt down to pull on his boots. Everything about this felt just
bizarre, but Gideon seemed perfectly comfortable with it. Dipper, however, was concerned about the future. There had to be a way to use the time machine without the Time Headquarters machine knowing.