All this had happened because Mabel had taken her brothers journal again.
“You have to let me see him!” Mabel cried out, trying her best to push passed the nurse who was holding her shoulders, shoving her back into the waiting room while yelling words that she couldn’t make out due to her panicked state, “No! Please!” She was willing to get down on her knees and beg, but before she could even make an attempt, the door was slammed in her face.
She could feel herself pale, her blood running cold as she pressed her hands against the cool, white door that kept her brother locked away from her gaze, from her need to apologize, to comfort him, to kiss his forehead and assure him that he was going to be alright and that she loved him. He was going to be okay, he has to be okay. She hadn’t realized that tears had been pouring down her face, staining her cheeks and making her eyes puffy, but it wasn’t something unexpected.
After accepting defeat, she slowly made her way over to one of the chairs, the one closest to the door of the hall her brother was in. Luckily, there weren’t a lot of people in the waiting room at the moment, which brought her some relief. She couldn’t deal with other people right now; they would just make her headache worsen. Pulling up her legs to her chest, she rested back against the dense, uncomfortable cushion, eyes never once moving from the door, even as more tears began to pool within them. She didn’t care how long it would take, she would be here, but after an hour of waiting, against her will she drifted off into la la land.
“Mabel! Wake up! Did you see where I put my journal last?” Dipper was frantically tearing the room apart in search of that book, but little did he know, he wouldn’t be finding it any time soon. Not unless he went into the forest to look, which she doubted, but even then, it was unlikely. Mabel shifted onto her side, pulling her pink duvet up over her nose, eyes peeling open slowly to catch her brother throwing pillows towards their door.
“Why would I know that? You’re the only one who touches it.” She was glad that her blanket was pulled above her mouth to hide the smile that was tugging at the corner of her lips, although she was a little bit more ungrateful that she wasn’t able to hide that small, breathy laugh that escaped her. Dipper instantly caught the sound, turning on his heels to look at his twin, frowning, eyebrows furrowing together.
“You took it!” He leaped for Mabel, jumping on her bed and roughly pulling at the blanket, “Mabel, where did you put it?!” More laughs escaped the female twin, kicking her legs from under the blanket and catching him on the shoulder, making him fall back and off of her bed. Quickly, in panic, Mabel jumped up to look over at the edge at the boy who was fuming on the ground, “You know what, I’m done. I’m done!” Oh, man. He was mad. Like, really, really mad.
He didn’t hesitate after standing up, stomping towards the door and slamming it after he had found himself in the hall. She was left dumbfounded. She’d messed around with him plenty of times, but she’d never seen him so angry. That’s what siblings did! They annoyed and frustrated each other! He wasn’t supposed to be angry! “Dipper!” She jumped off the bed and headed for the door, calling out for him again after she had yanked the wooden entrance open, rushing down the stairs, catching him just before he had emerged out the front door. “Hey, stop! Seriously, I’m sorry.”
“No! No, you always do this. Every time. I just want to have something that you don’t go and ruin!” Her breath caught in her throat at his mean words. She knew he didn’t mean them, that he was just frustrated, but they stung. She huffed, arms crossing over her chest.
“Well, fine! Since I just ruin everything, maybe you should find someone else to go on adventures with!” For eighteen year olds, they sure were childish. Had someone overheard, they were sure to think they were twelve again. The boy nodded with a huff before turning sharply, exiting the house with another loud ‘SLAM!’ of the door. She was left alone in the mystery shack, an overwhelming feeling of emptiness filling her form. She didn’t know whether to cry, or scream, or maybe a mixture of both.
A loud sigh was the only sound that echoed in the empty house, the girls hands raking roughly through her unkempt brown locks, eyes closing tightly as she felt a headache come on. It wasn’t every day that the twins would fight, but when they did, it was usually over something stupid, but it never, not once, made her feel anything but guilt and frustration. Slowly, after she had straightened up, she moved towards the couch in the living room, curling up and falling asleep. She was too tired to think, and her headache was making her want to be anywhere, but here.
Her eyes flicked open at the sound of the front door closing, her head rolling to the side and back a little to see who had entered, “Dipper?” She called, her voice small, but curious.
“Nah, it’s me. Where’d squirt get to?” Stan asked as he entered the living room, plopping down a few bags that he had obviously retrieved in town. He was in his usual attire, nothing too fancy, but it looked as if he had recently bathed. Thank God. Another day with that stench and the kids would have been running for the hills. Maybe he had been trying to impress someone. Odd thought, but looking back, he never did shower without a reason.
“We had a fight. He left all angry and stuff. Where’ve you been? Also, might I say, being clean is a good look for you.” Her words made him laugh, the booming sound echoing through the house, which made her grin.
“Don’t get used to it, kid. I thought I’d go buy some stuff for the shack, also picked up something for yours and Dippers birthday.” As he spoke, he shoved his hand into one of the bags, rustling around which brought out the curious side of Mabel. She moved to sit on her knees, hands rested on the arm of the couch as she peered over to look at what was inside, but it was quickly snatched away, “Eh! No peeking!” He shoved the bag to the side before going through the other one, not looking at her as he began to speak again, “So, what was the fight about?”
Her smile faded to a small frown, eyebrows bunching together, “Grunkle Stan, you think it’s normal for siblings to fight over stupid little things, right?” He nodded his head in response, before she continued, “Well, I hid his journal. I don’t know, I’ve done it before, with other things, and he’s never gotten too mad. We’d play fight, I’d give it back, but this time he yelled at me and told me I ruin everything!” She sighed, resting her chin on her hand as Stan stopped digging through the bags to look over at her.
“Mabel, that journal means a butt load to him. Why don’t you go get it and apologize? He’ll forgive you. Just, I’d stop messing with it, if I were you, kid. It obviously ain’t no joke to him.” It wasn’t often that Grunkle Stan was serious with stuff like this, he’d usually drop some knowledge then make a joke out of it, but she was grateful that when she needed true advice, he was there to offer it. She nodded before jumping up, only taking a moment to grab her coat before heading off towards the forest.
“Dipper. I know you’re mad and all, but I got the journal for you! I’m really sorry! I didn’t mean to upset you. I can make it up to you, we can go to the diner and get some pancakes, and maybe watch some movies after. I can do dishes, too, for the whole week!” She rehearsed her apology over, although she was pretty confident in her speech already. She didn’t usually feel nervous when it came to apologizing, and to be fair, she wasn’t really nervous at the moment, but she hadn’t seen him that mad in a long time, especially over something she’d done. He knew she was goofy and liked to mess around, but she guessed she’d finally crossed the boundaries with taking his journal.
She let out a small, breath, nearly a sigh as she reached where the journal hid. She kneeled down and pulled it out of the mossy log, brushing her fingers over the top, clearing away the dirt that had coated the cover of his journal, her fingertips dancing over the palm of the six fingered hand on the front before moving to the back. She stood with it in her hands, about to head back towards the shack, before stopping at the sudden vibration in her coat pocket.
One of her hands moved from her brother’s journal into her pocket, fishing out her device before sliding to unlock lifting it to her ear, “Hello?”
“Mabel Pines? There’s been an accident.”
“Mabel. Mabel, wake up.” She jerked awake to the voice, someone shaking her knee firmly. Grunkle Stan. He was sat beside her, his mouth pulled into a hard line, although there was a hint of sympathy in his eyes, “You were have a nightmare, kid.”
“Oh.” She practically breathed the word out, her head swimming as her legs fell from the chair, the bottoms of her feet rested against the floor as she turned her attention back to the door, “How… long was I asleep? Have you heard anything yet?”
“I got here about ten minutes ago. You were probably out for an hour or so. As for Dipper, haven’t heard a thing.” He was worried. She could practically feel it radiating off of him, but he refused to show it, refused to show that he was helpless to the situation. She sighed before leaning over to rest her head against his shoulder, her hand moving to take hold of his.
“Tell me he’ll be okay?” She asked, her voice cracking as she fought back the tears that so desperately wanted to spill, her stomach churning. She needed reassurance. She needed her brother.
“He’ll be okay, honey.” He didn’t sound sure, like he always did. His voice was weak, as if he wanted to cry just as badly as she needed to, but she needed to believe him. She needed belief, she needed hope. Her eyes drifted shut, but the only stayed that way for a few moments.
“Pines family?” They both shot up, turning towards the doctor who had emerged from the door she’d been intent on staring at, looking over the clipboard in his hand. He made his way over and stopped just a few feet away from Mabel, his mouth pulling to the side, “Hm. Alright. So, none of you were present when the incident occurred, yes?” they both responded with a nod, and he made a hum of his understanding before continuing, “Alright, well, he was hit by a truck, which seemed to have been speeding. His left wrist is broken, as well as a few of his ribs. Collarbone is fractured, but our main concern was his noggin. He has a serious head injury. Skull has a fracture, which caused bleeding in the brain.” He stopped for a moment as he dropped his clipboard to his side, looking at the two pines, which were desperate for an explanation.
“How is he now? What’s going on?” Mabel cried out, shaking beyond belief as she waited for answers.
“He’s in a coma. We seem to have gotten his brain to stop bleeding, though. But, currently, there’s no more I can say on the matter. We’ll just have to see how he fairs, and if and when he wakes up.”
Mabel was overwhelmed with feeling. She wanted to throw up. She wanted to pass out. She wanted to scream and cry, to punch something, but instead of doing that, she simply stood there, completely numb. Tears didn’t even threaten her at the moment, she was just…there, completely frozen.
“I’m sorry.” The doctor told the pines, who failed to respond, “His room is 208. You’ll be able to see him in about an hour, if you’d like to make your way up there.” The doctor spoke before nodding his head once more, then heading off through the door he’d entered before, leaving the Pines family, minus one, to their thoughts.
“Kid, I… Do you need anything?” She heard her Grunkle say, but she didn’t respond, simply shaking her head, before turning away to walk towards Dippers room. She was silent, her mind wandering like mad, not letting her have a moment to simply breath. Breath. She breathed out, not noticing she’d been holding it in the entire time the doctor had been speaking, a gasp escaping her, and then everything else did. She fell to her knees as sobs wacked her body, her hands moving to cover her face as her tears fell freely, small noises passing her lips as emotions fled her body. She wanted to die.
“Hey, hey.” Stan mumbled as he kneeled besides her, pulling her into a tight embrace, pressing a kiss to the top of her head, “He hasn’t lost yet. He’s a fighter, Mabel.” He comforted her, trying to pull her to her feet, arms still wrapped tightly around her as he led her down the hall, although she continued to sob, crying aloud for everyone around them to hear, wanting to scream from the mountain tops, for every single person in gravity falls to know her pain. She just wanted to scream.
Finally, they reached 208. By the time they got there, Mabel had settled down a little, her sobs reduced to a simple sniffle, her eyes red and swollen, but she couldn’t care less what she looked like. All she cared about was Dipper. Dipper. Oh, God, she was going to start bawling again. A choke cry escaped her, but she clamped her hand over her mouth, refusing to cry anymore for the moment, just focusing on seeing her brother. She just needed to see him, to know that everything was going to be alright.
It took forever, but they were finally allowed entrance. On the inside, she wanted to rip herself from the ground and rush in, but her legs were so weak, she could hardly get inside the room without the support of Stan, who was holding her arms, guiding her.
After all that waiting, there he was. Laying on the white hospital bed, her brother. He had two blacks eye, several scrapes and scratches along his cheeks and neck, his head wrapped tightly in bandages, his hair not even visible. The white cotton blanket was pulled up to his chest, the blue cloth of the hospital gown showing through, and another white bandage along the left side of his collarbone. He was so pale in contrast to red lines along his features. He looked so at peace, like he was gone, but the loud beeping of the machines he was connected to made it apparent that he wasn’t, not yet, anyway.
Her movements were slow as she moved to stand beside him, her fingers brushing his cheek gently as a small sigh escaped her lips. She simply stared for the longest time before leaning forward, pressing a kiss to his forehead, careful to avoid any boo-boos. She lingered a moment before straightening up, letting out strong breathes as she attempted to calm herself, watching the machines, watching his heart rate. He was here, he was alive. It was going to be okay. He was so strong. This wasn’t how their story was meant to end, it couldn’t end here.
She hadn’t realized how long she had been standing there until a nurse entered the room, telling them that only one visitor was allowed to stay the night. Grunkle Stan insisted on Mabel staying for the first night, before kissing both the twins on the forehead, wishing them both a goodnight and starting his journey back to the mystery shack.
She finally decided that it was alright to get some sleep. She was here, he was here, and she’d know the second if anything went downhill. She set up a small bed of blankets on the floor before getting comfortable. She had thought sleep would be impossible, but from all the crying and emotional stress she’d been put through, she fell asleep with moments, clutching dippers journal to her chest as she faded off.
She made a small sound as she awoke, her eyes fluttering open as she moved to examine her surrounding, breathing in a few times before sitting up. The drapes were closed, the entire room dark, greyness everywhere around her. It was eerie, almost like she was still…. Dreaming. Slowly, the girl pulled herself up from her make-shift bed, walking over to the curtains and throwing them open, but then her worst fear came to light; the greyness didn’t disappear.
Without hesitation, she turned on her heels, a man sitting on the edge of Dippers bed, brushing his finger tips against the boys cheek, before turning to her with a sly smile, “Don’t you look awful, shooting Star.”
Bill. No. If she didn’t feel terrible before, she sure as hell did now. He wasn’t a triangle, he was… human. Or, in a human form, at least. He was wearing a yellow dress coat, a white shirt tucked away underneath, and black dress pants, black shoes, which were currently tapping against the ground, his bow tie still in place. Definitely was something she’d imagined he’d wear. Elegant, but still utterly Bill. His hair was blonde, falling messily onto his face, and he even had two eyes! Although one was distorted, grey, but there were cracks, even along the whites of his eye, the other was bright blue. He was very interesting to look at, but then she realized she’d been looking too long, a sharp gasp escaping her lips before he spoke up again, “Not a triangle, that’s right. I do recall you insulting that form, so I decided to try out another one!” He jumped off the bed, and Mabel fell back against the window, breathing hard.
“Since when do you try to please me?” She asked, her voice just above a whisper, uncertain of the situation at hand, but she figured it couldn’t hurt to converse.
“The thing is, I don’t! I could hardly care what you think, but I do like change, and I figured this was something to be tested out.” He took a small step towards her, his smile growing into a wolfish grin as she flinched, loving how afraid she was. He considering trying to frighten her more, but there were other things he had to deal with, and he decided to just jump straight to the point, “Oh, sorry about your brother, by the way. Such a shame. Never would have imagined he’d go like that.” He was trying to get a reaction, and boy, he sure did get the one he wanted.
“He’s not gone! He’s very much alive, so just leave him alone! Just go away and everything and everyone will be fine!” She cried out, moving to try to get to her brother, but Bill wasn’t going to stand for that. Grabbing her wrist, he yanked her back, causing her to fall against him.
“It’s funny that you say that, because if it weren’t for me, he’d already be dead.” He hissed, although he was still grinning, moving to grab her chin to force her to look up at him as he leered over. She grabbed his wrist, trying to get away, but he simply tightened his grip, making her squeal in pain, until she finally settled down, accepting the position for the time being.
Breathing hard, she started to speak, “What do you mean? What did you do?” He could hardly believe she managed to get the sentences out by how hard she was breathing.
“You see…” He moved quickly and shoved her against the wall, making sure she wouldn’t run for the brother again as he continued, “The second his head made contact with that car, he was as good as dead. But, I, being the amazingly kind being that I am, managed to yank him into the dream realm, because his mind was so weak!” He could see the wheels turning in Mabel’s mind as she processed his words.
“You… saved him? Why?” She bit out the last bit in anger, although their was a hint of something else, gratitude, stirring within her. He’d saved Dipper? Why? Dread filled her suddenly. He wanted something. This was a ransom.
“Because I’m such a sw—“
“Cut the crap, and tell me what you want.” She was blinking back tears, fear worming its way through her, making her feel sick.
“My, my, I can’t just do nice things?” He questioned, to which she replied with a shake of the head, a laugh erupting from his throat, “You’re right, I don’t do that. You see… What I want, Shooting Star…” His voice faded off as his grin faded to a small uplift of the corner of his lips, barely even a smile, “…Is your life for his.”
“What?” She cried out in disbelief, eyebrows furrowing together tightly in confusion as she tried to understand what was happening at this moment, what he wanted from her.
“Oh, come on, I’ve practically spelled it out for you! I’ve seen other demons with their humans, their playthings, and I decided I want one. I’d take Pine Tree, but I can already see the fight he’d put up, and besides, I’ve already got you on the ropes. I’ll tell you to do stuff, and you’ll do it! And, every time you’ve made me happy, I’ll let you see your brother in this lovely little dream realm, but I will warn you, trying to go off and find him, will not end well in your favour, Shooting Star. Oh, another little fun fact for you: If you don’t please me, he’ll be the one getting the backlash. Got it? He’ll wake up, eventually, when I think you’ve done me enough use.”
She wanted to scream, her hand covering her mouth as she fought back that sobs that wanted to so badly to be released, her eyes blinking back the tears that welled. Be his plaything… so she could see Dipper again? How long would it be before he woke up? What did this entail? She dropped her hand, sucking in a painful breath, “What does… what does this entail? How long until he wakes up? What do you want from me?”
“Guess you’ll see! I’m not one for spoilers.” Suddenly, his hand was stretched in front of her, blue flames nearly tickling her nose. She watched carefully, breathing lightly, trying not to freak out before she lifted her gaze to examine Bills expression.
“Are you going to take me away from here?” She needed to know, even though she dreaded the answer.
“You’ll still continue living with your family, however by making this deal, you’re mine. I can pull your from the real world into my world at any moment, understood?” She nodded her head, some relief filling her form.
Trade her life. For Dipper. He’d try to save her, to look for a loophole; maybe he’d find it. She had to believe in him. So, without any more hesitation, she moved her hand slowly to rest against his, the shake finalizing her fate, “Deal.” An eruption of laughter filled her surroundings.
Then she was awake, shooting up from her lying position on the pile of blankets, scrambling to her feet before making her way to her brother, breathing hard as she looked him over, brushing her finger tips along his cheek, “Dipper, I’m sorry. I hope you can hear me, but I am sorry. This is my fault.” She needed him to hear her, needed him to know that she was sorry for him laying in this hospital bed, for currently suffering in Bills realm, “I’m sorry.”