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Golden Diamond

Chapter Text

The white haired man sat proudly on his light horse, dark cloak fluttering behind him and over his fair fluffy locks, strange to this part of the city of Agrabah. The deep brown horse galloping towards him forced him to narrow his eyes, the dove on his shoulder squawking softly.

Gideon Gleeful tipped his nose up at the short man who stopped in front of him, "You, are late." He hissed, ice blue irises slitting. The man before him, clothed in a dirty peach and yellow shirt, white sirwals less than baggy on his pudgy legs, bowed deeply with a muffled snort, "A thousand apologies, Oh Patient One." He bit out sarcastically, shoving a hand in his satchel.

The older man raised a sharp brow "You have it then?" He inquired softly, and the pudgy man grinned wickedly, bringing his hand back out of the leather bag, fisting around the gold.

"I had to slit a few throats, but I got it." He replied, dancing away when Gideon reached to take it. The man smirked and wagged a bloodstained finger at the scowling man, "Ah ah ah. First, the treasure." He all but growled.

He jolted with an undignified yelp when the dove suddenly launched itself at him with a sharp caw, snatching the other half of the golden triangle piece from his pinched hand. The dove then circled and dropped it into her master's waiting hand.

Gideon smiled and dropped a hand beneath his cloak, "Trust me, my pungent friend," He purred, slipping out the matching half and pressing them together with a quiet clink, "You'll get what's coming to you."

It automatically began to glow blue, leaping from his pale hands and zooming off. Gideon's eyes widened, then narrowing into a hlare as he kicked his horse into a sprint, "Quickly, follow the trail!" He barked as the shorter man scrambled onto his horse.

"Faster!" He howled, eyes bright with the thrill of the chase. The triangle flew around a mound of sand before splitting once more to embed itself into the sand like eyes. The white haired man skidded to a halt, spraying up sand on his horses dark forelegs as the ground began to tremble and quake violently.

The sand rose up with a roar, stretching to form the elongated face of a Sphinx, it's mouth open and fangs agape, golden light pouring from its throat. Gideon threw up his arm to shield against the light, grinning broadly as he slowly lowered when his eyes adjusted.

"Yes!" He hissed, "After all these years of searching, I've finally found it! The Cave of Wonders." He whispered, estatic.

The smaller man lept ungracefully off his horse and waddled over with wide eyes, "By Allah..." He breathed, and Gideon snapped out of his trance.

He snatched the man up and hauled him close to his face, "Bring me the lamp. The rest of the treasure is yours but the lamp, is mine." He hissed, smiling.

He shoved the man away and he stumbled towards the large Sphinx head, gulping. The pudgy man went forward, looking up with fearful eyes at the entrance, then glancing back to Gideon. The white haired man sneered at him, "Well? What are you waiting for?" He urged.

The thief swallowed thickly and went forwards again, stepping up onto the dropped jaw of the sand Sphinx. The tunnel morphed into golden steps, and the man had a second to marvel before a roar sent him scrambling backwards.

The Sphinx yawned and twisted a bit, opening its glowing eyes to peer narrowly down at the duo. "Who disturbs my slumber?" It rumbled.

The man gave a high pitched squeak before composing himself and stepping tentatively forward again.

"I-it is I, the h-humble thief Buddy Glutton." He called back, trying not to cower. The Sphinx eyed him up and down, before snuffing, "Very well. But be warned, only one can enter here. Someone who is worthy, a golden diamond in the rough." It replied in a mystic tone.

Buddy looked back at Gideon, who raised a sharp brow, "Go on." He said, crossing his arms. Buddy gulped, taking a couple tentative steps forward, hesitating before slowly easing a foot down on the first step.

Both waited with bated breath, but nothing happened. Buddy let out a relieved breath, only to squeak in terror as the ground trembled, the Sphinx writhing with an angry look, a roar ripping from its throat as Buddy tried and failed to escape the jaws of the sand Sphinx, collasping with a growl onto him, back to a mound of sand once more.

The two halves tumbled down, still glowing as another rumble shook the ground, "Seek me out the golden diamond in the rough." The Sphinx's voice echoed aross the sand dunes, and Gideon scowled as he scooped up the dim halves, pocketing them as the dove on his shoulder groaned.

"That's it, we're finished! Done! All for nothing! Look at this, I'm so ticked off I'm molting!" The bird griped, shaking and watching his feathers float to the ground. Gideon smoothed his black and blue robes, "Patience, Telo, patience." He replied simply.

He rubbed his chin with a pale hand, "He was obviously less than worthy. But it has given us leeway." He murmured, eyes alight. "I must find this one, this, golden diamond in the rough."

Chapter Text

The blond nineteen year old skidded to a halt at edge of the sandstone building. He was panted, his dark cheeks a bit rosy with a bright look to his eyes. He heard the guards behind him storming towards him, "I'll have your hands for a choker, street rat!" The leader growled, and the boy huffed.

He raised a brow at the loaf in his hands, glancing at the small griffyn on his shoulder, "All this for a a piece of bread?" He muttered lowly before grinning and leaping from the building, skidding down the clotheslines and flipping to the ground in a heap of brightly colored undergarments.

The guards roared in fury, faces twisted in anger, "You won't get away so easy!" They called. The boy scoffed with a smile "You think that was easy?" He called back, the griffyn fluttering beside him with a low chortle.

The blond jumped up, turning as he heard the giggles of the washer women from behind him. The blond got up, tugging a beige sheet around him as a woman's turban, going over to them with a smile.

"Morning ladies!" He chirped lowly, beaming. They giggled, the one in the window leaning forward a bit onto her hand, "Getting into trouble early, aren't we Bill?" She mused, eyes lidded with a dopey smile.

Bill smirked "Trouble? No, not trouble. You're only in trouble if you get caught!" He stage whispered. A hand suddenly fisted in his yellow over vest, spinning him around and hauling him up to meet the furious guard's eyes.

"And I'm in trouble." He breathed. The guard sneered at him, "We've got you this time, y-" he was cut off as the griffyn pounced on his head and pushed his turban down over his eyes. He cried out in surprise, releasing the blond, who grinned.

He dropped the sheet and tipped his head at the grinning griffyn, "Perfect timing Ford, as usual." He praised, and the griffyn smiled with a mock bow.

They both scrambled away, only to be blocked by another, considerably less grostquely buff guard. Bill smirked, "Ford, you know what to do." The griffyn smirked too and nodded.

Bill danced around the guard, "One jump ahead of the breadline." He began, dodging the sword that was swung at him and bounding up a pile of barrels "One jump ahead of the sword." He practically sang, his head jerking with a slightly glare as a bypasser called out 'thief!'.

Bill then lept atop the top barrel, one foot resting on the one below him, "Hey, I only steal what I can't afford. But that's everything." He shot back with grin. He looked briefly down at the guards who were climbing up after him, "You just don't seem to appreciate the fact that I am totally broke." He said casually, kicking the lower barrel so it caught three guards full in the face.

Bill then turned and jumped up on a wooden post while the guards fell to the ground, covered in beer as the barrel broke. They scowled up at him, shaking their fists, "Riffraff!" One called, "Street rat!" Called another.

Bill held out the bread, "It's just a little snack, guys." He said, exasperated. He dodged a few weapons that were hurled at him.

They all began shaking the post, causing it to rock unsteadily back and forth, "Rip him open and take it back!" They howled. Bill pressed a hand to his chest, feigning an offended look, "Well that's just mean. And here I thought we were friends!" He snickered, pressing the back of his hand to his forehead as he swung himself down, "I can take a hint." He called as he caught Ford's paws as the animal hung on the clothesline in front of a window, swinging into the room.

"Seems like you're my only friend Ford." Bill said with a smile. He looked up to see he had landed in the Corduroy house with their seven girls. They all looked up from what they were doing, brightly colored veils and sirwals shimmering, "Who?" They all called.

Then the one named Wendy grinned, "Oh, it's sad, Bill. You've really hit the bottom." She mused. Another stood up and twirled her sash around him as he stood with a smirk, "You've become a one-man rise in crime." She scolded playfully, yanking her sash back and spinning him out across the room as Ford busied himself with stuffing his little scarf full of fruit.

Bill twirled right into the broad chest of their father, Dan. The red bearded man scowled and swung at him as he tipped his black fez to him, ducking abruptly.

"I'd blame your parents if you had them." He growled as the blond boy danced away. He smiled, "Hey, I gotta eat to live, gotta steal to eat." He replied, setting himself back down on the opposite window ledge, winking at Wendy, "Tell you all about it when I have the time." He mused, smiling flirtatiously as she rolled her eyes and lightly pushed him out the window.

He fell with Ford beside him, bouncing gracefully off a carvan top and landing lightly on his bare feet. He scurried over to a dancer with Ford his shoulder, sliding behind them and copying their moves, having memorized them from days of watching them.

The man was much bigger than him and his him Well as the guards ran by. Bill, distracted by relief, accidentally did the wrong move and revealed himself, the crowd letting out an audible gasp. He grinned sheepishly as he slid away, the guards skidding as they saw him, "There he is!" The leader howled, racing after him as he began to sprint.

He grinned at the griffyn beside him "Next time we'll use the nom de plume, huh?" He tried. Ford nodded as they wove through a flock of sheep.

"Let's try this again. One jump ahead the hitmen, and one hit ahead of the herd." He muttered to himself as the flock of sheep ended, glancing behind him as the guards tried to charge through the sheep, sending a few flying up with surprised bleats.

Bill gave a smile and casually slunk away, "We should take a walk around the block." He suggested to Ford, picking up his pace. He lept over a man laying peacefully on a nail bed, the guards at his heels, and he winced as he heard the man howl in pain as a guard tripped over him.

Ford paused to try to swipe some jewelry off a table, but the merchant caught him and shouted at the startled griffyn as a lady screamed shrilly in the background about vandals and theives.

Bill rolled his eyes in exasperation, "Ford!" He called, and the little animal dodged the merchants hands and dove into Bill's arms and curled around his neck as they ran. He was cornered in front of a small doorway, hands up and bread peeking out of his sirwal pockets.

He swallowed thickly, before giving a nervous laugh, "L-lets not be too hasty here." He stammered, only to fall backwards when the door he was pressed against opened. He was scooped up with a high pitched squeal by a big woman in a bright purple dress named Susan.

"Look at you, you handsome cutie pie you!" She cooed, making Bill grimace as the guards relaxed slightly in surprise. Bill flipped out of Susan's arms and rolled to a stop, leaning on two guards shoulders with a bright grin, "Sorry boys, gotta steal to eat. Otherwise we'd get along." He said casually, just as all the guards lept at him in a storm of dust.

When it cleared, he was five feet away with Ford by his side, sprinting with a giddy laugh. A man dancing on a bed of hot coals stood in their path, and Bill bunched up his muscles and launched himself onto the man's back, making him stumble briefly, before leaping off again onto the other side of the coal bed.

He chuckled as he heard the guards yelps of pain behind him, running past a man sword swallowing. Ford seemed to get an idea and he flew back, snatching the sword and baring it in his front paws menacingly with a small growl as the guards froze up.

"He's got a sword!" One cried in fear, and the leader facepalmed. He ripped his own saber from his scabbard, "You idiots! We've all got swords!" He yelled, and Ford realized the plan wasn't working, so he ditched the sword with a small yap and flew to catch up with a still fleeing Bill.

The blond's golden eyes widened as he saw guards coming towards from the front. He skidded to a halt in front of a rope charmer, looking frantically back and forth for an escape.

Then his head lowered an he smirked, pausing for a split second to let them get just a little closer, before leaping up and snatching the rope dangling in front of the rope charmer, scurrying up it as the guards smashed into each other, scattering like bowling pins.

He laughed and mumbled the rest of the sayings his father taught him under his breath, "One jump ahead of the hoofbeats. One trick ahead of disaster." He murmured, realizing the guards were everywhere now, shouting obscenities and calling names such as 'vandal' and 'street rat'. He twirled on heel and raced up the stairs to his left, leaping agilely through the window before the guards could snag him.

He cupped his hands over his mouth with a grin, "You're quick fellas! But I'm much faster!" He sang out, before snatching a nearly threadbare rug off the ground of the house he'd just ran through. He tipped his small fez at the guards, "Wish me happy landin' boys!" He cackled, before jumping out the window, the carpet easily catching the dry winds and floating him gently down to the dark, narrow streets below.

He floated almost ungracefully to the ground, hitting it hard and jolting his bones painfully as he absorbed the hit through his ankles. He grimaced, but then grinned at the slightly warm bread in his hand.

He flopped down in the shadow of the two buildings they were in between, Ford settling beside him, his tail waving excitedly. Bill chuckled, breaking the loaf in half, "Breakfast is served." He said regally, handing the slightly smaller half to the dark gray griffyn.

Bill smiled and licked his lips, taking a deep breath and inhaling the buttery scent, opening his mouth to take a bite, when a slightly rattle jerked away his attention. He looked up to see two kids, a six year old girl and a four year old boy, rummaging through a trash bin for food.

The girl lifted out a stripped fish skeleton, starting when she caught Bill watching her, ducking down behind the bin so only her slightly ratty black hair could be seen. Bill glanced at Ford, who caught his gaze and scowled, possessively hoarding his half and taking a large bite with a small snarl.

Bill rolled his golden eyes and saw the girl and the boy peeking at both of them, eyes wide with longing at the food in the duo's hands. The blond looked between the bread in his hands to the frail looking children, then rolled his eyes with a groan, standing and walking over to them.

They cowered back slightly, but he squat down in front of them, extending his hand and the bread. They looked at him curiously, then glanced at the bread.

"I'm not gonna hurt you. Go on, take it." He said softly. They still hesitated, and Bill rolled his eyes with a huff, "Take it, kid. Before I change my mind." He snapped. The girl hurriedly took it with shaking hands, giving the blond a weak smile.

He stood and ruffled her hair, walking back to the wall just as fanfare trumpeted outside the alleyway. His head tilted in curiosity, and he walked past Ford, who, thinking he was coming to take his food, growled softly, but then slumped when he walked straight past.

Ford narrowed his slitted blue eyes at the kids, before snuffing and picking up the bread carefully in his jaws. He stalked over to the kids and placed it at their feet with a sharp glare. The girl looked down and smiled, picked up the loaf half and gently petting the griffyn, who rolled his eyes with a gesture that said 'yeah yeah', but let out a soft purr when his chin was scratched.

Bill chuckled as he glanced back, then turning back to stand on his tiptoes to peer between the thick men that blocked the few of the road, a slight smile quirking his lips. The men before him grumbled lowly to each other.

"Who is it? It looks like a noble."

"Another suitor for the Princess."

They bantered, beginning to place bets as Bill began to push his way to the front with Ford flying up to rest on his shoulder.

The man in question was sitting upon a taller black horse with a preened curly mane and tail, adorned with a jewelry encrusted harness.

He was pale, looked European, with an upturned nose and straight black hair to his chin, a bit of black stubble on his chin, his ears glittering with golden hoops. He wore a tight fitting black shirt lined with red velvet trim, a red heart cresting his breast pocket, and puffy red pants that were cuffed with gold on the end. He wore a red and black turban on his head, a ruby glittering in the front of it. His held his head high and looked down at the people in the streets with distaste.

Bill raised an eyebrow at the man, just in time to see the two kids from before run out in front of him, the sister chasing desperately after the brother, causing the horse to rear back with an offended whinny. The man, startled, almost lost his balance and scrambled ungracefully for purchase on the reins, gaining it with a huff.

Hard brown eyes scowled down at the now cowering children as the man's face twisted with fury.

"You insolent brats! I'll teach you some respect!" The noble roared, wrenching a whip from his side and raising it high. Bill's eyes widened and he charged through the rest of the crowd, skidding to a halt before the children, raising an arm as the whip came down with a loud swash sound, coiling around his arm.

He grimaced and glared at the surprised black haired man, "Hey!" Bill barked, yanking his arm back and taking the whip with it, jerking it from the man's hands as the kids scrambled away. The blond bared his teeth at the man, "If I was as rich as you, I think I could afford some manners!" He snarked, throwing the whip back at the man, who caught it against his chest with a yelp.

Then the man sneered at Bill, lifting a foot and shoving it into the blond's chest hard, "Get out of my way, you filthy brat!" He yelled, sending the boy flailing back into a patch of mud. Ford flew around the noble's head like an angry fly, yapping at the man, before the noble simply hit one of his wings, sending him spiraling down into the mud beside his master.

People jeered and laughed as the noble trotted on with a triumphant smirk. Bill sat up and wiped off his face, slinging mud off his limbs as he glared at the man's back before giving an angry grin, "Would you look at that Ford," He said loud enough for the man to hear as he crossed the palace gates.

Knowing he had the man's attention, Bill continued, "It's not everyday you see a horses with two asses." He finished casually, and the noble as well as his horse went rigid, whipping his head around to glare offendedly at the boy, before smoothing over his expression.

He raised his head, "You are a worthless street rat. You were born a street rat, you will die a street rat, and only your fleas will mourn you." He snarked, as he trotted through the gates that slammed shut behind him with an empty thud that echoed the feeling in the blond's chest.

Chapter Text

Bill stood up with a sigh, shaking mud off him as he glared after the noble, "I'm not a rat. And I don't have fleas." He grumbled. Then he sighed and turned to Ford as the crowd began to disperse.

He snagged an apple off a stand while the owner wasn't looking and bit into it as he walked, "C'mon Ford. Let's go home." He said tiredly, noting how low the sun was with surprise. He must've spent half the day getting chased by the palace guards, so it really shouldn't have been that surprising, but it merely made him all the more tired. He began his way carefully home, avoiding the law and muttering quietly to himself.

"Riffraff, street rat? Pfft, I'm not buying it." He grumbled, shoving his hands in his black sirwal pockets. He gave a heavy sigh as he slipped in between two homes and climbed up the rickety latter he'd placed there a while back.

He paused as he reached the top, looking out at the city bedazzled with lights and a sky full of stars. It was beautiful, yes, but riddled with obvious, oblivious poverty.

Bill huffed and ran a hand through his blond locks, "If everyone would just look a little closer..." He murmured, leaping up and ducking into his little home.

He gazed around at the dusty space that was basically a collapsed top floor of a rent building, strung up with sheets and blankets with some wooden beams moved to give it more room and make it more homey.

Ford fluttered down onto his ragged pillow and curled his tail around him with a sleepy snuff. Bill chuckled and pulled the small blanket over the griffyn, then pulling back the large, torn sheet from its cord by a large hole on the wall, gazing out over the city as he settled himself down on the ledge.

He took of his black mini fez with a puff of air, looking away from the city and up to the stars. He raised a finger to trace the constellations, pausing on the ladle in the bear.

The ladle that pointed West. A place unknown, a place uncharted, a place that was most likely better than here. He clung to that constellation, clung to it for dear life, and it filled him with hope.

Hope, for a day when he wouldn't have to scrounge for food, when he wouldn't have to run from the law, when he could be free. The boy tore his gaze from the sky with a heavy sigh, slipping down to curl up on his pile of blankets, "Someday, I'll show them, show every one. Every stuffed shirt, stuck up prick there is, I'll show them how good, no, how great I can be. If I ruled Agrabah, no one would ever be whipped or go hungry again." He mumbled.

The sleeping griffyn gave a slight purr, and the blond chuckled, rubbing an ear. "Someday."

~

The Sultan waited by the door anxiously, wringing his hands. 'Please, Allah, let him like this one' Stanley thought, pushing up his turban and blowing the black leather out of his face.

Suddenly, the garden doors slammed open and out marched a furious black haired noble. His cheeks were a ruddy shade of red and his eyes burned with humiliation, "Why, I've never been so insulted!" He raged, storming down the hall.

Stanley jumped and quickly went after him, "Sir Valentino, what-" He was cut off as he saw the man's torn pants, showing white undergarments patterned with split hearts.

The noble whirled on the Sultan, "Good luck marrying him off! I'm never coming back to this country! So barbaric!" Sir Valentino raged, stomping off down the hall, leaving Stanley fuming.

The Sultan growled, "Oh, Dipper!" He swore, turning on heel and marching back out to the garden. He stepped out into the oasis and looked around, "Dipper! Dipper!" He called, still ticked off.

The garden was a lovely place, plush green palm trees tufting from the ground, as well as a few apple, lemon, pear, and fig trees scattered about, little berry bushes peeking out below them. A white latticed bench swing sat in a small patch of grass to the right, the circle of polished sandstone at the center of the garden surrounding the marble fountain taking up most of the ground space. A large white latticed column sat in front of the fountain, and tinkling chirps could be heard from inside, as well as the rustling of soft feathers.

Stanley caught sight of his great nephew sitting on the fountain ledge, twirling his fingers lazily in the water while his eyes trained on the sketch book in his lap, glancing up at the small white bird sitting patiently in front of him as he shaded in his picture.

The Sultan huffed and started forwards only to be startled back by the large pig stepping in his path, a piece of black cloth clamped in his jaws. Stanley shook his head, leaning forward and grasping the cloth, tugging, but the pig obviously had no intentions of letting it go.

"Oh, confund it, Waddles!" The Sultan huffed, falling back on his rear as the fabric tore. The elder man pushed up his turban and peered at the fabric in his hands. He looked back up with a glare as the pig wandered back over to sit at the boy's feet, shaking the fabric as he stood again, "So this is why Prince Valentino stormed out!" He accused.

A small laugh came from the brunette, "Oh, come on Grunkle Stan! Waddle's was just playing with him. Mabel said he needed some fresh air, so it did him good." Dipper said, setting down his pencil to scratch the pig's ears gratefully, receiving a happy snort in return.

"Isn't that right Waddles? You were just playing with that self-absorbed, tight pant wearing, touchy Prince Valentino, huh? Just like with all Mabel's boyfriends." He cooed, and the pig nuzzled into his hand.

Stanley pinched the bridge of his nose, "Kiddo, you've got to stop rejecting every suitor who comes to call." He said gruffly.

Dipper stood up with a sigh, gently picking up the bird and walking away from his nagging Grunkle with an eye roll.

His blue sirwals had greenish orange splatters of paint on the bottoms, covering the gold there, but seeming to match well with his sheer sea blue half shirt. A band of twisted silver was set around his head, a white crystal with a blue gem that took the shape of a Western tree embedded in the entwines of silver and glittering in the sunlight, keeping his brown curls down over his forehead, how he liked it.

Stanley followed him, "The law says that you must be married to a Prince by your next birthday." He persisted, and Dipper mouthed along with him with another eye roll, having heard this speech too many times to count.

He sighed as he reached the cage, pausing, "Why does it have to be me? Why can't you force Mabel into this?" He griped, stroking the bird's head with two fingers. Stanley sighed heavily.
"Because Dipper, you're the eldest!"

"By four minutes!"

"That doesn't matter and you know it!"

The Sultan rubbed his temples and the boy huffed, "They don't even have male Queens and Princesses in the other kingdoms. Agrabah is one of the only ones who still do!" He argued, and Stanley gave him an exasperated look, "But everyone else excepts it. They don't have to practice it to except it. Many kingdoms were interested in us, many with very valuable resources, and you're still being stubborn! You've only got five more days!" The Sultan barked.

Dipper groaned, "But I hate being forced into this! When I do wed," He paused, eyes glazing a little as the bird nuzzled his palm, thinking of Mabel and her boyfriend, "I want it to be for l-lo-lov- Mutual attraction." He finally finished, not being able to bring himself to sound like a sappy schoolgirl.

Stanley's eyes softened and he sighed, "Dipper," He started, watching the boy gaze blankly over the walls, "It's not just this law. I'm not going to be around for much longer, and I just want to make sure you two are taken care of." He said, taking the bird from the boy, earning a narrow glance as he replaced it back in its cage.

Dipper turned and walked back to the fountain, glancing back, "Please, just try to understand." He said, sitting back down on the fountain edge, "You've never let me do a thing on my own. I've never even been outside the palace walls. Mabel's been farther out than I have, she's seen more! She's had tons of lovers and friends, but me? Well...I've never had any real friends." He grumbled.

Waddle's looked up with an offended oink, but Dipper smiled sadly and shook his head, "You're Mabel's pet, Waddles, not mine." He murmured, dipping his fingers back in the water.

Stanley sighed, putting a gentle hand on the boy's shoulder. "But, Dipper, you and your sister are Princesses, you both have to-"

"I never asked to be a Princess!" The boy yelled, slamming his hand down into the water, splashing it everywhere. The Sultan muffled a frustrated screech, and stalked off, calling up to the sky, "Allah forbid Mabel has any sons!"

Dipper scowled and crossed his arms with a huff, seething. He suddenly got up and stalked over to the birdcage, grasping the brass door handles and throwing them wide, letting the flurry of white wings beat around him as they all flew and sang for freedom, swinging far away and above into the sky, in the direction of the West.

Hazel eyes gazed after them longingly, wishing for his own wings to carry him far from this boring, restricting place. He paid no mind to his ranting Grunkle, who stormed back inside and began pacing in his study.

He threw up his hands and went over to his desk where several blueprints were laid out, "I don't know where he gets it from. Mabel isn't nearly so picky." He grumbled smoothing out the papers. A shadow fell over him and he jolted, before looking up to see familiar ice blue eyes, smiling weakly.

"Ah, Gideon. My most trusted advisor. I am in dire need of your wisdom." He admitted tiredly, rubbing his temples. Gideon bowed humbly, "My life is but to serve you, My Lord. How may I be of service?" He asked.

Stanley huffed, "It's this suitor business! Dipper absolutely refuses to choose a husband, and I'm at my wit's end!" He complained. Telo cooed softly at this, and Stanley blinked at him before smiling, taking a cracker from his white sirwals pocket and shoving it in the dove's mouth, "Pretty bird." He mumbled as the dove seemed to choke, glaring daggers at him.

Gideon chuckled falsely, "Your Majesty certainly has a way with dumb animals." He mused, earning a talon in the shoulder and a narrow scowl.

Stanley sombered once more as Gideon continued, "I could most certainly devise a solution for this froamy problem, but...it would require the use of a mystic blue diamond." He said, grasping the Sultan's hand and turning it over.

The elder snatched his hand back with an uncertain frown, "My ring? But, this has been in the family for years and-" "And it is necessary in finding your stubborn Princess a suitor." Gideon interrupted.

Then he smirked, shifting his Sapphire topped silver staff so that the gem was level with the elder's eyes. As its dark forces began to swirl with black magic and the Sultan's eyes went misty, Gideon hummed, "Don't worry, everything will be fine." He purred. Stanley swayed, nodding slowly, dazed.

"The diamond?" Gideon said again, smiling when the man slipped the ring off his finger, "Yes, Gideon. Whatever you need, will be fine..." He breathed, eyes unseeing. Gideon snatched the ring and broke off the flow of magic, "You are most gracious, My Leige. Now go back to your little doodles." He said with a too-sweet smile.

Stanley stumbled, "Yes, doodles..." He murmured. Gideon swept out of the room with an eye roll, leaving the Sultan to deal with a case of mental whiplash.

Telo spat out the cracker remains as soon as they were out of hearing range. He groaned, "I can't take it anymore!" He howled, "If I have to choke down one more of those moldy, disgusting crackers, BAM! WHACK!" He yelled, curling his feathers into mock fists and swinging at air as Gideon tapped his staff against one of the wall panels, which slid open.

"Calm yourself, Telo. Soon, I will be Sultan, not that dim-witted twit." Gideon snapped, head held high as he rounded up a dark staircase. Telo grinned evilly "Then, I can shove the crackers down his throat! Ha ha!" Gideon grinned as he slammed another door shut behind him, the sound being muffled to the twins who were a couple hallways up and over.

Mabel swung her legs as she sat on the bed, her pink sheer skirt swishing around her ankles. Her slim pink chest cover matched her pink fez that draped a length of lace down to dip below her chin and back up to connect to the opposite side of the hat, her pink crystal star necklace bouncing on her collarbone. She frowned at her brother, who was currently pacing furiously.

"I can't believe this! How can he just force me into this!?" He ranted for the umpteenth time. Mabel sighed, "Dip, Grunkle Stan only wants what's best for us. He wants us to be happy." She told him, and he glanced at her, "I'd be happy if he just left me to the library and the garden! By Allah, I'd be happy if he just let me outside every once in a while! I'm not a delicate little desert flower that could get trampled at anytime!" He huffed, crossing his arms and flopping down on his bed.

Mabel rolled her eyes, "We know you're not weak, and you're most definitely not a damn flower. More like a cactus with how sharp and stubborn you are." She reasoned, and he ran a hand through his hair, which, now that it was free of the band, slid up easily to reveal the stellar marking on his forehead, "I'm just tired of people deciding for me Mabel. I thought being the elder sibling was supposed to come with more pros than cons." He grumbled.

The pink clad girl giggled, "Only by four minutes Dippingsauce. And it's just because we're royals. Almost any rank else and you would be getting all the good stuff. Who's to say you're not getting it now? What, with all the extra treatments and feasts and lessons?" She said, nudging him with her elbow.

He sighed, "That's what you think. But you're free to come and go as you please. You can see the world, and I'm going to be stuck her ruling a stuck up kingdom with a complete egotistical stuffed shirt by my side." He murmured. But that had given him an idea.

He suddenly sat up, "That's it!" He exclaimed, leaping up to rush over to his dresser, grabbing a few essentials and stuffing them in his blue, paint splattered sirwal pockets.

Mabel stood too, "Whoa, what are you doing bro?" She said carefully. He didn't look at her, "I'm leaving." He said firmly. Mabel's eyes widened, "What!? No, Dipper, you can't do that!" She said shrilly, grasping his arm.

He turned to her with desperate eyes, "I can't do this Mabel. I can't stay here and let my life be lived for me. I don't wanna be shipped off with some touchy stranger who's only in it for the money. I want to love...for love." He whispered, and her eyes softened.

He set down his journal, "You understand more than anybody. What about that Spanish merchant? Or that French puppeteer?" He urged. She hesitated, before sighing heavily.

She released his arm and backed away, "Okay. Okay bro, I understand." She murmured. He smiled faintly and pulled on a long plain brown robe, wrapping on of his sister's wraps around to hide his obvious mess of brown curls, but not before Mabel slipped on his silver band.

She smiled weakly, "Something to remember us by." She whispered. His eyes shone and he hugged her, "I'll miss you." He whispered. She let out a small sniffle and nodded, clutching him a bit tighter before releasing him with watery eyes.

He grabbed his pencil and tucked it behind his ear before slipping out the door, "Goodbye sis." He breathed, before quickly slinking down the hallways and out the garden doors.

He scaled the fig tree, setting himself atop the palace wall as he situated himself.

He looked up and saw a figure waving at him from their bedroom window. He smiled, waving back, before slipping down the other side, and was gone into the night.

Chapter Text

Bill sat carefully on a carvan top, ushering Ford as he watched the merchant below him, "Alright Ford, go!" He said. The griffyn wrapped his tail around the wooden post, dropping down to snag a melon and giving a few yaps to grab the merchant's attention.

The merchant turned and scowled, "Why you mangy-!" He growled out, turning his back on his pile of wards enough for Bill to reach down and take a bigger one, hoisting it back up as the merchant finally turned back around with the nearly stolen melon, only to find his prize piece was gone.

He roared in anger while Bill chuckled quietly under his breath as he split the melon on his knees, juice seeping from the orange meaty pulp, and he handed one half to the smiling griffyn.

Dipper held the sides of his head cover tightly, making sure to shield his face from any guards, not that they would know what he looked like, but he wanted to be cautious. But it was hard when he was so entranced by the bustling marketplace, merchants calling out legends of their wares and compliments to sway anyone that passed by into stopping and buying something.

His hazel eyes twinkled with delight as he took in the world around him, enthralled at being on his own for once. Merchants called out to him, but he polietly shook his head at each one, wanting more to quietly observe than anything else. His hands itched to just sit down and draw this scene, so he could never forget it. But he was too close to the palace still, and if he paused he could be spotted and taken back.

He slowly spun as he walked, jolting as he backed into a fire breather, whirling to see the man choke on the match, cheeks flushing, "I-Im sorry sir, I-" He jumped as the man banged his chest a few times and let out a loud burp with a spurt of flame from his lips. With the jump, his head cover fell back, but he paid it no mind for a moment, causing several people, men in particular, to stop and give him a longer glance.

Bill had been half way done with his melon, giving the marketplace a casual glance when his eyes skated over- he did a double take.

"Whoa." He breathed, sitting up. His golden eyes were locked onto a boy that looked slightly younger than him, but by Allah was he worth looking at.

Smooth dark skin stretched over rounded cheeks and higher cheek bones, a small nose that sat just underneath big, beautiful sparkling hazel eyes underneath long dark lashes, deep brown curls settled around a twisted silver band in his hair. His lips were full and plush and a lovely shade of strawberry most women would kill for. The blond was hit with the strong desire to touch them with his own to see if they were as soft as they looked.

The brunette boy apologized again to the man he'd run into, before resituating his head cover, which only hid his face if you weren't looking for it. But looking for it Bill was.

He leaned against the carvan top post with a wistful sigh, his eyes only having attention for those brilliant hazel ones.

Dipper could feel himself blush in embarrassment as he walked away from the man, knowing he must've seemed like a klutz, and his eyes caught a small boy reaching up for an apple on a carvan counter with a desperate, hungry look in his brown eyes. Dipper, feeling sympathy for the child, and being a naturally kind person, walked over and plucked an apple from the counter, handing it to the boy with a gentle smile, "Here you go." He said, and the boy gave him a sweet smile before taking the apple with a grateful giggle and running off.

Dipper began to walk away when a low growl sent ice down his spine, "You'd better be able to pay for that." The fruit merchant snarled. The brunette was briefly startled, "P-pay?" He stammered, and the merchant grabbed his arm, jerking him back, "No one steals from my carvan!" The merchant boomed, slinging the boy towards the counter, causing him to cry out.

Dipper gulped and tried to give a smile, which failed, "I-I don't h-have any money." He stuttered, and there merchants face contorted into that of rage, "Thief!" He roared, unsheathing his saber, "Do you know what the penalty is for stealing!?"

Dipper's eyes widened, panic taking him over as the merchant raised his saber, "Wait, no! If you'll let me go to the palace, Ill get some from the Sultan!" He blurted before he could stop himself.

The sword started to come down and Dipper gave a sharp squeak, before a tan hand caught the handle, "Whoa!" The owner of the hand said, sliding in front of the brunette as his arm was released.

The boy who'd caught the sword flashed the merchant a bright smile as he slid the saber from the man's hand and shook his hand, discreetly shoving the blade back into Dipper's shaking hands, "Thank you kind sir! You've found him!" The boy said loudly, then turning as Dipper quickly tossed the sword behind another carvan.

The boy was taller than him, with a broader, darker chest that was etched with muscle, peeking through the gap in his yellow over vest. He wore decorative black sirwals with a few patches here or there, and was barefoot, but all of this is not what caught the brunette's attention. It was the boy's eyes. They were a bright shade of gold and glittered with mystery and mischief, his smirk taunting with a tone of mockery that seemed to barely touch his eyes. His hair was wild, and bright blond, a black mini fez perched on his crown.

Dipper's breath caught in his throat and his mouth went dry, his heart puttering erratically in his chest. The blond gave him a false stern look and put an arm around his shoulders and began leading him in the opposite direction, "I've been looking all over for you!" He said loudly, snapping Dipper back his senses.

He raised a brow at the blond, "What are you doing?" He whispered, earning a wink, "Just play along." The boy replied. The merchant frowned with a furrowed brow, "You...know this boy?" He questioned the blond, who turned.

He sighed, "Sadly yes. He is my brother. He's a little crazy." He stage whispered, and Dipper gave an offended scoff. The blond used his foot to discreetly kick an apple off the counter and into his hand, handing it back to the merchant, "See? No harm done!"

The merchant scowled suspiciously at the taller boy, "He said he knew the Sultan." He growled out, and the blond blinked before letting out a bark of laughter.

He gestured to Ford, who was sticking his nose into a woman's purse, jolting out when the focus switched to him, "He thinks the griffyn is the Sultan." He explained, glancing at Dipper, who took the hint. He abruptly dropped to his knees and bowed to the gray griffyn, who looked startled, "Oh wise and powerful Sultan, how may I serve you?" He called regally, thinking maybe he was overacting a bit, and Ford looked pleased, raising up to pat the brunette on the head like a king would pet his dog.

The merchant didn't look entirely convinced, and the blond boy went over and helped Dipper up from his knees.

"Come on, brother, time to go see the doctor." He said, and Dipper kept a dazed smile plastered on his face, looking slightly confused when he was really just trying not to laugh. He spotted a camel and tilted his head at it, "Hello doctor, how are you?" He asked airly, and the blond chuckled before pushing him on, "No no, not that one." He said aloud, glancing back over his shoulder at Ford, "Come on, Sultan." He called sarcastically, and Ford did a regal bow, all of his loot falling out as he did.

The merchant saw and his face turned purple as the trio quickly sprinted away, calling out raging insults. Adrenaline surged through the brunette's limbs, an excited grin on his face as he let himself be pulled into an alleyway by this mysterious boy who seemed to be more of a lawbreaker than a lifesaver.

The blond was breathing rapidly as well, a grin on his face too, and the griffyn on his shoulder chuffed with laughter as the fruit merchant ran by the shadowy alley. The blond glanced at him with a small smile, "I think we're good, for a while at least." He said, pushing off the sandstone wall.

Dipper gasped for breath, straightening from his bent position to meet the stranger's glittering eyes, "T-thank you, mister...?" He trailed off pointedly, tilting his head slightly. The blond blinked, then smiled, "You can call me Bill." He replied, holding out a hand for Dipper to shake.

The brunette raised an eyebrow but smiled softly back, "I'm...well, names don't really matter, right?" He finished quickly with a nervous chuckle. The boy named Bill raised an eyebrow, but didn't push it, smirking instead, "Alright then, Mr. No Name. How 'bout I just call you Pinetree?" He suggested, and the shorter was briefly startled, "Pinetree?" He asked, bewildered.

Bill tapped the white and blue gem on his silver band, "That's what those trees are called. My mother read me a book about the West once, and she said that those trees were everywhere, as far as the eye could see." He said, throwing his arm out to gesture with a childlike grin on his face.

Then he turned pink and coughed, stepping away from Dipper, "It seemed appropriate, since you're not going to give me your name." He mumbled.

The griffyn was suddenly hanging down in front of the brunette's face, peering at him with curious wide blue eyes. Dipper yelped and stumbled back, and Bill rolled his eyes, "Don't scare the poor thing! The boy's probably had enough excitement for today." He scolded the griffyn as it settled on his shoulder once more.

Dipper peered forward with wide eyes, studying the creature perched on the blond's shoulder with interest, "Is he yours?" He questioned, stepping closer, missing the thick swallow the blond gave as his breath hitched slightly, before composing himself as Dipper reached out a hesitant hand to the griffyn, gently stroking his head with two fingers.

"Dipper, this is Ford. Ford, this is Dipper." He introduced. Ford purred softly as the gentle fingers scratched under his chin, before abruptly jerking back at Bill 's next statement, looking aghast.

"Do you have anywhere to go?" The griffyn snarled, beginning to yap and growl at his owner, knowing exactly what he was insinuating. Dipper refrained from gawking as Bill abruptly clamped a hand over Ford's muzzle. He couldn't believe his good luck! Dipper really hadn't thought beyond getting out of the palace itself and exploring, perhaps jacking a camel and riding a few towns over.

But the sun was starting to go down, and he'd be grateful for a place to rest. He shook his head and the blond smiled sheepishly, "You can stay with us, at least, until you can find somewhere else." Then his eyes widened and he hastily waved his hands, "Wait, not like that! I mean, you can stay as long as you like." He blurted, turning slightly pink.

Dipper giggled, finding this handsome boy to be quite funny as well, and his eyes...Well, Dipper could stare into them all day. He'd never seen such a color, especially so bright.

He nodded, "I'd be delighted to stay with you, Bill." He answered softly, looking down with a light blush. Bill's eyes widened at the pretty splash of pink on the soft cheeks, and he let out a breath, "Beautiful." He breathed.

Dipper looked up, "What was that?" He asked. Bill turned around abruptly, ignoring the pouting griffyn on his shoulder, "Uh, I said it's not like we're too full, heh." He covered lamely, mentally cursing himself. Dipper blinked.

"Oh. Well then, tell me more about this home of yours." He prompted lightly, smiling. Bill grinned, glad for change of subject "Of course."

~

Telo panted anls he painted on the cog wheel of the Thunder Ball, which was crackling with cloudy lightning. He glanced up at Gideon, "Couldn't we just...wait for a real storm!?" He wheezed.

Gideon produced the diamond with a wicked grin, "Save your breath Telo! Faster!" He ordered. Telo rolled his eyes, "Yes, Oh Mighty Evil One!" He called sarcastically, sprinting faster with a twittering grunt.

Gideon smiled, triumphant, as he placed the ring in the groove above the large crystal hourglass that began swirling as the blue diamond glowed. Suddenly, bright turquoise lightening shot from the ball and strung itself between the gem of the ring and Thunder Ball, crackling with power as the hourglass lit up. Gideon cackled, "Yes. Yes!" He leaned forward and held the bottom glass where the sand was gathering, "Show him to me. Show me the one who can enter the cave." He whispered to it, and slowly an image began to show through the grains.

It showed a sandstone wall, a rickety latter holding a grinning blond boy with a griffyn on his shoulder, who leaned back to help up...the Princess. This caused a flicker of alarm to spark in Gideon's chest for some unknown reason, but it was quickly masked by delight, "There he is! My Golden Diamond in the rough!" He breathed, eyes alight.

Telo scoffed, "That's him!? That's the bozo we've been waitin-" he suddenly tripped and went flying backwards with a screech.

Gideon straightened, "Let's have the guards extend him an invitation to the castle." He mused with a smirk, and Telo slammed into the wall from the force of the wheels. The dove coughed heavily, "Swell."

Chapter Text

Dipper let himself be pulled up to the roof by the strong arms, only to trip and fall straight into the blond's chest with a slight gasp. He blushed and Bill steadied him, smirking slightly, "Careful." He chuckled, and Dipper straightened.

They both seemed to realize how close they were and if Dipper just stood on his tiptoes or Bill inclined his head slightly, their lips would meet.

They both abruptly stepped back with nervous smiles. The brunette cleared his throat, "I wanted to thank you again for stopping that man." He murmured, rubbing his arm.

The blond huffed out a laugh and turned, "Don't worry about it." He replied, bending to pick up a large pole about eight foot tall. He glanced back at Dipper, "So this is your first time in the marketplace, huh?" He asked, running and slamming down the pole on the edge of the roof, launching himself and Ford across the gap to the opposite roof.

The shorter smiled sheepishly, "Is it that obvious?" He asked quietly. Bill laughed in his throat as he picked up a rather long rickety board and propped it up before looking up at the brunette through his lashes, "Well, you do kinda stand out." He murmured, entranced by the twinkling hazel eyes that were splattered with flecks of silver, like stars.

The boy blushed and smiled happily, before Bill seemed to realize what he'd just said and shook his head, "I mean, uh, you don't seem to know how dangerous the streets of Agrabah can be." He amended, kicking the board forward so it fell across the gap, and he bent to straighten it just as something flew over his head.

He blinked and straightened, just in time to see Dipper land lightly on his sandalled feet, tossing a light smirk over his shoulder, "I'm a faster learner." He said, tossing the pole back to Bill, who stared at him, the griffyn on his shoulder gaping at the brunette, who sauntered off to the edge of the roof.

Bill snapped out of his shock and smiled, glancing at Ford with a raised brow, "Hey, looks like we picked up a fighter." He chuckled, dropping the pole and going after Dipper, who was standing a little ways off, waiting for them.

The blond took his hand, leading them around the jutted corner to a small jump across to a crumbling building. He lead the shorter boy through the slanted doorway, leading him through the maze of broken beams, "Whoa, mind your head there. And there. Careful, that's sharp." Bill warned as he led Dipper to the only clear space at the top of the building's top floor.

Dipper looked around as he stepped over the last beam, "Is this where you live?" He asked, looking with widened eyes at the homely space covered in dusty and worn stolen blankets and towels.

Bill smiled sheepishly and rubbed his neck with his free hand, "Yeah. Just me and Ford, come and go as we please, do what we want, well, mostly." He blathered, before shutting himself up.

Dipper hummed wistfully, "That sounds wonderful." He breathed, and Bill chuckled, finally releasing the boy's hand as he placed one bare foot on the clothed opening ledge. He shrugged, "Well, it's not much but," he yanked the cloth back, "It's got a great view." He finished, revealing a sherbert colored sky dotted with fluffy clouds dyed orange by the sunset as the sun crested over the tiers of the palace.

Bill sighed wistfully as he looked it over, and Dipper's breath caught at the beautiful sight of the sky, only to be ruined by the next sentence out of the blond's mouth.

"The palace looks amazing." Bill said, still gazing out the makeshift window. Dipper's face fell, and he frowned, before turning, "Oh, yes, it's wonderful." He muttered bitterly, sitting down with his back against the crumbling stone of the makeshift window.

He missed Mabel and Stan, oh yes, missed them terribly. But it was still not, nor did he think it would ever be, enough to make him return to the palace.

Besides, he could take care of himself! Well, with the help of his new street smart friend of course. Was he even a friend? They'd only met a few hours ago, yet from the moment Dipper's eyes caught those glittering golden ones, he knew that this boy was different. They had a fire that was dangerous and enticing at the same time, beckoning him and inviting him in, wrapping around him in a way that was comforting.

Bill didn't seem to want anything from him, and Dipper could safely say that he'd never met anyone that didn't want anything from him.

'That will change when he finds out who you are' his mind hissed. He quickly batted the thought away.

'He doesn't ever have to know if I have anything to say about it' he snapped back. Bill was talking again, jolting Dipper from his brooding.

"I wonder what it would be like to live there. Have servants, and valets." He mused, reminding the brunette that Bill was still a commoner.

He rolled his hazel eyes, "Oh sure, where people tell you where to go and how to dress." He replied bitterly. Bill let out a soft laugh, snatching an apple from Ford's stash, earning a protesting yap, "It's better than here. You're always scraping for food and ducking the guards." He said, pushing himself off the wall to stroll to the middle of the room as he passed the apple from hand to hand in thought.

Dipper was wrapped up in his own thoughts as well, and he sighed, brow furrowed, "You're not free to make your own choices." He mumbled, not having heard Bill.

Bill seemed to do the same as he looked up towards the ceiling.

"It's like you're so,"

"You're just,"

"/Trapped/."

They chorused, finally snapping back to the present. They met eyes and smiled, both nearly flying with the thrill of meeting someone who just understood.

Bill tossed up his apple as he walked back over to where Dipper was sitting, letting it roll down his shoulder and bounce off his elbow in one swift, yet impressive, movement into Dipper's hands. He looked down, "So, where are you from?" He asked as the brunette rubbed his thumb across a dusted spot on the bright red skin, cleaning it.

Dipper smiled weakly, "Heh, what does it matter? I ran away and I am NOT going back." He said firmly.

Bill stole another apple from Ford, who gave him the death glare, before taking a bite and giving it back, much to the griffyn's distaste.

The blond swallowed and raised an eyebrow, sliding to sit beside the brunette, "Really? How come?" He questioned.

Dipper was suddenly very aware of how close the other was sitting, and he tugged at his collar, before meeting those bright eyes and finding his doubts melting away at the genuine concern in them, a faint flutter taking place of his stomach.

He sighed, "My great uncle is forcing me to get married." He mumbled, frowning. Bill's eyes widened and the blond suddenly found he couldn't breathe.

Dread and panic gripped his chest, constricting his chest and twisting his stomach at the thought of the beautiful brunette in some arrogant prick's arms, the brunette grimacing as they took advantage of his status, those gorgeous hazel eyes losing their luster as unhappiness gripped his life.

It just didn't sit right with Bill, and he frowned deeply at the thought, instinctively placing a hand on the brunette's knee, "That's awful." He said softly, meaning it in every sense, not just for Pinetree, but for himself as well.

Dipper glanced down at the hand on his knee, before looking back up at Bill, who looked troubled.

Suddenly Bill glared at his side, "Ford!" He barked, throwing a hand forward to shoo the griffyn away from Dipper, causing the animal to yap repeatedly in a heated fashion as he flew around their heads before settling with a huff on the edge of the window.

Dipper noticed the annoyed eyeroll Bill sent the griffyn, and smiled slightly, "What? What did he say?" He mused, caging his apple in his hands, not especially hungry in that moment.

Bill turned back to the brunette, "Ford said," he paused, seeming to contemplate something, before smirking slightly, "That's not fair." He finished.

Ford's head shot up with a confused mewl, and Dipper smiled, raising an eyebrow. He scooted closer to the blond to bump his shoulder, "Really?" He asked, glancing up at the taller through his lashes, "And does 'Ford' have anything else to say?" He pried with a soft grin.

Bill scooted closer as well with a twitch of a smile curving his lips. He looked down coyly, "Well, he wishes there was something he could do to help." He replied.

There it was. The caring concern, laid bare before them both, and Dipper suddenly felt content. He felt so full and happy, no anger or sadness to poke holes in his mind, and realized he'd be perfectly fine with staying like this forever.

Could he stay here, with these two that, even though they'd just met him, accepted him with open arms (mostly Bill) and kind smiles (again mostly Bill), and live this life of danger and mischief and fun?

He and the duo could pack up the little belongings of their space, and leave Agrabah. They could go West, and see these pine trees that Bill spoke of from his mother's tales, and possibly explore uncharted lands. He could sell his headpiece.... Okay, no, but he could sell his bracelets.

He could go to the ends of the earth, like he'd always dreamed of, with this blond haired mysterious boy. His heart was hammering in his chest as he looked at the blond's bright grin, and his blood suddenly screeched to halt.

What if Bill didn't want to? What if he would think Dipper was crazy? Could he actually trust this boy he just met?

Dipper licked his lips. Well, there was only way to find out.

He smiled shakily, raising a hand to his headpiece hesitantly, "Tell him that's very...sweet." He murmured.

He glanced up at Bill, then quickly back away, biting his lip, "Can... Can I show you something?" He asked tentatively. Bill immediately nodded, "Of course." He replied earnestly.

Dipper took a deep breath, and took off his headpiece, pushing back his curled fringe, and waited with bated breath for the blond's reaction.

Bill's heart stopped. His eyes blew to the size of saucers, looking nearly comical, and his vision traced every inch of the mark on the boy's forehead. The ladle constellation was etched on the sun kissed skin of his forehead.

More like star kissed, like the heavens themselves had pressed their lips to this boy's very soul. The very constellation the blond had spent years gazing at and dreaming of where it pointed to, was plastered on the brunette's forehead.

The golden eyes melted molten, and with a shaky breath, Bill raised a hand to place it over Dipper's, pushing the chocolate curls back some more, exposing more of the mark.

Dipper looked up at him with worried and slightly fearful eyes, but his eyes widened when the blond placed a hand over his own and moved his hair back. Those glittering eyes were rapt, "By Allah, you have the sky on your forehead." Bill breathed, almost disbelieving.

Dipper swallowed thickly, "W-what do you think?" He stammered. The blond shook his head slowly, before briefly shutting his eyes bringing his other hand up to lightly trail his fingertips down the brunette's cheek to cup his jaw.

Dipper's breath hitched and his heart raced, and Bill leaned closer before opening his eyes to meet Dipper's, "I think you're beautiful." He whispered, and Dipper nearly melted into a puddle at his feet in relief.

Then he noticed Bill was now staring at his mouth, and with a shaky breath, Dipper glanced down at the blond's own soft pink ones. His lips tingled and he felt gravity pushing him forward, inch by inch, his eyes lidding slightly as Bill did the same.

So close, with his heart pounding against his ribs, Dipper knew without a shadow of a doubt, had this boy come to the palace, he would've gladly married him on the spot with no questions asked. Unfortunately, fate is never so kind.

"There you are!" The shout echoed through the top floor, and the two lept apart, heads whipping around to see about ten palace guards on the staircase.

Both boys jumped to their feet, "They're after me! Wait, they're after you!?" They chorused, looking at each other in confusion.

Dipper automatically began panicking, "Oh, Grunkle Stan must've sent them to-" he was cut off by Bill, who lept atop the window edge. He turned and held out a hand, eyes flicking hurriedly to the guards and back to Dipper.

"Pinetree, do you trust me?" He asked quickly. Dipper blinked, halfway bent to pick up his headpiece, "W-what?" He stammered. "Do you trust me Pinetree!?" Bill urged, and Dipper hurriedly picked up his headpiece and put it back on before flipping up the head cover.

He placed his hand in Bill's without hesitation, "Yes." He answered. Bill nodded then turned, "Then jump!" He called, leaping off the ledge and taking Dipper with him with a squeak.

They fell through the air, hitting a large tarp on the way down, ripping through it and hitting the pile of sand below hard.

Bill thanked Allah for the abandoned part of Agrabah so they didn't crash into what once was a dining hall. He lept to his feet and hauled Dipper up as well, "Come on!" He said, pulling Dipper along, glancing back as he turned the corner.

He slammed into a thick chest, bouncing off in time to dodge the swiping hands and tug Dipper in the other direction, shoving him towards the dark halls of the old building, "Go, get out of here!" He yelled, trying to scramble after the brunette, who was honestly too bewildered to anything more than follow him.

Ford was suddenly there, clawing at the lead guards hands, and the man growled and picked him up by the scruff, slinging him into a nearby pot with a yelp.

The leader stepped in front of Bill, who slammed into him, meaty hands gripping his over vest and hoisting him up with a sickening grin. The leader chuckled as Bill struggled, "We just keep running into each other, don't we street rat?" He sneered.

He slung the blond to the others waiting by the door, who caught him and restrained him quickly.

Dipper gasped and ran back, slamming into the guard from behind, pounding on his back with his small fists, "Let go of him!" He screamed, anger making him rash and not thinking about taking on a man twice his size.

The leader looked down in amusement, suddenly grabbing Dipper's wrist, "Lookie here men, a little street shrew!" He crooned, cackling as he slung Dipper backwards to the dusty floor.

Bill wrestled with guards who held his arms, "Don't you dare touch him!" He snarled, eyes alight with rage. The leader had turned back around, and Dipper, indignant and desperate, decided to play the only card he had left. The one that was going to cost him almost everything.

He stood up once more and scowled at the chortling guards, before gripping his head cover, throwing it back, "Unhand him, by order of the eldest Princess of Agrabah!" He demanded loudly, authority almost as powerful as Stan's taking his tone.

The leader turned to see that he was indeed looking upon the Princess, and his eyes widened. He fell to one knee abruptly, as did the rest of the guards, "Princess Dipper!" He exclaimed.

Bill looked up, stunned, "The Princess?" He breathed, unable to comprehend. Ford finally squeezed his muzzle back out of the pot to give a surprised yap as well.

The guards rose once more and Dipper placed his hands on his hips, refusing to look at Bill.

"Princess, why are so far outside the palace? And with this street rat?" He asked, bewildered, his head spinning. Dipper glared at him, "That is not your concern. Now do as I said, release him!" He ordered sharply, to which the guard flinched.

He placed a fat hand upon his chest, "I would, Princess, but my orders come from Gideon. You'll have to take it up with him." He answered apologetically.

Dipper recoiled, aghast, before crossing his arms, "Oh, believe me, I will." He growled. Then he looked up, "Give your word to me right now that he will come to no harm under any of your hands, and that he will be treated kindly until I sort this out." He demanded.

The guard sent a hateful glare towards Bill, who was still in shock, then grit his teeth and nodded with a bow, "You have my word Princess." He straightened and held out a hand, "I was ordered by the Sultan that upon the event you were found, I was to escort you back to the palace. Your disappearance has caused quite the uproar." He said.

Dipper looked at the outstretched hand in distaste before glaring at the guard, "I can walk myself." He spat, turning and stalking over to the stable of horses down the road where the guards had tied up their mounts.

He cast one glance back behind him at Bill, and mouthed two words he hoped spoke everything: "I'm sorry."

Chapter Text

Once Mabel found out her brother had been found and was back at the castle, all the blood drained from her face, and she immediately raced for their room. When she found it empty, she groaned, knowing Dipper would be in the garden, a place he only went when he was upset.

The day had grown dark, so when she pushed open the doors to the garden, chirping crickets and twinkling stars greeted her, along with a soft sound that made her heart squeeze painfully.

She slipped out and shut the door behind her, muting the light that shone from the crack. She padded around the corner and saw the blue clad form of her brother, kneeling in front of the fountain, top half hunched over the ledge of marble, shoulders shaking and torso heaving with quiet sobs. She didn't announce her presence, instead walking up and kneeling beside him, putting her arms around him from behind, squeezing him gently.

Dipper's breath hitched, but then he realized it was just Mabel, and leaned into the touch, a soft hiccup escaping his mouth, salt splashing onto his tongue. The soft whisper of, "My fault. It's all my fault." Poured from his lips, broken only by quiet whimpers.

Mabel frowned and heaved out a sigh, gathering her brother closer, "Sh, sh bro, it's okay. Calm down, tell me what happened." She murmured, pushing her fingers through his curls lightly to calm him down. Slowly, but surely, the severity of his crying quieted, and while his tears did not stop, he was finally able to talk.

He rubbed his eyes, looking away from his sister, "I almost had it Mabel, I was so close. But I ruined it." He said softly. The brunette girl put a hand on his shoulder "What? What did you almost have?" She asked, bemused.

Dipper took in a shaky breath, looking up to the sky, his eyes finding the Ursa Major immediately. "Love."

 

~

 

Bill was starting to regret this. He would never get all this freaking sand out of his clothes now. The night was dark and dotted with twinkling stars, marred by a mild sandstorm whirling through the dunes just outside of Agrabah.

He'd been walking for what felt like hours, but every time he felt like giving up and turning around, telling this weird, sickly looking man to go get his forbidden treasure himself, his eyes would unwillingly migrate to the sky and latch onto the ladle, and he'd groan and press on.

Ford was hiding in his vest, away from the onslaught of sandy winds, and Bill squinted as the man beside him called out to stop. He didn't see anything but another dune in front of them, and he started to wonder if this pupiless man was crazy and had dragged him out here for nothing.

If that was the case, Bill was dragging the crazy back to the palace dungeons and chaining him to the wall. Then the red head pulled something from within his robes, and he heard a light click, and what looked like a gold triangle pendant began to glow in his hands, floating up the flying rapidly around the dune in front of them a few times as the ground began to shake.

Bill's eyes widened and he stumbled as the dune rose up to form the head of a sand Sphinx, the triangle splitting in two to fit into the space for its eyes. The pieces stretched and shone bright white until the eyes narrowed down at the two in the sand.

The blond could Ford quaking in his vest, giving a terrified mewl. The Sphinx looked down its muzzle at them, "Who disturbs my slumber?" It rumbled, the ground trembling with its words.

The man beside Bill, who was frozen in awe, nudged the blond forward. Bill blinked and stepped up, clearing his throat before looking up at the glowing eyes, "It is I, Bill Cipher." He called up warily.

The Sphinx growled lowly as it looked him over and he swallowed harshly. "Proceed." Bill let out a breath of relief when the Sphinx spoke again, "Touch nothing but the lamp." It warned darkly, before opening its jaws widely and it's throat turned to chisled steps.

Bill looked skeptically back at the hunched man, who nodded encouragingly. He had said the lamp was the thing that would allow the rest of the treasure to be taken from the cave, and while Bill didn't know exactly why this lamp was so important, he wasn't going to test the cave guardian by scoffing at its warning.

The man held up a hand, "Remember, boy, bring me the lamp! Then, and only then, will you get your reward!" He called over the raging winds. The blond nodded solemnly, then turned to face the sand Sphinx, "Come on Ford." He whispered, feeling the griffyn in his vest start shaking harder.

He carefully made his way down the sand steps and upon reaching the bottom, made his way into a dark shadowy hallway. Well, here went nothing. He wandered along the dark hall until he finally reached a dimly lit archway, and upon stepping through it, he gasped softly.

"Wow." Riches beyond belief mounded along the towering walls, more gold than he'd ever seen glittering by the bucketful on every space if floor. Jewel encrusted goblets and Persian rugs littered the ground, and he shook his head slightly.

"Just a handful of this stuff would make me richer than the Sultan." He breathed. Ford, being curious, poked his nose out of Bill's vest, and his pupils dilated at the sight in front him. He instinctively lept up and tried to fly over to start stuffing his scarf full of the treasure, but the blond caught him by the tail and pulled him back.

"Ford no!" Bill hissed, yanking him back down. He wagged a finger at him, "Don't. Touch. Anything." He ordered, beginning to walk off deeper into the rooms. Ford huffed, indignantly walking after him, his paws padding over a peculiar carpet that had the design of a triangle with an eye in the middle stitched into it, swirls of red and gold lining it's velvet. It twitched.

Ford jumped, startled, looking down at the rug in surprise, maw stretching in a confused mewl. His blue eyes widened when he saw it shiver, and he quickly lept off it, scrambling over to the blond with several panicked yaps and yelps, jumping up to tug at his vest with his teeth.

Bill jumped then glared, scoffing and shaking the panicked griffyn off, "Would you knock it off, Ford!?" He snapped. Ford fell back on his flank with a yelp, eyes wide.

Then he glared as the blond turned his back, huffing and fluttering back up and flying after him slowly, sulking. Ford didn't get very far before he heard rustling. He whipped his head around, ears jutted forward suspiciously as he looked around. Nothing looked out of place, except for the rug that the griffyn could've sworn wasn't there a few seconds ago.

He shook his head, dismissing it, a slight shiver going down his spine, raising his hackles. He heard it again, and paused, then whirled around again just in time to see the rug curl itself up against a pile of gold. Ford's ice blue eyes widened and he screeched loudly, quickly scrambling after Bill who was now a ways ahead.

The rug, spooked, dove up and behind the pile and Ford tackled Bill, pulling on his vest and yapping hysterically. Bill opened his mouth to protest but then glanced to see what Ford was scowling at and saw the carpet from before qui kly duck down behind the gold again.

He rubbed one of Ford's ears to calm the little griffyn down before looking up to the rug with a gentle smile. He squat down and held out a hand, "C'mere....little guy. We're not gonna hurt you. Come on." He cooed, and the skittish carpet inched out, before flying up in front of them, hovering hesitantly.

Bill grinned, his fez a bit crooked as he stood, and he straightened it before reaching out a hand to shake the tassle of the rug. He chuckled, "A magic carpet. Huh, what are the odds?" He murmured. He laughed out as the rug seemed to purr, nuzzling his palm before circling around him softly and scuffing its fluff across the blond's torso.

Bill smirked a bit, noting the thing was like a doting dog. He then looked at it as Ford rolled his eyes, grumbling and swishing his tail haughtily, noticing a little tag on its side. He gently pulled it towards him so he could read it. The rug squirmed, but before it flew away he caught a glimpse of a name.

"Fiddleford." Bill murmured, rubbing his chin. He knew that the name was probably just the name of its maker, but the name suit the rug well enough. Bill shrugged, then leaned forward, "Hey, do you know where the lamp is?" He asked the carpet.

The carpet brightened at this, seeming to nod before flying off and waving a tassle in a 'follow me' motion. Bill grinned and looked down at Ford, "C'mon Ford, I think he knows where it is!" He said, then jogging after the carpet. Ford huffed, then flapping his wings and reluctantly following the eager blond. He didn't like the look of this. At all.