He nearly killed a local teenager by summoning a warrior from an old arcade game. He unintentionally brought on the wrath of a monster made entirely out of discarded knockoff candy. He had fought over a dozen copies of himself all for the sake of a dance. To put it another way, Dipper's infatuation with a certain teen redhead had led to a number of bad choices over the last few weeks. However, at the moment none of them seemed to even begin to compare with this fateful decision to take on the Greasy's Diner Pancake Challenge.
The boy weakly picked up another syrup-saturated forkful. As he looked it over with glazed eyes, his aching full stomach rippled in protest. Noticing his obvious discomfort, his audience tried to lift his flagging spirits.
"Awww, don't give up yet!" Mabel protested. "Show them who's boss!"
She then leaned over from the other side of the booth to remind him with a loud whisper and a wink. "Pssst! It's you!"
"You're getting there!" Wendy grinned encouragingly. "C'mon dude, you got this."
At the sight of that angelic smile, he shoveled the soggy mess into his mouth. Even though this earned him a pair of excited cheers, he still wasn't feeling any more confident of his chances of success. After all, at least a third of the imposing stack was still left.
To say the least, he hadn't planned on this. They only had come to get milkshakes, and Wendy had just happened to notice the details of the challenge written up alongside the daily specials. All it took from his secret crush was one remark about how cool it would be to win the free t-shirt they promised, and before he knew it Dipper had found himself demanding a gigantic pile of pancakes nearly half his height.
"Uuughhhh..." A violent shuddered raced through his body as he shoved the plate away. This had become absolute torture. Pure, agonizing torture. "G-guys...I really don't think I can do this anymore."
"No, don't stop now! You can beat this!" Mabel stood up in her seat and excitedly drummed her palms on the table. "You're getting sooooo cloooose! If you finish all that in the next fifteen minutes, we get a shirt! A shirt, Dipper! Plus, a free pancake breakfast whenever we wa-"
"Not helping." He grunted in pain.
"Plus you get your picture up on the wall." Wendy reminded.
"YEAH!" Mabel squeaked ecstatically at the thought. "Think about it! The Pines name will be immortal here. No one will ever be able to even order a glass of water without knowing we came, we saw, and we conquered! C'mon, Dipper!"
The boy just let out another piteous moan. He honestly thought he was about to keel over. His sister promptly switched tactics.
"Okay, well if the picture and shirt aren't enough, then just think what some people are gonna think about you after beat this." She threw an unsubtle glance over to Wendy and teasingly winked. Dipper tried to kick her under the table, and she drew up her legs with a laughing snort. Thankfully, Wendy didn't notice. She was too focused trying to kick up the support a few extra notches.
"Cmon, there's not too much left. You totally got this! Finish it!" She began to excitedly pump her fists up and down. "Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it!"
Dipper felt absolutely fit to burst. However, once his crush started to heap on the encouragement, his heart quickly won out against the pain. Despite the numerous warnings his stomach was firing towards his brain, he picked up his fork and knife and continued.
Cheers went up from the other side of the booth. As he laboriously shoveled down mouthful after mouthful, he tried to convince himself that this was just a case of mind over matter. It was all right, he could handle this. This was no big deal. This was nothing more than a bigger-than-average meal. No problem, and it would all be so worth when Wendy watched him take that final victorious bite-
A cruel snicker cut through the air like a hot knife through butter. All eyes in the booth turned at once over to the counter. Dipper let out a muffled moan once it became apparent that things had somehow managed to get even less pleasant. Apparently two of Gravity Falls' scions had decided to grace the diner with their presence. Mrs. Northwest now stood at the counter chatting with a chubby waitress.
"...I'm sorry to bother you like this," The heavily botoxed woman tried her best to keep her gaze from wandering over to Lazy Susan's wandering eye. "But our chauffeur's off today, and I'm having an absolutely dreadful time getting around on my own. Do you think you could help us..."
As she sought directions, her preteen daughter smirked with diabolical delight at the motley little crew sitting no more than seven feet away.
"Oh..." Pacifica giggled. "So this what Pines and hicks like to do for fun. Figures."
The girls briefly met her condescending gaze. Wendy suppressed a brief impulse to flash a particular finger, while Mabel stuck her tongue out at her nemesis. They weren't going to have their fun spoiled by the walking personification of haughty smugness. Unfortunately, their companion's overloaded digestive system had other plans.
"Uh-oh." The cheap silverware clattered out of Dipper's fingers as he finally reached critical mass. Refusing to be treated as a stuff sack any longer, his gut started to launch a full scale revolt. The boy froze, let out a strangled gag and clapped his hands tightly over his mouth. Suddenly he found himself locked in a desperate fight to keep everything choked down.
The obvious distress signals weren't lost on his audience at all. As Pacifica broke into a fit of laughter, Mabel hurriedly shoved a glass of water towards her brother. "Dipper, drink!"
"Bathroom's over there!" Wendy frantically pointed to the back of the restaurant. "Go!"
By now, full-fledged panic had set it. After glancing wildly about him, he bolted out of his seat and hurtled out of diner with the blonde tween's giggling ringing loudly in his ears.
"Leave it to you guys to keep it classy!" Pacifica snickered in utter delight. Wendy and her preteen friend were forced to put up with the mocking display of mirth for a couple seconds as they hurriedly dumped a few crumpled dollar bills on the table.
Outside, Dipper desperately searched for a place to evacuate the excessive amounts of half-digested pancake that were fighting to escape his body. Suddenly he spotted it out of the corner of his eye; an opening to somewhere private. Without a second thought he bolted over and positioned his head just in time. After several of some of the most hellish seconds of his entire life, it was over.
The boy collapsed in a heap, awash with humiliation. Unfortunately, it was only when Mabel's shocked yell rattled his ears did he realize that against all odds, he had found a way to make things even worse.
"DIPPER! No, that's not a...that's not a place to dump your stuff!"
He gazed towards where the others stood just outside the diner entrance, both slack-jawed with disbelief at what they had just caught the tail end of. The ugly truth smacked him like a wrecking ball to the face. In his panic he had apparently climbed onto a sleek jet-black BMW, and deposited an unpleasant mess directly into its open sun roof.
Time seemed to stand still as the hideous realization sunk in. The mortified boy blankly stared back at his friend and twin, blanching with horror over what he had done.
"...Dude." A wide-eyed Wendy muttered incredulously. He could feel his heart plummet into his gut with the force of a falling bomb. Dipper swallowed hard.
"I...have no idea why I did that." He confessed weakly.
It sounded like someone was about to exit the diner, and the girls snapped out of their stunned stupor. They bolted over and helped Dipper down. Once everyone was on solid ground, they dashed around the side of the building just in time.
Still snickering loudly to herself, Pacifica and her mother exited strolled over to the car. As Mrs. Northwest climbed into the driver's seat, the blonde tween deftly opened one of the back doors, and without a moment's hesitation she sat down.
A sickening soggy squish echoed throughout the vehicle. At first, all the startled girl could do was sit smack in the middle of the warm horror, rapidly paling with revulsion as a foul odor invaded her nose.
"Sweetie?" Her mother leaned around. "Do you smell something-"
Her daughter's piercing scream sent a nearby flock of birds fluttering from the trees in a mad panic. Dipper gasped as his embarrassment went soaring to previously unknown heights. There'd be no way he could live this down.
"I...I didn't-" Before he could explain himself, Wendy suddenly grabbed him by the arm and yanked him further out of sight from the scene of the crime. He was practically dragged all the way to the back of the diner, and soon it became clear why. Once they were out of earshot, the girls looked to him, then to one another, and erupted with the gut-bursting laughter that they had both been struggling to hold in for the last few seconds.
"Uh..." This honestly wasn't the reception he had been expecting. "Guys?"
Mabel flopped backwards onto the ground and kicked her legs in unrepentant glee. Wendy meanwhile was nearly in tears by the time she regained her ability to speak.
"Oh man, that...that...that may have been the best thing I've ever seen." The teenaged redhead cackled, immediately sending his heart racing.
"Really?" On cue his prepubescent vocal cords broke. Still quaking with uncontrollable laughter, she leaned up against the shake and flashed a toothy grin.
"Yeah. I think you might just be my hero now." She joked giddily, automatically making him go a little lightheaded on the spot. Dipper had approximately three seconds to bask ecstatically in indescribable glory before his sister tossed her arms tightly around his neck.
"Right in their car! You did it right in her car!" Mabel giggled like maniac. "Now she's...wait for it..."
She paused for comedic effect, "PUKE-cifica!"
Although the moment was gone, he couldn't help but keep grinning like an idiot as his twin pressed him into a victory hug. "Sorry I didn't win the shirt."
"Oh, psssh! Who cares about the dumb stupid shirt! This is better! A thousand times grosser, but like, a million times better! At least!" Mabel heartily heaped on the praise. "You didn't win that dumb challenge, but today you won at life!"
Dipper was surprised that he could manage a chuckle in his condition. "Almost makes me wish I actually planned on that."
"I'm telling you, best thing ever." Wendy raised an enthusiastic thumbs-up, much to his secret joy. Never would he thought that he'd be so ecstatic over losing his lunch.
"First thing when we get home, your picture's going up in the gift shop." Mabel announced. "Fame immortal for the best, most disgusting brother in the whole entire country!"
"Promise not to throw in a free pancake meal and you have a deal." He cracked. His body immediately punished the lame joke with a painful rumble. He wrapped his hands around his ravaged gut and crumpled to the ground like a bag of cement.
"Dipper?" His sister hovered over him, fretting worriedly. She worriedly poked him in the cheek. "...You're not dying, are you?"
Dipper gritted his teeth and curled into a tight ball. "I'm fine. Just...on second thought, promise not to even say that word for the rest of today...or this week...you know what? Actually, let's not mention anything about food at all for the next couple hours or so."
"All right. C'mon champ, I gotcha." Wendy laughed. Seeing how he wasn't going anywhere under his own willpower anytime soon, she had made an executive decision. The teen casually lifted her friend up into a fireman's carry. Once in contact with her, Dipper's heartbeat promptly redoubled its pace, and a bright flush lit up his fae. Thankfully, the redhead didn't seem to notice as she struck out for the Shack.
Mabel looked fit to pop with laughter. She was mostly able to restrain herself for the sake of the man of the hour. However, the young girl couldn't help but shoot knowing glances up at her brother while she trotted along.
"Pssst! Who's the boss?" She half-whispered, half-giggled before pointing up at him. As his crushed continued carrying him along, Dipper managed a feeble smile before answering back softly in reply.
"This guy here..."