They had left the town victorious. They left with their family happy. The two of them had begun their great journey across the world. The seas beckoned them to explore and discover the unbidden mysteries that others had missed. Life was good. They were together. At each other's back, surely nothing could have separated these two old, mad, explorers?

One rogue wave thought otherwise.

Cold. Wet. Distant and muffled waves crashed against a rocky shore. They hissed into the air, a foam and freezing spray of a northern sea. The room which the man say was not important. But he is inside, or perhaps, was inside. He sat at that old, decaying, mildewy table in a distant bar. A man broken. A man who had lost. He who was now alone.

Alone. But not for long. For he had a guest at his table. Someone, or something, that only he could see. It was otherworldly, glowing, and inorganic. This floating blue colored geometry wore a petite stove-pipe hat, which had frilled detailing a long its rim. It leaned on an umbrella with a cane handle, positioned within the air. An animated, isosceles triangle, with it's sharpest point facing down.

He had asked her a clarifying question. And the 'face' of this thing was… only an eye. No mouth. No Nose. It just watched him as he slumped into the chair.

It said - no, She said, "Why yes. We both benefit from my offer." Her voice was cool, sophisticated and eloquent. A southern twang of the Americas dotted her I's and crossed her T's. Her words stung with the same venomous pulse that only childhood embarrassment could.

He had spoken again. Yet these words, like the distant sea, muffled themselves to this memory of the future. They faded away, much like the cold foam of crashing, turbulent seawater.

She chuckled to his response. "I am. But while it must crush your poor, mortal brain to consider allowing yourself to make a deal after what happened with you and my brother, consider the alternative," she warned him, and spun the umbrella around while tipping her hat slightly ahead. "Consider living with the knowledge you never see your brother again."

He had said something, and shook his head.

"Consider," she added, floating closer to him, a gentle bob as she suspended herself midair, "that it is all your fault."

He would say no words from that, but the blurry outline of the older man fell to the table, his chest heaving with strained noises. Sobs.

"Oh, there, there," she said, patting his back with a hand that seemed only made from a black line. Her Two-dimensional construct of a body curved slightly to reach over. She continued in a voice too compassionate for sincerity, "And you know full well that it can be undone. You can change it. Only you can," she said, pushing his shoulder back, forcing him to look up.

The old man paused, staring at her. He was hard to see, but it seemed a man with a wide, chiseled face with scraggly silvering hair. A bold nose decorated his face, lumpy with age's unkindness. The answer that came from him excited the triangle. It zoomed around him so quickly it was a blur.

"Oh, dearest boy," she told the elderly, broken, lonely man, "you have no idea how enraptured I am to hear such a thing!" she clapped her hands quickly, a pitter of applause.

She darted to be right before him, and she extended a hand. It erupted into an icy blue flame. "All that is left… is a handshake. Are we in agreement?" she asked him. This question bore an intangible hole into this person's being. It was a deal with the devil itself. Damned if he did, doomed if he did not.

He extended a hand, and it grasped the hand of the triangle.

From the ground they came; ribbons both the size of an atom but large enough to drown the universe. They spun around the two and wove a darkness, stitching themselves. They reached into his past, the deal-maker. They reached far, far back.

The blue triangle said, "Let me make this all better for you… all I need is to change one event," she told him as he started to fall into that cosmic darkness, stars wheeling around him as images of things began to reverse.

He fell through a scene, a memory. Blue flames erupted, but began to die down around him. He was somewhere very close and personal. A literal memory, being wiped clean.

Two weeks ago…

"Lla retfa gnihtemos rof doog saw I sseug," reverberated backwards past the falling being. The flames were receding, and the last thing the falling man saw as he flew through the scene was a yellow triangle creature reconstituting against a retracting fist.

Then it was gone, erased.

Soon the darkness wrapped around him, the distant, fading lights of the previous places flames dying away to the starry-void. Quickly approaching was another scene of blue. A triangle, like the one far, far above him quickly approached. This one, however, was made of steel and metal, and shimmered in the center. A bright but soft light flickered as a figure stood, holding a hood just behind its head. It looked eerily similar to this falling man.

One month ago…

"rehtorb ym, slanrouj eht fo rohtau eht," the same voice from before said, echoing to the falling man. That doppleganger then slid the hood over his head and started to walk backwards, towards the light.

Then it was all gone too.

The falling was getting faster. There were images passing by so quickly that he could only see the flash of its existence. A red-haired girl kicking her feet up on a counter-top, reading a magazine with the most apathetic look passed. Next was a man who was large, plush, and eager to see him, who was fixing an entire bathroom at once. He was gone.

Then two kids. One wearing a blue cap. The other, a fluffy pink sweater. They laughed, darting around the front of a building in the woods. They stayed up late in a room in the attic of the same building, telling ghost stories and cackling. They smiled as they looked to him.

Three months ago…

Then they too were gone. Everything had hurt, seeing it fade away into the darkness. But nothing had quite hurt as bad as seeing that go.

Ten years ago.

Then he saw the end, as more, and more, and so many more memories faded to black.

Twenty years ago.

Soon there was only one thing ahead, which rather than falling, he started drifting into. He was being set into the place, almost in a sleep-walk. No more figures walking, their words being undone, or retreating to places they had come from.

Thirty years ago.

He slipped into himself, a younger himself.

Now had become then.

It was dark. Nighttime, out in the mid-west of the Americas, dry, and hot. One could, if they squinted, see the outline of a vista of desert, but in the light of a nearby power pole, only he could be seen, that and the reflective side of a rusted, busted up car.

As the last effects of the deal came to a grinding halt, he undid his own actions: he pulled back the phone, and held it to his ear, and then he leaned against the phonebooth.

Reversed, he heard, "Senip drofnats si siht olleh."

Thirty-three years ago.

It was at this point when his past became now, and things moved… forward.

This time, he heard, "Hello, this is Stanford Pines."

Instinctively, he went to put the phone back into the booth. He felt shame, something that was both very tired and new simultaneously. How long had it been since he had felt real shame? Still, there was a much stronger feeling that crept into his heart. That new feeling overturned and easily destroyed the feelings that made him pause.

Was it sadness? Or maybe nostalgia? Regret? Love?

He held the phone, an inch away from its receiver. He could continue the life he once had, and put it down, end the call.


The voice on the phone cleared its throat. "Ahem. Hello? Dad, if this is you, you are, again, holding it upside down. We talked about this."

Slowly, with sweat staining the pits of his already messy shirt, the man instead withdrew the phone back to his ear, and swallowed down his uncertainty.

He finally spoke. "Hey Stanford."

From that point, that life changes. One small integration, one change to the script, and something else comes forth. A new life fell out, but one familiar. She did not lie. He would get what he wanted. He changed his future. He lost what was.

Then, he clarified, "It's me - Stanley."

One change makes many. That which is familiar undergoes a shift. From one story, another is made.

Thirty Three Years Later…

"When people ask me How was your summer or What did you do this summer, I'll be honest, I don't know what to tell them. I don't really know what they want me to tell them; it's just too open-ended. The closest I have to say is 'I had the privilege to have the most exciting summer of my life with my grand-uncle in Oregon'. Now, I now what you may think- 'How is that exciting? Sounds like any other family trip, boring moments included', right? Well, you'd be wrong. I was lucky; lucky to be there this summer, seeing things that no one else has seen in their lives; fighting for truth and justice, and even falling in love."

The author of such a text was a boy just turned thirteen maybe a few days ago. Sitting alone in his darkened bedroom by a desk and laptop, the recently made teenager scrunched up his face in thought.

"It sounds… conceited? Yeah, delete," Dipper Pines groaned as he jabbed a single button after selecting the digital work, and erasing the entire paragraph without hesitation. "But seriously," he whined to himself, "What is it with these questions? I get book reports, sure, but summer report?" he scratched his arm shaking his head, "Just when I thought that sixth grade was demeaning, seventh comes in for the wind up. Here's the pitch- aaand… it's more stupid 'how was your summer' work."

He collapsed back into his chair. Limp as one could go before being consistency of wet noodle, he groaned at his assignment. "Not like I could really tell them what actually happened, anyway," he snorted. "Last thing I need to do is draw that kind of attention," he wove his hands up into the air, drawing out the headlines to some unseen news article, "local teen diagnosed with 'super crazy' – says backwater town housed a demon that tried to dominate all mankind. It's… probably not a great look," he rolled his eyes, and stared at the blank page. He could hear the marching of the townsfolk, all under his control. E vividly recalled they tried to charge into the mystery shack; that wonderfully horrible summer home of his.

After realizing the mild sweat that formed around his neck, he frowned. "Is this what needing therapy feels like?" he asked himself gently.

Dipper Pines was young, scrawny, brown-haired teen. He had the height of your standard, scrawny nerd, and all the gumption to back it up. At best, he was a scrappy kid. At worst, a twig. His curly hair was tucked under his hat, a blue and white colored baseball cap he got while at his stay with his grand-uncle, and man named Stanley.

This had been his first day in school since coming back home. He had spent an eventful summer away, to say the absolutely miniscule least. The young teen had not been home from school for an hour when he decided he would begin writing his assignment from today. Habit prompted him to begin the work as soon as possible. He enjoyed the rush of completion and progress; for they were an emotional reward to him. Despite it all being a 'lame topic', he found himself slaving away before a monitor lit keyboard in his dark room, trying to force out a page or two that would please his English teacher.

Summer had come and gone. What he could only describe as the greatest time of his entire previous twelve years of life were over. Mysteries and conspiracies, battles against zombies, assisting mermen escape public pools, mobs of possessed townspeople and literal demons? How could anything compare?! Though not everything had happy endings in that epic tale. Not everyone was pleased, or made it out. For what it was worth, he felt accomplished, satisfied. Things were better than they could have been. He knew that much.

Now, back in his home town, life was grey and flat by a long shot comparison. He even wondered if the normal people in Piedmont had secrets at all, let alone conspiracies. He wanted good secrets: not secrets that were how someone's zucchini fritters didn't become dead husks after being oven fried- those secrets were abundant. This life was totally dull, and he felt each hour pass turn him towards lethargy. The summers colors faded from him each quarter of a day.

As he sat there, silently reminiscing about the weeks before, a sudden shout from below in his home shook the floor. He turned looking to the door, where he knew a hallway connected to an overlook to the living room and staircase. Dipper frowned worriedly, thinking as to what topic the shouts from below could be. He shook his head.

He cowed away from that potential topic. "It... isn't my business," he repeated to himself for the third time that evening. Quickly, his mind scanned for something, anything to focus on to avoid deeply acknowledging what he heard downstairs. He turned from his computer, seeing a single framed picture on the desk. Three figures looked back, sporting fishing gear on a hot summers day. Anglers caps proudly sported misspelt versions of Dipper's name. There, looking at him was his 'Grunkle Stan', himself, and of course-


A young teen of equal age shouted as she kicked in the door, splashing light into the room.

Hissing at the light, Dipper turned and asked, "Mabel?"

The girl snickered, trotting inside and closing the door behind her. "Yes, lord of dark bedrooms, Dipper the sullen," Mabel said as she skipped into his room and leapt onto his bed. She wore her favorite purple sweater with and shooting star with a rainbow trailing behind it. This young lady was Mabel Pines, a being capable of being summarized as plushy chaos. She had all the stuffed love of an XXXXL teddy bear and the subtly of a cluster of fireworks. To Dipper, she was his foil, the twin, and his best friend.

Wearily watching her clamber atop his bed, he whined, "Hey, don't-"

"Don't what?" she grinned, and kicked her shoes off atop his bed.

Dipper groaned. "C'mon, Mabel, you sweat like twice as much as me just on your feet."

She smiled, her bracers reflecting the light from his computer. "All the fun I make creates fun-residue. Your bed could use some!" He rolled his eyes and turned back to the computer. Turned away, Mabel already felt abandoned. She asked, "What are you doing on the computer already? Don't you want to... like, search for a gnome or something? I think our neighbor's garden gnomes are spies. Maybe they're connected with Jeff... agents of stealth, in our neighbors' backyards..." Mabel added in a serious undertone, looking at the blinds-covered window.

With as much authority as he could muster, he grimly stated, "I have homework."

"Whaaat?" she exclaimed, flipping herself to be upside down, dangling off his bed," since when do you get homework the first day of class?"

Casting an all-too-knowing glance at her, he reminded her, "Since now; since seventh grade. You do too you know, and you won't be able to get me to write this one for you."

"Boo!" she stuck out her tongue at him, and quickly fell off the bed and flat onto the floor. "Your carpet smells like pain."

"It would, since you jammed into it nose-first. Mabel," Dipper fully faced her in his chair, "come on, you need to do your work too." As a reply, Mabel rolled side-to-side on his carpet - seemingly ignoring his words. After a few rolls back and forth, Dipper asked," And what exactly are you trying to accomplish?"

Stopping briefly, she gave him a wide-eyed smile. "Enough static to singe your hair?"

He cocked an eyebrow. Withholding the smallest of smirks, he told her, "I doubt you're going to zap anything. Probably can't generate enough for even a small discharge," Dipper laid the trap. Mabel was only too eager to prove him wrong. On cue, Mabel poked her cheek and winced as she was quickly zapped.

"OW! Dang braces," she rubbed her cheek. Dipper laughed at her, and she rolled her eyes. "C'mon," she tried once more to appease his empathic natures, "its boring here."

"It's boring out there too," Dipper told her, casting a look to his covered window. "This isn't like Gravity falls- we're in a normal town with normal people now. I think the most exciting thing is one of our neighbors speaks Portuguese. What... what is there to do out there that's exciting, exactly?"

"We can stare at squirrels!" Mabel exclaimed," Make them feel like they're being watched," she added, squinting left and right with an eagerness for espionage.

He locked a gaze of deep judgement upon her. "And why would that be a good idea?" Dipper asked after a moment.

"It's only fair we return the favor," Mabel muttered, danger lurking in her every word. Dipper spun away from her, not enthused about her ideas of fun. "Oh, c'mon bro!" she pleaded.

Talking over his shoulder, Dipper retorted, "Why are you so desperate? Just do your work; it'll get itself done quickly if you just set yourself to it. And don't say you can't, I know you can!" He then began to write something. "Wait, no, that'll for sure get teachers worried about my psyche," he mumbled, and erased his newest first sentence.

Pulling at the hem of her sweater, Mabel groaned. "I... I can't focus," she admitted.

"Why not?" Dipper asked in frustration towards the computer screen.

It took a moment for her to respond to him. "It's loud downstairs," Mabel quietly said. The tone and volume shook Dipper to the core. He knew that voice too well, and spun quickly to look at her. She was looking to the closed door. In her eyes was a sadness, relaying to her brother that she was distant in her thoughts.

Judgment evaporated, he adopted a new, gentle tone, getting off his chair and sitting next to her. "What... what is it?" Dipper asked.

She turned her eyes to him, and slowly moved the neck of her sweater higher up on chin. "They're being loud again... I heard what they're talking about, Dip," Mabel said, fragile and vulnerable like nearly formed ice.

Watching her ate at his own internal emotional barrier. He swallowed as quietly as he could, and forced out a chuckle. "You- but-'s not our business, right?" Dipper stated aloud. Dipper watched his sister almost cringe, and looked away from the door, and spin away from her twin brother. Worry creeping into his heart like some evil fog, he asked "It can't be that bad, right?"

Mabel fully faced away, wrapping her arms around her legs, tucking herself deep in her sweater. Sweaterville. Dipper was truly concerned with her now, and scootched a tad closer. Once it was closed, he walked to have his back against the bed frame, and slid down to face Mabel.

"What did you hear?" he asked, trying his best to emulate softness.

Her head popped out just enough to eye him. She then shook her head. "I don't want to talk about it." She then popped her legs out, nearly kicking him. He let it slide, and watched her desperation transform into some amount of hysteria. She said, "Let's just leave the house and go make our own adventures, okay? Let's go find something stupid to make fun of!" Mabel asked desperately. Curiosity and morbidity bade him to shake his head. "Why not?" she groaned.

"This isn't like we can run to Grunkle Stan for this," he explained. "This is home, and it'll wait for us here, whatever it is. It's not going away. Mabel," Dipper tried again, stronger, but still maintaining his tenderness, "what did you hear?"

A rumble of voices, familiar to the two of them shook the floor. Dipper gasped and glanced at the door, shocked at the escalation it was getting to. This was less of raised voices, and more of a very heated debate.

"I..." Mabel said, her voice mildly shaking," I think mom and dad are going to break up."

Dipper heard her and could not comprehend an appropriate response. Thoughts betrayed him – something that he relied upon. He was one of the better thinkers of his year in school, and all the evidence that he had accumulated pointed to Mabel's thought. Their mom and dad, since the moment they came to pick them up at the bus stop, had an air of strain hovering over them. Dipper had discounted for the sake of not seeing them for three months.

The arguments began shortly afterwards. Like a storm, the winds gently blew at first, but soon howled fierce as time passed. Dipper, in the short time they had been back had locked himself in his room to avoid the dangers below. Mabel had tried, forever the optimist, weathering the tempest. All in all, Dipper wasn't sure anymore if their parents got along that much. He even wondered if they had been sent to Grunkle Stans' for the pure reason to avoid possible problems and seeing the parents argue through the summer. He almost wanted to ask Stan if he knew anything about this.

Another burst of sound echoed up, into the dark room. Mabel whimpered sadly as she lowered her head slowly. Dipper looked to his sister, unsure of what to say.

When, pushed to this moment of grim realization, he only had rationality as a comfort. "You... I think you may be right," Dipper managed to say.

Her hear tore itself free fully. "They can't!" Mabel shouted, tears in her eyes as she shouted at her brother. "This is supposed to be a happy family!"

"Mabel, quiet down! They could hear-" Dipper tried saying quickly, but she slammed her fist against the floor.

"What's going to happen to us if mom and dad split, huh!?" She demanded to her brother, who was agape without a clue.

"I don't know anything about that! I never wanted to know anything about divorce law!" Dipper flinched, and then deflated. "I don't know," he said, finality seeping from his voice like tar.

"This isn't fair!" Mabel stood up, "We should be coming back home to a happy family! After everything we did, we solved, we- we should-" she then ran for the door.

"Wait, Mabel!" Dipper called after her. She bolted away, hands pressed into her face as she uncontrollably wept. She threw the door closed behind her as she did, leaving only the smallest of cracks between his room and the home beyond. Too late he realized what he had not done. She had gone to him looking for better answers than the obvious. He failed to provide an escape to the reality around them.

He sat there, alone on his carpet and at a loss to thought. His fears, collecting with the thoughts of his sister's pain, left a gaping hole in his chest that he couldn't avoid anymore. His life here, home, his family, it could change for the worse. It was changing for the worse as the seconds passed.

"Hey," a quiet and soft voice belonging to his father asked through a crack in the door, just out of sight," you two okay?"

"Yeah, we're just doing great dad, thanks," Dipper called back, sarcasm dripping through his trembling voice.

"Uh... okay, just... we can talk with you if, you, er, you want to," his father asked from outside.

"Let them be," Dippers mother called, slightly further away than his father from the door.

"I'm fine," Dipper stood up, and firmly closed the door," I'm just going to go to sleep. Goodnight."

This was entirely a lie. Dipper knew that he, and his twin sister, would be laying in bed all night, dreading the coming days. He leaned back against his pillow, shaking his head, blaming himself. Maybe, had he just gone with Mabel to do something silly outdoors, they could have held this off a bit longer, and this life he knew wouldn't be crashing around him. He could have had that security, maybe, of a bit more comfort.

"That's just a lie too," he whispered to himself. What he could have done would have changed nothing. So he lay down, trying his best not to cry. All he could wish for was the be back at the Mystery Shack, to go back to Gravity Falls.

Two years and eight months later…

Time is often unkind as it marches forward. Decisions made with good intent warp and twist into new fates. Things inseparable split. The guaranteed become uncertain. Lives are forever changed. But still, like time, people go forward.

A lone teenager walked down a peaceful street in Citrus Heights, California. A hand held to his ear and a bounce in his step, he was excited for the coming weeks ahead and he spoke animatedly into his phone while his other hand swept through his brown hair. Summer had come, and with it, new expectations.

Mid way through his conversation, the fifteen year old boy chuckled. "And he was really excited about my fictional work too," Dipper Pines, proper teenager told the ear on the other side of the phoneline.

A voice, motherly and energetic rang back. "Really? About time someone noticed your talent for mystery and paranormal stories," his mom replied.

He scoffed. "I mean, I guess I just had to go back and edit a few crazy things out to make the story more believable," Dipper rolled his eyes. He added with great humility," but he was shocked I hadn't taken it to a publisher yet."

"Mister Dugood said that?" his mom's voice asked," I did have a good feeling about him at the parent-teacher conference this year."

Dipper sighed, looking into the cloudless sky. He knew it was calling for rain later, and so he took in the bright blues in the elation of summer break having arrived. A distant memory, he recalled looking at such a sky from a pine-forest, surrounded by the strange and supernatural. He had grown much in these almost two years since he had visited. He sighed, and said to the phone, "Yeah, so I'll be home in a bit, so I'll talk to you more about it then, okay?"

"Of course! Great job with school this year. Stay safe!" His mom hung up, and he flipped his phone away with a sigh.

"Work of fiction. I guess that's all I can relate to anyone about that kind of stuff," Dipper sighed as he passed under a blooming orange tree, its wonderfully sweet scents all but ignored by Dipper Pines. He had, after all, moved here more than two years ago with his mother, and the scent was little to anything more than part of the scenery.

He mulled at the idea that, in the near three years since his parents broken up, he and his sister had not shared a school together. Mabel was with his dad for this year, and he with his mom. They barely saw each other anymore, a deep pain that invaded his mind like a nail driven by some unseen hammer. It made him long for that now distant memory – of the distant town, weird things happening, and mysteries a plenty. Even when it didn't end the best way he could imagine, it sometimes felt better than where he was currently.

"Who cares," Dipper shrugged off the idea of his past romances with the unknown from his mind, "Mom, you may think you fooled your son about the gift, but I know too well your late night purchase a few weeks ago. It HAS to be today!"

From across the street, a shaky voice called, "Yeah! Today!" an elderly man cheered back, pointing his walking stick into the air. "Carpe Diem, suckers!"

"Exactly, Mister Himmerfield," Dipper gave the man two points with his fingers as he crossed the street, "today, I get my first car!"

"Yeah! Automated transportation!" Mr. Himmerfield cheered back.

"No more walking for this guy!" Dipper did a little turn about, leaning against a white picket fence in his eternal glory of knowing his coming present from his mother. "Sweet, sweet gasoline, road laws, and pedestrian rights!"

"I'm legally blind!" Mr. Himmerfield shouted with as much enthusiasm as he hobbled down the street. "I have to walk forever!"

"... yeah! Uh... right," Dipper watched his audience support haunch away. He turned away from the strange old man who lived in his neighborhood, and continued towards his home. His book bag jumping about his back as he jogged, he rounded a fence to the front walkway to his house, and there was his mom.

She had thick brown hair cut at shoulder length, and big brown eyes which struggled to contain her current excitement. Dipper refrained himself and approached as casually as he could manage, until she whipped towards the garage and pushed a small button in her hand. The garage doors raised, and behind them a vehicle. It was one Dipper had never seen, but had for a while expected. It was, to his great excitement, more recent a model than Dipper had expected. He dropped his book bag to the earth and fell to his knees.

"To the powers that be, you have made this day," he roared to the heavens, "AWESOME!"

Dipper's mother came over to him, saying, "The powers that be are happy to appease," and pulled her son to his feet and gave him a strong hug.

He snorted. "Mom, let me see," he added in complaint. Dipper struggled to be released, and she did so after a moment, letting her son charge to his new car.

She spoke after him. "It's a Crescendo- a bit older than I would have liked to have gotten you - but the safety rating is a great." He turned to her, an eyebrow cocked and the corners of his mouth tilted up in a smirk. She grumbled, deflating a little, and said, "You must have known, didn't you?" she asked as he carefully looked over the surface of the black-painted car, capable of sitting five. It had fewer curves and more flat surfaces, but it held the grace of an older car but with the functionality of a new model.

He snorted, "You're not good a hiding things," Dipper reminded her, "What exactly did you expect when I saw you hurrying to cover this with a dirty rag when I came home last week? A Bison was under there?"

"Psh, I had you fooled," she denied his achievement in detection, "And remember- technically this belongs to the family until you're of age. Right?"

"No joyrides without your consent, gotcha," Dipper turned his head just barely to speak to her, as his eyes were busy drinking in as much of the car as possible.

She gleamed at his clear and obvious elation. Pocketing her hands for a moment, she suggested, "Maybe you should call your dad, let him know that you can come see him whenever you'd like?" she added after a moment of him inspecting the car through the windows.

"Nah, it'll be a surprise," Dipper sighed as he watched himself bend and reflect in the curves of the car, "oh my god, thank you so much mom!"

"Well, keep those grades up! Top of the class in, everything?" She smiled as she shook her head, "I only wish I had gotten such a brain when I was your age."

"No, seriously, Dipper turned, and charged into a hug with his mom, "thank you so much!" She gasped at his collision and laughed. A phone then rang from inside the house.

"Well, you enjoy this first of many steps towards adulthood and the responsibilities that come with it," his mom said as she stepped away and towards the house, "I'll see who is calling the house."

Dipper chortled. "Someone older, I bet, if they're calling landline," Dipper guessed. As the front door closed behind his mother, he did consider calling his dad. He hadn't spoken to him for a long time, long enough to wonder what Mabel was up to.

The thought of his sister brought another wave of shame to his gut. The two had an unspoken falling out, coupled by distance and the introduction of high-school. Dipper knew his sister wasn't nearly as competent as he was with academics, and worried if she was struggling. The thought passed that maybe he should call. Maybe better, drive down to Piedmont to say 'hi' to the two, and more importantly, brag about his new ride. It was too good of a thought.

One reality check was all it took to crush his dreams. The trip was long enough away, and he wasn't sure he was comfortable to drive alone on the highways. He had done it before, sure, but to travel to his dads and Mabels at the same time made him feel nervous. He would just send them an excited email later, maybe.

Dipper heard the door creek open and he turned to his mother. Worry flooded his mind as he saw her eyes shimmering. Her excitement had all been drained from her face. He knew immediately that whatever she had to say wasn't good news.

"Mom? What's up?" he asked, the nervous look in her eyes infecting him.

"It's... your Grand Uncle, Stan?" she started, "he just passed away."

Dipper nearly fell back against his brand new car. His mother made to help him, but he slid to a seat against the wheel of his recently gifted ride. Static filled his ears and his skin prickled with uncertainty. He couldn't have heard what she just said.

"What... what do you mean he passed away? Do you mean - did he move away from Gravity Falls?" he asked her. His eyes unfocused, he could not looking at her.

"He died last night," his mother quietly stated, sitting down in front of him, as he breathed deeply.

His mind raced out of control. The energy he held to minutes previously now battled the horrible pit of feeling that pierce him like a bolt of lightning. The unstoppable, unflinching, miser and conman, yet loving man that was Grunkle Stan… had died. Dipper couldn't begin to understand how he was supposed to feel about this news. He supposed in his head that he should be sad, but it was as the ability to be sad, to act sad, was not physically possible.

His mother continued after a long pause. "Someone by the name of Northwest sent a message to us- you, that you are mentioned in the will of your Grand Uncle," she tried explaining, very aware of the incredible stress she had unleashed onto her once celebrating son.

"I..." Dipper searched his brain for anything to do, say, act on. It was his strongest, most reliable feature. Yet it failed him, here and now. In desperation, he looked elsewhere in his being, and found in both his heart and gut, a joint answer. "I'm going to Gravity Falls," he declared.

"But, don't you have a summer job lined up at Pizza-Asteroids?" His mom asked as he stood up, and started to walk inside.

"I'll let them know this came up," he said as simply as one might decide the color of sock to wear. She followed closely behind him, and he could feel her eyes upon him. "Mom, this is important," he told her as he turned towards the hallway leading to his room. Entering his space, he began grabbing his necessary ingredients for travel - extra clothing, washing supplies, toothpaste.

At the border of his doorway, she sighed. "Well... I'm not going to stop you," his mom told him.

Stunned, he gave her a look. "Really?" he asked.

"I agree with you. I think this is important. I'll even get some money for you from the kitchen," she said and she turned away towards the other side of the house.

It only took Dipper a few minutes to find enough for him to say he was ready to pack. He lifted his bag up, and spotted a mirror in his room. It showed the scruff signs of a chin with stubble, and his thick brown hair without his hat, as wearing them was banned at his school. With one last turn back to his dresser, he reached up and brought down to his head an old baseball cap he hadn't worn in quite some time: the blue and white with the pine tree emblazed upon the front.

"Ugh, a little tight," he groaned, and undid the back strap a little, and it slid on easier, "there."

With his hat atop his head and two suitcases in his hands, he made for his new car. Outside, his mom waited, looking worriedly as she observed him approach the trunk of the car. She popped it open for him with a click of a button from the electronic keys, and Dipper calmly placed his suitcases inside. With a long sigh, he closed the trunk, and turned to his mom.

"Here," she said, and held out they keys for him. He gave them only one glance, and took them from her.

"Mom... thanks," he said with a faint smile.

"Just be careful. You were just twelve when you were there, so things may have changed from how you remember them," she warned him.

"They already have," he said strongly, as he walked to the driver side, and opened the door. The feeling of taking the steering wheel was more than enough for him to shake any second thoughts or doubts from his mind. He stepped in and closed the door. It would not open until he reached Gravity Falls, all the way in Oregon. "Mabel, you better show."

The front door of a home in Piedmont burst open. "Dad! I have returned from my glorious campaign against my ancient rival; school!" a proper teenager with thick brown hair proclaimed, her voice confident and eager. She wore a self-knitted sweater of rich purple and gold, with what appeared to display a piece of toast, smiling happily. She quickly dropped her school bag to the floor, and strode to the couch in the living room.

From a nearby kitchen, a voice called back, "How was the last day?".

"No one survived my onslaught," she said with feigned seriousness.

After a pause, the man added, "Right. I guess that means you think you did well?" her dad asked with a hint of caution.

Mabel laughed manically and turned on the television. She picked briefly at her teeth, showing the bright and metal-less chompers. She had kept that impressive self-confidence of her youth, and only bolstered with her teenage wiles.

Her dad signed. "You can worry a parent sometimes, you know that?"

"Worry? Why worry when you can conquer the world," she said as she channel surfed. Her long brown hair fell to the mid of her back, and was currently half covering her face. She pouted at the lack of good television, scanning through such delights as 'Say Maybe to the Skirt' or 'News for Angry, Old People'.

"So, you're not going to tell me about your grade card?" Mister Pines said as he walked into the room, wringing off water from his hands with a hand towel. He had short brown hair and a thoughtful look about his eyes, like he was always in concentration or deep thought.

"I don't wanna, that's boring. But I had a great time with my SENSEI!" she bellowed triumphantly, beating her chest like a gorilla while making accompanying Gorilla sounds.

He hummed. "Miss Hirsh and you had a good practice?" Mabels dad asked as he sat down next to her, stole the remote, and put on his favorite news station.

Mabel chuckled. "She thinks I'm improving fast, or whatever," Mabel blew off her accreditation easily, "and we've established that I'm fire and air of the paths, so I can begin my focuses soon, but you know that's just because we're like super tight. Martial arts master and pupil- don't even come between."

"I have to admit, I was a little weirded out with your interest, but," he defended her, "it's sensible. I like the idea of you learning a style of self-defense that works towards who you are."

She nodded, and then pushed forwards, "Pshwa, self defense," she snickered," it's just going to help me defeat my greatest foe yet, Bethany Mills, and her waaaay too dark hair."

"That girl giving you trouble still?" her dad asked with a quick look of concern.

"Yeah right, emo girls don't fight, they just speak badly of you in," she dropped her tone to be more menacing and fatigued, "darker tones to appease our master of darkness." Her father laughed with her, and she slid off the couch to lay on the floor.

"Hey, I think it' time I showed you something. Get up kiddo," her dad told her as he stood up.

She sighed. "If its another crazy computer gizmo, I'm going to fall asleep on it," Mabel warned her father, but was interested when he turned to the back door, leading to their backyard," wait... what's that lumpy thingy under the stained sheets?"

Just by the carport next to the house, her father turned and placed his hands against her shoulders, silently telling her to remain still. Instantly, the possibilities of what awaited underneath the large sheet, probably an animal of some sort she was wishing of. Since Waddles got too big and was sent to a petting Zoo to appease the hearts of similar girls like Mabel, she had longed for another pet. Her father grasped the sheets and tugged strongly. A burst of light caught her eyes, and she blinked. It was metal, pink, and bore two wheels.

"A... bike?" she asked with uncertainty.

He beamed at her. Turning to display it for her, he explained, "It's the Insurgent, from a few years back. I knew you wouldn't want a car, so might as well go with one of these bad boys, and since you already have that little license, or at least one fake enough to convince me you actually passed the test. So, what do you think?"

She nodded, a little uncertain to his meaning. "It's cool! So, does that mean you're trading your old car for this bike? I didn't know you were into pink. I really like the color, though," Mabel said with fascination. Her dad gave her a strong look, which grew into a cheeky, confident smile, and shook his head. The cogs of Mabels mind clicked suddenly, and her thoughts finally understood what was happening. Her mouth dropped open like a brick falling from a ledge.

Her dad chuckled. "I think you got it/"

"It-It-It- It's mine!?" she starting hopping in place.

He nodded. "Yup. As long as you promise me you won't go and tell your mom about it. Or get pulled over, because I'm not sure you're legally supposed to be riding these until you're eighteen. So-"

Mabel tackled her father in the midriff, knocking the wind out of him, and began to chant a combination of "Thank you!" and "I love it!" in such a fury that words began to mix and switch around and she eventually became unintelligible. Her father laughed and tried prying her off. She quieted down, and held on tighter.

He grunted. "Mabel, I think you're cutting off blood from my legs," her dad told her after a moment.

"Not. Letting. Go. You have to earn hugs for what you gave me," she said sternly. A phone rang in the house.

"Mabel, I need to get that, it could be work," her dad told her, but she refused to let go. After an attempt to shake her off with a quick jump, he did several hoola-hoops using her, and she slid off and landed near her new bike. "Don't go anywhere with it!" he scolded her as she hungrily approached the bike. He then turned, and walked inside the home.

"You ask the impossible, sir," she greedily said as she approached the shining and well conditioned bike. Her ultimate excitement reflected back to her as she stared the chrome and pink metal that covered the back. It's seat and handles gave it the air of motor-bikes of old, more for an upright position than leaning forward or back. She knew exactly what her next purchase would be- matching badass pink sunglasses.

"Oh you and me," she said, pulling the bike close to her face," we are going to be close friends. Like, maybe soul mates. But you have to contribute to this relationship too, you know. I won't just... let you..." she stared into the shininess of the bike, and almost began to drool," you are perfect."

From behind Mabel, her father's voice quietly called out, "Mabel?"

"One second," she replied in a hushed voice, "this moment should last forever."

"It's, um, it's about Uncle Stan," Mister Pines said.

Shocked with joy and excitement, Mabel whipped around. "Grunkle Stan!" Mabel spun and stood up from the bike. Her mood was drenched by the look her father wore. Slumped, even collapsing in appearance, she suddenly worried about him. "Dad?" she asked.

"Uh, he's... Mabel, last night, in his sleep, he passed away," her dad began, struggling for words, "and your name has been mentioned in the will, so the association of the 'Northwests' are calling you to receive a copy of his will."

"Wait... Grunkle Stan is dead?" she repeated. Her father nodded, a painful sadness creeping on his face. Mabel considered the possibility for a moment, that the man she had spent an entire summer with may have actually left her behind. She then let out a loud, roaring laugh. "Yeah right!" Mabel cackled, stunning her father.

So stunned with her reaction, her father only muttered, "Mabel?"

She clicked her tongue and pointed at her father. "If I know good 'ol Grunkle Stan, he's probably just tired of lifting boxes and cleaning the windows on his own, and this is some sort of stunt to get me to come back and help him out," Mabel reasoned aloud. "Just like him – the old schemer!"

"Mabel," her dad said, stabilizing his voice between various heightened emotions, "this is serious. The local authorities confirmed it: he's really gone."

"But... nah," Mabel blew off the idea again. However, as she rejected the idea for a second time, a clever response came time mind. "I think I need to go prove that he's alive."

"You- what?!" Mister Pines blustered as Mabel charged so fast into the house it was like a blur. She shortly returned with a half-filled backpack.

"I just have to make sure I pack my extra sweaters, cus it can get hot, even up in-" Mabel ran back inside for a moment, and reappeared with art supplies, and began to cram them inside her large backpack, "and beside, maybe now that I'm fifteen, he will have to pay me if I do help out with-" she ran inside again after shoving the art stuff away, and then re-emerged with more clothing, "because let's just face it, he may be an old geezer, but he has no sense of-"

"Mabel!" her dad finally burst out, stunning her daughter to a freeze. He breathed heavily for a moment, staring at her incredulously.

"Dad," she pleaded quietly, "let me go to him. I know he's not gone."

"How can you be sure? Being dead isn't exactly something you can just… disprove," her dad argued.

She shrugged. "And besides," Mabel said as she lifted the overstuffed and barely closed backpack around her shoulders," I know Dipper will be there."

He paused. The words struck him, causing his prior thoughts of uncertainty and frustration to ebb. He finally asked, "You think so?"

She nodded. "I know it. One of those nutty alpha-twin-things, right?" she grinned at her dad. He shook his head, giving the impression he was not entirely cool with the idea of letting his daughter go alone for a long trip.

"I couldn't stop you, short from locking you up and tying you down," he warned her as he extended his hand with they keys and dropped them into her own outstretched hands.

"Like that would stop me," she smiled and hugged her father, "it would only slow me down, and ensure destruction of property."

"Well, get going before I smarten up and actually do tie you down," her dad said with a clever grin. She nodded, beaming a glittering smile. She leapt for the bike, and landed gracefully. A moment later, after pulling out her standard sunglasses from her backpack, she checked the mirrors.

"Certified badass," she nodded with a straight face and started the engines. Sadly, before her father could get the fence gate open for her to exit, she put the gas on, and in a split second, crashed through half the fence. Dogs barked from the distance as she hit the ground and avoided any real harm. Getting up and dusting herself off, she briefly looked back to the damage to the fence she caused. Simply put, she utterly destroyed it.

"... Mabel," her father growled, furthering her haste onto the bike.

"I'll fix it when I come back!" she shouted as she soared off onto the street, nearly hitting a parked car across the street. Her dad was seen in the mirror of her bike, and she watched him watch her until she turned down a new street, heading towards the highway from the suburbia she lived in.

"Gravity Falls, here I..." she stopped her bike for a split moment, sliding to a halt. Fortune favored her, as the street was empty aside from her. She rummaged through her backpack for one object, and without ever looking inside, pulled out an older photo of herself and her brother, Dipper, goofing at the camera.

"...Here we come," she grinned confidently, and sped on out with a wild swerve, accidentally running over a tin trash can as she sped away. "SORRY!" she called back to the owner of the trash can, who huffed out and cursed at her while she vanished down the street.

Eno on tsurt.