The client is representing a host of victims. The client has come forward with evidence of advance forms of fraud, resulting loss of vast amounts of money, degeneration of status or employment, and even bodily harm of the victims. As a result, victims are left without the means nor the evidence to press charges. The accused are a powerful and influential family.
Will Cyrus looked over his notes, scribbled ever so appropriately on a yellow legal pad. But when the flight attendant came down the aisle and gave him a meaningful look, he quickly stowed it in his satchel. They – meaning he and Isaac Guerrero – were about to touch down in Bend, Oregon.
Isaac had let him take the window seat, opting instead to fall asleep in the seat next to the aisle. Now his friend's mouth was hanging open in a comical fashion, garnering stares from any who happened to walk by. Will was pretty sure Isaac wouldn't care, but he didn't really think it was appropriate for a respectable practitioner of law.
It's really hard to believe, after so many years of working up to this point, we're finally lawyers.
Partners at law to be more precise. Guerrero and Cyrus Law Firm. Crazy. And crazy to think they might take down a famous (read: infamous) Oregon family as their first case.
I insisted. Will thought. I told Isaac that if we started off with a bang, we'd move up in the pecking order a lot faster. I didn't graduate valedictorian for nothing. I wanna be big.
And amazingly, Isaac had been cool with that. He was smart enough to know the benefits of such a case. He was also smart enough to know that would happen to their reputation if they botched it.
Will swallowed. He checked his lap belt as a way to preoccupy his hands because he was pretty sure that drop in his stomach was the descending of the plane and not his nerves.
I don't wanna screw this up.
But there were so many ways for this to go wrong. They had to assure their victory somehow. That was why they were here, in Bend. Will felt the bump of the wheels on the tarmac and the abrupt deceleration of the plane. In less than an hour they could rent a car and be on their way to Gravity Falls. Find evidence. Build a case. Win the court battle. A simple three step process.
Please be simple, Will begged whatever deities were out there.
Will spent the ten minutes, while the plane was taxiing to the terminal, trying and wake his friend. He spent the following ten minutes, while the plane cleared of passengers, attempting to make his friend aware of his surroundings. Isaac slept like the dead and woke like a zombie. Which would be funny if Will wasn't terrified of zombies. And every other supernatural creature for that matter. Blame it on a bad experience.
"C'mon." he mumbled, pulling at Isaac's slack arms in an attempt to dislodge his friend from the economy class seat. His friend folded back into place like a rag doll.
How does he do that? Those seats aren't even comfortable!
"Wait." Isaac muttered, eyes still closed, "They said they'd give me a churro first. I can't go."
Will rolled his eyes.
"You like tres leches better anyway. I'll buy you three if you get off this stupid plane."
Isaac snapped to alertness like he'd been hit with a pair of defibrillator paddles.
"No." Will deadpanned, "Get your bag. Everyone else has already left the plane and the flight attendant is giving me that look again."
"What look?" Isaac asked as he grabbed his carry on from the overhead compartment.
"That one that says I'm doing something wrong."
"Don't sweat it, amigo."
"I'm already sweating because we're still on this plane and it's hot."
"I get the point."
They shuffled through the narrow, now empty, aisle of the plane. Isaac offered the flight attendant a placating nod and apologetic smile. Will didn't look her way. It was delightful to step into the air conditioned terminal of the airport. But Will knew it would be short lived. As soon as they retrieved their bags it would be out into the Oregon summer heat once more. It was incredibly inconvenient when he was trying to look professional.
Will was grateful for the fact that they didn't have to go through security on their way out of the terminal, because he was pretty sure the combination of heat and anxiety would make him pass out. After the time the two friends had wasted on the plane, their suitcases were patiently making slow circles on the carousel. Isaac snatched his. Another yawn wormed its way out of his friend's mouth. Will rolled his eyes before going to drag his abominably heavy suitcase off the conveyer belt.
"Ugh, this jet lag." Isaac complained as he yawned again, "It's the worst."
"We didn't even leave the time zone."
"I know. I think it has something to do with the sunlight. When you're up above the clouds who knows what it does to your melatonin levels."
"You didn't even sit by the window."
"Didn't have to."
"Then why am I not tired?"
Isaac lifted a finger, like he was going to say something further. He opened his mouth but no words came out. That went on for a full minute before he finally muttered, "Good point."
"I thought so." Will took off in the direction of the exit, lugging his suitcase behind him.
Isaac caught up too quickly, not even bothering to use the wheels that came equipped with his luggage.
"And that's why you're the valedictorian."
"You're the salutatorian. What's the big deal?"
"'What's the big deal?'!" Isaac exclaimed with faux hurt, "The big deal is that you beat me at law school by one hundredth of a grade point average! You won!"
"We are not having this conversation again." Will yanked on his luggage handle and sped up. Only for a moment though. Something caught his eye that made Will screech to a stop.
"Yes we are..." Isaac was cut off and let out a loud ooof! Distracted by whatever point he was going to make, he ended up slamming into Will. They both found their balance, but garnered a few looks in the process.
Including the person responsible for their collision.
"Did you hire us a driver, amigo?" Isaac sounded both confused and excited.
"Then why does that old dude have a sign with our names on it?"
"I don't know."
"Should we go with him?"
Isaac hit him on the arm, eliciting an angry ow!
"This is why we need to have the conversation about your winning at law school." Isaac hissed in Will's ear, "You're smarter. You call the shots."
"That's ridiculous." Will hissed back, "We're partners."
The person with the sign hadn't stopped staring at them since their almost accident. Everyone else in the airport maneuvered around them, minding their own business. It seemed that cell phones and flight schedules were much more important than the standoff between a pair of young men and an old man. His grey eyes were expressionless, but he hefted the sign reading "Cyrus and Guerrero" in a meaningful manner.
What the heck? Will's mind raced, I'm still writing the HTML for our website so our firm number is only in the most recent edition of the Sacramento phone book. We're doing work for our first and only client, and I know she doesn't have the means to set this up.
Will swallowed. Like he was in a courtroom, he forced confidence. Expression, posture, even his walk made him seem like he was in control. Not scared. Not confused. He crossed the tiled airport floor to the old man with the sign, Isaac following quietly behind him.
"Please follow me, sirs." The old man said politely, a British lilt to his voice.
"Where?" Will demanded.
The old man didn't elaborate, and Will was rooted to the spot. Was this safe? But a nudge from Isaac got him moving again. Whatever happens, we don't want to miss out on this.
A sleek, black car awaited them outside of the automatic double doors. The old man – a butler, Will finally realized – opened the door and gestured for them to get it.
"I'll load your luggage in the trunk, sirs. Please, miss has been kept waiting long enough already."
Will exchanged a look with Isaac. His thick, dark eyebrows raised skeptically, but Will could very well see the light in his eyes. Isaac wanted to know what was going on as much as he did. Walking away now would be unacceptable. The two friends climbed into the car.
It was like stepping into another world. Posh interior, filled with smooth leather seats and expensive wood accents, was protected by the Oregon summer by heavily tinted windows. It was arranged like that of a limo so the occupants in the back seat could face each other.
Sitting across from them, was a woman. It was hard to make out her appearance in the semi-darkness until his eyes adjusted, but Will could tell in an instant that she was beautiful. Long blonde hair spilled down her shoulders in perfectly formed waves. She wore expensive looking jewelry and clothing. Violet eyes were lit by the screen on a thin smartphone as she tapped out a text.
When she finished, she placed her phone and hands in her lap, drawing attention to her well-defined curves. Isaac stiffened next to him. But Will found that, more than anything, he was just confused right now.
"What's going on?" He asked.
"Arnold." She instructed the butler as he took the driver's seat.
"If you would, please." She made a gesture.
The butler put the car into drive and slowly pulled away from the airport. Will glanced back, worry finally breaking though his confidence and pinching his brow together. He had no idea where they were going and now the airport was disappearing into the distance.
"Qué estamos haciendo?" panic crept into Will's voice.
"Cálmate." Isaac's voice was reassuring, "Vamos a escuchar a la chica hermosa."
"Ella no está diciendo nada!"
"Como dije, cálmate. Ten paciencia."
The woman interrupted any further conversation.
"I believe we will be safe now that we are away from the airport." She began.
Isaac grinned at Will in a way that said I told you so.
"Safe from what?" Isaac asked, leaning forward so it wasn't obvious that his fluffy hair brushed the ceiling of the car.
"What!?" Will wished his voice would do that high pitched. As it were, he finally put the pieces together, This is…
"Pacifica Northwest." The woman held out her hand with a superior smile, "Pleased to meet you."
"Isaac Guerrero. And this is my partner, William Cyrus. But I assume you already knew that. I assume you already knew we were pressing charges against your parents as well."
"Yes, which is exactly why you need my help."
"You mentioned that 'we will be safe now'." Will interjected, "Is that what you meant by 'help'?"
"My parents are powerful people and you willingly wandered into their territory. You're stupid. And you're sitting ducks. How long did you expect to last?"
"Hey, we're not stupid." Isaac objected, "Will here won at law school."
"Isaac!" Will snapped, "Now is not the time."
"I got second." Isaac followed up sullenly.
Will glared, but Pacifica stepped in.
"Regardless of your graduation status, I would like you both to stay alive and sane. There's some people tailing us…"
"To kill us!?" Will interrupted.
"No." Pacifica's glare was cool, "To protect us. They will meet us at the safe house. From there, we can arrange a plan to get you the information you need and to get you out of Gravity Falls."
"We were planning to stay for two weeks." Will said.
"You'll be staying for two days if I have my way." Pacifica responded with finality.
The car descended into silence. Obviously, Pacifica didn't feel like explaining herself any further and she had the appearance of a person who wouldn't answer when pressed. The two friends spent the duration of the drive exchanging wordless and occasional Spanish conversations. Will knew that double majoring in Spanish for undergrad would have its advantages.
After roughly an hour, the car pulled through an old logging town and turned down a dirt road. It slowed to a stop in front of a dilapidated looking cabin, the kind with a slanted roof that almost touched the ground. An obnoxiously large sign teetering from the wooden shingles read "Mystery hack." The "S" was half buried in the ground below. All around the cabin, staked into the ground and nailed to the pine trees, were advertisements for the local attraction.
What the heck is someone like Pacifica Northwest doing here? And how is this a 'safe house'?"
The four occupants climbed out and stretched. At the sound of car doors slamming, a man emerged from the cabin. Will thought he looked strangely familiar. He was dressed in suit, tie, and fancy shoes. The only incongruous part of his outfit was an old, red fez resting on his head.
"Welcome to a world of mystery!" The man threw his hands wide, dramatically, "Come see what awaits you…"
He paused and pushed his glasses up his large nose.
"Northwest." The thick, salesman charade was dropped in the blink of an eye, "What are you doing here?"
"Using your attic."
The man crossed his arms. "No."
"Two Franklins a day."
The man scoffed, "For an exclusive, insider stay at the Mystery Shack? No. Four."
Pacifica stomped her foot.
"Where are the kids anyway?" Stan suddenly scanned the woods.
"They should be here shortly. They were covering my tracks."
Stan barked a laugh. "Bribed them too, didn't you!?"
"They learned from the best." Pacifica responded with a grudging smile.
"Alright, fine. Come in. I'll let you off with three. But these boys had better buy some merch."
Stan stepped aside and Pacifica lead the two friends through. When the old salesman didn't follow, Pacifica sent him a questioning look.
"I'm gonna keep an eye out for the kids. I'm also expecting a tour group at one o' clock."
Will and Isaac followed Pacifica deeper into the old cabin. Most of the main floor was filled with junk that looked like cobbled together taxidermy and display cases that weren't necessary for their contents. Oversized t-shirts with question marks littered the walls. Tourist paraphernalia lined the shelves. Confidently, Pacifica pushed past an "employee's only" door.
The room beyond wasn't a break room, but a living room. The back part of the cabin was, surprisingly, a house. Pacifica lead them down a hall, past the kitchen where a man who looked eerily similar to the one outside was stowing a jar in the fridge of something that looked like it shouldn't be kept within fifty feet of food. They tromped up a set of creaky, broken-down steps to a hot attic. A twin-sized bed was pushed against each wall, along with a polarized set of decorations. Paints, yarn, and sticker pads were pushed over to one side while the other was littered with old tomes and jars with mysterious contents.
Pacifica put her hands on her hips and huffed.
"They always leave this place such a mess."
"Okay," Will said, drawing out the word to fully convey his utter confusion to their virtual abductor, "Are you going to answer my previous question now? What's going on?"
"This is your safe house." Pacifica gestured to the two beds. "You will stay here while we get you the information you need and then you will leave, win the case, and ruin my parents."
"Who is 'we'?" Isaac tilted his confusion, "If me and my amigo are supposed to 'stay here'?"
"Yeah, Pacifica." Came a too smug voice from behind them, "Who is 'we'?"
Will and Isaac spun to find a pair of people at the door. Roughly the same in height, a man and a woman leaned against each frame with massive shit-eating grins on their faces.
"I don't remember that being part of the deal. What about you, Mabel?"
"Nope, Dipper. Not at all!"
Pacifica stamped her foot for the second time that day, frustration overflowing.
Wait. Mabel and Dipper. Twins. Kids, and their uncle. Though the second one is a surprise.
From the matching curly, brown hair to the distinct clothing styles, Mabel's sweaters and Dipper's pine tree hat, it was unmistakably the Pines twins. Their old high school classmates.
Isaac seemed to be processing the same thing. Mouth hanging open, he stared at the twins.
"Wow," Pacifica rolled her eyes, "What great friends you two are."
Mabel sauntered into the room, brushing past Isaac with a knowing grin. She slung an arm around the blonde woman, "Awww, Pacifica. You gotta break even if you're gonna commandeer our room."
"What!?" Dipper seemed to catch up to what his sister was saying. "They're staying in our room!?"
"Obviously, dork." Pacifica snapped, "Where else would they stay where my parents can't find them. With the Hand Witch? With the Manotaurs? With the Multibear?"
"Hey, the Multibear is a nice guy… bear." Dipper trailed off for a second, "That's not the point."
Pacifica raised one eyebrow, "What is the point?"
Dipper's eyes roved restlessly, "All my stuff is in here." He whined, "Sensitive stuff. I don't want them blowing up the whole shack."
"Like that hasn't already happened a few times." Mabel and Pacifica said in unison.
"Jinx!" Mabel squealed, "You owe me a Pitt Cola!"
Pacifica handed her a dollar.
Dipper stepped to the side as his sister raced past him, out the doorway and down the stairs. He watched her go, suddenly distracted again. When he started to fiddle with his hat, Pacifica intervened.
"Look, Dipper." She sighed, "I'll help you put it away and get it out again when they leave. I promise," She shot the two friends a hard look, "William and Isaac won't touch anything while they're here."
"Will and Isaac won't touch…"
Dipper snapped his fingers, cutting Pacifica off. If Will wasn't seeing things, a little spark had jumped between his fingers at the gesture.
"Will and Isaac." His gaze locked on them, giving them his full attention for the first time. Brown eyes, intense, seemed more knowledgeable than they should be. "From Piedmont High?"
"Yeah. Weird, huh?" Mabel had snuck up behind her brother and made him hop in surprise.
I didn't even hear her come up those creaky steps, Will marveled.
Mabel popped the tab on her soda.
"Yeah. Weird. Uh, Mabel, did you get that out of the fridge?" Dipper pointed at the Pitt Cola.
"Nope!" She took a sip and winked at Pacifica, "It's from the vending machine."
"Good, cause Great Uncle Ford…"
Mabel took another sip while the silence reigned.
Finally, a natural smile broke across Dipper's face. He stepped forward, hand outstretched to the two lawyers. Will noticed an odd bracelet dangled off each wrist, adorned with a golden triangle. A burn that looked like it'd had a few weeks to heal chaffed against the leather bands. Regardless, he accepted Dipper's handshake.
"I would say it's good to see you, but I never knew what kind of terms we were on in high school."
"Weird ones." Isaac muttered, but shook the man's hand anyway.
"I thought you hated me." Will said honestly.
"No." Dipper's hands went to his pockets, "That was…" he sucked in a deep breath, "My fault. I overreacted."
Will noticed how Isaac's gaze met Mabel's. Vestiges of intensity swirled in her chocolate eyes. Pacifica, also, looked genuinely uncomfortable for the first time.
"It's fine." Will announced to break the tension. "It was high school. We all had issues."
"So what's going on now?" Dipper asked.
"Pacifica here thinks we need a safe house while we work on building a case against her parents."
"What are you, lawyers or something?"
"Yep. Guerrero and Cyrus. Partners at law."
A crease grew between Dipper's eyebrows.
"Pacifica." He said, "Can we talk for a minute."
Without waiting for her answer, Dipper dragged both Pacifica and Mabel from the room. The old, wooden door shut after them. Like they planned it, Will and Isaac, crowded to listen through the cracks.
"What are you doing, Pacifica?" Dipper asked.
Mabel took a noisy sip of her soda.
"I'm finally taking down my parents."
"You do realized that you're a Northwest too." Dipper stressed, "You take them down and you'll go down with them. You'll lose everything: money, stuff, house."
"Dipper." Pacifica snapped, "Of course I know that. I'm not stupid."
"I never said that."
"Well, you implied it, wizard boy. And while you've had your head stuck in a book or your research for the past ten years, I've been doing important things too. I've been discretely siphoning off funds into my personal accounts for years. Enough to get me off to a decent start. My parents can't touch it. No one can. Just me. I've been strategically walking the boundary between obeying them and doing my own thing. I went to college. That wasn't their idea. It was mine. I needed a job when everything blows up and I'm not rich any more. I know what I'm doing." More softly she said, "I can make it on my own."
"Pacifica." Mabel said, "You're not alone. You have us."
"I know." Pacifica's voice sounded strung out.
"C'mon," Mabel cheered, albeit, not at her usual volume, "Group hug! Get in here Dipper!"
While it was quiet, Isaac mouthed to Will, "wizard boy"?
Will shrugged, even though a chill was racing down his spine. He glanced back at the jars on Dipper's side of the room. He was just now noticing how half the books weren't labeled. A long past conversation came back to him: Magic users attract enough trouble as is. At least have the decency to not get caught.
Dipper's concern for his things could be normal behavior, but just maybe there was something more to it. It might explain why one of the richest people in Oregon considered this shack a safe house.
"You'll help me with this, right?" Pacifica sounded like she was holding back tears. It had to be hard, planning to ruin her parents like she was. Even if they were awful people, they were still her parents.
Mabel must have nodded in answer.
"Dipper?" Pacifica asked.
"Anything for you, Pacifica." There was a smile in his voice. "What do you need?"
"Protect them while I get the evidence for their case."
"Will you be okay?" Pacifica sounded concerned, "That thing… that thing with Bill happened just the other day."
"I'm fine." Now Dipper was exasperated, "Which is exactly what I've been telling you since it happened. Geez."
A few beats of silence passed.
"Mabel is making me jealous." Dipper said, matter-of-fact, "I'm going to get a Pitt Cola. Do you want one too, Pacifica?"
"I also need to get the wards set up and let Great Uncle Ford know. I'll be back in a bit." His footsteps sounded loudly on the old staircase.
"Wow." Mabel chuckled after her brother faded out of hearing range, "I wish I had had popcorn for that little episode."
The sound of Pacifica slapping Mabel on the arm was followed by the twin's laughter. Pacifica didn't join in.
"Don't say anything." She hissed.
"I didn't." Mabel giggled.
The ladies' reentrance to the attic was so sudden, both Will and Isaac staggered back. Pacifica raised an eyebrow. Mabel smirked and took another sip of her soda.
Shouldn't it be gone by now?
"Well," Pacifica announced with authority, "What do you say to our agreement. You two stay in this house, Mabel and I will get your info, Dipper will guard the house, and then we will all get you back to California with no 'accidents'."
"Um, it sounds fine." Isaac stuttered, "But, no offense, what can that shrimp do to protect us."
"Quite a bit, unfortunately." Pacifica confessed.
Isaac looked to Will, "Qué piensas? Debemos hacerlo?"
"Sí." Will answered decidedly.
"YAY!" Mabel squealed.
When all three of the other occupants of the room looked to her in amazement, she puffed up her cheeks, pouting.
"What? I can speak mermish too! Los abogados van a ayudarnos, así nosotros podemos detener a tus padres de estar hacienda cosas malas, Pacifica!"
"Well, I have no idea what you just said." Pacifica looked over to find the partners at law standing in the attic with their mouths handing open. "Fantastic, Mabel. You broke them."
"That's not mermish, Mabel, that's Spanish." Isaac sounded like he was in awe. "I remember you doing the same thing in high school."
"Yep, I was hitting on you." Mabel bounced on her toes, "Still will." She winked.
"That reminds me." Isaac said despite his flaming cheeks, "Does Dipper speak some kind of language."
"Nerd" and "Latin" came simultaneously from Mabel and Pacifica respectively.
It left Isaac even more confused. But Will felt as if something had clicked. He didn't doubt Dipper's ability to protect them anymore. Not that he was going to pry. Will didn't fancy getting cursed for some kind of misunderstanding.
Will's realization was the beginning of a very exciting stay in the Mystery Shack. Where there certainly was quite a bit of mystery. Like, where did Great Uncle Ford disappear to most of the day? And, how did Great Uncle Stan manage to convince tourists that his attractions were real? There was the fact that Mabel tried to eat her food through her nose half the time compounded with Dipper's tendency to do menial chores when no one else was in the room. Isaac bought an armful of products from the gift shop on the first floor. Will just tried not to cross any of the Pines family and compile the evidence for the case in peace.
But the shack was anything but peaceful. Mechanic hums sounded from beneath the floorboards. Inhuman screeching always filtered through the windows during the night. Mabel and Dipper shared silent conversations almost constantly that weren't noisy, but notoriously distracting. All in all, when Pacifica said they were leaving after three days, Will was relieved to quit the safe house.
Yay, another chapter, because I don't know how to focus. If anyone got the Daredevil vibe from this one, well, yeah, so did I. I just really liked the idea of my two favorite bros staring out as law partners. Will is now fluent in Spanish, so he and Isaac can communicate on the down low during work or whatever. Isaac pretty much hasn't changed besides getting taller. Will didn't grow much more after high school, but he is not as nervous as he used to be (still nervous tho!). The joke about winning at school for getting the highest GPA is something I've been teasing my brother about. He basically graduated with every award possible plus a few track and swimming records, so he won! XP
I realize I said I didn't do shipping. Maybe this chapter counts as a little bit of fluff? IDK. But I'm more open to the idea when the characters are at a more appropriate age. Also, Alex Hirsch ships Dipifica, so I don't feel that guilty ;)
For the translations (I hope I did them right!):
Will: What are we doing?
Isaac: Calm down. Let's listen to the pretty lady.
Will: She isn't saying anyting!
Isaac: Like I said, calm down. Have patience.
Isaac: What do you think? Should we do it?
Mabel: The lawyers are going to help us so we can stop your parents from doing bad things, Pacifica!
EDIT: SPECIAL THANKS TO "ANNIE PARK" FOR THE ACCURATE SPANISH TRANSLATIONS! YOU'RE THE BOMB (0)~* MY APOLOGIES IF I OFFENDED ANYONE WITH MY TERRIBLE ATTEMPTS AT YOU'RE AWESOME LANGUAGE ;)
Whelp, enjoy! Thanks for reading! 3