I never thought I'd see the day a kid's show ruined me, but here we are. Curse you, Alex Hirsch. On a side note, Dipper and Pacifica are the cutest things I've ever seen.
"Your brother got… taller."
"Like… I think he's taller than me now."
"A lot taller."
"When did he get taller?"
Pacifica sighs. Mabel looks up at her sheepishly from where she's painting her nails a blinding array of rainbow shades. As usual, it works for her.
"Sorry," she says, not sounding sorry at all. "I guess sometime over the school year? Unless he's been cheating and using that magic growy-flashlight again…"
Mabel's eyes narrow, and Pacifica suppresses a snort. Having been friends with the infamous Pines twins for nearly five years now, she's more than used to the casual references of the supernatural.
Also, she kind of lives in Gravity Falls. Which is (officially) famous for its terrible roads and (unofficially) famous for its supernatural occurrences and the near-apocalyptic-crisis they had five years ago that everyone's still trying to deny the existence of.
But that's beside the point.
"Flashlight or not, I don't understand," she mutters. "I feel like a midget next to him now."
"Yeah, join the club," Mabel huffs, waving her fingers in the air as the bright nail polish dries. "Just don't let him catch you saying that. He's already been rubbing it in my face, like, everyday."
"Lost your throne as the alpha twin?" Pacifica asks with a smirk. Mabel's expression shifts to one of outrage.
"Heck no!" she says, flopping next to Pacifica on the bed, her curly mane of brown hair fanning out above her. "I'm obviously still the alpha twin. Dipper's still sweaty and awkward – and a giant nerd!"
"Right," Pacifica says, grinning.
Mabel shakes her head. She glances at Pacifica, an odd look on her face.
"Why do you care so much?"
Pacifica freezes. There's a wickedly sneaky tone in Mabel's voice that she recognizes far too well.
"No reason!" she says quickly. "It's just… weird. That's all."
"Uh-huhhh," Mabel drawls, smirking. "Sure."
"I'm not sayin' anything!" she says airily, giving Pacifica an innocent grin. "He is single, though, y'know…"
Pacifica whacks her across the face with a pillow.
"Ack! No! You'll ruin my nails!" Mabel shrieks, laughing as she rolls off the bed.
"Serves you right," Pacifica sniffs, raising the pillow threateningly. She furiously ignores the heat that's gathered in her cheeks.
"Okay, okay, geez!" Mabel laughs, still sprawled on the floor. "No love for Dipper. How about that guy who works at the museum?"
"Mabel, I appreciate it, but I already have my stupid parents trying match-make me," Pacifica groans. And what a painful disaster that is. She frowns. "Besides, I thought you liked the museum guy?"
"Nah, that was last week," Mabel says. "Now it's that cute lifeguard guy! The one who's on vacation here from Seattle? Did you not see his flowy hair?"
Pacifica just smiles, joining Mabel on the floor as she recognizes another gushing session coming on. Not that she minds. Five years ago, maybe – but she doesn't like to think about then. Mabel is her best friend, now, and if listening to her ranting about the shade of the lifeguard's eyes makes her happy, then Mabel can rant away. Maybe they can go to the pool later and start a new page in the summer romance section of Mabel's overflowing scrapbook.
Mabel's talking about the lifeguard's height when Pacifica's mind drifts back to Dipper, and the odd feeling she gets when she has to look up at him now.
She quickly smashes the feeling to dust and buries it. Mabel's right. Dipper's her awkward, sweaty, nerd of a best friend.
Despite the hectic five years it's been through (and staunch denials of occasional gravity failures by the owner) the Mystery Shack still stands, bizarre and over-priced as always. This is partially in thanks to the addition of one Stanley Pines – which Pacifica still can't get a straight explanation for – who, while less abrasively loud and money-oriented as his brother, is no less scheming and scarily smart.
Stanley Pines still kind of scares her. She's not ashamed to admit that. (In her head).
It's also thanks to the combined efforts of Dipper and Mabel, who are rumored to become a permanent addition to Gravity Falls once they graduate, instead of simply visiting religiously every summer and holiday. But somewhere between the pinewood smell and the creaking stairs and the weird wall decorations, the Mystery Shack has come to feel a good deal like home.
"Aw, c'mon – eugh – not again!"
Pacifica shakes with suppressed laughter as Dipper wipes the ink off his face, chucking the broken pen at the trash with an expression of revulsion.
"Someday, you're going to end up with ink permanently stained on your face," she says. Dipper wrinkles his nose at her from behind the cash register.
"Physically impossible. And it's not my fault these dumb pens break so easily."
"Well, maybe if you stopped trying to eat them…"
Dipper rolls his eyes. Pacifica smirks, ignoring him as she continues.
"I mean, I know you guys are like, peasants, but I didn't know you were having to resort to pens for food-"
She yelps as a plush bear smacks her in the head. Hands flying to fix her hair, she glares at Dipper. He smirks unapologetically, another stuffed animal in his hands.
"Sorry. As a peasant, I'm obligated to rise up against the oppressive rich snobs."
"Oh, if that's how it's going to be-" Pacifica ducks another stuffed bear, diving for the maps. She chucks one at Dipper like a Frisbee. They both stare as it smacks into a display a good five feet to the right of him.
Dipper presses a hand to his mouth.
"Don't you dare," she warns. Dipper snorts, dissolving into a fit of laughter.
"Oh, man, that was just pathetic-"
Seething, Pacifica grabs a plastic skull. This time, she nails him directly in the head.
"Take that, you filthy, uncultured peasant!" she cheers as Dipper yelps, rubbing his head. His expression turns wicked.
"War it is, bratty, privileged tyrant!"
Pacifica shrieks as a barrage of stuffed wildlife flies towards her, diving behind another display. She return the fire with more plastic skulls, the pair laughing between war cries as they quickly relocate the Mystery Shack's displays to the floor.
She peeks out from behind her makeshift shelter of t-shirts, last plastic skull in hand. Dipper is nowhere to be seen, which is definitely not a good thing-
Pacifica shrieks as Dipper grabs her from behind, tackling her into the t-shirt display. The Shack echoes with both of their screams as they tangle in the shirts, crashing to the floor as the display comes down on top of them.
Pacifica groans through fits of giggles she rubs her head. Dipper's on top of her, buried in t-shirts and half-crying with laughter. Pacifica can count every one of his eyelashes from this position, trace the distinctive shape of his birthmark underneath the mess of curls that fall over his forehead, smell the old-book-and-cottony scent he's always got-
His own laughter is dying now. He stares at her for a beat, warm brown eyes locked with her pale blue ones.
He flushes, hurriedly moving to push himself off of her. T-shirts cascade off his back to the floor, hangars clacking to the ground. The moment breaks as they both glance at each other before dissolving into giggles.
"Aw man, Grunkle Stan's gonna kill me," Dipper sighs as their laughter dies, staring at the mess.
"Well, he probably won't be surprised," Pacifica says. "I mean, you, running the Shack by yourself for the afternoon? Something's bound to go wrong."
"I'm just lucky a monster hasn't smashed the roof in yet," Dipper says wryly. "Then I'd have my grandpa to deal with."
"Yeah, lucky," Pacifica says quickly. Dipper glances at her.
"He's really not that bad."
"Easy for you to say," Pacifica mutters as Dipper laughs. "That guy is terrifying."
"Pax, I promise you, he's not that bad. Besides, you weren't the one that got to see him climb out of an otherworldly portal like the terminator."
"But I did see him go psycho and start banishing demons like it was his job!"
"Hush," Pacifica mutters. Dipper just laughs, pulling himself off the floor and holding a hand out to her.
"C'mon," he says as he pulls her up. "Let's get this cleaned up before-"
"Hey, kids – what the hell happened here?!"
"Run?" Pacifica asks, taking a step back.
"Run," Dipper agrees.
And that's a pretty good summary of their friendship, Pacifica thinks. Dumb jokes and relentless teasing and being dorks together, often leaving destruction in their wake.
(And lately the long gazes and reddening faces – have his eyes always been that color?)
Nope. Not going there. Pacifica Northwest and Dipper Pines are friends, and they're perfectly happy like that. All they are now, and all they'll ever be.
She ignores the uncomfortable ache in her chest at that last part.
"Mabel, for the last time, you have to get the x's on the same side before you can start dividing-"
" 'You have to get the x's on the same side, before you start dividing' "
"Ugh, math is so gross, though, bro-bro!" Mabel groans, her head thunking against the library desk.
"I have to agree with her on that one," Pacifica says. Dipper gives her a weary glare.
"This stuff is for nerds!"
"Well, if it's that bad," Dipper snaps, tossing the pencil. "Then I guess I'll just leave you two alone and you can do it later by yourself-"
"No!" Mabel and Pacifica cry in unison, pinning Dipper to the desk. He smirks triumphantly.
"Thought so. Now if you'll actually listen, this'll go a lot faster, I promise."
Mabel sticks her tongue out at him and Pacifica rolls her eyes, but they start paying attention to Dipper as he demonstrates the finer points of high school level algebra. They're lucky at least one of them can grasp mathematical concepts on three hours of sleep, otherwise they'd have all failed out by now. Then again, she's about eighty percent sure Dipper's been able to do this stuff since he was twelve, so maybe he doesn't even need to listen to their teacher.
"- so subtract y from this side, okay? And – Mabel, stop that – then you just need to rearrange it a bit so you can graph it-"
The scars on Dipper's hands shift as he grips the pencil, sketching out numbers in his familiar, messy writing. He chews on his lip as he writes, almost as if he's missing a pen between his teeth. Pacifica smiles at that. He really is still a hopeless dork, his hair escaping in a wild mess from where he's crammed it beneath his old blue hat, eyes lighting up as he explains the problem with growing enthusiasm.
She's been staring too long, she thinks in a panic.
"Uh – sorry – what?"
Dipper rolls his eyes.
"I was gonna ask if you understood, but I'm gonna take that as a no."
"No, I get it. You – you were just boring me. To sleep."
Dipper makes a face at her.
"Well, excuse me for not making algebra riveting for you-"
"I wasn't saying it's the algebra's fault."
"I don't – oh, hilarious. I don't see you figuring any of this out-"
"That's because I have better things to do with my time than read nerdy math books all day-"
"Like what, dyeing your fake hair again?"
"You take that back, Pines-"
"No, seriously, it's a truly blinding shade of platinum today-"
"I will smack you in the face with your own book, noodle arms."
"I'd like to see you try – and hey, they're not that noodle-y anymore!"
The algebra lesson derails at that point, as she and Dipper dissolve into another stream of bickering. But that's normal – what's not normal is how quiet Mabel's being, or the evil grin that's forming on her lips. Pacifica meets her eyes. Mabel winks at her.
A crumpled up sheet of paper smacks Mabel in the face, pulling her into the fray and, thankfully, wiping that grin off her face. Mabel has no reason whatsoever to be looking at her like that.
No reason at all, she tells herself as they flee the library, the librarian yelling at them as they duck out the doors, scattering papers behind them as they laugh.
The thing about Gravity Falls is that amongst the excitement of chasing werewolves and discovering ancient mystical objects, it's easy to forget just how dangerous the place really is – at least it is until one of them gets hurt.
It's not unusual, really. One way or another, they've all been in the hospital before. Perks of the supernatural-fighting lifestyle they've chosen and all. Besides, Dipper's been here more than any of them – he's got burn scars on his left leg from his visit last summer, faint, raised lines on his upper forehead from two Christmas breaks ago, and thick, jagged scars that run across his back from that one awful, terrifying July Mabel still can't talk about.
And he has fork marks on his arms. Yeah, she's not entirely clear on that one.
At any rate, the words Dipper and hospital in the same sentence really shouldn't be so alarming to her by now. But experience or not, it doesn't stop her from narrowly dodging a speeding ticket and screeching into the Gravity Falls General Hospital at 2 a.m. after Mabel's choked call.
She bursts into the waiting room, breathing hard and meeting the tired glances of the two Stan's and Soos – and is that the Corduroy girl? Wendy, she thinks-
Pacifica stumbles back from the force of Mabel's hug as the girl throws herself on her. Catching her balance, she returns the tight embrace, trying to ignore the twisting in her stomach as Mabel sniffles.
"Is he – is he okay?" she stutters as Mabel pulls back. She nods, giving her a watery smile.
"The doctors say he'll be fine. It was just – it was a little close there, for a sec-"
"Gonna have to chain that idiot kid to his bed if he keeps this up," Stan – the Grunkle one – says gruffly, hands tight on the waiting room seat.
"It was my fault, Ford," Stanley says softly, eyes downcast. "Dipper was just trying to help."
"Idiots," his brother replies, but his voice is softer. Sadder.
"They won't let us in right now, so we're gonna wait here and annoy them 'til they do," Mabel says, as she pulls her into a seat next to Wendy. The red-haired girl (and recent college graduate, if she remembers) gives her a half-hearted wave.
"I forgot about this part," Wendy mutters, staring at the floor. "This was the one thing I didn't miss about this place."
"Sorry," Mabel says sadly. "This is a pretty sucky welcome back party."
"S'not your fault," Wendy says, nudging Mabel in the side. "Your brother's just dumb. We'll celebrate when he's out of here."
Mabel gives a sad nod, curling further into her chair. It's always bad when one of them is hurt, but it's worst when one of the twins goes down – leaving the other to wait. They retreat into themselves, eyes dimming – like they're missing their other half.
Either that or they go crazy and almost attack the doctors. Dipper still gets nervous looks from the hospital staff for that time.
"Hey," Pacifica says, scooting her chair closer to Mabel's. "The doctors said he'll be fine. This is Dipper. He'll be fine."
Mabel gives a shaky nod, leaning into Pacifica. She wraps an arm around her friend, leaning back in her chair.
It's going to be a long night.
Something Pacifica learned very early on about Dipper was that despite his somewhat impressive maturity and tendency to plan things to the extreme, he also has a nasty habit of throwing all that out the window for bursts of utter recklessness. The minute he's hooked on whatever supernatural phenomenon they uncover that week, whatever basic common sense he has apparently takes a vacation. However, what he lacks in common sense, he makes up for with unparalleled stubbornness.
Which eighty percent of the time is unbearably annoying, but in situations like this… they can all appreciate that particular character trait when a bemused nurse informs them that not only is Dipper out of surgery, but he's already woken up three times and asked for them. She can see the faint smile on Stan's face at that.
On the downside, that means the nurses will have heavily dosed him with sedatives, but at least they can see him.
Pacifica hesitates before entering the stark white hospital room. No matter how many times Mabel assures her she's an honorary member of the Pines family, she still feels that awkward sense of intrusion – as if she's just a bland outsider who still can't comprehend why she's been given a spot in this amazing group of people.
Also, she doesn't like seeing Dipper hurt.
She's still standing outside the door, chewing on her lip when the door swings open, sending her back with a stifled yelp.
Stanley Pines raises an eyebrow at her, hand frozen on the doorknob. She swallows.
"I – ah, I just-"
"You can go on in," he says, nodding towards the room. "Mabel's been waiting for you."
Pacifica stammers out a thank you, and she can swear she sees the faintest of smiles on the man's face before she steps inside the room.
Mabel, naturally, has already plastered herself by her twin's side, curled up on the side of his bed as she doodles on a notepad. Their great uncle is nowhere to be seen, though Pacifica suspects he's handling the unpleasant task of talking to Dipper and Mabel's parents. Or trying to talk the nurse into lowering the hospital bill.
Not that it matters – Pacifica's fully intending to make sure this incident gets covered by another "anonymous donor".
Mabel glances up as she slides into one of the chairs, giving her a tired smile before she returns to doodling. Pacifica slumps in her seat, feeling the first bits of tension leave her as she stares at Dipper.
He's a shocking shade of white, his birthmark standing out jarringly against his pale skin. For the most part, however, it isn't that bad. There are thick bandages wrapped around his side, and butterfly stitches over the cuts on his face, and there's the ever-dreaded IV stuck in his arm – but really, it could be worse.
She would know. They all would.
She sighs, massaging her forehead. She'd been half-asleep on her trigonometry notes when she'd gotten the call, and driving to the hospital with her foot glued to the gas hadn't been the most enjoyable experience in her life. She doesn't even want to think about the state of her hair. But it's not as if anyone else looks any better – Mabel is still wearing her grass-stained sweater, her hair a knotted mess and a darkening bruise forming on her right cheek. And then there's always Dipper, of course. Pacifica glances back at him, resisting the urge to run her hands through his tangled hair.
Her face reddens as her mind grinds to a halt. She can't go there. She's promised herself she wouldn't. Dipper's one of her closest friends, and she doesn't know what she'd do without him.
She can't risk losing him over… emotions. Whatever her heart's decided to do, it stops now.
She jumps as the sheets rustle, Dipper muttering incomprehensibly as he shifts. Mabel lays her hand on his, and he quiets instantly, curls falling haphazardly onto his forehead as he tilts to the side.
"Mind if I sit here?"
Pacifica gives a tired nod at Wendy's question, not looking up from the worn cash register. She's not an official employee at the Shack, but since Dipper had to stay overnight in the hospital and his family wasn't too enthusiastic about ditching him, she's volunteered to watch the Shack for a day.
Anything is better than staring at an unconscious Dipper and trying to sort out the unwelcome assault of emotions.
Except now she's stuck in an empty gift shop with the girl Dipper used (or she hopes the word is 'used') to have a crush on. It appears today is simply destined to suck.
"Man, this place never changes, huh?" Wendy says, surveying the shack.
"Apart from the prices? No," Pacifica says. Wendy laughs.
"That's Stan for you," she says wryly. "Has he taken out the roof escape yet?"
"Nope," Pacifica smiles. "I think he likes having it up there. Something about karaoke zombies, or whatever."
"Yeah. They only use it during work when it's really bad, though. Or when Dipper's telling us about conspiracy theories."
"That doesn't surprise me. He's always gonna be paranoid like that, I guess."
"I guess," Pacifica echoes.
"He's actually grown up pretty well, though," Wendy says, shaking her head. "He's not half as awkward as he used to be."
"Yeah, well, he doesn't have a massive crush on you anymore, so he shouldn't be."
The sentence is out before she can stop herself. Pacifica freezes, staring at Wendy in horror.
"Uh – I just meant-"
"I know that," Wendy says, frowning. She looks at Pacifica, eyes widening a bit, and – yup, that's her cue to leave.
"You know what, I'm gonna go check the back displays-"
Wendy's got her pinned with that knowing stare now, leaving her frozen in her seat.
"Me and Dipper have been friends for years. Friends. All we ever were, all we ever will be. And he's fine with that."
"Okay, I get it, plaid, would you mind-"
"But he's one of my closer friends, so anyone who hurts him? Answers to me."
Wendy can be scary when she wants to, Pacifica has to admit. She swallows.
"On the other hand," Wendy continues, ignoring her. "You make him happy. And now I'm guessing he makes you pretty happy too. And in my experience, you're pretty dumb if you shut out someone who makes you happy."
Pacific gapes at her. Wendy rolls her eyes.
"C'mon, Northwest, I heard you were smart," she says. "Put it together."
"I don't know what you're talking about," she finally manages. Wendy raises an eyebrow.
"Yeah, I don't buy it. I'm just sayin' – better to make a move when you can then go regretting it forever. 'Cause if Dipper doesn't realize what's in front of him soon, he definitely will."
Wendy gives her an encouraging smile, and as much as Pacifica wants to hate her for seeing straight through her, she can't help but understand why the Pines like the girl so much.
"Anyways, customers oughtta be here in a bit. Better go set up a few more fake displays."
Pacifica's following her out when her phone buzzes. Pulling it out of her pocket, she glances at the text on her screen.
hospitals suck. come break me out.
Pacifica stares at Dipper's text, resisting the urge to toss her phone against the wall. Or drive to the hospital.
"Yes!" Pacifica says, heading after Wendy.
She rolls her eyes. She has zero problem leaving him in the hospital to suffer the torture that is invasive nurses and overly-concerned family members. Maybe he'll learn a lesson this time – like, not to jump in front of vicious, mutated mountain lions, no matter how good his intentions were.
Naturally, Dipper's out of the hospital and ready to dive headfirst back into the supernatural in a few days, much to his great uncle's chagrin. And his grandfather's. And his sister's. And Pacifica's. Fortunately, their efforts, combined with the overhanging threat of calling his parents, are enough to keep Dipper indoors and out of the woods for a whopping full week.
And he's surprisingly good for it, too. He sits through the entirety of Mabel's sappy vampire movies until they're both asleep on each other. He works the cash register at the Shack and catches up with Wendy, laughing at her stories of college life and either thrilling her or horrifying her with what he's been doing.
"Yeah, so then I had to jump off the cliff – no, Wendy, I swear, that was the last time-"
At any rate, Dipper actually sits still and manages not to awaken any undead creatures for a week, and Stan remarks that he wants to double check whether or not Bill Cipher's possessing him.
(It's just a joke, though, because Bill Cipher's gone, so now Dipper's finally stopped screaming in his sleep and Mabel's finally stopped jumping at shadows and Stanley doesn't flip through the journals every night with bloodshot eyes and – he's gone.)
They have a week of total peace and calm, which should make Pacifica happy – if only that week wasn't full of Mabel's suggestive glances and Wendy's raised eyebrows. Idiots. It's thanks to them she can barely talk to Dipper without staring too long and turning red anymore.
But they also help keep Dipper in the Shack, so she can grudgingly give them that.
Unfortunately, the minute Mabel and Wendy go to pick up groceries (read: candy) and the two Stans aren't around, Dipper's off the couch and half-limping towards the door, journal in hand, before she can blink.
"Are you serious?!" she yells as she stumbles out the door, arm stuck in the sleeve of her jacket as she chases after him.
"I've been trapped in there for a week! A week!" Dipper replies dramatically, heading towards the forest.
"Yeah, because you've got a bunch of stitches in your side you're going to rip if you're not careful!"
"Pacifica," Dipper says, turning abruptly. His expression changes, and-
"Oh, no," she says, shaking her head. "No, no, no. I am not falling for the puppy eyes."
Come on, Pacifica, she thinks. You've survived Mabel's puppy eyes and still said no. Dipper's stupid warm brown eyes shouldn't be any different.
"Then at least let me come with you," she sighs, defeated, her resolve all but ground into dust. "So I can record your last words if you end up dead or something."
Dipper beams at her.
As much as she hates admitting defeat, Dipper's happiness at being outside and brushing shoulders with the supernatural again is infectious. She can't help but smile as he prattles on about the sparkly plants with healing powers they're supposed to be finding. It's natural and comfortable, exploring with him like this - she's missed it in the past week.
At least it is until Dipper goes quiet and begins looking slightly nervous.
Maybe slightly isn't the right word.
"You okay?" she asks, concern growing. Darn it, she knew she shouldn't have let him out of the shack.
"Nah, I'm fine," he laughs nervously. "I was just – ah, thinking."
"You do tend to overdo that, sometimes."
"Yeah," he laughs awkwardly, messing with his hair.
"What were you – um, thinking about?" Pacifica asks, after a minute of silence.
Dipper lets out a long breath, air whistling through his teeth as he looks anywhere but at her.
"You remember that one night, first summer we came here? That party at your house?"
"How could I forget," Pacifica mutters. That night is forever seared into her brain, along with images of flame-haired, axe-wielding ghosts and Dipper turning to wood.
"Heh, yeah," Dipper says, fiddling with the brim of his worn hat. "That was fun."
Pacific makes an incredulous noise. Dipper shrugs, a faint glimmer of his normal grin crossing his face.
"In a twisted way. But that was also when we became friends, I think."
Pacifica remembers dark, musty rooms full of hidden paintings and the click of a flashlight and nods.
"I said a lot of stupid things," Dipper mutters. "About you. Kinda made an idiot of myself."
"It's not like I didn't deserve it-"
"But I was wrong," Dipper continues over her. "And you proved that you were actually a pretty awesome person. And that's something I've always been slow at recognizing, I guess."
"The point is," he says breathlessly, finally facing her. "That I'm still a total idiot, and still awkward, and all-around horrible at this stuff, but I – you – Ireallyreallykindoflikeyouinaroman-"
"I love you!"
Dipper stares at her, eyes wide. Pacifica feels her face turn a brilliant shade of red.
"I mean – when I say love, I mean – you know, I-"
"Love you too?" Dipper says, voice strangled. It's Pacifica's turn to stare at him with wide eyes, Dipper's face turning scarlet.
"Oh," she breaths.
"Oh," he echoes.
They stare at each other, the silence of the forest deafening as a rush of emotions surges through her.
"Should we-" Dipper gestures awkwardly.
"Sure," Pacifica says.
He's a lot less awkward when he's pulling her towards him and locking lips with her. It's actually not awkward at all. It's… her mind is going blank at the moment, lost somewhere between her fingers tangled in Dipper's hair and his hands on her waist but she's sure there's some good ones for this-
Oh, who cares.
"You get to tell Mabel," she says later, head against his chest as they watch the tops of the pine trees moving in the wind. "You're her twin."
"Mph," Dipper groans. "How about we just don't tell anyone."
"Oh, yeah, that'll end well," Pacifica snorts.
"You never know," Dipper yawns, hand threading through her hair again. Pacifica smiles.
"Well, with this town."
Later, they'll sprint out of the forest, rudely interrupted by a pack of gnomes. Later, they'll deal with knowing smirks from the Stans and Wendy's wide grin and Mabel's overjoyed shrieking. Later, they'll deal with Pacifica's parents – or maybe not, they jury's still out on that one.
But now, Pacifica will listen to the nerdy boy she met five years ago tell her stories about pop-loving mutant bears and sap-preserved dinosaurs and feel unbelievably grateful that a lumberjack ghost decided to curse her family and ruin their party, forcing her to turn to the last person she'd ever see herself friends with.
Because maybe it sucked at the time, but something changed in Pacifica Northwest that night – she fought for her freedom and won, and she's been her own person ever since.
And she also inadvertently got herself a boyfriend with curly brown hair and scarred hands who still sings BABBA in the shower.
So yeah, she thinks. Vengeful lumberjack ghosts. Not so bad, really.