ATTENTION! Before you start reading, there's a couple of things I wanna say here…

- This fic acts as a prequel to my other story, Make a Living, in which Dipper and Pacifica are 15, but this one can still be read separately (check it out here - s/11227626/1/Make-A-Living )

- It's not going to be fast – they won't be kissing or anything in the first chapter. As a great man once said, '12 year-olds shouldn't focus on romance, they should focus on Pokemon and pop-tarts'.

- Feel free to review – compliments, constructive criticism, heck, I wouldn't even mind the occasional angry spark. Anything helps me to improve this fic as it goes.

- Alex Hirsch owns all characters, I own the story, etc. etc., you get the idea.

K mates, you can start reading now (I mean, assuming you didn't see the bold text and think 'Oh boy an author's note, just gonna skip over this…'). I hope y'all enjoy it!

The mud-stains were not coming out of the carpet.

Dipper watched trying to hold back his laughter as the crowd of butlers tried to clean up the mess he and Pacifica had made on her parents 'favorite' carpet pattern. As if they couldn't just order some more in from Turkey or wherever it was they got their expensive rugs from. Still, it was fun to watch Pacifica barking orders at them. Her hair flew around behind her as she moved, and her dress, covered in dirt made her look even angrier. But Dipper liked it. He liked the new Pacifica. She hadn't tried to change out of her dress, she actually seemed to be enjoying being a little roughed up. She threw her head back and laughed as one of the butlers slipped on the mud.

Dipper had taken up residence on the stairs. The common-folk of the town were interspersed throughout the richer, invited guests. They had begun to mingle, contrary to what Pacifica's father had said, and a couple of them were going as far enough to dance. Dipper watched as Lazy Susan spun around in circles like she was looking for the Hide-Behind, pulling some poor fellow in a suit along with her. He couldn't help but grin. Imagine how boring this party would've been if Pacifica hadn't let these people in! Well, he would still be a block of wood or he would've burnt as the mansion went up in flames.

Pretty boring if you asked him.

'How awesome is this party?' asked Pacifica, walking over to him. Dipper smiled at her as she stopped at the bottom of the stairs.

'Yeah, I'm loving it,' he said. Pacifica frowned at him.

'You don't look like it, you're sitting on the stairs!' she said.

'Well, I just needed a br –'

'Come on!' she interrupted, grabbing his wrist and pulling him onto the dance floor.

'Pacifica, I don't know…' he said. She looked over her shoulder and smiled at him.

'Afraid of a little dancing?' she teased. Dipper rubbed the back of his head.

'Well, actually, the last time I tried to dance with a girl I –'

'Save it, Dipper! This is our night! You're probably not going to come to a party like this again in your life, so live it up while you can!'

She intertwined her fingers with his and they started to circle around in no particular fashion, much like everyone else on the floor. Dipper watched her while they spun. He had never sen her smile like this before – not up close. She actually looked nice. He was dancing with a new girl, different to the one he had known before tonight. Her face was filled with joy as they laughed and danced and laughed and danced.


They both collapsed onto the stairs. Almost an hour had passed since the towns-folk entered the party and both Dipper and Pacifica were worn out. Dipper rubbed his head.

'Aw man, I think I'm getting dizzy,' he said. Pacifica punched him lightly in the arm.

'You were great, Dipper! All the other boys I've danced with are rich, snobby people who only care about themselves, and they don't want to have fun, they just want to look sophisticated.'

'You just described yourself!'

Another, harder punch in the arm.

'OK, before tonight I mean.'

Pacifica shifted in her seat so that she was facing Dipper.

'But seriously, Dipper, you were awesome! I've never had so much fun in my life!'

'Thanks, Pacifica,' he said. They sat in silence for a while, watching the people go about their business, laughing and smiling and dancing. Eventually the music changed to a waltz, and all the couples in the room got up and went to the center of the room to dance. Pacifica stuck out her tongue.

'Ew, this music is definitely not my style,' she said. Dipper stood up.

'Is there anywhere else we can go? I'm all danced out for one night, I just need to relax,' he asked, looking down at her. Pacifica crossed her arms.

'We're in a mansion, dummy, of course there are other places we can go,' she replied, getting up herself, 'Come on, I'll show you!'

They headed up the stairs and onto the second floor. Pacifica wasn't lying, this place was massive. The hall's roof was so high up that Dipper couldn't tell what the pattern on the ceiling was – it was too tiny. Pacifica led him into a library and started looking through the shelves.

'Ah, this is my kind of place,' Dipper said, sitting down in a chair and stretching himself out. Pacifica found what she was looking for but didn't take the book out.

'We're not staying here,' she said, and she pushed the book into the back of the shelf. There was a faint click, and a fireplace started to move into the floor, revealing a passage with a ladder leading up into the roof. Dipper stood up.

'Cool, huh? I stumbled across this a few years back – it leads to one of my favorite places in the house.'

'I've seen magical fireplace doors before,' said Dipper, ducking into the hole. He looked up and saw that the ladder extended another storey upwards. He grabbed the rungs and started to climb, Pacifica right behind him.

'Hey, Pacifica, where does this ladder lead?' he asked.

'You'll see.'

When Dipper reached the top of the ladder, he gasped. There was a room half-filled with boxes and paintings, scattered around the place, not much unlike the one he had captured the ghost in. This room was brighter though. There was light from the lower floors coming in through the floorboards, lighting the room a nice shade of yellow. It felt homey. There were a couple of sofas around the place, a shelf full of books and even a small cable TV with a collection of movies. Dipper felt like the mansion had its own little Mystery Shack, kept secret from the rest because of how low it would be to spend time in here.

'I usually come here when my parents are mad at me or if I just need some alone time,' Pacifica said, appearing behind him. She walked over to one of the bigger boxes.

'This place looks like the Mystery Shack,' said Dipper, 'I thought you would've called this a hovel.'

'I clean here pretty regularly, plus I'm the only one who knows about it, so it's not like anyone else is coming up here.'

'I know about it now,' said Dipper. Pacifica laughed. She started to drag the box back, and Dipper felt a blast of cool evening air brush up against him. There was a hole in the wall that led out onto the roof. It looked like it had been made with little thought – there were tiles lying on the ground, some of them broken up. Pacifica smiled at him.

'I like this room too, but when the weather's nice, my favorite place is out here,' she said, stepping through the hole in the wall. Dipper followed and emerged into the night. The cloud cover had dispersed and the sky was ablaze with stars. Pacifica scrambled up the tiles until she found a flat section of roof.

'Come on, Dipper!' she said. Dipper followed her path, trying not to slip on the tiles. He sat next to her and leaned up against the tiles behind him, looking up at the stars.

'I had fun tonight, Pacifica,' he said. Pacifica smiled softly at him.

'Me too, Dipper,' she said, bunching up her legs to conserve body warmth, 'I'm sorry for lying to you about the whole ghost thing…'

'Hey, it's OK,' he replied, 'I get it.'

'Thanks,' she said. They returned to looking at the sky. A meteor flew by, leaving a trail of stardust in it's wake. It was… beautiful. Dipper had never fully appreciated the night sky before he came to Gravity Falls. Piedmont was small, but it was surrounded by another city, so the light pollution blocked out a lot of the stars. This sky was majestic – he could see the bands of the Milky Way spread out across the cosmos. And he couldn't forget Ursa Major – the Big Dipper. He touched a hand to his forehead.

'Dipper?' Pacifica asked lazily, turning to face him.

'Yeah?' he asked, looking back at her.

'Are we friends?'

'Of course we are, Pacifica, what kind of a question is that. You saved my life tonight, I'm just about obligated to be friends with you.'

Pacifica smiled at him. She looked back at the stars and ever so slightly touched his hand with hers.

Dipper understood. He moved his hand so it was on top of hers. She needed comfort. Dipper had seen what her parents had been doing to her, it was wrong. More than that, it was cruel and disgusting and it made him sick. She deserved to have someone who would be there for her. It needed to be him.

Pacifica squeezed his hand and they watched the skies in silence, the faint sound of music coming from a few floors below.

Thanks for reading! As I said, fluff will ensue. I know roughly where this fic is going, but I'd love a review or two for ideas and feedback.