Pacifica Northwest was not depressed, she was not antisocial, and she was not in fact horribly lonely. She was not all these things despite having multiple school therapists tell her that, despite her family informing her of that fact whenever they felt like pointing out a flaw, and despite resembling all of those remarks. But she wasn't. Depression was just her not wanting to deal with the constant weight of her name crushing down on her, her antisocial behavior sprang up from the fact that the people around her were usually backstabbing liars who would throw her under a train for a quarter, and the only reason she was alone was not to have to deal with the previously mentioned people.
Despite not being depressed Pacifica had a hard time remember the last time she had been happy. It felt like ages ago, during one of the summers after boarding school where she had talked and enjoyed the presence of old friends, the Pine's siblings. They had never once tried to take advantage of her, or at least if they ever did they were straight forward and thanked her a hundred times for whatever they needed her to do.
Even now remember the two brought a pang of hurt to her chest. Mabel, who was always happy, always wearing homemade clothes, and who could tell a joke at the darkest hours. And Dipper, who was smart and loyal to a fault, always there with a comforting and awkward bit of advice. Both of them had opened her eyes to a world she had never known from behind her self-imposed walls of greed and pride.
But it had been years since she had seen either of them, and their Great Uncle's wouldn't say a single word about them, only that they were 'fine' and she should either buy something or take a hike. Despite her friendship with the twins the owner of the shop had never really taken a liking to her, despite his brother being a gentlemen.
Now she found herself back in the hometown her family had claimed to found with nothing but time and empty space. There wasn't much for a seventeen year old to do in Gravity Falls, the town hadn't exactly grown much in five years. Somehow she had doubts that it would ever grow no matter how much time passed, it was like this place was stuck in a rut.
It was in her boredom that Pacifica found herself walking through Gravity Fall's forest, remembering the old days with her last true friends. They had taken her on a few adventures with them, most that ended with them running and screaming from some new ungodly abomination that would be looking to either eat them or force them to sit through their one man shows…and then eat them. There was a surprising lack of variety when it came to death threats from supernatural creatures. Mostly just variations of ways they would try and kill them.
Despite knowing the dangers of being in the forest alone Pacifica wasn't too afraid. She had good running shoes on, a bag at her side with pepper spray and a Taser, not to mention enough well practiced authority and strength in her voice to shame any monster who would dare try and harm a single hair on her head.
After about an hour of hiking through the forest she came across a small pond, surrounding on all sides by trees. "Hm, didn't know about this place." she said to herself. It wasn't rare to find her talking to herself, after all it was at least nice to talk to someone you trusted every now and again. She walked toward the small pond and dipped her hand into it, bringing up the clear water before letting it drop back into the pool of water in front of her. It wasn't deep, even in deepest part it would only come up to her waist. She brought out her phone and took a picture of the pond with a smile. When she got home she would print the picture and put it into a scrapbook, something that Mabel had suggested she make to remember all of the good times. Most of it was pretty empty, but she knew if the brown haired girl were still around she would just say something about 'that just means you need more good times to fill it with.' or something of that nature.
"Hey there cutie," a voice rang out from the forest, causing Pacifica to quickly turn around to look at who was talking to her. "Looking good, and definitely female, get 'er boys!"
Before the blonde haired heiress could react a number of tiny darts flew out of the forest and struck the parts of her that weren't covered in clothes, stinging like a bee where they landed. She reached the pull one out, before she felt her body freeze in place, unable to move. Without the ability to control her motor function the young girl quickly collapsed on her back, away from the pond thankfully.
Out of the forest walked a large band of small creatures with beards and red pointy hats. Pacifica remembered these creatures from back in the day, Gnomes. Dangerous in groups but not exactly intellectual powerhouses. Always on the hunt for a new 'Queen'.
"What do you creeps want with me?" she asked with venom hanging on every word. It appeared she could still speak, despite the rest of her body feeling like it was made of lead.
"Just to make you our eternal bride, we have been hunting for one for years, but every time something or someone steps in and just makes it impossible," the leader of the group moaned with a shake of his head. "But this time, and I am saying this with utter confidence that it is in fact true, nothing could possibly go wrong."
"Oh, I wouldn't say that," before any of the Gnomes could react a pale green energy surrounded their bodies and began to slowly lift them into the air and away from Pacifica, dropping all of the assembled Gnomes straight into the drink. "Because I could always show up."
A new figure walked out of the woods to join the small party, a rather tall young man with short brown hair. He was wearing a faded blue jeans and a t-shirt with a picture of a forest background on the front of it. "Now Jeff, what have I told you about trying to kidnap women?" his voice was light, almost like he were scolding a child.
"It…it was just a goof, just a joke you know?" Jeff looked up toward the man, fear plain in his eyes. "We weren't planning on kidnapping her and making her our Queen for the rest of eternity I swear!"
The man pinched the bridge of his nose and let out a small breath. "I told you I was working on how to create female Gnomes for your people Jeff, and I had just finished to. All you were asked to do was not what you are doing now."
"C-come on you know us, this is just what we do." Jeff pleaded, fear plain to see in his eyes.
"Collected Gnomes of the Hunting Pack, your leader has betrayed the barging he forged with me. Forsake him now and vote a new leader and I will consider still keeping my end of the bargain and not turning you into ducks." the man gave each a cold glare, as if to tell each one that his threat was no laughing matter. With a wave of his hand he removed the glow from all of the Gnomes except for Jeff.
The Gnomes huddled together and began to talk rapid fire before simply pushing on odd looking Gnome to the front. "Him, he is the new leader." the group called out.
The man stepped forward and tilted his head to the side. "What is your name?"
"Shmebulock!" declared Shmebulock.
The man blinked for a moment before letting out a small groan. "You know what, I don't even care anymore," he reached into his pocket and tossed a small bag to the Gnome. "Take those back to your home and plant them, water them with love and from them Gnome women shall grow."
"Shmebulock?" Shmebulock asked.
"Yes I promise it will work." the man replied to the Gnome.
"Shmebulock." he gave a small nod and whistled to the other Gnomes to pick up their former leader before retreating back into the forest.
"Well that was a thing," the man said while scratching the back of his neck.
"Hey weird guy, you think you can help me up, this mud is ruining my clothing." Pacifica called out. Now that the Gnomes were gone she needed to figure out if this guy was worse news then the Gnomes.
He turned his head to look at her for a moment before smiling and waving his hand over her. As he did she found that her body no longer felt like lead, now she could move freely. "Sorry about that, I got so caught up with those guys I forgot about you for a moment." he had the good grace to look embarrassed about his error.
"I guess its fine," she pulled herself up and brushed off her clothing. Now that she was no longer stuck on the ground she was able to get a good look at the man who had saved her. Her impression that he was tall still seemed on the spot, as he was about a head taller than herself. Despite his apparently ability to freeze Gnomes and remove poison he seemed perfect normal, in fact if his arms were anything to go by he was in great shape. "So do you have a name, or am I just supposed to call you mysterious magic guy?"
The man blinked for a moment in confusion before laughing. "I guess you could call me the Count of Monte Cristo."
Pacifica scrunched her nose at the man who had saved her, recognizing the name easily enough. Well if he wanted to play games then she would play right back. "Or maybe Edward Dante's would be a bit better, seeing as you don't exactly look like a Count."
The man flashed her a bright grin as she joked against him. "Man you haven't changed at all have you, still quick witted as ever."
Confusion flashed across her face as he said that. "Do I know you from somewhere?" he looked familiar, but she couldn't quite place everything together. Then again people usually look very different as they grew up.
"Somewhere, some when, something like that," the man said with a small wave of his hand. "Now we should get you out of the forest before it gets dark, things have been getting crazy around here lately."
"I can take care of myself," the young woman said with a frown. Just as she finished saying that a deep and dangerous roar rang out from the forest, loud enough to make the trees shake. "That being said it would be in poor taste to turn down such a generous offer."
"Agreed, let's get going." with that said the two began to make their way to the nearest out of the forest. As they did the young man pulled out a small leather bound journal and a pen, writing down something.
"Isn't is a bit dangerous to be writing and walking at the same time?" Pacifica asked, stealing the occasional glance at him. She still couldn't exactly match him to anyone in her memory, but if felt like only a matter of time before it clicked.
"No way, I know what I am doing so…" before he could continue he walked face first into a tree branch, knocking himself flat on his rear. "Okay so let's pretend I didn't just do that, okay?" he rubbed his forehead a bit, brushing his hair out of the way for the first time and revealing the final piece of the puzzle for Pacifica.
On his forehead sat a very distinctive birthmark, one that looked just like the Big Dipper.
"Dip…" Pacifica began to say, only to be cut off by said boy leaping back to his feet and covering her mouth with his hand, bringing a finger to his own lips to signify that she shouldn't say anything else.
"This forest has ears everywhere, and saying my name will draw things right toward us who are still holding a grudge, just hold on until we are out of the forest and I promise I will explain everything." Dipper's voice was filled with worry as he spoke in a hushed tone.
Pacifica gave him a look that made it clear that she didn't understand, but nodded anyway. With the nod Dipper moved his hand away from her mouth and the two of them walked the rest of the way in utter silence.
Once they finally reached the edge of the forest Pacifica turned around, wanting to ask a thousand questions. What had he done to those Gnomes back there, why was he back, where had he been, why had he never written?
But before a single word could escape her mouth Dipper's phone went off in his pocket, playing a cover of Disco Girl. "One second," he said, pulling out his phone, a flip phone pulled straight out of the old days, and opening it. "This is Dipper, yeah I took care of it, well yeah they aren't easy to…okay yeah I am…I just said…okay I am hanging up the phone now." he flipped the phone closed and sighed.
"Who was that?" Pacifica asked with a bit of a raised eyebrow.
"Mabel, I need to get back to the Mystery Shack," he sighed a bit and shook his head. "Listen you know Lazy Susan's Dinner?"
"That horrid little place?" she had eaten their once and had felt the need to get a stomach pump. "I know of it."
"Meet me there tomorrow at twelve and I promise I will explain some of the stuff." he held out his pinkie to her with a smile.
It was the same thing they used to do when they were still kids. It was the way Mabel had taught her to make deals. In her mind it was a ton more binding then any contract, through Pacifica didn't know if she would agree with that statement. Regardless she hooked her pinkie around Dipper's and glared into his eyes. "You better be there."
Dipper gave a sheepish grin and stepped back, giving her a small wave before turning and jogging to the direction of the Mystery Shack.
Pacifica could only watch as her oldest friend moved away from her. She would never admit to having been lonely, or missing him or his sister. The tears that ran down her face weren't because of either of them, just dirt being picked up from the wind. Honestly.
After about ten minutes Dipper found himself back at the Mystery Shack, having barely worked a sweat from running all that way. To be fair he was in great shape, which came from the fact he had trained around the world, and most of the people he trained under hammered in the importance of a healthy body and a healthy mind. He looked at the Mystery Shack and smiled to himself. Despite the passage of time the place hadn't changed a bit, not even the hanging letter had ever been fixed, despite Ford and Stan always complaining about it whenever they stepped out. With a smile on his face Dipper walked into the Shack and back toward the living room, only to see his sister sitting on the couch with a Pit Cola in her hands.
The passage of time had been more then kind to Mabel, through it had made some changes to her appearance. She had long ago trimmed her long hair into much shorter version of itself, and with her braces removed she now could smile and show not a hint of metal. Gone was any of the pudgy roundness that youth had saddled her with, now she was actually rather well toned. The only thing she still disliked was the fact Dipper had grown a bit taller than her, but she comforted herself with the fact that if they were to arm wrestle she could put his entire body through the table.
"About time you got here Bro!" she ran over and wrapped her arms around Dipper in a tight hug, one that knocked the air right out of Dipper.
"Lungs…air…need…breathe…" Dipper choked out, doing a perfect impression of a fish on land.
Mabel only laughed and held the hug for a few seconds before letting him go. "Man, you are still super lanky bro-bro."
"Yeah but I can still beat you at chess." Dipper huffed while fixing his hair to hide his birthmark again.
Seeing Dipper messing with his hair brought a smile to his sister's face. "Wait a minute Bro, I have just the thing," she bounced over to the couch and removed one of the pillows, revealing a baseball cap with a pine tree on the front of it. "It's a Mabel original, like this new sweater," she waved her hand over said sweater, which hair a shield with a sword standing behind it. "So you don't need to worry about it not fitting over your huge head."
"Heh, I heard about your new line up on the plane," Dipper took the hat and fit it over his head. Just like she said it fit like a dream, though he would have expected nothing less of his sister. "I heard that Tony Stark retweeted your announcement tweet."
Mabel gave a roll of her eyes at the name of the billionaire superhero. "I know, we sold out the entire line in like an hour after he called it 'the Hot Thing of the summer'."
"You don't seem happy about the free publicity," Dipper said as he took a seat on the couch. Life had been eventful since they had left Gravity Falls all those years ago. After the incident they had traveled around the world and met a ton of people while searching for a way to fix what had happened.
"Well I wanted to see how my line would go without any help, plus I bet Tony never even wore the sweater I made for him." Mabel huffed a bit and crossed her arms.
It hadn't done much good, but they had met a host of extraordinary people and creatures. From a group of Gargoyles that came to life only at night, to the mighty Avengers, a hospital for Superheroes, bionic humans who could perform feats beyond imagination, and even a pair of brothers who could create machines that only a kid on a sugar high could ever think of creating. Not that any of them had actually managed to find a way to fix their problem, but it was still amazing to have met so many interesting people.
That being said Dipper had his regrets. He had gone long stretches without seeing Mabel, as both of them had searched and done different things to find the solution to the problem. During that time he had always felt a part of himself missing, and now that they were back together he felt whole again. "I really missed you sis." he said with a warm smile.
Mabel blinked a bit and smiled, hugging Dipper once more. "I missed you too Dipper," she stepped back and looked over him. "Did you find anything new in Tibet?"
"No, the monks ran me through everything, but in the end it didn't do anything more than the rest did," he smirked and opened his left hand, letting the same aura that had pinned the Gnomes come around it, lifting a number of displays before setting them down. "But I did finally master telekinesis, so we can add that to the list of cool stuff it allows me to do."
Mabel let out a small sigh after finding out that his trip had been another bust. She hadn't had much hope to start with, but still. "I didn't have much luck either, but I finally mastered my fencing stances," she took a stance and held up her hand as if an invisible foil was in her hand, striking against an opponent that wasn't there. "Boom, bang, and…" she tossed her imaginary weapon from one hand to the other and delivered a death blow. "Bam!"
Dipper clapped for a moment and humored Mabel as she bowed to a fake audience. "So where are our Grunkles?" he asked, having finally noticed they weren't here to greet him.
"They had to head into the town over to pick up some stuff for a new exhibit, Grunkle Stan still isn't used to the whole 'has to at least not be super fake' thing that Grunkle Ford insisted on." Mabel laughed a bit at the twos bickering. She wasn't able to spend as much time around the two as she had wanted, but was always glad for the chance.
"Yeah that sounds like them," he let out a small breath and looked at her. "Before they get back we should make contact."
Mabel let out a small wine and waved her hand. "I want to put that off for a bit longer, every time we do this he ends up creeping me out more. So who was there when I called hm?" she waggled her eyebrows. "Some new lady you have fallen for during your adventures?"
Dipper blushed and looked away from her. It was never a comfortable experience talking to Mabel about his love life, or lack of one really. "Pacifica, she was being attacked by Gnomes and I saved her."
The squeal that Mabel let out could have shattered glass if it were a pitch higher. "Oh my gosh! And then you took her in your arms and smooched her right?!" she grabbed Dipper's shoulders and pulled his face close to hers. "Like a solider returning from the war only to save his beloved from rough and tumble bikers and then they have the huge romantic kiss right?!"
"What?" Dipper's face turned an even brighter shade of red. "Mabel no, bad!" he grabbed a nearby magazine and smacked her on the head with it.
Mabel feigned injury but smiled none the less. "Come on you two had like the biggest crushes on each other back when we were kids, you should have smooched her, right on the lips, a big wet one."
Dipper felt his face shift from red to some sort of purplish color before he quickly backed away from his sister. "Mabel it's been like five years, she might have a boyfriend or something!"
Dipper's logic couldn't destroy the light that was gathering in Mabel's eyes. "That's even better, she has some jerky jerk boyfriend that you need to beat up for her honor, and then she totally falls and swoons for you!" Mabel faked a swoon and fell right off the couch, landing and rolling with laughter. "Pacifica and Dipper in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g!"
"Mabel just…" Dipper let out a sigh of frustration and tossed his hands into the air. "There is no talking to you like this you know that?"
"Nope," Mabel said as she bounced back up to her feet. "But I now have my secondary mission for this summer, Operation Hook My Bro-Bro up with Pacifica Northwest!"
"Don't we have more important things to deal with?" Dipper asked with a strained voice. "Like performing the sealing ritual to buy ourselves another year?"
"Why you got to ruin my mellow like that bro?" Mabel asked as the smile slowly slipped off her face.
"Mabel we have to be serious about this," Dipper put a hand against his chest and let out a slow breath. "I can feel it getting stronger than before, I thought that attempting it somewhere other than Gravity Fall's would make it more effective, but with how botched it was…" he didn't need to remind his sister of that day, of what it had nearly costed them.
"I know how serious this stuff is," her voice lost the child like quality to it, now taking on a much more responsible and weary tone. "It's why I trained to be so strong, strong enough to make sure that would never happen again, and to protect you, but if we live our lives with this as our only focus…then what's the point?"
Dipper saw how serious she was and felt a bit of shame at hinting she wasn't serious about what was happening. "Listen…would it help if I let you give me advice on how to talk to her tomorrow?"
Mabel's face lit up and she nodded. "How much are you going to tell her?" she asked.
"Everything, if we don't tell her then she will probably go looking and get herself hurt, better to just lay out everything on the table and see what happens you know?" Dipper asked.
"And then you have sloppy make outs with her right?" Mabel asked with more eyebrow gymnastics.
Dipper pinched the bridge of his nose. "Okay we are done talking about this, let's get going and meet up with him before he gets impatient."
Mabel sighed but offered no hint of protest, sitting on the couch and crossing her legs, drawing herself into a meditation pose that she had learned years ago. Dipper did the same, and began to time his own breathing to his sisters. As twins they shared a special connection that couldn't be described, which is what allowed them to do this together. They both focused on that bond, slowly their hearts and breath to be in perfect sync with each other. Once that was finished they began to chant. "Tao Nistrium Triangulum, Tao Nistrium Triangulum, Tao Nistrium Tri-"before the final word could be spoken both twins felt their minds leave their conscious bodies and ascend into a higher plane.
Neither could accurately describe the world around them, as it wasn't on the same level of being they were used to. It was created by the ideas and flow of human thought and imagination. It was the place that held the massive flow of human consciousness. All of the darkness and light in one place together. A place of insanity and genius.
"Well well well," a familiar voice rang out from the ever flowing stream of ideas, and before the twins astral selves appeared a yellow triangle, a top hat above his head and a cane by his side. "It's ever so nice…to see you." as the triangle fully formed one feature was different. The once ever seeing eye in the beings center was closed, bound by strings as if it had been sewn closed.
"And you as well, Bill." Dipper and Mabel looked toward the Dream Demon and waited for what would happen next, their forms stiff and ready to move.
And so begins the first chapter of this story. Interested in finding out what is even the hey? Leave a favorite, follow, and of course reviews are loved and appreciated.