"When I—when I asked what was wrong, she—"Ford choked back a sob—"She turned to me and her eyes—they had become yellow—I almost could swear she had grown fangs—it was as though—she was possessed by-something. "
Stan got the weird feeling that there was something his brother wasn't saying. Up on the stair landing, Dipper did, too. Stan didn't mention it—he thought pushing might make his brother more upset.
"Leila came at me—hissing—the next thing I knew her knees were on my chest and her hands were around my throat. She had gained amazing strength somehow- I didn't—I didn't know what to do—I—I had my gun in my hands, and I—"
Ford covered his face with his hands. Even so, Dipper could hear the sob he let out upstairs.
Stan felt guilty. He remembered Ford's telling him, "You don't know what I've been through!" the day he came through the portal. Stan, in turn, had retorted that Ford didn't know what he'd been through, and started listing his past troubles. Now that he knew, Stan realized that nothing he'd "been through" compared.
"I'm so sorry, Sixer." He said. "I—what I've had to do in my life is nothing compared to that. "
For a moment, Ford kept his face covered. Finally he removed his hands. A single tear slid down his right cheek. "It was selfish, Stan. I should have tried—"
"Tried to what? Exorcise whatever took over your lady friend? Sounds like whatever did it was trying to kill you, Ford. What else could you have done? "
Ford sighed and wiped away his tears with the backs of his hands. "I don't know, Stanley, but—she was my friend. I should have tried to do something. "
Up on the landing, Dipper tried to stifle a yawn with his hand. I don't think I would have known what to do in that situation, either, Great Uncle Ford—no, I know I wouldn't have.
Stan sighed and stood up. His brother had told him enough, and he wasn't going to press him for more. "Look, Poindexter—thank you. Thank you for telling me. You don't have to say any more. "
Ford just nodded slightly, his eyes closed.
"Come on; time to get back to sleep." Stan directed, turning Ford's shoulders so that he was in the right position to be laid back down on the couch. He picked up his brother's feet and put them up on the couch, then covered him with the blankets once more.
Stan turned off the lamp and shook his head. "Poor Sixer. I never could have imagined. "
He started to go back to the easy chair, when he heard a noise.
"What the—"Stan muttered, looking up toward the stair landing.
Slowly he went over to the stairs and climbed up them. Once there, he turned on the light.
There by the wall, having fallen asleep and then fallen over, was his great-nephew.
"Aw, no, kid—were you sitting there listening to all that? "Stan mumbled.
He bent over (groaning a bit from the pain in his back) and picked the boy up. After trying to stretch a bit to relieve his back pain, Stan took Dipper back to his room.
By the moonlight that was coming in the window, he put Dipper back in bed and pulled the covers over him.
"I hope you don't have any nightmares now." Stan said with a sigh, and headed back downstairs.