we won't know until we get there

Dipper wakes up and stretches, savoring the comfort of his bed for a moment.

But only a moment. Dipper is a man with a plan. Nothing to do with anomalies or being grounded—not today. Today is dedicated to a sole task: making some money, any way he can.

Dipper is not usually motivated by profit. But he did a lot of thinking before bed last night, and he concluded the best way to cement his return to Pacifica's good graces is with another date. Her anger over the grounding is long past, but her pique regarding him almost getting himself killed on an adventure she was excluded from has lingered. He must admit it's hard to blame her. The second maze was rough, and not telling her was a mistake. The whole thing was bad all around. Taking Pacifica out on a second date will be a grand gesture and give them some alone time to work things out. It is, he's decided, exactly what their relationship needs.

Also, he hasn't made out with her for like a week now, and he's kind of losing his mind thinking about it.

He hops out of bed and pulls a pair of jeans on, trading his sleeping shirt for a regular one and his vest. He adds a clean pair of socks and his hat and he's ready to go. Mabel is still in bed, lazing around with her phone as she likes to do before getting set for the day.

"You seem weirdly busy," Mabel notes as she sends some morning texts (presumably to Brendan).

"I'm a man with a plan," Dipper tells her.

Mabel looks up from her phone with lips pursed dubiously. "Man?"

"Fine, boy with a plan," Dipper says, rolling his eyes. "I don't know if you've noticed, but I've gotten a whole lot manlier this last year."

Mabel shrugs and rolls over. "Nope, didn't notice a thing!"

"You noticed," he grumbles, turning to go.

As he heads for the kitchen, he must admit he's still smarting from his defeat at the tournament, mostly because Wendy was right: he totally choked. At the last possible second, he found himself wondering if Pacifica was serious about her offer, which was exactly what she wanted. By the time he decided it didn't matter, it was too late. He lost out on first place and second base.

…Maybe. He's pretty sure she was just messing with him. He's also pretty sure Tad Strange would have won anyway.

For a payday, Grunkle Stan isn't an option. Between the grounding, Dipper and Mabel no longer helping around the Shack, and Stan already fronting money once for a date night, Dipper knows there's no point in asking. And he doesn't want to borrow the money from someone when he's not sure if he can pay it back. He needs to earn some money.

He figures Ford is his best bet. His mentor isn't exactly rolling in the dough at the moment, but Dipper isn't asking for a whole lot. Maybe there's enough wiggle room in the budget to pay Dipper for his work, just this once. He hopes so, because if this doesn't pan out, he's not sure what he'll do. Maybe Melody would pay him to mow the lawn at her and Soos' place?

After a quick breakfast, he goes to the gift shop. He's relieved that Grunkle Stan isn't there; instead, Wendy is at the counter and Soos is taking inventory. Wendy looks up from her magazine just long enough to give Dipper a lazy wave of acknowledgement, but Soos pauses with his notebook in hand when Dipper approaches.

"Dipper, dude: I sense you are filled with great purpose," Soos solemnly observes.

"As always, Soos, you're right," Dipper says. "I need to make some money today." Soos' hand is halfway to his wallet when Dipper stops him. "Thanks, man, but I'm going to ask Great-Uncle Ford if I can work for it."

Wendy is listening in. "Trying to smooth things over with your lady, huh?" she says with an amused glint in her eye.

Dipper sighs. "Is it that obvious?"

"Don't worry, Dipper," Soos says, patting Dipper on the shoulder. "True love will win in the end."

"With a little help from capitalism," Wendy says, grinning.

Dipper isn't too happy with how his love life has become an entertaining sideshow for the denizens of the Shack, but he's realistic enough to know it was inevitable. Mabel already treats his relationship with Pacifica like a spectator sport—one she thinks she can influence. Which, to be fair, she can, and to be even fairer, she's generally done more good than harm. Dipper knows that she would spring into action to help him out if he asked, but he's set on doing this himself.

Dipper is accustomed to the basement looking at least slightly different every time he enters. Ford doesn't sleep much and his renovating, organizing, and upgrading are in near-constant progress. However, his leg injury has slowed things considerably, so today Dipper walks into the lab to find it the same. More surprising is Ford's absence. Dipper backtracks and takes the elevator up to the study.

Ford's study is still dim and crowded, though a little less so. All the Bill-related memorabilia is long gone, leaving room for a few amenities to go along with the bed up in the loft. Ford is at his desk, writing in his journal with a pile of PCB at his elbow. He looks up when Dipper opens the door.

"Dipper! What brings you down today?" Ford asks, turning in his chair to face Dipper.

Dipper is curious about the circuit boards. "What are you working on?"

"I was just jotting down some thoughts on the hearts."

"But are you doing something with those circuit boards?"

"Hmm?" Ford looks over his shoulder. "Ah, those. These are core components of Project Mentem. I've been reevaluating the project for other uses, though I'm not certain its original use isn't still relevant. Bill was never the only entity capable of affecting the mind."

Dipper follows his great-uncle's line of thought. "You think we can use it to interface with the hearts?"

"It's possible. We're still in the theoretical stage." Ford sets down his pen. "Was there something else on your mind?"

"Actually, yeah," Dipper says. "I was wondering if I could help you with something that would be worth money? Not a lot, obviously, but…"

"In need of funds? I know Stan doesn't pay you often—or possibly ever," Ford says with an uncertain frown. "Regardless, I don't see why we couldn't come up with something to provide you with a reasonable allowance."

"Really?"

"Of course. In fact, there's a task you could assist with; and it concerns the Shack, so Stan won't have reason to object. Given the number of people in the house, more than a single bath would be convenient. Soos has begun remodeling the upstairs bathroom to provide a shower unit, but Stanley asked me to doublecheck the plumbing. Apparently, there was an 'incident' when Soos first installed the toilet upstairs. Stan didn't elaborate."

Soos' long tenure as the Shack's handyman means he's a jack of all trades, but a master of only a few. The upstairs bathroom was installed years before Dipper first came to the valley, and he can only imagine what catastrophe might have resulted from a younger Soos' first experiments with plumbing.

"If you assist me, I think that would be reason enough for a decent sum," Ford says, grunting as he pushes himself to his feet and grabs his crutches. "Retrieve the yellow toolbox from the lab and meet me upstairs."

The attic bathroom is positioned close to Stan's room and is an addition that came relatively recently in the Shack's life. It's built in what had to have been a closet, consisting of just a toilet and a sink. It brings the Shack's total bathrooms up to four, with the one in Pacifica's room, the guest bathroom next to the floor room, and the big bathroom by Stan's office. This variety has made it blessedly easy to find an empty bathroom when needed (and there's always the portable toilets, the outhouse, and the woods, if one is desperate), but out of all of them, only the big bathroom has a tub and shower. This makes getting ready for bed an exercise in patience sometimes, especially if Pacifica gets in there first.

Dipper grabs the toolbox from the lab and heads to the attic. Ford is slow enough on his crutches that Dipper meets him halfway, and they go upstairs together. Inside the small bathroom, it looks like Soos has made significant progress. There's a lot of drywall and sawdust on the floor, but the plastic shell of the shower is already in place, and a gap between it and the wall reveals piping. The shower is small, but that's to be expected.

"I made some adjustments to the water pressure yesterday," Ford explains as he seats himself on the toilet. "Now that we're drawing water again in the lab, Stanley's expansions to the house have put a strain on the plumbing. We're halfway off the grid, given we're no longer dependent on county electrical, but if we tap into the aquifer below the bunker, we could be even more self-sufficient."

"Worried about another apocalypse?" Dipper says with growing concern.

"I don't anticipate one," Ford assures him. "But as they say: hope for the best, plan for the worst. Besides, having our own power and water saves us from being dependent on a supply which could easily be insufficient for our work."

"I'm sure the lack of bills will make Grunkle Stan happy," Dipper says.

"Stan's happiness remains a tertiary concern," Ford replies dryly. "Now, let's make sure everything is where it should be before we turn the water on."

Under Ford's instruction, Dipper goes over the pipes and checks the seals. Soos already cut the holes for the fixtures and laid the floor, for which Dipper is grateful because putting in the actual enclosure seems like something he wouldn't want to mess up. Ford soon deems it complete enough for a test run.

"Once you have that connected, go downstairs to the maintenance closet by my old room. You'll see a pump inside; it's brand new, you can't miss it. Turn it on and come back up, and we'll test the pressure and drainage," Ford says.

At least it's not all the way back to the lab. Dipper finds the closet easily enough—it's Soos' former 'break room,' complete with scalding-hot pipes. The new pump takes up enough space that the closet's days of hosting siestas is over. When Dipper turns it on, the pipes make some ominous creaking and clanging sounds. He hopes that's normal.

Returning to the bathroom, he readies himself by the valve.

"Alright, let's see if we're in business," Ford says.

Dipper opens the valve. The water emerges from the pipe with such force that it douses the entire room, the spray hitting Dipper's face like needles. The roar of it impacting against the plastic is deafening. Blindly, he gropes for the valve and manages to shut it off. Wiping water from his eyes, he notes with disbelief that the stream badly dented the wall of the shower.

"Somewhat overengineered," Ford says blasely as he mops water from his face. "We'll need to turn that down a notch or twenty. Still, better too much than not enough!"

It takes a while to clean up the water, especially since Ford can't help much. Dipper spreads a few towels around and does his best not to leave any puddles.

"So, what are you saving up for?" Ford says conversationally as Dipper cleans. "More graph paper for D&D&MD? A new bag of marbles? Do kids still play with marbles?"

"Uh, not really."

"I'm sure they're all too busy in cyberspace, folding proteins, etcetera," Ford says knowingly.

"Yeah, something like that." Dipper briefly examines the dent in the shower wall, but decides he's going to let Soos handle that, mostly because he has no idea what to do about it. "I actually need the money to take Pacifica out again."

"On a date? Mabel said you were trying to smooth things over, and I recognize my part in that," Ford says regretfully. "I'm sure she'll come around. Pacifica is a… spirited young woman, but I can tell she cares for you."

Ford is far from being an ideal candidate when it comes to discussing anything involving romance. Despite this, Dipper finds his frustrations bubbling forth. "I'm just kind of worried," he confesses. He's already soaked, so it doesn't matter when he sits on a pile of towels. "I know she's angry because I scared her when we ran off without her, but… what if she doesn't think it's worth the risk anymore? Being together, I mean. Like, between the danger and the end of summer maybe she decided it's easier to just…"

"Let go?" Ford says quietly.

Dipper just nods, his heart in his mouth.

Ford is silent for a moment. "…I thought that was the easiest thing myself, once," he says. "After Stanley was forced out of the family, it didn't feel like much of a family anymore. It was easier—too easy—to lose myself in my studies and forget. But, in the end, I only lost even more."

"I don't want to lose her," Dipper mumbles. "Sometimes it feels like I'm going to. Like I can't help it."

Ford is beginning to look uncomfortable. "Well, summer isn't over yet," he says bracingly. "Besides, the internet makes that sort of relationship possible these days, or so I understand." He clears his throat. "Come to think of it, you'd be better off talking to your father. He married an extraordinary woman."

Dipper blinks. "You think my mom is extraordinary?"

"Inference, my boy," Ford says, leaning over to clap a hand on Dipper's shoulder. "She helped raise extraordinary children. Now, let's get this shower caulked and you paid. I'm positive Pacifica will be receptive."

That's the hope. With the shower complete and a modest sum of cash in his pocket, Dipper returns to his room to plan. Mabel is gone, so he has the attic to himself.

He finds himself put off balance by his own admissions, internally taken aback at what he said to Great-Uncle Ford. It was all the truth, but a truth he suppressed. He's spent so much time deliberately not thinking about what happens after the summer ends that he hadn't truly realized how much it bothers him, or how much this recent distance from Pacifica has stirred up fears new and old. He doesn't know what the future looks like, but right now every second spent away from her feels like a second wasted.

He could take her out for dinner again at the same place and that would probably be fine. But the forecast says the evening is supposed to be cool with clear skies, and that gives him a better idea. Plus, that new romantic comedy is playing at the theater downtown. He can't remember the name of it, but after the tournament he saw Pacifica and Mabel stop to discuss the poster outside the theater. The movies are a classic place to take a date, even he knows that.

He leaves his room and goes to the top of the stairwell; he can hear Mabel talking downstairs, she's in the living room with Candy, Grenda, and Pacifica. Dipper takes his phone from his pocket and texts Mabel. A minute later, he hears her loudly declaring she needs to use the restroom. She comes jogging out of the living room and up the stairs.

"What's up, Dip?" she asks, holding up her phone. Dipper's text asking her to slip away is still on the screen.

"I need your help with something," he says.

Her head tilts curiously. "With what?"

Dipper glances towards the stairs, then says quietly, "With setting up a date."

Mabel's face lights up like Neon Ville.


It's about midafternoon. It's even windier today than it was yesterday, and the gusts come ripping down the streets of the town, tugging hard at Dipper's vest. He's glad he decided not to wear his hat, though his reasoning had nothing to do with the weather. Pacifica seems to like his hair, so he's going to leave it uncovered for her. He runs a hand through it to make sure the wind hasn't blown any leaves or pine needles into it; around his ears it's still wet from the shower he took before heading downtown.

There's never exactly what one would call a crowd in downtown Gravity Falls; not outside something like Pioneer Day, anyway. Still, there's been a steady trickle of people heading into the theater for a weekend show, and in a town so small it's inevitable that Dipper knows at least some of them. He's traded awkward nods of acknowledgement with Bodacious T, one of Wendy's brothers whose name escapes him (he knows all their names, just not which name goes with which face), and Gorney. He's also drawn more than a few grins and looks of amused interest—maybe it's his anxious posture or his dress khakis, but it must be obvious he's waiting for a date.

He's beginning to second-guess his plan. Surprising Pacifica with a movie date seemed like a great idea on paper, but now he's wondering if he shouldn't have just asked her outright. Maybe the more prosaic approach would have been better instead of this minor subterfuge. He nervously thumbs his phone in his pocket, thinking about texting Mabel and calling it off.

Too late. Here comes Soos' truck down the main drag.

Soos pulls up along the curb in front of the theater. Candy and Grenda are in the front seat, and in the back seat Dipper can hear Pacifica talking as Mabel pops the side door open.

"Wait, I thought we were going to the nail salon?" she questions.

Mabel hops out and holds the door open. "How about something even better?" she says.

Pacifica pauses in the doorway, still seated as she spots Dipper. He stands up straighter, hoping he's doing this right.

"Hey, Pacifica," he says. "Do you want to see a movie with me? Like… as a date?"

It still seems strange to him that he's in this position, asking a girl who is already his girlfriend to a movie. Yeah, she's mad at him right now and he's trying to smooth things over, but this is where relationships usually start. They became so close through other, more meaningful ways that they skipped right past this stage.

Pacifica looks surprised, blue eyes wide and startled. Then they become more calculating; she looks like she's deciding whether she's still mad or not. But there's a hint of excitement in the tilt of her mouth that makes Dipper retain his hope.

Then, she holds out her hand. "Help me down," she says.

His grin is powered by sheer relief. He hurries forward and takes her hand, helping her down from Soos' truck as if it is a gilded carriage. "Milady," he says.

"Milord," Pacifica says, doing a bad job at hiding the beginnings of a smile.

Candy and Grenda are pressed against the half-opened truck window, gawking with glee, and Dipper knows that Mabel has already taken at least a dozen pictures for the scrapbook, but he doesn't care. Still holding Pacifica's hand, he leads her towards the theater door.

"Go, lovebirds! Fly free!" Candy calls after them.

"HAVE AN EVENING OF ROMANCE!" Grenda bellows.

Dipper looks over his shoulder and catches Mabel's eye. She gives him a thumbs up and raises two fingers, indicating she's moving on to part two of their plan.

"So, I thought we could see that new romantic comedy that just came out," Dipper says as they approach the ticket booth. He's still unable to remember the title and is wracking his brain for details, looking for the poster and trying not to be obvious about it. "Uh, the one with the horses?"

"Sleepless in the Saddle," Pacifica supplies with an immediacy that lets him know he's made the right choice.

Too bad fate has other plans. Pacifica waits near the door while Dipper goes to the ticket booth. The speckle-faced teen inside starts shaking his head before Dipper finishes his first syllable.

"Sorry, we're not showing that. Someone spilled popcorn butter all over the print," the teen says.

"Was it Thompson?" Dipper asks.

"I'm not supposed to say," the teen replies. "But, yeah, it was Thompson."

Dipper is desperate for an alternative. He can't let this throw the date off course. "What else are you showing? For, you know, couples?"

"Horror movies are popular for that," the teen tells him. "How about Dread Alien?"

A romantic movie with horses was a safe bet. This is a gamble. But he really doesn't want to take Pacifica back to the Shack and kill time until later. They're supposed to be out on a date.

"Okay, two for that," Dipper says.

As the teen gives him his tickets, Dipper belatedly remembers that he's still technically banned from the theater after the incident last summer. As long as he doesn't run into Thompson, he figures he'll be fine.

When he explains the situation, Pacifica at first looks disappointed, but her eyes quickly light up with challenge.

"I bet you'll get scared before I do," she says.

"Okay, you're on," he laughs.

As it turns out, he should have put some money on the bet, because he wins without even trying. It's not that he's immune to fear, or even immune to scary movies (far from it, as Mabel can attest). It's just hard to be scared when the entirety of his attention is focused on the places where her body meets his. By the hour mark, he couldn't have given a summary of the film's plot if his life were at stake. A terrified Pacifica is a Pacifica who is doing her level best to burrow into him, and he couldn't be happier. It's a cliché, yeah, but he finally understands the whole movie date night thing, holding each other close in the dark. He does kind of wish she's stop digging her nails into his arm whenever the tension starts to ratchet for a jump scare, but it's a small price to pay.

When the movie ends, they step out into the cool air of the early evening, the horizon a brilliant display of dark blue and mauve behind golden clouds. Pacifica is clearly trying to cover up her residual embarrassment by marveling at the incipient sunset. Dipper would normally relish the chance to rub his victory in, but he has other things on his mind right now (and he can always rub it in later).

"Let's take a walk," he says, trying to sound casual.

"Shouldn't we go back for dinner?" she asks.

"It'll be worth it, trust me."

Of course, telling her to trust him only makes her wary; regardless, she goes with. Even the weather seems to be playing along, the earlier wind petering out into a strong, consistent breeze. They walk over to Circle Park, on the edge of town. The grass is neatly trimmed, and the small clock tower has been refurbished, its fresh-stained boards gleaming in the low angle of the evening sun. But this isn't Dipper's destination; he leads Pacifica past the playground and around the hedges, heading up the side of the forest hill that sits behind the park, one of the many timbered rises that swell against the sharp horizon of the valley cliffs.

"Dipper, I'm not dressed for hiking," Pacifica complains as he takes her into the woods.

"That's okay, it's not far. There's a path, see?"

The dirt path winds up the hill, shrouded in the shade of the pines. Dipper and Pacifica emerge from the brush at the top, walking out into a wide meadow at the crest of the hill, ringed by trees on all sides. But the trees sit lower in the direction they came from, stopping prior to reaching the relatively level ground, and this affords a clear view into the heart of the valley, the entire town laid out below like an enormous scale model; only Circle Park and the parts of town immediately adjacent are hidden below the tree line. On the opposite side of Gravity Falls, to the right of the lake, Dipper can see Lookout Point at about the same altitude as his plateau, and above him to his left is Gideon's old warehouse, sitting empty on its cliff. He can even see the second water tower where its stands sentinel halfway up the valley's rear wall, and the top portion of the Mystery Shack's totem pole.

Pacifica is gazing at it all with her arms crossed, her expression pensive. "I never wanted to come here when I was little," she says.

Dipper just listens.

"It was Mom and Dad's thing. Every summer we'd come here to check on the mudflap factory and the manor, which was the excuse, and lord it over the town. I didn't get it until I was older. Outside, we were rich people, but here we were royalty. I found out I could win anything just by showing up. Summers didn't seem so bad after that." Her lips twist in a self-directed sneer. "What a stupid waste of time. Like anyone here actually cared. They're glad to see us gone."

"You're still here," Dipper tells her.

She gives him a silent, grateful glance. Her attention returns to the vista ahead. "I guess I never really looked," she says, spreading her arms to indicate the view. "Not until you and Mabel showed me. It's beautiful."

"Yeah," Dipper says, though he isn't looking at the valley.

She turns towards him. "This is nice. You're right, it was worth it."

"Wait—there's actually something else," he says.

The 'something else' is sitting behind a nearby cluster of rocks. Mabel pitched some far more elaborate reveals, all of which Dipper nixed. He's trying to have a romantic evening, not spring a surprise party. He steps around the rocks and lying on the grass are a picnic basket and a rolled-up blanket. He can admit, as annoying as Mabel's preoccupation with romance can be, it's nice sometimes to have a sister who will go the extra mile in the name of love.

Pacifica appears impressed as he spreads the blanket over the soft turf and sets the basket in the center. "Oh, a picnic date! How pastoral."

Dipper knows she didn't intend for that to sound as dismissive is it did. "Yeah, we got the works—roast beef, bread, cheese, and the finest sparkling grape juice for the lady."

Pacifica seats herself daintily upon the blanket. "Well, I do deserve only the best."

"Does that mean I'm the best boyfriend you could have?"

"Hard to say," she assesses with the arch of a neatly-plucked eyebrow. "The best boyfriend would make my sandwich for me."

He takes a sandwich out of the basket, already made and wrapped in foil. "With reduced-fat olive oil mayonnaise and provolone."

"That's a good start. Now kneel at my feet and feed me grapes like a servant boy."

He tosses the sandwich onto her lap. "Not happening."

She starts to unwrap her sandwich with an easy shrug. "It was worth trying."

The evening progresses slowly as they eat, each brilliant orange bar of the sky's palette morphing into lavender and blue, fading towards the gradual dark as the hidden sun turns the clouds cotton candy pink. Dipper sips at his drink, watching the wind tease the strands of Pacifica's hair where they flutter near her chin. Her dark blue eyes mirror the colors at the horizon's top edge. He wants to hold her. In the incipient twilight, the end of the summer has never seemed closer, and the short space between them suddenly feels like miles.

He can't think of how to phrase what he's feeling. "Are you… Was this all because summer is ending?"

She goes very still. "What?"

"I mean, not all, I know you were mad at me because of the maze, and that's fair. I just thought that maybe it was more than that. That being, uh… sort of apart would make it easier when we had to be."

Her eyes turn flinty. "Don't you dare dump me at the end of summer!"

He quickly clarifies. "No, I don't want to break up, that's not what I'm—"

But Pacifica is already running away with the conversation. "Why do we have to act like this is such a big deal? Why can't we just agree that we'll figure something out? Why is this different? If there's a gross monster or a stupid anomaly, you're all, 'we can totally do this, my huge nerd brain will save the day,' but having a long-distance relationship is too much? Why don't we just work it out when we have to, which is how we do literally everything else?!"

She's almost shouting when she finishes. Dipper stares at her, his mouth hanging open, struck speechless.

"I'm tired of feeling like the world is ending, I hate it!" she groans, putting her hands to either side of her head. "I'll still be me and you'll still be you and we'll be together as long as we want to be and if you think that's wrong then I don't believe you."

"…You're amazing."

She lets out a strangled sound that's half laughter, half frustration. "Oh my god, just kiss me already; it's been forever."

He can't cross the short distance fast enough. She melts into his arms, and when their mouths meet, he savors hers like a dying man in a desert drinking from an ice-cold oasis. She is soft and warm and smells like vanilla. He missed this. He needs this. Aware that the dry spell in make out sessions has left him more desperate than usual, the only distant corner of his brain not fully immersed in the moment keeps his hands firmly at her shoulders.

This precaution proves inadequate—their tangling of limbs and lips quickly reaches that awkward point neither of them are willing to cross, and they separate, blushing and catching their breath.

Pacifica blinks a few times, clearly trying to recover her poise. "This is kind of public," she says breathlessly.

"True," Dipper says. "Also, I don't know if Mabel actually went home after putting the basket here."

"If any of this ends up in the scrapbook, you're going to be an only child," Pacifica growls.

Dipper stands and helps her to her feet. He leans in and they share another kiss below the fading light, slow and sweet.

When they part, Dipper looks into her eyes; they are deep, dark blue and he is blissfully lost at sea. "You're right," he says. "We'll figure it out together."

"Good, because breaking up with me would be the worst mistake you ever made," Pacifica says, scoffing lightly.

Dipper rolls his eyes. "I wasn't going to break up with you, that's not what I was saying!"

"Obviously. You'd be crazy to break up with all this," she says, tossing her hair.

He sighs and takes her hand. "Come on, let's go back before it gets dark."

They pack up and start the long walk back to the Shack. The evening air is cool and in town the streetlights have just turned on, their neat, glowing rows illuminating the quiet streets. Gopher Road is unlit, but there's enough light from the navy-blue sky to show the way home. They talk about the upcoming festival and commiserate about Stan's new rules.

They are just emerging from the wooded stretch of the unpaved road, the Shack's windows bright and beckoning ahead, when Pacifica speaks again.

"Hey, Dipper," she says.

"Yeah?" he replies.

"I don't want to ever break up either," she says softly, her voice vulnerable.

He squeezes her hand in reassurance. "Then we won't," he says.

And it's enough, for now.


we won't know until we get there by closure. (Chillwavve, 2018)