A/N: The second installment in my series of One-Shots about alternative sacrifices made around the whole Weirdmageddon Bill-Cipher craziness time at the end of the series. I hope you enjoy! Remember, reviews are love, reality is an illusion, the universe is a hologram, buy gold, BYE!
In Bill's Fearamid, the townsfolk gathered. Bill himself was still outside tussling with the Shacktron, his eye attempting to regenerate as quickly as possible.
"Grunkle Ford!" Dipper called, racing to his Great Uncle's side as he was released from his frozen golden state. Dipper would have thought of a petrified Han Solo if he'd had the time….
"Grunkle Ford, before you were captured, you said there was a secret way to defeat Bill." Mabel approached.
"Yeah, a weakness!" She said.
Ford nodded quickly. "Yes, yes, of course!" He began to look around. "I need something to-" He paused as he spotted Robbie's dropped can of spray paint. "Perfect!" He picked it up and began to spray a large circle onto the floor.
"What are you doing?" Asked Pacifica, stepping up to the circle. "Making the world's hardest game of hop-scotch?"
"No," Ford said, "though that would be a good game. This is the key to defeating Bill Cipher! At least, according to the ancient cave paintings I found once it is. The paintings hadn't been wrong in their instructions on summoning him, so I'm going to have to trust that this will work!"
"It's Bill's summoning circle," Dipper observed. "How is that going help?"
"It's not just for summoning him, an ancient prophesy also foretold that it would be his downfall. I didn't understand it until now, but this Zodiac is a way for us to combine our strengths in a human circuit and defeat Bill. Look, Dipper, you're the pine tree."
Dipper stepped onto his section of the circle, looking up at his hat. "Woah."
"Mabel, the shooting star." Mabel giggled and stepped on.
"The symbol for the tent of telepathy!" Dipper said, pointing at a spot next to Mabel. "That must be you Gideon."
Soos looked down at his shirt and approached the question mark as Wendy shoved Robbie onto the stitched up heart. Pacifica hesitantly glanced down at the llama on her shirt, then to the exact depiction on the floor.
"This is just freaky," she said. "Mabel only gave me this sweater a few hours ago!" Ford nodded.
"And I," he said, stepping onto his section of the circle, "was born with six fingers, long before you were ever born," he said to her. "Based off what Bill said earlier while we were still in the Shacktron, these events were prophesized over a billion years ago! This is destiny at work."
"Then who else goes on here?" Dipper asked. "We're missing two, the ice bag and glasses."
Ford pointed at Fiddleford. "They don't have to be literal. The glasses are someone scholarly," McGucket hooted and stepped into the circle, "and the ice bag is someone cool in the face of danger."
Wendy smirked and stepped up. "Yeah, whatever."
"Come on Stanley, you're the only one left," Ford said, looking back at his twin brother, pointing down at the symbol on the floor, the same symbol depicted on Stan's red fez.
Stanley mumbled skeptically, but stepped up just the same.
"Now everyone hold hands! It's a circuit, we have to allow the power to flow between us all! Everyone else get out, it's not safe!" The other townsfolk fled. Pacifica grimaced at McGucket's dirty palm, but begrudgingly took it. Gideon was nothing short of giddy as he held Mabel's hand, Mabel both grossed out and determined to deal with it until Bill had been defeated. Finally, only Stan remained.
"Come on Stanley, take my hand," Ford said, holding his hand out. Stan paused.
"I-You, you know, this is all your fault to begin with!" Stanley said.
"I know!" Ford said, "I know. It's my fault and I need your help to fix it. Please, Stan." Stan glared for a moment, but his gaze softened.
"Fine, but first, I spent thirty years trying to bring you back! I think some gratitude is in order." He crossed his arms. Ford sighed heavily.
"Okay, fine, fine! Thank you. Now please, we haven't much time!" Stan uncrossed his arms and they locked hands, a blue haze lifting from all of them, illuminating the floor and walls around them.
"See, between me and him, I'm not always the worse twin," Stanley Pines said. Ford rolled his eyes.
"It's 'him and me' Stanley," Ford said. There was a pause, which Dipper quickly jumped into, trying to prevent the argument everyone but Ford himself could quickly see approaching.
"Actually Grunkle Ford!" Dipper immediately cut in, "it's not technically grammatically incorrect! It's just less polite to put yourself first, and, and, in this situation I don't think it matters, and it's Stan, so it actually fits him perfectly." Ford stared wide-eyed at Dipper for a moment.
Stan sent Ford a smug look and Ford rolled his eyes. "Yeah, okay, whatever." Ford looked a bit dejected, but nobody unclasped their hands, the circle circuit complete. Clouds formed around the Fearamid, Bill Cipher glancing up at the sky. Something unusual was happening that he didn't cause? That couldn't be good for him….
The blue light around the circle intensified, and the white and color of everyone's eyes was drowned out, giving them all blue-disked stares. Blue electricity sparked and cackled through the air, zapping randomly around before, suddenly, like magnetism, Bill Cipher was being pulled backwards, away from the Shacktron, back towards his Fearamid.
"WHAT?!" He shouted, infuriated. He was yanked back into the pyramid, blue lightning zapping him and reducing him to his usual small size. He was dragged, literally kicking screaming and cursing, into the center of the circle. Once there, a blue-hazed, clear half-bubble formed around the inner circle like glass. Bill began pounding on it, trying to escape.
"Hey, what are you doing? You can't be doing this! LET ME OUT!" His voice rang out deep and threatening at the end. He grew furious and red, increasing in size until he could grow no larger, restricted by the bubble.
"Your time is up Cipher!" Ford said. Bill ignored him, returning to his usual form and glancing down at the symbols that made up the Zodiac. One at a time, they began to light up; one, then the one next to it, and then the next, all in a clockwise motion, each one having a light blue fill to the portion of the diagram before the color faded and sprang up at the one next to it. The rotating selection sped up.
"Listen here," Bill said. "I warned these kids, in sorts," he pointed to Dipper and Mabel, "when I first met them. You'll notice the floor going around in a circle, one at a time, each part glowing and dimming as it lights the person next to you." Bill pointed downward. Everyone looked, and sure enough, they saw the sections light in a clockwise rotation. "If you really want to defeat me like this, one of you is going to have to play the part of sacrificial lamb! That wheel is going to stop on one of you and when it does, I'll be trapped in the Zodiac, I'll only have to wait until someone in the future summons me again, thus freeing me! But one of you, you'll die!" Bill said.
They all looked to one another, imagining themselves, or one of their loved ones, dying here in this circle. And though they were ashamed to admit it, they all also found themselves thinking about who they would be most okay with dying…. Though it still wouldn't be wanted. Just…. Some people would be…. Less missed…. It was a horrible thought that scared them all.
"Are ALL of you willing to DIE to trap me? To see a loved one die?! And if even ONE of you isn't willing to go through with this, who are the rest of you to try and stop them from backing out?!" Nervous glances were sent around and across the circle, no one breaking the hold, but most people looking skeptical.
"We won't give in!" Ford said, more determined than most of the others. "You have to be stopped! For the sake of the ENTIRE WORLD! This is so much bigger than just us or our loved ones!" People around the circle took his words to heart, tightening their grips, determined yet frightened looks overcoming most of their features.
Bill howled in frustration. "Fine! Then to whoever lets go right now, I promise you anything in the entire Universe you could even think to want! I'll spare you, your family, your loved ones, I'll give you riches beyond your wildest dreams!" Images of gold, space, and people flashed across Bill's form. Everyone stared. "You can rule with me and my crew! UNLIMITED POWER! Just join me! LET ME OUT!" He pounded his small black fists once more on the edge of the bubble, trying to escape as the Zodiac's flashing sped up.
"Don't listen to him! He can't be trusted!" Dipper shouted. Everyone held their ground. They shut their eyes closed tightly, ignoring him as best as they could.
"NOOOOOOOOOOO!" Bill screeched, twisting and turning every-which way in an attempt to be free. "DON'T DO THIS! I'LL BE BACK! YOUR SACRIFICE WILL ULTIMATLEY BE MEANINGLESS! You'll buy what? A decade, a century, a million years? It's nothing compared to my infinite life! I'LL BE BACK!"
The flashes came in such quick progression that it appeared as a solid blue ring to the human eye, lighting up the circle. The light was blinding and engulfing. It flashed…. And then faded away into nothingness.
Everyone coughed, dark smoke quickly dissipating as the rest of Gravity Falls began to return to normal. The Fearamid lost its magic and began to descend slowly from the sky. In the center of the Zodiac was a red, smoldering circle of embers.
"He's gone," Mabel said. Dipper sighed in relief.
"Mabel, you okay?" Dipper asked.
"Dipper? Yeah I'm fine!" She peered through the clearing smoke and found her brother.
Together they called out: "Grunkle Stan? Grunkle Ford?" Two responses of "here" could be heard as all of the Pines converged, sighing in obvious relief.
Wendy and Soos emerged from the smoke, approaching the family. "Man, I'm so glad you guys are okay!" Soos said, and Wendy nodded, setting Dipper's dropped hat on his head. He smiled and repositioned it fondly.
"Hot-biggity! I'm alive!" Was heard from somewhere nearby, clearly meaning Fiddleford McGucket was alive and well.
"Gideon?" Mabel called out, wondering if she would be happy or not if he'd been the sacrifice….
"Aww, my darling sweet little Mabel, were you worried about little ol' me?" Gideon asked, coming up behind her. "I see that brother of yours is still alive," he said, sounding both disappointed and relieved at the same time. Mabel groaned, but smiled.
"I…. Guess I'm glad you're okay," she said.
"Downright Gleeful?" Gideon asked with a wave of his eyebrows. Mabel rolled her eyes, but nodded a little.
"Robbie?" Wendy and Dipper called out together. He quickly emerged from the smoke he blended in with so well, a scowl on his face.
"Oh, yeah, sure, check and see if I'm alive last," he said, doing what could only be described as pouting, but after a playful punch from Wendy and smile from Dipper, he smiled back and shrugged.
"You're not the last one we checked for," Mabel said, going around the group of people. "Ford, Stan, me, Dipper, Soos, Wendy, McGucket, Robbie, Gideon…. That's only nine out of ten! Where's Pacifica?!" Everyone looked around, and as the last of the smoke cleared it revealed that, on the Zodiac where the llama used to be, there was only smoldering red embers.
Tears sprung into Dipper's and Mabel's eyes. She was sort-of an enemy…. At least, she used to be, but ever since the golf tournament, Mabel hadn't minded her so much, and had actually tried to be her friend. And ever since the whole haunting incident at the Northwest mansion, she really had considered her to be a friend, and so had Dipper.
Dipper and Mabel approached the smoldering section of the Zodiac, where Pacifica had been only a few short minutes ago. The others gave them some space, knowing that out of the nine gathered there, only the twins had really gotten to know Pacifica at all.
"Geez, what am I gonna tell her parents?" Stanley wondered aloud, taking off his hat in respect.
"She died saving us," Dipper responded quietly, he and Mabel kneeling by the embers with tears in their eyes. "It's horrible," Dipper continued, his voice cracking a bit, "but part of me is glad it was her and not me, or Mabel, or…." He stopped, unwilling to continue. Mabel nodded and began to sob, Dipper pulling her against him.
"I'm a horrible person!" Mabel said, "she died saving us and…. And all I can think is that I'm glad it wasn't someone I cared more about!" Mabel cried harder, Dipper rubbing circles into her back.
"It doesn't make you horrible," Dipper said, tears rolling silently down his face. "It just…. Makes you human." Mabel shook her head.
"Did we do the right thing?" She asked. "Was there really no other way to defeat Bill?" Dipper didn't know the answer to that, but for his twin sister, he would lie and bear the burden of it for the rest of his life, gladly. He tilted Mabel's head up until she was looking him in the eye.
"I'm the expert here," Dipper said, "so trust me: There was no other way." He didn't know if that was true or not, but…. But for now, it had to be.
Mabel nodded, her tears slowing and sobs diminishing, but salty water would continue to leak slowly from her eyes for the next few days at random.
As the events of Weirdmageddon came to a close and almost everything was returned to normal, the townsfolk all gathered in the center of town.
Stan and Ford approached the Northwests, Dipper and Mabel hanging back. They couldn't make out what was being said across the distance, but they didn't have to hear to know what the conversation was about. Pacifica's mother began to cry, burying her face in her husband's shoulder. Mr. Northwest tried to remain stoic, an angry and sad look overtaking him. He nodded slowly, numbly, whispered something in his wife's ear, and began to lead her away to their limo.
A small memorial was erected in town square, nothing but a little square slab of marble that had engraved on it "Pacifica Northwest: A girl who gave it all to save us all." With no body to recover, this was the closest thing to a grave she had, other than a simple tombstone in the local cemetery with only her name on it.
….Every summer that they visited Gravity Falls, on the day before their birthday, the Pines twins would stop by and lay flowers on the stone….