A Day In The Life
Summary: Summer is a wondrous and magical time for those yet to discover its power. Summer in Gravity Falls is… well, strange, especially with these guys. A collection of vignettes about their daily lives.
English Mystery/Family Rated: T Chapters: Words:
a/n: You guys rock my socks off. Thanks for reviewing my story and welcoming me so warmly into the archive. This here is a collection of short stories revolving around the "Gravity Falls" crew. They'll vary on length and genre, so don't expect an identical anecdote every time. But, I do hope you enjoy. To kick things off, a melodramatic yarn involving Dipper and Wendy. Enjoy!
The redhead lowered the magazine hesitantly, glancing around the Mystery Shack's showcase arena in search of the muted, almost inaudible, sound. Wendy Jackson quickly removed her boots from the countertop, silently praying that Stan hadn't decided to check on her. She had been bestowed with the task of ensuring no midnight tourists were loitering or had resolved they wanted a dozen snapshots of a papier-mâché tentacle. Because of the gentle storm outside, Wendy had been denied the option of escaping to her rooftop oasis. Oh, well. A latte and magazine was relaxing enough.
Curiosity dissipating, Wendy glimpsed at the clock. Eleven-thirty-five. Augh, there were still twenty-five minutes left of excruciating boredom before her dilapidated Volkswagen braved the gaping maw of midnight. If it hadn't been so late, she might have invited the twins to engage in some after hour mischief. Unfortunately, Mabel was staying at a friend's house that night, and Dipper had claimed he was "going eyeball hunting".
Inadvertently, Wendy pictured last week's events. Man, what a night. She had really bonded with Dipper, in spite of learning he was a year younger than initially declared. He had been really brave… yeah, a guy in a lamb costume was really brave. The image of him clad in a costume she herself had worn at the tender age of two made her laugh so hard she snorted. God, if it weren't for those cute eyes, she would have recounted the story, complete with shadow puppets and sound effects.
The noise, albeit slightly louder, was emitted from the floor above her, and Wendy's attention was directed to it again. With nothing much to do, she determined to discover the source of the odd sniff. The teenager slid her thin legs over the counter, hopping to the floor and advancing towards the staircase. Even at its base, she could perceive Stan's thunderous snores; they appeared to shake the boards beneath her feet.
Man, what a gross guy. Sure, he managed to throw her a nickel every now and then, but a shower, clean shave, and mile or two on the treadmill would have definitely improved his rugged image. Wendy remembered to skip the creaky step, which would ricochet like a strident gunshot and wake everybody in a five mile radius. She paused at the landing, straining to discern the sniff.
Yep, there it was. With a slight nod to no one, Wendy surveyed the three closed doors and unconsciously twirled a tress of crimson hair around her finger. One contained an eardrum-shattering Stan, the other led to the bathroom, and the last concealed another stairwell. Ah, what the heck. She might as well see the so-called dungeon Stan had issued to his great-niece and nephew.
Wendy opened the door cautiously, surprised to discover a thin strip of luminescence visible between the floor and door. She had supposed Dipper would give up on the on-going pursuit and locate Mabel, or come shuffling home. Maybe he came in through the back. Oh, well. Sniff. Ah-hah! There it was. In a moment of disrespect for his privacy, she turned the knob, squinting as the lantern's radiance reached her eyes. "Hey dork, what's going on?"
The boy was wound around a pillow, his back arched and against Wendy; every few seconds, he would emit a muffled sob. Her heart skipped a beat at the shocking sight, and the hand not dedicated to yanking her curl clutched at the base of her collar. What could have happened to make him cry? This wasn't the Dipper Pines that had saved her life in a convenience store. This was a vulnerable, frightened shadow of him. One that all of them had.
Wendy was almost afraid to approach him: it seemed like anything could shatter him. If her vocal cords weren't twining around one another like wild vines, she might have said something, but she was at a total loss. The redhead tentatively laid a hand between his shoulder blades, silently cursing at herself for so brashly invading his privacy. "Kid…? Are you okay?"
The sounds tapered off into a sniffle, much like the one Wendy had overheard downstairs. Slowly, as if the action pained him greatly, Dipper removed the pillow from his face. The case was saturated with tears and smudged with a crimson substance Wendy immediately recognized as blood. The first cold clutches of panic seized her heart, and she had the fleeting notion to retreat and wake somebody better suited for the job of confronting him. One look into his swollen, wounded eyes forced Wendy to the edge of the mattress. "My God, kid. What happened to you?"
Dipper turned his head away from her, too humiliated for her to see the sniveling, feeble… child he had been reduced to. Another surge of blood gushed through his nostrils, the salty, metallic liquid dribbling to the pillow clutched in his hands. He momentarily feared he would pass out and ultimately demolish his relationship with her, but he managed to hold on.
Is he really not gonna tell me? Oh man, what am I gonna do? He's bleedin' out and won't tell me what happened. "Come on kid, just tell what happened. I won't tell Mabel or Stan, I wanna help you." The redhead fished around in her jean's pocket and withdrew a crumpled, but clean, tissue. "Here, use this for your- - oh, jeez, it's bleeding bad." Swallowing sickly at the sight, Wendy used the tissue to pinch his nostrils shut and guided his head forward. "Man, you musta fallen down really hard to get it this bad. If you had come in the front, I could- -"
"I didn't fall down," Dipper interrupted spitefully, pushing Wendy's arm away. A sudden flash of anger pulsed through him at her assumption that he had just fallen down, like he was a clumsy little kid. Below the thin layer of rage though, chest-tightening guilt threatened to surface. He was scaring her and acting like a brat as well. But if she learned what had occurred… she would never treat him like an equal.
Wendy cupped his chin with much more intensity than before, their eyes meeting and communicating a silent pact ensuring that Wendy would tear an answer out of him sooner or later. "Well, if you didn't fall down, that must've been some bus that hit ya. Now, I'm not gonna sit here if you won't tell me what went on today. I've got a warm bed, chocolate, and a new CD waiting for me at home. Feel up to talking?"
She could lure an answer out of anyone; it was a skill he had never seen before. If he wasn't concerned about the current condition of his internal organs and pride, Dipper might have investigated her talent, perhaps in the "telekinesis" section of the book. Fine. He twisted the pillow anxiously, gaze fixated solely on the floor below. "I was in the forest, searching, uh, hunting for… never mind. I ended up in a clearing outside of town and had to wait behind a parked car, because something was chasing me. I had to chase it back into the forest, but… well, we ended up scratching the paint job."
He trailed off uncertainly, and Wendy, who had been trying to sort out the vague points of his tale, motioned lightly for him to continue. "The car wasn't destroyed, but it looked terrible. The person it belonged to came out of the forest after I chased the thing off, and he was… he was really angry. He didn't believe me when I said what happened. And he…" Shame and immense light-headedness compelled him to stop the story where things got crazy.
Wendy, however, had heard quite enough. "The guy who owned the car beat you up? My God, who the hell beats up a little kid for an accident? I swear, I swear to God, if I ever find out who did it, I'll tear out their throat and…" She rose to her feet, fists clenched in ire and cheeks progressively turning a shade of red that matched her hair perfectly. Dipper couldn't help but stare up at her in awe as she allowed the curses and threats to fly.
Her father was the strongest man in Gravity Falls. Oh, when she uncovered who beat this poor kid, she could convince him to go after the offender with his axe raised in fury. Wendy inhaled deeply, returning to the bed and reaching out to grip his shoulder. "Okay. I'm gonna ask you a very serious question. Who did this to you?"
This was the query he had been avoiding. Not only was it an immense embarrassment to him, it would break Wendy's heart. Dipper turned his gaze to the floor, unable to face her and say it. "It was… Robbie," he muttered, voice hardening as he spoke the name, tone laced with insipid venom.
Wendy felt like she had been punched in the stomach. Robbie, the Robbie she had been friends with for six years, had knocked around Dipper like a punching bag. Because of a stupid car. It was a piece of crap anyway; peeling away the bilious paint probably would have improved it. Robbie had given him a hard time at the convenience store, even after Dipper… danced the ghosts away.
"You're going to freak out, aren't you?"
"This isn't valuable, is it?" Wendy asked calmly, holding up a lantern that had a cracked pane. Before Dipper could answer, she hurled the small mechanism at the wall: it shattered on impact. He knew she was agile and was capable of several athletic feats, but her strength was… freaky.
There was a few moments of tentative silence, both praying that Stan would sleep through the crash. He had once napped through a major dance party, but nobody knew what would rose him from a snore-filled sleep. Fortunately, no door opened, and Wendy was able to relax slightly. The matter at hand presented itself to her once more, her emotions flaring up again.
"Robbie! Of all people, Robbie! I shoulda known he was a bad guy… well, I did know, but, God, I just went with it. Man, he is gonna regret even looking at you the wrong way," Wendy growled, already formulating plans to avenge Dipper and tear out Robbie's still-beating heart. "My Dad's axe should be sharpened- -"
"I know how to cover up a murder- -"
She swiveled back around to face Dipper, temper declining at the sight of his strained expression. He was tired, in his body and mind, not to mention tired of discussing the subject. Okay, so maybe Wendy could execute serious revenge, but all he wanted was to forget today, go to sleep and wake up tomorrow pretending it never happened. "I don't need you to fight my battles. Okay? Thanks for offering, but I just don't want to face him again."
She could respect that, despite the fact she had the primal urge for blood to spill. Though she would never say it to his face, Wendy was aware Robbie had the advantage in a fight and would definitely win. It must have been a mortifying incident. Getting beaten down by someone bigger and stronger, all because of an accident. "Okay. I get it. Do ya think you'd let me erase him from my contacts?"
An uneasy smile was forming on her full lips. For the first time in hours, Dipper managed a grin, even though it made the muscles in his cheeks ache. Wendy removed her cell phone, scrolled through her contacts, and located Robbie's number and address. "And… delete! Ha! Somewhere in Gravity Falls, a certain as- I mean, jerk has fallen off the face of the Earth."
"Thanks, Wendy," he said gratefully, pushing himself off of the bed. "I should probably wash this blood off…" Apparently, he lost more oxygen than he previously estimated, because the moment he took a step forward, he, more or less, fell on his face.
"Whoa kid, take it easy. I've got ya taken care of." Wendy picked Dipper up and swung him onto her shoulders with ease, much to his surprise. Before he could protest though, she grabbed his hands and closed them around her neck. Darn it. Trapped. "Duck!"
Dipper lowered his head as they passed under the doorway, down the narrow stairwell, and back onto the landing. They proceeded into the bathroom, where Wendy set him on the counter gingerly before turning around to lock the door. "Okay dude, just give me a second. I'm not gonna give you a Mabel makeover, but I do wanna patch you up. If I'm a little rough on you, just remember: it's me thinking of Robbie."
"Got it," he replied with another weak smile, watching her rummage through the medicine cabinets. The shelves were bare, save for a tube of toothpaste, a hairbrush, soap, and two toothbrushes. "I think Stan has a first-aid kit under the sink."
"I'm surprised he even has one," Wendy mumbled, kneeling down to salvage the box from the mass of empty bottles and tissue boxes. "That guy wouldn't pay for food if he didn't love it so freakin' much. Ah, here we go." She placed the plastic box on the countertop, unlatching it and finally getting a good look at the damage Robbie had done.
Aside from his bleeding nose, which was crooked, but not broken, Dipper's left eye was beginning to show signs of blackening. His vest was missing, as were his shoes, and his remaining clothes were torn and spattered with blood. All of his exposed flesh was a landscape of bruises and minor lacerations. Otherwise, he had survived the ordeal in one piece- - physically. Wendy was no psychologist, but she was aware the incident had fractured his mind.
"Well, I'm no doctor, but I think you'll survive. Let me…" Wendy grabbed a washcloth, which she soaked with cool water. "Keep this pressed against your nose, it'll help the bleeding stop. And… let's see here, um, I'm sure this… spray stuff will, you know, help." The redhead fingered a bottle of Bactine, totally clueless as to what the medicine's purpose was. She sprayed it aimlessly at a particularly nasty cut.
If Dipper's washcloth hadn't partially obscured his mouth, he definitely would have screamed. That Bactine was a lie: it was a container of acid. "Ow! Ow, oh, that stings. Jeez Wendy, what's in that stuff?"
"Ah, something called benzalkonium chloride. It doesn't matter." She tossed it back into the box and withdrew a handful of wrapped Band-Aids. "Just what the doctor ordered: Nature's healing tool. I think I could fix a broken bone with one of these babies." After a few minutes of careful bandaging, Dipper was, quite literally, covered head to toe in Band-Aids. "There! See, better than any doc in Gravity Falls. Come on, let's go back to the attic before Stan wakes up and thinks we're robbing 'em."
They shared a laugh that continued back into the twins' bedroom, where Wendy closed the window and extinguished the lantern she hadn't destroyed. Dipper sat on his unmade bed, watching Wendy perform the actions with much more care than she handled everything else with. He smiled and then yawned, absolutely drained from the day's events. "Thanks, Wendy. And you won't tell Grunkle Stan or Mabel, right?"
The redhead mimed zipping her lips and throwing away the key, which Dipper mirrored. She nodded her head, catching a glimpse of the clock: ten past midnight. Her dad was still at the club, and her brothers had most likely left to engage in their nocturnal crusades around Gravity Falls. "See ya, kid."
"Wait!" The cry seemed to escape his throat without any approval from his brain. One hand went to the back of his neck, where he typically would have yanked at the brim of his signature hat. "Um… would you, uh… would you stay with me until I fell asleep?" If he was going to subject himself to lifelong humiliation, he might as well enjoy Wendy's company in the last moments before he fell asleep.
Aw, the kid deserved it. She joined him on the wide mattress, her muscles transforming to gelatin the moment they reached the fabric. They lay, side by side, in the darkness, gazing up at the cobwebbed beams supporting the rickety roof. Sleep was looming on the horizon for the pair when out of the void came a slightly drunken voice.
"Who wants a lamb? I do, I do…"
"Don't even try."
a/n: Oh. My. God. Why am I physically unable to write a "Gravity Falls" that isn't lame? Well, hopefully the next vignettes to follow this one will be better. Um, don't expect constant updates, because I am VERY busy with other projects at the moment. But, I hope you guys enjoyed this one, and thank you for being so nice to lil' ol' me.