Code Answer: Last Chapter Next!
And here we are, the last chapter…
Mabel watched her, uh, little brother pace back and fore across the desk in their bedroom. He had the journal in his hands and was skimming through the pages furiously. There had to be some other way of reversing this! There was no way he was living like this. Things didn't work that way in his head. To him, if he wasn't back to normal soon, then it wouldn't be long before something hiding out there would come and cause havoc. Be it a creature of the forest, or something more human like Gideon seeking revenge again. Dang it, there was nothing in here!
"Calm down Dip-"
"Don't tell someone to calm down, Roxie, it never works." He blurted.
Smirking from the irony, she rolled her eyes, "No need to be such a girl about it."
He opened his mouth to argue, but thought against it and clenched his jaw shut. Mabel folded her arms on the desk and rested her head on them so that she was more of less eyelevel with the pair, "Sorry guys, I guess I just got carried away."
Despite disappointment looming inside her, Roxie refused to show it, "Don't beat yourself up about it, better gone then with Gideon, right?"
That earned a weak smile at least. Dipper groaned in annoyance at the logic, book so close to his face that Mabel was positive that it was going to bite his nose off, "Dipper, why not leave the book alone for a minute, just to-"
"I've almost got it." He insisted, "I think if I just manage to figure out what made the crystals work then I could – Hey!"
Mabel had swiftly reached in and pinched the book between her fingers, prising it away from him. However, Dipper wasn't letting go so willingly and clutched the cover desperately, resulting in him being lifted a few inches off of the desk before loosing grip. He plopped back into the desk and scowled up at his twin. Mabel hid a snigger and placed the tiny object on the windowsill high above the desk. "Now take a break." She ordered, with a playful wag of her finger, "It's not good for normal development, you know."
He indicated to himself, "This isn't normal, full stop!"
"Speak for yourself. You want to repeat that at a lower volume?" Roxie asked sceptically, "Or would you rather carry on acting like a hysterical toddler?"
Mabel snapped her fingers, "You know what will cheer everyone up? Ice-cream!"
"Oh, what kind?" Roxie asked.
"Rocky-Road." Mabel beamed.
"Sounds good to me."
Mabel was off like a flash out of the bedroom and down the stairs. Roxie shook her head in amusement at the girl. Sure Roxie felt disappointed and deflated that the realisation that she may be like this forever. She's had plans for using those crystals, or rather just one of them anyway. Was it that much to ask? Well it was too late now anyway. No use crying over crushed crystals. On the other hand…
"Dippy, what do you think you're doing?" she asked monotone from her spot perched comfortably on the edge of a stack of tween magazines owned by Mabel.
Dipper had tried shimmying up the wooden beam fixed into the wall in an attempted to reach the windowsill. However the smooth surface had only allowed his to scoot a few centimetres up before sliding right back down again with a bump onto his rear. That didn't stop him trying again, ending with the same result. Mainly on his end.
"Give it a rest, you're not getting anywhere like that."
He glared at her, "How can you be so… so… okay with all of this?"
She shrugged, "Because I'm used to all of this maybe?"
"But I'm not!"
"No one's asking you to." She snapped, growing more miffed at each word, "But jeez, stop acting like it's the worst thing in the world, so you've lost a few feet in height, what difference does that make to you personally? You're still you, right? I mean obviously your head is still too fat for your body and clearly your knack for making a scene hasn't shrunk!"
"Hey!" he objected, "I think I'm allowed to be a little panicked, here!"
"No one's stopping you."
His fists balled tightly, still not understanding her passivity to the subject, "Yeah, but didn't you want to use the gems yourself?"
"Well sure I did, but now I can't. That's that…"
Shoulders slumping in defeat, he sat himself down on the magazines beside her, but keeping an arms length distance between them, "That doesn't bother you at all?"
Now it was her turn to drop shoulders, "A little."
Finally, some honesty, Dipper thought, "I'm guessing you were going to use them on yourself; but why?"
"That's my business." He stated, looking at her feet.
"Well, it doesn't look like anyone's going anywhere so…" he urged.
That was true, she figured, and it wasn't like her plan was going to work anyways, "It's stupid. But I was going to use them to grow to a normal height and, well, track down my family. Ask them why they left me… and a few other things not worth mentioning."
He gave a half smile, "I wouldn't call that stupid."
"I guess. Coming to find me and getting yourself into this mess, now that was stupid." She paused and tilted her head at him, "Why did you guys come looking for me?"
Dipper adjusted his cap, "Well Mabel was worrying and that's never a good thing so, what could I do? Her and panic don't mesh well so I agreed to help look for you." He cleared his throat, "And you know, chances were if we found you, we'd find the gems so… It seemed like a win-win at the time."
"They always do with you, don't they?" she quipped sarcastically, but covering a smile, "And, as idiotic as it was… I appreciate it."
He blinked in surprise, "Was that a 'thank you'?"
"It's an acknowledgment of what you did." She replied in pretence warning, "But whatever floats your boat."
Trying to extend the rare moment of friendliness between them, Dipper reached over and nudged her shoulders playfully, "You're welcome."
A hiss escaped her as a flicker of pain burned through her shoulder blades and down her back irritating the scars incredibly. Dipper retracted the gesture instantly as Roxie bit her lip in discomfort, "Wow! That's not right!"
No doubt, Dipper noted internally, "Do you, uh, need me to, uh, take a look, or… uh…"
Flashing him an expression of both amusement at his unease and scowl at the offer, she sighed. The pain was horrendous, she needed to know what was wrong this time, "Okay, just don't touch it. They sting enough without you prodding them like a test-subject."
Resenting that, Dipper waited as she got to her feet and hunched over to hitch up the back of her T-short, making sure that the front remained covered. He peered closer at the newly opened marks. They'd changed since last time she'd allowed him to look. Whereas before they looked like simple scars only recently scabbed over, they were now longer and more sore. Two long red strips travelled down either side of her spine like whatever was going on was effecting under her skin. Below her shoulder blades were thicker wounds,, open and looking a little damp, clearly the main cause of discomfort here. But what made Dipper blink in awe was what was happening to the wounds. They were raised slightly, a little blue line just visible in either one, like something was either lodged inside, or trying to push out.
"Now what the heck is -"
"What's got two thumbs and ice-cream?" a cheery voice called from the corridor.
Out of surprise, Dipper instinctively grabbed the base of Roxie's hitched up top and yanked it down to cover herself. She winced in pain as he accidently brushed the marks. Dipper, cheeks flushing slightly, turned to the doorway as his twin bounded into the room, tub of desert under one arm while pointing her thumbs at herself in pride.
"This girl!" she cackled, pulling out three spoons from her sweater pocket, "What did I miss?" In response, Roxie had turned to Dipper with an evil glare and promptly smacked him across the face, making him clutch his cheek in baffled confusion. Mabel blinked in shock for a second, but the brushed it off, "Not much then."
The giant spoons had been too much to handle for Dipper, so instead he just rested his burning cheek against the smooth metal to sooth the throbbing whereas Roxie was taking comfort from sitting with her back leant against the half eaten tub of ice-cream, the icy condensation numbing the pain in her back. What had Dipper seen before he freaked out? Which hurt more than ductape being ripped on your let, which at her size was s big deal! And why was it all of a sudden hurting so much? Well, like Dipper said, they weren't going anywhere, she had time to figure it out.
"So, why the slap?" Mabel asked.
"Yeah! What she said!" Dipper insisted.
Roxie gave him a warning glance before looking up at Mabel, "Scar's are getting worse and Dippy thought that scraping them with his nails would help…"
"Dipper, I'm no doctor, but that usually makes it worse."
"I didn't-I just-She… Oh forget it." He sighed, but suddenly perked up and pointed at her, "But I was right about her!"
"Is this another conspiracy?" Mabel mumbled from a mouthful of food.
"No, I'm serious! Those aren't normal scars and even for this town."
Getting irritated all over again, Roxie gripped the massive spoon ready for another swing, "Well I'm sure the class is just itching for you to share your findings, Dippy."
"Well, they're getting worse and there's these little bright blue things inside, like something's growing out. Tell me that's normal!"
"It's normal." Mabel stated with a shrug, "It's a lie, but I told you." She made a made like she was ticking something off a checklist, "Challenge completed."
Roxie sniggered, but suddenly it hit her what he'd said. A lot of what had been said lately echoed in her head; Not human… Creature… Adhene… Manx filth… type of sprite… bright blue things… something's growing out…
Dipper noticed her quietness, "Roxie, why did you ask what an Adhene was?"
"Uh… that's what Gideon called me… No big deal, right? It doesn't mean anything. He's insane."
"That's a good point." Mabel agreed, "But…"
"Oh not you too," Roxie groaned, "Come on, Mabel, I was counting on you for some sanity here! But what?"
"But Gideon tends to know a lot about this kind of stuff." She muttered apologetically, "Maybe you were just meant to be this size, all along?"
Sensing that things were going to get really angsty really quickly, Dipper tried to make light of the scene by clearing his throat, "Well, uh, we can get into all that later, I mean, it's not like we're going anywhere… Great."
"Not until after ice-cream anyways." Mabel shrugged, popping another spoonful into her mouth.
Both Roxie and Dipper froze. Mabel suddenly realised that she said and remained perfectly still, eyes presenting a little glint on mischief. The Lilliputian pair exchanged a glance before looking up at their saviour accusingly. "What?" they chorused.
"Uh…" Mabel chuckled nervously, and reaching into her pocket. In her hand, was a small, glimmering gem that looked wonderfully yet tauntingly familiar, "Surprise?" she offered.
They couldn't believe it… Dipper threw his arms out, "Mabel! How long have you had that thing?"
"Oh not that long!" she smirked, "Like a few hours or so…"
"Hours?" he exclaimed.
Roxie shoved him jokingly, "Oh grow up, baby, hours is nothing! Try years!"
Cheeks flaming from frustration, Dipper pinched the bridge of his nose, "And you didn't tell us you had it earlier because?"
His twin shrugged, "I kinda wanted to see how long it would take for you to figure it out on your own. Plus when am I ever going to get a chance to see you like that again?"
"Hopefully, never…" he muttered, unwillingly giving her the answer she'd been thinking of.
Mabel chuckled, "Sorry."
Roxie waved her hand dismissively, "Heck, I would have done the same in your position. He's a regular stress head."
"I'm not a stress head!" Dipper snapped, "I just, grr, Mabel can you just use that thing already?"
"On both of you?" she asked.
Dipper and Roxie exchanged a look. At this point, Roxie kind of figured that all the accusations against her were starting to come true. Maybe this was what she was meant to be like. Maybe her family had lied to her. And if the accusations were true, then what was there for her out there? No… she knew that she wanted to do, but wasn't sure if she had the strength for it.
"Sure, both." Dipper said suddenly, making her give him a sideways look of confusion.
Mabel beamed and held up the gem to the light, sending out a baby-blue strobe out into the open, "Up, up and away!"
Roxie angled herself in the bathroom so that she could take a proper look at her scars in the mirror. Wow, she thought, no wonder they hurt, those blue thingies are either veins or… Heck she had no clue what they were, and didn't want to find out. She composed herself, and exited the room, enjoying the light thrill of being able to open the door on her own without being carried or anything. Stairs, one step at a time, not ankle-breaking drop. She hopped off the bottom step and carried on out into the open air. The twins sat on the porch, legs kicked out in the evening sun. She stood before them, kind of regretting what she was about to say.
"I'd better head off before it gets too dark."
Mabel widened her eyes and jumped to her feet, "You're leaving? Already?"
"Yeah, I've got answers to find and let's face it, I've caused you guys enough trouble." She sniggered, "But, I really just want to, you know, thank you."
"Awe you're welcome!" Mabel cackled, lunging forward and locking her friend in an embrace.
She retracted in remembrance of the marks, "Sorry! Take two!" She grinned, moving her arms to symbol a movie cut-board and going in for another hug with her arms lowered slightly.
"I'm gonna miss those muffins of yours." Roxie smirked, returning the gesture, "Thanks, Mabel, and make sure Dippy doesn't go getting himself into more trouble, alright?"
"Pfft, who else is going to do it?"
"Hey! I resent that." Dipper objected, getting to his feet and folding his arms.
"There's a shock…" Mabel replied playfully, "And I guess you've already lost the crystal?"
"It's right here actually." He groaned, patting his jacket pocket.
"Yay, point for Dipper!" Mabel clapped.
Roxie laughed and turned to Dipper for his goodbye. After an awkward silence, he extended a hand out for a handshake. She arched an eyebrow, "Grow up, Dippy, you can do better than that."
She took his hand and pulled him in for a hug. Dipper blinked in surprise. This was oddly out of character, he thought, but in truth, he wasn't really complaining. Maybe she was finally starting to get off his case. He lightly returned the gesture and stepped away. As nice as it was to have her not taunting him or giving some sort of snarky quip, her being accommodating was too bizarre. And as much as he wanted to learn more and find out what she was, he knew he couldn't stop her now. Not that he ever could to start with.
"Good luck, out there." He muttered, "And stuff."
"Yeah, I'll look out for that stuff." She scoffed, turning to address the pair of them, "Thanks again, for everything."
"We're here all summer so come back whenever." Mabel insisted.
"Or, you know, not." Dipper added with obvious fake scorn, smirking a little.
"I'll keep that in mind." Roxie rolled her eyes, "See you guys around."
They watched as she turned, vanishing off down the footpath that led into the woods, onwards in the direction of the town centre, turning back occasionally to wave a little more before she was actually gone. Mabel caught sight of Dipper placing his hands into his jacket pockets, a glimmer of confusion on his face, and then sigh dejectedly, letting his hands fall to his side.
She smirked, "She took the crystal off you didn't she?"
"Yep." He mumbled.
"You gonna go and get it back?"
A half-smile pulled at his lips, "Nope."
"Think she'll come back for a visit?" At that, he had no answer so instead he just shrugged passively, but not losing the smile. Mabel copied him knowingly, "I hope so too."
Across the forest, lurking in the mists of his bedroom, Gideon was studying the pages of his own journal in heated fury. Manx Sprites: Adhene: Elemental fey that dwell deep within the woodland area's. Almost extinct, these creatures are known for their mischievous and trickery nature, appearing as miniaturised humans until the process of puberty beings when they take on fey-like creatures. Note: These creatures are extremely hot-tempered and will not fail to use their abilities against whoever should threaten them. Weakness: Their skin will present a burn-like quality when in close contact with copper or iron; cannot resist the call of a whistle made of such objects. Use wisely.
Gideon sneered maliciously, "Oh you run and play now, adhene, but playtime won't last forever. And goes your you too, Pines Family, that goes for you too…"
So what do you guys think? Thanks for all the reviews you've given me and I love you guys for it, you're all awesome and I love ya! You've been awesome! XD
So now I ask, should there be a sequel? If not, fair enough, I had fun writing this and it was a good run XD But still, what's Gideon planning? What's Roxie planning? What's happening to her? What will the twins get up to in the meantime? What adventures will they have? And what will happen if Roxie comes back? Well, I don't know yet, but if a sequel is in high enough demand, I can cook something up XD
Thanks again guys, you've been great readers! XD