Yes, yes, I'm a terrible neglectful author, I know. Still, thank you to EVERYONE that's shown interest in this silly crossover. I really do appreciate it. :)
The air was warm and stuffy inside the building as Mike entered and leaned the window screen against the wall. He observed his surroundings. After the bright summer sun, the room felt unusually dark, with the light from the few windows it had filtering in through dust saturated air. His vision was further obscured by rows and rows of tall, heavy bookshelves.
As Mike made his way in, a soft creak broke the silence. He stopped, uncertain if he had made the noise himself. Continuing more carefully, he reached the center aisle that ran through the rows of shelves. It felt even darker here, like the light from the windows was being muffled all of a sudden. He looked up and down the aisle but saw no one.
A loud thump and the clatter of falling books made Mike duck instinctively and press himself back against the shelf. He listened intently, his hand gripping the unsanded wood almost painfully. After a few moments of silence, he realized something. He was in a bookstore. More than that, he was in a bookstore in a sleepy, backwoods town in the middle of Oregon. What was he expecting? Guards? Killer robots? Mike pulled himself to his feet, huffing out of the corner of his mouth at his own overreaction. He had told Mabel he'd investigate what was going on up here and that's what he was going to do. He walked along the main aisle in the general direction of the noise and checked each of the side paths as he passed them; two, three, four empty, boring aisles. When he reached the row where he thought the noise had come from he grabbed the end of the shelf and turned in.
Mike almost jumped, as did the person sitting in front of him. He found himself staring at the end of a rather sharp shovel. It quivered slightly.
"Nice weapon choice, Dipper," Mike said after a moment.
The startled boy was sitting on the ground, partially buried in books that had tumbled off the shelves. He quickly lowered the blade to the ground and after a moment found his words again.
"Mike? Where did-? What are you doing here?" he asked.
"Investigating," Mike answered, folding his arms.
Dipper started pushing the books off and worked his way to his feet. "I guess that makes two of us."
"Pretty noisy investigation," Mike pointed out.
Dipper looked up as if he was about to say something, but his eyes flickered past Mike and his expression tightened.
"There." Before Mike could react, the boy had bolted past him into the main aisle. Turning to follow, Mike could hear Dipper's footsteps fading towards the far end of the room. The center aisle was so dark he nearly tripped over a low stool on his way through. As he arrived at the far wall he saw Dipper standing to the side of a closed door. The shovel was gripped tightly in both hands.
Mike slowed down as he got closer. "What's up?" He kept his voice low, and in spite of the rural location Mike could feel his adrenaline coming back.
"Shh!" Dipper put a hand up but didn't take his eyes off the door. "It slipped through the top."
"It?" Mike watched Dipper carefully. The boy's face was serious as he moved to listen through the door.
"His dumb paranoia gets him into trouble when I'm not there," repeated a voice in Mike's mind. He exhaled lightly.
Dipper stumbled a little as Mike moved him away with a light shove. Grabbing the tarnished brass handle, Mike leaned towards it, listening through the wood. He glanced back.
"You're sure there's something in there?"
The boy hesitated, watching the door cautiously. He nodded.
"It has to be."
Mike reached into his coat pocket and wrapped his fingers around a cool, metallic object as he turned the handle. After a few slow, even breaths, he threw his weight into the door.
There was a loud clatter with the opening and Mike nearly pulled out his weapon. He managed to stop himself when he saw a stack of folding chairs that had just been knocked across the floor. He scanned the room. Aside from the chairs, the room only contained a lonely desk and a window that provided the lone source of light.
Before he could enter any further, he felt Dipper push past him. The boy looked at every corner of the room as he approached the desk, brandishing his shovel warily. He checked behind it, then under it. After that he began opening and shutting its drawers, growing more frustrated with each one. He finally stood up and scanned the room one more time, turning in a full circle. As Mike stepped inside, Dipper's eyes fell to the ground and he grabbed at his hat.
"It doesn't make sense." Dipper began to pace the room, talking softly to himself. "It came through the crack in the door, so it can squeeze through small spaces, alright. But there aren't any other exits. There's the window, but it's on the sunlit side of the building. Unless I was wrong about it avoiding light. Could it have gone back through the door?" He became less audible as he continued muttering.
Mike tried to catch his attention. "Hey-"
"I wasn't lying." Dipper turned and said this so pointedly, Mike couldn't find anything to respond with. The boy's gaze dropped, however, and Mike could see him biting his lip. Dipper passed him, walking quickly back into the main room. He began to dash around the shelves, searching. He shoved books out of the way to look behind them and stood on his toes to peer over. Mike watched the search silently, leaning against the doorframe. He looked back into the empty room.
"…you try to tell them that but they keep insisting that it's true…" His hand loosened from around the object in his pocket.
When he turned back, Dipper was sitting on the floor against a bookcase. He was resting his forehead on his hands, shielding his eyes. Mike could hear an occasional murmur as the boy seemed to keep thinking. Mike rubbed his forehead. He was usually pretty good at compromising in difficult situations, but this was the first time he had to do it with a kid. He held back a sigh and walked into the room, taking his time, and leaned against the shelf across from Dipper. He didn't speak for a while, looking down at the blue and white cap that hid the boy's face.
"Your sister's worried about you," he said finally. The cap shifted to the side. Mike slid down to the floor. The brim of the cap still hid Dipper's eyes, but his lips were visibly pressed together in frustration.
"You know, sometimes…" Mike paused, considering his word choice carefully, "Sometimes we get so caught up with looking out for the things we want to protect, we start seeing danger where there isn't any."
Dipper didn't respond.
"I'd be lying if I said I'd never been there before, but… sometimes, if you step back and look at a situation again, you realize that maybe it's not worth getting worked up over."
Dipper raised his head just enough to make eye contact. Mike gave him a reassuring smile. He didn't return it, but he sighed and his posture relaxed a little.
Amidst the following silence, they both caught the sound of approaching voices beyond the door that led to the rest of the building. Dipper began to pale as the voices grew closer.
"But what if it really is Bigfoot?"
"Calm down, Buddy. You got your night stick? Good. Now just remember to hit him right after I do."
"Oh, right," said Mike after a pause, "Police."
"Oh, great." Dipper pulled himself up using the shelf. "How are we supposed to get out?" He kept his voice low in spite of his obvious panic.
"Relax, relax. I've been in situations like this before," assured Mike as he rose as well.
Dipper's revived suspicions didn't get a chance to be voiced further.
"HEY! Whoever's in there better not be trying to run!"
"Oh, man," Dipper mumbled and began to sink back into the aisle. Mike grabbed him by his sleeve and half dragged him back through the rows of bookcases.
"Is that door locked?" Mike asked as they neared the window he had entered from.
The first cop's voice called to them again.
"On the count of three, we're coming in!"
Dipper noticed the lack of a rope or ladder leading out the window.
"Wait! How are we supposed to get down?!"
A strong arm grabbed him around the waist.
Dipper's yell rose to an unmanly pitch as Mike heaved him off the ground, stepped onto the window sill and leapt out, throwing them both into the open air.
Thank you again for reading, you lovely folks.