With a burst of acrid-smelling exhaust, the old Cadillac slowly pulled out of the small dirt parking lot and headed off in the direction of town. As it drove away, a pair of bright brown eyes watched intently from one of the gift shop windows. The small preteen kept her vigil until her great uncle's car had vanished from both sight and sound, and then was immediately off like a shot.
In seconds she had located her brother in the den, with his nose buried in that mysterious journal yet again. Dipper received a mild scare when his breathless twin seemed to appear at his side from clear out of the blue to tug excitedly on his arm.
We're alone, Mabel revealed without uttering so much as a single syllable. Dipper only needed to take one look at her bright shining smile to understand both this and the suggestion in her eyes. Her brother of course needed no convincing, and in a moment the book lay alone and forgotten on the old yellow armchair. Mere minutes later, they had made their necessary preparations and were practically sprinting up towards the attic bedroom.
Halfway up the stairs though, Mabel let out a startled yelp before abruptly stopping dead in her tracks. Dipper likewise froze, and for the next few seconds both were silent as statues as they listened hard. After detecting nothing but the mad beating of their own hearts, she gasped and grimaced apologetically. It was all right, nothing more than a false alarm; she only thought that she heard someone.
Dipper quickly backtracked a few steps to give his temporarily embarrassed sister a comforting pat on the shoulder. He understood her anxiety all too well, as he currently felt its sting just as fiercely as she did. After all, being discovered would bring nothing but the scorn and disgust of others. It better to be a little over-vigilant than to be shamed by those who would never understand.
A few deep breaths later she had calmed down, and with a grateful nod to her twin they finished their dash. The second they entered their room, a small potbellied pig grunted happily and hopped off the bed to greet them. Normally Mabel would've given her pet a loving hug on sight, but she and her brother were in a rush to make the most of this precious opportunity. The girl scooped up the little animal, dashed back out and gently deposited him in the hallway.
"Sorry, Waddles." She gave her pet a quick pat. "But you gotta stay out here a for just a little bit, okay? Dipper and I…"
She took a moment to think up a polite euphemism,. "We need just a little itty-bitty teensy-tiny bit of privacy, okay? Can't have you in there making things difficult like last time, can we?"
The girl give him a quick poke on the snout Then, with a quiver of anticipation she whirled around and dashed back into the room where her brother waited.
"Ready?" Dipper asked, unable to keep from grinning like an idiot in his excitement.
"Always am!" She shut the door and bounced on over, giggling happily. Who cared if others probably disapproved? For the moment, it didn't matter. This afternoon was theirs, and theirs alone to enjoy together in secret.
At least, so they thought.
"Hello?" The fifteen-year-old called out gently as she wandered out of the gift shop and through the den. "Hey, is anyone here?"
Wendy paused near the staircase and scratched her head. It was annoying enough showing up early thanks to a broken watch. Now however she couldn't seem to find a sign of anyone in the seemingly deserted shack. As she wondered where everyone had vanished to, an excited oink grabbed her attention. The teen looked up, and smiled when she spotted the familiar little pig sitting perched up on the next floor.
"Hey bud." She chuckled while climbing the steps. "You got any idea where everyone went?"
It was then that she picked up the curious sounds just down the hall. Without a second thought, she sauntered in to investigate. "Guys? Hey, is that you? G-"
She barely opened the door when she was instantly assaulted with a cacophony of terrified cries. Mabel let out an earsplitting scream of panic, as her brother yelled hoarsely at the top of his lungs.
"DON'T COME IN!"
The fifteen-year-old let out a horrified yell, and instinctively threw her hands up over her eyes. "Sorry! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to…wait, what the…"
Wendy's embarrassment soon turned to outright confusion once she realized she had walked in on a spectacle that looked absolutely anything but shocking. As far as she could tell, the twins were doing little more than sitting on the floor and sharing a large bowl of popcorn, yet the clearly panicked pair were behaving as if she had caught them smack in the middle of committing cold-blooded murder.
"No! You know! You knoooow!" Mabel wailed despairingly. Before she could retreat into Sweatertown, she had to snatch up the bowl as Waddles trotted in and made a beeline for the floor-level food. "Nuh-uh! You ate almost half of it last time, Mister Greedy! No!"
The preteen protectively hefted it out of reach as if it was the most precious treasure on earth, and unwittingly gave her teenage friend easy access. Justifiably curious about all the fuss, Wendy took a small handful, and had a quick taste. The instant she popped down the first kernel, both twins froze and watched on in genuine dismay. Only a moment later it all became clear as day to the redhead.
"….Did you guys put ranch-dressing on this?" She murmured, surprised by the combination of flavor dancing on her tongue.
Dipper swallowed hard as he forced himself to nod. Seeing his crush try their top-secret guilty pleasure snack was fast turning into one of the most painful moments of his entire life. "Uh….maybe…sort of…"
"Grunkle Stan doesn't like it when we eat it because he thinks it's super gross." Mabel explained sheepishly. She blushed and added, "A bunch of people do, actually."
The two were on pins and needles as they waited for their bemused friend to pass judgment. Wendy finished chewing, swallowed the lot down and paused.
"This…" She took a couple more moments to think it over. Her friends meanwhile braced themselves what they thought was an inevitable epic shaming, which made it all the more surprising when she finished, "This is way better than it has any right to be."
The twins were so relieved that they almost seemed to deflate a little as the nervous tension gushed from their bodies. Just to make sure, Dipper cautiously pried, "So….you're not gonna tell anyone, right?"
She smiled reassuringly and winked. "Depends. You wanna share a little more of the funky stuff there?"
Mabel hugged their beloved oddity of a snack and seemed to genuine hesitate until an exasperated look from her brother got her to concede with an embarrassed smile. "Okay…but not too much."
The teen agreed with a nod, and the three placed themselves up on one of the beds and out of range of Waddles' hungry reach. As they dug in, Wendy chortled as she popped a few more of the dressing-soaked kernels into her mouth.
"So…do I even wanna know how this even started?"
Dipper laughed, feeling quite glad to be in such open-minded company. "Long story short, a dare contest took a weird turn, and now…,we love this a lot more than we should. Like, way too much."
"I'll say." She almost choked with laughter as she watched Mabel go to town. In almost no time the overeager preteen and crammed both her fists and mouth close to overflowing, and it was a good minute until she swallowed down enough to speak coherently again.
"Thanks for not freaking out, Wendy." She mumbled happily before shoveling down another mouthful.
The teen grinned mischievously as she helped her friends finish off the spectacularly odd snack. "A word of advice; be a little more careful next time. Lucky for you guys, you're talking to someone who still sneaks ketchup and pickle sandwiches every now and then…"
Apologies for any who felt uncomfortably at first! This admittedly odd piece was originally written as a prank for a friend - and yes, its purposeful semi-paraody of something in the fandom that I personally am not a fan of one bit, nor understand (speaking as someone who has an actual twin of his own)
Thanks to all the folks who've been leaving such kind reviews! More stories to come in the near future! - SGA