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With Friends Like These, Who Needs Anomalies?

Chapter Text

“Stanford, why are we keeping that thing in the house?” asked Fiddleford. The “thing” responded with a noise somewhere between a coo, a gurgle, and a squeal.

Stanford scowled. “It represents a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of cryptozoology, Fiddleford! Why wouldn’t we keep it here?”

“It leaves trails of toxic slime wherever it goes! Does that really not bother you?”

“I’ll admit the slime is not… ideal,” replied Stanford, “but think of all the opportunities! I could conduct experiments with it, run it through tests…”

Ooor you could mop up after it once in a while.”

“Er, that too.”

Chapter Text

Fiddleford paced inside Stanford’s study, looking under tables and desks. “Have you seen a pearl necklace around, Stanford?” he finally asked.

“Not really,” Stanford replied. “Why?”

“Well, I bought it for my wife. I thought I set it down in here, but I can’t find it anywh…” Fiddleford trailed off. There, in a grimy test tube, was the necklace. “There it is!” He picked it up. “Where’d you find it?”

“That? Oh, the shapehifter ate it. Went through its entire digestive tract.”

“Ugh!” Fiddleford dropped the tube and stormed off.

“We can always get it cleaned!” Stanford shouted after him.

Chapter Text

“A heckhound!” gasped Stanford. “I’ve never seen one this close to the house before! How are we going to get back in now?”

“Ooh! Let’s use this!” Fiddleford got out a dog leash and collar.

“That’s… obviously not going to work,” said Stanford.

“Just try it!”

Stanford reluctantly took the leash and collar, then crept up behind the heckhound. “Heeeere girl…

In a flash the heckhound jumped Stanford and nearly devoured him in its vicious jaws. “Fiddleford, help me!” Stanford screamed.

“Aaaah!” cried Fiddleford. “I didn’t think it’d try to eat you! I’m so sorry!”

Stanford scowled. “You’d better be.”

Chapter Text

One sunny fall day, Fiddleford and Stanford were out hiking in the woods, admiring the forest’s colors.

“You know,” said Fiddleford, “I remember hearing a legend about these parts.”

Stanford’s eyes grew wide. “Really? What was it about?” He eagerly retrieved his journal and pen.

Fiddleford smiled. “Well, around here somewhere is a mountain where the bluebird sings near lemonade springs, where you can find cigarette trees growing next to—”

“Fiddleford, that is Big Rock Candy Mountain,” said Stanford flatly. “You are remembering the lyrics to a children’s song.”

“Oh,” replied Fiddleford, dejected. He paused. “So, how ‘bout them Mets?”

Chapter Text

“Fiddleford, come quick!” shouted Stanford. “I heard a strange voice just now; I think our research might be compromised!”

Fiddleford turned around. “Where’d you hear it?” he asked in a deep, unfamiliar voice.

“Fiddleford, that’s… My god, man, what did you do to yourself?”

“Oh, I just mixed some old tinctures lying around and took a sip to see what’d happen. Wanna try one?”

“That is it!” said Stanford. “After you change your voice back you are not allowed to touch any of the chemicals in this house ever again. Understand?”

Fiddleford nodded and sighed. “There goes my rock career.”

Chapter Text

“Incredible!” said Stanford. “You mean you know of a way to undo death?”

Bill nodded. “Yep, and it has no bad side effects, besides everything tasting like blueberries for weeks.”

“This is amazing!” cried Stanford. “Can you tell it to me?”

“Sure I can, Sixer! All you need is a gardening implement, a map of Paris, and…”

Sunshine, coming through! I can’t wait to greet the beautiful new you!” Stanford blinked as his old clock-radio blared to life.

“Morning, sleepyhead!” said Fiddleford. “Noticed your alarm clock wasn’t working, so I fixed it! Coffee?”

“This’ll be a long day,” groaned Stanford.

Chapter Text

“Stanford?” Fiddleford slowly creaked open the door to the study. Inside he saw Stanford sitting cross-legged in a circle of candles, breathing steadily.

Fiddleford let out a sigh of relief. “Oh, thank goodness you’re-- Waittaminute!” He barged into the room. “Dangit, man, what is up with all these candles? I thought we said no open flames after midnight?”

“It’s perfectly safe,” said Stanford. “These flames are specially treated to burn only on the candle-wicks.”

“Really?” asked Fiddleford.

“Oh yeah, sure it’s fine, wimp,” said Stanford also. “Now beat it, Four-Eyes!”

“Okay, I’ll go!” Fiddleford slammed the door behind him. “Jerk…”

Chapter Text

“I dunno, do you really think this dog’s safe for kids?” asked Fiddleford.

“Of course it is! By my reckoning it’s only about a quarter heckhound.” Stanford patted the heckhound pup on the head for proof; it nearly bit his hand for the trouble. “Besides, it’d be murder to leave him on his own, after we killed his mother.”

“And Tate’s always wanted a pet...” Fiddleford watched as the pup chewed through its rubber toys, some stray wires, Stanford’s spare journal, and the metal crate they gave it as a makeshift bed. “Nah, I’ll just leave him at the junkyard.”

Chapter Text

Stanford’s shadow filled the doorframe. “Hey Fidds, you wearing a new suit?”

“Er, yeah, actually,” said Fiddleford. “Me and the missus have a date tonight, and since it’d take too long to go home and get changed…”

“Because wow, you look even nerdier than normal!”

“Uh, thanks?” He furrowed his brows.

“Aw, don’t look so cranky, Four-Eyes! It’s actually a great suit… for a loser to wear!”

Fiddleford stormed out of the room.

That night, in the mindscape: “You know, Bill, Fiddleford was avoiding me all day. Did you do anything weird?”

Bill chuckled. “Just complimented his new suit, Fordsy!”

Chapter Text

“Her Majesty’s Hermits? Deuteronomy?” Fiddleford took album after album off the shelf. “Slamphibian? Clamber Skyward? The Chamberlain St. Mossmouth Experience? Pugmalion?! Dangit, Stanford, you still listen to this junk? It didn’t even sound good in college!”

“Well, I remember you liking that song with the banjo,” said Stanford. “Besides, why do you care about my record collection?”

Fiddleford slammed an album down on the table. “Because it was shelved with the field recordings. I played an album labeled ‘Hippogryf’ and got an earful of noodly keyboard solos and regrettable lyrics about religion.”

“Oh,” said Stanford. “Yeah, I should… fix that.”

Chapter Text

Fiddleford stared at the long, dark tunnel. “We’re supposed to go down this?”

“It’s okay!” said Stanford. “I’ll go first. You can follow once I reach the bottom.” He shot his magnet gun at a column and raced down the shaft. He hit solid ground in under a minute. “All clear!”

Fiddleford took a deep breath and aimed his gun. ClaaAAaaAAng! Blue-white streaks lit up the darkness. A cold wind roared around him. Finally, he landed with an awkward, yet strangely gentle, thud. “Whew! T-that was actually kinda fun!”

“Yes, quite,” said a muffled voice. “Now please get off me.”

Chapter Text

“Haha! A 38! I’m on a roll here!” Fiddleford took the last goblin from the board. “Now let’s load up the treasure!”

“Wait,” said Stanford, “don’t you want to open that chest now?”

“Eh, I’m unencumbered,” Fiddleford replied. “Likely I could take it up by myself if I needed.”

“But aren’t you curious about what’s inside?”

“Well…” Fiddleford rubbed his chin. “Maybe a little.”

“So open it now!”

“Alright, I’ll open it!”

Stanford leaned over. “Just as you open the chest, two ramshees come shrieking out, spoiling for a fight! Roll for initiative!”

With that, Fiddleford got up. “I’m out.”

Chapter Text

“Fiddleford, could you help me find something?”

Fiddleford hauled up a box of toys. “Sure, just lemme sort Tate’s things first.”

“I’m looking for three Weird Sisters dolls: maiden, mother, and crone. They have moon-shaped faces and houndstooth patterning. I need them for a-- Hey!” Stanford yanked a doll right out of Fiddleford’s hand. “That’s one of them! Where’d you get it?”

“Oh, Tate must’ve picked it up.”

“You can’t let children handle these! They’re totemic objects! They’re very delicate!”

“Looks okay to me!”

“The arm’s been chewed off!”

Fiddleford frowned. “I oughta tell Tate to stop eating his toys.”

Chapter Text

“Hm-mmm-mm-mm-mmm…” A haunting melody filled the air as Stanford plinked away on an upright piano.

“Stanford, stop playing,” said Fiddleford.

Stanford let out an annoyed sigh and continued.

“Stanford, shhh!”

“You shush, I’m practicing.”

“I mean it, Stanford! You gotta stop, now!” Fiddleford dove behind a rock and cowered.

“Give me one good reason why I should…”

He was interrupted by a giant stone head that floated above him. “pu uoy elbbog athguo I! rebmuls ym brutsid serad ohW?”

“Aaaaaugh! We’re all gonna die!” shrieked Fiddleford.

“Huh,” said Stanford. “Last time I ever take this thing out near the lake.”

Chapter Text

“Fiddleford, could you get me some coffee?” asked Stanford.

Fiddleford got up and headed to the coffee machine. He filled a mug, then walked back.

“Thanks for the joe, Fidds!” Stanford took a sip, then spit it right out. “Bleh! This crap’s undrinkable! Bring me decaf!”

Fiddleford shrugged and got a new cup.

“Thank you, Fiddleford.” Stanford took one sip, then frowned. “I can’t have this, it’s decaf. Give me the real thing!”

Fiddleford sighed and got another cup.

“I said decaf, Four-Eyes!”

Another cup.

“Decaf again?”

Fiddleford dumped the coffee over Stanford’s head.

“What, what’d I do?” asked Stanford.

Chapter Text

Stanford pawed through empty cabinets. “Fiddleford, where did you put our coffee?”

“Oh, I threw it all out after last night’s… incident,” said Fiddleford.

“So what do I drink now?!”

“Simmer down,” said Fiddleford. “I made some sun tea a while ago. Should still be outside.”

They both went out to the porch to check on the tea.

“My god, Fiddleford, how long has this been out? It’s practically alive!”

Fiddleford stared at the cloudy jar of tea. Vine-like strands of viscosity waved at him from behind the glass. “Uh…”

“Get a pen, Fiddleford; this is going in the journals.”

Chapter Text

Stanford clicked his pen. “So, you gained sentience from the bacteria living in the tea?”

"Technically, I AM the bacteria living in this jar of tea," it telepathically replied. "We combined our minds… Together, our intelligence rivals that of your human geniuses!"

“Wow! We can learn so much from you.”

"Yes, but be careful. Our structure depends on exposure to sunlight. If we are removed from it, even for a moment…"

Suddenly, Fiddleford walked in. “Gah, it’s too bright in here!” He shut the curtains tight. The sun tea jar shuddered and exploded.

“Fiddleford!” shouted Stanford.

“Er, was that important?”

Chapter Text

Stanford and Fiddleford were up on the roof, celebrating a fruitful day of work on the portal.

“The portal,” said Stanford, “when completed, will usher in an era of world peace, and get ladies to finally start checking me out.”

“The portal,” said Fiddleford, “when finished, will advance our understanding of space travel, and also shut my wife up about how long I stay out.”

“The portal, when done, will really show up those idiots at school who called me a freak.”

“When the portal’s done I could use it for family vacations!”

“To the portal!” They clinked their glasses.

Chapter Text

Soon, Fiddleford and Stanford’s boasts about the portal faded into a conversation about family.

“My brother is a dangerous idiot and a crook,” said Stanford. “It pains me to think that someday, somehow, someone might mistake him for me. Like he hasn’t ruined enough of my life already!”

“Mm.” Fiddleford sipped his tea. “Sure he’s as bad as you say?”

“Ugh, yes,” said Stanford. “He’s such a screw-up they ought to name a new word after him: to do something ‘Stan-ley’ means to do it poorly, to fail spectacularly!”

“Ain’t you a Stan too?”

This flustered Stanford. “Well, yes, but…”

Chapter Text

Fiddleford and Stanford paced the strange circle of stones.

“What could this mean?” asked Stanford. “There are scorch marks everywhere, suggesting there was a fire here recently…”

“Check out the way these logs are arranged,” said Fiddleford. “It’s like they were put there on purpose.”

“And look at this stake stuck in the ground,” said Stanford. “Some kind of weapon against dirt vampires, maybe?”

“And there’s a stick next to the stones here.” Fiddleford picked it up. “Got some white goop on the end.”

“And here, I can see a… candy wrapper?”

“Y’know, I think this is just somebody’s campsite.”

Chapter Text

Fiddleford stared at his boss, who was lying on the floor of the kitchen with his mouth pressed against a milk jug. “Stanford, you okay?”

Stanford stopped chugging. “I’m fine, Fidds. Now scram! Doing some, uh, important work here.”

“But you’ve been doing that all morning! And there’s no way all this milk’s still good. And oh,” cried Fiddleford, “this eggnog is from two Christmases ago! You’ll kill yourself!”

“I said scram!” He shooed Fiddleford out.

Later, in Ford’s Mindscape:

“Bill, that was incredible! All those colors I saw this afternoon… How did you do it?”

“It’s a secret, Fordsy!”

Chapter Text

Stanford put the finishing touches on his new gadget. “There! My latest experiment, the Electron Carpet, is complete!”

“Super,” said Fiddleford. “What’s it do?”

“It switches the brainwaves between two organisms through an electric current,” said Stanford. “Put more simply, it swaps their minds.”

“And what’s the purpose of all this, besides confusing sleepovers?”

“To experience the world in ways previously unimagined! Why, picture yourself swapping minds with a bird, and discovering how to fly. Or imagine trading places with a fish, and swimming underwater--”

How would you get fish in here?

“Errm.” Stanford shrugged. “Still… working out the kinks.”

Chapter Text

“Fiddleford! Come quick!” cried Stanford. “I solved our problem with the carpet!”

Fiddleford entered the room, bleary-eyed. There, he saw a mid-sized aquarium with a koi swimming in it.

“Not quite what I imagined,” said Stanford, “but it’s good enough for now. C’mon, build up a charge and give ‘er a go!”

Fiddleford shuffled across the carpet and reached into the tank. “I dunno, Stanford…”

Suddenly, Fiddleford’s eyes bugged out. He flopped down on the floor and started wigging out.

Stanford palled. “Uh, Fiddleford?” He looked at the aquarium. The fish inside gave him an accusing glare. “I’m so sorry.”

Chapter Text

“Okay,” said Stanford. “I know last week’s experiment didn’t work as planned…”

“Glad you noticed,” said Fiddleford.

“But this time we’re using an animal that breathes air, so things’ll go better.” Stanford patted the birdcage for emphasis.

“Great,” said Fiddleford. “You test it this time.”

Stanford opened his mouth to protest but thought better of it. He shuffled his feet and reached inside the birdcage…

“Fiddleford, it worked!” Stanford cried from his new bird-body. “Let me out and…”

He was interrupted by his old body beating his hands against the cage.

“Want me to restrain him?” asked Fiddleford.

“Yes, please.”

Chapter Text

“Hey, Stanford!” said Fiddleford, barging into the study. “Didja run those tests I asked you about?”

Stanford jumped up and shoved his books and pens to the far edge of the table. “Who said you could come in? I’m doing some very important work here!”

“What, you writing something in that gossipy diary of yours?”

“It’s not a diary, it’s a journal!”

Fiddleford huffed. “Whatever. I’ll just leave you with your doodles, then.” He slammed the door shut.

Stanford opened his journal and began writing again: Bill has proven himself to be one of the friendliest and most trustworthy individuals…

Chapter Text

“I’m just not sure,” said Fiddleford, hauling the last barrel to the truck. “Should we be taking these? It’s pretty illegal…”

“Fiddleford, it takes too long to cut through the red tape needed to acquire nuclear waste legitimately.” Stanford entered the driver’s seat. “So we’re bending a few rules in the name of scientific progress. No big deal.”

“Yeah, Fidds,” added Stanford, “where’s your science spirit, or whatever?”

“But what if we get caught?”

“I have bribed every government official in the county to look the other way. We’ll be fine.”

Fiddleford sighed. Why did I come here? he thought.

Chapter Text

Stanford slammed the bathroom door against his hand, hard. He giggled. “Heheh, that stung!”

“Are you okay, boss?” asked Fiddleford, just outside Stanford’s room.

“Nope!” said Stanford. He slammed the door against his hand again.

Fiddleford entered the room. “C’mon, man, this can’t be good for you. Let’s get you cleaned up.”

“No!” screamed Stanford. He punched Fiddleford in the face.

“Ow!” shouted Fiddleford. “The heck was that for?”

“Don’t interrupt me when I’m in the zone, Fidds!” He smashed his face into the bathroom mirror. “How’s Stanley? How’s Stanley? Ahahahaha!”

“You know what, I’m calling the cops,” said Fiddleford.

Chapter Text

“Bill,” said Stanford, “we need to talk.”

Bill turned around. “What about, Sixer?”

“It’s about Fiddleford. Call me crazy, but I think he’s… scared of me?”

Bill laughed. “After calling the cops on you last night? Pfft, who woulda figured?”

“Eheh, well, I think our arrangement is making him edgy,” said Stanford. “So I thought, why not tell him about it? That should ease his mind.”

“Fordsy,” said Bill, “Fidds may be smart, but he wouldn’t be able to understand us. We’re the only ones we can count on! So let’s keep this between us, yes?”

“If you say so!”

Chapter Text

“Hey, barkeep!” yelled Stanley. “Tell everyone here that drinks are on me!”

“What,” asked the barkeep, “your horse finally come in?”

“Kinda!” Stanley winked. “Okay, so I got this bookie friend, says he’s having money problems. We hatch a plan to rig tonight’s race, split the take. Come dawn I’ll be rich!”

Suddenly, a news bulletin came on. “This just in: bookie Robert Rodriguez was arrested tonight for rigging a horse race. Police say he was working with local grifter Stanton Pinetree. Stanton, a medium-sized man with long brown hair…”

“Uh, cancel that last request,” said Stanley. “I gotta go.”

Chapter Text

“Ladies and gentlemen,” said Stanford Pines, “I address you today not only as a fellow scientific researcher, but as a man who is about to write a new chapter in the history of mankind!”

Here he cleared his throat, then continued. “Yes, right here in Gravity Falls, we are changing the world in ways nobody before had ever dreamed of! Perhaps, years from now, people will flock to the humble shack where it all began—“

Just then, Fiddleford barged into the kitchen. “Stanford? Who are you talking to?”

“Just, er, practicing my speech to the committee!” said Stanford, grinning sheepishly.

Chapter Text

Stanford dashed around the forest, collecting samples of brightly colored crystals. “Wow! If my theory is correct, we could use these to help transport large, unwieldy parts we need for the portal.”

“If your theory’s correct,” said Fiddleford, “it’d also mean you might get shrunk yourself. Be careful!”

“Relax, everything’s under…” Suddenly, Stanford tripped over a submerged stump, sending him flying into a ditch lit by rays of blue light. “I’m okay!” he shouted. He stood up and hit his head on the forest canopy.

“Know what, Stanford, why don’t you get that settled while I wait in the truck.”

Chapter Text

“Everything ready, Fiddleford?” asked Stanford.

“Yep!” He patted the suitcase for emphasis.

“Alright,” said Stanford, “first test of the bottomless pit: go!”

They opened up the suitcase and started tossing its contents into the pit. “One at a time! One at a time!”

Suddenly, a label caught Stanford’s eye. “What the…?” He picked it up. “Clamber Skyward… Hey! This is from my record collection!” He took out some more records. “All of these are mine! Fiddleford, how could you?!”

“But you said it was okay!” Fiddleford protested.

“Listen, if you don’t like my music, then fine, but don’t destroy it!”

Chapter Text

“God-flipping-dangit!” screamed Stanford, slamming his fist into a record-filled shelf. “Aaaaugh!” He tore a Marqued Man album in half.

“Stanford, you alright?” Fiddleford asked, concern in his voice.

“Get out, Fidds! I need to destroy these crappy albums!”

“What, finally gained some taste?” Fiddleford smiled. Stanford glared back. “Er, sorry. But why not just toss ‘em in the pit tomorrow?”

“Wait, what?”

“Y’know, the tests we’re doing? Didn’t forget, did you?”

“O-oh, that.” Stanford cleared his throat. “Yes, Fidds, that’s a great idea. Box this junk up for tomorrow!”

“Sure thing, boss!” Fiddleford left to get boxes.

Stanford snickered. “Sucker…”

Chapter Text

“I understand there’s been some… tension in our relationship lately…” said Stanford.

“That’s putting it mildly,” said Fiddleford.

“So I’ve decided to put us through some trust exercises,” continued Stanford. “Fiddleford, you wear this blindfold, and I’ll guide you through the trail.”

Grumbling, Fiddleford tied on the blindfold and followed Stanford through the woods. They walked in silence for hours, until Fiddleford finally snapped. “Dagnabbit, what’s the point of this consarned scheme?!”

“God, seriously? Brainiac said I wouldn’t hear a peep from you all night!” He shoved Fiddleford into a nearby creek.

“Aaaaugh!” screamed Fiddleford.

Stanford grinned wildly. “Beer break!”

Chapter Text

“Bill,” said Stanford, “we need to talk about Fiddleford again.”

“Oh, yeah, this afternoon,” said Bill. “Listen, whatever he said went down today has been totally exaggerated.”

“Even so, he’s my friend. I expect you to treat him with respect.”

“Hmm…” Bill scratched his hat. “He ain’t my friend. He’s just so boring compared to you, IQ!” He patted Stanford on the back.

“Haha, well, you don’t have to like him! Just don’t freak him out, okay?”

“Sure thing, Ford! Heck, I’m guessing pretty soon you won’t be worrying about me scaring Fidds!”

Stanford smiled. “Thanks for your help, Bill.”

Chapter Text

The convenience store clerk drummed her fingers on the counter. Only thirty more minutes of this crap, she thought. Then I can take off and…

Her thoughts were interrupted when a scruffy-looking guy walked in. “Hey,” he said. “Name’s Stan Pines.”

The clerk took a closer look at him. Dark red stains covered his jacket. “Is that blood?” she asked.

“Not mine!” he answered. “Anyway, I, uh, was wondering if you could sell me all your lottery tickets? Got a big blank check here that is totally legitimate!”

“How about not?” said the clerk.

“Darn! And I was so close!”