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They will never take you alive

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Dipper could almost hear the clock mocking him, laughing at him for taking the night shift at the Dawn2Dusk, so what if he was all alone until 4 (which was only a couple hours away) in the morning, he was a struggling online college student in desperate need for money, who could blame him! He wanted to get his degree in creative writing so he could publish the still-being-written novel he’s been working on since high school, he also wanted to go to a 4-year university but there weren’t any in Gravity Falls., so he went with what was available.

‘That’s small towns for you.’ Dipper thought begrudgingly to himself, one elbow on the checking counter and the other propping up his head as he flipped through a magazine, filling the agonizingly slow minutes with celebrity drama and “Tips to lose weight quick!”. He rolled his eyes as he closed the glossy airbrushed cover and set it back with the other ones before setting his forehead down on the cool glass of the counter, shutting his eyes and groaning loudly. No customers in the last few hours are what drove him crazy, he could deal with grumpy customers, tired moms with crying toddlers, even shady people who tried to shoplift for fuck's sake! Anybody would be great right now to him, anybody to interrupt the suffocating silence of the mini-mart.

He would be listening to music on his phone, but his manager prohibited him because of his bad habit of spacing off at seriously inconvenient times. It was busier during the day than at night, Dipper didn’t know why he thought it would be a breeze taking the night shift, easy maybe but deathly boring. ‘In the end, it’s all for a good cause, no matter how boring or-!’ Dipper was startled out of his mental bitching about his job when he heard gunshots, several of them before he heard tires screeching and then more gunshots. He shrunk in his work boots (hiking boots he got for a birthday, but were never used for their intended purpose), blood slowly turning icy as the gunshots continued. There was hardly any crime in Gravity Falls, sure the population grew since his sister and he were kids, but mostly retired old folks and parents who wanted a quiet place to raise a family, nobody who would start a shootout in the middle of the night! Although there were rumors going around about Gravity Falls getting its very own mafia gang, those were just rumors though, right?

Dipper slowly scooted down, back facing the front of the counter. Whatever was going on, he didn’t want to become a part of it. His great-uncles would skin him if they knew he got hurt when he could’ve prevented it. He shook his head at himself for his ridiculous thoughts, what kind of mafia would want to be in such a small town? Plus there wasn’t even anybody the mafia would want in Gravity Falls, well...maybe his great-uncle Stanley, but he was retired from doing crimes...for the most part. He shook himself out of his thinking and froze when he heard voices, yelling and- and laughing? He could swear he’s heard that laugh somewhere before but he couldn’t place it. At least not when he’s huddled down, worrying about if he’ll become a victim of whatever the hell was going on outside. He was still alert, small bursts of adrenaline racking his body with excess energy when the gunshots came back, then stopped again.

He jumped and a small whimper escaped him when he heard tires screeching suddenly, loudly and closely, then a loud crash. The sound of broken glass and car shrapnel scattering onto the asphalt strangely loud to Dipper. A couple minutes passed before he heard a vehicle start up and pull away from the parking lot and then the road leading to the mini-mart, then disappearing altogether. DIpper listened close for any other happenings, gunshots or otherwise. He slowly got up, a little shaky from the adrenaline rush but otherwise fine. Using the counter's edge to stabilize himself, he looked around and checked for any bullet holes or damage done to the store. When he found none, he skittishly looked out the glass doors, not seeing much besides glass and torn pieces of metal on the ground. He gave a soft sigh of relief when he didn’t immediately find any dead bodies or anything in the view of the exit.

He chewed on his lip as he weighed the pros and cons of going outside. Possibly being injured by stray bullets and glass, or risk his pick-up truck being unusable because it got caught in the crossfire- SHIT HIS LAPTOP WAS IN THERE! How could he have forgotten it! He stumbled over his own feet in his sudden rush to get somewhere, practically slamming the glass exit doors open before he ran to his beat up (yet reliable) truck, not really thinking about the glass that he’d have to sweep up before he left unless it just disappeared, he wouldn’t be surprised if that happened, what with how weird Gravity Falls could be. He forgot about anomalies and broken glass when he found that his truck was safe and his laptop was right there on the seat where he left it.

He ran a hand through his hair, leaning against the side of the truck before glancing around, coming out of his anxiety and fear fueled stupor when he noticed the source for all the debris on the ground, a car on the edge of the parking lot. Dipper slowly walked towards it before he finally got close enough to inspect around it, the ground wet with something foul smelling, Dipper didn’t recognize it but avoided it nonetheless. Stepping around the remains of what looked to be the side mirrors, he poked his head around the car door, which was bent at an odd angle, He gasped and stumbled back, nearly busting his ass on some debris, when he saw that a person, a man, was still inside the car on the drivers side. Dipper panicked, lightly touching the guy's shoulder before inspecting the seatbelt holding the man in.

Dipper reached around the man, breathing ragged as his heart rate spiked, tugging on the seatbelt before finally finding the clip and trying to get it to unlock. He jiggled it a bit before it finally gave, causing the bloodied man to slouch and start falling sideways. Dipper yelped when the guy nearly fell out of the car, luckily he caught him in time. DIpper squatted down before scooping the man into his arms, wincing as he felt the warm liquid get on his shirt. It was easy to carry the man, considering Mabel made him help lift Waddles into the truck when his vet visits came up. Dipper readjusted the man in his arms before carrying him away from the wrecked car, nearly busting his ass again when he lost his footing in the mystery liquid, he sighed but slowly stepped away from the puddles before half-running towards his truck, laying the man in the passenger side before Dipper looked over him, checking for major injuries. Other than his shoulder being dislocated and his nose being bent at an odd angle, plus some deep cuts in his arm and thigh where the bullets must’ve got him, he was also bleeding from a cut on his forehead and- Dipper nearly hurled, the man's entire left eye was covered in blood because it was torn and damaged. Dipper covered his mouth before gently shaking the man, seeing if he would wake up. After a couple minutes of no response, Dipper put his ear to the man's chest, seeing if he was still alive. It was weak but the man’s heart was still producing beats. Dipper sighed in relief, buckling the man in before rushing back to the store.

Closing it up and locking the doors, he ran back to his truck and got in. He turned it on and pulled out to the road, speeding to the hospital, nearly swerving off the road when a giant explosion sounded off behind them. A light bulb went off in Dippers head, the liquid must’ve been gasoline. He felt stupid for not figuring it out earlier, he elected not to tell anyone, lest he gets locked in his own room. He rushed to the hospital as fast as 10 miles above the speed limit allowed, hoping that the guy would make it. Dipper didn’t really practice any religions anymore but he still said a silent prayer for the man.