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Two and a Half Universes

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"Why are we doing this again?" 

"Because I said so, alright Ford?"

"Grunkle Stan? No offense, but this is a horrible idea." 

"I didn't ask you, Dipper. Now hows about you and your sister get a chainsaw for your grunkle?" 

"Grunkle Stan, can I use the chainsaw?" 

"Sure, kid. Just don't kill yourself with it." 

"No kids. No touching the chainsaw. I'll get it." Stanford stepped away from where the rest of them were working on the porch. "I'm going to have to agree with Dipper on this one, Lee. This is a horrible idea."

Stanley ignored his comment, continuing to superglue two pieces of wood together, getting his hands stuck to them in the process. "Looks like you kids are going to have to saw my hands off," Stanley joked. 

"NO!" They all yelled in unison, continuing to build the contraption (completely Mabel's idea) that they planned to use to launch an oblivious Waddles into the sky with. Of course the plan had been molded slightly (because of Ford and Dipper's fears that the pig would make like a bug and splat against a car's windshield. Specifically Stan's car, which was parked only a few meters away from the launch site. 

Waddles waddled onto the porch after Ford left, struggling to move gracefully with the jet pack strapped to his (Her? Their? It's?) back.

Ford Came back with chainsaw in hand and multiple pairs of goggles, handing them out before turning the saw on and cutting through different pieces of wood. Each of them quickly set to work gluing wood together and setting it up into the shape of a slingshot, complete with large rubber strings and a leather pouch for the pig to rest in before his ascent (cut out from the back of the couch, but Grunkle Stan didn't need to know that). 

When they were done they took a moment to admire their work before Stan cut in with a "Well are we gonna launch this pig into the sky or what?" To which everyone but Ford cheered in assent to with a "Waddles! Waddles! Waddles!" Ford face-palmed at the obvious lack of concern for the pig at the moment and chose to make sure nobody got hurt by hovering close-by in the case of an accident. 

Stan loaded the pig into the slingshot and pulled it back far enough so that the smaller twins could get a hold of the pouch. They all pulled back and then let go, letting Ford press a remote button that caused the jet pack to start speeding the pig straight into the forest where the twins ran after him. Laughing and shoving each other, they ran after the flying pig, until the jet pack ran out of fuel and sent Waddles flying straight toward an oddly shaped stone sticking out of the ground. Mabel ran faster, managing to scoop Waddles straight out of the air before he could go plummeting into the stone. "Gotcha. You wanna try that again, Waddles?" Mabel asked with an elated smile on her face. 

"Um, Mabel? You're going to want to see this," Dipper said, standing over the stone which was half-buried in the ground in the center of a small crater. Mabel stepped over to take a look at what Dipper was talking about to see that the oddly shaped stone Waddles almost crashed into was in fact a statue of Bill Cipher. "Guess this is where he ended up," Mabel said somewhat solemnly. 

"Welp. Wanna draw a mustache on his face?" She continued. 

"No!" Dipper shouted. "How about we get him out of there? Or maybe we should get our grunkles to take a look at it?" 

"Getting him out it is!" Mabel answered, grabbing the statues hand and yanking before falling on her butt as a bright light emanated from the statue. It was if a bomb had gone off and they were caught in the aftershocks, bracing themselves as the ground trembled and the light pulsed, blowing the trees away from the site. Dipper held onto a root deeply embedded in the ground, bracing himself as pulse after pulse of the light pushed him away and Mabel slid away hitting her back against a tree as she held to Waddles for dear life. 

Soon enough the pulses faded, leaving the two sprawling and disoriented. The two stood up, dusting themselves off and glancing at each other with uncertainty before stepping toward the crater and peeking over the edge. There, they saw what appeared to be a boy their age with long black hair that faded to blue at the ends that was put up in a ponytail dressed in a pair of black shorts, Keds, and a blue sweater, which was covered in dirt at the moment. The boy had tanned skin and seemed to be fast asleep, curled into a little ball in the bottom of the small crater. 

"What the-?" Dipper started before Mabel slid into the crater, already poking and prodding the (probably not dead) sleeping person. "Mabel!" He called after her, sliding down as well. Mabel brushed the boy's hair out of his eyes and the boy started stirring, slowly opening one eye at a time. The sleeping person's sky blue eyes fluttered open before said person was scrambling away from the twins in a frenzy. "Calm down, we're not going to hurt you," Mabel immediately said in a calming manner causing the boy to pause in his movements. "Mabel! We don't even know who this person is," Dipper argued. 

"Where the hell am I?" The boy asked in an oddly familiar voice. "And what is this body?" The boy sounded (more than) slightly disgusted as he peered down at his chest, patting himself down and then staring at his own hands in awe. 

"This is Gravity Falls. Do you really not remember how you got here?" Mabel asked, ignoring the odd part about the body and leaning in with stars in her eyes. "Do you know what your name is?" 

The boy seemed taken aback by her tenacity. "Um, the name's Bill Cipher. Figured you of all people would recognize me," The boy snarked. 

"But Grunkle Stan killed you. This isn't possible," Dipper stepped back. 

"Sure it is, kid. Unlike you I've got safety nets in the case that I die." Bill stood up further, looking less confused than he had before and more confident in his actions. He snapped his fingers in an attempt to perform his magic, which didn't work. His brows furrowed and he snapped his fingers again. "Come on. Why isn't this working?" He mumbled, aggressively snapping his fingers. 

"What?" Dipper looked on in confusion, making no attempt to stop him. Bill ignored him, continuing to no avail to activate his magic. Mabel grabbed his wrist, not so gently, stopping him and looking him in the eye. "Let's get you out of here first. And washed up." She started dragging Bill out of the crater and Dipper's jaw dropped as he watched his sister drag the former demon toward the shack. "Wait, Mabel! He literally just said that he was Bill Cipher!" Dipper called, scrambling after her. 

Mabel pulled Dipper closer to her and whispered into his ear. "I think this guy's just a crackpot cultist with a concussion. Probably from that big shock-y thingy we experienced earlier." Bill growled at her. "You know I can hear you."

She smiled brightly. "Which is why we're going to bring you to our grunkles and then possibly to a hospital. And even if you really are Bill, Great Uncle Ford will be able to stop you from doing anything bad before you get the chance," She said in a menacing tone before turning and skipping off cheerily ahead of the two boys. The two glanced at each other and Dipper shrugged, walking ahead of him. "Better keep up. You wouldn't want to piss off my sister. She can be scarier than you when she wants to be." 

Bill stared at the two twins before following along (he had nothing better to do, really, and he was just as confused by this series of events as the twins were). He experimentally tugged at the hair that was tied up in the top of his head, causing it to slide to one side of his head sloppily and threads of blue and black hair to slide out of the ponytail. Mabel giggled at his obvious lack of knowledge of the human anatomy. She started walking behind him and pulled his hair down, letting it fall down to his mid-back. "What are you doing?" Bill turned his head slightly toward Mabel. 

"I'm going to braid your hair, now keep your head straight," she yanked his head back into place and started tugging at the strands, braiding them with obvious skill. When she was finished, she tied it up with the rubber and that she'd pulled from his hair earlier.

"You know, you have long hair for a guy," Dipper pointed out. Mabel glared at him for that. "Shut up, Dipper. Lots of guys have long hair," She said, poking him in the side. "Yeah. Girly guys," Dipper poked her back. 

"Maybe because the body I’m currently in is female right now? You ever think of that?" The two stared at him, one with stars in her eyes and the other with a look of pure horror. 

" Why-?"  

"You're a girl?!" Mabel squealed in excitement. 

"Technically," Bill answered. "I'm still male in the sense that that's what I am (although, that's technically not true either. It's just the closest thing to what I am in human terms, since my home dimension actually has fourteen billion genders and that would be too confusing for your tiny minds and would probably take years of paperwork). I just have the body of a female. I believe some humans might consider that to mean that I am trans-male. Although I personally don't care much about gender. So I guess I could be cis-female or even genderqueer. I don't care either way." 

Mabel suddenly hugged Bill tight. "We're going to be great friends," She whispered in his ear, causing a shiver to run down his spine. 

"But why are you a girl?"  Dipper seemed on the verge of some sort of teenage meltdown. 

"I don't know. Why is your hair brown? Why are humans bi-symmetric? Why are humans fat, wet bags of meat withering under the oppressive tyranny of time and puppeteered by the arbitrary whims of natural selection? Maybe it's because humans are designed by a blind and idiotic uncaring chaos. Or perhaps someone really has it out for me. The world may never know." 

Chapter Text

"So you just found a boy in the woods who claims to be Bill Cipher?" Stan asked before taking a big gulp of Pitt Cola and staring at the trio of 14-year-old's standing on the porch in front of him. 

"Actually she's a girl," Mabel chirped helpfully. 

"Yeah, I can see that," Stan paused. "How about we keep this a secret from Ford for now? Wouldn't want him burning the whole town down in an attempt to get to him. And in the meantime, you kids can go upstairs and do whatever you two do upstairs," Stan waved vaguely. "While I talk to Tweedledum here." Bill gave the most offended look he could muster, the other two looking slightly concerned that Stanley had lost his mind, but went inside nonetheless. 

"So, kid," Stan started before Bill cut in. "I'm not a kid. I'm over a trillion years old, ankle-biter," Bill answered venomously. 

"Kid,"  Stanley retorted just as scathingly. "If you're going to be staying, let alone survive a week here, we're going to have to set some ground rules." 

"I don't do rules," Bill answered. 

"Well then you should start kissing your ass good-bye because without your magical abilities and your obvious lack of knowledge about the human body, you're going to be kissing it goodbye by the end of the week, kid," Stan replied. 

Bill was disgruntled by the fact that Stan was able to see through him so easily and thought for a moment. "How about we make a deal instead?" Stan looked slightly unnerved by this proposition, but agreed anyways. 

"You won't harm or kill anyone unless you feel you're being attacked and you protect the kids from danger. I'll protect you from danger, provide the things you need to survive as a human, and answer any questions you have about the whole being human thing. That sound okay?" Stan asked. 

"Yeah, sure. Aside from the gaping loopholes you left in it, it's perfectly fine," Bill answered condescendingly. 

They spent the rest of the day fixing the deal until it was perfectly acceptable for both parties. 


"We need a piano," Bill declared from his spot on the couch with the twins. 

"Why? And since when were you making any financial decisions around here?" Stan guffawed from the kitchen. 

"Since now, old-timer. And because I'm bored. Is there nothing to do around here aside from getting lost in the forest and watching terrible television shows?" Bill complained. 

"There's plenty of things to do. You're just not creative enough to figure something out on your own," Stanley answered. 

"I'll show you something to do," Bill growled, holding a fist up threateningly before being tackled by Candy and Grenda, who'd just entered the Shack seemingly unannounced (Bill suspected that they'd broken in). 

"Girls!" Mabel cried out in excitement, throwing herself into the group hug while Bill struggled to escape the death grip of the girls. 

"Why didn't you tell us you had another girl staying with you? Now we can have an even bigger sleepover tonight!" Grenda exclaimed. Dipper snorted from his spot on the couch, ignoring the scathing look Bill sent him. 

"Her name's Bell and she's a friend from California. She just got here today." Mabel smiled, introducing Bill with seemingly no effort in thinking up the lies she spouted. Dipper seemed slightly unnerved by this fact, but also relieved at the same time. 

"Well, come on. Let the sleepover commence!" Candy shouted and the girls dragged Bill up the stairs to the twins' bedroom. 

Dipper glanced and Stan. "Welp. He's a goner," Stan announced. 

"No kidding." Dipper flipped the channel. 

Meanwhile upstairs, the girls were practically fawning over the new 'girl' that they had acquired. 

"You're from California?" 

"How'd you get your hair like that?" 

"Do you know how to dance?" 

"Do you want to make friendship bracelets?" 

"I like your name. It's pretty." 

"I wish I had your hips," The last comment came from Grenda, who shrugged when everyone stared at her. 

"I wish I had your eyes," Bill smiled, holding out a hand as if to take them, obviously referring to his lust for maiming others. Though Grenda and Candy remained oblivious to this fact.  

"Bell,"  Mabel warned as the former-demon shrugged. 

"Thanks!" Grenda said. 

"Bell, you said you wanted a piano. Do you play?" Mabel asked, putting emphasis on the name, Bell. 

"Yeah," He pulled the sleeves of his sweater over his hands. "It's a hobby of mine. I can play pretty much anything." 

"Really? Can you play Cray Cray  by Sev'ral Times?" Grenda asked. 

"Well, the song isn't written with a piano part, but I could improvise." 

"What about Beethoven?" Candy asked. 

"Beethoven's a person, but yes, I can play every song he's ever written. Like WoO 47 #1 in E major, WoO 47 #2 in F minor, WoO 47 #3 in D major, also known as the three early Kurfürstensonatas, Opus 2, the Grand Sonata, Pathétique, Funeral March, Sonata Quasi Una Fantasia, Moonlight, Pastoral, Tempest, The Hunt, Waldstein, Adante Favori, Appassionata, À Thérèse, Les Adieux or Das Lebewohl, and Hammerklavier just to name a few," Bill listed off. 

The girls stared in awe at his knowledge of the famous composer. "I didn't know you liked human songs, Bell." Mabel scooted closer to Bill, who proceeded to move away. 

"I don't like  them persay. I just know some. Except for Vera Lynn. She's a goddess," Bill commented. 

"Who's Vera Lynn?" Candy asked and received a genuinely offended gasp from Bill. "Dame Vera Margaret Lynn is only the most talented woman who ever walked the earth. The one who sung during the Second World War and brought moral to the Britons fighting in it. The woman who wrote my favorite human song, We'll Meet Again,  in 1939. That  Vera Lynn." 

Candy nodded along as if she knew exactly what he was talking about, when in reality she had no clue who Vera Lynn was and just liked hearing the other speak, especially with such pride over such an obscure subject. 

"Sounds like you're pretty old-school," Grenda commented. 

Bill shrugged. "I know newer and older songs, I just don't like them the way I like Vera Lynn's music." 

"Sounds like someone has a crush," Mabel teased.

Bill scoffed. "First off, she's 101 years old and lives across the Atlantic Ocean, so it wouldn't work out. Second off, I'm aromantic. And third, Are you assuming my sexuality?" 

Mabel frowned. "It was a joke, Bell." 

"Yeah. But also, age and distance doesn't matter when it comes to love," Grenda added. 

"Again, over 100 years old. And I'm not interested." 

"Didn't figure you to be a fan girl though," Mabel commented. 

"I'm not- Do you people not have anything to talk about other than romantic interests?" Bill asked. The girls glanced at each other and shook their heads, no. Bill sighed. "This is going to be a long night." 

"Hey, how about we start a random dance party?" Mabel suggested, getting up and turning on a bright pink radio that was shoved in the corner of the room. It started playing a song by Imaginative Dragons that they all recognized, dancing along to separately. Bill stood aside uncomfortably, staring at the odd way the other girls danced. "Come on," Mabel grabbed his wrist, pulling him into the circle of dancing girls. "Come on. Dance with us." 

"That's not how you dance. What you're doing is jumping around like a couple of crack addicts at a Justin Bieber concert," Bill complained. "Show me how to dance, then," Candy insisted, holding out a hand to him. He took her hand and moved it to his shoulder and wrapped his arm around her side, grabbing her other hand in his as he proceeded to talk Candy through the steps of ballroom dancing. "It's pretty easy, really. You just have to follow the other person's steps." 

"Grenda was right about you being pretty old school." Candy twirled around the attic with Bill as Mabel and Grenda attempted to mimic their movements (with varying levels of success). 

Bill merely shrugged in reply, singing along to the song under his breath. "It's who we are. Doesn't matter if we've gone too far. Doesn't matter if it's all okay. Doesn't matter if it's not our day."  Candy hummed along. 

"You're a pretty good singer," She commented, receiving a chuckle. "Really? I've been told that I'm a terrible singer," Bill answered. "Well, whoever said that is obviously wrong. You've got plenty of talent." 

"Having talent doesn't make me a good singer." 

"You're a talented singer. And musician." 

"You haven't even heard me play. For all you know, I could just be someone who's a fan of Beethoven, but has never played a day in their life." 

"Just take the compliment." 

"Okay. Compliment received. I will file it away for later." Candy laughed at Bill's shenanigans. 

The girls all ended up dancing the night away. 


Bill quietly crept down the stairs in the dark, tripping every so often as his foot caught on the stairs. Soon enough he was at the bottom of the stairs and he crept into the gift shop. He tip-toed toward the ladder that led to the roof and started clambering up the rungs. He opened the hatch to the roof to see Dipper sitting on the edge of it, not seeming to have noticed him. He quietly closed the hatch and snuck up behind him before tapping him on the shoulder, causing him to jump almost a foot in the air and almost fall off the roof. 

Dipper took a moment to gather his bearings before he spoke. "What are you doing up here?" 

"Oh, you know. Planning on how to get my powers back and destroy this pathetic dimension. Normal teenage things. And I wanted to see the rain. What about you?" 

"There's no rain."

"Not yet there isn't. And you didn't answer my question."

"Nightmares." 

"I feel you. I had a lot of those before I stopped being able to sleep. Guess I'll have to deal with that again with this body," Bill sighed. 

"You did? Wait, how did you stop sleeping?" 

Bill looked up at the moonlit, cloudy sky. "Yep. Doing the stuff I've done does that to you sometimes. I only stopped sleeping because I became a pure mass of energy. Energy never sleeps. So unless you know how to become pure energy, you've got no way out of those nightmare induced dreams." 

"How'd you do it?" 

"I cheated at Globnar and got a time wish." 

"Really? Why did you even participate in Globnar?" 

"I was gonna die for causing trouble, so instead I enacted Globnar against a couple of friends. They were in on it. Since it was my idea, I got the time wish, but everyone else got their freedom. It's against the law to ask for the same time wish I did now. Sucks for everyone else I guess." 

"So you asked to be all powerful?" 

"Pretty much. Worst decision of my life, I think." 

"How so?" 

"I could've done a lot better. All I thought about was myself. I didn't even think about the fact that I could've brought back the dead. Or done literally anything. I could've gotten my family back or I dunno. Just anything else."

"You're being awfully honest, for someone who kind of thrives on lies." 

"You remember that deal we made once, right?" 

"Yeah? Why?" 

"It never got called off. So I could theoretically still possess your body if I wanted to. Although that would probably have a bad effect on this body, which I seem to be tied to at the moment." 

"What does that have to do with it?" 

"My side of the deal was that I would give you the answers to the universe. So unless you or I call off the deal, I have to tell you the truth all the time." 

Dipper stared at the sky in clear astonishment, feeling the first drops of rain for the night drop onto his forehead. "Well, I guess I'm willing to risk it," He said just as it started raining. 

"Hey, do you think if I slid down the roof it might collapse underneath me?" 

"I think you'd be more likely to fall and crack your head open on the ground below," Dipper answered. 

"Cool. See you on the ground, Pinetree," Bill said as he hopped off the ledge, sliding down the roof and landing on the wet ground. 

"Bill!" Dipper scrambled to the edge, easily seeing Bill over it, where he was dusting himself off and ushering Dipper to join him on the ground. Dipper rolled his eyes before sliding down on his but and falling to the ground, scraping his knee on the way. 

"Come on," Bill said, grabbing Dipper's wrist and pulling him along into the forest as it started to pour down. 

"Where are you taking me?" Dipper asked apprehensively. 

"Chill, Pinetree. There's a small clearing at the edge of Gnome Man's Land that has a great atmosphere."

Dipper sighed and followed Bill, where he brought him to a small grassy area surrounded by towering trees. The moonlight shone down on them, causing Bill's long blue hair to shimmer in the light. 

She's kind of beautiful.  Dipper shook those thoughts out of his head viciously at once. "So what are we doing here?" 

"We're gonna dance. Old-timey dancing as Shooting Star calls it. You know how to dance, right?" 

"Yeah. I just put my hands here, right?" Dipper slipped his hand into Bill's and wrapped an arm around his waist, which he duly noted was rather thin. Dipper wore a new jacket as well as his usual clothes (excluding the vest) while Bill's blue sweater seemed to fit rather tightly, especially around the chest area. If he had looked closely he might've noticed that Bill's sweater had gotten so soaked that it had made the black bra underneath it visible to anybody with prying eyes. Otherwise, Bill wore black shorts and shoes.

Bill rested his chin on Dipper's shoulder, singing under his breath. "Now you're moving on and you say you're alone, suspicious that this string is moving your bones." 

"What's that song?" 

"Who Are You by Mickey Echo. Released in 2017. It's a song from Wolf Teen. Season 3, episode 7. Not a fan of the show, but the song's okay I guess." 

"Sing another song." 

"Like what?" 

"I dunno. Just sing something you know." 

"I feel all fuzzy inside like a duckling, full of... Tarantulas, and now that I'm here, tonight, it's gonna get weird." 

"Okay, stop." 

"'Kay." Bill continued swaying with Dipper from side to side. "What about-" 

"No." 

"I promise it's not a weird song." 

"...Fine." 

Bill smiled and started singing another song softly. "People are puppets held together with string. There's a beautiful sadness that runs through him as he asked me to pray to a God he doesn't believe in."  He sung the song softly through to the end and humming along to it even after he was finished singing.

"Who's that song by?" 

"Nobody. Well technically, it's by me. It's not really good  though. It's kind of stupid. I mean it's really repetitive. And there's not enough C sharps in it," Bill rambled. 

"I didn't know you wrote songs." 

Bill laughed. "Yeah. You don't know a lot of things about me." He stepped away from Dipper. "It's really old, anyways. Something I wrote before I really knew there were way better things to do with my time than trying desperately to be normal." 

"What's it about?" Dipper asked softly. 

"It's kind of how I felt after my brother died. Now it's kind of about... other stuff." Bill showed reminiscence on his face.  

"Sorry." 

"Don't be. It happened a long time ago. Besides, I love talking about him. Or I did. I think..." Bill looked confused for a moment. "I guess I forgot about him for a while because I couldn't handle thinking about him anymore. But he was great. He was kind of like Sixer. He was the smartest guy I knew. Taught me almost everything I know." 

"Sounds awesome." 

"He was." 

They fell into silence and Bill finally got comfortable enough again that he rested his chin on Dipper's shoulder again. 

"Hey, you don't happen to know how the hell I'm supposed to get these clothes off this human body, do you?" Bill asked, startling Dipper whose eyes practically popped out of their sockets. 

"What the hell?" 

"I have no idea how to change clothes." 

Dipper stared at him for a moment as if gauging his seriousness. 

"You're going to have to ask Mabel for help with that." 

"Aw, I thought we bonded." 

"Not that much." 

"Is it the boobs? Are they too much?" 

"OhmyGod. Please shut up." 

"You act like you've never watched porn. I don't get those weird human procreation rituals anyway." 

"That's different! Hey, don't walk away from me!" 

"Too late. I'm going back to the shack."

"Wait for me though!"

"Nope! You gotta catch me!" 

Chapter Text

"Hey, old-timer!"

"What do you want ?" 

"I found an old guy nearby giving away a piano for free.

Stanley suddenly looked interested (not because of the fact that they would finally get that piano Bill had been complaining about not having, but because they were getting something for free). "Why's he giving it away for free though?" 

"He's on the last legs of his life, so he can't really play it anymore," Bill answered, glancing down at his phone, which he'd received after swindling quite a few unsuspecting customers to the mystery shack (to which Lee proclaimed how proud he was of his so-called 'pupil' and reluctantly agreed to getting him a basic cell phone after weeks of complaint from Bill). 

"Dipper says the guy's only asking that a song be played on it before he parts with it. So that'll be easy." 

"Neeeeeeeeeeeeeerd!" Mabel called from the stairs. 

"Kid, do you even know what you're going to play?" Stanley asked, leaning over the table to see Bill's phone. Bill shrugged. "Figure the mood'll help me know what song to play. Otherwise I'll just play something from Vera Lynn." He went back to his phone, which he'd been glued to the second he got it. He found it somewhat annoying that everything was in all caps in text. 

Pinetree: IDK WHAT TO TELL YOU. ALL THE GUY SAID WAS THAT HE WANTED A SONG PLAYED FOR HIM. SOMETHING ABOUT BEING OLD AND DYING. 

Bell: ANY SONG? 

Pinetree: YEAH. JUST DON'T OFFEND THE GUY, BREAK HIS EARDRUMS, OR KILL HIM WITH YOUR TERRIBLE CHOICE IN MUSIC BEFORE HE GETS THE CHANCE TO GO NATURALLY. 

Bell: WOW. RUDE. I KNOW HOW TO PICK A SONG. 

Pinetree: I FEEL LIKE YOU'RE TRYING TO TRAUMATIZE GREAT UNCLE FORD ALL OVER AGAIN WHENEVER YOU SING AROUND HIM. YOU'RE NOT SUBTLE. HE'S, LUCKILY, JUST OBLIVIOUS. 

Bell: I WOULD NEVER. 

Pinetree: -_-

Bell: JUST MAKE SURE RED PICKS ME UP. 

Pinetree: OKAY. BY THE WAY...

Pinetree: WHY IS IT THAT YOU TEXT IN ALL CAPS?

Bell: I THINK IN ALL CAPS BUDDY. NOW GO GET RED, LITTLE ERRAND BOY. 

Bill locked his phone and started digging into his mushy pancakes before saying goodbye to Stanley and sitting out front in wait of Dipper and Wendy. He wore a light blue dress with polka dots and white flats (Mabel had helped pick out clothes with him at a clothing store a while back) and had his black and blue hair tied into a matching blue ribbon that Mabel had found with all her arts and crafts stuff. 

After only a few minutes of waiting, he was greeted by Wendy honking the horn of a new (but mostly old) car that she'd gotten almost immediately after she'd gotten her license. He popped into the front of the car next to Dipper, who was in the middle seat. Wendy's truck had only six seats, but she was moving stuff for a couple of people she knew so the back and the bed of the truck were full. Usually whenever they were out with their friends, they would open the back window and a some of them would sit in the bed of the truck. 

"Hey, Bell," Wendy greeted. "So this guy you're going to see, he's like, super old. And he's going to die soon. I guess he got some sort of disease or something. He's a really nice old man, so don't do anything stupid. He just wants you to play a nice song for him. He really likes music. He used to be the music teacher at Gravity Falls Elementary, so yeah. He was still working there when I was in kindergarten, which is how I know him. So do you have a song ready yet?" 

"Nope." Wendy took her eyes off of the road to stare at Bill as if he'd lost his mind (which he had, if anybody cared to notice). "Keep your eyes on the road, woman!" Bill yelled as Wendy swerved just in time to avoid an incoming car. "Dude, you're going to fail so bad." 

"I figured that I'd know what song I should play whenever I meet him. And if that doesn't work, I'll just play something from Vera Lynn." 

"What is with your obsession with Vera Lynn?" Dipper asked. 

Bill shrugged. "I like her flesh face." 

"It's just her face. And don't ever say that again. Especially about some 100-something year old lady." 

"The only thing between our love is an ocean and a restraining order." 

"Do you have an off-switch or something?" 

"Nope. You gotta deal with me all summer." Dipper groaned in frustration. 

"Dudes, we're almost there," Wendy said, turning onto a street with plenty on small houses before pulling up to a house that looked like it'd been through a hurricane. It was busted up and the paint was almost completely gone. The door hung open on it's hinges and a shredded flag hung outside the house. 

"Well, if I die in there, it'll be for a good cause." 

"A piano?" 

"Yes." Bill opened the door and hopped out of the car. "I'll text you when I need to be picked up. So see you then!" He slammed the door, making sure it clicked securely and Wendy drove off. Bill turned around and stared at the looming old house for a moment before walking up the sidewalk and pushing the creaky door open slightly and walking in. 

"Anybody home?" He called out into the desolate house. 

"Yes, sirree. Just come on into the living room. Just up to the left, young-un," A scraggly old man said in a soft, worn voice. Bill did as told and saw a room painted light blue, with similarly colored furniture, aside from the dark brown couch the old man sat on with a tank of oxygen attached to him and the dark wooden piano pushed up against one wall with a white oval fabric on it and a lit candle on top of that. "Well, hello there young lady. To what do I have the pleasure of a visit? Don't mind the mess. It's been a long time since I've had guests." The room was stark clean aside from a thin layer of dust covering everything. 

"Um, someone told me that you were going to give away your piano. And um, I play and don't have one, so yeah..." Bill said uncertainly. Now that he was here he wasn't very certain how to go about this. 

"Oh, yes. If you want it though, I'm going to have to ask you to play a song for me. It can be any song. It's just that that piano is one of my most prized possessions and since I can't play any longer, I've been wanting to hear someone else play it for me one last time." 

Bill nodded, staring at the piano instead of the man. "Sounds like a strange offer. A piano for a measly song." The man smiled at his remark. "Better make it a good song then, uh, what did you say your name was again?"

"I didn't. It's Bell."

"Well, Bell, you're welcome to play any song you want." Bill nodded and shuffled to the piano before taking a seat on the piano bench. "You sure there's not a particular song you want me to play?" 

"No. Just play something nice."

He slid open the fall board and played a short C scale before taking a deep breath and playing the song he'd finally chosen. He played at a steady pace and at a low volume. Slowly he started singing along, practically whispering the lyrics. 

 

Bill's voice got a little sweeter and more confident as he went headfirst into the chorus. He smiled as he sung, looking out a small window at the beautiful wilderness outside. 

 

He sung as he started to slowly starting to crescendo as he played. 

 

"Here it comes, here comes the first day.  It starts up in our bedroom after the war.

As he finished singing, he seemed to notice where he was again and smiled sheepishly. "If it wasn't adequate, I can play another-" He turned to see the man with a smile on his face and seemingly sleeping. He stood and walked over to the man and shook his shoulder slightly, causing his head to droop and hang to the side. He checked the man's pulse and saw that there was none. He stumbled back a bit in shock. He didn't know how long he stood there staring at the dead man's gentle smile before he finally got enough sense in his head to call a hospital for the old man and Wendy to pick him up.

Soon enough the ambulance was there, just as it started drizzling. Bill looked up to the sky, pulling his hair out of the bow and letting it flow down to his waist. Shortly after, Wendy pulled up with Dipper in the truck next to her still. He quickly clambered into the truck and stared solemnly out the window. 

"What happened?" 

"I think I befriended a dead man." 

Chapter Text

"I'm starting to regret letting you get that piano now," Stanley said with clear disdain as Bill played another chord of Beethoven's Für Elise. 

"Too late. It's here and it's mine," Bill hummed happily, opting to increasing the tempo this time around and playing a more difficult version of the famous song. Today he'd decided to wear a navy blue sweater Mabel had made him that had a bow tie on it and a golden triangular pattern on across the front of it horizontally. He wore a yellow skirt with it and navy flip flops. 

The piano sat next the the fish tank in the living room. Lee had helped him move the table and chairs to make room for it, but he now regretted letting it into the house at all. 

Bill suddenly heard the telltale hiss of the basement door opening, which meant Stanford had finally made his way to the surface for once. Bill smiled, immediately switched gears, playing an entirely different song a bit too loudly to be seen as accidental. 

"We'll meet again. Don't know where. Don't know when, but I know we'll meet again some sunny day." 

Ford suddenly burst into the room, red-eyed and looking to be on the verge of murder. "Could you possibly stop singing, young lady?" He asked exasperatedly. Bill suddenly turned to Stanford with feign tears in his eyes and said with a waver in his voice, "You don't like my singing?" Stanford looked slightly guilty for, as he saw it, wrecking the dreams of a young girl (if only he knew). "That's not it. I just- nevermind." He immediately stalked out of the room. 

Bill burst into uncontrollable laughter at his little trick. "Stop messing with Pointdexter, kid." Stan continued to sip his coffee as he watched Bill at the piano. 

"Not my fault he doesn't like the good old classics," Bill shrugged before continuing off where he left. 

Bill broke off his tangent with a comment of "I'm gonna be honest, I kind of like the existence of those clouds, but I mean whatever." As he continued, he kept glancing back at the doorway as if waiting for Ford to reappear in amusement.

"And when we do meet again, I'll rip out your eyeballs," Bill laughed maniacally, while Stanley gave him the sort of look a parent would give to a child while they were scolding them. 

"You hear that, Fordsy?" 

Ford peeked into the room again around this time, being rather freaked out by the young girl's voice and choice of words. 

He started laughing that unhinged laugh of his again as he finished playing the song before saying, "Oh man." He then continued into Für Elise as if nothing happened, leaving Ford blinking in astonishment and feeling whiplash at how fast the mood had changed. Bill suddenly stopped playing, blinking rapidly and clutching his stomach, stating simply to Stanley that his stomach was in pain. Stanley rolled his eyes and asked if he wanted some pain pills, to which he reluctantly agreed. 

"I thought you liked  pain."

"Not this kind." Stan gave him a look as he brought a box of medical supplies from the other room. "What kinds of pain are there then that aren't so painful?" 

"I dunno. Pain just feels different  right now. It's unpleasant." 

"Why don't you try walking it off?"

Bill nodded seriously. "Okay." He got up and started walking out of the shack. 

"Don't get lost or anything, kid." 

"I won't, ankle-biter," Bill growled, stalking out of the house on his own. 

Ford finally walked into the room again. "There's something... strange about that young lady." 

"No kidding. Although, all women seem weird to you. You're like a lady repellent sometimes." Stanley elbowed his brother in the side. 

"Am not. She just... she reminds me of Bill. The way she speaks, the things she speaks of. Her general behaviorism." Stanford crossed his arms, furrowing his brows. "Her voice does sound a bit like his, don't you think? And I thought Grenda had a strange voice."

"Sixer, I think you're just a little crazy. Sure she says some strange things, but all kids her age say things like that. Probably. I mean, look at Mabel. If Bell's a strange one, Mabel must be a nutcase then. She says some crazy things all the time. Albeit, she doesn't really talk about gore as much as Bell, but to each their own." Stanley replied smoothly. 

"You're right, Lee," Ford sighed. "I think I'm going to go back to my project now. I'll see you in about a week." 

Stanley sighed in relief as Ford left the room. He may have been a genius, but he sure was oblivious sometimes. 


"Hey, do you kids know where Bi- I mean Bell went?" Grunkle Stan asked the kids, who'd been hanging out with Wendy at the check-out counter of the Mystery Shack. It was later in the day now, which made him worried since Bill had been gone an awfully long time. 

"I saw her leave earlier in the day, but she never came back," Dipper commented. "You don't think she got into any trouble, do you?" 

"I don't know, but it's about time for dinner. So if you kids would go out and look for him, that would be great." Dipper and Mabel nodded as the old man left the room. 

"I bet Mabel finds her first," Wendy cut in, earning an astonished look from Dipper. "You wound me, Wendy. Ye of so little faith," He joked. 

"Let's race to see who finds Bell first!" Mabel suggested, to which everyone agreed and gathered on the porch. They both got into running stances at the edge of the porch as Wendy started counting them down. 

"Ready, set go!" The two raced off, each circling the shack once before running off to find him elsewhere. Dipper headed down the road into town, while Mabel went into the forest, planning to check the waterfall nearby, then head to Gnome Man's Land and finally to the cemetery before going into town, figuring those were the best places to start. Dipper was going to look around for him in the town, remembering how he'd been complaining often about random things he felt he needed and Grunkle Stan refused to buy. 

Turned out that one of them didn't have to walk for very long. While Dipper roamed the town in search of Bill, Mabel found him at the edge of the lake and staring at the waterfall as if contemplating whether or not he wanted to go closer to it. His flip flops lay on the shore, while Bill stood with the water going just above his knees. 

"Bill! What are you doing?" Mabel yelled. Bill turned toward her and smiled sheepishly. "Stanley said that I should walk off the pain I was feeling right here," He pointed at his lower stomach. "So I did and I found this place. Figured I might go swim by the waterfall, but I never got the nerve to go further than this." 

Mabel stared at him for a moment before noticing a trail of blood dripping down his thighs. "Um, Bill?" She took off her own shoes before trudging into the water after him. She pointed between his legs and said, "I think you're on your period." 

Bill looked down, seemingly noticing the blood for the first time before looking up again. "What's a period?" 

Mabel stared at him in shock for a moment. "It's a thing that older girls have once a month. You know what a uterus is, right?" Bill shook his head, no. Mabel sighed. This was going to be a lot harder than it looked. "It's the reproductive organs. Basically, every month your uterus skins itself and all the eggs and gunk start leaking. It usually takes a couple days to a week to finish," Mabel explained, earning a disgusted face from the former demon. "That sounds disgusting. How do I make it stop?" 

"You can't just make it stop, silly. You'll keep having it 'till you get older and go through menopause which, as I've heard, is worse than the periods themselves." Mabel smiled proudly at having been able to successfully explained it. Bill stared at her in horror. "I want this to be over," He groaned, running his fingers over his face. 

"Hey, you were right about the swimming thing. Although, I wouldn't suggest swimming at a pool on your period, taking warm or cold baths are usually a great way to help the pain go away. And usually I would say you shouldn't swim at a lake on your period either, but you're already dripping into the lake, so I don't think it really makes a difference at this point. And it'll be fun. Don't worry about getting your clothes wet or anything. They can get cleaned and washed later." As if to encourage him, she walked further into the lake, getting her skirt wet and soon enough her shirt was soaked as well.

Bill tentatively followed her example, wading into the water until his skirt was soaked and his shirt was starting to get damp. He could see clear through the water and noticed how his skirt seemed to sway as if there were wind blowing it around under the water. There were little dots of blood soaking into the water around his skirt as well. He felt unnerved by this and started going further into the water until he was unable to touch the floor any more. They both swam around in their soaked clothes, splashing around and swimming closer to the waterfall. There, they let the water fall on their heads and laughed as they each took turns trying to dunk each other under the waterfall. 

They were both acting like... normal kids. It made Bill feel weird when he realized this. 

Two hours passed that way until they heard Dipper yell at them from the shoreline. They hadn't even noticed when he got there. "What are you doing? It's starting to get dark out! We need to head back to the shack!" 

The two girls paddled back to shore and Bill splashed Dipper. "What? You afraid of the dark or something?" Bill teased. When they were finally fully out of the water, Mabel said she wanted a hug from Dipper, who valiantly dodged her attacks and started running back to the shack. Mabel and Bill both chased him now yelling about hugging him in all their wetness. 

Just as they escaped the woods, Dipper chanced a glance back just in time to get tackled by the two girls. 

"Gotcha brobro," Mabel said at the same time Bill said "Gotcha Pinetree." They looked at each other and giggled. Bill held Dipper down, while Mabel tickled him until Grunkle Stan came out and told them to get inside. The girls reluctantly stopped tickling (more like torturing) Dipper and ran inside, high-fiving each other proudly. 

The rest of the night would be spent cleaning themselves up and drying up the trail of water they'd tracked into the shack. 

Chapter Text

"Hey, where's Bell?" Stanley asked, flipping a pancake from the stove. Dipper shrugged while Mabel lit up. "She said she's feeling tired today. I guess she hasn't gotten a lot of sleep since she got here. So she's going to sleep for the rest of the day or try at least." 

"Well maybe that means we can have a calm Saturday for once," Dipper mumbled just as a large explosion sounded from outside the shack. "Aaand I was wrong." Dipper shoveled a mouthful of pancake into his mouth before racing his sister to the front porch (she won as per usual). 

Outside, they found their Great Uncle Ford with soot covering his face and a smoking object in his hands. "Oh, hey kids." He wiped some of the soot off with his glove, which was covered in even more soot and was not very effective. "I was just testing something out and it worked, so I'll go back to the basement now," Ford said awkwardly. "Great Uncle Ford, do you think you might be able to help me with something?" Dipper asked. Ford smiled and nodded. "Depends on what it is. If it has to do with girls or bugs I can't help you there. I'm allergic to both." Mabel smacked his arm and said overly loudly, "Oh, Grunkle Ford, you kidder." 

Dipper cleared his throat. "Well, Bell has been having trouble sleeping is all. And I was wondering if you might be able to help," Dipper asked. "Oh, sure. Has she tried herbal tea? Or any drugs from the pharmacy to help her sleep?" The twins grimaced as he said the word 'drugs.' Must've been an old-people thing. "Not that I know of. Maybe we could go ask her?" Dipper said uncertainly. "Of course. I'm actually a bit curious now," Ford commented. 

"She sleeps in Grunkle Stan's room now though and we're not allowed in there," Mabel said. 

"I'm pretty sure he has hidden cameras all over the place or something because he always knows whenever anyone goes near his room," Dipper shivered. "I'm sure he won't mind. But what I'm a little more concerned with is why she's sleeping in his room. Aren't there plenty of other rooms in the shack?" Ford asked. Mabel shrugged. "They've gotten kinda close and she trusts him maybe a little more than she should. And Grunkle Stan says she doesn't like sleeping alone."

"She told me that she gets nightmares and Stan 'has more sense than the lot of you.'" He gave finger quotes before continuing. "Then proceeded to talk about how she wouldn't want to be within 50 feet of any of us in that condition, but she unfortunately has no choice. And they apparently made some sort of pact." 

"A pact?" Ford asked. "Yeah. They didn't tell us much about it though." Ford rubbed his chin in thought. "Well, let's see if we can do anything about her sleeping issue," For said, trekking off toward Stan's room. The twins followed along and as Ford opened the door to Stan's room and nothing happened, they breathed out a collective sigh of relief. 

"Go away," Bill's exhausted voice sounded from the room. "Bell, we wanted to see if there was anything we could do to help you with your sleeping problem. Oh, and Ford's here too." The group squeezed into the room and Bill peeked his head out from the mound of blankets he was practically drowning in. "It's no use if I'm just going to wake up a couple hours later," Bill complained. 

"Well I'm not a psychiatrist, but as far as I know people who are plagued with nightmares tend to oftentimes be suffering from other mental problems, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, or all three. And most times pinpointing those mental illnesses and treating them helps get rid of those nightmares. Perhaps the weirdness magnetism here may also be affecting your mental health. Anyone who stays here for a long period of time tends to leave with a couple malfunctions in their brains. No offense." He turned to the twins who both shrugged.

"None taken."

"I've been better." 

Bill shifted around underneath the pile of blankets. "Back home I never actually got treated for anything, but I did have to stay in a mental hospital for a couple weeks 'cuz people thought something was wrong with me," Bill said timidly. Ford nodded. "Of anything I think you might have PTSD or bipolar disorder. Although, bipolar disorder can have periods of serious depression and anxiety. And there is such a thing as bipolar depression. But you seem a bit upbeat for that sort of thing. From some of my observations, you've seemed to have some bipolar-worthy mood swings, as well as some signs of PTSD. I could be wrong though. I have spent an awful lot of time in the basement so I haven't been able to properly observe you in your natural habitat." Bill's eyebrows scrunched up and he chuckled. "You're talking like as if I'm some sort of wild animal, Sixer." 

Something in Ford's face changed at that, but he ignored the usage of the nickname, choosing to take it as the young girl picking up habits from Stanley. 

"Perhaps later we could take you to a psychiatrist that might be able to help find the proper medication that might help you sleep and maybe make you feel better in general?" Ford suggested. Bill shook his head. "I don't wanna. I like myself the way I am, thank you very much. I'm not going to go take a bunch of pills that'll upset my personality. I'll live. Sorry for wasting your precious time," He crawled back under the blankets. 

"Wait. What if we could ask the psychiatrist to just do something about the nightmares. Nothing else," Ford asked. "Great Uncle Ford-" Dipper started before Ford shushed him. 

"Let me think about it," Bill said underneath the pile of blankets, clearly not ready to leave his small shelter again. "Okay," Ford said kindly, shooing everyone out the door and shutting it behind them. 

"Great Uncle Ford, psychiatric treatment doesn't work like that. If they find anything aside from the nightmares is wrong then they'll prescribe her with something for that. You can't just ask them to focus on sleep issues, especially if it's connected to something else," Dipper said. "Ah, well she doesn't know that." Ford continued walking down the hall without the twp twins, who suddenly seemed a bit antsy about their Great Uncle Ford. 


"So I've thought about it and no." The group at the table seemed a little stunned by this outburst (and the fact that Bill was actually out of bed). "I don't want to do it because even if it will help me sleep, human medicines always have their drawbacks and I don't want that. Plus I've already been taking those pain pills for my period. And I don't like feeling weak, so I'm not gonna do it. I can survive without it. Just gotta get used to it," Bill explained. 

"You sure, Bell?" Stanford asked. "Yep." Bill grabbed a plate and some food from the counter and sat at the table with it. "Kid, you might just consider having tea. There's this thing called Valerian. You can go out and find some Valerian plants out in the woods, then put the roots in some hot water, steep for 15 minutes, and strain it into another cup. In about half an hour to two hours, you'll be knocked right out. It's strong enough that you won't wake up once during the night," Grunkle Stan interjected. 

Bill perked up. "Really? Does it have negative effects? Like mood changes or whatever?" Stan tapped his chin in thought, but Ford answered for him. "I believe it can cause headaches, an upset stomach, thinking problems, dry mouth, excitement or uneasiness, strange dreams, or daytime drowsiness. Although I wouldn't worry about it since they usually aren't very potent or existent in most people who use Valerian root to cure any illnesses." 

"Besides kid, you already have some crazy mood swings without it!" Stan joked. "M'kay. Maybe tomorrow we could go looking for that Valerian root," Bill yawned. 


Dipper regretted ever having agreed to this. "C'mon Dipdot, just grab the stick," Mabel shouted from a safe spot outside the pit of quicksand that Dipper was now stuck in (while he contemplated why on earth there was quicksand in the middle of the woods and how they'd never noticed it before, Mabel had taken to finding large sticks to get to him, but had thus far not gotten anywhere close to him). Well at least he'd found the Valerian root. It was probably having a great time soaking up the mud in his backpack. His head just barely poked out of the mud, but he'd taken to slowly leaning back and floating more at the surface. "Sis, I can't reach it." 

"You're not even trying, brobro," Mabel complained. "If I move too much I'll start sinking again," Dipper replied. "Fine." Dipper saw Mabel leave again out of the corner of his eye and stared at the sky, sighing in exasperation. Suddenly he got wacked in the face with the thick piece of wood. He grabbed the wood and tugged it out of Mabel's hands and let it sink into the mud. "Whoops." 

Mabel glared at him. "It's like you don't even want to get out." Dipper shrugged as much as he could. "Not with you hitting me in the face with sticks on purpose." Mabel gasped. "I would never. Besides, you're gonna drown or something if you don't get out of there." 

"Actually the human body is less dense than quicksand, which is denser than water. So I could easily float on top of this crap for hours or even days without drowning," Dipper corrected her. "Plus so long as I don't flail around, it'd be pretty impossible for me to drown. Mostly because of my density."

Bill had taken off his shoes and sat at the edge of the puddle of quicksand with his feet soaking in the mud for no apparent reason (probably because he didn't want to help Mabel look for sticks). "Well, I mean you still have your backpack on and that's pretty dense, so I dunno if you'd actually last that long. Let alone a couple hours," Bill commented idly. Dipper's eyes shot wide. "I totally forgot about that. That's supposed to be the first thing you do, discarding your stuff," He groaned. "Sis, do you think you could maybe hurry it up with that giant stick you've been looking for?" Mabel groaned. "I thought you didn't want to get out?" She teased. 

"Well I do now!" Dipper flailed his arms, before stopping as he started to sink again. Bill laughed at him. "Stop struggling. You're just gonna kill yourself faster." Dipper shuddered, thinking about when Bill had tried to kill him/his sister/his family/everyone in Gravity Falls. "Y'know Bill, by the time I get out of here, your root's probably going to have already dissolved into tea." Bill shrugged. "We'll find another then." Dipper turned his head to glare at him. "I'm not going to go traipsing around the woods looking for your root again covered in this crap." 

"Sucks for you," Bill replied, kicking up the mud and splashing some of it on Dipper's face. "Jerk," Dipper muttered, flipping the bird. "Right back at ya' buddy," Bill answered just as Mabel returned with another stick and slapped the end of it into the mud mere inches from Dipper's face. Dipper immediately grabbed onto the branch and pulled himself toward the shore and purposely kicking mud all over Bill, who mustered an offended gasp. "I am disgusted. I am revolted. I dedicate my entire life to our lord and savior, Jesus Christ, and this is the thanks I get." Bill slumped back, hitting his head on the root of a tree and shooting back up with a yelp, rubbing the back of his head. Dipper laughed at him and stood up, soaked in mud. 

"Hey, sis. Come over here and give me a hug," Dipper stretched out his arms and lunged for Mabel, who dodged him and the two of them started running around in circles after/away from each other. Bill continued to sit, content with just letting the twins do whatever they wanted (and possibly hoping one of them made a misstep and fall into the quicksand again). Dipper finally and miraculously managed to catch Mabel, giving her a big, muddy hug. "That's for soaking me the other day." 

"That was like a week ago, brobro."

"It was two days ago." Dipper answered, looking as if he had no comprehension of how Mabel could mix up two days with a week. 

"Same, same." She waved him off. 

"No, it is not same, same," Dipper argued. "There's a five-day difference." 

"Chill, Pinetree. Stop being such a stick in the mud." Bill took the stick Dipper had used to get out of the quicksand and shoved it into the quicksand, giving emphasis to his previous sentence. Dipper kicked Bill in the thigh with a muddy sneaker and Bill sarcastically swooned. "You really know how to get the ladies, kid." 

Bill laughed as Dipper turned red and kicked him again hard enough to make Bill wince.

Bill suddenly perked up again. "Hey, did you know that some female spiders eat their mates? That's something I can get behind. I should've been reborn as a spider. Even better as an Archaeidae, also known as an assassin spider. Those things prey on other species of spiders," Bill mused. Dipper sighed in exasperation. "I can't see why living only a couple years would be a nice proposition." 

"That's because you're simple-minded, kid. I mean, being such an on-top predator that you ate your mates just because you could, that's what I call goals. Plus there's different types of spiders that eat their young and eat their mothers. That's pretty awesome. And that's coming from a demon that's almost gotten eaten multiple times." He jerked a thumb toward himself as if he was proud of the fact that he'd almost been eaten before (multiple times). "Dude, what the hell?" Dipper frowned, clearly not too amused by this spectacle. 

"What? It's true." Bill shrugged. "Anyways, you should probably check on that Valerian root and see if it dissolved while you were taking a mud bath over there." Dipper shrugged off his backpack and pulled the limp root out of his bag as well as a soaked journal that he'd brought along. "Aw, man. At least the root is fine though, I guess." 

Chapter Text

As the trio walked back to the shack, Bill hummed a tune, he couldn't remember what it was called. Something about a bus. Dipper elbowed him in the ribs. "What're you, five?" Bill shrugged. 

"Yeah, 5 inches deep in your mom," Bill answered in the deepest voice he could muster. Mabel poked her brother in the ribs. "Boom! You need some ice for that burn, brobro?" Dipper frowned. "You know we have the same mom, right? So it's kind of a joint-insult." 

Mabel gasped in mock offense. "You take that back, Bell!" Bill shook his head, no. "Not until your brother stops harassing me!" Dipper's jaw flung open. "I was not! You're the one making 'yo mama' jokes." 

"You're the one that said I was 5. And the other day you made fun of my choice of music. And insulted Vera Lynn for that matter. For that, you must die," He said as he tackled Dipper and started a tickle fight (more like him and Mabel torturing Dipper). "I-HA-I neverrr insulted, ha, y-your dumb, ha, crush," Dipper choked out between laughter. 

"Yeah, you did. Two chapters ago, you said, and I quote, 'What is with your obsession with Vera Lynn?'" Bill said stubbornly. "That's not insulting her. And what do you mean chapters?" Dipper answered. "I meant weeks. Also, if you can't see why then you obviously have a low sense of perception. And she's a Goddess, so there." Dipper rolled his eyes. "Do you ever talk about anything other than your love of Vera Lynn?" 

"Hey, I told you about my love of spiders as well. And I like talking about gore as well. Really, I talk about plenty of other stuff," Bill answered breezily. "And what isn't there to like about a 101-year-old lady?" Dipper raised his eyebrows. "What is there to like?" He replied, receiving an offended gasp from Bill. "Quid audes dicere de regina."

"Cool! I didn't know you spoke Spanish!" Mabel cheered. 

"It's Latin, dummy," Dipper replied, giving her a noogie. 

"Cool. What's it mean?" Mabel tilted her head curiously. "It means 'How dare you insult my queen,'" Bill answered, nudging her with his elbow. "You insulted my queen. Prepare to die," Bill said in a Spanish accent, picking up a stick and poking Dipper with it as if it were a sword. Dipper grabbed another stick off the ground and held it at arms length, saying, "En garde." The two started sword fighting with their sticks as Mabel walked just a few feet behind them. 

At some point Mabel joined in and beat the hell out of the two of them with her own stick. So they all paused their journey back to sit around the shore of the lake near the shack. 

Bill soaked his feet in the water to get some of the mud off his feet, while Dipper took to swimming in the lake to get the mud off and Mabel waded around, splashing Bill or Dipper every once in a while. And as per usual, this led to the three of them being soaked by the time they got to the shack (Bill had the brilliant idea of carrying a bunch of water in his dress so he could soak the twins as they started back to the shack, which actually worked for a little until the twins started running away (to which he was only able to waddle) and the water soaked through his dress. But he managed to get Dipper a little flustered when he lifted up said dress to carry the water, which he counted as a plus. Mostly because tormenting the twins in any way caused him immense joy (but mostly Dipper's for some reason). 


"Okay so..." Bill grouped up the chess pieces into little groups on the chessboard that he'd convinced Stanford to bring out while the valerian root soaked. "Chess has been and still is, by some countries military, as sort of battle strategy." He organized them in a certain order on the board. In the front row was all the rooks, then in the back row the king and queen sat front and center surrounded by the knights, who were flanked by the bishop and at the ends were the castles. "Just replace the names of certain pawns with people that they would aptly correspond to and instead of using the normal rules of the game, use the realistic movements of each pawn," He explained to Dipper, who seemed a little less than excited to be the one stuck with entertaining the former-demon. 

"So are we or are we not going to play chess?" Bill frowned. "Wow, rude. Of course we can play chess, but that's kind of boring, don'tcha think? Besides, this would basically be like one of your dungeons, dungeons, and more dungeons games, but with more military strategy and real-life applications." 

"I fail to see how," Dipper replied, referring to all three proclamations about the game. "Well, we'd both sort of be the storytellers of the game. Like your dungeons, dungeons and more dungeons game. Or was it dungeons and dragons? Or monsters and mana? Who knows." He shrugged. "We come up with a situation, which I'll come up with just to get you used to the game. Then we strategize against each other. Strategizing is actually an application that is very useful throughout human life." Bill shrugged.

"No thanks," Dipper answered, ignoring the thing about dungeons and dragons and mana. "Sounds like you're just making up a game that doesn't exist." Bill gave an offended gasp. "I would never. But fine. Have it your way. But just so you know I've only ever lost at chess to one person and the person is dead, so I'm going to enjoy whipping your ass," Bill answered, moving his rook to e4, thus starting a game that continued for a short time before Dipper lost splendidly. 

“Yes!!!” Bill jumped up excitedly as if it were the first time he’d ever won a game of chess just as Ford called them into the kitchen for the tea. The two boys rushed into the kitchen, one with a look of annoyance as the other made an ‘L’ on his forehead with his right hand. 

Ford had already put the tea in a small mug, so Bill took it and started drinking it slowly and gave a sigh. “Man, it’s been a while since I last had tea. I almost forgot how great a cup of tea is for the soul.” He leaned back on his heels. 

Chapter Text

Bill stared in awe through the window as Robbie strummed his guitar and sung along (very awfully as some may have put it) to a song he had written himself. Thompson, Lee, Nate, and Tambry were hanging out with him in front of the Mystery Shack while Wendy worked. Bill pressed his face against the window, his breath fogging up the window before Wendy startled him by putting a hand on his shoulder.

"You know, you can go out there an introduce yourself," She commented. "Besides, you're staring is starting to get a little creepy at this point."

Bill gasped in mock offense. "I'm not creepy!" He said, clearly adverse to the fact that anyone would ever think that. Mortal or not, he was a very classy being. "Yeah, you totally are," Wendy laughed. "Just go out there, man." She nudged Bill's shoulder. He sighed before doing as she had told him, aware of her careful gaze straying toward him as he approached the group of troubled teens, who didn't seem to notice her presence until she broke into their circle and stood directly in front of a very confused Robbie.

"Teach me how to play guitar!" He said sternly (although his high-pitched, feminine voice nulled any effect his tone might have had). Robbie stared incredulously at the demon, or as he saw it, little girl. "Kid, I don't think guitar is really something a little girl like you," He glanced at Bill's frilly blue dress, flats, and at the curls on her head that were tied into a neat half ponytail. Anywhere else, she might've looked like a doll from a horror movie. "Would want to play. I mean, it's cute and all that you want to try, but this isn't really the type of guitar you hear in princess recitals or acoustic songs." Robbie finished.

Bill leveled a sharp glare at him, which he flinched away from, as the little girl had managed to take on a whole new level of menacing. "So you think I can't play an electric guitar or that I don't like certain genres of music, just because I'm a girl?" He asked, taking a step forward with his hands on his hips. Honestly, he didn't particularly like rock music, but he didn't want to give the teen the satisfaction. Plus he hated being looked down upon more than anything. "Fine then. I don't want to learn guitar from a misogynist asshole anyways!" He harrumphed and turned on his heel.

Robbie could feel the eyes of his friends on him and sighed in defeat. "I didn't mean it like that. Whatever. I'll show you how to play guitar, just chill out." Bill suddenly spun back on his heel, a bright smile on his face that let everyone know that he was aware that this would be the outcome. He was in control of the situation. He was always in control. "Really?" He said, just the right amount of hope shining in his eyes to ward off any of their suspicions that he was manipulating him (which he was, but that wasn't the point).

Robbie rolled his eyes in slight exasperation. "Sure. Come here, kid." Bill skipped up to the log that Robbie was sat on and plopped herself down next to him, his long hair bouncing as he did so. Robbie pulled the guitar strap over his shoulder and carefully gave the guitar to Bill, who firmly held the guitar in his lap.

"Okay, so the strings in order are E, B, G, D, A, and E." Robbie pointed out the different strings from the bottom up and Bill nodded, easily memorizing the notes. He strummed each note carefully, saying the notes aloud as he played them. "E, B, G, D, A, E." He smiled gleefully after having gotten the hang of it. "Good. Now you just put your fingers down like this-" Robbie pressed Bill's fingers down onto a few of the strings. "To play other notes." He adjusted his fingers again, pointing at the strings one at a time. "Right on this little bar here," He showed Bill the small silver line protruding from beneath the strings. "On the E string is F. Below that is F#, then G and G# all the way down to E." He pointed at one of the lower bars on the E string.

Bill nodded, then strummed the string, noting the notes as he moved his finger down the string. "E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B,C, C#, D, D#, E." He smiled brightly. "Is it the same with the other strings?" He asked, receiving a nod from Robbie. "Yep."

Before he could show Bill anymore, he was already strumming down the guitar, reciting the notes as he played them. "B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, B, C, D, D#, E." Robbie stared in shock. "Wow, you're a fast learner," He commented. Bill merely shrugged in response.

"Photographic memory." He then proceeded to play a few notes of a nursery rhyme about the black death. He smiled triumphantly.

They spent the rest of the day playing guitar, unaware of the eyes that watched on with fond amusement.

Chapter Text

Bill smiled as he skipped down the front steps of the Shack, meeting Tambry and Robbie outside. Lee and Thompson didn't seem to be there at the moment, but he wasn't too worried about that. Today he wore an outfit that was vastly different than what he'd worn when he'd first met Robbie in the parking lot. In place of the half ponytail and curls, he'd straightened his hair and it hung down over his shoulders. He had short, black shorts that were barely visible under his black and greyish-blue striped shirt and hoodie. The hoodie had thick black stripes on the sleeves and black on the hood, while the rest was the same greyish-blue. He also wore black thigh-highs along with greyish-blue tennis shoes.

He looked less like a pretty little dollish girl and more like an emo teenage girl. The last thing he needed to complete the look would be to have a black lip piercing. It had been a couple weeks since Robbie had first started teaching him guitar, although he was already playing like a pro. He'd also managed to find an acoustic guitar in the basement (Ford had leant it to him when he found out that the young lady was learning new types of music, hoping to God that the girl would become occupied with that and stop playing Vera Lynn songs 24/7). This didn't sit too well with Robbie, who insisted that acoustic guitars were for pussies, but Bill cooly replied that it worked the same way the electric guitar did and that once he was done learning from Robbie, he promised to get a better guitar.

It happened to be one of those days that Wendy had a morning shift and now that it was nearing noon, she was getting ready to head head off and hang with her friends. Dipper was also planning on tagging along, although the same couldn't be said for his sister who had busied herself hanging out with Candy and Grenda. And once Red and Pinetree had left the Shack in favor of hanging out with the group (soon thereafter, Thompson and Lee arrived as well) Robbie decided he wanted to show off his new protege, who was happy to oblige, especially when Dipper sighed in exasperation.

"Thanks. Loving the encouragement, PT," Bill commented sarcastically, strumming his acoustic guitar slowly and with pause. Dipper rolled his eyes, but was silent, content to listen. "Anyways, I just wrote this song so it sucks, but it's called This Is Home. So shut up and listen," Bill said demandingly before singing the first part.

He sung sweetly, his voice high in pitch and very feminine (obviously). He stared down at his hands strumming the guitar at first before looking up and flashing Dipper a flashy grin. The brunette had no idea what to make of this and quickly shrugged it off as the former-demon continued singing.

He started humming quietly, creating another melody between the lines. He hummed continuously for a few measures before moving on to the next measure without humming. He started strumming a little more aggressively before falling back into the soft lilting rhythm.

He smiled softly, staring back down at his hands again. He started rocking from side to side along to the music, bouncing his foot along to the beat. He hummed melodiously along to each line.

He started strumming twice every measure instead of four times as he looked up again at the group listening. He sung with an edge to his voice, sounding a little angry until his voice softened out at the last line of the measure.

He paused before humming along to the last lines, strumming slowly and quietly.

"Time is slowly tracing his face. But strangely he feels at home in this place." Bill beamed as a few in the group clapped and the rowdier members of the group hooted and hollered approvingly.

"I still can't believe you managed to learn guitar and make a song for it in just a couple of weeks," Robbie commented. Tambry leaned over and pecked her boyfriend on the cheek. "Maybe that's because you're just a great teacher." She smiled sweetly as Robbie blushed at the commented. Everybody teased the happy couple, mostly to the chagrin of Robbie.

Everyone talked about Bill's playing until they had burned out the subject and all decided to go for a ride in Wendy's truck (their favored vehicle, mostly for the fact that they got to hang in the bed while Wendy drove. Dipper and Bill sat in the front with Wendy, while Robbie and Tambry took the back seats and Thompson and Lee took the bed of the truck. Dipper glanced at Bill with curiosity written all over his face. Bill sighed and faced the other boy, startling him. "If you want to ask a question, just ask it," Bill said with light exasperation.

Dipper blushed slightly at being read so easily. "I just- you said that other song that you'd written a long time ago was personal. Um, was that one personal too? Sorry, that's a dumb question." Dipper turned away as Bill sighed in exasperation at the other's antics. He nudged Dipper's shoulder until he finally was able to look Bill in the eye again. "Yeah. It's less touch-y feel-y than the other one though. More like," Bill paused trying to find an adequate answer, his face starting to turn a little red in the sunlight pouring through the open window. "Just the straight up truth. No, that's not it. I mean, like that line, this place has too many colours. That's actually just facts. I'm very unused to color and it's kind of unsettling how much of it is here all of the time. And I think I'm dead. My reality is just very different from yours and this," He gestured at himself. "It's a lot. Plus I was very much dead before this reincarnation thing happened."

Dipper nodded as Bill tried to think of more things to elaborate on. "My eyes went dark is a little less straightforward, but it's still sort of the same thing along with my pupils are. Um, but there is the part look at this monster until almost the end. That's a little more touch-y feel-y than the rest. And it's not really supposed to just be about me and how I feel. I don't really know how to explain it aside from explaining it as sort of a blanket sort of description. It kind of switches between who's being talked about too, I guess? I mean, it all kind of fits for both people." Bill had a thoughtful expression on his face as if he was having a hard time explaining his thinking.

Dipper thought about it for only a few seconds before coming up with an idea of who the other person was, but he wanted confirmation. "Who's the other person?" He asked. Bill paused for a moment, a little embarrassed. "You." Dipper nodded, already having guessed and also slightly embarrassed that the former-demon had written a song about him. Or more like about the both of them.

He didn't ask any more questions for the rest of the drive.

Chapter Text

"Hey, Bell!" Mabel screeched, racing down the stairs toward the demon who had taken up residency on the couch with a book. Bill glanced up and once he realized who it was, decided to carefully put his book down and wisely so, considering how the girl flopped herself down on top of him. "What do you want?" Bill asked in slight exasperation. "Pioneer day is coming up and I need to size you so I can make a costume for you!" The girl said, vibrating with excitement. "Okay? Does this require me getting up?" Mabel rolled her eyes. "Yes. You have to come upstairs with me, but you can bring your dumb book if you want."

Bill sighed in defeat as Mabel finally stood up, pulling him up along with her. "And since you still haven't gotten dressed for the day, it'll give me time to find you a new pair of clothes from my closet," Mabel cheered. Bill rolled his eyes, but didn't protest as the over enthusiastic girl dragged him up the stairs. Soon Mabel was throwing a glittery, pink Kitten Patrol sweater at him and a pair of bright pink Booty-licious shorts at him, which he immediately put on, not caring whether or not the brunette saw him undressed or not, but Mabel didn't seem to care either after 4 years of experience dressing in the locker room at school.

Mabel smiled once he had the clothes on, although the sweater hung off one shoulder, seeing as Mabel had a slightly wider berth. She clapped her hands in applause of her masterpiece and Bill rolled his eyes again. "Now for the costume I was thinking blue and white themes. You'd have a floofy, light blue dress with white strings crossing over your chest," She mimed the strings zig-zagging across her own chest. "With a white bonnet and blue slippers. That sound okay?" Bill nodded, not caring all that much. "No glitter though." She squealed with glee before grabbing a tape measure from under her bed and getting to work, measuring him.

Dipper walked into the room, immediately freezing at the door when he saw what was going on in the room. Bill immediately straightened up, trying to seem a little more imposing. His stance said 'I'm a Demon, So Fear Me,' but the over-sized Kitten Patrol glitter sweater and Booty-licious pink shorts screamed 'Mabel Dressed Me And I Let Her.' Mabel was still fidgeting around the demon with the tape measure.

Dipper snorted softly and continued walking into the room. "What are you guys doing?" Mabel finally looked up with a bright smile. "I'm sizing Bell so I can make her a costume for Pioneer day!" Dipper nodded, maneuvering past them toward the desk and plopping down on a chair.

Bill suddenly got an idea. "Are we allowed to go by different colonial-type names during pioneer day?" He asked. Mabel thought about it for a second. "I don't actually know, but probably, yeah." Bill smiled wide at this. "I want to be Elizabeth Hubbard for Pioneer day." Dipper stared at him.

"You mean the girl from the Salem Witch Trials? Wasn't she one of the Salem Girls?" Bill grinned widely. "Yep. During the Salem Witch Trials she filed forty legal complaints against various 'tormentors' and testified thirty-two times, the last of her testimony being given on January 7, 1693. She testified against 29 people and 17 of them were persecuted. One of the most famous being that of the slave, Tituba."

Dipper stared at him for a moment. "And that's why I'm a little concerned." Bill rolled his eyes. "Says the guy who wouldn't trust cereal for a month after he found a cockroach in his bowl. Relax, kid."

"Yeah, well, you tried to kill us and take over our dimension, so don't blame me for not trusting your intentions," Dipper replied. "What's that saying? Water under the bridge? Let bygones be bygones? You need to do that. You stress too much, kid." Dipper sent him an unappreciative glare. Bill rolled his eyes in response. "Besides, there's not much I can do in this body," He said disdainfully.

"Did you know that females are generally less powerful than most males? Even those weightlifters are typically less muscled than their male counterparts. This vessel is useless." He gestured to himself. "Plus I'm a child,Bill said with a horrified expression, receiving no sympathy in response. "If I entered the nightmare realm in this vessel, I'd be dead in seconds flat. I don't understand how humans managed to survive 100,000 years. Especially considering how much they hate each other." Bill cackled.

"Well, not all people are like that," Mabel commented, moving her tape measure upward and measuring Bill's chest. "You wouldn't happen to know what cup size you are, would you?" At that, Dipper held a hand over his eyes and faced away from the girls, a blush forming on his face. Bill hummed in thought. "I don't know. Probably an A or B. They're not that big." He peered down at his chest with a small sigh, though he perked right up when he saw how uncomfortable Dipper was getting with the conversation. He smiled devilishly and stared right at Dipper, who was avoiding his gaze. "Hey, Pinetree!" He cupped his chest dramatically, never breaking eye contact with the wide-eyed brunette. "What size do you think I am?"

Dipper let out a sound that sounded similar to a shriek before dashing out of the room, muttering about how he had something else to do far, far away from Bill. Bill smirked, turning back to Mabel.

"Gullible."

Chapter Text

"Hey, hey, hey." Bill poked Dipper on the cheek incessantly, annoying the brunette to no end. Dipper groaned in annoyance. "What do you want?"

Bill looked slightly offended before he threw a wide, unsettling grin onto his face. "As glad as I am that you're reading that book I recommended you," He glanced down at the book Dipper was holding titled 'Flatland.' "Let's get back to what's important here, me."

Dipper snorted. "Did you need something?" He asked a little wearily but with evident amusement shining through.

"I'm so glad you asked Pine Tree!" Bill chirped knocking over a couple of cans of Pit Cola stacked on top of the dinosaur skull/makeshift end table. "Today I was watching over-"

"Spying on." Dipper corrected.

"-this town of idiotic flesh bags when I saw the most interesting human ritual in the park."

"What are you talking about?" Dipper asked wearily.

Bill started jumping up and down excitedly as he explained. "So this one fleshbag hunts down a group of fleshbags and infects one of them and then the infected fleshbag has to hunt down another and spread the disease to them instead! It looked really fun." He grinned as the telltale sound of Mabel running down the stairs started.

"That," The brunette said, looking very concerned, "Sounds like a viral outbreak. Shouldn't we-"

Suddenly he was cut off by his over-excited sister leaping down the last ten or so steps. "Did someone say tag?" Bill snapped his fingers and slung his arm over Dipper's shoulder, around his neck and finger gunned at her, causing her twin to choke.

"That's it!"

"So you want to play tag? I love tag!" She tapped Bill on the side of the head.

"You're it!" She declared, racing out of the room. "You hear that, Pinetree?" Bill went from excited to maniacal in a second, grinning in a sadistic way. "I'm it."

Dipper paled and rapidly scrambled away from the demon and out of the shack as fast as his 14-year-old legs could carry him. "Mabel wait for me!"

Bill ran after him and chanted in a song-songy voice, "Run run as fast as you can but you can't run from Bill Cipher, as he is a transdimensional Triangular Dream Demon and therefore does not play by the laws of physics on a physical plane of existence." He cackled maniacally as he chased the twins, one screaming with glee and the other in terror.

Chapter Text

Mabel giggled giddily as she adjusted Bill's colonial outfit. After she was finished, she stepped back to admire her creation.

"It's beautiful," Mabel said in awe as Bill rolled his eyes, adjusting the bonnet on his head. "Is it possible that I can skip the bonnet?"

"No."

Bill sighed melodramatically, lifting his skirt so he could move around more easily. He shouldered a plain-looking satchel with a sigh. "Okay, let's go. If I sit around in this dress for much longer, my leg muscles are going to fall asleep under the weight of this thing." Mabel squealed with glee before hurriedly getting her own costume and putting it on as quickly as she could (which was admittedly pretty fast).

Bill rolled his eyes as he made his way to the stairs and stumbled his way out of the attic, frequently being tripped by his own dress. Mabel's decent was a lot more elegant as she lifted her pink skirt at just the right height to not get tripped up on the way down the stairs.

In the living room, Dipper was (reluctantly) dressed an a costume that his sister had made for him, which made him look almost like an English aristocrat, rather than an American settler. Ford and Stan did not have costumes on (Mabel had begged and begged, but it was no use when it came to the older Pines twins) as they stood impatiently next to the large tank (on what, nobody was certain, as the water was muggy and whatever creature lay inside seemed decidedly unnatural).

"Why is it that girls have to take so long to get ready?" Stanley asked absentmindedly. Bill subtly kicked the older man in the ankle as he passed by. Mabel followed after him, smiling cheerily at the twins. "We were having trouble getting Bell into her outfit because the strings in the front were a little too tight. I guess I underestimated her cup size." All the boys in the room recoiled at 'cup size,' each with varying looks of uncomfortableness.

Stanley was the first to break out of it, making a joke about how 'Bell' was already so small, it should have been impossible for that to happen as he, Ford, and Dipper followed the two girls out through the gift shop, only to have a shelf mysteriously tip over on top of him. Bill smiled mischievously, obviously not sorry about the accident. "Oops," He said apologetically, walking past the crippled old man with a small wave, only to trip over his dress and fall flat on his face.

"HA!" Stan wheezed as Ford attempted to lift the shelf off his brother without much success. Bill easily collected himself as the younger Pines twins helped lift the shelf (with much more success).

The group (aside from Bill, who stood aside glaring at Stanley) picked up the assorted items that had fallen to the floor and dusted themselves off (there was a lot of dust on that shelf). As they all let out a collective sigh and were about to leave again, Bill suddenly made a noise of remembrance as he started digging through his satchel, pulling out a necklace and a hood. The necklace was a black, velvet choker with a colorful stone hanging in the center and the hood was a dark, navy blue with a pine tree sewn on the back with gold thread. He handed the necklace to Mabel and the hood to Dipper.

The two looked at Bill quizzically and Bill shrugged in nonchalance. "I bought the necklace at that Amity store in town, but it didn't look right with the sunstone, so I pried it out and replaced it with an opal that some kid thought was a small egg and tried to dye it for Easter, which is why it's colors are a little more prominent than a regular opal's. And opal is supposed to encourage freedom and independence and stimulates creativity and originality. It also helps release anger and claiming self worth. At least according to Wicca."

Mabel took the necklace with glee, easily slipping it around her neck. "It's perfect! Thanks Bell!" She hugged the former-demon, who reluctantly hugged her back with some confusion. When she let go of him, he held out the hood to Dipper, who reluctantly took it.

Bill leaned forward and whispered in his ear, "It's laced with unicorn hair, which by itself has properties that purify objects. Which basically means that no matter how much you sweat all over it or roll in the mud, it'll remain clean. And it can also purify water, but you might wanna be careful with that little perk because it's water-purification properties consequently cause all females within a meter vicinity to become pregnant. So good luck trying not to become the baby-daddy of any of the ladies of Gravity Falls."

Bill leaned back with a delinquent smile on his face as Dipper gaped.

Ford cleared his throat, grabbing the attention of the three 14-year-old's. "Well thank you for that, but we should get going if we want to make it in time for the Northwest's big speech this afternoon." Everyone nodded, filing out of the shack.


Mabel beamed as she raced around the festival, Dipper and Bill trailing behind while Ford cheered Stan on, who was trying to win at bobbing for apples.

"You know, Elizabeth Hubbard was an orphan," Bill commented, catching Dipper by surprise. "She lived with her Great-Aunt Rachel Hubbard Giggs, and her uncle Dr. Giggs. Some say she only accused people because she was an orphan and people viewed her differently."

Dipper seemed to think this over for a moment before replying. "People are complicated. Sometimes people do bad things because they don't have a lot of good people in their lives and then they're painted out to be the bad person because they didn't have a chance to learn from good people."

Bill seemed slightly confused by this sentiment. "Maybe there is a beast. Maybe it's only us."

"Lord of the Flies?" Bill nodded.

"The trouble is: Are there ghosts, Piggy? Or beasts?" Dipper quoted with some difficulty.

"Course there aren't."

"Why not?"

"We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages."

Dipper snorted. "Which is better- to have laws and agree, or to hunt and kill?"

"Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood," Bill replied smoothly.

Suddenly the two were cut off by Stan, who was carrying a rather large stuffed unicorn. "Hey, kids. We'd better get going. The speech has probably started off without us." He hustled the kids and grabbed Mabel by the collar when she started drifting off toward a fake gold-mining game.

Stan ended up being right about the speech having started, with Preston Northwest being in the middle of his speech. Bill squinted at the man on stage with some disgust. "I've always hated his face. If only his face could have stayed the way it had been at the end of the summer before last," Bill murmured, receiving a jab in the ribs on both sides from Mabel and Dipper (although Dipper let out a breathy laugh, which Bill counted as a plus. He wondered when his approval, however small, started becoming a plus).

Chapter Text

When Pacifica took up the stage in her father's place, she didn't say much aside from the fact that her and a couple of other people were going to be performing an interactive-improv show at some point during the day, though she didn't say anything about when or where this was happening. As soon as she walked off-stage, she passed by the twins and brushed a hand against Bill's shoulder. Bill nodded in understanding, which only confused the twins.

"What was that about?" Bill shrugged. "I'm going to meet up with Paz soon," was the only explanation he gave, before Stanley started ushering the kids toward the pillory, where somebody had restrained old man McGucket, who looked to be having a splendid time as a couple of kids threw some tomatoes at him (apparently he had tried to steal a chicken from the petting zoo).

Bill managed to snatch up one of the tomatoes without the kids noticing and threw it directly into the old man's mouth. McGucket chewed up the fruit with delight, tomato juice dribbling down his chin.

"Nice throw. I reckon y'er'd make a great pitcher," McGucket commented, to which Bill preened, while the pairs of twins looked a little disgusted. The little kids didn't seem to mind that Bill had stolen one of their tomatoes and cheered.

"Thanks. I've been practicing," Bill mumbled before mentioning that he was going to meet up with Pacifica. Nobody paid him much mind, aside from Dipper, who looked on as he left in suspicion.


Bill peeked out from behind some brush at the festival. Pacifica had split ways a while back so that she could be seen in town immediately whenever Bill decided to show himself. He immediately spotted farmer Sprott nearby, whom he knew to be superstitious, which he was glad for, considering the stunt he was about to pull. And he was even more grateful for the blatant absence of the Pines family.

He immediately went to Sprott, who seemed surprised at first, then concerned when he saw the state of disarray he was in. "Hark, hark! The Devil is alive in Gravity Falls!" He cried loudly, drawing the attention of some others in the vicinity.

Hook.

Farmer Sprott crouched down in concern. "What is it that has you in such a frenzy, young lady?" Bill held onto the man's sleeve, feigning a look of urgency. "It's a witch! I've seen a witch! She attacked me with dark magic in these here woodlands!"

Line.

"Who attacked you, young lady? Speak now." Bill glanced back into the woods, feigning a sense of caution. "It was the daughter of the Northwests, sir," He said quietly. The farmer stood stoically. "Everyone! We must find the witch! Search these grounds for Pacifica Northwest!" He cried.

And Sinker.

Bill smirked slightly as Sprott was turned, and made himself look meek, feeble, and afraid as Sprott turned to face him again. "Don't worry, young lady. Soon, we will find the witch and she will be put on trial to hang." Bill smiled politely in response.


Pacifica stood stiffly on a pedestal, flanked by her parents, Sheriff Blubbs, and Deputy Durland. Bill was in the back of the crowd and luckily he had seen no trace of the Pines family. They were holding the trial outside where the Northwests had held their speeches because there was an event still going on in the church, which sometimes doubled as a courthouse. Someone had set up chairs in front of the stage, with an opening in the middle for people to walk through. Bill sat in the back near the aisle. They had been grilling Pacifica, who didn't respond to the officers' pestering. It was honestly getting rather boring, so Bill thought he might speed things up.

Only for his plans to be foiled as he caught sight of Dipper, who was by himself. When their eyes met, Bill could see the fire blazing in the brunette's eyes. He no doubt knew for a fact that Bill was behind this, whether he'd heard it from someone else or had come to the conclusion that Bill would dare not miss an opportunity to screw with the citizens of Gravity Falls.

The boy marched toward him with a fury unmatched and Bill smiled with delight. This wouldn't be quite as fun without a few unwitting accidents.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Dipper whisper-yelled. Bill shrugged. "Watching the trial. What about you? Having lots of fun on colonial day?" Bill said nonchalantly. "You shouldn't be messing with people like this. Didn't Grunkle Stan specifically tell you not to pull something like this?" Bill shrugged in response. "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm merely here for the improv show."

Dipper gaped, not seeming to understand just what Bill was implying. "Wait. You mean this is part of that show Pacifica was talking about earlier? And you're part of it?" Bill nodded his head almost imperceptibly. "Don't tell anybody though. It's supposed to be a surprise." Dipper went and sat next to Bill in shock. Bill rolled his eyes as he took a clear perfume bottle out of his bag and sprayed it onto his hand.

"What's that?" Dipper asked curiously. He'd never seen Bill use perfume and he certainly didn't smell like he typically wore any (not that Dipper was smelling Bill often. That would be creepy). "Perfume." Bill smiled mischievously before rubbing the perfume on his neck. Dipper startled as he noticed a blood-red line across his neck, as well as droplets of what looked like blood on his hand.

"Bill, I think you're bleeding." Bill touched his hand to his face, revealing three new scratches across his face where his hand had been. And now there was more blood on his hand. Bill suddenly stood and moved to the middle of the aisle and suddenly started shouting, "Witch, witch, witch!"

Dipper's eyes shot wide, not quite expecting that.

Now he was the center of attention as all eyes turned to him. "The witch scratched me! She used her black magic to hurt me!" Bill cried to the astonishment of everyone there.

He then winced and released a small groan of pain. "My leg!" Everyone watched, entranced as Bill leaned down and lifted his skirt slightly so that his lower legs were visible, brushing his hand against his right leg. As he did so, large gashes seemed to magically appear from nowhere, soaking his dress in blood. There was a large murmur from the crowd as Bill walked down the aisle, closer to Pacifica.

"Witch, witch, witch!" He cried, pulling out metallic stones from his satchel and throwing them in front of her. Five in all, which landed in a circle in front of her. Some seemed about to go off their course before they were suddenly jerked into the circle. Many in the crowd stood and started yelling the word 'witch' over and over. "I am an innocent person. I never had to do with witchcraft since I was born." She pulled out a bottle of perfume and sprayed it in front of her.

Almost immediately after she did, lines started appearing on the wooden platform in between and around the circle of rocks, creating a circle with a star in it.

"It's the mark of the devil! She is a witch!" Sprott cried from his spot at the front of the crowd. "We must get holy water from the church to wash away the devil from them!" Sprott said as he ran down the aisle and disappeared from sight.

Pacifica suddenly took on an evil leer. "The devil came and bid me serve him!" She cried haughtily to the surprise of the police and her parents. She then began to speak of how she came to serve the devil.

She spun a sordid and detailed account of a tall, white-haired man in a dark coat who ordered her to hurt Bell. If she did not then she would die, herself. She then spoke of the man's animal minions: a huge black dog, a hog, a black cat, a red cat, a yellow bird and even an unknown hairy creature who all walked on two legs.

"He let me see a book filled with the names of those he willed to do his bidding, but most of the names were unrecognizable, though there were two which I recognized as the names of people in Gravity Falls," She replied calmly.

"Who?" Deputy Durland asked. The crowd stilled in anticipation.

"Candy Chiu and Wendy Corduroy!" Pacifica proclaimed as a murmur settled into the crowd.

Bill turned to the crowd and bid them find the two girls, which a few bulkier men went off to do.

"Foul whisperings are abroad: unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles: infected minds to their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets," Bill proclaimed loudly with his arms out to the crowd.

Dipper scoffed as Bill made to walk down the aisle and sit next to Dipper, who finished the quote. "More needs she the divine than the physician. God, God forgive us all! Look after her; remove from her the means of all annoyance, and still keep eyes upon her. So, good night: my mind she has mated, and amazed my sight. I think, but dare not speak." Bill slowly clapped with some sarcastic nature.

"Wow. You know The Scottish Play. I never thought you'd be able to finish that quote though. Especially considering how you could barely keep up with Lord of the Flies." Dipper rolled his eyes. "I had to read The Scottish Play multiple times in my English class so I could analyze it in my exam essay. Lord of the Flies was just for fun." He shrugged.


Wendy and Candy came to the makeshift court, though seemingly not of their own volition, as there were multiple people holding them by their arms and preventing them from escaping. As Wendy passes Dipper and Bill, she smirked and raised her hand to her face, miming zipping her lips and throwing away the key. Dipper smiled softly, wondering what was going to happen next.

They were brought up to the front and onto the platform beside Pacifica. Some people started chanting 'witch,' but most remained silent. Sheriff Blubbs started asking questions again to all three of the girls. Pacifica only repeated her story while Candy and Wendy denied having seen the 'book of the devil.'

After a bit of interrogating everyone decided to condemn the three girls of witchcraft. As they did, the three girls started chanting together. "Fair is foul, and foul is fair: hover through the fog and filthy air!"

Fog started rising from the stage, causing some people to panic. The fog spread throughout the whole area quickly and when the fog disappeared, Bill was onstage with the three girls. All four of them bowed.

"Thank you all so much for participating in our little show!" Pacifica announced loudly to the surprise of everyone. She then explained to everyone how the witch hunt was just a theatrical performance they had been putting on.

"What about all those magic tricks you performed?" Sheriff Blubbs asked.

"Oh. The blood was fake. Just a mix of tincture of iron and sulphocyanide of potassium. We painted the stage and myself with iron beforehand and then filled some perfume bottles with the sulphocyanide. We wanted everything to be authentic, so for the fog we just used hydrochloric acid and ammonia. And lastly, for the rock trick, we place magnets beneath the stage and the rocks that I threw were magnetite, which is magnetic," Bill explained, pulling out a bottle of what looked like nail polish from his satchel. She then gave the nail polish to Pacifica, who took out her bottle of sulphocyanide of potassium.

Pacifica opened the nail polish bottle and applied a small dot of the iron to one of her fingernails and sprayed the sulphocyanide on it, causing the dot of iron to turn blood-red. She grinned triumphantly, showing the dot to the crowd, who stared at the spectacle in awe. Everyone seemed to accept this and the four climbed off the stage as the crowd started to disperse. Dipper approached Bill with a smile.

"I didn't know you were a chemistry nerd."

Bill rolled his eyes. "I'm not. I was an all-knowing being once. Of course I know how to do chemistry."

"Yet you didn't know what a period was," Dipper answered haughtily, though still uncomfortable just saying the word.

Bill rolled his eyes. "I'm not interested in human anatomy and it isn't or wasn't of any consequence to me so I didn't really have that information clearly embedded in my memory."

By this time the area was clear and everyone was off enjoying the festivities. Except for farmer Sprott, who came running down the empty aisles with a bucket of holy water. "Where did the witches go? I need to cleanse everyone with this holy water."

Bill shrugged. "Everybody left. The witch trial was just a big performance. They weren't actually witches," Bill explained. Sprott looked disappointed. "Well, I can't waste holy water. Minus well cleanse y'all to get rid of any evil energies that might have attached to y'all."

Bill and Dipper both tried to protest, but they were too late as farmer Sprott soaked the two with holy water.

Bill's eye twitched in irritation as he moved his damp hair out of his face, looking similar to a drenched cat.

"I sincerely hope you were joking about what you said about that unicorn hair," Dipper commented idly.

"I wish I was."