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What Would Tesla Do?

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AN: Pretty much a shitpost of a fic. Lord knows if I end up calling this canon. (Heck, this is me we’re talking about here -- I think we all know I probably will ^_^;;;; ) --Yes, okay, this is totally canon here, too.

Yes, I wrote this in real-time and wasn’t being super-in-character-voice about it. Sorry?

For those who read WWTD -- welcome? Um, I think all you really need to know here is that this is “next summer”, this Bill is a bitchy little jerk (with a mostly Flat Dreams-like backstory, kinda-sorta) who is NOT really reformed in the slightest, who currently is “stuck”/”anchored down” to a human(“ish”) body due to cultist lunacy (don’t ask) and has no access to his “weirdness powers” right now unless Stanley lets him (due to oddness involving the burn mark on Stanley’s shoulder being reproduced as something of a “tattoo” writ large down Bill’s back right now, and yes, Bill is working on figuring out how to get rid of that, among other things). This Bill can and does have access to, and casts quite frequently, magic on the regular, though. He has a “mutual nonaggression agreement” going with Stanley that keeps the kids safe from Bill’s, uh, wrath?, so long as Bill isn’t outright physically attacked by them first; Stanley is not quite(?) forcing(?) Bill to live in the Shack with them and is also treating Bill “like a kid” on purpose (yes, all while knowing full well that Bill is in fact Bill) and it’s… working? mostly… sort-of? because Go Fish is a thing (don’t ask); Ford is outside the agreement Stanley’s enforcing and Bill and Ford get pretty aggressive with each other on the regular (neither of them are too happy with each other right now = understatement of the century, oh my stars); Soos is (still) running the Mystery Shack; Melody just joined them because Stanley needed a backup babysitter for a Bill in a “17 year old-ish body” (and also Ford, because lord knows he needs it also, haha) and Stanley is good at talking people into doing things for him at least for certain things, and… um. It’s a hot mess at the Shack currently, but at least no-one’s died yet? (Crud, that’s a lot of explaining. Woof. Sorry about that.)

For those who read my -A Bill series -- welcome back! I’ve, uh, completely screwed up the timeline here, in that I have not finished up the middle-fic yet, have actually written a crossover fic that not-quite depends on things I haven’t written yet (-- speaking of which you can read the relevant crossover-chapter right now here: linky!! -- and then maybe read Mizuuma’s Illusion IS Reality and BlueFrosty’s Pines Triples AU for context just for fun, I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it :), and, um, yes, crossovers woah. (Also, I now have something in-canon that will help future plotlines seem less out of the blue! Yay!) Anyway. *coughs* --This fic? Happens a few days after the whole aftermath of the before-and-after of that crossover fic! What you need to know is that WWTD (also known as: What Would Tesla Do) is an awesome thing that really needs more chaos, *ahem* I mean, more views, and it is an insane and wonderful thing that involves a Paranoid Ford accidentally writing/”archiving” things to a blog that we all can view and send asks to, and the “crazy internet fae”-slash-”possibly time travellers”(-slash-‘we’ll see what lovely new theory Ford has on what we are-or-aren’t next week because he keeps changing his mind as he tries to figure everything and everyone out’) are (for the most part) trying to keep portal!Ford from happening, and have largely succeeded at a sort of proto-Mystery-Trio situation at the moment (as of Oct 15 2018). And Noia (the mun) is awesome for writing it and interacting with people in the asks and the discord and enabling all of the craziness that goes with it! (...And Noia is even more awesome for letting me do this with her holy hell I must’ve done something right in a previous life how did this even happen-- *dies*)

(Also, for the record, I swear to any deity you can think of to name that I really did come up with -A Bill eating almost-exclusively super-burned toast with lime jelly and pepper as a topping before I ran across WWTD and fell down the rabbit hole. So help me. I swear I did. I wish I had written and posted it sooner. But, this is for the record later. Because I know it will come up at some point.)

(And yes, this Bill does know how to use a toaster.)

Whew. Context is so not for the weak. --Okay, let’s begin!!

EDIT 2018-10-17: Added in direct links to some of the posts from that particular session. Not sure if it makes it more readable or less, but hopefully it’ll at least make things easier to find and read those posts later in-context at the WWTD tumblr site :)

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Bill frowned down at the glittery-pink cellphone he was holding in his hands. The “smart”phone.

It isn’t Shooting Star’s phone, not really. He'd figured out that “copy” trick from looking at that bottle of alcohol that girl-”dragon”-him had made outside the barrier for a moment, and… well, once he'd figured out how to NOT have a similar bottle gushing alcohol all over the place from a distorted connection, he was set!

So he “borrowed” Shooting Star’s phone for a moment when she wasn’t looking aaaaaand…

...now he had his own “smart”phone! THE NON-INFINITE WASTELANDS OF HUMAN INTELLECTUAL GARBAGE ARE NOW HIS TO ROAM!!!

Plus, also this “blog” thing that this hyperdimensional whatsit apparently translated to once he’d gotten the signals all worked out. (Hey, he’s BILL CIPHER! Like he wouldn’t be able to figure out a little bit of binary machine code, HA! And setting up the whole ‘spoofing the signal’ by bouncing it across several dimensional barriers and around more than a few gravity wells, then ‘routing everything back through the same dimension’ thing via magical encoding? Wasn’t exactly hard, either. --TAKE THAT, SIXER! Glasses wasn’t the only one who could handle the magic-to-mechanical side of things, you know! Because hey, WHO EXACTLY gave Stanford those blueprints in the first place? HMMMMM???)

Bill was quite proud of himself for pulling off this feat, really.

So Bill settled in on top of the picnic table to read this stupid thing.

...And started to frown.

......And started to frown more as he scrolled back a bit.

……...And then his eyes narrowed and he pulled up the history settings and started reading posts from the beginning.

And he DID read everything.

“Seriously?” he muttered to himself at one point. Then, “What.” Then, “Seriously?!?!?” again when--

Let’s just say that there was a lot of annoyed muttering throughout his read.

And when Bill was finally done reading, and all caught up on everything that was there to-date… Bill flopped down onto his back, letting the “cloned” cellphone dangle from his fingers at his side as he stared up at the clear blue sky above him.

Yeesh,” Bill said to no-one in particular, because WHAT WAS HE SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THIS?

Yes, he’d decided to actually TRY to start trying to look for other Bill Ciphers, now -- other hims that both were-and-weren’t HIM -- again, finally, on purpose, LONG after what had happened the LAST time he’d done that nearly one trillion years ago (...and look what had happened when he’d done it THEN…), but...

“What am I supposed to do with this?” Bill muttered to himself, lifting up the screen to tap and then stare at it as it refreshed, bringing up a discussion of… a hike and a nervous ‘scampfire’? UGH.

“S. Pines and F. Pines, archivists,” Bill said to himself sarcastically. Great. What in the name of all that is chaotic and weird was going ON in that dimension, with that Bill?

...And did he really want to get involved?

Bill blinked and he sat up abruptly as the thought occurred to him. He could get involved.

He wasn’t stuck in the Mindscape anymore. He wasn’t stuck just waiting for a Pines to fall asleep.

He didn’t have to restrict himself to JUST viewing what was going on through a small window, because he couldn’t do anything else! There were tens of beings -- if not potentially more -- interacting with these three idiots RIGHT NOW, from the looks of things on this blogsite, which meant--

He could, too.

Bill’s eyes narrowed, and he slowly started to grin.

A new puppet for me to control…’ Bill thought. ‘This could be fun!!’ Because this Stanford was a Sixer, right? So--

...and then it occurred to him that this Stanford was a Sixer. It reminded him that there was another Bill in play, there. And if HE could see what was going on on that blogsite, that maybe... this other Bill could, too.

And Bill certainly didn’t want some unknown Bill Cipher showing up in HIS dimension, on HIS doorstep, right out of the blue, who was angry and LOOKING for a fight. --And that other unknown Bill would be, if Bill wasn't at least a LITTLE careful about this. He knew HE wouldn’t put up with any nonsense from some other Bill butting in on what was his.

...Even if Stanford was being a pain in the neck these days.

Fine. Well. There was MORE than enough chaos going on on that blogsite to mask anything HE threw out there, though. So as long as he didn’t interfere to a degree that...

...what? That kept that Bill from winning and getting out of his ‘Nightmare Realm’? It looked like he was already going to be stuck there for good.

And while Bill was generally ALL FOR the idea of helping another him get the hell out of that… place... that was really only for other Bills that were like him.

And was this other Bill really like him? Unless that other Stanford AND STANLEY were BOTH lying, this other-idiot NOT-him Bill couldn’t even operate a frigging toaster!? “--Seriously??” Bill muttered to himself, rubbing the bridge of his nose, because what was that even?

“How could he even give that Stanford the blueprints to the portal when he can’t even operate a stupid toaster?” Bill muttered in outrage. Because was that some… kind of a joke?

And then Bill realized… he could ask.

It wouldn’t even be out of place, really.

So he did.

---

“Hey, idiots! Got a question for you! How in the name of chaos did that snappy-dressing demonic triangle of yours manage to give Fordsy there a set of working blueprints for the portal, but NOT know how to work a frigging toaster?”

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...Aaaaaaand, sent!

And Bill refreshed the page.

And refreshed it again.

And jiggled a little in place in irritation, then checked his connection, because HAD THEY GOTTEN IT? Had it not gone through?!

He wanted to know!

...Were they ignoring him? THEY BETTER NOT BE IGNORING HIM. He knew those idiots did that to some of those ‘askers’.

This was annoying. And pointless! They probably didn’t even know anyway!

Then Bill frowned at himself as he stared down at his partial reflection in the screen, because...

...They weren’t Stanley. Not his Stanley, anyway. He had none of that “learning” stuff going on with them, for Stanley to have to answer his questions. And why would that Stanford? --It wasn’t like any Stanford he’d ever talked to had been all that helpful to him, before. Not intentionally, anyway. HA!

He refreshed the page again.

And gasped at what he read.

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ANONYMOUS ASKED:
One difference between us and Bill?

 

There’s several actually, but being patient isn’t one of them. At the very least, it’s not for the majority of those like you.

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“OH! OH! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!” Bill yelled at the screen. “NOT PATIENT?! NOT PATIENT!!???!?” he shrieked out. “--I HAD TO WAIT ONE TRILLION YEARS FOR YOUR SORRY--”

“--Bill?” he heard Melody call out from the porch, and Bill sat up ramrod straight and turned towards here, eyes wide. “Is everything all--”

“FINE IT’S FINE EVERYTHING IS FINE NO WORRIES HERE! HAHA!” Bill yelled out as he slapped a grin on his face, while quickly hiding the phone behind his back.

Melody gave him a long look.

“...Are you sure?” she asked him.

“YES!!” Bill said, bobbing his head several times, because that was how nodding worked, right?

Melody gave him a long look, then said, “Well, if it isn’t, then just let me know, all right?”

“SURE YES FINE,” Bill replied, while twitching in place slightly.

Melody finally went back inside, and Bill let the grin slide off of his face and he slumped in place.

“Ugh,” said Bill. He HATED being ‘babysat’ by Question Mark’s fiance. SO embarrassing. “...Really, she should be spending her time watching Stanford, not me. SOME of us know how to survive for several lifetimes longer than this universe has been around, you know,” he muttered out to himself, as he refreshed the blogsite with what was becoming an almost-automatic gesture already.

The offending and offensive post was still there, along with a new one about the ‘scampfire’. ...Seriously, what the hell?

All right. All right. This was practically baiting him. Really, it was. He knew it was. And he REALLY wanted to tell this Stanford off. But what to say?

They’d ignored his portal-toaster-blueprints ask, too.

“HM.” Bill glared down at the device.

He refreshed it one more time, then gasped again.

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ANONYMOUS ASKED:
Hey, idiots! Got a question for you! How in the name of chaos did that snappy-dressing demonic triangle of yours manage to give Fordsy there a set of working blueprints for the portal, but NOT know how to work a frigging toaster?

 

Apologies, I’m not familiar with any kind of triangle that dresses in a snappy or fashionable manner. Perhaps you sent this to the wrong blog.

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Bill’s eyes narrowed.

Yessssssss…” he hissed out, because he’d gotten a response -- this Stanford was in it now, hook line and sinker! He grinned, then got to typing. Because he could work with this!

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Ha! Maybe your fashion sense is off, you_

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Then Bill stopped.

Because was he making an assumption here?

If this other-him that wasn’t him also wasn’t a snappy dresser...

...there was that “anti-Bill” him out there in his own dimensional set, wasn’t there?

“Hm.”

He hit the delete key a couple times. Then tried:

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Fine. Fashion sense aside, you’re also SIDE-STEPPING my QUESTION. How in the name of chaos did your_

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Bill grimaced, then deleted ‘your’ and kept going.

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FINE. Fashion sense aside, you’re also SIDE-STEPPING my QUESTION. How in the name of chaos did Bill Cipher manage to give YOU a set of working blueprints for the portal, but NOT know how to work a frigging toaster?!_

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Bill hesitated again, then added what Stanley kept insisting were the magic words whenever he wanted something, in order to actually get it.

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FINE. Fashion sense aside, you’re also SIDE-STEPPING my QUESTION. How in the name of chaos did Bill Cipher manage to give YOU a set of working blueprints for the portal, but NOT know how to work a frigging toaster?! I WANT TO KNOW.

---

Bill hit the “send” button, then sighed as he signaled the ‘refresh’ again. Chaos, indeed. --Hive minds, bleh. Overrated!

And...

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ANONYMOUS ASKED:
now, I'd actually say that bow ties and top hats are fairly snappy, but that vivid puke-yellow? not fashionable at all, you're right. bill wouldn't know fashion if it punched him in the eye

 

It’s the worst yellow one can imagine, and unfortunately it’s terribly potent in person.

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...Well, yes. It was the worst yellow imaginable. That was why he’d chosen to wear it. It was awful. HE was awful. THE WORST. Cogito ergo sum. --And he could PULL OFF WEARING the worst yellow imaginable, and make it LOOK GOOD.

Blue was his favorite color, of course, but he couldn’t always wear it. Blue wasn’t very “scary” to the denizens of the multiverse in general, and it blended into the background of most people’s Dreamscapes too much. --In the middle of a black-out nightmare, how else was he supposed to make sure he was seen?! HMM?

But not knowing fashion if he’d been punched in the eye? HA! Trying to suck up to Sixer, much? “--Yes, let’s try and make the idiot think he’d know fashion if it punched him in the eye,” Bill murmured, smiling to himself. “That’ll work!” He stifled a laugh.

Well, at least this Stanford acknowledged that particular color’s potency. --GOOD! Clearly this Sixer wasn’t a complete idiot.

...Actually, he really wasn’t, was he? He’d asked for help.

And then Bill started to frown.

This Stanford Pines had asked for help. From strangers. Actually started talking with them, even after he realized that other random and completely-unknown-to-him people were reading the things he had written, decoding his ciphers, all of it. ...What did that mean?

Bill refreshed the page then rolled his eyes. “Taking on the ‘scampfire’ was actually an option?” Yeesh.

Refreshed the page again and nearly choked. “Letting it walk inside the house. Letting it eat--” Stanley would have a fit if Stanford--

Right. In that dimension, it was “Stanford’s house.” Not Stanley’s.

Bill sighed in annoyance and refreshed the page.

Then frowned at the ‘hive mind’ talk.

---

Note: I am not currently interested in dealing with any sort of hive mind.

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Are you kidding me.

Bill wrote, then hit send.

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Are you SERIOUSLY telling me that you are ACTUALLY CONSIDERING taking deals from ALL COMERS, EXCEPT your own triangle demon. SERIOUSLY.

---

“Idiot,” Bill muttered, as he sat back and waited for a reply. Hit refresh again.

Then his mouth dropped open.

---

Someone set fire to the house while we were gone…

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Bill hit refresh again quickly, one of those other idiot-askers probably saw it before he did and already--

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SHERWOLFLOVESRAINBOWS ASKED:
Wait, who or what do you think set the house on fire?

 

It was Bill.

I’m more than fairly positive about that.

---

“Wasn’t me!” Bill protested, then frowned.

Wait.

Why hadn’t they smelled smoke? Or heard sirens? The caves weren’t that far away from the--

He typed quickly.

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CHECK TO MAKE SURE IT ISN’T AN ILLUSION.

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“Out in the middle of the snow…” Bill muttered, as he sat back a bit. Even if it wasn’t an illusion -- and he wouldn’t put it past any demonic version of himself to screw with the idiots that way -- a fire that torched the rest of the house shouldn’t have caught fire to anything IMPORTANT. Not anything BELOW. All the portal parts were still below in the portal room, weren’t they? It had sounded like it from the earlier…

What could that other Bill want? To drive them into town? Why?

Bill frowned further. Did that Fez have his car, still? Was it wrecked, too? He typed off another quick ask:

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Stanley's car. WHERE. Did that burn too?

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Then Bill refreshed the page.

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USUALLYHERDRAGON ASKED:
What!?!? Ford, I'm so sorry! Please tell me it didn't burn down completely? How bad is it?

 

It’s not completely burnt down, no. However, it looks like well over half the house is burnt and there was at least a partial collapse. I have to assume the fire department put out the fire before it burnt through the entire house.

I’m not qualified to evaluate the house’s state. I’m not very familiar with architecture.

---

This… was frustrating. He couldn’t SEE what was going on, and if he TRIED…

Trying to see out of another Bill’s birch tree eyes would get him NOTICED. There was no way.

But this Stanford was being almost willfully dense with how much he was leaving out.

Bill hit refresh again.

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ANONYMOUS ASKED:
Stanley's car. WHERE. Did that burn too?

 

No, it’s right over there.

---

‘Right over there’. As if Bill could see it like this Stanford was pointing to it with, what, his BAD ARM? Tch.

And yet, taken altogether...

“...That’s not good,” Bill muttered. Because, could they be booby trapped? The house or the car?

Did this not-him Bill want them to leave the premises? For how long? What would he need more than four days to do? And only go HALFWAY with the house? ...If it really had burned?

Was the trap in the town, instead? With the Corduroys, who would have to rebuild the house for them?

Another refresh, and...

“‘Wait for the fire department,’ ‘inconvenient’,” Bill parroted, annoyed and disgusted. He rubbed the side of his hand against his right temple.

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CHECK. THE. HOUSE. You should have seen SMOKE. You should have heard SIRENS. The caves are not that far away, YOU IDIOT. What does he need you away for longer than FOUR DAYS to do?_

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Bill blinked at himself.

“No, no,” he told himself, putting down the cellphone. “I am NOT HELPING these idiots. No.”

Right? He wasn’t! That sort of thing would just… make Sixer paranoid, right? And why was he acting so calm about losing his house? And maybe his journals? He hadn’t wanted to burn the things entirely, had he? He’d read that!

...Were they lying about the house being burned halfway down? But why would they do that?

Bill frowned. Picked up the cellphone again and refreshed the page. Let out an annoyed breath, then reread a few things, just to give himself something to do -- it wasn’t like he couldn’t remember what he’d just read, but the repetition felt…

Stupid human-ish body.

“Stupid stupid stupid,” Bill muttered, because this made no sense. Where was the master plan, here? These idiots had unicorn hair, the rest of the spell ingredients for a barrier were markedly easy to get in town, as long as the stores were open -- no, he wasn’t going to remind those idiots of that -- and… what was this even supposed to accomplish? It just seemed… petty.

And it wasn’t like Bill was above being petty, but… when it served no real purpose?

And this other-Bill would have an even harder time getting a living meat puppet down to the portal room to get that portal back together with the “secret” entrance blocked off like it probably was.

...Unless the parts had all been moved.

But that would have required an ARMY of puppets.

Would a Bill that couldn’t even operate a toaster---

Bill paused. No, that was wrong. That was…

Would a Bill that SEEMED to be unable to operate a toaster be able to amass--

Bill cursed under his breath, then flopped forward down onto his stomach, to stare at his cellphone. Could that have actually been the ‘master plan’? Screw things up on purpose to put the idiots off-guard enough to take a four-day hike out to the middle of nowhere, to stare at a few cave symbols that would do them no good, in the end?

At least, Bill assumed that was the case. Maybe it wasn’t. This Bill might have had a different prophecy than he had. ...At least in part. Because Bill’s Zodiac Circle had never really CHANGED. Those other symbols that Glasses had messed with? Added to his cult? Those had mostly been window-dressing, not his actual zodiac at any point.

---

I suppose… I was expecting worse. Is that odd?

---

Bill shook his head and typed something that could go either way, helping or hurting either that Bill or that Stanford, really. Certainly make things more interesting if it knocked him out of his shock.

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Congratulations, idiot. Four days is PLENTY of time to move every last piece of portal equipment out of that lab of yours, torch the house, and laugh about it for A FULL DAY as the ashes cool off. Your move, puppet-pawn! I look forward to SEEING what you do next!_

---

“No, too telling,” Bill muttered, then edited slightly. And also not true. He wasn’t going to be trying to See any of it, anyway.

---

Congratulations, idiot. Four days is PLENTY of time to move every last piece of portal equipment out of that lab of yours, torch the house, and laugh about it for A FULL DAY as the ashes cool off. Your move, puppet-pawn! I look forward to READING what you do next!

---

“‘Petty’, yes,” Bill muttered after the send and the next refresh. And if all of them really had been avoiding going downstairs to the basement labs in the meantime, then stupid too, because setting that fire had just given those three idiots EVERY REASON to check EVERY LAST PIECE of that house.

“What, ‘because of the tapestries and portal schematics?’ Really?” Did that Stanford really think that his Bill hadn’t had them m-e-m-o-r-i-z-e-d from the get-go? Or gotten them out of that Sixer’s head at some point in-between? ...Hadn’t that Stanford’s Bill GIVEN them to that Stanford in the first place?

“Answer my first question,” Bill muttered. If he was operating under bad information… he hated operating under bad information.

All that he could come up with, ha,” Bill said, then sighed in something almost like relief as one of the askers finally showed signs of having a brain with:

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ANONYMOUS ASKED:
I guess it kinda was a low, and poor blow....unless burning the house was covering something else up....

Do you have an idea as to what?

---

Bill grumbled, refreshed the page, waiting for the idiot to finally CATCH UP to REALITY, and was greeted with this nonsense:

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ANONYMOUS ASKED:
Congratulations, idiot. Four days is PLENTY of time to move every last piece of portal equipment out of that lab of yours, torch the house, and laugh about it for A FULL DAY as the ashes cool off. Your move, puppet-pawn! I look forward to READING what you do next!

 

He doesn’t have the portal schematics.

 

-

He doesn’t have a plan. He doesn’t have a plan.

He doesn’t have anything.

 

-

This is hilarious. He doesn’t have anything?!

 

-

What’s he going to do next? Try to burn down my house again?

 

-

Run me to my death like everyone else before?

---

Bill snarled, then typed right back and hit the ‘send’ button not nearly as hard as he would’ve liked.

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OF COURSE he has the portal schematics YOU IDIOT! HE'S BEEN INSIDE YOUR HEAD!!!

---

Hit refresh. Pinched the bridge of his nose.

---

He’s like a five year old throwing a temper tantrum over and over for the same reason each time

-

Eons old and this is how he acts.

 

---

Eons old, and ANNOYED WITH THE IDIOTS THAT POPULATE HIS EXISTENCE, because no-one EVER WISES UP,” Bill snarled out under his breath. “After ONE TRILLION YEARS of lack of actual INTELLIGENT conversation, YOU’D be a little testy too, Sixer, I GUARANTEE it.”

Bill huffed out a breath. Told himself not to let this idiot get to him. Hit the refresh key again.

At ‘kill someone you need for the zodiac’ Bill shivered, then hit refresh again, quickly. Wasn’t explaining that one to these idiots. HAHA, no way!

---

ANONYMOUS ASKED:
OF COURSE he has the portal schematics YOU IDIOT! HE'S BEEN INSIDE YOUR HEAD!!!

 

Then there would have been no point to trying to hide the pages or burning them at all!

He did have access to them. I never really thought about that before!

---

“No, really?” Bill said, at the first line. This idiot was surprised that everything he’d done was for nothing? Or was he trying to treat it as an argument for having done so. Then Bill rolled his eyes at the rest. Clearly this Ford was going with ‘an argument for having done so’. “Fine. Yes. He had the journals sometimes when you didn’t. He could have read them then, too. Great job, genius,” Bill drawled out in pure annoyance.

But, really? No point in trying to hide the pages? That Stanford really thought that that Bill had actually tried to hide them because--??

If there was one thing Bill couldn’t stand from a stupid Stanford “Sixer” Pines, it was flawed logic.

He typed.

---

It's called PLAYING WITH YOU. Idiot. You're his PUPPET. You're only getting this NOW?

---

He hit send. He waited. He refreshed.

---

okay yup yeah taking this

 

-

alright so one of you can go ahead and shut up alright thanks great

---

Oh, wonderful. Someone with half a brain,” Bill muttered.

---

Shut up yourself. Do you WANT your Bill to win?_

---

Bill stopped. Then quickly deleted what he’d just written, taking in a breath. He wasn’t going to send THAT.

“Not my Stanley, not my problem,” Bill muttered to himself. “No. No, no.”

He sat, and he thought. What did he really want to do here?

He rubbed the side of his hand against his right temple again, feeling uneasy. Antsy.

He sprung up off of the picnic table. Paced a bit, back and forth, on the lawn.

“I don’t like this,” Bill muttered to himself as he paced. “Why don’t I like this?”

He stopped in place, then looked down at his phone.

---

Annoying. You are all annoying. At LEAST try and make it interesting!_

---

...That was better, right? Not taking sides…

He could send that, couldn’t he?

He flicked over to the other screen, refreshed.

Laughing hysterically,” Bill murmured. He did that in Stanford’s body, sometimes. Bill frowned. Was that Stanford possessed?

...Or just acting the same way that his Stanford had, out on the porch after his deal was over? After he’d finally taken it back?

...Bill deleted what he’d written again.

---

Shut up yourself. And type instead. For an idiot “dumbest genius you’ve ever met”, Stanford can’t actually WRITE worth anything. Barely manages to sketch properly. WHAT IS ACTUALLY GOING ON.

---

Hit send, hit refresh on the blogsite and…

Oh, wonderful,” Bill muttered. He’d NEVER gotten along with ANY Glasses in the history of EVER. “Give it back to Stanley, you--” He cut himself off, tried to take a step back from completely livid. “What are you idiots even doing over there.” What was this, passing hot irons over a player piano? ...That was the expression, right?

He hit refresh.

Smiling brighter than the sun,” Bill murmured. He grimaced, shook his head, sat down on the seat of the picnic bench this time -- instead of lounging across the top surface of it -- and typed, as blandly as he felt about it:

---

Check his eyes. Maybe he gave up, took off the unicorn hair, and passed out on his feet.

---

Another refresh, and…

Staying with Glasses, not at the bunker. Right.” Nice that they thought he wouldn’t torch Glasses’ place, too.

--Not his problem!

Bill hit refresh again.

---

ANONYMOUS ASKED:
Check his eyes. Maybe he gave up, took off the unicorn hair, and passed out on his feet.

 

I already checked. Necklace is on fine.

//F.M.

#It’s just uneasy looking is all

---

Bill let out a huff of breath. Leaned back against the side of the table.

“Annoying,” he muttered.

Refreshed again and was greeted with:

---

FORDTATO ASKED:
You feel guilty? Wanna elaborate?

 

Maybe because the fellah’s house burnt up and he’s saying Phil went and did it ‘cause we burnt the big blankets I brought out.

//F.M.

---

“Idiots idiots idiots,” Bill muttered as he typed.

---

Burnt the BLANKETS, not the portal schematics or the middle fingers, RIGHT. SURE. ...Three guesses on whether YOUR place got torched TOO, F.M.? A lot of arson can get done in four days.

---

And didn’t he know it. Bill grimaced. --Wasn’t his fault.

...If this other-Bill was committing arson, he HAD to be pissed off. That was A MESSAGE.

And if these idiots didn’t UNDERSTAND THAT...

Well. HA! Wasn’t like anyone had ever taken the time to understand him before. Why would THESE idiots be any different with ANY OTHER him?

This was a LOT more serious than they were all taking this. Laughing, yeesh.

“Try ‘marked for death’, you moron,” Bill muttered. Which didn’t make sense to him... unless this other Bill had given up on getting out of the ‘Nightmare Realm’ and into their dimension entirely.

Bill grimaced again. This… wasn’t funny. This wasn’t even CLOSE to hilarious.

Burning down their house. Burning down Stanford’s home.

A message.

Bill shuddered.

He let out a breath.

...Should he tell them?

…..Did they even so much as DESERVE the warning?

Idiots,” Bill breathed out, as he hit the refresh button again.

He read about ‘sitting tight’ and then ‘spells’. He read a response to his old question:

---

ANONYMOUS ASKED:
CHECK TO MAKE SURE IT ISN’T AN ILLUSION.

 

Not really sure why this would be an illusion, but just checked and it’s not.

//F.M.

---

Bill typed.

---

WISHFUL THINKING. If it’s NOT an illusion, you’re in trouble._

---

Deleted, then retyped.

---

WISHFUL THINKING. If it’s NOT an illusion, you’re going to WISH it had been. You don’t WANT to know what ARSON means to a_

---

Deleted the ‘a’.

---

WISHFUL THINKING. If it’s NOT an illusion, you’re going to WISH it had been. You don’t WANT to know what ARSON means to Bill Cipher. He BURNED DOWN A HOME. --Better watch your backs._

---

Bill grimaced and deleted that last sentence. Hit send.

Refreshed the blogsite.

Let out a huff of breath at Glasses’ ‘ask’ about Ivan.

Bill dropped the hand holding the cellphone to his lap and looked out across the yard, feeling old.

“Same mistakes, different refrain,” he muttered.

He glanced back down at the phone screen again.

Refreshed. Read. Refreshed again. Then saw:

---

Not giving the satisfaction of posting the message, but there’s a good chance here my place might be a bit more charred than when I last seen it too.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. Now, if it is I’ll be mad, just won’t be taken by surprise now.

//F.M.

#If the only place left to sleep is in the bunker or crammed in the car #I think I may pick the car

---

“‘Not giving’ me ‘the satisfaction’, ha. I’m not surprised,” Bill muttered. At the mention of the bunker, he wondered about ‘Shifty’, at that. Hadn’t talked to him in awhile himself, here, and the shapeshifting alien hadn’t gotten free that quickly here, but...

It might be different, there.

Sleeping in a car in wintertime, though… “Better find a garage, idiot. Can’t run the heater that long.” Well, Stanley would tell them.

He refreshed and read about ‘a lot better’, ‘rhymes’, and ‘not smiling’...

“Not smiling is ‘better’?” Bill muttered, frowning. Then again, if he’d been acting anything like his Stanford out on the porch...

Bill hit refresh again.

I’m not a mixed bag, I’m insane,” he said to the screen of his smartphone, then hit refresh again.

Bill got bored after awhile from all the waiting, and started clicking around.

“This wasn’t supposed to reach-- I just bet it wasn’t, ha,” Bill said, standing up and flipping himself onto the top of the picnic table to lie down on his back again.

Went back to the main page. Refreshed again.

Let out a long sigh of annoyance and dropped the cellphone to his chest.

“What do I do?” he asked himself again. Because… burning down more homes? What was this other Bill THINKING? ...Crashing other, more dimensions into the ‘Nighmare Realm’ was one thing, but BURNING THINGS DOWN… AGAIN?

“What’s he going to do, burn it down again’?” Bill mimicked one of that Stanford’s postings, then dropped a hand over his eyes. Because yes. Yes, that Bill just might, and he might even do it while those three idiots were inside it, if he could.

And the thing he found MOST annoying was that… “You aren’t even trying to check on the portal, you idiots.”

He lay there for awhile, then finally got up the energy to check the blogsite again.

“Right. Just going to leave. Sure. Let all those parts just sit there. No worries there!” Bill grumbled out.

He sat up. Typed:

---

What did you do with all the RADIOACTIVE WASTE.

---

He hit send.

“More for you to worry about than just portal parts that you think can’t be put together into a working portal, you idiot,” he said, with a thin and nasty smile.

Because there was really only one RIGHT way to do that.

And plenty of WRONG ways that could crack the ENTIRE PLANET in half.

And Bill didn’t worry about bringing their attention to the full extent of it, not one bit. “Honestly, I’m helping that idiot,” he told himself, thinking of that other Bill Cipher. Because if he lost his temper? And couldn’t calm down? Not before he did something to completely destroy any chances he had of getting out of the Nightmare Realm and into that dimension?

Well, then he’d be stuck there. For good.

Keeping that dimension together? Was something that should be done.

And that… was what had been bothering Bill about the whole thing, really, he realized.

Because if that other Bill made that Ford crack up entirely… then that Ford might do something incredibly stupid. Something that made it impossible for that Bill to EVER make it there.

Breaking their planet, maybe even crashing their own dimension, before Bill did it?

Not trying to stop that Bill from doing the same, before he got out?

They both… aligned somewhat.

Keep the dimension together. Keep the dimension and that planet whole.

Bill hit refresh, and looked askance at the entry. Didn’t they usually come at the beginning of a day, rather than at the end? Or had he been mistaken about that?

He hit refresh, and read the next entry.

This… didn’t feel right. Two ‘entries’ at an odd time and...

Then again, what Stanford was the best of writers?

“No sense of timing,” Bill said, letting out a laugh.

He smiled a little.

He stopped smiling after he hit refresh.

Went INSIDE your house for something to-- that little ‘scampfire’ is EATING YOUR HOUSE, you--”

Bill forced himself to stop yelling at the device and take a big breath. Let it out. Breath in again.

It wasn’t Stanley’s house.

Hit refresh, and he nearly lost it again when he read:

---

GAYKRAVITZ ASKED:
you guys should Probably call the fire department, yeah?

I’m fairly certain they were the ones who put out the fire.

Additionally, I am a little bit concerned now as I’ve come to realize that the barrels of radioactive waste outside were all missing

---

“You. COMPLETE. And utter. IDIOTS. That is--”

Bill all but threw the cellphone down onto the table in front of him, then got up and started pacing again.

Because OF COURSE that Stanford had only thought of that after reading what he’d--

Bill marched back over to the picnic table, sat down on the bench heavily, and picked up the cellphone again, typing madly.

---

STANFORD FILBRICK PINES, SO HELP ME. If you do NOT hand this thing you are holding over to STANLEY -- who has HALF A BRAIN -- RIGHT NOW, so that he can actually say WHAT IS ACTUALLY GOING ON, so help me_

---

Bill grimaced, deleted. Wrote.

---

STANFORD FILBRICK PINES, SO HELP ME. If you do NOT hand this device you are holding over to STANLEY -- who ALMOST has HALF A BRAIN more than YOU do -- RIGHT NOW, so that he can actually WRITE WHAT IS ACTUALLY GOING ON, then you can KISS YOU DIMENSION GOODBYE. DO IT NOW.

---

Bill was breathing heavily as he hit send, then refreshed.

It only took him a moment to decode the next post.

“Idle threats,” he muttered. “These are not idle threats.

He hit refresh, then rolled his eyes at the ‘how do you hide what was stolen?’ ask.

“Oh, yes, criminal mastermind of the century right there, stealing a bunch of barrels IN PLAIN SIGHT without anything keeping them from being moved! Yeesh.”

Hit refresh. “Did the fire department take them.”

Hit refresh. Nearly let out a yell of complete frustration.

---

ANONYMOUS ASKED:
STANFORD FILBRICK PINES, SO HELP ME. If you do NOT hand this device you are holding over to STANLEY -- who ALMOST has HALF A BRAIN more than YOU do -- RIGHT NOW, so that he can actually WRITE WHAT IS ACTUALLY GOING ON, then you can KISS YOU DIMENSION GOODBYE. DO IT NOW.

Stanley is driving. We are in a car going down the road.

I was not aware “Driving to Fiddleford’s apartment” was not clear enough on that matter.

#Now if you don't mind.

---

Bill typed.

---

Fine. FINE! HAND IT OVER once he FINISHES driving. Not like he’d let ANYONE ELSE drive that thing. Glasses_

---

Bill deleted, rewrote.

---

Fine. FINE! HAND IT OVER once he FINISHES driving. Not like he’d let ANYONE ELSE drive that thing. I KNOW that. And FORGET F.M. he’s useless at that. I’LL WAIT. I’M MORE PATIENT THAN YOU THINK.

---

He almost hit send.

He barely stopped himself before he did, adding for good measure:

---

Fine. FINE! HAND IT OVER once he FINISHES driving. Not like he’d let ANYONE ELSE drive that thing. I KNOW that. And FORGET F.M. he’s useless at that. I’LL WAIT. I’M MORE PATIENT THAN YOU THINK. Unless you LIKE the idea of your entire dimension IMPLODING. Or maybe just your PLANET. I’M BETTING someone ISN’T PICKY about it. ARE YOU?

---

He hit send on that.

“Oh, let’s NOT worry about the nuclear waste that WE DON’T KNOW WHERE IT IS,” Bill muttered.

He hit refresh and what he saw didn’t improve his mood.

---

It might be better to focus on accomplishing the zodiac prophecy.

If Bill really doesn’t need the pages to successfully instruct someone on creating the portal, then even if we find out who it wouldn’t be a long term solution. He could find someone else and get them to make the portal from there.

If the only thing he needs now to make the portal is just to convince someone to put in the effort to build it, then the only sure fire of ensuring it doesn’t happen is defeating Bill himself.

---

Bill pulled in a breath.

Because that was both forward-looking, and… NOT.

Possibilities were spiraling out of control before him, and he was starting to see the assumptions that he’d made before that might not be true, after all. Not for that Bill.

---

WELL, that DEPENDS on a great many things, STANFORD PINES. For ONE, do you think you can ‘accomplish the zodiac prophecy’ BEFORE_

---

Bill pulled in a breath. Fine line here.

---

WELL, that DEPENDS on a great many things, STANFORD PINES. For ONE, do you think you can ‘accomplish the zodiac prophecy’ BEFORE Bill Cipher LOSES HIS TEMPER COMPLETELY and just decides to build a BOMB out of all that waste and just HAVE AT IT INSTEAD?

---

He hit send.

“Sideways dangers,” Bill muttered. Because he wouldn’t have seen that arson coming. He might have thought of doing it, but he wouldn’t have actually DONE it.

...Though, really, he was being facetious here. It wasn’t just ONE bomb that could be built out of all that waste.

Not if the portal there was anything like the one had been like here.

“Track it, find it, you should find it all,” Bill said, then let out a huff of breath. He felt… stressed. Worse than he had over some of the lunatic things that had gone on when his OWN freedom and escape had been on the line. ...And he wasn’t quite sure why.

...Maybe I’ll ask Stanley about it later,’ Bill thought. This felt like one of those things that might be tied to him having a human-ish body just then. Maybe.

Bill hit refresh, then groaned at ‘the legality’ and the ‘just so happened’.

He perked up slightly at the mention of the Northwests. They were opportunists. If THEY had their hands on that waste, they wouldn’t let it be used in the vicinity if they could help it.

...They might built it into bombs to be sold to the highest bidder, but they wouldn’t use it in their own backyard. They wouldn’t risk killing THEMSELVES with it.

“Hm.” That was actually a relieving thought. Somewhat. ...Assuming they kept control of it.

He hit refresh.

He read about ‘forcing the symbols’ and ‘Stanley making the call’ and wondered if the Gravity Falls fire department WOULD actually ‘steal’ a bunch of barrels of radioactive waste without realizing it. Thinking it was something else?

Bill read on the next refresh:

---

If any further clarification is needed as to what is going on.

Stanley is picking up the phone.

Stanley is dialing the number to the fire department.

Stanley is holding the phone to his ear.

---

And wrote and sent:

---

BETTER.

---

Then sent:

---

YOU’RE LEARNING.

---

Then, after thinking about it a moment, also sent:

---

SLOWLY.

---

He refreshed and saw.

---

ANONYMOUS ASKED:
BETTER.

Psn'ki jewnyjfieuei.

---

I’m insufferable?” Bill exclaimed, wildly grinning, as he typed and hit send.

---

HA! SO ARE YOU!

---

He refreshed and started laughing when he read:

---

ANONYMOUS ASKED:
Ah but Ford! You did not say he was speaking! HA! We have caught you and your scheme! You lying scientist you! You can not hide the truth from us! haHA!

 

Ah, you caught me. What a mistake, I’ve made!

---

“Didn’t get that far because you distracted him, idiot!” Bill proclaimed. Because, yes, Stanfords were that distractible, and no, Stanley would have to WAIT for the phone to pick up, and no, that Stanford wouldn’t be able to hear the ringing of the payphone from the car.

...The lying part wasn’t all that funny, though.

Then again, the lying that he’d read earlier on the blog had been at Stanley’s discretion and prompting push. And this Stanford had been HORRIBLE at it, worse at it than his own! MUCH WORSE.

He hit refresh again, and got a different sort of odd -- not weird -- feeling, when he read:

---

Arguably good news, they have the barrels.

-

And the fire was three nights ago in the middle of the night!

---

“That’s good news?” Bill muttered, perplexed. Three nights ago just meant that there were three days of other things that had not been taking up that other Bill’s time.

---

HOW MANY BARRELS did they SAY they have.

---

He hit send, then refreshed.

Frowned at ‘half a dozen Molotov cocktails.’

Hit refresh again.

---

I’m just going to call them, this is going to bother me all day if I can’t get some more answers.

---

“And get yourself arrested,” Bill breathed out with half-a-laugh. Crazy Sixer. Bill could understand the URGE for KNOWLEDGE, but Stanford was no Stanley -- this one certainly WASN’T.

---

Good luck with your ARREST! Ask Stanley for TIPS on how to SURVIVE IN PRISON.

---

“Might be able to manage it yourself after ten years on the run between dimensions, kid, but RIGHT NOW? HA!” He let out a laugh, and hit send, because this Stanford getting stuck down in one place like a sitting duck? That wouldn’t be fun, or end well, FOR ANYONE.

Hit the refresh button on his cellphone.

Breathed out in shock at Stanley’s apparent presence, and typed quickly:

---

STANLEY DO NOT LET HIM HAVE THAT DEVICE AGAIN OR SO HELP ME. ALSO ALL THE HANDS. EXCEPT SIXER'S. BECAUSE ONE OF THEM IS ATTACHED TO A BROKEN LIMB, HAHA!

---

Revised it to:

---

STANLEY DO NOT LET HIM HAVE THAT DEVICE AGAIN OR SO HELP ME. ALSO ALL THE HANDS. EXCEPT STANFORD'S. BECAUSE ONE OF THEM IS ATTACHED TO A BROKEN LIMB!

---

And hit send.

Waited.

Refreshed the page.

Refreshed the page again.

Reread the old and the new together:

---

okay hands up for ‘calling the people that got your illegal barrels of sludge’ is probably not a good idea right now

-

FORDTATO ASKED:
*raises hand*

 

coming from someone who was against the mc-laser-it too so we’re counting this as ten votes

plus the two others that just popped in

---

“Just three? Really?” Bill said, looking at the blogsite oddly. He’d gotten the impression that most of the other ‘askers’ were more ‘helpful’, or at LEAST less DESTRUCTIVE, than that?

...Did they want this Stanford to crash and burn? ...Or at least get himself arrested?

Not that that wouldn’t be HILARIOUS under normal circumstances, but… Bill didn’t have enough information to know whether or not the radioactive waste was actually in those barrels. Or if the “fire department” had every last one of them there.

“Get Stanley to scam ‘em out of them,” Bill muttered to the phone, and if only he could have an ACTUAL CONVERSATION with these idiots instead of all this STUPIDITY BY TEXT. “If you’re smart at all, tell them it’s something else. Mislabeled.” Those idiots in town would believe just about anything anyone told them.

He hit refresh, and read about ‘laying low’. Hit refresh again and grimaced because of course Stanley had handed it back over, that jerk -- NO, wait, HE’D forgotten to add the ‘I WANT’, yeesh -- read Stanford’s ask about ‘the fire’ and ‘this timeline’, and let out another breath, shaking his head back and forth rapidly.

“Dimensions, different dimensions seeing different Bills, NO BILL HERE!” he muttered brightly with a grimace, as he hit refresh again. He’d routed it and hidden it properly. No way that other Bill could backtrace him properly, he’d be too busy dealing with that other dimension first, anyway, and the whole tangle of it.

Plenty of time to disengage and let all the evidence of anything get washed away in between the interdimensional foam between dimensions and dimensional sets. Plenty.

Hit refresh again, frowned at ‘who’s Ryan?’ -- because wasn’t it obvious that that was a reference to the other Bill?

Hit refresh again, and again, and again as ‘F.M.’ was given the device back, and was supposedly ‘fixing’ ‘some typos’ ‘here and around’, he was ‘guessing’ -- suspicious.

...At least Stanley was the one coming up with the lie for the barrels. Three questions as to whether that Stanford would actually go for it, though, the way that idiot seemed to be handling everything without him.

Except that Stanley -- Fez -- was with him. Right.

Bill felt a little dizzy. ...How long had he been out in the sun?

Drinking water was a thing after being outside for an hour or two, right?

...How long had he been outside?

Bill frowned at the time on the cellphone. He… couldn’t actually remember when he’d come outside. He hadn’t been paying attention.

...He hadn’t been paying attention to the passage of time?

Bill shook his stupid human-ish head, and felt… unsure for a moment.

Almost unsteady.

Bill shook himself again.

Drew up a ‘cooling air’ glyph-cycle in his head, rotated it around to the right temperature balance, and muttered out a word that set it in motion.

He felt his stupid human-ish head clear almost instantly.

“Need to remember to pay attention to that,” he told himself quietly. Heat had never been a problem before. (And lately, with this stupid human-ish body he was currently tied-and-anchored down to, it had been getting warm that had been a problem.) But apparently it was, now.

He hit refresh and frowned at what he read next:

---

HORSEFINGERSS ASKED:
Fidds lets be real, Ford gave you the device to try and get you to delete a whole entire post he somehow made on accident

 

He didn’t say anything about deleting a post just now and that’s the God’s honest truth.

//F.M.

-

HELIXSEONIS ASKED:
Very specific. Could you please elaborate? Are we able to see them in posts?

 

Yeah, only typos around are the ones the pair of them make. Well, I’m sure I’ve made a couple here too.

I just don’t get all upset over them like Ford does after he posts something missing a comma or anything like that.

//F.M.

---

Bill started checking farther back with each refresh to see if he could spot what had changed. He wanted to KNOW what that Stanford apparently hoped to HIDE from them, that he’d already WRITTEN DOWN.

Hit refresh and saw ‘not burned to a crisp’ and wondered out loud, “Then how burned is it?”

Hit refresh, STILL saw NO CHANGES, and read an ask with someone trying to suck up to Glasses. Bill let out a laugh at how transparent the attempt was, and the possible level of pure SARCASM there.

Hit refresh one more time, and let out a breath at the ‘breather’, ‘turning off’ and the status of: ‘offline’.

Sat back on the bench and stretched.

“Could have been worse!” he chirped out brightly, with a laugh.

He tilted his head back, stared up at the sky, starting to cloud over slightly from the west, and the smile slowly faded.

“...It could still be worse,” Bill said to himself slowly.

He didn’t really… want to see another dimension collapse just because…

Bill stared up at the sky with zero expression on his face.

And he started to get MAD.

’--At least I had a REASON for it!!’ he thought with no small anger. He hadn’t just collapsed dimensions into the Nightmare Realm for NO REASON. He’d had a reason! Several!

Sometimes, he had needed the time, to replace what he’d had to use up. (It was DEAD, there was only so much of it in each dimension to use.) Sometimes, he’d needed the resources. (He’d screwed up and not realized his personal ‘Dreamscape’ had recovered, fallen asleep and when he’d woken up… the ‘Nightmare Realm’ had nearly been done COMPLETELY COLLAPSING IN around him.)

One time, the first time, well… that had been an accident. He’d put out THAT fire as soon as he could. Too late.

(...he’d done it once he’d stopped screaming forever. Too late.)

One time, the last time, he’d been trying to get the stupid lizard’s attention.

And just when he’d thought he was being ignored for good, started screaming at it near-incoherently -- promising-threatening-DEMANDING things that he couldn’t even remember, he’d been SO MAD at the time -- the lizard had turned right around and given him his prophecy.

Bill hadn’t collapsed any more dimensions into his old decaying dimension after that. He hadn’t even tried. There had been no point. Not after--

Bill closed his eyes and let out a breath.

He didn’t really have to see it, though, did he? He certainly didn’t have to SEE it.

He might see the results eventually, assuming he managed to get that far -- and let’s face it, he would, HAHA!! -- but…

“Bill?”

“GAH!? WHAT?? NOTHING!! I DID NOTHING!!” Bill yelled, snapping his eyes open and immediately bolting upright where he was sitting, to come nose-to-nose with-- Shooting Star.

“Bill, did you fall asleep?” Shooting Star asked him. “You aren’t supposed to do that out heeeeere...” She grinned a smile full of braces at him.

“I did NOT fall asleep, I just had my eyes closed,” Bill told her matter-of-factly, ignoring any potential more-cloudiness of the sky above him that he may-or-may-not have missed with how long his eyes may-or-may-not have been closed for who knew how long. (He had his etched stones on him with all the right sigils; he was fine.)

“Melody said I should come get you because it’s going to rain and-- is that my phone?” she said, her tone taking a drastic turn from teasing to… something else, and Bill shoved the “cloned” phone into a pocket.

“No. It’s mine,” Bill said quickly, keeping the hand holding said phone in said pocket, because pickpocketing was a thing, and he did NOT want Shooting Star to get ahold of this one.

“It looks like my phone.”

“My phone. MINE,” said Bill.

“Bill--”

“--Yours is INSIDE,” Bill said, pointing with his other (free) hand at the house. “This is mine.”

Shooting Star gave him a long look, then started to open her mouth.

“--Under the seat cushions of Stanley’s chair,” Bill added, thinking ‘where I put it after I was done with it.

Shooting Star stopped, crossed her arms, and gave him a long look.

Then she smiled at him.

...It wasn’t exactly what he’d call her usual smile.

Okay!” she said brightly, turning around and skipping back towards the house. “But if it isn’t theeeeeerrree--” she called back out over her shoulder to him.

“Yeesh,” Bill said to himself. Like he’d risk getting in trouble with Stanley via Shooting Star, for something so stupid as stealing something that was obviously hers. --He’d just borrowed it for a bit. Stanley couldn’t object to that.

No respect, really. Like he’d be stupid enough to get caught even if he DID do that. HA!

Bill flinched at the sounds of a roll of thunder, and looked up at the sky above him, now grey from skyline to skyline.

...Every line that he could see with all those trees in the way, anyway.

Bill got up from the picnic table bench and hurried inside. He did NOT want to get caught out in all that rain that was coming.

He’d decide what to do about this whole other-Bill other-dimension thing later.

He HATED not knowing things.

---