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The Wake

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The words you told Stan the day he got kicked out, you right by his side, run through your head again. “ Even if the entire world is against you Stanley, I’ll be there for you. Always .”

 

It’s been a little over ten years since then and you’ve stuck to your promise. Wherever your boyfriend went, so did you. You were there for every heist, every arrest, every late-night car chase from people who wanted either Stan or both of you dead.

 

You had been there when Ford had sent the postcard, been there and watched helplessly as the man you loved and his twin brother fought over the journal, been there when Ford had slipped through the portal and out of your, and Stan’s, life.

 

And you were here, now, sitting in Stan’s car, both of you dressed all in black and about to pull off the biggest lie of your lives.

 

It had been a whirlwind few days, faking Stan’s death, calling his ma in tears to tell her. The tears had been real, as Ford’s disappearance was still fresh in your brain, shaking you to your core.

 

“Do these scars look real?” Stan asked from beside you, once again checking to make sure the two fake scars on either hand where “his” sixth finger would be looked authentic.

 

“You look fine, babe,” you assured him.

 

“You can’t call me that in there,” he replies sternly. “Remember, I’m Stan’s grieving brother and you’re Stan’s grieving widow.”

 

“Widow?” This hadn’t been part of the plan before and the out of the blue change set your nerves on edge even more so than they already were. You were already nervous as it was despite the days of endless planning and rehearsals and did not need anything new added to what was already going to be a risky operation.

 

“Open the glove compartment,” Stan told you. You did, and he pulled out a tiny box sitting inside. “Got the realest looking fake wedding ring I could find. I was thinking you could tell Ma the one decent thing I did was marry ‘ya. She always loved you, you know,” he explains as he slips the ring onto its correct finger.

 

As you look at the ring, the reality of what’s happened over the past few days hits you full force once again and you feel yourself going blind from unshed tears. “Stan.....” you begin, leaning in for a kiss or some kind of comfort, but he leans away, avoiding you.

 

“Ford,” he finishes. “You gotta call me Stan ford now, alright? And you can’t start acting all lovey-dovey with me either, got it?”

 

You nodd in silence, and you know the part of Stan ( Ford , you tell yourself. It’s Stanford from now on .) that can’t stand to see you upset kicks in because he takes your hand in his and gives it a tight squeeze.

 

“Alright,” he says finally. “See you on the other side.”

 

********

 

You hate how easy it is to pull it off.

 

You’ve always liked Stan’s mom, she was always kind to you, and lying to her makes you feel sick to your stomach, actually queasy.

 

On the other hand, it feels good to be able to cry into somebody’s shoulder.

 

She had noticed the ring almost right away and Stan had been right, it had worked like a charm. You told the story of how you and Stan had eloped, Ford being the only witness to the ceremony. You apologize for not inviting your mother-in-law and make up some kind of excuse, that “Stanford” backs up.

 

Your “brother-in-law” excuses himself to the restroom, and that’s when it happens.

 

His father walks in to the room and suddenly your tears are gone, any trace of nerves, gone. All that runs through your veins in this moment is ice hot rage. You think you might actually see red.

 

Stan’s mom it still crying softly into your shoulder and you gently remove her before rising to your feet, eye’s locked on target like the weapon you feel like you are.

 

You .”

 

The single word is full of malice, said with enough cold to freeze over hell itself, enough anger to start the next war.

 

You feel a small twang of triumph as Filbrick’s face falls in slight fear, quickly thinking good, before it’s gone again from your mind.

 

You don’t hold back as you slap him, backhand him across the face with the hand that wears your (fake) wedding ring.

 

The sound reverberates across the room and you swear you’ve never felt this victorious in your life. Not even all the times you and Stan avoided arrest or pulled off some kind of scheme compares to what you’ve just done.

 

“You monster ,” you hiss. You’re not done here, not by a long shot. “You were terrible to Stanley for seventeen years, but that wasn’t enough, huh? You kick him out and now look what’s happened! This is your fault you--you--!” You’re cut off as you’re pulled away and the familiar arms at your waist tell you it’s Stan who’s the one stopping you. You don’t even realise you have your hand raised for a second assault until he lowers it back to your side.

 

In your rage you turn on him. “What?! You don’t think he deserves this?!” You scream. “It’s because of him all this happened in the first place!!” The damned tears are back, making it hard for you to see, and you wipe at them frantically.

 

Stan shakes his head with a frown and motions back to his father.

 

He’s crying.

 

You don’t know what to do. You want to make some kind of nasty remark, maybe one about how you’re surprised he actually cares, but Stan looks almost angry with you, so you bite your tongue and roughly shoulder past his dad into the other room.

 

Ma Pines joins you a few minutes later and you both eat some of what’s laid out in silence, not really tasting any of it.

 

The rest of the wake is uneventful besides the occasional friend or family member you don’t know apologizing to you about your late husband's passing. You avoid Filbrick for the rest of the day.

 

It’s dark out when you and Stan finally leave, getting back into the car and starting the long drive back to Gravity Falls. The silence is deafening and even since lashing out at his father you couldn’t help but feel that Stan was mad at you. Finally, you give in.

 

“I’m sorry.” When he doesn’t reply, you go again. “I’m sorry about blowing up at your dad.”

 

He finally looks at you and you can’t help but relax. He takes one hand off the steering wheel and takes your hand in his. “It’s ok, toots. To be honest, I probably would have done the same thing.”

 

There are a few moments of comfortable silence before he speaks again. “I’m actually kinda surprised that he cared.”

 

You squeeze his hand tight. “You know that what I said before still hold true, right?”

 

You see the beginning of a smile on his face and you know he knows what you’re going to say but he still asks, “And what would that be?”

 

“That even if the entire world is against you, I’ll be there for you. Always.” You can’t help but giggle as you add, “Like a good wife.”

 

That makes him laugh, the heavy belly laugh of his that you love, and it makes you think that maybe this will all somehow end up ok.

 

******

 

It’s late when you finally reach Gravity Falls again, but Stan goes straight to the basement like he has been every night since Ford disappeared, you in tow.

 

Together the two of you pour over what Ford left behind until Stan declares a coffee break and leaves, returning with two mugs.

 

“You know you can take that off now,” he tells you as he sips his coffee, nodding to your fake wedding ring.

 

“No way!” you tell him. “You said we’re married, no takebacks!”

 

He smiles and pulls you into him with his free arm, kissing the top of your head, and this time you know that everything will end up ok.