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Stanurary 2019 Fiddstan

Chapter Text

Stanley looked up from the stove in time to see Fiddleford rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he walked into the kitchen. The engineer gave a non-committal nod as he took his seat at the kitchen table. The smell of eggs filled the air and the sizzling of bacon made Fiddleford’s stomach grumble something fierce.

 

“Breakfast will be ready in a couple of minutes,” Stanley said. He flipped a pancake onto a plate next to the stove.

 

“Well it smells divine.” Fiddleford said. His sandy blond hair was a mess that he couldn't  be bothered to fix this early in the morning.

 

Stan reached for the coffee pot and poured out two steaming hot mugs. “How many sugars?” he asked.

 

“Two please.” Fiddleford rubbed the last grains of sleep from his eyes.

 

“Coming right up,” Stanley put in two spoons of sugar into the mug with gear pattern. He walked over to the stove and placed the mug next to a plate stacked high with pancakes, with a side of bacon and eggs. Stanley set the plate and mug in front of fiddleford. He pecked Fiddleford’s forehead before making his own breakfast.

 

“How’d you sleep Fiddlenerd?” Stanley asked. He took a seat opposite Fiddleford.

 

“Refreshing,” Fiddleford got to work at his food. “You really outdid yourself this time darling.”

 

Stanley beamed. He started up with his own meal. It had been quite a while since he was able to sit down and enjoy a meal without having to worry about some magical beast bursting through the window and declaring war against them for stepping on some ancient flower of ultimate power or something.

 

He had met fiddleford a little while before Ford had called Fiddleford over for some help with some interuniversal portal or something. With nothing better to do Stan agreed to come with. Firstly to help with heavy lifting that might come up, and secondly to stare in awe at his boyfriend’s work. However meeting his estranged twin upon arriving wasn’t what he had expected. If Fiddleford hadn’t stood his ground and forced both Pines twins to talk out their issues Stanley wasn’t sure what would he would have done.

 

“So how did you meet the nerd?” Stanley asked after a beat. He rested his head in his hand, his elbow sitting against the table.

 

“We’ve been dating for how long and you’re only asking how I met my boss and got my job now?” Fiddleford raised his eyebrow.

 

“We’ve been busy,” Stanley replied. “What with the whole ‘making up for ruining his chance at his dream school’ and that goblin attack.”

 

“Gremloblin,” Fiddleford corrected.

 

“Yeah, that. Now back to the question, how did you meet my brother?” Stanley pressed.

 

“If you must know, we were roommates in college.” Fiddleford said. He took a sip of his coffee, making sure not to meet Stan’s eye.

 

“Roommates eh? Did you two ‘study’ together? What did you ‘study’? Nerdomics? Klingon? “ Stanley waited for Fiddleford to be halfway through his gulp of coffee before making his next assumption. “Biology?”

 

Fiddleford spat out his coffee. “Stanley Pines! Just what in the lord’s name are you insinuating?”

 

“What? My brother studies fairies and trolls, he’s obviously have to study how bodies and stuff work.” Stanley blinked innocently. He’d have to clean up that coffee stain from the floor but the look on Fiddleford face was worth it.

 

“Right-right. Well, not necessarily. I didn’t study biology myself, but Stanford did need some help with his studies and assignments. And if’n I was able to help I would,” Fiddleford recalled. “And in turn he’d help me out with my engineering studies.”

 

“A bit of ‘I scratch your back you scratch mine?’” Stanley smirked.

 

“If you call staying up until 3 am for three nights in a row ‘scratching his back’ then yes.” Fiddleford rolled his eyes.

 

“I don’t know, that sounds pretty productive if you ask me.” Stan smirked.

 

“If you’re trying to ask if your brother and I were in a relationship you can just say it,” Fiddleford said flatly.

 

“Aw, but I wanted to tease you more,” Stanley pouted. He took a sip of his coffee.

 

“Your dancing around the bush was about as subtle as a baseball bat to the face,” Fiddleford said. “And It’s way too early to be dealing with any of that.” He took a very quick sip of his coffee. He didn’t want a repeat of earlier.

 

“Fine fine, so that's how you scratched his back, how’d he pay you back?” Stanley asked. “From what I’ve heard, your dorms were terrible in winter. Did you two find an ‘economical’ way to stay warm?”

 

“Ya got me once Stanley, it ain’t happening again.” Fiddleford said. “And let me answer your question with a question, do you ever wonder why your brother always wears long sleeved shirts?”

 

“Because he somehow thought that Carl Sagan was a Fashion pioneer instead of the nerd he really was?” Stanley asked.

 

“For someone who claims to enjoy having fun you sure do like to suck the fun out other people, you know that?” Fiddleford asked.

 

“Oh, I’m well aware.” Stanley smirked. “But because I’m nice I’ll take the bait. Why does Ford wear long sleeved shirts all the time?”

 

“I don’t feel like telling you anymore.” Fiddleford look away childishly.

 

“Oh c’mon, don’t be like that,” Stanley said. He walked over to Fiddleford’s side to coddle him. “You know I was just kidding, right?”

 

“Well i don’t want an inattentive audience when i’m telling my stories,” Fiddleford turned his head away and crossed his arms.

 

“Come on Fiddlesticks, I really mean it,” Stanley took the seat next to Fiddleford. “I promise I‘ll listen this time.”

“Your words are as empty as your stomach, Stanley Pines,” Fiddleford said dramatically. He stared Stanley down, but was thrown off by his boyfriend’s grin. “What’s so funny, Mr. Heckler?”

 

“Empty as my stomach eh?” Stanley asked. He nodded to his empty plate of pancakes. “You sure about that one?”

 

“That doesn’t prove anything. You’d put the the bottomless hole we have outside to shame,” FIddleford said.

 

“It’s a gift,” Stanley beamed.

 

“At least I don’t have to worry about throwing away food scraps anymore,” Fiddleford said.

 

“So, you were going to tell me a story about my brother hiding something with shirts?” Stan asked.

“I’m not sure if I’m willing to tell you.” Fiddleford smirked.

 

“Hmm, maybe I could make it worth your while?” Stanley asked.

 

“Stanley, are you suggesting a bribe?” Fiddleford asked in mock shock.

 

“I think I might have something to fit the bill,” Stanley grinned. He leaned forward and kissed Fiddleford’s cheek. The engineer giggled as the scruff on Stan’s chin tickled him.

 

“You were right.” Fiddleford said. He scooted his chair closer so that he could lean against stan’s chest. “That definitely fit the bill.”

 

“So can I hear the story or not?” Stanley asked after a beat. Fiddleford gotten half way through his pancakes and hadn’t said a word.

 

Fiddleford took another bite of his pancakes.

 

“What are you waiting for a kiss on the cheek?” Stan asked.

 

“Another one wouldn’t hurt,” Fiddleford grinned.

 

“You set me up,” Stan frowned.

 

“And they said it’s impossible to out-con a conman,” Fiddleford smirked. Stanley rolled his eyes before kissing fiddleford’s cheek.

 

“Happy?”

 

“Very,” Fiddleford grinned.

 

Fiddleford finished off his breakfast before diving into his tale.

 

“I was low on parts for my engineering major, and my deadline was breathing down my back,” he began. “Your brother had helped me test out the prototypes but those… didn’t turn out too well.”

 

“Did they explode?” Stanley asked.

 

“Not in any way that would be entertaining. Half the time they just started to smoke and we’d have to get the fire extinguisher.” Fiddleford said. “Anyway, we got wind that the science department were planning on throwing out some equipment. And that stuff just happened to have the parts I needed. So Stanford and I got suited up, you should have seen your brother, he got a black sweater and beanie for the occasion.”

 

“You’re saying that as if you didn’t have a mask and a striped black and white shirt as well.” Stanley accused.

 

“I thought it would have been appropriate to dress to fit the occasion,” Fiddleford said. “As I was saying, we made our way to the science building in the dead of night.  It was so dark we couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces. Stanford was saying something about anti-theft lights that made everything hard to see. Turns out we were just in the shadow of the building.”

“Ha! He would think that.” Stanley said smugly.

 

“Well we walked into the building.” Fiddleford said.

 

“You just walked in? No security? No security guards? No cameras?” Stan asked.

 

“Our college advertised ‘roach free dormitories’.” Fiddleford scowled. “This was granted by handing out a free can of insect spray on our first day.”

 

“Sounds like my kind of place.” Stanley smirked.

 

“Let’s just say they probably didn’t have the budget for any kind of serious security detail.” FIddleford said. “A I was saying, we walked in, no problem. In fact the equipment was right by the door in the hallway.”

 

“Sounds too convenient,” Stanley said.

 

“It was a stroke of luck!” Fiddleford said, pretending that he hadn’t heard Stan’s comment. “But lo and behold the night guard was on his patrol.”

 

“I thought you said there weren’t any guards,” Stan squinted.

 

“To be fair, in hindsight they were probably a janitor. But I’m the storyteller here and I decide the roles.” Fiddleford resumed. “Stanford was panicking but didn’t know squat about what parts I needed, so I had him to hold the flashlight for me while I quickly pulled the equipment apart for what I needed. And just as I got the last part free we heard the nightguard walking close by. So using our brilliant minds we dove behind the equipment just in time to avoid their spotlight.”

 

“Stanford was that daring? Now I wish I was there to see that.” Stanley smirked.

 

“Just as we heard them walked past; we made our way to sneak past the nightguard. Unfortunately Stanford, the old butterfingers that he was, dropped his flashlight.” He waved his arms as he spoke. “And to make things worse, the parts in my bag had leaked oil on to the floor. His flashlight cracked on the ground and was covered in oil. And when he turned it back on KABLOOEY! It blew up, setting his black sweater on fire and burning his arms terribly.”

 

“Ha! That’s rich.” Stanley wiped a tear from his eye while slamming his hand on the table. “Fidds you’re a riot,” he said between chuckles.

 

“And he’s been hiding his arms in shame ever since,” Fiddleford said.

 

After he finally caught his breath Stanley clapped Fiddleford on the shoulder. “Fidds, that was amazing. But one problem.”

 

“What’s that?” Fiddleford asked.

 

“We both saw Stanford with his sleeves rolled up,” Stanley said. “And if memory served we both teased him for having such smooth arms that pixies could use them as a slide.”

 

“Well I never said it was a true story,” Fiddleford pouted.

 

The tipped Stanley over the edge. He erupted into laughter once more. He kicked the ground and slammed his fist on to the table, knocking the utensils around in his hysterics. His barking laugh filled the air, Fiddleford himself couldn’t stop himself from joining in. And in a few short minutes the pair had fallen off their seats.

 

“That was a good laugh.” Stanley said.

 

“I needed that,” Fiddleford coughed. He wiped away a tear.

 

“My little Fiddlesticks out conned me. Twice! I’m so proud.” Stanley said. He placed his hand on his heart. “I think that deserves a reward.”

 

“My my, what have you got in mind?” Fiddleford smirked. He crawled over so that he was sitting on Stan’s lap.

 

“There’s that sci-fi flick that came out a while ago. We could go check out together,” Stanley offered.

 

“I thought you hated sci-fi,” Fiddleford said.

 

“It’s also a horror flick. I’ll get to have you cuddle up to me when the big monster jumps out,” Stanley said with a smirk.

 

“After the hunts that Stanford’s had us go through? I doubt some goo-covered rubber costume will get my goat,” Fiddleford said.

 

“Wanna bet?” Stanley asked.

 

“Who ever screams first has to be the winner dinner,” Fiddleford declared. He offered his hand to Stan.

 

“You’re on McGucket,” Stanley shook fiddleford’s hand. “I hope you’re not too attached to your wallet.”

 

“We’ll See Stanley, we’ll see,” Fiddleford smiled.

Chapter Text

“Stanley are you ready?” Fiddleford asked. His boyfriend slammed the trunk of his Cadillac.

“As I’ll ever be,” Stan huffed. The keys jingled in his hand as he took them out of his pocket.

“It’s been a few years. He’s had to have gotten over it by now. ‘Time heals all wounds’ as they say.” Fiddleford smiled. He opened the car and sat snugly in the passenger side seat.

“I have some friends down south who would beg to differ,” Stanley said flatly. He ignored the way his stomach tried to break out of his body and started up the engine. It was a long drive to this ‘Gravity Falls’ place, last thing he needed was his stomach deciding to go rogue on him.

“This’ll be a great opportunity for the both of us. I’ll finally have a job with some impact and income. And you’ll be able to make up with your brother.” Fiddleford’s cheer was infectious, but not enough to completely cure Stanley of his nerves.

“I still say this sounds fishy,” Stanley pouted.

“You’re stalling,” Fiddleford’s eyebrow quirked up.

“So what if I am?” Stanley shot back.

“We need to go either way. So we might as well face it with our best. After all, how bad can it be?” Fiddleford sighed. He placed his hand on Stan’s shoulder.

“How bad can it be?” Stan repeated. He leaned forward for a kiss before starting them off on their trip.


 

Driving at dawn wasn’t something Stan often did. More so out of distaste for early mornings than any other reason. But he had to admit that Fiddleford’s idea of leaving early was working out well. The roads were empty, not a car in sight. And this was probably for the better; Fiddleford had been getting on his case for his driving. Something he’d describe as akin to “trying to ride a hog in the middle of breeding season.”

It wasn’t Stanley’s fault that the police were almost always chasing him when he hit the road. It probably didn’t help that he’d often forget to get local license plates.

A soft snore brought Stanley’s attention to Fiddleford’s sleeping form. His head pressed against the window. His glasses had slid down, resting precariously on the tip of his nose. Stanley rolled his eyes. At his next red light Stanley pulled off Fiddleford’s glasses, resting them on the dashboard.

“So much for being a morning person,” Stan chuckled.


 

“So if I’m getting this right, you somehow busted through three police barricades, interrupted a parade, and somehow found parking during the Lunch time rush for us to have breakfast for lunch?” Fiddleford raised his eyebrow. He took a cursory and deliberate glance at his watch. “That 1:30 in the afternoon breakfast rush must have been deadly. How on earth did you survive?”

“What can I say? I’m amazing.” Stanley wiped his wiped his nails against his coat. He wore a satisfied grin on his face while his plate of waffles sat soaked in syrup. “‘Sides, I was hungry, half a sandwich before leaving isn’t enough for a guy like me.”

“Or full of hot air,” Fiddleford cut into his own plate of french toast.

“Considering who’s talking, I’d say it’s fitting that I spout hot air,” Stanley grinned. “Helps me blow you away.”

Fiddleford choked on his mouthful of waffle. “Stanley we are in public, have you no shame?”

“You tell me.” Stanley smirked. He motioned to the empty restaurant around them. “No risk, and all the reward.” He punctuated himself by flicking Fiddleford’s nose.

“Honestly I don’t know why I bother.” Fiddleford frowned.

“Because you wuv me so much,” Stanley pinched Fiddleford’s cheek.

“Keep this up and you’ll be lucky if I let you sleep on the couch.” Fiddleford said, trying his best to sound intimidating.

“How exactly do you plan to command that under Ford’s roof?” Stanley challenged.

“You’re really feeling cheeky today, aren’t you?” Fiddleford sighed.

“You said you loved that about me.” Stanley said with false sadness. “Was it all a lie?”

“Stanley, are you saying that one of the biggest con men of this century fell for the simplest con of all?” Fiddleford said. “It took you this long to realise I was secretly after all your riches? After all, who wouldn’t go through multiple false alter egos to get a hold of a shirt covered in miscellaneous stains?”

“Hey, when I make it big people will pay an arm and a leg for one,” Stanley said.

“That’s how much it'll cost for a machine that’ll be able to wash those stains out.” Fiddleford rolled his eyes.

“Everyone's a critic,” Stanley sighed.


 

“In my defence I didn’t think having breakfast for lunch would have this kind of effect on you,” Stanley said.

He rubbed circles into Fiddleford’s back. Who was currently bent over, emptying the contents of his stomach on to the roots of a tree on the side of the highway. The thin man had been complaining about stomach issues since they left the diner. It hadn’t been until he started to heave that convinced Stan that Fiddleford wasn’t being dramatic.

And just in time as Fiddleford could hardly hold himself before he stumbled out of the car and to the nearest tree, heaving out bits of eggs and french toast. Fiddleford gave a few coughs after throwing up nothing but bile. Stanley handed him a bottle of water.

“Feeling better?” he asked.

“I feel like a rodeo clown riding a bucking bull in the middle of a tornado,” Fiddleford said, after downing half the bottle in one gulp.

“Yeesh, that bad?” Stanley asked.

“Stanley, I told you that your driving gets hard to stomach, didn’t I?” Fiddleford asked.

“Ha. Yeah you did.” Stanley said. “But you could handle it when I drove you about for work.”

“Those trips were short and didn’t involve police chases.” Fiddleford spat, trying to get the taste of bile off his tongue.

“He wasn’t chasing us.” Stanley rolled his eyes.

“That didn’t stop you from driving like he was.” Fiddleford placed his hands on his hips

“I-uh. Yeah I er. Sorry, Fidds. I wasn’t thinking,” Stanley admitted shamefully. He stared at the ground.

“Yeah, that was obvious from you deciding to knock over that officer’s coffee for no good reason.” Fiddleford tilted his head.

“It was for a good reason.” Stanley said defensively. “He was giving me the stink eye. And the look on his face was definitely worth it.”

Fiddleford stared. He was met with Stanley's best attempt at an earnest smile. He pinched the bridge of his nose and gave a sigh. 

“Stanley, I love you, but you really need to be more careful.” Fiddleford said.

“I’ll keep it in mind,” Stanley promised.

Fiddleford finished off the bottle before the pair headed back to the car.

“Have you always gotten car sick easy?” Stanley asked. He pulled some sick bags from the trunk and handed them to Fiddleford.

“I was never good for long distance driving,” Fiddleford admitted. He placed the bags on his lap. “My parents would give me some sleeping pills and have me sleep most of the ride when we’d visit my cousins out of state.”

“That sounds like a recipe for disaster.” Stanley got into his seat, adjusting the mirrors before starting up the engine.

“Would you have preferred spending an afternoon shampooing a southern breakfast out of the car seats?” Fiddleford raised an eyebrow. “Considering how attached you are to your lovely leather seats, I’m going to put my eggs in the basket that says ‘no’.”

“Yeah, yeah, you made your point,” Stanley said. He pulled them back onto the highway.

He took extra precaution with with his driving, changing lanes as slowly as he could. Keeping as close to the speed limit as he could without upsetting his fellow driver. He could feel his foot begging to slam on the gas and speed up their journey, but Stanley pushed that feeling down. He didn't want to upset Fiddleford more than he already had. Not that he could tell with him moaning every few minutes.

“Hey Fidds, how are you feeling?” Stanley asked, when they passed a sign pointing to the nearest town.

“As though I have one foot in the grave,” Fiddleford groaned. His face rested against the window.

“What do you say to a little pit stop then?” Stanley suggested. “I’ll get you an actual lunch to make up for earlier. And maybe we can see if they have a place with some sleeping pills for you.”

“That would be heavenly,” Fiddleford said as the Stanley mobile took the next exit.


 

They had passed the ‘Welcome to Gravity falls’ sign an hour ago; but all Stanley could do was stare out his window. Before him stood a wooden cabin in the middle of the woods. It figures that his brother would pick a place far from everything else. Stanley gave a heavy sigh as he cut the engine of his car. He and Fiddleford tried enjoy the quiet of the twilight before getting out. Stanley's stomach twisted uncomfortably as he kept watch of the screen door of the house.  

"Stan, you're hesitating."

"What was your first hint?"

"You made us stop at every tourist trap on our way over."

"I thought you liked giant yarn balls."

"I said my Grandmammy gave me some knitting lessons." Fiddleford said flatly. "And it was the lumberjack that I said i liked."

"See? It wasn't a waste of time." 

"Stan, you may be a con, but your tells are couldn't be more obvious  if you ran around the fields screaming how you didn't care."

"What."

"Stanley, what's the worst that could happen?"

"I get chewed out figuratively and literally, before being told to fuck off and never return before you walk away and leave me with the clothes on my back and my car like back -"

"I'm gonna stop you right there." Fiddleford placed a hand on Stanley's shoulder. "Do you remember when I found that box of fake ID's you tried to hide under the mattress?"

"It was a foolproof hiding place." Stanley gave a weak chuckle.

"Yeah, and what did we learn on that day?" Fiddleford asked.

"That lying is bad?" 

"And?"

"Uhh, lying to my boyfriend of 3 months will get me into trouble?" Stanley asked.

"Yes, I practically tore down the house when I found out half of what you got up to, didn't I?" Fiddleford asked.

"My ears are still ringing."  Stanley shivered at the memory.

"But what happened afterwards?"

"You left me on the couch for two weeks."

"But it worked out in the end right? We're sitting together right now, am I wrong?"

"Yeah, but with Ford it's-"

"Stanley Pines you confessed to being part of 3 different gangs to me on the same night that you admitted to not being the man I thought I was in love with. I think our situation would trump whatever grudge Stanford is holding," Fiddleford said.

Stanley stared at the cabin again. his fingers loosened their hold on the steering wheel. 

"But you do have a point.  This is going to be different than that night," Fiddleford said. 

"Why's that?" Stanley asked.

"This time you've got me." Fiddleford smiled.

"Sweet Moses that was painful," Stanley laughed.

"Too cheesy?" Fiddleford asked.

"If you were a pizza you'd be a mouse's paradise," Stanley said.

"Well I'm glad that I caught my mouse, then!" Fiddleford grinned.

"Oh come over here you Edgar Allen wannabe." Stanley leaned forward and gave Fiddleford a deep kiss.

After a moment of adjusting noses and duelling tongues, Fiddleford pulled back for air. He admired the flushed look on Stanley's face as he himself tried to catch his breath. Fiddleford cupped Stanley's cheek in his hand. "Feel better?"

"Kinda." 

Fiddleford grinned. "Well let's face the music together and get this over with."

Chapter Text

Stanley stared across the the open ocean. The waves splashed against the bow of the Stan O’ War. The sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. He could hear a cluttering coming from the cabin, Fiddleford was tinkering with their navigation equipment.

 

‘Probably making sure we don’t get lost again,’ Stanley thought. He heard Ford trying to argue in favour a detour about some anomaly that had popped up on his radar.

 

Stanley chuckled while taking a sip of his drink.  He tapped his finger against the can, enjoying the small clink that his ring made against the it. He knew it wouldn’t be long before the Stan-o-war II would find itself into trouble. It was only a matter of time, it was like his father always said, he and his brother were nothing but trouble makers looking to make more.

 

There was a thud from the cabin before a series of vulgar shouts. Stanley turned to see his father holding Fiddleford up by the neck. Stanford lay slumped against the steering wheel, his glasses cracked.

 

His father marched out of the cabin, Fiddleford in hand. Even with through his sunglasses Stanley knew his father was glaring at him.

 

“So this is what you became of yourself huh? It wasn't enough to come sniveling back to your brother like the disgusting leech you are. You had to ride on the coattails of this pathetic excuse of a man.” Filbrick spat.

 

Fiddleford struggled to pull Filbrick’s thick fingers from this throat. He kicked his legs in vain as Filbrick raised him higher.

 

Filbrick spied the silver band on Fiddleford’s left hand.  “What’s this?”

 

“Hey! Leave him alone!” Stanley marched over to his father.

 

“Or what? Are you going to disappoint me to death?” Filbrick sneered. He easily knocked Stanley down with his free hand.

 

“Don’t hurt him.” Stanley picked himself. Ready to rescue his boyfriend again.

 

“Oh, so that’s how it is.” Filbrick spat venom.

 

“Let-Let me-” Fiddleford struggled as Filbrick tightened his grip.

 

“I always had a hunch that you were going to be a runt, but to think that you’d be a dead end as well.” Filbrick’s face twisted into a deep seated scowl. “It looks like I was too soft on you, I’m going to have to teach you how to be a real man.”

“Let him go!” Stanley ran for his father, only to be socked in the face for his efforts.

 

Filbrick walked over to the edge of the boat.

 

“The first lesson,” Filbrick made sure that Fiddleford’s legs dangled over the water. “Is that no Pines man sleeps in the same bed as another-”

 

Stanford ran out of the cabin, tackling Filbrick to the ground. Fiddleford fell from Filbrick’s grasp, falling into the sea below with a loud splash.  Stanford pinned his father’s wrists to the ground.

 

“Use a rope, help Fidds.”  Stanford commanded. He nodded to the life preserver by the bow of the ship.

 

Wasting no time Stanley threw the ring out to his husband. He kept a firm hold on the rope tied to it.

 

Fiddleford quickly caught hold of the tube. He kicked his legs to keep himself afloat while Stanley pulled him back on board.

 

“Get in the cabin, we’ll deal with this.” Stanley pushed Fiddleford towards the door.

 

“Stan-”

 

Filbrick broke out of Stanford’s hold. He punched stanford’s jaw, knocking him off himself. Filbrick picked himself up, rearing up his leg to kick Stanford.

 

“NOW!” Stan shoved Fiddleford before slamming into his father.

 

Filbrick fell to the ground with a curse. His fedora fell off his head, landing a few feet ahead of him. He slammed his fist on the deck before turning to stare down his son.

 

“Always getting in my way,” he snarled. Filbrick picked himself up. He landed a harsh hook into Stanley’s cheek.

“Your mother was too soft on you,” Filbrick said, before jumping out of the way of Stanford, who had tried to slam into his father while he was distracted.

 

“I’m taking both of you worthless knuckleheads back home and teaching you how to be actual men,” Filbrick declared. He grabbed stanley’s shirt and raised him over his head before throwing him onto his brother.

 

Before the brothers could pick themselves up, Filbrick jumped onto each of their hands. Crushing them under his heel.

 

The brothers screamed in pain as Filbrick twisted his foot on their hands. “He’s your second lesson. Just because a man is down, doesn’t mean that you can’t crush him further.”

 

Filbrick took a step back, raised his foot and began to kick them in the sides. Indiscriminate as he slammed his foot into them before they could recover. Stan felt a rib snap.

 

“That should keep you both down,” Filbrick said smugly. He walked off to pick up his hat.

 

He bent down to pick up his hat. Seizing the chance, Stanley bit back the pain in his side and rushed him. He aimed for the back of his head with his patented left hook. His father hit the ground.

 

“You worthless shit!” Filbrick screamed.

 

He launched an uppercut, landing directly on Stanley’s chin. Stanley staggered back but caught himself on the boat’s rail.

 

“You never learned.” Filbrick dashed forward, fist raised. “This time I’ll make sure you pay attention.”

 

“Stan, duck!” Fiddleford cried.

 

Stanley dropped in time to see a banjo slam into the back of his father’s head, knocking him over the railing and into the sea.

 

“Sorry about the wait, I couldn’t find where old Bessie here was hiding.” Fiddleford rested the neck of the banjo on his shoulder, its base broken and hanging on by its strings. He walked other to Stanley and helped him stand up.

 

“Sorry,” Stanford coughed. He pulled himself up using the side of the boat. “I thought it would be better for our sleeping schedule if I hid your banjo away for the night.”

 

“We’ll talk about that later. For now let’s get you two fixed up.” Fiddleford nodded towards the cabin.

 

The trio walked slowly, Stanley leaning on Fiddleford’s shoulder, with Ford using the side of the boat for support. As they neared the cabin, Stanley noticed the sky above them darken at an alarming rate.

 

“Sixer, you didn’t mess with any cursed junk today, did you?” Stanley asked.

 

“No, I was too busy having my teeth kicked in,” Stanford replied.

 

The boat rocked violently, knocking all three men onto their behinds.  

 

“I know you don’t like it when your brother and I accuse you of causing most of the problems we come across, but if you had a hand in this I’d prefer you confess now before the boat get smashed,” Fiddleford said.

 

“I think it might have something to do with that,” Stanley said. He pointed to a pair of mountains that had peaked through the water. A pair of mountains that looked suspiciously like the top of their father’s hat.

 

“Did your father do that normally?” Fiddleford asked.

 

“Less questions more actions.” Stanley ran to the cabin, hands on the steering wheel.

 

Fiddleford and Stanford watched as the enormous face of Filbrick Pines emerges from the water. Water poured from the rim of his hat, cascading down his face and splashing onto the ship deck.

 

“We aren’t moving!” Stanford cried.

 

Stanley increased the engine power, but the ship did not move away from Filbrick. In fact, the Stan-O’-War seemed to be rising out of the water.

 

“This doesn’t look good,” Stanford said as the ship began to tilt.

 

Fiddleford looked over the side of the ship and saw them rising very quickly on Filbrick’s shoulder. He tightened his grip on the side of the boat as the ocean grew more and more distant from them.

 

“Stanford you didn’t install that parachute on hot-air balloon on the boat yet did you?” Fiddleford asked. The boat tipped further, several bits of ropes slid past Fiddleford.

 

“It was on my to-do list,” Stanford cried before the boat fell off of Filbrick’s shoulder.

 

The boat flipped.

 

“Fidds! Sixer!” Stanley cried uselessly from the cabin, as his brother and husband fell into the abyss.

 

Something flashed by Stanley’s eye.  A strange spectre, with a face that looked like burnt flesh and a tacky striped sweater.  He cackled in Stan’s face.

 

“It looks like you’re a ship off the old block!” It said before slashing at Stan with a clawed glove.


Stanley sat up with a start. He felt a cold sweat slide down the back of his neck as he looked around. He was in bed, Fiddleford snoring soundly next to him, a mess of limbs under the covers. To his left lay his brother’s journal, open to a blank page. There was a pen on the nightstand next to it.  He was going to need to discuss what experiments he agreed to take part in.

 

“In the morning,” Stanley muttered as he snuggled back into bed.

Chapter Text

Stanley cursed himself as he launched a fist towards the jaw of a nearby mugger. He told himself not to get involved.

 

‘The guy’s doomed’ he thought, ‘he’s a waste of time.’

 

And despite those words he found himself inching closer to the alleyway. Maybe it was the way his knees knocked in time with his chattering teeth. Or maybe it was the way that despite the obvious danger of the situation the southern man still tried to reason with the three thugs. Even with three knives, threatening to trim his unfortunately long nose. Whatever it was, he knew he’d hate himself in the morning if he left the bespectacled nerd end up as a pin cushion.

 

‘What’s a guy in such a fancy suit doing in this part of town anyway?’ Stanley thought.

 

He stepped into the alley. He dug into his pockets, pulling out his knuckle dusters. Considering what he was going against, it only seemed fair that the evened up the playing field a little. Following that line of logic, Stan decked the nearest thug in the back of the head.

 

The thug hit their head on a garbage can. Their knife clattered to the ground.

 

“One down two to go,” Stan said. He wore a smug grin as he racked his knuckles.

 

“Shit,” one thug said. He looked to his remaining companion.

 

“You want some of this?” The second thug said. She pointed her knife at Stan undeterred by his larger frame.

 

The southern man slammed his briefcase on to her head.

 

“DAMMIT,” the last thug cried. He looked from Stanley to the southern man and back. His knife following his flickering gaze.

 

“And here I thought you were completely helpless.” Stanley smirked at the southern man.

 

“I was going to thank you for coming to my aid, but I couldn’t let these ruffians get the upper hand on you.”

 

“Piss off!” the last mugger said. He cowarded against the alley wall.

“I’ll tell ya what kid. I’ll give you a chance to go and I won’t drag you to the cops.” Stan said.

 

“How about you leave us to our business and you won’t have to be dragged to the hospital.” the mugger said. His friend jumped and slashed into Stan.

 

“You bastard!” Stan cried.

 

He slammed his elbow into the face of the thug behind him. In that moment the last thug grabbed his knocked out companion and ran through down alley.

 

“Get back here!” The southern man cried. He shook his briefcase while the thugs ran off into the night. Leaving him and Stanley alone in the alley.

 

“Are you alright?” He walked over to Stan.

 

“What do you think?” Stan snapped. He clutched his side, his jacket darkening with as his blood poured out of his wound.

 

“I-er there was a pay phone up the road! I’ll call you an ambulance.” The southern man said quickly.

 

“NO!” Stan said in a harsher tone than he intended. “I-I don’t have enough to cover getting stitched up.”

 

“If you’d like, I have some first aid back at my apartment.” The southern man said.  “it’s just down the road.”

 

“Let’s hope it’s closer than the grave,” Stanley said.

 

Stanley declined his’s offered hand. Choosing to hold on to his bleeding side as tightly as he could. “Don’t wanna mess up your suit now do we?” Stanley smirked. He shakily pointed at the southern man’s suit.

 

“Washing machines were invented for a reason.” The southern man said. “Let me help-”

 

“Take it from me guy, blood is a nightmare to wash out.” stanley said. He took a shaky, but determined step towards the other man.



“Please, call me Fiddleford, That is my name after all. Fiddleford McGucket.” Fiddleford said. Guiding Stanley down the road. “May i ask what’s yours?”

 

“Hal Forrester.” Stanley lied through his teeth.



“So Mr. Forrester-” Fiddleford said.

 

“Hal’s fine.” Stanley interrupted. He hissed in pain as a Fiddleford placed his hand on his side.

 

“Ope, Sorry Hal.” Fiddleford said. “I have good news for you. Good news is that your cut doesn’t seem deep enough to need stitches. Downside is that you’re going to need to rest up before you can move about freely.” He cut the last of the bandage that he had tied around Stan’s side.

 

“That’s a relief,” Stanley said smugly. “Relaxing is my specialty.” He leaned back into Fiddleford’s couch.

 

The apartment was small, really small. The kitchen was just a sink and oven stashed in the corner of the living room. From where he sat, Stanley could see a mess of clothes and metal littering the bedroom. He could only imagine how tight the bathroom must have been. Then again, considering how thin Fiddleford was, he probably find that small apartment cozy.

 

“You’d be surprised. I knew someone back in college who I’d have to threaten him with a smack to the head if he didn’t get a good night’s rest.” Fiddleford said.

 

“Don’t we all?” Stanley smirked.

 

“You went to college?” Fiddleford asked, excitement hitching his voice.

 

“Not that, i meant we all know some nerd who doesn’t know when to take a nap.” Stanley said.

 

“In his defence our professors put us through a lot of work. Especially towards the end of the semester,” Fiddleford shuddered. He walked over to the sink. “Would you like some water?”

 

“How bad could it get?” Stanley asked. “Yeah sure.”

 

“There were multiple students who had to be taken away in ambulances from caffeine overdose.” Fiddleford said flatly. He walked back to the couch, handing Stan a glass of water.

 

“Yeesh.” Stanley said. He nodded and gratefully accepted the glass. “My Mum got through 10 mugs of coffee before we were got worried about her.”

“Daily?”

 

“Basically yeah.” Stanley said. “I think the only reason she really kept the swear jar was to get a bigger budget for coffee.”

 

“Now that’s an idea.” Fiddleford said. “My ma kept us from speaking crudely by not letting me or my siblings have dessert after supper.”

 

“Really? Like them old fairy tales?” Stanley raised his brow.

 

“After a long day’s work at the farm and dealing with your homework, the last thing you want is to go without having the ice cream you were looking forward to all day.” Fiddleford huffed.

 

“Fine, fine.” Stanley shrugged. “My parents tried that too, but me and my brother would just sneak out after bedtime and had as much as we’d like.”

 

“Brother you say?” Fiddleford leaned a little closer than Stanley would have liked. “Hal, I've Been meaning to ask you since we arrived. Did you have a twin brother by any chance?”

 

“I-eh, why’d you ask?” stanley said, rubbing the back of his neck.

 

“You look a great deal like an old friend of mine from college.” Fiddleford said. He scratched his chin. “Come to think of it, your accent does remind me of him.”

 

“You’ve got the wrong guy,” Stanley chuckled uncomfortably. “I’m a travelling salesmen. I spent a couple of years down in Jersey. It uh- It helped move products if people thought you were local you know? They hear you talking like one of their own and they think ‘wow now that’s the voice of a man I can trust’”

 

“Makes sense,” Fiddleford said slowly. He leaned back, hand still pressed to his chin.

 

“Maybe you saw me me from the commercials I did on T.V. I did a lot of those, so maybe you're getting some wires crossed in the whole memory department.” Stanley tapped his temple. He wore his best showmen grin.

 

It wasn’t a complete lie, many a person had recognised him from his commercials, for better or for worse. And there were the occasional customer who somehow were tricked by his lazy exceptional accent impressions. Complimenting him and asking if he was a local.

 

It had been a good several minutes before Fiddleford stepped back, his hand rested on his hip. “Perhaps you’re right.” Fiddleford said.

 

Stan sighed with relief.

“”Sides, it’d be rude to press you on an issue if you don’t want to talk about it.” Fiddleford walked into the bedroom. “I”ll be out in a minute, just need to get changed.”

 

“Yeah sure, take your time,” Stanley said clutching his chest. Willing his heart to slow down.

 

Stanley took this opportunity to observe more of his surroundings. The coffee table before him was covered in bits and bots of machine parts. Some looked familiar to the parts his brother used to tinker with when they were younger, other looked really unfamiliar and very unfriendly to curious fingers. The briefcase that Fiddleford had been carrying earlier was next to the chaos that was the coffee table.

 

Fiddleford had opened it while patching up Stan’s wound. He had mentioned something about making sure his greatest work wasn’t damaged. Stanley shuffled as best as he could in his seat to get a better look at the open briefcase. A few silent curses and several struggles later, Stan found himself close enough to get a good view of the briefcase. Only to find a cracked Screen and what looked like a flattened typewriter beneath it.

 

“Sorry for the wait,” Fiddleford said, walking out of the room. He wore a pair of dark green banjo-patterned pyjamas,  “I thought I had had more clean clothes than I did. Probably going to need to pop into the cleaners tomorrow.”

 

“I know that problem,” Stanley chuckled nervously. He had jumped back to his original position.

 

“Speaking of, would you like me to drop you off at your home?” Fiddleford asked. “I’d hate for you to have to spend the night in those torn up clothes.”

“And get yourself mugged again?” stanley asked raising his eyebrow, With Pyjamas like that you’d signal every down-on-his-luck-bastard in a 8 mile radius.”

 

“I was just trying to be courteous,” Fiddleford pouted.

 

“Don’t sweat it much Fiddlesticks,” Stanley waved his hand. “I’ve had to sleep in worse, I’ll get my stuff and get changed tomorrow or something.”

 

“Fair enough.” Fiddleford said. “I’d have offered you some of my clothes, but on account of your greater size I decided against the idea.”

 

“You’re damn right.” Stanley chuckled. “You’d end up with a parachute if i wore one of your shirts.”

 

“It’s good to hear that you’re not self-conscious about your weight,” Fiddleford said. He poured himself a glass of water before taking a seat next to Stanley on the couch.

 

“So uh, what’s that thing you’ve got over there?” Stanley asked. He tried his best to sound nonchalant. ‘ I probably shouldn’t look right? He had it turned away so he he doesn’t want me to see it yet’

 

“Just a failed project of mine,” fiddleford sighed.

 

“What happened? Did it explode and leave you looking like someone smashed your face into some coal?” Stanley asked.

 

“That would have been the least of my worries.” Fiddleford said.

 

“What could be worse than looking like a really bad joke?” Stanley asked.

 

“Having a room full of potential investors laugh you out of the building for one.” Fiddleford said. He put his head in his hands. “I spent two years working on this model but I messed up the pitch.”

 

“Hey hey, it can’t be all bad. What’s this doohickey supposed to do?” Stanley asked. He shuffled over to Fiddleford’s side and wrapped his arm around his shoulder.

 

“What’s the point? I always ruin my chances when it comes to selling things. Ma and pa always set me to shelving duty when we set-up at the farmers markets.” Fiddleford’s voice hitched.

 

“C’mon guy, you’re talking fine right now, what’s the problem?”

 

“Talking isn’t the problem, but presenting or giving a speech,” Fiddleford twiddled his thumbs and stared at the wall. “I get all nervous, my stomach twists too tightly, my palms get all sweaty and every thought in my head slips away as if they were covered in butter.”

 

“Heard that one before,” Stanley said, he patted Fiddleford’s shoulder. “Had my worst sweats when doing my first commercials for T.V.”

 

“How badly did they turn out?” Fiddleford asked.

“Not to toot my own horn, but I’d say I was able to sell out completely.” Stanley chose to not mention the fact that he had been chased by an entire state for his faulty products.

 

“That sounds like exactly what I need.” Fiddleford said. His voice raising in hope. “Would you be willing to help me Hal?”

 

“I-uh I don’t know Fidds, I got some stuff goin’ on.”” Stnaley lied.

 

“Why don’t you sleep on it? I still need to thank you for earlier.” Fiddleford said.

“You don’t gotta force yourself” Stanley said. He scratched the back of his neck. “You patched me up. That’s enough for me.”

“Don’t be preposterous!” Fiddleford siad. “We’ll do lunch, then you can tell me what you decided upon.”

 

“Lunch eh?” stanley raised his brow. He willed his stomach to stay silent. “You’re treat.”

 

“Of course,” Fiddleford grinned.

 

“Well then you’ve got yourself a deal.” Stanley said, he offered his hand.

 

Fiddleford grinned ear-to-ear as he accepted Stanley’s hand.

 

“Well I better get ready for bed. I have an early shift tomorrow.” Fiddleford stood up.

 

“You’ve got a job?” Stanley asked.

 

“I have to keep up rent somehow.” Fiddleford shrugged. He walked into the bedroom and came back with a blanket. “Especially since my inventions aren’t keeping the lights on.”

 

“Makes sense.” Stanley spread the blanket over himself as he carefully lied down along the couch. “Good night I guess.”

 

“See you in the morning,” Fiddleford said.