Daisy had standards, she knew that, and after a couple years of dancing around with an actually cute boy in between friends and almost dating, he asks some other person out. She wasn’t looking for a rebound, but as she was raging about her heartbreak on social media when she saw Dipper Pines walk by.
He’d been invisible last year, she only knew of his prior existence because of his twin’s louder one and the whole debacle with the faculty a ton of years back because they wouldn’t let him use the boys' bathrooms or join boy’s gym. She hadn’t really had an opinion, but seriously it’s just toilets why does anybody care?
He used to be invisible.
When he came back, he was tanner with a line of freckles across his nose. He looked sturdier, and she overheard his stories of running around the forest all summer. Like, he hadn’t hit a full growth’s spurt yet and he still looked like pretty much a noodle, but in a cuter way than before.
He also seemed less shy, somehow. He talked with a ton of people, joined some clubs, and formed a social presence. He was still kind of weird, but not in an unpleasant way. She decided that she was going to ask Dipper Pines out.
He was not rebound.
(Even if she did join journalism and creative writing to talk to him more.)
His social skills were still pretty terrible, but he seemed less afraid to put himself out there. At one point between talking about politics during journalism or asking for help on math, she actually grew a crush.
So maybe he was rebound, but crap she wasn’t the only person realizing Dipper was a pretty neat dude past the weird journal he brought around or his very strange fear of triangles. Her friends still laughed at the idea.
“You’re just jealous that Isaac and Dana celebrated their three month anniversary. I mean, three months? Really?”
“Guys, Dipper actually joined sports this year and didn’t cough up a lung! When he gets a growth spurt he’s going to look even better!”
“Ew! Isn’t his sister cuter than him anyway? Why not ask her out?”
“But I’m not interested in her, just because they’re twins doesn’t mean- ugh!”
Most wouldn’t notice, but Mabel seemed different this new school year. Isabelle wasn’t especially close, but they had worked on student council together.
Mabel seemed a little more down to earth and maybe a little sadder. Not in teenage angst way, just like she lost someone. Like she lost a dream or something. Sometimes she sees Mabel doodling waffle guards, kitten judges, or singing trees.
It was like she expected something a little more rose-tinted.
Mabel was very good at outpouring all her energy into twenty different things at once, but for some reason, a certain shade of bright yellow made her pause. Sometimes she saw Mabel doodling eyeballs with bats or giant pyramids. Those drawings are often during rainy days where Mabel doesn’t show up the next day, calling in sick.
Mabel seems like she saw something terrible, and it’s kind of not Isabelle’s business and all because she never really talked to Mabel outside of student council duties, but this year they have art class together, and Mabel keeps trying to draw something and scrapping it. When Isabelle saw before it was crumpled up was some sort of metal structure shipped like an upside down triangle and someone floating-
“Hey, Mabel. Everything good?” She laughed, trying to lighten the mood.
“They say artists are always dissatisfied with their art form. Mr. Williams said I couldn’t just lather glitter glue over a doodle of a unicorn and call it a ‘moment to make a decision.’ What kind of theme is that, anyway?”
Maybe she had to make a decision. While the twins were seen more often whispering to each other or glancing to each other before trying to slyly leave a room, they also seem more distant. Or maybe distant wasn’t the word.
Maybe more independent, less comparing about their faults.
But what would Isabelle know, she just worked with Mabel on student council.
When Adi heard Dipper Pines was going to join football, he laughed. He laughed with all his friends, because Dipper was going to be eaten alive, or break a bone.
But the short stack could run, actually. He murmured something about memorizing different plays, and the Pines kid made the team. Yeah, if he was tackled he would be thrown to the ground, but that was if you could catch him. He was sly like he spent the entire summer running from something that was going to catch him.
He mentioned his uncle or someone was a wrestler, so maybe it was just that.
Dipper was teased at the beginning, but quickly he was welcomed into the team as the strange anomaly that Dipper Pines was. He was a genius who aced his classes and, until this year, was an absolute chump.
After a game of theirs, everyone is cheering from victory. Dipper is talking animatedly with a few of the players about a play that went well when his mother taps him on the shoulder.
"Why is she allowed to play with you boys?” And he feels so angry and frustrated all at once.
“What the hell mom.” Is all he knows what to say. He knows Dipper is trans like he knows some of his friends are bi, gay, pan, or something else. But that doesn’t mean he’s actively involved in the community.
“Adi, don’t you dare-” she starts a fit, but he just walks away to congratulate Dipper.
Dipper a pretty cool guy when you get to know him.
Sometimes the loud noises of the crowds pre-game get to him and he sits in a dry shower room going through numbers of pi, and sometimes he talks about this girl Wendy from Gravity Falls with a little heartbreak in his tone, and he’s just a person.
Jenna has always been a little jealous that Mabel was so effortlessly good at volleyball and track. She skipped practices, barely knew the technicalities of the game, but she was good so the coaches had to like her. When it came down to it, Mabel could just hit the volleyball into the corner of the field, making it impossible for the other team to reach and a victory from them. In track, she could sprint and jump over hurdles like nobodies business. It was unfair, but her grades had always been lackluster.
Jenna wasn’t the brightest bulb either, but during those days when the coaches said the number of sprints they ran was the amount of d’s the students had, Mabel’s face would twist up.
This year, Mabel joined academic decathlon with her brother. She was at the lowest level.
So what, maybe she just wanted to mooch something off Dipper or whatever.
She missed games to go to acadec scrimmages and even the coaches were a little frustrated.
At acadec state, Mabel medaled in all her categories. Albeit, it probably wasn’t that hard but she had actually studied. She stopped failing classes and- whatever. So Mabel decided she was going to try in school or something, Jenna could, too. She tried talking to teachers or doing more than cram for tests, but Mabel had her nerdy brother or whatever to help her.
Common sense would say Dipper had different classes to Mabel, but she still was steaming.
Dipper didn’t really notice any changed when the new school year started. He definitely felt more open, more social, more up for change, but he didn’t think people saw him differently. or that people saw him at all. The football guys were really nice and Mabel studied for the acadec tests harder than she did, but nothing felt so different. Yeah, she was usually the athletic social one while he was the introverted smart one, but they weren’t becoming more similar or intruding on each other’s “territory.”
They used to be jealous of each other and angry at their own faults and it almost tore them apart. They didn’t want to settle, and after a crazy summer of literally almost dying and facing a demon, they decided they weren't going to wait for change.
Over the summer Dipper was more active than he ever had been. exploring the forest and doing odd end chores for Stan, which somehow included cutting wood or taking huge signs out into the first to guide poor tourists. Maybe he didn’t necessarily want to join football, but he did end up liking it. He was slower than them and definitely weaker, but it was fun to be part of a team and making friends.
He had always thought journalism was interesting, butt too outside his comfort zone.
Not this year, though! Outside his comfort zone was having to deal with dinosaurs again. And maybe for the creative writing portions, he told a little more truths than fiction.
Mabel hated reading over journals and dusty books over the summer or having to come up with plans right on the spot, but she felt like more a critical thinker. Quiz bowl had been the perfect amalgamation of knowing off hand facts and having the confidence to be the first person to press the buzzer. She raised her grades even, with only minimal help from Dipper. She knew it would be odd, her sudden desire to try and be more brainy, but she was tired of the old excuse of being of dipper excuse he was so smart. She was going to be smarter, than.
She started learning a new language, which came easy to her and brought Dipper despair.
“I’ve tried learning so many languages but they don’t stick in my head!”
“It’s like putting rainbow unicorn puzzle pieces together! It makes no sense but you know it comes together somehow.”
Mabel was a little jealous of how many people were trying to ask Dipper out or writing secret admirer letters. He pushed them off as jokes, pranks, or nothing serious but nobody asked Mabel out still.
But she didn’t need it, it was mostly funny seeing Dipper be totally clueless as a guy on his Dipper’s football team asked if he was free this weekend.
A summer in Gravity falls helped them grow, helped them change, and mostly, taught them what could’ve just happened if they let the history of Pines twins repeat with them.