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To Save You, I'd Do Anything

Chapter Text

For probably the hundredth time that day, Dipper Pines wondered how he got into this mess.

He, of course, knew exactly how he got roped into grocery shopping with two of the last people he would ever voluntarily go grocery shopping with, and that was because his sister, Mabel, had used her puppy dog eyes. Again.

Mabel was currently happily chatting away with Pacifica Northwest, his second least favorite person in the world. Pacifica was a stereotypical snobby rich girl, whose parents basically owned the town Dipper, Mabel, and she currently lived in; Gravity Falls, Oregon. When Dipper and Mabel spent their first summer there, Pacifica had started a pretty toxic rivalry with Mabel, who had this magnificent ability to win everyone over with smiles and excessive amount of glitter. Mabel eventually cracked the hard exterior of Pacifica, and they became very good friends, however Dipper and Pacifica still hated each other. The only thing they really did have in common was that they both loved Mabel. This kept things fairly civil between them.

Sitting in the shopping cart, gleefully buried underneath cookies and boxes of cereal was the only person Dipper disliked more than Pacifica Northwest, and he wasn't even technically a person. Bill Cipher looked up at Dipper from the cart, a mischievous grin on his lips, and an almost manic glint in his visible eye.

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Screaming.

Screaming. Screaming. Screaming.

ScreamingScreamingScreamingScreaming.

Dipper Pines was screaming but his mouth wasn't moving. He was searching frantically for something but his eyes weren't open. He wasn't moving. He wasn't breathing. His heart wasn't beating. Dipper Pines was going to die.

GreyGreyGreyGrey.

Everything was grey in the mindscape, and he was going to be trapped there forever. Dipper Pines was going to die. A single almond shaped eye opened somewhere in the clouds and cried an inky black tear.

Pine Tree Pine Tree Pine Tree falling down.

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“Pine Tree… Hey! Pine Tree!” Cipher’s voice brought Dipper back from his flashback. They’d been happening more frequently since everything happened. Since his accident.

Dipper almost couldn't believe it had only been three days since he’d died, but it had. “Pine Tree I don’t like to be ignored!” Just as Cipher was starting to get whiny, Dipper snapped back from his dark thoughts. “What do you want now, Your Majesty?” Dipper groused. Cipher only raised an eyebrow at Dipper’s snarky comment, and that’s when Dipper noticed that he’d lost track of Mabel and Pacifica. He sighed and pushed the cart forward, grabbing some orange juice and tossing it roughly into the cart, satisfied when he heard a grunt. He hoped it hurt. Mabel … What have you done…? Dipper thought for the millionth time since he woke up three days ago.

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Desperate.

Desperate. Desperate. Desperate.

DesperateDesperateDesperate.

Mabel pines was desperate. Dipper Pines was desperate. Bill Cipher was desperate. A crow cawed in the distance, and an inky black pool swallowed Dipper up.

The grey mist was slowly choking Dipper and there was no way out. No exit. No escape. 

The eye was crying now, black tears of tar creating a river, and Dipper drowned.

Shooting Star I wonder where you are? Desperate and burning bright, let's make a deal and save the night.

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 After enduring the seemingly endless shopping spree, Dipper was forced to carry most of the groceries inside the Mystery Shack.

Dipper had a lot of really fond memories of the decrepit shack, as this was where he spent nearly every summer of his childhood. After Mabel and he had graduated college, Mabel with a degree in fashion and Dipper with a degree in writing, they got a letter from their Grunkle (Great Uncle) Stan, saying that he was going to retire, and that he wanted the twins to take over the shack. This came as great surprise and delight to the twins, and they had moved in within the month. Getting on their feet had been a bit rough, however Pacifica stepped in, and even Dipper grudgingly admitted that she was great with business. With the three of them tag teaming the tours (the Mystery Shack was a scam of a museum that showcased none of the actual mysteries of Gravity Falls, and instead showed off how clever Mabel could be with toenail clippings and chewed gum) and Dipper and Pacifica working together as well as they could without hurting each other, they managed to do quite well for themselves.

All three of them had only been living together for about a month before Dipper's... accident. No one liked to think about it very much, especially Dipper. As he put away the groceries, he felt himself slipping into another flashback...

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Biking. Arguing.

Dipper Pines was yelling too loud to notice the headlights rushing towards him.

Raining. Dark. 

It was too dark for the massive truck to see the angry bike racing down the road.

Mabel regrets stealing his book, but it's too late now. Dipper Pines is DeadDeadDead.

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"Hey, Bro Bro?" Mabel's worried face appears in front of Dipper's, "You okay?" She puts a cold hand to his forehead and grimaces. Dipper knows she thinks he's pushing himself too hard, and if he's being honest with himself, he knows he is too. He can't help it, he doesn't want to lounge around all day, he'd start to feel useless. And he can't leave Mabel and Pacifica alone with Cipher. It's to dangerous, he doesn't care what Mabel says.

"Pine Tree is expending too much energy, he needs to rest," came Cipher's voice from the living room, slightly muffled from the amount of cookies he had shoved into his mouth. Dipper still wasn't used to the sight of Bill Cipher in a human form. Of course, it was a "borrowed" form, as Mabel had put it. Instead of his devious triangular form, he was a tall dark skinned man, with golden hair. His eye still had a demonic look to it, and where his right eye was supposed to be was covered up with an eye patch with a little yellow triangle on it. Ha. Ha. Cipher now had a wiry frame that still radiated power, however subtly. Everyone seemed to almost fawn of Cipher whenever he went anywhere, which made Dipper grind his teeth to a near powder.

Dipper didn't say anything about his expending too much energy, as he already knew that, but he didn't want to give Cipher the satisfaction of being right. He hated how "concerned" Cipher was now with his health. He knew that it was only obligatory. He knew about the deal Mabel made with him...

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Cold.

ColdColdCold. 

It was cold in the mindscape, and Dipper froze. Searching for the exit, but all that could be seen was the inky black pool of tar. Tendrils reached out for Dipper, welcoming him to his new home. To his new Death. Dipper ran, and ran, and ran until he couldn't move. He collapsed on a grey could that was crying black tears.

Mabel Pines shook hands. Everything exploded with blue light and Dipper Pines was dragged from the mindscape and thrown back into his body. 

Dipper Pines was alive.

Dipper woke up in the hospital with Mabel hugging him and sobbing. He looked over her shoulder and saw

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Bill Cipher snapped his slender fingers in front of Dippers face. Behind him, was a worried Mabel and even Pacifica looked concerned. "You. Sleep. Now," Cipher commanded, grabbing Dipper's shoulders and steering him upstairs. Dipper felt his energy draining, as if he only just realized how tired he was. He didn't even try to push Cipher off, as much as he disliked the demon, he knew when he was bested. Dipper was tired. He'd figure out how to fix what Mabel did tomorrow, when he wasn't having flashbacks every three seconds. 

At least, he hoped he wouldn't be having flashback every three seconds.

"Cipher... When are these flashbacks going to stop...?" Dipper asked the demon hesitantly, as he hadn't really spoken to Cipher since he'd woken up. He was uncertain as to how he should act around the former triangle, considering the unfortunate past between them. Cipher had saved his life, and is now apparently going to keep him from harm from now on, but that still didn't change the past. Despite his misgivings, Cipher was the only one Dipper knew who was well versed in the topic of all things mindscape related, so he was the only one to ask about his flashbacks.

Dipper was expecting Cipher's usual maniacal sarcasm, however, he seemed strangely sober about the whole topic. "Honestly? I don't know. This is the first time I've made a deal of this magnitude, kid. You were dead, if I recall correctly. That's got to have some repercussions that even I can't fix," Cipher's forehead scrunched up like he didn't like not knowing the answer to Dipper's question, which he probably didn't. A second later, though, he was back to his usual self. "Alright kid! You need to sleep, and I need to eat more cookies! Go lie down or something, meatsack, I'm bored talking about this!" That's the Bill Cipher I know and dislike, thought Dipper as he lied down on his bed, still in his clothes from the day. As he closed his eyes, he felt a warm pressure on his head, and instantly slipped into sleep.

He didn't hear Bill softly whisper, "Sweet dreams, kid."

Chapter Text

Dipper dreamed of his accident.

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Rain.

RainRainRain like bullets falling down.

The truck couldn't see. Dipper was distracted.

Rain like a roar. Rain like a dark blanket.

The truck tried to swerve. Dipper couldn't hear.

RainRainRain and then Pain.

Dipper was screaming

Screaming

Screaming

Silence.

The silence was louder than the screaming. The silence was heavier than the rain. The silence hung in the air like a 

Noose.

Dipper was dead before the paramedics called Mabel. Dipper was dead before he got to the hospital. Dipper was dead before an eye in the distance blazed red with fury.

Dipper was dead.

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Dipper shot forward in his bed, his mouth open on a scream. It was that dream again. He hated sleeping now, he was plagued with memories that he'd rather forget. No one could forget though, Dipper knew that. Mabel wouldn't allow herself to forget. Dipper couldn't forget as long as there was a certain dream demon sleeping on the couch in his living room. Dipper scrubbed his hand over his face wearily. He didn't blame Mabel, he really didn't. He would've done the same thing and probably more, if the situation was reversed. He needed Mabel, Mabel would drag him out of his books and into the sunlight. She'd be the one to force feed him when he forgot nourishment was necessary to survival. She's put glitter scratch-and-sniff stickers on all his belongings, reminding him to get some sleep.

Sleep. Right. 

Dipper looked at the clock on his nightstand and winced. Four o'clock in the morning. Yikes. Knowing he wasn't going to get any more sleep, he stood up and stretched, mouth gaping on a yawn. He looked down at his dirty, rumpled clothed and wrinkled his nose. First, a shower, and then maybe some food. Cipher couldn't have eaten all the cookies, right?

Dipper stood underneath the shower's spray longer than usual, trying to gather his thoughts. He hated these dreams, and the flashbacks. Even Cipher didn't know how to stop them, but Dipper would honestly hate to continue to have them. It'd be really awkward if he, like, drowned in the swimming pool, or something, because he was having an episode. He'd have to talk to Cipher again, and do some more research to see if he could find a cause or a solution. Dipper sighed again, as his thoughts turned to the demon currently crashed on his couch. He hated to even have the guy close to his sister, it set his teeth on edge. He was a demon! It was like babysitting a live bomb, he's bound to go off eventually.

Dipper would be there to protect Mabel from that, no doubt about that. He'd never risk her getting hurt; ever. Although, Dipper didn't get the vibe that Cipher wanted to hurt Mabel. They seemed to have formed a bond (no pun intended) since Dipper's accident. It was almost like they understood each other, like they had a common goal, but that didn't quite make sense to Dipper. Dipper liked to think he knew about the deal Mabel made, but that wasn't exactly true. He didn't know the exact terms of the deal, only that he'd been brought back in exchange for Mabel and Dipper to teach him about being a human. Cipher also seemed extra concerned about Dipper's safety, so he assumed that was part of the deal. That was why he was living with them, because he could barely function when he wasn't an angry little pyramid all the time.

Dipper knew there was more to the deal then that, but no one would tell him, and it was driving him batty.

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Shooting Star, Shooting Star, I wonder where you are?

Helpless and burning bright, oh, let's make a deal and save the night.

Shooting Star, you've come so far, but now you've crashed and burned.

What can you do, he's dead it's true, but not for very long.

A golden eye'll be your prize, and can we turn back  t i m e?

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Dipper slipped on the wet tile of the shower, and cursed. What he just experienced, it wasn't a flashback. At least, it wasn't his flashback. It felt like a memory, but it wasn't his own. His head was pounding, and he had more questions then answers. He needed to face his demon, pun intended, and get some answers. He needed to find out what exactly happened to him, what Cipher did to bring him back. Maybe if he can find out all the parts to the deal Mabel made, he could start to get some answers about his episodes.

 Dipper found him passed out of the couch, lanky legs hanging over one end of the couch. He was cuddling a couch cushion, sleeping surrounded by cookie wrappers. Despite himself, he felt a stab of pity at his obviously uncomfortable situation, but he hasn't said anything about it yet, so he'll just let him suffer for right now. It's not like Dipper cares about the demon's comfort or anything, right?

Dipper decided to distract himself from his confusing thoughts by throwing an empty cookie box at the demon. Does Cipher even need sleep? He's still a demon, right? So would he even need to sleep? This is exactly what I'm talking about, Dipper thought helplessly, I keep coming up with questions, but I don't have any answers. Well, hopefully the golden haired demon would be able to help him out with at least some of the answers.

"Pine Tree? What do you want, do you even know what time it is?" Cipher sat up with a groan, rubbing at his eyes. Dipper never noticed before, but his irises were gold. Is anything about this guy not freaky...? Dipper wondered. "It's like 5 in the morning. Do you even need to sleep?"

"Of course I do, I'm a Dream Demon. It's like recharging, I guess. So, you wanted to talk about the deal I made with Mabel..?" Cipher looked at Dipper expectantly, who winced a little bit. "Why... How did you know that?" Dipper thought back to what he was doing a couple minutes before, and he didn't think he'd said anything out loud, but he wasn't sure. He remembered his summers when he was a kid, accidentally blurting out embarrassing things to people he's liked. "You meatbags are so easy!" Cipher laughed, "You're so predictable it's painful!"

"You're technically a meatbag now, too, Cipher, I wouldn't go insulting them," Dipper frowned, and Cipher seemed to sober up at that. "However, you're right. I want to know exactly what happened to me. What you did to get me back. And I want to know all the terms of the deal Mabel made with you. Everything." Dipper knew he was asking a lot, and that Cipher could just as easily ignore him, but he needed to try, he needed answers. The first three days after his accident, he was in sort of a haze, he was just happy to be alive. Now, he couldn't ignore the fact the was a dream demon in his house, in his life now.

"That's a tall order, kid, and I don't like wasting words. Go to sleep, Pine Tree, you look a wreck. I promise you'll have your answers when you wake up for good tomorrow." Cipher gave Dipper a little push towards his room, who now suddenly seemed to realize how tired he was. He yawned, eyes drooping, but he didn't want to give up that easily. "How do you," Dipper paused, on a yawn, "know..?" Cipher smiled, almost fondly, eyes glowing golden in the dimness of the room. "Trust me, kid, I'm a dream demon,"

Dipper would've laughed, albeit without humor, at that if he was more awake. How could he trust Bill Cipher...?

Chapter Text

Grey. 

Grey. Grey. Grey.

GreyGreyGreyGrey.

Dipper felt panic rise in his throat, hot and burning like bile. "No!" He screamed, desperate, "I can't be back! NO!" He started thrashing around in the choking fog, stumbling and falling down. Dipper was near to having a full blown panic attack. Dipper opened his moth on a scream when he felt a warm presence towering above his nearly prone form, on what could only be assumed as a floor. "Pine Tree," Bill's voice was soft, and calming. Dipper knew that he shouldn't feel calmed by a dream demon in the mindscape, but it was the only thing he could cling to right now.

Rain. Dark. Rain. Dark.

"Pine Tree, you have to listen to me, you have to focus on my voice," Bill sounded more insistent now, leaning forward and touching Dipper's forehead. Blue flames tickled the edges of his vision, but even that was becoming hard to see. Everything was turning

GreyGreyGreyGrey.

Bill managed to pick an almost unconscious Dipper off his feet. "Listen kid, the mindscape will destroy you if you listen to it. You're stronger than this, I know you are, come on!" Stronger...? "Bill..." Dipper groaned weakly. "There may be saving you yet, kid," Bill laughed, all seriousness gone now that he knew Dipper wasn't going to fade on him. He kept holding onto Dipper, however, until he could stand on his own. "What was that...? I've... That's happened to me before...?" Dipper couldn't seem to find the words for it, he was obviously not at one hundred percent again. Bill sighed, pulling back his serious air, as he was reminded why he brought the kid here in the first place. 

"That's why we're here, you wanted answers, and the mindscape is the best way to get those answers, kid! No place like home, I always say," Even Dipper noticed how Bill's air of casual carelessness seemed forced. Dipper was glad Bill was going to give him the answers he wanted, but he hated to be in the mindscape. Those whispers...

Pine Tree, Pine Tree, what's the big fuss?

You're already one of -

"You have to ignore her, kid, that's the only way you'll survive here," Bill's face appeared in front of Dipper's pale one. "Those whispers, Bill, what are those..?" Dipper clung to Bill's arm some more, he's heard that same sing-songy tone before. Something about it scared him more than Bill Cipher ever could. "Don't worry about it, Pine Tree, just ignore the voice. She doesn't exist, just ignore it," Bill's monotone voice calmed him down, and brought him back from whatever was happening to him. "Let's hurry this thing along kid, before you loose it again," Bill grinned his wolfish grin, but even Dipper could see that Cipher was worried about him again. Hah. Bill Cipher, dream demon extraordinaire, worried about a meatbag. It was almost laughable.

Cipher waved his hand and a screen appeared in front of them, about the size of the TV in the livingroom of the Mystery Shack. Displayed on the screen was a snapshot of Mabel's bedroom in the Shack; she was on the bed with Pacifica, and they were both crying tears of mirth, their mouths frozen on laughs. Mabel appeared to be on the phone, and Pacifica was holding... "My journal!" Dipper exclaimed, "This is... oh no..." Cipher turned to Dipper, "Pine Tree, I told you this is the only way for you to know what happened, Mabel was the only one who was there all the way through. Are you ready for this, kid?" Cipher looked at Dipper expectantly, who steeled himself and nodded.

"Great, then good luck!" Cipher cackled and shoved Dipper into the scene. "I can never stand to watch this part..."

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Mabel and Pacifica were in tears from laughing. It was Pacifica's idea to steal the journal, and it was one of the best they'd come up with so far. For someone who'd memorized every single page of the silly notebook, he was sure angry for having it missing. Dipper's screeching voice could be heard on the other end of Mabel's glitter encrusted phone. Mabel kept threatening to bedazzle the journal, which all of them knew was an empty threat. Despite the fact that Mable loved pranking and teasing her twin, she'd never do anything to permanently hurt him or make him mad at her.

"Oh no, no, no..." Dipper could feel his heart breaking. He rushed over to Mabel and tried to get her attention, but he phased right through her. She didn't seem to hear what he was saying, which made sense, because this was only a memory, he couldn't effect anything that already happened in this. 

Mabel knew Dipper was riding his bike at night, and she knew he shouldn't be out in the rain, but she missed him. He was spending so much time at Wendy's, she felt like he was leaving her behind. She took his journal as a prank, so he'd come home earlier. She'd told him to be safe, and considering he was the rational twin, the safe twin, she knew he'd get home okay. Mabel pushed Pacifica a little, when she said something funny about the shape of Dipper's head. Dipper made an unintelligible noise on the other end of the line. Mabel shushed Pacifica, and asked him to repeat what he said. Then, Mabel looked worried, because all she could hear on the other end of the line was a cut off "Mabel", and then a horrible metallic crunch, and then

Screaming.

Screaming. Screaming. Screaming.

Mabel started sobbing, stumbling off the bed, not making coherent sentences. Pacifica grabbed her to steady her, "He's -- Paz we -- We have to go!" Mabel sobbed, collapsing a little bit on her friend. Pacifica set her down on the bed, and pulled out her phone, calling 911. 

"Bill! Bill, I don't want to see this! Please..." Dipper was sobbing too. It wasn't her fault, it wasn't her fault! She didn't know... God, she can't blame herself. Dipper tried to hug her and tell her all of this, but of course, he couldn't touch her, he wasn't really there. All he could do is watch as Mabel and Pacifica

Ran. They ran out of the house. Pacifica drove, Mabel couldn't even see straight, nonetheless drive. Pacifica also called Stan, and Soos, and Wendy, telling them what had happened. Even though they hadn't gotten a call from any ambulance yet, they knew Dipper was really, really hurt. Pacifica broke about 300 traffic laws to get them to the scene in less than 10 minutes. Those were probably the worst 8 minutes of Mabel's life, she couldn't stop crying. "It was a joke," Mabel sobbed, breaking Pacifica's heart, "I just wanted him to come home..." Mabel broke down again, and Pacifica reached her hand out and grasped Mabel's clammy one. 

It wasn't good. Mabel couldn't look at it, and it twisted Pacifica's stomach to walk up to the scene. The bike was twisted so that if you didn't know what it was supposed to be, it'd just look like a broken piece of metal. And Dipper... God, he was broken too. Pacifica couldn't look anymore, turning her body away and sobbing quietly. The ambulance carried him away on a stretcher, and that'd when Stan, Soos, and Wendy showed up. They took over care of Mabel, who could barely walk. She had this dazed, glassy look in her eyes, and Pacifica's heart shattered. 

They followed the ambulance to the hospital, where they waited for an hour to hear from the doctor's. Everyone knew the answer, but they didn't want to hear it. They couldn't bear to hear it. Dipper was

Dead.

Mabel sobbed in his hospital room by herself until she made herself sick. "It was a joke, bro-br-" Her voice broke on the end, "I didn't, I'm so sorry..." She was grasping his cold hand desperately. She needed him. He was the reasonable one, the smart one, the safe one. What was she going to do now...? She needed him. "I'd do anything... anything... to get you back,"

"Oh I do so love when they say that," came a giggling, familiar voice from the corner of the room. Mabel swung around to come face to (kind of) face with a certain demonic triangle. "Bill! What are you doing here! I thought you were in the mindscape!" Mabel threw her arms protectively over the prone form of her twin. Bill's eye glanced briefly at Dipper, only to flash red for a quick second. Mabel didn't notice, she was too busy trying to cover Dipper with her body. "Don't worry, kid, I'm not here to hurt your brother, not like much can hurt him now, anyway!" Bill cackled, however even to Mabel, who was ready to punch the dream demon, the laugh sounded fake, as if he was forcing himself to seem nonchalant. "What do you want, Bill?" Mabel narrowed her eyes at him. He never showed up unless he had something to gain.

"I'm here about Pine Tree, of course! It seems he's become a bit... inflicted as of late. Such a tragedy, really!" Bill floated over the pale, still body of Dipper, and flashed red again, but it was with his whole body again. Mabel recognized that tone of voice, it was the voice teachers used when they were very, very angry, but trying to keep it under control. Bill was one second from blowing up in a very big way, and Mabel for the life of her couldn't understand why. "You see, I had plans for this kid, I did. Now they're ruined. Well, unless you, my dear Shooting star, can lend a hand,"  Bill floated over towards her, "You see, I can bring him back... for a price,"

Mabel's heart skipped a beat, he could bring Dipper back...? Suddenly, she seemed wary. Dipper would always make sure there were no loopholes. "What's the catch?" Bill chuckled a little, "He taught you well, huh? The catch is I get a human body, not yours of course, and I live with you, the rich one, and Pine Tree for a while! Simple, really!" Mabel raised an eyebrow, she was not convinced. "Before I go and accidentally sign my soul off, I want to know the exact terms of this deal. That's what Dipper would do," Bill sighed, and moved so he was hovering above a seat nearby. "Alright, fine. I can feel his soul in the mindscape, which means he's dead, but I can help him find his way back. That might have some unseen repercussions, but none that I'm sure you could handle, Star. In return, I take over the body of a coma patient who no one would miss, and I live in the Mystery Shack until I get bored. Deal?" Bill extended his hand, which was covered in blue flames. "I want you to protect him, I don't want him to ever get hurt again," Mabel blurted out. Bill wavered for a fraction of a second before nodding. Mabel knew this was too risky, that anything and everything could go wrong, but...

"Deal,"

Mabel Pines shook hands. Everything exploded with blue light and Dipper Pines was dragged from the mindscape and thrown back into his body. 

Dipper Pines was alive.

Dipper woke up in the hospital with Mabel hugging him and sobbing. He looked over her shoulder and saw

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Bill Cipher brought him back out of the memory. "Now you know, kid! Congratulations!" Cipher floated up and hung upside down in front of Dipper's face. "That's why you care about my health and safety! It's part of the deal!" Bill rightened himself, but stayed floating, "Bingo, kid! Someone give this boy a prize!" Dipper's head hurt worse then before, but now at least he had some answers. The flashback must be part of the "unforeseen repercussions" that Cipher had mentioned to Mabel. He never realized how much Mabel had done for him. He knew for a fact, though, he would do the same thing if the situation was reversed.

"Time to wake up, Pine Tree! Get out of here, before you lose your mind forever, you horrid little meatsack," Cipher giggled, as he kicked Dipper out of the dream.

Chapter Text

Dipper woke up feeling like he'd been run over by a truck, pun not intended. For a magical dream demon, he sure knew how to make someone wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

"Well, between the two of us, kid, I'm sleeping on a couch," Cipher's voice floated over to him from his doorway. Dipper looked over to see Cipher casually leaning against his door frame wearing nothing but some ratty grey sweatpants. He got an eyeful of a pair of dark skinned six pack abs, which he really didn't need this early in the morning. Weird thought. Dipper stood up and stretched, groaning in appreciation as several of his joints cracked. Scratching the stubble on his chin, Dipper turned back to Cipher, who looked like he just swallowed a lemon. 

"Something the matter, Your Majesty?" Dipper quirked an eyebrow. The snarky comment seemed to bring Cipher back to his senses, who just laughed and walked away. To think that he could get any weirder, I'd be wrong, Dipper thought as he followed the demon to the kitchen. He was delighted to see Wendy had dropped by for Mabel's pancake special. What made it so special was she put enough food grade glitter in them to make Dipper fart sparkles for a week. Despite that, however, she managed to make them taste delicious.

"Wendy!" Dipper exclaimed, rushing over to give her a hug. He had some complicated feelings about Wendy, as he remembered his massive crush on her when he was younger. He didn't feel the same anymore, but he still got a flutter in his heart sometimes when he looked at her. They were still best pals, and hung out all the time. He hadn't seen her since his accident, and she was a sight for sore eyes.

"Hey dude!" Wendy wrapped Dipper up in a hug, to which Pacifica made a gagging motion behind their backs. Mabel bopped her on the head with a dish towel. "We have got to hang out soon, when you're back up and running. How are you feeling, Dip?" Wendy pulled back and looked at him seriously. He knew everyone took it hard during his accident, but despite the flashbacks, he's never felt better. Just, maybe, more tired than usual.

"Wendy, I'm good. Honest. Just hungry," Dipper looked over his shoulder at Cipher, who had stopped in the doorway and was watching the whole scene. He had that sour lemon look on his face except now it was darker. His golden eyes looked almost red-tinged, like they were glowing. Dipper blinked hard, and it was gone. It must've been a trick of the light. Cipher put on his wolfish grin and sauntered into the kitchen.

"Well, hello my dear," Cipher smiled, his voice sugary, "I'm William, what would be your name?" Cipher blinked his eyes as Dipper rolled his.

"Laying it on a bit thick there, Cipher," Dipper muttered next to him, so only the demon could hear him. Cipher only chuckled at that.

"Hey dude, I'm Wendy. Do you know Dipper?" Wendy smiled as she looked between the two of them, Dipper who was glaring at Cipher, and Cipher - sorry, William - who was ginning at Wendy.

"I do indeed, my dear, Pine Tree and I are old pals, aren't we?" Cipher turned his wolfish grin onto the boy next to him, who only rolled his eyes some more. He moved past the two of them to sit down at the table, as far away from Pacifica as he could. Wendy and Cipher started talking about god knows what, and Mabel was humming softly as she poured more glitter onto the pancakes. Dipper could feel himself nodding off, and that's fine, right? It'd only be for a few secon-

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Pine Tree Pine Tree Pine Tree

Come little Pine Tree, please don't feel any fear

Sweet little Pine Tree, you see, for I am near

Come now poor Pine Tree, I'll lead you through the waves

Don't worry silly Pine Tree, for my voice is the way

The darkness looms, the monster stalk

Please don't feel any fear

You've come so far, just stay and talk

You see, for I am near

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"Dipper!" Dipper's head shot up at the sound of Mabel's concerned and annoyed voice. She was standing in front of him, trying to mask her worry, "How much sleep did you get last night, bro bro?" Dipper responded with a strained smile, quickly glancing at Cipher, who'd stopped talking to Wendy and was now peering curiously at the scene. 

"Mabes, I'm fine, I'm just groggy. Also, your pancakes are on fire," Cipher started laughing at that, as Mabel ran around screeching that her creation was being destroyed. Pacifica was the only one who thought to get the fire extinguisher out and put out the glittery flame. Cipher was in tears, and his laughter was contagious, as Wendy and Dipper started laughing. 

"How can you laugh at the death of art, Bill?" Mabel shrieked, "Everything is terrible forever!" She cast herself across the kitchen table, spilling residual glitter and some silverware onto the floor. Dipper was holding a stitch in his side and Wendy was resting her arm on top of Dipper's head for balance, both of them in tears of mirth. Pacifica tapped Mabel's forehead, leaning down so they were eye to eye.  

"Wanna go out and eat?"

Mabel jumped up, glittery batter smeared on her cheeks and a wide smile on her face. "Oh my gosh, yes! Bill's paying for us, because he laughed at me!" Mabel was cackling as she scurried out of the Shack, sliding into the passenger seat.

As everyone filed out, Wendy wandering ahead of Cipher and Dipper, he asked, "Do you even have any money?"

"Of course, Pine Tree, I'm not an idiot," Cipher scoffed, rolling his eye. Dipper held up his heads in mock surrender, and jogged ahead to catch up with Wendy. 

"I thought his name was William," Wendy looked at Dipper, a small smile on her face. Oh no, Dipper thought, she better not be.... Dipper no longer had any feelings for Wendy like that, but that still didn't mean Cipher wasn't dangerous. He was dream demon!

"It is, but Bill's a nickname, I guess," Dipper said hesitantly, "But he's not into hum- people. He's not into people. Right, William?" Dipper swung his head around to make eye contact with the demon, hoping to get his point across. Cipher only chuckled with that sly grin of his. Wendy watched the interaction with raised eyebrows. 

"Whatever you say, dude," 

"Come on, guys, get in!" Mabel reached over and honked the horn. Dipper laughed at his twin's antics, and got in the driver's seat, as he was the best driver out of the lot. No one would tell Pacifica that, as it's a sore subject. Pacifica was mumbling rude comments under her breath as she was forced to sit in the middle of Cipher and Wendy, who were chatting about Gravity Falls like they were old friends. Dipper rolled his eyes, as he could tell Cipher was laying on the charm. 

"Boop," Mabel bopped Dipper on the nose, and he turned his head to look at his sister. "Something's wrong, bro bro. You've never kept things from me before," Mabel looked sad and almost desperate. Dipper hated to see her like that, but he was hesitant to tell her about his flashbacks, and how they were getting weirder. The most recent one... It wasn't even a real flashback, but it was the one that scared him the most. He'll tell her later, when he was more sure of what they were.

"I promise I'll tell you, Mabes," Dipper said softly, not denying he was hiding things from her, "I just have to figure a few things out first, I promise,".

"Okay, bro bro, but please be careful," Mabel looked at him, her face a mask of worry as they pulled up to the diner. She patted him on the cheek, and then hopped out of the car to assist everyone else out. She grabbed Pacifica's hand and puller her out of the car, laughing as Pacifica did not look very happy.

"Please let me buy you a bigger car, please!" Mabel and Pacifica walked into the diner, arms locked and laughing slash bickering about how Mabel didn't need a new car. Dipper smiled fondly at the scene, even though he disliked Pacifica, she treated his sister well, which was what mattered in the end.

"Honestly, Dip, if she's offering..." Wendy chuckled as she walked into the restaurant, ruffling Dipper's hat as she went. Dipper turned around to see Cipher getting out of the car slowly and exaggeratedly. He rolled his eyes and helped the dramatic demon out of the car. Grabbing his hand Dipper tried to pull Cipher out of the car, but was instead yanked down into the car. Dipper tried to regain his sense of gravity as he sputtered at the demon.

"Do we have to do this right now? Here?" Dipper could feel himself blushing, as he was thrown across Cipher's lap in the car. 

"That flashback, it scared you. What was it?" Cipher seemed very serious, which was unlike the creepily chipper demon. Even if it was something like pain, he always seemed to giggle. He wasn't laughing now, though. His golden eye was serious, appearing to flicker with a blue light. Dipper knew he shouldn't divulge everything to the demon, but he couldn't help it. He had no one else to talk to, and there was something about Cipher's expression... Weird thought.

"It wasn't even really a flashback, it was just singing..." Dipper sighed, trying in vain to get up off of Cipher's lap, but the guy had a really strong grip. He looked up at the man, to see his face had paled a little bit. "Cipher...?"

"Singing? What was she singing, exactly?" Dipper instantly knew something was wrong. He'd done that before, referred to the voice he heard in the mindscape as "she".

"She? What do you mean, 'she'? Cipher, how did you know it was feminine voice?" Dipper managed to sit up and look Cipher in the eye. He was pale, and his upper lip was beaded with sweat. He looked scared, which was an emotion Dipper had never seen on the demon before. "Bill, what's going on?" Bill locked eyes with Dipper, and grabbed his arm. 

"Let me put a mark on you," 

"Wh- What?!" Dipper choked out. A mark? He could feel a headache coming on, he didn't know what was going on, and the demon wasn't willing to divulge anything as far as he could tell.

"It'll be small, just a claiming mark so everyone will know you're under my care. I think... I don't like to be wrong, Pine Tree, so I can't tell you anything until I'm sure, but... just let me put a mark on you," Bill's stare never wavered from Dipper, and even though he was scared, he knew that he had to trust the demon. Dipper almost laughed. If he could go back in time and tell himself that he'd have to trust the dream demon, he'd think he was crazy. He did, tough, on this. Dipper Pines trusted Bill Cipher. Dipper took Bill's hand, which lit up in blue flames.

"Okay," Dipper said, making eye contact with Bill, who's eye was glowing blue now.

Bill placed his other hand on Dipper's neck, which instantly felt warm. It didn't hurt, not really, it was just like dipping his neck in a hot tub. Suddenly, he felt a weird tug in his gut and fell forward, face first onto Bill's chest. Dipper opened his mouth to question Cipher when it was gone. He sat up and saw that Bill wouldn't meet his eyes. Bill plastered on his normal chipper smile, and hopped out of the car, knocking Dipper over again.

"Let's go, Pine Tree! Pancakes and Shooting star are waiting!"

Chapter Text

Dipper wandered into Greasy's after Cipher, fingering the back of his neck. He knew there was a visible mark there now, but he couldn't see it. He hoped there wasn't something embarrassing on his neck now, like a penis or "Pine Tree sucks!". He doubted it, but Dipper wouldn't put anything past the demon, considering his penchant for pranking. He was glad that it didn't hurt, like getting a tattoo would. Despite all he'd been through, he still wasn't a big fan of pain. 

He sat down at a seat that had been pulled up to the table for him, thoughts still troubled. He still didn't really understand what happened, and he knew he could have to deal with unforeseen repercussions later for accepting a demon's mark on him, but... Cipher, the way he looked in the car; he looked scared and that scared Dipper. However, Dipper really hated not knowing things. He liked being the smart twin, the twin who knew most things. He'd have to corner the demon later and get some more answers out of him. He needed to know who "she" was, and why she scared Cipher. For now, though, Dipper just wanted to enjoy some pancakes with his family.

Huh. Dipper hadn't really put much thought into it before, but he did consider Pacifica and Wendy to be a part of his family. Pacifica was the sister he never wanted that could buy everything he owned three times over, and Wendy was like the 'nice' aunt who gave them candy for breakfast. Dipper smiled a little bit at that thought, as he liked having his family expanded. It was good for both Mabel and him. Despite the fact that Dipper still didn't trust Cipher very much, Mabel seemed to trust him, and Dipper trusted Mabel. He did also have to admit that the demon had managed to squeeze his way into their life and he seemed to fit. Dipper would trust Mabel with his life, and if she has deemed the demon not a threat, then he would have to trust her on that. Dipper almost chuckled; in a way, he had already put his life in her hands. For Mabel's sake, Dipper would try harder with the demon, as so far he appeared to have everyone's best interests in mind. He'd still be a little wary, though.

"Right, Dip,?" Wendy turned to Dipper with a smile, pulling him from his thoughts. He blinked and cocked his head, having not payed attention to the conversation Cipher and she had been having. "I was saying, space case, that we're ready to order," Wendy laughed and rolled her eyes, far used to Dipper's spaciness. She reached over, trying to ruffle his hat, but he pouted exaggeratedly and swatted her hands away. Mabel giggled and reached out to steal the offending article. Dipper backed up, laughing.

"Not unless you want to walk home!" He said with a smile. The waitress came over and took down everyone's orders, Dipper skipping on the food, as he didn't have much of an appetite. Mabel noticed, of course, but she pursed her lips and decided not to make a scene. Dipper was grateful for that, although he knew he was going to get chastised later. Everyone was laughing and joking, even Pacifica, and he didn't want to spoil anything. He felt an angry pair of eyes on him, and he turned his head to meet Cipher's unhappy stare. Dipper raised an eyebrow at the demon, wondering what he'd done now to incur his wrath.

He was distracted momentarily when the waitress came over, smiling warmly at Dipper. She was pretty, but he honestly missed Lazy Susan and her weird antics. He smiled back and thanked her as she passed out everyone's food. She was giggling as she walked away and Mabel called out, "ooooh!" To which Dipper rolled his eyes and flung a cherry at her. Both he and Mabel knew that he wasn't interested in anyone at the moment, nor did Dipper really care to be. He liked the dynamic of his life just the way it is. Maybe even including the trouble making demon who was currently not touching his pancakes. Cipher was sitting back in his booth, arms crossed over his chest. He didn't looked pleased, but maybe that was because he didn't like pancakes. That was Dipper's best guess. Cipher turned to Wendy, and they started chatting animatedly again. Mabel had snuck some glitter into the restaurant, and was adding obscene amounts to her pancakes, as Pacifica watched on with humor and horror in equal parts.

Dipper sighed, as he thought about the two of them. He would have to talk to Bill about the dating thing, and how the demon could not do it. When he thought about Wendy and him being together, he got a weird tugging feeling in his chest, like his heart was being twisted. It was dull though, and Dipper figured it was those teeny tiny residual feelings for Wendy acting up again. He nearly laughed, as about fifteen minutes ago, he was comparing her to his aunt. Dipper decided to stop thinking about such weird topics like demons and dating, and instead steal some of Mabel's pancakes, flinging glitter at Cipher accidentally as well. He knew he made a mistake when he looked at the demon's golden eye, which promised retribution. The look was playful though, nothing that even gave Dipper a twinge of fear. Maybe he really doesn't have any sort of sneaky plan, Dipper thought. Even as he thought those words, he knew he's still have to be wary of the demon.

By the time everyone got back to the shack, it was two in the afternoon. Everyone was drowsy from good food and too much laughing, which he wasn't going to complain about, like, ever.

"Hey, Dip, I'm gonna head back, walk me out?" Wendy was waiting in the doorway, and even though she smiled, he could tell she was serious. 

"Of course, m'lady," Dipper hopped off the couch and leaned into a fake bow so deep his nose touched the dirty carpet, "Yuck!"

"Come on, Sir Doofus," Wendy turned and walked out, laughing. 

"So, what's up?"

"You and William, thats what I wanna know what's up," Even though Dipper sputtered out a laugh at how ridiculous that sentence was, Wendy wasn't, "Dude! Don't laugh, I'm serious,"

"Okay, okay, I'm sorry it's just- me and William- just. No. He's staying with us because he did a really nice favor for Mabel, and she owes him one. That's all, okay?" Dipper tried to sound reassuring, but Wendy didn't look convinced. 

"Whatever you say dude," She smiled and drove off. Wendy knew William was a good guy, it's just she had a soft spot for the twelve year old who used to have a massive crush on her. She was glad they were best buds, now, though.

Dipper turned to walk back into the house, when he saw Cipher waiting at the top of the steps.

"She's nice," Cipher started, and Dipper kept waiting for him to finish the sentence, "When'd you start dating?"

This is going to be the end of me, Dipper thought, Bill Cipher is asking me about my love life. He was bent double, laughing. "We're - not," he managed to choke out in between fits of laughing. 

Cipher's whole demeanor seemed to perk up, and Dipper was instantly wary. He could not be interested in her. He's a demon, do demons even have feelings like that? Dipper wondered. "Wendy's like my aunt, I guess. She'd my best friend, I'd never - ever - date her. Nor would she ever - ever - date me. You can't either, though," Dipper added as an afterthought. 

"Wh- what?" Cipher sputtered out, not expecting that one.

"You can't date her, she's a human it's too dangerous. Given our kind of dicey past, I don't think she'd forgive you if she found out who you were. Actually while we're at it, I don't think it'd be a good idea for you to date anyone," Dipper mused, going off his gut feeling, and his gut was telling him that Cipher dating anyone else would be bad.

"What if I want to date someone, huh? You can't stop me!" Cipher grinned, his mouth stretching past what a human's should. In his eye was that mischief again, but this time Dipper knew it wasn't over some sparkles on his suit.

"Unless I make a deal with you," Dipper said rolling his eyes, "What do you want now? My firstborn? My pancreas?" Cipher rolled his eye at that.

"Now you're just being vulgar, Pine Tree, I want you bed." He spoke that last part really quickly, almost like if he spoke fast enough Dipper wouldn't hear him say it. He did, of course, and his reaction was priceless.

"My what?! Where am I going to sleep?" 

"Well if that much of a deal with you, I could only take half your bed, hm?" Cipher's grin spread, "Look at me, Pine Tree, I'm being nice!" He emphasized the word nice, like it was a huge accomplishment. Dipper just sighed, like being around the demon was physically paining him.

"You want me. To sleep in a bed. With you?" 

"Of course! To prevent me from sleeping in someone else's bed, of course! You'd be a humanitarian! A veteran! A veterinarian, I'd say!" Cipher cackled.

"I'm pretty sure you have no idea what any of those words mean, and I'm just going to move straight past the innuendo," Dipper rubbed at his temples, as he felt a headache coming on. "Is that it? The end of the deal? You sleep in my bed with me, and then you won't date Wendy or anyone?" The words felt weird in his mouth, mostly because he'd never thought he'd have to say them. Ever.

"Yup, Dippin' Sauce, that's it!" Cipher was grinning his Cheshire Cat grin, but it was sincere. Dipper sighed and shook the demon's hand, which was covered in blue flames again. Somehow, the demon seemed to keep getting the advantage over him. Cipher just continued to giggle, perfectly happy with himself. He gripped Dipper's hand and yanked him into his chest. He leaned down and whispered into Dipper's ear, "Just so you know, I wasn't going to date anyone, I'm not interested in anyone..." Just as quick as it happened, it was over. Cipher left Dipper standing there, as he moved into the house, he smiled to himself.

"... else,"