Bill Cipher was not one to be surprised often. But when things don't go according to plan, he was always flexible. As long as he ultimately benefits from the transaction.
He narrowed his eye at the child in front of him. "Well well well. Look who we have here. I wasn't expecting you."
"Does it matter?"
Bill summoned his cane and leaned forward. "No, I suppose it doesn't. So long as we both know what we want and how far we're willing to go for it." Tossing aside his cane, he continues, "But let's get down to business." He held out his hand covered in blue flames as his single pupil glowed in the monochrome mindscape.
"Do we have a deal?"
Without hesitation, their hand met Bill's own with a shake.
Wendy liked her job. It allowed her to stay in town with her family, and there weren't any taxes since it was off the books. Even if it was below minimum wage, it didn't bother her. The cost of life in Gravity Falls wasn't expensive to the point where she should make a motion to appeal to the fact that she made only $6.75 an hour.
But she didn't love it to the point where she would actively make an effort to really involve herself with the Pines family. Stan wasn't a spectacular boss, but she was able to get away with a lot of slacking which worked for her. Wendy held down the front while Soos maintained the back, both working at a rhythm that worked for Mr. Pines with extra effort from Soos and minimal effort from Wendy.
So when Wendy and Soos were told that Stan's family from California was visiting for the summer and going to help out in the Shack, Wendy saw it as an opportunity to slack off even more so than now. Maybe even figure out a way to move out to Portland.
And then she met Mabel.
Wendy understood now that Stan hired her for his family rather than his business, that Mabel was the primary reason for her job rather than as a sales associate. Stanford Pines didn't know how to help a twelve year old girl with any of her problems, but with Wendy being a girl… Wendy would be more knowledgeable should Mabel need anything concerning boys or anything like that. Of course Wendy, being the only female in her family of five, wasn't exactly too feminine herself should she had to be defined by society's standards, but the fifteen year old was confident that she would be able to help and provide anything her boss's niece needed advice on that she couldn't get from her Grunkle.
Mabel, contrary to her assumptions, was actually rather self-sufficient. She was willing to help out Soos if asked, and even cover Wendy's shifts if she asked so the redhead could "relax" more than before. Mabel really only interacted with everyone out of necessity, such as when there were tours, and didn't concern herself with society's standards and expectations as a young girl blooming into her teenage years.
She didn't concern herself with many things. She didn't make an extra effort with her appearance - though she did have an amazing fashion sense with her homemade sweaters. Wasn't obsessed with boys or having a boyfriend - though there was that incident with Gideon Gleeful who tends to avoid her now. There was no desire to be popular in town and her peers – even after that incident of the party in the shack with Pacifica Northwest. Mabel kept to herself, but was still wonderful company when she spent time with others. She just never went out of her way to do so. All in all, Mabel was a pleasant little girl who was a pleasure to be around.
At least, that's what everyone would say should they never bring up the mirror.
She may not be vain, but Mabel Pines always carried a giant handheld mirror that was almost the size of her head. Always within an arm's length, and never leaving her person. How she had the strength to carry it everywhere was beyond Wendy. Mabel valued that mirror more than anything, perhaps even more than her own life. She had suffered a few injuries to prevent it from so much as touching the ground.
It was an unhealthy obsession that put Wendy on edge. She tried to understand what was so special about the mirror – all it did was reflect reflections from what she could tell. A regular, normal mirror. Mabel's constant companion was a beautiful item that looked very delicate, but there wasn't anything that stood out. The glass was held in place by a circular golden frame with triangles etched into them to make a pattern, with the base handle containing an outline of two silver triangles stacked together leading down to the handle. It reminded Wendy of the Triforce, the way the pattern was set up.
Mabel also talked to it, but usually in soft murmurs and laughed as if the mirror talked back. As far as Wendy knew, it didn't. Not that she watched Mabel interact with her mirror or anything.
Mabel Pines always had her mirror, no matter what. She always made sure it was secure and on her person no matter what she was doing. And she did not take threats to her mirror lightly. One time, Pacifica Northwest tried to snatch Mabel's mirror in an attempt to rally her up. It's odd because it was the first time Pacifica took a jab at Mabel through her mirror. Usually Mabel ignored any petty insults, but when Pacifica threatened the destruction of her mirror Mabel managed to destroy the Northwest reputation that afternoon. Who knew that the Northwests did not found the town as history taught, and that Nathaniel Northwest was actually the village idiot?
And, though she doesn't know why, Wendy knew without a doubt that Mabel had something against her. She didn't know what she did wrong though. Whenever the two would talk, there wasn't any malice in their conversation. Pleasant chatter about nothing really, acting more as pleasantries.
But at the end of every conversation Mabel would never fail to always end with a huge grin, like the two shared an inside joke. But the smile was always twisted, sinister, and it always gave Wendy chills after Mabel turned and had gone on her way with her mirror, whispering to it.
Wendy wasn't willing to go out of her way for the Pines, which included Soos for her. She liked the lot of them, considering them good friends if anything. But while she did love risk and adventure, if her life was in danger then she knew when to bail. Not that she felt threatened by Mabel, but Wendy knew when to give people their space and maintain the desired distance. With her face in her magazine, Wendy's eyes watched Mabel cut to the house through the gift shop with that mirror in her arms in hushed, one-sided conversation.
Wendy supposed that whatever the twelve year old did, with or without the mirror, wasn't worth her time or attention anyway.
Stan didn't really want to get involved in whatever his niece was doing in her spare time. She did her work diligently and never argued with him or questioned his methods of business. She never asked him questions on what he does in his spare time, and Stan respected the same for her. It was for her safety anyway, and she was better off not knowing what he did in the basement. They interact when necessary, which was usually just to maintain the Mystery Shack and during meals, but pretty much did their own thing and kept to their own devices.
But Stan was really confused what Mabel found in that mirror.
She carried that mirror with her everywhere. It isn't a pocket-sized mirror either; it's almost as big as her head. Stan doesn't get how she could lug something that has to weigh at least seven pounds around wherever she goes. To be fair she could carry Waddles all day, and he was fifteen pounds, but a pig and a mirror were two completely different things. She does always carry a bag – Mabel called it a satchel - now, but a fragile, delicate object like a mirror should not be moving so often with its size.
Sitting next to it in his chair when watching Ducktective, leaning it against her when she knits sweaters, sitting it in the chair next to her when they eat breakfast complete with pillows, on her lap in her arms whenever they were in the car for grocery shopping or the like – whatever she was doing, the mirror was always there with her. Stan's positive Mabel sleeps with it, with Waddles demoted to the foot of her bed.
And she would not stop talking to it. It never replied back – thank god because if it did then Stan would have no choice but to actually get involved – but Mabel was already old enough to stop playing with imaginary friends. And with a mirror no less? Mabel was not a vain child, forgoing makeup or any beauty products that society pushes down a girl's throat to make a quick fortune on their insecurities. In fact, she doesn't even argue for her own products, using Stan's manly shampoo and soap that smells like wolves and guns and bears and other manly things that are so much cheaper than smelling like flowers. She did bring the mirror to the bathroom with her secured with towels.
Stan has tried to look at the mirror, but as far as he could tell there was nothing supernatural about it.
She didn't care about anything really, so long as she has the mirror and no one got between the two.
As far as Stan knew, Mabel was friends with… Grenda and Candy he believed were their names? But he hasn't seen them around lately, and Mabel never mentioned them anymore.
Stan can hear Mabel's laughter from upstairs, and took comfort that his niece is happy here in Gravity Falls. He's been estranged from his family for so long, he'll take all he could get.
He took a long sip of his coffee mixed with liqueur. So long as no one was hurt, then whatever Mabel did with her mirror was none of his business.
Mabel smiled as she placed her finger on the mirror, causing ripples on its surface. Soft vibrations from the mirror have her smile turn into a grin, and she stared at her brother trapped inside. He's still pounding on the glass, lips forming words that she cannot hear beyond the realm he is trapped in.
No one else would remember, but Mabel was okay with that. Dipper was hers, and will never leave her.
And that is all Mabel needed.