Mabel hated her lifestyle and loved it all in the same breath. She adored every moment spent at sea, singing along to shanties and drinking her weight in alcohol as the ocean swayed the Mystery Shack back and forth like a mother rocking her babe’s cradle.
What she disliked, however, were moments like these.
Mabel always felt a small sense of sickness whenever she did this, not because she’d seduced the men- heaven’s no, she loved that! What made her feel sick was that she was betraying their trust. Then again, their parents should have taught them not to trust strange girls.
The brunette stood before the man seated on the bed, grinning as she swayed her shoulders like the drunken fool she pretended to be. “Shame on you!” she giggled in a heavily laced English accent, adding a hiccup for dramatic effect. “Feeding a girl so much champagne that her head feels as though it’s spinning! Shame on your, Mr. Smith!” Of course, something as trivial as two flutes of champagne couldn’t even scratch Mabel’s alcohol tolerance, but it was always fun to let the men pretend they’d made some vast conquest.
The man before her smirked as though he’d gotten her right where he wanted her and laid his hands on her waist. “My dear-” ugh. “-you’re the one who asked for a second glass!”
“Mmh, you’re right,” she amended, straddling his hips and gingerly began to tug the petticoat and skirt up her leg. The man’s eyes lingered on her stockings, following her hand as if eager to see what she was unveiling just for him. Unfortunately for the man who picked up the girl at an aristocratic party, the surprise wasn’t going to be what he expected. “But I’m so tipsy I hardly remember my own name.”
“I don’t seem to recall your name,” the man hummed, licking his lips as her fingertips grazed the bottom of her garter strap. Just beside it, hidden by the mess of skirts, her trusty pistol was tucked away in her stocking. All at once, she grabbed it and held the barrel to the man’s head.
“Mabel Pines,” she said, false accent gone and replaced by the native tone of her French tongue. Her escort’s eyes widened in surprise as his trembling hands rose.
“M- Mabel Pines? As in-”
“Yes, yes, as in that Mabel Pines. Couldn’t you tell by the gun?” Her thumb clicked back and loaded the pistol, causing the man to widen his eyes further, staring at her with the utmost terror. “I see you’ve heard of me. Good! So you know what I want!”
“U- Uh, alright. Don’t shoot… All of my money is in my pocket. Let me just-” The man began lowering his hand, only to pause as Mabel shoved the muzzle of her gun further against his skin.
“Don’t you dare move. I’ll do it,” she offered, free hand slipping into his coat pocket. Sure enough, she pulled out a ball of notes, all printed with hundreds. There was definitely enough here to sustain them in their next stop. With a grin, she shoved the cash into the pocket of her skirt. “Pleasure doing business with you, Smithy boy!”
Off of his lap she hoisted herself, backing up towards the window though her pistol stayed pointed at the man. She unlatched the hook holding the shutters together and climbed onto the ledge, laughing giddily as she climbed down the fire escape.
Once her feet hit solid ground, they were beating against the pavement and she was running back to the docks, weaving through confused pedestrians and their children. Her adrenaline pushed her faster, like it had personified and was dragging her by the wrist back to the ship she called home. Even when she was sure she wasn’t being followed, she ran. Very rarely, she stole from people what were stupid enough to actually send the police after her; or even stupider to go after her themselves.
Panting and out of breath, she ran up the ramp to the deck and placed her hands on her knees, leaning over. See a girl with a corset do that, she thought with a small laugh through her puffs of breath. “I’m back from Lord Smellsworth’s hotel room!” she called out, just in case nobody had noticed.
A face to mirror her own peered out from behind the door of her uncle‘s cabin, eyebrow arched gently. “That couldn’t have been his name,” he chuckled, smiling softly at his twin.
“No, but it might as well been,” she retorted with a snort, finally standing straight. Sauntering over, she dug the notes from her pocket and held them out, doing a one handed curtsey as she bowed her head. “From your humble sister to you, good sir!”
“Oh my god,” Dipper breathed, reaching for the pile of cash. “How much is here!?”
“Don’t know, didn’t count. I just grabbed it and high tailed it back here,” the girl admitted, pushing her brown bangs from her forehead sticky with sweat. “Got to be at least a thousand, they’re all in hundreds.”
Dipper nodded and glanced behind his shoulder, presumably at their uncle, and then motioned her inside. “Mabel, it’s almost five in the morning, you know. You were gone for a long time.”
She had been well aware of what time it was, and found it irrelevant. “I didn’t do anything, if that’s what you’re implying.”
“We aren’t implying anything,” Stan spoke up from his seat on his bed, leaning over to grab a bottle of rum from the table. “We were just worried is all, youngin’. That and-”
“And we’ve got stuff to do. We set sail tonight, after… After another job.”
“Ooh,” Mabel cooed with a grin, taking a seat in a chair near a table usually used to play poker. “Another job? Are we going to burn the English’s crops and houses while we’re still in America?”
Dipper glanced to their uncle, who glanced to his nephew, and then both of them were watching Mabel. “Well-”
“Uh, guys,” she began, suddenly disconcerted by their stare. “I know that the cops around here aren’t gonna bust us over petty crimes, but they just might hang us for that.”
“It’s not the president,” her great-uncle assured, pausing to take a swig of liquor before he passed her the bottle. “It’s a merchant. He’s got more money than I’ve ever even dreamed of and he’s got a daughter about your age. I’m not keen on murdering anyone tonight, my back is too sore, but I do think you all could manage a… uh… kidnapping?”
“So, like a ransom?” Mabel asked, swallowing down the rum Stan had passed her. The man nodded and she continued. “And we’re taking his daughter?”
Dipper hummed an affirmation and she grinned. “Alright! I’m pumped, let’s do it!”
The sun had just begun to rise, painting the sky outside of the Northwest mansion a pale blue beyond the trees. A short, blonde girl with long eyelashes and chiseled features sighed into her pillow and began sitting up. Something had startled her awake and she wasn’t sure what it could have been. She thoughtfully looked around her room though it was still semi dark.
As far as she could see, there was nothing there to wake her.
The girl laid her head back down on the pillow, deciding that the sound she’d heard must have been dreamt. Just as she began to close her eyes again, though, there was a hand clasping over her mouth. Her eyes shot open and there was someone standing over her- no, there was a few people standing over her. “Top o’ the morning’ to ya!” the figure holding her mouth greeted in a whisper.
Terrified, the girl began screaming against the hand, only to stop abruptly when she heard the click of a gun. “Ah, now there’s a good girl.” The same voice that had greeted her. Another girl, she assumed, with a heavy Irish accent. Oh great, it had to be the fucking Irishmen, didn’t it? “Soos, Dipper, tie her up.”
“Okay!” The shorter of the other two figures seemed all too enthusiastic to follow her orders. Pacifica rolled her eyes slightly at the obvious crush he seemed to have on the other.
“Oh my gosh,” someone gasped from the shadows beside Pacifica’s vanity. Jesus, is there another one?! “I absolutely love this unicorn trinket, can I keep it?! Oh, who am I kidding, I’m taking it anyway!” Pacifica’s protests came out muffled by the hand clasping down on her mouth.
Her hands were bound together, like her ankles, and her arms were at her sides within the minute. Perhaps a little too tight, but maybe that was the plan. Whoever this gang was, though, would pay dearly for doing this. The Irish girl above her removed her hand and tied a gag around her mouth instead, most likely to keep her from screaming again. “Alright, Mabel, you got the letter?”
“Pftch. Of course!” the girl by her vanity retorted, finally stepping out into the gentle light from the window. This girl was the clearest out of them, the easiest to see, and Pacifica was… Well, she was almost impressed. The entire encounter, she’d been imagining horrible, decrepit looking monstrosities tying her up but this girl… She looked like an angel. How had she gotten so mixed up with these people? But no matter how pretty the girl was, she was helping these people, these people who broke into her house, these people who tied her up, these people who were now hoisting her over a chubby man’s shoulder, despite her wriggling and muted protests.
She managed to bring her knee to his flabby chest and he hissed in pain, complained, then started to climb out the window again, followed by the rest of the gang. As they all filed out to the newly rising sunshine, Pacifica noticed that each of them were conventionally attractive. The Irishwoman, a redhead with freckles and a gun holster strapped to her side, came out first, followed by a short man with brown, curly locks.
Finally, though, came the girl that Pacifica had noticed beforehand. She was still just as pretty- looked a lot like the boy- and the blonde realized that she was admiring her small glass-blown unicorn that her father had bought her for her birthday. She attempted to growl out a threat but it only came out as subdued babbling.
All of her threats came out that way until she was being carried up to a ship and oh god. She’d been kidnapped. More than that, though, she was kidnapped by pirates. Were they going to kill her? What had she done!?
She was unceremoniously tossed onto an uncomfortable, rickety cot in a room where the air was damp and cold, though there were a couple of oil lamps to illuminate the place. At once, she began to beg for her life through the gag. She didn’t want to die here, she couldn’t die here in such an undignified way- what would her father think if she let it happen. The large man who’d carried her here pulled her gag down and at once, she sank her teeth into his hand, which he yanked back with a sharp hiss.
“Help!” Pacifica screamed, eyes brimming with frightened tears. “Someone help me! Help!”
“Quiet down, will you?” A gruff, irritated voice sounded from the doorway and her head spun to catch his gaze. He was tall, intimidatingly so, but he was old and had a nose too large for his face. Judging by the jacket he wore, an obviously expensive one with intricate design, he was the captain.
“Please, sir,” she pled, finally letting herself begin to cry. They’d done it. They’d frightened her so badly that she had lost her composure. “Please, let me go back home. I won’t tell anyone- I won’t tell a soul! I don’t want to die!”
“Die?” The man grunted, furrowing his brows. “Who said anything about that? Soos, did you tell-”
“I didn’t say anything, Captain Pines,” the buck toothed man replied, hands up defensively. This seemed to sate the man, because he turned his eyes back to Pacifica.
“Listen, kid,” he began with a sigh. “We aren’t gonna kill ya. You’re just a ransom.”
A ransom? “So… As long as my dad pays you, I get to go home?”
The captain nodded slowly. “Aye.”
“And… You’re not going to kill me?”
“What… What if he doesn’t pay?” Knowing her father, she wouldn’t put her eggs in his basket. The man was selfish, and his daughter was incredibly disposable to him, something to control and show off but never to actually love.
The look that the man- Soos?- and the captain exchanged made her worry even more. “We’ll figure it out then. Why, don’t you think he’ll pay for you?”
That didn’t sound promising. After all, what use could they really have for her on a ship like this? They would probably throw her into the harbor once it was obvious that her father wouldn’t pay. “You’re going to kill me if he doesn’t pay!” she accused, anxious and trembling with fear. She was convinced that this was her death sentence.
“What? No, girl, didn’t you just hear me?” Stan demanded, stepping forward as if to grab her. “We’re not go-”
“Get away from me!” she howled, wriggling one of her legs free from the rope and kicking at him desperately, fighting for what she assumed to be her own survival. “Get away! Don’t touch me!”
Stan, at once, backed away and put his hands up. “Soos,” he began, eyes on the blonde who thrashed like a wild animal. “Go get Mabel.”
“But what if she-”
“Go get her, Soos!”
At once, the man nodded and hurried out of the room and Pacifica shuddered and let out a sob. How did this happen to her? She’d always followed the rules set by her parents and society, she was smart and talented and beautiful- so how did she manage to get into this situation? What had she done so wrong that a higher power deemed it fit to punish her.
The room remained silent, save for her desperate crying as she resigned herself to the fact that this was how it would end for Pacifica Northwest. After a moment of the nerve wracking silence and the captain staring at her, the door opened again and the girl with curly, brown hair stepped inside. “Grunkle Stan, you can go. Let me talk to her alone.”
The captain glanced to Pacifica with pity, then nodded and joined Soos outside, shutting the door. As soon as he was gone, Pacifica was begging again. “Please, please you have to help me!” she sobbed, sniffling away the snot threatening to spill from her nostril. “I can’t- I don’t want to die!”
“Hey, you’re not going to die,” the girl replied with a soft, soothing tone. “Nobody’s going to hurt you.”
“Then why am I tied up and on a pirate ship!?”
“Because we’re doing our jobs,” Mabel clarified, slowly taking a seat beside her. “I’m not going to untie you and let you go, but none of us are going to kill you either.”
The words crushed any spirit the blonde had left. She slumped against the wall behind the cot and shook her head. What could she possibly say? There was no way out of this mess, she was stuck here and probably going to die.
So she said nothing, and just let herself cry.
The girl beside her sighed gently and reached into her pocket, then reached over with a handkerchief to wipe away the tears on Pacifica’s face. “Your name is Pacifica, right?” Pacifica nodded and the girl put the cloth to her nose. “Blow,” she instructed, allowing the blonde to blow her nose before she continued. “I’m Mabel Pines.”
“Pines?” Pacifica croaked, eyebrows furrowing as she looked to the girl with wide, horrified eyes. “You mean I’m on the-”
“The Mystery Shack? Yeah. Stupid name for a ship, right? It’s my home, though-”
“You’re wanted all over the country for murder and thievery!” Pacifica accused, beginning to shake again. “And you aren’t going to kill me, you say!”
“Wait, wait, wait,” Mabel interrupted, hands up the same way Stan’s had been. “I have good and valid reason for that. Sometimes the men I steal from don’t take no for an answer, and a girl’s gotta protect herself, right?”
“And what about the others?”
“Grunkle Stan stopped killing people so much when Dipper and I joined him. Soos, I don’t think he could hurt a fly and Wendy- actually, Wendy’s pretty badass, but I don’t think she’d actually murder someone unless she had to. Nobody wants to hurt you. We just want to get our money and then you‘re free to go, I promise.” That put her nerves at ease.
Still, she had to ask. “What… What’s a Grunkle? I thought he was the captain.”
Mabel laughed lightly at that and shook her head. “He’s our great uncle, mine and Dipper’s.”
“And he let you be pirates? Some family,” Pacifica scoffed. Mabel’s face softened and the girl shrugged in response.
“It was either let us be pirates or let us be orphans. He took us in about ten years ago after our parents died.” Oh… Well, now Pacifica felt a little bad about commenting on their life choices.
“I’m sorry,” she said softly, shaking her head. Beside her, Mabel scoffed and nudged her arm.
“No, you’re alright! Really, we’re twenty now and we’ve had time to get over it! Plus, I really like it on the ship. Oh, man, you’ve never seen real beauty until you’ve seen the ocean.”
“I’ve seen the ocean,” the blonde protested, to which Mabel responded that she hadn’t, not really.
Sifting so that she could see Pacifica face to face, Mabel grinned and the blonde noticed how crooked her teeth were, but also that her crooked teeth made her look just as childish as she acted. “You’ve seen the ocean from the beach, but never been in the middle of it. That’s where you’ll see the most amazing things.” Somewhere from beyond the door, a bell rang and Mabel smiled. “Breakfast is ready, but I’ll definitely show you what I’m talking about tomorrow.”
“T- tomorrow?” Pacifica asked as Mabel stood. “You mean, I’m not staying on shore?”
“And let the pigs come get us for kidnapping? Pfft, heavens no! I’ll have Dipper bring you some food, and then you should try to get some rest or something. Bye!” And then she was gone, leaving Pacifica to her own thoughts and fears.
The plan was this, Pacifica had found out the next day: the Pines family had kidnapped her and left a ransom note, demanding over ten thousand pounds to be delivered to a certain place in Mexico, where they would pick up the money and leave Pacifica, who would then catch a ride back up to Maine and rejoin her family. Mabel explained it all so carefully as she untied the blonde and brought her up on deck.
Everywhere she turned, there was someone or other giving her dirty or curious looks, but never did she see a scowl on Mabel’s face. Quite the contrary, the brunette was the kindest person on the ship to her. She was nothing but sunshine and smiles, even when Pacifica made unkind remarks about her hair, or about her teeth, or even about the girl’s own morality.
The first day had been the hardest, the second had been slightly easier, and the third was back to her being upset about- well, about everything. Pacifica felt her mood fluctuate often, but the third day had been an all time low for the girl. She stayed seated on her cot and curled up beneath a feather down blanket that she demanded from the captain.
Jeez, kid, he’d said, horrified when she started screaming. Here, just don’t- just quiet down! If there was anything Pacifica Northwest was good at, it was getting what she wanted. Nonetheless, she was still stranded on a ship in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by unwashed brutes and violent criminals.
Curling around herself, she began thinking back on her home life. It hadn’t been a happy one, but she had been comfortable, and she’d had friends to talk to about unimportant things. She recalled once when her father had slapped her across the face for dirtying her dress, and she complained about it to her friends and suddenly, they’d made excuses to leave. Since that day, she’d learned to stay silent to save everyone else’s comfort, and as long as she’d stayed silent- which she had- everything had been fine.
Yes, everything had been fine until she was tied up and thrown onto a ship with no way off. Pacifica sighed and slipped her eyes shut, pretending that she was in her own bed, in her own house.
“Lunch time!” Mabel hollered as she kicked the door open. Pacifica snapped her eyes open and looked up to the brunette. Great. The welcoming committee was back. “Today, we’re having beef and-”
“I’m not hungry,” Pacifica stated, pulling the covers over her head. Maybe Mabel would take the hint and go away. Maybe she would be left alone to her own devices and could continue trying to deconstruct what she’d done wrong in her life to warrant karma this awful.
Footsteps started towards her and she knew that she wouldn’t get her wish. She’d have to continue sulking within the company of someone else, someone who wouldn’t understand. The bed shifted with the weight of another girl taking a seat beside her and Pacifica felt a hand on her shoulder. “It’ll just be a few more days. Once we’re there, your dad will have sent the money and you can go home-”
“He won’t send the money,” Pacifica answered confidently. “I’m not worth the money to him.”
“That’s ridiculous!” Mabel began to protest, making Pacifica’s stomach churn. How would she know? She’d never met her father before. “He’s your dad, I know that he’ll-”
“He doesn’t care, okay!?” Pacifica snapped, yanking the blankets from her head. She’d known all those years that she hadn’t meant anything to her father, but saying it aloud felt… Liberating? Awful? She sat up and shook her head. “My dad doesn’t care about me. I’ve always been something to up his social status, but I-” She choked on a sob that she hadn’t realized she’s been harboring. Then, she couldn’t stop speaking. She knew that Mabel didn’t care about her life story, but she’d kept so silent for years that she couldn’t stop the words and sobbed hiccups pouring from her mouth.
“I’ve always done what they said is right, I’ve always been a good kid, but neither of them- they never cared! They spend just enough attention to me in public to look affectionate but as soon as we’re home it’s a constant- he’s always angry at me for one thing or another and my mother, god damn her! She’s never defended me! She’s always too drunk to do anything about it and she just lets him kick me over and over and over! The other kids I went to school with- the peasant children I got beat for playing with when I was younger- all of them! All of their parents loved them!” She paused to pull her knees to her chest and bury her face between them. “Why don’t mine love me!? What’s the matter with me?”
God, did she feel pathetic. She hadn’t known Mabel for more than three days, and here she was, spilling her guts and secrets to the girl. Any minute now, Mabel would do what everyone else did and say she had to go. The blonde continued to bawl into the fabric of her skirt, waiting for the brunette to leave.
She didn’t, though.
After a moment, arms were around her shoulders and pulling her into Mabel’s warmth. Instinctively, the blonde clung to the affection she so desperately sought after, even if it wasn’t coming from the people she wanted it to. Her face buried into Mabel’s hair and she continued to cry, holding onto the only friend she had on this ship.
Mabel cradled the girl to her own body and slowly stroked her hair down, much like her mother used to do whenever she’d hurt herself while playing, or whenever she’d have a nightmare, like she’d needed her to do the day she died.
And just like her mother, Mabel began to hum a soft, soothing lullaby as she rocked them to the sway of the sea. It seemed to work, because soon enough, the blonde was pulling back and wiping her eyes. “I’m sorry for that. I’m not sure what caught hold of me,” she sniffed, glancing away from Mabel. “That was incredibly unladylike.”
“Don’t apologize,” Mabel replied, shaking her head. “You haven’t done anything wrong. Tell you what, though-” the brunette stood and took Pacifica’s hands in her own soft, gentle grasp. Then, she was tugging her to her feet. “-we’re going to go up on deck and look at the ocean. That always makes me feel better. And then we’re going to go get you a new dress since you’ve been in the same sleeping clothes forever now, and in a few days when we dock in Mexico, you’ll take my portion of the money and you’ll go to New York instead of Maine. Or.. If you want, you can ride with us to Europe. But whatever you do, you don’t have to go back up there. Okay?”
Pacifica nodded weakly, unsure of why Mabel wanted to help her so badly- badly enough to give her a share of her own money. “I will, though... I just know it.”
“Hm… Right now, though, let’s go up to the deck.” Without waiting for a response, Mabel laced her fingers between the blonde’s and led her out of the damp room.
The sun hit her eyes all too suddenly and Pacifica raised her hand to shield it. She’d only been out of her room once or twice, and both times had been at night. She hadn’t seen the sun for days. Once her eyes adjusted, she was met with the stares of crew members and it felt… Well, frankly, it made her anxious. These men were criminals, and more than that they were filthy. By that right, though, so was she. Mabel didn’t seem to notice- or care about- their watchful gaze, and so she tried not to either. Head held high like the refined young woman she was, her grip on Mabel’s hand tightened and she followed where the girl led her.
Finally, she found herself at the edge of the ship, in a just barely secluded spot behind a few cabins. Mabel led her to the ledge and leaned over it with a small smile and god, had the brunette been right. Pacifica had never seen the ocean quite like this. Everywhere she looked was vast, blue ocean with nothing, and yet everything, on the horizon. The sun glistened off of the waves like sparkling jewels more precious than anything her stupid father could ever buy and the sight took her breath away.
“Wow,” she whispered, still holding onto Mabel’s hand. “It’s… It’s gorgeous.”
“Isn’t it?” the brunette mumbled, glancing to the girl who only hardly caught the motion.
Slowly, Pacifica tore her eyes from the waves and turned to face Mabel with grateful, soft eyes. She’d never known such kindness, even if she’d been kidnapped by the girl, Mabel had treated her better than anyone she ever knew. Her heart leapt at the thought and she gave her a soft smile. “You’re a very good person.”
“So are you, you know. I mean, you can be bitchy, but you don’t really mean anyone any harm.”
And that was true. Pacifica was often harsh on those beneath her but never had she felt outwardly malicious towards them. She just… She acted how her father and mother wanted her to. Man, they’d really fucked her life up under the guise of improving it.
Pacifica shifted her gaze to the ocean one last time, and then glanced to Mabel. “Now, what did you say about new clothes?”
The brunette’s face lit up at that.
Mabel’s closet was probably larger than Pacifica’s entire room on the ship, and it was filled to the brim with colorful- often ridiculous looking- dresses and shoes. When they boarded in Mexico, she’d have to hook her up with a real seamstress. “What colors do you like?” Mabel asked, sifting through the dresses, humming in thought.
“Purple,” Pacifica responded instantly. “Purple’s my favorite.” She watched the girl nod and then took in her surroundings. She would kill to have a closet like this, how was it that Mabel’s closet was more like a bedroom than an actual closet? Then, she spotted a bed in the very corner, hidden away by frills and sewing supplies, and she realized this was Mabel’s bedroom; not her closet.
She also realized that it seemed the girl liked to sew. “You made these?” the blonde asked, running a hand over a blue dress with far too many frills.
“Hmm? Oh! Most of them, yeah! Pretty neat, huh?” Mabel gloated, tugging a dress down from it’s hanging place. “Some of them, though, I stole.”
Oh. Right, she was a pirate. Duh.
“Here, you can-” A loud squealing sound interrupted Mabel and Pacifica was being knocked into a pile of fabric. As she went down, there was something slimy coating her face and in reaction, the girl screamed. Whatever the creature was, it was pinning her to the pile of clothes and- “Waddles, down!”
As soon as Mabel yelled, the licking ceased and the creature- Pacifica now saw that is was a pig- snorted. True to it’s name, it waddled to it’s owner, who kneeled down and patted him. “Sorry! He’s really affectionate. Isn’t that right, my pretty boy?” she cooed, baby-speaking to the pig as she scratched it’s head.
Still shaken, Pacifica raised a brow and wiped her face with the sleeve of her white nightgown. “It’s… fine,” she replied through her teeth, fighting to stay calm. After all, it wasn’t Mabel’s fault and she didn’t want to blow up and lose the only friend she had here. “You were about to hand me something?”
“Oh! Right!” Mabel took her hand and helped her to her feet, handing her a pile of royal purple cloth. “Let’s get you dressed, yeah? Aaaaalrighty, nightgown off!”
“Okay, I can- hey, wait!” Mabel had begun tugging the gown from the girl’s body despite her protests. As soon as she was naked, Pacifica felt exposed and fought to cover her chest with her hands. Face crimson, she glanced away from Mabel. She probably thinks I’m scrawny and gross, she reasoned with herself, covering her lower body with the mess of fabric Mabel had given her.
The brunette glanced over Pacifica’s body and her own face became a deep shade of red. Nudity had never bothered her, but the girl before her was… Her body was perfectly sculpted. Vaguely, she was reminded of the paintings and statues of Venus she’d seen in her travels. “I… You can start getting dressed.”
“Oh… R- right.” Pacifica turned her back to her friend to uncover her chest, only to shudder when she met the gaze of Waddles, who stared up at her almost expectantly with those wide, beady eyes. It’s just a pig… It’s an animal, it doesn’t know what it’s looking at, she silently thought, hurrying to pull the dress on and over her shoulders.
It fit perfectly, once she had everything straightened out. The skirt was full and the bodice was tight around her waist, held together with white lace and a blue jewel on the dip of the dress between her cleavage. The sleeves only reached her elbow, but white fabric ruffled out, cascading to the middle of her forearm. In all, it was beautifully done. She turned to face Mabel again with a small, “How do I look?”
“Perfect,” the brunette replied, a little breathlessly, staring dumfounded at the girl. When Pacifica’s head tilted, Mabel grinned and shook her head. “It looks great on you! Come on, let’s go take a walk around the deck- actually, how good are you at poker?”
“I’ve never played,” Pacifica gasped, shocked that Mabel would assume she, a lady would ever gamble. It just wasn’t fitting. “Why do you ask?”
As it just so happened, she asked because Mabel, a lady, gambled heavily. She pulled Pacifica to the captain’s cabin and grinned. “Grunkle Stan, Grunkle Stan-”
“What is she doing out and about, Mabel?” For a moment, Pacifica began to shrink back into herself, afraid that she’d upset the captain by existing, the way her father seemed to be so upset for that same reason.
Mabel scoffed at him and held Pacifica’s hand tighter. “Pfft. She doesn’t know how to play poker, and I thought I should teach her!”
Stan hummed and when Pacifica finally brought her gaze back to his face, he seemed thoughtful. “Well, kid, you learn from Mabel and you learn from the best. Come on, we’ll play.” So… he isn’t angry? As Mabel led her to the table, Stan followed and Waddles jumped into a chair on his own, as if he’d done it millions of times. He probably had, Mabel seemed attached to the pig from what Pacifica could see. As Pacifica gingerly took a seat, Mabel began to explain the inner workings of the game.
Pacifica was a quick learner, and managed to get it down pretty quickly. It was fun. Fun. She was having fun and nobody was ostracizing her for it, she realized as she laid her cards down on the table with a cheer. “I won!” she gasped, bouncing delightedly in her seat. “I won, I won!”
“You did!” Mabel laughed and before the blonde could stop herself, she excitedly threw her arms around the girl with a giddy laugh. When she drew back, Mabel was grinning at her and she offered a proud smile to Stan, who looked at her- looked at her like a proud father would.
Offering another smile to the man, she asked, “Can we play again?”
“I think it’d be best if I went off to bed, actually,” he replied, standing from the table. “I’ve got some maps to go over first. Tomorrow, though, I’ll kick both of your butts in a rematch.”
“Alright, Grunkle Stan,” Mabel laughed, standing and offering her hand to Pacifica. “Come on, we can probably find something to do.”
The next day, Mabel had proposed a picnic in her secret hideaway that overlooked the ocean. Beside Pacifica, the brunette sat at her side, sewing as they spoke. “Okay,” the blonde hummed, grabbing a strawberry and biting into it. “What about the one where you stabbed a man’s eye out?”
“True,” Mabel laughed, shaking her head. “He tried to kidnap me and my brother. We were in Ecuador, and Stan sent Dipper and I out to scope the place- pretty standard stuff. Anyway, This guy, Bill he said his name was, offered to buy us lunch and then he had us cornered in an alleyway with literally nowhere to go. Had some rope, too, so he had obviously been planning this. So I grabbed by knife and just- you know? We don’t go to Ecuador anymore,” Mabel finished, giggling as she took a sip of rum and glanced to Pacifica.
While the story was horrifying, the blonde couldn’t help but be amazed at the stories of Mabel’s travels. With a grin, she sat up a little straighter. “Have you ever been to France?”
“We go there all the time! We actually know the queen, too.”
“Marie Antoinette?!” Pacifica choked on the food in her mouth. “How did that happen!?”
With a prideful grin, Mabel glanced at her through the corner of her eye. “Well,” she began. “We’d stopped off in France last year and the last night there, I went to a party. I do that a lot, you know, it’s where the really rich guys get drunk and then try to make love to me. Makes it easy to steal their money,”
“Right,” Pacifica chuckled, nodding softly.
“Anyway! While I was at this party, a woman in a mask asked me where I’d gotten my dress from, and I told her it was a Mabel original. She absolutely loved it and said she’d pay handsomely for one, so I talked Stan into letting me stay long enough to make it for her and now every time we go back I stop in to say hello.”
“Wow,” Pacifica breathed, laying her head on Mabel’s shoulder. “I would love to meet Marie Antoinette.”
Mabel hummed at that, then said, “Well, come with us, then.”
The blonde picked her head up and looked at the girl. The gaze Mabel wore, lowered eyelashes and affectionate glimmer in her eyes, made Pacifica’s heart speed up the slightest bit. Mabel was beautiful, and she was a genuinely good person. She’d made everything to much easier for Pacifica and… And when she was with Mabel, the girl had a way of feeling like everything would be just fine. Never in her life had she felt so calm and okay with the world. “Maybe.”
“Maybe?” Mabel mused and then all at once, she tackled Pacifica onto the deck and began to tickle her. “Say yes!” she giggled along with the laughing Pacifica, who wriggled beneath her and snorted. “Say yes! Yes, yes yes!”
“Oh my god,” the blonde cried out, grabbing at Mabel’s unrelenting wrists. “Y-”
“Mabel!” The tickling ceased and both girls glanced to the side to see Mabel’s brother, arching an eyebrow at the situation. “Uh… Am I interrupting something?”
“Not like I haven’t interrupted your endeavors before, bro-bro. What do you need?”
The boy rolled his eyes, though he smiled gently at his sister. “We need to mop the deck. Your girlfriend can help, too.” Before Pacifica could protest, he was gone, leaving the red faced girls behind.
Mabel and Pacifica glanced at one another before the brunette stood and offered her hand to the girl who graciously took it, standing on her feet. “We should go do that.”
Pacifica nodded gingerly and followed her out to the deck where Dipper stood, already swabbing the wooden floors. Upon noticing them, he motioned to two more mop buckets and at once, the girls got to work with out complaint.
Well, without complaint out loud. Inwardly, Pacifica thought to herself how she’d never had to do this before, so she should have been allowed to sit back and watch. Nonetheless, she mopped, following Mabel’s movements until she finally worked into a pattern of her own.
After some time, Mabel began humming, a soft and slow song that was pleasant to Pacifica’s ears. Soon after that, she began singing along. “I am a pirate,” she sang under her breath, “You are a princess, we could sail the seven seas,”
“What’re you singing?” Pacifica paused to ask, leaning on the handle of the mop. Mabel glanced up and grinned, continuing her song without answering.
“Bring back some presents for all the people,” she said, getting louder by the second. “Everyone would love us, even Dipper would love us!” At the mention of his name, Mabel pointed to her brother as he tried to hide his amusement.
“Ha ha, you’re hilarious. Now we really need to stop goofing off an-”
“I am a pirate, you are a princess- come on, sing with me!”
Pacifica laughed and sang along with the lyrics she’s heard only moments before, off beat but with a smile. “We could sail the seven seas, bring back some presents for all the people, everyone would love us- even Dipper would love us!”
In response, the boy snickered and batted at his sister’s shoes with the end of his mop, so in turn she held hers out, much like a sword. “A duel, good sir?”
Dipper pursed his lips and stood straight, pointing the handle of his mop in the same way. “A duel, milady.”
“En guarde!” she called, surging forward and flailing the mop. Dipper did the same and Pacifica laughed delightedly, leaning against the ledge of the ship. She’d never had this much fun, never been this happy in her life. If things were like this all the time, she wouldn’t really mind going to France.
That night, Mabel asked if she’d like to stay in her cabin. “I know yours isn’t the warmest- or driest- place and… You know, I thought it could be fun! Kind of like a- like-”
“Like a sleepover?” Pacifica finished, grinning at the girl. “I’m in.”
“Great!” the brunette cheered, face brightening tenfold. “Let’s go, then!” At once, she was gripping Pacifica’s hand and dragging the girl to her closet/room again. The only difference between the first time she’d visited and now was the fact that both of them were giddy and eager now, and not sulking on Pacifica’s past.
Upon entering, Mabel sat on her bed and Waddles jumped up, clambering into her lap. With a grin, Mabel looked up at Pacifica and motioned for her to sit. The blonde followed suit and took a seat beside the girl and her pig, glancing around to take in every detail. If she was getting off tomorrow to go to Mexico- and then home- she wanted to absorb every detail of the biggest adventure of her life. She looked at every vibrant color of fabric hanging from the walls, the beautiful hat boxes that adorned the corners, even the mess of trinkets on Mabel’s shelves.
Her eye zeroed in on one in particular and she recalled the night the crew had kidnapped her.
I absolutely love this unicorn trinket, can I keep it?! Oh, who am I kidding, I’m taking it anyway!
Those had been the first words she’d heard Mabel say, and it seemed as though the girl made good on them. Leaning over slightly, Pacifica picked it up and then offered a smile to Mabel. “You really are a thief, huh?”
“Guilty,” Mabel snorted, lying back on her bed, stroking her pet as he nestled against her waist. “I like unicorns and knick-knacks. And that’s both of them at the same time! I couldn’t pass it up. Hey, where’d you get it, anyway?”
“My dad gave it to me,” Pacifica replied with a shrug, handing it over. “You can keep it, though. I really don’t want it.”
For a moment, Mabel pouted, then looked at the blonde and took it. “Your dad’s really an asshole, huh?” Though Pacifica hummed in reply, Mabel knew what might help her feel better. At once, she nudged Waddles off of her lap and stood. “Come on.”
“Where are we going?”
Mabel tugged Pacifica to her feet again and stuffed the glass unicorn into her pocket. “Just come on!”
A moment later, Mabel was setting the unicorn on the ledge of the ship and standing back, handing Pacifica her pistol. “Shoot it,” she urged. With shaky hands, the blonde took the gun and frowned. “Go on, it’ll help.”
“I… I can’t,” Pacifica protested, thinking over the conversation that would happen should her father ever find out she disrespected him so blatantly. “My father would be so angry… I don’t-”
“You don’t have to worry about him, Paz,” Mabel replied with a soothing tone. Then she stepped behind her and took her hands, guiding her into the right stance. “Pull the trigger. Squeeze, softly.”
The blonde nodded gently and did as she was told, though she flinched and squeaked at the bang reverberating. The bullet went right past the toy and Pacifica shook her head. “I’m no good at this!”
“You’ll learn!” Mabel insisted, urging Pacifica’s arms up again. “I believe in you. You’ve got this!” The blonde took a shaky breath to steady her nerves and closed one eye in an attempt to aim. This time, when she pulled the trigger, the glass unicorn exploded instantly and it was the most satisfying, liberating thing she’d ever witnessed in her life.
“I did it!” she gasped with a grin. Her heart was pounding in her chest and the adrenaline in her veins made her fingers shake, but she felt alive, more than she ever had. “I did it, Mabel, I did it!”
When she turned to face the brunette, the girl wore a grin to match her own. “You did! I told you that you got it!” At once, Pacifica threw her arms around Mabel and held her tightly.
They stayed in that embrace for a long moment and as Pacifica backed away, she realized the gravitational pull Mabel seemed to have on her. She wanted to be with the girl always, to be by her side and run her fingers through her hair. Mostly, though, she wanted to make Mabel feel the way Mabel had made her feel these last few days. Alive. Happy. Like nothing in the world could go wrong.
Mabel’s arms were still around her shoulders, as hers were around the brunette’s waist, but both had pulled away just enough to look one another in the eye. Mabel’s gaze sent shivers down Pacifica’s spine and as the girl glanced away, her line of sight redirected to the brunette’s lips, almost involuntarily. God, how was it that Mabel had the same shape of lips that girls her age tried so hard to achieve? Naturally, the girl was the most beautiful creature she’d ever met, she didn’t even have to try; and never had Pacifica felt this affectionate about anyone before. With her parents, it was a need to make them happy, but Mabel? Plain and simple, she wanted to make her happy.
Slowly, she began to bring her head forward and Mabel followed suit. So close… Mabel was so close now that Pacifica felt her breath as it hitched and her own as it ricocheted back from those perfect, pretty lips.
“Mabel!” someone cried out, startling the girls enough for both to jump back. When the voice rounded around the corner, it was Soos, the man that carried Pacifica to the ship. “Mabel, Dipper’s hurt-”
At once, the brunette was rushing forward, demanding where her brother was. Pacifica followed as Soos replied that he was in Stan’s cabin. The girl burst through the door, only to find her brother groaning and holding a rag to his head. “Soos! I told you, I’m fine!”
“Sorry, kid, Captain’s orders,” he replied with a bashful frown.
Dipper clicked his tongue and tugged the rag back to reveal a small scratch. “Seriously, Mabel, I’m sorry they interrupted whatever you were doing.” Yeah, you’d better be sorry, Pacifica thought bitterly.
Still Mabel took a seat beside him and shook her head. “Don’t be sorry. What happened?”
“Nitwit here bet him that he couldn’t balance on the barrel of water,” Stan grumbled, motioning to Wendy, who glanced away and whistled a chipper tune. “Still, though, he seems to be fine. All of you should be getting to bed, we’re boarding in the morning.”
Mabel said a quick goodnight and took Pacifica’s hand, leading her back to the cabin and unbeknownst to the blonde, the other was just as irritated by the interruption.
True to the captain’s word, Pacifica woke up to screaming outside the window and wondered who dared to wake her up when she was sleeping so comfortably in Mabel’s arms. “Land ho!” they’d yelled and she sighed, burying her face into Mabel’s hair. Maybe if she ignored it long enough, they’d forget the girls were there and she wouldn’t have to leave back to Gravity Falls.
Just as Pacifica’s grip tightened on the brunette, Mabel gave a soft, defeated sigh. “We should get up. You’ve gotta go, after all.”
“Yeah,” Pacifica muttered, reluctantly forcing herself to sit up and stretch. The morning passed slowly, far too slowly and simultaneously too quickly. She stayed at Mabel’s side through breakfast and practically clung to her as Stan led them to the city hall, where the money was supposed to be sent. After explaining the situation to a very terrified looking clerk, the pudgy, balding man handed over an envelope with shaky hands.
Stan snatched it from him, opened it, then narrowed his eyes. “What is this?!” he demanded. “Where’s my damn money!?” At once, he raised his pistol.
“Don’t shoot the messenger!” the clerk pled, shivering violently. Slowly, Pacifica reached up to take the envelope from the captain. Inside was a small rectangle or thick, expensive paper with ink scrawling in her father’s hand.
To whom it may concern,
I’m sure you’re well aware of who I am; you wouldn’t have taken my daughter otherwise. However, it’s against my morals and better judgment to associate with petty criminals, common terrorists or peasants trying to make a quick buck. Regretfully, I inform you that I’ve decided not to pay your ransom.
Mr. Northwest or Northwest enterprises.
Pacifica sighed as she finished reading it, then laid a gentle hand on Stan’s forearm. “My dad isn’t paying it.”
“Oh, Pacifica,” Mabel breathed beside her. The brunette wrapped an arm around her shoulder and tugged her closer. “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s fine,” Pacifica said with a forced chuckle, sliding the card back into the envelope. “I love saying I told you so, but right now it doesn’t feel as great.”
Stan lowered his gun from the clerk and glanced to the blonde. “What a piece of shit… Do you still want us to pay your way back to America?”
Mabel said nothing, but her gaze pled for her to stay, to go to France with them. Still, her decision had long since been made. With a weak smile, she shook her head and took Mabel’s hand in her own. “No.”
“No? So you’re staying in Mexico?”
“No, silly!” Mabel replied, face breaking into a grin. “She’s coming with us!”
“But-” Pacifica interrupted, squeezing Mabel’s hand. “There’s something I’ve got to do first.” For a split second, Mabel furrowed her eyebrows with a vaguely confused stare, but Pacifica wiped it from her face by pulling her into an eager, affectionate kiss, grinning against her lips when Mabel didn’t pull away.
She’d felt accomplished many times through this journey. When she freed her foot from the rope binding her ankles, when she’d won at poker, when she shot the glass unicorn’s head clean off… But the most accomplishing and fulfilling thing she’d ever felt was Mabel’s lips against hers, reciprocating the kiss in front of God and everybody.
As she pulled away, she grinned and Mabel stared up at her with a smile to mirror her own. My father would kill me for that, she thought with amusement, only to realize that she didn’t care. “Now I’m ready to meet the queen of France.”
Be it meeting the queen of France or becoming the queen of France, Pacifica Northwest felt like she could do anything as long as Mabel was by her side.