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An Infinite Battle

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“Ah! Shit!” Ford waved his hand in the air as a spark zipped from the mechanics of the neutralizer where he was making additions, “Well, that’s no good.” He grabbed the now blackened cloth he was using and wiped his hands.

Ford had taken the strange thing apart as soon as he arrived to his small shack located in the forest of Gravity Falls. Two years of his consistent research left his home covered in artifacts, glass jars, and tons of books. He received no visitors and that was probably for the better.

His place was a mess. Sort of like him, he guessed.

‘Hey there, Sixer. Not catching you at a bad time?’

Two months of Bill making mental checks on him never ceased to make him jump. “Bill…” he chuckled as he looked at the broken apart neutralizer, “Pretty good actually. I did some tweaking on the neutralizer. Hooked it up with a cartridge and some copper wire. Now it functions as a taser as well.”

‘Very nice.’

“So how’s the party going?”

There was a small pause before Bill spoke again, ‘Stanford, do you realize what time it is?’

“I thought a good party never ends? Those are your words, you know.”

‘Look outside.’

Ford shrugged and walked over to the window, unfolding the curtains only to squint as bright sunlight bathed the room in light. That was strange…when he came home it was early dusk.

‘See what I mean?’

“Wow…” Ford gazed out the window in awe. Judging by how bright it was outside, Ford ventured to guess that it was probably around ten in the morning. Had he really been awake that long? He laughed, “So I take it you’re still partying?”

‘Hardly. I just finished cleaning.’

“Oh. I’m sorry. If you needed help you should have asked.”

‘Are you kidding? I had someone else do it. I just supervised.’

 “Of course you did,” Ford yawned as the fatigue suddenly hit him.

‘Get some sleep, Sixer. I’ll check in later if you want.’

Ford took a seat on his small couch and stretched out, “Okay…” As soon as he rested his head and closed his eyes, he fell asleep.


Ford knew he was dreaming. When he opened his eyes there were books, papers, and science equipment floating in mid-air all around him. The room was completely blue, the wallpaper looked like graphing paper.

Ford grabbed one of the pages that floated near his head. Drawn on it was some kind of inverted triangle with a circle on the side. Like the counter of Bill’s true form. Drawn on the circle were the symbols Bill had shown him the day before when he went into the spacecraft.

“Hey there, my friend,” a familiar, robotic-like voice pierced through the air.

Ford expected to see Bill when he turned around. Instead, he saw a small pedestal with a golden statue that emulated Bill’s true form. Curious, he let go of the parchment in his hands walked closer, “Bill? Is that you?”

“In a way.” The statue glowed as the voice spoke from it. “We’ll get to a point eventually where I can project the form you’re familiar with into the Mindscape. For now, this will have to do. I have to show you something.”

Ford shook his head. He wasn’t sure if he was processing this, “Wait…the Mindscape? What are you talking about?”

“I told you before that I would enlighten your mind in other ways until you can get back into the craft. So what better way than to show you what I can do?”

The scenery shifted as the pages, books, and beakers flew by Ford’s head. The grids on the wall waved about as the blue of the room faded to a scenic image of the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Ford reached out beyond the gridlines and felt the Egyptian sun warm his hand.

“Wow…” Ford marveled in a hushed whisper, “How are you doing this?”

“I’m showing you what the people I’ve inspired accomplished. Yesterday you suggested that I might be overestimating you…would you look at the architects who built these pyramids and say the same?”

Ford nodded in understanding but something still nagged at him, “But…I’m just one person…”

“Many of them were one person at some time or another. But they’ve left an impressive mark. History remembers the great ones.”

Images flashed across the grid. An apple falling on Sir Isaac Newton’s head, da Vinci at his worktable while his unfinished masterpieces littered the background, Plato addressing the ancient Greek courts.

Bill continued, “This streak of great minds is no accident, Stanford. You’re the man to change the world. So let’s stretch your mind a little more. Do you still doubt me?”

Ford was speechless and he watched as the greatest geniuses the world had ever known fade into a reflection of himself on the blue wall, “I…I understand…”

“Good. It’s time for you to wake up.”


Ford took a deep breath as he woke up quickly, “Bill?” He looked around the room for a moment, noticing that it was already starting to get dark. Ford sighed as he sat up and rubbed the bridge of his nose. He was starting to feel a fatigue headache coming on.

He jumped when he heard his telephone ringing. Who the hell would be calling him at this hour?

He let it ring a few more times before he realized the person was adamant about talking to him. He reached over and picked up the receiver, “Hello, this is Stanford Pines.”

There was a quick breath. Like a shocked pause. Before Ford could ask who was calling, there was a click followed by the dial tone.

Ford immediately knew. And his eyes burned with tears. His bottom lip shook and he dropped the receiver to the floor, “Dammit…Stanley…”

Ford curled back up on his couch and covered his eyes. He clenched his jaw as he fought back angry and sad tears.

He knew he would be anxiously pacing around the phone for more phone calls for the next few days.

That night, Ford dreamed his brother burned to death.


 

It took Ford five days to recover from the melancholy and anxiety brought on by the nightmare of his brother set aflame. Five days of worry, anger, and memories he’s rather not dwell on. When he closed his eyes, all he saw was charred flesh and his brother’s strangely calm and complacent fact. As if he didn’t know he was on fire.

Five days of that image etched into his mind.

On the first day, he had called his parents. He told them he thought he received a call from Stanley…only for his father to inform him that Stanley was picked up around Topeka, Kansas for laundering money for some kind of…pug cartel. Ford could have sworn he heard wrong…he really needed to get his hearing checked.

The second day was more hectic than the first. Ford received a phone call from one of Stanley’s cellmates…According to the surly sounding man, his brother had traded dirty magazines in exchange to use the inmate’s phone call. Apparently, Stanley needed bail money. Money that Ford refused to give and, now pissed off beyond belief, he hung up on the inmate.

The third day was spent wallowing in his anger and annoyance. Ford actually took to exercise in order to vent out his frustrations on the small punching bag that hung on the back porch of the shack. That night he had a dream of when he and his brother were kids talking about sailing the world when they were adults. He was thankful that it was a happy memory and not Stan burning…

Which led to the fourth day where Ford went through old photos from he and Stan’s childhood. His mother had packed him a small shoebox before he left for college and while he was reluctant to take it, Ford couldn’t say no to the look on his mother’s face. It was guilt-tripping and terrifying.

Looking through the photos ended up making Ford feel nostalgic for Glass Shard Beach…and for the times he spent there with his brother. If only things hadn’t changed so much…

If only Stanley hadn’t ruined his chance at going to his dream school…

Ford didn’t sleep that night.

The fifth day was a slow, dreary whatever day of the week it was. Ford barely ate, barely slept, and barely moved at all.

He also barely got any work done.

The day came when Ford had a moment of clarity. He realized that he hadn’t heard anything from Bill since his dream those five days ago. The two were pretty consistent with their daily routine and this five-day slip was a bit new to Ford. He wondered if Bill was okay…

‘You’ve been pretty quiet, Stanford…’

Speak of the devil and he shall come. “Bill…uh…sorry…I-”

‘Do you need me?’

 

Ford shook his head, “No…uh, I mean…maybe with the research but…” He was suddenly really nervous after five days of not speaking to Bill…or at least trying to engage in conversation. Especially after everything Bill had been doing to help him.

 

‘Show me where you are. I want to visit your little dwelling anyway. I have some ideas I want to run by. Consider the rest lagniappe.’

 

“Lagniappe?”

 

‘A gift…extra good stuff, I don’t know. I’ll be there soon.’

 

An hour later there was loud, rhythmic knock at his door. Ford wanted to do a little cleaning but quickly gave up when he realized it was hopeless. When he opened the door, Bill was leaning against the frame with a devious grin on his face.

 

Ford’s gaze shifted awkwardly, “Bill, look, about why I haven’t-”

 

“Are you going to let me in?”

 

Ford blushed, “Oh! I’m…I’m sorry!” He opened the door a bit wider and gestured for Bill to enter, “I’m just…I- “

 

Bill’s eyes widened as he gazed around the small shack, “Wow.” His grin was a happy one, “I like it.”

 

Ford chuckled, “Are you joking? You live in a mansion…”

 

“Yes but this…” he walked over to a shelf full of jars full of…formaldehyde and small creatures, “This is amazing.” He tapped on one of the glasses playfully.

 

Ford rubbed the back of his neck, “It’s a mess…”

 

Bill pointed at him, “What did I tell you about me liking mess?”

 

Ford just noticed that Bill was wearing a black robe over what looked like pajamas, “I-I’m sorry…but are you…” he gestured to Bill’s garb, “Pajamas?”

 

Bill flared his arms out and looked down, “Yes? Is there a problem?”

 

Ford shook his head, “No, no, it’s just…I thought…never mind.”

 

“Oh I know what you thought,” Bill smiled and walked in front Ford, leaning up to kiss his cheek, “I’m allowed to be lazy when I want to be. I can’t keep up with that silly ‘suit’ stuff all the time. It’s too much work.” Bill took a deep breath, a small blush forming on his face, “And I’m tired of explaining myself now…so!”

 

Ford laughed and pulled Bill in for a small hug, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to tease.”

 

Bill pushed away, “We have a lot to go over today,” he smiled and flicked Ford’s nose, “It’s best we’re both comfortable. I’m still exhausted from all the energy I put out showing that dream to you a few days ago.”

 

“Oh…is that why…why I haven’t heard from you…?”

 

“That’s right.” Bill said as he walked over to a small worktable and fiddled with the papers strewn about on the surface. He didn’t look up as he picked up a piece of paper, staring at it with a fixed, blank expression, “But it doesn’t explain why I haven’t heard from you.”

Ford froze. “Uh…I really…I don’t have an excuse.” He shrugged and looked away, “I’m sorry.” He moved over to the table and took a seat at the chair across from Bill.

Bill set the paper down and stared at Ford what, to Ford, felt like hours. “I understand,” he was soft spoken and gentle with his words. Then he broke into a wide grin, “So are you ready to learn about mind control?”

Ford perked up, “Mind control? You mean, like,” he waved his fingers in a circular motion above his head, “Making people do crazy things.”

Bill shrugged, “It works on animals, too,” he suggested, “Anything with a brain and motor skills can be controlled. There are several ways to do it. The easiest requires a simple spell.”

“A spell, huh?” Ford took out one of his journals and started scribbling on a new page, “What’s the spell?”

Bill held his hand out, “May I?”

Ford looked curious for a moment before he handed over the pen and pushed the book to Bill. The other man paused as he looked over the paper before finding a spot to scribble some notes next to Ford’s.

With a satisfied grin, Bill pushed the journal back to Ford, “There you go.” When Ford looked ready to read the notes aloud, Bill gestured wildly with his hands, “No! No! Don’t say it out loud!” He laughed, “Just…read it to yourself…”

Before Ford could go back to reading, he had a thought, “You know…I never understood the importance of saying a spell out loud in order for it to be effective…”

Bill quirked an eyebrow and rested his chin on his palm, “There’s no real importance, there, Sixer,” he smiled, “The reality of it is, saying the spell out loud creates more energy output into the magic, thereby making it stronger. The very same spell can be directed via the mind and it would be just as effective if not slightly less amplified. Does that answer your not question?”

Ford chuckled and tilted his head, “I guess it does.” He read over the spell Bill had written down, making sure not to put too much emphasis on it. “So all you have to do is focus…er…meditate on the subject and chant this spell until you have control?”

Bill nodded.

Ford waited for another explanation and when Bill did not provide one, he grabbed his pen, “So…how does it work…exactly?”

Bill grabbed the book and Ford’s pen again, drawing a picture of a human body in a zombie-like pose, “Meditating on the subject enables a greater sense of said subject,” he fished through some papers and pulled out an illustration of the human cranium, “When you understand how the mind works, it gives you the map. When you understand how the subject works, it gives you the car. From there, you use the incantation, and now you have the keys. All you have to do is turn the car on and drive.”

Ford grabbed his chin in thought as he listened to Bill explain how mind control worked. He still had a few unanswered questions, “So how does the connection work…? How do you keep the car running?”

Bill chuckled, “I thought you might ask that,” he gave Ford his book back, “Unfortunately, the spell is only good for one use when used by mortal beings. The reason being is that it takes a strong-willed mind to be able to pull it off. In essence, it enables you to possess another person or being.”

Ford shook his head, “There must be someway to explain the connection, though. It can’t just strictly be magic…”

Bill grinned and leaned forward, “Well then, give me your hypothesis, Sixer.”

Ford sat back and looked up at the ceiling in thought, “When you break down the lot of human nature and the universe in general…you have a variety amount of atoms and particles that move and work together. Then there’s the energy that we all output. Figure all that together, the connection must require some kind of syncing up of the energy…a merge of the molecules.”

Bill pointed, “A ‘meeting of the minds.’”

Ford chuckled, “Well, so to speak…but in order for possession and control to be able to work…one has to be stronger than the other.”

Bill nodded, a satisfied grin on his face as he closed his eyes while he listened, “Mhmm…”

“So really…once the spell is cast, it’s really a fight for dominance. The one casting the spell would clearly be at an advantage because they know what they’re doing…while the other would most likely submit because they don’t know what’s happening and they would be overcome.”

“And if the one about to be possessed knew what was going on? Knew the spell being used?”

“Then there would be a fight…”

“And?”

“Well, one would eventually give, of course.”

Bill stared at Ford, a glimmer in his eye, “What if they’re equals?”

Ford looked into Bill’s eyes and could’ve sworn he saw a golden flash erupt beneath his irises, “I guess…uh,” he gulped as his gaze lowered, “I guess it would go on for infinity…”

Bill grinned, “Yes,” he brought his hand down to place it atop Ford’s own, “An infinite battle between two great minds struggling for dominance. And how often do you think you pass it on the street as you walk on home?”

Ford looked at the blonde’s hand and lifted his fingers reflexively, “It’s an interesting thought…”

Bill traced his fingertips along the top of Ford’s hand, “It’s chaotic.”

Ford took a deep breath and grabbed Bill’s hand, “So this mind control thing,” he grinned, lightening the mood, “Are we going to try this out?”

Bill smirked as he laced their fingers, “You think you can handle it?”

Ford’s gaze shifted before he smiled with a short nod.


Ford was sitting with head in his hands, tiny squirrels squeaking madly around him, and Bill’s laughter in the distance.

Ford groaned as he looked up at the other man, “It’s not funny!”

Bill’s laughing continued as he waved his hands back and forth, “You’re right!” he said between breaths, “I’m sorry….I’m sorry…you’re right, it’s actually hilarious!” He dove back into another fit of laughter.

Ford groaned again and he shook his head. He had been trying the possession spell for hours. The first ten times he kept muttering the incantation wrong and Bill had an amused look on his face each time he said it. The next ten times Ford’s focus wasn’t as intense as it should have been.

Finally, after twenty failed attempts, Ford finally found focus on a squirrel in a tree and he uttered the incantation perfectly.

Unfortunately, the squirrel having strong will power did not cross Ford’s mind and he actually had to fight the creature to possess it.

Which ended up backfiring since he was blind-sided. In the end, Ford was watching as the squirrel suddenly found itself in a human body. The brunette watched in horror as said squirrel tried hauling itself up a tree using Ford’s body. Confused as to why it kept falling down, the squirrel freaked out and started calling for help.

That was when Bill went from slightly panicked to laughing uncontrollably on the ground.

Ford was in full panic mode until the squirrel, still using Ford’s body, started ramming Ford into the tree headfirst. When “Ford” passed out, Bill made gestures to Ford to take his body back since it was empty.

When Ford came to, Bill was still laughing and he had a headache that was threatening to make him pass out again. He looked up at Bill and glared, “Are you going to help me or keep laughing at me?”

Bill cleared his throat and wiped his eyes, “I don’t see why I can’t do both,” he walked over to Ford and ran his hand over Ford’s forehead as his eyes flashed blue for a moment.

Ford’s headache slowly faded away. “How did you do that?”

Bill waved his hand dismissively as he sat down next to Ford, “Another time,” he grinned as he let his drop on Ford’s shoulder, “Well…I know you won’t be trying the possession spell again.”

Ford shook his head, “Not for a while anyway…and definitely not on animals.”

Bill chuckled, “I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting that little thing to put up that much of a fight.” Bill’s eyes widened and he grabbed Ford’s arm, “Maybe I just found your apprentice!”

Ford shoved Bill, “Oh, shut up!”

Bill laughed, poking at Ford’s face teasingly, “Maybe you’re not the chosen one…maybe it was the squirrel the whole time."

Ford knew Bill was teasing but it was still a blow to his ego, “That’s not nice…"

Bill rolled his eyes, “Fine, the squirrel will be second in command.”

Ford groaned and stood up, walking back towards the shack.

“Oh come on, Fordsy! You know I’m kidding!” Bill stood up to run after him.

Ford opened the door to the shack and ran straight to his journal, furiously scribbling notes on the possession spell. He heard Bill open the door and his shuffled footsteps as he searched for where Ford went.

Ford threw his pen on his desk and sat back right when Bill quietly entered the room. The brunette felt the presence of his friend standing right behind him but didn’t acknowledge him at all. Ford closed his eyes and leaned forward on his desk.

He felt a hand gently touch his shoulder.

“Sixer? Are you upset…?”

Ford pinched the bridge of his nose, “I don’t know, Bill,” he said condescendingly, “You tell me.”

Bill didn’t flinch at Ford’s harsh words. He placed his other hand on Ford’s shoulder and pinched gently, “Is it about the spell?”

Ford shook his head, “I thought I could do it. I really thought that…I never let myself believe I can’t do something…and with the way you reacted, I feel as if I let you down…”

Bill scoffed, “Oh please,” he flicked Ford’s ear punishingly, “The fact you couldn’t possess a squirrel on your first successful attempt at the possession spell doesn’t make you any less intelligent. Most humans couldn’t pull that off as many times as you said the spell before getting it right.”

Ford rubbed his ear where Bill had flicked it, “Still…I failed.”

Bill sighed, “Stanford, you have to fail in order to make things right sometimes.”

Ford took a deep breath as he leaned back, looking up at Bill, “So…I didn’t let you down?”

“In the sense of bringing me to the ground in fits of laughter, yes,” he pinched Ford’s nose playfully before kissing his forehead, “But as far as your abilities…absolutely not. Never.”

A small smile quirked at Ford’s lips and he closed his eyes, “Well that’s a relief I guess…still a little upset with myself though.”

Bill tapped the top of Ford’s head as he walked over to the bookshelf, pulling out a random book and perusing through it, “At least you’re not like this book and full of wrong.”

Ford laughed, “That’s one of my favorite authors! His theory on time anomalies is probably one of the best in the world.”

Bill shook his head, and rolled his eyes as he placed the book back on the shelf, “Time anomalies…whatever.”

Ford looked at his journal entry on the possession spell, “Well, that was terrible,” he closed the book, “What’s next on the agenda, Bill?”

Bill pulled up a chair and leaned forward, “Why did you go for five days without talking to me?”

Ford stared at Bill blankly before he processed the question. “Uh…” he thought back to the dream with Stan burning, the phone call, the childhood memories, his dreams being tarnished… Ford bit his lip and shook his head, “Heh…I really…would rather not talk about it?”

Bill’s lips pressed into a thin line, “Did something bad happen? I told you that I was trying to recoup my energy so I couldn’t check in like I usually do…I need you to be honest with me.”

Ford started feeling fidgety. “Can…can we talk about this outside…?” He stood up and walked over to a small box he kept on his table, “I need a cigarette for this…”

Bill scrunched up his nose as he stood, “Why?”

Ford shrugged as he took out the old box, “It makes me anxious and angry to talk about what I’m about to tell you…so I need something to offset…my mother used to smoke when she was irritated and I guess we-, uh…I picked up the habit.” Ford grabbed the lighter, testing it out to make sure it worked, “I only do it when I’m anxious so I really don’t smoke that often.”

Bill followed Ford out onto the porch and sat down next to him, “What does it feel like…?” He seemed extremely interested in the small stick in Ford’s hand.

“Oh…uh,” he placed the cigarette between his lips and lit the end, “It’s like…a very light burn at first but when you,” he exhaled and watched the smoke unfurl, “It feels like a literal release of everything inside of you.” He looked at Bill and handed him the cigarette, “Want to give it a try?”

Bill made a look of disgust and shook his head, “No thanks. Can’t that kill you?”

Ford shrugged, “There’s a slight risk of disease from overuse…but that can be said for anything.”

Bill hummed and sat back, “So, talk to me.”

Ford sighed as he took a long drag, “My brother called me a few days ago,” smoke left in tendrils as he spoke, “We didn’t talk because he hung up as soon as I answered the phone. But I had a nightmare about him that night.” Ford sniffed as he took another drag, “He was burning…and his eyes were staring straight into my soul.”

“Hm,” Bill brought his feet up, “So you were upset for five days?”

Ford shrugged, “Guess so. I didn’t sleep well and I kept…I kept seeing Stanley’s face…burning. It was too much.”

They sat in a small silence for a moment before Bill scooted closer, “It was just a dream, Sixer.”

Ford put out what was left of the cigarette and leaned back, “Yeah…” The sounds of crickets filled the air as the evening fell, “Want to listen to the radio?”

Bill shrugged, “Sure.”

Ford reached over where his small radio was sitting, “I like the jazz station that I can get out here, it helps me relax.”

Bill shook his head, “Music…another thing I don’t understand why you humans obsess over it.”

“It’s calming…sometimes.” Ford turned the dial until his station came on. “You play music at your parties.”

Bill scoffed, “I don’t. My guests do. I don’t even have a sound system. I thought jazz was supposed to be upbeat?”

“Some forms are. This is more blues type jazz, I guess. The musician is from the South of the country.”

"So you're intelligent and you know a lot about jazz...you truly are a legend, Sixer."

Ford chuckled in response before resting his head back as he let the music overcome his senses. Silence settled between them as the music played softly over the radio waves. Ford jumped when he felt Bill's head fall to his shoulder. The brunette stretched his arm behind the blonde’s head and after a few minutes, Ford allowed himself to relax and rested his cheek on top of Bill’s head with a small smile.

They stayed like that until dark fell.

Their peaceful moment was interrupted when a loud announcer’s voice cut off the song that was playing. “Attention, attention,” the voice was static through the radio and Ford turned the volume down a bit, “Breaking news from our source in London! It appears there was an attempted robbery at the Vatican museum! This brazen crime turned into wild chase as two robbers tried fleeing the scene with ancient Egyptian artifacts!”

Ford looked down to see if Bill was paying attention and was surprised to see his gaze focused on the radio.

The announcer continued, “The two robbers were cornered and nearly caught but the Italian police have stated that before an arrest could be made, the two robbers reportedly set themselves on fire! After they were hosed down, the Italian police were puzzled that nothing remained of the two criminals. The story is still developing at this time!”

“Give me one of those, Sixer…” Bill was gesturing to Ford’s ashtray, “Please.”

Ford was confused and he reached into his pocket, pulling out two cigarettes, “Here,” he leaned in with his lighter as Bill quickly placed the cigarette between his lips, “What…what is it?” He watched the glow of the fire light up in Bill’s eyes as he lit Bill’s cigarette.

Bill shook his head as he took a drag like he had done it a million times before, “I haven’t heard from Ocho and Keith…” his gaze shifted as he bit his lip, “I just…hope they weren’t tied up in all that mess…”

Oh. Ford remembered that Bill’s friends were going to the Vatican… “I’m sure they’re fine…"

Bill’s nose scrunched and he looked at the cigarette in his hands, “Is it supposed to taste like this…?”

Ford rubbed the back of his neck, “Yeah…they’re probably stale, I don’t smoke all the time, remember?”

“Ugh…” Bill took another drag and watched smoke blow out in front of him, “I can see why it would be relaxing…”

Ford didn’t know what to say to calm his friend down…he imagined Bill was worried sick for his friends.

The same way Ford was worried for his brother.

Ford placed his hand on Bill’s back and rubbed gently, “Is there a fast way to check on them? Do you know where they’re staying?”

Bill stared off into the distance and burned out the rest of his cigarette, “No.”

Ford bit his lip, “Um…is there…is there anything I can do…to help?”

Bill’s gaze shifted and he turned to look at Ford.

Ford didn’t know how to react. He never saw Bill’s eyes like this. They were so full of…anger with an underlying sadness. It was unusual.

Bill brushed his hands of any cigarette residue and grabbed the back of Ford’s neck, pressing their foreheads together, “Don’t let me down, Sixer. Please, don’t.”

Ford looked into Bill’s eyes and nodded, “I won’t…I promise…” He grabbed Bill’s wrists and smiled reassuringly, “Really.”

Bill gave a short, satisfied nod of the head and leaned forward to rest his head on Ford’s shoulder again, “I want you to give me a tour of your shack…”

Ford bristled, “That’s…that’s an odd request given the circumstances…”

Bill pulled back and kissed Ford’s nose quickly, “There’s a reason,” he smiled, “Or I can just go snooping around?”

Ford grabbed Bill’s hand and stood from the chair, “Alright. It’s not much…”

The tour didn’t take too long. Bill marveled at almost everything he saw. Ford found himself cleaning small parts while he was showing him around even though Bill told him countless times that he didn’t care.

In all, Bill only had two complaints:

“We’re going to decorate a little bit…I have a few things that I’d like you to put around. It’ll actually help me better connect to you way out here. Also,” he pointed to the basement door, “Why haven’t you utilized that little room?”

“The basement?” Ford walked over to the door and opened it to the dark, musty-smelling stairwell, “I haven’t done enough work to move down there just yet.”

“Hm…I have something planned for you to work on,” Bill walked over to Ford and wrapped his arms around his waist, “It’s related to the symbols I wanted you to find on the space craft…” He grinned as he reached up to press his lips against Ford’s slowly, not wasting time in starting out chaste. He nipped Ford’s lips and ran his tongue along it before quickly parting Ford’s lips without much resistance.

Ford nearly lost his composure at the sudden change in the mood and he peeled away from Bill long enough to ask, “What…what is it?” Bill tasted like smoke…Ford figured he probably did, too.

Bill leaned forward to press a few kisses on Ford’s neck and traced them all the way to his ear, “Let’s just say you’re going to get your thirst for knowledge quenched,” he nipped at Ford’s ear and traced his hands to the front of Ford’s hips, pulling him closer, “It’ll take a while…but I’ll help you every step of the way.”

Ford shuddered when Bill pressed their hips together, “B-Bill…I still don’t…” Ford trailed off when Bill’s hands wandered up beneath his shirt, “I…”

Bill smiled deviously, “Hm? You…?” He tracked his nails gently across Ford’s skin, “Focus, Sixer.” He chuckled.

Ford hated when Bill teased like this. Quickly, he grabbed Bill and gently shoved him against the wall. It wouldn’t be the first time they were in this position…but Ford was determined to keep his thoughts on what Bill was asking of him…for now.

It was a little difficult with Bill wrapping his legs around his waist tightly. Ford braced his hands on either side of the blonde’s head, “What exactly is it…that you’re wanting me to do…?”

Bill looked up in thought before smirking, “In the next five minutes or in relation to the basement?”

Ford glared, “Bill.”

Bill laughed and placed both of his hands on Ford’s shoulders, sliding them to the front to unbutton his shirt, “I want you to make something.”

Ford shivered as the cool air in the house hit his skin when Bill opened the shirt, “T-That…that doesn’t tell me much…” He shook as he tried not to move.

“I know.” Bill took off the robe as much as he could in his position and it came to rest loosely on his elbows. He turned his attention to Ford’s pants, playing with the zipper by moving it up and down. He smirked and leaned his face closer to Ford’s, “Why don’t you guess?”

Ford bit his lip and he inadvertently rolled his hips towards Bill’s hand, “Dammit…”

Bill unbuttoned and unzipped Ford’s pants, shoving them down slightly, “Just make a little guess. You won’t get…” Bill pressed his palm to the front of Ford’s boxers, “…punished if you guess incorrectly.”

Ford pressed closer to Bill instinctively and groaned against the blonde’s shoulder. He suddenly didn’t care about whatever it was Bill wanted him to do with the basement so he made half-hearted guess, “An easy bake oven…”

There was a pause before Bill broke out into laughter, “Wow…uh, no, but that is a pretty good idea…” He set his legs down to remove his own pants, slowly wrapping his legs back around Ford’s waist to bring their almost bare hips together. Bill sighed at the contact, “Guess again…”

Ford whined, he really didn’t know what to think of at this point, “A…uh,” he rocked his hips against Bill’s, “I don’t know…uh,” he shook his head as he made an offhand guess, “A-A gateway to another dimension?”

Bill didn’t respond.

Ford looked up at the blonde’s face to see it frozen in a mix between pride and surprise, “Did…did I guess right…?”

“Oh, yes…” Bill set his legs down again and before Ford knew what was happening, he was pushed into one of the broken table chairs that were bunched in the corner.

Ford looked at Bill above him, “Wait…are you serious?” He grabbed Bill’s hand which was slowly wandering down his chest, “You want me to build a portal?!”

Bill knocked Ford’s legs apart with his knees and moved to straddle his hips, “Yes, yes,” he pulled Ford into a kiss that made Ford extremely dizzy with the combination of their bare hips moving together and the amount of weight that was pressed firmly against him. Bill removed Ford’s shirt off his shoulders and pulled away, “You deserve something really special,” he trailed his index finger down Ford’s lips to his chest, all the way down to his hips, “If you let me give it to you?”

Ford had so many questions that ranged on a variety of subjects. Most of them were on the portal…but all he could mutter was a quiet, “Yes.” Bill was very calculated with how he addressed things with Ford…he would get answers soon.

For now, he marveled at how Bill grinned and leaned forward to press a gentle kiss to his lips. He shifted in his seat as Bill moved down to trail kisses down Ford’s neck and chest. Ford’s heart was beating wildly in anticipation.

And when Bill moved his mouth there, Ford just about lost his mind.

His stomach felt as if a million butterflies were set loose, his heart felt like it was beating in his throat. Those feelings amplified like a tidal wave, each took him higher and higher.

Needless to say, it didn’t last very long and when Ford came down from that high, it felt like the air was too heavy and too light at the same time. He felt Bill’s hair laced tightly between his fingers and he loosened his grip with a quiet apology.

Bill snaked back up pressing kisses along the way up Ford’s chest. He smirked against Ford’s ear as he sat in the brunette’s lap, “Don’t apologize,” he nuzzled Ford’s neck and wrapped his arms around his shoulders, “Did you like it?”

Ford wrapped his arms around Bill’s waist, “Yeah…it was…” he felt his face get hot, “It felt really good…”

“Well I hope so,” Bill poked Ford’s shoulder blade.

They stayed that way for a few moments before they both started getting goose bumps from the cold. Bill was the first to move off of Ford’s lap, grabbing his robe and shrugging it over his shoulders, “Tomorrow is a new day.”

As Ford slid his pants back on, he bit his lip and looked over at Bill, “Bill…?”

“Hm?”

“Will…will you stay with me?” He gulped, “F-For the night, I mean…?”

Bill stared at Ford for a moment, his eyes were glimmering again as he walked closer to Ford to press a kiss on his cheek, “Of course,” he grabbed Ford’s hand and smiled, “Why do you look so scared?”

Ford laughed with a small shrug and led Bill to his small room, “I don’t know,” he paused when he realized, “Uh…shit...I don’t have a bed…”

Bill laughed and pointed to the couch beneath the window, “You sleep on this?”

“Yeah,” he hurriedly walked over and moved some of the pillows, “It’s pretty comfortable actually.” He threw a few pillows on the opposite end.

Bill watched curiously, “What are you doing?”

“Oh…” he pointed to the other end, “You can sleep on that end if you want…if not I can find a cot somewhere...”

Bill scoffed, “Which side are you sleeping on?”

Ford sat down, “Right here…”

Bill hummed and pushed Ford down to lie back on the couch, “Then this is where I’ll sleep.”

Ford protested with a small laugh, “Bill you don’t want to lay on me,” he nudged the blonde to get him to move, “Really, I move around a lot in my sleep…”

Bill adjusted so that he was resting on top of Ford’s chest, one arm nestled underneath the brunette’s shoulders, “I can fix that.”

Ford shook his head, admitting defeat silently, “How?”

Bill smiled and ran his fingers through Ford’s hair. He looked up briefly to remove Ford’s glasses and set them safely on the table behind Ford’s head, “It’s just a little mind control, almost like a sleep aid.”

Ford squinted a bit, “Are you sure you should be using that much energy when you just started feeling better from the last time?” Ford reached over for the blanket to pull it over them.

“I won’t be exerting that much energy. Just enough to get the job done.” Bill placed his hand on Ford’s forehead and uttered a small spell, his eyes flashed a light blue for a short moment, “There…that should set in a few minutes.” Bill sighed exhaustedly as he rested his head on Ford’s chest.

“Hm. Thank you…” Ford rubbed his hands up Bill’s back and rested them on his waist. He was already feeling drowsy, “Hey…Bill?”

Bill hummed in response as he, too, drifted off to sleep.

“I…” Ford could never get sentimental words out. No matter how strongly he felt, the words and phrases kept getting stuck in his throat. “I…” They never established what they were. They just…existed together. They tolerated one another, worked with one another, laughed with one another, laughed at one another, they shared extremely intimate moments at this point…

Ford knew how he felt. But it felt so…unnatural to try and put all that into words…

He looked down at Bill’s almost sleeping face. His face was a little tense. Probably from waiting for Ford to say what he had to say. The blonde’s eyes fluttered open in an effort to stay awake. Ford brought his hand up to Bill’s face gently, stroking his thumb lightly along Bill’s cheek.

Fuck it. Bill most likely knew anyway. And Ford didn’t need to overstate the obvious.

Ford kissed the top of Bill’s head, “I’m just really happy I met you.”