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Incubus

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Dipper had trouble sleeping.

But that was nothing new, right? Ever since his first summer in Gravity Falls he had had nightmares about his experiences. It was to be expected. When you knew the supernatural was real, the possibilities became endless- and they became terrifying. So it was no surprise was Dipper started having trouble sleeping during his first semester at college.

Everyone was stressed their first semester, right? Dipper certainly wasn’t out of the norm. He closed his eyes as he wiped them unconsciously, exhausted after three days on five hours of sleep. It was either insomnia or nightmares with rare reprieve sparsely distributed in his sleep cycle. He closed his notebook, deciding revising his notes could wait another night.

Pulling off his shirt, he sat down on his bed. He looked around his single dorm. He didn’t want to admit it, but he felt lonely in it. He needed it due to his insomnia, he’d just keep someone else up. But deep down he felt like he was missing that ‘real college’ experience. He briefly wondered what it’d be like to have a roommate. He shook his head, it’d probably be really annoying.

He pulled his phone out of his sweatpants and placed it on his night table, then kicked his pants off. It was still warm and he’d forgotten to bring a fan, so he resorted to sleeping naked. He needed the pressure and presence of a blanket to sleep, so he did it, even though it made sweat pool down his lower back during the night. It was that or lie awake- even more than he already does.

Moving lights caught his eye. He looked at his windows, the light pouring in from the closed shades, then back outside. His eyes caught onto the suggestion of a tree line to the west of his dorm. Dipper smiled slightly, remembering just how fond he was of the supernatural. Of course, he still was, but it had to be a back burner. For now, he added mentally.

Warm, sweet thoughts filled his mind as he checked the time. Only eight. Well, he wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. He thought of warm pancakes with butter and syrup at Greasy’s, he thought of Grunkle Stan’s signature laugh, he thought of Mabel happily playing with her friends. Nostalgia was dangerous, Dipper decided at the throbbing pain in his chest.

He checked his phone for any new messages. The only thing was a snapchat of Mabel with a bag of caffeinated gummie bears.  

“Sweets + Caffeine = YES PLEASE!!!”

Dipper laughed. He looked around his small room for something interesting to snap back. His smile deflated slowly as he ran out of options. He had nothing interesting, not even mildly so. His eyes fell on the bag of chips on his desk. He carefully took a picture. With purpose, he draw a poorly drawn smiley face over it and added a caption.

“Na + Cl = YES PLEASE!!!”

He cringed at his own poor joke. He wasn’t even sure if the sodium content was particularly high, but he sent it to her anyway. He needed to pretend his life was at least a little interesting. He frowned looking through Mabel’s story. Pictures of her smiling with her friends with coffee, then some cupcake she bought at the dining hall.

Dipper smiled bitterly.

It wasn’t as if he wasn’t trying. He went to Paranormal Club every week on Friday night. Hell, he was arranging their investigation into the old science facility. And yet he still didn’t have friends.

He ate his meals alone. He did his work alone. He only spoke to when spoken to. His mouth formed into a thin line, eyes narrowing. He turned his phone’s sounds off excepting his alarm and flopped onto his bed.

For once, he found the pleasant buzz of impending sleep in the back of his psyche. He accepted it, his body and mind too weary. He desperately dived into the quiet nothingness of unconsciousness, drifting away within seconds. He pulled his blanket on top of him and passed out entirely, carried into a deep rest he deserved.

 

Dipper was scared.

Of what, he didn’t know.

He was running.

Trees towered over him, shadows cascading into purples and ebonies on his form as he ran.

His legs were so heavy.

He ran as hard as he could, barely moving.

To his horror he tripped, sending him tumbling to the ground.

It was soft.

He quickly righted himself, pulling himself up.

He stopped breathing, heart pounding in his ears.

Something was holding onto his shirt.

He screamed.

 

“Whoa, whoa! Kid, calm down!”

Dipper stopped flailing only out of confusion. Slowly the shadowy beast shrunk, leaving a strangely geometric shadow in its place- and then it glowed a blinding gold.

Dipper’s jaw dropped as the person- no, demon- came into focus.

“Man, no wonder you can’t sleep!”

Dipper didn’t even flinch when the dream demon tapped his cane on him, as if chastising him.

Dipper finally spoke.

“B-Bill?”

“The one and only kid! How long’s it been? A few years? Millenia? I lose count!” Bill floated in a circle around him, Dipper watching him cautiously.

“Aw, who am I kidding! A human like you has, oh let me see-” his eye flashed with static, making Dipper yelp. His eye returned to normal and Bill pushed the bottom of his cane into his chest, “I’ll give you 70 years at most.”

Dipper gulped.

“What do you want with me?”

Dipper was confused. It had been years since he’d seen the demon, he wasn’t even in Gravity Falls anymore. He was as detached from the demon as he could possibly think of being.

“What do I want with you?” Bill laughed, twirling his cane in his hands wistfully.

“No, I think the more apt question is what do you want with me, kid.”

Dipper’s eyebrows shot up.

“What do you mean?”

Dipper tried to think if he had accidentally murdered anyone lately. He tried to think of why in all the realms Bill Cipher would think he needed his assistance.

Bill gestured around to the dark forest surrounding them.

“Just look at you! You haven’t had a good dream in months! And most of them weren’t even my fault!”

Well, that was true but he didn’t really know why-

“Wait, you’ve been giving me nightmares?” Dipper looked at Bill incredulously.

“That’s not the point,” Bill waved a finger at him, “the point is that I can help you.”

Dipper gawked, “With what?”

 Bill crossed his arms and flew dangerously close to him.

“With your nightmares. Duh. Geez, and you’re the ‘smart twin’.”

Dipper’s mouth dropped lower. He blinked a few times.

 He smiled, a small laugh coming out as he shook his head, “Are you fucking nuts?”

 “Well, according to your narrow-minded human standards, but you’re missing the point here kid.”

Bill turned his back to him, twirling his cane.

“I’ve been watching you for awhile Pine Tree. I can tell it’s wearing down on you,” his voice was oddly serious, “sooner or later you’ll need my help.”

Dipper stared at him. He blinked. Something snapped inside of him. He started laughing, hard. He closed his eyes, bending over as he was unable to contain himself. Finally, the giggles stopped bursting from his breath. He wiped his eyes and opened them. Bill has his arms crossed, eyes narrowed, and was closer than Dipper thought.

Dipper laughed once and shook his head back and forth.

“And what’s so funny Pine Tree?”

Dipper stopped laughing. He looked up at the demon.

“As if I’d accept help from you of all people!” Dipper yelled, uncharacteristically angry, memories of the demon lashing at his mind violently as he continued, “The last time you helped me you took over my body! As if I’d ever, ever accept your help again!”

Dipper breathed in deeply, realizing he was out of breath.

Bill laughed quietly. Dipper’s skin crawled. The sound was unpleasant.

“Sure, kid. Look, I tell you what. I’ll be back in a few weeks and we’ll see just how you feel then, won’t we?” Bill patted his cheek condescendingly.

Dipper swatted him away, “And what? You’re just going to give me more nightmares? I can handle it.” Dipper clenched his fists.

“I can handle anything you throw at me.”

 

Dipper shot up in bed, sweat covering his body in a fine film. He ran a hand over his face.

Was that real? He found it hard to believe he would dream of the demon organically. It had to be real.

But why now? Why here? Why him? It made no sense. Dipper hadn’t seen much less talked to the demon for- he counted- 6 years. What the hell did he want? And why was he watching him? Dipper let that thought internalize too long and he shivered, looking around his dark room anxiously.

He sighed to himself and tried to relax when his eyes met nothing.

“Of course he wouldn’t be here now… I’m so dumb,” he shook his head. He could only affect the mindscape. He was harmless. Right? There was no reason to freak out. It’d be fine. He sighed and laid back down, rolling over and staring intently at the wall.

Would he give him a nightmare if he slept now? He supposed he’d need to sleep sometime. He let out a deep breath. He rolled onto his back and stared at the stretched lights pouring in from the streetlights outside.

He ran a hand through his hair and spoke, voice cracking, “Why me?”

 

Chapter Text

Dipper threw his bag on the floor and slumped into his chair. He eyed his phone’s time. There was no way in hell he had the energy to go to club tonight. He shot off a message on Facebook saying he was sick and he’d be there next week without much care. He was far too fucking tired to care anymore.

It had been three days since Bill visited him. And it had been three days since Dipper slept. The last remnants of caffeine wore from his sore, chemically drunk body, no longer enough to keep him going. The adrenaline was gone. He fell back on his bed, not even caring to remove his clothes. He was done. Done.

He was sleeping right now and that was final. He ignored the daylight shining through his window and turned his body to face the wall. He carefully angled his blanket to cover his eyes. He could handle whatever Bill had to throw at him. He’d dealt with night terrors since childhood, surely the demon could throw nothing that horrifying at him. His thoughts turned into mush and, without him fully realizing it, he drifted off to sleep.

 

Dipper was in the forest.

He squinted his eyes, trying his best to see in the darkness of the towering trees.

The light of the moon shone down on him.

He sighed, relaxing on stump.

This wasn’t so bad.

No Bill, no monster, and lots of pretty stars to boot.

He watched the stars, trying to find the constellations and failing because when he blinked they all rearranged themselves to their liking.

So instead he made up his own.

He was pondering the unicorn constellation when he felt something touch his foot.

At first he ignored it and focused on the unicorn- he blinked. He tried to reconcile with the stars rearrangement, perhaps now it could be…

He felt a presence by his face. His blood went cold. Suddenly he was very much lucid. He stared up at the starry sky, ignoring the presence. If he just focused on anything but whatever it was, it wouldn’t strike. When it crawled up his leg, Dipper realized he was wrong. He turned to pull away and realized then he’d made a mistake looking at it.

‘It’ was the best way to describe it. It was a mass of something- and it was bleeding. It pulsed as it’s slimy tendrils pooled up his pants, a liquid left in its wake. In undulated, a mist of blood pouring onto him. He breathed in quietly.

He screamed.

The thing grabbed his other leg, as if startled by the noise. He desperately backed away, clawing at the stump.

It crawled up his legs, blood staining his jeans as it surrounded him. With horror he realized it was made of meat. Raw, throbbing, red, and wet. Its shape was undefined, best described as a pulsing, throbbing pile of hell.

“God if you exist,” Dipper whispered as it pulled him deeper into its mass, his entire body constricted by the beast, “please help me!”

With a large sloshing sound Dipper cried out as he was surrounded in red tinged darkness, and throbbing, sloshing meat. He felt like he was going mad the longer he was inside the beast and with horror realized it stung. He looked down and gasped, pulled his body away from the walls of flesh as much as possible. It was digesting him. He cried out, struggling against its bonds, screaming for someone, anyone to help.

The being pressed down harder on him, making it hard to breathe. As it intensified, his vision turned only to pulsating red. He realized through his pain he was going to be crushed to death. His muffled voice barely sounded against his flesh tomb, “Fuck God! Anyone! Someone! Help me!”

But no one came.

 

Dipper woke up with a yelp, his face on the cool tile of his floor. His eyes opened wide, staring around his room. He tried to move- was it here? Was that thing here? He was encased in something and he was sweating, he needed to get out-

He rolled into the bed frame and cursed. He noted his attacker was far less red than he expected. He looked down.

He was wrapped in his blanket and rolling around on the floor like an idiot. He finally caught his breath. He closed his eyes and ran a hand over his forehead.

“Fucking Bill,” he muttered. He had nightmares constantly but that… that was far too real for Dipper’s comfort. And far beyond something Dipper’s mind could create to frighten itself. He was certain it was Bill’s doing. Only a demon as twisted as he is could create something so terrible to torment him with. Dipper’s stomach dropped as he considered that what if that thing exists in Bill’s world? What if it’s real?

Dipper couldn’t shake the images of pulsating meat from his head, couldn’t get the slimy feeling of coagulated blood off his skin. It stung down to his core, tearing through his psyche. He’d been scared before but this was different.

Dipper was scared for his life.

“He can’t hurt you,” Dipper muttered to himself, “he’s just bullying you.”

Dipper shook slightly as he wrapped his arms around himself.

“Right?”

 

Dipper walked into the dining hall, waving his hand on the sensor. He sighed as it beeped at him. He waved it again. He rolled his eyes and gave up, handing his ID card to the apologetic girl manning the register tonight. He walked through, and looked around at his options.

He was fucking exhausted. He felt like shit. He felt like he would collapse any moment if not for his constant consumption of caffeine. He needed something comforting. A comfort food, if you will. He found himself assembling a cheeseburger, grabbing a tong-full of fries and placing it down while he went to grab coffee. He chose the blackest brew they had, pumping the handle. He narrowed his eyes and pumped again. All right, then he’d have the normal roast. He pumped the handle.

“Really?” he whispered to himself. He eyed the last brew. Blueberry flavored coffee. He sighed and pumped some into his cup. He was wary of flavored coffee but he had zero intention of sleeping tonight if he could damn well help it. He shook his head as he added some cream and sugar.

He didn’t need to think of that. It’d been two days and all Dipper slept was in brief episodes of somnolence in class. His professors were beginning to notice his exhaustion. His English teacher told him to go the campus clinic for some sleep meds, saying this sort of thing happened to a lot of college students.

Oh yeah, lots of college students are regularly tormented by a goddamn dream demon, he thought to himself as he walked over to his plate of food. In its place he saw a group of people. He narrowed his eyes and looked for his food. He found it nearby but threw a glare at the group anyway.

Finally, he sat down and he physically felt his body snap under the weight of his pushing it. He became tired just thinking about how he’d have to walk back to his dorm after this. He sighed and took a bite of his burger, enjoying the fatty flavor.

Dipper stared down weary at his dinner, small amounts of red mixing with brown juices from his cheeseburger. His stomach turned. It was red in the middle, and while that would’ve been fine normally, it wasn’t today. Not after he saw that lurking in the corners of his vision all today. He gulped down his food and stared steadfast towards nothing in particular as he took another bite. His breath caught in his throat at a thick, heavy, copper filling his mouth. Rapidly, he pulled the burger from his mouth and threw it down when he saw what he had tasted. In the center, somehow, it was completely raw.

His stomach turned and he shook his head, completely losing his appetite. He put the burger down on the plate and turned it away from him so he wouldn’t have to see its red flesh, carefully reaching for a napkin and regurgitating the morsel into it. For a second he could’ve sworn he saw it pulse, the red meat softly ebbing into the white napkin. He quickly downed his coffee. It tasted horrible but he couldn’t care. He stood up and begrudgingly grabbed his plate and poured its contents into the trash. He placed it and his coffee cup in the dish return box and quickly made his way outside.

He only paused when he realized it was now fully night, having ran in at twilight hoping to catch his first meal of the day. He stood a ways back from the register, staring at the black outside the windows as if it were an impenetrable force. Heavy eyes looked at the streetlights outside as if they were mutinous. He clenched his fists and walked forward, pretending he didn’t care as he pushed the heavy door open and left the overly-illuminated dining hall.

Dipper sighed at the night air touching his skin. He looked around at the street lights, noting one that was out. He walked on the other side of the sidewalk, his fears affirming themselves. He ignored the shuddering shadow outside his vision. He ignored visions of streetlights powering off leaving him lost, entirely in darkness. He ignored the thing just beyond his gaze, hiding where he couldn’t see it.

It had started after that nightmare. It was as if he was really going insane. The more he thought about it, the more is was just beyond his vision. He shook his head.

“Nothing like that exists,” he prayed more than anything to himself.

He thought of red meat. He shook his head. He felt a presence behind him and ignored it. Why was his dorm so far from his dining hall? Why did he have to be out at night? Why did he have to deal with this?

He suddenly froze at a new sensation. He was overrun with fear, pure and wild in his limbs. Something was watching him. He spun around, startling a couple walking behind him. He let out a sigh.

“S-sorry… Nervous after the robbery last week,” Dipper lied. The girl nodded and voiced an agreement.

They passed by him, “That’s why I never leave without my boyfriend at night!” she called out behind her.

He felt a stroke of envy course through him. He was envious. He suddenly missed Mabel. He imagined her happily tagging along with him, teasing him about being afraid of the dark. But as long as she was there that’d be enough.

He made it to his dorm trapped in his thoughts and went to his room. He was filthy but he was too tired to shower. He settled down on the floor with his maths textbook, preparing an all-night study session. He purposely made himself as uncomfortable as possible. He sighed as he checked his phone. He opened the only text message he’d received in just over a week.

“Hey bro bro. You doing okay in school? I have my first exam coming up and I’m sooooooo nervous!”

Dipper imagined Mabel saying it and he smiled softly. He wearily wrote back.

“I’m doing well. I have my first exam in two weeks. Studying right now.”

Brief and yet full of one big fat lie. He didn’t want to concern her. This was the first time they’d been separated and he knew that as adults that’s the only natural course. They needed to carve a place in the universe where they could exist as individuals. He couldn’t worry her about his problems. Not unless it got serious, anyway.

He put his phone next to him on the ground and began reading over the course work he would be expected to reproduce in the coming weeks. His mind sluggishly ran other the words, reading passages once, twice, thrice, before he comprehended it. Then he read them once more just to be sure. By the time he finished his reading and understood it, it was four AM.

He leaned back on the radiator, uncomfortable against its metallic ridges, which were all the better for his purposes. He let out a sigh and felt his head drop forward like lead, his body buzzing and tingling. Before he could stop himself, it was too late as he was swamped by the blackness of sleep.

 

Chapter Text

He was cold.

It was dark all around him.

He squinted up at the yellow illumination above him, examining the street light. He looked around and realized hazily he was on a road at his campus.

All he could see was the ground below him and himself. He looked around trying to find anything, a sign, his dorm, someone else- anything.

It was silent.

As time wore on he only grew more anxious.

Nothing was happening and that’s exactly what terrified him.

He thought of red throbbing meat, of coagulated blood running over his thighs, of his flesh burning.

But nothing came.

 

He awoke with a start, his heart beating fast. He turned his alarm off and rubbed his eyes. Was there a mistake? Had Bill left him alone? Was he just imagining everything? Was this all just a product of his imagination?

He shook his head and got himself into a new set of clothes and headed to the dining hall. There was no point trying to understand demon’s actions, he reasoned when he swiped his card in. It was too early for someone to man the cash register but just late enough for pastries and coffee to be set out. He spent his time examining the coffees. A dark brew with supposedly extra caffeine was out this morning. He side-eyed the blueberry flavored coffee and shuddered, remember its bitter deceptively sweet chemical warmth. How utterly unpleasant. His eyes caught on the donut plate nearby, his eyes drawn by the rainbow sprinkles.

He took it and took a bite out of it. Mabel loves sprinkles, he thought sadly as the sweetness dissipated on his tongue. It tasted good. He stuffed the donut in his mouth and poured his coffee into a to-go cup. He didn’t bother to add sugar or cream. He looked around nervously to see if any cafeteria workers were watching. He hurriedly walked out the door, knowing damn well he wasn’t allowed to bring food out of the cafeteria excepting coffee. The school was nice enough to offer free to-go cups of coffee, doubling up on their stock around exam season.

He breathed in the cool morning air, feeling strangely invigorated. He walked back to his dorm, intending to get some quick studying in before his Psychology class. He stuffed the last bit of the donut in his mouth and took a sip of his coffee. His nose curled up. It was bitter but Dipper needed a high coffee to cup ratio and sugar and cream just wasted the space he could fill with more caffeine.

As he took another sip of his coffee, he felt odd. He ignored it, carrying on, and the niggling feeling in the back of his head carried on all the while. Then he felt it.

He froze. Something was wrong. He felt it again. The sensation of being watched. He turned around and stared dumbstruck by a wall of pure darkness behind him. It was pure daylight but no light reflected off the wall, and it was moving. And it was moving fast. Dipper dropped his coffee and ran, screaming.

He didn’t care if this was a hallucination, he was getting the hell away from it.

He ran as fast as he could, pushing past confused people, not caring to inform them of the danger they were in. He needed to keep moving. He looked over his shoulder to see if he was he was gaining ground and immediately regretted it.

It was just behind him and now that it was closer he realized it was undulating. The wall of pure darkness was more like an incomprehensible mass of ebony. He ran faster, he ran as fast as he could.

Finally, he couldn’t take it. He stopped to catch his breath. Somehow, he was all right. Had he made it away? He looked up at the trees around him, noticing the birds happily chirping right beside him. He made it away.

He turned around.

Dipper screamed.

Thousands-no, millions of eyes were staring at him from the wall. Now he understood why he felt like he was being watched and he hated it, how could he have missed it?

He gasped and backed away but it was too late.

It sprung forward, a tentacle with an eye on the end emerging from the mass and wrapped around him, pulling him in and engulfing him entirely in darkness.

It was quiet. It was cold. He felt them looking at him, watching him, but he couldn’t see them. He trembled.

“Let me go!” He shook against his bonds.

He could hear himself breathing. He could hear nothing.

This was fine, Dipper reasoned with himself. Sure, he was surrounded in pure darkness and cut off from all stimuli. But at least he wasn’t being crushed to death. Surely this couldn’t be that bad?

As time wore on he realized how wrong he was.

After what seemed like hours he stopped struggling.

After what seemed like days he stopped thinking.

 

Dipper slowly cracked open an eye. The first thing he noted was he could see. And the second thing was he could hear. And in specific, he could hear his alarm. He grabbed his phone in a start. It was six AM. He slept two hours.

Dipper shook his head as tears slowly formed in his eyes.

There’s no way. It had felt like an eternity. Bill was fucking with his head and he knew it. And he couldn’t do anything to stop it… Unless he… Unless he…

He shook his head.

That wasn’t an option.

He was strong.

He could handle this.

...Couldn’t he?

 

He peered out his shades. He got home before night fell. He took another caffeine pill and sat down at his desk, shivering. He was so tired he felt hollowed out, like he was a cold shell with a core of ice. He felt like he was simultaneously floating and broken like a rag-doll, pulled down by his own weight.

His furnace creaked into life and he jumped with a start. He looked at it incredulously.

“It’s too early for heating!” he mumbled. It was, but it was getting cold at night.

He shook his foggy head, careful not to close his eyes lest he fall into a sleep. If Bill could use two hours to do what he did before… He didn’t want to think what he could do with eight.

He started on his English homework. An essay on point of view. That should be easy enough. Even so, he found himself running his hands through his hair.

Another professor noticed today. He asked if he needed a few days off. He said he looked like he was possessed by a demon as a joke. He had no idea how close to accurate he was.

When he was outside he had to resist the urge to run. He didn’t know when it’d happen now. It could come at any time. It could come when he was awake. He wouldn’t know it until it’s too late.

He leaned on his hands and let out a small wail.

He’d lost the ability to count how many days between his sleeping fits.

“I can’t do this…” Dipper whispered. He sobbed, body shaking from mixture of fatigue, nerves, and caffeine.

His heart was beating so fast he could hear it in his ears, he saw it everywhere. The monsters became one in his mind, forming into a singular entity.

It was unstoppable.

It was terrible.

He shook his head and pulled his hair.

 

“Hey there!” A chipper voice popped up behind him.

Dipper screamed and fell out of his chair, scrambling on the floor. He covered his face with his arms as he desperately wriggled away.

“Whoa, Pine Tree. You’re not looking so good,” the shadow said. It moved and Dipper screamed again, eyes wide and unbelieving.

Everything was monochrome. It clicked in his head. He’d fallen asleep. He was asleep. It wasn’t real.

“So, about my deal…” the shadow slowly dissolved leaving the familiar glowing demon where it once was. Was the thing in the corners of his vision him? No, Bill could only affect dreams. That wasn’t possible.

Dipper shook his head, terrified, exhausted, but obstinate.

“Anything you can do to me won’t be as bad as a deal with you…” Dipper muttered.

Bill feigned offense.

“Wow, the disrespect,” Bill replied, “that’s no way to speak to your would-be savior, kid.”

Dipper laughed.

“Savior? Savior?!” He screamed openly, far too beyond himself to stop his emotions from pouring out.

“What the hell kind of savior are you?!”

If Bill could smile he would be right now. Dipper shuddered, backing up.

“I’ll give you a warning right here kid. If you don’t take my deal now,” Bill looked offhandedly at the ground as he swiveled his cane.

“Well, you won’t much like your next dream.”

Dipper’s heart stopped momentarily but he was steadfast. He shook his head and stood up, clenching his fists.

“Look kid, watching your dreams all this time has given me an advantage here. I know your deepest most primal fears. And trust me when I say I’ve been going easy on you.”

The words stung Dipper’s ears.

Dipper shook his head in disbelief.

“Did you know all humans have the same sort of base fears? Oh, but they manifest in very different ways,” Bill looked as if he was very interested in this topic and clapped his hands together as he continued, “For example! You, kid! Your biggest fear is isolation! Humans are such a tribal species, they go absolutely mad without human contact,”

Dipper covered his ears and hunched over.

“I’ll tell you the base human fears. Darkness. Predators. And Isolation. And you kid, you’ve seen a lot of predators so I had to be pretty creative. But from your current state, I can tell I was successful!”

He sounded cheery. It made Dipper feel sick. He felt nauseous.

Bill’s voice dropped.

“What I’m saying is, I know exactly how to make your life hell. I know exactly how to get under your skin. And let me tell you kid, you’re at the tipping point,” Bill rounded on the human, pushing him. Dipper lost his balance and fell onto the ground, leaning up against his dresser, dazed.

“Just one. More. Push. And that human fantasy you call sanity? Gone. Poof.”

Magic pulled Dipper’s chin and he was forced to look at the demon.

“Do you understand?”

Dipper shook his head.

“I won’t make a deal with you. I can’t.”

Bill rolled his eye.

“Sure you can!” his voice was back to normal. The difference was so jarring Dipper shuddered.

“You did before! Just do that again!”

Bill put a hand forward, azure flames bursting from his palm.

Dipper looked down and curled in on himself, pulling his knees to his chest.

Bill sighed.

“I didn’t want to do this, Pine Tree.”

He flew close to him, and spoke into his ear, “You know, this isn’t exactly difficult for me,” Dipper pulled away and fell onto the cold tile, crawling away from his voice.

Bill followed, seeming amused, “In fact, this is fun. This is the most fun I’ve had in eons. You’re a fucking riot, kid. Getting under your skin is god damn thrilling. And I’m sure you don’t know this, but demons don’t give up on hobbies.”

Dipper clawed at his door, his mental functioning only saying two things: Run and don’t do it.

“What I’m saying kid?” Bill whispered in his ear and Dipper pressed himself against the wall to escape to no avail.

“I can do this for the rest of the puny, meager existence you call a life, and I wouldn’t even get bored.”

Dipper shook. Bill blinked and flew back.

“Whoa, Pine Tree. Are you seriously crying?” he mocked.

Dipper shook his head, denying the tears streaming down his face.

“Well, I’ll be back tomorrow!” Bill cheerily exclaimed. Dipper banged his head on his door as he writhed on the ground.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you!”

Dipper couldn’t breathe. The world spun back into color, and he shook violently on the floor. He pushed himself up, bile spilling from his throat onto his tiled floor. He crawled to his desk and pulled himself up, shaking. He needed to call custodial services. Bile formed in his throat. He needed to do something- his head fell forward, his body giving out entirely. He felt something warm, his hands twitched as he held onto consciousness. Had Bill done something to him or was his body finally shutting down? He had no way of knowing as darkness descended. 

Chapter Text

Dipper woke up with a start.

He relaxed when he realized he was still in his dorm room. He put his hand to his head, remembering it feeling weird earlier. He felt nothing, so he went to the mirror on his small closet.

He looked as normal as could be. In fact, he looked a shade healthier than he remembered. Sunlight was cascading into his room, illuminating it softly. He smiled. Bill had just been intimidating him again. He couldn’t do anything. He hadn’t done anything to him.

Dipper smiled at his reflection, eyes duller than he remembered. He grabbed his phone, checking date.

“Saturday all ready?” Dipper pondered. He had lost track of time… he couldn’t remember when. He supposed it wouldn’t make sense to know when you lost the sense of time. It wasn’t that much of a surprise. He threw on some new clothes and brushed his hair, carefully arranging it over his birthmark.

The sun was nice on his skin, no matter how little it was. Dipper found refuge in sun light. In reality, sunlight kept away the visions of nightmares. Sun light filled him with hope. He smiled fully and earnestly, walking over to his window. It’d been weeks, maybe even a month since he’d opened the shade. He pulled it up, struggling a bit with the cord.

He paused. He narrowed his eyes. Sunlight wasn’t normally white. He stuck his head out the window curiously, looking around. Everything was basked in this strange white light, hanging around almost like a fog. It looked almost like it illuminated itself.

That was odd to say the least. He turned round to examine his room for oddities when he found something even odder. His room was gone. He clenched his fists as his mouth curled into a broken smile.

“This again? The whole ‘oh look its reality but actually its hell!’ trick again Bill? Come ON!” Dipper screamed, punching where the wall used to be and falling forwards onto the white ground. Everything was white, “I know you can do better than this Cipher!” Dipper screamed, slamming his head onto the ground.

He pulled his head up to yell again and was momentarily stunned. There was something red on his nose. He pulled a hand up, touched it. It was warm and wet. He pulled his fingers away, glaring at it wide eyed. He was bleeding. His eyes were suddenly awash in crimson. He stared in horror as seemingly endless amounts of blood poured from his head, gushing slowly and powerfully from him. Everywhere it touched became stained red, seeping and spreading slowly across the expanse. He felt weaker the more it went on. He tried to hold his heads to his head. He tried to wrap his shirt around it. No matter what he did, nothing helped.

So he resorted to laying on his side, becoming weaker as he had no choice but to watch this world of white turn into one of red. It felt like hours before the last bit of white disappeared on the horizon. It stopped. He put his hand on head, and pulled it away. He was soaked in blood by now. He closed his eyes. He was exhausted. He put his hand on the ground and snapped his eyes open.

It was wet. From his side he watched in horror as the ground around him turned into- no, not again…

Meat. The meat was approaching, everything red slowly transforming into a pulsing mound of flesh. Dipper tried to push himself up, slipping on his own blood. He fell face first and struggled to breathe, writhing. He screamed- but nothing came out. It was coming for him and this time he couldn’t even run away. All he could was watch and wait.

He shook his head as it inched closer, tearfully begging in gibberish for it to please go away.

“I’ll do anything,” Dipper whispered into the thick blood clouding his vision.

He felt it on his feet and yelped, crawling desperately away, hands meeting with throbbing flesh. His hand slipped on the thick blood it oozed and he fell on his size, head cradled by a mount of red meat. He shook. Everything was meat. Pulsing blue veins travelled along the ground, sprouting like grotesque trees on masses of flesh. Dipper sobbed openly.

He could feel it starting to latch onto him. Encasing him. He shook his head wildly, flailing his arms uselessly against his assaulter. It was unstoppable. It was terrible. He willed himself to die a quick death in its grip as it crawled up his body. Why wouldn’t be just be eaten quickly like before? Why did Bill have to drag it out?

Thickly sick tendrils of flesh, ran up his legs, throbbing viscera covering his body with deep, sticky crimson. It ever-so-slowly crept up his form, slowly wrapping him its putrid embrace. It smelled exactly what he imagined death smelled like. It smelled like copper and rot. He felt the thick arms on his neck.

He tried to move his arms but he was held tightly against it.

He smiled.

“Oh, fuck you…” he muttered, a small laugh coming out as it curled onto his face.

“You’re fucking sick…” Dipper laughed, feeling the sides of his face become engulfed. Tears ran from his eyes. He thrashed, body writhing, “FUCK YOU!” Red pulsing flesh crept into his vision, he felt it at his lips. He slammed his jaw shut, gritting his teeth. His eyes darted around, looking for anything, a way out. He knew once he was inside he wouldn’t get getting out. His eyes caught on nothing as his vision was impeded by a wall of throbbing flesh.

He breathed in carefully, squeezing his eyes shut as the final vestiges of light disappeared entirely. He would’ve sobbed out if not for the overwhelming presence of rot and blood on his face, lying on his lips and threatening to overtake his senses. He controlled his breathing carefully, his body shaking intensely from the stench.

He realized, in horror, it wasn’t going to crush him this time. No, Dipper realized, he’d done that already. Dipper wasn’t sure what was worse. Being surrounded by pure nothingness, his senses destroyed, or this. He smiled bitterly as tears crept out of his closed eyes. It hurt.

It hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts. The thick blood the monster left in its wake seemed to act as a digestive agent. His hands and face burned, his exposed flesh seemingly covered in the world’s slowest fire. Dipper wondered if a human could survive without skin.

 

Dipper opened his eyes and immediately closed them again. Red, red, red, red, red-

It hurt! Dipper thrashed to no avail, slumping weakly in his attacker. Dipper let out a sob, not caring about the blood entering his mouth. It frothed as he spat it out, defeated. He had no idea how long it had been. Once again, he became overwhelmed with pain and passed out, only to awake here again. Dipper realized long ago that it wouldn’t actually kill him, the realization striking him to his core.

He tried to yell but found his voice gone, his will power sapped. The thing moved for the first time in a long time when he opened his mouth. To Dipper’s shock, its pounding flesh shot itself into his mouth. Dipper’s eyes widened, blinded by blood, burning- It pushed past his throat and down into his body, uncaring for the pain, the burning it left in his wake. Dipper realized in terror soft tissue was far more sensitive, feeling his tongue deteriorate. He screamed, no noise coming out, all of his senses overwhelmed utterly with death and flesh. He tried to move, the thing inside his body thrashing, his very core filled with the being.

Dipper sobbed, screaming and making no noise at all despite it, burning from so deep inside.

Dipper realized something terrible before he passed out once more, quickly overwhelmed by the pain.

His throbbing prison pulsed and he yelled, blood traveling into his nose.

He has no mouth and he must scream.

 

Dipper awoke covered in something. Dipper at first didn’t open his eyes, used to the feeling of pressure and far too weary to face his new reality.

“Come on, Pine Tree, rise and shine!”

Dipper opened his eyes in confusion, his tired visage juxtaposed to the familiar dream demon.

He smiled.

“Fuck you,” Dipper replied simply.

“You’re disgusting,” Dipper elaborated.

Bill rolled his eye, patting Dipper’s hair. Dipper didn’t even react.

“Oh, come one. Do you really think I’m entirely responsible for the nightmare?”

Dipper didn’t react.

Bill carried on, not caring if he wasn’t responsive, “Nightmares are like plants. I just sow the seeds and you kid? You’re the one who fertilizes it. Erm, I don’t if that analogy works, but anyway...”

Dipper didn’t react.

Bill narrowed his eye and poked him in the face.

Dipper’s eyes looked at his extended finger.

“Wow, kid. Your mind is a hell hole, you know that? Even I didn’t expect that!”

Bill poked his nose.

Dipper sniffled.

Bill tapped his head with his cane.

Dipper backed away slightly.

“You know, I think you’re a little overdone. Marinated too long, you know?”

Bill placed his palm directly on Dipper’s face.

Dipper blinked. Pure energy felt like warmth, he realized. It was sort of nice.

Bill’s good mood seemed to dissipate.

“Aw, come on don’t tell me I broke another one,” he mumbled more so to himself.

“And he was so promising too,” Bill tapped his fingers on his cane.

“Are you going to kill me?” Dipper asked.

Bill looked up, startled.

“Whoa, kid. Don’t scare me like that. I thought you were gone for good!” Bill looked relieved and his energy began anew.

“Nah, killing is something us demons do all the time! It’s kind of boring, usually! You should try it some time,” Bill offered.

“Huh,” Dipper replied.

Bill was nervous at that reply.

“Aren’t you hungry, Pine Tree? You’ve barely eaten in a week! And last time I checked, you humans like to eat at least three times a day!”

Dipper pulled his blanket around him tighter. His head hurt. He rubbed his hand absentmindedly on his forehead, confused by the texture he found. Cloth? It was rough.

“Oh, about that,” Bill began, “Well I’m sure you’ve realized by now you’ve been hallucinating! The good news is, and you’ll love this kid, is that when you’re between sleep and reality? I can help you! Isn’t that great?”

Dipper was confused.

“So, I noticed you banged your head a little- or a lot, I don’t know what you humans would qualify as a lot of blood, so I took it on myself to bandage you up,” Bill patted Dipper’s head.

Dipper was confused.

Bill’s eye darted around the room.

“So, if I leave, will you go do human things?” Bill asked, knowing he was mostly speaking to himself at this point, “Or will you stay here until you starve?” Bill shrugged, “I can never tell with you meatbags.”

Dipper was confused.

Bill clapped his hands together and nothing happened. His eye moved around as if worried.

“About the deal…” Bill began, looking at Dipper for a reaction. Anything. Hell, anything beyond blinking. Was the kid even breathing?

“I’m a being of pure energy!” Bill offered energetically, “And humans are just full of the energy I need to live! So, I was thinking. A little quid pro quo, I scratch your back you scratch mine sorta thing?”

Dipper was confused.

Bill hesitated for a moment.

“The easiest way to get energy from you meatbags is, of course, killing you brutally!” Bill threw his arms up, waiting for a reaction.

Dipper was confused.

Bill’s arms dropped. “Look, I’ll cut to the chase. The best way to extract energy from humans is through dream energy. And I can’t do that without a deal from you, kid.”

Bill flew close to his face, grabbing it with his hands.

“Just shake my hand and your nightmares will be gone. It’ll be all gone, Pine Tree.”

Dipper looked into his eye. Bill became excited by his addressing his presence.

“Okay.”

Bill blinked. Once, twice.

“Was that my imagination or did you just say yes?” Bill asked, leaning in close.

“Okay,” was all Dipper responded.

Bill grew slightly brighter from excitement.

“Okay Pine Tree, hold out your hand,” Bill instructed, not sure how much the human was actually ‘there’.

Dipper didn’t react.

Bill pulled off his blanket and pulled on his hand, looking surprised by its dead weight.

“Look, kid, you’re going to have to at least shake. Just a little,” Bill instructed as patient as possible- which wasn’t much.

Dipper didn’t react, his arm completely dead weight in Bill’s grasp.

“You know, now that I think about it, aren’t head injuries really bad for humans?” Bill commented mostly to himself. He shrugged and went back to his goal. Bill shook his hand vigorously. He sighed. “Okay,” he offered before shaking it even harder.

“That feels funny,” Dipper said as the blue flames lapped at his wrist, acting like his arm wasn’t being violently shaken up and down.

“Yeah, and you’re real funny, kid, you know that?” Bill ground out exasperatedly, resorting to shaking in hard, slow swings.

Bill let go of his hand when he realized it wasn’t working. He looked him in the eye for a good ten seconds.

Dipper held his face, blinking. It hurt. His eyes ran up, meeting the demon’s eye. Bill had slapped him.

“You awake now? Shake my hand,” Bill took his hand again.

“Okay,” Dipper replied.

Bill waited. The flames grew as Dipper shook just barely, one, twice, thrice.

“Finally!” Bill dropped his hand, not at all surprised when Dipper let it go slack, smacking against his bed frame.

“See you later kid!” He tipped his top hat in his direction, picking up his phone and handing it him, “you miiiight wanna call 911. Well, see ya!”

Dipper was blinded by colors. He closed his eyes and grasped his phone loosely on his chest. He barely noticed it was ringing as he faded into an exhausted sleep.

Chapter Text

Dipper was confused and ashamed.

The friendly nurse stood by his bedside, replacing his IV, talking lightly to him.

“I told you,” he muttered, “I don’t know what happened.” He admitted honestly.

Apparently he had been found in his dorm room surrounded by vomit with a concussion. On top of that, he was dehydrated and malnourished. One of his professors noticed he was gone and, out of concern after seeing him progressively get worse, called for student life to check in on him. The strangest part was though, that his head was bandaged. As if someone had tried to help but didn’t call the police.

“Well, whoever it was, they were well intentioned at least,” the nurse said quietly. Loud noises, bright colors, bright lights- they all hurt Dipper.

“Your friend should’ve brought you to the hospital, though,” she added, walking around the bed.

That’s just it though. He had no friends.

His memory of the last few weeks were hazy at best. He remember encompassing blackness, he remember throbbing meat, he remembered…

The triangular demon from his past appeared in his psyche. Bill had been tormenting him. He squeezed his eyes shut, turning his head to the side. Why? He couldn’t remember why. He could only remember he wanted to make a deal of some kind. Had he done something to Dipper and that’s why he was in the hospital? He couldn’t be sure.

He remembered going to his classes. Be remembered all the things that happened during the day time… But night time eluded him. His memories cut off as soon as the sun went down, memories of something… something disturbing lying just beyond the boundaries of his mind.

“An advisor is going to be coming in half an hour to talk about making up your missed classes, okay?” the nurse tore him from his thoughts.

“Oh, oh yeah, that’s fine,” Dipper answered, sort of startled.

He heard voices outside the door to his hospital room. It sounded like two women talking, one being quite a bit louder than the other. He heard a hushing sound from one. The nurse finished injecting his meds into his IV and walked over to the door, opening it. Dipper’s eyes widened.

A woman is long brunette hand was standing there, wearing a loose sweater and a woolen shirt. Her socks were long a puffy, probably fashionable and functional for the cooling weather. Her head turned, earrings twisting as they dangled from her ears. Her eyes widened as she rushed in.

“Dipper!”

Dipper’s ears rang, he winced visibly but smiled wide and hard.

He teared up as he was encompassed by human warmth and cotton candy scented perfume.

“Mabel,” he whispered, arms wrapping around her hesitantly, as if he was worried if he squeezed too tightly she’d shatter.

Mabel clapped a hand over her mouth, whispering, “Oh my god, I’m so sorry for yelling!”

Dipper shook his head, “Don’t worry about it.” Mabel pulled away and grabbed the chair at his bedside. He noticed another nurse walking in was a vase of flowers, placing them on a table nearby.

“Do you like the flowers I brought you?” Mabel said quietly but excited. It was strangely melancholy. It’d been months since they saw each other, so they were excited. But the clean, medical surroundings and the true meaning of her appearance was just sobering enough to bring a sad gleam into their gazes. They both pretended, at least for right now, everything was okay.

Dipper looked over at them. They were very, very colorful. Food-dyed carnations, he realized.

“I colored them myself,” Mabel admitted, twiddling her hands together.

“Wow, they’re so… pretty,” Dipper struggled to find a word that wasn’t emasculating and failed.

Mabel patted him on the shoulder, “I’m so glad,” her smile dropped. Dipper’s did too.

“What happened?” she asked, finally.

Dipper shook his head.

“That’s the thing. I don’t know,” Dipper admitted, frowning at the ceiling.

Mabel leaned in, “Was it ghosts?” Dipper looked at her as if she was insane but she looked utterly serious.

Dipper raised an eyebrow, “No, it wasn’t ghosts. As far as I know,” he admitted vaguely.

“Tell me what you remember. All of it,” Mabel demanded, more serious than he’d seen her in years.

So he did. He told her about his dreams. He told her how he couldn’t sleep. He told her how his memories cut off at night. He told her what they told him when he woke up here. He left one thing out.

“That’s soooo weird,” Mabel whispered to herself, “who would bandage you and just leave? Are you sure you didn’t have any friends? Like, maybe a neighbor who checked in?” Mabel offered.

Dipper shook his head, “The door was locked. They couldn’t get in without my keycard or an RA’s card. The only reason they checked on me was because a professor told student life to. They were just going to file a smell complaint.”

Mabel’s face dropped.

“Are you serious? No one even noticed you didn’t leave for two days?” Mabel looked utterly distraught.

Dipper shook his head.

“Oh my god,” she whispered, tearing up.

Dipper was alarmed. “What’s wrong?”

“If that professor hadn’t said something… how long would they have ignored you? What if you had…” a few tears left Mabel’s eyes as she wiped them away.

“I have a question, Dipper,” Mabel said softly, eyes pointed down, “do you remember calling me?”

Dipper’s brows shot up, “I called you? When?”

Mabel’s brows furrowed together.

“That’s what I was worried about. You called me the night before you were found,” Mabel explained.

Dipper stared, disbelieving. Mabel pulled out her phone and being looking for something. Finally, she turned it to him, presenting her call logs. Sure enough, “Dipdop” had called her at three AM the day before he was brought to the hospital.

Dipper gawked.

“Did I say anything?”

Mabel sniffled.

“You said ‘stop it, I hate you’. So I asked you what you meant but you just stopped talking! I thought you were mad at me for something so I hung up… I didn’t even realize…You must have been acting weird from hitting your head.”

Mabel was crying out right now.

“If that professor hadn’t noticed… you would’ve died and it would’ve been my fault!” Mabel sobbed.

Dipper patted her hair and whispered, “Whoa, whoa, Mabel. Die? Surely someone would’ve checked on me before that happened.”

Mabel shook her head in disbelief, “Would they really? Would they?”

Dipper’s heart twisted and his stomach sank. He lied through his teeth.

“Of course they would.”

 

In two days he was hydrated, satiated, and he stopped vomiting when they forgot to dim the lights. His advisor said he’d chosen the “perfect time” to get ill, saying all he’d have to do was study to catch up. All his professors were more than willing to work with him. He felt grateful.

Mabel had left the same day she arrived.

Dipper shook his head. He was so self-pitying. She was here in spirit. He knew that. He knew she couldn’t just drop school because he was sick. Hell, he had told her to go take the three hour drive back to the airport himself. Travel already took half a day. She said their dad had leant her to money, and told her to tell him how he was. His phone dinged, indicating another worried text.

Sure enough, it was from Mabel and read, “How are you feeling?”

“Better.” he wrote back, not being intentionally vague, just not having much to say about it due to how often she asked.

“That’s good!” she wrote back.

“Yeah.”

The conversation stopped, driven into a corner. Dipper sighed, placing his phone on the table by the bed. He was told he’d be leaving tomorrow. He was excited but nervous, anxious about returning to his dorm. Apparently his bed needed to be replaced due to the blood and vomit seeped into it. His dad paid for the replacement, along with school supplied sheets and blankets. Apparently his dad had to pay for cleaning up the vomit off the floor as well. Dipper cringed. Apparently his mom was pacing every night from worry. He’d had to call her when he got out.

He was such a nuisance. He was just worrying everyone. None of them blamed him, they reasoned he had fallen and hit his head, become increasingly confused until he collapsed and banged it again. Was the human mind really so fragile? Dipper found it hard to believe all this happened from hitting his head. And then there was the detail he had left out...

Bill. Just how did he fit into all of this? What had he done to him? Dipper squeezed his eyes shut. And then there was the biggest mystery of all.

Why was he suddenly sleeping so soundly?

It made no sense. It made no sense to be a rabid insomniac and suddenly be able to sleep twelve hours. Sure, some of it was due to the head injury, but it was still sketchy. Ever since he’d come to the hospital he’d been sleeping the best he’d slept in his life. He woke up feeling refreshed, like… like a normal person, or something. It was baffling.

Well, he supposed, it was at least a welcome reprieve from the status quo. He couldn’t be angry over suddenly being functional. That would just be silly. But still, something felt… wrong. And while his dreams were happy, he felt this weird sensation. It was something he’d been feeling for weeks now. It was slowly becoming so familiar, he could barely distinguish it. It was silly but, well, he felt like he was being watched. Like something was watching him.

It’d been a few days and his dreams were so sweet they were like honey. Sweet, artificially colored, and more manufactured than you’d think. Or, that’s just how it felt. It was perfect. Too perfect. He dreamt of being 12 and catching fireflies with Mabel. He dreamt of going on a date with Wendy, and he didn’t even remember having a crush on her until he had the dream. He dreamt he was playing pinball with Soos. And it was all so happy. It was teeth-achingly, smiling-so-hard it hurts happy. And it was all in Gravity Falls.

It wasn’t weird for him to dream of Gravity Falls. Most of his fond memories resided in the small town, but it was odd to be this frequent. Normally he dreamt of his hometown, the house he grew up in, the town he had marvelous adventures in only springing up on occasion. He missed the place dearly, but it seemed his subconscious was past it, only looking back on occasion.

So it was weird for several reasons. But once again, Dipper could hardly be mad that he was having good dreams, that he was sleeping soundly for the first time since puberty. But still, he wondered, as was natural for him. He reasoned the day he stopped wondering, he might as well stop thinking. So he mulled it over in his head, looking for something, anything to give him an answer. He found nothing time and time again. He sighed, closing his eyes.

He’d say he was thinking too hard but the only thing he had time to do here was think. An RA had brought his phone, but they didn’t think to grab one of his many books. That was fair, they were more concerned about utility than recreation, Dipper reasoned. But still, he was mind-numbingly bored. It wasn’t like he had a friend to call and ask he bring in something.

His eyes opened when he heard a knock at his door. He checked his phone- it was midnight. Did he need his IV bag replaced? No, he could’ve sworn Sara, this night’s nurse, had done it recently. Still, Dipper sat up, trying not to cringe openly as the world spun. He was still very sensitive to dizziness, his doctor told him he might be for the rest of his life. He hoped not, but he supposed there were worse things.

“Come in,” he called out, reaching over to his water bottle, taking a sip.

The door opened. Dipper furrowed his brows.

“Uhm, who are you?”

There was a tall man with tan skin standing in the doorway. He had tacky bleached blonde hair and was wearing an eye patch. And Dipper sure as hell had never seen him before in his life. He’d remember someone with dull eyes, someone with hair so smooth it looked like it was fake.

“Can I help you?” Dipper offered, wondering if he was looking for ICU in the next corridor.

“Oh, come on, you don’t recognize your old pal, Pine Tree?” The man smiled and Dipper’s heart skipped a beat. His teeth were far too white- far too sharp to be human. And that voice… his eyes looked at his attire. A simple suit, tie, and top hat.

Dipper was frozen for several moments.

“...Bill?” his voice spoke as the thought crossed his mind.

“Bingo, ‘Dipdop’!” he said the nickname in a mocking tone.

Dipper opened his mouth only to be cut off.

“Now, I know what you’re thinking. Literally!” Bill laughed hard, wiping his exposed eye with a gloved hand.

“Oh man, I crack myself up. Anyway,” he adjusted himself, walking over in a strange stride.

“Now, I know you don’t remember anything. That’s partially my fault. Who knew head injuries could cause amnesia? Not me!” Bill shrugged over exaggeratedly, sniggering.

“Let me make a long story short. Once upon a time, there was a sniveling little brat called Who-the-Fuck-Cares, and there was a sweet, gentle, benevolent dream demon called Bill Cipher. Now, Bill noticed little Pine Tree was having trouble sleeping and so, due to his endless kindness, offered him a deal,” Bill, pulled his top hat off, placing it on the bedside table, his blonde hair strangely unaffected by the act. He carefully hung his cane from table’s edge,as if worried it’d fall to the floor.

Dipper sputtered, pulling his blanket to his chin, “A deal?”

“That’s right, small human peon! A deal! And do you know what the tiny, ungrateful, vile meatbag said?”Bill leered over his bedside, bending down to stare him in the eye.

Dipper shook his head, desperately avoiding the demon’s inhuman gaze.

“‘Are you fucking nuts?’ said the small, tiny, insignificant, powerless wretch that I fondly call a human. And poor little Pine Tree, the nice dream demon told him what’d happen if he didn’t take his generous offer,” Bill smiled again, teeth glinting in the low light.

Bill crawled into the bed, Dipper jumping and pushing him off to no avail. Bill laid his head on his chest and swung his arm out, twisting his hand dramatically as he continued his story.

“And poor, poor, insignificant, Pine Tree! If only he had listened to the lovely, gorgeous dream demon! Then surely, he wouldn’t be having these terrible nightmares! The demon noticed again how terrible he was afflicted and offered him a deal!”

Bill turned his head, placing his arm down. Bill pushed himself up to hover over Dipper’s face, his eye narrowing as he bared his teeth.

“Or else,” he giggled.

Dipper breathed out, shaking. He couldn’t move. He kept trying to move and nothing reacted, nothing did as he instructed it. He couldn’t even close his eyes.

“And do you know what that tiny, disgusting, worm-like, and yet oddly alluring maggot said?”

Dipper felt his head shake itself ‘no’ against his will.

“He said ‘I can’t,’ like the pathetic little trash he is. So the demon had no choice. And do you know what happened to the human?”

Dipper shook his head against his will.

Bill’s nose touched his as he continued, “The human got very sick. Oh so, very, very sick. You could say he was going mad- only temporarily, of course. A permanent madness would require a much longer, much more violent push out of reality. And the benevolent dream demon, in all his kindness, came back to help the ungrateful little brat. He bandaged his wounds, he fed him food- or what he assumed was human food, sometimes he mixes them up with dogs- and he offered him his generous deal. and finally, the human showed some sign of intelligent life and agreed to the nice dream demon.”

Bill’s visible eye dilated into a slit, his mouth breathing hard against Dipper’s mouth.

“And they lived happily ever after,” Bill mumbled as he dragged a long lick up Dipper’s lips.

Bill’s eyes flicked down and then back up to Dipper’s face.

“You taste real good, kid,” he muttered breathily, “You smell amazing,” he added against his neck.

Dipper was hyperventilating internally. He had made a deal? With Bill? He really must’ve gone insane to have agreed to that.

“Oh, and don’t worry. This is all a dream. Thanks for the extra energy though!” Bill pushed hard on the bed and flew off it, standing tall and proud before him.

“I figured you’d find something more human more comfortable, considering you’re going to be spending the rest of your miserable existence with me!”

Dipper gaped, almost not noticing he had control of his body again. He blinked a few times, speechless.

“What do you mean?” was all Dipper was able to answer.

“Well, kid, us demons?” Bill pointed to the side of his head, “You have to be very specific when you make deals with us. If you don’t forbid it, we can do it. And kid? You didn’t forbid anything.” Bill grinned, throwing his arms open dramatically.

“I have free reign of your mind and energy! It’s fantastic! I haven’t felt this alive in half a millenia!` I knew I was right to choose you, kid.”

Dipper shook his head.

“What do you mean free reign? What do you mean deal? I was out of my head, I couldn’t agree to a deal!” Dipper’s anger was swallowing his fear.

“Oh, sure, and Son of Sam was ‘out of his mind’ too.”

Dipper’s brows furrowed, “Who?”

Bill blinked as if thinking, “Oh, sorry! Wrong reality! Anyway, what I meant is, the human concept of sanity is irrelevant to demons. What you consider madness, we consider a normal sunday! It’d just make no sense to take it into account.”

Dipper shook his head, fists clenched.

“This isn’t fair!” he yelled, tears forming in his eyes.

“Oh and by, free reign, I wouldn’t worry about its meaning too much. Just, you know, all that you, perceive, remember, and have forgotten. Nothing big or anything,” Bill put his hands up as if this absolved him of blame.

“You can read my thoughts?!” Dipper shrieked, bolting up to his knees in bed.

“Every. Single. One,” Bill replied, seemingly amused by Dipper’s actions.

“I can even see things about yourself even you don’t know, Pine Tree,” Bill grinned.

“You’re oh so intriguing deep down. And by intriguing, I mean disgusting. I knew it wouldn’t take long to be able to get make you make a deal without your best interests at heart. As far as humans I’ve interacted with lately, you? You are hands-down the most fun to break. I like it!” Bill winked.

Dipper lunged for him, grabbing his neck before freezing. He had no idea what he was talking about but he couldn’t hold back when he was being taunted.

“Uh uh uh, don’t waste your energy on me. There’s no point in that. Besides,” Bill smiled down at the frozen eighteen year old, “I’m following my side of the deal. No nightmares. Making saccharine bullshit isn’t that easy, Pine Tree. I don’t how you humans handle the stuff.”

Bill patted him on the head.

“Anyway, I just wanted to clear that up. You’re awfully boring when all you think about is the same stuff, you know? So I figured ‘hey, why not elucidate it for him!’”

Dipper felt his body go slack when Bill picked him up. Bill hummed as he put him back into the bed, covered him with the blanket with some care.

“You know, it wasn’t really my intention, but you've got some dark stuff in here, Pine Tree. I noticed it watching your dreams over the years, but man, having free reign to peruse them? It’s intoxicating. Who knew humans could be so messed up? And to think even you don’t know they’re there… Ah, but that’s another thing to explore on another day,” Bill sighed, patting Dipper’s head as he turned away.

“What do you mean?” Dipper asked when he could move again.

Bill turned smiled, putting his top hat back on and grabbing his cane.

“Don’t you worry your pretty little head about that. I’ll help you’ll realize them soon enough. See ya!”

 

Dipper shot up in bed only to be struck hard by vertigo. He brought the trashcan by his bed to his face out of muscle memory, throwing up. Whether he was throwing up from the vertigo or what he had just dreamt, he couldn’t be sure. As he finally could catch his breath, he wiped his mouth with napkin and called for a nurse. He laid back. He closed his eyes.

He requested sleeping medicine.

Chapter Text

There was a deceptively humanoid dream demon sitting on his bed.

“Come on kid, you’re the one choosing to be sleep deprived here. If you just went to bed like a normal little human, you wouldn’t be able to see me. Is that so hard?” Bill seemed frustrated.

“Oh, like hell am I letting you control me in my sleep again,” Dipper muttered.

“Kid, you’re already between sleep and reality. If I wanted to do something to you, I would.”

“I don’t believe you,” Dipper muttered, writing down notes.

“Okay, so I don’t have complete control right now, but I promise I have no ill intentions.”

Dipper looked over his shoulder to see him look serious.

“Do you have your fingers crossed?” Dipper asked, incredulous.

“What do you take me for, a child?” Bill asked, offended.

Dipper narrowed his eyes.

“I mean, I did have my fingers crossed, but I don’t see how that affects the validity of my statement.”

Dipper rolled his eyes.

“You know when you get a new, oh what do you humans like? Puppy? You get a new puppy and it’s really funny and interesting so you keep playing with it? But then it hits its head and nearly dies? And then it won’t sleep anymore and your puppy is an annoying piece of shit so you take it to the vet to get euthanized?”

Dipper’s lips were a fine line. He refused to look at him.

“But then you get him euthanized and you realize, oh no! I can’t play with my puppy anymore! That’s how I feel right now.”

“Bill, I am not a puppy,” Dipper muttered.

“Okay, fine, the nuance is lost on you,” Bill crossed his arms.

“How about this, you know when you get a new toy? And you play with it too hard and then it breaks? And then, you don’t really feel bad about it, but you’re kind of upset you broke it. That’s how I feel.”

Dipper snapped. He turned to Bill, “I am not your puppy! I am not your plaything! I am not some sort of object you own!”

Bill sniggered, “You’re cute. But you’re so wrong.”

Dipper turned, giving up. He ignored Bill laughing behind him.

This had begun after he got out of the hospital. He refused to sleep for obvious reasons. Sure, Bill still had free reign of his thoughts, but at least he couldn’t control him outright like in a dream. He cringed, noting the stark differences between a nightmare he had planted and dream he controlled. Dipper didn’t want to imagine what he’d do to him now that he had dominion over his mind.

His memories had returned for the most part, coming in fugues once he returned to his dorm. He was terrified of the demon but if he was being honest, it was hard to take him seriously. Even when he was a kid, it was hard to take him seriously. Not to mention, he was surprisingly easy to amuse. It was easy enough for Dipper to stay in his good graces while speaking his mind. It didn’t seem much fazed Bill.

“Kid, pick a dream.”

Dipper paused and looked at him. He was laying on his bed, reaching up to his bookshelf, trying to pick up a book and failing repeatedly. Dipper watched in interest for a moment, his fingers grasping as nothingness that occasionally became tangible. It was unsettling.

“Anything,” Bill elaborated, giving up and flopping his body onto his bed. It seemed large objects were easier to interact with than small ones.

“What do humans like?” Bill mumbled moreso to himself.

“How about a sex dream?” Bill offered, not understanding why Dipper turned and looked so rapidly.

“Please don't,” Dipper told him, voice low and genuine.

“What? Not with me- human sex is weird,” Bill muttered, scratching his head.

Dipper relaxed visibly.

“Unless you want me to,” Bill pondered, his eye looking up as if trying to remember something, “Now what shape is a human penis…?”

Dipper closed his book and walked over to Bill, pointing for him to get out of his bed.

“I’ll go to bed, please just. Stop talking,” Dipper mumbled exasperatedly. Bill rose a brow and got up.

“I thought humans were obsessed with sex?” Bill mused as Dipper turned the light off and laid down, fully clothed.

“No, we’re not,” Dipper grumbled.

“Yeah, you are. Though, to be fair, I guess you can’t hear that part of your mind. Oh well,” Bill shrugged, sitting in the chair Dipper was recently sitting in.

Bill rose a brow again.

“Wait, are you saying I’m ugly?” Bill asked, “‘Cause if so, I have a demon who owes me a refund for this body. He promised me Grade A human.”

Dipper turned towards the wall and curled in his blanket.

“Please shut up.”

Bill sighed and looked in Dipper’s mirror, “Not that I can see what’s so special about this body. I like the hair, though nice color,” Dipper tried to ignore him.

“You keep asking me to sleep and yet when I try-”

“All right, all right, sheesh. Just trying to see if I got ripped off or not.”

Dipper closed his eyes and sighed.

“You look fine. I just hate you.”

Bill was quiet. Dipper worried he had angered him for a moment.

“Wait, humans don’t have sex if they hate someone?”

Dipper stared through the wall.

“No. Most people don’t, anyway.”

“Huh! Weird!” Bill remarked as if he had learned an interesting factoid on a Snapple cap.

“Tell me why you hate me,” Bill offered, trying to pick up a chip to eat.

Dipper sighed.

“Because you’re gross,” he muttered.

“Awww, you too kid!” Bill replied earnestly. Dipper blinked once, twice, then turned around to look at him incredulously.

“What?” the demon asked, successfully chewing the chip. “This tastes funny,” he remarked, staring at it.

“It’s fat and salt, humans crave it naturally,” Dipper explained, “Our body runs off sugar and fat. Sodium helps us keep in water, so we won’t dehydrate.”

Bill tilted his head, “So that’s why you humans are always eating this stuff. Don’t see much appeal in it.”

Dipper shrugged, “Why would you? It’d be like if I tried to eat a leaf.”

“Are leaves not human food?” Bill asked slowly.

Dipper raised a brow. “No?”

Bill blinked and shrugged. “Oops!” he smiled.

Dipper tried not to think about it. He failed.

“Look, I’m not saying I fed you leaves,” Bill answered, hearing his thoughts, “I’m saying I might’ve fed you leaves.”

Dipper frowned intensely.

“And look at you! Not dead! And entirely ungrateful,” Bill pretended to look offended.

“I don’t think feeding me leaves did anything to help me survive,” Dipper muttered.

“Well, they didn’t kill you.” Bill offered. Dipper shrugged. It was kind of sad the best he could expect from Bill was “didn’t kill me.”

Bill was busy going through Dipper’s desk now. Dipper turned back over and tried to sleep. His lack of sleep caught up with him quickly, being pulled into a dream that was surprisingly pleasant.

He dreamt he was picking flowers with Mabel, making flower crowns. The summer sun was warm, the grass soft and pleasant. He woke up feeling refreshed and incredibly confused. He looked around and realized the dream demon was gone. Well ‘gone’ was a weird way to put it. He was present, but he could only talk to him when he was asleep. Or at least, not fully awake.

He knew technically demons fulfilled their side of deals, but he was surprised Bill hadn’t found a loophole to torment him with. Well, whatever, he was grateful. Bill was getting energy and whatever else sick amusement he found from it, and well, for once Dipper got to sleep.

So he went to bed normally the next day.

And the next day.

His bewilderment and shock grew exponentially by the successive days he went by without the dream demon tormenting him. Maybe this wasn’t so bad. Sure, a demon he could only speak to while unconscious had access to all knowledge his brain possesses and has possessed, but it’s not like he even had to deal with him.

This wasn’t so bad. Maybe Bill wasn’t that bad of a guy.

 

So, when he woke up on a lab table he was far more confused than he would’ve been, if, say this had happened a week ago. His surprise only grew when he noticed the demon, in his strange and uncanny valley-esque human body, leaning over him with a doctor’s mask on.

“Good morning, starshine! The Earth say ‘hello!” He turned a light on over his head and Dipper winced, the light boring into his eyes.

“Now, excuse me if I don’t get the details exactly right, here, working with abstract thoughts and desire can be difficult,” Bill explained, rolling a small metal table next to them.

“Bill, what are you doing?” Dipper asked, trying not to raise his voice and anger the demon while vulnerable.

Bill paused and threw his arms out, excited, “I’m fulfilling one of your desires kid!”

Dipper shook his head, “I don’t know what you think I want, but I can assure you whatever you’re thinking of-”

“Wrong!” Bill shouted, “You don’t know what you want! And that’s what’s so interesting about you,” he was humming to himself as he checked the leather straps holding Dipper in place.

“Let me just say, I never would’ve guessed from looking at you our interests line up so well. For a pathetic human, you’re pretty neat!” He tightened his left ankle’s bond.

“Now, to get to the fun part,” Bill muttered happily, crawling onto the table.

“Bill, please get off,” Dipper said as quietly and as calmly as possible.

Bill smiled down at him, eye to eye. His hands began unbuttoning his shirt.

Dipper rose his voice, “Bill, I’m being serious. I know you think you’re doing something good but-”

Bill froze, which startled Dipper. “I forget the best part,” he mumbled, head turning to the small table he rolled over earlier. He climbed off of him and unrolled a blue cloth on its surface. Dipper’s eyes widened.

“Bill!” He said much louder, spotting the glint of metal tinting in Bill’s hand.

Bill settled on what looked like a chef’s knife. Dipper tried to keep breathing calmly.

“Bill, wait.”

Bill looked up from his choices.

“You promised to keep away nightmares, remember?” Dipper tried to rationalize with him.

Bill smiled and crawled back on top of him.

“Yeah, but this isn’t a nightmare!”

Dipper stuttered, “No, Bill, this most definitely is a nightmare.”

Bill lifted the knife up, a large smile on his face, “That’s because we haven’t gotten to the good part yet!”

“Bill, n-”

The words got caught in Dipper’s throat, his body stunned. He had stabbed him. He had actually fucking stabbed him. As the adrenaline faded, Dipper thrashed and-

It felt good. Dipper moaned when he pulled on the handle, wriggling it around.

“See? Of course, I had to bend some rules, but I knew you’d come around eventually.”

He ripped it out and inspected it, licking some fresh blood off.

“It’s been awhile since I’ve met a human who’s as sick as me,” Bill muttered as if in euphoria, a hand next Dipper supporting himself.

Dipper’s hips shot up when he slammed the knife in again, careful not to hit his spine. Dipper moaned wantonly, a mixture of shock and blood loss making him dizzy. He couldn’t wrap his head around this and if he was going to be frank he didn’t want to.

“Did you know,” he sliced down and Dipper shook, shaking his head from over stimulation, “There are humans who want to be eaten? Who fantasize every night about a monster tearing them apart and eating them piece by piece? That there are people who dream about being eviscerated?” Bill whispered in his ear, a smile on his face.

Dipper shook his head. He couldn’t imagine anyone sick enough to want that.

“‘Cause Pine Tree? You’re one ‘em,” a hand reached into him and he only realized now just how much damage Bill had done in such short time.

“Problem is, if you die in a dream you wake up…” Bill muttered, Dipper shuddering, eyes rolling back at the feeling of hands inside of him.

“St-stop…” Dipper coughed, blood sputtering from his mouth.

“Oh, don’t be modest,” Bill chided him, and did something that made a terrible, sloshing noise. He pulled hard on something and Dipper trembled, mouth open and drooling.

He felt something inside him get cut, felt hands digging around.

“Here you go kid, have a blast, you won’t last much longer,” Bill explained, sounding positively thrilled with himself. Dipper was confused until a pile of hot, wet organs were placed on his face. He shook, shaking his head, yelling out, a bit of intestine finding it’s way into his mouth.

He was terrified, he couldn’t stop shaking, his body was trembling and he was so cold. He could only watch in horror as Bill took a long bit of intestine and looped it around Dipper’s throat.

Dipper tried to say no but all that came up was blood, his vision clouding. He gasped, no air coming in, his neck constricted. His body twisted weakly, losing power fast, eyes rolling back, his mind filled with one final thought.

“Why am I coming?”

 

His eyes creaked open, hand patting around looking for his phone. He turned off his alarm and rolled over, considering going back to sleep. Wait. He had dreamt something weird, hadn’t he?

His eyes shot open. He sat up, instinctively placing a hand to his stomach.  His eyes narrowed. That was it. He was talking to Bill, even if it meant three days of no sleep.

 

The demon finally appeared during Maths class.

“Oh, for fuck’s- kid, what’s with you and not sleeping?”

Dipper glared at him, before focusing on class.

Walking out of the classroom, Bill looked annoyed and confused.

“Bill, what the fuck?” Dipper thought to himself.

Bill looked terribly offended.

“What?!” Bill looked at him like he was mad.

Dipper tried to look normal as he walked to his next class, despite his internal argument.

“I don’t know why you got this idea into your head, but believe it or not, I don’t enjoy being cut into pieces,” Dipper gave him a pointed glance.

Bill snorted, “Look, you can think anything you want to think. I know what you like. Not my fault you won’t be honest with yourself.”

Dipper tried not to glare at nothing.

“Why are you even doing this?”

Bill looked surprised.

“It’s fun!” he answered as if it was obvious, “Besides, do you know how rare it is for a human to like being killed? Usually it’s all ‘no, please, I need those to live!’ or ‘no, don’t rip out my baby!’ Let me tell ya, it gets real tiring.”

Dipper tried to pretend he wasn’t disturbed as he entered the library, walking a short cut through it to the next building.

“Do you know how convenient it is to have a human who begs to killed? It’s fantastic! I have fun, you get off, everyone’s happy!” Bill jumped into his path, grinning. Dipper ignored him and walked through him.

“Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m not into whatever sick shit you think I am,” Dipper replied, walking out of the west library exit.

Bill snickered.

“Suuuure you’re not.”

Dipper tried not to scowl.

“I’m not.”

Bill flew up close to his face, looking into his eyes.

“Kid, I’d love to rip your teeth out,” he remarked.

Dipper paused, momentarily startled by the change in conversation. His heart beat faster as he began walking again, phasing through the demon.

“Good for you,” Dipper thought in return.

“How’d you like it if I cut off your legs and fed ‘em to you?”

Dipper jumped, turning to look at the demon whispering in his ear.

“That’s sick,” is all he thought before continuing. He was sure by now people thought he was crazy. He supposed he truly was now, there was no point hiding it.

“I know and that’s why you love it,” Bill replied, voice oozing with… something. He sounded far too happy. Dipper shook his head.

“Look, do me a favor and be quiet during class,” Dipper pleaded as he neared the building.

Bill rolled his eye. Wait, eye? Dipper look incredulously at the demon. He hadn’t even noticed he wasn’t in his weird human form. He wondered briefly if he stole it from someone and then realized that was an impossibility.

“Sure, kid. You humans and your ‘education’,” Bill mocked.

“And for your information, using that form requires more energy. I’d rather not waste it,” Bill added.

Dipper nodded, that made sense. He had honestly gotten used to it, though he supposed he never used it the entire time he couldn’t see him while awake… It made sense he wouldn’t notice.

“Besides, you don’t even like the damn thing. I knew I should’ve gone for blue eyes,” Bill was muttering to himself again.

Bill suddenly turned back to him and flew backwards. “I told you, Pine Tree. It’s fun. It makes me happy. Seeing humans die just gives me that little… you know that little ‘oomph’ that keeps you going.” Dipper raised a brow.

“I didn’t ask you anything.”

“Oh, but you did.”

Dipper shrugged.

“I don’t know why you’re making such a big deal. You’re hardly even traumatized! “Bill exclaimed, throwing his hands up in exasperation.

Dipper didn’t feel that comment was worth addressing.

Chapter Text

“You’re coming home for Thanksgiving, right? Dad said he’s going to wire you the money tonight for a ticket,” Mabel chatted excitedly on the phone. Dipper had to hold it a few inches away to keep from hurting his ear.

“Yeah, I am,” Dipper confirmed. There was no way he was missing a holiday when he was this lonely. He wouldn’t admit it, he was desperate for human companionship.

The holiday was only a week away now. He couldn’t deny how excited he was. Mabel said even Grunkle Stan was invited this year! Of course, they had to keep the liquor locked in the cupboard, but it was a fair trade. Especially considering two of five family members couldn’t even drink.

“So,” Mabel’s voice dropped, “Are you better? You’re sleeping and everything? Is your head okay?”

Dipper sighed, there it was. He knew it’d come up.

“Yes, yes, and yes. For the last time, Mabel, I’m okay!”

“All right,” Mabel sounded suspicious but didn’t press the issue.

They talked about what they were going to have for the day. Dipper was looking forward to his mom’s apple pie, which she served ala mode. Just thinking about it made him smile, nostalgia washing over him.

“Kid, kid! Check it out!” Bill fazed through his dorm room wall very suddenly, startling Dipper. Dipper turned to yell at him-

“The fuck is that?!” Dipper exclaimed, dropping his cell phone onto the floor.

Bill held up the creature in his hands with an expression of pure excitement, his gloved hands tightening around the creature so hard Dipper worried it’d pop.

Its human head growled, letting out a low scream before going limp, moving slowly.

“Man cat!” Bill shook it in Dipper’s face.

Dipper backed away from the strange thing, trying to ignore the pained look on it’s face.

“Where the hell did you get that?”

“I made it! I found this kid and then I found this cat and-”

They froze at a sound coming from the floor.

“Dipper? Dipper are you okay? Who are you talking to?”

Dipper looking down at the phone he’d dropped. Dipper glared at him, mumbling a ‘be quiet,’ and picked up his phone, careful not to nudge the dying creature in his hands.

“Oh, sorry,” Dipper replied hastily, thinking of what to lie to make her stop worrying.

“Is something wrong?” Mabel asked loudly, “Who’s there? I thought you lived alone?”

Dipper’s mouth opened and before he could stop himself the words tumbled out, “It was my new roommate!”

It was quiet. Dipper scolded himself internally. Roommate? He lived in a goddamn single, there’s no way Mable would buy-

“Wow, you have a new roommate? What’s his name?” Mabel sounded excited at this revelation, “Is he cute?”

“Uhm, no, not cute. Not cute at all, his name is B- Bob. His name is Bob,” Dipper mumbled, hoping she’d drop the subject.

“What’d he do?”

“He brought in bugs! He’s, uhm, a bug scientist!”

“You mean an entomologist?”

Dipper nodded and then realized he needed to speak.

“Yes. That exactly.”

“Oh my gosh! My roommate is majoring in entomology too! We should totally hook them up!”

“That won’t be necessary!” Dipper laughed nervously, “He, uhm. He’s pretty weird. I don’t think your friend would like him.”

“Oh,” Mabel sounded a little confused, “I mean, isn’t that normal? You’d have to be weird to like bugs, right?”

Dipper cleared his throat, “I really don’t think he’s interested.”

“Why don’t you ask him? Is he still there?”

Dipper eyed him, he seemed to be trying to decide if he was amused or offended. Dipper took his eyes off his blue-gaze, more so disliking it do to him not being sure when it had changed.

“You know what, let me ask him,” Dipper replied and held his hand over the phone’s microphone, mumbling a good foot away. He quickly place it back to his ear, “Sorry, Mabel. Bob said he’s taken.”

“Oh! Good for him,” Mabel didn’t even sound disappointed.

“Well, I have a paper to do before tomorrow morning!” Mabel chirped.

“You waited this long to start?” Dipper asked, disappointed.

“Well, I kind of forgot! Anyway, I gotta go! See you in like, geez, ten days or something?”

“Just about,” Dipper laughed in reply.

“Love you!”

“You too,” Dipper replied.

He closed his eyes and let out a breath of relief when the call went dead.

Now back to the much more pressing issue.

Dipper turned angrily at Bill, who was shaking the ‘man cat’. It wasn’t moving anymore.

“You said you can’t affect the real world!” Dipper pointed at it, gaze avoiding it all the while.

“Oh, I can’t. You’re just losing it,” Bill answered as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

“Reality is sort of a misnomer anyway,” Bill quipped, twisting the once living creature in his hands, unconcerned with the look Dipper was giving him, “humans are so obsessed with ‘fact’ and ‘truths’, as if they actually exist in every reality.” Bill rolled his exposed eye.

Dipper’s eyes narrowed, gaze catching onto Bill’s terribly aesthetically offensive, and seemingly even more yellow, hair. “What do you mean?”

Bill suddenly threw it on the ground. It made a wet sound but otherwise did nothing.

“Reality is a much less solid concept than you humans think,” Bill explained, nudging the thing with his foot, “imagine a little girl. She has an imaginary friend. Her imaginary friend is as real as you or I, but no one else sees him. And yet small-minded idiots will tell her he isn’t real.”

Dipper rose a brow, not following, “But that’s the point. It’s imaginary.”

Bill shook his head, “Tell me kid? Am I not real just because only you can see me?”

Dipper’s breath caught in his throat. He thought to himself, looking down at his hands.

“Well, I guess… You must be.”

“That’s my point,” Bill pointed out, picking up the creature, walking past Dipper, “Everyone has their own reality, everyone lives in a world where rules work differently than according to your supposed science,” he pushed open the window, tossing the animal out, “When someone lies, the person lied to and the person who lied live in differently realities. One in a world where the lie was the truth, one in a world where it was a lie.”

Dipper began to follow what he was saying but didn’t fully understand it. He sat down on the edge of his bed, watching Bill close the window.

“You currently live in a reality where I can influence things, yet you walk as a member of another reality where I am unpresent. Do you understand?”

“So you didn’t hurt anyone?”

“In the world you live in, there is a cat and kid completely safe. In the world you perceive, there is one less of both,” Bill sounded annoyed that he had to dumb it down for him.

“Human minds are so fragile,” Bill mumbled, “As soon as you make up a new psychosis, people come forward who have it. And they’re not lying,” Bill shook his head.

Dipper tilted his head, his memory calling up his psychology class.

“Like how lots of people only developed Truman Syndrome after the movie came out?”

Bill raised a brow, “Look, I know everything, doesn’t mean I care about all of it enough to remember it.

Dipper rolled his eyes, that sounded like it defeated the point.

“The movie’s about this guy who lives a normal life. But then he begins realizing his world isn’t real, it’s all constructed. In reality, it’s all a reality TV show with him as the star. After it came out, people began having delusions where they felt the world was constructed around them too. That their world was fake too.”

Bill seemed to be pondering this new information.

“The transience of reality is hard to explain to you meatbags, I’m surprised you’re getting it.” Bill shrugged, “Humans go off what they know. Humans are scared of precisely what their mind can fathom.”

“Are you afraid of anything?” Dipper wasn’t sure why he asked but it was too late, the words spilling from his mouth. Not that it mattered, he’d already thought it.

Bill looked like he was thinking deeply.

“Something even I can’t predict.”

Dipper’s eyebrows rose.

“You sound pretty human to me with a fear like that,” Dipper replied, honestly surprised.

“Perhaps,” Bill shrugged again, looking tired of the conversation, “the thing is, stuff is awfully boring if you know everything. That’s why I like you, Pine Tree.”

Dipper laughed, “Are you saying you’re afraid of me?”

Bill looked strangely serious.

“Perhaps.”

Dipper’s smile dropped, replaced with shock.

“I know everything about you but I still can’t guess what you’re going to do. That’s terrifying.”

Dipper’s face scrunched up.

“Why, I’m just a-”

“Just a human. And yet I can’t guess your every step like everyone else,” his exposed eye was boring into Dipper.

“No matter what, you never act like I expect you to. Even with free reign, I still can’t predict you,” Bill walked closer to him, and Dipper froze at the atmosphere.

It wasn’t as if the atmosphere was threatening, not it was worse than that. It was intimate.

“Just what are you even made of?” Bill stooped down, a hand grasping Dipper’s hair, pulling the human’s head back to get a good look, as if expecting to find a seam somewhere.

A small smile graced Bill’s face, light flashing from his exposed eye.

“Well, if you ask so sweetly, it’d just be rude to refuse,” Bill mumbled, his face getting far too close to Dipper for comfort. Dipper realized far too late he was frozen.

Bill stopped, so close to his lips Dipper felt cold bursts of air from his mouth. Bill pushed him back, hand on his back guiding him backwards, shifting him to lay on his bed, Bill following. Bill licked his lips and Dipper could feel the wetness, hear it, and his fingers twitched, trying to order his body to push him off. Bill looked deeply into his eyes, gloved hands rubbing softly at his sides, pushing up his chest, a hand brushing his face. Bill booped his nose with his other hand, a smile gracing his features.

“You’re disgusting too,” Bill mumbled, nuzzling into the human’s neck.

Somehow, Dipper began to relax into his soft touches, his breath slowing when his hands gently rubbed his neck. Bill smiled again, looking positively enraptured.

“Ready?” he asked against his ear, and Dipper was so out of it he didn’t even react beyond a simple thought.

Ready for what?

Dipper’s instincts were on overdrive before his mind caught up to what had happened. His hands shot up, clawing at Bill’s hands, legs kicking wildly. He couldn’t breathe- he couldn’t-

He throw his head back, squirming, gasping desperately for air.

“Shhh, you’re being so loud? What if someone hears?”

Dipper couldn’t find the mental faculties to care, thrashing desperately, his fight weakening.

He breathed in deep, a gasping, momentarily shocked by the air allowed into his body.

“Get… off me,” Dipper wheezed, pushing against the demon weakly.

Bill smiled, “Humans are surprisingly cute when they can’t breathe,” his hands were rubbing his neck gently, as if apologetic.

Dipper felt them tightening again and trashed. Bill seemed to pause in thought, loosening his grip. It was only momentary relief, Bill opting to instead holding himself up with a hand on his neck, squeezing. Dipper kicked, the pressure on his throat painful and uncomfortable. He opened his eyes, freezing but still clawing at Bill’s arm. Bill was over his head, looking down at him as if considering something. Was he going to kill him? Dipper shook his head, momentarily forgetting the demon couldn’t kill him from air loss.

Bill smiled softly, “If you insist,” he said. Bill’s free hand pulled down on Dipper’s jaw, thumb curling around his bottom canines for grip. “Hold still,” Bill closed his eyes, focusing.

Bill spit directly into his mouth. Dipper groaned, pushing hard but weakening even further, the edges of his sight turning white. Bill licked his lips, “You’re so filthy, you already want more?”

Dipper’s vision cut out, flashing back, world spinning realizing only dimly Bill had spit on his face, the hot saliva rolling down his face and pooling around his eye. His eyes rolled up, arms falling from their clawed grip, his world fraying on the edges. Dipper only realized his tongue was hanging out by Bill biting it, looking quite pleased with himself.

He left out a breath, finally realized at some point Bill had let go. His head laid back on his pillow, vision filled with stars, blinking hard and fast. He felt a poke somewhere sensitive and he shook his head, moaning into his pillow. There was another poke and Dipper looking at Bill accusingly.

Dipper wasn’t even surprised to see the demon’s finger ghosting over his genitals. What we surprised was that he was hard. It seemed Bill had gotten curious about his reaction. Dipper ripped his eyes away.

“Just stop,” he barely pushed out.

Bill pulled his finger up, drawing a line along the bulge in his sweatpants, eyes watching the human.

Dipper moved weakly, coughing, “I don’t want this,” he whispered, eyes closing in exhaustion.

He accepted it when he felt one of Bill’s hands on his neck again. Lowly, he hoped he’d actually die, surprising himself. His eyes shot open not at his hand cutting off his air, but the hand pushing itself inside his pants.

Not this, he thought desperately trying to convince the demon to stop. All he got in reply was his hand on his neck clamping down hard, Dipper’s body jolting from the extreme air loss. His world faded to black, barely holding onto his presence, just barely feeling the tingling existence that was being harassed. The only thing he heard as his world was finally snatched from the vestiges of his conscious was, “There you are…”