Dipper stood with his Grunkle Stan in the middle of the yard behind the Mystery Shack. The summer sun beat down on the two male figures as they stood face to face in the drying grass. For once Dipper wasn't in his usual conservative attire, instead he was cladded in a thin grey t-shirt, which clung to his bulky frame a little too tightly and a pair of stretchy workout shorts. He stood, knees bent and arms up in a somewhat awkward fighting position.
Grunkle Stan had offered to teach him self defense but things weren't going very well, Stan had started out by making sure Dipper's stance had been tight and secure, but the teen stood stiff and unsure, his arms barley protecting his midsection before Stan had took a weak swing at the boy, resulting in Dipper letting out a small yelp before throwing his hands up to protect his face. He had corrected his stance and now had his shoulders hunched as he protected his face with his boxing glove cladded hands. His heart beat in his chest as he watched his Grunkle, waiting for his next swing, his previous low defense had resulted in a glove to his left eye which now stung and would probably bruise.
Dipper didn't really mind the rough treatment, Stan had had always been a man of action and never a man of words and he knew this was his Grunkle's was of showing that he cared for the overweight teen. Dipper was bullied a lot for his weight and lack of physical strength, he normally relied on his wit to get him out of nasty situations, or Mabel who was always willing to stand up for her chubbier twin. It wasn't that he minded his sister constantly standing up for him, he was just tired of needing to be helped in the first place, he had warily taken Stan up on his offer to teach him but now, as he stood in the sweltering sun, sweaty and tired, he couldn't help but regret his decision. He was horrible at defending himself and Stan landed a few more good punches on him before he finally spoke up,
"Hey kid, how's about we take a break? Then I'll give you a chance to throw a could of swings my way, what do you say?"
Dipper nodded his head eagerly, his breath coming in short, fast pants as he waddled over towards the porch, slipping off the heavy gloves and flexing his sweaty fingers. Mabel smiled up at him as he sunk down besides her, chugging an ice cold water bottle as it was presented to him,
"Nice job bro bro, you're doing great!"
Mabel beamed down at him with her dazzling smile, her warm brown eyes proud and affectionate. Dipper gave her a crooked smile through his panting lips, his round cheeks aflame as he caught his breath,
"Thanks Mabel, but,"
Dipper lowered his head, his mocha eyes trailing down to the dry ground beneath him,
"I'm doing a horrible job. And I'm pretty sure I'm gonna have a black eye after this."
He lifted his sweaty fingers up towards the tender skin around his left eye, the tips of his digits gently probing the throbbing skin. A spark of pain shot through him as he caressed the wound, he was a failure, if he couldn't even defend himself during practice how was he gonna defend himself in an actual fight? Most of Dipper's stamina was lost and he dreaded having to get back up and humiliate himself once again. Who was he kidding, of course he couldn't defend himself properly, he was horribly overweight and outrageously slow, a wide target for punches and kicks, his chunky appearance not made for quick jabs and high defense.
"Geez Pine Tree, relax."
Dipper looked up to see Bill hovering in front of him. With the snap of his fingers a small ice pack appeared in front of the tiny triangle, floating towards the chubby teen, who gently took it and placed it over his bruising eye, a small smile forming on his lips as a silent 'thank you',
"Your pathetic human self loathing is polluting the air, and I don't like my things ruining this pathetic planet, that's my job.
Bill's golden glow shined brightly in the summer light, his single eye staring hard at the teen, his large orb filled with what Dipper associated as concern while Dipper hunched low on himself, his lousy mood prohibiting him to deal with Bill's odd commentary.
"What Bill means to say, in a very weird, demony way,"
Mabel wrapped an arm around her brother’s shoulder, giving the tiny, floating demon a hard glare. Bill just crossed his arms and silently floated up into Dipper's hair, his tiny, black fingers running through the brunette’s sweaty strands.
"Is that you shouldn't been so down about yourself. You haven’t been practicing for very long, and you're a lot better than when you first started. Now,"
Mabel gave her twin a fabulous smile,
"Turn that frown upside down!"
Dipper gave her his own watery smile, his features perking up in order to make his sister happy. He still felt down about the whole ordeal, but maybe he should give Bill's and Mabel's advice some thought.
"Hey sweetie, could you go get me a beer?"
Stan had silently approached, his large form slightly glistening with sweat, yet not as much as his run down nephew. A silent exchange passed unnoticed by the overweight teen and Mabel threw her Grunkle a warm smile as she bounced up and headed into the Shack,
"And take the chip with you."
Mabel twirled around and gently snatched the small, golden triangle from his sweaty nest, all three humans ignoring the pouty 'hey!' as Bill was carried off into the house by the sparkling twin.
Stan sat himself next to Dipper, his joints popping as he sat stiffly next to the troubled boy. Dipper kept his eyes cast down, his cheeks slightly red as he prepared himself for one of Stan’s lectures. Stan was known for giving the teen a hard time when he became overcome with emotional situations.
Dipper’s eyes twitched p at the gentleness of the older man's voice, his Grunkle was staring off into the tree line, the sun reflected gently on his thick glasses, creating a subtle, warm atmosphere despite the hot sweltering heat.
"I know you're not much of a fighter. You're more of a book worm like my nerdy brother, but do you wanna know what else you two have in common? You're both adventurers. You seek out trouble and come across scarier things then just bullies out in these woods. Hell if anything, you’re your own type of fighter, you defend the town from all this freaky supernatural stuff. If a normal person like me went out there we wouldn't stand a chance. You've done and faced the impossible, something like throwing a couple of punches and taking out some simple minded bullies should be a walk in the park for you. Just remember, somethings take time."
A summer breeze filled the silence that littered the air, Dipper left speechless as the words of his great uncle set in. What Stan had said was... Ultimately true. Dipper had face countless beings and beasts out in the woods, many of them far greater opponents then the ones he was dealing with at school. Stan also never mentioned his weight which was something Dipper highly appreciated, Stan could care less about weight and size, he was a true family man underneath all that rough, con artist persona he put up most of the time, and the thing about time... Stan was the one person who would know what it means about things taking time. He had waited thirty years in order to save Ford, maybe Dipper could take a week in learning self defense.
Dipper stared up at his great uncle, a tough man with a soft heart, one of the key reasons why Dipper loved Gravity Falls so much. He smiled up at his through watery eyes, his heart full of strong, caring advice.
"Grunkle Stan, thanks."
Stan grunted in response, the silence overtaking them again in a delicate peace before Mabel smashed through the door, a glittery Bill flying behind,
She handed Stan his drink, smirking at the pink and purple covered demon, who rushed into Dipper's soft chest, leaving a trail of sparkly glitter in his wake,
"Pine tree help! Your sister tried shoving me into that distasteful abomination she calls juice!"
The twins laughed as Bill clung closely to his human’s chest, his tiny form simmering in glittery light as Stan sipped his drink before standing back up and stretching.
"Alright enough clowning around, you ready to continue our sessions kid?"
Dipper looked back up at Stan, his face not revealing any emotions of what had just transpired. He flicked Bill off his chest, planting a quick kiss on the annoyed demon's golden surface before hauling himself up. He made sure his sweaty shirt was fully covering his lumpy body before smiling up at his Grunkle,
"Ready as I'll ever be, Stan."
They sparred for a while more, Dipper going on offense and throwing punches at Stan who was trying his best to not let his nephew get through. Dipper was putting his all into his hits, Stan's words rolling around in his mind, he could do this. He was a little slow and not very strong but with enough practice and time, he could do this.
Dipper was hammering Stan with punches when suddenly Dipper's attacks broke through. He wasn't very strong and the punch was pretty weak, but his fist slipped passed Stand raised arms, landing right in the center of his chest. Stan barely grunted at the hit, all of them freezing as Dipper's attack sunk in.
"I...I did it!"
Dipper fist pumped the air as his chest swelled with pride at his accomplishments. Mabel was suddenly on him, screaming and tackling him in a hug,
"Oh my god Dipper, you did it! You landed a hit on Stan!"
She twirled him around in a bone crushing hug, the male twin finally pulling himself free and seeing Bill hovering in front of his face, a warm, prideful gleam in his eye,
"See Pine Tree, there's a reason you’re my favorite sweaty bag of flesh."
Bill nuzzled into Dipper's squishy cheeks, his own form of a kiss as the brunette giggled and blushed. Stan rubbed his chest, the smallest hint of a smile on his stilled poker face,
"Alright, alright, the kid got one hit on me, not like it’s gonna happen again."
But as Dipper looked up into his Grunkle's eyes he could see nothing but pride and a swelling sense of love in his large, brown eyes.