Hot breath puffed out into the cold night air turning into steam. A chest clothed in red fabric heaved under physical exertion. Legs pumped to go faster as sneaker clad feet left footprints behind in the snow. Chestnut eyes blown wide in fright scanned the surrounding area frantically, chocolate curls bobbing with each step. A cape the color of blood flew out behind the running child like wings. A flash of gold darted through the trees and in front of them. The child stumbled and fell backwards into the snow and used their hands to scoot away from the looming monster covered in golden fur. A wide grin the color of the snow split the beast’s face and glittered just the same when the moonlight poured down onto the scene like a spotlight. It’s voice slithered out through his sharp teeth, echoing and distorting into multiple voices at the same time.
“Where are you going in such a hurry, little one?”
The beast took a step closer and the child trembled as their hand dipped into their pant’s pocket to pull out the switchblade their sister had made them carry. Relief flooded through them when the cold metal touched their hand and they pulled it out just as the beast darted towards them. They slashed out, never having used a blade before, their inexperienced hand was led by adrenaline alone. The beast roared and scratched out at the child before reeling back and covering it’s left eye. The monster’s claws had hooked onto the latch clasping the red fabric together and it tore, without its binding it fell away from the young child’s body who utilized the beast’s distraction to push them self to their feet and dart away from the scene. The monster opened it’s good eye and watched the child disappear into the distance before it’s gaze fell to the discarded cape. Crimson lay on snow and it growled. Next time.
~~~Six years later~~~
Dipper Pines groaned as his eyes were assaulted by light flooding into his room as his twin sister ripped open the curtains before bustling around picking stray clothes off the floor and tossing them into random hampers.
“What’s the rush, Mabel?”
She didn’t answer and instead continued furiously cleaning up his room. With another groan he slid from his warm sheets and stood in front of her. He grabbed her before she could move around him and matching chestnut eyes met. Her eyes held panic and his eyes held concern.
He cringed away from the sudden loud noise before looking back at her, she was wringing the bottom of her sweater in her hands with a slightly guilty expression mingling with her previous anxiety.
“Yeah? What’s going on?”
“He’s on his way to the house!”
His tired mind struggled to comprehend her words and in his exhaustion, failed.
His eyes widened and he cursed before picking up where she left off on cleaning
“How long do we have?”
She looked out the window and gulped
“Five minutes max”
He cursed again and thanked whatever deity was out there that he decided to take a shower last night before quickly pulling on a pair of jeans and throwing on his blue t-shirt with little pine tree designs all over it that his sister had given him for their eighteenth birthday since his old trucker hat was too worn to wear anymore and he had stopped wearing it after he turned sixteen anyway.
Just as she finished saying it, voices were heard downstairs and he cursed again before quickly combing his fingers through his curls
“Dipper, he has someone with him…”
They shared a look before exiting the room and quickly went down the steps, Dipper’s barefeet a few steps ahead of Mabel’s feet clad in sparkly cat socks. They stood in the doorway of the living room in hesitation at the sight of the tall man dressed in yellow and black speaking loudly to Grunkle Stan. The older man erupted into laughter before spotting his niece and nephew and turning towards them
They entered and gave him a hug, Mabel was enthusiastic and Dipper was tense. The other man gave him a bad feeling and he felt as though he had heard that voice somewhere before but tried to shake it off.
“Kids, this is Bill Cipher.”
He bowed to them and kissed Mabel’s hand who giggled
“Cipher, these are my niece and nephew. Dipper and Mabel.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you both.”
He purred and Dipper shivered, where had he heard that voice before? Bill’s mouth curled up into a grin at something that Stan had said and a flash of horror went through Dipper as the lights shimmered off Cipher’s sharp teeth. Everything fell into place. It couldn’t be...could it? Dipper was reminded of that night when he lost the cape Mabel had lovingly made for him and had almost lost his life to a beast. There’s no way...right? He was knocked from his thoughts when Mabel and Stan left to the kitchen and he and Bill Cipher were alone. Slowly, he met his gaze and was startled by the realization that the man had been staring at him as their gazes met. Bill’s lip were still quirked into a grin but instead of amused like earlier they were wicked
“What an interesting turn of events. Remember me, little one?”
Dipper swore his heart stopped at the nickname. This wasn’t real. He had to be dreaming. He left that beast behind him six years ago, there was no way this man was that thing...right?
“Obviously our first impressions didn’t go well. We both came off as a little...aggressive, didn’t we? Let’s leave that in the past, shall we? Bygones be bygones and all that. Afterall, it was all in self defense, right little one?”
He snickered, stepping closer to the younger and on instinct Dipper stepped back, earning a wider grin from the beast in human skin
“Your great uncle and i are business partners now and i would hate for our past to ruin that, wouldn’t you?”
He tilted his head but gave Dipper no time to answer, not like he was going to anyway he was far too busy trying to get his erratic breathing under control as Bill backed him up against the wall leaving no room for escape. Bill leaned in close, his breath smelled like honeyed fear and decay
“I would hate to have to take extreme measures to prevent our past from coming up so keep in mind that if i find out that anything was said to make your great uncle suspicious of me...well...let’s just say, you wouldn’t like me when i’m angry.”
He lingered for a few minutes, taking in the young teen cowering against the wall. Chestnut eyes the size of the moon and filled with so much fright he could almost taste it but there was something else now...something that hadn’t been in this child six years ago...there was determination and...rage...bitterness? He couldn’t place that second emotion but he knew that this child had grown up from the twelve year old who had ran from him so long ago...he straightened up and turned, walking to the kitchen. Dipper pushed himself off the wall and struggled to control his breathing before Bill halted his steps and turned back towards him
“Oh, i almost forgot. There’s just one more thing…”
He strode back to the tense teen and behind him so fast Dipper didn’t have time to move. A heavy cloth was placed over his shoulders and from his peripheral vision he could see that it was red. Bill’s gloved hands were placed on his shoulders over the red fabric and Dipper swore that there were claws hidden under the black leather, swore that he could feel their sharp edges digging into his skin with the threat of causing him to bleed.
“You forgot something last time i saw you, little one.”
Dipper began to tremble and his breath was fast and harsh. Bill stepped away and left the boy standing by himself in the living room in favor of meeting the other two in the kitchen. Dipper stayed for a few moments, getting himself under control before pulling the red cape off his shoulders and looking at it. It was clearly old, not well worn and oddly clean but it was much to small for him, having been made for his twelve year old body, it didn’t quite fit his eighteen year old self. Snapping back into reality he ran upstairs to shove the horrid reminder into the bottom of his chest at the foot of his bed before darting back downstairs and joining everyone in the kitchen. Mabel shot him a curious, worried glance and he shot her a smile to quell her concern before jumping into a conversation with Bill and Stan, pretending like nothing had happened between himself and the eccentric man who shot him well concealed glances during the entire time he stayed. Dipper’s paranoia was higher than ever during Bill Cipher’s stay and he didn’t remotely relax until the strange, dangerous golden beast left. He couldn’t seem to shake the feeling of being watched though...