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Love At First Strike

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Dipper squirmed in his seat and tugged on the oversized sweater that Mabel had knitted for him before he got shipped off, he didn’t mind it that much because it gave him nice sweater paws, quite literally since his sister had knitted paw patterns into the sleeves right where his hands reached. It was a light blue with a navy blue pine tree in the middle of it. He shook his head and forced himself to focus back on taking notes. After all, it was his first day at the new school. He felt like he had to be as productive as possible considering he was here on scholarship.

Suddenly there was loud chatter from the back of the classroom, disturbing the quiet sound of graphite scribbling against paper. He turned his head, irked at the sudden unwanted noise. He looked back to see that the commotion was caused by a rugged-looking blonde surrounded by people that were animatedly talking all around him and paying acute attention to him.

He glared at the culprit, he was wearing a heavy pair of black combat boots, paired with dark gray skinny cargo pants. His feet were propped up on his desk in a sort of rebellious manner. He adorned a black leather jacket that looked quite well worn and under that was a plain white t-shirt. The blonde had an assortment of piercings on both of his ears, they were mismatched, two studs and a ring on one ear, and one stud with two rings on the other. His eyes, however, were the most striking thing about him, one was a molten gold color and the other was a bright cerulean blue. It was breathtaking if he was being completely honest.

The group didn’t seem to notice the death glare that he was sending their way so he opted instead to voice his opinion, “Can you stop being so loud? You’re disturbing me when I’m trying to get this information down!” A hush fell over the room.

At his outburst, the blonde trained his gaze onto him and he narrowed his eyes in what was a clear show of anger. “Right, and who are you to tell me what to do?” He asked through a smirk that was dripping with malice and thinly veiled threats.

Dipper raised his chin, puffing out his cheek in matching irritation. “Someone that gives a shit about my grade, so please shut up.”

This caused the blonde’s blood to begin boiling, who did this kid think he was? Did he have any idea who he was? He was Bill fucking Cipher and no one talked to him like that.

“I think it would be better for you if you were the one to shut up, if not you might have more trouble to deal with than you can handle,” he growled out.

The threat was very present and Dipper knew that it would be followed through with, but he couldn’t bring himself to give a damn because he was here on a scholarship and he would do anything not to lose it.

With his resolve stable, Dipper held the other teen’s eyes stubbornly. “I think I can handle whatever you throw at me, Mr. big bad wolf,” he taunted. The rest of the class watched the confrontation like the world’s most interesting game of tennis, hitting retorts back and forth.

Bill slipped his feet off of the desk in front of him and sat straight up in his chair. Even from the opposite end of the classroom Dipper could tell that the other boy was tall, he gulped, but he couldn’t back down now.

“Oh pine tree, you better watch your back from now on,” Bill smiled sweetly but it didn’t reach his eyes, it made him all the more terrifying.

Dipper decided that he had pushed his luck far enough and turned back around quickly, the chatter had seemed to die down for now so he could go back to taking his notes. He had wasted too many precious moments arguing with some rich school rebel jerk that thought he could do whatever he wanted. He huffed and puffed out his cheeks in annoyance and began to scribble down notes from the board.

As Dipper wrote away and his hand was starting to cramp, the bell finally rang and signaled to the students that it was time to go to their next class. He made his way out of the classroom and was surprised when he was suddenly slammed against the lockers. His breath was knocked out of him and he was met with the sight of the rebel blonde from before holding out an uncapped red sharpie.

He tried his best to worm his way out of the confines that were the other boy’s arms, the teen’s large tanned hand had his shoulder completely pinned and locked him into place. His other hand whipped out quickly and gripped his jaw to yank his face to the side. The other teen drew a big red ‘X’ on his right cheek, marring his perfect complexion.

“There, now the whole school will know that you’re my target, Mr. little red riding hood,” he let go of Dipper and started walking away, but before he could get too far he spun on his heel and looked him in the eyes, “The name’s Bill Cipher, by the way, it would be best if you remember it.” He turned to walk away but not before blowing him a mocking kiss.

Dipper glared at the figure that was walking away from him, who did this asshole think he was? He quickly rushed to the nearest bathroom and made a mad dash for one of the sinks. He pumped a few squirts of soap out of the dispenser that was hanging on the wall and turned on the faucet. He rubbed the soap into his cheek where the bright red ‘X’ was and watched as the soap foam turned from white to a dark pink color. He repeated this twice before he was satisfied with how much the mark had faded. It was still there but it was barely noticeable, he could live with this.

He made his way towards his next class in a rush, he had spent too long in the bathroom washing off the stupid sharpie. He walked at a fairly fast pace and reached his destination just in time. He stepped through the door just as the late bell rang. He let out a sigh of relief and walked to one of the empty desks at the front of the classroom. He settled in and brought out a notebook and his pen, he was ready to begin his next class.

The teacher began her lesson and five minutes into her lecture the door to the classroom swung open. Dipper glanced at the door, eyes widening in surprise. He hadn’t actually expected anyone to walk in late, but lo and behold the bastard Bill Cipher strode into the room.

They made eye contact and Bill’s face morphed into one of glee, the look in his eyes promised trouble. Dipper quickly looked away and silently hoped that the other boy would leave him alone. Of course, this wasn’t the case and Bill planted himself right in the seat next to him. He tried to hold back a sigh and he knew that he probably wasn’t going to get anything done that class period.

He tried to ignore him to the best of his ability and listen to what the teacher was saying, he was actually surprised that she didn’t say anything when he walked in late. He supposed that maybe she didn’t really care for that sort of thing.

He copied down notes from the board but was suddenly surprised when Bill grabbed his notebook and settled it onto his own desk.

Dipper glared at him, “Hey asshole, I need that you know!” He half whispered half yelled, he didn’t want to disturb the teacher. He reached over to try and grab it but his hand was smacked away.

Bill smirked at him and took out the same red sharpie that he had used to write on his face, “Oh you mean this little thing?” He proceeded to uncap the marker and draw big bold lines across the pages that Dipper had previously written in.

He could immediately feel his blood start to boil when he saw what Bill did. Those were his precious notes! How the fuck was he supposed to pass his classes without them? He quickly leaned over to Bill’s desk, dodging his hand, and ripped the notebook from the other teen’s hands furiously.

“Why did you even do that?!” He scanned over the pages and saw that it was basically unreadable. He growled in frustration.

He looked back at Bill only to meet a cold blank stare and a smirk that was oozing ill intent. “Why do you think? You need to learn your place Pinetree.”

Dipper scoffed, “Me? I need to learn my place? How about you learn yours and leave me alone, man.”

Bill sneered at him, “You’re really gonna make this much harder on yourself and I’m going to enjoy every bit of it.”

He knew he was treading dangerous water at this point, but he couldn’t stop himself, even if he was terrified. “Whatever Cipher, I’m not backing down without a fight,” he spat.

The other teen could feel the rage building up in his chest and resisted the urge to do anything that would get him into serious trouble in the classroom. Instead, he opted to give Dipper a sugary smile. “Oh, Pinetree you won’t have the time to fight back with what I’m going to do to you.”

His statement sent a chill down Dipper’s spine, he didn’t like where this was headed. Instead of snapping back Dipper decided he’d let this asshole distract him from his studies long enough. He turned back to the teacher and began doing his best to pick up where he left off.

He tried not to worry about his notes too much, his sister had a fair few encounters with sharpies, he was sure if he called her tonight she’d have some creative way to salvage his notes.

Dipper became too focused on his notes and the teacher's lecture about ionic bonds that he didn’t notice Bill leaning over his desk.

Bill glared at the little loser, frankly a bit upset that he seemed content to ignore him. No one ignores Bill Cipher!

Bill rolled up the useless worksheet that had been placed on his desk and took aim. Blowing a hot puff of breath right into the loser's ear.

Dipper jumped, banging his knee on his desk, and squeaking an embarrassing sound in his surprise. The class fell silent, the teacher looking at him with a sour expression and an upraised brow.

The teacher checked her student list before leveling him with a stern look. “I expect better from a boy of your circumstance, and on your first day Mr. Pines,” Dipper blushed furiously at her tone and the way the class snickered at him. Dipper threw a sideways glance at Bill, who gave him a little wave and a mean smile.

“I’m sorry,” Dipper whispered to the teacher.

“Since you’ve already disturbed the class, would you like to tell the class how to tell the difference between an Ionic and a Covalent bond?” Dipper shrunk into himself as the class laughed again. Everyone knew this was a question to embarrass him, as far as Dipper could tell they hadn’t gone over Covalent bonds yet.

Dipper gulped, looking up at the teacher. “An Ionic bond is a union between a metal and nonmetal atoms with oppositely charged ions. A Covalent bond is between two nonmetal atoms.” Dipper parroted, thankful he had done chemistry research in his free time years back.

His fellow students stopped laughing when their normally mean spirited teacher nodded and smiled. “That’s right, you’re my scholarship student aren’t you?”

“Yes ma’am,” Dipper nodded quickly.

“Try to be quieter, not everyone grasps these concepts as well as you,” Dipper nodded, holding in a groan. Did his teacher really have to basically call everyone else stupid?! This day was not going as well as he’d hoped. Meaning he had wanted to come in quietly, do his studying, and he not have to talk to anyone while he was here.

Dipper glanced back over to Bill, unsurprised to see him glaring. He probably didn’t expect Dipper to be able to impress the hardened teacher.

Bill frowned, continuing his glare at the side of the other teen’s head. He was supposed to stutter and be unable to answer, taking a blow to his intellect that he obviously cared so much about. Apparently he was smarter than he looked, alright then, Bill was game. He was up for a challenge every now and then, he’d have Pinetree running out of this school in no time.

Dipper sighed with relief when the teacher continued on, the attention slowly leaving him. He was never good being the center of attention, he could handle it from time to time but it was already too much today, and it was only his second period!

When the bell rang Dipper jumped up, throwing his things into his shoulder bag and ran for the door. He hadn’t forgotten Bill slamming him against the locker after his first class and he wasn’t about to let it happen again!

Dipper made it to his locker fast enough, sneaking through the crowd with practiced ease, there were some positives to being so small for a boy.

He quickly twisted the locker combination lock and opened the metal door, stuffing all of his things into the small space. He was actually quite excited to see what they had for lunch, since it was a rich school hopefully they would have decent meals, unlike his old school. He grimaced at the thought of what they served back then. He wasn’t even entirely sure that what they served could even be called ‘food’. He’d never been the same after biting into a very hard chicken nugget, he shuddered.

He made his way through the halls but people kept bumping shoulders with him, which got him irritated very quickly. Didn’t these people know how to walk in their own lane? As he continued his journey to the cafeteria it became apparent that people were bumping into him purposefully. He rubbed the faded red ‘X’ on his face subconsciously and tried to avoid everyone as best he could. Mabel always said that not everything was a conspiracy but it sure felt like one!

Unluckily for him everyone seemed to have a vendetta against him and some people would shove him out of their way or try to trip him while he was walking. They did succeed a few times and he stumbled quite a bit, he was ready for this whole thing to be over with when at one point he had almost fallen face first into the ground.

Thankfully he finally made it to the cafeteria, it was less crowded than it should have been due to the fact that he was quite late from all the tormenting that people had done earlier. Dipper stepped into one of the emptier lines and almost let out a growl when multiple people cut him in line.

“Excuse me, I was here first!” He tried to speak up for himself.

To his dismay either everyone ignored him or laughed at him and didn’t do anything else. Dipper felt a frustrated heat behind his eyes building, this was worse than public school! What was with everyone? Some kind of first day hazing?!

Well Dipper wouldn't stand for it! He may be small, but he didn’t spend every summer getting ‘toughened up’ by his Grunkle for nothing! Dipper stomped his foot and zeroed in on the trays on the lunch line. Once a reasonable amount of people stopped paying attention to him Dipper leapt. Dodging bodies and zigzagging through the line until he had his tray.

Without a glance backward at the complaining group of students Dipper began to select his food. The lunch lady gave him a weird look but he only answered with an innocent smile.

“Which meal?” She asked, pointing to the menu. Fancy. Dipper hadn’t seen enough of the school's food to trust their meat option so he pointed to the veggie meal. “Alright.”

She pushed forward a plate with a Caesar salad, grapes, and orange slices. The salad had what looked like actual fresh tomatoes, and the croutons were warm like they had just come out of the oven.

“Wow,” Dipper couldn't help smiling, it smelled fresh and delicious, he couldn’t wait to dig into it! He moved down the line, his mood improved significantly, to the next lunch lady.

“Juice or milk?” She asked.

“Um,” Dipper looked over the glasses. It seemed they had Orange juice, Pomegranate juice, or Apple juice and all the different kinds of milk. “Pomegranate please,” he decided.

Once he got to the end he quickly pulled his wallet from his bag and took his brand new gold food card. A part of his scholarship was food money, this card was his ticket to a full belly every day. It was currently one of the most important things in his life.

“Thank you,” he smiled politely at the woman once she handed his card back. She seemed a little shocked to be spoken to directly but he was raised on good manners and he wouldn’t let this rich school change that about him.

Dipper bit his lip as he surveyed the cafeteria. He hadn’t managed to make any acquaintances yet, not that he had expected to, that was more his sister’s department, so he didn’t have anywhere to sit. He walked slowly through the middle of the room to find a table that was reasonably empty. He could feel his fingers start to quiver, it felt like everyone was staring at him. He wouldn’t have been surprised if they were actually, since everyone he came across seemed to want him to have a terrible first day.

He sat himself down at the table and proceeded to dig into his Ceasar salad, the lettuce was really crunchy and the dressing was the perfect balance of salt and tang. A small smile crept on his face as he enjoyed his food. However, his joy was short-lived and suddenly he found himself being doused with milk.

It seeped into the sweater that Mabel had painstakingly knitted for him with all her love and it dripped from his fluffy hair and down his face. He was mortified, so shocked that it took him a moment to even rationalize that it actually happened! He looked up to see who the culprit was and it wasn’t anyone that he had recognized, just a plain guy with dark brown, almost black hair with faded jeans and an old band t-shirt.

Dipper stood up from where he was sitting, slamming his hands on the table and making it rattle. “Dude what the fuck was that for?!” He yelled at him.

“Oops my bad, I think my hand slipped,” the other teen responded smoothly with an evil glint in his eyes.

“Your hand slipped?! I call bullshit on that!” He was seething at this point, his sweater was probably ruined!

In the midst of the chaos someone else snatched Dipper’s bag from where it lay next to his abandoned seat. He quickly whipped around when he heard the bang of his bag accidentally slamming into the table as the person tried to take it, not realizing the weight of so many books it held.

“What do you think you’re doing with my bag?!” He quickly became panicked, everything that was important was in his bag! He couldn’t lose it on his first day!

The person darted off with his bag and Dipper gave chase. He weaved through a sea of people and was almost tripped multiple times chasing the other person, but he was determined to get his bag back. He couldn’t survive without it!

He saw the other teen throw his bag into the trash and run farther away from him. He stopped next to the trash can and his face contorted into disgust, there was food all over his bag, but at least he had it back. He lifted it out of the trash and swept off the food with his hand as best he could. He could clean it when he got back to his dorm but for now this would have to do.

Dipper had no idea what to do about his sweater however, it was probably ruined forever. He knew he couldn’t wear this the rest of the day and with a heavy head Dipper headed back to his locker. Dejection felt bitter on his tongue, he hadn’t even gotten to eat half his lunch.

His stomach growled at him as he rounded the corner back to his locker. In the small frame of time since leaving his locker it had already been vandalized. Words like ‘loser’ and ‘get out!’ were written in bold permanent marker across the metal.

Dipper tried to ignore it, knowing he’d have to deal with it later but he just couldn’t at the moment. He twisted in his combination and pulled out his gym clothes that he luckily had brought today and turned to head back to the bathroom.

He pulled his soggy sweater from his body the moment he stepped into the spacious cubicle. He loved this sweater to death, Mabel had made it for him as a parting gift. Tears burned his eyes but he forced himself to keep moving, or else he’d break down. He hung the thing from the door and grabbed some tissues to wipe down his skin before removing his soaked pants too. He shook his head like a dog and combed through his chestnut locks to try to get as much milk as he could out of them.

Once he’d done all he could, Dipper slipped on the grey sweats and white T-shirt he’d brought for gym today, just happy at this point that they were clean. The bell rang while he was changing but he decided his sweater was more important than an art class.

He opened the door and brought his sweater to the sink, doing his best to wash out the milk without stretching the material. It was slow work, he couldn’t twist the thing to wring it out like he would with unimportant articles of clothes so he just had to keep filling the sink and swishing the sweater down to hopefully save it from ruin.

Once his sweater was dry enough to not weigh him down, he slipped it inside his bag and made his way to the art class that he was currently missing. He figured that since he was late anyway that he could spend some extra time sulking in the hallway.

He stopped in front of the classroom and tried to open the door only to find that it was locked. Dipper sighed and brought his hand up to knock on the door three times. He had to wait a few seconds before the door swung open to reveal a very annoyed looking teacher.

“Mr. Pines, you are fifteen minutes late! And on your first day no less!” She huffed and sounded quite irritated, he couldn’t really blame her.

“I’m sorry it won’t happen again, miss,” he apologized quickly, he didn’t need to add getting into trouble with his teachers on the mounting list of problems he had to deal with.

She grimaced and let him into the classroom, “It better not happen again,” she stated firmly.

Dipper walked in and scanned the entire room looking for a place to sit and almost groaned when he saw that Bill was in this class too, surprisingly seated at the front of the class, closest to where the board was. He made eye contact with him and he could see the hatred swirling around in his heterochromatic gaze. It was slightly unnerving but he finally moved to sit down at an empty seat in the second row, it was almost at the front which was good enough for him. He wasn’t particularly inclined to sit near the other teen anyway.

He brought out a fresh notebook from his bag and took out the first writing utensil he could find, which happened to be a black ballpoint pen. Satisfied with his layout he turned his attention back towards the teacher who had resumed her lecture at the front of the room.

Dipper didn’t particularly care about art as a whole but he needed to be able to draw and sketch like his Grunkle Ford so he took up art as one of his electives to fulfill that wish.

The class seemed to go by pretty quickly, he wasn’t exactly paying much attention and Bill hadn’t bothered to try tormenting him in this class, which he was extremely thankful for. Actually, the blonde bastard was very focused on what he was doing, which he found really surprising. Soon enough the bell signaling that class had ended and it was time to move on rang.

He packed up his things and made a beeline for the door, he didn’t want to risk anyone trying anything else on him, he had enough to deal with today. There was too much that had happened really.

He walked towards where he knew the gym was and was bombarded once more with people shoving him and harassing him, he was growing tired of it. He mused that by the end of the day he would end up with a few bruises from when people had pushed him a little too hard. It didn’t really matter, bruises weren’t something that he couldn’t handle.

Dipper made his way into the locker room and was thankful that he had already changed out, he had no idea what these people would try when he was changing. He shuddered at the thought. He instead opted to just open his assigned gym locker and cram his backpack into it. Dipper’s eye caught on a bit of vandalism along the inside of the door, which was strange on its own. He leaned in close and read over the words.

“Target game?” He questioned quietly. “X marks the target, whoever gets him to drop out wins?!” Dipper’s voice grew in volume, he felt righteous anger boil under his skin. What the hell is this place?! This game was sick! How many people had Bill pushed out of this school because he couldn’t handle his ego?

“Well not me,” Dipper swore, he needed this school. Graduating with good grades here would guarantee his spot in an Ivy League college, if this guy wanted to go to war, then Dipper would fucking win! For his sweater, he’d have vengeance! Before he could close the locker he caught one last bit of writing. The words were shaky and Dipper felt as if someone had been crying while putting it there. ‘Don't fight back, just run away from Bill Cipher’ it read warningly. He glared at it, not about to roll over and die. He slammed the locker in a huff, and began to pace.

It wasn’t until ten minutes later that the coach came out of his office and told them that it was time to start heading towards the gym. With the warning fresh in his mind he decided that if Bill tried anything that it would be the last straw. He would show the other teen that he would not go down without a fight, and that he was more scared of going to community college than some highschool bully.

He walked through the doors to the gym and immediately spotted a mop of blonde hair that was already playing basketball with a few other people. He was one of the last people to exit the locker room so he wasn’t surprised that people were already participating in various activities.

Dipper had to admit though, he was jealous of how fit Bill was, he compared himself to him and frowned at how scrawny he was. That wasn’t the point though when Bill had spotted him he knew that something was going to happen, he could see the cruelness start to pool into the other’s eyes and he readied himself for what was to come.

Bill walked up to him and Dipper took a step back only to find that he had been backed up into the bleachers. He grimaced at the thought that there was no way to avoid confrontation and looked the other teen in the eyes, his own shining with barely hidden fury.

The other smirked at him and slammed both of his arms around Dipper’s smaller form, “Do you still think you can put up a fight kitten?” He asked.

Dipper growled at him and decided he had enough. He held his head high with pride. He cocked back his fist and threw a punch at Bill, it landed square in his jaw. In his shock Bill backed up and looked at him with wide eyes.

The other teen took this as an opportunity to escape and he ran to the other end of the gym, but not before shouting a loud, “Fuck you!” To Bill before he got too far.

Bill stood there holding his jaw, it hadn’t really hurt that much but he watched the other boy in amazement. No one had ever bothered standing up to him like that before. He was entranced with Dipper’s bravery. Had he really never noticed how cute that kid was? His eyes were now sparkling with a sort of adoration.

He decided at that moment that Dipper would be his.