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Love At First Strike

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Mabel looked at Stan and whined, “Grunkle Staaaan! Where’s Dipping Sauce? The lunch bell rang ages ago!” She was pouting and kept whipping her head around like Dipper would just magically materialize. 


“Don’t know kid, maybe he’s avoiding us since we definitely embarrassed him in class earlier,” Stan mumbled, bored. He chuckled a little to himself, thinking that in his life he’d probably pissed off more than half these kids parents’ at one time or another. 


Mabel gasped dramatically. “Dip Dot would never! Besides, he had to have known inviting me meant getting tackled to the ground. If he didn’t, then that’s 17 years down the drain!” She laid her head on the table, pouting at nothing before she began groaning. She was testing frequencies and pitches until she sounded like a broken didgeridoo. 


“Stop that,” Stan snapped at her, grumpily sitting back in his seat. To anyone that knew him they understood he wasn’t being mean. It was just the way he talked. 


Mabel grinned and did stop, in favor of slapping her cheeks to make a small beat. She was growing desperately bored.


“Excuse me?” Mabel stopped and looked up at a pretty pink haired girl and a two toned haired boy behind her, seemingly using her backpack as a pillow and an anchor to sleep standing up. 


Stan spoke first. “Yes, what’cha want?” Mabel put her hand on his arm. He was always so suspicious of people! 


“I don’t mean to interrupt you, but are you Dipper’s family?” the girl asked. 


“That’s right! Are you friends of his?” Mabel smiled, waving for them to sit down. 


“Kinda yeah,” she grinned, sitting down. She didn’t seem to mind when the kid using her as a portable pillow was knocked off balance as she sat. He sent a harsh glare at her before he moved to sit as well, immediately ignoring everything to rest his head on the table. “He showed us pictures of you! I’m Pyronica and this is Tad!” 


“You’re both students?” Stan raised a brow. “I thought this was a boys school?” 


“It is,” Pyronica nodded to him, a grin coming across her face.


“OH MY GOD!” Mabel gasped. “You’re Pyronica Myers!” Mabel slapped the table repeatedly in her excitement. “You’ve been on magazine covers, Frederic Star made a makeup palette just for you! You're my icon!” 


Pyronica’s eyes lit up, becoming excited along with the brunette girl. “I actually still have a few unopened, if you want one?” 


Mabel gasped in complete delight but then her face twisted into an expression of offended shock when Stan asked, “So, who exactly is this girl?” 


“Staaaaan! Pyronica is the daughter of my favorite fashion magazine’s owner and editor! She regularly appears on the cover for pride month!” Mabel sternly educated her Grunkle. She couldn't believe she had just met one of her favorite fashion icons!


Stan just grumbled and turned back to watch the door for one of their brothers. 


“Oh, that reminds me. Do you guys know where Dipper is? He hasn’t come from his class yet.” Mabel chewed her lip in worry. Dipper didn’t normally make her wait like this. She had a nagging feeling that something had happened.


“That’s weird, our other friend is late too...” Pyronica looked to Tad who cracked open an eye. They both worried Bill had done something stupid again. They didn’t think he’d try to drag Dipper into a closet or something like that, but they never really knew. Bill sometimes did some extreme things in desperation. 


“There you are, Ford!” Stan’s loud bark broke them all out of their worried thoughts. 


They turned and Pyronica gasped. “SHELLY?!” She stood, quickly followed by Tad who jumped up fully awake at the mention of their second mom. She was being supported by the exact replica of the man on the table,


Pyronica and Tad’s fretting over her was quickly waved away. “I’m fine.” Ford led the woman to the table, checking over the bandage on her cheek. 


“What the hell happened? Where’s Dipper? Weren’t you supposed to be watching him?!” Stan, somehow, was able to sound both childishly smug and concerned at the same time. 


“This school is insane!” Ford snapped. “Some crazed woman came in and assaulted her son, attacked this woman, and finally I had to get her to go home because not even the teacher would say a thing! Dipper went with the kid who ran out!” 


Pyronica was gaping, holding onto Shelly’s arm. That had to have been Bill's mother . The woman was extremely possessive of Bill; she hated all of his friends, could barely stand even his own father being around him alone, and she despised Shelly. 


It wasn’t like Pyronica and Tad’s parents were too fond of her either. Tad’s didn’t like that she gave a name to why he’d always been so low energy that carried negative connotations. 


Pyronica’s own parents blamed Shelly for her being transgender. They’d come to accept it now but they’d said some hurtful things when she’d first come out. 


“Can you tell us what happened exactly?” Tad asked, an intensity he normally didn’t have coming out. Almost nothing kept him interested for long but he really, really hated Bill’s mother. 


Everyone leaned in as Ford and Shelly began to tell their story. 

“So, Shelly’s like a second mom to you?” Dipper asked with a quiet murmur. After Bill had finally stopped crying, they had drifted into what was probably their first honest and open conversation. 


“Yeah, but not only to me. Py and Tad needed her too. Before we met her, we were basically lost children!” Bill cuddled deeper into Dipper’s side. 


“How did you meet her?”


Bill chuckled, smiling softly. “We all decided to dye our hair one summer when we were fourteen. We grabbed random shit from the drugstore and did it ourselves. As you can probably guess, it looked awful!” Dipper giggled, he could imagine. “Well, we loved it and decided we’d get better stuff when we had to re-dye it a few months later. She worked the counter at the store we ended up going to, and she took one look at us and ordered us to the back in order to fix our hair!


“I can still hear her berating us on our lack of proper hair care. It was so shocking to have this random woman just yell about how we had too cute of faces for such bad hair. I guess we just kept coming back to her after that.” Bill laughed lightly. “She was the first person to notice I might be borderline. She encouraged me to go see a doctor.”


Bill’s grip tightened, seemingly remembering something horrible. “Let’s just say my parents were less than excited to hear me requesting a visit to a doctor to see if my head was messed up. Mother just kept yelling that nothing could possibly be wrong with me,” he sighed. He almost seemed like he might begin crying again. 


“I mean, I don’t know what your home life is like, but at least she thinks the world of you?” Dipper tried for the bright side, simply to keep Bill from breaking down again. 


“That’s not it. She doesn’t think I’m perfect because I’m her kid. She thinks it because, to her, I’m an object! Something that she can proudly show off to her high class friends and shit-- to her I'm property and her possessions are perfect.” Bill made a disgusted noise in his throat. 


Dipper held the blonde tighter. He hated that he had to go through something like that, but at the same time, understanding a bit better when Bill just announced things like ‘you’re my best friend now’ or ‘we’re boyfriends.’ If he grew up with a mother that treated him like a possession, then you’ll probably relate that behavior to how one should show affection. 


It made too much sense. Bill literally doesn’t know how to properly show affection to another human being. 


“What did you do when they refused to take you?” Dipper asked, curious. 


“At first I just raged, flipping tables, punching out walls, the works. Eventually I found myself in Shelly’s store, ranting and raving, then I just broke down. Crying and apologizing for how scared she looked of me.


But she told me it was okay. I don’t think I’ve ever cried harder than when she told me that. That my emotions were real, and it had a cause, and I wasn’t just made wrong. She made an appointment for me at a free clinic, took me herself, and held my hand the entire time. When they told me I had borderline and bipolar, she held me again. Just whispering that it was okay and that I was not faulty. She did a lot for me.”


Dipper felt a new appreciation for the hairdresser. It wasn’t easy to help someone through something like that. 


“I understand that feeling. It’s so scary thinking that something must be wrong with your head,” Dipper whispered. Bill turned up his head, looking Dipper in the eyes. “Actually it’s better to think of it like this. You wouldn’t shame someone for having asthma, right? Well, that same thing goes for mental illness. It’s not something you can control and you don’t have a choice on it. It also doesn’t define you.”


“You do? And that’s honestly a really eye opening way to put it. That makes me feel less bad about my condition...” 


“I, uh, I have anxiety and a paranoia disorder,” Dipper admitted. “It’s gotten a little better since I was diagnosed. I used to wake up and feel like someone just had to be standing outside my door. I’d end up getting up several times in the night to check locks and even lock myself in the bedroom.” Dipper frowned, thinking of all the sleepless nights where he had just sat up thinking his life was in danger for hours and being paralyzed by it all. “The worst was once I thought I could hear the front door’s lock being tampered with and so I sat in front of the door, just staring at the knob, fucking shaking because I was sure it would turn any moment.” 


“That sounds terrible.” Bill curled closer, tightening Dipper in his hold to comfort him back. 


“It is, but I’m getting a little better.” Not counting this last week, Dipper added mentally. He didn’t feel it was important to tell him how his behavior last week had caused him a few panic attacks late at night. At least for now. 


“It’s good to hear that you’re getting better,” he laughed sadly. “If only I could do that too…”


Dipper glared at Bill and slapped his face lightly. “Don’t say that, dummy, you can do it! I believe in you, heck, I’ll even help you.”


Bill laughed. “You will? Do you promise? Do you pinky promise?” He held out his pinky to the other boy.


Dipper chuckled at him and nodded. “Yes, I pinky promise.” He hooked his pinky onto Bill’s and promptly let go. “Hey, what’s with you and pinky promises? Isn't that really childish?”


Bill flushed lightly. “You can’t laugh at me, okay?”


Dipper furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. “Okay.”


The other boy cleared his throat awkwardly. “It’s just I’ve always made everyone pinky promise to important things because I saw once in a movie that people could never break pinky promises, and no one in my life has broken them to this day and I guess a part of me still believes that they can’t be broken?”


Dipper had to force down a chuckle and covered it up with a cough. “Oh God, Bill, you’re not joking are you? That totally ruins your bad boy image for sure.”


Bill pouted at him. “Hey! I’m still a bad boy!”


“Sure you are,” Dipper laughed.


Bill glared at him playfully but in the end laughed along with him. They dissolved into a fit of giggles that lasted about a minute and then slid into a comfortable silence.




Dipper hummed, indicating that he heard him.


“While we’re getting everything out of the way now, I’m sorry for the way that I treated you when we first met. I really am,” Bill confessed.


“I’m not going to say that it’s okay and I’m not going to say that I forgive you just yet, but I do appreciate the apology.” He sent a smile back down to the other boy.


Bill nodded. “That’s fine. I’ll work hard to make you forgive me.”


Dipper let out a small laugh. “Oh yeah? How hard will you work exactly?”


“As hard as I need to.” He said somberly, and Dipper was surprised at how serious he sounded.


A silence took over the two as they sat in each other’s hold and enjoyed the company they had. Bill almost didn’t want the moment to end. He was quite content where he was and by the looks of it, it seemed that so was Dipper. At this point he had fully calmed down from his crying session.


Dipper leaned his head on top of Bill’s after a while and hummed. “Are you okay now?”


Bill shifted a bit before responding. “Yeah. . . yeah, I am.”


“That’s very good. Do you want to go get lunch now?” he asked.


Bill nodded his head absently. “Okay…”


Dipper stood up first and offered his hand to Bill to help him up. “I don’t think I can be your boyfriend, but I can try to be your friend.”


The other boy looked at him with wide eyes and then smiled softly. “I think I can live with that.” Bill took his hand and got up, immediately enveloping Dipper in a hug when he was on his feet.


Dipper laughed and hugged him back before pushing him away so they could head to the cafeteria.


Bill decided to push his luck for the day and went to grab Dipper’s hand. He looked away quickly when the other boy cast him a wondering look but relaxed when Dipper squeezed his hand in reassurance. This nearly sent him into cardiac arrest from pure joy. He didn’t think that he could get any happier than this moment.


He went to pick up his bag and sighed. He would need to replace everything inside since it was torn to shreds. The bag itself was relatively okay but he thought that he might as well replace it while he was at it.


Dipper patiently waited for him to grab all of his stuff, and once he was done, they made their way hand in hand to the cafeteria. Bill was ecstatic, it was like he was in his very own romance movie. Holding his Pinetree’s hand as they walked through the halls, what could be better?


They made it to the cafeteria soon enough and looked around for the people they knew. What surprised them was that all of the people that they knew were gathered together and talking. The two of them walked towards the large group and everyone turned their heads to look at them.


From a distance he saw Mabel gasp and she quickly sprinted full speed towards them. She jumped and tackled Dipper to the floor, causing him to let go of Bill’s hand. They both went tumbling down. They were a mess of tangled limbs on the ground and burst into a fit of laughter.


Mabel pulled her brother up and hugged him tightly. “Bro-bro! Where the heck have you been, you goof?”


Dipper laughed and hugged her back. “I had to deal with something, but I’m here now.”


“What were you dealing with?” she tilted her head.


He jabbed a finger at Bill. “I was dealing with this mess over here.”


Bill chuckled at him. “Yeah, yeah, I’m a mess, but now I’m your mess.”


Mabel gasped. “Dip Dop! You got yourself a boyfriend?! How could you? I was supposed to get one before you.”


Dipper’s face flamed. “Mabel! He’s not my boyfriend, he just says weird things like that.”


Bill lent them both a hand up and held a hand out to shake for Mabel. 


Bill glanced at Dipper's flaming face and decided he was going to tease him a bit. “Nice to meet you by the way, the name’s Bill Cipher. I’m going to be your brother in law!”


Dipper slapped a hand to his forehead. “Oh my God, Bill, we just went over this not even two minutes ago.”


Bill grinned coyly, then shrugged. “Y’know, I think I might have amnesia,” he said with a mischievous tone. 


Mabel shook his hand and gave him her own roguish look. “Amnesia? I think you should go to the hospital for that.” Her smile curled further when Dipper gave a loud groan. 


He burst out laughing. “Oh, I like you! I really like you! You’re hilarious.” He faked wiping a tear from his eye.


Mabel laughed along with him. “Thanks! I like you too, you seem really cool!”


Bill laughed harder. “Thanks Shooting Star!” He shot some finger guns at her. “You’re not so bad yourself, and I might be biased because I’m in love with your brother.”


“Shooting Star? And oh my gosh, you’re already in love with him? I knew someone would be able to see how great he is!” she chattered excitedly.


“Yeah, you have a nice shooting star necklace. I absolutely do see how great he is, thank you,” he responded.


Dipper groaned and split them apart. “Okay, we’re done here. This conversation is over. We’re going to get lunch now.”


He grabbed both of their arms and tugged them towards the lunch line. The whole time, Bill and Mabel were excitedly talking about him still.