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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.

Chapter Text

Dipper checked the halls for anyone before picking up his shower stuff and running to his room. After the day he had he’d been afraid to take a shower in the community showers set down on the bottom floor of the dormitory’s 

 

He hadn’t felt safe exposed like that, knowing he was apparently the school’s ‘target’ but he had to wash himself after the milk incident. Luckily nothing happened, for once in the entire day, nothing of note happened. 

 

Dipper made it back to his new room and shut the door. His stuff was still in boxes on his bed, he’d only just arrived this morning and hadn’t had time to unpack yet. He hadn't even met his roommate yet. For just a moment Dipper fretted over the possibility of Bill being his roommate but that had to be impossible, the bully was already in all his classes so far, the universe couldn’t hate him that much. 

 

Dipper put away his shower caboodle and hung up his wet towel before deciding he might as well start unpacking. 

 

As time ticked by he thought on everything that happened. This all had to be a nightmare right? Did he maybe walk onto the set of a cliche highschool monster movie? He really couldn’t tell. 

 

He grew angry as he shoved his clothes into the free dresser on his side of the room, he couldn’t believe his new favorite sweater was ruined! He’d tried to wash it but nothing had worked, it smelled rank now and it would never regain it's previous softness. He didn’t think he would ever forgive the person who dunked milk on him.

 

With a frustrated breath Dipper looked over to his roommate's messy side of the room and wondered where he could be. It had been hours since school ended and Dipper hadn’t seen hide nor hair of him! Every moment he didn’t come back his fear that it would truly be Bill ate at his nerves more. 

 

He got himself so worked up that he yelped in fright when his phone began to ring. The song ‘space unicorn’ blasted from the speaker, for the millionth time Dipper wondered why he ever let his sister choose her own ringtone. He chuckled, the thought of his twin putting a small smile on his face. He already missed her dearly and it had only been a little under a day.

 

“Hey Mabes,” Dipper answered the call with a tired voice, letting his body fall onto his bed. 

 

“DIPPER! Oh my gosh how are you?! I already miss you so much, how’s school? Did everyone like your sweater?!” Dipper felt warmth fill his stomach as his sister spoke a mile a minute like usual. 

 

Not wanting to worry his sister Dipper answered. “I’m good, school was school. First day so nothing really special. I miss you too,” Dipper sighed, readying himself to drop that bomb. “About the sweater-,”

 

“WHAT? No! What happened to my masterpiece?!” Mabel shrieked over the line and Dipper was lucky he’d known to pull his phone away from his ear. 

 

“I’m sorry but so-, I got milk all over it,” Dipper lied. If he told her someone dumped milk over his head she’d drive down and try to puppy guard him. He just wanted a chance to solve this himself. 

 

“Oh,” she breathed over the line. “Well it’s okay, try not to go all ‘Dipper’ and worry about it, just try to enjoy school. You worked so hard to get there!” Mabel forgave the sin of ruining one of her precious handmade sweaters.  Even if it wasn’t the only one he had, that one had been his favorite. 

 

“Thanks Mabes,” Dipper breathed, feeling his stress melt away as he listened to her talk about their old school and what she’d been doing since he’d boarded the bus that brought him here. Mabel Pines was not brief and over the next two hours he just listened as she detailed everything . It was one of the things he loved about her.

 

He told her a little of his day, and about his mysteriously absent roommate but before long it was time for him to begin studying for the night. 

 

“Night Mabel, I love you,” he ended the call after she replied with her own ‘I love you’. 

 

Dipper pulled his notebook out and began the process to rescue his notes. Mabel has given him a great trick using a lamp and a ballpoint pen. Apparently he was just lucky the sharpie hadn’t been black. 

 

After a moment he began to hear what sounded like a party going on across the dormitory courtyard. He looked out the blinds to see a number of windows flashing with yellow strobe lights, it looked like the party had spilled out into the halls. Maybe that’s where his roommate was. In all honesty after the day he had, he couldn’t bring himself to care.

 

Just like in his first class the noise became loud enough that he couldn’t concentrate, and he certainly wasn’t going to go over there and yell at them to quiet down. Not after today, he was too tired from constant confrontation.

 

Instead he closed his books and laid down, tomorrow would be better. Hopefully he could figure out a way to not battle the entire school the entire day and Bill couldn't be in all his classes could he? He almost wanted to say a prayer that he wasn’t.

 

Soon enough his eyes fluttered shut and he slept. 

 




Dipper awoke the next day to his alarm blaring in his ear. He groaned and turned over, pressing the mute button on his phone. He rubbed his eyes and sat up in his bed, the sheets pooling around him. He rolled his shoulders and relished in the feeling of stretching his muscles. 

 

He swung his legs over the side of his bed and looked toward the other side of the room. He was surprised to see that his roommate was still nowhere to be seen. There was a nagging feeling in the back of his mind but being as tired as he was he completely ignored it. He instead opted to get up on his feet and go to his dresser to find something to wear.

 

He decided to put on an oversized faded red hoodie that had mini sunsets printed on it. Mabel had gifted it to him as a birthday present. The hoodie reached down to his mid thigh and the sleeves came to completely cover his hands, it was one of his biggest hoodies and he treasured it.

 

Dipper opened the bottom drawer and took out a pair of well worn dark wash jeans that fit him loosely. He quickly slipped them on and cuffed the bottoms because they scuffed the floor when he didn’t. He then put on his favorite pair of white vans and did a once over of himself. He combed his hand through his wild unruly bed head and decided that it was enough. Today he had woken up with not quite as wild of a mane as usual and he thought that he could skip the brushing for today.

 

He made his way towards the door and before he opened it he did something that Mabel had taught him. He breathed in deeply and promised himself that today was going to be a good day. He repeated it to himself a total of three times before he opened the door and walked towards the cafeteria.

 

Dipper walked out with his head held high and immediately all his hope was dashed when he was shoved into a wall by his neighbor. Dipper yelped in his throat from the feeling of bone hitting brick, sending a glare at the laughing figure who just carried on like he hadn’t just assaulted someone. 

 

He tried to brush the incident off like it was nothing and continued his journey. He fixed his backpack onto his shoulders and steeled himself for more run-ins that would be similar. He was correct to do this because as he was walking in the hallway alongside multiple other students they treated him like he was a big game of ping pong. It actually hurt his shoulders quite a bit and since he was so small it was fairly easy to knock him around like some toy.

 

By the time he had gotten to the cafeteria he was pretty ruffled up and was extremely agitated. Why the hell couldn’t these people leave him alone?! He wanted this whole day to be over with already but knew he couldn’t speed up time, which he was very disappointed at.

 

Dipper repeated his actions from the day before and zipped past the people that were currently in line. If they were going to cut him he might as well cut them back right? He made his way towards the first lunch lady and looked at the menu. He decided on getting waffles.

 

He pointed towards the option, “Can I have waffles please?”

 

The lunch lady smiled at him and nodded, “Sure thing sweetie!”

 

She plopped the waffles onto his tray and gave it back to him. The waffles were topped with a heaping amount of syrup and a square of butter, they were almost as fluffy as the ones Mabel made. Paired with them were a scoop of blueberries and an arrangement of other kinds of fresh fruit. It all smelled delicious.

 

He moved to the second lunch lady where she offered the same choices as yesterday, apple juice, orange juice, pomegranate juice, or different types of milk. He decided that since it was breakfast time he would go with milk, they even had strawberry milk!

 

“Strawberry milk please!” He gave her a warm grin.

 

She gave him one back and handed him the carton. He then proceeded to go to the checkout and opened his bag to search for his food card. He furrowed his eyebrows when he realized that it wasn’t where he had left it. He opened the other pockets and rummaged through them quickly only to be met with nothing. He panicked as he got to the front of the line, the lady working the register looked at him expectantly.

 

Dipper blanched and he felt himself go completely red, “I’m sorry I seem to have misplaced my food card…” He trailed off, he was so embarrassed as kids groaned behind him and whispered for him to hurry it up.

 

She looked at him with pity swirling in her eyes and sighed, “Well we don’t normally do this but I suppose you can owe us a debt and just take the food,” she said, her lips curling into a wavering comforting smile. 

 

He didn’t think that he could get any more embarrassed but when people started laughing at him, he felt like he wanted the ground to swallow him up. “Are you sure? I wouldn’t want to cause any trouble.”

 

The woman just nodded her head, “Go ahead sweetie, it’s fine,” she said comfortingly.

 

Dipper took his tray and walked shamefully to an empty table, the snickers of the other students following him like a rabid pack of wolves. God could he have started his morning off any worse? He doubted it. 

 

He sat down at the table and looked around him, in case people wanted to mess with him once again. It looked like most people were just too tired to do him any harm so he turned back to his breakfast. He frowned and started eating, he was incredibly hungry, especially after he had skipped dinner the day before. He felt like an absolute failure, how could he have lost his food card? On his second day of school no less!

 

He periodically checked around himself for signs of someone wanting to torment him, but nothing major happened.

 

Unknown to him Bill had watched the entire thing go down with a deep frown on his face. He wanted to know what was wrong and what had happened to the other boy but his friends hadn’t given him a chance to slip away. He felt his heart drop in his chest as he watched his Pinetree eat alone and in silence.

 

“-and then Teeth just launched himself off the hall table, I’m pretty sure Hectorgon is gonna be in the hospital for a week!” Pyronica’s light tittering drew Bill's attention for only a moment before his eyes glanced back to Pinetree who was back to checking his back for anyone wanting to do him harm. A few had but Bill had managed to glare then down before Dipper even noticed them. 

 

“Funny,” Bill mumbled, shoving a bit of his chocolate strawberry crepe in his mouth. He’d thought all night about how he was going to get his Pinetree to be his. The first order of business was already done, he’d managed to bribe Pinetrees roommate into switching dorms, his stuff should be gone by the last bell. 

 

“We’ve got to think of a way to top that party for Halloween, I’m thinking fireworks!” Pyronica grinned down the table. Despite Bill having a lot of ‘friends’ the other two people at the table were the only ones he’d actually consider himself close to. 

 

“You’re always thinking fireworks,” Tad muttered around his energy bar, looking tired and like he simply couldn’t care less about what was going on. Which in fact he didn’t. He’d laid his head on the table the moment they sat down and closed his eyes. 

 

“What else is a pyromaniac to think about when party planning?” She huffed, flicking through the two toned haired boy in the exposed ear. Tad had his hair dyed in a zigzag pattern, the right purple, the left his natural black. 

 

“What do you think Bill?” The pinkette looked to the blond only to realize he wasn’t paying attention. Instead he was staring across the cafeteria at the latest ‘target’ of his punishment game. 

 

Pyronica elbowed Tad in the gut, making him open his eyes. He was about to gruffly ask what her fucking problem was when she hushed him and pointed at Bill, still staring at the somber kid across the cafeteria. 

 

They’d both been told by a very, very excited Bill that he’d been, and she was quoting, ‘punched in the face by a twig and fallen in love’. He hadn’t explained past that, flitting off like a tornado of plans to land his dream boy, now they had a pretty good guess. 

 

Pyronica shared a knowing look with Tad. “Wow, he’s super cute.”

 

“Yeah, he is,” Bill sighed, openly staring at the kid. 

 

Bill wondered idly why he looked so upset, was it whatever had happened in the lunch line? Or maybe he just wasn’t a morning person? He wished he could have heard what happened.

 

“Why don’t you talk to him?” Tad said with a yawn, wanting Bill to go do that so he could go back to catching some extra sleep. 

 

Bill stuck out a lip, looking over Pinetree as he finished up his waffles, he looked close to tears and Bill just wanted to know why. What could he do to make it better?

 

“You know what, I will!” Bill stood up and began making his way to Dipper, not really processing that half the group turned with wicked grins to watch. Thinking he was going to torment the other teen. 

 

“Go Bill!” Pyronica cheered him on before turning back to her notebook of party notes. 

 

“Yeah go Bill,” Tad nuzzled back into his arms “go away,” he finished, falling back asleep, still half heartedly munching on his protein bar. 

 

Dipper held the table's edge hard enough his fingers were turning white. He felt so humiliated, pity from the lunch ladies, what could be worse?

 

He might as well just accept that he was doomed to spend his last year of high school having them be the only ones that talked kindly to him. 

 

Dipper felt tears prickling in the corner of his eyes as he looked down at his empty tray. He was honestly so thankful, he’d been starving, but it felt so frustrating that he had lost something that he had worked so hard to earn. 

 

He stood up with a sigh, not realizing the Bill was walking towards him. His card was probably lost in his bed covers, he’d have to run back after second period. 

 

Dipper only got two steps from his table before noticing Bill had stopped in front of him. Dipper glared stubbornly at his tray for a moment, shouting his weary eyes. Why right now? 

 

Today Bill wore a yellow bricked hoodie under his worn leather jacket, he had dark washed ripped jeans with chains jiggling at his hips. He wore the same combat boots from the day before. He had switched out his rounded studs for spikes and his hair looked more styled than it had yesterday. 

 

“What?” Dipper found himself saying harshly. He was so not in the mood for the arrogant jerk today. 

 

Bill took a half step back in surprise before his mouth twisted into a sour pout, what the hell was his problem? 

 

He’d worked so hard on his hair, worn his best outfit, even worn his spikes! Pinetree should be praising his good looks not getting snappy like a little ungrateful brat. 

 

Bill took a breath and remembered the reason he had approached. He wanted to ask why Pinetree was so upset. 

 

“Are you ok-,”

 

“You know what?” Dipper suddenly snapped, shoving past the much taller teen. “I don’t care right now, piss off!” Dipper slammed down his tray by the trash, shoved his hands into his pockets, and stalked out of the cafeteria before Bill could even snap out of his shock. 

 

“What the hell?” Bill growled in fury, heading back to his table to complain. 

 

When he reached his table he plopped back down into his previous seat angrily, how dare his sapling treat him like that?

 

Pyronica glanced at him and snorted, “So I’m taking it that it didn’t go so well huh, Romeo?”

 

Bill scowled at her, “He completely brushed me off! He didn’t even let me finish my question before he told me to fuck off and then he stormed off!”

 

She had to hold in her laughter, “Honestly, what did you expect after how you treated him yesterday?”

 

“He should be thankful that I’m treating him better! I can’t believe this!” He threw his hands up into the air before crossing them and rested them against his chest. He slumped in his seat and ran a hand through his fluffy hair, messing it up slightly.

 

Tad growled from his place resting on the table, “Dude can you stop complaining about pointless shit? I’m trying to sleep here!” He still had yet to stop slowly munching on his now soggy protein bar.

 

Bill shot his friend a disgusted look before sighing in frustration, “Are you actually gonna eat that protein bar or are you just gonna keep slobbering on it? And it’s not pointless shit, Tad! I need this kid to be mine .”

 

The other teen frowned at him, “I am eating it! Also you might have better luck if you got the school to stop being a dick to him,” he said solemnly.

 

He brought a hand up to his face in contemplation, “Actually you are right about that, I suppose I have to get everyone to stop giving him a hard time.”

 

Pyronica sighed, “Bill you know I love you but God damn it you are an idiot.”

 

Bill placed a hand over his heart dramatically, “Py! How could you say that? I take offense to that!” He cried out.

 

She smacked him upside the head and laughed, “Yea sure you do.”

 

He glared playfully at her and stuck out his tongue, “I actually do thank you very much.”

 

Pyronica chuckled, “Real mature bad boy.”

 

He huffed at her and stood up, “Right whatever, I’m gonna go for a smoke before class starts,” he said as he began walking away and towards the double doors that led outside. He always smoked when he was upset, the nicotine helped calm him down.

 

Bill breathed in the cool October air around him and relished the way that it slightly burned his lungs. He leaned against the wall and brought his lighter out from his pocket and took out his cigarettes from the other. He slipped a stick out and brought it to his lips, holding it there while he lit it with the lighter.

 

He slowly took the smoke into his lungs and instantly relaxed at the familiar taste of tobacco. He closed his eyes and let his thoughts wander. 

 

Pyronica made a good point, he definitely had to deal with the school. Pinetree was his, but people just kept touching him and messing with him! He understood that he’d instigated that but now it needed to stop, preferably now but as soon as possible works too. 

 

He tried to calm his temper at Dipper as well. He hadn’t heard what went on in the breakfast line, it was possible the other teen was just too upset about what happened to realize Bill had extended an olive branch. 

 

He had plenty of opportunity today to talk to him again once he calmed down too. He’d pulled a few strings and found out that they shared classes today too. Their first, lunch, and last periods of the day. 

 

He can get him to swoon over his woodworking skills in their first class, meet him for lunch, and then get him to agree to be his in their last class. It was fool proof!

 

Bill smirked to himself as he finished his cigarette. He would definitely get his Pinetree to swoon. After all he was Bill Cipher, and he always got what he wanted, no matter what. He was willing to go to great lengths to get the other boy to be his.

 





Dipper tried to get his day back on track after breakfast, there were less people in the halls now so he was being pushed around just a little less. Which did help him feel a bit better. 

 

He had woodworking first today, but right after he had AP calculus, surely his college level classes would brighten his day! 

 

Dipper stopped by his locker, still ignoring the vandalism, and got his hefty textbook. He exchanged it for a few of his textbooks he forgot to put away the day before so his bag didn’t rip, then he was on his way. 

 

Dipper was optimistic, he and Bill couldn't have more classes together, it was a statistical improbability! He was going to be fine, today would be good! He was sure of it! It had to be! The universe really couldn’t hate him that much!

 

Dipper made it to his woodworking class, stopped to copy Mabel’s mantra once again before opening the door a full five minutes before class began. 

 

All his hopes were dashed when he looked into the room, his heart dropped into his stomach as he came face to face with Bill once again. 

 

He was surrounded by people once again, and worse than the crowd was the line up of sharp and deadly tools around the group. Bill held a carving knife in his hands, flipping it in the air with practiced ease. For a moment Dipper ran through every possible way someone could mess with him in this room that ended with accidentally losing a body part. Why the hell did he take this class again?!

 

Bill looked up at him, trapping him in his multicolored gaze. A smirk raised on his face as once again a hush fell over the room. “There’s my kitten.”

 

Dipper flushed with anger and turned up his nose, stomping over to an empty desk and sitting down in a huff. He felt his anxiety spike, far too aware of everything around him, fearing for his own safety while in this room with a group that had done nothing but shove him around. 

 

He spent the next five minutes jumping at the stiffest movement and trying to pretend like he was memorizing the shop rules on the board. 

 

Bill watched his Pinetree, finding the way he squirmed in his seat incredibly cute. Normally he would go over and tug at his pigtails but he was jazzed about showing off his skills and he was occupied thinking of what he’d do first. He’d have to work on the table saw first, he was the best at it in the class. He could even help his sapling with it!

 

Bill was so caught up in the fantasy of standing over his kitten, wrapping his arms around him and pushing his hands around the dangerous instrument in order to teach him how it's done, that he totally missed the teacher coming in. The teacher dismissed the class to the shop, everyone but Pinetree. 

 

Dipper jolted when the gruff looking woodworking teacher told him to stay behind, immediately after he breathed a sigh of relief that he wasn’t going to be joining the class in a room full of sharp things. 

 

“You missed the beginning of the year, I can’t allow you into the shop floor until you pass the safety test,” the teacher told him, placing a five page packet labeled ‘safety and proper handling of tools’ on his desk. 

 

“No Pinetree has to come out!” Dipper whipped his head around to see a very annoyed looking Bill. He shuddered, assuming Bill had some kind of big plan to torment him that the teacher just ruined. “I can walk him through the safety rules,” he offered when the teacher didn’t say anything. 

 

“Mr. Cipher, I believe we had come to an agreement?” The teacher said, looking at the young teen with a raised brow. He didn’t care if his mother ran the school, he cared about none of his students losing digits. Cipher and him had agreed to a truce, Bill didn’t behave wildly and adhered to the rules of the shop and he wouldn’t try to control him too much. 

 

“But-,”

 

“No buts, Mr. Pines has to take the safety test by law. Go work on your projects before I kick you out of the class,” the teacher turned away to sit behind his desk. Signaling that the conversation had ended. 

 

Dipper looked between the very upset Bill and the uncaring teacher, wondering what ‘agreement’ they had come too. It was possible that it was connected to why Bill seemed to be untouchable in every other class. Doing whatever he wanted without ever getting into trouble. 

 

He wanted to ask but instead focused his eyes on his informational packet and tried to ignore when Bill huffed and stomped his way into the shop. He looked extremely agitated.

 

“Don’t worry too much about him,” the teacher said once Bill was gone. “And next time you're in my class don’t wear anything with sleeves that long, you're just asking to lose an arm child.”  

 

Dipper nodded mutely and focused on memorizing the packet. He grimaced at the thought of losing an arm though, he definitely wanted to avoid that.

 

The class went by fast, Dipper actually enjoying taking light notes in the rules and tips for keeping yourself safe while working with power tools. Silently he considered going to the office to change his classes around but he didn’t want to drop woodworking if he could help it. Stan had thought it would be good for him to learn to make things with his hands, and he definitely didn’t want to be a bother to the office on his second day. 

 

The teacher didn’t seem to care what he did so he pulled out his phone and shot a few texts Mabel’s way. He knew she had entered into an art contest and they’d be picking the winner today so he sent a few ‘good lucks’ her way. 

 

Wendy and a few of his other friends had sent him encouraging messages so he sent them a few replies and just enjoyed not having to look over his shoulder for once. When the bell rang he quickly stuffed everything into his bag, not hearing the clatter when his phone missed the pocket he’d thrown it in, and sent a goodbye the teacher's way. 

 

He made a B-line for the door, wanting to escape before Bill came back to torment him. 

 

Bill moved as quickly as he could to put away his project and return to class, determined to walk his Pinetree to his next class. Only for him to already be gone. 

 

Bill cursed and was about to stomp away, in a terrible mood for his second favorite class, astronomy, when he noticed a slight ping noise. 

 

He looked to the desk his Pinetree had inhabited and found a phone laying under the seat. The phone cover was of a silhouetted pine forest over a sunset, that had to be his sapling’s! 

 

Bill picked it up, smiling at the perfect opportunity to engage Dipper in a conversation and stuffed it into his pocket. He waved to the teacher in a half hearted goodbye and left with a skip in his step. Things finally seemed to be going his way.



Chapter Text

speedpaint is up here

Chapter Text

Bill walked to his AP astronomy class with a slight skip in his step. He was both excited to have a chance to talk to his Pinetree and he was going to one of his favorite classes. Today was starting to become a lot better. He walked through the door with two minutes to spare, which was pretty early for him because he was late to the classes that he didn’t care about.

 

He sat down at his usual desk at the front of the class and brought out his notebook and pencils. Other students streamed into the room and took their seats around him, he didn’t have anyone who was in his clique so he mostly kept to himself. Which was perfectly fine with him since he wanted to pay attention to what the teacher was saying.

 

The teacher started his lesson and it was only fifteen minutes in when Bill heard a meow from his back pocket and the teacher turned around to glare at the person who’s phone went off and when he realized that it was Bill he immediately just turned back around without reprimanding him. Bill had sent him his own death glare which reminded him who was actually in charge here.

 

He pulled out Dipper’s phone from his pocket and wanted to smile at how cute his ring tone was. He turned on the phone and checked the notifications. He raised his eyebrows when he saw that there were three new messages from a girl named ‘Mabel’ followed by a long string of heart emojis. Bill felt his blood start to boil, who was this chick his girlfriend?! That couldn’t be possible Pinetree was his! The worst of it was Pinetree wet his phone so that he could see who had texted, but not what they said. 

 

He scrolled over the other notifications and saw that he had unopened texts from Wendy, Candy, and Grenda as well. Bill was close to seeing red at this point, why was Pinetree only talking to girls? It didn’t make any sense whatsoever! He swiped up the screen and looked at the keypad, what could be his password?

 

He tried to type in ‘Mabel’ just to see if it would work, and he was both relieved and frustrated that it didn’t work. He tried all of the other names that he had seen and he was growing more irritated that none of them had worked. 

 

He tried all of the basic passwords like 123abc and the like but almost threw the phone when it locked him out for too many incorrect attempts. Bill didn’t want to actually break the thing so he simply shoved it in his pocket with a growl. He turned his head to just glare at the board, if looks could kill everyone in the classroom would currently be dead.

 

He tapped his fingers against his desk impatiently, he huffed and combed his hand through his hair, messing it up slightly. How was his Pinetree so popular? He just didn’t understand, the only person that he should be paying attention to was him! He was the most important person in his life.

 

Bill glanced at the clock and willed time to move forward faster, even if it was one of his favorite classes he couldn’t wait to see his sapling and confirm whether or not he was dating any of these girls. If he was dating one of them it wouldn’t even matter he supposed, he would break them up anyway and make Dipper his.

 

He had gotten a few more texts within the class period, which he ignored to the best of his ability but they still irritated him to no end.

 




Dipper had walked into his AP calculus class with a fresh attitude. He was going to make sure that the rest of his day would go by well. He tried his best to have the can do attitude that Mabel had. He had to try his best for her. He had stepped into the room with four minutes to spare before the bell rang. 

 

He settled into an empty desk at the front of the classroom as per usual. He was still pretty tired so he leaned his head on his hand and closed his eyes.

 

All of a sudden he felt a slight tap on the top of his head and he opened his eyes in surprise. He looked up at the person who tapped him and he saw a slightly tanned girl with a high ponytail. Her hair went from the top pink, the middle was orange, and it faded to red tips. It actually looked quite similar to a sunset. The most striking thing about her was her pink eyes, but when he looked closer he could see a ring of brown around them and he knew that they were contacts.

 

She gave him a wide smile that was full of warmth, “Hi my name is Pyronica! I’m the local trans girl! You must be new here, I haven’t seen you before!”

 

Dipper swore at that moment he wanted to cry. Was she an angel sent from above? Finally someone was treating him like a person! “My name is Dipper! It’s so nice to meet you!” He said excitedly, he gave her his own smile in return.

 

She chuckled at him and slipped into the desk beside him, there was a boy behind her with half purple and half black hair who introduced himself next. “Hey what’s up dude my name is Tad, nice to meet you,” he said sleepily, rubbing his eyes in the process.

 

“Nice to meet you too man!” Dipper responded.

 

Tad sat to the right of Pyronica, putting her in between them. Dipper thanked whoever was out there, that was listening to his thoughts. Two people being kind in one day? How much better could this day get? Turns out the universe didn’t hate him as much as he thought it did.

 

Pyronica looked at Dipper's sunset sweater and grinned kindly. “Hey we’re twins today!” She pointed between her hair and his sweater. 

 

Dipper looked at her and smiled shyly. “Yeah, I guess we are,” he said. 

 

“You are just so cute!” Pyronica suddenly squealed, slamming her hands down on her desk excitedly before slapping Tad on the shoulder. “Isn't he so freaking cute?!” Her kindness and excitement reminded Dipper of Mabel, instantly making him like her more. 

 

Tad raised his head slightly, bags under his eyes and a bored look on his face. “Sure,” he sighed.  He couldn’t really process anything at all in the moment.

 

Dipper blushed furiously, hunching his shoulders and forcing down his smile. He used to hate being called cute but when your 5’4 at 17 you have to just accept it. “Thanks,” he whispered in a hushed tone, still blushing madly. 

 

“Awe,” she cupped her cheeks and smiled again. “You replaced our last scholarship student right? How old are you?”

 

“Um, I turned 17 last August,” Dipper answered honestly. He’d known he’d replaced a student that had dropped out, but thinking about it now the mystery of why a spot at the school would open so far into the year went away. It must have been because of the ‘target game’ that he was even in this school. 

 

“So you skipped a grade?” Tad asked, joining the conversation willingly for the first time. 

 

“Wow! That’s so impressive!” Pyronica gushed. “So you’re like a genius then?”

 

“I don’t know about that, I just like studying and stuff,” Dipper humbly replied. He really didn’t know how to handle someone, other than his sister, just dumping compliments on him like this. His stomach was fluttering and after the previous day of everyone tormenting him. he was weak to the compliments. “You two must be pretty smart too. This class is supposed to be intense.”

 

“Well I guess you can call me smart, maths have always been my best subject but Mr. sleepy head over there just needs this class for his architect major,” she stuck her thumb at the other boy who had somehow already fallen asleep again. 

 

“Is he alright?” Dipper asked, concerned about someone still being tired at this time. It was still morning but it was almost lunch!

 

“Oh he’s fine, he just insists on cleaning up my parties and so stayed up all night,” she explained offhandedly. 

 

“Did you not help him?”

 

“And miss my beauty sleep?!” She gasped dramatically. “I don’t think you realize how much I need to be this gorgeous?” 

 

Dipper couldn’t help but laugh a little, sending an apologetic thought towards Tad. 

 

“I can’t believe you threw a party on a school night,” Dipper said, not wanting the conversation to end. 

 

“You should have come!” She grinned. “My bestie finally fell in love so I just had to celebrate, and no better way to celebrate than a spontaneous party!” Once again she seemed way too much like his sister, silently Dipper prayed for the world if the two girls ever met. Although it seemed like they would get along fairly well which is exactly what he feared. 

 

“I’m not really a party person, but congrats to your friend I guess,” Dipper muttered, at least knowing why a party had been raging at the dorms the night before. 

 

“Everyone is a party person deep down!” She chided.

 

Dipper hummed and chuckled, “That’s exactly the same thing my sister says! You’re actually a lot like her!”

 

Pyronica gasped excitedly, “Really what’s she like? Oh my gosh I have to know more about her!”

 

“Well she’s really excitable and she likes to throw parties as well,” he responded back to her.

 

She grinned widely, “Sounds like my type of girl!”

 

Dipper laughed, “I’m sure you two would get along well.”

 

Tad turned his head on the desk and looked at him, “They sound like the same person and I sure as hell don’t want double the trouble,” he grumbled.

 

Pyronica smacked his head lightly, “Oh shut up, you know you love me!”

 

He winced as she hit him and he glared at her, “I actually hate you thank you very much.”

 

Dipper snorted, “You two sure seem to really like each other,” he paused a bit before asking, “how long have you guys known each other?”

 

Pyronica shot him a smile, “I’ve been with this loser ever since pre-k!”

 

His eyebrows shot up in surprise and he whistled lowly, “Wow that’s actually a pretty long time!”

 

Tad nodded his head, but it looked a little weird since he was resting it on the desk, “Honestly the worst years of my life knowing this maniac,” he sighed.

 

Dipper laughed at that, “I’m so sorry to hear that, man.”

 

“I’m sorry to experience it,” he said grimly.

 

Pyronica huffed, “Don’t make me hit you again!”

 

Tad leered at her and scooted his desk a few inches away from hers, “I’d like to hear you say that in court.”

 

She glared back at him, “I’ll have you know I can afford the best lawyers in the world!”

 

He sneered at her, “Well that’s too bad because my parents are going to be on my side and not yours so good luck trying to pay them for otherwise.”

 

Dipper’s eyebrows rose in shock, “Tad, your parents are lawyers?”

 

Tad puffed up proudly as best he could considering he still hadn’t lifted his head from the desk, “The best around, Dipper.”

 

“That’s pretty impressive!” He exclaimed.

 

Tad was about to respond when the bell rang and the teacher walked into the room.

 

“Sorry I wasn’t here to greet you at the door class but I was caught up making copies of your new assignment for today,” he said as he walked towards his desk.

 

Once the teacher had set everything down he walked back towards the board and began the lesson for that day. Dipper listened intently as he usually did and jotted down anything he thought was important down in his notebook. He was determined to do as well as he could, especially since this was a college level class.

 

He turned to see how Pyronica and Tad were doing and was slightly surprised that they were just as focused as he was. Although Tad’s head was still resting on the desk he was at least writing down notes and the like. 

 

Dipper was glad to have met and befriended studious people. He didn’t need anyone who would just hinder his academic journey. The rest of the school was already doing that. He sighed as he thought about what he had to deal with, but perked back up again when he remembered that he wasn’t alone.

 

Pyronica turned to look at him questioningly when she felt his gaze on her but he just shot her a smile and looked back towards his work.

 

When the teacher finished going over how to do the assignment he handed them a worksheet that was supposed to be done by the end of class. Dipper looked over it quickly and he was glad that he understood everything perfectly. The teacher had actually explained everything fairly well so he had no problems applying what he had just learned.

 

He worked diligently for a good twenty minutes on the worksheet and gave himself a pat on the back when he was finished. He scanned over the paper double checking all the work that he had just done, making sure that he had the correct answers. After he was done with that he scooped up his paper and walked towards the teacher’s desk to put it in the turn in basket.

 

When he set the paper down the teacher gave him a small smile, “Nice work Mr. Pines, I wouldn’t expect anything less from my scholarship student.”

 

Dipper shyly nodded in acknowledgment and hurried back to his seat, he was the first person done. He glanced over at Pyronica who looked like she was about three quarters of the way done. When he looked to see how Tad was doing he could see that the other boy kept falling asleep and was only halfway done. He had to suppress a chuckle, it seemed that he was perpetually tired.

 

He patiently waited for Pyronica to finish and got excited when she finally handed her paper in. When she walked back he was sitting up straighter with a bright sparkle in his eyes. It was almost similar to an excited puppy. 

 

She grinned back at him, “Dip, you look like an over excited puppy!”

 

He pouted, “Well I was waiting for you to finish and I kinda got impatient!”

 

Pyronica ruffled his hair, “I’m finished now though so you can chill a little bit.”

 

“I can never ‘chill’ at this school honestly, everyone but you guys seems to really hate me since I’m part of Bill’s nasty game,” he grumbled, he was reliving all of the terrible experiences that he had at the school so far. They were all putting a damper on his mood.

 

“Aw I’m sorry to hear that sweetie! But you have to hang in there and be strong! Show him who’s boss!” She pumped her fist in the air encouragingly.

 

A fire ignited in Dipper’s eyes and he felt a new wave of determination overcome him, “You’re right! I need to stand up for myself! Because if I don’t do it then who will?!”

 

She patted him on the shoulder, “That’s the spirit!”

 

They settled into easy conversation after that, talking about their lives and how they grew up. Dipper told her a few stories about Mabel and Pyronica shot off a few of her, Tad, and the mysterious unnamed ‘bestie’s’ stories. They seemed to get in trouble quite a bit, and more than once Dipper burst out laughing. All in all he was having quite a bit of fun talking to her. Tad finished his worksheet halfway through their conversation and he piped in a few times but overall kept trying to go back to sleep, which he failed at sadly.

 

Before they knew it the bell rang, indicating that it was now time for lunch. The trio all got up to make their way out the door when Pyronica turned to look at Dipper.

 

“Hey do you wanna sit with me and Tad during lunch?” She asked.

 

“Oh sorry, I have to look for my food card back at my dorm,” he apologized.

 

“That’s perfectly fine but do you want any help?” Pyronica seemed genuinely concerned about him but he didn’t want to trouble her.

 

“No no! It’s fine I’ll just do it myself!” He shot her a small smile.

 

Pyronica gave him a look, “Well, if you say so. Once you find it you’re free to come sit with us though!”

 

Dipper nodded, “Of course, totally!”

 

Tad tugged on Pyronica’s arm, “C’mon Py, let’s go.”

 

She turned to look at him and then back to Dipper, “Alright we’re gonna get going now, we’ll see you later, yeah?”

 

He hummed in agreement, “For sure.”

 

They had parted ways at the door and Dipper rushed his way back to his dorm room. He was out of breath by the time he got there but it was worth it, he needed to find his food card as soon as possible so he could bond with his new found friends more.

 

He quickly unlocked the door and threw it open, shoving his keys back into his pocket. He rushed to his side of the room and barely processed that the other side of the room now had nothing in it. He turned his blankets inside out and lifted his pillows up. He dug through his pile of hoodies and sweaters but found nothing. He looked through all of his drawers but his hands came up empty still. He even looked under his bed but just found dust.

 

He slumped onto the floor, defeated. How could it not be here? Had he lost it in the halls when he was walking before? In all honesty considering how clumsy he was he wouldn’t be surprised if he did. He felt like a total idiot, how could he have lost it so early on?

 

With all of the pressure the bullying gave him paired with the newfound loss of his food card, Dipper broke down. He clutched his knees to his chest and let the sobs wrack through his body. He let the hot tears stream down his face and he buried his head into his knees. He couldn’t handle this.

 

It was like there was a giant gaping hole where his heart should be and it hurt him terribly. He felt like the world around him was crumbling into bits, how could he be such a failure? Did he really think that he was cut out to be at this school? He highly doubted it.

 

Dipper cried harder, he didn’t bother to suppress his voice as he knew that everyone would be in the cafeteria or in the halls eating their lunch. He let himself be as loud as he felt hurt. His mental state was deteriorating at a fast pace.

 





Bill moved at a slightly faster pace than he normally moved. He had been waiting at the cafeteria for his Pinetree, determined to return his phone and demand an explanation for why he thought he could have a girlfriend while belonging to Bill. But Pyronica and Tad had informed him that Dipper had ran back to his room to look for a food card or something that was unimportant. Dipper didn’t need the food card, he had Bill!

 

He was seething by the time he made it to the stairway heading up to Dipper’s floor. His phone hadn’t stopped going off since it had gotten locked, texts from multiple girls, some guys, most of the contacts having hearts and smiles attached! Was his Pinetree actually a player?!

 

Bill stomped down the hall, readying himself to berate the kid the moment he turned into the room then the sound of a sobbing breath broke through his rage. 

 

Bill froze outside the door, just a step through the threshold. There curled up with his head in his knees and his body shuddering with his break was his Pinetree; sobbing. 

 

Dipper squeezed his knees in tighter when he heard someone pause by the door, hoping they go away but not being able to stop the flood now. His chest hurt from his cries and he felt like he couldn’t breath. It was like all his hopes had been dashed with just this one last turn of bad luck, he’d been so happy to get into this school and it just felt like it was all falling apart not even two full days in. 

 

Dipper couldn’t bring himself to care when a hand touched his shoulder. 

 

“What’s wrong?” A voice asked. Through his sobbing he assumed it was Tad. No other male had been kind to him so it had to be him. 

 

“I-I lost m-my food car-ard!” Dipper hiccuped, rubbing his eyes into his knees until it hurt, feeling like he deserved the pain. “I wor-rked so h-hard to get he-here, I le-left my fam-amily an-and friends, I gav-gave up s-s-so much to ea-earn my pla-place here and th-that car-rd!” Dipper sobbed, struggling to say each word, as he just cried harder having to explain the situation he was in. 

 

Two arms wrapped around him, surprising him with how warm and tight the embrace was. He hadn’t realized how much he’d wanted to be held. 

 

He gave up trying to speak and just held Tad back. Squeezing him tight and burying his head in the boy's shoulder, wetting it with his tears. 

 

Bill frowned, holding the small boy as he cried, just letting him get it all out. Bill was a little amazed to realize how small his sapling actually was. He knew he was small, but not this small! After a while Bill began to pet his fluffy hair, humming softly as he slowly calmed down. 

 

It took what must have been ten minutes for Dipper to catch his breath. His heart stopped racing and he just felt modified in the end. He’d just cried his heart out to a kid he’d only met that day! 

 

He pulled away slowly, detangling their limbs and raised his head to thank him only to receive the shock of his life. 

 

“BILL?” Dipper squeaked, high pitched and panicked. He hadn’t cried in Tad’s arms but his main bully’s?! Oh god, he wished it had been Tad!

Chapter Text

Dipper’s first instinct was to throw a right hook right at Bill’s face, he shoved him away in a panic when the other teen’s hold loosen from the hit and scooted as far from him as possible. He couldn’t even speak; he felt so off kilter, his mouth just flapped open and shut in horrified astonishment. Did that really just happen? Did he really just get comforted by the person who single handedly ruined his school life? He didn’t even want to believe it. What the fuck was with this dude and being so weird? 

 

Dipper didn’t know what to do with this situation, did he run? This seemed like the kind of moment where he should run, but Bill blocked his path to the door. He was alone without a teacher or witnesses, he should tread carefully to not antagonize the blonde. 

 

Bill just stared at him with a shocked look on his face and fascination swirling in his eyes. He was holding the place where Dipper had punched him, but he hadn’t looked pained in any way. Dipper drew his eyebrows together in confusion, he really wanted to ask what the other teen was doing here. Heck, what he wanted to know the most was why he had even comforted him. Wasn’t he out to ruin his life or something?

 

Dipper sat as far away from Bill as possible and clutched his knees to his chest, subconsciously trying to protect himself. He glared at the other boy and willed him to just go away in his mind, but he just sat there and kept staring at him like he was some amazing painting at a museum. Seriously, what did he want from him?

 

Bill was the first one to break the silence, he slipped Dipper’s phone out of his back pocket and offered it to him. “Hey so uh, you left your phone on the floor in first period and I kinda picked it up,” he paused and scratched the back of his head, “I meant to give it back to you earlier but I couldn’t find you so um, I came to your dorm to give it back to you and then I sort of saw you crying? Uh, I kinda felt really bad and I just wanted to comfort you? So yeah, that’s what I did, um, are you doing okay now? I mean you didn’t really have to punch me though I don’t know what that was for, it didn’t really hurt though, it just kinda surprised me? Oh god I’m rambling now aren’t I? I’m sorry here, just take it.” By the end of his speech Bill had a light flush on his face and he couldn’t bring himself to look Dipper in the eyes.

 

Dipper narrowed his eyes at him some more and hoped to god that if he glared hard enough, Bill would burst into flames. However he quickly snatched his phone from Bill’s outstretched hand and checked it to make sure there was nothing wrong with it. 

 

Once he was satisfied he went back to glaring at the other teen, “What the fuck is your deal with me, man?”

 

Bill looked affronted, he hadn’t expected him to be so hostile, “What do you mean I just wanted to be nice and return your phone to you.”

 

Dipper scoffed, “Yeah right, just yesterday you were out for my blood!”

 

“Well now I want to be nice!” Bill blew out a frustrated breath, his brows furrowed in confusion for how fast the conversation was going down hill. 

 

“What the hell are you? Bipolar?!” Dipper yelled standing up to more effectively back away. Bill was officially crazy! 

 

Bill stood as well, tilting his head almost like a puppy dog. “Yeah I am, how did you guess?”

 

He asked it so seriously that Dipper was gob smacked at how stupid one person could be. He had to know he wasn’t seriously asking right? Dipper opened his mouth to berate him some more when his stomach decided to speak for him. 

 

Dipper flushed, his frown becoming more prominent in the embarrassment. Could this moment get worse?!

 

“That’s right, you didn’t come down for lunch,” Bill said, knowing the feeling because he had also hadn’t eaten in favor of waiting for his Pinetree to eat with him. 

 

“Like I said,” Dipper paused, pushing back the tears that wanted to cloud his vision at the reminder of what started this situation. “I lost my food card.” Bill was the last person that he wanted to have this conversation with.

 

Bill smacked his forehead for missing the obvious, he had just been told that, God he felt like an idiot. He’d just been so caught up in Sapling’s crying that he hadn’t really bothered to think about the reason why. 

 

“Okay then, come on,” Bill latched his hand around Dippers far too tiny wrist and began pulling him out of the dorm. 

 

Dipper's eyes widened, trying to pull back but Bill was so much stronger than him and he was being dragged before he knew what was happening. “Where are we going?! I don’t want to go anywhere with you!”

 

Bill managed not to snarl and instead just kept marching forward, down the hall and into the stairwell. “Stop worrying so much! Jeez, do you think I’m gonna murder you or something? We’re just going to get something to eat.” 

 

“I told you I don’t have my food card!” Dipper yelled at him, trying his hardest to dig his heels in. 

 

“And I have a platinum card so why are you so worried?” Bill shot back. Once they left the dorms it took Dipper zero seconds to realize they were not heading for the cafeteria. 

 

“Wait, where are we going?” Dipper felt anxiety crawling up his throat, making it difficult to breathe. Bill's long strides and fast pace were not helping his breathing situation either. “Bill seriously, where are you taking me! The cafeteria is in the other direction!”

 

Bill laughed, “lunch is almost over, there isn’t any food left silly,” he said like where they were going should be obvious to Dipper. 

 

Dipper knew he was probably about to die, this bully had realized he wouldn’t be forced out and so Bill was just going to take him out himself! Oh god, he was too young to die!

 

Bill ignored all his other questions and complaints, all while Dipper cursed his small size. No matter what he did Bill wasn’t even phased and kept walking like he wasn’t dragging someone to their doom. 

 

When they got to the gates Dipper held hope the security guards would at least help him, they weren’t allowed to leave school grounds during class, the guards would stop Bill right? They had to, the guards were his last hope!

 

Bill stopped at the gate and glared at the guard, the man looked at the struggling young boy and back to his boss’ son before pressing the button to open the gates. 

 

“Mr. Cipher, say hello to your mother for me,” the guard nodded to him, Bill gave a non-committal noise and carried on. Dipper felt his chest cave in. No, no! This isn’t right, this wasn’t how the world worked! You couldn’t just kidnap people and have men in uniform nod you along your way! What kind of dystopian wasteland was his high school?!

 

“Bill! Stop!” Dipper screamed as he was pulled into the parking lot, teachers’ and students' cars were parked around the area. He could tell at first glance which cars were students’ and which were teachers’. All the students’ cars being way too expensive for kids their age. 

 

Bill continued to ignore his protests and dragged him to his bright yellow Rolls Royce Phantom. Dipper’s eyes widened as he processed exactly what car he was going to be riding in. That thing was worth more than his entire life did! 

 

Bill pulled out his keys from his pocket and unlocked the vehicle. He opened the passenger side door and helped Dipper sit down, with a lot of struggling on both sides. He finally got the other teen to sit down and made sure to buckle his seat belt for him as well. He shut the door quickly ran to the driver’s side of the car.

 

He slipped into his seat and turned on the engine. He stole a glance at Dipper and suppressed a snort when he realized that the other boy was being as careful as he could to not damage anything while simultaneously trying to free himself from the confines of his seat belt.

 

Bill put the car into drive and they made their way out of the parking lot. Suddenly another thought struck Dipper’s mind. He grew even more panicked.

 

“We’re going to miss class you idiot!” He yelled at Bill.

 

The other teen scoffed, “Kitten you have to stop worrying, you’re with me you’ll be excused.”

 

Dipper almost wanted to scream out in frustration, “That isn’t even the point! I need to be there to pass my classes! How am I going to learn anything if I’m not even in class when it’s being taught?!” 

 

Bill hummed and tapped his head, “You’re a smart cookie I’m sure you can figure it out, besides, food is extremely important! You need it to live!”

 

Dipper gave him an incredulous look, “Yea no shit sherlock! But not eating one meal isn’t going to kill me!”

 

“You never know! You can’t be too careful!” Bill side eyed him, Dipper seemed to be on the scrawnier side and he wasn’t sure if he could actually trust the fact that he would live if he skipped meals. It almost seemed like an impossible feat.

 

Dipper growled at him, “My scholarship to the school is way more important than one skipped meal!”

 

“Y’know it’s harder to focus when you’re running on an empty stomach, so how can you function properly if you don’t fuel your body?” He paused and gestured to himself while keeping one hand on the wheel, “You can’t be as sexy as me and not eat all three square meals per day!”

 

Suddenly Dipper was overcome with the urge to once again sock Bill in the face, it was really such a shame that he was the one driving or Dipper would have done it. “Dude your ego is massive! I’m surprised that your head can even fit in this car!”

 

Bill puffed up, “I’ll take that as a compliment, sapling!”

 

Dipper groaned, “Wasn’t a compliment but think what you want I guess.”

 

By the time they had finished arguing Bill had pulled into the parking lot of one of the fanciest restaurants in town. Dipper’s eyes almost bugged out of his skull. He looked down at his clothes and then over at Bill. He couldn’t seriously think they could get in dressed like this, could he? This had to be some practical joke.

 

Bill parked the car in one of the few empty spaces in the parking lot and shut off the engine. Dipper grimaced, it seemed like this was all real then. Bill unbuckled his seatbelt and looked over at him, waiting for him to do the same.

 

As carefully as he could, Dipper copied Bill’s actions and freed himself from the seatbelt’s restraints. They both opened their doors and stepped out at the same time, Bill slamming his door shut and Dipper carefully closing the door. 

 

Bill laughed at him, “You don’t need to be so careful with everything, Pinetree!”

 

Dipper flushed lightly, “I just don’t want to pay for any damages that I might cause if I’m not being careful!”

 

“You don’t have to worry about that kitten, I’m sure you won't damage anything, and even if you did it’s not like I can’t just easily fix it.”

 

Dipper thought that it must have been nice to have so much money. He sighed wistfully and imagined what it would be like if he had that for himself.

 

His thought process was cut off however when Bill strode over to his side of the car and grabbed his hand to start walking them both towards the entrance of the building. 

 

Dipper grimaced, trying to pull his hand out of Bill’s but his hand was almost half the size of the blonde’s. The teen was able to totally enclose his small hand and tighten his grip threateningly. Dipper had to weigh the pro’s and con’s of continuing to fight the hold but in the end decided it wasn’t worth it. 

 

At least point in the turn of events Dipper needed Bill for at least a ride back to school, so he’d do his best not to get on his bad side for now. He still didn’t like it but he’d deal, for now. 

 

“Table for-?” Dipper hung his head when they entered, not wanting his face to be visible when they were told to leave for their attire. The host’s voice had sounded very put off and Dipper really didn’t need more embarrassment tacked on today. 

 

Wait, was this Bill’s master plan? Embarrass him in front of a building full of strangers and then leave him stranded?!

 

“I’m sorry sir’s, but we have a dress code here,” Dipper sighed, getting ready for what he knew was coming. He just wanted to get it over with. 

 

“Do you not know who I am?” Bill's voice cut through Dipper’s depressive thoughts. “I believe my name is on your lease.”

 

Dipper’s head snapped up, seeing the shock and terror come over the host’s face. 

 

“I’m so sorry Mr. Cipher!” The man grabbed up a few menú’s and began urging them back into the dining room. “I did not recognize you, I will be sure to never let this mistake happen again,” he assured Bill. 

 

Bill sent him a nasty look, he was just lucky his kitten was here. Wouldn’t want to frighten him on their first date. “It better not,” he growled, pulling a very confused Dipper along. 

 

Who was this teen? The teachers rarely talked back to him, he had a car more expensive than Dipper house, he could just walk out of school without a word being uttered, and now he could bully his way into upscale restaurants! 

 

Dipper needed to look up the name Cipher when he got back to school, it sounded slightly familiar but he was now afraid that he might have pissed off a tycoon’s son. 

 

Dipper jumped a foot in the air when Bill actually pulled his chair out for him, he thought that only happened in movies. Rich people actually do that?! He was affronted too, wasn’t usually that the guy does this for a girl? He wasn’t a girl!

 

Bill raised a brow at the kid, waiting for him to sit so he could take his own seat but he just stood there squirming. 

 

“Either sit here, or you’ll be in my lap Kitten, take your pick.” Dipper immediately planted himself down hard in his seat, taking the sides of the chair in his hands and scooting it in before Bill could do it for him. For a moment Dipper thought he heard Bill say something about ‘having to fix that’ when the action caused the chair to be ripped out of his grasp but Dipper brushed it off. 

 

Bill took his seat and Dipper admired how even in a hoodie and leather jacket he seemed completely comfortable in this setting. The way he moved and behaved spoke volumes about the completely different worlds they had been raised in. He made each and every one of his moves with practiced grace that looked effortless.

 

“Are you going to look at the menu?” Bill asked leaning forward and leering at him. “Or did you want me to pick for you, y’know so you can keep staring at my handsome features?”

 

Dipper blushed, shrinking into himself. For a moment Dipper wondered if he’d get any help if he started screaming that he was here against his will, but it would probably do nothing but embarrass him more. 

 

“Can you not?” Dipper hissed, snapping up the menu and glancing over the choices. 

 

A panicked breath immediately left Dipper when he noticed there were no prices listed, how was he supposed to pay him back later if he didn’t know if what he was ordering was expensive or not?! Begrudgingly Dipper knee he’d have to go with the safest bet: soup. 

 

“Are you two ready to order?” The waitress approached the table, her eyes locked on Bill. He barely even gave her a passing glance.  

 

“A Lobster Thermidor, please.” Bill told the waitress.

 

Dipper glanced at her, nervous to talk to such a fancy waitress, “Just a Celeriac and truffle soup, please.”

 

Bill raised his eyebrows at him, “Kitten that’s just an appetizer,” he turned back towards the waitress, “We’ll get two of the Lobster Thermidor, then.”

 

Dipper stuttered something unintelligible but Bill just waved his hand at him. Lobster! Holy crap, Dipper had never had lobster in his life. He couldn’t afford that! He bit his lip and decided that it was fine, Bill decided to order it all by himself, Dipper would not be paying for that. 

 

The waitress sent a flirty smile at Bill, “Sure thing, sweetheart,” she purred.

 

Dipper didn’t know why but he was slightly irked at her behaviour. He passed it off as him being jealous that all the attention was on Bill and she had barely spared him a look.

 

Bill didn’t respond to her advances and just waved her off, Dipper slightly perked up at seeing her disappointed face. He still couldn’t place what he was feeling but he paid it no mind.

 

He glanced back at the teen who was sitting across from him and he was surprised to see that Bill was staring at him quite intently with his head resting on his hands. He didn’t have his usual smirk on his face and his eyes held a sort of softness to them. If he wasn’t in his right mind he would almost find it endearing. He was looking at him like he held the entire galaxy in his arms.

 

“Why are you looking at me like that?” Dipper asked, somewhat uncomfortably.

 

“Maybe because you’re breathtaking,” Bill said without missing a beat, and then flushed as he realized he said that out loud.

 

Dipper felt his face heat up at the comment and cursed himself for having such a reaction, “You don’t have any right to say that,” he huffed.

 

“Sapling, I have every right to state facts,” Bill said proudly, saving face from his previous embarrassment.

 

“It’s not a fact if it’s your opinion, and by the way I think your opinion is invalid because you ruined my life,” Dipper stated hotly.

 

Bill narrowed his eyes at him and willed himself not to get angry, he did have a point, it was entirely his fault that his social life at school was in tatters, but he didn’t have to invalidate him in the process. That was entirely unnecessary!

 

“Actually kitten, my opinion is the only one that matters and you should know that by now,” he paused a bit before adding with a smirk, “and here I thought you were supposed to be smart.”

 

His comment made Dipper’s blood boil, he was smart! Bill was just an arrogant asshole!

 

Dipper sent him a glare that could kill with just one look, “Actually Bill, I’m one of the top ranking students in the school and at least I’m not riding the coattails of my ‘daddy’ and living off his money.”

 

Bill growled, he had actually struck a nerve there, “You better watch what you say about my father , Pinetree, or you might just regret it.”

 

He could feel the threat hanging in the air and decided that it was best for his health if he had let the subject drop. He didn’t need to have the other teen blowing up on him in the middle of a fancy restaurant and cause an embarrassing scene. He had lived through enough of that already.

 

They sat in silence for a little while, Bill was no longer staring at him and instead opted to glare at a well decorated wall to the left of him. Dipper squirmed uncomfortably in his seat, he hadn’t meant to take things so far but the other teen had tested his limits and he bit back a bit too hard. He somewhat regretted what he said because clearly it was a touchy subject for the blonde.

 

Not too long after their meals had arrived, the same waitress came over to them and set down two steaming plates of Lobster Thermidor and Dipper’s Celeriac and truffle soup. The smell reached his nose and Dipper found himself slightly salivating at the delicious scent. He was actually itching to dig in.

 

Bill looked at him with an amused look on his face, his anger had dissipated and he was trying to hold back a smile when he saw his Pinetree’s face light up at the sight of food. It was honestly incredibly adorable in Bill’s opinion, although he supposed it would be best to keep that thought to himself for now. He didn’t want to start another argument with the other boy after they had just fought.

 

Dipper tried to copy Bill’s natural looking etiquette as he sat, starting off with his soup. He felt like no matter what he did his silverware was too loud and his eating was messy. He squirmed a little, feeling like people must be laughing at him. 

 

He felt irritated when Bill proved to be right and the soup ended up not being enough. He turned to the lobster, barely noticing when the waitress swooped in to take his empty bowl, and peeked up at Bill to see how he ate the dish. 

 

He just looked so formal somehow, eating had never looked so clean and perfect. He’d expected the blonde to pester him through the meal but he ate quietly; gentlemanly. He couldn’t help but compare to the meals he’d shared with family, how Mabel would always get food in her hair, and Stan started some kind of fight half the time, always still chewing at his meal. It was such a stark difference that Dipper felt a little awed by it. 

 

Then a meow sounded from his pocket, Bill looked up, mostly done with his meal and used his napkin to clean at the edges of his lips. Dipper felt full at this point so copied the movements. 

 

“Who was that?” Bill raised a brow and Dipper felt like the mood was shifting again. A chill licked down his spine and he gulped. For some reason Bill sounded like he was chillingly angry. 

 

Dipper slowly pulled his phone out, not daring to take his eyes off of Bill while completing the task before glancing quickly at the screen. 

 

He had to snap his head back in shock, he had so many unread texts! Less than ten but it was still much more than a regular day. It was mostly likely because he’d sent off a few this morning. He rarely was the first to text people, so maybe his friends back home had just gotten excited. 

 

“Um,”

 

“I’m waiting, Pinetree,” Bill's smile was sinister, plain and simple. 

 

Dipper gulped again. “It’s from my friend Wendy,” he muttered. 

 

“Oh, and who is she?” Dipper wanted to snap that it was none of his business but something about his tone and the setting made Dipper feel small and meak. 

 

“A friend from back home, she’s in her last year of college and sometimes she sends me her class notes,” Dipper rambled slightly, not liking how the air felt stiff. “She knows how much I like to learn, so yeah, that’s all. Just more of her course work.” Dipper finished lamely. 

 

Bill nodded, accepting the answer. He supposed a friend like that is alright. “Alright,” he motioned for the waitress and muttered for her to pack away their leftovers before turning back to Dipper and smiling that cold smile again. “But who is Mabel?” 

 

Dipper sat up straight, disliking very much the way he said his sister’s name. And how did he even know her name unless he had. . . “Did you go through my phone?!” Dipper quietly yelled at him, astonished that someone could dare. 

 

“No, I couldn’t crack your password,” Bill admitted, sounding like it was no big deal that he had actually tried to snoop through his phone! “Now who is she? A girlfriend maybe? I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of hearts around her name,” he demanded, a hiss in his throat. 

 

Dipper glared, he could handle being pushed around but no one, and he meant no one, took a threatening tone while speaking of his sister! 

 

“No,” Dipper stated sternly. 

 

Bill’s head tilted, this type more like a monster considering how to slice and dice him, and slowly let his smile drop. “No what? Be very careful how you proceed, Pinetree.”

 

Dipper felt a small zing of fear but couldn’t help himself. He was extremely protective of his sister. 

 

“I mean no, we are not discussing her. You can threaten me all day long, put a dozen red marks on my face, rip my entire life to shreds but do not take that tone when speaking of Mabel,” Dipper growled, throwing his chair back and walking as calmly as he could out of the restaurant, effectively ending the conversation. 

 

Bill watched, dumbfounded and more than a little shocked as his Pinetree summoned that strong will Bill had fallen for in the defense of someone else. It was enchanting and infuriating in equal measure. Bill knew his tab was already paid so he threw a twenty on the table from his wallet and chased after the boy. 

 

Dipper waited impatiently by Bill’s stupidly expensive car, with its probably stupidly expensive paint job in the world's most obnoxious color just irritated beyond words. How dare he try to go through Dipper phone! And how dare he snoop through his life! Who was he to demand that Dipper tell him anything about his life?! He had no right to do any of this!

 

Bill was the reason for everything bad in his life right now!

 

Bill approached the pouting, angrily muttering kid, and stopped in front of him. “Have you calmed down yet?” Bill asked when Dipper's eyes met his. 

 

Dipper glared, his mouth twisting into a half snarl but he didn’t want to lose his ride so bit the bullet, “yeah, sure. Whatever,” Dipper huffed, crossing his arms and glaring at the ground. Why did he feel like a scolded child?!

 

“Good, let’s go then,” Bill first walked over to open the door for Dipper, which Dipper found completely unnecessary since it wasn’t like this was a date. You have to have mutual attraction on a date. Then he opened the back to set the nice paper bag with their leftovers in the car.  

 

Bill swung around and opened the drivers door and started the car. Dipper glared down at his hands, hating that he felt bad that he hadn’t paid, and hated how awkward this entire situation was. After a moment he decided to look up and possibly offer an olive branch to hopefully put all this behind them so they could just go back to being strangers and maybe Dipper could get his life back. But he froze, they were not heading back to school. 

 

“Bill,” Dipper whispered, dread pooling into his stomach. All his stranger danger classes rushing into his head. How had it. It occurred to him that Bill really was a stranger and everyone around them seemed to be content to allow whatever Bill did to him. Where were they going? Was he in danger?

 

“Yes Kitten?” Bill purred, his mood considerably better than in the restaurant, but Dipper knew from the little time spent with him that it could be an act. 

 

“Where are you taking me?” Dipper gulped, afraid of the answer. 

 

Bill turned, shooting Dipper a wide grin. “Shopping.” 

Chapter Text

WORK DOES NOT BELONG TO US ITS FANART BY CAMI AKA RANGELS PLS SEND HER SOME LOVE THX

Chapter Text

ART AGAIN IS NOT OURS!!

Chapter Text

“What do you mean shopping?!” Dipper exclaimed.

 

Bill raised his eyebrow at him. “I said what I said, shopping.”

 

“Why are we even going shopping?” He asked incredulously.

 

“Because you deserve some new things, sapling,” Bill said as if he was stating the obvious.

 

Dipper sneered at the other teen. Suddenly he felt like he was being bought off so he didn’t go to the school about the target game or something like that. Dipper crossed his arms with a grumble. “I don’t need any new clothes.” 

 

Bill laughed, thinking Dipper was joking. “From what I’ve seen, you are in desperate need for new clothes. Do you even see what you're wearing?”

 

Dipper frowned, looking down at his favorite hoodie, what was wrong with what he was wearing? Bill seemed to see the question on his face and laughed again. 

 

“Just sit back and let me spoil you, Kitten,” Bill leered at him, making Dipper’s heart race when he fully took his eyes from the road. 

 

“Watch the road!” Dipper yelled, ignoring what he’d said completely in favor of not dying today. 

 

“I’d rather watch you, sweet thing,” Bill grinned, but did indeed look back to the road. 

 

Dipper flushed and growled at him, “And I’d rather watch you die but we can’t all have what we want now can we?”

 

“Well, well, well,” Bill hummed. “Looks like my Kitten has claws !” Bill reached over and tousled Dipper’s fluffy hair. He batted the teen’s hands away from his hair, smoothing down his locks and making sure his forehead was still covered. 

 

Dipper muttered under his breath, this was impossible. Bill was impossible, he was either way too hyper, weirdly angry, or acting like a maniac! He couldn’t handle it, “Piss off Bill, seriously just piss off,” Dipper sighed angrily. He was just done, after the stress and crying, he just felt exhausted. 

 

Dipper turned away from the teen, propping his elbow up on the and staring out at the passing buildings. He glanced at his phone and sighed again. He was about 20 minutes late to AP world history, he had an hour and a half before his last class. Of any class to miss today, it just had to be an AP class! How was he ever going to catch up?

 

Bill seemed content to allow Dipper the last word this time and turned on the radio, humming along pleasantly. 

 

Dipper just felt annoyance bubbling and boiling over in his stomach. This prick probably bought all his grades, of course skipping his classes meant nothing to him, he most likely had a spot reserved at his rich parents alma mater. Dipper determined that his parents definitely went to an Ivy League school and Bill would get in just because of his name. Of course he didn’t have to care about missing school. 

 

“If I fail that class I’m holding you personally responsible for days in community college.” Dipper turned to Bill, glaring at the side of his face. 

 

Bill shot a surprised look at the tiny brunette. “Where’d all that confidence in your intelligence go?” Bill asked uncharacteristically serious. Dipper opened his mouth to yell but Bill continued on. “You need to chill Pinetree, you’ve been in school two days and you are already a top student. One skipped class isn’t going to destroy you.”

 

“I need to chill?!” Dipper yelled. “I'M THE ONE THAT NEEDS TO CHILL?!” Dipper was screaming. “Have you looked in the mirror lately, and seen yourself? Have you even even met yourself?!”

 

Bill winced at the loud tone Dipper took before forcing his charming, in his humble opinion, smile on his face. “Oh I have, and I like what I see. I think you would too once you learn to take it easy.”

 

“Yo-you! AGH!” Fuck! Dipper punched the roof of the car enraged, so far passed caring about damages. If anyone would have to pay for damages it would be Bill when Dipper is forced into an asylum from going crazy talking to this fool ! “You are the most egotistical, pig-,”

 

“We’re here!” Bill cut Dipper’s rampage off, unbuckling his seatbelt and leaping out of the car, barely giving it time to even turn off. He was around the car and opening the door for Dipper in five seconds flat. 

 

Dipper was actually surprised about how fast Bill worked. In his shock he just unbuckled his own seat belt and calmly stepped out of the door.

 

Bill gave him an uncharacteristically gentle smile and grabbed his hand to drag him into the store. Dipper glared at the back of his head and knew at this point that it would be useless to struggle so he decided to save his energy. He took a glance at the building that he was being dragged towards and he couldn’t help the way that his eyes widened when he realized that it was Nordstroms. What were they doing at such an expensive store?!

 

“Bill this is way too much you can’t be serious! I can’t afford anything here!” Dipper yelled at him.

 

Bill turned back to look at him with a confused head tilt, it reminded Dipper of a puppy but he shook the thought off quickly. “Who said you were paying for anything?”

 

Dipper sputtered, “Don’t tell me you’re going to be the one buying me new clothes as well?”

 

“Well yeah, I wouldn’t exactly be expecting you to pay for yourself, that’s just ridiculous!” He laughed as if it was completely obvious.

 

“Bill I can’t pay you back! You have to stop buying things for me!” Dipper argued.

 

“And who said you needed to pay me back?” He chuckled.

 

Dipper stared at him in shock, did he really not have to pay this bastard back? Then again why was he going out of his way to treat him and buying him new clothes?

 

They both stepped through the store doors and Bill immediately dragged him to the men’s designer section and started taking things off of the racks. He picked an a two sizes too big Off-White airport tape hoodie, a Comme De Garcons striped long sleeve shirt that was one size too big, a Givenchy Light 3 nylon backpack, a Thom Browne stripe four bar Merino wool cardigan two sizes too big, a pair of Gucci new ace sneakers, and a pair of Valentino rockstud skinny jeans.

 

Dipper stared at the pile in wonder and Bill turned to him, holding everything out. “Here, try these on, kitten.”

 

Dipper’s jaw dropped. “Hold on, all of these?!”

 

Bill quirked an eyebrow at him. “Well yeah, of course!”

 

“But this is so much!” He exclaimed.

 

“This is not even close to a lot, if anything this is too little,” Bill sighed.

 

Bill grabbed his arm and dragged him to the dressing room area, shoving Dipper and the things that he had picked out into the same room and promptly shut the door.

 

“If you don’t get changed quick, I’ll come in there and change you myself!” Bill yelled through the door.

 

Dipper flushed at the thought. “I CAN GET CHANGED MYSELF!” He shouted back.

 

He looked down, distressed at all of the clothes and began changing. He slipped off his hoodie and jeans to replace them with the things that Bill had picked for him, he didn’t want to admit it but they were extremely comfortable. He then slipped off his Vans and put on the Gucci sneakers that Bill handed him. He looked at the backpack and slipped it on as well.

 

Dipper looked at himself in the mirror and held back a gasp. He looked like a completely different person, while at the same time it was similar to his old style he looked so much more polished and clean. He gave a little turn and smiled, he actually really liked it. He would never admit it out loud though.

 

“Sapling, are you done yet? If not I’m coming in!” He heard Bill yell from outside.

 

He broke out of his reverie and fumbled with the lock on the door quickly opening it and walking out, only to run head first into Bill’s chest. They stumbled backwards a few steps before Bill wrapped his arms around Dipper to steady them both.

 

Dipper peeked up through his bangs and glanced at Bill with a flushed face, God he was so clumsy! He backed away from the other boy quickly and put his hands up in defense, although they were covered by sweater paws so you couldn’t really see them.

 

“So-sorry!” He stuttered.

 

Bill cooed at how cute his Pinetree was being. “Aw, no worries kitten,” He took a step back to admire Dipper, “You look really good,” he praised.

 

Against his will, Dipper preened at the praise that he had gotten. He was frustrated at himself for feeling such a way but he couldn’t tamp down the small amount of pride that bubbled up in his chest when Bill complimented him.

 

Bill felt like a cat that caught the canary as Dipper smiled softly and swayed just so, all while pink dusted his cheeks and he kept his eyes down. He had to be the cutest thing on the planet! There was no way a person could be this captivating. 

 

“Alright, that's good for today,” Bill nodded, moving past Dipper to take up the clothes he came in and swiftly walking out of the changing area. He’d done it all so naturally that it took Dipper a moment to even connect that Bill was just walking away with his things and he needed to get changed back!

 

Dipper ran after him, afraid the boy was going to dump his clothes completely, catching up to him in only a few moments. 

 

“Hey! I need to change back!” Dipper reaches for his clothes but Bill just held them up high and out of reach. 

 

“No, you’ll be wearing those out,” he stated. 

 

Dipper growled, jumping for his sunset sweater, and trying to latch onto Bill's arm but the effort only amounted in making Dipper feel like a child being teased and Bill laughing at him. He puffed out his cheeks in annoyance and glared at the taller teen.



Bill pinched his cheek as he moved them toward the cashier. “The look is almost complete, but we have to do something about that hair!” 

 

Dipper stalled completely, raising his hands to hold clumps of his hair like he could magically protect it. “What’s wrong with my hair?!” Dipper shouted but then blushed when the counter girl gave him a dirty look. “I like my hair the way it is!” And Dipper really did. It was short enough to not bother him, and long enough to cover his embarrassment on his forehead. What else mattered?

 

“Even so, your ends are dead and dry,” Bill chided him. 

 

“Who cares? I’m a man, why should I care about soft hair!” 

 

Bill shook his head in offended astonishment, his hands clasping his chest. He looked to the counter girl, like Dipper had just proclaimed something shocking and obscene and he was looking for support. “How dare you?” He gasped. “Listen Kitten, self care is life!” 

 

Dipper looked at the teen with a blank face, unimpressed, and apparently urging Bill on. 

 

Bill dramatically dropped his platinum card on the counter along with the tags of all of the clothes that he’d removed somehow without Dipper noticing, and gave Dipper a very serious look. 

 

“Sapling, you've got to learn some things about life, proper hair, nail, and skin care can make or break you in this world. You think anyone actually cares about what grades you got in English if you look like a little gremlin?” Bill asked, a holier than thou tone in his voice. Dipper just gaped at him, a million rebuttals running through his head but not being able to function enough to speak due to the sheer stupidity in the air! “That’s right they don’t, you’re so lucky you have me, Kitten. You don’t have to worry now that I’m taking care of you.” Bill patted him on the head like a pet, as the counter girl bagged up his old clothes and slid the card back over. 

 

Dipper wanted to stomp his feet and scream, shouting and demanding for an explanation of what the hell Bill meant but he was already being whisked away again. 

 

Bill looped his arm through Dipper’s and dragged him deeper into the Nordstroms and through the mall entrance. Dipper blushed so hard that his cheeks were starting to hurt when people turned and looked at them. He heard whispers of ‘what cute boyfriends,’ and ‘awe he’s wearing his boyfriends hoodie,’ Dipper wanted to shout that he didn’t even like the teen dragging him around! Sure he was handsome but he was a jackass and Dipper wanted no part of this entire situation. 

 

Bill was preening unbeknownst to Dipper, excited for how good they looked together. He was puffed up with pride and enjoyed the thought that people could tell from a glance that they were together.

 

Dipper wasn't even surprised anymore when Bill dragged him into one of those high grade salons where all the stylists were independently renting their space. 

 

“Bill, I seriously don’t want to cut my hair,” Dipper pleaded, tugging on their intertwined hands. 

 

Bill looked down at his sapling, seeing the way his eyes were misting up and he held a slight desperation in his voice. 

 

“Okay,” Dipper sighed a breath of relief, moving to turn out of the salon but Bill just tugged him back. “Just a trim then, nothing too crazy.” 

 

Dipper bit his lip, wheezing in his throat. Years of being picked on for his birthmark had conditioned him to hate it and shun it. Bill would see it, and then the bully would have even more ammo to use to torment him. His throat closed up in panic and he couldn’t even protest as Bill pulled him to the counter and requested his favorite stylist. 

 

His vision waved slightly as a panic attack grew on the fringes of his mind. He could not handle it if Bill found out about his birthmark. 

 

Dipper was pushed into a chair before he even knew what was happening, the stylist covered him in a styling cape and it felt like it was choking him. 

 

Bill was about to tell Shelly what to do with Pinetree’s hair but noticed that she wasn’t even looking at him. She was looking down at Dipper with a concerned expression. 

 

“You okay, sweet pea?” She whispered in his ear. “I can tell him to leave if it makes you more comfortable,” she added, seeming to understand why he was panicking. 

 

Dipper couldn't speak so he nodded softly. 

 

Bill tapped his foot impatiently, waiting for Shelly to pay attention to him. 

 

“So what are we doing today?” She asked, straightening herself to clap her hands energetically. 

 

“He needs a trim, and maybe a litt-,” 

 

“No honey, I meant your cute friend here,” Shelly interrupted him. “You will wait in the lobby.”

 

“What?!” Bill growled, taking a threatening step over to her. “You’re my stylist and I'm paying for the cut, I’ll be staying!” She couldn’t tell him what to do! She couldn’t reject his right to be there!

 

“Then you can both leave,” she smiled pleasantly. “But if you want my skill, you have to follow my rules. I don’t like being watched, and I doubt he wants you hanging over his shoulder either.”

 

Bill boiled, he wanted to yank Dipper from the chair and storm out but Shelly was the best around and she was the only one he allowed to touch his perfectly styled hair. So she would be the only one to touch Pinetree as well.

 

Before he could say anything Dipper put his hand to his chest, breathed deeply and turned around in the chair. “Please? Can you just wait in the lobby?” 

 

“Why should I?” Bill growled. Childishly being stubborn just to prove who was king around here. The rules bended to him ! Not the other way around.

 

“So, it will be . . . a surprise?” Dipper tried, his voice growing higher in his uncertainty. He wasn’t sure if playing along with Bill's weird wish to see him clean cut with new clothes would work but it was worth a try. Right?

 

Shelly smirked. “Yeah, exactly! We just want it to be a surprise!” 

 

Bill's eyes brightened, liking the idea of a big reveal simply for the dramatics of it all. He liked surprises quite a bit actually. He completely left behind his anger all at once.

 

“Alright, I’ll be right out here Kitten!” Bill winked and blew an air kiss. “Call if you need anything .”

 

Dipper just nodded at him, not trusting his voice to speak, he didn’t even process that Bill blew him a kiss.

 

He turned to Shelly and bit his lip, “Okay here’s the deal, I have a weird birthmark on my forehead, so you can do anything to my hair just make my bangs long enough to cover it.”

 

She looked at him with a surprised look on her face, “Oh sweetie, I’m sure it’s nothing.” She patted his shoulder comfortingly.

 

Dipper laughed bitterly, “Yeah, sure it’s nothing.”

 

Shelly gave him a soft look through the mirror and wheeled her cart of supplies over to the station that Dipper was settled in. She grabbed a spray bottle that was hanging from the side of the cart and spritzed it over his head, effectively wetting his hair. She brought a comb through his curly locks and smoothed his hair down with her hand.

 

She grabbed the trimmer from the top shelf of the cart and turned it on. She then brought it to his head and started buzzing off a significant amount of hair from the bottom of his head. She planned to give him a long undercut. She hummed as she worked and saw that Dipper was still slightly anxious so she tried to start conversation.

 

“So, how do you know that kid Bill?” She asked with a small smile on her face.

 

Dipper grimaced. “He actually bullied me on my first day of school.”

 

Shelly’s eyes widened in surprise as she continued to work. “That doesn’t sound very good. If he’s bullying you why did he take you to his favorite salon?”

 

“Honestly? I’m not even sure myself, he suddenly started treating me all nice after the first day and I have no idea why,” he stated softly.

 

She hummed and nodded. “Bill is sort of like that sweetie, he has issues and he’s all over the place. You just have to learn to deal with him. He’s a real sweetheart when you get to know him.”

 

Dipper laughed at that. “Bill? A sweetheart? No way, I don’t believe you. That’s impossible! He’s been nothing but a stuck up arrogant jerk.”

 

Shelly laughed along with him. “Yeah, he sure does seem that way sometimes but I promise you he’s a good kid at heart.”

 

She turned off the trimmer and set it down, satisfied with her work. She grabbed a pair of scissors and spritzed his hair with more water. She lifted up his bangs to cut them and gasped at what she saw underneath.

 

Dipper cringed and waited for the insults to come, but they never did.

 

“It’s absolutely breathtaking! You’re an actual starchild!” She exclaimed.

 

He looked at her from the mirror and flushed. “I’m not, it's horrendous.”

 

“That’s what you want to believe, honey. You’re truly something special,” her eyes were twinkling with amazement.

 

He couldn’t bring himself to respond to her statement. Talking about his birthmark always made him uncomfortable, so he let the conversation drop there.

 

Shelly returned to cutting his bangs and only cut off a few centimeters, taking off the split and dead ends. She worked fairly quickly and dropped them back down so they covered his birthmark once again. His bangs no longer fell slightly past his eyes but rested just below his eyebrows. Dipper looked in the mirror and smiled, it looked much neater than it did before and he actually quite liked it.

 

He turned his head from side to side and up and down, he was amazed at how good of a job she did. She didn’t cut off too much to make him uncomfortable but she also cut off just enough that all of his frayed ends were gone. His hair looked good. It looked amazing even.

 

She watched as he admired himself in the mirror and grinned warmly at him. “Do you like it?”

 

Dipper turned to look at her with glee swirling in his eyes. “Like it? I absolutely love it! Thank you so much!”

 

Shelly chuckled at him. “I’m so glad you like it!” She took off his styling cape and rested it on the back of the chair. “Come on, we need to go rinse your hair now.”

 

He tilted his head in confusion. “What? Why?”

 

She smiled at him. “Because we need to get all the loose hair out and then I can shampoo and condition your hair so it’ll be sleek and shiny.”

 

“Oh, okay, I guess that makes sense,” he said softly, almost like he was talking to himself.

 

Shelly steered him towards the washing stations and settled him into one of the cushiony chairs. She leaned the chair back and he rested his head in the indent of the sink where his neck was supposed to be.

 

She turned on the water and effectively soaked his hair all the way through and proceeded to grab one of the shampoo bottles that resided on the shelf next to the station. She poured a quarter sized amount of shampoo into her palm and proceeded to rub the product into his scalp.

 

Dipper closed his eyes and a smile formed on his face as she worked. She was massaging his head and paired with the warm water, it made him want to fall asleep. Once she was done with that she grabbed a container of conditioner and pumped a few times so she had a decent amount in her hand. She then repeated what she had done with the shampoo and she massaged the conditioner into Dipper’s hair, taking care to get the ends.

 

“Alright sweetie, we’re going to leave this in for five minutes and in that time I’ll go deal with other customers and then I’ll come back to wash it out and then blow dry you,” she stated as she turned off the water.

 

He looked up at her from his place and smiled at her. “Okay! Sounds good.”

 

She left him there and walked off to another customer. Dipper just closed his eyes and kicked his legs slightly as he waited, it was a childish habit that he had never gotten rid of. The five minutes passed in a blink of an eye and Shelly was back by his side, turning on the water again and washing the conditioner out of his hair.

 

“Alright, there we go!” She said excitedly and proceeded to grab a towel from a nearby rack and rub it into his hair to dry it off somewhat.

 

She then put the towel back on the rack now that it was damp and grabbed a blow dryer that was hanging nearby. She turned it on and grabbed a brush from the table. Shelly moved the brush through Dipper’s locks and turned the blow dryer all around his head, effectively drying his hair.

 

Once she was done she stepped back and admired her work. “Looks good, I think you’re free to go now!”

 

Dipper got up excitedly and dashed to one of the mirrors in the salon. He looked at himself and gasped, turning his head every which way and made his locks fly wildly about his face. “Shelly you did such an amazing job! My hair looks so shiny and soft!” He was almost bouncing up and down with glee.

 

“No problem sweetie, now let’s go show Bill,” she said as she walked them both towards the lobby.

 

Dipper managed not to cringe at the idea of presenting himself to Bill, he supposed it was only right since Bill was paying for all of this. 

 

He swished down the paranoid monster in the back of his brain screaming: ‘ why is he doing this for you!? Run! This has to be a trick!’ and followed Shelly’s excited steps back towards the lobby. 

 

In a moment of pure fun Shelly lifted one of the styling capes ahead of Dipper and called to Bill. 

 

“Presenting,” she made little drumming noises with her tongue, waiting for Bill to turn and give his attention to her. “The new and improved Dipper!” She whipped the cape away with a flourish, revealing Dipper to Bill’s hungry eyes. 

 

Bill gasped softly. Pinetree looked . . . beyond words. He was back to blushing at his new shoes, twisting a lock of his freshly cut bangs between his fingers in one of the cutest bashful displays Bill had ever seen. His hair was cut shorter at the back but longer in the front, giving his head a sort of layered effect. 

 

He looked good enough to eat. In fact, he had to physically stop himself from trying right then and there.

 

“Wow,” Shelly laughed gleefully. “I’ve got Bill sparkles with my skills!” She patted herself on the back before checking the time on her wrist. “Alright, enough playing around. Bill you shouldn’t skip school for hair cuts but I will forgive you this one time.” She gave them a wink as she gently urged Dipper forward. 

 

“Yeah yeah, you’re such a mom,” he said back to her, smirking in a familiar way. 

 

“You know it, now be good boys and make it back to school on time,” she grinned at the boys as Bill grabbed Dipper’s hand and began pulling him out of the salon. 

 

Dipper noticed that Bill had an extra bag from the salon but didn’t dare ask what was in it. Instead he tried to ignore the way he was being stared at. He’d never really garnered attention before, Dipper had just assumed he wasn’t all that attractive but today he was turning heads. 

 

He blushed even harder, unable to meet the eyes of anyone or else he was afraid he’s heart would just stop. It was racing so hard it felt due for a total collapse. 

 

Dipper remained silent as he was led back through Nordstrom's and out to the car. He didn’t even care when Bill opened the door for him. 

 

Bill placed the bags in the back and rejoined him in the car but he didn’t start the car. 

 

Bill was flushing, trying to think of something to say. He almost regretted getting Dipper the cut, now everyone would know how cute he was! 

 

“Um,” Bill gulped, eyeing up Dipper’s hand and wanting to hold it more than anything. “You look really good, the cut suits you.” 

 

Dipper bit his lip, not feeling quite as hostile as he had earlier. “Thanks,” Dipper answered. 

 

Bill absolutely lit up, his smile so wide and bright Dipper was afraid he was hurting himself. Bill hummed, feeling content, and turned on a song. 

 

He didn't want to start any fights with them on such a good note so just quietly drove them back towards the school in a comfortable silence. 

 

When he parked the car Bill could see Pyronica and Tad waiting for them at the gates. He’d heard about how they were friends while waiting in the lobby and since they all shared their last class he had told them to meet him and Dipper so they could walk together. 

 

Dipper gulped when they pulled in, feeling a little guilty that he hadn’t paid for any of this, considering how much he liked the clothes and haircut. So he blew out an even breath and said: “thank you, for all of this. I, um, I can try to pay you back somehow bu-,”

 

“Shh,” Bill chuckled, reaching out to brush a bit of Dipper now silky hair behind his ear. Dipper seemed to freeze at the action. “This is just what good boyfriends do,” Bill told him, taking his hand and lacing their fingers together. 

 

Dipper had stopped working, an error message going off in his brain that read: ‘Thought has stopped responding please try again later’. 

 

He looked down at their interwoven hands, then back at Bill who seemed to be getting closer for what was probably a kiss and Dipper's brain rebooted so fast his head almost spun. 

 

Dipper yanked his hand out of Bill’s and leaped back, banging his head on the door but he didn’t even stop. He whipped his hand back and yanked the door open, tumbling out in a mess of limbs and grunts. 

 

“What the hell ?!” Dipper screamed at the Blonde as he stood up and kept backing away. 

 

Bill jumped out of the car and rounded it in three steps. “Am I wrong?” He demanded, looking as if he thought Dipper was overreacting. He tasted the bitterness of rejection on his tongue. It only fueled his rage, if he couldn’t feel angry he was going to feel sad and damn him if he was going to spiral right then and there.

 

“WHO THE FUCK EVER SAID I’D DATE YOU IN A MILLION YEARS?!” Dipper screeched, gaining the attention of Pyronica and Tad by the gates. 

 

“Well you couldn’t ever do better!” Bill yelled back. He could feel his heart twisting in his chest and he had to stop himself from the beginnings of a breakdown. Instead he chose to hurt Dipper like he had hurt him. “Look at you! At the beginning of today you were basically in rags, pitiful hand me downs and haggard looking hair! Being with me is a ticket to no one ever messing with you again, always eating the best food, and wearing the latest trends! You would regret not taking this chance while I’m offering Pinetree!” 

 

Dipper flapped only his mouth in horror and astonishment before he just felt burning rage. “Fuck you!” Dipper stomped over to Bill and pointed his finger in his chest, backing him up as he poked him hard. “You may not believe it from the top of your ivory tower but I love my handmade sweaters and simple life!”

 

This fueled Bill even more and before he could stop himself he hit Dipper where it hurt, “Oh like crying over food cards while I’m here offering to feed you every day! I can take care of you so stop being ungrateful!” Bill smacked his hand away and gripped Dipper’s shoulder firmly. 

 

Pyronica ran over, waving her arms frantically but not really knowing what to say to stop the fight. 

 

Dipper struggled to free himself from Bill’s grip, his fist curled and as his rage grew he lost control of his actions. His fist flew up and he punched as hard as he could, delivering an uppercut that made Bill’s teeth clatter together. It was the first punch that actually stung. 

 

Dipper jumped back when Bill let him go in favor of holding his jaw. He breathed deeply and hissed: “believe it or not, but I have scraped and clawed for everything I have Bill Cipher , that food card was a product of my sweat, blood and tears! You are nothing to me, and I want nothing from the likes of you! I’m proud to be a hard working person. And I sure as fuck earned everything I have!” 

 

Dipper stomped to the car, pulled out the bag with his clothes in it and began to march away. “I’ll return these clothes to you as soon as I can, and then never talk to me again!” 

Chapter Text

THIS WORK IS NOT OURS!! THANK U FOR THE FANART

Chapter Text

Pyronica glanced at Tad and pointed at an absolutely raging Bill. “Be a good boy and diffuse the situation.”

 

Tad looked at her and sighed tiredly. “Yes dear.”

 

Pyronica dashed off after Dipper and almost tripped a couple of times, curse these heels! She caught up to him soon enough and grabbed his arm, whirling him around to face her.

 

Dipper was fully prepared to yell at who he thought was Bill, but when he recognized Pyronica’s sunset hair, all of his rage died. “Py! Thank God it’s you! You would not believe what just happened to me!” 

 

Pyronica bit her lip, looking back at Tad and Bill, seeing the wild and aggressive way they were arguing and immediately knew she needed to get Dipper as far away from here as possible before Bill stalks over to ruin his chances even further. “Alright, tell me all about it, but in your room.” She took his arm and ducked into the building as quickly as she could.

 

Dipper let himself be tugged along and when they got inside the building he led her towards his dorm room. He unlocked the door and held it open so Pyronica could walk through first. Once she was inside she sat down on his bed and patted the space beside her, indicating for him to sit down.

 

He shuffled over towards her and plopped down on the bed, causing the bed to dip under his weight and lift Pyronica up a little bit. He looked down at his sleeve covered hands and sighed.

 

“So tell me what happened sweetie,” she placed a comforting hand on his back.

 

Dipper growled. “God Bill is such an obtuse jerk! His ego is fucking massive and all he thinks about is himself! I can’t stand him!” Dipper began, feeling a need to yell to the heavens every name he’d been calling Bill in his head. 

 

She rubbed his back. “So what did he do?”

 

“At first he was being really nice actually! He took me out to eat at a really fancy restaurant and then he took me to buy me some new clothes and said I didn’t even have to pay him back! But when we got onto campus all of a sudden he’s saying that he’s my boyfriend when I don’t even like him and then leaning in to kiss me!” He paused to take a breath before continuing with, “And then he fucking insulted me and my clothes and my hair and just everything about me and God it hurt so bad! And I know I shouldn’t let his words affect me but he was just so cruel about it!” Dipper then went into detail, explaining everything from when he left Pyronica before lunch, till this moment. 

 

By the end of his rant there were tears pooling in his eyes and he was sniffling. He desperately tried to wipe away the tears with the sleeve of his hoodie but they kept on pouring out and he let out a shaky sob. “He doesn’t even know if I like guys, he hasn’t even asked and it makes me feel so-,” Dipper added on but had to stop when the sobbing got worse. It just made him feel so unimportant to have a boy forcing feelings on him without any input on his side. 



Pyronica felt her heart break as she watched him cry. She quickly pulled him in for a tight hug and pet his hair softly. “Hey it’s okay, Dipper! You’re going to be okay. It’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with what you’re feeling and you’re completely valid!”

 

She brought him back at an arm's length and wiped away the fresh tears that were streaking down his face. He kept sniveling and she couldn’t help but think that he looked like a lost kitten that had gotten abandoned.

 

“I just hate him so much Py! What did I even do to deserve this?! And he’s so confusing too! One minute he’s being all sweet and nice to me and then the next he’s blowing his top and being cruel and mean to me!” He tried to control his breathing, he was starting to hyperventilate.

 

Pyronica cooed and smoothed his hair down, still comforting him. “He’s got some major issues sweetie. I’m really sorry to hear that he’s been treating you so badly, but I promise he only has good intentions!”

 

Dipper looked at her, bewildered. “How would you even know that?” Suspicion pooling into his stomach. 

 

“Oh Dipper, I’m sorry I didn’t say so earlier but I’m actually one of Bill’s best friends. Don’t get mad at me please! I promise I just wanted you to not freak out when Tad and I approached you!” She hurriedly explained herself. Fretting over him like she was afraid of losing him over this, she seemed genuinely afraid that he wouldn’t want to be her friend anymore. 

 

His eyes widened in surprise and he shook his head. Thinking it over he decided with a sigh that she had been authentically kind to him and didn’t deserve to be judged for a friendship. “No it’s fine, I probably wouldn’t have trusted you guys if I had known, but I trust you now that you’re here comforting me. I just can’t stand him! I don’t know how you can be friends with him!”

 

She laughed. “Trust me sometimes I can’t stand him either, but he’s a good person at heart and sometimes he can be a real sweetie when he wants to be.” She bumped shoulders with him, trying to get him to see the bright side. 

 

“Yeah, when he wants,” Dipper hissed darkly. “That’s the problem! It’s all about what he wants!” Dipper felt like he was foaming at the mouth. “He’s just an unapologetic asshole! Just demanding that everyone bow down to him while I doubt he’s ever had to actually work for anything! I’d place money on it, Bill has never earned shit!” 

 

Pyronica winced, knowing that it was true in a sense for not just Bill but her and Tad as well. Although not completely. “That’s just what he’s used to I’m afraid, although we’re slowly getting him to start changing his ways. But Dipper, Bill has earned some things in his own right, maybe not material objects but certainly other things,” she gave him a soft smile, hoping to calm him down.

 

Dipper scoffed. “Yeah right, sure he’s earned things. I’ll believe that when pigs fly. I don’t see how he could ever change, he’s too stuck in his own head to see what he’s doing is wrong.”

 

“He’s slowly learning, we just need to push him a little bit more. I’m also sure that he didn’t mean any of the things that he said to you. He was probably just reacting negatively towards the rejection. He doesn’t exactly deal well with it, but that doesn’t mean that his behavior is excusable,” she grimaced as she recalled all of the times that Bill had been rejected in any way. They weren’t very pleasant memories.

 

“I don’t care if he doesn’t deal well with it! He needs to know that the world doesn’t revolve around him! He’s going to have to deal with rejection in his life no matter what happens!” Dipper exclaimed, exasperated.

 

Pyronica sighed. “You have to understand that Bill’s got some issues in his head that he can’t control. We just have to indulge him as much as we can so he doesn’t break.”

 

“Why does everyone keep saying that?” Dipper asked with a frustrated huff. Bill wasn’t the only one with issues! Mental illness was not an excuse to be an asshole and get away with it. Dipper didn’t care if he was a literal angel, Bill had done almost nothing to prove he was anything but a pure self-absorbed jerk! “He said he was bipolar but that’s not an excuse! And he should be medicated if he’s so messed up in the head! He’s not the only one with issues, I need an apology for the panic attack I had today because of him!” 

 

Pyronica bit her lip and hugged Dipper again. “I wish I could tell you everything,” she whispered. “I’m so sorry he gave you a breakdown today, I’ll talk to him about that and make sure he apologizes.”

 

Dipper huffed. “If you could just get him to leave me alone forever, then I would need the apology.”

 

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Pyronica shook her head. “Unfortunately it would probably take a swat team to keep him away from you, and probably not even that.” 

 

“Cause he’d pay them all off!” Dipper growled, making Pyronica giggle. 

 

“Okay! I’m calling a self-care day!” She gasped. “I’ll go grab my face masks and nail polish and all my stuff and we’re going to have a private little party!” She declared. 

 

“No, Py! I can’t miss another class,” Dipper shook his head wildly. 

 

“Don’t worry, you have creative writing last right? Well it’s my last class too, the teach’ allows you to skip if you write him a story about what you did instead. You’ll get full credit for going as long as you hand it in first thing next time!” She smiled. “You wait here! I’ll be back in a jiffy, we can have a little sleepover too!” She squealed as she skipped out. 

 





Tad rubbed his eyes, squinting at the sun as he finally got Bill to calm down. It had been a long time since his best friend had been this worked up. 

 

He’d gotten him calm enough to go back to their room. The room used to be a boarding room for a teacher, with its own bathroom and enough room for three. They bribed and threatened the teacher out of it in their freshman year. Tad didn’t exactly feel good about it but it did allow him to have personal space, and his two favorite people around all the time. 

 

Bill had his head buried in his neck, the two boys reduced to cuddling after the arguments and yelling they’d done. 

 

Bill was a very clingy person, and in moments like this Tad always thought about how he’d met the other boy. Tad had never had a lot of energy, being a very calm personality, and would often take naps in the field during recess. Then one day he’d woken up to Bill sleeping with him, cuddled into his back with drool on his face. 

 

Bill had then declared that Tad was his favorite pillow and followed him around until Tad just gave up and surrendered. A week later Pyronica had returned from a vacation with her family and joined the cuddle pile during recess of their preschool. They’d all been inseparable since. 

 

Tad ran his finger through Bill’s hair, just enjoying the closeness, even as Bill cried after his break down. He frowned as Bill’s tears wet his shirt, he hadn’t seen the other boy cry in a long time.

 

“Are you ready to tell me what happened calmly?” Tad murmured softly, not breaking the atmosphere with his smooth and calm voice. 

 

Bill nuzzled his face into Tad’s neck more firmly and sighed into his favorite pillow’s hair. “The date was going okay, Pinetree and I were on a good note but he just freaked when I told him we were dating,” Bill hiccuped, pulling Tad in tight with his arms around his waist. He was shaking as he cried.

 

“Maybe you shouldn’t decide for people what their status is anymore?” Tad said like a question but they both knew it was a serious suggestion. 

 

“But it worked when we met,” Bill said, pouting. 

 

“I have no will power, and we were four,” Tad chuckled, closing his eyes and laying his head back. 

 

“It worked for Py,” he added, pouting even more. 

 

“Again I have no will power,” Tad said. “Dipper seems like the type that doesn’t like to be pushed around, maybe try going a little easier on him. Taking it slow?” Tad suggested. 

 

“Oh god Pinetree! I said such stupid stuff!” Bill groaned, pulling away from the cuddle pile to bury his fingers in his hair miserably. “He’s never going to forgive me! I made so much progress, comforting him while he cried, taking him out for lunch, helping him reach max cuteness! Why the hell did I throw it all back in his face like that?!” He was frustrated with himself, he hated how he had no control over his reactions.

 

 Tad sighed, he missed Py. She was much better at talking sense into Bill. “I wouldn’t say you were making progress, have you apologized for making him a school-wide target yet? Or even done anything to end it?” 

 

Bill looked away, crossing his arms and hanging his head. “No,” he mumbled. If he was being honest he had totally forgotten about that whole ordeal. He didn’t deem it as something he had to take care of that soon.

 

Tad opened his mouth to berate him for not doing the one thing that could actually get him in the boy's good graces, when the door opened and Pyronica bustled in. Immediately going for the bathroom and her stack of face masks, and other self-care products. 

 

Bill lurched up, hovering around her like a lost puppy begging for scraps. It was quite a pitying sight to watch really.

 

She ignored him for the time being and grabbed her bag and packed away an extra outfit, toothbrush, and her pajamas. 

 

“Where are you going?” Tad asked from the bed. 

 

“Dipper and I are having a self-care day, I’m going to sleep over there since apparently his roommate suspiciously decided to change dorms,” Py gave Bill an incredulous look. Bill looked away, whistling innocently. 

 

“Py,” Bill whined when she still didn’t give him the details he wanted. “How’s Pinetree? What can I do? How do I fix it?!” He gave her his best set of pleading puppy dog eyes.

 

Pyronica sighed, slipping her backpack of supplies over her shoulders and looked back at Bill. “Well you can start by doing something about the fact that he thinks you're a lazy bump on a log that has never had to try for anything before in your life,” she told him plainly. “He actually thought you were being sweet until you just determined that you two were dating, so maybe ask him? He’s upset about a lot really, I’ll text you.” She turned on her six-inch heel and began to strut out. 

 

“Wait!” Bill ran over to the bags he’d brought in from the car and grabbed the bag from the salon. He then moved to the mini-fridge to take up Dipper’s leftovers. “I got him some hair care supplies, I was going to show him how to use them but . . . Yeah,” he finished lamely while handing them over. 

 

Pyronica smiled. “And you saved his leftovers, you’re just too cute!” She patted his head and Bill pouted at her praise. He mumbled something she didn’t catch and turned away. 

 

“Don’t worry Tad and I are on the case, you’ll have a boyfriend by the end of the year,” Pyronica winked. Tad gave her a shocked look, upset to be volunteered for something that sounded so tedious, but gave in when she gave him a little air kiss and a stern look. 

 

“Yeah, we’ll help I guess.” He truly did have zero willpower when it came to crazy types like Bill and Pyronica. 

 

“Really?” Bill grinned, jumping up and down in excitement. It was almost like he was a toddler with the way he acted.

 

“In the meantime, figure out something you can do for Dipper that he’d actually appreciate! Toodles!” She almost made it to the door this time before Bill called her back when he remembered something. 

 

“Py!” She looked back at him. “Dipper has no way to pay for food, do you think you could-,”

 

“Say no more, I got it,” she nodded and was gone a moment later. 

 

Tad turned to Bill after she had left. “Can we take a nap before we start brainstorming more ideas to get him to like you?”

 

Bill huffed. “No! Of course not! We can’t afford to take breaks at a time like this!” He waved his arms dramatically, like this was some world-ending event that they had to deal with and not a one-sided crush. 

 

Tad sighed and opened his arms. “Well can we at least go back to cuddling?”

 

Bill grinned at him and looped his arms around Tad’s waist, burying his face into the other boy’s neck. “Is that even a question?”

 




Pyronica made her way through the halls and stopped when she reached Dipper’s dorm. She knocked on the door and it swung open seconds later to reveal Dipper looking just as she had left him, tired. 

 

“I brought all my supplies sweetie! We’re gonna have the ultimate day of relaxation!” She smiled at him as he let her pass by him into the room.

 

She set all of her things onto the floor by the other bed and grabbed the face masks from her bag. She turned back around just as Dipper had closed the door. “We’re starting with these first,” she shot him a grin as she held up the various face masks.

 

Dipper raised an eyebrow at her and snorted. “Why so many? We’re not using all of them are we?”

 

She waved a hand at him and scoffed. “Of course not silly! We just need a variety to pick from!”

 

He sighed in relief. “Okay thank God then. For a second there I got kinda scared.”

 

“Dipper it’s kinda silly to be scared of some face masks,” she giggled.

 

He whined. “Py, it’s not like I’m actually scared of them!”

 

She spread the face masks on a nearby table. “Yes, yes, whatever you say sweetie.”

 

Dipper walked over to the table and looked at the array of face masks she had brought, they ranged from clay, to gel, some had charcoal, others had cooling effects, one even had gold in it! He didn’t even know where to begin! Pyronica picked for herself a carbonated face mask that bubbled. He gave her a weird look as he had never seen anything like that before and she simply shrugged her shoulders at him. He turned back to the selection and picked a watermelon hydrating face mask.

 

Pyronica grinned at him. “Nice choice there, Dipper, that one does the skin wonders!”

 

“Does it really?” He turned the container around in his hand and glanced at all the text on it that claimed how much it would help his skin. He didn’t know whether or not to believe it but he would take Pyronica’s word for it. “Alright, whatever you say then.”

 

She took the container out of his hand and opened it, setting it on the table once again. She rummaged through her bag until she found the face wash headbands that she was looking for. She handed Dipper the one with the kitten ears on it. 

 

“Here put this on to push your hair back so I can put the mask all over your face,” she said cheerily. She had a hot pink one with devil horns on it for herself.

 

Dipper paled. “Do I really have to?” He asked hesitantly.

 

“Yeah dummy! How else are we gonna get your whole face?” She tilted her head at his scared expression. “Why is something wrong?”

 

He hesitated before answering, “Uh, do you promise not to judge me? Or laugh at me? Or make fun of me?” 

 

She nodded quickly. “Of course! You can trust me!” Now she was really curious as to what was going on. The only thing up to this point to freak him out so much had been Bill!

 

Dipper took a deep breath before answering. “Ikindahaveaweirdbirthmarkonmyforehead.” He said all in one breath without pausing. He said it so quickly that she almost didn’t catch it.

 

“A birthmark? Okay that’s not even bad, everyone has birthmarks, Dipper,” she chided him.

 

“But mine is really bad and I got made fun of for it a lot…” He trailed off, ducking his head in shame. 

 

“I’m sure it’s fine, besides I’ll love you all the same!” She said confidently. She put a hand on his head and ruffled his hair.

 

He smiled gently at her and batted away her hand softly. “Okay, I trust you.”

 

Pyronica gave him her brightest smile as he took the headband from her hand. He put it on and pushed back all of his hair in one go, revealing his birthmark. She gasped in surprise as she saw it, on his forehead was the big dipper! That was Bill’s favorite constellation!

 

Dipper flushed in embarrassment and raised his hands up to cover his forehead. 

 

“No, don't cover it!” She brought his hands down from his head and kissed the birthmark gently, then quickly hugging him all in one go. “It’s beautiful Dipper! It’s like you belong to the stars!”

 

He looked at her with wide eyes and he could’ve sworn he almost started crying. This was one of the rare times that people reacted positively towards his birthmark. He gave her a watery smile. “Thank you…”

 

She gave him her own smile back. “Of course sweetie! Now let’s get your cute face covered in watermelon!”

 

She scooped a good bit of the mask out of its container and began to spread it on his face. He flinched at the cold feeling but otherwise didn’t react as she worked. 

 

“Okay, I’m convinced. You’ve definitely done this before,” she giggled, tracing his birthmark as she applied the mask. She definitely wouldn’t tell Bill, but she hoped to be in the room when he finally saw it, just so she could get a picture of his face! 

 

“I did grow up with a sister, I have been unwillingly pulled into my fair share of sleepovers with her friends. I don’t know why, but they all seemed to have a fascination with treating me like their personal Ken doll,” he stuck out his tongue in teasing disgust. 

 

Pyronica giggled, she could definitely picture that. “Is she older than you then?” Her mind filled with visions of a tiny Dipper being hoarded by a group of partying teenage girls. 

 

“Yes, but only by a few minutes,” he stated, not seeing the way Pyronica’s mouth dropped open in amazement. “And she never lets me forget it!” 

 

“You're a twin?!” She gasped in delight. She had never met a set of twins before! “Do you two look exactly alike and all that?”

 

Dipper nodded. “If we weren’t different genders I would confidently say we’re identical,” Dipper smiled thinking of his starburst of a twin. “Although our personalities are totally different, maybe that’s why we get along so well,” Dipper blushed, connecting with others had never been his strong suit and he couldn’t stop the analytical part of his brain from trying to break down why he could get along with another so well. 

 

“Awe!” Pyronica squealed in her throat as she wiped off her hands and began to apply her own mask. Dipper was just so thoughtful and sweet! At least point she just wanted Bill to date him so he’d be in her life forever. “Okay, I brought my portable DVD player and a whole stack of the chicky-ish chick flicks that I own!” She jumped for her backpack and dug out ‘Heathers’, ‘Mean Girls’, ‘Legend’, and ‘Breakfast Club’. “Are you ready?!” 

 

Dipper laughed. “Yeah, I’m ready!” He finally felt back to normal, back to the happiness he felt during second period. 

 

After about ten minutes into 'Breakfast Club' Pyronica paused the movie and they moved to the bathrooms down the hall to remove the masks. Before he could start washing his face though Pyronica pulled him against her and pulled out her phone. 

 

“This is a selfie moment if I’ve ever seen one!” She said, wrapping an arm around Dipper shoulders and winking at the camera. Dipper couldn’t stop it if he tried and the camera ended up catching him with his eyes widened in surprise and his mouth puffing out a small ‘oh’. “Oh! You look so cute!” Pyronica pulled the phone close when he tried to snatch it away. She admired the photo with sparkling eyes. Dipper was pleading for her to delete the picture so in two quick movements of her fingers she sent it to Tad so he’d see their combined cuteness and then showed it off to Dipper. 

 

“I look so weird! My eyes are bugging out of my head, you have to delete it!” Dipper begged. 

 

“No way! I love it, we look so cute!” Pyronica stuffed her phone in her pocket and ruffled Dipper's hair, playing with the cat ears on the headband. 

 

“Gah!” Dipper frowned, batting her hands away once again. “What is with you and Bill and my hair!” He gave up on getting her to delete the photo, she was so much like Mabel that he knew it was a lost battle. 

 

“It’s so fluffy!” Pyronica immediately yelled. “And now it's so soft, how could anyone resist!” 

 

Dipper flushed and felt the pull of his dry face mask on his cheeks sting a bit. He let himself pout for a bit before giving up and washing his face. 

 

His skin actually did feel lighter, it felt soft and it shined brightly. 

 

Pyronica washed off her face as well and they headed back to Dipper’s dorm. They stepped through the door and she laughed when she saw that he hadn’t stopped rubbing his face.

 

“See I told you it works wonders!” She said proudly.

 

He looked at her, his eyes glittering with amazement. “I honestly didn't believe you! But wow it really does!” He patted his face a few more times before speaking again, “My skin is so soft oh my God I can’t!”

 

She puffed up with pride, she had brought all her most expensive face masks so that he would definitely end up with better skin. “How could you not believe me? Am I that untrustworthy or something?” She faked being hurt and placed a hand dramatically over her heart.

 

Dipper laughed at her. “Of course not! It’s just that my sister’s face masks never seemed to work this well!”

 

“Oh, sweetie my face masks are on a whole different level! They only use the best ingredients that money can buy!” She stated.

 

He snorted. “I keep forgetting that everyone here is like super rich.”

 

They made their way back to the bed and Pyronica pulled different types of nail polish out of her bag. She settled them onto the table nearby and scooped all the face masks back into her bag since they weren’t going to use them anymore. She turned back to Dipper and clasped her hands excitedly.

 

“Okay pick a color then!” She gestured with her hands to the rainbow of different polishes that were currently on display. Some of them were regular creme, others had glitter, some were multi-chrome, and a few of them were even holographic.

 

“Are we painting my nails first?” He asked, looking at all the choices in front of him.

 

“Yes sir, yes we are!” We chirped back.

 

He hummed and picked a light blue creme polish, it was the same color as the sweater Mabel had knitted for him to wear on his first day of school. He held it up to Pyronica and smiled.

 

“Can we do this color?” He asked.

 

“Good choice Dipper! Of course we can do that!” She grabbed the bottle from his hand and shook it vigorously before opening it.

 

He held out his hands with practiced ease that he gained from the many times he got dragged into one of Mabel’s sleepovers. Pyronica pressed play on the DVD player so Dipper could continue watching ‘Breakfast Club’ while she worked.

 

She painted his nails as carefully as she could and hummed a little while she worked.

 

Dipper tore his eyes away from the screen once she was finished with his right hand. The movie was about where John Bender acts out his family life before screaming and running away, smashing things as he went. It reminded Dipper a lot of Bill’s crazy mood shifts and made him curious. “How do you even know Bill anyway?” He asked before he could stop himself.

 

Pyronica looked up at him and scrunched up her face trying to remember. “Oh it’s actually kinda weird! It was in pre-k and I was drawing some constellations, minding my own business when he suddenly came up to me. He said that my drawing was really cool and that I had to teach him how to do it! So I taught him how and I really liked his eyes so I complimented them. He actually looked like he was gonna cry and then he told me that I was his best friend now, and we’ve been best friends ever since really.”

 

Dipper giggled, he thought it was an extremely cute story. “Py, oh my God that sounds so adorable! I can see it so clearly, that's so sweet.”

 

Pyronica laughed with him. “Yeah now that I think about it, it was pretty cute. That’s honestly how Bill makes friends, he just states that’s what they are now. He’s not very good at social situations.”

 

“Is that why he just straight up decided we were dating?” Dipper grumbled.

 

“I mean well, yeah actually, he never really learned any other way to let people into his life,” she said.

 

Dipper furrowed his eyebrows. “Well no wonder he doesn’t get the shit I tell him!”

 

She chuckled at his statement. “Y’know he really isn’t that bad when you get to know him. Maybe you could help me and Tad train him, or ‘tame the beast’ so to speak.”

 

“I don’t know Py, he hasn’t really done anything to deserve my forgiveness…” He trailed off.

 

Pyronica finished painting his left hand and blew on the polish lightly. “We’ll get him to make it up to you, don't worry about it.”

 

He sighed. “Whatever you say.”

 

They went back to watching ‘Breakfast Club’ and Dipper painted her nails a multi-chrome that shifted from pink to yellow to match her hair. Although he wasn’t as steady as she was he did a fairly good job. He had a lot of practice from having sleepovers with Mabel and her friends. For once it was a skill that came in handy. Pyronica was actually quite impressed by it. He couldn’t help but puff up with pride when she examined her nails and praised him for a job well done.

 

The two of them settled into the bed and gorged on junk food while watching different movies, it was finally around two a.m. that the two of them passed out. They had been in the middle of watching ‘Mean Girls’ when they nodded off. It was one of Pyronica’s favorite movies but they couldn’t keep their eyes open any longer.

 

They slept swaddled in blankets and tangled in each other’s limbs. Dipper snoring softly and Pyronica holding him close with her face buried in his hair.

 




Suddenly from Tad’s pocket the word ‘exterminate’ sounded off in the ‘Dalek’s’ voice from ‘Doctor Who’. He untangled himself from Bill for a bit to shimmy his phone from out of his pocket.

 

“Was that Py?” Bill asked.

 

He opened his phone to check the text and immediately smiled. “Yeah it was, look at what she just sent me.” He showed Bill his phone and he watched as Bill’s face lit up with glee.

 

“My sapling looks so cute! Tad you have to send this to me!” He exclaimed.

 

Tad chuckled at him and set the photo as his home screen, cropping it to only include Pyronica. He then sent the photo to Bill, who’s contact name was ‘Cuddly Bastard’.

 

Bill heard his phone go off with a ‘Hey! Look! Listen!’ in Navi’s voice from the Legend of Zelda series. He quickly unlocked his phone and checked the text he got from ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and quickly set his home screen to the selfie but cropped it to only include Dipper.

 

Bill and Tad looked at each other’s home screen at the same time and shot a disgusted look at the other.

 

“God you are so whipped,” they said at the same time.

Chapter Text

now yall know what the selfie looks like

Chapter Text

Dipper awoke with a yawn and snuggled into the warmth that was beside him. He thought it was just a pillow so he didn’t think anything of it. That was until the pillow hugged him back.

 

His eyes shot open in surprise and he glanced up at Pyronica’s sleeping face. Oh right, he had forgotten they had a sleepover. He looked at his phone and saw that he had woken up an hour before his alarm. He looked around blearily and decided that since he hadn’t gotten the chance to last night, that he would hop into the shower.

 

He untangled himself from Pyronica and he snorted when she furrowed her eyebrows and frowned in her sleep, she rolled over and grunted but didn’t wake up. Still sleeping, her hands reached out and grabbed a pillow, holding it against her like she couldn’t get comfortable unless she held something. He snorted again before he got a change of clothes from his drawer and made his way to the communal showers.

 

It seemed that everyone was still asleep, so luckily he could shower in peace and not have to worry. He took a quick ten minute shower and washed the grime off from yesterday and stepped into his new outfit for the day, which consisted of a light pink sweater that Mabel had knitted for him with clouds trailing up the arms and a pair of skinny light wash denim jeans.

 

Dipper made his way back towards his dorm and opened the door to reveal a very sleepy looking Pyronica, who was rubbing her eyes. “Dipper, what are you doing up so early?” 

 

“I normally wake up early, sometimes I even get a bit of studying done,” Dipper said, shaking out his wet hair like a dog, he didn’t have a hair dryer since he was no longer sharing a room with his sister but it was fine. It would dry eventually. 

 

Pyronica’s face scrunched up in disgust. “Oh ew, I knew there had to be something wrong with you, and now I find out you're a monster!” She threw herself back, flinging an arm over her face dramatically. 

 

Dipper giggled, finding her behavior funny but also heartwarming. Waking up with another person was so normal for Dipper, being a twin, it felt nice after how alone and cold he’d awoken the day before. 

 

Pyronica peeked up at Dipper, smirking at his cute outfit for the day. “You look really cute today, I like the sweater,” she said. 

 

Dipper smiled brightly down at his sweater, hugging it close. This sweater was one of his softest ones! “Isn’t it great? Mabel made me this when we were fifteen and it’s my favorite!” Dipper babbled excitedly, waving his hands a bit in a cute display of joy. 

 

“Did your sister make all your sweaters?” Pyronica sat up, giving up on sleeping any longer. 

 

“Yep,” Dipper popped the ‘p’, still grinning as he pulled out his brush and began running it through his hair. It was more like he was yanking the thing through tangles, wincing as he went. 

 

“Okay! No, stop,” Pyronica leaped up and smacked his hand from his hair. “I can’t watch you ruin your fresh new cut!” 

 

Dipper pouted, holding his hand to his chest. “What’s with everyone here and being obsessed with hair care?” He asked with an annoyed quirk of his brow. 

 

“Do you not know how important proper hair care is?!” Pyronica gasped. “That is blasphemy!” She jumped out of the bed and pulled out a bag that Dipper recognized instantly. 

 

“Oh no!” Dipper immediately put his foot down. “I want nothing from that jerk! My hair is fine and I’m fine with my drug store shampoo, thank you very much!” 

 

Pyronica gasped, horrified. “Dipper, you use drugstore shampoo?!” 

 

“Uh,” guessing by her reaction he felt embarrassed to say now. “Yeah, it's a three in one. Saves time,” he shrugged.

 

Pyronica made some kind of unholy screeching noise in the back of her throat before leveling him with a stern look. “Dipper! Those shampoo’s absolutely ruin your hair! Your problems with Bill aside, you need these products before you go bald! I’ll pay Bill back for them if it makes you more comfortable, but you are keeping these and I’ll be showing you how to use them!” 

 

Dipper’s mouth twisted in a conflicted frown but he knew the look in her eyes only too well and so in the end he surrendered. “Okay fine, I guess.”

 

Pyronica gave him a grin and dug through the bag to get out a wide toothed comb and sat him down on the ground so she could sit on the bed behind him. 

 

“You have to gently work the tangles out starting from the tips, your hair is wet so it’s easily damaged,” she lectured softly, combing his hair diligently working out the snags. “And you shouldn’t wash your hair with shampoo everyday, sometimes all your hair needs is to soak up some moisture. Try to limit it to three or four times a week, okay?” 

 

Dipper crossed his arms with a sigh. “Okay, I guess,” he muttered, thinking that was a lot of work to go through just for his hair. 

 

Once Pyronica had combed through his hair she reached over to the bag and pulled out a glass bottle with a pink looking oil in it. “This is a follicle tonic, you rub it into your scalp after a shower to give your hair all the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and soft,” she explained while massaging the oil into his scalp. He tipped his head back, loving the feeling of the small head massage. “It’s all natural too, none of those icky chemicals.” She scrunched up her nose in disgust as she said this.

 

“Mmhm,” Dipper hummed, completely relaxed. 

 

As Pyronica worked she explained what each product did. From a deep conditioning cream to wear to bed, to a heat protection spray, should he blow dry his hair. Dipper was so fascinated by the sheer amount of products and how unnecessary he found it all, that he barely had time to feel irritated that every product's fragrance was pine. 

 

Once Pyronica finished rubbing the product into his hair she did one last gentle comb through and styled his hair a bit, taking care to not reveal his birthmark. This gesture didn’t go unnoticed and a small smile found its way to Dipper’s face before he could stop it.

 

Dipper stood up from the floor and dusted himself off. He turned to face his companion and tilted his head at her. “Aren’t you going to get ready?”

 

She sighed at him like she was disappointed. “Oh sweetie no, I have a lot more beauty sleep to catch up on! You should know this about me by now!”

 

He laughed. “You’re right, of course, how could I be so stupid?”

 

She chuckled along with him. “Exactly! For someone so smart, you are kind of dumb.”

 

Dipper pouted at her. “Hey! I take offense to that! How could I be dumb when I have a 4.0 gpa?”

 

“You may be academically smart, but you struggle picking up social cues,” she chided, wagging a finger.

 

He shoved her lightly and she flopped back onto the bed. “That’s not true! I’m great at it!” She narrowed her eyes at him and he sighed. “Okay, maybe I’m not so great at it,” he puffed out his cheeks childishly.

 

Pyronica giggled and got up to pinch his cheek. “God, you are the most adorable person to ever grace this Earth.”

 

He flushed lightly at the compliment. “Now that is totally not true.”

 

“Mhm, sure, whatever helps you sleep at night sweetie,” she laid back down on the bed and pulled the covers up before remembering what Bill had told her yesterday.

 

She bolted upright, quickly scrambled out of bed, and dug through her bag to get a change of clothes. “OH FUCK, I TOTALLY FORGOT!”

 

Dipper was startled at her sudden change of demeanor, “What happened? Why are you so panicked?”

 

She made him turn around while she changed, before responding. “I’m supposed to take you to breakfast!”

 

“You’re taking me to breakfast? Why?” At this point he was really confused and didn't even think to ask who had put her up to do such a thing.

 

“Well, Bill mentioned you lost your food card, so I’m going to be paying for you,” she said, as she finished changing. “You can turn back around now by the way.”

 

He turned back around as he was told and he was met with Pyronica in a white crop top that had a warning tape pattern across the front, with high waisted light wash ripped denim jeans and a pair of black stilettos. 

 

“Oh wow you really went all out on your outfit there, Py,” he stated, shocked by her choice of fashion.

 

Pyronica raised an eyebrow at him and looked down at herself. “This? This is one of my more casual outfits, Dipper, what do you mean?”

 

Dipper looked at her with a bewildered expression and shook his head, he really would never understand rich people he supposed. 

 

She grabbed all of her things and stuffed them back into her bag and fixed the covers of the bed before she turned back to Dipper. “Alright, c’mon, we’re getting you breakfast.”

 

He instantly felt bad, “Py, no you don’t have to pay for me, I’ll be so indebted to you!” She had already done so much!

 

She waved him off, not caring about what he had to say. “Nope, no, I’m not listening, buying you food is literally nothing to me.”

 

“But it’s not nothing to me! You’re spending your money over my mistake!” He exclaimed.

 

Pyronica grabbed his wrist and dragged him out of the door, towards the cafeteria. “I don’t care, no sir, it’s my choice what I do with my money and I’m buying you food.” She looked back at him. “And you’re way too skinny for your own good, sweetie.” Her eyebrows furrowed in concern.

 

Dipper sighed and he knew he wasn’t going to win the argument. “I’ll find some way to pay you back, Py, I promise.”

 

She scoffed. “You act like I’m going to accept anything you give me. As your friend it’s mandatory that I take care of you!” She stopped to pat his head like he was a small puppy. “You deserve it you cutie!”

 

He batted her hand away in mock annoyance but secretly enjoyed the head pat. “But a friendship is a two way street! I can’t be the only one receiving things!”

 

Pyronica laughed and continued to drag him down the hallway. “What I’m getting in return is seeing your cute face and spending time with you!”

 

“Py! That’s so not fair!” He whined.

 

She stuck her tongue out at him. “Too bad, suck it up buttercup.”

 

They finally made it to the cafeteria and people turned with shocked expressions at the scene before them. One of the school hot shots with the school target, it seemed down right impossible. A few people tried to approach Dipper but Pyronica glared them down before they could get within 3 feet of them. Dipper of course did not notice what was happening and was solely focused on Pyronica, thinking about how he could pay her back.

 

The both of them got into line and everybody moved out of the way right after they noticed Pyronica, but sent death glares at Dipper. Which of course he shrunk under slightly but kept his head high and sent his own glares back.

 

Today’s breakfast was french toast and it smelled decadent. Dipper’s mouth actually started to water slightly because he and Pyronica had skipped dinner in favor of gorging on junk food. The lunch ladies that he had began to befriend were looking between him and Pyronica with concern and shook their heads. 

 

Dipper smiled brightly at the woman and she gave him a shaky smile back. “What will it be, dear?” She asked with an affectionate tone. 

 

“Nothing special, I just want the main breakfast,” Dipper told her happily. “Please and thank you,” he added politely. The woman seemed to melt, holding back a small ‘awe’. The boy was always so sweet and kind in comparison to the rude little shits she dealt with every day. She gave the boy a heaping plate of French toast, adding extra strawberries and powdered sugar. 

 

Her eyes looked to the pink haired girl, hardening a bit. “Meal?” She asked curtly, not being able to hold back her disdain for kids that would pick on such a sweet child. How could they find it in their hearts to bully such an angel?

 

Pyronica felt a little confused by the staff’s hostility but ignored it. “Just the same,” she nodded. 

 

She was handed a plate of French Toast that must have been an end piece. It barely had three strawberries on it and the powdered sugar was pitifully light. 

 

“Uh thanks,” Pyronica said when Dipper elbowed her without seeing her plate, whispering something about ‘manners’. 

 

Neither teen noticed the way the three women behind the counter exchanged glances, looking upset for the small brunette boy. They recognized the girl as hanging out with the boy that basically ran the school, using his power as the school chairman’s son to his advantage. They all knew something was up and most likely to the disadvantage of their favorite little drop of sunshine. 

 

Pyronica felt a conspiracy must be going on, attacking her breakfast, when her glass of orange juice was barely passed half full. Dipper’s plate looked heaping compared to hers. 

 

Did the lunch staff have a grudge against her? She compared their plates again and decided that yes, the staff must have a grudge against her.

 

Dipper hadn’t seemed to notice as he was caught up talking to one of the women, asking about her day so far and just being adorable in general. She couldn’t stop herself from smiling at how cute he was, he was wrapped up in his conversation with the woman and he had the brightest smile gracing his features.

 

They got to the end and Pyronica stepped in front of Dipper to pay. 

 

“I’ve got him covered until he finds his food card,” she smiled, patting his head and giggling when he lightly smacked her hand away with his own laugh. 

 

The lunch lady’s eyes widened. “You're paying for him?” She asked, taking in the cute display between them.

 

“Well, I can’t let my new friend go hungry now, can I?” All three women suddenly felt guilty for judging so quickly and decided unanimously that the girl was secretly a sweetheart. 

 

“If you’re still hungry after, come back for an extra treat, the both of you!” The woman smiled brilliantly, a swell in her chest to see such a precious friendship. It was truly one that she hadn’t expected to see but one that was very welcome.

 

“Thank you, we will!” Dipper said back. 

 

Pyronica and Dipper moved towards a table in the back. Dipper seemed to be walking on air, unknowing of the way Pyronica stood behind him sending death glares to anyone that moved to try and trip him. 

 

In all honesty, she looked like a dragon guarding her treasure. Which wasn’t too far off considering that she thought of Dipper as highly as any treasure.

 

Bill and Tad tiredly slugged their way into the cafeteria. Both boys had bags under their eyes and messy hair, still wearing pajamas. Bill was sporting a black t-shirt and a pair of yellow triangle printed pants while Tad was wearing a dark purple tank top that said ‘normal man’ with black shorts. On Bill’s feet were a pair of slippers that looked like the claws of a dragon and on Tad’s were what looked like sleeping bats.

 

It wasn’t their fault though, Pyronica had given them no time! She had sent them a message, at this ungodly hour of seven AM, saying that if either wanted to see her and Dipper they had to hurry to the cafeteria immediately. 

 

Both knew it was worth it when they spotted their loves. Tad felt just a little invigorated to see Pyronica again, it had been a long time since he’d gone a night without cuddling with her. Which is a main reason why he had not slept, the other had been Bill’s constant chatter. God, Bill had not been able to shut up and while he loved his friend very much, he also could not be bothered to listen to him spew random things about his crush.

 

She looked amazing! She was wearing his favorite outfit of her’s, and by amazing he meant she looked dazzling. He just knew that she would have never disturbed him this early without good reason, and seeing her was always a good reason in his book, so he forgave her for it. 

 

Bill and him trudged to the closest table they dared, neither wanted to invoke Dipper’s wrath this early. As cute as Bill found it, he was much too tired to fully appreciate it. Which was a shame really.

 

They sat down and Bill watched, pined for, his Pinetree. He looked like he was telling Py a story and he wanted so badly to hear it. It was making Py laugh and he would bet his life that it was some adorable event from his childhood. He would practically give the whole world to hear what his sapling was saying.

 

He felt slightly irritated that his Pinetree wasn’t wearing the clothes he had bought for him! He pouted and dropped his head into his hands, not taking his eyes off of his kitten. Why did he have to be so damn cute?

 

But he couldn’t stay irritated for long, his pink sweater was just so darling on him! Pinetree in pink! His brain almost short circuited, he couldn’t stand how adorable his kitten was! 

 

Bill was suddenly knocked out of his reverie when Tad nudged him with his elbow.

 

“Bill, what did we talk about last night? I said staring at him like that was creepy, didn’t I? Or was that just a dream?” Tad asked tiredly. Honestly, he wasn’t sure if he had dreamt it all up, or not.

 

“No, no, you did say that, it’s just… how can I not stare at him? He’s just so ethereal!” Bill tore his gaze away from his sapling and looked at Tad. “I just can’t stop myself! It’s like an addiction or something!”

 

“Well, try to stop yourself cause’ you’re being an absolute creep right now. Don’t you have better things to do?” Tad yawned. “Like finding his food card?”

 

Bill brightened up and snapped his fingers. “Shit you’re right!” Bill grabbed Tad by the sides of his head and gave him a slobbery kiss to the forehead. “How could I forget about that? My master plan will be set into motion!” Tad grumpily wiped his forehead with a glare.

 

They both unwrapped their protein bars and immediately went back to staring at their respective loves, almost as if they hadn’t just had a conversation about how creepy staring was. At some point Pyronica caught Tad’s eyes and she sent him some finger guns, with a wink and he was almost sure that he melted into the seat he was in. 

 

Dipper and Pyronica left before Bill and Tad finished their protein bars, which disappointed the two boys. They ate their bars tiredly and in a comfortable silence. Once they were finished they headed back to their dorm to get a proper change of clothes.

 

Bill decided on wearing a button up shirt that was black with white constellations patterning the fabric and a pair of loose fitting dark blue jeans. He put on his signature worn leather jacket and slipped on a pair of black Balenciagas. Tad decided to put on a purple and white striped long sleeved shirt and slipped on a black t-shirt over it. He paired this with black ripped skinny jeans, that he cuffed, and put on his favorite pair of Off-White sneakers.

 

They had thirty minutes until the bell rang so Tad decided to stay behind in the dorm to wait, mostly sleep, while Bill began his search for Dipper’s food card. He gave a quick goodbye hug to Tad and almost didn’t want to let go, but the other boy gave him a little push, so he gave up and walked out of the door and towards the main office.

 

He finally reached his destination after around five minutes of walking and opened the doors. He looked around and spotted a receptionist fairly quickly. He walked over to her and waited until she noticed him, which didn’t take very long.

 

She paled as she saw him. “Hello Mr. Cipher, what can I do for you today?” Her voice wavered slightly.

 

“I need you to see if a food card under the name Dipper Pines has been in use lately,” he said, trying not to sound over excited. If it wasn’t in use he could try the lost and found, but if it was then he would have to pay someone a friendly visit.

 

“Right away, sir,” she responded.

 

She tapped away on her keyboard and it took her a few minutes to locate the information that he was looking for. Once she had read through what was on the screen she turned back to him.

 

“It seems that the food card is being used daily for all three meals of the day,” she informed him.

 

Bill’s face darkened and he growled slightly. “Alright, thank you for your time,” he said as he stalked towards the doors.

 

She didn’t have time to give him a response, as he walked out of the doors he came in through.

 

Bill wracked his brain trying to remember who it was that took Dipper’s backpack during lunch. He deduced that if the card was still being used then someone must have taken it from Dipper’s bag. His sapling seemed to value the card a lot, so he couldn’t have lost it all on his own!

 

Suddenly a face came to mind. A boy with sandy blonde hair tied back into a ponytail and blue eyes. He recognized him from his multiple attempts to befriend him, which all ended quite pitifully might he add. He felt anger bubble up in his chest, as he made his way towards the counselors’ offices.

 

By the time he had gotten there the first bell rung, signaling class had started, but he paid no mind to it. His classes weren’t nearly as important as getting his Pinetree’s food card back.

 

He tried not to slam the doors open in his rage and walked right into his counselor’s office, taking note of what seemed to be a freshman that was having a conversation with his counselor. He glared at the other boy and told him to scram, smirking when he saw how quickly he picked up his things and practically ran out of the room.

 

Bill sat himself down in the seat, where the boy previously was and looked at his counselor. “So, I need you to find a kid who has blonde hair that’s always tied into a ponytail and has blue eyes.” He paused before adding. “I’ll need you to do it right now and as fast as you can, because I’m on a tight schedule and this is extremely important.”

 

His counselor sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, before going to his computer and starting to search through the list of students. “Do you know what grade he’s in?”

 

“Oh yes, he’s a senior,” Bill responded. Bill could distinctly remember the kid in his freshman class.

 

The counselor sighed in relief, that made his job so much easier. He pulled up the list of senior students and scrolled down, eyes glancing at all of the pictures presented on the screen. He suddenly stopped scrolling and he squinted his eyes at the screen before turning back to Bill.

 

“It seems that his name is Gabe Bensen,” the counselor drawled.

 

“Okay, now I need you to give me his schedule for today,” Bill demanded.

 

He just nodded his head tiredly and began to print out Gabe’s schedule, trying not to think about why Bill Cipher wanted this information. Once he was done he handed Bill the freshly printed sheet, which was still slightly warm. “Is that all you needed?”

 

Bill nodded his head approvingly as he looked over the schedule. “Yeah that’s all I needed.” He then walked out of the office and made his way towards Gabe’s first class of the day, which just so happened to be drama.

 

He made his way towards the drama room and tried to open the door only to find that it was locked. He made an annoyed sound at the back of his throat and rapped at the door impatiently, tapping his foot on the ground the entire time.

 

The teacher opened the door with an annoyed look, only to come face to face with an even more annoyed Bill Cipher and instantly sobered up. “What can I do for you Mr. Cipher?” She asked.

 

“I’m going to need to see one of your students real quick.” He glanced back down at the paper in his hands. “One… Gabe Bensen, and make it snappy.”

 

She nodded her head in understanding and peeked back into the room to call him. “Gabe, you have a visitor.”

 

Bill didn’t have to wait long before he was staring at the scum who took his precious kitten’s food card.

 

He glanced back at the teacher and dismissed her. “I’m gonna need to talk to him in private.”

 

She just sighed, casting a worried look at her student but not trying to get fired today she closed the door. Re-entered the classroom once again with a guilty conscious.

 

Bill turned his attention on the other boy and grinned maliciously at him. “So… do you know why I wanted to see you?”

 

Gabe gave him a confused look and tried not to let his nerves show. “No… I don’t actually.” He gulped nervously.

 

Bill cracked his knuckles casually. “I’m here to tell you about all the mistakes you’ve made.” He threw a right hook at Gabe’s face sending him tumbling down to the floor with a sharp gasp. “Number one, you stole from what’s mine.” He stomped his foot onto Gabe’s back, crushing the other boy into the floor. He let out a shuddering scream. “Number two, you looked at what’s mine.”  He sent a kick straight into his ribs causing him to slam back first into the lockers behind him. Gabe could have sworn he was on the brink of death. “Number three, you were even born .” He gripped Gabe’s ponytail and brought the other boy’s head up from the floor and squatted down to his level.

 

“Where is my kitten’s food card, asshole?” He growled out. His temper was flaring quite a bit. His mind replaying how heartbreaking Dipper’s sobs had been and how he shook as he was held, but he had knocked out some of his energy by beating the shit out of this kid.

 

Gabe coughed up blood before he responded shakily. “It’s in my pocket.” He slowly took the food card, his hands shaking, and placed it into Bill’s outstretched hand.

 

Bill grabbed the food card and let go of Gabe’s ponytail, causing his head to knock into the floor. He pocketed the gold card and grabbed his arm, bending it back until he heard a sickening crack that made Gabe scream out once again. “Oh and make sure to apologize to my Pinetree during lunch, or else you’ll get another visit from me.”

 

He gave one last swift kick to Gabe’s crumpled form that sent him sliding a good few feet down the hallway before leaving. “Toodles, you fucking troglodyte.”

 

He smiled to himself and wiped the blood from his hands onto his jeans, not thinking about how it would stain them. The only thing he could think about was how happy his sapling would be that he had gotten his food card back for him!

 

Bill happily skipped his way to class just as first period ended.

 

Chapter Text

Bill made his way to the chemistry class that he shared with Dipper and tried his best to hold in his glee. He opened the classroom door and strode in, taking his seat next to his Pinetree. He didn’t notice through his own happiness that Dipper turned away from him, doing his best to ignore the other boy.

 

He was too busy fantasizing about his Pinetree’s reaction when he revealed to him that he found his food card. He imagined that he would be ecstatic, he would practically jump into his arms in joy! It would also be the perfect time to apologize about making him a school target. It was a fool proof plan in his expert opinion. His kitten would be his by the end of the day, he was sure of it!

 

Bill was suddenly struck with inspiration to draw. He grabbed his sketchbook from out of his bag and took out his favorite pencil. He flipped through his previous sketches of Dipper from last night and he puffed up in pride at how detailed they were. He had lost sleep over them but it was worth it from how perfectly he depicted his Pinetree. 

 

He flipped to a fresh page and smoothed out the pristine white paper. He glanced at his kitten and saw that all of his attention was on the teacher. He had a perfect view of his side profile. He was very thankful that he picked up drawing and took all of the art classes that he did. He had enough skill to perfectly depict his favorite person now!

 

He began to sketch out a circle and slowly added details that he saw on Dipper’s face. From his long eyelashes to his slightly red button nose and the way his face scrunched up a little as he concentrated. He found everything that he did completely adorable and he swore to himself that he would give up the whole world to have him.

 

Bill worked diligently and made bold strokes and incredibly light strokes, adding cross hatching and shading to draw Dipper’s face as accurately as he could. He looked up quite often, making sure that he had all the details correct. He was currently drawing his Pinetree’s fluffy hair that looked incredibly soft and shiny today, he absently wondered if he used the products that he had bought for him the day before.

 

He wanted more than anything to run his hands through his hair to see if it was just as soft as it looked. He kept sketching his sapling and carved out with graphite all of his delicate features. When he finally finished drawing Dipper the bell sounded, signaling that it was lunch time. He looked up surprised at the sudden sound and looked at the clock in shock. Did the time really fly by that fast? He guessed that he had just been caught up drawing an angel, he inwardly squealed at the thought.

 

Dipper packed his things up fairly quickly and ignored when Bill called his name. Bill made multiple attempts to grab his attention to give him his food card back but Dipper was having none of it and continued to snub him.

 

Dipper felt his mood plummet when Bill tried to call him so many times. He was not going to deal with this asshole today if it was the last thing he ever did.

 

He walked out of the classroom with his head held high and was surprised to find Pyronica already waiting for him. He gasped in surprise as she pulled him in for a tight hug.

 

“Hey sweetie!” She said excitedly.

 

He gave her a squeeze back and he pushed himself away from her. “Pyronica! What are you doing here? How did you even get here so fast?” He asked, confused.

 

She twiddled her fingers together and bit her lip. “Well I kinda left my class early so I could pick you up for lunch…” She trailed off, not sure if he would get mad at her.

 

“Oh! You didn’t have to do that! It must have been such a hassle, oh my gosh,” he rambled out, flailing his arms a bit.

 

Pyronica beamed at him. “It’s no issue really! I’d do anything for you sweetie!”

 

Just as he was about to respond to her he was tapped on his shoulder and he whipped around in surprise. He was met face to face with one Bill Cipher who was staring at the ground with a light blush gracing his cheeks and his hands outstretched with his food card!

 

“Hey kitten, I uh, I hunted down your food card and I um, I got it back for you! I also uh, worked really hard to get it back, y’know? I spent my entire first period looking for it, so I hope it’s enough for you to maybe um, sit with me during lunch?” He asked nervously. He looked like a small anxious puppy with the way that he was behaving. Dipper could almost see the flattened ears and tail between his legs.

 

Dipper looked at him in shock and lightly blushed himself. Did he really go to such lengths to get his prized possession back? That was actually really nice of him.

 

He hesitantly took the golden card from Bill’s hands, noticing that it now sporting a little drawing of a pine tree and a triangle holding hands, but he found it oddly cute and so didn't mind it. “Oh! I um, thank you! That was actually really kind of you! I don’t even know what to say! Uh, I mean I guess I can sit with you…?” He said hesitantly.

 

Bill lit up and reminded Dipper of a dog once again, he could practically see a tail behind the other teen wagging excitedly. “Really?! That’s amazing thank you so much! I promise you won’t regret it kitten! Py and Tad will be there too and it’s gonna be so much fun! I won’t do anything bad. I swear I’ll be on my best behavior! And-” He cut himself off, he realized that he was rambling at this point. “Sorry I kinda got carried away didn’t I?”

 

Dipper giggled at his behavior, he really was like a massive puppy dog. He was elated to have his food card once again and not have to rely on Pyronica to pay for his meals anymore. Technically it had only been one meal but that was more than enough in his opinion. It filled him with so much joy to know that Bill actually went through the trouble of finding his food card. He had no idea how the other boy did it, but to him, it meant everything.

 

“You kinda did, but don’t worry about it, I don’t really mind.” Without thinking he wrapped his arms around Bill’s waist and buried his head in his chest as he gave him a hug, it was a reflex from growing up with Mabel, to show his gratitude through hugs.

 

When he realized what he had just done he gasped and pulled away quickly. “Oh shit, sorry! Reflex from my sister haha…” He laughed nervously, blushing as red as a tomato.

 

Bill was faring no better and had a pink tint on his cheeks and ears, his heart was racing a mile a minute in his chest. He had fantasized about a hug but he didn't actually think it would happen! “No it’s totally cool! I actually really like hugs so…” He scratched the back of his head and looked at the floor once again. He couldn’t bring himself to look Dipper in the eye, he was so embarrassed. His sapling actually willingly hugged him and he was overjoyed!

 

Dipper also avoided eye contact with him. “Oh, um, that’s good to hear I guess…”

 

Pyronica snorted from behind the two, watching the pitiful scene unfold. These two were idiots and she couldn’t do anything about it. Just as she was about to break the awkward silence a pair of arms wrapped around her middle and a head rested itself on her shoulder. She didn’t even need to look to see who it was.

 

“Hello to you too Mr. Zombie,” she laughed.

 

Tad sighed and buried his head into her neck, nipping it slightly. “So what happened with bad boy and smarty pants over here? They look like they’re about to combust from embarrassment,” he said tiredly. His eyes weren’t even open and Pyronica knew immediately that he was just using her to support his weight while he tried to fall asleep standing.

 

“Well, Bill finally gave Dipper his food card after he found it and he’s gonna be sitting with all of us during lunch today,” she said as she ran her fingers through Tad’s two toned hair, massaging his scalp lightly as she went.

 

Tad hummed. “That’s good to hear. He isn’t being a total idiot now. All he has to do now is apologize for the whole school target mess.” He leaned into Pyronica’s hand, relishing the way it felt when she moved it through his hair. “I told him to do it sometime today so I’m assuming he’s going to do it as soon as possible.”

 

Pyronica removed Tad’s arms from around her waist, laced her fingers with his, and placed a sloppy kiss on his cheek as she looped her arm through Dipper’s. “Alright let’s get going to the cafeteria before we run out of time, dorks.”

 

Tad scrunched up his face. “What’s with you and Bill and giving me the messiest kisses ever today?”

 

She laughed at him and just shrugged. Dipper looked bewildered at Tad, he didn’t know that they were all that close. He could feel something welling up in his stomach, it was a sick sort of feeling that he couldn’t place. He opted to just ignore it and held on tight to Pyronica’s arm as they all walked towards the cafeteria.

 

Bill didn’t have the courage to try and loop his own arm with Dipper’s so he opted instead to just hold onto the other boy’s bag like a lost school child. Dipper looked back in surprise as he felt a foreign weight on his backpack and held back a grin at how shy Bill looked while holding onto his bag. It really ruined his bad boy image, he thought.

 

He turned back around to hum happily as they all walked to the lunch room. Unbeknownst to him the trio around him sent death glares that could kill at anyone that tried to approach Dipper. It was almost like he was a prince being guarded by his most loyal knights. Except with their reputation, it was more like he was an angel being escorted back to the gates of heaven by the demon king himself and his generals.

 

They all approached the line and everyone quickly got out of their way, they made their way through the line to the first lunch lady.

 

She gave them all odd looks, and exchanged glances with her two coworkers but they hadn’t forgotten about the lesson they had learned that morning and held back any judgment for now. 

 

“How was your day, dear?” She asked the sweet child after handing him his plate of Salisbury steak, steamed carrots and asparagus. It smelled wonderful.

 

“It’s actually been really great!” Dipper smiled for the woman. “And look!” Dipper pulled his gold card from his pocket to present it to the woman. “Bill found my food card! Now I can pay the school back for yesterday’s breakfast!” 

 

Bill preened with pride when the woman’s eyes turned to him with a look so soft and awe-filled. This is why people did things for other people! He could get addicted to this feeling! He could practically feel his ego get inflated and he loved it.

 

“That’s wonderful!” She made sure to add a cookie on all of their plates, just for being such good children. 

 

Dipper made sure the other three thanked the women as they got their food and paid for it. Bill shouldn’t be surprised that his crush was friends with the staff; it was just the sort of thing he would expect from a cute little nerd. 

 

Pyronica led them to what was apparently their regular table, which explained why no one was taking it despite how late they were and its position on an upraised platform. It was like the seating arrangement proclaimed them the very top of the school. 

 

“So, Kitten, what kinds of things do you like besides studying?” Bill asked excitedly the moment they sat down. “What do you do for fun?”

 

Dipper stalled, not really knowing how to react to being the center of attention. And not even just to Bill, he’d finally notice the way the entire cafeteria was gaping at him. Was it really so weird for him to sit here?

 

“Uh, I like reading? . . . Mostly, I guess.” Dipper ducked his head down and stuffed his mouth full of steak. He hated talking about himself, he was really boring. Mabel had told him to get rid of that mentality but he couldn’t help it, most of the time no one was really interested in what he liked to do or just himself as a person.

 

To try and deal with how awkward he felt with Bill just staring at him like a creep, Dipper tried to draw Pyronica into the conversation. 

 

“Hey Py, wha-,” Dipper paused, his eyes catching on Tad. He had his head down again and was shoving food into his mouth in a gross slow motion tiredness without even lifting his head. Was it really healthy for someone to be this tired all the time? “Is something wrong, Tad? You seem overly tired today.”

 

Tad glanced up, lifting his head with great effort and gave Dipper a look so dark and dead that it sent a shiver down Dipper’s spine. “Dip, I’m always tired,” his voice was hard and scary. “I was born tired,” he added before letting his head drop on the table too hard, making the trays rattle. Dipper wanted to be concerned for his head but Pyronica just pet his hair like this was normal. 

 

“Taddy has insomnia, and he didn’t get any sleep last night either. Don’t mind him, he normally absorbs everything around him anyway,” Bill piped up helpfully. 

 

Dipper looked at Bill and nodded, he guessed that explained it, but he still felt that weird feeling, mostly because it had been Bill to know this incredibly private knowledge. He felt slightly irked at the nickname as well, did Bill give everyone nicknames like that?

 

“You all seem really close,” Dipper muttered, pouting as he dropped his head a bit. Was there even a place for him in this friend group? Wait, did he even want a place?

 

“Well yeah, we’ve all known each other pretty much our whole lives,” Pyronica said with a shrug. 

 

“That maniac used me as a pillow in recess and I haven’t been able to get rid of him since,” Tad hissed, waving his hand in the general direction of Bill. “I can’t be blamed for not being able to escape these two.”

 

Dipper couldn’t help giggling a bit at that. Yet another story of Bill forcing a friendship, for some reason as kids it didn’t sound all that bad. Although considering they weren’t kids anymore and he was still going around with the same tactic it was quite worrying.

 

“He just used you as a pillow?” Dipper asked. 

 

“Yeah! I was just taking my recess nap in peace and I woke up to this gross drool covered rat child cuddling by my side!” Tad explained with a huff, glaring up from the table. Bill blushed from embarrassment and was about to lean over to smack Tad’s head when Dipper started laughing and it melted Bill into a puddle. He thought that his Pinetree’s laugh was the most adorable thing in the world.

 

Encouraged by the positive response he was getting from this story Bill elaborated. “Well I was just walking along, bored out of my mind with Py on vacation, and I see this kid sleeping! What was I supposed to do? Not cuddle?!” Dipper burst out laughing at how ridiculous it was to just fall asleep with a random stranger and Bill’s cheek almost split from how much he loved making his Pinetree laugh. He was so proud of himself!

 

“How did you react when you got back?” Dipper asked Pyronica.

 

She gave him an odd look. “I joined them, of course.” 

 

Dipper squealed, finding it all so hilarious. They were all just so matter of fact about it! 

 

“You're all so weird!” Dipper held his stomach as he laughed. They were all too much!

 

“We were kids, you can’t tell me you didn’t do weird stuff when you were little?” Bill asked, practically high from the situation. 

 

“Does hunting for monsters with my sister count?” He asked, he had an adorable questioning pout and Bill’s heart almost failed. He could have sworn he went into cardiac arrest.

 

“Oh!” Pyronica squealed suddenly, jumping in her seat and rattling the table. “Dipper’s a twin, guys!” She grabbed Dipper’s arm and shook him. “Show them the pictures! Guys I swear they look exactly alike!”

 

Tad raised his head, interest piqued, and Bill’s eyes were practically glowing in excitement. 

 

Dipper blushed but did get his phone out and pulled up a picture of him and Mabel making funny faces at the camera. “This is me and my twin sister. . .” Dipper glanced at Bill. “. . Mabel.”

 

Bill’s mouth dropped into an ‘O’ and his brain blanked completely before he suddenly gasped in delight. HIS SISTER ! He hadn’t been defending a girlfriend, he’d been defending his twin! 

 

Well, now he felt a little embarrassed. 

 

“You two are so cute! Guys aren’t they cute?!” Pyronica showed off the picture after taking the phone from Dipper's hands. Tad squinted at the picture before letting his head drop back into his arms. 

 

“Sure,” he mumbled. 

 

Bill grinned at the picture, finding the glimpse into another side of Dipper a precious gift to his day. So his kitten could be carefree and silly too! That was good information to know. He stored his new discovery away into his mind to remember later.

 

“So you don’t have a girlfriend?” Bill asked and a hush fell over the table as Dipper backed away a bit. 

 

Dipper narrowed his eyes. “No,” he gritted out. 

 

Bill preened again but only for a moment when Tad elbowed him in the ribs. They’d talked at length about asking Dipper about his preferences because apparently that had been a big deal to him. 

 

Bill cleared his throat. “I, Uh, was wondering, actually Py said that . . . It was unfair? Yeah, unfair to assume you liked guys,” Bill blushed, fidgeting in his chair and unable to look at Dipper. “So, um, do you?”

 

Dipper considered the other, calculating the risks of telling the truth. “Well yes and no,” Dipper finally settled on. 

 

All three gave him a confused look and Dipper curled up slightly, flushing down at his hands. “I’m demisexual. So, uh, yeah.” Dipper trailed off lamely. 

 

“Oh,” Pyronica giggled, thanking karma for this amazing situation. Bill couldn't sexily smile his way past that. “Attracted to personality over looks, I like it.” 

 

“Well it’s actually more than personality, it’s how close I am to the person,” he added on.

 

She sent a smirk over at Bill and saw his distressed expression. “That’s even better! You are an absolute icon and I love you.”

 

Dipper flushed at that. “Oh, um, thank you? I guess I love you too?” He wasn’t used to people so casually telling him that they loved him, but it did make him feel incredibly special.

 

Bill’s mind was racing for ways to get close to his kitten, he had to get it done as soon as possible. He couldn’t wait until his Pinetree was officially his. The new information really put a damper on his plans and he was disappointed by the whole thing but also thankful that Dipper trusted them all enough to tell them.

 

Suddenly from the corner of his eye he saw Gabe limp to their table, his arm was in a cast and he was holding his ribs. He glowered at the little shit and almost let out a growl before he stopped himself. He didn’t want Dipper to catch on that he had anything to do with this.

 

Gabe stopped himself at the table and Dipper instantly recognized him. He jumped out of his seat and pointed an accusing finger at the other boy. “You! You were the one that stole my bag!” He glared angrily from his place.

 

“Yea, I-. um,” He glanced over at Bill nervously and gulped. “I just wanted to ap-apologize for my incredibly rude behavior.” He looked Dipper in the eyes and he could see the regret swimming in them.

 

Dipper sat back down, feeling better about the apology, he did take notice how the other boy was injured but paid no mind to it. He thought that maybe he just got into an accident. “Well I can see that you actually regret what you’ve done, so I guess I can forgive you.” He closed his eyes and nodded his head.

 

Gabe let out a shaky breath of relief. “Thank you.” After he had said that, he hobbled away back to his own table.

 

Bill smirked as he watched the whole thing unfold. He was almost sad that he wouldn’t be able to pay the other teen a second visit. Dipper turned back to the table and Bill immediately dropped the smirk from his face, he didn’t need his Pinetree getting any indication that he had done anything wrong.

 

“Wasn’t that nice of him? I wonder what could have prompted him to do such a thing though,” Bill piped up and started eating his lunch.

 

Dipper looked at him and nodded his head. “Yeah, that was nice of him! I guess he just regretted it!” Dipper felt a weird urge come over him and asked, “How did you get my food card back by the way?”

 

Bill hummed. “I went to the office and confirmed that the card was still being used and then I went to the counselor’s office to look through everyone’s profiles to find the person that I saw take your card, then I went to his class and I politely asked for it back and here we are!” He finished.

 

Dipper’s brow furrowed, but if someone had taken his card then they most likely had gone through his bag that first day. And the only time his bag had been out of his sight was when that blond kid had taken it. 

 

“You just asked politely?” Dipper questioned slowly, noticing the way both Tad and Pyronica had looked away, trying to act innocent. Bill averted his eyes. 

 

“That’s what I said, Pinetree,” he stuffed three bites of food into his mouth, looking away. 

 

Dipper narrowed his eyes, look over to the blonde kid. He looked so relieved, like he’d just dodged death itself and his bruises all looked incredibly fresh. 

 

“During first period right?” He pressed, feeling a theory coming together in his mind and with it a sickness swirled in his stomach. 

 

“Mmhmm,” Bill hummed, refusing to look at Dipper still. 

 

Dipper’s eyes focused on Bill's bruised knuckles, and he immediately hid them when he caught Dipper looking. 

 

“Bill,” Dipper glared. “What. Did. You. Do?” He hissed each word, feeling Pyronica tense at his side the same time as Tad and Bill did. 

 

“Nothing,” Bill gasped indulgently. 

 

“BILL! What the fuck did you do!?” Dipper stood up, slamming his hands on the table. 

 

“Fine! Maybe I didn’t ask so politely!” Bill shouted back, standing up. Bill was quickly spiraling back, he didn’t deal well with people yelling at him. Especially people he cared about and on top of that it felt like Dipper was rejecting him once again!

 

Dipper’s eyes widened in horror. “Bill, you have blood on your jeans!” Dipper gasped, seeing it for the first time. 

 

Bill looked down at his jeans and cursed, he really shouldn’t have wiped it there. 

 

“I had to punish him for stealing from you!” Bill yelled in his own defense. Neither teen noticed how the cafeteria had come to a standstill, everyone watching in shock as the school’s target yelled at the school’s top dog. 

 

“No, you didn’t!” Dipper gasped. “That wouldn’t have even happened if you didn’t put that red ‘X’ on me!” Dipper argued in frustration, ignoring the way Pyronica was trying to pull him into a hug and stop his anger. 

 

“Well, that went too far! What did you think I’d do after seeing you cry like that?!” Bill was almost desperately pleading. They’d just been so close, he wanted to go back to that! He was slipping from his place mentally and he was so close to having a breakdown again. He couldn’t lose his sapling, this wasn’t happening.

 

“Bill, I-I’ve seen the way people defer to you. . . You could have done this without violence, I-I,” Dipper shook his head. He couldn’t handle this. “I made a mistake, I have to go. I just can’t handle you.”

 

Dipper quickly picked up his bag, tripping and fumbling as he gathered his stuff. He ignored the way Pyronica tried to call him back, he just didn’t know how to deal with somebody that broke someone else’s arm for basically nothing! 

 

Bill watched him go, feeling his heart crumbling to dust into his hands. He sat heavily back into his seat and tried not to let his eyes well up. He angrily stared at his hands and berated himself. Fuck, he was such an idiot! He was a god damn failure and a complete fuck up! He couldn’t do anything right!

 

Then he watched someone trip his kitten and a dark thought popped into Bill’s head. If Pinetree was going to reject him for who he was, then maybe he’d just do what he wanted! 

 

“Bill, no!” Pyronica yelled somewhere behind him but he was too far gone. 

 

“Shit!” Tad gasped, and only managed to brush the fabric of his jacket while trying to grab him. He was too fast. 

 

Bill grabbed his red sharpie, intent to finish his master plan, and quickly overtook the space between him and Dipper. 

 

Dipper had face planted hard in desperation to escape the situation and felt a panic swell in his gut when a hand grabbed his arm and yanked him up to his feet. 

 

Bill ignored Pinetree’s struggling as he grabbed him by the chin and held him still. 

 

“LISTEN UP!” Bill shouted, still holding Dipper close as he began to make pitiful sniffling noises and struggled to push at his chest. “If anyone messes with this mark, you’ll be the next marked target! You got it?!” Bill growled threateningly. Everyone’s eyes were glued to them, the boys that had tripped Dipper paling considerable. 

 

Dipper looked wide eyed up at Bill with tears glistening in his eyes. What was this psycho doing now? Dipper pushed at his chest, trying to punch him or anything but Bill seemed ready for it and wasn’t allowing Dipper to fight back. 

 

Bill uncapped the red sharpie and Dipper flinched as he thought another ‘X’ was being drawn. The strokes felt different however and he realized that Bill had actually drawn a heart.

 

“Now he’s marked with a heart! If I see, or hear about anyone doing anything even REMOTELY negative to him, I will tear you limb from limb!” He growled out loudly.

 

Dipper shoved Bill away the moment his hold loosened and ran to the bathroom, wiping his eyes as he ran. Everything was all too much! It was all happening too fast!

 

He reached the bathroom and quickly made his way over to the sink, immediately turning it on and pumping soap from the nearby dispenser. He stared at himself in the mirror and frowned, he looked like a mess. He quickly rubbed the soap onto his cheek and let the stressed tears roll down his face as he washed the sharpie off. He sniffled quietly as he wondered why the universe hated him so much. 

 

He absolutely hated being the center of attention and he always seemed to be in the spotlight whenever he was with Bill. It stressed him out too much, adding the fact that Bill had beat someone up for him was not helping either! It weighed him down incredibly and he felt as if it was his fault that the kid had gotten beat up in the first place.

 

Dipper finished washing the sharpie off and stared into the mirror. The red heart was faded but barely noticeable now. He sighed and wiped the remaining tears from his eyes as he sniffled. He was not having a good day now. He thought he started off the day pretty well, but it all snowballed out of control so quickly.

 

He heard the lunch bell ring, signaling that lunch had ended and it was time to go to the third period of the day which was Art. 

 

Dipper clenched the side of the sink, trying to ignore the gnawing of his stomach. He felt like he was going to be sick. Someone had been bleeding and in pain because of Bill’s crush on him. Wait, this wasn’t even a crush anymore, this was an obsession. 

 

Mabel had been a true-crime junky and Dipper couldn’t help the paranoid thoughts that Bill was going to stalk him. His mind coming up with every story about people getting locked in basements and held prisoner, or even being killed. He felt like he was in danger! 

 

Dipper blew out a breath, looked himself in the eye and whispered Mabel’s mantra. It was going to be okay, right? 

 

Despite the very scary situation he found himself in, Dipper couldn't not go to class, especially a class he’d been late to before. 

 

Dipper straightened his backpack, ducked his head in shame and headed for his next class. 

 

He kept an eye out, making sure to avoid anything purple, pink, or blonde. He had liked Pyronica and Tad but so far but as far as Dipper was concerned they were just as crazy! They hadn’t even been surprised that Bill had done that!

 

Luckily everyone else seemed to be avoiding him too. People refused to look at him, bodies jumped out of his way and a group of three boys were even hurriedly cleaning his locker of vandalism with worried expressions. Dipper bit his lip, knowing they were only doing this because of Bill’s threat, and he managed not to break down in the hallway, but only barely. 

 

He traded his books out, ignoring the way they mumbled apologies to him because he knew they weren’t genuine. 

 

Dipper managed to arrive at his class just as the bell rang, and Bill was staring holes into him already. Dipper gulped, paling, he sent off a prayer that Bill wasn’t planning to strangle him for refusing to be his boyfriend and took a seat in the very back. 

 

Dipper ignored the class today, he had to make a game plan. Tomorrow he had woodworking with that psychopath! And what about the other thousand classes he had with Bill?! How was he supposed to keep his GPA up when he’s worried that around any corner Bill would be there, either about to brutally stab him in a crime of passion, or drag him away to some dungeon to keep him as a pet forever! Bill did keep calling him kitten, after all. 

 

The class passed in a whirlwind of paranoid thoughts and anxious ticks, his sweater sleeve was basically soaked through from his chewing at it. The moment the bell rang Dipper was up and sprinting for the door, people leaping out of his way as he went. He heard a call for him but he did not stop; just ran. 

 

He was still in a mad dash when he got to the gym, he was the first to arrive. For a moment Dipper stood there, thinking about how impossible it will be to avoid Bill with no class structure. 

 

Dipper swallowed back his vomit at the thought of Bill cornering him in the locker room, of all places, and moved to the coach’s office before he even had a fully formed plan. 

 

“Uh, couch Dillard?” Dipper mumbled as he stepped in to see the man bent over his phone, watching a sporting event of some kind. 

 

“Yes?” He jumped, looking up to see Dipper. 

 

“I’m, I-I don't feel good,” Dipper whispered. “Can I go to the nurse's office?” 

 

He looked at Dipper, really taking him in. His eyes were red, and his face looked a little green. Not to mention the faint redness from a sharpie mark on his cheek. 

 

The couch’s eyes softened. The poor boy was probably the Ciphers kid's latest target. He felt sympathy for the kid. 

 

“Yeah, you do look a little green around the gills. Why don’t you just head back to your dorm for the day,” the coach smiled for him. He was trying to send good vibes in his thoughts to help him be strong. “And if you ever need anything let me know, okay?”

 

“Thanks coach,” Dipper mumbled and quickly left to head for his room. Relieved for the moment that he wouldn’t be running into Bill in the showers. 

 


 

It was around dinner time now and Dipper’s anxiety was spiking up a tremendous amount. He didn’t know what was going to happen when he reached the cafeteria. In fact he was walking slower than he normally did because he dreaded it so much.

 

He made his way into the dinner line and tried not to sigh when everyone got out of his way. He really didn’t need this treatment from them. He was perfectly content just blending into the background, but that was something that he could no longer do.

 

He walked up to the first lunch lady and gave her the best smile he could muster.

 

“What will it be, dear?” She asked him, lighting up when she saw him.

 

“I’ll have the spaghetti and meatballs, please,” he stated politely.

 

She handed him his food and he moved on towards the second lunch lady and decided that he would go with more strawberry milk.

 

“I’d like the strawberry milk, if you could,” he reached out his hand and grabbed the carton and gave her a smile, as he made his way towards the checkout.

 

Dipper grabbed his food card from his bag and gave it to the third lunch lady who gave him a beaming smile that he returned. Once she gave his card back he slipped it back into his bag and made his way over to a fairly empty table.

 

When he sat down however everyone sitting there had gotten up and left hurriedly. He didn’t know whether or not he should be thankful, or hurt, because while at the same time he wanted to be left alone, he also didn’t like people avoiding him like the plague.

 

He ate his food in silence for a couple of minutes before a trio of people came to the table and sat all around him, with someone sitting next to him.

 

Dipper glanced up from his plate and his eyes widened as he realized who had just sat down. Of course it had to be Tad, Pyronica, and Bill. He immediately moved to get his stuff and leave the table but Bill pulled him down by his hand and forced him to sit back down.

 

“Listen kitten, we need to talk about everything that happened,” he sighed.

 

Dipper’s paranoia and anxiety shot up very quickly at his statement. He didn’t want to be here at all! He wanted to escape so badly. He could feel his breathing quicken.

 

“I’m sorry about what I did and I know it was wrong of me to do that, but I just did what I thought was right! I thought I had to get revenge for you but it made you upset and I’m truly sorry!” Bill apologized.

 

The other boy shook his head. “Bill, I can’t just forgive you for beating someone up so badly like that! I can’t trust you! You’re a psycho!” Dipper yelled at him. Pyronica left out a soft gasp and shared a worried look with Tad, They both knew an explosion was about to happen, but could do nothing to stop it.

 

Bill felt the rejection make a deep crack in his heart. He wasn’t a psycho! He was doing better! They told him he was doing better! He felt anger and sadness swirl together in the depths of his heart and had to stop himself from crying right then and there.

 

“Yes, you can! I’m not a psycho, I swear! I just care about you so much!” Bill pleaded.

 

Dipper shook his head once again in desperation, trying to free himself from Bill’s hold. “No I’m sorry I can’t! I-” he was suddenly cut off.

 

Someone slammed into Bill and got a little food on Bill’s leather jacket. Dipper recognized the other boy as the one who poured milk on him during his first day.

 

Bill saw red, he couldn’t control himself. Someone ruined his precious jacket and he was being rejected by his Pinetree. He whirled around and stood up sending a punch right into the other boy’s face. He heard a groan as he toppled over and Bill immediately jumped over his seat to straddle the other boy and punch him repeatedly.

 

“WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU JUST DO YOU PIECE OF SHIT?! I”LL FUCKING KILL YOU FOR TOUCHING MY JACKET, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?! DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHO I AM?! ABSOLUTELY NO ONE TOUCHED MY FUCKING JACKET!” He screamed, he let his anger fully consume him.

 

Dipper watched in horror as the other boy’s face got more and more bloody, he was desperately trying to get Bill off of him but he was too weak. Dipper started hyperventilating but was glued to his seat, his legs had fully lost feeling. He didn’t know what to do!

 

Pyronica vaulted over the table and grabbed Bill by the collar of his shirt. She dragged him away from the situation and into the hall. The whole time he was seething and yelling curses and threats at the bloodied boy laying on the ground.

 

Tad looked up and Dipper immediately started ranting.

 

“Dude what the fuck? What the FUCK?! What just happened?! He went completely psycho! Oh God, I knew he was dangerous! I should have stayed far, far away from him. What am I gonna do? I can’t-” He choked on his breath, tears sliding down his face. “I’m so fucking scared, what the fuck is going on?! I don’t understand that kid just bumped into him and he just FREAKED out! Is he like this all the time?! Why isn’t anyone doing anything about this?!” He looked at the other boy who was passed out on the ground. “Oh my God, there’s so much blood I think I’m gonna be sick, what the fuck!”

 

Dipper tore his eyes away from the unconscious boy and continued. “What kind of monster even does this?! HE SHOULD BE IN AN ASYLUM! I mean why is he even allowed to do this I don’t understand! He’s so sick and twisted and-”

 

He was cut off when Tad patted his head a few times. “I pressed the snooze button, now everything is fine, please stop ringing.”

 

Dipper looked at Tad with wide eyes and took in his extremely tired expression. He began laughing from hysteria and calmed down after he was done cackling. He really needed someone to break his energy and Tad had done just that.

 

“Thanks for that Tad, I kinda needed that…” He trailed off.

Chapter Text

Pyronica dragged Bill into the empty hallway and he was practically foaming at the mouth from rage. She let go of his collar and put her hands on her hips as she stared at him.

 

“Bill, what the fuck did we talk about with your temper?” She demanded.

 

“It’s not even my fucking fault! That asshole was the one who started it!” He shouted.

 

Pyronica sighed and pulled him into a comforting hug, she pet his hair softly. “Okay but just because someone starts something doesn’t mean you have to engage in it.” Pyronica was very careful how she worded the small lecture. If Bill ever felt like he was losing her or Tad he’d probably fall apart for good. 

 

Bill started sobbing the moment he was hugged, his emotions would give others whiplash but Pyronica knew to expect them. “I know! Fuck, I’m such a failure! I always revert back to my old habits and I thought I was doing so much better! This isn’t fair!”

 

She rubbed his back comfortingly. “There there, you’re okay sweetie. You just got wrapped up in the moment is all.”

 

“Dipper just rejected me and he called me a psycho and I’m not a psycho! How could he say that?!” He buried his face in her neck as he cried and wrapped his arms around her waist as tightly as he could. He was shaking as he sobbed.

 

“It’s okay, you’re okay! He was just shaken up by all the things you did!” She comforted him. Bill pulled away, seeing the way Dipper had reacted to him in his mind. How scared he’d been, he couldn’t handle it. 

 

He could barely hear her, he could only hear Dipper calling him a psycho, he didn’t realize it but he began to mumble that he wasn’t one over and over. Bill shook his head, bringing his hands up to pull and tug at his hair. He ripped at it and couldn’t even bring himself to care until Pyronica’s hands gently took his and held them against his chest. 

 

“Bill,” Pyronica held his hands tightly, looking right into his eyes. “I know you have a lot of big feelings, and they might feel overwhelming right now, but you have to breathe.” 

 

Bill sucked in a deep breath when she did, they’d done this many times. Breathing together until he calmed down, her hand on his chest and her finger tapping out a rhythm to breathe too. 

 

“Good,” Pyronica gave him a smile. “See? It’s all going to work out fine, you’ll see. I’m sure Dipper will come around, okay? That was just really scary, but that’s not you, okay?”

 

“H-he looked at m-me like I wa-was a monster,” Bill hiccuped. Feeling even worse as he looked at the hair he’d ripped out. Shelly was going to be disappointed in him, somehow that was just as painful of a thought. 

 

“You aren’t a monster,” Pyronica pulled him back into her arms, he sobbed into her neck, desperately holding onto her shirt. “You aren’t! I know you, Bill, you just don’t think sometimes but it’s all gonna be okay.”

 

Bill nodded, relaxing a bit as she rubbed his back. 

 

Back in the cafeteria Dipper quickly gathered his things and said a quick goodbye to Tad. 

 

“Um, bye, I-.” Dipper gulped, not really knowing how to end a friendship. 

 

“It’s okay Dip,” Tad nodded to him. “I understand,” Tad gave him a sympathetic smile but didn’t lay back down this time. Dipper was ready to leave when he looked to Tad, sensing he had something more to say. “Try not to judge him harshly because of this, he really is trying to get better, and he’s already improved a lot. He just likes you a lot and it brings out a lot of big emotions in him, if it helps I promise you he’d never do that to you,” he pointed to the bloodied kid, now being helped up by a few teachers. 

 

Dipper gulped, and took a calming breath. “I haven’t seen any evidence to prove that, bye Tad. It was nice knowing you.” Dipper shouldered his bag and made a B-line for the door. 

 

Pyronica noticed him as he walked out and Dipper was surprised to see them on the floor in the hall, just hugging it out. Bill looked to be crying, his hands curled into her shirt completely. 

 

She tried to give him a smile but Dipper couldn’t. He really liked her, he thought they could be great friends. He just couldn’t handle Bill, if it wasn’t enough that he had an anger problem that could put a dragon to shame, he was also obsessive and possessive, and really stuck on the idea of them being together. 

 

Dipper just couldn’t deal with that, it was too much. 

 

So he turned away, trying not to feel bad when Bill started crying harder at the final rejection. Dipper needed to get to class, and hopefully this would be the last he’d interact with one Bill Cipher. 

 


 

A week and a half passed in a bore of inactivity. Dipper’s anxiety slowly returned to normal as Bill actually kept away from him. The school still avoided any contact with him, but it seemed a tenuous peace had been formed. 

 

Dipper ignored the way Bill stared at him, sometimes drawing something that Dipper never dared peek at. In fact he did his best to never even meet his eyes, afraid it would break the weird truce. 

 

Dipper was starting to feel the effects of being completely isolated. He had no roommate, he had no friends, barely anyone but the lunch ladies and teachers spoke to him. Dipper felt that any moment he’d go into withdrawal from lack of hugs!

 

But that was all about to change. Today was family day! He may have only been at the school two weeks but everyone else had been here a few months. Today the school invited one parent or guardian to shadow their kid through their classes and then had a welcome lunch and dinner with up to three family members! 

 

Dipper was basically up before the sun from his excitement to start the day. His parents couldn’t come, sadly, they’d apologized profusely over video chat, but his Grunkle Ford was going to drive down and shadow his classes with him. Then Stan and Mabel would be there for lunch and Dinner! 

 

It was going to be a perfect day! There was no one better to judge his teachers then Ford and he’d make up for all the missed cuddles with Mabel!

 

Dipper showered quickly, he’d gone back to his regular products, he just hadn’t been able to bring himself to touch anything Bill had got him. All of it was packed up neatly under his bed, waiting for the day he had the courage to return it. 

 

Dipper shook his head, he wasn’t going to think about Bill today! Today was about family! And seeing his twin! Dipper brushed his hair quickly, and threw on a pastel rainbow sweater and some light wash jeans. He cuffed up his jeans and tied his shoes. Ready for the day, a good two hours before breakfast would even be served. 

 

Not knowing what else to do Dipper opened his books and did a little light studying to start his day. Wendy had sent over some scans of her college textbook and a bit of her course work so he got to compare and contrast some information, which was fun. 

 

By the time seven rolled around Ford had sent a message saying he had arrived and was waiting by the cafeteria. He smiled at the message, he was so excited to see his Grunkle!

 

Dipper tossed the books into his bag and was out the door before even a minute had passed. Making his way quickly to the cafeteria. 

 

It was still considered early but a few parents were already loitering around, waiting for their kids. Dipper spotted the twelve fingered man and immediately kick started into a run. 

 

“GRUNKLE FORD!” Dipper yelled, jumping the man and throwing his arms around his waist. 

 

“Dipper!” Ford chuckled, barely keeping his balance and patting the boy on the back. “It’s only been two weeks.”

 

“Well it feels like forever!” Dipper retorted, tightening his hold on his Grunkle. 

 

“Come on, let’s get breakfast. I’m excited to see if the course work at this school is as good as it’s claimed,” Ford laughed, pulled Dipper off so they could head inside. 

 

Ford didn’t seem to notice or care about the way anyone that passed lurched away from Dipper. As a fellow introvert he rarely noticed much outside those he cared about. Dipper and Ford began to talk on Ford’s latest experiments, Dipper piped up every now and then to suggest this or that to enhance the experiment and its results. 

 

“I can’t wait for you to start interning in college, you better believe I’m going to snatch you up as a research assistant!” Ford smiled at the boy, he truly loved his nephew. He was just as smart as Ford had been, maybe smarter. He was going to go far. He was already so proud of the boy.

 

“I’m so excited! Once I’m your assistant I can use the mass spectrometer! And didn’t you recently assist on a particle collider?!” Dipper asked with stars in his eyes. He just wanted so desperately to use all the shiny tools and expensive toys in Ford’s lab! 

 

“Don’t worry, that day is coming soon,” Ford ruffled his hair as they got into line. 

 




Bill waited at the front of the school searching for his parents’ cars. He tapped his foot anxiously on the ground and crossed his arms as he bit his lip. He didn’t know when they would be arriving. He checked his watch five times in the last three minutes and his brow furrowed. They should be here by now.

 

Suddenly he got a text on his phone, it was from his mother. It read: “Let your father know I won’t be coming unless he gets rid of his newest whore.” Bill frowned down at the screen, deleting it since he could feel himself slipping from one read over. 

 

He got another text from his father saying: “Tell your mother she can go to family day alone since she hates me so much.”

 

Bill felt tears pricking his eyes as he stared at his phone. He knew he should have expected this, it always happened. Yet he couldn’t help but hope that today would be different. He always hoped that it would be different, but he was sorely mistaken.

 

He wiped away the beginnings of a breakdown from his face and sniffled. He opened up his phone and called one of the only people he knew he could rely on, Shelly. His second mother. He scrolled to his favorites list and quickly tapped on her icon, letting the phone dial her.

 

She picked up after two rings.

 

“Hello? Bill, sweetie what’s wrong? You usually don’t call me during school,” she asked, concerned.

 

Bill drew in a shaky breath and responded. “Momma? Can you come spend family day with me at school? My parents decided again that they weren’t coming…” He had to stop himself from crying. He wouldn’t cry, he was a tough cookie.

 

“I’ll be there in ten, wait for me,” she said softly.

 

He nodded even though she couldn’t see him and hung up the phone. He squatted down to the ground and ran a hand through his messy hair. It wasn’t fair that his parents’ absence in his life affected him so much still. He should be used to it by now, but everytime he was let down he was once again reduced to a sniveling child. He hated it.

 

He got lost in his thoughts and didn’t notice when a pair of feet stopped in front of him. The person patted his head comfortingly and he looked up to see Shelly. He bolted up from where he was and quickly enveloped her in a bone crushing hug.

 

She laughed and rubbed his back. “Hey there kiddo, I know you must feel down but that’s why I’m here to turn that frown upside down!” She chuckled at the rhyme she just made.

 

Bill pulled away and smiled at her. “Thanks for coming momma, I knew I could always count on you.” He looked down at his feet and shuffled a little, he felt like a child.

 

“Anything for you sweetie, now come on let’s get inside shall we?” She steered him towards the building and they walked in a comfortable silence.

 

Once they reached the building they had to check in with the office to authorize Shelly as a visitor. They signed all of the papers they needed to and headed through the doors and into the hallway. Bill hung onto Shelly’s cardigan sleeve as they walked, he felt like if he let go of her she would somehow disappear completely on him. He was scared.

 

They reached Bill’s first class of the day which happened to be English. The two of them walked into the classroom and Bill was surprised to see a past middle aged man that was arguing with the English teacher while Dipper was off to the side watching them, his face hot from embarrassment. He turned his head away when Shelly walked to the back of the classroom, where there were extra tables and chairs set up for the visiting parents and guardians.

 

He was reluctant to let her go but she gave him a soft smile and a quick hug which prompted him to relax and go sit at his own desk in the back of the classroom. He wasn’t feeling his usual today, he had hoped his parents would come, so he had dressed up, trying to impress them. Which he now knew was pointless. He was wearing a black button up shirt that he had since rolled up the sleeves for with a gold tie and paired it with a pair of tight fitting black slacks with gold accents. On his feet were a pair of dark brown Oxfords, he dressed to impress but it seemed that the only people he wanted to impress would not be present. His usual leather jacket was absent due to it not fitting the style that he was going for. His hair had been styled perfectly earlier but was now slightly messed up from how often he ran his fingers through it due to stress.

 

Bill tried not to let it get to him, he pulled his drawing materials from his bag when the bell rang. He saw the man that was with Dipper end the argument with the teacher and watched as he made his way towards the back of the classroom to take his seat. Bill glanced at his Pinetree and stifled a chuckle at the way he was so red faced, he almost completely resembled a strawberry.

 

Dipper sat down at his desk which was situated at the very front of the classroom and paid his full attention to the teacher’s lecture. Bill on the other hand began to tune the teacher out in favor of popping in his AirPods and listening to music as he drew his favorite person. He decided he would draw his sapling with a strawberry hair pin in his locks and that cute blush gracing his features.

 

Out of the blue someone tapped him on the shoulder in the middle of his drawing session. He turned around to shoot a glare at the person who disturbed him, only to come face to face with the man the teacher was arguing with.

 

He gave him an unimpressed look. “What do you want?”

 

“Excuse me young man, but you should be paying attention to the lesson, it’s extremely important to your education. Even if this school isn’t aware that Tesla is far more worth learning about than Edison,” he stated matter of fact.

 

Bill gave him an incredulous look and felt annoyance bubble up in his chest. What the fuck? “Don’t tell me what to do,” he glanced at the man’s hands and noticed he had six fingers on each. “Sixer,” he finished.

 

The man raised an eyebrow at him and looked offended. “I’m only trying to help you there, son. It’s for your own good.”

 

“That’s my business and my business only. Not some random old man’s,” he growled out.

 

With that Bill promptly turned back around and smirked proudly when he heard an indignant sound come from behind him. That sure showed him. Who the fuck did he think he was sticking his nose into his business?

 

He turned his volume up on his AirPods all the way and continued blasting AJJ’s Children Of God, the song was incredibly gory despite its name. He bobbed his head along to the beat and got lost in the strokes of graphite on paper. He had done nothing but draw Dipper for the past week and he still wasn’t getting tired of it. He honestly didn’t think that he would ever get tired of it.

 

He felt another tap on his shoulder and growled as he turned around and took out one of his AirPods. He was facing the old man once again and he raised his eyebrow impatiently.

 

“What the fuck do you want now, sixer?” He bit out.

 

The man let out a surprised sound in the back of his throat but steeled himself. “Why are you drawing my nephew?”

 

Bill’s eyes widened in surprise. So poindexter here was his kitten’s uncle huh? “None of your fuckin beesewax old man, leave me alone.” 

 

With that he popped his AirPod back into his ear and continued jamming to the next song on his playlist while drawing Dipper. He finished a few minutes before the bell rang and he had to say that he was quite proud of himself. The drawing turned out much cuter than he had originally intended it to.

 

Shelly came up to his desk, tapping her foot, with a raised eyebrow. 

 

“What?” He asked her with a bashful little smile. He was feeling good considering his drawing had turned out so well. 

 

“You were incredibly rude to that man, and you haven’t been paying attention the entire class,” Shelly sighed. “I expect better from one of my little street urchins.” Bill flushed, she always called him, Py, and Tad that since she met them years back. 

 

“It’s not like it even matters, even if I tried it’s not like anyone would know. All the teachers are too scared of being fired by my mom to mark me down,” Bill pouted. The days of him trying to use academics to impress his parents had ended a long time ago, right after finding out that he wasn’t getting ‘A’ s because he’d worked for it but because his mother was paying for it. 

 

He couldn’t help the crushing disappointment when he’d run all the way home, gripping his spelling test with glee, only to show his mother and for her to scoff. Saying to him at the tender age that he was lucky she had stepped in to get him the grade. He hadn’t bothered since then. Why should he?

 

“You were still rude,” Shelly sighed but she couldn’t stay upset with him for long and smiled. “Alright chemistry next, right?” 

 

“Yep!” He had recently found a love for chemistry, if only for the way Dipper would bite his lip in excitement and his eyes would shine whenever they learned something new.  

 

Dipper looked between Bill and his Grunkle with an odd look. The man was smirking like he knew a secret and while normally Dipper would be begging to know it, he was a little caught up wondering why Bill’s hairdresser was here instead of his parents. 

 

He promised himself he wouldn’t think about Bill today but. . . this was a special circumstance. It was just so odd! 

 

“Dipper, I never knew you were such a heartbreaker,” Ford suddenly broke him out of his wondering. 

 

“What?” Dipper asked, having no idea what Ford meant. 

 

Ford laughed in that way adults did when they thought teens were being extra cute in their obtuseness of how the world worked. 

 

“Don’t worry about it,” Ford guffawed at him, patting his back while they headed to Dipper's second class. 

 

Dipper quickly let it go, focusing instead on his favorite class. The chemistry teacher had to be his favorite! She had a PHD and was very serious about teaching, which Dipper appreciated. 

 

They took their seats, Bill pointedly sat on the other side of the room from Dipper and his Grunkle and once again Dipper couldn’t help but wonder why. 

 

Dipper caught eyes with Shelly and she sent him a smile and a little wave, before taking up a seat in the back across from Ford. She whispered something to him and he waved her away with a chuckle. 

 

What the fuck was happening today? 

 

Dipper rolled his eyes, and looked back to the teacher as she began her lesson. They only made it a few minutes before the door slammed open. 

 

Everyone was so used to the disturbance around this time that the teacher didn’t stop, and it took everyone a moment to realize that this wasn’t Bill coming in late once again. 

 

“DIPPIN’ DOTS!” A shrill scream made everyone turn and Dipper had no warning as he was physically tackled out of his chair. 

 

Bill jumped up, ready to defend his kitten when he saw a blur of pink and brown knock Dipper to the floor. They rolled around like an old fashioned cartoon fight cloud for a moment before the sound of Dipper’s bell like laughter calmed Bill’s racing heart. 

 

“Mabes!” Dipper hugged his sister around the neck, not even caring that she was straddled on top of him in the middle of class. 

 

“DIP! You are so easy to take down still! Whoop! Still the alpha twin!” Mabel began to chant, pumping up her fists. 

 

“I’m really happy to see you! You have no idea how much I missed you!” Dipper grinned so hard his cheeks hurt. 

 

Bill felt his everything flutter watching the two twins, only a little shocked that she was so. . . not like Dipper. In fact from what he had seen they could not have been more different.

 

“Mabel! What are you doing disturbing the classroom!” Ford yelled, both twins unwrapped from each other and noticed the way the class was staring at them. 

 

Grunkle Ford ,” Mabel whined, getting over the embarrassment far quicker than Dipper. “You can’t expect me to wait! I haven’t been seperated from my twin this long ever!” She laid dramatically over Dipper's shoulder, pouting at the man. 

 

“It has been two weeks!” 

 

“Mabel!” Everyone looked to the door, many having to double take between the parent Dipper had brought and the doppelgänger at the door. “Sorry Sixer, Sorry kid, I couldn’t dare to dream to hold her back.”

 

Mabel grinned in pride from the praise, as she would name it, of being uncontainable. 

 

“Stan! You were supposed to be in charge of her, can you be an adult for once?” Ford was rubbing the bridge of his nose. He sent apologetic looks to the teacher. She had been in the middle of a fascinating subject matter. 

 

“You try it sometime! She’s like a T-Rex!” 

 

“Maybe we can have this argument later?” Dipper spoke up, feeling his head was about to explode from heat. He wished the floor would shallow him up whole. 

 

“Oh fine!” Mabel grinned. “I got my hug, but I’m collecting interest once school is over,” she stuck her tongue out in teasing disgust. In a quick movement she grabbed Dipper’s head and gave him a sloppy kiss on the cheek, going as far to lick him like a dog. 

 

“Ew! Mabel!” She was already half way back to the door before he could even swat at her. He rubbed his cheek and took his place again. He wiped at the spot she licked once again and grimaced.

 

Bill awed over the two, immediately turning the page in his sketchbook to draw out the two twins. Dipper just looked so happy next to her. 

 

The rest of class went by without a hitch, Bill continued to draw Dipper and Mabel, depicting the scene he had just watched as accurately as he could. A few minutes before the bell rang the door to the classroom once again slammed open.

 

Everyone turned their heads to look at the newcomer and immediately turned their heads away when they realized who it was. It was none other than Martha Cipher, Bill’s mother, and chairman of the school. She strode over to Bill and gripped him by his hair, forcing him to look up at her.

 

“What do you think you’re doing boy?!” She yelled at him.

 

His hands shot up to grip hers as he tried to pull it away from his locks. “I’m not doing anything mother ,” he glared up at her. “What are you doing here?”

 

She threw him out of his seat. “You’ve gone and replaced me with some low class college drop out, not even worthy of being called a woman!” She screeched.

 

Dipper gasped as he watched the scene unfold. That woman just threw the most dangerous person he currently knew onto the floor like it was nothing. He didn’t even see Bill attempt to get up, in all honesty it worried him. He was starting to put together the pieces.

 

He landed on the floor with a thud and growled at her. “Don’t you dare talk about Shelly that way!” Bill was seeing red. Shelly had raised him while she was off doing whatever she wanted!

 

She sneered down at him and pressed the heel of her stiletto into his cheek. “You listen to me and you listen to me well, boy.” She pressed her foot down threateningly. “You don’t order me around! Do you hear me?! I own you, you useless gremlin child! I was the one who gave birth to you! You should be thanking me!”

 

Dipper felt bile rise in the back of his throat. How could someone say such things to their own son? It seemed so sick and twisted. He continued to watch in horror as the woman became more and more violent. It became clear to Dipper that Shelly was more than just his hairdresser at this point but he didn’t know how far it reached.

 

Bill didn’t dare try to move her foot away from his face and he did his best to fight back his tears. “Yes mother.” His voice cracked. 

 

Dipper could have sworn he felt his heart break when Bill uttered those words. He sounded so broken and defeated, it was nothing like he was used to. He decided that he hated seeing Bill act in such a way. His heart wrenched as he saw that there were tears glistening in the other boy’s eyes.

 

Martha removed her heel from his face and straightened herself out, glaring down at him. “You’re incredibly lucky that I’m stopping here, if I was to go any farther you would really regret ever crossing me.” She sneered.

 

She turned to Shelly who watched the whole thing in shock, not being able to move. “And as for you!” She pointed her finger accusingly at the other woman and slapped her. “Who do you think you are, trying to replace me as the mother figure in my child’s life?! You’re nothing but scum at the bottom of my feet! Look at you!” She slapped her again. “How do you live with yourself knowing that you are an absolute failure?!” She scoffed and turned back around.

 

Dipper almost wanted to intervene at this point. This woman was going around assaulting people and no one was doing anything! He glanced around the classroom and noticed that everyone was turned away not watching the scene or too invested to do anything, they were all stuck in their seats. Ford was just frozen in shock, watching in horror. 

 

Shelly held her face and began to feel a maternal fury rise up in her throat. She was used to Martha’s disdain for her but how dare she do this here! How dare she embarrass Bill like this and worse yet, actually lay her hands on him! 

 

“I think I’m the only one that held his hand when he was diagnosed!” Shelly roared, standing up to shove the mean woman on her shoulders. “I think I’m the one that helped him through his depression, I think I’m the one that picked up medication when you , the woman claiming to be his mother, refused to admit that mental illness is real!” 

 

Suddenly everything made sense to Dipper. Shelly seemed to be a mother figure in Bill’s life. Looking at the person he called mother now he could see why he had to turn somewhere else. He could see how Bill was affected by the toxic environment that the woman probably provided him with. It was sickening to him. Hearing such personal things be thrown out like cannon fire made him extremely uncomfortable, but he couldn’t bring himself to ignore the situation.

 

“There is nothing wrong with my child!” Martha yelled. “And he shouldn’t need his hand held! He should be a man!”

 

“That’s a horrible standard to place on him!” Shelly pushed her again. “I may be barren, but no one is more of a failure as a woman and mother than you!” 

 

Martha lashed out, striking Shelly across the face again, this time her nails digging into Shelly’s cheek. 

 

Dipper gasped once again. She was becoming increasingly unstable and he became worried for the safety and well being of everyone in the classroom. He had no idea what was going to happen next. He tried to move his body to stop what was going on but it wouldn’t listen to him. He was frozen in place like a statue, he was caged inside his own body.

 

Shelly dropped, holding her bleeding cheek. She looked to Bill, he was staring at her with wide eyes, his gaze locked on her bleeding cheek. She could see his breath begin to quicken and she just knew he’d blame himself for her injury. 

 

“Wait, no Bill, I’m fine!” Shelly tried before Bill had jumped up, flipping a desk in his way and was sprinting down the hall. 

 

Shelly bit her lip and knew she wouldn’t get past Martha to help him, and her other two symbolically adopted street kids weren’t in the class to help. She suddenly whipped around to Dipper. 

 

Bill had brought him to her, he had to trust the kid. 

 

“Dipper, please. He needs someone,” she pleaded. “Go after him, please,” Shelly whispered.

 

 Dipper looked away, hating that she was putting him up to this but Bill had actually looked stricken when he’d ran by. He couldn’t help the pity that swarmed in his gut.

 

 “He shouldn’t be alone.” Dipper nodded, he looked to Ford who also nodded for him to follow. 

 

“I’ll make sure no murders happen,” he whispered, since he knew Dipper would worry. 

 

Dipper edged past the volatile woman, running out of the classroom and followed the trail of punched out lockers and shoved over people to the bathroom. He couldn’t hear anything coming from it and Dipper had to gather his courage to open the door. He took a few deep breaths and entered.

 

 Inside the bathroom it looked like a hurricane had rampaged. Cubicle doors had been kicked in, one of the sink faucets was torn off and the floor was littered with papers from Bill's backpack. The bag itself looked like a dog had attacked it with vengeance. Curled up in the far corner, sobbing, shaking, and barely seeming to be breathing through his wheezing was Bill. Dipper felt his heart drop in his chest and he mourned for the other boy. He looked so small curled up in the corner like that and it truly was a pitiful sight to behold. 

 

Dipper slowly stepped through the wreckage, approaching Bill like he would an injured wild animal. 

 

“Bill?” Dipper asked softly. Wincing when Bill flinched and curled up tighter like it would protect him from everything. He understood the feeling, he had gone through it enough times in his own life.

 

 “Go away! I’m a monster!” Bill whispered, his voice sounding dead and hollow. “I’m a psycho and I can’t do anything right, no one is supposed to love me, so just go away!”

 

Dipper softened. “No that’s not true, you’re not a monster, that’s not true. You deserve to be loved, Bill let me help you.”

 

Bill slightly relaxed at his calm tone of voice before he froze back up and curled in on himself even more. “I know you’re lying to me. Everyone lies to me. I’m a nasty person. I don’t deserve anything at all. You want to help me? So does everyone else. How is anyone supposed to help me when I can’t even help myself?” A sob wracked through his body and it felt like his heart was tearing itself apart bit by bit.

 

“Bill listen to me. You have to want to help yourself. I know you love the people around you and you don’t want to make them sad right? I’m not lying when I tell you that you are worth it. You are not a nasty person. You just have issues that you need to work through.” Dipper sat down in front of him and patted his head. Repeating what he’d heard everyone say. It was no wonder he had problems with a mother like that!

 

“How do you know that? I want to help myself more than anything but my damn mother won’t let me! She always worms her way back into my thoughts and I’m sick of it! I let her walk all over me and do whatever she pleases! She hurt Shelly this time! I’m a fucking mess and I’m a lost cause !” Bill glared angrily at nothing and rubbed the fresh tears running down his face away. “Now run away before I hurt you, just like I let her hurt Shelly,” he spit out.

 

Dipper paused. “Bill I know you would never hurt me. You’ve been trying so hard just to get me to like you and you even gave me space when I needed it. You may be a mess but you’re definitely not a lost cause. No one ever is! I’m definitely not going to leave you here like this, not when you need someone to lean on.” He pulled the other boy into a hug. “It’s not your fault that Shelly got hurt, it was your mother’s.”

 

Bill sobbed even harder and buried his face into Dipper’s neck, letting himself cry as hard as he wanted. “You don’t know that! I’m so unstable! I thought I was doing better! Shelly was so proud of me! Now all I can feel is that she’s disappointed in me. I’m the first lost cause you’ll ever meet then. Please, don’t leave me here. It hurts so bad …” He trailed off.

 

Dipper felt his own tears prickling at the corner of his eyes, it absolutely broke his heart to see someone so beaten down and it was almost like he had given up. “But you can get better! You’ve worked so hard , don’t stop now! I know you can do this! You have to make everyone proud! You are not a lost cause stop saying that, you are a human being and we all have our flaws, yours just happen to be more pronounced and that’s okay!” Dipper held him tighter. “I promise I won’t leave you here. I know how scary the void can be.”

 

Bill sniffled and felt a fresh wave of tears flow down his face. “Why are you being so nice to me? I can’t bring myself to believe any of it! You should hate me! I’m not a human , I'm a monster ! She told me I was a monster! I’m nothing but flaws that's the thing! There’s nothing good about me!

 

“I don’t even know why you're being nice to me! Like you said I’m a psycho! And I beat up those other kids and I scared you!” Bill paused, waiting for Dipper to remember and leave him but he didn’t. Bill let out another sob. “Okay, if you won’t leave me you have to pinky promise.”

 

Dipper put Bill at an arm’s length and locked their pinkies together, before letting go and pulling him back into another hug. “That’s kind of childish but I pinky promise I won’t leave you. I’m being nice to you because you deserve to be comforted. You don’t deserve to feel like this because no one does. Don’t listen to the lies they tell you, don’t tell me that you look in the mirror and see a monster when all I can see is a rebellious teenage boy. Bill, you have flaws but that’s not who you are entirely , if you were, people wouldn’t stay around you! I’m sure you have many good qualities!”

 

Bill pulled back and swiped the tears from his cheeks, covering his eyes with his hands. Dipper smiled sadly at him and removed his hands from his face using the sleeves of his sweater to wipe away Bill’s remaining tears. 

 

Bill took a few deep breaths and willed himself to stop crying. “Thank you. Your words mean more to me than you will ever know. I’ll cherish them for my entire lifetime. You want to make me believe in myself again. That’s a gift greater than anyone has ever given me. Thank you so much .”

 

Dipper pulled him in even closer, cuddling Bill into his side. He sent a death glare up at a kid that walked in, but he immediately backed out when he saw the carnage. 

 

“Bill,” Dipper gently pet his hair. Wishing that he hadn’t sounded so devoid of everything, and like he didn’t deserve any human kindness. “It’s okay, I’ve got you for as long as you need. You’re valid , and you're allowed to feel like this. It’s gonna be okay,” Dipper whispered. 

 

Bill hiccuped and shook in Dipper’s arms, hiding his face more firmly in Dipper’s neck. They sat like that for a while. Somewhere in the distance the lunch bell rang but neither boy cared. Dipper wouldn’t have guessed that the egotistical jerk he knew a week earlier, was being this strong for so long. Maybe he wasn’t so much of a bad boy but more of a lost boy. He still had a lot to apologize for, and make up for, and his problems didn’t mean it was an excuse, but it was an explanation at the very least. 

 

“Pinetree?”

 

“Yeah?” 

 

“Can we stay like this for a bit longer?” Bill felt silly and unsure, like at any moment the last bit of good in his life would be swallowed up.  

 

Dipper patted his head again, getting himself comfortable. “We can stay for as long as you need.” 

 

Chapter Text

i hate him and love him at the same time god speed

Chapter Text

dip is wearing one of bills many jackets uwu also speedpaint is up here

Chapter Text

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.

 

“Sapling?”

 

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.

Chapter Text

Dipper and Bill walked into their art class. Dipper had told Bill beforehand that he was allowed to sit next to him, which apparently made the other boy incredibly happy. They sat down at the front of the classroom and got out their materials.

 

Ford and Shelly followed them to their class and made their way to the back of the room to take their seats with the other parents and guardians that were already there.

 

Bill brought out a variety of different pencils that ranged from 4H to 6B, a kneaded eraser, and his thankfully unharmed sketchbook. All of the important things that he needed were completely untouched in his fit of rage from earlier, mainly what he needed for art.

 

The teacher stood up from her desk and made her way to the board as the bell rang. She cleared her throat and began to speak.

 

“Good morning, class and guardians. Today we will be doing landscape graphite drawings. You will use the skills that I have taught you in our previous classes together to create any type of scenery you wish.” She finished off her instructions and began handing out large sheets of paper to the students so they could begin working.

 

Bill started working on his own sketches and decided to draw a pine forest. He pulled up references on his phone and began lightly sketching the outline of the forest along with the sunset. He was inspired by Dipper’s phone case and used the opportunity to put the inspiration to good use for an assignment.

 

He was completely absorbed into his work-- adding, hatching and shading wherever he saw fit. He was piling on details of leaves and bark as he got into the rhythm of creating a sketch. He erased some of where the trees had to be highlighted.

 

Around thirty minutes had passed when he suddenly heard Dipper gasp next to him. He looked at him alarmed.

 

“What? What happened? What’s wrong?” he panicked.

 

Dipper pointed at his paper and held a hand over his mouth. “Dude! Your art is amazing, what the heck?”

 

Bill visibly relaxed and gave him a shy smile. “Oh thank God. But thank you though, that means a lot to me, kitten.”

 

Dipper leaned in close to his paper and studied all of the small details. “This is seriously so good! I’m so jealous, ugh. Who did you trade your soul to to have these skills?”

 

Bill laughed at him. “I didn’t trade my soul to anyone! I just practiced a lot and gained skills on my own.”

 

“That’s impossible, you must be dabbling in magic to be so great at drawing. I mean look at this! It looks so clean and nice.” Dipper pouted at him.

 

“Nah, no magic here, just a lot of practice and skill-building,” Bill responded and pinched Dipper’s cheek. “Stop pouting at me, you’re too cute.”

 

Dipper slapped Bill’s hand away. “Don’t tell me what to do!” Bill grinned while Dipper continued to pout, rubbing at his cheek, his eyes looking back to the incredibly detailed picture. “And I don’t believe you. You have to teach me your ways.”

 

“Oh yeah?” Bill folded his arms against his chest and leaned back into his chair. “What do I get in return for teaching you then?”

 

Dipper scrunched up his face in thought and brought a hand to rest under his chin. “Um, I mean, well, I’m guessing you’re not doing well in your classes cause you never seem to be paying attention.” Dipper grew a little excited very quickly. “So why don’t I tutor you and help you study in exchange? I’m a really good tutor!” 

 

Bill’s eyebrows rose in surprise. He hadn’t actually expected that. He didn’t want to tell the other boy that his grades were basically being paid off, since he looked so excited. This also provided an opportunity to spend time with him. He realized this was a pretty good trade-off. He made his decision.

 

“Alright, I guess we have a deal then, kitten.” Bill stuck out his hand for Dipper to shake.

 

Dipper gave him a bright smile and shook his hand. “You’ve definitely got yourself a deal, Cipher.”

 

Bill let go of his hand and went back to drawing, not missing the way that Dipper hovered over his shoulder to watch him work. Bill chuckled at him and brought his hand up to press against Dipper’s head to make him rest against his shoulder.

 

“You might have a better time watching me if you relax,” he said teasingly.

 

Dipper felt his face burn a little but kept his head on Bill’s shoulder. He enjoyed watching him create new strokes of graphite on the paper. It was enchanting to watch a picture come to life like that. He worked on his own piece throughout the class of course, but he was mesmerised watching Bill draw most of the time. There was a simple elegance in the way that Bill drew. Practiced ease was ingrained into all of his movements and it was plain to see the passion behind the creation of new lines on the paper.

 

“Hey Bill?” he asked out of the blue.

 

“Yes, Pinetree?” 

 

“How long have you been drawing?” He tilted his head to look at Bill, still resting on his shoulder.

 

Bill hummed. He had to think about that. “I dunno, I think it’s been maybe twelve or thirteen years?”

 

Dipper’s eyes widened in surprise. He hadn’t expected that. “So basically most of your life?”

 

Bill nodded and continued drawing. “Yeah, pretty much.”

 

“What got you into drawing?” he asked, staring at the new details that Bill was adding.

 

“Actually, it was Py who got me into drawing.” He tilted his head to get a different view of his drawing and continued. “She was drawing the constellation Ursa Major and I got really excited and I forced her to teach me how to draw.” He paused a bit. “Y’know what? That’s actually how we became friends. After she taught me, I just straight up said she was my best friend now and we’ve been best friends since then.”

 

Dipper laughed. Even though he already knew that, it was still funny. “That definitely sounds like you. Just stating your relationship with someone and then enforcing it.”

 

Bill furrowed his eyebrows. “Well when you say it like that, it sounds really bad.”

 

He snorted. “That’s because it is bad, dummy.”

 

“Right, of course, that’s why you’re helping me through it!” Bill chuckled and pet Dipper’s hair.

 

“Yes, now that we’re friends I’ll have to train you like the giant puppy that you are,” he responded.

 

Bill smirked and turned his head to nip Dipper’s ear. “Yeah, but this puppy has fangs.”

 

Dipper flushed and held his ear as he looked around the classroom. He was more embarrassed by the thought of people seeing the action rather than the action itself.

 

“Bill! You can’t just fucking do that in the middle of class!” he hissed and smacked the other boy in the arm.

 

Bill laughed at him and rubbed his arm jokingly. “That hurt, Sapling!” Bill dramatically held his arm for a moment, pretending it had gone limp. Bill grinned when Dipper gave him a blank look. “Also, it’s fine, everyone is invested in their own thing, they won’t notice us. Even if they do they won’t say anything.”

 

Dipper growled at him. “That’s not the point, stupid! You can’t just be doing that period. It’s not something that friends do!”

 

Bill tilted his head in confusion. “They don’t? I do stuff like this with Tad and Py though?”

 

Dipper gave him a bewildered look. “That’s because you guys are weirdly close. People usually aren’t like that.”

 

“Maybe that’s why there was a point where the school thought that me, Tad, and Py were in a poly relationship,” Bill pondered and brought a hand to his chin in contemplation.

 

Dipper choked on his spit. “Sorry, what now?”

 

“Yeah, it was a few years ago, freshman or sophomore year. There was a rumor going around that we were all dating each other and I didn’t really get it, but hearing you say that now, it all makes sense.” Bill nodded his head in understanding.

 

“Dude, what the fuck? I mean, I’m not surprised with the way you guys act, but how did you guys get rid of the rumor?” he asked.

 

Bill raised an eyebrow at him. “I literally just screamed in the cafeteria that we weren’t all dating and that I’d beat the shit out of anyone who said otherwise. How else?”

 

Dipper blanched at him. “Of course, what did I expect? You really need to work on that.” Dipper shook his head. There was a lot to work on when it came to Bill. At least it seemed like most of his worst behaviors were done in ignorance. It wasn’t much of a defense but hopefully, some educating could help!

 

“Was that not a good way?” Bill tilted his head, honestly not sure. 

 

“Um, I mean it worked?” Dipper winced. It wasn’t the best way to handle the situation but he doubted the rumors would have ended any other way. “You didn’t actually hurt anyone, did you?”

 

Bill looked away to his artwork and screwed up his mouth a little. “Uh- no?” 

 

Dipper narrowed his eyes but then sighed. It was years ago, so he wouldn’t dig it up now. “I’m not going to push it this time. Just no more of that, okay?” 

 

Bill brightened immediately. “Pinky swear!” Bill promised, putting out his pinky for Dipper to wrap around his own. 

 

Dipper rolled his eyes and finished off the pinky swear. He was just happy Bill took the childish thing so seriously. He knew he could trust Bill when it concerned a pinky swear. 

 





“He seems like a sweet kid,” Shelly remarked as she and Bill sat on the bleachers in the gym. He’d finally gotten the chance to apologize to her for what happened in second period. She had waved away his apologies and hugged him. 

 

Bill hadn't gotten the opportunity at lunch or before art. Most of lunch had been taken up by his conversation with Pinetree, and the rest had been too awkward to unpack the traumatic events. 

 

With Pinetree’s family, Py, Tad, and their parents joining in, Bill couldn't bring himself to do it with all of them watching. 

 

Now they were just talking. The coach was letting them have unstructured free time, even allowing more than one family member to join in. Dipper was currently playing a friendly game of basketball with his sister and uncles. Both older men had a hand tied behind their backs since the younger twins had combined powers and demanded a fair game. 

 

“Yeah, he’s pretty special.” Bill smiled, leaning back into Shelly’s shoulder. 

 

“You are absolutely smitten!” Shelly giggled. 

 

Bill flushed, ducking his head a bit. “He punched me his first day,” he admitted. 

 

Shelly’s eyes grew wide before she burst out laughing. She should have known! Bill had always idolized the story of how she and her husband met! Oh, this was too good!

 

“You took my love story too seriously,” she giggled harder. 

 

Bill pouted. “I just always thought it was, I don’t know, wholesome?” Bill said, crossing his arms and holding them against his chest.

 

“Okay, sure, but I didn’t mean to punch him. I’m guessing you agitated him.” Shelly smirked, flicking the boy in the ear. 

 

Bill jerked away, cupping his studded ear with both hands.  “Rude!” he gasped. She just laughed at him. “It’s all your fault! Whenever you miss him you tell that story, and you’re always missing him.”

 

“Who is this child I raised?” Shelly gasped just as dramatically. She gave a coy grin and dropped into a condescending tone. “I’ll have you know, us army wives have it particularly hard in this country!” 

 

They both laughed, bumping shoulders and exchanged a few good-natured pokes. Shelly wasn’t the kind of person to victimize herself. She always had an optimistic outlook. 

 

Once they had both calmed down, Bill felt the need for a smoke build up in his chest. He normally stuck out around this time to get one, so he quickly made an excuse. “I’m going to get some air, okay?” Bill smiled and headed off before Shelly could offer to come with him. She would be so upset if she knew he was smoking. 

 

Dipper happened to glance over when Bill slipped out of the doors that led to the field. Shelly had pulled out her phone and was reading something that was making her smile, so Dipper decided her check up on Bill again. Now that they were friends, he found that he was actually enjoyable company. 

 

“I’ll be back!” Dipper grinned at his family and began heading after the blond boy. 

 

“HE’S GOING TO CHECK ON HIS BOYFRIEND!” Mabel yelled with a laugh. Dipper ducked his head and turned a bright red when the whole gym watched him go. 

 

“God damn it, Mabel,” Dipper hissed under his breath. 

 

Dipper continued on regardless, heading out the same double door that Bill had gone out. 

 

When he got outside, he didn’t see Bill in the field or along the walls. So he let the door shut and began walking for the corner, intent to find the ‘not so’ bad boy. 

 

Dipper turned the corner and gasped in shock. Bill had a lit cigarette in his mouth!

 

Dipper didn’t think. He raced forward and yanked the cigarette out of his mouth, crushing it into his palm by accident as he threw it aside. 

 

“THAT'S SO BAD FOR YOU!” Dipper screamed. 

 

Bill paused for a moment and had to process what just happened. All he knew was that he no longer had a cigarette and someone was now yelling at him. He saw red. The anger bubbled up in his veins and spread through him quicker than a wildfire. He turned to the person that had thrown his cigarette and started yelling.

 

“WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?!” he roared. “THAT WAS MY FUCKING CIGARETTE, ARE YOU STUPID?!” Bill raised a fist threateningly. 

 

Dipper flinched and put his hands over his face in defense.

 

“DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WH-” Bill stopped dead in his tracks as he realized he was looking at the shaking form of Dipper. What caught his attention was the angry red burn in the middle of his palm.

 

His fury quickly dissipated. He reached out quickly and cupped his kitten’s hand.

 

“Wait, fuck, what happened here? Is this from the cigarette? Oh my God, sapling, are you okay?” Bill fired questions at him.

 

Dipper lowered his hands from his face and blinked away the terrified tears that were forming in his eyes. “Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. I just accidentally burned myself on the lit part.”

 

Bill’s eyebrows furrowed in worry as he brought Dipper’s palm up to his mouth and placed a gentle kiss on it. Not even a moment later, he slipped his hand into Dipper’s and tugged him back towards the door. He missed the way Dipper’s face flamed at his actions.

 

“We need to get you to the nurse’s office.” He wasn’t even looking at the other boy. He was chewing on his lip in worry.

 

“Wait, what? No! It’s just a small burn,” Dipper frantically said.

 

“Still! You got hurt because of me. Oh God, I feel so guilty. I’m so sorry,” he rambled.

 

“Bill! I’m fine!” Dipper assured him, at this point accepting his fate. Bill would apparently be bringing him to the nurse. 

 

“NO! You aren’t fine! Kitten, you’re burned! ” Bill snapped, tugging him to walk just a little faster like this was a life-threatening injury. 

 

Dipper rolled his eyes and stopped trying to talk him out of it. He feared if he fought it any longer Bill would just pick him up princess style, and that was the last thing he wanted right now!

 

Looks like they’re heading to the nurse.

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Dipper and Bill made their way to the nurse’s office hand in hand. Bill was walking at a much faster pace than normal and Dipper was struggling to keep up.

 

“Bill, oh my God, can you please slow down?” Dipper asked.

 

Bill huffed. “No way, you need to get treated as soon as possible.”

 

“It’s not even that bad!” he argued.

 

“That’s your opinion and it’s wrong,” Bill stated in a monotone.

 

Dipper looked at him bewildered. “Opinions can’t be wrong!”

 

“They actually can if I decide they are,” he responded.

 

The two of them reached the nurse’s office just as Dipper opened his mouth to fire back a response. Bill opened the door and dragged his companion inside. The nurse looked up from her desk and gave an irritated sigh.

 

“Mr. Cipher, to what do I owe the displeasure?” she asked in a clipped tone. “It hasn’t even been a month and you’ve come to me with what I assume is another one of your victims.”

 

“Actually, Veronica, he’s not a victim, he’s my future husband,” Bill stated flatly.

Dipper choked on his spit and elbowed him in his side. “Dude!”

 

Bill laughed and rubbed his side before turning back to the nurse. “He actually burned himself with one of my cigarettes so he needs to be treated.”

 

Veronica glared at him. “See now, it’s still your fault. If you just didn’t smoke, this wouldn’t have happened.”

 

Bill glowered at her, his temper rising. “Listen bitch, just treat my Pinetree and we’ll be out of your tacky split ends.”

 

Her eyes narrowed even more and she got up to walk towards one of the cabinets. “Why, of course, Mr. Cipher,” she bit out. “Anything for you.”

 

Veronica opened the cabinet door and searched the shelves before finding what she was looking for. She grabbed the burn balm and promptly closed the door. She walked towards Dipper and the click of her heels on the tile resounded through the room. She stopped in front of him.

 

“Alright, where have you been hurt?” she asked kindly.

 

Dipper’s eyes widened. He hadn’t expected such a change in attitude from her. “Oh, um, just on my hand.” He held out his palm to her and showed off the angry red mark in the middle of his palm.

 

She took his hand gingerly and opened the container, taking a small amount of the balm on her fingers before spreading it across the affected area. She took care not to press too hard into his skin and finished up fairly quickly. She screwed the cap back onto the balm and let go of his hand.

 

“There you go sweetheart. If you can, you shouldn’t be using that hand for the time being to let the burn heal as quickly as possible. Other than that, you’re completely fine unless,” Veronica shot a withering look to Bill, “Mr. Cipher, over here has hurt you elsewhere.”

 

Dipper brought his hand to his chest and smiled at her. “No, he’s been fairly good so far. Thank you for treating me!”

 

She sent him a kind smile of her own. “Well, I can’t bring myself to believe that but it’s no problem, sweetheart.”

 

Bill sneered at her. “Excuse me, I have been good. My little kitten here has been keeping me in check.”

 

“If that was the case, he wouldn’t be hurt now would he?” Veronica deadpanned.

 

Bill crumpled in on himself a little. She was right. Dipper saw the way his shoulders hunched and immediately pulled him into a hug, which the other boy was surprised at but excitedly returned the gesture.

 

“No, no! It was actually my own fault that I got burned, haha. Bill really had almost nothing to do with it,” Dipper said quickly.

 

Veronica eyed the two of them and smiled internally but kept her face blank. Maybe this boy could actually tame the beast.

 

“Yes, of course, just be sure to be careful from now on sweetie,” she responded.

 

“Yup!” Dipper popped the ‘p.’

 

Bill let go of Dipper only to intertwine their hands the next second. “Well, it’s been fun chatting with you Ronica, but we have to get going now.”

 

Bill dragged Dipper away from her and out the door, but not before shooting her one last glare to which she eagerly returned.

 

Once they were outside of the office, Dipper pulled on Bill’s sleeve to grab his attention.

 

“What is it, Sapling?” Bill asked curiously and stopped in his tracks.

 

“Uh, Bill, I kinda have to get back to my family now,” he said quietly.

 

Bill instantly drooped and Dipper could almost see dog ears on top of his head fall flat and his tail stop wagging. Aw, he made the poor puppy sad. 

 

“Oh, right, yea, you do…” he trailed off.

 

Dipper reached up to pat his head and giggled. “It’s okay puppy, we can have a study session at my dorm later.”

 

The other boy immediately perked up and Dipper was almost surprised that there were no sparkles around him. “Really?!”

 

Dipper laughed. “Yes really.”

 

Bill leaned down and gave a small kiss to the top of Dipper’s head. “Okay, I’ll see you later then!”

 

Dipper sighed. He would still need to get used to how affectionate Bill was, but he gave him a quick hug in return and started to walk away.

 

He turned back around halfway and waved at Bill. “See you!”

 




Bill groaned, letting his head hit the book Dipper was making him read. This was actual torment, why did Pinetree enjoy this?!

 

“Look, the symbolic meaning of the book burnings isn’t that hard to understand, it's a practice in control of knowledge,” Dipper explained for what must have been the tenth time. 

 

Fahrenheit 451 wasn’t that hard to understand, but Bill was like a cinder block when it came to the nuances and syntax of the work of art. 

 

“But why would anyone burn a book?!” Bill screeched, grabbing his hair to pull at the roots. “Like why? Books are kinda useless anyway.”

 

“Bite your tongue!” Dipper gasped in horror. “This book is a picture of the word without the spread knowledge, people so obsessed with the next shiny thing that their humanity and ego fade away!” Dipper flipped the pages to the scene where the main character is almost run down by a group of children giggling at the idea of murdering a man. “This book is a reflection of the worst of humanity, and the best of us as well, see?” Dipper read out a bit to Bill, describing the horror of the character being hunted down on the road. 

 

“That’s why fire is such an important symbol in the writing, it has a dual nature. Just like people-- you of all people should be able to understand that!” Dipper finished his lecture, pointing out how Bill was also struggling with a dual nature. 

 

“How does fire have a dual nature if it’s used just to destroy things?” Bill pouted. He really didn’t understand what Dipper was getting at.

 

“It’s also the symbol for knowledge. Fire is a tool and when used responsibly it can be a force for good. Think of a fire warming your home, or keeping you comfortable during a camping trip. But it can also be used to destroy, like with the book burnings.”

 

“Okay, I guess that makes sense,” Bill muttered. He still didn’t really get it, everything in the book was so cryptic. The only reason he’d even picked this book was because of the burning man on the cover! Turns out it’s all introspective and scholarly! How gross. 

 

“Now let’s move onto the overall themes.” Dipper tapped his pencil, writing a few notes down for Bill. “One of the major themes is a search for meaning in life. Guy Montag feels soulless and empty in his life. Nothing gives him any passion until he meets his neighbor Clarisse who is naturally curious, and then he meets the old woman who burns her house down rather than watch her collection be burned by others. This gives him the motivation to begin reading his collection of books he’s stolen from book burnings.” Dipper explained this all with his hands waving around in excitement. 

 

Bill smiled. His Pinetree was just so cute! 

 

“Bill! You have to pay attention.” Dipper blew out a frustrated breath and pinched the bridge of his nose. 

 

“Sorry, you’re just so mesmerizing when you speak geek.” Bill sighed in a love-struck way. 

 

“Okay, let’s try this. Imagine you have all the best stuff, kinda like you actually do, everything is perfect in your life. But it’s meaningless, you have to search for the thing that will give it meaning. That’s what the fire and the books represent.” 

 

“So, in my life, my secret book and my fire is like you!” Bill grinned, congratulating himself. 

 

Dipper flushed brightly, coughing up the spit he’d just choked on. “Okay, if that helps you get it, then sure.” Dipper tried to shake away the embarrassment. 

 

“It does!” Bill hummed happily. 

 

“Let’s continue then.” Dipper picked up his copy and began to read aloud again, Bill following along in his own copy. 

 

“Kitten!” Bill whined when Dipper got halfway through one chapter. 

 

“Oh my god, what?” Dipper groaned. They weren’t even a quarter of the way through what Dipper wanted to get to today. 

 

“Can’t we move to the bed? All this studying makes my back hurt.” Bill stuck out a lip, wobbling it slightly for the effect. 

 

Dipper blew out a breath. “Okay.” Bill hopped up and jumped on Dipper’s bed, moving around blankets and pillows until he had a little nest made. He patted the space between his sprawled legs for Dipper to cuddle up. 

 

Dipper looked at him, sputtering awkwardly. “I’ll, uh, just sit beside you.” Dipper moved to sit at Bill's right only to be grabbed around his waist and yanked to sit between Bill's legs. 

 

“We can share the book if you sit here. This way my neck won’t be strained,” Bill purred, tightening his hold on Dipper when he squirmed. 

 

Dipper took in a deep breath. He still wasn’t used to how affectionate Bill was but took into mind that this was how he was with his friends. “Yeah, sure, but no funny business.”

 

Bill rested his head on Dipper’s shoulder and nuzzled his neck. “No funny business.”

 

Dipper had to fight down the blush that was forming on his face. He wasn’t used to someone being this touchy-feely with him. He was, of course, close with Mabel and they cuddled a lot, but Bill would always take things a step further.

 

Dipper began to read on and Bill followed along with him. Occasionally he would ask questions about what was going on or why things were like the way they were, but was otherwise content to hold Dipper and read along. Sometimes at random Bill would cuddle closer and rub his nose along the length of Dipper’s neck and Dipper would have trouble focusing on what he was reading.

 

It was getting late into the night and both teens were getting a bit sleepy. Dipper yawned and shook his head, trying to clear the fogginess that clouded his mind. Bill blinked tiredly at the pages in front of him and tried to focus, but failed miserably.

 

“'Stuff your eyes with wonder,' he said. 'Live as if you’d drop dead in ten secon-'” Dipper started to continue but nodded off, his head drooping down as he fell asleep.

 

Bill had his eyes closed and opened them sleepily. He was confused as to why he had stopped reading.

 

He glanced at Dipper and noticed that he had fallen asleep. Bill smiled to himself. He looked quite cute like that. The normal furrow in his brows was gone and he looked completely at ease. 

 

Bill decided that it was time for them both to sleep. He slowly maneuvered Dipper to the side of the bed that was on the wall and laid him down in the sheets. He paused slightly when Dipper groaned and clutched onto Bill’s sleeve. He had to force himself not to coo at how cute his kitten was being. 

 

He laid down next to him and pulled the blankets up to cover them both. He wrapped his arms around Dipper and happiness bubbled up inside of him when Dipper snuggled into his chest. He tightened his hold around the other boy and pressed a soft kiss to his chestnut locks.

 

“G’night, kitten,” Bill mumbled sleepily.

 

He was surprised when Dipper somewhat responded. “N-nigh, mm, puppy.”

 

Bill let out a small chuckle and drifted off to sleep not long after. The slow heartbeat of his companion lulled him to sleep.

 




Dipper awoke to the alarm on his phone blaring. He groaned and tried to reach to turn it off, but was stopped because he was wrapped in a strong embrace. He opened his eyes and blinked blearily, looking at the arms wrapped around his midsection. He had to resist snuggling back into the warmth that was radiating from his back.

 

He rubbed his eyes confused and turned to look behind him only to be met with a head buried into his shoulder. He recognized a fluffy mop of blonde hair that was paired with tan skin. In his tired confusion he smiled. He turned around and brought his hand up to run it through Bill’s hair.

 

“Puppy…” he mumbled.

 

Bill let out a growl and lifted his head to glare at the spot where the noise was coming from.

 

“What the fuck? Turn that shit off it’s too early.” He tapped the phone and put it on snooze, only to wrap his arms back around Dipper.

 

Dipper giggled. He was sleep deprived to the absolute max and couldn’t think properly as he still wasn’t fully awake. “My puppy is so mad… Don’t be mad… Be rad…” he trailed off. He had gotten the saying from Mabel.

 

Bill let out a chuckle and Dipper felt it through his back. Bill nuzzled his face into Dipper’s neck and placed a light butterfly kiss on his pulse. Dipper giggled again and wrapped his arms around Bill to bury his head into his chest. 

 

“No… tickles…” he sighed as he tried to fall back asleep.

 

Bill brought his head up to bury it into the top of Dipper’s head and inhaled the pine smell. His breathing evened out and he fell back asleep relatively soon. Dipper did the same and fell asleep to the rhythm of Bill’s heartbeat.

 

The alarm blared once again and Dipper let out a whine. He rubbed his face into the underside of Bill’s neck. “Puppyyy… alarm…” he mumbled.

 

Bill groaned and snuggled into Dipper more. “School can go fuck itself…”

 

Dipper’s eyes snapped open. Fuck, that’s right! He had school to attend! He became instantly aware that he was wrapped around Bill just as much as Bill was wrapped around him. At some point, he had slung his leg over the other boy. He flushed and quickly untangled himself from the embrace. 

 

Bill whined and reached out for him. “Kitten, it’s too early, come back…” he sighed.

 

Dipper kicked him off the bed. “Bill, what the fuck are you doing sleeping in my bed?! And we have school, we need to get up!”

 

Bill rolled off the bed and hit the floor with a loud thud. He groaned in pain as he hit the ground. He sat up and rubbed his head as he squinted at Dipper. “Pinetree, what the hell was that for? You fell asleep in the middle of our study session and I wanted to go to sleep too!” He paused and looked at the time. “Oh my God, we have plenty of time, stop worrying about school.”

 

Dipper wrapped the blankets around his shoulders. “There’s another bed across the room! Why couldn’t you have slept there?” He puffed out his cheeks in annoyance. “And I have to be up early. I don’t wanna take the chance of being late.”

 

Bill sighed and laid down on the floor when something caught his eye. It was a bag stuffed under Dipper’s bed. In his curiosity, he grabbed the bag and pulled it out only to find that it was the clothes that he had bought for the other boy. He couldn’t help but feel hurt and angry. Although when he remembered what he did that day, he calmed down. He pretty much deserved it.

 

He got up with the bag in hand and held it out to Dipper. “Hey Pinetree, you’re gonna wear these clothes today.”

 

Dipper glared at him from the mess of blankets he was under. “Bill,” he said warningly, “that’s not how we get things we want. Try that again.”

 

Bill pouted. “Right, sorry. Can you wear these clothes today, Sapling?”

 

Dipper smiled and crawled over to the edge of the bed to pat Bill on the head. “Aw, who’s a good boy? But no thank you, I will not wear those clothes.”

 

Bill frowned at him. “What? Why not?”

 

“Because they’re way too expensive and I don’t wanna ruin them!” he said exasperatedly as he swung his legs over the side of the bed.

 

“But kitten, you look so good in them! And you’re not gonna ruin them. Actually, even if you did, I can always just take you shopping again.” Bill waved off his concerns.

 

Dipper grimaced. “You have to stop spending so much money on me.”

 

Bill narrowed his eyes at him. “No, I don’t think I will.” He plopped down onto the bed next to Dipper. “Plus if you don’t wear these clothes, I’m gonna keep you trapped in this room for the whole school day.”

 

Dipper gasped. “You wouldn’t!”

 

Bill shot him an unimpressed look. “Wanna bet?”

 

Dipper slapped his forehead and groaned. “Okay fine, I’ll put on the stupid clothes! Give me that,” he said as he snatched the bag from Bill’s hands.

 

Bill did a small whoop of joy. “I knew you would see it my way!”

 

“Yeah, whatever, bad boy. Don’t you have to get changed too?” Dipper asked.

 

Bill’s eyes widened in realization. “Oh shit, you’re right!” He quickly got up and slipped on his shoes, rushing out of the door but not before saying, “See you later, Pinetree! I’ll be back to pick you up once I get changed!” 

 

“Yeah, yeah, whatever…” he grumbled but then remembered something. He ran to the door and shouted at Bill who was already down the hall. “AND NO SMOKING!”

 

He heard Bill laugh distantly and walked back into his room. He picked up the bag and pulled out the Comme De Garcons striped long sleeve shirt along with the Thom Browne stripe four bar Merino wool cardigan. He slipped them both on after he took off his rainbow sweater and went to his dresser to pick out a pair of light, wash-ripped skinny jeans. After he had done so, he slipped on the Gucci new ace sneakers and double knotted them to be sure they wouldn’t come undone. He looked in the mirror and grimaced at his hair but admired the outfit. It looked pretty good.

 

He grabbed the comb Pyronica had used on him last time and followed her instructions. He started from the tips of his hair and worked up to the roots. He was amazed at how much of an easy time he was having.

 

As soon as Dipper was finished combing through his hair, he heard a knock at his door. He strode over and opened the door to come face to face with Bill once again. The other boy had styled his hair like usual, now wearing dangling chain earrings and had on a fresh new outfit. He was wearing a Gucci web stripe tiger collar pique polo along with his signature leather jacket and a pair of Off-White ripped loose fit jeans. Finally, on his feet were a pair of Balenciaga speed sneakers.

 

Bill leaned against the doorway, out of breath. “Hey kitten, I’m back and you look stunning.”

 

“You definitely ran all the way over here, didn’t you?” Dipper deadpanned.

 

Bill took a deep breath and tried to even out his breathing. “What? Psh, no, of course not. What makes you say that?”

 

“You’re clearly out of breath, Bill,” he stated.

 

Bill raised his hands up in defense. “Okay, you got me! I just wanted to get back as soon as possible.” Bill bent over and placed his hand on his knees, letting out the panting breath he’d been holding in. “Oh god, my stomach hurts. I’m dying.”

 

“That’s because you’re an idiot.” Dipper shouldered his new Givenchy nylon backpack and walked past the other teen, closing the door behind him. “Let’s get breakfast.”

 

When Bill and Dipper reached the cafeteria, Pyronica and Tad had beat them there. Both were still in their pajamas and looked extremely annoyed. 

 

“Morning Py!” Dipper grinned at the girl, her face brightening as she gave a little wave as well. “Morning Tad!” Tad shot a withering glare past Dipper’s head while waving as well. 

 

Dipper smirked a little. “So, you got them up, didn’t you?” he asked the blonde as the other two teens continued to give him death glares. 

 

“We always eat breakfast together, I don’t know what you're talking about,” Bill said, stiffly walking over to begin getting food. Oatmeal was the special today, with a choice of apple cinnamon, mixed fruits, or banana. 

 

Dipper got banana topped oatmeal and a carton of whole milk. Bill got the mixed fruit topped oatmeal which ended up being strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. He also grabbed milk but his was chocolate. 

 

Dipper cringed at the conflicting tastes but Bill just shrugged and yelled, “I AM CHAOS PERSONIFIED!” Dipper laughed, completely focused on Bill as he grinned. “Do not try to contain me to taste, Pinetree, I shall devour it all!” 

 

Dipper burst out laughing, not noticing the way students looked over and began to whisper. 

 

Once they made it to the end of the line, Dipper took the time to thank all his lunch lady friends. He pulled out his food card to pay. 

 

He handed over the decorated gold card, smiling at the cute picture, before he carefully placed it back in its spot. 

 

Dipper and Bill quickly headed to join Tad and Pyronica after. 

 

“Bill, you can’t burst into the room like a hurricane and sing Gay Bar to wake us up. It’s not fair,” Pyronica mumbled the moment they sat down. “Now it’s in my head, you ego driven douche.”

 

Bill cackled, happy to have annoyed his two best friends. “Well that’s what you get for not waking up earlier,” Bill said. 

 

“I swear I’m gonna smother you.” Tad glared at the blond, rubbing at his forehead in frustration. 

 

“In love, thank you,” Bill corrected for him, taking a big bite of his oatmeal and washing it down with chocolate milk. The three other teens all grimaced. 

 

“You're disgusting and I’m unfriending you.” Pyronica stuck out her tongue at the blonde. 

 

Dipper watched the playful argument with a small smile, eating his food, happy to just stay on the fringes for today. 

 

Bill stuck out his tongue back at her and continued to enjoy his breakfast. 

 

Pyronica pulled out her phone and typed away before flipping it around and showing that she’d unfollowed his Instagram. 

 

“See! Prepare to lose all your followers because they mostly come from me!” Pyronica laughed like she’d just dropped a bomb. “I am become death, destroyer of platforms!” 

 

Dipper glanced at the phone screen and then choked on his oatmeal. His eyes grew wide and he snatched the phone. 

 

“What the hell?!” Dipper yelled. Bill’s latest post was a dark picture of him and Dipper cuddled up in the bed of his dorm. Dipper was obviously sleeping and Bill looked near it as well. The tag said ‘study dates turn into cuddle dates!’ It was taken as a selfie shot and was just slightly blurry.

 

“What’d I do?” Bill asked, looking at the photo Dipper was staring at in a kind of frustrated anger. 

 

“You don’t take pictures of people while they are sleeping and then put it on the internet, you loon!” Dipper swatted his arm. “Take it down, now.” Dipper glared, handing back Pyronica’s phone. 

 

Bill pouted, grumbling a little bitterly that it was a cute picture but did indeed take out his phone and deleted the post. 

 

“Happy?” Bill asked. 

 

“Yes. For future reference do not take pictures of me without asking first.” 

 

Bill hung his head. “Are you mad at me?” 

 

Dipper could practically see his imaginary puppy ears flattened and his tail between his legs. He really couldn’t be that mad when the blonde looked so upset by the possibility. 

 

“No, you didn’t know.” Dipper patted his head. “It’s okay, just ask in the future, okay?” 

 

Bill brightened, his invisible tail wagging in happiness. “Okay!”

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“No, you have to push gently!” Bill said.

 

“I’m sorry, I’m trying. It's too hard,” Dipper sighed.

 

“Make sure to keep a firm grip,” Bill groaned.

 

“I am keeping a firm grip! You’re moving behind me too much.” 

 

Bill stilled his movements. “I’m not moving too much, you’re just not used to it.”

 

Dipper scoffed. “I’ll be used to it soon enough, just let me do it on my own!”

 

“No way are you doing it on your own, you have no skill.” 

 

“Excuse me, that’s insulting. I’ll have you know I’m a quick learner,” Dipper huffed.

 

“And I’ll have you know that I’m the one who actually has experience,” Bill growled into his ear.

 

Dipper groaned. “Don’t rub it in my face! I’m trying my best here, it’s just a little too much for me to take right now.”

 

“I’ll rub it in your face if I want to! And it’s not too much, I promise it’s all gonna fit, okay?” Bill responded.

 

The teacher coughed loudly behind them and they both whipped their heads to look at him.

 

“Excuse me gentlemen, but can you explain to me why exactly you’re even working so close together?” he asked.

 

“Well, I’m helping my sapling learn all the tools and tricks of the trade!” Bill stated proudly.

 

Dipper shot Mr. Swanson a tired look. “Honestly, you try getting rid of him. It’s impossible, I assure you.”

 

Mr. Swanson let his shoulders fall and rubbed at his face in irritation. “Just don’t lose any fingers, please,” he said before walking away with a slight blush. 

 

“We aren’t even working with something sharp.” Dipper immediately returned to his conversation with Bill. The blonde had his hands around Dipper’s side, guiding his hands in a way that annoyed Dipper. “Can you just let me do it?”

 

“But you could pinch your fingers!” Bill argued back. 

 

“I’m literally just wedging two joints together! It’s really not as dramatic as you think it is,” Dipper snapped at him, yanking his hands out of Bills to grab the two pieces of wood and slam them together. “See? I can do it myself!”

 

“You cracked the wood.” Bill pointed out the crack he’d caused with his rough handling. 

 

Dipper paled, knowing he’d have to start over. “The wood was bad obviously!” Dipper defended himself by blaming it on the board. “And you were agitating me!” 

 

Just as Bill was about to respond, the bell rang signaling that their class was now over. Bill glared at the intercom where the bell sounded and groaned.

 

“Alright kitten, looks like you lucked out this time. We have to go to our next classes,” he said, irritated.

 

“Oh my God, finally. I didn’t think I could listen to any more of your barking, puppy.” Dipper stuck out his tongue at him.

 

Bill scrunched up his face and stuck his tongue out as well, picking up both of their bags as he did so. He handed Dipper his bag and slung his own over his shoulder. They both made their way over to the door and had to split right then as their classes were in different directions.

 

Bill pulled Dipper into a tight hug and nuzzled his face into the top of his head before leaving a small kiss on his temple. He pulled away and shot the other boy a beaming smile.

 

“See you at lunch, Pinetree!” He waved and walked off.

 

Dipper smiled happily. He finally felt content at the school. He only had three friends still since the entire school was still afraid of him, but it was still more than his last school. He was definitely making progress.

 

Plus he didn’t get bullied here, anymore at least. 

 

Dipper headed for his AP calculus with a hopeful attitude, yet each step down the halls and up to the second floor of the school began to fill him with suspicion. People were whispering, staring at him, more like gawking honestly. 

 

It was different from other days, but Dipper really couldn’t pin down why it felt that way. 

 

He tried to ignore it. It was difficult since everybody stopped to stare. Dipper would have to make a note about fixing the way Bill affected their classmates. This reign of fear and terror needed to end if they were ever going to have normal school lives. 

 

Dipper made it to class and spotted Pyronica and Tad saving a seat for him in the front row with them. They really shouldn’t have bothered considering the rest of the class was bunched up in the back whispering and glancing over to him. 

 

“Hey guys.” Dipper sat down. “Do you know what all the fuss is about?” 

 

“No idea,” Tad yawned. He seemed a little more awake today. Maybe he got some good sleep last night. It would honestly be a miracle if he did.

 

“Probably the rumor mill, it always upsets the masses.” Pyronica waved it away. “How was wood shop with Bill? I know he can be a bit overbearing.”

 

Dipper groaned loudly, letting his head drop on the desk. “How do I get him to stop? He’s like my shadow I swear!” 

 

Tad chuckled. “When you figure it out, tell me. I’d like to get some space as well.”

 

Pyronica giggled into her palm. “You two are too hard on him. He’s not that bad.”

 

Dipper and Tad just gave her a deadpanned look. They looked at each other and rolled their eyes at the same time. 

 

“He’s always under foot Py,” Dipper said. “He’s that bad.”

 

“But you both secretly love it.” The girl looked between them, wagging her finger. 

 

“His cuddles are stupidly warm but I wouldn’t go as far to say I love it,” Dipper grumbled. 

 

“His cuddles are so warm,” Tad muttered in agreement. 

 

“You aren’t allowed to like his cuddles more than mine.” Pyronica leaned over to flick at Tad’s ear. 

 

Tad jolted, holding his ear with a small snarl. “I’ve had a full night of sleep, I’ll fight you!” he yelled in defense. 

 

Dipper was laughing at this point, watching as the two began to play fight. They poked at each other’s weak spots and slapped at each other’s hands childishly. 

 

Someone cleared their throat behind them and Dipper turned around. Pyronica and Tad were still too busy play fighting to even notice someone had approached them. 

 

“Excuse me but, you’re dating Bill right?” the person asked Dipper.

 

Dipper’s face contorted into confusion. “Sorry, what?”

 

The person grew even more visibly nervous and shifted. “You’re dating Bill, aren’t you?”

 

“No, I’m not actually. What makes you think that?” he asked, bewildered.

 

“Well, it’s just that we can’t bully you anymore, and he’s been all over you…” the other boy said slowly.

 

Dipper sighed. “That’s just how he is. But for the record, no, I’m not dating him.”

 

The person looked like they didn’t believe him but nodded. “Sure, okay. Um, thanks. Bye.”

 

They turned to walk away back to the group of people who were still whispering and glancing at Dipper every so often.

 

Dipper glared at them before he turned back to Pyronica and Tad. In the short time that he had been in a conversation with another person, she had somehow gotten him laying on the floor as she straddled his back.

 

“Who’s the boss?” she asked mockingly.

 

Tad groaned. “You’re the boss, okay? Fuck, get off of me already, the floor is dirty.”

 

Dipper stared at the two. “What the hell? I look away for like two seconds and I see some weird BDSM scene.”

 

Pyronica got off of Tad and looked up at Dipper. “How do you even know about that? You’re too sweet and innocent for such things.”

 

Tad got off of the floor and dusted himself off. “I’ve officially used all of my energy, so now I’m going into hibernation.”

 

“Oh please, my sister is a maniac, of course I know these things,” Dipper laughed. “Tad, it’s really concerning how little energy you have.”

 

Tad laid his head on his desk. “Well, it wouldn’t be concerning if you just don’t think about it. Boom, life hack.”

 

Pyronica snorted. “Yeah, great life hack there, dearest. You must be the smartest person that I know.”

 

Dipper chuckled and nodded. “Yes, I agree Py. Tad might as well be the next Einstein.”

 

Tad closed his eyes. “Y’know, I would agree with you two if it wasn’t for the fact that thinking takes energy that I don’t have.”

 

Pyronica and Dipper both laughed at him. It was then that Dipper realized he had gotten side tracked.

 

“Oh wait, some dude came up to me a little bit ago and asked if I was dating Bill. Isn’t that completely insane? Where do these people come up with this garbage?” Dipper asked.

 

Pyronica gave him a thoughtful look. “Well, Bill is probably the clingiest person in the world and he is currently madly in love with you, so they have grounds to believe it.”

 

Dipper sputtered. “He is not madly in love with me. He just has a small crush or something, but that’s not the point. The point is that I’m not dating him and people are spreading rumors.”

 

Tad opened his eyes and lifted his head off of the desk. “No, no, you’re right, he’s not madly in love with you. Yeah, he’s actually obsessed with you. Don’t worry though, this will blow over, just like the rumor that me, Py, and Bill were all in a poly relationship.”

 

“Oh my God, I forgot about that. I don’t think I’ll ever get over that story. It didn’t blow over though, did it? Bill practically forced everyone to keep quiet!” Dipper exclaimed, exasperated.

 

“Yeah, it was a really weird time. But that’s just what Bill does though, we couldn’t really stop him,” Pyronica said.

 

“He’s an unstoppable force of nature. It would be really cool if it weren’t for the fact that it’s more close to annoying,” Tad sighed

 

Dipper shook his head. “Well, I’m not letting that happen this time. That’s not how you deal with problems. Honestly, it would be better to wait this out and let it die down.”

 

Pyronica nodded. “Whatever you think is best, sweetie.”

 

Tad agreed with her. “Yeah, whatever you wanna do works. Just make sure that Bill doesn’t mess up your plans.”

 

“Yeah, I’m gonna have to keep a tight leash on him,” he snorted.

 

“Oh good, you're already training him with the proper tools,” Pyronica snorted, making Dipper laugh. 

 

Before he could say anything else their teacher began the class. All three gave full attention to the lesson of the day. 

 




“The peasant herd is staring more than normal today,” Bill said as they all sat down with their lunch. Bill had met them at their class and they’d all gotten food together. 

 

Dipper, of course, made all three say please and thank you through the lunch line. 

 

“Oh yeah,” Dipper gasped, having completely forgotten about the rumors. “Apparently the student body thinks we’re an item.”

 

Bill blinked, freezing up a bit. Then he was smiling like a fool that he was, incredibly happy to be thought of as part of a couple. Even if Dipper wasn’t ready yet, Bill was happy. 

 

“Don’t smile!” Dipper punched his shoulder. “We aren’t dating and it’s none of their business!” 

 

Bill rubbed his shoulder before flinging his arm over Dipper’s shoulders. He hugged the brunette to his side. “Oh calm down, they’re just excited. I’ve never dated anyone at the school before!”

 

“Well, I don’t like people saying for me who I’m dating!” Dipper growled before turning back to his food irritably. 

 

Bill really didn’t see the problem. So what if people thought they were dating? They would be in the future, so people might as well start talking about it now. 

 

He would follow his Pinetree around for the rest of their days to make that future real. They were a fated pair! It was destiny!

 

Dipper frowned around his sandwich, grumbling as people continued to watch and whisper. Bill certainly didn’t like how upset it made his Kitten but he was sure he’d get over it. This would all blow over anyway. 

 




Bill sat bored in his world government class, one of the only two he didn’t share with Dipper. Only Py and Tad shared this class with him, making him bounce his leg in eagerness to get to his last class of the day since he shared it with Pinetree. 

 

Py and Tad sat to the right of him. Tad, for some reason, was in Py’s lap at the moment while the teacher droned on and on. 

 

“Today we begin our lessons on totalitarianism. Based on the last question of Friday’s pop quiz, I’ve chosen your dictator,” he explained. Bill furrowed his brows a bit. 

 

“What was the last question of the quiz?” Bill asked Py, feeling a bit curious. 

 

“Who in class scares you the most, I think,” Py answered as Tad nuzzled into her neck. 

 

“Hm,” Bill hummed. 

 

“Now, this will be a month-long exercise. Your dictator from today on will lead the class. If you are caught not saluting him or her anytime you see them, you will be marked down. Expectations include bringing your dictator tributes at the start of every class, gifts and the like, and making propaganda.

 

Now everyone will get a role. Your dictator will choose generals, class leaders, and the rest will be citizens with the option of joining the army. Everyone’s roles have different expectations that I’ve printed up for each of you.”

 

Bill straightened up. This actually sounded fun. It was like a game they got to play all month! Although he’d hate to not be the dictator. Really, who could play that role better than him?

 

A few kids raised their hands and asked a few questions. They asked if they had to salute the dictator outside of class, which, yes they did. Some asked about the tributes and the teacher explained that they could be anything you thought would appease the dictator. One person asked how class would be run if a fellow student was in charge and their teacher said that he and the student would have meetings about how the class should go day to day. 

 

Eventually it was time to reveal who was the dictator. 

 

“I’m guessing no one is surprised but hail to your leader: Bill Cipher,” the teacher announced. He immediately moved over to Bill and handed him a packet labeled ‘dictator.’ “These are your instructions for how your power works. Be ready, because Thursday you’ll be running the class.”

 

Bill grinned. “Sounds like a fun time!” For once he was excited for his government class! 

 

“Now who will be your two generals?” Mr. Malory asked. “One will be your right hand, the other will be your class leader. Both are important but have different roles.” 

 

“Py and Tad of course.” Bill gave him a blank look as Pyronica cheered. 

 

“Ew, work,” Tad muttered. 

 

“Alright.” Mr. Malory placed two packets on the desk Tad and Py were sharing. “Work it out between yourselves who will be what.” He moved back into the center of the room. “For the rest of class, you all will decide on a national emblem for your government. While you discuss, I need ten kids to sign up for the government army. Think on it as you work.” 

 

When Mr. Malory sat, Bill jumped up and gathered the attention of the class. “This will be our emblem!” Bill yanked out a picture of a triangle with a heavily realistic eye in the center. 

 

The class didn’t dare argue. “Who ever comes up with the best flag design will be awarded with my favor, so draw, plebs!” 

 




Dipper leaned against a set of lockers by the classroom door. He was currently waiting for the Three Musketeers to show up. He balanced on the balls of his feet and hummed a small tune as he waited.

 

Suddenly he was spun around and then hugged close to a broad chest. He laughed at Bill’s antics and hugged him back for a few seconds before he let go.

 

“Are you that excited to see me, puppy?” he asked.

 

Bill pouted at him. “I’m always excited to see you…”

 

Dipper playfully patted his head. “Aw, what a loyal puppy I have. Such a good boy!”

 

Bill growled lightly at him. “I’m not an actual dog and I’m definitely not a good boy.”

 

“Oh, that’s right. You’re actually a bad boy. Which means no hugs,” Dipper chided.

 

The other boy immediately hugged him close. “Noooo, I didn’t mean it!”

 

Dipper chuckled and pushed him away lightly. “Okay, okay, I get it! Get off of me.”

 

Bill was pulled off of him by Pyronica and Tad, who each grabbed an arm and hauled him away.

 

“What is this? Betrayal?! From my two best friends?!” Bill exclaimed.

 

Tad sighed. “Sorry buddy, it’s just the way the world works.”

 

Pyronica nodded. “I would say I’m sorry, but if I was sorry, I wouldn’t have done it.”

 

Dipper laughed at them. “God, you guys are too much! But we have to get inside the classroom before we’re late.”

 

Pyronica gasped. “Oh you’re so right, Dip!”

 

Dipper walked through the door and held it open as Tad and Pyronica dragged Bill to a group of empty desks. Bill shook them off and sat in a random seat. Dipper sat down next to him while Tad and Pyronica took the empty seats across from them. They settled in fairly quickly and got out all of their materials.

 

“We are going to continue where we left off last time. You all know the story prompts you were given, let’s get to it,” the kindly elder woman said before taking her seat and tapping away at her computer. 

 

Dipper dove into his story. The teacher had them draw random prompts out of a hat last week and they had been working on them since. His had been a slightly scary sounding prompt that read: a warning wakes you ‘ do not look at the moon!’, dozens of people have texted you how beautiful the moon is. It was weird but Dipper could roll with it.

 

 “Who do you think sticks it in?” a whispered question caught Dipper attention while he was trying to think of the perfect adjective to describe his fictional moon. He glanced over to a group of boys two desk clumps away. 

 

“Bill of course, that geek he picked is so tiny, you can’t hope much for his dick,” another boy snickered. 

 

The other boys cackled. “It would be like being fucked by a fly!” one of them said loud enough to draw Bill’s attention. 

 

“What are they talking about?” Bill asked, leaning around Dipper to get closer. 

 

“Don’t make me repeat it,” Dipper hissed, shoving Bill’s arm off him. The familiar touching suddenly felt really uncomfortable. People were talking about a sex life that didn’t even exist! 

 

This was a complete breach of Dipper’s privacy and dignity! 

 

Bill frowned as he looked down at Dipper, seeing the way he turned a blotchy shade of red. It was like a blush that happened when you tried not to cry. 

 

“Think they’ve done it yet?” someone asked. 

 

“No way, Bill’s definitely hung. That boy wouldn’t be walking straight if they had,” someone whispered back. 

 

“How can you tell?”

 

“He’s so tall and that fucking rage, dude has to have testosterone like a bull shark,” the first voice explained. 

 

Bill clenched his fist. Now, this he didn’t like. It reminded him of the disgusting and transphobic conversation that pissed him off the last time this situation arose. 

 

“Little bitch probably moans like a banshee,” someone else chuckled. 

 

Bill almost roared, jumping out of his seat to attack the group behind him. He didn’t, but only because Dipper was here. If he was going to handle this, it would have to be non-violent and stopped all at once. 

 

He just wouldn’t be able to handle it if Dipper rejected him again. He had to put a stop to it as soon as possible, yet he didn’t know of a way to stop it without upsetting his little kitten.

 

Dipper glanced up at him and pleaded with his eyes for Bill to sit back down, which he did. He sat back down in his chair and clenched his fists angrily. Someday soon these people would get the ever loving shit beat out of them. Today was not the day, but it would definitely be one of these days.

 

“I wonder how good of a fuck he is,” someone snickered.

 

Bill had to stop himself from lashing out. He dug his nails into his palms to the point where he started to draw blood. He growled lowly and tried to will away his violent thoughts. He tried to do a few deep breathing exercises to help himself calm down. He could see the way that Dipper was slowly curling in on himself and saw the tears glistening in his eyes. 

 

He was about to pull the other boy into a hug when Pyronica did it for him.

 

In the end, it was Tad that saved the day. The sleepy boy glanced at the group of boys and glared before turning to the teacher to say, “Mrs. Milo? Everyone’s being disturbed by that group and their inappropriate topic of discussion. Could you have them keep quiet?” 

 

The teacher glanced up and looked at the now silent and flustered group. “Please no talking, it is writing time.” 

 

Tad smirked at the called out group before laying his head back down to sleep. He lazily lifted a hand and patted Dipper on the head and then Bill as well. 

 

Dipper curled into Pyronica’s arms and shot a tiny smile Tad’s way. The tension in the room had dissolved and even Bill had sagged back into his seat. His fists uncurled and he breathed out a little sigh. 

 

Now he felt like the asshole for not realizing just how far the other students would take the talk of this rumor. This wasn’t fun, this was just a different kind of bullying. 

 

“Sorry,” Bill mumbled, laying his head down on the desk and poking at Dipper’s arm. “I’m sorry, Pinetree.”

 

Dipper smiled and poked the teen back. There really wasn’t anything to say because this wasn’t okay, although he appreciated that Bill recognized that this was a problem. 

 





After a study session where Bill mostly talked about his new game of being the dictator of his class, they both headed for dinner. 

 

Once Dipper and Bill had gotten their trays filled with steak, a meal choice that Dipper could not understand how the school afforded, they moved to pay. 

 

Dipper took out his gold card and smiled at the little picture Bill had drawn for him almost two weeks ago. It was so cute, just a little pine tree and triangle holding tiny stick hands. It was so juvenile but weirdly cute. 

 

“These are us, right?” Dipper asked as they both paid and headed for the already seated Py and Tad. He held up the card to remind him of the picture. 

 

Bill flushed and ducked his head. “Um, yeah.” He looked away shy and maybe a little embarrassed. 

 

“It’s cute,” Dipper assured him. “So, I know I’m Pinetree, but why are you a triangle?”

 

“I don’t know,” he huffed. “I just always liked the Eye of Providence, so it kinda became my symbol.” 

 

“Ah.” Dipper nodded. “So you’ve just always been a fan of fate then,” he chuckled. The conversation quickly ended when they got to their table. 

 

Bill and Dipper sat down across from Tad and Pyronica. They all said their greeting and entered a smooth flow of casual conversation. All four of them took their time eating their dinner and were in their own personal bubble.

 

Someone behind them spoke a little too loudly and Dipper picked up on it. “So, how long do you think the Mob wife is gonna last?”

 

A second person laughed. “Him? He won’t last a day! He’s absolutely going to be filled with bullets or something.”

 

“Yeah you’re right, it’s such a shame though. It’s a pretty face gone to waste,” the first person sighed.

 

“Don’t worry though, Mob boss Bill will find a new bitch in no time, I’m sure.” 

 

Dipper clenched his fork in his hand and willed himself not to be shaken by their words. Bill seemed to notice this and cast a worried glance at him.

 

This time the person was loud enough to catch Bill’s attention. “Who knows, maybe Bill will be willing to share his new whore before he’s gone for good.”

 

Bill’s temper flared immediately. He saw red in a flat two seconds. He stood up from his chair so fast that he knocked it down in the process. The blonde growled lowly and turned towards where the people were talking. He was just about to walk over when he felt a pair of arms wrap around his midsection. Bill recognized the cardigan that he had bought for Dipper and sobered a little.

 

“Sapling, let me go. I have a few scumbags to deal with,” he almost snarled.

 

Dipper buried his face into Bill’s back and tightened his hold. “Puppy, no! You’re not my guard dog. You’re supposed to be my lapdog. Don’t fight anyone.” He sniffed a bit. “You pinky swore…”

 

Bill suddenly became torn between his anger and the promise he made to his kitten. “I know I promised, but didn’t you hear what they said?” Bill turned around and secured Dipper in his embrace. “You don’t deserve to be talked about like that.”

 

Dipper smiled softly. “You don’t deserve to be talked about like that either, but a promise is a promise.” Suddenly Dipper got an idea. He shoved both of his hands into Bill’s jacket pockets and found what he was looking for. He took out the red sharpie that he knew Bill would be carrying with him and uncapped it. He gently took Bill’s much larger hand into his own and drew a small pine tree on his knuckles. “There, now when you see this, you’ll remember your promise to me.”

 

Bill melted on the spot. His anger faded from his system all at once. He looked down at the small pine tree with a fondness that he had never experienced before. He rubbed his other hand over it gently and pulled Dipper back into a hug, kissing the crown of his head. “Right, this works. Hey Pinetree, it’s like you own me now that you have your mark on me.”

 

“I didn’t expect to adopt a stray puppy but he won’t seem to leave me alone, so I guess I do,” Dipper laughed.

 

“Why am I a stray? What are you then? A perfect little kitten in a nice grand house?” Bill snorted.

 

Dipper tsked at him and sat back down in his chair. “Yeah, exactly. You’re a stray mutt that I ever so graciously let into my home.”

 

“Excuse me, I think I’d at least be a purebred,” Bill huffed. He picked up his own chair and set it back up as he sat down.

 

“Bill, the only thing that you’re one hundred percent of is stupid,” Dipper deadpanned.

 

Bill looked aghast at Dipper and held a hand over his heart. “I take a lot of offense to that! Take that back!”

 

Dipper stuck his tongue out at him. “Make me.”

 

Pyronica and Tad eyed each other. They were completely flabbergasted. How the hell had Dipper taken Bill from one hundred all the way back down to zero? They couldn’t believe what they had just witnessed. Not even a moment before, Bill was ready to rip someone’s throat out. Now he was casually flirting with his little sapling.

 

They had never experienced such a thing before. It was revolutionary, really. Now they knew that Dipper had a lot more control over Bill than they had originally thought. It seemed at the moment that this was an extremely good thing. He was able to calm Bill down in mere moments.

 

Tad and Pyronica both turned back to look at the pair who were still squabbling as they ate their dinner. They were oblivious to the world around them. It seemed almost as if Bill’s earlier outburst hadn’t even happened. This was unbelievable. Pyronica was even ready to call up the nurse again in advance.

 

Pyronica shot Tad a secretive smile which he returned. Having Dipper around proved to be a lot more beneficial than they first thought. They gained a friend and a leash for Bill.

Chapter Text

speedpaint is up here

 

Chapter Text

Bill pulled Dipper further into his lap and snuggled more into the smaller boy. He tried to will away his tiredness and tried to focus on the pages in front of him. Dipper had already gone slack, dead asleep. Bill was having a hard time not succumbing to the inky mess that was sleeping, but the warmth that Dipper provided proved to be too much.

 

He closed his eyes for what felt like two seconds and drifted off into slumber. He tightened his hold on his kitten and buried his face into the other boy’s neck, sleepily placing a light kiss on it.

 

Suddenly Bill felt like he was falling from ten stories and he jolted awake right as he hit the hardwood ground of the dorm. He groaned in pain and looked around blearily. He could make out the window which was streaming moonlight into the room and sighed. This was the fourth time this month that he had fallen out of bed. When would the universe stop tormenting him?

 

Something caught his eye under Dipper’s bed. It was another plastic bag and Bill immediately wondered what else his sapling was hiding. He reached his arm out to grab the bag and pulled it out. He looked inside and was saddened when he saw that it was the sweater that had been ruined from Dipper’s first day of school. A large pang of guilt struck his heart like a jagged shard of glass.

 

He was going to continue to wallow in self-hatred when suddenly an idea crossed his mind. Bill pulled his phone off of the nightstand and went through his contacts, stopping on the one that was labeled ‘sister from another mister’. He quickly shot her a text that read ‘I need help ): how do you knit a sweater?’

 

Bill rubbed his face and was surprised when she immediately responded. He opened up the message and read the contents which were ‘OMG!! A SWEATER?? U CAME TO THE RIGHT PERSON MISTER! I KNIT ALL OF DIP DOP’S SWEATERS I’LL TEACH U TMRW’.

 

He chuckled and quickly shot her back a response that consisted of ‘okie dokie’ and placed his phone back on the nightstand. He got up from his place on the floor and settled back into bed with Dipper. 

 

He pulled the blanket over the both of them and cradled Dipper in his arms. Bill smiled when he snuggled into him even more. He brought his face down to Dipper’s and gave him an Eskimo kiss. Dipper scrunched up his face at the end and buried his face into Bill’s neck. He pressed a kiss to Dipper’s temple and closed his eyes once again. He felt the other boy sling his leg around him to get even closer and laughed lightly. Soon enough he was drifting back off to sleep.

 


 

Dipper yawned as he slowly became aware the next morning. Bill was snuggled close to him and Dipper had to roll his eyes. The snuggling and sleepovers were yet another odd personality trait of Bill’s that Dipper was slowly finding normal. 

 

Honestly, it was kind of nice to wake up to such warm embraces, it made the mornings really great! 

 

“Bill,” Dipper mumbled. “Bill, wake up, we have to go to breakfast.” He poked the blond in the cheek, causing him to snore just a bit. Bill grumbled and swatted irritatedly at Dipper’s hand. 

 

“No food, only sleep,” Bill mumbled, pulling Dipper back down into the bed. 

 

“Puppy! Up!” Dipper pushed around his arms but he didn’t move. 

 

Dipper pouted before grabbing Bill’s nose and squeezing it so he couldn’t breathe. 

 

Bill lurched awake, his fist raised to defend against an attacker. “Wha-?” He gasped, looking around for who would hold his nose closed. “Kitten, someone’s trying to kill me!” 

 

Dipper laughed, loud cackling noises. He had to hold his stomach as Bill blinked at him in a combination of confused and peeved. 

 

“Oh my god! You dork!” Dipper gasped between spasms. “Get up already, I’m hungry!”

 

Bill pouted but then an evil thought came to him. “Oh, so my sapling is that desperate for food?” Bill jumped up, looking over Dipper. “He needs to become a strong pine tree so he attacked me, eh?”

 

“Bill,” Dipper said warningly as Bill began to frighten him. 

 

“You are so hungry you’re attacking innocent people! We need to get you food!” Bill attacked. He leaned forward, yanking the covers off of Dipper and pulling him into his arms. “IT'S AN EMERGENCY!” he bellowed as loud as he could. 

 

“BILL!” Dipper yelled back as the blonde began to run out of the room with Dipper in his arms. “We’re not even dressed!” Dipper gasped, holding on for dear life.

 

“WHO CARES!” Bill responded with a hearty laugh. He didn’t slow as he carried Dipper down the stairs. People had to lunge out of his way or get run down. Dipper was sure Bill wasn’t even looking where he was going. 

 

This certainly wouldn’t help their rumor situation. 

 


 

Dipper tapped his pencil against his desk as Mrs. Tyler, his English teacher, went over the symbolisms in Fahrenheit 451 again. They’d already turned in their final papers for the book, Bill’s having been read and approved by Dipper the night before. 

 

“For your next assignment, I’ll be putting you all in groups of four. Over the next month, you will read, analyze, and deconstruct a famous story. I expect a ten-page essay and a presentation on your chosen story. You’ll also have to do a modern retelling of the entire story,” she explained. 

 

Bill was wide-eyed and glancing at Dipper with unbridled hope. Dipper liked Bill, he really did, but he hoped with the same intensity that he wasn’t in a group with Bill. 

 

It wasn’t anything personal but Dipper really didn’t think the blonde would work very hard. He never seemed like the type of person who would.

 

“I’m passing out a list of approved stories for you all to choose from once I’ve told you your groups you can pick. Only one group to each story so make sure to pick quickly.” 

 

Mrs. Tyler passed out the sheets and then grabbed up her clipboard to start calling out the groups. There weren’t a lot of kids in each class so there would only be six groups. 

 

Dipper attentively listened for his name to be called and luckily didn’t have to wait long. 

 

“Dipper Pines, Martin Shaw, Preston Olsen, and-,” Mrs. Tyler froze when she caught Bill glaring daggers at her. He dared her to call someone else’s name but his next. “An-and Bill Cipher. Group four will be-” 

 

Bill stopped listening. He smiled brightly over to Dipper in the next seat over. “Kitten! We get to work on a project together!” 

 

Dipper raised a brow at him. Bill definitely did something to the teacher to make sure they were in the same group. 

 

Dipper decided to ignore it. He was sure Bill would try if Dipper explained how important getting a good grade was to him. Plus, they had two other teens in their group. Bill couldn't drag them all down, right?

 

“Move into your groups now and pick out your stories. Once you’ve decided, come let me know. The rest of the class will be for you all to plan a work schedule. I’ll allow only one trip to the library to get your chosen stories. Remember that freeloaders will not be tolerated.” With that, the teacher went back to her desk and began to look over tests and grade papers. 

 

Dipper glanced around the room in search of his other two group mates. He saw two boys walk over to them and he sized them up. The first one introduced himself as Martin. He was a lanky boy with neat, chestnut hair and hazel eyes. The second one introduced himself as Preston. He had sandy blonde hair and bottle-green eyes. Dipper tried to introduce himself but was quickly shut down when they said they knew who he was. They referred to him as the ‘Mob Wife.’

 

This greatly confused him. He didn’t know why everyone was calling him that. Beside him, he heard Bill snort. He turned to the other teen to glare at him.

 

“Why? What’s so funny?” he asked.

 

“Oh Sapling, it’s just cause they’re calling you Mob Wife in relation to me,” Bill cackled.

 

Dipper raised an eyebrow at him. “Okay, so explain why that’s funny.”

 

Bill rested his head on his hand and stared at him. “Well, a couple of years back there was this rumor that started up. Everyone thought that my family was like the mob or mafia and dealt with criminal stuff. So they’re calling you Mob Wife because you’re mine!”

 

Dipper choked on his spit. “You? Being with the mob? That would be a complete disaster. Also, what the heck? I’m not yours, Bill!”

 

“Aw, yeah you are. You’re my little kitten!” Bill grinned wickedly and pressed a chaste kiss to Dipper’s cheek.

 

Dipper laughed. He was already used to Bill’s antics at this point but scrunched his face up in disgust. He wiped at his cheek with the sleeve of his cardigan. “Okay, whatever you say, puppy, but no more kisses. Ugh, you always make them really sloppy.” He pushed Bill’s face away when he started laughing.

 

Martin cleared his throat awkwardly and Dipper realized that they weren’t alone. He flushed in embarrassment and looked at the other two boys.

 

“Right, anyway, you guys can just sit here if you want,” he said.

 

Preston nodded and they both took a seat opposite of Bill and Dipper.

 

Dipper smiled. So far they seemed to be good enough people. “Did you guys have anything in mind that you wanted to do for our project?”

 

“Not really, it’s whatever,” Preston responded.

 

Martin looked over at him and agreed. “Yeah, I didn’t have anything in mind.”

 

Dipper didn’t bother to ask Bill since he was sure the blonde wouldn’t have anything to say. “Well okay, I guess I’ll go ahead and pick for us.”

 

He missed the way that Bill crumpled in his seat, hurt that his Pine Tree didn’t even bother to ask him what he had in mind. When Dipper stood up to begin looking at the available stories, he was caught off guard when Bill grabbed the back of his cardigan. He turned around to look at the other teen and tilted his head.

 

“I was thinking we could do The Black Cat,” he said somewhat shyly.

 

“The one by Edgar Allen Poe?” Dipper asked.

 

Bill scrunched his face up in confusion. “Yeah, sure, if that’s who it’s by.”

 

Dipper was surprised that Bill had mentioned anything at all. Now he kind of felt guilty for brushing him off earlier. “We can do that one if you want. It’s actually really interesting.”

 

“I wanna do that one!” Bill gave him his brightest grin.

 

Dipper offered his own smile back and walked up to Mrs. Tyler’s desk. He stopped in front of it and cleared his throat to gather her attention.

 

She looked up at him and gave him a small smile. “Yes? What did you need?”

 

“We’ve decided on our story. We want to do The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe,” he responded lightly.

 

She nodded at him in understanding. “That sounds great. You and your group can head to the library and check some copies out for you to read.”

 

“Okay, thank you so much!” Dipper said as he turned to walk away.

 

“Oh, don’t forget to take a pass, dear. It’s hanging on the wall by the door,” Mrs. Tyler called after him.

 

Dipper nodded at her and turned to look at his group mates. “Alright guys, we have to go to the library to check out the book.”

 

Bill stood up incredibly fast, almost knocking his chair over. “Well, what are we waiting for?” He bounded over to the door and stopped, waiting for his group mates. Dipper was the first to reach him and he glared at the other two. “Come hither, peasants,” he growled lowly.

 

The other two boys quickly planted themselves next to Dipper and Bill. They resembled scared lambs. Dipper paid no mind to them and grabbed the pass that was hanging from the wall. He put it around his neck and nodded to Bill.

 

“Okay, let’s get going then,” he said as he walked out of the door.

 

Bill grinned and walked beside him. He intertwined their fingers and started swinging both of their hands back and forth in an exaggerated manner. He laughed as Dipper gave him a questioning look.

 

“What’s got you so excited?” he questioned.

 

Bill hummed. “Oh nothing, just the fact that you actually went along with my suggestion.”

 

Dipper snorted. “Well, it wasn’t like it was a bad suggestion. It’s a good story. It’s really dark though.”

 

“Wait, what? What do you mean it’s dark?” Bill furrowed his eyebrows. He thought it was just about a cute cat.

 

Dipper glanced up at him and bit his lip. “Well, if you don’t know then I won’t spoil it for you. You’ll just have to read it for yourself.”

 

“That’s not fair! Why can’t you just tell me?” Bill whined.

 

He was about to answer when they reached the library doors. “Hold that thought.”

 

Dipper pushed the door open and held it for the other two boys as they walked past him. He smiled as he inhaled the familiar smell of parchment and ink. The library would always be one of his favorite places. He dragged Bill to the section where he knew Poe’s work would be and leaned down to one of the shelves. He grabbed four copies of The Black Cat and made his way towards the librarian. Dipper motioned for Martin and Preston to follow them, which they did.

 

He gave them each their own copy and they started checking out their books one by one. Bill was the last person to have his book checked out. Once they were finished, they made their way back towards the classroom. When they arrived, they all moved to sit back at their desks except Dipper, who stayed back to hang up the pass that he had taken with them.

 

After he had finished that, he made his way back towards the desks and sat in the one that was next to Bill.

 

“Okay so, we only have twenty minutes left of class, so I suggest we plan out a time to meet up in the library after classes end. The story is only a twenty minute read so we can all read it tonight, make a few notes on the themes and meet up tomorrow?” Dipper suggested, already pulling out a notebook to start writing out a comprehensive schedule. They had a whole month, so they could take a week to deconstruct the story and really talk it through. 

 

“Sounds good,” Bill nodded enthusiastically, completely forgetting about what Dipper said about the story being dark. “I’m gonna go to the bathroom. I’m always with you anyway Kitten, so I’m good with whatever you decide.” 

 

“Okay!” Dipper smiled up at him as Bill jumped up and walked out without telling the teacher. “Hey! At least take a hall pass!” Dipper yelled out. His puppy needed to learn at some point that he would one day have to follow the rules of society!

 

Bill grabbed the pass, smirking back at Dipper and sending off a wink. Dipper stuck out his tongue at the blonde before the door closed. Bill’s resulting laugh was muffled by the door. 

 

“You two are fucking sickening,” Preston sneered behind Dipper's back. “I can’t believe we’re stuck with the newlyweds.” 

 

Dipper turned back and frowned. He could see where this was going, and he didn’t like it. 

 

“At least we’re with the geek and Bill, it’s a guaranteed A. Plus if the Mob Wife fucks up, Bill's mommy will just buy us the top grade,” Martin put forward, leaning back in his chair and relaxing. 

 

“Excuse me?” Dipper growled. He was upset for a number of reasons. First, how they were saying all this with him right here, and second, how they were insulting Bill. He never knew he could be this mad for someone besides his sister. 

 

The two boys side-eyed him. “Oh, you're allowed to speak when Bill’s not around? What a surprise.”

 

Dipper narrowed his eyes at them both. “Big words for the two that just allow Bill to call them peasants earlier. Is it you two that shake in your boots every time Bill walks by or is that a different pair of cowards?” 

 

The pair turned red in the face and growled at Dipper. “Listen here, you little skinny ass fuck! You might have Bill’s attention now, but sooner or later he’s going to get tired of fucking you, so don’t get a big head!” Martin hissed under his breath at the brunette. 

 

“You better watch yourself,” Preston threatened. “Once he’s done with you, it’s the rest of the school's turn, and believe us, we’ve been getting impatient.” 

 

Dipper gulped but refused to back down. “I don’t know what delusional state you lunatics are in, but Bill is my friend and a good person... deep down. And I won’t sit here and listen to you insult him, me, or even be threatened by the whiny likes of you!” 

 

Dipper got up, still glaring at the two. “I can handle whatever you assholes throw at me but don’t you dare insult, Bill.”

 

Dipper began to walk away, pulling his bag with him to sit in a different desk clump. They never even decided on a time but Dipper didn’t want to go back over there. 

 

He grumbled to himself as he continued to write out a schedule for the project. 

 

One of the boys whistled. “Just like a Mob Wife to protect his man. Too bad Bill’s definitely gonna dump him soon.”

 

“Dude, we should start a pool,” the other laughed. 

 

“Totally, who do you think will claim the leftovers?” 

 

Dippers pencil snapped in his hand. 

 

“I don’t really care, as long as I get to rough him up soon. His stuck up little face bugs the shit out of me.”

 

“Heya Pinetree!” Dipper jumped a foot in the air when Bill returned. He’d been listening so close to the two other boys that he hadn’t noticed Bill!

 

“Hey, Bill.” Dipper gave a shaky smile. 

 

Bill tilted his head curiously, seeing that his kitten was upset. “What’s wrong? Why aren’t you where I left you?” 

 

“Nothing. I just moved ‘cause I have nothing to talk about with them,” Dipper said. Bill didn’t look convinced. “Seriously, nothing is wrong.” There was no reason for it but Dipper really didn’t want to tell Bill about what had happened. He always handled these types of things himself. 

 

“Alright, but you’d tell me if something was wrong, right?”

 

Dipper felt terrible for lying. “Of course.” He tried to smile. 

 

Luckily the bell rang and Dipper sprung up. He looked over to the two others of his group. “We’re meeting tomorrow at five, don’t be late.” 

 

Bill curiously looked between them, wondering about the hostility but instead shrugged and wrapped an arm around Dipper. They left for their second period quickly.

 


 

A click sounded in the dorm. Dipper’s eyes snapped open at the sound. He waited to hear it again but it was deadly silent. The longer he laid cuddled into Bill’s side, the more he could hear small sounds. 

 

The rattle of the heater which could also be the rattle of his doorknob. The creaking of floorboards that most definitely was from someone standing outside his door. The rustle of wind that whispered in tones so menacing Dipper could almost imagine it was the evil plans of whoever he was sure was at his door. 

 

He sat up quickly. Bill didn’t even move. Dipper gulped, his eyes fixed to the door on the other side of the darkness. He took little glances to Bill, wishing he’d wake up but not wanting to wake him in fear that this was nothing. 

 

Another click sounded and Dipper felt his throat bulge in the effort to keep in his screams. His stomach twisted as time passed. The rational part of his brain argued with his panicked state of being.

 

The sound came from down the hall. It wasn’t his doorknob. 

 

Why couldn’t he internalize that though? He chewed on his lip, his eyes still not leaving the door. He tried to lay his head back down and fall asleep after ten minutes of silence, but the moment he began to drift off again, he heard another noise. 

 

His heart was racing so fast that his chest felt like it was too light and too heavy at the same time. After unsuccessfully trying to go back to sleep four times, Dipper had to get up. He slid as quietly as he could out of the bed and walked to the window, checking the lock. He went as far as to jiggle it to make sure it was really locked. 

 

Next he moved to the door. He stood in front of it, trying to gather the courage to unlock it and check the hallway. His mind kept supplying terrifying images of what and who could be out there. 

 

It could be a large man in a ski mask holding a knife or a gun, ready to kill him the moment he opened the door. Or it could be some kind of monster. 

 

He envisioned a lanky creature with rotting skin, its arms up and with its claws out. It’s neck extended and mouth gaping black. Just the thought of that made Dipper’s face heat and tears to brim in his eyes. 

 

He was shuddering and before long he just checked the lock silently and moved away. 

 

He turned, casting a suspicious glance back at the window. He checked the lock again, feeling a microcosm better when it was still locked. 

 

For a moment he thought about crawling back into bed with Bill but then he thought about that monster standing behind him. Dipper whipped his head around as his heart hammered.

 

Nothing... darkness greeted him. 

 

With an almost silent whimper, Dipper crept to the other bed, making sure not to get too close for anything to grab his ankle. 

 

Dipper curled into the corner, keeping a firm eye on the doorknob. This bed had a better vantage point, he’d see if it turned immediately. 

 

He tried to not even blink. Something was trying to get into this room, he knew it, and he would catch it. 

 

Bill blinked his eyes open sleepily. He was awoken by the emptiness of the small bed. For the third time in a row, he’d fallen asleep studying with Dipper. 

 

He’d never thought he’d enjoy studying so much, but if it meant he got to sleep cuddled up with his Pinetree, then it could really grow on him. 

 

Although Dipper wasn’t next to him anymore. He knew the younger teen got up early but it was still pitch black in the room! His kitten couldn’t really be up purposely at this hour, could he?

 

The first thing he did was check the time. It was two A.M. 

 

Bill shook his head and rubbed his eyes a few times just to make sure he wasn’t dreaming before he sat up. He looked around and spotted Dipper curled up in the corner on the opposite side of the room. 

 

“Kitten?” Dipper jumped a foot in the air. Wild eyes flying to him and his little body tensing up. He vaguely took a fighting pose but then he deflated, relaxing when he saw it was Bill. 

 

“Oh, Bill,” he sighed like it was a new that Bill was in the room. “Did I wake you? I’m sorry,” Dipper said. He looked exhausted. 

 

“No, why are you up?” Bill asked, he sat up fully and turned to Dipper. He was shaking like a window in a thunderstorm. 

 

“Ah, um.” Dipper frowned, feeling a little ashamed. Not even a week ago he’d claimed he was getting better and here he was staring at the doorknob like a psychopath was on the other side again. “I was having a paranoia episode...” 

 

Bill blinked. “Paranoia episode…?”

 

Dipper sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Uh, yeah, sorry, it’s kind of embarrassing. I get super worried and anxious about things sometimes. I mean, I keep thinking that someone or something is at the door but I know there’s nothing.”

 

Bill swung his legs over the bed and padded over to Dipper. He sat down on the other bed next to him and leaned his head against Dipper’s. “There’s nothing wrong with that, you’re still valid. That sounds really tiring though.”

 

Dipper hummed and continued to stare at the doorknob. “Yeah, it is really tiring. I haven’t had one of these episodes in a while and I thought I was getting better, but...” He threw his arm up in the air. “I guess not.”

 

Bill slung his arm around Dipper and pulled him close. “If it makes you feel any better, I’ll protect you from anything that’s out there.”

 

“Oh please, I can’t have you attacking random people just cause I get paranoid. You’re my lap dog, not my guard dog,” Dipper chuckled.

 

Dipper cuddled more into Bill’s side but kept his eye trained on the door. Bill pressed a chaste kiss to his temple. “I make for both. Don’t you want to get back to bed? I’ll watch the door if it makes you feel any better.”

 

Dipper smiled at him. “Thanks for the offer, but I feel like I have to be the one watching. I’m just so on edge.”

 

“Okay, how about this: what if I sing you a lullaby?” Bill asked.

 

“You? Sing a lullaby? Sure, I’d like to hear that.” Dipper couldn’t believe that Bill could actually sing.

 

“Why do you say it like that? I’m offended! I can sing pretty well y’know,” Bill said as he yawned.

 

“Sing me a lullaby then, bad boy,” Dipper snorted.

 

“Fine, I will.” Bill took in a breath and started singing.

 

A gentle breeze from hushabye mountain

Softly blows o'er lullaby bay.

It fills the sails of boats that are waiting

Waiting to sail your worries away.”

 

Dipper’s eyes widened as he registered Bill’s soft and soothing voice. He leaned into Bill and he smiled as the blonde intertwined their fingers. He started to hum along to Bill’s singing, although his eyes were still glancing towards the doorknob every now and then.

 

“It isn't far to hushabye mountain

And your boat waits down by the key.”  

 

Bill reached over and took his sharpie from where he’d set it on the desk by the bed. Continuing to hum, he took Dipper’s wrist and drew a little triangle on the inside. “When you look at this, remember I will protect you from anything, okay?”

 

“Even monsters?” Dipper asked, relaxing a bit into Bill’s side. 

 

“Hell yeah, I’ll punch those monsters in the face for you,” Bill assured him. He kissed the boy’s wrist and continued the lullaby. 

 

“The winds of night so softly are sighing

Soon they will fly your troubles to sea.”

 

Bill carded a hand through Dipper’s hair, slightly massaging his scalp. Dipper found himself leaning into Bill’s touch and closing his eyes. He slowly stopped humming and could only focus on Bill singing. He was enchanted by the soft melody he was producing.

 

“So close your eyes on hushabye mountain.

Wave good-bye to cares of the day.

And watch your boat from hushabye mountain

Sail far away from lullaby bay.”

 

Dipper couldn’t open his eyes anymore. He had succumbed to sleep. He went completely lax as Bill finished the sweet lullaby. Bill found himself smiling down at the smaller boy. He gingerly picked him up, careful not to jostle him too much and settled him back onto the bed.

 

Bill laid down with him and wrapped his arms around Dipper, enjoying the way he snuggled further into him. His little kitten was so cute. He continued to run his fingers through Dipper’s hair. The moonlight that streamed into the room through the blinds illuminated Dipper’s features.

 

From his button nose, to his long eyelashes. His hair shined in the moonlight. Bill found himself entranced with the boy sleeping before him. He looked ethereal in the soft glow. He thought back to the fairy tales he had learned as a child. He could compare Dipper to sleeping beauty, but in his opinion, his sapling was better.

 

He brought a hand up to cup Dipper’s face and smiled when his nose scrunched up. He rubbed his cheek and brought their faces close together. Bill didn’t feel right about stealing an actual kiss from his Pinetree so he would do the next best thing. He placed a light kiss to Dipper’s nose and retreated back to where he was before.

 

Dipper curled into Bill and let out a small noise of content. Bill yawned tiredly and held Dipper tighter. Their legs tangled together and he rested his head on top of his kitten’s. He blinked slowly and let his eyes slip shut once again. Before he completely let sleep overcome him, he thought out loud.

 

“Good night, I love you…” he mumbled.

Chapter Text

Hey everyone, someone brought to our attention that the way we have shown Bill’s struggle with bipolar and borderline personality disorder seemed heavily reliant on stereotypes. First off I'd like to say that I love that you all feel comfortable to talk to us about this! Thank you so much for liking our story enough to point this out and share your opinion.

Secondly, while I love this kind of criticism, Pxluo and I have based Bill’s reactions and behavior on our own personal experiences. Personally my sister is diagnosed with bipolar, and my brother is also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder with antisocial tendencies. While I, in no uncertain terms, think my experiences with this to be the norm I do believe that all experiences are valid. Mental illness is a spectrum after all and everyone experiences it differently.

Unfortunately for our story the most dramatic of the behaviors given to bipolar and borderline affected people simply fit Bill’s personality the best. That was in no way by design, just what happened in the course of fleshing out this story. We hope to be as sensitive with this issue as possible because we are people affected by mental illness as well.

Because this topic was brought up I also wanted to mention that every paranoia episode Dipper has is written by me from real experiences I've had. I have had many sleepless nights imagining exactly what Dipper has and it's not fun. I understand if others with this same issue aren't affected by it the same way I am, but this is the only way I know how to write it.

We are very happy to have started a conversation about these topics and if anyone felt they were misrepresented I apologize. Although we are always open to being corrected, especially for the mental illnesses we have no understanding of. Since these are all from personal experiences, we understand that there is a wider spectrum out there and will do our best to bring that to attention. Thank you for reading! This has been a message from your favorite Zombie, <3 BooZombie.

Hey hi, what’s up? I feel that my co author has touched on all the main bases for the issue and I’ll only add what I deem necessary. I have to note that I am both borderline and bipolar so I’m mostly the one writing Bill when he’s in a bad headspace. I draw from my personal experiences and what I feel in the moment when I’m spiraling like Bill is sometimes in the story.

I am aware that everyone experiences things differently and some people may feel that it is unfair to showcase his mental illness in this way. Everyone is different and most cases aren’t as extreme as what is depicted in our writing. I have actually personally done some research on borderline and bipolar so I think that I’m very well equipped to write about it. Although I am sorry if I made anyone feel upset about portraying him with what seems like Hollywood stereotypes.

I assure you that is not our intention with this story. Everything we write about we make sure to do the proper research and talk out the best options to go with it. However we are not perfect and we can’t please everyone. I just hope that you can all understand that we are not purposefully going out of our way to make anyone upset. We also want to assure you that we’re not using mental illness to excuse Bill’s behavior. Some of the things he does in this story are not okay and just because he has mental illness doesn’t make it okay. We are going to show him growing in a healthy manner so no need to worry about that.

I think for now that’s all I have to say. Thank you so much for reading our story and following along as we write it! It absolutely means the world to us! This was a note from your favorite disaster, Pxluo/Rilti.

Chapter Text

 

Dipper sat in his AP World History class. He was bored out of his mind, he was playing with his pencils and looked around him. Glancing back down towards his paper, he huffed and rolled his sleeves up. It was then that he caught notice of the small triangle that was drawn on the inside of his wrist. He had to force down the warm feelings that were bubbling up in his chest. He stamped them down as best he could.

 

He ran his fingers over the mark and smiled softly to himself. Dipper took Bill’s statement last night as fact. Dipper truly believed that Bill would protect him from anything. He found Bill’s attitude towards him very endearing. No one but Mabel had cared for him this much before.

 

Dipper pulled his sleeve down, his face flaming. He kept being drawn to the little triangle on his wrist and it stirred up feelings Dipper didn’t fully understand. 

 

It was so weird for Dipper. He’d never really had many friends before, and Bill would be his last choice for a friend. Considering how he behaved when they first met, he didn’t think many would blame him for that, but now something was changing. Bill was weirdly sweet. He could be thoughtful, kind, and intensely protective. Even if he was pushy and domineering, Dipper still found him incredibly fun to be around. 

 

Dipper thought that maybe he was a little protective as well. Was it because he’d seen Bill at such a low moment that he was beginning to feel such strong attachment? 

 

It was true that Bill had helped him through a lot already as well, and he was starting to like how they always fell asleep studying in his dorm. It was probably just because this was the first time in his life he;d been separated from Mabel and it wasn't like he had any friends. He was definitely touch starved. He was cuddled and had missed his sister sharing the bed with him, so Bill made a good temporary replacement. Although he had no idea how he’d ever get rid of him, Dipper had pretty much marked that as impossible at this point. 

 

Giggling caught his attention suddenly. Dipper looked up and noticed the way the other students were side eying him. They were passing around a notebook and whispering. 

 

Kids would write something down in it and pass it around, giggles erupting around the room. It was obvious that they were talking about Dipper. 

 

Dipper felt far too watched, it all made his neck tingle. His body scrunched up and he did his best to focus back on the chapter he was supposed to be reading through. It was difficult when he knew everyone was looking at him. 

 

Everyone hated him. He knew this of course. That was a fact that hadn’t changed since his first day, but so much had happened since then that Dipper really hadn’t had the time to really process it. 

 

Now that he was though... Dipper bit his lip and began to fidget. 

 

The entire school hated him, whether it was because Bill was showing him so much attention, or because he had been marked as a target. Were they upset that their game was forcibly ended early? Were they really all so bored?

 

Dipper scrunched up his shoulders and did his best just to ignore it all. He counted down the minutes until his last class of the day. He couldn’t shake off the horrid feelings dredging up in his chest.






Bill felt high on power as he ran the class. He had to talk with the teacher after school the day before so he knew what he had to do, but luckily there was a lot he was allowed to play with. 

 

All he had to do today was approve their national emblem, officially title the students that signed up for the army, accept his first round of gifts, and then give the floor back to the teacher so he could talk about other dictators through history. 

 

Everything else and how he went about it was totally up to him!

 

Bill was now sitting on the teacher’s podium, swinging his legs as his new peasant followers presented their gifts. He already got a bag of suckers and a key chain. Apparently a lot of people had forgotten to bring him gifts and we’re just offering whatever they had on hand. 

 

Everyone but Pyronica and Tad of course. Tad had given him his favorite gift of a snuggly hug and a kiss on the cheek, while Pyronica gave him a new hair care product that Bill had his eye on for a while. It was a good day. 

 

He wasn’t allowed to ‘banish’ anyone for bad gifts until the fifth day of the experiment, so unfortunately he had to take all the other student junk people presented to him. 

 

Other than that, everything else was pretty fun. He assigned Pyronica as the head of the military, which she basically begged for. That left Tad as his second in command and closest confidant. He got to hand out a bunch of pins to the ten kids that signed up to be in the military. He even made a little ceremony for it just to be extra! Bill Cipher was nothing if not extra! 

 

One thing did bother Bill though. The enter thing felt a little boring. No one treated him very differently from how they normally did. Maybe it was because it was still early in the experiment but it all just felt normal. 

 

It would probably get better, right? People were bound to start pretending to be super afraid of him once the experiment really got rolling! 

 




Bill dragged Dipper to their usual table at dinner. On the menu for the day was chicken parmesan. It smelled absolutely wonderful. Dipper was itching to dig into it. It felt like a lifetime had gone by between lunch and dinner. They both stopped at the table where Tad and Pyronica were already eating. Well, it was more like Pyronica was feeding Tad along with herself.

 

Dipper chuckled as he sat down. “Why are you feeding him, Py?”

 

Pyronica snickered at him. “Because he’s being a baby.”

 

“Isn’t he always being a baby?” Bill asked, amused.

 

Tad sneered at him. “Says the baby.”

 

Bill sat down and glared at him. “Excuse me, I’m not the one who’s getting hand fed.”

 

“You’re just jealous,” Tad said as he opened his mouth to receive another bite of chicken.

 

Bill glared harder and turned towards Dipper. “That is absolutely correct. Hey Kitten, feed me!”

 

Dipper looked at him mid bite. “What? No, man. I have to eat my own food. Feed yourself.”

 

Bill’s imaginary dog ears flattened at the top of his head as he looked down in disappointment. “Oh, okay.”

 

“Okay, whatever, fine. Just once okay?” Dipper sighed.

 

Dipper got a forkful of chicken parmesan, held it up to Bill’s lips. Bill ate it greedily, he licked his lips in delight. He laughed as Bill got a little sauce on the corner of his mouth. He brought up his hand and wiped the sauce away with his thumb and licked it off. It was a force of habit from how much of a messy eater Mabel was.

 

Bill looked at him, surprised. Had his Pinetree really just done that? He was looking at him absolutely star struck. His heart was beating a mile a minute in his chest and a small blush graced his features. His eyes flickered down to Dipper’s lips before coming back up to his eyes. He cleared his throat awkwardly as he realized he had been staring. Dipper gave him an odd look and he laughed it off.

 

He immediately turned back to his own tray and distracted himself by stuffing as much chicken parmesan into his mouth as possible. Dipper continued to eye him weirdly but soon went back to his own food.

 

Pyronica soon broke the silence. “Guys, I have another photoshoot with the weird little Northwest girl.”

 

Bill perked up at this. “What about Pacifica? You have a photoshoot with her?”

 

She nodded at him. “Yeah. I hate how she’s always in the best photoshoots because her mommy and daddy pay for it.”

 

Tad pursed his lips. “Isn’t she kind of snobby?”

 

“Yeah she is, she’s really pretty but kind of a cold person. I’ve only met her once though,” Bill piped up.

 

Dipper frowned. An unknown feeling bubbled up in the pit of his stomach. He didn’t like the fact that Bill called her really pretty. It didn’t sit right with him.

 

“Who is she?” Dipper asked.

 

Pyronica fed Tad another bite. “She’s just another stuck up rich brat who happens to be in the modeling industry like me. Although, I’m much better than her obviously. She’s super weird.”

 

Dipper cocked his head in confusion. “What do you mean weird?”

 

She grimaced. “Well, for example while we were on break she had to call her parents to ask whether she should get a bagel or a muffin. Actually, I’ve noticed she has to call her parents for every decision she makes. She even asked them what kind of bottled water she should get!” Pyronica laughed.

 

Bill couldn’t help himself from snorting. “Geez, she really relies on her parents too much, doesn’t she?”

 

Tad nodded absently. “It definitely seems like it, yeah.”

 

Dipper found himself laughing as well. “I would hate to be like that, oh my God.”

 

“Yeah, she also has this thing where whenever she hears a bell she just stops for a few minutes.” Pyronica scrunched up her nose in confusion.

 

Bill furrowed his eyebrows. “Wait, what? That’s kinda really odd.”

 

Tad looked at her, confused. “That really is weird. I wanna know what that’s all about. You should ask her about it.”

 

Pyronica shook her head. “No way am I interacting with her more than I have to!”

 

Dipper chuckled. “She can’t be that bad, can she?”

 

“I don’t know but I don’t really wanna risk it,” Pyronica responded easily.

 

The conversation ended there and they all went back to eating. Dinner passed by in a flash as they talked about their days and what happened. Dipper scowled as his jacket sleeve dipped into his food. He sighed and removed the offending garment. He set it down next to him and continued eating.

 

“What the fuck is that?” Bill snarled.

 

Dipper looked at him alarmed. “What is what?”

 

Bill frowned and pointed to his elbow, which had a huge bruise on it. “Where did you get that?”

 

Dipper looked down at his elbow, and cursed himself. He had forgotten that he had that. It was from someone tripping him earlier in the day and he had crash landed on his elbow. It actually hurt pretty bad. People had gone back to bullying him when Bill wasn’t around.

 

“Oh, this is nothing I got it because I tripped in the hall earlier.” He hoped his lie was convincing.

 

Bill eyed him. “Are you sure?”

 

“Yeah I’m sure. There’s no need to worry, puppy,” Dipper said as calmly as he could. He felt like Bill could see right through his lies.

 

“Hm, okay, just be careful next time okay? I don’t like seeing you injured,” Bill said softly.

 

Dipper nodded at him and they both went back to eating.

 

It wasn’t like Dipper wanted to keep Bill out of his problems. He felt comfortable enough to share them with the other teen. It was just that he was scared Bill would get violent with people again. He had made so much progress in the time that they knew each other and he didn’t want to compromise that. He also felt like it was something that he could handle himself. If anything, he was doing this more so to protect Bill than himself.

 

Dinner ended and they all parted ways. Tad and Pyronica went back to their shared dorm and Dipper was going to head to the library. Bill shot off saying that he had to call someone and that he would meet Dipper there later.

 

As Bill rushed away from his friends he pulled out his phone and quickly called Mabel. She picked up within five seconds and he was excited to get started on their new project.

 

“Hey Bill! What’s up?” she asked.

 

“Hey Shooting Star, I was just thinking that we could start with the knitting stuff today.” He bit his lip in his nervousness.

 

“Oh heck yeah we can! Do you have all the materials you need? Y’know, like knitting needles and yarn?”

 

“No actually, I guess I should head to the store then?” Bill frowned.

 

“Well yeah, dummy, you need those things to get started,” she laughed at him.

 

Bill quickly made his way to the parking lot and unlocked his car. He hopped into the driver’s side and made his way towards the nearest craft shop. He chatted idly with Mabel while he drove. Their small talk ended when Bill parked in the parking lot of the store and walked inside.

 

“Well, I’m at the craft store, where are the knitting stuff?” he asked.

 

Mabel snorted. “You’ll have to follow the signs, big guy.”

 

He muttered a small ‘oh’ and looked at all the signs as he walked forward. Bill saw the knitting isle sign and excitedly made his way over.

 

“Okay, what kind of needles should I get then?”

 

Mabel thought for a moment. “Well, I would recommend you get some thicker needles because those are easier for beginners to work with.”

 

Bill browsed the selection of needles and picked a set of medium thickness needles. He quickly snapped a picture of them and sent it over to Mabel.

 

“How’s this?”

 

She giggled over the line. “Those are perfect!”

 

Bill hummed in acknowledgement and went to where the yarn was. He looked over all the different yarn and immediately went to the most expensive ones they had. He glanced at the yellow varieties and chose the Cloud Super Chunky Merino Wool yarn. He took a picture of it and sent it to Mabel.

 

“What about this? I like this one. It's super soft!” he gasped.

 

Mabel squealed. “That’s a really good yarn! You picked out a really nice one! It’s a bit expensive though. I wish I could buy it.”

 

“I’ll buy you some as a thanks for helping me!” Bill grinned.

 

“Oh my gosh! Will you really? Thank you!” She paused a bit. “Well also you’ll need about six hundred to twelve hundred yards of that stuff to make a sweater.”

 

Bill scrunched up his face in confusion. “Sorry, what? That’s so much yarn! How the heck does that even fit in one sweater?”

 

Mabel sighed. “Trust me, it just does. You’d be amazed how fast you run out of yarn when you actually knit.”

 

There were only about four bundles of the yellow yarn out so Bill made his way over to an employee with the bundles.

 

“Hey you, peasant, yeah you. I need about thirty four more of this type of yarn in this color. Make it snappy.” Bill scowled at the employee. He glanced down at his name tag and it read Chris.

 

The employee, Chris, looked at him with tired eyes as he was doomed to this fate. “Yeah, give me a second. I have to go into the back room. Follow me.”

 

Bill followed the man and stopped when they reached a door that said employees only.

 

“Just wait out here, okay?” Chris pleaded.

 

Bill narrowed his eyes at him. “Whatever, just make it quick.”

 

It took Chris exactly ten minutes to get all of the yarn and they ended up having to grab a basket for it. Bill didn’t even bother to thank him and he made his way over to the checkout to pay.

 

The cashier looked terrified of all the yarn. “Will that be all today, sir?”

 

Bill looked at the yarn on the conveyor belt. “Yes, that’ll be all.”

 

She nodded and looked like she wanted to cry. She began checking out all of the yarn and bagging it. Once she was done, she prepared herself for the argument that was sure to come.

 

“Okay that’s thirty eight bundles of the Cloud Super Chunky Merino Wool yarn in the color yellow. That’ll be eight hundred and thirty six dollars and seventy one cents.”

 

Bill pulled out his card and swiped it, confirming the payment as he did so. The cashier looked at him with wide eyes and said nothing else. When he left with the bags, she managed to squeak out a ‘have a nice day’.

 

Bill put the phone back to his ear. “Okay, I’ve got all the ingredients for my sweater!” he preened happily into the phone. 

 

“Bill, is that how you normally talk to shop employees?” Mabel asked. She wanted to ask about a lot from the term ingredients to the ridiculous price he’d just paid for the best kind of yarn on the market. Instead she settled on the most disturbing of things she had overheard. 

 

“Yeah?” He shrugged even if she couldn’t see him. He got to his car and balanced his phone on his shoulder to open the back seat and begin loading up the yarn. 

 

“Well no wonder you haven’t landed my brother yet!” she exclaimed. 

 

“Wait, what? What does that mean?!” Bill demanded as he shoved his cart away from his car and got in. 

 

“Bill, normal people don’t go around calling people peasants and I can guarantee you Dipper doesn't appreciate the way you talk to people,” Mabel explained with an exasperated sigh. “Look, Dipper and I were raised on good manners. That means we like people that also have good manners.”

 

“I have good manners! I’ve passed all my etiquette classes for years with flying colors!” Bill began to huff, not turning on the car since this news was so distressing. 

 

“Not table manners, silly! Just everyday manners! Please, thank you, excuse me, stuff like that. Showing others, even those you don’t care about, a shred of human decency!” she explained slowly, like speaking to a child or an alien to this planet and its ways. “That’s the way to get Dipper to like you more. Trust me when I say he’s gonna care a lot more about how you treated those employees than the materials of that sweater.”

 

Bill frowned. His mind went to how Dipper always made him say please and thank you to the lunch ladies, and how he seemed to get offended whenever Bill interrupted a class. Dipper had once said that it was rude how he’d talk over the teacher- not just to the teacher, but to the other students as well. Was this what he meant? 

 

Bill looked at his cart, noticing how it was blocking an empty space next to him and how two cars had to drive around because of it. 

 

“Should I go back in and apologize?” Bill finally asked, not really knowing how to start on this completely new venture.

 

“That’s a good place to start, maybe thanking them too?” Mabel suggested. 

 

“Okay, give me a moment.” Bill stuffed his phone into his pocket and got back out of his car. He locked it quickly and grabbed up the cart, walking it back to the cart return. 

 

He might have even felt kinda good about himself as he did it. Next, Bill walked back into the store. 

 

He first went to the cashier. The girl gave him a wide eyed look. She seemed to grow nervous as he approached. 

 

Unknown to Bill, the girl began to ready herself to be yelled at. 

 

“Um, uh...” Bill frowned as he stopped in front of her and shuffled his shoes. “It’s been pointed out to me that I should have said thank you to you, so uh, thank you.”

 

The cashier felt her chest lighten and her hope for humanity rise. “Oh!” she gasped. Her co-worker had already begun to complain about his guy so she was very pleasantly surprised. “It’s no biggie! Please have a wonderful day!”

 

Bill grinned, feeling really good. He normally tried to avoid interaction as much as possible, but he had no idea it could be this pleasant! Normally the people he talked with at school all wanted something from him so he stopped bothering to be nice at some point. 

 

“Do you know where the employee that helped me is? I need to apologize and thank him as well, his name tag said his name was Chris,” Bill asked the nice cashier. 

 

“Yeah! I’ll call him up for you!” She beamed. She grabbed a walkie talkie from a clip on her belt and called for Chris to come up to the checkout lanes. 

 

Bill waited patiently for a moment before it occurred to him that he should probably thank her again for calling up the other worker. 

 

“Oh, uh thank you for doing that,” Bill said after the long silence. 

 

The girl giggled. “You are new at this, aren’t you?” she asked and Bill flushed. He nodded as he shuffled in place again. 

 

“I’m trying to be better,” he coughed awkwardly. 

 

“Well, you’re doing great!” she assured him. Honestly, she was just happy to see someone actually trying to actively improve on themselves. 

 

After a moment the employee that helped Bill walked up and Bill turned his attention to him. 

 

“Hi.” Bill waved to him. He felt a little more comfortable after the short conversation with the cashier but this was still a rather new situation for him. 

 

“Hi?” Chris said back. He wondered why the entitled jerk was back and calling for him but tried to keep his customer service smile as best as he could. 

 

“I wanted to apologize to you, my behavior was pointed out to me as really rude,” Bill began. Apologies did not come easily to Bill, but if this is what Dipper wanted, then this is what he’d do. It helped that so far he actually liked the feeling he got from doing this. 

 

“Oh,” Chris said in the same disbelieving gasp as the cashier. He looked at her and she smiled, confirming that this was really happening. 

 

“I am really sorry for calling you a peasant and being so impatient and I wanted to thank you for helping me,” Bill said, he kept looking to the floor because of how out of place he felt. 

 

“Yeah, no worries dude. Thank you for coming back in, that means a lot.” 

 

Bill snapped his head up. He honestly expected some kind of retribution from Chris in particular. That’s what he would have done, but no, Chris just accepted his apology. 

 

“Thank you, really.” 

 

Bill didn’t know he could feel like this. After being assured that everything was good and he wasn’t upset anymore, Bill returned to his car. 

 

He pulled his phone from his pocket and asked if Mabel was still on. 

 

“I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!” Mabel shouted into his ear the moment he spoke again. 

 

Bill winced at the loud noise and pulled the phone from his ear. Once he was sure she wasn’t going to blow out his ear drum again, Bill brought the phone back. 

 

“Thanks, that actually felt really good to do.” Bill smiled as he finally turned on the car and began to head back, chatting idly with Mabel as he went. 

 

By the time he got back to school, it was time to meet up with Dipper for his group project. He promised Mabel that they’d talk again tomorrow. 

 

“You could drive down over the weekend if you want. I can show you the best stitch technique for the sweater you're making in person,” Mabel offered. 

 

“Maybe on Sunday. Saturday I have therapy and then family dinner with my momma,” Bill explained. 

 

“Sunday works. I have to film my craft blog, but then I’m free all day!” 

 

“Alright then, it’s a plan!” 

 

“See you then! Talk to you later!” Mabel ended the call. 

 

Bill smiled at his phone and put it away. He quickly got out of the car and grabbed up all his bags. With his arms full of bags with yellow yarn, Bill headed quickly for his dorm. He wanted this to be a surprise, so when he got to the room he shared with Pyronica and Tad, he began to stuff the yarn under his bed. 

 

Pyronica and Tad had been watching a video in the bed they normally all shared together and were now just staring at him really oddly. 

 

“Should I even ask about the yarn?” Tad asked. 

 

“I’m doing a thing, don’t worry about it. I’m going to the library.” Bill beamed, finishing shoving the yarn under his bed. 

 

Pyronica huffed irritability. “You haven’t come to the room for days! And when you do, it’s only to change! Now we can’t even ask about the yarn.”

 

Bill rolled his eyes at her. “You’ll both live. I have a study date with my Kitten! Bye!” 

 

“You always have a study date!” Pyronica yelled after him. She smiled softly even as she longed for the days when Bill was just theirs. She was happy for him but she did miss him hanging around all the time. 

 

Bill happily made his way to the library. He was so excited, he couldn’t wait to make his present for Dipper. He wanted to tell him about the project but he also wanted to see his face when he gave it to him! He was going to be so shocked! 

 

Bill was so distracted by the cute face he pictured Dipper making that he didn’t notice the white haired kid he ran into just outside the library. They bumped shoulders just as the kid was exiting the library door. 

 

“Hey!” Bill growled at him. The much shorter teen he recognized as a part of the junior class. 

 

The white haired boy jumped back, his eyes widening in fear. “Oh my, I apologize dearly!” he rattled off in a southern twang. 

 

Bill was about to berate him until he caught sight of the pine trees on his knuckles. He took a breath, calmed himself and began again. “Uh, excuse me,” Bill muttered. He moved past the boy and into the library to find his Kitten hard at work. 

 

Dipper’s nose was stuck in his book and he didn’t even seem to be on the same plane of existence anymore. 

 

Bill thought about scaring him but quickly decided against it. He circled around the table a few times, taking the opportunity to really get a good look at how serene Dipper was at the moment. 

 

Once he’d looked to his heart's content Bill sat down in the chair next to him, careful not to bother him. Oddly enough, the seat was warm like someone had been sitting there before Bill arrived. Dipper had been the only one in the library except for that white haired kid. Bill felt curious as to why they would be seated next to each other when the library was so empty and vast. 

 

He quickly let the thought go in favor of pulling out his sketchbook to draw Dipper in this completely new state. Their other two partners weren’t here yet so Bill figured he could draw and allow Dipper to study until they got here. 

 

Bringing out his sketchbook and pencils from his backpack, he began to sketch Dipper. The other boy seemed too absorbed into his studying session to even notice that Bill had even sat down. He drew a simple circle and started bringing the details of Dipper’s face to life in his sketch.

 

He included the slope of his button nose, to the slight furrow of his brow as he concentrated, even the way his eyes seemed to sparkle when he learned something new. Bill honestly thought that he would never get tired of drawing his Pinetree. Everything about him seemed so perfect. He had long lashes and they tangled slightly whenever he blinked too deeply. It was something that Bill found endearing.

 

Bill watched as Dipper would sometimes become confused and reread some passages. He couldn’t help but smile as he watched his sapling chew on the end of a pen in concentration. Sometimes he would jot down notes and Bill couldn’t help but wonder what it was that his Kitten was so fascinated with. 

 

The sun shone through a window and hit the table and its inhabitants. It bathed them in its warm glow. Bill couldn’t help but hold his breath slightly when the sunlight caught in Dipper’s chestnut locks and bounced off. It made him look like he had a golden halo. He wouldn’t have been surprised if Dipper was an actual angel though. 

 

He finished sketching Dipper’s face and moved onto his clothing. He was wearing a button up white shirt with a bow made of a blue pine tree patterned ribbon that Bill had picked up for him on a whim. Over his shirt was one of Bill’s fancy knit sweaters that was much too big for him. The neck went as wide as his shoulders and was dangerously close to falling off. The sleeves went down way past his hands and he had to bunch the sleeves up a bit so he could use his hands.

 

When Bill had seen him this morning in his sweater, he could have sworn his heart stopped. It even made his Kitten smell slightly like him. He absolutely adored the way the sweater swallowed Dipper up. He was practically drowning in it.

 

He put his pencil down and rested his head on the desk. At this point he was simply enjoying looking at his sapling. The warm rays of the sun caused him to blink sleepily. Dipper looked absolutely breathtaking in the evening glow. It was almost as if he was too perfect to be considered a human. Bill couldn’t see any of his flaws. 

 

At some point keeping his eyes open proved to be too daunting of a task. They slipped shut and he was lulled off into the world of slumber. His dreams were filled with a certain small, chocolate haired angel with mocha eyes.

 




Dipper sighed and rolled his head, relishing in the feeling of cracking his neck. He put his pencil down and glanced up from his textbook to look at a clock when he noticed that Bill was sleeping next to him. This was truly a rare sight to see.

 

Usually Dipper was the first one to fall asleep so he never really knew what Bill looked like when he slept. He laid his head down on the desk as well and took a good look at the other boy. 

 

His golden locks were side swept from sleeping on the table and there was no trace of any stress on his face. He looked completely serene and Dipper found that he enjoyed it. There was no sign of Bill’s usual smirk or grin. Dipper gasped as he looked closer- Bill actually had a small dusting of freckles on his cheeks and nose. They were slightly lighter than his tanned skin and made him look beautiful. He took a moment to really consider just how good looking Bill was. He never really took it into account himself, but looking at him now, he could see why so many people were attracted to him.

 

The sun was setting and cast a warm amber glow into the room. The light reflected off of Bill’s golden hair and Dipper compared it in his head briefly with strings of fine silk. He reached out a hand to touch Bill’s hair. It was just as soft as he remembered. He smiled softly to himself and wondered how in the world he had come to care about someone so much in only a few weeks.

 

Suddenly as he was petting Bill, he was met with a heterochromatic gaze as he opened his eyes. Dipper’s eyes widened. There was so much raw emotion flashing through his gaze and it was like he was drowning in a tsunami. He could clearly make out the adoration and the wonder that he held in his eyes and wondered what exactly was so amazing. Bill blinked slowly a few times.

 

“Are you my guardian angel…?” he asked sleepily.

 

Dipper snorted. He realized that Bill must still have a sleep fogged brain. “I can if you want me to be,” he responded softly.

 

Bill gave him a gentle smile and Dipper swore his heart skipped a beat. There in the library, in the golden rays of the setting sun, everything washed away and he could only feel the adoration he held for Bill. In a panic he tamped the feelings down as far as he could and shoved Bill lightly.

 

“Get up, puppy, it’s late,” he laughed. 

 

Bill yawned and stretched as he lifted his head from the table. “Yeah, you’re right.” He glanced at the clock. “It’s seven o'clock.”

 

Dipper gasped and looked at the clock. “Excuse me? How was I studying for that long? Wait a minute. Where are our group mates? They should be here right? Oh God, if they didn’t show up today, that means they won’t show up ever! What am I gonna do? Do I really have to carry this whole project by myself?” He was sending himself into a panic.

 

Bill furrowed his eyebrows in concern and pulled Dipper into a tight comforting hug. “Hey, stop panicking. It’s okay, I’m still here. I’ll work on the project with you. I’ll try my best I promise. We’ll get you that A you deserve.”

 

Dipper hugged him back, looping his arms around Bill’s neck as he buried his face into his chest. “Right, yeah. You’re still here, but can you really help me? You know how important it is for me to get good grades…”

 

Bill rubbed his back soothingly. “Of course, Kitten. I know how important this is for you. I wouldn’t mess it up for anything.”

 

Dipper took a deep breath. “Okay… do you promise?”

 

“I pinky promise,” Bill laughed.

 

Dipper broke apart from him and held out his pinky. He puffed out his cheeks and looked Bill in the eyes. Bill chuckled and looped his own pinky around Dipper’s. For extra measure he kissed Dipper’s hand and then let go.

 

“Now there’s extra assurance,” Bill said softly.

 

Dipper fought his blush down and gave Bill a wide smile. “Thank you.”

 

“It’s really no issue, Sapling. I’d move mountains for you.”

 

Dipper found himself almost tearing up. He hadn’t experienced this amount of care since Mabel and he treasured it dearly.

 

“Hey, also, who was that white haired kid from earlier? He seemed like he talked to you?” Bill asked.

 

Dipper cocked his head and thought for a moment. “Oh, him? I think his name was Gideon or something. He was actually being weirdly nice and friendly to me.”

 

Bill felt jealousy bubble up in his chest but immediately stomped on it as hard as he could. He forced a smile onto his face instead. “Oh, really? That’s nice. It’s always good to make new friends.”

 

He gave Bill an odd look. “Yeah, it really is… Hey, are you okay?”

 

Bill waved him off. “What? Me? Of course I’m okay! Why would I not be?”

 

Dipper hummed. “Right, yeah. Whatever you say. Just so you know, though, I’m always here to talk.”

 

Bill gave him a genuine smile this time. “Yeah, I know. Thank you.”

 

“Alright! Let’s work then, we have a lot to do if we are two members down!” Dipper pulled his copy of The Black Cat from his bag. “Have you read through it yet?” 

 

“I didn’t get the chance,” Bill answered, pulling out his own copy. The story was short but he hadn’t trusted himself to understand it without Dipper there to walk him through it since it was from the 1800’s. 

 

“Okay. It’s like a twenty minute read, so let’s just take a moment to read through it and then we can start discussing!” Dipper was very excited to get into the story. He loved Edgar Allen Poe, had even once tried to solve the great mystery of his death. Talking through one of his stories was a very fun time for him. 

 

Bill nodded and began to read over the beginning of the story. 

 

“Ask me if you don’t understand anything,” Dipper whispered before he began to reread it as well. 

 

Ten minutes passed in comfortable silence before Bill suddenly gasped. He jumped up, knocking over his chair. 

 

Dipper looked up at him, startled, and took note of the teary eyed horror on Bill’s stricken face. 

 

“He-, why!?” Bill stuttered out. He grabbed up the story and shoved it at Dippers face. “He did what to the kitty’s eye?!” 

 

Chapter Text

“-and then he just hangs the cat! He talks about how much he loves the cat for like three paragraphs! Why hang the poor kitty?!” Bill was yelling by the time he finished explaining why he officially did not like Edgar Allen Poe to Jenna, his therapist. 

 

The story had made him sick to his stomach. The narrator was an asshole and Bill hated him! Who hurts a kitty?

 

Jenna nodded her head as she continued on the puzzle they were working on together. She honestly couldn’t believe the progress that had been made since her last session with Bill last Saturday. Last she had heard, Bill had scared off his crush permanently by going into a spiral. 

 

“I’ve read that story. He does get what he deserves in the end,” she pointed out. 

 

“Not enough!” Bill frowned as he worked on the sky part of the star puzzle. 

 

“Do you think you have such big feelings about the story because you almost harmed someone you care about while angry?” she asked him. 

 

Bill froze. Would he have ever hurt Dipper? His Kitten was precious but he couldn’t help thinking back to the moment when Dipper had ripped away his cigarette. He hadn’t even recognized Dipper for a moment, he really might have hurt him. 

 

“I mean, uh, maybe? I didn’t really think about that. I don’t want to hurt him,” Bill whispered. He didn’t feel insecure, he’d been working with Jenna for years now and was always comfortable with her. 

 

“That’s good. I’m glad you don’t want to hurt him considering how long it took you to even form a friendship with him.” Jenna smiled as she patted his arm, her eyes catching the faded pine tree’s on his knuckles for a moment before she continued. “Stories and art have an amazing ability to reflect the world around us and drive us to see our lives and its nuances more clearly. The fact that you see the similarities means you’re already in a better position than the narrator of this story.”

 

“You think?” Bill brightened. 

 

“Yes, definitely. Now tell me about what you drew here.” She pointed to his knuckles. 

 

“Oh.” Bill dropped his puzzle piece to lovingly look at his knuckles. “Pinetree drew them on me when I was having a violent outburst.” Bill explained the situation and then of course that brought him to family day when he and Dipper had their breakthrough. He explained the promise he’d made to Dipper and how he ended up in the bathroom in the first place. 

 

Jenna nodded along to his story, making comments ever now and then. She jotted down a few of the things that Bill was saying onto her clipboard to include in her notes later. 

 

“Did you try to use any of the coping skills you’ve learned?” 

 

Bill blanked. “Well, no, I was too upset.”

 

“Remember that you can’t let her control you like that. She’s not the one living your life for you. You have to keep yourself as collected as possible, and I know that it’s hard for you, but remember to try and ground yourself,” Jenna said gently.

 

Bill slotted in another puzzle piece. “Yeah, I know. It’s just really hard, y’know? She just barges into my life and flips everything upside down. I hate how she affects me so much.”

 

She hummed in acknowledgement. “I understand that. She affects you so much because she’s your mother. Obviously she’ll have influence on you. You just have to be the one to control how much she does. Remember to use the coping skills that I taught you.”

 

“I’ll try to, but it just gets out of hand so quickly and I spiral so fast and suddenly I’m not in control anymore.” Bill curled his fists and tried to calm his breathing. He was getting worked up.

 

“That’s okay. You can’t be in control at all times. It’s understandable. You’re only human, Bill,” she responded.

 

“I’m trying my best though. Sometimes it just feels that my best isn’t good enough.”

 

“Well, you can only offer your best. That’s really all you need to do. People see that and help you along further.”

 

Bill placed another piece of the puzzle. “You’re right. I have a good support system.”

 

Jenna helped point out a piece that he had missed. “Yes, you do. You also have to consider how much progress you’ve made. I have to say, I’m actually proud of you.”

 

“Thanks. I worked hard to get here, y’know. You’ve seen me struggle.”

 

She laughed. “Oh, trust me. I really have seen you struggle. I’ve also seen you grow though.”

 

Bill put in the last piece of the puzzle. “I have a lot more growing to do though. I hope it’s with Pinetree.”

 

Jenna smiled at him. “Maybe, if you try hard enough and remember everything that you’ve learned in our sessions. I’m sure you can keep him.” She sat down next to him. “I wonder how you never get bored of doing the same puzzles over and over.”

 

“Well, it’s not like I have the pieces memorized. It’s the same challenge every time,” he answered.

 

Jenna got up and stretched. “That’s fair. Alright kiddo, we’re about up on time. Say hi to Shelly for me, will you?” 

 

Bill took the puzzle apart and put it back in it’s box. He stood up with her and they both made their way back to the front office. “Yeah, I’ll be sure to tell her.”

 

Bill gave her a smile as he left and headed towards the elevators. He pulled out his phone and unsilenced it to look through his messages. 

 

Pyronica and Tad had both messaged him to have fun in therapy and spoke of their excitement for family dinner. 

 

Pinetree had messaged him to say he was finished with his homework so he was ready to be picked up. He’d asked Dipper to accompany him today so he’d be coming to family dinner! Bill was so excited since it felt so much like a date. 

 

Mabel had also messaged him. She had sent him a few reference links on knitting. 

 

Bill quickly responded to Pinetree. ‘Leaving now! On my way to pick you up <3’ Bill typed out and sent off the message just as he reached the first floor of the building. 

 

He pulled out his keys and jumped into his car. He was so happy that Pinetree had accepted his invite to hang out over the weekend. He’d been really nervous when he’d asked on Friday, but his Sapling had actually said yes! Not even just yes. but he’d said ‘I’d love to.’ That was so close to the words ‘I love you’ that Bill had almost fainted!

 

When the radio turned on, Bill ended up smiling wider as he recognized the song. Bill began to hum along, his mind filling up with images of Dipper from just the last week of friendship. 

 

“Kiss my lips, feel the rhythm of your heart and hips, I will pray so the castle that we've built won't cave,” Bill sang softly along. He wondered just how soft Dipper’s lips would be. They looked so soft and like they were crafted to be worshiped.

“The secrets you tell me I'll take to my grave. There's bones in my closet, but you hang stuff anyway, and if you have nightmares, we'll dance on the bed.” Bill began to get more into the catchy, poppy song. He bounced his head and shoulders, wiggling a bit in his seat to dance to it.

“I know that you love me, love me. Even when I lose my head. Guillotine,” Bill threw his head back as the beat quickened, scatting with the singer. “Guillotine!”

“Guillotine, guillotine. Even when I lose my head.” Bill no longer quietly sang. His voice was louder than the radio. He turned right down the road that led to the school, still dancing to the music.

“You fill me up, you fill me up. You set my soul ablaze. You fill me up, you fill me up. Your love is so amazing. You fill me up even when I lose my head.” Bill pulled up to the school as he sang the last lines of the song and spotted his Kitten. “Even when I lose my head,” he sighed happily when Dipper saw his car and began to wave. His smile lit the whole world, Bill was sure of it.

 

Dipper smiled when he saw Bill’s stupid yellow car and ran up to it. 

 

Bill felt kinda surprised when he noticed Pyronica and Tad were with him. He knew they were coming, it was family dinner after all, but they had been totally eclipsed by Dipper. He hadn’t even seen them. 

 

“Kitten!” Bill exclaimed the moment Dipper opened the door. When Dipper climbed into the car, Bill attacked him. Bill pulled the boy into a bone crushing hug, rubbing his head into Dipper’s. 

 

Bill was so focused on Dipper that he barely cared when the car began creeping forward. The motion caused the handle to the rear door to be ripped out of Pyronica’s hand. 

 

“Bill! You have to put the car in park!” Dipper screeched. Pyronica and Tad were scrambling to chase after the car and get in. 

 

“No park! Only huggles!” Bill yelled, the car continuing on without his foot on the break. 

 

“BILL! I’m serious!” Dipper shoved around him to yank at the emergency break. 

 

The car jerked to a stop and Dipper had to hold his chest. He panted, feeling like he just went through a near death experience. 

 

Finally Pyronica and Tad managed to jump into the car. 

 

“Dude! Not cool!” Tad yelled the moment he got into the backseat. “What, are we invisible now that you have a crush?!” 

 

Bill frowned at Tad. “What? No! Of course not. Who do you take me for?”

 

Pyronica sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. “We take you for an idiot, Bill.”

 

Tad nodded in acknowledgement. “Yes, definitely the biggest idiot out there. You were only focusing on Dipper!”

 

Bill pouted. “Was not…”

 

Dipper chimed in. “Was too! You completely missed Tad and Py!”

 

“What is this? Why are you all ganging up on me? I just got too excited that’s all,” Bill huffed.

 

“Sure thing, Romeo. I’m starting to feel like your head is only filled with Dipper,” Pyronica deadpanned.

 

“I’m neither confirming nor denying that.” Bill gripped the wheel in embarrassment.

 

“That’s exactly what we mean! You’ve been ignoring us ever since Dipper popped into your life.” Tad glared at him.

 

“That’s not my fault! I just wanna spend time with Pinetree alone to get to know him,” Bill responded easily.

 

“Bill, you’re by my side almost twenty four seven. You need to spend some time with Tad and Py too. They're your best friends!” Dipper said exasperatedly.

 

“But Kitten, I wanna spend time with you! I’ve had a whole lifetime with Tad and Py already,” Bill whined.

 

Pyronica settled into her seat. “It’s hardly been a lifetime, but you have to maintain the relationships you have, y’know.”

 

Tad nodded. “That’s true. You can’t just expect us to stay friends if you ignore us all the time.”

 

Bill sighed. “Okay, yeah. I get it. I’ll spend more time with you guys. You both know I love you more than anything, right?”

 

Pyronica smiled. “There’s the sappy Bill we missed. Yes, we love you too.”

 

“Speak for yourself. He doesn’t love me. I don’t even get cuddles from him anymore,” Tad complained.

 

Bill pouted at Tad through the mirror. “Aw c’mon Tad I do love you. I’ll give you cuddles I promise! I’ll even throw in a kiss free of charge.”

 

Tad stared back at him from the mirror and sighed. “Fine, whatever. I guess that appeases me.”

 

Bill whooped. “I knew you couldn’t resist how charming I am.”

 

Dipper laughed and scrunched up his face. “You? Charming? You’re about as charming as Cerberus.”

 

“How dare you compare me to a three headed dog! Actually, I take that back, dogs are cute. So a three headed dog is three times as cute. So that means I’m three times as cute,” Bill said proudly.

 

Dipper groaned and shoved Bill lightly. “Right. Sure thing, Puppy.”

 

“I am! Py, Tad, you agree with me, right?”

 

Tad and Pyronica looked at each other and then back at Bill. At the same time they both responded with, “No, definitely not.”

 

Bill glared at them from the mirror. “I see how it is. I guess I’m unloved.”

 

There was a chorus of ‘yup’ ‘yeah’ and ‘mhm’ from the trio and Bill sighed. 

 

“Okay, whatever. We’re going to eat ice cream before dinner cause we’re the cool kids club,” Bill said while grinning broadly.

 

Dipper snorted. “The cool kids club? Yeah, okay.”

 

“What? What’s wrong with the name?”

 

Dipper put his hands up in defense. “Nothing! Nothing is wrong with the name.”

 

“We’ve had the name since fourth grade, okay? There’s no getting rid of it! Plus it still fits,” Bill defended.

 

Dipper smiled. “I didn’t say anything! There’s no need to defend yourself.”

 

Bill laughed and smiled back at him. He let the conversation end there and drove them to an ice cream shop that was on the way to Shelly’s small cottage. Once they reached their destination, Bill parked in an empty space in front of the small shop. He turned off the engine and turned to everyone.

 

“Alright, me hearties, we’re here!” he announced.

 

Pyronica raised an eyebrow at him. “What is this? The pirate’s age?”

 

Bill shrugged his shoulders and grinned. “If you want it to be. Yo ho ho, a pirate’s life for me!”

 

Dipper laughed and covered his face with his sweater paw. “Oh God, no. I’d rather live in the modern day, thank you.”

 

Bill stepped out of the car. “But wouldn’t you like to set sail and be free?” He moved to the other side of the car and opened Dipper’s door for him.

 

Dipper stepped out at almost the same exact time Tad and Pyronica did. “Well, yes, but not like that.”

 

The four of them walked into the shop and were met with quaint decorations. The walls were lined with booths and the windows had a long table set up in front of them with high rise chairs. Closer to the ceiling were fairy lights which gave the shop a nice warm glow. On walls there were shelves with odd little knick knacks. There was a big jar filled with receipts, what looked like an old radio, a few books in random places, and little pots of different types of flowers. There was also a giant sheet of parchment paper which had a few drawings on it with a small bucket of pencils on the shelf next to it. Over all, the shop had a nice homey feeling to it.

 

They walked up to the cashier and looked at the chalkboard menu behind her. They were all thinking about what to get.

 

“Hello! What can I get for you?” the cashier asked, which upon inspection of her name tag could be identified as Clarice.

 

Dipper spoke up first. “Hello! Can I please get a strawberry waffle cone with fresh strawberries on top?”

 

She nodded at him and input his order onto the screen in front of her.

 

Pyronica stepped up after Dipper. “Hi, can I get a large frozen cotton candy, please?”

 

“Sure thing!” Clarice responded.

 

Tad ordered next. “Yeah, can I get one scoop of mint chocolate chip and one scoop of peanut butter in a waffle cone? Thanks.”

 

She typed in his order and looked at Bill expectantly.

 

“I’ll get a rocky road with marshmallow and gummy bears on top.” He noticed Dipper glaring at him and then added, “Please.” He smiled when Dipper gave him an approving nod.

 

The cashier smiled and gave the total. Before Bill could even reach for his wallet, Dipper slammed down his debit card. 

 

“I’ve got it,” he declared proudly. 

 

“What?! No!” Bill tried to jump for the card but Dipper managed to hold him back until the cashier had swiped his card. 

 

“Pinetree!” Bill whined, accompanied by Tad and Pyronica. “Why would you do that?” 

 

Dipper leveled all three with a flat glare. “You guys are always buying things for me! I can at least get ice cream!” Dipper stomped his foot and gave a huff of indignation while crossing his arms. 

 

Bill wanted to coo, Dipper looked so cute when putting his foot down! Like a little kitty with its tail all fluffed up. 

 

“I guess that’s fair.” Tad shrugged. 

 

“No, I don’t accept this,” Pyronica pouted. “I’m paying you back, money is literally nothing to us!”

 

Bill knocked himself out of ‘admiring Dipper mode’ and nodded aggressively. “Yeah! You couldn’t take a dent out of our allowances even if we got you a whole new wardrobe!”

 

“Nope! No, just no!” Dipper wagged a finger at the two. “I want friends, not wallets. If you pay me back, I will take that as a declaration that we aren’t really friends.” 

 

Pyronica and Bill both pouted, shuffling their feet. 

 

“Guys, it’s just ice cream, let it go,” Tad sighed. He moved past them to grab his cone of frozen ice cream. He passed Dipper his strawberry cone as well and pulled him towards a table. 

 

“Hey! Don’t steal my Kitten!” Bill grabbed his unholy abomination of a sweet treat and hurried after the two, Pyronica on his tail. 

 

“Then hurry up!” 

 

Bill glared at Tad as he ran forward and picked up Dipper around the waist. He lifted him as he sat down and possessively sat his Kitten in his lap. 

 

“Bill!” Dipper squealed, almost dropping his ice cream. He was immediately wrapped up in Bill's strong arms and simultaneously found them confining and comfortable. A bright blush to match his strawberry ice cream colored his face. “What am I? Your prisoner?!” 

 

“Yes,” Bill muttered, tightening his free arm around Dipper. “And you’re the cutest dang prisoner in all the seven seas!” 

 

Dipper groaned, too tired to bother. “You're getting your stories mixed there, Puppy.”

 

Bill mumbled something unintelligible and bit into his ice cream like a monster. 

 

Dipper gaped at him but Pyronica and Tad just rolled their eyes. It would seem this was just yet another weird quirk of Bill’s. Dipper needed to stop being surprised by him!

 

“So what are we even doing today?” Dipper asked once he’d gotten over Bill actually biting into ice cream like he was desperate for brain freeze. “You didn’t say, just that you wanted to have dinner together.”

 

“You didn’t tell him?” Pyronica looked to Bill pointedly. 

 

“Dude, you have to tell people these things,” Tad sighed. 

 

“I invited him out with us and he said okay! What more was there to explain?” Bill asked dumbly. 

 

“Sorry, what's happening now?” Dipper looked between the three. 

 

“It’s family dinner day,” Tad deadpanned. 

 

“A family dinner?!” Dipper squawked, trying to fight to leave Bill’s lap. “I want nowhere near your mother, Bill! She’s actually insane! I’m not too much of a man to admit that I’m fucking terrified of her!” 

 

“Calm down!” Bill clamped his good arm around Dipper's waist. 

 

“No! I’m not going near that woman! She is not good for my heart!” Dipper squirmed in Bill’s lap, desperately trying to run away. 

 

“Stop! Why the hell would I bring you to my mother?! Don’t be stupid!” Bill argued back. “We’re going over to Shelly’s. Family dinner!” He yelled like those two words explained everything. 

 

“That explains nothing, Bill!” Dipper whined, though he did calm down. He sat still and pouted up at the blonde, waiting for him to explain. 

 

“Every Saturday we all go to have dinner with Shelly,” Pyronica piped in when it looked like Bill was just going to repeat himself again. “She cooks us a homemade meal, and all she asks for in return is recent pictures for her scrapbooks. It’s a tradition now. Family dinner!” 

 

“Oh, I guess that makes sense.” 

 

“That’s just exactly what I said!” Bill bit out.

 

“Trust me, it wasn’t,” Tad muttered as he mixed his peanut butter and mint ice cream together. 

 

Dipper laughed when Bill glared and hid his face in Dipper’s neck. The four let the conversation drop with that, even if Dipper had more questions. He felt a lot more secure now. 

 

Dipper rested his back against Bill’s chest, sighing. He popped a frozen strawberry in his mouth and sucked the cream off before biting into the sweet flesh. 

 

“Is that any good, Tad?” Dipper asked after a minute of licking at his cone. Tad’s flavor combination would confound any man. 

 

 “It’s probably the greatest creation to ever grace the earth,” Tad answered seriously. 

 

“It’s that good?” 

 

“Surprisingly, yeah,” Tad nodded. “Here.” Tad scooped up a heaping bite, making sure it was equal parts of both flavors. “Try some,” he offered while holding out the spoon to Dipper. 

 

Dipper leaned forward allowed himself to be spoon fed the sweet frozen treat. He pulled back and licked his lips. “Oh wow, that is surprisingly good!”

 

“Told you,” Tad smiled.

 

Bill jerked forward and ripped the spoon out of Tads hand before he could put it back into his bowl. Tad frowned as Bill seethed. 

 

“Puppy? What’s wrong?” Dipper craned his head up to look at him. 

 

“Nothing. Tad just has to get a new spoon.” Bill glared at his friend. Pyronica began to giggle madly, doing nothing to help how tense everything had gotten. 

 

“Why?”

 

“Cause it’s been in your mouth!” Bill argued. 

 

“But I ate from it, and it’s been in his mouth too?” Dipper said questioningly. He really didn’t understand the problem. Tad seemed clean enough that he hadn’t even thought about germs. 

 

“Don’t remind me!” Bill cried, tossing the used spoon at a garbage to forget it exists. 

 

“It’s not like we actually kissed,” Tad sighed. Bill could be so dumb sometimes.

 

“It was an indirect kiss!” Bill cried. “Do you know what this means?!” 

 

Dipper gave the blonde a blank look. This was simply too much. It had just been ice cream off a spoon, nothing to freak out over! “What?” 

 

“It means Tad has gotten further with you than I have!” Bill cried in misery. 

 

Dipper rolled his eyes. “No one’s getting anywhere with me!”

 

“I still think I should get something, since you so easily swapped spit with Tad,” Bill pouted. 

 

“Bill, first off, that was gross. Don’t talk about my Tad like that,” Pyronica spoke up. “Second, you should definitely get something for having to see that display!”

 

Dipper gaped at her. He had thought she was coming to his rescue!

 

“Yeah!” Bill looked down at Dipper very seriously. 

 

“Why the hell should I give you anything?!” Dipper yelled at him. He had completely forgotten the ice cream in his hand by now. The cream slowly melted over his clenched fingers. 

 

“Because you know how I feel about you and you still dared eat off Tad’s spoon!” 

 

Dipper gave him a gobsmacked look, unable to fight such ridiculous logic. They were talking like him and Tad had just hardcore made out! 

 

Bill continued to look like the world was ending unless he got something from Dipper. 

 

“Nope! No, no!” Dipper waved his hand around as he shook his head. “I know exactly what you’d want and I’m not doing that! That is completely out of the line of friendship!” 

 

Bill did not back down and finally wrapped a hand around Dipper’s wrist, stopping its motion. He pulled Dipper's hand, still clenched around his waffle cone, close to his mouth and licked sensually over his fingers. He lapped at the strawberry cream while Dipper stalled completely. Somehow in the struggling he’d been doing, Dipper had ended up stradling Bill with his knees up on the chair. Dipper’s face just slightly above Bill’s. 

 

Bill looked up at him through hooded eyes and the blush smacked Dipper in the face as he squeaked. He leaped backwards off Bill’s lap, landing on his feet by pure luck. 

 

“BILL!” Dipper gasped. 

 

“Oh hey, guys, look! They have drawing stuff!” Bill immediately changed the topic. He hopped up and ran over to the parchment hanging from the wall. 

 

“Wha-! Bill! You can’t just distract me!” Dipper stomped his foot in frustration. 

 

“Oh, I haven’t drawn anything in forever!” Pyronica jumped on board and began to drag Tad over to the set up parchment for drawing. 

 

“Py!” Dipper whined. 

 

“Come on Kitten! Didn’t I promise to teach you to draw? It’s a perfect opportunity!” Bill grinned innocently. 

 

“You expect you to worm your way out of this while you still have pink ice cream on your mouth?!” Dipper pointed an accusing finger at him. 

 

Bill licked his lip and nodded seriously. “Yes.” 

 

Dipper almost fell over. “Why am I friends with you?” he whispered more to himself then actually looking for an answer. He rubbed the bridge of his nose in complete and utter defeat. 

 

“Let’s draw I guess,” he mumbled. Bill always gave him whiplash. With exasperation, Dipper set down his waffle cone in a provided cone stand on the table and wiped his hands clean. 

 

Tad drew a square with a floating bowler hat in a free space on the page. Pyronica drew a demoness next to his square and drew a heart around them.

 

Bill picked up one of the pencils that were provided in the cup and doodled a small sad puppy. Dipper noticed this and immediately sighed. He walked over to Bill and looped his arms around his midsection in a quick hug.

 

“Okay, fine. I’m sorry. I’m friends with you because I like you,” Dipper mumbled.

 

A wide grin spread across Bill’s face as he embraced Dipper. “Aw thanks, Sapling! I knew you wouldn’t hurt my feelings like that!”

 

Dipper smiled and let go of him, missing the warmth that he provided. He picked up one of the pencils from the bucket and tried his best to draw a happy kitten next to Bill’s puppy. Needless to say, it was a sad attempt. 

 

Tad snorted as he glanced at the drawing. “Why does that sack of potatoes have triangles on the top of it?”

 

Dipper flushed and puffed out his cheeks in annoyance. “It’s not a sack of potatoes! It’s a kitten.”

 

Pyronica patted him on the back. “It’s okay sweetie, it definitely looks like a kitten.”

 

“Really?” Dipper asked hopefully.

 

She nodded but then shook her head. “No, sorry, I can’t lie to you. It looks really bad.”

 

Dipper frowned at her and sighed. “Gee, thanks.”

 

Bill pat Dipper’s head. “Don’t worry, Kitten! You just don’t have any experience in drawing. It doesn’t actually look that bad for a first attempt.”

 

Dipper beamed at him. “Take that Py and Tad! At least Bill is on my side!”

 

Tad stared at him. “Bill is always on your side.”

 

Pyronica nodded. “He’d be on your side no matter what because he’s head over heels for you.”

 

Bill flushed and slammed his hands over their mouths. “What the fuck? Shut up, shut up, shut up!”

 

At the exact same time both Pyronica and Tad licked Bill’s hand and he quickly pulled away. “Oh my God, really?” he asked, exasperated.

 

Tad glared at him. “Okay, first of all, you have no right to sound like that. You were the one who started the whole licking thing.”

 

Bill wiped his hands on their shirts. “Yeah, but you guys don’t have to also do it!”

 

Pyronica smirked at him. “Yes we do, actually. It’s part of the pirate code.”

 

Suddenly, Dipper burst out laughing. “Are we back to pirates again? You guys are such dorks.”

 

She shot him a wink. “Well, but now we’re your dorks.”

 

Dipper gave her a blank look. He turned on his heel and walked away from them. “Sorry, I didn’t agree to that.”

 

They all stood there in shock before he turned back around with a wide grin. “Just kidding! Sorry guys.”

 

“If you’re sorry you wouldn’t have done it!” Bill pouted.

 

Dipper stuck his tongue out at him. “Whatever, that’s not true.”

 

Bill scrunched his nose up. “Be careful sticking your tongue out like that, or I just might grab it.”

 

“What the hell?” Dipper backed away and stood next to Tad. “Gross, get away from me.”

 

Bill stepped closer to him. “No, I don’t think I will.”

 

Suddenly Bill picked Dipper up and threw him over his shoulder. He grabbed the ice cream that Dipper had left behind and made his way towards the door.

 

Dipper pounded on Bill’s back with his fists. “Unhand me this instant, you heathen!”

 

“Sorry my lord, but I’m the captain of the ship and I do what I want!” Bill exclaimed proudly.

 

Dipper sighed and looked at Pyronica and Tad for help. They were just chuckling and following them out the door. He resigned himself to his fate. He was now nothing but a hostage. Bill handed him his ice cream. At least he was a hostage that had ice cream. Dipper ate the rest of his cone just as they reached the car.

 

Bill set Dipper down and opened the door for him. Once the other boy had gotten in, he shut the door and got into the driver’s side of the vehicle. Pyronica and Tad quickly hopped in as well.

 

“Alright, everyone ready to head to Shelly’s?” Bill asked.

 

Everyone nodded and Bill started the engine. He drove out of the parking lot and down the street to where he knew Shelly’s little cottage was. It had only taken them about ten minutes to reach their destination. He parked the car in Shelly’s driveway and they all came clambering out of the car. Bill didn’t make it in time to open Dipper’s door for him this time.

 

The four of them made their way to the front door and Bill took it upon himself to ring the doorbell. There was a chiming sound that came from inside the house and Pyronica smiled excitedly. It took no less than thirty seconds for Shelly to come answer the door.

 

She opened the door and gave them a wide smile. She was wearing her soft fuzzy slippers on her feet. Shelly was also dressed in a simple pale yellow summer dress that fit her well. Her dark brown hair was tied into a messy bun at the top of her head.

 

“Hey kiddos! I just finished prepping dinner. C’mon, get inside.” She ushered all of them in.

 

Tad, Pyronica, and Bill took off their shoes and slipped into the pairs of slippers that were lying by the door. Tad had dark purple ones that were printed with squares while Bill had bright yellow ones printed with triangles. Pyronica’s slippers were hot pink with a flame pattern at the toes. Dipper glanced at them nervously and took off his own shoes. 

 

Shelly glanced at him and smiled warmly. “Don’t worry dear, just put on any pair you like.”

 

Dipper nodded at her and chose a pair that was light blue and had cloud patterns on them. They walked towards the dining room where Shelly had everything set up. They all sat at their designated seats. Dipper was the last to sit down because he had no idea where to sit, but he ended up taking a seat next to Bill.

 

“Alright!” Shelly clapped her hands together. “First things first! Give me my pictures!” She held out her hands. 

 

Dipper looked around as the three teens began going through their bags like obedient toddlers. 

 

Bill pulled out his sketchbook and tore out a page as gently as he could. 

 

“I drew you a forest with fairy lights!” Bill presented it to her. It was a fully shaded and finished version of the picture that Bill had begun on family day. 

 

“Oh, wonderful! I’ll have to make sure to get the perfect frame for it.” Shelly took the picture, being careful not to smudge it. 

 

“I got a Polaroid of the three of us in our government class.” Tad handed the picture over as well. 

 

“Awe, you three have grown so much.” Shelly smiled at the picture. 

 

“And I got the holy grail! Dipper and Bill studying in the library!” Pyronica slammed down her picture. “Boom!” 

 

“WHAT?” Dipper reared up to get a look at the picture. It seemed to have been taken from behind them, capturing the moment of their pinky promise. “Oh my god, you saw that?” 

 

“Damn right I did! I was going to chew Bill out but you two melted my heart,” Pyronica teased. Dipper groaned loudly and covered his face with his hands. 

 

“Such a beautiful moment! This definitely gets its own page in the scrapbook,” Shelly declared. Before Dipper could even protest, she picked up all her new pictures and walked away. 

 

“Nooooo,” Dipper drew out a long and pitiful plea before just dropping his head on the table. 

 

“I agree.” Bill glared at Pyronica. Dipper looked up in hope. Maybe Bill was finally taking his side! “If you had a picture like that, you should have shared with me!” 

 

Dipper dropped again, letting his head thunk against the wood. 

 

“How dare you! All of you will be the end of me,” Dipper lamented. He should have known! The moment Bill entered his life, his peaceful days ended. 

 

“No, Kitten! We have a long and happy life lined up together! No dying!” Bill cried out, shaking Dipper’s shoulder. “You can’t leave until you meet Mindscape!” 

 

“Oh my god, Bill!” Dipper shoved his hands away. “Can I not have one cathartic moment?!” 

 

Bill stared at him, his face going blank before a smile broke out on his face. “Did you just quote The Office at me?” 

 

Dipper looked away. “Maybe.” 

 

Bill laughed, joined quickly by Pyronica and Tad. 

 

“Oh, that’s gold!” Pyronica wiped her eyes. 

 

“Okay!” Dipper slammed a fist down. “Can we please move on?” he begged. 

 

“Guys, stop teasing him.” Tad looked sternly at the two. “Or he won’t want to come back.” 

 

Bill and Pyronica pouted at being called out and they sat in silence for a moment. The sounds of cookware and simmering began in the background. Shelly’s soft voice hummed as she cooked in the room beyond. 

 

Bill peeked up at Dipper, hesitantly took his hand and squeezed. “Do you want to meet my other kitty?” 

 

Dipper’s eyes widened. “Your other kitty?” Was there another person he called Kitten? Did that mean that Dipper wasn’t as special as he thought he was? He could feel a sickness rise up in his chest. He swallowed it down and gave Bill a shaky smile. “Um, yeah! Sure!”

 

Bill gave him his brightest grin and suddenly dashed off. Dipper looked down at his hands and played with them. Maybe it was Shelly’s son or daughter? He frowned to himself. His thoughts were swirling around in his head.

 

Suddenly something warm was put on his shoulder. Dipper turned questioningly but was met with a face full of brown fur. He leaned back to see that Bill was holding the cat by it’s midsection. Bill was giving him a heartwarming smile. 

 

“This is Mindscape! Say hi, Mindscape!” Bill said excitedly.

 

He leaned the cat in close to Dipper’s face and Mindscape booped him on the nose with her muzzle. She meowed loudly as she looked at him and stared into his soul with her piercing yellow eyes.

 

Dipper’s thoughts and worries instantly melted away when he realized that Bill was talking about an actual cat.

 

“Oh my God! Hello there…” Dipper said softly as he patted Mindscape’s head. The cat tipped his head into the contact and rubbed her head against his hand. She let off a soft mew sound. 

 

Bill’s smile got impossibly bigger and he set the cat in Dipper’s lap. “She’s really friendly so you can hold her.” The cat was indeed friendly. Mindscape curled up and got comfortable. She laid down and bumped her head against Dippers hand until he began to scratch at her cheeks. 

 

Dipper cradled her in his lap and cooed. “Your fur is so soft and shiny. I’m guessing you’re well taken care of?”

 

Bill puffed his chest out. “Of course she’s well taken care of! Shelly is the absolute best!”

 

“Of course she is.” Dipper pet Mindscape and melted when she started purring loudly. “How old is she?”

 

Bill paused for a moment to think. “Uh oh, uh, maybe seven now? I’m not sure, I haven’t really been keeping track of the years.”

 

Dipper smiled down at Mindscape. “Aw, so you’re an old kitten huh? That’s okay, you’re still really cute.”

 

Bill pulled out his phone, snapping a picture of Dipper and Mindscape while Dipper wasn’t looking and smiled fondly at the photo. He quickly made it his new home screen wallpaper. Once he was done with that, he reached over and scratched under Mindscape’s chin. The brown cat turned her head to meow needily at her chosen master. She pushed her head into Bill’s hand and gave a loud purr. Dipper heart melted at the sound. 

 

“Actually, it’s weird. Mindscape used to have black fur but now she’s brown. It’s like one of those color change toys or something.” Bill scrunched up his face in distaste. He continued to scratch behind her ear while he spoke. The cat looked like she was on cloud nine. 

 

“Oh yeah, that happens to black cats when they lay in the sun for so long. They have extra pigment in their fur that the sun breaks down over time. It’s really cool I think,” Dipper explained.

 

Bill’s eyes widened in surprise. “Oh, really? Huh, I guess that makes sense.”

 

“Yeah, it does.” Dipper lifted Mindscape up to his face and pressed a kiss to her head and nose. “You’re just the cutest little kitty ever!” She sniffed at him before turning her head to rub her head against his cheek. Dipper laughed and continued to pet her. “You are just a glutton for attention!”  

 

Bill was torn between crying about how cute the scene was and crying over how Dipper would refuse to do the same to him. He settled on just pouting at Dipper. “Actually, you’re the cutest little kitty ever.”

 

Dipper looked at him and blushed fiercely. “Literally shut up. Oh my God, that’s so embarrassing.” Dipper hid his face behind Mindscape.

 

The cat seemed to be over being moved around now. Dipper felt her muscles coil and released Mindscape just as she jumped down and began to walk off. 

 

She rubbed herself against Bill’s leg as she went, stretching her back legs with each step. 

 

“Bye Mindscape!” Bill said cheerfully. 

 

“Bill found her on the street when she was a kitten.” Pyronica smiled. Dipper had been about to ask when he got the cat and he wondered how she knew. “What? You looked like you wanted to know!” 

 

“Oh, why does she stay with Shelly?” 

 

“Well, at first we took turns hiding her at our houses. Bill’s mother wouldn’t let him keep her, so we had to be sneaky,” Tad began. 

 

“When we met Shelly, she found out about how we had to keep shuffling Mindscape around and offered to take her in!” Bill smiled. “Mindscape was so beat up when I found her, I can’t believe she’s gotten so big and healthy!” Bill finished. 

 

Dipper couldn’t help but think of a young Bill finding a kitten on the street and taking her in. He probably raced home with her and fed her cream. He could just picture Bill lifting her up while hidden in his room and declaring ‘you’re my pet now!’. 

 

“You’re so cute.” Dipper beamed up at Bill. The blonde seemed to freeze up and it took Dipper a moment to realize what he’d just said. 

 

Bill’s heart jumped and he felt like he could die happy in this moment. 

 

“I am?” Bill asked. “You think that about me?!” Bill bounced on the balls of his feet and giggled madly. 

 

“Wait, no!” Dipper tried to back track. 

 

“Now you’ve done it,” Tad sighed. “He’ll never shut up now.”

 

“Be prepared for him to follow you to the ends of the Earth, Dipper,” Pyronica laughed as his panicked face. “You’ve given him hope.”

 

“But! Seriously, just hold on a second!” Dipper yelled. 

 

“Dinners ready!” Shelly entered just as Bill tried to jump Dipper. She paused when she came back to find Bill barely being held back by Dipper. “What are you hooligans doing?” 

 

“Loving my Kitten!” Bill answered as Dipper squawked about being sexually harassed. 

 

“Well save it for later! Time to eat.” Shelly set down a plate she was carrying before heading back into the kitchen to grab up the rest. 

 

“What’s on the menu?” Bill asked as he happily took his seat. He felt like he was floating on air. 

 

“Chicken piccata on a bed of herb buttered pasta and smothered in a garlic cream sauce,” Shelly announced.

 

Dipper leaned forward and stopped himself from drooling. It all smelled really good! “Shelly, I had no idea you were such a good cook,” Dipper complimented her. 

 

“It’s no biggie, I used to cook for my siblings as a kid so I’ve just naturally grown in skill. With proper instruction anyone can be good at it.” Shelly waved away his compliments. 

 

“But Shelly’s food is the best!” Tad grinned with an uncharacteristic amount of energy. 

 

“That’s ‘cause it’s made with love!” Bill added on. 

 

Shelly laughed, prompting everyone else to laugh as well. 

 

“Dig in already, you street urchins!” Shelly took her seat at the head of the table and they all began to fill their plates. 

 

Dinner was full of laughter and fun. Everyone was talking and telling stories from the week. For one peaceful moment in time, everything was happy and bright. 

 




Dipper sipped at the tea Shelly had made after dinner, peacefully resting after the home cooked meal. Dipper could hear the sounds of the three other teens bickering as they managed the clean up. 

 

Dipper finally had time to look around the small cottage. The house was definitely well lived in, pictures and cat perched lined the walls. The brunette was interested to note a lot of the framed pictures seemed to be Bill’s art work. 

 

The fire in the fireplace crackled, calling Dipper’s attention as Shelly took a seat next to him. She smiled at him and he gave one of his own back to her.

 

Once she was settled she gazed into the fireplace. “Y’know, Bill is kind of like a dragon.”

 

Dipper looked at her, surprised at the sudden thought. “Oh? What do you mean?”

 

Shelly laughed. “Well, you know how a dragon collects treasure?”

 

Dipper hummed and nodded his head.

 

“Bill is kind of like that, except he collects people instead of treasure. He treats the people he collects like they’re precious gems.”

 

He couldn’t help but snort. “Yeah, and he gets really possessive over them too.”

 

She nodded in agreement. “That’s true, but that’s also because he’s so afraid of losing them.”

 

Dipper’s heart softened and he glanced at Bill who was washing dishes with Tad. They both sported bright grins as they chatted. “I don’t know why he’s so afraid. It’s not like anyone is going to up and leave him.”

 

Shelly sipped her tea. “You may think that but Bill is a very insecure person. He always has been.”

 

Dipper nodded and continued to stare at Bill. “What has he got to be insecure about? He has everything.”

 

She smiled softly at him. “Sweetie, sometimes people don’t need a reason to feel insecure. Not everything has to have a reason.”

 

Dipper tore his eyes away from Bill and looked at her thoughtfully. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

 

“Everyone has their flaws and that’s okay.”

 

“I think… I think our flaws make us who we are,” Dipper responded.

 

Shelly looked at him with wide eyes. “Yes, I suppose so.”

 

“We wouldn’t really be ourselves if we didn’t have them. I think that if everyone was perfect then we would all be the same and I like us as we are. We’re all different and it makes us fit together like some sort of big puzzle,” Dipper concluded.

 

She gave a chuckle. “That certainly is a way to think. I like that.”

 

Dipper was about to respond to her when Bill rushed into the room excitedly.

 

“SHELLY! WE’RE DONE WITH CHORES!”

 

Shelly glanced up at him and beamed. “Oh my, my little street urchins didn’t rush through it all, did they?”

 

Tad and Pyronica walked into the room. Pyronica shook her head. “No ma’am, we did not. Everything is spick and span!”

 

She grinned at them and got up from her place next to Dipper. “Alright then, how about going to bed now? It’s getting quite late.”

 

Dipper got up as well. “Yeah, it is. I guess we better go now.”

 

Pyronica and Tad looked at him with confusion. Then it dawned upon them. They turned to Bill and gave him a look.

 

“Oh my God, Bill. Just how many details did you leave out when telling Dipper about this?” Pyronica sighed.

 

Dipper looked at Bill questioningly as he stared down at the floor in embarrassment.

 

“I kinda just forgot, okay?” Bill mumbled.

 

Tad pinched the bridge of his nose. “How do you just forget one of the most important details?”

 

“Uh, guys? What’s going on?” Dipper asked questioningly.

 

Pyronica and Tad glared at Bill. They were waiting for him to explain.

 

“Well. after dinner at Shelly’s, we all sleep over…” he trailed off.

 

Dipper almost choked on his own spit. “WHAT?!”

Bill flinched. “Sorry I forgot to tell you earlier, Kitten…”

 

Dipper could do nothing but watch as his resolve crumbled. Bill’s imaginary puppy dog ears were flat against his head and his tail was between his legs. He sighed. “Okay, fine. I forgive you. Where am I going to get clothes though?”

 

Bill perked up and anyone around him could practically see the sparkles in his eyes. “You could just wear some of my clothes!”

 

Dipper flushed. “Uh, I mean… if I have to?”

 

Bill nodded seriously. “Yes, you have to.”

 

“Alright, well, we’ll meet you guys upstairs,” Pyronica said as she grabbed Tad’s hand and dragged him upstairs.

 

Dipper nodded and walked over into the kitchen to put his mug in the sink. He had finished his tea a while back. He turned back around only to slam face first into Bill’s chest. He almost toppled over but Bill’s arms looped around his waist and caught him.

 

“Woah! Are you okay?” Bill steadied them both.

 

Dipper’s heart was beating a million beats per second. “Oh my God, yeah, sorry.”

 

“Well, if you’re okay, then…” Bill suddenly picked Dipper up like a bride and started running for the stairs.

 

“Bill! Put me down, oh my God!” Dipper screamed as he clung onto Bill’s neck for dear life.

 

“Never! I’m taking you on a joy ride!” Bill cackled.

 

He ran with Dipper up the stairs and burst into the room where Tad and Pyronica already were. They were cuddling on the bed when Bill jumped with Dipper still in his arms onto the bed. He almost sent Tad and Pyronica flying off with the weight. All of them screamed except for Bill, who was laughing like a mad man.

 

Dipper was settled neatly in Bill’s lap and his face was buried into Bill’s neck. He was breathing extremely hard from the sudden adrenaline rush. He looked wide eyed at Pyronica and Tad who were breathing equally as hard.

 

Pyronica glared at Bill. “What the fuck was that?!”

 

Tad sent him a weary glance and collapsed onto the bed once again. “Seriously, what’s wrong with you?”

 

Dipper smacked Bill’s arm. “You could’ve killed us all!”

 

Bill did nothing but cackle at them. “Oh my God! You should have all seen your faces! Man, that was fun.”

 

Pyronica glared harder at him. “Fun for you maybe, you whack job!”

 

Bill stuck his tongue out at her. “Whatever, Py.”

 

Tad kicked Bill lightly. “Dude, I don’t care anymore, I just wanna sleep. Get changed so we can form the cuddle pile.”

 

“Yeah, yeah, hold your horses,” Bill said.

 

Dipper clambered off of Bill’s lap. His legs shaking slightly still from the adrenaline rush. “Okay puppy, just give me clothes I can wear.”

 

Bill jumped off the bed. “Okay!” He quickly went into the closet and dug around in it. He pulled out a large yellow shirt and a pair of black boxers that were patterned with triangles. He handed them to Dipper excitedly.

 

Dipper took them and sighed. “Yeah, thanks. Where’s the bathroom?”

 

Tad gestured to the door across from them. “It’s on the other side of the hall.”

 

Dipper nodded and went in, locking the door behind him. He stripped and folded his clothes neatly, replacing them with the clothes that Bill had given him to wear. The shirt was probably two sizes too big and dwarfed him. The hem of the shirt reached past his mid thigh and almost covered the boxers he was wearing. He blushed as he looked at himself in the mirror. He had to admit that he liked the way Bill’s clothes fit him. Dipper noticed that the clothes even smelled like Bill. He refused to think about how much he liked it.

 

He made his way back to the room and saw that Bill had already changed. He was wearing a white shirt that had the words ‘TRUST NO ONE’ printed on the front and grey sweatpants. He was on Pyronica’s right side and was cuddling her along with Tad. Dipper tried to squash the sick feelings that were welling up in his stomach.

 

“So where do I sleep?” he asked.

 

Bill looked up at him and opened his arms out. “Right here in my arms of course!”

 

Dipper smiled and sighed. “Pyronica is already there though.”

 

Bill snorted and got up. “Nonsense!” He picked Dipper up again and ignored the protests. He carried him back over to the bed and settled him next to Pyronica. She smiled at him and wrapped her arms around him in a tight hug. Bill laid down on his right side and looped his arms around Dipper as well.

 

“There! Now we have a proper cuddle pile!” Bill exclaimed.

 

Tad snuggled deeper into Pyronica’s left side. “Yeah, now shut up and go to sleep.”

 

Bill laughed at him. When he saw that everyone’s eyes were closed he placed a kiss to the crown of Dipper’s head. “Good night, Kitten.”

 

Dipper smiled softly to himself and cuddled into Bill more. “Good night, Puppy.” He tried to ignore the warm feelings that sprouted in his chest. Eventually his breathing evened out and he drifted off to sleep.

 

Chapter Text

 

Three weeks earlier

 

Blue eyes watched the phone screen with rapt attention. He took in every moment of lovely pearly skinned hands knitting a navy blue sweater.

“This is a present for my Bro Bro. He got accepted into a private school on scholarship!” the honey-sweet voice of Gideon’s soulmate said as she put the finishing touches on the sweater. “He’s such a galaxy brained icon, I’m going to miss him so much!” 

Gideon sighed dreamily. If only he could find out who this girl was. He’d done his best to find her identity, he’d even hired a private detective to accomplish that, but apparently that route was impossible. Her craft blog was unhackable and every bit of her private information was so encrypted it put NASA to shame. 

At least that's what his useless P.I. had said. If he could just find out her name then he could profess his undying love to her. Her creativity, her imagination, even the way she spoke told Gideon everything he needed to know. She was beautiful inside and out!

 

“Alright! That's all for now, talk to you all later, this has been Able Crafts. Signing off!” Gideon sighed when the video ended, the link for her crafts store and commission page popping up. He turned off the phone in a huff. They were meant to be, why was the world still getting in the way?

 

Gideon glanced up when his friends began whispering about fresh meat and nudging each other. He rolled his eyes. Bill was far too liberal with his power, marking up kids on their first day? Idiocy! Bill should have just given the kid a beating and made an example out of him instead of marking him immediately. Forcing him to drop out so soon takes the fun out of it. 

 

Gideon opened ‘Abel Crafts’ commissions and considered ordering something new. He grinned at his phone as he reminded himself only one more year until he was ruling this school. Bill would graduate come June and there would be a new dictator at the helm!

 

He glanced up when his ‘friends’ began to snicker and almost dropped his phone in shock. 

 

There, right in front of him, was one of the legendary sweaters. The pine tree pattern and specialty ordered pure cyan yarn exclusive for the twin brother of Able Crafts host! The boy wearing such an amazing artifact had a faded ‘X’ on his cheek and was looking around with scrunched up shoulders. 

 

Gideon realized it that moment that this was fate! This was how he’d meet the love of his life, his future wife! He would save her brother and she would fall right into his arms! 

 

“Boys,” Gideon called to his group with a sugary sweetness to his tone. They all flinched. “That one is now off-limits, ya hear?” 

 

“Yes, Gideon!” They all nodded, shivering at the ice in his tone. 

 

“Now boys, we all have some work to do.”

 

Present day

 

Dipper waved at Bill, Tad, and Pyronica. They had just dropped him off at the library. While Bill would normally stay with him while he was studying, he claimed that he had somewhere to be today. Dipper, of course, tried to trample any feelings of disappointment down into the drain. He wasn’t attached to Bill, of course not! That was preposterous.

 

Dipper made his way over to one of the many empty tables. Not many students were in the library considering it was Sunday. He set his backpack down and brought out his notebook and pen. Once he had them placed on the table he went to one of the shelves to pick out a textbook. Today he would be working on AP calculus.

 

Dipper brought the book back to his table and set it down. He moved the chair back and sat in it, scooting back in until he was comfortable. He opened the textbook to the current section they were studying and started copying down a few practice problems. Dipper was halfway into the first problem when he saw someone in his peripheral vision sit down in the chair across from him.

 

He paused and looked up from his work. To his surprise, it was the southern boy with white hair from before. He couldn’t exactly remember his name though, maybe it was something that started with a G or a J? 

 

Dipper set his pen down. “Hi, can I help you with something?”

 

The other boy laughed and shook his head. “Oh no need for that, I just wanted to chat with you is all.”

 

Dipper furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. “Me? Why would you want to talk to me?”

 

“Well to be your friend of course! Ya seem like a stand-up person,” Gideon responded.

 

Dipper felt happiness and hope well up in his chest. Someone was actually being nice to him for once? “Oh God, you have no idea how much that means, man. Everyone avoids me like some kind of pariah so it’s nice to have someone reach out to me for once.” He paused. “Also, I know we met before and stuff, but your name completely slipped my mind. What was it again?”

 

Gideon tried to stay calm and not let any of his annoyance show on his face. How could he forget his name? “It’s fine. We only met once so it’s quite alright. The name’s Gideon, Gideon Gleeful that is. I truly don’t understand why people would be avoiding ya though. Seems a bit rude if ya ask me.”

 

“Oh, it’s probably because of the whole thing with Bill, that crazy bastard. Thanks for reminding me though. Just in case you forgot mine my name is Dipper Pines. Well, Dipper isn’t actually my real name but it’s what I like to go by,” Dipper responded smoothly.

 

Gideon laughed. “Don’t be silly, I wouldn’t forget yer name. I do understand the whole Bill thing though. He is the one who rules this entire school, so I’m not surprised that everyone is avoiding you. They probably don’t want to slip up and do anything wrong to you in fear of what Bill would do.”

 

Dipper pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. “Well, I don’t think he would do anything too crazy now. I’ve sort of been training him to stop being so violent. I just wish everyone knew that so I could have some more friends.”

 

Gideon’s eyebrows rose. “Ya actually got him to stop being violent? Huh, who woulda thought. I never thought I would see the day that Bill wasn’t an extremely violent person.”

 

“Hey! Bill’s not all that bad. He just has some flaws that he needs to work on. He’s a good person,” Dipper defended.

 

“Woah there, no need to get so defensive on me. I’m just saying as a person who’s seen what he’s been like these past few years, it seems like a miracle you could get him to be calm. There really must be something special about you, Dipper.” Gideon crossed his legs and rested his hands in his lap.

 

Dipper blushed but quickly waved it away. “There’s really nothing special about me. Bill just for some reason has gotten really attached to me. He’s been making really good progress though. I’m really proud of him.”

 

Gideon nodded. “It might be because ya punched him. I heard about what ya did. The news spread like wildfire. No one ever had the guts before to do that. They’re usually a mess on the floor before they could even come close.”

 

Dipper shuddered, thinking about the poor souls who had to meet Bill’s fists. “Well I wasn’t going to just sit by and take it as he tried to bully me out of the school! I worked extremely hard to get here, y’know.”

 

“I’m surprised ya can even stand to be around him at all. He seems very eccentric,” Gideon commented.

 

Dipper laughed. “Well, he’s actually not too different from my sister, so somehow I manage.”

 

Gideon tried to shove his excitement down into the depths. “Oh? Ya have a sister?”

 

“Yeah, I do. Her name is Mabel. She’s pretty much my entire world. She means everything to me. Sometimes she can be a handful but I love her anyway.” Dipper stared out of one of the windows wistfully. He missed Mabel.

 

“She seems like a very sweet girl. I would love to meet her sometime,” Gideon responded as nonchalantly as he could.

 

“Yeah, sure man. I could introduce her to you next family day. I have to warn you though, all she has is energy and once you get her talking she absolutely won’t stop,” Dipper warned him.

 

“That’s exactly my type of person actually. I’ll hold you up to that, Dipper.”

 

The conversation between them flowed smoothly and they didn’t run out of topics to discuss. Dipper learned that Gideon was actually a junior, so he was a year below him. That had actually come as quite the surprise since the other boy looked to be older than him. He also learned that Gideon was taking all honors and AP classes. He actually whooped for joy internally. Finally, someone with whom he could have an intelligent conversation.

 

Before they knew it, a few hours had passed by and Dipper’s phone started going off with an alert. He picked up his phone and saw that Mabel would be live streaming soon.

 

“Oh, sorry Gideon. Do you mind? My sister is going to start live streaming from her blog soon and I always watch.”

 

Gideon could barely contain his excitement at this point. “She has a blog? What does she use it for?”

 

Dipper turned on his phone and quickly went to Mabel’s blog. She was already live streaming. “She uses it for crafts and stuff! She calls it ‘Abel Crafts’.”

 

“Oh, I’ve seen her before. My cousin is a huge fan of hers. She makes some pretty cool things.” Gideon was trying his hardest to not burst from happiness. He finally had a way to get to Mabel!

 

“Cool! Tell them I’m grateful they watch. Mabel has always loved crafts so the fact that she gets to do something she loves like this makes me really happy. It’s people like your cousin that let my sister live her dream!” Dipper smiled brightly and Gideon had to blink back the star-struck feeling that came over him. 

 

He believed he knew why Bill was so obsessed with the boy now. He was cute, but that was to be expected when he was Mabel’s twin. 

 

“I’m glad!” Gideon smiled back at him. “And I mean that from the bottom of my lil ol’ heart.”

 

Dipper laughed a little when Gideon put a finger to his cheek and winked. He pushed down the weird feeling of danger he felt from the other teen. He wasn’t going to allow his paranoia to keep him from making friends outside of Bill’s friend group. He liked Tad and Pyronica and considered them friends, but Dipper needed more friends. His own friends. 

 

“Here, I’ll set this up and we can watch.” Dipper opened up the stream that still had Mabel’s icon on the screen, waiting for her to turn on the live stream. Dipper put his phone on the table and propped it up with the kickstand on his phone case before sitting back. 

 

“The signs and the website set up are really nice, does Mabel do all this herself?” Gideon asked, trying to squeeze out all the information that he could. 

 

“Oh no, Mabel is useless with technology,” Dipper snickered into his sleeve. “I made the site for her, got it connected to all her socials and did all her I.T. work for her. My Grunkle Ford manages the security of all her sites. He added encryptions and firewalls, all that stuff. He used to work for a lot of hush hush organizations so he made it basically impenetrable. He didn’t want any creeps tracking her down. Can’t be too careful on the internet right?” 

 

Gideon resisted the urge to narrow his eyes in hatred for this Grunkle Ford . So he was the person that had been keeping him and his sugar plum apart! Well, no matter-- once he and Mabel run away together, she’ll never have to see that man again! 

 

“Yes, surely one can never be too careful!” Gideon ground his teeth in his effort to not sound sarcastic. 

 

Dipper nodded and opened his mouth to say something but then the video began. The conversation ended in favor of watching the video. 

 

“Hello and welcome to Abel Crafts! Today we have a very special episode!” Mabel’s cheerful voice crackled from Dipper’s phone. “I’m going to be teaching a novice to knit! A new friend of mine wants to learn so we will be helping him learn! It’s sure to be interesting!” 

 

“Huh,” Dipper mumbled. 

 

“What?”

 

“Nothing, it’s just weird that she wouldn’t tell me about a new friend. We talk every night and she would classify ‘new friends’ as the most exciting thing to talk about. It’s just weird.” Dipper shrugged. 

 

“Ya two are very close, aren’t ya?” Gideon asked, side eying Dipper. 

 

“We’re basically just one person,” Dipper laughed, joking a bit. “I got all the tech-know-how and study skills. She got all the energy and dramatics. One person split in two!” 

 

Dipper didn’t notice the way Gideon seemed to take his joke seriously or the possessive glint that came to his eyes. “Interesting,” Gideon mumbled. 

 

Dipper turned back to the video to continue watching. 

 

“Now let’s give a big helping hand to my new friend! Code name: Puppy!” The camera panned over to a boy sitting across from Mabel. His head couldn’t be seen but Dipper would recognize Bill's broad chest and flashy clothes anywhere!

 

“BILL?!” 

 


 

Bill laughed. “My Kitten probably had a stroke when he heard that!”

 

Mabel nodded her head at him. “I’m sure he did. Oh poor Dip Dop.” She clapped her hands together. “Okay! Time to get started!”

 

Bill got out his yarn and knitting needles. “I’m ready.”

 

Mabel positioned the camera so that both she and Bill were in frame but without their faces showing. “Alright Puppy, so the first thing you want to do is do a cast on.” She pulled some of her yarn out and made a loop with it. “You’re going to need to make a slip knot.” After she had said that she demonstrated how to do it and Bill followed along.

 

“Cool beans! You’re doing great! Now slip it onto one of your needles and pull it so that it’s tight.” She once again did it first so Bill would do the same. “Now take the short end and hold it with your thumb so it doesn’t get in the way.”

 

Bill grimaced. “Like this?”

 

“Yeah, just like that!” Mabel responded.

 

“Alright, the next thing you wanna do is take the long part of the string and loop it with your thumb around the needle like this.” She showed him how to maneuver the yarn and he clumsily did the same. “Now we need to connect it to the first loop so just do as I do.” She pulled the tip of the needle through the yarn and connected the segments. “And then all you have to do is pull the yarn back down the needle.”

 

“Uh, okay…” Bill hesitated but tried to follow her movements. He felt a sense of pride rise up in himself as he accomplished his goal.

 

“Great! Now we just repeat that until we have enough rows for a sweater!” Mabel said cheerily.

 

They both worked on their respective sweaters after that. Bill was going at a much slower pace compared to Mabel who was a master at knitting. Eventually they got it done.

 

“Okay Puppy, now we get to actual knitting! Watch closely.” She began to insert her other needle into the first stitch and pulled the right needle through. Then she grabbed the yarn that was attached to the ball and looped it around the needles. “Okay, after you’ve done that, you need to pull down the needle and the yarn.” Mabel demonstrated and continued. She then pushed the right needle into the new loop and pulled it off of the left needle, transferring the stitch. “And then just pull the yarn attached to the ball if you need to tighten the stitch.”

 

Bill nodded. “Sure thing.” He tried to follow what Mabel had done but it was difficult since it was his first time. She ended up having to show him a second time and by the next time he did it as smoothly as he could.

 

“It’s okay, knitting is hard when you first pick it up.” Mabel patted his knee. “You’ll get there though! I believe in you!”

 

Bill chuckled at her. “Thanks, Shooting Star.”

 

“No problemo! Let’s get back to work.” She went back to her knitting and encouraged Bill to do the same.

 

“I really hope this sweater turns out good though. I’m making it as a gift for someone,” Bill said idly.

 

Mabel raised her eyebrows. “Really? That’s so exciting! Who are you making it for?”

 

Bill smiled. “That’s a secret. Can’t have anybody knowing that yet.”

 

Mabel pouted. “Aw, why can’t you just tell me? It’s only me!” She paused. “Okay and my ten thousand subscribers.”

 

“See? It’s not just you! I can’t go out blurting all my secrets to so many people,” Bill laughed.

 

“Yeah, whatever. Maybe you’re just a coward,” Mabel grumbled.

 

Bill shot her a disgruntled look. “Excuse me? I am no coward, thank you. I just want my gift to be a surprise!”

 

Mabel gave him a pleading look.

 

“Okay fine, I’ll tell you once you’re finished streaming.” Bill sighed as he gave in. Her pout reminded him too much of Dipper and he was weak. “God, I can’t believe myself.”

 

“You may not believe it but I sure do!” She did a few more stitches. “So, what’s it like going to school with my brother?”

 

This perked Bill up right away. “Y’know what it’s actually really fun! Being with Pinetree is absolutely my favorite thing in the world. We even have study sessions that turn into cuddle sessions and it’s amazing.” He kept gushing about how cute his sapling was and how nice it was to spend time with him. He talked her ear off about Dipper.

 

Mabel whistled. “Boy, you really do like my brother, but you like me too, right? We’re twins after all, we’re a package deal!” She set down her needles and took a sip of water before she picked them back up again. “Also you guys are incredibly soft and cute, ugh.”

 

Bill puffed up in pride at the compliment. “Well of course, Shooting Star. I like you too, you're a great person!”

 

“Aw, you big goof! Thank you! Y’know, you’re really not so bad yourself, even if you dress like a rich douchebag,” she laughed.

 

Bill glowered at her. “I do not dress like a rich douchebag! This is called style.”

 

Mabel waved him off. “Sure, sure, whatever you say, hot shot.”

 

They continued knitting as casual conversation flowed between them. Mabel was a speed demon and already had a whole arm of the sweater she was working on done in the time they were talking. Bill, on the other hand, only had half of an arm done and pouted as he couldn’t get as much done as Mabel. She comforted him and told him it was because she had been practicing more than him.

 

They finally ended their session after Bill complained about having sore fingers.

 

“Alright guys, that’s all for today’s stream! Thank you for sticking along with this one and I hoped you followed along and knitted something as well. This is ‘Able Crafts’ and Puppy signing off!” She did a peace sign as Bill waved in the background and stopped streaming.

 

Bill watched as the screen went black and turned to Mabel. “Hey, thanks for today. I appreciate it a lot.”

 

Mabel patted him on the shoulder. “No problem, I had a lot of fun!” She set aside all of her knitting equipment. “So who are you making the sweater for?”

 

Bill grinned at her with a light flush on his cheeks. “I’m making it for your brother, to y’know, replace the one he lost on his first day.”

 

She gasped and squealed, taking hold of his shoulders and shaking him back and forth. “STOP BEING SO GOSH DARN CUTE!”

 

“Woah! Calm down, Star.”

 

“CALM?! How can I be calm at a time like this?!” she exclaimed.

 

“It’s not really a big deal,” he responded.

 

Mabel blinked at him. “Not a big deal? It’s a huge deal! I’m the only person that ever makes Dipping Sauce anything! He’s going to love it, Bill.”

 

Bill smiled down at his handiwork. “I sure hope he does…”

 

“Don’t worry, this is a great step in the right direction!” Mabel clapped her hands in excitement. 

 

Bill smiled softly. “So you think he’ll like it?” Bill rocked a bit in anxiety. 

 

“I think he’ll love it enough to kiss you!” 

 




“What the hell is he doing hanging around my sister?” Dipper fumed. He hadn’t even been able to watch the entire stream; he'd been so upset. 

 

He’d even asked Bill if he wanted to hang out today and the teen had said he couldn’t. That he’d had plans! Those plans being a knitting session with his twin made something ugly bubble up in Dipper’s stomach. 

 

Gideon was also furious! He should be the one using his connection to Dipper to meet Mabel! Was Bill doing the same thing as him? Was his obsession with Dipper just a ruse? Or was his true goal both just as Gideon’s had recently become?!

 

“Why is he on a craft channel with my sister? Why are they even talking? I thought he liked me, so why would he turn down a study session to hang with Mabel?” Dipper looked like he was in the middle of a freak out. 

 

“Well, you are twins,” Gideon found himself saying. Despite the draw back this revelation caused, this was a good opportunity to get that blonde dimwit away from what was his. 

 

“What?” Dipper looked up. 

 

“Well, you’re twins. Maybe he just decided he’d rather have a girlfriend than a boyfriend.” Gideon tried to look sympathetic to what Dipper was going through. 

 

“T-That is ridiculous.” Dipper's voice cracked and he tried to hide his face. He didn’t know why that idea made him so upset. It wasn’t like he liked Bill like that! 

 

“Really?” Gideon grinned while Dipper was turned away. “You two don't happen to look alike, do you?” 

 

Dipper went still. “Actually, if I wore a wig and put on a dress to go to a party for Mabel, nobody would be able to tell...” Dipper gulped. Maybe Bill had decided to switch twins after all. They looked similar and no one could argue that Mabel didn’t have the better personality of the two. With less mental problems as well. 

 

“It’s okay.” Gideon pat his back. “It’s not like we know anything for sure. Why don’t you just ask him?” 

 

Gideon grinned as Dipper nodded and made plans to ask. Unlike Dipper, he’d watched the whole video, he knew Bill wouldn’t tell the boy why he was hanging out with his sister. Soon Dipper and Mabel would only belong to Gideon, once Bill caused his own downfall like normal. 

Chapter Text

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