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Chance Encounters

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She hadn't even realized it was him at first. He looked so different. She had been at the mall with Dipper, though they had separated due to their 'conflicting interests'. He was searching through the clothing racks at the Plaid n More trying to find something that would suit his style. Plaid was not his style. He had a plaid sweater uncomfortably slung over his shoulders, which Mabel would insist did a lot to camouflage him.

"I'm not sure the Plaid n More is quite your style." She swept in on him. Always on the lookout for that epic summer romance, this year was her last chance. He was tall, broad shouldered, strong arms, a bit of a lost look to him. He seemed to check off all her important points. He spun around to look at her in shock. "Hi I'm Mabel I'm 17 and I--"

"Mabel?" An all too familiar southern drawl. All too familiar bright blue eyes, wide and staring back at her.

Shit. Shit Shit Shit. Nope. Not right. This was bad. She hadn't planned for this. Why would she have planned for this? Oh God, how was she going to get out of this. Did she want to get out of this? Oh shit.

"Mabel, are you alright?"

She was not. "I'm fine." She deflated a little, but pulled the sweater off his shoulders. He let her. "Plaid is really not your style. Let's find you something better, yeah?" And yes, those were indeed muscles under there. Not all muscle, but more than she would have expected.

He followed her out of the shop and into the main area of the mall, though that may just have been because she hadn't let go of his arm. He still seemed pretty shocked. Mabel supposed she had recovered quite well, considering. She moved her hand down his arm and took his hand, resolving herself to finding a shop with somewhat better suited fashion trends. She probably didn't need to keep holding his hand, but she didn't want to lose him in the, admittedly small, mall somehow. Or at least that was how she rationalized it.

She really hoped she wouldn't run into Dipper.

The silence between them was awkward, even over the background hum of their fellow shoppers. Mabel had never been one for awkward silences.

"So Gideon... You're out of prison now?"

"Y-yeah." Mabel frowned. Gideon did not stutter. He knew more words at the age of ten than she knew now.

"You got any evil plans for taking over the town or revenge or whatever?"

"No! I mean, things got pretty terrifying with the apocalypse and all that five years ago... I just help my daddy sell cars now." At least he seemed to be getting over whatever shock he had gotten. "And you? What-what have you been up to?"

"I'm going to art school! Well, I start in September. This is my last summer before college, so I'm spending it here in Gravity Falls. The place I love with the people I love!"

Gideon looked like he was about to say something, but whatever it was got cut off by Mabel sharply tugging his arm. She had found the perfect place.

"I've found it Gideon. The perfect place." The shop was small, but classy. It had the sorts of things one would wear if one were a professional, a super-villain (or former super-villain as the case was) or a used car salesman (as apparently the case also was).

"This is great Mabel, as long as I can find some things in my size. Not too much waiting for me out of prison, you know. Pretty much outgrew everything I had."

Mabel let out an awkward laugh as Gideon pulled away to look at the sparse clothing racks. "Yeah, you certainly... grew." Her hand felt cold and empty.

"You think this would look good, Mabel? Mabel?"

"Huh? Oh yeah, try it on and I'll tell you."

He did as she said and moved into the changing room at the back of the store.

Okay, he was gone. She had to pull herself together. He had said he didn't have any more evil plans, but he was still Gideon Gleeful. He had tried to destroy her family. Though he had served his time. And lots of people did stupid things when they were ten years old, just most of them didn't have magic powers and spells and a demon summoning ritual...

"How do I look?"

Plus he looked really good in a suit.

Mabel only realized she had never actually answered him when he gave her a dejected look and turned to go back into the changing room.

"Wait, no! Keep it on!" He looked at her quizzically. "It looks good on you. Really good." Had she meant for that to sound the way it did? Because part of her really didn't, but part of her kind of did.

Gideon blushed. It was actually pretty cute when it wasn't from rage.

Well, this was her last chance for an epic summer romance. And it would be good to give her family some external drama to deal with for once. It had been five long years since the apocalypse after all.

So Mabel took his hand again as he walked to the counter to pay for the suit. "Want to... catch up more over lunch?"

"Mabel, I would be delighted." The blush was still on his face, giving him some much needed color. He looked good.

The girl at the counter rolled her eyes and Mabel grinned. Maybe this wasn't such a bad idea. Then again maybe it was.

But maybe it wasn't.