Chapter 1: Preliminary Round - Beginning
As much as Dipper loved his twin sister, and was willing to lay down his life for her own more often than not, this might be pushing it a little.
"Come on, Dipper! Please? I'd do it but it's against the rules!"
Dipper sighed. It's true; he's read the contract frontwards and back, searching for any loophole against this stupid rule, but couldn't find anything. Whoever wrote the thing was a genius in legalese, and Dipper had to wonder what happened for such a rule to exist.
"I just don't understand why they're so strict about this," he told Mabel, who frowned in reply.
"I dunno either." She pouted that, while adorable, still portrayed just how frustrated she was at the situation herself. "It's so stupid! I always design and model my own clothes, and yet I can't model since it's against the rules!" Mabel groaned, rolling her eyes as she grabbed the contract containing the rules and regulations she signed in her haste to enter the contest yesterday, and never read until about thirty minutes ago, from her brother. Not even to check the rules for the models of the designers, but to check if she was allowed to insert electrical lighting in her outfits since it was a potential fire hazard. She crushed it in her hand in frustration, before throwing it away and hiding in her sweater.
Dipper sat beside her and placed his hand on his sister's shoulder, massaging in circles to calm her, as he knew she was on the brink of tears.
"But this can make my career as a fashion designer, without even having to go to college for all those connections!" She latched onto Dipper's arm, on her knees as her brother tried to keep standing and shake her off. "Please, Dipper!"
Everyone always made fun of Mabel's designs – he was more into the potential safety risk when she sets them to light up – so she always wore them as a testament to her commitment and dedication to her own brilliant creations. It's been this way for almost seven years, but Dipper knew that this is what she needs if she truly wished to be a fashion designer. And he was sure that Mabel knew it too.
Failing to remain standing, Dipper fell to the floor, with Mabel following after him. They tumbled for a bit, rolling on the floor and getting covered in the excess supply of glitter from Mabel's first outfit, a soft rose pink dress easing into layers of Columbia blue with smidges of yellow and white pastels blended together held together by a small white star that was almost transparent. The dress had silky petal sleeves which faded from Russian violet to soft periwinkle with tiny white rhinestones painstakingly stitched into the upper portion of the sleeves, become scarce as violet became periwinkle. It gave Dipper the impression of dawn, which he was sure Mabel was aiming for.
Still, what's done is done. If Dipper can help Mabel follow her dreams, there was no question what he would do.
As planned, with the pair covered in glitter, soon Dipper was able to see his twin sister's bright, toothy grin. He picked himself up from the ground before offering his hand to his sister, who took it with a joyful smile. He pulled her into a warm hug before pulling back to look her straight in the eyes.
"Mabel," Dipper started slowly. This might not be what Mabel wants to hear, but needs to. "You said it yourself. You want to be a fashion designer. Fashion designers design clothes for other people. This is the perfect opportunity for you to do that." He sighed, resigned to his fate. "Fine. I'll model your dress for tomorrow."
As Mabel predictably jumped and squealed in joy, Dipper had to practically yell to finish saying, "But you need to change your design for the next round I know you will get into, to fit another model besides you or me. Get Candy, or even Grenda if you can manage that much change, but I'm out after the first round."
Mabel stopped jumping and squealing, instead pulling her brother in for a tight, grateful hug. "Thanks, bro-bro," she whispered as Dipper hugged her back just as tightly.
After a few moments, they let each other go and Mabel grinned. "I need to figure out a few things, like your hair and makeup, but don't worry! In a few hours everyone's gonna be super jelly at how amazingly Dipper Pines can rock a StarryMayBells – trademark pending – dress from the Way to Dawn Collection!" She scooped up the dress and before Dipper could let out any protest, Mabel grabbed his wrist and dragged him to her room where all the blush and mascara was waiting.
He groaned, but quickly walked in step with her. He didn't have any doubt in Mabel's skill as a stylist. After all, Mabel was in a league all of her own and made the most of what she had. He was basically Mabel, just with shorter hair and opposite genitalia, so it'll be interesting to see what she could do.
He let a small smile grace his face as he sat down and Mabel pulled out her makeup bag. The people down at Fashionista Fatrielle had no idea what Mabel Pines had in store for them.
Luckily, Mabel only needed to make minor modifications to her already planned visual for her makeup. All she needed she already had. She didn't want to do much anyway, keeping it au natural,as was part of the theme of the first round. No need to buy different foundation or any other products - being identical twins with basically the same face save for a few defining features did help. He wasn't a fan of the false eyelash extensions or the eyeliner, but fortunately it was minimal.
She had much more difficulty trying to set up Dipper's hair, however. She had much less to work with compared to what she was used to. In the end, she opted to just toss the hat he was so fond of, brush it, and let his hair flow naturally. She kept going back and forth with a solid white headband, and decided to bring it with her since she could just slap it on should she changer her mind and have Dipper go with it. It kept with the au natural theme she went with, like the makeup.
He knows he signed up for this, but for every time Mabel smacks his hand when he unconsciously moves his hand to touch his face, Dipper swears he would never put makeup on for such an extended period of time if he could help it. He wasn't used to putting all this gunk on his face, and hopefully would never have to ever again. But he might ask Mabel for the cover up and foundation, it was nice to have such clear, even skin. Not that eye stuff though, that was really uncomfortable and with their limited timeframe Dipper didn't have time to really adjust to having Mabel stick a pencil basically in his eye.
Was it his turn to go on yet?
"It can't be that bad," Mabel said after she slapped Dipper's hand away for the nth time. "We're not allergic to it, and there's already barely on you. Seriously, Dipper. Self control."
"I'm not used to this!" Dipper exclaimed, constantly blinking his eyes tight as an alternative to scratching them like he's been failing to do for the past fifteen minutes.
"Pines!" A backstage member of the crew called out. "You're on in five!"
Mabel quickly turned and led her brother towards the stage, putting some finishing touches – such as forgoing the headband for the fourth time - as the model goes on before them and her designer gets judged for elimination or continuation to the next round.
As Mabel smoothed out the dress, Dipper's hands twitched by his sides, fidgeting becoming more sporadic as his nerves were finally catching up with him.
The lights were too bright, it was too hot, too many people were running around to make sure the event was running as smoothly as possible, and the room was starting to spin.
Dipper started hyperventilating without intention, and Mabel had to grab his shoulders to keep him from falling to the floor. "Dipper!"
He loves his twin, and wants to help her achieve her dreams. He will if it's within his power to do so, but he was always one to avoid the spotlight. He was more than willing to let Mabel have all the attention for these kinds of things. But on the runway, for only a few moments, all the lights would be on him instead of her. Granted, it's to establish a stepping stone for her dreams and is only for the first round, but he's going to have all the attention.
"Dipper, you gotta calm down."
Not only will Dipper have attention from modeling Mabel's design, but he was pretty sure that the fact that he was a guy modeling a dress might be a problem. Or at the very least will attract even more attention. He didn't mind doing this for Mabel, and he really loved wearing the soft, silky dress if he had to be honest. Still, while it wasn't explicitly stated that a male couldn't model for designers, it didn't say males could either.
"Dipper, listen to me. You gotta take deep breaths."
They didn't notify anyone about their plan. No one knows that there was going to be a male model for a clothing line designed specifically for women the famed Fashionista Fatrielle was known for. Their little amateur contest was more of a publicity stunt than scouting, but there was no denying that their found talent is what kept them in the field for so long. Mabel didn't want to risk the possible disqualification, so they decided it would be better for them to just go and deal with the consequences according to the judges, after seeing Mabel's talent, instead of the sticklers so anal about all those rules that brought them to this in the first place.
And while he believed in Mabel, there was still the small possibility that no one else might. And that - that would just crush everything they were working for.
Suddenly, soft strawberry flavored lips were on top of Dipper's and his eyes widened as Mabel wrapped her arms around him in a tight embrace that hid the chaste kiss from prying eyes. He gasped, and had the breath sucked out of him with her tongue teasing the edges of his lips before Mabel let go.
Dazed, Dipper just stared at his sister. As if nothing happened, Mabel exclaimed, "Dipper! It's gonna be fine! You just gotta walk. Walk! It's fashion, baby, you gotta work it and move those hips like crazy." She started swaying her hips, laughing as she did so.
Dipper blinked, now focused. He rolled his eyes at her antics and started, "Mabel, that's not - "
Mabel pushed Dipper forward as the same crewmember came and told them, "Pines, you're on."
A quick back hug, a whispered exchange of "love you, thank you, best of luck", and Dipper Pines representing StarryMayBells – trademark pending - was on.
Dipper didn't know true stage fright until this moment. He knew that there was a musical track he needed to walk through; he could hear the flute playing in the background. Mabel had told him to just move as gently as possible first, then take great stride as he made his way towards the judging table.
He took a deep breath to calm his nerves, and slowly made his way down the runway. Lots of bright flashes from various angles, including above him, made him wish he wore the scrapped sunglasses because it was really hard to see anything. At least he was able to wear solid white flats and no heels - unlike what he's seen on other models.
"Since the theme of the first round called for nature, I thought of humble beginnings," Mabel explained as Dipper looked straight ahead, gaining more momentum as his sister explained the thought process of her design from paper to the actual outfit that Dipper was modeling for them. Soon enough, he was only a few steps away from the three judges.
He recognized the blonde on the left, Pacifica Northwest, the one who recommended Mabel for the contest. Although considering the whole not telling her that Mabel couldn't model her design, the Pines twins weren't too keen with her at the moment. But Mabel will forever be grateful for the opportunity.
On the left was Tad Strange, the one behind this charity/publicity event. Not much was known as far as Dipper remembered when Mabel explained this judge, but he was more into the accessory department.
And in the middle was the man who ran the whole shindig, the founder and CEO of Fashionista Fatrielle, the elusive Bill Cipher. Who, for the first time since its conception, is a judge for this instance of Amateur Hour.
As the music died down and Dipper was on the platform directly in front of the judges, Mabel took the spot next to him and curled his arm with her own. Mabel continued, "As the sun rises to change dusk to dawn, it gently makes itself known gradually throughout the rest of the day." She cleared her throat, not allowing for her own nerves to get the best of her.
"As I start my journey into the world of fashion design, let my journey be like the sun. Slow and gentle at first, than a presence known everywhere that provides warmth and happiness to all. I'm Mabel Pines, and I call this design 'Way to Dawn'. Thank you."
She lowered the microphone, to absolute silence. Dipper could feel Mabel stabbing her palm with her painted fingernails, but wasn't able to comfort her while waiting criticism from the judges and her being on the separate platform from the runway for the designer.
Finally, someone broke the silence. Unfortunately, it was possibly the worst person to do so.
"Oh my stars and garters, is that Dipper Pines, the inferior male twin brother of the lovely Mabel Pines, in a dress?"
As shocked gasps irrupted throughout the convention center, more camera flashes flooded their view of vision as various reporters tried to take the face of the model instead of the dress along with – now revealed his – twin sister designer. Mabel jumped off her platform and tried to shield her brother from the flashes to no avail.
Bill stood up rubbing his temples. "Who let that boy in here?"
Dipper tried to shelter himself from everyone's eyes, covering his face with his arms. One of his greatest fears was coming true: to get more attention than Mabel in her field of expertise. He wanted to shine in his passions while Mabel thrived in hers. He could feel another panic attack coming on, but now wasn't the time. Mabel was also freaking out, he could tell from how tightlipped she was, but again: Now wasn't the time.
"Gideon!" Mabel jumped up from her place on the floor to shield her brother from all the cameras. She let out a few poses as the camera snapped her visage instead of Dipper's and started laughing. After only a few pictures, however, the moment was gone and she turned deadly serious. She pointed her finger at the accused. "You're under a restraining order! Not allowed within a hundred yards of us! I suggest you leave now before security takes you back to prison."
Why did Gideon have to be here of all places? Gideon Gleeful, a spoiled rich kid who thought he could buy his way into Mabel's heart, tried to take over the fashion industry once he heard of Mabel's love for her clothes. While money can take people to many places, it cannot take already multi-billionaire Bill Cipher away from his company, or Mabel's passion for fashion.
Gideon sighed happily, starstruck by Mabel speaking to him even though she is only able to speak to him about the court order if he was in violation of it. Dipper just rolled his eyes. As always, what she told him went over his head. The boy who has caused the Pines twins so many problems in the past simply blew her a kiss. "Is worth it, ma chère. I miss you so." He winked. Mabel dodged, disgusted.
Gideon ignored that. "Although I'm rooting for you, my precious peach dumpling, it's against the rules for males to model dresses and other products that would much better on you." He sighed, shrugging before turning to the Judges Table. "If only I were in charge, this wouldn't be a problem for you, my water chestnut."
Mabel repressed the shiver that Dipper did for her instead. She was about to explode, he could tell. He took hold of his sister's shoulder, whispering in her ear before she could retort. "Keep your focus on the judges. Gideon doesn't matter right now. This is your moment, don't let him take it away."
Mabel paused, finger faltering, as she gently exhaled the breath she was holding. She turned back to the Judges Table, as poised as a cool cucumber. "I apologize for that interruption," she said with a slight bow of her head.
Pacifica shook her head, checking the rulebook while Bill waved his hand and Gideon was escorted out of the premises, kicking and screaming about Mabel.
"It's fine, Miss Pines, I feel I am also part to blame in that interruption," the man in charge said, and Dipper could have sworn that if that voice was directed to him he would have fallen to his knees. Mabel seemed to be good though. It wasn't easy on both of them to see that bastard, but Gideon had provided a great concentration booster for her to focus on the task at hand. She turned to him with a small smile on her face mirroring his own.
"However," Tad interjected as those smiles flipped to frowns. "We cannot deny that Mr. Gleeful brought up a very good point about this presentation." He sighed, clearly unhappy. "The rules do not allow for males to model for this competition."
"Excuse me," interrupted Pacifica. "Technically speaking, in the rules, it doesn't state that males are not able to model." She looked back in the rulebook. "It… it just assumes all the models will be female and identifies them with feminine pronouns." She sighed. "This wouldn't be a problem if the designers were allowed to model their own dresses, you know."
"That may be true, but we have rules for a reason." Tad looked sad as he placed down the rulebook. "I'm sorry, Miss Pines, but you are -"
"Hold on for a moment." Bill raised his hand and stood up.
There was something familiar about the man to Dipper, but he couldn't place his finger on it. The man continued, "Maybe Miss Pines designed for her outfit specifically to be worn by her twin brother." Mabel opened her mouth to tell the truth, but Bill wouldn't let her. "Perhaps her brother really wanted to model her designs for women, because he doesn't see a problem wearing dresses or wearing make up or other such issues that females have been told to do by society's standards in order to look beautiful.
"Mr. Pines." Dipper almost jumped when he realized he was being spoken to by the figure that Mabel was trying to impress with his outfit. "Do you enjoy wearing your sister's designs?"
"M-Me?" Dipper chanced a glance at Mabel who didn't know what to say as well. He was on his own, and decided to answer honestly. "Um, I, uh, I love my sister's designs. She uses this really nice material so the dress is really comfortable to wear."
"Silk," Mabel whispered as both Pines waited for the man's verdict.
Bill continued, "If Mr. Pines wasn't forced against his will to design, which I severely doubt his lovely sister would do, then clearly he wanted to be here."
She widened her eyes as she realized where Bill was going with this. "A movement," she breathlessly whispered her brother. "He's making it sound like it's a movement for cross-dressing."
Dipper widened his eyes in response but didn't have a chance to reply as Bill finished, "It might not be in the rules, but I will allow for this. All genders should be able to wear whatever they decide to make themselves more beautiful in their own eyes and others should they decide for that. Please see me afterwards to discuss your unique situation."
"So, Mabel's definitely moving on to the next round?" Pacifica asked with Tad looking at Bill for confirmation of what was basically already established.
Bill nodded. "Good thing you guys decided to do that with me here." He laughed as he got up to leave. "Is that it? Any more designers?"
Tad pulled up the clipboard. "We have about seven more -"
Bill picked up the blazer he had behind his chair. "I saw what they had prepared. They're not going to be as impressive as these two lovely twins were. They can go."
"But sir, we only have Miss Pines - "
"Doesn't matter. Miss Pines was the best, no one will ever get in unless they top what she did, and they won't." He pointed at the Pines, still in shock of what was happening. "You two, come with me."
Both twins looked at each other for a moment before holding hands and following Mr. Cipher out of the room, with everyone still gobsmacked of what just happened and camera flashes fading behind them.
The twins said nothing as they followed Bill upstairs to his office on the 33rd floor. Mabel was shaking, and Dipper was doing his best to nonverbally reassure her that everything was going to be okay. He didn't have any doubt that what just happened was going to be all over the news concerning the entertainment industry with the sheer amount of pictures that was taken as soon as it was revealed that Mabel was going to be the only person continuing onto the next round. It was supposed to be a competition, so with Mabel as the only contestant it was going to be a problem. The press can be vicious vultures as they already experienced via Gideon.
As they entered Bill's office, even Dipper was impressed by the grandeur of it all. So much gold, everything was gold. Bill liked to flaunt his wealth apparently. Or maybe he just really liked gold.
Bill gestured for the two to take a seat as he took his place on his throne. Literally a throne of gold that could not be possibly comfortable in any way. Dipper was uncomfortable watching him sit.
"Y-yes?" Mabel cleared her throat. "Mr. Cipher, sir, I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity –"
"We all know that Pacifica invited you just last night and you didn't have any time to modify an outfit for another model beside yourself after working all night. Correct me if I'm wrong."
Stunned speechless, Dipper confirmed for his older sister. "Y-yeah, we didn't mean for it to be a whole movement for crossdressing." As Bill nodded, crossed his arms and leant back on the throne that looked uncomfortable to sit on with his eyes on Dipper all the while, Dipper repressed a shudder and added, "Though it goes without saying it's a great topic to work for equality in the fashion industry."
Bill eyed Dipper, still in Mabel's dress design, from top to bottom. Dipper had to repress another shudder. Slowly, he said, "That's what everyone else will think. But we all know better."
Suddenly, he turned towards Mabel. "Alright, Miss Pines. You're the only contestant for our Amateur Hour at Fashionista Fatrielle because I made it so. You have your brother to thank for that. Let's see how well you can do with Mr. Pines here as your model for the duration of the competition."
Mabel bit her lip and looked nervously at Dipper, who blinked. "Wait, what?"
Bill continued, taking out some paper and a pen, "Since you're the only contestant, this will be your launching line. I'll give you a theme, and you're free to interpret what it means. Whatever creates the best outfit your brother will be modeling." He scribbled a few things down and handed it to Dipper, eyes on him and never on Mabel. "Miss Pines started with dawn, no? Let's keep with the day theme."
Still speechless, Dipper had to answer for his sister. "Yes, sir, thank you for the opportunity," he said as he took the offered paper with instructions and key dates for the two other rounds.
Bill kept his eyes on Dipper all the while, and this time Mabel shivered since Dipper couldn't. "See you two soon, Pine Tree and Shooting Star." He waved them away and the two politely headed out like the building was only slightly on fire. Dipper would have bet all the gold that Bill would have stayed with all his gold should the building actually be on fire.
Enough about that gold. Dipper looked at the list. The line would be for the next two days, as was expected since it was the original plan of the competition. Except now Mabel has no competition and it was exclusively for her 'Times of Day' line. "Only two more rounds, that's not bad. You could do this." He turned to her with a small smile on his face.
"B-but, Dipper…" Mabel faltered. She kept her mouth shut, head down and bit her lower lip.
Dipper took hold of his sister's hand and escorted her towards the car. After the two were safely inside with the doors locked, he turned towards her, both hands on her shoulders. "Mabel, what's wrong?"
"Dipper…" She sighed before looking up to him. "You didn't want to model after this round, and now you have to for me to continue. You're going to become the face of a movement that means absolutely nothing to us."
Mabel was close to tears, tugging on her sweater anxiously. Dipper wanted to interrupt but decided to let his sister finish.
"Don't get me wrong, Dipper. I do believe that men should wear dresses like how women wear pants, but that's not why we did this. We did this because I couldn't get another model in time, not for cross-dressing rights." She was starting to become hysteric. "We're lying to the general public, Dipper. They're going to look up to us but we don't deserve that. I don't deserve to win this spot because you're modeling a female clothing line." Mabel slid deep into her sweater. "We shouldn't do this. I can't do this."
Dipper placed his hand on Mabel's back, making soft circles as Mabel trembled with the feeling of trying her best not to cry. "Mabel." She refused to leave her sweater. "Mabel, please. I need you to leave Sweater Town to talk to me. As your model for at least two other shows, I think my opinion matters here, doesn't it?"
Mabel slowly rose above the turtleneck, red eyes on her brother. Dipper made a small smile as he continued to rub circles on her back. "I know the situation isn't the most ideal, and that we really shouldn't take advantage of this since we're being dishonest." He sighed. "But really, I'm on board with this. I really do love your designs, Mabel. Though some might be too girly for me, perhaps they're the right amount of girly for others. I like wearing your clothes, Mabel, and only don't because people would disapprove. I'm glad that we can try to fix this right off the bat."
"We're making fashion history," Mabel whispered, slowly rising out of her turtleneck.
Dipper continued, "I do believe in what Bill said, and what the press will publish about today. Even if it isn't what we initially planned, I don't mind working with this."
Mabel smiled softly. "You really don't mind wearing my designs, Dipper? Outside of the house?"
Dipper shook his head. "I only wear them at home because of the potential of public ridicule. And I might gain some during this, but it's worth it. This is your dream, Mabel, and I want to be with you, supporting you, every step of the way." He pulled her in for a hug, Mabel welcoming it with open arms.
She sniffled, grabbing a tissue from her bag and wiped her face. "Thanks, bro-bro, that means so much to me." She giggled, and held out her right hand as she swore, "I promise to be the costume designer for your paranormal show about ghosts, vampires, whatever supernatural thing you need."
Dipper grinned as he started the car. "I may just keep you to that."
Chapter 2: Planning Stage - Noon
Basically: To the world, Dipper is modeling Mabel's designs for cross-dressing rights. In reality he's just trying to help shape Mabel's career and Bill just wants to see him in dresses.
A/N: Fwuah~ Fluffy fluff because I've lost my muse :/
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Mabel looked even lovelier than usual, something that Dipper didn't even think was possible. She arrived as dawn was about to break, and took a seat beside her brother underneath the lone pine tree up on a hill from all those summers ago. Dipper hasn't been waiting long, but was ready to hold his sister's hand as soon as she took a seat and they watched the sunrise together.
She smiled that bright smile of hers, not a care in the world, and Dipper felt himself smile back. They toasted glasses as they watched the sun rise, and did that silly thing where they linked arms and drank their bubbly beverage which may or may not have been alcoholic.
"Damn, even here you two are inseparable. Why is this more difficult than it needs to be?"
Dipper jolted and Mabel disappeared. Everything started to fade to a monochrome color scheme. He looked around, searching for the source of that vaguely familiar voice.
"Is that Bi –"
Dipper woke up to his sister up to his face and poking his cheek. "Dipper, Dipper, Dipper!" Mabel yelled, holding up a sketch right in Dipper's face. "Whatcha think of this design?"
"Mabel, Mabel, Mabel!" Dipper yelled back, taking the paper and holding it at a distance so he could actually see the planned outfit.
Dipper blinked. "Mabel, this kinda looks like the outfit I wore when we spent our 13th birthday with Grunkle Stan."
Mabel took back the sketch, examining it closely. She swatted the piece of paper, a sketch of a simple orange shirt with a small yellow shooting star stitched into bottom left of the shirt, accompanied by a midnight blue hoodie with cat ears where star was more prominent on the strings. The sketch also had moss green shorts with small, yet will surely be usable, pockets. A black belt was looped around, but the end was sticking out instead of tucked in the belt loop.
"It's a little different. I mean I'll bedazzle it a little but you know, girls don't need to wear dresses and skirts all the time." Mabel sighed, her earlier excitement now deflated. She crumpled the paper of her sketch and took a seat on Dipper's bed in his lap, her twin looping his arms around her waist in a soft embrace. She wrapped her arms around Dipper's neck.
"I don't want to make you uncomfortable, Dipper," she murmured. Mabel rested her head on Dipper's shoulder, sighing.
Mabel looked up from her twin's shoulder, eyes tinted red. Dipper wiped away a tear about to fall, sighing himself. He reached for her cheek, rubbing it before pulling her close and kissed her lips softly.
When he pulled back, Mabel was blushing as she put her hair behind her ear. Dipper continued, "It's going to be okay. You can do this. I'm going to be with you every step of the way." He rubbed Mabel's shoulders to relax her muscles. "I'm here for you, Mabel. And I always will be."
Mabel hiccupped as she smiled. "Thanks, bro-bro, I couldn't do this without you." She pulled Dipper in for another kiss, this time parting lips for their tongues to meet.
Dipper happily complied, tasting that sweet strawberry lip balm Mabel always used as well as mint from their sparkly toothpaste. As soon as he tasted the mint though, he quickly pulled back.
He blushed and rubbed the back of his head, embarrassed. "Sorry for my morning breath." He laughed nervously, with Mabel giggling in response.
She shook her head. "It's fine," she replied with a big grin. "I gotta start working anyway, so I'll catch ya downstairs for breakfast." She winked before jumping off Dipper's lap and landing her feet on the somewhat messy floor. She grabbed the sketch of the new outfit and headed towards the door to her design workshop, also known as her room. Not that she ever slept in it – she always opted to sleep with Dipper in his library of a room.
As soon as Mabel left, Dipper climbed out of the covers himself. He wanted to think about that dream he had and who interrupted it, but it was a fading memory compared to waking up this morning. He quickly made his way to the bathroom, passing by his sister starting to move and manipulate the fabric to her liking.
After cleaning up after himself, Dipper quickly headed downstairs to make breakfast. He decided to surprise her with a stack of chocolate chip pancakes, Mabel's inspirational breakfast food, and was reaching for the chocolate chips when there was a knock at the door.
Not wanting to risk a potential fire hazard, Dipper shut off all the appliances in the kitchen before checking who would visit them this early. It was a little past 8am, their parents were off on vacation and not due back for at least another week, and they weren't expecting anyone. Better safe than sorry had him check who it was before opening the door. When he saw the blonde hair though the peephole, he knew who it was.
"She's busy," Dipper called through the door without opening it. "She's also not mad at you, so don't worry about it."
"Can I just apologize in person?" Pacifica called back.
Dipper sighed. "Can you come back later? We're both kinda in the middle of something and don't like being interrupted." Granted he stopped everything to check who was at the door, but Mabel was still working and doesn't like to be disturbed. She takes breaks on her terms, and no one else's. Even Dipper sometimes had to wait a few hours before he could check on his sister and make sure she was getting enough nutrients and water when she was creating fashion.
Just then, footsteps signaled that it was time for breakfast. Dipper hasn't even started cooking yet. He sighed. So much for surprising her.
"Chocolate chips! Wait. Dipper?" With a handful of chocolate chips, Mabel called from the kitchen then stuck her head out to see Dipper standing by the door. "Who's at the door?" she asked as she downed the chocolate.
"Pacifica wants to apologize," Dipper replied. He shrugged as Mabel frowned and wiped her hand onto her pjs.
From outside, Pacifica added, "In person please."
Mabel made her way towards the door and peeked out a side window. Pushing the curtains out of the way, she looked at Pacifica with the glass between them and said, "All is forgiven. Thank you for the opportunity." She smiled as Pacifica let out a sigh of relief. "As for forgiveness, I appreciate the thought but there's no need to apologize." She backed out of the window. Dipper stepped aside and went back to the kitchen to start making breakfast as Mabel opened the door and pulled in Pacifica for a hug.
In the kitchen finishing up the pancake batter, Dipper hummed as Mabel had a moment with who used to be a hated enemy. But times change, and now Pacifica is a good friend of both Dipper and Mabel. Mostly Mabel, but Dipper still calls her a friend. Not that Dipper was concerned about his sister or anything, but there's something about the way that Pacifica would go out of her way to do something for her that sends warning signals. One time he told Mabel about it, but that kiss she gave in reply reassured him that everything was fine.
Soon enough the door closed and Mabel was back in the kitchen just as Dipper placed the chocolate chips in the pan on top of the batter.
"Pancakes!" Mabel said as Dipper placed the finished stack on the table. Without waiting she shoveled about four of them into her mouth, downed a glass of milk, then quickly saluted her brother and headed out the door. "Back to work!" she exclaimed as she ran back up the stairs, leaving Dipper with the dishes.
Dipper watched her leave, taking a seat and getting ready to eat the six pancakes Mabel left for him. Just as he poured himself a glass of apple juice, his phone went off. Dipper grabbed it from the counter, and frowned as the text he just received was from an unknown number.
[it isn't going to work]
Dipper frowned as he replied, [I'm sorry, who is this?]
[you're not as bright as the others, but that's understandable]
[excuse me? who is this?]
[just saying, im not gonna like it]
Dipper decided to just ignore the messages, deleting them before continuing with his breakfast. Checking the news on his phone confirmed that his sister – and her model – was all over the place, sparking protests as well as support from all over the world. The company that Bill runs is world wide, and while Dipper did expect crossdressing rights to be headline worthy, he didn't expect it to be this big.
He just finished washing the dishes when Mabel called him up for a fitting.
"Whaddya think?" Mabel asked as she twirled to face her brother, in her arms bedazzled, sparkly shorts with small pockets sticking out.
Dipper blinked as he shielded his eyes. "That's… pretty bright. Does it follow the theme of afternoon?"
Mabel nodded. "I think I can make it work. Hey, you wanna wear your hat? I can dazzle it up a little." As Dipper was about to reply she took the blue pine tree trucker hat off the mannequin's head and said, "Actually, it probably doesn't need anything."
"Is this the outfit you want me to wear?" Dipper asked, looking past Mabel and at the almost completed outfit. "The media is really blowing up from yesterday's performance," Dipper told his sister, raising his arms to help her get the proper measurements.
Mabel sighed. "Don't remind me." She stuck a few needles in her mouth so Dipper hummed while his sister jotted down notes and edited her design. "Finishing touches… You gotta go! Get me the usual please!" She snapped her fingers before ushering Dipper out of the room and closed the door behind him.
Dipper shrugged and made his way to downstairs to the nearby coffee shop down the street, knowing that whatever Mabel did during her designing was part of her creative process. She'll call him when she's done, and there's nothing he could really do now except wait. And pick up her usual iced caramel macchiato.
A/N: Thanks for reading!
Chapter 3: Planning Stage - Noon II
Previously: Mabel is designing her brother’s latest outfit, Pacifica is forgiven, Dipper gets weird texts and needs to pick up Mabel’s iced macchiato.
For about the seventh time this morning, Dipper found himself regretting deleting those mysterious text messages he got earlier. Not that he would have entertained the thought of continuing a conversation with an unknown number - last time they did that they ended up with the disaster that is Gideon Gleeful - but it would have been nice to at least get a name.
Dipper shook his head as he tried to gather his thoughts. The cryptic messages definitely knew him, and must have been talking about Mabel's designs.
But what's done is done, and there's no use regretting what he can't undo.
He entered the coffee shop and waved hello to the barista. It was still pretty early but it was crowded, a good sign of any business. Wirt didn't see him but that was the norm when it was this hour. Dipper counted about four people on line, shrugged then stepped in line himself. It wasn't like he had anything else to do anyway. He hummed as he waited to get served, thoughts about the messages completely out of mind. He quickly placed his order and waited by the counter, still humming as he checked his phone for any updates from Mabel, which there weren't.
"Thanks, Wirt," Dipper said as he was handed his drinks, taking a sip from his own and placing Mabel's in a bag. Wirt smiled but had no time to talk as he was busy, which Dipper understood. He was about to head out the door when someone grabbed his shoulder and pushed him forward out the door towards a limousine.
Dipper was ready to yell, when he found himself staring at a golden suit.
"Mr. Cipher?" he asked skeptically.
Mr. Cipher smirked. "The one and only. Come along, Mr. Pines, we have important matters to discuss."
"Wait what -" Dipper couldn't finish his statement as he was pushed into the limo with Mr. Cipher. Bill tapped the glass and the car started moving.
"Erm," Dipper faltered as Bill took the drinks from him and placed them in the cup holders next to the car door.
"Man, these things are so tasty. You guys and your expensive beverages that keep the sleep away," Bill said as he took a sip from Dipper's chai latte.
"Um, Mr. Cipher…" Dipper tried again, but Bill placed a finger on his lips.
"Shhh, Pine Tree," he murmured with a sinister looking grin that brought shivers down Dipper's spine. Dipper kept his mouth shut. After finishing the latte, Bill turned his attention back to Dipper. "You're so rude, not texting me back." He shook his head and picked up Mabel's drink for a taste.
Dipper had to stop him on that one. He quickly got up and placed his hand on the drink, and almost fell over when they went over a pothole. Mabel's drink went safely back in the cup holder. He however fell into Bill's lap, and couldn't help but cringe when Bill hugged him tightly. "That was you?" he asked, failing to free himself caused for him to frown. "How did you get my number?"
"Details details, Miss Pines' emergency contact." Bill brushed aside, squeezing Dipper and snuggling into him. "I missed this, Pine Tree."
Personal space! Bill was very close, and Dipper was very uncomfortable with the little space between them. "What?" he asked instead, confused. He hadn't heard of or seen this man until the other day. Dipper would have remembered meeting someone as erratic as the elusive Bill Cipher.
Bill waved his concerns away. "Again, details." He held Dipper close, and Dipper couldn't help but try to ease into the embrace because it didn't seem like Bill would release him any time soon.
So Dipper figured he might as well get some answers. "What did you mean then? That you're not going to like it?"
Bill sighed. "You really are slow here, Pine Tree. Well it figures. Let me spell it out for you." Trailing his fingers down his back, he whispered into Dipper's ear, "I don't care about your dumb sibling's outfits. All I care about is that body of yours strutting down the runway." He rested his hand on Dipper's hip.
Dipper stiffened, and Bill took the opportunity to take a sip from Mabel's drink. "Ooh, more caffeine. Don't mind if I do."
After the statement sunk in, Dipper turned around to face Bill. "You mean Mabel –"
Bill took a long sip from the beverage. "Will never make it in this industry without me. We both know it."
Dipper defended, "But her outfits -"
Bill took another sip before interrupting, "Are silly and outdated. The only reason she's getting any recognition at all is because of me. But enough about her." Bill caressed Dipper's legs, making the boy shiver in response. "Let's talk about you."
Dipper attempted to scoot away to no avail. "What do you want from me?"
Bill finished Mabel's drink. "I already told you. C'mon, Pine Tree, pay attention. Lemme guess, Shooting Star feels bad that you need to be her model and has something designed that is geared more towards men but women can wear. Something like shorts and a hoodie with your trademark pine tree hat?"
Dipper had to do a double take; as far as Mabel's designs go that one was pretty close to what he saw in her room for the next stage of the competition. "How — How do you know all that?"
Bill just chuckled. "Pine Tree, you don't get to where I am without being able to read people. And your sister's like an open book. You, however…" He grinned as his grip on Dipper tightened. "I'd love to be able to read you."
Dipper didn't know how to reply to that so he kept his mouth shut.
Bill smiled as he released Dipper. "Anyway, Pine Tree, I rather enjoyed spending this time with you. We should do it again sometime soon. Really soon. Your sister would greatly appreciate it." He opened the car door and Dipper could see his front door. He was confused that Bill was pushing him out the door, but he had a lot to digest.
Stepping out, he heard Bill say, "And I highly recommend you tell your sister to change her outfit to a dress. Highly recommend. It would be better, for all of us. It was a pleasure, Pine Tree."
"Um, thank you I suppose, Mr. Cipher." Dipper nervously looked away as he scratched the back of his head.
Bill stuck out his hand, which Dipper took to shake.
"Call me Bill, Pine Tree."