"…Mmmmm…..ooooohh ….. my head." Two eyes opened up to see the bright blue sky. Birds singing in the sky, squirrels running around, and the gentle wind blowing through the trees. "What happened last night?" Grunkle Stanley found himself laying on the soft soil. He picked himself up and tried to remember the past events.
"O.K. … that's right. We were fighting ….. CRAP!" Stan looked around as he ran ahead. He recalled leading an army to attack that pyramid guy right before he could destroy the barrier. Point-Dexter did something and a small number of the army we're sucked into a portal. Then he may have dreamt being in prisoned as the triangle thing faced two figures, but that was all he remembered."
"Come on brain. You must have been paying attention!" Stanley whacked his head and tripped on something. "Hey!" Stan picked himself up. "Watch where you're … Soos?"
Soos lay on the ground, looking at his boss. "Hey Mister Pines. Is this heaven?"
"If it is, then why am I here?" Stan helped Soos up. "Soos, do you remember anything after being sucked in that portal?"
Soos eyes widened and looked around. "That's right. Bill! …. I think we won." The Handyman felt his head. "Oh boy. My head's spinning. I don't remember what happened. But I think it has something to do with a tiger and his toe."
Knowing Soos is clueless, he grabbed his wrist and dragged him into finding the others.
They came across downtown and found the entire population packed together. "Hey you!" Stan shouted to catch their attention. "What happened?"
The townsfolks turned to in shock.
"My word! You're still alive!"
Stan flinched from hearing that annoying voice. "Gideon." Stan stared the boy down who ran through the crowd.
"Stanford Pines … I mean Stanley. Bill Cipher's been destroyed!" the gleeful child spoke with a generous voice.
"He has?" Stan looked at everyone cheering. "So what's going on here?"
"Mr. Pines. Look!" Soos pointed to the center and there stood Pacifica, Old Man McGucket, Wendy, and his own brother Stanford Pines.
"Soos, Mr. Pines!" Wendy jumped on the townsfolks' heads to embrace the two men in a bear hug. "You made it!" She happily looked around, but her cheerful face faded. "Are the twins with you?"
"Dipper and Mabel? They're not here?" Stanley looked at the center of the crowd to see his worried brother. "You, you have to remember what happened after that portal. I swear if the kids got hurt…"
"Stanley, please." Ford ran up to his brother. "We've just woken up. But I know I did witness the destruction of Bill Cipher." Ford recalled the heavy burden that has now lifted up from his heart. "But I was already preparing search parties for any missing persons. It seems that only the twins are missing." His heart sank just thinking about the twins. "We'll find them."
Ford called out to the parties to start searching; leaving only Ford, Stan, Soos, Wendy, Pacifica, Gideon, and McGucket.
"I'll find them with me nose!" McGucket sniffed the ground, grossing Pacifica out. "I won't rest until those two kids are founded!"
Pacifica took out her cellphone. "Alright, I'll pay the first person to find Dipper and Mabel Pines ten thousand dollars and anyone who slacks off will be sold ….. My cellphone's been broken since that triangle started messing things up!" Pacifica threw the broken phone on the street.
Wendy grinds her teeth in frustration. "Alright, where's our spots to look?"
Ford looked ahead. "It's right at the Mystery Shack and the surrounding wilderness. Come!"
Ford and Stan lead the small group up to the Mystery Shack. The building was left untouched from Weirdmageddon aside from the defense mechanisms left by Stan's tribe.
"I'm going in!" McGucket crawled underneath the deck and popped out from under a rock. "Did I mention I'm no bloodhound?"
The group looked through the house and in the basement and found no trace of the twins, only Waddles feeling uneasy.
With no sign in the shack, Stan ran outside to call. "Mabel, Dipper! Where are you?"
Everyone else went their separate ways as Stan continues out into the woods. "Kids! Come on out! The world's safe!" Stan received no answer. He wandered around the woods for who knows how long, but all he can find are plants and animals.
"Dipper ….. Mabel ….." Stan sat on a log to rest his head on his hands to rethink the whole summer. "Why'd I agree to watch over you two for the summer?"
His thoughts drifted through his life after the fateful event at the science fair. How he was kicked out by his father and all this failed attempts to make money. Then there was the portal, the portal that took his brother thanks to him. The same portal that lead to Bill Cipher's terror to spread through Gravity Falls, the portal invented by Ford with Bill's knowledge.
"If you haven't found that spell to summon Bill in this old town, all this would never had happened." A tear drop ran from his eye. "And you came here because of me."
His teary eye then caught a large brown object up ahead. "Is … is that!" He noticed the long hair rocking back and forth. "Mabel!"
Stan ran through the shrub and found Mabel Pines alive. "Sweetie! You're-" Stan stopped dead in his tracks and slowly walked around the girl …. And a motionless Dipper in her arms.
"Dipper!" Stan dropped to his knees and checked the kids' faces. Dipper's eyes were shut closed and his mouth open. "D…Di…." Stan then turned to the eyes of Mabel. She slowly glanced at her Grunkle with emotionless eyes.
"S…Stan…." She held onto the head of Dipper. "Dipper …. He's gone."
Stan's heart stopped beating. He gently took Dipper's body and saw the wound on Dipper's head. "No …. Noooo." He clenched onto the lifeless body as tears fell onto Dipper's pale face. "NOOOOOOOOOO!"
Stan's cry caught the attention of the group and they all ran towards it.
"Stanley!" Ford was the first to come. "What is … oh god no!" Ford stood there as everyone came one by one.
"Di…Dipper dude?" Soos sweat as he glanced back at the two Stan. "Don't tell me!"
"Mabel?" Gideon saw Mabel state and then at Dipper's body. He gasped silently without any words to say. Seeing the torment in her eyes which he could never truly understand.
"Dipper …." McGucket held his hat to his heart.
Pacifica set her eyes on her only true friend in the world, taken way. "Dipper ….. you … you didn't deserve this!" Pacifica dropped to her knees and covered her eyes.
The quite cries filled the area until one more person arrived. "Guys?" Wendy caught up to them and first noticed Mabel. "Mabel!" Wendy rushed in and gave the expressionless girl a hug. "I'm so glad you're alive!"
Mabel's eyes widened as the red-head obliviously laughed.
"There was no way Bill stood a chance against you two-" Wendy froze when the small girl slashed at her face without warning. "Mabel! What-" The lumberjack girl eyes widened as she gazed into Mabel's furious face. "What … what." But as she turned, her heart stopped dead as all she felt was emptiness from the site of the corpse.
"No …. No … NO!" Wendy pushed everyone away and checked his pulse. "I-I can fix this!" she shouted with a cracked voice and performed CPR on the boy as everyone just watched in hopelessness.
"W…W… Wendy." Ford kneeled down with his red eyes. "That won't work. He's-"
"It just takes time!" Wendy shoved the old man away and continued. "Come Dipper! Get back to us!"
"He's not coming back!" Everyone turn to see Mabel standing up. "He's gone ….." She looked at them with tears in her soaked eyes. "He'd died protecting me."
Everyone stood there patiently as Mabel told them what happened one part by one. "Bill was being destroyed … but then he played eenie meenie and chose me. He shot a laser from his finger and …. And Dipper just jumped in ….." She dropped to the ground and held her legs close. "It's all my fault! I was the one that gave Bill the rift in the first place."
Wendy stood back and leaned onto a pine tree. "Mabel ….. Dipper!" She cried loudly with nothing but regret. "I'm so sorry Mabel!"
Mabel sat next to the body and held Dipper's head close. "No Wendy ….. I was stupid."
Ford held his heart. "No, it was me." He took a deep breath. "If I hadn't let my curiosity get the better of me."
"Ford." Ford turned to Stan. "Don't blame yourself."
Ford stood their speechless. He and Stan looked at the boy and everyone grieving around him. Until …
"G-G-G-Guys." A portal appeared and out came Blendin Blandin holding an object which lifted Mabel's sorrows from her soul. "This can save Dipper!" Blendin held the sphere up. "This is a Time Wish. With this you can-"
Suddenly a laser shot was shot and shattered the sphere into ashes. They just stare with their jaws hanging as they turned to the source of the laser, Dipper's head.
"W-What?" Mabel lifted the boy's head and saw the hole was now a glowing symbol of an eye. "W-What is this?!"
"Bill…." Everyone turned to Ford. He breathed heavily and punched a tree. "That sadistic bastard!"
Everyone watched in confusion until Mabel spoke. "Ford …."
Ford calmed himself enough to speak. "Dipper's not dead." All eyes widened. "But!" Ford examined the eye. "I know this spell from one of Bill's nightmares he'd given to me." He hugged the boy. "One of Bill's more horrific abilities. Dipper is alive, but burning."
"Burning?" Mabel asked; both feeling dread and a shred of hope for her brother's survival. "But he-"
"Not his body, but his soul." Ford look down.
"You don't mean?" Stan looked at Dipper.
"He's experiencing Hell itself."
Mabel's breathed uncontrollably as her arms shook. "He … You can fix this, right?"
Ford sighed and looked at everyone. "There are two ways to stop this. However, Bill will still have last laugh in the end." Everyone looked at Ford as he hesitated to give the answers. "One way is to end his life now."
Mabel, Soos, and McGucket's eyes widened as Wendy and Pacifica glared.
"And the other way?" Wendy asked, holding her hatchet close to her.
Ford look up. "The second one will be the way I have already chosen." He kneeled down to lay his hand on Dipper's head, only for it to be grabbed by Stan.
"Hold it right there, brother!" Stan turned Ford to face him. "What is this second choice?"
Ford closed his eyes. "The second choice is for someone to willfully accept the curse."
Stan stood back. "What do you mean?!"
"The curse will leave Dipper and enter in the new host …. That is when you will kill me."
Everyone gasped. "No! You can't do this!" Mabel held onto Ford's leg, staining his jeans with her tears. "You can't die. I don't want anyone to." Mabel sniffed and looked at a few animals passing by. "What if instead we get a rat or a bug?"
"No Mabel, someone with enough intelligent to willfully make this choice." Ford looked over to Dipper. "Which is why ….. Stanley!"
Everyone turned to see Grunkle Stan placing his hand on Dipper's head. "Sorry Einstein. I-" Then Ford tackled him to the ground.
"What on Earth do you think you're doing!?"
"Saving my great nephew! Duh!" Stan held onto Ford's leg and flipped him over. "Here you are saying that this was because of you, but it was me all along!"
Ford pushed Stan off. "Why do you think this is your fault? I built the machine and summoned Bill here."
"And that's because I ruined your life in the first place!"
Ford was left speechless.
"Got nothing else to say, huh?" Stan stood up. "Look, I've done some questionable things in my life and I was always angry at you for abandoning me for your fancy college."
Ford breathed slowly as he listened to everything his brother says.
"I am in no mood to reenact that fight we had thirty years ago, but … you were right all along." Stan felt years of sins being lifted. "I was mad at you and sent your life crashing down. Because for what? I thought I wouldn't make it on my own without you. Well I did that and now here I am; stole your house and identity, setting up a tourist trap, and worst of all I let these kids in danger."
Stan and Ford looked at Mabel's sorrow eyes.
"Just look at everyone else. The kids were only here for one summer and look at the impact they have on everyone."
Ford noticed the faces of everyone, both sad and confused.
"And what about their parents? How will they find out that their son is dead? They probably didn't know all this happened!" Stan walked passed Ford. "So to sum it all up. I was being stupid." He looked at Dipper's body. "You can still make this world a better place. Me on the other hand; there will just be one less con artist."
As Stan was about to take the curse, Ford stood right up. "Stop!"
Stan glared to himself and continued.
"I was the one being stupid!"
Stan looked over at Ford as he continued on.
"When I found out I could change the world, I only thought about me. And I'm not perfect either." Ford held his arms out. "Just look at me, I almost let a pyramid destroy the world, and at least you can attract women. I also may have dissected a dog once."
Soos took a deep breath and spoke. "And you were like the father that didn't leave me."
Stan stared at Soos, surprised by his words. "Soos, I didn't think you thought of me as your dad." Stan recalled his own dad as everyone else spoke about his accomplishments.
"You're one of the greatest Grunkle I ever had." Everyone looked at Mabel. "Dipper's my brother. I think it's best if … I take the curse."
Stan and Ford's heart sank and the two rushed in to embrace Mabel.
The girl was caught off guard as the brothers held her tightly and yet gently. "No, it has to be one of us." Ford spoke softly.
"And it defiantly won't be any you either." Stan pointed at Soos, Wendy, Gideon, Pacifica, and Blendin. "That goes double for you Soos!"
"Mr. Pines ….."
Ford released Mabel from his grasp and sighed deeply. "Stanley. Before we decide, I want to make something clear."
Ford and Stan looked at each other. "I'm all ears."
Ford felt his arm. "Look, I know we have a harsh history and experience our own separate struggles because of what we want at the end." He glanced at Mabel. "I'm not saying that it was entirely either one of us, but …"
"I think he's trying to say that you've both been stupid." The twins looked at Mabel. "Dipper and I have gone through the same thing. He wanted to stay in Gravity Falls and I was afraid of growing up. But in the end Dipper decide to stay with me to face reality together." She smiled at the two. "But we're still kids. You two were already grownups when you turned stupid."
Stanley looked at Ford with compassion. "She's right. You wanted to start your life and I got in your way because I thought I needed you."
"And I hadn't truly considered your life without me." Ford smiled. "And yet after all that and the warnings I'd left behind, you risked this world's existence just to save me"
Stanford and Stanley looked at each other and said. "We're both stupid." The two brothers embraced each other which felt like centuries.
Mabel smiled weakly to the brothers as the others felt symphony over the bond. "Grunkle Stan, Grunkle Ford." She held onto their legs. "I'm going to miss one of you."
The two adults kneeled down and patted the girl on the head. "Us too."
Ford looked at the others. "Dipper is still experiencing this torment, but he won't be for long. If you could, please leave us alone to decide out fates."
"And Soos." Stan placed his hand on Soos's shoulder. "I guess I haven't seen this till now, but … well I guess you've been like the son I'd never had."
Soos gave Stan puppy dog eyes as small tears formed. "Give me a son/father hug Mr. Pines!"
"Just call me Pops!"
Inside Soos's heart, he felt an old black hole being filled.
"….What's going on?"
Mabel sighed. "Soos and Grunkle Stan practically became Dad and Son."
"WHAT?! When did they have time to sign the documents? ….. Wait, why would Bill think this is torment?"
Everyone, besides Mabel, looked over and stared at the conversation with shock.
"Please, this has nothing to do with Bill. But you did remind me of paper works." Mabel's pupils grew. "Then before one of them sacrifices themselves, we can have an adoption party!"
"Yeah, Grunkle Stan and Grunkle Ford decide to take the curse upon one of them, Bro-Bro. Now get the balloons and-" It took Mabel a few moments to realize who she was speaking to. "Di-Di-Di-Dipper?!"
Dipper Pines stood among them, alive and well. The boy looked at everyone in confusion. "You guys, what's going-"
No one gave Dipper time to finish as they all tackled him in a hug. They all cheered, laughed, and Dipper received several kisses from both Wendy and Pacifica, making the boy turned tomato red.
"What just …. Heh he he." Dipper felt his cheeks sheepishly and fell over.
Mabel helped him back up and embraced him in the tightest Awkward Sibling Hug in their entire life. "Dipper! I thought I lost you forever!" Tears of joy filled her eyes. "Bill put a spell on you and the only way to stop it was to someone else to take it for themselves or …." She couldn't finish and held onto her brother. "This is a miracle!"
Gideon smiled at the reunion, but then noticed something horrific. "You guys. I don't think this was a miracle."
Dipper and Mabel looked next to them in shock at what they saw on the ground. "M-M-M."
"Fiddleford!?" Stanford rushed in and examined Old Man McGucket. Seeing the symbol on his forehead, he knew well enough what he did during all this. "Fiddleford ….."
Everyone gathered to see the lifeless body of Old Man McGucket.
"He … he didn't have to do this." Stan said, feeling grief.
Dipper then noticed a letter in McGucket's hands. "Look at this." Dipper took the letter and read it out loud.
My mind's been broken ever since I used that there mind erase ray which, long story short, all started because of me and Ford here.
Heck, a lot of things went wrong since then. Son disown me, wife divorced me, I missed out on a super life. Now don't get the idea that I chose this over my bad life, but I don't want any of you feeling down. I'm talking to you Dipper and Ford.
Sure I could be as rich as the Northwest, but something tells me that anyone could have shared the same fate I had if I disagree with Ford's offer, and I doubt I can make my life any better, but just to think what would happen if I wasn't there to stop the triangle.
I also owe a lot to Dipper and his friends. And seeing either one of his uncles go would be too much for not just the boy but everyone. So when none of you were lookin, I wrote this letter and then took the curse.
Stanford Pines and all you other folks. Don't take this curse off me for yourself, this is my choice and I'm sticking with it. Believe me when I said I can't do anything more, but you all do. You have a life to live and to forgive each other.
Now wipe those tears off your face and get one finishing me.
You're crazy local coot, Old Man McGucket. Dipper hands shook and wrinkled the sheet. He looked at the old man with gloomy eyes. "Should we …"
"You should all go." Ford said to everyone. "I've already ruined his life enough, time for me to honor his last wish."
"I'll stay with you." Stan said. "You all go inside. We'll both be back, promise."
Everyone remained quiet and left the men to finish.
They all felt heartbroken for McGucket, but remembered his last wish to keep Dipper and everyone else live.
"I'm happy you're with us." Mabel said to Dipper who as being carried on Wendy's back.
"Same here, Mabel. Same here." Dipper rested his head on Wendy's face, but quickly pulled away. "Sorry!" he weakly said.
"Don't sweat it, dude." Wendy smiled with a slight blush.
"You need a rest too." Soos carried Mabel on his shoulders.
"I-I-Inside everyone." Blendin open the door to let the kids in and glanced back to the forest. "W-W-W-Why did I have to l-listen to that triangle in the first place?"
He closed the door as a single gunshot was heard.
Stan and Ford looked down at the body. "I'm a terrible person." Ford looked at Stan with teary eyes. "And I hated myself to this day for not stopping dad disowning you. I'm sorry."
"Don't sweat it." Stan placed his hand on his shoulder. "It's all in the stupid past. Now come on, let's get those search party together and plan his funeral. Then we'll spend the last remaining summer with the twins before us three have to leave."
Ford looked at him and smiled. "Don't you mean when those two leave." He wrapped his arm around Stan's neck. "You're staying with me. Someone has to fill your Mystery Shack with actual props."
Stan laughed lightly and looked at McGucket. "We'll go into details later. Right now everyone needs to know how much of a hero this man is."
The two wrapped the corpse in a cloth and gently carried him in honor.
"McGucket. We all seek knowledge."
"And we all want to get rich."
"But knowledge along does not bring just good or evil."
"And gold has no soul."
The original Mystery Twins smiled at each other. "But we now have each other. Thank you McGucket. And thank you Dipper and Mabel."