The sun beat down restlessly over Gravity Falls. It felt like any other day, but not for Dipper and Mabel. Today was the day they would have to officially leave Gravity Falls and move back home. Dipper slowly grabbed all of his provisions and packed them into his bags and suitcase. He didn’t want to leave. He had grown to really like the place, although it tried to kill him about every day or so. He enjoyed the suspense and the mystery solving, and hanging out at the Mystery Shack with Mabel, Soos, and Stan. But he was especially sad to leave a particular Mystery Shack employee: Wendy.
Over the days being in Gravity Falls, Dipper had grown some real feelings towards Wendy. She was funny, pretty, and delightful. He had once confessed his affections for her, but she had turned them down, telling him that she was too old for him. That had really been a hard blow on him, but he never lost his feelings for her. Little did he know that Wendy actually felt the same way he did, but she felt the age gap between them was too strange, and she forced herself to not feel for him.
Dipper finally finished packing his stuff up. He was just about ready to haul all of his things out of the attic when Wendy walked into the room. Dipper felt his cheeks grow hot and he quickly turned to hide his face from Wendy, causing one of his suitcases to fall in a clumsy raucous of noises.
“Hey, Dipper,” Wendy greeted, stifling awkwardly as Dipper reached down to pick up his fallen suitcase.
“Hi Wendy,” Dipper responded. “I was just coming down.”
“Okay,” Wendy replied. “I was just wondering if you wanted any help.”
“Um, sure…” Dipper stuttered, looking around. “There are two bags full of Mabel’s trash that she’s accumulated over the whole summer. Maybe you could carry those out for me?”
“Okay,” Wendy answered, not hesitating to give Dipper a nice smile.
Dipper blushed again and, hiding behind his vest, he retrieved all of his suitcases and hurried out the door before Wendy could see that his face had become bright red. He hurried down the stairs and out of the door. Once he was out, he dropped the bags and breathed slowly calm himself down. By the time he had calmed down, Wendy had come back out. Now that he knew she was there, he was more composed of himself, and he was able to stay in control. Wendy was carrying the two garbage sacks full of trash, and Dipper kindly offered to take one off her hands. She graciously handed one of the bags to Dipper, and they both took them to the garbage cans out by the Shack entrance.
Just as Dipper put the lid back on the garbage can, a flash of blue caught his eye.
“Huh?” He gasped in confusion.
“What is it?” Wendy asked as she finished throwing her bag away. She watched as Dipper leaned forward and pulled out an ugly blue shag carpet from behind the garbage can.
“Whoa, what is that?” Wendy asked, walking up closer to Dipper, just close enough that her shoulder was touching his. Dipper tried not to let his face flush at feeling her touch.
“It’s a carpet that we found in that one extra room in the Shack. I…thought Stan had thrown it out,” Dipper explained, staring at the carpet.
“It feels weird,” Wendy laughed, putting her hand on it. Dipper’s eyes widened as she realized what she was going to do, but it was too late to do anything. Wendy rubbed her hand vigorously across the carpet’s surface, and from the contact that hers and Dipper’s shoulders were making, Dipper knew exactly what was going to happen. Sparks of blue lightning flew from Wendy’s hand and swirled around it. As soon as it reached the rest of her body, it swirled around Dipper as well, temporarily blinding both of them. Finally, the sparks disappeared in a noisy blue explosion that knocked the two of them back.
Dipper groaned and sat up, rubbing his head. He looked on, disgruntled as he saw that his own body lay on the grass a few feet away from him. He looked down to see, not to his surprise, that he was within Wendy’s body. As he sat up, Wendy did as well. She jumped in shock as she saw me.
“D-dipper, what happened?!” She exclaimed.
“That carpet, it is somehow able to switch bodies if two bodies come in contact with each other,” Dipper explained, standing up. He stumbled a bit, as he never realized how strange it was to be taller than he was used to. He felt as if he was towering over everything; even the Mystery Shack seemed shorter.
“W-why does Stan have that?” Wendy asked, getting up as well.
“I don’t know,” Dipper answered. “But I do know that we can switch back easily if we just rub the carpet and touch each other again.”
“Okay,” Wendy replied, adding a quick nod to let Dipper know she understood.
The two of them headed towards the carpet. Just before they could rub their hands on it, Stanford walked up.
“So that’s what happened to my electron carpet. No doubts Stanley tried to throw it out,” He acknowledged.
“Y-yeah, but do you mind if-“
“I’ll just go ahead and take it back inside and put it where Stanley can’t find it again,” Stanford interrupted, rolling the carpet up and taking it back inside. Dipper exchanged a quick, worried glance with Wendy.
“We need to let Stan know that we need that!” Dipper declared. He began to run after Stanford, but was interrupted by Soos and Mabel.
“There you are, Dip!” Mabel exclaimed. “The bus is going to be here at 12! We need to be down at the bus stop before then!”
Dipper looked expectantly at Wendy as she didn’t respond. She quickly remembered that she was in Dipper’s body and quickly turned back towards Mabel, stiffening up nervously. “Uh, Y-yeah, I was just grabbing my bags. I was on my way,” She stammered.
“Well hurry your butt up then, I don’t want to have to take the bus later!” Mabel ordered semi-demandingly.
“O-okay! I’ll meet you there!” Wendy responded, the tone of urgency in her voice suggesting she wanted Soos and Mabel to leave.
Mabel didn’t say anything as she and Soos turned around and headed back towards town. Wendy relaxed as they turned their backs to us, and turned back towards me.
“The bus is going to be here by 12?!” She questioned once Soos and Mabel had gotten out of earshot
Dipper nodded in response. He looked down at his arm to check the time when he remembered that Wendy didn’t have a watch. He indicated for her to do as he’d done. She reluctantly looked at the watch and jumped as she saw the time. “That only gives us 45 minutes to switch back!” She yelled exasperatedly.
“Surely we can find the carpet by then,” Dipper encouraged.
“Can’t we just ask Stan where he put it?” Wendy asked.
“We can, but I don’t want to get in trouble when he finds out that we were playing around with it,” Dipper replied nervously.
Wendy paused for a beat. “We’ll be in bigger trouble if that bus leaves and I’m on it instead of you!” She pointed out angrily.
“Yeah, but Stan most likely has it in his room, and he hates it when people go in his room. It won’t be pretty if he finds out that we were snooping around in there!” Dipper argued back. Dipper hated to admit it, but he actually wasn’t sure if that was entirely true. He was actually enjoying being in Wendy’s body. He felt more powerful by being taller and by knowing he was technically now older. He was also trying to stall time, because he didn’t want to leave Gravity Falls-he didn’t want to leave Wendy-behind.
“Okay then. Let’s just go into the woods and try to find another solution,” Wendy sarcastically suggested.
“Maybe we should try that,” Dipper responded.
“No…I-I was kidding…” Wendy denied quickly, shaking her-or rather, Dipper’s-arms rapidly to deny her suggestion. “I’m sure asking Stan won’t kill us.”
“Okay, let’s go,” Dipper finally accepted, giving in. If he continued to deny the obvious answer, then she would become curious of his desire to remain in her body, and that would probably draw her farther away than she already was.
He led the way into the door and towards Stanford’s room. He softly rapped on it twice. No response. Wendy groaned and rolled her eyes. She shoved me out the way and bashed on the door loudly three times.
“What, what is it?!” Stanford yelled in irritation.
“Stan?” Wendy called. “Er...Ford?”
Stanford made a loud, audible sigh before walking to the door and opening it. “What do you two want?” He questioned.
Wendy turned to Dipper, but he gestured towards Stanford, indicating that she was the one that needed to do the talking. She turned back towards Stanford and stuttered a few times before speaking up again. “Uh…could we see that carpet that you found outside..?” She asked. Dipper fought hard to not slap his forehead.
Stanford didn’t move. Only his eyes flicked from Dipper to Wendy. Dipper rolled his eyes and stepped forward.
“Okay, we were looking at the carpet, and Wendy and I accidentally switched bodies,” Dipper piped in. Stanford’s eyebrows raised. Dipper spoke quickly to interrupt Stanford before he could even open his mouth. “We were just about to switch back when you came and took the carpet.”
Stanford took another silent moment to look between the two of them again. Finally, he sighed, rubbed in between his eyes, and gestured for the two of them to come inside his room. They followed him shyly, only coming in within a few inches of the door. Stanford rummaged around the room for quite a while, murmuring inaudibly. The more he searched, the more frantic Dipper noticed he was becoming. Finally, once Dipper was sure he had looked through everything two or three times, he turned towards the two of them.
“I…I can’t find it…” He announced. He looked genuinely worried, which made Dipper squirm uneasily.
“Wh-what do you mean you can’t find it?!” Wendy exclaimed in disbelief. “We saw you carry it inside!”
“And I distinctly remember leaving it just on that table over there! I have no idea what could have happened to it,” Stanford responded, beginning to frenziedly search the room once again, this time throwing papers and other objects all over.
Wendy turned to Dipper. “Search through the forest for another solution?” She asked urgently, looking straight into Dipper’s eyes.
“Search through the forest for another solution,” Dipper confirmed. The two quickly exited Stanford’s room and ran out of the building. It wasn’t long before they were in the forest searching through the trees bushes, rocks, and everywhere for any possible solution.
Suddenly, a nasally laugh pierced through the silence. Dipper knew immediately who it was, but Wendy jumped in shock and looked around hysterically for the source of the laugh. Dipper just looked up to the sky, waiting for Bill to drain all of the color away from the background and appear. Finally, he did just so, appearing right in front of Wendy. Wendy jumped back, landing on her back on the hard ground. Dipper hurried forward and took a step in front of Wendy protectively.
“Aha, Pine Tree!” Bill bellowed. “You’re just the man I was looking for!” He flipped upside down, humming thoughtfully and scanning Dipper up and down. “Or I guess I should say you’re just the teenage girl I was looking for!”
At this point, Wendy had gotten up, and was half hiding behind Dipper, but still displaying a look of confidence as she stared at Bill. Dipper took a challenging step forward, forcing Bill to back up the same distance.
“What do you want?” Dipper growled.
“Just passing by. I came across a very intriguing eyesore of a souvenir,” He announced. “Or I guess in other words I should say, looking for this?” To Dipper and Wendy’s surprise, he held the carpet in his hand.
Dipper made a quick move to grab the carpet, but Bill pointed at him, and Dipper somehow ended up behind Bill. He let out a snort. “That was smart,” He teased. Dipper quickly turned to face Bill again. “Just because I showed it to ya doesn’t mean I’m gonna give it to ya!”
“So what’s your point in showing it to us, then?” Wendy questioned, trying to take advantage of Bill’s facing toward Dipper and attempting to grab the carpet. Bill ducked under her tackle, resulting in her flying straight into Dipper. The two crashed into each other and toppled head over heels to the hard ground. Dipper’s head spun. When he was finally able to prop himself up on his elbows, Bill was looking slyly straight back at him.
“Because then I could do that to you,” He snorted. “But seriously. I do have a reason for taking you here. And I’m feeling kinda nice today. Thought I’d give ya the carpet with no charge, except for some truth.”
“What all-knowing dream demon needs truth from us?” Dipper asked distastefully, standing up and helping Wendy to her feet as well.
“Oh ho ho…this truth is not for me, it’s for red over there,” Bill chortled, gesturing towards Wendy.
“What does that mean?” Wendy wondered.
“It means that Pine Tree here has a reason why he was so hesitant to get help from Stanford,” Bill sneered. “He didn’t want to leave your body because he’s a creeper.”
Wendy shot Dipper a half-confused, half-disgusted face. Dipper quickly denied it. “No that’s not true,” He insisted.
“Maybe not the creeper part, but I know some of it is true,” Bill cackled.
“Just shut up for a second, okay?” Wendy snapped at Bill. “I want him to tell me in his own words.” Wendy then turned to Dipper with a stern, serious face. “Why didn’t you really want help from Stan?”
Dipper hesitated and turned away from Wendy. Even when he was actually looking at himself and not Wendy’s face, he still couldn’t bear to look at hers.
“It’s 11:30 if I might alarm you,” Bill chimed in casually. “You don’t have anywhere to be, do you?”
“How could it be 11:30 already?! Just tell me Dipper!” Wendy demanded, reaching up to put her arm on Dipper’s shoulder and forcibly turning him towards her. “Tell me.”
“I…I didn’t want to leave Gravity Falls. I didn’t want to leave and return to my normal life back home. Here I felt like I was important, like I was strong…like I was…a hero. I never intended to take it this far, I just figured if we could delay for a few more hours, I could spend that time…with you…” Dipper admitted pitifully.
Wendy backed up a step. “The real reason you don’t want to leave…is because of me..?” She repeated wistfully. Dipper nodded slowly and looked down at the ground, feeling a metallic lump beginning to form in his throat. This was the feeling he knew he always got before he was going to cry.
“No matter what you told me…” Dipper choked out. “I could never let go of my feelings for you…and I just don’t want to bear being apart from you…”
“I don’t want to either…” Wendy whispered.
“Okay I’m beginning to get sick here. Moving on,” Bill intercepted, throwing the carpet towards the two of them, snapping, and disappearing.
Dipper fumbled at the carpet in his arms and quickly unfolded it onto the ground. He and Wendy dropped to their knees before the carpet and joined hands, locking them together. On the mental count of three, the two of them rubbed their hands vigorously across the surface of the carpet, and the familiar blue lightning erupted from their fingers up their arms. The lightning spiraled around their bodies, switched to the others bodies, and exploded into a bright blue light.
Dipper got up quickly and looked around, patting at his vest, his shorts, and his face. When he was sure he was back in his own body, he clumsily gathered up the carpet as best as he could and ran back inside, Wendy hard at his heels. They ran into Stanford’s room.
“Here’s the carpet,” Dipper panted, dropping it on a table behind Stanford. Stanford’s shoulders slumped in relief and he took the carpet in his own hands to place elsewhere. Just then, Dipper’s watch beeped. He checked it to see that the time read 11:35.
“We only have 25 minutes to get you into town and to the bus stop on time!” Wendy acknowledged. She grabbed Dipper by the arm. Dipper gasped and felt his face grow hot at her touch, but was thrown out of his trance as Wendy yanked him forward and back outside, not before Stanford bade Dipper a hasty farewell.
They quickly grabbed all of Dipper’s bags and took off towards town. Dipper stumbled and tripped the whole way there, but he continued running, attempting to remain in pace with Wendy. Her stride was longer and faster, and she was able to nimbly avoid the rocks and twigs that stood in her wake. Dipper envied her body a moment, and wished that at least for the time being, that he was back in her body.
Finally, the town came within sight. Excited and determined, Dipper picked up his pace even more and hurried to where he saw Soos, Stanley, and Mabel all waiting at the bus stop. Dipper collapsed all of his stuff at Mabel’s side and made it with minutes to spare.
“There you are! I was beginning to get worried!” Mabel sighed.
“Here I am!” Dipper panted, falling to his knees and using one of his bags as a support.
A few minutes passed before the bus came. Dipper was grateful for those few minutes to catch his breath. The bus rolled up and came to a stop. The doors creaked open and a few people walked out. Dipper stood up and turned towards Stanley, Soos and Wendy.
“I guess this is goodbye,” Dipper started.
“Aw, I’ll miss you doods!” Soos exclaimed, swooping down and picking Mabel and Dipper up and holding them in a warm tight hug. “Don’t forget to send letters and postcards and all sorts of things every day!”
“Okay Soos,” Mabel laughed. “And you don’t forget to reply to all of them.”
“Of course Hambone,” Soos responded happily.
“I’ll miss you at the Shack, but I guess if it’s no longer the Shack, then it’ll be fine,” Stanley declared. Dipper and Mabel smiled.
“We’ll miss you too, Grunkle,” Mabel laughed. Dipper nodded his agreement.
“’Bye Wendy,” Mabel declared, turning towards Wendy and holding up a fist. Wendy punched Mabel’s fist.
“See ya,” Wendy responded. She then turned to Dipper.
Dipper opened his mouth to say goodbye, but not words escaped his throat. He closed his mouth and gestured in a small, awkward wave instead. Just before he turned to get on the bus, he inhaled deeply, reached up, and kissed Wendy briefly on the cheek. Before anyone could see how red he had turned, he whirled around, grabbed his bags, and prepared to climb onto the bus.
“Wait, Dipper,” Wendy called. Dipper took a deep breath. Slowly, he turned on his heel to face Wendy again.
Just before he knew what was happening, Wendy had grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and brought his lips to hers. Dipper jumped in surprise at first, but then melted into the kiss, enjoying every second of it. The bus honked its horn, indicating that they should hurry up if they wanted to board it. Wendy pulled away.
“Take that one for the road,” Wendy told him. Then she lightly punched him on the arm. “That too.”
Dipper smiled, not caring that anyone saw how red his face was anymore. He gave her a light punch on the arm as well before he turned around, grabbed his things, and boarded the bus. He and Mabel sat at the very back of the bus. Dipper dropped his things and sat on his knees on the bus bench so he could look through the back window and watch Gravity Falls as they drove away from it.
But really, he was only watching Wendy until he was sure he could see her no longer.