Welcome to Gravity Falls
The holler was accompanied by an ear-shattering blast of an air horn. Dipper screamed and toppled out of his bed in shock. Mabel moaned and sat up tiredly, her long brown hair tumbling around her. As energetic as she was, no one enjoyed rude awakenings. "What's happening?" she asked with a yawn.
"A heart attack," Dipper muttered and rubbed his chest. "What the heck was that for?"
Stan grinned broadly. "It's time to trap some tourists! Now get your lazy butts out of bed and let's go!"
Mabel jumped to her feet and saluted her great-uncle. "Sir, yes sir!"
She tore out of the attic with renewed energy and Dipper assumed she was going to get some breakfast. He, however, was too exhausted to move. "It's four-thirty in the morning!" he protested.
"Early bird catches the cockroach or something like that," Stan said with a shrug. "You got five minutes to get dressed or else I'm putting you on dusting duty."
Dipper scowled and jammed his cap over his shaggy brown hair.
"This will be the most boring day of my life," he muttered.
"Do you know what time it is?"
Phineas didn't even notice his sister's irritation. "Five in the morning," he said cheerfully. "Isn't it nice out?"
Candace zipped her hoodie up and scowled. Despite the summer season, the early mornings still got pretty cold. "Gorgeous," she said sarcastically.
Of course, Phineas was oblivious. He and Ferb were stacking suitcases into the trunk of the car. Candace sat on the cold cement, idly stroking Perry. "Do you guys know where we'll be staying?"
"A cabin," Phineas answered. "Dad said that the man had booked three of them. One for Ferb, Baljeet, Buford and I. One for you and Isabella and one for Mom and Dad."
"If the guy Dad traded with made the reservations, then how are we going to get them?"
"He changed the reservations to Dad's name." Phineas stood back to make sure there was enough room left for his friends' bags. "It was a pretty cool deal, huh?"
"A dream come true," Candace muttered. "I get to sleep in a bug-infested cabin with a shower that probably only has cold water."
Perry nudged against her fingers and Candace glanced down with a small smile. "I guess I better take you out for one quick stroll. Four hours is a long time to be cooped up in a car."
The redhead snapped a leash onto the platypus and they started down the block. The stroll seemed to take some of the negative energy away from her and Perry let out a soft sigh. Candace had been going through quite a rough patch and Perry was hoping that this trip would bring her back to normal (Candace's normal, anyway).
By some odd coincidence his nemesis was also taking a trip to Gravity Falls-for his latest evil plan, of course. Major Monogram had discovered this and was only mildly surprised when Carl informed him that the Flynn-Fletcher's were also departing for the same destination, and that it made no sense to send Perry out right away.
"Well, if your host family will be departing tomorrow morning, then I suppose you can go with them," Monogram had said. "But be careful. Gravity Falls is a small place. You'll have to be extra careful in keeping your identity a secret."
Perry hoped that Doofenshmirtz's newest –Inator wouldn't bring about too much attention. But then again...it was Doctor Heinz Doofenshmirtz. The man could do nothing without bringing some attention towards him.
"Who knows, Perry?" Candace said suddenly, bringing the platypus out of his thoughts. "Maybe I'll actually have some fun. Maybe I'll meet some normal teenager that has no interest in what my brothers do. Heck, maybe I'll get lucky and the boys will finally be busted."
Perry turned his head so Candace wouldn't see his smile. The girl had high hopes, but she always seemed to get herself in sticky situations with her enthusiasm.
A car suddenly rolled up beside them and Perry tensed slightly.
"Hey, Candace!" called Phineas, sticking his head out the open window.
The platypus relaxed. It was only the Flynn-Fletcher vehicle.
Candace blinked. "I was just about to head back."
Phineas moved back inside and Isabella opened the side door. Lawrence smiled. "Well, there didn't seem to be a point in waiting for you to walk all the way back when we could just come and grab you. Everything you needed were in your suitcases, yes?"
"Yeah." Candace climbed into the car and sat in between Phineas and Isabella (much to the younger girl's displeasure) and Perry rested on her lap. "Out of curiosity, do they have cell service in Gravity Falls?"
"I should think so," Linda said as they started off. "But your cell plan only covers the Tri-State Area. Which means no calls to Jeremy while we're out of coverage area."
Perry was quite impressed with Candace's ability to hold in her scream.
"They just keep pouring in!" Stan said gleefully as cars with foreign license plates clogged the area around the Mystery Shack. "Suckers!"
Dipper glanced up from his position at the cash register as another clump of people entered the store. "I can't believe people are actually buying this junk."
"I know, right? I mean, look at this!" Wendy held up a wooden box with a question mark painted on the side. "Who would be stupid enough to buy this for twenty bucks?"
Dipper blinked a few times, his mind struggling to process what she had just said. "Uh...stupid people?"
Real clever, Einstein, his brain mocked. You're totally not making yourself look like an idiot at all!
Wendy laughed. "It was kind of a rhetorical question, but good answer."
Dipper turned red and glanced out the window. He could see Mabel parading around with a large cardboard sign, directing people into the Shack. He had to admit that her wild dancing was bringing in a lot of customers.
A burgundy minivan rolled past the Shack, on route for the cluster of cabins that housed the collection of tourists for the summer months. Wendy shook her head. "Those poor souls will probably be the next victims."
Dipper squinted out the window. 'Is there a platypus in that vehicle?'
Phineas grinned widely. "This place is so cool!"
"Look, love! A souvenir shop!" Lawrence smiled cheerfully as they passed the building. "We should check it out after we've settled!"
"How long are we staying here?" Candace asked, staring in dismay at her pretty much useless cell phone.
"Two weeks," Lawrence answered.
Candace's brain nearly stopped functioning.
Two weeks without Jeremy. Two weeks without Jeremy.
Sensing a breakdown, Perry chattered soothingly and Candace started to stroke him again. She found the action to be relaxing and managed to quell the urge to break down screaming.
"Can we take a walk through the forest?" Isabella asked hopefully.
"I don't know..." Linda said hesitantly.
"We'll be fine, Mom!" Phineas assured. "We won't go too far in."
"I suppose so. But you'll have to be back before dark."
"Sure thing!" Phineas grinned. "Do you want to come with us Candace?"
"Nah. I'm really tired. And bugs aren't my kind of thing," Candace responded. Her legs were cramped and her back was sore from the long trip. She didn't know where her brothers and their friends got their energy from.
"Here we are!" Lawrence announced and the car came to a stop in front of a row of cabins.
They were small, rustic and Candace had to admit they looked nice. "We have cabins 234, 235 and 236," Lawrence informed as he studied the information sheet that was in the package he received from his customer. "I'll just go and check in."
"Carry my bag," Buford ordered and shoved his duffel bag into Baljeet's already full arms.
Baljeet grunted from the extra weight and his knees buckled. Isabella shot Buford a warning glare and the burly boy (well aware of the power of Isabella's fury) hastily snatched his duffel bag back. "Or I can carry it. You're too weak to do it anyway."
Isabella rolled her eyes. Lawrence came back a moment later with three sets of keys. "Here you are." He handed Phineas a key and Candace a key. "The number of your cabin is on the tag."
"Sweet!" Phineas cheered and the boys ran towards their cabin. Linda and Lawrence headed for theirs and Isabella hesitated. She liked Candace well enough, but she knew that the teenager wouldn't too happy sharing a cabin with a ten-year-old for two weeks. But at the same time, she didn't want to offend the girl but asking if she could switch over to the cabin with her friends.
"I don't know how much room there is," Candace spoke up as she unlocked her cabin door. "But I won't mind if you want to stay with the boys. You've certainly had enough sleepovers together. But also know that I won't bite your head off."
Isabella grinned sheepishly. "Thanks, Candace." She took off for the boys' cabin and Candace smiled slightly.
The Mexican-Jewish girl rapped on the door and Phineas swung it open. "Hey, Isabella. What's up?"
Isabella peeked around him and noticed that there were only four bunk beds. Disappointed, she said, "I was just coming to see if there was any room in here. I know I'm supposed to stay with Candace, but..."
"It's cool. We'll make some room," Phineas assured her. "Ferb and I could probably find some extra wood around here somewhere. I brought my tool kit, so we can whip up a spare bed in no time!"
"But there is no space for an extra bed," Baljeet pointed out.
"It's fine! I can just go back-" Isabella started to say but Buford cut her off.
"Okay, here's a simple solution. I got a sleeping bag. I sleep on floor. Isabella gets my bunk. Any objections?" Buford asked, his tone of voice making it clear that no arguments would be accepted.
Isabella beamed. Despite the fact they argued a lot and Buford was convinced that boys were better than girls, they still get along really well. "Aw, thanks!"
"Don't mention it," Buford said gruffly and spread his sleeping bag at the foot of Baljeet's bottom bunk. "But if anyone steps on me in the middle of the night, I won't be happy."
Isabella tossed her bag on the bunk above Baljeet. "I'll ask Candace if I can use her shower."
"You don't have to do that," Phineas said. "Candace doesn't like being woken up early, so you can just have first dibs on the bathroom. We won't go near it until you're done and dressed."
Isabella flushed. "Thanks, Phineas."
The kids started to unpack and Perry frowned slightly. He wasn't too settled knowing that Candace would be alone in a cabin at night in a foreign place for two weeks. He decided to keep an eye on her during the evening and investigate Doofenshmirtz in the morning.
Hopefully it wouldn't take too long to foil the evil doctor's plan.
"Did you see me shake my groove thing out there?" Mabel asked before chugging a bottle of water. When she finished, she gargled, "I rocked!"
"You brought in good business!" Stan agreed. "Good job, kid."
Mabel took a bow. "I try." She stretched her back and tossed her empty water bottle into the blue recycling bin. "I'm starving. I'm gonna go have that apple pie in the fridge."
"Whoa, whoa!" Stan hollered as Mabel took off. "That's my pie, squirt!" He hurried after her.
The bell above the entryway dinged and an older couple walked in. Wendy shook her head. "Those are two Grade-A suckers right there."
"How can you tell?" Dipper asked in surprise.
"Well, for one, I can see the interest on their faces. Second, I just know. These people love to go to new places and practically buy out souvenir shops." Wendy shrugged. "I've been working here long enough to tell." She checked her watch. "And that's my break. See ya later, sucker."
Dipper eyed the man as he studied the overpriced wooden box in awe. "Poor guy."
The twelve-year-old jumped. He hadn't even noticed the red-haired woman come up to him. She smiled apologetically. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to startle you."
"No, no! It's my fault. I should have been paying attention." Dipper grinned sheepishly and took her items. "How do you like it here in Gravity Falls?"
"It's a very nice place. My kids love it, and we only just got here."
Dipper nearly messed up the addition of the prices. "Kids?"
"Yes, and their friends. They're about your age. Perhaps a little younger."
"You know, it's been a while since I've seen any tourists my age," Dipper admitted. "$25.75 is your total, ma'am."
She handed him a twenty and a ten. "They love making new friends. I'm sure they would be glad to meet you."
You know, I think I'd be glad to meet them. Dipper smiled and counted out her change. "That'd be nice," he said, handing the bills and coins to her.
"They're out in the forest taking a walk. I'll make sure they stop by tomorrow. Oh, how rude of me. I didn't introduce myself. I'm Linda Flynn."
Dipper managed not to let the horror he felt appear on his face. "Dipper Pines," he croaked. "Nice to meet you."
Linda smiled. "Thank you very much, Dipper. We'll be here for two weeks, so you should be seeing us soon."
She went back to her (presumably) husband and Dipper just stared after her. Mabel jogged up to him and sighed. "Grunkle Stan beat me to the pie. But I got crackers! So it's all good." Mabel shoved a handful in her mouth and noted her brother's expression. "What's up with you?"
"Mabel, there are some kids walking around the forest!" Dipper said hoarsely. "And no one knows better than us that there are dangerous creatures in there."
"So...are we going on a rescue mission?"
"A possible rescue mission." Dipper jumped over the counter and hurried for the door. "I just want to make sure that they're alright."
"Super Mabel and Sidekick Dipper to the rescue!" Mabel hollered and raced past her twin.
Dipper scowled and ran after her.
"Why am I the sidekick?"