Promise Me You Won't Get Stupid
The sky swirled and split above the town of Gravity Falls as destruction and chaos reigned below. Everyone was panicking and trying to get into a safe building, but there were few places that could be safe as the ground rocked hard enough to crack the streets.
It was an absolute nightmare, worse than anything Dipper had thought of or imagined when Great Uncle Ford first mentioned Bill’s ultimate plan.
But he wasn’t thinking about the end of the world at the moment.
He ground his teeth as he gripped Mabel’s hand tighter. Unconscious, she was a huge amount of dead weight and he knew his weaker arms could not hold on forever.
“Mabel! Mabel—wake up! What did Bill do to you?”
When he and Ford discovered that he had the wrong bag and saw the rip in the sky, they had just a few moments to find her. Seeing her unconscious, like she was dead, was awful.
Only Ford confirming that she still had a pulse stopped him from having a panic attack.
He should have run after her, he realized then. He shouldn’t have stopped at their bedroom door. Even if they had just continued to fight, they wouldn’t have been separated and she wouldn’t have been left alone. He might have been able to stop whatever knocked her out.
He might have stopped Bill from tricking her.
He shook those thoughts away. What ifs weren’t going to help. After they found her, it was mass confusion as the realm of reality started to twist and morph—and somehow, they got sucked into a wormhole that teleported them to the middle of town.
He fought off the tears that were forming in his eyes. Everyone was running around in hysterics, clinging to those they loved in fear or trying to get them out of collapsed buildings. Thankfully, if there were any fires, they were located out in the forest. Electric wires snapped in the air, flying wildly in the wind, along with paper and all sorts of other debris.
He had taped his hand to the magnet gun again, but that was starting to loosen and he knew that once it lost its charge, they would lose their tether of a telephone poll. If that didn’t get ripped out from the ground first.
“Mabel! Come on, please!”
He couldn’t lose her. Not his sister. If he fought a giant alien security droid and a flying saucer to save Great Uncle Ford, he would fight Bill and every one of his demonic friends with his bare hands to save Mabel.
At that, she frowned a bit and then slowly opened her eyes.
He saw the terror in them as she saw took in the horrors around them. Tears filled her eyes and he knew that she put two and two together.
“Oh no—no, no—I didn’t mean to—oh no—Dipper!”
“Mabel, hold onto my hand or we’re gonna fly off!” Dipper yelled.
That snapped her out of it and she quickly grabbed onto his other hand, moments before he probably would have lost his grip on her.
“Dipper! I’m so sorry! I didn’t know what that was! I didn’t know it was Bill!”
“It’s okay! We gotta get back on the ground and out of here!”
“No it’s not! What’s going on?”
“You gave him a dimensional rift! Now he’s able to enter our world without a puppet or being summoned!”
“I didn’t mean to, I’m so sorry!”
“We’ll talk about it later! Come on and help me!”
He knew that she was still preoccupied with what she had done, but together, they had managed to get back onto the ground. The wind was still pulling at them, trying to sweep them away with everything else, but the magnet gun was still working and adrenaline kept them quick on their feet. Somehow, they managed to slip into an alley where everything was quiet.
“Dipper, I am so sorry,” Mabel said again. “What is Bill doing? Is this what you and Ford meant by saving the world?”
Dipper nodded. “Yeah. Bill has been planning this for a long time. He needed the dimensional rift to open a gateway from our world to his after Great Uncle Ford destroyed the portal.”
She sniffled, wiping her eyes with her sleeve.
“And I gave it to him. Guess the unicorn hair doesn’t matter now, does it?”
Dipper squeezed her shoulder.
“Hey, Bill tricked me before, remember? And he led Great Uncle Ford on for years. That was why the portal was built in the first place. Bill used him.”
That didn’t seem to make her feel any better as she continued to look at the ground.
“Hey, come on,” he tried. “We can still fix this. We just have to find Uncle Stan and Great Uncle Ford. They’ll know what to do!”
“Okay,” she mumbled.
Dipper frowned, still worried, but he knew that they had to get somewhere safe and they had to save the world before they could talk. It wasn’t her fault—she was upset and distraught about how the day went, how everything was changing before her eyes. She had no idea that she grabbed the wrong backpack. They hadn’t told her about the dimensional rift or what Bill was planning. If they had, she would have guarded it with her life.
If he and Ford had told her, this might not have happened.
Maybe he should blame the walkie talkies too, because then he could have talked to her about staying himself and she wouldn’t have spent hours thinking about it alone and probably assuming the worst.
Carefully approaching the edge of the alley, they looked both ways for oncoming objects.
“Ready?” Dipper asked.
She nodded, a little determination coming into her eyes. “Ready.”
Quickly moving out, they shielded their eyes against dust and dirt flying up, the force of the wind stopping them from moving as fast as they would like. The ground shook and they could hear people screaming all over, thunder crashing, and helicopters buzzing in the distance. Whatever was going on was grave enough for some government agency to be called in. The news certainly didn’t have a helicopter in their arsenal.
“Dipper, look out!” Mabel cried, jumping and throwing herself into Dipper. Just as she did, a car crashed where he was standing just a moment ago.
He quickly rolled them over to avoid a stop sign from doing the same thing.
They had yet to go two blocks.
“This is taking forever! We got to find a better way!” she exclaimed.
“I know, we gotta get to the Mystery Shack again—”
The street rocked under them like an ocean wave, launching them into the air, as if they were nothing more than stray paper bags.
“Dipper!” Mabel screamed, reaching out for him.
Stan and Ford appeared out of nowhere, Mabel’s grappling hook coming around them like a lasso and slamming them back to back.
“Hang on kids, we got you!” Ford yelled as Stan pulled them in.
“Great Uncle Ford!”
“Are you kids okay?” Stan asked, pulling them into a tight hug once they were on the ground. Dipper pulled away sooner than Mabel, who had buried her face into Stan’s shoulder, her shoulders starting to shake.
“All of this is my fault! I gave the dimensional rift to Bill!”
“Oh, sweetie, don’t talk like that,” Stan said. “It’s not your fault.”
“Stan is right,” Ford said sympathetically. “Bill is an immensely powerful and cunning individual. He is not above manipulation and he obviously saw a weakness he could exploit. As far as I am concerned, you have a better track record than me, having been only tricked once. If I hadn’t been so blinded by my pride, I wouldn’t have built the portal in the first place!”
Dipper nodded. “We should have told you about all of this, so you weren’t left in the dark. And I should have tried harder to talk to you about staying.”
“Staying?” Stan repeated. “What do you mean by that, Dipper?”
“He’s going to be my apprentice, of course!” Ford said proudly. “Once we stop the end of the world.”
“You’re separating them?” Stan yelled. “What makes you think that is a good idea? What makes you think you can even do that?”
“People shouldn’t be held back from their dreams or potentials! Not by anything!”
“So it’s okay to leave family behind in the dust?”
Mabel’s lower lip shook as she tried not to start crying again.
Dipper had always loved the supernatural and mysteries. He loved read and researching, and ever since they had come to Gravity Falls, he had done just that. Now, he was no longer just sticking to books and the internet. He was going outside and into ‘the field’ as some would call it. He was getting braver and getting more experiences with things outside of his head.
How could she take that away from him?
She was being selfish and greedy again, just like Bill accused her of during the sock opera.
He might be following in the footsteps of Great Uncle Ford, but he wasn’t exactly like him. He would never just leave her in the dust… just maybe go down a different road.
She was breaking her own promise of not being stupid.
She pulled away from Grunkle Stan and caught Dipper’s eye.
“Dipper… I’m sorry for running off like that. If you want to stay in Gravity Falls and be Uncle Ford’s apprentice… you should go for it.”
“Do you really mean that?” Dipper asked, his eyes widening with shock.
It broke Mabel’s heard that he would be surprised that she would give up something for him, but she hadn’t had much of a track record in that department, did she?
She and Dipper couldn’t be by each other’s sides forever.
She was going to have to grow up and let him go. He would be happier and not resent her for denying him of what he always wanted to do.
Like he said, they could visit and talk online. They would make it work and the loneliness of them being separated for the first time would eventually go away.
Dipper smiled at her and stood up a little straighter. She smiled back, but then it fell when she saw a certain look in his eyes. Uh-oh. She knew that look—the wheels in his head were turning and he was going to do something that would turn the tables. Once it led him to winning a chess tournament he would have been disqualified from, and another time, it led to a teacher giving in and letting him spend his lunchtime in the library all year.
“Great Uncle Ford,” he said loudly enough to interrupt Ford and Stan’s ongoing argument. “Make Mabel your apprentice too, or I’m going back to California.”
Mabel gasped. “But Dipper—”
“Dipper, Mabel isn’t interested in these things,” Ford argued.
“If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have gotten into half of the adventures that I experienced! She’s the one who figured out the leaf blower was a gnome’s weakness and if it weren’t for her grappling hook, we would have been killed by a giant robot weeks ago!”
“A giant robot?” Ford asked. “What—?”
“Don’t ask,” Stan muttered.
“And she’s the first one to tell me that I didn’t need the journals, that I can do things on my own! She’s my sister and best friend! I’m not leaving her in the dust!”
“You sure you even want to stay here, kid?” Stan asked, narrowing his eyes. “My brother might be brilliant, but in some things, he’s a complete numbskull.”
Dipper nodded. “It’ll be perfect. Mabel and I won’t be separated, she can stay here with her friends, we can learn about the mysteries of Gravity Falls together, Stan can keep an eye on all of us, and if she decides that she doesn’t want this later on, no harm or foul!”
Stan opened his mouth to say something, but then he must have reconsidered what he was going to say, opting to close it once more and remain silent.
Ford looked at him for a moment and then directed a serious gaze at Mabel.
“You up for fighting monsters, meeting mythological beasts, and hunting down mysteries and clues to the unknown? It will be dangerous and scary. Not everything is going to be nice.”
Mabel looked at Dipper and the determination and hope in his eyes.
He was the better twin by far. The real alpha twin.
She should have known that it was just the excitement getting to him, that he would have talked to her more about it and make a decision later instead of right that second.
He would never want to hurt her or leave her behind.
Or do what Stan and Ford had done to each other.
“I beat up that herd of unicorns, didn’t I?” she exclaimed, throwing her arms into the air. “Bring it on! Mabel—the Monster Hunter!”
Suddenly, an insane and crackling laugh echoed throughout the town.
“After we defeat Bill,” Ford said.
“Yeah,” they all agreed.
“Man, am I gonna have some post cards to write to mom and dad,” Mabel said as they quickly ran off for the Shack once more.
“If only I had my video recorder or a camera! No one is gonna believe this!” Dipper exclaimed.
Mabel laughed as they leaped and avoided more cars and street signs.
The world was ending and they were laughing.
Yeah, there was something wrong with both of them.