“Yeesh.” Mabel complained as she splashed her glittery face with ice cold sink water. She was not expecting to spend her senior prom in a public bathroom. At all. Her previous wonderful date confessed to her his sexual identity after she confessed to forgetting to put on deodorant outside of the sad place their high school had reserved for prom. Mabel was startled- to say the least by his sudden confession- but supported him nonetheless. “Godspeed, Mark. Godspeed.” The brunette murmured to the cracked mirror framed with various stickers that lazily pasted in front of her.
She smoothed out her silky purple dress for what felt like the millionth time before sighing again. “Geez Dipper, if only you could see me now,” Mabel murmured before pulling out a deeper masculine voice to hide her feminine pitch. “and the woman I’ve become.” She managed through giggles before bursting out into bubbly laughter. They had been separated for a year now- which had been hard on both twins. Morning routines filled with karaoke and fast food breakfasts were swapped with their parents separately driving them to their respective schools. Dipper with their mother, (who worked at a law firm so she had to get up much earlier) drove an hour away before the sun showed, while Mabel and their father drove at a (usually) late 7:50. They hadn’t been able to spend much time together since.
Dipper’s new magnet school offered exciting clubs and a vigorously competitive grading system, which he happily snatched up. This, along with his new car and driver’s license, offered him endless independent opportunities before he would return to Gravity Falls with an internship with their Grunkle Ford. With all of Ford’s degrees that leveled from Phd to Doctorate in extensive fields of the sciences and research, the college board was happy to provide Dipper with an unusual learning opportunity. The excitement was contagious, leaving Mabel with boundless amounts of joy for her brother, even if she barely saw him on weekends and occasionally sneaking back into the house at late hours. And her parents thought she was going to be the stereotypical mischievous teen sneakin’ in at midnight! Ha.
She wanted to be happy for him- desperate even. Well, of course she was happy for him, it’s just… his path was always so crystal clear while hers was as dirty as the mirror she was currently staring into. The brunette scrunched up her face at the sight of it. Bah. Pathetic.
“WHAT’S COOKIN’ GOOD LOOKIN’?” A familiar voice sang as two hands stretched out the mirror’s surface from the other side… or seemingly the other side anyways. The dreamscape would be a better word for it, but also a worse word to excuse to unknowing others.
Mabel’s face immediately stretched into a smile with her freckles aligning her dimples. “Ayyy there’s my best demon friend! Wassup stranger?” Mabel beamed with awkward hand guns waving before booping his bow tie.
“I”M YOUR ONLY DEMON FRIEND, KID. AND DON’T TOUCH THAT. IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS.” Bill spoke with an arm at his side and the other moving in a circular motion like he was going to conjure up another cursed entity. Mabel had seen her fair share of those. The dog-cow was surprisingly cute, but the cow-dog on the other hand…
She grimaced at the memory while Bill took notice of the shiny decorations adorning the sides of the mirror. “HEH, NICE DECORATIN’ STAR. I WOULD’VE ADDED MORE SCRATCH N’ SNIFF THOUGH. WONKA WAS AHEAD OF HIS SHORT MISERABLE LIFE WITH THOSE FLAVORS.” The demon reminisced before cackling.
“Yeah…” Mabel trailed. Normally she would have gone off on another tangent concerning Bill’s latest acquaintance, but her mood was turning increasingly sour like a lemon head. The demon took notice of it as well.
Bill wasn’t exactly accustomed to displaying sympathy of any sort. Hell, he destroyed his home planet at the snap of his “fingers” without batting an eye. (Metaphorically, anyway. He blinked it several times due to the heat generated from the aftermath.) But damn… with Shooting Star around he began to feel more gross human emotions. Or maybe it was Ford’s doing. Eh Sixer isn’t the point, the point is seeing her in that sorry state made his eye twitch. And boy was eye twitching ANNOYING!
“SAY… WHERE’D THAT HOT DATE OF YOURS GO ANYWAYS?” Bill, of course, knew the answer because he had seen the EXACT FUCKING CONVERSATION THROUGH A PUDDLE, but hey what else is a powerful dream demon supposed to do? Sit around and ask Shooting Star to spill her emotions out like last Tuesday's lunch? These flesh bags sure were complicated.
“Oh, Mark decided to muster up his courage and ask out Sam.” Mabel shortened while picking at a sticker on the mirror. They may hang out a lot, but she wasn’t exactly comfortable sharing what she felt other than on whatever concoction (putting it lightly) Bill had strung together. “Looks like this dress and my good attitude will go to waste.” She said with a sad chuckle. In fact, the twin was already planning routes of escape and what activities to do at home. Sure, Mabel had friends at prom too, (though most were boycotting after what their homophobic music teacher said) but she couldn’t seem to bring out her joy through thick clouds of rain. Mark abandoning her brought up her hidden strong emotions towards her brother and their future apart.
“YESH KID, YOU LOOK DOWNER THAN LEWIS WHEN I GAV- WHEN VANCOUVER, GRESHAM AND BEAVERTON STOLE THE FRUITS OF HIS LABOR!” Bill spoke with comedical sarcasm as both arms drooped down past his sharp sides. Mabel continued her sorry state and didn’t take the bait for a tangent. That was surprising. Images flashed in his eye as ideas rolled by.
“SAY I’LL TELL YOU WHAT: I’LL HELP YOU GET THROUGH THOSE OTHER HORMONAL FLESH BAGS IF I CAN TAKE A PEEK INTO THAT JOURNAL PINE TREE HAS. DEAL?” He offered as his hand sprung up in front of the girl’s unmoving face. She scrunched her nose up in distaste and punched his side causing laughter to erupt from the demon. Maybe telling Bill what his self from her timeline caused was a mistake after all.
“I’M ONLY KIDDING STAR- YEESH!” He sniggered and casually sprung out of the portal and into his meaty form. Boy, was that transition painful, but at least he could conjure up a presentable one of his own. “Yes, this one did quite nicely.” Bill thought as he nonchalantly straightened his bowtie out.
“C’MON.” The now human Cypher said with a hooked arm offered to the sad brunette. Mabel only giggled and swiftly took it.
The room was vastly crowded once they entered it from the drastically different toned hallway. High School kids danced like there was no tomorrow in the middle of the dance-floor-like-mosh-pit, while at the right groups huddled to chat, snack, and DEFINITELY not drink sneaked alcohol. There was also a hacky-sack station left unencumbered that was set up by the staff. Teachers not-so-tightly “supervised” students from afar while DEFINITELY not drinking from personal flasks.
Bill's eyes lit up in marvel. Alcohol drinking, alcohol spiking, alcohol- most of his ideas concerned alcohol. Maybe this night wouldn’t be so bad after all. Hell, every night with Shooting Star was an adventure- this was no exception. And he would make it the best fucking night of her life.
“FOR YOU, DOLL.” Bill snapped his fingers and a lovely white corsage appeared on Mabel’s left wrist- free from added blood or strange appendages.
“Oooo!!” Mabel squealed. “Hell yeah! Now THIS is a real prom now! Mark took the one he bought for me to Sam so this is perfect!” She lifted up his arm to lightly kiss atop his gloved hand. “Why thank you my kind sir!” Mabel brightly smiled and bounced off to check out the snack selection. Bill’s face burned hotter than three hells. He, of course, knew the feeling because he had been to the three hells dimension- which was nothing like the inferno’s nine levels.
“WHEW.” He spat and adjusted his marvelous bowtie again.
By the time he strolled his way over to the arrangement of nutrients-filled delectables, Mabel had already stuffed her face with hand-made cheese crackers and was chatting it up with some stranger. Some not-well-dressed-stranger. Bill adjusted his bowtie.
“Oh Bill, there you are! Here, open your mouth and close your eyes.” She giggled while completely abandoning her previous conversation partner. The boy looked pissed, but shrugged his shoulders and walked off. Bill subconsciously widely smirked at the flesh-bound mortal’s actions before returning to what he should have been focused on: NOT some strange feeling caused by the child.
“THIS BETTER NOT BE RAT POISONING AGAIN.” He spoke and compiled.
“Oh my god Bill. That was one time. I SWEAR that box looked exactly like coffee sweetener!” Mabel exasperated at the recollection.
“YEAH YEAH PLAY TRICKS ON THE IMMORTAL ONE, WHY DON’T WE?” Bill crossed his arms before suddenly yanking them from their position in surprise of what the brunette sprayed in his mouth. It had a nasty taste and an awful consistency, plus not to mention its unlikable after-taste… he completely loved it! “WHAT IS THIS DELECTABLE GIFT TO EARTH?” He remarked in awe at the girl.
Mabel laughed. “It’s easy cheese and it’s great on crackers… but really on anything else too!” He only stared at her for a few moments. “...I MUST SPRAY IT IN THE BOWL FILLED WITH STRANGELY COLORED LIQUID!” The demon plotted and reached across the table at her to grab the almost-empty bottle, tipping over a bowl of mix in the process.
She only laughed at his antics and tried to keep it out of reach. He was failing miserably at it too, until she suddenly snapped to attention on something else. “Ooo Bill! My song’s on! Let’s go!” The brunette squealed distractedly while the demon in question snapped his fingers to make the cheesy bottle appear in a hand. Bill had only just begun the process of “cheesy punch” (trademark pending) when he was dragged off to the middle of the floor by the overly-excited girl.
Ends up “prom dancing” was nothing like the formal dancing he had been taught. Their hands were interlocked as Mabel swung them both about the dance floor in several directions and occasionally into different couples. They’d both laugh and sometimes Mabel would apologize before they got back on track. Occasionally her demon partner would take the lead and spin her, but not long enough until she began to steer them differently. Songs came and went as hours flew by as quickly as Mabel’s short dark curly locks flew in the wind turbine of Bill’s spins. Before they knew it, there were only thirty minutes left.
“YOU’RE A PRETTY FINE DANCER, KID.” Bill pleasantly remarked as they stood to the side for a brief moment to catch their breaths. She beamed back at him. “Not so bad yourself, triangle.”
The raging lights slowed down in the room and the kid vomiting their insides out to the side didn’t seem half-bad anymore. Time seemed to literally stop- which Bill didn’t believe was entirely possible, but not unlikely. When the Time Police showed up, time definitely did stop for them. Out of paranoia and maybe… maybe a dash of fear he glanced at their surroundings, only to land on a teacher and that boy from before heading in their direction. Bill’s smirk fell into a familiar frown.
“That’s them, Mrs. Smithfield! There’s that man who’s not a student from here!” He yelled which stupidly gave them time to escape.
“Wait a second- wasn’t he the one putting something in the punch bowl?” The teacher recounted, only for the boy to shrug. “Probably.”
“WELL, SHIT. TAKE THE CHEESE AND RUN STAR!” Bill screeched and grabbed a surprised Mabel’s hand to drag her out of the auditorium’s doors- but not before grabbing the easy cheese bottle.
The duo laughed as they ran a few blocks away from the scene before stopping to catch their breaths. Boy, was a human body tiring to uphold. As if on cue, his stomach shook and burned unpleasantly. Pain may be hilarious, but hunger was far from a joking matter. “SAY SHOOTING STAR, KNOW A PLACE WHERE A GUY CAN GET SOME DECENT GRUB TO EAT?” Bill asked as he bumped her side with his elbow. (Which may have been a rhetorical question since he is an all knowing being of the universe.)
Mabel was delighted at the question. She was having the best time she’s had in months and didn’t want it to only end with a possible suspension. Or leave her in an unexhausted state of mind that would allow her to continue thinking about her future before she fell asleep that night. “Well… I do know a great diner not too far down the road! It should still be open. It’s always open at weird hours.” Mabel chipped which sprung her back into a spiral that concerned great memories she’d made with her brother there. Amongst the female twin’s dread, Bill only grimaced at the reminder of a certain diner back in Gravity Falls with not so fond memories with the twins.
“SPLENDID.” Bill spat as he transformed back to his regular demonic form to properly teleport them to the location that spilled unentionionly from Mabel’s mind… along with a river of anxiety. Looks like his plan was failing after all. He coughed and adjusted his bowtie before placing an arm on Mabel’s fabric clad shoulder.
In an instant, they appeared in front of the 50’s themed restaurant with Mabel’s stomach filled with nausea. “Oh boy, I’ll never get used to that.” She choked and crumpled into a ball as she hugged her knees. The sick feeling may have been caused by Bill’s teleportation, but the thoughts of her brother adding to the toll didn’t help either. They used to be so close. She even considered Dipper her best friend, and even with Bill now filling the role, Mabel still couldn’t seem to brush her brother aside like he did her.
When their senior year first began, they exchanged phone calls during lunch and facetimes while waiting for their respected parents to pick them up, but in the blink of an eye that all melted away like the harsh Californian sun. Phone calls were ignored and replaced with apology texts: “Sorry, I’m kinda busy right now. Call me back later Mabel.” The younger twin began to feel spiky dread arise in her stomach whenever she thought of reaching out to her brother. While he did respond to her, he never initiated a conversation. Mabel even tried to reach out to her parents with their predicament due to them always claiming that she could whenever she needed to do so. However, concern was met with silence and excuses. “Your brother’s going through a tough time too Mabel.” and “This isn’t his fault.” which caused her to sweep her emotions under the family rug to make room for her brother’s.
It was just her fault, wasn’t it?
Now back into the fleshy-uncomfortable human form, hunger seemed to evade him as his only concern was for Mable’s state. Even as their food was placed in front of them at their sticky table, Mabel hadn’t returned to her usual bubbly self that had shone brightly on the dance floor. Dunking a fist full of fries into her chocolate shake, the first of many tears strode down her beautiful face. Bill began to panic.
“WHADDYA THINK OF MY LATEST AND GREATEST CONCOCTION, SHOOTING STAR?” Bill managed through a concerned smile and wiggling eyebrows as he squirted the cheese onto his milkshake fries. The girl managed a small smile before returning back to her fries. Bill’s foot tapped anxiously against the black and white tiled floor. This was not going well. “..HEH BET I CAN DRAW A SMILEY-FACE ON THAT OLD GEEZER’S BALD HEAD WITHOUT HIM KNOWING.”
“..Hm... that’s nice.”
Emotions seemed to hit him like a truck all at once. Bill’s weird stupid human-consumed head couldn’t handle this situation that his usual calm demon demenor could. The confused demon slammed the tin bottle onto the table and left for the bathroom in one fluid motion, leaving a startled Mabel behind to be consumed in her own thoughts.
And just as quickly, or maybe with more rapid speed, Bill's thoughts swirled through his human form and spilled haphazardly onto the floor as he paced the gross state of a public bathroom. Yeesh, good thing the Time Police weren’t around or they would sense his disastrous mess a mile away. This wasn’t good. This wasn’t good at all. Through a few seconds of utter agnogy (that was surprisingly unwelcomed and not hilarious) the demon was back to his natural form to help him think better. Thoughts shifted through his eye as he processed why his situation was bothering him so effectively. Sure, he had watched Mabel experience hardships in the past well and good SO WHY THE HELL NOW?
“OH.” Bill voiced his realization as he furrowed his eye. Hm, well that explanation didn’t suit him either.
Bill strode out of a path in the back and slammed some amount of (probably) American currency onto the table next to the cheese. “C’MON.” He spat and without waiting to get a response, dragged Mabel out of the diner.
Confused and blindfolded, a wonderful mix of a drink, Mabel appeared in a new location where the wind was strong but the smell of gasoline was stronger. Wind whipped through her shortly cropped chestnut hair as she struggled to release the garment that impaired her vision. “What the… Bill, what the hell are you doing?” Mabel exasperated as she struggled to remain her cool. She was in no mood to experience another one of Bill’s ‘fun surprises’. “Please, just take me home.”
A snap was heard next to where ever she was standing (that felt as rough as gravel but had the pleasant consistency of sand) and she was suddenly met with far away twinkling lights on the horizon. It was so beautiful outside in the clear open air. Well, mostly clear. It’s still California… as far as she was aware. Mabel’s worries melted into a puddle at her feet as she took in the breeze, mellow weather, …and fireworks wrapped in hazardous boxes surrounding the Hollywood sign’s feet with Bill stretched into a provocative pose on top?!? ...What in all things holy?
Bill struck loose jazz hands and a toothy grin once he realized she was staring at him with a “what the fuck are you doing” face. “TA DA! THE TIME HAS COME TO BLOW THINGS UP! THIS IS A VITAL POINT IN OUR RELATIONSHIP.” He cheered while jumping back to her ledge. Her face hadn’t changed for the duration of his speech.
“Bill, I- this is so nice of you, thank you, but I really don’t think I can do this right now.” Mabel murmured as she took a few steps back and fiddled with the sides of her dress. There was no hesitation as Bill put his hands on her shoulders.
“LOOK…MABEL. I’M NOT THE BEST DEMON TO TALK TO ABOUT YOUR HUMAN TROUBLES, HELL I HAVEN’T EVEN MADE THE LIST.” He paused and Mabel felt the hold he had on her shoulders tighten. “BUT KIDDO, I’VE GOT SEVERAL EARS AND A FEW JARS OF PATIENCE TO LISTEN IF YOU EVER NEED IT.” To further emphasize his point, the dream demon conjured up a giant ear that had tiny ears sewn into it, along with several jars filled with strange liquids labeled “patience” that received a small laugh from Mabel. Bill’s human eyes lit up at that along with provoking a stupid grin.
The brunette finally lifted her eyes up from her very interesting shoes to meet his. “Thanks Bill… I really appreciate that, more than words can express.” She smiled and plopped down onto the gravel mixed dirt, which received a grimace from Bill. Ah, what the hell. He joined her as well after making the cursed objects disappear. He could always burn the suit later.
“I… I’m so scared, Bill.” Mabel started and hugged her knees. The demon suddenly realized it took everything in him to not put an arm around her shoulder. Well that was a disturbing realization. “Dipper’s found his path so easily… and he’s left me behind on my own. We used to never be far apart. I don’t know what I want to do with my future. Hell Bill, I’m a senior about to graduate and I haven’t applied to any colleges!” She choked out as more tears of frustration began to spill. “My parents are more concerned about the joy of Dipper’s future than my own! It sucks. It really sucks to hear all the time.”
Oh boy this was going to be hard. What’s a demon supposed to do in a situation like this? Obviously basic 101 trick torture, but that probably wasn’t a good idea. Apart from all better judgment, Bill put an awkward arm around Mabel’s shaking shoulders. She paused for a moment, before moving to force him into an embrace and cry into his already ruined suit’s chest. They stayed like that for what felt like hours to the uncomfortable demon before he decided to change into something a bit more comfortable.
With the snap of a pair of human fingers, Mabel felt the fabric she was currently sobbing into change. It was a bit rough, but overall fluffy and pleasant to lean into. In fact, the scent and color were strangely familiar. VERY familiar. She paused her melt down to inspect the fabric from a farther view.
“Woah hold up- I thought you threw that out the car window?!” Mabel gasped in realization that he was wearing the sweater she had carefully crafted for him one sunny day. She was a self-claimed speed knitter.
“HUH? OH YEAH, YOU’VE GOT SOME SERIOUS TALENT KID. IF ONLY THERE WAS SOME CAPITALIST STRATEGY TO EARN CURRENCY OVER SOMETHING YOU LOVE.” Bill remarked as he rubbed the fluffy fabric of the sweater’s sleeve between his fingers. As a demon, Bill had never experienced what flesh bags of old age titled a “heart attack” but he thought his stupid human heart had given out when he heard one of the loudest gasps ever. And the demon had heard some LOUD inhuman noises.
“Oh my gosh Bill- that’s it! Wow... it was right in front of me this whole time and I didn’t see it!” Mabel cheered as she visibly lit up before his eyes and began her turn to shake his shoulders.
“AM I MISSING SOMETHING?” Bill puzzled amongst the impossibility of sitting still. Clearly she wasn’t angry at him… but this was an unexpected reaction for a change of clothes.
“Fashion design, Bill! That’s my future! Oh wow... thank you so much!” The brunette beamed as she held her blushed cheeks as if it would contain her excitement. In a swift moment that could have been missed in a blink of an eye, Mabel smashed her mouth onto the dream demon’s, and swiftly left to run down to where he had thrown the fireworks. In fact, Bill didn’t think Mabel even registered the action. Like it was something she stored deep inside of her for so long that it just felt natural. Well this definitely wasn’t good now.
Mabel had unknowingly reciprocated his weirdly unnatural human-like emotions. It stunned him… and nothing had startled him this badly in a while. How in the nine HELLS did she expect him to react after that?!
“Bill! Let’s blow some shit up!” She cackled and began to rip open the boxes. Ah. That was how.
“HELL-O.” He murmured while gripping the sweater probably where his heart was supposed to be, only for his hand to slowly fade through existence. Bill knew he had to tell Mabel soon, but the program was just getting good.
(4007 word count)