drabble: sweet dreams
Billdip, Parent AU, adult!Dipper, human!Bill. Excuse any formatting efforts; written on mobile. : )
Relatively unique origins and handful of racial attributes aside, Torrey Cipher-Pines was a normal infant, with all that entailed.
Being half-dream demon didn’t exclude the two month old from being a bundle of tears, poop, and other gross human things that Bill still wasn’t used to. He cringed every time she spit up on him, shrank back from the utterly horrid task of changing diapers (easily handled through magical means but he could only get away with it when Dipper wasn’t around), and once her other parent had returned from an errand to find both his spouse and their child freaking out at the same time over Torrey having emptied the contents of a souur stomach in Bill’s lap.
The experience had driven the demon back to floating around in his original form for a day and a half.
In the end, a sort of agreement arose between Dipper and himself; the former took care of most of the yuck when they both were around, and the latter dealt with her when she woke up in the middle of the night demanding attention.
This worked for Bill anyway, given that he required far less sleep and spent part of the predawn hours attending to his own business - settling down hadn’t put an end to what Dipper referred to as ‘creepy demon stuff’. Having to check on Torrey was no big deal; she generally only wanted to be picked up and cuddled for awhile before drifting back off to sleep.
And if she happened to need a diaper change what Dipper didn’t know couldn’t hurt Bill, now could it?
Tonight Torrey appeared to be legitimately upset, eyes squeezed shut, fists balled up and chubby legs kicking while she actually screamed.
“Chill out, babe,” Bill cooed in a ridiculously sappy tone reserved for Torrey alone. She didn’t care about his reputation or even acknowledge the shadowy bits of himself simmering beneath the human veneer that Dipper simply accepted as a necessary part of the whole. To the tiny infant he now levitated into his arms he was simply 'Dad’. It was a nice break, honestly.
She normally calmed down the moment someone picked her up, but this time she continued to wail; her face was visibly flushed despite her tan complexion. To anyone else the source of her discomfort might not have been as obvious, but to Bill it stood out clearly as the chime of a bell.
One of the aforementioned racial traits was an increased sensitivity when it came to dreams; the demon suspected that she might have picked up some of his memories as well. Most babies didn’t actually experience nightmares for some time - Dipper had told him that at some point. But from time to time the peaceful mass of colors and abstract images that comprised his daughter’s dreams were marred by formless cacophony and the bright gleam of fire, the electric blue of the flames that laced around his fingertips when he gave some poor sap what they wanted in exchange for something he wanted..
And yet those warm brown eyes that stared at him with more intelligence than an infant her age should have possessed they held no judgment. Maybe that would fade one day when she got older, but for now the rudimentary devotion was always wonderful to behold.
“No bad dreams on my watch, kid. I got this.” What kind of self-respecting dream demon would let his own tiny flesh creature have nightmares? Those were for other people.
Manipulating the formless dreams of a baby was a bit of a contradiction in that it required less effort overall, but that effort was more precise and complicated. Torrey didn’t dream in discernible images, not yet. There were sometimes clusters of color that resembled his face or Dipper’s face, sounds that were clearly their voices. Her dreams resembled a soft, sweet symphony - now tainted with dark threads woven into the music and distorting it.
Torrey stilled in his arms and grew quiet, eyes slipping shut as he worked - plucking the intruding threads, shading over the dark patches with pastel splotches that were rapidly absorbed into the mass. Some were considerably harder to grasp, but he kept at it with a dedication retained for Dipper and Torrey. Finally he tugged the last thread free, and the symphony resumed, now with a note that he recognized as gratitude.
The baby opened her eyes slowly, blonde eyelashes wet with tears. Instead of resuming her distressed crying, she made a couple of nonsensical babbling noises…and smiled for the very first time, a genuine one.
Bill grinned proudly, holding Torrey close; she sighed happily and relaxed, continuing to murmur to herself.
He filed the image of their daughter’s first smile away so he could slip it into Dipper’s dreams later that night.