Gravity Falls AU
Rather than being twins, Lance and Pidge are best friends who wind up at the Mystery Shack because of Pidge. She’s been searching for cryptids her whole life, and she has a pen pal by the name of Hunk who is constantly sharing all of these stories about his home town and the weird things that go on there. So, directly after graduating high school, the two of them set out to Altea (Gravity Falls).
Pidge here is, obviously, taking the place of Dipper. She’s searching for the abnormal, the mysterious, wants to prove to Lance that things like Bigfoot and aliens do exist. Her older brother Matt went missing when she was just a kid, and she’s convinced something paranormal took him and needs to prove it. He was 16 when he disappeared, she was 8, and he vanished while on his yearly camping trip with some friends in Altea.
Lance becomes Mabel, obsessed with knitting and boys (and girls) and, even though he is skeptical about all things supernatural (except ghosts, ghosts are totally real), he cares about Pidge a lot and he knows she wants to find Matt. He calls her the little sister he wanted instead of the ones he got (she’s a year younger than him, skipped a grade in middle school, and he stood up for her against a bunch of bullies. They’ve been joined at the hip since).
Hunk, Pidge’s pen pal in this au, is Soos. He works for the Mystery Shack, so he gets a first hand look at everything that goes on in the woods surrounding the area. He has also just graduated high school and is saving money, taking a skip year before going to college for engineering, and his friend Shiro offered him the job.
Shiro is replacing Grunkle Stan. Shiro is 25, and he moved up to Oregon after a camping incident that happened when he was just 16 (shocker, same one that made Matt vanish). He’s agreed to take Pidge and Lance in when they get there, seeing as he has an extra room upstairs, so long as they pitch in every now and then. If Hunk trusts them, so does he, but Hunk failed to mention that Pidge was Matt’s sister, so the moment Shiro lays eyes on Pidge he almost passes out, she looks so much like Matt. Pidge doesn’t recognize Shiro, having only met him twice, before he had scars and muscles and a prosthetic (which he got from a nasty encounter with a certain shapeshifter), so he keeps quiet about her missing brother.
The only other person who works at the Mystery Shack is Keith, taking on the role of Wendy. He has a rocky relationship with his father and brothers and spends most of his time working. He’s fairly chill, irked but amused by Lance’s cheerfulness and Pidge’s enthusiasm.
Couple of other, minor things:
- Kaltenecker instead of Waddles
- Haggar instead of Bill (lets be honest, she’s the real villain of Voltron)
- Coran as McGucket; his mind was fried a long time ago, but he’s still an incredibly brilliant scientist and inventor, and anyone who sits down and talks to him realizes that he’s actually kind of a genius.
- There wasn’t really a character that fit Allura super well, so we’ll say she replaces Lazy Susan and owns the diner. She flirts with Shiro every single time he comes in, and can kick ass when necessary. Her father was the former mayor.
- Shiro, unlike Grunkle Stan, isn’t scroogey about his money for greed reasons. He needs it to fund his underground research into what happened to Matt. Of course, he knows; Matt was sucked into a portal directly on top of the property where Shiro built the Mystery Shack. But he needs to figure out how to get him back.
- Zarkon is a bit of a lesser evil; he’s the shapeshifter that Lance and Pidge find in the bunker under the Shack, and he’s obsessed with getting the journal back.
- Among the things they run into: Arusians (replacing the gnomes, and slightly less hostile), Luxia, a mermaid stuck in the local pool, a bunch of Galra who attempt to teach Lance about manliness (Manotaurs; cue I’ll Make a Man Out of You sequence with Thace and Ulaz), Nyma, a video game that tries to kill Lance (Giffany), and Balmerans, who they find trapped in the underground sap whatnot after Kaltenecker gets stolen by a pterodactyl (cows belong outdoors, Lance).
- Keith is a champion at climbing trees, skinning things, and all around being a badass. Lance is more than a little infatuated.
- Voltron is created when all five of Matt’s journals are brought together, forming a spell that has the ability to defeat Haggar, who drove Matt insane during the camping trip.
- Pidge constantly thinks the handwriting in the journals looks familiar, but she can’t quite place why.
- Matt started the journals when he and Shiro were 12, when they first started going camping in Altea with their parents, and continued them all up until he was 16, when Haggar started harassing him. He hid four of them around the town, paranoid that someone was going to find them, and entrusted the last one to Shiro before he was swallowed up by the portal. Each of them is marked by a different color on the “V” symbol; the one Shiro has is black, and the one Pidge finds is green. Lance later finds a blue one hidden behind the arcade.
- Sendak becomes Gideon, and he’s found the yellow one. When he’s defeated, Shiro takes that one for himself.
- Pidge’s symbol remains the pine tree, seeing as she is a nature spirit. Lance, instead of being a shooting star, is a wave, Shiro a bolt of lightning, Keith a flame, and Hunk a mountain. Allura is a flower (shaped suspiciously like a juniberry) and Coran is a wrench. Matt, when he comes back, is the Voltron “V”
- If none of this convinces you:
Look at this cute doodle by @artsyfalafel of Pidge in Dipper wear and Lance in a mermaid sweater