Monster Falls AU
Antlers and Fish Scales: Prologue
24 hours. He had 24 hours to come up with something.
Who was he kidding. There was no way to hide this. No way to cover it up or joke it off.
The kids weren’t human anymore, he was a gargoyle with territory issues, his brother was a sphinx and the majority of Gravity Falls were a mismatch of monsters and mythical creatures, some of which even Ford had never seen. Stan needed some way to let their parents down easy.
It’s not that they shouldn’t take the kids (and they really shouldn’t) but more that they couldn’t. Dipper’s diet consisted entirely of grass and twigs. Mabel was half fish! Stan would not let his mermaid of a grand-niece swim and breath the water around San Francisco. No way, no how.
And a deer in the big city… interstates, masses of people, the noise… all of that mixed together alongside Dipper’s new instincts to either freeze or bolt… Stan almost needed to sit down just thinking about it.
No. The kids had to stay here. The middle school had open seats and practically all the students were in the same boat as the twins.
So, one problem down – the kids would stay in Gravity Falls. Now, how to tell that to their folks? Their father had inherited that special brand of stubborn that seemed to run in Pines blood. He’d put up one hell of a fight to take his kids back home – mythical creature or not. He’d probably think up some way to hide certain… aspect of the kids within a few minutes of seeing them. Hopefully his wife would be a voice of reason.
If the kids were found out, they’d be shipped off to a science lab faster than you could blink. Federal agencies would descend on Gravity Falls like a plague – again.
It would be safer for the kids if they stayed with Stan and Ford.
And there was the other cause for Stan’s headaches.
Should he even tell them about Ford? They’d all gone 30 years thinking he was Stanford. It was easy enough to pull off. Stan could mimic his brother flawlessly and Ford had never been the most social person. Pretending to be the younger of the twins had been surprisingly easy. Everyone thought he was off being a hermit in the forests of Oregon, paying for his research by running the Mystery Shack. But now Ford was actually here, and Stan had a headstone with his name on it down in New Jersey.
How did one even bring that up?
‘Oh, by the way, I’m not actually Stanford. I’m your 30 years’ dead uncle Stanley! I faked my death and stole my twin’s identity after he got sucked into some crazy dimension-jumping portal! But don’t worry, after performing some highly illegal acts and putting the entire town and your son and daughter’s lives in mortal danger, I got him back. Please don’t tell Sherman.’
Yeah… Stan was going to bribe Dipper into helping him lock Ford in the basement tomorrow. Leave the old sphinx down there with a book of riddles that they’d tear the answer sheet out of. That should keep him busy.
The day quickly slipped by and the kids came in from whatever they’d been doing. Dipper pulled Mabel’s wagon tub over to the dining table before struggling to sit in the chair next to her.
They’d really need to fix the furniture situation in the Shack if the kids were staying for the school year. We could at least make him a chair that’s closer to the ground or something, Stan mused.
Ford had taken the responsibility of making dinner tonight – not that there was much to make. Mabel got whole, raw fish. Dipper got a square of turf. Stan ate whatever was around. Really, Ford only had to cook for himself if he felt like it. If he ate as a sphinx, his meal was just as raw as everybody else’s.
As everyone gathered around the table, Stan decided it would be best to get the news out of the way as soon as possible.
“Kids, we have something we need to talk about,” Stan sighed.
Both twins stopped eating and looked at him with slightly worried eyes.
“Now, I know you were hoping to if all this before summer ended, but…” he scratched the back of his neck with the claws he’d had for two months now, small flakes of rock falling off.
Dipper looked down at his grass. Ford had explained that the cure was relatively simple: everyone needed to improve upon themselves. Find their strongest flaw and work to counter it. While it sounded easy in theory, it was much harder to actually do. No one like to point out their own flaws.
Stan continued, “Your parents will be here tomorrow around 11 to take you home. I think we all know that’s not happening. Once they see… all this, they should understand why.”
Ford looked over at his brother, slightly squinting his eyes in confusion.
“Are you saying that their parents don’t know about ‘all this’?” he said incredulously.
“It’s not like I could simply call them!” Stan defended, “What would you tell them? How would you explain that their daughter’s a fish? Or that their son might be shedding velvet next year? They already thing I’m crazy! The only way they’ll believe this,” he gestured to the kids, “Is if they see it themselves.”
Ford grumbled but sat back in his chair, resigned. It wouldn’t do much to call them now anyway. Piedmont was an eight-hour drive from Gravity Falls on a good day. The kids’ parents were making it half-way and staying in Redding tonight. They’d make the rest of the trip tomorrow morning, hoping to drive all the way back home after getting the kids. Ford would let them make their trip north believing everything was normal.
Dinner was finished with little comment. Afterwards, Stan went out onto the back parch and slumped back into the old couch. Tomorrow was going to be a pain in the ass.
The sound of hooves on wood planks alerted him to Dipper’s presence. The kid jumped onto the couch and turned in a circle before settling down, legs folded neatly under him.
Stan had to laugh a bit at the sight. “You’re getting the hang of those things.”
Dipper looked at his new lower body and gave a half smile. “Yeah, I guess I am.”
There was a peaceful silence that hung in the late summer air for a while before Dipper spoke up again.
“You know, Mabel’s been writing our parents about all this,” he laughed a bit.
“Think they believed any of it?” Stan smiled as he asked. They both already knew the answer.
Dipper snorted, “Of course not! They probably chalked it all up to Mabel’s imagination and storytelling.” Dipper’s smile grew at the thought of his parent’s reading the letters Mabel sent. Two months of hearing of her ‘adventures underwater’ and thinking Mabel was playing around again. Oh, they were in for a surprise tomorrow. “It’ll sort of be fun seeing their reaction when they realized she was telling the truth.”
They both laughed at the idea.
“That, and just the reaction after driving through town!” Stan added. The town was crawling with monsters after the water bottle incident.
“They’ll think Summerween has taken over the entire season.”
As the laughter faded, Stan looked over at his cervitaur nephew.
Maybe tomorrow wouldn’t be as bad as they thought.
Hello! This is the first part of an ongoing series based on the Gravity Falls AU Monster Falls. The story is going to cover the time after the twins’ first Summer in Gravity Falls and the adventure that ensues while they are trying to help citizens break the spell cast by the Fluvius water. For more info about the AU, I suggest starting here, with the creator.
Big thank you to my beta, his-majesty-the-prince-of-whales, who catches the mistakes I am blind to. And a thank you to laur-rants. Most of this story is based off of her Monster Falls comic series and fanart. If you’re curious to see the direction this story might be going, go and check out her work!