“Hey, Ford.” Stan called a greeting to his brother as he
shuffled across the deck of the Stan O War II, carrying a can of Pitt Cola and
a coffee. He passed his brother the coffee and sat down on one of the chairs
they’d set up near the forward railing to enjoy the warm sun and crisp sea air.
“Thanks, Stanley.” Ford gripped his coffee in one hand and
smiled up at his brother. Then he turned back to the journal in his lap,
finishing up a couple of notes while taking a sip.
The brothers sat in a content silence for a while, staring
out at the waves around them. They’d be docking in Florida soon to gather
supplies before continuing their voyage back home to Gravity Falls for another
summer with the twins.
After a while Stan broke the silence. “I read your journals,
Ford looked at Stan with a bit of confusion. “I know you
did, Stanley. That’s how I got here.”
Stan shook his head and ran a hand through his hair, looking
for the right words. “No, I mean—ugh, I mean I read your journals, Ford. All of them. Every page, every scribble
in the margins.” Stan turned wide brown eyes on his brother as he said this,
sadness pooling within their depths.
Ford turned his body so he was completely facing Stan. Where was this coming from? Why is he so
upset? Ford wondered. Reaching out tentatively with his left arm, he put a
hand on Stan’s shoulder and leaned in. “Stan, what’s wrong? I know some of my
notes could be…disturbing, but where is this coming from?”
Ford just wanted to understand. Stan knew he wasn’t saying
it right, but despite thinking about this all afternoon, the words wouldn’t
come easily enough to be able to explain what he meant. He sighed in
frustration and looked down.
“Stanford, I’m saying…it hurt. Reading your journals hurt
me. A lot.” He said all of this while staring at the deck beneath their feet.
He couldn’t stop now that he started, and with a shuddering breath he continued
on. “All the things you said about me, and home. I-I had to read every page,
every code, to make sure I didn’t miss anything…”
Ford felt his body freeze, his grip on Stan’s shoulder go
tense. Oh no. Ford hadn’t thought
about his earlier writings in the journals in years. The only pages that mattered for a while were the ones on
the demon and while he was in the portal he hadn’t thought about the mysteries
of Gravity Falls and what he’d catalogued almost at all. But looking back,
trying to imagine how it would read through Stan’s eyes, Ford felt a wave of
regret rising in him.