Pines trudged back towards home in the pouring rain, thinking about anomalies.
He had been out cataloging migrating cryptids in the grassy fields above town
when inclement weather had rolled in from the West, turning the sunny evening
dark and dreary.
Head tucked down into his
collar, he clutched his journal close to his chest to protect it from the wind
and rain. A chill ran through him as the temperature dropped and the evening
grew darker. He raised a six-fingered hand to the top of his head to shield
himself from the rain. Of course this
would be the day I forget a hat, he thought with a chuckle. Ah well, c’est la vie.
Thunder rumbled in the distance,
but no lightning illuminated his path. The windswept grass was soft underfoot. The wind howled and the rain fell in sheets.
At one particularly loud crash of thunder, Stanford looked up and over the town laid out
before him. The grassy hill rolled down to the treeline below. Small soft
lights that marked homes and business shone through the downpour. Thick fir
trees and tall pines and spruce swayed in the wind. In the distance, the crash
of waves from the lake could just be heard over the noise of the storm.
Stanford was hit by a wave of
nostalgia and memory.
A thousand rainy landscapes flashed across his memory.
Purple skies over white forests, dark grey clouds pouring rain so blue it
burned your eyes, dark green forests drenched in rain made of light, serene
grey skies over a town so similar to this one (but it wasn’t, he knew that at the time, but it was perfect; it was so
hard to leave that dimension, and he missed it sometimes), skies that defied explanation and belief and filled a person with wonder and awe and fear.
Skies that were not home.
He stood in the
cold and the rain, lost in memory, for a long time. Long enough to get soaked
to the bone and start shivering. Long enough for the evening to grow into
night. Long enough to remember the family probably waiting anxiously for his
Stanford Pines trudged back
towards home in the pouring rain, thinking about family.
Everything was so different now from when he had first arrived. When
he and Stan had been at each other’s throats and too stubborn and bitter to try
and fix things. When Dipper had worshiped him like a hero and he had drunk up
the praise and adoration, monopolizing the boy’s attention in a bid to make up
for so many years spent alone and unloved. When Mabel had been unsure of
herself around him and had been desperate to please him and win his approval.
When he had been closed, and guarded, and alone because of it.
As he neared the Shack, he caught sight of a small brown-haired face
in the window. It disappeared, and a moment later the back door burst open with
a cry of “Grunkle Ford!” Stanford
smiled. Dipper came running towards him, obnoxiously large umbrella open and
threatening to lift the boy off the ground in the wind. Huffing and puffing,
Dipper finally met him and stood on his tiptoes to hold the umbrella over
“You forgot to bring an umbrella! I didn’t know if I should have come
and gotten you when it started raining, Mabel said you usually bring a hat so
it was probably fine, Stan said you were too smart to catch a cold, and—“ The
boy continued to ramble as they made their way back to the house.
The umbrella was discarded and the door shut as Dipper pulled Ford
into the kitchen. “—reassured her that the power shouldn’t go out, it’s not that big of a storm, but Mabel still
insisted on getting all of the candles out and going through and making sure
all the flashlights have batteries in them. Anyways, I think she’s making hot—“
Dipper’s rambling was cut short as a squealing Mabel barreled into them.
“Oof – Mabel! Careful!” Dipper said. She ignored him in favor of
grabbing Ford’s other hand and beginning to chatter herself.
“You’re just in time, Grunkle Ford! I’ve completed a batch of Mabel’s
uber-fantastic marshmallow madness hot chocolate! It’s sure to warm you right
up! Waddles even tested it for me, didn’t you?” she grinned at the pig sitting
in one of the kitchen tabled. Waddles snuffled happily back at her. “Good pig,”
Stanford was directed to sit in a chair close to the stove. He laid the journal on the table, out of the way of any table traffic. The warm
smell of hot milk and melted chocolate drifted over from a pot bubbling merrily
on the stovetop. Stanford shivered. His coat left puddles on the floor and the
“Has the nerd finally returned from his quest?” a gruff voiced called
out. A moment later, Stan walked into the kitchen.
“Whoa, Poindexter, what did
you do – jump in the lake?” He let out a loud laugh and slapped his knee. He
wiped a tear from his eye before moving over to Ford. “No but seriously, get
outta that wet coat. You’re dripping water all over my floor. Do you WANT to
catch a cold?”
Stanford rolled his eyes at Stan but shrugged out of the coat
nonetheless. “That is not what causes
colds, Stanley. I have told you that a million times.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” Stan blew him off as he took the soaked
jacket and disappeared into the other room. Ford rolled his eyes.
A steaming mug of hot chocolate was pushed in front of him. At least
six marshmallows floated in the drink. He smiled up at his great-niece as he
wrapped cold fingers around the warm mug. “Thank you, Mabel. This is
wonderful.” He took a sip. Ah. That hits
the spot. Warmth spread through his center.
Mabel laughed. “No problem! And there’s LOTS more where that came
from, so drink up!”
“Please do,” Dipper piped up. “She’s already had three cups and she
does NOT need any more sugar tonight.” This earned a playful shove from his
sister. Dipper just grinned at her.
Shuffling footsteps marked Stan’s return. Before Stanford could turn
to greet his brother a large, warm quilt was thrown around his shoulders. A
small noise of surprise left Ford.
“Science or no, I’m not having you freeze to death on me,” Stan said.
He shuffled over to the counter where Mabel’s hot chocolate supplies sat. “I
smell hot chocolate, and where there’s hot chocolate there’s gotta be – AHA!
Marshmallows!” Stan scooped up one of the bags and popped three marshmallows in
“Hey! Grunkle Stan, save some for the rest of us!” Mabel jumped up
from her seat.
A wicked gleam lit Stan’s eyes. “Oh yeah, and what are you gonna do
about it, pumpkin?”
“Oh,” Mabel said, cracking her knuckles. “It’s on.”
Stanford looked around the
kitchen at the warm, bright, laughing family. Stan and Mabel were using spoons
to shoot marshmallows at each other from across the room while Dipper kept
score. The small projectiles bounced everywhere, giving the already messy room
a fluffy white sprinkling. He pulled the blanket Stan had placed around his
shoulders a little bit snugger and took a long sip of hot chocolate. The warmth
sitting comfortably in his chest grew, as did the smile on his face.
“What are you grinning at,
nerd?” Stan shot in his direction. Mabel used the distraction to bombard him
with marshmallows. Stan shouted something about ‘marshmallow war misconduct’
before renewing his siege. Dipper shook his head, grinning, and muttered
something along the lines of ‘all is fair in love and marshmallow wars’ as
raucous laughter from his brother mingled with his great-niece’s cackles of
delight. Ford’s smile grew wider still. The warmth he suspected had nothing to
do with the hot chocolate (and everything to do with the people around him) spread
to the tips of his fingers and toes.
“Nothing, Stanley. I’m just
At his words, there was a lull in the
festivities before a very warm, very marshmallowy great-niece barreled into him.
Dipper set down his notepad in order to hug his other side. Stan chuckled
before walking up behind Ford, pulling him into a partial headlock, and giving
him a good noogie. Ford protested but could do nothing with his niece and
nephew still wrapping him up in identical bear hugs. The headlock soon shifted
into a genuine hug from Stan. Ford felt the warmth inside him grow impossibly
“We’re happy too, Sixer,” Stan
The cold rain beat down on the
roof and windows of the Shack, but inside the family was warm and happy and
Summary: Ford lost his brother to the portal he created. By dismantling it to save the world, he ensured Stanley’s death. Thirty years later, the winter his reclusive lifestyle is disrupted by a pair of painfully familiar twins, someone knocks on his door.
[A/N: Gravity Falls AU for a classic holiday film, since it’s still kind of the holiday season. Starts off angsty. Gets progressively… not. Don’t look at me like that.]
Looking back, Ford wasn’t sure when exactly things had started going completely, horribly wrong.
His English classes back in college had taught him to look at the root causes of problems, the core motivations of people. If he really wanted to put that hat back on again, write a comprehensive yet efficient thesis or two… he could make a very decent argument that everything began not the day his dreams of academia had whirred to a stop prematurely (not unlike his sabotaged perpetual motion machine) but long, long before.
With his six-fingered hands, with the cruelty of the children at school, with the almost obsessive way he and his brother stuck entirely together against the world.
But only one-twelfth of Ford was an English major, and so he had some other hypotheses to toss forward as well. Perhaps it was when their father had kicked Stanley out of house and home, with nothing more than an already-packed bag and a used car.
When Ford had watched him drive away, a thousand brimming thoughts that refused to translate into words. The many, many occasions when Ford had said to himself, “It’s been daysweeksmonthsyears, Ma would know where he is, what if I -?” and thought better worse of it.
When he had sold his soul to a demon. When he had called on his estranged brother after a decade of silence to help him stop said demon from ending the world.
When he and said estranged brother had the bright idea to physically brawl within vicinity of a doomsday device.
But if Ford had to bet, really had to pin it down on one moment… the choice was easy: the exact moment he pushed his brother into range of an activated interdimensional portal.
-McGucket wins. Hands down, he lasts the longest, he can contort his body all sorts of ways to reach the different parts of the wheel. Plus, his beard counts as an extra limb and can stand in if he couldn’t quite reach something before.
-Robbie Valentino gets out pretty fast, despite his good reach, because he lacks upper body strength and couldn’t support the weight on his arms for very long.
-Wendy was awesome at it, but got out when Soos accidentally fell on her when reaching for “Right Hand on the (what, what is that, the fish thing? Oh, no wait it’s the Six-Fingered Hand–hey, Sixer, you gotta get better at drawing these things, I could barely tell what it was!) Six-Fingered Hand, because Bill couldn’t decide what it was and the constant back and forth caused Soos to fall over.
–”Sorry, dude. You could have won the game.” —”That’s alright, Soos. Now we can trash talk the rest of these guys better.”
-Gideon lasts longer than anyone could have expected, because similar to McGucket, his hair became an extra limb and he used it to reach the spaces on the Wheel better. He still got out after Stan purposely kicked him while reaching for the Shooting Star, though. (Stan had waited half the game for that opportunity. It felt good to kick him on behalf of what he did to Mabel earlier this summer, and what he did to the rest of them).
-Pacifica is extremely competitive, and lasts the longest of the kids, but eventually gets out because she was grossed out by the hillbilly’s sweat that dripped too close to her on one turn.
-Dipper and Mabel get out together, both falling on purpose, because while they had been competitive to start out with, they had been having fun and were ready to watch the rest of the game without the pressure to win messing with them.
-Stan and Ford were trading insults the whole game. Mostly silly things (That’s the fish not the llama/clean your glasses/you can’t draw/It’s not fair your hands reach further because of the sixth finger/How do your chicken legs support you Stanley, etc.) and they lasted to the final three with McGucket. Both refused to go out until they’d beaten the other.
-McGucket saw they were getting nowhere, and everyone on the sidelines had started taking sides between the Stans except for Dipper and Mabel.
-McGucket made eye contact with Dipper and they both nodded at the same time. On the next call, McGucket knocked into Ford as he reached for the Pine Tree, knocking him off balance and careening into Stanley, making them both fall onto the ground.
-Stan got up and called that as Ford cheating, Ford was sputtering and looking at McGucket, and everyone else was cracking up too hard to care.
-Stan shook hands with Fiddleford for beating him. Ford was not as gracious in loss but shook his hand too.
-The Stans said they’d have to have a rematch after this was all over, and the whole room groaned at how crazy that’d be. Bill almost jumped back into the Nightmare Dimension to get away from their arguing. “Anything’s better than listening to you two!”
(Bill jumped back into the Nightmare Dimension bc he couldn’t stand the arguing from the game of Twister. Is that how the shitty art twister au ends?).
I posted this one separately cause its gravity falls related. ovo)b but I also got requested to draw mable and the grunkles. and the expressions chosen were strangely accurate, its just missing dialogue.
Me: (whoever created the particular wanted poster of Ford that we saw in the journal was stupid for failing to include the six-fingered hand detail, I’m telling you.)
@skittlestew : (whoever made that poster /did/ take the time to ensure there was chest hair in frame, which should be commended regardless.)
Me: oh my god. I hadn’t noticed that. Assuming it is not just a photo of some sort… okay, assuming that it is a drawing is WAY more entertaining, because then you get to try to imagine the person put in charge of this and their thought process. Trying to get the shading on his not-quite-a-beard JUST SO…
Ford: This is what I was talking about. How many other twelve-year-olds do you think are capable of doing what you’ve just done?
Me: Candy Chiu. Exactly one episode back, she calculated an effective way to escape a giant spider monster through a risky drop on a tram using nothing but the knowledge she gained from travel pamphlets, saving the lives of your entire family. She’s offbeat and intelligent and has a thing for inventing, and considering that she “improved” her hands by attaching forks to them, she’d probably think your six-fingered hands are amazing. She’s going to be in Gravity Falls forever. Her parents are implied to be concerned about her education (sending her to music camp, etc.) and would welcome the opportunity to have her taught by someone with twelve PHDs before she starts college. She has a super-strong best friend (who once singlehandedly killed an ogre on a mission to rescue you) if you need to call in backup. Candy Chiu should be your apprentice. Bye.