A/N: First Christmas fic of the season! Yay! Sorry that I've been kinda…dead on here for a bit, school started back up and WOW does that crap take up a lot of my time. But I'm back, and fully prepared to douse anyone who reads this in fluffy holiday things!
So, as it turns out, demons don't entirely understand the concept of holidays. Or being careful with fragile things. Or waiting for hot drinks to cool down a smidge before drinking them so your tongue doesn't melt. The more I think about it, the more boxes I end up checking off.
This chaotic mess started off like any other day, with Bill hovering over his sleeping boyfriend early in the morning, booping his nose with his sharp nails in an effort to wake him up. And as always, Dipper did wake up; he was slightly annoyed (what else is new) but pulled Bill down from his midair suspension down onto his creaky twin mattress and snuggled into his chest, anyway. It was kind of their morning ritual. Bill gets two hours of sleep, wanders the Mystery Shack in the wee hours of the morning until 7:00, when he promptly floats up to the twins' room to awaken Dipper and is greeted with eye rolls and cuddles.
"What're we doing today, Pine Tree?" He whispered excitedly, running his fingers through Dipper's messy bedhead, working out the more prominent tangles.
"C'ris'mas stuff," Dipper mumbled into the fabric of the demon's shirt. "I dunno, ask Mabel."
Mabel, unlike her brother, woke up at 6:30 on the dot every single morning, so when Bill came to give his loving wake up call, she was never around. Probably for the best, though; she'd just insist upon taking pictures of them with her Polaroid camera.
"I will," Bill began, sitting up, much to Dipper's disappointment, "once you get your lazy butt out of bed so we can go downstairs!"
The brunet scowled, rubbed the sleep from his eyes, and begrudgingly sat up. He grabbed the navy blue hoodie from off of his bedpost and quickly threw it over his shoulders, as to protect him from the god-awful cold in the attic. Unsurprisingly, Stan was too cheap to pay for heating up there.
"Lazy?" Dipper repeated. "That's rich, coming from the guy who floats around the house instead of walking."
Bill smirked. "Oh, come on. You know you love me and my quick-witted remarks."
"You, yes," Dipper nodded, pressing a quick peck to the blonde demon's lips, almost as if to prove his point, "your snarky remarks? Not as much."
Bill rolled his eyes but held Dipper's hand and floated downstairs (his boyfriend could just deal with it), anyway. Mabel was sat in front of the boxy TV, her attention kept to the Christmas film playing on the screen. Waddles was beside her, dozing off. Apparently, he didn't find "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" as entertaining as Mabel did. Stan and Ford were in the kitchen, arguing about who-knows-what and hopefully making breakfast. Let it be known that a sleepy Dipper should not be allowed to make breakfast (or be let anywhere near a hot stove in these early hours), the Grunkles didn't trust Bill in the kitchen, even with supervision, and Mabel, although she's a decent cook, her concoctions aren't always the most edible thing. Unless glitter and plastic dinosaurs are edible now.
"Morning, puny mortals," Bill trilled, just loud enough for everyone in the house to hear – so his default volume. "And good morning to you, too, Shooting Star."
Mabel glanced away from the television, grinning at the demon. "Do you two wanna watch this with me?" She asked excitedly, gesturing to the movie. "Ford finally managed to find the tape that wasn't edited by jackalopes on narcotics!"
"Maybe in a bit," Dipper yawned, "Bill and I were gonna get some breakfast."
She shrugged, turning back to the screen. "Your loss. Also, be wary of which pancake you take; I found a toothpick in one of mine. Not that I'm complaining, but I'm just gonna assume that you don't want a free tongue piercing."
On second thought, maybe the chaos of today wasn't entirely Bill's fault. Today had just been an odd one, odd for Gravity Falls, that is. Which I suppose would be a normal day. Whatever, you get the point.
"You know what, I think I'll just have some cereal," Dipper said uneasily, trying to figure out if his sister was serious. "Come on, Bill."
When Stan and Ford fight, weird things tend to end up in even weirder places. Dishes in the closet, books in the mailbox, and the previously mentioned toothpicks in pancakes. It happened to Ford, too, but those times usually ended in disaster, whereas Stan's mishaps usually end in minor injuries and funny stories for the twins to tell their parents when they went back home after the holiday. And Mabel was right! Dipper didn't want a less-than-sanitary tongue piercing.
"I want a free tongue piercing," Bill mumbled.
"I thought you already had one?" Dipper questioned, fishing the milk out from the back of the fridge, missing getting hit by Ford's wildly moving hands by a centimeter.
Bill rolled his eyes. "I do, but it definitely wasn't free! Do you know how many deer teeth I had to fork over to get this?" He stuck his tongue out, showing off the shimmering black stud in the middle of his tongue. "One thousand, three hundred, and forty-seven! I could've done so much more with those!"
"I'm sure," Dipper chuckled, chewing through a spoonful of cereal that was way too sweet for his liking. Grunkle Stan and Mabel were the kind of people who religiously participated in the whole "Saturday morning cartoons & sugar cereal" schtick, meanwhile Grunkle Ford and Dipper would rather have anything but sugar cereal and get on with the day as soon as possible. Adventure awaits, y'know? This morning was just an exception. Oh, and Bill doesn't usually eat breakfast, simply because his boyfriend won't let him eat chocolate first thing in the morning. Such a killjoy, I know.
"So…" Bill began, beginning to float back to the den, Dipper sleepily trailing after him, "what does "Christmas stuff" entail?"
He shrugged. "I think we're gonna put the tree up and decorate, and I'm positive that Mabel's gonna make us sit through at least one cheesy holiday film. I was just planning on letting her take the lead with this one; it's kinda her thing."
Christmas – along with any other big-box holiday – was definitely Mabel's forte. It was one of the only times of the year where she was allowed- no, encouraged to be cheesy and over the top with décor, and you'd be an absolute fool to think she wouldn't seize the opportunity every time it was presented. And you can bet that she makes everyone ugly sweaters for the occasion.
She'd made her Grunkles matching ones, with snowmen that may or may not be setting fire to their surroundings (it seemed fitting at the time, and it still seems fitting), Dipper's had his trademark pine tree on it, but this one lit up, Bill's was highlighter yellow with a one-eyed reindeer, and Pacifica's was purple, with a llama wearing a Santa hat lovingly embroidered onto it. Mabel was still working on hers, but you best believe it's gonna test the logic of light-up clothing being a fire hazard!
"Speaking of which," Mabel interjected, pausing her movie and stretching her legs, showing off her festive socks in the process, "did Stan ever find that fake tree? Because if he didn't, I vote we go and actually chop one down!"
"Do you even know how to do that? Safely?"
The brunette rolled her eyes. "Duh! What did you think Wendy and I were doing when we were hanging out?"
Before Dipper could respond, Ford walked into the den to inform them that his brother had, in fact, found the tree, but it was in no shape to be used. Honestly, it wasn't in shape to even be crammed in that dinky storage closet.
"What happened to it, Sixer?" Bill asked, a sly grin crawling across his face. He and Ford still had a pretty intense rivalry, despite his and Dipper's close relationship, which apparently only made Ford angrier and made Bill's need to taunt and annoy him become almost uncontrollable. "Did it develop a consciousness and start keeping a journal of all the weird junk you do?"
As much as he wanted to retort, Ford knew he was better than that. Be the bigger man- er, being, in this case. "No, that's scientifically impossible, Cipher. The tree has been infested by several different tiny anomalies, and there's no way that I could safely get rid of them without destroying the tree. Besides, I was hoping to observe them for a few days."
Mabel's eyes began to sparkle. "Does that mean we can go chop down a tree!?"
"Yes," Ford nodded, "unless you three would rather decorate a Christmas cactus."
Mabel broke out into a huge grin, pumping her fists in the air. "Yes! This is going to be amazing!"
Bill raised an eyebrow, slightly suspicious. Maybe he'd fudged the truth about being an all-knowing creature. "Um, Pine Tree? What are they talking about?"
"Oh, well, since we can't use the fake tree," Dipper began to explain, "we have to go cut down a real one. Then we drag it back to the shack, put it up in the living room, and decorate it with lights and ornaments and stuff. You'll like it, it's a fun, human tradition."
"Ah," Bill nodded.
Dipper, despite refusing to go over the top with the Christmas spirit like his sister always did, was actually pretty excited. Spending Christmas in Gravity Falls was pretty cool on its own but getting to spend it with his friends and demon boyfriend just made it a million times better. And he got to be there for his boyfriend's first Christmas! How rad is that?
"When do we get to go?" Mabel asked, bouncing on her socked toes. "Where are we going? Can I bring Pacifica?!"
"First, we'll go after we all eat breakfast. Second, I'm fairly certain that Gravity Falls has a Christmas Tree farm; if not, I'm sure Manly Dan or his daughter could help us find one in the woods. And third, no. This is a family affair."
Mabel's wide beam was instantly wiped from her face after she heard Grunkle Ford's answer to that last one. "But Bill gets to go, and he's not family!" She whined, childishly sticking her tongue out at the demon, who just smirked in response, hooking an arm over Dipper's shoulders.
Ford sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Yes, Mabel, I'm aware of that, but Cipher just can't be trusted alone in the house. Also, I'm pretty sure that if we did leave him alone, we wouldn't have a living room to put the tree in."
"Plus, I highly doubt Pacifica would want to go mucking around looking for a tree in the middle of December," Dipper added, finishing off his cereal and beginning to head back to the kitchen. He still had to make Bill some breakfast; he was quite frightening when he got hangry.
"Fine," Mabel moaned, sitting back down on the carpet, "but I wanna finish the movie first!"
"Of course," Ford nodded, readjusting his glasses and following Dipper back to the kitchen, ready to finish off his and Stan's argument. Leaving a squabble unfinished before you go find a Christmas tree is strictly bad juju. He strongly advises against it, and I'd listen to that advice; he is a scientist, after all.
Let it be known that Bill Cipher absolutely hates the cold with every fiber of his abnormal – and vastly superior – being.
There he was, in the middle of the tree lot near the town center, wearing three layers, clutching his boyfriend's arm while Mabel went to go find a saw, absolutely miserable. And the two old geezers standing before him, making a mockery of him, weren't exactly helping, either.
"So, lemme get this straight: you nearly succeed in taking over this entire dimension, but a little chilly weather is all it takes to make you hunker?" Stan wheezed, gripping his brother's shoulder in an effort to keep from falling over from laughter. "What, did my nephew make you go soft or something?"
Ford rolled his eyes, although he couldn't help the smile on his face. "Oh, leave him alone. He's just coming to terms with the fact that he's not as tough as he thinks he is."
Bill's blonde eyebrows furrowed at the stab and held Dipper's arm tighter. Dipper chuckled, tilting his head upwards and pressing a warm kiss to the underside of the demon's jaw. "Don't listen to them, they're bored. Just wait until we have to get the tree back to the car; that will be your time to shine."
He grinned. He suddenly felt better.
"I found one!" Mabel trilled, running back to the group with the saw clutched in her mitten covered hand, completely disregarding every safety rule she'd ever been taught. "Are we gonna chop this baby down or what?"
"Be my guest, kid," Stan shrugged, stepping away from the tree.
Excitedly, Mabel kneeled down by the base of the tree and began to grind away at the trunk. It's the first year she'd gotten to do it, considering all previous years she'd been too small or didn't know how to use a saw in a safe, responsible manner. But now that she was officially sixteen, she was deemed suitable to get the job done.
Bill, on the other hand, still didn't entirely grasp what was going on. When he tried to cut down a tree, it was unacceptable and he had been forced to put it back where it was before, which was a lot more difficult than it sounded, and it sounded pretty difficult. So naturally, when this smallish, teenage mortal was being cheered on while cutting down a tree, it was definitely a change of pace. Can't say he didn't like it, though.
The tree came crashing down to the snowy floor, followed by enthusiastic whoops of approval. Mabel dropped the saw and jokingly took a bow, a gigantic beam splattered on her face. "Thank you, thank you, I'm here all night! And until my parents demand my presence back in California!"
"Alright, we got the tree, now all that's left is to tie it to the car." Dipper said, giving Bill a playful elbow to the ribs, letting him know that that was his cue.
The blonde's vibrant yellow eyes illuminated, and a sly smirk tugged at his lips. "Say no more, flesh bags." And with a quick snap of his slender fingers, the severed tree had disappeared from the woodland floor in a cloud of bright white smoke. He'd been practicing his special effects; they were coming along swimmingly, if he did say so himself.
Dipper smiled and gave an approved nod, resting his head on Bill's shoulder. "Nice job, Dorito."
"That was so cool!" Mabel squealed. "Can you do those in pink?"
Ford just stood there and gawked. "What the…Cipher! You know you're not allowed to use your pow-"
Bill pivoted on his heels, still holding onto Dipper's arm. "I'm not allowed to use my spectacular powers inside the Mystery Shack. You said nothing about using them in public! Nothing, nada, zip. So, close it, Sixer!"
Welp, he's got a point there. Crap.
"How exactly are we gonna decorate this thing?" Bill asked, flopping backwards over the armchair, right into Dipper's lap, much to the smaller boy's discomfort.
"I'm glad you asked!" Mabel chirped, setting down the final box of Christmas stuff. "Stan and Ford are scrounging around in the basement, looking for the tree stand, but while they're doing that, it's our job to untangle the lights and unwrap the ornaments! You wanna give me a hand, bro-bro?"
Dipper sighed, shoving Bill off of his lap (he just stayed floating) and joining his sister on the floor, where she was already shedding tissue paper off of various different ornaments. Brightly colored baubles, glass angels, miscellaneous ones made by the younger set of twins out of cardboard, papier Mache, and way too much glitter, along with a couple sentimental ones their parents had sent with photos of the family all together. Oh, and Mabel was in the process of making a few with pictures of them and their new friends and respective partners for them to take back with them after Christmas.
"Do you even remember these Christmases?" Dipper asked, holding up a white ornament with a cut out photo of the entire Pines family crowded in the den of the Mystery Shack. "Like, we didn't even have an inkling of Grunkle Ford's existence! How crazy is that?"
"Pretty wild," Mabel tacked on, setting another red bauble on the carpet. "Little did we know that we had a secret relative we'd be meeting, like, eight years later, or that we would face off against an all-powerful demon afterwards, that you are now dating!"
Dipper rolled his eyes. "Oh, like you could predict that you'd end up dating the richest girl in a small town in Oregon!"
They continued to playfully bicker for a bit, meanwhile Bill took a gander at the other boxes. He found a plethora of tiny little lights, all in various colors, a couple of oversized socks (Dipper had called them "stockings"), and – what a surprise – more ornaments! All of which were glass and made a rather satisfying clinking noise whenever he tapped his nails against them.
"Remember when we were too little to even help with this kind of thing?" Mabel recalled, wistfully sighing. Dwight Schrute was right; nostalgia really is the greatest human weakness. "And the grown-ups made sure that most of the ornaments were completely out of our reach at all times?"
Just as she was reminiscing, Bill had picked up a shiny blue bauble, and through magic he technically wasn't supposed to be using, had it suspending in midair. The ornament was slowly rotating, catching the overhead light in such a way that made it almost blinding; at some angles, you couldn't even tell it was blue. It just looked bright.
"Hey, uh, Bill?" Dipper called, eyes darting between the floating ornament and his supernatural boyfriend, who's lanky legs were spilling over the arm of the yellowish chair, looking like he hadn't a care in the world. "Maybe you shouldn't do that…"
"Why not?" He asked innocently.
Dipper shrugged. "Well, y'know, those things are kinda-"
Just as he began to explain, the blue sphere fell to the floor with a startling crash (!), leaving an explosion of glass on the carpet and surprised looks on everyone's faces.
"…fragile." Dipper finished, holding back a laugh at Bill's expression, which was absolutely priceless. He looked like he'd just stubbed his toe and was trying to hold in a cry of pain. It didn't sound too funny when you had to explain it, but believe me, it was very comical.
"I'll get the broom."
The afternoon ended with a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, courtesy of Mabel, Dipper, Stan, and Ford, and a Polaroid photo of Bill's surprised face that Dipper would cherish forever. But the day wasn't completely finished yet; these three still had a few more obstacles to overcome.
A/N: I've had this idea since November and cranked out this first chapter while my fur baby (AKA my cat) sat on my lap. All in all, not a bad way to write! Two more chapters to go!