• Published 6th Apr 2016
  • 2,813 Views, 126 Comments

Return to Gravity Falls: The Equestria Chronicles - Arkansandragon



SPOILERS for Gravity Falls' season 2 & finale + MLP:FiM season 6: "The Crystalling". One year after Weirdmageddon, the Pines reunite in Gravity Falls for another summer of adventure. A fall into Equestria as ponies wasn't what they had in mind.

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Chapter 1: Reunions

It was morning as the two great-uncles waited at the bus stop on the edge of town. Ford was in his usual red turtleneck sweater and black pants, but this time with a navy blue hooded jacket. Stan, meanwhile, had opted for a white t-shirt and green pants with a brown trenchcoat. Both were wearing black boots, and Stan wore a red woolen beanie in place of his signature red and gold fez.

The whole Mystery Shack crew had gotten up before dawn to prepare for Dipper and Mabel’s arrival. Soos, Stan’s former handyman and successor in management of the town-famous tourist trap; Melody, Soos’ girlfriend and cashier; and Wendy, teenage friend of the family and former cashier of the Shack, were all currently getting the place ready for a party while Stan and Ford had gone to meet the twins at the bus stop.

They didn’t have long to wait as a Speedy Beaver bus pulled up and two children stepped off, both loaded down with luggage--which was instantly dropped at the sight of the old men waiting for them.

“GRUNKLE STAN! GRUNKLE FORD!”

Stan winced at the yells, but grinned as his thirteen year old great-niece and great-nephew rushed forward to greet him. They all but tackled him as he knelt down to hug the pair.

“Hey kids,” he said, “good to have you back!” As the hug ended, he gently pushed the twins away to arm’s length so he could get a better look at them. They had changed surprisingly little since he had seen them last summer. Both were still short and skinny with the family’s fluffy brown hair and eyes. Mabel still wore a skirt (red this time) and one of her hand-knitted sweaters (this one green with a waterfall on it), and Dipper wore his usual orange t-shirt, grey shorts and navy blue vest, along with the lumberjack hat that Wendy had gifted him before leaving last summer. Mabel had lost her braces and was now wearing her waist-length hair in a ponytail, while Dipper sported a fading black eye and had grown a little taller so that he and Mabel were now the same height.

Noticing the bruise, Stan looked Dipper over for any other signs of injury and asked, “You walk into a doorknob or something, kid?”

“Huh?”

He pointed to the boy’s eye.

“Oh that,” said Dipper, smirking a little, and Stan noted that his voice had not quite settled into its adult tone yet. Mabel had yet to physically mature as well, but Stan shrugged it off as them just being late bloomers.

“Actually it was Mabel who hit me,” said Dipper.

Mabel gave an awkward laugh. “Yeah, I did.” She added, “We were sparring in the backyard and I went a little overboard.”

“Sparring?” asked Ford.

“We’ll tell you all about it on the way to the Mystery Shack,” said Mabel, smiling at him. “But first, come here Grunkle Ford! You’re not getting out of a hug that easily!”

Ford chuckled, kneeling to let them tackle him as well. “We really missed you two.” He said, hugging them both. But he noticed something was missing as he looked them over again. “Mabel, where’s your pig?”

“Good question,” echoed Stan. “Where is the little porkchop?” They both looked around, but could not spot the animal.

“Here he is!” said Mabel with a mischievous grin, releasing her beloved pet from an animal carrier hidden among their duffle-bags and backpacks. “Sic ‘em Waddles!”

Stan only had a few seconds to notice that Waddles had gotten fatter over the year, and was now wearing a collar and tags, before the pig was on top of him, licking his face with abandon. The next few moments were spent with Stan trying to remove the over-excited creature while the others laughed and Mabel snapped a few pictures with her camera. Finally, Ford came to his rescue, kneeling down to grab the pig--only to be knocked flat for his own turn of being affectionately licked.

Smirking at the turn of luck, Stan borrowed Mabel’s camera to get a few potential blackmail photos before moving to help his twin off the ground, while Mabel calmed and praised Waddles.

As the two older twins dusted themselves off, Dipper commented, “Hey, aren’t those the same outfits you guys wore in the postcard you sent us from your trip?”

“Good eye, Dipper,” said Ford, nodding with a smile.

Mabel meanwhile, studied the men more critically. When Stan removed his hat to brush more dirt off, she suddenly gasped, then squealed, “Oh my gosh! You two grew out your mullets! And you look adorable! Dipper, where’s my camera?!”

“It’s in your hand,” Dipper said, slightly confused.

As Mabel snapped away the photos, both Stan and Ford crossed their arms, giving looks of mock offense.

“I’ll have you know young lady, that my brother and I are salty old sea dogs!” said Stan.

“Exactly!” added Ford. “And sea dogs are not adorable.”

“Sea dogs?” asked Dipper, struggling and failing to keep a straight face. “You only went on that one trip. Besides, you look more like sea lions! I didn’t know your hair could get that fluffy!”

This time the older twins seemed to take it as a compliment. “I guess we are pretty majestic, aren’t we?” preened Ford. They both struck heroic poses for Mabel--before all four of them burst out laughing.

After a few moments to calm down, the foursome grabbed Waddles and the luggage and piled into Stan’s car. As they drove back through town and the woods, with Ford resisting the urge to grab the wheel every time Stan narrowly missed a stop sign or a piece of the fence that ran alongside the road, the younger twins talked about how their school year had gone. By helping each other with homework in difficult subjects, the two had kept their grades high enough for participation in extracurricular activities. Both had signed up for boxing lessons, intending to follow their grunkles’ example considering the dangers of hunting weirdness in Gravity Falls. But after discovering that Mabel was better than him at the sport, Dipper had switched to an archery class instead. That way at least one of them would have skill with a long range weapon. He’d gotten his black eye accidentally while Mabel had been helping him practice blocking punches.

They reached the Mystery Shack with Stan clipping the Thunderbird totem pole out front and smashing one of the car’s headlights. Ford slumped against the car door when he got out, a hand over his heart and taking deep breaths to calm himself. This was why he had insisted on driving Stan to the bus stop that morning.

“Oh quit exaggerating,” Stan said, playfully punching his arm. “You let me drive the Stan O’ War II with no problems.”

“That was a sailboat, and there were less things to crash into out on the ocean,” said Ford, though he did manage a weak laugh.

Mabel patted Ford’s other hand sympathetically. “You’ll be fine. Besides, according to Dipper, you’ve faced down killer robots that detect fear without even breaking a sweat! This should be nothing.”

That got another laugh from Ford. “That’s what I thought too!” he admitted.

“Well don’t worry.” said Dipper with a grin, “You get used to the adrenaline rush after a while. Heh, you should see Stan when he’s really in a hurry.”

Ford shuddered at that thought, then went to help the kids with their bags while Stan took note of the damage for Soos to fix later.

Once ushered into the house, Stan closed the door, leaving them in darkness, as all the windows had been covered. This only lasted a few moments until someone flipped on the lights.

“SURPRISE!!!”

Soos, Wendy, and Melody jumped out of hiding, blowing party horns and throwing confetti everywhere. The young twins were quick to notice that their three family friends had not changed much over the past year.

Soos was still portly with short brown hair, buckteeth, and eyes which seemed to change color depending on the lighting. Whatever their true color was, he was not telling, always smiling and saying “It’s a mystery, dude!” when asked about it. Instead of his normal green question mark shirt, he was now wearing the tuxedo and eyepatch customers expected from whoever was playing “Mr. Mystery,” their tour guide through the Mystery Shack’s collection of oddities. He was also proudly wearing Stan’s red fez, with its gold pac-man style crescent and black tassel, as a sign of his new rank as Shack owner.

Wendy was a tall and thin teenager of sixteen, with long red hair and green eyes, and was wearing her usual white tank top, green plaid jacket, jeans and brown boots. The only difference was that she was wearing Dipper’s white and blue baseball cap with its blue pine tree logo.

Melody was a heavyset woman with wavy light brown hair, brown eyes, and a kind face. Dipper and Mabel had heard that she had taken over Wendy’s old job as the Shack’s cashier, but her outfit suggested that she might have taken Soos’ old handyman job as well. She was wearing a smaller version of Soos’ usually green-grey shirt with the darker green question mark, along with the brown cap and beige shorts.

Just then, Soos’ short, portly grandmother, who everyone called Abuelita, stuck her head out of the living room with a softer call of “Surprise!” Then she put on a pair of earmuffs and said in her thick Hispanic accent, “I’ll go take a nap now. You kids have fun.” And with that, she headed off down the hall to sleep in one of the storage rooms they had converted into a guest room.

Since Soos had inherited management of the Shack, and therefore, the elder Pines’ house, the best option for looking after the place had seemed to be that he and Abuelita move in completely, while Melody stayed at Abuelita’s house in town. Being from out of town, Melody had recently moved to Gravity Falls. Unfortunately, an incident with one of the area’s numerous strange and/or magical creatures had left her new home in a wreck. Since she was Soos’ girlfriend, and Abuelita liked her, they had offered to let her stay in their home until the damage was repaired, so she would not be stuck in a hotel. Whether this living arrangement would remain during the Pines’ return for the summer was still being debated, but for now they were making it work.

The house was full of balloons and streamers and a large banner with “Welcome Back!” painted on it, and the party lasted throughout the day and well into the evening. Dusk found everyone gathered in the living room, enjoying pizza and trading stories of how the past year had gone. All of the lights were out, except for a lantern they had set in front of the TV.

“-So then this giant squid pops up out of the water and latches onto the boat!” said Stan, waving his hands for effect.

“Actually,” cut in Ford, “it was a kraken!” But he was smiling even as he made the correction. His brother really knew how to wow an audience.

“Eh, close enough,” said Stan. “Point is, it was big, green and ugly! And it wanted us for lunch!”

“What’d you do?!” asked the younger twins and Soos, caught up in the story.

“What I always do to monsters.” Stan said smugly, “I punched it in the face!”

“And I speared it with the harpoon.” Ford added, grinning at their captivated faces.

“Question,” said Soos, raising his hand. “Did you bring back any tentacles? Ya’ know, for the Shack museum, which is doin’ awesome, by the way! Oh! Or calamari? I could really go for some seafood...”

Melody just smiled, handing him a piece of pizza with anchovies and shrimp on it. He hugged her in thanks, before turning back to the story.

“Nah, it got away before we could catch it,” said Stan, then he gave Soos a proud smile, gesturing around at the Shack. “You’ve done a great job with the place. I couldn’t have left it in better hands.”

Soos beamed at the praise, sitting up straighter and readjusting the fez on his head.

“I don’t think that kraken would have fit on our boat anyway,” continued Ford after a thoughtfully pause. “But-” he held up a finger and reached inside his jacket “-we did get some photos.” He pulled out a book bound in red leather with gold trim at the spine and corners, a golden six-fingered hand and stylized crescent adorning the cover with a black number four drawn in the center between them.

Dipper squealed at the sight of it. “A fourth journal!”

The others chuckled at his fanboying, and he blushed, pulling his hat over his eyes.

Wendy nudged him in the ribs and plucked the her lumberjack hat off his head. “It’s cool, dude. We all have those moments,” she said, smiling as she handed back his pine tree baseball cap.

“Hey, I forgot to ask,” said Dipper, putting on the hat, “Now that Melody’s taken over cashier duty, what’s your new job around the Shack?”

“Melody and Soos are teaching me how to be a handyman,” said Wendy. “Sure I don’t get to slack off as much anymore, but it’s surprisingly more fun than I thought it would be.”

“Cool.” He returned her smile, then focused his attention back on his grunkles’ story. The two men were showing off various notes, sketches and photographs from the new journal.

“-And this is when we encountered a pride of heraldic sea lions,” said Ford, holding up the book so everyone could see. The centerpiece picture was of Stan running along a beach with Ford slung over his shoulder while the latter was sketching their pursuers in the journal. The creatures chasing them had the back halves of giant fish, and the front halves of a very angry lions.

“How did you even get that shot?” asked Melody.

“I modified our cameras to operate using motion sensors and placed them all over the boat,” Ford said. “As for why they were chasing us...” His look turned sheepish.

Stan picked up the tale, smirking at Ford’s embarrassment. “Heh, Poindexter here got too close to the cubs while he was sketching.” He took the journal and flipped to another page. “This one doesn’t have any weirdness, but we did get surrounded by a pod of narwhals.”

Everybody “ooooooh”ed at that one.

And so the evening went. After Stan and Ford had finished sharing their journal, Dipper pulled out one he and Mabel had started, though this one had a white cardboard cover with a blue pine tree and pink shooting star. It turned out that although their hometown in California had nowhere near as many oddities as Gravity Falls, it wasn’t completely barren of secrets to uncover, now that they knew where to look. Mabel had also made each of them a sweater to celebrate the summer reunion. “I’m selling them to raise money for college!” she added proudly, handing Ford and Stan matching red sweaters with “Original Mystery Twins” sown into them in gold lettering. Then she handed Dipper a blue sweater and put on the matching one herself that read “2nd Gen. Mystery Twins” in pink.

“That’s my girl!” said Stan, ruffling her hair. “That reminds me, I’ve got a present for you two, and Ford.” Reaching under the seat cushion of his armchair, he withdrew a thick book bound in red leather and gold trim. The cover was blank, but a gasp resounded from the others all the same as they saw it.

“No way...”

“Is that?...”

Ford took the book, speechless. His gently flipped through the pages, as if not believing his own eyes. “How did you... But-but they were destroyed!”

“I photocopied them.” said Stan, “You know, just in case something happened to the originals before-”

He was cut off by Ford abruptly hugging him.

“Thank you.”

Stan awkwardly patted Ford’s back, before returning the hug. “Hey, why waste over six years of research, right? And this time I stuck them all into one volume so you can’t lose them.”

Mabel snapped a quick photo of this rare event while Dipper ran into the hallway. Seconds later a high pitched scream was heard. “AAAAH! THE JOURNALS ARE BACK!”

Later that night in Ford’s room...

Stan watched as Ford cut his handprint from gold foil and glued it onto the book’s cover. He wrote the numbers “1-3” in black ink on the golden hand, then set the journal aside to dry.

“I meant what I said earlier. Thank you.”

Stan rubbed the back of his head uncomfortably. “I did kind of owe you, since I tried to burn one of them...”

“That’s just it,” said Ford, looking at his reflection in the foil. “You didn’t owe me anything.”

“What?”

When he turned to face his brother, Ford’s expression was grim. “It was my research that caused our problems last summer. That you would even think of giving it back to me after all that... After what I put you and the kids through? Not to mention the rest of town!”

“Hey!” Stan put a hand on Ford’s shoulder, looking him in the eyes. “We both made mistakes. I was the idiot who set you on that path, remember? Besides,” he gripped Ford’s other shoulder, smiling, “at the end of it all, maybe your crazy books did more good than harm. I could never have gotten you back without them, for one thing. It was a wild ride, sure, but we came out of it all the stronger.”

Ford returned the smile, but his eyes were still uncertain. “You really think so?”

“Are you kidding?!” Stan got him in a chokehold, then gently knocked on the side of Ford’s head, which had a metal plate inside it. “Is that thing scrambling your brain?” he joked. “You and me are finally back together and living our dreams after all these years! And I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen the kids so happy! They really grew up this past summer with all those weird adventures.” Where was this guilt coming from? Stan had thought his brother would be overjoyed.

Ford wriggled loose, finally laughing. “Well when you put it that way, I suppose I did good after all.”

“That’s more like it,” said Stan. “Speaking of weird adventures, you got everything ready for our camping trip the day after tomorrow?”

Ford nodded, pulling a checklist from his pocket. “I triple checked everything, so we should be good to go.”

“Perfect!” As he exited the room, Stan suddenly turned back and added, “Uh... By the way, could we... Not, tell the kids about my sleepwalking? It’s just... I don’t want to scare them. You know how paranoid Dipper is and how... random, Mabel is.”

“They’re going to figure it out. You know that.” Ford sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Fine. I won’t tell them. But you should.”

“If it gets any worse, I will,” said Stan, closing the door.

“Let’s hope it doesn’t,” Ford whispered, staring at the barrier between them.

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