An Upcoming Homecoming
SUMMARY: When Mabel finds a flyer for an upcoming event Dipper completely disregards it resulting to a disappointed Pacifica.
The loud squeal of Mabel's excitement seemed to pierce Dipper's eardrums as he walked out of a classroom with Pacifica.
"Oh my God, guys!" Mabel squealed again, causing both Dipper and Pacifica to cover their ears as she rushed at them. "Look at this, look at this, look at this!" she shouted over and over and she held a piece of paper in front of Dipper's face.
"Homecoming Dance…?" he muttered. "Aren't homecoming dances for October?"
Mabel gave a shrug. "I think they just wanted to make sure everyone was doing okay in their schoolwork before doing something like this," she guessed.
Pacifica then gingerly took the flyer from Mabel's hands. "'Formal attire only'," Pacifica read. "'Dress codes still apply.'"
"It's going to be so much fun!" Mabel cheered, her smile taking up her entire face. "I am going to make myself the most beautiful dress! OH, PACIFICA YOU CAN HELP ME DESIGN IT! AND I CAN MAKE YOURS!"
"That sounds delightful," Pacifica replied, a smile on her face, as she handed Mabel back the flyer.
"Um… I don't know, it doesn't sound like fun to me…" Dipper honestly said. "It says formal attire, that means like suit and tie… and…" He thought back to the last time he wore a suit while he was working in the Mystery Shack. Dipper had ended up breaking a mirror during that time. Every time he thought he was doing better, something happened that caused him to nearly have a mental breakdown.
Both Pacifica and Mabel looked at Dipper with sudden realization. Pacifica then grabbed his hand gently, trying to comfort him.
"It's okay, I'm sure they will understand your situation," the blonde assured him. Dipper's response was a shrug.
Mabel continued to read the flyer. "Hey, guess what? They still need volunteers for the committee to decorate and arrange things still," the excited young woman informed. "Maybe we can do that?"
"Maybe…" Dipper replied halfheartedly. "I rather not be part of that… you can if you want."
"Oh… okay, Bro-Bro…" Mabel responded sadly.
Pacifica noticed the reaction and she chimed in, "Hey, I'll join you on the committee, Mabel." She gave a smile when she saw Mabel's brown eyes light up with instant happiness. "As we work we can discuss dress – IDEAS!" Pacifica gave a shout as Mabel squealed with delight and grabbed the blonde's wrist to drag her down the hallway towards the office to sign up.
"I have a really bad feeling about this…" Dipper muttered to himself, his stomach feeling as if it were in knots.
Suddenly his hat was dipped over his eyes, him giving a scowl as he fixed it, trying to find the perpetrator. He saw a familiar redhead with her normal lumberjack hat, her green flannel shirt opened towards the top to reveal a white tank top.
"Hey, dude, what's with the long face?" Wendy asked. She then gave a chuckle, "I swear you being around Stan is turning you into a grumpy old man prematurely."
Dipper then finds one of the other flyers for the dance and handed it Wendy. "This is what I'm 'grumpy' about," he informed her.
Wendy made a grimace. "Yeah… Homecoming… eck, never like going to those. Stupid expensive dresses you wear one time, flowers that die within a couple of days, a guy that swears he was going to take you but stands you up at the last possible second – I'm sorry, I'm getting off track here…"
Dipper gave his old friend a hard glare. "I think you and I both know why I rather not participate in it. Read the fine print."
Wendy read it and flinched inwardly to herself. "Man… in all honestly… I kind of forgot about that… I've been trying so hard to forget all of that bullshit that happened, but it made me forget that… thing that happened to you."
"Making a deal with a demon and letting myself be possessed while I killed a bunch of people," Dipper enlightened, a sarcastic smile on his face as his brown eyes were hard.
"Geeze, way to get dark a gloomy, Robbie Jr."
"It's the truth," Dipper told her as he crumbled up the flyer and tossed it into a garbage can. "And that will never change." He then walked away, adjusting his backpack as he felt his posture become stiff as he eyes uncontrollably began searching around him as if he expected something to show up, leaving Wendy behind with wide eyes.
"I think we should have a renewal kind of theme, Paz!"
Mabel had a clipboard that was covered in various stickers, her hitting a pencil to it with a beat that suspiciously sounded like an old "Sev'ral Timez" song. So far her list consisted of different food and drink to have at the dance, and a disco ball was a must.
"Hmm?" Pacifica replied distractingly. "I'm sorry, can you repeat that?"
Mabel gave a small frown. "Paz… is something on your mind?" she asked softly. "Is it about how Dipper reacted earlier?"
Pacifica tried to avoid eye contact but to no avail. She sighed heavily as she nodded. "Yeah… I'm very worried about him… I would love to go to the dance, but I know he wouldn't want to because of what happened with being dressed formally. I can't blame him either…" She told her friend. "But… I feel so guilty, I really want to go, but at the expense of my boyfriend's mental health? That's terribly selfish… He gave up so much, I can't possibly ask him to go…" she admitted.
As the two girls talked, they didn't notice that Dipper was spying on them from around the corner. He had felt his heart drop when he heard that Pacifica felt guilty. He hurried away, thinking that Pacifica didn't deserve to feel guilty for anything.
"Did you hear something?" Mabel asked, hearing a squeak of shoes from speeding away.
"No…" Pacifica softly replied, her voice barely above a whisper as she looked at her blank list on her own clipboard.
Dipper had rounded a corner and smacked right into Ford, them both grunting with surprise as Ford dropped his papers to the ground.
"Grunkle Ford!" Dipper yelped in panic. "I'm so sorry, I should've been paying attention…!"
"Dipper, you're fine." Ford assured him. He then noticed his grandnephew's worried expression. "Are you okay…?" he then asked gently.
Dipper flinched, thinking that he was so easily seen through. "I'm… I'm sure you've seen the fliers around school…"
Ford pondered for a moment as he finished tidying up his papers. "Ah, yes, I have seen fliers for a Homecoming Dance… it was actually discussed at the last faculty meeting," the old scientist recalled. "Is it because it is formal attire only? Can't just wear a dress shirt and tie and call it a night?" he guessed, fully understanding.
The teenager gave a nod. "That's exactly it…" he confirmed. "Mabel and Pacifica want to go, they're even on the committee for decorations… I overheard Pacifica saying that she would feel guilty if she asked me to go, but that's not fair on her… I feel like I'm holding her back…"
Ford gave a sympathetic smile and put a hand on Dipper's shoulder. He then began to lead Dipper to the classroom that Ford had for homeroom, where Dipper went to every morning with his friends. Ford gently shut the door behind them and locked it so that their conversation wouldn't be interrupted.
"So, you think you're holding Pacifica back…?" Ford pried, trying to get more information.
"Well, a little bit, yeah," Dipper said with exasperation. "I mean, I couldn't handle the charity ball she had thrown last month, I could barely handle running the damn Shack without breaking something, how the hell am I going to handle going to the Homecoming Dance? Or Prom!? Or… for when I do marry her our actual wedding!? That isn't fair to her… she deserves to have happy fun like a damn simple dance!" He had paced around the room, him sounding a little breathless during his rant.
Ford seemed to have let that sink in for a moment. "Dipper, the thing is that you have to confidence in yourself," he began. "You're already thinking maturely about how it isn't fair to Pacifica. The past… it happened, and there is nothing we can do to change it. But," he then begin to add, seeing Dipper's crestfallen face. "But, you can move forward. It isn't easy… I'm still in that stage myself. The thing is, we got each other, we have our family, and you have a very understanding girlfriend.
"If you think this year you shouldn't go to the dance, tell her. Maybe plan for next year, or a Spring Formal, or whatever little dances happen in the school. She understands, and if you two express your feelings to each other, a better compromise will be made." Ford then paused for a moment. "Do you really think you should go to the dance, or are you afraid of what may happen?"
Dipper hesitated for a moment, truly thinking. Maybe he was just being paranoid that he will hurt himself again or that he couldn't handle it. He needed to start thinking more positively, that was what was going to help his recovery better.
He just needed that little push.
"You know what, Grunkle Ford?" Dipper said, a slight smile on his face. "I know what I need to do. I may have made sacrifices for everyone, but I shouldn't expect them to do the same for me. I need to stop being paranoid… the more I think of what happened the more it takes over my life now… I really need to move on and this should be a good push."
Ford gave a small smile. "I'm sure whatever decision you make will be beneficial to everyone." He then got up and unlocked the door and opened it. "Good luck."
"OH! RIBBONS! PERFECT TOUCH!"
Mabel wrote that down on her list with her swirl of a scrawl, a huge smile on her face. She then glanced at Pacifica, who still seemed to be in low spirits.
"Hey, cheer up, nothing says for the dance that you need to have a date. You and I can go together and George can third wheel." Mabel suggested, her giving a playful punch with a small chuckle.
Pacifica absently put down her blank clipboard. "I think I'll pass, Mabel, but thanks," Pacifica replied softly.
"Well… I got to go turn this in to the office and get approved for funding, wanna come with?"
"I'll stay here."
Mabel gave her friend a small smile and left the section of the hallway where they were planning for the dance. She had then caught up with Candy and Grenda and began to tell them about her ideas. Pacifica gave a small wave to Mabel as she walked to the office with her other friends.
With a sigh Pacifica began to walk back to her locker. As she walked she ran into Dipper, her gasping in surprise.
"Oh, Mason," she said, clearly startled.
"Just the person I wanted to see," Dipper replied happily, him rushing to put something behind his back. "Now… I know earlier I acted… terribly and unfairly."
"I mean…" Dipper began nervously. He then swallowed hard and continued, "I should not expect you to make sacrifices for me. And… I was pretty selfish to disregard the dance, I know you really want to go."
Dipper then took his hand from behind his back, showing that he had a yellow rose. He offered it to Pacifica, who hesitantly took it.
"I guess… What I'm trying to say is… Will you go to Homecoming with me?" Dipper asked her, a small smile on his face.
Pacifica's green eyes lit up with instant happiness, them brimming with tears as a large smile spread across her face. "Wait… really?" she whispered, her voice cracking.
"Yeah… I may never get over what happened in the past, but for you and my family I'm willing to try to make you guys happy."
Pacifica then threw her arms around him, avoiding crushing the rose. "Yes! I will go to the dance with you!" she told him, her arms squeezing tightly around him.
"It's a date then." Dipper smiled. "When is the dance anyway?"
"NEXT SATURDAY!" Grenda's familiar bellow shouted, causing both Pacifica and Dipper to jump nearly out of their skins. "AND WE LADIES ARE GONNA LOOKS SO BEAUTIFUL!"
"Yes, very beautiful," Candy chimed in with her Korean accent, her adjusting her glasses.
"It's gonna be an all-night party!" Mabel then shouted excitedly. "We got the funding and we are definitely getting a disco ball!"
"Sounds fun," Dipper replied honestly to his eccentric sister with a smile.
As Mabel and her two friends cheered and jumped around excitedly, Pacifica grabbed Dipper's hand. "So… you know you're gonna have to get a tie to match my dress, right?" the blonde informed.
"Oh, yeah, I know." Dipper said. "Trust me, with Mabel around she'll make sure I am one hundred percent matching your colors."
Dipper then gave her a quick peck on her cheek. "You're welcome."
A/N: Hey everyone! Sorry this took a little bit, I have been very busy!
The next short story is going to be the FINAL ONE! And it's going to be a doozy!
Thanks for reading as always!