Disclaimer: I don't own the Danny Phantom and the Gravity Falls franchises. They were respectively created by Butch Hartman and Alex Hirsch.
Disclaimer 2: This fic is based on Gravity Falls fancomic "Serendipity", by Deviantart user Orangephoenix6. Used with permission.
Chapter 1: The Newspaper Story
Stanford "Ford" Filbrick Pines was in a pickle. He couldn't finish the portal on his own because he didn't take all needed courses back when he was a Backupsmore student and he couldn't ask for his college buddy Fiddleford Hadron McGucket's help because Fiddleford already became a millionaire thanks to his invention and the salesmanship of Ford's own twin Stanley "Stan" Pines. 'Curse you, Stanley.' Ford thought. 'No, Stanford. Don't think like that. Stanley did nothing wrong this time. He merely helped Fiddleford to sell personal computers. It's not his fault computers turned out to be more useful than I expected. I should have known that, just because people wouldn't need something, it didn't mean they wouldn't buy it.' Ford's real concern was how to finish his portal. He deemed it a pressing matter because he had to finish it before those college students from the University of Wisconsin completed their so-called "Ghost Portal" 'If they discover the Great Unified Theory of Weirdness before I do, and it should worry me since they went as far as to test a prototype, I'll have to settle for the local anomalies. All that time and money wasted for nothing. Hopefully Fiddleford could get me a job even if I hate the idea of working for my twin brother after what he did to me.'
The news report that Vladimir Masters, one of the three students working on the Ghost Portal, had to be sent to the hospital because of an accident while testing the prototype was what warned Ford to the fact he had competition at the interdimensional research. Ford reacted so badly he subscribed to a newspaper from Wisconsin to get updates regarding their competition. Ford eventually received the headline that made that decision pay off.
UNIVERSITY CUTS PORTAL FUNDS
The story stated how the accident made the University of Wisconsin worried that other students might suffer the same fate if they continue with their experiments. Personally, Ford believe the electric bill might have had something with their decision. Either way, Ford was so relieved the competition was out of funds he decided it was time for a nap where he hoped he'd get a visit from his 'muse'.
Once again, a decision of his paid off. Stanford Pines received a visit from Bill Cipher. "FORDSY, FORDSY, FORDSY." Bill said. "YOU THINK SMALL. YES, THE FUND CUT WAS A DETERRENT TO THEM BUT ALSO A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR US."
"What do you mean, Bill?" Ford asked.
"WITHOUT FUNDS TO BUILD THEIR PORTAL WITH, VLADIMIR MASTERS' LAB PARTNERS WILL HAVE TO WORK FOR YOU, FORDSY." Bill suggested. "IT'S LIKE THAT PRANKSTER FROM THAT CARTOON WITH THE SMARTER THAN AVERAGE BEAR SAYS, IF YOU CAN'T BEAT THEM, JOIN THEM AND THEN BEAT THEM."