Ford was back the next day.

Mabel squealed as she hugged him, chattering cheerfully about the wedding preparations done while he was gone. During all the commotion, Dipper was the only one who noticed Amelia slip out. She returned before dinnertime, leaves stuck in her hair and holding her wrist. It was still chaotic in the house, so nobody saw her heading upstairs or, twenty minutes later, Dipper following her.

"Where were you?"

Amelia turned. They stood in the bathroom, her just having washed her hair. She had changed into a new sweater. Dipper looked down at her wrist. She was in the middle of wrapping it up, but he could see the deep wounds and the huge bruise. The younger noticed his gaze and quickly finished wrapping it up. She hid her hands behind her back. "Nowhere." A beat later, she said "Out in the woods. The Shack was getting crowded."

"Here's a tip. If you want to be a good liar, don't give two answers at once."

She sighed. "Yeah, I know."

"What happened to your wrist?"

"I fell into some brambles.".

Dipper searched Amelia's eyes, and sighed. "There's the truth. Next time, tell me before disappearing." He smiled when she nodded. A laugh escaped them both as he ruffled her hair. "I'm heading downstairs. Don't stay up too late."

"I won't."


"Tell me more about your home." Amelia asked.

She sat in the clearing, blindfold on but her hands going through the familiar motions of making a daisy chain The sun was warm on her back, her jacket folded next to her. There was a velvet sigh from her companion. A clawed hand ran through her hair gently, carefully. "I thought you had grown tired of the subject, little one."

She stopped. "Oh, never!"

There was a chuckle.

"Okay. It was a magical place, full of power. We were gods, powerful to rule in our different forms."

It was a sunny day.