"Greetings, you've reached L. You have five seconds to hang up if this is not related to my current case."

"It's Mason."

"Oh, Dipper! Just let me turn the modulator off. Is this about the case?"

"Actually, I was trying to reach Elle."

"I'll put her on."

"..."

"Hey Mystery Buddy, how's it hanging?"

"Do you like mini-golf?"

"Absolutely! Why do you ask?"

"I've been thinking and… I'd like to introduce you to my girlfriend. Since we're getting to be friends and all."

"Girlfriend? Is it Wendy? It is, isn't it!"

"No. Also, how long have you been stalking me?"

"I'd tell you, but it'd give you nightmares. When do I get to meet this mystery girl?"

"We're meeting up at the Putt Hut on 8th Street after lunch."

"I'll be there, can't wait!"

"Neither can I."


Despite only having a fake girlfriend for about three days Mason could already conclude it was exhausting. Pacifica constantly bombarded his phone with a seemingly endless stream of inane updates about her day. And that was just when she wasn't leaving hints of "a special someone" online. Extremely unsubtle hints. At this rate, he'd be fighting off paparazzi by the end of the week.

But she was also capable of telling him "Elle Forrester's" real name. He just had to put up with her until then. He'd find some way to dispose of her afterward.

Before he could ponder any further, a familiar girl in a white sweater passed through the entrance to the course. Showtime.

He waved her over. "What took you so long?"

Elle shrugged. "Oh, you know, case stuff. Now let's get to the true topic of interest!" She leaned closer, a teasing grin on her face. "Where's your new girlfriend?"

"On her way, she had to finish up at work."

"Well, I suppose that gives you more time to prepare for seriously getting your butt kicked, because I happen to be pretty dang good at this game."

Mason looked at the entrance. "Not that much time apparently. She's here."

Pacifica sashayed up to the pair, looking every bit like a walking advertisement for the latest in golf gear and fashion. Without so much as looking at Elle, she leaned forward to kiss Mason on the cheek.

"So, where's-"

Before she could say another word, Elle shoved a sheet of notebook paper in the blonde's face. Literally.

"Can I have an autograph? I'm a huge fan."

Pacifica seemed somewhat surprised but quickly recovered, taking the paper with a smile. "Of course, anything for a friend of Mason's."

Elle beamed, bouncing on her toes as Pacifica began signing the paper. "Just your first name please, I've got several boy bands I wanna save space for."

Pacifica handed the paper back. "Well, now that that's over with," She extended her hand. "Pacifica Northwest, Mason's told me quite a bit about you."

Elle jovially reciprocated. "Elle Forrester, magazines have told me quite a bit about you. You golf?"

"Both mini and actual, I had to take special lessons back when I was ten for my role in-"

"Fore Gone! The movie with that guy who adopts an orphan with the intent of molding her into a golf star so he can profit off her glory. Was it really based on a true story?"

"I mean, we pulled like five things from actual events, so it counts as Hollywood true."

Mason cleared his throat before they could get further off track. "Why don't we continue this conversation during the game? Elle here says she's a talented player too, so it should make for an interesting competition."

Pacifica nodded, reaching into her bag. "Sounds fun! I'm pretty sure I've got something to keep score on somewhere in here."

She made a show of digging around before pulling out the navy notebook. "Here it is! Now, do you want to start or should…" She trailed off, her eyes fixed on the spot above Elle's head.

"Pacifica?" Mason prompted. "We've got a game to get going."

The blonde shook off whatever had come over her. "Right, of course! Just got a little distracted by something."


The rest of the game remained thankfully free of any other odd hiccups, though Elle apparently had a habit of mumbling to herself when lining up a shot. Fortunately, Elle's eccentricities seemed to make it easier for her to overlook Pacifica's little slip-up earlier. That, and she was apparently really into mini golf, turning what was meant to be a mere distraction into an intense contest. And while it was successful in keeping Elle occupied, it also left Pacifica with no time to discreetly pass on Elle's real name.

"Any suggestions?" Mason asked Bill, who, as it often seemed to be, was much quieter whenever Elle was around.

"Nothing that wouldn't get our investigative annoyance's attention as well," Bill muttered.

Mason sighed. "How many holes are left?"

"Last one!" Elle chirped. "Be ready to comfort your girlfriend when I win!"

Pacifica allowed the sweater-clad girl to drag her along. "We're only tied because that random windmill hole decided to screw me, so don't get your hopes up."

Elle waved her off. "Oh sure, blame the windmill, classic excuse. Now," She placed her ball down. "Prepare to witness the power of raw talent!" She raised the thin club-

The familiar sound of a police siren sliced through the air as a small swarm of officers burst through the gate. Heading straight for them.

Before Mason could fully process the sight, the officers surrounded them, closing in on Pacifica. One pulled her arms behind her back to cuff her while another slipped what looked like a sleeping mask over her head.

Stan emerged from the mass of uniforms. "You alright Dipper?"

Mason looked from him to Pacifica, who now had a gag added to her ensemble. "Grunkle Stan? What's going on?"

Stan placed a steadying hand on Mason's shoulder. "I'm sorry you had to find out this way, but we did a more thorough search of the Tent of Telepathy's broadcast station. Hair belonging to the Northwest girl was found inside."

"Maybe she was a guest on the show?" Mason suggested.

Stan shook his head. "She's never even been invited. There's no reason any trace of her should be in that studio unless it was attached to the Megrez tapes. Guess she got sloppier with her later submissions."

A scream cut off any rebuttal Mason could have offered.

"GIDEON!"


Elle followed the group of officers dragging Pacifica towards the back of a van, the blonde wailing all the while.

"Gideon! You have to help me! What do you think will happen to you without someone to use your book?"

The pale boy keeping pace at her side looked on indifferently. "Ah managed fur seven years without ya. Ah can handle more."

"You need me!"

The boy glanced back at Elle. "Ah really don't."

Elle gave the boy a small smile before breaking off from the group and pulling out her phone.

One ring in Ford picked up. "What's happened?"

"I just saw Gideon Gleeful."

"And Pacifica?"

"Has a notebook."

"That's all of them then. You understand what this means?"

Elle took a deep breath. "It's time to end this."

"Tell Stanley to bring Dipper to warehouse 18 on Dock F by noon tomorrow."

"I will. See you later Grunkle Ford."

"See you then Mabel."


A round of applause to the guest who predicted that Elle is short for Mabel!

It seems like the closer I get to the end, the harder the chapters are to write. I just want to make the conclusion so perfect that it's hard to get a sentence down without immediately deleting it. I'm trying to beat my perfectionist tendencies, but the next couple of chapters are definitely gonna take a while. As always, feedback is appreciated!

Thanks to 192717 for favoriting and following and sparda217 for following! I hope you continue to enjoy the story as we wrap things up!