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limited [parapines; dipper/norman] 
title - limited
fandom - parapines (gravity falls / paranorman crossover)
characters/pairings - dipper pines / norman babcock
rating - pg
warnings - underage persons, angst
word count - 709
summary - dipper has commitment issues
notes - n/a

@DW - @AO3

It was refreshing to be in an unfamiliar place. Norman didn't know these people in Oregon, but he was glad because of it. He could keep the ghosts a secret. Not that he knew any of these ghosts either, though.

After one week in Gravity Falls he knew most of the ghosts in town. After two, he knew of most of the people.

The Mystery Shack was actually hard to avoid. There was always something going on in town revolving around it. People, and ghosts, seemed to dislike it if only for Stanford Pines’ money grubbing ways. But they kept going back. Even Norman’s family, and at the Mystery Shack it was hard not to notice to two kids his age. There was an eagerness to know them, since they didn’t know him. That was a first. At home he was a freak. Here, he was simply a tourist.

It was Mabel who introduced herself first, “I had a boyfriend once named Norman,” and eventually he started hanging out with them more and more. Being social with them was weird at first, but since they treated him like they would treat anyone else, things went pretty smoothly.

Dipper said weird things were always happening in Gravity Falls. Norman believed him. Dipper trusted him, and showed him a book with a three on the front, filled with supernatural happenings. But he still didn’t tell them he could see ghosts. It just wasn’t the same situation. There was nothing different about them, they just had a book that made them aware of differences.

In the woods at dusk Dipper took his hand and didn’t look at him. His palm was warm and sweaty, but Norman held on until Dipper let go. Dipper didn’t seem to mind giving small displays of affection as long as they were only around his sister. Norman liked the small brush of hands, and a solid presence against his side. Once he caught Dipper staring at him, so he gave Dipper a peck on his cheek. Dipper was red for the rest of the day.

Norman liked spending time with Dipper and Mabel. At the hotel he lay awake at night and counted how many days he had left of summer before he would have to return home. He was just a kid. He wanted to have fun. He wanted so badly to tell his new friends he could see ghosts and talk to ghosts and that he liked horror movies and for them not to bat an eyelash at any of it. But he kept his mouth shut if only for the churning in his stomach at what they might say if he did tell them.

Five days before leaving, Dipper brought him up to the attic and kissed him on the mouth, and then they lounged on Dipper’s bed and talked about various subjects from the book. The morning before Norman left, Dipper came to see him. His parents were putting things in the back while Courtney sat and texted on her phone.

“Don’t forget about me. And Mabel. Don’t forget about me and Mabel, okay?” He gave Dipper a hug and held his hand briefly and Dipper sent shady looks towards the car. “You can come back again maybe. Maybe we’ll go to Massachusetts sometime?” Dipper said, and Norman nodded his agreement, but neither of them thought it would happen.

He gave Dipper his home telephone number, and half-expected Dipper to lose it. He assumed that this was true when weeks passed after arriving home, and he never got a phone call. Norman thought less and less about Gravity Falls that school year with the increasing abnormality of events, and with every day that passed there was a smaller and smaller chance of communication. He told Neil he liked to be alone.

He still remembered Dipper, and Mabel and their Great Uncle and Wendy and Soos, a little bit. But the memories seemed far away. Blurred, and distant. Without a call from Dipper to make his memories tangible, he almost believed that maybe he’d fabricated the whole experience.

Eventually, he grew up. The ugly feeling in his stomach stopped when he thought about Gravity Falls. Then some years later, his parents suggested they return.
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