Prez automatically assumed the worst when she heard the twins calling for her, and felt physically sick when they ran into her vision.
"She just lifted up into the air and disappeared!"
Even though it wasn't a total guarantee, Prez figured that meant it was over.
And Girlie . . . her baby sister . . .
She let out a tortured wail that stood on the fine line between sounds made by humans and sounds made by animals and fell to her knees with her face hidden behind her hands. Her small body was wracked with violent sobs as she slowly gave up.
Two Appleshine deaths, the two people closest to her, in less than four months. It was just too much for the normally-optimistic teenager.
She was completely numb to the feeble attempts of Dipper and Mabel to comfort her. Nothing would help.
There wasn't even anything to bury. What would she tell her mother when she came home?
Would she even go home?
What was there left to live for, anyway?
Prez had failed as a big sister, failed as a daughter, failed as a friend, and by failing her one responsibility she had failed as a mother.
She'd been lying to herself. Telling herself that everything would always be all right, telling herself she was a good sister, telling herself she could make it.
Slowly, the warm heart of Prezanika Madison Luna Nightshade-Appleshine froze over.
To the right of the leader of the Time Council sat a young woman that looked stunningly like Bill's human form, though she had a sophisticated appearance about her that Bill lacked thanks to the way she sat up straight and kept a calm, cool look on her face.
Her eyes betrayed it all, though, as she looked to the little girl that had just appeared in front of them.
Of the six main members of the Time Council, this woman was the only one that hadn't spoken when threatening Bill or Girlie. In fact, she rarely spoke at all. She was the second most powerful member of the Council, the first in line to be Head should anything ever happen to the leader Rassilon, yet she trusted the other five members' judgement enough to never talk unless in the most dire of circumstances.
But the look she gave Girlie with her normally cold and emotionless silver eyes was one of pity, of pain, and of doubt.
"GirlOfManyFandoms Appleshine, you stand before the six elite members of the Time Council. I am Head, Rassilon. You have exactly thirty minutes to convince the Time Council to reconsider."
Rassilon snapped his fingers, and an analog clock appeared above the heads of the Council. Though it was not visible, the two representatives had been summoned out of Girlie's mind, thus ceasing their attacks, and sent back to their homes until the trial was over.
He was totally oblivious to the fact that doubt was making its way into Willow "Billie" Cipher.
After all, why would he doubt the unwavering trust and loyalty of Bill Cipher's twin sister and polar opposite? She had never stood up for her brother before, which was surprising even with the lies he'd told her, so why would she care about some random little kid that had messed with fate?
Billie just watched the child, hoping that her own influence would be enough to save her life. She tried to convey an apology for the pain she and her sister had suffered with her eyes, as she was unable to communicate mentally or vocally without the rest of the Time Council hearing it.
This child was making her rethink her entire life, starting when she'd chosen a life of power and safety with the Council over her friendship with her brother so many millions of years ago.
The clock began ticking. Girlie's thirty minutes had begun.
The adrenaline - or whatever he had that did its job - kept Bill from fully feeling pain and exhaustion until the bear-thing had fizzled and disappeared. As soon as it had, he morphed back into human form and started climbing up the stairs that led from Girlie's subconscious up to her main mind.
As soon as his heartbeat slowed halfway up the staircase, he doubled over and cried out.
He was extremely worn out to the point of almost being unable to move, and there was a burning in his abdomen that told him that the bear-thing had impaled him with one of its claws at some point. His head felt like someone was driving a nail into it, and there was a searing pain on his forehead that accompanied a gash.
Thick, silver blood leaked from his forehead, impairing his vision. He wiped it out of his uncovered eye. I can't give up.
He tried to force himself to continue up the stairs, but it was impossible. He was so tired, and in so much pain.
This wouldn't be enough to kill him, but it would definitely keep him out of commission for at least a few hours. And a few hours would be enough for the Time Council to finish Girlie off.
He finally started making some progress, but at the top step, he collapsed and began to fade. He was weak enough that Girlie's mind was able to reject his presence.
No, no, no! I have to protect . . . I have . . . to . . . protect . . .
His vision fuzzed around the edges as he completely disappeared. He faintly took note of his surroundings changing to those of the Gravity Falls forest. The last thing he saw before losing consciousness was the surprised face of his old enemy Stan Pines.