GF & MvsM - Wanna Talk About Dinos?
This crossover was inevitable. It just works too well. Maybe one day i’ll write a fic about how the folks at Gravity Falls handled the robot-apocalypse. Probably shrugged it off. “Eh. We’ve had worse.” Haha! What if Stan and Ford, cuz they were out sailing, had no clue what happened and when they came back they were like, “Wait, what?”
For now, please enjoy this fic of Aaron making a new friend...
(credit goes to @stephreynaart for her OC Jacob)
“Hi, would you like to talk to me about dinosaurs?”
Aaron asked this question more times than he could keep track of, but that wasn’t going to stop him from asking it. It started as a dare from his big sister two years ago, but now it’s a fun hobby. When fifth grade isn’t overwhelming him, scaring him with mountains of homework and horror stories about how hard middle school is going to be, and when he’s run out of YouTube videos to catch up on, he is on the hunt for fellow giant-lizard-lovers like a hungry Ceratosaurus.
“No, okay bye.” But it did get a little tiring to always cross out names and phone-numbers on the phone book with red ink. Hey, a dinosaur of a way to find phone-numbers was appropriate. He read the next number, dialed it, and after a ring or two he asked, “How would you like to talk with me about dinosaurs? No, okay thank you.”
Aaron crossed out another name and sighed, taking a break since he reached the end of a line of numbers. Maybe he should just be grateful for Abbey and accept that no one else wants to talk about the Jurassic Period. Or the Cretaceous Period. Or the Triassic Period. But then a big, old, gray-tinted ad distracted him. He grinned, thinking it would at least be fun to give them a call, and he dialed the number.
Private home phone-numbers were fun, but businesses were also fun! Poor, bored workers would gladly talk to him rather than crabby Karens, and they got paid for it! So Aaron smiled as the phone rang, and he grinned when someone picked up.
“Thanks for calling the Mystery Shack, you’re talking to Mr. Mystery himself! How may I befuddle or bewilder you?”
“Hi! How would you like to talk with me about dinosaurs?”
“Oh, dude! I’d love to, but I’m scheduled for a tour of the Oddity Museum in three minutes.” The man said, and Aaron grinned continuously, because it sounded like Mr. Mystery really wanted to talk with him about dinosaurs. “But hey! Can you hold on for one minute, I think I know a guy!”
“Yeah, sure mister!” And Aaron was greeted by the sound of a catchy jingle about buying t-shirts and mugs and snowglobes. He smiled and wiggled his feet along to the music as he looked outside at the beautiful late-fall afternoon, entertained while he waited.
Soos was on the hunt. He planned out the house in his head. Abuelita was taking a nap upstairs, Melody was organizing the upcoming tour, and Stan took Jacob out for ice cream, so he might be…
The owner of the Shack grinned when he stopped at the doorway and saw the man he was looking for, sitting in Stan’s chair, reading a book.
The old sailor smiled up at the young man. “Yes, wh-...”
“Do you think you could answer the phone for me? I have a tour and I think this customer’s request is right up your alley.”
“Uh… sure, but w-...”
“Thanks, you’re the best!” And Soos was gone before he could address Ford’s confusion.
Ford was a bit lost, having little to no business with business, but he had learned at this point to trust Soos, so he picked up the phone beside him and was immediately greeted with a sweet, “How would you like to talk with me about dinosaurs?”
Ford grinned and closed his book. “I would love to! All three periods are equally as fascinating to study, but the Triassic contains some of my favorite dinosaurs!”
A young voice gasped on the other line. “Mine, too! Everyone thinks the Jurassic period is so great, and it’s pretty cool, but the Triassic gave us Plateosaurus and the Brachiosaurus!”
“That’s very true! You know, it’s very interesting, maybe depictions don’t include feathers at all, which is a bit frustrating, but perhaps after the news has spread they will incorporate more feathers on merchandise and textbooks.”
“YES! That’s what I wanna do when I grow up, help draw better-accurate dinosaurs!”
The phone rang on Sunday. The Shack was closed today, so Stan lazily answered it and was greeted with, “Wanna talk about dinosaurs?”
“Sixer, phone for you!”
Ford ran into the living room, elbowed his twin out of the chair, and took the phone. “Hello again, Aaron! Now, where were we? Right, so Australopithecus. … No, I don’t think… Oh! No, homo habilis was erect, Australopithecus was never fully erect.”
“Maybe he was nervous.” Stan groaned, getting to his feet.
Ford shot him a look as thankfully the young boy on the other end didn’t catch that and happily shared some more fun-facts about homo habilis.
While most college students were excited for Spring Break so they could get drunk or lose their virginity, Katie was excited because her family had planned a special secret roadtrip. She was careful to keep up with her family and talk to her parents and brother frequently, but Aaron had a hobby he wasn’t talking about that his parents found out and were thrilled about. Aaron had made another friend.
Rick and Katie did some research and the tourist attraction sounded right up their alley! In the middle of the woods, tons of weird stuff, and a fun roadtrip filled with diners and attractions. They decided to surprise Aaron, and they made up a lie that they would spend Spring Break in California with Katie so she could show her family around San Francisco, when in actuality they would be traveling up the state to the Redwood Highway and see the oddity place, and maybe even allow Aaron to meet his new pen-pal. Or, um, phone-pal.
So after bombarding Katie with hugs the Mitchells threw her luggage into the car and drove off. Aaron turned to Katie and excitingly asked, “So where are we going first? Can we go fix the Golden Gate bridge by painting it gold?”
Katie laughed and ruffled his hair. “Maybe later, right now I wanna show you guys this fun store right outside of town. Here, check out the videos I made for my classes!” And she pulled out some airpods and gave one to Aaron.
Rick and Linda smirked at each other as they drove north. By the time they reached a little diner in Redding, CA, it was very clear to Aaron that they weren’t in San Francisco anymore. “Come on, just tell me where we’re going!” The boy begged as he fed Monchi a fry.
“The best kind of prizes are the surprises.” Linda quoted.
“Eric, Deborahbot5000, where are we going?”
“Sorry, Aaron, we cannot give that information.” Eric said, he and the other robot sitting politely in their seats, happy to be a part of the social interaction.
“Yes, Mother will bury us if we disobey.” Deborahbot said matter-of-factly.
“What?! No I won’t, sweeties.”
“Won’t you ground us?”
The family laughed and Aaron let the topic go; if he was honest, he loved a good surprise. The big family stopped in a motel just at the California-Oregon border, and the next morning after muffins and coffee and orange juice they were on the road again, passing dozens of trees that made Rick feel at home. Katie happily recorded the trip, trusted to be the documenter for another fun roadtrip, with hopefully not as much mortal peril.
Aaron watched as they left the highway for a simple road, and they passed a big sign. The boy gasped and caught what was happening. “No WAY! Really?!”
“You know, I hear this Mystery Shack even has a Sasquatch.” Rick commented while Linda pulled out a pamphlet from the glove box.
“It says here it’s full of odd things you’ll never see anywhere else, even a dinosaur footprint…”
“Wasn’t there a rumor of there being a Bottomless Pit?” Katie asked, pointing her camera at Aaron to get his reaction.
“Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!!” Aaron cheered, hugging his Dad’s neck and kissing his Mom’s cheek.
“Hey, no worries, buddy.” Rick eased, fixing his shewed glasses. “We wanted to see this place, too!”
“Why don’t we eat a quick lunch and then we’ll take the backroad for the attraction? There’s a coupon in here for a diner made from a giant log!”
And so after being served by a pretty blonde teenager at Greasy’s, they drove through town to get to the backroad. Signs made them confident that they were going the correct way, as well as Eric and Deborahbot5000’s GPS. Then as they turned a corner, a big triangle-shaped building came into view. Aaron grinned at the giant sign with a missing letter. People were already leaving, arms full of souvenirs and one or two already wearing their new hats or t-shirts. Once Rick parked in the Free Parking Lot, Aaron spilled out of the car and ran for the shack, but he stopped.
Katie caught up to him and patted his back. “You cool, man?”
Aaron shrugged, holding his hands in front of him and his shoulders up to hide his face a bit. “I-I dunno… What if… What if he doesn’t like me?”
“Hey, I get it.” Katie admitted. “When I first met my friends I was really nervous. I had talked to them online for weeks and I was worried it wasn’t gonna be what it was all cracked up to be, but it was. Your system worked! You found another dino-lover! You earned this moment. Just take in a deep breath and be yourself, cuz you’re a pretty cool dude.”
Aaron smiled up at his big sister. “Thanks.”
Trusting Eric and Deborahbot5000 to watch Monchi and make sure he used the bathroom, the Mitchells went inside the shack. On the porch there was an ice cooler, a sign reading schedule times for tours of the Oddity Museum, a Help Wanted sign, and two rocking chairs with a game of checkers between them.
Inside the store a few customers filled up the gift shop, alongside t-shirts, snowglobes, a vending machine, a door beside ti that read Employees Only, a bookshelf full of comic on one side and old newspapers claiming alien sightings on the other, a fish tank holding a monkey-mermaid, and barrels full of spaceship keychains and dino claws. A new section called Camping Stuff caught Rick’s eye, selling backpacks, lanterns, flashlights, batteries, canteens, and compasses. Katie opened a comic called Lil’Stanley and laughed at the swears, taking a pic and sending it to her friends’ group chat. Linda looked into the barrel full of patches and grinned at all the fun designs, while Aaron stared happily at the mer-monkey.
The Employees Only door opened and closed and Rick watched as a man in a suit, fez, and eyepatch walked up to the lady at the register and kissed her cheek. The woman smiled lovingly and left while the guy who resembled a gopher checked a customer out. Rick waited until the buyer left to approach the register, leaning an arm on the counter.
“Welcome to the Mystery Shack, dude!”
“Thanks! So, this is gonna sound weird, but my son Aaron talks to a guy here about dinosaurs…”
“No way!” The owner interrupted excitedly. “Good to see you, dudes! I’m Mr. Mystery! Wow, you guys came a long way, huh?”
“Nah, only from California. My daughter is attending art school there.”
While the men chit-chatted and Linda joined them, Katie noticed a guy walking up to Aaron and looking at the mer-monkey. She smiled and tried to read the comic without being too nosy, but she kept her senses on her brother.
“Hm, quite fascinating, isn’t it?” The man in the blue hoodie said. “But I think my favorite is the fossilized footprint. Could be Nanuqsaurus hoglundi.”
“The Polar Bear Lizard?” Aaron clarified, touching his chin as he looked at the dino-print, his back to the man he was talking to. “Maybe, but they’re from Alaska. It’s possible plate tectonics did cause some fossils to be relocated here, but it could also be a Nanotyrannosaurus lancensis footprint.”
“The Dwarf Tyrant? Could very well be. Would you like to talk about dinosaurs after your tour?”
Aaron’s eyes widened as the voice was finally familiar to him. He turned and looked up to find an old man smiling up at him. He had fluffy gray hair with a white stripe running around his scalp, wrinkles by his eyes due to smiling, a cleft chin, glasses, and wore a blue hoodie with a maroon sweater underneath. His hands were behind his back and he smiled down at Aaron warmly, while the boy was jittery and overly-excited. He took in a sharp breath and had to fight every muscle to keep from leaping through the screen door.
“H-H-Hi…” He peeped. He cleared his throat and tried again. “Y-Yeah, sure! I’d love to! I’m Aaron! Er, wait, you already knew that.” And he held out a hand to shake.
His phone-pal, Ford, chuckled and got on one knee to be eye-level. “Greeting, Aaron! It’s nice to formally meet you.”
Aaron shook his hand and noticed something. He had six fingers on his right hand. A quick glance told Aaron he also had six fingers on his left hand. Aaron grinned with sparkling eyes at his new friend, while the old sailor smiled warmly at the boy that reminds him of his niece and nephew when they were young.