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AN: Happy New Year everyone! 2017 has been quite a year and 2018 is sure to be just as exciting. Now then, let's get on with the continuing adventures of the Pines Family and their new soul-hunting friends! For this arc, which I dub the Black Blood arc, we will be using the Atbash cipher for these codes.

XILMZ DZH LMXV ZOO ZOLMV

ORERMT DRGSRM ZM VERO SLNV

SVIV RM GDL GLDMH SV SZH HL NZMB UIRVMWH

URMZOOB SZERMT Z SZKKB VMW


--

It had been a day since the Pines family and the students of the Death Weapon Meister Academy had saved Grunkle Stan's mind from Bill Cipher. Now all was quiet on another morning in the Mystery Shack. "So your wife broke up with you because you kept horning on other women?" Stan asked Spirit sipping some Pitt cola. "Yep, she sends Maka postcards but she hasn't talked to us in person for years!" the Death Scythe replied. "I know how that feels. You remember Marilyn right? Well she's the tip of the iceberg!" the con-artist exclaimed. "Carla McCorkle returned all my flowers and Beatrice slapped me for being a cad! But my coin machine Old Goldie was the best girlfriend I ever had."

"So where is Old Goldie?" Spirit wondered. "Oh yeah, we kinda split up after a trip to Vegas and she's seeing other machines now." Stan remarked, just as Ford, Stein and Dipper walked into the room. "Hey there Grunkle Stan." Dipper greeted his great-uncle. "Hello there Stanley. Ford & I were going to analyze our current situation and Dipper wanted to tag along. Would you be willing to join us?" Stein asked. "Hate to break it to ya Stitches, but I'm gonna have to say no. Mabel's plannin' on doing something with Crona today and she wants me to come with."

"What is Mabel planning anyway?" Dipper wondered. "Probably a fun day out. Trust me, I think he needs it." Spirit said. "Speaking of which, what gender is Crona anyway? You say he's a boy but honestly I think he looks more like a girl." Stan stated. "We don't know what gender Crona is, but we decided to refer to him as a boy." Stein replied turning his screw.

--

Meanwhile in the attic, Mabel had gathered Crona, Maka, Soul, Black Star, Tsubaki, Kid, the Thompsons, Blair, Waddles, Soos and Melody in front of a whiteboard. "All right everybody, Operation: 'Make This Day The Best Day of Crona's Life' is almost a-go!" the girl announced sketching out what she just said with a marker on the board. "First on the agenda, get him some new clothes at the mall!"

"Why, what's wrong with what I'm wearing right now?" Croan wondered tugging at his own attire. "No offense Crona, but that black doesn't really go well with your hair." Melody said. "FYI lady, these clothes are what keep me alive so shut your yap!" Ragnarok shouted. "I suppose the little guy popping out of your back is like your weapon?" she asked Crona. "Yeah, my sword."

"I hate to say this Mabel, but I'm afraid I must decline." Kid announced standing up. "Your brother is doing some important research with your great-uncle and Professor Stein so I'd like to join them." Then Soul got up and stretched his arms. "Ditto." he said following Kid out of the room. "Well, I'm sure we can fare without them. Time to assemble the crew!" Mabel pulled out her phone and started tapping on it before putting it up to her ear. "Candy, Grenda, Wendy, Pacifica, you better be free today!" she exclaimed cheerfully.

"Hey chin up Crona, it'll be fun!" Maka assured her friend. "Besides, why else would Mabel call it Operation: 'Make This Day The Best Day of Crona's Life'?" Crona just gave a small smile and he started preparing for the day out.

--

"Okay everybody, we'll be back!" Stan called from his car while everyone else clambered inside. "Uh Mr. Pines, are you sure this car is big enough for everyone?" Tsubaki wondered. "Okay change of plans. Ninja Man, you can sit on the roof." he said to Black Star. "Uh why?" the young ninja wondered doing what he was told. "Because I seriously need to get a bigger car."

"Bye Stan, have a great time everyone!" Dipper called before the Stanleymobile vanished from sight. "Well then friends, off to work!" Kid declared before they heard the insane laughter of none other than Old Man McGucket. "Oh right, almost forgot to tell you but I invited an old friend of mine to help us out on this case." Ford explained. "You mean that McGucket guy? Yeah, the twins introduced Maka and I to him when we first came here."

"Howdy there gang, nice weather we're having!" Fiddleford cheerfully greeted everyone. "And Soul too!" He excitedly shook the Demon Scythe's hand who simply smiled nervously. "Thank you for coming Fidds, I'd like you to meet Death the Kid, Spirit Albarn and Franken Stein."

"Wait a minute, this hillbilly isn't symmetrical in the slightest!" Kid accused Fiddleford. "Wait, what's he talkin' about?" the local kook wondered. "Just look at him, he has a cast on his right arm & bandages on his right foot, but none on the other side plus there is that bandage on his beard which is completely impossible!" He continued ranting before Stein smacked him over the head. "Apologies, he has a certain thing for symmetry."

"Well then now that we got introductions outta the way, let's scrapdoodle to work!" McGucket declared walking into the Shack. "What does scrapdoodle mean?" Soul asked. "Probably some made up word." Dipper replied.

--

It had only been a few minutes since they arrived at the mall but Mabel was already getting excited. "This is going to be so much fun, and it's gonna be even more fun when my other friends get here!" she exclaimed. "So what are your other friends like?" Crona asked. "Well Wendy is a really cool girl who works part time at the Shack and my bro had a crush on her, Candy & Grenda are pretty much my people and Pacifica was once a jerk to us but she's pretty nice now! And speak of the devil, here they are!"

Candy, Grenda, Wendy and Pacifica all greeted Mabel's group with smiles on their faces. "Hello there everyone!" Maka said. "Hey Maka, nice day we're having?" Wendy replied fistbumping her. "Well, I'm just gonna go steal from cash registers when nobody's looking. Babysit Crona while I'm gone." Grunkle Stan prepared to leave before Black Star pulled him by the collar. "Oh no you don't wrinkles, you ain't going until we settle the score!" the young assassin declared. "Wait, what score? I know we have a bit of a rivalry but what's all this for?" the con-artist wondered. "I challenge you Pines, to a series of competitions to decide which is the superior man!"

"Okay then kid, if you say so." Stan resigned. "Let's just leave them to their antics and find you some clothes Crona." Tsubaki said leading the others away from the rivals.

--

"A-are you sure any of these c-clothes are my size?" Crona wondered being shoved into a changing room with bags of clothes. "I'm pretty sure they are. Now go on, try one." Pacifica urged him. "O-okay then. But I still don't know how to deal with this."

"EATING CONTEST, GO!" Black Star shouted before he and Stan gobbled up piles of hotdogs laid out before them. "Don't think you can win kid!" the great uncle bragged with his mouth full of weiners. "That's what you think!" The eating contest went on until both plates of franks were completely barren. "HA-HA, I WIN!" the ninja cheered before getting a funny feeling in his stomach. "Oh God, what was in those dogs?" he groaned clutching his gut. "Can't believe you didn't notice it before! I spiked those with laxatives, oldest trick in the book!"

"Funny you should say that Stan, because I did the same to yours as well!" Black Star rebutted still grabbing at his organ and Stan dropped down as well. "Race you to the bathroom squirt!" Stan challenged racing towards the mens' restroom. "Not if I make it there first!" Black Star shouted racing after him with Liz and Wendy watching. "Those two, am I right?" Wendy snarked. "I'm pretty sure they'll become friends eventually. Perhaps one of them saves the other's life." Lix answered. "Hey girls, get back in here and see the new Crona!" Patty called from inside the store.

The two of them returned back inside to see their friend now wearing a white shirt with billowing sleeves tipped with gold material at the end making them resemble wings, grey pants with orange stripes on the sides going up to his waist and tan shoes.

"So how do you like 'em Crona?" Soos asked. "They're actually pretty good. Thanks everyone." the Demon Swordman beamed. "So what should we do with this old thing?" Candy wondered holding up Crona's old clothes. "Whatever ya do four-eyes, don't throw me out! Maybe cut me up and I don't know, make me into a nice scarf or a jacket." Ragnarok begged her. "We'll look into that." Grenda said.

"So where's Mr. Pines and Black Star?" Melody asked. "Oh yeah, they challenged each other to an eating contest, spiked each other with laxatives and they should be lettin' loose in the bathroom any second now." Liz answered.

Suddenly, an entire tsunami of toilet paper came bursting out of the bathroom flooding the entire area. "Help me!" a random shopper hollered reaching out before he was consumed by the torrent of rolls before finally, it stopped leaving only a dehydrated Stan and Black Star continuing to glare at one another. "I flushed first." the elder argued smacking his lips. "Well I wiped faster." his rival exclaimed doing the same. "Maybe we should've left Mr. Pines back at the Shack." Tsubaki commented. "Yeah, speaking of which how are Dipper and the others doing?" Mabel wondered.

--

"So to put it lightly, Bill's back and he fused with this thing called a Kishin to get revenge on all of us. Anybody got that?" Dipper had finished explaining their current situation to McGucket. "So what you're sayin' is that the mummies are fighting back?" Fiddleford said. "What, no! Is it because of the bandages?!" Kid exclaimed. "Yeah pretty much Stripes."

"Which is why we're all gathered here today. It's our duty to stop Bill from rising up once more and we must act quickly before he launches another insidious plot." Ford declared clenching his fist. "So where do we start?" Soul inquired.

"We start with this wheel Kishin Cipher spawned when he said he'll be watching us." Stein replied pulling out a marker and doodling that exact wheel on a whiteboard. "He projected twenty symbols around him, though I still can't crack what these are." he said. "Wait, could this be a new Zodiac?" Dipper questioned. "A what now?" Spirit blurted. "A Zodiac. Legends say that ten people holding hands produce some kind of human energy circuit that could end Bill's madness." the boy explained. "We actually tried this last summer but it failed because Stanley had poor grammar." Ford added. "And yes, it was indeed anti-climatic."

"Okay so I'm definitely the pine tree." Dipper said writing his name under the pine tree symbol. "Mabel is the shooting star, Stan is the claw thing, Ford's the hand, Soos the question mark, Wendy the ice bag, etc." He did the same for the other symbols before moving on to the new ones. "But which one is the scythe?" he asked. "I got this one, it's Maka." Soul declared taking the marker out of Dipper's hands and writing his partner's name on the board. "And the piano keys represent me."

"The piano keys? Wouldn't it make more sense for something like a shark to represent you Soul?" Kid wondered bringing up his fellow student's shark-like jaws. "Okay, you got me. Before joining the DWMA, I was part of my family's band." the scythe revealed to the shock of the others. "Family band? Maka told me you were good at piano but I never knew your family were musicians!" Spirit exclaimed.

"Why is that and how come you haven't told your friends this?" Dipper wondered. "I just felt I wasn't good enough compared to my older brother Wes Evans." the pianist lamented. "It's actually how I first met Maka too. I played a song for her that she said was dark & weird like the kind of person I am, but she liked it anyway." That's when Dipper got an idea. "Why don't you play a song for us? Wait here, I'll go grab something." He rushed out of them living room and came back with a small keyboard with 'Beeblyboop' on the front. "This one belongs to Soos, but I'm sure he won't mind you using it. Also, apologies for the random sound effects when the keys are pressed."

"Well you called my bluff kid." Soul said tussling Dipper's hair before sitting down and cracking his knuckles to play. When his fingers finally made contact with the keys, out came a sonata of doorbells ringing, crying babies, lightning, gongs and other sound effects that he somehow made sound beautiful. When he finished playing, there was silence in the room before Dipper started applauding him followed by the rest. "That was wonderful Soul! I think that if you stop weighing yourself down you could become comparable to Beethoven!" Ford praised Soul who simply blushed at his kind words. "Now then, back to work everyone!"

Everybody returned to what they were doing, but little did they know that piece had reawakened something within Soul that made him put on a manic smile.

--

"It's a good thing you were rich Northwest. I mean, do you have any idea how much we had to pay for those bathrooms?!" Stan complained at the food court where they were all having lunch. "By the way, you should really have some of my garmonbozia creamed corn! It kinda tastes like the pain and sorrow of working in a canned food factory but it's still really thick and chewy!"

"Pass." Maka deadpanned with her nose in a book. "Hey guys, I've been thinking. Since we all worked so well together yesterday in saving my grunkle from Bill, maybe we should think of a team name." Mabel stated. "How about 'the Followers of Black Star'?" Black Star suggested. "How 'bout something that doesn't inflate your ego to make it bigger than fifteen suns?" Stan jeered. "Or maybe something like the Mystery Meisters, y'know?" Melody added. Mabel was astonished at her idea and immediately pulled a notepad from out of nowhere to write it down. "That's genius Melody, I'm writing it down as we speak!"

"Where did that even come from?" Crona wondered bringing to mind the notepad. "I stuck in my sweater, guess you didn't notice." Mabel replied. "That name actually does sound catchy." Pacifica complimented. "Yeah, has some nice alliteration plus it combines both of our things." Stan added. "By the way, anyone seen my garmonbozia? I swaer I was holding it just a few seconds ago."

He angrily glared at Black Star, who was eating his creamed corn with a smug grin on his face which instantly pissed Stan off. "BLAAAAAACK STAAAAAAAR!" he screamed the ninja's name in fury for everyone in the mall to hear. "You know you could've just asked for some of my corn, but NOOOO! You just snatched it outta my hands without me noticing just to get my goat!"

"Hey, FYI glasses, one does not simply just leave food unattended!" Black Star shouted back. "All right, the two of you break it up this instant!" Tsubaki ordered. "If you want my stuff, then you're gonna have to win it!" Stan stated. "I challenge you to a duel, where the winner gets all the garmonbozia they can eat!"

"Okay then Pines, I'm always up for a good challenge! It's a deal!" Black Star grinned shaking the old man's hand. "C'mon Tsubaki, time for preparations!" He grabbed his weapon by the arm and dragged her away while she nervously whispered "Help me." to the others. "How do you even put up with them?!" Liz and Pacifica shouted simultaneously to Soos and Maka respectively. "Well he was my boss so I'm kinda used to this." the manchild said. "Ditto." the scythe Meister said still not taking her eyes off of her book.

--

A few minutes later, a large group of people had gathered around the rivals as they circled one another, grimacing all the way. "You may be a ninja, but I have 40 years of experience under my belt! I've been to prison in three different countries, been banned from half of the USA and even chewed my way out of the back of a car!" Stan boasted. "Brag all ya want old man, but you're facing the man who's gonna transcend God!" Black Star fired back. "You're gonna wish you never tried to drown me in the first place!"

"'Scuse me, pardon me, coming through." Mabel tried to clear a path for the others among the crowd. "Oh hey Robbie!" she greeted the emo teen. "Oh hey Mabel. Haven't seen you since the welcome back party." Robbie said. "Oh yeah, Dipper and I were just on some crazy summer adventures as usual. By the way, meet some new friends I made a few days ago."

"Hey everyone, Paul Logan is here!" a man shouted and everybody started cheering for a young brunette man in an alien cap. "Yo wassup my homies?! Paul Logan here to commentate on a fight between some weeaboo and an old fart who's packing heat here! #PackingHeat!" Before Paul could speak anymore, Black Star grabbed him by the neck. "Hey get outta here you! You should learn who the real star is round here!" He tossed the Internet celebrity to the ground and shoved him away with his foot into a nearby pillar. "My face."

"Did-did he just waste Paul Logan?" Tambry gasped. "Now then, let's get back to business. Ready?" he challenged the great-uncle transforming his weapon into a sword. "Ready squirt." Stan replied brandishing a pair of brass knuckles and took the first strike, smacking the young assassin in the face with a left hook. "That was just a warning punch!" He took a fighting stance before Black Star slashed him in the chest with his sword. "You know Star, Mr. Pines is right. You really could've just asked for that garmon-whatever." Tsubaki's voice echoed from the sword. "That was revenge for nearly drowning me when we first met!"

"You're still not gonna let that go? I apologized and that's final!" the man of mystery shouted clocking the ninja in the torso with a jab. His sword then turned into a smoke bomb which he tossed onto the mall floor, blinding his opponent. "That was a cheap shot, but don't think you've won just yet!" He started making a series of random noises to distract him. "Seriously, you're gonna go that route? So immature for someone your age!"

"Says you." Liz quipped. "Hey, I can't see from here. Can someone give me a boost?" Crona asked. "Here little dude, happy to help." Soos beamed helping his friend up to his shoulders. "Thanks Mr. Soos."

Black Star's weapon then turned into a chain scythe and tossed it down, forming a star shape around Stan. "He's going for the Trap Star!" Patty cried while the con-artist tried to escape but failed as Black Star came soaring downward, preparing for the final blow. "This is where we end this Stan! UNCANNY SWORD, HO!" As he was about to defeat his opponent, he was suddenly struck with a taser and fell down to the ground. "Aha yes, victory by dropout everyone!" Stan cheered before he was struck by a taser as well and everything suddenly went black.

--

"Yes sir, a minor got into a fight with a senior citizen and tried to kill him with ninja weapons." a plump mall security officer with a mustache spoke into the phone. "The boy's chain thingy turned into a teenage girl, probably around 16 to 17 years old. The boy also assaulted MeTunnel video star Paul Logan and was about to stab the old man in the head with his sword before we apprehended them." The man on the other end of the phone started laughing out loud, not believing a word he just said. "What're you laughing for? I saw it all first hand!"

The duo finally came to their senses and found themselves behind bars. "Well, looks like the two of us might be banned for life. No thanks to you." Stan grimaced. "Hey, if you let me have your garmonbozia this wouldn't have happened!" Black Star complained. "All right, quiet in there you two." the security guard ordered and the two immediately obeyed. "Now I want you both to come clean about what just happened, no blaming each other like a bunch of kindergarteners."

"He started it!" the two pointed at one another. "You see, this is what I was talking about! Unless someone pays the bail, you two are gonna be in here for a pre-tty long-" He was suddenly interrupted by Pacifica pulling his leg and handing him a wad of cash. "Well whaddya know, bail money! You two are free to go, just don't pull any chicanery like this again."

The two were let out by the smiling mall guard to the rest of their pack, who were all looking very sheepish except for a very cross Tsubaki. "See, this is what taking petty things too far can lead you!" she scolded the two. "Now just please apologize to one another!" The ninja and the con-man turned to one another with strained smiles. "I'm uh, sorry for trying to stab you in the head. And taking your food. And being pretty unpleasent to you overall." Black Star muttered. "And I'm sorry for trying to drown you and punching you in the face." Stan replied. "So uh, frenemies?"

"Sure, frenemies!" Black Star put the old man into a headlock with the others still watching and Tsubaki's face returned to its usual warmness. "Hey, not so tight. The wounds are still fresh!" Stan exclaimed before his newfound frenemy put him down. "And Soos, Tsubaki."

"Sorry for not listening to you guys." they said in unison. "Apology accepted." Tsubaki calmly said hugging her partner. "So what have we all learned today?" Soos asked in a pseudo-condescending tone. "Well for one thing, creamed corn can make you go crazy!" his former boss answered with a cackle. "Really crazy!" Black Star added putting an arm around his senior's shoulder and joining his laughter. "Uh hey guys, I noticed that when Grunkle Stan and Black Star started fighting I kinda got ignored." Crona squeaked. "This was supposed to be my day."

"We're sorry Crona, I promise we'll make it up to you somehow." Mabel apologized hugging the swordsman. "Hey Mabel, as much fun I had today, I gotta bounce." Pacifica said beginning to leave. "My parents should be picking me up any minute now." She walked away from the group before Candy & Grenda followed suit. "Yeah, Marius wants to videochat with me and I don't wanna keep him waiting!" the huge girl stated. Just then, Candy rushed up to Crona and pulled his old clothing out of her backpack. "Here's your old clothes, in case you decide on what to do with them."

"Thank you Candy." Crona thanked her. "You are very welcome." the Asian girl bowed before turning back to the other girls. "Bye guys, see you next time!" Mabel exclaimed. "Well everybody, let's head home." Stan declared. "And maybe get me a doctor."

--

"Okay, so we got most of the symbols down but there are still a few that befuddle me." Dipper remarked examining the whiteboard. "Like for example, who does the weird crossbow thing represent?" he wondered pointing to that exact symbol. "Oh yeah, I'd recognize that shape from anywhere." Spirit answered. "That's the weapon form of Azusa Yumi, Death Scythe of Oceania. And the hammer is Marie Mjolnir, another Death Scythe."

"Death Scythes. Very interesting." Ford wrote in his journal. "But what are they anyway?" he asked. "Death Scythes are Demon Weapons that have collected ninety-nine evil souls and one witch soul whom receive the honor of being wielded by Lord Death himself in battle." Kid explained. "Hey, isn't that Lord Death feller supposed to be like your daddy?" McGucket pondered. "Oh my, how did you guess so easily?" japed Soul. "I dunno, it's just that his name reminds me of all the old Western movies I watched when I was a youngin."

"We're home!" Mabel exclaimed as she and the rest of her pack reentered the Shack. "Ah, home sweet home!" Stan sighed in relief. "So how was your day?" Stein asked. "It was pretty fun. I got new clothes, had some fun with my new friends." Crona replied before Ragnarok suddenly burst out from his backpack. "And then Mr. Pines and Black Star beat the crap out of each other! You shoulda been there, they were all like 'I'm gonna waste your ass!' and then this stupid guy wanted to make an even stupider video out of it! And that was before they got locked up!"

"MAKA CHOP!" yelled Maka knocking out the mass of black blood. "And that's the story of how Black Star & I sorta patched things up between us and became frenemies." Stan finished. "But then they kind of started ignoring me when they started fighting. I felt kinda left out." Crona said. "Aw don't be like that dude." Soos tried to calm him down. "It's just that even when someone else is taking our eyes on them, that doesn't mean we're ignoring you."

"We promise that." Melody added. "So what have you guys been doing today?" she asked the boys. "We were deciphering this wheel Kishin Cipher spawned yesterday and cracked all the symbols on it." Dipper stated. "Except for the bell here. What could it possibly mean?" he wondered. "I think there may be someone we know who has represents that." remarked Mabel. "But who knows?"

"Soul also told us about his piano skills and even played a song for us on Soos's keyboard." Ford stated. "And that his family was really rich! I mean REALLY rich!" exclaimed McGucket. "Wow, I never knew you were a millionaire Soul!" Maka gasped. "Sheesh, okay then. Guess I got to get those skills from somewhere." Soul blushed rubbing the back of his head.

"Yes yes, very good everyone. Now Stein, you're a doctor, can you tend to my wounds?" Stan begged Stein. "Of course I will Mr. Pines, just follow me." the scientist affirmed with a psychotic grin on his face before dragging Stan away, who just muttered "Help me."

--

Later that night, everybody was fast asleep. Waddles had snuggled up to Mabel, Black Star was out like a light, Kid and the Thompsons rested on a very fine looking bed and Soul just laid his head on the wall snoring. The only sounds that filled the dark sky were the chirping of crickets and the combination of Stan screaming in terror & Stein laughing maniacally.

Soul was in a deep slumber when suddenly, he awoken to find himself in a familiar room. It was all black and red with a single lamp lighting the area. A large grand piano stood near him and when he looked down, he was dressed in a pinstripe black suit with a red dress shirt underneath and a matching tie & shoes. He immediately knew where he was. "No, this can't be!" he shouted in complete and utter shock. "Oh yes it is my friend."

Out of the shadows came a little impish creature with blood red skin, yellow eyes, a black double-breasted suit and an eternally smiling face. "Hello there Soul, long time no see." he politely greeted the scythe.

--

Oh mama, that was quite a cliffhanger! Sorry if the story went a bit off track despite the title, the thought of Grunkle Stan and Black Star competing against one another in a variety of hilarious ways just seemed quite amusing to me. Anyway, how has the Little Ogre returned and what does he want with Soul? Find out next chapter on Gravity Soul!
Originally posted on January 7, 2018.

The following is a fanmade crossover. Gravity Falls is owned by Walt Disney Television Animation, Disney XD and Alex Hirsch. Soul Eater is owned by Studio Bones, Square Enix and Atsushi Okubo. Please support the official release!
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