It was sort of strange how one moment Nathan was peacefully sketching a picturesque landscape and then the next he was somehow going to eat with a girl he barely knew, and getting on a bus to who knows where; all in less than a day of arriving in Gravity Falls. But as for Robin, this wasn't so strange. Well it was, but she didn't feel strange about it. It wasn't everyday that you can hop on a bus heading back into town with someone new, so why not take that opportunity and run with it? That's how she saw it.
The bus driver waited just a moment for anyone else to hop aboard, but it seemed Robin and Nathan were the only ones near the lake who needed a ride. The driver shrugged when nobody else came on, closing the doors and speeding off towards the town. They sat near the back of the bus where less people were seated, he hoped it would be a quiet ride so he could take in the scenery passing by as the bus made its way through the winding road. There was plenty to see as the bus ventured through the forest. A tree. Another tree. A slightly larger tree. And of course, some sort of green spiral that dissipated just as quickly as one could notice it. Robin didn't pay it any mind as she wasn't looking out the window, fixated on how odd some of the people seemed to look. She tapped Nathan's shoulder, doing her best to discreetly point at one of the people sitting in front of them. They were wearing some sort of zany hat, a long trenchcoat, and gloves to boot. Not to mention the colors did not match at all!
"Dude, get a look at this getup. They have like, no sense of style." Nathan glanced at the person in front of them and had to stifle a laugh that nearly escaped his mouth, he smiled slightly and nodded his head in agreement with Robin's comment. Robin lightly laughed when she noticed his agreement, trying to spot anyone else dressed wacky on the bus to no avail. She tried to find something interesting outside, but by now there was really nothing interesting... Unless you find plants interesting. It was funny seeing Robin want to make him laugh more, and the harder she looked for something the more difficult it became for him to keep his guard up. It felt nice to feel comfortable around someone other than his grandfather. And as for Robin, she was just happy to meet someone new. It's not every day you get a family to move to Gravity Falls after all, let alone one that has someone around her age. So naturally, she'd include them in the shenanigans that she found herself in constantly by working at the mystery shack.
"Oh yeah, since you're new in town and all, do you know about the Mystery Shack?" She asked Nathan, turning her attention from the window to him. She wasn't sure if the 'oddities' of Gravity Falls was something he could be interested in, but it didn't hurt to ask.
Nathan nodded his head slightly "My grandpa told me some stories, all I know is it's a tourist trap."
Robin laughed at that comment, nodding at how correct that statement was. "Yeah, that's the one. My boss would probably say it isn't, but I think everyone in town knows it's kind of a scam at this rate. You should stop by sometime still, just don't expect anything inside to be real, you know?" She told him, smirking when she thought about all the random oddities the Mystery Shack has conjured up over the year she'd been there. It felt like there were too many to count at this rate. Nathaniel smiled slightly, maybe because it was funny or how ironic it sounded as it seemed nothing seemed real in Gravity Falls, at least not exactly as it wasn't something one could easily put into words. "Wouldn't have expected anything less." he put it simply.
Robin nodded in agreement before the both of them looked out the window, their short conversation ending just as the bus reached the part of the forest where the trees thinned out by just a bit. It wasn't long before the gaps were wide enough for buildings to appear, and before they knew it they had entered the town. It was hard to tell with how little there was around to someone who may not know, but at least to Robin she knew they were close. A couple more turns here and there, and the bus finally parked itself at the stop near the Gravity Falls Diner. Essentially dragging Nathan out of the bus, Robin thanked the bus driver before jumping out of it behind him.
Garfield leaned back on the seat, a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and his phone on the other to check for any updates. So far, no one really needed any emergency help. That was a blessing to his own time since he would be able to spend more time in the Mystery Shack. From what he saw inside the diner, the kids might have some new folks to bring to the shack too. He knew that maybe convincing teenagers to buy items from the gift shop wasn't exactly something an adult should do but hey, business was business. Surely, they'd forgive him for bringing a bit more money into the shack.
The bells at the entrance of the diner jingled and he curiously peeked over. The diner was always busy during this time of the day - their breakfast was one of the best around. Robin was dragging around a person he's never seen before. Huh, did some tourist bus come and bring a lot of new people around or had he not been paying attention at all? Nevertheless, Garfield raised his hand and let out a sharp whistle to catch Robin's attention before motioning for her to come closer.
Nathaniel was simply resigned at this point in time, that he was just going to have to get used to Robin invading his personal space. Or maybe he didn't mind her dragging him to who knows where, but that currently didn't matter as someone let out a whistle after they had gotten off the bus. Nathan looked around confusedly. Robin in turn looked to see where the whistle came from, spotting her boss as a smile came across her face. She turned to Nathan, pointing at the man who was motioning for them to come towards him.
"Let's go see what my boss wants," She said, starting to drag the poor soul over with her before taking a quick second, "And don't worry, he's real chill you know. Probably just telling me not to be late to work or something." She quickly added, now deciding that it was time to take him over to where Gar was sitting. She took a seat across from him, letting go of Nathan's arm as she did so.
"Hey boss! Getting your morning coffee I take it?"
"And breakfast." He responded with a nod towards the half-eaten pancakes on the table. For a moment, he eyed Nathan as if trying to piece together who he could be related to before bringing his attention back to Robin. "Just making sure you remember your shift's gonna start in an hour." He reminded with a light chuckle. "And to offer you and your new friend here some breakfast since we're all here anyway. My treat." Garfield brought the cup of coffee back to his mouth to take a sip and letting out a sigh of content. "Who's your friend over here? New in town?"
"Yeah yeah I know, I'll be there." Robin replied, adding in her own lighthearted laugh with his own. Her eyes lit up at the prospect of free food, only then realizing that Nathan had not said a word this entire time once Gar had asked who he was. "This is Nathan Reed, I saw him earlier at the lake near my place. His family just moved here, so I figured I'd try to show him what I could before work. Right Nathan?" Nathan tilted his head as if thinking of a reply, truthfully he was stalling as the attention was on him and thought maybe if he wasted enough time pretending to come up with a response, he wouldn't have to talk. His stomach however had other plans, grumbling loudly as he looked at the pancakes "Yep, places." the boy said continuing to look at the food hungrily.
"Nathan Reed huh, nice to meet you." Garfield gave the younger man a small nod and a friendly smile to try and ease Nathan's nervousness. Reed huh? Why did that last name sound so familiar? "I'm Garfield Pollard." Upon hearing the grumbling of Nathan's stomach, Garfield let out a chuckle before waving over the waitress to take their orders. Added to this, he asked for a refill to which the waitress lightly chided him for his coffee addiction but nevertheless bringing over the coffee pot to refill his mug. "Hey, out of curiosity, you don't happen to be related to Old Man Gus are you?"
Nathan was hesitant to take a seat, however before he could decide he found himself getting dragged into one by Robin who evidently knew nothing of personal space. She sat next to him once he was settled. Gar had asked him about his relation to Gus and Nathan brightened slightly as maybe this man knew his grandfather growing up here. "Yes he's my grandpa," he slowly pulled the plate of hot pancakes towards him with a hungry look in his eyes "Gus wanted to return here for his retirement, and to accept the past for what it was..." he said sighing at the thought, Gus hadn't been able to handle the grief he had for the loss of his wife and daughter for many years until recently. It was for the best his grandfather finally came to accept that the things that happened were out of his control.
"Man, brings back memories. I used to see him, his wife and his daughter back when I was just a kid." Garfield reminisced, a bittersweet smile tugging up on his face. People come and go in Gravity Falls. Most residents would spend their entire life in the town - but there were always the choice few who left. Gus was one of them. Garfield didn't know exactly what had happened but rumors spread across the town fast. When his wife died, Gus and Nelly just up and left and the next thing everyone knew, the deed of the house was already sold. "I'm glad he could come back here. He's always been tied to this place just like the rest of us." A shrug rolled off his shoulders as he continued eating his own pancakes. The Reed family wasn't without their own respective rumors. Being a family that's been in Gravity Falls for multiple generations, there was always bound to be something about them that old residents knew. Garfield used to brush it off as just rumors and speculations but now he couldn't be too sure. "In any case, welcome to Gravity Falls then kid. My only tip for living here? Make sure you stay out of trouble." He eyed Robin and let out a laugh. Trouble always seems to find the right people in this town anyway.
Nathan's mouth upturned slightly, while nodding in agreement with Garfield. Gar seemed nice at least, and if he was Robin's boss how bad could he be? It was at the very least enough that this man knew his grandfather so perhaps Nathan could relax a little, but only by the tiniest bit. He dug into the plate before him and ate a few bites of the delectable pancakes before him, setting his fork down after finishing a mouthful of his food "Gus told me weird stuff happens here," he remarked with a slight shrug of his shoulders, looking at Robin with a smirk tugging at the edge of his face "I never thought I'd end up here this morning, so I guess weirdness isn't awful." he chuckled softly..
Robin was glad that Nathan was getting along with her boss in the meantime, chowing down on her own plate that she received during their conversation. It seemed Gar knew a bit about the Reeds, enough to make Nathan come out of his shell even faster than she had. While it didn't surprise her that Gar was able to get Nathan to warm up to him so fast, it was still impressive with how quiet she felt he would normally be. Granted she had only just met Nathan, but he didn't seem like one to relax so easily. Either way, it was a plus in her eyes, and if that was weird then she didn't want to be normal. "Right? It's always fun when Gravity Falls throws something unexpected your way. You'll definitely get used to it though, or at the very least expect it."
"Weird is... definitely one way to put it." Garfield admitted, taking another sip of his coffee. Whether it was just weird coincidences like Robin dragging Nathan around because of a chance meeting or something that was a bit more unexplainable, Robin was right, that's what made living in Gravity Falls fun. Or at the very least, it was never outright boring. Maybe a little bit dangerous but nothing too bad... most of the time. "You just need to learn to go with the flow." Better not to question things too much unless you wanted to end up in a deeper rabbit hole than you intended. He should know. He was idiotic enough to look for answers for... peculiarities way beyond his comprehension. Well, whatever, what's done was done. He shifted, raising an arm and propping it on the backrest of his seat. "Since you like a bit of weirdness, why not swing by the Mystery Shack? We'll make it worth the visit."
"Yeah! The exhibits we have on display are worth a good laugh or two." Robin added. He was already past the point of no return so it would have been rude to even disagree with the suggestion. Nathan shrugged "Why not." he admittedly had nothing better to do today, so it worked out both ways.
"Wow, way to advertise our business, Robin." Though he tried to sound admonishing, his tone was anything but. No one in the town believed that any of their exhibits were real. And if he was going to be honest, he'd rather let it stay that way rather than deal with people who would steal the exhibits to use for themselves. "I'm sure the kids will like having another person their age to hang around with."
"What, you know it's true boss don't give me that!" She chuckled, recalling several of the so-called mythical creatures they placed on display that were meant to trick tourists. After all, she had come up with some of them to put on display, even if they could be goofy at times. "And he's not wrong Nathan, we haven't really had a new kid show up in town in, well, forever basically. A new face has gotta liven things up around here and I'm sure you'll fit in." Nathan gulped hard, nearly choking on his pancake. If she wasn't kidding and he was the first new kid in town for a long time, it could only mean one thing! Everybody would want to meet him and he wouldn't get to be alone.
He raised his hands in mock surrender. "Yeah, yeah, but you don't have to tell everyone that. Who's gonna buy from the gift shop and pay your salary?" Garfield did appreciate the help the kids could give him when it came to coming up with descriptions about their displays. The younger the person, the wilder the imagination. The wilder the imagination, the more people bought the story. Even if they didn't, they'd be inclined to buy a souvenir which was still a win for him. "Ayup. More people to drag on to their adventures." He sighed, shaking his head. "I swear you kids never listen when I tell you to be careful."
Robin couldn't help but laugh a bit after Gar mentioned the gift shop, nodding alongside it as she ate. It wasn't like she was telling the tourists that the shack was a scam, just the people who'd stick around in town. And while she felt that didn't really help her reasoning, she'd rather be a bit more straightforward with the new kid to curb his expectations. "And hey, I try to be careful Gar. But it isn't like the adventures will stop, you know?" Nathan chewed the last bite of his food while listening to the two, he was interested to see the exhibits. Maybe they had some art, although no doubt of dubious nature he was more curious about how interesting things might look from an artistic perspective "Hey," he finally spoke up after finishing off his plate and unable to quench his curiosity any longer "Could I perhaps, maybe see the exhibits...After this?" he scratched the nape of his neck, looking a little embarrassed with a lopsided smile on his face.
"Your adventures will be the death of me." He let out an exaggerated grimace. While he did outwardly admonish them for their actions as any sane adult would, he did admire how adventurous they were. It wasn't like he was doing anything to stop them from doing so aside from verbal warnings. Garfield honestly couldn't bring himself to do anything more than that. They have at least a brain cell each. Hopefully that would be enough to keep them out of the real trouble. He turned to Nathan, mildly surprised to see that he had already scarfed down his breakfast, and let out a chuckle. "Okay, okay kid. We can head on over. Just let me pay for your food first and we can go." He urged them to go ahead as he walked over to the counter to pay.