AN: I promised myself I wouldn't write anything, I really really did because I need to focus on my coursework and upcoming exams but I needed to write something - and I really mean NEEDED TO...anyway, this is my first time actually writing for Skullduggery Pleasant, I do enjoy the books, although you gotta admit that cliffhanger was sneaky...I mean who isn't going to be buying the next book once it comes out after reading that. There's definte spoilers for the third book so if you haven't read it yet, turn away now. And I did like this part in the book and how it was written but as I said, I really needed to write something and I had just finished reading the book and so this was born...lol...forgive me if it's not good. Anyway, I'm rambling...I'll stop now. On with the story...

------

It couldn't be true.

He-

No, Valkyrie thought as she shook her head in disbelief, it couldn't be true. She couldn't have just witnessed Skulduggery being dragged into the swirling portal, and to have that portal close up forever, trapping him indefinitely…no, that was not possible. It just couldn't be…

It had to be a trick of her imagination, there was no denying that she had seen some things in her lifetime that defy reason and logic, things that when she been oblivious to magic never dreamed that they could be possible, such as the living (sort of, at least) breathing (well, not really) skeleton who…was gone?

No!

It had to be a dream, but her body aching incongruently suggested otherwise. No, this was not a dream, or to be more precise, a nightmare because she wouldn't wake up from this and find that everything would be alright because she knew that nothing ever would be alright ever again. A part of her was missing, it disappeared along with the bony figure and she feared that it would never be recovered.

It was as if the empty space left there was numb whilst the rest of her body and mind screamed in a grief-filled agony. The physical pain itself was nothing compared to the storm of emotions brewing in her chest, pulsing and pushing out, consuming her…

She would never be the same again…that was a certainty.

There had to be something she could…anyone could do…maybe Fletcher could open the portal…or…or…there had to be something - anything – anyone could do to right this wrong because a world without the skeleton detective was just wrong. He was a hero, valiant and suave in his own slightly self-conceited way but he was a hero nonetheless. The world had been saved countless times because of his efforts; to take him away would mean a world left practically defenceless.

He was a…good guy and the good guys won the fight in the end. Sure there would be a few knocks and tumbles, broken bones, knocked out teeth and such but in the end everything turned out all right…that was what happened…that was what always happened. Why did this time have to be any different?

There had to be something someone could do, but why was no one doing something? Everyone was simply standing still, as if time itself had come to a stop the moment the portal had closed. She wondered for a brief moment if they were all in shock, another stray thought soon followed – did she have the same look of disbelief on her face?

She moved forward, shouting for someone to do something but they stared at her blankly. They had no idea what to do. She had no idea what to do. No one had any idea what to do. They were all powerless, there was nothing they could undo the horror she had just witnessed – that they had all just witnessed. There was nothing – no way to save him …

It was at that moment that Stephanie broke down and cried.

-----------

AN: Thanks for reading, review if you enjoyed...