A/N: I don't own Skulduggery, Valkyrie, or Ghastly. Val is about 28 here, story is in her point of view. I apologize but a plot bunny bitted me this is the pairing I said I'd never write and yet, here it is. "I'm on my Way" is a song by Phil Collins from the movie "Brother Bear".
Skulduggery's text had sounded important, so I had agreed to drive to his house. I couldn't imagine why he hadn't rang instead, in fact he hadn't picked up when I rang him, and there were times I'd sworn it would have been easier for him to graft his mobile to his skull.
Skulduggery didn't even say hello and he answered the door, and he looked terrible. It wasn't his suit, which was immaculate as always, or his gleaming white bones, but his whole posture was one of defeat.
He grabbed me in a hug, something he rarely did anymore and I felt my heart flutter in hope. He pulled back to gaze at me mournfully and led the way into the living room where his meditation chair was.
He gestured to a notepad which I picked up and read. "I've been jinxed. No cure. Understand if you want another partner."
Skulduggery turned from me, humiliation written into his entire posture. "They, whoever did this, took your voice?" I asked, touching his shoulder blade gently.
He shook his head, refusing to turn around or speak.
"Skulduggery, no matter what it is, please tell me. I'm frightened for you right now."
He turned in surprise. "There's no reason to be frightened, Valkyrie. My career as a detective is just over, that's all. My voice is stuck like this, forever, that's the jinx." Skulduggery's velvety voice was gone. Instead he sounded like every stereotypical cartoon skeleton.
His voice was high, squeaky at times, but gravelly as well in a way I guess the person casting the jinx thought a skeleton should sound. Skulduggery hung his head in shame and turned away. "At least you didn't laugh." He said quietly.
My heart broke for him. Skulduggery had always taken great pride in his wonderful voice, using it to his best advantage. He'd told me once he'd been grateful it had stayed when he became a skeleton since he couldn't imagine wanting to be a living skeleton if he sounded like something out of a bad Halloween cartoon. And now, of course, he did.
I hugged him tight from behind. "You are my best friend, Skulduggery Pleasant. First person who laughs at you I hit, swear to God."
He turned and I could sense his smile. "Thank you, Valkyrie, you don't know how much hearing you say that means to me. It's just that there was always something I wanted to ask you, and it is too late for that now."
I felt my heart leap in joy, he was going to ask me to marry him at long last! I made sure though to just smile demurely in response, then spoke. "Go ahead and ask, Skulduggery. I'll still say yes, how I feel about you hasn't changed."
He seemed to blink, which I admit was impossible, then he grinned. I could always read his expressions and this one was joyful. "Very well, Valkyrie, if you insist. Valkyrie, Cain. I've known you now for over a decade. I've always hidden how I felt for you, because I've always felt it was improper and you wouldn't want to hear this from me. But-"
"Yes?" I smiled, encouraging him to go on.
He looked at me, then nodded. "I'll have to ask you now, since well, I'll know if you mean it, considering how terrible my voice is. But I've always wanted to ask you, I truly have, and if you are pleased I apologize for being too frightened to ask you sooner. If you are not, I'll accept your decision. Well, you know I've always cared for you, watched over you, so I suppose this should be obvious. Valkyrie Cain, I want to know if you'll be my daughter."
It felt like time had stopped. Skulduggery had lifted his skull to look at me, a mixture of hope and fear written on his skeletal features and I felt my heart melt. I was devastated, yet Skulduggery was my best and truest friend and if he wanted the moon I would have given it to him.
I put aside any hopes of romance gently so it wouldn't hurt to much and held out my arms to him. Skulduggery hugged me to him tight, then pulled away to gaze at me fondly. "You accept then?" He sounded hopeful, shy. I smiled and nodded.
"Of course, Skulduggery. I couldn't hope for a more wonderful father than you, and I mean that." The funny thing was, I did mean it. "You know what this means? You have to let me drive the Bentley. Ghastly rang after your text. He wants us at the Sanctuary and said your mobile was off." I teased.
Skulduggery laughed in response. "Oh no you don't, young lady. I've seen you drive. I'll drive, then after I want to take my daughter to lunch, I'm also invoking fatherly privilege to demand you stay here tonight and there's precious little you can do about it." He smiled at me fondly and ruffled my hair.
I smiled and followed him to the Bentley, happy to see him so happy, and if being a friend was the only way to hear his happy stream of constant chatter once more it was worth it. Skulduggery was after all my very best friend, and if he wanted to be a father as well I realized I was rather happy to let him be and not nearly so devastated as I'd imagined I'd be.
I settled into my seat, listening to him prattle on happily about how good a father he was going to prove to be, then reached over and touched his hand gently. "You're already a wonderful father, Skulduggery. I mean that." His facade's smile in response to that was worth anything.
Ahhhh, what have I done? No, no, no! I told myself I'd never, ever write a father-daughter fanfic for them and I just did. My world has ended. The bad thing is I can see how the story would unfold so if you wanna see more, let me know.
Oh, I baesd his voice on the Skulduggery interview video from the official website. If poor Skulduggery sounded like that I imagine all the bad guys would burst out laughing at him. Poor guy.