I'm a sucker for Shanklin, so how about our favorite grunks reminiscing about their old pet for the birthday fic request fest? ^_^
Thanks for the request! (Sorry it’s not on their actual birthday, life happened and work has been crazy lately. But hey, it’s still technically their birthday week, so I’m counting this as a win!)
Stan and Ford sat aboard the Stan O’ War II, fishing rods in hand. They hadn’t caught anything in the last three hours, but it didn’t really matter—they were content, only occasionally breaking the comfortable silence with a comment or quip. The approaching sunset cast the ocean in a golden glow, and all was peaceful.
Stan suddenly snickered.
Ford turned to him with a raised eyebrow, the corner of his mouth quirking into a smile of its own. (Stanley’s laugh was contagious that way—it always had been.) “What’s so funny?”
“I just...” Stan continued chuckling. “I just remembered something. That’s all.”
Ford turned fully to face him. “Really? What is it?” While most of Stan’s memories had returned, he occasionally went through lapses that were typically...less than pleasant. The laughter was certainly a nice change of pace.
Unless he remembered the kissing machine, Ford thought, suddenly horrified. Thankfully, that wasn’t it.
A barrage of memories flooded Ford’s mind, and then he was laughing, too.
“Ah, yes,” he said. “Shanklin the stab possum. Part pet, part assassin—”
“—the perfect weapon!” Stan finished, wiping his eye. “Oh man, Sixer. I can’t believe ya let me carry that thing around in my pants. Little guy could’ve bit my balls off!”
Ford shrugged. “Shanklin didn’t seem to mind. Besides, trying to talk you out of something is about as difficult as raising the dead.”
“You’ve raised the dead,” Stan pointed out.
“Yes, but it took me a while to get the spell right.”
They laughed again. Stan switched his fishing rod to the other hand so he could clap Ford on the shoulder. They sat in silence for a while longer.
“He was a good pet,” Stan finally said.
Ford nodded and hummed in affirmation.
“Wonder what happened to ‘im.”
Ford could tell from the way Stan said it that his brother was worried about perhaps having forgotten Shanklin’s fate.
“I haven’t the foggiest idea, either,” he offered. “He just vanished one day. Disappeared without a trace. We searched up and down the beach, the boardwalk—you even made ‘missing’ posters. But we never found him.”
Stan sighed and scowled. “What is it with people in this family ‘disappearin’ without a trace?’”
“To be fair, I left plenty of traces...oh, no. What’s that look for?”
Stan was indeed giving him a Look—the one that usually meant, “I’ve just had a terrible idea that’s probably going to get us into all sorts of trouble.”
“I’ve got a great idea,” Stan started.
Ford groaned. Here we go.
“Shanklin vanished. Without a trace.”
“Yes, we’ve established that.”
“So obviously, it means we time-traveled back ta Glass Shard Beach and picked him up!” Stan said, clapping his hands and rubbing them together gleefully. “The you-and-me from right now, I mean! C’mon, poindexter, fire up the time machine! We got a possum ta steal!”
Ford rolled his eyes. Only Stanley would plan a time-heist against himself. “Alright, first off, we don’t have a time machine.”
“Eh, you could make one.”
“I can’t just make a time machine..!”
Stan raised an eyebrow.
“...we don’t have the right materials,” Ford continued sheepishly. “And Fiddleford isn’t here.”
Stan’s face fell, but then it brightened a moment later. “Next time we’re in Gravity Falls, then!”
Ford sighed. “Stan, it’s not that simple. The Time Paradox Avoidance Enforcement Squad has made it clear that we’re not to meddle with the time stream anymore—”
“They’re just pissed that we beat them in Globnar,” Stan grumbled.
“—and we have no idea the number of alternate timelines we might create. Besides, we don’t know what happened to Shanklin. He could have been hit by a car, he could have had baby possums of his own...” Ford’s voice softened. “Or maybe he was found and adopted by another small child in need of a friend.
“Not everything has a satisfactory answer, Stanley—not all mysteries should be explored.” He chuckled. “Trust me, I know that better than most.”
Stan sniffed and wiped “dust” from his eye. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Would’ve been nice though.”
“Yes,” Ford said with a smile. “It would have.” He reached down for his Pitt Cola, then held it out. “To Shanklin.”
Stan clinked his own can against his brother’s, and together, they watched the sun set.
“Also, next time ya go jumpin’ ta investigate some eldritch abomination, I’m remindin’ ya that ‘not all mysteries should be explored.’”
“Shut up, knucklehead.”
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