A/N: I was reading Daten Shura's "Bleeding" when this hit me. Don't ask; I'm making this up as I go along. Slightly AU-ed.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------

"We need that report, Skinner," Allan reminded his invisible friend. "Not some advice on how to drink sherry."

"Well, now, if you ask me," Skinner began, gesturing, although the rest of the League couldn't see him, "Sherry's -"

To shut him up, Mina whacked where she thought the back of his head was. Apparently, she succeeded, because Skinner gave a yelp of pain.


"Report, man!" Nemo barked. A loud, exaggerated sigh came from Skinner and Tom had to suppress a laugh. Jekyll chuckled. The invisible thief rattled off the information that he had heard from the baddies that Allan had persuaded - no, ordered - him to follow.

Instead of thanking their spy, Nemo scowled and the League began to discuss their plan of action. Skinner was left standing there, alone in the middle of the grand stateroom onboard the Nautilus. No one knew about how left-out he felt.

"Sometimes," he said quietly, hurt, "I wonder if you would actually care if I died bleeding."

He wanted to say more, but he didn't get to. There was a loud bang as Skinner shoved Nemo aside, and, recognizing it as a gunshot, Allan pulled Mina and Jekyll down onto the floor, under the table, and Tom ducked.

At the same time, there was a dull thud.

A bullet had been fired from a gun that a marksman, hidden in one of the dark recesses of the room, was hiding. As Tom headed for cover, he saw the baddie and, in one smooth motion, drew out his pistols and fired, killing him.

"Skinner?" Nemo asked, pulling himself up.

"Look!" Mina cried as she pushed her way from under the table and to the pool of blood that was gathering, seemingly out of nowhere, on the floor. Jekyll rushed to help her.

"Skinner! Are you alright?" Tom asked, concerned for his friend.



Skinner had seen the baddie, seen the bullet being fired from that gun...He remembered everything in slow motion, dashing towards the table, pushing Nemo aside from the line of fire, the searing pain in his chest.

The bullet had moved, oh so slowly, through the air; Skinner fancied he could see the ripples of air as it flew. Although nobody, including himself, had seen it, the bullet was visible, moving through the air with a sure and deadly course.

Then suddenly, it disappeared.

Into his body.

Into his chest.

Into his heart.

So now, as he lay on the marble floor, bleeding his life out, he knew that he was going to die for sure. He was afraid, that was the funny thing. In fact, he felt safe and oddly, happy.

Thinking hard, trying to fight the black spots that appeared at the edge of his vision, he realized why.

Dimly, he felt Mina hold him, and the League crowding around.

His friends - unlikely as they seem - were with him. He knew that he would have trusted them with his life, although he wasn't sure they would theirs. Thinking of the hilarity that was truly sardonic in nature, he remembered all the funny times that the League had been through in their adventure with Venice, M and the factory in Mongolia.

It didn't matter, not anymore.

But still, he had something to say as he stared up at Mina's beautiful face. He raised a hand, weakly. His fingers brushed her soft face. He attempted a grin, but it came out a grimace, forgetting that they couldn't see him.

"I...like your...backside..."

The black spots took over his vision.

The pain was no more.

His time was up.


Mina held Skinner as he bled out, knowing that it was too late to save him. She had seen the bullet enter his chest where his heart was; there was no way it had missed the organ.

She felt his fingertips brush her face, felt his labored breathing as he fought for his right to say goodbye.

"I...like your...backside..."

She felt the labored breathing ease off, breath taken and exhaled.

"Oh god..." Tom slumped against the table, and Jekyll looked away, stricken. Allan swallowed back tears for his eccentric friend. Nemo just stared on, numb inside.

Tears fell from Mina's keen green eyes, the first in many years.

Rodney Skinner was dead.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------

A/N: There! I don't mean any disrespect to any Skinner fans (I'm one myself), but this hit me and I HAD to write it down. Think of it as a apology for no being able to write that much during this stupid exam period. I managed to steal some time on the computer for this. *wink* Please bear with me; four more days and I can start writing again! Until them, adieu, and I hope you enjoy this...this...thing I wrote. Please go check out "Bleeding" by Daten Shura; it's very sad but nice.

*suddenly bursts into tears just thinking about Skinner's death*