A/N: Heh. This was written after a suggestion from A. L. Nowicki, a reviewer, sparked off an idea. Dabbling in a little poetry, especially when Skinner is concerned, is so much fun.

PAIN

            Skinner was out again, playing with the children of the scientists they had rescued. He did that very often, even though he wasn't allowed to move around to much. His burns were healing very well, and the oily salve that Mina had come up with to keep him visible seemed to be doing the trick.

            Since he shared the room with Mina, Skinner had been sleeping on the mattress that Nemo had provided. Sometimes, he would try to sneak up on her and scare her while she had to bear with his sexual innuendos. She shook her head and resolved to enjoy the peace and quiet while she could, but she was still wary of Skinner's presence.  She sat at the desk and saw a white thing sticking out of the drawer that was part of the table. She sighed and pulled it out so she could keep it properly, she stopped and began to read it instead.


                                                            Pain.

                                                            That's what I see in her.

                                                            Plain, simple,

                                                            Pain.

                                                            It haunts her

                                                            Every step,

                                                            Movement,

                                                            Even her speech.

                                                            Her days no longer

                                                            Filled with sunlight 

                                                            Or laughter;

                                                            She isn't happy,

                                                            Only with Him.

                                                            But He is dead

                                                            By her hand.

                                                            At night, when I

                                                            Pretend to sleep,

                                                            I hear her cry.

                                                            "Is the pain so deep,"

                                                            I want to ask,

                                                            "That you will not let

                                                            Anyone help with the wound?"

                                                            Doctor, heal thyself!

                                                            Something that is not possible.

                                                            I want to help her;

                                                            Help with the pain,

                                                            Share it so that

                                                            Her burden is not so great.

                                                            She does not let me,

                                                            Nor anyone else.

                                                            What she doesn't know,

                                                            Is that I feel the

                                                            Same pain.

                                                            I hide, from the

                                                            Face of the world,

                                                            So cruel in its mockery.

                                                            If I am not seen,

                                                            Do I exist?

                                                            That is the question

                                                            That haunts my nights.

                                                            When I met you,

                                                            I thought I could be

                                                            Cherished, seen

                                                            Both literally and

                                                            Metaphorically.

                                                            When I nearly died,

                                                            From the flames,

                                                            I knew you were there,

                                                            Hiding from the pain

                                                            Of His loss.

                                                            I will not give you

                                                            My pity, for I know

                                                            You don't want it.

                                                            I cannot give you solace,

                                                            Because you cannot,

                                                            Will not, acknowledge

                                                            It.

                                                            What I can give you,

                                                            Is my hidden love and

                                                            My friendship,

                                                            And my shoulder.

                                                            Should you want to cry,

                                                            To share your burden with

                                                            One who understands the pain,

                                                            Then you can come to me.

                                                            I can listen,

                                                            I can understand.

                                                            I know what the outside

                                                            World sees — or rather,

                                                            Doesn't.

                                                            Society is a cruel thing,

                                                            Dear Mina, but do not fret;

                                                            For this man here,

                                                            He understands the

                                                            Pain. 


            Mina read the poem one more time, and then quietly folded it up. He would never know how touched she was. She opened the drawer and put the poem back in. She had found out two things. One, that Skinner could write. The second...

            ... he was hurting.