Welcome To The Harem
Don't Leave Me by Rev. Anna
Summary: Scully wasn't the only one to receive a phone call when Skinner was shot. Sharon Skinner/Skinner.
Title: Don't Leave Me
Author: Rev. Anna send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
Spoilers: Apocrypha, Piper Maru, Avatar
Disclaimer: All the characters in this story are the property of 1013.
Summary: Scully wasn't the only one to receive a phone call when
Skinner was shot.
Don't Leave Me
By Rev. Anna
Sharon looked at her watch for the tenth time. Her heart rose at the
sound of footsteps approaching the apartment door only to sink down
as they receded. The phone rang again and she picked it up, hoping
against hope that this time it was Walter. Though why she thought it
would be made absolutely no sense, especially given their
conversation this morning.
"So you'll go to your mother's and I'll have a week to get out,
She ignored the hurt she heard underneath his calm recitation of the
"If a week is all you need. You haven't marked much. Are you sure
you don't want to take more with you?"
She looked toward the kitchen.
"The address on the refrigerator -- is that the apartment?"
Neither said anything for a while.
"Once you're back, how soon after that can I expect the divorce
papers?" he asked.
"Not all separations end in divorce, Walter."
"Ours will," he said quietly.
"Isn't it obvious?" he asked. "You don't love me anymore. Absence
does not make the heart grow fonder. You'll be asking for a divorce
sooner or later."
She looked at him, surprised at how coolly detached he sounded. They
had grown apart but had never been distant. He wasn't looking at
her, but at a framed picture of them on their wedding day. He looked
as lost as she felt. She so wanted to reach out and touch him,
comfort him, but she knew once the heat of his body warmed her
fingers, she'd never go. She balled up her hands into fists to keep
her longing in check.
"I said I couldn't live with you anymore. That doesn't mean I don't
love you anymore."
"What's the difference? I thought living with someone is the same as
He had said it so softly she almost didn't hear him. Her resolve was
melting and she had to close her eyes to stay firm.
"Walter, that you don't know there's a difference tells me just how
far apart we've grown. I need time alone to think about us, whether
there still is an us and, if there isn't, where I go from there. I
need to be away from you to know if I still want you."
"You don't know if you still want me?" he asked angrily.
Was that emotion? Now? Maybe there was hope.
"I don't know what I want," she said. "I only know what I don't
"And what's that?"
"I don't want to spend another seventeen years taking out the garbage
and paying bills together. I'm not going to spend another minute
with us just being friends."
She heard him sigh. A year's worth of bitterness filled her throat
and she wanted to scream and curse him out. Didn't seventeen years
deserve a little more than I see? Wasn't it worth fighting for?
Wasn't she worth fighting for? It wouldn't take much. Three little
words. Just three lousy little words.
Don't leave me.
But all she got was "I see."
"You see?" she asked bitterly. "Well that's a first."
He put the picture down and looked toward the bedroom.
"Look Sharon --"
"Oh Walter please just go to work!" she snapped, turning her back on
him so he wouldn't see the tears in her eyes that she heard in her
voice. "I'll try to be gone before you return."
He put his trench coat on and picked up his briefcase.
"I--I'll eat dinner out. That way you won't have to worry about
running into me before you go."
Then he left without another word. She had sat down on the couch and
cried. She was too tired to beg anymore, too tired of having to put
the words in his mouth.
I see. I'm sorry.
Nice phrases but none of them the right one.
Don't leave me.
He had left and she continued her packing. Every piece of clothing
she touched seemed weighted with memory. The heaviness of which made
it harder and harder to pack. She had gone for a long walk to try to
clear her head. Firm up her resolve. Free herself from the chains
of memory. A separation was the right thing to do. It had taken her
a whole year to make the decision. But three words would have undone
Don't leave me.
Once back home, she found herself not packing but remembering the
anger in his voice when he asked "You don't know if you still want
me?" Did it mean he still wanted her to want him? Maybe if he found
her still here, he'd get angry again. Maybe if he found her still
here, he'd say the words she wanted to hear.
Don't leave me.
So she sat. Waiting. Waiting for the sound of his footsteps. Waiting
for the phone to ring.
When the phone started to ring, she stared at it. It had rung before
and it hadn't been him. So why would this be him now? And even if
it were him, why would he say over the phone what he didn't say to
her this morning in person?
The phone was ringing now and kept on ringing. Its insistence giving
rise to hope. Who else could it be, refusing to hang up if it
"Oh Mrs. Skinner thank God you're home."
It was Kim Cook, Walter's administrative assistant.
"Mrs. Skinner, I'm afraid I have some bad news. The Assistant
Director has been shot."
"Oh my God! He's not ---?"
"No! No!" Kim said hurriedly. "They've rushed him to Northeast
Georgetown and are operating on him right now."
Sharon hung up and rushed to the hospital with her heart in her
throat and three different words in her mind: please don't die.
"Oh God, Walter. Please don't die."
She sat wringing her hands, half listening, half praying as she
listened to the doctor.
"Your husband is a very lucky man, Mrs. Skinner. The bullet
perforated the small intestine. It could have been worse, but he's
going to be all right."
A wave of relief washed over her.
"May I see him?"
"Of course. He's been heavily sedated so he may not recognize you
right away if he wakes."
She let herself be ushered past the agents standing guard outside his
door and stood at the foot of his bed, mesmerized by the sight of his
chest rising and falling.
"Mrs. Skinner? I'm Agent Caleca. I just wanted to let you know
Agent Fuller and I will be outside until the police get here to guard
"Thank you. Can you tell me what happened?"
"It happened in the restaurant where AD Skinner eats regularly. A man
was harassing the waitress about a broken pay phone. When AD Skinner
went to help her, the perpetrator shot him."
Sharon looked back at Walter, and smiled sadly, shaking her head.
'Ever the hero,' she thought.
"Can I get you anything?" Agent Caleca asked.
"No. I'm fine."
"Okay." The agent hesitated, staring at Sharon.
"Is everything all right?" Sharon asked.
"Oh yes. Forgive me for staring. It's just -- I didn't know the
assistant director was married."
Sharon laughed and smiled at the agent.
"I know. You're not alone."
Agent Caleca left and Sharon gazed at her husband. A sob caught in
her throat as she looked at the tube in his nose. His body filled
the small hospital bed just as he filled their bed at home. He began
to moan and squirm, as if disturbed by a bad dream or the memory of
his present situation.
Without hesitating she hurried over and took his hand, stroking it
gently, softly shushing him.
"It's all right, Walter. It's all right. Go back to sleep."
His eyes fluttered open and he looked up at her. Confusion filled
his sad brown eyes as he tried to figure out who she was.
"Hi," she said, stroking his cheek.
"Hi," he rasped, licking his dry lips as recognition replaced
He turned his head but not before she saw a tear slipped from the
corner of his eye as his lips trembled. Suddenly he grimaced,
gripping her hand so tightly she almost cried out and had to fight
the urge to pull away.
"Are you okay? Should I ring for the doctor?"
He shook his head no.
"How did you know?"
"How did she know you were at your mother's?"
"I was still at home. It took longer to pack than I anticipated."
"Sharon, you don't have to --- " He took a deep breath, but didn't
"Don't have to what?"
"You don't have to be here."
She shook her head.
"My husband's been shot. Where else would I be except by his
"Sharon -- "
She placed a finger lightly against his lips.
"Sssh. Don't speak. Just rest."
He shook his head no.
"I don't want your pity. If I hadn't been shot you wouldn't be here
"You are the most exasperating man. If I had gotten Kim's call in
China, I would be right here, right now."
"I'm trying to say that you don't owe it to me to ---"
"God damn you, Walter! Why must you always make me spell everything
out to you? Do you think it was an accident that I was still around
to receive Kim's call? I was waiting for you to come home."
She pulled her hand away and covered her face.
"I was hoping you'd come home and stop me from leaving you."
The silence that followed was even more painful than making that
admission. She felt his hand on hers, making her face him. There
was a familiar twinkle in his eye that she hadn't seen in a long,
"You mean getting myself shot won't do the trick?"
A startled little laugh pushed past her lips then settled into a sad
"A simple 'don't go' would have sufficed," she whispered.
"Still haven't learned how to ask," he rasped, a smile just as sad
gracing his lips.
"Strong, silent and self-sufficient. It's what attracted me to you
in the first place."
He swallowed hard and closed his eyes to ward off the pain. Then he
looked back at her, another tear sliding down his face.
"And now it's sending you away."
"Let's not do this. Just rest. Okay?" she said, as she sat down and
stroked the back of his hand gently.
She continued stroking his hand until she had lulled him back into a
peaceful almost childlike sleep. Without his glasses on and that
bald head, he even looked like a baby. Her back ached and moved to
let go of his hand so she could stand and stretch, but he held on.
"Sharon ---?" Walter asked sleepily.
"Please don't go."
"Don't worry." She leaned over to kiss him. "I'll still be here when
you wake up."
He squeezed her hand weakly, forcing her to look down at him. She
watched as tears fell more steadily down his face and realized her
face was just as wet.
"No. I mean please -- please don't leave me."
Sharon bit her lip and closed her eyes.
"Give us a chance to talk some more. Maybe we'll still separate but
maybe we won't. Okay?"
She nodded yes.
"You won't go?"
"Just home. To unpack."