DISCLAIMER : Treasure Planet, character designs, and additional chars. belong to Disney; original characters belong to R. L. Stevenson.
Reviews appreciated, Flames will be used for toasting marshmallows. My computer cannot quite handle loading system, so any mistakes will not be dealt with immediatly.
Delbert was vastly inexperienced in the world of romanticizing.
Through the greater part of his life, academia had been his only concern and focus; his interaction with females being limited to Sarah and to his very few – and very unattractive – woman colleagues. Even through High School, he had developed a talent of drifting through the halls, unnoticed by all save for his professors. He had survived his many years scientifically, with reasoning and method, his only lapse in such practice resulting in the fiasco that was Treasure Planet.
And so, he found it completely logical that his first attempt to court Amelia would be an utter failure.
The beautiful captain stood rigidly in front of him; one arm clasped securely behind her back by force of habit, the other in front, revolving slowly as she examined the object grasped in her hand.
"And this is?"
Delbert grinned sheepishly and forced his hands deeper into his large pockets.
"It's a fish…well, a – a betta, I believe, I…I mean I believe that's what the gentleman at the store said…I – I can't quite…"
"A Siamese fighting fish, if I might correct you Doctor."
"Yes! Well…yes, that is another name I….Why did you ask me if you already knew?"
Amelia held the plastic bag at eye level, and a smile formed on her thin, red lips. Delbert suddenly felt as though he would faint. "I was not inquiring about the fish, Doctor, I was curious as to why you were giving it to me."
Delbert's gaze temporarily faltered and fell to the ground; he had not realized until that moment how unusually humid it seemed, or that he was nervously shuffling his feet.
"Hmm…ugh…well, it's a – a gift."
"You're mumbling Doctor."
What lovely woodwork her floor had. "It's a gift."
"Yes, for you."
Delbert chanced to look up, but the felinid's eyes were still focused on the tiny creature swimming leisurely in the flimsy bag, and for a moment he wondered how her perfectly manicured nails managed not to pierce it.
"It's a rather unusual gift, if I don't say so myself." Her emerald gaze revolved and locked onto his black orbs. "What made you think that this would suit me?"
A moment's hesitation, then, "It's green."
Amelia looked genuinely surprised. "It's green?"
"Like your eyes."
The silence that followed was thick and disturbing, like an ominous cloud that signaled the approach of a storm. However, his logical and theorized mind no longer registered the heat or the troublesome silence that hung over them like poisoned air; all the Doctor could do was stare at her staring back. It seemed like ages before he finally found his voice, cowering at the back of his throat.
"So…will….ahh, will you keep it?"
Her gaze had returned to the tiny fish, her face showing no hint of emotion.
"I'll consider it."
Jim knocked politely before entering, a habit he had forcibly learned very quickly, and called softly through the closed mahogany door. "Captain?"
"Yes, Mr. Hawkins, come in."
The boy obeyed, opening the heavy door and taking three steps inside the cabin before speaking. "You wanted to see me?"
"Yes, I have these papers for you to review and sign. They are for your application process into the Academy."
"Oh, thanks!" Jim grinned and quickly flipped through the thick stack of papers. "You need them back, then?"
"As soon as possible, if you please."
"No problem, and thank you again by the way….This, this means a lot." Jim's eyes scanned over the ever-tidy cabin, suddenly uncomfortable by the almost too friendly air in the cramped room. His gaze fell on a glass dome that protectively held the late Mr. Arrows hat – it was still disconcerting for the young man to look at this particular article – and next to it on a small counter…..
…… 'Is that a fish tank?'
"That is all Mr. Hawkins, your excused."
Jim snapped back to reality under Amelia's cool gaze; a slightly nervous laugh and he was tracing his steps back to the door.
"Heh, sorry." Half his body was in the hallway. "I'll get these to you soon….see ya."
Jim closed the door before his smile could etch across his face. He would have to report to the Doc as soon as he returned home; not only about the fact that his gift hadn't been swiftly rejected, but also that it had received a place of honor next to her sole reminder of her former first mate.
Maybe, just maybe, he wasn't such a failure after all.