Disclaimer: I don't own Treasure Planet.
Jim Hawkins had had a rough childhood, but now he had everything going for him. A good school, a successful family business, and powerful friends in Doctor Doppler and Captain Amelia. He felt his life was just about complete, and that his future couldn't be brighter, but then one day he came home from the academy and got a wonderful surprise.
"Mom, I'm home!" he said as he entered the back door of the Benbow Inn. "Mom?" She wasn't present. He set down his accordion briefcase and hung up his blazer before sneaking into the lobby. His mother was sitting in a comfy chair with her feet up on a footstool, sipping some tea with Amelia, who sat across from her in another chair. Amelia's and Delbert's brood was sleeping in a basket in the corner.
Three kittens and a puppy, Jim thought with a smile.
"Hello Jim," said Sarah Hawkins.
"Mom, what are you doing? Shouldn't you be in the kitchen?" asked Jim.
"Actually Jim," said Sarah. "I have a lot of time to relax now that I hired a new cook." She grinned to Amelia, who grinned back. Jim knew something was up.
"A new cook? Who is it?" he asked. Amelia's grin widened as her cheeks squeezed her thin eyes nearly shut. It took all her strength to keep from squealing. "Come on, tell me!"
"Oh, just go and see for yourself!" said Sarah. Jim smiled playfully and marched into the kitchen. He couldn't see very well through all the steam and smoke of the stove, and all the pots and pans hanging down from the ceiling. All he could make out was the fat blob of a form. And a robotic arm. He gasped.
"SILVER!" he cried.
"JIMBO!" yelled the cyborg in turn. Jim leaped into Silver's arms, and Silver embraced the boy back. They walked out of the kitchen and back into the lobby, still in each other's arms. In fact, Jim was pretty much dangling from Silver's neck.
"You sneak!" Jim called his mom. "How did you--? When did you--?" Jim couldn't even finish, he was so happy. Silver put him down and explained everything. After all was said, Sarah sent Silver back to work and Jim upstairs to do his homework.
Up in his room, with his books all spread out on his desk, Jim sat in a state of euphoria. Silver was back. His best friend…his father-figure…his mentor…Silver…was back. He daydreamed of adventures they'd have, of meals they'd share, of trips they'd take…all that were possible now. He'd been fantasizing for an hour when his mother came up to check on him.
"Hey, how's that homework coming along?" she asked. Jim panicked when he realized he hadn't even started.
"Oh, uh…" he stuttered, opening his Physics book for the first time since coming home, and grabbing a pencil with such haste that he knocked over his pencil holder. His mother cringed when the other pens and pencils clattered on the floor. "It's…it's going well," he said, getting down on his knees to collect his spilled writing instruments. "Just…uh…just got a little side-tracked…" When he stood up, having picked up all his pens and pencils, he hit his head on his desk. "OW!"
"Are you alright?" asked Sarah.
"Yeah. Yeah I'm fine!" said Jim, even though it had been increasingly painful.
"OK, well, come down for dinner soon. We'll be eating in about half an hour," said Sarah.
"OK. Oh, and…Mom?"
"Will…uh…Silver be joining us, too?" asked Jim. Sarah only smiled warmly at her son, and left the room, shutting the door behind her.
Jim had to scramble to finish his homework. He'd been doing very well since his first day at the academy, and if he slipped up now all of a sudden, it'd look suspicious. He convinced himself that he had to finish before dinner, since he always had before. With only half an hour to spare, he rushed through his assignments, not even bothering to go back and check over his answers. He just couldn't wait to eat dinner with his family. His complete family.
To his surprise, Amelia and Delbert were also at the dinner table, obviously invited to celebrate Silver's return. Morph had to keep their children amused at the table, so they would not disturb the others' good time with their crying or other baby-like impatience.
"So Jim," asked Delbert. "How was school today?"
"It was OK. Same as usual," Jim answered quickly. He was eager to hear from Silver. "Uh, so Silver, did you make this? It's good."
"Aye, lad," said the cyborg.
"Yes, he's just been wonderful in the kitchen," said Sarah. Jim kept avoiding questions that were asked of him, and redirected any inquiries to Silver, whom he desperately wanted to hear of adventures from. Silver, unfortunately, had very few. He'd been mostly dodging the law and hiding out until the heat died off, and then with looking for a job he'd had no time for adventures. Jim wasn't too disappointed-- this meant that now, any adventures Silver would have, he could share with him.
After dinner, Silver cleaned the dishes. Jim wanted to spend more time with him, but he was taught from an early age not to bother the staff while they were working…even when it was his own mother. He decided to take advantage of the time and finish his homework. But that proved difficult as he still had many adventures to dream up while left beside himself. He made little to no progress and didn't even seem to care by the time his mother closed up the Inn and he went to bed.
That night, Sarah went to bed earlier than usual, because now she had Silver to close up the Inn for her. She came to say goodnight to Jim and expected him to go right to sleep afterwards, but Jim was far too stoked for sleep. He kept his bedside light on and listened to the sounds of clattering dishes and locking of doors coming from downstairs.
When he saw the lights from downstairs go off, he sat up in bed, looking hopeful. Silver came upstairs, and knocked lightly on Jim's door, even though it was already open.
"Come in," said Jim.
"Hi lad," said Silver. He walked closer to Jim and sat down on the bed. "I'm so glad to see ye again."
"Me too," said Jim, softly. There was a momentary silence. "How long are you staying?" he then asked, a little afraid to hear the answer.
"Oh, as long as I'm welcome, lad," said Silver. Jim smiled.
"Well…you're always welcome here!" he said hurriedly. "Really. If you ever need anything--"
"Jimbo, calm down," Silver laughed again. "I'll not be goin' anywhere. Ye needn't worry yerself with such t'ings."
Jim lay back down, pulling the covers up around his shoulders as Silver got up, and to his surprise, began to tuck him in.
"Goodnight, Jim," said Silver. He leaned in and gently kissed Jim on the forehead. With a tender smile, he ruffled his hair with his organic hand and rose from the bed.
"Goodnight Silver," said Jim. Silver turned off Jim's bedside lamp and exited the room, closing the door behind him.
The next day at the academy, Jim's professor asked him to stay after class to discuss the less-than-satisfactory homework he'd turned in.
"Mr. Hawkins," said the professor. "Is there a reason why your homework has suddenly plummeted in completeness and…well…correctness?"
"Um, well…I was a little distracted last night. I…I had a little trouble concentrating…and…uh…was it really that bad?"
"You answered the essay question with Goo Goo Dolls lyrics," said the professor. Jim cringed in embarrassment.
"Ah…heh-heh-heh…yeeeeeah, as I said, I was um, distracted."
"This is going to bring your whole average down to a C- unless you get at least an A on Friday's exam, I hope you know," explained the professor.
"Check. I'll be sure to study," said Jim.
"I expect better from you next time, Mr. Hawkins."
"And you shall have it, Sir," said Jim in a very formal and military manner. He was dismissed and left.
But Jim didn't deliver. Come Friday, he barley acknowledged the exam as he took it, and therefore, ended up failing it. So not only did his grade not go up from the C-, it dropped completely to an F.
Oh, crud… thought Jim. Ah, I'll just hide it from Mom.
But the academy had already informed Jim's mother of his lackluster performance, and she was not amused. So when Jim got home that day, as he tried to sneak upstairs to his room, he was stopped in his tracks by the all too familiar exclamation of
"James Pleiades Hawkins!"
Haven't heard that in a year! he thought. "Yeah, Mom?" he said.
"Would you care to explain why you've suddenly gone from an A to an F in your Physics class?" she said.
"Uh…well…failing the exam today probably helped--"
"What?!" cried Sarah. "Jim, what is going on here?!"
"I- I was just a little distracted, Mom. I promise I'll make it up!" Jim pleaded.
"What do you mean distracted? What changed?"
"Well…I…" Jim didn't want Silver to hear. "I guess I was just so happy that Silver was back that…I couldn't stop thinking about it…that's all."
"Well, you're going to stop thinking about it right now! You're grounded until your grade comes back up," said Sarah.
"WHAT?!" cried Jim. "Mom, what's the big deal? It's only one exam, I can easily--"
"Go to your room, Jim!" Jim gave one of his infamous frowns, followed by a huff of breath before turning around and stomping up the stairs. Sarah flinched as she thought she saw shadows of the old Jim start to emerge from her son.
"What's all the commotion, Ms. Hawkins?" came a Scottish-sounding voice. Sarah just turned around with a wistful look on her face. "Is Jimbo doin' alright?"
"No," said Sarah, after a moment's hesitation. She sighed and sat down at a vacant table in the inn. She was half-expecting Silver to pry a little more, but he kept his mouth shut. She spoke again, taking his silence as a more polite inquiry. "Jim's not doing well in school all of a sudden."
"Oh. I see," said Silver. "Can ye imagine…why?"
Sarah didn't want to drive her new cook away by telling him the truth, but she couldn't think of a lie, so she didn't say anything.
Meanwhile, in his room, Jim was fuming. He hadn't been grounded in over a year and felt downright betrayed. Even though it was his fault, he felt like his mother was coming down too hard on him. Maybe it was just because it was such a drastic change in his normally good performance. But why should he care what she thought? He had Silver back now. Nothing else mattered, right?
Jim looked at his books and papers on his desk with contempt. He felt as if something wild inside him was fighting to get out. He let out a snarl of anger as he picked up his Physics book and hurled it across the room. He then tore off his academy blazer and chucked that across the room, too. Finally, changing his clothes entirely, he pulled his solar-surfer out from under his bed, kicked open the window and flew away.
Jim felt the exhilaration he hadn't felt since he'd saved the Legacy from certain destruction. The wind flowing through his hair at who-knows-how-many-miles-per-hour, the sense of pride at being so high above the world, and the feeling of freedom that he got just by looking toward the horizon.
Sarah saw her son off in the distance, soaring and doing tricks, and it made her heart wrench. Jim, you can't go back to the way you were. You're doing so well…don't throw it all away… she thought.
Jim didn't return until after everyone at the Benbow had gone to sleep. Everyone that is, except Silver. He had been waiting for Jim to come home. When Jim did arrive back home, he walked up to Silver's room, not wanting to disturb or even see his mother. Silver was the only one who understood him.
"Silver…?" he said, knocking on the already-ajar door. "Hey."
"Jimbo," said the cyborg.
"Can I…come in?"
Jim kicked off his boots outside the door and climbed up onto Silver's bed. He gave a curious look at the old pirate's stern face. "What?"
"Yer mother tells me…you've been fallin' behind in yer studies. Eh, Jimbo?"
"Just…just one class," said Jim, humbly yet defensively. "Oh come on, like you could do any better?"
"Now Jimbo, lad," said Silver. "I'm not aimin' for a battle of wits. I just want to make sure ye stay in school."
"I'll be fine. It was just one test!" said Jim, getting aggressive. "What do you care, anyway?!" Silver's eyebrows went up and creased together on his forehead; a sign of hurt and shock.
"I care about ye, Jimbo," he said. "I t'ought ye knew that." Jim lowered his eyes away from Silver in evasive shame. He decided to change the subject.
"So, I was thinking…you know…this weekend…maybe we could…I don't know…do something? Together?"
"Is that so?" said Sliver, choosing his next words carefully. "I was thinking this weekend…you could…I don't know…get back to yer studies!" Jim was not expecting that.
"Until yer grades come up, lad, we'll not be spending any time together outside of this inn!"
"I suggest ye get to bed, Jimbo!" said Silver, pointing to the door.
"You…!" Jim was at a complete loss. "You…! You can't tall me what to do! You're not my father!" And with that, Jim leaped off the bed, ran to his own room and slammed the door.
Come Monday, Jim didn't even bother to get up. Sarah sent Morph and B.E.N. upstairs to wake him. Morph turned into an alarm clock and rang in Jim's ears, only to be grabbed and splattered against the wall by the irate teen. B.E.N. just came in and started talking, which resulted in pretty much the same reaction.
"Argh! Why doesn't everyone just leave me alone?!" snarled Jim, shoving the two of them out the door and locking it.
"Jim! Get down here right now!" yelled Sarah. "You're going to be late!"
"No, I'm not, 'cause I'm NOT GOING!" yelled Jim. Sarah sent Silver up to bust open the door and drag Jim out, but Jim had already mounted his solar-surfer, and had flown out the window.
"Jim…" sighed Sarah.
Jim was soon brought back to the Benbow by the Robo-Cops. Instead of taking him back to the academy, Sarah sat Jim down and had a talk with him. Silver remained in the kitchen, listening with his enhanced robotic ear.
"Jim, what has gotten into you?" demanded Sarah. Jim didn't answer. He just retained his surly expression from back when he was a delinquent. "Jim," said Sarah, more sternly.
Jim sighed, and looked up with a patronizing, "What?"
"Why are you acting out? All I want from you is a decent grade, is that so much to ask?"
"And what about what I want? You never think about that, do you, Mom?" Jim yelled, standing up. He knew he was blowing the argument out of proportion, but he didn't care-- he just needed to turn the tables to make it look like it wasn't his fault.
"You know, this all started when I hired Silver. Is that why you're so mad? Are you upset at him or something?"
"Mom, you don't know anything about Silver, or me, or anything! Why can't you just leave me alone?!" Jim kept yelling and yelling until finally Silver came in to break it up.
"Jimbo, that's no way to be talkin' to yer mother!" he said. Then, turning to Sarah he said, "Ms. Hawkins, if I…if I am the cause of yer son's behavior…perhaps I'd better be goin'. After all…I want what's best fer the boy, too."
Jim didn't want Silver to leave, but he was too proud in the heat of the argument to show any weakness. "Fine! Go! I hate you!"
"Jim!" gasped Sarah.
"Just go! I don't care!" Jim yelled, turning and running out the door.
"Jim, wait!" cried Sarah. But it was no use. Jim had bolted for parts unknown. And Silver felt responsible.
Jim came home in the middle of the night, only to fall asleep on the couch in the lobby. He woke up when dawn's sun rays hit his eyes. Feeling almost hung-over, he staggered into the kitchen to get a glass of water. In a way, he had been drunk last night. Drunk on anger.
"Hey Silver, get me some water, will you?" he muttered. No answer. "Hey Mom! Where's Silver?" he yelled upstairs, completely ignoring the fact that his mother was sleeping. "Mom!" he yelled, barging into her room.
"What?" asked the exhausted Ms. Hawkins.
"Where the hell's Silver?"
"I think he left, son."
"He what?!" Jim ran downstairs and out the door of the Benbow. Silver was nowhere to be seen. He didn't even see a ship or a note or any indication of where he might have gone. Sinking to his knees, Jim whimpered, remembering the cruel words he'd spoken last night. I didn't mean it, Silver, he thought. I don't hate you…
The rest of the week, Jim was so sad and ashamed that all he felt he could do to make up for his outburst was try to get his grade back up. He apologized to his mom and everyone, and soon raised his grade back to a B. But he still felt so horrible inside for driving away his best friend and mentor. He couldn't believe that he'd said what he'd said.
Jim and company soon learned of the pirate's whereabouts a few days later. Apparently, he'd been arrested.
Jim, having been one of the people Sliver had requested to have present during his trial, had also brought his mom, the Dopplers, Morph and B.E.N. and just about anybody else who knew Silver. Amelia of course, was not one to cover up or sugar-coat his deeds. She thought it was best for Silver to be locked away, regardless of Jim's feelings.
As it turned out, Silver had committed many a crime years before the Treasure Planet voyage. Still, in Jim's eyes, he was still his hero, his mentor and the closest thing he'd ever had to a father. The judge was about to announce the sentence.
"Mr. Silver, under the charges of theft and mutiny, this court finds you guilty. I hereby sentence you to--!" The judge raised her gavel, but before she could bring it down or even finish her sentence (though it was obvious to everyone what it was going to be), Jim leaped forward.
"NO!" he cried. "You can't! Please!" He dropped to his knees before the judge, tears in his eyes. "Please, I'm begging you, your honor, please spare him!"
"Mr. Hawkins…if you don't mind me asking…why?"
Jim looked up desperately at Silver, who's organic eye also seemed a little glazed over. "Because I love him, your honor."
The entire courtroom gasped.
"You what?" asked the judge.
"I love him, your honor. He's like a father to me. Please. Please, let him go. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be here. He's taught me so much…he doesn't deserve to die. Please, your honor. Please…let him go."
Jim let his tears fall. They streamed down his face and neck. Still on his knees, he wiped his eyes with his wrist, shoulders shaking up and down. "Please…"
After a few silent minutes of hesitation, the judge looked at Silver and then at Jim. Then at the court. Then at Silver, and then back at Jim. She sighed.
"I can't believe I'm doing this…" she muttered. "I hereby declare you, Mr. Silver, NOT GUILTY!" She banged her gavel and the bailiff released Silver from his shackles.
Everyone in the court was escorted outside, and it was then that Jim saw Silver emerge from the courthouse, wiping his eye. His real eye. Jim ran up to him and leaped into his arms.
"Jimbo," said the cyborg, breathlessly. "Thank ye, lad."
"Oh Silver," said Jim, his voice cracking. "I'm sorry for what I said. I don't hate you…"
"I know, Jim. I know." Silver pulled apart from Jim to look in his tear-filled eyes. He brushed away his bangs and kissed him on the forehead. "I love ye, too, lad."