A/N: This was thought up and written at two am. I have edited it, a little bit, but not much. It was not meant to be slash, and I don't think it comes off that way, but certain lines hit me that way as I read through it -and I tried to edit those out- so if it strikes you that way, then well . . . oops.


Jim vs. Jimbo

Jimbo first came to your attention when you learned he had the map. You weren't interested in him, no. He was a bystander, Bones would've given that map to anyone, to make sure you didn't get it. You were slightly more interested when you learned he'd opened it, but you assumed he'd gotten help, or found a clue or something equally average and went about getting yourself hired as his crew.

The first time the boy really caught your eye, though, was the first time you met him. He was 'withdrawn' and 'angry' that was the first thing you noticed; and then 'sharp as a tack' and 'curious' when he brought up Bones. He could have been less obvious about it; he was out in the big wide universe and still playing pups' games, but that he'd made the connection at all, well; "We best be keepin' a sharp eye on this one, eh, Morph?"

When he fought with Scroop, again 'curious', then 'stupid', and finally 'bullheaded'. You talked to him for the first time after that, really talked to him. You thought 'lonely', then 'scared', and 'alone'. So you took Jimbo under your wing and 'contrary' got added to your treasure box of personality traits.

'Smart', then 'genius' soon after his rope trick and a little talking with the boys doctor friend, who couldn't keep his mouth shut for the life of him.

Jimbos' stunt with the dishes left you revisiting 'stubborn' in a whole new way, and adding 'affection' to the chest with your name on it; the one you hadn't even thought about in years, let alone added anything to.

And here is where you first notice the change, this, you decide, is where Old Jimbo becomes New Jimbo.

In New Jimbo you see 'eager to please' whenever you ask something of him, and 'helpful', you've even tentatively dusted off 'playful' with Morph and 'peaceful' while he sits in the stair well and listens to your tall tales while he should be sleeping.

With Mr. Arrows' passing you see 'panic' and then 'self loathing'. When you speak to him later that night you see 'hope'.

This is when 'hateful' is added to your box. Jimbo is one of the most tolerable children you've met, you think you might even love the pup; want to adopt him all for your own. And Jimbos' real Da, well, he ignored all that he'd been blessed with, and left poor Jimbo all on his own. Him and his poor mother.

And yes, you easily hate the man.

Soon though, you realize just how easy Jimbo is to break. 'Curious' you think, then, 'brave' then, 'hurt', the last is for the both of you. And then you don't have time to think about this anymore, you're in the middle of a mutiny. When you're done with that though, you hate yourself just as easily as you hate Jimbos' Da.

Jimbo is gone then, and it's like something is missing. All you can do is hopefully add 'safe' to his chest and pray to every deity you know that it's true.

When you see him again, he's 'fine', 'smug', 'guarded', 'angry', and, for now 'safe' too. You're thankful for that. Looking back you remember 'guarded', and you wonder why you hadn't added it before.

Jimbo is in a safe place, just fine, and so you do like you said you'd do and barter for the map.

". . . An even portion of the treasure is yours!" Your offer is real and you expect to see Jimbo smile, brilliant as aver, and brush off 'eager to please' and put it back to good use. Instead; "Boy. You are really something. All that talk of greatness. Light coming off my sails. What a joke." And you realize then that you're not dealing with New Jimbo, this is Old Jimbo at his finest; 'resolute' and you have to dust off 'angry' for your chest, "Oh, you still don't know how to pick your fights, do you, boy?" You see 'determined' then, and then you turn away, with only heavy threats on your tongue, "Now, mark me. Either l get that map by dawn tomorrow... or so help me, I'll use the ship's cannons... to blast ya all to kingdom come!" With that you leave; there's really not much left to say.

The next time you see Jimbo is after the ships alarms woke you, and you found your way into their little hideout. You see 'proud' first, then 'worried', followed quickly by 'fearful', and then 'determined' again. And those follow you all the way to Flint's Trove.

There you see 'desperate', and 'grateful', and then you add 'alive' to his box for the same reason you added 'safe', all the while adding 'foolish' to yours. That boy is more of a treasure than any shaped minerals ever could be; you've got a better treasure, a box with his name on it filled with memories and all the things that make him who he is and you think it might just be the most valuable thing you've ever seen.

And you very nearly got him killed.

All the same, though you're back on the ship 'alive'. You see 'genius', yet again, 'brave' and then, for the first time, as he's hugging the robot you see 'happy'.

He comes to find you then. 'Amused' with his rope trick and 'joyful' when you put him under Morphs' protection. 'Glowing', you both get 'sentimental' then, "look at ya, glowing like a solar fire. You're something special, Jim. You're gonna rattle the stars, you are."

And, as you sail away, you see 'content' and you realize he did that on his own.

This is Jim.

Jimbo was the broken boy.

Jim was the man who put himself back together.

And you think 'proud'.