Jim slumped against the door and rubbed his face. It may have just been a room at some inn in some town, but it was a break. Well, really, it was the very back corner of an inn named Pelican, at NewHaven. He had finally managed to ensure his entire temporary crew was actually going to get some rest on this shore leave, as opposed to showing up roaring drunk in the morning and not being useful, thus delaying the voyage for several days.
When Smollett told him he'd be giving Jim his own ship and crew, Hawkins knew not to expect too much. The ship had been better than he hoped, but the crew had been decisively sub par. Jim was really beginning to question some aspects of the man's insight into human nature. Still, they were chosen for a reason, and it only took them a few days to finally get their true sea-legs.
But dear, dear Mary, they were rowdy. Jim sighed and opened his eyes. The room was very small, so it wasn't exactly hard to miss his guest, who was sitting at the small table in the center, with his leg propped up upon it and his chair tilted back slightly.
"Ahoy there, Jim-lad," He called softly. That mischievous grin was upon his face.
Jim had no idea how to react: perhaps jumping up and shouting "Silver!" or just sitting there awestruck, or perhaps he should get up and pull a gun on the man, or maybe just sit there like an idiot with his face changing every few seconds as he considered each option. Silver's smile widened.
"That new look suits you, lad," Silver said conversationally. Jim stood up and sat down at the table across from the pirate, his head hung a little bit. His captain's jacket felt too heavy, as did his hat, so he took the hat off and set it on the table between them.
"What are you doing here?" The younger man asked after a moment. Silver shifted and leaned forward, now sitting so that his elbows rested on the table in front of him.
"Really now, that's some way to greet," he gave a little thoughtful hum, "an old friend."
"We're not friends!" Jim argued, standing up angrily. Silver's smile faded for a moment.
"Then I must be mistaken as to why you sailed back to that island," he countered cooly.
"That was to recover it for England," Jim countered, turning sideways so that he didn't have to look directly at Silver anymore. He leaned against the table. "You know very well that you took treasure with you when you abandoned ship, not to mention how we missed a bulk of the treasure due to space."
"Ah, but of course, and that must have also been why you went there a second time, despite the objections of your crew, wherein you had to acquire a new one." Jim went over and kicked one of the logs in the fireplace with his boot. He couldn't turn around; there was absolutely nothing else to focus on in the room; a bed, a table, two chairs, a window too dirty to look out, and the pirate. None of those options seemed terribly appealing, especially seeing as he was being drilled like a schoolboy.
"How did you get off the island?" Jim asked after a moment.
"I'm far more resourceful than you think I am," Silver told him coyly Jim. "Of course, you could blow the whistle," he reasoned. "After all, I couldn't rightly get away now before help came, now could I?" Jim turned back to him slightly, and realized for the first time his crutch wasn't with him. He followed the nod of the pirate's head to see he had leaned it against the far wall. How he had managed to get to the table perplexed Jim.
He hated this; for one, every second he didn't holler or summon someone proved exactly Silver's point, but the thought of someone hanging the pirate… While he sincerely doubted that Silver wouldn't get away somehow, he wasn't going to...
"Why are you here, Silver?" Hawkins repeated, watching the flames dance around the logs in the small fireplace.
"Why, to hear your reason for going back to that island, of course." Silver rested his chin in one hand. "Honestly boy, you are a rotten lair." Jim heard him stand up and hop over to him, past him, and grabbed his crutch from the wall, propping himself up on it.
"If you really serve Queen and Country, I won't be sullying you good reputation anymore," he replied cooly, laying a hand on Jim's shoulder. He took a step away but of course Jim would have none of that and grabbed his wrist. John's sleeve was rough and just a tad unclean; it made Jim mentally curse the delicate clothing he himself wore at the moment.
The man laughed harshly, eyeing how tightly the younger man clutched his wrist. "And there, boy, is why you haven't changed a bit."
"I never did think you lied, you know," Jim told him immediately. The pirate arched an eyebrow at him. "I mean…" Jim swallowed hard and met his gaze firmly. "When you said, 'I hope you didn't think I was lying about that,' I knew you weren't."
He found himself grabbing the collar of the man's vest and burying his face against his chest. Even though Silver had probably been on land several days, weeks even, waiting for Jim to show up, he still smelled just like he had gotten off a ship.
It took him back, to say the least. He could almost, almost believe nothing had changed since the first time he was on a ship. Like that night when they were on deck, far away from the party and hubbub the rest of the crew was having, just watching the stars. After that night he always looked for Polaris, and no matter how many times he told himself it was to gain his bearings, it wasn't always. It was not easy to forgive Silver, when angry the mind tends to forget the good things; and he thought that one memory wouldn't be enough, but then he had to go and ruin it all at the last second.
"It was that damn saying," he muttered, "You just had to go and say that blasted line, and ruin everything. If you hadn't of said that I couldn't have forgiven you even if I saw that star every night."
Silver put his hand on the back of Jim's head and tilted it back by his hair, kissing him. Jim had sort of expected it to be soft, but of course, Long John would have none of that. No, it oddly suited him, with the scratchy beard tickling Jim's face just a bit and his mouth being hotter than he felt was possible. It didn't even surprise Hawkins when Silver began yanking his jacket back off of him; he just pulled the man closer.
"How much time do you have?" Jim turned his head away to ask. Silver just bit his jawline.
"A few hours," he replied. Of course it wouldn't be long; he had probably been in this town too long as it was. And if the police caught word he was here… Jim sighed and pulled Silver closer, wrapping his arms around the man's shoulders. He just nodded against his chest; it would have to be enough time, for now.