Morty normally wasn't one to comment on odd quirks, but he was trying to get used to this thing called conversation.

"Yes, that's her name," Eusine explained without looking up from the television screen.

Morty thoughtfully traced the letters engraved on the inside of the leather bound cover.

"You gave it a gender?"

"Yes. Before the name."

Morty turned the pages like he was handling one of the brittle volumes in the library's basement, even though he knew this journal was made to be durable.

"You gave your notebook a sex before you named it?"

Eusine rolled his eyes. "You wouldn't give a baby a name like 'Brock' before you found out if it was a boy or a girl, would you? No."

He could only begin to guess at how long Eusine had been filling in the pages. Long before they had first met, for sure. As the pages turned, the handwriting grew neater and smaller, cramped into every available space. Newspaper clippings and photographs were stapled to the thick pages. The drawings grew better. A quarter of the way in, and Morty could begin to distinguish one snarling mess of triangles and lines from another. Sketches of carvings and paintings of the three legendary beasts, maps folded between the pages with lines that indicated uncharted caverns and paths, several landmarks, the Tin Tower appeared several times, there was his gym…

Morty stopped, his hand frozen on the page he had just turned. Him. A younger Morty, haunted and hunched inside of a sweater that all but swallowed him whole stood with his arms folded and resting on a fence. They'd probably been having one of their almost-conversations by the Tin Tower, Eusine talking and Morty trying not to. He'd never realized that the marks Eusine had been making with his pencil were images, not words.

Eusine scowled and said something to the television. Morty flipped the page, his heart beating a little faster as he continued to look through the journal.