A/N: I'm sorry I took terribly long this time. Busy with work as always, and I also took a slight hit of the disease known commonly as Writer's Block. Well, good news is, I got something out. Bad news, it's not a part of the Vacation arc. I couldn't come up with anything else clever. I ran out of ideas. That's really why I can't do chapter fics.

Anyway, this was one I've been meaning to do for a while. Wrote it in about 20 minutes. I came up with the first lines while working in the fitting room at work today and jotted them down quick. [= I also came up with some ideas for another story I'm thinking about (don't worry Moaboa, I'm working on yours too!): Jim gets a job. :D Kind of an excuse to share all of my crazy experiences that come from the world of retail, but through Jim's eyes I figure it'll be at least somewhat entertaining. What do you think?

Depending on the amount of reviews/requests but more importantly the amount of inspiration, I may or may not continue this one.

Disclaimer: I do not own Treasure Planet.


033. Expectations

When Leland Hawkins saw his son standing not ten paces away from him, he had the urge to simultaneously run as far away as possible and to go forward and tap him on the shoulder.

What he did next was neither of those things.

Ten years almost to the date of when Leland walked out on his family, he finds himself back on the same planet that he once felt was a prison. He came here to find peace, because the last few years have been anything but.

Now that he's here, however, he's questioning himself.

Did he really want to do this?

What if Sarah's remarried? What if Jim tries to kill him? What if that isn't really Jim, and his family is long gone?

So when Leland finally makes his decision, to either face his fears or flee them once again, he finds the decision is no longer his to make.

Jim turns around.

Neither one speaks.

Sometimes the eyes say more than words can convey.

But at a certain point, that gets a bit awkward.

Leland figures he owes it to his son to take the burden of being the first to speak.

"I wanted to apologize."

Jim stares long and hard. There's a bit of hesitance in his eyes, a bit of determination in his jaw. But will he forgive his father?

Leland finally looks down, unable to stand under the intense and discerning gaze. He's absolutely sincere, he does want to resolve everything, but is he as sincere as he should be? Does he owe Jim and Sarah more than just an "I'm sorry" and a "can we still be friends?"

Oh, he knows he owes them much more than that.

But can he give that to them?

He was crushed under their expectations once, can he manage to withstand them once again?

He's already here. He's gonna try. And he's gonna give it his best this time.

"It's late. Mom's waiting."

Is that an excuse or an invitation?

The small smile on Jim's lips tells him all he needs to know.