Jim had kind of had enough, honestly. He hadn’t really even wanted to go to the bar that night, but Bones and Christine had asked and Jim had felt kind of obligated because they’d done plenty of things he’d wanted to do, but he was tired and feeling rather low.

He’d studied most of the evening in the library after being shot down by his crush when he’d asked about a date. And sure, he’d sort of expected it, given who he had a thing for, but still, it was a bitter disappointment.

Jim touched the sleeve of Christine’s blouse to get their attention.

“Hey guys, I think I’m going to head home.”

“What?” Bones exclaimed. “It’s early. Especially for you.”

“I know. I’m not feeling it tonight and I just want to hit the hay.”

Bones smirked at Christine. “He’s still talking like he’s in Iowa.”

“You want us to go with you, Jim?” she asked.

“No, no. I’ll take the bus. There’s a bus stop just outside this bar. I’d walk but it’s raining.”

“Let us know you make it safe,” Christine called after him.

“She’s worse than you,” Jim told Bones.

He walked outside and stood under the awning for a moment as he considered the rain. It was light, really, nothing too heavy. And he considered walking after all, but he figured the bus would probably be arriving at any time, so he’d not have long to wait.

Shrugging, he stepped over to the bus stop. There were two other guys standing there, coats pulled tight around them, wearing caps of some kind. Looking sort of slinky and that they were up to something.

Jim did his best to ignore them.

“Hey pretty boy, got any money?”

Jim didn’t respond.

“Hey, dumbass, we’re talking to you.”

“I don’t have any money.”

“Bullshit, dweeb. We saw you coming from that bar. You got money for drinks. Give us all you got or we’ll cut you.”

Jim sighed. This was just the sort of end to a crappy day he would expect. “I have no money, but I do have a phaser, which I will use, if you don’t back off and leave me alone.”

“A phaser?” One of them laughed. “What are you one of those Starfleet idiots?”

They were too busy laughing at nothing, Jim guessed, to notice the approach of someone else. But Jim noticed. And Jim was very, very surprised as to who it was.

“Indeed, as am I,” Spock said from behind them.

Professor Spock.  

“What?” The other one turned quickly, but it wasn’t quick enough, because Spock pinched his neck and dropped him to the ground.

Jim used the distraction to slug the other one in his stomach, causing him to double over.

“My car is over there,” Spock said, pointing down the road. “Care for a ride?”

Jim grinned. “Sure thing.”

He followed Spock to the car.

“Did you really have a phaser?” Spock asked after they’d gotten in and he pulled his hover car away.

“Nope. Was totally bluffing.”

Spock shook his head.

“Uh, not that I’m ungrateful. But didn’t you say no to the bar?”

“I did. I had a change of heart.” Spock glanced at him. “But I am glad I didn’t have to go into the bar, just the same. Your place or mine, Cadet?”

“Yours.”

He texted Bones.

“I’m all right, but won’t be home. C U tomorrow.”