“You look grumpier than usual.”
Bones did not reply, but he did glance up at Jim as he continued to wrap Jim’s middle.
Jim sighed. “Okay, I’m sorry. I should have told you. I just…” He trailed off when Bones glared.
Spock had departed right after Bones had arrived and assured the Vulcan Jim wasn’t seriously injured and wouldn’t require hospitalization. Jim suspected Spock’s goal was to confront Owens for what happened to Jim. He tried not to be anxious about it.
“The truth is…the whole thing is humiliating,” Jim said, softly.
“Because, I’m not a victim, Bones. I hate that these assholes got the best of me at the bar and—”
“It was like three against one, Jim.”
“I know. And nothing happened to them. They were allowed to come into that bar and gang up on a civilian and they got away with it. If Pike hadn’t come in, I don’t know what would have happened.”
“I get it. I agree the Fleet should have done something.”
“Yeah, I mean I keep wondering what I should have been differently. I thought when I made a joke about them going to get more guys, I meant to diffuse it but it had the opposite effect.”
“Those guys were going to be macho dickheads no matter what you said or did at that point, Jim. They were spoiling for a fight and they set their sights on you.”
“I know that, but that’s where the humiliation comes in. I didn’t think I’d have to deal with them here, let alone have one of them come after me. So I wasn’t prepared and they got the best of me again. And it made me feel weak.”
“Jim, you are a lot of things but you aren’t weak or a victim. Being victimized doesn’t mean either. Now I can’t pretend to understand what thugs like Owens are thinking, but you can bet you won’t have to deal with him again.”
“Indeed, the doctor is correct.”
“Spock!” Jim smiled as Spock reentered the apartment holding a pizza box. “If that’s really a pizza, I’ll marry you.”
Spock arched a brow. “It is, so I look forward to the ceremony.”
Spock put the box down on the kitchen counter and then turned toward Jim and Bones.
“Cadet Owens is now former Cadet Owens.”
Bones finished wrapping Jim and stood. “Does that mean he’s no longer with Starfleet or that he no longer lives?”
Spock shrugged. “Take your pick.”
“He has been expelled,” Spock said. “And his accomplices are even now working on formal apologies to you if they want to remain with Starfleet. They expressed regret over Owens’ behavior and no direct knowledge of it.”
“Apologies huh? You accomplished all that in the short time you’ve been gone?”
“I work fast.” Spock paused. “Which you are personally aware of.”
Jim laughed again. “Boy do I.”
Bones snorted. “On that note, I’m outta here.”
Jim frowned up at him from where he sat. “You don’t want to stay for pizza?”
“And interfere with your wedding dinner? No thanks. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Jim got up and followed Bones to the door. “Okay see you.”
He turned back to Spock with a smile.
Spock suddenly looked uncertain. “Jim, we need to talk.”