Atlantic City, New Jersey
Jim scratched his jaw, nails rasping against his beard he had trimmed just for this hearing, straightened his uniform, the beige shirt always laying too big on him, but at least it was clean. He needed this to go well, it was his first chance and he would be damned if he spent another year following the rules. His skin was itching to break free, to return to his own life. Well, he thought bitterly, standing as his name was called, perhaps not entirely. He pushed away the memories that he had, needing to focus with the task on hand.
He sat down in the lone chair provided, facing the stony faced panel ahead. Blue eyes, open but guarded. The time hadn’t been too hard, the food was awful, but he had managed to finally tame his mouth to not start a brawl. See, Bones, I can change, the thought floated in his head, irony wrapped around it. He sat down methodically, remembering every form of posture, and manners that his mother had pushed onto him and Sam growing up.
Hands clasped together in his lap, expression as open as can be, nodding in a silent greeting to the panel before him. Blue eyes meeting, briefly, to all three set that were watching him.
“State your name for the record,” said the only woman in the panel, clearly in charge, her tone crisp and clear. Her dark hair was pulled away from her face, sharp dark eyes watched him closely.
“James Tiberius Kirk,” Jim answered automatically, keeping his tone neutral. He could do this, he’d charmed his way out of worse before.
“Thank you,” though Jim thought that the thanks was more of an auto response, than actual gratitude from the woman. He watched as she moved around the documents in front of her. His gaze straying to two others, both men and significantly older than the woman. “Mr. Kirk, the purpose of this hearing is to determine, whether, if released, you are likely to break the law again.” Her tone gave no indication if she thought one way or another, and Jim was given no room to answer as she continued. “While this was your first conviction, you have been implicated, though never charged, in over a dozen other confidence schemes and frauds.” Her sharp eyes looked up, landing on Jim’s blue ones, “what can you tell us about this?”
Jim shifted in his seat, fingers fitting against each other, “It’s as you said, ma’am,” keeping his expression clear, and tone just as professional as hers. “I was never charged.”
He knew the answer was unsatisfactory, could see it in the looks they gave each other at his response.
The dark skinned man to her right spoke up, “Mr. Kirk, what we’re trying to find out is, was there a reason that you chose to commit this crime?” Jim opened his mouth, preparing to answer, “or was there simply a reason you got caught this time?”
Jim took a breath, giving it a moment to prepare himself to say, mostly the truth, “my husband left me. I was upset. I got into a self-destructive pattern.” His tone was flat, and he regretted it in that moment, regretted not pouring more emotion into it. But there was a flicker in the woman’s eyes, though it passed too quickly for him to be able to identify.
“If released is it likely you’d fall back into a similar pattern?” She asked, her sharp eyes following him, dark brows pinched slightly in the middle.
Bright eyes landed heavily on hers, “he already left me once, I don’t think he’d do it again just for kicks.” This time his voice had an inflection of pain to it, though he buried it as best as possible. He suddenly wanted the hearing to be over with, not giving a damn how it went, just needing to be done talking about him, to complete strangers. Even if said strangers held his freedom in their hands.
There was a silence that hung heavy in the air after his statement, as if they could all sense what he was thinking, the woman’s expression softened just along the edges, barely noticeable. “Mr. Kirk, what do you think you would do, if released?”
This question Jim had been ready for, “I’d do what any man with sense would do when his husband leaves him,” a grin filtering across Jim’s face, making his expression seem much younger, “I’d do whatever it takes to get him back and make sure to never make the same mistake again.” His grin was blinding, it was as honest as they were going to get from him.
He didn’t hear about the verdict of his parole hearing until two weeks later, when one of the regular guards stopped by to inform him that he would be released the following day. His shoulders had sagged, and he had been unable to hide the stupid grin that had shown on his face. He would be out of the cold grey walls of the prison in less than 24 hours. In his own clothes, with actual food.
Then, then there would be hunting to do.
The thought kept him going, all through the next day.
“Kirk, James,” he stated, waiting for the guard to hand him the form that would state Jim received back his possessions.
“Sign,” the man said, pointing to a bottom line, exchanging the form for a heavy envelope, “this came for you today. Rest’ll be forwarded to your parole officer.”
Jim’s blonde brows knitted together as he read the name on the return address, “those your lawyers man?” The guard uncaring that he read the name himself.
Jim only hummed as a response, curious, he opened his mail, glazing over the papers within, a shadow of a smirk on his lips. He tucks the papers back in the envelope, giving the guard his most charming smile. When he receives his personal belongings, he makes quick work of changing into the tux he had been wearing when he had been arrested. The fit was a little tighter around his shoulders and chest now, but it would do until he was able to produce a better alternative. He fingered the wedding band, gripping it tightly in his hand, the metal cold against his warm hand.
As if through a daze he walked out, letting himself enjoy the freedom of the fresh air for just a moment before his instincts focused on only one thing. The job. Not wasting time he made it quickly to the nearest safe house, he had set up in the event of needing to lay low. Or in this case, needing a shower, change of clothes and money.
He sent a silent thanks to Spock that everything was still functioning when he arrived to the small studio. Longing to lay in an actual bed, but too focused and driven to stop even for a moment. Jim worked on making himself more presentable, dressing quickly, a new face looking back at him once he had washed and shaved. He grinned, brushing his hands down the better fitted suit he had chosen, and set out to seek out the nearest of his closest associates.