Title: Daycare, the Final Frontier
Author: Farfalla -- email blueberrysnail @ yahoo.com
Betas: Sensefille, Lyrastar, Hypatia
Website: spirk.cosmicduckling.com
Fandom: Star Trek TOS (AU)
Codes: K&S (for goodness' sakes, they're six years old. If this is slash, then I'm scared.), AU, [G]
Special thanks to Kaybomb for the tips on kindergarten that I wound up not even using, LOL. And thank you, Maoric, for the idea. You are my muse and my moose :-)
Summary: Best friendships are born in the San Francisco Daycare...
This is, believe it or not, a Rude Person story. Think about it... shuttlecraft crash, cave... hah! So, being that this is the Most Cliched Spirk Story Ever, it's part of the Cliche fest.

Daycare, the Final Frontier

It was just after naptime when it happened. The children were enjoying their indoor playtime and had broken up into small clusters centered around this toy or that. Jimmy looked at the groups, considered each for a moment, and then took the shiny new toy shuttlecraft to play with by himself. The other groups were playing with puppets, toy guns, or Barbie dolls, none of which appealed to him very much.

Jimmy liked the new shuttlecraft from the minute Mister Len had put it into the toychest and explained what it was and what it was for. Imagine, sailing above the entire world, flying to places that even Mommy and Daddy had never seen! And then he could come home and tell them all of his adventures. He zoomed the shuttlecraft around the room, running freely, almost tripping over his shoelaces. "Bvvmmmmmmp!" his lips buzzed happily. The toy wasn't very high-tech, but he could make his own sound effects.

Spock was sitting at one of the low tables, busily drawing with some crayons. Jimmy looked over at him every once in a while as he scampered by and noticed that the other boy kept looking up at him, then back down at his paper. He stopped at the table on his next pass. "Hi."

"Hullo," said Spock shyly.

"What's that?" Jim pointed at the paper.

"I don't know," said Spock, looking away but still coloring.

Jim looked at the paper more closely. "Is that me?"

"Yes."

"That's great!"

"Thanks," said Spock, biting his lip.

"Hey, dya wanna play with the shuttlecraft with me?"

Spock raised his eyebrow and wrinkled his nose in the process. He wasn't used to any other kids asking him to play. Usually, they just made fun of him for his greenish skin and pointed ears. Mister Len tried to tell the kids to be tolerant of people who were different, but he'd never before had to deal with a kid who was half-extraterrestrial until now. He'd promised Spock's mother that he'd watch out specially for her little precious, but he couldn't be everywhere at once, and Spock still felt safest by himself.

But Jimmy was different from the others. He didn't always play with the group either, even though most of the other kids liked him plenty well. He'd never made fun of Spock, and once he gave the rest of his cookie to Nyota after she dropped hers into the sand. And Spock had overheard Mister Len telling Jimmy's mom that her son was reading at a third grade level already. Some of the kids here didn't even know how to read yet. Spock could read too, and he thought it was really cool that someone else in the class saw things his way.

He didn't say anything, but slipped his butt out of the chair slowly. Abandoning the drawing on the table, he followed Jimmy around the room making fighter-jet noises. "Whooo!" squealed Jimmy, swooping the toy past Spock's ear. "Here, you can hold it."

Spock was running with the toy with Jimmy at his side when suddenly his foot caught in the hair of Jannie's Cabbage Patch Doll. The shuttlecraft flew out of his hand and hit the dry erase board full-force. It broke apart on impact and fell to the floor in several pieces.

Spock looked up from the floor, rubbing his rugburned elbow, and saw Jimmy peering at the broken toy, looking as if he might be about to cry.

Mister Len was busy breaking up a fight over the Barbie dolls, so Miss Christine came over to clean up the toy instead. "I'm sorry, Jimmy," she said soothingly, sweeping the pieces into the dustpan. "You really liked playing with that little plane, didn't you?"

"It's not a plane, it's a shuttlecraft," pouted Jimmy, but Miss Christine wasn't interested. When she'd gone away, he looked around for Spock.

He didn't seem to be anywhere in the room. He wasn't playing with the puppets, and he certainly wasn't over by the Barbie dreamhouse, where Nyota and Jannie were both sulking after Mister Len had broken up their quarrel. He never played with the toy guns and swords like Pavel and Hikaru. And the door to the bathroom was open and nobody was inside.

Then Jimmy noticed the pile of pillows in the corner of the room. Someone had taken all the cushions off the sofa and arranged them into a huge heap, and it hadn't been there the last time he had looked in that direction. Spock was probably hiding in there.

Jimmy crossed the room and peered around the cushion pile. There seemed to be only one way in, through a tiny gap close to the wall. He had to creep down real low and tighten his shoulders in order to wriggle into the middle of the pile. "Spock? Are you in here?" he whispered. He couldn't see a thing.

He could tell Spock was in there because he could hear him breathing, but the other boy didn't say anything. "Spock, it's okay. I asked Mommy and Daddy for a shuttlecraft for my birthday."

"I'm sorry," Spock whispered back.

"Why are you in here?" asked Jimmy.

"I made a cave," said Spock. "It's my cave."

"It's really cool," said Jimmy.

"Thanks!"

"Have you ever been in a real cave?"

"No, but I want to be a scientist when I grow up and maybe I'll go study a cave," said Spock.

"You wanna be a scientist? That's really cool! I wanna be an explorer."

"What do you want to explore?"

"Oh, anywhere. It would be really cool to go to outer space, though. Mommy got me this book all about the planets and one of them looks like pizza." Jimmy rubbed his nose on his sleeve.

"That's Jupiter," said Spock proudly. They were still whispering.

"Yeah!" exclaimed Jimmy. "Hey, what kind of scientist do you want to be?"

"I don't know," said Spock. "I like everything."

"Maybe you could come with me and help me explore," said Jimmy. "You could be an explorer too!"

"Yes," said Spock, suddenly feeling shy again.

"I think we'd make a good team."

"You don't care that I'm green?" Spock said after a pause.

"I think it's cool!" said Jimmy. "I wish I had weird skin."

"It looks weird to me," said Spock. "My dad's green and that's what I'm used to at home." There was a silence, and then they both giggled.

"Where should we go first?"

"Huh?" Spock wrinkled his forehead.

"When we go exploring. Where do you want to go?"

"Umm.... that's okay, you can pick first. As long as we both get to go."

"Okay, I pick... Antarctica!"

"That's where Emperor penguins live. They're the biggest penguins in the world," said Spock. "It's really cold there."

"I know, but I'll help you stay warm."

"My mom would probably make me take the heavy jacket," said Spock.

"I really like this cave," Jimmy commented suddenly. "This is fun!"

* * *

Dr. Leonard McCoy led Amanda over to the pile of cushions. "Spock was great today. He and Jimmy have been playing in there all afternoon. There was a little mishap with a broken toy, but they seem to be doing fine now."

"Come on out, Spock! Introduce me to your little friend," Amanda called into the pillow pile.

Spock poked his head out of the cushions, dragging Jimmy out with him by the wrist. "Hi, mom! This is Jimmy."

"Hello, Jimmy, I'm Spock's mom. You can call me Amanda." She was a cuddly-looking woman with a graying blonde beehive.

"Hi!" Jimmy waved energetically while smiling.

"What a nice smile that boy has!" Amanda said to Dr. McCoy, who nodded appreciatively.

Spock ran over to the table where his crayoned drawing still was. "Here, Jimmy, you can take this home if you want," he said, slipping the paper into the other boy's hands.

"Thanks! I'll see if I can draw you one when I get home."

"That's lovely, Spock!" said his mom. "You drew that?"

"Yes."

"It's so nice to see Spock getting along with the other children," said Amanda to McCoy. "Spock, how would you like it if Jimmy came over this weekend to play with you?"

"Yes! We're gonna be explorers together."

"Jimmy? You ask your mom if it's okay. Have her call me." Amanda collected Spock's empty lunchbox from his cubbyhole, hefted her briefcase, and led her son out of the room.

"Jimmy," said McCoy when the room had emptied (the other kids all having been picked up already), "I really like how you asked Spock to play today. He looked really lonely and it was nice to see you sharing that toy." Jimmy smiled and watched McCoy start putting the cushions back on the sofa. "But please, next time--please don't take apart the furniture, okay?"


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