They first heard about one another when Spock was seven and J’im was five. There was a rumor, floating through the school that the half-breed and the human were in the same grade level. “Because,” the other students claimed, “either the human is too stupid or the half-breed is too smart.”
(It was actually a mix- instead of one of them being two grades ahead or behind like everyone assumed they were both one grade ahead and one behind.)
On J’im’s first day of first grade and Spock’s second first day of first grade, they walked into the same section of the learning center and picked bowls next to one another. Truly, it was a coincidence. Spock would look back and call it a trick of destiny, but J’im would always say it was simply luck.
J’im finished his lessons quickly, and sat in his bowl to meditate. He closed his eyes, and slowly approached the first stage of trance.
Or he would have, if it wasn't for the incessant beeping coming from his right.
“It's the… the Pythagorean theorem?” BEEP. “Oh… no? Okay then… um… well, it's a- it's a right triangle-” BEEP. “- Yes I know that isn’t the answer, I just have to think I-” BEEP. “Oh, sod off-”
Curious, J’im went over to the edge of his bowl and stood on his toes, grabbing the edge and pulling himself out. He crawled over on his knees to peek into the bowl next to him.
The boy had black hair, and thick-rimmed glasses. His shirt was too big for him, and it fell off his skinny frame. He was very pale. His cheeks had an angry red flush to them. And his ears… they weren’t pointed, like J’im’s. They were rounded.
J’im watched him for a moment, struggling in vain to finish his lesson. After a moment’s hesitation, J’im swung his legs over and slid into the bowl. The boy blinked at him. “Hey, what are you-!”
J’im spoke over the boy, quickly reciting the postulate necessary to answer the question. The computer beeped, indicating that the math lesson was finished. He turned to the boy and cocked his head, and the boy flushed a fascinating shade of pink.
“Um… thanks,” he said, and J’im nodded.
“Did you not understand the problem?” he asked.
The boy turned even more red, and he nodded jerkily. “I like maths and science, but today I’m kinda dumb,” he sighed.
“How are you less intelligent than you were yesterday?” J’im asked, unable to hide his curiosity.
“Because I’m tired,” the boy said, adjusting his glasses nervously. “I couldn’t sleep last night. It’s too hot here during these months. I’ll be better in a few weeks.” As J’im listened to the boy speak, he couldn’t help but notice that his eyes were a compelling shade of brown.
Jim stared at him for a long moment, then held up the ta’al.
“I am T’iber I’us K’irk J’im,” he recited carefully.
The boy nodded once. “I’m Spock Novak-Grayson. It’s a pleasure.”
J’im lowered his hand. “Novak-Grayson?”
Spock blinked, then ducked his head. “Yeah, that Novak-Grayson. It's not a big deal.”
“Your mother is the Terran ambassador to Vulcan.”
Spock flushed again. “Yeah. That's why I have a Vulcan name. Mum is a little…” he looked away.
“And your father is a premier Federation scientist?” J’im asked, and Spock nodded.
“He taught me most of the stuff I know about science. But like I said, ‘m tired today, 'cause it's hot.”
“Does your house not have temperature control?”
They sat there talking for a long time, wasting their first break of the day. They only broke up when an instructor came over and found the two boys sitting cross-legged across from one another, gesturing animatedly and discussing physics.
The instructor separated them, but they just found one another at lunch again. J’im gave Spock a few points for his afternoon English lesson, and Spock told J’im about his pet sehlat, and was shocked when he realized Jim didn’t have the same type of companionship.
“You don’t have one?”
“My mother does not believe we would benefit from one’s company.”
“Dad actually insisted on her, and Mum agreed. Her name is I-Chaya!”
That evening, they reluctantly parted ways. All the way home, J’im discussed his new companion, whereas Spock practically ran as fast as he could to the shuttle bus and then ran home to tell his parents all about his new friend.
All three parents were pleased (secretly, for T’ona, but that was beside the point) that their sons finally had made a friend.
Spock waved his friend over as he sat at the lunch table. J’im nodded once and quickly came over, sitting across from Spock.
“Good afternoon. How was your morning?”
“I passed my history test, and got a perfect on my maths homework," Spock said, pulling out his lunch. “Mum wanted me to invite you to come over to our house on our rest day.”
J’im tilted his head. “For what purpose?”
Spock flushed. “Oh, well… There isn't one I guess? I mean, it would just be to spend time together.” He picked at his sandwich. “You don’t need to if you have better things to do-”
“No.” J’im interrupted. “I will be there. What is your address?”
Spock relayed it, still poking at his sandwich. Frowning, he reached into his bag and pulled out his other items- some sha’vaas fruit, a cookie, a bag of toasted tek’el leaves… his stomach twisted uncomfortably at the thought of eating it, and he glanced at J’im.
“You want any of this?”
“No, thank you,” J’im said, eating his plomeek. “Do you have a message number?”
Spock programmed it into J’im’s PADD, reaching over and forcing himself to eat a tek’el leaf. He passed the PADD back and sighed, resting his head on the table.
J’im studied him for a moment. “You should eat. I have noted that you are below the average healthy weight for a human of your age and height.”
“Yeah, I know I’m skinny,” He shrugged a little. “I’m just not hungry.”
The next day, Spock didn’t come to school.