Spock had gone to Earth for Starfleet Academy by the time he was twenty-one, having already proven himself. He might never make first officer, not on a ship were the first officer was expected to be able to be combat ready, but he thought he would make a capable science officer.
The academy, like the rest of Earth, was mainly built for larger humans. Amanda had protested to Spock going to Earth all on his own, if only for her worry that he would be too small to navigate the world itself, but Spock had protested that he would be able to handle himself here.
Most of Earth was made for larger people, but there were exceptions in places like this. There were hybrid sized seats in the front of the auditorium in the first class of Spock’s and Spock was happy to see it. It would be a bad idea to sit in a chair so large and expect to get much work done like that.
There was one other person sitting in the hybrid sized chairs, and he was, by far, not human or vulcan at all. He looked similar to a selhat, only small and hairless. Spock sat down, an empty seat between him and the other, as dictated Earth culture for rules of engagement with strangers on this planet.
The professor -Captain Pike, who would be taking over the USS enterprise when it finished construction in six years time- was already at the front of the room, paying no attention to anyone coming in while he looked through PADDs sitting on his desk.
There was a hybrid laying down, asleep on an oversized puppy bed behind the desk against the wall, with two other puppy beds next to it. He looked much older than Spock was, at least thirty, and he had beagle ears. Spock had heard that Captain Pike and Admiral Archer, who had been married for years now, have four puppy hybrids between them. This must be one of them.
Pike looked down next to his chair, and raised his eyebrows at an unseen person standing there. “Jimmy, class is about to start soon, I can’t play with you right now.”
There was a faint whining noise from whoever he was talking to, and Spock’s ears twitched at it, a part of him intrigued by the noise that sounded so desperate. That was a thing with him. As much as he tried to purge all emotion and follow the vulcan way, he simply could not, because as a creature, he was only one part vulcan. Hybrid nature, thankfully, is very non violent and helps him keep his vulcan side calm.
The little hybrid came out from the other side of the desk, looking sullen and upset. It was a golden retriever hybrid, with little curls in his hair, and big blue eyes. He had a big red ball held in both hands, and was wearing red overalls with a yellow shirt underneath.
He looked up, and startled a little when he saw the cat hybrid there. Not many hybrids actually joined starfleet as a general rule, not wanting to live on a ship even less equipped for their size, than most of Earth was.
He shuffled over to where Spock was sitting, his droopy ears perking up a little at the possibility of a new friend, even if this one had a funny haircut and green tinted skin instead of pink. Jimmy stopped in front of Spock’s seat, and gently held out the big red ball to him. “Play?”
Captain Pike sighed again, getting up so he could begin the lecture for the now full auditorium. He kept his voice low, so it wouldn’t carry through the room past where Jimmy and Spock were sitting, but it was still loud enough to make some nearby students strain a little to see the two of them. “Jimmy, he can’t play with you right now, he has to listen to the lecture.”
Jimmy sighed, much like the Captain had, and Spock assumed it was safe to say, that the Captain had most likely been a large influence in this hybrid’s life so far. Jimmy pointed to the seat in between him and the other person in the smaller seating section. “I sit?”
Spock was unsure how to answer that other than a terse nod. So far, this hybrid was strange, even for a puppy. He set his ball down at the foot of the seat and climbed into the chair, accepting the PADD that Captain Pike’s TA handed him with a quiet nod, and sitting back to listen to the lecture with the rest of the class.
Whether or not he was actually listening to the lecture, Spock did not know, but he was quiet and kept to himself for the rest of the class, entertaining himself with the PADD he’d been given while his guardian spoke to them.
It was, by far, a strange class.
At the end of the class though, Jimmy handed back his PADD to the TA, who gave it to Pike, who opened it back up, and immediately turned to praise the hybrid about what good notes he took and how well he listened in class. Jimmy made a pleased whine, his tail going a mile a minute behind him while his guardian gently pet at Jimmy’s ears, calling him a ‘good boy’ and other such epithets.
Spock left the lecture hall, feeling conflicted, and entirely unsure why. His mother used to tell him, that his hybrid genetics would leave him with unexplained urges and emotions, but never before has he ever been so entirely unsure about what was conflicting him. If he weren’t still a vulcan, and as such, immune to such issues, he’d say he was confused.
Spock first realized that Jimmy wasn’t actually taking any classes at Starfleet Academy when he saw how entirely inconsistently Jimmy paid attention in advanced schematics class every morning. Some days, he’d sit next to Spock in the front row, taking notes on his PADD and getting praised for it at the end of the class, and some days he would nap on a puppy bed at the back of the class. A few days, he would sit with either a hybrid male or female that both had blonde hair and blue eyes -George and Winona, his parents- and a few times, he was absent from the class entirely.
The first time he is ever approached by the hybrid outside of class, is one month and five days after the first meeting. Spock has had quite some time to observe Jimmy in the class, and has surmised that the hybrid was… lonely, surrounded by humans. There were humans he quite liked, and humans he didn’t, but he was drawn to other hybrids in the same way that Spock often found himself.
There were other hybrids in the school, like a small dark skinned female cat by the name of Nyota Uhura, and another blonde puppy with curly hair by the name of Pavel Checkov. Those were simply the other two hybrids that Spock has classes with right now, but he’s seen others around.
The first time Jimmy approaches Spock outside of class, Spock is in the commissary, eating lunch at a hybrid sized table. “You’re not human hybrid? You’re vulcan hybrid?”
Spock blinked once at the little puppy. Jimmy was a lot different from the other hybrids in the school. For one, he accepted the praise that people gave him with an excited air about him that suggested he was looking for it, even hoping for it. The other dog hybrid at the school, Chekov, seemed to tolerate it well, but never actively searched it out, and Nyota, the one time a professor tried to pat her head with a ‘good girl’ attached to it, she'd nearly bitten the man’s hand off for even trying.
“I am of vulcan heritage.”
Jimmy nodded, climbing up onto the seat next to Spock, looking fascinated. He had a soft brown puppy stuffed animal in his right hand, and he carried it gently, like it was something precious. He gently sat it down on the table next to him, and gave Spock a very serious look. “That must be why your skin is so pretty.”
Spock blinked at him again. “I was unaware that you found my skin aesthetically pleasing.”
The puppy hybrid gave him a grin, his tail wagging behind him. “I find all of you aesthetically pleasing.”
Before Spock could respond to him, Jimmy was pulled away with a faint voice calling his name. Spock followed him with his eyes, finding that Jimmy’s destination was an older man, dark brown hair and brown eyes, with a five year old girl sitting on his hip before he moved her to sit on a chair at a human sized table, before moving to help Jimmy into the chair next to her, a tray of lunch sitting in front of both of them.
Jimmy was most peculiar.
The next time they talked outside of class, Spock was going to the medical center for a routine check up. As the only known member of his species, it was important that he keep a regular log of his health to ascertain that he never perish from the unknown.
Spock filled out a short admittance form and was told to wait in the hybrid friendly waiting room for Dr. McCoy to finish up with another patient before he could see him.
Dr. McCoy was the resident specialist in all hybrid creatures, and so Spock could only assume he would be the most likely to pick up any anomalies in Spock's genetics.
“Hello. Are you sick?”
Spock looked up to see the hybrid puppy, Jimmy, sitting at one of the tables in the room, playing a game on a hybrid sized PADD. He didn't look worried about being in a waiting room, so Spock assumed this was within his normal parameters of everyday life.
“That is a query that I wish to ascertain to be certain of myself. Are you also I good health?”
The puppy stared at him for a few seconds before laughing for another few, and turning back to his PADD. “I'm fine, my owner works here though. He needed to be with patients today, so he told me to play in here till he's done. I wish he didn't have to work, but I know it's important.”
Spock gave the puppy what he hoped passed for a sympathetic look, though humans were quite bad with telepathy, and so any chances of Jimmy understanding his intent without showing it, was slim to none.
“Your plight is noted. His attention would not be remiss. May I inquire why you spend time with Captain Pike in his classroom, if he is not your guardian?”
Jimmy sighed a little. “Captain Pike used to be my guardian before I met Bones, but now he's just my parent’s and uncle’s guardian. I like him and Archer, so I get to spend time with them in class. They were my owners for a long time though.”
Spock would have cringed at the words if he had been human. Hybrids weren’t exactly owned , but for centuries, they’ve been living with the help of humans, and many humans seemed to think they owned them. He wondered if Jimmy honestly thought he was owned.
Spock did not get the chance to reply, as the man he’s seen Jimmy with so many times before, appeared in the doorway. Jimmy immediately perked up, his soft golden tail wagging behind him for a moment as he let out a happy noise. “Bones!”
The man -Bones- smiled at him for a moment, before glancing once at Spock. He knelt next to the hybrid for a few seconds, and pet a large hand through Jimmy’s ear fur -something that Spock knew, because of his overly touchy older brother, and human mother, was a pleasant sensation, though he personally would never ask for it himself- and crooned out, his accent a deep southern drawl. “Calm down, darlin, I have one more patient for the afternoon, and then we can go back home again. Can you wait here like a good boy for me?”
Jimmy let out a little sad sigh, his tail slowing to a stop behind him, big ears drooping low on his head. “Okay.”
The man stood back up and looked at Spock again. “You’re Spock? Come on, this should be a fairly quick check up.”
Spock followed the man -Doctor McCoy, though he didn’t know why the puppy referred to him as ‘Bones’- out into the hallway and a short walk to an open room that looked like it was more suited for children than Starfleet officers.
The doctor didn’t try and touch him, like he assumed he would if he were any other hybrid -because humans had an urge to touch those they found cute - and he let Spock get onto the lowered medical bed by himself with the help of a small stepping stool.
Spock did have to applaud one fact, that the man had a much better grasp of what a vulcan, and a Starfleet student at that, would deem appropriate in this situation. That is, if an act of decency that other humans didn’t seem to possess, was a reason to applaud .
Spock rather likes him though. He seemed to make Jimmy happy, and was a highly recommended doctor in Starfleet.
He thought it might be nice to see Jimmy more if he had to see this human as well.
Spock later on, learned that Jimmy was allergic to a lot of things. Like, a ridiculous amount of stuff.
It was probably a very good thing that his owner was a doctor.
Chris paused in his lecture, looking over towards the front row at Spock with honest surprise on his face. Of all the people to interrupt him, he never expected it to be a vulcan. “Yes?”
Spock was standing up from the chair on the left side of Jimmy, who was sitting between him and another hybrid sized student. “He’s not breathing. Why’s he stopped breathing?”
It took Chris three whole beats to figure out what Spock had meant, and when he did, his face started draining of blood. “I- class dismissed, everyone get out.”
He scrambled for a drawer in his desk, pulling out a medical bag while all the other students stared at him in shock. A few of them were already out the door, but he paid none of them any mind. “Jimmy, sweetie, Jimmy…”
He trailed off, crouching down next to the little hybrid on the chair, and noted that Spock was right, he had stopped breathing. His throat was swelling up. Chris wasted no time pressing a hypo to his neck and pressing down on the button at the top. Chris himself stopped breathing till he heard Jimmy pull in a raspy little breath himself.
Chris pulled the little hybrid off the desk seat and stood up with him, letting Jimmy slouch down against his shoulder tiredly. Jimmy was half asleep anyways. Chris carried him out of the classroom without looking back at the students still milling about, and hoped none of them thought to take advantage of him not being there right now. He looked back when he heard the footfall of someone following him, and found Spock keeping pace with them easily, looking worried.
“Spock, what happened? Did he eat anything?”
Spock nodded once. “He had candy at the beginning of the class. Hard sugar candy.”
Chris sighed, leading them all off towards the infirmary. “He probably has new candy he didn’t realize he would be allergic to. That happens sometimes. Why didn’t you say something earlier?”
Spock looked guilty. “I thought he was trying to sleep. He does that sometimes. I didn’t know something was wrong till his heartbeat started slowing down more than usual.”
Chris thought about that for a second, but overall decided it was fine. Vulcan hearing was spectacular, and so was feline hybrid, it made sense. “Alright, but if that ever happens again, you should make sure he’s okay before letting him sleep.”
In the infirmary, Jimmy was laid down on a bed -a human sized bed, why are they all human sized beds?- while Spock watched him from his place on a nearby chair. Well, he was standing on the chair, so he could see him properly, because everything on Earth was made for giants, but still.
He’s not sure why he cares so much about Jimmy, he’s just another hybrid. There are other hybrids on campus even.
Still, he could feel his heart rate pick up a little -almost a minute percent, it was so low- when Jimmy opened up those big blue eyes and looked over at Spock.
“Came see me?”
Spock could hear a distinct rasp in his voice, like his throat was scratched up inside. He was just glad that Jimmy was speaking at all. “I never left your side.”
Jimmy’s sleepy features turned into a little smile, and Spock felt warm inside. It was highly illogical.
This little, illogical hybrid… Spock sort of liked him...