Disclaimer: Star Trek and characters are Paramount's property, I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands.  No copyright infringement is intended.  Any original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author.  Copyright 2005 by SterJulie.  Rated G.

 

Rivals

SterJulie

 

            It all came to a head the day Spock fell out of that tree.

 

            Jimmy had led his "crew" on an adventure.

 

            "Whassa 'venture?" Spock whispered to Lenny.

 

            "Knowing Jimmy," Lenny muttered, "it's sumthin' where we all get in trouble."

 

            Spock was puzzled.  "So why are we gonna do it?"

 

            "Cuz it's 'xciting!" Jimmy responded, having overheard the boys.  "Nobody's 'llowed to mutiny on my ship! Let's go."

 

            "Go where?" Spock asked.

 

            "Where nobody's gone before!" Jimmy grinned.  "We're gonna be 'xplorers!"

 

            There was a leafy tree in the corner of the playground.  Mr. Roddenberry called it The Reading Tree because he would sometimes sit beneath it and read to the children when the weather was fine.

 

            "We're gonna climb that mountain and defend ourselves from the Rom'lans," Jimmy declared.

 

            "Who are the Rom'lans?" Spock asked.  The other children groaned.  Spock was asking way too many questions.  Playtime would be over before they even began their adventure.

 

            "Who are the Rom'lans?" Jimmy asked, aghast.  "My granddaddy and a coupla his brudders died in the war against them."

 

            "Whadda they look like?" Spock continued.

 

            Jimmy pulled himself up to his full height.  "Nobody knows," he said, "but they were the meanest meanies ever in space.  They fought real dirty.  And if they were dirty and mean, they must be the ugliest things in the whole galaxy!"

 

            Spock was speechless as he contemplated the illogic of Jimmy's little tirade.  Just then, Spock noticed that the other children had run off with Jimmy.  Not wanting to be left alone, Spock hurried to catch up with the others.

 

            The rest of the children had helped each other to shimmy up the tree before Spock had arrived.  There was no one to help him climb up to where the other children were.  Spock had no idea how to do this himself.

 

            "I'll help you, Spockie," Lenny called.  "Wait right there."

 

            Jimmy was indignant.  "This is my adventure and Spockie is my friend," he insisted.  "I'll help him."

 

            "Spockie's my friend!" Lenny shouted.  "I'm gonna help him!"

 

            Monty shook his head as he gazed at the two boys tussling on the branch.  "Why dinnae ye both help Spockie up the tree and be done wi' it?" he suggested sagely.  "We're wastin' time!"

 

            Jimmy and Lenny looked at each other, then down at Spock.  Jimmy draped himself over a branch, wrapped his legs around it and extended a hand to Spock.  Lenny took Jimmy's cue and did the same.

 

            Spock looked uncertainly at the height of the branch and at the two small hands proffered to him.

 

            "Its okay, Spockie," Lenny encouraged.  "Grab our hands and we'll pull you up."

 

            "C'mon, Spockie," Jimmy added as he grew impatient.

 

            Spock took the two hands in his own and asked, "Now what?"

 

            "Jump!" both boys shouted as one.

 

            Spock jumped and the boys pulled with all their small might, but they couldn't get Spock all the way onto the branch.

 

            "Wrap your legs around the branch, Spockie!" Jimmy ordered.

 

            Spock kicked his little legs and finally hooked one over the branch.  Jimmy and Lenny pulled on Spock's clothes to help him up.

 

            Spock finally settled himself on the branch and looked down.  "We're real high up," he observed quietly.

 

            "Yeah," Lenny agreed in similar tones.  "Now you be real careful or you'll fall."

 

            Jimmy's eyes narrowed at the sight of Spock and Lenny whispering together.  He decided that he didn't like the attention Lenny had been lavishing on his friend lately.  Jimmy was nice to Spock from the beginning.  Lenny used to tease Spock, a lot, Jimmy remembered.  He reached out and pulled on Spock's sleeve.

 

            "Come sit by me, Spockie," Jimmy ordered.

 

            Lenny saw that Spock was having difficulty keeping his balance on the branch.

 

            "Don't, Jimmy!" Lenny warned.  "You're gonna make him fall!"

 

            Jimmy shot Lenny a hateful glance.  "Spockie's my friend.  You didn't even like him before!"

 

            Lenny put his arm out to steady Spock.  "Jimmy!" Lenny shouted.  "Stop pulling!"

 

            "Shut up!" Jimmy ordered.  "You can't tell me what to do!"

 

            THUD!

 

            Suddenly, Spock found himself looking up into the tree.  He could see the faces of two girls and four boys peering down at him.  Spock put his hand to the back of his head and felt something wet and hot and hurting.  When he brought his hand back before his face, it was covered in green blood.

 

            Most of the children screamed.  They all jumped out of the tree like ripe fruit falling in a heavy wind.

 

            Little Hikaru was just scared and ran willy-nilly away from the tree.  Monty ran after him to make sure he was okay.

 

            Nyota ran to a nearby faucet, took off her kerchief, soaked it in water and ran back to the tree.

 

            Chrissy took the pink ribbon out of her hair and pulled out the small packet of facial tissues she always carried in her pocket.

 

            "I'll go get Mr. R," Jimmy said sadly, guilty tears filling his eyes.  He ran back to the center as fast as he could pump his little legs.

 

            "Now don't move, Spockie," Lenny said quietly to his stunned friend.  "You're not 'posta move when you fall until somebody checks you out."

 

            Spock looked into Lenny's eyes as the boy's face hovered above his.

 

            "You gots nice eyes, Lenny," Spock observed dreamily.  "They're nice and blue, just like my mommy's."

 

            Lenny smiled shyly as he slipped some of Chrissy's tissues under the wound.  "Now, just lie quietly," he ordered as he slipped the ribbon under Spock's head, tsking to himself that he was putting a pretty pink ribbon on a boy.  Lenny was careful not to tie the ribbon too tightly around Spock's head.  He also tried very hard not to catch any of Spock's hair in the knot, and for the most part was successful.  Finally, he took Nyota's wet kerchief and passed it over Spock's face and bloodied hand.

 

            "You're blood is really green!" Lenny observed.

 

            "Told ya," Spock replied.

 

            Lenny shuddered.  "It's weird!"

 

            Spock was indignant.  "It's not weird," he replied.  "It's just differ'nt."

 

            Just then, Mr. R arrived on the scene, first aid kit in hand.  He took in the sight of Spock on the ground, Lenny hovering over him with Chrissy at his elbow ready to hand him another tissue.  Mr. R smiled at the pink bow and wad of tissue that Spock sported on his head.

 

            "Well, I see that you don't need me," he observed playfully to Lenny and Spock.  "But just to be sure, let me take a look and give a second opinion."

 

            Mr. R waved a standard Federation Red Cross issue medical tricorder over Spock.  It showed nothing more than a small cut on the back of the boy's head.  After sitting Spock up, Mr. R removed Lenny's makeshift bandage and was surprised to see that it had adequately staunched the trickle of blood.  He cleansed the wound and then sealed it up with a dermalaser.

 

            "Now," Mr. R began, "How did this happen?"

 

            "We all climbed the tree," Spock explained.

 

            "And how many times have I told you not to climb the tree?" Mr. R asked.

 

            Lenny looked down and shoved a pebble with his toe.

 

            "'Nuff," he replied.

 

            "Obviously it wasn't enough," Mr. R chided gently.  "You still climbed the tree." He looked back at Spock.  "How did you fall?"

 

            Spock and Lenny exchanged knowing looks.

 

            "Jimmy wanted me to sit by him," Spock answered.  "He kept pulling on me and I lost my balance and falled down."

 

            "I tole him to stop," Lenny interjected.  "But Jimmy wouldn't listen.  I think he's jealous."

 

            "I'm sure Jimmy thinks you stole his friend while he was absent, Lenny," Mr. R replied gently.  "He's on the Time Out bench now, thinking things over.  Why don't you go over and talk to him?"

 

            Spock's eyes grew huge.  "Are we in Time Out, too?" he asked fearfully.

 

            Mr. R smiled gently.  "No, Spock," he replied.  "Think of it as The Discussion Bench right now."

 

            "'Kay," Spock answered in relief.  He took Lenny's hand and started walking over to where Jimmy sat so forlorn.  "C'mon, Lenny."

 

            For his part, Lenny moved reluctantly.  He looked around and saw a now-smiling Hikaru being pushed on the swings by Monty, Nyota and Chrissy squealing with delight on the teeter-totter, and Baby Pavel playing on a blanket on the shaded porch.

 

            Lenny thought about how persuasive Jimmy could be and feared that he would lose his new friend to the charismatic child.  His steps began to slow until Spock was pulling Lenny over to the bench.

 

            "Lenny?" Spock questioned.

 

            "Do we havta go, Spockie?" Lenny whined as they came to a stop.

 

            "We gotta see that Jimmy is alright," Spock answered, resuming his trek.

 

            "Okay," Lenny relented, "but let's hurry.  Playtime is almost over!"

 

            Spock approached Jimmy quietly.  He could hear the boy sniffling and knew that Jimmy had been crying.  Spock sat down on the bench next to Jimmy, while Lenny sat next to Spock.

 

            "Why are you in Time Out?" Jimmy asked without turning his head.

 

            "This is The Discussion Bench right now," Spock explained.  "Mr. R said so."

 

            Jimmy looked down the bench at Spock, then Lenny, then down at Spock and Lenny's hands, still clasped together.  He returned to staring straight ahead.

 

            "What are we supposed to discuss?" Jimmy asked in an icy tone.

 

            "How I can be friends with Lenny," Spock explained quietly, "while I am still friends with you.  Can't we be friends togedder?"

 

            Jimmy snorted with derision.  "Who says I wanna be friends with Lenny?" he shouted.  "All he does is play with dolls in his stupid pretend hospital.  He never wants to play spaceships wif me!"

 

            "I went on your dumb, ol' adventure, today!" Lenny protested.  "And my playing with dolls gave me practice in taking care of Spockie today!"

 

            Spock looked sadly at his first friend.  "Jimmy, doesn't a spaceship need a doctor?" he reasoned.  "And if I am going to be your science guy, I have to know about med'cine, too, cuz it's science, too.  I need to learn 'bout med'cine, and Lenny has to learn 'bout takin' care of Vulcans." Spock laid his hand on Jimmy's.  "Please don't be jealous that Lenny and I are friends."

 

            Jimmy eyed how Spock was clutching Lenny's hand as opposed to the light touch that Spock had on his own hand.  It was hard not to be jealous, Jimmy found.

 

            "Go learn 'bout med'cine, then, Spockie," Jimmy said quietly.  "I'm gonna sit here and think some more."

 

            Lenny jumped off the bench and pulled on Spock's hand.

 

            "C'mon, Spockie," he said excitedly.  "I wanna start teachin' you 'bout med'cine." Spock stood, unsure, looking from one friend to the other.  Jimmy's sad demeanor was pulling at Spock as surely as Lenny's tugging on the Vulcan boy's hand.

 

            Spock thought a moment.  Lenny had said mean things about him when they first met, but those were only words.  Today, Lenny helped Spock so that he would be safe in a dangerous situation.  And when Spock fell and got hurt, Lenny took good care of him.

 

            On the other hand, Jimmy was nothing but kind to Spock since the day they met.  However, his reckless actions today put Spock in danger, which caused him to be hurt.  It seemed that when Jimmy was on an adventure, only the adventure mattered.

 

            In the end, Spock ran off hand-in-hand with Lenny.

 

            "There's some neat 'natomy programs on the compooter," Lenny said enthusiastically as the two boys moved away.  "I can show you what humans look like on the inside, and you can show me about Vulcans."

 

            "'Kay!" Spock replied.

 

            Jimmy took in the sight of the two friends happily going off together as a tear tracked down his cheek.

 

            "Bye, Spockie," Jimmy whispered.

 

            END