I do not own any of the Star Trek Verse. I can only borrow and play with their wonderful characters. This is a fan fiction. I make no profit except for a whole lotta fun from it.

This little bit takes place at the beginning of Kirk and McCoy's third year in the Academy… before the events of the first movie. It would be Aish'aylas first year.

Prologue

She truly hated it here. It was cold, damp and even inside, she was never warm enough. The Imperial Adviser had warned her that being on Earth would be a miserable experience. Of course, the malicious pleasure that had poured off her Elder sister as she passed this useless piece of information along should have been warning enough. That one never passed up an opportunity to make her life a living hell. Aish'ayla sighed as acid flooded her mouth in response to the memory. Closing her outer lids, she carefully swallowed, making sure the noxious stuff was channeled into her true stomach. She winced at the loud rumble produced in protest as it worked to neutralize the over-load while empty. It did not help matters when the cadet next to her nervously shifted to put a little more distance between them. She had been too anxious to eat what was offered in the cafeteria since she arrived and the warm mammalian scent of fear wafting off him just screamed "EAT me… I am DELICIOUS!" to her hind brain. It took all she had not to flick her tongue out to sample just a taste of the stress hormones that swirled around her at the slight motion. The savage image that played across her mind had her snapping her eyes open in shock. Aish'ayla pulled her long neck down into a tight unhappy S curve and shifted uneasily on her keel as she turned her attention back to her instructor. She would have to fill her rogue stomach at lunch, whether it wanted what was offered there or not. Being sent here was supposed to be a step towards improving her people's strained relations with the humans. Eating one of her classmates on her first day at Starfleet would most likely be frowned upon by all parties involved!


Leonard McCoy made his way towards a spot well on the fringes of the rapidly thinning late lunch crowd. He settled his meal on a shade dappled table mostly by feel, sharp hazel eyes scanning the passing faces for one in particular. He did not know why he worried, (yeah…RIGHT this was KIRK he was talking about) But at the beginning of every Academy year he could not help but wonder if the reckless kid would make it back after break. Jim had not shown up at their shared quarters last night and Leonard was sure that, this time, the damned fool had managed to get himself into trouble he could not slick tongue or fist his way out of! Missing the first day of Third year classes was NOT a good way to endear yourself to the higher ups. He had the rest of the year to thoroughly piss people off!

A flash of gold caught his eye. The smile that started on his lips pulled into a sharp frown as Jim's brilliant blue gaze caught his. At least the man had the decency to look embarrassed as McCoy took in the black and blue swelling that marred Kirk's usually handsome features. The fool was already whining as he changed course towards Leonard's table.

"Come on Bones…it's not as bad as it lo…HOT DAMN…will ya look at that…."

McCoy lowered his head and took a bite of soup. He would NOT respond to that ridiculous nickname and he certainly wasn't going to get suckered into google eyeing some poor first Year cadet that somehow made it on to Jim's Hotness rating scale.

"…. it's a Dinosaur!"

The last words that flew from his friend's bruised lips and a soft rustling behind him had his head snapping around hard enough to hurt his neck!

He choked on his soup as a scarlet striped, black as Satan's heart, eight-foot-tall nightmare rose out of the shadows under his shade giving tree. Its sinuous neck uncoiled lifting a long, saurian looking head well above his. SHIT…he had been fricken distracted when he arrived but Holy HELL how had he missed that?! Gold eyes stared coldly down the thing's narrow muzzle then flashed to the color of fresh spilled blood as they shifted to Jim who… oh my FREAKING God… continued his rapid approach. Before he could even think to grab and snatch, Jim was past him. The Dinosaur's eyes blinked back to gold and it took one hesitant step back, balancing on two oddly fragile looking legs and a long serpentine tail. McCoy could only watch in shock as it dropped what could only be its lunch. McCoy choked on a slightly hysterical laugh at the sight of the chopsticks held delicately in its three-fingered grip. The Doctor did not care what anyone thought about T-rex and its ridiculously short arms. This Dinosaur did NOT have that problem and his friend was well within reach of the sharp talons that tipped each long finger. There was that weird soft rustle again, and two even longer limbs that had been folded tightly alongside and on top of the creatures wide back shifted slightly. Holy CRAP… Wings…the fucker had WINGS!

Kirk's blue eyes widened. A dazzling smile of wonder lit up his face.

"Oh, My God… you have WINGS! You're not a Dino…you're a DRAGON…Can you fly!?"

Leonard froze as said wings pulled in tight against the dragon's suddenly taunt frame. Its whole body lowered into what could only be a predatory stance. This put it face right at level with Jim's. His smile flat disappeared at whatever he saw in those blazing red eyes.


Aish'ayla had waited until the very end of the late lunch shift to get something to eat. Rather than crouch at a table, (the chairs were not built to accommodate her tail) she settled on her keel in the shade of a tall tree at the edge of the common ground. Setting her tray down… she flicked her tongue out sampling her selection of Sushi in a way she could not while picking it out. Her nose was sensitive but her tongue was much more adept at sensing the chemical composition and freshness of what she was going to put in her mouth. Fish, not her favorite… she sighed…oh well, at least this meat was raw. She could eat her meat cooked but the burnt dry flavor tended to upset her stomach. Lifting the chopsticks that came with her meal Aish'ayla selected a piece, dipped it into a mix of wasabi and hot sauce then slipped it delicately between her teeth. At home, she would not have bothered with the elegant utensils, but she had found she rather liked using them. It had been made clear that eating with her hands was universally frowned upon and regular utensils were just…awkward. She was supposed to be trying to fit in here. She felt out of place enough as it was having to eat in a public area but her next class was too far away on campus to take her food back to her dorm. Besides…her roommate might be there and feeding while having to deal with the females very evident fear would have been… difficult. Her train of thought was interrupted as she noticed a human approaching her chosen tree. Aish'alya pulled her head down and stilled as it looked right at her without really seeing. She smothered a snort…that was a good way to get yourself killed in her world! Manipulating her mouthful between her crushing teeth, she chewed once and swallowed emptying her mouth so she could release her tongue. She had to wait a moment for her buffering chambers to clear as the wasabi made itself felt, before she could pull in any sample of its scent. Ah…HE was an older male. Not an Elder, but older than usual for a cadet. His underlying smoky sweet essence was overlaid with the sharp chemical smells that she associated with human healers. Riding heavy over that was the subtle smell of fear…no…not fear…worry. He was worried about someone. That was no excuse to not pay attention!

Because she was watching, Aish'ayla caught the exact moment when the male's questing gaze found what he was looking for. Ah…not what…who. She was not very familiar yet with reading human emotion visually, (as a species, they had such fluid mobile features that sometimes it was hard to separate one emotion from another) but even she could see what started as a pleased smile turn into a worried, rather angry frown as another human male approached. Aish'ayla was pleased that she got the gender right just from visual aids. She flicked her tongue out…not to identify…but more from curiosity. This young male looked like he had jumped a pack of Rejgillian' and gotten his ass handed to him! She could not control her pleasure as his essence swirled around her tongue and sang across her sensitive palate.

Clean and sweet, it carried the taste of blue skies and hot flame. This was wrapped around the subtle flavors of Earth and steel only slightly masked by the very physical tang of blood, old anger and pain. Without thinking she lifted her head…meeting eyes as brilliant blue as a sun lit sky…Who was this Cadet? Then her brain caught up with her tongue as she caught his last shouted words.

"…. it's a Dinosaur!"

Her inner lids drew back at the insult just as the other male's head jerked around in surprise. His eyes flew wide at her hot angry glare and he just managed to avoid choking on his mouthful of soup. Well Crap…so much for fitting in. She would rather meet this dynamo of a human on her feet. Aish'ayla hastily rose as Sky Eyes continued his headlong advance… feeling slightly out of balance (both physically AND mentally) it was a natural reaction to step back, shift her tail and subtly adjust her flight arms in order to stabilize herself So that she could lift her torso, neck and head to their full height in a faux threat display. Maybe her size would intimidate him and he would just leave her alone. AND maybe not…

That bright gaze shifted to her folded flight limbs. The full on toothed smile was enough to trigger defense instincts. But it was his WORDS that almost pushed her over the edge.

"Oh, My God… you have WINGS! You're not a Dino…you're a DRAGON…Can you fly!?"

Hurt followed by blazing rage flashed through Aish'ayla's forebrain. Her intellect reeled under the emotional assault. She thought she had left this type of pain behind! Her hind brain's answer to the pain had her crouched to attack, ready to rip the smile off of his face before the man could even blink. His challenging smile disappeared…but oddly, she saw not fear in the eyes that steadily held her own…smelled no terror in the wave of battle hormones that his body instinctively primed him with. For just a second her mind righted itself as the memory of her Sister's last hateful words intertwined themselves around the other male's frightened cursing.

"Do us all a favor Aish'ayla. Prove you are good for something other than being a total waste of air. When you fail at this…do it in such a way that you take a few of those soft bodied Dthyli with you, that should flame this friendly… ally… foolishness into ash once and for all."

Hot acid flooded her mouth…begging to be spat or swallowed. Either would accomplish her Sister's goals.


"How did he keep getting himself into shit like this?!"

This was the thought rolling through James T. Kirk's mind as he looked UP into the face of what could only be described as a very angry dragon. Rapidly replaying the last few seconds through his brain did not help. Yeah…something with intelligence MIGHT get pissed off at being called a Dino…but he really had not meant it as an insult. He just had not seen the wings at first. And maybe toothily smiling at something that was all predator wasn't his best idea. (Ya THINK… Captain obvious!) Still that certainly should not be enough of an insult for it to turn him into toast! (He wasn't sure it could breathe fire…but with his luck it was pretty much a given!) Those blood red eyes shifted ever so slightly as McCoy cursed shakily under his breath. SHIT… Bones was also in the line of fire. The crimson flashed to brilliant gold for a second as the creature blinked. Gold…its eyes had been gold. Before they had flashed to red what had looked like pain had rolled through them. He had said something hurtful without meaning to. One of these days he had to get a brain to mouth filter before it killed him…or someone else. Without dropping his gaze, he shifted slightly, hoping that if it did decide to cook him…his body could at least shield his friend from the results of his stupidity. The dragon hiccupped and James braced himself hoping that it would be fast (painless would be too much to ask!) he could hear McCoy's soft Nonononono…as the creature pulled in a great breath…sealed its nostrils shut and swallowed. A pained expression crossed its face before it spun on one talon-ed foot and stalked away.

What the HELL!?

Beside him…Bones seemed to wilt, slowly folding into himself to slide boneless into his seat as the Dragon stalked off.

"Dammit all JIM… What part of let's POKE the fucking dragon seemed like a good idea to you?!"

"WHAT…I didn't….?"

McCoy shut him up with a withering glare as he hissed in a voice that would make a dragon proud,

"MAYBE… it would be a fricken good idea if you took Pike's advice and attended that class on First Contact Ethics AGAIN!?"