Title: New life and New Civilizations

Summary: Six months after the destruction of Vulcan, Captain Kirk and crew are given their first real mission aboard the Enterprise. When long-range sensors pick up a faint distress call in the Neutral Zone, no expects what they find…

Rating: T for language. There will be a pre-slash relationship built here, but there will be NO overt sex, I just don't do that.

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek. All non-OC characters, sets, ships, etc. are property of Gene Rodenberry, J.J. Abrams, or someone who isn't me.

"Captain, may I present Ambassador Nysia Istari," he sighed heavily, "my mother."

As far as Jim was concerned, there was only one way to describe Nysia Istari: stunning. She was shorter than Tellar, but only slightly so, with the same raven hair and sharp, steely grey eyes. Strings of silver studded with various gems were interwoven with her sleek, black hair piled in braids that cascaded down her back. Her shoulders and upper body were bare, save for a heavy, finely worked silver collar wrapped around her neck and flaring out over the pale skin of her shoulders and nestled in the fold of her breasts. She wore a plain black dress that clung tightly to her chest and upper body before draping elegantly down her legs to the floor. An intricately woven and patterned shawl was wrapped loosely across her back and bared arms.

"Madam Ambassador," Jim smiled and bowed his head, "welcome aboard the Enterprise. I hope we can make your transit to Earth as comfortable as possible."

"Thank you, Captain." Her voice was a pleasing alto, buoyed by the strength of her tone. She took Tellar's proffered hand and stepped gracefully off the transporter pad. "Your hospitality has been highly lauded." Her eyes flickered to her son, whose cheeks tinged pink.

"We do aim to please ma'am." Jim smiled. He looked over Nysia's head and winked at Tellar, who turned even redder. Jim's grin widened as a scowl spread over Tellar's face. "We have arranged one of the diplomatic suites for your use, if you would follow me?" Jim motioned to the door, Nysia nodded her head in agreement, following Jim out the door; her grip fixed firmly on Tellar's arm while the rest of the Myrrshan contingent followed close behind. The group made its way down the hallway, exchanging idle conversation as they went.

Moving the Myrrshan delegation into the diplomatic suite was far easier than Jim had imagined. The ambassador's staff set about unloading their equipment in a quick and orderly fashion, with the ambassador herself directing most of the work. The evening culminated with an official state dinner where the Enterprise's cooks, in Jim's humble opinion, proved their mettle. They dined on a variety of dishes from around the Federation finished with a sweet and savory Myrrshan dessert accompanied by a deep amber-colored wine that tasted of almonds and honey. The conversation had been pleasant, if boring and slightly stilted, all and all the night was a resounding success. It was with a full belly and slightly fuzzy head that Jim made his way back to his quarters.

Grabbing a glass of water from his replicator, Jim settled on the plush sofa in his living room and kicked off his boots, idly watching the stars streak past the main cabin window. The evening had definitely been a success. The thought of retiring for the night was just beginning to dance around in Jim's head when his door chimed. Sighing heavily, Jim stood and walked to the door, opening it. Opposite him stood Tellar, his cheeks still slightly pink, a bottle in one hand. Jim's sour disposition at being bothered disappeared instantly. He smiled brightly.

"Good evening Captain." He smiled brightly, "I've brought another gift for you, it's…personal." The pink tinge spread over his entire face with the last word.

"How many times do I have to tell you?" Kirk grinned, "It's Jim. Please, come in." He stood to the side as Tellar stepped into the main room. He set the intricately carved and decorated bottle on the table next to the chess set. He stared at the multi-tiered board as Jim set two glasses on the table. He pulled the stopper from the bottle and poured two fingers' worth of the pale yellow liquid into each glass. He picked up both glasses and handed one to Tellar; their fingers touched, just for an instant, sending a jolt of raw electricity up Jim's arm.

Gently clinking the glasses together, Jim watched Tellar, who took a small, measured sip from the glass. He put the rim of the glass to his lips and inhaled; the aroma of savory spices and nuts filled his nose. He took a small sip, letting the viscous liquid coat his mouth and throat. The heat of the potent alcohol felt like a smoldering fire in the pit of his stomach. He nodded approvingly, Tellar smiled in return.

"It is called Pevlas, a kind of," he paused, considering his words, taking one of the chess pieces into his hand, rolling it between his fingers, "brandy, I think; made from the fruit of vlasia tree. It was native to the mountains of my clan's ancestral lands; we keep several trees in our ship, enough to make a few bottles every year."

"I'm honored, thank you." Jim settled in a chair flanking the chess set. He motioned for Tellar to take the seat next to him. "It's a human game of strategy called chess." Jim began moving the chessmen to their starting positions, explaining the role of each and the ultimate goal of the game. The two men talked back and forth, enjoying each other's company as the night grew late and the brandy disappeared. The pink tinge on Tellar's cheeks was permanent now, though Jim wasn't sure if it was from the brandy or the many times he caught Tellar staring. Jim stifled a yawn and glanced at the clock on the far wall; it was well past midnight. Tellar finished his glass and set it down on the table.

"Thank you, James. It has been an enjoyable evening, but I must retire for the night; it has been a very long day." Tellar stood and walked towards the door, Jim followed him.

"The pleasure was mine Tellar. I'll send a copy of the rules to the computer in your suite." Jim smiled and pointed towards the chess set.

"Excellent, I relish the opportunity to test you." Tellar grinned, rubbing his hands in anticipation.

They stood close to each other next to the door. Jim knew Tellar had to go, but, for some reason, he didn't want him to. The two men stood awkwardly, neither sure what to do. Finally, when the silence grew too uncomfortable, Tellar gently patted Jim's arm and left without a word. He could still feel the heat of the Myrrshan's hand on his arm.

Jim slept poorly that night. Dreams he hadn't had since his teenage years flooded back, though the faceless body it had always been was replaced by the pale, grinning face that now moved about his ship. Memories and feelings from his younger years bubbled to the surface of his mind in the darkness of his quarters. Staring at the ceiling, in the inky darkness of the night, he could recognize them, his classmate in middle school, Josh the track runner in high school, and possibly that Andorian from his Introductory Xenobiology class at the Academy (he still wasn't completely sure about that one), and nameless faces all around. He felt his face flush and a stirring in his groin at the memories. Groaning, he stood and padded across his quarters to the bathroom, splashing water on his face. Jim glanced at the clock; it was far too early to be conscious, yet there wasn't enough time to try and fall back asleep. It was going to be a long day.

A/N: So I've returned! Sorry for the long absence, but between graduating college and my laptop bag, with all my story notes and laptop, being stolen, I've had to rework everything from scratch. Don't worry though, there should (hopefully…) be regular updates from now on!