Okay, that scene in the movie where Jim offers Nero et al Mercy and Nero refuses. What if Nero had accepted the offer?
That's what I want to see: Nero and Ayel on the Enterprize as, I don't know, Head of the Security (Redshirt/Connon Fodder) Division, or something else that means they have to help keep Kirk from getting harmed.
Bonus: Now that they're on the Enterprise's side, with most people being suspictius of them, Nero and Ayel are mostly/completely loyal to Kirk. As in: No matter if it's a misson, diplomatic banquet on Earth, or shore leave in a bar: do not mess with our Human! You will be seriously messed up! (After the Enterprize returns from the battle, I can see some poor reporter's camera getting squished because he was paparazzing Jim.)
Double Bonus: If they end up as part of the 'family' aka the Bridge Crew. Just something that would make others go: You let them do what! and no one on the Enterprise thinks twice about it. Like: Ayel teaching self-defense classes to the tranfers so they don't end up dead the first time they beam down or Nero being the welcoming committee for visitors, ambassadors, high-risk jail transports (What? They gotta use the brig for something don't they?), helping Spock accept his planet's destruction because they actually know what it's like, ectera.
Triple Bonus: If Spock's the one who protests that 'this is a horrible idea, they blew up my planet/mom/we're all going to be murdered in our sleep' ; and Jim being fine with it because he is friends with NU-version Nero and NU-version Ayel.
If you can work in bastard stepfather!Frank, Tarsus IV, jealous!Spock and maybe mean!Winona, I will worship you forever!
Importantly: HAVE FUN!