Spock was uncertain about how he would be received upon returning to the Enterprise. He knew Kirk had not yet filled the positions of Chief Science Officer nor had he filled the First Officer position. Spock could not fathom why that was.
A small part of him hoped (illogically) that it was because Kirk had been hoping Spock would change his mind about leaving and stay on the Enterprise. Somehow, Spock couldn't believe it, no matter how much his subconscious tried to convince himself of it.
Nevertheless, he made his way to the Enterprise and rode the turbolift to the bridge impatiently. When the lift doors opened, he stepped out carefully, looking only for Jim's reaction.
Uhura smiled and said something to him, but it fell on deaf ears, Sulu and Chekov turned around beaming, but Spock's eyes were glued to Kirk.
The smile on the Human's face told Spock everything he needed to know; he had made the correct choice.
Jim smiled at Spock; he was so... happy, ecstatic, elated, Jim couldn't pick a descriptor for how unbelievably glad he was to see Spock walking onto the bridge. He couldn't explain the feelings of elation, but he felt as though everything was right in the universe for the first time in his life.
Jim looked at Spock, who was not-smiling back; Jim thought for a minute. Was he the only one who noticed that Spock did smile? He just did it with his eyes and not his mouth. That mouth that sometimes Jim wasn't sure he wanted to punch or kiss more.
Jim's smile widened. He could definitely see the potential for their supposedly life-altering relationship in this moment. He saw Spock's eyes soften and he wondered just what had convinced him to stay in Starfleet.
He winked. It didn't matter why he came back. All that mattered to Jim was that he did.
Nyota Uhura could not believe her eyes. Less than forty-eight hours earlier Spock had told her that he was ‘terminating their romantic liaison' and moving to New Vulcan with his father to help rebuild the Vulcan race. She had accepted that and resigned herself to spending her first missions without anyone, not even a friend with her.
Now, Spock was walking onto the bridge as though that had been his plan all along and she couldn't help but feel a little peeved that whatever he did decide to come back for, it probably wasn't her. Nevertheless, she smiled at him and opened her mouth to welcome him back, but he walked right past her without even looking in her direction. She bristled; he definitely wasn't back for her.
He walked straight to the center seat, straight to the Captain. Uhura glared. Spock wouldn't come back for his girlfriend but he would come back for a guy he didn't even like? She did a double-take; maybe the captain wasn't someone Spock hated. She saw them exchange a look and Jim smiled; she faltered in her anger. When did they become friends?
The two men spoke for a moment, she was too busy reeling to pay attention to what they were saying, but next thing she knew, Spock was settling into the science station, right next to her communications one. She smiled; she was glad he was back.
"Welcome back, Spock," she said and reached out to touch his arm.
He moved his arm out of her reach as fast as if she were a ferocious le-matya. She pulled her hand back, hurt.
He nodded at her politely and then proceeded to scan the space around them, even though they were still in space dock, as though it was the most interesting thing in the universe.
Uhura bristled again. Spock was not back for her. It looked like he wanted nothing at all to do with her. It looked like she would still be spending her first mission alone.
Jim watched Spock go over to the Science station, still unable to explain why he was just so happy to see him there. Jim shrugged to himself; it was probably something he would never be able to explain.
He watched Uhura reach towards Spock and felt a stab of... irritation, Jim was sure it was irritation, although he couldn't quite explain why; it wa most likely because he wanted his crew professional. That had to be it.
The irritation was put to rest, however, when Spock wrenched his arm away from her before she even had the chance to touch him. He couldn't explain the happy swelling in his chest at the sight, and right now Jim was getting tired of trying to understand what was going on. He decided to just give up understanding it and just go with it.
He smiled once more at Spock before turning to face the viewscreen. "Mr. Sulu, take us out of space dock, please."
"Aye, Captain," Sulu grinned and did as he was told. It was going to be an interesting mission, that was for sure.