AU running parrallel to movie!verse, you'll have to read to see the true difference

'Is there anything you care to say before we begin?'

Jim leant forward into the amplifier, a smirk beginning to form on his lips.

'Yes, I believe I have the right to face my accuser directly.'

All attention turned as the figure behind him stood slowly. Jim didn't even need to turn to feel the other man's weighted gaze on him. Spock straightened his black uniform and made his way down to the second podium, eyes never leaving the cadet.

'This is Commander Spock. He is one of our most distinguished graduates.'

Jim snorted to himself. 'Yeah, I bet he is.'

The Admiral continued as if he never heard Jim's comment. 'He's programmed the Kobayashi Maru exam for the last three years.'

'Three years? That's a very… convenient amount of time.' Jim remarked. He turned his head to watch the Vulcan out of the corner of his eye. 'The exact time I've been at Starfleet Academy, in fact.'

'Your point being, Cadet?' the Board member asked dryly.

Jim shrugged with his usual cocky attitude. 'I'm just pointing out the coincidental timeframe of the matter.' He leant heavily on the podium and glared at Spock. 'I believe you had some charges you wished to bring against me, Commander.'

McCoy watched as Jim spat the word like an insult. His brows furrowed deeply. Why was his friend being so damn insubordinate, in front of the entire student and teacher body, no less?

'Cadet Kirk.' Spock began tersely. 'You somehow managed to install and activate a subroutine in the programming code, thereby changing the conditions of the test.'

Jim grinned nonchalantly. 'So?'

The Admiral sighed impatiently. 'In academic vernacular, you cheated.'

'Mister Spock, let me ask you something, I think we all know the answer to. The test itself is a cheat, isn't it? You programmed it to be unwinnable.' Jim watched carefully as the Vulcan cocked his head.

'Your argument precludes the possibility of a no-win scenario.' Spock answered evenly.

'I don't believe in no-win scenarios.' Jim answered shortly. 'But –you already knew that, didn't you?'

Spock gave him a split second of silence and Jim continued confidently. 'This, combined with the fact that you appear to have designed it purely against my own tactics implies a certain amount of, how you say, disadvantage on my part. Manipulating the program was simply a way of evening the playing field.'

Spock's nostrils flared almost imperceptivity. 'Then not only did you violate the rules, you also failed to understand the principal lesson.'

Jim beamed. 'Please, enlighten me. You do love doing that.'

'You of all people should know, Cadet Kirk,' Spock began, a hard edge to his voice, 'a captain cannot cheat death.'

Jim laughed hollowly, rage boiling under the surface. 'I of all people…'

'Your father, Lieutenant George Kirk, assumed command of his vessel before being killed in action.' Spock stated.

'Don't you dare.' Jim's lips curled up as he glared at Spock. 'Don't you dare bring up my dad in this. Not after all I've done.'

Spock seemed unperturbed by Jim's hostility. 'If I designed the program to be specifically against you, as you have implied, why not call the test the Kelvin, and include a rescue mission of the stranded medical shuttle?'

Jim started forward. 'You son of a-'

'I would advise you to be wary of your actions, Jim.' Spock spoke, as the Admiral ordered Jim back to his podium.

Begrudgingly, Jim obliged. 'See, I just think you're pissed because I beat your test…'

'Furthermore, you have failed to define the purpose of the test.' Spock continued.

'Enlighten me again.'

'The purpose is to experience fear, fear in the face of certain death,' Spock's gaze was unwavering and unnerving to most people. Jim was not most people, 'to accept that fear, and maintain control of oneself and one's crew. This is the quality expected in every Starfleet captain.'

There was a moment of dead silence in the auditorium. McCoy stilled in his seat as his friend began to formulate his response.

'It's curious, isn't it?' Jim began, his voice cold. 'That a Vulcan like you would even know what emotions are.'

'You are perfectly aware-'

'I mean, how do you even know what fear is, Spock?' There is a challenge in Jim's voice that obviously hits something deep in the Commander. 'When have you ever really been scared? Fear of abandonment, loneliness… how the hell do you even know how to feel?'

Spock's dark eyes were entirely focused on Jim, but he seemed to have no intent to answer.

Another commander entered the auditorium and handed the Admiral a PADD. He quickly scanned the contents before turning to the audience. Spock's attentions obediently sent to his superior officer.

'We've received a distress call from Vulcan.' He announced.

'What?' Jim exclaimed. He threw a panicked glance over at Spock who gave him a comforting glance then nodded.

'With our primary fleet engaged in the Laurentian system, I hereby order all cadets to report to Hanger One immediately. Dismissed.'

In the flurry of movement that followed, Spock held Jim's gaze for a moment longer than he probably should have before he inclined his head in a somewhat helpless way. With that, he swiftly exited.

McCoy walked down to his friend, still standing at the podium in a sort of helpless shock.

'Who was that pointy-eared bastard?' McCoy asked, some admiration evidently creeping into his tone.

'He's not a bastard.' Jim said sharply, watching the Vulcan carefully as he moved off.

'He's my brother.'

Please review! This AU has been bugging me for some time! I'd love to hear your theories!