It was a particularly frosty afternoon in upstate Oregon. Low-hanging clouds engulfed Mt. Hood and in the distance evergreen forests stood tall and proud under the December sky. Far away a twin-engine plane gracefully took off and soon disappeared from sight as the day slowly turned to dusk. The whole landscape had a melancholic yet nostalgic atmosphere.
Down in the valley the bustling city was decorated in all sorts of colors for the upcoming celebration. The streets were packed with people of all ages, hastily finishing their last-minute shopping. Jolly songs filled the air all around.
A fair had been set up near the city center with a great Christmas tree in the middle where children played and laughed alongside their parents, while others wandered around countless small boutiques in search of something nice to buy or some homemade treats to try. From the streets car honks were blaring as everyone impatiently wanted to get out of traffic, to finally end the rush and relax in the company of friends and family or just have a peaceful alone time to ponder over the happenings of the past year.
On the outskirts of town in a small parking lot a sleek black Trans Am was just as eager to be on the way back home to California as anyone else would be after three long days of work and cold weather. KITT sighed but no one really heard it. Even this place was full of noisy cars and people.
He and Michael have successfully wrapped up another case and were preparing to head back to FLAG headquarters as soon as possible so they could spend Christmas Eve with Devon and Bonnie. However before hitting the road Michael decided to stock up on snacks, since they had hundreds of miles to drive and weren't planning on any pit stops. So that's how they ended up at a gas station.
After refueling the car, Michael went in to pay and buy some food. He said he won't be long so KITT waited patiently in the parking lot for his partner's return while skimming over the weather forecast which, to him, didn't seem very promising. They have predicted snow for that evening and the last thing he wanted was to be covered in it, or worse: get caught in a blizzard, a common occurrence in these northern parts.
He decided to ignore the chilling thoughts (no pun intended) and turned his attention to the people around him to pass the time. A young man in a silver Ford pulled up to refuel, humming to himself as he got out of the vehicle. KITT recognized the tune. It was a fairly popular Christmas carol. He had heard songs like it, including this one, at least a dozen times before on the radio and wasn't ashamed to admit that he actually enjoyed some of them. Heck, even Michael liked listening to these, him being a person, who every year fell in love with the Christmas cheer, claiming it always brought back countless fond memories of his childhood.
Over the past six years KITT had gained a better understanding of Christmas and of what it meant to humans, not just from a practical point of view, but on a more personal level. He suddenly found himself humming along quietly.
At the end of the chorus he stopped himself and refocused his sensors on a smiling old couple who have just got into a dark blue minivan, and he watched as they pulled away. A few seconds later he noticed something had fallen onto his windshield. He inspected it more closely. It was a single snowflake but then another followed. Soon millions of them began descending from the sky. Apparently the weathermen were on point.
"Great, just what I needed" he growled to himself.
Before long the Trans Am turned from black to grey than from grey to white as it got covered in a thin layer of fresh snow. KITT took a glance through the large windows of the mini-shop only to see that Michael was still standing in the line that had formed at the cash register. Thankfully there were only two people left in front of him. He'll be out in no time.
With that, KITT turned his attention back to himself and his surroundings. With some annoyance he was just about to wipe off the snow from his windows when a new car arrived and parked close to him. It was a bright red Honda registered in Colorado, as he could tell from its license plate. A man and a woman got out with their little girl. She looked to be around six years old. 'The same age as me…' KITT thought to himself, but quickly brushed it aside. The father went inside, while the mother stayed behind, and watched her daughter get excited for the snow.
"Jess, stay close." the woman said firmly as she leaned back into the car for something. The blond girl wearing a purple coat, a knitted hat and boots skipped around the red car chasing snowflakes then suddenly took notice of KITT standing two spots over to her left.
"Mommy, I'll just take a look at that black car." she said and walked over to the T-top. KITT's scanner's pace quickened as Jess circled around him with wide eyes.
"Wow, you're so cool! What's your name?" she asked under her breath. KITT caught himself before answering and stayed silent, keeping his scanner on the girl. Jess moved over to his rear bumper, looking for the car brand name. When she didn't find one she looked down at the license plate.
"Knight, huh? Nice name. Our car's real name is Honda, but I named her Cherry. It sounds more fitting you know." she continued.
KITT began to feel uneasy. It was like the girl knew he was there and was trying to start up a conversation. Now curious, he waited to see where her little monologue would go and didn't answer. However the girl said nothing more. Instead she began to write with her left index finger on his passenger side window. KITT really wanted to make her stop, but then decided against it. Still he couldn't help but think of the time something similar happened last summer.
They were on a mission in Nevada, and by the end of it, he looked like he badly needed a scrub and some kid thought it to be a good idea to remind him of his terrible appearance by writing 'Wash me' on his windshield.
Michael had a good laugh at the sight. He explained that it was in fact a message to him in KITT's name - a tradition of soft vandalism practiced by the youth to alert drivers of the state of their vehicles since most cars couldn't raise complaints themselves. They drove to the nearest car wash after that but Michael still joked around about it sometimes. If it happened again KITT would never hear the end of it.
To his surprise, when he checked again, Jess had already finished and backed away two feet to admire her work. The words read: MERRY CHRISTMAS KNIGHT in capital letters with a smiley face on the side. For a while KITT was lost for words, as all his previous worries disappeared. Jess smiled widely just as her mom came up to her and looked at the girl with a scolding expression.
"Jess, I told you not to scribble on other peoples' cars."
"I just sent my Christmas wish, mommy. It will make the car and the owner happy." Jess explained. Her mom, with a sigh, took her hand and led her back to their car.
"Fine, but don't do it again, sweetie. Some people don't like it you know."
KITT watched them leave; the man already at the wheel waiting for them to get in. Soon the red Honda was on the road again, heading towards the city. He was taken aback in a pleasant way. He felt honored, something he really didn't expect.
He was so lost in thought that he completely missed Michael walking up to him. His driver wore a winter coat instead of his iconic leather jacket and held a cup of coffee in one hand and a bag of chips and a pre-packaged sandwich in the other. He approached from the left and at first didn't notice the message.
"Sorry it took so long, buddy, didn't think there would be so many customers here." he said as he got in but stopped in his tracks when he caught glimpse of the writing on the cabin's other window. He quickly threw his food on the passenger seat and, with the hot coffee still in hand, got to the other side to take a closer look.
"Well, I see you had a visitor." he said with a light chuckle after taking a sip from the cup. If KITT had eyes, he would've rolled them at the remark.
"Yes, and it appears that your eyesight is as good as ever." he said jokingly.
"Okay, whatever you say pal. But jokes aside, what happened here?" the man asked.
"A little girl just came to send her wishes."
Michael turned around and sat back behind the steering yoke. After shaking off the snow from his shoes he turned in the seat and shut the door behind him. Then he looked at the voice modulator questioningly but the unspoken confusion faded in a couple of seconds and his features brightened again.
"I've always liked these window messages." he said.
KITT hesitated for a moment before responding.
"I guess… they're not that bad."
Michael started up the engine and turned on the headlights since it got significantly darker outside by then, all the while eyeing the dashboard with a smirk that made KITT a tad bit more uncomfortable than he would've liked. KITT could always tell when the gears in his driver's head were turning. He just really hoped this wasn't about that-
"Ya know I'm having a weird sense of déjà vu here. Hadn't we been through this before, somewhere in a warmer climate?"
Oh no, here we go again…
Author's note: I do not own the characters from the show. Thank you for reading. Best wishes for the Holidays! -787-