Disclaimer – I don't own either BtVS or Knight Rider
BtVS – Post Chosen
Knight Rider – Late first season
This is the fourth in my Collection Work Series. There is an open challenge (#1455) if you want to write about Buffy trying to get money.
A Knight Returns to the Fold
Michael Knight was on his way back to the headquarters for FLAG (Foundation for Law And Government). It had been a good mission overall. Bad guys in jail, farmer's land safe. And he was still driving the world's most amazing car.
"Michael," KITT interrupted his train of thought.
"What is it KITT?" Michael asked.
Michael glimpsed down at one of the two screens built into the dash board. He watched the familiar image of Devon Miles seated comfortably at his desk appear on the screen.
"Hello Michael," Devon said with his usual cultured voice. "I trust everything went well."
"Perfectly," Michael said. "And now I'm coming home for a nice long weekend. So you better not have another assignment for me."
"Nothing difficult Michael," Devon said. "I need you to pick someone up at the airport and deliver her here."
"Who?" Michael asked.
"A Ms Summers," Devon said. "She's flying in from Seattle. I have a meeting with her regarding some of the Knight Foundation's trust funds. Afterwards you will need to take her to her hotel."
Great, Michael thought, he'd get to baby-sit some accountant all the way back to the Foundation. "When do I need to pick her up?"
"Her flight landed twenty minutes ago," Devon said. "She should be waiting in pick up area about now."
"You mean she's already here?" Michael said.
"Apparently there was some dispute about whether her employer would cover the cost of a rental car," Devon explained. "She lost."
"Alright Devon," Michael said. "I'm on my way."
Buffy was seriously annoyed. Giles refused to get her a rental car. Honestly, he acted like the damage to the last car was her fault. The claw marks clearly came from the demon. Yes, she did rip the passenger side door off the car. But she used it to hit the demon. Just part of the job. Line of duty kind of thing. So not her fault.
And that thing in Albany. It's not like she planned on getting vampire dust and demon slime all over the back seat. And ok, yes, she did destroy the front end of that car in Butte when she crashed it through the barn door. But really, she saved the family, wasn't she suppose to do that kind of thing.
Hello, Slayer, mystical destiny. Saving people is what she does. Maybe not so much now that there were tons of Slayers running around, but she wasn't going to walk away when a demon needed to get it's but kicked.
But Giles just kept talking about 'insurance rates' and 'high deductibles' and told her to wait at the airport and he would have Mr. Miles send someone to pick her up.
Bad enough she'd let him talk her into traveling all over the country collecting on the Council's old debts, but now he was reducing her to bumming rides off other people.
Life was so not fair.
"Michael, I believe I've located our passenger," KITT reported.
"Where?" Michael asked maneuvering the Trans-Am through airport traffic.
"Thirty meters ahead," KITT replied. "The young lady with the large duffel bag over her shoulder. She matches the description Bonnie transmitted."
Michael spotted the young lady standing at the curb. She looked to be in her early twenties, short and her arms were well toned, she clearly worked out. Her blonde hair was cut just below her shoulders. A slight smile appeared on his face. Definitely not the stuffy accountant type.
"Michael," KITT interrupted. "She's armed."
"She carrying weapons," KITT said. "My sensors show she has what appear to be three wooden stakes hidden on her person and the duffel bag contains three swords of varying types, two axes, six knives, several more stakes, a crossbow complete with arrows and several bottles. I can not determine what liquid they contain."
"So you're saying she has the contents of a medieval armory in her duffel bag," Michael said.
Buffy had the familiar feeling of somebody watching her. She looked around the busy airport. She noticed a dark haired man staring at her from a black sports car a few feet way. She also noticed the red Cylon eye thingy on the front of the car.
The license plate read 'Knight.'
"At least I can brag to Xander about driving in a sports car," Buffy muttered as she turned and headed towards the car. Her eyes narrowed. That's weird, she thought. It looks like he is talking to himself.
"Armed?" Devon said.
"With swords," Michael said.
Devon seemed lost in thought for a few moments. "I honestly did not expect Dr. Giles to send her as his representative. He must be more serious than I thought."
"Her who?" Michael asked.
"That is not your concern," Devon replied. "Neither are the weapons. Just bring her here."
"There is no danger Michael," Devon said.
"Michael," KITT said. "She's coming towards us."
Michael looked up and sure enough, Ms. Summers was walking directly towards the car. The duffel bag over her shoulder and pulling a suitcase behind her.
"Ok, Devon," Michael said. "We'll be back at the Foundation in about an hour."
"Thank you Michael," Devon said just before the screen went dark.
Michael opened the door and got out of KITT.
"Ms Summers I presume," he said as the young lady approached.
"That's me," Buffy replied. "I take it you're the driver Mr. Miles promised after Giles decided to get cheap on me."
Michael smiled. "Michael Knight, call me Michael," he held out his hand.
"Buffy Summers," Buffy replied shaking the offered hand. "Just Buffy's fine." He had tall and dark down. But the little smile and general air of nonchalance killed the mysterious. He also lacked the brood thing that Angel did so well.
"We can put your bags in the back," Michael said.
Buffy noticed the trunk start opening despite Michael not carrying a key chain opener. She walked to the back of the car and set her duffel bag down first. The back end dipped a bit, but no where near as much as on most cars. She laid her suitcase next to it.
Michael motioned for her to get into the passenger's seat. Buffy generally didn't go in for overly helpful guys, but she was a little surprised when Michael headed straight back to his seat without getting the door for her. Then the door opened by itself just as she started walking towards it.
She got in the passenger seat and started looking around.
"Somebody's seen too many episodes of Pimp My Ride," Buffy noted.
"What?" Michael said.
"All the fancy electronics," Buffy said. "Automatic doors, LCD screens on the dashboard, the flashy read light on the front. Paint jobs a little on the dull side."
"Young lady," came a disembodied voice that sounded just a little condescending. "I'll have you know basic black is still considered classic."
Buffy looked around. "Did the car just talk to me?" she asked.
"Yes, it did," Michael replied. "Although he's not supposed to."
"Really Michael," KITT replied. "Ms Summers was comparing me to one of those overly flashy monstrosities."
"Ok, this is cool," Buffy said. "So do you have a name?"
"I am the Knight Industries Two Thousand or KITT for short," KITT replied.
"Willow is going to be so jealous," Buffy said. "I'm now two robots up on her."
"Wait," Michael said. "You've met robots?"
"Just a couple," Buffy replied. "Never a car though."
"Young lady," KITT started.
"Buffy," Buffy corrected. "Only my mother ever got away with calling me 'Young Lady.'"
"Very well, 'Buffy'," KITT replied. "I am far more than just a 'robot.' I posses the Knight 2000 Microprocessor along with advanced heuristic programming making me one of the world's first true artificial intelligences. I am far more than a mere 'robot'."
"Neato," Buffy said. "The others were all artificial smart people too."
"Where did you meet robots?" Michael demanded.
"In Sunnydale," Buffy replied, like it was common knowledge. "Well three of them anyway. There was that one from the summer I was in LA. That was the first one Willow never met. But that's my Oxnard story, so that's the last you'll hear of it."
"Oxnard story?" Michael asked.
"My friend Xander took a road trip after graduation," Buffy explained. "His car broke down in Oxnard and he swears he will never tell anyone what he did to get the money to repair it. So now anytime one of us has a story that we can't tell anyone else, we call it our 'Oxnard story.' Where was I?"
"Discussing the two robots you met that someone named Willow did not," KITT answered.
"Come to think of it," Buffy said, "I might actually be three up on Willow, since she never actually met Adam. Although he was more Cyborg than robot, so she probably wouldn't count him. So how many robots have you met?"
Michael was reeling. He'd seen a lot of strange stuff over the past year, but Buffy was talking about three robots and a cyborg like it was a lunch date she had last week.
"You're here to discuss finances with Devon?" Michael asked a little dumbfounded.
"No," Buffy said. "I'm here to convince him to reinvest the money the Knight Foundation pulled out of the Watchers Council twenty years ago. I figured you knew all this. You know, Michael Knight, member of the family. Don't you know you're family's history with the Council goes back like a bajillion years or something according to Giles. It was a huge scandal when Wilton Knight yanked his support away."
"What's the Watchers Council?" Michael asked.
"I can find no reference to it in my database," KITT added. "I'm doing a search on the internet now … There is a private archeological and historical society based in London called the Watchers Council. It listed both Wilton Knight and his father as board members. According to the files it was originally founded in 1634."
"That's them," Buffy said.
"Michael," KITT said. "According to the news many of the Council's members were killed 10 months ago in a terrorist bombing."
"That's why we need the Knight Foundation's money," Buffy said. "We can't access most of those guys' money because it's locked up in probation …"
"Probate," KITT corrected.
"Probate, right," Buffy said. "And the few surviving members are being real poop heads about sharing," Buffy paused looking at Michael's face. "You really don't know any of this, do you?"
"No I don't," Michael replied.
"But the Council families always started training their kids when they were young," Buffy said. "The whole 'preserve the stuffy tweed tradition' thing."
"I'm sort of adopted," Michael said. Yeah right, Michael thought. Up until a year ago, Michael Knight did not exist. "The old man left Devon in charge of all the Foundation's resources after he died. He knows all that stuff."
"Oh," Buffy said, suddenly at a loss. She didn't know just how much she was allowed to tell this guy. If all else fails, change the subject. "So what do you do with your talking car?"
"I uh," Michael wasn't sure just how much of FLAG's mission he should share with Buffy.
"That much huh," Buffy said.
The rest of the drive back passed in awkward conservation as both Buffy and Michael danced around their respective occupations and history.
While the two were talking KITT continued his database search through the internet and a number of other sources for information on Buffy Summers, the Watchers Council and Sunnydale. The information he encountered was … bizarre was not a word KITT was use to employing but it seemed to fit the available facts.
When they finally arrived at the Foundation's mansion Buffy got out the car and took a long appreciative look around.
"Nice place you got here," she said.
"Thanks," Michael said. "Devon wants me to take you to your hotel after you're done, so you can leave your bags in the car."
"Sure," Buffy said.
Michael paused. "Why do you need a bag full of weapons?"
Buffy looked at Michael and then glanced at KITT. "Let me guess, your car's got x-ray vision as well as being able to talk."
"Yes," KITT replied. "Which is how I also know you are also carrying three wooden stakes."
"You're not going to tell Michael where I'm carrying them are you?"
"No," KITT replied.
"Why do you carry stakes?" Michael asked, suddenly wandering just where Buffy could conceal three stakes.
"Tools of the trade," Buffy replied. "And I'm not giving them up." She leveled her gaze at Michael.
Michael almost flinched at the look. There something in her eyes that said she'd seen things even darker than he had. She'd seen evil and fought it.
"Ms Summers," Devon's voice came from the door, breaking the tension. "Devon Miles."
Buffy turned and saw a gray haired gentleman in a nicely tailored suit walking towards her. A little tweed and he'd look like the perfect elder Watcher.
"Mr. Miles," Buffy said holding out her hand. "Please call me Buffy."
"Very well," Devon replied shaking her hand his attention shifted. "Michael, Bonnie wants to see you. Please make it quick. I doubt my business with Ms Summers will take very long."
"Devon," Michael began.
"He really doesn't know anything?" Buffy asked.
"No, Michael has no involvement in that part of Wilton Knight's life," Devon said. "A part that ended twenty years ago."
"That's what I'm here about," Buffy said. "Shall we talk?"
"If you'll follow me," Devon said leading Buffy towards the house. "Michael, do check in with Bonnie."
As the two entered the house Michael got into KITT. "So buddy, I take you've done an exhaustive search on everything you could find about Buffy Summers and the Watchers Council."
"Yes," KITT replied. "Although I must warn you Michael. Very little of it makes sense."
"Fill me in while we go talk to Bonnie," Michael said putting the car in gear and heading for where the semi that served as KITT's mobile command post was parked.
Devon and Buffy entered Devon's office.
He quickly took his seat behind the large desk and motioned for Buffy to take one the chairs in front.
Buffy settled herself into the comfy chair and got started. "Mr. Miles, as you know most of the Council's leadership is dead. We've only been able to access a very small amount of money to fund the Council's operations. Giles expects it to take at least another year before we can get control over their estates."
Devon interrupted, "Forgive me Buffy, but if this is a plea for money. I am afraid I can not help you. Wilton Knight's decision to end his family's involvement with the Council is final. While I respect that fact that Dr. Giles sent the Slayer here to impress upon me how important this matter is to him, I have no intention of going against that decision."
"This is my meeting Mr. Miles," Buffy said. "Not Giles'."
"Dr. Giles made the arrangements," Devon noted.
"Because I asked him to," Buffy replied. "I wanted to talk to you myself about helping the Slayers."
"As I said Buffy," Devon said. "Wilton Knight's decision was final. The Knight Foundation will not provide any financial assistance or backing to the Council. We do not send a child out to fight a war alone and without support fully expecting her to be killed before she reaches twenty."
"I didn't say the Council," Buffy said. "I said the Slayers."
"Excuse me," Devon was confused.
"Slayers," Buffy said. "As in multiple. As in we changed things after the Hellmouth went bye-bye. Every girl with the Potential to be a Slayer is now a Slayer."
Devon's jaw dropped. "My word. There must be hundreds of Slayers."
"Pretty much," Buffy acknowledged.
"And I suppose you want the Knight Foundation to provide you with money to get them weapons and help produce more drugs for the Cruciamentum," Devon said.
"That will never be done again," Buffy voice took on a hard edge. She forced herself to calm down. "And no, we don't need weapons. The Slayer part of the job we can cover. Between the money I've already collected over the past couple months and what the remaining members of the tweed brigade are willing to cut lose (with a little encouragement) we can get weapons, give Watchers internet access or satellite phones so they can access the archives for research and cover the rest of the basics. And like I said another year or so and we should be able to access most of the Council's money."
"So what do you want?" Devon asked.
"Scholarships," Buffy said.
"Scholarships," Buffy repeated. "And tutors. A lot of the girls from third world countries and too many from the supposed first world can't read or write. They need an education. They need money and resources to get into good schools. No Slayer should have work at the Double Meat Palace to make ends meet."
"You're serious," Devon said as he studied Buffy.
"Yes I am," Buffy replied. "Like I said, we can cover the Slayer stuff. Barely, but we can cover it. But we need help with the life stuff. Wilton Knight pulled his support from the Council because he wanted to give the Slayer a life outside Slaying. And he was right. That's what I want for the Slayers. But I can't do it alone."
"Just what exactly would this entail?" Devon asked.
"At first money for tutors and for scholarships," Buffy replied. "Some of the girls could probably use counseling. Not everybody's home life was pleasant. And this wouldn't be through the Council. Nobody in tweed will be looking over your shoulder. Don't get me wrong. I will be looking over your shoulder. And so will Faith and all the other Slayers. But Council won't be."
"Scholarships?" Devon said.
"Yes," Buffy said. "Look, they're Slayers. Nothing in the world can change that part of their destiny. Like it or not, they are warriors. But they're also people, girls most of them. Girls who need lives outside of Slaying. Girls who need to connect to world. To do that they need an education. So I want to get girls tutors to get them ready for school. And scholarships so they can go to college. So they can have a life beyond just hunting monsters."
Devon got up from his desk and turned to look out the window. He remembered the battles he and Wilton had with the Council. How much it sickened Wilton to know there was nothing he could do but leave.
That experience was one of the key triggers for founding FLAG, building KITT and recruiting Michael.
Devon turned back to face Buffy. "Wilton Knight was my friend. I spent most of my life helping him build the Knight Foundation. And I am committed to making certain his final wishes are carried out," Devon reached down and clicked a button on his phone. "Bonnie," he said.
"Yes Devon," a woman's voice came over the speaker.
"Is Michael still there?"
"I'm right here Devon," Michael replied.
"Could you have Ms Summers luggage sent up to one of the guest rooms please," Devon ordered.
"I thought she was staying at a hotel," Michael said.
Buffy also reacted to the comment and was about to speak when Devon motioned her to wait.
"It turns out my business with Buffy will take longer than I anticipated," Devon said. "It will be easier if she stays at the estate."
"Are you sure about this Devon?" Michael asked.
"Quite certain Michael," Devon replied. "I will explain everything over dinner."
"Ok then," Michael said. "I'll get on that."
"Thank you Michael," Devon clicked off the intercom.
"So I take it this means you're going to help Mr. Miles," Buffy said.
"Please call me Devon," Devon said. "And yes, I believe this exactly what Wilton would have wanted. We have a great deal to discuss Buffy."
A/N – Yes I watched Knight Rider when I was kid. Deal with it.