A Supernatural/Knight Rider crossover.
AU from Devil's Trap and Goliath Part 1
Parallel events in two lives create a crossroad of meetings. Entry for the Firsts Challenge at LJ's spcrossovers
A/N: I am not happy with this fic, but the challenge is up. Rating is for Dean's mouth.
It wasn't supposed to end like this.
The blaze of a horn.
The dark black shape barreling down upon them.
The sickening crunch of impact.
A scream of denial and metal grinding metal. Unstoppable force meets immovable object.
Not so immovable.
A name, cried brokenly.
It had only been a month since the last time Dean had stepped through Bobby Singer's doors, since he and Sam had exorcised the demon Meg from the broken body of the blond-haired girl. In that time they had stormed the Sunrise apartments, rescued their father, retreated to a hideout. John had been possessed, by the same son-of-a-bitch Yellow Eyes who'd gotten mom. Dean had been crushed against a wall, feeling the weight of a hundred tons pressing in on his chest. Sam got free, put a bullet in Dad's leg, and Yellow Eyes was gone.
The next thing Dean knew, he was waking up in hospital. Multiple lacerations, broken leg, concussion. Internal bleeding. The first words past his lips were, "Where's Sam?"
He didn't want to remember much after that.
"You could rebuild her," Bobby said, now, as Dean stared numbly at the mangled wreck of the Impala. "Heaven knows I've got the parts."
Dean couldn't see the Impala any more. He saw the black form of the semi, where the impact had torn the chassis in shreds like paper. He saw the cracks in the window where his head had been bashed. He saw the dark stains of blood soaked into the upholstery where Dad's injured leg had torn a major artery and bled out before paramedics arrived on the scene. He saw, over and over, the memory of the possessed trucker approach the driver's door, the blade's flash in the headlights, Sam's gurgled cry.
The warm drip of his brother's blood against his forehead.
He wouldn't rebuild her, Dean knew. There were too many memories in that car.
"In all your books, you've got a few last-rite sorts of things," he said tonelessly, not really intending a question. "I don't want Dad lingering like mom did. Don't want Sammy-" oh god, Sam "-making me his unfinished business. I don't think I could hunt them down if they did. We've got to send them off properly."
"Sure, Dean," Bobby said, quietly. "Anything."
That night, the moon shone low in poison-orange as the flames of the pyre burned high. With them, a piece of Dean burned as well.
He found it in the scraps.
A 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am, almost pristine in its condition, if you discounted the dust, the dirt, the rotting upholstery. The frame was mangled, the hood and doors dented in places, but not beyond repair. Rust had gotten into the undercarriage, and the dash had been cannibalized, but it was obvious whoever had owned this car had done some pretty impressive customizations in the day.
"Who the hell left you out to rot, sweetheart?" Dean asked when he found it, running his hands over a paint job that was smoother than silk.
The car didn't reply, naturally. Cars can't talk.
This Trans-Am wasn't the Impala, no matter what the similarities between the two sleek black forms. In the Impala, Dean had always felt a sense of belonging. The Impala was a piece of home, a piece of family. Behind the wheel of the Firebird, working on the wiring under the dash, the car gave off a foreboding chill. If Dad had been there, he might have suggested the car was haunted. Sam might have scoffed, but would have done the research on exorcising a ghost from an object without salting and burning. But no spirits appeared to throw wrenches at him when he put the car up on blocks and set to work on the mangled front axle, so Dean disregarded the feeling as too many years of paranoia.
Still, it took a few weeks before he was able to stop wasting salt surrounding the car in a circle every night.
Bobby often came out on the porch to watch him work. He usually had a drink in his hand – scotch, whiskey, beer, iced tea, coffee in the mornings. He never said anything, but his eyes belayed a worry for Dean's silence. The young hunter had hardly spoken since the accident, but there was tension in those muscles, pent up anger brewing hot and deep, a metaphorical Vesuvius.
Like the volcano, it was only a matter of time before Dean blew up.
"God DAMN it!"
Driven by grief, by frustration and the impossible task that seemed to be smoothing out the dents in the car's shell, Dean's hand found a crowbar and the black iron connected with the window of the Trans-Am with terrific force.
And bounced off.
Fingers stung nerveless by the jarring impact, Dean dropped the crowbar and stared. His reflection in the glass stared back, marred only by a fine coat of dust disturbed by the blow.
Dean finished the last of the protective wards, drawn with precision and care on the interior of the trunk in painter's chalk.
Sam would've been proud.
"Alright kid, this is the last of it," Bobby said, hauling a bag weighted down with all manner of various hunters' tools. Dean took the bundle from him and set it in the trunk, before replacing the new false bottom and arranging his things over it. The trunk clicked shut.
"Hey Bobby, I…thanks, man," Dean shrugged his shoulders, sliding his hands into the pockets of his jacket. "Y'know, for putting me up so long."
"You don't have to go," Bobby reasoned. "You could work out of here. It helps to have a base of operations."
"Yeah I do." Dean looked away, out to the field where Dad and Sam rested, their ashes scattered to the wind. "That bastard Demon is still out there, and there's still a lot of folk need saving… I can't do that from here."
"Well you come back here anytime you need." The elder hunter shifted his weight. "Where you headed now?"
"Lawrence." Dean's eyes grew shadowed. "Dad went to Missouri Mosley to find answers. I think I'll start there. Pick up the trail where he left off. And I think she deserves to…" he trailed away. The faintest of smiles touched the corner of his mouth, grim and humorless. "Crazy bat probably already knows."
Dean sucked in a breath through his teeth, exhaling forcefully, then clapped his hands together and held one out. "Be seeing you, Bobby."
Bobby shook his hand firmly, then stepped back as Dean opened the car door and climbed inside. "Stay safe, kid."
The engine of the Trans-Am rumbled to life, and the last Winchester rolled out of the scrap yard in a cloud of dust.
There was one feature of the customized Trans-Am that Dean had never figured out a purpose for. The engine had been completely overhauled, professional workmanship, and it all seemed to center around a single black box, the size and shape of a bulky camera housing, or three VCR tapes stacked on top of each other. The wires connecting the black box had led into the dash, and Dean had decided to leave it alone. Computers weren't his thing, and if it was essential for the car's proper working order, he didn't want to break it.
Another feature, which he supposed tied in to the box, was a panel in the middle of the speedometer readout. It was black, featureless and square. When he had powered up the systems for the first time, it was the only thing on the dash that hadn't lit up like a Christmas tree.
Dean had ignored it for much the same reasons he did the black box, and the myriad of buttons that had survived the cannibalism of the car's interior.
Who the hell put ejector seats in an '82 Firebird?
The open road stretched out in front of him like a canvas, and he held the brush. Dean put his foot down, pressing the car faster along the abandoned stretch of highway. He hit the speed limit. He passed the speed limit. 70, 80, 90 miles an hour.
The voice came out of nowhere.
Dean startled. "What the -"
A light on the dash changed, flicking from Manual Control to Auto Cruise. The brakes slammed on, the wheel spun out of Dean's hands, and the car did an impressive 360 turn, its wheels leaving angry streaks of black on the weathered pavement.
Dean's heart was pounding out of control as the vehicle finally stopped. Had he lost control? Had the brakes locked up somehow? Had-
"Who are you and what have you done with Michael," demanded The Voice. Dean's racing heart skipped a beat as the locks on the doors slammed home with finality and the seatbelt tightened, throwing the hunter back against his chair.
"Shit! Possessed car!"
"I beg your pardon!" The Voice sounded affronted, and vaguely Bostonian.
Dean struggled with his seatbelt, but it refused to loosen or unlock. "Let me out of here!"
"Not until you tell me where Michael is!" The Voice said. "Who are you, what's happened, and where is Michael Knight?"
"Dean Winchester! I don't know!" Dean yelled. "I don't know any Michael Knight! I found the car in a scrap yard!"
The seatbelt came undone, the locks released, and Dean Winchester bolted from the car. It was a less than graceful exit and he wound up sprawled on the pavement.
The car's door shut and the vehicle backed up, tires crunching on the gravel as it turned to face him. At the prow of the machine, a red light tracked back and forth with speed, giving Dean the impression of an angry glare.
Shit, shit, SHIT, his stuff was in the trunk of that thing. He was completely defenseless.
The memory of taking a crowbar to the paintwork without any ill effects rose to his mind, and he swallowed. Defenseless was probably good right now. If he'd had his gun, the thing probably would've decided it'd be quicker to run him over and eliminate the threat.
The red light lit up again, shifting back and forth very slowly with a low hum. Dean got the distinct feeling it was watching him.
It wasn't usual to run across a spirit this coherent. Maybe he could talk it down. Dean winced; he was starting to sound like Sam. "Listen, do you…ah...do you know your name?"
The light tracked back and forth a few more times, silent.
"I am the voice of the Knight Industries Two Thousand…" the thing said, slowly, and paused. "KITT, if you prefer." The capital letters were clearly audible. "Michael refers to me as such."
Dean blinked. "You're not a ghost?"
"Ghost?" The light flashed. "A supernatural superstition arising from unexplained occurrences, known as a poltergeist, specter, phantasm, spirit, or spook. No, Mr. Winchester, I am not a ghost. I am a highly advanced Artificial Intelligence, created by Wilton Knight and programmed to protect and work alongside Michael Knight for the Foundation of Law and Government."
"You're a computer?" Dean said, surprised. "…You're the black box under the hood."
A visible shudder passed through the car's frame and the wheels rolled back an inch. "Where's Michael?" KITT asked again, sounding almost nervous. "I remember...a dark shape, speeding towards us. Garthe, he had to be stopped…that abomination he called Goliath...Zeno's paradox…Michael. Michael!"
The last cry was one of terror. The Trans-Am's wheels spun against the blacktop with a squeal and Dean hurriedly scrambled out of the way, but the car only lurched forward a few inches. A desperate wail emanated from the audio system, the framework trembling with something more than the idle of its engine.
Dean slowly got to his feet, approaching the vehicle one might a rabid animal. The AI's voice had dropped to a repeating whimper, barely audible.
"My fault, Michael, I'm sorry, it was my fault, I'm sorry, my fault, sorry-"
The hunter laid a hand on the sun-warmed hood, and the car stilled, going quiet.
"I've reprocessed my data files," KITT finally said, his voice wavering slightly, but otherwise maintaining a calm tone. "Michael Knight, missing, presumed deceased October, 1983. Goliath must have damaged my homing beacons and transmissions. We were left for dead…no one ever found us…" The electronic voice became grief-stricken. "Oh Michael…you didn't deserve this, I'm so sorry…"
"What's a Goliath?"
The car seemed subdued for a moment. "MBS-armored semi-truck, code name Goliath. Commissioned and driven by Garthe Knight with the intent to subvert and destroy the Foundation."
Dean didn't hear him past the first sentence. The image of the semi, out of the darkness, slamming into the Impala-
Sam's cry, the scent of blood in his nostrils, suffocating him, choking-
"-chester. Mr Winchester!"
KITT's alarmed voice brought the young man back to the present. Dean found himself leaning against the car's open door.
"Are you alright, Mr Winchester? Your heartbeat and blood pressure rose quite dramatically and you appear to be rather pale."
"It's Dean," the young man grated out, shakily standing.
"Dean," the AI repeated. "Perhaps you should sit down."
Dean looked inside the Trans-Am, hesitating.
"I promise I'm not going to harm you," the AI hedged. "My main programming function is the preservation of human life."
Aw hell. Dean climbed into the driver's side seat, his weak knees grateful to be stretched out and not bearing weight. He ran a hand through his short brown hair and let out a slow breath.
"I apologize if my description upset you. I did not intend to do so," KITT said, and for the first time, Dean noticed the black panel above the steering column light up. Three bars, much like a mirrored volume indicator on a stereo, flashed in time with the smooth Boston accent.
"Uh, it's okay. I had a bad experience with a semi not too long ago." Dean swallowed uneasily at the memories that swam unbidden to the surface. He got the sense that he was being studied.
"You were experiencing a flashback," KITT guessed.
"Look, um, if it's all the same to you, KITT, I'd rather not talk about it." He breathed a shaky sigh and straightened up in the seat, laying his hands on the steering wheel. "I need to get to Lawrence, Kansas, sooner rather than later. I'd appreciate it if you'd…not talk or anything. It's somewhat unsettling."
The voice modulator remained dark.
Dean hoped that meant they had a truce.
He reached for the door to shut it, buckled his seatbelt cautiously, and turned the ignition key. The engine purred to life. There were no objections from the car.
"Crazy-ass day," he muttered, as the Trans-Am rolled back onto the highway and sped off towards home.