Knight Rider © not mine. Saving Me © Nickelback.

The Long Road

For the second time in Michael's adult life, he wanted to cry. The first time had been right after his first mission with FLAG, when it finally sank in that his life as Michael Long was over. He wasn't really sure why it took so long, but it hit hard, and he spent that night in the hospital letting the tears come.

A bitter smile twisted his lips. He remembered Kitt talking to him over the comm. link. Not about anything important at first, and at first Michael hadn't responded. Then Kitt had said something that made it all better, that made him realize things weren't as bad as they seemed: "Something tells me I might want to find a permanent parking spot here."

It was just the sarcastic comment a human partner would have made, and Michal had laughed despite his pain. The tears never came again.

prison gates won't open up for me
on these hands and knees I'm crawling
oh, I reach for you

Now he was sitting in a specialized jail cell, the walls reinforced concrete, on trial for a crime he felt no guilt about. They had taken his comm. link, but Michael had thought ahead. With Kitt's guidance, he had taken the guts out of the thing and made a small ear plug from it. He was still connected to Kitt, and FLAG didn't know about it.

Kitt could even monitor his vital signs with the darn thing.

Michael still didn't understand what they expected him to do. The case had gone bad, and he was left with a choice – save the hostage or save Kitt. He had let the hostage die. He had saved his partner. Didn't FLAG realize that had been the only way? Devon and Bonnie had been so horrified. Kitt, at least, understood. Kitt would have done the same for him.

"Michael?"

He smiled. "I'm here, buddy." he whispered. "How's life on the other side?"

"This isn't funny, Michael." Kitt said sharply. "I overheard Devon and Bonnie. There isn't going to be a trial."

Michael frowned. "So what are they doing?"

"They're sending you to a maximum security prison first thing in the morning." Kitt sounded panicked.

Well I'm terrified of these four walls
these iron bars can't hold my soul in
all I need is you

Michael felt cold. "I'll live. What about you?"

"There's talk of a new driver, one that won't kill for his car." Kitt said bitterly. "I won't take another driver, Michael. They'll have to dismantle me first."

"Kitt, don't you dare." Michael snapped. He had never heard that kind of venom in Kitt's voice before. He was serious. "I can survive prison, but only if I know you're safe." Kitt fell silent. Michael sighed.

come please I'm calling

"Bonnie and Devon don't know about the ear piece." Kitt said finally.

Michael nodded even though Kitt couldn't see it. "Did they find out what I did to the watch?"

"Not yet. I've kept them busy complaining." Kitt sounded smug, and Michael had to laugh. How many times had Michael given Devon the run-around by complaining so much the old man forgot what he was going to say or do? Kitt sighed, and the smugness left his electronic voice. "Michael, we may not be able to wait until morning. Devon wants to move me to a new location at dawn, an hour before they move you."

and oh I scream for you

Michael bit his lip. He wanted Kitt to be safe, which FLAG would do. Provide him with a new partner and everything, never mind that Kitt was programmed to protect Michael and Michael alone. Kitt's new partner wouldn't understand that Kitt was so much more than a car now. That he was capable of emotional attachments.

He wanted Kitt with him. Besides, the other driver would pick the hostage over Kitt. Michael couldn't allow that.

hurry I'm falling
I'm falling

"Then we need to move up our plans." Michael said finally. "Three hours, buddy. I'll be ready."

Kitt's relief was evident. "Thank you."

Show me what it's like
to be the last one standing

Three hours seemed like an incredibly long time to Kitt. He was lying to Michael – he had only told him half of the story. Kitt could survive with another driver as long as Michael had the earplug/comm. link. It would be hard, and he would hate it, but he could do it. It was what he hadn't told Michael that scared him.

FLAG had gotten hold of other instances where Michael had sacrificed the integrity of the mission for the sake of his partner, and vice versa. Kitt thought he had destroyed those files, deleted them from the computer mainframe after Devon had typed up his reports, but apparently they were automatically printed out. He couldn't do anything about hard copies. FLAG was going to use that information against Michael to put him on death row. Apparently the judicial system wouldn't look at Kitt as Michael's partner, but his mode of transportation. Nothing more than a car, and therefore not worth killing for. What had been defense of another would be portrayed as murder.

Michael had always been there for him. Kitt could not do any less. It would violate the Code of Friendship. He needed to keep Michael safe. He needed Michael. It was as simple as that. He needed his partner more than he needed Bonnie and Devon, and he wasn't going to let anything happen to him.

teach me wrong from right
and I'll show you what I can be

Devon and Bonnie sat in the main building, quietly discussing things in tones of shock. Suddenly, Devon leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. "It wasn't supposed to be this way, Bonnie." he murmured. "I don't know why I didn't see it coming."

"Which part?" Bonnie spat. "Where Michael killed for Kitt, or where FLAG turned on him for it?" She looked away from him, bitter anger on her face. The pain was unbearable. "We betrayed him, Devon."

"He feels no remorse for allowing an innocent woman to die." Devon said blandly.

"He was protecting Kitt." Bonnie protested.

"Kitt can be repaired."

say it for me
say it to me

Kitt heard every word, every detail of Bonnie and Devon's conversation. Anger and hate boiled through him. How dare they speak of Michael as nothing more than a criminal?

Michael heard the words through the comm. link, anger and shock racing through his blood. Kitt was so much more than a machine. Devon knew that better than any of them. Didn't he?

and I'll leave this life behind me
say if it's worth saving me

Slowly, Kitt calmed himself enough to speak. "Michael, two and a half hours are up. I'm coming." It wasn't a request, but he waited for Michael's reaction anyway. Kitt had to get away from here. Any minute now Devon and Bonnie were going to come down into the garage, and then Kitt would have to go through one or both of them to get away. That would be the end of surprise.

Michael's response was immediate. "I'm ready, Kitt. Let's blow this joint."

Kitt revved up his engine and pulled out of the garage, thankful that Bonnie had left the door open. "I'll be there in fifteen minutes."

Heaven's gates won't open up for me
with these broken wings I'm falling
and all I see is you

Michael picked up the softball he had requested. So far he had done nothing with it other than toss it from hand to hand, quietly amusing himself until Kitt had called him. Now it was time to put it to some good use. He drew his arm back and threw it at the guard. It struck him solidly in the back of the head, and the man dropped to the ground, out cold. Michael smiled tightly.

Now it was a waiting game.

these city walls ain't got no love for me
I'm on the ledge of the eighteenth story
and oh I scream for you

Kitt detected Michael in one of the outer cells. Minimum security. There would only be one, two guards at most. It was nothing Michael couldn't handle, especially now that Kitt was there. Arrogant of them, to think they had all the cards.

He slammed through the concrete wall, skidding to a halt a few inches away from the bars. Luckily, the cell was deep enough that his front door was free to swing open in invitation. "Hurry Michael!" Kitt urged. "The guards will be here soon."

Michael quickly slid into the driver's seat, and Kitt slammed the door shut and locked it. "Don't worry, buddy." Michael said tightly. "Let's go – we don't have much time to waste."

come please I'm calling

Devon picked up the ringing phone. "Yes?" Bonnie watched as his eyes went wide in shock. She couldn't help the smile that spread across her face as the conversation continued. "What do you mean, he's gone? It couldn't have been Kitt – he's here with us! Yes, I'm aware – oh, don't bother. I'll check – but I'm sure he's still here." He slammed the phone back on the hook.

Bonnie laughed. "Kitt rescued him, didn't he?

"Kitt isn't capable of it." Devon snapped. "His primary function is the preservation of human life. He cannot do anything that will endanger human life."

"You really don't understand, do you?" Bonnie said, the smile falling away.

and all I need is you
hurry I'm falling, I'm falling, I'm falling

"Kitt's primary function is the preservation of Michael's life." she said tightly. "Humanity comes at a distant second. Kitt's learning how to get around his programming to get what he wants. He's found a loophole." She leaned back in her chair. "It won't matter who you throw in his way. Kitt won't stop – and you won't get Michael away from him." With that she stood up and walked away.

show me what it's like
to be the last one standing

Kitt sped away, only slowing down once they crossed the state line. It wouldn't do to announce their presence to everyone. For once, Michael didn't insist he drive. He seemed content to let Kitt take care of navigation. "Michael, where are we going?"

"Overseas or across the boarder would probably be best." Michael mused. "Canada, Mexico, maybe Ireland or France if we get lucky." He shrugged. "On the other hand, across the border would be best. We wouldn't have to worry about convincing them why we're taking a car with us."

"Canada." Kitt said confidently. "I don't like Mexico."

"Canada is cold."

"I can handle it. As long as you're with me, so can you."

teach me wrong from right
and I'll show you what I can be

Michael smiled. "Canada it is." he agreed, patting the dashboard fondly. "We'll figure out where to go exactly once we cross the border."

At that moment, one of the lights on Kitt's dashboard flashed. "Bonnie is trying to hail us." Kitt said tightly. Michael nodded.

"Is there a way to talk to her without letting them track us?" he asked.

"Yes."

"Then let's do it." Bonnie's face flashed on the screen, and Michael smiled tightly. "If it isn't Bon-bon. What do you want?"

"I want to make sure you have a safe place to go." Bonnie said. Michael shook his head.

"Sorry. We already made reservations."

"Cut the crap, Michael. You're going to need more than just distance to protect yourself. Cash, for one, and maybe a new identity."

"I'm not changing my name again." Michael bit out.

"I'm not expecting you to. I'm just saying you might want to consider it. After all, people on death row don't last very long."

Say what? Michael let that one slide. He probably didn't want to know. "Did you call just to rain on my parade?"

"No. I called to let you know you can still access your account. We won't be able to trace it. I've also dumped about thirty thousand worth of cash in it as well. I'd suggest transferring it a bit at a time. Large scale transfers we can trace." Bonnie looked so sad, watching them. Michael sighed.

"Thanks, Bonnie. We appreciate it." he said quietly.

"Don't thank me. If I was any good, I would have been able to stop them." With that, she terminated contact.

Silence reigned in the cabin.

Say it for me
say it to me
and I'll leave this life behind me

"I'm going to miss her." Kitt said quietly.

"Me too." Michael admitted. "Once we get settled, let's see if we can get her across the border. Heaven knows FLAG won't let that one go for very long."

"Indeed." Kitt fell silent for a moment, then in a more upbeat voice, he added, "While I'm plotting my course, would you like to stop at a diner? I don't trust the food they gave you in lock up."

"I didn't eat in lock up." Michael said with a laugh. "Yeah, food sounds good, buddy. Thanks."

"Anytime."

say if it's worth saving me