chapter eleven

Bonnie went over her notes one last time and heaved a sigh. So far, they knew very little about the link. For the past two weeks she had been testing Michael and Kitt while Devon and Agent Freeman investigated other FLAG operatives. So far they had five suspects, two of them were confirmed after Freeman had caught them making other deals with the black market while on surveillance. Bonnie wondered how many of Knight Industry's secrets were on the market now because of those two scientists. She also wondered how many others there were that were working with John Clay.

She forced her mind back on her notes. Michael sat in front of her, electrodes hooked up to his forehead. The helmet was off for once, but Kitt had been insisting that Michael wear it for another week or two. Bonnie suspected that he only wore it when he was around Kitt. "Can you sense Kitt now?" she asked, checking the monitor.

Michael rolled his eyes. "Come on, Bonnie. That thing isn't going to magically spit out the answers you want, no matter how hard you stare at it." he teased her.

"No, but it usually works on you." Bonnie shot back. "Answer the question."

The FLAG driver rolled his eyes. "Yes, I can sense Kitt. I can always sense him to some degree or another, just as he can me. How many times are you going to ask the same questions?" It was an agreement he and Kitt had come to – until they could figure out just what, exactly, they could do with the link, no one else had the right to know. Not even Bonnie, although she would be the first.

"What is he doing now?"

"He's getting work done on him, just like I am." Michael said irritably. "In fact, he's –" Something caught his attention. He frowned, ignoring Bonnie for the moment in favor of his partner. Something wasn't right. Fear and shock were coming from the AI in waves. "Bonnie, you have to check on him." he pleaded. "Something isn't right. He's scared."

It was Bonnie's turn to frown. "I'll do that." She got up and placed her clipboard on the chair. "You stay here. I'll come tell you what's going on." With that she left the room. Michael took off the electrodes and sighed. He couldn't just sit there. He had to know what was wrong.

So he reached for Kitt, like he'd always done. /Pal, what's wrong?/ Kitt didn't answer, but his fear started to fade a little. Shock still prevailed throughout his mind. Michael reached to him, touching his essence as well as he could. Kitt reacted, wrapping himself protectively around Michael. Now Michael was alarmed. /Kitt, c'mon, pal, what's wrong?/

/Bonnie's mentor!/ Kitt was now seething, and it was only because the anger wasn't directed at him that Michael didn't flinch away. /Mi, Bonnie's mentor was working with Clay! Freeman just arrested him right here in the garage./

Michael's eyes went wide. /Kitt, I sent Bonnie down there to check on you./

/She's outside. Devon's explaining it to her while Freeman reads him his rights./ Kitt tightened his hold on Michael. /Of all the people, I never thought of him./

/Neither did I./ And suddenly Michael understood. If Bonnie's mentor – the one who had stood by her through so much, and indirectly supported Kitt and Michael – could turn traitor, anyone could. No one was immune to this. /It'll be all right, Kitt. I promise you everything will be all right./

/Michael, I need you down here./

/As soon as Bonnie and I are finished, Kitt. Cross my heart./

/---/

Bonnie leaned against Devon outside of the garage, silent tears streaming down her cheeks. Devon said nothing, but simply held her while she cried. There was nothing he could say. This wasn't just a betrayal of Kitt and Michael, but a personal betrayal against Bonnie. Finally, as her tears dried, Bonnie pulled away. She wiped at her cheeks, all business again, and Devon let her switch to a more comfortable topic.

"I'm worried about Michael and Kitt." she said finally, keeping her voice low.

Devon raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"

"There's something they're not telling me about the link, and it's something important. I just can't figure out what." She sighed. "I'm not sure if I should poke around until I get my answer, or just let them tell me in their own time."

Devon hesitated. "Trust them, Bonnie. This is so very new to them, and a lot of it is personal. They may not feel we have a right to know just yet. Heaven knows I've kept enough secrets in my lifetime." He smiled at her, and she couldn't help but smile back. "Relax, dear girl. I know that they'll tell us everything we need to know, in due time. For now, we must simply step back and respect their privacy. When they need us, we will be here."

Bonnie nodded. "Right."

/---/

Late that night found Michael in his now-customary spot for the nights – sitting in Kitt's driver's seat, the back reclined so he could stretch out comfortably. He had once made the comment that Kitt was more comfortable than a hotel. At the time he had meant it, but only now did he truly realize what that meant. In all honesty, sleeping in any car wasn't as good as sleeping in a bed. He still woke up with kinks in his back. But he did feel more at ease with Kitt than he did anywhere else in the mansion, and he knew that until his skull healed and he was fully well, Kitt wasn't going to let him sleep anywhere else.

Kitt's voice modulator flashed red as he spoke. "Is Bonnie all right?" he asked hesitantly.

"She's fine, Kitt." Michael assured him. "A bit shaken up, but we all are. She'll get over it in due time."

Kitt hesitated. "Does it hurt? When someone turns on you, I mean."

Michael snorted. "Does it hurt you when people turn on you?"

"Yes, but I wondered if it bothered humans as much as it bothered me." Kitt admitted. "After all, people seem to do it to each other all the time."

Michael sighed. "We do, but it doesn't make it any easier." he said darkly. He reached out and pressed his hand against the dash. "People are gonna hate us because of what we are, but that doesn't mean I'm ever going to hate you. You know that, right?"

Warmth and affection flooded him, and he smiled as Kitt answered.

"Of course. I never doubted it."

The End

AN: Wow! Another story finished. Thanks to everyone who's stuck with me through this one, and a double thanks to MoonstarWorld for the help you've given me. (hugs)

If you guys want a sequel to this one, let me know. I have an idea for it, but I can't promise it will go anywhere. I seem to strike out at number three in a series. Let me know, and until next time, I remain yours truly,

Shadowblade-tara