As usual, I claim no ownership of the Knight Rider characters. I only claim owner ship of Carlee and the story idea.
Knight In Mourning
The black T-top Trans Am sat silently in the middle of the garage floor. Its flawless paint reflected what little light there was. The blue licence plate, displaying KNIGHT in yellow lettering, was nearly the only spot of color on the sleek, black car. In the nose, where the hood and bumper came together, a red light tracked back and forth.
With his scanner running, K.I.T.T. knew the instant Devon's hand touched the door knob to the connecting door from the mansion to the garage. Devon had been trying to talk to him for the last two weeks, ever since the last mission. K.I.T.T. knew he couldn't put it off any longer. He would have to hear what Devon had to say.
K.I.T.T. muted his internal speakers, so his conversation with Devon wouldn't disturb the dark haired woman fitfully sleeping in his passenger seat.
Devon cautiously approached, the look of profound sorrow on his distinguished face giving way to concern when he saw Carlee curled up in K.I.T.T.'s passenger seat.
"It's okay. I've muted my internal speaker so we won't disturb her," K.I.T.T. spoke to Devon for the first time in two weeks. The first time since Michael had been shot and killed in the middle of a mission gone terribly wrong.
The concern in Devon's face eased somewhat.
"I suppose you've come to talk about finding me a new driver," K.I.T.T. began, not giving Devon a chance to talk. "I..." K.I.T.T. wasn't sure how to continue.
"K.I.T.T., there's something you should know. Wilton Knight left me a letter that was to be opened only upon Michael's untimely death," Devon pulled a folded piece of paper out of his pocket, and took a breath. "It concerns his wishes for your welfare in that event."
Devon unfolded the paper and began to read, "Devon. If you are reading this, then Michael Knight has died, leaving the Knight Two Thousand without a driver. I know your first thought would be to find a replacement. I suspect though, that you will find that quite impossible."
Devon's hand trembled as he continued, "When we first programmed K.I.T.T., we had no idea of the limits of his growth. By now, I'm sure you've possibly discovered he has formed a deep attachment to Michael. An attachment that can never be replaced. I am authorizing you to release K.I.T.T. from any ties to the Foundation. He may remain on the property if he wishes, but he does not have to further serve F.L.A.G. He is free to fully become his own person." Devon refolded the letter and stuffed it back into his pocket.
K.I.T.T. sat, silent for a moment. "I don't... Where would I go? What would I do?"
"Anything you want, K.I.T.T."
"What about Carlee? What would happen to her if I left?"
As if hearing her name, Carlee groaned in her sleep, her right hand reaching out to the empty driver's seat.
"She's welcome to stay here as long as she wants. She's become a valuable asset to the Foundation the last few years."
"I don't know... I'll have to think about it. Talk it over with Mi...," realizing what he'd been about to say, K.I.T.T. let out a low moan.
"Don't make any decisions right away, K.I.T.T. You're still grieving. Give yourself some time," Devon patted K.I.T.T.'s hood tenderly, then turned to leave.
* * *
"Michael!" Carlee cried out, sitting bolt upright in K.I.T.T.'s passenger seat. Reality set back in with a rush, and tears flooded her blue eyes.
K.I.T.T.'s engine rumbled to life and he began driving forwards and backwards, his version of holding and rocking her. A low keening sound filled the air, as he added his own anguish to hers.
A few minutes later, Carlee managed to wipe away her tears. She ran her fingers through her shoulder length hair, doing her best to tame it.
As Carlee had settled, so had K.I.T.T. He came to a stop and shut off his engine. The keening faded away, as if it had never been.
"Good morning, Carlee."
"Hi, K.I.T.T.," Carlee responded quietly.
"Did you sleep any better?" K.I.T.T. inquired.
"I'm sure you already know the answer to that one, so I'm not going to answer it. Instead, I'm going to go get some breakfast," the first part had been said around a snort of sarcastic laughter. Carlee had cut it off quickly though, out of fear that the laughter would turn hysterical and unstoppable.
She opened the passenger side door and got out. She stretched her slim, five foot seven frame to work out the kinks.
Her blue eyes scanned the space, passing quickly over the small office area where she and Michael had spent so much of their time, so they could be near K.I.T.T. Bonnie's work area, farther on, was deserted.
Carlee turned and hurried between the two spaces to the door leading into the mansion, and the kitchen.
The mansion's cook had prepared the usual expansive breakfast spread. Carlee took a small plate and put a large spoonful of scrambled eggs on it. She also took a slice of buttered toast.
In the last two weeks, Carlee had only been able to force down enough food to keep herself going. There was no joy in food, or anything else, anymore.
After choking down a little more than half of her breakfast, feeling the entire time that it might come rushing back up, she contemplated a shower, or at least a change of clothes. She just couldn't bring herself to face the suite she and Michael had shared for the last four years. Too many memories resided there.
Instead, she went in search of Devon.
It wasn't hard to find him, as he was in his office, where he spent most of his time.
Without even a "How are you?," Carlee said, "I want to take over the mission. I want to find the bastard that did this and bring him to justice, and I want to use K.I.T.T. to help me."
"No! You're too close to the case. You know that!"
"Devon, the feds have gotten no where! It's been two weeks, the trail is going to go cold. I'll do this on my own, if I have to! I will find Michael's killer!"
Devon sighed, "I have no doubt you would go out on your own." Devon muttered something under his breath, then said, "Fine! You'll have to ask K.I.T.T. yourself, though. He's no longer Foundation property. Though I'm sure I already know his answer."