Dead of Knight

Kitt was out of jokes. Not even an extensive search of his databanks could provide him with more material, and he wasn't sure Michael would hear him if he could squeeze out another joke. Michael's breathing was turning ragged, and Kitt ran another medical check on his driver. The results were enough to send cold shivers through Kitt's CPU.

Michael should be dead by now. By all accounts, he shouldn't be breathing. A concentrated dose of the poison would kill so much faster than anything dissolved in a liquid and ingested, like what Cindy had received. His driver was, quite literally, living on willpower alone. It was up to Kitt to make sure Michael didn't give up.

The jokes were gone, but Kitt had to keep talking. He could feel Michael slipping away with every second he stayed silent.

"You can't give up." Kitt pleaded. "If you die, then where will Cindy be?" Not that Cindy had a better chance than Michael. She could already be dead. "You can't leave that poor girl with no one to protect her."

For the first time since Kitt had started the jokes, Michael spoke. His voice was rough, like his throat was raw and it hurt to speak. "Cindy . . . already gone."

Now that wouldn't do. That was the last thing Kitt wanted Michael thinking. "Have I ever lied to you? She's not dead, but she will be if you don't hang on!"

"Kitt . . . can't know."

Point. But still – "I'm not going to give you permission to die!" Kitt cried out. Pain lanced through him. "You wouldn't give up on me – I'm not going to give up on you." He fell silent for a moment. He took solace in Michael's ragged breathing. It wasn't much. "I can't lose you, Michael. You are everything to me. If you die – even if they did assign me a new driver – I would be alone."

Michael struggled to focus on Kitt. "Bonnie and Devon?"

"It's not the same." Kitt said quietly. "They know that."

For a moment, he was afraid he had lost Michael. The man stayed silent for so very long. Suddenly he shifted in his seat, pulling himself upright just as they pulled into the airport at 130 mph.

"I'm not going anywhere, Kitt." It was his first coherent, complete sentence, and Kitt felt relief flow through him. It was intoxicating. Michael would live. "Is that them? Did we make it?"

"Just in the nick of time, Michael." Kitt assured his driver. Just as the plane's wheels touched the tarmac. Just in the nick of time.