Knight Rider © Glenn A. Larson. The neurolink belongs to Macx and is being borrowed for the purposes of this storyline.

chapter one

Devon watched from the mansion as Michael washed the grime and dust from Kitt's glossy paint job in the front lawn – or rather, as he tried to. It was very difficult to concentrate on a probable new recruit when his two best agents were having a water fight masquerading as a bath. Michael was brandishing the hose as he approached Kitt, who was steadily backing away. Michael lunged, and Kitt squirted him with the windshield wiping fluid. The FLAG driver's burst of laughter easily reached Devon's ears, as well as his partner's electronic laughter.

Whoever figured that Kitt could laugh?

"Mr. Miles?"

Devon glanced over his shoulder. "I'm listening, Ms. Phillips."

The young woman nodded. "I was saying, I would love the chance to prove myself with the Foundation. The local police force didn't do much for me, I'm afraid. I think I could be a real asset to your team." She was so eager, and so very young. Younger even than Michael was when he first joined the Foundation. Devon wasn't sure what to make of the red-haired woman. She hadn't told him why she wanted to join so badly, or even how she had heard about the Foundation. Most local law enforcement agencies didn't even know they existed, unless they'd had personal experience with Michael and Kitt. Then they never forgot about those two.

Before Devon could respond, Michael walked into the office. He had shed his leather jacket before trying to wash Kitt, which was probably a good thing. The man was soaked head to toe, and soap bubbles were currently trying to stain his shirt pretty colors. Devon gave him a look. "Who got the bath?" he demanded with a grin.

Michael laughed. "I'm pretty sure it's a tie. On the plus side, he's clean. On the down side, I'm not." He flashed Devon a grin. "I'm going to go get cleaned up. See you in a few."

"Michael." The FLAG driver turned around. Devon motioned towards the young woman. It was a mark of just how close Kitt and Michael were that Michael didn't even see the beauty standing by Devon's desk. "This is Lauren Philips. She's a trainee – I want her to join you and Kitt on your next mission. If she does well, we'll find a place for her here." The implication was clear. Lauren was to train with them, but she wouldn't become a new partner. They had tried that with RC3, and he hadn't lasted very long.

The FLAG driver nodded. "Sure thing, Devon." With that he left the room.

Lauren turned to Devon. "If I do well on the mission, would you place me with Kitt and Michael?" she asked.

"No." Devon said shortly. "Kitt and Michael don't do well with other people on their team." He picked up a folder and handed it to her. "I need you to fill out everything in here, and then I'll have to run a background check on you. I apologize ahead of time, but we've had too many people turn traitor on us recently." Loren nodded.

"I understand. I'll get right on it."

/---/

Michael was back in the garage twenty minutes later, Kitt and Bonnie waiting for him. Smugness radiated from Kitt in waves. "A tie, Michael?" he teased. Michael threw his towel at the Trans-Am, laughing.

"Well, I couldn't tell Devon that I admitted defeat to a car, now could I?" he shot back with a grin. "We were in the presence of company."

"I noticed." Kitt said, suddenly serious. "Devon's really going to assign us a partner?"

"Only temporarily." Michael assured him. "Trust me, I don't want anyone else on our team anymore than you do."

Bonnie shook her head. "I don't like the girl." she muttered from underneath Kitt's hood. "I don't understand how she found out about us. I mean, it's not like we put out 'help wanted' ads."

Michael chuckled. "Can you imagine how that would go?" he wondered. "Wanted – someone with nerves of steel and can work with a smart-ass car."

/Look who's talking./ Kitt pointed out dryly. Michael gave him an innocent look. /Sarcasm is so becoming on you, honestly./ Michael rolled his eyes.

/I don't think you mean that as a compliment any more than I ever do./ he said dryly.

Kitt laughed at him. Bonnie rolled out from underneath Kitt's hood and wiped her hands off on an oil rag, choosing to ignore Michael's remark. "Well, he's ready to go as soon as Devon fills everyone in on the job." She glanced at the door, waiting for Devon and Loren to enter. "I wonder if she knows about Kitt."

Michael shook his head. "I don't think so. I intend on keeping it that way too." he said darkly.

Bonnie nodded. "I understand."

So did Kitt. Lately, Michael had taken to asking Kitt to keep a low profile when they were around others. As far as most of the people they worked with in the past year were concerned, the black Trans-Am was a wonder of modern technology, and not a miracle of life. Kitt understood. If they didn't know what was there, they wouldn't be tempted to make off with him. He understood, and he sympathized.

He reached out to Michael, wrapping his essence around his partner's. It was as close to a hug as Kitt was capable of giving. And Michael returned it in full.

"So, when is Devon supposed to be filling us in on this new case?" Michael asked Bonnie.

"Any minute now." Bonnie assured him. "Any minute now."