Different

Summary: KITT didn't always know just how different he was.

A/N: I think I have the shortest attention span… ever. This is AU in the extreme for reasons that will become apparent if you read ahead. First Knight Rider fic so be gentle with me.

Disclaimer: I own neither the original Knight Rider series nor the 2009 reboot. I gain nothing from writing this other than the reviews I covet.

Spoilers: None

Warnings: None


At first KITT didn't realize just how special he was.

Oh, he knew that he was different from other cars; that his nanotechnology made him more resilient, that his fueling system made him more efficient, that his memory and communications uplink were superior to most supercomputers. These were things he was told frequently as he was built, when he was brought online, while he worked; but at first he didn't understand.

His first few missions were a flurry of activity, of fast driving and biting sarcasm between car and driver. When he wasn't on the road or watching after his incident prone driver there was research to be done and conclusions to be made. When he wasn't on a mission he was at the base where he did more research and watched videos in an attempt to better understand his human companions.

And then, one night, Mike left him in a hotel parking lot. With nothing at stake and nowhere to go, KITT tried to strike up a conversation with the two year old Honda he happened to be parked next to.

After multiple attempts on various frequencies and in several languages KITT tried the Toyota on his other side with similar results. He still didn't understand, ignoring the obvious in favor of developing outrageous theories to justify his search to meet someone more like himself. Perhaps he'd unintentionally snubbed one of them before while on a mission? Maybe he had developed a bad reputation with other vehicles, having been involved in and the cause of many accidents. Or maybe they were shy? KITT was clean with gleaming paint and highly advanced technology while these two were dirty, plain and low tech. He liked to think that he intimidated them.

He didn't talk to Michael, Sarah or even Billy about what happened. He told himself that he kept his silence because his three closest friends had other worries but the reality was, he didn't want them confirming his fears.

He didn't try to talk to another car again for nearly a month. He was busy, there were lives to be saved and Sarah and Michael were more than enough company, really. Then he got left in another parking lot. He'd resigned himself to a night of awkward silence and maybe a new book when something new parked nose to nose with him.

It was another mustang. A red GT with white racing stripes; KITT spent several minutes admiring the other car while its driver and passenger gathered their things and went into the casino. This car wouldn't be intimidated by KITT's look; it was just as sleek and clean and shiny as he. This car was likely very young, off the lot as they said, and wouldn't have much knowledge of his history of car chases and wrecks.

"Hello," he said. "I am Knight Industries Three Thousand. You can call me KITT."

Mike had enough of gambling and drinking just after one in the morning. He took and extra second to whistle appreciatively at the GT before climbing behind KITT's wheel.

"Ready to go home buddy?" He was tipsy enough to want to leave the driving to KITT but the car didn't start up right away. "KITT?"

"Mike," there was a significant pause. "I am… the only one, aren't I?"

"Only one of what?" he wasn't so drunk that he didn't get it after a moment. "Talking supercar? Duh. And sometimes one is too many."

The second longer pause sobered him up very quickly.

"Oh," it was unusually quiet for the car. The mustang's engine started and they pulled out.

"What, didn't you know?" It was absurd and laughing seemed like the right response. KITT's soft response put a stop to that.

"I suppose I just didn't want to believe it," in the quiet of the cab Mike could almost believe that the car sounded sad. KITT continued before Mike could find something to say to that. "How would you feel if you were the only talking human?"

"Pft, I kinda wish I was sometimes," he spoke without thinking but another poignant pause from the car made him consider the question seriously. "Lonely," he said finally. "Very lonely," KITT didn't respond immediately. "You know you always have Sarah and me, don't you?"

"Sarah and I," the car corrected, voice at normal volume. Mike smiled, resting his hand on the dash for a moment before frowning significantly at the car's voice modulator.

"Wait a minute. Were you trying to put the moves on that sweet little GT back there?"

"Don't be ridiculous," KITT said shortly. For a moment Mike thought that was going to be the end of the conversation. "I only wanted some friendly conversation; she wasn't really my type."

"Oh, a "she" was it?" Mike grinned, eyebrows jumping to his hairline.

"I was under the impression that humans always refer to cars, boats and aircrafts with the feminine "she"," KITT continued before his driver had a chance to comment. "Besides, did you see the gentle slopping curves of the convertible's wheel wells? Or the daintiness of its mirrors? Obviously if it were to have a developed AI, it would have been female."

That started the expected back and forth, complete with snark, until Michael Traceur finally fell asleep and KITT was once again left to his own thoughts. It would have been nice, he supposed, if the GT had spoken back. On the other hand, maybe the fact that it hadn't just made his relationship with this one human all the more precious.