A/N an old KR fic I wrote. Those who follow me on twitter may be sick of how I've been straight up begging someone to write a Rizzles/Knight Rider AU where Jane winds an agent of FLAGG and in control of KITT but the begging is not going to be limited to twitter. Too good of an idea, I just have too much else to write.

She wakes, sometimes, to find him gone. Not far, not gone forever, but rather gone from their bed, gone from the house, curled up in the front seat of the old TransAm. Always after long days, when he comes home battered and bruised. Always when he looks like he's genuinely afraid-it's not often that the expression shows through the carefully constructed layers of arrogance and ego. She knows why he does it, and she does not begrudge him for it.

She knows he needs the sort of security, the sense of safety that she cannot provide. That no one can provide for him. No one living, no one human. The only one who can provide him with that sense of safety is an illusion-albeit a very convincing one. So much so that it fools her, sometimes. Most of the time. She doesn't quite know what to call the AI-it certainly isn't a computer. It wasn't like the little box that sat on the corner of her desk, displaying graphs and charts and data,. It wasn't like the massive wall-hogging machines that she had grown up with. No, it is something else entirely, more man than machine, but yet, still so completely and utterly foreign that she cannot begin to understand it.

She understands the relationship between man and machine however, and that seems to be enough. She understands the way that after things go horribly awry she cannot provide the same sense of safety and security that the car can-the car knows him far better than she thinks even he knows himself, and certain more than she ever will. She understands that sometimes, Michael just needs the comfort of knowing that nothing can harm him-the sort of comfort that only KITT can provide.

She knows she comes second in Michael's life to the car. She's known it since the start, but she rarely minds it. There are things that she knows KITT can provide that she cannot. She cannot shield him from bullets, she cannot read his heartbeat from a football field away and know immediately that he is in trouble. But she knows that she has an advantage over the car in that she is a living, breathing person. She can cook for him, curl around him on long winter's nights, kiss him, make love to him, all things that a car—a partially animate object—cannot.

It's an odd triangle that they have, but she's come to accept it. She's even started to care for the car, in her own way. There are times when Michael is sleeping—the good nights, when he sleeps in bed—that she sneaks downstairs, and into the passenger seat. The car is a surprisingly good conversationalist. And a wicked chessmaster. And surprisingly adept at Street Fighter, though she blames the poor resolution on KITT's monitors for her current losing streak. And she's come to appreciate someone who can trade witticisms with her even if that someone is more of a something.

It doesn't stop her from being jealous, sometimes. She's asked him before, after too many glasses of wine, what he would do if KITT were human. The only response she got was decidedly evasive. She knows it's something even he doesn't like to think about, but that the thought has crossed his mind before. The uncomfortable way he shifts and tries to dodge the question are all she needs to know. She doesn't blame him, however. She supposes if the roles had been reversed, she'd find the proposition hard to think about as well.

She doesn't ever ask him to chose, no matter how jealous she gets. Even at the height of her anger at times, even she he does everything possible to infuriate her, she never asks him who he would pick. She tells herself it's because it's not fair to him. She knows it's because she's afraid of the answer. She knows full well what it would be. Michael without KITT is like an oreo without the crème. Sure, it could exist, and it might still be useable on it's own. It just simply wouldn't be as good, and it would be obviously missing something.

Instead, she does her best to form a truce with the car. Instead she steps out onto the balcony in the predawn light, looking at the TransAm parked in the driveway, the sleeping form of Michael inside, sleeping calmly and peacefully compared to how restless he'd dozed in their bed. Instead, she raises her glass to the car below, smiling at the faint flicker of red she recieves in response. Instead, she ignores her feelings of possessiveness, of jealousy, and knows, somewhere, that KITT is doing the same. Instead, she considers their relationship to be an odd sort of love triangle that she can learn to deal with, Man, woman, and machine