Set post-"The Scent of Roses".
"The Sky Wept"
Bonnie woke. She was never sure what it was that drew her from sleep. A sound, perhaps. A stray whisper, out of place in the peaceful silence of the night. A footstep, a door opening. Maybe -- maybe not.
He moved too quietly.
This was the third night in a row some instinct called her from her bed, called her to the window and out onto the balcony. The third night in a row that he'd crept from his room, through the house, and out to the street.
The third night in a row that another was there to meet him.
He was staying at her place because he couldn't stand to see his own. He feared the memories he'd be confronted with, if he slept in a place she had been. He couldn't go near the Foundation for the same reason. So Bonnie had offered her own spare room and been glad when he'd accepted.
It was the least she could do for a man who'd just lost his wife.
By day, he seemed strong. Sad, wounded, in mourning certainly, but not lost. He'd avenged Stevie's death, had brought her killers to justice. By day, he was man who'd been hurt but had not broken.
By night, it was another story.
She could hear him sometimes, if she sat in the livingroom with a cup of tea before bed. Hear him tossing and turning in the guest room, the little-used bedframe occasionally squeaking as it was twisted. Always, however, the sounds would stop before she could get upstairs. He didn't want her to know, didn't want her to see. She respected his need for privacy. So every night, she walked past his too quiet room to her own down the hall.
She would hear nothing from then on, and fall asleep imagining him doing the same.
Until something woke her up.
She would cross to her windows then, open them up, and step out onto the balcony. From there, she'd lean against the railing and watch. Watch as he stepped off the front stoop, feet soundless as he moved despite the boots he wore. Watch as he shuffled across the grass of her lawn, like an old man pained and bent by arthritis. Watch as he passed her car in the driveway without so much as a look. Watch as he walked up to the curb, and was met by a streak of red light.
His dark form was all but invisible, the glow of the street lamps not enough to bring him into focus. Only the red beacon of his scanner, panning slowing, gently, rhythmically from side to side gave his position away.
She knew he'd be there, though. He always was. Even as she knew he'd be gone before she woke up in the morning.
He was here for Michael now. Here for his driver. His partner. His friend. His...
The depth of their relationship never ceased to amaze her. When they'd first met, they'd grated on one another like nails on a chalkboard. She'd resented this man, this Michael Knight, for how he'd treated her baby, her Kitt. Then something happened, and suddenly she could never imagine them apart.
She still wasn't sure what had happened to draw them together, what had occurred to solidify their friendship into the tight bond it was. What had changed... because, as far as she knew, nothing had changed with either one. They'd just clicked; found something in each other to relate to, and become close in response to it. Now they were a part of each other.
She couldn't even think of them as separate entities anymore. What effected one, affected the other. Michael's pain was Kitt's; Kitt's joy was Michael's.
So she said nothing when, night after night, Michael snuck out of her house to curl up in Kitt's welcoming embrace. She couldn't help the man -- she knew Kitt could.
The first night it happened, it had been raining. The air had been cold and wet, darker and more miserable than it usually seemed. Bonnie had watched from behind closed windows, water dripping down the panes and obscuring her vision. She'd had to stop herself from calling Michael back, stop herself from interfering when she saw him get soaked to the bone within only a few steps. She was glad she had; it had never been necessary anyway.
Kitt's door had been open for Michael when he arrived, heedless of the rain saturating the seat. The interior light of the cabin had been left off, only the glow from the dash illuminating the way. Michael hadn't hesitated, hadn't needed any light to navigate by. Bonnie had watched, eyes blurred by more than just rain, as Michael's hunched figure crumpled into the car like a puppet with its strings cut. Bonnie had watched until Kitt had coaxed his driver all the way in and gently closed the door to envelop him. Then she had gone to bed and left them to their private moment, sleeping soundly while tears fell from the clouds.
She'd pretended she hadn't seen anything at breakfast the next day. Just smiled, and offered a weary Michael a tall glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice with his eggs and toast.
The next night it happened again. It wasn't raining this time, but the sky was still dark and heavy with clouds. She'd watched from the balcony this time, seen how all the sorrow and pain he'd suffered weighed on Michael's soul. Seen his shoulders bow under the emotional onslaught. How his steps dragged, and his will to keep fighting faltered.
Seen the weight ease when he wrapped his arms around the steering wheel and wept into the comfort of Kitt's solace.
The sky was clear tonight, the clouds and threat of rain passed. Bonnie took it as a good sign, a hopeful omen of things to come. Under a curtain of glittering stars, she performed her part in the nightly ritual: she watched.
Watched a strong man, a good man, a man who'd seen far too much pain and suffering in his lifetime. Watched as he carried that pain in his very being, and still refused to let it break him with its weight. Watched as he approached a technological miracle, an artificial intelligence with more grace and humanity than most people. Watched as he crawled onto the hood and curled up against the windshield. Watched as every muscle, taught with grief, relaxed one by one in the safety of Kitt's presence.
Watched as two very different, very special, very important members of her life healed one another just by being there for each other.
And back on the balcony, a ray of moonlight caught the sparkle of tears in her eyes.
The End. </ju-cut>
Cross-posted at the_kittchen.