Michael approached the parked car with a determined stride. The dark form was his best friend, his buddy, his partner on and off the streets. Okay, yeah, he was a car -- or, actually, a sentient computer mind inside a car -- but still... Kitt was his pal. Kitt would surely help him. Be glad to, even.
He smiled at the Trans Am, long practice helping him accurately gauge the AI's level of attention by the rhythmic panning of the car's red scanner. By the sluggish speed of the back and forth motion, he gathered Kitt was busy playing in his CPU. Or something. Michael had never really figured out what a computer did to pass the time.
"Hmm?" Kitt answered absently, still focusing on whatever he was doing.
Michael was undaunted. "You know," he began, gazing with studied nonchalance over the car's roof. "With Devon busy doing all those budget reviews, we haven't really been needed lately. I bet you're tired of sitting around the Foundation all the time, aren't you? Want to get out and stretch your wheels?"
"Feel the pavement pass beneath your tires, the wind gusting all around you as you race down an open road?"
"Sounds nice," Kitt agreed, still not really paying attention.
"Yeah. Speeding down a long stretch of highway, hugging tight round the turns, knowing you're the fastest thing out there and nothing can beat you no matter how much NOS they burn..."
"... What do you want, Michael?"
Michael grinned. "It just so happens, while I was having lunch with a rather nice redhead--"
"Female, of course," Kitt added dryly.
"--that she mentioned that there's going to be a bit of a race tonight, down at the waterfront. Just a few guys and their cars, testing their metal and their machines."
Kitt huffed. "Street racing," he scorned.
"With a purse of 100 grand," Michael finished with a big grin. "We'd rake it in, easy. I'd even be willing to give a portion of the profit to charity. Say 20%?"
"Street racing is illegal, Michael. We're in law enforcement! It would be unethical, wrong." Kitt said calmly.
Michael said nothing, waiting.
"Besides, it wouldn't be fair to them. I'm well out of their league," Kitt added smugly, and Michael started for the driver's door as he sensed victory.
"But, Michael? Twenty percent? That's it?"
Michael sighed. "Alright. Thirty."
"I wouldn't even consider it unless over 70% went to charity."
"Seventy percent?! Are you nuts! That's seventy thousand dollars! What is any charity going to do with that much money?!"
"I would, of course, distribute it among a variety of charitable organizations. Of my choice, you understand. No donations to anything with the words "baseball" or "sex" in them."
Michael rolled his eyes. "How about we split the money 50/50? Half for them, half for us?"
"It'd have to be 60/40, at least. I could not go against my programming for anything but the most worthy of reasons."
"Yeah, right," Michael laughed. "Okay, 60/40 in honour of your delicate sensibilities. Great!" He rubbed his hands together gleefully and reached for the door handle. "Now that that's settled... let's go win a race!"
Michael froze, staring through the window at the monitor on the dash. "What the...? Kitt, you agreed."
The littles bars of colour rose and fell as Kitt spoke. "No, I didn't. I merely established some hypothetical guidelines in the event of which I might have agreed."
Michael blinked, taking a moment to unravel the meaning from that sentence. He gave up a minute later. "So... are you going to help me or what?"
"Well, how about if...?"
"Hmpf! What are you, a broken record?"
"No." The was a distinct hint of laughter in the computerized voice that time.
"Oh, you're real funny..," Michael grumbled. Pause. "C'mon, please?"
"Don't whine; it's undignified. And the answer is still no."
"Just this once?"
Kitt snorted. "That's what you said last time. No."
"You'd do it if you really cared about me," he wheedled.
"Well, in that case . . . NO!"
Michael glared as Kitt chuckled at his own joke. Then he got an idea. "I'll get Bonnie to install that new program you've been asking for," he offered hopefully.
"Sorry, Michael. Bonnie already gave it to me," Kitt's smirk was audible. "Try again."
"I'll set you up with a nice looking Ferrari?"
"Oh, please! Is that the best you can do? Honestly, Michael, I'm disappointed in you. What kind of car do you think I am?"
Michael's glared at the scanner light as it tracked slowly in direct counterpoint to Kitt's dramatically offended tone. "A pain in the ass, that's what," he muttered.
"I heard that."
"Of course you did!" Michael threw up his hands. "Come on, Kitt! What do you want from a guy?! Can't you just be a good friend and do this for me?"
"I'll tell you what, Michael." Kitt finally relented, and Michael leaned forward in interest. "I'll do this for you, if you do something for me."
That was too easy. Something was up. "What?" Michael asked suspiciously.
"Ah, ah, ah," Kitt said, and Michael cringed visibly at the snicker that laced the satisfied tone. "What's the matter, Michael, don't you trust me?"
"Not when you're in this mood."
Kitt politely pretended not to hear the petulant complaint. "Come on! Be a man, Michael! What do you say? Do we have a deal?"
And so it came to pass, that when Kitt was scheduled to be on display at the next Foundation gala, Michael stood beside him the whole night long. His fine black tuxedo marred by the bright orange safety vest as he acted as a reluctant tour guide/prison warden for the horde of school-aged demon spawn present for the annual Knight Foundation Children's Outreach and Support Fund Raiser.
Guarding his oh-so-smug -- soon to be scrap metal -- partner from pestering questions and slimy, sticky fingerprints.
The End. Mwuahaha!