A/N: Another little thing inspired by a certain Portal community. Also, thank you all so much for the feedback on "Until the End"! Yes, that will be continued, but it may take a bit of time (the next chapter is long and I haven't had the energy yet to write it up; hopefully it will be worth the wait). Thanks always for reading, guys. You make this so much more fun. :)

Portal 2: Lead Pipe

Things change really fast when certain parties get their frail human hands on a weapon. GLaDOS doesn't remember Chell picking up the pipe and Wheatley is too busy squawking in dismay to think about it (but even he will wonder eventually).

"Aww, no, don't do that!" he wails as a second box turret goes hurtling into the abyss courtesy of the woman's booted foot. "Alright, alright, it's okay, I'll just make another-NO! Not the button!"

There's a tiny explosion and sparks fly as the end of the pipe smashes through the button. Chell stands over it like a warrior who's killed her first lion and glares at Wheatley's optic in the giant monitor. She points at herself then at him in a savage way.

"I think she wants to talk with you in person," GLaDOS quips from the floor, sounding tiny and astonished.

The chamber begins to move while Chell idly smacks her weapon against the palm of one hand. Both machines wince at the sound in spite of having heard similar before (at least in GLaDOS' case, but it's different when flesh hits something solid you threw it at).

"You know, I could just kill you now," Wheatley starts but is cut off by a ringing smash against his monitor. "But I'm not going to do that! We're, ah, taking a break for a personal meeting. I've heard your complaints and I'd like to discuss them in my office. Yes."

He babbles until the chamber comes to a juddering stop and a panel slides open. Chell scoops up the portal gun, GLaDOS attached, in a brisk fashion as she enters Wheatley's lair. Though he's massive and could crush her with one misplaced panel, he hunches into himself and huddles as far away from her as being in the center of the room will allow. She marches toward him with purpose and swings the pipe. Sparks fly and there's a satisfying screech of breaking glass and warping metal when she hits him as hard as she can.

"What are you doing?" GLaDOS and Wheatley shriek in unison. "Stop it, stop it!"

Chell is done listening to them and continues to hammer the awkward seam connecting Wheatley's tiny sphere with GLaDOS' huge body. The look on her face is calculated and it terrifies both machines; she knows exactly what she's doing. At last, with a piteous wail, Wheatley pops loose and tumbles over the floor. The emergency protocols voice starts to babble something about a missing personality core but changes course when GLaDOS is violently slammed into place with a startled screech.

There are a few moments filled only with the sounds of groaning metal and Wheatley shaking violently on the floor. A pincer-tipped arm snakes towards him, lifting him to eye level with the luminous potato. The pincers clamp down tighter and Wheatley's abused metal casing creaks, a sound almost as piteous as the whimpering noise he makes.

"You," GLaDOS begins. "I could crush you right now. I iwant/i to crush you right now, but that would be too good-"


In the midst of her calculated rage, GLaDOS didn't notice the weight on her back until that lead pipe was turned against her. A spring-booted toe thumps against her casing pointedly and the pipe taps on the spot where it just hit in a meaningful way.

"You're not serious," GLaDOS groans, looking from Chell's very serious face to Wheatley. "Oh god, you are serious. And insane. After all he's done to you? Really?"

Tap. Tap. Tap.

An elevator rises from the floor.

"Fine. Take the moron with you. You two deserve each other."

Wheatley's metal hull sparks against the floor as he is unceremoniously dragged to the elevator. The sight of his new guardian happily swinging the object of his downfall and salvation in her free hand keeps him quiet. Inside the elevator, Chell watches GLaDOS as coldly as the massive AI once watched her.

"You know, it wouldn't be difficult for me to send you back to testing, or into the incinerator..."

Shattering glass puts a damper on GLaDOS' musings. Chell has a foot out of the elevator already and a determined look in her eye.

"...but that would be a waste. I suppose I do owe you something for saving me and this facility. I'd rather not have you and that little idiot running around here anyway."

The elevator begins to rise but Chell stays vigilant, the pipe smacking against her palm audibly long after she has disappeared from sight.

"Don't come back," GLaDOS says, pretending that there is no note of relief in her voice.

Outside the day is bright and a cool breeze whispers through golden wheat. In the shade of an old shed sits a woman on a charred box, a smug look on her face, feet propped up on a wide-eyed and speechless metal ball, a lead pipe resting over her knees.