[A/N: Chelley fluff in which Wheatley is a human for unexplained reasons. I know, I know. I'm very sorry.]
Chell and Wheatley took walks together every day. He was always bursting with questions about things they saw, and she always did her best to answer them, even the ones that seemed overly obvious to her, like the time he asked why people needed cars to get around when walking worked just fine for them.
"What's that?" he asked one day, turning to look at some children who were playing hide-and-go-seek in a nearby park.
Chell frowned. "Hide-and-go-seek. You've never played?" And as soon as the words were out of her mouth, she realized how stupid they sounded. Of course he hadn't played. Hide-and-go-seek was a children's game, and Wheatley had spent his entire existence inside Aperture before GLaDOS had let the both of them go.
But Wheatley was oblivious to that. "No, luv, never. D'you think they'd let us play?" he asked, still watching. Chell hid a smile at how enraptured he was by the simple game.
"No," she said, pulling on his hand to get him to start walking again. "We're too big to play with them. But we can play by ourselves when we get back to the apartment."
"Okay," he said, reluctantly returning his attention to her. "Er, how do we play? Is it just hiding and seeking? Like it sounds?"
She nodded, pleased that he'd managed to pick up on that. "Yeah, that's pretty much it. One person closes their eyes and counts to twenty or so. The other person hides, and then the first person tries to find them. Do you understand?"
He nodded, but then his face dropped and he looked crestfallen. "Oh, but there's a problem with that, luv!"
"What?" she asked. "What's wrong?"
"Well, I don't…I don't exactly know how to count to twenty," he admitted. "D'you think there's a way we can play without doing maths?"
She burst out laughing, and he perked up, pleased that he'd made her happy. "It's okay. I'll help you. Come on, there's the apartment, I'll race you back." Letting go of his hand, she broke out into a run, and he chased after her, complaining the whole way about how she'd gotten a head start.
Chell ignored his complaints and beat him back anyway, making it halfway up the stairwell before he even entered the building, and by the time he reached the apartment, she was already sitting on the couch.
"Not—fair," he huffed, collapsing next to her. "I—could have—beat you—if you hadn't—cheated!"
She laughed, handing him a glass of water. "Here."
He drank it all without pausing for air, setting it down on the coffee table when he was done. "Thanks, luv."
"Are you ready to play now?" she asked him, moving the glass from where he'd set it on the wood to a coaster.
He nodded. "Do I get to hide first?"
"Sure," she said. "Anywhere in the apartment is fine. Ready?"
He nodded again, and she covered her eyes. "Okay. One…two…three…" She counted all the way to twenty, then opened her eyes. Wheatley was in the middle of the room with his hands over his eyes, standing very still. "Uh…what are you doing?"
"I'm hiding!" he informed her, still not moving.
"Well…I see you," she said, shaking her head with a sigh. "So now it's your turn to count."
The grin on his face when he uncovered his eyes was adorable. "Did I do it right? Are you supposed to find me that fast?"
She smiled. "Well…yeah, you did fine. It's your turn to count, okay? I mean, not count. Just stay with your hands over your eyes until you think it's been long enough, all right?"
Wheatley nodded, sitting down on the couch. He covered his eyes. "Okay! One…two…uh…oh, never mind, I'll just…has it been long enough yet? How about now? Aren't you going to tell me? Chell?"
When he didn't get a response, he opened his eyes and looked around. Chell was nowhere to be found. "All right! So…you're not here. And I guess this is the part where I find you, isn't it? But you're not here…" He spun around in a circle, looking for her. "Hm. You did a bloody good job of hiding. Did you know that?"
She still didn't respond, and with a frown, he set off looking for her. He checked every room, but he didn't see her anywhere, and after a while, he sat back down on the couch, feeling like he might cry. "Chell? Chell, if you can hear me? I lost you. I'm sorry, but I did, and I don't know where you might be, but I'm no good at this game and I really, really didn't mean to lose you and I'm really sorry and now you're gone..."
There was a loud coughing noise from the direction of Chell's bedroom, followed by "Come check in here again!" and with a blink, he stood up and walked into it. He spun around, looking for her, and when he didn't see her, he sat down on the bed with a heavy sigh.
"I give up," he said, and then added hopefully, "Will I be able to find you? If I give up?"
The coughing noise started again, and Wheatley looked down as Chell slid out from under the bed. "Yeah. You found me."
"Chell!" he said, reaching down to help her up. He pulled her to her feet, and then she sat down next to him. "You're all right! I couldn't find you, even though I looked bloody everywhere, and I was worried that I might have misplaced you somehow!"
She shook her head, smiling at him. "It's okay."
"It's not okay, though," he said, feeling miserable once again. "This game is hard. I don't want to play it anymore."
Chell reached over and patted his hand. "No, it is okay. We don't have to play anymore if you don't want to." Letting go, she lay back on top of the covers, resting her head on the pillow, and after a moment's consideration, he lay down next to her, sticking his hands awkwardly by his sides.
"Well, what do you want to do, then?" he asked. "Just no more games with maths in them, all right?"
She reached for his hand again, intertwining his fingers with hers, then closed her eyes. "We can just do this."
He looked down at their connected hands, then at her face, and then he closed his own eyes. "All right. I think you're better at picking games than I am, luv. This is much better than hide-and-go-seek."