AN: This started life as a portalkinkmeme prompt. "Something with Wheatley and the Ricky Gervais Show, please."
WARNING: Real Person Fiction. I know it squicks some people out, so be forewarned.
Disclaimer: I don't own Stephen Merchant (alas), karl pilkinton, ricky gervais, the ricky gervais show, portal 2, okcupid, "The Punishment" or Livejournal. Copyright is pending on Stephen Merchant's cat.
Karl Pilkington was up much later at night than he was used to. Despite the red "3:45am" flashing in his peripheral vision, the glow from his computer screen illuminated a large grin on an otherwise sallow face. His stubby fingers were right-clicking the mouse furiously. His hands were a blur between mouse and keyboard, he seemed much more adept navigating his laptop than he'd ever let his colleagues witness. Every so often he would pause to bite his lower lip and squeeze his eyes tight in silent fits of laughter.
This would show him. This would teach that damn giant stick bug a thing or two, make him think twice about making fun of people's small fanbase. Karl might not have many fans...but at least they didn't come up with shit like this.
Steve's morning when he was back in his London flat was simple: alarm goes off, roll over and ignore alarm for 15 minutes. Get up, shuffle into the kitchen to put the kettle on, hit head on that damn cupboard door he always forgot to close, check email. Kettle whistles, two sugars, more email.
In his heart of hearts, he was hoping that today someone might have finally responded to his secret OKcupid account, and he hoped '' was a subtle enough screen name to not get caught by an idle Google of anyone he might know.
Killing all the usual tossers and spam emails, and hastily reassuring his mother that no, writing was not a hobo job and he did have plenty of work thank you very much and he would be happy to get Ricky to sign something for his cousin Patricia in time for Christmas. Sigh. Amid the offers for better cable service, something in the inbox lineup caught his eye. "Your adoring fans" was the subject, and the sender was someone called 'foxygirl06'. Suddenly, he perked up, taking a long celebratory sip of tea before diving into the email. Maybe *this* could be the fruit of his online dating labors.
The email was mostly a long list of links...with the preface "I saw these and thought you might like them, based on your interests. Go look and we can chat about them later ^^" The majority of them went to , and livejournal, but Stephen didn't see that as overly suspicious. He had, after all, put Doctor Who as his top interest, and often times (in his humble opinion) what the fans put together could be better than the show...and some of the best fics were tucked away quietly in someone's LJ, and chasing down those elusive gems was half the fun of being a closet Whovian.
He opened them all at once, in a million tabs in his browser. he carefully avoided the Tvtropes link, because he did have work to do later on (and while he prided himself on being a fast reader, he'd learned from his past entrapments).
The first looked good enough, but it appeared to be a crossover with a fandom he hadn't read before...oh wait, this was starting to seem familiar...an underground testing facility...murderous AI. Ah. That's why. Sure enough, the good doctor was rescuing a little silver talking orb from his lonely sojourn through the galaxy.
His mouth twisted as he sucked on his bottom lip, not sure how to react. On one hand, it was a bit creepy, seeing someone trying to approximate a character HE'D voiced, trying to capture, in essence HIS speech pattern. On the other hand...somewhere deep in his fanboy heart he was squeeing happily. Imagine, flying through the cosmos with the doctor, and someone, COMPLETELY separate from himself, had created a scenario for (essentially) him to do just that.
Closing that one, (but not before adding it to the hidden password protected drwhofics folder) he quickly pursued the next five stories. Sadly enough, these weren't the exploits of the time lords; these were clearly some other scifi fandom. Ah, they were pretty much all Portal 2 pieces. Sigh. His lawyer had said he wasn't allowed to read these, although he's never given an explanation. Something about Valve and not being allowed to recognize fanworks lest they had to sue. He started closing tabs, a bit put off that he wouldn't have much conversation material for foxygirl06, when a bit of description flashed before his eyes.
He caught "lanky", "tall", "6'7", "messy hair", "glasses" and "Chell caressed the inside of his thigh". Two seconds later, tea was dripping down the side of his monitor from where he'd spit it forcefully into the air.
Frantically wiping the earl grey with the sleeve of his robe, he quickly reopened the tab. As he read, his eyes grew rounder and rounder and his face gradually inched closer and closer to the screen. By the time he got to "Chell guided the blonde's stubbled face to press against her heaving breasts" his nose was almost touching the screen.
This was HIM. This wasn't just about a dopey little metal ball with an inferiority complex, this was a full out detailed description of an outlandishly tall, skinny, blue eyed, scruffy beard, shaggy hair, bristolian accent Stephen bloody James bloody Merchant. It was HIM shagging some damn video game character...that, admittedly, had some very nice textually-based curves. This was an outrage, surely this was harassment, surely-oh god is she sucking my-his cock? 7 inches? Wow-err, naturally the author should assume that, yes-he gulped, his Adam's apple bobbing. He finished the fanfiction.
He went to hastily close the window, destroying his connection to all 37 of his open tabs...but his treacherous hand instead led him to the next tab. where his quick eyes and lifelong habit of reading anything put in front of him added to the conspiracy.
The next four hours went by in a blur of lip biting and panting. His nail-biting habit had resurfaced somewhere after chapter 7 of "The Punishment" and he didn't seem to notice until well after chapter 3 of "In His Clutches". At some point his cat had jumped up onto his lap, kneaded his thigh with all twenty needle-like claws and still Steve didn't move except for the occasional toe curl and to click to the next link. (Well, that was a great bloody lie, he did take that little break with the tissue box, but for his rapidly slipping sanity he was going to deny having jerked off to a fictional description of himself.)
It was maddening. It was like watching your own sex tape, only with slightly skewed versions of yourself and no memory of actually shagging the chick in the first place.
And that was when he ran into the fanart.
He hadn't even noticed the 'plus4chan' url on the next set of links, but he vaguely wondered if maybe he had already given himself a virus. Certainly it was giving his head some kind of virus, scrolling down the pages of drawn images of himself, ranting, flailing, being carried, being tangled in computer cords, glowering over monitors or dropping onto mute test subjects. And yes, sure enough, there "he" was, tangled in massive cables and machinery, masturbating to an image on a monitor. The irony made the real Stephen Merchant's eye twitch reflexively.
And that want even the worst of it. Oh god. OH GOD. Was that...fuckitall, why did people feel the need to pair Wheatley up with every damn humanized personality core?
"For fucksake, can't you let me top every once in a while?" he exclaimed, gesturing wildly at the screen. The outburst was embarrassingly loud in the still space. he grimaced and took a gulp of lukewarm tea before continuing.
He knew he should stop. The fanfiction and fanart were interspersed now, and it was intoxicating. Most of this stuff was extraordinarily well written, even some of the male pairings. And some insane, wicked part of his psyche was preening. It seemed the fans regarded him (or more accurately his voice) as some kind of sex god, to pair him up with every damn character in the game.
Another half an hour in, he noticed that there were often comment sections. Once again curiosity got the better of him and he began to read the comments after each story or fanart. Several of them praised the author for "Making human!Wheatley so damn hot" and sheepishly (as sheepish as you can seem on the internet) were admitting to having glasses-fetishes, tall-fetishes, British-accent fetishes, and a thing for scruffy hair and bulbous eyes. And (most importantly) almost all of the best ones seemed to be written by women over the age of 22 yet younger than 40. Many talked about being in the middle of graduate school or just finishing university.
His ego couldn't have been more puffed up if he'd applied a bicycle pump to it. But tingeing that was a horrible sense of the unnerving. Sure, all these random women were desperately wondering what he was like in bed (he had started to lose all sense of separation from the character about 2 hours ago) and that was great, but at the same time, there were plenty of spine-numbing, shoulder shuddering examples of tentacle rape and extreme male bonding for Steve's taste.
The last link, the very last, was to a livejournal community who referred to themselves as a 'kinkmeme'. He'd seen these for Doctor Who but hadn't partaken of them himself...cautiously he opened it. Inside were ideas, hundreds of ideas for new fanfiction, mostly involving Wheatley in some way shape or form. Some of the prompt he recognized from his recent foray to , but many of the juiciest were all new to his eyes. And here he found a bit more girl on girl, which did merit another trip to the washroom and a new pack of tissues from the hall cupboard.
One however, started to tickle his fancy. He couldn't get it out of his head. His fingers started to itch, the same way they did when he thought of a new bit for his stand-up or after one of his and Ricky's long chats at the pub. His hands itched to become more than passive observers. The anon (he was getting good at all this fan-lingo) had requested, although it was more in the form of someone wondering aloud, how a pre-game Human!Wheatley would try and seduce Chell. "Bonus points for Wheatley turning out to be experienced".
Somewhere in the crevices of his dark writer brain, synapses were firing. And a part of him really wanted those bonus points.
AN: At the last minute, I decided to keep poor steve away from tumblr. The kinkmeme is traumatic enough. Ironically, I wrote this before I was well and truly obsessed with him, before I listened to all the ricky gervais show and got a tumblr and basically combed the internet for every scrap of his voice. Ironic in that, in editing this, I'm really not finding anything counter to my current understanding of the man (which, granted, is fangirlishly biased.) (Although, I tell a lie, based on an interview he did recently, he'd prolly file a restraining order .) *crosses fingers that neither smirch nor his lawyers comb in real life*
And yes that was a blatant bit of pelf promotion there with 'In his clutches'. Dontyoujudgeme.