x x x

All lined up in a row, her treasures were spread out on the floor like a museum display.

"I found this near the shore of the lake," Chell explained with much suspense, as though telling some sort of fish story. "I don't know what it is, of course. But it reminded me of a turquoise necklace my mom used to have."

Whistling with interest, Orange leaned in closer to observe the bluish-green stone in the human's hand. Blue had already absorbed himself in examining the colorful collection of wildflowers, something Chell seemed to be quite proud of.

"You're that interested in a rock?"

Disgusted tone at the ready, GLaDOS had her gaze wandering over the rocks and plants that littered the metal ground in front of her. The former test subject thought she might be imagining it, but her annoyance didn't seem quite as genuine anymore.

"Everything in nature is interesting," she confidently replied. "What kind of scientist are you that you don't care about observing nature?"

The AI responded with a sarcastic chuckle. "In case you've forgotten, I'm already a master of mineralogy. And botany. And zoology. And—"

"Yeah, okay. I get it." Chell had a hand pressed to her forehead, sighing. She held the blue rock up to GLaDOS's optic in a fairly snippy gesture. "So then what is—"

"Chrysocolla, a copper silicate mineral. Your specimen appears to contain traces of copper deposits, as well," she stated in her most matter-of-fact monotone. "Fairly common in Michigan's Upper Peninsula."

"Well, I thought it was cool." Chell set the stone back down, moving on to examine a large green rock that happened to be one of her favorites. "Guess you're not as appreciative of rocks as me."

"Your head is full of rocks," Aperture's ruler sniffed, her body straightening up with arrogance. Blue and Orange exchanged a look that seemed to indicate that they were familiar with these types of comments.

The woman had folded her arms in defiance of this claim. "That's not what the people in Copper Harbor think. The family I'm staying with says I should move south into the city and go to college when I get enough money saved up."

GLaDOS pulled herself back, clearly startled by the notion. "So, you're just going to abandon us like that? What a—human thing to do."

The AI glared at her two cheerful robots, as though that would send them the message that they better be on her side, or else. They merely shrugged, going back to looking at Chell's collection of found objects.

Before her wrath could be taken out on the pair—likely via an explosion—the human shook her head. "No, that isn't gonna happen. I'll just have to save up for a car first." She bit her lip, seemingly a little worried about the matter. "It might take a while, all things considered."

"And what can you learn in a college that I'm not already an expert in?" GLaDOS muttered, though her version of a mutter was quite loud and irate.

Chell covered her mouth, stifling an obvious laugh. "What, like you're going to educate me? I'd like to see you have the patience for that."

Across from her, the computer's glare didn't waiver. "Is that a challenge I hear?"

"Actually, it is," the human answered through a growing smile. "And I don't really believe you're up to it."

In one quick pop, Blue and Orange exploded in a burst of sparks and metal. Someone's temper was showing. Either that, or blowing up her test subjects was GLaDOS's version of a 'game face.'

"We'll just have to see about that, then, won't we?"

Chell supposed she must be as crazy as the AI by this point. Because now they were entering into yet another battle with each other…

And she was actually looking forward to it.


Final A/N: Just a little short thing for your post-fic enjoyment. Hope you've enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing it! And yeah, that ending MIGHT be sequel bait. Still, please review, and leave your thoughts! I have some footnotes to add, concerning my portrayal of the characters, that I would like you to read and comment on with regards to the fic, and how you felt about it.

*GLaDOS: Yes, I did not make her all-out evil. I feel by the end of Portal 2 that she has grown a lot, and that much of her sociopathy was due to just being a rather immature, superintelligent being with the life experience of a child. I think she has a potentially warm side to her personality, though it's one she loathes to show, and that she's pretty stealthy as far as revealing her true feelings. And of course, she still has to have the mind games going, even when it's more harmless. As for Caroline, I am standing by my opinion that they are not one single consciousness, nor that Caroline "became" GLaDOS. Through my own knowledge of the human brain and how it relates to computers, I do not believe you "transfer" a consciousness. You can only copy traits of that mind. You cannot move someone's organic "soul" so to speak into a computer. I even wrote to Erik Wolpaw concerning this once...yes, he's the writer of Portal. When he got back to me, I think he basically was telling me that it's open to interpretation-probably because he himself has said in interviews that he doesn't know how the GLaDOS-making process would even happen. :P

*Chell: Not mute! I'm so sorry! I know in canon she's silent, but I have read that the writers/people involved say that it's because she doesn't feel like answering to a bitch like GLaDOS. So, I think she can talk. And I like to imagine that she might reflect some of GLaDOS's bitchy sarcasm back at her after putting up with it for so long.

*Blue&Orange: Yeah I didn't call them by their names in this since GLaDOS never does, and thus Chell wouldn't know their 'real' names. They're fun to write. Cute is all I can say.

*Wheatley: Again, sorry. I don't see him coming back any time soon. And fics that deal with him doing so are VERY plentiful and cliched by this point. Plus I just can't write that kind of personality.

Anyway, thanks again for your time and loyal readership!

Best wishes,

-FP