Ey. Eyyy. You see how this story is rated M? Just... reiterating that.

Part 3: Poison

It had been perhaps a week since Wheatley had come barging back into her life, and already he had managed to make a pest of himself.

The first day, despite it's start, had not been too terrible. He dressed her injured hands surprisingly competently, although considering his position in charge of caring for sleeping test subjects, maybe it shouldn't have been so surprising. The whole time he chattered on about how he had managed to return to earth, going into unnecessary detail describing his repairs of a derelict Aperture Science satellite to carry him back.

Chell had pretended not to be interested, but the truth was that she harbored a certain fascination with machines and how they worked, one that she liked to think existed well before her imprisonment in Aperture Labs, and not because of it. As he had finished wrapping the last bit of bandage, she'd found herself wondering about the potential to be found in the satellite, and devising plans for fetching it.

He had left her alone for the remaining few hours of daylight, attempting to wrangle Apollo, who could be heard racing about, nearly delirious with excitement and hooting about every bird and beetle as if it were the most incredible thing he'd ever seen.

Things had taken a downturn that evening, when he finally gave up on catching Apollo and tromped back inside, muttering to himself about how the smaller cyborg would be fine on his own. He had stayed close to her side as she prepared her dinner, and watched her eat. He didn't ask for any, which was fine by her, as she had no intention of making an offer.

He had, however, insisted on sharing her bed, sleeping, or whatever it was he did to recharge, on the side of the double mattress she didn't use. Despite what she felt was a rather spectacular voicing of her objections, even if she happened to lack a voice, she had been unable to drive him out. That first night she hadn't slept at all, staying alert against any undesirable advances on his part. But it seemed as though he had isome/i measure, albeit a very small one, of decency left in him after all. He never tried anything.

Since then she had been subjected to his full attention.

His full, infuriating attention.

For one thing, he almost never stopped talking. True, had had been the same way ever since she'd first met him, long before the chassis had changed him. But back then his constant chatter had been accompanied by amusingly broad hand gestures and expressions that were friendly, enthusiastic, or bashful, sometimes all three at once. Now his face and voice were nearly always tinged with an arrogance that he used to lack.

For another, he had the infuriating tendency to touch her. He would sling one long arm across her shoulders or slip it around her waist, press his broad palm to the small of her back, lightly grasp her chin between his thumb and forefinger when he spoke to her. Even when he wasn't actually touching her he was always much too iclose/i, hovering or looming so near that she could feel the heat seeping from his body into the air, and she still hadn't managed to fully shake the twinge of fear that raced up her back when he did this. Although she had grown very good at hiding it, presenting no outward appearance of nervousness, she had a feeling he knew anyway, and it irked her.

What irked her even more was that that twinge wasn't all unpleasant, that he evoked more in her than just fear. In the same way her body had wanted to lean into his embrace back at the flea market, it now seemed to be craving contact in a way that it never really had before, as though Wheatley's presence was stirring up instinctual desires that had long lain dormant.

And worst of all, she had a feeling he knew about ithat/i, too.

His favorite thing to touch by far was her hair. It seemed like Chell could not go fifteen minutes without him brushing a loose strand away from her face or playing with it, twirling her ponytail around his finger or combing his hand through it if it was down. It drove her absolutely nuts, in more ways than she wanted to admit.

While she could dissuade him from other unwanted contact, at least for a while, with a sharp glance or an irate gesture, to which he would respond with a wry smile and a shrug, and leave her alone for a few hours, nothing seemed to put him off her hair.

So two days ago, she had had enough and in a fit of irritation took a swing at him. With startling speed he had intercepted her fist, stopping it centimeters from his face, now wearing a dark scowl, reminding her just why she was afraid of him (much as she hated to admit it). Several tense, terrifying seconds passed as Chell tried to extricate her hand from his grip and they glared at each other, caught up in a strange staring contest, before he finally let her go.

She retreated and locked herself in the bathroom (not that the flimsy door would have posed much of an obstacle to Wheatley, but at least he seemed to have some measure of respect for her privacy). After checking her palm to make sure her cut hadn't reopened, she stood in front of the mirror and took a pair of nail scissors to the back of her head, shearing off her entire ponytail.

She looked so ridiculous in her reflection, uneven ends sticking out in all directions, and the longer sides of her hair hanging limply around her face like dog's ears, that she almost laughed. She trimmed the rest of her hair into the best semblance of order that she could, and swept up the loose bits from the floor with a towel, dumping them in the wastebasket.

She nearly pitched her ponytail as well, still bound together in its tie, but stopped herself. Weighing it in her hand, she considered for a moment, then smirked at herself in the mirror before exiting the bathroom.

Wheatley was sitting at the kitchen table as she emerged, chin propped up in his hand and his long legs stretching out almost across the entire floor. He opened his mouth to say something, but froze when he actually got a good look at her. Brows raised, mouth still hanging open, he looked almost comically shocked.

Chell marched right up to him, her incredible stubbornness the only thing keeping her from dissolving into mocking laughter at his expression, and thrust the bundle of hair at him. He took it silently, struck dumb for once, and she turned on her heel and left the Winnebago, not returning until well after dark. He didn't mention her spiteful haircut, and he had not touched her hair since.

Although he had often brought up her mute state back in the facility, and proposed trying to teach her to speak, he hadn't mentioned it since his return. Until today, that was, when he had apparently decided that his own voice was not enough to fill the silence and that it was very important for her to start talking right away.

He had spoken of nearly nothing else all day, and it had quickly started to wear on Chell's nerves. Despite her demonstrating that she could communicate quite clearly without a voice by communicating though glares, eye rolls, and angry hand gestures her disdain for his efforts, he had persisted.

Her only respite had been the twenty or so minutes she had spent in the shower; the absence of his voice had felt like a blessing. As she toweled her newly short hair dry, she seriously considered laying several towels across the bottom of the tub and sleeping there.

Ultimately, the appeal of a nice, soft mattress was too great, and, cursing herself for getting spoiled to that creature comfort, she returned to the tiny bedroom. He was waiting there for her, of course, and he immediately started harping on her talking again.

"I'm not asking for you to recite Machiavelli. Even just a little hum will do."

Chell turned her back on him, fussing with the bedclothes as he kept on talking.

"It isn't so hard, really. Think of it like breathing out, only sort of tense your throat. Give it a go, luv, go on." Chell adjusted the pillows, walked right past him to the opposite wall, and clicked off the light, hoping that the action would serve to end the very one-sided conversation. It didn't.

"Is it that you're frightened you can't do it? It's alright if you can't at first, we'll just have you keep practicing." It wasn't that his tone was particularly condescending, but still, the implication was a bit of a blow to her pride. He thought she was iafraid/i? Afraid of what? Failure?

She whipped around, face scrunched in a snarl. Eyes wide and angry, she pressed her lips together and pushed air up through her throat, hoping that failing right there and then, and showing him just how unbothered she was by it, would get him to finally drop the subject.

"Hhhhhmmmm—" She could feel it in her chest, the sound she made, her diaphragm buzzing slightly, her teeth itching a little from the vibration. Her eyes widened and she turned away from him, her hand flying up to her neck. She worked her throat, trying to recreate that sound, her voice. iHer/i voice.

"Hah! Knew you had it in you!" Wheatley crowed, as if this was his triumph and not hers. Chell paid him no mind, still trying to coax her voice (iher voice!/i) back out again.

"You have such a pretty voice, luv. It really suits you." He was very close— when had he gotten so close?— and she could feel his warmth radiating out against her back. She turned, and jumped a little when she found him even nearer than she had expected, barely an inch away.

There was something in the look he was giving her, something intense and somehow familiar, that made her feel as though the bottom of her stomach had dropped out. Before she had the chance to place it, however, in a swift and startling movement he took her face in both hands, and his mouth come crashing down on hers.

Her jaw went slack with surprise, making it all too easy for him to push his tongue past her lips and slip smoothly into her mouth. Chell's eyelids fluttered and she sucked in a hard breath through her nose. He tasted so strange, a little like oil and a little like something else that she couldn't put her finger on.

Even if her mind didn't recognize the flavor, it seemed as though her body certainly did, and it was reacting quite favorably. Her heart started to pound, her head felt pleasantly buzzy, her legs went weak and an ache spread low in her belly. Almost reflexively her tongue rose to push and glide back against his, and her fingers tangled in his hair seemingly of their own accord.

A low, approving growl rumbled up from his chest as his hands wandered over her, grabbing at her waist and pulling her tight against him before running up along her ribcage and finally cupping her breasts. His huge hands covered the modest swells of flesh almost completely, and Chell felt her nipples tighten and press into the warmth of his palms. Her entire body felt electrified and tense, and oddly free of fear, despite being decidedly closer to him than she had been at any other point. She nearly tripped over her own feet as he began to push her backwards.

Something— the edge of the bed— struck against her calves, and she toppled backwards, landing heavily on the mattress. Her breath escaped her in a painful huff beneath his weight, and the discomfort was enough to jar a little sensibility back into her thoughts. She stiffened upon realizing just how compromising a position she was in, and she could feel a particular part of him stiffening as well, pushing into her hip in a way that made her want to writhe against him, want to feel him sink into her and—

iNo./i No, she absolutely did inot/i want that. She didn't want to feel him moving inside her, didn't want the friction or the heat, didn't want his mouth ianywhere/i on her body, let alone all over it. Because wanting any of those things would be giving up, giving in, giving him power over her again.

So despite the flush spreading beneath her skin and the moisture pushing outward from her core, she wrenched her mouth away from his, turning her face to the side. Wheatley didn't seem put off in the slightest, merely shifting his attentions to the edge of her jaw. She had to forcibly suppress a shudder when he nipped lightly at the skin.

Chell decided that enough was enough. Detangling one hand from his hair she shoved hard against his shoulder. He paused briefly, just long enough to raise an eyebrow at her, before dipping his head back down to brush his mouth against the sensitive skin of her throat. She hit him again and he pulled back, his features clouded with irritation. For a long moment they simply glared at each other, before Wheatley's expression suddenly softened and he pushed himself upward so that his weight wasn't pressing down on her so much.

"Alright," he murmured, "If you ireally/i don't want it, then I won't force you." He lifted himself off her and stood at the foot of the bed, straightened his mussed clothes.

"After all," he said conversationally, "I promised I would take care of you and, well, that'd sort of be the opposite, yeah?" He gave her a smile that was only half mocking, and extended a hand to help her up. Chell didn't take it, opting instead to scoot herself up to the head of the bed and bury herself in the blankets, so that only her glowering face was visible. He shrugged, now smirking fully. She pointedly turned her back to him as he flopped down on the other side of the bed.

"G'night luv," Wheatley crooned, his voice heavy and rough with unmet need and it sent a jolt of something pleasant and iunwanted/i through her. Damn him, he was doing that on purpose. Chell did her best to ignore him, curling further in on herself and doing her best to will away her arousal, or at least rationalize it into submission.

She could at least take some comfort in the idea that it wasn't ihim/i specifically that had sent her blood into this frenzy of heat. This mad want was nothing more than traitorous chemicals reacting to the novel presence of another warm body.

She could take some comfort in that, yes, but the idea that her body was so starved for the touch of another human being, or at least something like enough to one, that it would react so readily to ihim/i was disquieting.

Maybe this would be easier if she didn't know exactly what it was that she wanted, but the problem was that she did remember. She remembered a boy and a bed, the backseat of a car and rain falling outside, remembered the building heat and the breaking release, the slow burn spreading from every point of contact, iso/i much better than when she touched herself.

Chell shifted restlessly, squeezing her thighs together briefly, hoping that the movement would do even a little to help ease the discomfort between her legs (it didn't). The strength of this arousal was foreign to her, much more intense than any desire she'd felt since being freed, much sharper and more focused. She wondered if touching herself would even be enough to satisfy her at this point, enough to truly soothe this… this…


She twitched hard, horrified that she had actually allowed that word to pass through her thoughts, then froze, listening hard for some sort of reaction from the other side of the bed. But if Wheatley had noticed her little outburst, he gave no indication of it.

This was nothing she couldn't deal with, she told herself, nothing she couldn't control. It didn't matter what the urgent heat pooling in her belly seemed to indicate, didn't matter that her heart was racing and her skin tingling and every muscle coiled up tight. She didn't need him.

She didn't.

Didn't need his weight pressing down on her (she curled in on herself a little tighter). Didn't need the foreign warmth or texture of his hands (she shivered, running her own hands up and down her arms, dragging her fingertips along her collarbone). Didn't need the odd but all too appealing taste of his mouth (she found herself biting her lip, trying to find him there).

Fuck it. Fuck all of it, she decided, this wasn't working. With an angry huff she flopped on to her back, turning her head to glare at him. He smiled serenely back, although she could see the edge to that smile, and there was certainly no mistaking the erection straining against the fabric of his pants. Her face went hot at the sight, and with a scowl she grabbed him by the shirtfront and yanked him over to her side of the bed, pulling him back on top of her.

"Changed your mind, have you?" She answered by taking his lower lip between her teeth and tugging, biting down until she tasted metal and he groaned against her lips.

They made short work of each other's clothes, pulling them roughly off, tossing them carelessly over the side of the bed. Evidentially, lying in the dark and wanting had left them both with little patience for foreplay.

Completely exposed, Chell shivered despite the warmth of the summer night air as Wheatley ran his hand down the outside of her thigh before grasping at the back of her knee. He drew her leg outward, giving himself better access, and she hooked her other leg around his waist as he lined himself up and pushed.

There was some resistance, some discomfort— after all, how long had it been?— but it was all but swallowed up by a feeling of relief so intense that it was almost it's own ache. He stopped, hovering above her, she supposed to catch his breath, and she closed her eyes and tried to do the same.

One moment stretched into another, and Wheatley remained still. The aching relief was rapidly becoming less relief and more it's own sort of agony, and almost on instinct Chell rolled her hips up against his, seeking some respite. He thrust hard against her, pinning her down against the mattress and she sucked in a ragged breath, her back trying to arch but unable to move much beneath his weight. The pressure was a bit uncomfortable, but it didn't matter much because ioh that was exquisite/i.

And he froze again. Chell struggled to regain some of that wonderful friction, but couldn't, and he chuckled low in her ear.

"This is a little familiar, isn't it?" he murmured. "One of just wants to feel good more than anything else... well, both of us right now, really. But you know what they say about turnabout, don't you?" Chell stared, absolutely dumbfounded.

"Let's say you solve just one test for me, luv, just like old times. Just one little test before you get your reward." Oh, god, he couldn't possibly be serious. But it seemed as though he was. "Since you did so well with the humming, why don't we try something along those lines? Maybe a real word this time. Let me hear that lovely voice of yours again…"

She glowered, and rocked her head back and forth against the pillow. No, she wouldn't.

"Oh, don't be like that. Tell you what: I'll go easy on you. Something simple. Just say 'Wheatley'," he leaned in, brushing his nose across her cheek, and she shivered despite herself. "Wheeeat-ley," he breathed against her skin. Chell squeezed her eyes shut and swallowed heavily.

She didn't even need to consciously make the decision to wait him out, it simply came naturally. It was a ridiculous little game anyway; even if she had been willing to play along, she couldn't. But even if he couldn't understand that one broken vocalization didn't mean she could suddenly speak, she was sure that after a few moments the urgent drive to move would make him forget about this ultimatum.

A few moments turned into several minutes. The tension was driving Chell to desperation; the way he had her pushed down against the mattress meant that she couldn't really move, could only achieve the tiniest of grinds and it wasn't nearly enough to be of any relief. And still Wheatley held out, though he looked like he was having just as hard a time of it as she.

Chell's hands roamed over him, trying anything she could think of to get him to give up this farce. She trailed her fingers across his chest, along his ribs, down his back, feeling the raised places around the ports positioned along his spine. She rubbed circles around the edge of the largest one in the center of his back and he nearly whined.

But his hips remained infuriatingly still.

Wheatley's eyes were closed, his brow furrowed, his lips parted and trembling as he drew another shaky breath. He shook his head slowly back and forth, gritting his teeth before looking at her. His eyes were fevered and literally glowing, a fierce and almost frightening blue. While it was clear enough that the look was intended to be a glare, any chance of being intimidating was ruined when he immediately started begging.

"iPlease/i try to be sensible, luv." His voice was almost gravelly, stretched tight and the sound of it made her already tensed muscles tighten further. With a small start she wondered if he even realized that he could be the one to give in, or if he had pushed himself past the point of that sort of reason. "You're making this h-harder than it hah— than it has to be."

Chell tried her best to glare right back at him, but she had a feeling that her eyes were just as bright, just as needy, and just as useless at conveying what she really wanted them to. She rubbed around the rim of the port again, pressing down harder, then dragged her fingertips across it. Her nail caught briefly on a bit of exposed mechanics and it sparked, sending a jolt of heat through her arm.

His eyes went wide and a long shudder rolled all through him, his chin tilting upward, throat stretching, Adam's-apple bobbing as he made a soft, desperate keening sound. His arms shook and he leaned heavily on her. The movement caused his lower body to shift and grind against hers. It was just the barest of thrusts, but it was friction and sensation and after spending so long nearly dying of need it was enough to make Chell's toes curl and her breath catch in a sob and oh god please please iplease/i.

It was as though she was no longer in full control of her body, the same as when he had kissed her and she had pulled him close when her rational mind should have been screaming to push him away. She could feel her mouth move and shape around his name even as no sound came out, the purse and stretch of her lips, the flicker of tongue behind her teeth.

For a brief, confusing moment his weight disappeared, but with a loud and wild sound, something between a gasp and a growl, he suddenly brought his hips slamming back into hers. Her back bowed up and away from the mattress, her legs clenched in a vice-grip around his waist, her fingers clutching at the sheets as he drove into her, hard and hurried and frantic, her head thrown back, her throat working around a cry that she couldn't give voice to, while Wheatley made noise enough for the both of them.

Eventually he slowed his pace, his movements softening into a leisurely grind before finally stopping altogether. For a moment they were still and he was uncharacteristically quiet, the only sound that of his ragged breathing.

He started laughing softly, and Chell could feel it buzzing between them, vibrating from his chest into hers as he buried his face in the crook of her neck.

"That's close enough," he purred, and dragged his tongue up her neck, over the place where her pulse hammered wildly beneath her skin. "iHmmmm/i. Good girl."

He started to move again, his pace a little slower, his motions a little more controlled, and Chell allowed herself to be swamped by the building liquid heat as it pushed upward from her hips. She twined her arms around Wheatley's shoulders for leverage, pushed her body upward to meet his thrusts.

She could feel something like a knot growing inside her, a feeling that was all at once torture and ecstasy, the most exquisite tension. Her face was flushed, her bottom lip red and swollen from her biting it, her limbs trembling as she writhed. Above her, Wheatley shifted, moving his weight to one arm, freeing the other to snake between them, moving downward to the point where their bodies came together.

Slowly and surprisingly gently, he dragged his fingers across her clit, sending a feeling almost electric singing through her nerves. He drew small circles around it, winding her up tighter and tighter until Chell almost couldn't take it anymore, and then something finally let go.

The knot unraveled, her back arched, and she was nearly overwhelmed with a heady crush of feeling. She was so lost in it that she couldn't bring her self to fight against, or even care, that his name was once more on her lips in the wake of the receding tension.

Where before she had been totally silent, now there was a sound: a scratchy, whispery 'iheeee/i' from somewhere deep in her throat. It was breathy and barely audible, but something about it was apparently enough to send Wheatley careening over the edge with a startled shout.

He pulsed within her, and Chell watched him, fascinated in spite of herself, as he came. He looked absolutely helpless in the grip of orgasm, back arched, teeth clenched, diodes flickering wildly and throwing mad shadows against the walls. A deep, guttural groan spilled from his throat as he finished, edged with static.

He collapsed on top of her, and she let him lay where he was, waiting until her last twitching aftershocks had passed before she started trying to push him away. He pulled back, and she grimaced at the unpleasant sensation of him sliding out of her. He hovered above her and she could practically ifeel/i him watching her, but she looked to the side and refused to spare him so much as a glance. She could imagine the smug, self-satisfied look on his face well enough on her own.

Finally he moved away, and she turned her back on him once more, feeling more than a little disgusted with herself, but satiated. She would change the sheets tomorrow, she thought as she started to drift off, and swore to herself that when she scrubbed the remnants of him from her skin in the morning that she would also be getting him out from under it.