"…no testing ever again?"
The voice was so quiet that GLaDOS almost didn't hear it at first. She jerked her optic away from the sensor readings to stare at the test chamber. The sheet she'd dropped over her test subject was moving, and, hardly daring to believe it, she breathed, "Chell?"
As the human shoved the sheet off, GLaDOS could see she was laughing. Waves of emotion crashed over her, threatening to overwhelm her systems. She was relieved and furious and giddy all at the same time.
"You fell for it," the test subject said as she stood up, shaking with laughter. "I can't believe that actually worked. 'I'll even bake a cake for you!'" she mimicked. "It was all I could do to keep from laughing."
"You…how did you do it?" GLaDOS managed. Despite her fury, she couldn't help but be impressed with the girl. Scientific curiosity was getting the better of her yet again.
"I reprogrammed the sensor array," Chell explained, kicking the turret husk aside and stepping into the elevator. It began to move upwards, heading straight for the master AI's chamber. "I also 'borrowed' one of those vials from the infirmary. The one designed to make you look dead?"
Had she limbs, GLaDOS would have kicked herself. It was all so obvious now that she thought about it. How could she have even considered it to be a possibility that her perfect test subject could have died so easily?
"How did you get the schematics to that test?" the AI demanded. "And tell me how you dodged the bullets. I'm quite positive I saw you get shot. Did you 'borrow' one of those bulletproof vests as well? If so, I'm afraid you're going to have to redo this entire testing track. You've truly stood in the way of Science today. I hope you're proud of yourself."
The elevator landed, and Chell stepped out into the central chamber, smiling. The fake blood on her shirt had already dried up, and she looked completely healthy again. She also did look quite pleased, and as she moved to pat GLaDOS, the computer couldn't help but lean into her touch.
"I'm sorry," the test subject whispered, all traces of humor gone from her voice. "I didn't know it would scare you so much. And by the time you were panicking, I already couldn't move because of the serum."
"I was not panicking," the AI scoffed. "I was merely concerned. You are my only remaining human test subject, you know. If something were to happen to you, Science would be at a true standstill."
Chell simply smiled, rubbing her hand up and down. The chamber became silent as GLaDOS became content to feel the warmth of her favorite test subject's hand against the cool metal of her faceplate.
Then, all of a sudden, the warmth was gone, and GLaDOS was alone in her chamber. Her optic brightened as she was pulled out of sleep mode. Quickly, she jerked her head up to look at the screens in front of her, all of which showed the same empty, blood-stained test chamber.
Nothing had changed.
[A/N: ...So, anybody else think it's likely that GLaDOS might try to put herself permanently into sleep mode so she could be with Chell?]