Pairing: Chell x Wheatley, Wheatley x Chell, Chelley, whatever you wanna call it.
Will Be Told In: Third Person
Author's Note: Hello again, friends! I've taken reviews to heart this time, and I'm going to try my best to make things better, and by that I mean…well, you'll just have to see yourself, now don't you folks? I'm glad you stuck around!
Disclaimer: Portal, Wheatley, Chell, and any other characters from Portal belong to Valve.
Other Important Notes: If the test is quoted in ' xxx ' and is italicized, then it is the character's thoughts.
Your Treat: [[ f a v . m e / d5g1vp6 ]] Put everything inside the parentheses together. Not with the parentheses. Just the inside.
The Wheatley Experiment
Chapter Three: Injury
The ride through the dull yet sleek, white-dashed road was lengthy and uneasy. Sure, the gray-eyed lady's driving was fine and all, but every now and then, Wheatley would try and talk about some sort of odd topic. However, he rarely got a response, and when he tried to talk to Space, nothing would get accomplished. He found this as no surprise.
So, to pass the time, he gazed upon the scenery as they zoomed past the wheat fields. They were a few miles away from the run down shack that lead into the dreaded Aperture Science Enrichment Center, and were headed towards some place that Wheatley couldn't make out. All he saw in front of him as he sat in that car was the sky, utility poles, and the swaying wheat fields that surrounded the road. There were no turrets, no panels. No Weighted Storage Cubes, no Material Emancipation Grills. This appeared to bore him, but he had no choice but to keep thinking for amusement. Besides, this outside world was something new…ish.
And so, Wheatley continued to make an effort to kill time by contemplating on what he did recently. Before they met this lady, Wheatley had ran quite a long distance for Space, which was extremely close to not working out so well, considering the fact that he almost wasn't fast enough to save him. Running was hard work, what with all the breathing and such. Wheatley had managed to avoid his friend from getting run over, but the thing is, he couldn't understand why he acted like that. Wheatley knew that they were friends, but to jump in front of a car to save him? As a core, he was sure that he would have hesitated. But at that time, at that moment, when he realized that his friend was in danger, he just had the strongest will to be heedless and rash. He knew he was going to get hurt. But he didn't care anymore. He ran faster and faster…Just to protect the amber-eyed young man. The more he thought about his actions, the more he got confused. Was this him? Was it truly on impulse? Or was it because it was…human?
"How long is this? How long will this ride be? I'm bored. Let's go faster! Faster!" Space said eagerly, his arms flailing back. The tips of his fingers grazed the top of the car. All the gray-eyed lady did, though, was go faster by one or two miles. This seemed to be enough to silence the impatient young man, for he calmed down for what would be a couple of minutes.
Wheatley felt his face move to a frown once more. His eyes drifted off towards his hands, which lay in his lap. His injury wasn't that bad, now was it? He thoughtlessly poked the filthy wound, yelping out in pain after he did so. He had forgotten that human injuries were as bad, if not more, than technological ones. When would he learn?
The gray-eyed lady gave him a strange look, but focused back on the road afterwards.
Wheatley felt heat rise to his cheeks when she glanced at him with that expression on her face. He felt embarrassed. Whatever this heat was, it made him even more nervous. He inhaled deeply, giving an even exhale. This was probably another human thing that he didn't know about. All the things he knew about humans were mostly external, not internal. He didn't know how headaches worked; he didn't know how this heat-to-cheeks-thing worked. He felt so ill-informed.
He also felt extremely dense for trusting a complete stranger. He had gotten in a car with a mysterious person—who just so happened to remind him of the lady from Aperture Science—without thinking straight, and he wasn't even sure if Space was correct about her wanting to help him. But he was in so much pain, and was so confused. He felt like he had no other choice but to trust the first person he saw out in these open fields, and that first person happened to be this lady. Consequently, Wheatley's attention turned towards the lady herself.
She was very quiet. Very, very quiet. Every moment or so she would let out a cough or a deep breath, but all in all, she was as mute as the lady back at Aperture Science. They even looked alike. Same dark chocolate-colored hair, same eyes, same figure…The only difference was their clothes. That, and the fact that the lady next to him wasn't sweaty and bruised and dirty. Oh well. Most humans looked alike to Wheatley anyways.
Actually, now that Wheatley thought about it, he didn't tell this lady his name, and she didn't tell him her name. He felt inclined to ask, but what if she didn't respond? Well, he would just have to find out, wouldn't he?
"So, luv," Wheatley started out, fumbling with his seatbelt, or as he liked to call it, his seat restraint. Before he continued, he thought for a second, something that he rarely did. He didn't really foresee any real danger in telling anybody his real name. Besides, it looked like this lady didn't know him, and he wasn't able to think of any better names on the spot. "How about them names, eh? Erm, wait wait wait, wrong way to start this out. Let's have a do-over, shall we? Alright? Alright. My name's uh, Wheatley. That's my friend Space." He wanted to hurt himself after realizing that he didn't consider renewing Space's name.
"That's me! Space. Space core. Me core. The me core. Space core!" Space smiled a big smile as he bumbled on from the back portion of the car.
"Uh, yep…His name is Space. His name is Space…Core. His last name is Core. Uh, strange surname, right? Ahahaha…ha…" Wheatley laughed nervously, pushing his glasses back up to his face with all four of his left fingers when they started to fall.
She then looked over considerately at Wheatley, as if asking for his surname.
"Oh, me?" Wheatley pointed to himself, accidentally poking his neck as he did so. After giving an odd grunt, he rubbed his throat and went on. "My last name…It's…It's uh…Wait, give me a second, it's on the tip of my tongue…"
'Quickly Wheatley!' Wheatley started to panic, his foot rapidly tapping the floor of the car. Another human instinct. 'Think of something, and think of that something right here, right now! You don't want anybody getting suspicious just yet! Oh come on, come on!'
"It's also Core! Ahaha, what do you think about that?" Wheatley mentally slapped himself. "Same last name. Like we're family eh? It's a total coincidence, trust me. Anyways, moving on from us. What about you, luv? Your name happens to be…?"
The lady's lips moved slightly, ever so slightly. However, Wheatley wasn't able to make out her speech.
"Excuse me? Could you uh, repeat that again? Just once; I didn't hear it the first time. Things can escape me real fast," Wheatley blinked, scratching his cheek.
Her lips moved again, but Wheatley continued to feel as deaf as Beethoven.
"One more time. Just one more time, I promise." He felt embarrassed again for having to continuously ask, but hey, the lady needed to speak up so that he was at least able to make out a sound.
"Oh," Wheatley nodded, repeating the name and pronunciation in his head so that he wouldn't forget it. She wasn't mute like the Aperture lady after all! And he couldn't really care less when it came to her last name, for he just needed something to actually call her by. "Well then, Chell, luv, it's a pleasure to properly meet you."
"Cheeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllll!" Space cheered happily from his seat, almost getting entangled in the seatbelts themselves.
Both Wheatley and Chell flinched.
"It's a wonder why I'm not completely deaf yet…" Wheatley mumbled under his breath.
"Is this it?" Wheatley felt a soft backlash as the car came to a stop. Their destination had been a long way from Aperture, but he couldn't really say that that was a bad thing. They had followed quite a distanced road surrounded by more grass, which led them to a normal-looking cul-de-sac with a single house at the end. They had passed by several houses and buildings and sorts (those of which Wheatley and Space kept asking and gawking about), but Wheatley didn't expect to be taken into a place where the only 'neighborhood' you had was yourself and your house. They had parked up the small driveway, outside. "Is this your house here?"
The actual house itself was a sort of pale yellow, and looked to be about two stories. The above portion must have been the attic, for it had only one, circular window and was divided in two unequal parts of the house. The roof was formed in a triangular shape, with multiple, worn-out brown tiles placed upon it. The oak-wood front door of the house was more towards the left of the driveway, opposite of where Chell had parked her white car. Two white-framed glass windows were visible from the front of the medium-sized house. It looked very clean and neat, and so did the forest-green grass with its yellow dandelions popping up from its fields like turrets on an Aerial Faith Plate. They replaced what could be other houses surrounding the cul-de-sac. The whole area was surrounded by what one would be able to call 'emptiness', that is, if you ignored the utility poles and excess fields of grass.
As a response to Wheatley's questions, Chell nodded and took out her keys from their placement in her car. After taking off her seatbelt, she opened her door and exited out of her car naturally. Wheatley and Space, on the other hand, had a bit of trouble figuring out which thing did what. First, they locked themselves in. Then they unlocked the door. Then they locked themselves again. Eventually, after much unlocking and locking, they got themselves out of the car.
Chell was watching them, amused.
"Sorry about that!" Wheatley chuckled tensely, shutting his and Space's doors as he tried to think of some sort of excuse for his delay. "The uh…modes of transport are different from where we came from! Takes a bit of getting used to, you know?"
Space was chatting about as usual. "House! This is Chell's house! I like it. Let's go inside, I want to go inside. Can we go inside? Yes, yes. Please say yes."
"Don't be rude, Space," Wheatley whispered to his comrade, nudging the blonde's arm. He didn't want to anger Chell, or anybody for that matter.
Chell gestured for the two to come inside through the door, where she had started to lean on from the inside. She was waiting for them.
"Sorry again, just re-teaching my friend here some manners, isn't that right Space?" Wheatley looked to his side, smiling, but nobody was there. Funny, Space was just there a second ago. He looked back to the doorway, and saw that Space had already dashed inside. Chell was looking at Wheatley with a sort of smirk on her face. "…Alright, I got it. I can't be as fast as him at times." He walked through the doorway, Chell following him and shutting the door afterwards.
"House! I'm in a house. It smells nice. In a house with Wheatley and Chell." Space started to explore the openings of the house, avoiding and not going through closed doors, clearly amused.
Wheatley himself was greatly amused as well. He didn't really hate to admit it; being inside the Enrichment Center was nothing compared to being inside such a homely…home. Here it smelled nice. Sweet and…well, he couldn't really make it out (he was still getting used to his senses, including smell, of course), but he was sure that the Enrichment Center didn't smell as good as this. It also wasn't nearly as neat and inviting as Chell's home. There it had cracks and crumbling floors and walls, while here there were nicely painted white walls and smooth wooden flooring. Heck, comparing the Enrichment Center to Chell's house was like comparing a crap turret and a good ol' core. Not even worth the trouble.
The furniture was also quite the statement. It all matched and was to Wheatley's taste. A television set was placed in the living room, along with dusted DVD players and other electronic devices. A ceiling fan with three light bulbs hung in the center of the living room's roof, above a long, clear-top coffee table with black legs. It lay in front of a spotless white couch, looking as if it could seat three people. A gray rug was spread below the couch and table ending in front of the television set. Beside the coffee table was a gray-marble, unlit fireplace. It looked like it was barely even touched. Piles of burnt and lone wood sat in its center. To the opposite side of the fireplace, there was a clean window, framed with white panels. It gave a nice, open view of the outside world.
While Wheatley observed the living room, Chell patted his shoulder. This act caused him to turn around in an extremely alarmed fashion. The hair on the back of his neck stood up at her touch. "Oh god, it's just you," He foolishly put his left hand over his right. "You shoc—OW!" He forgot about his wound again. Shaking it and holding his right wrist again, Wheatley frowned. It had stopped bleeding profusely, but it was still bleeding. Chell seated him on the couch, placing a plain, white, slightly rusty metal box on the coffee table while Space stared out the window.
Wheatley gladly obliged to having been sat down, but the sting was just unbearable. "Well this isn't very good, now is it?" He asked rhetorically. "Um, you got anything in there to help or something? Because I'd really love some help. I really, really would." His gaze was switched from the white metal box towards Chell. But for all he knew, that box could contain syringes and knives that could make his injury worse!
"Please tell me that it's something to help…" He said meekly, eyes not able to drift off from Chell's.
She nodded, grinning ever so slightly. After hearing a sigh of relief from Wheatley, Chell opened the white metal box and pulled out multiple gauze pads, a number of circular cotton pads, a small bottle of medicinal alcohol, a couple antiseptic wipes, a roll of white bandage, a roll of medical tape, a pair of metal tweezers, and a small, toothpaste-tube-like antibiotic ointment. Wheatley's eyes narrowed nervously at the tweezers.
"And uh…Wh-What's that supposed to do?" Wheatley asked, backing away an inch or so. He was not comfortable. Not comfortable at all. Then again, who would be? "Please tell me you're not going to poke and prod around with that bloody thing."
Chell did not answer him. She only opened one of the square antiseptic wipe packages, and rubbed the tweezers clean with them. She made sure not to miss a single spot, sanitizing the tool with care. However, Chell's silence only made Wheatley feel more uneasy. He felt his insides churn. Reaching for his injured hand, Chell neared him. He gulped, but trusted her. Giving her permission to hold his hand, he tried to turn away, but the temptation was just unbearable.
Chell tested out the tweezers by pinching the air with them. Once she was satisfied, she started to work on his…sizeable hand (it was bigger than her own, that was for sure). There were small dark rocks in his four millimeter-deep cut, from the road, she supposed. The surface of the black, run-down road was quite rough and dirty, so glass shards and other dangerous parts were only naturally found. And it just so happened that a particularly sharp glass shard scraped open Wheatley's flesh.
"N-Now, be careful there. It's not like I don't trust you or anything," Wheatley started. "Well, actually, that's debatable. Wait, no, I didn't mean it like that, luv. Uh, you know what? J-Just ignore what I said, and be careful, please?" He hoped that he wouldn't anger her. Now that would be a mistake; upsetting the person who is attempting to help you heal up.
Chell just rolled her eyes, smirking for a millisecond as she continued to pull out the debris from Wheatley's wound. She managed to get it impressively clean, glass shards and small dark pebbles out of their sight and onto a folded paper towel. She placed the tweezers down on the same paper towel, and took one of the circle-shaped white cotton pads. Opening the bottle of alcohol, she placed the cotton pad on the opening and quickly flipped it, spreading just the right amount of the sanitizing liquid on it. She felt Wheatley flinch at the wet surface of the cotton pad, but started to clean the section around his wound.
"Careful now…" He muttered, breathing deeply.
She nodded and kept cleaning. She used up three alcohol-moistened cotton pads just for cleaning the surrounding dirt around Wheatley's hand, but at least his injury was clean from one section. The blood-stained cotton pads lay stacked neatly upon the table. Now, onto the more…painful part. Judging by her experience with him, Chell knew Wheatley was going to react poorly to her next action. Therefore, she had to be prepared. Sneaking a heavy exhale, she wetted another cotton pad, and looked up at Wheatley before she did anything else. Giving him a look that signaled something worrying, Wheatley nodded. He swallowed, not wanting to understand, but understanding nonetheless. This was going to hurt.
Chell patted Wheatley's wound with the alcohol. He sucked in a storm of air out of pain, quickly taking his hand away from hers.
"Y-You know, I think it's clean enough, actually," Wheatley chuckled apprehensively, pulling his hand the opposite direction of Chell. "So how about we leave it at that? I mean, it sure looks clean. That's enough, right? Right?"
She shook her head, reaching for Wheatley's hand again. He refused to give in, shaking his head. However, the concerned look on Chell's face just made Wheatley's fresh emotions mix up once more. He didn't want to feel the pain again, but he knew that it was for his own good. Groaning in hesitation, Wheatley stretched out his arm towards Chell, his injured hand along with it. He faced the other direction, hoping that it wouldn't hurt as much if he didn't look at the scene.
Chell waited a second or so before continuing the complete cleansing of the wound. She made sure that she had a good grip on him, not holding his hand anymore, but his wrist. By holding his wrist, she gained the ability to keep him and the wound still (without disturbing the physical wound itself) until she was finished with the decontamination session. And so, despite Wheatley's attempts to talk her out of it, Chell carried on with her voluntary work.
Once she was finished, Wheatley snuck a peak at what Chell was doing. Even though her eyes were off of his wound, her strong hold of him was still there. She had done a good job keeping him together, even though he felt inclined to pull his hand back again. Her gray eyes flickered over to his face, as if she was thinking about something serious, but she eventually turned back to his wound. Chell gently squeezed the tube of antibiotic ointment in her right hand, lining its white, paste-like contents around and on Wheatley's cut.
Clearly not approving of the 'extra pain', Wheatley furrowed his eyebrows. "Is all of this really necessary? Are huma—uh, we, are we really this fragile?"
Chell did not answer again. Instead, she gave him a baffled look. Clearly, she was observant. Was she suspicious? Probably. Was she losing trust in him by each word he spoke? It'd be no surprise if that was a yes. Was she going to kick him out of her house after she was done? Doesn't sound too out of the ordinary. Yet she still carried on with Wheatley's treatment. Taking two gauze pads from a small stack, she placed them carefully upon his now sterilized cut. He allowed her to do so, feeling that she was almost finished. Chell then used the roll of bandage, wrapping his hand and the gauze pads down as she did so. She was watchful enough to know how tight to make the bandage. After she ripped the end of the bandage, Chell used a pre-torn piece of medical tape to keep it in place. She made sure to tape the bandage with confidence. Just like that, she was finished with him.
"D-Done yet?" Wheatley raised an eyebrow at Chell, quite the comical look on his face. His blue eyes shined with doubt and anxiety.
She nodded, putting all of her supplies back into her white metal box.
"Oh, finally!" He cheered, suddenly bursting out in a sunny smile. "That was torture. I mean, I've been through a lot, but that was just plain terrible. I don't ever want to get hurt again. Ever."
"Wheatley, Wheatley. Hey. Hey Wheatley." Space, who was unusually quiet during the whole treatment, called. He had walked up to Wheatley, amber eyes less crazy-looking than accustomed to. His hands were placed inside the pockets of his trousers.
"Yes, Space?" Wheatley looked up to his friend, not actually having to raise his head too far.
"Space is sorry. Sorry for hurting Wheatley. My fault. Sorry." Space said in a shockingly docile manner. He was frowning and was looking downwards, towards the floor. It was totally out of character for Space; or at least, that was what Wheatley thought. The apology was out of character enough, but the way Space had said it was just astonishing.
"It's alright. No, really, it's quite alright mate. Maybe you can be a tiny bit more careful next time, but uh, all in all, it's alright." Wheatley said, giving his friend a thumbs up. He then stared down at his own gesture, appearing surprised. Huh. So some of these 'human things' came naturally, hm? And to his further surprise, Space had given him a thumbs up back, along with a huge grin.
"Yes! Careful. Careful and no running into cars! No running into cars." Space beamed at Wheatley, his hands now out of his pockets. He then looked around him, eyes darting all over the place. His head tilted, shifting the blonde hair on his head. "Where's Chell? Lady? Chell? Quiet lady? Where?"
Wheatley, who was suddenly stupefied, searched for Chell. She wasn't in the room anymore, and neither was her white metal box. Where had she gone? And why didn't Wheatley notice before Space did? Then again, Wheatley was usually the last to notice everything. Well, most things. The majority of things, even. He sighed.
"That's a good question," Wheatley stared at his bandaged hand. While Space babbled on about where Chell might be and what he saw outside of the window, Wheatley had started to think again. 'Strange,' he thought. 'The way she held my wrist and hand…It feels like…Déjà vu. It must be nothing…But it has to be something. Hmm…No, I'm just hallucinating or something like that. It happens to humans, too. Like a malfunction, if I'm not mistaken.'
"Chell is back!" Wheatley heard Space yell. But something was amiss. Space's voice sounded more unstable than usual. He sounded scared, worried, and he had backed away towards the window again. His back pressed across the transparent panel.
"What's wrong, mate?" Wheatley glanced over to his companion, wondering what was going on inside the blonde's head. "There's nothing wrong with Chell coming back." He turned his body around, away from Space, about to say a few more words, but was interrupted by the stunning silver blade pointed to his chest.
"AHHHHHHHHH! What in the HELL are you doing with THAT THING, lady?" Wheatley shouted, almost falling off of the couch. He tried to back away as far as he could, but the knife only neared him with every moving inch. Chell, as the wielder, gripped the handle of the knife tightly, a firm glare plastered upon her face. Her gold gray eyes bored into Wheatley's ocean blue ones, signaling the words "fear me".
"Chell! Lady! Lady with the portal gun! Don't hurt me, don't hurt Wheatley!" Space cowered over, pressing himself further upon the window.
"Lady with the portal gu—Space, stop talking nonsense!" Wheatley yelled, gritting his teeth. This was serious, and was no time for joking around! He knew he shouldn't have trusted this strange lady who just so happened to look exactly like the woman from Aperture. This strange lady who just so happened to have the exact same icy gray eyes, the exact same dark brunette hairstyle, the exact same Aperture Laboratories tank top, and the exact same personality as the woman from…Aperture…Hold on a second.
"Oh, bloody hell."
A/N: Done and done. Tell me what you think. I tried to make improvements with this chapter, which is why it took longer to type up than the other two. Hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned.