The voice penetrated the fog in Wheatley's mind, activating some spark of a memory. Wheatley tried to grasp it; a nagging feeling told him that it was a very important memory—something he should remember. He reached for it, but the little spark escaped him, and grew larger, bright, until Wheatley thought he'd go blind…
"Time to get up!" called the voice, as he opened his eyes.
Realizing that the light he had seen in his half-awake state was literally a light, shining in from the window onto his face, Wheatley turned away from the brightness, rubbing his eyes to be rid of the black spots that had crowded his vision. "Chell, luv, just because you get up so bloody early doesn't mean I have to!" he groaned. Black spots gone, he rolled back over to give his friend a meaningful glare, only to be struck in the eyes by the sunshine. "And would you please close the curtain!" The light disappeared, rendering him able to see again. "Thank you," Wheatley muttered.
"I wouldn't have to do that every morning if you'd just get up on your own." Chell smiled innocently at Wheatley, leaning against his bedroom wall.
"Ah, I see! You know, that was so funny, I forgot to laugh," Wheatley laughed dryly. He sat up in bed and, subconsciously, pulled the covers up around him. "Could you—Ah, that is…Could you leave now? I can't change wh-while you're watching…"
"Oof! Oh, goodness me—Ow! I can't see anything-Chell!" Wheatley shouted, gently replacing the flower vase he had knocked off the table. Grabbing some paper towels from the counter nearby, he kneeled to mop up the water that had leaked onto the linoleum flooring. "Chell, I lost my glasses again! I think I dropped them in—"
"—here," Wheatley moaned. Feeling around the floor, he finally picked up the glasses. Though afraid to assess the damage, he stole a glance. Luckily, only one of the lenses was cracked—and it wasn't much of a crack at that. Slipping them onto his face, Wheatley peered though them, and was pleased to notice that he could still see through them easily. "Never mind, luv," he smiled as Chell walked in wearing a lab coat, "it's not as bad as I thought."
"It never is, Wheatley," she laughed. Grabbing her winter jacket off the coat rack, she gave Wheatley a half hug. "I have to go to work, now. Stay out of trouble, if you can. You can invite the Cores over if you want," Chell said.
"I might just do that. G'bye, Chell!" Wheatley said cheerily. Chell opened the door, letting in a blast of cold air, making Wheatley shiver. She glanced back at him momentarily with a hopeful look, but when he just shivered again, she stepped over the threshold of the house and closed the door behind her.
Wheatley made his way over to the phone on the wall. Dialing the number of the house where the Cores lived, he gazed at the calendar hanging next to the cradle. The same nagging feeling he'd had earlier during his dream returned, drawing his attention to red writing on the square representing December 21st.
"Uh, who is i—"
"Chell's birthday!" Wheatley yelped, cutting the other man off. "I can't believe I forgot!" Sure enough, 'My Birthday' was written on the calendar in Chell's neat handwriting. "Rick, quickly, bring everyone over here! We have to get a party ready!"
"Ah, sure, boss man. We'll be right over," Rick said uncertainly, and a click followed by a dial tone meant that he had hung up.
Wheatley hung the phone back on the wall as well, and paced the room, contemplating his impending doom.
"Alright, then," Wheatley said, facing his friends, "who's going to do what for this party?"
A few minutes after Wheatley and Rick's brief conversation, the Cores had shown up in the living room of the house Wheatley and Chell shared. Now, everyone was sitting on various chairs and sofas, waiting for directions.
"I can give out invitations," Rick said with a sparkling grin. "I think I'll start with the ladies houses first. Anybody got a copy of the yellow pages?"
"You'll have to make invitations first." Craig adjusted his glasses.
"What? Can't I just invite everyone orally?"
"No, Rick," sighed Wheatley. "Having paper invitations is much more official."
"Fine. I'll be at the print shop," Rick huffed, removing his fedora from the hooks by the door and storming out the door into the cold.
"Alright, we have invitations covered," Wheatley said, "so who'll decorate?"
Sixteen-year-old Curi raised her hand. Noticing her best friend Kevin next to her, his hand limp by his side, she grabbed his and thrust it in the air as well. "We'll do it! What do we need to do?"
"Just…decorate," Wheatley shrugged.
"But what kinds of decorations? What colors? Is there a party theme? Does 'decorating' include decorating the cake? Oh! Who's doing the cake?!"
"Yes! The cake!" Wheatley shouted, cutting Curi off before she'd ask any more questions. "Who'll do it?"
"I WILL!" Edison screamed, standing up abruptly. "I-I will…" he repeated quietly, sitting back down.
"Okay then…" Wheatley murmured. "Now, I think someone should help him, to avoid any…accidents."
"I suppose I could help him," sniffed Craig. "After all, we remember the last disaster he made."
Edison flushed, sinking into the cushions on the couch. "I-It was a small fire…"
Wheatley briefly considered changing his decision of chefs, but decided to move on. "That leaves Joel and Mary." He turned to them.
"We can buy presents for Chell," Mary said in her quiet way. "Isn't that right, Joel?" The shaggy haired man simply grunted. "That means yes," she translated.
"Alright then, everyone!" Wheatley clapped his hands together. "Time to get to work!"
In the street below, Rick fought his way against the cold winter wind, a few flurries of snow speckling his jacket. One hand held his fedora on his head to keep it from blowing away as the other clutched a bundle of rapidly drawn invitations.
Since when was it easier to make invitations?! Rick thought, Doesn't anyone in this town use E-mail?
After a few more steps into the cruel weather, Rick reached a house. Stripping off a glove and rapping on the door, he shifted from foot to foot in impatience. Within a minute, the door opened a bit, and a young woman's head poked out of the gap.
"Yes…?" the woman said skeptically.
"Oh," Rick smiled and removed his hat. "Hello, miss. I didn't realize that a woman lived here. I would have…prepared."
The door opened wider, revealing the woman completely. She crossed her arms and cocked an eyebrow. "Right. What do you need?"
"I have an invitation for you. To a party." With a sweeping bow, Rick handed her one of his papers.
The girl glanced at it and frowned. "Aren't you that man who moved in with Chell Delaine a while ago? Rick, or something?"
Rick smiled broadly. "Yes! So, you know me then!"
"I know you've hit on almost every girl in this town."
The smile faded on Rick's face. "Aha…erm…well…you see, about that-"
"Sorry," the girl said, not sounding sympathetic at all, "but I'm not interested." Dropping the invitation onto the snowy porch, she turned and slammed the door with such force, the teeth rattled in Rick's head.
"Well, that…didn't go too well," Rick mumbled. He replaced his glove and moved on to the next house.
Back at Wheatley and Chell's home, Curi and Kevin were busy making decorations. Without a specified theme and color scheme for the party, they needed to think of decoration choices everyone would like.
"What does Chell like? She works at the hospital, right? Maybe she'd want a bunch of bone themed decorations? Where would we get bone decorations? The convenience store?" Curi thought aloud. "What do you think, Kev?"
Kevin smiled cheerily. "Maybe she's into spaceships! And planets! And the moon!"
"I don't think Wheatley wanted us to make space themed decorations, do you?" Curi pondered.
"No, but I do. I like space. Space is cool," Kevin said, fingering a stack of paper circles.
"What are those?" asked Curi, curious.
"Our solar system! See, there's Mercury, Venus, Earth, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune!" explained Kevin, as he spread the planet shaped circles in a line along the kitchen table where they were sitting. He pointed to a large yellow circle. "That one's the Sun."
"Wow…" whispered Curi, in awe. "Maybe space themed decorations aren't so bad after all. You seem to know a lot, huh?" Kevin nodded eagerly. "Besides, if we don't know what Chell would want, and we can't very well ask her, then this is the next best thing, right?"
Kevin gave her a large grin and handed her a pair of scissors.
"Alright, ready to make this cake?" Edison rubbed his hands together like an evil scientist preparing to begin an experiment. He had a pink apron on—the only one Chell had—and had brought his own chef hat to wear. He obviously had been expecting to get cake duty.
Craig shrugged and picked at a stain on his own apron, given to him by Wheatley. "I suppose. But don't we need a recipe?"
"Of course not!" Edison looked offended. "I memorized it by heart!"
"Mm," Craig mumbled. "Let's see how good your memory is, then."
"Yes, let's." Edison glared at Craig, but turned back to the large bowl on the kitchen counter. "Now, first, we need one package of chocolate cake mix, one can of coconut-pecan frosting, ¾ cup of vegetable oil, four eggs, one cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, ¾ cup of butter, 1 2/3 cup of sugar, and two cups of all-purpose flour." He turned to Craig and smirked. "Got that down? Wha—" To Edison's surprise, Craig was standing at the opposite counter, a pile of ingredients already in front of him.
Craig nonchalantly examined his nails. "If this is a standard chocolate cake, I don't believe we needed a recipe after all."
Edison stiffly carried the bowl over to Craig's table. "It's not a normal cake. It's a family recipe."
"Ah," said Craig. "Well, then, by all means, what are the ingredients other than the ones that anyone can learn off of a cake mix box?"
"You might want a pad and paper," Edison advised Craig. His friend simply shrugged as if it didn't matter, and gestured for Edison to go on. "As you wish, Your Highness," he muttered. "So, now we need one cup of lemon juice—"
"Got it." Craig set the bottle of juice on the table.
"How did you-? Never mind. Next is pull-and-peel licorice—"
"Wait a second, isn't that pine tree sap?"
"That's not even edible."
"Yes it is."
"Okay, if you insist," Craig frowned. "Give me a minute to go find some…alpha resin." He left, mostly likely for the park, where there were a good amount of pine trees.
"Great! I can start mixing soon, after he gets the rest of the ingredients!" said Edison cheerfully.
Main Street was almost always a quiet place. The citizens walking down the stretch of road visited the few shops that were still open and worth going to, or else they visited the grungy diner further down Main Street. It was cold enough outside, however, that everyone was inside, snuggled under blankets and huddling by the fire to keep warm. Only the shopkeepers were working, holding onto the hope that someone would show up for late Christmas shopping. In the convenience store nestled between two townhouses, however, things weren't as calm.
"I'm sorry, you two," the shop owner said, "but we've run out of anything that might be acceptable as a present! All of the Christmas shoppers have come and gone—we're sold out! Unless Ms. Delaine wishes to have a box of tissues for her birthday, I cannot help you."
Mary sighed. This was the fourth store she and Joel had visited, and they had received the same answer every time—the store was sold out because of frantic people buying Christmas gifts. She reached out her hand to shake, and the store owner accepted it. "Thank you for your time, sir. Do you have a suggestion as to where we could go to look next?"
He shook his head. "I'm afraid you're completely out of luck, my dear. Everyone in town is sold out of anything you could have bought as a 'present'. The only things left in stock are the kinds of things you could have bought at a pharmacy, when such places existed."
Mary gave him a small smile, and pulled Joel from the table he had been sitting on. Joel mumbled angrily, but complied. "Come along, Joel, we might as well go home. Poor Chell won't have anything for her birthday—or Christmas!" she realized suddenly. "Oh, dear…"
The shop keeper started suddenly and put a hand on Mary's shoulder to stall her. "Actually," he smiled at her, "perhaps I can help after all. Wait here." With that, he left them, walking upstairs to the apartment he shared with his family. Joel turned to Mary, his eyes demanding an explanation; Mary simply shrugged, unable to comprehend what the man could possibly be doing.
A few minutes later, the manager returned, carrying a small parcel wrapped in a small blanket. He handed it gently to Mary. She unwrapped it, finding a small china plate. Mary looked up at the manager questioningly. "It's my wife's," he said. "She's very sick—Dr. Delaine said it was cancer. Of course, after the whole disaster with the invasion, there's no way to cure it anymore, so…" The manager's eyes welled up with tears. Mary felt an urge to comfort him, while Joel just grunted in a bored way. The shop keeper regained his composure and continued, "Either way, when I explained what was happening, she told me, 'John, you give our anniversary plate to those poor people. It'll be our way of thanking the Delaine's for the help they've given us.'"
Mary glanced at the plate again with a new respect. "Thank you for this gift, sir. We appreciate it, very much." She handed the plate to Joel. "See, Joel? Isn't it nice of the man to give this to Chell?"
Joel grunted. "It looks ugly." Both Mary and John stared at him. "What kind of person would want this? I wouldn't. I don't even want to hold it!" He glared at it and abruptly dropped it on the floor.
The world seemed to slow down as the plate hit the ground and shattered. After a few seconds of shocked silence, everyone finally reacted. John the shopkeeper was simply beside himself, collecting the pieces, crying. Mary was horrified, and Joel simply kicked a shard towards John.
"We must be going," Mary said hastily, and awkwardly pushed Joel out the door and down the road back towards the house. "How could you?!" she shrieked. Joel jumped, as Mary—the quiet, loving one of the group—never, ever shouted, let alone at him. "His wife is dying, they gave us one of their treasured memories as a gift to Chell, and you just broke it?!"
"I-I'm sorry, Mary…" mumbled Joel.
"You shouldn't be apologizing to me; you should have apologized to the manager. However, you can apologize to Wheatley and Chell when you explain why it's your fault that she doesn't have presents." With that, Mary stalked off, a subdued Joel following, who was whimpering like a beaten dog.
After a few hours' worth of preparations, every one of the Cores was back in the living room of Chell's house—excluding Craig and Edison, who were still in the kitchen. Wheatley surveyed his friends' expressions with a slight frown-everyone seemed to be hiding varying degrees of panic beneath forced smiles. Taking a deep breath as he prepared for the worst, Wheatley put on a smile that was just as forced as the Cores'. "So," he said, "what do you have to report? Chell will be coming home from the hospital soon, and everything needs to be prepared before she does."
Everyone turned to Rick, who had been the first to volunteer to do something.
He looked around expectantly at the Cores, before realizing that they were waiting for him to report on his success with the invites. "W-Well," he stuttered, looking uncharacteristically embarrassed, "I gave out invitations to a lot of people…"
"And?" asked Kevin.
"…and they all threw 'em back at me and told me they wouldn't come," Rick finished.
There was a collective groan from everyone. "Rick," Wheatley asked wearily, "who exactly did you invite?"
"Pretty much everyone! But I…made sure to invite the ladies first."
"Oh, come on! Were you trying to ask them out on a date at the same time?" accused Wheatley.
"Maybe…" Rick fell silent.
"Alright." Wheatley took another deep breath. "It's fine. It can just be a family party. Chell and us." He turned to Kevin and Curi, "What do you have for me?"
"We made space decorations!" Kevin cheered, throwing his paper solar system into the air like confetti.
"Yeah!" chimed in Curi. "We worked really hard, don't worry."
Wheatley groaned. "No, no, no! We don't need anything like that! We just needed a few balloons and streamers and normal confetti!" He brushed a paper Moon of his shoulder irritably.
"Balloons?" Kevin echoed.
"Streamers?" repeated Curi.
"Auugh!" Wheatley yelled. "Is anyone doing any of this right?!"
"Hey, I don't see you doin' anything, big guy," Rick observed.
"I'm the boss. I don't do the work," Wheatley explained. "Now, Mary and Joel, please tell me you have good news…!"
Mary elbowed Joel in the side. Joel whimpered, and twiddled his thumbs. He mumbled something inaudible, but with another jab in the ribs from Mary, he spoke up. "No one in town had any gifts remaining. So we can't get anything for Chell." Joel closed his mouth tightly, resolved not to tell the rest of the story.
"Joel…" warned Mary.
"Fine!" Joel shouted. "Someone gave us a very special gift for Chell and I broke it." He bit his lip hard. "I'm sorry. Really I am. Don't be mad…"
"I'm not mad, Joel." Wheatley sighed. "I'm annoyed that there aren't presents, but being mad is your job." Joel gave him a small smile. "We can just get along without presents. Or decorations. Or any guests." Footsteps alerted him to the presence of another person. Looking over at the kitchen door, he grinned widely. "But we've got a cake!"
"Cake?!" all the Cores exclaimed eagerly. Sure enough, Edison and Craig were standing by the door, proudly holding out a cake. The cake was a beautiful Back Forest cake—cherries rimmed its top, and a small white candle was the only decoration.
"Wow…" Curi gasped. Everyone else seemed to share her opinion.
Edison beamed. "It took a while, but we've done it!"
"He had some incredibly odd ingredients in the mix, though," confessed Craig. "Like—"
"Hey! Secret recipe!" Edison reminded him, annoyed.
"I think they should know what they are eating, don't you?" Craig retorted.
"But they're not eating it. Not until the party." Edison whirled around with the cake in tow and returned to the kitchen. Craig chose to sit down on the couch next to Rick.
"Well," said Wheatley, slightly disturbed at the thought of what Craig might have been going to say about the ingredients, "at least we have cake!"
"Yes. I was quite impressed-Our dear Edison did not set the kitchen on fire," Craig said with an amused smirk.
Rick poked him in the side. "Don't jinx it, four eyes. This situation is bad enough as it is."
"Oh, and you weren't a part of it?" Craig's eyes flashed. "I heard Wheatley reprimanding you; he knows this is your fault as much as it is everyone else's."
Wheatley swallowed past a growing lump in his throat. "Hey, now, you two, there's no need to—"
"—Fight? Wheatley, buddy, leave us alone, we do this all the time." Rick glared at Craig. "And it's always his fault."
"Mine?! When were we talking about things that are my fault?! This is about your mess up!"
Wheatley and the cores looked at them worriedly—except Joel, who was eagerly awaiting a full out fist fight. Kevin and Curi were hiding behind the loveseat they had been sitting in, obviously expecting one as well.
"If you weren't so stubborn—"
"For your information, the responsibilities I was given were carried out with precision, unlike yours, you—"
"Craig, Rick, please, we can't do this now—!"
The three were so busy arguing and trying to get a word in that no one heard the creak of a door slowly opening. No one saw the silhouette of a woman enter the room, and edge around the perimeter of the room. Finally, Wheatley, giving up on stopping the argument, turned around and noticed the woman.
"Ch-Chell?" he asked nervously. Rick and Craig stopped arguing when they heard him, and all of the Cores turned towards the silhouette.
The woman giggled and stepped into the light. "No, silly. I wouldn't let Chell within a mile of here, since you're planning a party." Wheatley grinned widely when he realized it was only Mel, Chell's best friend. "How can you get us mixed up, anyways? We look nothing alike," Mel commented. Crossing the room, she stooped down and gave Craig a small kiss on the cheek. Craig blushed as Rick grinned and elbowed him—they were back on good terms, apparently.
Wheatley shrugged. The perky, blue eyed blonde Mel was completely different from dark haired Chell, with her Davy gray eyes and stern attitude. He frowned, "What are you doing here, Mel?"
"I'm here to help! I'm slightly offended that you didn't ask me to in the first place." Mel crossed her arms in an effort to look angry, but failed miserably, since she was still smiling.
"Help!" Wheatley exclaimed. "Yes, yes, we need help!"
"Everything," the Cores said simultaneously.
"Oh my," Mel frowned. "I'd hoped you had gotten more done. But I think I can help."
"Alright! Well, for one, the decorations are all wrong. I just wanted some balloons and streamers, but Curi and Kevin didn't listen." Wheatley glared in their direction.
Curi popped up from their position behind the couch. "You didn't tell us that was what you wanted! You were quite vague! I did ask you what you wanted, but you didn't answer."
"We also don't have any guests," added Rick. Craig simply nodded instead of continuing their argument.
Mel sighed. "That can't be helped this late into the day. We'll just have to settle for all of us. This is a small house anyways—I doubt any more people might fit. What else?"
"Cake is covered," Wheatley said.
"Excellent. We wouldn't have time to bake it anyways. So what you've got, it'll have to do. What did Joel and Mary do?"
"We were on present duty," Mary said, seemingly calmer about the encounter between Joel and the shopkeeper.
"And what happened with that?"
Mary glanced at Joel. "There wasn't anything worth buying for presents," she finally said.
Mel nodded, and looked at all of them. "We need to work together if this is going to work, okay? Everyone pay attention." The Cores looked at her obligingly. "For presents, all of you can find things around the house and make your own personal present for Chell—I think she'll like that." They all frowned, as if wondering why that idea hadn't occurred to them earlier. "Kevin and Curi, we can use your decorations for something else, alright? Lucky for you, I brought some balloons and streamers like you wanted, Wheatley. They're in my car—you two can go get it." Curi and Kevin nodded and left. "Craig and Wheatley, you can do whatever you want. As for you, Rick, just…" Rick looked at her expectantly. "…don't bother anyone," Mel finished.
Awhile later, the party was ready. The house was decorated with colorful streamers and a bunch of balloons, the blowing up of which had kept Kevin and Curi occupied and giddy for half an hour. A small pile of boxes, wrapped in every sort of paper available, was on the kitchen table, next to the delicious looking cake Edison and Craig had made. Wheatley, his stress relieved due to the appearance of Mel, was the most excited of all the Cores.
"Is she here yet?" he asked Mel, staring out the window. "I really, really want her to come now and see all the work we—" Mel glanced at him. "—you did." Wheatley trained his eyes on the door of the hospital where Chell worked, which was just across the street. The handle turned, and as Wheatley watched, Chell walked out. "She's coming!" he exclaimed giddily.
At this, the Cores and Mel quickly hid behind various objects. Running towards the doorway that led to the hallway, Wheatley looked around franticly. But before he could find a hiding place of his own, Wheatley saw the handle of the door turn, and froze in place.
"Everyone, I'm home!" Chell called. Noticing Wheatley blocking the door to the room the party was set up in, she frowned. "Wheatley? What are you doing? Didn't you invite everyone over?" She took off her coat, and tried to see around him. "What's in there?"
"Nothing!" Wheatley said quickly. "I mean, something. Yes, something. Would you like to see it?" He smiled and stretched out his hand to his friend.
"Er…of course." Chell took his hand and allowed him to lead her to the door.
"Close your eyes!"
"Wheatley…" Her voice remained wary, but Chell closed her eyes as requested. Wheatley led her into the living room.
"Open your eyes now!"
"Surprise!" shouted everyone, jumping out of their hiding places around the room.
"What—What is this?" Chell asked, eyes wide. She smiled, taking in the cake, the gifts, and the decorations. "Is this for me?" Wheatley nodded. "Did you do this?" she asked him.
"Me? Oh, no, we all worked together to make it happen, and it was mostly Mel…" Wheatley said quickly.
Rick sauntered up to the pair and grinned. "He's kiddin'. It was all him. I mean, we helped a bit, but it was his idea and all." He shrugged. "He was the only one who remembered your birthday, to be honest."
"Wheatley," Chell smiled happily. "Thank you!"
"Yes, well, i-it was nothing…"
Rick rolled his eyes. "Ok, if you two love birds are done with the niceties, can we eat cake and do presents now?"
"I thought I should thank you again, Wheatley." Chell said to him as they sat out on the balcony.
Wheatley looked up from picking at the piece of cake on his plate. "Mm? Why?" he asked.
Chell set aside her own plate. "You've been a bit of a pain these past few months you've lived with me…"
"Ah…I know. I'm sorry. I'm naturally clumsy, and don't make the best decisions. I never remember anything, and I really don't do well in positions of power." He grimaced. "Even hosting a party."
"…but you did wonderfully with this party, Wheatley," Chell said softly. "No one else remembered that it was my birthday. Only you did."
"But I didn't do anything else! All the preparations I made failed—it was all Mel's doing that made this possible."
"You made the effort first. Mel didn't know it was my birthday either, until she overheard me telling it to a nurse." Chell laughed. Wheatley could help but notice how pretty her laugh was.
"What about that cake?" he asked, changing the subject to avoid saying something embarrassing. "What do you think?"
Chell grimaced. "I'm not eating that. I've never had a taste for cake, to be honest." She laughed again. "But I think it's in everyone's best interest not to eat it. I've heard Edison recite the recipe-trust me. Never eat something he cooks." A shout of, "What's in this cake?!" from inside proved her point.
"Advice taken," Wheatley mumbled, and pushed the plate of cake away from him. Looking at her smiling face, he smiled also, but he was sure he looked like an idiot by doing so. He reached into his pocket and pulled out an envelope. "I didn't give you your present," Wheatley said, gaining the courage to hand it to her. "Open it, if you want."
"Hm? What is it?" Chell asked, and opened it. She pulled out a small red paper heart, cut as though by a grade schooler. She waved it in Wheatley's face. "Care to explain?"
"I-I just thought you might like it…" He hoped that it was too dark for Chell to see him blush.
"I see," she said quietly, and gave him a small smile. "No other motive behind it?"
"What would make you think that? No! Not at all!" Wheatley said much too quickly. He stood up and leaned against the balcony railing, trying to make the situation less uncomfortable.
She laughed, stood up with him, and stared up at the stars. On a clear December night, it was easy to see constellations. "It's beautiful out here, isn't it?"
"I s'pose," Wheatley mumbled.
Chell looked at him, then back at the small paper heart. She planted a kiss on the heart, and folded it up, placing it in the chest pocket of Wheatley's shirt. Then, while he stood stunned, she gave him a small kiss on the cheek.
As he gawked, a shout came from inside. "I should go throw away the cake before someone drops dead." Chell blushed slightly, and went inside.
"Well, that was better than a 'thank you'," Wheatley said, fingering the paper heart.