Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Wheatley on Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:12 am

    Speaking of subjects better left avoided or ones that someone was uncomfortable with...

    Wheatley had been on the very verge of zoning out blissfully once more while the humans continued to do the small talk thing, only idly keeping an eye on what Chell was scribbling on her tablet (he had a good view when she was writing, peering over her shoulder before she'd turned it around to show what's-his-name-again). The I was in a bad place flicked a tiny alarm, somewhere in the back of his mind, but it didn't get bumped up to priority interference when his minion- sorry, sorry... assistant decided to hone in on that small, stray little idle comment.

    Warning! Warning! Panic! Fire! Flood! Emergency Subject Change! Emergency Subject Change!

    True, they had buried that hatchet (Wheatley thought, anyway. Or, was fairly certain.) But, erm... well, surely Chell wouldn't want to think about those horrible times! He was, um, he was just being considerate of her feelings, was all. It had nothing to do with the massive amounts of guilt that he mostly gotten almost entirely over, more or less, except for when the topic got brought up. Noooo, he just, um, he just wanted to avoid awkwardness for her sake.

    No, really!

    "Right! Ahem! Tea! Let's have a look at tea, yes indeed. Oooh, how about some lovely Earl Grey? Or, or, ummm... chamomile? Very soothing, that." Wheatley stared pointedly at the little boxes of tea, not actually bothering to read any of them (because, if he had, he'd have realized he was calling the green tea 'chamomile'.

    -

    Barney raised an eyebrow, but didn't press the issue. Satisfying his curiosity was one thing, but prying into a sensitive subject was another. He probably shouldn't have said anything...
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Chell on Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:35 pm

    Barney Calhoun wrote: "You 'n' me both,  for now, anyway."


    No kidding. Chell wasn't entirely sure how much Barney could actually relate to her past experiences (for the moment), but she at the very least had an inkling that they might have a little more in common than was initially let on. Huffing out a little laugh, she turned to her tablet, enjoying the conversation despite feeling like death. "Can't let things can too boring now, can we?" she wrote, "I feel like this is the first time I've been able to relax since getting here. Kind of eerie, honestly."

    The conversation took a slight turn when Barney asked about her circumstances during those first few, fateful days after she'd arrived in Portal Breach, though, and she found herself shrinking in a little bit uncomfortably. She liked Barney, at least as much as she could like anyone she had just met, but she wasn't sure how much about her past she felt right about disclosing. It felt so long ago, now, yet it was about all she could remember before her new life here. She had been robbed of whatever life she'd lived before Aperture sank it's teeth into her, making her experiences there intrinsic to the person she was now, as horrible and demeaning as it may have been. Even the Hyruleans, as much as she loved and trusted them, had only gotten a bare-bones version as far as she had been concerned, even though she'd tried--there was just so much. Wheatley was probably the only person who had some idea of what she went through, and that was only because he had been an unfortunate part of it.

    And even then, even though he had been there for a large part of it, Chell couldn't help but wonder if GLaDOS of all people was the only person who'd truly get it.

    As if on cue, the core snapped out of whatever daze he'd been in and immediately started babbling off topic, an action Chell had known him long enough to recognize as his "I am uncomfortable with the direction this conversation is headed and am desperately trying to change the subject so I won't have to think about bad feelings" signal. Honestly, she could understand given what they were veering toward. Holding a hand out to quell his ramblings, she shook her head, turning to her tablet again. "No, it's alright," she wrote, specifically for him this time, "Besides, I don't think that's chamomile."

    Sighing slightly, she turned her attention to Barney. "It had nothing to do with PB. Wheatley and I... we came from the same place, and it wasn't a very good one. That's why the Hyruleans took me in. To help me get back on my feet." she shrugged, hoping that would be a good enough explanation. "You understand, right?"
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:26 am

    Barney would have been the first to say he wasn't the brightest bulb in the bunch, but over the years, he'd had a lot of practice in learning how to read people. What with a laconic best friend, and then later, dangerous undercover work, not to mention trying to read a crowd of tense survivors to make sure nobody was about to snap... Yeah.

    Chell was actually pretty expressive, possibly because she didn't speak. Suffice to say... even without Wheatley's obvious attempt to change the subject, it was clear that Chell didn't want to talk about it, either. Not surprising, really. He took the hint, and the explanation. "Yeah, I gotcha. Hey, at least you had a good welcoming committee, yeah?"

    Barney turned his attention to the options for tea, though without the furious intensity Wheatley had been giving them. He was not really a tea kind of guy, so he couldn't exactly judge what someone else's taste might be for it. After a very brief consideration, he turned back to Chell and jerked a thumb at the available boxes. "Preference?"
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Chell on Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:32 pm

    Although Chell would have gladly put the kabosh on the conversation herself if Barney hadn't taken the hint, she couldn't help but heave a little sigh of relief when he let it go. She was in no state to deal with strangers being nosy right now, though Barney didn't seem like the type. Plus, she could tell it was making Wheatley nervous, and a nervous Wheatley tended to spell disaster more often than not. She had already managed to avoid having her kitchen burnt down once today, thank you very much.

    "Yes, you're definitely right." she nodded once she finished her message, shooting their visitor a grateful smile. "I don't know where I'd be if it wasn't for them. It definitely would have taken me longer to find this place." At this she gestured a little, surveying her room with the subtle pride of someone who had never had a space of her own before. "Probably be sleeping under a park bench or something."

    Shaken out of her thoughts by Barney's questioning, Chell turned her attention to the tea cabinet, eyes roaming over the boxes before settling on the one she wanted. "The white tea, thanks. Good for colds." she wrote, suddenly feeling a little awkward that she was the only one getting anything. "Help yourself if you'd like, we have plenty. Of course, I don't want you to have to stick around longer than you want to..." And if she shot a slightly pointed look at Wheatley there, well, who could blame her?
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:05 pm

    Momentarily torn between taking the offer (and alleviating her of any hostessing guilt) and not bothering, because it'd mean intruding more on the poor lady's time while she needed to be getting some rest. Maybe if he'd been more of a tea fiend, he'd have found it harder to pass up on the opportunity for an Earl Grey, hot. But the momentary indecision passed quickly, and Barney shook his head. "Nah, that's okay, I'm good. Thanks anyway."

    Selecting some flavor of white tea (As I make no presumptions about the contents of Chell's tea cabinet), Barney found a mug that would survive a trip through the microwave and filled it with water. Tea snobs everywhere would probably have been shocked and horrified at his tea-making method, but it got the job done. By the time the water had been microwaved (sans tea-bag, of course, because he was bright enough to know metal staples didn't belong in the box that made things hot with science), the soup had started to bubble. And in short order after that, there was a nice hot bowl of soup, with a nice mug of tea just starting to steep, all ready for the patient.

    "There. See? No problem."
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Wheatley on Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:20 pm

    Crisis averted. When it was clear The Subject was being dropped (artfully and subtly done on his part, surely neither of them had even noticed his clever conversational manipulation there), Wheatley relaxed again. He glided out of the way of the cupboard, losing any actual interest in the contents, now that feigning interest had gotten him his desired outcome. As tea was being made and the soup cooked, the Sphere slowly came to the realization that, despite the near miss of Awkward Discussion of Dubious Past Misdeeds, he was quite pleased with himself. Look what he'd done, after all! He was taking care of Chell!

    Alright, so, it was by proxy, but she wouldn't have gone to get help on her own. Which was why she'd needed him to go fetch her some. Why, without him there, she might have passed out on the stove and set her face on fire. Or the kitchen at least. He was helping. He was really, actually helping.

    It felt... nice. Of course, it would have possibly felt nicer if he could have done all the soup making by himself, but on the other hand, this way, all he needed to do was oversee the soup making. Which was a task more in line with his skill set. Expert... overseer. That was him, all right. Only, this time, he was using his skills for good! Rather than... morally ambiguously really probably actually evil, like he'd done before.

    Why, if anything this was... this was a sign of how far he'd come. From those awful, awful days and why in the world was he still thinking about all that anyway- Oh look the soup was done!

    "Well done," Wheatley congratulated his minion, because positive reinforcement was important. "Really, just... just tremendous. Tea and soup? Cor, you've... you've really out done yourself, mate. I couldn't have asked for a better helper."

    Barney couldn't quite tell if the little guy was being sincere or patronizing him. "Gee, thanks," he replied, in a resigned tone, that suggested he thought he was being made fun of, but was used to that sort of thing anyway. "Don't mention it." To Chell, he added, "D'you want to get settled in on the couch, or...?"

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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Chell on Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:02 pm

    As Barney turned down her offer, Chell nodded, figuring as much. To be honest, she was only barely up to the task of hostessing someone right now, never mind a full tea session, and Barney probably needed to limit his exposure to any flu ridden fellow humans, lest he get sick himself. If this was what it felt like, Chell couldn't say she wished it on anyone, much less the person taking time out of his day to make soup for her. Especially when he was cajoled into it by a robot who was the least likely person in existence to catch what she had.

    Speaking of Wheatley, he seemed awfully pleased with himself now that the soup was finished, Chell noted dryly. Exhausted or not, she couldn't help quirking a little smile at Barney's reaction to the core singing his praises, sharing a knowing glance with him before turning back to her tablet. Well, he could add "expert soup and tea maker" to his resume now, at the very least. An impressive skill for any person. "Thank you, really." she wrote, sniffling appreciatively as the aroma of the tea hit her. "You didn't have to do this."

    Steeling her resolve, Chell nodded again at Barney's question before setting to the task of getting herself off the table, pressing her palms against the surface. Slowly, she raised herself upward, mouth set in a straight line across her face in a look that could only be described as determination. Alright, she could do this... she had taken down TWO murderous AIs in her time, dammit, and had escaped Aperture Labs TWICE. She could make it from one end of the room to the other.

    ...Or so she thought, before the world started to flip upside down, sending her half slumping over her chair. Oh, how the mighty had fallen. Feeling shame spread across her cheeks, Chell cast an imploring look at Wheatley--the only person in the room that didn't have any hands to be occupied at the moment--and held out a space for him under her arm, hoping he would get the hint.
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Wheatley on Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:17 am

    Contextual clues.  That was the key.  As has been previously (and frequently) established, Wheatley was not always the sharpest bulb on the uptake. The brightest nail in the race. If the rest of the world was playing poker, Wheatley would be playing 'Go Fish.' But, as stated before, living with Chell had helped him make some small progress into the mysterious territory of social awareness. Context. It was all about reading all the tiny little details and then making connections to draw the correct conclusion. As opposed to missing the crucial details and/or drawing wild conclusions that made only the most circuitous amount of sense.

    Progress, admittedly, was being made a glacial rate, but... it was still progress.

    Take now, for example. Chell's mute gesture of appeal, by itself, might have sent him into a tizzy of confusion, babbling guesses at what she was after like a drunk idiot trying to play charades with a mirror. An earlier Wheatley might not have even noticed that she'd needed anything at all. He was learning! But it helped that he'd gotten one big, glaringly obvious Clue: She had just about fallen flat on her face, a moment ago, when she'd tried to stand on her own.

    Honestly, you'd have to be some kind of moron not to work that one out.

    Somewhere underneath the surface thought processes and programming, a part of Wheatley seemed to realize what this gesture meant to her.  She was the most self reliant person he knew, and while she'd never been above accepting help, it was always with the underlying, unspoken knowledge that she didn't need help, that if she had to, she would, and could, be able to go it on her own.  It was, maybe, a very small moment, and it wasn't as if the flu was the end of the world or anything, but... this was the first time (that he could remember, anyway) that she was asking for help, and couldn't do without it.  A fact that she was clearly unhappy and embarrassed about.  

    But this was all humming away somewhere in the back of his mind, not something he was able to quite put into conscious thought.  It translated itself into a sense of pride (satisfaction?) that he could be of genuine help... and also a sense that it was important not to make a big fuss about it.  

    The Sphere 'smiled' his unique, mouthless smile at her, and swooped down to gently tuck himself under Chell's arm, giving her something to hang on to and lean on.  All, wonder of wonders, without saying a word about it, as if this was perfectly normal and nothing to make a fuss about at all.
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:13 am

    Chell wrote:Speaking of Wheatley, he seemed awfully pleased with himself now that the soup was finished, Chell noted dryly. Exhausted or not, she couldn't help quirking a little smile at Barney's reaction to the core singing his praises, sharing a knowing glance with him before turning back to her tablet. Well, he could add "expert soup and tea maker" to his resume now, at the very least. An impressive skill for any person. "Thank you, really." she wrote, sniffling appreciatively as the aroma of the tea hit her. "You didn't have to do this."

    "Hey, don't mention it." Barney shrugged, careful not to spill either soup or tea. It had made his day interesting, at least. If Wheatley hadn't shanghaied him in the hallway, all he'd had planned was boring old grocery shopping. Hey, speaking of which...

    Starting to make his way towards the couch, he turned back when a thought crossed his mind, just in time to see Wheatley glide over and snug himself up under Chell's arm to support her. He wasn't usually the kind of guy to pay much attention to how 'cute' something was, but it was still a touching sight. Kind of surprising, too - he didn't know a lot about Wheatley, really, but it was kind of hard to imagine the Sphere as, well, attentive. On the other hand, the little guy had been basically hovering around like a spherical, robotic hen over her robo-chicks.

    The gesture was nice and all, but he still waited to see if she was going to need extra assistance. He suspected leaning on Wheatley would be a little like clinging to an inflatable beach ball in the ocean.
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Chell on Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:12 pm

    Chell would never know it, but Wheatley was right in the money with his assessment of her--she really HATED asking for help. Especially when it came to accomplishing the basic, most primal tasks, i.e. walking. For someone who had lived her life mostly self reliant, it was more than a little embarrassing to need what amounted to a floating, talking ball to help her get to the sofa without swooning. Like a fairy tale maiden. Grimacing, Chell really, sincerely hoped Barney wasn't the type to use blackmail, if they were somehow to get into that situation. As far as she was concerned, he had more than enough on her in just a few hours than most of his peers did in her entire life.

    And yet... there was something sweet, really, at the way Wheatley picked up on her que for help so readily. The little core had changed so much for the better over the last few years, but at the end of the day, he was still Wheatley. He was still babbly, the most absent minded being on the face of the planet, still self centered even in the best of days. Chell couldn't begrudge him for that, really--she was too. They were both, in many ways, products of their environment, and it had taken her some time to really come to terms with that. Existing together in harmony would continue to be a work in progress.

    But watching him now, seeing him happily tuck himself into her side without question or fuss... it was enough to make her feel like all of the hardships they had gone through to get here were worth it.

    Chell smiled, and gave his handle a little squeeze. It wasn't just to steady herself.

    The journey to the couch itself was significantly less heartwarming, what with all the swaying and barely held back nausea on her part, but with Wheatley there to hold her up, she managed to make it there in one piece--albeit hilariously slower than usual. Once she was sure she wouldn't hit the floor, she let herself flop forward, appreciating the pillowy softness of the couch with a little sigh. Seriously, had it always been this comfortable? How would she ever convince herself to LEAVE now? Turning over, she patted Wheatley's "head" in thanks before looking back to Barney, giving him a self deprecating thumbs up. [i]Well, I'm here now. [\i]
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:55 am

    Barney, valiantly, did not snicker when Chell flopped face first onto the couch, but it was lucky that she and Wheatley were looking the other way, so he had a second or two to wipe the amused smile off of his face.  When Chelly managed to turn herself over, Barney was able to give her a reassuring grin in return for the thumbs up.  He set the mug of tea and the bowl of soup down on the coffee table, making sure it was within easy reach.

    "Alri-" he started, before the Sphere zipped back up into the air, interrupting him with a determined, "Right! Back in a mo'."  

    In a silvery blur, Wheatley disappeared into the further depths of the apartment.

    "-Right," Barney finished. "Uh, so, I'm gonna get outta your hair now, but here..."  He fished in his pockets until he found a scrap of paper (a receipt that had been through at least one wash) and then did a quick search for a pen, before scribbling his number down.  "If you need a pair of hands again, just let me know."  

    He set the paper down by the soup, and straightened up, absently rubbing the back of his neck. "I'm headed to the grocery store next.  Let me know if you need anything, yeah?"
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Wheatley on Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:17 am

    It was at this point that the Sphere's quest became apparent, because what appeared, at first glance, to be a quilted ghost came gliding it's way back into the living room. Occasionally, it bounced off a wall, but it more or less avoided everything else. From the look of it, Wheatley was honing in on the sound of Barney's voice (and was feeling pretty clever about it).

    The fleecy apparition glid (that's a word now, because I said so) over the back of the couch and stopped in mid-air somewhere above it.

    Then, doing a careful somersault, Wheatley let the blanket drop down onto his friend and patient. Humming a determinedly cheerful little hum under his "breath," the AI began spreading the blanket out over her and tucking her in as best he could with just his handles.

    There was also his Snuggie-nest, which he poked and prodded up under her head as a pillow.

    "There!" He announced, after the flurry of tucking was over. "Perfect!"

    Perfect-ish anyway. The blanket was still half folded over on itself and one leg and the opposite arm were left uncovered, while a corner had made it over her face.
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Chell on Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:57 pm

    Well, Wheatley was certainly off to do... something. Chell blinked as her roommate made his sudden exit, all at once curious and dreading what he might be up to. If he somehow managed to burn the room down yet again, she was really in no position to stop it--as far as Chell was concerned, she wasn't going to be leaving this couch, ever. She would just have to accept her fate.

    Blinking, she turned back to Barney just as he was scribbling down his number, and accepted the scrap of paper with a look of muddled surprise. Suffice to say, she was... not used to getting phone numbers from many people unless it was an absolute necessity, and especially not from someone she had just met. Nonetheless, she responded to him with a little smile of her own, admittedly touched by his generosity.

    She may have balked at this, or regarded it with suspicion once upon a time, but not today. Today, as awful as she may felt, Chell was only reminded of how much things had changed. Looking down at her tablet, she swept down her own message. [color=#F79400]"I'll keep that in mind. Thanks again for everything, Barney."[\color] She held out the device, half regretting that she was far too contagious to give him a handshake, [color=#F79400] "Nice meeting you."[\color]

    Whether or not Barney actually got to [i]see[\i] the message would remain in question, unfortunately, as Chell soon found half her vision and most of her arm obscured by a blanket. Startling, she managed to shake most of it off before finding the source, and... Ahhh. So that's where he had been off to. Huffing out a little sigh, she reached out and gave Wheatley a sheepish little pat, all at once thankful and embarrassed for the the hundredth time today. She would probably never, ever live this one down.

    ---

    ((Might end up editing this later, ultra sleepy at the moment))

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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Mon May 01, 2017 11:31 pm

    ((Blarg, sorry for the delay!))

    As the blanket descended, Barney reflexively reached out to rescue the tablet, without really consciously knowing what he was trying to rescue it from. Being dropped, possibly, or just... being knocked over by the blanket? As soon as his fingers closed on it, he felt like a big dummy. But, committed, he'd have felt more awkward not hanging on long enough to actually read the message, so he re-adjusted the blanket to read what Chell had written before relinquishing her communication device again.

    Straightening back up, he got a better look at Wheatley's handiwork, and couldn't help but grin. "Guess I'm leavin' you in good 'hands'."

    The Sphere floated a few inches higher, puffed up with pride. "And, of course, well done you, as well, mate. Couldn't have done it without you. With, you know, my, um, observational... supervisory help, of course, um, contributed a great deal, but! A key player. VIP, err, MVP, err, PVP... something or other... ahem. Right! So, you're off then?"

    Taking that as his cue, Barney jerked a thumb to the door. "I'm off. See you 'round, pal. And, nice meetin' you, too," he added, to Chell.
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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Wheatley on Mon May 01, 2017 11:40 pm

    Once the former security guard had exited, stage right, and shut the door behind him, Wheatley floated back to hover over the couch and peer down at his patient. His expression hovered somewhere between satisfaction and concern, which was an interesting combination to say the least. He'd successfully taken care of his sick friend, but with success came with the niggling self doubting fear - had he forgotten something? Of course he'd forgotten something, what had he forgotten? No, he couldn't have forgotten anything, his caretaking skills were beyond question! Just... sort of forget all of those humans he may or may not have let, um, die in suspended animation back in the Aperture labs. Everyone had to start somewhere, right? No one could be perfect to start with.

    "Well. Um. So, that's sorted. Right?"

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    Re: A Serious Case of a Minor Flu

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:41 pm