“I know,” Wheatley said unexcitedly.
“We’re in space.”
“I know…” he moved his optic to watch the Space Core as he orbited him. “After a while it seems you’d get bored of space, it’s not like there’s anything new to see out here.” Once Space Core was out of his sight he stared forward into the abyss.
“No, nothing’s coming, that’s my point, it’s the same boring stars and… more stars…”
“Is it a comet? No, not a comet,” Space Core talked fast.
Wheatley however didn’t hear him over his own voice. “You’d also think,” he closed the plates party around his eye, looking sad, “after all this time that someone might come looking for me; not her obviously, after what I did, but that’s why I need her too…”
“Coming in fast, it’s coming in fast!” he moved his optic around frantically. “Better move!”
Another deeper voice sounded through the silence. “Ho ho ho!”
“What are you laughing about?” Wheatley spun his outer shell to look behind him. As Space Core orbited behind him he saw a giant sleigh. His light shrunk and he shook as he watched it head quickly for him.
Chell sat in the floor of her small rundown living room. A short undecorated tree stood against the wall. It was cold but the fireplace to her right was empty of wood and therefore fire. She was afraid she’d have to burn the tree when Christmas was over.
She smiled down at the present to herself that was in her hands: a chocolate cupcake.
She leaned her head down to take a bite, practically chomping off the whole top of the cake. Looking up again she frowned at the quiet lonely room.
She shook startled as she heard a sound outside. She stared at the window to the left, coated in a thin layer of frost. Unable to ignore it she set her cake down and went to look out the window but it was too dark to see out. When she made out what the sound was she looked confused, it was jingle bells.
A loud thump hit the roof.
She jumped and turned to stare wide eyed at the ceiling.
Quieter thumps went across the roof away from her.
She stood ready to run or fight, her muscles tense, her heart pounding.
One last sound came down her chimney: screaming. In a flurry of stirred up ashes a core came rolling out of her fireplace. “Ow…”
She waved her hand in front of her, trying to clear away the dust.
Wheatley’s handles kept him from rolling further, stopping him set up and facing her.
They froze when they saw each other, their eyes widened as much as they could.
Chell snapped out of it first, stepping carefully back she ran her hand along the wall behind her.
He panicked when he realized she was trying to run. He had to think fast but his thoughts raced away from him. “No! Don’t go! I… I am,” his optic moved around quickly as he talked slowly, “truly and sincerely, just very completely, really… sorry.”
Her hand found the doorknob but she stopped, amidst the shock that had never left her face a wide smile broke out. She ran forward, dropping onto her knees in front of him. She pulled him into her lap and curled around him in a giant hug.
He tried to look around but his eye was covered in her orange sweater. Once he realized he was being held tightly he smiled. He might not have been able to feel the warmth of the sweater but the warmth of the hug he could, and it was much warmer than space or Aperture had been. Finally he was home.
Her head was uncomfortable leaning down on a cold metal ball that was covered in soot but still her smile only widened, her friend in her arms was only comfort she needed, the comfort she’d been missing. Finally she wasn’t alone.