Wheatley sat on the small bed that belonged to his human companion. Pointed directly to look at nothing but the one thing he couldn't help but hate. He would admit that such a feeling was irrational even for someone like him, but he couldn't help the feeling of disgust that leaked into his circuits just from the site of the thing. The cube seemed to stare back, mockingly at him, though it didn't have any optic sensors like him.
It just sat there, scorched and remarkably dirty. It was quiet, never speaking and never gave any acknowledgement to him when he spoke to it. Faintly, he considered the fact that it was just a block. Those thoughts were pushed out of mind when she was there though. She would smile at the cube and pat it. Occasionally she would use it as a seat when she was reading, or as a table when she was eating. The sheer fondness for the block was enough convincing for Wheatley that it must have been sentient like him or else Chell wouldn't like it so much.
While Chell was working, he would sit alone with the companion cube and think to himself. One thought had crossed him not to long ago, and it depressed him. What if the whole reason she liked the stupid block was because of the fact that it wasn't sentient. With it being just an inanimate object, it wouldn't betray her like he did. It would never move and hurt her like he had. It wouldn't talk for hours on end and annoy her like he did. It seemed to hit him that the cube was perfect for her.
His optic shutter lowered to look at the block with a sad annoyance. It made more sense to him now why she smiled so much at the block but not so much at him. The cube was her first friend, it never did anything bad, and it served so many different purposes. Versus himself, who had betrayed her, tried to kill her, and didn't serve any useful function besides being.... a moron.
A prerecorded sigh slipped out of his vocal processors before he realized it. His circuits buzzed a bit in frustration. He apologized so many times to the women and she seemed to have forgave him, but upon his recent realization, he knew she still harbored ill feelings toward the little sphere. "I hate you.." he droned at the block.
He was greeted by nothing but the chilling silence of mid afternoon. "I hate the way she looks at you..." he stated slowly. His shutter lowered into a deeper glare. "Why does she even look at you like that anyway..?"
Something tugged in his processors but he was unsure of what it was. "Why can't she smile at me like that...?"
He imagined what it might have been like if she did smile fondly at him like she did the cube. More thoughts leaked in over that and it lead to him imagining many things around her. She would pat him softly like the block, she would hug him when she was upset instead of the block, she would....
His gaze drifted away from the companion cube and became sadder. She would love him...
Wheatley wondered if that was even possible for the human to love him, considering what he was. She probably didn't even love the cube the way he wanted her love, but he still hated the stupid thing. He wasn't even aware of the fact he was in love with the girl until he began to feel jealousy over the cube. He wasn't even aware he was capable of feeling such a... human emotion such as love until he began to hate the block.
His shutters closed completely for a few minutes before opening to look at the cube. Wheatley growled a little in annoyance to fill the silence as he processed to glare at the cube. The loud slamming of the door stopped his childish behavior. "Chell? Is that you?" He called out loudly.
No response came, just shuffling of footsteps outside of the door. After a few moments, water began to run in the bathroom. Wheatley looked to the door of the bedroom he was in, ready to greet his caretaker when she was done with her bath. The water stopped too soon for what he assumed she was doing, which made him wonder why she had turned the water on if she wasn't bathing.
Chell came into the bedroom with a bucket full of soapy water in one hand and a plastic bag a little after his thought. "Welcome home!" he said happily. She smiled a little before turning her attention to that blasted cube. She had her back to the core, but he knew she must have been looking at it with that look again.
The girl lowered herself to the ground and rummaged through the plastic bag for a moment before pulling a sponge out. She was focused on her task, soaking the sponge in the soapy water and then scrubbing the filthy block. As the layers of grim slowly was replaced by a cleaner surface, Wheatley couldn't help but glare at the cube again. She was making it look even better then before, which was another thing he could add to his list of ways the block was better.
It was her first friend, it was quiet, it would never hurt her, and now it was cleaner then him too. "I hate you..." he growled out as quiet as he could.
Chell turned around to look at him quickly, a mixed look of shock and confusion on her face. His optic pinpointed and he shook a little. "No no no! Not you luv, god never you!" he stammered quickly.
The shock died on her expression, just leaving her to look at him confused. "I can never hate you! Never have, even when you thought I did, or when I said I despised you, no! That wasn't true, not at all. If I'm completely honest here, what I feel toward you is the complete opposite of hate. Total other direction, my feelings are. When I said that I was talking to..." his shutters lowered slightly. "To the cube..."
Chell waved her hand for him to continue talking while she continued to wash the block. "Kind of stupid really..." he began again. "To hate it.."
She nodded a little to encourage him. "It's just.. you seem to like it so much more than m- anything.." A few more strokes of the sponge. "I don't know how to tell you this without you freaking out luv, seeing how I'm just a machine and you're a human..." She looked back at him, slowing her scrubbing. "I know you probably won't believe me because of that. I didn't even know I was capable of this until not to long ago but.."
He looked directly to her now. "I love you..."
Her eyes were wide, but other than that her expression was unreadable. His optic darted away from the girl, looking to the corner while she turned around to continue washing the block. "You know, something told me I would feel better if I told you that but I actually feel a lot worse. Surprising really, but none of my other ideas are any good so I guess it's not quite surprising. Now, I know you're not much of a talker, and that my ideas are normally very bad, but something else in me wants to know what you think of that." His gaze went back to her slowly. "Or was I right before.. Is it impossible for a human to love a machine? Someone to love something that isn't even really alive?"
Chell sat back and admired the newly cleaned cube briefly before going back into the plastic bag. She pulled out a cylinder and popped out it's lid. Wheatley looked at her oddly as she stood up and walked over to sit in front of the bed. He was silent as he watched her pull out a damp cloth from the container. His optic pinpointed again in slight fear of the wet cloth.
Chell smiled reassuringly before gently whipping the fabric over his dirtied hull. The blue of his iris spilled out to the rest of his optic as he watched her arm move all around him. "This is rather nice..." he mumbled thoughtful, his shutters closing a little.
Her hand continued to roam, occasionally grabbing a new wipe before continuing to clean the little core. He looked up to her through a half lidded optic, simply enjoying her closeness and the gentleness of her slowly cleaning him. "I guess..." he began slowly, drawing her attention. "Even if it's not possible for you to love me like I love you... It'll still be nice if you still were my friend..."
Once he was completely cleaned, Chell threw the dirtied wipes away and emptied the bucket of water. She returned to him with a happy smile, one she rarely gave him. His own shutters turned up to give her his best happy expression, though that fell away in surprised when she lowered herself in front of him and leaned forward.
"What are you...." his voice trailed off as she pressed her lips gently to the top of his casing.
She crawled into bed next to him, slowly pulling him closer to her. "That was... That was a kiss right?" he asked a little excitedly. She patted his side for an affirmative. "Humans to that to someone they love, right?" He turned carefully in his hull to see her. Chell nodded a little to him, patting him a little more.
Her consistent patting on his side slowed as she fell asleep. Chell's breathing was slow and even, fogging his optic a little from the closeness of them. "I love you..." he whispered to her sleeping form, closing his optic and slowly extending himself to brush against his forehead.
Wheatley drew himself back to look at her again, before his gaze drifted to the cube he hated so much. His shutters adjusted themselves to make him look a little smug, because he finally had something that blasted cube didn't.