tallulahgs: (Rothko red)
[personal profile] tallulahgs
I'm doing [profile] 40fandoms again this year (or going to attempt to, anyway), so here is my first offering...

[Title] Fall Awake
[Fandom] Portal
[Rating] G
[Notes/Summary] Chell awakens for the first time in Portal 2.

… and then music, and she’s opening her eyes, and finds herself lying flat. Under her, crisp sheets. Above her, off-white ceiling tiles.

All around her the air is still, but there is pale, white light filtering in as if it’s a cold winter morning.
Was it winter? Was it morning? The air is still. The air is still and quiet apart from the electronic voice over the intercom. The voice

She has stood up. She knows it’s because she wants to run away, but she can’t remember how. She’s wearing boots. She thinks she remembers that when you get up out of bed your feet are supposed to be bare but she can’t remember how she knows that.

get out

A small, square room. A small square chair, a tall thin potted plant. Beige walls. Flat, scratchy carpet. The air should smell of second-hand cigarettes, but it doesn’t, it smells of nothing, it’s still and quiet. The light isn’t cold winter. It’s too empty for that.

not home

home doesn’t mean anything specific but it means not this. The voice is telling her to look up. To look down. She is following its instructions and she knows that it’s dangerous to follow the instructions of electronic voices but she doesn’t remember how she knows. An unlit hanging lamp, glass-shaded. A chair. You should be able to sit in the chair and turn your head and gaze out at the sky, at a city around you, or at a few lost retail outlets or office blocks, or at roadways, but the wide window of the far wall is only white.

The door doesn’t open. She rattles it a few times and her mind fills in the image of a locked door rattling in a corridor full of identical doors. Of chambermaids. Keycards. Check-out. Suitcases. More worn scratchy carpet. The city. The city that isn’t there. The corridor isn’t there. Maybe there's only more of the white. Something in her head knows what might be there but she doesn't want to look at it, she is frightened, she knows she is frightened because she's slamming her hand against the door as if that will help. She isn't calling out, though.

Back to the window. The window that isn’t a window. It feels cool and thick against her palm. The voice is telling her, patiently, to look at the painting on the wall instead. The painting is beige, too. There is dust under the glass. The painting is of a lake and a mountain and a sky, as if they (they) think that she won’t notice that she can't see the real outside if she has this.

She has to get out but perhaps she doesn’t. Perhaps that was part of the dream (the dream which she can’t remember, because she didn’t realise until now that she wasn’t awake). She. She is. She is maybe not awake after all. She has woken. She has woken up in the wrong dream.

She’s slumping onto the bed. She is still wearing boots and she is thinking that it feels wrong to be going to bed wearing shoes and someone at the back of her mind is screaming at her to wake up, to get out, but they’re too far away and she may be dreaming them anyway.
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