Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / The Punishment

Go To
Chell tells Wheatley off. One of the many illustrations from rubit
The Punishment is a Portal fanfic written by conquerorwurm and actively illustrated by rubitrightintomyeyes. It first appeared on the Portal kink meme as the first fill listed and has since continued for eighteen chapters running. It is considered by many to be one of the best Portal fics out there, though it is still a work in progress.

Wheatley has been brought back from space by GLaDOS for an unspecified punishment. She informs him he used to be human though he has no memories of his existence before he was first activated as a core. After GLaDOS destroys his metal form, he awakens alone in a relaxation chamber in his old human body, confused and disoriented.

He spends some time getting acquainted with the nuisances and perks of his organic body-reintroduced to hormones, he quickly develops a strong infatuation at the memory of Chell and sets out to find her. Chell soon stalks and attacks him, having also been re-imprisoned in Aperture by GLaDOS. Luckily for Wheatley, Chell takes pity on him in his now-helpless and remorseful state and agrees to let him accompany her in her escape.

Over the course of their journey, Wheatley struggles to understand the propriety of personal boundaries and physical attraction, and Chell struggles with conflicted feelings of trust, wanting independence and craving intimacy with another human. GLaDOS does her best to complicate things further in many manipulative and increasingly threatening ways.


In the short story prequel Daisy, Doug Rattmann meets Wheatley shortly after his mind had been transferred to the ID core. Wheatley still vaguely identifies as a living person and is frightened and confused by the change. To ease his pain, Rattmann erases all of Wheatley's remaining memories of being human.

The Punishment contains examples of:

  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Wheatley needs to, to accommodate for his 'itch'. Chell is also an offender of this trope.
  • All Just a Dream: GLaDOS frightens, harasses, and tortures Wheatley in his dreams.
  • All Men Are Perverts: A concept that is exploited by GLaDOS due to Wheatley's confusion and insecurity in his new body.
  • Alternate Continuity: Chell never was put on the surface, unlike in Portal 2. Instead she ended up back at the Extended Relaxation Annex.
  • Amnesiacs are Innocent: Wheatley has many innocent and childlike traits due to his lack of any memories from his life as a human; on the other hand, this trope is inverted in many ways by Chell who, while also suffering memory loss, isn't as innocent.
  • Advertisement:
  • Anonymous Benefactor: Maps left by Doug Rattmann help guide them through the facility.
  • Being Human Sucks: Wheatley was excited about the change at first (primarily for the chance to have limbs and escape his broken core body) but not so much anymore.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: It's revealed Wheatley was eating toothpaste before he was reunited with Chell.
  • Brain Uploading: Wheatley, the other cores, and GLaDOS were all humans turned into AI.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Played with. It's not that Wheatley can't, it's that he doesn't know the right words since he has no proper social human experience to find the words to describe his attraction to Chell.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: The first chapter describes an alternate ending to Portal 2, where GLaDOS saves Wheatley from space. In the 10th Chapter this describes why.
    GLaDOS: You are my punishment for her.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Chell has done a lot of this throughout the story, and Wheatley has been doing a lot of it more recently as he has had more to worry about and more to hide from Chell.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment or Unishment: Wheatley was a little disturbed by the change to a human body (primarily grossed out and confused by it) but he was also excited and hopeful that it might help him help Chell. Over the course of the story his opinion of having a body has taken a nosedive.
  • Cry into Chest: Chell does this with Wheatley when they find a bathroom, indicating how long it'd been since she's had the luxuries of self-cleanliness.
  • Dynamic Entry: Chell tackles Wheatley down during their cat and mouse game in the corridors.
  • Escape from the Crazy Place: Follows the Portal games, however it's a side focus of the plot.
  • Forgiveness: Chell has forgiven Wheatley though she still remains guarded in many ways.
  • Guilt Complex: Wheatley continues to feel guilty and insecure having not yet redeemed himself for betraying Chell.
  • Hallucinations: GLaDOS manipulates Wheatley through auditory, visual, and tactile hallucinations.
  • Hearing Voices: GLaDOS speaks to Wheatley in his sleep, and later when he's awake as well.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Though their exact heights are not determined, Chell is described as barely coming up to the level of Wheatley's chest.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: In a sense Chell is humanizing Wheatley just by being there as an example and through her efforts to communicate, though she does lack some understanding of humanity herself.
  • I Am Not Pretty: Somehow Wheatley mentally conceives the notion of attractiveness; having compared himself to Chell, believe he's quite ordinary.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Both Chell and Wheatley manage to unintentionally fluster each other on many occasions.
  • I'm Crying, but I Don't Know Why: Wheatley breaks down after being attacked by Chell and doesn't understand what's happening to him.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: One of only two times Wheatley has heard Chell's voice. Also Wheatley, on many occasions.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: After GLaDOS mindrapes Wheatley, he turns into a heaping mess and can't tell her apart from Chell and ends up pushing her on the floor by mistake. It's not until he actually sees that it's Chell is when he starts to calm down.
  • Intimate Healing: On several occasions, Chell calms Wheatley down by holding him. She later takes a more enthusiastic approach to his comfort.
  • Intimate Psychotherapy: Chell for Wheatley. Since she can't get her point her across verbally, she uses sex to explain to him that she doesn't mind his body at all.
  • Kick the Dog: GLaDOS's continued efforts to hurt Wheatley when he is completely helpless.
  • Language of Love: Chell and Wheatley grow closer though Chell can't talk and Wheatley often has a hard time understanding her.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: What Chell is to Wheatley; his happiness and his ability to survive depends on her.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Chell is alternately hot or cold towards Wheatley, much to his confusion.
  • Mind Rape: GLaDOS to Wheatley. She inserted something into his body to allow her to see through his eyes and visits him in his dreams to torment him.
  • Mundane Luxury: Chell's reaction to Wheatley's company, also such luxuries as bathroom, blankets, and beds.
  • Never Sleep Again: As a result of his nightmares, Wheatley tries to fight off fatigue by refusing to do so, but in the end always fails.
  • Nonverbal Miscommunication: Wheatley often has a hard time understanding Chell's pantomimes, but he's getting better at it.
  • No Social Skills: Wheatley doesn't understand the nuances of appropriate human behavior.
  • Oblivious to Love: Applies to both Chell and Wheatley, though more in relation to their understanding of relationship feelings in general than explicitly "love".
  • Obsessed with Food: Wheatley really enjoys tastes he likes.
  • Orgasmically Delicious: Food has a strong effect on Wheatley, which in turn has an effect on Chell.
  • Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality: GLaDOS attempts to invoke this in Wheatley. It doesn't last.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: Though he wants Chell to escape and thinks his presence will only slow her down, he is terrified of being alone again.
  • Primal Fear: Wheatley's fear of the dark, heights, silence, though those fears existed as a core too.
  • Revenge: GLaDOS seeks revenge, especially it seems against Wheatley.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Wheatley in the Punishment prequel Daisy, and even after, despite the modifications made during his development as the Intelligence Dampening Sphere.
  • Sense Freak: Wheatley is easily overwhelmed by the senses he has gained as a human, particularly touch and taste.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Chapter perspectives switch between Chell's point of view and Wheatley's.
  • Sugarand Ice Personality: Though Chell is always guarded, she can be warm and protective in certain situations.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Wheatley's perception of the world around him and his feelings for Chell change under the influence of his new form.
  • The Speechless: Chell, though she is able to communicate nonverbally with limited success.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Both characters are unreliable narrators due to their incomplete understanding of the situation and their inability to effectively communicate.
  • Was Once a Man: Wheatley. He was once an accountant that worked for Aperture and managed to appropriate billions of non-existent funds for their projects.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"??: Both Chell and Wheatley have a hard time sorting out and defining their feelings for one another.
  • Wistful Amnesia: in Daisy for Wheatley, but not since then; Chell experiences this as well, in that she recognizes that much of her past has been lost.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: GLaDOS gives Wheatley bad dreams, eventually appearing in them herself.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: Wheatley experiences this at the beginning of the story, Chell experiences this in-game.