The door to Aperture creaked open as Chell approached it, carrying her newborn baby in her arms. Once inside, she stepped into the elevator, which closed and began to move downwards. She didn't say a single word, and neither did GLaDOSnot until she reached her chamber, at any rate.
"Well," the AI said dryly. "It seems that you have lost weight. Oh no, wait, you haven't lost it, there it is in your arms."
Chell smiled, first at GLaDOS and then at the baby. "I'm sorry I couldn't bring her here earlier."
"What on earth made you think I would want to meet your child?" the computer asked, distaste in her voice, but the fact that she leaned over to examine the baby said otherwise. Chell tilted the blanket the child was wrapped in so GLaDOS could see her better. The child's large greenish-grey eyes stared up at the computer, and a small hand struggled against the blanket, like she was trying to break it free to touch her cool metal casings. "She has your eyes. And your fearlessness, which can also be described as 'recklessness' and 'insanity.' Congratulations."
"Thanks," Chell said, knowing that was as much as a compliment as GLaDOS could give to either her or her child. "Insanity's served me pretty well in the past, you know."
GLaDOS snorted. "It led to murderous tendencies, and I am sure that as a human mother, you do not want your child to become a murderer."
"But I do want her to be able to defend herself if someone tries to force her into a fire pit," Chell countered, and the only retort GLaDOS could muster was another snort. "She's six weeks old now, in case you were wondering."
"Uh-huh. Are you also not wondering what her name is?" There was silence, and Chell hid a smirk. "Because if you really don't want to know, I won't tell you."
GLaDOS let out a long sigh. "Fine. Tell me. As a point of interest, so that I may store it in the file I have been compiling of your family."
"Her name is Gladys," Chell told her. "After you."
There was another beat of silence, and Chell couldn't remember ever seeing the AI look so shocked before. Of course, she recovered quickly. "And what does your husband think of that naming choice? If I recall correctly, and I do, he neither likes nor trusts me."
"You threatened to neurotoxin him to death."
"Only if he hurt you in any way," GLaDOS defended herself. "Which he did not. And if he does, I still expect to hear about it."
Chell sighed. The decision to introduce Sean to her mother figure had not been her best. "He wasn't overly thrilled about naming her after you, but I told him that was how it was going to be."
"You are incredibly stubborn, as well as highly insane. I fail to see how my threatening him with a deadly neurotoxin is any worse than whatever you said to convince him to name your child after me."
"It really wasn't that hard," Chell said, shaking her head. "I didn't threaten him. We compromised. I agreed that our next, if it's another girl, will be named after his mother."
"The woman you loathe?" GLaDOS asked, and Chell nodded with a sigh.
There was another moment of silence, and then the AI said, "Well
thank you, I suppose. That is the customary thing to say, is it not?"
"I guess," Chell said, shrugging. "She'll carry the name well."
"She is your daughter, after all," the computer said, then when Chell jerked her head up in surprise, added quickly, "Of course, that means absolutely nothing."
After a second of contemplation, Chell smiled. "There is a reason I came here, you know. Other than to introduce the two of you."
"And what might that be?"
"That lullaby," Chell said. "The one the turrets sang to me, and the one my mom used to sing to me. I don't know the lyrics, and I'd like them. I want to sing it to Gladys."
GLaDOS snorted. "Just when did you learn to sing?" When Chell gave her an exasperated look, she sighed. "Fine. I will teach you the song. It is called 'Cara Mia,' and I will be omitting the line I had added about you staying far away from science, since clearly you did not pay any attention to it."
Chell smiled. "Thank you."
"Follow along after me," GLaDOS said, then proceeded to sing the lullaby with Chell stumbling along a few beats behind. "Not too bad. We will try it again."
They spent the next half hour working on the song, until GLaDOS was certain Chell had it committed to memory. "That's enough. It is getting late. You should return home so your husband does not worry about you."
"Are you trying to get rid of me, GLaDOS?" Chell asked, but she was smiling.
"Certainly not," GLaDOS huffed. "I am also concerned about your child. She has not eaten since you arrived."
Chell looked down at Gladys, who was nestled against her chest. "She's asleep."
"Then you should remove her from the facility before something wakes her up."
Chell shook her head. "You really are trying to get rid of me. Why?"
"I need a reason now?" GLaDOS asked, and Chell sighed.
"All right, I'll go. I'll be back. At some point. Maybe with Gladys, or maybe not."
GLaDOS paused before replying. "I would not mind it if you brought her again."
Chell smiled. "Okay. I will. Thank you for teaching me the lullaby. It looks like it works."
"Of course it does," GLaDOS said. "It also worked on you when you were a child, and your child seems to be a lot like you."
It always unnerved Chell when GLaDOS said anything related to her mother's past, and she frowned. "I can't believe I forgot to ask this, but. What does she think? About Gladys?"
There was a brief pause, and then, "She thinks your child is beautiful. She also thinks she looks like you, and that the name choice was a poor one on your part, and that you should have named her after your grandmother."
Chell wrinkled her nose. "She wanted me to name her Gertrude?"
She laughed. "Okay then. Um. Wow. Maybe a different baby, all right?"
"She can tell that you are enhancing the truth."
Chell laughed again. "Sorry. You're right, though, it is getting late, and we should be going. I'll be back, all right?" she asked as she entered the elevator, Gladys still snuggled against her chest, and the door closed behind her.
"Of course you will be," GLaDOS replied as the elevator began to move. "You're like a pesky insect. You never. Go. Away."
"But you don't really mind," Chell called down to her as the elevator exited her chamber. "Come on, you know you don't!"
The only response was a humming noise that echoed through the chamber. Listening closely, Chell could tell what it was, and closing her eyes, she hummed along with it, singing softly under her breath.
"Cara bel, cara mia bella, mia bambina, o ciel
che ella stima, che ella stima, o cara mia, addio! La mia bambina cara, cara mia bambina
ah, mia bella, ah mia cara, ah mia cara, a mia bambina! O cara, cara mia!"