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Not Used To Kindness (Westworld)


Chanel_no5

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***Note***

While wrestling with my NaNoWriMo fic, this thing decided it wanted to side-track me. It's set sometime before the beginning of season 1 and it's of course my OTP, and it's not-so-of-course pre-affair. I'm still as into this character and this pairing, soooo…. :shifty: 

***

The bright LED lights felt even brighter than usual, aggravating her headache, and Lee’s persistent ranting didn’t make matters any better either. Knowing better than to interfere, Bernard stayed quiet, kept his head down, and kept working on the host they had just recalled. Theresa wished he would say something; he would at least be calmer and more soft-spoken than Lee, maybe he’d even manage to disarm the argument before it got too heated.

She didn’t want to speak, much less raise her voice into a shout to match Lee’s yelling. Her throat was so sore, and she didn’t trust her voice not to give out. Even if it didn’t, she was pretty sure it would be audibly huskier than usual, giving away the cold she was trying to hide. Or, maybe not hide exactly, she thought she was quickly moving past the point where she could hide it, but at least downplay. There were people here who challenged her authority on a near-daily basis, and the last thing she needed was to seem like she wasn’t in control. She was, at any rate, going to stay in control of herself.

Lee kept on ranting, and she just couldn’t listen to it any longer.

“That’s enough, Lee. I know there will be disruptions to the narratives if we pull hosts.” She paused briefly to clear her throat. God, it was so sore. “But if they breach, we can’t keep them in the park. It could be dangerous.”

Bernard had interrupted himself doing whatever he was doing, and looked curiously at her. Theresa didn’t notice. She put her hands on her hips and stared Lee down, trying to appear more intimidating than she currently felt.

Lee grunted and ran his hands across the stubble on his cheeks.

“Oh fuck this! Fine, but don’t come crying to me when the guests complain the narratives are all fucked up!”

With that, he turned to make a grand exit, but bumped into the door as he tried to storm out. It would have gotten a smile from Theresa if she hadn’t been feeling so out of it.

Bernard stood up and observed her closer. She turned and met his gaze, surprised at how close he was. Her eyes narrowed.

“What the hell are you staring at?”

He pursed his lips for a moment without answering, then reached out a hand and felt her forehead. Theresa was so surprised by the sudden touch that she didn’t even object. Besides, his hand was soft and cool, and the touch, while brief, too pleasant to back away from. 

“You’re sick,” he stated.

“And you’re crossing the line,” she replied, but if she was being honest with herself, that was a line she had wanted him to cross for a long time. Apart from the brief, firm handshake the first time they met, they had never touched each other, and… sufficient to say she had thought a lot about touching him… and being touched by him. Not necessarily on the forehead.

“I’m serious Theresa, you’re burning up.”

He put his hand on her shoulder instead, gently turning her towards the door where Lee had disappeared a little while earlier.

“Go. Take some Aspirin or something and go to bed.”

“Last time I checked, you weren’t qualified to give medical…” she cut herself off as her nose began to prickle, and took a couple of hitching breaths. The sneeze escaped her at the very last moment, and she exhaled in a moan. “Fuck.”

“You’re right, I’m not qualified to give medical fucks,” Bernard said dryly, shocking her a little. She had never heard him use that word before. Everybody else in Westworld seemed to throw it around with every two sentences, except Bernard. “But I think I can tell when a colleague is sick, and I think I can ask her to take a day off to get better.”

“You weren’t asking.”

He sighed.

“Alright. Please, Theresa. You’re pushing yourself way too hard.”

“If I couldn’t take it, I wouldn’t have this… hehh… this… j-job… hah-AESSCHoo!

“Bless you. I’m not questioning your ability to do your job. I’m only saying that everyone gets sick occasionally and it’s usually the body’s way of telling you you’re pushing yourself too hard and need a break.”

She needed a break, alright, she just wasn’t willing to admit it.

“I’m fine.” It came out sounding like I’b fide, which didn’t exactly help her prove her point.

“Please,” he said again, and this time it really sounded like a plea. Why would he care so much about her? Nobody else did. Including her. 

“I don’t see why this is so important to you, unless you want to get rid of me,” she said, and winced at her own words.

“That’s exactly what I don’t want,” Bernard said softly. They looked at each other for several seconds, Bernard with an even milder expression than usual, and Theresa searching his face for a lie she didn’t find. She broke eye contact first.

“Alright.”

Now that she had given in, she gave in fully. It was as if she completely allowed herself to feel miserable for the first time since the cold had started to sink its sharp hooks into her throat, and she really did feel miserable.

“Good,” Bernard said. “I’ll come by with some soup later.”

“I didn’t say I needed a nurse.”

“Well, I wasn’t planning on spoon-feeding you, you may eat on your own,” he said lightly. “I can leave it outside your door, if that’s how you feel, but you have to eat.”  

“No, Bernie, that’s not how I feel. I’d love some soup, and I’d love some company. Thank you. I’m sorry I’m…” she shrugged. “Like this. I’m just not used to…” she wasn’t sure how to finish the sentence, so she left it hanging. Bernard waited for her to pick it up, and when she didn’t, he finished for her.

“Kindness?”

“I guess that’s as good a word as any.” That was in fact exactly the right word.

Bernard gave her a look so warm it could melt what was left of the poles. It nearly threw her off track, so instead of saying anything else, she left, narrowly avoiding repeating Lee’s embarrassing run-in with the door. She blamed the rising heat on her cheeks on the fever. 

Fuck it, she had to stop lying to herself. She was sick, yes. But she was also blushing for entirely unrelated reasons. Bernard had managed to do what neither a man nor a woman had succeeded in doing - or bother trying to do - for many years. And she wasn't yet sure if this was a good development, or the first step to not being respected by anyone, but... right now she didn't care. Right now, a little bit of kindness went a long way for Westworld's sick Quality Assurance Manager. 

 

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On 11/11/2018 at 2:24 AM, Chanel_no5 said:

“You’re sick,” he stated.

“And you’re crossing the line,” she replied, but if she was being honest with herself, that was a line she had wanted him to cross for a long time.

Awwwww that's just adorable! (If 'adorable' is a word we can use for Theresa of course...)

As usual, your writing is so good and your characters are so well-written! Thanks for sharing!

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On ‎11‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 8:43 PM, Aliena H. said:

Awwwww that's just adorable! (If 'adorable' is a word we can use for Theresa of course...)

I think she secretly likes being called adorable, at least sometimes by the right people (which we are, I decide), but she would never admit it. :yay: 

Thank you so much! ^_^ 

 

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On 11/18/2018 at 12:41 PM, Chanel_no5 said:

I think she secretly likes being called adorable, at least sometimes by the right people (which we are, I decide), but she would never admit it.

:laugh: ... Well, that's a totally new perspective on the character!

@Chanel_no5: I... I've been thinking of something about Theresa, because I've been re-reading your Westworld fics and especially your "meta-conversation" with her, because it was SO good. I have an idea for a fic in which she would suspect that her world isn't totally unlike the robots' world, and that she herself could be nothing more than a puppet in our/your hands. Of course, Bernard doesn't agree with her (which is, you know, a bit ironic, considering his own status...) and they just... discus the matter. The point being, of course, that Theresa, being the strong woman she is, is never sick, so why is she suddenly feeling terrible? Why has she been ill multiple times recently although she's spent her whole life without the slightest cold before? She has the impression that someone is manipulating her (and her normally perfect immune system) exactly like she manipulates the robots she's in charge of. For Bernard, it's just... I don't know, the fever talking? :rolleyes: What do you think about it? (I ask because I really don't know if it could be an interesting fic to write or to read. I don't know the fandom very well, since I've watched the show only once - and I'm still not sure how to process season 2, because I'm not sure I understood everything. But this idea won't leave me, so...)

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1 hour ago, Aliena H. said:

:laugh: ... Well, that's a totally new perspective on the character!

Maybe it was a bit of an exaggeration. :lol:But, like all strong people, even she must have that side where she wants to be the "weak" and give up her control to someone else. Though as with all people of her type, it's probably suppressed and buried so deep down she might not be aware of it herself. :lol: 

I LOVE that idea!! I mean, when things start to happen that never happened to you before, you DO wonder if someone else is pulling the strings, even if it's just in passing. And since she is in an environment where that's actually a thing, no wonder if she'd be a bit paranoid. And Bernard, who has probably seen that kind of paranoid existential crisis in many employees at Westworld over the years, wouldn't take it seriously. Or rather, as you say, he'd chalk it up to her fever making her imagining things, so he'd be even more concerned about her. That could make a beautiful sickfic. :inlove:  I'd read the HELL out of it, that's for sure!! As for writing it, in that case it would have to stand in line since I'm behind on several things, but it would certainly be a fun setup to play with. ^_^ 

To be honest, I wasn't a huge fan of season 2 either. I still liked it, (mainly because my theory was right, lol) but I would have preferred if we had gotten some answers to the questions in season 1 instead of even more questions. :laugh: Also, I thought it was mean that Bernard wouldn't get to keep any of the precious memories he had with Theresa. It really was like they wiped her out of the equation completely. Not fair. 

 

17 hours ago, Yuuki said:

Nice i havent seen westworld but i love this story

Thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed! :D 

 

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19 hours ago, Chanel_no5 said:

And Bernard, who has probably seen that kind of paranoid existential crisis in many employees at Westworld over the years, wouldn't take it seriously.

I had not thought about that but it's completely logical! It must not be the first time he sees that kind of reaction...

19 hours ago, Chanel_no5 said:

I'd read the HELL out of it, that's for sure!!

I don't promise, since I have a very old Star Trek fic to finish, and I've foolishly signed up for Secret Santa, but I think I'll try and write something revolving around that idea...

19 hours ago, Chanel_no5 said:

I would have preferred if we had gotten some answers to the questions in season 1 instead of even more questions.

That's exactly what I've been feeling as episodes went by... At the end, I'm not sure whether the show is really that smart and interesting (as 1st season clearly was), or if the scenarists just making everything confused so that we wouldn't notice the gaps in their plot. :mad:

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6 hours ago, Aliena H. said:

It must not be the first time he sees that kind of reaction...

Exactly, and he'd be particularly surprised to see it from Theresa, who doesn't give off any philosophical vibes whatsoever. :lol: 

6 hours ago, Aliena H. said:

I don't promise, since I have a very old Star Trek fic to finish, and I've foolishly signed up for Secret Santa, but I think I'll try and write something revolving around that idea...

Well, I promise to love it like crazy if you do get around to writing it! ^_^:wub: 

6 hours ago, Aliena H. said:

or if the scenarists just making everything confused so that we wouldn't notice the gaps in their plot.

That is possible, though the writers said they have ideas for five seasons, so it's also possible they aim to connect all things together once it's all complete. Which is probably not likely, but gives me a bit of hope that they'll tie it all together when it's finished. I'm all for having to work a little to pick up everything, but then everything must be in there so you can actually tie it together yourself. Season 1 was still amazing, though. Apart from Theresa's fate. That did NOT have the stamp of Chanel approval. :glare: 

 

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15 hours ago, Chanel_no5 said:

That is possible, though the writers said they have ideas for five seasons, so it's also possible they aim to connect all things together once it's all complete.

Really??? :omg: I find it very difficult to believe, considering I have trouble understanding what was the purpose of 70% of the last season. But maybe they'll surprise me with the next season (frankly, just after season 2, I was seriously considering NOT watching the third).

15 hours ago, Chanel_no5 said:

Season 1 was still amazing, though. Apart from Theresa's fate. That did NOT have the stamp of Chanel approval.

I agree that season 1 was great. The plot was excellent, the questions it raised were really interesting, and the progressive revelations just blew my mind. Buuut I too didn't agree with Thereas's death (and the part Bernard had to play in it), as I strongly disagree with the death (at least, I consider that for now they're dead) of MANY major characters in season 2. I mean, if I want my favorite characters being killed without warning, I can watch Game of Thrones! :rolleyes:

... And I think I've digressed enough from the original post of this thread for today...

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