My first attempt at a Prometheus fic. I could not resist the wonderful angst of David 8 and Elizabeth Shaw.
Feedback is always appreciated, and of course, I disclaim all rights to Ridley Scott's brilliance.
Why do you watch?
She regretted giving in to him, a mere hour and a half after helping him complete repairs to his damaged body.
She regretted agreeing with him, when he'd insisted that he "would be of more use and service as a whole".
She'd ignored those watching eyes, boring into her skull, through her slick, sweaty skin and through the muscle and blood beneath that. She'd ignored the slight twitch of his lips and the erratic blinking of those damned eyes as she sewed and soldered him back together, fingers shaking, mind racing and going blank in two-second intervals.
She'd scurried away the moment his head was securely back on his shoulders and he declared his intent to run diagnostics and determine the extent of any long-term damages.
The android could do those things on his own.
And so he did.
Elizabeth Shaw disappeared into the blackness of the ship, regret weighing so heavily on her chest that she heaved for breath and fought back an onslaught of sobs.
Why do you watch me?
She fingered the strange cloth in her hands, a satchel—one of many-that David had discovered once his legs were moving in straight lines again. The constant humidity in the ship made the fabric damp and cold, almost slippery. Shaw dove two fingers into the bag and fished one of the pellets out, eyes never leaving the dark walls of the hall around her.
She always hesitated before eating them.
He had assured her of their composition-vitamins, nutrients, proteins, all packed into small bean-shaped caplets; they were perfectly safe for her to consume….after all, "They" were "Us", and "We were "Them"….
Right down to the fucking DNA sequence and the ability to create music.
She chewed the tasteless supplement with disdain and continued trudging down the corridor, all too aware of the silent thing that followed and watched.
Why do you watch, Watcher? What is it that you want?
There were living quarters on board. Another of David's discoveries, another attempt by the synthetic to "be of service".
She wanted to tell him that she didn't need his service. That she didn't want it.
But she did.
Need it, that is.
The beds were large, as demonstrated by the way they dwarfed even David when he unceremoniously slid into one like a curious child. The cushioning was extremely firm—uncomfortably so. The beds themselves were deep, much like the chairs in the 'control room'.
Shaw laid flat on her back and had to crane her head to see over the edge. A built-in head support acted as a pillow. She sighed when David stepped forward and loomed over the bed and into her line of sight. The faint light in the room silhouetted him from behind and his body looked almost ethereal…
He froze in place like that, staring down at her, watching in silence. His eyes blinked uncontrollably…a permanent glitch in the damaged droid that she would have to get used to.
But she could never get used to the stare itself.
She wanted to shout at him to leave her be.
And yet, she preferred to speak to him as little as possible. The soft lilt of his voice made her sick.
She met his eyes briefly and turned over, away from him, the moment his lips lifted into a smile.
Watcher, look away. I don't want you to see my tears.
She scrambled through the dank halls, hands slipping across the wet wall, eyes darting around and seeing nothing. Her vision blurred, in and out, but even when it sharpened there was only darkness.
The nightmare left her heart racing, adrenaline pooling into her veins and flushing her face, opening her pores to release sweat. She panted, gasped, whimpered like a kicked dog.
Instinctively her free hand landed across her abdomen, the incision healed enough to no longer merit the staples. The rough edge of the remnants of a long, horizontal scab met her fingertips and she heard Charlie scream again in her head.
Nails clawed at the wall and she tripped over her own feet, the pitch black moving around her and the air rushing in and out of her lungs with hot force as she anticipated the impact of her face into the floor below.
Her body jerked back and she gasped, suspended in a half-collapse.
The hall spun around her and she reached up to clench a hand around the arm that held her waist.
"Doctor Shaw…are you-?"
Her words came dribbling out with fresh tears, hotter than the sweat that pooled down her neck. Her nose ran and she shook her head at the pathetic scene she knew she was making.
She knew he could see her, as plain as day, doubled over and practically leaking self-pity.
With all the courtesy of gentleman he released his iron grip the moment she'd replied, moving to straighten her, fingers lingering on her shoulder to guide her back to her bed.
She did not bother to ask how he'd found her so quickly.
Watch me, then. Watch me fade away if it pleases you.
It was a bathhouse. The damned ship had its own bathhouse. It circulated its own pure, clean, heated water.
Us and Them. The same.
If they were so similar, why could she still not understand their decision to ultimately destroy what they had created?
Steam rose from her skin and she regarded it with indifference. In another life, not too long ago, she would have reveled in the relaxing effects of the hot water that soaked into her tired bones, washed away the salty sweat on her skin, rinsed away the blood that was….
In another life, but not this one.
She lowered herself deeper into the water, the perpetual shadows of the ship turning the surface black (just like everything, just like everything). She watched it as it neared, rising above her chin, dampening the edges of her hair…
She bent her knees to sink lower.
The water slipped over her lips—she parted them and let it trickle in-it flooded her nostrils and her body panicked, muscles tensing and lungs reacting instantly.
She held her breath and continued to sink.
The water met the edges of her eyes and she looked up, just for a moment, before she intended to close them and…
David stood at the edge of the pool and watched her, head craned to the side and eyes narrowing darkly.
She stopped moving and, without thinking, inhaled.
A flurry of sputtering and thrashing rewarded her as her absent thoughts finally caught up with the danger her body had been trying to warn her of.
She wondered, as she rose from the water and the steam lifted from her exposed skin, if the danger was in the actions of her own body, or the lack of such from his.
Watcher, watch me break. Watch me shatter. Watch me scatter the pieces and attempt to put them back together.
"Why do you watch me?"
She preferred not to speak to him. She went out her way to avoid conversation.
She did not even realize she had asked him a question.
Shaw blinked at her own voice and saw David do the same, his features just barely readable from across the dimly lit control room.
The stiff body suddenly limbered as he all but slinked out of the chair, walking towards her with a curious glint in his eye.
And could their eyes 'gleam'? Could they be confused? Or curious?
"Why do I watch you, Doctor Shaw?"
She pressed her lips into the back of her hand to avoid asking if his auditory sensors had been damaged as well.
She nodded instead, affirming her question.
He stopped a few feet from her, stood stock still and the glint in his eyes faded as they began their erratic blinking that she would probably never get used to.
"I want to understand you."
This time her mouth opened against the skin of her hand, breath puffing out and voice droning as if reminding a forgetful teen of something they'd just learned two days before:
"You don't know what 'want' is, David."
"Yes, I know."
She stood then, facing him, hands lowering into fists and she shook her head at the blank look he gave her.
"Then why do you-?"
"I do not know."
She sighed, frustrated. Frustrated with having to talk to him. Frustrated with his incomprehensible answers.
Frustrated with those eyes that continued to bore into her flesh.
"You're not making any sense, David."
He stepped closer then, and she could see the line beneath his neck, scabs and scars that matched her own, and she wanted vomit at how close they'd made him, how human.
He healed like they did, only faster. And yet he could still speak to her with his head detached from his body if he so desired.
If he so desired.
"I do not understand the concept of 'want'. I am not programmed to want anything, because it is my purpose to serve. But I am also programmed to learn, Doctor Shaw. To learn everything that I can….as much as I can." He paused and she could see his blinking eyes dart around the room, and then narrow as if he were struggling with his own thought process.
Another step brought him within an arm's reach other, and for a split moment in time Shaw found herself wanting to lunge forward and punch that perfectly sculpted face as hard as her small, weakening body could, just to see if she could bruise his perfect, fake skin.
She also wanted to lunge forward and bury her face into his perfect, fake chest and cry and scream and claw at his perfect, fake back in fury and pain and-
"I wonder if I am learning to want. I know almost everything about you, Elizabeth."
Elizabeth. As if her name had almost been lost to time itself.
"But I do not understand you. I want to understand you."
Without warning David's hand flew into her personal space, reaching for her throat.
She jerked back out of instinct more than anything. It did not surprise her that their existence together would eventually come to this….
And how could she, with her weak body and mind ever hope to resist Death?
His fingers did not meet the sweaty skin of her neck, but she could feel the pressure nonetheless. A small tug against its back registered the pull of the necklace that he played with, the cross being rubbed between his perfect, fake thumb and perfect, fake forefinger.
She would have rather he strangled her.
Slapping his hand away she backed up, several steps, almost tripping for what had to be the twentieth time since they're departure together.
They. Because he's more than a thing. He's a perfect, fake human. A monster.
"Stop watching me, David."
His hand hovered in the air, fingers twitching as if he were still playing with her necklace.
She felt his eyes on her back as she retreated into the suffocating darkness.
She knew he would eventually follow, to watch her as she slept.
He would keep watching her until he understood.
He would watch her until she died.