This is just a fluffy one-shot between Fifield and Millburn! They didn't really get much character building in the movie, so I thought I'd try and amend that. I might add more in the future, but I don't have any specific plans at the moment. As a disclaimer, I don't own anything from the movie.
Reviews are always helpful, but either way, I hope you enjoy this! Thanks!
Fifield shook his head as he took another swallow of coffee. He had forgotten to add sugar, but that wasn't what was irritating. It was the scientist – Shaw. She and her boyfriend. Did they really believe that they were going to find aliens wherever they were going? Shaw could call them 'Engineers' or whatever she damn well pleased, but the truth was that she didn't know anything for certain.
That didn't change the fact, though, that at this moment, he, Shaw, and the rest of Prometheus' crew were heading straight to LV-223. He couldn't deny he was going to be paid a boatload for this trip, so he might as well make the best of it. Finishing the bitter coffee with a final swig, he decided that he'd set up his equipment. The other crew members were probably gathered in anticipation, but he didn't like any of them enough to join in.
He especially didn't like Millburn. The blond biologist was cheery to a fault, and Fifield had to practically fight him off after they had all had woken up from hyper-sleep earlier. He supposed that the other man thought they were somehow friends because they were both scientists. Personally, he didn't buy it, and had set the record straight when the biologist had first approached him. It didn't really matter, because once the actual investigation began, Fifield would be alone, studying his rocks, and Millburn would be…well, he didn't really know where the biologist would be. But as long as they were separate, he didn't really care.
The halls of the ship were clean, almost irritatingly so. If Fifield hadn't already known, he would've guessed that the Prometheus had never travelled before. He supposed he had both Vickers and David to blame for that. The former, despite her lack of a title, acted like she owned the ship and the latter was just an unflinching perfectionist. Still, he doubted the android's advanced programming would allow him to be any less than one. If he was being honest with himself, he was rather unnerved by the blonde man. He couldn't bear to treat him like Shaw's boyfriend did, however – despite Holloway's insistence that David wasn't a real person, Fifield wasn't going to risk getting on the android's bad side. Holloway might not think it was possible for the android to have feelings, but Fifield wasn't quite sure. Maybe that was why he was so creepy. Either way, he approached David like he did the rest of the crew – ignorance.
Rocks are far better than people, he mused as he opened the door to his quarters, they weren't able to open their mouths and ruin a perfectly good-
Fifield stopped dead in his tracks. There, perched on the edge of his bed, was none other than the blonde biologist.
He folded his arms and stared down the blonde biologist. He thought he had got his point across earlier. Apparently not.
"Look, I know what you said earlier, you just left this in the cafeteria," Millburn said, holding up a small electronic device, "I figured you'd want it back."
"Thanks," he said, not bothering to hide the sarcasm in his voice.
"Well?" Millburn smiled as if he knew something that Fifield didn't, something that irritated the geologist very much. "Here you go." He stood up and held out his arm, the device safely in his palm.
Fifield looked at the other man suspiciously - he felt like he was about to walk into a trap. But he wasn't going to let Millburn, of all people, get the better of him. He squared his shoulders, and, with great reservations, went to claim his device and end this conversation.
He had just reached out to grab it when Millburn overturned his hand as if to drop it into Fifield's. Of course, he missed, and it fell to the ground with a slight clatter.
"Oh, sorry," Millburn said in a fake apologetic way, and reached down to retrieve the recorder.
"Of course you are," Fifield growled. He watched as the other man picked it up and, for real this time, held it out.
Wordlessly, Fifield took it. The biologist hands' closed as he claimed his recorder, and for a lingering moment, their hands were touching.
"Thanks," he muttered as he jerked his hand away. He looked down as he stuffed the device in his pocket and felt his face flush. Had Millburn noticed? He hoped not.
After a second, when it was safe to look, he glanced up. Millburn nodded, and Fifield could see that although he was trying to stay calm, the man was slipping up. His lips twitched downward and his eyebrows furrowed in unhappiness. Against his will, the geologist's mind conjured images of depressed puppies.
"Alright, I guess I'll see you later." Millburn shrugged slightly, stuck his hands in his pockets, and began towards the door.
"Hey, uh, hold on" Fifield said suddenly. He couldn't explain exactly why and he wasn't sure how to continue, but there was one thing he wanted to know.
"Yeah?" The biologist had turned around and perked up almost immediately, his actions doing absolutely nothing at all to quell the puppy imagery.
"Have you talked to Shaw?"
"Uh, not much. Why?"
"Do you think she seems a bit…off?" He leaned against his desk and folded his arms across his chest.
"What do you mean?"
"You don't really think we're going to find aliens, do you?"
Millburn shook his head. "No." He paused. "I mean, it's an interesting theory, but there just aren't any more mysteries on Earth. We've figured it all out already - why should we let a couple of cave drawings change hundreds of years of anthropological studies with hard evidence?"
"Why'd you come then?"
Fifield merely raised his eyebrows in response.
"It's…I don't know, it's the mystery of it all. The people from the company were pretty vague about the job description too. Oh, and the pay was pretty nice."
"I thought you said there weren't any mysteries left."
"What?" Millburn was slightly taken aback, and he looked at the geologist quizzically.
"Why'd you come if you don't think we're going to find what they think we will?"
"Just because I don't believe in Shaw's version of alien life doesn't mean I think it's nonexistent. Look at all the planets! Earth might be one large metropolis now, but it isn't the only planet. While large, intelligent life is highly unlikely, there're probably things we haven't seen before. No one knows! That's the fun of it." By the end of his speech, the biologist was grinning. "I'd ask you the same question, but you told me everything at breakfast at already.
Despite his efforts to dislike the other man, Fifield felt himself redden a little at the verbal jab and found himself talking anyway.
"It's interesting, I guess. We're going for all the wrong reasons. When we land and all we find is a bunch of rocks, she'll see." He shifted slightly against the desk and turned to look the biologist in the eye. "Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly fine with a bunch of rocks, but I doubt anyone else would be."
"I wouldn't say that," Millburn maintained the eye contact and gave a hesitant smile. "I think they're okay."
"Yeah, well, that's all we're going to find down there, so you'll be thrilled." Fifield turned dismissively and pretended to examine something on the table.
"Why did you come anyway?"
"What?" He looked back up and tilted his head.
"You said earlier it was for the money, but for a geologist like you, there are so many jobs you could take that would pay well. So why this one?"
"I…" Fifield wasn't sure how to answer.
Millburn, apparently having grown bolder, stepped forward into the room.
"I couldn't take another minute on Earth, I guess," the geologist continued. "Too many businessmen and bureaucrats and assholes that only pretend to like you."
"I get it…at least Vickers doesn't make any pretense about liking anybody."
Fifield chuckled before he could catch himself. "No. No she doesn't."
"I guess two years of hyper-sleep will do that to you. Although I doubt she was pleasant to be around before."
"I wonder what she thinks about this mission. She doesn't seem like she'd take well to god-aliens."
"Why would she hire Shaw, then?" Millburn narrowed his eyes slightly in thought.
"I don't know. And you know what? I don't want to. I'm just here for the money and the rocks. I don't care if there's some agenda here – they brought me here to be a geologist, and that's what I'm going to do." Even thinking about the politics behind the mission irritated Fifield.
"That's nice, but I hope it's not only rocks… A couple of plants might be nice too."
"I am a biologist, remember? A botanist, to be exact."
Fifield paused and tried to remember Earth at his last visit. At that point, much of the natural environment had been converted to the urban sprawl – he wondered what it looked like now, with two years of additional development. "How'd you get into that? Are there even any wild plants left on Earth?"
"I'll make you a deal," Millburn said quickly and with a grin, "If you go to dinner tonight, I'll tell you everything."
"You mean there's still time for dinner? Shouldn't we have landed by now?"
"You would think…I guess David wanted to make sure everyone was really ready." Millburn shrugged. "So?"
"Are you going or not?"
Fifield had underestimated Millburn's persistence. To say the blonde man was anything less than tenacious would be a lie.
"Sure," he mumbled, "I'll be there."
Millburn beamed. "I heard we'll be getting real food this time. See you there!"
And with that, he left. Fifield let himself revel in the silence for a while. Maybe this mission will be different from the others. He didn't know about the rest of the crew, but Millburn, at least, hadn't let himself be corrupted by the corporate scene that was so heavily intertwined with the science community.
Either way, he would find out soon enough. At dinner. At Millburn's invitation. A scenario which just this morning he had been hoping to avoid.
Oh god. He sighed and rubbed at his eyes. What have I gotten into now?