A/N: Since I've only seen the movie once, this will be somewhat AU-ish. Repeated viewings would be needed to portray the characters completely IC as well. But well, I really liked their on-screen chemistry and was intrigued by the twisted family dynamics of "the Weylands", so this came into being.
The first time Meredith meets a David she doesn't know what he is.
She is a girl of ten, sheltered and reserved. Loneliness is something she is used to, something she has learned to welcome. There are no other children at the estate, just her care keepers: tutors, cooks, cleaners, nannies, bodyguards. Meredith is given the finest education, her life follows the flow of a strict schedule, and she does not yet understand the contradictions of her life; why her father only comes to see her during rare occasions; why she is Meredith Vickers instead of Meredith Weyland; why all her efforts are like tears in the rain.
It is a Friday evening, the sun is setting to the West and most of the staff has retired for now. Meredith sits in her father's chair within his study, reading a book in secret as she is not permitted to indulge herself in fantasy during her study hour. Her short pixie hair is neat, but is starting to outgrow its cut and falls on her eyes when she leans in, chin nearly touching her chest. She stops reading whenever steps grow closer, and slowly slips out of the chair, hiding behind the wooden desk, but no one else dares to enter the study.
It is these desolate hours that she steals for herself that provide her happiness. Her hideout is her father's study, the only place she feels safe in this large house. She reads poetry, tales of chivalrous love in all its forms. Her heart resounds with eloquent words and universal truths, for she has never felt anything like it; the flame of love intrigues her, and she wants nothing more than to experience it one day.
Meredith is alerted though; she catches the sound of approaching steps and slips out of the chair silently, hidden beneath the desk in just seconds before the visitor already has their hand on the handle of the door. There is hardly any excitement in this game of hide and seek, as punishment is never severe, nor does it discourage her from further mischief; it merely teaches her to be more careful the next time. She watches from her hideout as a man enters the room, his steps quick and fluid. She's never seen anyone move like that, so smoothly, and Meredith tilts her head at this sight, frowning, her previous concerns forgotten suddenly as she becomes captivated by this visitor.
By now she can tell the visitor is male; he wears the same kind of clean, pressed trousers as her tutor does, although there is no trace of aftershave in the air, which she commonly connects to males. Piqued, she shifts the slightest to gain a better view. The man walks in without much regard, acting almost like he is wholly comfortable here, in her father's study that is off-limits to everyone, including her. He walks to the chairs by the liquor cabinet and the table, sitting down. He then glances at the chess board placed on the table, and within mere seconds he evaluates the situation, picking a piece then and executing a move. The piece makes a distinct sound when he places it on the chess board, and he sits back eyes upon the chessboard.
Meredith glances at the door, realizing he closed it after him. Why is this man here alone? Who is he and who let him in? She makes a small noise, barely audible to her own ears, but apparently enough for the mystery man to hear it and turn to her. As he turns he is no longer embraced by shadow, and she can finally see his face. He looks stoic but handsome. His clothes are clean, and his dark hair is tidy.
The stranger stares right at her, seeing the small girl beneath the table clearly now. But his expression does not waver, and his body language does not reveal anything about his reaction. He quite simply stares at her.
"Hello," he eventually says with a flat voice before extending his hand. "I am David."
Meredith climbs to her feet from her hiding place, straitening herself. She wears a cornflower blue wool dress. Her father hates it when she wears dresses around him, but her tutors and nannies don't mind them. She herself is quite fond of dresses as they're comfortable to wear and give lots of room for movement.
She approaches him mutely, struck by the way he holds out his hand without moving, those almost frightening eyes cast on her. When she reaches him, she takes his hand though, and gives it a determined squeeze. His hand feels cold and hard against hers, unlike her father's big soft hand.
"Meredith," she says, following his example of identifying herself by just her first name.
The stranger does not smile, but he shakes her hand formally and then places it back on his lap stiffly. She finds him pleasing to look at, even as there is something strange about him, something that does not quite fit.
"I am pleased to make your acquaintance, Meredith," he says, stealing a smile from her with his politeness. She is rarely held in such high regards, and it easy to please her with attention. He doesn't react to this though, simply observes her.
"Why are you here?" she asks him curiously, sitting across the table from him, blonde curls bouncing as she moves.
"I was invited," he explains, "To play chess."
And then, as if attempting to remain courteous he turns his eyes from the chessboard back to her small frame. "Do you play chess?"
Meredith shakes her head. "My father hasn't had the time to teach me yet," she shrugs, a sting of pain in her small voice.
"Your father is Peter Weyland," he informs her. "He is much too important to teach a child mundane things."
She frowns at this, feeling the stab of his statement in her chest. Like so many times before she is brushed away as unimportant, and not just by her father.
"I know," she simply responds. "He is a great man, or so they tell me. He will change the world one day," Meredith recites the same old excuses she's heard a million times, almost believing them by now.
"But if he has promised you that he will teach you," he then says, "then he will do so. He always keeps his promises."
To whom, she wonders, recalling many events where her hopes were crushed and the distant father remained nothing but a ghost despite his promises. Meredith nods languidly at this, feeling the desire to talk to this strange man dissipate by the minute.
"He has told me life is similar to chess; that by understanding its rules, we too will thrive."
Meredith watches as his focus shifts from her – an insignificant thing – to the game he so admires. Although his eyes betray no emotion, he moves to touch the chess pieces almost longingly.
"One day you will reach the end of your own chess board too. And you will change into a queen," he tells her cryptically, eyeing the Queen piece on his end. It is white and beautiful.
"You mean grow up," Meredith clarifies.
"That too," he responds.
It is then that she notices something she had not noticed before. He has a faint tattoo on his neck; it almost looks like a number. Meredith tilts her head to see it better, and as if picking up on her intent he turns his head to accommodate it. It is the number five.
"What is that?" she asks, anxious suddenly.
"That is my designation," he explains. "I am from the fifth generation of Davids, a prototype."
She blinks, not sure if she understands what he's saying.
"I am a synthetic human being, made by your father," he further informs her, turning back to her.
"Made by father?" she asks, tasting the odd words. "Does that make you my brother?"
"No," he responds without delay. "That would require for us to share genetic code. Alas we do not."
She remembers now, realizes why he looks so familiar. Meredith stands up and walks up to her father's desk, pulling open a drawer and taking out a picture from within. She then walks up to him and offers him the picture.
"You look just like him," she says absent-mindedly as the android looks at the picture of her mother and uncle.
The picture is faded, but the resemblance is quite eerie. Where she looks much like her mother, he looks almost like a doppelganger of her uncle. Meredith has looked at it many times in secret. Both her mother and uncle died in an accident sometime after her birth, and are nothing but pictures to her.
David looks at the picture, trying to process this, to understand. But he doesn't quite get there, cannot see what she is saying. Eventually he gives her the picture back, speechless for once.
Meredith takes the picture back, knows it would anger her father if he knew she'd shown it to anyone. Her father does not like talking about her mother and uncle, not even to her.
He stands up all of the sudden, standing with perfect posture as the handle turns. Meredith freezes still when she realizes someone else is coming in, but she acts quickly and hides behind the desk again. The android is not unfazed by this. And when her father enters the room, walking across it eagerly to apologize for his delay, David does not mention her presence.
"Ah, I see you've already started," Peter smiles to himself, eyeing the chess board with satisfaction.
There is further noise down the hall, which results in the loss of his good mood and he sighs a moment later, "Unfortunately it seems my daughter has gone missing. I trust you haven't seen her?"
The android does not pause. "I saw your daughter briefly. She's quite pleasant."
To this Peter simply scoffs, "She's young and reckless. Always causing trouble." There is deep displease in his voice. "It is because of her shortcomings that I have placed all my hope to you David. You will be my successor, my true heir."
Meredith listens in horror, eyes swelling with tears. She does not make a noise, however, simply sits where she is, numbness spreading across her body. She thinks of the heartless man sitting across her father being heralded notable in her stead. Her previous interest falters, morphing into irritation, intense dislike.
"Perhaps we should search for your daughter, Sir? She is, after all, only a child," David suggests, his voice the same, monotonic even in the light of such trust.
"Alright," Peter agrees and leads them both outside.
Meredith is left in the room alone, tears burning her throat, childhood illusions cruelly unmasked.