Hello, saw you are taking Daniels/Walter prompts and I had one I would really like to see. I did send this prompt to someone else taking them but they never replied. My idea was going with a happier ending, they end up on origae-6 (sans David, lol) and have been in the process of building the settlement and the colonists are awake now too. It's fairly obvious Daniels likes Walter but he sort of denies any feelings on his end because he's Walter. He wants her to be happy with another human.
Oh, hello! Also, yESSS, more Walter/Daniels shippers on deck! Good. They deserve to be happy, damnit.
I wrote something vaguely similar to your prompt on AO3 buuut…you’ve given me another idea. Hold on to your butts, kids, this one ended up longer than I thought it would. But hey I did promise that other anon some fluff SO
COURTSHIP OF AN ANDROID: ONE EXASPERATED WOMAN’S JOURNEY
“Ruskin,” Daniels repeated.
“Ruskin,” Walter affirmed.
“You share several common interests.”
She put a hand over her face and rubbed at her eyes. It had been a long day, and explaining the intricacies of human courtship was not on her list of things she wanted or needed to be doing at ten o’clock at night. “That’s not - Walter, that really isn’t -”
“I have also noted that he becomes visibly nervous in your presence, which is normally an indicator of attraction.”
“No, he’s nervous because I was the captain and he has a whole complex about authority figures. I overheard him telling Hernandez that whenever I’m around he wants to crawl under a table and die.” She noticed the flash of distress on the synthetic’s face and clarified: “Humans often say they want to die when they’re embarrassed. It’s called overreacting. Which is what you’re doing right now.”
A raised eyebrow. “I am sorry if I came across that way. I am just concerned for your wellbeing.”
She felt her heart do a funny little flip in her chest and abruptly stomped on it. Daydreaming was for when the object of her affections was not actually in the room with her and she could blush all she liked without being asked if she was unwell. (He had even taken her temperature once, just to make sure). She’d had plenty of practise with Jacob, not deliberately playing hard to get but certainly making it a bit of a chore to ensure that her feelings were definitely not just a crush, but Walter was severely testing those limits.
She liked him. She had been shocked at first, especially since he looked so similar to someone so…utterly alien to the very concept that was Walterness (kind, attentive, funny, whatever the opposite of genocidal was - benevolent? Yes. That was a good Walter word) but over the months had come to accept it in the same way she had accepted how empty the Covenant’s bridge had been without her friends, and that all that remained of her husband was a nail on a piece of string.
And, if she wasn’t mistaken, she was fairly certain that Walter returned her affection on some level. He certainly seemed to have zeroed in on her, stopping by ‘for a chat’ at least once per day, and she had caught him staring at her several times for no reason she could adequately explain. (One time had been because she had spilt ketchup on her shirt, but the other times still counted).
“I’m not going to the Valentine’s Day bonfire with Ruskin,” she said, realising she had been woolgathering in lieu of actually answering Walter’s not-a-question-but-was. “It’s my first one without…without Jacob, and I wouldn’t want to go with someone I asked just to not be on my own.”
“If you were to ask me, I would say yes.”
The gentle smile continued for a fraction of a second longer before faltering. “I’m sorry,” the synthetic said, tilting his head slightly to one side. “I don’t think I heard you correctly.”
“You have amazing hearing,” said Daniels, “and you heard me just fine. If you want me to go with someone, then there’s no-one else on Origae-6 that I’d rather go with than you.”
Walter nodded once, processing the information, then brightened. “I see. Platonic support at social events is very important.”
“No,” said Daniels, who reflected on the fact that she had been saying ‘no’ a lot recently, mostly to Walter - or Tennessee, who had created a moonshine still out of some debris from the Covenant and kept asking if she wanted to try some. “As my date.”
For the first time since she had met the synthetic, he avoided meeting her eyes. “That would be inappropriate.”
“If you don’t want to, then that’s fine. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to turn up with a relative stranger just because -”
She was surprised when he interrupted her. Walter was the epitome of polite and could spout several books on good manners, and she couldn’t remember ever hearing him talk over anyone else. He continued to not look at her as he spoke, and his words were soft. “It’s not a matter of not wanting to. It’s a matter of duty.”
She nodded. “I don’t understand.”
He finally managed to drag his gaze back up to meet hers, and his face was heavy with emotion. “As your friend, I have a duty to you. To ensure your continued safety and personal happiness on Origae-6. To be clear…I would find attending the bonfire with you…” He struggled for the right word. “…Acceptable. But acceptable only to myself, and that would be selfish. I cannot be selfish. It would be doing a disservice to you.”
She hesitated, then reached out one - barely shaking - hand and placed it against his upper arm. “Making me the happiest woman on the planet would be ‘doing me a disservice’?”
“It would only be a temporary happiness. Maybe even for just one night.” He looked at her hand, then took it with one of his own and held it in front of her, his palm over hers. “I may look human, Daniels, and I may even feel human to you - but I am not. There’s no heartbeat under the tips of your fingers, and if you were to break my skin you’d find only hydraulic fluid underneath. You belong with your own kind. They’re the only ones who can truly give you what you need.”
She frowned. If I ever meet the idiot at Weyland Industries who was in charge of the self-depreciation files in your head, I am going to hit them with a cargo lift.
There were a million things she could say and more, but Walter was clever. He knew how to reason, how to argue with maddening calm, how to avoid uncomfortable topics and divert conversations with the practise finesse of one who believed they could never be a part of them.
So instead of pouring out her heart, she gave him a yes/no question.
“Do you like me?” She asked.
He frowned. “Daniels -”
“Do you like me?”
Averted eyes. His hand closed around hers. “Yes.”
“Then you can give me what I need.”
She pulled on his hand so that he staggered forward - taken for once unawares, and she mentally congratulated herself for that - then pushed herself up on her toes and wrapped her arms around his neck. His own remained outstretched for a moment, frozen, then slowly curled around her, the stub of his left hand against the small of her back, the fingers of his right splayed between her shoulder blades. She could practically feel the confused look on his face as he pressed it, gingerly, against her hair.
“Ruskin,” she muttered. “Fucking Ruskin. He likes opera, Walter. The shouty kind.”
“All opera is the ‘shouty’ kind.”
“Exactly.” She pulled back slightly so that she could look him in the face. “You have an awful taste in men.”
He gave her a wry smile. “Then it is beneficial that I make up for it with my excellent taste in women.”