On alternate Thursdays- not that there's really a Thursday on the ship- when he doesn't have to dye his roots- David draws himself a bath. He uses Miss Vickers' bathroom because it has the largest tub and also because he knows it will make her angry when she finds out. He sets her wall to playing Lawrence, like he always does, just to keep him company and sets the bath buttons to very hot. The tub is very large and he has time to get out his shaving kit, laying it out across the a tray as if for surgery.
First the cup and it's little bar of soap stuck at the bottom- it's getting smaller and by the time they're almost home from LV-223 there won't be any left. He'll have to shave with regular soap then- the thought makes him frown. He tips a little hot water in the cup and lets it sit a moment while he flips open the straight razor with careful fingers. It's still very, very sharp from the last time he stropped it and he has to be careful of his skin- they only packed so many patches for his synthetic skin, though he hasn't cut himself shaving yet. He checks his little hand mirror and remembers Mr. Weyland buying the kit for him in London- a present he would have given a real son.
The tub is halfway full and he begins to use the lather brush to work the soap in it's cup- the tub is full by the time the cup is too. David moves the tray to the tub side, steps out of his sandals, and begins to disrobe. He thumbs open the catches on his shirt, top to bottom, then slips it off and folds it over the sink. It's slower getting out of his pants- unfastening all five buttons over the fly, slipping them free of the holes, then sliding the trousers down his thighs. He picks them up off the floor and folds them neatly, setting them by his shirt. They're in neat little squares like they just came out of a package.
He slips out of his black boxer briefs, standing on one foot briefly- he doesn't catch at the sink or wall while he does it- graceful as a yoga practitioner. David doesn't bother to fold them- they're going in the wash, and he drops them in the little chute built into the wall.
David shuts off the tub, basks in the steam rising off of it for a long second with shuttered eyes, then leans back up and turns the lights down. In the other room Lawrence is talking to someone, voices too low to make out just now. David steps into the bath, hisses, and slowly lowers himself down. His fake skin doesn't change color with the heat but he can feel it inside, sensors registering a change, coolant systems kicking in. It's a bit of a drain on his battery, but worth it.
For a while he just lays back in the massive tub, eyes closed. He thinks about space, about his sleeping charges, about how angry Miss Vickers will be. He thinks about refusing to clean the tub, letting her find it.
After a while, now that Lawrence's voice is raised, David sits up and reaches for his shaving kit. He doesn't get dirty, per se, so there's not much sense in bathing other than he likes it. He stirs the shaving foam, whips it up again, then starts to spread it across his cheeks and jaw by feel. It's smooth and a little warm, drips down to his collar bone a little. It smells faintly of Bay Rum. When it's evenly spread David settles back in the bath again, watching his toes poke above the water. They're strong toes- not just because he's a robot, but... they look strong, too. Humans made him look like this- long fingers, muscled arms, his narrow waist, the straightness of his shins. It's all aesthetically pleasing- even David can see that- but it's pointless. He'd be just as strong if he was less well put together. The muscle of his calf, the size and shape of it, have nothing to do with how strong he is. The symmetry of his face has nothing to do with his functions, either- he could process data just as well with no face or just a camera. Humans like it, though, him looking human. Him looking good.
David sits up and reaches for the razor, touches the blade, thinks about it parting his skin in a straight line, peeling himself open.
He touches it to his face, to his cheek, leans his head back and slowly slides it down, over his jaw, over his throat, over his fake jugular, until the blade is milky white. He washes it in the bathwater, watching stubble and soap disperse, then reaches up to do it again. David works in long strokes where he can, slow and careful. Then he works in smaller strokes around his nose and mouth, tracing the razor into the divot under his lip. He scrapes it over his fake Adam’s apple, which moves with the pressure. He turns his head as he works, feels drops of water and foam fall to his chest, to his stomach, dotting his muscles where the water doesn't reach.
His face is smooth and hairless when he's done. It's perfect. He lounges back in the tub, cups a hand in the water and tips it out over his chest, watching the water bead on his skin, watches it spill over his muscles, tracing lines between his pectorals, then down his abs, turning and running over his hip to the water in the bath. He rubs at the water on his chest, feel his heart beating- not his real heart, he doesn’t have one, but something beating to make the sound. People seem to enjoy how human he's made, even as they hate him for it.
In the other room Lawrence is negotiating. His voice is eloquent, passionate, so human, such a hero- those people raped him in the desert and Lawrence still fought for them.
David rubs lower, over his obliques, over his lower abs, over the sparse line of hair leading lower. There are freckles on his shins and thighs, dotting his forearms and shoulders. His hair grows and he has to dye it if he wants to look like Lawrence. He looks so human.
He takes himself in hand, thinks of Lawrence, of Doctor Shaw's dreams, her sleeping face, thinks of Miss Vickers' furious eyes, and he wonders what the humans would make of this as he strokes himself off, hand working quickly, head rolling back against the marble wall. He comes thinking of their bodies, their faces, their emotions- how brave Lawrence was, how much curiosity Elizabeth must have, the ambition of Meredith- how humans made him feel, his skin touching itself, all those fake nerves- he slumps down in the tub, lax, and wonders if he hates or loves them more.
The water will get cold soon, but for now he can still bask in it's warmth.