Serenity

Disclaimer: I don't own 'em. Making no money, yadda yadda.

Rating: G

Summary: Before they're lovers, Trinity and Neo recognize a closeness that they cannot ignore or deny. Brief vignette.

Serenity

I wake to a feeling that I seldom feel here on the ship – the feeling of company, someone present. We know each other too well for surprises. Familiar footsteps, familiar scent. There are no secrets; we form one consciousness whether we want to or not.

I pull the thin blanket away from my face and inhale the cold. Heat won't be on for a few more hours. I listen. This is not familiar. I can't place it. I snuggle myself back down into my nest, opening my mind. Who is it? Tank would have knocked by now.

Whoever's out there shuffles back and forth, as if trying to decide whether or not to enter. The slight noises fade. Are they gone?

No.

Still there, waiting.

And then it hits me, my heart feels it and I'm positive my stomach just turned inside out.

It's Neo.

I crawl out of my bunk, wrap my blanket around me, and go to the door as silently as I can. My hand clutches the cold steel and I push the lever down.

He's sitting on the floor, bald head in his hands. His ass must be freezing, I think. I don't ask what he wants. He doesn't explain, either. I extend my hand, he looks up and takes it. I pull him up and we enter my room silently. He doesn't let go of my hand.

"It's late," I tell him. "Couldn't sleep?"

I sit back on my bunk, take another blanket and pull it over his shoulders. "Can never sleep," he replies.

"How long have you been out there", I ask, still marveling over the warmth of his hand. His fingers clutch mine tightly, afraid to let go.

He doesn't answer.

"Trinity, I..."

Don't say it, Neo. I'm not ready.

But the words I'm afraid to hear don't come. "I'm so tired," he says instead. Something breaks inside me. I need to hear it. I do want to hear it. Why are you here, Neo? I search his face, his tired eyes. Do you...feel this?

"I need to be here," he whispers, squeezing my hand. "With you," he adds after a pause.

I nod. I understand. Completely.

Without speaking I lay him down on my bunk, he curls up and I fit perfectly against his back. I'll be warm tonight.

"Go to sleep, Neo," I whisper.

And we do.