Summary: Now I can't change the way you feel, but I can put my arms around you
Category: Romance, drama
Time Period: Some point during the Matrix I before they go to the Oracle.
A/N: This was a prologue to a bigger fic. But I've ditched the basic idea of that fic. I'll return to it later. But this can stand on its own.
Endorsed by The Construct (www.constructfic.org)
Now I can't change the way you feel, but I can put my arms around you.
~Protection, Massive Attack feat. Tracy Thorn (oh yes, the ULTIMATE Trinity song)
His hand touched her shoulder and she could feel him try to peel away a layer of her skin. She couldn't stop him, he wanted to get in her, in under her skin, inside the deepness that was Trinity. To be contained by her. I'm not ready, she shouted, I'm not ready to let you in. Her head ached as she heard a far away noise. A knock.
She opened her eyes from the dream. There it was. A gentle knock at her door. Too quickly, she stood and felt the cloying darkness of a blackout nearing her mind. She shook it away, glad to be away from her nightmares but in dread of what awaited her in that gentle knock. Was it Cypher with a philosophical argument? She had grown use to his late night needs of someone to talk to. Tonight was not the night for Cypher to come at her with questions, not after her dream. Or it could be Morpheus with orders and news. And it would most likely be bad at this time of night. Sentinels, or worse. She moved towards the door, her face sleepy and emotionless. Whatever was out there wanting her attention would get it, like it or not. The knock came again and she unlatched the door. It opened noisily, broadcasting to her surrounding crew that she was awake at this hour. Her eyes squinted in the dark. It was a shivering man who awaited her. His threadbare blanket was wrapped around him and his face was white as a sheet.
Neo?, she said incredulously. He nodded meekly. His eyes were dark and haunted. She realized that they were mirror images of each other, one male and the other female, both shivering in the cold, escaping their dreams. What is it, Neo?
He looked down at his feet, suddenly embarrassed. If she hadn't have been so tired she would have recognized at once the meaning of his embarrassment. But as it was, she moved backwards to invite him in her room, still confused by his presence at her door. Come in, Neo, come inside.
And he did. And his shyness intensified as he looked around her cabin. It was larger than his own and yet did not have the feel like a woman's room. It was the room of a warrior. He blushed. What did he want, she wondered. What is it that he wants from me? What is bothering him so? Clearing his throat, he looked at her straight in the face and she saw her answer in his quiet plea.
Michelle was her name. Michelle Anderson.
She remembered her own similar need from what seemed like ages ago. Her crew was lucky to have Nachtigal, the most peaceful woman she knew. The ancient medic had been a child psychiatrist in the real world and therefore mothered them all, especially Ghost. She had loved Ghost as her own child. Her death, mourned by all, was a lucky one. She died not in battle, but in sleep. Pleasantly smiling at her fate.
But Neo now needed a Nachtigal, someone warm and gentle to chase away the fear. She could sense him blending the images of the dark haired Michelle and her own pale face in the darkness. And it frightened her. Neo needed comfort, needed a mother figure to calm his fears. He was only a child in this dark world and lonely. She had seen this in Mouse before, but the fear in Neo's eyes was different. She could see his terror at his journey, the path laid before him.
Without fully realizing what she was doing, she reached out and pulled him into her arms. His face lay on her shoulder and she snug her chin over his in their almost awkward embrace. Neither admitted to themselves that this position felt like freezing in the coldest ice and burning in the hottest fire. He relaxed and began to hold her closer to him, equalizing the embrace. Their breathing slowed and began to pulse in unison, both feeling calmer than they had ever felt in each other's arms. I cannot do this alone, Trinity, I fear the dark, I fear death, I know I must face him alone, and I cannot do it. I cannot fight them alone. He spoke quietly, rapidly, in a small young voice. She held him tighter.
No one is alone, Neo. I will never leave you. Her voice was warm, deep from inside her heart. Believe me, I won't let you face them alone. Hesitantly, he stepped away from her, out of her embrace and into the cold. Her statement confused him, bothered him.
And he left.
She closed the door.