I'm sorry for the waiting. I know I should have updated sooner, but lately I've been extremely lazy, even when it came to writing, so I often ended up reading instead!
This is the last chappie, I hope you like it.
"Will she make it? Please, tell me she's gonna be alright..." Neo asked as he stared worriedly at Trinity's unconscious figure lying on the metal table in the Med. Bay.
Morpheus tried to reassure him. "Of course she'll be, we've tended all her wounds on time. Don't worry more than you should, Neo. Her cuts are not so deep, so they will leave no visible traces on the skin, and the same goes for the bruises. Her sprained ankle is going to be like new, as well as her broken arm, since the fracture seems to be less serious than we feared, but it will take time.
On the whole, I can say with certainty that her wounds are more painful than dangerous for her health. She will recover perfectly after several weeks of rest. And remind her, when she wakes up, that the word rest means staying in bed and not working."
Neo sighed. "She won't like it though. She can't bear to lie in bed without doing anything when the others are pretty busy."
"I know, yet she has to." The captain said, adding a silent make-her-stay-in-bed-in-any-way look.
"And I know you will help her feel better, physically and emotionally." Link intervened in the conversation. After noticing Neo's interrogative expression, he explained. "Well, a nice massage for little pains can lead to other more interesting things..."
"Link!" Both Neo and Morpheus exclaimed, the One blushing violently from head to feet at the operator's meaningful words. Despite their attempts to be quiet, they knew a few sounds always escaped from the small refuge that was their cabin when he and Trinity made love. Which probably reminded Morpheus and Link respectively of their beloved Niobe and Zee.
The operator's lips curved into a seraphic grin. "Sorry bud, I just couldn't help it."
"Let's move her to the bed. Gently."
Everything around her was so bright, almost blinding. Her body and mind felt very light, as though she was flying, hovering in emptiness. The pain and the blood were just distant and faint memories, a deep silence and a longed peace ruled anything. And yet, the thought of what had happened still lingered in her head, it wouldn't leave her alone. The tired shadow of her unconscious lay down hanging in the air, and she sighed restlessly. Someone familiar appeared beside her and, despite everything, their presence was comforting.
"I've made it... but I don't feel well. I feel like I have betrayed Neo, somehow..." the words escaped her mouth before she could hold them back, expressing her doubt and fear, voicing the question that really mattered. A question which was torturing her like a burning thorn in her side.
The old woman shook head in response. "You shouldn't be. You just did what you had to. There is nothing wrong in doing anything to save the one you love."
At the other's words, relief washed trough her body like a sedative. Someone else appeared, and she couldn't help but smile faintly at them. So the little child was fine now.
Then, all of a sudden, the whiteness surrounding her turned into pitch blackness...
Sound of voices...
"She stirred! I think she's waking!"
"Be more quiet, Link."
Trinity's eyes half-opened, but her sight was blurred, she couldn't see clearly. The woman shook her head slightly and blinked, until her tired pupils managed to focus on three faces staring down at her with concern. Her gaze landed first on Link, who then started gushing about hyenas found in the severs - she made a face at the mention of the word "hyenas" -, then on Morpheus, who complimented for her victory and told her about her physical conditions, and finally on Neo, who was looking at her with a mixture of worry and happiness, too relieved to say anything.
"Hey" she said quietly, giving him a small smile and lifting slightly her right hand toward him.
He released the breath he didn't even know he was holding, then he smiled back, taking her hand and squeezing it. "Hey yourself"
They were so caught by each other that they didn't notice Morpheus and Link sneaking silently out of the room.
Neo sat gently on the edge of the infirmary bed, caressing Trinity's hand, yet he still couldn't bring himself to say a word.
"I really look like shit, do I?"
Neo felt a lump in his throat. How could she care about that when her life had been in danger? To him, nothing mattered more than her being safe and sound and being there with him. He leaned down and captured her lips in a long, hard, desperate kiss, which left both of them breathless. Maybe not... she mused as the kiss ended, her fingers running through is short dark hair, feeling his hand touch her cheek. She looked straight into his eyes then, and immediately realized the reason why he was quieter than usual. He felt guilty for what had happened to her. She sighed. "Neo, stop it. It wasn't your fault."
"Wasn't it? If I had seen Hypno was still alive I could have-"
"No, you couldn't have." Trinity cut him off abruptly.
Neo glanced at her questioningly. "Then how did you defeat him?"
"I'll tell you soon. But first I want to ask you something. How did you find me, when Link couldn't even trace my RSI code?"
"Ah, yes." He grinned. "Thanks to a mouse." Off her look, he explained. "While I was looking for you I saw one disappear into a manhole cover, and the severs where the only place I hadn't searched. You know Hypno had settled a code barrier which didn't let us to see you, but when I scanned the underground area around the Oracle building I noticed that was the only part of the severs where no rats appeared, so I realized it was a cover."
"Joy, I owe my life to a rat!"
Neo pouted mockingly. "So you don't think I was going to find you anyway."
Trinity smiled and pulled him down for a quick kiss. Now it was time for her explanation. He probably wasn't going to like it.
When she opened her eyes again she saw Hypno come toward her, walking with deliberately slow footsteps.
"Stay away from me!" she yelled trough clenched teeth, her dark pupils sparking with a mixture of anger and dread, emphasising the clear aquamarine colour of her irises.
He just kept on coming closer. "Are you afraid? It is not my intention to kill you. I just want to understand. I just want another sample."
Her eyes narrowed at the obvious meaning of his words. "No. What happened before... it's never going to happen again." She replied, shaking her head in denial.
"Then stop me, if you can."
In a flash he was standing right in front of her again, trapping her between him and the wall, demanding something he had already taken forcefully two times.
"Don't you understand?" he said, staring at her anxious expression. "You do not want to resist."
He started to lean in as he saw the woman close her eyes and relax against the wall, as though she was willing to give up at his request.
He knew he was playing a dangerous game, yet he couldn't help it. Just her close presence was causing him to feel weird and unknown sensations, sensations that were starting to blind him. He decided he couldn't bear them, because they seemed to soften him, to weaken him. And he hated being weak. He had never been weak, and he wouldn't start now.
And still, he was curious. He didn't like those feelings, but at the same time he wanted to understand what they meant, he wanted to know why humans acted the way they did, and why most of them tried to keep alive those emotions.
Just as his lips were about to touch hers, his eyes widened and he stumbled back with a loud hiss of pain, falling on his knee. Without him noticing, Trinity had shot a violent blow with her knee between his legs. Program or not, a kick in that place surely hurt. He was a man after all.
She walked forward limping slightly, while he started to recover from the unexpected attack. He glanced up at her as he finally stood back up, his face displaying an expression of confusion, and mostly anger, for the first time. "You're resisting."
"Look so." The woman said, shrugging.
He held out a hand toward her suggestively. "Come here, you do not want this. Come back to me."
She smirked coldly at him. Now it was her turn. Turn for her revenge. "You know, I really think our relationship..." she spat the word out with disgust. "... if I can call it so, has gone too far. On the other hand, I want to thank you for opening up my eyes a little."
He scowled. "What the hell is this?" he demanded, voice raising in irritation.
Trinity just shrugged again at his predictable change of mood. "My real nature. Want a taste?" she asked tauntingly.
Hypno glared and lunged at her. Forcefully trying to ignore the pain in her ankle, she managed to jump over his head and whirled, kicking him into the wall. He span around and grabbed her arm in a tight grip, punching her twice, one blow in the stomach, the other in the face, flinging her across the cave. She scrambled to her feet and turned to face him, but he was already rushing at her, so they both fell to the floor, rolling, eventually ending with him on top of her. His long pale fingers closed on her throat in a choke-hold and started squeezing hard, not the hardest he could but hard none-the-less. He was probably trying to weaken her more.
Trinity sent a punch under his chin, then grabbed his T-shirt and flipped him over, so she was the one on top now. She punched him a few times, until he caught her fist and pushed her off of him, tossing her in the space between the wall and one of the stalagmites. After a failed roundhouse kick, which left her surprised and Hypno still unharmed, she grasped the stalagmite near the top with both hands and jumped around it, sending him against the wall with a powerful flying-kick perfectly aimed at his head. Not wanting to give him any moment of truce, she lunged at him and delivered a kick to his neck, which he seemed to block easily, then she bent over at the waist to avoid two consecutive punches aimed at her face. Yet he kicked her in the chest and shot a violent blow at her ribs, finally causing her to double over in pain and fall to the ground face first. At this point, Hypno picked her up by the throat and tried to choke her again, but she startled him by spitting blood in his face and she managed to escape his clutches. As soon as she was free she ran away, trying to find a place where she could momentarily hide and take a moment to contemplate the situation. Hypno wiped away the blood she had spit in his eyes with the back of his hand, at the same time licking off the blood that trickled from his mouth – caused by the flying-kick he had received before – , then he chased after her.
Trinity's expression showed she was visibly upset, and she was not making a fast flight either, since she was limping because of her dislocated ankle. Spotting a cleft on her right she gritted her teeth and made a dash for it, slumping against the wall. The fight was obviously getting nowhere, considering Hypno was nearly completely unhurt while she was collecting bruises over bruises. It almost was as though she was fighting an agent; with the difference that agents just intended to kill, and not play the cat-and-mouse game with her.
Hypno is the most diabolic being ever created. He can't be killed with any weapon, neither with violence, because he's actually fond of it. Fighting him isn't going to resolve anything. But what can I do then?
Right then Hypno walked past the cleft she was hiding in, so she surprised him by coming from behind and bashing his head with a stalactite she ripped from the ceiling. Unfortunately, although he obviously didn't remain unaffected by the hard hit, she didn't even manage to knock him down. As they fought, he wrestled the cone-shaped stone from her hand when she swung it at him again, tossing it away, then they returned to martial arts. Not weapons, nor violence... not weapon, nor violence... damn it! He punched the side of her face, right on her temple, causing a wave of burning pain to spread from her head to the rest of her body, then he grabbed her by the shoulders and threw her more than 10 metres across the cave. She landed rather painfully, and for a few seconds she lay there, unmoving, trying to regain her breath and recover at least a part of her strength.
When she eventually managed to stand shakily on her legs she realized with dismay that one of her feet didn't rest on the ground. The woman turned around and her eyes widened in fear when she noticed the large, but not too deep, chasm behind her, which had a half-moon shaped lake in the middle. She tried to get away from it, but a kick to her side made her lose her already precarious balance and she fell. Hypno watched as she went down tumbling on the ice covered rocks until she arrived at the bottom, then he himself followed jumping nimbly from one rock to another to reach her.
Shit... Trinity's face contorted in a grimace when she stirred. Every inch of her body hurt like hell. Double shit... she mentally cursed again as she realized her left arm was bent in a strange and painful way. The she heard light footsteps moving toward her. Come on, Trinity, get up... She tiredly managed once more to stand and limped to a near stalagmite, leaning her weight fully on it.
"You really never give up, do you?" He said as he strode forward, observing her carefully. He liked what he saw. Although she was bruised and bleeding, and obviously exhausted, she still was beautiful and so determined to keep on fighting. The perfect image of how all warriors should be.
In her turn she observed him, reflecting. Can't be killed... not with weapons, nor with violence... think, damn it, think... How on the earth I could- oh my God! Her mind screamed as realization suddenly struck her like a bolt from the blue. No, it can't be that... and yet...
Trinity stared at him, breathing hard. She couldn't help it. She started to laugh.
Hypno glanced at her with a mixture of confusion and irritation, annoyed by her sudden action. "What are you laughing at?"
Her laughs slowly reduced to a grin, then she started walking unsteadily toward him. "I'm laughing because I feel so stupid. The solution was right under my nose, and I didn't see it earlier... right in my heart, and I didn't sense it. I'll give you the answers to the question that more plagues your mind."
He unconsciously took a step backward. The his silver eyes widened, What the hell is she doing! , when she unexpectedly leaned in and kissed him. He tried to pull back, yet he couldn't. On one hand he didn't want to stop, because it looked harmless, on the other he wanted to, because he couldn't control what was happening. Eventually he surrendered, then he closed his eyes as he heard her voice echoing in his head.
You want to know what love is, Hypno? It was the first time she called him by name, and it had a weird effect on him. Love is one of the most powerful and upsetting feelings. It's a desire which attracts and connects living beings, because they all have a reciprocal need of completion.
Love is strange... in our loved one we look for someone who is like us, and at the same time unlike us. If the other didn't resemble us, if we couldn't recognize in his or her thoughts and feelings the reflection of ours, there would be no love... but if the other resembled us too much, if he or she were just a mere duplicate of ourselves, then there would be no love as well.
It's as though once all individuals were formed by two different parts, and now these separated parts were trying to get together again, because they need each other... this goes even for me. In Neo I have found my other half, I have found the one that will always be at my side, no matter what... when I am with him, I know I can be who I am, and I can act however I want, because he accepts me and he understands me better than anyone else, even better than myself.
Without realizing, you are looking for someone who is completely like you, and that's why you will never find love. What I am giving to you it's just a little sample of the love and the passion I feel for Neo...
You're feeling it now. It's something you can't control, therefore it's also something you can't bear.
And without realizing, Hypno, you're dying.
"So you see, Hypno was so evil he couldn't stand being loved. After that I don't remember anything else." Trinity finished.
She looked up at Neo, but he was looking away. She could see he was a little upset about what had happened, but he was trying not to show it. Her hand cupped his cheek, forcing him to meet her gaze. "Neo, that didn't mean anything. Remember what I said? I love you. Only you, no one else."
Come one, idiot. She risked her life to save you. You love her, she loves you. Show her you understand.
He covered her hand with his own and he eventually smiled, relaxed. Then, all of a sudden, he gave a silent little laugh, but she still heard it. "What is it?"
"Huh, nothing. Just something Link said before you woke up."
She raised an eyebrow. "Which would be... what?"
He swallowed slightly. "You won't like it."
Trinity stared at him expectantly. Neo sighed, then blurted it out, waiting for the explosion. Which came after a second of deafening silence.
Her face flushed in anger and embarrassment. "He said WHAT! This is it, as soon as I get better I will SKIN HIM ALIVE!"
Neo smiled inwardly. That's my Trin.
After drawing mentally a repertory of the most painful deaths for the operator Trinity finally seemed to calm down, probably because in the meantime her lover had slipped in the bed – the infirmary bed was much larger – and had spooned next to her, careful not to hurt her. She sighed contentedly as she felt Neo's arms wrap around her waist and his lips kiss her neck, she felt warm and safe. She was home. Maybe I won't kill Link, after all... she thought before drifting off to sleep in the arms of her love.
A.N. So, did you enjoy the story? If yes, I'm really happy you did, if not, never mind!
I thank everyone who followed the story so far and supported me.