Just a little drabbling as a break from other things I've been working on. Done in one sit-down, with lots of cookies eaten between paragraphs. Takes place soon after the ending of the first movie. Please forgive any timeline errors or the like, as I merely wrote this for the fun of writing.
"Hey, Trinity, can I ask you something?"
Trinity looked up from the paperwork scattered on the table in the mess hall to see Neo watching her uneasily from the doorway. "Sure," she said, clearing away the papers in front of her. "What's wrong?"
Neo sat across from her, hands folded politely in his lap. "When…when we get to Zion, are the people there going to know who I am?"
The question took her by surprise. "I don't know." She furrowed her eyebrows. "Why?"
He gave a light shrug, not meeting her eyes. "I just…" His voice trailed off, not quite sure what to say. "I just don't like crowds."
Trinity chuckled a bit, amused by his words. "I know you don't." She gave him a smirk and reached out for another paper. Neo watched as she scribbled something out on a line, not quite able to tell what she wrote. It was then that he noticed the writing utensil.
"That's an ink pen," he noted, feeling dumb as soon as the statement left his mouth.
The woman just nodded, still finishing the form. "Easier," was all she said.
Silence fell, only broken by the scratching of the tip of the pen on the brownish paper. Neo wanted to ask what it was made out of, since as far as he knew there were no trees in Zion, but held his tongue. He felt so…young. So unknowing. It wasn't a very pleasant feeling. Not at all. It was like he was a little boy again, asking his mother question after question, trying to make sense of the world around him. Only this world was much different…and much harder to ask about. A mere 'what's this' or 'what's that' just wouldn't cut it anymore.
He subconsciously reached up to run a hand through his hair, only for his hand to be met with itchy spikes as a reminder of his very recent baldness. "Hey, Trinity?"
"Hmm?" Still writing.
"How long do you think it'll take for my hair to grow back?"
She glanced up at him for a moment, a wry smile on her face. "A few more weeks." More writing.
"What are those forms for?"
"Medical things, death certificates."
Neo was thrown by the answer. How could she be so…calm about that? He studied her face, her body language as she reached for another paper. She wasn't calm, he noticed. She was tense. She was gripping that pen as though she wanted to break it in two. There were deep creases around her eyes, on her forehead. Her eyes… He looked at them again. There were dark circles, made darker by the insanely harsh overhead lights. She was hating every second she spent writing out those forms. Despising…what ever it was she was despising for taking her crew away from her watchful eyes.
"Would you like me to go?" he asked, putting his hands on the table to help him stand.
"No." Trinity reached quickly across the narrow surface and put her hand on his, stopping his departure. "Stay. Please." Her eyes were wide, the blue irises standing out with the blue surroundings.
"Okay." But instead of sitting back where he hand been before, he crossed the room and sat behind her, legs on either side of hers. He wrapped his arms around her waist, pressing as close to her as he could to keep from falling off the bench, and leaned his head against her back between her shoulder blades. He could feel the bones of her spine poking him from beneath her skin and shirt, a sign that she was most likely as malnourished as the rest of the crew had been. It was a saddening thought. Her hair tickled his face as he pressed his lips to the back of her neck.
"You're the strongest person I know, Trinity," he whispered into her ear.
It was probably presumptuous of him to think that just because they had kissed he could invade her personal space whenever he wanted. That was what he was doing, he knew. Invading her personal space. He felt her body tense against his, and had a nagging feeling that she was going to shove him away from her and give him a rather brutal verbal beating about harassment or something. But she didn't move. She didn't move at all. Neo took that as a bad sign. She was clearly taken aback by his actions, but surely she wouldn't just freeze like that, right?
But then he felt her shoulders start to move as she reached out for another paper and dipped the tip of the pen in an inkwell near her right elbow. He heard the scratching continue as she filled out the last form in one of the stacks that had formed on the table. Another silence fell as she worked.
Neo inhaled deeply, filling his nose and lungs with her scent. He had gotten whiffs of it before, when she had reached around him to plug that awful spike into his head or sat beside him during meals those first few days. But now…now he could really smell her, as odd as that may sound. There was no way to describe it, not really. She smelled of…the ship, and sweat, and chills, and the rough soap they used in the showers, and that odd ink, and linen, and engine grease, and hard work. But it was her. That one scent underlined all the others.
"Neo," Trinity mumbled some twenty minutes later. "You awake back there?"
"Mmm," he replied, not lifting his head from the spot on her upper back.
"You, um, you're going to have to move." She twisted her head as far as she could, catching sight of him out the corner of her eye.
He gave her a lopsided grin. "Do I have to? I'm comfortable here."
"So am I," she said quietly, "but I need to go lay down."
At those few words he was on his feet in seconds, helping her up. "Are you okay?"
"I'm just tired." She met his eyes briefly before focusing on something over his shoulder, and he knew that she just wanted to get away. Not from him, but from whatever was plaguing her everywhere else she went. Thoughts of Switch and Apoc, or Mouse. Maybe memories of Dozer or darker ones of Cypher.
He stepped away from her, letting her lead the way to the domestic section of the ship. Neo had every intention of leaving her at her door, saying goodnight and walking to his own room. But as he was about to turn his back on her, Trinity reached out and touched his arm.
"Stay with me?" she asked, those three words echoing softly off the metal walls. She didn't saw 'please' this time, but he could see it in her eyes. She didn't want to be alone. And quite frankly he couldn't blame her. At his nod, she opened her door and let him inside, closing it behind them.
Neo let her take the lead, not wanting to push anything and get thrown out. She sat on the bed and looked up at him, the question there one he was almost too nervous to answer. He sat beside her and felt the mattress dip with his additional weight. Trinity gently pushed him down, settling herself against his chest and letting her legs tangle with his. If she could hear his heart pounding, she didn't make any mention of it.
"Goodnight, Neo," she whispered, trying to ignore the silent tears that finally escaped her eyes as her lids pressed closed.