After the blast had swept through the ship, I looked about, anxious as to the fate of my surviving crew. I was relieved beyond the power of words to see Neo's eyes open, and him look up at her. I turned my attention to Tank - and when I next looked back across the core they were kissing, with a kind of shared wonder in what they had found.

Their powerful attraction had been apparent to everyone else from the first time they met - Trinity's, indeed, had been the subject of onboard banter even before, when she had insisted on watching those green digits fall, night after endless night - but I don't think they had trusted in its being reciprocal until that point. Neither ever doubted reciprocity from that moment on, and nor could anyone else. Their mutual passion was absolute, and almost frighteningly obvious, until the very last moment we ever saw them alive.

It was unthinkingly just accepted as part of who Neo was. He had brown eyes, he adored Trinity, he was gifted beyond reason. We had all known her before Neo came, and so most marveled at the change. Only I survived to remember a Neo before her - and so only I knew that the greatest change lay there. Thomas Anderson - anxious, awkward, suspicious - was gone forever. The watchful, quiet, unassuming Neo of the real world, so reliant upon Trinity's silent presence by his side, and the commanding, charismatic leader he became within the Matrix, remained in his stead.

He would watch Trinity, until the very last moment I saw them together, always with the same expression, his face still, blank, but his eyes alight, soft, full of an emotion too intense, too powerful, to name - and she would mirror him exactly. Trinity had always been able to mask her feelings with consummate skill, she never let anyone see anything she had no wish for them to see, and Neo did learn from her some semblance of the art - so I could never quite tell if they were simply unable to disguise their passion for each other, or if it was just that neither cared who saw it.

It was remarkable, but they even began to look alike. Both lost weight in those final months of struggle, and the planes of their faces began to stand out in sharp relief, especially with Trinity, who already had so little to lose. She became paler, her eyes huge black smudges, and her skin took on a transparency that looked less than healthy. She reminded me, in fact, of that fifteen year old girl, consumed by the mystery of the Matrix. Now, she was consumed by the mystery of Neo's fate. She knew he would save Zion - I don't think she ever doubted that for a second. Her fears were all for what that might mean, for him. Yet she burned with conviction, and those blue eyes had never looked so alive, so focused, before he came to us.

She was happy, truly happy, and it was only then that the depth of her previous unhappiness struck me. She had never complained, never questioned, had always fought with courage, skill, and determination. She had been well liked by her comrades, her quiet dignity respected, her increasing authority unsullied by arrogance, her readiness to undertake more than her fair share of the tedious, grubby, or grimly dangerous chores admired. Yet she had never wholly engaged with anyone, not since the day she was freed, and it was only watching her with Neo that made me realize it. She was not a reserved, careful person after all - not the still, watchful Trinity we had all believed ourselves to know. She gave herself over to him utterly, without thought of risk or cost. Neo became her life.

I did not know that their time together was to be so very brief. I had harbored hopes and dreams for them that, as far as I know, neither had shared. I saw work for them in Zion after peace came, and a grateful city finally afforded them the fullest possible opportunities for their talents. I imagined children, with her blue eyes or his brown, and the security all Zion children know, from their role as the hope of the city, of our kind. I had always felt that their children would be profoundly blessed. No parents could love one another more intensely, and to be born into such a relationship, be born of such a relationship, would be a heritage indeed. I had believed that the future they had risked so much, given so much, to win for us all would also be theirs.

They never discussed the future in my presence. It was as if they knew. And yet, despite that, they were undeniably happy. Theirs was a very real and very human love, it was on all levels - physical and sensual, emotional, not merely spiritual, as some who seek to guard the One's memory have begun to claim. She was his lover, not his disciple. It is vital that that is recorded. They had found great joy in each other, and it was enough for them.

That, in the end, was their secret. Both were brave and capable and loyal individuals. Both would always have served Zion well. But Neo's powers were dependent upon his belief in himself, and that, he drew from her. She believed in him completely, and he trusted in her belief. It meant he could achieve the impossible, because it never occurred to her that he might fail. He was never an arrogant man. He was always dismissive of any suggestion that he should command his own ship - that he should lead us. He preferred to walk one step behind me in public, side by side with her. And that too was typical of Neo. His ability was to him simply a gift, unworthy of pride or comment; he carried it lightly, and it was one he shared with us all. Without the strength he drew from Trinity, that admirable humility might have remained mere self doubt.

I was always circumspect with the knowledge that they would choose the other above all else - including Zion - because I knew that had that been known, the Council would have been forced to separate them. Even their special dispensation couldn't have extended so far. It was, finally, as well for us all that both were willing to die for Zion. Had Trinity been unwilling, and willing to dissuade Neo, she could have done so in an instant, and Zion would have fallen. We are all here today because of Neo - and Trinity. Her part must not be forgotten, in our haste to thank him.

I once saw them on watch, in the core of the ship, before the Matrix feed. It was Neo's watch. Trinity should have been asleep in their cabin, so I approached, nonplussed by this improbable dereliction of duty. But Neo held a finger to his lips, and as I reached them I saw she was asleep on his lap, her face slack and peaceful, her head resting on his shoulder, their fingers intertwined. She had let her hair grow after Neo came, and it had softened her face a great deal. Strands were falling over her eyes as she slept, and without looking away from the screens, he seemed to sense this and had brushed them back with his free hand, gently kissing the top of her head, seemingly unconcerned that I was there to witness it.

"She couldn't sleep," he said, very softly. "She was worried it might affect her watch. So she came to sleep here."

The end had been quite close by then. Less than a month away. It was Neo, not Trinity, who was plagued by nightmares and found sleep elusive. And so I had known that she just needed to be with him - whether awake or not - and I had suddenly appreciated that she was wise in this.

Neo said it. That night in the core, as she lay sleeping in his arms, and he tapped brief instructions into various screens one handed. "I may be the One, Morpheus," he had said, quite casually, "and that may be my purpose. But Trinity is the reason. My reason. I don't need any other."

I had taken over that shift, and sent them both to bed.