Disclaimer: The Matrix is not mine. I'm just playing in the Wachowski brothers' sandbox.

It had moved quickly. Somehow we skipped the "awkward" stage that typically accompanies most relationships. But that's the way it was with us. Full-speed ahead, armed with nothing but the simple knowledge that we loved each other. Screw normalcy; it had no place here. Maybe that's because he was the One, and things were meant to be different.

If you'd told me years ago that I'd end up falling for a guy I knew outside of the Matrix code for, at maximum, two months, I would've said that you were bullshitting me. Switch and Apoc knew each other for years before their relationship became anything more than platonic. And besides, the very idea of me falling in love was laughable, despite what the damn prophecy said. I never bought into that whole love, romance, and soul mates crap. Please. I was a soldier. No time for petty idealism when there was a war to be fought.

Then Neo unexpectedly found his way into my life, and from then on, everything changed. I suppose that I should've known there was something about him when I insisted on taking more shifts than necessary to watch him in the Matrix, but it was the first time I felt his lips against mine that something snapped into place. Something subtle yet essential, like the last number to a combination on a lock. Suddenly, without explanation, everything made sense. No logic or reason behind this one, just a pure feeling, which exhilarated and terrified me at the same time. A sense of completion like I'd never experienced in my entire life.

I was never much of a student in the Matrix. School generally made that nagging feeling in the back of my mind much worse, made the world seem even more artificial than I already thought it was. A concept from tenth grade biology, however, became imprinted in my memory. Symbiosis, an interaction between two dissimilar organisms that serves to benefit the survival of both species involved. Being an independent individual, I struggled with this idea, not comprehending how another could be so vital to your own existence.

That is, until I met Neo. Until that moment in the TV repair shop, gazing into trusting brown eyes, affirming more to myself than to Cypher that, yes, I believed "Morpheus's bullshit." The first semblances of a strange feeling arose in me, one that I could not explain away: that if Neo were to die, a part of myself would die as well. I felt that part of me meet its demise when Neo met his in the face of Agent Smith's bullets in that hallway. But with that life-giving kiss, and feeling reawakened along with him, I understood; we were two parts of the same whole. Souls intertwined by this crazy destiny that had been thrown at us.

It isn't romance. It's not roses, or any of that shit. No. It's necessity. Life. Two organisms, each hopelessly dependent on the other to survive. If one died, so would the other. An unbreakable bond.

Symbiosis.