Three days in the making. I find it weird how I don't plan anything. I basically sit down and type and it somehow gets into a story.p

Stole "For always, forever" from a Lara Fabia & Josh Groban song because I didn't want to use "Never letting go" again.

That's about it, except the Matrix isn't mine. (I wish it was, though.)

--

It was my shift. I sat in the worn out swivel chair staring at the green coding falling down. It's amazing. When you're still plugged in, you think the whole thing is real, but from here, you see the whole system and it's lies. It was one of those boring nights, nothing really interesting was happening. We weren't specifically watching a hacker at the moment so I'm basically sitting here watching false-reality TV. When nights are like this, I usually sit and think about my life. I don't know what I did to deserve a woman like Trinity, but whatever it was I'm glad I did it.

I have the graveyard shift for the next couple of days, so I don't see her much. I start my shift after dinner which is just about breakfast for me and since there's four of us, I end up doing the whole night since Link has the flu right now. The shifts are split up like this: Morpheus gets the first half of the day followed by Trinity who sits there all afternoon unless something needs fixing, then Link does the shift from dinner till about midnight, and I spend the next six hours up all night. Since Link is sick though, we limit what he does. He insists he's fine but has to keep a bucket next to the chair. We let him stay for an hour or two and I do the rest. I hate it. I know I have to do what I can, but I hate it. I miss her. I'll do my shift all night then sleep. Before too long I have to get up again and do two shifts.

Sometimes Trinity comes to keep me company for a while. I know it's hurting her too. She comes in with a blanket draped over her shoulders, wearing the long shirt she sleeps in. She then pads over to me in her bare feet and curls onto my lap. She'll usually fall asleep before too long, but I like having her here. Morpheus will come in and check on me and then carry Trin back to the room because we both know she really needs her sleep. Morpheus can tell that it's hurting her too, but he really can't do much about it since we're so short on crew. So for the few minutes that she's awake, we cherish every moment knowing that before long, she'll have trouble keeping her tired eyes open and when she wakes up, I'll just be getting to the room, and she'll be leaving.

I want to do something nice for her, you know? If this were the Matrix, I'd get her a weekend spa getaway or something really great, but this isn't the Matrix. So at this point, I'm getting really distracted so I'm looking at the monitor with the corner of my eye while more of my attention is directed at another monitor where I'm just looking at some Zion Fleet database that all ships have access too when I came across Trinity's. I think she looks amazing when she smiles her beautiful smile, but even that neutral face she has in her I.D. photo makes her looks just as beautiful. I look at the information I know, such as her name, gender, ship, status, and apartment number. I'm about to move on when I noticed another piece of information I failed to notice, her date of birth. August 21st. I glanced back at the Matrix feed and zoomed in on one kid's calendar. Today is August 18th. Trinity's birthday is in three days. She never told me this, so she obviously could care less if I did something or not. She knows I would give her the world if she wanted it, so maybe that's why she never told me.

Morpheus came to relieve me earlier than usual. I gave him a puzzled look. He smiled at me warmly and put a hand on my shoulder. "You love her," he said. "Be with her." I thanked him and fought the urge to sprint to our cabin.

When I got to our room I opened the door as slowly and quietly as I could, knowing she would be asleep. Closing the door behind me, I bent down and pulled my oversized boots off my feet and placed them gently in the corner where her boots lay on their side. It straightened hers out and lifted my unraveling sweater over my head and let it fall in a heap over Trinity's. God, she looked so beautiful in the dim blue light. Like an angel. She's curled up near the edge of the bed, so there is no way I can get in without waking her, but that's fine with me. I rather stay awake watching her sleep than watching the Matrix feed. I brushed away a stray lock of her ebony hair from her calm face. Her lips curved upward, making me smile back. My fingers gently caressed her warm cheek.

"Neo…" she whispered as she stirred slightly. "Shh, go back to sleep," I whispered back, but she didn't. She opened her eyes slowly and looked at me, her eyes shining. Her eyes are so warm when she just wakes up. She took my hand in hers and put it under her cheek, keeping it there. 'You're back early," she said, stifling a yawn. "Morpheus came earlier." She nodded against my hand and shifted towards the wall. Still holding my hand and my gaze as I crawled into bed next to her, she wrapped her free arm around my neck and I wrapped mine around her waist. Our hands pressed against each other's chest as if we were dancing a waltz. She smiled and kissed the spot between my shoulder and neck and I held her tighter, not wanting six a.m. to come. Glancing at the clock, it was less than an hour away. I frowned slightly and Trinity looked up at me again.

"What's wrong?" she asked me, furrowing her brows. "It's almost six," I murmured sadly. Trinity remained confused for a moment then understood. She squeezed my hand tightly. Bringing it to her lips she kissed my knuckles and looked up at me with all-knowing eyes. I sighed and kissed her forehead then her lips gently. She let go of my hand and pulled me closer, deepening the kiss. Pulling away, I brought her into a tight embrace. Minutes passed as we listened to the silent hum of the engine.

When I woke up Trinity was gone, off to do today's task. Sighing, I got out of bed and glanced at the clock. One more hour and Link's hour shift starts. Eating the food Trinity had left me, I felt my mind wander back to what I should do for her birthday. All I know at this point is that I want it to be special, something personal, something to show how much I really care. I can't draw, so that's out of the question. I'm terrible with speaking things, so maybe I could, I dunno, write her something? A love letter or a poem maybe. Oh, I know, and love letter that is a poem! I'm surprised of how smart I can be sometimes. Smiling to myself as I get dressed, I start trying to form the words together, proving to be a more difficult task than I thought it would be. I don't want it to sound really corny, but I still want it to portray exactly how I feel, so it's hard.

I bumped into Trinity in the corridor. Feeling like making her laugh, I took her hand in mine and kissed it gently. "M'lady," I said, trying to sound as old English as I could. This gained a hidden laugh that you could only detect if you really knew her. "How is the fair maiden?" She smiled, but I knew that she wouldn't join me. "The fair maiden is much overworked and is yearning for her knight to no longer work into the long hours of night while she must lay her head to rest without thee," she said, catching me off guard. I pulled her towards me and kissed her deeply. "I love thee," she whispered into my ear and she broke away and walked towards the mess hall. Confused but content, I walked to the Core to relieve Link. "Go thee and henceforth get out of thee Core quickly," I said to him. He spun slowly around in the chair. "Neo, what the hell have you been drinking?" I felt my cheeks turn red and looked away. "Um, I'm relieving you, go away?" Link nodded. "That sounds better." I took his place in the chair and by the looks of it, it was going to be another eventless night. Instead of being disappointed, I opened up a typing program and started to think. The annoying little line that flashed was driving me crazy. I thanked whatever god there was that it wasn't Word with the annoying paperclip thing. Maybe if I took an already written poem and re-wrote it, maybe she won't notice. Who am I kidding? Of course she'd notice. She secretly loves poetry with a passion.

As the night continued on, nothing happened in the Matrix or on my typing program. Almost twelve hours of staring at the damn pulsing line. Morpheus relieved me early again and as I walked to the room I saw the pulsing line everywhere I looked. Trinity was waiting for me again and before long we both fell asleep.

Waking up alone again, I got on with my tasks. I was getting extremely angry with the whole birthday thing. I was considering pretending that I never knew in the first place, but then I felt bad. And that's when it hit me. I'm not going to type something out on a stupid machine and then attempt to figure out how to print the damn thing on paper. Where the hell does the paper even come from? There are no trees in Zion that I know of. I had my plan ready and a few hours to spare so now all I had to do was figure out what I was going to write. That's a great question though; what am I going to write?

I sat happily during my shift this time knowing that I had finished my deed and that this was my last all-nighter. Trinity had fallen asleep in the engine room. She'd finished whatever she'd been doing and leaned against the machine and fell asleep. I carried her back to the room and hopefully she hasn't seen what I've done yet, I want to be there when she does. After the sense of happiness faded away, I became extremely bored. Of course nothing was happening in the Matrix. I could probably leave right now and nothing would happen except Morpheus would get extremely pissed at me. In conclusion, this means I must stay in front of a computer and do absolutely nothing for the next four hours. What fun, eh? Think of all the things I could do on these computer now instead of watching the code, and I can't do any of them. It's like buying a N64 for a seven-year-old boy and not letting them play with it. It's unfair, insanity even.

The hours passed by so slowly, but when Morpheus finally came to relieve me, late I must add, I almost ran to the room. When I opened the door I found Trinity lying on her back staring at the ceiling, a smile on her face. She turned her head, her stare now fixated on me. "You. You did this?" she asked, knowing the answer. I nodded, a large, dorky grin pasted onto my face. She turned her head back to stare upwards, her eyes shining as she read. God, I love those eyes. I took my boots off as quickly as possible and lay next to her. "It's true, you know." She nodded, still smiling. I draped an arm over her stomach and pulled her close to me.

"You were my first love. I knew it from the moment I laid my eyes on you. Deep down I know you'd be the woman I would love. You will be my last; I cannot live without you. There are no words to describe the love I have for you, so I will leave you with this: For always and forever."

I wiped the lone tear that had escaped from her eye as I read the engravement the ceiling. Trailing my arm from her stomach to her shoulder, I rolled her over so that I could look at her. Her icy eyes shone, like two orbs of energy. "Happy birthday," I whispered. Trinity stared back in confusion. "How, how did you find out?" she asked, completely shocked. "I have my ways." I was about to say more but she cut me off, catching my lips with hers.

She'd fallen asleep hours ago. I just couldn't, I was too happy. She had curled up against my side, taking my chest as a pillow, her ear resting above my heart. Deep down I knew she fell asleep listening to my heartbeat. I stroked her hair gently.

"For always and forever, Trin."