A/N: Sorry if this chapter is a bit short, it's just how my outlines are turning out. I love your feedback. Enjoy.
Thomas didn't hear the front door open. He'd been waiting for the past hour for Raven to come home from work and had somehow ended up in her office again. But even with the computer screen bright in his face, the familiarity usually something that comforted him, the worry had already fully unsettled him. She was never late, even when it came to him. Something wasn't right.
He finally heard something in the bedroom and his heart skipped a beat. Had she just gotten home? Or had she snuck in a while ago? That was unlikely; she always made it very clear that she was home, usually by calling his name. He practically jumped out of his seat, bare feet inaudible on the carpeted floor. When he made it to the bedroom, he was taken completely by surprise. Raven was sitting on the bed, head in her hands looking just miserable.
"Rae." He said in the softest voice possible, though to no avail. Her head snapped up in surprise, tears of frustration still in her eyes. He was welded to the spot with her sorrowful stare, though he knew that not to be her intention.
"I wasn't sure you were home." She said, her voice raspy, but not yet broken.
He remained standing there for a moment before saying anything, watching her attempt to dry her eyes. He came across a few things to say, ultimately deciding that a less serious approach to this might be a better way to start a conversation. "Work that bad today?"
"No…" She trailed off, which only heightened his concern. He sat next to her, ready for anything. To talk, to listen, to calm her.
"Talk to me." He said. Though they'd been through so much together, he was, at this point, unsure whether or not to touch her, so he waited patiently for her to look back up at him.
When she did look at him, she did so with eyes that held pain within them, wanting nothing but to be able to feel secure in his arms, but she feared that nothing could ease her from this discomfort; this gut feeling that told her that everything in the world was wrong. Everything but him.
"We've tried to escape it, haven't we? We mask our true intentions to just…try and get away from it…"
Thomas stared at her with searching eyes, utterly confused as to what she was talking about and honestly quite afraid. Raven was the strong one, and though she's always been cautious, she was the one who always brought him back from the darkness of his own uncertainties; it was hardly the other way around. Seeing her at her weakest was gut wrenching, like it was completely supernatural, never meant to happen.
"From what?" His voice was suddenly thin, nearly whispering, an old and illusive fear about living amongst cruel lies grasping him once again. He took both of her hands in his, clutching them in an attempt to comfort her, telling her without words that she could trust him with any thought in her head; that he was there for her with every fiber of his being. But she'd already turned away, though her hands were desperately attached to his. When she continued, he knew why she couldn't meet his eyes. Her words stung him like a bad memory; like a bad wake up call, and she'd known that they would.
"We can't escape, not really. Even if we move far away from here, as far as we've been planning, nothing will change. I'll still feel like I'm being watched. I'll still feel the lies they're telling us. Even if we get married, my happiness can't drown out the frustration I've had my entire life."
Although she didn't specify exactly what they could not escape, he understood. Neither knew the answers to their constant questions, one in particular, which was why they believed that searching for Morpheus was the only way out.
She tentatively set her gaze to his, losing herself in his eyes; in the way he reflected just how much he understood her. She fell into him, letting him bring her down onto the bed, letting him hold her with all of his strength. But even now, they weren't close enough. They both felt it, unable to ignore the separation that so confined them from feeling close at all. What was happening to them?
Thomas drew away from Raven for a stressed moment, looking into her eyes and heavily considering taking this intimacy a step further, wanting desperately to be as close as possible. But before he could make any move, another feeling rushed his senses, one completely foreign to him. Raven had always felt like they were being watched, and he had too to a degree, but this instinctual feeling was entirely different. He could actually…sense people—no, predators more like—coming from outside their room.
Raven caught the serious look in his eye as he eased all the way off the bed. She sat up and followed him with her eyes as he slowly and quietly made his way down the hallway. He peaked into the living room, waiting for only a few seconds before there was a loud knock on the door. It made them both jump. Thomas didn't hesitate to run back to her.
"Do you know who's at the door?" Raven asked him worriedly.
"No, but I think I…" feel them. He shook his head as if to rid himself of the chill the thought gave him and made his way to the window, contemplating on whether to take the fire escape or not. The knock returned once again before the door was promptly forced open. Thomas opened the window effortlessly with the adrenaline pumping through him and reached for Raven's hand, not saying a word as to avoid giving away their position. He made her climb through first, having seen the suit and sunglass wearing freaks from his nightmares walking down the hall. He shut the window and failed to ignore Raven's cries of protest from the other side. She pressed her right hand to the glass before he told her to save herself and locked the window shut, pulling over the curtains as well. When he turned, they were standing just feet away from him.
Morpheus, Apoc and Cypher sat in a car down and across the street from Neo and Trinity's apartment building. Morpheus had just dialed Tank, needing details on the Agents whereabouts. They had gotten there as quickly as they could, but they all feared, even Morpheus to a degree, that they were too late. Cypher had binoculars on the apartment window, having just spotted Trinity climbing out.
"Hey! Neo's stuck with the Agents and Trinity's on the fire escape!" He shouted.
"Roland will take care of her. Our sights are on Neo." Morpheus replied calmly.
Cypher nodded, though a bit warily, and looked back into the binoculars. Indeed, Roland's car was now pulled up and a few members of the Hammer's crew got out to secure the area. He looked back up to Trinity, still in her work pants and jacket. It definitely wasn't her style, but he could not ignore for the life of him that she was gorgeous, maybe the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. Sure, they'd been tracking her for years, but he'd never seen anything but her code and credentials. Now that there was a face to the brain…
Apoc nudged Cypher with his elbow. "Focus." He hissed. Cypher put down the binoculars and put his hands in the air in feign surrender.
Back on the Neb, Tank shook his head and bit his lip. "This isn't good, Morpheus, this isn't good. There's no way Neo can get outta this by himself!"
Apoc and Cypher could faintly hear Tank's voice over Morpheus' phone. They looked at each other, both unable to hide the entirety of their concern.
"They've cornered him in his apartment." Tank added. "They're not doing anything, probably just talking, but I don't know how long Neo can stall."
"How many did they send?" Morpheus asked Tank.
"Three Agents. No police."
"So they're just going to kill him. No police, no handcuffs." Apoc said under his breath, Cypher catching the comment.
"None of us will make it if we go in there. And there's no way for him to run because he won't go down the fire escape to jeopardize any chance Trinity has." Tank said.
"We're too late?" Cypher said out loud, getting a look from Morpheus.
All their Captain said was, "It isn't over."
Raven had made it down the fire escape easily, though her heart was violently pounding in her chest, fear and shame taking her all at once. She wasn't running from fear of the mysterious men in her apartment, however. She was running because Thomas had sacrificed himself for her, the look in his eyes too serious to have ignored or defied, even with her pride as powerful as it was. She feared for his life. Thomas' actions had initailly infuriated her and she'd wanted nothing but to break down the window and crawl back into the apartment. Deserting him broke her heart, but they both sensed the high level of danger, something neither had ever encountered before.
Reaching the ground, she realized that she was not alone. Two men in sunglasses and formal attire were walking towards her, though they did not approach her as the men in her apartment had, nor did they look like them, but the fear had already settled in her bones. She was immediately defensive, knowing enough about self-defense to protect herself on a regular day, completely aware that this was definitely not a regular day. One of them back up a little while the other simply stopped his advance. It seemed that they didn't want to use force. Just then, two names were shouted from an open car parked nearby, an older man with gray hair stepping out. The two men completely backed off from Trinity as the older man, apparently their leader, advanced.
"I'm Roland, an ally of Morpheus."
Raven immediately let her fists down in shock. Morpheus? Did searching for Morpheus have something to do with this? Did Morpheus knew they'd been looking for him?
"We know who you are, Trinity. We're here to help you and your friend Neo." Roland didn't give her time to think, time of the absolute essence. "First of all, get in the car if you want to live. You'll get the answers you're looking for once we're in the clear."
Roland motioned to his men and they led the stunned Raven to the car. Once she was seated between them, Roland also in the car, she spoke up with a broken voice. "How will you help Thomas? Who are the people after us?"
"Once we're in the clear," Roland said, not even looking back at her, telling the person in the driver's seat to drive, and fast, "You'll get your answers."