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The Aftermath
by Mel Domingo

Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer... WB owns the Matrix and blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda.... and I own this story... No infringement intended... Hope ya’ll enjoy it.

Note: This story takes place near the end of the movie...


It was a haunting image... The sight of Neo’s once pulsating heart now abruptly stalled on the viewscreen. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Could all I ever believed in, all I’ve ever pursued have been a blatant lie? Yet, the piercing sound of the flat line on the viewscreen was enough to bring a ping of doubt into my gut.

I took a quick glance in Morpheus’ direction and saw the disbelief in his own eyes. We had believed Neo to be indestructible... Has he proved us wrong??? We had been so sure - so positive that Neo was the One, the one who would free all of humanity from it’s servitude to the mechanical race. There was no way we could be wrong. Everything the Oracle had spoken had come true.

I didn’t want to tell Neo of what I knew before he became trapped in that old subway station. I didn’t have the heart to tell him about what was going to happen. But, I knew. I knew all of this was going to happen. The Oracle had told me that Neo would have to sacrifice himself for his destiny to come true. I just never thought it would happen so literally.

In an instant, my mind flashed back to the final words the Oracle had offered me, "It would not be until your darkest moment that you will truly realize just how deep your love for this man is." I studied Neo’s face and felt a deep gut instinct rise from deep within me. Love was no longer an emotion abused by people in my past life in the matrix. Love was the feeling I felt for this man lying beside me. I no longer feared the bitter sting of rejection but welcomed the radiating passion burning deep within my core. It was then that I realized that I was no longer afraid. Despite the deafening crashes and clangs of the sentinels invading our ship... I was no longer afraid.

I leaned in as close as I could to Neo, realizing that time was running out. I knew what I had to do. With my lips nearly brushing his own, I calmly whispered into his ear, “I’m not afraid anymore.” I looked straight into Neo’s closed eyes, thinking that somehow he would be staring back at me. “ The Oracle told me that I would fall in love, and that man, the man that I loved, would be the One... “ I paused for a second, letting it all sink in. “So you see?... You can’t be dead... You can’t be... Because I love you... You hear me??? I love you,” and with that, I leaned in to seal my words with a tender kiss.

After a second or two I separated from Neo’s lips, waiting for him to awaken - just as the Oracle had foretold. sure enough, Neo gasped for a breath of air. A wave of relief washed over me for a moment before realizing that the sentinels were getting closer and closer by the second. “ Now, get up!!!” I watched as the bulkheads of the Nebuchadnezzar continued to be torn apart by the machines. Neo had to get out of the matrix before Tank could engage the EMP. I observed him carefully as the sentinels edged their way closer to Neo. “ NOW!!!” I screamed over the roar of the sentinels as Neo awoke. I quickly pulled the head-jack out of Neo’s implant and instinctively threw my body over him as the EM pulse migrated through the entire ship. I had to protect him from any impending harm.

It could have been seconds, or maybe minutes, but it seemed an eternity before Ifelt Neo’s arm slowly wrap around my waist, his other hand resting on the nape of my neck. I looked deep into his soulful brown eyes and succumbed to the urge stirring inside of me... And I kissed him. Moments later we parted from our gentle embrace. Neo was staring straight at me with a penetrating gaze. He too had realized that destiny hadbrought us together.

“Neo, I...”

“Shhh Trinity, no words.” Neo put a finger to my lips, a smiled formed on his face, “ I love you too.”

I felt a deep sense of satisfaction rush through my system the instant I heard those three words. Finally, after all these years of searching, I have found the one who made me complete.A faint stirring behind me made me aware of the presence of two other people in the vicinity.

“Well, if you two are finished,” Tank interrupted, “I’d like to check how much of the hardware was damaged in the attack.”

“Of course,” I replied. Then, I turned to Neo appearing more ‘professional’ as there were other people in the room, “ Let’s get you outta that god damn chair.”

“ I thought you’d never ask.” Neo stepped off the chair only to nearly stumble face-first onto the deck plates. I was glad I was nearby to catch his fall.

“ Hey, you okay?”

“ Yeah, I guess.”

“ Well, you’ve been through an awful lot.” I put my arm around his waist as he supported himself on my shoulders. “ After all, you did just resurrect from and dead... AND kick some major ass in the matrix,” I smiled at him seeing the laughter in his eyes. “I know, let’s get you something to eat. You must be famished.”

“ As a matter of fact, I am.”

In silence, I led Neo to the mess hall where I poured him a bowl of our infamous goop.“ Here you go, everything the body needs,” I offered him a bowl, adopting Dozer’s saying. I sat next to him, straddling the bench.

“ Not exactly,” Neo reached over, touched my face with his fingertips, and pulled me in for a gentle kiss.

I pulled away bashfully. I couldn’t believe the whole slew of events that have presented themselves to me. But, right now all that mattered was that I had Neo and Neo had me.

“ What’s the matter Trin?”

“ What do you mean?”

“ Why’d you pull away like that?” Neo inquired, his eyes showing a hint of concern.

“ I supposed I’m not used to anyone treating me this way. No one’s ever really seen this side of me.”

“ Why do you say that?”

I lowered my eyes to the bench and began to speak. “ It’s just that my life in the matrix was nothing to be envied. I realize that it’s been nearly a decade since I was actually connected to the matrix but these kinds of experiences stick with you and follow you wherever you go.” I finally looked up realizing that I had Neo’s full attention. I knew he was interested in hearing my story, unlike other people... “ Both of my parents abandoned me when I was eight. My aunt was supposed to take care of me but I was always running away to this dark, abandoned warehouse. I suppose I was just trying to seek some kind of comfort in my world of despair.

“When I turned thirteen, I was introduced to the world of hacking. I found an old computer near a rundown apartment building and rebuilt the entire thing using stolen parts. After I had cracked my first code, I was hooked.” I paused, unsure as to how I was going to continue. I looked into Neo’s eyes, finding all the reassurance that I needed to continue. “ I was rebellious in my teens. I was always getting involved in the wrong crowd, always letting older men to take advantage of my ‘love’ for them. Eventually, I learned not to love because every single time I had given that part of me away, I have been hurt. I’ve been hurt too many times. I taught myself to always present a hard, callused exterior to everyone. I suppose I stayed that way because I was constantly hiding behind my computer. When Morpheus rescued me and brought me onto this ship, everyone thought I was all business. All everyone saw was my drive to find you - the One. Tank’s even mentioned that I was almost as intense as Morpheus - especially after I discovered you. I couldn’t let anyone know how much I was hurting inside. And when the Oracle said that I was going to fall in love, the idea scared me. I didn’t want to hurt anymore. That’s why you’re the only person who’s seen me like this.” I looked deep into his eyes, searching for a reaction - any indication as to what he was feeling.

“ Seen you like what?” Neo looked at me with those playful eyes.

“ Like this...” I moved closer to him, held him close and kissed him - kissed him as hard as I could. I needed this man to know just how much I really cared for him. I wanted him to know that despite my unforgiving past, I still believed in him... In us. “Neo... No one can truly understand how much you mean to me - how you make me complete. This part of me, this whole piece of me belongs to you and you alone. I could never show anyone else - even Morpheus - that.”

Neo continued to look straight into my eyes - probing the depths of my souls - not even saying a word.

“ Neo, what is it? Why are you just looking at me like that?.. Say something.”

After a few more seconds of silence he responded, “ Trin, what did I ever do to deserve you?”

“ Okay Neo, I think you’re becoming delirious. It’s about time you go to bed. You’ve had a long day and you’ll have another on coming up once we’ve repaired the systems so we can send you back into the matrix.”

“ Only if you come with me.”

“ Where? The matrix or you quarters?”

“ Both...” he simply responded.

I looked at Neo, have we already become this inseparable? “ I guess I could do that,” I smiled at him, “ You think you can walk by yourself without falling flat on you face?”

“ We’re about to see.” I carefully watched as Neo rose from the bench cautiously trying out his legs. I nearly sat him back down when his face made an unbearable wince. “On second thought, I might need your help.”

Without words I positioned myself at his side, just as I had only minutes ago. We silently made our way to his sleeping quarters occasionally pausing for a quick break. Half way to the crew quarters, I noticed Morpheus was sitting at a computer terminal staring straight at us. I didn’t say anything. I don’t even think Morpheus had any idea that I knew he was there. But I knew - I knew that piercing gaze all too well. Morpheus was happy - I could sense that. He had succeeded in finding the One. Still, I think he was even more elated by the fact that Neo and I were finally together. It makes me wonder, did he know...

Before I knew it, we arrived at Neo’s quarters. I wouldn’t have noticed at all except Neo stepped straight in front of me, stopping me in my tracks saying, “ We ARE going to my quarters right?”

“ Oh... Yeah.” I looked up at him, interrupted from my musings. I led him to the doorway and let my arm loosen from his side. I lifted my hand to quickly and gently caress his face. “ I better get back to the main deck. I should help Tank and Morpheus repair the systems. “ I had presented my unyielding exterior to Neo again. Realizing this, I quickly softened, “ Sleep well, okay?” I offered him a smile and began to walk away.

“Trin...” Neo touched my shoulder, catching me in mid-turn. “ Please, come to bed with me. I need to be with you.”

I turned to the man I loved and saw the need in his eyes. “ I will Neo. Just give me an hour or two. Okay?” Neo coyly smiled at me and nodded in resignation as he turned to enter his quarters. “Hey...” He turned to me once again, not expecting what I was going to say. “ I promise,” I reached up to pull his face in for a gentle kiss. With that, I left him in his quarters and made my way to the main deck.

As I wandered the corridors of the Nebuchadnezzar, I couldn’t help but feel like I was seeing the world through different eyes. Has being in love with Neo changed the way I perceived the world? Myself??? All I know is that I’ve never felt this way before - in the real world or in the matrix.

“ Hey Trinity, are you gonna help me fix this damned computer or are you just gonna stand there?” Tank asked, interrupting my train of thought.

I looked around me, not realizing that I had already reached the main deck, “ Yeah, sure. Hand me that torch will you.”

Tank handed me the torch and face shield with a knowing smile. “ So, how’s Neo doing?”

“ He’s exhausted but otherwise okay. His ankle might need a little work though. He can’t quite put his weight on it yet.”

“ Come on Trinity, you know what I mean.”

Tank was the worst of the whole crew... when they were alive. “Tank, I believe this is mine and Neo’s business and ours alone.” I had to show Tank that I was the same Trinity he knew before Neo came along. I had to let him know that I was still a person who could get the job done - despite any ‘distractions’ that pop up along the way.

“Okay, I know when I’ve reached my boundaries,” Tank backed down.

I looked at Tank with a smirk on my face. “ Thanks. By the way, where’s Morpheus?”

“ He’s in his quarters resting. He’s had a long day as well.”

“Of course.”

“Well, since you’re still up and about, I might as well put you to work. Neo’s interface took a beating while he was in the matrix. Could you work on the circuitry? Oh, and while you’re at it, could you weld some parts on the chair together? Those squidies really did a number on the place.”

“ Tank, if I knew you any better, I’d think you we’re trying to keep me up all night.”

“Now, why would I do that?” Tank looked at me with a knowing eye.

I glanced at Tank and continued with my work. I had immersed myself so much in my repairs that I didn’t notice when Tank left the room. “ Neo!” I said to myself when I realized I had no idea how much time had passed. I hope he wasn’t waiting up for me.

I gently sat down my torch and removed the face guard. I stood up and quickly caught myself doing something I haven’t done in a long time - and technically haven’t done at all. I was looking at my reflection in a piece of shiny metal, attempting to mend my disheveled hair. “ This is crazy,” I thought to myself. I haven’t done this since I was in the matrix. Ever since I was freed, I stopped worrying about such trivial things. the fight for the freedom of all humanity became so much more important - and rightfully so. But, being with Neo has changed that. He WAS our fight for humanity. Or maybe, have I just discovered who I am?

I shrugged and made my way back to Neo’s quarters... To our quarters - for the night anyway. Hopefully he was already asleep. It would make me feel so guilty if I kept him up this long. I opened the cold metal door only to discover my worst fears were true. Neo was sitting on our metal bed, his eyes wide open. “Neo, what the hell are you still doing up?”

“ I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t stop thinking about you.”

I sat next to him and took his hand in mine. “My god, how long were you waiting for me?”

“ An hour, maybe two.”

I looked at him in disbelief. No one had ever done such a thing for me before. “Why didn’t you come out and get me?”

“ I didn’t want to interrupt you. I know how involved you get when you’re working.”

I locked my eyes on his own chocolate brown ones and began to stroke his hair. “Well, I’m through working. Right now, all I want to do is fall asleep in you arms.”

Neo gently kissed my forehead and laid back onto the cold, metal bed. He turned on his side, motioning for me to lay beside him. I complied, slowly curling my body next to his. Behind me, I could feel his arms slowly snaking their way around my waist, his lips nearly touching the base of my neck. The sensation of his rhythmic breathing against my neck was enough to send shivers down my spine.

Neo must’ve fallen asleep immediately because his breaths quickly fell into a slow, rhythmic pattern. I almost wished he hadn’t because I felt the need to talk. Today was far from being an ordinary day. Sure, we had succeeded in finding the One but that didn’t overshadow the fact I had lost three friends...Three people who had sacrificed their lives just so Neo could fulfill his destiny.

I couldn’t help but lay still in the cold, darkness of the ship. Everything that happened today had completely turned my life around. I moved my hands to where Neo was holding me and clasped his in mine. It was an amazing sensation. Despite everything I was feeling at the moment - all the fear, all the sadness - it could all be so easily dissipated by the man holding me ever-so-tightly in his arms. It felt so amazingly good to sense his entire body completely molded against mine. It was enough to let reality fly away.

I sighed and whispered, “ Sleep well, my love, ” and I finally let sleep overwhelm my exhausted body and mind.

Hours later I awoke, the lights of the Neb haven’t even come on yet. I quietly stepped out of bed, being sure not to disturb my love’s peaceful repose. I stood before the bed in awe. Neo looked so kind, so gentle - contrary to the Neo I’ve seen inside the matrix. He almost seemed to be an angel in the flesh.

I thought back to the day I had brought Neo his first of many dinners on the Neb. I remembered how I just kneeled next to his bed studying his face. Even then, I knew there was something special about him. I could sense it. He wasn’t like any of the other people in my life. He just lay there, oblivious to the fact that he could be someone so important - so crucial to our fight for freedom. And now, that man has given himself completely and unconditionally to me. As I watched him right now I realized that he looked exactly as he did that night - perfect.

I sat back on the bed and faced Neo, my knees tucked up to my chest. I felt so perfectly content to just sit here for hours and watch him sleep. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

I had no idea how much time had passed but I came to realize that the lights on the Neb had already turned on. I watched as Neo began to stir and use his arm to search the spot where I had fallen asleep next to him. Realizing that I wasn’t there, his eyes opened only to discover that I was staring straight back at him.

“Trinity, what the hell are you doing?” Neo asked groggily.

“I wanted to watch you sleep.”

Neo sat up and put his arms around my waist, “I hope I didn’t bore you.”

“No,” I said positioning my arms around his neck, “You didn’t.” I brought Neo in for a simple kiss. “Hey, we better get out of here. Tank’s going to start thinking things if we don’t show up for breakfast.”

“Like what?” Neo asked playfully.

I quickly jumped off the bed and began searching for my boots. “ You know what I mean!” I finally located my boots underneath the bed. I sat back down and slipped them on. “ Neo, put on your boots so we can get out of here.” I reached down to grab his boots and presented them to him. “ We’ve got a lot of work to do.” In truth, all I wanted to do was stay right here in Neo’s quarters and just spend the whole day with him, laying in bed and kissing him. But I knew that if we didn’t get out of here soon, we probably never would.

“Okay Trin. But first, you owe me a kiss.”

“Only after you put on those god damn boots.” I replied defensively. Neo was asking exactly for what I was trying to avoid.

I smiled at him as he grabbed his boots from my hands and quickly slipped them on. He took me by the hand and stood up off the bed, taking me with him. “I believe you owe me something.”

I looked at Neo and leaned in for a gentle kiss. I quickly parted from his lips saying, “ Come on, let’s get out of here.”

Neo took my hand in his and led the way to the mess hall. We never really said a word to one another. We just occasionally gave each other intense glances. The sensation of Neo’s hand in mine felt so good - so right. I knew that this is where I belonged.

When we got to the mess hall we were greeted with a pair of inquisitive eyes - Tank’s eyes. I couldn’t help but notice the funny look strewn across his face. I supposed he was still not used to seeing us together. “Hey tank, you get those eyes of your checked lately?”

Tank, who had been mesmerized at the sight of us finally responded, “ I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I gave him a knowing glance as I sat down at the bench opposite his side of the table.

Neo filled two bowls of our goop and handed one to me saying,” One bowl with our infamous goop poured especially for you.”

“Thanks.” I took the bowl from his hand as he sat down. Neo looked at me as my hand brushed his own. I guess he didn’t expect me to show any sign of affection towards him in public. He had gotten so used to seeing the other side of me.

We sat at the table in silence, occasionally taking a spoonful of the soup and eating it. There was tension in the air. I could sense it. I guess I wasn’t used to Tank seeing this side of me as well. A few minutes passed and the tell-tale creek of the door alerted us of Morpheus’ presence.

“How are you feeling Neo?” he asked as he stepped through the threshold of the door.

“Good sir.”

“Excellent,” Morpheus smiled, ”The ship’s systems are close to being fully repaired. As soon as you three are done with breakfast, I’d like to bring us up to broadcasting range. Neo, it’s time for you to go back into the matrix.”

Neo nodded in agreement as Morpheus left the mess hall.

I turned to Neo, “Neo, I better help Morpheus bring the rest of the systems online.”

I began to get up off the bench but Neo’s hand quickly grabbed my own. “But you haven’t finished your breakfast yet.” he looked at me with child-like eyes.

“I know,” I turned and looked him straight in his eyes, “But, getting you back into the matrix is more important than anything else. Finish your breakfast and then you can meet us back at the main deck. You’re going to need your strength.” I gave Neo’s hand a little squeeze and proceeded out the door.

Halfway to the main deck, I heard quick footsteps coming my way. I turned and discovered Tank trying to catch up with me. “Why in such a hurry Tank?”

“No reason in particular. I just wanted to ask you something.” We continued on our way to the main deck.

“What?”

“I was wondering how things were between you and Neo. I mean, you were up at the main deck pretty late last night. Did you even get any sleep?” Tank looked at me with a suggestive glance.

“As a matter of fact I did and that’s all I’m going to say.” I quickened my pace, attempting to make my trip to the main deck a little shorter. Tank really did have an inquisitive mind. But, I know he meant well.

“That’s all?” Tank asked, disappointed.

“Yes Tank...That’s all.” Tank and I entered the main deck and found Morpheus tapping away at a keyboard. “Okay Morpheus,” I quickly slipped into professional mode, “What needs to be done.”

“Tank, I want you to continue working on the main frame. Let’s see if we can set up another hard line at another location in the matrix.”

“Yes sir.”

“I will alert you when we’re ready to bring the Neb up to broadcasting depth.” Morpheus turned to me. “Trinity, I need you to prepare Neo’s interface for his journey into the matrix. There are still a few more circuits that need configuring.”

I nodded as I proceeded to Neo’s interface and began to busily tap equations and commands into the keyboard. I must’ve been completely engulfed in my work because the next thing I knew, I felt a familiar touch on my shoulder. I turned and my eyes met his own. “ Neo, shouldn’t you be finishing your breakfast?”

“Trin, it’s almost been a whole hour since you left the mess hall.” He glanced at my work on the monitor. “I can see you’ve busied yourself with your work, as usual,” Neo broke his eyes from mine knowing that what he was going to say might upset me, “Trinity, it’s time for me to go back into the matrix.”

I turned away from him, continuing to type things into the interface. I could not stand the idea of Neo going back into the matrix, not yet. The sentient programs have a score to settle with him. I couldn’t even begin to think of the things they were planning for my Neo... My love.

“Trin, we’ve already brought the Neb up to broadcasting depth... I have to go,” Neo said to me gently.

Not being able to turn to face him I simply responded, “I know.”

Neo sat in his chair and I strapped his body in not letting my eyes meet his own. When I was done, I finally summed up the courage to look at his beautiful brown eyes. “I wish I were going in with you.”

“So do I.”

“Neo...” I trailed off, not knowing how to continue.

“What is it Trin?” Neo slowly brought his hand up to my face, caressing it.

“You come back to me... Okay?” I replied softly.

Without words, Neo pulled me in for a soft, reassuring kiss. “Why would I not?”

I smiled at him, placing his hand down by his side. “ We’re ready,” I announced to Tank and Morpheus.

“Great,” Morpheus replied, “Tank, load Neo into the matrix.”

“Yes sir.” Tank replied typing in the various computer commands.

I stood by Neo’s chair and took his hand in mine as I stared at his monitor, carefully watching his as he ventured back into the matrix.

---The End


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