TITLE: Memory

SUMMARY: Trinity reminisces...

CATEGORY: Romance, post-movie.

RATING: NC-17. Pretty tame, as far as NC-17 goes, but nonetheless, definitely NC-17.

DISCLAIMER: The characters ainít mine. Theyíre the WBís and the Wachowski Brothersí. Iím just borrowing them to give them a little... uh... quality time...

THANKS: To Mara Trinity Scully, who edited this thing, and then convinced me to post it when I wasnít sure I could bring myself to do so.

AUTHORíS NOTES: Ok. Some of you are going to hate me for this, but dammit, Neo and Trinity deserve a little quality NC-17 time, doncha think? Itís smut, people, SMUT SMUT SMUT, which means SEX, so if thatís not your thing, TURN AROUND NOW. For those of you who choose to continue, itís tame smut, somewhat idealized and excessively romantic, but I couldnít bring myself to do anything less for this particular couple. And, in typical Centaur fashion, itís still definitely a character piece, I think. I donít know if Iíll be writing more of this; this was hard enough as is. But weíll see.

Soooooo... here we go.

 

 

MEMORY

 

I wonder, sometimes, if you think I donít remember.

You think that Iíve forgotten that night. You think itís been lost in my jungle of tangled memories, superceded by images of sentinel attacks and Agent morphs, of cold slime dinners and lonely hours of midnight watch. Or you think I take it for granted, perhaps, that youíll always be there every night and every morning, that youíve become a fixture. You think that all the nights since then have melded into each other, so I canít remember the one in particular.

But I do.

I remember.

I remember every word, every breath... every touch, every gasp, every cry muffled by worn pillows and hungry mouths. I remember the smell of it all, like sweat and love and rusty metal, and how cold it had been that night before you came.

But I remember before that, too.

I remember how we talked about it, before. How we decided to wait for a perfect time, a perfect place, so we could learn more about each other than the simple fact that we were in love. And I remember how hard it was to discuss, how awkward, because Iím not a talker, and neither are you. We spent the conversation facing each other chastely and staring at our hands. I didnít know you, then, and you didnít know me... I knew you were real, and that you were HIM, the fulfillment of the prophesy, the piece of myself that had been missing for so long. You knew that I loved you enough to call you back from the dead, and that I was there for you to hold on to when you needed it. You knew I was THE Trinity, who cracked the IRS d-base. But hell, when that happened, you thought I was a guy.

I think we both had visions of perfection, then... of whiteness and scented candles and soft music, of making love for the first time in a canopy bed with silk sheets and feather pillows. Is that what we thought we were waiting for? Is that what we wanted? It doesnít really suit either of us. And besides, there is no silk anymore, and feathers are all synthetic.

And I remember that night in Zion, that night that voided all of our careful planning, that night that made everything right.

It was late. I hadnít seen you all day; youíd missed dinner. Morpheus told me you were still in programs, that they wanted to know what made you tick, they wanted to know how you did it. They wanted to see you blow up some Agents. And I remembered how much it had hurt you the last time, how much pain youíd been in... So I waited up for you with my door open in the hope that youíd come in before you went to bed. I remember that I had my back to the door when you arrived, and how your voice shook when you said my name:

"Tri-Trinity..."

I remember how you stood, then, with your arm braced against the doorframe and your head resting against your hand, and how you were shaking... how your whole body trembled, and your eyes... how tired they were, and sad, and frightened.

"Oh, God, Neo..."

"They keep... all those questions, the programs... the tests... and I canít... I mean, I donít know howó"

There was so much despair in your voice, and fear. And I silenced you with a finger to your lips. There was no need for you to justify yourself to meóI knew you were hurting, and that all I wanted, then, was to take the pain away.

Your hands were shivering when I held them in mine, but they werenít cold. You followed me so easily when I pulled you to sit beside me on my bed. I remember how I held you, how I let you cry into my shoulder as I cradled your head, how hot your tears felt against the cold skin of my neck. I remember how much it hurt me, too, how every sob that wracked your body wracked my heart, and how I wanted to shield you forever, and never let you go.

I remember that we sat there for a long time, not moving, after your tears cried themselves out. How your breathing slowed as you relaxed, your head still resting against my chest, and how your grip around me tightened. How my head rested on yours, and how good you smelled. I kissed the top of your head and mumbled simple words into your hair:

"I love you, Neo, and Iím here, and everything will be okay."

And then you looked up at me, your eyes so soft and passionate as they met mine, and we kissed, gently.

I remember that kiss. It wasnít the first one, not by far, but it touched me somehow, and I couldnít let go. Your lips, they were soft, so soft... and I brought my hand up to touch your cheek, dampened by your tears, and I felt your hand come up to cover mine. I remember how you held my face, your fingers cupping my jaw and your thumbs tracing my cheekbones. And the taste of you, then, as you opened your mouth and invited me in... it was your taste, that I had known so many times before, but this was the first time I really noticed it. I pulled you in deeper so I was pressed against you, chest-to-chest. And your hands, God, your hands were so warm against the cold skin of my back, under my shirt...

I pulled away, then, and rested my forehead against yours. I remember that you were breathing hard, and I suppose I was, too. And as we sat there, looking straight into each otherís eyes, I think we both realized at the same moment that this was the time. Dreams of feather pillows and gauzy white drapery dissipated for visions of worn, beaten foam and cold hollow metal, but I didnít mind, and I know you didnít, either.

I kissed your lips again, once, and I felt your hands creep up my back as I brought my mouth down to your chin, the crook of your jaw, the hollow of your throat. You gasped quietly when I tasted the skin of your neck for the first time, as my tongue flicked over the beating pulse. And I remember... oh, God, I remember the memory that flashed before my eyes, silent like an old movie because I had refused to let myself hear the sound of the flatline alarm; how I had avoided touching your pulse, then, because if I did then I might have to give up admit that you really were dead when you couldnít be, you couldnít beó

You canít be dead... you canít be, because I love you...

But now, that pulseóthat living, pounding pulse... I kissed it again, and held you tighter.

I remember how your fingers felt as they traced a weaving path up my spine around the plugs, and then down my sides, and over my stomach... how I smiled when you found the one spot that tickled. But you didnít stop, then, as your hands moved up, and I gasped sharply into your neck when I felt your fingers drag gently along the sides of my breasts, your thumbs pressing softly into my nipples.

You pushed me away from you, then, and looked into my eyes as you whispered, faltering:

"Trinityóis this... I mean, can Ió" and I covered your mouth with my hand, and nodded.

"Itís okay," I whispered back, "Itís okay."

I remember how you smiled, then, and your eyes twinkled, and how you kissed me briefly before sliding your hands up further, and how you drew a path around the plugs on my upraised arms as you pushed my shirt off. And I remember your hands, again, your perfect hands as your touch wandered everywhere at once, and how you tasted my pulse at the same place I had tasted yours. And how I pulled your shirt off all at once, and rested my fingers in the grooves between your ribs. You were still so thin, then, so thin... how fragile you felt under my touch. But you were vivid, too, so alive, and you groaned deep in your throat as I trailed my hands up the front of your chest, tickling your nipples.

I let you push me back into the warm embrace of the pillow and blanket... I remember the hard-burning flame that flared deep in my core as you kissed my lips, my neck, my chest. The bizarre senselessness when you kissed my chest plugs, then the shock of your tongue on my skin.

I remember that the air was still cold, that my skin prickled in goosebumps, and you rubbed them away with your hands. I remember the feeling of my hands in your hair, grown long enough to tangle a little in my fingers, when your mouth found my nipple, and I had to bite my lip to keep from moaning. And the draw of your lips pulled at something deep inside me, twisting it, the start of that unbearable tension building at the pit of my stomach. Without moving your face you reached up and pressed your palm over my mouth, and I held it there with both hands, knowing as well as you that waking Tank next door would be an embarrassment we wouldnít want to face. When you pulled away, you blew gently on the damp flesh, and I shuddered. I remember how you changed to the other side and I pressed your hand harder still against my lips, muffling the cry that threatened to escape into the softness of your palm. Your other hand found its way to the waistband of my pants, slipping just inside...

But I stopped you then, and sat up, and you looked at me, confused. I could tell you were nervousówondering, maybe, if youíd gone too far. And I remember how relieved you looked when I smiled at you and pressed you back to lean against the wall, catching your lips in mine.

I kissed you slowly, then, and as gently as I knew how, trying so hard to make you understand what I couldnít put into words. And I remember the heat building up behind my eyes when I realized that I couldnítóthat there was no way I could make you understand the weight of that ache in my chest, the emotion that dwelled in that tiny, muddled speck of confusion between agony and ecstasy, making my breath catch in my throat at moments like this. When one tear dropped off my eyelash onto the skin of your cheek, you pulled away, suddenly. I hastily brushed the tear off your face with my thumb and moved to rub it off on the blanket, but you caught my hand without looking, and I let you lift it back up. I remember how your gaze shifted back and forth between my eyes and the little drop of wetness on my thumb, an almost incredulous look on your face. In one sudden, jerky movement, you pulled my hand to your lips and pressed it there, hard, kissing the tear away. And after that, I couldnít hold it back anymoreósomething opened in me, something that Iíd kept closed for years, as I realized that maybe, just maybe, you did understand what I felt, because you felt it too, and you felt it for me.

For me.

I remember how the dam of control that I had erected so carefully shattered, and all of a sudden, everything was too slow, too soft. I assaulted your neck with my mouth, again, harder and faster this time, and felt your throat move against my lips as you moaned my name. Like you had done earlier, I reached up and clamped my hand down over your mouth, knowing that Tankís head rested on the other side of that metal wall. I remember how you covered my hand with yours as I trailed my tongue down your chest, how your lips moved furiously under my fingers as I tasted your nipples and then trailed lower, as far as your navel.

I sat up, then, and brought my face back up next to yours, but I didnít kiss you. I kept my hand planted firmly over your mouth and grinned into your confused eyes. I remember how wonderful that felt, to grin like that, because I donít smile often enough. But at that moment I was happy, so happy, and I needed to smile. I felt you smile under my hand then, too, and I couldnít help myselfóI lifted my fingers for just an instant to kiss those upturned lips, and then planted them firmly back down, and grinned again. I was plotting, by then, and I know you could tell when my plan came to mind, because your eyes widened. And in that moment I shifted my weight to half-lean on your chest, and rested my chin on the back of my hand over your mouth. My other hand trailed slowly down the middle of your chest, circling once around your navel, before it went lower, slowly opening the button at the top of your pants, and sliding the zipper down.

But your eyesóI remember how entranced I was with your eyes, too caught in them to blink, even, for fear of breaking the gaze. I think thatís why I didnít notice when you moved your free hand up to touch me, fingers gently stroking my breast as you cupped the nipple in your palm, and I remember how hard I bit my lip, then, to keep from crying out, as my hand ventured lower and I touched the heat of your shaft.

Thatís when things start to get hazyónot because Iíve forgotten, but because I couldnít discern anything in the first place. I remember how you tugged my hand away from your mouth, fiercely, and pulled my face down to you, and I remember how we moaned into each others mouths. I remember how I bit your lip a little too hard when your hand found its way between my legs and rubbed the sensitive spot there, and I remember how you froze for an instant when my hand curled itself around your heat, and I began to gently slide it back and forth against my palm. And all the while our mouths attacked each other furiously, our free hands wandering everywhere. And I remember how my body arched, convulsively, against yours when I felt one of your fingers disappear inside me, and then another, and then when they started to move, slowly, in and out. I let myself collapse, rigid and frozen, against your chest, suddenly needing nothing more than release.

We whispered each othersí names at the same time.

I looked up at you, then, feeling myself tremble against you, and as our eyes met, I remember just knowing, then. Just knowing.

I remember how we shoved each other hurriedly away to pull off our own remaining clothes, and when we came together again, I remember how we reached for each other, and how easily you slid inside me. But that momentóthat single, blissful moment when we were both just sitting there, together, my legs wrapped around youóI remember it perfectly. Your arms were wrapped loosely around my waist, and mine clung fiercely to your neck, and our noses and foreheads were pressed together, and I nearly lost myself in the darkness of your eyes.

A piece of hair fell into my face. You pushed it away.

You started to move against me, then, slowly, grinding your hips against mine. And I moved against you, too, pressing against you when you pressed against me, and your fingers clutched at my waist, my shoulders, my back, before they came to rest on my hips. I remember how you pulled me hard against you, pressing against me when I pulled back. And when you kissed me again, then, I remember how our tongues moved in time with our bodies, and I wrapped my legs tighter around your waist, wanting to be closer.

We started to move faster, then, but it wasnít rushed; we were pushing harder, but it wasnít forceful. And I remember, in the back of my mind, thinking that you felt like a part of me, like we were the same being. I think we are, on some level. Your fingers were electric as they trailed up my stomach, again, to grasp at my sides, and then move higher, to my breasts. I remember how I couldnít keep from leaning into your hands as you kept them there, letting them move in time with the rest of you, and you let me whimper frantically into your mouth as I came dangerously close to the edge. I could feel your ragged breathing against my cheek.

And the next momentóI remember it perfectly, and I know you do, too. You suddenly tore your mouth away from mine and whispered my name fervently, and I just wrapped my arms around your shoulders and held you as tightly as I could. Your body tensed against mine, and right then, as you started to come, I felt my body tensing up also. The smell of you was so strong when I buried my face in your neck, and as my orgasm caught me, my breath caught soundlessly in my throat for an instant. You gasped quietly as you came, and held me so tight it almost hurt. And I remember right then, in the climax of it all, just thinking, perfect, itís perfect, and youíre perfect, and I love you so much it hurts me, Neo, it hurts, and I love you, and itís perfect. I remember how I tried to say it, too, but the words wouldnít come out, but I didnít mind because I knew that you knew already.

We sat there for a few minutes, afterwards, not saying anything, and I still remember the scent of your breath as I inhaled it, warm and sweet. You took my face in your hands, then, and looked me in the eye, and whispered, simply, "I love you, Trinity. I love you so much." And I smiled, and took your face in my hands, and whispered back "I love you, too." You smiled back at me, and I kissed you again.

We separated, then, finally, and lay down together under the blankets. I remember how warm I was when you curled against my back. And I remembered how I dreamed about you that night, and even in my dream, I couldnít stop smiling.

You know, in my heart, and in my head, really, too, I know that you know I remember. You know I could never, ever forget. And I know that you remember, too. Maybe I just need an excuse to relive it myself. Would we forget? No, we couldnít... That blessed night when everything slowed down and made sense, when we could lull ourselves into believing that the only things that mattered were you and me and the moment. The next day, everything was back to normal, when the world mattered most and we mattered least to everybody except each other.

And that, right there, thatís the strength of it.

We still mattered to each other.