TITLE: Basis



SUMMARY: Neo and Trinity come to terms with their love as
only they know how.

SPOILERS: ‘The Matrix’. This is set immediately after the


AUTHOR’S NOTES: I can’t even imagine what must have been
going through their heads after the first movie. Oh, wait –
yes, I can. Here’s my version.

DISCLAIMER: Ghost, Trinity, Neo and the world of “The
Matrix” belong to The Wachowski brothers and the actors who
portray them, not me.

THANKS: Thanks are threefold this time around. To Spin for
her continuously detailed and encouraging beta, to
Danascully for previewing and saying that my writing is
“gorgeous”, and to Tamsin, for alleviating my doubts
countless times.

* * *

It was she who pulled away first. Unable to break from his
gaze, she could see the unrest within him, the questions
that still needed answers. She could see him wrestling with
his logic, coming to terms with pseudo-immortality and
extemporaneous love. She knew he wanted to kiss her again.
He couldn’t explain it yet, she knew, but he wanted nothing
more than her mouth upon his.

“Are you two okay?”

They both turned to see Morpheus had quietly joined them.
His body slouched slightly and his face sagged with
exhaustion, and while his eyes, alive with ultimate
confirmation, betrayed much of that exterior of defeat. His
grief was apparent. Just beyond him was Tank, his pain,
both physical and emotional, also obvious, but his concern
for Neo even more so. Each of them were the devoted
followers of a reluctant hero, forgoing their own anguish
until his well-being was confirmed.

She was thrown by how angry it made her.

“We’re fine,” she said abruptly, standing up straight and
smoothing her hair, eyes wandering.

Neo sat upright and nodded his agreement, looking quickly
to his captain and then back to Trinity. She looked back
and forth around the ship, surveying the damage, lingering
on the bodies of Switch, Apoc, and Mouse, then back to
Morpheus. She wouldn’t look at Cypher. She wouldn’t look at

“I’ve activated the distress signal,” Morpheus said. “With
any luck, we’ll be out of here within a few days.”

Trinity nodded and stepped away from Neo, once again
scanning their surroundings, keeping her eyes anywhere but
on him. He moved to sit up, but a deep, aching pain flared
through his torso at the movement and he fell back gently
against the chair. Trinity didn’t see it, but Morpheus did.

“Are you sure you’re alright, Neo?” Morpheus asked.

“I’m fine,” Neo said. “It just hurts a little.”

Trinity regarded him with concerned eyes, but made no move
toward him. Her gaze then shifted back over to the bodies
sitting nearby, each looking peacefully plugged in. They
all stared in silence for several long minutes.

“We should take them out of the chairs,” she finally said.

“I agree,” Morpheus said. “Tank, I want you in the med bay.
Neo, you, too. Trinity and I will take care of this.”

“But, sir,” Tank said in protest.

“I know,” Morpheus said. “But you’re hurt. Go.”

Tank nodded and turned to leave. Neo gingerly rose to his
feet and tested his balance while holding onto the chair.

“Morpheus, I really am fine,” he said. “I can help.”

“Go,” Trinity said, her voice soft. “It’s okay.”

He turned his head over to her, but she still wouldn’t look
at him. Resigned, he followed after Tank and left them
alone with their fallen shipmates.

* * *

Trinity stood and stared at herself in the mirror for a
very long time. It was quiet, almost too quiet, and it
unnerved her. She wanted to vomit. The silence, once
coveted on the active ship, now just signified all that had
been lost.

It was the sound of her door opening that signified all
that had been gained.

She left the confines of the small lavatory and stepped out
into the only slightly larger confines of her quarters.
There Neo stood, one hand still on the open door and a lost
look on his face. The duality of her emotions once again
surprised her as they presented themselves for display,
each begging for the chance to surpass the other.

“Don’t you knock?” she asked.

And the winner was hostility, edging out benevolence by
more than a nose.

His face fell at her words, but he made no move to leave.
Instead, he stepped to her bed and sat down. He looked up
as if to ask if it was okay that he was sitting there and
after receiving nothing but an arched eyebrow from her,
relaxed his shoulders and let out a slow breath.

“Don’t you think we need to talk?” he asked.

She regarded him thoughtfully as he sat before her, back
hunched and elbows resting on his knees. He looked
incredibly young and innocent suddenly, his eyes searching
hers for answers she didn’t have. He needed her now. He
craved her. The desire for even a simple touch was
overwhelming and his body visibly trembled. She would have
thought him weak, a liability none of them had time for
even if he was The One, had she not been reacting in the
exact same manner.

“Are you okay?” he asked, his tone soft, but still

“I don’t know,” she said, sitting down at the opposite end
of the bed. “I just…”

She shook her head as her words trailed off, unsure of what
it is she really wanted to say. He looked so eager, ready
for whatever wisdom she may have to share; whether it was
about on the current situation or the finer points of air
vent maintenance didn’t matter. She reached her hand across
the bed and he met it with his own earnestly until their
fingers intertwined. The warmth of his skin slowly seeped
into the chill of hers.

“I need you to talk to me,” he said. “Please don’t shut me
out right now.”

“I’m not,” she said, squeezing his hand lightly. “I
promise. I just need some time. Can we talk in the

Her eyes pleaded for understanding. Can’t you see, Neo?
Can’t you see how hard this is for me?

He brought her hand up and lightly brushed his lips across
her knuckles, his warm breath sending chills throughout her
body. He released her hand gently and stood up, his lean
form towering above her now.

“I’ll see you in the morning then,” he said.

“Neo,” she said, just as he moved into the hallway and was
reaching to shut the door behind him.


“Are you okay?”

“I will be,” he said quietly. “In the morning.”

* * *

It wasn’t morning yet, but he couldn’t sleep. Every time he
closed his eyes, he saw her face hovering above him,
looking at him as if for the very first time. He remembered
the first time he saw her and wondered if he looked that
scared, too. Probably, he decided. She simultaneously
excited and scared the hell out of him that night.

“The answer is out there, Neo. It’s looking for you. And it
will find you, if you want it to,” she had said.

She was cryptic and mysterious, wielding her power with her
close proximity. She invaded his personal space not only
with her body, but her words, and he knew that she alone
would have had the ability to lead him wherever she wanted,
whether Morpheus was waiting or not.

He walked down the hallway, second-guessing each step he
made towards her door. He didn’t want to overstep any
boundaries. Again. He didn’t want to push her. And he
mostly didn’t want to piss her off. When he reached her
door he knocked this time. She didn’t answer and he knew he
should have just gone back to bed, but he closed his eyes
and there she was again, her image curving against the
insides of his eyelids and making his pulse race. He
knocked again and when she didn’t answer, dared to open the

Her bed was empty.

His heart pounded in his chest as his mind jumped to
foolish conclusions. He still needed visual confirmation,
however, and stepped quickly out of the room in search of
her. It was just outside the mess hall that he stopped
short, a random memory popping into his head.

It was late that night, too, and sleep refused to descend
upon him. It seemed not everything changed once you were
freed from the Matrix. He had grown thirsty and was coming
up on the mess when Tank nearly bowled him over running out
into the hall.

“Sorry, Neo!” he said, shouting the apology back over his
shoulder as he continued on.

Dozer flashed by next, and what he thought was Mouse,
followed by Apoc. Cypher and Switch rounded the corner
next, their pace far more leisurely.

“Hey, Dorothy,” Cypher said. “Come to join the party?”


“C’mon,” Switch said. “Newbies get a five second

“Allowance for what?” he asked.

“So you don’t get your ass kicked,” Trinity said, appearing
silently in the hallway with them. “Although, something
tells me you wouldn’t need it.”

“Are you talking about another training simulation?” he

“Something like that,” she said, smiling.

“Are you coming, Trin?” Cypher asked, he and Switch moving

“I’ll be right there,” she said, her eyes still focused on

“I didn’t think anyone else would be awake,” he said.

“Insomnia is contagious on this ship,” she said.

“What were they talking about?”

“It’s a program we use to build up our combat skills. It’s
pretty brutal, though. Mouse wrote it, so it’s not exactly
standard issue training. Apoc’s gotten the idea that he can
make it through before Switch.”

“Can he?”

“I doubt it,” she said, clearly amused. “Want to watch?”

“No,” he said. “But thank you. I’m going to go back to bed,
I think.”

“Okay,” she said. “Sleep well. But if you ever can’t sleep
again, check the core. We’ll probably be there and you’re
always welcome to join us.”

“Thanks,” he said.

She smiled and placed a gentle hand on his arm, allowing it
to linger slightly longer than necessary. He was about to
open his mouth to say something else when her hand slipped
off and she quickly marched off to join the rest of them,
leaving him alone once again.

Check the core, she had said that night. He could still
hear her voice. Now, he turned around and headed for the

* * *

Trinity had been staring at the wrapped carrions for so
long her eyes were beginning to blur. Even if she hadn’t
helped wrap Mouse’s body, she would know it was settled on
the far left end, his size even more apparent in death. He
looked so small. Next to him was Apoc and next to him,
Dozer. Cypher, his shroud wrapped appreciably tighter than
the others, was sandwiched between Dozer and Switch, the
last of the lifeless line-up.

“Hey,” he said, entering the core, each step tentative.

She looked over from her seat in Tank’s chair, blinking
rapidly until his image was clear before her. His face was
a mask of concern, his eyebrows furrowed in worry. His
hands clenched into loose fists then hung loose again, over
and over.

“She didn’t believe,” she said.


“Switch,” she said, nodding over to her remains. “She
didn’t think you were The One.”


“But she fought as if she did,” she continued, her eyes
staring at nothing, but clearly seeing something. “For me.
Because I asked her to. Because of what I believed.”

He moved silently until he was next to her. He lifted one
hand to rest on her shoulder, but quickly changed his mind
and rested it on the seatback instead. He could feel the
warmth of her body against his forearm and he shivered

“They didn’t deserve to die,” she said. “They didn’t
deserve to be betrayed.”

“I know,” he said quietly. “If I could have done something—

“Stop,” she said, standing up to face him now. “I know.”

He watched her as she began to slowly pace back and forth
before him, hands on her hips and face to the ground. Her
body shook wildly.

“It’s not your fault either,” he said softly.

She stopped suddenly, looking at him, meeting his eyes
carefully. Her breath hitched when she saw the depth of
them and all that they carried. Her world had always been
cold and lonely, sparsely punctuated with moments of
warmth, and she had always lived the life of a soldier
searching for an end to war. In his eyes she saw a freedom
she had never fathomed. She saw hope, not just for the
future of Zion, but hope for her, for them. She saw a
reason to fight, a real reason she could touch and more
importantly, feel. She saw an unconditional love that
mirrored her own. It was all she could do not to bask in
the warm glow of it, even for a moment.

“I can’t even cry for them,” she said, looking away. “I owe
them that. I owe them my grief and I can’t even cry for

He stepped over to her, encouraged when she didn’t move
away as he drew closer. He carefully laid his hands on her
hips and pulled her gently to his body. She shivered in his
arms and he could feel her body tense as he touched her.

“Neo, how is it that most of the only family I’ve ever
known in this world is dead and all I can think about is
you?” she asked.

He pulled her closer to him in a tight embrace and felt her
body sigh deeply into his. She buried her face in his neck
and wrapped her arms around his torso, her fingers grabbing
handfuls of him, cloth and skin, desperate to hold onto all
of him. He reveled at how the contours of her body fit
perfectly against him, at how right it was to have her
there against him.

“It doesn’t seem right,” she said into his neck. “It
doesn’t seem right to feel so complete when they can’t feel
anything at all.”

He pulled back slightly until her head rose up to look at
him. He felt the weight of her questions and fears, felt
the ache of them as she searched his eyes for some sort of
answer. He leaned his head down until his lips gingerly met
hers, soft and without expectation. When he pulled back,
her eyes glistened with tears.

“I’m so sorry,” he said.

“Don’t be.”

She moved her head in and captured his mouth with her own,
kissing him deeply, filling him with herself. He responded
eagerly, parting his lips and drinking the taste of her in.
When they parted, each gasped for air to fill their lungs

No more words were spoken as she took his hand and led him
from the core.

* * *

It felt new. It had been longer than she cared to admit
since she had been this close to someone. She hadn’t even
realized how much she had missed simple human contact until
he was invading her every personal space.

His mouth was wet on her neck, his hands mapping each peak
and valley of her body. Eyes closed and mouth agape, her
head fell back, exposing even more of her skin to him. She
was vaguely aware of her own hands, slowly slipping beneath
the hem of his shirt and resting softly against the heated
skin of his back. He groaned against her at the touch, the
low sound reverberating down deep between her legs.

She made quick work of gathering the rough material of the
shirt in her hands and pushing it up along his body,
forcing him to pull back enough to shed it completely. She
looked up at him, hair tousled and eyes blazing, mouth open
as ragged breaths escaped through swollen lips, and knew
that all she had ever seen, done, and experienced in her
life was but mere preparation for this very moment.

The need for a connection with him, physically and
otherwise, overwhelmed her. Her kisses were sloppy and her
hands nimble as they fought with his to remove the
remainder of their clothing. He pressed his nude body into
his, forcing her down onto the bed until he was stretched
out above her. She cradled him easily, her hips grinding up
into his, encouraging and pleading.

His forehead landed softly against her own, his eyes
squeezed shut as his breathing grew ragged. She reached her
hands up and cradled his face, her thumbs stroking his
cheeks lightly.

“Neo,” she breathed.

He slowly opened his eyes to look at her, his struggle for
composure becoming more and more difficult as each second
passed. She willed her body to lie still beneath him.

“Just relax,” she said, wiping the beads of sweat that had
gathered at his hairline. “Relax…”

His body obeyed, slowly, carefully, and she could see him
regain some measure of his control as each second passed.

“I’m sor—” he started to say, but she blocked the apology
quickly with a searing kiss that poured over them both.

He gently ground his hips into her, his movements insistent
and purposeful. She lifted herself slightly to meet him and
with a few short strokes, he was inside her. Her inner
muscles contracted around him immediately, then expanded,
all the while encouraging him along. He still struggled,
his movements not nearly as fluid as he would have liked,
but none if it mattered as she felt her own release
looming. One strategically placed finger between them
catapulted her into climax and the strained sound that
escaped her mouth sent him into oblivion after her.

A thin layer of sweat covered their bodies as he collapsed
on top of her, all strength draining from his limbs. She
gently nudged him until he rolled over next to her, his
heart beating brutally against his chest as she curled her
herself next to him. She listened to the sounds of his
breath, counting each one, falling into the rhythm that
signified his vitality.

It wasn’t until those breaths became deep and even that she
began to cry. The tears silently trailed down her cheeks
and over her lips, salty on her tongue when it darted out
to catch some of the liquid. Thoughts of leaving him now,
sleeping alone in another room and grieving apart from him,
swam through her head. She looked up at his face, calm in a
sleep he needed just as much as she. Sleep would always be
elusive for him, a constant that refused to waver, and she
was grateful that he was able to find it now.

She wiped her tears and slowed her breathing, carefully
sitting up next to him. She waited until she was certain he
hadn’t been disturbed until swinging her legs over the side
of the bed. Again she waited, encouraged by his
unresponsiveness, before standing up. She gathered her
clothing from various spots around his room and quickly put
them back on, eliciting no more than a slight snore from
him as she did so.

She looked down at him, studying his features. He looked
much younger than his years, his skin pale and still
relatively smooth, his face untouched by the hardships of a
war. She hated to look at herself in a mirror for that
exact reason, hated seeing the lines of stress that had
drawn themselves around her features; she was the very
picture of a seasoned veteran before the age of thirty.

She leaned over and gently drew a blanket over his
unclothed body. She glanced around the room once more to
confirm nothing of hers remained. All evidence she had been
there would be safely stowed and carried away.

She knew he wouldn’t be angry that she had left. She could
probably make the decision to never speak to him again and
he wouldn’t get mad at her. Not that she ever would. It was
simply the power she knew she suddenly held that fascinated
her for a few fleeting seconds. Their salvation lied with
him, but his heart lied with her.

She shook her head of the thoughts and walked out the door,
heading back to the post she had deserted at the core. She
knew he would come looking for her soon. Morning was just
within reach and she never was one to break her promises.

* * *