All I Wanted
- AUTHOR: RaeDances
- TITLE: All I Wanted
- CATEGORY: Drama
- RATING: PG-13 for general disturbing subject matter.
- SUMMARY: Oh how the mighty have fallen. All women dream of it, some wake up crying.
- AUTHOR’S NOTES: At the end of the fic.
All I Wanted
September 14th, 137 Zion Calendar, 8:08 PM
28. . .29. . .30. . .37. . .38. . .39. . .44. . .45. . .46. . .
It was just no good. No matter how many times Trinity counted (41. . .42. . .43. . .) she couldn’t slide the total below 30, couldn’t even slide the total below 40. Pounding a fist on the bathroom sink, she began to pace (1. . .2. . .3. . .) began to curl her fingernails into the palms of her hands, leaving red indentations in the pale skin. This couldn’t be real, couldn’t be happening to her, of all people. Her chest felt constricted, as if no matter how quickly she drew breath, there was not enough air. Her hands were cold, yet her face felt too hot (51. . .52. . .53. . .) as if her body couldn’t make up its mind. She slipped a knuckle between her teeth and bit down, hard. (67. . .68. . .69. . .) Crimson blood ran down her finger, but still she bit – all she had to do was bleed. All she had to do was bleed.
Without bothering to wash or dress the open cut, Trinity flung open the flimsy partition between the bathroom and the bedroom that she and Neo shared. She slipped her freezing feet out of her unlaced boots and curled into the corner of the bed, still shaking. She watched in fascination as the blood from her finger soaked into the coarse, gray blanket as she wound it around her shivering body – if only it were that easy.
74. . .75. . .76. . .
There was just no way around it – no way to count the numbers any differently, no way to misinterpret the cold, hard facts. She pressed a fist into her abdomen – go away go away go away – and tried to visualize the blood running down her legs.
“I hate you,” she whispered softly, pressing her first more firmly into the space between pelvis and ribs, “I wish you would die.” Her fist was still pressed there when she fell asleep.
September 14th, 137 ZC, 8:43 PM
Neo blinked his eyes in the darkness, wondering why Trinity had decided to shut off the lights without him. She had looked tired and distracted today, yes, but not exhausted enough to warrant this. In such a hateful world, the only things Neo could rely on were Trinity and routine. Making out her silhouette huddled in the corner, he knew that both were in a questionable state right now.
“Trinity? Are you all right?” he called softly, watching her unresponsive form for any sign of movement. He shut the door behind him, sealing them both into a vacuum of complete darkness. “Trinity?” he called again, making his way blindly with the ease of practice. He slid a hand across the surface of the bed until he came in contact with her foot – still frigid. “Jesus, Trinity, you’re freezing! Say something, please?”
“What do you want me to say?” she asked softly, evenly, voice betraying only a disturbing lack of emotion. Neo sat beside her on the bed and reached overhead for the small emergency light mounted within easy reach. The illumination revealed the exhaustion in Trinity’s face, and the blood on her hands.
“Jesus, Trin, you’re bleeding,” he gasped, putting a hand to her temple and brushing the hair off of her clammy forehead. “Are you all right?” he asked nervously, looking into her eyes for any sign of a lie.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just, you know, bleeding,” she said firmly, implying that the blood had come from elsewhere and counting on Neo’s masculinity to prevent further questions. “I’ll go wash my hands.” Neo caught her fingers between his and squeezed.
“It doesn’t bother me. I feel bad enough for waking you up, I’m not going to subject you to freezing cold water on top of it.” Neo pulled Trinity into his arms, but she kept her face turned away, rolling to face the wall. Neo let the matter drop and curled his body around hers. She did not roll away from him, but her back became a statue – unemotional and unmoving.
November 28th, 137 ZC, 10:28 AM
Trinity heaved once more into the iron basin and then washed the bile away with a quick twist of the tap. Her vision swam as she stood upright, but a white-knuckled hand on the edge of the sink provided enough stability. She had it down to routine at this point – eat breakfast, sneak downstairs to vomit, carefully avoid passing out – nothing was daunting to the mighty Trinity. A quick hand to her stomach revealed the beginnings of an unfamiliar contour – slightly too firm? Slightly rounder than the day before? Oh how the mighty have fallen.
She knew Neo was beginning to suspect something, though he suspected all of the wrong things. Although she knew that her weight overall had been slowly increasing, she knew her face was beginning to look pale and drawn. Dark circles hung like heavy, leaden moons beneath her eyes. Her lips had begun to crack from the constant, nervous attention of her tongue. Yes, Neo suspected something, but his eyes were blind to the truth of the matter – blind to her body’s betrayal.
November 28th, 137 ZC, 10:42 AM
The digital rain fell heavily over the dirty neighborhood, drenching its gray hues in shades approaching black. This place was desolate – the very ends of the digital earth. It was an interesting philosophical question to consider – how people ended up here if nothing in the world was real. Was it all just a figment of their own creation? A subconscious desire or fear made manifest? Was this how it happened long ago, before the birth of AI? These days, Trinity liked to consider the soft dementia of others; the small insanity that linked them to her. She felt less alone when hers wasn’t the only voice screaming.
“This way!” called Neo, excitement tingeing his voice. There was a large database hidden here, in this place that nobody bothered to go anymore. Trinity tried to smile at his boyish impatience, tried to reconnect with the woman she was scant months ago, but that woman’s voice was muffled by the weight of the past few months. It wouldn’t be long until the air ran out beneath the sadness. Trinity nodded as enthusiastically as she could and followed Neo’s path towards the hub.
Neo vanished over a ridge and Trinity paused for a moment, feeling alone in the rain and silence of abandoned walls. A plastic carriage – the kind used by children for their dolls – had been left outside by a careless owner. Inside lay a plastic doll, lovingly swaddled in a pink blanket and floating face down in five inches of dirty rainwater. Trinity shivered and dug her knuckles into that spot beside her navel, jogging to catch up to Neo.
By the time Trinity catches up to him, Neo is already hard at work. His eyes are closed and a soft smile has begun to curl the corners of his lips in satisfaction. She is struck with a sudden need to know when was the last time they made love, alarmingly, she cannot remember. She catches sight of movement out of the corner of her eye and whips around, ever alert in her defense of Neo. A little girl, no older than three years old, stands shyly behind a wall, peeking out at Trinity as she clings to a porcelain doll. Trinity, unthinking, crouches to the girl’s eye level, makes eye contact with her and smiles. The girl’s face suddenly registers shock, and then horror. Green code begins to drip down her face as her eyes begin to water in pain and betrayal. The doll drops from her spasming fingers as the form of her body contorts beneath the strain, as too-large limbs rip her in half. Trinity’s shot is just a moment too late, her hesitation just a breath too long and the Agent’s bullet rips cleanly through her shoulder as hers rips through his head. Neo has finished his work just as the shots are fired and he turns just in time to see Trinity gasp and clutch her shoulder, already scrambling across the rubble to where the girl has fallen.
The tiny body is lying face down in crimson puddle (all I wanted was to bleed) her doll’s head cracked in two places – another tiny, unmoving body. Trinity reaches a hand out to close the doll’s remaining eye and seems to crumple in upon herself, her knees buckling beneath her as her arms wrap around her torso. Her breath begins to come more quickly and her knees strike the pavement with a loud crack. Neo tries to haul her back to her feet, suddenly realizing that they’ve been spotted and other agents will be on route, but Trinity is unresponsive, nearly catatonic in her horror. Neo hauls her roughly to her feet and lifts her awkwardly into his arms, carrying the near dead weight of her shaking body.
He runs towards their exit, alert for any threat, yet focused entirely upon this new mystery. The Trinity he knows would never shake like this, the Trinity he knows is a rock. It hits him forcefully and suddenly – the Trinity he knows has been missing lately, lost in the sad eyes of this new woman who hasn’t touched him in. . .weeks at least, maybe even months. Agents fall to the back of his mind as he holds the ringing phone up to the side of her face, as he holds it up to his own ear, the only thought in his mind is the sorrowful mantra of, “What the hell happened to us?”
November 28th, 137 ZC, 11:10 AM
When Neo opens his eyes, Trinity is still immobile in her chair.
“Trinity?” he calls gently, but receives no indication that he has been heard. He opens his mouth to try again when suddenly her eyes snap open and she writhes in her chair, twisting an arm behind her head and wrenching the spike from her skull with an audible scrape. She falls to the floor and begins to vomit, clutching at her stomach with white fingers.
“Stop it stop it stop it stop it,” she moans, trying to press her fingers through the skin of her abdomen. Neo is at her side in a moment, yanking the spike from his own skull with an excruciating twist. His arms fly around her, but she does not seem to notice his presence. “Stop it, please!” she cries, and buries her face in Neo’s neck, incoherent with emotions he cannot follow.
“Trinity, what is it? Who are you talking to?” Neo asks, bewildered and frightened for her sanity. Trinity pulls away and her eyes lock with his before sliding down to the floor in a gesture that is both shameful and sad. Her hands still clutch at her stomach and suddenly, he understands.
“How long?” he asks sadly, unable to feel joy at this moment.
“Four months,” she gasps, and begins to sob. Neo had always wanted to be a father, could not hate his own child, yet Trinity seemed to hate the idea so much that he could not find one ounce of happiness for the news. He looked at her stomach and shook his head sadly.
“Why now?” he asked of the unborn child – it sounded more like an accusation than a question.
February 3rd, 138 ZC, 9:24 PM
“She wears it like a mantle of shame,” Neo said so quietly that Morpheus had no need to ask whom Neo spoke of. “I know it isn’t the best time, or the best life to bring a child into, but I thought she’d have been happy. I thought she’d have wanted something of ours.” Neo’s lips seemed to perpetually frown these days. Morpheus had not seen him smile once in two months and his eyes seemed dead and dull. The only member of the crew who looked worse was Trinity herself.
“Neo, you must understand that Trinity has been raised a soldier. She did not come from a very good family and has no fond memories of what it means to be a mother. She has spent her entire life fighting – nurture does not come as an instinct to her.” Neo nodded his head, acknowledging Morpheus’ point. “Her responsibilities are to the resistance and to you, by bringing a child into this world she will be taking time and energy away from both of her sworn duties, and by that she feels that she is betraying a confidence.” Neo’s face fell even more, an act which Morpheus had not thought possible.
“I feel responsible for all of this. I wish I could just undo it all,” Neo whispered and walked slowly from the room. Morpheus stared after him, but did not follow.
March 19th, 138 ZC, 12:41 PM
Rom watched in awe as Trinity made her way carefully across the core, stopping to grip a railing with white knuckles.
“The baby’s probably kicking,” Tank said softly, answering the girl’s unvoiced question.
“Does it hurt?” she asked, sounding much younger than her 12 years. Tank smiled at her naivety, glad to have a little youth back on board the Neb.
“No, it doesn’t hurt, Trinity’s just a little bit scared to be a mommy.” Tank tries to make light of the situation, but his illusions shatter as he watches Neo try to soothe her, laying a hand over her stomach in a futile hope that the baby will stop moving. Trinity has bitten through her lip again and Neo dabs at the trickle with a finger. Just seeing him touch her mouth is shocking, Tank doesn’t think they’ve so much as kissed for months.
“Neo looks very sad,” said Rom wisely, “he looks scared to be a daddy, I think,” Tank nodded his head slowly in agreement.
“I think so too.”
April 9th, 138 ZC, 11:49 PM
Trinity’s labour was blessedly short, producing a healthy baby girl in a bit under two hours. Tank, acting as the improvised medic, had tried to hand it to Trinity, but she had refused to look at it, let alone touch it. Neo had gazed at the tiny girl with an almost tangible longing, yet refused to do more than stare at it. He seemed afraid, not of the child, but of loving it. Each wail caused Trinity to cringe visibly. Tank stayed in the room for ten minutes, hoping against logic that the cries would awaken some maternal instinct in Trinity, but finally he gave up and left with the child. Once she and Neo were alone in the room she allowed herself to shatter, sobbing herself to sleep.
April 10th, 138 ZC, 3:02 AM
A scream shattered Trinity’s sleep and she turned to find Neo holding the baby as if it were made of glass. Trinity wanted to cry – it was all so wrong. So very wrong.
“Won’t you feed her, Trinity? There’s nothing else on the Neb for her to eat. A couple days worth of powdered milk, but that will only keep her alive.” Trinity’s brow creased in worry, but she held out a hand, tentatively. Neo tried to gently maneuver the baby to her chest as she uncovered a swollen breast.
“I don’t know how to do it Neo, I don’t,” she moaned, trying to nudge the nipple towards the screaming mouth as Neo held the baby near. The baby seemed to pick up on the agitation and scream even louder, turning its face away from the breast as if disgusted. Neo held her awkwardly against his chest and shut his eyes in despair.
This was the scene that Morpheus walked in upon – Neo’s impassive face stained with tears, the baby still screaming in hunger, Trinity curled into a ball of guilt and misery – his strong first mate sobbing until she dry heaved into her pillow.
April 11th, 138 ZC, 1:24 PM
The baby seemed to scream the loudest around Trinity, her cries increasing in volume whenever she sensed her mother in the room.
“She knows how much I hate her, I told her every goddamned day!” Trinity cried out in frustration, covering up her chest after yet another failed attempt at nursing. The powdered milk would run out today and it would be weeks before another ship could bring more.
Morpheus had given up on asking for the child’s name to enter in Zion’s registry. Trinity would not even answer the question, Neo only told him there was no point in getting attached. At this rate Neo would not only lose his child, but Trinity as well, if he hadn’t already.
April 12th, 138 ZC, 12:05 AM
The baby was turning pale and quiet, thought Trinity as she stood up out of bed for the first time in days. They had put the baby in her room tonight, one last dying hope that some magic connection would be made. It didn’t matter anymore – Trinity hadn’t eaten in days and her milk had dried up. Trinity slipped her hands beneath the child’s body, lifting it awkwardly. The baby looked at her fearfully, but could not even muster the strength to wail. All the better.
Trinity wandered into the bathroom and laid the child down gently in the sink, hoping the water wasn’t too cold.
September 14th, 137 ZC, 1:03 AM
Trinity awoke with a hoarse cry, lashing out and accidentally striking Neo across the face.
“Trinity! You’re all right! What is it?” mumbled Neo, still half asleep. He tried to put his arms around her but she wrenched her way free, falling to the floor with a painful sounding thud. Neo tried to reach out to her, but she had already run to the bathroom. He stood unsteadily, trying to shake the sleep from his head, and made his way into the bathroom, rubbing her back gently as she vomited into the toilet. She was sobbing – the first time Neo had ever seen her do so, and heaving, although her stomach had long emptied itself. Suddenly, Trinity noticed the blood spilling down her left thigh.
“Thank god,” she choked out, “Thank god,” Neo continued to rub her back, unable to understand.
- AUTHOR’S NOTES: There’s a lot I want to say here, and a lot I want to hear back from readers. As such, I am directing you to The Construct’s message board. The Construct can be accessed via http://www.constructfic.org/. The thread pertaining to this story can be accessed directly via this link.