- AUTHOR: TLynn
- TITLE: Silhouettes
- CATEGORY: Drama, Angst
- RATING: PG-13
- SUMMARY: Whether it’s apparent to those on the sidelines or not, Trinity has always played an integral role in Ghost’s life.
- SPOILERS: It’s all fair game in this one.
- AUTHOR’S NOTES:
- I only very recently stumbled upon the notion that Ghost was in love with Trinity. Yeah, I know – I’m a little behind. I had never thought much of the guy before this revelation, but as soon as it happened, he became incredibly important to me. And this story inevitably followed. I get this guy. Maybe not on every level, but when it comes to unrequited love, he and I are two peas in a pod. I feel your pain, buddy. This one’s for us.
- THANKS: To two of the loveliest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing: Spin, once again, for her outstanding beta and endless words of encouragement, and Danascully, someone I greatly admire, for brainstorming with me on parts of this and keeping me on the right track.
- DISCLAIMER: This is just a script for my action figures, nothing more. Ghost, Trinity, Neo, and the world of “The Matrix” belong to The Wachowski brothers and the actors who portray them, not me. No infringement is intended.
I knew you loved him even before you did, even if it was in its abstract form, not quite tangible, but unmistakably brewing. I had heard you speak of the previous potentials before, but this was different. I don’t think many would have noticed the subtle change in your eyes when you talked about him or even said his name.
“I think this is it, Ghost,” you said. “I think we may have found him.”
Your voice was hushed as you sat across the table from me, leaning your body forward against the tabletop as you spoke. I leaned closer, meeting you in the middle, creating a small space of privacy for us to converse in.
“How long have you been watching him?”
“For a while now. Morpheus…I’ve never seen him so sure of anything. It’s amazing. I wish you could see this one. He’s…he reminds me of me when I was there. I…”
You trailed off and your eyes wandered away from mine as you lost yourself in your thoughts. I knew you were thinking of him, recalling the image of him embedded within the code.
“What’s his name?” I asked.
“Neo,” you said, looking back at me, the slightest of smiles upon your face.
“How much longer?”
“Soon,” you said. “Very soon. As soon as the Neb is ready, we’re heading back out.”
I watched you as you leaned back into your chair, one hand reaching out to pick up the half-full mug of dark ale in front of you. You finished it easily, toasting my full glass before slamming the glass back down onto the table, your eyes sparkling.
I remember those eyes. I remember them because I think once, for a very brief moment in time, you had them for me.
We are on the precipice now, ready to fall, ready to fight. I am not afraid. I steal a glance at you as the captains speak and I can see you are undaunted by the task in front of us, your faith in Neo powerful and unyielding. Your fearlessness serves to fuel my own and I suddenly feel as though you and I could stop the machines all on our own if we had to. We always did make a good team back in the training programs, even at the naïve age of seventeen.
“Hi,” he says as he steps into the room. “I know time is always against us, and I’m sorry I took so long. But I wanted to be sure.”
“Sure of what?” you ask immediately.
“I know what I have to do,” he says.
“What?” Morpheus asks.
“There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it. I have to take one of the ships.”
“What?” Roland asks.
“To go where?” Morpheus asks, his voice calm.
“To the machine city,” he says.
Silent disbelief fills the room. I look to Niobe, her face expressionless, as her head turns for a quick glance at Sparks, each of us trying to confirm that we did indeed hear what we thought we heard. Then I look to you, and I can see that his words had come as a surprise to you, too. I can see fear and uncertainty creeping into you, rapidly taking over. You are afraid for him. And I know you have made the decision to go with him.
Niobe offers her ship and suddenly the complexity of the situation multiplies. She believes in him, she says, as do I. But my belief in you is even stronger. I believe you will do whatever necessary to help him. And that’s what makes me afraid. I am afraid for you, Trinity. I’m afraid for myself because I don’t know if I’m ready to lose you yet. I don’t think I ever will be.
Even after the initial disorientation as a result of being unplugged and the rehabilitation that followed, I felt lost. Nothing made sense. Not like I thought it would.
Then I met you. I saw your face and it mirrored my own and from that moment on, you became a source of stability for me. I think I did the same for you. We relied on each other pretty heavily those first few months and I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was then that I fell in love with you.
The short time we were in Zion only reinforced what I felt. You were so strong, even back then, and the more I got to know you, the more I was convinced we were two halves of the same person. I dreamt of you often, the images in my subconscious ranging from simply having a meal with you to holding your hand, to making love to you to fucking you, to you professing your undying love for me to you leaving me forever. It was confusing as hell and my nearly-eighteen-year-old mind had a hard time grasping onto why I felt to attached to you, but I had recently learned not to question such profound feelings of what I felt to be right and wrong. You felt right and so I went with it, whether or not you felt the same about me.
“I’m joining Morpheus’s ship,” you said to me one day, excited. “The Nebuchadnezzar. Can you believe it?”
“Already?” I asked. “I thought he wanted you to settle in more first. We’ve got so much more training to go through.”
“I got called in,” you said in a hushed tone, leaning into me slightly as we walked amidst the crowded walkways. “To see the Council. They said he wants me now.”
I was stunned. I had been told stories about him, rumors spread throughout the city by those who admired and disregarded him alike. He was presented as a warrior by many and as a lunatic by others. I hadn’t made up my mind either way, and I didn’t think you had, either, until this moment.
“Do you believe what he believes?” I asked.
“I can’t explain it, Ghost. But there’s something pulling me to that ship. I have to go. Besides, I feel like I owe it to him.”
Your faith radiated from you and all I could do was nod my head.
“There’s another opening on the ship,” you continued. “I’ll bet I could get you on, especially when I tell him how good you are at weapons training.”
“I don’t know…”
“C’mon,” you said, stopping to face me at the end of the walkway. “Come with me. Please?”
I searched your face and all I could see was pure enthusiasm. I wondered how it was you didn’t seem to feel any kind of trepidation. It was infectious.
“Alright,” I said. “Let’s do it.”
You beamed with delight and wrapped your arms around my neck in a quick hug. You left then, to speak with the council again, but not before thanking me. Maybe not, but I thought you would have known by then that if you had asked me to take am unarmed walk along the machine surface with you, I would have. ‘Hey,’ I thought as I watched you walk away. ‘What are best friends for?’
You haven’t come back yet. It’s foolish to believe that you ever will.
I walk a lot now. I can’t sit still for any length of time. I need to keep busy, keep moving. I need my mind to be active. It would be easy to give up now, but I know you wouldn’t want that. You’d get up. You’d keep living. You always were the strong one, though.
I stop outside your quarters a lot. There is always single candle in front of the door, always lit, placed there and maintained by some anonymous mourner. It’s the best place for me to remember you, even if the small space is filled with not only your memory, but his as well. Despite the initial spiral into misery and overwhelming sense of jealousy, I came to terms with the relationship you shared with him with much more ease than I was expecting. You were happy. And I felt selfish for wanting things to be different.
I knew he loved you. He relied on you for stability much the way I did. I envied him, but I understood him.
I sometimes think I want to know what exactly happened to you. I want to know every detail, every single event and emotion you experienced. My mind fills in the blanks for me a lot, but my morbid imagination always has been very self- serving and bouts of insomnia are the unwelcome result.
I had a lot of dreams for us, Trinity. Even when I knew none of them would ever come true for us, I couldn’t stop them. Was I foolish to ever want a simple life with you? Probably. Was I foolish to believe you’d be happy living a simple life? Probably. Loving you has been a paradox, a constant struggle, but it has made me who I am today.
You’re not going to come back. You gave your life for him, for all of us. You died fighting for what you believed in. That’s all any good soldier can ask for in death. And you, my friend, were a good soldier.
I’ll miss you for the rest of my life.
“Everyone sees the Oracle,” you said.
“Did you?” I asked.
“Yes,” you said.
“And you will, too.”
Kali told me when it was time. We had just finished our routine sweep inside the Matrix and I was ready to head for the exit when she stopped me.
“Your turn,” she said. “Let’s go. The Oracle’s waiting.”
I felt comfortable with her immediately. She sat at her kitchen table, cigarettes and ashtray within arms reach, and perhaps as a therapist might do at the start of a session with a new patient, asked me why I thought I was there.
“You’re going to look into your crystal ball and tell me my future?”
“Don’t get smart with me, kid,” she said.
“You’ve got a lot on your mind. I can see that. You’re struggling with what to make of yourself. Why?”
“I don’t understand what you mean by that. I know exactly what to make of myself.”
“Then tell me.”
“I’m a soldier for Zion. I’m here to fight.”
“What are you fighting for?”
“For Zion. For humanity.”
“Such an answer is admirable. But its a soldier’s answer. I want your answer, Ghost.”
“I fight for today,” I said.
“Ah,” she said. “So, it’s ‘do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment’, is it?”
“There’s nothing wrong with that.”
“Of course not. But Buddha wasn’t allowing his heart to love in vain, now was he? It complicates such a clean way of living, doesn’t it?”
“Is this why I’m here? Because of her?”
“You know the answer to that.”
“Then tell me. Can she ever love me?”
“Only as a friend, as her brother.”
I nodded, letting my eyes fall to the ground as an image of you flashed across my face. Even when you weren’t there, you could make me smile.
“Thank you,” I said, looking up again.
“You’re welcome,” she said.
I watched her for a moment, watched as she took pulled a cigarette out of its box and placed it between her lips. A match cracked as she lit it and she cupped her hands around the flame, lifted her hands and concealing her mouth. When she pulled them away, the end of the cigarette was ablaze, glowing red-orange. Her chest puffed slightly as she inhaled deeply and then deflated, thick gray smoke exiting her mouth as she then exhaled.
“That’s a bad habit,” I said.
“Yes, but it’s my habit and I have a right to it, don’t I?”
“Yes, you do.”
“Tell me again, now. What are you fighting for?”
“I’m fighting for my right to live.”
“You got it, kid.”
She stood up then and came over to me, her hand reaching out and patting my cheek gently. And she smiled.
“Never forget that,” she said. “No matter what paths we choose, we always have the right to live those choices out. Don’t let anyone, man or machine, tell you any different.”
“Thank you,” I said again.
She nodded her head once at me and turned around and went over to busy herself with something on the counter, signaling the end of our meeting.
I was never one to have a weak stomach, but suddenly I found myself hunched over, vomiting out its contents into a toilet. Thoughts of your impending death were the ideal catalyst for such a condition. Go figure.
I struggled to pull myself together.
I rinsed the taste of bile from my mouth and controlled my breathing again, making myself as presentable as possible. Time was running out. I had to find you before you left. My feet carried me swiftly down the narrow corridor of the ship, my mind doing it’s best to string together enough words to form a coherent thought that could even begin to segue into what it was I wanted to say to you. Distracted, I almost walked right past the open door to my left.
“I know I’m supposed to go,” he was saying. “But beyond that, I don’t know…”
“I know,” you said. “You don’t think you’re coming back. I knew it the moment you said you had to leave. I could see it in your face. Just like you knew the moment you looked at me that I was coming with you.”
I wanted to respect your privacy, to quickly turn back and leave the two of you alone, but my feet were like stone and I couldn’t move. My conscious screamed at me, but still I listened.
“I’m scared, Trin,” he said.
“So am I. Took me ten minutes to buckle up one boot. “But I’ll tell you something. Six hours ago I told the Merovingian that I was ready to give anything and everything for you. Do you know what’s changed in the past six hours?”
My stomach lurched. I admired your dedication to him, your willingness to give yourself over to him, and your complete and utter trust in him. But I also allowed myself the final indulgence of wishing it was directed towards me.
Several moments passed before I heard you speak again.
“I’m going to go down and help them prepare the ship,” you said. “I’ll see you in a few minutes?”
“Okay,” he said, his voice slightly muffled.
I shook my head slightly, snapping myself back to attention and panicked slightly when I realized you were coming through the door. I turned around quickly and walked back the way I came, hoping to make it seem I was just passing by, but before I could make it to three steps, I heard you call me name.
“Hey,” I said, turning around. “I was just on my way…uh…well, to see you.”
“Come on,” you said. “Walk with me.”
You linked your arm around mine and we began to move down the hall slowly. Your head fell against my arm gently and for just a moment, I felt like we were young again.
“Say something,” you said.
I stopped us, turning until I could look at your face. Your features were hard, lined with worry, and your eyebrows furrowed with unconscious thought. Your eyes were focused, though, and your determination was as clear as your love for him. And you were still the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
“There are no words,” I said.
You pulled me into a tight embrace, your arms wrapping around my neck fiercely and your head falling to rest against my shoulder. My arms immediately encircled you, my hands splayed against your back, gently holding you against me.
I don’t think either one of us heard him approach.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I don’t want to interrupt…”
Your head lifted up at the sound of his voice and we broke apart, my body feeling the loss of your warmth with a shiver.
“I know,” you said. “We have to go.”
He nodded, looking slightly uncomfortable, and then reached his hand out. I looked down and was surprised to see he had extended it out not towards you, but rather towards me.
“Thank you, Ghost,” he said. “For everything.”
I met his hand in a firm shake, accepting his gratitude and returning it equally. His eyes carried a heavy burden as they looked at me, but when he turned his head to look over at you, I could see how it was you, and only you, that made it bearable for him, and maybe even worth the weight.
You leaned in and brushed your lips against my cheek, your last goodbye, then stepped over until you stood next to him. Still there were no words, so I stood there silently and watched as you both walked away.
They were shipping us off today. My hands shook as I packed my bag with the few belongings I had accumulated. I heard my door open and looked back over my shoulder as you peeked your head in.
“Ready?” you asked.
I zipped up the bag and threw it over my shoulder, nodding my head. I glanced around the room one last time before meeting you outside, where you were casually leaning against the railing of the wall. You appeared to be perfectly unafraid.
“Let’s go,” you said. “I don’t want to be late.”
We walked along briskly, stopping at the elevator at the end of the aisle. I looked over at you and caught your eye. You smiled.
“Aren’t you even the least bit scared?” I asked.
“Of course,” you said. “But as they say, there’s nothing to fear but fear itself.”
I shook my head and laughed softly, receiving yet another smile from you in response. The elevator doors opened and we stepped inside, pushing in the appropriate button to direct us up to the dock. When the doors opened again, we were met with a sea of military personnel, dockworkers, and incoming crewmen. We stepped out and joined the crowd of proud resistance fighters.
I started to walk towards our ships when I felt you grab my arm suddenly. I looked back as you pulled me aside, just behind a large section of stone. You grasped my hands in yours and your eyes sparkled, boring deep into my own with a strange urgency I had never seen before. My heart threatened to beat out of my chest. You leaned into me swiftly and before I had a chance to do anything, your mouth pressed against me in a kiss.
Your lips were warm and inviting and for the first few seconds, I was positive I was dreaming. I felt your solidity in front of me, though, felt your breath against my own, and I knew you were real this time. And for a fleeting second, I thought I felt your heart open to me.
Then just as fast as it happened, it ended. You pulled yourself away from me and stepped back out into the masses. You started to walk away, but I caught your hand and pulled you back towards me again, my face a model of confusion. Your eyes shone with tears, but you blinked them back quickly and regained the exterior I had come to know so well. I could still see a lingering surprise in your face, though, and when you opened your mouth to speak, I was positive you were going to say that you were sorry.
“A goodbye kiss,” you said instead.
I mustered a smile and did my best to pretend that that explanation was enough. We started to walk again, you just a few steps ahead, and came to a stop in front of our new ships. You weren’t able to get me on The Nebuchadnezzar with you, but your glowing recommendation led to a spot on The Brahma that I was happy to have. You started to the left and I to the right, our captains ready and waiting for us.
“See you soon?” you called.
You looked at me expectantly, needing my answer before you could go.
“Yeah,” I said. “See you soon.”
A masked apology, a masked acceptance.
I saw your body sag slightly, your chest deflating as you exhaled a deep breath. You smiled at me once more before turning, your entire demeanor changing with your focus. I advanced to report to my new life as well, trying to temporarily pushing away the thoughts of what might have been.
Damn you, Trinity.