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Wishful Thinking

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I wish I could tell him everything, that this could happen. I wish that things could change. I wish for so many things, things I know that we will never be able to have. A happy life. A family of our own. I wish I knew that Neo and I would survive this. But I know that we will not. Win or lose, neither he nor I will live to see the end of this war.

She told me.

***

"If we lose, I don't see him. But if we win, I still don't see him." The Oracle was pensive, gazing out of the window, refusing to look at me as she imparted to me the news I had dreaded.

"Do you see me?" I asked impulsively, wanting with sudden desperation to know if I would have to live without him.

Her voice was low, sorrowful, full of regret as she asked me, "Are you sure you want to know?"

"I'm sure," I answered sombrely, turning to meet her eyes as she glanced over at me.

"Come here, child."

I obeyed without thought, as I had always done to just about everything the Oracle had told me. She pulled me down to sit on the wooden chair beside her and put her arms around my shoulders.

I just stared into her eyes, willing her to tell me the truth.

"Trinity, this is damned tough, but if you really want to know..." she began, pausing as I nodded.

"I must know."

"...I don't see either of you," she finished, hugging me close. I didn't resist her, but my eyes were icier than before, the empty blue they always became when I held back.

"I'm sorry, child, I surely am."

"I know," I whispered, pulling away from her, getting to my feet and leaning against her sink, staring into the space beyond the open window. My heart ached, and for the first time in many long years, tears threatened to overcome my iron self-control.

"I'm sorry for more things than you can know," she averred, her tone subdued.

"What do you mean?" I questioned, facing her again.

"You'll see," she said, getting up from her chair with the difficulty of an old woman - which, indeed, she was by then. She walked over to the stove, taking a cookie from the tray of cooling confections and pressing it into my hand. "Here, take a cookie. It might help you feel a little better."

"Thank you," I half-sighed, returning her hug before I left, putting my sunglasses back on before I exited the room. I didn't want him to see my eyes yet - I wasn't ready to tell him her news, and I was still puzzling over what she could have meant by her final apology.

***

And now I know. The end of the war looks nigh at this point, whether by our victory or the machines', but I won't see it.

The rebars piercing my body are drawing out every drop of blood I have left, covering the floor of the Logos with me, and I'm pinned to the deck. Now I know she was telling the truth.

I'm dying.

All I can see is his face, his pain, and the tears that his scorched eyes can't cry. I comfort him with what strength I have left in me, clasping his hand with mine.

"I wished I had one more chance, to say what really mattered, to say how much I loved you, how grateful I was for every moment I was with you." I breathed in deeply, biting the inside of my lip against the pain. "But by the time I knew how to say what I wanted to, it was too late. But you brought me back...You gave me my wish." My eyes are beginning to go dark, my vision blurring, but the pain in my soul is far worse than the pain in my body. I'm dying. I can't stay with him. But I'll take this secret to the grave with me, to spare him the pain of knowing.

I inhale again, trying to draw more energy from the air, trying to forget the machine bars that are skewering my human body.

"One more chance to say what I really wanted to say..." I whispered. "Kiss me, once more. Kiss me."

Neo's lips softly moving over mine, my last memory, as the real world fades, a zephyr of silence washing over everything.

My final thought...

I wish...