*Slowly claws out from beneath a pile of rubble* Oh my god, I'm alive! *brushes dust off of clothing* Apologies for the lengthy hiatus, but my muse went into a bit of a comatose state for a while. But here we are, back again with another installment of NeoTrin goodness. This one's a little sad, but I hope you all enjoy it anyway.
This story was actually spawned from a very loose theory based around a shaky grasp on biological science, and the more I think about it, it doesn't even mesh that well with the whole concept of the movie, but my theory is that unplugged humans would not be able to reproduce. After all, if you're just growing them to be used as batteries, why would they need to have properly-functioning reproductive organs at all? Like I said, it's a shaky theory, but I think I deserve points for trying.
"Trinity?" His voice, low and drowsy and happy, reverberates in her head where she's pressed up against his bare chest. One leg still draped over his waist, a hand in his hair, she never wants to move. Contentment is a rare feeling, even for them, so she treasures it while she can.
"Mm?" is her only response, eyes half-shut, listening more to the steady beat of his heart than to the words he's saying. But he lifts a hand, gets his fingertips lightly under her chin, and deftly tilts her head so they're looking in each other's eyes. She tries to wriggle away, to resume her comfortable position against the subtle dip of his breastbone, but he holds her imperiously in place. His eyes have that inquisitive, questioning look in them again, and she sighs, not quite impatient. "What is it, Neo?"
"Do you…" He breaks off for a moment to roll her over onto her back and kiss her collarbone tenderly. She knows this move. It's his distraction technique, and he only employs it when he wants her to say yes to something. She rolls her eyes with a gentle huff. Go ahead, do your worst. "Do you ever think about… y'know… having kids?"
Well. If she was expecting anything at all, it wasn't that. It's a harmless question, sweet, really, impossibly sweet, and if they were anywhere else, anyone else, she would be touched. She would embrace him and kiss him and say yes.
But they're here, and they are who they are, so she has no idea how to respond. Instead, she gets up, pulling away from his warmth, and heads for the shower, avoiding his gaze all the while.
"Trin?" She closes the door before he can get to her, before he can see the tears welling in her eyes. "Trinity?" The door does not do a good enough job of blocking him out, so she turns on the water.
Why, of all the things in the world, did he have to ask me that question?
It's not as though she doesn't want to. God, it's one of the things she wants most in the world. Her thoughts turn rueful as she strips out of her thin nightdress, glancing down at herself, resting one hand against the lower plane of her flat stomach, fingernails lightly digging into the skin. It's not fair. And God, it really isn' angrily thrusts her face under the hot spray as the tears begin to flow, sorrow and envy and anger at what she is – what they all are, really – tightening her chest. Her sobs are quiet, and the spell of crying is mercifully brief. She finishes showering and steps out, the cold metal floor a shock to her warm skin, grabbing a towel and a light bathrobe from the back of the door. Dressed and dry, she's still not sure if she can face him.
He's in the bedroom, facing away, focused too intently on making the bed. His movements are too pronounced, too sharp.
"Neo." He does not turn away from his work, though his head does lift a little at the sound of her voice.
"I'm sorry," he says flatly, "if I offended you. I don't know what I was thinking, it was a stupid thing to"-
"Stop." She places her hand on his shoulder soothingly, and this time he does turn around. She just hopes her eyes aren't too red. "Neo, there's something you have to know…about…about what you asked." He bites his lip, and she gently pushes him to sit down, taking her place beside him. "Morpheus explained to you how the energy farms work, right?" He nods shakily, a ghost of revulsion passing over his features briefly at the memory. "And we're all force-grown, not born naturally. I don't know if it's something like in-vitro fertilisation, or if we're cloned from some huge catalogue of DNA samples or what, but… The point I'm trying to make is that however we're made, it means that we – Redpills, anyway – can't have children at all."
It takes Neo a little while to reply, and when he does all he can get out is a quiet "Oh." Trinity nods, placing a hand atop his where it rests against the bedsheets.
"It wasn't always that way, though. Back when the first humans were being unplugged, they were able to bear children. That's how Zion came into being; as a colony of refugees. But the Machines... they realised, after a while, that there were enough of us to pose a threat to their way of life. So they began making modifications. And now, those of us who manage to get unplugged... can't have children. At all." She doesn't go into detail, doesn't even begin to mention the horrific implications that it has for their future. She doesn't have to; she can see in his eyes that he understands.
"Huh," he says. "That makes sense, actually. Why would you have to be able to, when we're only meant to be…"
"Believe me, Neo, there is nothing in the world I would love to do for you more than carry our baby, to start a family of our own, but…" She shakes her head. "I even got myself tested when we first docked here, and the medic told me that it was impossible. Just like that, like it was no big deal. I knew it was a stupid thing to want, but I couldn't help hoping…" She breaks off and rests her head against his shoulder. Silence reigns for a minute or two, and then for a minute more. There's nothing more that needs to be said. Trinity wishes, and not for the first time, that they were somewhere else. Even back in the Matrix, dreaming awake, things would be different. They could just be two people in love, and she could bear his child. Life would be simple and happy, and, for the first time she could remember, safe. No war raging, no Agents waiting around every corner, no daily threat of death and harm.
But they're here, and they are who they are, and there are bigger things to fight for.
Apologies for the weak-sauce ending, but I was a little stuck, and this fic has bee floating around on my laptop for an unhealthy amount of time already. It's time it was out in the world! Feedback of any kind would be very much appreciated, and so would requests for future Matrix fics. My poor, starved muse needs feeding! Thanks for reading! (Heh, rhyme.)
Also, a huge thank-you to Fanfictionlurker1, for turning a potential plot hole into a pretty intriguing piece of exposition regarding the pros and cons of cloning humans. The change is small, but it's there, and I feel that it makes this whole fic about five times better.