TLynn > Breathe You In

Breathe You In

You alternate between perfect unconsciousness and fitful sleep. Now, as you lay on your back next to me, your body still for the moment, I once again marvel at just how beautiful you are. My eyes trace over you, your dark hair and pale skin, long eyelashes that almost touch the crest of your cheeks, and the blush of pink that tints your soft lips. I resist the urge to touch them now, to let my fingertips brush against them. You need this rest, even if it will be interrupted any moment now by your own restless mind.

I watch your eyelids and I can see that you're dreaming. I want to crawl into those dreams and see the message they bring to you. You won't let me in, even for a second, and I am tortured by the look in your eyes when you wake. You believe them to be more than dreams, I know, more than subconscious thought and unconscious desire. You analyze them constantly, turning each detail over and over again in your head. They weigh on you. I can see it. Don't you know I can see it?

You move next to me again. You turn until your back is facing me and I can hear your breathing become shallow. You return to your back, and then turn again, this time until you are facing me. You want so desperately to sleep, to rest, even if for just a few short hours. Your body screams for it. I wish I was plagued with your dreams, I wish I could bear their burden for you.

You are about to wake up now. I watch your face, watch as your lips part slightly and your eyelids flutter open. Your eyes adjust to the dark and you see me before you. My eyes are shut and you think I'm asleep. My breathing is deep and even and my body is still, and you are convinced even further. I can feel you watching me, your eyes studying me. Am I in your dreams? Do they make you fear for me? I can feel your worry, it radiates onto me in waves. I know you want to take me into your arms right now, wrap around me and keep me safe. But I am safe. Right next to you, I'm safe. I believe that. What do you know? What do you see? I wish I could see what you see. I wish I could understand why you can't believe it with me.

You move towards me slightly, carefully, and it seems natural to meet you halfway. So I do. Even in sleep, I know I would do the same thing; it's as natural as breathing. I move until I am pressed against you, my head pillowed on your chest and your arm hooked around the curve of my hip. The contact seems to calm us both and I can feel you start to relax. My mind starts to cloud with sleepiness, thoughts intertwining and running into one another, and before long, I'm drifting away into my own dreamless sleep.

I don't even feel it when you jerk awake once more, slip out from underneath me, and retreat from the room.

When I'm pulled from my sleep, I see you are gone, but I can still feel you next to me. I can still feel your warmth on the sheets. I reach out a hand, letting my open palm run across that warmth, soaking it in until gooseflesh erupts across the expanse of my skin. I steal my hand back quickly until it's tucked beneath my body, safe.

The responsibility you carry is greater than that of anyone I have ever known. I know it and understand it, I admire you for it and I pity you for it. When you look at me, I see the turmoil within you and I see the determination, but I also see something that frightens me beyond words. I don't even know if you're conscious of it.

Reliance. Dependence.

Your path is to be taken alone and while I have the greatest of faith in you, I wonder if you will allow yourself to do so. The sadist in me wants to find out. If I were to get up and leave right now, would you be able to handle it? Perhaps. Perhaps not. It's a question that will never be answered, so I just let the thought float around in my mind, coming back to it from time to time. It keeps me in touch with reality.

And I need that connection because it would be so easy to lose myself in you. I did that once. He was the second potential we unplugged. He was younger than you, even younger than me. He was intense and strong and believed himself to be limitless. He wanted me. He wanted it all. And he believed he could have it. As the days passed, we all began to believe it, too. It wasn't long before I started shoving the pieces together, turning a blind eye to small details that didn't seem to fit. I allowed myself to fall in love with him and in that instant, sealed his fate. Maybe I shouldn't, but I blame myself for his death. I told him what the Oracle said, just as I told you. He became unstoppable after that. His actions became shortsighted and his attitude bordering on arrogant at times. They killed him with ease in the end and it tore me apart.

I know you are different. Just as I know how to breathe, how to walk and talk. You seem inherent to me and that's the difference. But my guard is still up, just as strong as it was the day he died, just as strong as it was in the years following, when we unplugged more potentials. I can see now how artificial my connection was to them. I was searching for it, willing it to fruition and as a result, I distanced myself from them. They all met their demise while fighting for something they weren't even sure they believed yet as I watched from the shadows. I loathed myself after their deaths, convinced that if I could have been stronger, they'd still be alive. But there seemed no easy answer, no simple solution. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I began to think the Oracle was full of shit, the the prophecy was some parlor trick to distract us from some unknown truth.

Then you came along. When I first saw you, my eyes reading in the falling code, I felt it. I didn't want to and fought it instantly. I was doing a pretty good job of remaining objective, too, until we unplugged you. Contact with you in the Matrix was always a challenge, but I constantly reminded myself of its artificiality and it seemed to be enough to keep my uncertainties at bay. It wasn't until I saw you in front of me, flesh and blood and in the real world, that I knew everything had changed in some way. It terrified me. I wanted so badly to give in to simple optimism, but I had seen too much to indulge in such a thing. I needed more proof. I wasn't about to surrender myself again, to put myself, or you, in a position that could prove fatal for one, and emotionally suicidal for another.

I couldn't stop you from crawling under my skin, though. I couldn't stop myself from loving you. And I began to believe. I knew you were The One, even if you didn't. The future had always been a complete unknown, but up to that point, it had a pattern of regularity that was comforting. You changed it all. Your presence suddenly turned the abstract idea of an unknown future into a direct reason to hope.

Yet, I'm still scared. Even as I lie in our bed, wishing you were next to me, I'm terrified of losing you. My reliance on you is just as strong as yours on me and I know that if you were to ever leave, I would shatter beyond repair. I struggle with the idea of it, trying to convince myself that I am not a weaker person, or solider, because of it. I've closed myself off for so long, it has become a habit, so I hope you can bear with me while my heart learns to work once again.

I hear you enter the room now and a calm spreads over me from the balls of my feet the tip of my nose. I watch as you pull your shirt over your head in the dark and feel your way through the dark until you reach the bed. You slide under the covers carefully and lie on your back, one hand reaching out beneath the blankets to rest on my bare thigh.

"Still awake," I say, not ask.

You jump slightly at the sound of my voice and turn your head until we are face to face.

"Can't sleep."

"Can I help?" I ask.

"No," you say, after some thought.

"If you ever need anything, you know you can ask me, don't you?"

"Yeah," you say. "I know."

"Okay," I say.

Your eyes search my face, intruding upon every detail you see. You open your mouth as if to say something, but close it again immediately and exhale audibly. I reach up and curl my fingers around your neck, pulling you towards me gently. You move until our bodies meet again and a shiver runs through me as my heated skin presses against your chilled body. I pull your head down to me still, nesting it safely in the curve of my neck. Your arm wraps comfortably around my waist, your hand splayed gently across the small of my back. In silence, your body warms next to mine and after just a few minutes, I smile in the darkness as I feel you fall into what I hope will be a dreamless slumber.

And my resolve melts away just a little more, welcoming you in, where you belong.


End of Transmission

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