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Mini-Short Story
Created 01-12-2004 by Jayman & Crystal
Based on concepts by Larry & Andy Wachowski

Year 095 A.Z. - Five Years Ago

Start of Relationship - Jayman & Crystal

Note by Jayman - The original-character descriptions of Sky and Flicker may differ slightly in this alternate-universe RPG from their descriptions in my fanfics. But their overall personalities will be very similar in both universes.

WARNING - This story contains adult content which may be unsuitable for certain readers.

* 1 * - A Crazy Idea

That night following the promotions, in Zion's Hole-in-the-Wall bar...

    Above the subdued chatter and clink of drinks, Operator FLICKER laughs his loud and infectious laugh.
    FLICKER turns to JAYMAN and CRYSTAL, and smiles through his rough beard, "You should've seen her..."
    SKY shakes her blonde head, "Come on!"
    FLICKER picks up his medium-sized frame from the round table and mimics a swordfighting dance.
    "Sky was slashing this way..." (FLICKER mimics a swing with an empty hand) "... and thrusting that way..." (He mimics a thrust) "... and keep in mind, she was fighting one of my best designs!"
    SKY turns to JAYMAN and CRYSTAL and adds softly, "Yeah right, Nos was glitching all over the place."
    FLICKER continues, "Then all of a sudden, the tip of his sword stops right here at her heart... and Nos says, 'You're lucky a glitch didn't kill you on the spot.'"
    Again, SKY turns to the two youngest crew members, "Sometimes his sword would pass through you and sometimes it could cut right through a telephone pole... That's how glitchy he was."
    "But listen to this..." FLICKER sits back down. "Sky says 'Don't worry, the training safeties are on'... And you know what Nos said after that?"
    JAYMAN shakes his head.
    "Nos says, 'What safeties?'" FLICKER burst out laughing once more. "What safeties? You should've seen the look on Sky's face! She was shitting in her pants! Hahahaha!"
    SKY explains, "Apparently, the glitch this time was that the training safeties failed, and Nos neglected to tell me... I really could've been killed... even in the Construct."
    Still caught in the bubbling after-effects of laughter, FLICKER says, "That's true, I'm sorry... An operator shouldn't laugh... But shit, that look was worth a thousand Zions." He gulps the last drops of his drink, smacks the glass down on the table, and gets back up. "Anyone want another drink?"
    SKY: "No thanks."

    JAYMAN: "Nah."

    FLICKER: "Cryssie?"

    CRYSTAL glances at FLICKER. Noone called her 'Cryssie' in Zion except for him. Though she was always called 'Crystal' or simply 'Crys,' she liked the way he named her anyway. She wouldn't be comfortable being called that by the whole crew, but FLICKER was so amusing and kind to her that she didn't mind this nickname from him.
    "Rather not," CRYSTAL replies, playing with her glass, then adds with a smile. "That's enough for me."
    Living in Zion on and off for some 3 years, she still couldn’t get used to the strength of the special Zionist drinks.

    FLICKER shrugs at them. "Suit yourself. But don't look at me if you're mouths suddenly turn dry for more. Hahahaha!"

    As FLICKER turns and heads away to the bar counter, SKY shakes her head and smiles.
    "Drunk or not, he never changes."
    After a pause, SKY leans closer, raising her bright green eyes to JAYMAN and CRYSTAL.
    "And congratulations again..." (SKY turns to CRYSTAL) "Lieutenant..." (SKY turns to JAYMAN) "and Lieutenant Commander... The both of you really deserve your promotions... You should be proud."

    JAYMAN grins and looks down at his empty glass. "Thanks, just doing my part."
    Then JAYMAN cautiously turns his dark eyes to CRYSTAL, the expert driver, and the same bright redhead that caught his attention when she first joined the crew of the Nosferatu last year.
    JAYMAN quickly looks back at his glass.
    Tonight? he asks himself desperately, Should I tell her... ask her... tonight?

    CRYSTAL smiles at SKY, blushing a little.
    This day is a highlight of her life. Her first promotion, she can hardly believe it. Even more, the first real appreciation of her life. Not the meaningless, empty, custom phrases that people tell to each other in the Matrix. Choosing the red pill was the best decision in her life, now she is at home. She is grateful for the people who saved her from the prison called 'her world,' and gave her a chance to start a new life. Where she isn't only a part of the system, but a real human being with her own will and feelings. And where she can feel the others' care, something she had hardly felt in the Matrix, where everyone cares only about money, fame, careers. She always knew it wasn't her place to live. She was longing for something else. And she found it in the Resistance, where everyone is a member of a huge family. No rat-race, only a simple, even a precious, life.
    "Thanks," CRYSTAL says, still smiling. "But I couldn't have done it without the crew."
    She glances at JAYMAN. It's only a quick glance, but it's enough to notice him staring at his glass. He seems to be somewhere deep in his thoughts.
    Is there something bothering him? CRYSTAL wonders. They succeeded in their mission, been promoted, yet he doesn't seem to be happy. She thought this night was about celebration and no sorrows. She had enough of the recent fears and uncertainity. She intends to get over them and have fun tonight.
    CRYSTAL looks back to SKY. However, CRYSTAL can't get rid of the thought that JAYMAN is worried about something. He isn't usually so quiet.
    CRYSTAL doesn't like it. Noone should be sad tonight, she insists. She is about to turn to him and ask what's wrong, but... a thought flashes through her mind. What if he doesn't want to talk about it?
    CRYSTAL doesn't want to force anyone to do anything. At least not tonight. This night is for celebration. She doesn't want to spoil the others' good moods either.

    SKY smiles, "So humble, you two... You know..." Suddenly--
    CLINK! CRASH! The high-pitched sound of glass shattering!
    SKY swivels her attention to the murmuring commotion at the other side of the dim and smoky bar.
    Someone spits out, "Hey! Watch it, you fuckhole!" The pissed-off sound of FLICKER's voice!
    SKY hisses through her teeth, "Shit! Flicker!" and gets up.
    Squeaking his chair back, JAYMAN moves to rise, but SKY motions him to stop.
    "No-no, I'll handle it... You two enjoy yourselves... Excuse me."
    And the newly-promoted commander pushes her chair under the table, brushes the yellow strands from her eyes, and strides purposefully towards the distant commotion. Above the chatter and murmur, SKY calls out, "What the shit is going on?"

    As if the sudden ruckus was a fresh breeze that passed through him and whisked away his anxiety, JAYMAN turns, smiles at CRYSTAL, and laughs out loud.

    CRYSTAL giggles, watching SKY leave.
    "Flicker would be lost without her...' CRYSTAL notes with a smile.
    Then CRYSTAL turns to JAYMAN, hearing his loud laugh. She looks at him, surprised by the sudden change of his mood. She is stunned for a moment, staring at him. Anyway, this is what she wanted, isn't it?
    She can imagine her own puzzled expression, so she bows her head with a slight blush.

    As his laughter tapers, JAYMAN catches her stunned and stunning emerald-eyed stare, her long flowing scarlet hair, her delicate beige shirt... Their eyes lock for a moment before CRYSTAL bows her head in a slight blush.
    Suddenly, a crazy idea flashes through JAYMAN's head.
    JAYMAN urges quietly yet smilingly, "Come on, Crys..." (he extends his hand before her) "You heard what the commander said... She told us to enjoy yourselves, right?... So let's enjoy ourselves."
    JAYMAN wiggles his fingers and waits knowingly for her reaction...

    CRYSTAL raises her stare at him again, her mouth slightly opened, eyes widening with surprise. Her look meets his smile. She glances at his hand reaching for her, then looks into his eyes, questioning.
    What’s this game, CRYSTAL wonders. A playful smile appears in the corner of her lips, her eyes are asking for reassurance. Thoughts are rushing in her mind.
    What is going on here? CRYSTAL feels her heart beating faster by hearing him saying her name in that way he does. This isn't the first time he calls me by my nickname, but this time… His tone is somehow different...
    CRYSTAL moves her hand to take his, slowly, as if she is afraid of something.
    She still holds the gaze, and finally decides to play along. She can’t help but chuckle.
    "What are you up to?" she inquires.

    JAYMAN grins, "You'll see."
    Still grasping CRYSTAL's soft hand, JAYMAN squeaks back his chair to rise.
    "Come on," JAYMAN repeats with a slight pull in his grasp, and a playful wink in his glance. "Let's go before they notice."

    CRYSTAL grins back, rising from her chair. Excitement and curiosity overwhelm her.
    It's like they'll do something that isn't allowed. Playing prohibited games. If only she knew what he was up to...
    CRYSTAL giggles and follows him.

    Her hand in his, JAYMAN leads CRYSTAL to the front door of the bar.
    The heart-pounding anxiety that permeated JAYMAN earlier is now replaced with a refreshing heart-pounding anticipation and excitement.
    Glancing back, JAYMAN smiles back at CRYSTAL, and also checks for SKY and FLICKER. He can't see them through the dimness and the smokiness, but he's relieved. That means they can't see them leaving either.
    "Come on," JAYMAN whispers with a small chuckle, then jokes, "You slowpoke."

    On the other side of the bar, SKY peeks behind her. With a slight squint, she can barely see her fellow crewmates leave the hazy bar -- JAYMAN, in his usual black undershirt, gray slightly-over-sized pull-over shirt, black pants, and boots, and CRYSTAL in her sheer-and-sexy loose-sleeved beige shirt, black pants, and boots. And bowing her head, SKY smiles to herself.
    SKY turns and puts a hand on FLICKER's shoulder.
    FLICKER jumps, "Why you bastard, I'm gonna--"
    SKY steps back, "Hey-Hey, wait Flick! It worked. They left."
    FLICKER's bright eyes widen. "Really? Wow, I didn't think they'd do it."
    SKY grins, "Yeah, well, I knew... and I won the bet... Now pay up, Mr. Flicker."

    "What did you call me?" CRYSTAL nudges JAYMAN playfully.
    She doesn't have the slightest idea what he is planning, but she doesn't really care. There's something in his eyes telling her that whatever this surprise'd be, she'll enjoy it.
    CRYSTAL feels JAYMAN's gentle hold on her hand.
    Hell, the sensation of his touch is so good...

    "You heard me!" JAYMAN laughs out loud.
    With a wide smile, JAYMAN leads CRYSTAL through the doorway, and outside into the enormous and cavernous public space. He heads for the secluded entrance to a narrow service corridor.
    His heart beating louder and louder in his chest, JAYMAN wonders if CRYSTAL can somehow hear it...
    Almost there, he tells himself...
    With an imperceptible shiver, JAYMAN enjoys the feeling of her hand in his.

    CRYSTAL follows him obediently.
    She didn't, couldn't know all of the places in Zion. The city was too huge to discover its secret hidden areas in her three last years, besides getting used to living here, learning about the Resistance, and going through the pre-training process in order to fulfill the requirements to get on a ship.
    I've never been to this part of the city before, CRYSTAL notes. She looks around amazed and gets more excited. The surroundings are beautiful. Whatever this surprise is, she won't ever forget it, it will be a lifelong memory for her.
    CRYSTAL casts a secret glance at JAYMAN.
    Might he guess that...? She doesn't dare continue the thought. Mouth dried, she swallows hard.
    Damn, this nervousness and uncertainty... As much she wants to be beside him, she also feels like running away now. But his soft grip on her hand prevents her from doing so.

    As they pass a corner and reach the secluded entrance in the massive stone wall, away from the public light and public view, JAYMAN pulls CRYSTAL into the dim corridor, eases her against the pipes and cables, and without warning, kisses her... mouth to mouth... lips to lips... breath to breath...
    His hands trembling at her waist, and his heart pounding so hard that he feels it could burst, JAYMAN savors the unbelievable unforgettable moment... kissing her...
    God, I hope she doesn't mind! JAYMAN screams in his head... feeling so brave yet so afraid at the same time... embracing her...

    The sudden, unexpected turn of the events both shocks and surprises CRYSTAL. She doesn't understand what is happening to her exactly until she feels his soft lips on hers. Suddenly all the surroundings, the sorrows, everything related to the outside world fade, there’s only the sensation of his gentle kiss. Closing her eyes instinctively, CRYSTAL welcomes the kiss, though a bit reluctantly, unsure if she is only dreaming, or if this is reality.
    I must be dreaming... she tells herself. But if it's so, I don't want to wake up...
    CRYSTAL's hot breath meets JAYMAN's, and her body trembles. Feeling his hand on her waist, her heart beats faster and louder, and the thought flashes through her mind, If I should die, I'd like to die now...

    Relieved at CRYSTAL's trembling yet willing response, JAYMAN presses his searching mouth harder against hers... leans his burning body closer against hers... thoughtlessly... instinctively...
    His hands slide from her small waist upwards... beneath her long scarlet waves... underneath her sheer beige blouse... along the smooth warmth of her back...
    Gasping for a moment to lift his head, JAYMAN bends it back down to kiss the side of her neck... the region beneath her ear... behind her ear... while his firm hands explore the soft curves of her skin...
    So warm... he sighs to himself, So soft...

    Feeling his hot breath and lips on her skin, CRYSTAL moans, tilting her head back, against the pipes and cables, enjoying the incredible, exciting sensation of his kisses. Her breath becomes more irregular as the heat is overwhelming her, like devastating flames of fire.
    As his hands are wandering on her, another wave of a pleasant shiver rushes over her body. She feels the warmth of his hands on her skin under the sheer material of her shirt.
    She had been dreaming about his touch for so many cold nights, laying on her cot in her quarters. She couldn't deny her attraction to him, however she tried. They were crewmates, friends, working together, fighting for Zion. But CRYSTAL didn't fight only for the city, but also against her own feelings. She couldn't get JAYMAN out of her mind since they first met.
    Though I've tried, God knows how much. I didn't want to get hurt. Having those painful memories from the Matrix, and those experiences in her first two years in Zion, before joining the Nos, directed her to control her emotions. She didn't want to suffer again. She was afraid of JAYMAN's rejection. Even though she thought she sensed some encouraging signals from him, she didn't dare to believe that they would be more than simple signs of friendship.
    But now, as his mouth is exploring her neck, they have crossed the border of friendship for sure.
    But what does he feel, CRYSTAL wonders. Is he doing this only in the heat of the moment? Is the high spirit of the celebration the reason or...? She pushes these thoughts aside. I don't care, whatever the reason is... All that matters is this moment...

    With her rapid breathing and gentle moan in his ear, an animal fire blazes through JAYMAN. Sliding one hand down her trembling body... between her hot skin and her black pants... between her soft skin and her thin panties... to her bottom... he pulls her pelvis against his, so CRYSTAL can feel him through his trousers...
    He returns to her open mouth... his body pulsing against hers... his heat lost in hers...
    Willingly lost in the eternal moment...

    Overwhelmed with passion, CRYSTAL searches his mouth hungrily, moving her hands behind his neck, pulling him closer and closer. Her shirt's sleeves glide to her shoulders by the move, revealing the bare skin of her arms.
    Feeling the warm touch of his hand on the hot skin of her bottom under her pants, and his excitement through his trousers, her heart races as never before, legs and hands shaking. She wonders whether the heat will burn her body soon.
    Will they end up where she thinks they will? CRYSTAL also wonders. This night is ahead of them, there are no duties, only celebration... And now she has made her decision...

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