Tangible Schizophrenia


Cookie: Raisin

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: PG, PG-13
Pairing: Um. Slight El/Trinity and El/Merovingian.
Fandom: Mexico/Matrix crossover.
Feedback: Yes, please.
Disclaimer: Belongs to a bunch of people who, sadly, aren't me.
Notes: //words// in Spanish. Translations of French provided on request.
Summary: El decides to be compassionate for once. For the contrelamontre 'fortune cookie' challenge; done in exactly 60 minutes. Saying from here.


Because of your melodic nature, the moonlight never misses an appointment.

At first when El saw them, he thought one of the stained-glass windows had shifted from its frame.

He had been trying to pray, kneeling in the empty church before the empty altar. Trying to find solace from his nightmares. And then, he had glanced up to see silver light shimmering through the man and the woman. Shimmering in them, brightening their forms moment-by-moment till they ceased to be mere images.

If El had had any faith left in him, it surely would have been stirred by the sight. As it was, he simply rocked back on his heels, one hand curling up to graze his pistol as he waited and watched.

The woman somehow recalled his fading memories of Carolina, despite her short hair and clearly Anglo features. Perhaps it was the eyes. Large and lustrous and capable of both steel and sweetness.

The man stood stylish and supercilious, face set in constant cynicism, the wounds buried deep behind the shrouds in his eyes. It was he who spoke first. "El Mariachi. Enchanté."

//I don't understand//, El responded, tilting his head.

"But of course." Folding his hands before him, the man made a quarter-turn and began to pace slowly but purposefully in front of El. "You could hardly be expected to, but I fear that my time is very limited, and thus I cannot begin to explain all the complexities of the situation. Nevertheless, I suppose you will refuse if I do not offer any information."

Rolling his shoulders loose, El motioned for the other man to continue.

"You may refer to me as the Merovingian, if you wish. It would not be particularly meaningful to you, but neither would be my real name. Names, after all, are mere labels, inadequate to describe the sensations of which the human world consists." The Merovingian halted, glancing slyly back at El. "For instance, you are here because you seek the feeling of restfulness that slumber brings. You do not know why you cannot sleep, you do not know why you need sleep. You only know that you need the feeling that it produces."

"And you can tell me these things?" El remarked dubiously, a little nettled by the aura of grime that surrounded the pristine appearance of the other man.

"I could tell you many things," the Merovingian answered. "But they would only serve as a temporary satisfaction of pointless curiosity, and would do nothing to solve anything."

"So there's a problem," El noted. The Merovingian began to tsk. "So direct. How I hope in vain for subtlety-"

"Yes," interjected the woman. "We need your help." Ignoring the glare her companion sent her, she continued, "My name is Trinity, and what we say may not make sense, but you have to believe us. We're not from your world. We're not alive."

"I don't carry out anyone's vengeance except my own," El stated, quietly but resolutely. "And no matter what you are, I don't know you."

"We don't want revenge," Trinity reassured the mariachi. Coming forward, she knelt in front of him and looked intensely into his eyes. "We just want to be. We're...stuck."

"Such a poor word, for such an intricate difficulty," the Merovingian said almost dreamily. "But since you only seem to traffic in simplicities, I suppose I could stoop. We have died-or have otherwise been removed from our plane of existence. And now we wish to enter another, but we have no lien, no link. Comprenez?"

"You want to possess me," El muttered, tensing up. Trinity instantly shook her head, throwing a fierce glance at the Merovingian before hastening to issue fervent denials. "No. Don't listen to him; he's an asshole who's played games for so long, he's forgotten what it's like to add two and two. Yes, we want to get into you, but we aren't going to take you over. We can't. It's not…it's not something we can do, since we left."

//It doesn't matter what you can and can't do. I still see no reason to help you//, El replied, getting to his feet. The Merovingian threw out a hand, face suddenly transformed into a naked plea. "Wait," the other man said, trying hard but failing to hide his panic. "We can help you. If you let us in, you'll know everything I know."

//I have found that knowledge brings only sorrow//, El remarked, brushing off his pants. //I do not need to go seeking any more of that; more than my share of grief has already made its way to me.// He turned to leave, but a light tug at his sleeve stopped him. Looking down, El met Trinity's wet, desperate gaze.

"I know we need you more than you need us," she said lowly, voice vibrating richly with her anxiety. "But I-there are others like us. And there's a man that I love, who's come here. The Merovingian and I, we can't leave this church."

"You're searching for your lover," El whispered to himself, feeling something inside him which had been long-withered begin to green again.

Trinity nodded. "Yes. He-his name's Neo. And I'll do anything, if you just help us leave this place and find him. You-you're the only one who can carry us. We can't ask anyone else."

"Anything," El echoed, his loose hair slipping down to drop a veil between him and the woman. He paused for a long moment before pulling loose of Trinity's grip. As the mariachi strode away, Trinity fell forward, hugging her desolation to herself. A few feet behind her, the Merovingian betrayed uncharacteristic emotion as he sucked in a torn-edged breath.

And then El stopped by one of the pews, bent down to retrieve his guitar case, and came back to the front of the church. Drawing up before the two disbelieving, suddenly hopeful faces, El set the case back down again and then straightened. "All right," he said. "But if you're lying, I will find a way to kill you."

"We know," Trinity responded, joyful in spite of El's warning. She rose, smiling widely and softly, and leaned forward to press her lips to El's.

It was a flash of icy fire, and it sent El stumbling back a step before the world's evanescence died back to show a chapel enclosing two men and no one else. The Merovingian instantly moved toward El, but the mariachi held up a finger. "Wait," El muttered. "Give me a second."

A few breathes later, he looked up, a faint air of bemusement still drifting across the gleam of his eyes. "Okay. Now you can go-" his deep voice changed, briefly lifted in pitch "-Merv."

Rolling his eyes, the Merovingian nevertheless was polite enough to offer El a "Merci beaucoup." And then he kissed the mariachi, and this time, El felt the shadow of a tongue swipe inside his mouth before the heat and cold raced once more along El's nerves.

The mariachi made sure to thoroughly explore his newly-gained knowledge before he left the church, humming an old French folksong.


The first time he came, it wasn't yet time. Annoyed, El nevertheless left and returned three days later, when the air twinged him awake in the middle of the night. And he waited patiently in the vacant lobby, till someone came down the stairs.

Looking up at the soft thuds, El didn't blink at the sudden babble of four voices in his head, nor did he flinch from the scent of recent death that wafted off the other man's hands.

"El," Sands greeted him. Nodding in return, El replied, "Sands. And…yours."

"Aren't they cute?" the American grinned wickedly. El grunted and threw Sands the coat and guns, then left, not needing to listen for the other man's footsteps to know he had gained company.


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