Crim rushes up to Azalia, allowing the affini to continue reading for about two seconds, before she grabs onto one of her leg vines, and tugging as hard as she can manage. “Hey, Anemone recommended a cafe for us to go to, to wind down from the appointment!” She immediately starts walking away, hand locked down around the bewildered affini’s vine. “It’s run by a beeple and their owner!”
Azalia giggles a little, letting Crim tug a few times on her vines, before standing up. “Alright, sounds like a good idea to me. We can check out some shops, and get you everything you need.” She begins to walk at a sedate pace… which to Crim was still fairly fast, but still in line with her the whole way out of the clinic. “I finished the paperwork, your official hab for the time being is mine as you will be my ward. I also got a message about your dosage, and what you will need on that front. After lunch I’ll need to stop by a greenhouse to get a few new grafts.”
"Alright, that sounds good to me." Crim looks around while they walk the halls, realizing that she'd not actually made note of how to get back to the plushy shop. "But can you lead the way to the plush shop? I feel like we should stop there first."
Azalia begins to walk in front to lead the way. “Of course, we have to ‘investigate’ the various plushies after all. That, and I am sure that you may find something that you will find appealing.” She looks around, though she leaves a vine hanging in case Crim wants to hold on.
Crim puts her hands in her pockets as they continue their walk, occasionally nodding at the affini they pass by. Accepting a light pat or two if one takes interest in her, before moving on as quickly as she can politely manage. “If the one glimpse I got before was any indication, then yes, we will probably end up with several.”
“I’ve noticed many terrans, from the extroverted, to the introverted, seem to enjoy having something to hug at night. Even the touch repulsed take joy and comfort in having a plush to hang onto. I’ll carry whatever you want back to our hab when this is done.” Azalia slows down slightly, nodding to her left and at the store with plushies in the windows. “Shall we?”
"Indeed we shall." Crim walks into the shop, looking around to see if there's anything aside from the beeple plushes capable of catching her eye.
This leads her to a shelf filled with 'rhythm comfort plushies' which she can feel what is likely an imitation of the owner of the shop's biorhythm gently emanating out of each. Glancing from plush to plush, she grows increasingly frustrated by the lack of beeple or bee related models of these plushes. After all, there's nothing more snugglable than a bee, and to keep that from being combined with such an interesting concept is criminal! "I need to talk to the owner!"
An affini peaks their head from around some shelves. Purple and black flowers hanging off of its vines. “Hello there, Resin Wils, She/It. How may I help you?” They kneel down to equalize height. “Is there something that is not on the shelves you are looking for? If we don’t have something we do custom works.”
“Yes, there’s a small problem!” Crim gestures over the entire display. “There’s not a single bee, or beeple, themed plushy in this section! I understand I could get one custom made, but!” She gestures around the rest of the shop. “What about all the florets who can’t easily pick out a bee or beeple?! Some are too high to think of it on their own! Not having one on display here is a crime I tell you!”
Resin blinks a few times before pulling out their datapad, and getting to work. Feeling a bit silly for not having considered this prior. “I see, well, we haven’t gotten many requests for bee/beeple themed plushies beyond the… lets call it basic model. However I will say you do bring up a good point, I could make sure there is one or two of each special plush style on display. Honestly we have only had these rhythm plushies available to the public for about a month at this point, so we are still feeling out what is wanted from them.”
Crim smiles, nodding to herself, and stepping back over next to Azalia. Who’s been entirely frozen in place due to Crim’s sudden outburst. “I guess we did a good deed today, more beeple plushies could never hurt anyone!” She almost turns around to walk away, before slapping herself on the forehead, turning back to Resin. “Oh, right I want one beeple with Azalia here’s biorhythm in it please!”
Resin smiles, and looks over to the counter. “Pearl sweetie, could you grab a beeple plushie and start modifying it for the rhythm speaker?” An almost entirely doll-like girl with white scales and hair, jumps to life and begins following the instructions. “Alright, this should be a quick and simple enough modification. I’ll just need to get a sample of your biorhythm Azalia. We will need to go in the back. We have a room to make sure there’s no interference.” It smiles and gestures towards the back of the shop.
Azalia glances between Resin and Crim, trying to figure out exactly why the girl would want to have her rhythm constantly available. “Alright, let’s just go back and set everything up. Crim, are you going to be okay out here while we set this up?”
Crim rolls her eyes, giving a thumbs up. “Yeah, I’m just going to go and find any other plushies I want!” She starts to slowly walk backwards, accidentally bumping into one of the shelfs almost falling flat on her ass, before turning around, and starting to wander the toy store.
As the pair of affini go into the back room, Resin looks Azalia over with a grin. “So that one looks to be quite a bit of a handful, are you trying to make her a floret? Or is something else going on?”
“Absolutely not, while I’m sure she could make an excellent floret, for an affini who wants a pet who will run circles around them every day. I don’t think she’d even consider being a floret to any affini who doesn’t have a beeple floret already.” Azalia sighs, glancing back at Crim as she disappears into the plush shop. A little worried after seeing the girl nearly fall over, especially given how clumsy she's even called herself. “I actually just met her on my way back up here. She’s as obsessed with bees, and beeple, as your average core world affini, and is staying with me to get her body mods done.”
Resin laughs while holding the device to Azalia’s core. “Wow, not many terrans have shown that kind of interest. To be fair, she also doesn’t seem like much of a seed to me, so I suppose it is for the best that it stick to a wardship.” It looks down, making sure the recording is going fine. “Still though, I do enjoy getting suggestions like that. So far we have only made a few varieties of plushie for the rhythm to be a part of.”
“That’s good, but I wouldn’t take her recommendations too seriously… that is unless you want every shelf to be filled with every shape, and size, of bee in the known universe.” Azalia gently takes the device, and walks into the isolation room. Her body unraveling around her core, and gently pulling a piece of herself out, and placing it in the device to attach itself, and act as the source of the rhythm.
After a few minutes she gets a beep of affirmation allowing her to head back out, holding the little button sized rhythm replicator. “Despite acting like she’s not a seed, I’m curious as to why she wants my rhythm in a plush.”
Resin shrugs at Azalia. “Well, seed or not, she already seems to find comfort in you, and given what I've heard about you, not being too pushy probably helped a lot.” It pats Azalia’s back. “She probably wants to have something to help when she is down, and recovering, to remind her that you are there.”
Azalia nods slightly as they walk out of the back room, being met with the sight of Crimson sitting on top of a massive pile of plushies in the shape of honeycombs, while they have leaned four bee plushies, and three differently colored beeple plushies up against themself. One pink, one blue, and one white. “Azalia! Look at what I found, this is the best day ever!”
Resin giggles at the sight, before looking over at Pearl finishing the modifications. “Well then, this is a fairly large collection. If you would like I can have someone come over, and deliver all of this to your hab.” As it speaks it walks over to its floret, to take the largest yellow beeple plushie to install the biorhythm replicator.
“Thanks Resin!” Crim crawls off of the pile of plushies, laughing to themself at the fact that they’d managed to find this many plushies worth keeping. “Your plushies are all amazing, I promise that I won't come in, and steal every bee themed one you make… I don’t think Azalia has room for it.”
Azalia looks over the pile, sighing, and shaking her head. A small smile of amusement on her face. “Indeed I do not, but we should have plenty of space for these and whatever type of bed you decide to get.” She walks over, and gives Crim a few light pats on the head. “I’m happy you're having fun with this at least.”
“I mean of course, it wasn’t impossible to find this kinda thing on Helios, but having a guide to show me how to find it is so much nicer.” Crim grins, bumping into Azalia’s side as they walk up to the front of the shop, to fill out the paperwork for the mountain of plush.
As they finish, Resin gathers all the plushies and puts the biorhythm one on top. “Alright, someone should be by to take these over soon. Feel free to come back wherever you want, Crim, Azalia.” They begin to bag up the plushies in such a way that none of them are crushed.
“I’m sure we’ll be back plenty throughout the process of me getting my mods!” Crim waves over to Pearl, before starting to walk out of the shop. Glancing back up to look at the nameplate to remember the location… and not finding one. “Uhhh… what’s your shops name by the way?”
Pearl blushes a little, and stares at Resin. “Well, we couldn’t come up with one, so we kinda left it blank, while putting plushies in the window. People just come inside to check out what we have.” She giggles a little bit, mostly to get out the anxiety of actually being called out on it. “It’s worked well for us so far.”
“Ya know what… that’s valid, names are hard.” Crim laughs to herself, tugging Azalia along with her. Electing not to give the pair too much grief about this. “But for now we’ve gotta go, we’ve got a busy day still left ahead of us!”
Azalia chuckles lightly. A look of sheer exasperation on her face. “Indeed, we need to actually go get a bed that’s Crim’s size installed in my hab.” She drapes a vine across the terran’s shoulders. “We will see you two later.”
After a few minutes of walking, Crim pauses, realizing that she’s got absolutely no idea where she’s been leading Azalia the entire time. “Hey Azalia… maybe you should carry me for now, I think I just led us halfway around this ring of the ship randomly. Unless you were secretly using your affini tricks to guide me.”
Azalia stares at Crim for a moment, before realizing the girl is being serious, laughing, and picking her up. “Honestly, you were walking so confidently, I assumed you knew where we were going. Let’s get your bed ordered, then stop by a cafe to get you a nice treat, everything should be delivered by the time we finish, and we will be able to organize your room from there.”
“Yeah, I was really confident that the vine you had around my shoulders was directing me, and not simply you making sure you didn’t lose me.” Crim breaks down giggling, crawling her way up onto Azalia’s shoulder to use it as a seat. “Alright, let’s do this again, but this time in the right direction!”
Azalia simply turns around, walking down several streets, making a few turns they had passed earlier, before approaching a chiec looking place called ‘Habs For You’. “Here we are, they handle all sorts of hab renovations, as well as custom furniture to be delivered to habs.”
“Heck yeah, I hope they don’t mind if I’m a bit extra on my requests.” Crim grins, leaning up against Azalia’s head as she crosses her legs. “Also thanks for not being weird about me getting that rhythm plush, I just really didn’t want myself to start trying to move around looking for you, while drugged up. I’ve heard it’s important to only move when instructed while healing by body mods after all.”
Azalia smiles at Crim, before nodding. Surprised, and relieved, to have her ward thinking so far ahead. “It’s alright, it makes me happy that you are comfortable enough with me already to make such a request. Just like any sophont you are your own unique individual with wants, and needs, which are all perfectly valid.” She helps Crim down as they enter the store. “Alright, Victoria at that desk can help you get started. She is very understanding, and fun to talk with.”
“Oh cool, another independent.” Crim stretches a bit, walking a few steps forward. “Also I’d say you’ve got a rhythm that I can jam with, I’ve definitely met affini less comfortable to be around just because of their rhythms alone.” She walks up to the counter. Glancing at the raven haired woman sitting across from her, noticing that she’s dressed in a suit rather than something more colorful. “Helloooo, I’m Crimson!”
“Nice to meet you, my name is Victoria.” Victoria leans up, holding out her hand to Crimson with a smile. “Also, it is pretty easy to tell you are independent, even when you hang around an affini. So, what can I do for you Miss Crimson?”
“Well I need to get some furniture moved into Azalia here’s hab.” Crim shakes the woman’s hand before stepping back, and gesturing towards Azalia. “She’s going to be helping me during my body mod process. Do you do… beeple themed rooms? I’ve got a few requests to make a room similar to the one I have down on world.”
“We do any theme requested. Are you looking for just bee themed furniture, or would you like to do something a bit more… heavily themed.” Victoria smiles, and starts by showing a simulation of a bed with bee carvings, and honeycomb blankets. And in the second one there is a large hexagon, complete with room to lay down inside, and reading lights built into the surroundings, with a curtain to cover the open section. “I have a feeling that you are the type of girl who would like this second option.”
“I mean are ya kiddin me, absolutely I want the second one!” Crim snickers to herself, bouncing on the tips of her toes. “I mean ever since the affini takeover I’ve finally been able to experience things I’d never imagined possible, so why not go even further with it I say.” She looks over the picture a few times. “And it’ll have plenty of space for me once I get smaller…” Turning back to Azalia she points down. “Sooo are you cool with me getting this? It shouldn’t be too hard to get me out of it when you need to while I’m healing right?”
Azalia shrugs, before nodding a few times. “It is perfect for you, and I want you to have full freedom to decorate your room however you desire. While you’re staying with me. Victoria, do you have anything else themed to Crimson’s specifications?”
Victoria grins, and swipes to a few more options. “Well, as they are hexagons, we can actually add more full and partial hexagons to the sides. One could be filled with extra bedding or toys like plushies. Then another could be stocked with internal shelving. I would think three full compartments, one of which being the bed, and a couple of half compartments to give more support and a little extra storage would be the best to start with.”
“That sounds perfect, thank you so much Victoria!” Crim can’t help but hop up and down a few times, just to get all the excited energy out. “I definitely got enough plushies to fill them with, but for now I haven’t eaten food all day, and I feel like if I go any longer without it. An affini is going to miraculously appear, to give me the stink eye for allowing myself to get dehydrated.”
Azalia stares down at Crim, a small frown finding its way onto her face. “Victoria, I’ll fill out that paperwork for all of this to be delivered to my hab while we are out, but I apparently cannot wait any longer, because if I knew that Crim hadn’t had food yet today, we would have visited here last. Please excuse us.” She then swoops down picking Crim up and, starting to hurriedly stride out of the furniture store. “Time to get you fed.”
“See, this is why I didn’t mention it earlier.” Crim squeaks, giving Victoria a wave goodbye as she’s pulled into the affini’s vines. Having to fight to roll herself over, instead of being trapped against Azalia’s chest.
“I just forgot to eat breakfast! I was already running late, and didn’t wanna miss the shuttle up. If I had stopped to eat, I wouldn’t have met you, so that’s justification enough if you’re asking me.” She grumbles a bit, pulling her datapad out, and showing the map off to Azalia. “This is the place Anemone recommended for us, the Honey Pot. Kinda weird name, but I assume this is another you not knowing terran turns of phrases thing.”
“I would have had you eat before going to get the plushies. As for the name, I don’t get why it is weird. They specialize in honey based products, and a honey pot is an old terran storage for honey.” Azalia walks out into the hallway, looking down at the map to get a good idea on where she’s headed.
"Yes but it's also a terran euphemism for pussy." Crim snickers to herself, crossing her legs as they walk through the halls. "And if we went to eat before doing all that, we wouldn't have been able to go back to your hab once we were finished, because the new bedroom stuff wouldn't even be ordered."
“I see, well I’m sure they will stick with the name anyway. Also we would have found something else to occupy our time, you should have told me earlier about being hungry.” They soon arrive at the Honey Pot, Azalia walking right inside, and smiling at the affini and beeple manning the front.
“It’s because I wasn't hungry until I brought it up.” Crim groans, looking at the cafe and seeing the bright orange and yellow decals on everything. A honeycomb patterning purveying the entire shop. All of which leads her eyes to a smaller yellow beeple, napping in the vines of an affini who’s the living definition of overgrown. An abundance of green plants growing wildly across their form, making them appear more or less like a walking jungle. Eyes actually covered by a few swooping down petals. “Oh my bees, that is the cutest beep I’ve ever seen!”
“Hello you two, is this your first time at the Honey Pot? Please come right this way to be seated.” The affini smiles softly, making sure to move slowly enough to not wake her napping floret.
“Yeah, it’s my first time on the Equabloom if you’ll believe it.” Crim’s eyes stay locked, despite being in a conversation with the affini, on the napping beeple. Watching closely to get a real idea of what beeple napping is like in person, the bottom two of the beeple’s arms wrapped around their owner while the other two occasionally grab at the air in their sleep.
“Here is your table, and a menu. Feel free to ask any questions.” The affini smiles trying to be polite, before nodding towards their sleeping beeple as they realize they are only being paid attention to in the bearist sense. “You seem interested in my cute little floret, do you want to pet him?”
“Yes please.” Crim barely presses her voice back from squeaking to avoid waking the napping beeple. Taking a moment to breath, before reaching out, and slowly running her hand through the inhumanly soft beeple fluff. Making sure to get a few pets in, before pulling back, and leaning against Azalia’s chest. If only to avoid getting stuck in a feedback loop, and delaying their lunch even more. “Thank you, so much.”
The affini laughs lightly, looking up at Azalia. “This is absolutely precious, is she yours?” They gently help Crim sit down at one of the booths. “Or are you just a really big fan of beeples little one?”
Crim hops over to her side of the booth, taking the menu, and starting to look through it. “Well if by hers you mean she’s my owner, then nope. I’m just a really big fan of bees, and beeple, so she’s helping me with getting my body mods done.”
Azalia nods, flashing the other affini a slightly shy grin. “This one needs a good meal, as she didn’t tell me that she had skipped breakfast when we met. I think I will try some of your honey lemon tea for myself though.” She slides a second open menu in front of Crim. “Before you get too absorbed in beeple cuteness, you should pick out whatever sounds good to eat.”
“Uh, I’ll take the tea that you’re having and then…” Crim flicks through the menu she’d grabbed in the first place. Ignoring Azalia’s attempt to give her another, and painstakingly tearing their eyes away from the beeple. “I’ll take the honeycomb jelly tart cake, and the hexagonal waffles with honey.”
“Absolutely little one, we’ll have that ready for you right away.” The affini reaches out patting Crim on the head lightly, before giving Azalia a little nod. “You take care of her, it would be a crime to have a sophont this cute have anything but the best.”
Crim blinks a few times as the affini walks away, turning to Azalia. “See, this is why I was happy that I ran into you, and not other affini.” She laughs a bit, leaning up on the table. “Because I’m absolutely certain they were flirting with me, and with a beeple as a weapon of ultimate cuteness, I fear it may have worked!” She playfully swoons to the side sticking her tongue out at Azalia.
Azalia giggles, and looks over a few of the options in the menu. “Well, she was flirting a bit there, though any affini with beeple will flirt a lot more with anyone who takes interest in their beeple.” She laughs a little as she pets Crim. “That and you were acting super cute while staring at her floret.”
“I can’t help it, it’s like the universe created the single most perfect entity, and then decided it was so amazing, and perfect, that it made a species of interstellar conquerors, just to make sure they are treated just as perfectly as they deserve!” Crim blushes, nestling her head down against her arms as she glances away from Azalia.
Azalia points out a cute drawing of a beeple on the top of the menu. Clearly a cartoony rendition of the beeple Crim had seen napping in the owners arms. “Well, I can’t really argue with you, beeple are super cute, and cuddly.”
Soon Crim’s food, along with both of their tea is brought over. The tart being placed in front of Crim. “If you feel like you need anything more, don’t be afraid to ask. I’ll let you get more cuddles with my floret if you make sure you are full, and behave~”
Crim’s posture tenses up, her cheeks shifting to a burning flame because of the offer. Forcing herself to grab the fork, and start cutting little pieces of her meal up. “Thank you Ma’am, I’ll make sure that I don’t skimp on the meal ma'am.” She glances over at Azalia, giving the affini a look that can only be read as help me, as she shoves the first bite of the tart in her mouth.
Azalia’s form rustles slightly, a grin slipping onto her face. “Could we get some of these honey muffins to go? And thank you for offering to let my ward get to have some cuddle time with your beeple. She really loves everything that there is to do with them, so it really does mean a lot.”
Crim simply starts to internally scream at all of the attention, wiggling around, and shoveling more of the meal into her mouth. Only to be met with the affini starting to fawn over her even more, reaching out and petting her the entire time that she’s eating. Only even getting away with touching her due to the promise of beeple cuddles afterward.
Once Crim is finished, the Affini gently lowers their sleeping beeple on a few vines, placing them right next to Crim. They are turned so their little grabs lead to wrapping their arms around Crim. “There we go, enjoy the attention they give. They are super cuddly while sleeping too.”
This is the final straw for the poor terran, as she simply presses herself against the beeple, and flops over onto her side, to cuddle them in her arms more efficiently. Wrapping her arms around them, and pressing her head into the beeples fluff. “Thank youuuuuu…”
The affini sits down next to Azalia, smiling softly at Crim and her floret cuddling. “It’s absolutely no problem petal, you being this absolutely adorable, is more than enough for me to be fine with surrendering my floret to your arms. My name is Ipheon Alba, tenth bloom she/her, by the way, and the adorable little beeple you have in your arms is bramble, he’s just the sweetest.”
“Well, it’s nice to officially meet you Miss Ipheon.” Crim barely breaks her arm away from holding bramble for a moment, in order to wave at her, before quickly going back to nuzzling deeper into the massive amount of fluff on bramble’s neck.
Azalia smiles at the sight of the two cuddling, before turning her focus on Ipheon. “Thank you for this, while Crim has seemed fine, I’m really sure this will help her a lot after having such a busy day filled with major changes.” She holds out some of her vines. “Azalia Quist, sixth bloom, She/Her. It is a pleasure to meet you.”
Ipheon wraps a few vines around Azalia’s as they watch over the pair. “It’s always a pleasure to see independents who are interested in beeple. While we have florets come, and cuddle with bramble quite frequently, seeing an independent so eager is a pleasant surprise. Even if it does make me want to make her significantly less so.”
Azalia giggles, and shakes her head. “This one is very focused on her love of bees. And as much fun as you would have, she has a lot of energy. She is actually getting a lot of body mods to become as close to a beeple as possible. Then it sounds like she plans to go to the nearest hive moon, so she will be pretty… absorbed there.”
“Oh that does sound like quite the adventure, for any sophont.” Ipheon chuckles lightly, noticing that Crim has started entirely ignoring them now that they’d switched to affini. “I’d love to at the very least see how her mods progress over the course of our trip. And if she does end up deciding not to stay on the moon, I’d be more than happy to have a high energy floret. bramble tends to nap more than anything.”
“We will have some time to see how she develops and enjoys the moon when we get there. I’m fine just being her friend, and guardian, honestly.” Azalia chuckles while looking over the two. “I’m going to start her off small, and take her to the beeple hive in the park. I know it isn’t the most, but just getting used to being around them will probably help Crim in the long run.”
“Absolutely, socialization is important, and I’m sure we’ll see her fitting in with the hives like honey in a comb.” Ipheon pulls out her datapad, taking a few pictures of the pair cuddling and napping. “But for now, I should get back to running the cafe, would you mind looking over them for me?”
“Of course, I’ve got some paperwork regarding Crim’s wardship, and some furniture delivery to work on. When bramble wakes up, I’ll send him your way, before we leave. Or if he is still sleeping when we get to the point where we should leave, I’ll bring him right to you.”
“Alright, thank you so much Azalia.” Ipheon gives bramble a few parting pets, before walking off. An obvious bounce in each of her movements.